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Last updateWed, 21 Apr 2021 3pm

Entertainment

Taylor Swift to Re-Record Classic Albums

Taylor Swift2020 has been a big year for Taylor Swift, having released her eighth studio album folklore in July, directing and producing the documentary concert film Folklore: Long Pong Studio Sessions on Disney+ for November, and even posing casually with Paul McCartney on the cover of Rolling Stone’s December issue. Now, she is hitting the studio to re-record her first six albums.

Swift left her old record label, Big Machine Records, in 2019. Legal issues occurred when record executive Scooter Braun purchased the label that year, thus also purchasing Swift’s master rights and prohibiting the use of her old music, as Billboard reported.

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Bleachers Channel Springsteen in “Chinatown”

default article imageJack Antonoff, with his newest single “Chinatown,” has achieved the New Jerseyan dream: he made a song with Bruce Springsteen. Antonoff, known for being a member of fun. and being a producer for other high-profile acts like Taylor Swift, Lorde, St. Vincent, Lana Del Rey, and Kevin Abstract, has a history for creating songs for others.

But with his solo project Bleachers, he shifts gears. His focus on pop-anthems is still a priority, but with his songs as Bleachers, he puts a unique twist to it. Still in line with what Antonoff knows, Bleachers is bolder and more experimental. Everything that he usually does is still intact, but he adds grittier sounds that twist the songs he makes from folksy pop tracks to more experimental songs that can do more.

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2021 Grammy Nominees and Predictions: A Good Year for Women in Music

2021 GrammyThe nominations for the 63rd Grammy Awards have been announced, and—oh boy—there are a lot of them.

The host of the ceremony—comedian Trevor Noah—and the nominees were announced in a virtual presentation early in the afternoon on November 24 by a swathe of stars from within and without the music industry: Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, Gayle King, Sharon Osbourne, etc.

Beyoncé got nine nominations, including two for Record of the Year for her own “Black Parade” and her feature on Megan Thee Stallion’s TikTok hit “Savage.” Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift, and Roddy Ricch also garnered a not-disappointing six nominations each. Perennial favorites like Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, and Justin Bieber could also perform respectably at the awards, which take place Jan. 31, 2021.

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All Time Low Goes All Time Virtual

All Time LowI can now officially say that I’ve been to my first virtual concert of 2020. On Friday, Nov. 13, alternative rock band All Time Low streamed the second installment to their “Basement Noise” concert series on their website.

To promote the release of their latest album Wake Up, Sunshine in April, the band decided to stream five virtual shows, one every two weeks from October to December. The first show included a setlist comprised of all the songs on the album, while the next four setlists are curated by each of the band members; lead singer Alex Gaskarth, guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist Zack Merrick, and drummer Rian Dawson.

Each concert is priced at $15, but when the Student Activities Board (SAB) offered a limited number of free tickets, I jumped at the opportunity.

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Remembering a TV ICON: Who is Alex Trebek?

Alex TrebekOn Nov. 8, the TV industry and dedicated Jeopardy! fans incurred a serious loss with the death of Alex Trebek, the program’s omniscient and charming host. Trebek, who hosted the game show from 1984 until his death, succumbed to pancreatic cancer at 80 years old last Sunday.

I first read about Trebek’s passing about eight minutes after the Jeopardy! official Instagram page posted announcing it: “Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex.”

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Weakest Link Is Stronger Than You’d Think

Weakest LinkAs the proliferation of reboots, remakes, revivals, and spinoffs increases with time, it becomes easier and easier to make the case that there’s no longer any sincerity or authenticity on television.

Ever since The Virus™ became the center of our lives, dominating our media cycle, TV watchers have been more hard-pressed than ever for quality entertainment with personality.

One of my favorite formats of TV entertainment—and one I think is often criminally overlooked—is the game show. Game shows, at their core, are fully representative of the reason we watch television in the first place: to be entertained.

Is there a more pure, distilled way to experience entertainment than to watch people playing a game? I’d argue there isn’t. But there’s still an art to making a game show that I think one recent reboot in particular has really nailed.

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A New Generation of Gaming: What to Expect from the PlayStation 5

Playstation 5The PlayStation 5 (PS5), the next generation game console by Sony, launches on Thursday, Nov. 12, almost exactly seven years after the PS4. At the retail price of $499.99 (or $399.99 for the digital edition), it comes just in time for the holiday season, and will provide an abundance of new gaming opportunities when we’re stuck inside during the next few months of the pandemic.

