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Noah Kahan Writes Songs About New England. His Vulnerability Has Far Wider Appeal

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NEW YORK — Besides being mostly about in-between areas, singer-songwriter Noah Kahan’s song “Stick Season” is about New England, a subject the Vermont native thinks he could write about for the rest of his life.

When there is still anger, you feel like you can forgive when a strained relationship is just starting to improve. When a wish to escape conflicts with homesickness. Or, like in the album’s lead single, when winter hasn’t yet arrived after autumn.

He told The Associated Press that creating the folk-pop record was “like breathing.”

On the newly released “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever),” a deluxe version of the album that adds six new tracks and an extended version of fan favorite “The View Between Villages,” Kahan revisits similar topics through a fresh perspective. Kahan also considers the eight months since the original album’s release in the new songs.

To reconcile the image of the home he had written about with reality, Kahan remarked, “I’m speaking about the highs and the lows.” And when you truly look back, it’s always someplace in the middle.

The song “Stick Season” gained millions of streams last year, thanks primarily to social media. At age 26, Kahan has already released three studio albums and two EPs. Thus, it wasn’t his first significant release. But it had momentum: Kahan had performed the song live on Instagram during the pandemic, and fans had taken to it long before it was officially released. Kahan tweeted that the single was “his favorite song ever” when it was released in July last year.

Later, TikToks went viral. One included two sisters singing a cover song while seated at a piano.

“We’re from Canada. We’re distinctly Canadian. We had yet to travel outside of the nation at that point, Moira MacMullin, 24, one-half of the indie folk-pop duo Moira & Claire, told the Associated Press. But for some reason, we were moved by it. There’s something special about his writing.

The day after the song’s release, they posted a TikTok video, now receiving close to 3 million views. Kahan praised the TikTok as being “better than the original.” To see Kahan perform in Vermont, Moira MacMullin would embark on her first vacation outside Canada.

Everyone in the crowd is from Vermont, but I’m not even from there, and I’m like, “I love Vermont,” she remarked. It was “just wild” and “so loud.”

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According to Kahan, the nicest thing is seeing listeners relate to the song’s themes and lyrics.

According to Kahan, the nicest thing is seeing listeners relate to the song’s themes and lyrics. “Stick Season” also signaled his complete embracing of the folk genre and early influences like The Avett Brothers and Paul Simon.

“When I would write songs that were more pop-y in a studio, I would go home and write a folkier song just for me because I felt like I was accessing that inner child,” Kahan recalled earlier endeavors. It was incredibly liberating to finally explore it on this record and go into those inspirations and feelings.

The album has humorous moments that capture Kahan’s character. But the subjects he explores are weighty; in addition to heartbreak, loneliness, and homesickness, there are mentions of drug misuse, demise, despair, and divorce. The imperfection of Kahan’s narrators serves the purpose.

It felt like home to him to create the record about his hometown. However, watching it explode in the following months was difficult emotionally and creatively.

Kahan, who has long been open about his mental health, explained the inspiration behind the deluxe album. “I wanted to kind of show people who I was and continue to do that in the context of ‘Stick Season,’ but also explain this journey I’ve been on in the past year, with touring all the time and trying to be creative and feeling like I was a fraud,” he said.

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According to Kahan, the nicest thing is seeing listeners relate to the song’s themes and lyrics.

To counteract some of the hate he claimed characterized the initial release, he had to add some acceptance and grace: “In a lot of ways, I wrote this record as a letter to myself to say it’s okay to feel these things and it’s okay to go on this journey.”

Two days before the release of the deluxe album, Kahan urged “even the happiest person in the room” to be in therapy during a sold-out performance at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. He performed his songs, which made explicit allusions to treatment, medication, and depression, and he asked the crowd to shout his lyrics back at him.

The audience complied, dressing in dark greens, browns, plaid and blue denim dungarees, creating a summer camp-like mood at Radio City, and not just because the performance took place on a day when there was a strong smoky odor outdoors.

