Is your favorite type of porn popular with others? (Getty Images)
Nearly everyone is doing it: 40 million Americans are regular visitors to online adult video websites, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2013. It’s probably safe to say the numbers have gone up since then.
But what are they watching and how does it line up with what you’re watching? A recently conducted study on the types of pornography people view is here to shed some light, if you’re into comparing.
The study compared the answers of a pool of over 2,000 Croatian men and women aged 18-40 who completed an online survey and met the self-identified criteria for using pornography “several” times in the last 12 months.
What makes the results particularly interesting is that they broke them down by gender and sexual orientation. They found, via self-reported information, that non-herterosexual men utilized pornography more often than any other group.
Among heterosexual women, the most popular forms of adult films were threesomes, oral sex, softcore (nonexplicit sex), gang bang (one woman and three or more men), and large penises. How does that compare with nonheterosexual women? That group’s top preferences were not terribly different, acutally, with threesomes also in first position, followed by bisexual, oral sex, lesbian, and orgy (greater than two persons of each gender).
Heterosexual men reported a preference for amateur, oral sex, big breasts, threesomes and anal sex. Nonheterosexual men watched anal sex, oral sex, threesomes, amateur and gay the most often.
What does it mean if you don’t see your adult film preference of choice on this list? Nothing, says Charlie Glickman, PhD and Certified Somatic Sexuality Educator, because there is no such thing as normal when it comes to our sexual preferences. Not when it comes to the adult videos that make you excited, not when it comes to frequency of sex, not the positions you enjoy, and not when it comes to who we have sex with: the word normal has no meaning when we discuss sexuality.
“Everybody at some point in their life is going to be at the end of a sexual bell curve. What that means is that there is no such thing as normal outside of the statistical sense,” Glickman says.
So, while statistically this survey found that most hetero women enjoy watching threesomes, it is perfectly fine if you prefer the least popular item on the list for them, which happens to be golden showers and enemas.
“Stop trying to compare your sex life to somebody else’s,” Glickman advises. “I think the most important thing is asking how you feel about it when you’re done watching the movie or having sex. If you have a smile on your face aftewards, don’t worry about what makes someone else smile.”
If you have feelings of guilt or shame after watching an adult film, Glickman advises ruminating on why or talking to a professional about it. Those feelings are often related to worrying about what other people think of your tastes, he says, but you are not actually doing anything wrong.
Put on that racy movie if it makes you happy! The only person you need to please is you.
Don’t stop looking at yourself if you want to eat healthy. Seriously! (Photo: Getty Images)
Worried about overindulging on rich food during the holidays? Hang a mirror in your dining room at table height. It may stop you from enjoying unhealthy food as much.
In a forthcoming study the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab found that people just might embrace healthy eating if they can see themselves eating unhealthy food. They found that “the presence of a mirror in a consumption setting can reduce the perceived tastiness of unhealthy food, which consequently reduces its consumption.” It’s a strange concept – that physically seeing yourself eat a big slice of cake gives you the reality check you need to make a better decision – but fascinating to think that a simple change of perception can help you develop better habits when it comes to food.
In the study, 185 undergraduate students were given the choice between eating chocolate cake or fruit salad and evaluated while they ate in a room with no mirrors and a room with a mirror. The students in a room with a mirror who chose chocolate cake rated it as being less tasty than those in a room with no mirror, but the same was not found for those who chose fruit salad. No matter what room they were in, the taste of the fruit salad remained the same.
“A glance in the mirror tells people more than just about their physical appearance. It enables them to view themselves objectively and helps them to judge themselves and their behaviors in a same way that they judge others,” said lead researcher Ata Jami of the University of Central Florida.
The study will appear in the inaugural issue of Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, alongside a slew of research into consumer behavior research.
