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Music

Cam Bells – “Summerhouse Freestyle”


Last time we heard from Cam Bells it was back in early 2019 with his third project, C.B.P.V.D. With the one-year anniversary of the project rapidly approaching, Cam makes his return with new music.

Referencing the neighborhood in the Top Boy Netlfix series, Cam Bells returns a new freestyle dubbed “Summerhouse.” The freestyle is a supported by artwork that shows one of the many drug deals Dushane and Sully made in the series.

Check it out below.

Cam Bells – “Summerhouse Freestyle” was last modified: January 17th, 2020 by Wongo





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Fashion

Rick Owens Paris Review: Performative Dressing Is the Wave


Rick Owens runway shows are spectacles before they even begin—packed with people, most of whom are not in the fashion world or perhaps only amorphously connected to it, dressed and posing in head-to-toe-to-prosthetic-cheekbones Owens. Many designers have cults, but Owens’s is a true tribe, a group of people with a common language, understanding of each other, and a way of moving through the world (most recently, on those Larry Elastic Kiss boots). Even if you just wear a piece of his clothing and your eyes aren’t masked with conceptual eyeliner, you tap into that tribe, and assert your connection to it above any other clothing concerns. (Like…“Is my leg covered?” This season, just one is!)

“A lot of times, I just see myself as an example of what everybody’s doing,” Owens said backstage after the show. “And if anybody’s responding to my clothes, or anything that I talk about it, it’s just because they relate.”

Owens’s show was an exuberant testament to the power of performance—the joy of displaying yourself—and it was also the fruit of personal revelation. “Every collection I do is autobiographical,” he said. “About 10 years ago, I was a lot more introspective, and, you know, I’ve changed. It’s not as if I’m not as into myself in a way—I mean, I’m into myself, but now I feel like my responsibility is to participate a bit more, instead of, like, analyzing myself. Analyzing yourself is indulgent.” He continued: “Introspection is a good thing, but then the opposite of that is artificial beings. And am I going there? I’m not sure! I might be.” Are you comfortable with that ambiguity? “I’m not sure!”

Victor VIRGILE
Victor VIRGILE
Victor VIRGILE

He zoned in more specifically on what he called “just the generation of selfies. It’s about performing for other people. And is that a good thing? A bad thing? I mean, the whole Instagram thing, in my head, it’s just another form of communication. That’s like the joy of life. And that’s the reason that we are here. We’re here to communicate and we’re here to caress each other, and it’s a different way of doing that. Sometimes it gets cringe-y. Why? It just does.” He paused. “And I have no answers!”

Performance, he went on, “can be vanity, or it can be bringing something to the party. A contribution. So I’m just kind of tussling with myself like, what am I really doing?” That manifested in a revealing collection of with one-legged, one-shouldered jumpsuits like the ones Kansai Yamamoto made for Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, and leathers and silks in gold, blue, and Bowie-hair orange. An outrageous series of coats and jackets with “LOOK AT ME BITCH!”-sized shoulders was the perfect icon for the show’s energy—true Owens obsessives will love it, and clout-chasing Instagrammers will want to wear it, too. To return to Owens’s own question: is that good, or bad? Who knows! It’s refreshing to make and see art without issuing a moral judgment! As Owens said, “There’s a lot of stress, but the world has always existed teetering between collapse and control.”

Owens fans are true outsiders, whose performative nature emphasizes their marvelous otherworldliness. I don’t know if this has ever been more valuable in fashion. We all know and like the same brands—even Emily Ratajkowski and Sebastian Bear-McClard are wearing Online Ceramics now!—and at perhaps no point in history have we believed so fervently and without much consideration that “popular” is the same thing as “cool.” The designers and stylish people who doggedly pursue their own vision are both urgent and eternal.

