"May December; Holiday Gift Guide” w. Slayyyter | Crooked Media
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December 06, 2023
Keep It
"May December; Holiday Gift Guide” w. Slayyyter

In This Episode

Ira and Louis discuss new Todd Haynes film May December, Christmas songs, Criterion films, and Chris Wallace’s rude Adam Driver interview. Slayyyter joins to discuss her new album Starfucker and her creative inspirations. Plus, our annual (kinda) Holiday Gift Guide.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

[AD]

 

Ira Madison III And we are back for an all new episode of Keep It. I’m Ira Madison, the third.

 

Louis Virtel I’m Louis Virtel. And you know what? It truly is Christmas season. And I have to tell you, I spend so much time now resisting Christmas music because that season of it’s not time yet is now longer than the actual time you’re supposed to listen to Christmas music. So I feel like frazzled and stressed by the time I actually hear Nat King Cole, like, okay, I accept you into my life again.

 

Ira Madison III But now it’s time, according to Mariah.

 

Louis Virtel Right. I do like the not yet hashtag or whatever she does before. It’s like she actually is telling people to shut up, too, which we need condescension from divas. Not everybody acts like Patti LuPone anymore.

 

Ira Madison III Although maybe she should have let people start early because Brenda Lee took that top spot this week.

 

Louis Virtel I will be talking further about Christmas songs in my Q but this week, added Brenda Lee. But yeah, I guess this was inevitable. If we’re looking at the upward swing of these songs that come back every year, it’s just so interesting that that’s the one that people really return to more than any other. Like, wow, like Frank, Dean and Sammy all found dead in a ditch.

 

Ira Madison III You have to talk about Brenda Lee’s Blackfishing?

 

Louis Virtel Now, what is that?

 

Ira Madison III Blackfishing, You know, like pretending to be black. Oh, it’s like Pink’s first album. Brenda. Brenda Lee. She was Give a sister.

 

Louis Virtel Okay. Brenda Lee singing There You Go. Or whatever are you make me.

 

Ira Madison III Sick or say it to Santa Claus.

 

Louis Virtel Talking about you.

 

Ira Madison III First of all, I need our listeners at home to know that every weekend is about venture with this show. Sure. Since I moved, sometimes I’m in the studio. Sometimes I’m at home. Today I’m back in the studio just like Nicki Minaj, whose album will never come out this week. Probably.

 

Louis Virtel Still anticipating it. Yes.

 

Ira Madison III Baby, you are Pink Friday, two, is what she’s going to say.

 

Louis Virtel I love how she’s like Elmer Gantry, like an old timey televangelist. Like here comes the greatest album, you know?

 

Ira Madison III But this week I’m in the studio and, you know, ran into my good friend Penn Badgley just now in the hallway.

 

Louis Virtel Ira was just in the hallway. He comes back to record and I would describe you as stressed like that. Penn is just around the corner.

 

Ira Madison III It’s funny because I like I opened the door and then I just met with him.

 

Louis Virtel That reminds me of one time I left the screening of the movie Destroyer. Remember the movie Destroyer? Director Karyn Kusama.

 

Ira Madison III Of course I do.

 

Louis Virtel And I was like, Well, okay, that’s the end of that.

 

Ira Madison III That’s Anne Hathaway, Right?

 

Louis Virtel Nope, nope, nope. I’ll tell you who it is. I leave the theater and who’s standing out there waiting to talk about it with the audience? Nicole Kidman. Some people should not be face to face with me. Excuse me? Especially if you’re seven foot four and you have, like, long, beautiful Amy Irving like dresses, as Nicole Kidman did that day.

 

Ira Madison III Okay. What’s the Anne Hathaway movie where she’s the giant and the monster?

 

Louis Virtel That movie is called Colossal.

 

Ira Madison III Okay. Colossal. Destroyer. Yes, that’s Nicole Kidman. That is like back when I was in L.A. and I saw a premiere of I’m Not Beautiful Boy, that’s the Timothee Chalumet

 

Louis Virtel A Boy Erased?

 

Ira Madison III Refused to see Boy Erased. Yes.

 

Louis Virtel Mm hmm.

 

Ira Madison III I walked out of that theater, and there also was just Nicole Kidman hanging out.

 

Louis Virtel Now that’s a bomb. No. Right.

 

Ira Madison III I feel like she loves to do that.

 

Louis Virtel I guess being at the movie theater is her thing. I know. You know, she sort of rebranded successfully.

 

Ira Madison III You know what? Maybe that’s how the AMC thing came about.

 

Louis Virtel Right. They’re like, Oh, what a wonderful movie. Oh, my God, Nicole, you’re here.

 

Ira Madison III They were actually probably just shooting an AMC ad, and the call was just there hanging out. She’s like, Can I do it?

 

Louis Virtel She’s like, I wrote a little monologue about how I enjoy going to the movies. You guys ready for that? What were we supposed to get a second one of those, by the way. I feel very duped about that.

 

Ira Madison III What I mean is Nicky producing it.

 

Louis Virtel It’s. It’s. It’s this generation’s Chinese democracy or whatever that goddamn Roses album was. You’ll get it in 2046. A two and a half star review in Rolling Stone.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. I do remember when that album came out. I never really gave a fuck about Guns and Roses, although Welcome to the Jungle. You know, I did the rock hands for people who you can’t see.

 

Louis Virtel Which is so legitimate. You look like you’re at CBGB.

 

Ira Madison III When you do that. I have never done that in my life. No. That is the first time you’ve ever seen me do this. Next, I’m going to start doing this to say that things are cool.

 

Louis Virtel Can I tell you something, though? In my own personal life? I feel like, you know, people just adopt, like the peace sign for pictures and stuff now. Like, that’s what our generation does with their hands. I have to say a couple of times I will do the rock gesture as like a play on that because I don’t want to be cliched, but at the same time, girl, can you picture me at a Pink Floyd concert? Motherfucker, What am I doing?

 

Ira Madison III I could see you doing that in a Polaroid photo with Janine Garofalo at some loft party in the East Village.

 

Louis Virtel Fuck yeah. If I were wearing the exact same Doc Martens. Duh. Yeah.

 

Ira Madison III I remember listening to Chinese democracy when it came out because it obviously was like the thing everyone was talking about it. This album, it taken centuries to come out. Nicolas Cage found it along with the original Constitution and. I was like, this is kind of boring.

 

Louis Virtel No, I know. It’s just also just the name alone. Like, you knew that. I think holding this album back was sucking.

 

Ira Madison III Chinese democracy.

 

Louis Virtel There it is.

 

Ira Madison III Do they have one?

 

Louis Virtel I think that’s why they named it that. I thought it was really kitchy and cute. Speaking of Nicolas Cage, by the way, did you see that he’s finally watched Breaking Bad and he had never watched any TV before, and now he’s interested in doing TV because he thought Breaking Bad was great. Nicolas, maybe I would love to know what you are doing with your time besides acquiring haunted New Orleans mansions. What are you doing? Or like Elvis, leisure suits or whatever he does.

 

Ira Madison III What kind of TV show would Nicolas Cage even do?

 

Louis Virtel That said, I mean, like, he feels kind of ripe for an Emmy win or something. We’re in this space where where we anticipate the movies he does every year now. And there’s like this weird kind of I don’t want to say campy, but like, wink, wink, we love him slash. He is a little crazy for real thing going on and in that space exists prestige.

 

Ira Madison III It’s rare that some of them are good like Mandy though. Usually they’re just trash.

 

Louis Virtel He did that movie Pig. That was pretty good.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, I would say that. It’s very funny that he has discovered it now because I feel like there’s so few actors left who have never made the TV show. You know, I feel like who’s who’s left to.

 

Louis Virtel Be like Daniel Day-Lewis?

 

Ira Madison III Yeah.

 

Louis Virtel But of course, where is he?

 

Ira Madison III Has George Clooney gone back to television since E.R.?

 

Louis Virtel I don’t think so. You’re right. You’re right. He already already has E.R. and the original E.R. in the 80s before that and Roseanne. So it sort of feels like you got them already.

 

Ira Madison III Julianne.

 

Louis Virtel Julianne is the kind of person, if you told me actually she’s been on an Apple TV show for 11 seasons and you’ve never seen it? Because she’s very like, I have a spare afternoon. I’ve got to do something. Sure. I’ll phone that TV show.

 

Ira Madison III Mm hmm. Daniel Day. Daniel Day-Lewis. That’s who I bought. And actually, I was thinking about him today because Moby tweeted out that now streaming on the platform is top five Scorcese’s film, Age of Innocence. Daniel Day-Lewis.

 

Louis Virtel Yes.

 

Ira Madison III Michelle Pfeiffer. Winona Ryder. Can we team the three of them up again?

 

Louis Virtel That would be thrilling because I would love Winona to be good again. And I know Michelle hasn’t lost it, so that would be thrilling.

 

Ira Madison III Stranger Things was really a. I feel like it’s worse for her than her prison time. Because she’s acting out. Remember the first season of Stranger Things? We’re all making fun of her crazy acting choices that all these fucking Christmas lights everywhere and upside down. And now the monster on the Stranger things is Zionism. But it is she is truly just lost the plot on that show. And it’s made me forget that I truly, genuinely love Winona Ryder as I like I have to go back and watch Heathers to be like, Remember this bitch?

