LPX Takes Us Through Her Electrifying Debut EP

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Listen to ‘Bolt In The Blue’ here

Grit and guts make glory on LPX's debut EP, Bolt In The Blue. Lizzy Plapinger's first project outside of MS MR takes off with a jolt of distorted guitar and doesn't stop until the final bite of snare. Each of LPX's six songs shines with the sweat of a successful night downtown. Even the tender moments, like those on the EP's title track, pulse with an attitude few can muster. We're talking Karen O tenderness, folks: piercing, relentless, and magnetic. Throw on your prized leather jacket and slip on those killer boots—you know, the ones that click-clack just so on the sidewalks?—because LPX will rock and roll you. (Pre-order the EP here.)

This was the first song I wrote for LPX, and it perfectly crystalized my vision for the project and laid the foundation musically for everything to follow. It came out of a wild writing session with my friend and collaborator James Flanningan (who also executively produced the EP) while we were working in the jungle in Nicaragua. He started ripping that main guitar line, and I got on the mic and started stream-of-consciousness screaming into the mic—most of the final vocals we used were from that very first moment. The whole thing was like a magical out-of-body experience. Ultimately it’s a song about wholly throwing yourself toward someone or something regardless of whether you succeed or fail.

This is possibly my favorite song I’ve written to date. It’s so incredibly painful and personal that allowing myself to translate that into the music and vocals was a real breakthrough moment for me. I’ve never been more direct and raw in both my lyrics and delivery than I am here. It was liberating to channel so much aggression and vulnerability in such a bold and earnest way so that even in its most tortured moments, there’s still an element of strength and power in it.

I wrote this song with Jen Decilveo (who also produced the track), and it was one of my first experiences ever working with just me and another woman in the studio (something that should not be as rare as it is!). I was struggling with withdrawal from someone who had been so paramount to my world. I was equal parts elated to have experienced a kind of once-in-a-lifetime connection while also being confused as to how they could have walked away from it, and “let it slide.” Jen pushed me to really dig into all the nuances of euphoric agony which I think she really captured in the track. (It's heavily inspired by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Le Tigre.) We originally wrote the whole thing on the piano as a ballad, but we were honestly having so much fun in the studio that it ended up turning into a banger.

"Bolt In The Blue"
Trump had just won the election, and I was a mess, like most other people in the country and world. I was so consumed by my anger and disappointment that it took me a minute before I could get myself back in the studio. When I finally did, I wanted to write a personal riot anthem to remind myself (and hopefully others) to keep fighting and pushing back. I was able to collaborate on this song with Zac Carper, the lead singer and guitarist of one of my favorite punk bands, FIDLAR, which was incredible. He has such an amazing ear and creativity for guitar tones and parts, and the combination of him, James, and I in the studio was a wild one. He brought this sort of seductive and aggressive NIN vibe to the track that pushed it over the edge to become the kind of powerhouse tune it needed to be.

"The Fog And The Fear"
I’m such a highly visual person that often the visual or the video comes to me before the song does, and this was one of those instances. In the wake of the election, I felt the enormous divide of family and friends who didn’t see the world, and our country, eye-to-eye. I had a visual in my mind of eyeball veins that, as you drew in closer, started to look like electricity and as you continued to zoom in, looked like a wall of lit up fog with people standing on either side of it. At first, they can’t see it, but as they do, they start to try and peel away at it to try and see through to the other side. This song and story developed from there.

"Red Queen"
I’m not one to usually write an ego song, but this particular track came out of an experimental writing session with friend and producer, Guy Connelly. He had already produced the track, and I immediately fell in love with it for the way it merges electro, pop, and rock all at once in a way that reminded me of the Klaxons. I scatted over it three times, and then we took all our favorite sections and pieced them together like a jigsaw puzzle—something I’ve never done before. It was so interesting to see my subconscious reflected back at me. This song is about power dynamics rooted in ego. It’s sometimes falsely apologetic and mildly sarcastic, but ultimately, it’s about a kind of female strength.

Photo courtesy of TNT.

The gang takes on a casino this season

For its third act, the TNT series Claws is here to prove that it's still the gaudiest show on television.

