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Sufjan Stevens writes Miley Cyrus a grammar/mash note

Sufjan Stevens writes Miley Cyrus a grammar/mash note

He loves her, but not her imperfect tense

First Sinead O’Connor, then Amanda Palmer and now Sufjan Stevens?

The indie musician is the latest to write a letter to Miley Cyrus, but his missive comes off a little bit like a mash note. Ostensibly, he’s criticizing her for her poor grammar choice, but he concludes the letter on an up note, calling her “the hottest cake in the pan.” It doesn’t even make sense since there’s usually only one cake per pan, but it’s an awesome compliment.

He loves her new album, “Bangerz,” and especially the track, “Get It Right,” but he just can’t get past her line, “I been laying in bed,” which should be “I have been lying in bed.” We feel you, Sufjan. We still can’t get past the line in Bryan Adams’ “Run To You” when he sings, “But that would change if she ever found out about you and I,” instead of “you and me.”

Stevens, who posted the letter on his website,  genially teaches her a little about the present perfect continuous tense and assures her that other great Southern writers like herself, including Faulkner, have gotten it wrong.

No response yet from Cyrus, but we have a feeling she’ll take a little more kindly to this criticism than to O’Connor’s.

Though he didn't feel compelled to write an open letter, Paul McCartney also weighed in on Cyrus, telling Sky News, "C'mon, we've seen worse than that!." I think he meant it as a compliment. Seriously, he added that he has no trouble letting his 10-year old daughter watch Cyrus, even her VMA performance: "I watched it [first], and you say, 'What's everyone shouting about?' I think it was only mildly shocking...it wasn't explicit at all."  (h/t Rolling Stone)

Besides, nothing should get Cyrus down this week: come Wednesday, she will have the No. 1 album in the land as “Bangerz” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Here is Stevens' note in full:

“Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time. But don’t worry, even Faulkner messed it up. We all make mistakes, and surely this isn’t your worst misdemeanor. But also, Miley, did you know the tense here is also totally wrong. Surely you’ve heard of Present Perfect Continuous Tense (I HAVE BEEN LYING in this bed all night long [hopefully getting some beauty sleep?]). It’s a weird, equivocal, almost purgatorial tense, not quite present, not quite past, not quite here, not quite there. Somewhere in between. I feel that way all the time. It kind of sucks. But I have a feeling your “present perfect continuous” involves a lot more excitement than mine. Anyway, doesn’t that also sum up your career right now? Present. Perfect. Continuous. And Tense. Intense? Girl, you work it like Mike Tyson. Miley, I love you because you’re the Queen, grammatically and anatomically speaking. And you’re the hottest cake in the pan. Don’t ever grow old. Live brightly before your fire fades into total darkness. XXOO Sufjan”



 

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'The Simpsons' teaming with 'Hello Kitty'


"The Simpsons" teaming with "Hello Kitty"

The two hit franchises will collaborate on a special line of products next year.


Susan Sarandon & daughter Eva Amurri to star in an NBC comedy together

They'll star in "Growing Ivy" in which Eva Amurri Martino will play a control freak who asks her mom to move in with her to help manage her life.


Netflix orders a psychological thriller from the creators of "Damages"
Will a drama about a group of siblings become the next Netflix hit?


Viewers can taste the results from a Mark Burnett TNT reality cooking competition
"On the Menu" will literally put the winning dish on the menu after each episode.


"Arrested Development's" Jessica Walter will play Jamie Pressly's mom on TV Land
She'll star in "Jennifer Falls," in which Pressly plays a single mom who moves back in with her mother.


"Grey's Anatomy" bringing back Hector Elizondo

He's reprising his role as Callie's dad.

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<p>Regrettably, it seems Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy, and Hugh Jackman will have to sex you up in regular 24 FPS 3D for next summer's 'X-Men:&nbsp;Days Of Future Past.'</p>

Regrettably, it seems Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy, and Hugh Jackman will have to sex you up in regular 24 FPS 3D for next summer's 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past.'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Sources say 'X-Men' will not appear in a 48 FPS 'Days Of Future Past'

It would be a huge moment for HFR if it happened

Despite Ain't It Cool's two sources saying that "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" is set to be released in the relatively new 48 FPS "HFR" process, multiple sources close to the production emphatically refuted those claims this morning. No one was willing to offer us any official comment at this time, but it was quite telling that one person I reached out to had not yet heard the story and another, when I explained it, seemed unsure what HFR was. Even the studio seemed a little surprised and confused by the story overall when contacted about it, hardly the slick denial that they normally have ready when they're not yet prepared to announce something.

