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Carrie Underwood Shares Adorable Photo Of Baby Isaiah Michael (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 18:03:11 -0400)

Does Carrie Underwood have a future athlete on her hands?

The country singer gave her 1.7 million Instagram followers an adorable first look at her baby boy, Isaiah Michael, on Sunday. In the sweet shot, Underwood showed her support for her hockey player husband, Mike Fisher, and his team, the Nashville Predators, by placing a hockey stick in their sleeping newborn's tiny hands:

The Predators are in the playoffs! Just waiting to get called up! #PutMeInCoach

A photo posted by Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) on

The "Before He Cheats" singer and Fisher welcomed their first child together on Feb. 27. The new mom announced the baby news earlier this month, sharing a precious photo of her baby's little hand:

Tiny hands and tiny feet...God has blessed us with an amazing gift! Isaiah Michael Fisher - born on February 27. Welcome to the world, sweet angel!

A photo posted by Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) on

'Looking' for More (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:59:05 -0400)


Last week, HBO announced that its gay drama Looking would not be renewed for a third season, ending the brief run of this show about three gay friends in San Francisco. I have to confess, the announcement made me a bit sad. Yes, I'm a fan of Looking. But, apparently, I'm a rare breed. The show's ratings had dropped considerably. And when the news broke, my Facebook feed was filled with comments that amounted to "good riddance."

I get it. The show was FAR from perfect. The dialogue was sometimes trite. Its central character, Patrick, was often annoying, his choices bizarre. It presented a narrow view of San Francisco, and focused on a small group of very white, very privileged gay men. All of these critiques are valid. And probably account for the low ratings of this second season.

But the nature of the commentary surrounding the end of this little drama I found quite perturbing. On my newsfeed, in my office, on Twitter, the internet all over, seemed to both deride the show and relish in its demise. Indeed, the commentary felt like the acidic bite from that bitchy queen we all know. It was the feeling of walking into that party where you don't know anyone and you're the only one without a six pack.

Worst of all, these kinds of comments all came from gay men.


I liked the show because it finally presented a world I could relate to. It was refreshing to see a show that dealt with the issues that concern me and my community: being gay in America, dealing with questions of monogamy and infidelity, Grindr, Truvada, drugs, orgies, cruising. I personally have never seen any of these issues engaged with in any meaningful way in the mainstream media.

Instead, I've only seen stereotypical and basic portrayals of gay men. I couldn't relate to either Jack's over-the-top camp or Will's apparent asexuality on Will & Grace. The gay couple on Modern Family just make me cringe. And the sex-fueled, party boys of Queer As Folk were most definitely stuck in the nineties.

But with Looking, at last there was an attempt to create interesting, three dimensional characters, who had real desires, struggles and dreams. Here was a show that was beautifully shot, with an amazing soundtrack. With great performances from its cast. Here, I thought, finally is a show I can enjoy and relate to.

I admit that part of the reason I relate to the show is because I am, indeed, a privileged white gay man. And the show was definitely lacking in diversity. But to be honest, so is the mainstream gay community. When I go to Fire Island in the summer, I feel like I'm the closest thing on the whole island to a person of color (I'm half Mexican). How many Grindr profiles come up with "no black guys," or "not into Asians"? The show was, in that sense, accurate, if deeply problematic. But at least it made us think about it. At least Looking was provoking a much needed conversation.


Perhaps the kind of bitching that surrounded the show comes from the fact that as a community, we're not ready to take ourselves seriously. We're not ready to confront the issue of racism in the gay community. We are afraid to confront the realities of crushed dreams and failed relationships. To consider the possibility of both true love and heartbreak. It's much easier to watch RuPaul because we don't need to invest in it. We don't have to confront ourselves -- instead, we wear masks. Beautiful, sequined, rainbow masks. Because for hundreds of years we've been told we're not good enough. And now that there is a show that treats us like real people, we just can't handle it.

Most of all, what the end of the show says to me is that America is not ready for a show with real gay characters. If the only people who were going to watch this show were a couple of gay guys, the show was always going to fail. And in an America where states are right now passing laws that make discrimination against LGBT folks legal, it makes sense that the audience for this show would be tiny. In an America where gay marriage has been the source of such debate and outrage, it makes sense. In an America where Ted Cruz could actually be elected president, it makes sense. Where trans women of color are murdered on a weekly basis, it makes sense.

