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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    It was bound to happen. After a week where Kim Kardashian was all anyone could talk about on Twitter and Instagram, she finally made the plunge and created a Snapchat account. She announced her new account last night on Twitter.

    In her first Snap, Kim is giving her best duck face, while older sister Kourtney stands by. 

    Kim’s Snapchat user name is kimkardashian, but to make your life easier, just scan this:

    Kardashian’s social media presence is sometimes controversial but almost always entertaining, and adding Snapchat to the mix will only add to the possibilities. How will Kim utilize Snapchat’s filters? Will we get a Kim/Kanye face swap? Only time will tell.

    One thing is for sure: The platform is no stranger to nudes, so some of Kim Kardashian’s most popular content will be right at home. And if you look closely, there's actually a nude poster of Kardashian in her gym. That's so Kanye. 

    Photos by Eduardo Woo/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) and celebrityabc/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed


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    The Atlanta Hawks are in fifth place in the NBA's Eastern Conference and are in good position to make the postseason for the ninth straight year. In other words, the team can probably afford to put all that making-the-playoffs business on hold for a few minutes and instead try to play matchmaker with their single fans.

    That's right. Tinder Night is returning to Atlanta for the second straight year, and if last year's event was any indication, fans can expect a romantic night at the basketball arena.

    Here are some scenes from last year's Tinder Night.

    For the Hawks, a team trying hard to attract millennials, the promotion makes perfect sense. (No word on whether Weezer's frontman Rivers Cuomo will be in attendance.)

    “Last January’s ‘Swipe Right Night’ was a national sensation and allowed a broad audience to experience the creativity and fun of our brand,” Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said in a statement. “This year’s ‘Swipe Right 2.0’ ushers in the official start of spring, and love will be in the air at Philips Arena. This night’s amazing game experience will help our fans make, in the words of our partners at Tinder, ‘new friends, dates, relationships, and everything in between.’”

    For the game, the Hawks will provide Tinder-themed rooms where "like-minded Hawks fans [have] the chance to create face-to-face connections that just may go beyond the arena walls." There also will be "Swipe Right" and "Super Like" lounges for people who have downloaded the Tinder app on their phones to mingle.

    "Tinder is a perfect fit for live events," said Phil Schwarz, CMO of Tinder. "We know that combining Tinder with the electric energy inside Philips Arena for ‘Swipe Right 2.0’ will create an amazing social environment for fans to meet while enjoying the game."

    For some, the Hawks' 2015 Tinder Night appeared to lead to some connections.

    Of course, we should have already known that Tindering at NBA games could lead to great success. After all, if Omar Epps has taught us anything in this life, it's that love and basketball can coexist.

    H/T Bro Bible | Photo via Michael Tipton/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)


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    In an exclusive report Wednesday, the Wrap alleged that Sony is planning to drop music producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald after months of bad press and legal troubles surrounding a sexual assault case with the singer Kesha

    Kesha famously filed to terminate her contract with the label in 2014, citing the producer's alleged sexual misconduct as her reason, and though a New York Supreme Court ruled against her last month, public opinion still leans heavily in the singer's favor

    Dr. Luke's contract with the label isn't over until 2017, but according to the Wrap's unnamed source, Sony is preparing to cut ties early after Lady Gaga, Adele, and Kelly Clarkson have all spoken out on the case. 

    Said the source: "Kesha has no case in regards to her contract but they can’t afford the Adeles of the world out in the streets calling the label unsupportive. ... The fact that this hasn’t already been taken care of with Luke is confusing, especially for people in the building.”

    Dr. Luke's lawyer denied the reports when Complex reached out for comment, but a statement from Sony will be the ultimate measure of where the case stands. 

    H/T the Wrap | Screengrab via Complex/Twitter

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    BY TODD LONGWELL

    Epic Meal Time host Harley Morenstein and his brother Darren Morenstein have signed deal with Canadian broadcaster CBC to develop the scripted series Elebrity through their Montreal-based production company NextTime Productions.

    It’s not the Morensteins’ first foray into linear TV. Their flagship cooking show Epic Meal Time, featuring super-sized, bacon-heavy culinary creations by Harley and his kitchen crew of regular dudes, was adapted for cable TV as Epic Meal Empire, which debuted on FYI in July 2014.

    Elebrity focuses on Herschel Bock, an eternal slacker attempting to navigate his newfound celebrity as a digital influencer. The role seems tailor-made for Morenstein, who has had small parts in the films Tusk, Dead Rising: Watchtower, Smosh: The Movie, the webseries Video Game High School. But no casting has been announced for the series, and a representative said that Morenstein is not slated to star.

    The deal is a product of the inaugural Jumping Screens Comedy Workshop, a five-month development lab for online creators who want to incubate their projects for television and other platforms created by CFC Media Lab in collaboration with the CBC and Toronto-based production company Aircraft Pictures.

