Spider-Man, Bruce Banner, Daredevil, The Avengers and the X-Men can all rest easy ... 'cause their fearless creator Stan Lee is alive and kickin' after getting a pacemaker implanted near his heart. The 90-year-old comic book legend just fired off an AWESOME statement to fans after undergoing pacemaker surgery in L.A. last week, in which he proudly declares that he's not yet ready to become the Grimm Reaper's bitch: "Attention, Troops! This is a dispatch sent from your beloved Generalissimo, directly from the center of Hollywood’s combat zone! Now hear this! Your leader hath not deserted thee! In an effort to be more like my fellow Avenger, Tony Stark, I have had an electronic pace-maker placed near my heart to insure that I’ll be able to lead thee for another 90 years. But fear thee not, my valiant warriors. I am in constant touch with our commanders in the field and victory shall soon be ours. Now I must end this dispatch and join my troops, for an army … [Read more...] about Comic Book Legend Stan Lee — I Got a Pacemaker … BUT I AIN’T DEAD!
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Soulja Boy ‘s voice is breaking up. He apologizes, the culprit is his house — it’s in the hills and possesses less than optimal reception — rapper problems. He’s already let his 5 million-plus followers on Twitter know that we’re going to talk: “Whoa I got rolling stone and Forbes requesting a interview oh shit.” A couple of hours later he’ll let the same followers know he finished said interview with Rolling Stone ; he didn’t tweet about his Forbes interview, so I don’t think I’ll get scooped on this story. It’s the kind of hyper-documentation DeAndre Cortez Way has been practicing for over a decade, in part because he pioneered it. Soulja wants more. His latest plan to get more is called SouljaGames, and it’s arrived in time for the holidays. On his website , the 28-year-old entrepreneur is selling a plethora of electronics including the SouljaWatch, SouljaPods, SouljaPhone and SouljaHeadphones. None of that is too out of the ordinary; off-brand electronics are available … [Read more...] about Soulja Boy Wants to Take Over the Gaming Industry One Console at a Time
W hen Steven Soderbergh began work on The Knick – his gritty, historical medical series for Cinemax, set in New York City in 1900 – he enjoyed replicating the era’s look, fashion and stomach-churning surgical practices. But one of the few things that was far too ghastly to replicate was the music. “Oh, it was horrible,” he says with a laugh. “Aesthetically, it’s a really cool period, but the music was absolutely boring and not interesting. Ragtime had just started – and there’s a tiny bit of that in the background of some scenes – but other than that, there was nothing good.” So the director turned to the only person he thought could give The Knick a unique sound: his frequent collaborator, Cliff Martinez. As the director filmed the show, he had been using shimmery EDM flourishes that Martinez had written for the 2012 teensploitation flick Spring Breakers and some of the composer’s wiry synth lines from his own 2011 pandemic disaster film, Contagion , as temporary … [Read more...] about Blood Brothers: Inside the Music of ‘The Knick’
‘D ear heavenly Father,” someone is saying to the silent room, “please give us the ability to touch this crowd.” All thirty-six members of D’Angelo ‘s touring band and crew are stuffed into his dressing room, hands linked, heads bowed in a large prayer circle. “And when our ability fails, Lord. Please. Take over.” The room answers with a loud “ mm-hmm. “ Prayer ends, and the entire group collapses into a giant moving hug, all yelling at once in a joyous din – “ Soultronic force! My re-deeeeem-er !” It seems they’re gearing up for some high-energy smash-mouth football. Or a musical mission. As the scrum disperses, D’Angelo turns to you and slaps you five. And nearly breaks your hand. D, as they call him, gives pounds with injurious intent – stiff-handed smacks that make a firecracker pop and then meld into a tight clamp, a finger snap, two fist bumps and another clamp, or some such combination. The more he likes you, the more he uses the strength in his bulky shoulders and … [Read more...] about D’Angelo Is Holding Your Hand
After nearly two decades of racial division, popular music is in the midst of an overdue and exciting (if modest) effort to integrate itself. One particularly happy result is the pairing of George Clinton with the Red Hot Chili Peppers . Having dallied with Thomas Dolby on his own new album, the P-Funk overlord furthers his far-reaching stylistic influence by schooling the Los Angeles quartet in the ways of the venerable funkmaster. A fairly outrageous bunch to begin with, the Chili Peppers raise their buttshaking dementia to new heights of prurient rhythmic frenzy under their producer’s sage if zany guidance. Freaky Styley , the Peppers’ first full-length album, is wilder, rougher, funnier and funkier than their self-titled EP, which was no semiotics colloquium itself. From the psychedelicized guitar, subliminal background voices and urgent, aggressive dance beat of “Jungle Man” to “Yertle the Turtle,” a weird animalkingdom fable, the Peppers bump, vamp, rock, leer and growl … [Read more...] about Freaky Styley
D ‘Angelo is a morning person, of sorts. When he’s working in the studio, as was often the case in the 14-year interregnum between 2000’s Voodoo and 2014’s Black Messiah, he quits his all-night recording sessions just in time to greet each day’s sunrise. “I’m definitely on the night shift,” he says, drawing deep on one of a series of Newport cigarettes, not long after midnight in the midtown Manhattan studio where he recorded much of Black Messiah. He’s wearing a denim shirt unbuttoned over a white undershirt, dark jeans and leather boots. Dog tags bearing the names of his three children hang from a chain around his neck. He looks weary, though he woke up not long ago. It’s his first interview since he released one of the most universally acclaimed albums in years, an album that seemed as if it might never come out at all. D’Angelo could well be the most singular, visionary star to emerge from R&B since Prince. His music, stuffed with live instrumentation and harmonic … [Read more...] about The Second Coming of D’Angelo
Like so many people of mixed heritages, Tierra Umi Wilson exists between worlds. The 23-year-old artist — who performs under her middle name, UMI, which means “ocean” in Japanese — was born in Seattle to a Black father and a Japanese mother, and has spent her life negotiating the cultural exchange she embodies. Her 2020 EP Introspection put that interrogation into music as she worked her way through questions of heritage and sexual identity. But while that record was explicitly inward-looking, UMI’s debut album — Forest in the City , out May 27 on RCA — seeks to turn her search outward. The themes are more universal and the sounds more expansive, bouncing from sun-soaked electro R&B on “whatever u like” to moody slow jams like “moonlit room.” It’s as if being at a fulcrum between communities has given UMI the confidence to be something completely different: herself. “Growing up, I didn’t feel Japanese enough, I didn’t feel Black enough, and I didn’t feel me enough, … [Read more...] about UMI’s Peaceful Soul: ‘I Can Be Whatever I Want to Be’