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The Late Movies: "Paul's Boutique" Turns 23

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The Beastie Boys released their opus Paul's Boutique today, July 25, way back in 1989. (To some of us that doesn't seem so long ago.) It was their second record, and the band faced tremendous pressure to meet or exceed Licensed to Ill, known for anthemic party-rock/hip-hop hits like "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" and "No Sleep till Brooklyn." The Dust Brothers produced Paul's Boutique and in many cases actually wrote the music and arranged the samples. Although at first the album wasn't the smash hit Capitol Records was looking for, it was a critical success and eventually (in 1999) went double platinum. It often appears on critics' "best albums" lists. Tonight, a few choice cuts from the record.

"Shadrach" Live on Soul Train

"It's not how you play the game, it's how you win it" -The Beastie Boys rapping on, no kidding, Soul Train. They repeatedly name-check the late Don Cornelius, who proceeds to interview them onstage. Also notable: MCA's beard.

"Hey Ladies"

With a layered Seventies funk groove, this song samples James Brown, Kool & the Gang, the Commodores, Cameo, P-Funk All Stars, Kurtis Blow, and many more.

"Shake Your Rump"

The video featured the three rappers performing in front of three cameras on a roof. Most fun is the dance break around 2:00 in which you can see the crew in the background. At the very end, you see The Dust Brothers (E.Z. Mike is one).

"Johnny Ryall" (Demo)

Playing on limited-edition blue vinyl, on a rainbow turntable. The song samples Pink Floyd, Donny Hathaway, Kurtis Blow, and the Beastie Boys' previous work among many others. The song refers to a homeless man. Interesting how many of the song's name-checks are still relevant -- Ed Koch and Donald Trump are both mentioned.

"High Plains Drifter" Live in Tokyo

From a concert in 1995.

"The Sounds of Science" Live in Japan

"Droppin' science like? Galileo dropped the orange," live in Japan.

"Egg Man" Live in Germany

"Come Halloween you know I come strapped!" A song about egging.

Paul's Boutique Release Party

Yeah, just 48 minutes of hanging out on the Capitol Records roof celebrating the record's release. Spoiler/surprise alert: there is awesome skywriting in this video. Also amusing is the extended interview -- towards the end, the guys lament the consumer trend towards CDs and away from vinyl; MCA suggests that vinyl is superior in part because "it's bigger."

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Animals
Australian Charity Releases Album of Cat-Themed Ballads to Promote Feline Welfare
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An Australian animal charity is helping save the nation’s kitties one torch song at a time, releasing a feline-focused musical album that educates pet owners about how to properly care for their cats.

Around 35,000 cats end up in pounds, shelters, and rescue programs every year in the Australian state of New South Wales, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Microchipping and fixing cats, along with keeping closer tabs on them, could help reduce this number. To get this message out, the RSPCA’s New South Wales chapter created Cat Ballads: Music To Improve The Lives Of Cats.

The five-track recording is campy and fur-filled, with titles like "Desex Me Before I Do Something Crazy" and "Meow Meow." But songs like “I Need You” might tug the heartstrings of ailurophiles with lyrics like “I guess that’s goodbye then/but you’ve done this before/the window's wide open/and so’s the back door/you might think I’m independent/but you’d be wrong.” There's also a special version of the song that's specifically designed for cats’ ears, featuring purring, bird tweets, and other feline-friendly noises.

Together, the tunes remind us how vulnerable our kitties really are, and provide a timely reminder for cat owners to be responsible parents to their furry friends.

“The Cat Ballads campaign coincides with kitten season, which is when our shelters receive a significantly higher number of unwanted kittens as the seasons change,” Dr. Jade Norris, a veterinary scientist with the RSPCA, tells Mental Floss. “Desexing cats is a critical strategy to reduce unwanted kittens.”

Listen to a song from Cat Ballads below, and visit the project’s website for the full rundown.

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technology
ABBA Is Going on Tour—As Holograms
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Missed your chance to watch ABBA perform live at the peak of their popularity? You’re in luck: Fans will soon be able to see the group in concert in all their chart-topping, 1970s glory—or rather, they’ll be able to see their holograms. As Mashable reports, a virtual version of the Swedish pop band is getting ready to go on tour.

ABBA split up in 1982, and the band hasn't been on tour since. (Though they did get together for a surprise reunion performance in 2016.) All four members of ABBA are still alive, but apparently not up for reentering the concert circuit when they can earn money on a holographic tour from the comfort of their homes.

The musicians of ABBA have already had the necessary measurements taken to bring their digital selves to life. The final holograms will resemble the band in the late 1970s, with their images projected in front of physical performers. Part of the show will be played live, but the main vocals will be lifted from original ABBA records and recordings of their 1977 Australian tour.

ABBA won’t be the first musical act to perform via hologram. Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, and Dean Martin have all been revived using the technology, but this may be one of the first times computerized avatars are standing in for big-name performers who are still around. ABBA super-fans will find out if “SOS” still sounds as catchy from the mouths of holograms when the tour launches in 2019.

[h/t Mashable]

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