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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    It’s probably lingering hurt from Sunday’s Mexico-Netherlands World Cup black comedy, but two minutes into “Heavenly Father”—a freshly penned Bon Iver track written specifically for upcoming Zach Braff film Wish I Was Here—the snare kicks in and there’s an R&B-sprayed, slow burn beat that made me cry.

    Humanist balladeer Justin Vernon—maybe the most earnest, distinct, and reflective singer-songwriter voice of the Obama years—sticks the landing with melancholy lines likes “I know now honey that I can’t pretend” and “I’ve just been up here for goddamn years.” It’s a four-minute reminder that 2011’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver is still an LP the game hasn’t caught up to yet. Murky, looped production pads stray guitar lines and woodwinds, while Vernon’s voice does that wounded-but-masculine turtle dove thing like the most deft of soul-baring-as-a-calling-card musicians.

    Score one for Braff. Wish I Was Here’s music supervisor Mary Ramos traveled to Wisconsin to screen the film for Justin Vernon, telling NPR that Vernon’s thematic and structural concept was an on-the-spot call.

    "They were enjoying it and laughing, but at a certain point, they just got quiet. When it was over, Justin started humming. We talked afterwards about the relationship between Zach's character and his brother [Josh Gad], and Justin and Nate talked a little about their father — all the while Justin kept distractedly humming. Eventually, he sang out the words 'heavenly father.' Before I even left their house, Justin was recording the first version of the song in his downstairs studio. His inspiration was that immediate."

    Wish I Was Here’strailer (go ahead and call it Garden State II or This Is 35) mucks around proudly in its echo chamber of precocious balladry—ready to delight as a sad man of economic privilege comes of age on the Pacific Coast. Braff’s protagonist lugs around a swear jar; he tells his daughter at one point to pick out a new wig “just so long as it’s unique and amazing like you.” There’s a voiceover that closes the clip with childhood nostalgia about superheroes before landing on gag reflex closer, “But maybe we’re just the regular people—the ones who get saved.”

    The film opens July 18, and its soundtrack is out July 15. The roll call on the soundtrack teeters between Kashi crunch, high fructose corn syrup, and perfectly delicious Wheat Thins; you'll find the complete tracklist and the streaming version of "Heavenly Father" on NPR's website.

    H/T NPR | Screengrab via Focus Features/YouTube

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    Tilda Swinton has taken a brief break from being a Narnian witch-queen and Tom Hiddleston’s immortal vampire lover to answer some fan questions on Reddit.

    The actress was online to promote Snowpiercer, a post-apocalyptic movie she made with Chris Evans and Korean director Bong Joon-Ho. Because we have never actually met Tilda Swinton in person, we like to imagine that she is just like the @NotTildaSwinton Twitter account in real life.

    In addition to questions about her career (“if you mean would I ever play another cross-dressing, gender transitioning, four hundred year old English aristocrat again, I feel like saying it's not likely, as those stories aren't told so often...”), Swinton also showed her fun side, talking about ruining takes on Benjamin Button by making dick jokes with Brad Pitt while David Fincher was looking the other way.

    Also, she loves Amy Schumer because “comedy = lifeblood,” and her second career choice after acting would be “professional gambler.”

    Tilda Swinton AMA screengrab

    Yes, if you refer to Tilda Swinton as “yo, girl,” it turns out that she will answer you.

    She also addressed the rumor that she was in a polyamorous relationship with her former partner John Byrne and her current boyfriend, saying, “This is not true... it never was.. someone once ran with a misunderstanding.. I suppose there may be people out there who believe it, though, so their perception would be skewed.. I'm sorry if this is a disappointment for anybody.”

    In other words, despite giving every appearance of being some kind of immortal forest elf, Tilda Swinton is surprisingly normal. She even goes on Reddit, just like the rest of us. It’s just that once she goes offline again, her day job can be described thusly: “Working with both Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderson is like the summer camp of dreams.”

    Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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    Now we’re only one step away from that movie.

    Yahoo just came out of the woodworks in the eleventh hour and picked up Community for a 13-episode sixth season just hours before the actors’ contracts expired, TVLine reported.

    Before the announcement, Yahoo seemingly wasn’t even part of the conversation, but it had expressed an interest in making original content for the Web earlier this year and picked up its first two shows in April.

    And a tweet from creator Dan Harmon shortly before the announcement created more questions than answers.

    Cancelled last month by NBC, fans rallied for an online streaming service (most notably Netflix and Hulu) to save the cult show from the Darkest Timeline. Earlier this month, Hulu had started discussion with Sony Pictures Television, the company that produces Community, but those talks fell through last week; still, Sony remained optimistic about shopping the show elsewhere. The company had until July 1 to find a new home before the cast would be released from their contracts and free to do other things.

