Bill Callahan: ‘I can’t die life is too good, it can’t end’

With help from his wife and Lee Scratch Perry, the artist formerly known as Smog has opened up. Hes even talking to his neighbours, he says Originally, I was going to interview Bill Callahan at home in Austin, Texas. Then he was going to fly to London for a more efficient European press trip. Then his publicist forwarded an email from the 53-year-old songwriter: Every round-trip flight from New York to London melts 32 sq ft of polar ice … in light of global warming, any chance this could be done via FaceTime? These empires must crumble! Reading about A River Aint Too Much to Love his last as Smog, the name he made music under since 1990 nature has …

The warrior critic: in praise of Pauline Kael

The New Yorkers legendary reviewer would have been 100 this year. Here, fans of her work assess her essential contribution to film journalism David Thomson Essential and kind of crazy To be mad about the movies, must you be mad? Isnt sitting in the dark, hooked on light, a little odd? The shrewdest thing to say about Pauline Kael beyond recognising that she was essential is that she was kind of crazy. Yet determined to seem rational or in control. She would have been 100 this year. That is a fanciful proposition, for she often seemed emotionally closer to 19, which must have been some strain if you realise she was nearly 50 before she stumbled into the authority she …

The great green expansion: how ring-necked parakeets took over London

Was Jimi Hendrix responsible for the bright-green tropical birds presence in the capital? Or was it Katharine Hepburn? Electric Ladyland wasnt the only thing Jimi Hendrix released in 1968. One day in that tumultuous year he left his flat on Brook Street, Mayfair, and strolled down nearby Carnaby Street with a birdcage in his hands. I like to think that he was dressed in a tasselled jacket and flares, his favourite Fender Stratocaster slung across his back. Or perhaps he travelled incognito, in a trenchcoat and dark glasses. Either way, somewhere on that street, the heart of Swinging London at the height of peace and love, he opened the door of the cage and unleashed two bright green birds: Adam …

The trouble with the tapback: No one agrees what they actually mean

They are instruments of chaos.Image: Vicky Leta / Mashable In September 2016, Apple released iOS 10. With it came the iMessage Tapback, the convenient and highly ambiguous reaction feature that — nearly three years later — no one quite knows how to use. Tapbacks were created, one assumes, to make texting more convenient. It’s true that they’re nearly effortless to employ: Simply press on a message until you’re presented with the Tapback options — a heart, a thumbs up, a thumbs down, a HAHA, a double exclamation point, and a question mark — and pick the one you want. Easy, right? You didn’t even have to type anything! Here’s the trouble, though. There’s no practical consensus on what, exactly, Tapbacks are supposed …

From Gentleman Jack to Killing Eve: who are TV’s greatest lesbian icons?

TV fans have been spoiled for women-on-women scenes on our screens of late. We celebrate with a rundown of the characters whose impact on the world is permanent and forever Get the rollers out! The drama about Gentleman Jack AKA Sally Wainwright. As youre playing her, youre aware that everybody has a right to be who they are, regardless of sexuality, Killing Eve or I heart you, and Pipers reply: I heart you? What is that I love you for pussies? Well, that, and their awarding her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 was a hugely emotional moment. Sophie Webster, Coronation Street Sophie (Brooke Vincent) starting her sapphic adventure was the key surprise element of the 2010 New Years …

Why I (Still) Love Tech: In Defense of a Difficult Industry

Stefan Dinse/EyeEm/Getty Images (clouds) And yet I still love the big T, by which I mean either “technology” or “trillions of dollars.” Why wouldn’t I? I came to New York City at the age of 21, in the era of Java programming, when Yahoo! still deserved its exclamation point. I’d spent my childhood expecting nuclear holocaust and suddenly came out of college with a knowledge of HTML and deep beliefs about hypertext, copies of WIRED (hello) and Ray Gun bought at the near-campus Uni-Mart. The 1996 theme at Davos was “Sustaining Globalization”; the 1997 theme was “Building the Network Society.” One just naturally follows the other. I surfed the most violent tsunami of capital growth in the history of humankind. …

50 great tracks for May from FKA twigs, Sunn O))), Stormzy and more

From Bruce Springsteens return to Dorian Electras magnificent electropop read about 10 of our favourite songs of the month and subscribe to our 50-track playlist of the best new music to start summer

Carly Rae Jepsen: Im more confident in my weirdness now

The Canadian popstar on true love, bad outfits and her new album, Dedicated When greatest chorus of the 21st century, she was aiming for a sense of childish excitement. Its how she writes much of her pop as she puts it today, I want to feel Im on the top of a mountain with Beyonc-wind in my hair and I can fly for a second. Jepsen is one of pops more intriguing characters. When Call Me Maybe entered the Hot 100 in her home country, Canada, seven years ago she thought shed made it. Then Justin Bieber heard the impossibly catchy track, creaky version on live TV. In the video for Jepsens follow-up hit, I Really Like You, Famous Blue …

How the Videogame Aesthetic Flows Into All of Culture

When the science fiction film Edge of Tomorrow, directed by Doug Liman, came out in 2014, WIRED called it “the best videogame you can’t play.” The film’s main character, Bill Cage, repeats the same day again and again—a day of futuristic combat with aliens. Each time he dies, Cage wakes up again on the previous day. Everything is as before, with the crucial difference that he remembers all the previous versions of that fatal next day. The repetitions are the film’s equivalent of a videogame’s replayability, and Cage’s battle skills improve, just as a player’s skills improve through replay. But Cage is not a player. He is a character in a narrative film, so the repeated days are in fact …

Richard Madden: I dont like the look of me in the mirror

Bodyguard made him a star but he hasnt always been comfortable as the lead. He talks about bullies, his inner fat lad and new Elton John biopic Rocketman For some lucky actors, there are moments when their career suddenly shifts into a higher gear. The right part comes along, the world notices, and boom! their whole life is different. This happened to Richard Madden with Bodyguard, in August last year. He played the tight-mouthed, tight-muscled David Budd, personal minder to Keeley Hawes home secretary, Julia Montague, in Jed Mercurios six-part BBC One thriller, and the country went bananas. Bodyguard was great TV gripping, unpredictable, sexy, with a madly OTT finale but nobody could have predicted the furore it would cause. …