Can puppy or kitty help you attract people? Maybe! (Photo: Getty Images)
Showing love for your canine or feline friend shows your empathy and compassion, but does it make you more attractive to potential partners? New research in Anthrozoös: A multidisciplinary journal of the interactions of people and animals, done in collaboration with pet store chain PetSmart, finds that pet owners are sexier.
In a survey of over 1,200 Match.com users, 35% percent of women and 26% of men said they found pet owners more attractive than those who don’t have an animal companion. On top of that, nearly half of the women and a quarter of the men said they judged dates based on how they respond to their pet. For men, a huge margin said that owning a dog was the sexiest pet option. And overall, people prefer dog owners. The paper’s researchers found, “Relatively few men or women reported
that a relationship could not work with a ‘dog person,’ with no sex difference in that sentiment.
However, a higher fraction of women than men felt that a relationship could not work with a ‘cat person.’”
Cats are still their own dating catnip. However, any kind of pet will increase your chances of snagging the next date over living pet free. And if you’re going to use your pet to get dates, rescue and don’t buy! 64% of women and 49% of men were more attracted to a person with a rescued pet.
Even if you have to stand on a chair to kiss a tall husband, he might make you happier. (Corbis)
Happy wife, happy life, the saying goes. The onus of that cliché is always placed on the man, whose job it is to make his wife happy. However, you can make yourself a happy wife by marrying man who is taller than you.
A survey, conducted by researchers at Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea, examined 7,850 Indonesian women in a long-term population study with the aim of discovering whether a taller male partner had a discernible effect on the happiness of the female. Turns out it does, and the happiness level the woman feels only grows as the height disparity gets bigger.
That isn’t a permanent fix for happiness, however. The feeling weakened over time and was gone entirely 18 years later. The next time a celebrity couple splits after roughly that time lapse, eyeball their height difference and see if this study provides insight into the source of their languishing love.
“The long period of the dissipation indicates a powerful impact of male height on women’s psychology, probably prepared by evolution,” lead researcher Kitae Sohn told the Telegraph.
A big part of the reason that happiness disappeared after 18 years? A depletion of the man’s influence over his wife. No happiness lasts forever, but it’s comforting to know we can give it a boost.
The way these guys think says a lot about the music they like. (Touchstone Pictures)
That old adage from Nick Hornby’s musical novel High Fidelity (also a super-angsty movie starring John Cusack) just may be true after all: what you like is what you’re like. While his character, Rob, says that line in reference to his own judgement of others based on their musical taste, a group of researchers found that the opposite is true. Apparently, there is a positive correlation between empathy levels and taste in music.
In a recent paper, Musical Preferences are Linked to Cognitive Styles, Dr. David M. Greenberg and his co-authors break down the preference differences between empathetic and systemizing cognitive styles, or “thinking styles.” To understand these two distinct types of people, Greenberg tells us to imagine two people are standing on top of a mountain with a stunning view. The one who is awed by the view and discusses the beauty of their surroundings is empathetic. The person who discusses the tectonic plates they are on and how long the mountains have been there is called a systemizer.
To those ends, if you want to intuit what kind of music a person will have an appreciation for, look no further than the Emotional Quotient (EQ) test. The researches found that scoring high on the EQ test had a positive correlation to a preference for music on “the Mellow dimension,” which they quantify as the “R&B/soul, adult contemporary, soft rock genres.” Empathetics also have a preference for music that is low arousal, with gentle and warm attributes; more depressing and sad music; and, with emotional depth, on the more poetic and thoughtful end of the scale.
If you enjoy Adele and have been bumping the new Erykah Badu mixtape, you are probably going to find you score high on the EQ test.
On the other hand, those who scored high on the Systemizing Quotient-Revised (SQ-R) test prefer music in “the Intense dimension,” characterized as punk, heavy metal, and hard rock. They would rather listen to high arousal music that is intense and thrilling; with positive valence, or animated music; and, prefer cerebral depth and complex structure to poetry.