    Participating along with NextTime in Jumping Screens were singer-songwriter and comedian Mikey Bustos, and Matthew Clarke and David Milchard, the team behind the webseries Convos With My 2-Year-Old. The program kicked off in June, and the three teams debuted their series concepts at a VIP screening and reception in late November.

    Next Time Productions will co-develop Elebrity with Aircraft Pictures. The other two teams are also pursuing opportunities to develop their respective TV series concepts.

    Screengrab via Epic Meal Time/YouTube


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    Actor, visionary, and Internet goofball James Franco has a band. It's called Daddy, and the New York City-based collective released a single, "Gentle But You Weren't," this week.

    It's definitely a Franco project—tastefully conceived, built cool, but with all the philosophical profundity of a politically minded Facebook share.

    Rounding out the duo is film composer and producer Tim O'Keefe, who handles singing duties. As Flavorwire noted, the band's obvious affection for dreary British rockers the Smiths isn't just homage—Smiths bassist Andy Rourke collaborated with the band recently.

    Here soft synths christen the seven-minute track, and then it's appealing but milquetoast modern indie rock—as if engineered to net a Best New Track kiss from blogs like Pitchfork. Franco and O'Keefe compile a stuffed goodie bag of tropes: dreamy, layered, and whispered vocals; melancholy chords for rainy walks; even a post-Maroon 5, dance-ready guitar lick wiggling tempos forward. 

    What do we learn here? For one, I bet these guys have perfectly decorated lofts.

    The band's album, Let Me Get What I Want, is slated for a March 18 release—just in time for South By Southwest, where Sausage Party, an animated film he’s starring in, is scheduled to be screened. Don’t be surprised if the band makes a special appearance at the festival.  

    H/T Flavorwire | Photo via Ashlea Stark/Flickr (CC by 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman 

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    The Internet’s obsession with the Curry family went to a whole new level this week after a video of the basketball MVP’s wife congratulating her hubby surfaced online Wednesday. She did so festively, after Steph's Golden State Warriors bested the Orlando Magic Monday.

    The video shows Steph walking off the court toward the locker room where he is greeted by wifey with a handful of confetti. The sports star’s reaction is priceless—he looks at her with a smile nothing short of adorable.

    Social media soaked up the love and Ayesha Curry was trending by lunch on Wednesday. Some declared their love for her and many praised her role as a wife and mom. 


    A lot of people compared her clean image to that of Kim Kardashian, who posted a nude photo earlier this week. Kardashian was dragged through the mud—as detractors said someone like Ayesha should be more influential than a Kardashian. This stems from a conversation that started back in December when Ayesha tweeted her thoughts on the way some women dress.


    Model and mom-to-be Chrissy Teigen tweeted the basketball wife about all the attention she’s been getting.

    The cooking star reacted on her Twitter page.

    The Currys frequently post heart-throbbing videos of the two lip-syncing to popular Hollywood scenes. Check out the one they made in the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama.

    Screengrab via Ayesha Curry/Instagram


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    Before she could legally rent a car, Los Angeles native and comedian Rory Uphold was told by a dermatologist to consider preventative botox. She credits this as her starting inspiration for Only in HelLA. Now back for a second season, Uphold’s 2.7-million viewed webseries returns with a cast of Hollywood heavyweights and even more “only in L.A.” moments.

    “Every episode is a joke about a ‘HelLA’-type moment,” Uphold told the Daily Dot. “But the larger theme is feeling like a sane person in a crazy world or like an outsider in your own home. The absurdity of L.A. is something that I love—and love to make fun of.”

    Debuting a new sketch every Tuesday, HelLA captures the perpetual parking tickets, the traffic, the spray tans and L.A. natives’ ability to substitute every ingredient in their meal. But it’s presented through a len that lovingly mocks this Southern California lifestyle in only a way a true L.A. native can.

    The success of the series is twofold. In part, it is a triumphant blend of traditional Hollywood actors and some of YouTube’s most influential talents including Veronica Mars’ Chris Lowell, Sophia Bush, Glee’s Kevin McHale, Akilah Hughes, and BuzzFeed’s Ashley Perez.

    “One of the best parts about this project is that I’ve been able to work with so many incredibly funny and talented people who have been really open and willing to play. Almost all of the actors were friends of mine from before, and those that weren’t are people I reached out to because I really wanted them for a specific episode and/or I was just a fan and wanted to collaborate.”

    But it’s Uphold’s filmmaking voice that makes viewers want to continue coming back and supporting the series. Honest, dry, authentic: Uphold’s characters hits the right notes as not a perfect female lead but a woman just trying (and often, like the rest of us, failing) to figure out her best life. The series has been nominated for countless film festival awards including Official Selection of New Filmmakers Los Angeles, Official Selection for Nashville Film Festival, and LA Webfest Nominee for Outstanding Comedy Series.

