“Here is a favorite picture of my dear pal Micky Dolenz. It looks like it’s from a past lifetime, but it’s really from a Monkees episode called "Hillbilly Honeymoon” in 1967. It was always fun when they filmed outdoors in the old Western movie town on the Columbia Ranch in Burbank.“
Grammys Preview: The Best Bets For The Big Four Awards
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Sheeran has racked up nominations numbering in the double digits (and in 2016 won song of the year for “Thinking Out Loud”). Lamar has more trophies to his name (seven to Sheeran’s two), but none in the general categories. Regardless, Sheeran’s Divide and Lamar’s DAMN. should be locks for nominations. Joining those likely frontrunners, Lorde’s Melodrama is a solid bet: Though her follow-up to 2013’s Pure Heroine came up a little short commercially, it was considered a daring, winning step forward after her rookie success. JAY-Z’s 4:44 – a thoughtful, confessional album from a true icon – looks like it could nab him long overdue recognition in a category in which he has never been nominated (provided the album’s exclusive TIDAL release didn’t limit its audience too much).
Don’t discount the influence of two of the year’s most powerful artist narratives. Gaga’s intimate Joanne met lukewarm reviews, but it has Mark Ronson’s imprimatur and caps off a year when Gaga won plenty of hearts with a triumphant Super Bowl performance, her revelation of her chronic battle with fibromyalgia and the release of her well-received Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two. And with We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service, A Tribe Called Quest offered a stunning, unexpected comeback recorded with Phife Dawg before his death in 2016 – and, as Q-Tip and crew announced, their final project.
Elsewhere, Harry Styles, inspired by classic rock from Bowie to Badfinger, was a remarkable transformation for the former One Direction-er. The Bruno Mars juggernaut could well roll on with 24K Magic, as could The Weeknd with Starboy. Miranda Lambert’s powerful double album, The Weight of These Wings, was arguably Nashville’s strongest offering this year. Though Metallica has never been nominated in a general category, its Hardwired… To Self-Destruct was widely seen as a welcome return to form. Among rap’s contenders, Logic’s Everybody and Big Sean’s I Decided were big hits that earned critical notice. As to who might fill the unexpected outsider slot Sturgill Simpson occupied in 2017, Americana favorite Jason Isbell’s The Nashville Sound (the rare indie release to hit No. 1 on the country albums chart) and Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy garnered sufficient support to make both long-shot contenders.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
With nearly 5 billion streams and 4 billion video views, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” (featuring Daddy Yankee and, on the remix, Justin Bieber) was the year’s biggest sensation. Honoring the first Spanish-language song since “Macarena” to top the Hot 100 – which went on to tie Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day” for most weeks ever at No. 1 on the chart – would be an ideal opportunity for The Recording Academy to recognize Latin music’s ever-increasing impact on the mainstream. Among the year’s other chart-toppers, Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and Lamar’s “Humble” seem like shoo-ins. At least one of Mars’ two hits, “That’s What I Like” and “24K Magic,” should earn a spot. Styles’ soaring “Sign of the Times” could earn recognition as a strong debut single. And among Nashville voters, Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” – which topped the Hot Country Songs chart for a record-shattering 34 weeks (and crossed over to the Hot 100’s top 10) – should get the biggest push in this category.
From there, the year’s biggest singles covered a wide range of styles. The massive success of Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” and Migos’ “Bad and Boujee” made next-gen Atlanta rap impossible to ignore. “Malibu” epitomized Miley Cyrus’ ’70s Southern California reboot, and The Weeknd delivered two strong tracks in “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming.” The unlikely (but highly successful) combination of The Chainsmokers and Coldplay for “Something Just Like This” ticks a lot of boxes for voters, while Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” could represent for modern rock. And though “Look What You Made Me Do” was polarizing, never underestimate the power of Taylor Swift – did any other song generate more debate this year?
SONG OF THE YEAR
Sheeran’s “Shape of You” (written with a team including producer Steve Mac) and Lamar’s “Humble” (credited to Lamar and Mike WiLL Made-It) will likely face off again for the top songwriting honor, and many other record of the year competitors could join them: Styles and a team led by producer Jeff Bhasker for “Sign of the Times”; Mars and crew (including production teams Shampoo Press & Curl and The Stereotypes) for “That’s What I Like” or “24K Magic”; Cyrus and collaborator Oren Yoel for “Malibu”; and Hunt alongside Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne for “Body Like a Back Road.”