I don't believe that as a community we should become complacent and not critical of our representations in the media. As Ingrid Jungermann says, "We should be harder on each other. Who better to be critical than someone who understands where you're coming from? Some queer art is just plain bad and I think a lot of us are frustrated by that."

We need to hold ourselves to the highest standard. We need to examine issues like racism and transphobia and critique art that fails to do so. But nor should we bitch about art that is at least trying to take us seriously. Or relish so gleefully in its demise. Otherwise, all we'll be left with is Cam and Mitch from Modern Family.

I hope that the Andrew Haigh's of this world don't take the critiques to heart. That they continue to make interesting, moving and insightful portrayals of LGBT people. To push the envelope, provoke debate and make us think about who we are. That above all, show the world that lesbian, bi, gay and trans people are real, beautiful, different, wonderful people. God knows we need it.

Angelina Jolie Gives Inspiring Speech At Kids' Choice Awards (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:19:56 -0400)

Angelina Jolie was one of the big winners at Saturday’s Kids’ Choice Awards, and no one was more excited than her daughters Shiloh and Zahara.

Rihanna's 'Home' Beats 'Get Hard' At The Box Office With $54M (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:07:10 -0400)

NEW YORK (AP) — Business was brisk at the weekend box-office, where the DreamWorks animated alien adventure "Home" beat out the Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy "Get Hard" with a resounding debut of $54 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

While the two films had been expected to vie for the top spot at North American theaters, "Home" came in well above expectations, handing DreamWorks Animation a much-needed hit. Though a distant second, "Get Hard" also opened strongly with an estimated $34.6 million, rewarding the Warner Bros. pairing of two of the most bankable stars in comedy. Last week's top film, the young-adult sequel "The Divergent Series: Insurgent," slid to third with $22.1 million.

With a $100 million-plus debut expected next weekend for "Furious 7" — a franchise built on street-racing adrenaline and a diverse cast — Hollywood scored with two films that sought a variety of audiences.

"Get Hard" united the fans of Hart and Ferrell, albeit while finding some criticism for its racial humor. And "Home" is the rare animated film led by an African-American girl protagonist (voiced by Rihanna). She plays a teenage girl left alone after an alien invasion of Earth. Jim Parsons, Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin round out the cast.

"It's a diverse cast and we drew a diverse audience, which I think is really special and something you don't see in animated films," said Chris Aronson, domestic distribution head for 20th Century Fox, the film's distributor. "That just ends up broadening the appeal of the film."

Minorities made up more than half of the audience for "Home," according to Fox. The strong performance of an original release, based on a children's book by Adam Rex, provides Jeffrey Katzenberg's DreamWorks with a welcome lift. After a series of box-office disappointments, the studio cut about 500 jobs earlier this year.

Aronson called the success of "Home" ''indicative of the direction, quality-wise, that DreamWorks is going to get back to." One of the film's producers, Mireille Soria, was in January named co-president of DreamWorks Animation, along with "How to Train Your Dragon" producer Bonnie Arnold.

Despite the lure of March Madness on TV screens, "Home" (which capitalized on the relative dearth of family-friendly options) and "Get Hard" drove moviegoers to theaters. Overall, the box office was up about 8 percent from last year, according to box-office data firm Rentrak.

"Get Hard" had been dogged by controversy, as some questioned the tastefulness of humor that critics called homophobic and racist. The directorial debut of Etan Cohen, it stars Ferrell as a hedge fund manager sentenced to a maximum security prison for fraud. To prepare for life in prison, he turns to the only black person in his orbit, a family man played by Hart.

"When Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart get together, you hope to have some criticism," said Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. He added that it's the biggest R-rated opening for both Hart and Ferrell.

The wild card of the weekend was "It Follows," a critically acclaimed indie horror film from Radius, the Weinstein Company label. After the film drew packed theaters in limited release, plans for a subsequent video-on-demand release were postponed and "It Follows" expanded to 1,218 theaters over the weekend. It pulled in $4 million over the weekend.

