novelty act


I got bored and decided to highlight ten of my favorite weird/eccentric singers in modern music. Maybe they aren’t the greatest singers of all time, but they’re all unique and unmistakable. Each of them have singing voices that make you go “WTF is this?!” upon first listen, but then you slowly grow to appreciate them as you listen to more material.

  1. Yma Sumac - The godmother of all eccentric voices. This Peruvian soprano both confused and bewildered 1950s audiences with her five octave vocal range, animal imitations, and “exotica” style of music, which mainly consisted of mambos and Latin American folk tunes. Most of the other people on this liste have traces of her influence in their vocal deliveries. Check out: Tumpa and Chuncho.
  2. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins - Once an aspiring opera singer, this R&B star single-handedly created the “shock rock” genre that performers like Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson later adopted. Emerging from coffins, evoking voodoo rituals, and scream-bellowing his way through songs about everything from soul possession to constipation? Yep, he did it. Oh yeah, and he’s rumored to have fathered over 75 children. Check out: I Put a Spell on You and Constipation Blues.
  3. Tiny Tim - While often regarded as a novelty act, this falsetto nostalgist was actually quiet sincere with his performances. His ukulele renditions of squeaky clean 1930s pop tunes led to stardom in the 1960s, although his fame quickly faded. He would later find posthumous recognition through the use of his music in cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants. Check out: Living in the Sunlight and this bizarre cover of Earth Angel.
  4. Kate Bush - The queen of baroque prog-pop (if that’s even a genre) known for singing self-penned (and self-performed and produced) tunes with a breathy, child-like timbre that’s hard to describe. Her live performances and music videos were equally as hard to describe, but nonetheless captivating. While she was a mega-star in the UK and much of Europe, her peculiar style never caught on in the US. Check out: Wuthering Heights and Sat in your Lap.
  5. Klaus Nomi - Occasionally there are singers whose voices are so strange that words fail to describe them, and this German avant-garde performer is one of them. Part soprano, part alien, and part walking pop art, his style was unmistakable, if also a bit too weird for even other weirdos to process. Still, there is a beauty about his style that shines through, especially in live performances. Check out: The Cold Song and The Nomi Song.
  6. Diamanda Galas - Her nickname in the ‘80s was “The wife of the devil”, and it’s not hard to understand why. She too started her career as an opera singer and took a turn into weird and frightening territory beginning with 1982′s nightmarish LP The Litanies of Satan. With a shrieking 5 ½ octave vocal range and infamous live performances that could scare the bejesus out of anybody, there has never been anybody quite like her before or since. Check out: Double Barrel Prayer and her cover of I Put a Spell on You.
  7. Bjork - This Icelandic maverick started her career as part of numerous alt rock bands before embarking on a highly successful solo career. While her self-produced, eclectic music was always a bit off-kilter, she has only continued to get stranger over the years, but her clear, arresting howl has stayed the same. Her influence is insurmountable, ranging from Thom Yorke to FKA Twigs and beyond. Check out: Human Behavior and Crystalline.
  8. Mike Patton - Best known for his work with Faith No More, he could only best be described as a vocal freak of nature. Possessing a monstrous six octave vocal range (the widest of any singer in modern music), he has mastered death metal, Italian pop tunes, experimental jazz, Native American chants and literally everything in-between. His style has no limits, nor do his songs from various projects, which often jump through multiple genres in the span of three minutes. Check out: Smaller and Smaller (with Faith No More) and My Ass is on Fire (with Mr. Bungle).
  9. Tanya Tagaq - Another performer of “exotic” music by Western standards, this Inuk throat singer takes music traditional to her culture and puts a plethora of innovative spins on it. Alternating between hums, buzzes, coos, and clean vocals, she is primarily a storyteller, using her voice as an instrument to paint striking mental images. Recently she won the 2014 Polaris Prize for music and caused controversy by paying homage to thousands of murdered indigenous women as part of her performance at the ceremony. Check out: Improv Performance and Uja.
  10. Julie Christmas - What would Cinderella become if Prince Charming jilted her? One listen to this Julliard-trained maniac’s voice, and you’ll get the hint. Known for her work with Made out of Babies and Battle of Mice, Christmas can go from sweet to psychotic at the snap of a finger, her vocal delivery terrifying yet intriguing to even the most hardened of metal critics. Her recent solo work is further proof of her vocal acrobatics - a fallen Disney princess, indeed. Check Out: Cooker (with Made out of Babies) and Bones in the Water (with Battle of Mice).
6 Songs Horror Movies Should Use Instead Of Nursery Rhymes

Eventually horror movies are gonna run out of nursery rhymes to use, so they’re gonna need to use some new songs. Here’s my list of songs that should be used by the ghoulie, ghostie or serial killer in whatever franchise gets shat out next halloween.

1 - Cotton Eye Joe

Look, honestly, I feel like a horror movie that uses this song is WAY overdue. Most of them seem to be set in some cabin or in a backwater town in the middle of nowhere, and nothing screams ‘midwestern horror’ than a eurodance song sung by a Swedish novelty act.

2 - Toxic by Britney Spears

Right? I mean if there’s any iconic noughties pop song that would fit incredibly well in a horror movie, it is absolutely this one. Just think about it. Think about that one scene in the movie where the background noise is gone but all you can hear is Humpty Dumpty or whatever shit they used. Now imagine a muffled edit of Toxic. Tell me to my face that wouldn’t still be absolutely terrifying.

