On Thursday Rolling Stone reported that, after being missing for three weeks, Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been located at a Siberian hospital, where she is being treated for health issues caused by her hunger strike this past fall. According to her husband, Peter Verzilov, “She said conditions and treatment were OK, but that the one thing was she was in very strict isolation.” We’re all sending her our strongest get-well-soon vibes.
I’m kinda obsessed with these photos that Kathy Ryan has been taking of “ghosts” in the New York Times building, where she works.
Brooklyn Vegan posted some Instagrams from Lou Reed’s public memorial service at Lincoln Center this week. There were no speeches, just Lou’s music played loud over speakers. Now I wish I’d gone. Can you imagine a more New York-y moment than this?:
And, hey! Do you have finals coming up? Are you FREAKING OUT? Step one, take a deep breath. Step two, read Stephanie’s primer on concentration. Step three, read these really clever study tips from Teen Vogue. (One example: Load up your iPod with lectures and podcasts on the subject you’re studying, then play them at double speed to save time.) Finally, have Anna F.’s guide to cramming on hand, just in case.
Wes Anderson just churns out magic on the regs, I guess? Behold, his latest short film for Prada. It also kinda works as a pasta ad.
A sea life center in Manchester has been trying out different music to get their turtles breeding and apparently it was Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” that did the trick. What would work IF NOT “Love Story”?!
It’s been a banner week for American Horror Story: Coven. First of all, this interview with Gabourey Sidibe dropped, in which she talks about her awesome character, Queenie, and even better, about her close friendship with co-star Taissa Farmiga. Certain lines from it, like “maybe [our friendship] is because we’re two of the coolest people in the universe and our awesomeness has attracted us to one another,” sound pulled straight from a Friend Crush. LOVE. THEM. BOTH. SO. MUCH. Secondly, it was announced that later in the AHS: Coven season, a guest star will make an appearance, and that guest star is—get excited—STEVIE NICKS. This cameo makes perfect sense if you’ve been watching the show this season; if you haven’t, there’s still time to catch up!
This Sunday, a very special documentary called How to Lose Your Virginity will premiere at DOC NYC. It was directed by Therese Schechter and explores all the aspects of virginity, from the act of losing it to the billion-dollar culture surrounding it (think white wedding dresses). In an interview with RH Reality Check, Schechter described her motivation as “nam[ing] stereotypes and dismantling them piece by piece,” and that she “hate[s] the before/after [losing your virginity] binary because it doesn’t reflect the truth about sex. It only reflects ownership, control, judgment, shame.” This film seems like it is going to be extra liberating, and I can’t wait to see it.
The Los Angeles producer/DJ Kingdom has long been one of my favorite dance music artists for his gossamer approach to smart bass, and because he seems to love all the same R&B that I do. Earlier this year, he gave us the incredible “Bank Head,” which turned out to be Kelela’s breakout track (and the best song, like, evvaaaaa). This week, he dropped his remix of “Don’t Wait” by the Stockholm-based singer Mapei and, of course, he made the original even more uplifting and great. And in more Sweden news, Stockholm’s beloved pop star Little Jinder just released “Shh,” her first song in Swedish; I don’t know what she’s saying, but it sounds like pure dreams and lip gloss. Let’s hear it for the innovative musicians out here, making cool stuff for us to dance and think and breathe to.
Rookie’s own Julianne Escobedo Shepherd wrote this excellent cover story for SPIN (full disclosure, I write for them too) that thinks about Gaga’s whole “Art Pop”/Pop Art obsession and just drills down on what modern art signifies in contemporary pop and hip-hop. Among other things, I learned that Beyoncé once rejected a piece of art made by Lena Dunham’s mom and that Swizz Beatz paints. “There really is no more effective strategy for a pop musician who wants to be Taken Seriously than to show that they are fluent in, or at least mildly aware of, the art world,” Julianne writes. Also, the Terry Richardson diss made me howl.
Jewly Hight, the author of Right by Her Roots, a great book about female songwriters, did this story on the McCrary sisters. The McCrarys come from a historical gospel/roots music dynasty and the four sisters have also had solo careers (one of them, Regina, worked with Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder) and sung on legendary sessions as backup singers. They still get together every week to sing, and their voices together are so majestic and perfect, grounding, otherworldly, and classic. The accompanying public radio piece is also a good introduction if you’re unfamiliar with their work, or are just looking for a solid story about sisterhood.
Did you know that Antarctica has an artist-in-residence program? Poet Jynne Martin has just arrived on Planet Ice, and is keeping a fabulous Tumblr of her experience. Check it out for all sorts of useful information, such as how to build a snow cave, how to pitch an emergency tent on the ice, and (I’m hoping) how to befriend a penguin.
Because we live in such a heavily documented world (at this point, NOT taking a picture of an everyday event seems weirder than instagramming your breakfast), it’s always exciting when when something truly remarkable is caught on film. The saola, or “Asian unicorn,” was captured on camera for the first time in roughly 15 years recently, which proves that saolas still exist and that they are perhaps the best hide-and-seek players in the universe, and it’s a reminder that Earth is still filled with beautiful surprises.
Miles Scott is a five-year-old recovering from leukemia. With the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, San Francisco was transformed into a live-action Gotham City so Miles could live out his dreams of fighting crime as BATKID. In a single day, Batkid managed to thwart famed foes like the Penguin and the Riddler as they tried to wreak havoc in Gotham. And after two successful arrests, Batkid was awarded with a key to the city—and tons of adoring fans. ♦