Saturday Night Live: Robert De Niro makes surprise SNL appearance as Mueller in cold open

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‘It’s just me, Robert Mueller, your dad’s friend from work’

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/snl-cold-open-video-robert-de-niro-mueller-trump-jason-momoa-saturday-night-live-a8674546.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jack Shepherd

Ariana Grande explains the meaning behind her 'Thank U, Next' burn book in behind-the-scenes video

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‘We put all of our past experiences in here’

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/ariana-grande-thank-u-next-music-video-burn-book-pete-davidson-behind-scenes-mean-girls-a8674661.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jack Shepherd

Who votes for the Grammys and how: Learn about the Grammy Awards voting process ahead of the 2019 nominations

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Last year the Recording Academy announced a transition to online voting to increase flexibility for working music professionals.

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/who-votes-for-the-grammys-how-academy-voting-process-nominations-winners-a8182621.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Roisin O’Connor

Hidden Gems: Smoke, “Heaven on a Popsicle Stick”

hidden gemsIn our series Hidden Gems, writers share their favorite Bandcamp discoveries.

Nearly 20 years have gone by since Benjamin Smoke (known to most solely by his first name) passed away. A fixture in Atlanta’s underground music scene who was openly and proudly gay, he counted Patti Smith and Michael Stipe among his fans, yet this cult figure has yet to receive mainstream acclaim. His idiosyncratic lyrics and achingly beautiful instrumentation juxtapose with the unconventional nature of his voice to create music so strangely intimate, it feels like it’s confiding its deepest, darkest secrets in you. Anyone wanting a glimpse into Bejamin’s one-of-a-kind creative mind should watch Jem Cohen and Peter Sillen’s haunting documentary, Benjamin Smoke, and listen to his band’s extremely worthwhile first album, Heaven on a Popsicle Stick.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Benjamin sounds like Tom Waits. Both musicians have gruff voices that creak like basement steps in a home that’s long been condemned; upon first listen, Heaven could easily pass for a lost Waits album. But the longer one sticks with the LP, the more personal and unique Benjamin’s voice becomes, both in terms of sound and message: who else would think to write a song about a photo of Luke Perry’s feet (the aptly-titled “Luke Perry’s Feet”), turning it into a stunningly poignant examination of the human condition? (“This glossy, brushed picture of Luke Perry’s feet keeps me on my toes, so to speak.”) What could be a novelty song about a ’90s teen idol becomes a wounded and brilliant ballad.

Though it was released five years prior to Benjamin’s death (and was followed by 1995’s Another Reason to Fast), Heaven feels, ultimately, like a musical postmortem. Benjamin lived with HIV and amphetamine addiction, before succumbing to liver failure as a result of Hepatitis C on January 29, 1999, a day after he turned 39. Make no mistake, this album hurts. He seems less preoccupied with the potential of the great beyond and more with the traumas of the here and now. The rich, baroque instrumentation, including cello and horns, amplifies, not distracts from, the pains Benjamin was experiencing, be they physical, emotional, or on another plane entirely. The tense strings and exuberant horns of opener “Hole” (in which he describes falling asleep, in love, and finally, into, a hole) evokes the sensation of being so wracked with problems, your only means of recreation is letting obsessive thoughts cycle through your mind incessantly. Even moments of joy aren’t so comforting. “These exciting, giddy moments, well, they’re hell to explain,” Benjamin laments on “Awake.” Album closer “Curtains” is an extended emotional tremor—a tearjerker if ever there was one. “Believe me, I had rather cry in my mirror and keep this to myself and drive far away from here until somehow I lose myself,” Benjamin confesses against plaintive banjo and strings that keep up with the dramatic intensity of his vocals, which sound like they’re self-immolating towards the end.

Heaven on a Popsicle Stick is an album that hits unexpectedly, its impact strong and multifaceted. The world it creates isn’t the happiest, but it’s one of an absolutely uncanny beauty.

-Brody Kenny

Source: https://daily.bandcamp.com/2018/12/07/hidden-gems-smoke-heaven-on-a-popsicle-stick/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Editorial

Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace Documentary to Hit Theaters in Early 2019

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Aretha Franklin‘s Amazing Grace documentary will be released in North American theaters in “early 2019,” Deadline and others report. The film, which documents the recording of Franklin’s classic 1972 live album by the same name, was intended to be released alongside the album but infamously shelved due to technical problems and decades of fruitless contractual negotiations with…

Source: https://www.spin.com/2018/12/aretha-franklin-amazing-grace-documentary-release-2/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Tosten Burks

John Prine Announces 2019 World Tour

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John Prine has announced an extensive slate of 2019 tour dates behind his latest album The Tree of Forgiveness. The 72-year-old will play 39 shows between February and December with stops in New Zealand, Australia, the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the U.K. This adds to Prine’s previously announced four-day festival scheduled for November in the Dominican Republic.

Source: https://www.spin.com/2018/12/john-prine-2019-tour-dates/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Tosten Burks

Items Belonging to Frank Sinatra Make $9M Hit at Sotheby’s Auction

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The private treasures of Frank Sinatra and his wife, Barbara, were a multimillion-dollar hit at auction.

Sotheby’s reported Friday that the couple’s entertainment memorabilia, art, jewelry, books and other personal items sold for $9.2 million — about twice their pre-sale estimates.

Nine paintings by the legendary crooner went for more than $850,000, against…

Source: https://www.spin.com/2018/12/frank-sinatra-items-sothebys-auction-9m/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Associated Press

Shakira Could Face Criminal Proceedings For Tax Fraud: Report

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After a year-long investigation into her alleged failure to pay 14.5 million euros (over $16.5 million) to the Spanish government, Shakira will reportedly face criminal tax fraud charges, according to Spain’s El Pais newspaper. A report in El Pais published on Friday (12/7) said that authorities have notified the singer’s attorney of the pending court charges, reporting that the…

Source: https://www.spin.com/2018/12/shakira-could-face-criminal-proceedings-for-tax-fraud-report/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Judy Cantor-Navas, Billboard

Galya Bisengalieva: EP ONE

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On her debut EP, the Kazakh/British violinist, likely most familiar from work with Radiohead, creates teeming and imagistic environments with four strings and electronics.

Source: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/galya-bisengalieva-ep-one
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Philip Sherburne

Family Guy pays tribute to Carrie Fisher, who voiced the character Angela on the show

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‘Heaven has gained a princess’

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/family-guy-carrie-fisher-tribute-angela-character-voice-role-a8673696.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jack Shepherd

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