3 - The Full House Theme

A small abandoned apartment block, in the middle of a district nobody visits anymore. No lights are on except for one, the soft hum of a television plugged into a power socket that shouldnt be functioning. On it loops every single series of the Full House, except no dialogue is heard besides that of the character Joey, and the famous theme song. A gaggle of teenagers, high on some substance or another, break in only to find that they aren’t the only ones watching the weirdly edited version of ABCs infamous sitcom.

4 - Axel F by Crazy Frog

You could even use the frog as the monster! It works perfectly. The protagonist is creeping round the haunted house/hospital/sewer/carnival and theres an echo in the distance. Ding ding. It gets closer. Ding ding. But the audience never gets to see the source, they just keep hearing the sound it makes. Ding ding. Then that unholy abomination jumps up, dick out, and fuckin kills the protagonist in the most gory fashion possible. I think it’s the culmination of the Crazy Frog storyline we’ve all been waiting for.

5 - Bangarang by Skrillex

I just think it’d be cool.

6 - The Drowning Music from Sonic the Hedgehog

This one may be generation-specific but to those who know, there’s nothing more terror-inducing than hearing that gradually accelerating music, as you struggle to breathe for air. It is to videogames as the Jaws theme is to cinema, and I think it’s time for it to make the cross-media leap that it so truly deserves.

anonymous asked:

Jamie had many talents and interests. What would he be nerdy about in the modern world? How would Claire find out and what does she think?

We Live For Love

Four o’clock found them at a social club in Little Italy. One of the owners also happened to be Claire’s landlord – Jamie had been skeptical when she’d approached the door, but as soon as they entered she’d been welcomed like one of the family.

So now they sat in the back of the main room, watching a group of middle-aged men play cards and smoke cigarettes and speak occasionally to one of the constant stream of younger men who passed through the door, wanting to have a word or lay a fat envelope on the table.

“Good day today,” Jamie said after a while, idly swirling the dregs of his Jack Daniels in the small glass.

Claire sat beside him, so that together they faced the room. She didn’t speak, but he knew she had heard him.

“I knew it would be hard,” she replied after a while. “But after today, I realize just how much I don’t know.”

“That’s OK. You’re new at this. You’re not expected to know everything right away.”

“But if I want to be successful, Jamie – I *have* to know it right away.” She finished her vodka soda and turned to face him, eyes bright with a heady mix of anxiety and alcohol. “I don’t want to be a novelty act – I want to be respected. I want to be admired. I want people to look past the fact that I wear a skirt and see me for who I am.”

Her eyes watered – he couldn’t tell if it was from feeling or from the drinks. Desperately he wanted to reassure her – but she wasn’t a woman to be reassured. She needed to hear the truth, and as often as possible.

“It’ll be damn hard, Claire.” He held her gaze, trying to give her strength. “There aren’t many women like you – Debbie Harry, sure, and Chrissie Hynde. Maybe Patti Smith. But nobody’s doing what you want to. You won’t fit into anyone’s box.”

“I don’t want to,” she whispered. “I never have.”

Had she been any other woman – or girl – he would have laid his hand on top of hers.

But Claire Beauchamp was different. She deserved more. She deserved better.

“Do you trust me?” he whispered. “Do you trust me to help you in whatever way I can?”

“You haven’t steered me wrong yet,” she half-smiled. “And you helped me find my voice. I’ve been looking for it ever since I decided to do this – I knew it was in me, somewhere. But I couldn’t ever really find it.”

Sensing an opening, he waved to get the bartender’s attention, gesturing for another round.

“How long have you been working at this?”

She picked up two peanuts from the dish between them, waiting for their glasses to be cleared away and fresh drinks set on the sticky vinyl tablecloth.

“About a year now. Ever since I decided to divorce my husband.”

Well then. She had opened the door – but he didn’t want to step through it.

Respecting her.

“I’m sorry.” He took a sip of bourbon. “That it didn’t work out with him, I mean.”

“I’m not.” She squeezed the lime wedge into her vodka soda and stirred it with the paper straw. “I married him when I was nineteen. We argued for most of the seven years before I decided it was over. I sang in the church choir, and then in some small clubs. He didn’t like it. I had bigger dreams than he wanted me to have.”

So she was twenty seven. And here he was at twenty three – giving *her* advice.

How to respond when someone tells you something so private? Better to play it safe.

“Why rock music?”

She looked down at the glass held between her hands. “Why not? I’ve already walked away from everything. What do I have to lose?”

The card table exploded in laughter.

Jamie nudged her knee under the table, and waited for her to look up at him.

“What do you want, Claire? What would make you happy?”

She thought a long, long time before answering.

“To prove to myself that I can do it. That I have what it takes. And I’ll never let anyone else tell me what to do, ever again.”

He lifted his glass to softly clink against hers.

“Then I’ll do whatever I can to make that happen, Claire.”

And then she smiled – and his heart stuttered.

“And what about you, Jamie Fraser?” she asked, tipping back her glass. “What would make you happy?”

“To be recognized as a songwriter, not just a guitar player. I can manage things – not just work as a hired hand.”