    Yahoo is likely betting on Community’s built-in audience to follow the show to its streaming service, which doesn’t yet have the clout of Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

    Harmon will be returning for the sixth season, along with stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jim Rash, and Ken Jeong. Longtime executive producer Chris McKenna is currently in talks to return as well. TVLine confirmed that Donald Glover, who left in the middle of Community's fifth season, will not return.

    "I am very pleased that Community will be returning for its predestined sixth season on Yahoo," Harmon said in a statement. "I look forward to bringing our beloved NBC sitcom to a larger audience by moving it online. I vow to dominate our new competition. Rest easy, Big Bang Theory. Look out, BangBus!"

    Some fans may be wary about the show going to Yahoo (remember season 4?), but for what it’s worth, Harmon and the cast remain optimistic as they tweeted out support.

    "‘The reports of our cancellation have been greatly exaggerated.’" McHale said as he reworked a quote by Mark Twain. "#SixSeasonsAndaMovie is real. Thank you Sony. Thank you Yahoo. Thank you Dan Harmon.  And thank you to the greatest f%$#ing fans in the history of the human race. It’s the internet. We can swear now."

    At least that asteroid didn’t destroy all of human civilization—and that’s now canon.

    H/T TVLine | Photo via NBC/YouTube

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    Warning: This article contains spoilers for the post-credits scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

    We are getting our first peek--"peek" being the operative word here--at X-Men: Apocalypse.

    Shortly after joining Instagram, X-Men helmsman Bryan Singer shared a photo of part of the movie treatment's first page on Instagram and Twitter on June 30. 

    We get a peek at everything from the treatment's start date (June 6) to co-writers (Simon Kinberg, Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris) to, of course, the tiniest bit of content.

    The movie appears to open with a rehashing of the teaser scene at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past, which featured a glimpse at the eons-old mutant Apocalypse and the Four Horsemen.

    Naturally, fans were quick to react to Singer's tease.

    Since X-Men: Apocalypse is not slated for release until May 27, 2016, few details of the movie are known. Kinsberg told podcaster Jeff Goldsmith that it will take place in 1983 and, according to Entertainment Weekly, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult will all reprise their roles as, respectively, Magneto, Charles Xavier, Mystique, and Beast.

    Photo via mycomiccovers/Tumblr

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    As has become a yearly VidCon tradition, Barely Political has used its YouTube channel for an airing of grievances. The comedy hub led by Mark Douglas and Todd Womack has released YouTube Complaints 2014, in which a constant stream of guest stars collectively crabs about the problems facing YouTube today.

    As in previous years, the YouTube Complaints are a mix of significant issues and light-hearted parody.  The video brings up the round-the-clock nature of YouTuber life, the occasional choppiness of the site’s live streams, and, of course, the Google+ problem (though that one seems to be near a resolution). At the same time, it takes satirical aim at the excessive number of Frozen covers on YouTube, the “sheepish” nature of the site’s British vloggers, and the overwhelming popularity of the “Let’s Play” genre of gaming videos.

    Mark and Todd make multiple appearances in the video, and they’re joined along the way by plenty of familiar faces. Guests in this year’s edition of YouTube Complaints include The Gregory Brothers, Dude Perfect, Rhett & Link, and Jake Roper of Vsauce2.

    Some may see the YouTube Complaints videos as sour grapes, but it’s important to remember that it’s in good fun. Mark and Todd are two of YouTube’s most lovable curmudgeons, and they tend to have genuine respect for the creators and institutions that they mock. This video should be taken in stride, but it’s also an important reminder that, as great of a resource as it is, YouTube isn’t perfect. The new video hits on some areas where the site can improve; otherwise, we can expect some of the same complaints to pop up in the 2015 edition of the YouTube Complaints Desk.

    Screengrab via Barely Political/YouTube

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    This year at VidCon, one topic on the minds of vloggers seemed to be whether, and how, to transition from YouTube to other mediums like television or Hollywood. But filmographers in YouTube have similar concerns: Can YouTube's community provide support for an indie filmmaker's artistic vision? Can a film look as good on YouTube as it does on Vimeo, which offers faster frame rates (though this is finally changing) and a higher default playback resolution?

    The hosts of VidCon's Intermix panel, well-known YouTubers Emily Diana Ruth and Charlie McDonnell, argued "yes" to both questions on Saturday. We joined them for a look at some of the best films the YouTube community has to offer, from experimental art films to deeply personal explorations of identity.