“Songwriting has always been a way to go through my feelings. I’m not always particularly good at processing them logically. To recall feeling that way, sometimes I have to sit down and write a song, Kahan told the AP. In contrast, “but for me, the question is always can this help somebody get through their discomfort… or problem… or struggle?”

That’s partly why starting The Busyhead Project, an initiative to raise $1 million for businesses focusing on mental health resources and awareness, felt like a logical next step for him. Kahan donated a percentage of the proceeds from his tour to the initiative, which was started last month and is called for his next album, and it has already raised over $340,000.

The opening act for Kahan’s tour, Joy Oladokun, spoke about her experiences with mental illness while performing. In her most recent album, “Proof of Life,” she collaborated with Kahan on the ominous and humorous song “We’re All Gonna Die.”

Oladokun said, “Music has always been about building bridges for me.”

Like Kahan, acknowledging difficult things in her songs or on stage before performing them “is very much central to my values.” “That is the main reason I leave my house and go on tour in the first place.”

But honesty can be harsh. It can be complicated to sing or sing along to these tunes.

According to Kahan, the nicest thing is seeing listeners relate to the song’s themes and lyrics.

“Many of these songs discuss guilt, drug addiction, poor parenting, and traumatic family experiences. And those are difficult issues,” added Kahan. They’re challenging for me to write, and it’s challenging (for fans) to perform them live. However, it’s a breathtaking sight to behold.

One song that has received surprising support is “Orange Juice.” According to Kahan, the song, which references sobriety, is about two friends who get back together after their friendship broke down due to a common trauma.

Kahan stated, “That’s a song that I almost didn’t play because it felt so personal and so vulnerable.” He feels happy to see people embrace it on social media and at events.

“We are dealing with heavy things and writing about heavy things, and we are two sensitive people,” Oladokun remarked. However, she also tries to maintain humor in the foreground of her endeavors. The duo race coffins in the song’s parody lyric video “We’re All Gonna Die,” which also has them playing Mario Kart before soundcheck.

We also enjoy having a good time, you know?” She spoke.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Soccer Star Dani Alves Found Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

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Barcelona, Spain – Dani Alves, one of his generation’s most accomplished soccer players, was convicted of raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub and sentenced to four years and six months in prison on Thursday.

The former Brazil and Barcelona right back was convicted in Spain under a new sexual liberty law that emphasizes the victim’s lack of agreement as the most important factor in assessing sex offences.

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Soccer Star Dani Alves was Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

A three-judge bench at the Barcelona Provincial Court convicted Alves, 40, of sexual assault for the event on December 31, 2022.

The court ordered Alves to pay the victim 150,000 euros ($162,000) in compensation and refrain from entering her home or workplace and communicating with her in any way for the next nine years.

“I still believe Mr. Alves is innocent,” Alves’ lawyer, Inés Guardiola, said. “I need to study the ruling, but I can tell you that of course we will appeal.”

Guardiola stated that Alves was “calm and collected” when he heard the verdict in court.

“We are satisfied,” David Sáenz, a member of the victim’s legal team, said, “because this verdict acknowledges what we have always known, that the victim told the truth and suffered.”

On Wednesday, Ester García, the victim’s lawyer, stated that she and her client would not be present for the verdict.

On the morning of December 31, 2022, the victim claimed Alves raped her at a Barcelona nightclub’s toilet. The court determined that the victim did not consent to sex and that, in addition to the defendant’s testimony, she was raped.

During his three-day trial last month, Alves denied raping the woman, telling the court, “I am not that kind of man.”

State prosecutors sought a nine-year prison sentence for Alves, while his accuser’s lawyers sought twelve years. His defence requested for his acquittal or, if found guilty, a one-year term and 50,000 euros in compensation for the victim.

The penalty of four years and six months is close to the minimum punishment for a rape conviction under Spanish law, which ranged from four to twelve years at the time of the incident. That has recently been changed to six to twelve years. In its punishment, the court stated that it favoured Alves since he had “before the trial paid the court 150,000 euros to be given to the victim without any conditions attached.”

