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Republican who ‘swift boated’ John Kerry to run pro-Trump Super Pac – The Guardian

The Republican strategist who orchestrated the swift boating of John Kerry in 2004 is behind a new effort to aid Donald Trumps re-election campaign.
Chris LaCivita will run a Super Pac called Preser…
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Taylor Swift Folklore Funny Tiktoks And Tweets – BuzzFeed

Now, two weeks after the album’s release, I give you 50 of the *best* Folklore jokes — imho, of course:

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Taylor Swift, boyfriend spotted hiking in Utah – KUTV 2News

Taylor Swift, boyfriend spotted hiking in Utah – KUTV 2News
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Swift Taylor

Taylor Swift – ‘Folklore’ review: pop superstar undergoes an extraordinary indie-folk makeover – NME

This summer, Taylor Swift was meant to headline Glastonbury. In fact, she was meant to be playing a whole host of festivals and shows on an international tour as well as hosting her own two-part ‘Lover Fest’ in America, all in celebration of her seventh studio album ‘Lover’, which was released last August). The global pandemic, of course, meant these plans were scrapped, leaving Swift with bountiful spare time. No longer locked into rehearsals or jetting around the globe performing to tens of thousands, she used these hours to write.

The results of these unforeseen quarantine writing sessions have come together on Swift’s new, eighth studio album, ‘Folklore’. She’s uncharacteristically ‘done a Beyoncé‘, announcing the album less than 24 hours before it drops, a stark change to the very deliberate, calculated release schedules we’ve seen from Swift in the past. In a simple statement posted to social media, she acknowledged that she’d usually wait and release the album at the “perfect” time, but said the global situation acted as a reminder to her that “nothing is guaranteed”. These shock release tactics go hand-in-hand with a change in musical direction for Swift; ‘Folklore’ is something totally unexpected from one of the world’s biggest pop stars.

Over the course of seven albums, we’ve seen Swift evolve from a fresh-faced, teenage country crossover hopeful to sleek synth-pop chart-juggernaut. Each record has brought with it gradual changes – 2010’s ‘Speak Now’ was rockier and 2012’s ‘Red’ saw more pop-leaning production, and by the time we got to 2014’s ‘1989’ she’d cast the cowboy hat aside entirely for pure pop bangers. On album eight, Swift dives headfirst into the world of folk, alternative rock and indie.

It was written in isolation; she remotely teamed up with a handful of her musical heroes – and indie legends – including The National‘s Aaron Dessner (who worked on 11 of the 16 songs), Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon (he makes the record’s only guest appearance on ‘Exile’) and long-time collaborator Jack Antonoff. In her pre-release statement, she claims to have worked with another ‘hero’, the mysterious William Bowery – though no known details exist about him elsewhere and fans have speculated that this is a pseudonym for her brother or boyfriend, the actor Joe Alwyn.

Whoever Bowery is, the results are unexpected, and sometimes astonishing – ‘Folklore’ feels like Swift has travelled to a metaphorical cabin in the woods – albeit one with a very strong WiFI connection – and concocted a gorgeous, relaxed record filled with modern folk songs.

Dessner’s fingerprints permeate most of ‘Folklore’. The trickling piano on ‘The 1’ and ‘Mad Woman’ are reminiscent of last year’s The National album ‘I Am Easy to Find’ and ‘The Last Great American Dynasty’ evokes the glitchy production heard on the band’s 2017 album ‘Sleep Well Beast’. These brooding instrumentals are always complemented by Swift’s distinctive vocals and ear-worm hooks, though, a reminder that this is the artist behind some of the biggest songs of the past decade. Meanwhile Bon Iver collaboration ‘Exile’ is a melancholy duet, a slow-burner that eventually erupts into a climax of glittering euphoria filled with chorused vocals and soaring strings reminiscent of Vernon’s fourth Bon Iver album, last year’s ‘i, i’.

Despite the bold new direction, there are moments of nostalgia for Swift albums gone by, too. ‘Betty’, a sweet tune about high school romance written by Swift and the enigmatic Bowery, fuses this new folk-rock sound with moments of country we’ve not heard for several albums. ‘My Tears Ricochet’ feels like a sister to the Imogen Heap co-written ‘Clean’ from ‘1989’, only this time a megawatt pop song is encased in layered vocals and twinkling music box instrumentals.

True: at 16 songs (17, if you count bonus track ‘The Lakes’) ‘Folklore’ can sometimes drag slightly. ‘Mirrorball’, a saccharine declaration of romance, lacks the bite of the rest of the album, while ‘Epiphany’ feels slightly sluggish. Yet for the most part, the elegant melodies, glittering production and, crucially, Swift’s songwriting and lyricism pull it back from the brink.

In fact, it’s Swift’s vivid storytelling that makes ‘Folklore’ such an impressive album. This facet has always been a keystone in her music, but her discography twinkles with gems in which it’s heightened (the gut-punch couplet of “you call me up again just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest” on ‘Red”s ‘All Too Well’; the rich description of a gaudy wedding in the title track to ‘Speak Now’).

