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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Benedict Cumberbatch is so universally beloved that if he slapped a baby across the face for no reason, a substantial portion of the Internet would find it the most charming act in the history of the world. Imagine the squees emanating from legions of Cumberbitches, then, when they saw the Sherlock star attempting to sashay like Beyoncé on The Graham Norton Show.

    The fierceness starts at the 2:20 mark, with Cumberbatch being coached by Call the Midwife star Miranda Hart, as Bey’s “Crazy in Love” plays in the background. 

    To be perfectly honest, Cumberbatch’s strut doesn’t so much channel Queen Bey as it does a spastic Buckingham Palace guard, or a member of the Ministry of Silly Walks. But considering how well he’s pulling off that grey suit, I doubt many of his fans will really care.

    Via r/montypython

    Via Lightly Buzzed

    H/T US Weekly | Screengrab via The Graham Norton Show/YouTube


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    Everyone knows that Nickelback is pretty much one of the most despised bands on the planet. But as this publication and many others have pointed out, its reputation is somewhat unmerited, considering that the band just isn’t really that bad.

    Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger recently proved this with a performance of the Led Zeppelin classic “Whole Lotta Love” at Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar’s 67th birthday party in Las Vegas. And you know what, guys? He kinda killed it!

    Now, as any Zeppelin fan knows, Robert Plant’s vocal abilities were pretty much otherworldly, so those are some pretty big shoes to fill. But the former Mr. Avril Lavigne pulls it off, hitting every note and growl and yelp with admirably Plantian swagger.

    Of course, because Kroeger is the frontman for Nickelback, not everyone is willing to let him have his moment in the sun. One YouTuber likened the performance to a cover by “the world’s best karaoke band,” adding, “the fact that people are 'appreciating' it just shows how low the ceiling is for acceptable.” Uproxx was similarly skeptical, writing that although Kroeger did a “decent job” with the cover, “by ‘decent job’ I mean Kroeger managed to not totally decimate the song and turn it into usual Nickelback fodder.”

    Haters, they gonna hate.  Keep doing your thing, Kroegs. You can give us every inch of your love anytime.

    H/T Uproxx | Screengrab via mjpatriots/YouTube


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    Doprah seeped into our consciousness this summer with the video for “Stranger People,” a colorful spin down a rabbit hole of anime, J-Pop, and K-Pop imagery, as singer Indira Force is repackaged as different personas and controlled by a disembodied hand. Doprah's Steven John Marr told the Daily Dot the song’s lyrical thread is one of “denial, blissful ignorance, a dark reality disguised by a refined fantasy.”

    The New Zealand duo was just nominated for best video at the New Zealand Music Awards, so it certainly resonated with people. Many YouTube commenters related to the J-Pop and anime themes, and others thought it was ripping off the culture.

    “Some people got upset, which was a bit of a treat for us," said director Thunderlips. "We were quite flattered that people took the time to hassle us on YouTube. Also, we're nominated for best video at our New Zealand Music Awards this year, so we'd say the response has been ‘mixed.’”

    Thunderlips added that the video is “a critique, but not of anime or J-Pop culture. We had something we wanted to say about the commoditizing of people in the music industry globally. J-Pop was just a great style to wrap our thoughts in, because the Japanese industry has a remarkable lack of pretense when it comes to packaging people for mass consumption.”

    Here’s the cherry on top: An exclusive behind-the-scenes video of the making of “Stranger People.” The duo is currently touring the States and playing CMJ.

    Screengrab via Candlelit Pictures/Vimeo


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    "This is one of my favorite children's stories," said the man single-handedly responsible for instilling a love of the written word into a generation of American kids. "It's called Go the F**k to Sleep."

    And then LeVar Burton, the beloved host of the PBS show Reading Rainbow, said a whole bunch of swears as a group of adults sitting cross-legged on the floor listened attentively.

    Go the F**k to Sleep, which became an international hit in 2011, was described by author Adam Mansbach as a "children's book for adults." A parody of bedtime stories like Goodnight Moon, the book channels the frustration felt by billions of parents around the world when they attempt to get their little ones in bed despite protestations about not being sleepy. The combination of the near-universality of that feeling and the world "f**k" appearing on pretty much every page led the book to hit the top spot on the Amazon Best Sellers list weeks before its official release date.

