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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    There are thousands of videos on YouTube featuring American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters communicating popular songs for the hearing-impaired, but one clip from Shelby Mitchusson stands out, and it's easy to see why. 

    Mitchusson submitted the clip of her performing Eminem's "Lose Yourself" last fall in hopes of working with the ASL team at Austin, Texas's annual music festival, Austin City Limits, which provides on-stage interpreters for concertgoers. But the video resurfaced earlier this week, and promptly went viral.  

    The Austin-based Mitchusson took to her Facebook page to thank fans for watching the clip, though she stressed she made it not for entertainment purposes, but for interpreting. She added, "I always work from the heart." 

    And yes, she landed the gig with Austin City Limits. 

    Screengrab via Shelby Mitchusson/YouTube 

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    Shia LaBeouf's latest art project allows you to superimpose him onto any background, with LaBeouf performing a series of monologues in front of a green screen. Has it resulted in a ton of dumb video memes? Duh. Yes, of course it has.

    The film project was developed with artists Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner, his collaborators on the performance art piece #IAMSORRY last year. This involved LaBeouf sitting in a gallery wearing a paper bag on his head with "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE" emblazoned across the front, while spectators visited individually to interact with him. Our own reporter found it to be a surprisingly disturbing experience.

    Rönkkö, Turner, and LaBeouf's new work was conceived for the BA degree show at Central Saint Martins art and design school in London. The graduating students were asked to submit short segments for LaBeouf to perform, creating a 31-minute series of clips that screened during the degree show. They range from LaBeouf calmly reciting song lyrics to standing on his head or humming with his back to the camera.

    Speaking to the Guardian, Central Saint Martins student Andrew Smith said, “A lot of us became interested in the way that Shia was being used as an artist and engaging with his art practice, but also using his status as a celebrity as a platform for his work. Shia LaBeouf is in this place that oscillates between the two worlds of his mass audience and his art audience. And this was also about branching those two audiences, making the live stream an access point for people who might not know or have visited a degree show.”  

    This "access point" immediately inspired things like this YouTube mashup where LaBeouf shows up in The Avengers, delivering one of his video monologues.

    LaBeouf's performance art often plays with the idea of public humiliation and celebrity, acknowledging the fact that he is best known for tabloid scandals and the critically derided Transformers movies. #IAMSORRY referenced LaBeouf's frequent need for public apologies, which at the time were focused on the accusation that one of his short films was plagiarized from a graphic novel by Daniel Clowes.

    It's easy to ridicule LaBeouf's art work, which is kind of the point because it all relies on his own notoriety. We wouldn't be writing about this degree show video if it was just some random guy reciting stuff into a camera, but the presence of LaBeouf makes it interesting. 

    The addition of a green screen background and a Creative Commons license encourages people to remix the video, which LaBeouf surely knew was an invitation to further mockery online. His motivational speech segment has already turned into a meme, including remixes like the clickbait-friendly "Shia LaBeouf delivers the most intense Haka of all time."

    And a Shia LaBeouf motivational TED Talk...

    And an enraged Nike ad.

    Some of these videos have more than 100,000 views in less than a day. Like it or not, this is proof of people engaging with performance art on a massive scale.

    Screengrab via Rönkkö / Turner/Vimeo

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    Enrique Iglesias will be your hero, baby. He will swat away that drone

    At a show Saturday night in Tijuana, the singer apparently had enough of the drone flying over the crowd and stage, which was used to take photos. According to one Instagram post, he attempted to grab it and "give the audience a Point of View shot. Something went wrong and he had an accident. He was semi-treated by crew on the side of the stage to try and stop the bleeding. He was advised to stop the show. He decided to go on and continued playing for 30 minutes while the bleeding continued throughout the show." 

    Yep. Instead of canceling the show because his hand was sliced open and he was gushing blood, Iglesias continued playing for the massive crowd for another half-hour after getting bandaged, and got... really into that blood. 

