5 Lunchtime Links: ‘House of Cards’ returns

Kevin Spacey in season 4 of "House of Cards." (David Giesbrecht/Netflix/TNS)

Kevin Spacey in season 4 of “House of Cards.” (David Giesbrecht/Netflix/TNS)

1. “House of Cards” is back.

Cancel all of those weekend plans you never made in the first place. President Frank Underwood is back in the White House and your living room with the fourth season of “House of Cards” released in full today, CNN reports. The season premieres the day after a nearly-comical Republican debate and in the same week as an especially super Super Tuesday. The season will feature new faces including Neve Campbell, Cicely Tyson as a Texas lawmaker, Ellen Burstyn as Claire’s mother, plus the familiar face of your favorite evil president. It’s still too early to gather a real critical consensus on the show as many fans were still completing the series Friday.

2. Still missing big names in latest SXSW band drop.

Today’s South by South West band drop of 198 acts making their way to Austin left us in want. Much like in previous weeks we’re still searching for some of the expected big names that have yet to surface, the American-Statesman’s Deborah Sengupta Stith. Where A$AP at? Similarly Chvrches, Miguel and Charles Bradley, who are all expected to perform at various festival parties, have yet to have been officially added to the roster. Their absence is slightly negated by the addition of artists Young Thug, Santigold and Kacey Musgraves. Keep in mind, SXSW still has its major Auditorium Shores performance still to announce, along with two or three nights at ACL Live and another at Stubb’s.

3. Kendrick Lamar releases new album two weeks ahead of SXSW.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar whose 2015 album “To Pimp a Butterfly” was nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy, released “Untitled Unmastered” Friday, Stith reports. The album features eight “songs that I’m in love with that I’ll still play and still perform that didn’t make the cut” from “a chamber of material.” Lamar said simple reasons like deadlines and “sample clearances” kept the songs off “To Pimp a Butterfly.” While the album release seems to set Lamar, whose touring schedule is wide open March 6 til March 19, up for a SXSW appearance, his last album release didn’t bring him to Austin.

4. Tumblr showcase to feature Jhené Aiko, Wendy Davis.

Tumblr has chosen to go all-female for its SXSW showcase this year, which will be hosted by R&B artist Jhené Aiko, Stith reports. Aiko’s debut album 2014’s “Souled Out” was what Stith calls a “a cauldron of swirling watercolor emotion.” The singer will make her appearance alongside artist Lorely Rodriguez, rapper Little Simz, and former gubernatorial candidate and power filibusterer Wendy Davis.

5. Rihanna collaborates with Manolo Blahnik.

Rihanna cannot stop working. In addition to having the No. 1 and No. 2 album in the U.S., a world tour kicking off in a week and having recently been appointed the new creative director at Puma, the singer has now announced a collaboration with Manolo Blahnik, adding just the right amount of Rhi to your shoe game. The shoes are expected to hit stores May 5, USA Today reports, but you can get a sneak peek at a few of the designer kicks here.

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