If you like the later works of John Coltrane, because you like to puzzle out the patterns of the notes he’s not playing as much as the abstract sounds he does make or you really groove to Black Sabbath, you are likely to score high on the SQ-R test.
That said, it does not follow that women are empathetic and like softer music and men are systematic and prefer hard rock, although previously research did show that gender splits along those lines exist. “We found that even when we accounted for sex differences in musical preferences, still what emerged were these patterns for empathy and systemizers,” Greenberg says.
Not entirely sure which you are? The researchers have set up a website, The Musical Universe, where you can take a combination of personality type, brain type and musical preference tests to contribute to their ongoing research. If you want to know more about yourself (or your significant other, or maybe just your Secret Santa), give it a whirl.
Is this what you imagine your dog is doing while you’re at work? (Stocksy)
If you have a dog and also a job, chances are likely that you leave your dog at home alone for up to 10 hours a day. It’s only natural to wonder if your dog gets lonely or if they would be happier with some companionship.
When an email blast for pet owners suggested that a product raising funds on Indiegogo, a desktop fish tank called the EcoQube C, might be the perfect solution to help a dog feel less alone or bored, we had to wonder: does a dog need a pet?
Dogs are unlikely to consider any additions to the house to be their pet, Horwitz explains, but rather to see them as a companion animal. And they’re unlikely to care about having fish, because fish offer them no social interaction.
“Dogs are intrigued by things that move, things they smell, and things that make them mentally active. I would suspect there could be a few dogs who might find watching a fish tank to be a diversion, but I would really doubt they would consider the fish a companion, but they might watch the movement,” Horwitz says with a laugh.
Dogs, like humans, are individuals with their own unique set of preferences that can extend to whether they like the TV left on all day or would prefer the quiet; if they’d like a companion animal or would rather be alone; and, even whether or not a fish tank would enrich their life or be a matter of indifference (with the column stacked sharply towards the latter).
A better way to provide for a dog is to make sure they get exercise and mental engagement. Horwitz explains that the exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be highly physical, but should be tailored to the age and breed of your dog, with an emphasis on allowing the dog to smell while walking rather than plowing forward at a city walker’s pace. For mental engagement, she suggests exploring any of the many food puzzles and food dispensers on the market for dogs.
“Every dog is an individual. When we look at what dogs do when they’re alone, most adult dogs do nothing…Even when you’re home, the dogs enjoy gathering the food rather than eating out of the bowl, because it’s a big part of what they would be doing if they weren’t fortunate enough to have us take care of them,” Horwitz says.
If you’re thinking about a companion for your pet, Horwitz urges you to take their individual needs and preferences into consideration. Simply dropping a new animal into your home is not going to resolve behavioral problems your pet may exhibit.
“Studies have tried to look at this but right now there is no evidence that dogs who are anxious when humans depart or truly have a diagnosis of separation anxiety disorder, is helped by getting another pet. In fact, we’ve had things go the other way,” Horwitz says.
If your dog exhibits anxiety when you leave them at home alone, consult your veterinarian or a boarded certified veterinary behaviorist. Horowitz explains that you need to find out if what they are experiencing is only a bit of emotional distress when you leave, or if it is more severe, lasting for the entire time you’re gone. In the latter case, they “really need intervention and a behavior modification program or maybe even medication.”
We are in the thick of cold season. Are you trying to protect yourself from catching a common cold? That question may be irrelevant as it seems that the hygiene habits of your fellow human, or lack thereof, are a significant factor in how likely you are to get the sniffles.
A new online survey by Zicam Cold Remedy and Wakefield Research (a market research & PR polling firm) found 56% of American respondents admitted to wiping their boogers anywhere except on a tissue (that number is from a pool of 1,000 respondents from “a nationally representative pool of adults 18+” in major cities). Look around you. Over half of the people you see have picked their nose and wiped it somewhere. The three most popular places, according to the survey, to wipe are on their clothing, on their desk or on their couch. Lovely, eh?
