Robin Thicke Thinks “Blurred Lines” Is Good For Women

1. Robin Thicke performed his hit single “Blurred Lines” on the Today Show Tuesday morning.

2. After the performance, Today hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie spoke to the singer about the possible “rapeyness” of the song.

3. Guthrie asked Thicke if he understood where people were coming from in their criticism of the song:

4. He said that the lyrics were “misconstrued.”

5. And explained he was just trying to get people on the dance floor.

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This Hilarious Mom Is Selling Her Daughter’s One Direction Tickets On eBay To Teach Her A Lesson

1. This eBay listing for One Direction tickets expires on Sept. 25, 2013. It’s currently up to $420.00 as of Friday. But the description is what you really need to see.

2. It seems as though one heck of a crafty mom decided to teach her teenage daughter a lesson after she caught her lying about having sleepovers with friends so that she could go over to an older boy’s house.

THIS AUCTION IS FOR ALL 4 ONE DIRECTION TICKETS IN SYDNEY OCTOBER 25th. You can thank my daughters self righteous and lippy attitude for their sale. See sweety? And you thought I was bluffing. I hope the scowl on your bitchy little friends faces when you tell them that your dad and i revoked the gift we were giving you all reminds you that your PARENTS are the ones that deserve love and respect more than anyone. And your silly little pack mentality of taking your parents for fools is one sadly mistaken. Anyhow. Your loss someone else’s gain who deserves them! THE TICKETS ARE SEATED IN ROW O section 57. REMEMBER AUCTION IS FOR ALL 4 TICKETS and will be sent registered post

…OH YOUR FRIENDS THOUGHT THAT A FEW PRANKS CALLS WOULD PUT ME OFF SELLING THE GIFT WE BOUGHT FOR THEM for YOUR BIRTHDAY because YOU all LIED to us about sleep overs so you could hang like little trollops at an older guys HOUSE????? Pffft!! I find it HIGHLY amusing that you girls think you invented this stuff. Tricks like this on OUR parents is how HALF of you were conceived …..And why a lot of your friends DONT have an address to send that Fathers day card to!!! I’m not your friend. I’m your MOTHER. And I am here to give you the boundaries that YOU NEED to become a functional responsible adult. You may hate me now….. But I don’t care. Its my job to raise a responsible adult..not nuture bad habits in my teen age child

3. …which means she won’t be seeing these guys next week.

Cindy Ord / Getty Images

4. Daaaaannnggggg. That’s harsh.


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19 Life Lessons From Pitbull

1. It’s possible to have “an ass like a donkey, with a monkey.”

Larry Marano / Getty Images


Now we know.

2. You can be both a biggity boy and a diggity dog.

Danny Moloshok / Reuters



Pitbull proves they’re not mutually exclusive.

3. You can always shake more.

Mike Segar / Reuters

If you think you’ve hit the ceiling on “shaking it,” you’re wrong. Dead wrong.

4. Move your ass in a manner that honors the 1968 film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

Chelsea Lauren / WireImage / Getty Images



“Mami move that ass like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” says Pitbull, knowing that when it comes to butt-centric dance moves, your butt can’t go wrong if it references a classic film about a magical car.

5. Get money twice.

Alexander Tamargo / WireImage / Getty Images


Easy enough.

6. Freaking > Teaching

Alexander Tamargo / WireImage / Getty Images

If you have to compare teaching and freaking, and we do, one is the clear winner. And’s that’s freaking. Obviously. Just ask Pitbull, he’ll say “Teach me baby or better yet, freak me baby.”

7. If you look up in the sky and think you see a bird or a plane, it might just be Pitbull.


8. Hustlers move in silence.

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Shhhhhhh. Loud hustling will not be tolerated.

9. If you’re having doubts about whether or not Miami is in the house, don’t.

Alexander Tamargo / WireImage / Getty Images

Miami is in the house—WITHOUT A DOUBT.

10. First you clown, then you go down.

Alexander Tamargo / WireImage / Getty Images


That’s the natural order of things.

11. You have to be tiptoeing if you want to keep blowing.

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images


Them’s the rules, blowing enthusiasts.

12. You can hit a home run without playing baseball.

John Shearer / AP

Pitbull doesn’t play baseball, but he’s hit a home run “everywhere, everywhere.” This is either referring to succeeding and accomplishing your goals or having sexual intercourse in a lot of places. Either is fine.

13. Miami’s area code is 305, in case you need to call there.

Jason DeCrow / AP

It’s OK if you forget though, Pitbull is happy to remind you.

14. If your girl wanna play, let her go.

Larry Marano / Getty Images

Just let her go, man. She wants to play.

15. They can’t, they won’t, they never will stop the party.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Pitbull has been hard at work fighting an evil anti-party force, referred to only as “they” for their name is so evil you dare not speak it, or risk summoning the dark force of a million stopped parties.

