Cut Copy has always been good: the Melbourne group's second album in particular, 2008's In Ghost Colours, is full of dizzying, sad, and smart electro-pop, but they've just outdone themselves with "Need You Now," a soaring number with a long, LCD Soundsystem-like build-up, pretty melody, and memorable, sweet refrain. It's deeply '80s, and epic in the way this album's cover is epic. The album, Zonoscope, comes out February 8 on Modular. [Via] READ MORE
The family-owned Forever 21 has stood strong in the midst of the US debut of Topshop, the recession, and the persistence of other affordable women's clothing brands like H&M, Express, and more recent imports like Mango and Zara. As for the women's clothing brands that haven't persisted so well—Saks, Sears, Dillard's—Forever 21 often takes over those companies' ghostly former buildings and moves into them. Forever 21 made $135 million in 2008, the latest earnings figure available, and it's currently valued at $3 billion. It used to sell only one line for women; now it sells several, as well as menswear and maternity wear. READ MORE
Nestle, maker of chocolate chips and other things, is trying to come up with a type of food that speaks to our "gut brain," the figurative noggin, otherwise known as the enteric nervous system, that exists in our belly area and tells us when we are hungry and what for (vegan nachos with nut "cheese" and nut "beans," bien sur!) Writes the Wall Street Journal, the gut brain "is made up of some 500 million nerve cells, as many as there are in a cat's brain." READ MORE
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is allegedly running for president in 2012, has released this incredibly dramatic campaign video featuring an ear-popping James Horner-esque brass section with scary drums, echo-y, repetitive soundbites of himself talking in a way that suggests he is a famous president of the past known for his public speaking, and glimpses of historic moments in our country's history. There are even some movie trailer-like "credits" and a plug for his book, Courage to Stand, at the very end. ("AVAILABLE NOW.") Nice. [Via]
My favorite redhead Tori Amos is writing a musical called, so far, TBA, and it will be shown at London's National Theatre in April of 2012. That's all we know. What will it be about? What will it be called? Can it be, like, an adaptation of a Muriel Spark book, or the St. Trinian's series (which has since been made into a couple of quite fun films with Colin Firth in them, and whose setting is a bit like a choirgirl hotel)? Or a musical-length version of the song "Tear In Your Hand"? In the meantime, here is some Tori Amos in HD on the Internet!
American Apparel has taken to drawing seductive, exceedingly young-looking ladies in NSFW situations with the help of a graphic illustrator named Boris Lopez, who has done work for places that aren't clothing companies, like Hustler's Barely Legal and Tight. It's just easier than, but not quite as fun as, hiring models, and it seems to be part of an illustration trend cropping up on the AA website and that of its advertising partners. Regarding the products it actually sells, AA continues to do certain items right; I'm going to admit it's hard to swear off them entirely, and the staff where I live is so goddamn nice). But! if you have successfully given them the cold shoulder, or have never even gone in there, where are you shopping for your basics and things? [Via]
By now, we know that the cat is the most popular animal on the Internet, the "official mascot of the Internet," if you will, and Leigh Alexander will (did), in a lovely explanation on Thought Catalog of why the cat was anointed with this title. Strangely, or not, research actually shows that in the real world, where the majority of research is still conducted, the dog is more popular than the cat: READ MORE
"Why Condoleezza Rice Is a Great Catch" is a slideshow currently on MSN's BLTWY blog, and appears to be part of Condi's suggestively timed recent resurgence in the media — last week, for instance, she did a long and painful interview on Larry King replacement Piers Morgan's CNN show. The slideshow is actually derived largely from the CNN interview, and reminds us that Condi is really into football, knows how to cook, has style, is a trailblazer, likes working out, has "a way with words," is bringing in good money as a Stanford professor, and knows how to "rock out" because she is a classically trained pianist and was once in a band. But aside from the boobosity of mentioning some of those facts in relation to Condi's catchability, who is this article for? Could any of the people who read this article possibly be eligible bachelors or bachelorettes for Condi? Is Condi just supposed to go for any old MSN-blog-reading fool? (Thanks for the link, Meredith!)