If you saw last year’s “Loving,” Austin director Jeff Nichols’ film about the landmark 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case that decriminalized interracial marriage in America, you know Ruth Negga can act.
But despite her great accent and acting performance in that film, Negga isn’t American; she’s Ethiopian and Irish. And today, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, she’s teaching everyone how to make a proper Irish coffee.
By now, the news is out— Garth Brooks is indeed playing a free show Saturday night at Auditorium Shores for South By Southwest. He announced the free show at an 11 a.m. press conference Friday at the Austin Convention Center, where he previewed a snippet of his new single “Ask Me How I Know.”
Tickets for the show were available at noon Friday but sold out within minutes.
Brooks’ streaming partner, Amazon Music (he famously refused to put any of his music on any streaming service until October 2016) tweeted out that the show was sold out a mere five minutes after they went on sale.
Woah AUSTIN, @garthbrooks officially sold out in under 5 minutes! Thank you @sxsw and see you tomorrow night!!🤠
What does this mean? Are we to understand the implication of that tweet is that Garth Brooks LITERALLY the epitome of SXSW? Does his ego need to be fenced in? Is this just a shameless attempt to rope the wind of social media?
Maybe, but it also looks like the @SXSW part of that tweet was meant to literally mean “Garth Brooks is at the SXSW Conference” and not meant to equivocate Garth Brooks with the event.
At any rate, tomorrow will come, and it will bring a free Garth Brooks show.
South By Southwest is in full swing, which means crowds. Crowds everywhere, full of people with panels and parties to attend.
Many of those people forgot (or didn’t know) that Uber and Lyft no longer operate within the Austin city limits. And when it rains all weekend, as it did last weekend, people got upset at the gouged prices and long wait times for Austin alternatives Fasten and RideAustin.
Local ride-hailing service RideAustin posted on Facebook early Sunday morning that its database locked up throughout most of the evening Saturday, and Kirill Evdakov, CEO of Fasten, confirmed that service also had problems, beginning a little after 8 p.m. Saturday. He called SXSW, rainy weather, and glitches with other services simultaneously “a perfect storm” that led to Fasten receiving about 12 times as many ride requests as normal.
However, many people who arrived in town Thursday night for SXSW Interactive were well aware of the ridesharing situation in Austin. The following is from breaking news reporter Katie Hall, who went out to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Thursday night to interview conference-goers.
Britt Deyan, of San Francisco, landed in Austin on Thursday night for SXSW Interactive. Deyan said that SXSW had been good about sharing the fact that Uber and Lyft no longer gave rides in Austin.
“Every communication I was sent about SXSW told me Uber wasn’t here,” Deyan said as she climbed into a taxi.
Alisa Hetrick and Sami Huerta, both of Minneapolis, also grabbed a taxi after landing at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Hetrick and Huerta said they had been told by friends in Austin, who invited them to SXSW, that Uber and Lyft didn’t operate in Austin.
A group of six Mashable employees huddled together outside the airport after landing in Austin, discussing the ride-hailing app RideAustin. Their company had called a car ahead of time to pick them up, they said. A few of the people in the group said they were well aware of the fact that Uber and Lyft left Austin because their website had written about it. One of them, however, was not.
“I didn’t know until just now,” she said, after asking the reporter for ride-hailing app suggestions. “After the tragedy that happened a couple years ago at SXSW, I think they’re asking for another tragedy.” She declined to give her name.
What about you? Have you been having a tough time getting around at SXSW? Let us know in the comments.
Statesman reporters Katie Hall and Elizabeth Findell contributed to this report.
Austin actor Matthew McConaughey made waves this week after video was released of a BBC One interview he did over the weekend. The video has since been deleted, but in the segment, interviewer Andrew Marr asked the “Gold” star whether it’s time “Hollywood and the cultural elite of America” gave Trump a break.
McConaughey’s answer? “He’s our president. It’s very dynamic and divisive of an inauguration in time that we’ve ever had. At the same time, it’s time for us to embrace.”
The actor known for his “just keep livin'” ethos went on to say, “Shake hands with this fact, and be constructive with him over the next four years. So even those that most strongly disagree with his principals or things he’s said or done, which is another thing, we’ll see what he does compared to what he had said. No matter how much you even disagreed along the way, it’s time to think about how constructive can you be. Because he’s our president for the next four years, at least. President of the United States.”
Fan reaction on social media to the statement was mixed. Some argued that McConaughey was “as dense as the characters who made him famous,” while many social media users remarked that they were glad a celebrity wasn’t advocating for a complete overthrow of the government (like Madonna and Sarah Silverman have done in recent weeks).