 

Louis Virtel She’s amazing in Girl Interrupted. I think that movie would not work without her performance anchoring it. I also want to say about Age of Innocence, this unbelievably strange choice to make Joanne Woodward narrate it. But anyway, still with us, our oldest living best actress winner.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, but I would love to see her, you know, come and do something different.

 

Louis Virtel That’s a good Christmas wish for us. Which leads us into our episode.

 

Ira Madison III We are doing our holiday gift guide this week. We’re bringing it back because last year we forgot about it.

 

Louis Virtel Right? Also, people don’t know how to shop unless we start saying products. So we’re going to help.

 

Ira Madison III Also send us products.

 

Louis Virtel Yes.

 

Ira Madison III If you’re a gift item isn’t on the gift guide this year, it’s because you didn’t send it to us.

 

Louis Virtel Right. I live right in L.A. You think I have, like, a crazy P.O. box I have to drive to? No, you can just send it to my house.

 

Ira Madison III Although I do want to say about prestige, TV and gifts, I got this email from someone who is doing promo for the new season of True Detective.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, okay.

 

Ira Madison III Jodie Foster. I’m looking forward to it.

 

Louis Virtel After Nyad, I am very much looking forward to the Jodie Foster renaissance. I think she is ready.

 

Ira Madison III Except the email was one of those typical PR emails where it’s We know you’re such a huge fan of True Detective and your audience is? BItch what the fuck? When have we ever talked about that show?

 

Louis Virtel Picture me talking about that. That would seem wrong.

 

Ira Madison III True Detective?

 

Louis Virtel It would seem like spon con, wouldn’t it? Yeah. I can list ten other Rachel McAdams credits before I come back to that one.

 

Ira Madison III So we’ve got our holiday gift guide and then we’ve also been to the movies. So yeah, well we will discuss the movies that we’ve seen that we’re into right now. It’s just a leisurely episode, right, this week we’ll be keeping it.

 

Louis Virtel Yes. Classic Keep It.

 

Ira Madison III Also Slayyyter is our guest this week.

 

Louis Virtel Whom I’ve seen perform in Palm Springs. She’s one of these people that pops up everywhere. And I love her new album, Love It.

 

Ira Madison III Star Fucker is a great album. It’s giving the deluxe album a special. Finally, the title track is on the album. Star Fucker is truly one of the best pop songs released this year.

 

Louis Virtel Very exciting. Very exciting.

 

Ira Madison III Excited to talk to her. We will be right back.

 

<AD>.

 

Ira Madison III Let me tell you a little bit about holiday gift guides, Louis. The first holiday gift guide on record. Oh, it was the Witches to Macbeth.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, what is that? I have it or something.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. You know, they said you will be king.

 

Louis Virtel Merry Christmas.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah.

 

Louis Virtel It’s a holiday story. People don’t respect that at all.

 

Ira Madison III Macbeth is a Christmas play.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, God. It’s like die hard. Okay.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. But we decided to do a holiday gift guide this year. Mostly because it’s just an excuse for us to talk about things that we like. Yeah, So.

 

Louis Virtel It’s also, by the way, hard to give pop cultural recommendations because it really comes down to books. Now, I have a criterion recommendation this year too, which is another thing that I hope people do collect. I think it’s important to have the physical media of this stuff, but really it’s like harder than ever to share pop culture in a way, especially as a consumer, because everything is just so chronically available online. I just want to say that that’s a little bit truly depressing to me. Just like it takes something out of the fun of possessing media.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. No, I really actually have been enjoying lately. Criterion just had a sale at Barnes Noble, which they do every year. That was one of the things. Even when I worked at Barnes and Noble in high school, it was one of the things that I always loved every year because you would go and you just buy, they’d be half off. Mm hmm. And you collect some DVDs. And I definitely feel like my apartment now. There’s a lot of luck in books. And it mostly because, like, I brought all of my fucking books to New York and I need to get rid of some. Some books are just there because friends wrote them and those friends don’t even visit my apartment so they can go in the trash.

 

Louis Virtel Right.

 

Ira Madison III But I need more of a DVD display, and I feel like I want a vintage the way we used to display DVDs when we were in high school. When you were at your parents home, you know, or in college. Like there was like a whole a beautiful shelf with them just on display. I feel like I want to get back to displaying movies again. I just bought three Criterion films. I bought Eve’s Bayou.

 

Louis Virtel Mhm. Yes. But one of the official films of this podcast. Yes.

 

Ira Madison III For people playing Keep It Bingo.

 

Louis Virtel Check out the lower left box. Yes. Yes. Eve’s Bayou has come up.

 

Ira Madison III I got Eve’s Bayou. I got the Watermelon Woman.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, of course. Which I feel like is now getting recognition on these sort of, like, best of the past 30 years types list.

 

Ira Madison III I was having a combo with Saeed Jones of Vibe Check, and we’re just talking about books and writing and stuff, and we’re actually talking about how the Watermelon Woman is. It’s sort of like this faux documentary style. I actually haven’t seen it, so I’m excited to watch it as this faux documentary obviously about a black actress in the 30s. But it was pertinent to something that I was discussing because I was actually discussing how I want to embark possibly on a project like that. Because sidenote, I’ve always known that my uncle who died in the 90s is very Uncle Johnny on vibes, but my Uncle Bill, who died in the 90s, lived in Chicago with his partner and it just always assumed that he lived in Chicago his entire life. But when I was researching for my book about my uncle, other uncle who died, who I was named after, he died in like 86, four months before I was born, and I was looking at the obituary and it said he’s survived by his brother, Bill Sharada of San Francisco. So I had no idea that my great uncle lived in San Francisco in the 80s at all. No one in my family has ever brought it up. No one’s ever talked about it. I’ve never seen any photos. And now I have an intense need to try to hunt down like any gay people still alive from the 80s in San Francisco who might have known him or like any record of where he lived.

 

Louis Virtel Well, in San Francisco alone is like a euphemism, you know, a confirmed bachelor. So it’s just that maybe something that simply wasn’t stated about somebody. Oh, he lives in San Francisco, you know, over there.

 

Ira Madison III Now I’m going to be like fellow travelers, going to San Francisco, walking around the Castro, Look it up information, so.

 

Louis Virtel Shelby Wu, here she comes.

 

Ira Madison III If you’re an old gay listener of this podcast, I mean, you know someone who could help me.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, my God, what a weird request.

 

Ira Madison III I know. Ira@crooked.com. I’m really going to embark on this for the next year. I want to, like, get to know my gay uncle. Okay. So anyway, Watermelon Woman. And then I got Paris Burning.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, okay. Oh, great. I’ll start with my criterion picks. These are actually. They just came out okay. First of all, L’Ceeremony, which if you have not seen the I think this is my favorite Isabelle Huppert movie. It is crazy. It is from the mid-nineties and it’s based on a true story. She playing a bizarro character who something is not right about this woman from the start befriends this woman who babysits for a family and eventually and the family is kind of well off. And you see these two people sort of worming the way around this family eventually plotting something. Anyway. It is a very sinister experience.

 

Ira Madison III Well, this is based on Jean Genet’s The Maids.

 

Louis Virtel No L’Ceremony is, the one where they kill the family.

 

Ira Madison III It’s very much like these two French maids who brutally murdered their employers wife, which was the story that John Johnny based the Maids on God. So both of these are based on the same like true crime thing.

 

Louis Virtel Also out is the Last Picture Show. I cannot believe this was not a criterion pic before, but I think with the exception of Sandy Dennis and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Cloris Leachman in The Last Picture Show is probably my favorite best supporting actress win of all time. And I have to say, maybe some of that is due to the fact that we associate her with all these kooky comic roles, you know, for the rest of her life, not just the Mary Tyler Moore Show, but like, think of how she behaved on fucking Dancing with the Stars. She was like a ball of comic energy. But in this movie, well, you get fucking drama. And it’s one of the few movies I can think of where every it’s like the the camera turns to every character and picks a moment for them to not just have a monologue, but really express something true about who they are. It just it’s interesting. It’s a movie that’s curious about people and it looks beautiful. It’s a black and white movie. It’s Peter Bogdanovich’s first movie. He followed that up with What’s Up Doc and Paper Moon. So just an essential collection of three movies just anyway.

 

Ira Madison III But Jeff Bridges is so hot. And this movie.

 

Louis Virtel Jesus Christ. And Timothy Bottoms is fabulous, too. He’s one of these people like Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People, where I’m like, Why didn’t he get a ton more roles like this? That showed just the casual gravity of of a performance that he can bring?

 

Ira Madison III I think we talked about that maybe when Cloris died. Mm hmm. Years ago or so. But the Last Picture show is just I was thinking about that when Chazelle made his movie, but there are just so few movies that are about films and about the watching of films that end up being good. And this is such a beautiful film.