    Burton did the reading as part of a livestream charity telethon put on by video game-focused video production studio Rooster Teeth, raising money in conjunction with Extra Life, an annual 24-hour gaming marathon aimed at helping sick kids.

    Burton's reading of the potty-mouthed story on the livestream was a reward for viewers making $75,000 in donations.

    The telethon ended up raising nearly half a million dollars for charity.

    And, if you were wondering, Burton—who recently turned a Kickstarter for a Reading Rainbow app into the most successful project in the crowdfunding site's history—was wearing a Captain Planet T-shirt to kick the nostalgia factor into maximum warp.

    Photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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    There's no question Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to be epic. The sequel to the blockbuster superhero team-up isn't scheduled to hit theaters until next year, but the film's first trailer dropped last week—to a deafening (and kinda creepy) amount of hype.

    The Joss Whedon-helmed summer tentpole is already generating a level of hype that Hollywood only seems to get once in a blue moon, as with grand-scale populist cinema like Star Wars, Jaws, and Titanic.

    It's likely Age of Ultron's connection to that third movie inspired Martin Revelation Films to mashup the trailer with Céline Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." Shockingly, not only does the whole thing work perfectly, but the new soundtrack actually makes the movie seem even more awesome.

    Screengrab via Marvel Entertainment/YouTube


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    There are two types of music fans. There are the ones who got really excited when seminal electronic artist Aphex Twin dropped Syro, his first album in more than a decade, earlier this year. And then there are the ones who were incapacitated with excitement when Taylor Swift's album 1989leaked online last week.

    It would be easy to say that people in the former camp are connoisseurs of challenging, genre-defining music that blends the aesthetics of electronica with the sensibilities of 20th century classical music in a way that's left an indelible imprint on a diverse array of artists from Radiohead to Skrillex, whereas people in the latter camp are hella basic.

    But it would be even easier to shut up and stop being so snobby because both T-Swift and Richard D. James (the man behind Aphex Twin's glitchy drums and swirling synths) are both awesome.

    Recognition of this dual awesomeness was behind the decision by postmodern Renaissance man David Rees to spend the summer creating Aphex Swift—a full-length album mashup of the two artists' music.

    Rees, an artist/TVshow host/artisinal pencil sharpener best know for his comic Get Your War On, explained the reasoning behind the project in a post on his Tumbr:

    I actually think Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) and Taylor Swift have a lot in common besides their songwriting talents — or, at least, they each have characteristics more commonly associated with the other.

    For instance, Taylor Swift made her name by writing big-hearted confessional songs for tween girls. But a lot of Aphex Twin’s music (especially on the Richard D. James album, from which most of these tracks are culled) is also super romantic — saccharine, even. Sometimes I wonder if his impossibly complex, inhuman drum patterns are just serving as a layer of sonic indie-cred to make the heart-on-your-sleeve melody and delicate timbres of (say) Girl/Boy song more palatable for “cool” people. Or, on a more personal level, it’s like he’s protecting his bleeding heart behind a crazy tangle of barbed-wire snare rolls. AND WHO AMONG US HASN’T DONE THAT?

    So part one of my thesis is: APHEX TWIN IS AS BIG A ROMANTIC CORNBALL AS TAYLOR SWIFT

    Rees then goes on to argue that James's trademark imagery that distorts his own visage in creepy ways is just as scary as Swift's "incredible poise and superhuman competence...[like] when Skynet becomes self-aware."

    It is impossible to argue with any of this, especially when the music itself may be even better than that time Swift was mashed up with a goat:

    H/T Stereogum | Photo by Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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    Thanks to Guillermo del Toro and Legendary, Halloween just got extra spooky for dozens of YouTube creators, as YouTube Spaces across the globe hosted custom-designed sets all October.

