Yeah, clever is…..definitely a word

Traditionally, America uses the musical guest performances on Saturday Night Live as an opportunity to take a bathroom break. Occasionally, an artist is so unexpectedly engaging they cause the nation to cross it’s collective legs. This happened in 2008 when Adele appeared on the feverishly anticipated Sarah Palin episode and saw her 19 album rocket from the low hundreds to the top 20. Sometimes, a musician performs so horrifically that their career expires on the spot. That was the sad fate of Ashlee Simpson who dissolved into a puddle of embarrassment when her pre-recorded voice track malfunctioned back in 2004. And then there are the times when the show goes all out to make a star. At this early stage in his I’m-a-big-boy-now solo career, no one knows for certain whether Harry Styles has Justin Timberlake-style mass appeal in his destiny. But SNL absolutely treated him like it’s a foregone conclusion.

In the same way the show always rolls out the red carpet for frequent host and musical guest Timberlake, Harry Styles was all over this episode. He popped up in the opening moments of host Jimmy Fallon’s painstakingly choreographed singalong to David Bowie’s Let’s Dance. He displayed decent comedy chops impersonating Mick Jagger in a Family Feud skit – where  he made a meta-reference to the madness of walking away from a successful band One Direction to go solo – and threw himself into the role of a singing Civil War soldier in a subsequent sketch.

Halfway into the show, he stopped being funny and dealt directly with the lingering question of whether he could stand on a stage without conjuring up sad memories of his missing bandmates. A matter of seconds into his performance of Sign of the Times, all doubts were erased. He looked dapper in a bold plaid double-breasted suit. He oozed charisma and whether you think the song is an instant classic or a decent tune that’s been dragged kicking and screaming into passing for an anthem, he and his back-up musicians tore into it like it was his Greatest Hit. Actual Americans reacted to the performance with enthusiasm. “Finally, a British rock star,” gushed Lori Majewski, host of Sirius XM’s daily music talk show, Feedback. “He blew me away. His hair. His suit. The song. He’s the anti-Ed Sheeran.” Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, co-executive producer of Family Guy and a ride-or-die One Direction superfan had previously pronounced herself `meh’ on the song. Last night changed that meh to a wow. “He sounded amazing. He opened with the same kind of power he used to close Drag Me Down with and then built from here. He left it all out on the field and he still has another one to go!”

The second song, Tell Me Something proudly displayed its Seventies folk-rock roots, and saw Styles strumming a 12-string guitar and displaying a gift for harmonizing with his bandmates that wasn’t always evident in the 1D era. “It’s pretty and calm, but also a smidgen not calm,” noted Chevapravatdumrong. “I want to listen to it while walking through a field that is mostly grass but also some flowers.”

Lori Majewski has no doubts that Harry Styles, solo artist, is standing on the precipice of massive stardom. “He brought out the cougar in me and he’s going to do the same to every woman in America.” Maybe she’s right. Or maybe Styles’ appeal will remain limited to grown-up One Direction fans.  The only conclusion that can safely be drawn at this juncture is that Harry Styles SNL performance put him much closer to the Adele category than the Ashlee Simpson one.

“Sometimes a whole song appears by magic, like it has poured out of the sky. And sometimes it’s a scrapbook of things that I’ve collected… a dream, a text message, a memory, and somehow when I put them all together it makes sense. I overthink everything else in my life, to the point of near exhaustion, so I try not to with songs. It’s an impulsive and instinctive process.” - Florence Welch from a new interview with The Telegraph where she discusses alcohol, new music and her search for serenity (x)

anonymous asked:

Did you read the Ice Jewel interview where Yuzuru talked *bitched* about axels? Like, quad is all cool and stuff, but axel is still the sh*t. He is our lord and savior for axels XD We all know now whatever program and however many quad he has, two 3A should always be there :D

I did read the interview and if someone of you haven’t, I REALLY recommend you to go and read it because it is awesome: here and thanks to gladiolusc for the translation.

Yuzu’s intelligence and character and love for the sport shines in the whole article. His analysis and his approach are as always mindblowing. I’ve read tons of interviews in many years following figure skating, but to find something as deep and throughout as he is, it’s really not easy.

A very needed breath of fresh air after all the idiocy FS world (hi, Rafael & Co) managed to spit out lately.

Some quotes (even if you really should read the full interview, only quoting it all would make it justice).

YH When I had Jeff choreograph for me [”Let’s Go Crazy” SP], what I was most concerned about was the fact that I was doing all edge jumps in the SP. If we build the entire program upon the tracks of edge jumps, it’ll all come across as the same, identical curves no matter what. To counter that, I added the salchow entered horizontally and the axel from a counter. I think these accents add flavor to the program.

YH This program is condensed and packed with a lot of elements. If I can’t do the 4S3T with good timing, I am out of sync with the notes. If I can’t do the 4L, I won’t be able to fit with the music.

YH I was able to feel this way because of my exhibition number. Skating to Notte Stellata made me rethink the importance of skating and the extent of jumps’ effect on performance.

