The Weeknd returned to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night for the second time this week. This time around, he performed his comeback single “Blinding Lights.” The Weeknd’s set was broadcast in black and white, and the singer performed in a hall of mirrors while audience members held up small, square mirrors to reflect light from the stage, resulting in a kind of strobe effect. Watch it happen below.
Pharrell Williams was one of Colbert’s interviewees during the episode (Pharrell was also a performer on the show earlier in the week). Colbert and Pharrell discussed music, space, and time travel. When Colbert asked if Pharrell was interested in visiting space, Pharrell said, “No I think the pixilation on Nat Geo is awesome.” He later added, “Man, I’m such a poser. I love space but I’m not trying to go.” He said the same of time travel.
The Weeknd originally debuted “Blinding Lights” last month in a Mercedes-Benz commercial. Shortly after releasing that single and “Heartless” on streaming platforms, he shared a trippy music video for the latter song starring Metro Boomin. In addition to the new music, the Weeknd stars in the Safdie brothers’ latest flick Uncut Gems, which arrives in theaters on December 13.
The Pitch.There’s something profoundly gratifying about watching a film take off into some uncharted part of the imagination and wondering, Did that just happen? Did this film really just do that? And when you see it happening over and over again—a director’s purest surreal impulses steering the car, taking you with them, unworried about shock, disturbance, bafflement, anything—you may feel, once the film is over, that your mind has been truly, as the cliché goes, bent. Such is the experience of watching In Fabric, the new film from Peter Strickland, purveyor of such previous oddities as The Duke of Burgundy. Ostensibly about a red dress that has a distinctly unpleasant effect on its wearers, often bringing violence or worse on them, it’s not really about a dress. But the movie isn’t a metaphor, either; it’s more a philosophical character study of the dress’ purchasers, a who-how-why-dunit in which you have the answer to begin with, after which many larger questions start. Is the film perverse? At the least, yes. At the same time, though, it’s intimate, and real, and sad, even when one could claim some of its parts, by themselves, are unbelievable.
It’s a Bargain, in More Ways Than One: The film tells two interlocking and complementary stories about the dress, both set in 1990s London; we hold the stories up against each other because we’re meant to; the film works as a series of parallels. Even the collage of still images and sounds smashing up against each other at the film’s beginning—a mannequin, an anguished face, a crash of piano notes, shrieking synthesizers—reveals itself to be very relevant to the film. Sheila (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), not so recently divorced, buys a red dress at a peculiar high-end department store. Why peculiar? When Sheila, whose dead-ahead, grounded delivery is something you hang on to in this film, expresses hesitation on learning the price of the dress, her saleswoman (played with remarkable gravity and good comic timing by Fatma Mohamed) offers, “In apprehensions lie the crevices of clarity.”
Once Sheila agrees to purchase the dress, the saleswoman seals the deal with, “Then I would like you to announce your locus of residence, followed by the numbers to your telephone.” This is both eccentric and not, like many things in the film; Strickland takes commonplace habits and ways of speaking and blows them up. After the sale, the saleswoman goes to the store’s basement, which would be fine if she did not descend, in the fetal position, in a dumbwaiter, and if the basement weren’t the location of macabre rituals, including fondling a mannequin that seems to be menstruating, as one of the store’s employees watches in secret, fondling himself. (Not to mention the sales woman’s strange dances, which correlate interestingly to the dress’s movements.) Again, strange and not: Who knows what really transpires in the corridors of corporate power, anyway?
Who’s Wearing the Dress, Here? The dress proves itself a willful part of Sheila’s life. After she wears it on a date, it gives her a rash, and when she puts it in her washing machine, the machine is totaled after going into a life-ending spin cycle (in which the dress remains unharmed). Destroying the machine isn’t enough; the dress drifts around Sheila’s house, also hovering over her when she’s sleeping. We’re relieved when we see some hope for Sheila, who wears loneliness like yet another garment and has a dysfunctional relationship with her son, who is having a rapacious and loud sex life with his obnoxious girlfriend under the family roof, as well as a dreary bank job where she is perpetually needled about the length of her bathroom breaks (by two managers who riff off of each other in a Monty-Python-esque sendup of corporate authority). Hope arrives when she has a nice date with Zach (played in a comfortingly relaxed fashion by Barry Adamson); the two bond, and dance, and then keep bonding. The dress, however, has other plans—after a romantic walk (in the dress) is cut short when a dog attacks Sheila, the dress becomes considerably more aggressive. Ultimately, it gets its way.
