CULTURE

John C. Reilly's Son Is a Hot E-Boy, and I'm Very Confused

Meet Leo Reilly, the 22-year-old model, musician, and TikToker who looks nothing like his dad.

For most of us raised among slapstick comedy of the 2000s, John C. Reilly is most often associated with his roles in films like Step Brothers or shows like Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

But the actor, whose resume includes Chicago, Boogie Nights, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape, also has a family to attend to when he's not caught up in on-screen antics. While that's nothing new to write home about, I'm incredibly shocked to discover that Reilly and his wife, fellow actor Alison Dickey, have an alarmingly attractive son. This son is Leo Reilly, a 22-year-old model, TikToker, and pop musician who records under the alias LoveLeo. Backed by a few hundred thousand followers, he's garnered attention lately surrounding his debut single, "BOYFREN." But above all, folks of the Internet are in disbelief that he's from the same gene pool as his funnyman dad.

I'm not saying John C. Reilly is ugly, per se—in fact, he was quite handsome in his youth! But the lack of apparent physical features shared between him and his dangly-earring-and-nail polish-wearing, E-boy son is astounding. It feels as though the two have been plucked from entirely different universes; Leo looks like the Gen Z Freddie Mercury, while I can't see a photo of his father without hearing "Did you touch my drum set?"

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But don't be fooled—the two seem tight. Leo shares his love for his pops pretty often on his Instagram, where his sense of humor is also evident. Back in 2008 during the Step Brothers press cycle, John shared that he'd be glad if his kids stuck around the house as adults: "Maybe there will come a time when I'll get tired of them, but I really depend on my kids for company," he told People. "I love every minute of being with them."

As expected, it appears Leo has a healthy sense of humor, too. His Instagram photos are often surreally Photoshopped, and the "BOYFREN" music video is comically quirky. Genetics, man! Crazy stuff!

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MUSIC

Is Bob Dylan Really the 7th Best Singer of All Time?

How could Bob Dylan rank number 7 on a list of best singers of all time?

On Monday, October 21st, the world woke up to see "Bob Dylan" trending on Twitter, immediately causing a jolt of panic in the hearts of fans.

But a quick scroll revealed that Dylan wasn't trending because he died, but because of a 2008 Rolling Stone list of the greatest singers of all time. The account that reposted the list, @crockpics, is committed to "sharing entertaining and memorable pictures of classic rock artists," according to its bio.

But the seemingly innocuous, dated list—reposted by a run-of-the-mill content-farming account—soon sparked heated online debate. Upon reading the list, fans began to argue amongst themselves about the validity of Bob Dylan's place on the list at number 7. In particular, many took issue with Dylan's placement above Freddie Mercury, who is listed at number 18.




Of course, as many pointed out, it's not clear whether the rankings were based merely on technical vocal skill or on a singer's whole package, including presentation, performance, individuality, etc. Based on Dylan's high ranking, one assumes the latter is the case. In fact, the article that prefaces the original list, written by Jonathan Lethem, states, "For me, Bob Dylan and Patti Smith, just to mention two, are superb singers by any measure I could ever care about — expressivity, surprise, soul, grain, interpretive wit, angle of vision...If one of the weird things about singers is the ecstasy of surrender they inspire, another weird thing is the debunking response a singer can arouse once we've recovered our senses. It's as if they've fooled us into loving them, diddled our hard-wiring, located a vulnerability we thought we'd long ago armored over."

This seems to more than explain the list's logic. As much as American Idol and the like have trained us to think good singing is quantifiable, the truth is some of the musical artists who have most set the soundtrack to the common experience of being alive would not even make it past the first round of auditions on your average singing reality show. Everyone who really loves music, who has been transformed, soothed, or awoken by just the right song at just the right time, knows that singing is as much about soul and storytelling as it is about perfect technique.

So yes, if we're judging a singer's talent by range, pitch control, breath control, tone, rhythm, and diction, Mariah Carey should absolutely rank above Bob Dylan on the list of 200 best singers. But if you're judging a singer on their ability to tell a story, the pain and joy they can imbue their voice with, the distinct nature of their unmistakable sound, and the simple ability to deeply affect a listener, Bob Dylan is among the best singers there ever was.

MUSIC

Popdust's Spooktacular Halloween Playlist

Are you tasked with hosting a Halloween party this year? Let us help you with the music.

Howl you doing boys and girls? What's up, my witches?

