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Tag: Things That Are Awesome (81-90 of 455)

New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, and Boyz II Men touring together this summer: 'Ladies, we're coming for you'

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NKOTBSB was only the beginning.

New Men Kids on the Block Jordan, Jonathan, Joey, Donnie, and Danny revealed on The View today that they’ll release a new album, 10, this April. The boys also announced that they’re planning a national tour this summer with a few very special guests — newly reunited boy band 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men, the R&B group single-handedly responsible for 87 percent of babies born in 1995. They’re calling the event “The Package Tour,” because “NKOTB98DB2M” would look weird on a t-shirt. Here’s an actual quote from the press release:

“Ladies, we’re coming for you,” said NKOTB member Donnie Wahlberg. “This is going to be the craziest year yet — the single, the album, the tour with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men … We can’t wait to give fans ‘The Package!’”

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Best and Worst 2012: The five best stand-up albums of the year

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In the past, a stand-up comic basically had one career path: Build up some solid minutes on the club circuit, get yourself on late night TV, and hope that somebody with a check book comes calling with a sitcom deal or an HBO special. But while technology seems to be crushing a lot of other entertainment universes, it’s allowing more and more comedians to thrive thanks to podcasting, self-released albums, crowdsourced tours, easily-produced web series, and more opportunities for singular voices on risk-taking cable networks.

No matter where you like to get your yuks, it was a great year for comedy—and for pushing the envelope of what stand-up comedy could be. The albums below represent a small cross-section of the greatness that flowed from the minds of some of the most brilliant creators in entertainment today, and each one takes a wholly unique approach to the craft.

1) Tig Notaro, Live
Notaro’s Job-like narrative has been well documented, but Live (as in “Live Forever,” not Live At Red Rocks) works just as well even if you’re not intimately aware of Notaro’s health struggles. That’s how powerful and honest it is: Over the course of a half hour, she lays out her story with equal parts clinical pragmatism (her genuine insistence that the audience take probiotics whenever they are put on antibiotics) and “Can you believe this?” wonder. Notaro’s dry, deadpan style makes for quite a tightrope walk, as it’s always hard to tell whether or not she’s going to laugh or cry. The audience doesn’t know either, and that what makes Live a brilliant, thrilling listening experience. And despite all the doom and gloom, it’s also fantastically funny, like when a technician asks her what her secret to being skinny is, and she gives the gallows reply, “Oh, I’m dying.” It’s a testament to both the style and the substance of one of the best performances by anyone in any venue in 2012.  READ FULL STORY

Best and Worst 2012: Carly Rae Jepsen, Taylor Swift, and the other best singles of the year

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One encouraging trend that ran throughout 2012 was the egalitarian nature of hit singles. Whether you were a Joni Mitchell-loving Canadian Idol survivor, an Australian with a bruised ego, or a bunch of Florida emo survivors high on Queen, the music world fully embraced you as long as your inescapable earworms continuously delivered thrilling results.

Check out EW’s list of the 20 greatest singles of the year below (as they appear in the current issue of EW, which is on newsstands now), and be sure to check out this specially-curated VEVO playlist that takes you through the year that was one glorious pop hook at a time.

BEST

1. Carly Rae Jepsen, ”Call Me Maybe”
Before the countless YouTube lip dubs, the nine weeks at No. 1, and the 1,000th time you heard it at a BBQ, there was just a song: a purple-ink love letter with a tiny voice whispering about wishing wells and ripped jeans like it was a secret she wanted you to keep forever. It might have been the soundtrack of your summer, or you might’ve rolled your eyes at parties but then secretly put it on your workout mix. But every time it played, life sounded just a tiny bit different. Better maybe. Adam Markovitz READ FULL STORY

Carrie Underwood to donate concert proceeds to Des Moines after losing her voice -- VIDEO

Talk about a classy move.

Carrie Underwood, who is currently wrapping up the first leg of her 90-date Blown Away arena tour, lost her voice earlier this week following a concert in Chicago, but she decided to go ahead with her show at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday night.

Though the country diva (and future Maria von Trapp) powered through her songs for more than 90 minutes, reportedly cutting just a few from her set, she wasn’t satisfied with her performance. And so she decided to make it up to her faithful ticket buyers by pledging to donate any money she made from the concert back to Des Moines.

“I feel real guilty about making any money on this show tonight,” Underwood croaked with effort. “So whatever I’m making is just going to go right back into this community.” Pretty tough to argue with a gesture like that.

Check it out below: READ FULL STORY

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John exceed your wildest expectations with Christmas music video

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What happened to Danny and Sandy after they flew Greased Lightning off into the sky? Evidently, they landed, grew middle-aged together, bought a plane — wait, what? They already had a flying car — and separated before the holidays just so that they could make a music video about coming back together. The clip also features a family reunion that has nothing to do with Danny or Sandy because, sure, why not.

What the hell am I talking about? I’m talking about this newly-released music video for the only original tune on Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta’s fantastically cheesy Christmas album. (EW’s Nakisha Williams calls it “Grease goes to Shady Pines.”)

The song, “I Think You Might Like It,” is supposed to be the “sequel” to “You’re The One That I Want.” In the sense that it’s an up-tempo duet between Travolta and Newton-John, it succeeds. In every other way… well, maybe you should just watch for yourself:

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Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey, The Roots, a bunch of awesome little kids sing 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' -- VIDEO

Give those Pandora and Spotify holiday playlists a break and turn to Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey, and The Roots for your morning cup of (non-alcoholic! or not) cheer.