    Much like Hot Mess Moves,I Ship It, and Afflicted, Inc., Only in HelLA is inspiring a generation of young female filmmakers to view YouTube as a playground in which their to make their mark.

    “Digital media is seeing a wealth of unique and different stories that aren’t being explored in traditional media, and that is exciting,” Uphold said. “The best advice I can give to anyone wanting to create their own work is just start. Keep it honest, keep it short, and always follow your gut.”

    Screengrab via Only in HelLA/YouTube


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    The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is finally getting the national attention it desperately needs, but Trevor Noah is highlighting the country's other Flints that are still flying under everyone’s radars.

    The city was at the center of a recent Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, with the latter declaring that this wasn't something that should happen in the U.S. in 2016 (though as Noah noted, however, the year doesn’t really matter with something like this).

    Flint finally garnered attention right before a big presidential primary, and the town is now receiving big-time donations from the likes of Beyoncé, Cher, and Mark Wahlberg and Sean “Diddy” Combs. But as Noah pointed out on The Daily Show on Wednesday night, there are other towns that need Flint-like exposure to help solve their own water crises.

    Take, for instance, Jackson, Mississippi. More than a dozen homes had high levels of lead in their drinking water, and officials warned pregnant women and young children not to drink it (but it’s OK for everyone else).

    Or St. Joseph, Louisiana, whose residents were told the water was safe to drink despite being brown in color. Or Hoosick Falls, New York, which has contaminated water from a local plastics manufacturing plant.

    There is also water with high amounts of lead in Sebring, Ohio, and many other cities across the country—some with residents still wary despite declarations that the water is safe again.

    One solution? Noah proposes making the local water supply as visible to the candidates as the fried foods they eat in Iowa. Maybe then it might get some attention.

    Screengrab via The Daily Show


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    James Corden’s most successful late-night segment is about to get a lot bigger.

    The host of The Late Late Show is currently shopping around a series based on Carpool Karaoke, the recurring segment in which he and a famous musician or band drive around Los Angeles (most of the time) while belting out some of their biggest hits.

    Corden won’t host this version of Carpool Karaoke—he'll let the network that picks up the show name the host —but he does plan to stay on as an executive producer and may occasionally appear on the show.

    It’s not the first late-night segment to make the jump from TV and YouTube back to TV and YouTube. Spike TV’s Lip Sync Battle, based on the popular Tonight Show segment, is a massive hit, with LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen holding the reins, and just last month, Spike TV announced a loose spinoff of Carpool Karaoke called Caraoke Showdown, with Craig Robinson set to host.

    Nothing is set in stone yet, but it’s hard not to get excited. After all, since Corden debuted the segment last year, he’s managed to produce some entertaining and harmonic collaborations while simultaneously letting his guests show off their human side. Here are our favorites.

    1) Adele

    Carpool Karaoke was already a known entity by the time Adele stepped into Corden’s car while he was in London for the holidays, but her ride turned it into something else entirely. She endeared us by rapping Nicki Minaj’s verse in “Monster” and singing the Spice Girls, but nothing could’ve prepared her for Corden’s incredible harmonies. There's a reason it's the most viral late-night video in years.

    2) Stevie Wonder

    As far as spousal gifts go, it’s hard to top getting Stevie Wonder to serenade your wife, as Corden did after his wife Julia Carey didn’t believe that he'd be spending the day with the famous singer.

    3) Justin Bieber

    Everyone’s eyes are on Justin Bieber, but no matter what you think about him and his music, it’s hard not to feel bad for him when you hear him explain his mindset after paparazzi photos of his penis ended up online.

    4) Mariah Carey

    We can only imagine what it took to convince Mariah Carey to join Corden for Carpool Karaoke—let alone play along with his schtick—during Corden’s first week on the air. But the result was proof that the gag could work, and it showed other musicians that they were in safe hands inside that car.

    5) One Direction

    Why get one musician to help Corden to get to work when you can get four? Bringing One Direction along for the ride brought in fans who might not normally watch The Late Late Show, and it expanded everyone else’s horizons by teaching them about the band beyond the myths, memes, and conspiracies.

    H/T The Hollywood Reporter | Screengrab via The Late Late Show with James Corden/YouTube


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    For months, 50 Cent has been confusing the Internet by Instagramming himself with huge amounts of cash despite his very public financial troubles. This week he finally admitted that it's all for the faves. 

    The rapper filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after being ordered to pay $7 million for releasing a sex tape, so you'd expect him to be opening a savings account right about now. Instead, he's spent the past few months snapping pics only Oprah should be able to take IRL: 




    The photos were so flagrant that a Connecticut judge called the rapper back into court this week to explain himself and verify that he is, in fact, in financial trouble. 

    According to the Wrap, a court declaration was filed Tuesday stating it was all "'prop money' used for G-Unit Records and videos and photo shoots." 

