Jean-Michel Basquiat joined “joined the pantheon of great, great artists” Thursday night, when the late painter’s 1982 work Untitled sold for a record-breaking $110.5 million at auction — the highest sum ever paid at auction for a U.S.-produced artwork
The theme of the night was “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art Of The In-Between,” honoring the bold, architectural creations of Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo, and Katy Perry gave her best take on the motif in a bright red Maison Margiela ‘Artisanal’ dress designed by John Galliano, which she paired with a silk veil, intricate “Witness” headpiece and red leather heeled boots.
Hillman died Friday at age 98.
When describing Hillman, people who personally knew him, used words such as humble, generous, inquisitive and brilliant. He gave away millions to give Pittsburgh and the people who call this city home what we have today.
By Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
The arts are a regular target of budget cuts, but this is a huge mistake, say Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton. Kids who participate in arts do measurably better at school, career, life, and arts enrich communities economically and culturally.
Indeed, according to four longitudinal studies compiled and published by the National Endowment for the Arts, young people who engage regularly with the arts are twice as likely to read for pleasure, three times more likely to win an award for attendance or be elected to class office, and four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement or perform community service.
Bit by bit, the lost masterpiece revealed itself: the Mona Lisa mouth, the subtle brushwork, the gossamer glaze. Now, several years after the world learned that a painting long thought to be a copy was, in fact, the work of Leonardo da Vinci, the $127.5 million masterpiece, “Salvator Mundi,” has landed in the middle of one of the most astonishing art scandals in decades.
What began in the rarefied realms of Monaco and Geneva, with allegations of stolen Picassos and marked-up Modiglianis, has now jumped the Atlantic and drawn the attention of the U.S. Justice Department. Federal prosecutors, following the lead of European authorities, have opened an inquiry into one of the art world’s consummate insiders, Yves Bouvier, and his dealings with the rediscovered Leonardo, according to people familiar with the matter.
“Saturday Night Live” and its network, NBC, seemingly can’t decide what to do with Donald Trump. One thing, however, is for sure: choosing at once to sever business ties with the businessman because of his racist comments last year followed by having him host the weekend sketch comedy show less than six months later drew pause.
But with the latest bit from the show poking fun at the race-related furor Trump has kicked up as the leading Republican presidential nominee, something’s got to give, and the show may be trying to take a stand.
2015 Emmy Awards
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images
So between the jokes, the booze, the awards and the surprising moments, it can become quite the task to keep up with what’s going on.
Don’t you fret, friend. That’s what we’re here for! Here are some of the best and worst moments from the 2015 Emmy Awards:
Binge Truth: Anyone who has ever decided to binge-watch a TV series felt deeply connected to Samberg’s opening skit. Locking himself away for a year, without any connection to the outside world, to catch up on all of the series out there is real life for many of us.
“And let’s not forget what night is really about, celebrating hilarious women and letting the Internet weigh in on who looks the worst,” Schumer added. THE AMY’S FOR PRESIDENT! Or at least, host the Oscars?
Problem Solved: Ricky Gervais may or may not win tonight, so he had a plan. Why not play it safe and just hold an Emmy while presenting so pictures make it seem like he won? Boom. Problem solved.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Rebel With a Cause: Jimmy Kimmel wants the power. He has the power. He has the card. And he decided to cut out the winner from the card (and eat it ) so he could give the award to whoever he wants. Congrats, Jeffrey Tambor!
Positive Message: Following a heartfelt speech from director Jill Soloway, who urged people to vote for trans rights, Transparent‘s Jeffrey Tambor dedicated his award to the transgender community. “Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for letting us be part of the change. God bless you.”
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Awkward Alert: Terrence Howard went in for the kiss on the cheek while presenting with Empire co-star Taraji P. Henson, and she just rubbed it off and made a face, LOL!
Smokey Eye for the Win: While tearfully accepting her award, Schumer made sure to mention someone very important—her makeup artist. “Thanks everybody who has helped me and my…the girl who gave me sort of this smoky eye. I really love it.” LOL!
Sweet Mommy Moment: When accepting her award, Regina King concluded her speech with a sweet mention to a very important young man in her life. “My son, Ian. The fact that I get to share this night with you, the best date in the house. Oh, man. You make being a mother my greatest accomplishment. I love you.”
So Many Feelings: That montage of series finales from this year was too much. Seriously. The emotions are everywhere. WE WEREN’T READY.