“I don’t see you as a hired hand,” she said softly. Almost to herself.

“I’m very glad of it, Claire,” he replied, just as softly. Then stood. “Come on. We’ve got a big day tomorrow. May I walk you home?”

Somewhere in the quiet, dark hours of the night, when Jamie stared up at the paint peeling from his ceiling and listened to Ian’s snores across the room and the bum rifling through the bottles on the street below – the melody sprang, fully formed, into his mind.

He tore off his sheets like a madman, dashed to the bathroom, flipped on the light, and hastily scribbled in the small spiral notebook he kept under his pillow.

Yes – a good, solid chord progression. Rhythm guitars supporting a strong solo guitar, deeper notes allowing a beautiful soprano voice to just float to the top of the composition.

Intro – then verse – and soaring chorus – then another verse, another chorus. Then a bridge, and the chorus. Then a fade out.

He sat back on the closed lid of the toilet, finger tracing the chords on the page. Yes – this would be perfect.

The lyrics would come later. But for now, he had a song. A song for her.

Murtagh FitzGibbons arrived at the Bowery rehearsal space around eleven the next morning, not quite sure what to expect from his musical experiment.

After a ten-minute set comprised of three covers – Blondie, Mellencamp, and AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” – it was clear that Claire Beauchamp had found her voice as a bona fide rock and roll singer.

It was time to call up Joe Abernathy at Chrysalis Records.

We’ve told you before of the Knight Fighting Leagues, wherein people dress as knights and play-fight as if they’ve been called a scoundrel and a cur by the parking attendant at Medieval Times. But when Russia, which has been suffering a critical fuck shortage for decades, saw what was going on, they quickly stripped away the pomp and circumstance of medieval lore and started an MMA league with swords.

Medieval MMA is not like typical medieval combat circles, which prefer to focus on the “arts” part of martial arts. Russia’s M-1 Medieval fighting is all about taking fully armored bruisers, giving them swords, putting them in a brightly lit ring, and letting them beat the absolute hell out of each other. M-1 Global, Russia’s biggest MMA league, stumbled upon this incredible formula when they decided to introduce a “Medieval league” in 2015. Starting off as a novelty act, armored knights would tussle to fill the time in between official MMA matches. But the crowd loved the halftime entertainment so much that the organization moved on to full “knight fight nights.” Now, armored warriors fight in a real league with their own categories, title fights, and, of course, champions – whom we imagine get a +1 to their armor bonus or something.

7 Hilariously Bad-Ass Versions Of Ordinary Jobs


endless list of favorite movies  eddie the eagle (2016) dir. dexter fletcher

“i take jumping very seriously, in fact i love it. i love it very nearly as much as proving people wrong, which is why i’ve decided to compete in the 90 meters. i know i’d originally only intended to jump the 70 meters. but as people much wiser than me say, competing in the olympics doesn’t mean anything if you sell yourself short. i didn’t come here as a novelty act and i will not be going home as one.”

  • Kaga: I hate when people are like "dick would cuddle with wally and be so scared of horror movies and wally would be brave and strong" like scuse U???
  • Kaga: they're the kind of people who'll be sitting beside each other totally badmouthing the movie and every jump scare and then refuse to go to the bathroom alone
  • Kaga: and they'd make up dumb excuses like
  • "we should go together so we can keep talking and I'll wait outside the door and then we can swap" or something
  • Kaga: shota robin smh Ugh
  • Danekez: those are beautiful
  • Danekez: yes theyd totally just sit on the couch next to each other, both with their legs crossed kinda towards each other and one arm on the back of the couch half-way to the "yawn'n'stretch" move. theyd look like mirror images of each other all laughing and smack talking
  • Danekez: then WHAM and depending on how much they were paying attention they'd each react differentlyDanekez: if Wallys really paying attention then he can see the movie frame by frame and it wont bother him, and if dick is paying attention too much then he'll accidentally analyze the movie too much and ficgure out when everything, including the jump scares will happen
  • Danekez: so tey talk to eachother to distract eachother
  • Danekez: and it ddrives everyone else NUTTS
  • Kaga: everyone is so sick of them talking and they could be more quiet about it but like
  • Kaga: come on
  • it's them
  • Danekez: half the reason theyre so loud is just to piss them off
  • Kaga: basically
  • ANd if we're setting
  • Kaga: this in YJ verse
  • Kaga: the amount of times they've tried pranking the others into believing a big jump scare is coming is ridiculous
  • Kaga: it's almost as many as the times they've tried actually scaring their teammates after watching a particularly nasty horror movie
  • Kaga: they hide in dark places and jump out and they're total idiots really
  • Danekez: and it NEVER works on superboy
  • Danekez: in fact they only tried it on him like
  • Danekez: three times maybe
  • Danekez: and he just god confused or mild secondhand embarrassment and Dick and wally would just kinda
  • Danekez: hahahaaahahahhh
  • Danekez: hhha
  • Danekez: k bye
  • Kaga: oh man totally
  • Danekez: but eventually superboy caught onto the pranking and if he was ever in the vicinity of someone else getting prabked he started acting surprised
  • Danekez: just for novelty
  • Danekez: but the acting is never quite right. its not obvious to anyone whos not paying attention to him, but to wally and dick theyre like "i know what you do and i kind of appreciate it. bro mode bro"
  • Kaga: eventually Artemis can not stand it any more so she goes to m'gann before the movie and practically begs the Martian to scare the crap outta the two later on by growing like ten arms out of her head or something
  • m'ganns kinda hesitant because that's a bit mean u know but she caves and after sinister, a rather yucky movie, she trades a look with Artemis and, feeling incredibly guilty, hides in the shadows as wally and dick head off for more supplies from the kitchen before the next movie
  • the shriek wally produces and tries to break off into a cough is nothing short of beautiful and Artemis practically cries with laughter and dick cracks up too, thankful his brief, sharp inhale of breath and slight pause in his step had been ignored because of Wally's amazing reaction
  • Kaga: omg supes rocks tbh
  • Kaga: wally has never been so embarrassed though he does his absolute best to play it off like "haha, not even that scary - just trying to make your prank seem good, beautiful" but it's RLY obvious U know
  • Danekez: everyone thinks artemis is gonna be the one who never lets hi forget it, but no. its Dick.
  • Kaga: dick is as his name implies
  • especially over this matter
  • Kaga: seriously, they’ll be chilling in the cave or something and then they’ll have some kind of mini argument and start bringing up past memories like “remember that one time you tried to land on a dumpster lid but it caved in?” and dick’s like “remember that one time m’gann grew two arms out of her head and you screamed like a girl?"
  • Kaga: “low blow, dude"
  • Danekez: yes its canon

