Archive for December 18, 2012


YouTube’s Top Ten Viral Videos of 2012

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It’s harder to stumble into viral video fame these days. But YouTube has just released a list of the top ten videos that managed to find massive viral viewership this year. Five years ago, when YouTube pieced together its first list of the year’s top ten videos, many were accidental home videos or amateurish films never designed for widespread consumption, said Kevin Allocca, a trends manager for the company. With nine of the ten videos that made this year’s YouTube list coming from professional producers, making a video that appears to be an accidental hit is becoming increasingly typical. The list was released Tuesday morning. “There are more and more people who know how to build an audience, how to use YouTube,” Allocca said. “There are companies who spend millions and millions of dollars trying to do create these videos.” The only video on this year’s list not professionally produced was “Facebook Parenting,” a brash video that shows a father shooting his daughter’s laptop after she used it to make disparaging and profane remarks about him. It created a wealth of controversy, with some parents appreciating the “hard love” parenting style, while others saying he went overboard. The list, topped by the ubiquitous “Gangnam Style,” was cobbled together primarily by views. But YouTube also considered how many times the video had been shared, parodied and commented on by users. Several other trends emerged from this year’s list, Allocca said. The most-popular videos are generally growing lengthier — this year’s longest, “Kony 2012″ spanned 31 minutes. It also attracted more than 30 million page views during a single day in March, giving it the all-time 24-hour record. Also, more of the videos are drawing worldwide appeal, Allocca said, citing “Gangnam Style.” Its catchy beat crossed oceans, even if many of the listeners had no clue what the lyrics meant. Given the 2012 election, politics certainly tinged this year’s list: videos of Obama and Romney were viewed more than two billion times, according to YouTube. The most popular video? “Epic Rap Battles: Obama vs. Romney,” which featured two hilarious rappers — albeit ones that didn’t look much like the candidates. “I’m not gonna let this battle be dictated by facts,” a Romney impersonator rhymes to open the video. “I’m rich. I’ve got fat stacks and super PACs.” Here are this year’s top 10 videos, along with brief descriptions. What were your favorites? What videos should have been included?

1) PSY – Gangnam Style: Do you know what this video is really about? Do you care? Just keep dancing.

2) Walk off the Earth: This was the year’s most popular cover song, with more than 140 million views.

3) KONY 2012: Even though this video lasted more than 30 minutes, it attracted more than 30 million viewers during a single day in March, giving it the all-time 24 hour record.

4) Call Me Maybe – Bieber, Gomez, Pena: Even economic writers were using the lyrics of this song to explain the complications of the euro zone crisis.

5) Epic Rap Battles – Obama vs. Romney: Why watch the candidates discuss substantive issues when you can watch impersonators blend half-truthful caricatures into hilarious rap battles?

6) Dramatic Surprise: More people watched this video of a mysterious sign in the middle of a Flemish square than the population. Keep calm and carry on, people.

7) Why You Asking All Them Questions: Why do girls ask so many questions? Why did more than 39 million people watch this video? Where did they get that delicious fried chicken?

8) Lindsey Stirling: C’mon. You knew dubstep  – mixed with a violin — would be on the list. Right? Welcome to 2012.

9) Facebook Parenting: This dad, whose daughter disparaged him on her Facebook FB -0.23% account, wasn’t happy. So he took her laptop into a field and peppered it with a barrage of bullets. Seems logical, right?

10) Stratos Highlights: Why was Felix Baumgartner jumping from 128,000 feet into our atmosphere? No clue, but eight million people tuned in to watch live.

by By Joshua Dawsey from blogs.wsj.com

Alicia KeysBrand New Me

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Emancipation narratives are all-pervasive in female pop. Often, though, a lot of hot air about “breaking free” or “finding oneself as a woman” doesn’t mean the singer, after years of smiley servitude, has emasculated her handlers with pinking shears, torched the recording studio and hit the road with all the cash in the kitty and her tutu aflame. It just tends to signal a new stylist.