    "The only thing these films have in common," McDonnell explained to the packed room, "is that they're short and they're on YouTube." 

    We'd add one more thing: The 10 films featured below provide an interesting and entertaining look at the varied and diverse talents of YouTube filmmakers. We present them in the order in which they were presented at VidCon.

    1) Once Upon a Time

    Director: Bethany Jeffries (bethshake)

    What: A gorgeous stop-motion-style animated film done for a final exam in Jeffries' animation class. We're assuming she passed.

    2) Shelter From the Storm

    Directors: Former Europop singers Rebekka Matthew and Rannva Joensen (Rebekka Rannva, Creamydk)

    What:  A moving short documentary film about an East Los Angeles elementary teacher, Mrs. Reifler, and the students whose lives she is changing.

    3) Reflective in Perspective

    Director: Tim Hautekiet (Tim H)

    What: A wry comedic short starring Hautekiet, better known as "TimH," on the subject of breakups.

    4) Rickshaw Run

    Director: JacksGap

    What: The trailer for a short YouTube series by the same name that features the gorgeous cinematography and merry adventures of a seven-member team of British guys who spent a month traveling across India in rickshaws.

    5) everything you eat is poison

    Director: Ed Stockham (ed stockham..)

    What: A mind-bending, poignant short from comic artist and animator Stockham, exploring connection, beauty, and things that taste good.

    6) The Raven Boy

    Director: Harvey Walton

    What: A fun dark fantasy short that received several nominations at this year's Rode Reel short film competition, winning Best Soundtrack.

    7) Talking Pictures

    Director: Ransom Riggs (ransriggs), perhaps better known as the author of the best-selling, photo-rich Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

    What: This short film about the director's love of old photos went viral in 2011.

    8) Resolution of Two

    Director: Rylee Jean Ebsen

    What: The up-and-coming director Ebsen made this moment of brief connection between a jilted prom date and a prostitute as part of Tisch School of the Arts' annual Campus MovieFest.

    9) Irene Lee, Girl Detective

    Director: Yulin Kuang

    What: This crowd favorite by Yulin Kuang is a Wes Anderson-flavored look at plucky young detective Irene as she faces a mysterious lack of mysteries.

    10) Tick Where It Hurts

    Director: Bertie Gilbert

    What: This powerful film, by far the longest short shown at the fest, has already received nearly 60,000 views since it debuted on YouTube a week ago—and for good reason. Gilbert's filmmaking is a claustrophobic and incredibly intimate portrait of the process of grief and anger following the suicide of a loved one. This isn't an easy film to watch, but it's also a powerful viewing experience, and one that proves that the visions of YouTube filmmakers are well worth watching.

    Screengrab via Bertie Gilbert/YouTube

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    VH1 has given Twitter users the chance to ask Robin Thicke any question they like. Considering the fact that Robin Thicke’s current public image is “total creep,” this may not have been the best decision.

    The #AskThickehashtag has already been flooded with questions that Thicke will never in a million years want to answer, such as, “What form of sexual or emotional abuse will you be normalising in your next jaunty hit?”

    Best known for the song "Blurred Lines" (which at best was pretty misogynist, and at worst was literally a song about rape), Thicke’s latest single, "Get Her Back," has courted similar controversy. The song and video are supposedly an attempt to persuade his ex-wife Paula Patton to come back to him, but many people have interpreted this as a public way of harassing her into submission.

    In other words, he got famous thanks to a song about failing to respect the choices and desires of women, and then followed this up with an entire album about how he doesn’t respect the choices and desires of his ex-wife. As a result, there are way more #AskThicke questions about his dubious attitude toward women than there are about anything else. 

    It’s really not clear why Thicke or his PR people thought this was a good idea in the first place. Either he’s one of those celebrities who lives by the maxim of “any publicity is good publicity,” or he genuinely does not realise how many people think he is a sexist creep.

    We won’t be surprised if the planned Q&A is cancelled, but for now, we feel bad for whichever long-suffering VH1 employee has to sift through the #AskThicke hashtag in search of some “real” questions.

    Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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    If you’ve ever watched the Travel Channel show Man v. Food, you might have been worried about host Adam Richman. The show is basically an episodic eating contest at different restaurants around the world, featuring ridiculous amounts of greasy food, and Richman was the taste-tester.  

