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Photos from FKA Twigs' Steamy "Congregata" RBMA Shows

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Last night FKA Twigs kicked off the first of three nights of her new performance “Congregata” -- a two-hour spectacle that brings to the stage her full vision as a dancer, choreographer and singer. The show is set in the Brooklyn Hangar down on the Sunset Park waterfront and was met the first night by a full house in near complete darkness under a thick haze of humidity.

Twigs goes between dancing alone and singing delicately and directly to the audience to circling and dominating male dancers who approach her under highly choreographed lighting and cybernetic percussion. It’s hard to take apart Congregata -- the music, the dancing, the costumes and production are all so tightly fused that it's almost impossible to focus on any one aspect outside of the whole. Twigs is a master at that.

See our photos from last night's opening below.
















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The World's First Ecstasy Shop Opens In Amsterdam

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And you thought Colorado was ahead of its time. 

MDMAJA in Amsterdam is being billed as the "world's first ecstasy store," though there is, of course, a catch.

A way of demonstrating how decriminalization would be better than underground dealer distribution, MDMAJA is only selling placebo pills to show the people of Amsterdam how a legal ecstasy trade would work.

After all, if brought above-ground to actual storefronts, the Young Democrats (the youth arm of the Netherlands' Democrats 66 party) claim that they can educate people to prevent overdoses and minimize the risks of ecstasy-usage, as well as prevent sale to minors. The largest non-Christian political youth organization in the Netherlands, the Young Democrats also hope that they'll be able to obtain 40,000 signatures at their pop-up store today, which also means Dutch Parliament will have to debate giving it the same legal treatment as marijuana, which is free to be sold around the country. 

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Watch Rihanna's Latest Campaign Video for Dior, Featuring a New Song

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Rihanna, known in savvier circles as our one and only Shade Queen, has descended upon Versailles for the fourth installment of Dior's Secret Garden saga with her fierce strut and signature smize.

Shot by famed fashion photographer and frequent Madonna collaborator Steven Klein, the video features a snippet of a track from her upcoming R8 studio album entitled "Only If For A Night." 

The first black woman to star in a Dior campaign, Rihanna's position as the iconic brand's poster girl has been seen as a groundbreaking step toward more diverse representations in high fashion, as RiRi herself told MTV earlier this year. And no one could be more regal than the royal Bad Girl herself as she catwalks down a moonlit Hall of Mirrors and spins amongst Versailles' famous gardens bathed in sequins and Swarovski crystals.

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The Most Obvious Symbols From the Mad Men Finale: A Ranking

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Matthew Weiner has never seen an object he couldn't invest with a disproportionate amount of capital-M Meaning. That makes sense, since it's Don Draper's job, too -- everything from a can of baked beans to a film projector to pantyhose get ground up in the advertising mill of Mad Men and regurgitated as Important. As obnoxious as that tendency can be, it's also one of the most impressive things about Mad Men, a show that is, for the most part, aggressively mundane in its subject matter yet manages to imbue it with near-cosmic significance. And "Person to Person," last night's series finale, doubled down on that trend, throwing objects at viewers and saying "understand me!" To help with that understanding, here are the most obvious symbols from the Mad Men series finale, ranked from least obvious to "ow, did you just hit me on the head with a copy of Oedipus?"

madmen2.gif5. Coke (the drug)
Where was that in the episode? Joan and Richard try blow on their trip to Florida, the closest we will ever get to Mad Men: Vice.
Wait, so what does it mean? (Asking for a friend): The quick high and feeling of ultra-competence Joan and Richard get from coke ties in to a lot of things -- Joan's desire for control in her professional life, the dizzying possibility that she might go into business with Peggy, that she might have found a life partner who isn't her mother. The hit of connection also ties into the other coke symbol (but we'll get to that).
So... how obvious is it?
The scene is funny enough that the overt symbolic value kind of sneaks up on you a few scenes later. 4/10