Similarly, a lot of fuss about “rebirth” usually means a change of labels or the pitter-patter of tiny Louboutins. Listeners with long memories could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at the phoenix-like rising mooted by Alicia Keys‘s latest album, Girl on Fire, her fifth. Recently, Christina Aguilera‘s Lotus declared a comparable reinvention. Joss Stone keeps breaking free from things.

In the case of Keys, ludicrously successful purveyor of soulful lady music, the case on paper is persuasive, however: stylist, label, husband, baby and more. There is her new stark bob. There’s her marriage to hip-hop producer (and serial babyfather) Swizz Beatz, which has produced a son called Egypt, now two. His cuteness is manifest at the end of When It’s All Over, an intriguing modernist soul outing with jazz beats produced by the xx’s Jamie Smith.

Tectonic plates have shifted. The landmark record label, J, has beenreabsorbed into RCA. Keys has parted ways with her long-time manager. Her songwriting partner, Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, appears less involved in Keys’s fifth album; others (Jamie xx, John Legend, Swizz Beatz, Dr Dre, Frank Ocean, Salaam “Amy Winehouse” Remi) have filled the gap.

Co-written with her British mini-she, Emeli Sandé, Brand New Me is Girl on Fire‘s opening declaration of independence, one that intrigues and frustrates in equal measure. Lyrics such as: “Your words don’t burn me any more” lash out at her unnamed former oppressors. Seething is a new skill set for Keys, whose past songs have rarely gone anywhere near an artery.

Ultimately, though, it still cleaves too close to the polite piano soul with which Keys has filled 10 years. And she’s supposed to be on fire here, not just warming the piano stool. Flamin’ Alicia was a little more in evidence at the recent MTV VMAs when Keys performed the engagingly bombastic title track accompanied by rapper Nicki Minaj and Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas. All echoey drums and Caribbean sing-song,Girl on Fire is a little redolent of Rihanna, but not so that you would complain; throughout, Keys is working at the edge of her range, as she does on Empire State of Mind , easily Keys’s most shivery performance since her debut in 2001.

The sassy New Day, meanwhile, borrows from the Amazonian guerrilla tradition of Beyoncé. “AK!” Keys shouts, as though armed, “new day!” It’s riveting to hear Keys sounding considerably less middle aged for the first time ever.

But it doesn’t last. Someone quickly douses her tutu and prises the pinking shears from her grasp. Realistically, Keys probably knows where her 14 Grammys are buttered. And even if the producerly tweaks on soul fare such as Listen to Your Heart are commendable, she seems most relaxed on songs like Not Even the King. There, it’s back to just Keys and her keys.

Her second music video from her latest album “Girl On Fire.”

Review by: Kitty Empire from The Observer

Blink 182 – Dogs Eating Dogs EP. Reviews: _M_Blink182DogsEatingDogsArtworkblink-182 hit just as hard as ever even as they kick off their brand new Dogs Eating Dogs EP [iTunes link] with the resounding acoustic guitar of “Boxing Day“.

It’s a hauntingly beautiful goodbye song, weaving together some of the band’s most cinematic lyrics ever and a faint hum. Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus sound utterly pristine, harmonizing together. Hoppus’s bass swell revs up “Disaster” as an imitableTravis Barker beat bounces through swells of spacey guitar effects. Quickly, the track snaps into a punk-y stomp that’s as tight as it is transcendent, while DeLonge announces, “I’m scared of the dark my friends”.

Everything brightens again on the slick rock riffing and percussive roll of “Dogs Eating Dogs”. It’s classic blink-182, but it’s also next level. Dogs Eating Dogs elevates everything fans loved aboutNeighborhoods to a whole new plateau and, as a result, showcases some of the band’s best songwriting ever.

Then there’s “Pretty Little Girl” which shifts from some ethereal effects into a scorching cameo from YelaWolf. Hearing him rip through a verse mid-song proves to be a welcome surprise. The collection culminates on “When I Was Young“. It’s thought-provoking lyrics float just above the propulsive rocking making for another ponderous gem.