Victor VIRGILE
Victor VIRGILE
Victor VIRGILE

Enter Yohji Yamamoto, a man who does the same thing every season and still manages to do something different: this time, officer coats, dangling chains that almost looked like loose strands of pearls, swags of fabric hung from the hip. Pure poetry, as usual, devoid of novelty and filled with quiet ideas. Yamamoto used to describe himself as anti-trend or anti-fashion—he has never been interested in interpreting or responding to the times, but keeping a distance that allowed his work to express itself pristinely. Yet Yamamoto said backstage that “I kept saying I’m an outsider. Now the vocabulary is not enough. And I’m angry about what’s going on in fashion, so I have become partisan.” Yamamoto’s archival pieces are becoming hot on the secondary market among fashion nerds, he was on the most recent cover of fashion geek mag System, and other collections shown this week, from Hed Mayner to OAMC to Valentino, showed his influence. In a sense, Yamamoto’s appeal and power is that he stands apart from the fracas of fashion and its sometimes mindless pursuit of novelty. Shouldn’t us young people be capable of engaging with our great designers as more than just fashion godfathers?

Victor VIRGILE
Victor VIRGILE
Victor VIRGILE

Clare Waight Keller showed a remarkable Givenchy collection yesterday—in the Givenchy couture salon, a clean and disciplined blend of streetwise pieces and ravishing demonstrations of her obsessive, careful tailoring. “It’s all about the small details,” she said backstage, and indeed, the intimate setting allowed the audience to really see the perfection of the construction and the minute details that take everything over the top. As the artistic director of a major global brand under the LVMH umbrella, Waight Keller has less independence than Owens and Yamamoto, but this show really demonstrated the ardent pursuit of her old school couturier intuition. Like Owens, funnily enough, she is busy creating performative clothing that seems like a blast to wear, event clothing for which getting dressed is the event itself. In the boys club of big Parisian houses, her couturier’s touch just looks more and more radical every season—an individual vision versus a clout chase. Her tribe, of course, is made up of the clients of her couture atelier. This idea of performative dressing is one of the most exciting in fashion right now, a blend of personal style and a taste for the extreme, but remember: it’s not about getting the latest or Instagram-decreed greatest. Find your tribe, and go all the way in.



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Football

The Raiders Left Oakland. The 49ers Want to Take It.


SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The timing couldn’t have been any better.

After years of turmoil and losing, the San Francisco 49ers, who face the Green Bay Packers in the N.F.C. Championship game on Sunday, are one victory from returning to Super Bowl. There is no better way to drive demand for tickets, jerseys and support from a business community with cash to burn.

And one more thing — the 49ers’ bonanza is happening as their longtime rivals, the Raiders, abandon the Bay Area for Las Vegas, leaving the 49ers to reign as the lone West Coast team between Seattle and Los Angeles and in prime position to annex the East Bay, which has for years been enemy territory clad in black-and-silver.

Making inroads into Raider nation won’t be easy. Raiders fans are among the most fiercely loyal in the N.F.L., and adopting the rival next door as their home team is not in their D.N.A. There were not many Brooklyn Dodgers fans who started rooting for the Yankees in 1958 either. Some fans will follow the team in Las Vegas, even flying there to see them play. Other Raiders fans may stop watching the N.F.L. entirely.

“You’re either a Raiders fan or Niners fan, but you’re never both,” said Wayne Deboe, the president of the Oakland Raiders Booster Club and a fan since the team’s inception in 1960.

Still, the 49ers ascendancy is likely to draw some fans who just want to watch a winner. The Bay Area is filled with transplants seeking Silicon Valley riches — and maybe a local team to root for. Younger fans, even those whose parents have a proclivity for silver and black, may latch onto the rising Niners, who are delicately trying to jump on a golden opportunity.

“We would never try to convert Raiders fans,” said Alex Chang, the chief marketing officer of the 49ers, before outlining what seemed like a pretty good plan to do just that. “It’s a multigenerational play here for people who are transplants or kids who are growing up here now and won’t have the Raiders.”

There will be an expansion of 49er charities in the East Bay. The franchise will invite more East Bay school children to its science and technology programs and expand its free flag football programs. The efforts are not necessarily designed to sell tickets, but represent a kind of soft-sell to bring residents in the entire Easy Bay closer to a team more associated with the city of San Francisco and the peninsula stretching down to San Jose.

Last year, about 60,000 school children from the region visited Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers also funded free flag football leagues for 3,000 boys and girls that were hosted by the Boys & Girls Club, Police Athletic League and city recreational programs there. Children who play in these leagues all receive a Niners reversible jersey. The team will also run one-time football clinics, often with 49ers, in the East Bay. The team intends to triple that number next season by working with those organizations in the East Bay.

