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- 06/17/14--20:33: _It Doesn’t Matter T...
- 06/17/14--20:45: _Preview for Power 1x03
- 06/17/14--21:00: _Game Calls Out Fran...
- 06/17/14--21:00: _Sam Smith, 'In the ...
- 06/17/14--21:01: _See Who Topped Spot...
- 06/17/14--21:01: _'Creepy Paddington'...
- 06/17/14--21:33: _Alleged ONTDer Ryan...
- 06/17/14--21:34: _Oh Sweet Mercy.
- 06/17/14--21:34: _'Fargo' Season Revi...
- 06/17/14--22:01: _Paulina Rubio Opens...
- 06/17/14--22:13: _Duck Dynasty Nephew...
- 06/18/14--18:34: _New comic Wednesday...
- 06/18/14--18:40: _Some ‘Catfish’ Tale...
- 06/18/14--19:08: _'True Blood': Exclu...
- 06/18/14--19:29: _Jimmy Fallon and Ke...
- 06/18/14--19:35: _Magic in the Moonli...
- 06/18/14--19:51: _Book Post: Canadian...
- 06/18/14--19:51: _Aidy Bryant of 'SNL...
- 06/18/14--19:54: _Taking Back Sunday:...
- 06/18/14--19:57: _WHY ‘HANNIBAL’ CAN ...
- 06/17/14--20:33: It Doesn’t Matter That Amazon’s Music Streaming Service Is Lame
- 06/17/14--20:45: Preview for Power 1x03
- 06/17/14--21:00: Sam Smith, 'In the Lonely Hour': Track-by-Track Album Review
- 06/17/14--21:01: See Who Topped Spotify's Top 25 Artists Under 25...
- 06/17/14--21:01: 'Creepy Paddington' meme drops beloved bear into horror films
- 06/17/14--21:34: Oh Sweet Mercy.
- 06/17/14--21:34: 'Fargo' Season Review: Why It's One of the Year's Best Dramas
- 06/17/14--22:01: Paulina Rubio Opens Up About Her Much Rumored Rivalry With Thalia!
- 06/18/14--18:34: New comic Wednesday ft The Wicked + The Divine
- 06/18/14--18:40: Some ‘Catfish’ Tales Are Too Dark For Television + Viewing Post
- 06/18/14--19:08: 'True Blood': Exclusive EW Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin Portraits
- 06/18/14--19:29: Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Hart Ride a Roller Coaster
- 06/18/14--19:51: Book Post: Canadian indie writer mistaken for Stephen King, profits
- 06/18/14--19:54: Taking Back Sunday: Why Going Indie Produced Their Best Music Yet
Last week, Amazon introduced Prime Music, a streaming service included in a Prime subscription that scared … absolutely none of the big music streaming competitors.
Within hours of Amazon introducing its music streaming service, Prime Music, the consensus among critics and observers is that the service is … okay.
While Amazon played up the fact that Prime Music has “unlimited, ad-free streaming” and a catalogue of “over a million songs,” anyone and everyone evaluating the service was quick to point out that players in the streaming scene such as Spotify have well over 20 million songs. “It’s hard to tell who is the target audience for Amazon’s service. If it’s a consumer mass market play, there are still some big gaps,” TechCrunch observed, noting that 9 of the current top 10 in the Billboard Top 100 were not available last week via Prime Music streaming.
Businessweek called the service “half-baked,” declaring “there is little reason to believe that Prime Music will lure people away from Spotify or Rdio.” The tech columnist at USA Today agreed: “If you’re already a paying subscriber to Spotify, or huge fan of Pandora, nothing in Amazon’s new Prime Music offering, introduced Thursday, will make you want to switch.”
Prime Music’s reception in the marketplace bears an eerie resemblance to that of another streaming service, which also happens to be an Amazon product. Tech and entertainment writers have long argued that Amazon Prime’s streaming video options were no match to Netflix, which has a far more robust catalogue of TV shows and movies.
When Prime Instant Video was still new, critics bashed its “dismal lack of popular and recent titles.” Likewise, music critic Bob Lefsetz called Prime Music a “disaster” because, among other reasons, there are so many holes in the catalogue it’ll inevitably frustrate subscribers. “Now Bezos wants me to waste time, which nobody has any of, to click around and find the music I want to hear on his service, ultimately being disappointed in a fair share of my efforts?” Lefsetz wrote. “This is not a benefit, this is a DISTRACTION!”
Much of the Prime Music criticism is completely valid. But it probably doesn’t matter. Amazon customers are not only likely to see Prime Music as a benefit, but as the best kind of benefit, one that’s totally free, passed along by those generous benefactors in Seattle. Amazon Prime was born as a two-day delivery service—buy as much as you want on the site and get two-day shipping for $79 annually—and that’s what the average subscriber still thinks he’s paying for. All the extras, including video streaming, some free Kindle ebook rentals, and now, Prime Music, tend to be viewed as just that, as perks or extras.
It’s hard to complain about a service being somewhat subpar when the service being provided is free. Or at least when it feels like the service is free. Of course, you’re paying for the service, via your subscription fee—now $99, up from the original $79—plus all of those purchases you’re making at Amazon. But it still sorta feels free. For that matter, the “free” two-day shipping isn’t really free either; it’s more like a flat prepaid payment of $99 for a year’s worth of shipping.
By bulking up what’s included in the Amazon Prime service package, Amazon is using a tactic out of the storied cable TV bundle playbook. The average pay TV subscriber watches only around 17 channels, yet his package includes 100, 200, perhaps 700 more options. Paying $90 per month for a mere 17 channels sounds like a lot. But when that $90 gives the customer a bundle of 600 channels, it feels like a much better value—even if you never watch 573 of them. Similarly, Amazon Prime members are likely to feel like they’re getting good value for their Prime bundle, even if they rarely or never take advantage of the streaming options and other extras.
Just knowing that these extras are part of the package helps convince some consumers that a Prime membership is worthwhile. And if they actually use those streaming options for hours and hours, week in, week out? That works out well for Amazon too, because the more time spent on the site, the more likely a subscriber is to be tempted into making purchases. And the more likely a subscriber is to feel that an Amazon Prime membership is an absolute essential. Subscribers will only head more in that direction as Prime Music adds to its song list, which is sure to happen in the same way that Prime Instant Video has expanded its catalogue, adding HBO shows like “The Sopranos” in April.
And hey, remember, it’s all free for Prime subscribers
Wut r they talking about, u can download the songs for free it's not just streaming. Discuss.
is anyone watching this? i want it to do well bc of my bb sinqua
Rapper Game surprised as the romantic lead of Nicki Minaj‘s “Pills N Potions” video. There, he obliges to draping fur over his bare chest, biting on one of Minaj’s bunny ears and, most importantly, gazing wistfully at the Pink Print femcee’s direction. In short, he did the complete opposite of what he’s done as of late: maintain the tough-gangsta persona of his West Coast upbringing, but with groan-worthy beefs that now overshadows his (otherwise respectable) musical output.