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 3.40.30 PM.png4. Pete and Peggy's Cactus
Where was that in the episode? Pete gives Peggy a cactus as a going-away present.
Wait, so what does it mean? (Asking for a friend): Well, this happens a decade after he gave her another prickly living creature (heh, birth!). A cactus isn't the most attractive plant, but it's sturdy and doesn't need a ton of water and it grows -- almost like Pete and Peggy's relationship! Or Pete! Or Peggy! Wow, what a multi-layered symbol!
So... how obvious is it? Not as obvious as it could have been! 6/10

don-driving-car-on-salt-flats.gif3. The Cool Racing Car
Where was that in the episode? Don works on a car trying to break a speed record with some dudes in Utah, before he heads to California.
Wait, so what does it mean? (Asking for a friend): I mean... this is Don we're talking about, a guy who loves running away from his life like it's his job.
So... how obvious is it? We're abandoning all subtlety here in an attempt to escape the gravity of subtext. 8.5/10

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 3.41.51 PM.png2. Person-to-Person Phone Calls
Where was that in the episode?
We're getting near the end -- this literally gives the episode its name, in the dual calls Don makes to Betty and Peggy, the two most important women in his life who are not his daughter.
Wait, so what does it mean? (Asking for a friend): This is unbelievably obvious -- it's about connections, man. The entire episode focuses on relationships between two people (Don and Peggy, Don and Betty, Don and the guy in the support group, Joan and Peggy, Peggy and Stan...) and the transmission of understanding between one another.
So... how obvious is it? 9.5/10


1. Coke (the drink/symbol of capitalist oppression)
Where was that in the episode? Um...
Wait, so what does it mean? (Asking for a friend): What doesn't it mean? It's the entire show wrapped up in a nice, cool bottle -- a product of a major corporation that symbolizes human connection being traded in for some bubbles. It's Don's ultimate victory. It's the capture of the spirit of the 1960s and its transformation into a product. Fun!
So... how obvious is it? HAMMER DROP.


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Balmain Is Doing a Collaboration With H

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While TV fans were glued to the Mad Men finale last night and pop music listeners watched Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video and the Billboard Music Awards, the fashion industry got some major news of its own: Olivier Rousteing announced, via Instagram, that Balmain would be the latest fashion house to collaborate on a collection with H&M. He also teased out the capsule by dressing two of his favorite model-muses -- Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner -- in pieces from the collection for the Billboard Awards. (Rousteing also came out to the awards wearing a Balmain X H&M outfit.) The collab will feature women's and men's clothing, shoes and accessories and comes out on November 5th. This means there's T-6 months before we're all walking around in intricate, chest-plunging blazers at affordable prices.

GET READY FOR #HMBALMAINATION @HM next designer collaboration with Balmain launches worldwide 05.NOV.2015

A video posted by BALMAIN (@balmainparis) on

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Courtney Love Drops New Song, "Miss Narcissist"

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Hole-y moley! Courtney Love has surprised the Internet with a digital release of her new single via Wavves-affiliated imprint Ghost Ramp, "Miss Narcissist." Reminding you with her scarred voice and suggestive lilt that she's back, better and bigger than ever, Courtney does what she does best on the track: play the part of the unapologetic bad girl. Incredibly acidic and loaded with the sort of pent-up vehemence you'd expect from someone always hit hard by social rags, she attacks public perception with bratty, tongue-in-cheek lines like "me, me, me, no apologies" and "Miss Narcissist, it's us versus them," striking back against the roar of caustic guitar riffs and marking a sonic return to her grunge-era roots. And as some of her most lo fi-sounding work to date, it makes sense that it's accompanied by her own watercolored artwork. This is O.G. Love-levels of DIY. Listen to the single below.

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Six Artists Got Commissioned to Paint Murals In a NYC Pedestrian Tunnel

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Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 5.28.44 PM.png[Photo via Gothamist]

First of all, kudos to the six artists that just painted the pedestrian tunnel up at 191st Street: Nice one! Over 158 people applied to get the gig. But doesn't it seem a little ironic that the Department of Transportation -- the city's bastion of "broken windows" subway buffing -- has now assumed the roll of street-art curators? Did the previous tags really need an authorized go-over sponsored by the DOT? If the original artists didn't have to keep looking over their shoulder for transit cops, they probably could have done a better job. Maybe they should be given the opportunity to go over some of the "bad art" elsewhere in town. A B34 bus would surely look better with something other than end-to-end GAP ads.

