Thursday, August 23, 2012

Two for the day

  • On Kat Dennings, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the need for funny women in the Marvel Universe. (Alyssa Rosenberg)
Similarly, in Thor, Darcy was a fabulous reminder of how ridiculous it would actually be to end up babysitting an extremely handsome, exceedingly disconcerted man who wanders around trying to buy pets to ride, smashing coffee mugs, eating all the Pop Tarts, and talking like he stepped out of summer stock. When she zapped Thor with a taser or complained that she was being asked to do an awful lot for six college credits, Darcy punctured the occasionally stifling atmosphere Jane’s literal and metaphoric starry-eyed approach to Thor. Part of what’s fun about superheroes—and an appropriate thing to point out as a way to question their power—is their overwhelming incongruity. I don’t want to see Darcy as a buzz-kill if she and Jane take a jaunt to Asgard in Thor 2, but her sense of the absurd, deployed correctly, is another very funny way to express wonder.
Annie Clark is a Texan-raised musician, possibly the best guitar stylist in indie rock, and the maker of three ornate and slyly twisted pop albums under the name St. Vincent, a moniker taken from the recently shuttered West Village medical center. (“I was getting a lot of tweets about that,” she says. “People thought I was the hospital.”) David Byrne began his career as the captivating front man of Talking Heads before branching out into more or less everything: film, label-running, installation art, a disco musical about Imelda Marcos, blogging about science and bicycles. (His forthcoming book, How Music Works, is full of clearheaded musings on why pop functions the way it does.) They’re both stylish: good hair, good wardrobe. They attended last year’s White House Correspondents Dinner together, at NPR’s invitation, though wire-photo captions identified them as ­Byrne and “a guest.” And when word began circulating that they were working on an album—Love This Giant, out September 11 on 4AD and Byrne’s own Todo Mundo label—the universal reaction was: Boy, does that make sense. That makes perfect, perfect sense.

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