Your Guide To Taylor Swift's Most Generous Acts

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Jena Ardell

Whether you like her music or not, you have to give Swift props for her generosity. Swift notoriously goes above and beyond for her fans. We can't think of any other superstars who mail care packages to their fans. One fan (dealing with a depressing life transition) recently received a heartwarming barrage of gifts from Swift, along with a thoughtful, handwritten letter that said:

"Ally - I've been thinking about you a lot lately and all I want is for you to have a life that you love. I can't begin to understand what you're going through, but if it helps you at all to know that I'm pulling for you, you should know that I am. I check in on you all the time because you're smart and hysterically funny and beautiful. You deserve to be happy and I just hope these presents make you smile... Because you make me smile. -Tay"

Here's your guide to Swift's most generous acts of kindness this year.

See also: What It's Like to Be Taylor Swift, in Illustrated Form


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The Abigails' New Album is Coming-of-Age Satanic Outlaw Country

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Mike Selsky
In the gritty underbelly of alt-country lurks sometimes-OC locals, The Abigails, a fusion of psych rock and outlaw country lead by front man and eccentric charmer, Warren Thomas. The group's rotating lineup currently includes members from Father John Misty and Douglas and The Furs, and considering Thomas spent time as a member of The Growlers, this is a cast of musicians that know their way around a stage.

The group is set to play at The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa on Saturday night, where they'll celebrate the long awaited release of their sophomore effort, Tundra. Thomas makes no bones about purging his personal demons on the album, and even included an eight-page photo booklet of handwritten lyrics on old album sleeves. We caught up with an unusually introspective Thomas to hear about the delayed album release and how the album art came to fruition.

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Allen Moon Created a Genius Arts and Music Movement in Santa Ana

Categories: cool shit

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Courtesy of Santa Ana Sites
Allen Moon
In the mind of an artist, drab routines are meant to be interrupted. That includes the typical concertgoing experience. Instead of buying a ticket to some stuffy club or a theater you've been to a thousand times, what if you caught a classic ensemble booming in the echoey marble foyer of SanTana's Santora Building? Or how about an avant-garde sound manipulator hypnotizing you with swells of celestial white noise on an underground racquetball court? The Santa Ana Sites (SAS) series, the brainchild of artistic director Allen Moon, combines challenging, eclectic sounds with makeshift venues in unlikely places for people who like their entertainment spontaneous, inspired and cerebral.

The next installment, Saturday's "Santa Ana Sites: Maya Beiser--Uncovered," will take over Logan Creative, a 20,000-square-foot artists' complex that originally operated as a spiral-staircase factory. Amidst an open house by Logan Creative's resident artists and artisans, cello ingénue Maya Beiser plans to include what she describes as "uncovers" of staple rock songs from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Nirvana.

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Set Your Boners to Hyperdrive: Star Wars-Inspired Burlesque Show Coming to Santa Ana!

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Photo of Audrey Deluxe by Maarten Deboer
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, comic book geeks and science fiction nerds were among the least likely social groups to be associated with sexuality. However, anyone who has attended a comic book or sci-fi convention in the past 10 years, give or take, has observed that flesh, cosplay, and nerd chic have become as part and parcel of the cons as getting autographs from artists & celebrities, buying campy memorabilia, and geeking out over trailers to upcoming superhero movies. That being said, on Saturday, July 12, the girls of Devil's Playground Burlesque, in association with Yadi, will be taking all Orange County comers -- nerdly fetishists as well as civilians -- to the next level of galactic experience with their Star Wars-inspired show, "Star Girls."

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VIDEO: Foo Fighters Cover The Rolling Stones and Queen PLUS Exclusive Photos

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Jena Ardell

"I love rock and roll just as much as the next guy," Dave Grohl said when the Foo Fighters returned to the stage at Firefly Festival in Dover, DE this weekend after their headlining performance. "Maybe even fuckin' more than the next guy. I love being in the Foo Fighters, but tonight, for the next four or five songs, we're a fuckin' bar band called the Holy Shits that plays fuckin' classic rock songs. What about that shit?!"


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Fred Armisen Brings a Live Portlandia Viewing to the Observatory

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Charles Lam/OC Weekly

It's hard to name one other television show that has brilliantly crystallized the humor and absurdity of contemporary lifestyle trends than Portlandia. Created by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein--veteran musicians and close friends--the two pooled together their collective experiences of Portland and have generated a successful format for satirizing some of the most innocuous quirks about the city and the millenial generation as a whole.