16. Wild things love to do wild things.

Frank Augstein / AP


Maurice Sendak failed to mention that you can do the aptly named “wild thing” with a wild thing, but Pitbull reminds us: “She’s a wild thing, and she loves to do wild things. So we did the wild thing.” He’s got it covered.

17. You can make a billion dollars out of 15 cents.

Michael Kovac / Getty Images

Smart investing at its finest.

18. The club is on fire.

Steve Marcus / Reuters


Pitbull will be the first to let you know when you need to safely evacuate.

19. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to wear a vest.

Jason DeCrow / AP

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10 Bizarre Musical Hoaxes

Hoaxers have always been with us, whether through the news, television, or the Internet. The music industry is not without its fair share of practical jokes as well, sometimes perpetuated by the artists themselves, and sometimes put on by the fans.

10Nine Inch Nails
Strobe Light


As the lead singer, songwriter, and sole consistent member of industrial rock legends Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor has gained a reputation as a visionary innovator. Less well known is his love of practical jokes. Back in 2009, Reznor suddenly announced that he would release an album called Strobe Light via the Internet, suspiciously timed to be available on April 1. The album, supposedly produced by Timbaland and featuring such tracks as “This Rhythm Is Infected” and “Clap Trap Crack Slap,” could supposedly be downloaded for “$18.98 plus a $10 digital delivery convenience fee.” Each download came with an exclusive photo and a free Gmail account from sponsors Google.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, the date of the release should have been a red flag, not to mention the album art and the reassuring disclaimer that your email address “will be kept confidential and will not be used for spam, unless we can make some money selling it.” Naturally, the whole thing was an April Fool’s gag, put on by Reznor himself.

Just a few months earlier, Reznor’s fellow rocker Chris Cornell (of Soundgarden fame) had genuinely put out an album produced by Timbaland, which the Nine Inch Nails frontman publicly dismissed as embarrassing. It seems that the April Fool’s hoax was simply Reznor’s way of further mocking Cornell’s new pop direction.

9Fleetwood Mac
The Mystery To Me Tour


As well as highly acclaimed and influential albums such as Rumours and Tusk, Fleetwood Mac is known for the turbulent relationships and frequent lineup changes that defined its early career (drummer Mick Fleetwood is the only member to stay with the band throughout its history). Things came to a head during the tour to promote their 1973 album Mystery to Me when it emerged that guitarist Bob Weston was having an affair with Fleetwood’s wife. Weston was eventually fired and the band informed their manager, Cliff Davis, that the tour would have to be canceled.

Furious, Davis simply formed a new Fleetwood Mac and sent the fake band out to continue the tour as planned. Davis insisted that he owned the group’s name and was therefore entitled to do whatever he wanted with it. Most fans of the group (and the real Fleetwood Mac members) felt otherwise, and a series of lawsuits ensued to further complicate the band’s troubled history.

Oddly, the ruse did actually produce a real band called “Stretch,” made up of members of the fake Fleetwood Mac, who had a hit with “Why Did You Do It?” The real Fleetwood Mac won a lawsuit against Clifford Davis and promptly fired him as their manager. From that day forward the band never had another manager again.

8Kanye West
“Mama’s Boyfriend”

Some call him a musical genius, others see him as an overrated egomaniac, but Kanye West has certainly had a remarkable impact on the recent music scene. In 2010, Kanye performed the song “Mama’s Boyfriend” for a closed audience at Facebook headquarters, and rumors soon spread that it was one of the tracks to be included on his forthcoming album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Of course, when the album was released, the song was nowhere to be found—which led fans to take matters into their own hands.

A bootleg version of the song was “discovered” on the net a short while later and received widespread coverage, with many music sites promoting the track as authentic. However, it was later revealed that the song had been created by taking West’s vocal track and placing it over a homemade beat. According to the song’s real producer, Q-Tip, a number of different versions of the song were produced (one featuring a guest appearance by Soulja Boy), but it was never officially released in any form. The fan-created “bootleg” version didn’t resemble any version of the real track.

7Platinum Weird
Make Believe

Platinum Weird were supposedly formed in 1974, only to quickly collapse and fade into obscurity, before being returned to the spotlight in 2006 by former member Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame. In reality, the band would turn out to be one of the most elaborate and well-planned hoaxes in musical history. An actual album (sounding vaguely similar to Fleetwood Mac) was actually produced for the hoax, as well as a documentary narrated by Dan Aykroyd.

According to the hoax, the band’s lead singer, Erin Grace, was a flighty individual who would disappear for days at a time before showing up with a whole collection of songs written during her mysterious absence. The band was said to have performed their opening gig at Mick Jagger’s birthday party, which quickly led to them becoming underground legends and eventually signing to Elton John’s own label. However, “Erin” (who never existed) simply disappeared one day, leading to the band’s disintegration.