 

Louis Virtel Well, in that movie, they end up I think I believe the titular movie is Red River from 1948, the Montgomery Clift film. And it’s just like it’s like it’s just interesting to see a small town that is not seemingly glamorized for the big screen in any way. It really just looks legitimate and the characters inhabit it so beautifully. Oh, and also Don’t Look Now is out with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie in Venice. And you have never seen Venice. Spookier. This does not look like a tourist location. This looks like some version of hell with dank swamp water running through it. And the climactic moment when they a I’ll say, a mysterious figure of an unusual size appears to them. Movies just used to be scary. People were messed up. Everybody had a little bit of Roald Dahl in their brain. You know, just everything was a little bit off kilter and crazy.

 

Ira Madison III I just saw this play Stereophonic at Playwright’s Horizon, which is sold out through December 17th. But I’m going to be talking about this next week because next week I’m going to be doing a theater segment on the podcast with my friend and theater critic Juan Ramirez. So we’ll get into stereophonic then. But it’s a place that in the late 70s that has music from Will Butler of Arcade Fire, and it’s about this Fleetwood Mac esque band that is recording their second album. And then it stretches from like a monk to recorder to like a year because they blow up within that time. And then it’s like this drama between them. But. There is an exchange in the play about one of the women going to see don’t look now and arguing with the other two men about how hot Julie Christie is in the movie and whether it’s sexy and whether one of the sexiest movies they’ve ever seen. So Don’t Look Now has been like on my brain for over a week.

 

Louis Virtel There is a very interesting sex scene between Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie in that movie to which not to be gen-z. It didn’t need to be in the movie, I don’t think. But it does add something to the movie.

 

Ira Madison III Well, so that’s the argument that they have in the play. And there’s the argument is that because it’s grief sex. Yeah. Shows it like changes the course of the rest of the movie.

 

Louis Virtel That’s probably true. Yes, Yes. Yes. So anyway, the Criterion Collection exists outside of movies, though I’m going to recommend something that feels very redundant because I’ve talked about this for, I believe, the past seven episodes. But guys, you need to be buying this Barbra Streisand memoir for people in your life. You know what I’ll say about this? It’s not a book you have to read straight through a little bit, like the oral history of Saturday Night Live. You can open it to any page and you’re in the middle of some amazing tale. You know, it’s just like, oh, I’ll learn about Barbara making the Broadway album this week or I’ll learn about her making What’s Up Doc this week? Or the fact that she only likes Cream and Burgundy and every other color offense, or there’s lots to just pick up from not reading this book straight through. But by the way, you really should get the audio book too. Buying it for 2999 and sending it to someone you love so that they can be on a flight and just lost. In her particular sense of technical precision is a joy. I truly will be sad when this book is over. I will be very sad.

 

Ira Madison III You know, everyone on the Malaysia flight is listening to it and they’re not done yet.

 

Louis Virtel Okay. Interesting take. I’m surprised I haven’t picked up audio books before. This is a brand new vista for me. I think it is very entertaining. Something to listen to, like while you’re driving that isn’t just. I don’t know, I guess I used to just listen to music, but I am starting to prefer this.

 

Ira Madison III Well, as long as we’re recommending books, I am going to recommend a book that I think that you would love as well. It is. Opposable Thumbs How Siskel and Ebert Changed Movies Forever. It is from Matt Singer. It is a sort of, you know, overall look at Ebert’s past, at Siskel’s past, at how they became film critics, their rivalry with one another, or how they came to work together on a failed pilot first and then with what would eventually become at the movies. It was sneak previews at first, and then it really just gets into their entire relationship and their thoughts on movies, and it’s really, really fucking good and it’s an easy read. And I couldn’t put it down. And I loved learning more, actually, about Siskel because I knew a lot about Ebert already. But Siskel, it was far learning about him and really how he separated, knowing people from his opinions on movies and how he was just very honest with people, even to the point of being an asshole. There’s a funny story in there about how he knew Oprah because they were in Chicago, obviously, and she was nominated for The Color Purple, and he told her, Congratulations, you’re not going to win. So be happy with the nomination. And the biscuit that they gave you at the nominees brunch, bronze it. And she did.

 

Louis Virtel Also, Oprah herself has said that on her talk show, befuddled that Gene Siskel was that honest with her? I’m always interested in the fact that they were on a talk show once and they were asked to complement each other. And you could see they were like, do we have to? But they did. And you said about Siskel that Siskel was like a classic reporter in many ways. Like if there was like gossip about town, about somebody, he would already have the information. He already knew everything first. And that’s not something you would have intuited about him watching him on their shows together. By the way, nothing is crazier than the fact that two thumbs up did not come along until basically the 90s when you watch old shows at the end when they’re doing the recap instead of thumbs up or thumbs down, it’ll say yes or no for reviews. And it’s like man sucks. In retrospect, it feels crazy. It took them that long to get to a trademark.

 

Ira Madison III What’s interesting about Siskel, I think you were getting there when you talked about him knowing just what was already happening. A traditional reporter in that way, how Siskel was pulled into writing for the Tribune in the first place was they talked about how back then they used to just sort of like grab whatever long haired guy was already in the bullpen and be like, You write about movies or culture, right? And the person who hired him at that time approached Siskel and said he wanted to treat movies like a beat, the same way that any other beat was in the paper, you know? And that’s what appealed to Siskel. Treating it like you were reporting on the movies, you weren’t just being casually talking about things without any knowledge of what you were talking about. Right, Right.

 

Louis Virtel Right, right. Their interplay, I find, to be everlasting and intriguing. Like, just like when you’re watching them review things, there’s this extra layer of. But what is going on between the two of them? It’s it’s like a a play or something as opposed to just a review show, which, by the way, it’s fabulous on that level alone. So yeah, I love going in the same way that I love watching old episodes of What’s My Line when they would bring in a mystery celebrity and then you’re watching the panel react to like, oh, how does the world feel about like Elizabeth Taylor at that moment as she’s brought in? You know, it’s like you’re studying the Moors of the time and the interplay between the people there as much as you’re getting the information about the movie.

 

Ira Madison III Speaking of culture and writing to, I do want to recommend there’s a lot of really good substack so that people can read about culture. I love, say, Hunter Harris’s Hung Up. For instance, my friend Brendan Holder has a great one called Lucy, which is the term for a single cigaret that you would get at the bodega. You know about that? Lewis Right. Oh, you pick up a Lucy all the time.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. You know me just like smoking like a contessa right outside the store.

 

Ira Madison III That I’ve written audit a couple of times. So subscribe to Lucy. Also subscribe to my fucking newsletter listeners. Frank, which is @IraMadison.substack.com. I don’t think I’ve ever told people to subscribe to it. That’s why I don’t have that many followers.

 

Louis Virtel If you like how IRA has opinions here, he does the same thing but transcribes them and that’s what I guess a newsletter is.

 

Ira Madison III There’s an essay a week and then there’s also on Fridays a list of ten cultural things that I’m recommending that week.

 

Louis Virtel So the last thing I want to recommend is, I believe, a game I’ve brought up before. It’s called Half Truth. It is a trivia game that Ken Jennings created a couple of years ago, and I am always interested in new ways to ask questions. I myself, right now, I’m trying to come up with just game show ideas to pitch. You know, as you know, it bothers me that I’m not like a Merv Griffin figure who has like several famous game shows out in another world. But the way the questions are posed in this, as there are six multiple choice options and three of them are correct and the players bet chips out of roulette table or something, they bet on various answers. You can bet different amounts and stuff and there’s different jeopardy and risks for betting. More are betting less. Like, for instance, one of the questions he had was which of these is a triple album? And the options are The Wall by Pink Floyd 69 Love Songs by Magnetic Fields All Things Must Pass by George Harrison Sandinista by The Clash, Sign of the Times by Prince and the Blueprint two by Jay-Z. So you would make various guesses, and then three of those are correct. And in this case, that’s 69 Love Songs, All Things Must Pass, and Sandinista. Sign of the Times, by the way, my favorite double album, I think of all time. How about that ?

 

Ira Madison III Blueprint II, an awful double album and have The Gift and The Curse?

 

Louis Virtel Yes. And it has an awful song. The Lenny Kravitz, the chorus, Just like Life, Guns and Roses, Friends and foes is Oh, baby. Turn it off.

 

Louis Virtel Ring around the roses. What’s happening there?

 

Ira Madison III You know what? Sometimes a Lenny Kravitz was just allowed to say things because he’s very hot.

 

Louis Virtel He is among the hotter celebrities who have ever existed.

 

Ira Madison III And could wield the guitar like with his arm. You just you see, his arms, too, is always wearing a sleeve with shirt. You just be like, You know what? It sounds good. Just don’t listen to the lyrics.

 

Louis Virtel Right, right, right. And of course, his mom is Roxie Roker, which needs to be stated more often.

 

Ira Madison III My last item before we wrap up this gift guide, is a fashion item.

 

Louis Virtel Ooh.

 

Ira Madison III And it’s comes off of me reading this article in The Atlantic by Amanda Moll, which was called Your Sweaters are Garbage. It’s just basically about the quality of where and how its cratered. And even expensive sweaters like aren’t hefty and lush anymore. Basically just have to buy like vintage. At this point.

 

Louis Virtel This is a good observation. As somebody who likes to wear a sweater, I’m thinking of actually the quality of certain ones. I’m like, Oh, this is really thin. Or I wouldn’t really wear it year to year.