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images
Bleep Award:..goes to Game of Thrones‘ D.B. Weiss who said, “When people say they didn’t plan things, I always thought they were full of s–t.”
All Together Now: FINALLY! Jon Hamm has taken home an Emmy for his role in Mad Men. About damn time.
Breaking Barriers: Viola Davis gave a powerful speech upon winning the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, the first woman of color to ever win this category.
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
Tracy’s Back: Making a surprise appearance, Tracy Morgan, who made his return to the stage to present the final award of the night. “Thanks to my amazing doctors and the support of my family, my beautiful new wife, I’m here.”
And the jokes were back, too. “Only recently, I’ve started to feel like myself again, so, which means a whole lot of y’all women gonna get pregnant at the after-party. It’s going down.”
Nominated shows like Empire, Transparent and How to Get Away With Murder reflect increased appetite for television that reflects racial and gender diversity
However, there are signs that the Emmys are finally catching up with TV’s new world. Due to a number of rule changes, and viewers’ increasing appetites for shows that reflect the racial and cultural diversity of America, this year’s ceremony, which takes place in Los Angeles on Sunday and will be hosted by Andy Samberg, has the potential to be groundbreaking.
To date, no woman of colour has ever won the outstanding lead actress in a drama award. Yet this year, both How to Get Away with Murder’s Viola Davis and Empire’sTaraji P Henson stand a strong chance of taking home the award over fellow nominees Claire Danes (for Homeland), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Mad Men (Elizabeth Moss) and Robin Wright (House of Cards).
Both shows have been massively successful. In February, Empire – a torrid soap with a largely African American cast set in the music industry – astonishingly became the first show since 1992 to increase its ratings over the course of its first five weeks on air (most shows have a popular first week, then immediately plunge in week two). Empire is also hugely popular on social media, with a much-anticipated second series due to launch on Fox next week.
Henson, who plays Cookie, a soap villainess in the tradition of Dynasty’s Alexis Colby, has “a very good shot” at the prize, says Daniel Montgomery, a senior editor at awards prognostication website GoldDerby.
Davis, meanwhile, will be hoping the Emmy will provide company for the Screen Actors Guild award she won in January for female actor in a drama series. During her speech, she thanked How to Get Away With Murder’s production team “for thinking that a sexualised, messy, mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old, dark-skinned African American woman who looks like me”.
Transparent, Amazon’s show about a transgender woman played by Jeffrey Tambor, may also break new ground. If it wins the Emmy for outstanding comedy, it will be the first show on a streaming service to take one of the two major awards. The same will be true if Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt wins – though both face stiff competition from perpetual winner Modern Family, expected to take the prize for the sixth time.
House of Cards or Orange Is the New Black could also provide Netflix with its first major awards triumph if they can best Better Call Saul, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland and Mad Men in the race for outstanding drama.
GoldDerby’s Montgomery describes Tambor, up for lead actor in a comedy, as “the safest frontrunner in any category at the Emmys”. A victory for Transparent would cap been a banner year for transgender visibility on television, which began when Laverne Cox became the first trans actor to win an Emmy, for Orange Is the New Black, and continued with the launch of Caitlyn Jenner’s reality show I am Cait, which charts her exploration of her new female identity.
At last week’s Creative Arts Emmys, which honour technical achievements in television, Transparent won awards for costumes, main title music, and Bradley Whitford’s guest performance. “I love to be in a show that is a voice of understanding, compassion and radical inclusion,” Whitford said in his acceptance speech. “We’re not there yet, but non-judgment day is coming.”
Meanwhile, the offscreen awards categories are also becoming marginally less male, though women are still woefully under-represented. On Thursday, the Women’s Media Centre analysed the writing, editing, producing and directing categories and found that this year this year 25% of the nominees are female – slightly up from the 22% average over the previous 10 years.
“The bottom line: if more women were hired as writers, directors, editors, producers, and especially as creators and executive producers, the talent pool for nominations would be more reflective of the overall population and audience – more than half of which are women,” Julie Burton, the WMC president said.
It’s not just political and social changes threatening to drag the Emmys into the modern day, but the rules behind the awards themselves. Earlier this year the Academy ofTelevision Arts and Sciences, which runs the show, made some alterations to reflect changing viewing habits and to prevent shows from “category shopping”, or bending the rules to insert their shows into the categories they were most likely to win.
