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SXSW, The Breakout Bands

The music, tech, and film festival, which ran from March 7-16, has finally come to an end. Here are the “next big thing” musical acts that you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the near future.

South By Southwest (SXSW), the annual set of music, interactive, and film festivals in Austin, Texas, has grown into a strange breed of monster.


London Grammar playing live at the Troxy in London on March 5. (

On the music side, a superabundance of DIY acts, all of which cover expenses out of pocket, flaunt their wares alongside seven-figure corporate-sponsored extravaganzas courtesy of Apple (Coldplay), Samsung (Jay Z & Kanye West), and Doritos (Lady Gaga). Buttoned-up, hors d'oeuvres-nibbling execs rub shoulders with tattooed, finger-lickin’ hipsters over their mutual love of music and barbecue.

Watch This!

The Week in Viral Videos

From tumbling toddlers to tiny tiger cubs, watch our countdown of this week’s buzziest videos.

5. Raising ‘80s Awareness

Listen up, millennials. You better appreciate how easy your life is now because the struggle that was the eighties is real, and Kevin Bacon is here to tell you just how real it was.

[Movie Name] XXX

The Art of Smutty Spoofs

Modern porn parody goes a little deeper than titles like ‘When Harry Ate Sally,’ ‘Sorest Rump,’ and ‘Star Whores.’ Have we entered the age in which porn parody is actually respectable?

Modern porn parody goes a little deeper than comically spoofed titles like When Harry Ate Sally, Sorest Rump, and Star Whores. There’s the hardcore sex, of course, but adult audiences want more—they want something clever beyond the box cover. Have we entered the age in which porn parody is—gasp—respectable?


While porn spoofs have been around for years, it wasn’t until the late 2000s that they really broke through. The film was Not the Bradys XXX. Until then, studios had never so blatantly parodied mainstream sitcoms. The soundtrack expertly mimicked the original song. Surely a lawsuit was on its way. Instead, Not the Bradys XXX was a blockbuster. The actors were invited to Entertainment Tonight. Jackpot! Porn producers started chasing the money and parodied everything from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to Judge Judy. “Parodies came in at the time that DVD sales had first started to drop,” says Lee Roy Meyers of “So when these porn spoofs sold well, so many people jumped into making them that they flooded the market.”

Jenny McCarthy asked Twitter a question: What do you look for in a mate? Twitter had one response: Someone who isn’t anti-vaccine.

You don’t need a crystal ball to see how this was going to end. On Thursday, The View co-host Jenny McCarthy asked her 1.13 million Twitter followers a question: “What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks.” Twitter had one overwhelming response in mind: Someone who isn’t anti-vaccination like you, Jenny.


Lou Rocco/ABC

McCarthy, whose son was diagnosed with autism in 2005, is famous for arguing that vaccines are linked to autism in children. Though she has clarified that she “and the autism community” are not anti-vaccine per se, they are “anti-toxin and anti-schedule.” That is, she believes the standard vaccination schedule for kids is “too many too soon” and the “toxins” in vaccines (mercury, especially) cause children harm. “Isn’t it ironic, in 1983 there were 10 shots and now there’s 36 and the rise of autism happened at the same time?” she once asked Larry King. McCarthy only had anecdotal evidence from other parents to back her up but, according to her, “parents’ anecdotal information is science-based information.”

Hot Seat

Inside ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

The director of ‘(500) Days of Summer’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ opens up at length about his journey from No Doubt documentarian to Hollywood filmmaker, why his Harry Osborne’s better than “dopey” James Franco’s, and much more.

Marc Webb has a soft spot for SXSW, the music/tech/film festival behemoth. In the halcyon late-'90s and early Aughts, back when he was helming music videos for a plethora of screamo acts like AFI and My Chemical Romance, he’d make pilgrimages down to Austin, Texas, to check out music. Then, in 2009, his debut feature film, (500) Days of Summer, premiered there to massive plaudits on its way to becoming an indie hit.

Germany Spiderman Premiere

Markus Schreiber/AP

This year’s a horse of a different color. Webb is now an A-list Hollywood filmmaker, thanks to his blockbuster reboot The Amazing Spider-Man and the upcoming sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and as such, he’s down South to deliver a keynote speech about his climb up the Hollywood food chain.


Proof Angelina Jolie Is Perfect

An angel walks among us.

If anyone is going to be with Brad Pitt, they might as well be as equally perfect as him.  Enter Angelina Jolie.

Angelina Jolie

Jeffrey Mayer / Getty Images

Angelina Jolie, the star of Disney’s Maleficent, proves that she is, indeed flawless with a pleasantly long Q&A posted on Entertainment Weekly. She talks eloquently about daring to put on the horns of one of Disney’s most iconic villains in the upcoming film and talks emotionally about herrocky childhood, a dark phase in her teenage years, and her recent double mastectomy. The interview illustrates that, among all her other superlative qualities, is a remarkable level of self awareness.


Return to Planet ‘Mars’

Fans funded the big-screen version of Veronica Mars, and at one of the first midnight screenings the “Marshmallows” were out in force. They were mostly ecstatic to see their favorite detective reunite with old friends, even if “Logan’s not cute anymore.”

“The cold open for Season One, Episode 12 is the greatest thing that has ever happened.”

“Ohmigod yes.”