 

Ira Madison III No, you should really just be finding like sweaters and vintage stores at this point. And that’s even better because if you can find sweaters that used to be expensive or were designer, but they’re from, you know, the 80s or the 90s or 2000s, they’ll be much cheaper than they were back then, but they’ll be much better quality than if you went and bought an expensive one now. Except for there is a shaggy dog sweater at J. Press. I love Jay Price. They did this collabo with rowing blazers once, but it’s just like a very comfortable shaggy sweater. I mean, it’s called the shaggy dog sweater. You can imagine what it’s like. The material feels good. It comes in multiple colors, and that is a perfect gift for any sort of fashionable man in your life and even someone who’s not very fashionable. Like if you get them the right color and give it to them, like it might be sort of maybe the best sweater they’ve ever worn.

 

Louis Virtel This is what I like about Caitlin Collins on CNN. When she wears a sweater, she looks like she belongs at like Radcliffe College in 1972. And that is the point of wearing a sweater. You got to look like a preppy girl in the movie Love story.

 

Ira Madison III You know what? I would love to take my fashion sense to 70s paranoia. Thriller.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, sure. The Parallax View. Yeah.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. Three Days of the Condor.

 

Louis Virtel Three days of the sweater. Yes.

 

Ira Madison III All right, we’re we’re back, we’re joined by new pop icon, Slayyyter.

 

[AD]

 

Ira Madison III I think it is safe to say our guest today is a fucking icon. If not for her sexy heart pumping unchained music at the very least, for her naked strut down Hollywood Boulevard. She has been a club darling since her SoundCloud days, and now she’s back with the provocative and just plain fun new album Star Fucker. The Deluxe is out now. Welcome to Keep It, Slayyyter.

 

Slayyyter My gosh, what an intro. Thank you.

 

Ira Madison III I mean, you deserve it. You know I love you. Oh. Oh.

 

Slayyyter Thank you. Thank you so much.

 

Ira Madison III I want to talk about, first of all, the deluxe for Star Fucker, which just came out, and it has the title track now. What prompted holding that song back for the Deluxe? Because I also want to say so many people love it. I was talking to a friend of mine about it this week. I think it’s one of our favorite pop songs of the year. Definitely one of my favorite of yours. It is such a good song.

 

Slayyyter Thank you. I mean, what made me hold it back was that it didn’t exist yet. I kind of just named that album Star Fucker without having a song around that. And then with that title in mind, I was like, I really need like a title track. And I went into the studio. I actually had a different title track that I’m pretty sure lead to that. It’s like it’s like the song Star Fucker was like a different song and I just wasn’t feeling it. And I was like, I. I went back in and I made that and I was like, Alright, this feels. This feels right.

 

Ira Madison III Mm hmm. Yes, I think it did leak. And I also want to ask you about that because it’s so it’s interesting because when we were growing up, there was, you know, live wire and everything and songs were leak, but not to the extent of the entire album leaks or the entire demos of things that you worked on for years and maybe aren’t going to be on the album. I think like a couple of weeks ago, all the scrapped songs for Charlie’s new album leaked out. A friend was Text Me Today about Tape Mcrae’s album, like Everything Always Leaks and your stuff leaked too. And I just want to know what you feel about that and how weird it feels being in the club or hearing songs of yours playing early and fans knowing them, but loving them and. Does it impact your sort of process? Finishing the album.

 

Slayyyter Not really. I feel like I try to keep blinders on with like what people say on like forums and stuff. I definitely like to read it all, but I don’t let people’s opinions on demos kind of sway my opinion because like in my like in my head, I’m like, I feel like I’m the artist. Like, I always will, like, know best for my output. But it is funny. It’s interesting to like, see when people are obsessed or fixated on certain demos of mine, I’m like, That’s not even a good song. Like, why are you so obsessed with that? And it’s kind of, you know what I mean? Like, I feel like it’s funny in that way, but I. I don’t know, leaking lead culture is really weird, cause on one hand, I feel really grateful that people care so much to even, like, hear my unreleased. There’s artists who are a lot bigger that like, don’t deal with leaks because they just don’t have a fan base that’s like that rabid in that way. And so I do feel grateful for it. But at the same time, yeah, it’s just it’s annoying. It’s like you get so excited about making music and then you kind of like it, like it’s taken away from you in a way. But I have like a new protocol in place where I’m using an iPod for everything from here on out so that nothing will leak, nothing will leak anymore. I’m putting all my music on an iPod.

 

Ira Madison III I love the iPod. I was actually considering being one of those retro people and getting an iPod from eBay and listening to music on it again. I think that there’s just something about listening to music and having it not be on your phone, which is so it feels like you’re digesting the music a bit more. That’s just something about when you’re listening to music and then a text can come in and it interrupts your experience. That is annoying.

 

Slayyyter Yeah, yeah, I fully agree. I feel like even just having the iPod, it’s like you also have to be really specific about like what you’re loading onto it. So it’s like, you know, I’ll put like the full Britney Blackout album and then like a couple other things and then it’s like, that’s all I have to listen to sometimes Spotify or like Apple Music or whatever, because there’s you have access to everything. I don’t know, Like I used to listen to music so intentionally when I was younger because I would have to actually upload the album onto my iPod and then I would listen to it all the way through. And now it’s just like, Oh, you can listen to that song from that album, and then you can listen to the song from this album, and then you can literally go like, listen to like random brain sounds cause you’re going to sleep like it’s it’s so random, but it’s nice to be more intentional about like, what you’re listening to, I guess.

 

Ira Madison III Especially with the concept of a playlist, right? You used to have to actually make a playlist or a mixtape and now you just toss something in when you’re at a party, queuing up stuff to whatever you want to hear. What kind of music would you feel like you would intentionally put on the iPod besides Britney Blackout, which is the Bible, obviously. What what are you listening to in just your spare time for fun? And what were you listening to when you were creating Star Fucker?

 

Slayyyter I feel like what I’m listening to now is different from what I listened to to make this album. For this album I was listening to a lot of like 80s, like post-punk, like dark bassline vibes, like Boy Harsher. And then I was also listening to like, Confessions on the Dance Floor, Madonna. Then I was also listening to, you know, like the fame and like all these different kind of pop albums. But, you know, having like a lot of different like I feel like a lot of 80s music and like retro shit and like just dark kind of brooding, like goth songs, which is random, but like, I feel like that’s what inspired like Erotic Electronic and some of my like other songs. But yeah, I feel like recently I’m in like a really big, like back to like my Y2K tip. I’m listening to like Nelly Furtado. I’m listening to like Lil Wayne. I’m listening to like, all this stuff that was like really popular when I was younger.

 

Ira Madison III That’s a good era.

 

Slayyyter Right. That’s. Yeah. It’s like informing the next. Like when, like Lollipop was on the radio is like my. You know what I mean? Like, I just that like that era of club music, all the songs were like poppin bottles in the club. Like, that’s all anyone talked about in songs. And it’s like kind of, I don’t know, it’s kind of iconic. I love it.

 

Ira Madison III That is very later coded too, because what I love about your music is very it’s very pop bottles esthetic. It’s very obsessed with the idea of the concept of partying and celebrity. Where did this? Sort of birth from you? Was it just reading the tabloids? Was it watching TRL? Was it obsession with old Hollywood and old films? Like where did this sort of form within your brain?

 

Slayyyter I feel like when I was younger, I had a sister. I have a sister who’s four years older than me, and she would show me stuff on Myspace. And then also, like against my mom’s wishes, she would be like like Grace, come in, come in the computer room. Which, like, that sentence alone is like, crazy. You come in the computer room and then I would go downstairs and go into the computer room, and then she would pull up Perez Hilton. And we would like she would like read me the articles and like be like, oh, my gosh. Like. Like she would she was trying to, like, like flex on me. She’s, like, trying to be cool and being like, oh my gosh, like, Lindsay Lohan did this. And I was like, I like, was like, whoa, like, cool. Like, this is what, like, the cool older girls care about. And so I just got really enamored with it all. And I would watch the hills with her and I would That’s kind of like where my adoration for celebrity culture blossomed at a young age was just kind of like being being at fed through like my my older sister and her friends and like what they were all obsessing over and like, oh, my God, Lauren Conrad has this headband, so we have to get this headband and blah, blah, blah. Like Paris Hilton just got arrested and like all this stuff that they were obsessed with It really. It kind of like me. I felt like that was like, the cool thing to, like, be into. And then, you know, I would like listen to the music they would listen to. And it all just kind of like fit with it, fit with each other.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, I think that there is something about that particular celebrity culture that feels a lot of it feels superfluous and you sort of, you sort of want to hate. Yourself for focusing on it. But I think it is I think you talked about it in the interview interview you did with Tobias about how we’re all obsessed with celebrity culture, but we sort of try to pretend that we’re not in order to seem smarter. But yet gossip is a part of how we interact in our daily lives.

