Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bruce Springsteen Salutes Prince with Moving Rendition of “Purple Rain”

Vanity Fair, April 24, 2016

One icon mourned another during a powerful concert in Brooklyn last night. 

During the ’80s, Prince and Bruce Springsteen put out some of the best work of their careers and ignited an ongoing debate over who truly ruled the world of rock and roll. In the 80s alone, Prince cranked out masterpiece after masterpiece, with Dirty Mind,  Controversy,  1999,  Purple Rain,  Around the World in a Day,  Parade,  Sign o’ the Times,  Lovesexy, and his brilliant Batman score all elevating him to the top of the music world. Meanwhile, Springsteen forged such paeans to hardened americana as The RiverNebraskaBorn in the U.S.A., and Tunnel of Love. They traded the top spot on the Billboard charts and the Pazz and Jop poll back and forth over the course of the decade, occupying an entirely different level of songcraft and guitar prowess.
Last night, Springsteen paid tribute to his fallen contemporary during his concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, when he opened with a stirring rendition of Prince’s signature opus, “Purple Rain.” Springsteen’s concerts are the stuff of legend, attracting attendees hundreds of times over on the merit of their exuberant, cathartic energy, and the already-anthemic Prince classic fit perfectly into Springsteen’s set. It was a poignant moment as he growled out the soaring chorus of the song, with the crowd joining in to accompany his vocals. Both Springsteen and E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren shredded solos that would have made Prince proud, showing the same passion and dexterity on six strings as the dearly departed Purple One. But there can only truly be one Prince, and for many of the superfans in attendance, the cover inspired both a twinge of sadness as well as an emotional release.

Springsteen has long been a reliable source of reassurance and comfort during national crises, whether it was sifting through the wreckage of 9/11 with his album The Rising or chronicling the slow, sad decline of American industry. At this time of country-wide distress (really, though—this grieving process has revealed that absolutely nobody dislikes Prince), we can rely on the Boss to soothe our aching hearts. At the same time, there’s nothing quite like the original, so:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

PRINCE For Ever!

BREAKING NEWS: Prince has died at age 57. Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the singer, songwriter, multiple instrumentalist, producer and actor was recognized as a musical genius, trend setter and advocate for artists’ rights. His indelible impact on pop music culture dates back to when he first surfaced in 1978 with his debut album "For You." 
I will never forget his concert at the Carranza Stadium in Cádiz in August 1993.

The singer, who was on his "Piano and a Microphone" tour," also had to cancel two shows earlier in the month due to the flu. The "Purple Rain" singer's last performance was Thursday night in Atlanta.

His early albums -- 1979’s "Prince," 1980’s "Dirty Mind" and 1981’s "Controversy" -- built his core fan base while also creating controversial buzz due to their fusion of religious and sexual themes.

The 1984 semi-autobiographical rock musical drama film "Purple Rain" –- and its best-selling soundtrack -- vaulted him into the pop stratosphere. The film won the now-defunct Best Original Song Score award at the Oscars and the album was his best-selling one, amassing sales of over 25 million copies.

Through his career, Prince won seven Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. (ABC NEWS)

Friday, April 08, 2016

2016 NCAA Final Game: Villanova 77 - North Carolina 74

Slide Show

SLIDE SHOW|10 Photos

Battle for the National Title

Battle for the National Title

CreditBob Donnan/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

HOUSTON — They run the play so often in practice that Villanova CoachJay Wright hardly needed to draw it up in the huddle. It is instantly recognizable by a simple name: Nova.
It is the Wildcats’ go-to set with less than five seconds remaining on the game clock, and there they were, all tied with North Carolina in Monday’s national title game, with 4.7 seconds left.
The Tar Heels had just put the Wildcats on their heels, storming back from 10 points down in five frantic minutes, tying the game on a circus 3-pointer by the iron-willed Marcus Paige, and breathing new life into a game that seemed to have long since slipped away from them.
But after Wright called the play, the ball went into the hands of the Wildcats senior Ryan Arcidiacono, who raced upcourt, turned and flipped the ball backward to Kris Jenkins, trailing the play. His shot rattled through the rim as time expired.
Cameras caught Wright saying one word: “Bang.”
“It is still surreal,” Wright said later.
Confetti rained. Players dogpiled. It had been 31 years since Villanova’s last national title, in 1985, but the Wildcats had delivered again, 77-74, over the Tar Heels, a No. 1 seed, at NRG Stadium in front of an announced 74,340 fans who exited in delirium or disbelief.