To be clear, 20th Century Fox is not planning to release "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" in the HFR process.

If it were true, it would be big news. Right now, Peter Jackson is still the only major studio filmmaker who has been willing to shoot and release something in the format, and the response to last year's "Hobbit" release had me wondering if they were even going to bother putting out the other two films in the trilogy that way.

After all, it's one thing to release your movie in 2D and 3D. The post-production pipeline has been somewhat set up to accommodate those two choices. But 48 FPS is a whole new animal, and a far more aggressive aesthetic decision. I think there's absolutely room for HFR to be a part of big-budget blockbuster filmmaking, and it really does transform the experience completely. I'm personally happy that Dolby Atmos seems to be something the entire industry is starting to embrace, and much more emphatically than with HFR, because it's just as important that we continue to push the sound experience forward.

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<p>Andrew Lincoln in &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Andrew Lincoln in "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' returns to record ratings

Ratings higher than ever for the most popular show in basic cable history

You can't stop "The Walking Dead," which returned last night to its biggest ratings ever — an incredible 16.1 million viewers and a whopping 8.2 rating among adults 18-49.

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Sitthiphon Disamoe,  Thep Phongam and Sumrit Warin in "The Rocket."
Sitthiphon Disamoe, Thep Phongam and Sumrit Warin in "The Rocket."
Credit: Kino Lorber

Review: Australia's Oscar hopeful 'The Rocket' is a sticky but sweet survival tale

Child's-eye story offers lyricism with a dash of James Brown and fireworks

LONDON - Disenfranchised families, displaced by water, scouring an unaccommodating landscape for some semblance of home -- it's easy to see why the "Beasts of the Southern Wild" references surfaced when "The Rocket," a bright, appealing debut narrative feature from Australian documentarian Kim Mordaunt, blew up at Berlin and Tribeca earlier this year. As with most such loose-fitting comparisons -- useful when trying to articulate enthusiasm for something otherwise unfamiliar-looking -- they don't much describe or favor either film. Set in a post-Katrina South, "Beasts" used tragedy to immerse audiences into a state of positively unearthly social decay; set in a war-scarred Laos, "The Rocket," predicated on a bureaucratic rather than natural disaster, undercuts its exoticism with recognizable social comedy at every turn. It's a feel-good film that only momentarily pauses to feel otherwise.  

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'The Walking Dead' sets a new record with 16.1 million viewers


"The Walking Dead" sets a new record with 16.1 million viewers

That's way up from the 12.4 million who watched the Season 3 finale and the 10.9 million who saw the Season 3 premiere.


CW tones down masturbation scene in "Reign" pilot

A scene in the premiere shows the King of France helping a handmaiden pleasure herself.


CBS is remaking "The Cisco Kid"

Salma Hayek is behind a modern-day retelling of the classic Western.


Alec Baldwin gets big ratings for MSNBC, but not in the key demo

About 654,000 viewers checked out the premiere of "Up Late."

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Peter Capaldi

Peter Capaldi

Credit: BBC America

Is 'Doctor Who' getting a dark twist with director Ben Wheatley?

The 'Kill List' director is tacklin the first two episodes of season eight

It seems that "Doctor Who" is going dark for season eight. As suggested in the season seven finale, the future isn't looking so bright for the good doctor, plus the casting of Peter Capaldi to replace the decidedly bouncier Matt Smith only seemed to confirm that impression. Now comes word that director Ben Wheatley ("Kill List," "Sightseers") will be directing the first two episodes of the show. Given Wheatley's track record for dark comedy and horror, don't expect any cute aliens when new episodes start airing next fall. 