With classroom musical instruments and holiday sweaters in tow, a glamorously gown-clad Carey (you didn’t think she’d seriously wear a sweater, did you?) joined the gang for a playful rendition of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” yesterday on Late Night.

Sure, the performance doesn’t hold a candle to this summer’s “Call Me Maybe” singalong, but the adorable children singing background and Carey’s breathy high notes make the video irresistible. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking a chug of eggnog anytime Carey sings that song on national television. Mariah early Christmas, everyone!

Watch the video below: READ FULL STORY

Stevie Nicks talks to EW about 2013 Fleetwood Mac tour, reconnecting with Lindsey Buckingham, and why she's addicted to 'Call Me Maybe'

Some chains are unbreakable, even after nearly four decades: Fleetwood Mac announced today that they will embark on a 34-date tour in 2013,  beginning April 4 in Columbus, Ohio, and wrapping June 12 in Detroit; tickets go on sale Dec. 14.

EW spoke to the legendary, always loquacious Stevie Nicks about heading back out on the road with bandmates Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie — and what she’s been up to since we last talked to her.

EW: You spent most of 2011 promoting and touring behind your most recent solo album, In Your Dreams. How different is that experience from touring with Fleetwood Mac?

Stevie Nicks: My solo career is more like an intimate gathering, an intimate beautiful party at your home, and Fleetwood Mac is like a big, huge Christmas ball at a big huge ballroom somewhere. Fleetwood Mac is just way bigger and way grander. And I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s always been so good for me to be able to go back and forth. Because what I do is very, very different than what Fleetwood Mac does and vice versa. So when I come out of one and go into the other, it’s very new for me. READ FULL STORY

R. Kelly's 'Trapped in the Closet' premiere: On the scene

Last night, R. Kelly introduced the new chapters of Trapped in the Closet wearing bright red leather gloves. Why? Because he can.

But that’s part of Kels’ draw as an artist: Most of the time, it’s impossible to tell his motivations for anything. Kelly is the rare artist who seems to exist completely outside of the realm of irony, thus making his motivations almost entirely mysterious. When it comes to one of his albums or the never ending fountain of joy and weirdness that is Trapped in the Closet, it’s best to just let it wash over you.

Such was the case Monday night at New York’s Landmark Sunshine Cinemas, where Kelly pulled back the curtain on the newest chapters of Trapped in the Closet (which air this Friday, November 23, at 9 PM on IFC). In front of a theater full of people eager to cast their eyeballs on a fresh batch of insanity, Kelly introduced the program by once again calling it “an alien,” as though the ideas visit him from another plane of existence. “I’m glad to be one of the astronauts to take this trip to a place unknown,” he told the rapt crowd.

After thanking everyone for coming out and apologizing for the five year gap between episodes of Trapped in the Closet (“I had to save up my money! A dollar a day!” he joked), he unveiled the new chapters. READ FULL STORY

'Revenge' star Gabriel Mann: What's On My iPod

The first season finale of ABC’s hit primetime soap Revenge featured an excellent use of Florence + the Machine’s “Seven Devils,” and that good taste extends to more than just the show’s music supervisor, Season Kent.

Gabriel Mann — a.k.a. the show’s tousle-haired billionaire/amateur trouble-shooter Nolan Ross — and other members of the cast can often be spotted at concerts all around Los Angeles, or trading mixes with each other between takes.

In fact, Mann is one of the most enthusiastic, music-blog-knowledgeable stars ever to talk to EW for our regular On My iPod feature. Check out his impressive list below.

Alt-J, “Slow Dre”
It’s just a killer. I think it’s the best thing I’ve heard out there recently. That one is getting burned to death on my playlist.”

Bear in Heaven, “Sinful Nature”
This album is probably top five for me in 2012, maybe even top three. I like the whole record, but particularly the song ‘Sinful Nature,’ which has a very twisted video. It has a Pretty Woman concept behind it, except everyone is melting. Like, Julia Roberts is melting! It’s great.”

Youngblood Hawke, “We Come Running”
In terms of something a little more poppy, I’m definitely bobbing my head to this one. It mashes up a whole bunch of different kind of sounds: There’s a poppy emo thing with a kind of low-fi bloggy thing. I don’t know, that particular song really feels like a stroke of genius. And it’s just a good name! You don’t even need to listen to the song, just drop the band’s name and you’re good.”

The XX, Coexist
I find that it is definitely a bookend to their first album, but the simplicity and beauty of the songwriting is incredibly effective. Whatever they have discovered in the way that they like to make music—it’s just the sexiest record ever.” READ FULL STORY

Ke$ha busts out stripped down version of 'Die Young': Hear it here

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The big secret about Ke$ha is that, despite her potty mouth and all glitter everything, she’s actually an accomplished musician. Remember her Bob Dylan cover that was way, way better than it had any right to be?

So it shouldn’t be surprising that the just-released “deconstructed” version of Ke$ha’s current top 10 single “Die Young” is actually kind of lovely and sweet. Buoyed by little more than some organ hums and her surprising vulnerability, Ke$ha drives home the fact that “Die Young” is driven not by gimmicks but by melody. Give it a listen below.

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