• Maya Rudolph’s Prince cover band pays tribute at Moontower Comedy

    As Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum’s cover band, Princess, took the Paramount Theatre stage Saturday night, the sold-out crowd waved purple glow sticks in the air wildly, setting the tone for what became a celebratory tribute to their mutual “hero:” Prince.


    Though Rudolph, a Saturday Night Live alumna, and Lieberum, a jazz musician, were added to the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest months ago, Prince’s unexpected death last week turned the set into a timely memorial of the musical legend’s prolific career. Renditions of songs such as “Head,” “Little Red Corvette” and “Let’s Go Crazy” energized the crowd, motivating them to stand and dance for the full concert.

    But as fun and lighthearted as the pair’s dancing, howling vocals, and metallic costumes were, they also took time to share personal stories of “screaming and crying” at their first Prince concerts growing up and meeting him later in life. In one encounter, Prince told Rudolph he had them “programmed into his DVR,” referencing one of Princess’s performances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2012 that he’d recorded.


    After well over an hour of slow dancing, rose petal showers, and Prince’s biggest hits, the band wrapped up the show with a fitting, emotional rendition of “Purple Rain,” putting a poignant cap on a night dedicated to celebrating the legacy Prince leaves behind.

  • Remembering Merle Haggard’s legacy with these four songs

    Country legend Merle Haggard died Wednesday on his 79th birthday at his home in California, The New York Times reported

    The Grammy-winning “outlaw” sent 38 country hits to the top of the charts throughout his decades-long career, one of the most illustrious in country music history. To celebrate his life, The Daily Texan compiled this list of four of Haggard’s best songs.

    “Okie from Muskogee”

    Arguably Haggard’s biggest hit, “Okie from Muskogee,” released in 1969, features lyrics about life in small-town America during the height of the Vietnam War. But while singing “We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee,” and denouncing the icons of the authority-challenging hippie lifestyle such as beads and sandals, the song was mostly seen as a satire, becoming a favorite among those involved in the counterculture movement. 

    “Workin’ Man Blues”

    It’s not easy getting by. Or at least that’s what Haggard preaches as he sings about “working as long as my two hands are fit to use” from the perspective of a working-class husband and father of nine. While the story isn’t autobiographical, it resonated with families around the country, becoming an anthem for those who had to work just to make ends meet.

    “Pancho and Lefty”

    With friend and collaborator Willie Nelson, who today released a statement calling Haggard his “brother,”  Haggard recorded this cover of the Townes Van Zandt song. The lyrics tell the story of a bandit from the “deserts down in Mexico” and his friendship with a man named Lefty, who leaves for Ohio after Pancho’s death. The two trade off verses, their somber voices and simple guitar parts giving the ballad the feeling of an intimate campfire story.

    “Today I Started Loving You Again”

    This 1969 love song is one of Haggard’s sweetest serenades. Written with then-wife Bonnie Owens, the track later was covered by Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, among others.

    For more of Haggard’s classic tunes, check out Rolling Stone’s list of the top 30 here

  • 5 Super Bowl ads to watch

    Throughout the 50-year history of the Super Bowl, friends and family have gathered to cheer on their favorite teams, snack on game day foods, watch the halftime performance and judge the year’s most expensive commercial spots. Whether you supported the Broncos or the Panthers, here are this year’s real winners:

    Doritos: This Doritos commercial portrays a man swiping left on a series of bad Tinder dates with a goth girl, a preteen, a mom who brings her baby along, another man and a cat lady. Finally, he settles on Doris Roberts, overlooking their age difference when she pulls out a bag of Doritos chips. It’s funny, relevant and engaging — everything a Super Bowl advertisement should be.

    Taco Bell: This ad for Taco Bell’s new, cheese-stuffed Quesalupa plays more like a look at modern trends and pop culture than a food sales pitch. Chock-full of references to man buns, Tinder, drones and memes, the video’s cameos from Brazilian footballer Neymar, basketball star James Harden and Star Trek actor George Takei push it over the top and into the realm of the night’s best commercials.

    “Jason Bourne”: “I remember everything,” Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) says in this look at the next installation in the blockbuster action series. While very little is revealed in the trailer, Damon’s return to the series makes it stand out among the abundance of other previews broadcast during the big game, like “Independence Day: Resurgence” and “X-Men: Apocalypse.”

    Snickers: A continuation of their “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign, this spot stars a hangry Willem Dafoe, dressed in the iconic white dress from Marilyn Monroe’s classic film “The Seven Year Itch.” When he’s given a Snickers, he magically transforms back into Monroe herself. It may not be as good as the candy bar brand’s 2010 ad with a football-playing Betty White, but it’s not far behind.

    Hyundai: Kevin Hart has permeated just about every market on his press tour in support of his latest film, but his partnership with Hyundai reveals another side of the Hollywood actor — dad. When his daughter is picked up for a date, Hart trades cars with the young man, but secretly, he’s following the pair around town with his car’s tracking system. According to USA Today’s Ad Meter, the commercial was the year’s best, and it isn’t hard to see why.

  • 5 Coldplay videos to watch before tonight's Super Bowl halftime show

    Before being tapped to play for an audience of more than 100 million people in this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, Coldplay’s reputation as charismatic and engaging performers helped them sell out stadiums and arenas all over the globe. To prepare for the spectacle of tonight’s show, check out five of the British band’s best music videos to date:

    “The Scientist” 

    This piano-driven song from Coldplay’s 2002 release, A Rush of Blood to the Head, follows frontman Chris Martin as he walks through town — entirely in reverse. As Martin enters the woods where a young boy lays on the ground, the backwards effect builds suspense and the song swells until revealing Martin’s journey started at the site of a car accident he survived. 



    The lush orchestration on “Paradise” lends itself to a colorful portrayal of the band — dressed up as plush elephants that would give even Left Shark a run for his money — as they roam around London and eventually wind up on stage. The video, which features Martin riding a unicycle down the middle of the road, is as fun as its infectious “para-para-paradise” chorus.

    “Princess of China” 

    Before teaming up with Beyoncé on this year’s “Hymn for the Weekend,” Coldplay recorded a song with a different pop diva: Rihanna. The video features imperial palaces, dramatic Chinese-inspired costumes and even a duel between Martin and RiRi herself. 


    Sixteen years after its release, nothing is as quintessentially Coldplay as “Yellow.” The video stays simple but beautiful as Martin walks on the beach as the sun rises behind him, lamenting about the stars and delivering saccharine lyrics about love.

    “Strawberry Swing” 

    This video is the peak of Coldplay’s creative, whimsical and colorful style. Martin, dressed in a rainbow superhero uniform, fights a giant squirrel, saves the girl and soars through the clouds in an animated chalk universe. The group later continues to explore comic book storytelling in their video for Mylo Xyloto track “Hurts Like Heaven.”  

  • Lunchtime Links

    Editor’s Note: With this daily series, the Life & Arts section hopes to complement your afternoon procrastination with a bundle of links from across the Web.


    James Taylor updates “Fire and Rain”


    In his 1970 hit “Fire and Rain,” singer-songwriter James Taylor sings “I've seen fire and I've seen rain.” Last night, on Colbert’s Late Show, Taylor updated the song to include things he’s seen since then such as man buns and left shark.


    When We Were Young

    Earlier this week, Adele premiered the latest song from her upcoming album, 25.


    Firefighter undergoes extensive facial transplant

    Learn more about the Mississippi volunteer firefighter Patrick Hardison who recently underwent a 26 hour facial reconstructive surgery here.