Under this new rubric, all 30-minute shows are considered comedies and all hour-long programmes go into the drama categories. Appeals can still be made – Glee successfully lobbied to compete as a comedy for its final season – but Orange is the New Black failed and will be competing in the drama category for the first time.
“Emmy judging is generally preferential, so in order to have the voters rank the nominations one against the other, apples need to compete against apples,” John Leverence, senior vice-president of awards for the academy, told the Guardian. “If category shopping results in apples mixed in with oranges, there can be no true preferential voting.”
Under the new rules, they have both been shuttled to a category called “limited series” defined as “programmes of two or more episodes with a total running time of at least 150 minutes that tell a complete, non-recurring story, and do not have an ongoing storyline and/or main characters in subsequent seasons”.
British hopes at the awards are represented by eight nominations apiece for Wolf Halland Downton Abbey, with UK actors up Emmys including Ricky Gervais (outstanding lead actor in a limited series or a movie for the Derek special), David Oyelowo (for HBO’s Nightingale, in which he plays a man descending into insanity) and Alan Cumming (for The Good Wife.)
While some are having their first shots, there are many final chances for Emmy favorites. The Colbert Report, which went off the air at the end of 2014 so that Stephen Colbert could take the reins of CBS’s Late Show, and the iteration of The Daily Show fronted by Jon Stewart, will square off for the last time in the Variety categories.
Hamm, who plays dissipated adman Don Draper, is frontrunner in the outstanding lead actor category against Bob Odenkirk (for Better Call Saul), Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) and Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan).
Game of Thrones also has a chance to enter the record books on Sunday night. This year, it is the most nominated show – with 24 nods in all – and it swept the board at the Creative Arts Emmys, winning eight trophies. Just two more wins on the main stage will beat the nine trophies won by The West Wing in 2000, currently the record holder.
Will a fantasy show set in a fictional medieval kingdom be the main winner on the year the Emmys finally face the future?
ABC/Ida Mae Astute; ABC/Lou Rocco
“To hear the hosts of The View speak so ignorantly about a nurse just reminds me again how little people truly know about nurses. We are strong. So strong. We deal with sickness, pain, and death on a daily basis. Some of us hold the hands of mothers who are bringing life into this world, while others are holding the hands of those who are taking their last breaths. We work long, tiring hours that are mostly spent on our feet. We forgo lunch and bathroom breaks to make sure that our patients receive the best care. We work holidays and weekends. We spend more time with our co-workers than our own families. This is the life of a nurse—my life. The life of so many wonderful, caring, amazing people. “She adds, “So, to the hosts of The View who think that nurses walk around in costumes with doctors’ stethoscopes around their necks: think again. At the same time you were sitting in your comfortable chairs, laughing at and judging us, we were too busy to watch your show because we were at work saving lives. When’s the last time any of you can say you’ve done that?!”Kelsey Tiffany, Los Angeles.
“I feel the comments made by The View were wrong and judgmental. It was clear they spoke nationally about a subject they know hardly anything about. As a current nursing student, I have realized how important nurses are—not just in the aspect of caring for the sick, but also being the eyes and ears for the doctors. We don’t just wear stethoscopes to look ‘cool’—we wear them for a number of medical reasons. The way the women on The View spoke about us made it sounds like we’re unnecessary in the medical field. It was incredibly upsetting But when one of them shows up at the hospital and needs our care, we’ll be there—because that’s our job: to treat every patient with the same amount of true compassion and heartfelt concern.”
Lee Ann Lung
“I give [Miss Colorado] props. Nursing is a talent. For her to bring national attention to it was very admirable. The View‘s response highlights the danger of some talk shows where some say things that are not very well thought out. It did a disservice to a large portion of the public… I will not watch The View again, they have lost me as a viewer.”Jill Mullins, Indianapolis
“I just think those ladies are ignorant. But I feel like the majority of people have no clue what nurses do all day or how much of their life we hold in our hands… I’m not discrediting the work everyone in a hospital does. We are all important and all need one another to function but I think sometimes, more often than not, the nurses have the majority of the patient’s time and problems in their hands.”Those ladies just don’t know. I think their job is ‘not a profession,’ as the one lady said, but it’s probably because I don’t really know or understand what their job entails. I’d like them to spend a day with us. Everyone’s job is relevant. Everyone.”