    According to a statement to the Associated Press, after the show Iglesias "was rushed to the airport where an ambulance met him there. He was then put on a plane to L.A. to see a specialist." 

    Sleep well, Enrique fans. He is reportedly recovering. 

    H/T Stereogum | Photo via Walmart Corporate/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    Everything is usually too good to be true—even a teen trend attempting to summon an actual demon.

    The #CharlieCharlieChallenge took over the Internet last week, and while variations have existed since 2008, the newest version required kids to stack a couple of pencils on top of each other like a cross next to quadrants that said yes and no. Once situated, they asked, “Charlie, Charlie, are you here?” The results were mostly on the freaky side—until it was memified.

    Over the weekend, Oh No They Didn’t! discovered another #CharlieCharlieChallenge video that revealed it was nothing more than a viral marketing stunt for horror film The Gallows.

    The film follows a bunch of students trying to recreate an old high school play that resulted in the death of its lead actor, who is named Charlie, and it got people talking much in the way that the telekinetic coffee shop prank did for the Carrie remake. 

    Obviously it worked, but is it enough to get people to see the movie? You could even argue that in making it their own, teens have taken it over for their own, marketing stunt be damned.

    H/T ONTD | Screengrab via Warner Bros. UK/YouTube

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    Tracy Morgan spoke for the first time about the fatal car crash that killed one of his friends and nearly killed him a year ago in an exclusive interview on Today.

    He and several of his friends were traveling in a limo on the New Jersey Turnpike when they were struck by a Walmart truck. It killed comedian James McNair and injured two of Morgan's friends, while Morgan broke his leg, several ribs, and suffered severe brain trauma.

    Morgan, who sat with a cane in one hand, appeared with his lawyer on Today just days after he settled with Walmart out of court over the crash, which was caused by a truck driver who hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours. At the time, Morgan expressed relief that Walmart “took full responsibility” for the collision.

    “I can’t believe I’m here,” Morgan told Matt Lauer. “I can’t believe I’m in front of you. I can’t believe I’m just here and just seeing the tragedy that happened. It touches me.”

    Morgan spoke clearly throughout the interview, but he got choked up during parts of it, especially when he spoke about his friend McNair. He doesn’t remember the crash and didn’t even learn about it until after he woke up from a coma two weeks after the accident occurred. It was then he learned about McNair’s death, and the full impact didn’t hit him until he watched video of the crash and McNair’s funeral.

    He wants to return to making comedy one day, but right now focusing on his recovery is his priority.

    H/T Today | Illustration by Max Fleishman 

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    Not even John Oliver could’ve predicted how positively entertaining the arrests of several high-ranking FIFA officials would be.

    Last year he introduced non-soccer fans to FIFA’s long history of corruption, bribery, and human rights violations in an excellent takedown, but because Last Week Tonight was off last week, he had to wait until this past Sunday to talk about how the U.S., “the country that cares the least about football,” brought down the corrupt officials behind it.

    And it might be safe to say he’s bloody thrilled about it. In fact, it just might change what the rest of the soccer world thinks of the U.S.

    "If America keeps driving this investigation and actually finds something to indict him, I don't think you understand how much that would mean to everyone on Earth," Oliver said. "The whole world's opinion of America would change overnight."

    But while many FIFA heads were chopped down, one remains in the form of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was just reelected to his fifth term. And as long as Blatter is in power, the corruption will likely continue—at least until the sponsors start to go away. And if that's the case, Oliver will do anything to make that happen. Anything, sponsors.

    Screengrab via Last Week Tonight with John Oliver/YouTube

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    If you've ever seen Mastodon live, you know they were basically destined to star in Game of Thrones. Last night, the stars aligned

    Three members of the Atlanta, Ga., metal band—drummer Brann Dailor and guitarists Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds—appeared on the show as wildlings, a group of people who live north of the Wall. The show's executive producer, Dan Weiss, is apparently a fan of the band and invited them to do a cameo. 