“We want kids to be 49ers fans, but it’s not like we want someone not to be a Raiders fan,” said Hannah Gordon, the team’s chief administrative officer.

Sports leagues have tried in the past to create boundaries so that neighboring teams do not encroach on each other’s markets. In the N.F.L., a team’s territory was a 75-mile radius from its home city. Because San Francisco and Oakland are just 10 miles apart, the 49ers and Raiders have informally stayed out of their each other’s cities — no billboards, instance.

But the growth of social media has made lines on a map obsolete, and now the Raiders are gone altogether.

Winning the hearts of abandoned fans is not easy. The Mets were created in 1962 five years after the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants moved to California. The Chargers, who abandoned San Diego three seasons ago, are struggling to gain traction in Los Angeles.

The Kansas City Chiefs have moved eastward across Missouri to St. Louis, which lost the Rams in 2016. Mark Donovan, the Chiefs president, said the team acknowledged that Rams fans may still be angry about the decision to move, but he said ticket sales and sponsorships from that part of the state are on the rise. There is a lot more Chiefs programming on local radio affiliates, too.

The Chiefs’ success — they play in their second consecutive A.F.C. title game on Sunday — has also won over skeptical Rams fans. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce drew a big round of applause when they attended a Blues playoff game last year.

“I don’t think the rivalry between the teams was so bad that people wouldn’t root for the Chiefs,” said Randy Karraker, a talk-show host on 101 ESPN in St. Louis.

That may not be the case in the Bay Area, where the Raiders and 49ers have different identities dating back decades — the 49ers have long been the team of the elite, while the Raiders were the team of the working class. Still, success changes the calculus. Sales of 49ers merchandise have been the strongest in the East Bay — from San Leandro to Oakland to Fremont — this season, up 250 percent compared with last year, according to Fanatics, the largest online seller of licensed merchandise.

“The Bay Area is very provincial,” said Andy Dolich, who worked as a business executive for the Oakland A’s, Golden State Warriors, and, from 2007 to 2010, the 49ers. “But this Niners team has been able to jump the county barriers.”



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Technology

The artist putting tiny Kirby, waffles, and SpongeBob on your mechanical keyboard


One of the most appealing benefits of mechanical keyboards is their customizability, and artisan keycap maker Tiny is on a mission to bring some joy to the keyboard. Her custom keycaps, made from polymer clay and resin, range from designs like waffles drenched in syrup, Baby Yoda, and Kirby, mid-inhale. Whether it’s a lone burger-shaped keycap in place of the escape key or cute characters lining the row of F-keys, her keycaps exude charm and personality. She’s even made one featuring the titular goose from Untitled Goose Game, which works perfectly as a honk button.

Based in San Jose, Tiny first got into mechanical keyboards as a hobby, as she collected keycaps from other artists online. “It’s a very male-dominated hobby, and a lot of the designs that people were making were guy-ish designs, like robots, skulls, and zombies,” she says. “I like cute stuff, so I just wanted to make my own.” She began practicing clay sculpting and streaming her process on Twitch as a way to stay consistent, and eventually started taking commissions. Wanting to turn making keycaps into a sustainable career, she began resin casting, which allows her to create and sell batches of keycaps at a time. It’s now been two years since Tiny quit her job as a software engineer, and she’s since become a Twitch Partner as well as a rising star on TikTok. I caught up with Tiny to chat with her about the niche mechanical keyboard community, how keycap sales are like streetwear drops, and the business of being a creator.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

You have a huge following on TikTok and you’ve been pretty active with it. How do you think that’s helped you with your business?

TikTok is this new frontier that a lot of people, maybe the older generation of people, don’t really know about yet. The audience there, a lot of them are teenagers who don’t have money to buy keyboards, let alone a keycap for that. I’m not trying to sell my products on there, I think Instagram is more geared toward that. TikTok, I just have fun with it and I think it gets my name out there. I think I’ve gotten a lot of media attention from TikTok because people have been reposting my videos, with or without my consent, on art channels on Instagram and on YouTube. And then I’ll get a bunch of followers on Instagram because of that.