    His new show, Man Finds Food, was supposed to debut on July 2, but the Travel Channel pulled it indefinitely. Richman recently lost a good deal of weight and has been documenting it on Instagram. He posted a photo last month (which has since been deleted) with the caption:

    “Had ordered this suit from a Saville Row tailor over a year ago. Think I’m gonna need to take it in a little…. #Victory #EyesOnThePrize #AnythingIsPossible #fitness #transformation #thinspiration”

    That last hashtag was a trigger for some people. Thinspiration (or "thinspo") is a term often used in pro-bulimia and pro-anorexia circles, and if you search the term on Instagram, several accounts with troubling images come up, though Instagram did attempt to take measures against the promotion of self-harm. Richman might not have known about the connotations of this term, but he nevertheless received several comments that attempted to educate him. He did not take it well.

    In a post for xoJane, one woman recounted her interaction with Richman. She asked her followers to let him know eating disorders aren’t a joke or a hashtag. This apparently led to Richman dropping the word “cunt” in a response to her, and telling another user to “grab a razor blade & draw a bath. I doubt anyone will miss you.” To another, he offered the succinct “DILLIGAF?” (Do I look like I give a fuck?).

    The pile-up of Internet comments can be overwhelming for anyone, but Richman is also a public figure that could use this weight loss to potentially help others. He apologized with a now-deleted tweet on June 20, stating, “Yes. I've responded to internet hate recently with vile words directed at those hating me. I am sorry, I should know better & will do better.”

    This morning, he released a statement to Good Morning America:

    “I’ve long struggled with my body image and have worked very hard to achieve a healthy weight. I’m incredibly sorry to everyone I’ve hurt.”

    H/T The Wrap | Photo by Sarah Mulligan/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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    It’s no secret that 20th-century pop-punk masters Blink-182 turned a creative corner between Dude Ranch and Enema of the State. The band parted ways with drummer Scott Raynor and brought in human V8 engine Travis Barker to mete out the tempo. Barker’s caffeine-powered drumming fueled the teen-spirit mosh pits during which TRL’s misfits came of age in the late ’90s.

    The underrated angle to Blink’s sonic footprint is how frenetic, addictive, and familiar these double-time drum parts are. They’ve aged well. Here’s proof.

    YouTube’s punk-rocker drum hero Kye Smith, drummer for Newcastle-based pop-punk band Local Resident Failure, decided to learn the most distinctive drum patterns from every song on the last six Blink-182 albums and then play them back-to-back in one megamix. He skips fan-favorite demos like Buddha, taking us from 1995’s Cheshire Cat through 2011’s Neighborhoods*.

    Since posting the clip on June 27, it has amassed more than 367,000 views on YouTube. Smith has also given the golden pop-punk treatment to NOFX, Rise Against, and Green Day. 

    You burn through the five-minute video, and all that was emotive and positive about the pop-punk heroes’ discography hits at once. Smith finds the tastiest foothills to swing his sticks on. 

    Hearing the isolated drum parts helped me compile a highly astute and unimpeachable power ranking of the best Blink-182 songs:

    5) “Stockholm Syndrome”
    4) “Dumpweed”
    3) “Anthem Part 2”
    2) “Reckless Abandon”
    1) “Dammit”

    *Don’t worry, I perused the latest release, and if you have fond memories of Blink-182 from 10-plus years ago, this is an easily skippable endnote of a record.

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    Even though the latest Netflix streaming shuffle robbed us of classics like Taxi Driver and the Rocky series, its list of new offerings includes some great filmmaking.

    Here is our list of titles that you should check out as soon as possible before they, too, are rotated into oblivion.

    1) 12 Angry Men

    This intense 1957 classic is perhaps the best-known adaptation of Reginald Rose's teleplay of the same name. Legendary actors like Henry Fonda, E.G. Marshall, and Jack Klugman all give powerful performances as jurors who are deciding the fate of an 18-year-old boy accused of murdering his father.

    2) Bad Santa

    This 2003 comedy may not be an Oscar-winning piece of cinema, but it has certainly solidified its place as a holiday classic for those of us fed up with "feel-good" Christmas movies. Billy Bob Thornton saw a career revival with his turn as "Willie," a swearing, drinking, thieving department store Santa Claus.

    3) Basic Instinct

    This 1992 thriller was a high point in the careers of its stars Michael Douglas and (especially) Sharon Stone. The gripping, sexy story follows Douglas as a police detective who starts a passionate love affair with Stone, the main suspect in a gruesome murder case.

    4) Dead Man Walking

    In this powerful 1995 drama, Susan Sarandon stars as a nun who befriends a death row inmate, played by Sean Penn. Along with Thelma and Louise and The Client, the film was instrumental in solidifying Sarandon as a certifiable dramatic actress in the 1990s; she earned the Academy Award for best actress for her work in Dead Man Walking.

