Kevin Devine: "I'd love to speak to Leonard; he's a sportsman and a shepherd; he's a lazy bastard living in a suit." So opens the 912-year-old master's 372nd album (both rough estimates) of wry and holy meditations on the liminal spaces between sex and spirituality, the immediate and the infinite. The best living lyricist by an unfair distance.
Do you love Sosa? Have you been thinking about you? Are you concerned we might die young? Have we got a podcast for you! Live from Grantland's Los Angeles studio, Chris Ryan and I — along with special guest Rembert Browne — broke down the year in music, mourning the dead (albums, rock and roll) and toasting the living (R&B, Swedish Svengalis, Rihanna's travel agent). All your favorites (or at least ours) are included: Kendrick Lamar, Twin Shadow, Miguel, Japandroids, Fiona & Frank, not Mumford & Sons. It's been fun, 2012! But seriously: After next week, we are never, ever getting back together. (I'll see myself out, thanks.)
In our first installment, Fiona Apple got arrested for possession of hash in Texas, was freed on bail, then lashed out at her jailers in perfectly odd fashion: She claimed she had overheard some illegal shit go down, that she was filing all incriminating evidence away in various lock boxes for potential future use, and that, whenever she wanted, she could make these bad guys "famous."
Last week, Fiona Apple was arrested in Sierra Blanca, Texas, for possession of marijuana and hash. She was charged with a felony, and eventually released on $10,000 bail. Pretty standard celebrity hijinks, right? Wrong! This is Fiona Apple we're talking about here. Things were bound to get a little Fiona Apple–y.
For years I have had a recurring anxiety dream where I am going through a security checkpoint and realize too late that I'm carrying weed. Yesterday Fiona Apple made my anxiety dream an anxiety reality when she got nabbed on drug possession charges while passing through West Texas, forcing her to postpone shows in Houston and Austin. A mugshot surfaced shortly thereafter on TMZ, showing Apple with her eyes closed in a deep "this world is bullshit" trance. The miserable-looking mugshot was quickly papered all over the Internet, Fiona's dark brown mid-length cut with bangs recalling Jane Fonda, another celebrity with her own arrest photo.
It's not officially out until June 19, but Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do is available for you, to listen to in full, right now, via NPR. It's her first album since 2005's repeatedly delayed, label-plagued Extraordinary Machine, and in that seven years the legend of Fiona has only propagated, thanks in part to another major label hubbub: As Apple explained from the stage of L.A.'s Largo in November, "I can't remember [how to play] any of my new songs because they've been done for a fucking year."
Lana Del Rey featuring Azealia Banks, "Blue Jeans" (Smims&Belle Extended Remix)
We’re gonna kick off our latest installment of SOTW with this here unholy Lana-Azealia collaboration as a harbinger of what’s to come. I can’t tell you why, but this week is just packed with all kinds of material that certainly exists, whether or not it should. Just a fair warning before we go any further.
A few months ago, I went to go watch Jon Brion at the Largo Theater here in Los Angeles. Brion is a notoriously eccentric composer and producer — his credits include Kanye’s Late Registration, Aimee Mann’s I’m with Stupid, and the soundtrack to Magnolia. Which is all very impressive, I suppose, but the reason why I went to watch Brion at the Largo was because I had heard that every once in a while, Fiona Apple shows up to play a few songs. (Brion also produced Apple’s When the Pawn…) Sadly, the show’s guest was a totally okay woman in thick-rimmed glasses who sang a bit blandly about Tina Fey and wanting babies.
In theaters today: Real Steel, the world's first-ever robot boxing movie. Just when he thought he was fresh out of chances, Hugh Jackman reconciles with his estranged son and together they take Atom, the little robot that could, all the way to the World Robot Boxing championship. It's ... it's kind of the best? Ridiculous, but fully self-aware, and full-on heart-warming. Amos Barshad and Vulture's Logan Hill were so moved, they had to talk it out.