And yes, everyone made the same “This is not alright, alright, alright” joke, but one Redditor went for this (now obvious in hindsight) joke instead: “He’s alt-right, alt-right, alt-right…”
Here’s the best of the rest in McConaughey reaction online:
The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America are responsible for the word atop Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s “Trend Watch” tool Monday. The tool tracks popular word lookups on Merriam-Webster’s website and publishes the results in order to provide context about what those words mean.
What was that highest trending word on Monday? That would be “anathema,” a noun which here means “someone or something intensely disliked or loathed.” It was trending because The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America, two of the largest associations of American Orthodox rabbis and synagogues in the country, released a joint statement condemning President Trump’s executive order to close America’s border to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries.
“The Orthodox Union, the largest association for American Orthodox synagogues, acknowledged the complexities of fighting terror, but said ‘discrimination against any group based solely upon religion is wrong and anathema to the great traditions of religious and personal freedoms upon which this country was founded,'” the AP report reads.
According to Merriam-Webster, “anathema” has been in use in English since the early 16th century, when it was adopted from Latin and Greek. In Greek, it used to mean “anything devoted,” but shifted to mean “anything devoted to evil,” specifically in reference to an excommunication or the person who had been excommunicated. By the 17th century, it began to be used in the way it is used today (especially by the Catholic Church), indicating strong negative feelings to a thing, person, or concept, which may be related to religion, or maybe not.
The two Jewish groups were not the only religious groups that condemned the ban, according to the AP. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said it “strongly disagreed” with the sanctions, and the Conservative and Reform movements of Judaism, Church World Service and more than 2,000 other faith leaders voiced their concern over the ban.
This wasn’t the first time the dictionary has weighed in on matters of national politics. Just last week(!) Merriam-Webster tweeted its definition of a fact at Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway after she claimed that White House press secretary Sean Spicer was simply using “alternative facts” to describe the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd.
President Donald Trump announced his method Thursday for paying for that border wall he commissioned Wednesday: a 20 percent tax on all goods imported from Mexico.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the plan would generate $10 billion a year and “easily pay for the wall,” according to the Associated Press.
Later, Spicer said the 20 percent tariff was just one of several options available to the administration to pay for the wall.
The announcement set off a firestorm on Twitter. Users were quick to point out the many things imported from Mexico that would balloon in price if the tax is approved by Congress, like cars and car parts ($24 billion worth, according to CNN Money), telephones ($11.9 billion), refrigerators ($4.1 billion), tomatoes ($1.8 billion) and beer like Corona, Modelo and Dos Equis ($2.8 billion).
Former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn died on Thursday in Ohio. He was 95 years old.
Glenn became the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth in 1962. Upon his return and retirement from space exploration, he represented Ohio in the U.S. Senate from 1974 to 1999.
Later, he became the oldest man in space when he traveled on the Space Shuttle Discovery as a payload specialist in 1998.
Glenn had been in declining health for some years. In June, The Associated Press reported he said he lost some of his eyesight from macular degeneration and a small stroke.
He was hospitalized Wednesday, but the reason for said hospitalization was not clear.
Glenn is survived by his wife of 73 years, Anna, and their children Lyn and David.
An Ohio native, Glenn died at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. Shortly after his death, remembrances and tributes to his legacy appeared on Twitter from Ohio representatives and politicians and others.
Here’s a sampling of what people had to say about the passing of John Glenn:
“It wasn’t so much about just Beyoncé,” he said. “This is a complaint that I’ve heard for a long time, actually for decades. Back in the ’90s, it was Elton John or Sting or whoever. Every year the CMA television producers feel a need to bring in acts from other genres, and it’s always done to boost ratings. I understand the concept behind that but at the same time I’ve always found it a little bit insulting— from the standpoint of being a country music artist—because this is a format that I’ve been a part of since the very beginning in my career. It’s a format that I have seen grow a tremendous amount in the 27 years that I’ve been doing this.”
He went on to say that other member of the “Class of ’89” were able to sell records and sell out concert arenas without help from outside sources, which is what he feels the Beyoncé addition to the CMA lineup was.
“As part of the Class of ’89—Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black and myself—we saw country music album sales increase by millions over what they had ever been before. We saw an ability by all country music artists to put more fannies in concert seats than we’d ever seen before. We sold a ton of product, drew in millions and millions of fans that had never listened to country music before. I think during that period of time we’ve certainly become strong enough to stand on our own two feet without the help from outside sources. I’ve been complaining about this for years, and it’s funny to me that it took complaining about this year’s performance, before anybody paid any attention to it.”
