Dodging bullets

I am admittedly an admirer of all things Beyoncé -- I wouldn't say I'm a fan, but I can't help but recognize the woman is a force of nature -- but I think even the most jaded observer would think her latest video is great in one way or another. Well, at least if she's a woman in her mid- to late-twenties or so.

Here's why: It has a clever narrative (can't we all relate to that awkward high school date footage) beautiful surroundings (where was this shot?) gorgeous attire (I want one of everything she wears in the first 20 seconds of the video) and really interesting camera work (does anyone know if they used a DSLR to shoot this?) I'm not really a fan of the song, but the video itself gives me some hope for the future of MTV's original medium.

Also, it should ring true to any girl who has looked back happily at the demise of past relationships and realized they definitely dodged a bullet or two.

"No negative blog viewing"

I just leafed through the latest issue of Complex Magazine (I have no idea how we started getting it in the mail, but a few months ago we did) and the article about the making of Kanye West's new album made me super jealous of the author, Noah Callahan-Bever, for being invited to spend time in Kanye's Hawaii studio this past spring. Whether you like hip-hop or not, talk about an amazing-intense-bananas creative experience.

Two of my favorite bits:

1. The list of "Kanye Commandments" tacked to the wall in the recording studio:

2. Nicki Minaj's hilarious anecdote:

"I don't even remember him ever working with a female rapper, so to be on an album and on a record this monstrous? I couldn't have planned it better in a perfect world.

I remember a conversation I had with Kanye every time I sit down to write now. Every single time I sit down, I remember him asking, 'What is it that you wanna say? It's not about rhyming words, it's about what you really wanna say.' The fact that he wasn't even looking at me when he said it-- he was on the computer looking at naked girls, I think-- it was just a life-changing experience."

"Life is not what you dream"

The Flaming Lips performing at Bonnaroo 2010; photo credit Kravitz/Film Magic via

“People say, ‘Why are you doing Dark Side of the Moon? It seems dark and cynical,’ but I don’t believe it is. I think it’s a great, simple mantra, this idea of ‘all that you touch and all that you see and all that you taste’ – the idea that your experiences are your life.

I think that says a lot to this crowd here, saying, ‘This isn’t about reading something in a book or watching a movie or being on the Internet. This is about really living life.’ It’s about your friends, it may rain on you, it’s going to be hot, you have to shit in some Porta-Potty. It’s about experiences, and that’s what your life is. Life is not what you dream, it’s what you live.”

-the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne about the band's decision to cover Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety at this year's Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee. I finally leafed through the July 8-22 issue of Rolling Stone, the one that contained the much ballyhooed article about Stanley McChrystal. But the part of the issue I liked most, which wasn't posted online, was Brian Hiatt's wrap-up of Bonnaroo.

Real talk from David Byrne

“The two biggest self-­deceptions of all are that life has a ‘meaning’ and that each of us is unique.”

-David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) in his new book, Bicycle Diaries, reviewed this week in the New York Times

Ha-- I'm looking forward to reading this book.