I think it’s great to bring awareness to what it is. I’m always interested in telling people about mechanical keyboards and why they’re so great. For some reason, TikTok has been my biggest and best platform, even though I feel like the stuff that I do there is kind of wacky and weird.

Yeah, it’s funny how follow count doesn’t really translate to sales.

Yeah, I have over half a million, and I haven’t tried selling. It’s hard because [the process of] selling artisan keycaps is really weird. People just do drops, kind of like raffle sales. Most of the time, artists don’t make enough for people to buy it. It’s not like people just have them on stock all the time. Sometimes there are group buys so you can sign up to buy a keycap and you’ll get one for sure, but I would say a large part of the community does these raffle-style sales, where people make X amount of keycaps, and you enter to win a spot to buy it.

I personally cannot make enough for people that want my designs. Part of it is it’s a tedious process with really detailed shots of resin, or certain colors or whatever. And because of that, I can’t really tell if there is actually a rise in people buying my stuff because I don’t have it available. People ask me if I have an Etsy or a storefront and I’m just like, “Yeah, whenever I have enough keycaps, I’ll just do a sale.” I’ll announce it on Instagram and my newsletter, but I can’t tell if TikTok is actually doing anything because I don’t have a store with stock.

This raffle sale sounds super competitive, I’ve never heard anything like it. Is there a specialized website for this?

People just do Google Forms. I think someone tried making a website for it, I don’t know if it’s launched yet. But it’s a really small community of people and you kind of know all the makers out there, so you follow them and you wait for them to drop. I feel like it’s similar to streetwear, with specialized drops. Like it’s only open for like an hour or two hours. Sometimes the raffles are really intense, there’s like a two-minute window time, and you have to answer a trivia question.

There’s no central system set up for it and people kind of just do their own thing. A lot of people are hobbyists, even people who make keycaps. They don’t do it full time so some people just make their own websites and run it through there. However the maker wants to run their sales, it’s pretty up to them.

It sounds very lucrative for a creator, if you’re pretty well-known and you make quality products. Basically everything you make is going to sell out.

I think if you’re one of the big makers, that is true. It is likely that you will sell out, or there’s just people who are wanting to buy your keycaps all the time.

But I think that’s still because it’s a small thing and you know who the creators are. Like if it was commercialized, in a way, I think that would lessen the cost of the keycaps and the demand for it. And because it’s small amounts of art that someone is releasing. I think that’s why it’s kind of lucrative like that.

How much of what you make comes from sales, commissions, or from being a Twitch Partner?

It used to be split between three sources, so Twitch being one of them, sponsorships, and then sales. I have cut back on Twitch a lot, I think you have to be pretty consistent about streaming to make a decent amount off of Twitch nowadays. Especially since it’s so variable in terms of how many people are subbed to you and if you stop streaming, people just stop subbing, which makes sense. It’s very hard to say, “This is how much I’ll get every month.” So I mostly rely on sales nowadays just to make sure that I can make enough money.

What are the kinds of companies and brands that sponsor you?

I have a company that sponsors me and I’ll promote their stuff, it’s a mechanical keyboard company. That one is more like a month-to-month thing. And then there’s one-time sponsorship deals that I’ve done and are looking to do. Companies like Logitech, I worked with last year to do a giveaway. And I’m trying to work with gaming companies to see if I can do small runs of keycaps that are related to their game. So it ranges from companies like Corsair, I’ve also worked with in some small capacity, and companies that make keyboards, and gaming companies.

What would you say is your dream sponsorship?

If I could make, like, official Animal Crossing keycaps, that would be amazing. I’ve made Discord keycaps before — I haven’t sold them, just given them to people who work there, but if I can officially make them keycaps, I would love to. Or for large companies like Riot. If I made like a Teemo keycap or something, that would be pretty awesome.

What’s something you wish people knew about mechanical keyboards?

I just wish people knew how cool they can be. One of the big things that drew me into it was that I can customize this keyboard however I want to, like I can do different colors for the keycaps, I can make it whatever layout I want it to be. I worked in an office, I typed on a computer like eight hours a day, so it made sense for something that I use so often, for me to customize it, decorate it, and for it to actually have very practical benefits.

