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More Nightclubs Banning Photos Now (Thanks, Instagram)

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It’s been almost a year since we posted on a new trend in upscale restaurants “cracking down” on Instagrammers, and now nightclubs seem to want in on the photo-free act as well.

It’s easy to see why certain famous fans of dancing and drinking wouldn’t want random people to capture unflattering images of them covered in their own sweat and tequila, but last week The New York Times told us that this movement is really all about “silencing the P.R. machinery that hums through New York’s top clubs.”

Huh. You don’t say.

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Finally, Something PETA Will Ignore. Maybe. Well, Who Knows?

MorrisseyIf Abraham Maslow had created a hierarchy of people respecting animals from pet owners to bat-ess-crazy people who treat animals with more respect than other people, then PETA would be granted its own step in there somewhere along with some of its heinous advertising.

Every group dangling on the fringe is going to have its radicals. You know the ones: Dumping a bucket of paint on a fur coat and running like Usain Bolt to escape the ass whoopin’ that’s sure to come. From churches to Capitol Hill, Hollywood to Broadway, the cereal crowd is everywhere (e.g., fruits, nuts and flakes).

However, PETA has a reputation for hosting family reunions with those kookaberries. No rational debate. No intelligent conversation. Just vitriol to the point of cussing out someone’s mama and kicking her walker out from under her after leaving a bruise on her varicose-veined shin.

And the Special K of them all would be Morrissey and his crazy behind. Wait until you hear this…

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James Blunt’s Twitter Comebacks Are Beautiful, It’s True

What, you haven’t seen The Poke‘s “30 Reasons Why James Blunt Won at Twitter in 2013” post yet?

Oh, you have. Well forgive us, but it’s Friday and we’re a little slow.

See, we had already kind of relegated this guy to the “Music our parents liked in 2006 that we hope to never hear again” category along with Nora Jones, but it seems he’s pretty good at making his trolls look like, well…

This revelation probably shouldn’t have surprised us as much as it did. Yes, he’s a silly pop star whose tunes never appealed to us in the slightest. But he’s also British.

Beyonce is Full of Surprises: Buys Shoppers Gifts at Walmart To Support Big-Selling Album

They don’t call her Queen B for nothing. And she is a benevolent monarch.

Beyonce showed up at a Massachusetts Walmart this past Friday. And after tossing a doll in her shopping cart for Blue Ivy, she announced that she would pay for the first $50 of everyone’s purchase in the store, a total of $37,500.

Well, actually, if you watch the clip, it kind of unfolds a bit like a political campaign video doesn’t it. Complete with her hugging a baby.

As she says in her prepared notes, Beyonce is in Walmart because her new album just arrived. So after generating massive buzz by surprising the world with the album, releasing it with no notice on iTunes at midnight on December 13, she stars in a viral video where she’s just giving away stuff to cheering fans. And if you stick around through the end, you get shots of her name repeated over and over again across the front of her CDs.

Like I said, they don’t call her Queen B for nothing.
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BREAKING: Rapper/Sneaker Partnerships Are Just ‘Publicity Stunts’

shutterstock_165567980Don’t tell Kanye or his circa-2005 shirt/coat/glasses combo, but TIME is onto his little sneaker game. In a post yesterday, the magazine recognized that the longstanding trend of rappers partnering with shoe brands is nothing but an old-school publicity stunt.

Once you recover from your shock, consider that:

“…celebrity sneakers are almost always created in limited runs…”

Which, in turn:

“…makes these shoes seem desperately sought after and generates free press…”

This despite the fact that the brands don’t actually make any real money on them. It’s all about creating a sense of exclusivity by exploiting the dangerously co-dependent relationships between men and their shoe closets, right? Yes, but Mr. Kardashian isn’t having any of it: he opted out of his Nike contract after going on a typical tirade about wanting his shoes to be the biggest shoes in the history of big shoes. For the record, though, he’s still cool with Drake. Whew.

To clarify: these partnerships are incredibly successful publicity stunts except when applied to the guy on the right, whose primary goal in life seems to be avoiding anything that even vaguely resembles good press.

Good to know!

Bob Dylan’s Interactive ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ Video Promo Is Awesomely Surreal

Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone Interactive Video - YouTube-1Bob Dylan‘s iconic music has been woven into the tapestry of American culture for decades, and has spoken to multiple generations with equal resonance.

