Lana gets a little better at being Lana every year. Chemtrails Over the Country Club is no exception. Photo: Lana Del Rey/YouTube As her pop-star peers reinvent themselves every other year, Lana Del Rey focuses on the refinement of her songwriting, sharpening one unique musical idea over time. Where others may express growth by expanding outward, taking bigger risks by dabbling unexpectedly in different genres and mediums, Lana gets a little better at being Lana every year. In a sense, this makes her predictable. You could hazard a guess about what the new album will sound like and what the new video will look like before you ever press “play.” It’s going to serve bleak, Nick Cave–ish chamber music, just sweet enough to render the darkness enticing. It’s going to be visualized through bleary Americana that almost seems to satirize the real thing, the way the unintentional ’60s kitsch of Valley of the Dolls is weaponized in the gauche Russ Meyer sorta-remake Beyond the … [Read more...] about The Curious Case of Lana Del Rey
Play with color
Truly the Domino’s pizza of people. Photo: YouTube If you want to get really good at compartmentalizing trauma, study late-night comedy. The format demands commentary on current events, while simultaneously being about movie promotion and an audience’s last little chuckle before bedtime. Late night during the week of a national tragedy is complicated, to say the least. You can almost see the arithmetic in hosts’ heads: I am sad, but my comedy persona is a happy guy, but I don’t want to come off as insensitive, but I don’t want to make this tragedy about me, but I don’t want to trivialize it, but am I the person to speak to this, but also this show is supposed to be non-triggering sleep material fuck fuck fuck. At least the guests were loose, bringing a chumminess that was a balm during a rough week. St. Patrick’s Day, usually a holiday to celebrate surrounded by people, went mostly unobserved. And then, of course, the nation’s increasing trend toward anti-Asian violence … [Read more...] about Karen Chee’s Grandfather Won Late Night This Week
Fragonard at the temporary Frick. Photo: Joseph Coscia Jr./The Frick Collection Masterpiece for masterpiece, the Frick is the best small museum in the United States for western painting before 1900. The institution reopens today in the Whitney Museum’s former flagship on Madison Avenue, where its art will be on view for the next two years while its own building is being renovated. On hand is enough great work to keep you absorbed for a lifetime, including four Piero della Francescas; three Vermeers; two Turners; and works by Goya, Tintoretto, Duccio, Constable, El Greco, Ingres, Titian, Tiepolo, Chardin, Watteau, Boucher, Memling, Manet, and Veronese (who used bodies of female insects, Hungarian copper carbonate, and resinous bug secretions to amp up his voluptuous color), as well as two of the most philosophical paintings in this country, Rembrandt’s late self-portrait and Velazquez’s Phillip II. We stand agog before the hallucinogenic majesty of these pictures as one would … [Read more...] about The Frick on Madison Finally Lets You See Fragonard Up Close
Photo-Illustration: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Much of Clubhouse is boring — or, at least, disproportionately filled with the awkward in-between of group interaction. This is far from a novel observation, and it’s an observation that continues to be made even as the attention and discourse around the audio chat app rose to fever pitch over the past few weeks. Pulling data from Apptopia, the New York Times reported that the app had been downloaded over four million times in the past month alone, which broadly corresponds with my own immediate networks. I started out the year with few outside my professional circles knowing what the app was; now, it’s something that gets brought up in my various Whatsapp groups every few days. That I personally find much of the app boring is a subjective contention, of course. I’m certain a substantial portion of the app’s user base would passionately differ from my assessment, and perhaps rightly so. I’ve only … [Read more...] about Does Clubhouse Mean Bad Things for Podcasting?
Bianca Lawson was 31 years old playing 16-year-old Maya St. Germain. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and The CW It would be a mistake to typecast Bianca Lawson. Best known for playing the “cool Black girl,” Lawson has embodied the mean girl in Sister, Sister , the ex-girlfriend in Save the Last Dance , and a “ handmaiden ” who happens to be one of the most powerful witches ever in The Vampire Diaries. But for every part coded in the script as “second choice” to the white protagonists , Lawson has given the characters the dimension their writers couldn’t or, more likely, wouldn’t. When her role as the bisexual new girl in town, Maya St. Germain, on Pretty Little Liars was unceremoniously killed off in 2013 — murdered offscreen by a stalker and carted away in a body bag — Lawson became the face of another pervasive Hollywood trope: Bury Your Gays , where LGBT characters are murdered gratuitously. Maya’s death in season two of the Freeform teen drama was season … [Read more...] about Bianca Lawson Answers Every Question We Have About