The Turtle Bax were an anomaly in the pop music world of 1975: a pop duo who could actually sing. Plucked from a Laverne and Shirley lookalike contest in Muskegon, Michigan, Barb and Barbara had blown away the judges and were quickly signed to Xenon records, known for their stable of novelty acts. They rushed out their first and only single, “Ordinary Clothes”, which charted as high as 55 on the Billboard top 100. But their career was over as soon as they hit the stage when it became apparent that Barb had been born without knees, and could only awkwardly stilt-walk around the stage.


This time of year is especially important to spread valuable knowledge and insights into the realities and responsibilities of rabbit ownership. Rabbits should not be obtained on impulse and are not ideal pets for small children.  So while the appeal of getting a pet bunny for Easter is tempting, they are living creatures who are more than just a novelty. Please act responsibly and choose a toy rabbit or chocolates instead.

anonymous asked:

Dimo - interview with the Jäger.

Dimo wasn’t the only Jäger I interviewed for the Portraits of Mechanicsburg series, but he was the only one who seemed to take it at all seriously. Most of them left me feeling like a novelty act, some new entertainment the bar had provided for them. Dimo seemed more resigned to my questioning than interested, but after that his attitude was a relief.

Dimo is about three hundred and the newest of the Generals. According to him he was promoted totally unfairly and never gets to have fun anymore.

Q: So, about three hundred? You don’t know exactly?

A: You lose track. Everyone does.

Q: That would have been when Lazurus Heterodyne was ruling?

A: Ha, no. That was his father, Robur. He was a pretty good guy, not too smart for a smart guy, you know?

Q: That’s a good thing?

A: Yah, yah. (Sighs) Well, I thought so. Think he made smarter Jägers so he wouldn’t have to do the thinking on the battlefield. Should have figured it would come back to bite me. He was a good guy, but some Heterodynes, you have to steer. Back home it’s the seneschal’s job. On the battlefield, sometimes that’s the Generals, sometimes that’s anyone they will listen to.

Q: Do the Heterodynes know they’re being steered?

A: When they is in the Madness Place they don’t know nothing. Afterwards, they is glad no one let them destroy the town.

Q: Is the Lady Heterodyne likely to destroy the town?

A: She knocked down the Astronomy Tower. That was embarrassing! We’d just fought our way across town to get to it and then she tries to clear the last bit with her zappy stick. She’s pretty good, usually, but she is a Heterodyne. And not a boring one! Once she is in the Madness Place she could do anything. She’d put it back, though, she loves fixing things.

Q: What about the Heterodyne Boys?

A: You have to be in a town to destroy it.

Q: So they were never here?

A: Is understandable. We is bad guys. (He flashed a grin at this, more proud than remorseful). They is good guys. But they own us, would be bad to use us, would be bad to hurt us. Don’t have much choice but to leave us.

Q: Is the Lady Heterodyne not a “good guy”?

A: Is different. We is different. The town tried to kill her Papa… not us, the town, but of course it wasn’t home after that. And everyone knows we is the worst of the worst Mechanicsburg produces. But she came home to a place that had been playing with tourists. Is different.

Q: Isn’t that just the town, though? The Jägers were with the first Baron Wulfenbach?

A: I wasn’t. Yes. Most of us was. I think it changed them, made them soft maybe, but you would have to ask one of the ones that was there.

Q: You were one of the wild Jägers?

A: Mm.

Q: There were lots of rumours about what was going on with wild Jägers. These days it’s mostly thought you were looking for Heterodynes?

A: That’s right. And we found one too!

Q: Were you looking for a child? Or did you hope to find the Heterodyne Boys?

A: …You think we expected to find anything? Was suicide mission.

Q: Then, why?

A: Honour, I guess. For the pack. Someone had to be looking. We couldn’t abandon the Masters. So they asked for volunteers.

Q: Why did you volunteer?