The murals by Andrea Von Bujdoss (Queen Andrea), Fernando Carlo Jr. (Cope2), Nick Kuszyk, Nelson Rivas (aka Cekis), Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn are now on view in the 900-foot tunnel that runs between Broadway and St. Nicholas Avenue in the Bronx. 

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The Best and Worst Celebrity Fashion at the Billboard Music Awards

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From J.Lo's 200th variation on the naked sequin dress to Iggy Azalea's color shapes, we rate the best and worst celebrity fashion at the Billboard Music Awards.


Kendall Jenner

"This is exactly what you wear when you want to say, 'I'm a world-famous model and my fashion is better than all of yours.' That said, I really like the jacket and the slicked-back hair but wish the tailoring on the pants was a slimmer-fit." -- Abby

"I like the general 'I will take you to court for making eye contact' steeliness Kendall is giving, especially since she's wearing Velour, the official fabric of tracksuits and horse coolers. I enjoyed this.-- Elizabeth


Kylie Jenner

"This is very 'Real Housewife of Miami'-meets-Russian oligarch's girlfriend." -- Abby

"Her eyebrows look good." -- Elizabeth


Jennifer Lopez

"If J. Lo doesn't turn up to a red carpet event in a sparkly, sheer gown, did the red carpet event even happen? Did it? DID IT?" -- Abby

"This is one of J.Lo's more casual "me time" looks. Very Sunday, just-hanging-around. I like that she kept it simple and super casual. Just have fun!" -- Elizabeth


Britney Spears

"This is pretty! I like that Britney kept her hair and makeup simple, too. She looks great. " -- Abby

"Sparkly chainmail melatonin." -- Elizabeth


Iggy Azalea

"Neon pink-dyed hair ends, a crop top and a cut-out: combining multiple Instagram trends on a red carpet at an awards show in Las Vegas is exactly what you should be doing when your audience is a bunch of 14-year-old girls. Iggy knows what she's doing." -- Abby

"This is just a jumble of shapes and colors and things my brain quietly, but firmly, says "No" to, like Baby Gene on the Mad Men finale. What will happen to Baby Gene, you think?" -- Elizabeth


Taylor Swift

"Taylor looks very 'Olivia Newton-John in the '70s-chic,' which means she looks fantastic." -- Abby

"Jumpsuits are the only thing I ever want to see on a red carpet. Her shag makes her looks like a disco dancer who lives for a Parliament light 100 and a Bay Breeze and has a niece she gives makeup to that she doesn't use anymore." -- Elizabeth


Rita Ora

"I hate the cut-out over her stomach and, actually, all the cut-outs in general. Rita Ora CAN rock it off -- her figure is great -- but it just looks like a fugly bathing suit/cover-up you'd wear on Ocean Drive four years ago. Her hair and makeup are on point tho." -- Abby

"I love ABC's font. I think they have the best logo font out of any network. It's so '70s and cool. FOX has my least favorite font-- too boring and boxy!" --Elizabeth


Mariah Carey

"I'm never a fan of a 'mullet dress' but Mimi looks pretty and her cleavage says to Nick Cannon, 'New phone, who dis?'" -- Abby

"Agreed. I think she looks great and I would describe her toenail polish color as "so fun." --Elizabeth


Zendaya

"Zendaya looks fun n' festive and exactly what an 18-year-old should be wearing to the Billboard Awards. Like Rita Ora, Zendaya wore Fausto Puglisi (they both have that sunburst medallion on their outfit) but unlike Ora, she nailed the bare midriff." -- Abby

"Agreed. Zendaya went full-on "Fug 2: Escape to Fug Island" with this. It makes no sense and is hideous, so I love it. Best dressed of the night." --Elizabeth


Celine Dion

"Celine's figure is great. I can't say the same for the dress. Ughhhh." -- Abby

"The dress is a great color on her but the rest of it is a forlorn foghorn crying out across the misty, dark waters of 'Say No to the Dress' Sea." --Elizabeth


Meghan Trainor

"Meghan looks beautiful. The dress isn't super new or exciting but it looks great on her." -- Abby