Villanova and U.N.C. on Championship

Coaches and players from University of North Carolina and Villanova University speak to press about Villanova's national title win on Monday.
 By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on Publish DateApril 5, 2016. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images. Watch in Times Video »

It was the first buzzer-beating shot to win an N.C.A.A. men’s national title since Lorenzo Charles’s dunk for North Carolina State in 1983, and the first title game to end on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Jenkins, a 6-foot-6-inch junior forward, had been 280 pounds when he arrived at Villanova, a recruitment that materialized thanks to his adoptive brother, North Carolina’s Nate Britt. The Britts adopted Jenkins in 2007, and Nate was Villanova’s original target as a prospect. But Villanova fell in love with Jenkins’s soft touch.
He was the inbound passer Monday night as “Nova” took shape. It is designed for Arcidiacono to have the license to make three decisions: drive to the hoop, feed to the wing (where a screen was being set) or look for Jenkins trailing behind.
Continue reading the main story
“We knew what play we were going to,” Arcidiacono said. “We work on it every single day.”
Jenkins said, “For him to be so unselfish and give up the ball, it just shows what type of teammate he is.”
Carolina was vying for its sixth national title, and Coach Roy Williams his third, to move him into a tie for fourth on the career list with Jim Calhoun and Bob Knight. He would have surpassed his mentor, the legendary North Carolina coach Dean Smith.
“I promised them, if they do what I said, we’d come back and we’d have a chance to win the game,” Williams said. “We let Villanova have the ball last.”


Villanova players mobbed Kris Jenkins (2) after his buzzer-beating 3-pointer sealed an upset of North Carolina.CreditDavid J. Phillip/Associated Press

Arcidiacono, who was named the most outstanding player of the Final Four, scored 16 points. Phil Booth added a team-high 20 for Villanova. Paige scored a game-high 21 points.
When Arcidiacono arrived four years ago, out of shape, mending a back injury, he knew he had a challenge on his hands. Villanova had been 13-19 the previous season, finishing 14th in the Big East. He started calling his freshman teammates “the redemption class.”
“We wanted to get it back to what the standards of Villanova basketball should be,” he said Sunday.
That meant returning the Wildcats to the Final Four, where they had not been since 2009. Wright’s team lost to North Carolina that year in Detroit, and he vowed to make changes. His team was not going to be distracted by the setting, happy to be there. When the Wildcats left the team hotel for the arena this year, for instance, they sneaked out a back door instead of through dizzying throngs of fans in the lobby.
Both teams were experienced, led by senior guards (Paige and Arcidiacono) on a mission. There were no freshman prodigies expected to dazzle and then ditch college for the N.B.A. This was a throwback game.
It had been a fitful regular season, with no dominating teams and with a crowd of contenders leapfrogging one another at the top of the rankings. That uncertainty produced one of the wildest opening weekends in N.C.A.A. tournament history, with 13 first-round upsets and 10 wins by teams with double-digit seeds.


Seconds before Jenkins’s shot, North Carolina guard Marcus Paige, defended by Ryan Arcidiacono, launched a 3-pointer that tied the game.CreditDavid J. Phillip/Associated Press

