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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Cult BBC drama The Hour may have been cancelled earlier this week, but fans aren’t letting it go without a fight.

    Blending Cold War espionage and 1950s class warfare with romance, The Hour was a newsroom drama about the birth of television reporting, and was seen by many as Britain’s answer to Mad Men. Fans have been quick to set up a petition to have the critically-acclaimed show renewed for a third season, citing its high quality writing and mature subject-matter as one of the few BBC shows able to compete with channels such as HBO:

    “It's unique, it's gripping - and, most importantly, it shows the BBC is still willing to deal with heavyweight issues... In an age of dumbing-down, it is important that the BBC remembers its own purpose: to inform, educate, and entertain.”

    Image via lyonsheart/Tumblr

    In an ironic twist, much of the conflict within The Hour centers around its characters battling against ratings-driven BBC TV bosses who want to cancel its own show-within-a-show. This certainly came in handy for fans making supportive GIFs and images to use in the campaign, which conveniently comes with its own ready-made slogan: “The Hour you can’t miss”.

    Starring Romola Garai (Atonement), Dominic West (The Wire) and Ben Whishaw (Cloud Atlas; Skyfall), The Hour gained a dedicated fan-following on both sides of the Atlantic—an international fanbase which may account for its low ratings. Much like the similarly ratings-challenged Community, The Hour seems to be a show whose fans mostly caught up by watching online and participating in Tumblr-based fandom rather than using traditional viewing methods.

    Image via dearsixsmith/Tumblr

    As well as writing to the BBC and creating a Save The Hour Tumblr to publicize the campaign, viewers have been taking to Twitter to voice their displeasure via the #savethehour hashtag. Fans have also been reaching out to actors and showrunners from other cult TV series such as Firefly to gain their support, with New York Times bestselling author (and, apparently, The Hour aficionado) Joe Hill pointing out that several other shows have been brought back from the brink by similar campaigns.

    If you’re curious about why more than 10,000 people have signed the #savethehour petition in two days, Tumblr user bishaw has created a comprehensive list of resources for The Hour’s various creative endeavours, including fan videos, art, signature tea blends, 1950s cocktails, and more.

    Image by doctor-waitforit-who/Tumblr 

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    The Count is about to count his way to a milestone.

    Sesame Street is about 22 million views away from becoming the first nonprofit organization and the first U.S. children's company to reach one billion views on YouTube, Geekosystem reported. At press time, the channel's videos have 978,247,378 total views.

    "It blows me away to think about how popular and strong a platform (YouTube) has become for us," Terry Fitzpatrick, executive vice president of content and distribution for Sesame Workshop, told the Associated Press.

    They want the fans and viewers to keep watching their videos in order to get them past that one billion hurdle, but there's only so many times we can watch "Upside Downton Abbey" or share our cookies with the Cookie Monster in one sitting.

    So, as some parents do with their kids, Sesame Street came up with a little bribe to get us to do what they want: Get us those last 22 million views and we'll release a "top secret video."

    The announcement came via a YouTube video posted to the channel on Thursday and features Telly Monster discovering the top secret video as he scrolls through the Sesame Street YouTube channel.

    "It's a top secret video!" Telly exclaims. "I have to watch a top secret video!"

    To his dismay, he finds that he is unable to watch the top secret video and is greeted with a message that says, "ACCESS DENIED. This Sesame Street video is currently unavailable. It cannot be accessed until the Sesame Street Channel has reached 1,000,000,000 views."

    Throughout the video, there is a pop-up on the bottom of the screen (reminiscent of the pop-up ads that usually appear on videos) that shows SesameStreet has achieved 97 percent of their goal as of the video's release.

    In order to reach that goal—and unlock the top secret video—Telly Monster needs your help to hit that goal and help Sesame Street continue their mission to educate children around the world.

    There's no indication on what the top secret video will be, and the only clue, if we are to take it from Telly's message, is that the video clocks in at 5:15.

    If that's the case, that probably rules out a Sesame StreetHarlem Shake video.

    They could even release a video showing the Count counting to one billion. I'd still watch.

    Photo via SesameStreet/YouTube

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    We've seen some hardcore fans in our time, but this weekend, residents of Norway will show us their devotion to the hottest fandom of all: firewood.

    If you think of Scandinavia, you might think of hearty rusticity and elegant taste, so it's fitting that starting tonight, Norwegians are treating themselves to both on prime time, when a twelve-hour series featuring a slowly burning fireplace airs on public broadcasting, complete with thrilling commentary by a panel of expert firewood enthusiasts.

    "It will be very slow but noble television," producer Rune Moeklebust stated. You might think of it as putting the Twin Peaks into Scandinavian rural living.

    Apparently Norwegians really love their firewood. The hottest book in the country right now, second only to Fifty Shades of Grey, is a book analysing the meaning and culture of firewood entitled Hel Ved, a pun comparing firewood to primal strength or the salt of the earth. From Norway News:

    “He [author Lars Mytting] has hit upon the deepest structural core of the Norwegian people: The desire for self-sufficiency, combined with coziness around the fireplace,” researcher Jørgen Lortentzen told newspaper Aftenposten recently. “I think there’s a surprising number of Norwegians who have a saw standing by, and when you peek around people’s properties, you’ll find lots of stacked firewood.”

