Entries tagged with: SNL
by Arielle Gordon
Sometimes, too many cooks in the Saturday Night Live kitchen can lead to legendary casts, unforgettable sketches, and the distinctively young comedic energy for which the NBC show is known. And sometimes, it just leads to a lot of people standing around with nothing to do. That's what the most recent season (#39) of the legendary sketch program felt like to many, and the numbers back up this sentiment: many cast members, especially new recruits brought on last season, seemed to barely be on the program at all. When even Lorne acknowledged SNL was in need of some serious shakeups, it was only a matter of time until the chopping block came down.
The first victim? New York stand-up comedian Brooks Wheelan. As confirmed by Wheelan on his twitter account, he has been cut from the SNL cast after only one season
Other shake-ups include the departure of Noël Wells and John Milhiser, as well as longtime castmember Nasim Pedrad, who is leaving to join the cast of John Mulaney's new sitcom.
Had a blast and loved every second of it. I'm totally honored to be able to make this next joke... FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!— Brooks Wheelan (@brookswheelan) July 14, 2014
If you're already mourning the loss of Wheelan, perhaps you'll be comforted to find out that he's performing at Union Hall on July 28. Aptly titled "Brooks Wheelan Falls Back on Stand-Up Comedy," this show promises to be a valiant return to Wheelan's stand-up career and, at the very least, perhaps a place to hear juicy Lorne Michaels gossip. Tickets are on sale now.
The Black Keys played two tracks off their upcoming album Turn Blue on SNL last night (5/10): "Fever" and "Bullet in the Brain". Watch both NBC performances below. and stay tuned for even more Black Keys TV this Monday:
CBS Interactive's award-winning webcast concert series, LIVE ON LETTERMAN, will feature six-time GRAMMY® Award winning rockers The Black Keys performing live from the world-famous Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City and webcast on CBS.com, Monday, May 12, after 7:30 PM, ET.The Black Keys return to NYC on 9/24 to headline the Barclays Center as part of a bigger tour (that also includes 3 TX shows and Glastonbury). Next weekend they play Hangout Fest.
The Black Keys' LIVE ON LETTERMAN webcast will feature songs off of their latest album, Turn Blue, including the hit single "Fever." The new album will be released Tuesday, May 13, just hours after their LIVE ON LETTERMAN performance. The webcast will also feature some of the band's other hit songs, such as "Lonely Boy" and "Tighten Up."
Fans can watch The Black Keys' performance live and on-demand on CBS.com. Additionally, the webcast is available on-demand through CBS properties and the CBS App for iOS, Android, Windows 8 and BlackBerry.
Additionally, The Black Keys will perform two songs on the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, to be broadcast that same evening, Monday, May 12 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
St. Vincent, who is opening some of the Black Keys' tour, plays SNL next weekend. Watch the Black Keys' videos below...
St. Vincent @ Chicago's Riviera Theatre (more by James Richards IV)
Saturday Night Live has announced the hosts and music performers of the last three shows of the season. On May 3, a couple days before their sold-out Beacon Theatre performance, Coldplay will play SNL with host The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Andrew Garfield.
Then on May 10 the musical guest will be Black Keys, whose new album Turn Blue will be out three days later. Charlize Theron, who is starring in Seth McFarlane's new comedy, A Million Ways to Die in the West, will host.
St. Vincent, last seen singing "Lithium" and "About a Girl" with the remains of Nirvana at Saint Vitus, will be the musical guest on the season finale which will air on May 17, and is hosted by SNL alum Andy Samberg. Annie Clark is no stranger to comedy, having appeared on a few episodes of Portlandia, so maybe she'll turn up in a sketch.
This Saturday (4/26), is a repeat of the Louis CK / Sam Smith episode.
Sam Smith, Louis CK, and SNL's Nassim Pedrad
UK singer Sam Smith is no longer "the dude who sang on that Disclosure song," having already sold out Webster Hall this year and has a debut album, In the Lonely Hour, poised for release in May. You can check out the video for his gospel-inflected new single "Stay with Me" below. He may fully blow up after this weekend when he'll be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live (3/29) with host Louis CK. You can watch some promos for this week's SNL below.