 

Slayyyter Definitely. I feel like people think it’s unintelligent to be into pop culture, but I totally disagree. I think keeping up with celebrity and current things in pop culture is actually really smart. I feel like it is kind of the blueprint for trends and things that go on in conversations. And yeah, I always think I always think that’s weird when someone’s very like, I don’t I don’t even watch those Kardashians. It’s like, Girl Yeah, you do like, you know, or like if you don’t, it’s like you’re like boring. Like, I don’t know, it’s, I’m interested in it, you know what I mean? Like, I hate that.

 

Ira Madison III Mm hmm. It’s interesting, too, because I feel like you have this Slayyyter persona, which is very celebrity focused, very party focused. But it’s also really is a persona because what I’m talking to you, you like, just would wear out like you’re talking about furniture.

 

Slayyyter I’m like a sweet, nice girl.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. I feel like you talk to talk to me about, like, furniture at a party where I’m like, that is where your mind is actually focused on.

 

Slayyyter Definitely. I have like, I have my Kathy’s side and I have, like, the Slayyyter side of my personality. But I think that they both they can both go hand in hand sometimes. Like I feel like. The whole Slayyyter Music Project has given me a lot of confidence to like be a little crazier. And I think that those I think those one liners and some of the things I say in my music are like the real me. But it’s like stuff I’m too afraid to say. It acts like in real life. So I’m like, Let me be like a nasty who I think.

 

Ira Madison III But I also feel like there’s a bit of that in your Twitter persona too, so you do get to have a little fun with it And tell me a bit about how I guess the Slayyyter persona has evolved from, you know, Troubled Paradise to where we are now. You know, from self-titled as well. You know, this is the third studio project, but it’s it feels like it’s very much you’ve become a new beast, a new animal.

 

Slayyyter Yeah, definitely. I feel like I’ve just grown up so much. It’s been a long time since my very first song before, and I feel like every year my taste has like gotten different. I learn more things, I listen to more music, I soak in more movies. This whole album I like watch so many new movies that I had never seen before, and I was in a relationship for two for almost like two years that I was really like impacted by with different music and different things. And yeah, it’s kind of just like an evolution. Like I feel like as an artist, like I hope that I’m always like getting better and changing things up and not doing the same thing. And it would have been a shame. Like when I first started to have kept do have been doing the Y2K thing over and over. And, you know, like, I don’t know, like I always want to keep growing and getting different and evolving as an artist.

 

Ira Madison III Movies that you found that you were consuming that were different, the things that you had watched before. What were some of those things and what are some of the ones that have maybe stuck with you?

 

Slayyyter Eyes Wide Shut was like a crazy movie. I had never seen that before. My ex showed it to me and I was like, Whoa, this is crazy. Tom and Nicole, the classic. She hated his ass. Like she did. Oh, my God. Every time I think of them, I think of the picture of her, like, cheering when they got divorced. And. That body double. Brian De Palma. Films like Body Double. And what else did I watch? I loved Blue Velvet with date, like David Lynch, Blue Velvet and like The Hall and Drive, all like the David Lynch movies. I feel like I kind of deep dive on one night and those were really crazy to watch because they were just so like, beautiful but really like dark and scary but not like in-your-face scary.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. Especially once he gets a lost highway and said those are just surreal. And De Palma is actually someone who I would associate with a lot of your esthetic too, particularly with the videos for I Love Hollywood.

 

Slayyyter Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I love Brian De Palma films, especially like Dressed to Kill, there’s like a bunch where I just feel like his style was so 80s, but kind of like that tacky, corny side of the 80s, like very postmodern furniture and kind of like that modern. It was like modern yuppies of America were like really into that furniture decor style. Like when I talk to my mom, she’s like, I hated that kind of furniture. I hated that their 80s deco stuff. And I think that’s so funny. But yeah, I feel like there’s like, I love that, like, kind of tacky Scarface vibes in a lot of those movies, a lot of his movies and like all of the the wardrobe and everything, it’s just, you know, really over the top.

 

Ira Madison III And I feel like a lot of that was the inspiration for your tour, which I saw when it came to New York. And the entire set is very much that glossy 80s yuppie VCR vibe.

 

Slayyyter Yeah, definitely. I was super, super specific about everything with it. I like I wish that I could have done like more crazy or furniture design, but then there wouldn’t have been room to move on stage. But yeah, it was like I went myself and like picked up that furniture. I was like really particular about the chairs because like, people don’t get like the style. You can tell people like, oh 80s and like they’re not going to. So like I really like, I took my time and like the plush carpet. I was obsessed. I like missed that tour just because it was so as fun to like roll around in like set in those dresser, in fact.

 

Ira Madison III Tell me a bit about crafting that tour. I was really interested in so many elements of it, particularly particularly you singing Diamonds Are Forever the Shirley Bassey hit. Because I know that you had said in interviews, too, would you get sort of stuck with the Hyperpop label? You really want to remind people that you are a pop vocalist and you really like, you know, the music. You’re a singer, and on that tour it was like, okay, bitch, I’m singing.

 

Slayyyter Yeah, definitely. I don’t know. I feel like I feel like the whole process, like I wanted it the whole album to feel like it came to life on stage. And I feel like we definitely nailed it with like the live versions of the songs. And also everything came together really at the last minute, which like I hate, I’m very crazy. And like, if I had it my way, we would plan things like six months to a year in advance. But yeah, everything kind of came together. Like I was like planning and thinking of everything I wanted to do. And I had all of that in my head and all my references and I yeah, I wanted to do The Diamonds Are Forever cover. I thought it would be a really cool thing into Belladonna because that last line where she’s like, men are mere mere mortals who are not worth going to your grave for is like the line. And I was like, That’s so like, crazy. It reminds me of like, Miss Belladonna. But it all just like I wanted the whole show to feel like theater, to feel like there’s like a storyline behind it, you know? It’s kind of like you’re. It’s kind of like you’re like a voyeur and you’re, like, looking into some lady’s, like, 80s deco apartment, and you’re, like, watching her, like, have, like, a mental breakdown. It’s kind of the vibe, you know, like during the, like of a star. Like, I just wanted to use all those soundbites and make it really theater theatrical.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, I mean, you definitely accomplished that. And I love the no, I really did love the tour. I thought it was great. And it’s we have seen you so many times before now, but that was you were really just sort of the dancing in it, too, and just you’re moving on stage. It’s like you sort of really have tapped into this sort of new like confidence with the persona and your music. And so I really enjoyed watching it and.

 

Slayyyter Thank you.

 

Ira Madison III And translating this album. I mean, what was you talked about creating Star Fucker. You needed to get the title track that was coming after you had already made the album, but James Dean and where did these other songs come from?

 

Slayyyter James Dean I feel like I made a couple months after the album was sent into the distribution system. I like, I chose the three songs for the deluxe that I picked to because like every like speaking back on weak stuff, almost every single session that I did for this album was leaked, like every demo, even demos where it’s just like gibberish on a beat, like people around everything. And I was like, okay, so these songs are all newer. People don’t have these yet. And it made me want to kind of gravitate towards choosing those ones. But I think it worked out well because those are my favorites anyway. But yeah, like I feel like they, they all kind of like tap into the different vibes of the album. Like I feel like Star Fucker is more of like the A-side of songs and James Dean is more like that erotic electronic section of stuff. And it all kind of worked out.

 

Ira Madison III When you are thinking about those different sides, you know, like you have the pop vocal element of it and then you have the erotic electronic side. Is there something that you maybe enjoy more than the other? Is there something that you were thinking that if you had to really pick a side, you would be drawn towards more?

 

Slayyyter Oh, that’s so hard. I’m I’m like an annoying, like, singer girl. So like, I love I love tough notes. I love like really high, hard to sing songs like the Celine Dion, like moments that I get to do. But there’s nothing more electric than like Daddy is fuck live when I’m like, like freaking out, You know what I mean? So I don’t know. I feel like if I had to choose one. If I had to choose one, maybe like the party music I bought. But I do love to sing. It’s like my favorite thing in the world. Like I could just, like, sing every day. So like that, like the more pop ones. I also do have a special place in my heart.

 

Ira Madison III I mean, Girl Like Me, very, very underrated song on your album.

 

Slayyyter Thank you.

 

Ira Madison III Tell me more.

 

Slayyyter I feel like that one might be like a sleeper hit. Hopefully. But yeah, I thought people would freak out more about that. I had a lot of friends who were like, This is going to be the one that everyone loves, but it’s I don’t think that. I think it’s like the least extreme on the album. Not that I’m like keeping track what it is.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, well, let’s run up those streams. Yeah. Yeah. For that song. I want to ask lastly then you have gone in these different directions for each project, you know. Was there a direction that maybe you were planning for this album at first that you decided to shift away from that you would love to do in a future project, or was this always the plan? But you now have an idea of maybe where Slayyyter is going to go next, like just sonically what you’re thinking about.