It doesn’t only apply to people who are programmers, obviously. There’s a lot of people who sit in an office every day on their computer. It’s a hobby that anyone can really benefit from or enjoy. And also they don’t have to be loud. I think that’s a common misconception. There are some loud ones —

I’ve sat next to a pretty loud one once.

(laughs) And I’m sorry for that. But there are some very quiet switches that are meant to be silent and smooth. People are like, “I don’t want a mechanical keyboard because it’s too loud.” I’m like, “it doesn’t have to be loud.”

What’s one of your favorite commissions that you’ve done?

I did one that was of someone’s cat, sitting on top of a keycap. They actually used it as a wedding gift. So they sent me pictures of them at their wedding, the bride and groom actually opening up the little keycap present. So they have official pictures of that. I felt really flattered. So I do get commission requests like that, as gifts for anniversaries to get a significant other or something. Those are meaningful to me because it feels like I’m making something that is part of their life.





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Tv Shows

Watchmen Season 2 Probably Won’t Happen After Showrunner Damon Lindelof Exits


HBO’s Watchmen series is looking to be a one-season show as creator Damon Lindelof says he’s not interested in making a second season. Based on the popular DC Comics series of the same name, Watchmen became an instant hit for HBO when it was first released in October of last year. Still, despite the praise, Lindelof feels that he’s already told the story he set out to tell in the show’s first season, and isn’t willing to take the reins for a potential season 2. Without Lindelof on board, the show is now essentially dead in the water, as HBO doesn’t seem keen on moving forward with anyone else in Lindelof’s role.

According to HBO programming chief Casey Bloys, Lindelof “brilliantly took this graphic novel and just kind of broke it open and created a whole new world.” Bloys adds that those at the network are very proud of Watchmen and what Lindelof was able to do with it, also suggesting that any potential the series has to proceed lies squarely on Damon Lindelof. With Lindelof moving on and HBO left without the possibility of his involvement, that all but kills the Watchmen series dead. “It would be hard to imagine doing [season 2] without Damon involved in some way,” Bloys says.

Watchmen premiered on HBO back in October and quickly established itself as one of the most must-see television programs of 2019. The show serves as a sequel to the original comic book series, taking place over three decades later. The story focuses particularly on racist violence in Tulsa, Oklahoma, picking up with a vicious attack on the local police department by a group of white supremacists. This brings about new laws which allow the police to conceal their identities with masks, including Angela Abar – also known as the street vigilante Sister Night. Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Jean Smart, Jeremy Irons, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II star.

RELATED: Watchmen TV Series Planned by HBO & Zack Snyder?

Critics also all mostly agree that Watchmen is a very high-quality series. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season of Watchmen managed to score nearly-universal acclaim with a 96% “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The series has also been given many prestigious award nominations for many categories at different events. This includes wins for Regina King for Best Actress and Jean Smart for Best Supporting Actress at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards. The show also named as one of the Top 10 Television Programs of the Year at the American Film Institute Awards.

Still, not all hope is lost for a second season. Though he wouldn’t personally be involved, Lindelof has “given [his] blessing” to HBO to pursue Watchmen season 2 with another writer-producer, suggesting there’d be no hard feelings whatsoever. Of course, given the network’s hesitance to delve further into the Watchmen universe without Lindelof on board, I wouldn’t hold my breath on it happening. Let’s just enjoy the first (and probably only) season for what it was. This news comes to us from USA Today.

Jeremy Dick at Movieweb



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Basketball

The N.B.A. Embraces a ‘Trash’ Defense


The Clippers, as a result, have used zone looks on 4 percent of their defensive possessions, according to Second Spectrum, and, like Carlisle’s Mavericks, have held the opposition to less than a point per possession when in a zone setup.

Beverley has said that, despite his own Payton-like determination to harass other guards, he has no issues when Rivers calls for zones. He played for nearly four seasons in Europe before establishing himself in the N.B.A., and zone defense is much more prevalent in leagues overseas.

Rivers, though, admits he will sometimes refer to it as a “flex zone” — or “more of a switching defense than a zone” — to encourage player acceptance.

The potential payoff of a well-executed zone is clear, despite the vulnerabilities it exposes in terms of rebounding and surrendering open shots. A good zone, at least for a time, can create confusion, inspire hesitation and potentially dislodge offensive supernovas such as Harden and Curry from their comfort zones.