SNL has also announced their next two hosts and musical guests: the April 5 episode will be hosted by Ana Kendrick with musical guest Pharrell, and then on April 12 it's host Seth Rogen and musical guest Ed Sheeran.
Last night (3/8) was a very Brooklyn episode of Saturday Night Live with Girls' star/creator Lena Dunham hosting, and The National as musical guest. The National performed "Graceless" and "I Need My Girl," both of which are from the band's 2013 album, Trouble Will Find Me and you can watch video of both below.
To up last night's starpower, the episode also featured a bevy of cameos: Liam Neeson, John Hamm, and former SNL castmember Fred Armisen. The next new episode of SNL is March 29 with Louis CK as host. No musical guest has been announced, unless Louis is gonna pull a Drake.
The National will play two Celebrate Brooklyn! shows in Prospect Park in June as part of the band's continuing world tour. Watch their SNL performances below...
Beck was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live last night (3/1) which was hosted by Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons. He performed two songs from his elegiac new album, Morning Phase: single "Blue Moon" and was backed by a string section for "Wave." On both he was joined by Father John Misty's J. Tillman. You can watch both in this post.
Next weekend, SNL goes full Brooklyn with host Lena Dunham and musical guest The National. Beck videos below....
by Bill Pearis
The National @ Barclays Center, 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Now that the Sochi Olympics are over, NBC is back to its regular schedule. Late Night with Seth Myers made it's not-bad debut last night with its Fred Armisen-led indie-all-star house band, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has been on since last week. Have you checked out either? Myers seemed a little stiff, still trying to get out of 'Weekend Update' mode, but there were some good comedy bits I thought.
SNL returns this week (3/1) as well with Beck as musical guest and Jim Parsons as host. Next Saturday (March 8), Girls creator/star Lena Dunham will host with musical guest The National. Way to go, guys!
The National continue their world tour and will play two Celebrate Brooklyn! shows in Prospect Park in June.
Sasheer Zamata, SNL's first African American female cast member since 2007, made her debut on on the show this past week as part of the Drake-hosted episode. She was in a bunch of sketches, but didn't have a whole lot of lines -- though her Rihanna-as-Blossom bit was a definitely highlight. You get a much better example of her comic chops in a video just posted to Lorne Michaels' AboveAverage YouTube channel. In it she plays Madison, a girl who gives Girls tours of Greenpoint, featuring locations from the popular HBO show. Example, "This is Cafe Grumpy where Hannah works and they have a drink called 'The Hannah.' It's an $8 cup of coffee." You can watch the whole thing in this post.
Meanwhile the third season of Girls is three episodes in and does continue to feature lots of GPT locales. In this past week's episode, Hannah celebrated her 25th birthday at Matchless. Did you catch that one? Maybe you were an extra in it?
Watch the Girls Tour featuring Sasheer Zamata below...
Drake as Lil Wayne as Steve Urkel
The first Saturday Night Live episode of 2014 aired last night (1/18) with Drake as the host and musical guest. He acted in most of the sketches, including "Hip Hop Classics Before They Were Stars" where he impersonated Lil Wayne as Steve Urkel on "Family Matters" and Jay Z on "Mr. Wizard." That same sketch also had Kenan Thompson playing Rick Ross as the red Teletubby. Drake also did a sketch re-enacting his Bar Mitzvah and "Resolution Revolution" where he rapped about (and then broke) new year's resolutions to stop drinking and smoking, and then did Cosplay dressed as a wizard for the "no more Cosplay" resolution. He was in a few other sketches too, including impersonations of A-Rod and Katt Williams, all of which can be watched in the full episode video below.
For Drake's musical performance, he did "Started From the Bottom" into "Trophies" and a stripped down version of "Hold On We're Going Home" into "From Time," the latter of which featured an appearance by Jhene Aiko who also sings on the album version of the song and sang with him at his recent Barclays Center show. Videos of those performances are below too.