Four seasons since their debut in 2011, Portlandia has become a cult hit with its iconic one-liners ("Put a bird on it!"), awesome guest stars, and various recurring characters played by Armisen and Brownstein, like the gender-swapping roles Lance and Nina, aging punks Spike and Iris, and of course, feminist bookstore Women & Women First owners Toni and Candace.Last Saturday night, Armisen came down to the Observatory in Santa Ana to extend to fans an exclusive first look of this season's upcoming episode 8, and engaged audiences in a hilarious Q&A session full of memorable moments and insightful answers.

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Trent Reznor's Stunning Shout Out to Andrew Youssef in Las Vegas

Categories: cool shit

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At this point, we thought we'd seen just about everything Nine Inch Nails could do to show their support for beloved Weekly photographer Andrew Youssef. He's already going down in history for having one of the most legendary NIN fan experiences in history thanks to the time spent with Trent Reznor and company before their fall arena tour. Since learning about Youssef's battle with Stage IV Colon Cancer, there's no question the band and their team have formed a genuine bond with one of their biggest and most deserving fans. Youssef chronicled the experiences in his Weekly column Last Shot, which delves into his experiences fighting cancer through his love of music.

But when the veteran Weekling unexpectedly answered a FaceTime chat with Reznor on November 16, days after seeing NIN perform at the Staples Center on November 8, it turns out he got an even better seat to their show at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Just before launching into their song "In This Twilight," (the title of one of Youssef's most brave and devastating posts), Reznor gave Youssef a special dedication that's probably still ringing in his ears even though he was too physically drained to be at the show. Check out the video below to see what we mean.

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Step Inside Continental Room's Monthly Barroom Record Swap

Categories: cool shit

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Zach Nelson
Early afternoons are usually not the best time to stop by your local bar. Fluorescent lights give a harsh sheen to sticky floors, and the walls themselves seem hungover. But for DJs and avid record collectors, daytime is playtime when it comes to roaming conventional swap meets and wholesalers, as they fill the crates with bargain wax. Of course the thrill of the hunt would be nice if it came with a bit more ambiance than a drab industrial park or dense, outdoor bazaar crowds in sweat pants.

But for one weekend a month, downtown Fullerton's Continental Room--already a cut above the average OC dive--dims the lights and opens its doors early to vinyl-record collectors who are out to swap, spin and search for a new turntable treasure. The next record swap goes down this Sunday, November 17.


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Five Things to Look Forward to at BlizzCon This Weekend

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Christopher Victorio
Hold me, Tasteless
Orange County's nerd culture doesn't get the hype it deserves. Sure, we may be sandwiched between LA and San Diego, the cities that host literally the largest anime convention and largest comic convention in existence (LA's Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con, obviously), but there's one thing that neither of those two have on us: BlizzCon.

Today and tomorrow, the best thing to ever come out of the city of Irvine invades Anaheim, and there's a little something for everyone from the craft-ling and cosplayer to the eSport hopeful -- even if you didn't get tickets.


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Welcome to Heavy Metal Yoga

Categories: cool shit

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By Nick Keppler

It's a Tuesday night, and I am sitting on a yoga mat in the back of a former grocery store in Pittsburgh, spreading my legs as far as they can go. I reflexively turn to see how the woman next to me is managing her dragonfly pose when I realize I can barely see her. The room is lit only by two lights that look like tin cans sitting in corners; they offer about as much illumination as a pair of Yankee jar candles. Kimee Massie, the heavily tattooed instructor (not to be confused with Kim Massie, the local singer), comes over to help me put a foam block under my ass. It gives me some leverage, and I feel a greater stretch in my inner thighs, but I still look over again to see how far the woman on the neighboring mat has gotten. I squint and make out the words on her T-shirt: "Fuck This. I'm Going Skateboarding."

Meanwhile, there is a dark, droning sound coming out of the stereo. Imagine the hiss that is omnipresent in David Lynch's Eraserhead overlapped by the slow diddling of an autistic noise-rock guitarist. It's oddly comforting in its noninvasive nature and consistency. I remember to inhale deeply.


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