Miley Cyrus & Marc Cohn “Walking in Memphis” with Facebook

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“Memphis got a friendly buzz in the national media following singer Miley Cyrus’ surprise performance Saturday. Social media giant Facebook dispatched the Nashville artist to the Beale Street Music Festival to help launch its new brand campaign. Hardly anyone in the city or on the festival grounds at Tom Lee Park knew she was coming. Facebook made sure everyone who did know stayed mum. After she got up on the stage and sang, Memphis suddenly was all over the celebrity news sites.”

Read the full article on Commercial Appeal

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View the full video here

Credit: Lead Assistant Editor

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2019

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“The 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees are Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, The Cure, and The Zombies.

“Presenters include Harry Styles for Stevie Nicks, Brian May (Queen) for Def Leppard, Janelle Monáe for Janet Jackson, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) for The Cure, David Byrne for Radiohead, John Taylor & Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran) for Roxy Music and Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) for The Zombies.”

Read more at HBO.com

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“ ‘I have a lot to say about this,’ Nicks said in a statement, ‘but I will save those words for later. For now I will just say, I have been in a band since 1968. To be recognized for my solo work makes me take a deep breath and smile. It’s a glorious feeling…’

“Joe Elliott of Def Leppard is equally thrilled by the news. ‘Now we can stop holding our breath,’ he tells Rolling Stone. ‘How wonderful to be in the same club as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and the Who and Queen. . . . It’s a nice badge of honor.’

“For Colin Blunstone of the Zombies — who have been eligible since 1989 and have appeared on three previous ballots — this was the result of incredible patience and persistence. ‘You do start to doubt that it could happen… This is a career-defining [and] life-defining moment.’

“His longtime bandmate Rod Argent echoed Blunstone’s sentiment. ‘I know it’s fashionable in some circles to say, ‘I don’t mind whether I get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or not,’ he tells Rolling Stone. ‘But that is not how I’ve ever felt. When we were first nominated, that felt like a huge honor in its own right. And this time, to turn the corner and get inducted feels fantastic. . . . I’m just so delighted.’ ”

Read more at RollingStone.com

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Credit: Junior Editor / In Memoriam Editor

Super Bowl LIII Half Time

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“Maroon 5, led by frontman Adam Levine, was picked to helm this year’s show. The band was rumored to be the pick as far back as September, but wasn’t officially confirmed until Jan. 13. Maroon 5 will be joined by Travis Scott — whose involvement was rumored back in December. Atlanta native and Outkast rapper Big Boi will also be performing.”

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“The game, which is being held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, will be televised on CBS and streamed for free on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app.”

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“Super Bowl LIII has been marred in controversy since conversations began, largely due to the NFL’s handling of peaceful protests from former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The former football star became a political icon after he took a knee during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality. Many believe that the silent statement led the league to effectively bar Kaepernick from the NFL.”

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“Once Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi were confirmed, they all faced social media backlash for accepting the job. According to a Variety report, Scott agreed to perform after he announced that he, along with the NFL, would donate $500,000 to Dream Corps, a non-profit social justice organization. According to Variety, Scott and Kaepernick “had at least one phone conversation” before Scott accepted the job. ‘While the two did not necessarily agree, they emerged from the conversation with mutual respect and understanding,’ the report said.”

Read the rest of the article on Entertainment Tonight

Pictures from the Chicago Tribune

Credit: Assistant Editor

The Official 47th UAE National Day

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“The official 47th UAE National Day celebration – named ‘This is Zayed. This is the UAE’ – will be a highly visual show that celebrates and honours the life and achievements of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose centennial birth anniversary coincides with the 47th year of the UAE’s union.”

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“The show will reflect on Sheikh Zayed’s extraordinary life as we shed a light on the inspiring story of how one man, with extraordinary dreams and limitless love and energy, laid the foundations for the thriving country we now enjoy. Driven by his attachment to the land, love of his people, passion for culture, and deep faith in his religion, he was a generous and selfless man focused on creating a wonderful future for those he consider as ‘his children’ – every single citizen of the UAE.”

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“Featuring the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra fused with traditional musicians, in a completely original composition and with a cast of many hundreds, the show will be a once in a lifetime, unforgettable tribute to the UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed and his extraordinary legacy.”

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Full article here

Credit: Promo Editor

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2018

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“The annual show returned to New York City after spending two years abroad with international romps in Paris (2016) and Shanghai (2017).

