15 European Pop Acts You Might Not Know, but Should

European music is more than just the glitz of Eurovision. Turn on your sound to hear 15 of the continent’s most important acts, musically and socially, right now.
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John Finnemore’s Double Acts: Six BBC Radio 4 Comedy Dramas – John Finnemore

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John Finnemore’s Double Acts: Six BBC Radio 4 Comedy Dramas

John Finnemore

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 10.95

Publish Date: February 4, 2016

© ℗ © 2016 Random House AudioBooks

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The highest-earning hip-hop acts of 2017

The Top-Earning Hip-Hop Acts Of 2017
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Kechi Okwuchi, Mike Yung & More Music Acts Advance on ‘America’s Got Talent’

This week on season 12 of America's Got Talent brought an abundance of music acts vying for votes from viewers and the show's…
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LDN Noise Talk ‘Monster,’ ‘4 Walls’ & Creating Hits for K-Pop’s Biggest Acts

LDN Noise, aka Greg Bonnick and Hayden Chapman, have worked with a lot of artists over the years, including Chris Brown, Nick Jonas, and Nathan…
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20 Opening Acts That Became Music Legends

Artists like the Beatles and Bob Dylan weren't always the headliners
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Pregnant Woman Walking (and Other Mystifying Acts)

There’s no doubt about it: I’m ready to pop. The thought of, “Is she really in there?” has completely subsided and has been replaced with the inevitable juxtaposition of, “When the hell is she coming out?”

Within the span of a month, my wife and I have gone to a wedding, a funeral and now, soon, a birth — our own daughter. The circle of life is captivating and, I might add, a bit discombobulating. Take for instance what happened at the wedding. I thought I’d be nice and grab a glass of wine for my wife so that she could visit with our friends and their six-month-old daughter at our table. Had I realized the looks I’d receive on the walk back to my seat, I might have done it sooner! Mouths dropped open and eyes widened as a nine-month pregnant woman walked across the room from the bar with a heavy pour of white. Note to self: carry a cigarette in the other hand next time. The disapproval rating was higher than Trump’s hair in an Aqua Net windstorm.

A very similar occasion occurred the last time I walked up a very steep hill from my office to the OB. Not one, but two different men turned their heads as I walked by them. And when I smiled, they avoided eye contact. It was almost as though they were threatened by my outrageous audacity to maneuver a hill “in my condition.” Is a pregnant woman not supposed to walk? “Gee, I’m sorry, I left my personal mule at home for the day. I knew I forgot something!”

But I digress.

Call me crazy, but being pregnant isn’t an excuse to be lazy. In fact, if anything it’s done more to scoot me into the highest gear possible for preparation. And, for the record, I do understand that every pregnancy is different and every situation is unique in terms of being able to physically handle certain stressors, so let’s get that PC bullshit out of the way right now. But for those of us who have been cleared to entertain anything other than sheer bed rest, life doesn’t stop the moment you conceive.

I haven’t even met my daughter yet, but I am already her biggest fan. She is going to grow up in a world where women can helm their own companies and corporations; can utilize every facet and square inch of their brains to become scientists, engineers, biologists, entrepreneurs, entertainers and heads of state. She can also choose to be a stay-at-home mom, a writer, a fishmonger or any other profession she prefers — and isn’t that the beauty of it all?

Success comes with hard work and sacrifice. That hill I walk up once every week now to see the doctor is getting more steep with each passing day. That short walk I took to get my wife a glass of wine at the wedding might take me twice as long today as it did a few weeks ago. The Running Man dance I pulled off to showcase my desirable talents to friends might actually pop out a kid if I were to do it this morning. And that mule I proverbially left at home, well, there’s no way I’d ever be able to mount that thing now, so forget it.