Veronica Mars

Kevork Djansezian/Reuters


Lady Gaga: Vomit + Moving Speech

The ARTPOP provocateur’s Doritos-sponsored SXSW show in Austin, Texas, featured light S&M, projectile vomit, and a nice speech dedicated to victims of the auto melee, which you can read below in full.

Even though she's a self-described pothead, the combination of pop provocateur Lady Gaga and a brand like Doritos for a mega-bash at SXSW was a bit of a headscratcher. Nevertheless, the ARTPOP singer unleashed a decidedly non-corporate show that was equal parts bawdy and bizarre.


Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The performance, set at the 2,000-capacity outdoor venue Stubb’s BBQ on Thursday night, got started with a bang: a striking woman took the stage and began fellate-eating sausages. Then there was Gaga herself, clad in a black bra and fishnet stockings, and sporting long, blond dreadlock extensions, being rolled out hog-tied to a spit by her backup dancers, who proceeded to baste her with BBQ brushes like a glammed-up pig while she sang “Aura.”

Spoiler Alert!

Scandal's Crazy OMG Moment

What the heck happened last night? Whether or not you found Scandal's big twist shocking, you can't deny this is a bold freaking TV show.

There’s a thing in television called “jumping the shark,” referring to a gimmick a series concocts to spike viewers’ interest, but ends up setting off a decline in quality instead. It’s the “too far” moment. Well, last night Scandal walked up to that shark, looked it in the eye, gave it the finger, and then walked around it, boldly proclaiming—taunting, actually—that it just does not give a flying fig about idioms and gimmicks and daring to go “too far.”

Kerry Washington

Eric McCandless/ABC

That shark has a name.  And its name is “#whogotshot.” (It’s 2014, people. Metaphorical sharks have hashtags in their names.) 

Growing Up

Who Invented the ‘Teenager’?

Neither child nor adult, this volatile group is a relatively new creation. A new documentary, opening in theaters Friday, looks at the evolving expectations for ever-angsty youth.

The angsty, hazy mind of a teenager is a source of constant befuddlement and dismay for full-grown observers. Each era of youth has a vice deeply unsettling to prior generations: be it the gin-swilling flappers, shrieking Beatlemaniacs, or fiercely political Vietnam protesters.


But this volatile period between childhood and adulthood and its distinction as a separate societal group is a relatively new invention, one that a new documentary called Teenage seeks to find the root of. 


Africa's Ugly Big Oil Problem

Rachel Boynton reveals the dramatic story of how she uncovered the truth about African oil corruption.

Sometimes it’s not who you know, it’s who you get to know.


In late 2006, documentary filmmaker Rachel Boynton was trekking through the oil-rich Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria, and gaining zero traction with masked militants who were regularly blowing up pipelines to disrupt the global economy and protest the official corruption and income disparity arising from the exploitation of their nation's precious natural resource.


World According to Wes Anderson


Mike Pont/FilmMagic

Wes Anderson opened the spring season of ‘LIVE From the NYPL’ by talking about his new film, Stefan Zweig, Francois Truffaut, and Marcel Proust.

Filmmaker Wes Anderson opened the LIVE From the New York Public Library’s Spring season on Feb. 27, chatting with the library’s Paul Holdengraber about his new movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was deeply influenced by the work of Austrian author Stefan Zweig. “I stole from Zweig,” Anderson said, and the result is an extraordinary tapestry of an imaginary Austro-Hungarian Empire from grandeur to decay. Though The Grand Budapest Hotel is a comedy, it is a dark comedy that foreshadows the sinister history of the two world wars and their aftermath. The film on one level illustrates Alain Finkielkraut’s observation that “Barbarism is not the prehistory of humanity but the faithful shadow that accompanies its every step.”

On Stefan Zweig:

Obsessive-Compulsive Noir

The First ‘True Detective’

Two detectives and millions of viewers consumed with solving wayward clues in the hunt for a killer—we’re talking about ‘Twin Peaks,’ of course.

No show has so happily scattered clues and jealously guarded its secrets as this one. A woman is found dead in a doom-gray town. Two detectives are dispatched to hunt down the killer. Their differences grate on the case. They sink into a nightmare as it soon becomes clear that there could be more than one victim—multiple girls have vanished. They interrogate members of this strange community and discover that many of them might be complicit in a dark conspiracy. You could twist yourself into a knot trying to untie the leads, but that hasn’t stopped obsessed viewers. It’s the obsession that matters, the procedural of code-breaking and theorizing that gnaws at you. What’s worse, there could be no solution to the mysteries.

Twin Peaks

ABC Photo Archives/Getty

I am of course referring to Twin Peaks.


Tim Graham/Getty

The jury at the phone hacking trial in London hears that Princess Diana sought allies to ‘take on’ Prince Charles in the media.

Princess Diana leaked information to the press in an effort to ‘take on’ her husband, Clive Goodman, a former royal reporter at the shuttered tabloid News of The World said in court today.

Diana was sensationally named by Clive Goodman, a defendant, as the source of a 1992 internal royal phone directory found in his possession.

At the phone hacking trial in London today, Goodman said that the high-level phone directory, known as the Green Book, which contained the personal phone numbers of senior royals, was sent under plain cover to his office in an envelope with his name on it. Princess Diana called him in person later that day, asking Goodman whether he received it. 

Why the GOP Is Angry About Colbert

When Stephen Colbert was announced as David Letterman's successor, Rush Limbaugh and company both criticized and politicized the move. Keli Goff discusses whether they're actually mad.

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