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Soccer Star Dani Alves was Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

Sáenz stated that his legal team disagreed with the application of the extenuating situation, claiming that the money did not compensate for the harm done to their client. During the trial, medical experts testified that she had experienced post-traumatic stress.

“Clearly (it does not compensate), but that is what the court decided,” Sáenz told the court. “We have to examine the sentence to see if its contents are adequate for his acts.”

The state prosecutor’s office said it will review the verdict and decide whether to appeal.

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz expressed hope that the verdict “serves as an exemplary measure for all sexist behaviours that women suffer in all areas of our lives.”

The Alves case was the first high-profile sex crime after Spain revised its rules in 2022 to make consent key to defining a sex crime in response to a surge in protests following a gang rape case at the San Fermin bull-running festival in Pamplona in 2016.

The legislation, known as the “only yes means yes” law, defines permission as an unequivocal declaration of a person’s choice, emphasizing that silence or inactivity do not constitute consent. The statute, however, initially resulted in decreased terms for hundreds of sex offenders since it established lower minimum penalties, such as the one imposed on Alves, before being amended.

Irene Montero, the former equality minister who championed the “only yes means yes” statute, praised the decision.

“The sentence against Dani Alves plainly indicates that he committed sexual assault without the victim’s consent. It is the result of the feminist fight for sexual liberation and putting consent first,” she wrote on X, which was once Twitter.

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Soccer Star Dani Alves was Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

Guardiola’s defence during the trial was based on the film from nightclub security cameras, which she claimed showed the lady dancing “with sexualized movements” that “showed her interest” in Alves before the alleged attack.

García, the victim’s lawyer, stated at the end of the trial that the new statute rendered her client’s previous behaviour with Alves meaningless.

“I don’t care (how she was dancing); when she said ‘No’, she meant ‘No.’ “That is why the law was changed,” García explained. “The debate is no longer whether the victim put up resistance.”

Alves has been in jail since January 20, 2023. His bail requests were denied because the judge considered him a flight risk. Brazil does not extradite its citizens, who are condemned in other countries.

The woman told state authorities that she danced with Alves and willingly entered the nightclub bathroom, but when she wanted to leave, he refused to allow her. She claimed he slapped her, humiliated her, and forced her to engage in sexual encounters against her will.

A police officer who testified at the trial stated that the victim had to overcome her concern that “nobody would believe her” before formally accusing Alves. Another officer reported that the woman told him, “I don’t want money, I want justice.”

Alves changed his defence during the investigation while in detention, initially denying any sexual contact with her before confessing to consensual sexual intercourse. He claimed that not admitting to the encounter initially was an attempt to save his marriage.

During the trial, his defence concentrated on proving that Alves was drunk when he met the woman. However, the court did not consider this an extenuating circumstance in its ruling.

His conviction shatters Alves’ reputation as one of soccer’s greatest players.

Alves won titles with top clubs, including Barcelona, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain. He also helped Brazil win two Copa Americas and an Olympic gold medal at 38. He competed in his third World Cup, the only major trophy he has not won, in 2022. He played for Barcelona from 2008 until 2016, helping the club win three Champions and six Spanish titles, before briefly returning in 2022. He still has a home near the city.

He was detained while with the Mexican team Pumas. Pumas terminated his contract immediately.

Three days after his arrest, Alves was transported to the Brians 2 prison, located approximately 45 minutes northwest of Barcelona, for safety reasons. He has remained there ever since.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

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Ruby Franke, a mother and renowned web personality who pled guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse last year, was sentenced to four consecutive sentences of one to fifteen years in a Utah jail on Tuesday.

“My charges are just,” Franke stated during the sentencing. “They offer safety to my family, accountability to the public, and they did show mercy to me.”

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Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Franke, 42, had documented the mistreatment of her children on her now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers.” She was arrested in August when her 12-year-old son fled and urged a neighbour to contact police.

Franke was initially charged with six counts but pled not guilty to two of them as part of a plea arrangement to testify against her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, who was also charged with aggravated child abuse but reached a plea agreement, according to prosecutors.

