The cover to Alabama rapper Yelawolf's new mixtape exemplifies two schools of artwork that we've investigated here at The Awl. 1) The prominent-sunglasses album cover and 2) Rappers with American flags. But, oddly, the above image is reminiscent of nothing so much as traditionalist troubadour Leon Redbone.
Here is the new video for Beyonce's great song, "1+1." It's pretty much the same video as the old video for Billy Idol's great song "Eyes Without a Face."
Mystery solved. Sixteen-year-old Miami resident Nicholas Harrington says he put a grand piano on the sandbar in the middle of Biscayne Bay because he "wanted to create a whimsical, surreal experience." And also make a video for his application to college (where he will be totally stressed out.) Nicholas and his family came forward yesterday after local film-makers Billy and Anais Yaeger falsely claimed credit for the stunt that became a world-wide phenomenon. But there's someone else who deserves credit for the inspiration. His name is Dwayne Smith.
Here is a new song from Brooklyn MC Talib Kweli, produced by his long-time partner DJ Hi-Tek. (The two often record as a duo called Reflection Eternal.) It's really good. And so is the video, which was directed by Nim the Dream and looks a bit like one of those old "Cube" print ads painter Mike Thompson did for Marc Ecko. And it makes a nice addition to the list of rap songs that can serve as music history lessons.
Hey, want to see what a star exploding looks like in 3-D? Of course you do, it's totally amazing. Astronomers using the Very Large Telescope (that's what it's called) in Chile, have sent back zoom-lens images of supernova 1987A, which blew up 168,000 light-years away from earth and was first discovered in 1987. How we're able to see this event, that happened in the past, and was apparently visible to the naked eye 23 years ago, today, is one of those questions that hurts my brain to think about. Moving stuff is frozen in time by the incredible long distances in space? I guess? I don't know. But [...]
Just kidding! Here's the real video with Larry King.
When I started going to Tea Party meetings two years ago, I was sympathetic. Just after attending one in North Dakota in August of 2009, I wrote: "Most tea partiers are not bad people. They're just mad. In many meaningful ways, today's Tea Party attendees' lives have gotten consistently worse for the last 20 years, regardless of which party was in power." I concluded that trying to figure out what they wanted was a dead end because what they wanted was simply to complain—that the Tea Party "is not a group of listen and respond; this is a group of respond and respond."
Two years of Tea Party functions [...]
"I never use 'Dear…' It's old-dearish." —Jon King, managing director of the digital marketing agency Story Worldwide, weighs in on the debate over the proper salutation with which to start an email. King, who is the same Jon King who used to dance like a chicken undergoing electro-shock therapy and sing amazingly great, spiky, neo-Marxist punk rock songs with his band Gang of Four, generally begins emails to clients, "Often with no intro line at all. I assume they know who they are, and cut to the chase."
Perhaps you heard last week about one or both of the two-tone lobsters recently caught off the coast of England. This pigmentation is very uncommon-a 50 million-to-one rarity according to marine biologists who have examined one of them, which has been named Harley Quin, and is now in a tank at the Scarborough Sea Life Centre. The other, Ska, is at Bristol's Blue Reef Aquarium. Well, apparently, freakishly hued lobsters are showing up in traps on this side of the Atlantic, too. A bright blue specimen (one in four-million odds) was caught recently off New London, Connecticut; and a presumably cowardly yellow one (one in 30 [...]
The new video from the born-in-Cincinnati-moved-to-Brooklyn artrockers The National is pretty cool. Singer Matt Berninger is like a cross between Bryan Ferry (which is always kind of his thing) and Jeff Daniels in The Squid and the Whale. Great tune, too.
In case you haven't seen it yet, here is the new Vampire Weekend video. It's pretty great for lots of reasons: RZA as Shaolin ninja/chair umpire, Jake Gyllenhaal as drunk, Lil Jon speaking French, the racially symbolic all-white set. Also, people playing tennis in motorcycle helmets and singer Ezra Koenig looking a lot like Michael Cera.
The new Usher video is just like Michael Jackson's "Rock With You."
"While mountain gorillas are physically strong, they are also incredibly vulnerable." —International Gorilla Conservation Program director Eugene Rutagarama, on why chicks dig mountain gorillas. (It also might have something to do with the fact that their noses are exactly the same shape as when you curl the fingers of both your hands and put them together to make the make "I heart you" sign.) Actually, he was talking about the importance of protecting their habitat in the mountains that make up the border between Uganda, the Congo and Rwanda. There are now 780 of these very attractive animals alive in the wild. Which is a great improvement, probably [...]
This weekend the New York Post had a piece on the return of the Kids in the Hall and their much-anticipated-at least by me-"Death Comes to Town" series. Unfortunately, the photo accompanying the article shows American sketch comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U' Know rather than their Canadian ancestors. It's an easy mistake to make, especially considering that both shows are affiliated with IFC, but still, in a time where the paper is under fire for confusing members of ethnic minorities with one another it is nice to know that they also apparently think that all white folks look alike too.
Everybody knows food makes you less hungry. But did you know it makes you smarter, or fatter, or less fat, sort of, except food always has calories, so either you want to eat just some or eat none of it at all? So here's my ten tips for healthy eating!
Wait a minute. This new rapper, Sam Adams-white-kid from Boston, goes to Trinity College, accused of buying 8,000 copies of his own record on iTunes to get famous-he's part of that crazy faux-documentary Casey Affleck's making with Joaquin Pheonix, right? I mean, this is just Casey Affleck's little cousin or something, right? This is a hoax, right? And… is that an Annie Lennox sample! What is going on?!