    Tonight's broadcast will be all about how-to guides for fireplace n00bs, from cutting and stacking tips to "cultural segments with music and poetry," according to Moeklebust.

    Norwegians have always had a special relationship with fire, from before that time the mythical trickster Loki stole fire from the Frost Giants. Alas, that part didn't make it into Thor.  The network is predicting that thrill-seeking citizens of Norway will be tuning in even on a Friday night to watch the drama unfold and the cinderblocks crackle.

    Considering that 3 million people apparently once tuned in to the same network to watch a 134-hour boat ride, and a seven-hour train ride before that, the network may have a point.

    But will a simulated block of firewood really have the same pull with viewers? We're alight with curiosity. (Sorry.)

    No matter what, we hope there'll be a spate of lethargically pleasing Tumblr GIFsets for everyone to curl up to—preferably without danger of smoke inhalation.

    Image via romancewithoutfinance/Tumblr

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  • 02/18/13--05:00: Weird YouTube: Maximus Thor
  • The black hole of YouTube can be the worst way to ruin an afternoon, or the best way to find some of the strangest things on the Internet. For example, Maximus Thor.

    The first video is unassuming enough–a young, blonde, permanently shirtless child (apparently named Maximus) hops along a jungle gym, then turns to the camera and, in the voice of a large black man, proclaims, “Hi, beeyatch!” But wait.

    From here on in, Maximus—still voiced by a large black man—starts revealing what makes him tick. He discusses the implications of Darth Vader’s mask while playing a rousing game of Minecraft.

    Pulp Fiction-esque minutia becomes the theme of this channel as Maximus rants about the poor service and lack of male role models in the Happy Meal toys at his local McDonald’s. “You got 20 of them Disney princess dolls but I can’t get a damn Transformer up in this bitch? I mean I’ll take the shit if that’s all ya got.”

    Like any growing boy who is also a 40-year-old black man, Maximus goes to the gym, where he “get swole” and forgets how to count to 1,000.

    During a massage, Maximus has a chat with his lawyer about some legal trouble he’s in. Likely a citation for being too damn gangster.

    Maximus, now in a Bumblebee (the Transformer) Halloween costume, plays with a dog. The lawyer hits on the masseuse who is also a vampire? At this point it’s anyone’s guess what’s really happening.

    With his crew, Maximus draws comparisons between former New York Giants football player Lawrence Taylor and the Terminator while possibly drinking sizzurp.

    A man is introduced as Maximus’s father but is actually a robot made out of cardboard? All semblance of reality is now lost.

    Maximus speaks with his lawyer about his interest in making a “white exploitation film” which would be “gangsta Disney shit” that seems to have a lot in common with Robocop.

    Finally, Maximus buys toy guns from the truck of a car while quoting 2Pac and learns a few things about marksmanship. “That little thing is for aiming? And all this time I just been blastin’ at fools.”

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    Established YouTubers and studio-funded productions reigned supreme at the third Streamy Awards on Sunday, which honored achievement in online video.

    Burning Love, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, and Epic Rap Battles of History took the top awards with four Streamys apiece as the show handed out 16 awards over the course of the night. (Nineteen awards were announced on Wednesday.)

    Host Chris Hardwick kicked off the night validating to the audience of online content creators and mainstream entertainers why there was a need for an award show like the Streamys, which hadn't taken place in three years.

    “I wanted to host this show because I have a YouTube channel; I make Web videos, and I understand how hard it is,” Hardwick said, telling media companies to stop asking people to make viral videos. “TV is easy compared to Web. It just has to be watchable. Web video has to be shareable."

    Hardwick, the co-founder of Nerdist Industries, has experience with both online and mainstream entertainment. He runs the Google-fundedNerdist Channel and hosts a number of shows on TV, including The Talking Dead (on which he appeared after the Streamys).

    A mix of online personalities and TV entertainers, often paired with each other, presented the awards amid sometimes awkward scripted banter. Soulja Boy, Shontelle, and Boyce Avenue performed between awards, and Vanilla Ice ended the night with a number of his biggest hits.

    Established YouTube personalities took early awards as Hannah Hart, KassemG, and Phil DeFranco nabbed Streamys. DeFranco won again later in the night with Audience Choice for Series of the Year for SourceFed.

    DailyGrace's Grace Helbig won two awards, including Audience Choice for Personality of the Year.

    "This is the most important thing in the entire world is that you watch," Helbig said. "It's free entertainment for you, and that's absolutely amazing."

    Burning Love, which is a parody of The Bachelor and airs on Yahoo!, won four awards on the show. Best Male Performance: Comedy winner Ken Marino provided laughs for the audience as he thanked the Streamys for the cash bar before he chugged a cup of beer following the win for Best Comedy Series.

    Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and H+ The Digital Series won the awards for Best Drama Series and Best Action or Sci-Fi Series, respectively. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn was released on MachinimaPrime prior to the release of Halo 4 instead of opting for a theatrical release. H+ The Digital Series, which was part of the Google Initiative, had been in development as far back as 2006.

    David Hasselhoff participated in a pre-recorded segment, which turned into a spoof of the viral "Elevator Ghost Prank" video, which featured cameos from Nicole Westbrook, Antoine Dodson, Debbie (who cried about cats in an eHarmony video), the man who danced to Beyonce in a leotard, and GloZell Green (who almost died doing the cinnamon challenge).

    Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist of Epic Rap Battles of History joined Vanilla Ice on stage as they performed the rap from their award-winning video, "Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates."

    You can view a complete list of nominees and winners on the Streamy Awards website or watch the Streamy Awards in its entirety below.

    Screengrab via Streamy Awards

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    They say that music is the universal language. They also probably thought to consider the lyrics.

    Yes, though a 1-5-6-4 chord progression can create a melody that you could whistle to no matter whether you're from England, Estonia, or El Salvador, the poignant sentiment of love that's attached to Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour" can only be consumed if you're adept enough at Western language to understand that even a blind man knows his lady's as lovely as a summer's day.

    Which is why we're lucky to have foreign language interpretations.

    Some of the most popular songs in British and American history have been restructured to make their messages more universally appreciated and increasingly profitable. It's something that sometimes happens at the artist's discretion—The Beatles' German renditions of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" ("Komm gibmir deine Hand") and "She Loves You" ("Sie liebt rich") may be the most iconic—but also via covers by regional acts.

    In either case, the foreign interpretation of the English language original is often pretty silly. You're listening to the Supreme's delectable "(Baby, Baby) Where Did Our Love Go," except it's not "(Baby, Baby) Where Did Our Love Go" at all. It's "(Baby, Baby) Wo Ist Unsere Liebe," and Diana Ross all of a sudden sounds like some woman named Anke Vrosstën, and she's singing about some guy named Niklas.

    "Wo Ist Unsere Liebe," asked Anke. Uhn Anke, was über unseren Englisch?

    Countless foreign language remakes have made their way from the studio onto radio waves throughout the world, but we selected a special 35 on Spotify. They run the gamut from Wilco's self-performed "Me Avivé" cover of 2011's "Dawned on Me" to Seu Jorge's French remake of David Bowie's "Oh! You Pretty Things." There's Beyoncé doing "Irremplazable," Cypress Hill getting "Loco En El Coco," the Flaming Lips using Japanese to fight the pink robots.

    There's something for everyone in every place and in almost every language.

    Screengrab via White Stripes/YouTube

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    Remember "Hot Cheetos & Takis," that YN Rich Kids music video that took over the world in August 2012 to the tune of 5.5 million views? That video and its subsequent iTunes- and Amazon-ready recordings have brought in an excess of $10,000, and the Kids haven't seen a single hot, red cent.

    According to a report run Sunday in Minnesota'sStar Tribune, the YMCA-organized YN Rich Kids (now known simply as KIDS) are the creators and performers of a hit rap track that's brought in more than $10,000 in Google AdSense money, but they've never had the chance to play the role of beneficiary. 

    Instead, that money has gone directly to videographer Richard Peterson, who claims ownership of the video on YouTube and maintains that he has no legal obligation to hand over any money—nor does he plan to distribute any of the earnings outside of a $1,700 check he gave to the YMCA in October as a "donation."

    The KIDS are also responsible for roughly 11,000 online purchases of "Hot Cheetos & Takis" through iTunes and Amazon, singles that sell at 99 cents a single and deliver 65 cents to the artist on each sale, but the Star Tribune reports that the shareholder behind the single is Minneapolis's North Community YMCA and not the collection of kids who made the song so popular.

    "We're running a community center, not a record label," North Community YMCA director Alicia Johnson told the Star Tribune. "If the team got $1,000 off [a basketball game], the money wouldn't go to the individual athletes. It would go back into the program."

    Common sense, but Johnson's organization may not be treating the situation practice. In October, she and the rest of the North Community YMCA allegedly handed the KIDS' parents a waiver cutting their children out of any legal rights to their work—a waiver the parents reportedly refused to sign. 

    "We're not saying the Y shouldn't get a share to continue funding this program, but our kids deserve some of it for their college educations," offered Tiffany Powell, one of the KIDS' mothers. 

    Now it looks as though the parents are turning elsewhere. Recently, they began negotiations with a local management and production company called All Goode Music, which has enlisted attorneys to help in the YMCA dispute and a pending record contract. 

    "At this point, we're fending off labels that went them," said AGM's Paul Bolen.

    Photo via13twentythree/YouTube

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    Radiohead and Atoms for Peace frontman Thom Yorke took a break from chatting up the musical android in his head earlier today and attempted to communicate with ordinary humans. The results of Yorke's Reddit AMA were mixed. 