"Agreed. Super-blonde hair with emerald sequins is always a good look." -- Elizabeth


Charli XCX

"Charli XCX looks like a goth mom who went to art school before having kids. There's just something about that slinky black dress and the makeup that ages her. I also wish the hair was a little less messy. I know that's her THING but it'd be fun to see something sleeker for a change to go with the gown." -- Abby

"Yeah, but I personally think every living human's daily look should be 'goth mom' so I love this. The dress is beautiful, that red lipstick is on lock and her hair is a tousled dream." -- Elizabeth

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Watch Beyonce and Nicki Minaj's New "Feeling Myself" Video While You Can

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Beyonce and Nicki Minaj just debuted their new music video for "Feeling Myself," but you can only watch it if you have a Tidal account..... or, if you click on the above video! This will inevitably be taken down within the next few hours, so enjoy while you can and start saving for an El Camino. 

Via MissInfo.

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Listen to "Angelmeowster," the latest from Run the Jewels' Meow the Jewels

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Obviously there have been no cat naps for critically-acclaimed rappers Run the Jewels, as member El-P just teased the latest feline fake-take of a Run The Jewels 2 banger aptly titled "Angelmeowster." 

Following right on the heels of their stark video for RTJ2's "Early" and a teaser for new RTJ3 material (!!!), El-P himself took to Instagram earlier today to bring us a mewly snip of the song, which has the duo rapping over the original beats recreated with cat noises. 

A result of the infamous Kickstarter campaign that has already raised over $65,000 for charity (El-P has already pledged his portion to the families of Mike Brown and Eric Garner), Meow The Jewels is entirely made up of samples courtesy of Internet-famous herp-derp Lil Bub. Dub-Bub Bonus: The album will also feature production talent from the likes of Portishead's Geoff Barrow, Zola Jesus, Just Blaze, Baauer and Prince Paul...As if this project wasn't already purr-fect enough.

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A Running Commentary on Joyce Carol Oates' Massive Twitter Review of Mad Men

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mad-men-finale-01.jpgAfter the Mad Men series finale aired, many, many, many, many critics weighed in with their opinions--was it good? was it bad? did Don make the Coke ad? did he not make the Coke ad? will we ever recap again?--but a surprise thinker joined the conversation on Twitter: novelist Joyce Carol Oates, notorious for being very, very bad at social media, including vaguely coherent, casual disdain for Muslims or awkward "witty" comments about cats. With such a bright past, there are sure to be some gems in this extended Mad Men take (a genre already fraught with danger and potential stupidity). Let's move through the opinions of Joyce Carol Oates, TV critic:

One of the biggest differences between TV and film is that TV, for a variety of reasons, has the capacity to lead to more complicated projected interior lives for characters. So far I am with you, Joyce.


Hm... so here's a thesis -- she thinks that the ending is out of character for Don? That doesn't seem right at all. He starts the series with a big, famous ad pitch ("It's toasted," for Lucky Strike), and there have been more than enough hints that Don would make the ad. He's had so many epiphanies and backslid so many times that it seems perfectly reasonable to guess he would return to McCann. But go on...

Sorry, did you need a big, showy cut to black? Or for Don to get murdered? Or turn out to be a Cylon? Or secretly be Bob Newhart? Do you assume anything is inadvertent with this show? Say what you will about Matthew Weiner, the guy is a perfectionist.

Did you even see Don at the beginning of the episode? He looked like he'd been hit in the face with Bobby's frying pan. There's a real argument here somewhere about the way Betty has been mistreated for much of the show's run, but she's also one of the most important characters, and gets arguably the most noble sendoff. Truly, she is a trap queen.

A little distance? Meaning... what, 12 hours? And what shows are we talking about? THE GREAT EPICS. Like... this "epic dissatisfaction" with Mad Men?

Okay so this is where it gets really bad. No, Joyce, no. Megan is a great character and Jessica Paré is a great actress and the Calvet-Draper marriage is one of the most crucial storylines of the series, presenting Don with the opportunity to start fresh and then letting him waste it. And Roger and Marie are happy! What are you so salty about?