Claws follows a criminal underworld in Florida that lurks just beneath the surface of a local pain clinic, a strip club, and, most prominently, a nail salon. Despite wanting to make a legit business out of her nail salon, HBIC Desna (Niecy Nash) has spent the past two seasons getting deep into a life of crime. She has had the help of her autistic brother Dean (Harold Perrineau) and the four women she loves the most—Southern belle and con artist Polly (Carrie Preston), silent possessor of Big Strap Energy Ann (Judy Reyes), restlessly sober Jenn (Jenn Lyon), and former stripper Virginia (Karrueche Tran)—who are all back together in the new trailer.

Spoiler alert: Virginia was shot trying to protect Desna at the end of last season. But she survived, and now she's rocking a bedazzled eye patch as the gang takes on their next venture: a casino. "We own a casino," says Desna in the trailer, as we see shots of people gambling and money thrown in the air. "If we play this right, we can all level up." As always, trouble follows, the manicures are over-the-top, and, as an extra treat, Dean is still pursuing his dream of being an adult dancer.

Claws returns for Season 3 on June 9. Check out the trailer, below.

Claws: New Season Sunday, June 9 [TRAILER] | TNT

Photos by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for WE Day, Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

He also thought Lana Del Rey telling him he would be guillotined was a compliment, so we don't think he understands women

In a new memoir called Then It Fell Apart, singer Moby alleged he had a relationship with actress Natalie Portman when he was 33 and she was 20. But, in a new interview with Harper's Bazaar, Portman set the record straight, saying that his description of their relationship is false and contains other factual errors, that makes his behavior seem even grosser than it already did.

Not only did Portman say that the two didn't date, but that he also misrepresented her age. "I was surprised to hear that he characterized the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school," she said. "He said I was 20; I definitely wasn't. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18."

She says that they met when she went to one of his shows: "He said, 'let's be friends'. He was on tour and I was working, shooting a film, so we only hung out a handful of times before I realized that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate."

Portman also stated that she was not contacted to fact check this information, noting that "it almost feels deliberate." "That he used this story to sell his book was very disturbing to me. It wasn't the case," she said. "There are many factual errors and inventions. I would have liked him or his publisher to reach out to fact check."

Another part of his memoir describes a conversation with Lana Del Rey, in which she joked about how wealthy he was. "You're a rich WASP from Connecticut and you live in a five-level penthouse. You're 'The Man.' As in, 'stick it to The Man.' As in the person they guillotine in the revolution." His response: "I didn't know if she was insulting me but I decided to take it as a compliment." This only further proves that Moby doesn't understand women at all, which may explain how he took a couple of hangouts with Portman to mean that they were dating.

Moby has since responded to Portman's statement in an equally creepy Instagram post with a photo of him shirtless with the actress, calling the interview a "gossip piece." "We did, in fact, date. And after briefly dating in 1999 we remained friends for years," he said. "I like Natalie, and I respect her intelligence and activism. But, to be honest, I can't figure out why she would actively misrepresent the truth about our (albeit brief) involvement. He also said that he backs up the story in his book with "lots of corroborating photo evidence, etc." He then ends with this: "I completely respect Natalie's possible regret in dating me(to be fair, I would probably regret dating me, too), but it doesn't alter the actual facts of our brief romantic history."

Among many other things that are questionable about his claims, if you have to have "corroborating evidence" to prove a relationship that one person claims didn't happen, you're doing the whole "dating" thing wrong.

Photo by Jerritt Clark / Stringer / Getty Images.

She's been wonderfully honest about the ups and downs of her procedures

There is a good chance that, right now, Cardi B is wearing really something really tight. I'm not talking about one of the pieces from her Fashion Nova collection, either. Instead, she's probably cooing at baby Kulture while swaddled in a compression garment, a necessary part of the healing process after certain cosmetic surgery procedures.

As reported by E! News, Cardi B has had to cancel several performances after her doctor ordered her to rest and allow her body to recover following cosmetic surgery. A rep for Cardi explained to E! that "Cardi was overzealous in getting back to work" and that "her strenuous schedule has taken a toll on her body and she has been given strict doctor's orders to pull out of the rest of her performances in May." This followed an admission by Cardi herself, at the Beale Street Music Festival earlier this month, that she should have canceled her performance because moving too much would mess up her lipo.