John Swartzberg, MD at UC Berkeley School of Public Health and Chair of the Editorial Board at UC Berkeley Wellness Letter tells Yahoo Health that touching someone else’s boogers is an excellent way to get sick.
“We know that rhinovirus and several other respiratory viruses are transmitted by inanimate objects. Touching even a pencil and then your mucus membranes will transmit the virus,” Swartzberg confirms.
Less popular, to the relief of citizens in New York City and Chicago, were wiping it on one’s seat on public transportation and also wiping it on a doorknob – although, troublingly, both of these options did come up.
When it comes to the workplace, 63% of people in this survey felt it was unprofessional to come to work with a cold. They’ve noticed their workmates less-than-stellar cold hygiene as well, with a massive majority of 73% saying they’ve seen a co-worker sneeze without covering their nose and 22% saying they’ve witnessed a co-worker blow their nose on their sleeve. Sorry to blow your cover, but your stealth snot-wiping has not gone unnoticed.
That is not where people’s fairly gross habits end when it comes to colds. Only 54% of respondents would avoid kissing their significant others if their partner had a cold and only 31% would ask their partner to wash their hands before touching them. While it’s an awkward conversation, you can’t be sure that someone you live with has contracted the same cold you have so you might want to put the kibosh on kissing.
“You should avoid all kissing,” Schwartzberg says. “It’s an easy way to transmit colds, mucus membrane to mucus membrane. Kissing on the cheek may not be much of a risk, but it also brings you in close proximity.”
If your SO gets offended, just tell them that if they really love you they’ll give you some space. And remind them not to wipe their boogers on the couch.
The best things you can do to protect yourself is wash your hands, which Dr. Schwartzberg strongly suggests you do frequently at all times of the year to increase your personal hygiene, and maintain your personal space away from people who are sick. And never, ever loan them a pen or pencil that you want back.
This beauty “trend” deserves major side-eye. (Photo: Getty Images)
There’s a myth floating around the Internet that semen facials are something a person can try in order to freshen their skin. This myth has been floating around for years, perpetuated by former Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown and Heather Locklear, that recently resurfaced when beauty blogger Tracy Kiss made a tutorial video of her own semen facial.
In a description of the tutorial, Kiss claims this treatment has had “positive results” combating her rosacea, a condition where there is redness of the skin accompanied by small, red, pus-filled bumps. But when Yahoo Health asked dermatologist Cybele Fishman, MD, of Integrative Dermatology in New York City, she told us that putting a substance like semen on your face is an especially bad idea for people who suffer from rosacea or eczema.
Semen is alkaline since sperm are happier in an alkaline environment. Our skin, on the other hand, is acidic — and “putting an alkaline substance like semen on it disrupts the skin barrier,” Fishman explains. “While this is especially bad for people with eczema or rosacea, a “disrupted skin barrier is bad for everyone because it makes the skin
more prone to infection and oxidating substances, which age the skin by
destroying collagen and elastin.” So not only does putting semen on your skin not actually rejuvenate it, it could actually age it.
Plus, if the semen has a sexually transmitted disease and that semen makes contact with breaks in your skin, you could potentially be infected with the STD, Fishman adds. (While she notes this is highly unlikely, it’s still theoretically possible.)
This begs the question of where one would go about acquiring semen for a facial (and storing it, for that matter). Whether or not it is from a trusted source, how sure are you really where your semen facial donor has been? It’s just not something we’d be willing to take a chance on.
So would a semen facial have any redeeming value? Technically, semen “has zinc and copper in it,” Fishman says, and “zinc is good for your skin if you have acne. Copper is a vital mineral for enzymes that help make collagen.” Yes, both of these are technically antioxidants and, therefore, good for the skin, but semen contains such low amounts of these that “there are easier, more independent ways to get those minerals,” she says, such as actual face creams that you can buy from drug stores or specialty stores.
