Taylor Swift’s new album gets favorable reviews

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 6:27 AM

Taylor Swift released her sixth album,
Taylor Swift released her sixth album, "Reputation," just before midnight Friday.(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for NARAS)

Taylor Swift’s sixth album arrived as expected on download services just before midnight Friday, and it’s already getting a good reputation. 

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What might have been unexpected was how “Reputation” -- Swift’s 15-song album that was released after four pre-releases and a three-year album hiatus by the singer -- was received by critics, Billboard reported.

The album had more than 400,000 pre-orders, The Associated Press reported on Nov. 3. Swift’s label, Big Machine Records, was predicting sales of more than 2 million in the album’s first week.

The reviews have been positive so far. The Los Angeles Times called “Reputation” Swift’s “most focused, most cohesive album yet.” Rolling Stone said it was an album “full of one-on-one adult love songs.”

It is “her most intimate album,” Rolling Stone continued. “A cycle about how it feels when you stop chasing romance and start letting your life happen.

“That’s a daring swerve from a songwriter who’s scored so many brilliant hits about pursuing the next romantic high,” Rolling Stone wrote.

Before the album’s official release, Swift previewed four songs from “Reputation”: “Look What You Made Me Do,” “... Ready For It?” “Gorgeous,” and “Call It What You Want.”

>> Taylor Swift previews fourth song from album

“Don’t let the album title fool you,” USA Today reported. “Taylor Swift doesn’t give a damn about her bad reputation.”

The New York Times called “Reputation” a “public renegotiation, engaging pop music on its terms, not hers.” It is “fundamentally unlike any of her other albums in that it takes into account -- prioritizes, actually -- the tempo and tone of her competition.”

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The Roots' SXSW show canceled after bomb threat; man arrested

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 3:20 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 3:20 AM

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21: Questlove of the Roots perform during halftime of the NFC Championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21: Questlove of the Roots perform during halftime of the NFC Championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Update, 2:14 a.m. CDT Sunday: Austin police have arrested a man in connection with a bomb threat that led to the cancellation of The Roots’ show Saturday at South by Southwest. 

The city of Austin tweeted the following statement early Sunday:

Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, was arrested on charges of making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony, the release said.

Police also tweeted Ingram’s booking photo:

ORIGINAL STORY: A South by Southwest performance by The Roots at Fair Market in Austin, Texas, was canceled Saturday night due to a “security concern,” event organizers said.

>> Visit Statesman.com for the latest on this developing story

A police spokesman said around 9:30 p.m. that more information would be released via Twitter, but nothing had been posted by 11:30 p.m. CDT.

However, the Austin Chronicle reported that it had two staffers at the event. One staffer heard event workers discussing the concern as a bomb threat, according to a report the weekly posted online, and "a second Chronicle staffer spoke with someone working at Fair Market tonight, who confirmed that Austin police were canvassing the property to determine whether there is any validity to the threat."

The cancellation of the show on the final night of the South By Southwest Festival comes at a time of heightened concern in the city following three deadly package bombs – two on Monday – that have exploded in East Austin this month, killing two people and seriously injuring a third.

>> Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say

Representatives for the event issued the following statement Saturday night after the cancellation

“Due to a security concern, we have made the difficult decision to cancel tonight’s Bud Light x The Roots SXSW Jam. After working proactively with SXSW, the Austin Police Department, and other authorities, Bud Light believes this is the best course of action to ensure the safety of our guests, staff, and artists, and appreciate your understanding. We are truly sorry to have to cancel the event, but we felt it was necessary to take all safety precautions.”

>> Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

In an Instagram post, Fair Market representatives said Anheuser-Busch made the call to cancel the event.

In a tweet that was later deleted Saturday night, frontman Questlove wrote, “Uh, welp can’t say much but for those in Austin waiting in line to see us tonight. Tonight’s show has been cancelled. They’ll make official announcement but I’d rather save y’all the trouble of waiting in line.”

>> On Austin360.com: Complete coverage of SXSW

In response to fans who were upset after waiting in line for hours, Questlove also tweeted:

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Cirque du Soleil performer dies after fall during Tampa show

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 1:22 PM

Acrobats rehearse before a recent Cirque Du Soleil show.
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
Acrobats rehearse before a recent Cirque Du Soleil show.(Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

A Cirque du Soleil acrobat who fell during a Saturday performance in Tampa, Florida, died from his injuries, a hospital spokeswoman told WTSP on Sunday.