    Yorke and fellow Atoms for Peace member Nigel Godrich were promoting their newest album, Amok. Yorke has a reputation for being a bit of an oddball in real life, and his answers on Reddit were predictably circuitous and occasionally nonsensical. They were also atrociously ungrammatical and at times impenetrable—but highly entertaining. 

    In the industry, he's also known to be a bit of an abrasive jerk. Thankfully that side of Yorke's personality didn't show up on Reddit. He was downright nice. We think.

    Here are the best of Yorke's weird and barely legible comments.

    How much of your soul do you put into your 'seriously' do you wish people to take your lyrics?  (Huck13b3rryF1nn)

    confessional?!! mm i don;t think so at all. do you think M Stipe's lyrics are confessional? what is within is also stream of consciousness is also gibberish and also just sounds. by the time the words have stuck, they have just stuck. the glue is set and i can't undo. before that is a messy bit.
    does that help? ofcourse not.

    Thom, do you plan to explore the low end of your range more in the future? I love how you sound on Wolf at the Door. (waterspeaker)

    Yes i would love to. I know its there, ive heard it. its not naturally where i end up. So it's a good place to head, deep into the woods. The back of the cupboard.. ya nah?

    Jack White says Radiohead have a single ready to go. When can we expect that/ what songs did you record for it? (Lelsubreddit)

    We was at AJck Jack Whites places... we now have two unfinished tracks, one of which is identikit. Its nice there, red and black and white nshit.
    err, we work slower than him (umderstatement)\
    hi everyone

    When you're tinkering with a song idea, how do you make the determination that "this one's for Radiohead" vs. "this is an Atoms for Peace song"? (iceybloop)

    its a grey area. getting greyer. obviously depends on who is being sampled. are you being in sampled?

    Dear Thom, I would like to know if you prefer tea or coffee? And do you use sugar or honey or nothing in your hot drink? (thomineyork)

    ah finally something important. today is a strong coffee day. 7am deserves it. im a pain in the arse without if that helps? mostly. thm

    Thom, how did you become comfortable sharing your voice with others? Were your formative years a struggle to find your voice as a writer/musician or was it more of a painless evolution? (SlingDinger)

    my formative years involved finding no-one else to sing the songs. so doing it myself. and singing into a bucket, but thats another story. stanley donwood has a kind of vibrator on his shoulder right now

    have no good questions, but thought I'd say hello. Keep up the good the work. (music4mic)

    you win. i would like to give you a prize. i need a coffee, would you like one?

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  • 02/18/13--14:08: YouTube Guide: "Bald Guy"
  • With more than 72 hours of footage uploaded every minute, it's physically impossible to keep track of the content on YouTube. But in YouTube Guide, the Daily Dot will curate its five favorite finds for each workday.

    1) Nice Peter, "Bald Guy."

    Streamy Award-winner Peter Shukoff has finally come to the realization that he's losing his hair, so he wrote a song about it. He's looked at other options, but he was afraid of the side effects. Bruce Willis and Capt. Picard are both bald and hot, so he accepts his new role as a bald guy as he gets the last of his hair shaved off.

    2) Devin Graham, "Flyboard - Coolest Water Jet Pack Ever!"

    A lucky group of people got the chance to release their inner-dolphin with an assortment of dives, flips, and tricks with the help of a water jet pack. Even the people out of the water are having a good time.

    3) FoundItem, "Pizza On Film (Supercut)"

    Hollywood sure loves its pizza. Dozens of movie characters over the years mention, order, and devour the cheesy masterpiece, and FoundItem sliced most of them into one mouth-watering supercut.

    4) Ronnie Street Stunts, "Winter Free Running - Ice Parkour"

    Parkour isn't just a sunny weather sport. Faced with a snowy city, professional freerunner Ronnie Shalvis still moves efficiently on an ice rink and ground with flips, rolls, and jumps through the snow.

    5) minutephysics, "What Is The Universe?"

    The universe usually means everything, but minutephysics' Henry Reich ponders whether that includes the things we aren't sure of (like the future), and the things that we just aren't aware of yet—or may be too far away to have reached Earth.

    Photo via nicepeter/YouTube

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    On Feb. 19, the latest chapter of the Harlem Shake sensation unfolded: Its creator, Baauer, hosted a Reddit AMA.

    The producer and artist, born Harry Rodrigues, answered redditors' queries using the handle baauershake. The session, posted to the r/music subreddit, received thousands of upvotes and over 3,000 comments. The community discussed everything from the unexpected popularity of the video to Baauer's history in music.