“With so many good anti-aging products, why on Earth would you go to semen?” Fishman says. “I am a fan of using natural ingredients on your skin, but I think semen is pushing it. I once had a patient who was using her own urine on her face in an attempt to treat her acne. Just because you can do something, does not mean you should.”
Are you feeling that winter sadness creeping in already, as the days get shorter? (Nadeen Nakib for Yahoo Health/istock)
You might be able to combat the winter blues by taking a new approach to how you think about winter, like the people in this city.
Kari Leibowitz, a PhD student in Social Psychology at Stanford University, went to the second largest city in Norway to study their citizens during the country’s Polar Night period, inspired by previous research that found Seasonal Affective Disorder was remarkably low.
Leibowitz was in Tromsø, Norway conducting research into how inhabitants of Norway fight the wintertime blues from August to May. Tromsø is a city of over 70,000, spread over 971 miles and located 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It is known as an excellent metropolitan hub for viewing the Northern Lights. The city experiences Polar Night from November 21 to January 21, when the sun dips below the horizon for those two months. It’s not pitch black all the time, but there is literally no direct sunlight. It’s also not uninhabitable, although certainly not warm, with the average winter temperature in January is 24°F.
“Once I moved to Norway and started talking to people and observing things, I realized I might be taking the wrong approach by asking them why they weren’t more depressed,” Leibowitz says in an interview with Yahoo Health. “I found that people there enjoyed the winter and looked forward to it, which is something I wasn’t used to after growing up in New Jersey. I disliked the winter so much that I went to school in Atlanta to get away from it.”
After some time assimilating to local culture, Leibowitz found that spending time in the outdoors was much more a part of everyday life for Norwegians than it is for Americans in wintertime. She also realized that they kept using the word “cozy” to describe wintertime, from the feeling of the weather to indoor activities to the tint of the sky. She suspects this positive way of thinking about winter is what gives them what she terms a “winter flourishing” mindset.
Along with her advisor Joar Vittersø at the University of Tromsø, she developed a Wintertime Mindset Scale that was completed by a random survey of 238 Norwegians who, she wrote in The Atlantic, inhabit “southern Norway, northern Norway, and Svalbard, an Arctic island located halfway between northern Norway and the North Pole” (it’s worth noting that she calls the latter an outlier that is self-selecting due to its extreme climate, because if you choose to live there you certainly better develop a positive mindset about cold weather and darkness). The questions asked agree or disagree statements to statements like “I feel like doing nothing at all in the winter” and “Winter is an especially beautiful time of year.” She found that the more northerly their location, the more positive their wintertime mindset was. The Wintertime Mindset Scale also found a positive correlation with lifestyle satisfaction.
Can this positive mindset be extrapolated to Americans and Europeans? Leibowitz thinks so, although her scientific data stops with Norway. “From my own experience, I watched my own wintertime mindset shift while I was in Norway,” she says. “Being around other people who enjoyed the winter gave me a new appreciation for it. Learning to embrace the things about winter that are wonderful is important…Notice the opportunities for coziness: how beautiful it can be, how soft and calming the light is. Reframing your mindset is something we could do in the States.”
Leibowitz also notes that getting outdoors in the winter is an important step in that reframing. If winter weather and darkness are something you dread so much that you don’t partake in healthy activities like walking or running and instead slip into a stasis, it will have a negative impact on your lifestyle satisfaction.
Leibowitz suggests applying the same rethinking of your mindset to shorter days with more darkness, suggesting looking forward to the things you can only do because it is dark, like lighting candles and creating a cozy environment, rather than only embracing the negative side of those early sunsets.
It is important to note that this research into a positive wintertime mindset does not address clinical wintertime depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. “There’s a difference between feeling grumpy and having a negative attitude about the winter than having clinical seasonal depression. Mental disorders are not the same as bad moods,” Leibowitz says. “People who have Seasonal Affective Disorder cannot jump out of it simply by changing their mindset.”