Spooky season is drawing nearer, and with Halloween falling on a Thursday this year, it means that there is only one weekend to curate a spooktacular party playlist, and one opportunity to throw a fa-boo-lous Halloween party. It is no easy task, but if you want your guests to shake their BOOty, eat, drink, and be scary all night long, Popdust has just the playlist that will give your friends pumpkin' to talk about.

Itsy Bitsy Spider by Carly Simon

Have you ever heard such an elegant and moving interpretation of this spooky nursery rhyme? In this version, I wasn't rooting for the rain to "wash the spider out"; instead, Simon's mash up of the nursery rhyme with her hit "Comin Around Again" paints a darker picture. "I know nothing stays the same, but if you're willing to play the game, it's coming around again," Simon sings. The Spider's journey is a complex one: He is tenacious in his dream of scaling the water spout and is an inspiration to us all. "Nothing stays the same," little Spider, keep climbing. One day, you may just turn your dream into a reality. It's a reminder of our mortality and serves as the perfect song to kick off the night as your guests eat hors d'oeuvres and pour their first cup of spiked punch.

Follow the playlist on Spotify!

NPR

I think we can all agree that rock has been toast for a while.

In 2017, Hip-Hop/R&B surpassed rock as the most popular music genre in the country, and its popularity has only grown since. Even pop is doing better than rock, with Ariana Grande recently tying The Beatles to occupy the top 3 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 consecutively. From Chad Kroeger and Corey Taylor's ridiculous beef to Tool's empty promises and Weezer just continuing to suck, rock has seen better days. But if you go on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart, what you'll see may just be the nail in the genre's coffin.

In recent months, Queen has made a strong comeback due to the popularity of Bohemian Rhapsody, and out of the top 50 songs on the Hot Rock chart, the legendary band holds 16 of the spots. Interspersed between are tracks by Panic! At The Disco, Imagine Dragons, John Mayer, Mumford & Sons, George Ezra, lovelytheband, Hozier, Twenty One Pilots, and some dude named Yungblud. Not one of these artists is a rock and roller. The only outlier is Cage The Elephant, whose latest single "Ready To Let Go" doesn't place until #21.

So what does this tell us? Well, for one, it's clear that people don't know what rock is anymore, and modern rock is in such a dismal place that listeners are revisiting Queen to scratch that itch. "For the last few years, the Billboard rock charts have been an abysmal slog of new pop artists that occasionally hold guitars like fashion accessories," wrote Noisey. The article goes on to cite the uncanny rise of The Guardians of the Galaxy 2 soundtrack, which dominated the chart for 22 weeks and eventually hit number one. At the 2018 and 2019 Grammys, they didn't even bother to air the Best Rock Album category. This year's winners, Greta Van Fleet, whose album Anthem of a Peaceful Army debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, are only famous because they sound like a B-list Led Zeppelin. "Greta Van Fleet is all costume," read a scathing review on Pitchfork, referring to the band's cliche 70's fashion choices. "They make music that sounds exactly like Led Zeppelin and demand very little other than forgetting how good Led Zeppelin often were." The group's nostalgic appeal only adds to the stagnancy of modern rock and proves that even the genre's up-and-comers can't craft anything new from its ashes.

Fox News

So what's next for rock and roll? Well, The Black Keys recently debuted their first new song in five years, but it's not exactly a groundbreaking addition to their discography. As for The Arctic Monkeys, their highly anticipated Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino polarized its fans, with many dismissing the project as melodramatic and self-indulgent. "Even a nice classic-feeling pop melody...devolves into a lurching drag," wrote Rolling Stone of the project. Critics had similar critiques on Jack White's Boarding House Reach. "Sadly, the years have steadily whittled the playfulness from White's material," wrote Pitchfork. "His work is now too lumbering and unmoored for anyone to take much pleasure in it."

Even the term "rockstar" is being pinned more frequently to rappers, with artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Danny Brown now claiming the title. As artists like Breaking Benjamin, Nickelback, Gerard Way, Slipknot, and Buckcherry continue to create carbon copies of their early 2000s sound, artists like Juice WRLD, XXXTentacion, and the late Lil Peep have fused rock with Hip-Hop influences – with the resulting concoction brandishing a whole new subgenre of music. Rock has officially retired, and the longer these dying acts hold onto the mantle (i.e. Adam Levine at the Super Bowl) instead of passing it over to where it belongs, the sadder they inevitably become. Let the greats be great, but can we stop pretending that "modern rock" exists?


Mackenzie Cummings-Grady is a creative writer who resides in the Brooklyn area. Mackenzie's work has previously appeared in The Boston Globe, Billboard, and Metropolis Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @mjcummingsgrady.