 

Slayyyter Yeah, I feel I actually this album was originally going to be called Valentine because I had this demo called Valentine that was going to be like the song of the album, and I was going to do more of like a burlesque visual theme. Like I was really into like all these, like, old Hollywood burlesque stars. And I think that that definitely still creeped into star fucker as it is now. Like the burlesque inspiration. I love burlesque dancers. I love like the rhinestone costumes and the ostrich feathers and all of that. But I think in the future I’m like, where my head’s at right now. And really I’ve been listening to my mixtape like a lot, like listening to that nonstop, listening to a lot of Ayesha Erotica. My friend and my friend, that Kid Spencer and all the music from like my early days when I first started and Britney and just all these different things and yeah, like I kind of I feel like I can feel myself sonically shifting into like Miami party music, like mixtape, GTA vibes, Like that’s kind of where my where my brain is going. But it’s too soon to tell. Like, I don’t want to give away too much stuff of what I’m thinking because that can always change. I’m like, I’m going to really weird pocket where like I’m, I just started like the first song from I think yesterday. So I’m like, we’re like, we’re at the baby steps, but I’m excited.

 

Ira Madison III I love that. I mean, let’s get you on a GTA soundtrack.

 

Slayyyter Right? That’s what I would do. You see the new trailer? It looks me. I’m not even like I’m not even like a video game girl. But I was like, blown away. I was like, This looks realer than, like, real people.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, I barely if I played GTA, but I remember obviously growing up seeing every trailer and it has grown so far from just seeing people who really look like arcade cartoons running around Miami, shooting up people to now it looks it’s full. I.

 

Slayyyter I know it’s crazy. It’s kind of scary. Yeah. I don’t know if you’ve seen, like, the deepfake technology, but like, I have like can make people move. I’m like I’m scared.

 

Ira Madison III I have. No. The weirdest one I saw was that Kendall Jenner one. Have you seen that?

 

Slayyyter No.

 

Ira Madison III Kendall Jenner has a AI version of herself that is selling some stuff. I saw it on Instagram. It’s very creepy, which is going to make her a shit ton of money, but it’s not going to make everybody else a bunch of money. She created a fake version of herself and a version of herself to sell things. She sold her likeness to a company, so.

 

Slayyyter Oh, my God. That’s really scary. This is dystopian where we’re in our dystopian era. That’s like the that’s the inspiration for my next project. Dystopian bullshit.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. I mean, you’re Keeping up with the Kardashians and now you have to keep up with the AI Kardashians, so.

 

Slayyyter Oh, my gosh.

 

Ira Madison III It’s too many

 

Slayyyter I need to make an AI Slayyyter.

 

Ira Madison III I would like an AI Slayyyter. That’d be fun.

 

Slayyyter I don’t think any I don’t think anyone wants that. I do.

 

Ira Madison III All right. Well, thank you for being here. It was lovely to talk to you.

 

Slayyyter Lovely to talk to you, too.

 

Ira Madison III Oh, and I love this album. I, truly, Star Fucker. A great fucking song.

 

Slayyyter So thank you so much. Thank you.

 

Speaker 3 <AD>.

 

Ira Madison III Okay so last week we were joined by our icon, our father, Todd Haynes, to talk about his new film May-December. And now that it is out on Netflix, the masses have seen it and the masses have a lot to say. Yeah, a lot of what they have to say is stupid.

 

Louis Virtel But I will say for a movie that is very weird. I mean, there’s not much that’s conventional about this movie in any way. And by the way, it does not even remind me of his usual influences. Like it doesn’t remind me of Sirk, it doesn’t remind me of like Almodovar, but the names we usually associate with Todd Haynes. It is its own thing. And to accept it on those terms, as I believe Twitter has, it’s largely but largely been a rhapsodic reaction for a movie that is that trades in a lot of like grisly, weird, amorphous, morally ambiguous territory.

 

Ira Madison III One of the things I will actually say about it is it was released theatrically first, obviously. So it can be an awards contender because you need that release window in theaters and now it’s on Netflix. The one thing I did love this past weekend was at least seeing, even if there were wild opinions about the film, the fact that people were watching it and diving into it. And that’s sort of what you want it from a movie, from a director like Todd Haynes being on Netflix in the first place when they were first buying movies, it reminds you of sort of when Roma came out or something. But I feel like more people were talking about this and talking about Roma, right? I think making a movie that feels commercial. But ultimately isn’t sort of like tricks you into being because it has Natalie Portman in it. It has Julianne Moore, it has Charles Melton from Riverdale. So, of course, you know, Netflix viewers are going to glom onto it. And then what they get is a surprise.

 

Louis Virtel Yes, twisted. Also, I like that it’s a movie. Even if you just read a synopsis about it, you think, okay, it’s based off this. Mary Kay Letourneau, Vili Fualaau tabloid bonanza from the 90s. This really, you know, gross relationship. And you’re like, so it’s just about that. But it’s really not about that relationship. It’s about what we do when we make a movie or art about these things and like what we’re actually mining the experience for. I think ultimately and I will say it’s gotten some of his best reviews ever. I think it has an 85 on Metacritic. Carol, I believe, when it came out, was the highest rated movie of that year. I had like a 95 a Metacritic, but this is up in that territory.

 

Ira Madison III Basically, I love this film. I think more so than you.

 

Louis Virtel I like it. And I have questions, though. Yes.

 

Ira Madison III Okay. What are your questions?

 

Louis Virtel My thing is, is that is the point of view of the audience a little too TV about all the characters. I just feel like like when Natalie reveals herself to be crazy and then Julianne reveals herself to be crazy, and then the Charles Melton character is just emotionally stunted. Do we get anything else from this situation other than she’s crazy? She’s crazy. He’s a a manchild. I just don’t know that there’s much we get from them as characters That is that fascinating. Ultimately, I feel like you’re kind of just supposed to laugh at everybody.

 

Ira Madison III I don’t feel like you’re supposed to laugh at people. I mean, I was broken by Charles Mountains.

 

Louis Virtel With the exception of him, I’ll say that. And also, I like this sneak attack of how the movie kind of becomes about him, which you don’t expect.

 

Ira Madison III I would say what it’s about the sensationalism of a tabloid story, you know, or true crime, etc.. I think that there’s always this idea that you are digging, digging deeper, finding out what’s really underneath the surface. And I think that what the movie does, it tells you that there’s nothing beneath the surface. It’s exactly what you think. It’s exactly what you are pretending it’s not. Everyone is like you have to understand, like what’s going on behind this woman. Like, why would she sleep with this seventh grader and this actress, you know, like she really is digging into the story. She really wants to portray it in an honest way. And ultimately, they’re both liars.

 

Louis Virtel Yes. Well, also what’s very interesting is so Natalie plays an actress who is going to be playing this Mary Kay Letourneau figure played by Julianne Moore. So she goes to study her in person to research the role.

 

Ira Madison III And spoiler alert, by the way, some of you girls were a little mad that we spoiled things about Saltburn and a review of Saltburn where we were talking about. We just watched the film. Mm hmm. Right. All right. New to this podcast.

 

Louis Virtel Come on. We talk about the movies because we saw them. You know what I mean? We get into them anyway. And I think what’s interesting is so the Natalie Portman character, we kind of assume she’s a really good actress and a, you know, an accomplished person who’s making decisions in good faith. And as the movie goes along, you start to realize, oh, she’s this like TV actress on a ridiculous TV show where they watch and you sort of get an insight that it’s something to do with animals. And then eventually somebody comes up to her and says, Oh, I love you on Norah’s Arc, which is the most hilariously shitty title of all time. I love the slow roll of that. That is really good. But you realize she’s basically this hack who’s using these hack methods to figure out anything about this family so she can put that on the screen.

 

Ira Madison III Particularly at school, when she’s with Julianne’s daughter’s class talking about acting. And they’re asking her about sex scenes in acting and shooting them. And she’s she’s basically like orgasming while she’s talking about it. And she’s, like so full of herself.

 

Louis Virtel Right. Right. You start to realize that she’s deeply, deeply egotistical. But also they show a clip from a TV movie that was previously made about this couple. And you assume that, oh, what she’s working on is going to be a lot better than that TV movie. And then when they at the end, when you discover what she’s actually making is just like.

 

Ira Madison III It’s Tar level.

 

Louis Virtel It is exactly Tar. The ending of Tar. I’ve only ever experienced an ending of this movie, like the ending of Tara, which is an unforgettable experience and just puts you in this. You already thought you were in a bizarre world, and now you’re, like, utterly depressed.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, I really enjoy it. I think it is a I need to watch it a few more times, but also just let it sit and simmer. As far as me ranking Todd Haynes films, obviously I fucking love Carol and I love Far From Heaven too, but I would say that Far from Heaven is very, very didactic. Yeah.

 

Louis Virtel So, Ryan, It’s not that deep either.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, he’s doing. Concert and he’s playing circus conventions. But it’s a lot of Cirque shots and it’s a lot of really sort of replicating all that heaven allows. So it’s very technical and it feels felt. It feels very.

 

Louis Virtel Intimate.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah, it’s an homage. But the first time I watched it was at NYU. And so it feels very in a film class, so it feels very much film class. We are honoring Cirque and presenting this film in this way. I don’t dislike films like that. I think that. Gus Van Sant’s Psycho is incredibly interesting as a film. I wish that he had gone to the Todd Haynes level of switching up Psycho, but doing a direct homage to the shot by shot remake of It is interesting as an exercise, but ultimately it is a mess.

 

Louis Virtel Yeah, and to watch is pretty pedantic too, I’d have to say. Also the casting in that movie is just so stupid. Vince Vaughn is just all wrong. But anyway.