    Dailor said in a statement:

    I watched my best friends Brent and Bill, murdered right in front of me as I myself was stabbed in the stomach and had my throat slit multiple times, and I didn't mind at all. It made me love being in Mastodon even more. We are more than privileged and honored to have been a part of one of the greatest stories ever told on film, and the catering wasn't bad either.

    The band's song, "White Walker," also appears on Game of Thrones mixtape Catch the Throne Vol. 2

    This isn't the first time musicians have appeared on the show: Icelandic band Sigur Rós performed "Rains of Castamere" last year, and Coldplay's Will Champion played a drummer in a 2013 episode. Coldplay even did a 12-minute Game of Thrones musical last month. 

    H/T Pitchfork | Screengrab via TinderNikos/YouTube  

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    Press junkets can be the most boring of all interviews. Thankfully the guys of Smosh mixed things up with Chris Pratt during a Jurassic World press junket to hilarious results.

    Anthony Padilla served as the puppet master, radioing in directives to Ian Hecox like drinking all of Pratt's water or asking Pratt for butt workout tips. Pratt gracefully rolls with whatever Smosh throw at him during their encounter, including calling Hecox's mom and letting her know that Hecox has contracted a STD.

    We do learn one very important lesson from this encounter: If Chris Pratt lactated chocolate milk, we'd never see him again.

    Screengrab via SMOSH/YouTube

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    The best joke from David Letterman's final Top Ten list had to be Julia Louis-Dreyfus' perfect slam on her former co-worker, Jerry Seinfeld. It wasn't one of the two Top Ten jokes written by a 22-year-old intern, but it was just about perfect nonetheless.

    Now, we have the explanation from Seinfeld himself on how the joke was born and given its extraordinary life. First, the gag.

    And then what made the joke truly great: Seinfeld's reaction to the slam.

    Here's how it all came together, via Seinfeld at this weekend's Vulture Festival

    "I like all jokes. There's really nothing else I care about except jokes, I don't care who has them, whose feelings have to be hurt — if it's a good joke I’m into it. And we actually fought hard for that particular joke; the writers had a different joke that Julia and I did not like and she came to me and she said, 'I don’t know if this joke works,' and I read the joke and I go, 'No, that's a bad joke.' She had flown from L.A. to New York just to do the one line — we were really excited to be on that show. It was a really cool experience to be on Dave's last show and I didn’t want her to go out there and tank. I've been at this awhile; you don’t always know 100 percent, but in this case I knew this is a loser, and so we went to the writers and it was quite a long negotiation and then they came up with this other line, which was sensational. I wonder actually now, I was thinking, Did they have that, or did they write that? Maybe they didn’t want to hurt my feelings. That’s what it may have been: that they had that joke and they didn’t want to hurt my feelings and then, of course, they don’t know I don’t have feelings."

    Personally, I never understood the hate for Seinfeld's series finale. I thought it was funny and well-done and I enjoyed seeing all the past characters come back to slam the four main characters.

    But it's deemed by the masses as a colossal failure, enough so that it still bothers co-creator Larry David.

    At least Seinfeld can laugh about it 17 years later, even if he has to take a great burn from his former co-star.

    H/T Vulture | Screengrab via Late Show with David Letterman/YouTube

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    Netfix is testing advertisements—but don’t freak out yet. You’ll still be able to watch your favorite TV shows and movies without seeing an ad for, say, alcohol or pharmaceuticals. However, you might start seeing an ad for Daredevil or another Netflix original series.

    The ad test was first reported by CordCuttersNews, which noted both pre- and post-show advertisements on multiple streaming devices. Netflix is confirming to TechCrunch that it’s not going all-in on ads like you might see on Hulu or YouTube, rather ads only for its own standalone series.

    Previews for Netflix’s original programming have appeared at the end of shows for a while, so the new additions will just appear at the beginning. And while Netflix says it’s keeping it exclusive to original shows for now, there’s definitely a huge opportunity for third-party advertisers to pay the company for highly targeted ads.