The point is: the biggest limitations we encounter in life are those which we put in front of own selves. By getting out of our own way and attempting to do the impossible, well, it just might actually make the impossible possible. And all the passersby who look and taunt with their concerned eyes that judge, let them. There’s nothing to see here. Just a nine-month pregnant woman making her way in the world so that her daughter one day has all the opportunities afforded to every male counterpart she encounters. Call me a feminist; call me optimistic; call me overworked and underpaid, but I know one thing for sure: you will never get up that hill unless you take the first step.

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Hip-Hop Cash Kings 2015: The World’s Highest-Paid Rap Acts

“Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks,” Sean Combs once rapped. That advisory still holds true: Diddy earned $ 60 million over the past year, more than any other hip-hop act in the world.
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23 Live Sex Acts – Against Me!

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23 Live Sex Acts

Against Me!

Genre: Alternative

Price: $ 12.99

Release Date: September 4, 2015

© ℗ 2015 Total Treble

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Fourth of July: 10 Biggest Music Acts Playing Shows Across America

Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones and Chris Brown are among the musicians set to take the stage on Independence Day.
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Common, Slum Village Headlining Acts For 10th DC Loves Dilla Concert

Since 2006, the good folks at entertainment and promotions company Hedrush have been celebrating the life and legacy of James “J Dilla” Yancey by way of its annual DC Loves Dilla Tribute Concert. This year, the two-day celebration of all things J Dilla in the Nation’s Capital feature Chicago MC and actor Common in a headlining capacity.

Hedrush has been working in conjunction with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Pulse DC to put on the 10th DC Loves Dilla event. Common has collaborated frequently with J Dilla and fits the scheme of the event perfectly.

Joining Common onstage will be Detroit’s own Slum Village, featuring original member T3, Illa J and Young RJ running down the hits. Multi-talented West Coast musician and producer Georgia Anne Muldrow also shares top billing.

As in previous DC Loves Dilla events, acts such as Muhsinah, Ra The MC, Awthentik, Wes Felton and others will also grace the stage with musical backing by The Players featuring local drummer and producer Jon Laine.

More from the event’s press release:

“This is a milestone for the DC Loves Dilla family, says producer Brent ‘Munch’ Joseph. “We started this movement in 2006 to honor one of Hip-Hop’s most influential music producers and artists, James Dewitt Yancey a.k.a. J Dilla.”

A stellar line-up is in place for the tribute concert, including Common, Slum Village, Georgia Ann Muldrow, and a host of area music luminaries. Performers will be backed by the official DC Loves Dilla band: ‘The Players’ – a collective of thirteen musicians and vocalists, all overseen by the concert’s musical director and co-producer, Jon Laine. “Our goal has always been to celebrate on a large scale, the legacy and music of J Dilla. To witness the tribute’s growth and the kind of star power the event continues to garner, speaks volumes of J Dilla’s influence” adds Laine.

Day one of the DC Loves Dilla celebration kicks off with a panel discussion at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, July 9, at 6:00 p.m.

The panel, known as Beat Sessions, will feature Amp Fiddler, Slum Village, DJ Spinna, 9th Wonder, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Musiq Soulchild. This event is free to the public but get there early as it’s sure to fill up quickly.

The DC Loves Dilla Tribute Concert takes place at the historic Howard Theatre on July 10th starting at 8:00 p.m. ET and ending at midnight. There’s also an after-party event featuring 9th Wonder and DJ Spinna on the 1’s and 2’s

For tickets, follow this link.

Hit the next page for the full-size shot of the event flier.

Photo: Hedrush

The post Common, Slum Village Headlining Acts For 10th DC Loves Dilla Concert appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

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Random Acts of Crazy – Julia Kent