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Let's Talk about Bisexuality

Twitter embraced YouTuber and comedian Lilly Singh after she shared she was bisexual. Meanwhile, Rami Malek is an Oscar-winner with a heart of gold who still upset people with his acceptance speech.

YouTube

Twitter showed its supportive side over the weekend, when Lilly Singh, YouTube comedian and New York Times best-selling author, received an outpouring of support after she expressed her bisexual pride for the first time.

The 30-year-old officially came out with the post, "Throughout my life these have proven to be obstacles from time to time. But now I'm fully embracing them as my superpowers." She added, "No matter how many "boxes" you check, I encourage you to do the same."

Admittedly, we're unsure why we should care about a YouTube personality's sexual orientation. Before launching a film career with appearances in Bad Moms and Fahrenheit 451, Singh rose to fame through her 14 million followers on YouTube under her name "Superwoman" (with an additional 2.5 million subscribers to her vlog channel). Now Singh joins a recent cohort of recognizable figures who have publicly embraced their queer identities. In 2018 alone, high-profile figures in media and professional sports made a point to acknowledge their sexualities, from journalist Ronan Farrow to singer Janelle Monae and actress Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok). In making that aspect of their personal lives public, they enhance the visibility of the LGBTQ community in hopes to encourage cultural acceptance–especially in the face of intolerant policies such as Trump's ban on transsexual persons serving in the military.

Yet, negative attitudes toward bisexuality, in particular, have persisted within the LGBTQ community itself. Just last year, BBC News criticized bisexual representation in media in Fetishized and Forgotten: Why Bisexuals Want Acceptance. "Bisexuals face hostility from their own LGBT community and are subject to the offensive narrative that they are 'on their way to being gay,' the head of LGBT rights charity Stonewall has said. Many feel their sexuality is seen as being 'greedy.'"

As a result, statistics note a profound discrepancy between the acceptance of bisexuals as opposed to lesbian and gay individuals. Stonewall found that approximately 32% of bisexuals are not open about their sexual orientation to their loved ones, compared with 8% of lesbians and gay men. Overall, there are notably higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide among bisexuals compared to gay or lesbian communities. And while there are unique forms of biphobia that are distinct from homophobia, the most common slight against the bisexual community is simply erasure.

For instance, on the same day Lilly Singh received warm messages on Twitter, Rami Malek accepted the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, whom he called "a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself." Immediate responses pointed out that Mercury identified as bisexual rather than gay. One user posted, "Freddie Mercury was unapologetically himself, as a bisexual man, yet Rami Malek erased his sexuality by calling him a gay man during his acceptance speech. But OKAY."



The Hook

While Malek's speech was heartfelt and well-intended, his word choice taps into a quiet but persistent wave of backlash against Bohemian Rhapsody for erasing Mercury's bisexuality. Indiewire criticized, "Not only does the movie frame queerness negatively, but it completely erases Mercury's bisexuality, preferring an either/or view."

Ultimately, of course, media is not the balm to cure homophobia, but high-profile visibility and representation of non-heterosexual identities help, in part, to create a culture of inclusion. Erasing bisexuality is a social problem beyond the LGBTQ community because it simply denotes that some identities are more "tolerable" or legitimate than others.


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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Film Lists

The Best and Worst of the Awkward Ordeal That Was the 2019 Oscars

What you need to see and what you definitely don't.

The 2019 Academy Awards felt like a tense, forced dinner party that never felt comfortable no matter how many rounds of charades and glasses of wine forced on the guests. A dinner party without a clear host is always going to struggle, and if you throw in some racial tension and sexual assault allegations, you've got yourself a real cringe-worthy way to pass a Sunday night. To the credit of the Hollywood elite, everyone tried hard to make the best of the evening, and there were some high points worth noting, with plenty of low points worth noting with even more emphasis.

Here's our recap of the moments of the night that brought us to tears of joy, despair, discomfort, or boredom.

Most "We wish It was Freddie Mercury on stage": Adam Lambert and Queen Perform


Queen + Adam Lambert - We Will Rock You & We Are The Champions (Live From The Oscars) www.youtube.com


To open the ceremony, season 8 American Idol runner up, Adam Lambert, performed a tribute to Queen with the remaining members of the band. While Adam Lambert is an undeniable talent, Queen isn't Queen without Freddie Mercury, and Lambert's inadequacy was on bright display. The best part of the tribute was when the camera would pan to the audience, and we'd see magical little moments, like Glenn Close belting the lyrics to "We Will Rock You" or Javier Bardem doing the sign of the horns.