    Redditor realwords got in on the action early with a five-part question:

    1. What would you say has been your strongest cultural influence in the music you make? Do you have any particular artists who inspire you?
    2. How early did you start producing music? Did it ever come at the sacrifice of another hobby you loved?
    3. For any teenager who say, wanted to start producing cough, what critical pieces of advice would you give them?
    4. If you could work with any artist, production wise or providing lyricism, what would it be?
    5. WTF is up with Azealia Banks? I like some of her music, but her behavior towards people in the music industry is a little inexcusable…. I know it’s a lot of questions, but I know this is probably the one time I’ll be able to ask you some of the things I’ve always wondered about. I’d really appreciate it if you answered, and thank you SO much for making music and doing this AMA! (realwords)

    1. I take influences from all different cultures, but growing up in london was probably the most significant. Was really inspired by Hudson Mohawke, and the whole luckyme sound.
    2. I was 13 when i started making music. Never really got in the way of anything. i always made time for music.
    3. find out what makes you, you. and stick with it.
    4. I think itd be fun to work with Pharrell
    5. I think shes an incredibly talented artist, who sometimes spends more time beefing than creating."

    what is your favorite Harlem Shake video? (KoalaYummies)

    I think the under water one is pretty great. also the T-Pain one.

    Do you feel that the viral craze over the "Harlem Shake" videos has changed how people view your music? I listened to trap music and had heard your songs numerous times before the videos first came out and it seems to be taking away from your credibility as an artist. In other words, does it annoy you that you are only now receiving significant praise due to the competition for the stupidest 30 second video? (KGDaMarauder)

    The viral craze was something totally out of my control. I see it really positively. at the end of the day lots of new people are listening to my music. Im hoping that my music will speak for itself.

    Has your recent fame brought you any opportunities you want to talk about? What do we expect to see next from Baauer? (Lurknasty22)

    People want to give me free clothes which i really fuck with.

    Will you be buying Frank lunch for his aid in helping your music reach millions? Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized Duck? (blanketswithsmallpox)

    Pizza is on me. Why am I fighting what do they want I think we could work something out before it gets physical?

    Photo via YouTube

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    Good news if you're a fan of Arrested Development's David Cross, Julia Stiles, and/or America Ferrera: They have a new film which you can watch today, for free.

    The downside?

    You'll need to watch it in six-second chunks on Twitter's new video-sharing app Vine. And you’ll have to wait patiently as a movie distributor's intern (probably) painstakingly films and uploads each clip on an iPhone—the only way to currently share videos with Vine.

    Oscilloscope Pictures will release comedy It's a Disaster one vine at a time starting at 4.30pm ET Tuesday, with a representative for the distributor calling it a "tongue in cheek" experiment.

    "Jean-Luc Godard once said that he pities French cinema because it has no money and American cinema because it has no ideas," director Todd Berger said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "Well this is certainly an idea."

    The film's running time is 88 minutes, which means Oscilloscope will need to make approximately 880 Vine videos to share the whole thing.

    This is hardly the first promotional stunt with Vine. Earlier this week, digital agency Code Computerlove turned several clips into a comic book called "The Last Drop,"

    Screengrab via oscopelabs/YouTube

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    Every evening, the Daily Dot delivers a selection of links worth clicking from around the Web, along with the day's must-see image or video. We call it Dotted Lines.

    Here's Reggie Watts on Bill Nye in the '90s, when he was "about 40 pounds lighter."

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    Kelly Clarkson doesn't think legendary music executive Clive Davis is a "Mr. Know It All" as he claims in his newly released biography.

    The former American Idol winner and world's preeminent pop singer lashed out on her Whosay account against claims Davis makes in his new book, The Soundtrack of My Life, which made headlines Tuesday after Davis came out as bisexual.

    In her 500-word letter, Clarkson clarifies that she never cried in Davis' office, refutes his criticism that her 2007 album My December was a dud, and gave her fans insider insight on how the record industry works.

    Beginning the letter "Hey y'all," because she's still the same ol’ girl from Texas, Clarkson said Davis was "spreading false information" about her and her music. Cue outrage!

    "I refuse to be bullied and I just have to clear up his memory lapses and misinformation for myself and for my fans," she writes in a clear jab aimed at Davis. "Growing up is awesome because you learn you don't have to cower to anyone—even Clive Davis."

    Here's are a few notable excerpts.

    On her "hysterical sobbing":

    Not true at all. His stories and songs are mixed up. I did want more guitars added to the original demo (of “Since U Been Gone”) and Clive did not. Max, Luke and I still fought for the bigger sound and we prevailed and I couldn't be more proud of the life of that song. I resent him dampening that song in any way.

    On his ravaging of “Because of You”:  

    I cried because he hated it and told me verbatim that I was a "sh*tty writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me." He continued on about how the song didn't rhyme and how I should just shut up and sing. This was devastating coming from a man who I, as a young girl, considered a musical hero and was so honored to work with.

    On My December:

    I am very proud of that and I have my fans to thank. But, again, what's most interesting about his story is what he leaves out: He doesn't mention how he stood up in front of his company at a convention and belittled me and my music and completely sabotaged the entire project. It never had a chance to reach it's full potential. My December was an album I needed to make for myself for many reasons and the fact that I was so completely disregarded and disrespected was so disheartening, there really aren't words to explain….

    She wrote one final parting shot, ending it "I love my label and all of my professional And I am grateful for Clive for teaching me to know the difference."