Source x YouTube
Not even Disclosure's rise to fame as trendsetters for last year's U.K. garage revival could overshadow Sam Smith, who lent soulful vocals to the Lawrence brother's whiplashing hit "Latch."It was impossible not to notice Smith's heart-rending range, which seemed to have come out of nowhere (even though the 21-year-old London singer had technically been around since age 12, when he signed a management deal as a preternaturally talented jazz vocalist). Even with his signature unforgettable voice, however, Smith was still trying to figure out his musical identity at that point. As he told Billboard in a recent interview, during the beginning stages of writing his debut LP, "In the Lonely Hour," he wanted to make a "Rihanna record."
It's a good thing he decided not to. Given the success of "Latch" and Smith's follow-up single, Naughty Boy's ridiculously catchy 2013 smash "La La La," he could easily have made a more beat-reliant debut. Instead, "In the Lonely Hour" draws from the same classic soul that spawned albums like Norah Jones'"Come Away With Me," a favorite of Smith's, or Adele's "19," which his album is currently on track to outsell in the U.S. its opening week. More importantly, he sounds comfortable with himself. The acoustic "Latch" that appears toward the end of the 14-track effort is no better or worse than the original; these arrangements seem to come more naturally to Smith. A bed of strings and a simple piano chord progression highlight every snag in his voice, the sudden leap into falsetto, a controlled yet tremulous vibrato.
And Smith bares more than his vocal cords on this record. Every story of unrequited love that's been put to song is powerful in its own right, but Smith's admission that the object of his affection was a man -- besides being a brave thing to do -- put to rest any speculation of his sexuality and set an emotionally open tenor for the rest of his career. “After writing the album," he told Billboard, "I felt I’d given everything out, and I’m willing to keep doing that with my music for the rest of my life." Here's to seeing how he keeps pouring his heart out.
"Money On My Mind": "Money On My Mind" kicks off the album on a sprightly note, with a crisp, skittering backbeat and chopped-up backing exhalations. The first official single is a bit of a bait-and-switch: those kinds of synthesizers don't set the tone for the record but reappear until the very end, and at first listen it's easy to focus on the blaring chorus and miss the "I don't have" that sneaks up beforehand.
"Good Thing": Beginning with swelling strings that spill into a muted guitar line like teardrops breaking (yes, it's that dramatic), the second track is the real beginning of the end that "In the Lonely Hour" is all about. Here lie the first hints of trouble in Smith's relationship, from a dream that he was mugged outside his beloved's house to the worse realization that he dared think his love was reciprocated.
"Stay With Me": Smith wowed an audience likely seeing him for the first time with this stunning cut on "Saturday Night Live." In it, he turns a desperate plea for a one-night stand to stay into an eloquent statement on being a sensitive man who knows what he wants, but has no illusions that he'll get it. With judiciously placed tambourines, the song builds to a resounding gospel chorus that would give goosebumps to even the most hardened Don Juan.
"Leave Your Lover": Asking for one night to keep going, begging the one he's in love with to leave his lover -- anyone who's made those same mistakes knows the outcome usually doesn't work out like a movie ending. This is one of the few moments on the record where it's apparent Smith has never been in a relationship; otherwise he would realize such dramatic concessions (standing in the rain, willing to give up everything) don't work if he's just not that into you.
Rest of review - Source
WELCOME THE NEW ADELE
Spotify has named their top 25 artists under 25 and we're breaking down the five artists who soared to the top of the list.
Coming in at number five is crossover superstar Taylor Swift. Her album Red was released over two years ago but according to Spotify she is still streaming strong today at a reported 800,000 times a day.
Taylor's ex Harry Styles and the rest of One Direction are at number four. And in a surprising statistic, nearly half of the listeners of the group are guys! What's their 1D song of choice?
"They're music streams about one million times a day. And their song Story Of My Life is one of our biggest hits at the moment," Spotify Trend Expert Shanon Cook explains.
Miley Cyrus bulldozes into the third spot on the list. She is follows breakthrough artist Lorde who at number two is a perfect example of someone Spotify has helped explode into mainstream music. Her hit single Royals has been streamed 160 million times.
So how did Spotify come up with their list? The music streaming service tracked the biggest artists based on the amount of streams they've accumulated and which artists had top hits.
"We also considered how much our listeners were sharing certain artists," Cook adds.
Since sales are not part of the equation here, the top 25 under 25 is a new way to track who's on top in the social media age. Watch the video to find out which artist topped their list at number one. Hint: he is the first artist to reach a billion streams and Madonna is eager to work with him!
Video won't embed...view with the rest @ the source...
LOL @ 1D with the fanboys...
The image, premiered by the Telegraph June 10, features a gently smiling CGI-version of Paddington in his signature blue duffle coat standing outside Buckingham Palace with a suitcase (presumably filled with marmalade.)
As the still began circulating the web, film lovers were eager to the discuss details of the movie itself; casting choices (Colin Firth [OP: Colin dropped out of the film -- is creepy paddington to blame?] and Nicole Kidman, among others,) release date (Nov. 28 in the U.K.) and the film's animation style.
Others, however, were more concerned about Paddington's look.
While, as Complex noted, the "slimmed-down" version of the film's title character "at least somewhat resembles the book version," many found Paddington's expression in the image quite... well, creepy.
Within hours of the original still being released, Twitter users started using the hashtag #CreepyPaddington to describe the character.
Many turned to Photoshop to illustrate the point, inserting Paddington into classic horror films like The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, and The Exorcist.
On June 11th, 2014, a single topic Tumblr blog called creepypaddington was launched to roundup some of the meme's best submissions (like this one, below!)
there's some more text and more pics at the source.
what horror film would you put creepy paddington in?!
Ryan Phillippe and Paulina Slagter needed a boost last weekend, and that's exactly what they got!
Thanks to local mobile nutrition service VitaSquad, the couple got hooked up to IV drips at Miami's W Hotel Saturday.
Phillippe and Slagter's joint session lasted about 30 minutes. "They were really cute and came in for a treatment together," an eyewitness tells E! News. "She was making funny faces at him while he was trying to get some work done on his computer. They were very playful and having a good time."
The Boost IV series contains a customized blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which are infused directly into the bloodstream. This allows for 100 percent absorption and immediate results.
The treatment offers seven varieties of "Medical Cocktails" that help fight fatigue, anxiety and hangovers. Professional nurses administer the drips and the effects can last up to four days.