    The rapper then added, “Just because I am sensitive to the needs of maintaining my brand does not mean that I am hiding assets or that I have lied on my filings in this Bankruptcy Case."

    So there you have it, guys. Be careful what you 'gram, because it may come back to haunt you. 

    H/T Tech Insider | Screengrab via 50 Cent/Instagram

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    Olivia Wilde can officially add "music video director" to her resume.

    The actress made her behind-the-camera debut for "No Love Like Yours" by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and the results are super beautiful. Especially when you consider that she made it with an iPhone 6s. 

    Mashable noted that lots of big names are experimenting with their phones' powerful cameras after the success of the feature film Tangerine—which was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s—in 2015:

    An entire episode of Modern Family was filmed on the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2, while artists including Kanye West and LeAnn Rimes — not to mention brands such as New Balance and Bentley (twice) — have also taken the same approach.

    If that's not inspiration to go out and make something cool with your phone this weekend, we don't know what is. 

    H/T Mashable | Screengrab via Mashable/Twitter


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    BY SAM GUTELLE

    Vimeo announced its first slate of original programming back in October, headlined by the comedy special Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate, short film Darby Forever, and upcoming webseries The Outs (which will premiere on March 30). Now the online video platform that’s still a darling of the creative set has added to its originals library. Vimeo today announced a second round of original programming, including contributions from Jake and AmirGarfunkel and Oates, and other notable content creators.

    Jake and Amir, a comedy duo consisting of Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfield, are best known for their work with CollegeHumor, and while much of that work has been distributed on YouTube, some of it has shown up on Vimeo as well. The duo’s upcoming series will be titled Lonely and Horny, and it will star Blumenfeld as a 30-something with sex on his mind. Lonely and Horny will serve as Jake and Amir’s triumphant return to the Web after a planned TV project fell through.

    Joining Jake and Amir on the Vimeo slate is another comedy duo— Garfunkel and Oates, a.k.a. Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci. Lindhome and Micucci, who are known for their witty and occasionally vulgar comedy songs, will host Trying to be Special, a comedy special with a meta theme.

    The third program within Vimeo’s second slate is Wizard Mode, a documentary set in the world of competitive pinball. The film’s producer, Salazar Film, is no stranger to Vimeo; in general, when setting its original content slate, the video site has favored creators who have utilized its platform in the past.

    The final piece of Vimeo’s latest originals push is Toro y MoiLive in Concert, a concert film starring the titular band.

    “Vimeo is accelerating its commitment to deliver innovative programming from truly gifted creators to our audience of over 200 million viewers worldwide” said Sam Toles, head of global content acquisitions and distribution at Vimeo, in a press release. “We aim to surprise and captivate our global audience with content that is anything but ordinary. This diverse slate of comedy and music are the perfect additions to our critically acclaimed original programming efforts.”

    Photo via pidey/deviantART (CC BY 3.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III


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    When Kate Berlant graced the stage of performance/video artist Dynasty Handbag's new monthly show Weirdo Night at El Cid late last month, she admitted that she was having some problems leaving the stage. She kept walking off and returning, as if some force kept drawing her back. Either way, audience members wanted her to stay.

    Luckily, no one will have to wait for Berlant to stay or go because her new Netflix special is out today. She joins seven other up-and-coming comedians like Lauren Lapkus (Orange Is the New Black) and her best friend/collaborator John Early (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) in dropping a 30-minute episode for Netflix Presents: The Characters

    Berlant’s episode plays with the now-familiar archetype of a famous female artist living in New York City who is so accomplished, no one can ego-check her. The episode follows her latest “masterpiece": a chance to work with Sprite. None of her friends, students, or colleagues dare say anything about the fact that she's just making corporate commercial art. Slowly we learn more about this character, including her privileged upbringing in Palm Springs and unabashed denial of anything possibly problematic with her work. 

    How long have you been working on this Netflix special?

    They told me in April, and then it was shot in August. We shot it all in New York in August, except there’s a part of mine that was also shot in L.A.

    What can you tell me about it?

    Everyone who was given a Netflix special has to play at least three characters. I wrote 30 minutes of new material. They’re all new characters, and they’re loosely tied to the main character who is an artist woman. I also play the characters surrounding her.

    Oh, what kind of artist is she? Established? Or is she just “emerging”?

    She’s kind of Marina Abramovic-esque, an established artist living in New York.

    So she is older?

    Yeah, definitely older than me.

    Speaking of Marina Abramovic, my Twitter handle right now is “writer is present,” which is very much a reference to Marina’s project The Artist Is Present. I’m wondering, what’s your artist character like? 

    The character I play is an artist who is very famous but bored with herself, but she can’t do anything to not impress people. The special is loosely built around a big exhibit that she has, and it’s her dealing with the pressure of that and also not being able to escape people’s respect. She’s someone that can do no wrong. Even if she makes shit, people proclaim her a genius.

