Posts Tagged ‘MTV News’

‘Dreaming the Beatles’ Author Rob Sheffield on the Fab Four’s Unstoppable Pop

May 17, 2017

I wonder if that longevity has something to do with another key element of the book — that The Beatles were “a pop group” and “a rock band,” and you talk about them as both.

Sheffield: The fact that they play in both of those leagues is one of the really weird things about them. There’s something utopian about the way they float over that distinction. Their original concept of “rock and roll,” which is what they called it when they were just starting out — it’s amazing how expansive it was. They were really into playing blues, R&B, country, American rockabilly, corny cheesy show tunes, upscale New York professional-songcraft stuff like Goffin and King, girl-group stuff.

It was controversial, even at the time when they were playing in Liverpool. Paul has this funny story in his book about how the other Liverpool bands thought The Beatles were good at playing blues covers, and that it was lame that they wanted to play pop stuff. Mick Jagger was saying, “We were blues purists. We like pop stuff, but we would never do it onstage.” But [Motörhead singer and bassist] Lemmy talked about seeing The Beatles at the Cavern Club, and he was like, “That’s the most ferocious live band I’ve ever seen.” The idea of a 16-year-old Lemmy going to the Cavern for the lunchtime show, and all these office girls who are there with their hair in rollers, dancing around their handbags.

It’s funny that the definitions of rock and pop became more exclusive and narrow-minded since then. The Beatles were beyond that from the beginning. Their conception of rock and roll was so wide-ranging and so imaginative that there was something revolutionary about it. They would try playing anything new: Motown, Carl Perkins, The Music Man, all on the same record or in the same set. They were very self-consciously provocative about that. Even [girl groups like] the Marvelettes or the Shirelles or the Chiffons. [The Beatles] liked singing in that girl-group style of vocals together. Like, no, The Rolling Stones did not do that.

It’s my great pleasure to make my MTV News debut by interviewing Rob Sheffield about his tremendous new book Dreaming the Beatles, the best thing about the band I’ve ever read. It sidesteps the canonicity argument completely and talks about how the Beatles’ presence in pop culture didn’t just end with their amazing eight-year run, but continued to grow and change and get even bigger among different groups of kids and musicians every decade since. Absolutely stellar work, and I’m so glad I got to pick Rob’s brain about it.

Oh no she Downt’nt!

February 15, 2013

I made a list of the 12 best Dowager Countess quotes from Downton Abbey season three for Rolling Stone. This was a fun piece to put together.

And at MTV Splash Page I wrote some stuff about who’d win in a fight between Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones and a bunch of X-Men characters, now that Peter Dinklage has been cast in the next X-Men movie. It’s every bit as silly as it sounds.

Watching the ‘Thrones’: Panic! at the Red Keep

May 7, 2012

What Are They Doing With Dany On ‘Thrones’? | Video | MTV

The latest MTV News Game of Thrones video roundtable once again covers my two favorite moments from the episode. Also, I’m wearing a FREE GAIUS Battlestar Galactica t-shirt handcrafted by 24/7 Magnum, and that’s pretty exciting to me.

Watching the ‘Thrones’: Shadowboxing

April 30, 2012

In the latest MTV News Game of Thrones video roundtable, I talk a bit about a certain shadowy aspect of last night’s episode that I wasn’t crazy about but didn’t really get to talk about in my Rolling Stone review. Plus I wear a bitchin’ Monster Squad t-shirt from Found Item Clothing. Check it out!

Watching the ‘Thrones’: trifecta!

April 23, 2012

Catelyn Faces Off And A Shadow Baby Is Born On ‘Thrones’ | Video | MTV

In the latest MTV News Game of Thrones video roundtable I got to hit three of the things I most wanted to talk about in last night’s episode: Littlefinger, Qarth, and the birth of the shadow baby. It doesn’t always work out that way. Also: Linda from, Jill from The Mary Sue, and MTV’s Josh Wigler. Check it out!

And if you missed it, here’s my review for Rolling Stone, featuring the most extensive comparison between Game of Thrones and American Psycho you’re likely to read anywhere.

Watching the “Thrones”

April 2, 2012

The other boiled-leather boot drops: I’m doing a weekly series of Game of Thrones video review/recaps for MTV News! It’s a roundtable with host Josh Wigler and the intimidatingly dapper Lucas Siegel of, with weekly special-guest appearances by Elio & Linda from I’m quite pleased with how this first episode came out, given that it was indeed our first episode. I’m also quite proud of my t-shirt. Take a look!