It was a welcome moment of relaxation for the Shreveport director, 39, and the law student, 23. After all, the two were seen sipping Patron and packing on the PDA at Wall nightclub on June 7. Two days later, Phillippe and Slagter drank Don Julio Añejo and hit the dance floor at Delano South Beach's FDR.
The pair didn't travel to Florida just to party, however. During the daytime, Phillippe and Slagter were often photographed frolicking on the beach, tanning by the pool and yachting in the Atlantic Ocean.
Photography by Bjorn Iooss | Styling by Ms Gaelle Paul
Words By Mr Mike Hodgkinson
As things stand, if Mr Michiel Huisman is to be remembered for only one role it would surely be his plum assignment as the lover of the Mother of Dragons. By landing the role of mercenary Daario Naharis on season four of HBO's Game of Thrones, the Dutch actor has been required to do his lascivious best with Ms Emilia Clarke's character, Daenerys Targaryen. At one stroke, by acting out such a popular nerd-boy fantasy, he simultaneously announced himself in spectacular fashion and unleashed the green-eyed monster in us all.
On the back of that enviable exposure, Mr Huisman is currently riding a wave of Hollywood momentum. Later this year we'll see him with Ms Reese Witherspoon in Wild, to be followed early in 2015 by a leading role, as Ms Blake Lively's love interest, in The Age of Adaline.
While it may seem to anyone born outside the Netherlands that he pretty much came out of nowhere, the record shows he's been putting in a regular and honest showbiz shift for a couple of decades. He began acting pre-teen and cut his teeth in Dutch TV movies before sidelining into music as guitarist/ lead singer with the millennial pop-rock band Fontane.
The break that launched his international career came about when - in a gamble of stunning bravado - he convinced the producers of another excellent HBO series, Treme, that he could play the piano where no such ability existed, only to appear on cue, at the designated hour, with the necessary talent in place. No Faustian bargain was required, only insane hard work.
"I had about a month and a half before we started shooting the first scene in which I'm playing a song," Mr Huisman, 32, tells MR PORTER in Los Angeles. "So I played for six hours a day, straight, on a crappy keyboard, just to get my left and right hands to do what I wanted them to do. My wife went nuts. It was like banging my head against a wall until, all of a sudden, it felt like the wall was not there any more. It's one of the cool things about being an actor, I think, to get the opportunity to do that kind of stuff."
Now resident in his adopted home city of New Orleans (where Treme is set), Mr Huisman spends much of his time living out of suitcases, and has just returned to the US from shooting sprees in Belfast and Croatia for Game of Thrones.
Right from the outset, his arrival on the no-holds-barred fantasy drama posed a couple of stiff challenges. First, by taking the established part of Naharis, he became a drafted-in replacement for English actor Mr Ed Skrein (who left GoT to supersede Mr Jason Statham in The Transporter franchise), and so faced a battle for the loyalty of fans already invested in the character. ("What happened to Daario Naharis?" asked The Daily Beast.)
Second, as the Mother of Dragons' prime suitor, he was required to deploy the full force of his dark charm and sex appeal, or face derision, if not outright fan hostility. On both counts, it appears, Mr Huisman has succeeded handsomely.
"What I try to do is not worry too much about the critique and really trust in our producers and writers. I admire them; I think they're really good. With something that's so popular and so highly anticipated there's always going to be people thinking that we're making the wrong choices - but there are a lot of people who think we're making the right choices."
Mr Huisman clearly has confidence not just in those around him but also in his own abilities - even ones he might have to speed-learn before he arrives on set. We'll wager that there's much more up his sleeve than the key to Daenerys Targaryen's boudoir.
Game of Thrones season four is currently on HBO in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK
Holy mother of mercy. Kill me now. Better than that ass shot, IMHO.
One of the many, many reasons I absolutely loved Fargo — the FX drama that builds upon the 1996 Coen Brothers movie of the same name — is that it’s filled with allegories and digressions and asides that may or may not mean something, but they always make you think. (More on that later.) So in the spirit of the show, let’s start with one of my own — or rather, one that, like this show, builds upon somebody else’s.
In the 1961 novel The Moviegoer, Walter Percy coins the phrase “certification” to talk about how your perspective on your hometown changes when it appears in a movie. This happens to the novel’s hero, who realizes that he’s watching a movie in the same neighborhood where that movie is set. Percy writes:
Nowadays when a person lives somewhere, in a neighborhood, the place is not certified for him. More than likely he will live there sadly and the emptiness which is inside him will expand until it evacuates the entire neighborhood. But if he sees a movie which shows his very neighborhood, it becomes possible for him to live, for a time at least, as a person who is Somewhere and not Anywhere.
Rex Sorgatz, a native North Dakotan, brought up this scene from Percy’s book in a great piece about how the movie Fargo “made North Dakota feel like somewhere, not anywhere. It made Fargo feel like Fargo.” I’d argue that great art also does the opposite: It makes Fargo feel like Fargo. In other words, it records over your original experience of a place and replaces it with a movie, as if you’re just a character in somebody else’s film. You start to view scenes from your life as if the Coen brothers wrote them.
This is what has happened to me while watching Fargo, the television show. Despite what its title says, the drama actually takes place in Minnesota, where I lived for five years. When I think about the days when I walked home in the sub-zero weather, the liquid in my eyeballs starting to freeze, I remember looking up and watching the snow fall: white flakes floating down from a white sky. But when I try to conjure that memory now, all I can see is that gorgeously shot chase scene from Fargo, where Molly (the phenomenal Allison Tollman, who deserves an Emmy nod for her facial expressions alone) goes crunching through the snow, looking for two hit men in the middle of a storm flurry. (Warning: spoilers from here on.) When the camera points at the sky, it’s the first time I’m back in Minnesota, with that uneasy view of never-ending nothingness, white falling from white.
If Fargo‘s showrunner, Noah Hawley, has a superpower, it’s this: recording over people’s memories. And he has a particularly challenging one to tape over. The Coen brothers’ film topped many critics’ best of the year lists back in 1996, and some fans weren’t crazy about the idea of anyone reworking their favorite dark comedy. So Hawley did something smart. He acknowledged the brilliance of the original by casting his project as a mirror reflection, albeit one that’s through-the-looking-glass. Like the film, the TV show focuses on a weak-willed Midwesterner (Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard) who kills his wife. A female cop (Tollman) is working the case, and two goofball hit men (Adam Goldberg and Russell Harvard) get wrapped up in the murder. (The film doesn’t have an equivalent to the best character here, the frighteningly cool-tempered psychopath Lorne Malvo, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who helps Lester dispose of his wife’s body.) But since there are two versions of Fargo, Hawley doubles everything else. There are two cops: Molly and a Mr. Nice Guy named Gus (Colin Hanks). There’s a set of goofball FBI agents (the comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are perfectly cast) to counter-balance the set of goofball criminals. Lester bludgeons his wife to death, then he remarries, and his second wife gets killed.