‘Folklore’ is infused with this sort of storytelling. Take ‘The Last Great American Dynasty’, which is a contender for the best Taylor Swift song ever written. Describing one woman’s life crumbling around her, the descriptive lyrics evoke those of ’80s singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, or the complex tales Bob Dylan spins in his lengthy, winding verses. ‘Invisible String’, filled with an unusual turn of phrase – “Bad was the blood of the song in the cab on your first trip to LA” – is a candid glimpse inside Swift’s current relationship. And, of course, there are plenty of pithy kiss-offs perfect for your next Instagram caption, the greatest arriving when Swift whispers “And if I’m dead to you why are you at the wake?” on ‘My Tears Ricochet’.

‘Folklore’ feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest. The glossy production she’s lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation. It’s the sound of an artist who’s bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different. Swift disappeared into the metaphorical woods while writing ‘Folklore’, and she’s emerged stronger than ever.

Details

Release date: July 24

Record label: Republic

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Swift Taylor

Taylor Swift got educated on Juneteenth and wants you to be, too – CNN

(CNN)From now on, anyone working for Taylor Swift will have the day off for Juneteenth.

What’s more, Swift wanted to educate her followers about the celebration so the superstar singer posted information on her official social media accounts about the holiday also known as Freedom Day.
June 19 commemorates the day in which slaves in Texas learned slavery had ended — two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
On Friday, Swift posted a video of The Root writer Danielle Young explaining the origins of Juneteenth and why it should be a national holiday.
She thanked the site and Young before also sharing her thoughts about the day.
“Personally, I’ve made the decision to give all of my employees June 19th off in honor of Freedom Day from now on, and to continue to educate myself on the history that brought us to this present moment,” Swift wrote in the caption. “For my family, everything that has transpired recently gives us an opportunity to reflect, listen, and reprogram any part of our lives that hasn’t been loudly and ferociously anti-racist, and to never let privilege lie dormant when it could be used to stand up for what’s right.”
The post came days after Swift took on the issue of Confederate monuments in her adopted home state of Tennessee, writing on social media, “As a Tennessean, it makes me sick that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things. Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were DESPICABLE figures in our state history and should be treated as such.”

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Swift Taylor

Taylor Swift responds to controversial Trump tweet on Minneapolis – Vox.com

On Friday, Taylor Swift became one of the most prominent voices denouncing President Donald Trump’s tweets regarding the unrest in Minneapolis. “We will vote you out in November,” Swift warned Trump, saying that he had “stok[ed] the fires of white supremacy and racism [his] entire presidency.”

In Minneapolis, protests have been raging over the past few days in response to the police killing of George Floyd on Monday. Shortly after midnight on Friday morning, Trump tweeted that he wanted to dispatch military troops to Minneapolis to shoot American citizens, saying, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump’s words triggered an unusual response from Twitter itself, which began screening the president’s tweets, as well as outrage from onlookers. And Swift, who has 6 million more Twitter followers than Trump has (86.1 million to his 80.5), was one of them.

After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? ‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November. @realdonaldtrump

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 29, 2020

Swift’s tweet stands in sharp contrast to the apolitical stance she took for most of her career. When she came up as a teenager in country music, she refused to talk about politics at all, saying that she was too young and uneducated to want to influence anyone’s political decisions. She remained pointedly silent during the 2016 election, even as celebrity after celebrity endorsed Hillary Clinton.

In Miss Americana, a documentary about the singer released in January on Netflix, Swift says her early political silence was part and parcel of her desire to be a “good girl,” one everyone around her would like. Swift’s managers told her she should never discuss politics, lest she suffer the fate of the Dixie Chicks after they criticized George W. Bush, and so she stayed silent. But in 2018, she says, she decided she could no longer be passive in the face of political injustice and would have to speak out.

In 2018, Swift endorsed two Democratic congressional candidates in the midterm elections. Miss Americana shows Swift pleading with her father and staff to sign off on her decision. She cites Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn’s anti-LGBTQ voting record: “I think it is so frilly and spineless of me to stand onstage and go, ‘Happy Pride Month, you guys,’ and then not say this, when someone’s literally coming for their [the queer community’s] neck,” she says.

And now, Swift has gotten comfortable enough being politically vocal to use her enormous platform to denounce Trump in public.

Swift is among the most visible of those celebrities using their fame to drive political conversations, but she’s not the only one by far. Cardi B has made a habit of posting wonkish progressive videos to social media for years, and she campaigned for Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary in 2019. Early Friday morning, the rapper posted a video to social media expressing her solidarity with the protesters in Minneapolis.

“How many peaceful protests have we seen, how many trending hashtags have we seen?” she asked rhetorically. “I’ve been doing fucking police brutality videos since my teeth got fucked up, and the only thing that’s changed has been my fucking teeth.”

She finished her video by urging her followers to vote in down-ballot races. “The people that are voting for these people are most likely cops, most likely rednecks. That’s why every single time that some fuck shit like this happens, it goes in their favor,” she explains. “Because these people have the power — these DAs, these judges, these attorneys — they have the power to prosecute these cops when they do fuck shit.”

Cardi B has 11.9 million Twitter followers. Taylor Swift has 86.1 million Twitter followers. And Donald Trump has 80.5 million followers. If Trump has built his political power in part on his social media clout — and he has — he’s facing some major threats to his online influence right now.


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