 

Ira Madison III But I like the concept of doing movies like that.

 

Louis Virtel Hmm. I guess I have to say about this movie, I have watched it three times, which is interesting for a movie that I personally would say is a three star movie and not a four star movie the way it like the Internet is saying. But I will say.

 

Ira Madison III The reason.

 

Louis Virtel The reason I keep returning to it, no movie feels like this. So I am really cherishing that experience because I feel like a lot of the time that we sort of have movies down to a science and it rarely feels like you get something that feels brand new and this is brand new. And by the way, a return to form for Julianne Moore, who we just don’t get in these, like, kooky roles anymore. In fact, she takes on a lisp in this movie. I don’t know who made this choice, but some of the line readings with the Lisp are so funny, it’s painful.

 

Ira Madison III But Mary Kay had a bit of a lisp.

 

Louis Virtel Right. Right. Which interesting choice. But anyway, she says the words still smoky at some point. And I, I when I’m walking by myself at the grocery store, we’ll just say that to myself and, like, laugh like a crazy person.

 

Ira Madison III You looking in the bacon section?

 

Louis Virtel Yes.

 

Ira Madison III Looking for or looking for ham for your Christmas dinner. You’re like, I don’t want the smoked ham. I want I want the honey ham. I would also say that it’s great that it feels different and kooky because Todd Haynes has is such a great director, but has done so much homage and stuff that is inspired by other works that it feels like he’s finally into this realm where he is creating his own genre to the point where. Years later, like there will be directors who are emulating like what he’s doing in May, December.

 

Louis Virtel That would be nice. Yes. No, also, it’s just like he’s one of these people that’s never won an Academy Award. He’s been nominated for a couple of times in the past. He didn’t. And so maybe there’s like more I feel like the Academy Award story here will be the screenplay, which is the first one by Sammy Burch that will probably be nominated for something.

 

Ira Madison III I adore her work and she’s the I’m friends with her sister, Molly Birch, who is a great singer. And so if you haven’t, listen to Molly Birch’s new album, you should. It’s really good. I wrote the press packet for it, and both of them are childhood friends with Kate Berlant, which is very weird. So it’s like all three of them have this sort of like, origin story together. But Sammy Burch’s script is hilarious. Everyone’s referencing that line where Julianne Moore says, I don’t think we have enough hot dogs. And then the next scene it says, You see the grill? There are so, so many hot dogs. That’s a funny fucking line. Yeah, that’s a funny thing. That’s just in the script that you normally wouldn’t even see in the movie. So I think the script is really good. And I want to lastly point out Louis Weitzman had this interesting tweet about it where he said that the referencing like the, you know, like the Who’s the boss scene in the movie where she’s talking about who was really in control in their relationship when he was younger.

 

Louis Virtel They get into this fight where Julianne Moore is saying to her now adult husband, lover, who’s the boss, as in like is condescendingly talking to him, basically.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. Who wasn’t really in control, you know, like you were in control of me. You know, it’s very creepy. She talks about how he had had experience with women before, implying that this child having childhood relationships with two other girls was the same thing as being with two women. But that mirrors an actual interview that Mary Kay had done.

 

Louis Virtel With Vili Fualaau on camera.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah.

 

Louis Virtel They took the dialog directly from it. So.

 

Ira Madison III Yes.

 

Louis Virtel I think what’s interesting about that is normally I think taking real life examples of things is like it’s like to on the nose, like it doesn’t work. But the fact of the matter is that argument makes way more sense as a private tete a tete than it does as an on camera interview. They really use the material realistically. It’s interesting.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. And that is what Lewis It tweeted mostly that using real life things to influence the script, but putting it into the script in a more interesting way is much better than when we watched the Crown or something and you see an exact scene that you already saw televised recreated with someone just impersonating what they’ve seen on camera already.

 

Louis Virtel Actually, I like this series, so I don’t mean to dog on it too much, but like in Feud, when they do the presentation of the Best Actress winner and they use the exact footage and like the exact steps Joan Crawford took to the stage to deliver the speech before she walks off and tries to humiliate Bette Davis. It’s like, it’s interesting that you got such. A Sorry, It’s interesting that you got such a literal recreation, but all you got is a little recreation, you know?

 

Ira Madison III Mm hmm. Lastly, I would say the other big movie that both of us saw was The Iron Claw, which we can’t really talk about yet. When it’s released, we’ll give a full review of that. But I do want to say that the cast, Zac Efron’s amazing in this movie, and I hate that the conversation is just focused on his face and his body and how he transforms himself for this movie because he is really lived in in this role and he’s this the best he’s ever been.

 

Louis Virtel I mean, he is born for this role. And it’s one of those things where I can’t picture anybody else doing it. There’s even just something like there’s a lot of anguish in this character. And he conveys that so casually. It’s not somebody who needs a big scene to convey a lot of inner turmoil. He’s constantly wearing it, constantly exhibiting it. And that palpable quality really makes this a movie people should see. I mean, we haven’t seen him do anything prestigious in years.

 

Ira Madison III So and also, my baby daddy is in this film, Harris Dickinson, who very good starts with, Yeah, Danielle is so good in this Harris is right up there with Zach is my fave in this film. I think that Harris Dickinson is such an interesting actor. He’s in Beach Rats, which I don’t love, but Triangle of Sadness is an amazing movie and he’s so good in it. And he’s also really good in that new Hulu series while it’s on Hulu. It’s an epic series from Brit Marling. It’s a murder at the End of the World with Emma Corrin. Speaking of the crowd like Emma, they are amazing in this too. So if you are a Harris Dickinson fan, you should maybe watch a murder at the end of the world. So it’s just a really good psychological thriller. So more people should be talking about it.

 

Louis Virtel One last thing about Iron Claw. I don’t believe that Maura Tierney has ever been bone chilling before. But, man, you got a portrait of a person in peril in a new way in this one, Wolf. I am not looking at her the same way again.

 

Ira Madison III She was giving Precious. Yeah.

 

Louis Virtel Except like if the Mo’Nique character were utterly repressed in every single way. Like, that’s a whole different world of hurt, You know what I’m saying?

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. It was very evil at it. Like a wicked sort of chilling character from her. I want to lastly say about this movie, though, which is. It was it’s it’s on my mind of whether this is like one of my favorite films of the year or whether I’m angry at it because as a biopic, ordering these brothers, the von Erich brothers, they cut a fucking brother out of the movie.

 

Louis Virtel To be fair, there’s a whole bunch of them. You know what I’m saying? Like, how many brothers can you go to?

 

Ira Madison III They cut one brother for time. I get it. But it is kind of weird. I mean, like, fuck his drag.

 

Louis Virtel That’s what they said. That’s what the producer said, reading the Wikipedia of their family.

 

Ira Madison III Obviously, Zac Efron is the only surviving von Erich brother, and he has a whole big family now, so they’ve sort of broken the von Erich curse, so to speak. But just imagine the other von Erich brothers in the afterlife looking at this movie and they’re all talking to the one brother who was cut out like. Could even make the biopic bitch.

 

Louis Virtel What is this New Yorker cartoon? You have an image of them watching this movie.

 

Ira Madison III They’re the family circus. Yeah. Do the family circus have a bunch of dead angels watching them all the time?

 

Louis Virtel Not often, but they did have a giant picture. So you had to read the Fair Family Circus. That was, I think, the clever real estate of that comic. You couldn’t avoid looking at it.

 

Ira Madison III I feel like part of the family circus took place in the afterlife. I think I think there were dead children watching them sometime.

 

Louis Virtel You sound like my friend Rachel claiming that Dancing on my own is about a ghost. Why can’t you see me? I’m in the corner anyway.

 

Ira Madison III I’m going to look this up. We’re going to talk about this next week. Okay. We’re going to deep dive into the family circus, bitch.

 

Louis Virtel All right. All right. And it will be the only dive, let alone the deepest one.

 

Ira Madison III All right, when we’re back, Keep It. And we are back with our favorite segment of the episode. It’s. Keep It. Louis, we’re ready for your Christmas take now.

 

Louis Virtel Okay, good. Shall I deck the halls? Let’s begin. As you know, Brenda Lee is finally number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with Rockin Around the Christmas Tree, which she recorded when she was 13 years old. She is 78 now. I mean, it’s sort of like, well, let me say this about Brenda Lee, extremely accomplished musician who had tons of hit singles like I’m Sorry is a number one hit, multiple number ones, tons of hit singles throughout the 60s. And now she’s basically only remembered for this even though she’s in like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s like if you know Michael Jackson, we’re only known for like the first single he recorded with the Jackson five or something. It’s very unusual situation. But anyway, my Keep It is to.

 

Ira Madison III She’s Michael Jackson.

 

Louis Virtel I did not say she was Michael Jackson.

 

Ira Madison III Same complexion.