Cardi's transparency about plastic surgery is nothing new for her. She has opened up in the past about her underground butt injections, including the financial pressure she felt and the risks she took to get them. She's been open about both of her breast augmentation procedures as well, most recently getting them redone after giving birth to her daughter. But Cardi's transparency about the ups and downs of plastic surgery is still rare amongst celebrities and is therefore refreshing.

And it's not just celebrities who keep quiet about these procedures. The first person I knew to get a butt augmentation was a friend from high school. We reconnected as adults, and I remember going to her apartment after her surgery, and seeing her pace the floor in her compression garment, since it was still too soon to sit and put pressure on her backside. But even in the comfort of her own home, she seemed to speak in a hushed tone about having had the surgery. Before I'd arrived, she just told me she'd had a "medical procedure," and didn't say anything more. This has been the case for other women I've met who have gotten "work" done, including my aesthetician, a colleague who got a nose job, a darling YouTuber with whom I had the pleasure of having dinner; all of them would only acknowledge their enhancements in secret—the shame was palpable, and unfortunate. It's clear that women who get plastic surgery might be celebrated for the results, but there's an expectation that they should keep quiet about it, and feel bad for having made a choice about their own bodies.

So it's no surprise that, in the pop culture realm, people like Cardi are exceptions to the rule. Thanks to the internet, we can easily track the fullness of a celebrity's lips or backside over the course of time without them ever explicitly acknowledging the medical intervention that took place. And while people, of course, have the right to privacy, and should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies without offering explanations, it would still be nice if they opened up, if only to take away the attached stigma that affects so many people. Which is why I hope Cardi's willingness to lay it all out there becomes a trend. No one should have to harbor shame for investing in having a body that looks the way they want it to.

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Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"In my head I thought, This is how it ends"

Kit Harington almost lost a lot more than the Iron Throne while filming the final season of Game of Thrones. According to an interview with NowThis News, the actor almost lost one of his balls while riding a mechanical dragon.

Harington revealed that the incident took place when he was filming the scene where his character, Jon Snow, takes a ride on Rhaegal for the first time in the Season 8 premiere. Since dragons aren't real (sorry), Harington was filming the scene, where Jon almost falls off the dragon and then swings around to pick himself back up, on a mechanical contraption.

"My right ball got trapped, and I didn't have time to say, 'Stop,'" Harington said in an interview. "And I was being swung around. In my head I thought, This is how it ends. On this buck, swinging me around by my testicles, literally." We see shots of the fake dragon he's riding in front of a green screen, and it does look pretty terrifying.

Luckily, his testicles remained intact through the near-disastrous event, and he's survived with quite the story to tell to unsuspecting journalists.

Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for goop

"I had to create a harder shell about being a woman"

In a panel discussion during Gwyneth Paltrow's In Goop Health summit, actress Jessica Alba revealed that she "stopped eating" to avoid unwanted attention from men when she was first starting her career in Hollywood.

According to People, Alba said that she "had a curvy figure as a young girl" and, as such, was made to feel as though her body was the reason that men may be inappropriate toward her. "I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men," Alba said during the panel discussion. "Then I stopped eating a lot when I became an actress. I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn't get as much attention. I went through a big tomboy phase."

She continued, "In Hollywood, you're really preyed upon. They see a young girl, and they just want to touch you inappropriately or talk to you inappropriately or think that they're allowed to be aggressive with you in a way."

Alba also noted that she was raised in a conservative household. "My mom would say, 'You have a body, and it's very womanly, and people don't understand that you're 12,'" she said. "I wasn't allowed to have my nalgas out, which is butt cheeks [in Spanish], but I was born with a giant booty, and they come out of everything. So, I didn't get to wear normal things that all my friends wore."

She said that these reactions to her body really affected her attitude. "I created this pretty insane 'don't fuck with me' [attitude]," she said. "I had to create a harder shell about being a woman."

According to her, her relationship to her body only changed when her first child, Honor, was born in 2008. "[After she was born,] I was like, Oh this is what these boobies are meant to do! Feed a kid!" she said. "And that was the dopest shit I'd ever done. So, I came into my body as a woman finally and I stopped being ashamed of myself."