    Del Toro partnered with Legendary Entertainment and YouTube to design and construct the creepy sets for communal use. Numerous vloggers and production companies have taken advantage of the myriad of options for their October programming, with the intricate details of the sets and the ease of using them a welcome boon for creators. The Nerdist used the sets at the YouTube Space L.A. for various purposes, including a bimonthly Nerdist Presents sketch that became bigger and better thanks to the sets.

    “For us, when we’re shooting sketches for Nerdist, we’re almost always using locations,” said Nerdist director Andrew Bowser. “We’re in a house, or in an apartment, or in the offices. Honestly, to shoot on something that looks like this… If I were to look for a mansion location—in fact we had just looked for a great room type of set for a sketch we did a couple weeks ago, and those locations priced us out—our budget for the entire sketch would have been the location fee. I don’t even know how we could have shot this otherwise.”

    Geek & Sundry, now sister companies with Nerdist under the Legendary umbrella, also took advantage of the space in L.A.. Founder Felicia Day hadn’t tackled an ambitious musical number since The Guild, but she felt the elaborate sets were a perfect backdrop for dance. She even tapped her own personal dance teacher, Tor Campbell, to choreograph and perform in the number.

    “She said she’s always wanted to have us collaborate and work together, and out of nowhere she poofed and called me for this,” exclaimed Campbell, who’d never spent time on a set, let alone at the YouTube Space L.A. “I didn’t even know something this like existed!”

    The number, of course, has video game flare in addition to a spook factor. The dance moves and track are an amalgamation of actions and tunes from classic horror video games. The choreographry team also provided a tutorial so they could include more than just the trained dancers in the final product, inviting in partners and collaborators to try their hand at the moves for the music video.

    “It’s called '8-Bit Hunt,'” he explained. “We decided to take five dance steps from each popular video game, like Castlemania, and combined them all together to make one dance step like 'Thriller' or 'The Electric Slide' or 'The Cupid Shuffle.'”

    While he’s not a gamer, Campbell said he had an invaluable tool for learning about the video games Day wanted to include.

    “I had to watch the YouTube [videos],” he said. “It’s so funny, because people actually record themselves playing the video games. I [watched that] to try and get some moves, otherwise I would have had to play the game, and lord knows I wouldn’t have made it through—I’m that bad.”

    For both Nerdist and Geek & Sundry, the Halloween sets provided by the YouTube Space L.A. opened creative doors that significantly changed just how polished and easy their productions could be in October.

    “We’ve been pushing more towards cinematic-looking, narrative-driven sketches that aren’t those simple list sketches or things you can shoot in the office in an hour,” said Bowser. “I’ve wanted to push in that direction more—we all do—so having these sets, this will be one of the best-looking, if not the best-looking, sketches we’ve done. It’s more of a horror short film. Because of the production value that these sets add, it’s kind of crossing over from a sketch to a horror short. We have a growing horror fanbase, and they’re going to love the mood and the look of it all.”

    The sets will have their last spooky gasp on Friday when YouTube invites creators and guests to a Halloween party that opens the stages up to a haunted house. 

    Photo courtesy of Geek & Sundry


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    The San Francisco Giants’ shutout went off without a hitch Sunday night, but not before a major error kicked off the game.

    Staind singer Aaron Lewis took to the field to sing the National Anthem in front of thousands at AT&T Park and millions watching. While he started out strong, he joined that list of people who’ve royally messed up America's most important song. Sorry, Lewis, but “What so proudly we hailed were so gallantly streaming” is not how it goes.

    He finished out with the correct words, but the damage had already been done. Tim Lincecum’s face says it all.

    After the performance, Lewis released a statement and said that nerves had gotten the best of him.

    “All I can say is I'm sorry and ask for the Nation's forgiveness. My nerves got the best of me and I am completely torn up about what happened. America is the greatest country in the world. The Star-Spangled Banner means so much to so many, including myself. I hope everyone can understand the intensity of the situation and my true intent of this performance. I hope that the Nation, Major League Baseball and the many fans of our national pastime can forgive me.”

    H/T Brobible | Photo via Razvan Orendovici/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    Halloween is just around the corner, so who better to make you feel guilty about consuming massive amounts of candy than John Oliver?