“The night marked the end of an era for one Victoria’s Secret Angel: Adriana Lima. The supermodel hung up her wings with an emotional tribute, retiring from the fashion show that made her a household name.”

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“The show paid a special tribute to Lima, featuring a video montage of clips from her past iconic Victoria’s Secret moments. The video ended with a ‘thank you’ message to Lima before the catwalk darkened and the model herself came out.

“Lima, 37, strutted solo down the runway, visibly tearing up when she reached the end of the runway while the crowd rose to their feet to cheer for the supermodel as she walked in her 19th and final VS show.”

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Read the full article on USA Today

Credit: Union Assistant Editor

Mark Twain Prize: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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“When Mark Twain first emailed me about the Mark Twain prize, I have to admit I totally misunderstood. I thought I was being asked to honor someone else,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “What a hassle. I have to go all the way to Washington, D.C., and make up flattering things to say about how funny someone else is.

“And then I realized. It’s me. I get the prize, and my attitude about the whole thing changed. It really did,” she said. “This is a great night, a great honor. Anybody would be lucky to be part of a night like this honoring someone like me.”

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Full article from the Washington Post

Credit: Assistant Editor

Documentary in Progress: Big Imagination 747

After 5 years of planning, 3 years of building, and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, the Big Imagination 747 is making its long-awaited debut at Burning Man.

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The initial announcement about the project happened in 2015, appearing as a question: Have you ever seen one of these on playa? The video pans down to reveal a 747 fuselage, with a bold promise: YOU WILL. Due to extensive legal issues (some still in process to this day), the project was delayed. The Big Imagination camp hosted a fun, interactive experience instead.

The plane was acquired by Big Imagination Foundation in March of 2016. Over the next two years, through countless hours of labor and love, pieces of the plane were delivered to Black Rock City- in 2016, the front quarter section, and in 2017, the entire top half.

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2016, front quarter

 

The plane has received a mixed reception. In 2016, when the front quarter was placed on the Esplanade main street, the citygoers were underwhelmed. After everyone had been promised a plane, they were left feeling disappointed with just one piece. When the top half appeared in 2017, the crew was inundated with the same questions from visitors.

“Where is the rest of it?”

“Is this the same plane as last year?”

“Why didn’t you just fly it here?”

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2017, top half

 

It was initially announced as an art car, which implies a “mutated vehicle.” Many burners complain that the plane is “not mutated enough” to be art. Many burners complain that it’s towed by an airport tug, so it’s not really a car. The legitimacy of this project has been up for debate so long that sometimes it almost competes with the original concept of the project: a roving 747 in the heart of the Nevada desert, home to one of the sweetest transformational experiences on playa.

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Passengers first enter through the Insecurity Checkpoint, where they are greeted by camp members in flight attendant outfits. Beverages are served from vintage drink carts. Once inside, they fill out their Boarding Pass which asks: where would you go or what would you do if nothing was holding you back? Then they are invited to the Emotional Baggage Check, where they are encouraged to fill out a tag with everything they want to leave behind. At the end of the week, all the baggage tags are taken to the Temple and burned.

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The loving message and amazing team members on this project have attracted a strong core team of builders. The crew is almost entirely made up of familiar faces from the last few burns. And finally- after years of literal blood, sweat, and tears- the plane is being reassembled for its debut at Burning Man 2018.

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The bottom half has to be transported in one piece, for structural integrity. The wings have been removed and are shipped on a separate truck. The interstate caravan moves at night, this time, to avoid causing traffic.

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Happy 4th of July, from Yours Truly

 

The top two pieces are re-attached, the belt line is secured by thousands of bolts. The sun-roof is cut out of the top section. The build crew sets up a base just outside Gerlach in mid-June, and works until the plane is transported to Black Rock City in mid-August.

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When the plane arrives at Burning Man, the landing gear is lowered and the wings are reattached with a crane. Eventually, the lights will be installed and the experience will be built out.

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Oh yeah- and it will move.

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I have been documenting this project for three years, from the first month they got their hands on a fuselage in Mojave, CA. I have continued to follow them through their learning and growing process, through the negotiations with BLM and Burning Man Org. This year I spent almost 2 months in the desert capturing their journey.

We continue to release short videos to update the public on our progress, but we intend to make a longer, more comprehensive feature down the line.

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Bonus shot from our wedding!

Credit: Director / Editor