Alexandra Oetjen Instagram
“I love my job and I could not tell you how happy it makes me to help bring people back to life, help them cope with an illness or even to be a hand to hold when there is nobody there… but nothing about it is easy. I am the one who had to deal with getting yelled at, spit at, called names, etc. I am not unimportant.”For women who make more money in one hour sitting and blabbing about nonsense than I make in a month, I am absolutely horrified at the lack of respect they have for the working class. I work my butt off in a very busy trauma center and I feel like them saying I dress up in a costume (which is usually covered in blood, feces, vomit and god knows what by the end of the night) is just so disrespectful. I will not watch that show. It is not worth my time…I will continue to do my job that I love because I love it! And I hope that when one of them gets sick and needs somebody, that they really are the side of nursing that they were so very ignorant of.”Obstetrics Nurse
“I think Miss Colorado did a really great job standing up for our profession and it’s exciting to see such camaraderie amongst all the nurses. I think the ladies of The View should do a 12 hour night shift.”
ABC/Ida Mae Astute
“The comment about the doctor’s stethoscope was so ignorant in the fact that multiple disciplines of the medical field use them. Personally, we use a stethoscope assessing our patients more than anyone.”I still believe there is a level of respect that most people don’t have for nursing. Until you’ve spent 12 hours caring for a child and it breaks your heart every time you walk into the room because the father can barely look at you without crying… You really just can’t understand fully some of what we go through until you experience it.”Brianne Marshall, Phoenix, Ariz.
“All I have to say to the women of The View is: your ignorance is showing. Joy Behar admitted that she didn’t even know what kind of clip she was looking at. I think this says more about the level of professionalism on their show than it does about nurses. If making uneducated and unfiltered comments about things on nationally broadcast television is your thing, that’s fine, but don’t be surprised when people inevitably take offense to something you say and stop supporting your show.”Also, as far as the ‘apology’ they put out, no thanks, you can keep it. It was less of an apology and more of a ‘hey girlfriend, I was totes kidding…some people are so touchy!'”
“I heard she used nursing as her talent in Miss America or something and they said that wasn’t a real talent and nurses all over are furious. I heard about it but I’m indifferent to the whole thing. I don’t care.”—Reporting by Baker Machad
Justin Bieber rocked the “Today” show with a brand new look — and some major attitude.
The pop star, who showed off his newly bleached hair on the morning show Thursday, was caught complaining about a cameraman who was filming his performance.
As the segment was cutting away to commercial, Bieber grumbled about how the crew member was too close for comfort.
“Next time I won’t dance because the camera’s here the whole time,” he raged. “Might as well not dance.”
“What do I do this for if they’re just going to…” he added, before the show went to commercial.
While displeased with the cameraman, the singer was happy with his fans’ reaction to his new hairdo.
“You guys like the hair?” he asked, leading the crowd to scream their approval.
This isn’t the first time the singer has gone platinum blond, having also bleached his hair in late 2014. But it still made for a striking change when combined with his new sideswept hairstyle.
Bieber’s fans waited overnight to catch his performance on the morning show, which included his No. 1 single “What Do You Mean?”
The 21-year-old also received a plaque from Guinness World Records honoring him for being the youngest male artist to have a song debut at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
As for how Bieber feels about returning to the spotlight with a new album, he said he doesn’t really consider it a comeback.
“I didn’t really leave, but I took a little time to do some soul searching for sure,” he said.
He also said that he’s been emotional during his recent stage performances, such as crying at the MTV VMAs, because “it just feels so great to feel the acceptance.”
The Legends of Tomorrow are coming to life.
On Friday, a new image provided the first look at Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée) and Hawkman (Falk Hentschel), who will both first appear onArrow and The Flash before moving on to the spin-off.
Hawkman, a.k.a. Carter Hall, is the latest reincarnation of an Egyptian Prince who is fated to be reborn throughout time along with his soulmate, Kendra Saunders. Like Kendra, Carter can access the powers of the Hawk God, Horus, transforming him into a winged warrior. Hawkgirl, meanwhile, is known for being one of DC Comics’ first female superheroes. On the show, Saunders will be starting to learn that she’s been reincarnated over and over again — and that wings sprout out of her back when she’s provoked. Get more scoophere and here.