The real story is that the whole thing was a joke put on by Stewart himself, along with songwriter and American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi. Rounding up a few famous friends, including Christina Aguilera, Elton John, Mick Jagger, and Annie Lennox, Stewart made a “rockumentary” about the band to coincide with the release of their “lost album.” As expected, the band, although completely fake, has many fans to this day.

6The Beatles

In 1976, a rumor began to circulate that, over a decade earlier, The Beatles had secretly recorded an album under the name “Klaatu” as a followup to their famous album Revolver. Coinciding with the better-known “Paul is dead” rumor, the album was said to have been recorded and then discarded after Paul McCartney died and was replaced with a lookalike named Billy Shears. The “lost recordings” supposedly surfaced again in 1975 and were compiled into the album in question, which was released the next year.

The truth is that Klaatu was an actual band which released multiple albums (their final US album came out in 1980), and that they never had anything to do with The Beatles at all. The rumor began after a music journalist for the The Providence Journal, Steve Smith, began promoting his theory that the two bands were one and the same. Later, a Connecticut DJ named Charlie Parker backed the theory on air and it became widely believed. Diehard fans, as they always seem to do, discovered a number of clues “proving” the theory, choosing to completely ignore the hard fact that Klaatu existed long after The Beatles fell apart, continued to make music, and have completely denied any connection to the more famous group.

“Putting Ketchup in the Fridge”

Just a few years ago, Radiohead supposedly leaked a song from the band’s early days called “Putting Ketchup in the Fridge” or alternatively “How Do You Sit Still.” However, as you’d expect by now, the song turned out have nothing to do with the band. In reality, the track was produced by a Canadian baker named Christopher Stopa, who wrote and recorded the song in 2002 and recognized it when it emerged credited to Radiohead online. His original recording was titled “Sit Still.”

Ironically, just a few months later, two real Radiohead recordings made their way onto the Internet, having been recorded by the band for their 1986 demo tape. Although Radiohead fans can treasure such rare finds, the downside is that it makes separating the real bootlegs from the fake ones that much harder.

4Kurt Cobain
The Fecal Matter Demo

There are now so many fake Nirvana recordings circulating that entire webpages have been dedicated to keeping track of them. One of the most convincing fakes emerged in 1997, when a man named William Clarke claimed to have discovered a lost demo recording by Fecal Matter, a pre-Nirvana project formed by Kurt Cobain and drummer Dale Crover of The Melvins. Clarke passed the recordings to an overeager trader and music collector named Rob Holmes.

Once Holmes got a hold of the recordings, things quickly escalated beyond a simple prank. Many avid collectors rejoiced that a “lost work” from Cobain’s earlier days had finally been found. Though some had their doubts (notably because, despite Crover’s supposed involvement, the fake demo lacked any drums), many fans were willing to believe the recordings were the real thing. However, suspicion grew until 1998, when William Clarke finally put the hoax to rest by admitting to faking the recordings. The real Fecal Matter demo was apparently discovered by a trader in 2000, although it has not subsequently been circulated.

3The White Stripes
Jack And Meg White Are Related

The White Stripes hit the music scene hard, with an original sound and a boatload of talent shared between band-mates Jack and Meg White. Initially, the pair were thought to be brother and sister. However, this turned out to be a lie spread by the band themselves. In 2002, a Detroit newspaper revealed the truth by uncovering and publishing the pair’s 1996 marriage certificate.

Why did they lie? Jack White himself eventually revealed some of the reasoning in an interview with Rolling Stone: “It’s funny that people think me and Meg sit up late at night, in front of a gas lamp, and come up with these intricate lies to trick people. If we had presented ourselves in another fashion . . . how would we have been perceived, right off the bat? When you see a band that is two pieces, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, you think, ‘Oh, I see.’ When they’re brother and sister, you go, ‘Oh, that’s interesting.’ You care more about the music, not the relationship.”

Perhaps his reasoning was sound, perhaps not, but the lie fooled many, and continues to do so to this day.

2Pink Floyd
The Publius Enigma

Released in 1994, The Division Bell is one of Pink Floyd’s most successful albums. With a theme of solving problems through communication it went on to sell over 17 million copies. Ironically, the release of the album also generated a hoax by an unknown Internet user with the handle “Publius,” who claimed that a series of secret messages could be uncovered within the art and lyrics of the album itself.

The tactic this mysterious figure used to keep his hoax going was a common one—volume. He (or she) made post after post on Usenet claiming that there was a riddle hidden in the album. At first, most Usenet users were annoyed by the posts, and attempted to rebuke them, yet the more the matter was discussed, the more people began to believe it. Some have claimed that “Publius” was secretly a member of the band, posting anonymously in order to add a sense of mystery to the release. Speculation was increased after the word “Publius” was apparently featured in several Pink Floyd concerts. When asked about the short sound clip at the beginning of the album and the puzzling phone conversation at the end, guitarist David Gilmour did say that “he liked puzzling people.” Drummer Nick Mason subsequently suggested that the whole thing was a marketing ploy by somebody at the record label.