Now, in order to promote the first volume of the Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection, released just in time for the holidays (of course) by Sony Music Entertainment, comes a music video unlike any we’ve ever seen.

The interactive video, set to Dylan’s classic “Like a Rolling Stone,” seems to symbolize the permeation of the artist’s songs throughout our daily lives by allowing viewers to flip through sixteen different “channels,” each playing authentic-looking footage of everything from a home shopping network to a tennis match, with each actor on screen perfectly lip syncing the lyrics to the song in what otherwise seems like a legitimate TV broadcast. At the end, the viewer comes to actual footage of Dylan performing his song, which ties the whole surreal experience into a grounded moment of realism — hearing the song in its original context after so many out-of-context scenarios makes the simplicity of one man alone on a stage, singing a song he wrote, all the more powerful.

“The effect can only be surrealistic if the channels are realistic,” Vania Heymann, the video’s director, told Rolling Stone.

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Miley Cyrus Can Haz Laser Cats Crying Diamonds

No, we didn’t watch the “everybody phone it in“ American Music Awards last night. Who do you think we are?

Luckily, we are aware that the show was shockingly scandal-free and we do have some super obvious takeaways!

Lady Gaga and R. Kelly: interesting, but this was a “tribute” to JFK like Gawker‘s “15 Women JFK F*cked” was a tribute. Predictably, appropriately tasteless.

Taylor Swift: still not country. Who votes on these things—and did they hear the same songs we did?

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Improvised Songs ‘Sex Dolphin’ and ‘Italian Hero Sandwich of Love’ Prove R. Kelly is a Powerhouse Brand

R. Kelly improvised sex songs about dolphins and sandwiches. Now DJ ANGO has set them to music.You know you’ve been a staple of the R&B scene long enough to call yourself a bonafide brand when you can improvise slow jams about inanimate objects and aquatic mammals, and people not only want to hear them, but buy them (and maybe even use them as a potentially successful method of seduction).

Earlier this week, Rolling Stone decided to test R. Kelly‘s improv skills by asking him to instantly turn a few random phrases like “Sex Dolphin” and “Italian Hero Sandwich of Love” into seductive hits. The results were spectacularly amusing (and undeniably smooth).

“I know how to put it into a melody and make it comical, but sexual at the same time,” the singer-songwriter told Rolling Stone. “With my gift, I can pretty much write a song out of anything.”

Humility? No. Undeniable talent and staying-power? Yes.

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Joan Jett Kicked Off Thanksgiving Float for Being a Vegetarian and PETA Supporter

73180909AP017_W_Lounge_At_MThere are many things people may immediately associate with Joan Jett: the term 80′s icon, female empowerment, “I Love Rock N Roll,” and maybe even that movie starring Kristin Stewart…but the fact that she’s a vegetarian? Only the cattle ranchers of South Dakota seem to be intensely focused on that detail.

Jett, who was scheduled to perform on a parade float representing South Dakota in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, has been removed from the float because ranchers protested, complaining she’s a vegetarian and a critic of their livestock production.

Jodie Anderson of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association told an affiliate of CNN, “So, of course, when we learned that about Miss Jett, we were rightly concerned about her representing South Dakota and a state that is so heavily reliant on agriculture and livestock production to drive our economy.”

Talk about creating a PR problem where there probably wasn’t one.

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Sufjan Stevens Lectures Miley Cyrus on Grammar

sufjan-stevensWe never promised to stop posting on Miley, and this story is a must for everyone who writes and/or reads all day via our sister blog Galleycat.

Singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens followed Sinead O’Connor in writing an “open” letter to the pop star, but he was more interested in discussing the questionable grammar in her hit “Get It Right” than her recent shenanigans:

Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time. But don’t worry, even Faulkner messed it up.

He then detours into a discussion of the present perfect continuous tense (which would be “I have been lying in this bed all night long”) before ending with what reads like a coming-out note:

Girl, you work it like Mike Tyson. Miley, I love you because you’re the Queen, grammatically and anatomically speaking. And you’re the hottest cake in the pan. Don’t ever grow old. Live brightly before your fire fades into total darkness. XXOO Sufjan

While we applaud Sufjan’s attempt to steer Miley through the complex maze that is the English language, we have to ask: what was up with the electronics on that last album, dude?

*Photo via this guy