Characters repeat or echo phrases from the movie: “And for what?” “Go Bears!” “We’re doing pretty good.” (For analysis of these and other Easter eggs, check out EW’s exhaustive master list here.) Sometimes, they even nod to other Coen brothers movies — say, by ordering a white Russian, the Big Lebowski’s favorite drink, or by listening to a parable from a rabbi, which recalls a speech from A Serious Man. Hawley makes inside jokes of minutia from the original Fargo, as if to reward the very superfans who might’ve turned against him. In the original, one character angrily calls another a mute; in the TV series, one of the hit men is literally mute. The film shows the female cop’s husband cooking eggs for her breakfast. The TV show finds the police chief Bill (Bob Odenkirk) insisting that he needs to eat the omelet his wife made before he can discuss the crime. (Odenkirk is both hilarious and a little heartbreaking as Bill, an official who’s not the sharpest blade in the woodchipper.) And that big suitcase full of money that was left in the snow? A supermarket chain owner named Stavros Milos (Oliver Platt) finds it, many years later. (The TV series takes place 19 years after the film.)
But this isn’t just an easy game of spot-the-reference. Some scenes feel even more Coen brothers-y than anything the Coen brothers have directed themselves. I laughed out loud at one particularly weird, funny, Coen-y conversation between the two hit men:
“Nobody likes being watched while they eat.”
“Some people do.”
“Oh yeah? Who?”
The scene sent me Googling the words “Mormon” and “Coen Brothers,” until I realized that this joke was pure Hawley. Coen brothers fans might love Hawley’s aesthetic, but his Fargo is original enough to stand as its own creation. The show is a pretty good example of what the philosopher Jean Baudrillard called a simulacra: a copy that portrays things that no longer have an original. (Think of the throwback American diner that makes up so many restaurant chains. Diners never actually looked like that during the 1950s. Johnny Rockets and others invented it.) As I fall in love with Hawley’s vision, I find that I compare it to the Coen brothers’ own masterpiece less and less.
Okay, wait, one last comparison: You can argue about whether the Coen brothers were making fun of North Dakotans, but Hawley definitely takes Midwesterners seriously. Sure, his Midwesterners still talk funny (“Ah, jeez” “Yah, sure”), and they can be overly pious. At one point, Lorne unleashes locusts in Stavros’ supermarket and arranges for blood to pour from his shower head, and Stavros believes he’s witnessing Biblical plagues. And yet, this is also a deeply spiritual show, one that wrestles, unironically, with the Big Questions that the God-fearing folks of the Midwest hold dear — and many of the rest of us too. When Gus wonders how he can be a good person in an immoral world, it’s genuinely affecting. (“Only a fool thinks he can solve the world’s problems,” his rabbi neighbor tells him, to which he replies, “Yeah, but you gotta try, doncha?”) When Bill worries that the sense of community is disappearing, he’s not making fun of people in small towns; he’s speaking directly to them. (“Whatever happened to saying good morning to your neighbors and shoveling their walk and bringin’ in each other’s Toters?” he asks. Anyone who knows what Toters are will understand what he’s talking about.) Even the hit men seem to live by a moral code, one that places their friendship above the job. Come to think of it, the hit man’s riddle might imply that they’re spiritual too: Mormons like being watched while they eat, but only if God is the one watching.
Of course, Hawley is watching them too. And he’s pretty good at playing God. In this recap-crazy era when everyone’s Googling and analyzing the same references, it feels like he’s messing with critics’ minds. Each episode of Fargo is named for a philosophical problem — “Morton’s Fork,” “A Fox, A Rabbit, and A Cabbage,” “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” — and the characters often speak in puzzles that beg to be decoded. Some of them are rich with meaning. In one scene, Lorne tells Gus a riddle about how the human eye can see more shades of green than any other color. “Why?” he asks. Later, Molly explains the reason: Humans have evolved to see predators through the trees and the grass. After hearing that, I suddenly realized that many scenes in Fargo are filmed in different shades of green. Clearly, this is a challenge to viewers: When you’re gazing across a town where everyone looks pretty much the same, can you really distinguish the predator from the prey?
Other times, the answer to Lorne’s riddles isn’t so obvious. When Lorne decides to blackmail Stavros, he tries to scare him with a fable. It’s about a boy who’s raised in the woods and the wolves that start circling that boy. Is Stavros the boy and Lorne the wolf? Maybe! Or is the boy Stavros’ son? Also possible! Does it mean anything that wolves keep appearing on this show, right before someone’s about to die? Perhaps! You could over-analyze it, but I wonder if there’s something else going on here. The Midwest is famous for its colloquialisms and folk wisdom. Some of those stories mean something. Many of them involve animals and don’t make much sense. (My husband, who’s from North Dakota, has a favorite: “If it’s a horse apiece, who gives a damn?”) Much like that suitcase full of money in the snow, some of these allegories feel like MacGuffins. In a TV-watching climate where everything has to be a metaphor — why recap otherwise? — even the most important-sounding tales can be random and meaningless.
Life can feel random and meaningless too. That’s another point that Fargo sends home. The original film famously insisted that it was “based on a true story,” though Ethan Coen later revealed in the introduction to the published screenplay that “[the film] aims to be both homey and exotic, and pretends to be true.” The fact that Hawley’s show is a retelling of a retelling of a not-so-true “true story” makes Fargo feel like a particularly smart take on Midwestern storytelling, like the gossip that spreads through small towns. But it also calls into question the idea that a film — even one that’s based on real life — can ever capture the truth. “Real life doesn’t unfold like a story,” Hawley recently told NPR. “Things happen that don’t fit neatly into a box.” So it makes perfect sense that, in a Midwestern noir series that always seems to be ramping up the suspense toward some grand climax, Lester meets his end in the most mundane way, by falling through the ice. Not everyone ends his story with a shoot-out. Sometimes, you just make a wrong turn, and you’re done.
There’s an ordinary, everyday quality to the horror on Fargo, which isn’t to say it normalizes violence. In the most epic death scenes, the violence is virtually invisible. When Lorne kilsl every mobster in Fargo, it’s brilliantly filmed from the outside of the mob’s headquarters. You can hear the screams as the camera follows Lorne around the building, but the one-way glass ensures you can’t see what’s happening inside. This isn’t your typical anti-hero drama, where evil is glamorized or good people do bad things for sympathetic reasons. Lester evolves from a henpecked wimp to an equally meek monster. He even dresses his second wife in his own jacket so that Lorne will kill her instead of him. This guy was never good. Only polite. And the banality of his evil only makes him scarier.