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Random Acts of Crazy

Julia Kent

Genre: Contemporary

Publish Date: May 22, 2013

Publisher: Julia Kent

Seller: Draft2Digital, LLC

NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING NOVEL! 346 pages "It was funny and irreverant like Wallbanger, but deep and moving like Barbara Elsbourg's Strangers. That is a tough mix to pull off. I should warn you though, this book should come with a surgeon general's warning: 'Do not start this book if you have any where to be, anything to do or need to pretend to be remotely interested in conversations with breathing human beings that are not currently also reading this book.' Enjoy!" — Amazon reader review "Random Acts of Crazy one of the best if not the best books I've read in a long time. Could not put it down. I laugh so hard my side hurt. Thank God I didn't pee myself!! Congratulations on such an awesome read." — Goodreads reader review "Be warned, this is not your mother's romance. It's hard and gritty and smacks you in the face like that burst of heat when you first open an oven door, which is exactly what makes it a  refreshing change from a typical sticky sweet love story." — Featured Staff Pick from Cat at All Romance eBooks Description: I never intended to pick up a naked hitchhiker wearing nothing but a guitar. A guitar. Really. I don't collect guys like that (don't ask what kind of guys I do collect), but when you spot a blonde, tanned, sculpted man with a gorgeous smile and his thumb poking up and practically begging you to stop – you stop. And I definitely never thought I'd be staring into the bright blue eyes of Trevor Connor, the lead singer for Random Acts of Crazy, an indie rock star I followed like the slobbering fileshare fangirl I am. How he came to be nude and lost six hundred miles from home is quite the tale, but how we fell in love is even more unreal. Because someone like Trevor Connor, headed to Harvard Law next year, isn't supposed to want someone like me, a rural Ohio chick majoring in Boredom at Convenience Store University who is all curves and frizzy blonde hair and manners so unpolished they have sharp edges that make you bleed. But he did. When his best friend, Joe Ross, the bass player for Random Acts of Crazy and a man who makes Calvin Klein models look like Shrek, drove eleven hours through the night to rescue him, though, it got real complicated. It's one thing to like two different guys and be torn. What do you do, though, when maybe – just maybe – you don't have to choose? * * * * * * Random Acts of Crazy is a standalone, full-length novel (300+ pages, 85,000 words) featuring Darla Jo(sephine) Jennings, the 22-year-old niece of Josie Mendham from the Her Two Billionaires series. It has, like many New Adult novels, an exploration of sexuality for the three main characters, doesn't shy away from mature content, and Darla has a sailor's mouth.

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Where to See This Year’s Coachella Acts (Without Going to the Festival)

Can’t make it to this year’s fest? 70 music acts will also be performing in Los Angeles, Hollywood, San Diego and other Southern California cities during Coachella’s two-weekend run.
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An Interview with Andrei Sannikov on the HBO Documentary, Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus

The tensions between Ukraine and Russia make the news daily, but in Belarus, a regime has been in place for 20 years, imprisoning opposition, or eliminating it altogether. Andrei Sannikov, now in exile in Warsaw, Poland, attempted to run against President Alexander Lukashenko. After participating in a protest, he was imprisoned and tortured. On June 24, in Warsaw’s Museum of the History of the Polish Jews, I had the opportunity to talk to Andrei Sannikov about his exile in Poland and the documentary film about the suppression of free speech in his home country, Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus, directed by Madeleine Sackler, to air on HBO.

What are you doing here in Warsaw?

I am in exile now, at first I was in the UK, but now I am here to stay closer to Belarus. My friends are here. My team is here. Some key people had to flee the country. Some people were lucky to escape before they were arrested. One of the journalists, an editor in chief of one of the most popular websites, Charter 97, was under house arrest but she escaped. I never thought I would ever think about leaving my country. We are not in control of our lives anymore.

The government knows you are here. Do they demand your return?

Formally, I am not under any legal obligations. Formally, I was released. I did not escape from prison. Of course they follow what I am doing. They might think at some moment they could demand some proceedings against me. So far no. Belarus is my subject, since I am a trained diplomat I am used to using my contacts to explain my situation. I am writing, working on a book now. It will be published in Belarus. In prison I wrote fairy tales for my son, and I did not think that even fairy tales would be published in Belarus.

What made you agree to participate in Madeleine Sackler’s film?

