band crush: the courtneys

all photos via the courtneys on facebook

on slurpees, carmen san diego, and touring with tegan & sara.

If you were going to break into your big sister’s room while she was at her best friend’s sleepover to uncover her diary and call your friends over to read it out loud together, chances are, it would read a lot like The Courtneys’ lyrics.

“I watched you play guitar all night. Blonde hair, you’re really quite a sight.” (Delivery Boy)

“Running through the field in a velvet gown, thinkin’ of him as the rain falls down.” (Nu Sundae)

“Making minimum wage, you just work to get paid. But it’s not gonna give you a better reason to live here.” (Insufficient Funds)

Kathleen Hanna has said that inspiration for the Julie Ruin in 1997 came through a girl writing songs in her bedroom. When it comes to The Courtneys’ music, that’s also basically what you get: The ultimate soundtrack for the time you lived vicariously as a teenager through your Barbie dolls, living out actual moments you read about in your older sister’s handwriting.

And while their ’90s-inspired girl power-fueled music might sound like it could be Riot Grrrl-flavored, Jen Twynn Payne will tell you it’s an insult to Riot Grrrl to compare her band to the infamous political movement from the era of scrunchies and Dr Martens.

But The Courtneys are the type of band who you’d expect to stock their merch table with Puffy Paint and vintage math books—and I can’t wait for you to meet them.

The all-girl trio is made up of three different “Courtneys”:

Courtney Loove—AKA “Classic Courtney”—on guitar and vocals
Sydney Koke—AKA “Crazy Courtney”—on bass and vocals
Jen Twynn Payne—AKA
“Cute Courtney”—on drums and vocals (yes, drums and vocals).

I had the chance to chat with Sydney Koke over the phone, which felt a lot like dialing up your crush at a sleepover. That’s because Koke relayed all of my questions to Jen and Courtney IRL, while sitting outside of the PNE Fair in Vancouver (the same place they filmed the video for “Lost Boys”—and where Jen was going to obsess over a Game of Thrones exhibition straight after our interview).  Between answers, I could hear them giggling and trying to find the right ways to say what they wanted. In the end, I did uncover something similar to a teenage girl’s diary from the ’90s. I found out what the best Slurpee flavor is, where in the world Carmen San Diego actually is, and which band tees are actually impossible to get rid of.

If you could make a comic book featuring your favorite badass chick, musician, actress, or celebrity, who would be the leading lady?
I’ve been reading a whole bunch of graphic novels by this author who is really sweet, by the name of Alison Bechdel. She’s so amazing. She is so cool and a lot of her work is autobiographical and I’ve been reading all of her stuff for the last month. Since she’s already in her own cartoon, I wouldn’t even want to improve on that. She is one of my biggest literary heroes. The last book I read by her was called Fun Home and it was really, really good.

What is your favorite music venue where you like to see other bands perform live?
Courtney says The Commodore in Vancouver, but we don’t know what its like to play there yet, because we are playing there this week for the first time. I think my favorite one ever is the one where I went to go see punk shows when I was a teenager. It’s called the Multi (as in, like, the multicultural center) and it was just like this super grungy community center on the edge of a river. All these different kinds of punks would go and it was just a very open environment. There was lots of moshing, and it was just really fun. That was like the first place I ever saw a band.

What was one of your favorite venues to play while on tour with Tegan and Sara?
Jen says The 9:30 club in Washington D.C. It’s so nice! They give you cupcakes when you play there and we had, like, two different dressing rooms. My favorite venue on tour was probably a tie between First Avenue in Minneapolis because that’s where Prince recorded parts of Purple Rain—which his like one of my favorite albums ever. It was really cool to actually be standing in the same room that the album was recorded in. So, yeah, that’s tied with this place that’s like a botanical garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan. To get to catering you had to go between all the different plant rooms. There was one room that was just for carnivorous plants and it was really sweet.

“There was one room that was just for carnivorous plants and it was really sweet.”

What’s one thing you found out about Tegan and Sara while touring with them that you didn’t know before?
Jen can’t answer that because she’s their cousin, so she knows them pretty well. I had met them just a few times and I really respect how professional they are. They are super in charge of everything they do, they don’t sit back and let a manager tell them what’s up. They are the bosses of this huge group of people and this huge enterprise and I just really respect the way that they operate. They’re really good examples of being a working musician and living a healthy lifestyle. They make sure everyone on their team is super cool and make up a really positive community to be in.

