5 Lunchtime Links: Obama and Seinfeld chat over coffee

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1. Obama appears with Jerry Seinfeld on season opener of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

President Barack Obama took a break from his busy schedule to share a cup of coffee with Jerry Seinfeld on the comedian’s web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” After picking Obama up at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. the two took a spin in a 1963 Corvette Stingray with the intention of the leaving the White House grounds and grabbing a cup of coffee. They were immediately thwarted by security who said that was not a possibility. Returning to the White House, the two talk about a shared lack of anonymity, favorite presidents and, well, cars.

2. Quentin Tarantino surprises Alamo Ritz audience.

One audience got a little more than expected when they attended the 7 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse screening of “The Hateful Eight” at the theater’s downtown Ritz location last night. And we’re not just talking excessive amounts of onscreen violence. Instead, the crowd got a surprise visit from the man behind the excessive amounts of onscreen violence. Director Quentin Tarantino attended the screening, held at the only theater in Austin equipped to run the movie in its preferred 70mm format, and participated in an audience Q&A following the showing.

3. LCD Soundsystem to reunite for Coachella. Map-Google-Search-20151

North American’s favorite scum is back. New York electropop group LCD Soundsystem has announced they will reunite to play Coachella. The group released their last album and played their final tour five years ago before disbanding. The festival, which takes place during two weekends in April, will also feature a reunion of Guns N’ Roses.

4. What did Texans Google more than any other state’s residents?

Did you Google the thing most Googled by Texans this year? Let’s make this easier: Are you as interested in Miranda Lambert’s divorce as everyone else?

5. Where to eat tonight for New Year’s Eve.

What better way to start off a new year than with a delicious meal? If you’re still looking for something to do tonight, consider dining out at one of these top-notch Austin restaurants. Meals run anywhere from $50 to $150 and many include beverage pairings. Pop over to blues club Antone’s new location afterwards for its highly anticipated soft opening.

Tarantino surprises Alamo Ritz audience at ‘Hateful Eight’

One audience got a little more than expected when they attended the 7 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse screening of “The Hateful Eight” at the theater’s downtown Ritz location last night. And we’re not just talking excessive amounts of onscreen violence. Instead, the crowd got a surprise visit from the man behind the excessive amounts of onscreen violence.

Director Quentin Tarantino attended the screening, held at the only theater in Austin equipped to run the movie in its preferred 70mm format, and participated in an audience Q&A following the showing. Alamo founder and CEO Tim League joined Tarantino on stage, and brought up frequent Austin-based collaborator, writer-director Robert Rodriguez as well. “You guys are the lucky ones!” League told the shocked audience.

Tarantino answered questions about how “The Hateful Eight” (originally intended to be a “Django Unchained” sequel) came about saying, “I had never written a script when I was depressed and angry before, and I think you can kind of tell when watching it. I wrote this, and I felt a lot better.”

The Alamo Drafthouse staff was no less excited, but slightly more nervous, than the audience about Tarantino’s presence. The director, however, assured them he was one “satisfied customer.”

In very Alamo-fashion the theater used a mini-rant by Tarantino on fans asking for pictures (“We’re watching the movie together! What more do you want?!”) to make a short, funny video telling audience members what isn’t allowed.

Overall a great night for Alamo customers, and a pretty sad one for viewers who opted for the 10 p.m. showing.

“You mean… He was just — ??”

5 Lunchtime Links: Aretha Franklin brings Obama to tears

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(via CBS)

1. Obama brought to tears during Aretha Franklin performance.

Aretha Franklin’s jaw-dropping performance during the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony had everyone reacting all kinds of ways. Carole King, one of the honorees at the ceremony, co-wrote the song “Natural Woman,” but even that couldn’t prepare her for Franklin’s performance. King was seen looking around at the crowd in disbelief throughout the song. President Barack Obama wasn’t immune to the powerful rendition either. A camera cut to him pretty early into the song, and he can be seen wiping away a tear. You can watch a video of the performance here.

2. Bill Cosby charged with sexually assaulting woman.

The numerous accusations against comedian Bill Cosby will finally see the 78-year-old to court. Cosby was charged today with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in his house 12 years ago — punishable by five to 10 years behind bars and a $25,000 fine. Cosby previously admitted to giving Quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with. The charge was made just a few days before the 12-year statute of limitations for bringing charges was set to run out.

3. New Antone’s location to open New Year’s Eve.

East Riverside Austin blues club Antone’s, which closed its doors two years ago, will reopen at 305 E. Fifth St. The soft opening show on New Year’s Eve will feature a performance by CJ Chenier. The new location promises to stay true to the original club’s musical roots with a focus on blues, R&B and soul. Thursday’s event is open to the public and tickets are only available at the venue box office at 305 East Fifth Street day-of show beginning at 5PM and cost $20.