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<p>Pearl Jam, &quot;Lightning Bolt&quot;</p>

Pearl Jam, "Lightning Bolt"

Credit: Monkeywrench, Inc./Universal Republic

Review: Pearl Jam's new album 'Lightning Bolt' strikes, but sometimes misses its mark

The band's 10th album is a strong effort, despite some flaws

On “Lightning Bolt,” Pearl Jam’s 10th studio album, the Seattle group isn’t content to rest on its laurels. The 12 songs here — all anchored by Eddie Vedder’s often stirring, always impassioned vocal delivery, Mike McCready and Stone Gossard’s fine, sharp guitar playing, and drummer Matt Cameron and bassist Jeff Ament’s sturdy rhythm section —are well delivered, with taut, strong musicianship.

By now, after more than 20 years, it’s not a surprise that the band finds itself so easily in the pocket on the Brendan O’Brien-produced set. Even though the band stretches out of its usual heavy, mid-tempo, groove here a few times, the playing always sounds assured, but that doesn’t mean everything works as well as it should.

Some of the songs, including first two singles, the spiky “Mind Your Manners” and the heartbreaking “Sirens,” hit their marks with perfect precision.  On others, as Pearl Jam drifts into funkier territory or space rock, don’t land as gracefully. It seems churlish to deduct points for Pearl Jam’s attempts to push its boundaries a little here, but the result is an album that sometimes feels a tad unfocused and one that could use a little more bite in a few places.

Also, given that it’s the band’s first album since 2009’s “Backspacer,” it seems odd that the band had to draw upon a track from Vedder’s 2011 solo album, “Ukulele Songs,” to round out the package.

Lyrically, Vedder looks both outward and rails against the system ("Mind Your Manners" and "Infallible"),  as well as inward on such beauties as "Sirens" and "Future Days," but he's also sensing his own mortality on a number of the tracks.

Despite its flaws, there’s much here to enjoy on the band’s first album in four years, out Oct. 15. Here’s a track-by-track review:

“Getaway”: A thrashy, mid-tempo treat opens the album with the band firing on all cylinders. “Getaway” has a 70s rock feel as Vedder rants about organized religion. In a career built on often impenetrable lyrics, he comes across loud and clear when he sings, “Science says we’re making love like the lizards.” Go figure. GRADE: B

“Mind Your Manners”: A punk rock blast across the bow, this feral tune features Cameron bashing away as if his life depended upon it and a blistering metal guitar solo by McCready. It will undoubtedly be a high point of the live show. GRADE: A

“My Father’s Son”: Vedder’s father issues are, understandably,  the dominant story of his life and he’s got a lots left to say here.  The song totally shape shifts in the last third, but for the most part is a dark, driving tune about getting out from under your own gene pool. “Now father, you’re dead and gone and I’m finally free to be me,” Vedder sings, although none of the torment seems to be alleviated. GRADE: B-

“Sirens”: Simply one of the most beautiful ballads Pearl Jam has recorded. There are seldom happy endings in Pearl Jam’s songs and this one won’t end well either, but between the gorgeous piano-based melody, and Vedder singing about how the “fear goes away” when he holds his disappearing lover and how fragile life is, this is the album’s masterpiece. GRADE: A+

“Lightning Bolt”: The titular character is a woman whom you will never be able to tame, even when you ride her like a wave or she may be the ocean. The mid-tempo rocker has a killer vocal by Vedder and it explodes into a full-on burner for a nice build that left me wishing the whole song had that kind of thrust: GRADE: B

“Infallible”:  Funky isn’t really one of Pearl Jam’s signatures, but the band gives it a try with this tune about man’s infallibility. “Our ship’s come in and it’s sinking,” Vedder sings. It’s fun to hear the band play around a bit here and switch it up, even though it’s a tripwire of a song that feels a bit more like a curiosity than anything else. GRADE: C

“Pendulum”: “We are here and then we go/my shadow left me long ago,” Vedder sings on this stark, spare entry. The subdued percussion brings a feeling of foreboding, as a lonely tremelo guitar line weaves through much of the song, adding to the haunted feel. “Easy left me a long time ago,” Vedder sings. The change of pace works much better here than on “Infallible.”  GRADE: B+

“Swallowed Whole”: Redolent of mid-‘90s Pearl Jam, this track feels like a loose-limbed jam that could take flight at any point. Lyrically, it’s a reminder of how our peace and sense of nature get swallowed up with all the mire and muck of daily life. GRADE: B+