    5) The Hunt for Red October

    This action-filled epic based on the Tom Clancy novel of the same name unites an amazing cast that includes Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, and James Earl Jones. The film follows CIA analyst Jack Ryan who attempts to convince the U.S. navy to thwart a rogue Russian submarine.

    6) The Karate Kid

    I'm sorry, but Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith will never be the Karate Kid duo; that honor forever belongs to Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio. Check them out in the classic 1984 inspirational film that started it all.

    7) Mean Girls

    "That's so fetch!" "On Wednesdays, we wear pink!" Relive all of the great lines in the 2004 movie that helped put Tina Fey on the map and featured Lindsay Lohan long before she became a walking trainwreck. 

    8) Patton

    George C. Scott immortalized the World War II general George S. Patton in this Oscar-winning 1970 film. Patton's awe-inspiring rallying of his troops against an American flag backdrop is a landmark scene.

    9) Philadelphia

    After enjoying a successful career as a comedic headliner in films like Big, Splash, and Sleepless in Seattle, superstar Tom Hanks showcased his dramatic acting chops in Philadelphia to much critical acclaim. Hanks plays Andrew Beckett, a gay man whose battle with AIDS causes him to lose his job.

    10) Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    Star Trek fans still smarting from Netflix's removal of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home will find some solace in this entry. The last film to feature the entire original series cast together, issues such as racism are explored in the story of Kirk and Spock battling forces that aim to derail peace efforts between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. 

    That's just the beginning of the new content streamable in July. Here's the full list:

    • 12 Angry Men
    • American Ninja (1985)
    • Ararat
    • Bad Santa
    • Basic Instinct
    • Best Defense (1984)
    • Blue Chips
    • Body of Evidence
    • Boyz in the Hood
    • Can't Buy Me Love
    • Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke
    • City of God
    • Crimson Tide
    • Croupier
    • Dead Man Walking
    • Don't Look Now (1973)
    • Eight Men Out
    • Fever Pitch (1997)
    • From Here to Eternity
    • Gandhi (1982)
    • Halloween Resurrection
    • Jersey Girl
    • Legends of the Fall
    • Madeline (1998)
    • Mean Girls
    • My Girl
    • My Girl 2
    • Patton (1970)
    • People I Know
    • Phantoms
    • Philadelphia
    • Primal Fear
    • Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country
    • Star Trek I The Motion Picture
    • Sugar Hill
    • The Babysitter
    • The Dark Half
    • The Hunt for Red October
    • The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)
    • The Karate Kid (1984)
    • The Karate Kid II (1986)
    • The Keys of the Kingdom
    • The Parent Trap (1998)
    • Venus
    • Walking Tall Part II

    Photo via

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    At 71 years old, having presided over countless small claims court cases for the past 18 years, her honor Judge Judy Sheindlin have thought she had heard it all. That was until an episode of Judge Judy aired yesterday that brought forth a case involved two men who came to know one another through the hookup app Grindr.

    Her honor, unfamiliar with the latest in gay technology, turned to the the defendant Adam Murphy to describe it. “Grindr, it's an app for your phone or your iPad. It's a social app that tells you where homosexual males are and their proximity to where you are."

    Apparently after the couple’s met, which occurred at an Applebees like all good “Masc4masc” Grindr meetups do, the plaintiff gave an unspecified gift of money to cover bills and expenses of the 23-year-old college student. That’s when the sugar daddy situation went sour. When Murphy began rejecting the plaintiff’s “creepy” advances, the gift became a loan and it was time to repay the debt.

    Judge Judy grew tired of the "Baloney!" Mr. Murphy was serving to her. Sticking to his allegation that he was looking “just to make friends,” Judy opened the library and read the defendant like only she can. 

    "No, then you go on a website just to make friends! You go with college friends! But you went on a particular website. I mean, if I were looking to just make friends, I wouldn't go on a website that said, you know, it's just for little old Jewish ladies. I would try to expand my horizons a little bit, do you understand?"

    Judy, having very little patience for either of these two men or their Grindr sugar-daddy-gone-wrong drama, ended up dismissing the case. But not before "gagging" at the defendant's claims that the plaintiff was a "mentor" to him.

    H/T Gawker | Photo via artarama/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)



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    In the second round of World Cup action, the United States will be taking on Belgium this very afternoon. Couple this very intense matchup with the fact that this coming weekend marks Independence Day, and you have a country full of Americans feeling super-patriotic.

    So, let's honor our country with some videos that express everlasting love for our country through song. These selections range from tear-jerking to downright bizarre.

    1) Gaither Vocal Band sings the National Anthem

    Obviously, we have to kick things off with "The Star-Spangled Banner." We've seen plenty of movingversions of this tune before, but here's Indiana-based a cappella group the Gaither Vocal Band doing their rendition.