4. Start your new year off outdoors.

What’s a better start to your new year than getting back in touch with (or at least briefly saying hello to) nature? Treat yourself to a scenic view while you compile that list of things you won’t do in 2016 — we mean resolutions. Texas Parks and Wildlife offers several Jan. 1 events in its parks including several “First Day Hikes.” Get started on the right foot!

5. Some of the major food stories from 2015.

One of the biggest (and easily Texas’ favorite) ice cream company shut down when listeria-contaminated ice cream killed several people. Stubb’s barbecue sauce was sold to McCormick & Co. for a price that could buy you quite a few bottles of the stuff ($100 million). You can order and receive food from just about any restaurant and get it just about anywhere. These are just a few of the major food developments in the year 2015. Read through the rest during your lunch here.

5 Lunchtime Links: Kanye’s gifts to Kim

Kanye West accepts the video vanguard award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Kanye West accepts the video vanguard award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

1. Kanye West gifts Kim Kardashian 150 Christmas presents.

Kanye West wasn’t really impressed by the “12 Days of Christmas” — he was thinking more along the lines of 150. That’s reportedly the number of gifts he presented to wife Kim Kardashian Christmas morning. Among the packages were what appears to be a $57,000 Saint Laurent technicolour fur coat and a Prada jumpsuit. Kardashian defended the extravagance saying, “I haven’t shopped for myself in over six months, and Kanye has to deal with me every day.”

2. Where to eat on New Year’s Eve.

What better way to start off a new year than with a delicious meal? If you’re planning your New Year’s Eve festivities, consider eating dinner at one of these top-notch Austin restaurants. Meals run anywhere from $50 to $150 and often include beverage pairings.

3. Lemmy Kilmister of the band Motörhead dies at 70.

Frontman of the band Motorhead Lemmy Kilmister has died. A post on the band’s Facebook said that Kilmister died after “a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer.” The band is known for their single “Ace of Spades” and was touring as recently as earlier this month.

4. Country singer missing after Oklahoma storms.

22-year-old Chase Morlan’s tweet “In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma,” was recast as a chilling bit of foreshadowing after Morlan was found dead in Kaw Lake Monday. His friend, country singer 29-year-old Craig Strickland, remains missing. Rescuers believe the pair’s boat capsized during the severe storm affecting Oklahoma this past week.

5. How much does it cost to eat at Olive Garden on New Year’s Eve?

Can you eat $400 worth of breadsticks and salad? Because that is essentially what the Times Square location of popular Italian restaurant chain Olive Garden is asking guests to do if they’d like to dine there on New Year’s Eve. The $400 ticket to dine at the restaurant will feature a DJ, open bar, a buffet meal, and a limited view of the ball drop. Down the street Bubba Gump Shrimp on Broadway is charging $799 a ticket. Wouldn’t it be better to eat your fast-casual fare in front of a TV?

5 Lunchtime Links: Channing Tatum’s ‘Frozen’ performance

Channing Tatum arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hateful Eight" at the Cinerama Dome on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Channing Tatum arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “The Hateful Eight” at the Cinerama Dome on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

1. Channing Tatum sings as Elsa in “Lip Synch Battle.”

We always knew Channing Tatum could dance — but can he lip synch? A teaser recently released of the actor’s upcoming “Lip Synch Battle” appearance, in which he will face off against his wife Jenna Dewan Tatum, has us leaning toward yes. In the promo Tatum is shown belting out “Frozen’s” “Let It Go” dressed in full Elsa garb (blonde wig included). The highly anticipated performance will air on Jan. 7 at 9 p.m. “I just really hope my marriage isn’t over after tonight,” Tatum joked.

2. Nicki Minaj performs controversial concert in Angola.

Despite numerous protests before her scheduled concert in Angola, Nicki Minaj went through with the performance for which she earned a reported $2 million. The country is currently under the controversial rule of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has served the role since 1979.

3. Where to eat on New Year’s Eve.

What better way to start off a new year than with a delicious meal? If you’re looking ahead (or just past Christmas) and planning your New Year’s Eve festivities, consider eating dinner at one of these top-notch Austin restaurants. Meals run anywhere from $50 to $150 and often include beverage pairings.

4. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” sets North American record.