    The pre-roll ads for Netflix series is a small test, and isn’t rolling out to everyone. It might never go beyond a test. But for now, you might have to suffer through a trailer of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt before jumping into your favorite documentary. Though you can be grateful knowing no third-party ads will be popping up to ruin your binge-watching experience. Yet.

    H/T TechCrunch | Illustration by Max Fleishman

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    If you were particularly good at playing Mouse Trap as a child, marble runs might be for you. But instead of trapping a fake mouse, industrious marble fanatics construct elaborate mazes to send hundreds and thousands of marbles careening for the entertainment of YouTube.

    The most recent entry into the marble run fandom is an 11,000-marble track by Jelle Bakker, who has more than 12,000 subscribers. 

    Marble runs, which are essentially kinetic art structures, have been around for years, and the world's largest is the 72-foot-tall Energy Machine in Hong Kong.

    The YouTube community employs a mix of store-bought kits and custom designs to craft their marble runs. One of the most popular videos in the genre is Christmas-themed run, which follows a singular marble through a winding and seemingly impossible path from indoors to outdoors.

    The runs are fun to watch, both for the soothing tones of the marbles clacking together and the anxiety of what will happen when marbles stack a certain way, or what twists and turns the tracks will take. 

    There are also inexplicable viral success stories, like the 17 million views on this 2011 clip of a child's basic marble run setup, where commenters vote for which marble they think will make it through the fastest.

    Regardless of what draws you to marble run videos, there's no denying marbles are mesmerizing. Even cats agree.

    Screengrab via  Jelle Bakker/YouTube

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    If you’re looking for paper dolls of David Bowie’s musical characters, I have good news for you. There are about a billion of them.

    Bowie is known not simply for having an alter ego, but for having a parade of them throughout his 50-year career. From Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane to the Thin White Duke to Pierrot, Bowie used characters to write three-dimensional music—to extend it from sound to sight, to allow him to move out of the imagination and into the real world, including onto the stage.

    Despite being a cousin to Dorian Gray, Bowie is old enough now to trail four or five generations of fans in his wake. So, whether you’re a wee one, or are frozen in a protracted adolescence, you can now turn your doll universe into Mars or Berlin. The old-fashioned tech of paper dolls and the new-fangled tech of the Internet meet at your printer.

    (What? You don’t have a printer? Borrow your mom’s printer.)

    Described by Open Culture as his “most comprehensive career representation,” the Thin White Paper Doll Cutout collection was designed by Heather Collett for the CBC.

    Vodka Caramel’s '70s Bowie dolls have a surfeit of heads but take the androgyny to an extreme.

    Claudia Varosio’s Boys Keep Swinging shows Bowie as a crossdresser with a fixation on that moment between when your mom lights her first Parliament and pops Annie Hall in the VCR.

    Mel Elliot’s Ziggy Paperboy Bowie paper doll booklet is the only one to offer earrings as well.

    Of course, if your interests range more toward the characters of Quentin Tarantino or famous scientists, well, the Internet’s got you covered too. Also, you should get out, take a walk.

    Photo via CBC

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    The action of swiping through MikMak is familiar; it’s what we do on so many apps that it’s become muscle memory. But you’re not swiping at Tinder speeds here—the idea with MikMak is to make online shopping an engaging experience, one in which you “watch, laugh, shop.”

    Every night at 9pm ET, you can tune into MikMak to catch the newest videos, so you’re interacting with the app more like a TV show than a mindless scroll through ModCloth or eBay. It’s essentially an infomercial with the gauzy focus of QVC stripped away, one aimed squarely at millennials.

    Adult Swim recently attempted to reinvigorate the infomercial with its terrifying new late-night slate, but MikMak’s approach is different: The 30-second clips feature comedians from NYC’s UCB and the Peoples Improv Theater presenting the elevator pitch, so there’s a relatable person trying the product out for you, telling you a story, making you laugh—and making it more likely you’ll buy something.

