it’s been 3 months since Carrie died. and i was thinking today, it’s sort of… it’s comforting to know that she was happy with her life. she was writing, publishing a new book. she was doing tv. she was doing movies. she was doing star wars again. like, you could see she was in a good place. she stole the spotlight during the promotion for tfa and she was going to do it again for tlj. she “shocked” everyone by announcing she had an affair with harrison ford 40 years ago, and she wrote a book on it. she didn’t give a fuck. she did campaign against trump and she told people to go fuck themselves; she congratulated a pregnant interviewer on the sex; she told ellen degeneres she was open to dating an oxford professor; she showed an interviewer the middle finger after he said anyone would look good sitting beside jabba the hutt; she joked about how other people’s opinions on her appearance hurt 3 of her feelings even tho she was hurt by it; she wanted to move to the uk bc she didn’t want to live in the same country as trump; she threw a birthday party at a hotel in italy at 2am and the cops showed up at 5am to stop the party; she was strong, and she was honest, and she was brave.
it’s comforting to know what a thrill her life was, and that she still lived it intensely. but it’s also so fucking unfair exactly because of that. it was too soon.
I feel like you have to connect with fans; individual connection is important. It never used to be that way. It used to be—I’m talking 30, 40 years ago—the less people knew about you, the better, the more different roles you could play. There’s a pro and a con to the whole thing. What I find is that the individual connections you have with fans that transpire—once you get a great message or see some artwork, it’s really humbling. I see it as a plus in that regard.
40 years ago a princess, a scoundrel, and a farm boy brought A New Hope… and a lot of fun, to the galaxy. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars with our new Giphy page. Click here. It’s where the fun begins.
It’s not like we weren’t warned. Rumors had long swirled about the sound of former One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles’ upcoming solo career taking inspiration from ‘70s rock staples Queen and David Bowie, and Styles’ own fashion statements of recent years certainly telegraphed his interest in being considered part of the British rock continuum. But still, it can’t help but be a little shocking to hear Harry’s solo debut “Sign of the Times” for the first time, to hear that thudding piano intro give way to soaring guitar and dramatically sighing vocals. It’s strangely disconcerting in how familiar it all feels.
Throughout the song’s nearly six-minute run time, the memories of British rock history shoot off like fireworks – spanning from late-period Beatles to Bowie to Listen Without Prejudice-era George Michael to Suede to Robbie Williams and even early Coldplay. It doesn’t sound like a tribute to (or rip off of) any of these artists – it just sounds like someone who’s grown up studying at the feet of all these titans and now wants to try his hand at joining their ranks. And to Styles’ considerable credit, he basically succeeds: “Sign of the Times” is as lighter-waving, arm-swaying, random-mate-hugging a power ballad as they come, sounding – as many have pointed out on Twitter on this somewhat apocalyptic-seeming of Fridays – like the appropriate montage soundtrack for the end of the world.
But whatever IRL timeliness the song’s strength-in-weariness lyric delivers, musically, the song’s title comes off as pretty ironic. Fact is, “Sign of the Times” couldn’t sound much less like 2017; a pop era where rock music is viewed as increasingly archaic and even the biggest bands – no shade to LCD Soundsystem – seem to be trading in their guitars for turntables, or at least some enormous synths. To hear Harry’s big return keyed to a song built around Elton John piano and George Harrison guitar slides is pretty jarring: Ten years ago, the song would’ve felt somewhat safe, 20 years ago it would’ve felt downright pandering, 40 years ago it would’ve been Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself.” But right now, it feels practically subversive.
And you know what? The rock part of it isn’t even the most surprising thing. What’s really staggering about “Sign of the Times” is just how goddamn British it is. Look at the paths the other One Direction members have taken since the group went on indefinite hiatus: Louis is making EDM bangers with Steve Aoki, Zayn is trying to catch a ride on Drake’s luxury liner and Niall (Irish, not British) is making Mumford-via-“Hey There Delilah” folk-contemporary. Hell, look at 1D themselves: Their last few albums were heavily rock influenced, but took cues from Fleetwood Mac, Journey and Def Leppard – the latter a U.K. band, but one way more popular with American audiences – rather than anything proudly British.
Styles, meanwhile, practically sounds like he’s draping himself in the Union Jack and yelling “Yanks Go Home.” He’s created the perfect song for British rock fans who wish Glastonbury would go back to more traditional headliners, who wonder why 20 years after Be Here Now essentially ended the Britpop moment, nobody seems interested in picking up Oasis’ mantle. (The Gallagher brothers will probably hate it.) In the U.K. as in the U.S., the entire musical mainstream seems to be going global, and that’s mostly a good thing, which has led to some interesting and boundary-breaking music at pop’s center. But there’s something undeniably refreshing about a huge pop/rock song with this strong a sense of its home country’s musical history and identity – you just don’t hear much of that anymore, coming from anywhere.
It’ll be fascinating to follow what radio does with this song. It doesn’t sound like anything topping the charts on either side of the Atlantic, and it’s just about impossible to imagine American top 40 stations scheduling six minutes of this in between Chainsmokers and Bruno Mars jams. But less than a day into its lifespan, the song already seems to be striking a big enough chord – it rocketed to the top of the iTunes charts within hours of its middle-of-the-night U.S. release – that it might soon prove equally impossible to imagine the biggest stations ignoring it entirely. If this really is the film soundtrack to the end days, then cue the Don LaFontaine trailer voice: IN A WORLD where pop was ruled by trop-house and Ed Sheeran, ONE MAN dared to try to bring British rock back to the mainstream. Let’s sit back and see how this unfolds. - Billboard
This award is so much larger than me. This moment is about visibility and about representation. What and who we see in the media defines our perception of the world around us, and so to see ourselves in this picture of what is ‘normal’ and what is acceptable and what is beautiful is absolutely vital. In saying that, so much of the work that has contributed to our progress as a community is far less glamorous than the work that I’m being honored for tonight.
toichiro suzuki: a pureblood wizard who is convinced that muggles, muggle-borns and squibs don’t deserve a place in his world. he’s developing spells and rituals that could, if finalized and well-executed, allow him to definitely steal someone else’s magic. he is very influent in the ministry of magic and could very well become the next prime minister if his plans come to completion. his army of death eaters is ordered to look for, gather and groom wizards whose magic would be worth stealing. his family is old and powerful and he intends for his son shou to follow his footsteps.
keiji mogami: despite being known for most of his life as an amazingly talented and hopeful wizard, he unexpectedly turned into a dark wizard and took the world by storm, 40 years ago. he seemingly had no clear goal or ideology, and simply became, without any warnings signs, the most “successful” mass murderer of the wizarding world. however, just as quickly as he came to be, he suddenly vanished and went MIA for decades, until the rise of a new tyrant and the discovery of very talented and monstrous young wizards piqued his curiosity. he’s apparently made himself an unreasonably high number of horcruxes, but no one knows how many exactly.