Let’s keep in touch! Follow Yahoo Health on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Have a personal health story to share? We want to hear it. Tell us at YHTrueStories@yahoo.com.
On the occasion of Elvis Costello’s most recent birthday, Rolling Stone posted their 1982 cover story with the gentleman himself. This paragraph from the introduction made my jaw fall open.
In 1982, Elvis Costello remains known almost solely through his music – and the scandalous “Ray Charles” incident, which made the papers across the country and across the water. Aside from a 1981 appearance on Tom Snyder’s ‘Tomorrow’ show, Costello had not sat down for a comprehensive interview with an American journalist until this summer – and no interview has appeared in a U.K. publication since 1977.
Could you imagine any artist, any new artist at all in modern times doing that? It is unfathomable. An interesting statement both on technology and the ethos of Elvis Costello.
Hello! Let me just start off by saying that I'm a huge fan of your work and you're one of my role models. I admire what you've done in the music industry and I aspire to have a similar career like the one you've had so far. Do you have any advice/tips on where and how I should start? Thank you so much!
<p>Hey, hello thanks for the nice note! My advice is: intern. Intern a lot. Then intern some more. I started interning my sophomore year in college. I interned at MTV, several times. I interned at my local alt rock radio station. I wrote for my college paper. I got a summer job at my local NBC affiliate. When I wasn’t feeling so excited about the classes my college major offered, I made up independent study courses that were internships.</p>
<p>The more you do actual work while you’re in college the more people you’ll know. And the more experience you’ll have on your resume so you can get out of the crappy assistant position faster (in theory, in practice). So seriously: get to interning. If you can’t afford to go to NYC or LA, do it at your local radio or TV station. Get your feet wet and your face out there.</p>
<p>And when you’re doing it, be the best damn intern they’ve ever had. Be so great, go so far above and beyond that they literally won’t know what to do without you when you’re gone. (This will mean doing some crappy things too – don’t let on that you feel crappy about doing them.)</p>
<p>Good luck and reach out if you want a helping hand landing an internship.</p>
Reasons Riff Raff is an idiot savant: it was brilliant to release this complete piece of crap the week after Dolce and Gabbana went to jail in Italy for tax evasion. Like rappers do (looking at you Fat Joe). Taking that high brow to low brow y'all.
I wrote this piece for Radio.com over the course of a few months while conducting interviews with these three artists.
Foals really kicked the idea off for me. When I was thinking of what to ask them, back in February, I knew I wanted to talk about their perception of the press and that they’d have something interesting to say.
Then when I had Jessie Ware, I thought she’d take a much more positive view as a beneficiary of good press so I asked her as well.
And finally, Airborne Toxic Event – I was not planning to discuss the topic with them when our interview started, but they had very interesting points of view on the other things we talked about so I threw it out and they raised some good points that helped me get to my larger point.
Where do you stand on art criticism? Is it necessary in a world where consumers can access anything with the touch of a button? Do the artists themselves still need it to help evolve art? Or has the form devolved so badly that we should rip it up and start again?
Did an interview with Kate Nash for Radio.com – we talked about many things and there’s much more to come, but here’s a piece about feminism, how the music industry discriminates against women and media body snarking.
“I’ve had everything you can think of being said about a person, I’ve had it,” Nash said. “I’ve been called too fat, too ugly. I’ve had my spots highlighted and zoomed in on in magazines when I had acne as a teenager touring for the first time. I’ve had death threats on the Internet. I’ve had really mean stuff said about me. It makes you fearless, in a way.“
We’re making these mini rock docs at work now. It’s a fun thing. This is my first one, taking a look at the new wave of British soul and R&B acts in the wake of Amy Winehouse & Adele’s success.