    A year ago, MikMak’s founder, Rachel Tipograph, was working at Gap, and she started thinking about how brands engage with consumers on the Internet. “Whether you’re a luxury brand or a mom-and-pop store, you’re going to fall into the same trap,” she said. “Which is to send promotional emails and run advertising that chases you around the Internet until you click it, because that’s what works. But to us everyday people, that’s actually one of the most annoying things on the Internet, so if you’re in retail, basically your job is to annoy people day in and day out. And I didn’t really like doing that.”

    She did a video for Gap and says she “saw the light”—video had the potential to be just as effective in getting you to spend online as the email badger. She happened upon the infomercial industry and started thinking about who home-shopping giants like QVC and Home Shopping Network target: 45- to 55-year-old women. Tipograph had an idea for “short, shoppable infomercials made for the iPhone generation.”

    “We’re building an entertainment company first,” she added. “So hopefully when you’re playing with MikMak, what you experience is, ‘Wow, I just was on this app for 10 minutes and watched 25 minimercials back to back. Where does the time go?’ And all of the sudden you had an experience that’s much more similar to how you use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant video, versus traditional online shopping.”

    The app, which is available for iOS, has been in beta since February and rolls out today. Curious parties can shop based on categories like jewelry and gadgets, and watch short clips featuring comedians like #hotmessmoves’ Lyle Friedman and Ashley Skidmore pitching products. So many comedy webseries episodes clock in at four to six minutes, and MikMak is essentially distilling that format to engage short attention spans and our swiping finger. There’s even a music video encouraging consumers to “do the MikMak," and we’ve got an exclusive look: 

    Online shopping can be a solitary experience, but in MikMak’s “minimercials”—which are shot in Tipograph’s apartment for the time being—the host is speaking directly to the camera, and by extension, you. There’s a psychology behind this, Tipograph says: “People who watch infomercials often believe that the host is their good friend. And they get the same emotional benefit as friendship from buying an item from this person.”

    Indeed, the clips feature relatable humor and attractive people, and more people are shopping on their phones, which makes the one-to-one connection even more important. The products on MikMak aren’t meant to be big life purchases or something you’d need to try on, but things you could buy in a split-second on your phone. 

    “If you look at how Apple is putting out their hardware, the size of the screen is getting larger,” Tipograph said. “Usually technology gets smaller and smaller, but because of this shift in consumer behavior, the screen size is getting larger because this is where video consumption is happening.”

    MikMak is targeting the 18-34 demo, and Tipograph says it has a “50/50 gender split. If you talk to men on MikMak, they love the cute, funny girls, and because our products don’t have sizes, they’re essentially genderless.”

    “We’re really interested in building relationships with people who live in the middle of the country,” she added. “So many startups are often designed for the coasts, so they only think people are in New York, L.A., and San Francisco, and we’re building a company for America. And that’s also a huge part of the entertainment value. …When you talk to people who use MikMak, they describe it as SNL for shopping, Broad City for shopping, YouTube for shopping, Vine for shopping. It’s for anyone who grew up in the Snapchat generation. We understand the attention economy today; you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention.”

    Illustration by Max Fleishman 

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    A majority of Iggy Azalea's Great Escape tour was recently canceled. Azalea says it was a personal choice to preserve her mental health, but there was speculation that there wasn't enough interest, or that there was a rift with management. At least one person is still interested: her boyfriend Nick Young, who proposed to her last night. 

    Internet proposals are often frustratingly elaborate or concocted specifically to go viral, but the Lakers player's proposal was fairly simple. Azalea took the ring out of giant box and said yes. 

    Young's always had Azalea's back, and by back we mean he once threatened an ESPN anchor on Twitter who dissed her. We think it's gonna last. 

    H/T Uproxx | Photo via Disney | ABC Television Group/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)

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    Ed Sheeran put together a fake album of the 25 greatest heavy metal covers for the people who “enjoy the morbid and disturbing themes of heavy metal music” but wish it sounded more pleasant. While the combination might turn a few heads, it kinda makes us wish it were real.

    With Jimmy Fallon selling the fake album, Sheeran covers Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” and Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff.” He transforms the heavy metal hits into tunes for the whole family that are almost impossible to recognize even with the titles. 