All the while, Villanova and North Carolina quietly established themselves as a cut above. The Tar Heels, the No. 1 seed in the East Region, had yet to win a tournament game by fewer than 14 points. The Wildcats, a No. 2 seed from the South Region, had to upset the top seed, Kansas, to reach the Final Four. But on Saturday, they delivered a performance for the ages, setting records for margin of victory (44 points) and highest field-goal percentage (71.4 percent).
That magic had worn off, slightly, by Monday, though Villanova still shot 58.3 percent from the field and 8 of 14 from 3-point range.
It was a sloppy start to the game, with the teams combining for four turnovers and only five field goals in the first five minutes. But Carolina, which had missed its first 12 3-point attempts in Saturday’s win over Syracuse, delivered on five of its first seven, including three in a row from the same corner.
Carolina was leading, 32-30, with two minutes remaining in the half when Joel Berry II knifed through Villanova’s defense for an uncontested layup, prompting Wright to call timeout. The Wildcats went into the locker room at intermission trailing, 39-34, despite shooting 58 percent from the field.
Villanova even outscored Carolina in the paint, 18-12, in the first half, a rarity against the Tar Heels’ interior size. A dry spell for the Tar Heels early in the second half allowed the Wildcats to retake a 49-46 lead with 12 minutes 45 seconds remaining. It would grow to double digit thanks to 3s by Jenkins and Arcidiacono with 5:29 left.
Williams said he tried everything in the huddle to motivate his group. He was making his fifth appearance in the national title game. He was hobbling on along the sideline on bad knees. He had been irritable with reporters in recent days, sensitive to inquiries about retirement or the continuing N.C.A.A. investigation into Carolina’s long-running academic fraud.
But he had brought U.N.C. to its first Final Four since 2009, its last title, and few expected the Tar Heels to leave quietly.

New English Words

Language is alive and forever changing. English is, by far, the fastest-growing language in the world. Reports say that ten new words, expressions or acronyms are coined every day in English. Here are some I have compiled recently. If you know of a new term and want to contribute to this list, you are welcome to do so by posting a comment below.

shit storm =perverse consequence of cyber bullying.

nomophobia =panic of not having your mobile phone near you.

mumager =when a young artist's mother acts as his/her manager.

FOMO =Fear Of Missing Out any information or development when part of a social network.

infomania =the compulsive desire to check or accumulate news and information, typically via mobile phone or computer.

infoxication =information overdose as a result of infomania.

unfriend =remove someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site.

oversharing =disclosing too much personal information or too many details about oneself online.

e-quaintance =a person who you only "know" through online networking.

cyberchondriac =one who imagines he/she is ill, having just read about the symptoms on the Internet.

flash mob =a large public gathering at which people perform an unusual or seemingly random act and then disperse, typically organized by means of the internet or social media.

crowdsourcing =letting the public make decisions when organizing events.

photobomb =to intrude into the background of a photograph without the subject's knowledge.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Hacer "spoiler", ¡vaya novedad!

Sorprende que el anglicismo llegue ahora, después de tantos años en los que siempre hubo idiotas que nos contaban el final


Los anglicismos van y vienen, y a veces se quedan. Cuando sucede esto último, suelen pagar al genio del idioma el peaje de su adaptación gráfica al español, lo cual les da derecho a desarrollarse y formar familia. Por ejemplo, football se transformó en “fútbol” y procreó “futbolista”, “futbolístico” o “futbolero”. Nada que oponer ahora a esa voz que cubrió una casilla que estaba vacía (aquello del “balompié” se alentó cuando el sitio ya estaba ocupado).

Sin embargo, llama la atención que circulen hoy tantos vocablos que dan codazos a expresiones previas más comprensibles y descriptivas. Quizás en su aceptación influyó el complejo de inferioridad de quien pronuncia palabras de un idioma que considera superior al propio; pero también se puede incurrir en ese tipo de anglicismo por contagio, desinterés o disipación.

Uno de los últimos barbarismos que se manejan entre periodistas y gente del cine es spoiler. Así, oímos con frecuencia, cuando se habla de una película: “Mi hermana me hizo spoiler”, “cuidado, que vas a hacer spoiler” o “no sigo hablando para no hacer spoiler”, es decir: lo que antes referíamos con expresiones como “no me estropees el final”, “no me cuentes cómo termina” o “no me destripes la película” (“destripar” figura desde 1884 en el Diccionario con el sentido de anticipar el desenlace de un relato).

Cualquier hablante del idioma español sabe mirar dentro de cada una de esas palabras y comprender su raíz o su metáfora. Pero unos cuantos millones de ellos se quedarán perplejos ante el anglicismo, sin capacidad para relacionarlo con ningún otro vocablo de la familia.