    Why did you choose this type of character?

    Not exactly sure, but I think that my kind of interaction with the art world is obviously a source of inspiration. My dad is an artist, and I grew up around artists. None of the artists I grew up around are as pretentious as this character, but I think that those kinds of figures are ripe for parody.

    Do you think is there a way for the art and comedy worlds to happily coexist or do they just play off of each other?

    Even though I feel like I am often dealing with that question about how they overlap, I don’t have an answer.

    Maybe it’s about a difference in type of humor. Art humor is usually pretty dry and not very “haha” funny, whereas comedy has to make the audience laugh out loud.

    Also art isn’t supposed to be entertainment and comedy is.

    Right, and if you become too entertaining in your art it’s no longer considered art. Maybe it is more a question of art as “high-brow” and comedy as “low-brow”?

    It might be.

    I feel like that’s too easy.

    I think it might be too easy. The art obsession in the comedy world is very new. When I started there wasn’t this new brand of comedian.

    You mean the art comedian? Or artists doing comedy?

    I think more people going to art school, and comedy is also becoming more popular, and the Internet has played a role in this change, too.

    Interesting. So back to the Netflix special. Are you playing only female characters?

    I also play two men. I play the artist’s gallerist and her husband, and I also play a couple of other small, goofy characters. These are new characters. I only have one character I ever do, which is my self-help character named Karen. I’ve done stuff with her for years.

    How was it working on characters rather than standup?

    Great! So fun. It’s the first time I’ve written anything this long; it’s so surreal to write something and then immediately see it made. It was great and scary.

    Do you feel like your Netflix special will cause a stir in the art world?

    No. I do have some high-level art cameos that I won’t reveal. But will it cause a stir? I would love to cause a stir, but I am not trying to make it seem like artists are bad people who are self-obsessed and stupid. That’s not what I feel or was trying to do. I was just trying to do these characters—and this one character and her behavior in particular. I wasn’t trying to do a searing critique of the art world, also because that’s so overdone. I wasn’t trying to rehash that issue with artists.

    What are your hopes for the special?

    This sounds so pretentious, but I truly hope people like it. I can’t aim for anything beyond that.

    Photo by KC Bailey/Netflix


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    Most bands would probably prefer it if you just left your smartphone at home, or at least in your pocket, during concerts. But there are some great apps out there that will not only potentially enhance your concert experience (without pissing of the artist) but also help make sure you find out about the show to begin with. 

    Whether it's getting concert recommendations, comparing ticket prices, or taking concert photos that won't make the rest of the audience hate you, these apps have got you covered. 

    1) Songkick

    Enabling the Songkick Concerts app feels having your own personal assistant for concert-going. The app links with Spotify, Facebook, Apple Music, and other sites to carefully curate a calendar of upcoming shows in your city based on your musical preferences. Songkick also lets you manually "track" artists, which allows you to see a full list of their upcoming tour dates and get alerts when new dates are announced or when tickets go on sale. Tracking more artists also helps the app pinpoint new bands you may also like. 

    In addition to viewing Songkick's list of recommended artists near you, you can also view all artists playing in your area or in other cities. Integration with Ticketfly allows you to purchase tickets inside the app.

    Songkick's interface is clean and attractive. The app opts for a more calendar-oriented approach, listing concerts by date instead of just by venue or by artist. It's a feature that will be useful to both last-minute concert goers and the scheduled-obsessed. 

    Songkick Concerts is available for free for both iOS and Android.

    2) Sovi

    If cost plays a huge role in your decision to see a band play live, make sure you have the Sovi app on your phone. The discount concert ticket app lets you view concert deals in your city and see the cheapest tickets available for grabs. You can also filter tickets by lowest to highest price. Sovi's price-focused layout is perfect if you need to come up with a last-minute plan for Saturday night and budget is your only limiting factor. 

    Sovi is available for free for both iOS and Android

    3) Jukely

    For concert-goers with an adventurous streak who are low on funds, Jukely is a dream app. The company bills itself as the Netflix of live concerts, allowing users to attend a new concert every day at $25 per month. New shows are added to Jukely every day at 11am, and sign-up begins up to 72 hours in advance. You can go to as many shows as you want per day, but selection is limited by space and first-come, first-served. Selection varies by city; some places have a huge assortment of shows while others have slim pickings. On a Monday afternoon, both Dallas and Chicago had 11 different shows to pick from, New York City had 26 shows, and Nashville had 2 shows. 

    Jukely is available for iOS

    4) Kimd

    If you must be that guy who needs to take hundred of different concert photos that all end up looking virtually identical, at least respect those around you. With the Kimd Concert Camera app at the ready at your next show, you won't have to worry about blinding your fellow fans with your phone's flash. 

    When you launch the app, the brightness of your phone automatically decreases and flash is disabled. Kimd also allows you to record video. 