Whether the riddle is even real or not remains unknown. Pink Floyd fans are split into two camps—those who believe the posts and work tirelessly to uncover the “hidden riddle,” and those who couldn’t care less and prefer to simply enjoy the album for the masterpiece it is.

1Daft Punk
The Third Twin

If there is any band in the modern music industry that has retained a sense of mystery, it’s the legendary French duo known as Daft Punk. The pair have never publicly revealed their faces, preferring to leave their fans to focus on their music, including the soundtrack for the 2010 movie Tron.

Shortly before the movie was released, a band named The Third Twin put out some songs that turned out to sound remarkably similar to the soundtrack. This led to claims that The Third Twin was actually Daft Punk themselves, releasing music under the new name to avoid contract disputes. Supposedly, the band recorded 12 tracks for the Disney movie, which were rejected by the company shortly afterward. Not wishing to let the music go to waste, Daft Punk simply put them online under a different name so they could be enjoyed by all.

As is the case with most rumors, the whole thing should have been taken with a grain of salt. When asked about the affair, the band’s management denied the whole thing, saying that none of the songs recorded for the Tron soundtrack remained unused. Unfortunately, in today’s connected world these sort of rumors can spread before anyone has a chance to stop them.

Read more:

The Insane Clown Posse Was Spotted Sitting On A Bench In New York City

2. Here’s a back view of the duo.

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U-Kiss Is One Of The Most Popular K-Pop Groups In The World, So Why Aren’t They Huge In Korea?

courtesy of U-Kiss / Via

In the lobby of New York’s Best Buy Theater on a night in mid-January, 100 fans are getting ready for some high fives from their favorite boy band. They’re there for a “high touch” session, a type of meet-and-greet popular in Asia where — in lieu of a standard autograph session common in the States — artists hold out their hands to give high fives to a passing line of stunned, crying superfans.

As the group enters the room, the screaming starts. The thought of hand-to-hand contact with six pristinely made-up, extremely attractive young guys sends the fans into overdrive; the noise level skyrockets.

These are KissMes — fans of U-Kiss, a K-pop boy band in town for their first-ever concert in New York City, the start to a short three-city U.S. tour. The fans’ moniker is a spin on the group’s name, which is an acronym for Ubiquitous Korean International Idol Super Star. U-Kiss debuted in South Korea in 2008 and are known for their English-speaking members, as well as their catchy mix of tunes that perfectly encapsulate both Korean ballad pop sounds and equally slick American R&B. Like other group acts in Korea, U-Kiss incorporate visually compelling dance moves and aim to please with their fan service — little gestures and interactions that get fans squealing.

But despite the crying fans and a sold-out New York show, this is not the frenzied reception U-Kiss get back in their home country. They’ve released five full-length albums and dozens of singles, but have only 10% of the YouTube views that rival acts like Big Bang boast. Compared with peers who debuted around the same time and have catapulted to top-tier success, their profile in South Korea is slight.

Their fan base overseas, however, is especially strong — strong enough to sustain a group that would have otherwise shuttered early on. But KissMes are a particularly devoted bunch, with fans like 19-year-old Anauli Paulino flying in to New York from Florida to line up at 6 a.m. the day of the concert that cold January morning.

What sets U-Kiss apart from others — and helped the group gain their fan base overseas — according to member Kevin Woo, was that they had “international” members, which is K-pop shorthand for those who speak multiple languages. At the group’s inception, there were two Korean-American members — Woo from California and Eli Kim from Washington, D.C. — and Alexander Lee Eusebio, born in Hong Kong to a Korean mother and a Macanese father, who has since left the group. Most of the U-Kiss members are also multilingual and have spent time living outside of Korea.

“That’s our concept: We like to promote that we do speak your language,” Kim said. “That’s our main point, our main goal — to be international.”

A fan shows off her sign for U-Kiss’ AJ, who attends Columbia University in New York City.

U-Kiss, like a lot of other boy groups in Korea, like to say that they treat their fans as they would treat their girlfriends, which sometimes gives fans license to invade a group’s privacy. Still, it’s effective in cultivating an artist-fan relationship that leads to steadfast support.

“Because we can speak most of their languages, we like to talk to our fans in their language. We don’t like to call our fans our fans; we call them like our friends…or like, our girlfriends,” Kim said. “We always try to think of them as our girlfriends [when it comes to] how we express ourselves.”

In Paulino’s devotion to the group, whom she’s followed for four years, she’s mastered “sleeping on Korean time” — sleeping during the day in order to be up at night to watch the group’s show appearances live when they aired in Korea — a very specific kind of suffering only a K-pop fan can empathize with. “There were no subtitles or anything, so I literally couldn’t understand them. I was just watching for their faces.”

U-Kiss member Kevin Woo performs at Best Buy Theater in NYC on Jan. 9, 2014.