Legends also stars Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/The Atom), Caity Lotz (Sara Lance/White Canary), Wentworth Miller (Leonard Snart/Captain Cold), Dominic Purcell (Mick Rory, Heat Wave), Victor Garber (Martin Stein/Firestorm), and Franz Drameh (Jay Jackson), whose disparate band of heroes and villains are brought together by Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) to defeat immortal threat Vandal Savage.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is slated to debut midseason on The CW.
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A lot of people don’t like metal. And that’s ok. Metal isn’t supposed to be easy. In fact, its roots come as a reaction against that very thing. But talking to people who think they despise heavy metal is often just as difficult. Most people know about Metallica and Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, but they’re what’s considered mainstream.
Introducing your easy listening friends to metal doesn’t have to be an exercise inGreen Eggs & Ham-level obsession with you chasing them around while clutching your collection of Deicide or Pig Destroyer records. Just as in the case of Sam I Am, sometimes trying something new can and often results in what’s a literally life-changing experience. We picked out 10 gateway records that could convert even the non-metal listeners.
1. Deafheaven, Sunbather
Although Deafhaven’s full-length debut Roads to Judah dropped in 2011, the San Francisco group has since become one of the most engaging metal bands since that time when Alcest actually sounded like black metal. With 2013’s Sunbather, Deafheaven took that very influence, framing it within compositional nods to “totally unmetal” artists/bands such as Johnny Marr, The Edge, and My Bloody Valentine. The vocals are most definitely harsh and the black metal foundation is ever present, but Sunbather primarily works so well due to the fact that that otherwise abrasive ferocity is carried by way of an unrelenting beauty and atmosphere. While the word “beauty” often results in the unfortunate gag reflex of many a metalhead concerning Deafheaven, it’s the selling point of one of today’s most captivating bands, metal or not.
2. ISIS, Panopticon
All stupid terrorist jokes aside, ISIS remains one of the most influential groups not only for their metal cohorts but for a litany of non-metal artists who take their strides from the band’s ornate-meets abrasive stylizations. Despite being disbanded since 2010, Boston’s post-metal giants have continued to make waves, even leaving on the high note that was their best album with 2009’s Wavering Radiant. But it was 2004’s Panopticon that marked the biggest shift in ISIS’ history, as the band employed a wider range of possibilities with what their music could accomplish rather than sticking to one particular (in this case very sludgy) brand of heavy. Just under an hour long, Panopticon is, much like its namesake, a complex and beautiful sonic journey, rendering scenes as psychologically rooted as they are physiologically concerned. It’s that combination of the abstract and the palpable that came to be the definitive characteristic of ISIS, and it began here.
3. Mastodon, Crack the Skye
One of the reasons that the hugely successful and (mostly) bearded Mastodon have become the new whipping boy for metal’s most cross-armed crybabies is likely the very thing that gives the Atlanta-based foursome an appeal to non-metal minded audiences. After three concept albums so multifarious that even Peter Gabriel would tear up, the group upped the ante and released Crack the Skye in 2009. The plotline is about as logical as your entire 70s prog collection. But it’s that same prog rock influence, which had continually growing throughout each previous Mastodon release, that came to a brilliant head on Crack the Skye. Both clean vocals (no yelling, softies) and also harsh vocals (avert your ears, softies) come packaged with some of the genre’s most astounding guitar and rhythm work since the mid-‘80s.
4. Opeth, Blackwater Park
Aside from chocolate, ABBA, and that cool movie about the vampire kid, the Scandinavian middle finger known as Sweden has given the world one of the most important metal bands of the last 20 years in Opeth. The group started in 1990 in Stockholm, but the band’s debut album Orchid served a necessary precursor to what would come with 2001’s Blackwater Park. The quintessential metal album of the 21st century so far, Blackwater Park not only raised the standard for the band who created it but for the genre and culture that would come in its wake. Even with Opeth’s much more cuddly recent efforts, the band’s most timeless and groundbreaking effort is largely so because of the band’s perfectly achieved balance between some of the most devastatingly harsh death metal vocals and the jarringly beautiful melody lines sung throughout by near-mythically versatile vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt.
5. Pallbearer, Sorrow and Extinction
A more recent example of metal’s less aurally difficult acts, Little Rock’s Pallbearer arrived on the radar of many non-metallers almost right out of the gate. Their songs are long but not overly so; they’re are ornate without falling under the weight of their own compositional structure. It’s pop slowed down to a crawl with a healthy dose of atmospheric, Pink Floyd-inspired psychedelia. For any metal band to have pop appeal is like some fiction out of the early ‘90s (cough), but alas, 2012 not only saw that very thing but from a doom metal band no less. It’s a testament not only to Pallbearer’s individual members’ abilities as songwriters but also to the evolving fanbase of a genre that’s far less the oddball in the crowd than it used to be.
