When I was a young teen, Britney Spears trotted onto the scene in her braids, schoolgirl skirt and red lipstick, posing for Rolling Stone while sucking lollipops and hugging stuffed animals. At the time, her look was described as “kinderwhore.” Over a decade later, Britney’s most barely-legal moments look tame in comparison to the pop tarts who’ve followed her. Lady Gaga‘s pantless get-ups. Katy Perry‘s latex dress and bra that shoots whipped cream. Miley Cyrus pole-dancing on an ice cream cart. Ke$ha‘s entire existence. A hipster blog called Hipster Runoff has coined a new name for it and none other than Rolling Stone has anointed it a genre (albeit a “fake genre”) in the pages of their magazine. Ladies and gentlemen, we are now riding the “slutwave.” Keep reading »
Uh, my celebrity soul mate, Stevie Nicks, is back. Her new album, In Your Dreams, is out in May. This single off the album, “Secret Love,” is a song she’s been working on since the ’70s. No wonder it sounds so Stevie-vintage-wonderful. I really want her to start wearing capes and feathers again. Now I need to know who her secret love is. [The Hairpin] Keep reading »
Put another record on: It turns out that listening to music is just about as good as sex when it comes to making people happy. A new study from Canadian researchers at McGill University in Montreal found that the dopamine released while having sex is the same you get when listening to music. Researchers vetted 10 subjects to receive specialized brain scans to measure dopamine levels. They were then played their favorite music while dopamine levels were measured. Regardless of the genre of music — punk, classical or pop — subjects felt a dopamine high. The coolest thing: Dopamine responds to the pauses and pathways in different songs. So if you’re particularly familiar with a song or a sequence, your brain will anticipate it and produce dopamine ahead of it.
The music dopamine is particularly good news when it comes to figuring out how to treat depression and anxiety. “For reasons that we don’t entirely understand, somehow music was able to kick in with the same system,” said Robert Zatorre, lead researcher on the study. “And that gives it power that it might not otherwise have…Because it gives us pleasure, we can use it to our advantage to modulate our state of mind.” [Montreal Gazette]
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This weekend I saw “Blue Valentine”
for the second time — and there probably will be a third viewing, so just deal! — and I was struck, again, by a moment in the movie when Ryan Gosling’s character, Dean, picks out a song for he and Cindy, played by Michelle Williams. “I got us a song, like our song, that would just be for you and me,” he says. “Because everybody’s got songs, but they’re lame and they all share them, you know, it’s disgusting. Not us. We have our own song.” That song is Penny & the Quarters’ “You and Me” and, I’m not gonna lie, I sort of want to steal it for myself and the future Mr. Amelia, whoever he may be. Keep reading »
Rock band Muse is aiming to be the first band to perform a live gig in space. Frontman Matt Bellamy (boyfriend of Kate Hudson) is hard at work plotting the band’s liftoff on Richard Branson’s soon-to-launch Virgin Galactic. “Maybe I’ve seen The Jetsons too many times … [but] I’m thinking of approaching Richard Branson to see if we could do it on his spacecraft … I do think it will be possible in the future and I’m sure it will happen in my lifetime. We’d love to be part of that,” he told The Sun. The last thing to figure out? How to keep amps from knocking out crowd-surfing fans in zero-gravity conditions. “We do have a lot of equipment, so I guess we’d have to use pods to carry our stuff and we’d scale back the shows a lot,” he said. That’s would be some in-flight entertainment. I wonder if I can get a free ticket if I volunteer to be a roadie? I could carry the equipment no problem if it weighs nothing. [Guardian UK] Keep reading »
Anna Nicole Smith died ignobly, but perhaps an opera at the Royal Opera House in London will redeem her. Nah, probably not. “Anna Nicole,” which is not so much an ode to the woman born Vickie Lynn Hogan but a musical rendering of her tragic life, will play February 17 to March 4. The buxom billionaire’s widow will be played by Eva-Maria Westbroe, a Dutch soprano who has also performed in operas by Puccini and Verdi. Supposedly, the opera will be a capital-I Intellectual analysis of Anna’s scheming, wanton lifestyle, drug abuse and binge eating. And it will be a classy affair, let me tell you: The libretto was written by the same guy who wrote “Jerry Springer: The Opera” and a brochure for the show warns the faint of heart of “extreme language, drug abuse and sexual content.” For an opera based on Anna Nicole Smith’s life, I would expect nothing less. [Guardian UK] Keep reading »
In retrospect, no one should have been the least bit surprised that George Michael was gay. I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what “Freedom” is all about. [YouTube
] Keep reading »
Here’s one year-end list we’d never want to be on. The Boston Public Health Commission ranked the top 10 worst relationship songs released this year; songs were ranked by the unhealthy messages they sent listeners about relationships and violence against women. At the top of the list? Usher, whose tracks “Lil Freak” and “Hot Tottie” occupied the number one and two spots.
Songs are scored based on their portrayal of relationships, sex, manipulation and disrespect. Songs are ranked by a panel of 100 teens, who, said director Casey Corcoran, “see which ones endorse a healthy or unhealthy relationships.”
Songs were NOT scored based on the reputation of the artists themselves (which is why Usher tops the list and not Chris Brown). Check out the rest of the list after the jump. Keep reading »
Your man’s not giving you what you need? Throw on some way over-sized silk pajamas and get yours. At least, that’s what Chilli, T-Boz, and Left Eye recommend. [YouTube
] Keep reading »