That cohort’s strongest competition might come from songs with timely (or timeless) messages. Gaga’s raw vulnerability on “Million Reasons” – written with Hillary Lindsey and Ronson, and roundly considered the most solid offering on Joanne – makes it her best chance at a major nomination. Logic’s “1-800-273-8255,” written with Arjun Ivatury and featured vocalists Alessia Cara and Khalid, was an ambitious commentary on suicide prevention that has peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100.
Other new artists with chances for a nod: James Arthur, whose “Say You Won’t Let Go” (by Arthur, Neil Ormandy and Steve Solomon) was the year’s breakout low-key ballad, and Julia Michaels, whose “Issues,” written with Justin Tranter and producers Benny Blanco and Stargate, introduced her as a major new voice. And yet again, don’t count out Swift – this time for “Better Man,” a song she wrote alone (a possible plus to some authenticity-seeking voters) and then handed off to her friends in Little Big Town.
Hogwarts AU. Red is a muggleborn Gryffindor, and Green a pureblood Slytherin.
But get this: they don’t bond over magic, their mutual hatred for their potions teacher Giovanni, or the fact that both of them have a ds and play pokemon non-stop. Actually, they kinda despise each other since they always get the exact same grade on everything.
No. Instead, they become friends because everyone keeps telling them every. single. day. how peculiar it is that their names match their houses. They are tired.
inspired by @reioka‘s idea about Bucky wearing sweaters on assassin missions because it’s cozy.
Tony really hated that Natasha was putting him on a blind date, because he could pick out his own people just fine. “The last one you picked try to murder you,” Natasha says flatly.
“You try to murder Clint literally everyday he visits your apartment with his dog, are you sure you’re the best candidate to tell me this?” Tony asks. Natasha shrugs.
“Well, I have a reason to try and murder him. Lucky gets on my couch. The only thing that gets on that couch is me, blankets, and occasionally pizza rolls.”
“Pizza rolls are not an occasional thing, you buy them in the forty-count bags,” Tony replies. “Do I really have to go on a date? I could be building a death ray right now.”
“A.) Don’t build a death ray unless my people rise again. B.) You’ll like this guy.”
“Natasha, you moved from Russia when you were, like, twelve. Don’t call them your people, I’ve already been asked by Steve if I’m harboring a communist.” Natasha actually snorts at that.
“Steve was joking. He knows that he’s really the one who works hard and seizes the means of production.” Tony actually laughs at that. “By the way, wear that oversized red sweater that you swear you didn’t steal from Rhodey. It looks good on you.”
“It makes me look like I’m twelve,” Tony whines.
“No, it doesn’t. No twelve year old has awesome facial hair.”
“You agree it’s awesome?! Score! I told Stephen it was cool.”
“Whatever. You’re meeting Barnes at the soup and bread restaurant on the corner. You know, where Boris sells his ‘authentic’ knives?”
“Oh my god, it’s one of your creepy friends. No, nope, nada. I’m not going.” Natasha levels him with a glare that would be enough to overtake the roll of president and maybe get a free coffee from that hipster place a block over. “Fine, I’m going. But if I don’t come back by one in the morning…”
“I’ll just tell Rhodey that you went on a date and he’ll go ballistic and call the military to find you or whatever. Move, Clint’s coming over to watch Dog Cops with me.”
Bucky is at the restaurant, sitting by himself for all of ten minutes. He hates that Natasha threatens to do this to him. Apparently, he needs “regular interaction.” Whatever that is, he gets it. He pets a dog everyday. Talks with Boris about his knives. Hisses at cats because they’re as bad as Steve’s friend Sam is. (He hates Sam. And his insistence that birds are better than dogs, because They Are Not.)
Natasha texted him that there would be a man in an over-sized red sweater. Bucky doesn’t bother trying to make assumptions; while Natasha is great at many things, setting up dates isn’t always the best. She thought Johnny Storm would’ve made a great match for Sharon, which the most hilarious thought since dogs falling off slides.
Tony sees Bucky, the guy with the Murder Face and a menu in front of his face. He could just ditch this. Tell Natasha that everything was great. But then he runs the risk of hurting this Bucky’s feelings, and that is Not A Good Thing. So, he sits down at the table, and the man puts his menu down.