6. Pinkish Black, Pinkish Black
Sure to gain the ire of metal purists for not being metal enough (or whatever the hell it is this week), Fort Worth’s Pinkish Black released its full-length debut in 2012 to immediate acclaim. In addition to the well-deserved praise, the duo’s music managed to be just as unsettling as nearly anything else considered extreme. Trading blast beats, shredding riffs, and indecipherable vocals for keyboards and a set of drums, Pinkish Black invokes a devastatingly heavy atmosphere that speaks as much to Joy Division as it does Popol Vuh. Born from some genuinely gruesome circumstances that directly influenced their moniker, Pinkish Black’s most powerful asset is their deliberately subdued presentation of all that makes heavy metal the force it is, and also proof that the paths to dark music are many, all with their own singular definition of what the word “heavy” can mean.
7. Royal Thunder, Crooked Doors
Released just this year, Crooked Doors is positively infectious for a straight up hard rock record. The band’s transition from its first to second records was a natural one with vocalist Mlny Parsonz (Mel Parsons) belting out her lines with a range that would make Grace Slick proud. Crooked Doors doesn’t require much patience on the part of the listener. From start to finish, the album kicks into a ‘70s hard rock edge with a punk rock ethos courtesy of Parsons’ singing which varies from graveled sneering to stratospheric melodic lines in the refrains. Not just one of the year’s best metal releases but one of its finest examples of no frills, no gimmicks, and no bullshit rock ‘n’ roll.
8. SubRosa, More Constant Than the Gods
One of 2013’s best metal releases came by way of Salt Lake City’s SubRosa. A five-member multi-instrumental force, the band’s sheer depth of sound is something to behold. While the use of orchestral instruments, specifically in this case the violin, is nothing new to heavy metal or “extreme music”, SubRosa’s implementation is not simply an exercise in arbitrary timbre. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find any other heavy metal band whose use of otherwise delicate instrumentation is even remotely as commanding as SubRosa’s. Active since 2005, More Constant Than the Gods is the group’s third album and handily their best. Similar to Pallbearer, SubRosa is quintessentially a gateway band, giving listeners a glimpse into the too often overlooked versatility in heavy metal.
9. Torche, Meanderthal
Released in 2008 on the now (sort of) defunct Hydra Head Records—one of the most highly respected experimental music labels of the last decade—Meanderthalwas an immediate anomaly in the metal world. The music is some of the heaviest on this entire list but the vocals are clean and actually quite pleasant. Singer/guitarist Steve Brooks pairs his baritone against a backdrop of doom metal on speed. Often referred to as “sludge” or “stoner” metal, Torche is modern metal’s answer to Van Halen or Cheap Trick in many ways. The music is fun. Metal is fun. You may actually find yourself smiling while headbanging. Stranger things have happened. For many previously uninitiated metalheads, Meanderthal still remains the standard gateway to what would become a gloriously loud journey into heavy metal.
10. YOB, Clearing the Path to Ascend
Eugene, Ore.’s YOB formed in 1996. It was the same year that Tool, one of the most well-known crossover metal bands released the masterpiece known as Ænima. The connection doesn’t stop there, though. Years later, the two bands would tour together with YOB opening for the mighty Tool and their cult-like legions of fans. Having YOB open was no flippant choice on the part of Tool who, like many other globally recognized names, could have just as easily gone with a run-of-the-mill act or some slightly less well known act. Even that moment of pride doesn’t come close to YOB’s greatest triumph to date. That moment came just last year with Clearing the Path to Ascend, a four-track journey into some of modern metal’s most emotionally charged and unwaveringly gorgeous moments of the last several years. Mike Scheidt may very well be the most versatile vocalist in the metal game today, easily switching from bottomed-out growls to stratospheric vocalizations as tenderly vulnerable as they are definitively unassailable. Of its four tracks, no song perfectly captures the band’s unshakeable distinction among its peers as does the album’s closer “Marrow”. It’s just one of the many reasons you’re likely to hear this band’s name much more often in the near future.
Bachelor in Paradise concludes its second season with a two-night finale on Sunday, Sept. 7 and Monday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. on ABC.