    Photo via The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas/Flickr

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    With more than 72 hours of footage uploaded every minute, it's physically impossible to keep track of the content on YouTube. But in YouTube Guide, the Daily Dot will curate its five favorite finds for each workday.

    1) Canadian Space Agency, "Chris Hadfield's Space Kitchen"

    Everybody's favorite social media-savvy astronaut shows off the kitchen at the International Space Station (with better food than in the '60s) and demonstrates how to make a peanut butter and honey sandwich without losing anything or making crumbs.

    2) CGPGrey, "How to Become Pope"

    Now that Pope Benedict XVI has resigned, the Catholic Church need to pick a new pope. Technically, the only criteria you need to achieve is to be a man and Catholic, but in reality, the process is a lot more selective. C.G.P. Grey breaks down the career path to the papacy.

    3) Daym Drops, "McDonald's NEW Fish McBites"

    Master food reviewer Daym Drops saw your comments, read your emails, and got your phone calls. He may have a problem with the box size, but they're still damn sexy and serve as an alternate choice for the Fish sandwich.

    4) AVbyte, "Oscars 2013—Seth MacFarlane Musical"

    It's been a good year for the movies, and Oscar host Seth MacFarlane feels compelled to break out into song to compare the different nominees for this year's ceremony—as well as the ones that fell a little short.

    5) Cinema Sins, "Everything Wrong With Inception in 4 Minutes or Less"

    After many requests from viewers, CinemaSins tackled Inception, a film that's still confusing fans and viewers to this day. And even after multiple viewings, these guys still can't make heads or tails of it through its sins.

    Photo via Canadian Space Agency/YouTube

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    After months of radio silence, Teen Wolf showrunner Jeff Davis has emerged to answer fan questions via the Teen Wolf Tumblr. Billed as a tongue-in-cheek (and rather more feminist) alternative to Twilight, the show has gained a hugely enthusiasticonline fanbase thanks to its combination of Buffy-esque horror pastiche, snappy dialogue, and upfront support for queer characters.

    Davis seems very adept at keeping the balance between close-mouthed mystery and fandom-friendly behind-the-scenes hints, so it’s no surprise that this Q&A includes references to Sterek (a nickname for the enormously popular Stiles/Derek pairing, which has yet to actually appear on the show), jokes about threatening to sue to protect Season 3 spoilers, and — inevitably — the show’s mysterious lack of shirts for its male characters.

    While we imagine that the Teen Wolf publicity team probably had to delete a great deal of Sterek-related messages — not to mention requests for cast member Dylan O’Brien to finally film a shirtless scene— the fan questions were interestingly varied. Some of the best were purely logistical. For example, do werewolves need to go to the dentist?


    And how does the apparently homeless werewolf Derek Hale manage to look like a supermodel at all times?


    In terms of plot developments for Season 3, fans will be pleased to hear that there will be absolutely no vampires whatsoever (although Jeff Davis is hoping for a unicorn at some point). With 24 episodes to work with, there will be far more time for character development including team-ups among the human characters, information about werewolf Boyd’s home life, and a backstory episode about the fire that killed Derek Hale’s family. In addition to dropping these storyline hints, Davis also attempted to whet fandom’s appetite for continuity details:



    For concerned Sterek fans, the rumors about a possible love-interest for Derek remain inconclusive. Jeff Davis’ comments on the matter are that he “doesn’t pay attention to rumors” and that there won’t be a “new girl.” However, since Davis is known for teasing his viewers, this still leaves the field open for Sterek — or a different love-interest such as a girl who has already appeared on the show, or another male character. Either way, Davis had nothing but good things to say about Sterek fandom in general:


    As for the rest of the Q&A, there were a lot of hints but no real spoilers. Sadly, no one asked the “Nairwolves” question: Why do none of the werewolves have any chest hair, even when they’re half transformed? But aside from that, here are some of our favorite answers:

    Photo via Teen Wolf/Tumblr

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    Asking Nick Cave to do a Twitter Q&A invokes only slightly less curmudgeonly tweets than a Morrissey Q&A would.

    The Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds frontman said on Vine he was "roped into" doing the Twitter chat, and if his disdain for the experience wasn't already evident, he made sure to point it out in his tweets.

    As Spin points out, Cave did have some earnest answers for fans, declaring that Nina Simone is the best artist he's ever seen perform and revealing that he's a "Wikipediaphile." However, his sniping, grouchy responses were far more enjoyable.

    Photo by david_shankbone/Flickr

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    Could this finally be Julie Stiles's year to win an Emmy?

    Probably not, because her Web series about a hooker named Blue is the worst. However, she could be nominated and this might be the year YouTube and other digital series win big, according to John Leverence, the vice president of awards for the Primetime Emmy presentation.

    In an article on, Leverence predicts that the effects will finally be felt this year from a 2008 rule change that allowed for non-regularly scheduled shows from non-traditional channels (NBC, HBO, etc.) to compete against established competitors.