— Specifically, what has changed?

YH I think I really came to grasp the music—the intervals between each beat. Instead of simply pushing at the ice each time, there’s also how the free leg retreats after each push, the flow and progression of the skating leg… I became very conscious of these different aspects.

There is a strong emphasis on skating in the exhibition program, so I received a lot of training in that regard. If this had been during the off season, I might have been able to perfect it sooner and more quickly. Regardless, I practiced well each time, from which I gained confidence.

— The reason for that choreography?

YH Not getting positive GOE on the sit spin is a humiliation to me. As is written in the rule book, movements that clearly match the music is a plus. The higher the quality, the better the evaluation. Because the spin is really fast, I had to work bit by bit to fit all the moves to the music. In my mind, that’s when Prince is yelling, so I didn’t accent the beat. It felt weird initially, but once the moves all came together, it fit surprisingly well.

— It was quite refreshing.

YH It’s just that the hands always end up blending in with the legs, (to the judges and to the audience) so the moves may be hard to differentiate.

— How does it feel to hear this music [for his FP] in big spaces, such as arenas?

YH In “Asian Dream Song” by Mr Joe Hisaishi, the music doesn’t carry the melody, rather, the singing does. If you go and listen, you’ll realize the music is an accompaniment and not an assertive piece on its own. I told Brian and Shae-lynn about my thoughts, but I’m not the main character in this program. For example, I was clearly the main character in “SEIMEI” and therefore I stood out a lot. The program was made with a clear image of the music. But my intent with this program—because Mr Hisaishi’s music envelops the entire arena rather than overly emphasizes itself—in my mind, I only exist as a part of that space and I want to perform the program as such. The wind over the rink, the coolness in the air, the moisture, the splashing crystals of ice… to bring all these things into one with myself and the music. If I can put together such a performance in the end, I think that would be the best.

— Younger skaters are jumping quad after quad these days. Now that the quad loop has been secured, have you ever considered adding another quad?

YH Of course it’s important to jump quads, but isn’t the quality of quads just as important? That’s what I most strongly feel.

But, if you really think about it, the jump you absolutely have to put in is the axel.

— That has always been the case.

YH Even under the old system, your score won’t go up if you don’t do the axel. As for why, it’s because the axel is forwardly launched and its posture doesn’t announce “I’m about to jump!”, unlike all the other types.

— That’s the reason why you do two axels in the second half of the program?

YH You end up leaving a deep impression! That’s the case in “Notte Stellata” as well. I’ve always said things to the effect of “jumps are transitions,“ and I think the axel demonstrates this very well. Precisely because it’s forwardly launched, the axel conveys a special “sense of turn.” Toe jumps tend to put a stopper on the flow each and every single time, although I’ve always made it not look that way. Since the axel is forwardly launched, the sense of speed is similar to that of steps and turns.

— The charm of the axel persists through the ages.

YH The axel just gives off a special vibe. Returning to the previous topic, no matter the number of quads, no matter the number of types of quads, in the end, my biggest weapon remains in how consistently and beautifully I can manage to do my axels. I believe that is something I’d like to hold onto firmly, even towards my biggest goals. For example, even if I were to do the 4A, two 3A’s would still be an absolute must.

(Once again, go and read this interview fully here:

What to expect at the Oscars 2017

8. Lin-Manuel Miranda

Generally, hosting the Academy Awards is a hiding to nothing. Better to be magnificent in minutes then talked up as the genius MC that might have been. If Kimmel disappoints, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s name will inevitably come up. The actor-composer will be on stage with Auli’i Cravalho, performing his Moana ballad How Far I’ll Go, up for Best Original Song: if it wins, the Oscar will sit nicely alongside his Emmy, two Grammys, three Tonys and Pulitzer.

But even if it doesn’t, Miranda’s Broadway charm is flavour of the month in Hollywood: he’s currently filming Mary Poppins Returns in the role of lamplighter Jack and is songwriting with Alan Menken for the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Earlier this week he brushed off The Hollywood Reporter’s suggestion he might host in future. But either way, you sense this won’t be a one off.


Poldark returns: Aidan Turner on nudity, being single and why he's a technophobe

As the famously ripped and glowering Cornish copper miner, Aidan Turner has put the sex back  into Sunday nights. Over a large vodka, he talks about getting  naked, those pecs and playing Poldark
Just before I am due to interview Aidan Turner, his PR sends me an email to let me know that he has grown a beard – presumably in case I fail to recognise the actor fully clothed or not wearing a tricorn hat.
Poor old Turner is so defined by that scything scene that he likes to grow his beard when not committed to playing Ross Poldark – which doesn’t happen very often, given the BBC has just commissioned a fourth series and Turner says they are all tied in for five.
‘I’m not a big fan of shaving,’ he explains to me when I finally find him – fully clothed in a bomber jacket, T-shirt and jeans, minus tricorn, hiding in the corner of a dimly lit hotel bar in Mayfair. ‘It sucks. What’s the point? What is the point?’ I mention something about it being uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of a man with a beard.

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