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Tag: Things That Are Awesome (1-10 of 463)

Here are the Cam'ron emoticons you never knew you needed

Who amongst us hasn’t found ourselves mid-text with a friend, swiping through a limited library of woefully inadequate emoticons and thought, “Damn, I could really use a Cam’ron emoticon right now!” No? Not you? READ FULL STORY

Why fajitas sizzle and five more fun facts from the new book 'The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms The Way We Think, Feel, and Buy'

sonic-boom

Joel Beckerman is a master at sonic branding—the art of using not just music but all kinds of sounds to influence consumers. As the founder of Man Mad Music, he’s responsible for the company whose “sonic logos” include the four-tone signature that AT&T uses, the HBO original programming music, and the NBC Nightly News theme.

His new book The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms The Way We Think, Feel, and Buy (co-written with Edelman editorial director Tyler Gray)  is equal parts sociological study and business advice, using unique everyday examples– for instance, how the fate of the Chili’s fajita empire rested on the sound of the sizzling platter, and how Disneyland approaches soundscapes for a fully immersive experience–  to explain how sound effects our mood and shopping habits.

Below are five of the most fascinating case studies from the book:

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Hear the Afghan Whigs demo of 'Debonair,' an exclusive premiere from 'Gentlemen at 21'

The Afghan Whigs’ Gentlemen, originally released in 1993, not only represents the band’s major-label debut, but it’s also the platonic ideal of the group’s sound. Over the course of 11 tracks, the Whigs melded the sultry slink of R&B with the jagged crunch of indie rock, all fueled by frontman Greg Dulli’s sly, savage take on relationships.

On October 27, Rhino will release Gentlemen at 21, a deluxe reissue of the album celebrating the fact that it has finally reached drinking age. In addition to the original remastered album, there are 17 bonus tracks that include a bunch of b-sides, live performances, and the original Gentlemen demos.  READ FULL STORY

Janet Jackson's 'Rhythm Nation 1814': Still dancing and dreaming 25 years later

Like serialized television and comic-book movies, R&B is in the midst of a golden age. As ambivalent as I am about Beyoncé’s work, her influence cannot be overstated, and her sequined coattails have been long enough to support an incredible wave of exceptionally provocative albums from next-in-line voices both female (Jhené Aiko, FKA Twigs, Tinashe) and male (Frank Ocean, Miguel, the Weeknd).

The roots of this form of modern R&B can be traced back to Janet Jackson’s landmark album Rhythm Nation 1814, which turns 25 years old today. Though it’s a quarter century old, Rhythm Nation has barely aged—it sounds as rich and vital as it did when it was first released, and stylistically as contemporary as anything on the Billboard charts. READ FULL STORY

Nick Cave talks to EW about his new movie '20,000 Days on Earth' and why he doesn't like meeting his heroes

Over the course of a nearly four-decade music career, Nick Cave has been one of music’s most reliably inscrutable rock stars. The forthcoming documentary 20,000 Days on Earth (in theaters September 19) does a bit to shed some light on Cave’s dark spirit, but it does it with a twist.

Although many of the day-in-the-life conversations aren’t scripted (or very loosely so), and everybody in Cave’s life—from bandmate Warren Ellis to former Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld to Kylie Minogue—plays him- or herself, a lot of the film is built on artifice. The office where Cave undergoes a therapy session, the “archive” where he goes to review old photographs—they’re all built sets and faked scenarios, and constructed to try to wring some truth out of something inherently fake.

20,000 Days on Earth splits its time between those scenes and in-the-studio footage from the sessions that led to Push the Sky Away, Cave’s 2013 record with the Bad Seeds. It’s a remarkable movie, existing in the unique dimension between fiction and reality straddled by filmmaking greats like Werner Herzog and Errol Morris: READ FULL STORY

Meet Profound Lore Records founder Chris Bruni, the face of modern metal

Chris-Bruni

Next week sees the release of Foundations of Burden, the second album by Arkansas-bred doom metal band Pallbearer. Their first album, 2012’s Sorrow and Extinction, was a critically-beloved collection of heavy tunes that not only announced the arrival of a great act but also cemented Pallbearer’s label, Profound Lore Records, as the best source of new material for headbangers everywhere.

The 10-year-old label, based out of Kitchener, Ontario, has put out a staggeringly excellent series of releases by some of the best groups currently working in the extremely fertile metal underground. Just this year, Profound Lore has released stellar collections from Lord Mantis, the Atlas Moth, Alraune, Dead Congregation, and the Must List-approved Agalloch. Pallbearer comes out next week, with a new album by Witch Mountain not far behind. These bands dig deep into metal subgenres, conjuring up remarkable darkness via black metal, death metal, prog, hardcore, folk, and whatever else is available to get the turned-to-11 point across.

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Maddie and Tae give Nashville a shakeup with 'Girl in a Country Song'

Ever notice how every country song on the radio kind of sounds the same? So did Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye, a teenage country duo who are currently storming up the charts with the single “Girl in a Country Song.” Built around the same drum-loop-kissed, honky-tonk hop that dominates the country airwaves, Maddie and Tae stick it to all the clichés that drive the problematic subset of the mainstream Nashville sound dubbed “bro country.”

“We were going into a songwriting session one day, and we had just been in the car listening to country radio like we do every single day, because we love these songs and we love these guys,” explains the 18-year-old Tae. “We were laughing, because all these lyrics were very similar, and there were a lot of clichés in them. So what we did was we made this checklist, and on the checklist it had bare feet, cutoffs, tanlines, tan legs, but the most important one is the girl.” READ FULL STORY

How did Samm Levine of 'Freaks and Geeks' end up in Ice Cube's 'Drop Girl' video?

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There’s a lot going on in the just-released music video for Ice Cube’s “Drop Girl,” the latest single from his forthcoming album Everythang’s Corrupt: The giant heads of Cube and his collaborators RedFoo and 2 Chainz, more than a few female derrieres, and… Wait, is that Neal from Freaks and Geeks?

That is in fact Samm Levine as the lead scientist handling research on ladies’ behinds. “The truth of the matter is that anyone who knows me in my personal life knows that finding the perfect booty is something I’m deeply concerned with and have been for years,” Levine tells EW. “I actually run a lab out of my basement. Everyone there is a volunteer, they come on their own volition. When they asked if they could shoot the music video there, I had no problem with it. It was really more of a documentary than anything else.” READ FULL STORY

In the studio: Weezer discusses lyrics, the new album title, and Ric Ocasek

We’re still a few months away from the arrival of Weezer’s new album Everything Will Be Alright in the End, but you can get a good sense of what to expect by reading about EW‘s exclusive visit to the studio. I spent two days with the men of Weezer, and we had a ton of conversations both about the new album and about the stuff bands talk about between takes.

But of course there was not enough room to get all of the gems into the piece. If you’re hungry for more, here are a handful of awesome bits that were left on the cutting room floor. READ FULL STORY

Video: Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart, Brie Larson bro out in Jenny Lewis' 'One of the Guys'

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If you’ve ever wanted to see leading Hollywood ladies bro out together, Jenny Lewis just made those dreams come true: Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart, and Brie Larson wear tracksuits and mustaches in the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman’s music video for “Just One of the Guys.”

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