Most "I don't feel quite as uncomfortable now!": John Mulaney and Awkwafina


"Bao" wins Best Animated Short Film www.youtube.com


Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey were always going to be a crowd favorite, and as expected their riffy monologue on the kind of canned jokes they would have made if they had hosted the Oscars brought down the house. But a more unexpected highlight of the night was Awkwafina and John Mulaney presenting the award for Best Animated Short. Their laid back acknowledgment of the nerves that come with attending the Oscars seemed to set the crowd at ease, and their comedic chemistry was impeccable (do we smell an upcoming collaboration?). However, we were very sorry to see John Mulaney's jacket choice.

Most "Green Book really shouldn't win": Alfonso Caurón's Acceptance Speech


Alfonso Cuarón wins Best Director www.youtube.com


The Roma director won the Oscar for Best Cinematography and Best Director, marking the fifth time in six years that a Mexican director has won for Best Director. Beyond his impeccable salt-n-pepper hair, Caurón's speech was also a real highlight, particularly as people began to feel more and more dread that problematic white savior movie, Green Book, really could take home best picture.

He said in his powerful speech, "I want to thank the Academy for recognizing a film centered around an indigenous woman, one of the 70 million domestic workers in the world without work rights," He continued, "As artists, our job is to look where others don't. This responsibility becomes much more important in times where we are being encouraged to look away."

The Second Most "We wish it was Freddie Mercury on stage": Rami Malek Wins Best Actor

While we admit to being massive Rami Malek stans and his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody was impressive, a glorified music video that erased much of Freddie Mercury's sexuality doesn't feel like it deserves all of the attention it got last night. Malek's acceptance speech was eloquent and moving, and it's notable that he very intentionally referred to Mercury as a "gay man," but all the same, we just feel pretty "meh" about it all. In a beautiful metaphor for the night, Malek ended up stumbling off the stage at the end of his speech, consequently dropping his Oscar and eventually being treated by paramedics.


Most "Holy shit please show the faces of their dates right now": Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga Perform "Shallows" and Possibly Fall in Love

If you didn't cry during this performance, you're lying. Bradley Cooper was mostly just there looking handsome, but my god, in the words of Olivia Colman, "aghhh Lady Gaga!" When she hit that first belt, America fainted. When they touched their faces together at the piano? The entire nation, finally united in a common cause, revived and shouted in one voice, "F*CKING KISS!!!" If there were 100 people in a room...every single one ships a Cooper/Gaga romance. We hope Irina Shayk is doing alright.

Most "He Should Have Just Hosted": Everything Spike Lee Did All Night

May we begin by saying the fact that this man doesn't have an Oscar for best director is absurd. But he at least got some much-deserved recognition last night when he won the Oscar for Writing (Adapted Screenplay) for BLACKkKLANSMAN. He ran on stage and into the arms of Samuel L. Jackson, creating one of the most iconic photos from the night. His speech was powerful and very Spike Lee, but perhaps most Spike Lee of all, was the fact that he began with "Do not start that mother fucking clock," and you better believe they didn't dare to. But the moment of the night that people will likely remember Lee for was the moment he reportedly tried to storm out of the theatre when Green Book won Best Picture. He later voiced the sentiment of many when he said the Academy made a "bad call" in choosing Green Book.

Most "Oh my god, I would do anything for this woman": Olivia Colman's Best Actress Acceptance Speech


Olivia Colman wins Best Actress www.youtube.com


The Favourite actress won a surprise victory against Glenn Close last night, taking home the Academy Award for Best Lead Actress. Rarely has their ever been a more genuine, charming, lovely acceptance speech than the one Olivia Colman gave. She was so authentically surprised, grateful, and funny; it became apparent that she had won the adoration of a very divided crowd within just moments of taking the stage.

Most "Ugh. Of course.": Green Book Winning Best Picture

'Green Book' wins best picture at the Academy Awards www.youtube.com

The movie, about the life of real-life barrier breaker and world-class doctor, Don Shirley, was told from the perspective of his white driver. Earning much criticism from the press for being a "white savior" movie and, most notably, criticism and eventual denouncement from the family of Dr. Shirley, the movie has been sweeping awards season anyway. To make matters worse, the primarily white production team didn't even mention Dr. Shirley or his family in their acceptance speech.

Just...THE MOST: Billy Porter's LOOK

There are no words. Only applause.


Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.


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