The Dangers of Talking Shop. The second half of the film has a decidedly different tone, although its crucial events are somewhat similar. The dress purchaser in this case is Reginald, played beautifully by Leo Bill, perhaps the most pasty-faced, mild-mannered soul you could possibly imagine. Shortly after we first meet him, as he is buying the dress for his fiancée Babs, he suffers through a sadistic bachelor party thrown by his future father-in-law which climaxes with him wearing the dress; the next morning finds him hungover, trying to discuss his upcoming wedding with Babs, a conversation all about details, like the wedding music, that can’t resolve themselves. The couple, though, has a believable relationship, touchingly portrayed here in two different, poignant scenes, one in which Reg has vigorous sex with Babs from behind while she talks in a bored way about the wedding, and another in which Babs places her head affectionately on Reg’s chest as they lie in bed; she fills a sexual need for him, while he fills an emotional need for her. It works, and it isn’t a surprise when we learn they’ve been together over a decade.
The dress has roughly the same m.o. in this section as in the last: Reg and Babs both get rashes after wearing it, and again, it destroys the washer, and again, we see a bone-chilling scene of the dress hovering over the sleeping couple. The destruction of the washer is especially ironic here because Reg is a washer repairperson. And in this case, his job is significant because he has a rare talent to lull listeners into a trance with what could be called “washerspeak” when he describes machinery problems, like this: “All that tension on the belt is creating havoc with the washers on the clutch shaft. The transmission mounting bolts have come loose, which might have been affecting the washer…” As he speaks, his listeners’ eyes roll up in their heads and the film’s synthesizer-heavy, European-horror-inspired soundtrack, evoking every late-night and jarringly cheesy horror film you might have ever seen, cranks into high, almost deafening, gear. Again, we can say this sort of disjunctive, surreal touch is arbitrarily surreal, and yet: how closely do any of us pay attention to speech like this, and how far away are we from a trance when we hear it? In any event, the film doesn’t end happily. Lesson: don’t leave a malevolent dress near a temperamental furnace.
The Verdict. But as far as the larger lessons and questions In Fabric raises, here are some: Why do we speak the way we do? What is the actual value of the things we purchase, unlike intangible things? Why are we so bound to rituals like dating, marriage, work, and shopping? If the film has an answer to any of these questions, it’s probably an anarchic one. However, it’s probably best to view the film as a cypher, an opener of questions, with the red dress at its center a door to whatever might lie outside daily routine, however violent that passage might be.
Where’s It Playing? In Fabric has a limited release on December 6th via A24.
Justin Timberlake has apologised for his “strong lapse in judgement” after pictures emerged of him holding hands with his co-star Alisha Wainwright.
The singer/actor, who is married to actress Jessica Biel, was photographed looking cosy with his Palmer co-star during a night out in New Orleans last month. In the images, Justin was seen holding Alisha’s hand, while the 30-year-old also put her hand on his knee.
However, the 38-year-old finally broke his silence with regards to the scandal in a grovelling Instagram post on Wednesday night, writing: “I stay away from gossip as much as I can, but for my family I feel it is important to address recent rumours that are hurting the people I love.
“A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgement – but let me be clear – nothing happened between me and my co-star. I drank way too much that night and I regret my behaviour. I should have known better. This is not the example I want to set for my son.”
Continuing to apologise to Jessica, with whom he shares four-year-old son Silas, Justin wrote: “I apologise to my amazing wife and family for putting them through such and embarrassing situation, and I am focused on being the best husband and father I can be. This was not that. I am incredibly proud to be working on Palmer. Looking forward to continuing to make this movie and excited for people to see it.”
Jessica, 37, has yet to comment on the pictures and Justin’s response to them. Alisha has also maintained her silence since the snaps of her and Justin first emerged, although her father Jeff recently spoke to defend his daughter, telling the Daily Mail Online he believes the actress’ relationship with Justin is solely professional.
“She is in New Orleans doing some work, that is all. They are working on a movie together,” he said. “I did not make anything of it, really. I am a music producer, so I am used to all the hoopla. This is the business we are in. This is how it goes.”
Comedian Brian Posehn has recruited an all-star list of musicians for his first metal album, Grandpa Metal. The funny man has previewed the LP with a brutal cover of the A-ha hit “Take on Me”.
The towering comic teamed up with Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Fall Out Boy’s Joe Trohman, and Dethklok’s Brendon Small to create the album, which was produced by Jay Rustin. The 14-song tracklist features 12 original compositions, plus the A-ha cover and a rendition of the novelty dance song “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” by Ylvis.
Among the guests on the album are Slipknot’s Corey Taylor and Steel Panther’s Michael Starr, who both contribute vocals to “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)”. Elsewhere, such musicians as Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg, Slayer’s Gary Holt, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and others appear on the album.