In what was expected news, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” became the biggest North American movie release of all time this weekend when it raked in $238 million. Previous record holder “Jurassic World” only drew $208.8 million when it debuted this summer. However, “Star Wars” still fell second to “Jurassic World” when it came to global earnings: $517 million vs. $525 million. Males composed nearly 60 percent of the viewers the film attracted, while 70 percent of viewers were adults. Hope this doesn’t spoil anything for you…

5. Memorial service to be held for Austin singer David Rodriguez.

On Jan. 1 fans of singer David Rodriguez, who gained popularity in Austin in the 1980s-1990s, will gather to honor the late songwriter at the Sahara Lounge in East Austin. Rodriguez died at 63 years old in the Netherlands where he had lived for more than 20 years. Read his full obituary in English here and in Spanish here. For more information on the memorial service, email davidsmemorial63@gmail.com.

Jared Padalecki sees ‘Star Wars’ with Austin police chief

Texas-born actor Jared Padalecki and obvious “Star Wars” superfan Austin police Chief Art Acevedo (“Darth Acevedo”) went to go watch “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the same time, according to the chief’s Twitter. Sounds pretty good as far as bro dates go. No word on whether or not Acevedo had his trusty lightsaber in tow.

Photo by: Alyssa Vidales
Photo by: Alyssa Vidales

Padalecki also recently made a stop at the Cedar Park Police Department and got a chance to mingle with some local law enforcement. Assistant Chief of Cedar Park police Mike Harmon called Padalecki a “super nice guy and law enforcement supporter.”

Padalecki currently lives in Austin with his wife and two sons, but (as revealed in a recent Minute Maid-sponsored video) he worries that “Because I’m filming nine months out of the year in Vancouver and Gen and the boys are in Austin, it gets me thinking I am away too much.” Padalecki laments missing “a lot of the day to day things” like “pizza parties.” (He did make it back in town for Austin City Limits Music Festival, though.)

Well Jared, may we say on behalf of both the Austin Police Department and ourselves: We’re all glad you’re home.

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5 Lunchtime Links: Macaulay Culkin back as ‘Kevin’

 

 

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1. Macaulay Culkin “plays” a weird grownup in “Home Alone” spoof.

Macaulay Culkin, excuse us, Kevin is now 35, and it turns out having your parents forget you at 8 years old when they leave for Christmas vacation can have a lasting effect. Culkin reprised his epic “Home Alone” role for the premiere episode of web series “:DRYVRS,” which features just all the ways a rideshare can go wrong. After admitting he can’t even drive, Culkin gets into what all he remembers from that fateful night/movie: “I still have nightmares about this bald weirdo dude chasing me!”

2. Taylor Kitsch hosts New Year’s Eve party to benefit African Children’s Choir.

For the third time Texan-Canadian Taylor Kitsch will give Austinites something to toast “Texas forever!” to on New Year’s Eve. The “Friday Night Lights” star will be hosting a charity event to raise money for the African Children’s Choir on the last night of 2015 at Brazos Hall. About 400 people are expected to attend, and general tickets cost $200. “I’m always looking for something real to do other than going to a bar and getting sloshed,” Kitsch said of the event. Knowing there’s a good heart to go with that great face makes us even bigger fans. Check out what Kitsch had to say about the differences between Canada and Texas when he sat down with the Statesman recently.

3. Netflix releases preview of “Fuller House.”

Netflix has released its long-awaited teaser trailer for the “Full House” sequel “Fuller House” set to premiere Feb. 26. Uncle Jesse, Joey, Danny and DJ can all be heard returning home in the minute-long trailer released on the show’s Facebook. No word of what happened to Michelle just yet…

4. Can a great cast save Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s “Sisters”?

It’s hard to think about not thoroughly enjoying whatever Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are doing. Unfortunately, not everyone is loving the duo’s new, highly-anticipated movie “Sisters.” Critic Katie Walsh called it an “odd mash-up of middle-aged lady humor and ‘Neighbors’-style raging.”

5. How to give your iPhone a quick speed boost.

If you feel like your iPhone just can’t quite keep up with you, try this speed boost tip offered by blogger Marc Forrest. By holding down the power button until the “Slide to power off” screen comes up and then holding the home button until the screen resets (about five seconds), you clear the phone’s RAM. This can be especially helpful if you’re running a lot of apps.

Adele gives us one more thing to cry about

Looking back to before 10 a.m. this morning when Adele tickets, and along with them our chances of seeing/meeting/befriending Adele, disappeared almost instantly, we were feeling hopeful.

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Obviously we’d forgotten one of the major reoccurring themes in many of Adele’s songs: Life is sad. With the sting of missing out on her free SXSW show years ago still fresh, Austin fans attempting to buy tickets at Texas Box Office were met by a haunting sight:

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Just like the thousands on the East Coast before us who tried, failed and set fire to Twitter — we’ve learned what defeat feels like.

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https://twitter.com/brianrdenney/status/677553718288515072

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This dog has a lot to say about how we’re feeling right now.

Hopefully there’ll be another show. Sometimes it lasts in love.

But sometimes your ticket supplier’s website crashes instead.

