The COVID-19 pandemic has left most of the country feeling scattered and scared, sifting through conflicting messages and warring ideologies. Now more than ever, we need America’s most powerful and trusted ruler to present a unifying front we can all rally behind. So it’s good news that Beyoncé is on it. The Houston superstar has announced her own coronavirus relief fund as part of the BeyGOOD Foundation, teaming up with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s Start Small to provide $6 million to mental health and personal wellness services. Among the participating organizations are the National Alliance on Mental Illness, United Memorial Medical Center, Bread of Life, Matthew 25, Día de la Mujer Latina, and World Central Kitchen. Beyoncé also used the moment to call attention to the fact that the pandemic is affecting black people in vastly disproportionate numbers, a message she’d previously shared during her appearance on the One World: Together at Home livestream event.
“In our major cities, African-Americans comprise a disproportionate number of workers in these indispensable occupations, and they will need mental health support and personal wellness care, including testing and medical services, food supplies and food deliveries, both during and after the crisis,” the BeyGood Foundation said in a statement.
Relief efforts will include supporting local mental wellness initiatives in Houston, New York, New Orleans, and Detroit, while the foundation has also partnered with UCLA to develop a “COVID-19 Care Package,” an online collection of resources to help with managing stress and anxiety, as well as to “lift moods” in this time when so many may be feeling despondent, powerless, and particularly the-opposite-of-Beyoncé.
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Post Malone Covers Nirvana for Charity
Beyoncé joins other Texas musicians who have been turning their talents and fortunes toward charitable deeds—or in the case of Post Malone, finding a way to raise money off stuff they’d be doing anyway. On the heels of hosting his virtual beer pong tournament, the Grapevine artist is now aiming to raise $5 million for COVID-19 relief by livestreaming himself playing various Nirvana covers in his house. During the set, composed of “Nirvana hits and fan favorites,” viewers can show their appreciation (or temper their disgust) by making donations to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization. Google will match each gift.
Malone’s love of Nirvana is literally tattooed right there on his face—that helpful “Stay Away” just above his eyebrow doubles as a reference to the band’s song—as well as on his knuckles, where the late Kurt Cobain’s likeness joins those of John Lennon, Elvis Presley, and Dimebag Darrell in Malone’s hallowed finger-gallery of rock stars who died before their time. He’s also been known to cover Nirvana in concert, such as this rendition of “All Apologies” that boasts a better-than-Puddle-of-Mudd-at-least approximation of Cobain’s pained yowl. For whatever it’s worth, Malone’s efforts have already received the approval of Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, who wished him luck on her Instagram. You can decide for yourself during the livestream happening Friday, April 24, at 5 p.m. Central on Post Malone’s YouTube channel.
Dallas Cast Reunites for Charity
Although the characters on eighties TV juggernaut Dallas would have gladly killed each other for a dollar (and some definitely tried), the actors who played them are decidedly more generous. Cast members Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), and Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs) will reunite as part of Stars in the House, the online series benefiting COVID-19 relief efforts through The Actors Fund. The erstwhile Ewing clan will be joined via Zoom for a livestream hosted by SiriusXM’s Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, capping off a week of TV reunions that’s already featured shows like China Beach, One Day at a Time, and Difficult People. If you’ve always wondered what the inside of Patrick Duffy’s home looks like, you can catch the episode live on the Stars in the House website or on YouTube this Friday, April 24, at 7 p.m. Central.
Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Network Delayed by Coronavirus
Fixer Upper stars and home improvement despots Chip and Joanna Gaines are no strangers to unexpected setbacks, of course, but the coronavirus is proving to be one obstacle the couple can’t just sledgehammer through. The long-gestating launch of their own Magnolia cable network, originally slated for October, has now been delayed indefinitely because of production being shut down by COVID-19. Nevertheless, you can still catch a preview of the network’s new slate of original programming during a four-hour preview on the DIY Network (which Magnolia will eventually replace), this Sunday, April 26. Magnolia Presents: A Look Back & A Look Ahead will feature a new retrospective on the Gaines’s flagship Fixer Upper series, as well as a sneak peek at their ten new shows arriving … someday. Among them is the newly announced The Fieldhouse, set inside the eponymous Abilene gym owned by former Baylor University football player Justin Bane.
SXSW Films Begin Streaming Next Week on Amazon
SXSW is also still making the best of things with the debut of its virtual film showcase on Amazon, which will offer a selection of the many canceled movies, shorts, and TV episodes that were left stranded by the festival’s cancellation in March. The SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection will stream free for Prime members from April 27 through May 6, giving viewers the chance to see some 39 selections from the fest. While it’s regrettably light on full-length features—only seven in total, and no recipients of the juried awards—you can check out the well-received documentary My Darling Vivian, about Johnny Cash’s first wife (with appearances by Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, and more), as well as Santiago Menghini’s Midnight Shorts winner Regret.