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According to a video viewed by WTSP and The Tampa Bay Times, the aerial acrobat lost his grip on a ribbon strap during the company’s “Volta” show and fell 10 feet to the stage below.

A spokesman for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group identified the performer as Yann Arnaud, a longtime aerialist, WFLA reported.

The show was stopped, and Arnaud was taken to Tampa General Hospital. He died from his injuries, spokeswoman Ellen Fiss told WTSP. 

The two performances scheduled for Sunday were canceled, the company in charge of publicizing the show said in a statement.

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him," company CEO Daniel Lamarre said. "Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann’s family and our employees, especially the ‘Volta’ team, as we go through these difficult times together."

Arnuad’s death is the second performer fatality in Cirque du Soleil's history, WTSP reported. According to the BBC, Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, died during a 2013 show in Las Vegas when she fell 94 feet to the floor when a safety wire detached.

Olivier Rochette, a 43-year-old technician, died in 2016 while setting up for a performance.

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Donald Glover meets Girl Scout who sang ‘Redbone,’ buys 113 boxes of cookies

Published: Thursday, March 01, 2018 @ 1:02 PM

Donald Glover Meet Girl Scout Who Sang His Song to Sell Cookies

Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, met a special Girl Scout who used his song, “Redbone,” to sell cookies in a viral video on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Wednesday night.

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Charity Joy went viral last week when the Duluth, Georgia, girl and her father, Seymore Harrison Jr. creatively remixed Glover’s song to sell Girl Scout cookies. 

Late-night host Stephen Colbert was so impressed with the video -- which has more than 4.5 million views -- that he invited Charity Joy, 6, and her father onto the show, where they got to meet Glover.

Girls Scout Cookie Sales Get a Bump Thanks to Singing Six-Year-Old

“I never was like, ‘I’ll make this, and then one day a little girl will sell Girl Scout cookies to it,’ Glover said. “It’s pretty great. A lot of people sent (the video) to me. I was really touched.”Before they got to meet, Colbert asked Glover for his thoughts on the video.

Related: Georgia dad, daughter sing their way to more Girl Scout cookie sales

Charity Joy had to sell 113 more boxes of cookies to meet her goal, and Glover bought them all.

Colbert then brought out a basket full of Thin Mints -- Charity Joy’s favorite -- and helped the Girl Scout, her father and Glover hand out boxes to the audience.

Watch Charity Joy’s appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” at the 7:25 mark at the video below.

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WATCH: Bill Hader's Stefon returns to 'SNL,' and fans just can't get enough

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 5:37 AM

caption: NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 31: Creator/executive producer/writer/actor Bill Hader arrives at the FYC event for IFC's 'Brockmire' and Documentary Now!' at the Saban Media Center on May 31, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
caption: NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 31: Creator/executive producer/writer/actor Bill Hader arrives at the FYC event for IFC's 'Brockmire' and Documentary Now!' at the Saban Media Center on May 31, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

He's baaack!

"Saturday Night Live" alum Bill Hader returned to the comedy show as host this week – and, much to fans' delight, revived his beloved character, New York City correspondent Stefon.

>> Click here to watch the full sketch (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised)

Hader brought his character-breaking comedy to "Weekend Update," recommending some unusual St. Patrick's Day hot spots.

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"New York's hottest club is Gooosh," Hader's Stefon said. "Inspired by true events, this former CVS, which became a Chase Bank then became a CVS again, has a troubling yet familiar feel, like when Larry King would play himself in a movie."

>> See the clip here

Another suggestion? "If you're Irish, or just white and violent, I have the St. Paddy's place for you. New York's hottest Irish club is 'Off to Church, Mother,'" he said, adding, "This place has everything: Peeps, TED Talks, Roman J. Israel, Esq., and be sure to hit the dance floor and do a jig with Ireland' s hottest Farrah-cauns — leprechauns that look like Farrah Fawcett."

>> Watch the clip here

John Mulaney, Stefon's co-creator, also joined Hader as Stefon's lawyer, Shy.

During the segment, fans flocked to Twitter to sing Stefon's praises. Scroll down to see what they were saying.


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