    The average citizen is consuming too much sugar—sometimes up to 22 teaspoons daily—and while that’s bad for our health in the long run, you won’t hear about it from Big Sugar. In fact, thanks to how companies label food, you probably don’t know how much sugar you’re actually consuming.

    The FDA is trying to change that by requiring food and beverage companies label their products with how much sugar is added. Those companies are actively trying to fight this proposal, and if they can't stop it, they want to be allowed to list the information in grams, not teaspoons. Even the companies that manufacture products with cranberries, something Oliver says has sugar added to it to make it edible, don’t want to disclose that information.

    Instead, Oliver has a better solution: For every five grams of sugar, the manufacturer must show one peanut (each of which has at least five grams of sugar) on the product's label.

    "We are proposing, in the spirit of Halloween, that product manufacturers express their sugar content in the form of candy," Oliver said. "Specifically, circus peanuts, the most disgusting of all the candies. They taste like an elephant ejaculated into a packet of Splenda."

    Screengrab via Last Week Tonight with John Oliver/YouTube


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    The kings of the viral music video are at it again.

    With the release of OK Go’s newest music video for “I Won’t Let You Down,” the first single off the band’s latest album, Hungry Ghosts, the band has given us yet another video we can’t stop watching. They’ve already conquered treadmills, Rube Goldberg machines, paint, and optical illusions, and now they’ve set their sights on self-balancing unicycles.

    It involves coordinating an entire group of people riding the contraptions around a backlot and some lighting precision and umbrella choreography, but they’ve managed to pull it off yet again. Does it matter that you probably had no idea OK Go had a new album or it sounds similar to the last few? No, you’re still probably going to watch the video anyway.

    >

    Photo via OK Go/YouTube


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    The dad who once rapped about his vasectomy is back with another parody YouTube hit. The Holderness family tackles the drama of Halloween—from picky kids to annoying neighbors and candy preferences—to the tune of Snoop Dogg’s classic “Gin and Juice,” with a decidedly more family-friendly twist.

    The Holdernesses are no strangers to holiday-themed parodies. They first got attention with an homage to Christmas pajamas last year, and the foursome celebrated the first day of school by declaring they “like big buses.” Halloween is their newest target, swapping some NSFW lyrics with phrases like, “Rollin down the street with my kinfolk / dressed like a giant moose / laid back / with my mind on my candy / and my candy on my mind.”

    The only thing that could make this better? A cameo from Snoop Dogg himself. If anyone understands the lure of delicious Halloween candy, it’s probably Snoop, right?

    Screengrab via The Holderness Family/YouTube


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    A great poet once said, “Nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain.” And with that, it’s time to take in the changing of the leaves, the chill in the air, and the movies leaving Netflix in November.

    READ MORE:
    New on Netflix in November

    Three titles you should definitely check out: 1989’s classic tearjerker Steel Magnolias; Christian Bale’s master class, American Psycho; and Steve Buscemi’s 1996 cult favorite, Trees Lounge. The Magic School Bus is also leaving Nov. 5, but Netflix is rebooting it soon.

    Here’s the full list of what’s leaving Nov. 1:

    101 Dalmatians (1996)

    American Psycho (2000)

    Apocalypse Now (1979)

    Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)

    Balibo (2009)

    The Big Chill (1983)

    Blown Away (1992)

    Bob the Builder (1999-2012)

    Breezy (1973)

    Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986)

    Broadcast News (1987)

    The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

    Bullet Proof Monk (2003)

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

    Candyman (1992)

    Caveman (1981)

    Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (1980)

    Cloak & Dagger (1984)

    The Conqueror Worm (1968)

    The Dogs of War (1980)

    Elvis ’56 (1987)

    The Escape Artist (1982)

    Footloose (1984)

    For a Few Dollars More (1965)

    Fire in Babylon (2010)

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

    The Great Outdoors (1988)

    Hammett (1982)

    Hannibal (2001)

    He Said, She Said (1991)

    Heat Wave (2011)

    Iceman (1984)

    King Solomon’s Mines (1985)/Allan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold (1987)

    La Bamba (1987)

    Les Miserables (1998)

    The Ninth Gate (1999)

    The Odessa File (1974)