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Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

According to court filings, the abuse included:

  • Depriving Franke’s children of food and drink.
  • Kicking her son while wearing boots.
  • Denying him oxygen.

According to court documents, Franke informed her children that the penalties were necessary to teach them obedience and repentance. It was also alleged that she “intentionally or knowingly inflicted and allowed another adult to inflict serious physical injuries.”

“For the past four years, I’ve chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion,” Franke told CNN. “My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me.”

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Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Hildebrandt was sentenced on Tuesday and received the same terms. The judge stated they each have 30 days to submit an appeal.

“One of the reasons I didn’t go to trial…” “I didn’t want them to emotionally relive the experience, which would have been harmful to them,” Hildebrandt told the court. “My hope and prayer is that they will heal and move forward to have beautiful lives.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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2024 OSCARS: Everything You Need To Know About This Year’s Oscars

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NEW YORK — After a winter of award events, including the Emmys, Golden Globes, and Grammys, the granddaddy of them all, the Academy Awards, is just around the horizon. The 96th Academy Awards may be a coronation for “Oppenheimer,” which leads with 13 nominations, but other films, including “Barbie,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and “Poor Things,” are also in the running.

Here’s what you should know about this year’s show:

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When are the Oscars?

The Oscars will be on Sunday, March 10, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The event will begin at 7 p.m. EDT, one hour earlier than normal, and will be live on ABC. The pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m. EDT. This is an early reminder to set your clocks – the first day of daylight saving time in the United States.

Are the Oscars livestreamed?
You can access the show on ABC.com and the ABC app with a cable subscription. You may also watch on Hulu Live, YouTube, AT&T, and FuboTV.

Who is hosting the Oscars?
Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the ceremony last year, will serve as emcee for the fourth time. That matches him with fellow four-timers Whoopi Goldberg and Jack Lemmon, leaving Kimmel trailing only Johnny Carson (five), Billy Crystal (nine), and Bob Hope (eleven) among Oscar hosts. “I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times,” Kimmel told the audience.

What films are nominated for Best Picture at the 2024 Oscars?
The ten best-picture nominees are: “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” “Barbie,” “The Holdovers,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Oppenheimer,” “Past Lives,” “Poor Things,” and “The Zone of Interest.”

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Who are the favourites?

Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” is the front-runner. Nolan, the best director favourite, is expected to win his first Oscar. The best actress category could be a close call between Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) and Emma Stone (“Poor Things”). If Gladstone wins, she will be the first Native American to win an Oscar. Best actor might also be a tight call between Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”) and Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”). They would be first-time winners. Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Giamatti’s co-star, is the favourite to win Best supporting actress, while Robert Downey Jr. (“Oppenheimer”) is predicted to win Best Supporting Actor. Ryan Gosling is his closest competitor for “Barbie.”

What’s with the ‘Barbie’ snubs?
While “Barbie,” 2023’s largest box-office blockbuster, received eight nominations, much of the conversation has focused on the film’s lack of nominations. Greta Gerwig was not nominated for directing, while Margot Robbie did not win best actress. Some have detected reflections of the misogyny spoofed in “Barbie,” while others have noted comedians’ traditionally poor reception at the Oscars. The nominations for “Barbie” include best-adapted screenplay (by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach), best supporting actress (America Ferrera), and two best song nominees: Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For” and Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt’s “I’m Just Ken.”

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Are there any changes to this year’s Oscars?

Though prior Oscars have been marred by slaps, envelope snafus, and debates about which prizes are presented live during the ceremony, this year’s show promises to remain relatively unchanged. All of the awards will be broadcast live. The academy is introducing a new award for best casting, but the trophy will be handed in at the 2026 Oscars.

What else is there to look for?
Composer John Williams has been nominated for his record 49th best-score Oscar for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and 54th overall. Godzilla is making his Oscar debut, with “Godzilla Minus One” nominated for outstanding visual effects. Two non-English language films are nominated for Best Picture for the first time: the German-language Auschwitz drama “The Zone of Interest” and the French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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