    "I suspect that 2008 will join 1988 — when the Academy introduced cable into eligibility — as a landmark year in the history of the Primetime Emmys," said Leverence, adding that it took six years before two cable programs (HBO's Stalin and Barbarians at the Gate) actually won awards in 1993.

    So, is 2013 the new 1993? Leverence thinks so.

    It's due to the influx of quality and original programming from online outlets, most notably Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube. It's no surprise that both the critically acclaimed hit House of Cards and revamped Arrested Development on Netflix are already garnering award buzz, and as covered extensivelyon the Daily Dot, YouTube has invested heavily on more professional programming.

    "The Internet is about to come to consciousness about the Emmys," Leverence said.

    Even though a bulk of YouTube-based shows are too short to compete in the televised awards viewers are used to seeing, that doesn't mean the company's pricey foray into original programming won't be unnoticed.

    Two categories to keep an eye on this year are "Short Format Live-Action Entertainment Program" and "Short Format Nonfiction Program," which is usually dominated by the networks (i.e.'s Jay Leno's Garage). notes that WIGS (where Stiles's show is based), MachinimaPrime (home of the Halo movie) and AwesomnessTV could grab some awards in those catergories.

    "We leave it to our voting members to determine quality, with excellence the criterion for nominations and wins," Leverence says.

    And have your checkbook ready, as an entry to be considered by the Academy runs around $600 to $700.

    "The YouTube backyard barbecue video featuring Fido jumping in the pool is probably not going to be entered," joked Leverence. "But it could be."

    In order to be eligible for a 2013 Emmy, a show must air before May 31.

    Photo via WIGS/YouTube

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    With more than 72 hours of footage uploaded every minute, it's physically impossible to keep track of the content on YouTube. But in YouTube Guide, the Daily Dot will curate its five favorite finds for each workday.

    1) SchleppFilms, "Harlem Reacts to 'Harlem Shake' Videos"

    Harlem residents have something to say about the Harlem Shake: “That ain't the Harlem Shake.” SchleppFilms conducts a series of street interviews with people around Harlem  to get their views on the newest and dumbest Internet trend.

    2) BarelyPolitical, "2013 Oscar Nominees Practice Speeches"

    Most actors will tell their peers that they didn't expect to win the award, but some have better odds than others when it comes to Oscar Night. Anne Hathaway, Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Joaquin Phoenix are just some of the actors that practice their speeches in front of the mirror before the big night.

    3) Slacktory, "This isn't TV, this is real life!"

    There's a tongue-in-cheek nod whenever TV shows wink at the audience with the cliche "this isn't TV, this is real life" line, but life's not always full of cameras, weekly medical mysteries, and attractive doctors, so even the more believable shows are still just shows.

    4) Scott Bradlee, "'Levels of Tetris' (Avicii / 'Tetris' Theme Song Ragtime Mashup)"

    Even if you spent much of your childhood playing Tetris on the Nintendo Entertainment System, you haven't heard the familiar theme like this. Scott Bradlee turns the classic, 8-bit music into a ragtime mashup tune you can still move your blocks to.

    5) CopycatKidz, "2012 Oscar Nominees for Best Picture"

    With only a few days until the Oscars, it may be difficult to see all of the nominated movies in time to judge for yourself whether Ben Affleck got snubbed, but a recap boils down what really resonated with these kids.

    Photo via SchleppFilms/YouTube

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    More than 800 million YouTube users need their YouTube news. Andy Smith is determined to give it to them.

    Since 2007, the Ohio-based YouTuber has delivered the latest in community news, with stories ranging from the alarming to the heartwarming. Smith is on the topics that you want to know and the stories that you need to know, and he'll tell you how they'll both affect your time on site.

    This week, Smith dissects the troubles that come with the "Harlem Shake" craze.

    Photo via The Lion's Den News/YouTube

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    There’s never been a better time to start a podcast.

    The resources to record, edit, host, and promote podcasts have never been more ubiquitous or more affordable, and the medium’s pop culture clout, visible in everything from festivals to TV shows, grows every year.

    So it’s no surprise that despite the tens of thousands of podcasts already out there, a steady stream of newcomers are constantly entering the medium—or at least entertaining the thought of doing so. With that in mind, I’ve asked nearly every podcaster I’ve talked to what they’ve learned from their months or years producing a show.

    This week, I’m sharing some of the advice I’ve gathered, from six hosts who have served as the subjects of previous installments of Podspotting. What they told me ranges from the practical to the poetic. So if you’re starting a podcast, take heed of these recommendations. After all, they’re all from hosts who have been there themselves.

    Craig Shank and George Drake Jr., Everything Sounds:

    Craig Shank:

    My very first piece of advice would have to be: make it. If you’re thinking about doing it, what’s the worst that could happen? No one listens to it? That’s what’s happening right now! You’re not making anything, and no one’s listening to it.

    The only way that you get better at making a podcast is making a podcast. And to help out with that, definitely set deadlines. Because that wiggle room you give yourself, and the excuses that you could come up with, can really derail you. There are so many things that can sap your attention and willingness to do a show. But if you promise yourself that this is something you’re going to do and something that you’re going to stick to, for the most part people can do it.