    2) The Naked Gun: Frank Drebin performs the National Anthem

    Of course, no matter how many sporting events we attend, no one knows every line of the National Anthem. Leslie Nielsen and the producers of the first Naked Gun movie belt out the tune using lyrics—and a key—that most "Average Joe" Americans are a little more familiar with.

    3) Ray Charles does "America, the Beautiful"

    Let's face it: Ray Charles could sing anything—including "Gangnam Style" or "Call Me Maybe"—and it would sound awesome. Here he is on The Dick Cavett Show in the 1970s with his rendition of "America, the Beautiful."

    4) "America! Fuck Yeah!" from Team America: World Police

    Years before they were selling out Broadway by lampooning the Mormon community, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were entertaining and offending audiences with marionettes. Here are the stars of Team America: World Police and their very NSFW fight song.

    5) Lee Greenwood, "God Bless the USA" (live in 1985)

    One of the more beautiful—and original—pieces of patriotic music is Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA." First released in 1984, the song gained prominence during the Gulf War in the early 1990s and again after 9/11.

    6) "Yankee Doodle Baby"

    Yes, kids are cute, and patriotism is great. When you combine the two elements together, however, you unfortunately wind up with something that borders on terrifying.

    7) John Mellencamp's "Pink Houses"

    John Cougar Mellencamp's "Pink Houses" is a quintessential pop song that really sums up heartland Americana. 

    8) Dennis Madalone, "America We Stand as One"

    Independent singer-songwriter Dennis Madalone produced this moving—yet slightly overblown—tribute to America. As you sit mesmerized by his too-soulful lyrics, enjoy the fruits of his music video's graphic designer, who was having way too much fun with the effects package.

    9) "Back in America," National Lampoon's European Vacation

    "Back in America" was originally recorded for the end credits of National Lampoon's European Vacation, the lackluster 1985 sequel to the original Vacation film. When combined with the images featured in the film's end credits, it is a biting commentary on what we Americans now consider important.

    10) "Real American"

    Last but certainly not least… Only Hulk can lead us into battle in style.

    Photo via The Q Speaks/Flickr

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    The Hadfields want to help you celebrate Canada Day in style—a very polite style.

    For those unaware, July 1 marks Canada Day, the celebration of Canada becoming its own country within the British Empire, and in honor of the country’s 147th birthday, Cmdr. Chris Hadfield and his brother David decided to mark it in one of the many ways they could: with song.

    “A polite song from two brothers who are just hoping your day is okay,” the description reads.

    Their goal was to come up with the “most Canadian music video ever,” filled with five minutes of Canadian stereotypes and staples along with a rare glimpse into the lives of the Hadfields (and not just Chris’s Internet presence).

    Plenty of the references fly over this American’s head, but darn it if it’s still not the most pleasant-sounding song I’ve heard today.

    Photo via Chris Hadfield/YouTube

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    Last month, Autostraddle published a definitive overview of all the Orange Is the New Black characters who have also appeared on Law & Order, and the family tree is vast.

    Now, all those appearances have been rendered in video form, documenting 31 OITNB cast members in their L&O guest roles. Dianna McDougall and Wesley Bonner are responsible, and they are truly doing the lord’s work here.

    Another gem found in the before-they-were-on-OITNB file: Annie Golden, who plays mute inmate Norma, used to be in ’80s pop band the Shirts.

    Screengrab via nerve/YouTube

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    In the lead-up to their 10-night run starting tonight at the O2 Arena in London, their first live—er, "mostly" live—shows since 1980, Monty Python have never been afraid of mentioning the lucrative reasons for their reunion. Indeed now they’ve corralled Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts to impress on us even further their self-proclaimed status as “wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make a load of money.”

    So it’s no surprise that although there is set to be a grand, “exhausting” opening, Stephen Hawking, “special effects,” and a troupe of male dancers to interpret the Ministry of Silly Walks due to John Cleese’s now understandably feeble, 74-year-old knees, the majority of the show—which streams this summer to cinemas around the worldwill consist of "classics" rather than new material

    With that in mind, here’s a list of 10 of their top moments that they might be wheeling out for this, their last hurrah.

    1) Argument Clinic

    Perhaps the definitive John Cleese and Graham Chapman sketch, with the humor being almost entirely verbal, its insights into the complexity of the English language are unmatched in their depth and accuracy.

    Belying its roots in radio comedy, its rapid delivery style has influenced decades of modern film and television, including works as far-flung as Aaron Sorkin films and Gilmore Girls.