This idea came to me after an interview with Conor Maynard, who put forward this assertion that the X Factor (with all it’s One Directions & Cher Lloyds & Little Mixes) in the UK is a big part of why the world is paying such close attention to British artists of late. I asked him if he thought that and other reality singing shows having all these old songs on them had anything to do with the on-going interest in younger generations of soul and R&B music. And then I couldn’t stop myself from asking all the other British artists we were having in – who all happened to classify themselves as soul or R&B artists.
So I talked to Emeli Sandé, Olly Murs, Jessie Ware and Daley about it. I got the effervescent Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly to crack jokes. I had the British expertise of Hazel Sheffield from NME. My co-workers at Radio.com, Brian and Erik, agreed to weigh in and do some narrative storytelling for me.
And voila. Here are my little theories about why the UK is all up on soul and R&B these days. And exporting it like a mother.
I interviewed Ben Gibbard last October, around the release of his solo record and when he was still insisting INSISTING there would be no Postal Service reunion.
It was an interesting conversation across the board, in part because I’ve known him for a decade and found the, “Ben is a sad person/I’m glad Ben got a divorce so maybe he can write some good songs because his best songs were written when he was unhappy!” diatribe of write-ups (and general sentiments) across the Internet to be interesting. And since I’ve known him awhile, I got him to talk about it a bit.
We also touched on nostalgia. I took a piece of the interview I hadn’t written up before and did an article for Radio.com (the CBS site I write for these days) around it because all the things he said about Death Cab fandom applied pretty well to Postal Service fandom, given that we’re looking at it a solid decade after the fact.
What I didn’t expect was to feel so nostalgic myself when I watched their Coachella performance. That little dance move Ben & Jenny Lewis did in “The District Sleeps Alone”? So cute. So the exact move I saw them do at Bowery Ballroom in 2004 on tour supporting Give Up. Now I really want to go to Barclay’s and get my Postal Service on.
Excited for the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album? Me too.
I did this lovely interview with Karen O’s longtime designer, Christian Joy. She gave some fun insight into her process and why she’s putting Karen in pantsuits for the new album. Oh and tells you what to wear to a music festival.
But really, the part that was most interesting to me, was the stuff about the politics of dressing like a man/androgynous on stage.
I really love Foals. So when I heard about their new album Holy Fire (which came out in Feb), I thought…hm. Making moves? Upstreaming to Warner from Sub Pop? Getting Flood & Moulder to produce? Signing to Q Prime management? Are Foals on the road to being the next Black Keys? You know, that midlevel band who burst into the upper echelon of rock?
So I sat them down for an interview. And then I talked to people from Rolling Stone, Spinner and NME about it. I talked to my lovely friend Ultragrrrl. And…it seems the journalists said one thing while Foals said another.
Check it out. The band will be spending some more time in the US starting with their Coachella performance this weekend.
Not a list I usually make, but in moving back to NYC and getting back on the subway commute I found my reading time rocket back up this year. These are five books I enjoyed immensely, although three of them were not released in 2012. In fact, the first is nearly 100 years old.
Only 94 years late to the party on this book. It’s been sitting on my shelf, unread, for at least five years and after I finished it I was annoyed at myself for not reading it sooner. This 1919 Pulitzer Prize winner stands the test of time. While some of the social constructs are outdated, the basic idea behind the book is hyper relevant in our times of fiscal crisis and moral uncertainty. I would recommend it to any and all readers – what impressed me most was the style of Tarkington’s prose. The man is simply a beautiful writer.
A fellow New Yorker whose book was released by my publisher – and yet I only heard about it when a friend loaned me a copy, swearing I’d love it. She was right, I absolutely adored it. Miller creates complex characters who drive a very simple story. An impressive fiction debut, worth picking up.
Think you know a lot about music? So do I, but every second of reading this book made me think I didn’t actually know anything at all. I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. Too many music books are a straight retelling of history we already know or pontificating in the manner of mental masturbation. Wald lays out the facts of music, from the time of jazz before Prohibition and the evolution of music history – including how consumption and technology have always influenced the music industry. Especially recommended for anyone not sure what to think about the kerfuffle around streaming service revenue because the parallel fight over jukebox revenue before people had hifis in their home feels like a good thing to learn from.