That face is the best thing since Rhodey showed him that video of Steve falling in the parking lot. (They have a weird friendship, and Rhodey just flat out does not Tolerate Steve a lot.)
“Hello,” Bucky says, voice all gravelly. “Are you Tony?”
“Yes, hello,” Tony says. “You’re Bucky right? Because if this is the wrong booth, then I am ditching whoever Natasha said was Bucky. Wait, you’d never know me if you weren’t Bucky, okay, cool. Oh, wow, this is a thing I’m doing. Rambling.” Bucky smiles at him, and that is like gold all on its own. That could be currency, oh god. Bucky Smiles, worth a million dollars.
“How was your day today?” Bucky asks, sliding him a menu.
“It was pretty good, not gonna lie. I saw two dogs and one video of a baby giraffe,” Tony says. He’s not afraid to admit that dogs and videos of baby animals are awesome. “How was your day?”
“I killed a guy,” Bucky says with a shrug. “I also bought a new sweater.” Tony laughs, because he’s just so casual with the joke that it makes him sound like he actually killed a man.
“What’s the sweater like?” Bucky thrusts out his sweater sleeve, and Tony gets to touch it. It’s soft, a cable knit. It actually is a nice color; a dark green that Tony would wear too. “Oh my god, that’s so soft.”
“Yeah, it was on sale too!” Bucky adds. “Seventy-five percent off.”
“That. Is. Amazing. Where?” So, conversation starts. They talk around their food and drink. Bucky learns that Tony is an engineer, super smart, and knows Steve.
They’re walking home–well, Bucky is walking Tony home. Everything is going great, Bucky is telling him about Supreme Evil Sam, when someone is ahead of them. They look dangerous; bulky, breathing heavy, basically every jock Tony had experienced in high school. “Hey buddy,” Tony says, trying to move. The guy grabs him arm–what the heck–and turns him around to face Bucky.
“It’s you or him,” he growls.
“Bucky, please either call 911 or get him breath mints, this guy’s breath is rank,” Tony says as calmly as possible.
Instead, Bucky grabs a knife and nails the guy in the head. It is safe to say that Tony was not expecting that. “Oh god oh god Bucky what the hell did you do oh my god–”
“Tony, please be quiet and help me drag him to my car,” Bucky says. Tony stands frozen. “Tony, I told you what I do for a living. I kill people.”
“Are you gonna kill me?”
“You’re too sweet to kill.”
“Oh my god thank you, that’s so sweet–NO WAIT YOU KILL PEOPLE?!” Bucky rolls his eyes, having the decency to look at least sheepish. “Bucky, no offense, but no one kills someone in sweaters.”
“They’re cozy,” Bucky says. He pops the trunk, lifting the body in. Tony can’t look, and pulls out his cellphone. “Don’t call 911. I’ve been tracking this guy for months. He’s a human trafficker.”
“I’m calling Nat,” Tony says shakily. “Oh my god, what am I gonna do? I can’t go to jail, the judge at court hates me and will sentence me to death!”
“There’s more than one judge, Tony,” Bucky says. “And you’re not going to jail.”
“Hello?” Natasha answers. “Tony, this better be an emergency.”
“You didn’t tell me that my date kills people for a living,” Tony hisses into the phone. “And in a soft sweater!”
“Put him on the phone,” Natasha says curtly. “Clint, don’t try and dominate Lucky in this round, you’ll never win.” Tony passes the phone to Bucky.
“You aren’t supposed to reveal that until the third date,” Natasha hisses. “Did we go over all this for nothing?”
“To be fair, he’s taking it better than Steve did,” Bucky defends. “And Tony likes that I pet dogs everyday and my sweaters.”
“Okay, fine. Come to my place with the car. I’ll dump it.” Bucky nods. “Clint, I swear to god if you touch my borscht I’ll cut your arm off. How do you think Bucky got his arm?” Bucky snorts, hanging up.
“We need to go to Natasha’s.”
“Wait, she knows about this?!”
“She helped me get the job. I don’t kill innocent people,” Bucky says, blush forming. God, he’s getting sappy over murder. Not something that happens every day. “I kill the really, really bad ones. Like human traffickers and people who want to release rare diseases into the atmosphere. I saved Iowa from destroying itself last month.” Tony nods.