In addition to all the Drake stuff, the episode also marked the debut of new cast member Sasheer Zamata, SNL's first African American female cast member since 2007, when Maya Rudolph left the show. It was also the first episode that SNL's two new female African American writers, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, contributed to.
The Brothers Gibb
Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon returned to SNL last night (12/21) with Fallon hosting and JT as the musical guest, and of course both starring in a number of the skits as well. They brought back their Brothers Gibb skit, and were joined by Madonna playing herself, and the actual Barry Gibb (the only surviving original member of the Bee Gees) came in to sing with them at the end of the skit. Paul McCartney also showed up to sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" with Fallon, and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were parodied again in a "Waking up with Kimye" sketch. You can watch videos of all those, along with one of Justin performing "Only When I Walk Away," below.
It was also announced on last night's show that Drake will host and be the musical guest on the January 18 episode. Drake recently landed on a couple more year-end lists, may have dissed Kendrick Lamar, and appeared on the new Beyonce album.
Haim just made their SNL debut over the weekend, playing "Don't Save Me" and "The Wire," as well as appearing in a sketch that uses The Outfield's mega-'80s hit "Your Love" in a pretty funny way. It was a highlight of an especially lackluster episode of SNL, and you can watch all three clips in this post. Since their appearance, Este Haim's "bass face" -- already an internet meme -- is now full-on sensation, perhaps you've seen it on your Facebook timeline via every one of your friends.
In other news, both of Haim's Terminal 5 shows in May -- including the second show which was just added -- are sold out.
Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live has announced the hosts and musical guests from the remainder of 2013 which looks hopeful on the funny front: Paul Rudd hosts on December 7 with a second appearance from UK boy band One Direction; and John Goodman returns for his 13th hosting job with Kings of Leon as musical guests.
Then on December 21, SNL gifts us with what will be the year's most anticipated show: Jimmy Fallon will host with (surprise!) Justin Timberlake performing. SNL writers usually bring their A-game to a JT episode (expect a return of the Brothers Gibb), and this one will also be a way to remind folks that in the new year, Jimmy Fallon will be moving to The Tonight Show and current "Weekend Update" anchor Seth Meyers will becoming the new Late Night, both of whom will start their new jobs on February 24.
Haim's SNL performances and that Outfield sketch below...
1) Sinead O'Connor writes a letter to Miley Cyrus.
2) Amanda Palmer writes a letter to Sinead O'Connor
3) Sinead O'Connor writes a second letter to Miley Cyrus
4) Sinead O'Connor writes a third letter to Miley
Read #4 with clips from SNL below...
THOM YORKE plays Barclays Center (with Flea) tonight/Friday with James Holden who then opens for Thom's good friend Four Tet in Williamsburg on Saturday, two days before Thom Yorke's good friend Flying Lotus plays Le Poisson Rouge (where Thom Yorke last played NYC, though Thom will be in Virgina by then).
ARCADE FIRE play Saturday Night Live (with Tina Fey) and a show after SNL Saturday, and then maybe will be around for the premiere of the Spike Jonze movie they soundtracked (along with Karen O) as part of the New York Film Festival, or related events (though "Her" doesn't actually premiere until the end of the film fest which runs through October 13). Superchunk, led by Arcade Fire's Merge Record label boss Mac, are also conveniently in NYC for the weekend.
JACK WHITE is on the lineup of Sunday's "Inside Llewyn Davis" event at Town Hall, another NY Film Fest related event (that Patti Smith, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, Conor Oberst, Joan Baez, Marcus Mumford, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Punch Brothers, and the Avett Brothers are also playing) (if you miss it, it's being recorded for Showtime).
BONUS: Guy Picciotto (Fugazi), Jim White (Dirty Three), T. Griffin (The Quavers), Efrim Manuel Menuck and Sophie Trudeau (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt. Zion), and Mira Billotte (of White Magic) are all at BAM Saturday night, Massive Attack, Horace Andy and Cocteau Twins singer Liz Fraser are at Park Ave Armory for multiple days, John Zorn is having a birthday party with Mike Patton and more, Eugene Mirman is having a comedy festival, Jimmy Cliff is at Webster Hall, and Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Elvis Costello and more are playing in Central Park Saturday.