A friend gave me this last Christmas and I read it early in the year. Bryson takes science and puts it in layman’s terms in a way I haven’t read since Carl Sagan. For a big paperback it’s a surprisingly quick and easy read as Bryson’s words flow nicely and the book’s conceit, explaining our evolution from nothing to life, is endlessly fascinating.
When I first heard about this book, I had a split second of doubt about there being enough here for a full book. It took about 10 seconds of walking myself through the history of “Hallelujah” to change my mind. Light handles the topic beautifully, although some of the quotes from musicians who’ve brushed up against the song feel superflous. By the mid-point of the book it becomes obvious that this song’s ascent was utterly unlikely. For any sort of music fan, this is a phenomenon worth examining.
I usually contribute my top 10 albums of the year list to several sites, listservs, emails, whathaveyou – but this year I thought it over and realized there weren’t a lot of full albums that grabbed me and shook me all night long. I’ve officially returned to the 1950s and singles culture. The world before the Beatles and their damn double LP concept albums.
Found this one in a press email from Beth Martinez at Danger Village. The woman has exceptional taste in music, in my opinion, and I listen to as much of what she sends as I can. This song was my spring into summer jam. One of the most listened of the year. Actually the most listened for me according to last.fm, behind track #3 on this list.
This is possibly the one thing I was in sync with Pitchfork on this year. Best New Track and Best New Album, even though reviews were mixed. This track in particular features guitar as played by Beck. I think the lyrics here really stand out as well.
As a Chris Brown hater, this is a controversial choice for me. All the reasons I have for insisting the public not forgive Brown can also apply to Womack’s past choices. And this song gets at the public forgiveness that Brown would never seek. It’s an amazing, heartbreaking track. Beautifully produced and deeply poignant.
Apple’s latest does make my albums of the year list, as one of the few examples this year of a comprehensive album and not simply a series of songs. And she continues hitting her mark with songs that are too close to the way I feel about life. We’ve both gotten older and, if not smarter, more experienced. This is my break up jam.
Written by the Civil Wars (and performed in 2010 but not recorded), this song was in the first episode of ABC’s Nashville. It shot right to the top of the iTunes sales chart because the world realized it’s amazing. It’s the kind of song that casts a spell on you. T-Bone Burnett’s production is apparent on the sparse arrangement he gives the show version, paired with hesitant vocals.
Magic Wands finally release their long awaited first album and among the songs that have been kicking around since 2010 was this jam. It’s like a delicious mix of outer space and Hawaii, in a very nice way.
The Guardian: You recently said women should be able to sing about the same things as men.
KE$HA: Absolutely. Women can sing about the same things as men but we shouldn’t have to be put through such scrutiny and hellfire. Men sing about strippers, sex and drugs and it’s praised and glorified. When women sing about these things, we’re automatically demonised as sluts and drunks. It’s not true. Women can drink and get laid occasionally and it is equally as badass as if a man is doing it.
Nashville fans: may I just point out that Universal Republic Records is the label that released The Hunger Games soundtrack, which T. Bone Burnett music directed. The soundtrack generated Rayna James and Juliette Barnes on Nashville is also distributed by Big Machine Records, whose backbone/distribution arm is Universal Republic. That soundtrack is also helmed by T. Bone Burnett. And the show is written, based on quite a few real life experiences, by Burnett’s wife.
So…how real is the president of Edgehill Republic Records? What real life person might he be based on? Let’s speculate!
This is really good advice. When my head is on straight I can be pretty fun to date, but when things hit the skids and my bullshit melodramatic anxiety/panic stuff hits I am a complete nightmare.
In general, yes, avoid dating Smiths fans. For me personally? My advice is you should date me up until the point that I try to play you the live version of “I Know It’s Over” off of Rank. At that point you should run for the hills.