Incluso quienes saben inglés pueden extrañarse. Porque spoiler es un sustantivo o un adjetivo formado a partir del verbo to spoil, que significa “estropear” o “echar a perder”. Por tanto, spoiler sería el “estropeador” o “el que echa algo a perder”. Así que al rogar “no me hagas spoiler” estamos diciendo “no me hagas estropeador” (cuando el que se hace de verdad estropeador es quien cuenta el final, no el que lo escucha).

Para cuando spoiler se refiere a la acción o el efecto, el español dispone de la alternativa “destripe”; y para suplir al adjetivo y al sustantivo (“hay que dar una colleja al spoiler”), tenemos “reventador” o, en neologismo comprensible por todos, “el destripapelículas” o “el revientafinales”.

Sorprende mucho que este anglicismo nos llegue ahora, después de tantos años en los que siempre hubo idiotas que destripaban el final del cuento, adelantaban quién era el asesino o anunciaban a voces el resultado del partido que uno dejó grabado. Ahora que me viene a la memoria alguno de aquellos casos, recuerdo bien las palabras que pensé para nombrar al gracioso. Y ninguna de ellas era spoiler.
El País, 3 de abril de 2016.

El Ministerio del Tiempo: las claves del éxito de la serie española más digital

Para conseguir que una serie tuviera éxito, decían los antiguos manuales de televisión, debía gustar a toda la familia. Debía incluir un abuelo quejica pero bonachón, un padre abnegado, una madre atractiva e inteligente -liberada, pero no tanto-, adolescentes con conflictos de medio pelo y un niño gracioso por expresar sus ideas como un viejo. Un personaje para cada uno. Y, si había que modernizarse, nada como incluir un gay. Luego llegó la HBO -y detrás todos a rebufo- para apostar por las buenas ficciones. Y la televisión volvió a ocupar un lugar prominente cuando muchos ya la daban por muerta, o la ubicaban como contenedor de las banalidades más groseras, que es lo mismo. Porque “una serie no tiene que gustarle a todo el mundo”, asegura Javier Olivares, uno de los creadores de El Ministerio del Tiempo, tal vez la ficción española más arriesgada de los últimos años.
Libre de las ataduras que supuestamente exige el mainstream, la serie de TVE ha sabido aprovechar al máximo su potencial hasta generar un fenómeno fan desconocido en España. Y no sólo con unos argumentos donde se mezclan sin rubor datos históricos reales con anécdotas de la cultura pop. Lo que El Ministerio del Tiempo ha sabido leer como nadie hasta ahora ha sido la importancia de no quedarse recluido en una pantalla. Las emisiones de sus capítulos multiplican la audiencia gracias a los visionados a través de Internet, lo que corrobora que la forma de ver televisión ha cambiado hace tiempo. El espectador ya no admite con facilidad que le digan cuándo y dónde tiene que consumir aquello que le gusta.
Esta ramificación web no se limita a hacer posible que sus episodios puedan verse online en rtve a la carta, sino que los contenidos crecen y se diversifican dando lugar a programas informativos, podcasts, una tienda con productos exclusivos diseñados por los propios aficionados (los “ministéricos”), videoencuentros con los protagonistas o una serie por la web. Muy pronto se convertirá, además, en la primera serie de televisión en el mundo que emite un episodio en realidad virtual. Su presencia en redes sociales es también notable, consiguiendo una gran repercusión gracias a sus seguidores (muchos de sus episodios se convierten en trending topic mundial en Twitter). Todo este revuelo ha llamado incluso la atención de una profesora de la universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Concepción Cascajosa, quien afirma que se trata de una serie que “ha trabajo su imagen de marca como ninguna otra”.
Todo este despliegue sería, sin embargo, baldío si no estuviera sustentado por lo más importante: una ficción de calidad con historias que enganchan al espectador y bien realizada. Un sello que, promete Javier Olivares, se mantendrá hasta el final de su segunda temporada con un último capítulo “muy arriesgado y atrevido”. [Texto: José L. Álvarez Cedena]