Phoebe Reilly



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    Q&A: Aziz Ansari

    What was the first album you bought with your own money? Vanilla Ice's To the Extreme, but let's not put it all on me. Plenty of people were into the Ice Man. It's not like Vanilla Ice sold ten records, and I'm one of the ten people that bought it. We all got fooled. I just happened to be at the age when it was the first album I bought. Who comes after Prince on your iPod?Prinzhorn Dance School. They're a DFA group. I like the song "You Are the Space Invader." Whose T-shirt do you proudly wear?I have an old DJ Shadow shirt that I bought at a show in '99. There were only three of them made and I got one of them, and now any time I meet a girl who's a DJ Shadow fan, they offer me sexual favors in exchange for it. But it's just such a cool shirt that I can't give it up. So no.

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    MTV Movie Awards: Samberg, K-Stew, Eminem, and More

    In case you missed the MTV Movie Awards last night -- or only half-watched it, like I did -- here's our verdict on the night's hot topics: Eminem v. Bruno -- Was Em in on the joke? I'm about 67% convinced that he was. While Eminem seems far too cranky to willingly participate in a prank that involved Baron-Cohen's gay character Bruno descending from the ceiling to rest his junk in Mathers' face, everyone is fighting for attention these days. Audiences are busy flitting from one YouTube clip to the next, but this stunt has the potential to keep us talking about Eminem at least until Wednesday -- so maybe it was worth two balls to the face. Plus, speaking of balls, does MTV have any?

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    Listening In: Mindy Kaling

    What was the last concert you went to? I saw the Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem at the Hollywood Bowl last summer. I don't mean to be the douche bag that says, "The Arcade Fire were transporting!" But they were transporting. And I was only there because I have a big crush on [LCD's] James Murphy, but I was like, "I can get behind this 116-member-band thing." What's your favorite album?Graceland is the album that I have bought more times than any other. When I was a little kid, my parents introduced me to Simon & Garfunkel, so that was the music I assumed everyone listened to. From the ages of six to 26, I forgot about it, and then I rebought it recently, and it's like a different album. It makes me bawl. Growing up, did your parents object to anything you were listening to? "Weird Al" Yankovic.

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    Bat for Lashes Soars in NYC

    Waiting for Bat for Lashes to take the stage at NYC's Bowery Ballroom last night, I overheard one guy next to me counseling another: "Don't get your hopes up. What if she's not as good as you expect?" To which his friend responded, "It's Natasha! It's going to be amazing." It was amusing -- and kind of awesome, at this early stage in her career -- to hear Natasha Khan, the warrior princess/Kate Bush acolyte/horse whisperer/singer/multi-instrumentalist who records and performs as Bat for Lashes, discussed with the first-name-basis-ness that accompanies a level of fame more suited for Stevie Nicks or Dolly Parton. The former nursery school teacher has only just released her exquisite second album (Two Suns, heartily endorsed by SPIN).

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    The Awesome Teen Comedy Is Back!

    Adventureland is set in 1987, the same year that John Hughes released his last coming-of-age drama, Some Kind of Wonderful, which is a total coincidence but an appropriate one. While Hughes never again delivered a classic on par with The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller's Day Off, it's possible that with Adventureland, writer-director Greg Mottola has. Okay, that's probably excessive praise. For Mottola to fill Hughes' shoes, he would have had to depict today's kids, which he sorta did in Superbad -- and ended up with something funny but, at times, tediously vulgar.

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    Bat for Lashes: Bat Power

    Natasha Khan is in the middle of a shopping spree at a vintage-clothing boutique in Manhattan's East Village when she gets some bad news from the store's owner: A remake of one of her favorite movies, The Karate Kid, is in the works."Noooo!" she moans from inside the dressing room, where she has been debating the purchase of a pair of white, high-heeled ankle boots. ("I'm not sure how Stevie Nicks I want to go," the singer muses, "although I love Stevie Nicks.") Also, according to the proprietor, the new version will star "somebody crazy." "What, like Lindsay Lohan?" Khan asks.Try Will Smith's son, Jaden.Khan grimaces. Like many of her beloved pop-cultural touchstones -- among them Pat Benatar and The Wonder Years' Winnie Cooper -- the film is important to her because it reminds her of the '80s, an era she often draws on for inspiration when writing and performing as Bat for Lashes.

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    The SPIN Interview: Alex Kapranos

    When Franz Ferdinand broke big, Alex Kapranos seemed older and wiser than many of his buzzy peers. Little surprise, then, that his band is still thriving five years on. "I hope we haven't written our best song," he says. "That's the sign a band is still alive  — they're not satisfied." Either Alex Kapranos is hungry or the traditional English dish of beans on toast has played a pretty memorable role in his life.

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    Late of the Pier Dance Across the Pond

    Sam Eastgate, frontman for English electro rockers Late of the Pier, recalls when he swore off the synthesizer. "I found one behind the shelves in our living room," says the 21-year-old, whose father played in obscure '80s rock act My Dog Has No Nose. "It was a weird plastic thing covered in dials. I thought, 'I'll never learn to play that.' " Long story short: He did. It was during science class in 2003 that Eastgate and his lab partner, Ross Dawson, decided to form a band. So he, Dawson (on drums), and pals Sam Potter (keys) and Andrew Faley (bass) began ditching school in Castle Donington to write experimental pop songs. "We liked to change the key and the speed in the middle so that it sounded kind of wrong," he says. All those skipped classes resulted in Fantasy Black Channel (Astralwerks), a kinetic debut replete with -- whaddya know?

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    9 Oscar Snubs, Flubs, and Things to Love

    Today's Academy Award nominations yielded a few surprises: Revolutionary Road was almost entirely ignored (and rightly so), while the little-movie-that-could, Slumdog Millionaire, snagged 10 nods -- not far behind The Curious Case of Brad Pitt... er, Benjamin Button, with a shocking 13. But mostly the list was kind of a snooze. To elaborate: 1) The Reader?!? It's about an illiterate Nazi statutory rapist. And even though each of those Important Issues would merit a movie of their own, it still wasn't well-received by the critics. That this was nominated for Best Picture proves the Academy hates fun. 2) Or at least they hate entertainment. While the fact that The Dark Knightwas the highest grossing movie of 2008 shouldn't qualify it for Best Picture, the fact that it was also unanimously praised should.

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    The Troublemaker: Charles Hamilton

    Usually when someone says, "Music should be as free as water," it's safe to assume they don't make music for a living (or pay for water). Charles Hamilton is one exception. Since he signed to Interscope nearly a year ago, the Harlem-bred, stylistically scattershot producer/MC/singer/blogger has put more than 70 tracks online gratis. Label honcho Jimmy Iovine even gave him his own imprint, Demevolist, on which to release The Pink Lavalamp, an oddball-soul album that Hamilton made when he was a heroin-abusing teenager. "We have a mutual understanding, which is that I'm not here to do what your conventional artist does," says Hamilton, now a clean-cut 21-year-old who favors Sonic the Hedgehog T-shirts. Clarification: He's expected to release an album this year, it may involve Pharrell, and it will be sold -- for money. When the new album does arrive, it will follow a busy year.

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