• Movie News: January

    Social depravity and a Fascist dictator both thrive in Europe. The lesson? Never leave America THE SOUND AND THE FÜHRERMax (December 27) Australian actor Noah Taylor (best known as the young incarnation of pianist David Helfgott in Shine) takes verisimilitude to anew level in writer/director Menno Meyjes' Max, in which he plays the frustrated Austrian painter who would become one of history'smost evil figures. Taylor plays Adolf Hitler, a 29-year-old veteran of the Great War who's only just becoming aware of hisvenomous impulses; John Cusack is a fictitious art dealer who witnesses the awakening of young Hitler's monstrosity. Far fromplaying the not-yet-great dictator as a Chaplin-esque caricature, Taylor fully understood the responsibility of hisrole. "People asked, 'Are you afraid of making him human?'" he says.

  • The Best of 2002

    Best DJ: Felix da HousecatLong before electroclash became the flavor of the month for theclub set, Felix Da Housecat was an average Chicago houseproducer/DJ: worshiped overseas and virtually ignored on the homefront. But with 2002's electro-fueled Kittenz and TheeGlitz, Felix knocked the U.S. dance scene out of itstrance-induced haze. He layered '80s robo funk and sweepingnew-wave synths over irresistible beats, adding the icy vocals ofdiva Miss Kittin. The singles "Silver Screen Shower Scene" and"Madame Hollywood" became club staples.

  • 9 Million Words With Dave Grohl

    The (very nearly) unexpurgated Dave Grohl transcript from November's Foo Fighters cover story. Everything you ever wanted to know about the 'Foo but were afraid to ask Grohl: I was just down in Japan with the Queens of the Stone Age guys, and I had a day off, so I did a bunch of press for the Foo Fighters record. Japan is a great place to start talking about your album, because for some reason, probably because the translation is such a challenge for them, they get so into lyrics. They start piecing your lyrics and getting really deep and sort of personal with you. They start asking things like, "Okay, well, with a lyric like 'Done, done, on to the next one,' that seems to be a recurring theme in your life, whether it's with your relationships, or band members. I was like, "Jesus Christ, you're Japanese, how do you know that?" Do you ever talk about it with them?

  • Band of the Year: The Strokes

    Boasting a hit album, a brilliant live act, a cadre of squealinggroupies (and that's just Drew Barrymore and Winona Ryder), and anopening spot on the Rolling Stones tour, the Strokes are without adoubt the Band of the Year--whether they like it or not. Theskinny-tied fab five are heralding a new era of sexy, coolrock'n'roll. And despite the pressures of constant touring, theylook remarkably sharp. "Is it okay to let the girls in?" Smoggy asks. The Strokes' amiable, ruddy-faced security man, dressed in crisp English sporting gear, ducks into the dressing room of Portland, Maine's once-grand State Theatre to see if singer Julian Casablancas is ready to meet some jailbait. It's been 15 minutes since the band burned through the opening night of their fall 2002 Wyckyd Sceptre tour. As usual, there was no encore.

  • Trend of the Year: The Little Band Revolution

    By: Jon DolanRock transformed itself in 2002. Muscle-bound mooks were out. Bandswith little budgets and big ambitions were in. The Strokes,the Hives, and the White Stripes took their DIYspirit to the masses. And music was more fun than it had been inyears. The bathroom at a Korn show is never a feel-good environment. But last June at New York City's Madison Square Garden,the weekend gladiator in line for the urinal was really bumming everyone out. According to this dude, the concertgoers lined up besidehim would be forever designated "fuckin' faggots" unless they swore undying allegiance to "fuckin' Korn," sharing his assessment that"fuckin' Korn fuckin' rules." His argument proceeded thusly: "Koooooooooorn!" It was right out of the Woodstock '99 party platform. Trouble is, Korn weren't doing all that much ruling in 2002.

  • Pop Trend of the Year: Anti-Britneys

    Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, and Vanessa Carlton want to teach their generation that there's more to rock 'n' roll than singing Joan Jett songs on karaoke night With Justin debuting new songs and Christina unveiling new thongs, teen pop ain't going anywhere. But the genre lost a lot of its bounce in 2002 as listeners gravitated toward artists like Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton, and Avril Lavigne. They're the anti-Britneys: too self-possessed to rock leather lingerie onstage, too cool to let Diane Warren write their ballads, too sensitive to get sweaty with Redman. They may not be as badass as PJ Harvey (or even Pink), but the fact that Branch, Carlton, and Lavigne all became bona fide American idols to the TRL set in 2002 was encouraging.

  • Backstage Pass: The Year in Gossip

    By: Marc SpitzWe're sorry, pop stars. We never meant to hurt you. We never meantto make you cry. But tonight, we're cleaning out our gossip...andmaking room for 2003. The following made us laugh, cringe, and turnto Linda Perry for guidance this year. In October 2001,guitarist Wes Borland, after worrying publicly that he'dbecome a "sellout," announced that he was leaving LimpBizkit. He is currently auditioning singers for his new band,Eat the Day. Bizkit returned to the studio with producerRick Rubin. After failing to replace Borland, FredDurst is now playing guitar himself and promises a moresensitive approach to misogynist frat-rap metal.... We were proudto be one of the first to write about would-be rock saviorAndrew W.K. in March. We can now boast that we were also thefirst to be proven absolutely daft, as we predicted W.K. wouldexplode like a blood vessel smashed with a brick.

  • Marilyn Manson

    By: Chuck KlostermanWhether he's embodying the Antichrist, morphing into an asexualalien drug advocate, or merely dressing like a dandyish gothvampire, Marilyn Manson never stops keeping it unreal. His ownexistence is his most singularly creative outlet: More than anyother mainstream artist, Manson tries to live life as artitself--he sees no division between the characters he creates forentertainment and the lifestyle that is supposed to come with them;when Manson tells kids he likes to eat drugs and consort withfreaks, he feels a social obligation to do exactly as he says. Hispersona is a fabrication he lives for real. It's been a rough fewyears for Mr. Manson.

  • Zwan: The End is the Beginning

    By: JT LeRoySmashing Pumpkins were one of the biggest modern-rock bands ofthe '90s, but leader Billy Corgan never seemed too happy,constantly battling the media, grunge fans, even his own bandmates.Now, at 36, he's got an amazing new band, Zwan, and a bright newoutlook on life. The most revealing Corgan interview ever We're riding in a snub-nosed, short, black van with tinted windows, which looks something like a special-ed bus for wayward funeral directors. There was a show earlier this evening, or, technically, yesterday. It was the kind of performance that disproves the theory that all a rock star has to do is prop his ass onstage and strum a lute for an hour to earn a disproportionate helping of glory.

  • I Saw Britney Naked!

    By: Marc SpitzFred Durst did not have sex with Britney Spears. I know he's lying,because I had sex with Britney Spears--and she's got a Brazilianbikini wax, not a savage garden as Durst described to Howard Stern(as well as millions of radio listeners) this past winter. AndSpears is not into doing it doggie-style as Stern hoped. She's downwith fur-lined handcuffs and a fancy lubricant she bought at FredSegal. Now, you don't know what to believe, do you? In the new world of rock sleaze, when celebrities shag one another, they can barely wait to zip their flies before regaling the media with every pornographic detail. The real power of kissing and telling is that, in the pop-music realm, there's always a reasonable doubt. When Tupac Shakur boasted, "You claim to be a playa / But I fucked your wife" to his rival the Notorious B.I.G.

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