U-Kiss currently consists of six members: Shin Soo-hyun; Lee Ki-seop; Eli Kim; Kim Jae-seop, who goes by stage name AJ; Kevin Woo; and Yeo Hoonmin, who goes by stage name Hoon. All are in their early twenties, Shin being the eldest at 24. Most members joined the group by auditioning, similar to their Western counterparts from the ’90s, but the journey to becoming an “idol” — as artists who train for years are called in Korea — is quite different than how groups like the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC were formed.

After making it through auditions, trainees, as they’re now called, practice with agencies, learning vocal and dancing techniques and how to be camera-ready onstage, on TV, and for the press. Many boy band hopefuls never complete training, sometimes because it doesn’t lead to a debut, and other times because trainee life is too tough.


From left: Shin Soo-hyun, Yeo “Hoon” Hoonmin, Lee Ki-seop, Kevin Woo, Kim “AJ” Jae-seop, and Eli Kim hang out in their hotel in NYC.

The group is bubbly and kind when I meet them in January. My interview with the group at their New York City hotel room is the last in a jam-packed schedule, but despite that, the group is upbeat. While talking about some of their crazier fan experiences — an overenthusiastic and “passionate” male fan who greeted them at an airport in L.A. once — Shin, the resident joker of the group, does an epic imitation that has the room doubling over.

Woo, acting as main translator, helps facilitate a lot of the conversation. Along with Kim and AJ, who went to international school in Korea and can speak English, the three glide between languages effortlessly. Many of the non-English-speaking members understand English, even if they can’t speak it. Years of living and working together have helped them jell as a group and made them cohesive and seamless.

Shin Soo-hyun’s all smiles during their high-touch session with fans at Best Buy Theater.

In a cutthroat pop market like Korea’s that’s filled to the brim with more acts than the public cares to remember, it’s no small feat that U-Kiss is still promoting extensively. U-Kiss is signed under NH Media, one of the smaller agencies in Korea, whose music market is dominated by major labels such as SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment.

When enough companies do this, the market becomes oversaturated and Korea’s music market is already small: According to the IFPI’s 2012 numbers, South Korea was the 11th-biggest music market in the world, with $187.5 million in sales, paling in comparison to the U.S.’ $4.5 billion.

The market relies heavily on music released by big agencies, so combined with limited growth opportunity, turnover rates for Korean artists are high. Most groups that don’t see enough recognition from the public don’t stay around. They either disappear or disband, with some members then signing with different agencies or different groups years later.

Signing with a new agency while a group is still signed with another is a rarity in Korea, and getting out of a contract is often a messy affair that leads to protracted lawsuits and in-group fighting, hence why U-Kiss doesn’t have the option to just up and leave NH Media if they wanted to. With so few options, the group keeps trucking on.

Hoon performs at the group’s first-ever show in New York City on Jan. 9, 2014.

Meanwhile, KissMes recognize that their favorite group is more beloved overseas than they are in Korea.

“They’re wildly popular internationally, and I don’t think they understand the magnitude of how popular they are,” said Victoria Holzbauer, a fan at the concert. “Even with Kevin and Eli being from America, I think it’s just like a foreign concept to them, because they’re so used to being in South Korea and Japan.”

That’s a U-Kiss fan’s way of rationalizing the group’s lack of awards, significant in an industry obsessed with winning and how often awards are doled out. Korea boasts several music programs, and when artists do promotion, they perform on almost all the shows weekly. Imagine MTV’s TRL in its heyday. Now imagine that instead of a countdown of the most popular music videos, there are four to six major music shows that air each week that contain nothing but artist performances. A group actively promoting a new single would hit all major stations, performing the same song dozens of times in just a few months. As was the case with TRL, most of the programs end with the top-charting artist being crowned for that week, determined by a combination of social media votes and digital and physical sales. Theoretically, then, any promoting artist has a chance to win a number of awards every week.

This all makes U-Kiss’ lack of statues even more frustrating to fans who value the group’s tenacity. When Holzbauer’s asked why she prefers U-Kiss over other K-pop groups, she says, “Their dedication.” Are other groups not as dedicated? “We can’t ever say that one group is more dedicated than the other since they all work equally as hard, but we just feel like they don’t get as much recognition as other groups.”

After six years of performing as a group, the topic of U-Kiss’ lack of awards goes beyond just fans’ murmuring. On Korean variety talk show Strong Heart, Bang Eun-hee, the wife of the NH Media’s CEO, talked about the group’s lack of wins, and how heartbreaking it is to watch them release music to little fanfare. U-Kiss made a surprise appearance on the show after Bang finished talking, and then, in an uncomfortable turn, another guest on the show suggested that U-Kiss pretend like they just got a music show award and had to give a mock thank-you speech (at the 13:27 mark). The group did as they were told, but things got a little too real and some members started crying:

K-pop agencies are notoriously tight-leashed with artists, and idols are often complicit with agency demands. But U-Kiss are one of the more “relaxed” groups, their fans say — maybe because they aren’t signed with a massive agency under tons of scrutiny and have several personable English-speaking members, so it’s easier for the group to banter with international fans, and harder for their agency to track every little thing they say.