“It’s very strange to me. I’ve had open discussions about this on social media for the last 10 days and the fact is that while there are a lot of people that try to twist this into being something different than what it is—being motivated by something different than what it’s motivated by—the fact is that this is something that I’ve been very vocal about for a long time. Race has nothing to do with it. That’s what I’ve tried to make clear from the very beginning. We should be better than that. To make everything about race—to me—it makes me sad to be honest.”
He goes on to say that his tweets were taken out of context by people who picked the story up from Twitter, and that he simply thought it made no sense to have a pop artist on a country show, no matter who it was.
“First of all, they said that I trashed Beyoncé, which I never did. I never made a statement saying anything bad about her personally. All I said was that her performance—in my humble opinion—her performance as well as any of the other performances that have been on from the pop world, including Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, Justin Timberlake or whoever, do not belong. I don’t think they belong on any country music show. Especially on a country music show that was a 50-year celebration—an anniversary of what was supposed to be the entire 50-year history of country music awards—the CMA Awards show. The other thing that frustrated me was the fact, and it has frustrated me for years, is the fact that for every pop performance or R&B performance or any other type of genre performance that you have on the CMA Awards, that takes time away from somebody who is a country music artist, doing country music songs, releasing country music singles to radio, selling country music under that moniker to people all across the country and across the world. That’s taking time away from them. There are other artists that could have been just as much of a draw and that really should have been involved in that slot to celebrate the music that they have helped to create.
“So many great country music artists that you can name that weren’t part of it because there is only so much time—I get that, I understand that and everybody else does too. But when you take a portion of that precious time and give it to an artist outside of our industry, it makes no sense. It makes about as much sense to me as it would make sense to bring Eminem in on the Dove Awards. But you wouldn’t do that because it doesn’t fit the format. That’s my humble opinion.”
According to Rolling Stone, “Endless” is not the proper follow-up album to “Channel Orange,” but a different project altogether. The music magazine has also confirmed that “Boys Don’t Cry” will be released this weekend, but under a different title.
We’ll see what happens when the “real album” supposedly drops this weekend.
UPDATE, 12:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8: Still no new Frank Ocean album, but there are now rumors that “Boys Don’t Cry” will be released Nov. 13, 2016, as evidenced by the library “due date” card image on Ocean’s website. Who knows.
UPDATE, 7:35 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6: Still no new Frank Ocean album.
Friday, Aug. 5:
It’s Friday, August 5, 2016, and the Internet is mad at Frank Ocean again.
Why? First, some context.
Three years ago, R&B artist/riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma Frank Ocean announced that he had started work on his third album.
Fans were ecstatic about the news, seeing as his shot to fame after the success of his first mixtape “nostalgia, ULTRA.” combined with the six Grammy nominations and one win for his 2012 album “Channel Orange” indicated a star on the rise reminiscent of Sam Cooke.
Then, on July 2, 2016, Ocean updated his website with this image, seemingly teasing a release date for “Boys Don’t Cry” within the next month:
And…you guessed it, still no album at the end of July, either.
But then fans got a break on August 1, when a live-streamed video on his website appeared, hosted by Apple Music and featuring the Apple Music logo. The mysterious video showed a pair of workbenches in a large empty room, with Ocean making brief appearances.
In an interview that same day with the New York Times, a “person with knowledge of the release plans” confirmed to the newspaper that “Boys Don’t Cry” is indeed the album title, and that it would be released on Aug. 5, exclusively through Apple Music for two weeks, after which the album would be put into wide release.
Well, as of this publication date, late in the afternoon in the Central time zone, we’re still not hearing any new Frank Ocean tunes.
And since midnight, the Internet has been coping the only way it can— with snarky memes and jokes.
The memes and Twitter trends that come out every time a release date is announced, then delayed, then announced again, for “Boys Don’t Cry” are art pieces worthy of albums themselves. It starts to make you wonder if Ocean isn’t doing this on purpose in order to collect all the memes and hashtags for album art or something.
Every time “Boys Don’t Cry” gets delayed, as with any traumatic event, it follows the same “five stages of grief” pattern, as seen by Twitter users below.
Some users took comfort in the fact that Ocean lives in the Pacific time zone, which is why the album wasn’t appearing in Apple Music’s library right at midnight for many East Coast and Central time zone fans.