Are you crazy, Joyce? Literally the first episode of the half-season raises the specter of Don's first serious girlfriend, Rachel Menken, then uses the widely hated Diana the waitress as a stand-in for pretty much every interchangeable woman he ever dated and the impetus for his hobo trip.

Don is "in search of a single defining act?" You can just say "he's horny," we're all adults here.


All that from a Coke ad? Feels like Joyce is worried about the finale changing the meaning of everything that happened before, and while that could happen on some shows, it doesn't really seem like the point on this one. It's practically a cliche to say that Mad Men is a collection of short stories, but it's also true--and that means Joyce has even less reason to react like a teenager angry about the Lost finale.

CLASSIC JOYCE CAROL OATES--unnecessarily pithy, lots of rhetorical questions. Great job, everyone involved. This one is at least a second ballot entry to the @JoyceCarolOates hall of fame.


So close! But so far!

Nice one! Really funny stuff, but maybe we should take a break?

Uh oh, now we're back to general TV criticism--as far as I can tell, consistency is the most important thing here in her view, I think, giving the sense that there's a real person aging through a work of art. Mostly, this seems right. Except...

CHILL WITH THE MEGAN STUFF ALREADY DID YOU NOT EVEN LIKE "ZOU BISOU BISOU"

After the Seinfeld comparison, this seems like time for an empty metaphor about nothing...

There it is!

GOD DAMN IT, JOYCE "CINEMATIC" IS A BAD COMPLIMENT FOR TV IT'S ITS OWN MEDIUM AND DOESN'T NEED TO BE VALIDATED THROUGH COMPARISONS TO FILM JUST GIVE IT A REST ALREADY GOSH.

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People Are Giving Up on Game of Thrones After Last Night's Rape Scene

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By virtue of being a perfectly decent, mostly entertaining but also extremely expensive-looking and popular genre show, Game of Thrones practically demands controversy. It doesn't help, though, that the writers often seem like they are incapable of understanding how to write female characters other than as sex objects in general and in particular as rape victims. This is a well the show has returned to over and over again, without taking to heart any of the actual criticism--it's not just about what happens on the show, it's about how it's depicted. And the most recent episode did nothing to alleviate that concern, using the marital rape of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) as a way of torturing Reek/Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen). 

These controversies have increasingly worn on the fans--and some people can't take it anymore. Jill Pantozzi, editor-in-chief of The Mary Sue, penned a note explaining why the site would cease coverage. The key sentence: "There's only so many times you can be disgusted with something you love before you literally can't bring yourself to look at it anymore."

There are some attempts to do damage control on the part of the show--Turner claimed she "loved" doing the scene, while George R. R. Martin defended it from the totally besides the point perspective of changing events between the books and the show. Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman went the furthest, trying to explain a quote that seemed to position the rape as a "choice."

But, especially after so many years, it all seems too little, too late.

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Inside the Return of Storm Rave, NYC's '90s Minimal-Techno Party

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Saturday night saw the return of Frankie Bones' seminal minimal-techno party Storm Rave as part of Red Bull Music Academy's ongoing events programming this month. Minimal techno's abrasive sound was born out of New York and the East Coast in the '90s, and all of the genre's biggest DJs were on hand to spin at a remote warehouse in Brooklyn, including Adam X, Heather Heart, Lenny Dee, and Rob Gee.

A friend of mine saw Heather Heart play a party in San Francisco sometime before the internet was alive. He liked the music so much he looked in the yellow pages to get the number of the record store she helped run in New York called Sonic Groove. Heather actually picked up the phone, kindly put together a package of 10 records, and snail mailed them to him. This would later become a mixtape he gave me with the words “Phantom Raker Agent 4” written on it. I played it a million times.

I never thought of this sound -- the Brooklyn sound of hardcore minimal techno -- as being any more related to cheesy house or “dance” music than it was to punk (though most Americans just call it all EDM). It was more like brutalism, minimalism or industrial -- something maybe closer to Reich, Glass or La Monte Young (who it should be noted was also a part of this Red Bull Music Academy series). The mechanical patterns of Frankie Bones are like perfect plateaus -- if you look closely at the grooves on the record you can practically read it like sheet music.