And because U-Kiss do have to rely more on their international fanbase, they spend more time communicating with English-speaking fans that other groups may not prioritize, and fans appreciate the sincerity.

“This sounds so psychotic,” Paulino said, “but when they’re talking, they’re talking to their fans and they really care. It’s not like, ‘Oh, you’re going to get us money.’ It’s more like, ‘Hey, we really care about you guys, so please be safe’ or ‘Please have fun.’”

U-Kiss frequent Southeast Asia, and they have a big following in South America, where they became the first K-pop act to visit Colombia, and eventually held their first Latin American tour last year.

“It’s an honor for us to bring the K-pop scene to Latin America,” Woo said. “A lot of K-pop artists go now, but just seeing how the K-pop fans react when they see us is really fascinating. There were a lot of love calls from Latin America,” he says, using the K-pop jargon for when companies try to get celebrities to endorse a product or appear on a show.

Mnet America, a TV network that produces Asian pop-culture programming for U.S. audiences, brought the group over for their first U.S. tour as part of their music series. A three-show U.S. tour is small compared with U-Kiss’ recent 16-show Japanese tour, but it proves that there’s definitely interest in the group with U.S. K-pop fans.

“We know and like the boys from U-Kiss very much and were quite surprised to find out they had never had a U.S. show, since they are such an international group,” said Angela Killoren, CMO of Mnet America. “We were thrilled that U-Kiss agreed to participate.”

The group picks questions fans have posted on a board to answer during their NYC show.

At their NYC concert, U-Kiss spend a portion of the show answering questions from fans, another bit of fan service that most groups visiting the U.S. often don’t bother with, since translating back and forth can kill some onstage momentum. But U-Kiss oblige, because they recognize the rarity of meeting U.S. fans and are perfectly capable translators themselves.

The night’s set list, which was prepared with fans’ input, keeps the show under two hours, and by the end, each member thanks the fans for their support. The mood grows somber as some of the members cry, communicating without saying how rocky the road has been, but how grateful they are for all of it anyway.

“I just want to thank every single one of you guys — even in the back, we see you guys!” Woo says. “You guys are our inspiration, and we love you from the bottom of our hearts. Thanks for sticking with us through our ups and downs, and we’ll be back for you guys.” Fans cheer, and Woo ends with an “I love you” in Korean, which they don’t need a translation for. Then, fitting for the group, he blows the KissMes a kiss.

Read more:

21 Reasons You Should Give Drake A Chance To Break Your Heart

1. He’s really good with kids.

2. He has extremely cool friends.

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3. He’s a really great dancer.

Especially when he was a little kid.

4. He gives really good hugs.

5. When Drake was a young actor, he played Marius in a local youth theater production of Les Miserables.

Everyone knows that Marius is a really great boyfriend to Cosette.

6. Your Jewish mom will be very happy you’re dating within the tribe.

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It will. melt. your. heart.

9. He’s really fun to be around.

10. You get to pretend to be a fireman on his in-home stripper pole.

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11. He has the best sense of style. Who else could rock drop-waist leather sweatpants?

Jeff Haynes / Reuters

12. Or big glasses with blue lenses?

He sports ensembles your grandpa in Miami would be jealous of.

He has the coziest looking sweaters of all time.

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13. He knows how to cook.

14. All good Canadian boys are taught to worship the queen…

Jeff Haynes / Reuters

…and all other royalty that they should happen to meet.

Jeff Haynes / Reuters

16. You’ll be really smiley if he gives you a kiss on the cheek.

17. He’s really good at soccer.

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18. And hockey too.

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Duh, he’s Canadian.

19. He’s really good at math.

20. He knows how to do cool things with hookah smoke.

21. Like any good partner, he’ll support you through all of your highs and lows.

Still not convinced?

Scott Halleran / Getty Images

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MTV Made The VMAs Matter Again

Eric Thayer / Reuters

MTV’s annual Video Music Awards are judged mainly on whether or not the ceremony offered any truly memorable moments — ideally, something that seems genuinely wild and unrehearsed. Kanye West storming out during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech; Fiona Apple declaring that “the world is bullshit”; Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic tossing his bass up in the air for it to land on his head; Diana Ross fondling Lil Kim’s boob. You know, that sort of thing. This year’s ceremony gave us a lot of great moments, maybe because everyone involved knew they were in a race with one another to star in the best GIF of the night.

That race has a clear winner, and her name is Miley Cyrus.

Miley inspired the best reaction shots…

And she gave us the night’s best “ew…what?” moment when she stripped down to almost nothing and grinded on Robin Thicke’s crotch while he was dressed up like a fancy referee and sang “Blurred Lines.” This was actually a brilliant pairing because Miley and Robin have the two biggest pop hits of the summer and both kinda skeev everyone out with their flagrant sexuality.