Thanks to a lack of dependable perimeter shooters around the All-Star big man Joel Embiid, no team faces more zones than the Philadelphia 76ers. The most notable culprit for inviting that strategy is Ben Simmons, Embiid’s fellow All-Star, who has attempted only five 3-pointers all season — sinking two after shooting 0-for-17 from deep over his first two N.B.A. seasons.

The Athletic reported in December that the Sixers saw a zone on 156 possessions in a three-game stretch against Miami, Dallas and Washington over a four-day span. According to Synergy Sports data used in the report, 21 of the league’s 30 teams faced fewer than 156 possessions of zone defense for the entire 2018-19 season.

“We’ve seen so much innovation and change offensively over the last five years,” Toronto’s Nurse said. “It only makes sense that teams are going to try things and look for things defensively to counter that.”



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Baseball

MLB cheating scandal: David Samson explains process of firing a manager as Astros, Mets, Red Sox make changes


In the span of a week, three different MLB managers were given their walking papers for their involvement in the sign-stealing scandal, centered on the Houston Astros. On Thursday, the New York Mets and manager Carlos Beltran stepped down. That was after Alex Cora and the Red Sox mutually agreed to part ways and the Astros fired A.J. Hinch.

In Friday’s installment of “Nothing Personal with David Samson,” Samson dove into a very intriguing topic in what happens when an organization is planning to fire a manager.

“You can terminate a manager, it’s called termination for cause,” Samson said. “If you terminate someone for cause, that means you don’t have to pay them. Which means you get a list in your contract of things you shouldn’t do. Don’t do anything to disparage the organization, make sure you show up to 162 games, make sure you’re prepared. If you do all those things and you go 0-162, we cannot fire you for cause. Just because you stink does not you can be fired for cause.”

Obviously, when it comes to the Mets parting ways with Beltran, the franchise had plenty of cause to terminate his contract. Beltran was one of the players that was at the forefront of the sign-stealing scandal and the Mets couldn’t expect him to lead a locker room with those details coming out.

It wasn’t completely a bad deal for Beltran. The Mets ended up donating $200,000 to Beltran’s charity the “Carlos Beltran Foundation.”

Now the Mets — along with the Astros and Red Sox — are forced to begin their search for a new manager with spring training just around the corner. 





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Movies

The Mandalorian Actor Hints at Why Baby Yoda Is So Important to Moff Gideon


Why does Moff Gideon want Baby Yoda so bad? Giancarlo Esposito gives Star Wars fans a few clues in a new interview. The Mandalorian has introduced the world to a new corner of the Star Wars galaxy with a lot of familiarity, along with some new intriguing characters. Baby Yoda, aka the Child, is the biggest character and the biggest mystery at the same time. Arguably, the same can be said for Esposito’s Gideon character who really wants to get his hands on the little green dude.

We last saw Moff Gideon as he wielded the Darksaber at the end of The Mandalorian season 1. He pulled out the mysterious weapon to climb out of the TIE Fighter wreckage after many assumed he was dead. He’s far from dead, and as Giancarlo Esposito says, the character will have an expanded role in season 2. But what does he want with Baby Yoda. Esposito explains.

“I know… Like any great leader or scientist — clue, clue, clue — with someone who is advanced in a certain way, yeah, you could want to be their best friend, or you could want to co-opt what is inside them to figure out how to make all of us a little better at humanity. So it’s that power and control of a Moff leader who is trying to put the universe back together. But, how does he know everything? How does he know everything that’s going on? He’s a very interesting character and I’m so honored to be a part of this production.”

While Giancarlo Esposito can’t really give anything away, he does give fans something to speculate about while the wait for The Mandalorian season 2 continues. His answer is also very straight forward without divulging too much. With an expanded role in season 2, we’re going to learn a lot more about Moff Gideon and his intentions, which will more than likely shed some light on Baby Yoda’s origins.

In a separate interview, Giancarlo Esposito revealed how much he loves the Star Wars franchise, especially the original trilogy. Part of the reason he was attracted to The Mandalorian is because it has a similar vibe to what George Lucas sought to do. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni studied the things that Lucas did in an effort to get close to the franchise’s start. Thankfully, they have done a great job in doing so.