Saturday's Storm Rave was more a reunion than a show. I was fearing the location (disclosed just days before the event) might be in Williamsburg, but instead it was out in Bushwick where Knickerbocker meets the cemetery in an old nondescript warehouse. The crowd that turned up was a cross section of New York who had been waiting for it. Humidity at a perfect 120%. Photos below.
















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Amy Schumer Is a Pageant Princess in Her New "Babies & Bustiers" Sketch

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Here she is...Little Miss Hot As Balls!

This clip from tonight's episode of Inside Amy Schumer features the comedian, spoofing reality show Toddlers and Tiaras.

Babies & Bustiers-starlet who also suffers from a tragic case of Fetal Red Bull Syndrome, 6-year-old Amy ages at fives times as fast as her peers and probably has enough "ambition" to smother them all. Filled with the kinds of tantrums, verbal abuse and overzealous confessionals you've come to expect from an actual TLC-sanctioned pageant princess, Schumer (and Jennifer Coolidge as her proud pageant mama) shuts it down as she creepily prances, preens and secretly eats in her giant car-seat.

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Twenty One Pilots Talk Origins, Insecurities and their Sprawling New Album Blurryface

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Photo by Jabari Jacobs

Since the release of their 2013 album Vessel and its attendant hit singles "Holding on to You" and "Guns for Hands," Twenty One Pilots have become summer music festival favorites. Which makes sense, as the Columbus, Ohio, duo work hard to give you an entire Lollapalooza's worth of music in one convenient... well, vessel. Their new album, Blurryface, out today on Fueled by Ramen, is even more willfully eclectic than its predecessor, veering from dance music thumpers to indie rock-rap hybrids to campfire folk comedowns with little regard for your genre expectations. 

Before signing with Fueled by Ramen, singer/multi-instrumentalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun were slugging it out in the Columbus music scene, self-releasing albums and posting songs online. They might have some MTV Video Music Award nominations and Pete Wentz's phone number now, but their basic approach hasn't changed at all; they still just want to impress each other first and foremost. Here's Joseph and Dun on their early days, their new album and the intention -- or lack thereof -- behind their gift for doing everything at once.

When did you guys first meet? 

Tyler Joseph: You know, when we get asked this question, Josh and I like to make something up on the spot to try to make the other laugh. We've come up with a lot of great answers to that question, like meeting in prison, or that we were the only two survivors on a train wreck. Josh always seems to be a lifeguard in his stories and he always revives me, which I think is a little odd, but it always gets a chuckle out of me. In all honesty, we met through a mutual friend here in Columbus, Ohio. Josh came out to a show that I was playing with some other people. So, we actually met at a show and he said, "Hey, let's hang out sometime," and that's something that's said all the time, you know, and people don't really follow up on it, but for some reason Josh and I did hang out. He came over to the house and late hours into the night we got to talking about music and what we wanted to do with it.

Josh Dun: We knew at that moment that we'd be best friends for life. 

When you first started writing music together, how did you guys know that you had something? 

TJ: I think what's cool is that we started out as friends first. When we met each other, I think that we just hung out as friends for about a year before we even started playing together. It is probably pretty important, looking back now, that we'd established that trust with each other, just as friends. We developed a cool relationship and then everything fell into place where we were both available to play music together and not with the other people that we were playing with. It just worked out perfectly. I had some songs that I had written that I was throwing together, and I remember when Josh first started playing his songs live, it all came together and made sense for me.

JD: The first time I actually met Tyler was at a show that he was playing with a couple of his buddies. I remember, because I had been playing music for a little while, and I really had a specific idea of what I wanted to be a part of in my mind, and I had never really seen what I had in mind until I saw Tyler performing. I even remember thinking, "That's what I want to be a part of." I think it was the very first time that we ever met that I just totally knew that I wanted to someday play music with Tyler and be creative and take over the world. 

What was it you were looking for, and what did you find in him? 

JD: I think it's just something that's a little bit different I guess. It was like some sort of itch that I couldn't scratch. What I had in mind was something that I hadn't really heard before and that I finally heard, and I was excited about that.

What was the music scene in Columbus like while you were growing up?  