The possibilities are endless.
Watch the Arcade Fire's SNL teaser video and a teaser for the post-SNL show, below (see if you can decode the clues in Win's shirt to discover the location of Thom, Win and Jack's secret meeting)...
'Reflektor' cover art
As mentioned, Arcade Fire will be in NYC next weekend to play the season premiere of Saturday Night Live (9/28) which will be hosted by Tina Fey. SNL has been doing more with music lately, sometimes allowing bands a third song during the closing credits. The show is taking that one step further with the very popular Montreal band, giving them a half-hour concert special immediately after SNL at 1 AM EDT (via CoS). No other details yet, but you've only got 12 days to find out.
Arcade Fire's James Murphy-produced fourth album, Reflektor, will be out October 29.
by Bill Pearis
Fred Armisen & friends / Stefon & Seth / Kanye & Ben on SNL
Even without Kanye's musical appearance, last night's Ben Afleck hosted Saturday Night Live season finale was especially eventful (and teary) as it was the final show for three long-running star players: Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Jason Sudekis.
Fred got his farewell moment via a sketch featuring his punk character Ian Rubbish who performed song called "It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day." His band featured fellow departing castmembers Hader and Sudekis (and Taran Killam, sure to be a big player next season), and then he welcomed a cavalcade of musical talent onstage, including his Portlandia costar Carrie Brownstein, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, and the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones. With a chorus of "It's been alright, I've had a lovely night," it was a nice little sendoff. Video of that is below.
Hader got his sendoff moment, as expected, as Weekend Update nightlife correstondent Stefon, where anchor -- and soon to be Late Night host -- Seth Meyers finally gives in to his advances. "Weekend Update" also featured a surprise appearance by former co-anchor Amy Poehler who came out for "REALLY??" and stuck around to read the news. Seth, who is also SNL's head writer, will leave midseason next year to take over for Jimmy Fallon who is moving up to The Tonight Show.
Hader, Armisen, Sudekis and Meyers' departure leaves a giant comedy hole for next season. It will be interesting to see how Lorne Michaels fills it.
Kanye on 'SNL'
Kanye West has had a busy weekend. On Thursday (5/16), he played a private show at Roseland for Adult Swim where he performed a few new songs. He also, as is his wont, let loose one of his stream-of-conscious rants, this time mostly about celebrity culture. You can watch video of that below.
One of the songs Kanye performed at Roseland was new track "New Slaves." A video for that song made its debut on Friday night (5/17), projected at, according to maps on Kanye's website, 66 locations around the world. Nine of them were in NYC, including two in Williamsburg: one being outside the Bedford Ave L stop, and the second on the Wythe Hotel, and there's video of the former below.
The song, which features a sample of 1969 single "Gyöngyhajú lány" by Hungarian rock band Omega and vocals from Frank Ocean, will feature on Kanye's follow-up to 2010's My Dark Twisted Fantasy which is, according to Pitchfork, titled Yeezus and has appearances from Daft Punk, Skrillex and more.
This activity was all centered around Kanye's appearance on Saturday Night Live's season finale hosted by Ben Afleck. (The teaser videos are below.) He performed "New Slaves" and debuted another new song, "Black Skinhead," and video of those, along with the other clips mentioned in this post, are below.
As Jimmy Fallon will take over The Tonight Show next year (and moving it back to NYC at rumored), the Late Night slot will go to current SNL "Weekend Update" anchor Seth Meyers, reports the New York Times:
In an interview before taking the stage on Saturday's edition of "SNL," Mr. Meyers said: "Working at 'SNL' requires 100 percent of your mental capacity -- on easy weeks. And so I had not really spent a lot of time thinking about what I was going to do next. Obviously I can't quit Lorne. So this seems like a pretty good deal that I have an opportunity to keep working with him."Lorne Michaels will produce both The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers, which will make their debut sometime around the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
Vampire Weekend were on this past weekend's SNL. This Saturday (5/18) is the season finale with host Ben Afleck and musical guest Kanye West.