5 Lunchtime Links: Jennifer Lawrence confesses

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the "Joy" New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 13, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 13: Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the “Joy” New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 13, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

1. Jennifer Lawrence tells Seth Meyers she almost asked him out.

Katniss has made quite a stir with two of her recent late-night appearances to promote new films “Joy” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.” First she joked to Stephen Colbert that she is often riddled with “like Lindsay Lohan-grade exhaustion, but without any drugs or alcohol.” Lindsay Lohan did not like that. She sent a tweet in Lawrence’s general direction saying an unnamed individual needs to “learn to support others like .” Then, in speaking with Seth Meyers, Lawrence revealed that she had once almost asked the married host on a date. “I would never go after another woman’s man,” Lawrence said. “I always forget about step one: find out if he already has a woman.”

2. Spoiler-free “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” review.

“And yes, you will probably really enjoy the film. Some of you — maybe most of you, perhaps all of you — are going to absolutely love it,” film writer Joe Gross assures readers in his review of “Star Wars: The Forces Awakens.” Promising only “mild” spoilers, Gross confirms what many expected the movie to do: Contrast “all that stuff you hated about the prequels.”

3. House of Cards releases teaser, Frank Underwood announces campaign.

If you watched last night’s GOP debate you’d know that by far the most entertaining bit was the “House of Cards” ad that ran between whatever those guys were talking about. The ad runs like a realistic political ad and ends with Frank Underwood promising, “America, I’m only getting started.”

4. Carol Burnett to be inducted into Texas Film Hall of Fame.

San Antonio born actress Carol Burnett has Emmys, Golden Globes, Peabody Awards under her belt, but will add one more honor when she becomes the first honoree of the Texas Film Hall of Fame class of 2016. Burnett’s official induction is scheduled for March 10. The hall of fame already includes famed members like Terrence Malick, Sissy Spacek, Easy Rider and Quentin Tarantino.

5. Vintage pictures of Christmastime in Austin to ring in holiday season.

Nothing quite like flipping through old photos. Check out these vintage pictures from the Statesman archives showing Austin during Christmastime to help you get in the holiday mood. The pictures show time honored traditions like the decorating of the Capitol and Congress Avenue.

5 Lunchtime Links: House of Cards announcement

This image released by Netflix shows Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, left, and Robin Wright as Clair Underwood in a scene from "House of Cards." The show was nominated for a Golden Globe for best drama series on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. The 72nd annual Golden Globe awards will air on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 11.  (AP Photo/Netflix, Nathaniel E. Bell)
This image released by Netflix shows Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, left, and Robin Wright as Clair Underwood in a scene from “House of Cards.” The show was nominated for a Golden Globe for best drama series on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. The 72nd annual Golden Globe awards will air on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 11. (AP Photo/Netflix, Nathaniel E. Bell)

1. House of Cards special announcement set for tonight’s GOP debate.

Everyone’s favorite evil politician (no, not that one) will make a special guest appearance during tonight’s GOP debate. No really, it’s not that one. “House of Card’s” Frank Underwood will make an announcement tonight during what promises to be an interesting debate. As neither a premiere date nor trailer for the show’s upcoming fourth season has been released, many believe the announcement will concern one or both. Or maybe Underwood has something else to declare, and we’ve finally found a candidate evil enough worth voting for.

2. Austin named 1st on “booziest” cities list.

Match has given Austinites one more thing to drink to. The online dating website recently used information taken from its users profiles to compile a list of the U.S.’s “booziest” cities, and yours truly took first place. The findings were based on where singles answered when they were asked where they most regularly drink. The site also used its data to figure out the most distinctive drink in different cities. Austin’s is, of course, the margarita.

3. Austin Trail of Lights reopens.

The Austin holiday season was temporarily robbed of light when Zilker’s Trail of Lights closed this weekend, after more than two inches of rain flooded the park’s grounds. However, the holiday attraction is back and shining, after announcing its reopening yesterday. The Trail of Lights will continue through December 22.

4. Merriam-Webster names suffix as word of the year.

Merriam-Webster has named the suffix “ism” as its 2015 word of the year. The dictionary company said it saw a rise in lookups for words like socialism, fascism, racism, feminism, communism, capitalism and terrorism. Merriam-Webster’s editor called 2015 a “serious year” and said the lookups show “We’re educating ourselves.” Last year’s word was “culture.”

5. Tedeschi Trucks Band closes 41st season of “Austin City Limits.”

The dozen members of Tedeschi Trucks Band closed out a memorable season of “Austin City Limits” with their traditional American sound, during a show Monday that was streamed live on ACL’s YouTube channel. The band ended their set with the 1960s Coasters/Ray Charles smash “Let’s Go Get Stoned.”