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Song of the Day- “Brave” by Sara Bareilles

Every time that Microsoft commercial comes on, I sing along for four seconds at the end to the “Brave” snippet and want to hear more. Honestly, I want to see more people be brave and cut the snark, cut the snish, say what you mean and mean what you say. This song should be the anthem to usher in 2014.

p.s. Here’s the Behind the Scenes video for the making of “Brave”. Rashida Jones directed the music video, thereby continuing to solidify her status as bomb a** chick:

 

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Vanessa Hudgens, Flare Mag, & “Gimme Shelter”

Doesn’t it seem like it was just yesterday that Vanessa Hudgens was singing her heart out in High School Musical 1, 2, and 3? Since then she has been tackling more edgy fare, as most Disney starlets tend to do.

One of Vanessa’s latest movies to come out in theaters in January, Gimme Shelter, gave me the chills when I viewed its trailer for the first time. It looks as though she gave herself completely over to the role, both physically and mentally, to portray Agnes “Apple” Bailey. Also starring Rosario Dawson and Brendan Fraser, Gimme Shelter looks quite good. I’m checking it out.

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The Next List: A 2014 Megapost (Part 1)

WHEW…it’s been three weeks since I’ve written to you all with newly curated bits and bobs for your everyday life. New, exciting gigs and opportunities have sprouted up and I’m dedicated to seeing that 2014 is even brighter than 2013.

Having said that, so much has happened in the past three weeks leading up to the new year. From Paul Walker’s unfortunate death to Obamacare, we will go forth into 2014 with the same hopes and dreams for a better life, not only for ourselves but for others, and a greater understanding about this mad, mad, mad world we live in.

So here I am looking towards the future with Part One of my 2013 end-of-year mega list. From entertainment to social issues, here is where I am putting forth my predictions of who and what you should look out for and get riled up about in 2014:

Visual Albums and Interactive Music Videos 

Granted, music videos have been around for a few decades and Michael Jackson was the first artist to make the music video as a short film into an event (“Thriller”, “Moonwalker”, “Remember the Time”), but it was only inevitable that the visual album would be the next step for a generation who doesn’t know a lick about pay-per-music video view TV (The Box channel anyone?). Music artists are experimenting more with their music videos, which are becoming epic short films that could premiere at Sundance or Tribeca Film Fest. Lana Del Rey’s NSFW “Tropico” is one of this year’s leaders in the hybrid genre and is a music video which I highly recommend for viewing pleasure.

Then Beyonce came out with her visual album and killed whatever chance any other recording artist had for saying goodbye to 2013 with an effervescent bang. Hailed as a “full-blown work of art“, this secret album came out of nowhere and raised the music video game bar for next year.

There goes Yonce, killing it yet again

There goes Yonce, killing it yet again

Bob Dylan also came out with an interactive video this year for his song “Like A Rolling Stone”, which will blow your mind. You can legitimately spend hours playing around with the features, as it offers a musical version of “Choose Your Own Adventure”. This video is the future.

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Danny Brown, as featured in Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” Interactive Music Video

Awards Season 

In the past five years, American award shows have made me felt hollow and I found myself having more fun Tweeting and reading others’ tweets during the live affairs. I’ll still tweet and retweet during the Grammy’s and Oscars, but in 2014 things will be different because the nominees and potential nominees for the lot give me hope. I’ve never been more excited for a group of films, actors, actresses, singers, producers, albums, and directors as I am right now since the ’90s. There is a high potential for history to be made during the Oscars, because let’s face it, “12 Years A Slave” is going to reap at least one award that night. As for the Grammy’s, I tip my hat off to artists that I predict have nowhere else to go at this point, if they stay focused, but up such as Mack Wilds, Sara Bareilles, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, and Kacey Musgraves. Then there are the Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes and People’s Choice Awards, both to be hosted by funny women I adore:

Actors and Actresses To Watch

Every year there are a handful of “I know them from somewhere” faces who are dubbed the next big things. Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, i-D, and Nylon, in my opinion, are some of the leading publications and websites that are spot on when it comes to knowing the “ones to watch”. But I’ve compiled my own list, using my powers of comprehensive reading, obsessive IMDB stalking, diligent movie watching, and above all, instinct. The pictures and names you will find below represent those who I feel have worked immensely hard, are naturally gifted, enigmatic, and are capable of their stars rising to the next level. 2014 just may be their year of reckoning.

Dane DeHaan

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Adele Exarchopoulos

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Michael B. Jordan

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Imogen Poots

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Shailene Woodley

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Lupita Nyong’o

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Fan Bingbing

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Brie Larson

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Ansel Elgort

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Theo James

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Miles Teller

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Keke Palmer

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The Silver Screen and Boob Tube

2014 is bringing a lot of goodies, whether you want to believe it or not. Television fan favorites like Pretty Little Liars, Downton Abbey, and Girls are all coming back and if you haven’t fallen in love with My Mad Fat Diary, catch up on the first season on your computer before the second season premieres in February. I have a burning hunch that you will also hear more about sleeper hit shows such as Broadchurch, Rectify, Orphan Black, The Returned, and Top of the Lake before the start of 2015. Also on my radar lies HBO’s Looking, starring Jonathan Groff, Joseph Gordon Levitt’s hitRECord creative project to premiere on Pivot in January, Gogglebox, which is bloody addictive and being adapted for American television screens, Finding Carter, starring Skins UK’s Kathryn Prescott (“Emily F%$#ing Fitch!”), and Bravo’s Blood, Sweat and Heelswhich, judging from the trailer, reminds me of VH1’s cancelled The Gossip Game.

Looking

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Blood, Sweat and Heels

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As for the movies, there is SO much to look forward to and I know that the media has been proclaiming the death of film for some time now, but film will never die. A small shortlist of movies that I am highly anticipating are:

Neighbors

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x men days of future past

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"Big Eyes"

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Rita Ora Cast As Christian Grey’s Sister

Now that Rita Ora has been cast as Christian Grey’s sister in the upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie, all bets are off, null, and void. Should you buy your ticket in 2015, just go into the theatre looking to be entertained and titillated, OK? Having said that, Rita O. is a pop goddess and because of her and Victor Rasuk, my interest in this film just skyrocketed.

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Joe Jonas’ Vulture Letter To The World

Have you read Joe Jonas’ Vulture article? You should. It’s a lovely send-off to his Disney teen past and a look into his hopes for his future music career. Nothing surprised nor offended me. If anything, I was deeply impressed by his candor. It has to be hard to be a Disney kid. Just look at “The Hollywood Complex” HBO documentary or remember “Showbiz Moms and Dads” on Bravo?! These children live in an adult world and have more responsibilities than the kid who only has to worry about school, homework, chores, and getting the requisite intake of vitamins and minerals. Imagine media training and quite possibly never being able to get those “actin’ a fool” years in college out of your system. For all the money, fame, and females in the world, the Jo Bros didn’t have an easy child-to-young adulthood in the spotlight. But it’s nice to see that Joe Jonas can soberly reflect on those years in the Disney mill and look towards the future with hope and ambition.