    One from the Heart (1982)

    Orca: The Killer Whale (1977)

    The Prince of Tides (1991)

    A Raisin in the Sun (2008)

    Red State (2011)

    Say Anything (1989)

    Serenity (2005)

    Silent Running (1971)

    Single White Female (1992)

    Small, Beautifully Moving Parts (2011)

    St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)

    Starman (1984)

    Steel Magnolias (1989)

    Tetro (2009)

    Thelma & Louise (1991)

    Thomas & Friends (2005-2012)

    Tortilla Soup (2001)

    Trees Lounge (1996)

    Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

    Up at the Villa (2000)

    Vigilante Force (1976)

    H/T Now Streaming | Screengrab via anusreknak/YouTube 


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    If you’ve never seen a human octopus, meet Senri Kawaguchi, a 16-year-old drummer who’s already better behind the kit than most people twice her age.

    In her latest video, Kawaguchi, who’s been featured on Drummer World and Zildjian.com, attacks the kit with grace and speed, to the point where it’s hard for your eyes to keep track of where’s she going. My favorite part is the beginning, when she casually looks up from reading and glances at her watch, like, "Oh, yeah, time to absolutely nail these drum fills.”

    On her YouTube page, Kawaguchi has several more videos of her practicing and playing live, including one from when she was just six years old.

    H/T Digg | Screengrab via Senri Kawaguchi/YouTube


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    The newest in Comedy Central’s suite of webseries, New Timers, is not the only slab of slow-burning, post-apocalyptic humor you’re likely to find in this format. But it’s probably the best, and one that certainly knows its limits.

    Not surprisingly, just because the webseries is the cheapest way of bringing certain ideas to life doesn’t meant that it’s the necessarily the most suitable. The landscape is littered with examples of efforts that, despite their best intentions, utterly missed the mark due to a poor understanding of the format

    I hate to preach, but sometimes it is necessary: If your idea looks like a good fit for a movie, it'll have roughly the same chance of working in five-minute chunks that attempts to bring sketch comedy to the big screen have had so far. There are exceptions, of course, but sadly not everyone is Monty Python, and it seems like such a waste of effort to handicap your project from the outset.

    But there are no such issues with New Timers—a concept that I suspect would be an absolute chore if we were exposed to its two naive and petty main characters for longer than the seven to 10 minutes of each episode. Within that time frame however, it holds up well; their concentration on the minutiae of their lives—making dip, arranging their apartment for a date (who is no doubt dead), and ruminating over power sockets—is slyly funny when coupled with their obliviousness of the civil war, famine, and annihilation of the human race that rages outside their apartment. 

    Conversations about dill (“Do we even have any?” “Oh yeah, so much”) while trying to shop in a burnt-out store hint at the show’s absurdity, but there's a balancing vein of humanity as well. When Matt explains that he is now able to play his Sega Game Gear—a console that is inherently funny—because he has taken the batteries out of their “emergency torch,” Charlie’s indifference is as touching as it is odd. With Charlie finally realizing that he has been stood up by his date, the two both play.   

    New Timers is written by, directed by, stars Matt Porter and Charlie Hankin, whom you may know from Good Cop Great Cop, their series of weekly (often very) shorts. Across those videos, they showed a knack for nailing length—few of the videos outstay their humor—and so it is here; the unevenness of each episode length is a testament to a writing team who know when to call “cut” just when the laughs do.    

    Screengrab via Comedy Central/YouTube


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    Lou Reed passed away a year ago today, leaving behind a gilded legacy and back catalog, both solo and with the Velvet Underground. Today, former Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale released the perfect tribute to him.

    Cale re-recorded the song “If You Were Still Around,” which originally appeared on his 1982 album Music for a New Society. The new version sounds more filled out than the original, which just featured somber organ and Cale’s voice. The video functions as a tribute to others who have passed as well, including Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick, whose images are projected around Cale.

    Cale passed along a touching statement with the video, highlighting his artistic and personal relationship with Reed:

    A Moth and a Candle met. They decided to become friends. Everyone enjoyed watching their discourse—especially the risk takers. Then one day a big rain came. The Moth couldn’t fly and the Candle puttered out. Everyone laughed in bitter awe and blamed the rain. Most however knew the deeper truth—the Candle remains lit and the Moth will stay close.

