MUSIC VIDEO | Alex Sloane throws her lover a bone on her latest single
Love, we all want it. Also, to some extent, we have to give it. The conventional understanding, reiterated by both the Beatles and Nora Ephron is that love taken also has to be clearly given. That's just being fair. Which makes exploring the chasms of unrequired feelings always feel, well, a little dangerous. There's Elvis and the Fine Young Cannibals going crazy, there's Joni Mitchell having her heart broken. But in today's age of swipeable agency, why go through the trouble? The pop songbook, of course, squirms at the presence of something so unromantic; today's hits tackle themes like being sorry and lying without asking what the relationships we're talking about in the first place.
On her latest single, Alex Sloane lays down the law almost as soon as her synthy whips hit the floor: "I eat boys like you for breakfast, don't you know?" She's a character that's half-Tarantino, half-Mean Girls: the bully at the school yard reinterpreted as a heterosexual fantasy instead of a cautionary tale about homoerotics. The woozy kick drums that clutter "Puppy Love" lull you pleasantly along to Sloane's beckoning siren. I imagine hearing this song while looking through expensive clothes at a Topshop, unbothered by either frightening price tags or threats to my masculinity pleasantly cooed by the LA-based singer. "'Puppy Love' is about ego and the games two people play," Ms. Sloane tells us through her publicist.
The last time BDSM was on my radar, it was Jamie Dornan holding the whips, so it means something when Ms. Sloane is the one leading her lover by a leash in the song's music video--directed by Will DaRosa, who had priviously directed a number of music videos for a since-disbanded Oakland heavy metal unit called Lionheart. In the video, Ms. Sloane carries around her lover, played by Victor Pimentel, like the Californian of the popular imagination, say Paris Hilton, carrying around a chihuahua or a pooch. The image of the well-toned body of privilege carrying such animals has long been subject of satirical scorn and Ms. Sloane's manual possession of the narrative's figurative language (she throws him a bone, she has him by a leash) makes the effort look like a deconstructed Nickelback music video, that genre oddly specific enough to be recently satirized in Netflix's reboot of Mr. Show.
But the singer whose world Ms. Sloane is most interested in exploring, as her twitter presence will testify, is that of her state's recent migrant: Lana Del Rey and her infinite cool. Hair perpetually in the wind, Del Rey's version of pop trades in pure atmospheric bulk. She is never pinning for love, outright, but instead names an album after it. Both singers are masters of worlds whose relations are always ironized—Ms. Del Rey's 'daddy' or Ms. Sloane's 'puppy'—but carry hands outreached for some connection. Unlike Lana, however, Ms. Sloane is comfortable with the pop vocabulary that her music insists on. Where Honeymoon tethered itself to trip-hop, "Puppy Love" soars into the pop soundscape, comfotably jarring its brutally real ironies next to the psudo-sincere whine of Swedish percussion.
Andrew Karpan debates dichotomies all the time, like it's nothing. You can too, when you follow him on Twitter.
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The newly passed "BTS Law" allows K-pop stars to defer mandatory military service.
This week South Korea's National Assembly passed a law that is sure to have BTS ARMY cheering them on.
Generally speaking, all South Korean men are required to spend at least 18 months enlisted in the military, with the final cut-off for entry at age 28. But the new legislation — informally referred to as "The BTS Law" — will allow K-pop stars who meet certain requirements to defer until the age of 30.
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"I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot."
Academy Award-nominated actor Elliot Page has come out as transgender.
Page, known for his roles in films like Juno, Whip It, and Inception, announced his coming out in a social media post today. "Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot," he wrote. "I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life."
Every year, Spotify listeners win out over devotees to other streaming platforms when they unveil their Spotify Wrapped playlists — a data driven analysis of what the year sounded like.
And while this year's personal Spotify Wrapped summaries are still loading, Spotify just released their data for their most streamed global music and podcasts of the year.
Announced the week following the Grammy nominations, Spotify Wrapped feels like vindication for artists who were snubbed by the awards committee, like The Weeknd and Halsey.
The summary also analyzed trends of when and how people were listening to content, noting increased popularity in nostalgia-themed playlists and work-from-home-themed playlists. Spotify users were understandably playing music from home more, which even caused an uptick in streaming music from gaming consoles. Listeners also tuned obsessively into wellness podcasts like never before.
After months of on and off again speculation, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky seem to be dating.
Obviously, this is good news if it's true. Can you imagine? For the coordinating outfits alone, I need it.
There have been a ton of icky white rappers over the years, but these take the cake.
On this day in 1990, Vanilla Ice's "Under Pressure" reboot "Ice, Ice Baby" debuted at No. 1 in the UK, kickstarting a Billboard run that would soon carry over to the states and invigorate a fleeting love for Vanilla Ice and his whole...vibe.
Of course, we all know how it ends. Vanilla Ice's credibility and career unraveled as quickly as it began. "Ice Ice Baby" took on a satirical identity larger than its creator, all while Robert Van Wrinkle refused to pay royalties (or even give a shout-out) to Freddie Mercury and David Bowie despite liberally sampling the track's true creators. Ice instead tried to cultivate a hollow rap identity, one where he was a hardened former-gang member from Miami and not a middle-class teen from a Texas suburb. The chorus of the song then came under fire by a black fraternity, who accused Vanilla Ice of ripping off their fraternal chant ("ice ice baby/ too cold, too cold.")