It's Taylor time
No need to calm down, Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album is here. Out Friday, the sprawling 18-track album is less focused and more openhearted than anything she’s released since “Red.” Needless to say, the last few years have been tumultuous for Swift, the country singer turned pop star that has recently been ensnared in a very public record label drama over the rights to her old music (which she promises to re-record.) With “Lover,” Swift turns away from the slithering sound of “Reputation” to a mix of flashy singles, buoyant pop confections and personal, meditative compositions. But for fans bloodthirsty for Swift’s famously pointed treatments of her enemies that have anchored many of her past releases, “Lover” spends less time on Swift’s exes and nemeses than any of her previous albums.
Biden to skip another forum many Democratic candidates are attending
The Democratic National Committee's summer meeting will resume Friday in San Francisco and all of the candidates running for the party's nomination in the 2020 presidential election have been invited to speak. Thirteen candidates are set to appear including Sens. Kamala Harris returning to her home state, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Cory Booker of New Jersey. Former Vice President Joe Biden has elected to skip the DNC meeting and will hold a health care town hall in Hanover, New Hamsphire, instead. It marks the second time in less than three months that Biden has skipped a high-profile forum of White House hopefuls in California. According to analysts, Biden has just made the strategic decision that there is little upside in playing in the party's more left-leaning settings.
New Samsung phones hit stores
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and the Note 10+ will hit stores Friday, starting at prices around $950 to $1,100, respectively. The 5G 10+ version exclusive to Verizon starts at the hefty price of $1,300. So is Samsung putting its technology where the consumer's money is? A USA TODAY review notes that while the devices tout a bigger battery, more memory and a vivid near edge-to-edge display, the upgrades are mostly incremental. Samsung is also following the lead of Apple in removing the standard headphone jack, though usable headphones are included in the box.
What's next for Disney
It's all about Disney (at least for the next three days.) Opening Friday, the biennial Disney festival, D23, will feature panels and presentations about what comes next for the "happiest place on Earth," its new Disney+ streaming service and its A-list movie slate. Chief among the upcoming films is “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the ninth and final episode in the saga. What fans may find out could be limited, though, since that two-hour session set for Saturday has to encompass pretty much everything coming down the pike.
Look out for the Delta Aquariid meteor shower
Be sure to look up at the sky Friday night: It’s the last “officially active” day to see the Delta Aquariid meteor shower, but there may not be many left. The best time to look up is between midnight and just before dawn. Gaze toward the southern sky for the best viewing. "Find an open sky away from artificial lights, lie down on a reclining lawn chair and look upward," recommends EarthSky.org.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Taylor Swift, Samsung phones: 5 things to know Friday