"It's an interesting test case," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Rentrak, who applauded Radius for having the confidence in a small, very low budget movie. "It's rare for a horror film to enjoy those kind of reviews. Ordinarily, you don't see a platform building of theaters for a horror movie. Usually, you see them drop like a rock in the second week."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. "Home," $54 million ($24 million international).

2. "Get Hard," $34.6 million ($4.6 million international).

3. "The Divergent Series: Insurgent," $22.1 million ($29.9 million international).

4. "Cinderella," $17.5 million ($38.7 million international).

5. "It Follows," $4 million.

6. "Kingsman: The Secret Service," $3.1 million ($25 million international).

7. "Run All Night," $2.2 million ($2.1 million international).

8. "Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," $2.2 million ($2.3 million international).

9. "Do You Believe?" $2.2 million.

10. "The Gunman," $2 million


Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak:

1. "Cinderella," $38.7 million.

2. "The Divergent Series: Insurgent," $29.9 million.

3. "Kingsman: The Secret Service," $25 million.

4. "Home," $24 million.

5. "Focus," $8.2 million.

6. "Twenty," $6.9 million.

7. "Taken 3," $6.1 million.

8. "The SpongeBob Movie," $5.4 million.

9. "Lost and Love," $5.2 million.

10. "Get Hard," $4.6 million.


Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.


Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Jon Stewart’s ‘Daily Show’ Replacement? Trevor Noah On The Fast Track | Deadline (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:03:41 -0400)

Finally! Someone who wants to replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Trevor Noah, the relatively new correspondent addition to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, now is considered the most likely candidate to replace Stewart as show host, a source told Deadline today.

'Good Wife' Recap: All of Alicia's Men in 'Red Meat' (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:30:20 -0400)

Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 6, Episode 16 of CBS's The Good Wife, titled "Red Meat."
2015-03-29-1427660912-1975736-rs_560x41515031914105310243goodwife.ls.31915.jpgWe have a winner! Alicia wins the race for state's attorney but is losing everywhere else.

She tries to reach out to Prady, but he won't work with her.

Finn, despite being adorable and buying her a video game, has a new girlfriend.

Her campaign manager is leaving, having done a job well-done. And Peter? Despite a last ditch effort to make up for his previous speech sin, he is very, very low in my book. He's so calculating and can barely stand Alicia's success. He's gross.

Hopefully, we can have Eli's daughter stick around as her assistant. Or anything.

In other news, Diane goes hunting and fights about abortion. Kalinda is being followed, or say Bishop tells her. So we have a few episodes of confusing Kalinda plotlines before she we have to say goodbye to her forever. And Bishop is leaving 'the game,' as it were.

Also, it's been one year since everyone's least favorite moment of the show:

Exactly 1 year ago today I was shaken to my #TheGoodWife loving core. Ask @KristinDSantos! #WhyWillGardnerWhy? http://t.co/7i6OybQlJ8

— Retta (@unfoRETTAble) March 26, 2015

I'll be on the lookout for any tributes. Tweet me your reactions @karenfratti.

The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Roger Moore Says Comments About Idris Elba As James Bond Taken Out Of Context (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:39:51 -0400)

Roger Moore says comments in which he appeared to question whether Idris Elba could play the role of James Bond were taken out of context.

In the comments, given during an interview with the French magazine Paris Match, Moore said he thought the next Bond should be "English-English," apparently casting doubt on Elba's qualifications, despite the fact Elba was born in London.

"A few years ago, I said that Cuba Gooding Jr. would make an excellent Bond, but it was a joke!” Moore said in comments translated to English and published by the BBC on Saturday.

"Although James may have been played by a Scot, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he should be 'English-English,'" he continued. "Nevertheless, it's an interesting idea, but unrealistic."

Moore, who played the notorious 007 agent in seven Bond movies from 1973 to 1985, became a target on social media because of the comments, which he says have been distorted.

He fought back against the allegations on Twitter, saying the implications of racism were "simply untrue" and that journalists had put words in his mouth:

An interview I gave to Paris Match implies I said something racist about Idris Elba. That is simply untrue. #Lost in translation.

— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) March 28, 2015

@FrediSmith when a journalist asks if 'bond should be English' and you agree, then quotes you saying it about Idris Elba its out of context

— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) March 28, 2015

Elba has long been rumored to occupy a place on Sony Pictures' short list of Bond replacements, which saw its stature grow recently with the leaks of a series of Sony emails late last year.