 

Louis Virtel Okay. Right. Very good. I just want to say, Keep It to the fact that we keep putting the same Christmas songs back on the chart every year. I’m psyched for Burl Ives. I’m happy to see you, Holly. Jolly Christmas. I’m, of course, Psych for Mariah, you know, last Christmas by Wham! But there are just so many other Christmas hits that deserve inclusion. Very quickly, past The Carpenters. I never see. Merry Christmas, Darling on this list, which is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I do want to say, though, there is a lyric I don’t like, which is in the second verse that says Holidays are joyful. There’s always something new. Girl. You know that’s not true. The Christmas is the same every year like any other. Any other word rhymes with you. They could have said something is true. Whatever. So I wish they did like a punch up on that. But otherwise, I would love a renaissance for like, you know what never gets on the charts every year. The waitresses Christmas wrapping. Why is that? Not on the charts every year? That’s like the new Christmas classic. People should be. And also, I seem to hear it all the time. If I’m at Starbucks, I’m a target. Whatever. It’s it’s everywhere. So I don’t know why this isn’t on the same level as Burl Ives in Pleasantville.

 

Ira Madison III Is it because you hear it all the time? No, I’m talking about. That’s where you live.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, I see. Yeah. Okay.

 

Ira Madison III So your old Christmastime hit.

 

Louis Virtel Right, right, right. I do think there should be something whiskey soaked about a Christmas classic, though. I want to hear the turmoil in the family. You know what I mean? Another completely underrated Christmas song that no one knows is What Do Bad Girls Get by Joan Osborne, which is basically a play on Santa Baby. Basically, I know what nice girls get. What do bad girls get? Look that up. She’s also one of the most underrated vocalists ever. Do you have any underrated Christmas songs that don’t come back hard enough every year?

 

Ira Madison III Well, I mean, speaking of Last Christmas, there is the Ashley Tisdale version, which never gets any respect. Okay.

 

Louis Virtel It might not get any for me right here. So beware.

 

Ira Madison III But I also have. I think that one Ariana Grande’s Christmas and Chill album is really good and I don’t know why that doesn’t get any more play on the charts because it is Ariana Grande Day.

 

Louis Virtel Yo Santa, tell me does hit the charts every so often. But you’re right. Like it doesn’t feel like we got much more from that era of hers.

 

Ira Madison III Merry Christmas. Happy holidays. By In Sync, Obviously. And Eight Days of Christmas by Destiny’s Child deserves more play.

 

Louis Virtel Would you say that’s better or worse than their song for International Children’s Day? Stand up for the Children or whatever it’s called.

 

Ira Madison III No Louis.

 

Louis Virtel It’s their first song on their greatest hits. It makes me crazy thinking of that.

 

Ira Madison III Does it feel like Christmas? Yeah. Oh, great song.

 

Louis Virtel We’ll get into Renaissance next week. By the way, I was supposed to see it last night, and I didn’t get to because I was tired. But I will.

 

Ira Madison III I’m sure people will still be talking about it, and there’s a lot to get it to. That’s true. The social media is burning up.

 

Louis Virtel That’s right. That’s right. IRA, what is your keep at this week?

 

Ira Madison III My Keep It this week goes to Chris Wallace of CNN.

 

Louis Virtel Yes, son of Mike Wallace.

 

Ira Madison III So Adam Driver recently appeared on Chris Wallace, this series who’s talking to Chris Wallace, and he was promoting Ferrari, which I cannot fucking wait to see because I feel like. That’s one of the it just had its premiere. And so that’s one of the movies that we haven’t really heard much about the performances in it. And Penelope Cruz, my other queen, I’m really excited to hear about what’s going on movie wise with that. But Adam Driver did an interview with Chris Wallace where Chris Wallace was so nasty to him about his appearance.

 

Louis Virtel No way. What?

 

Ira Madison III Now listen, Adam Driver. Has an interesting face. But I would also say that Adam Driver has hoards of fans online who are constantly saying they’re sexually attracted to him. I think Adam Driver looks great. I’m attracted to him moving on. He doesn’t have a plastic, you know, sort of CW face, but he looks like like an actor from the 70s. But he looks like a real human being, the kind of people who used to be leading men in like a Scorsese Z film.

 

Louis Virtel Bastard, like an Elliott Gould or something. Yes.

 

Ira Madison III Yes. Who was good enough for Barbra, right?

 

Louis Virtel I know. By the way, when you say bring up Chris Wallace, I immediately go to Mike Wallace, who was a fucking dick to her to read it in the book. Right. Moving on.

 

Ira Madison III Chris Wallace basically asks Adam Driver what he thinks about people’s opinions of his face. And Adam Driver references that some people have called him horse faced, etc. in the past. He tries not to absorb these insults and comparisons and just focus on the work. And then Chris Wallace goes in further asking if he thinks that he would have a more successful career if he looked like Robert Redford.

 

Louis Virtel Which is the last celebrity he can think of. Okay, great.

 

Ira Madison III Which is then followed by putting Robert Redford’s face on the screen in a split screen of Robert and Adam’s face.

 

Louis Virtel That is so unusual and. It’s so cruel.

 

Ira Madison III Nasty.

 

Louis Virtel I can’t think of another scenario like that in history. What if you looked like this guy? Wouldn’t life be better for everybody?

 

Ira Madison III I bet a lot of people did point out that women used to be asked this shit all the time. Especially like a Barbra or something. Ask questions about their appearance.

 

Louis Virtel Shady. No, no, no. I’m not saying that women aren’t horrible bystanders, shady questions, Whatever. I can’t think of another instance of here is literally who we would prefer to look like in the picture up next to them. Yeah.

 

Ira Madison III Giving very much the view.

 

Louis Virtel Yes, the split screen.

 

Ira Madison III Like Rosie and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. The split screen is really what took me out of it. And if you watch the interview, Adam is just so uncomfortable in it and the way Chris keeps digging in. It’s it feels like I’m watching a British morning show, actually, with how crazy they are. Mm hmm. Wow. I keep thinking about Loose Women, This segment where I think Rod Stewart’s ex-wife used to be one of the. Hosts of Loose Women. And Sarah Harding was on that show, Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud, which she sadly passed away recently. But Girls Aloud is having a reunion tour in the UK next year that I’m going to and I’m very excited for. But she was asking Sarah Harding about her career and about how she didn’t have much solo success and whether or not the lack of solo success and lack of a successful relationship and had anything to do with the lack of relationship that she had with her father and really just keeps digging into Sarah’s personal life. And that interview reminded me of that. It wasn’t digging to really get the truth. It was more, how do I keep piling on this person for television?

 

Louis Virtel I didn’t know this was Chris Wallace’s beat, by the way. I’m not coming to him for like, hard hitting red carpet interviews or whatever. What a strange turn.

 

Ira Madison III Who’s talking to Chris Wallace? Probably nobody, I think.

 

Louis Virtel I fucking guess. Yeah. I’m looking forward to Adam Driver in that movie. By the way, even though I am already up to my limit with movies with the word Ferrari on them, I have to tell you, the last one, it’s fresh on my mind.

 

Ira Madison III I’m excited to see that so we can talk about those performances and other performances that I’m very much excited to talk about in the future. I saw Cold Purple last night.

 

Louis Virtel I know you’re talking about Miss Danielle Brooks.

 

Ira Madison III I’m talking about Danielle Brooks. Okay. Fantasia is great in the movie and she’s going to get a lot of accolades, obviously. But Danielle Brooks, give her that best supporting actress Oscar right now. Yeah, I’m not seeing anybody tapped in the way that she was in this film. It’s her movie. Yeah. And she is such an amazing fucking actress. I want to see her in more.

 

Louis Virtel Things, by the way. Well, she’s also the host of that Netflix show where they make over a show in a day. What’s it called? Like 24 hours something? I don’t know. But even on that, her personality pops up like she has that on tap and she gets to really harness that and use that in this movie and in comedic ways. And then later, when she’s triumphing from despair.

 

Louis Virtel Of course, I mean, she wants to Julliard, so. Do you think I should go to Juilliard?

 

Ira Madison III To do what, exactly?

 

Ira Madison III Writing.

 

Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. No, I mean, like, they need people to, like, you know, write the menu at the cafe there, you know?

 

Ira Madison III You know what? I’m talking about furthering my education. Oh, okay. Jokes.

 

Louis Virtel I would love if you started it. Yeah.

 

Ira Madison III And you make jokes.

 

Louis Virtel I see the Juilliard acting is coming out now. Yes.

 

Ira Madison III You think? You think I’m a clown? You think I’m funny?

 

Louis Virtel Ah, pesky. Yes.

 

Ira Madison III All right. So thank you to Slayyyter for chatting with me. And we will see you next week where we will finally get into Renaissance and also possibly Pink Friday if it’s actually released. Right. And of course, Tate McCray’s album comes out Friday, too. And my theater segment with Juan Ramirez is next week, too.

 

Louis Virtel So there’s just the whole show. How about fucking that? All right, great.

 

Ira Madison III Yeah. We’ll see you next week.  Don’t forget to follow Crooked Media on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. You can also subscribe to Keep It on YouTube for access to full episodes and other exclusive content. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review.

 

Louis Virtel Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our producer is Chris Lord and our associate producer is Malcolm Whitfield. Our executive producers are Ira Madison, the third, Louis Virtel and Kendra James. Our digital team as Megan Patsel, Claudia Xiang and Rachel Gaewski. This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to Matt DeGroot, David Toles, Kyle Seglin and Charlotte Landes for production support every day.

 

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