    2) Novel Writing

    These days the Monty Python albums barely get a chance, but you’d be remiss not to give them your time—especially 1973’s Free Record Given Away With the Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief, which came bundled in a package with, you guessed it, a matching tie and handkerchief and distributed to menswear stores.

    Perhaps a precursor to the later “Philosophers’ Football Match,” “Novel Writing” establishes the Monty Python trope of mashing up high and low art.

    3) The Dead Parrot

    The most famous of all their sketches is one that will almost certainly be revisited live. While most seem to revel in Cleese’s recitation of synonyms for dead, others simply enjoy that the pet shop has a slug for sale.

    4) The Stolen Wallet

    Clocking in at just over 30 seconds, this sketch encapsulates a whole generation’s sexual unease and homophobic undercurrents. The joke itself is that this whole contrived exchange has probably been uttered verbatim somewhere in the real world.

    5) Upper Class Twit of the Year 

    Cleese recently opined that he lost his role as Q in James Bond films as non-Brits don’t understand "subtle British humor or class jokes." However you don’t need to hail from the British Isles to find enjoyment as the inbred upper classes are lampooned in a series of ridiculous contests.

    6) Australian Philosophy Department

    By no means their funniest sketch but perhaps their most influential. The Philosophy Department of the Australian University of Hullabaloo single-handedly killed off the name Bruce in Australia. To this day I have never met a “Bruce”—or, for, that matter a “Sheila”—and I’m Australian.

    7) Four Yorkshiremen

    The classic sketch of negative one-upmanship. If the public’s appetite for stories of escalating hardship are anything to go by, there’s certainly no better way at amplifying your own success than by exaggerating your own impoverished upbringing. Jung Chan and Frank McCourt owe a great debt to this one.

    8) The Funniest Joke in the World

    Basically a shaggy dog story, the joke itself is famously mere gibberish but that’s of course beside the point. An interesting aside: Although the Pythons have never sent any of their fans shuffling off this mortal coil, their contemporaries The Goodies have.

    9) The Bishop

    As a sort of spoof of Roger Moore’s The Saint, with its flimsy sets and wooden acting, this clip is a standout for its circular repetitiveness. Of course it’s nowhere near as bizarre as some of the thematic choices of its target; a particular episode where the future James Bond fights giant ants stays with me years later.

    10) Ministry of Silly Walks

    As mentioned above, this won’t be seen in its full glory (due to Cleese having the ACLs of John Elway), which is a shame as it ranks near the top of all physical comedy. The almost believable existence of its ridiculously niche, grant-giving government ministry amazes even 45 years later. If only Cleese’s knees had that sort of longevity.  

    Bonus: Sven from Swiss Cottage

    Peter Cook was not a Python, yet his influence is obvious and credited. In the 1980s he used to amuse himself by calling Clive Bull’s late-night talk show on London radio station LBC as Sven, musing on his hatred of Norway’s obsession with all things fish and fishing and his extremely depressing lovelife.


    Screengrab via Monty Python/YouTube

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    Vine has become a platform for discovering new bands and songs, but music app developer Smule is now demoing a feature that will turn Vine videos into crowdsourced events.

    It announced the new feature, Smuush, last week, and touted it as a “new way of visualizing the world connecting through music in the most authentic way possible—by using Vine to capture the exact moment at which people are experiencing a song and combining all these moments together.”

    Essentially, Smuush takes Vine videos with the same music-related hashtag, and extracts audio from each video to find the exact time during the clip where the audio was used. So if 50 people tagged a song with #BohemianRhapsody, all those tagged Vines would be analyzed in order to stitch together the videos so it looks like everyone with that hashtag is performing in one cohesive Vine.

    The idea was developed during the homegrown hackathon Smackathon, and the app aims to increase interaction with Vine clips by capturing the real-time moments where people are engaging in performance. As it's explained on Smule's blog, “Chances are that no two videos will turn out exactly the same even when given the same, or nearly the same input.”

    The app is still in development, but you can tweet suggestions for songs you’d like to see Smuushed together.

    Screengrab via Smule/YouTube 

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    Once again, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is in the works.

    Much like Gaiman’s Sandman and Good Omens, the idea of an American Gods movie or TV series is a perennial rumor. Back in 2011, things seemed promising when Gaiman announced that it had been picked up by HBO, but by 2013 that plan had fallen through.

    The latest development is that an American Gods series is in the works at Starz, with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green attached as showrunners.