Bikini-Clad Britney Spears Spends Spring Break With Her Sons (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:07:15 -0400)

Britney Spears' spring break vacation was family-friendly.

The pop icon hit the beaches of Hawaii with her sons, 9-year-old Sean Preston and 8-year-old Jayden James. Spears shared adorable snapshots from the trip with her 41 million Twitter followers over the weekend:

AL-O-HA! pic.twitter.com/s6l13q7d4g

— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) March 27, 2015

Missing vacay already... Best week with the boys. Back home and back to work! #GoTime pic.twitter.com/c2UHe0B41O

— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) March 28, 2015

The "Perfume" singer and her boys shared their own People magazine cover last week, and the proud mom spoke lovingly about watching her children grow up.

“Preston is very opinionated, very expressive, and if he doesn’t like something, he’s going to tell you, But he has a huge heart, he’s a good kid and he has manners," she told People. "Jayden is sweet, very soft-spoken, kinda funny. He’s adorable -- a momma’s boy,” she said.

Too cute!

Justin Bieber Forgot The Words To Ariana Grande's Song As He Joined Her Onstage (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:44:56 -0400)

Justin Bieber lost it with Ariana Grande Saturday night in Miami.

Mariah Carey Looks Cozy With A Rumored New Beau (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:37:54 -0400)

Just friends?

'SNL' Spoofs Disney Remakes With Action-Packed 'Bambi' Trailer (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:16:44 -0400)

Forget a "Fast & Furious 8." The cast is going Disney instead.

"Saturday Night Live" spoofed Disney's recent live-action remakes this weekend with the most hardcore reboot of a childhood classic yet: "Bambi." The heartfelt Disney story comes to life with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the grown-up and super-ripped deer, Vin Diesel (Taran Killam) as a mumbling Thumper, Tyrese Gibson (Jay Pharoah) as adult skunk Flower and Michelle Rodriguez (Cecily Strong) as Faline. They shoot up a cabin full of hunters all in the name of Bambi's late mom.

Hopefully Ludacris has a cameo in the movie.

George R.R. Martin Won't Write A 'Game Of Thrones' Season 6 Episode (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:59:18 -0400)

"Game of Thrones" fans get a treat each season when author George R.R. Martin pens an episode, but now they'll have to face back-to-back disappointments.

The author of the book series A Song of Ice and Fire already announced that he wouldn't be writing an episode for the upcoming fifth season of the HBO series. Martin took to his personal blog on Friday to announce that he won't be penning an episode for "Game of Thrones" Season 6 either, saying he made the decision so he can devote more time to finishing his book.

Fans know Martin has been hard at work finishing up the series' next novel, The Winds of Winter. He's so eager to finish that he's canceled appearances at two upcoming conventions: the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, New York, and San Diego Comic-Con.

"Writing a season six script would cost me a month's work on WINDS, and maybe as much as six weeks, and I cannot afford that," Martin wrote. "My energies are best devoted to WINDS."

The push to finish Book 6 in the series that "Game of Thrones" is based on is not only to please readers, but also for the benefit of the HBO show. Previous seasons of "GoT" followed Martin's books rather closely, but now the show is catching up to the books, something Martin hoped wouldn't happen.

Martin has already acknowledged Season 5 will deviate from the books, and showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have revealed that the show will spoil the ending of the novels eventually. We can't blame Martin for wanting to finish Book 6, but hopefully he'll have some time to write a Season 7 episode, especially if that ends up being the final season.

"Game of Thrones" returns on April 12 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

90s Rock Goddess Melissa Auf Der Maur (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:49:23 -0400)

This week on Upstate Diary Melissa Auf Der Maur talks about her times with Hole and the Smashing Pumkins -- and much more.


MADM: Well, I had a terribly shy and enclosed personality until about twenty-two. I spent the first twenty-two years observing, not really saying much. I watch, and I watch, and I watch, and then one day I had to get on stage to play music. For me, the public performance happened before I could speak.