    Also, if you’re thinking about doing anything creative, sometimes you just have to get over the doubt. Not everybody’s going to like the show, or whatever else it is that you create. But you really need to stretch yourself and find out what you’re capable of. And if someone doesn’t like it, that’s all right. I don’t like plenty of things, too. But I think getting paralyzed by the fear of the possibility that someone might not like it is not a good reason to not pursue something.

    George Drake Jr.:

    Experiment. It’s hard to get away from the sound of new public radio podcasts like Radiolab or 99 Percent Invisible. So if you can do something to break the mold a little bit, break it. I’ll try out something new every once in awhile in episodes, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll drop it, and if it does, why not leave it in? If it brings a different feel to the piece or lightens it up while at the same time not jarring the listener, why not do it?

    And I guess ‘Keep going’ is the other big piece of advice. Because it may not escalate very quickly at all. Craig and I have seen a lot of great things happen in the first two months, but we’ve also seen a lot of stuff not happen in the first two months. So try to keep it going.

    Jimmy Pardo, Never Not Funny:

    The advice I give is this: Have a theme and a topic. Have a reason to be doing it. I think what Paul Gilmartin is doing with The Mental Illness Happy Hour, or Scott Aukerman is doing with Comedy Bang Bang with all these characters and sketches, or Who Charted? being all about the music and movie charts, are all great examples. By the way, this completely contradicts what I do, because I just show up and talk. But I think the mistake a lot of new podcasters make is, they say “Well, Jimmy Pardo just shows up and talks, Adam Carolla just shows up and talks, so I can just do that.” And I think there’s enough of what I like to call white guys talking out there.

    So my advice, in a long-winded roundabout way, is to have an angle. Have a reason to show up every week. Have something you’re passionate about. If it’s ‘80s music, do an ‘80s music show. If it’s bicycles, do that. This concept of just showing up and talking, I think there’s enough of that. There’s a certain number of people who can do it —Howard Stern, Bob (Kevoian) and Tom (Griswold), Paul F. Tompkins could do it if he wanted to start. But really, most people can’t. So give yourself an outline to work with.

    Sandra Daugherty, Sex Nerd Sandra:

    It’s important to remember that a podcast is not about you, the host. It’s about the listener. So as much as it might be an autobiographical podcast, like, “Oh my God, I went on this date and this happened…” That’s fine. It can be stories about your life if you want it to be. But when you’re hosting a podcast you have to imagine that you’re on your first date with someone. Are they actually interested in what you’re saying? Or are you just talking because you love hearing yourself talk? ...

    Here’s another way to put that: People at a party are often trying to be their best. They’re at their most interesting right at that moment. Podcasting is partly about learning how to tap into that kind of energy and be dynamic in a way that’s engaging. And it’s hard! I was a cold fish when I started. People say that they liked my very first few episodes, but I would say that I am humiliated by my first 10 podcasts. Because that’s not me! But I did improve. So tap into the part of yourself that you know is going to be the most dynamic for listeners.

    Jeff Emtman, Here Be Monsters:

    You have to not be afraid to put yourself out there. For example, I’ve worked with this musician out of Portland that I just love. He found the show and likes it, and I’ve listened to his music. And I’ve thought, My God, there’s stuff in the stores that isn’t as good as this, yet it’s generally only getting 15 or 20 listens a song. I can’t believe that. So I asked him what he’s doing to promote his stuff, and he answered “Not a lot.” And that’s the thing: He’s making good music. He’s making great stuff. But if nobody hears about it, and it’s never going to get promoted, it’s just not going to get out there. So when he put out this new EP, he mailed it out to a ton of different music blogs all around, and one of them posted it, and he started getting a ton of listens from that one single post. Doing a podcast is a lot like that.

    I am bashing my head against the wall about a thousand times; 999 of those times it just bounces right off. And then one out of every thousand times, something really clicks, and I talk to the right person or do the right thing. It’s sort of like hitchhiking: 95 percent of people are just going to pass you by on the road. But that doesn’t mean you should just pack up and head home. It means that you either need to do something different or just keep trying. That’s a really simple message, but I’ve always been really amazed by people’s responses if you genuinely put yourself out there. If you try to reach out to people you genuinely respect, yeah, they’re probably not going to write you back. But every now and then they actually will, and it will be the best connection you could ever make.

    Nate DiMeo, The Memory Palace:

    If you are dreaming for fortune and fame, be prepared to play the very long game. And good luck to you, sir or madam! But the main piece of advice is just to make your show. At this point, you can do it. I could make a slightly less sophisticated version of The Memory Palace using solely my iPhone. You really only need two pieces of equipment. You need a computer and a microphone. And then, I suppose, you need some sort of mixing-type thing to allow the sound to go into your thing, but I bet you can borrow that from your teenage neighbor or whatever. So fundamentally, if you want to be a podcaster, make a podcast, and you are a podcaster. 

    Photo of Jimmy Pardo via Facebook

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