    Everybody go listen to some Velvet Underground tonight.

    H/T Rolling Stone | Screengrab via doublesixrecords/YouTube 


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    While you can watch Are You Afraid of the Dark? online, most of it just isn't scary these days. Thankfully, Elite Daily's latest YouTube series pinpoints current societal fears and blows them up in a hilarious parody inspired by Nickelodeon's early '90s staple. 

    Are You STILL Afraid of the Dark? takes on modern, millennial themes and worries. In Tales of the Facebook Stalker, for example, one girl realizes the dangers of Facebook stalking.

    There’s also Deadly Walk of Shame and The Girl Who Literally Couldn’t Even, further tales of modern mayhem. Sure, creepy swimming pools and haunted carnivals were frightening in the '90s to teens, but nowadays social suicide and the dangers of misusing “literally” are much scarier.

    Elite Daily doesn’t corner the market on Are You Afraid of the Dark? spoofs, however. Fans have also turned the iconic Bill Murray stories, where Murray allegedly does something out of the ordinary to pedestrians, into a scary tale about a rogue celebrity who could set upon you at any time.

    Of course, you can also go back to the source and watch actual Gary from Are You Afraid of the Dark?live a modern nightmare of being a former child star. All I know is the appeal of the Midnight Society doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

    Screengrab via Elite Daily/YouTube


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    We first heard inklings that life-size Precious Moments statue Taylor Swift was moving in a new direction on 2012’s smash, Red. It was singles like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “22,” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” that saw the starlet shedding her country curls and flirty sundresses for all the faux-edginess that accompanies a pair of Forever 21 leather shorts. But it’d take Swift two more years to bury those country roots and pursue the pop stardom she’s flirted with forever.

    The official announcement came via Yahoo! stream in August that Swift’s next album, 1989, would see the singer embark on a pop sojourn with a trusted fleet of producers including Max Martin and Shellback. The news was accompanied by the release of her music video for the album’s first single, “Shake It Off.”

    Once the screams of fervent Swifties died down, many casual fans were left to wonder if the album would be all brand: Would her trademark ballads of heartbreak and triumph be swapped for an album shilling 13 songs that sounded like a Diet Coke ad? “Out of the Woods” offered hope, but nothing was certain until the album’s midnight Monday release.

    We’ve done you the courtesy of ranking the album’s songs from best to meh, in order to make the Swift fanfare easier to parse.

    1) “Out of the Woods”

    With an ’80s synth chorus that screams more Haim than Swift, it’s no wonder the second single has garnered the critical acclaim needed to cement the album as more than just a collection of cheap thrills. Lena Dunham’s boo has left his production signatures all over the track and it’s all the better for it.

    2) “Blank Space”

    The title itself is a not-so-subtle wink to Swift’s well-documented romantic past, “Got a long list of ex-lovers that’ll tell you I’m insane / but I’ve got a blank space baby / and I’ll write your name.” Through her dry-witted self-deprecation, she manages to perform the gargantuan task of turning the Single White Female persona more slapstick than stalker.

    3) “Style”

    “Style” finds its footing with seductive guitars, slick synths, and a beat that catches the singer falling into a bad boy that’s too good to quit after dark. Imagine if Carey Mulligan’s character in Drive wrote a love song to a psychopathic Ryan Gosling.

    4) “How to Get the Girl”

    No, it’s not the title of a Tyler Perry movie starring Kevin Hart or a self-help book written by a Real Housewife. Rather, it’s a track for fans craving a taste of the country-tinged Swift they fell in love with on Fearless and Speak Now.

    5) “Bad Blood”

    Every album needs a physical song, and 1989’s is “Bad Blood.” The booming beat and chanting chorus defies the listener to do anything but stand up and stomp along in defiance of relationships past (or the STDs that resulted from said relationships).

    6) “Wildest Dreams”

    The song’s cinematic quality and breathy falsetto finds “Wildest Dreams” straying into virginal Lana Del Rey territory. Even its chord progression seems to be a close cousin of Lana’s “Without You.”