I totally get a Kathleen Hanna / Riot Grrrl Vibe from you guys, but I don’t really see a comparison to those things anywhere online. How do you guys feel about that movement?
We sometimes get the Riot Grrrl reference and I think that it makes sense sonically, but a big thing about Riot Grrrl was that it was very politically fueled in a really explicit kind of way. Jen has said before that when it comes to her lyrics, she’s not trying to be intentionally political at all, that she is just really writing about her life—just like normal stuff. She sees it as kind of an insult to Riot Grrrl to call us a Riot Grrrl band specifically because we’re not intending to be political. We’re from the West Coast to and we can’t deny that there’s a culture of musicians that we listen to or that we are influenced by the music that comes before us, but I think we’re more influenced by ‘90s boy bands, like Pavement, Dinosuar Jr, and Fugazzi. All art is political so we are political by default, but we aren’t intending to have a political message. I think that’s one thing we have in common with Tegan and Sara, too, is that they end up being really political on account of their identity, but they’re not trying to be that way. They’re almost making a statement by being themselves and we definitely relate in that way. There is definitely a level of honesty in our music.

“I think that’s one thing we have in common with Tegan and Sara, too, is that they end up being really political on account of their identity, but they’re not trying to be that way.”

Best Keanu Reeves movie?
Courtney says Point Break or The Matrix.

What are some old band tees you own that you just can’t get rid of?
Jen always wears a Slayer shirt and has Metallica one that is really falling apart. Courtney doesn’t wear band tees that much. I just have a few: a Tyvek shirt, a Liars shirt, and So Pitted from Seattle. That’s a surfing term, but yeah, they made these t-shirts by hand.

You’re so ‘90s. Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?
Courtney says she had a game called Where in Time is Carmen San Diego and that sounds really cool. When I was watching the show I would have always pretty much guessed Chicago, I don’t know why. I always thought Chicago seemed so cool. Every time I’ve been to Chicago I loved it.

I was just there for Lollapalooza!
Oh yeah, we love playing festivals. We went to Firefly with Tegan and Sara and we just want to play festivals all the time.

I know you guys love Slurpees. So, what is the best Slurpee flavor?!
I think we would all say Coke. We all pretty much get Coke, but sometimes Courtney gets banana. Sometimes we get Coke with a little bit of cream soda, too. We love Slurpees, we’re probably going to get Slurpees right after this.

And, yes, I’m pretty sure they did.

We also see Margot Robbie take on Sharon Tate

The new trailer for Quentin Tarantino's upcoming movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood gives a look at the Manson Family. In the previous clip, we saw Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio at their funniest. Now, we get to see Margot Robbie take on actress Sharon Tate, Lena Dunham become a cult member, and how the fictional and real-life story lines will intersect in the film.

Per a press release, the film—that follows a fictional story set around the time of the real-life Manson murders—"visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore."

In this clip, after being introduced to Dalton and Booth, viewers get to see how the latter ends up mingling with the Manson Family. As Booth picks up a girl (Margaret Qualley) on the side of the road, he unknowingly welcomes a Manson family member into his life and begins to visit their ranch. The fiction and real-life stories intersect when we find out that Dalton lives next store to Tate, who was murdered by the members of Charles Manson's cult in 1969.

Watch the new trailer for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood ahead of its July 26 theatrical release, below.


Photos by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

This photo proves that they are the chillest onscreen family

Sophie Turner just posted a photo of herself, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright—aka the Stark siblings—to her Instagram, showing just what the three used to get up to when the Game of Thrones cameras weren't rolling.

The photo shows Wright looking quite pleased with himself while sitting on a makeshift throne, wearing no pants. As he should be, seeing as (spoiler) his character, Bran, won the Iron Throne this weekend. Williams, meanwhile, is looking way too cool to be involved in the shenanigans, wearing a pair of black sunglasses and staring absently off-camera. As for Turner, she's looking away from her onscreen brother, too, nervously smoking a Juul.

"The pack survived," Turner captioned the photo.