Maybe that’s why the very last scene of Fargo feels so satisfying. Bill promotes Molly to take over for him as chief of police. But Gus is the one who ultimately brings down Lorne, shooting him before he can even get up. We’re cheated of watching Molly, the show’s true hero, get justice for the case she worked so hard to solve. But she refuses to let anyone feel sorry for her. “This is your deal,” she tells Gus. “I get to be chief.” Her story will continue beyond that climactic showdown, because (as Hawley says) real life doesn’t unfold like a story. I’d like to imagine her ordering take-out with Gus one night and watching the Coen brothers’ movie. I’d like to imagine her living as a person who is Anywhere and not Somewhere. But I can’t. Not anymore. She can only be here.
PLEASE if you did not watch this show go watch it immediately. Best new show, way better than True Detective (which I also loved), etc. Also Allison Tolman is perfect that is all.
Paulina Rubio sat down with Mario Lopez for NUVOtv’s One On One. The actor and host spoke to La Chica Dorada about a range of topics, including her mother, Mexican actress Susana Dosamantes, and how her stardom influenced her early on in her childhood.
They discussed Paulina’s beginnings in Timbiriche, and how things changed when Thalía was brought on board. “I remember too, that Thalía was in the group later on, and they tried to make it seem like there was always a rivalry between you two,” Lopez told Paulina.
To which she effusively replied, “Always, Always!” When Mario asked what the deal was with that, Rubio said, “When you are in a teen band everything happens. You’re brothers and sisters and you fight, and you make up, you sing together, you travel together, you basically are together all the time.”
“Thalía and I were very close friends, we fight, and then were again friends…” continued Rubio. “Being part of a teen group that was important to Mexico and Latin America, knowing at that point there was no Spanish music in radio. For some reason all Latinos wanted to sing all songs from Madonna, Boy George, but not in Spanish, and it came a whole new era for Latinos.”
Zach Dasher, nephew of Phil and Silas "Uncle Si" Robertson, of the highly politicized Duck Dynasty flock, announced his candidacy today for the Louisiana congressional seat to be vacated by Vance McAlister, who was caught on camera making out with a woman who was not his wife. It's a circling back of sorts: McAlister's other big moment of celebrity was when Duck Dynasty son Willie endorsed him for the same seat.
Dasher, 36 and a pharmaceutical rep, has never run for office before. To surprise of absolutely no one, he's running on a strict, conservative platform. Also, applying gender pronouns to America at large.
"I want to help restore America to what she once was—a nation that builds freedom and prosperity on the anchor of God," Dasher told the Shreveport Times.
His candidacy, blessed by the full, reality television-provided and supported powers of the entire Duck Dynasty family, will be about returning G-O-D to this godforsaken country of ours.
"I got to looking around at the problems in politics today, and what I see in Washington, D.C., is no God. There is no God. The elite political class thinks they can be running our lives," he told the Associated Press. "I think there's a vacuum in D.C. of people who understand where rights come from. Rights don't come from men. They come from God."
David Bowie once said “I always had the repulsive need to be something more than human.” It's this idea, of pop stars as something more than human, as larger than life icons that drives Kieron Gillen's "The Wicked and the Divine." In Gillen's "poptimist" superhero exploration, 12 Gods return to Earth for a mere 2 years, reincarnated as teen pop idols. It's a simple premise, but it perfectly parallels the concept of superheroes and celebrities as our modern mythology.
What makes this book so profound is Gillen’s unique exploration of youth, obsession with fame and delusions of grandeur. The book’s tagline is “But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.” Ziggy Stardust may have committed rock n’ roll suicide but the character is immortal and the impact left on pop culture and popular music resonates even in this very book. The hook is in the mystery and the familiarity (maybe just like a good pop song). Luci looks like she fell out of The Thin White Duke’s closet. Amaterasu is a riff on Lady Gaga and Sakhmet looks so much like Rihanna. and that’s where the superheroics come in. These people are already larger-than-life. Who’s to say they don’t have powers? Luci’s display and subsequent trial is a reminder of the power of the snapping of fingers, the tapping of toes, the clapping of hands and singing along. It’s the 1-2-3-4 that can bring people together or tear them apart. It’s dangerous. It’s makes people uncomfortable. It can’t necessarily be controlled.
I think that Gillen and company are really trying to distill that feeling. The Beatles might have just wanted to hold your hand but they started riots in the streets. Adults were afraid that a simple shake of Elvis’ hips would corrupt the youth of their era. Youth is fleeting. Pop stars are forever. And while maybe that makes every Lady Gaga and Rihanna seem like a rehash, I think it’s more of a continuation. We’ve had a continuing obsession with the power of pop music. Because, yes, you’ll always be able dig out that old 7” that’s one of only 100 ever made by the band that broke up after 14 shows and that will resonate with you. But ask someone how they feel about “Pet Sounds” and you have something you can share. Phonogram is that old 7” and while The Wicked + the Divine might not be “Pet Sounds,” it aspires to that level of accessibility. Is it weird? Sure. So was Ziggy Stardust, though.
And none of this could be communicated without Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson’s work. McKelvie’s clean-lined style has definitely evolved over the years and his acute attention to detail is what really sets him apart from the pack. As evidenced by The Wicked + The Divine Tumblr and the talk leading up to the release, McKelvie has referenced the looks of his characters heavily. They’re a mix of high fashion and pop art. Luci’s all-white look comes in contrast with our usual visualization of Lucifer after the fall. Sakhmet’s look is full of nods to her namesake’s cat-like appearance as well as some visual references to bondage that allude to the meaning of her name, “power.” Amaterasu’s look is simple but otherworldly when she’s on-stage. McKelvie sells motion very well without overusing speed lines. He’s able to translate action with impressive posing for his characters. Matthew Wilson’s colors help set the mood of the book. From the euphoric haze of the concert scene to the assault on the gods themselves and the subsequent explosions of color, we’re treated to something almost Warhol-esque that fits in remarkably with Gillen’s tone. The almost drag vs. drab approach to visually separating the settings is perfect. There is no middle ground. Real life is boring, almost black and white. But pop stars are in technicolor.
The Wicked + The Divine embodies some of the weirdness of 90s Vertigo combined with the populism of more standard superhero fare. For the uninitiated, this might be the best introduction to this creative team’s work. It’s big and bright and over-the-top. It has all of Gillen’s trademark snark and that’s amplified by McKelvie’s continually improving grasp on expressions and body language. This is pop comics. It’s that song that comes on the radio that you’ll have stuck in your head for days. The beat is good. The lyrics hint at something bigger and you can’t help but wonder. Although what you are about to read is a work of fiction, it should never the less be played at maximum volume.
TBH I thought that I was going to hate the book because of all the hype it was getting before it was actually released, but it really surprised me. IMO this is one of the best Image debuts in a while. What did y'all pick up today?