JD: I think Columbus has always embraced music pretty well, and I think it still does. By the time that we were in high school and early college, I would say there was a pretty decent music scene here, and from all different kinds of things: people playing house shows, or people playing one of the local venues, and people doing pretty well. We made friends with some of these people, and then there was a time when Tyler and I closed our eyes and kind of dug our own little tunnel. The way that we describe it is that a year later, after getting to reach the surface again to catch a breath of air, we look back and realized how far we've been able to go over that past year.

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You pull from a lot of different genres at once on your album. There's some rap on there, indie rock, dance music, and even some ukulele. Is that the goal, to sound like someone's iPod, with all these different types of sounds in one place? 

TJ: I wouldn't say that that's the goal. We're not aiming to try to be as all over the place as possible. I think that the landscape of the record is a testament to the type of music that Josh and I like to listen to, which is all kinds of music. We're a product of that generation that has access to everything, and it comes down to it whenever Josh and I are working on a song. There's a lot of outside pressure, a lot of outside opinions, especially going into the second record, and I think that we work pretty hard to all block those things out and ask ourselves the question, "Do we like this?" So I wouldn't say it's intentional, like, "Let's try to make a record that sounds so sporadic and so crazy." I think that's just the product of what we like in music. 

How do you guys make it all work together as one song or one album? Because you'll jump from a song like "Polarize," which is dance music, to a song that's more of a ukulele, acoustic type of sound. 

TJ: Like I said, it's not like an intentional. It just kind of all happened. We wrote the record on the road. We were very influenced by our live shows and being in front of fans every night. There's a couple things that we tried to do: one, we want to say this on our record because we didn't say it on our last record. But then at the same time we're very influenced by what we wished we had in our live set. That is very important to us, and we're very intentional about which songs go where, and when you're writing a record on the road, you kind of get to answer the questions, "What is it that our live set needs? Which song do we wish we had in this moment here?" So I guess a lot of this record is just an answer to that, kind of a rebuttal to what it is that Josh and I think our live set needs. 

The first single, "Fairly Local" -- I believe it has the line, "this isn't for the radio," which is a strange thing to say on your single. But it does seem to be a song about worrying that you might lose contact with where you're from. Is that something you're concerned about? 

TJ: I guess there's always that fear that you're going to change as a person. But also, whether or not you're in the spotlight making music, you're going to change too. I mean, Josh and I are right now sitting in Columbus, Ohio, at my house and we love it here. It's our hometown and it always will be. So I think in the song "Fairly Local," it's more metaphor. We had a lot of conversations with a lot of people who like listening to music or using music to get through tough times. If anything, I think Josh and I learned when we were traveling the world during the last album cycle that everyone's the same, everyone feels the same issues. So it's kind of a way of getting on the same level as these people and telling them, in a sense, we understand what you're going through. 

What does the title Blurryface mean to you?

TJ: Blurryface is this guy who represents everything I'm insecure about. Honestly, we all know that we're insecure about certain things, but what we don't totally understand is how those insecurities affect our day-to-day life. So it's helped me give my insecurities a seat at the table, so I can stare across at him and give him a name and face and personality. I can kind of retaliate and I can see these insecurities for what they are, and so this guy named Blurryface is someone that I'm trying to understand -- but also defeat every day.


Blurryface is out today on Fueled by Ramen. Details here.

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Miley Cyrus Writes a Touching Tribute for Her Dead Blowfish

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The latest Happy Hippie Foundation jam ain't so joyous, seeing as how it's dedicated to the late Pablow, Miley Cyrus's sensibly-named pet blowfish.

Far different from Cyrus' homeless youth charity's previous performances, Cyrus took to Facebook to share a touching commemerative tune she recently wrote for her dearly-departed friend.

Surprisingly poignant for an underwater-themed eulogy, Cyrus sniffles toward the end, dropping cute sushi references amongst more striking lines "why does everything I love have to die." Even though the whimsy vibes were in full force with Cyrus in a unicorn onesie making references to frisky fugu (and a seahorse named Sadie, no less), it's still equal parts silly and sweet. Especially when she starts getting a little more reflective, perhaps hinting at her own journey to fame, singing "they wanted to see you be as big as you could be, but I couldn't let that be...thought keeping you small meant keeping you safe." 