I did not agree. I was not asked. She came to my sister in London, near where I was living, for an interview. I have to promote the case for free speech, for freedom in general in Belarus. You should ask me, what made me do a Skype interview at 2:30 in the morning, for the D.C. premier. But I negotiated because they wanted me to speak after the movie, at 4 AM. We agreed on an intro.

So, what did you say to introduce the film?

There is no freedom in Belarus, but there are freedom fighters, and you see them in the movie, people in the streets of Minsk demanding freedom. There is no doubt that the origins of the Kremlin regime are the same. Now we see the situation in the Ukraine where there is suffering because of the war the Kremlin unleashed there. And the world needs to help them defend their freedom. There will be no freedom until such regimes are put down, even for the Ukraine. The goal is obvious. We have to do everything to free Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and it is doable, because even though in Belarus there is a ruthless dictator, it is possible. At the end I said that I hope if we will be serious in our efforts, and if we succeed, then Madeleine will make another movie called “Coming Home,” meaning Belarus coming to Europe. This is the issue because Russia wants to take us to Eurasia.

A provocation: Isn’t political theater propaganda, antithetical to art?

I know what propaganda theater is. The regime took authors approved by the Communists like Mayakovsky or others who are not dissidents and show their fight for creativity and freedom. I don’t have this division. Theater is theater, if talent is shown, even if it promotes things I cannot agree with. The Belarus Free Theater did not start with political theater, and even then, they could not do it officially. Dictators do not trust independent artists, so every independent artist is a potential threat. All artists have to be approved by the regime: therefore, there is a union of writers, a union of artists, a union of musicians, composers, and only those members are permitted to function. So from the beginning they did not allow Belarus Free Theater to do anything legally, so they started underground theater.

The question is strange. Would you consider Havel a propaganda playwright? He was writing about politics, life under a totalitarian system. Propaganda has a negative connotation but it actually promotes some values. I am all for it. I went to the Belarus Free Theater performances in Minsk, in a small space, maybe 30-40 people. But I saw the reactions of the people, the emotions. That was very important to me, especially in our situation which is quite gloomy. When people come to see something that is very alive and can make you think and get you to react emotionally it is very important.

In Belarus in the mid-1990’s, with the breakup of the Soviet Union, there was so much promise for freedom. What happened?

I too was encouraged in the mid 90’s: the general trend was quite incredible, and then we overlooked the dangers of a dictatorship. We have a man in power for 20 years. He was not taken seriously, but he started to build his dictatorship very early. He started to kill his opponents. The regime killed all the opponents who were more popular than Lukashenko.

What do you hope the film, Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus will accomplish?

To let the world know. This is the 21st century, the time of the Internet. To realize there is a dictatorship that does not allow you to live in your country! I was born in Minsk. At my age, I don’t like to be in a foreign country no matter how nice it is. I love Poland, the UK, America but I want to live in Minsk.

I know that everything is possible. I was in the foreign ministry in the mid ’90’s, doing a lot in the state. We had friends. Now we have enemies. Unfortunately, we have to continue to do what Solidarity in Poland did, what the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia did. But I now realize, without help from the democratic world, it will not be possible to achieve the same results. Will we have maidans in Belarus?, I am often asked. That is the square in Ukraine where demonstrations took place. We had huge protests for several years, ignored by the world. Unlike Ukraine, the world did not get involved.

You said you are traveling tomorrow. Where to?

I am going to the 3rd biggest theater festival, in the Czech Republic. They will perform the play based on the fairy tale I wrote in prison for my son, called “Flying Through the Rainbow,” about a little mouse who dreams of flying through the rainbow and all his friends help to realize this dream. My son was 3 ½ when I started writing. Seven now, he is going to see it for the first time, but he knows the contents.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.
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‘Game of Thrones’ Recap: Random Acts

“You cannot give up on the gravy” So declares Hot Pie former running buddy of Arya Stark and budding Great Chef of Westeros to an unappreciative Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne All they signed up for was a square meal and a place to spend the night on their…

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