“Oh. So it’s bad people?” Bucky nods. “Okay, that’s not so bad. But what if you ruin your sweaters?”
“I’m too good to ruin any of my sweaters,” Bucky boasts. Tony rolls his eyes.
“Sure you are.” Bucky grins at him. “So, next date, I’m choosing where we go, and I choose a shelter so we can volunteer and walk dogs.”
“Best date ever,” Bucky agrees solemnly.
Their third date goes a bit sideways; they have to wash a sweater that got drenched. Bucky cries. Tony tries to placate him with funny videos of cats falling and stories about his utter disappointment of a robot that is his pride and joy, Dum-E.
Okay, so I realize I was being a Negative Norman yesterday so I wanted to switch it up today and list a few things I really appreciate about what I’ve seen of Andromeda.
1. The voice acting and dialogue writing feels realistic and flows well. There were rarely times in the released content that I felt thrown off by someone saying something overly corny or that didn’t suit the situation.
2. The movement animation is actually gorgeous in many instances. There are so many small movement’s of the character’s body that contribute to making them feel less stiff and more realistic. I don’t feel like I’ve seen anything like it before in a game that allows you to create a custom character.
3. Your sibling and parent change to match your appearance and it seems done fairly well.
4. Liam Kosta continues to be a total babe. He’s sweet and friendly and I trust him with my life. If he won’t be my boyfriend then we have top notch best friend material. Every interaction I’ve seen with him has subtly revealed him to be sweet, agreeable, and an absolute fucking cinnamon roll. Honestly I want to protect the hell out of him. “You take a risk for the right reason and it’s supposed to work!” Tbh I would play this game just because Liam is in it.
5. The Angara. They come off so passionate and compassionate and I’m so ready to meet them and fall in love with another ME alien race. The scene where Jaal punches someone and then hugs him and they share a hug watered my crops, cleaned my kitchen, and drove my children to school.
6. Drack is your adopted father and leans on your shoulder to sleep during movie night.
7. The opening feels really authentic and exciting. I watched about half of the first 45 minutes video before I felt like it was too much, but the beginning was exciting and though predictable, still a lot of fun. It really demonstrated the level of technological advances that are available, significantly more than I felt any moment of the original series.
On this day in music history: July 3, 1983 - “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson is released. Written by Steve Porcaro and John Bettis, it is the fifth single released from Jackson’s landmark album “Thriller”. During the recording sessions for the album in the Fall of 1982, David Paich of the band Toto gives producer Quincy Jones a cassette with three song demos on it. Jones is unimpressed with the first two songs, but immediately takes notice of Porcaro’s skeletal demo of “Human Nature” tacked on the end of the tape. He asks the keyboardist if the lyrics can be completed and Porcaro asks his friend, fellow songwriter John Bettis (The Carpenters, The Pointer Sisters) to finish writing the lyrics. Bettis completes the lyrics within two days. With the song finished, Jones and Jackson quickly record it, making it the final song completed for “Thriller”. The track is recorded at Westlake Audio in Los Angeles in October of 1982, and features Toto members David Paich, Steve Porcaro (synthesizers, synthesizer programming), Steve Lukather (guitar) and Jeff Porcaro (drums), Michael Boddicker (E-mu Emulator) and Paulinho Da Costa (percussion). “Human Nature” ends up bumping the previously recorded “Carousel” written by Michael Sembello from the final running order of the album. The original single version of the song is edited down to 3:47 (though the 45 label erroneously lists the album version timing of 4:05) and is remixed, and includes a brief synthesizer solo during the instrumental break not included on the commonly heard album version. The single remix version to date has only resurfaced on a rare Japanese CD3 disc released in 1987. “Human Nature” peaks at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 17, 1983, #3 on the R&B singles chart and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart. “Human Nature” is covered by Miles on his album “You’re Under Arrest” in 1985, with other versions by George Howard, David Benoit, Marcus Miller, and Boyz II Men. Michael Jackson’s original recording is also sampled by SWV for the remix version of the song “Right Here” (re-titled “Right Here/Human Nature”), by rapper Nas on “It Ain’t Hard To Tell”, Ne-Yo on the remix version of “So Sick”, and on “Journey To The Past” by Aaliyah.