Latest Blog Posts

<p>Band of Horses</p>

Band of Horses

Credit: Columbia

HitFix interview: Band of Horses talks 'Mirage Rock,' Railroad Revival and Pearl Jam

Bill Reynolds can't hang like Willie Nelson hangs

Band of Horses will contend that the move from an indie to the major label system definitely works in some artists’ favor. It did for them. Since moving on from esteemed Sub Pop to a partnered drop with Fat Possum and Columbia, now squarely on Columbia, the rock troupe has seen a lot more sales action even without a big radio presence. Just this week, they earned their second-best charting and sales tally for new “Mirage Rock,” landing at No. 13 yesterday. 

Bassist Bill Reynolds, who’s been with the band for five years, admits that the move wasn’t popular with everybody, and he’d heard the horror stories.
 
“It could have easily become a sh*tty situation. But creatively we were allowed to do what we wanted,” he said in our recent interview. “We have longer arms, to get our releases into other countries… The assumption with major labels is that they’re gonna try and knock a homerun at every opportunity, which means everyone assumes you’re working too hard.”
 
The secret, he said, is working with the right team, so think in terms of being in a rock ‘n’ roll band as a company “a lot of employers and employees. I got friends who are like, ‘Can you come play at my cousin’s event?’ But we have all these employees who depend on this for their living. Even though I’m the one who gets to be on stage, there’s so many people involved.”
 
Over the years of headlining tours and supporting slots, Reynolds said he learned the most from playing out with Pearl Jam, for precisely those reasons above. Referring to the Seattle band’s operations as “a well-oiled machine,” he said from day one, “each one of them would take us under their wings. And they were just so humble, it’s amazing to see musicians of their caliber to be humble. We’ve been on tours where there’s [the band] yelling and screaming at everyone. I thought, with [Pearl Jam], this is how you maintain that long. They’ve had a really long career. That would the dream.”
 
Band of Horses, fronted by Ben Bridwell, is combining with another crew of unique musicians, on the second incarnation of the Railroad Revival train tour. Last year, it was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show travelling on the tracks together. This year, it’s BoH with Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson and actor/musician John C. Reilly and Friends.
 
“Hell yeah, I’d love it if Willie Nelson was to rub off on me, it’d be awesome,just being in the presence of someone like him. I also hear Jamey Johnson likes to jam a lot. That dude’s a badass ,” Reynolds enthused. “The train… one of the cars is a recording studio. So we can all meet up in there when we want. As for Willie, I’ve been to his house before. He hangs out a lot later than I do. I can’t hang like that dude does. He operates on his own time.”
 
On the heels of last week’s release of “Mirage Rock,” Band of Horses just released their six-song “iTunes Festival” live EP yesterday. Check it out here.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/itunes-festival-london-2012/id564894821

 

Read Full Post
<p>Scott Speedman in &quot;Last Resort.&quot;</p>

Scott Speedman in "Last Resort."

Credit: ABC

Series premiere review: 'Last Resort' - 'Captain'

What did everybody think of the new ABC military thriller?

I posted my review of ABC's "Last Resortyesterday. Now it's your turn. What did everybody think of the show? Did the writers make good use of Andre Braugher's gift of gab? Did you think Scott Speedman was up to working opposite him? Did the story flow well, or do you feel like there was too much of a rush to get the sub to the island? Too many characters? Not enough? Once we got to Hawaii, did you start waiting for Smokey to start clicking away? Did you like how they called it "Captain" instead of "Pilot" because of the setting? And will you watch again next week?

Have at it.

Read Full Post
<p>Mumford &amp;&nbsp;Sons' &quot;Babel&quot;</p>

Mumford & Sons' "Babel"

Credit: Glassnote Records

Mumford & Sons head for record week on Billboard 200

'Babel' will tower above previous first-week sales tallies for 2012

There’s still four days before the chart reporting week closes, but look for Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” to score the largest debut of 2012 next week.