    And there’s even a bonus hardcore rap album. You’ll never hear Ty Dolla Sign's “Paranoid” the same way again.

    Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

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    The Shining has been recut as a screwball comedy and mashed up with Dumb and Dumber, but throughout it all, one thing has been missing: Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel

    Anderson's precious, pale films have provided material for many mashups, but this one is especially appropriate, because both Anderson and The Shining director Stanley Kubrick prefer center-balanced camera angles and long tracking shots, and the films' respective hotels—the Grand Budapest and the Overlook—are both cavernous, gilded labyrinths hiding secrets.

    Faced with these similarities, Steve Ramsden had no choice but to cut them together. 

    This is great, but personally, we're more into the idea that The Shining and Frozen are the same movie.

    Screengrab via Steve Ramsden/YouTube 

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    In stunning news, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was reelected to his fifth term just last week and who said he was now the president of everybody, has resigned from his office

    Blatter's resignation comes in the wake of a widespread FIFA corruption scandal that led to an international police raid at a Swiss hotel last week.

    "What counts most to me is the institution of FIFA and football around the world," Blatter said Tuesday. "Thank you for your kind attention."

    Blatter has led the international soccer organization since 1998 and, despite continued allegations of corruption. That obviously has changed in the past week, and even though the U.S. Department of Justice didn't appear to be targeting Blatter in its investigation, that doesn't necessarily mean he's safe from this controversy.

    Tuesday's news must have made made John Oliver's dreams come true.

    And now we wait for Oliver to drink all the Budweiser.

    Oliver, of course, wasn't the only one on Twitter who was relieved ecstatic with Tuesday's news.

    So, who will be the one to succeed Blatter and who will be in charge of (hopefully) cleaning up FIFA's corruption? This is one strong possibility.

    Blatter is not out of the picture yet, however. He said he plans to announce a special session, known as an extraordinary FIFIA congress, to elect a new president "as soon as possible."

    Photo via AsianFC/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    What would have happened if the fateful asteroid that caused mass extinction on Earth simply… missed?

    From what we can see in this teaser for Pixar’s upcoming animated feature, The Good Dinosaur, it looks like humans still get their time on the planet, but they live in conjunction with the dinos. Cue the scientific community having a field day, but it does look cute.

    The teaser doesn’t give much to go by, but there will surely be more to come before the Nov. 25 release date.

    H/T Digg | Screengrab via DisneyUK/YouTube

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    Mariah Carey might be looking for love in some new places in her music video for “Infinity,” but the real match is between dating sites and the celebrities who’ve used them to promote their music.

    While Jason Derulo, Zedd, and Hilary Duff stuck to Tinder, Carey teamed up with for her latest video, which is a mix between a giant promotion for her Las Vegas show and the dating website and app. We can’t really blame her for choosing who she did from among her suitors, but we imagine people would run if it happened to them in real life.

    “I hope every woman who is single and listens to this song goes out and finds her infinity, whether on Match or the traditional way,” Carey said in a statement.

    She even made her own (pretty boring) profile, which lists her interests as cooking, movies, videos, music and concerts, and religion. So if you fit the profile and probably don’t mind traveling to Vegas a bunch to accompany Carey to her shows, why not give it a shot?

    Whether she’ll wink back at you is another story.

    H/T Yahoo | Screengrab via MariahCareyVEVO/YouTube

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    Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” has been infinitely covered, but one band just put out the only revision that matters right now. 

    New Jersey’s Screaming Females recently covered the song for the A.V. Club’s Undercover series, and they managed to elevate and not just ape. The band’s centrifugal force is guitarist Marissa Paternoster, and she twists Swift’s pop-hiccup lyrics into deep-heaved missives. The mid-song breakdown lets Paternoster loose on a solo that was desperately missing from the original. 

    If there’s not a montage on YouTube of all her live solos yet, there should be. Here’s a couple for you to swim in. 

    H/T The A.V. Club | Screengrab via The A.V. Club/YouTube 

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