    Gaiman said in a press release, “When you create something like American Gods, which attracts fans and obsessives and people who tattoo quotes from it on themselves or each other... it's really important to pick your team carefully: you don't want to let the fans down. What I love most about the team who I trust to take it out to the world, is that they are the same kind of fanatics that American Gods has attracted since the start. I haven't actually checked Bryan Fuller or Michael Green for quote tattoos, but I would not be surprised if they have them.”

    The idea of Bryan Fuller working on American Gods is surely a good sign for fans of the book. Following on from Hannibal, Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me, Gaiman’s brand of modern-day fantasy and sly humor seems like a perfect fit.

    Michael Green’s most famous projects are Heroes and Smallville, but anyone who is concerned about the possibility of an angsty, teen-oriented American Gods adaptation should look no further than the show Green created himself: Kings. This quasi-Biblical political fantasy series was cancelled after only one season, but has since achieved a cult following, particularly over the last few months when Captain America fans were working their way through Sebastian Stan’s IMDb resume.

    It’s not clear how this will affect Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, if at all. The show was renewed for a third season, but if Fuller is co-running American Gods with Michael Green, he may not have time to work on both shows at once.

    Here’s hoping that the Gaiman adaptation curse doesn’t strike again, and that American Gods actually makes it to TV this time.

    Photo by Kyle Cassidy/Wikimedia Commons

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    Big news! Gwen Stefani, Willie Nelson, Cher, and Peter Griffin did a song together. OK, not really, but performer Rob Cantor, formerly of the band Tally Hall, does do an awfully good impression of 29 different cultural icons in his new original song “Perfect.”

    It’s a good thing Cantor wrote these lyrics, because if he’d chopped up actual lines from those singers, you’d think it was just clever editing.

    Close your eyes, though, and you might actually believe Christopher Walken, Ray Romano, Flipper, Steve Buscemi, and Ian McKellen are serenading you. Nope—it’s just one talented dude and a friend, Andrew Horowitz, on piano.

    The creepiest impression? Not Gollum! Wait until he channels Shakira.

    Getting the performance right took “a lot of practice” and “about 40 takes,” Cantor wrote on Facebook. 

    “Perfect” is featured on Cantor’s new album, Not a Trampoline. You can purchase the studio version here, if you’ve got an urge to compare Adam Sandler’s real-life whine to Cantor’s rendition.

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    Reality talent competitions have been on the air for well over a decade, so when a contestant tries to pull one over on the judges, it usually falls flats or annoys the audience. But this is a master class in trolling.

    Meet Ray Jessel, an 84-year-old singer and songwriter who’s been performing since he was 72. He finally decided to audition for America’s Got Talent, and after he put on the sort of old-timey routine that suits his age, he told the judges he was going to perform an original song.

    It’s totally NSFW, but it managed to get completely past NBC’s censors without any bleeping. And the judges loved it.

    “You have no idea what you just did in my house,” Heidi Klum told Jessel. “My children are all sitting in the audience, and they all will be singing that song later on tomorrow, the next day, the day after.”

    If anyone was watching with their kids, they might run into the same problem—at least until Jessel’s next appearance.

    Photo via America’s Got Talent/YouTube

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    What do YouTube darlings Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart do immediately upon landing on an Alaskan glacier in their new travel series, #HeyUSA? Drink vodka shots made with glacial snow, of course.

    So frames the first mini-episode of the series that follows the two Camp Takota stars on a country-wide road trip suggested by the YouTube community. Over the course of the eight-week series, the women will visit various locations as directed by their fans and will showcase in the first half shortform “near real time” posts, followed by more overarching, longer episodes later in the process.

    The first dispatch highlights user suggestions, which pop-up alongside the women, to go to a glacier. So Helbig and Hart don matching winter onesies, hop on a “tiny ass scary plane” otherwise known as an air taxi, and promptly warn, "We might sh*t ourselves on the plane!" We watch them clutch each other and freak out as they navigate their way to the glacier, and promptly upon landing, there’s a mini avalanche to sustain their fears. Then it’s time for twerking, snowfights, and the vodka, before it’s back on the tiny plane to safer ground. A few seconds of trivia remind us that it’s a travel show and we might learn something, but mostly we are here to watch Hart mic-drop the vodka bottle into the slow and to watch the pair fall down while marching back to the plane. The teaser reveals there'll be snow sledding the next go-around.

    Fans can find #HeyUSA on the YouTube channel Astronauts Wanted, a transmedia youth content brand, instead of the women’s own channels. The series was created by Billy Parks and Nick Shore, who are executive producing with Ken Treusch of Bleecker Street Entertainment.  Videos are updated three times a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) while the stars continue to update their own YouTube presences.

    So far, this is a road trip we want to tag along on.

    Screengrab via Astronauts Wanted/YouTube

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