    Kimd is available for free for iOS and for Android

    5) Loudie

    Loudie is a "social concert" discovery app that also offers users an occasional chance to win a free concert ticket. The app allows users to follow other Loudie users who are friends. Users then "join" concerts they're interested in and earn points based on how much interest they can drum up in their social circles. Based on how many points Loudie users wrack up, the app sends them notifications with offers of free concert tickets. It sounds kinda like a pyramid scheme, but for the right concert, it might be worth it. 

    Loudie is available to download for free for iOS.  

    6) SoundHound

    If you're looking for a serious contender to Shazam, then SoundHound is it.  The music discovery app identifies a song within seconds and takes it one step further by providing lyrics that scroll as the song is playing. 

    Within seconds, you can go from hearing a new song from a band you've never heard of to being able to sing along. As well as watch the band on YouTube, listen to them on Pandora or Spotify, and even purchase their entire album on iTunes.  

    Who said discovering new music was hard? 

    Sound Hound is available for free for iOS and Android

    Illustration by Jason Reed


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    After 15 seasons, several specials, and nearly 300 episodes of outlandish experiments, countless explosions, and invaluable “yay, science!” flag-waving, the Discovery Channel’s hit MythBusters wrapped up its run this past weekend. It’s a real loss in this era of widespread scientific illiteracy and the willful embrace of ignorance; we need Jamie, Adam, and the rest now more than ever. Still, 15 seasons is a long damn run, so we can’t really begrudge them for wanting to move on to whatever is next.

    To add insult to injury, however, MythBusters isn’t currently available on Netflix or Amazon, although recent seasons are still available on Hulu. That means these withdrawal pains are gonna be rough, and I’m especially disappointed that MythBusters is bowing out right as my kids are getting old enough to have appreciated it—and benefitted from it. So while I’m careening through the stages of pop-culture grief, we here at the Dot have rounded up a half dozen streaming MythBusters alternatives that won’t make up for the absence of Jamie’s walrus-stache but will keep you entertained and/or informed. Hopefully they’ll go over as well as a lead balloon.

    1) Bill Nye the Science Guy

    These days, science educator Bill Nye is best known for popping up on the news to debate creationists and climate-change deniers. But for a generation who grew up in the ’90s, Nye will always and forever be the “Science Guy” who introduced them to the wonders of the universe in his long-running PBS kids’ show, aptly titled Bill Nye the Science Guy. The series ran for 100 episodes between 1993 and 1998, becoming a staple of both PBS lineups and classrooms around the world. One of the great things about MythBusters is that it was a show you could watch with the whole family, and Bill Nye occupies a similar space. It’s targeted at younger kids, but Nye is charming and funny, and it’s impossible not to be won over by his infectious enthusiasm about science and learning.

    2) Brain Games

    Jason Silva, whom The Atlanticonce described as “a Timothy Leary for the Viral Video Age,” hosts this National Geographic series that delves into the mysteries of the human brain: how it works, how it shapes and defines who we are, and how sometimes even the simplest of tricks can deceive it. Silva brings in scientists, doctors, illusionists, and even a UFC fighter at one point, all to explore subjects such as memory, optical illusions, time perception, language, and gender. Netflix has the first four of the six current seasons available for streaming.

    3) Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

    Carl Sagan’s original 1980 PBS series Cosmos was an unquestionable pop-culture landmark and a lasting touchstone for many who were inspired by the show to pursue careers in the sciences… or even just gifted with a lasting sense of wonder at our amazing universe. Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson was one of the people inspired by both Sagan and Cosmos, and in 2014 he teamed with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and with Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan, to resurrect Cosmos for a new generation. Like the original series, this new Cosmos has the host taking viewers on a grand tour of reality, from the distant reaches of space to the small, simple moments in which the actions of a few here on Earth helped shape the course of human history. All 13 episodes of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey are available on Netflix Instant.

    4) How We Got to Now With Steven Johnson

    This British series is hosted by Steven Johnson, a contributor to Wired, the New York Times, and others, as well as author of several books including 2005’s Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter. (That was obviously written before “Kardashian” was a household name.) Each of How We Got to Now’s six episodes begins with a broad concept—time, glass, sound—and then dives into ways in which that subject has been confronted, explored, and surmounted by humanity over the centuries. One episode explores the ways people have artificially created cold, while another explores the history of artificial lighting and how it fundamentally altered the way we live and work. Just as importantly, it introduces viewers to some of the people who changed the world in these areas, making contributions we take for granted every day. All six episodes of How We Got to Now are available on Netflix Instant.