A: Oggie and Maxim was going, someone had to keep them out of  trouble.

Q: And that was the only reason? It sounds like a lot of responsibility to take on.

A: …I guess I was hoping, a little. Master William and Master Barry never wanted us around, but we shouldn’t have let them go up against all the bugs by themselves. Even if it meant breaking orders, maybe we should. Maybe it would have been different.

Q: Did the other Jägers that were with you feel like that? Oggie and Maxim?

A: Maxim really was doing it for honour. He didn’t want to serve the Wulfenbachs and he wouldn’t abandon the Heterodynes. Oggie just wanted everyone to be okay. If it kept the pack safe… he doesn’t think that much about the past. And Maxim wouldn’t feel bad for obeying orders.

Q: But you did?

A: We could never steer Master William. We try to keep our Heterodynes safe, oh yes, as safe as Heterodynes can be. But not them. Trying just made them angry, and apologising made them angrier. If we could have been what they wanted, maybe we wouldn’t have taken anything over, but we could have changed the world. Would have been fun! Instead we remember them as boring, but they weren’t boring, they just wouldn’t let us join in.

It’s a strange thing, to feel sympathy for a three hundred year old reaver, but as I ended the interview I did. I can’t wish the Jäger pack had been inflicted on Europa by the Heterodyne Boys, but even so Dimo’s wish that they could have been what the Heterodyne Boys wanted, perhaps even been heroes themselves, left me wondering just how inhuman these monsters really are.

  • me: i understand the juries are not the perfect system but they are required to create a balance in the voting as well as add that hint of professionalism and not just voting for a novelty act/your neighbour
  • me: watches il volos esc performance
#28: Brown Sugar (2002)

IMDB plot summary: Friends since childhood, a magazine editor and a hip-hop record executive stumble into romantic territory.

Is this an accurate plot summary? It fails to mention Queen Latifah, the true star of every movie she graces with her presence, so no. 

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a movie that’s so thoroughly 2002 as Brown Sugar. It name drops Eminem. There are turtlenecks galore. There are jump cuts and freeze frames every which way. There’s a pointed post-9/11 NYC skyline shot. 

But perhaps the way this movie is the most 2002 is its total and complete sweetness. Yes, sweet. I’m using that word again! But there’s no better way to describe Brown Sugar, a movie about best friends falling in love that has only implied sex, very little bad behavior, and a cast of characters who want nothing more than the best for each other. Brown Sugar differs from a lot of early-2000s romcoms in that it’s about hip hop in general and the music industry specifically, but it has all the comforting inevitability of a Nora Ephron movie, just with Taye Diggs in a turtleneck instead of Meg Ryan. 

So, the plot: Sidney (Sanaa Lathan) and Dre (Taye Diggs) have been BFFs since childhood, when they bonded over their shared love of hip hop. Now they’re almost 30 and Sidney works as a music writer and Dre works at a major label. Sidney’s friend Queen Latifah (THE QUEEN!) is always on her case about working too hard and, as the requisite sassy best friend, she is legally required to constantly harass Sidney for being too blind to see that she’s in love with Dre. Because she is, of course! And Dre’s in love with her, too. But they don’t know that, and Dre gets engaged to a recent girlfriend, and the night before the wedding he and Sidney share a spontaneous kiss. They go on with their lives and their careers as Sidney narrates a very heavy-handed hip hop metaphor that describes their relationship. Eventually, Dre gets disillusioned with the major label and his marriage, and things get interesting from there. 

Besides the always-perfect Queen Latifah, Brown Sugar also features Mos Def, playing an underground rapper (and, spoiler alert, Queen Latifah’s eventual love interest). He functions pretty well as Taye Diggs’s sounding board BFF, and he’s completely charming. 

Actually, this entire movie is aggressively charming. I liked Sanaa Lathan in Something New, but her character in that film was initially pretty cold. In Brown Sugar, she starts out much more animated, and Taye Diggs doesn’t even know how to be anything other than magnetic, so they’re an extremely likable couple. The movie is, for the most part, full of likable people doing likable things. It has Ephron-style breakups, which is to say, breakups that are almost consequence free. People in this movie simply understand when a relationship is over. Everyone is reasonable and ready to walk away after one last amiable game of pool. No one throws dishes or screams or does anything that’s not entirely pleasant. They’re all Greg Kinnear in You’ve Got Mail

The only confusing part of this movie is that Sidney and Dre wouldn’t just be together in the first place. Their only obstacle, until Dre gets married, is that they’re too dumb to realize they’re perfect for each other. They just sit on benches, quoting Common lyrics, not realizing that they’re totally in love. But what the movie lacks in real conflict it more than makes up for in sheer watchability. I would watch Sanaa Lathan fall in love with anyone, and Taye Diggs is just so weird that it’s impossible not to want them to succeed. Brown Sugar is a great example of a film following the romcom formula to the letter and doing it really, really well. 

Stray thought:

-The movie opens with short snippets of real-life rappers being interviewed, and Common shows up ever-so-briefly, giving me intense Just Wright flashbacks. I know, I know, I said he wasn’t even a convincing romantic lead in that movie, but after getting 28 movies into this thing I just want him back! It’s like Common is MY romcom BFF and I didn’t realize what I had until he got engaged/started acting in dramas. 