This photo just goes to prove that the Stark siblings are the chillest onscreen family. (It also proves, yet again, that Turner's social media is an absolute delight.)

We're actually a little sad that this footage didn't make it into the final season, considering how many modern-day objects have been spotted in the show's last few episodes.

Photo via @mileycyrus on Twitter

Meet Ashley

Miley Cyrus shared the trailer for her forthcoming Black Mirror episode, and it's basically Hannah Montana set in a dystopian future. Cyrus is a pink wig-wearing pop star named Ashley who is rolling out an in-home virtual assistant, named Ashley Too, that looks like her and shares her voice. But, as is the case with every Black Mirror episode, this technology is not as cute and fun as it's advertised to be.

In the trailer, we get the idea that Ashley is all about wanting fans to "believe" in themselves—but underneath that pink wig, maybe she doesn't feel that same self-love. After Ashley Too introduces herself to fan and new owner Rachel, promising to be her friend, we get a look at Ashley's darker side. She's depressed and tired of the pop star life. A record label executive says to several people in the room, "She doesn't understand how fragile all this is." As they consider upping her dose of medication, Ashley's life is on a downward slope. "It's getting so hard to keep doing this," she voices over glimpses of a police car chase, performances, and breakdowns backstage.

But back to the technology: Does Ashley's breakdown also mean the breakdown of Ashley Too? Looks like it. We see Rachel's virtual assistant screaming, "Get that cable out of my ass! Holy shit! Pull it out," breathing a sigh of relief as soon as they pull it out. A title card then reveals the episode name, "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too."

Watch the full trailer and get a full view of Cyrus' cyborg-esque pop star look, below. Black Mirror returns to Netflix on June 5.

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Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty Images.

Several actresses allegedly had "issues" with him

Lena Waithe's Showtime series, The Chi, just lost one of its main characters. Jason Mitchell, who was also set to appear in the Netflix film Desperados, has been dropped from both projects following multiple allegations of misconduct. He has also been dropped by his agent and manager.

Hollywood Reporter heard from a source "with knowledge" of The Chi, who says that Tiffany Boone, the actress who plays Mitchell's girlfriend on the show, is just one of several actresses who had "issues" with him. She eventually told producers at Fox21 that she could no longer work with him after filing several sexual harassment complaints. Apparently, her fiancé, Dear White People co-star Marque Richardson, would join her on set when she would shoot with Mitchell.

While news of Mitchell's alleged misconduct is just now beginning to surface, it looks like the ball started rolling on the fallout weeks ago. He was dropped from Desperados and replaced by Lamorne Morris before filming began. A source from the production team said that the producers received "specific information" that they reviewed and acted on quickly. Similarly, a source familiar with Mitchell's former agent, UTA, said the decision to drop him a few weeks ago was very quick following the allegations.

Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Prior to the college admissions scandal, she said she doesn't "care about school"

Apparently, Olivia Jade wants to go back to school despite all those YouTube videos that suggested otherwise. Back in March, it was revealed that her mom, Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, and dad, Mossimo Giannulli, had scammed Jade's way into the University of Southern California. Now, Loughlin faces jail time, and Jade lost out on plenty of lucrative ad partnerships.

According to Us Weekly, "Olivia Jade wants to go back to USC," per a source. "She didn't get officially kicked out and she is begging the school to let her back in." Another source though ousted Jade's real motivation to the publication. "She knows they won't let her in, so she's hoping this info gets out," they shared. "She wants to come out looking like she's changed, learned life lessons and is growing as a person, so she for sure wants people to think she is interested in her education."

Jade previously shared in a YouTube video she's in college for the "experience of like game days, partying" rather than the education. She also said, "I don't know how much of school I'm going to attend... I don't really care about school, as you guys all know." Though these statements were made prior to the scandal coming to light, her brand partnerships didn't come into question until her parents were indicted.

Right now, despite previous reports that Jade and her sister would both be dropping out of USC, Jade's enrollment has been placed on hold—meaning she cannot register for classes, or even withdraw from the school—until her parents' court case comes to a close. Then, the school will make its own decision as to how Jade will be affected. I think, either way, she should have to pay off a few of her classmates' loans for all the BS she pulled.