    5) MacGyver

    The MythBusters often acknowledged the pop-culture debt they owe to MacGyver, and they even dedicated an entire 2008 episode to some of the ’80s series’ more outlandish tricks. After all, MacGyver was a character who could think his way out of pretty much anything, often crafting elaborate devices out of the simplest materials. Even though Mac was pure fiction, the joy of watching MacGyver is very similar to the fun of MythBusters… just with a mullet and an extra-thick layer of ’80s cheese. MacGyver ran for seven seasons on ABC between 1985 and 1992, following the adventures of secret agent Angus MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson), a Vietnam vet with a brilliant knack for getting out of tricky situations using little more than a chewing gum wrapper and a paperclip. It’s silly popcorn entertainment, but it also celebrates science, critical thinking, and a hero who’d rather think than shoot—and that’s no small thing.

    6) Top Gear

    The MythBusters tackled plenty of myths involving vehicles over the years, everything from rocket-propelled cars to lead balloons. For those left craving crazy stunts involving one or more wheels, the long-running British series Top Gear is just the ride you need to steer you clear of your MythBusters moping. For 14 years, host Jeremy Clarkson and a revolving door of celebrities have put some of the fanciest rides on the planet through the ringer in a series of races and challenges. It may be the closest most of us ever get to driving these beauties, but thankfully it all makes for one hell of an entertaining ride, even if you aren’t a “car guy/gal.” There’s a reason Top Gear is one of the most popular reality shows on the planet. Netflix Instant currently has the five most recent seasons of the show available for streaming, with each season clocking in at a bite-size six to seven episodes.


    Photo via Lwp Kommunikáció/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    In October, @midnight host Chris Hardwick and friends led a 24-hour Periscopereading of Moby-Dick. It was a feat of endurance, to be sure, but also an experiment in engagement. 

    And last night in Austin, Texas, on the first night of SXSW@midnight became the first late-night show to stream an entire episode on Periscope

    The Twitter-based livestreaming app has been used for more mundane activities, but as alternate channel for TV-watching, it's a natural extension of live-tweeting. "@midnight always had a huge fanbase on Twitter [with its segment] Hashtag Wars," said Walter Levitt, Comedy Central's chief marketing officer—so it was a natural transition. The @midnight account has more than 85,000 followers and over a million hearts. Hardwick is very active there too.

    Friday night at the Parish, the Hashtag Wars segment got very interactive, as liberally soused fans joined Hardwick and comedians Arden Myrin, Chris Cubas, and Doug Benson to vie for points. There was more than one instance of on-stage vaping after Cubas offered Myrin his vape pen, but that was only after she joked about masturbating with it

    In addition to engagement—the show's stream was full at one point—Periscope offers broadcasters more illuminating metrics, including “retention, total viewers, time watched, and duration,” said Elizabeth Luke, who handles consumer communications at Twitter.

    Is Periscope partnering with other TV shows?

    “TV shows are constantly broadcasting on Periscope and experimenting with the platform,” Luke said, “from set tours to Q&As to streams behind the scenes and during commercial breaks. Bringing Periscope into the fold has introduced an entirely new element into the way broadcasters can communicate with their audiences. Now, when you talk at the TV, it can talk back, providing a level of interaction that did not exist before.”

    Photo by Mark Davis/Comedy Central 


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    Ariana Grande has an incredible and distinct singing voice of her own, but the petite pop star has the ability to do creepily good impressions of fellow divas—and she showed us that once more on the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live.

    Grande, 22, served as host and musical guest for the March 12th episode, and she brought her singing chops into her host duties. In a sketch poking fun at Jay Z’s music streaming service, Tidal, Grande plays a shy intern whose powers of impersonation are called on to save the service when it crashes.

    The Britney Spears, Shakira, Rihanna, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston channels are all going offline, and the intern must bust out her musical best to bring them back to life. When Grande hits the key change in “I Will Always Love You,” you’ll swear the dearly departed Houston was back on the SNL stage.

    We first witnessed Grande’s powers of impersonation in a May 2015 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. She then returned to the show in September and played Fallon’s “Wheel of Musical Impressions.” During that appearance, she did a rendition of Christina Aguilera singing “The Wheels on the Bus” that likely stunned The Voice judge herself. Grande also brought back her icon Celine.

    Mariah Carey may not be a fan. But it seems Grande could easily take her out, do her best impression, and no one would be the wiser.

    H/T UPROXX | Screengrab via SNL/YouTube


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    On Jan. 1, 2015, John Iadarola faced the potential decimation of his YouTube career, all hinging on a single upload.

    “Your career could just disappear because you made a decision that the fans kneejerk don’t like. That was a big fear,” Iadarola told the Daily Dot. “I didn’t sleep well near the end there.”

    The controversial video? Not a rant on politics or another hot-button issue. It was the announcement of TYT University’s switch to ThinkTank, a new format and style for the established YouTube channel as part of The Young Turks network.

    “It’s easy to look at YouTube to see these certain personalities doing so well, these stars of YouTube,” he said. “But there’s a lot of stories of people that fell off or shows that switched up their hosts and their careers were just done. It wasn’t impossible that the entire thing could have cratered.”