A few years of public performance, and the interviews where I had to talk alongside Courtney, the biggest, loudest talker of all. Music brought me out of my shell, which I am very grateful for. That's the human lesson of Hole that sticks with me every day. Even just from the three people I was in the band with, the three individuals who are major marks on my life. Not to mention, a big lesson in humanity and compassion for extreme people in extreme situations.

With the Pumpkins it was about the music. The level of musicianship was in the same realm as a classically-trained person. You do not make mistakes, you do not get sick, and you have to learn a new piece every single day.

UD: Hole sounds completely different...

More on Upstate Diary

The Rock Obama Returned To 'SNL' This Weekend To Go After Ted Cruz (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:45:25 -0400)

The Rock Obama is back, and he means business as usual.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson reprised his role this weekend on "Saturday Night Live" as President Barack Obama's alter-ego, The Rock Obama, a super-aggressive version of the real-life POTUS. As Johnson explains, The Rock Obama is just like Barack Obama -- except larger and more violent.

In a meeting with government leaders in the sketch, he casually throws Speaker of the House John Boehner (Taran Killam) out a window, rips off Sen. Tom Cotton's (Kyle Mooney) hand, and attempts to crush Sen. Ted Cruz's (Bobby Moynihan) head.

And, as it turns out, Michelle Obama (Sasheer Zamata) has her own alter-ego when she gets aggravated, too.

New Artist Reviews: [debut] (Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:33:12 -0400)


Music serves many purposes for the human spirit. It can entertain, send a message, start a riot and transcend. It can be made selfishly and selflessly, for the ears of everyone or the ears of no one. It can put your mind at ease or fill it with fear. Some music tells a story not only with its lyrics, but with its sound. New artist [debut] is a Los Angeles-based group that is always evolving and never static. Creator Gareth Thomas describes the project as "more than a band. It's a music and art collective with an ever-changing cast." [debut] raised over $10,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of their first full length album Postcards From Berlin.

Beginning as a solo project with singer and producer Gareth Thomas, it has shape shifted into a rich and reflective ensemble project where the dynamic is always changing with its members. Thomas blended his love for analog synth and experimental music with the vibrational experience of electronic music to create a nebulous sound that encompasses you. The group's first single "Starting to Love it" was released in 2013 and featured Chris Eigner of Depeche Mode on drums.

Siobhan Lynch of Recoil, Cyd Claire, Angela Bartys and Sammi Doll also shared their talents with [debut]'s art collective. They have also worked with prominent filmmakers Chris Corner (Sneaker Pimps, IAMX) as well as Danny Drysdale (The Killers, IAMX). Released on March 5th, Postcards From Berlin was produced by Thomas and engineered by Fabian G. Knof at Hansa Meistersaal (U2, David Bowie, Depeche Mode) in Berlin and mixed by Alvin Wee at Westside Pacific Studios in Los Angeles. Recording in two countries by multiple minds and styles gives the album a diverse sonic palette.

On Postcards From Berlin, we follow [debut] as they discover their unique sound. Still a work in progress, [debut]'s music is highly cinematic and evocative, utilizing dark, electronically produced beats and synth paired with ethereal pianos, strings and female vocals. Even without lyrics, these tracks tell a story, leading the listener on a journey down a deep river of sound. The emotive lyrics are haunting and could easily find a home on an epic film soundtrack. Reminiscent of late 80s and 90s electronic alternative, their sound has been likened to Depeche Mode, IAMX, Massive Attack and Nine Inch Nails. Sweeping melodies and bridges make your body sway like a buoyant string of kelp. Each song is an honest and raw lament, evoking feelings of turmoil and obscure pasts. An example of how music can be therapeutic not just for its listener, but also for its creator.

Postcards From Berlin is not for those seeking vacuous music with the sole purpose of entertainment. [debut] is for those who seek music that does not fear darkness but rather embraces it. Just like the duality of mankind, Postcards From Berlin is as wistful as it is angelic, as melancholy as it is sublime. The union of yin and yang translated into sound. For those who have no fear of plunging into dark sonic landscapes, [debut]'s Postcards From Berlin will intrepidly guide you there.


Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/debutsounds
Website: www.debutsounds.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/debutsounds
YouTube: www.youtube.com/debutsounds
Twitter: www.twitter.com/debutsounds
Instagram: www.instagram.com/debutsounds