-Taye Diggs refers to street hot dogs as “bad boys” at one point. 

-Mos Def, as the fake rapper he plays in the movie, records a song called Brown Sugar (you know, like the title of the movie) and I hope you’re prepared to get it stuck in your head because it’s played approximately one million times in the movie. Also, it was produced by Kanye West! I’m still holding out for Kanye West to do an actual romcom cameo, but this will do for now. 

Romantic comedy cliches: Best friends falling in love, a wedding, a sassy/wise BFF, a writer, a public gesture of love, a woman who’s too busy for love, NYC as a character

Is this a good movie? Yes.

Did I like this movie? I like this movie anyway, but the inclusion of Queen Latifah bumps it up to love.

Did this movie make me believe in love? Mostly it made me believe that Taye Diggs hates novelty rap acts, but overall, yes. 

Would I watch this movie again? Absolutely. This is a perfect sick-day, rerun-on-TBS movie. 

Do you have suggestions for my year of romcoms? Find me on Twitter @KerryAnn or send me an email at 

Okay so I would like to nominate the guys in the background of this promoted tweet advertisement for a shared academy award. Very rarely have I ever seen two people giving their all in such a committed performance. Without their honest and compelling portrayal of guys extremely entertained by a novelty mug I think that this piece would fail to capture the true depth of humor and pathos evident in the product.


Anything Boys Can Do…
Ethan Minsker
Music Documentary
71 min
The underground music world has been characteristically male dominated, both the bands and the audiences. With the upsurge of women involvement in the scene, female bands and musicians are all too often regarded as novelty acts, regularly shrugged off as militant feminist or cutely entertaining. Overwhelmed by the numbers of male bands, female bands of the scene are lumped together in one category, “girl group”, regardless of style, talent or musical content. Anything Boys Can Do… investigates and reveals the issues affecting women in general and as individual performers.

Tribe 8
The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black
The Wives
Maul Girls
and many more

Still Young

For Zoe, for your birthday, for everything

There’s a party to mark the end of the summer before Seventh Year, and it’s the first time he has seen Lily Evans in two months.

The heat has been extreme this August, hanging in the air with an unrelenting presence, and what was intended as a house party has wandered outdoors, craving fresh air. Fortunately, Jeremy Booth – the host, a Ravenclaw – lives in the country, released from the prying eyes of any muggles, and the youth of wizarding Britain lark about in the minimal breeze without restraint. Teenagers sit in clusters on a sprawling green lawn, cooling charms cast overhead, and someone has started a game of twilight Quidditch. The atmosphere is lazy: it’s too hot to be excited about the coming year, their last year. Time will come for that the day after tomorrow, when they board the Hogwarts Express for the last time. For now, James Potter lies alone in someone else’s garden, enjoying the sensation of cool grass pressed against his back, and tilting his glasses just so, so that he can track the movements of his Head Girl as she makes her way towards him.

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DARA - Meg (July) Magazine Interview!

Switch On: Dara

In this exclusive cover feature with meg, Sandara reveals what she believes is her secret to success, how difficult it was to break through in Korea, what she still wants to achieve in her career (Clue: it has something to do with the Philippines!), and even how she was almost removed from 2NE1. We re-introduce you, Sandara Park.

Soundtrack of her life

A lot of 2NE1 songs may scream girl power, but Sandara shares what her personality is more like. “Almost all of our songs, like I DON’T CARE— they’re about independence. But its the opposite of my personality.”

I’M THE BEST— “maybe because I want to be that way, the lyrics are very confident but I don’t have that much confidence when i’m not on stage. That’s my dream song.”

LONELY — “I can relate to it.”

GOOD TO YOU — “its a song that is included in our new album along with COME BACK HOME. I can very much relate to it because it is about a good girl singing to a bad boy. It seems like I always fall in love with bad boys. So, its very relatable (laughs).”

“MAHAL KO KAYO (I LOVE YOU [plural])” 

She captured every Pinoy’s heart in the first ever Star Circle Quest in 2004 and enjoyed a fruitful television and movie career, reportedly made up to one million pesos a month worth of commission from her KTexts (an ABS-CBN text messaging service pre-Instagram days), and dubbed the Pambansang Krung Krung of the Philippines. She loved and owned the title so much that to this day, her twitter ID is @krungy21. She makes it a point to watch Filipino movies via Star Cinema DVDs sent to her by fans—with this, Sandara actually improved speaking Tagalog despite living in Korea for the past eight years.

MEG: Sometimes you go to the Philippines in secret and for fun. What is it about the Philippines that makes you keep coming back?

DARA: I like the place! i like the beaches and the food. There are so many good memories from the Philippines that I won’t ever forget.

MEG: When you’re here, you prefer doing interview in Tagalog. Why?

DARA: Because at first, in SCQ, I did not know Tagalog. And people were telling others to not vote for me because I did not know how to speak Tagalog. Once I learned, I became comfortable in speaking Tagalog. And for the fans as well, they are happier that I did not forget how to speak Tagalog.

MEG: Aah, okay! I am curious about it because before in SCQ, your fan base was purely filipinos . Now your fans are from all over the world! Yet you still hold your filipino fans so dear to you…

DARA: I’m not sure, but I think my biggest fan base is still from the Philippines. Of course, its because we were together for a long time. They’ve been supporting me for 10 years already. They’re like my friends.