Miley tapped into the same sort of wild, deliberately provocative spirit that has made Britney Spears and Madonna two of the most consistently great performers in the history of the show, and made the once edgy Lady Gaga and Katy Perry seem kinda old and a bit too classy.

But it wasn’t all about Miley. I mean, Taylor Swift — the unrivaled queen of the awards show audience reaction shot — was there too.

Here’s Taylor appearing to mouth the words “shut the fuck up” while One Direction was on stage…

And here she is dancing…

…and dancing some more…

…and dancing a bit more.

Taylor Swift loves to dance!

And there was other good stuff too, like when Justin Timberlake came out and played a bit of nearly every song in his solo catalog for what seemed like a solid half hour, and, somewhere in there, reunited with NSYNC for exactly 110 seconds.

Lady Gaga opened the show with a performance of “Applause” that hit the right balance of arty, weird, and intentionally funny.

Kanye West’s performance of “Blood on the Leaves” went against the grain of everything else in the show. He went grim and ponderous while everyone else was either sexy or triumphant, and so visually static — he was in silhouette in front of a dimly lit still image of lynching trees — that he was basically un-GIFable.

The best VMA ceremonies capture a moment in pop, and this year’s definitely pulled that off. To some extent, that comes down to MTV actually booking nearly every major player right now as either a performer, presenter, nominee, or in the case of Rihanna, a very high-profile audience member. The only major stars of the moment who didn’t show up were Justin Bieber, Mumford & Sons, Maroon 5, Beyoncé, and Jay Z. (It’s actually kinda strange that the latter two weren’t there, since the show was broadcast from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and that’s basically one of their houses.) But MTV clearly pulled out all the stops in putting this show together, and unlike last year’s ceremony, it felt like a major event.

There’s a pretty good chance you don’t remember much about last year’s MTV VMAs, or just didn’t see it at all. That show, which aired on Sept. 6 and was hosted by Kevin Hart, was one of the least watched in the 29-year history of the annual event, and attracted only 50% of the viewers of the 2011 show, which was not only the most watched VMAs of all time, but also the highest-rated broadcast in the history of MTV with 12.4 million viewers. The drastic drop in audience was mainly the result of very poor scheduling: The awards aired on a Thursday night instead of the usual Sunday, and the program was up against Fashion’s Night Out and the Democratic National Convention. (The show actually aired earlier than planned, to not directly conflict with President Obama’s address at 10 p.m. ET.)

We’ll find out pretty soon whether or not the star power at this year’s VMAs drew a bigger audience, but it’s safe to say that at the very least, MTV got its longest-running institution back on track, and made it seem like something that kinda sorta matters.

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15 Obscure Christmas Songs That You Need To Hear

1. August Darnell, “Christmas On Riverside Drive”

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August Darnell, best known as Kid Creole of Kid Creole and the Coconuts and a core member of Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, recorded this glorious disco ode to uptown Manhattan during the holiday season for Ze Records’ A Christmas Record in 1981. That album, a one-of-a-kind classic of post-punk/disco holiday cheer, also features the wonderful “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses, which went on to become a very well-known Christmas staple. [MP]

2. Debbie & The Darnels, “Santa, Teach Me To Dance”

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The perfect song for your christmas cocktails party, one of those girl group jams that immediately makes you feel like flipping the ends of your hair, donning a pretty dress, and doing a twisty dance with your wrist all askance and your mouth all pouty. All. night. long. [SB]

3. Augie Rios, “Donde Esta Santa Claus?”

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Augie Rios was born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents and was just 12-years-old in 1958, when “Donde Esta Santa Claus” became a minor hit. In the song, a spanish-speaking child addresses his “mamacita” on Christmas Eve, wondering, as all kids do, when Santa Claus might arrive and whether he’ll be able catch a peek. The song is so adorably and earnestly delivered – in the sub-genre of Christmas music sung irritatingly by children, this song is the least annoying and the most genuinely adorable. Before you’re even done listening to it for the first time, you will no doubt find yourself singing along. ¡Olé!’ ¡Olé!’ ¡Olé!’ [SB]

4. The Weather Girls, “Dear Santa (Bring Me A Man This Christmas)”

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The gals who brought you “It’s Raining Men” continue to be gloriously man-crazy on this Christmas jam buried on their 1983 album Success. This song is just dirty and perfect and, damn, I mean, someone bring this woman a man, STAT. [SB]

5. Cotton Top Mountain Sanctified Singers, “Christ Was Born On Christmas Morn”

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The next three songs are all included on Where Will You Be Christmas Day?, a remarkable compilation of Christmas songs recorded between 1917 and 1959. This jaunty number celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ was recorded in 1929, and features a charming lead vocal by Frankie “Half Pint” Jaxon. Even compared to other Christmas songs, this is uncommonly joyful, particularly when Jaxon sings “Born in a manger, humble and low / That is why we love him so!” [MP]