Posehn’s cover of “Take on Me” turns the ’80s synth-pop classic into an extreme metal track, complete with guttural vocals. The song features guest appearances from Testament’s Chuck Billy, Exodus’ Steve “Zetro” Souza, and late Huntress singer Jill Janus.
“I honestly feel that every good song would be better if it were heavy metal,” said Posehn in a press release, “and I think I proved my case with ‘Take on Me’. It’s such a catchy song, it’s so cool, but I always thought if it had three guitars instead of a keyboard, it would be even cooler.”
As for the full album, Posehn explained, “I wanted this to be the ultimate comedy/metal record, a loving record that made fun of some of the things in heavy metal, so I called all my friends and asked for a bunch of favors.”
He added, “There’s a Satan song, and there’s a Viking song, there’s one song that sounds like Black Metal, and then there’s one that sounds like a Van Halen party song.”
Posehn is best known for playing awkward characters in such films and TV shows as The Sarah Silverman Project, Big Bang Theory, The Devil’s Rejects, and Mr. Show with Bob and David. He recently appeared in the pilot episode of the new Disney+ series The Mandalorian.
In summing up the album, Pohsen declared, “It’s the Chinese Democracy of comedy-metal records. And it didn’t cost 13 million dollars to make.”
Grandpa Metal arrives on February 14th via Megaforce Records, with preorders currently available. Listen to “Take on Me” and see the full tracklist (with credits) below.
The 29-year-old star has admitted she made her latest album, ‘Lover’, with the same intensity that she typically reserves for her live performances.
Taylor – who also created ‘Beautiful Ghosts’ for the cinematic adaption of ‘Cats’ – told the January issue of British Vogue magazine: “I was really singing a lot at that point – I’d just come from a stadium tour, and then did ‘Cats’, which was all based on live performances – so a lot of that album is nearly whole takes.
“When you perform live, you’re narrating and you’re getting into the story and you’re making faces that are ugly and you’re putting a different meaning on a song every time you perform it.”
Taylor also stressed the importance of feeling a strong connection to her own material.
The ‘You Need to Calm Down’ hitmaker shared: “I think [writing] is really important – also from the side of ownership over what you do and make.
“Even if you aren’t a natural writer, you should try to involve yourself in the messages you’re sending.”
Taylor recently won the Favorite Album – Pop/Rock accolade at the American Music Awards.
And the blonde beauty subsequently admitted she had a great deal of “fun” during the creative process.
Accepting the accolade for her record ‘Lover’, Taylor – who also hailed the toughness of the competition – said on stage: “This is amazing. That was a really tough category, wow. Thank you to the fans.
“I would love to have an opportunity to thank the people I made this album with because they’re amazing and we had so much fun.”
Coldplay won’t be touring again until it’s environmentally “beneficial,” and that decision places extra weight on the few live shows they choose to perform. So it was something of a surprise when the band stopped by Future Sounds with Annie Mac to promote their new album Everyday Life, and then busted out a cover of the classic house song “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” by Crystal Waters.
According to frontman Chris Martin, he got the idea from the Belgian hip-hop artist Stromae, who had sampled “Gypsy Woman” during his last tour. In Coldplay’s hands, the old-school electronica sounds like disco by way of a Vegas lounge. Martin’s voice has always been pop perfect, and he brings charm to the already infectious “La da dee, la dee da,” refrain. The band’s lack of familiarity with the song wasn’t apparent until the very end, when Martin began vamping. “Let’s fade it out boys, let’s fade it out now… Annie, you better rescue us because we don’t know how to end this!” Watch the performance below.
Elsewhere during their Future Sounds set, Coldplay performed Everyday Life tracks “Orphans”, “Arabesque”, “Lovers in Japan”, “Guns”, “Everyday Life”, and “Daddy”. For the session, they were accompanied by string and horn sections.
In addition to the below digital version, the 1999 reissue comes as a treat-filled Super Deluxe Edition. This version delivers all the audio Prince officially released in and around 1982, 23 previously unissued studio tracks recorded between November 1981 and January 1983, and a complete live performance from the “1999 Tour” recorded in Detroit, Michigan on November 30th, 1982.
The Super Deluxe Edition also includes Prince’s previously unseen handwritten lyrics for several songs from the era, including “Little Red Corvette”, alongside rare photography from Prince’s early ’80s photographer, Allen Beaulieu. Rolling Stone critic David Fricke, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, radio host Andrea Swensson, and Prince scholar Duane Tudahl penned new liner notes.