RELATED: Baby Yoda’s Head on Hulk’s Body Is Incredibly Swole and Disturbing

The Mandalorian season 2 will hit Disney+ this fall, which will be here before we know it. With that being said, there’s still plenty of things to look forward to, including the Baby Yoda merchandise, which drops in May. From there, we will probably get some season two teases and at least a trailer by late summer. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see. The interview with Giancarlo Esposito was originally conducted by IGN.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb



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Lifestyle

Southwest Road Trip Planner: The Best Campgrounds, National Parks and Hidden Gems


If a cactus is the only thing that comes to mind when you think of the southwest, it’s time to hop in the car and explore. Sure there’s plenty of these spiny succulents along the way, but there’s also a lot more to see and do than you might realize. Are you ready to hit the road?

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area – Lake Mead National Recreation Area – Flagstaff Urban Trails System – Single Speed Coffee Café – Seven Sacred Pools and Devil’s KitchenBell RockWatson LakePapago ParkSaguaro National Park (West)Raijin RamenSaguaro National Park (East)Bonita Canyon Campground – Massai Point at Chiricahua National MonumentHabanero’s Fresh MexOrgan Mountains Desert Peaks National MonumentWhite Sands National Monument

Stop 1: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, NV

There’s more to the Las Vegas area than slot machines and card tables. Just west of all the neon and flashing lights lies Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Trade the gambling in for a sure bet on rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, hiking and even horseback riding.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 2: Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Did you know there are nine different wilderness sections and roughly 1.5 million acres that make up the Lake Mead National Recreation Area? We recommend getting some perspective by checking out some of the turnouts before heading down to the water’s edge. Once there, you can rent paddle boards, take a cruise, or go scuba diving, fishing or even swimming. (Note: There are several loaner life jacket stations located around the park. Click here for more info.)

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 3: FUTS, Flagstaff, AZ

We’ve got a crush on Flagstaff—a big one. There’s a lot to love: good food, great coffee (see below), elevation (it sits at about 7,000 feet) and, of course, trails—and lots of ’em. One of our favorites is the urban trail system called FUTS which makes getting around town fun and easy. It’s a mixture of pavement and gravel and is both hiker/biker friendly.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 4: Single Speed Coffee Café

Post-run or ride, this café tops our list for a great place to caffeinate in Flagstaff. It’s super chill, the coffees are roasted in-house, the baristas are friendly, there’s outdoor seating, free wi-fi and it’s bike-themed. What more could you ask for?

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 5: Seven Sacred Pools and Devil’s Kitchen, Sedona, AZ

After leaving Flagstaff, head south to Sedona to visit these two spots. Just be sure to get there early. The parking is a bit tricky (there’s only 14 spots, the lot is only open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., it’s gated, and there’s very, very limited parking otherwise) but it’s worth the effort.

With any luck, you’ll be able to snag a spot and then hike to two of the coolest places we’ve found in the southwest: Seven Sacred Pools and Devil’s Kitchen. Note: Be sure to watch you footing around the sinkhole. The edge comes up on you quickly and one false step could be super dangerous.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 6: Bell Rock, Sedona
Haven’t gotten your fill of red rocks yet? No worries, Bell Rock is just a short drive (or bike ride) away. It’s one of the more popular tourist attractions in Sedona, so if you’re going, be prepared for crowds and go as early as you can.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 7: Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ
The $3 we spent to enter this park was probably the best $3 spent on our entire road trip. When we first arrived at Watson Lake we couldn’t stop thinking about how much it reminded of us of Joshua Tree – except it was on a lake…and in Prescott.

We stayed for sunset and then showed up at sunrise the next morning to log some miles on the Watson Lake Loop. (Note: Go clockwise around the lake for an easier, less-technical finish to your run or hike).
Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 8: Papago Park

In less than two hours (unless there’s traffic), you can be in Papago Park. It’s on the east side of Phoenix and is a great place to ride your bike, climb into Hole in the Rock, hike or just relax at a picnic shelter by several of the community fishing spots.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 9: Saguaro National Park (West)

Saguaro National Park is actually divided into two different sections—both worth visiting—with Tucson sitting right in the middle. A good jumping off point is the Red Hills Visitor Center. You can pick up a free map of some of the trails in the area (it’s a bit more detailed than the typical map that is given upon entry to most national parks.) You can also refill your water bottles and check out some of the small exhibits they have on display.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 10: Raijin Ramen, Tuscon, AZ

Because, carbs. And because refueling after logging miles in the desert makes us crave random things. The bowl seemed bottomless even though we finished it and the broth was full of flavor. When in Tucson …

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 11: Saguaro National Park (East)

Don’t forget to save time for some adventuring on the eastern side of Saguaro National Park in the Rincon Mountain District.