There’s a bunch of new features to look forward to with the PS5. First off, the new DualSense controller will provide a “highly immersive gaming experience,” according to the PlayStation website, with features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Haptic feedback allows for you to feel vibrations related to what you are doing in your game. Meanwhile, adaptive triggers allow for different levels of resistance when pressing down on the L2 and R2 buttons.

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Book Review: Bending the Universe

Book ReviewYou know a good book when it takes you a moment to realize your fingertips are laced around the edges of the page, your mind is gripping on to every word that dances on your lips, and the meaning of those words resonate with your life, whether it is your past, present, or future. 

Beautiful and brutally honest poetry has that effect on readers, and Bending the Universe by Alaskan artist Justin Wetch captured that ideology tremendously. Wetch is an idealist disguised as a pessimist through his writing. He published this book at 19, while he was a freshman at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

This international bestseller is a collection of 100 original pieces, broken up into five different sections; Society, Love, Life, Personal, and Nature. The handful of these uncover the true, raw morality of multiple aspects of life. The common thread running through his writing is thoroughness and perspective. Bending the Universe explores a range of topics, ranging from diversity to body image; from politics to love and heartbreak. 

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The Trial of the Chicago 7: Sorkin's Latest Legal Stunner

ChicagoI spent a lot of my free time this year watching the United States struggle greatly with a push for social justice. As far as civil rights go, our country’s division has reached a level we haven’t seen since the 1960s.

In August 1968, many left-wing activist groups gathered in Chicago to protest the ever-increasingly unpopular Vietnam War, planning to disrupt the Democratic National Convention, which was set to nominate the also unpopular Hubert Humphrey to take on Richard Nixon. For days, members of the Youth International Party (yippies), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (Mobe), and other groups opposing the Vietnam War gathered en masse to peacefully protest. On Aug. 28, a police-incited riot broke out, and, after over 600 protestors and unaffiliated civilians were beaten and gassed by heavily armed members of the Chicago Police Department and Illinois National Guard, eight leaders from these anti-war groups were arrested and tried for inciting a riot.

Released on Netflix in September, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of The Chicago 7 begins with an upbeat and almost funky montage that progresses from clips of draft letters in mailboxes to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to an introduction of the movie’s cast; and a large cast it is. The Chicago Seven themselves are: Tom Hayden and Rennie Davis, members of the SDS; Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, leaders of the yippies; David Dellinger, leader of the Mobe; and John Froines and Lee Weiner, who were called “givebacks” in the film—meaning they were tried so the jury could “give them back” after convicting the others.

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The Sims 4 Hits the Slopes

Sims 4 SlopesIt’s that time again for another Sims 4 expansion pack. The franchise just announced “The Sims 4: Snowy Escape,” which is expected for a Nov. 13 release date.

As the 9th expansion pack, it features snow-based activities for your sims to enjoy like snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and rock climbing. The Japanese-inspired snowy mountain town, called Mt. Komorebi, incorporates many elements of Japanese culture like new food items (sushi and shabu-shabu, a hotpot dish), kimonos, tatami mats, and even the vending machines seen all over Japan.

The expansion pack also introduces hot springs and bath houses, more important aspects of Japanese culture. It’s the perfect getaway for both you and your sims at a time when traveling in real life is at a halt due to COVID-19.

However, the most notable element missing from this pack are hotels and resorts for your sims to either stay in or manage while at Mt. Komorebi, a feature fans loved in The Sims 3: Island Paradise. If the game developers wanted to add this feature in The Sims 4, this pack would have been the perfect opportunity to do so.

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Adele Says “Hello” to SNL

Adele SNL “Hello” from 2015. After five years since Adele’s last album, 25, she has recently announced the release of a new album (finally). She hosted Saturday Night Live on Oct. 24, speaking about her weight loss and hinting at her new music.

NME quotes Adele’s monologue, saying, “[It was] the show that broke my career here in America, 12 very long years ago. See, I was the musical guest back in 2008 when Sarah Palin came on with Miss Tina Fey and so obviously a few million people tuned in to watch it and now the rest is history.”

Here, she indicated how much SNL helped her career. So, it was only right to return to the late-night show when she felt ready to be back in the spotlight.

There is no set release day or title yet for the album (basically we don’t know much), but we do know something is in progress and we could not be more excited. NME also reports the album is being worked on by Raphael Saadiq, a producer, as well as John Legend.

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