You can buy the super deluxe edition of 1999 on CD or vinyl here.
1999 (Super Deluxe) Reissue Tracklist: Disc 1 – 1999 Remastered Album: 01. 1999 02. Little Red Corvette 03. Delirious 04. Let’s Pretend We’re Married 05. D.M.S.R. 06. Automatic 07. Something In The Water (Does Not Compute) 08. Free 09. Lady Cab Driver 10. All The Critics Love U In New York 11. International Lover
Disc 2 – Promo Mixes & B-Sides: 01. 1999 (7″ stereo edit) 02. 1999 (7″ mono promo-only edit) 03. Free (promo-only edit) 04. How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore (“1999″ b-side) 05. Little Red Corvette (7″ edit) 06. All The Critics Love U In New York (7” edit) 07. Lady Cab Driver (7″ edit) 08. Little Red Corvette (Dance Remix promo-only edit) 09. Little Red Corvette (Special Dance Mix) 10. Delirious (7” edit) 11. Horny Toad (“Delirious” b-side) 12. Automatic (7″ edit) 13. Automatic (video version) 14. Let’s Pretend We’re Married (7″ edit) 15. Let’s Pretend We’re Married (7″ mono promo-only edit) 16. Irresistible Bitch (“Let’s Pretend We’re Married” b-side) 17. Let’s Pretend We’re Married (video version) 18. D.M.S.R. (edit)
Disc 3 – Vault, Part 1: 01. Feel U Up 02. Irresistible Bitch 03. Money Don’t Grow On Trees 04. Vagina 05. Rearrange 06. Bold Generation 07. Colleen 08. International Lover (Take 1, live in studio) 09. Turn It Up 10. You’re All I Want 11. Something In The Water (Does Not Compute) (Original Version) 12. If It’ll Make U Happy 13. How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore? (Take 2, live in studio)
Disc 4 – Vault, Part 2: 1 Possessed (1982 version) 2 Delirious (full length) 3 Purple Music 4 Yah, You Know 5 Moonbeam Levels ** 6 No Call U 7 Can’t Stop This Feeling I Got 8 Do Yourself A Favor 9 Don’t Let Him Fool Ya 10 Teacher, Teacher 11 Lady Cab Driver / I Wanna Be Your Lover / Head / Little Red Corvette (tour demo)
** released on the 2016 compilation, 4Ever
Disc 5 – Live In Detroit – November 30, 1982 (Midnight Show) 01. Controversy 02. Let’s Work 03. Little Red Corvette 04. Do Me, Baby 05. Head 06. Uptown 07. Interlude 08. How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore? 09. Automatic 10. International Lover 11. 1999 12. D.M.S.R.
DVD: Live In Houston – December 29, 1982: 01. Controversy 02. Let’s Work 03. Do Me, Baby 04. D.M.S.R. 05. Interlude – piano improvisation (contains elements of “With You”) 06. How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore? 07. Lady Cab Driver 08. Automatic 09. International Lover 10. 1999 11. Head (contains elements of “Sexuality”)
Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi cancelled his concert in Southampton, England at short notice on Thursday.
The Someone You Loved hitmaker was due to appear at the O2 Southampton Guildhall venue, but took to Instagram just hours before the gig to apologise to fans and explain that his vocal woes meant he would not be performing.
“Am so so gutted to be typing this message. Have been having trouble with my voice again this week and have been struggling through the past few shows and woke up today sounding rubbish,” his statement read.
“This morning I had an urgent check up with a ENT doctor and they’ve told me that to have any chance of finishing this tour we’ll need to cancel tonight’s show at O2 Guildhall in Southampton.
“I was hoping that a night off from performing yesterday would allow me some recovery time for tonight but unfortunately that has not been the case.”
The 23-year-old apologised to fans and promised to add another Southampton date soon. Lewis’ next gig is at the O2 Brixton Academy in London on Friday.
Kvelertak are back with a new album. Splid, the follow-up to 2016’s Nattesferd, is out February 14, 2020. It’s their first LP since singer Erlend Hjelvik left the band last July, to be replaced by Ivar Nikolaisen, formerly of the glam-punk outfit Silver and Norse punks the Good, the Bad & the Zugly; it’s also their debut for new home Rise Records. “Bråtebrann” leads the record—listen to the song below.
The Norwegian group say in a press release that Splid, which translates as Discord, is “a deep dive into western gluttony, our own stupidity, and the abyss of the earth.” Recorded with Kurt Ballou at Godcity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts, the record “is one hour of catchy riffs, punk rock, and heavy metal influenced by a world in discord to accompany our way towards Ragnarok,” according to the band.