Dogs Eating Dogs stands out as the band’s first independent release in 20 years, but most importantly it feels like the start of the next and best chapter of their career yet.

by: Rick Florino for artistdirect.com image from z93kqz.fm

Dexter‘ and ‘Homeland‘ Hit Highs With Season Finales

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The Season 7 finale of “Dexter” and Season 2 finale hit records on Sunday night, with “Dexter” hitting a record for a Showtime original series and “Homeland” reaching a series high.

The 9 p.m. finale of “Dexter” drew 2.75 million total viewers, making it the highest-rated program in the show’s history, and drew in 3.43 million total viewers overall for the night — the network’s best-ever total-night delivery for a Showtime original series.

Sunday’s “Dexter” finale was up 14 percent from the season’s premiere, and 23 percent over last season’s finale.

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“Homeland,” meanwhile, drew 2.3 million total viewers with its initial 10 p.m. airing, a 32 percent increase over the season premiere, and 2.7 million overall for the night, up 31 percent from last week’s total and a series high in for total-night delivery. (In first-airing comparisons, Sunday’s “Homeland” fell-just short of last week’s initial broadcast, which brought in a record 2.36 million total viewers for the series.) Both shows had reached series highs with last week’s episodes.

article by tim kenneally for the wrap.com images by theartsyfilmblog.com and collider.com

Madonna had the top-grossing tour of 2012

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Call it the Super Bowl bump?

Billboard has announced the list of the 2012′s top-grossing tours, and it looks like Madonna is at the top. Her Madgesty sold out all 72 of the shows she played this year, grossing a grand total of $228,406,085 over the year. Interestingly, her new album  MDNA only landed at No. 44 on the year-end Billboard 200 chart, moving 521,000 units in the U.S. as of December.

After Madonna on the top-grossing tours list is Bruce Springsteen, whose raked in just shy $200 million this year with his Wrecking Ball tour. (He did, however, beat Madonna in overall attendance by about 500,000 people. Like Madonna, he also played 72 shows.) Roger Waters came in third with roughly $186 million (and nearly 50,000 more in attendance than Madge). Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil came in fourth place with about $147 million for the year, which just edged No. 5 Coldplay by roughly $100,000.

The rest of the list included the likes of Lady Gaga (No. 6), Jay-Z & Kanye West (No. 9), and Justin Bieber (No. 20), who somehow got beat out by fellow Canadians Nickelback (No. 17). Head over to Billboard to see where all 25 of the artists fall on the list.

by ray rahman for EW. image by madonnarama.com

Martin Scorsese To Make Documentary About Bill Clinton For HBO

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Scorsese will give former President Bill Clinton a documentary treatment at HBO. The pay cable network has teamed with the Oscar-winning director for a documentary spotlighting the 42nd President of the United States. Made with Clinton’s full cooperation, the film will explore his perspectives on history, politics, culture and the world, with Scorsese producing and directing, and Steve Bing producing. “A towering figure who remains a major voice in world issues, President Clinton continues to shape the political dialogue both here and around the world,” Scorsese said. “Through intimate conversations, I hope to provide greater insight into this transcendent figure.”

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Added Clinton, “I am pleased that legendary director Martin Scorsese and HBO have agreed to do this film. I look forward to sharing my perspective on my years as President, and my work in the years since, with HBO’s audience.”

Scorsese is a long-time Democrat with ties to the Clintons. He supported Hillary Clinton’s 2000 and 2006 Senate campaigns.

William Jefferson Clinton, the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice, served as President of the United States from 1993 to 2001, leading the U.S. to one of the longest economic expansions in American history. After leaving the White House, he established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote healthier childhoods and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and private citizens to turn good intentions into measurable results. To date, more than 2,100 Clinton Global Initiative commitments have improved the lives of 400 million people in 180 nations.

The Clinton documentary marks Martin Scorsese’s fourth collaboration with HBO, following the documentaries Public Speaking (2010) and the Emmy-winning George Harrison: Living In The Material World (2011), and the period drama series Boardwalk Empire, on which he serves as an executive producer and won an Emmy for directing the pilot.

By Nelly Andreeva for Deadline.com

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