Vampire Weekend on SNL - 5/11/13
Vampire Weekend are about to release their excellent new album, Modern Vampires of the City, this week (5/14) via XL (have you streamed it?), and ahead of that release they made their return to Saturday Night Live last night (5/11). They performed two of the new album's cuts, "Diane Young" and "Unbelievers." Kristen Wiig hosted. You can watch videos of both performances below. Next week (5/18) it's Kanye West.
SNL videos below...
Ian Rubbish opening for Vampire Weekend last weekend (more by Robert Altman)
A few weeks ago, Saturday Night Live ran a filmed segment on fictional UK punk Ian Rubbish (aka Fred Armisen) who hated everything except the late Margaret Thatcher. Well, Fred has been carrying on the joke. You may have seen him as Rubbish opening for Vampire Weekend at Roseland on Sunday, and now he's actually released an EP as Ian Rubbish -- including "Sweet Iron Lady" and "Maggie Thatcher" -- as a free download. You may remember when Fred and Dave Grohl had fun with '80s hardcore on SNL a while back.
If you haven't seen the Ian Rubbish SNL short, you can stream it below.
We're only a couple weeks out from Vampire Weekend's third album, Modern Vampires of the City, which hits retailers digital and physical on May 14. Look for the band, who just played Coachella, to preview tracks from the album at their sold-out show on Sunday (4/28) at Roseland Ballroom which is being broadcast live on the internet as part of the American Express Unstaged Performance series. The webcast, which is being directed by Steve Buscemi, starts at 9 PM EDT.
For those in NYC who would like to make the webcast experience a little more concert-like, Brooklyn Bowl, with help from the Tribeca Film Festival (which concludes on Sunday), will be showing it live on their many giant HD screens with "full concert sound." It's free entry.
Speaking of bowling, Vampire Weekend and Steve Buscemi, the band and Boardwalk Empire star are continuing to play out their friendship on the web with a second installment of the "documentary" about prepping for the Roseland show, which ends up at Brooklyn's Melody Lanes. There's also other episodes -- one with Grimes -- and you can watch them all below.
And last but not least, Vampire Weekend will appear on the May 11 episode of Saturday Night Live which is hosted by former castmember Kristen Wiig. So get ready for affable indie rock and the probable return of Gilly. Kanye West and Ben Afleck will apear on SNL's 38th Season Finale on May 18, and next weekend (May 4) it's Zach Galifianakis and Of Monsters and Men.
All upcoming Vampire Weekend tour dates (there are some new ones including Hollywood Bowl with Beirut, not NYC) are listed, along with the bowling video, below...
White Lung at SXSW 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
today in NYC
* Whiplash @ UCB
* Styles P @ BB King's
* Brain Cloud @ Barbes
* Chicha Libre @ Barbes
* Furthur @ The Capitol Theatre
* Joe Pug, Erin Ivey @ Union Hall
* Marc Maron @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Kim Richey & Darden Smith @ Joe's Pub
* Liam Finn, Railbird @ Knitting Factory
* Suuns, Weeknight @ Mercury Lounge
* Marc Broussard, Courrier @ City Winery
* Muse, Biffy Clyro @ Madison Square Garden
* Wyatt Cenac, Mark Normand, Liam McEneaney @ Littlefield
* Bobby Long, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald @ Mercury Lounge
* Matt Costa, The Blank Tapes, Vandaveer @ Bowery Ballroom
* White Lung, Syphilitic Lust, Boca Raton, Goosebumps @ The Acheron
* Jesse Harris, Sophie Auster, Leaves of Green @ Rockwood Music Hall
* The Hysterics, In School, Nuclear Spring, Solid Attitude @ Death By Audio
* J.Period, DJ Concerned, DJ Timoteo Gigante, DJ Wisdon @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Foot Village, Hurricanes of Love, Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth @ Silent Barn
* Living Room, The Reptilian, The Natural Disasters, The Moon Tooth @ Big Snow
* Swaai Boys, Gondola, Horrible Present, Goodbye, Forget It, South Paws @ Pianos
* R. Stevie Moore, Total Slacker, Tropical Ooze, Cassie Ramone (DJ Set) @ Glasslands
* Presidents of the United States of America, Eternal Summers, pow wow! @ Irving Plaza
* Silent Drape Runners, Thelma and the Sleaze, Clinical Trials, Wojcik, Little Band of Sailors @ Cake Shop
If you're headed to Irving Plaza to see The Presidents of the United States of America play their first album in full, get there early for Eternal Summers. They're currently taking pledges/pre-orders for their new album on PledgeMusic.