Edit: The creator has a playlist for the series on Spotify atm. Listen here
Across three seasons and the better part of the United States, Max Joseph and Nev Schulman have uncovered guiltless schemers, master manipulators and even those looking for their moments in the spotlight on “Catfish.” But the show can only tackle so many stories of deceit…
There are plenty of Internet evildoers who aren’t showcased on MTV, and their stories are often just as jaw-dropping — sometimes even heinous. Take a look at a few “Catfish”-type tales that got super-dark, and keep watching the show Wednesday nights at 10/9c:
An unfortunate family affair: Marissa Williams was dangerously irresponsible on the Internet, according to AL.com: She routinely invited strangers she met there to her home for drinks or sex. When her aunt, who was housing Williams, finally had enough, she decided to teach the girl a lesson. To shake her up, she created a fake suitor named “Tre ‘Topdog’ Ellis” — but the surprise was eventually on her.
As soon as Williams began communicating with Topdog, she allegedly revealed how much she hated her family and then devised a plan: Topdog would come kidnap her — and kill her aunt in the event the woman tried to stop the abduction. Eventually, Williams reportedly even offered “Topdog” a decisive plan of attack that would also leave her cousin, her aunt’s fiance and the family dog dead.
Williams is now in county jail on $30,000 bond and has officially been charged with the solicitation of murder.
The (distrustful) hands of the law: Police are meant to protect the public, but former Minneapolis officer Bradley Schnickel was sentenced to 30 months in prison for doing quite the opposite. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Schnickel posed as a young man named Brady Schmidt on social networking sites in an effort to convince young women to have sex with him, even telling girls as young as 12 that they were “hot.”
Police said there were 18 victims in total — including a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old who Schnickel had successfully coerced into sleeping with him — and most had been understandably scarred by the experience.
“I’m scared to death that this man will come after me and my family again,” one wrote, while another said she was suicidal after the ordeal.
Birdman almost caged: Miami Heat star Chris “Birdman” Andersen was flying high two years ago — until the day he came home to find authorities, including the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit (ICAC), had searched through his possessions for clues that could connect him to an illegal act. According to Newsweek, police wouldn’t tell Birdman what they were seeking, but the news quickly led to him being called a child molester across social media.
After a massive investigation, Andersen’s innocence was proven. It was discovered that a 29-year-old Canadian woman named Shelly Lynn Chartier had been posing as him — among 10 other celebrities and public figures, including Brody Jenner — on Facebook. The woman — a recluse from a small town in Manitoba — allegedly communicated with their unsuspecting fans, and when the chance came for her to manipulate them, she had the time (and the gall) to do it. While impersonating Birdman, she’d threatened a 17-year-old girl (who’d claimed to be 21 online) with whom the pro had developed a brief relationship, and she had also blackmailed him for $5,000.
Like many of his recent films, Woody Allen's latest flick, "Magic in the Moonlight," is filled with familiar faces, and two of them are front and center on the movie's new poster.
The poster (below), premiering today exclusively on Moviefone, features stars Emma Stone and Colin Firth decked out in 1920s period garb, a nod to the film's Jazz Age setting. In "Moonlight," Firth plays a Brit known for his work debunking fake spiritualists, who travels to the south of France to unmask another assumed fraud, played by Emma Stone.
Unfortunately for Firth, he ends up falling for Stone instead, an inner struggle that seems to be playing out on the poster. Stone appears kooky, with a far off look in her eyes; Firth looks skeptical, yet can't keep his gaze off of her.
The period romantic comedy, written and directed by Allen, also stars Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver, Eileen Atkins, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, Erica Leerhsen, Catherine McCormack, Paul Ritter, and Jeremy Shamos.
"Magic in the Moonlight" is due in theaters on July 25.
There are at least two novels called Joyland. One, by novelist Emily Schultz, was published in 2005 by a small Canadian-based press. Another, by Stephen King, was published last year. Mr. King’s wasn’t available as an e-book at first, so, in one of the more lucrative literary mix-ups in recent memory, Amazon customers—many, many of them—mistakenly bought Ms. Schultz’s book instead.
Negative reviews ensued. “Not up to Steven King [sic] standards,” wrote one confused reader. “Boring and boring. No suspense. The characters were interesting, but not exciting. Did not like the ending.”
That was bad news for the lesser-known writer, but, thanks to an unexpected windfall from the mix-up, Ms. Schultz, who is 40, this week received a handsome royalty check for the accidental purchases.
“Apparently there were a lot of confused readers,” she wrote on her new blog, appropriately titled “Spending the Stephen King Money,” which documents the purchases she’s making with the cash.
So far, Ms. Schultz, who lives in Brooklyn, has spent about $432, which went toward a haircut for her husband, author Brian Joseph Davis; St. Vincent’s new, self-titled album; a car bumper repair; Patricia Lockwood’s Motherland, Fatherland, Homelandsexuals as well as The Friedkin Connection, by William Friedkin; and a “fancy dinner” at Junoon, an upscale Indian restaurant in the Flatiron District.
Accompanying each purchase is the question “Would Stephen King like it?” Of the automobile repair, for example, Ms. Schultz wrote: “Cars, mysterious garbagemen, feelings of vengeance—of course he would!”
So, how much did Ms. Schultz make?
“The blog is going to reveal that at the end,” she told the Observer in an email. “It’s not a fortune but it is nice surprise money.”
One big purchase she’s planning, though, points to the size of the royalty. “I tend to go through one laptop per novel while writing,” she said. “My E key is always falling off. So a new laptop is going to be the big one.”
Ms. Schultz said she isn’t familiar with any other writers who have experienced the strange phenomenon—an “Amazon glitch,” she called it—which led to the check.
“I’m pretty sure this hasn’t happened to anyone else until now,” she wrote, “because it involves a lot of strange variables: a small press book, a book from one of the biggest authors in the world, e-books, Amazon’s practices.”
She doesn’t plan to repeat the process, at least not on purpose. “Both King and I stole the title,” she said. “Mine was from a chain of arcades in the 1980s. His was from a chain of amusement parks in the 1970s. As for actively gaming a title I think any writer might think about it for a second, and you could certainly get postmodern about it, but if you take your writing seriously you probably shouldn’t do it.”
“I haven’t talked to Joyce Carol Oates yet about the possible confusion with her novel Blonde,” added Ms. Schultz, whose latest book, The Blondes, which was published internationally in 2012 and will be released in the United States next year, is her most successful yet, “but I’m sure it might get mentioned now.”
And she hasn’t met Mr. King, despite that the fate of Joyland, her first novel, has been so thoroughly entwined with his book.
“I haven’t read his work since being a teenager,” she said, “but—I’ve said this before—he still doesn’t get his due from critics and I’m sure all writers, lit or otherwise, harbor a love for Misery.”
Here's a link to her blog where she details what she's buying with Stephen King's royalties.