With absolutely no Filipino blood, she joined a program in search for a celebrity just for the experience. Cute, charming, but not a legit performer— that was the people’s impression of her back then. They say it was because she showed her vulnerability that endeared her to the judges (a tough trio composed of Boy Abunda, Gloria Diaz & Director Laurenti Dyogi)  and to the fans.

MEG: I don’t know if you remember the feeling, but let’s go back to when you joined SCQ. When you auditioned, did you think you would win?

DARA: No, i didn’t even imagine

MEG: What did you think? What were your expectations?

DARA: Its like…Okay, I’ll try it for the experience. But I never imagined that I would enter the top 50, then top 20, and top 10. I really didn’t imagine/expect it at all.

MEG: Did that experience change you? Did you become more confident? Imagine, it really exceeded your expectations.

DARA: At first, I was really a cry baby! At top 10, top 5, I was always crying. But because of my fans, I became more confident. I saw their banners that had my name on it, their screams. I realized that I really can do it.


With reality shows , you quickly get thrusted into fame but you can also just quickly fade from the limelight. As the Philippines showbiz industry got more cutthroat and new talents started to gain popularity, Sandara decided to take things a step further by trying to make it in the K-pop world.

MEG: You decided to move to Korea around 2007, and then you started training for dancing and singing. And you were saying that you did not have any allowance back then. It really was just training only. When you started there, did you think you would make it this big eventually?

DARA: Not even, I didn’t even think about it. But I really thought to myself that I want to be like this, on stage. I think that is the secret to success.

MEG: Did you used to visualize singing & dancing on stage?

DARA: Mmm, that’s all I could think about.

MEG: So after all the training, all the hard work. You have to acknowledge to yourself that you’ve made it?

DARA: When we started recording, I wasn’t even sure. (At that time) They could still take me out after recording. But I felt it when we started shooting for our first commercial as a group with BIGBANG. And then finally when we shot the music video for FIRE, I said to myself, “This is it! Its really happening!”.

MEG: Do you remember the first time you heard your song on the radio or saw your video on TV? What did you feel at that time?

DARA: I can’t believe it! When I heard the song, we were walking and we stopped abruptly. I said, ‘Wait! let’s listen to it first!’, Its really like a dream come true.


Making it in the Philippines is extremely different from making it in Korea. In Sandara’s local career post-SCQ, she used to sing and dance novelty acts. In Seoul, she is an artist who performs international pop hits and does sold out world tours. It took years of training and intense discipline for Sandara to get where she is now, complete with six-pack abs.

MEG: No doubt, all the public sees is when you’re made up in magazines or performing on stage. In short, they just see all the glamour. How tough, or how difficult does it get behind the scenes?

DARA: It was very hard. Because if you’re a trainee, you do not know when you’re making your debut. You do not know when you will become successful. It was really hard at that time, and I was really scared. In Korea, it was cold. So lack of sleep, hunger, cold weather, almost every type of hardship it was there.

MEG: You mentioned to me that before you arrived here in Manila, you did not sleep for three days. Why is that?

DARA: Ah, we were shooting a music video for a Japanese album. Then after that, we had the photoshoot for the Japanese album. I went straight from the studio to the airport.

MEG: Wow I can imagine how tiring it was, but with your work, when you’re on cam, you are expected to look 100%. How do you deal with that?

DARA: Maybe, I was born to do this. (Laughs) Cause I’m really happy when I am in front of the camera. When we’re shooting, its like…magic.

MEG: What do you love the most about your job?

DARA: I love photoshoots. I like tapings too. But what I really love the most is if the live show has an audience. The energy is really different. 

MEG: Do you get nervous? For example, during countdowns (seconds) before going on stage?

DARA: No! Those are actually my favorite moments, when you hear their screams. Its the most exciting.

MEG: So you don’t get nervous anymore? That’s so interesting!

DARA: Not anymore. But I was nervous earlier before entering the PBB house as a visitor.

MEG: Is that so? Why?

DARA: Its cause I do not know what will happen. On stage, I know what I need to do. If there is music, I don’t get scared. But if there isn’t any, I am a little bit shy.


Then and now, Sandara has her fair share of bashers (antis). From non-believers when she was starting, to this who continue to bring her down.

MEG: Now you have so many fans, but when you were starting out, of course there would be haters. When you started in SCQ, there were a lot of people who did not believe that you can do it. They felt that, you’re not going to make it. What is your advice to girls like you who have a dream but people would tell them ‘You can’t do it, why are you still trying?’

DARA: Before, I remember I really had a lot of haters. But I think I did it/made it because I know that I had fans who would always support me. I really believe that I can do it, even if its just one person who believes in you, that’s enough. Just try your best to improve.

MEG: But what is your attitude towards bashers (antis/haters)?

DARA: I don’t read them. When I know its not something nice, I just don’t read it at all so it won’t affect my mood.


This year, Sandara along with CL,Bom & Minzy celebrated their 5th year as 2NE1 with their All Or Nothing concert tour. How did Sandy transform into Dara? According to her, she just dreamt it, visualized it, and worked for it. At 29, Sandara is living the life of her dreams. 

MEG: What else do you want to achieve in your career?