    Lucky for Iadarola, it didn’t. In the year that followed, ThinkTank has doubled in size, crossing the 1 million-subscriber threshold only 14 months after relaunching.


    TYT University launched in 2010 as a college-themed offshoot of the behemoth Young Turks channel. John Iadarola joined Ana Kasparian on the show in 2012, and after she left a few months later to helm another Young Turks franchise, Iadarola continued on solo. But by 2014 Iadarola was itching for change.

    “I felt like we’d really covered the really meaty college-focused topics,” said Iadarola. “I was looking for an opportunity to expand the umbrella of what topics to cover.”

    The shift from TYT University to ThinkTank is not a complete 180—it’s not going from a gaming vlog to exclusively cooking videos, for example—but instead a progression in the programming. The aim was to give people an eye on interesting perspectives from around the world, exposing them to new concepts and ideas, like they would at college, even if the topic wasn’t exclusively about the college experience.

    “There are a lot of people interested in learning about the world who don’t go to college now,” explained Iadarola. “We wanted to create content that we’re interested in and engaged with, but we didn’t want to be constrained by that smaller audience.”

    The more stark pivot was in the show’s style, which went from a more TV-like presentation behind a desk in line with the main Young Turks channel to a more vlog-style approach that has Iadarola and co-host and executive producer Hannah Cranston in front of a bright and personal backdrop that they built themselves.

    “We did build the entire set with our own two hands, and that makes us more emotionally tied to it and to the show,” explained Cranston, who joined the company in October 2014 as an intern, and became Iadarola’s executive producer and co-host in time for the January 2015 launch.


    While the whole shift in programming occurred on a single day to their viewers, the seeds of the change were planted in mid-2014 and required a long process to come to fruition. Leading up to the moment of the switch, fear was the dominant emotion.

    “People don't like change, and it’s scary for both us and our viewers,” said Cranston.

    “There was the fear of being discovered because we were being fairly fast and loose with our social media activity,” said Iadarola, adding that it was more concretely, “fear that it wouldn’t be successful.”

    To try to appease fans of the old style of the show, they never went in and deleted their backlog. The channel lives as a testament to their history and their future at once—in part because it’s simply a huge backlog of videos to clean out and in part because those videos still generate revenue for the network.

    “We never considered deleting videos,” said Iadarola. “It would have been very difficult, and it would have broken my heart.”

    They did lose some fans, at first, but they never dipped into negative numbers, recovering what they lost with new eyes. Iadarola and Cranston spent hours in the comments section, playing what they call “smack the groundhog” by trying to allay the fears of longtime subscribers as they reacted to the channel.

    “I was ready to release a video I’d done saying it was all a joke,” laughed Iadarola.

    He never had to. In addition to the doubling in size and the 1 million-subscriber mark, ThinkTank even hit milestones within the Young Turks organization, becoming the first channel on the network to bring in more subscribers in a month than the flagship main channel.

    “There was a lot of buzz going around the studio,” said Iadarola. “No other channel on our network had ever done that before.”


    They owe their success to many factors, including an increase in content output under the new format, and the fact that, while they added a new presenter, they still kept Iadarola and his base of fans.

    “In my experience, both with ours and watching the experience of other channels as they’ve shifted, I think it’s harder to shift people than it is to shift topics,” he said. “Fans do get scared when people they’re really familiar with leave.”

    “As we got in the hang of doing ThinkTank, we got more comfortable in working with each other and getting to know each other,” explained Cranston. “We got to know each other in a large extent on camera, and I think the fans grew with us.”

    “You can’t show fear; they’ll sense it.”

    Another key to success was their ability to stay “super connected” to their audience through the rebrand.

    “Leading up to and right after the rebrand, you have to be so enthusiastic and passionate,” Iadarola said. “If people see that you’re excited about something, and they genuinely like you, they should also be excited. It’s like trying to calm down a wild animal. You can’t show fear; they’ll sense it.”

    They also learned that some battles are better fought by their diehard fans than the creators.

    “If there’s criticism—and there certainly will be because it’s YouTube,” laughed Iadarola, “We learned that … it’s better to let your fans fight your battles for you. If there’s legitimate concerns or misinformation, you have to correct that. But if people are just hating on your or the concept, it’s better to let your fans handle that.”

    Now that they’ve crossed the big subscriber milestone, Iadarola and Cranston will celebrate with those fans at an April 7 event at YouTube Space LA.

    “That’s where we’ll be popping the Champagne,” said Cranston.

    In the end, the swap for Iadarola was not about making a YouTube show that works, but making the YouTube show that worked from him and Cranston.

    “I could design 10 different shows that would slot well into what YouTube needs, but we like to go out there on the Internet and research stories and get genuinely enthused about these things,” he said. “We wanted to create the optimal environment for that. Every day we find interesting stuff and present it. All the rest [is] just background to us having conversation that we enjoy.”

    Screengrab via ThinkTank/YouTube


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