In a season of memorable SNL moments, it was surprisingly easy for EW’s staff to agree on a favorite: the ridiculously funny and all-too-real music video “(Do It On My) Twin Bed.” The standout short landed a spot on EW’s list of the 50 Best TV Scenes of the year, earning a prime slot at No. 14.
The December Digital Short was a season highlight, and not just because it was the first music video featuring all the women of SNL. Maybe it was the fact that we’ve all sort of been there and, well, done that. Or perhaps it’s due to the inclusion of the cast’s embarrassing yearbook photos, or Jimmy Fallon’s glorious rap breakdown. There was so much to love that we went straight to Aidy Bryant to chat about the conception of the song and whether she’s still rocking those seventh-grade overalls.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you actually given sheet music for something like this?
AIDY BRYANT: Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, who were the writers with Kate [McKinnon] and I, we all started working on it, and we had a tune in mind. We knew that we wanted it to have a Britney or Pussycat Dolls kind of vibe. It’s a weird system, but we basically call our amazing music producer Eli [Brueggemann] and sing into his voicemail Tuesday night at five in the morning, and then he comes in on Wednesday morning and puts it to music so that at the Wednesday table read, we can perform a fully produced piece of music so Lorne and the producers can see if it’s something they really want to do for the show.
From the cast point of view, is there a marked difference in performing a song or making a music video versus just your average sketch?
What’s crazy about it, I think, is the production value. And any kid dreams of being in a music video, too. Basically, in five days we made a full blown insane music video with multiple setups. When you think about the sheer time of it, it’s unbelievable because of the graphics and the sets. They built it all—we weren’t in real apartments. Then we shot everything on Friday, and by Saturday it was all edited together. All those graphics of the childhood photos were done in a day. That’s what blew our minds.
What was your reaction to seeing the finished product?
Part of what we loved about it was all the girls—it was pre-Sasheer—they were all in it and everyone got a moment and a joke, and that’s hard to do.
Was that why it took off so well with fans?
I think people liked that it was all the girls. They’ve done a lot of really amazing Lonely Island music videos, but they’ve never really done one with all of the girls.
Where did the seventh-grade photo element come into play?
Oh yes, this is my favorite part. So Sarah Schneider, one of the writers, she had an idea where maybe we would just dance in front of framed photos of ourselves. And then we were all texting our parents being like, “Sh-t, I need you to send me a photo.” And basically, as they were coming in, we were just crying laughing while we were looking at them because they are all so cringe-worthy, awkward, and dorky, and we loved the idea of dancing so sexily in front of these dorky photos. I think it was the directors who had the idea to put a gigantic green screen behind us, and make it so that we were little sexy stars.
Do you still have those overalls?
I wore so many overalls when I was younger. Or short-alls, I should call them, because I never wore the full pants one. I lived in Arizona so I needed some airflow. I’m obsessed with the fact that I have, like, a velvet T-shirt on.
Did the ladies get to pick which guys they were paired up with?
I wish it was that sexy and cool. No, it was more like scheduling.
How did Jimmy Fallon approach his rap verse? I imagine he was more than eager.
We wrote that for Jimmy and he nailed it at the table read. We were really lucky. Actually, that part about “just shirt, no pants, like Winnie the Pooh” is something I always say to my boyfriend when he’s dressed like that. So I was so happy when that made it in.
Do you ever listen to the song nowadays?
Oh my God, yes. The writer, Chris Kelly, he listens to it every day on his way to work. We love it so much, it’s almost sad. Also, when I’m feeling down, it’s such a great way to be like, “Oh my God, I was in a full music video… and I was shaking it for real.”
In the year 2010, the world of post-hardcore/pop-punk was treated with the most heart-warming of news, at long last seminal outfit Taking Back Sunday witnessed the return of lead guitarist John Nolan, confirming the band’s original dream lineup of 1999 once more.
The prodigal sons return ensured a bag of cracking fresh tunes that feature the game of back and forth that is vocalist Adam Lazzara and Nolan’s seamless partnership, their energy intertwined to form the best Taking Back Sunday.
The year 2011 saw the quintet produce their self-titled fifth record and embark on a global tour, topping festival bills and performing sold out shows every step along the way. With balance finally restored, things could not get any better for these five pals…or could they?
Exceeding greatness was waiting for Taking Back Sunday in 2014, as the original cast dropped their sixth studio LP Happiness Is, which was met with universal acclaim.
Championed by chanting stadium rock anthems such as ‘Flicker, Fade’ the band’s release is unquestionably their strongest, most consistent and entirely Taking Back Sunday-est record since the glory days of Tell All Your Friends (released in 2002, you feel old, now right?)
In support of this mature, ass-kicking release, the five-piece decided to tour their record a little differently, this time they would take to the road with a bunch of pals called The Used.
The coming together of the two iconic mainstays of the emo/alt rock world has seen electrified reviews in their native US but what does this matter to us? Well, Taking Back Sunday and The Used are Australia bound this July, promising to pack some heat to otherwise dreary winter.
In light of all this excitement, we had a chat to the forever humble and all-round nice dude that is the mic-swingin’ frontman, Adam Lazzara.
Once a renowned party boy of punk, Lazzara now is married man and a father of two, home is most certainly where his heart is. Taking a rest from their current tour, the softly spoken 32-year old appears fresh and appreciative to kick back in his digs of North Carolina, “I’m just trying to soak up as much of this as I can before we gotta go again.”
But that’s not to say that the national co-tour with The Used is getting the vocalist down, “the tour is going great! We’ve known them for years and we’ve crossed paths so many times but we’ve never really done a full, proper tour with one another.”
He further commented, “we did one run that was about two-weeks long in the north-west together and that’s it. We were coming up around the same time you would think we would have done more.”
“Back then we toured with Saves The Day, Jimmy Eat World and we’ve done a bunch of tours with Anberlin too!” his head clearly now deep in the past. “Since then, I feel like it has all kind of been a crazy whirlwind tornado like in The Wizard of Oz or something, you know?”
Nostalgia theming the moment, the pop-punker shared one of his fondest early touring memories, “Greenday made this documentary called ‘Bullet In A Bible’ which was filmed a show in Milton Keynes in the UK. It was two days and it was 65,000 people, sold-out” taking a deep breath, reliving this moment, he then exhaled in disbelief “yeah!”
“We opened the show and I can remember walking on stage and looking out at the crowd and it didn’t even look real, it didn’t look like it was people! It looked like someone had hung this giant backdrop that was just painted…it was the most surreal thing. That really sticks out in my mind.” This may have been the first time the band played to such a sea of fans, but it certainly would not be the last.
A shining example of the band’s universal adoration is through their back-to-back booking of Riot Festival of North America, which if you’re fan of rock, 2014’s lineup will break your heart.