    7) “All You Had to Do Was Stay”

    The acoustic equivalent of a film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. It makes you feel good in the moment; it’s got all the star talent necessary to succeed; but once you look back on it, you just feel cheap and empty.

    8) “I Wish You Would”

    Meh.

    9) “Welcome to New York”

    This anthem is wide-eyed and innocent in its adoration for the city, holding all the promise and romanticism that comes with daydreaming about a life in Manhattan while watching Girls from a Midwestern bedroom. At the very best it offers the escapism of living in a Tribeca penthouse with millions of dollars for actual New Yorkers sandwiched in a three-bedroom Harlem apartment.

    10) “Shake It Off”

    “Shake It Off” sounds like what I imagine Diet Coke taste like to white women. Both were created to cure the thirst of haters and both are harmful to your health. But at least there's no awkward rapping in aspertame. Ultimately, both are addictive.

    11) “I Know Places”

    While the chorus is familiar Tay, the verses find her contorting herself to a darker, sexier corner of the pop genre. The marriage of the two is about as tolerable as the one between Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.

    12) “This Love”

    Nah.

    13) “Clean”

    Even though it’s got Imogen Heap’s vocals and some saccharinely sweet xylophone, Swift’s slower stuff is harder to sell when placed against the uptempo pop. One final, emphatic “MEH!” is very much in order.

    While 1989 is certainly pop, pop perfection is still a platitude that is up for debate. The album’s strengths and weaknesses both lie in Swift herself. A newcomer to the genre could certainly garner some success with an album like this, but it’s her established brand that will take 1989 to the top of the charts. Conversely, it’s the singer’s limited vocal range and the album’s heavy reliance on speak-singing and chanting that make it more of a candidate for Best Spoken Word album instead of Album of the Year.

    Photo via jazills/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    While Hogwarts is focused on instructing young witches and wizards about transfiguration and how to defend themselves against the dark arts, Sesame Streetis more interested in teaching children how bewitching listening and following directions can be. That’s where Furry Potter and the Goblet of Cookies comes in.

    Thankfully for Furry and his plush blue fur (that's Cookie Monster in the lead role), the three tasks involved in his personal Triwizard Tournament don’t involve any dragons. He does have some complicated sorting to deal with if he ever wants to taste the glory that is the Goblet of Cookies. Without the assistance of the Sorting Hat or Extendable Ears, Furry has to listen carefully to the directions of Professor Crumblemore and place the correct cookies into the appropriate jars. 

    Will he triumph? You'll have to watch to find out. 

    Screenshot via SesameStreet/YouTube


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    What kind of awful lives did we lead before snarky YouTube videos informed us that we were doing everything wrong?

    We ate most of our foods wrong. We never knew how to really tie ties or shoelaces. Now we learn that our approach to enjoying breakfast has been laughably misguided.

    BuzzfeedYellow's latest entry showcases how pancakes, omelets, and even cereal can be enjoyed to the fullest possible level.. Amazingly, there is actually a wrong way to pour orange juice.

    Granted, the last few examples are less "here's how to properly enjoy this" and more "here's how to turn that breakfast into a dessert," but that's an unimportant detail. After all, the new and improved pancake-bacon combo does indeed sound better than eating both foods separately.

    To anyone reading this story on your lunch break: Chances are you just ate that sandwich wrong.

    Image via Janine/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    Reading Blake Griffin’s experience of going to one of former Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s parties is one thing. Hearing him talk about it is quite another.

    Sterling held an annual “white party” at his Malibu mansion every year, and Griffin recounted to Conan O’Brien his first experience at one as a fresh-faced 20-year-old transplant to Los Angeles after he was drafted by the Clippers. Everyone was required to dress in white from head to toe. Sterling, as the host, wore all black.

    Now that Sterling is no longer the owner, Griffin can laugh about the awkward time he was paraded around to everyone in attendance as the team’s huge prospect. And old and overused Clippy jokes aside, the players seem much happier with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer owning the team now.

    Screengrab via Team Coco/YouTube


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