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This past Saturday's episode of SNL, which featured a performance by Miguel and a new Daft Punk ad, also included a Fred Armisen-led skit, which paid a "punk tribute" to the late Margaret Thatcher. The skit featured a band called Ian Rubbish and the Bizzaros, who write songs about the queen and other British politics (albeit from a different perspective than most punks had). Check out the video of that skit below. And it's not the first time Fred Armisen brought his knowledge of punk to SNL.
Empire of the Sun, the post-Sleepy Jackson pop project from Luke Steele, will release their second album, Ice on the Dune, in June. You can stream first single, "Alive," below.
Did you get your taxes done?
Miguel on 'SNL' / Daft Punk w/ Pharrell & Nile Rogers
Another new SNL, another new Daft Punk commercial. This one -- a slightly shorter version of the one shown to Coachella audiences -- gives us the first substantial taste of Random Access Memories' "Get Lucky," that's been teased in previous ads, and features both Pharrel Williams and and some chic guitarwork from Nile Rodgers, not to mention the men/robots themselves. This is, we assume, a snippet of the "Get Lucky" video? You can watch it below.
Meanwhile, Daft Punk have released the third in their "Collaborators" series of promotional videos with the folks who worked on Random Access Memories. This one is with Nile Rodgers who very humbly talks about his contribution to dance music over the years and you can watch that below too.
Meanwhile, on the actual show (4/13), Miguel performed his Grammy-winning hit "Adorn" and then a rocked-out version of "How Many Drinks," with that magnetism (that we saw at our BV CMJ day party last year) on full display. The next new SNL is May 4 with Of Monsters and Men performing, while Zach Galifianakis hosts. Miguel videos from last night are below.
It was probably the most-anticipated episode of Saturday Night Live of the season, with Justin Timberlake on double duty as host and musical guest. The writers love JT and they show usually pulls out all the stops for him. Last night (3/9) was no different. Jay-Z showed up for "Suit and Tie," giving us a preview of what to expect this summer (like at Yankee Stadium on 7/19). He also performed "Mirrors."
Jay-Z was only one of what was one of the most guest-star-filled episodes ever. This was JT's fifth time hosting which put him in the Five Timers Club, where Paul Simon, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen, and Chevy Chase were to greet him. (Dan Ackroyd tended bar and Martin Short was there too.) Ackroyd and Martin reprised their wild-and-crazy Festrunk Brothers characters for a dating gameshow sketch that also featured JT and Andy Samberg as the "Dick in a Box" roles. Timberlake also put back on the "bring it on to ____ville" costume, this time as a block of tofu for a vegan restaurant.
The next new SNL is April 6 with Melissa McCarthy hosting and Phoenix as musical guests. Clips from last night's SNL are below.
by Bill Pearis
For those who were watching live or don't DVR fast-forward through commercials, there was a 15-second Daft Punk ad last night during an otherwise lackluster episode of Saturday Night Live. It was just the band's logo with the two robot masks (the ones currently on the band's nomepage) coming together, with a bit of music. But seems like things are in the works! Watch it below.
Alabama Shakes (or "Alabama Shake" as SNL host Christoph Waltz accidentally called them the first of three times he said their name last night), who played a Valentine's Day show on a boat while they were in town, were the musical guest on Saturday Night Live last night. Not a bad week for the quickly rising young band who also just showed up on the Grammys. My favorite part of SNL is hearing what my parents thought of the musical guest every Sunday. Mom loved them. Dad could only keep asking why they seemed so angry. What did you think? Watch the SNL performances below...