R.I.P. Pablow. May you be swimming in fishy heaven's filtered tank.


Some of you may remember a few months ago my dear blow fish Pablow past away. I wrote this song for him...He made me so happy and I miss him everyday.... But now he is with Floyd and Melanie's sweet Sadie

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Stream Detroit-Based "Cosmic Trap" Duo Gosh Pith's EP, Window

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"You're on with Josh and Josh" answer Gosh Pith as they pick up the phone. For the duo (Joshes Freed and Smith), there isn't a more appropriate greeting: their music's composition is so smooth, and its arrangement so effortless that you'd be surprised to learn that they didn't share a first name. With driving bass lines and ethereal vocals, their unique brand of self-described "cosmic-trap" inspires both meditation and dancing.

If "cosmic-trap" makes you think of a John Coltrane album-mixed-with-Baauer's once-omnipresent-"Harlem Shake", then don't let it fool you -- it's more of an inside joke, if anything. "A genre is a cosmic trap at the end of the day," explains Smith. It's "just shackling ...we wanted to throw out the whole idea." And throw genre out they did, creating a debut EP, Window, that simultaneously melds pop, hip-hop, techno, and more.

Meeting for the first time as kids while camping in Ontario, the Michigan natives reconnected in college at the University of Michigan. "The first time that we met in Ann Arbor we made a song," Freed says, "and we've been making music together ever since." Now roommates in Detroit, the pair juggle day jobs and collaborative music-making in a way that only develops through years of friendship, with each working on a song separately during lunch breaks, sometimes interpreting the other's thoughts precisely and without speaking. When asked where they want to take their music, the answer is quick: "around the world!" They add, "Play it loud, play it low, and play it with leather." Stream Window, below.


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Jerry Saltz On Our Kim Cover: "Kim and Kanye Are The Best Image Manipulators Since Warhol"

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Yes, but is it art?  Last week's FRIEZE frenzy on Randall's Island featured contemporary works in every genre. However, it was Saturday's Q&A with New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz that really got our attention when somebody asked what he thought of PAPER's Kim Kardashian cover. His reply:

"Few people have ever existed on earth, pace Andy Warhol, who have manipulated the ephemeral essence known as image better than Kim Kardashian and Kanye. I don't care if you like their work, I would say that Kanye is an artist and Kim is this completely self-invented person who might have invented the selfie."

[h/t artnet]

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Who Is @Sosadtoday?: The Enigmatic Internet-Neurotic Is Revealed

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The Twitterverse's most enigmatic neurotic @sosadtoday has been finally revealed to be alt-lit poet Melissa Broder.

After three years of tireless speculation and an interview with us espousing that "anonymity is freedom," Broder finally decided to reveal herself in anticipation for her upcoming book with Grand Central Publishing. Slated for release in 2016, part of the publisher's deal was for the veil of anonymity to be lifted from the account. 

Already well-known in Internet circles as the author of 2014's Scarecrone, she told Rolling Stone that she began @sosadtoday as an outlet for her anxieties after getting sober. Twitter, however, is the one "drug" she refuses to give up, defending her brand of dark humor as a means for her to "stay alive."

Shortly before the announcement, she also ominously tweeted a few words from her personal account, questioning:

Then again, who really knows?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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The Trailer for Zac Efron's EDM Movie Is a Party at Your Desk

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An entire generation has been waiting for this: a movie in which Zac Efron plays a young, hustling EDM DJ who (maybe?) gets in over his head in the pursuit of fame and (maybe?) has romantic entanglements that complicate his relationship with his EDM bros and (definitely) drops the bass, with style.

The trailer for We Are Your Friends starts with a list of things you can do on the internet, which makes sense since the movie, directed by Catfish's Max Joseph, looks like The Social Network with only slightly better beats (and a lot less anxiety). Still, somehow, We Are Your Friends, which from its title on is just begging for your attention and love, looks beautiful and breathtaking in its Efron-ness. August 28 (the current release date) will be the best period night period of your life.

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