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The Late Movies: Happy Birthday, Ben Folds!

Today Ben Folds celebrates his 46th birthday, and we rock along with him. I've always liked Ben -- his mix of emotional and geeky songs appeals to me, as do his guts in naming his three-piece band "Ben Folds Five." Let's check a few classic performances by the man and (at times) his band. If you have to pick one of these to watch, try "In Love." It has Shatner. Lots of Shatner.

"Underground," 1997

"Show me the mosh pit...." With Ben Folds Five, obviously.

"In Love," ft. William Shatner and Fear of Pop, 1999

This.

"Battle of Who Could Care Less," 1997

Man, they were so young and skinny.

"Philosophy," Live on Jools Holland

A little confusion about where Ben is from. For the record, it's North Carolina.

"Tiny Dancer"

Sweet Elton glasses, Ben.

"One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces"

Now he's big and important.

"Careless Whisper," ft. Rufus Wainwright, 2004

"I'm never gonna dance again" -- I don't believe it for a second, Rufus.

"Army," Live in Nashville

Audience participation ahoy!

"Such Great Heights," 2006

Remember the Postal Service? Remember when people did live shows at Myspace?! Yep.

Live on Chatroulette (in Concert), 2010

Ben Folds, during a concert in Charlotte, North Carolina, decided to take to Chatroulette as an ode to Merton. Moderate swearing ensues.

"Things You Think" ft. Nick Hornby and Pomplamoose

"I'm all for feminism, but it's cost me my one shot at immortality" -Nick Hornby.

"Video Killed the Radio Star"

Ben does a killer cover of this Woolley & the Camera Club/Buggles joint. I have long treasured my bootleg of the Ben Folds Five called Stuttgart & Ziggy's -- their live version of this rules, but I couldn't find a live rendition online.

Share Your Favorites

I am barely scratching the surface of the Ben Folds canon here. Help me out, people -- what are your favorites?

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Henson Company
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Pop Culture
Jim Henson's Labyrinth Is Being Adapted Into a Stage Musical
Henson Company
Henson Company

More than 30 years after its cinematic debut, Labyrinth could be hitting the stage. In an interview with Forbes, Jim Henson's son and Henson Company CEO Brian Henson shared plans to transform the cult classic into a live musical.

While the new musical would be missing David Bowie in his starring role as Jareth the Goblin King, it would hopefully feature the soundtrack Bowie helped write. Brian Henson says there isn't a set timeline for the project yet, but the stage adaptation of the original film is already in the works.

As for a location, Henson told Forbes he envisions it running, "Not necessarily [on] Broadway, it could be for London's West End, but it will be a stage show, a big theatrical version. It’s very exciting."

Labyrinth premiered in 1986 to measly box office earnings and tepid reviews, but Jim Henson's fairytale has since grown into a phenomenon beloved by nostalgic '80s kids and younger generations alike. In the same Forbes interview, Brian Henson also confirmed the 2017 news that a long-anticipated Labyrinth sequel is apparently in development. Though he couldn't give any specifics, Henson confirmed that, "we are still excited about it but the process moves very slowly and very carefully. We're still excited about the idea of a sequel, we are working on something, but nothing that's close enough to say it's about to be in pre-production or anything like that."

While fans eagerly await those projects to come out, they can get their fix when the film returns to theaters across the U.S. on April 29, May 1, and May 2. Don't forget to wear your best Labyrinth swag to the event.

[h/t Forbes]

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Spotify
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Pop Culture
David Bowie Is Taking Over New York City's Subways
Spotify
Spotify

Ground control to Major Tom: New York City subway riders can now channel one of David Bowie’s many personas while “floating 'round a tin can”—or vying for a seat on the train, as Fast Company reports. Created by Spotify in collaboration with the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), commemorative MetroCards featuring iconic images of the legendary rocker will be circulated for a limited time to promote the ongoing "David Bowie is" exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.

A promotional David Bowie MetroCard
Spotify

Five different MetroCards are available, each depicting one of Bowie’s iconic stage personas, including Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, and The Thin White Duke. Past MetroCard promotions have featured characters from cult TV hit Twin Peaks and the logo of skateboard brand Supreme, the latter of which became so popular that some of the cards sold on eBay for prices ranging from $50 to $1000, according to The Verge.

Spotify and the MTA's David Bowie subway takeover
Spotify

The MTA said 250,000 David Bowie cards have been printed. They will be sold at random from station booths and MetroCard vending machines at the Broadway-Lafayette and Bleecker stations.

The stations were chosen because of their proximity to Lafayette Street in SoHo, where Bowie lived for two decades up until his death in 2016. In addition to the MetroCard promotion, Spotify has launched a “ takeover” of the Broadway-Lafayette station, where commuters will see photos of Bowie that are currently on display at the Brooklyn Museum.

A photo of Spotify and the MTA's David Bowie subway takeover
Spotify

The "David Bowie is" exhibition runs until July 15 and includes 400 objects from the David Bowie Archive. Highlights include more than 60 of his performance costumes, 85 handwritten lyric sheets, and oil paintings created by Bowie.

[h/t: Fast Company]

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