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.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.