Catch Travis Scott in Concert This Weekend (on Fortnite)
As more and more celebrities use their art for altruism, it’s almost reassuring to see some of them still doing it the old-fashioned, self-serving way. It’s easier to pretend that things are basically normal when Houston rapper Travis Scott announces that he’ll debut his new song not on some charity single, but as part of a new Scott-themed “experience” within the online video game Fortnite. This week saw the debut of Scott’s “Astronomical” concert series, which kicked off Thursday and runs through Saturday.
A record audience of more than 12.3 million people logged on the first night to catch the debut of Scott’s new single, also called “Astronomical,” and pick up some virtual Travis Scott “merch,” during a show that reviews have called “surreal and spectacular” and that features everything from spacemen to roller coasters to a Godzilla-sized Scott stomping around an island. And again, none of this benefits anybody, besides Fortnite and Travis Scott! It’s like the pandemic never happened! Go here to check out the concert schedule and lose yourself in simpler times.
Jim Parsons Steals the Whole F—ing Trailer for Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood
If it’s the exact opposite of reality you’re after, you’d do well to check out Ryan Murphy’s, well, anything, but especially his forthcoming Netflix series, Hollywood. This week saw the debut of a trailer for Murphy’s revisionist take on the Golden Age of Tinseltown, an alternate-reality forties in which actors like Rock Hudson were allowed to be openly gay, African American actresses were cast as movie leads, and, of course, Darren Criss is there. (It’s a Ryan Murphy show, after all.) Texans should also note that the series includes Spring’s own Jim Parsons, firmly breaking away from The Big Bang Theory with his role as Hudson’s real-life agent. The best part of the trailer comes at the end, when Parsons delivers a glorious, F-bomb-laden rebuke of Hudson over not recognizing Scarlett O’Hara herself.
THIS WEEK IN MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY
This week began on April 20, a.k.a. 4/20, a day as synonymous with Matthew McConaughey as Easter is with bunnies. But while quarantine prevented McConaughey from physically scampering house to house this year, bringing joy and monologues to good little stoners, he still managed to appear in our living rooms—beginning, appropriately, with Willie Nelson’s. The actor was the first to drop in on Nelson’s “Come and Toke It” livestream, popping up with a video wishing Nelson a happy birthday and declaring, “B-I-N-G-O, get it on. May the best bingo win.” A perplexed Nelson replied, “It looks like you’re having more fun than the rest of us, so keep goin’,” which is a blanket statement when it comes to Matthew McConaughey.
McConaughey could also be found inside the Longhorn Network’s Quarantine House, where the University of Texas’s social media channel has made him virtual roommates with such fellow Longhorns as basketball star Mo Bamba, professor and lecturer Brené Brown, and football star Breckyn Hager. In our first glimpse inside their videoconferenced den, “house mom” Brown lectured McConaughey on coming in at 3 a.m., sleeping ’til noon, and “acting dazed and confused all day,” while responding “alright, alright, alright” whenever she asks him to do chores. It wasn’t all witty banter and weed jokes, though: the group mused on who they wanted to “invite” over—considering everyone from Earl Campbell to Michael Dell to their conspicuously missing housemate Neil deGrasse Tyson—and offered some more of McConaughey’s increasingly well-rehearsed words of motivation. (Then it was back to the weed jokes.)
McConaughey volunteered more of those—as well as sundry thoughts on his life, his career, and whatever else random strangers wanted to ask him about—in a live, written Q&A with the Athletic, the sports journalism site he recently added to his investment portfolio. (You’ll have to be a subscriber to read them.) And he also shared the second edition of his semi-regular “McConaughey Takes,” this time digging into his role in The Wolf of Wall Street. We learned about Martin Scorsese’s “musical” style of directing and McConaughey’s time spent digging into the “cocaine and hookers” mind-set of eighties stockbrokers. But perhaps most importantly, we learned that the chest-pounding “money chant” he performs for Leonardo DiCaprio’s character is a version of something McConaughey often does before filming, a relaxation tool he was already employing between takes when DiCaprio suggested they incorporate it. Granted, he’s been telling this same story since at least 2014, but what do you want from him? The guy only has one scene.
Like the rest of us, McConaughey is just making the most of this situation and working with what he’s got—and this week, we got some proof that his ability to just roll with it is genetic. McConaughey’s wife, Camila, shared an Instagram video of his mother, Mary McCabe, being thwarted in her attempts to have H-E-B deliver her Kendall-Jackson chardonnay. Informed by an apologetic clerk that they can’t bring her alcohol, McCabe at first cackles, “You ruined my day!” but slides quickly into cool acceptance. “That’s okay, I’ll get over it,” she says, adding, “It’s not your fault, that’s the rules.” Hopefully the contact high of just being around her son is enough.