DARA: I want to go on tour to different countries. I want to go to Europe, and Brazil.  To far places. I also want to go back here (Philippines) to make a movie. Its one of my many dreams

MEG: That would be great! You think its possible, even with your very busy schedule?

DARA: Yes, well…when i’m not that busy anymore. Because there are always times where we’re very busy and then times when we’re not busy at all. So that’s what I always imagine.

MEG: What kind of project would you want to do if ever? Your movies before were romantic comedies.

DARA: Like those too! Romantic comedies is really my favorite genre. The ‘kilig’ (giddy movies/movies that leave butterflies in your tummy)  here is really endearing.

MEG: Who will you be paired with? There are too many new actors here!

DARA: Seriously, I need a new partner. If possible can it be John Lloyd! (Laughs)

MEG: How about your personal life? What else do you want to achieve?

DARA: Personally of course, I want to have a love life in the future. But right now, I’m not really interested in getting a boyfriend because I’m still enjoying what I do. When I stop being busy, maybe I’d want to.

MEG: Are you allowed to date right now?

DARA: Mmm yeah, well our boss told us that after 3 years (into debut) its okay. And we’re already on our 5th year anniversary so…it should be okay? (Laughs)


When you come across Sandara in person, she is the same sweet, charming, and down to earth girl that she was before. She is unassuming when she enters a room and doesn’t draw attention to herself— its her amazing outfits and glowing pore less skin that do that. So how does this soft spoken girl transform into a super fierce pop star the moment she steps on the stage? “I don’t know, its like there is a switch, like magic,” Sandara says. She also says she was almost booted out of 2NE1.

MEG: If you were to give life advice to a young girl reading this, what would you want to tell her?

DARA: Like what I always say, “If you want something, try until you succeed. Never give up,” Like me, before I was just being sweet, but my dream was to have swag, to have charisma on stage. So I really tried hard to be a member of 2NE1. Before, I was cut by our boss. He told me it was because all I could do was look cute. So you should really try your best.

MEG: Ha?! What convinced him to put you back in 2NE1?

DARA: At that time, I sang Jlo’s Get Right. Its a bit hip hop so I practiced it every day for two months. With almost no sleep, I practiced so I can perfect it. So once I performed it in front of him, he nodded his head (in approval) and told me, “Okay you can practice together with them again.”

MEG: Looking back at everything you’ve been through, if you were to give an advice to the 20 year old Sandara, what would that be?

DARA: Be Happy. Don’t get too crazy, behave. Like that. I want to tell her to become confident, Its the only thing I didn’t have back then. Believe in yourself.


She may be an international superstar but her basic needs and favorites reveals that she’s still the same Sandy we always loved.


DARA: Blush— so it looks like you’re always fresh. Not too pink, but the right amount.


DARA: CAP OR HAT — Its my favorite item to complete my look.


DARA: SPICY NOODLES WITH SOUP — But I can’t eat that these days, it’ll ruin my abs (Laughs)


DARA: Running on the machine — Even if its just 5km (3 miles) or running for 50 to 60 minutes is okay. It has to be everyday!

Magazine Scans: //

Transcribed & Translated by: cami@ygfamilyy


i just got back from seeing nick at the x factor auditions! it was so much fun and im so glad i got to see him

highlights include:

  • “i really like you and how smiley you are on stage, you look like a gnome”
  • giving really sound advice to young singers who have lots of potential- you can tell he really cares about what he’s doing and it’s great to see his passion for the music industry and young musicians come through.
  • his beautiful sparkly eyes :’)
  • he really liked a guy who was more of a novelty entertainment act- he wasnt very good at singing but he was really loud and charismatic and extra, he ran out into the audience and everything. nick couldnt stop smiling and was sort of speechless tbh
  • little bopping about and dancing to some of the performances, he was so cute and it was great to see him having fun. he waved his arms about a couple of times
  • im screaming one of the songs someone performed was called “sexy silk” and nick said it sounded like it was the name of a tampon oh my god
  • he put his head on the desk after being overwhelmed by how cute a womans kids were “the kids!”
  • asking someone “do you have any pets” “do you like dogs” like okay nick why dont u just bring pig up on stage for everyone to see
  • also the best part was when nick waved at me i Kept trying to get his attention for ages and in between acts when everyone was quiet i stood up and shouted “NICK” and he wavedddd :’)

im well excited to see him judge for the rest of the show, nick is by far the best choice of judges the could have had this year and im :’) so proud </3

Today’s top book news item:

Adolf Hitler wakes from a coma to find himself in modern-day Berlin, where everyone assumes he’s a comedian who never breaks character – and so the Führer becomes a novelty act, a YouTube sensation (the “loony YouTube Hitler”) and then eventually a celebrity and politician.

Such is the premise of the German satirical novel Er Ist Wieder Da (Look Who’s Back) by Timur Vermes, which is about to be published for the first time in English. The book has sold more than a million copies (and spurred furious debate) in Germany. Although many critics in Germany found the book tasteless, Vermes told The Guardian that it contains a serious warning: If [the book] makes some readers realise that dictators aren’t necessarily instantly recognisable as such, then I consider it a success.” The book will be released next week in the U.K. – it doesn’t appear to have a U.S. publisher yet – and will test how comfortable English-speaking audiences are with laughing about Hitler.