“Let The Records Play”: That funky bounce is back as Cameron and Ament find a cool groove here. The sneaky bass line works well, but the rest of the song never really goes anywhere. GRADE: C

“Sleeping By Myself”: The gentle, lulling, acoustic tale  first appeared n sounds like an Vedder’s 2011 solo album, “Ukulele Songs” and is stretched out in an enhanced version here. He’s destined to be forever lonely as his love leaves him and he comes to the conclusion that love and disaster are pretty much the same thing. GRADE: B-

“Yellow Moon”:
A spacey, intentionally slow drift of a song with a dreamy vocal by Vedder and measured drumming from Cameron. GRADE: B-

“Future Days”: For all the turbulence that life brings, both from external struggles and internal demons, there can be beautiful moments where we can leave all that behind, especially when we find the one person who anchors us and lets us fly at the same time. The album concludes with a very happy ending on this emotional piano ballad (complete with strings and O’Brien on piano) as Vedder sees a future free of pain... OK, maybe with a little less pain. GRADE: B
 

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Sean Lowe and Catherine Guidici

Sean Lowe and Catherine Guidici

Credit: ABC

'Bachelor' couple Sean and Catherine set to wed on live TV

For the first time ever, a 'Bachelor' wedding will be telecast live

And they said it wouldn't last (and it may still be too soon to say it will, as they haven't gotten down the aisle just yet), but "The Bachelor"'s Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudicie have set a date. They're so confident, in fact, they're letting ABC air their wedding live, Sun. Jan. 26 at 8:00 p.m. This is the first time ever that a "Bachelor" wedding has aired live. Can't wait to see what goes wrong!

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Network ratings hurt by 'The Walking Dead,' baseball playoffs, NFL


Network ratings hurt by "The Walking Dead," baseball playoffs, NFL
It was a perfect storm of ratings decline for many network shows, with "The Amazing Race" and "The Good Wife" suffering the most damage.


"The View" will broadcast live from Disneyland, with Jimmy Kimmel as lead guest

The November sweeps stunt is set for the week of Nov. 18.


IFC renews "Comedy Bang! Bang!"

Twenty episodes will air in 2014, divided into two 10-episode blocks.


"Breaking Bad's" Christopher Cousins joins "Revolution"

The actor famous for playing Ted Beneke will appear alongside fellow "Bad" alum Giancarlo Esposito.


Tom Hanks & Sandra Bullock recreate his famous "Big" scene on British TV

Watch them dance on a piano on Jonathan Ross' talk show.


Watch the official trailer for Starz's "Black Sails"

The pirate drama is Michael Bay's first TV project.

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<p>&quot;Dallas Buyers Club&quot;</p>

"Dallas Buyers Club"

Credit: Focus Features

Off the Carpet: How do this year's Oscar hopefuls reflect the zeitgeist?

Films from 'All is Lost' to 'Dallas Buyers Club' have something to say about the here and now

We've weighed the contenders and early declarations have been made. The whisper campaigns and casual takedowns have begun with no real (comfortable) frontrunner to emerge for a while yet. But as we look out over this year's Oscar contending crop, what does it have to say about where and who we are?

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<p>Dwayne Harris of the Cowboys had a huge night</p>

Dwayne Harris of the Cowboys had a huge night

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Cowboys-Redskins game leads NBC Sunday, while 'Good Wife,' 'Mentalist' struggle

Football and the ALCS boost FOX into second
Fast National ratings for Sunday, October 13, 2013.
 
NBC got big Sunday Night Football results from a rivalry game between the Cowboys and Redskins, its best NFL results in a few weeks and enough to easily dominate Sunday primetime in all measures.
 
And it was NFL overrun that pushed FOX to a strong second place finishing, giving the network a huge 7 p.m. hour, though Red Sox-Tigers baseball coverage also helped
 
Meanwhile, for the first time all season, CBS got to air its Sunday lineup without preemptions, giving us a chance to see just how low the numbers for "Good Wife" and "The Mentalist" actually are without boosting. The answer? "Fairly Low."
 
ABC's Sunday offerings also struggled with "Once Upon a Time" and "Revenge" slipping and "Betrayal" continuing to stand in vicinity of cancellation.
 
And, of course, numbers for "The Walking Dead" premiere on AMC will be available later today.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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