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The It List: Taylor Swift marks new era with ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ release, ‘Under the Bridge’ examines a true-crime story, Record Store Day celebrates vinyl

In Entertainment
April 17, 2024

The It List is Yahoo’s guide to what’s new in pop culture. Each week, we share staff picks for the latest releases that we can’t wait to watch, stream, listen to, read and binge.

What’s new this week: Taylor Swift enters a new era, Phish take over the Sphere and Pearl Jam is back with their 12th studio album.

What to watch

Phish performs at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Page McConnell, Trey Anastasio and Jon Fishman of Phish perform at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. (Keith Griner/Getty Images for ABA)

🎤 Phish plays the Sphere in Las Vegas

  • When: April 18-21.

  • What to know: The Vermont quartet will be just the second band to play the new $2.3 billion immersive concert venue after U2’s 40-show residency ended in March.

  • As of now, Phish’s sold-out stint at the 18,600-seat auditorium is just four shows, which is, according to frontman Trey Anastasio, by design.

  • “There is a quality of Vegas where older bands go to play their old album, to make a lot of money late in the twilight of their career,” Anastasio told the Washington Post. “That’s not what we’re interested in.”

  • Those who weren’t lucky enough to get tickets to see the shows in person can pay to livestream them through the band’s website.

  • Known for its theatrical performances, extended jams and dazzling light show, the band has been tight-lipped about its plans for the Sphere run.

  • “I’m not trying to be cagey,” Abigail Rosen Holmes, Phish’s co-creative director, told the Post. “I just want people to not have any idea what’s about to happen when they come into the room.”

  • Just don’t expect to see “hero shots” of Trey, like those of Bono and Edge from U2, on the giant wraparound LED screen.

  • “It suited Bono because he is that kind of star,” Anastasio said after seeing U2’s Sphere performance. “But that’s not me. I don’t do that. There’s one song where he just rocks into the camera. He steps forward and he’s 800 feet high on the wall. I’m not going to do that.”

  • One thing fans can expect is to hear at least some material from Evolve, Phish’s 16th studio album that will be released in July. — Dylan Stableford, news reporter

What to listen to

The album cover of Taylor Swift's

The album cover of Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department. (Taylor Swift)

🎧 The Tortured Poets Department is Taylor Swift’s latest foray into heartbreak

  • When: The Tortured Poets Department is out April 19.

  • What to know: Taylor Swift first announced The Tortured Poets Department, her 11th studio album, during the Grammys in February.

  • Swift has remained relatively mum on the inspiration for the 16-track album.

  • “I needed to make it. It was really a lifeline for me,” she said during a tour stop in Australia this year.

  • Fans speculate that it could give insight into her breakup with actor Joe Alwyn, her boyfriend of six years. Their split was made public in April 2023.

  • Swift further fueled claims that the album focuses on the breakup after releasing the track list, which includes songs like “So Long, London,” “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)” and “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart.”

  • Consistent with her more recent records, the pop star hasn’t dropped any singles prior to the album’s release.

  • As to whether the album will feature any nods to Swift’s current highly publicized romance with Chiefs star Travis Kelce, fans will have to wait and see. — Lily Herman, The Yodel newsletter writer

  • Quiz: How much do you know about Taylor Swift? Test your knowledge.

🎧 Pearl Jam shine with Dark Matter

  • When: Dark Matter is out April 19.

  • What to know: The Seattle rock band releases their 12th studio album. Lead singer Eddie Vedder calls it “our best work.”

  • The title track and lead single was inspired by drummer Matt Cameron’s distinctive beat intro, which guitarist Stone Gossard and bass player Jeff Ament overheard during a studio session.

  • “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a beat intro that’s quite like it,” Gossard said.

  • The second single, “Running,” is a two-minute sonic burst of energy, highlighted by a ripping solo from lead guitarist Mike McCready.

  • The group used the single to promote the benefits of exercise, giving fans a chance to post and share videos of themselves moving to the song.

  • After the album drops, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will embark on a world tour that kicks off in May.

  • The band hopes to “play a lot of new stuff” and is working on fresh stage production elements that will offer a “little bit of a different show,” Gossard told Spin. — Joseph Barracato, curation editor

🎧 Record Store Day keeps vinyl spinning at indie record shops

  • When: April 20 at participating stores.

  • What to know: Record Store Day (RSD) is an annual event aimed at celebrating independently owned record stores in the U.S. and around the world.

  • The event was first established in 2007 when brick-and-mortar record store owners and employees came together with the shared goal of spotlighting the “unique culture” of indie record stores.

  • The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008.

  • Every year, artists release exclusive vinyl editions that are physically available only at participating record stores.

  • Co-founder Michael Kurtz praised Metallica for supporting the inaugural Record Store Day. The band launched the first exclusive RSD vinyl releases and held an in-store event at Rasputin Music in San Francisco.

  • “There would be no Record Store Day without Metallica,” Kurtz told VW Music, who credited other artists, including Jack White, Run the Jewels and Paul McCartney, for its success.

  • This year, artists releasing special vinyl include Olivia Rodrigo and Noah Kahan, who are releasing covers of each other’s songs, as well as the 1975, Sabrina Carpenter, Paramore, Talking Heads and the Cure.

  • Check here to find out if a store near you is participating. — Neia Balao, entertainment reporter

  • Read more: Teens love vinyl. They tell us why.

What to binge

Lily Gladstone as Cam in Under the Bridge.

Lily Gladstone as Cam in Under the Bridge. (Bettina Strauss/Hulu)

▶️ Under the Bridge seeks the truth

  • When: The first two episodes of Under the Bridge stream April 17 on Hulu.

  • What to know: The limited series tells the true story of one teenage girl who went to a party to see friends and never came home.

  • Based on the true-crime book of the same title by Rebecca Godfrey, the show stars Riley Keough as Godfrey and Lily Gladstone as local police officer Cam Bentland.

  • The pair, who have their own past, investigate the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk (Vritika Gupta).

  • Set on a small island in British Columbia, the crime drama explores the dark side of teenage girlhood and extreme bullying while also delving into culture clashes, religious rebellion and parent-child dynamics.

  • Plot twists abound as novelist Godfrey gets closer to the kids suspected of the murder while reconnecting with childhood friend Bentland.

  • Over eight episodes, Godfrey entangles herself more into the lives of the troubled teens, confronting reminders of her own tragic past at the same time.

  • Godfrey, who served as an executive producer on the drama, died of lung cancer in 2022 at 54, one week after Hulu announced it had ordered an adaptation of the series. — Laura Clark, entertainment editor/reporter

  • Read more: Lily Gladstone says ‘the desire for justice’ is at the heart of crime drama ‘Under the Bridge’: ‘The bravest thing is to feel, to feel the tragedy’

We’ll be back next week with our latest picks. Want more It List? Click here.

Are there other things you’re excited about? Let us know in the comments below.

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