6. Bessie Smith, “At the Christmas Ball”

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Bessie Smith was one of the greatest singers of the 1920s, and was commonly known as the “Empress of the Blues.” This track, recorded in 1925, is an ode to getting wasted and messing around at Christmas parties. “Christmas comes but once a year / and to me it brings good cheer / and to everyone who likes wine and beer,” she sings, sounding just a bit melancholy. [MP]

7. Leroy Carr, “Christmas In Jail – Ain’t That A Pain”

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Leroy Carr cut this Christmas blues number in Chicago in 1929. It’s a song about being stuck in prison on the holidays, and while the tune captures the sadness of that situation, the lyrics were intended to be something of a satire of standard blues tropes. Here’s the line that gives it all away: “This food here, Santa, it ain’t fit to eat / Won’t you come and bring me a plate of turkey meat?” [MP]

8. Adam Faith, “Lonely Pup”

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British teen idol Adam Faith crooned this love song for a “lonely pup in a Christmas shop” with as a sweetness that was normally reserved for girls turning 16. “Soft brown eyes that seem to say / Stay a while, I want to play” – how can you say no to that?! [SB]

9. The Andrews Sisters, “Christmas Island”

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The swinging trie of LaVerne, Patty, and Maxene Andrews had countless hits from the late ’30s through 1951. This song was released during the peak of their fame and success, and although it charted at #7, it is largely forgotten today. Which is too bad, because it is a total burst of sunshine of a “Christmas” beach song, complete with an immediate perfect mental picture of pretty girls in coconut shell bras and pool boys carrying frosty cocktails. Best Christmas ever? Best Christmas ever. [SB]

10. The Drifters, “I Remember Christmas”

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The Drifters went through dozens of incarnations since they were formed, eventually going through 60 different singers for a 4 or 5 man group. During 1964, when this song was released as the b-side to “The Christmas Song,” the group was fronted by Johnny Moore. But none of the group’s inner turmoil is apparent on “I Remember Christmas,” a poignant but pleasant song about that nostalgic December feeling we’re all experiencing around now. It’s sort of like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” but for the happy and well-adjusted set. [SB]

11. Pearl Bailey, “Five Pound Box of Money”

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Pearl Bailey was a truly awesome person who won a Tony and a Daytime Emmy, posed for gorgeous nudes for photographer Carl Van Vechten, voiced Big Mama in “The Fox and the Hound,” wrote several books, graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in theology – at age 67, and was once appointed by President Richard Nixon as America’s “Ambassador of Love.” This woman was the coolest ever, and her Christmas song is no exception. It lays out the hard truth that everyone else is afraid to say: money is a way better gift than whatever lame thing you were thinking of… Santa, let ol’ Pearl sit you down and explain why she really needs that five pound box of money. [SB]

12. Akim and the Teddy Vann Production Company, “Santa Claus Is A Black Man”

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This charming tune was written by Brooklyn songwriter Teddy Vann and sung by his daughter Akim back around 1973. It’s basically a funky Afrocentric rewrite of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” but with a big shout out to Kwanza at the end. [MP]

13. Brenda Lee, “I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus”

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Miss Lee was just 11-years-old when this was recorded, but she’s already sassing her way into the nickname “Little Miss Dynamite.” This song was released a few years after some obnoxious kid “saw mommy kissing Santa Claus,” but Lee has approximately 100 times more personality than that brat. The reason she’s going to lasso Santa and pop-pop him with her water pistol gun? She’s noticed that not all the kids get toys on Christmas and she’s pissed about it. “Then I’ll take his bags of toys and run and bring to all the kids who don’t have none.” Oh, Brenda, we love you so! [SB]

14. Rotary Connection, “Christmas Love”

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The highly experimental, racially-mixed psychedelic chamber soul band Rotary Connection was formed in Chicago and never really found their audience outside the Chicago area despite their transcendant covers of popular songs (if you’re asking, their version of “Respect” trumps Otis’s, Aretha’s and Cat Power’s) and trippy originals. Rotary Connection’s third album, “Peace,” was Christmas-themed, featuring a couple classics, but mostly soulful and strange originals such as “Christmas Love.” This song is one part Rolling Stones, one part Stevie Wonder, one part drugs, a dash of winter snow, and a generous handful of “sweet love.” [SB]

15. Pledge Drive, “Christmas Rhapsody”

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This is a remarkably faithful adaptation of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” with Christmas-themed lyrics, like “Is this the Yuletide? / It’s such a mystery,” and “Christmas really matters, anyone can see, Christmas really matters to me.” The degree to which these people commit to this idea is sort of astonishing, and it’s really too bad that Freddie Mercury didn’t getting around to singing this himself. [MP]

Here’s a playlist featuring all but two of the songs in this post.

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