“We weren’t really sure what the lineup was going to be we just said yes because they’re just really great people to work with, they really have it together and they’re funny. When they asked we just said yes and when the lineup came out we got even more excited, they are going to be great shows.” Said Lazzara.
Interestingly, Riot Fest is not the only road show the lead vocalist is stoked on, “there is this other festival we’re doing in Arizona and The Replacements are on that bill…I’m very excited for that!” This is of course Arizona’s ‘Summer Ends Music Festival’, which will feature Taking Back Sunday open for these legendary pioneers of alternative rock.
Speaking of his former self, the now starry-eyed Lazzara praised The Replacements, “I of course was a teenager when I was first introduced to them. I felt at that time Paul Westerberg really got me” he continued, unabashedly laughing, “I was like ‘man if we met, we’d be friends’ you know? Entirely thrilled, he cemented “I’m just really excited to see him play!”
Following the notion of long-standing influences, the conversation was thrown back to the hilarious film clip of the smash-hit single ‘Timberwolves At New Jersey’ to which lead guitarist John Nolan rocks a Smiths t-shirt. “John is a HUGE Smiths fan and I LOVE the way that Morrissey writes.”
“It’s actually funny because earlier on we’d be doing interviews and people would ask ‘oh, where did you get the name for the band?’ and our answer would be that it’s a Smiths B-side which isn’t true” laughing uncontrollably for a moment, he then straightened “we thought it was funny because then people would scramble looking for Smiths song called Taking Back Sunday which was maybe a little mean…but we thought it was hilarious.”
From what we had gathered so far, there are two bold influence that have saturated Taking Back Sunday’s career, but can you guess a third, more current one?
“That new Kanye West record had come out when we started recording Happiness Is, so John and I were listening to that ALL THE TIME which doesn’t really show on the record. It had just came out it was nice to have a break just totally different kind of music in our ear.” Bet you didn’t think that Yeezus would be the top spinning wax for the Happiness Is production process, did you?
Despite Lazzara’s statement that West’s presence “doesn’t really show on the record”, one may beg the differ, as Happiness Is sees the leading man pen his most straight-laced, honest lyrics of his career and maybe the arrogance of Yeezy got him there. “My thing for years was that I thought everything needed to be really cryptic so that people could draw their own conclusions from the lyrics, but then I started to realise you can still accomplish that by being very direct because everybody walks their own path.”
“I feel the more direct I am, the more specific or vulnerable I feel, the more naked I feel. It is a little more difficult to do that for me because I’m literally putting myself out there more, but I also I think that through that it could help somebody along the way.”
We may have Kanye to thank for this outward step of confidence from Lazzara, but another potential factor for the band’s change of direction may stem from the fact that Happiness Is is the band’s first record since their debut Tell All Your Friends that has not been under the watchful eyes of a major label.
“When we stated writing pretty much right up until the end of the recording process we didn’t have a label at all” shocked, right? But hey, this may have proved paramount to the record’s sound, “I think that’s something that makes this record really unique especially for us, there is just no outside influence. There’s no one looking over our shoulder, which was really a freeing thing because it was basically like ‘well, we can do whatever want so let’s DO whatever we want!’
“I think that really makes for the best Taking Back Sunday songs because at the heart of it, it’s just the five of us, there’s nobody else, and I think that’s why these songs came out the way did.”
Regardless of what one may tout as the major success of Happiness Is, Taking Back Sunday have grown from five goofball punks hailing from New York State into one of alternative rock’s modern day heroes. During their career now spanning over 15-years, neither the collective’s creative output nor relevance has waned and their live show is as raw as it is developed and professional.
Whether you still dig the band or you’re a closet fan that long chopped off that emo fringe and tossed your black make-up in the bin, this co-headlining tour with The Used is simply not to be missed. Heed the wise words of Adam Lazzara himself, “I think everybody can expect a really awesome show. Every night there has been this energy in the room that I don’t really have the words to describe.”
Itching to get back down under, he closed “I know that last time I was down there both my legs were broken so they can at least expect an actual Taking Back Sunday show.”
2000's music post?
“If you’ve seen the show, you know we have loose restrictions,” Fuller laughed. “There’s stuff we do on the show I would argue is X-rated. We had a guy who is ripping himself out of a human mural and chunks of his flesh are coming off. I was thinking it would never air, but Standards and Practices never said anything.” Thank heavens it did air, because it was a high point for the series.
That scene doesn’t even come close to Hannibal‘s most gruesome moments. Fuller’s right: if Hannibal were a movie, it would be R-rated, and because of its dramatic tone and harsh violence, potentially NC-17. He knows how to work the system, though, which he describes as surprisingly easy. “The dynamic between Standards and Practices is actually a very friendly one,” stated Fuller. “I’ll say, ‘We’re going to have a scene where a guy is cutting off his face and feeding it to dogs. How do we do that? How can we show as much as possible?’”
The resolution: make the blood a little darker, put it all in shadows.
With those dog treats in mind, it’s funny to see what Hannibal can’t get away with. The ratings systems in place is famous for its acceptance of violence and distaste for sex and language, and it doesn’t break stride here. “There was a quote in the book where a character describes his lesbian sister as a ‘muff diver,’” recalled Fuller. “The Standards and Practices chain of letters was hysterical, because I wrote, ‘I wanna use this quote from the book, which is ‘muff diver.’ We were told we can’t use muff diving or a bunch of other things I had never heard before. Anything that’s aurally implicated we can’t use. I asked, ‘What about button stitching?’”
When conference attendees were confused as to what button stitching meant, Fuller pantomimed it for those not in the know. Try it yourself at home.
(Lol, I still don't know what it means.)
While Fuller has fared well with Standards and Practices, fellow producers are continually baffled by the system. True Detective executive producer Scott Stephens also participated in the panel and expressed his disdain for backward thinking. “We’re hamstrung by a group of people we don’t know,” said Stephens. “What I find most frustrating is that the most basic human act of love and sex is forbidden from television, but we’re having this conversation on these acts of violence. At the very least, I think they should let audience decide what is or isn’t appropriate.”
Walking Dead producer David Alpert said they’re restricted from shooting a human in the face, despite having shot a six-year-old zombie on the show’s pilot. Fuller then gleefuly pointed out that they’ve shot someone in the face on Hannibal (which, of course, is tame compared to the average death design on the show). Mushrooms growing out of a dead body certainly tops a bullet to the face.
Then again, as we all know, dismembered bodies could never touch the horror of saying “muff diver.” God forbid if Hannibal Lecter ever said pearl diving, rug munching, diving in the bushes, lickety split, or, my personal favorite, snarling in the busby.
The hope is for Hannibal to have six seasons, so maybe there’s time for the good doctor to push the envelope and say something mildly sexual. Until that day, at least Hannibal can graphically continue to eat Will Graham's friends.