There are tons of trails worth exploring Cactus Forest Trail) as well as an 8-mile paved road that winds you through a beautiful saguaro forest. Sunsets here are one of a kind.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 12: Bonita Canyon Campground

Just like the name suggests, this campground is located in Bonita Canyon inside Chiricahua National Monument. It serves as an excellent base camp for exploring in and around the park, and will only run you $20 a night.

The campgrounds have water, flush toilets, picnic tables and food storage lockers. If you arrive early enough in the day, look for the trailhead located near the camp host and get a few miles under your belt. The trail is sandy and soft with a few stream crossings and will take you past the old Stafford Cabin and Faraway Ranch.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 13: Massai Point at Chiricahua National Monument

This is one place you should make a point to visit if you are looking for a jaw-dropping sunrise. Get up in the dark, make some coffee and get to Massai Point early enough to watch the sun turn Sugarloaf Mountain a gorgeous orange-pink and then light up the valley and all of the rocks below it.

Then, if you’re feeling inspired, hike any one of the numerous trails within the park. There’s even a short .5 mile nature trail right near this sunrise spot.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 14: Habanero’s Fresh Mex, Las Cruces, NM

This spot has cold beer and big, delicious plates of food for decent prices. Go for the chicken fajitas (they come with rice and beans, a scoop of guac and sour cream) or the burrito. Both are guaranteed to fill you up. Our favorite part? The free bowl of welcome soup.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 15: Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks National Monument

You can see the Organ Mountains from Las Cruces, and they beckoned us. There’s 496,000 acres for you to roam and wander and they will not disappoint if you are looking to go off the grid and escape for a bit.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

Stop 16: White Sands National Monument

Just when it seems like the landscape can’t get any better (or more unique), suddenly everything turns a bright white and there are dunes as far as the eye can see. Here, you can go dune sledding, hike into the backcountry or just take a spin through the park in your vehicle. Whatever you choose, it’s not a bad place to bring your Southwest road trip to an end.

Photo: Authentic Asheville

The post Southwest Road Trip Planner: The Best Campgrounds, National Parks and Hidden Gems appeared first on Men's Journal.



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Music

Øya Festival adds Stormzy, FKA Twigs, Aurora to 2020 line-up


Stormzy, FKA Twigs and Aurora are some of the latest names to join the line-up for this year’s Øya Festival in Norway.

The festival, held in Tøyen Park from August 11-15, had previously announced Bon Iver and Bikini Kill. Also joining the bill at this year’s event is Dave, Michael Kiwanuka, Suede, Floating Points, Emilie Nicolas, Kvelertak, Sondre Lerche, Kamaal Williams, Koffee, Dagny, Kamara, Los Bitchos, Myra and Signe Marie Rustard.

The 2020 instalment follows the festival’s 20th anniversary, which took place last summer, and featured the likes of Tame Impala, The Cure, James Blake, Christine and the Queens and Erykah Badu.

Brockhampton live at Øya Festival

NME‘s Andrew Trendell attended the 2019 event. In a five-star review he wrote that the festival “is inclusive, green and feel-good – like all festivals could be”.

“Not only is it Norway’s biggest festival, it has also become renowned as a true favourite hidden gem across Europe. Sure, it’s great that they can attract Glastonbury headliners like The Cure and Tame Impala to the intimate settings of Oslo’s green city centre Tøyenpark. But the success of this festival is about much more than big names.

He continued: “Where other festivals follow, Øya seems to lead. Primavera Sound made headlines this year with a pioneering approach to having a 50/50 gender-split line-up, with other international events signing up for this to be the norm by 2022. This is the third year in a row that Øya has done the same thing – with no fanfare.”

Tickets for the festival are available here.





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