Slate's Culture Blog
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 4:05 PM
Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for smart
M.I.A., known for her militant approach to pop, is back with another social anthem, “Bring the Noize,” which evokes the spirit of Public Enemy's 1987 classic of the same (albeit correctly spelled) name. M.I.A.’s lyrics this time out are not exactly inspired (“Come let me go, do you like my perfume?/ Made it at home with some gasoline and shrooms” sounds rather similar to her big hit “Paper Planes”) the infectious, complex production is terrific.Read More »
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 3:30 PM
Kanye West performs in Paris in 2012
Photo by GUILLAUME BAPTISTE/AFP/GettyImages
If you’re still struggling to process the eclectic onslaught of Kanye West’s Yeezus, which features everything from trap, drill, industrial music, and dancehall to, of course, hip-hop and soul, this mixtape ofYeezus source material from Babylon Cartel’s Gianni Lee and Mike Blud is here to help.Read More »
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 3:07 PM
Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME
A story by Ariel Kaminer and Alain Delaquérière in the N.Y. Region section of today’s New York Times is enraging people all over the Internet. The headline: “NYU Gives Its Stars Loans for Summer Homes.” “Stars” in this case means administration bigwigs and highly regarded academics, a few of whom have received favorable-sounding loans (some involving forgiveness provisions) in order to purchase second homes in popular vacation locales near New York City.
Given that NYU is among the most expensive universities to attend in the United States and its graduates are currently departing with startling levels of student loan debt, the story has understandably infuriated readers across the country.Read More »
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 12:45 PM
On Sunday, literary types the world over donned blazers, sported colored glasses, and drank pints of Guinness for Bloomsday, a celebration of James Joyce’s allusion-laden epic Ulysses. At once utterly canonical and a sort of cult classic, Ulysses—despite its missing punctuation, combined words, formal shifts, and other seeming difficulties—is read aloud at independent bookstores, in velvet-seated theatres, and on the streets of Dublin each and every June 16.
This year, a handful of literary folk in London celebrated another modernist masterpiece, Virginia Woolf’s slender Mrs. Dalloway—which also takes place on a single day in June—by taking a walk around London. They walked “in the spirit of Bloomsday,” and it is cheering to see Woolf’s novel celebrated in this way, though it seems unlikely to catch on.
Why is that, exactly?Read More »
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 11:39 AM
After his intense appearance on SNL last month, a few impromptu outdoor projections seen around the world, and a bizzarely entertaining New York Times interview, Kanye West finished off his promotion for Yeezus with a more puzzling tactic: a nearly shot-for-shot remake of an infamous scene from American Psycho, starring playboy Scott Disick (Kourtney Kardashian's boyfriend and father to her children) and “Kardashian friend” Jonathan Cheban, as Patrick Bateman and Paul Allen, respectively.Read More »
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 10:48 AM
It’s nearly summer, the perfect time to catch up with a few of those shows everyone is always saying you should watch. But there are so many! How can you decide which to try? You need to find the gateway episode, one you can watch without any background knowledge and which will give you a real sense of the show—and whether you’ll like it.
When I belatedly got into The Sopranos, I cobbled together the dough to buy the entire season used on Amazon because the time elapsing between sending Netflix DVDs back and forth was getting unbearable. It was impossible not to revel in the show’s intertwined worlds of sweat-soaked violence and cushy suburban intimacy. The writing is perfectly crafted and the characters are as deep and twisty as we all imagine ourselves to be. Granted, their problems tend to be more of the “how do I kill this guy who joined the Witness Protection Program” variety.Read More »
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 8:30 AM
Kanye West performs at the 2012 BET Awards in July.
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images For BET
In a rare interview published last week in the New York Times, Kanye West revealed the secret to the new sound on latest album, Yeezus: the lamps of French designer Le Corbusier. “[Y]ou know, this one Corbusier lamp was like, my greatest inspiration,” West said, explaining his new “minimalist” direction.
In an exclusive follow-up conversation with Slate, West expanded on his inspirations for his previous albums. They were all lamps.
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 5:15 AM
Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images
The following is an excerpt from Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Ben Greenman, out now from Grand Central Publishing.
I got a text from Prince’s assistant. That’s how things go in the Prince universe: You get a pre‑message saying that a phone message is coming later. But this time, the message said something different. It said that there was going to be a roller‑skating party that night, for Valentine’s Day, and that I should bring some cool people.
Posted Monday, June 17, 2013, at 4:16 PM
Ben Savage and Rider Strong in Boy Meets World
Photo by © Lions Gate Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.
Ever since plans were announced to make a spinoff of the ’90s TV staple Boy Meets World, young adults of a certain age have eagerly anticipated the latest attempt to feed their premature nostalgia. The original show—which premiered in 1993 on ABC’s once-successful programming block T.G.I.F. and ran for seven seasons—followed Cory Matthews (and his family, friends, and teachers) from his awkward middle school years right through college.
Almost 15 years after the main characters said goodbye, Cory and his middle -school-sweetheart-turned-wife, Topanga, have a daughter, according to the powers that don’t wish to leave the show be. That daughter will be at the heart of the series new incarnation, appropriately titled, Girl Meets World. And after months of updates regarding the premise and casting—including a recent reunion for several of the original cast members—Disney officially picked up the series; it’s set to air sometime in 2014.
I was squarely in the target age-range for Boy Meets World by the time the series hit its stride—and by now I have probably seen every episode at least three times. So I wasn’t surprised to see all the ecstatic reactions to Girl Meets World news in my Facebook newsfeed. Of course we all want to see what happened to Cory, Topanga, Eric, and Mr. Feeny. Or so the thinking goes.Read More »
Posted Monday, June 17, 2013, at 2:33 PM
Courtesy of AMC
Last night we learned that Bob Benson is not what he seemed. Of course, we already knew that—there has always been something so oddly chipper and mysteriously straightforward about the man. We just knew something was up.Read More »