The British group’s sophomore set, released Sept. 25, may sell as much as 600,000 copies  in its opening frame, according to Billboard. That total would handily topple the previous biggest 2012 debut, Justin Bieber’s “Believe,” which sold 374,000.

The sum will also be the largest opening week  for a rock act since AC/DC sold 784,000 with “Black Ice” in 2008.

“Babel’s” predecessor, “Sigh No More,” has sold 2.5 million in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan.

So why is this happening? Although album sales are definitely losing ground to single downloads, there are still certain acts whose fans want to hear their complete body of work as the artist intended for it to be heard. This is usually the case for a rock act, like Radiohead or Coldplay, who is not as dependent on Top 40 radio and pop support as a superstar like Rihanna or Katy Perry. While such artists’ albums sell well, the bulk of their sales has switched over the digital singles sales.  That’s not to say that all the radio play that M&S received so far on “I Will Wait,” which is at No. 2 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs Chart, and the band’s stop at “Saturday Night Live” this week don’t deserve credit as well.

The pop exception (other than Adele) is Taylor Swift. We fully expect "Red," which comes out Oct. 22, to blow past 600,000 in its first week, despite the fact that her singles immediately top iTunes sales chart as soon as they become available and the album's first single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together " has already sold more than 1 million copies in the month since its release.

Read our review of “Babel” here.

Read Full Post
<p>It's Britney!</p>

It's Britney!

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Thursday - Auditions #6

Would more singers thrive? And would Trevor Moran survive?

Have you been holding your breath for the past 23 hours?

When we left "The X Factor" on Wednesday night, 13-year-old Trevor Moran was being raced to the hospital. Yes, Trevor was annoying, but we hope he survives.

Note that this is the third or fourth time that FOX has used the "Medical Emergency Cliffhanger" to liven up an otherwise dull episode of reality TV auditions. Each time, the hospitalized contestant has survived. 

So I've got a good feeling about Trevor.

Let's see!

Read Full Post
Listen: Soundgarden's snarly new single, 'Been Away Too Long'
Credit: Universal Republic

Listen: Soundgarden's snarly new single, 'Been Away Too Long'

First single from 'King Animal' rules

That’s more like it. After Soundgarden returned earlier this year with the perfect pleasant but rather generic "Live To Rise"  from “The Avengers,” today we got a better taste of what to expect on “King Animal,” the band’s first album since 1996’s “Down On the Upside.”

“Been Away Too Long” is a hard-charging, snarling rock blast with a wicked little Middle Eastern guitar lick that inserts itself briefly before it sounds like someone starts banging on a trashcan lid.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
"Made in Jersey"

 "Made in Jersey"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Kyle McLachlan talks about playing straight in 'Made in Jersey'

The 'Twin Peaks' star still isn't ruling out a sitcom

 If there's one thing you can expect from Kyle McLachlan, it's the unexpected. After establishing himself as a quirky leading man in films like "Blue Velvet," "Dune" and on TV shows like the cult classic "Twin Peaks," McLachlan had of late seemed destined to get into sitcoms with comedic turns in "How I Met Your Mother" and "Portlandia." But he's all business as a buttoned-up lawyer with a blue collar background in "Made in Jersey," premiering Sep. 28 at 9:00 p.m. on CBS.  I talked to him during the recent TCA press tour about his latest role, why he isn't ruling out a sitcom and why his new series had reshoots to up the comedy quotient -- but not from his character.

Read Full Post
<p>Bruno Mars in new teaser</p>

Bruno Mars in new teaser

Watch: Bruno Mars announces 'Heavenly' new single drop date

in the meantime, enjoy him in shiny gold shorts

We haven’t heard much from Bruno Mars since his dazzling performance at this year's Grammys, but the  "Just The Way You Are" singer is  about to come back. The producer/songwriter/singer returns Oct. 1 with his new single, “Locked Out Of Heaven.”  There's no official word on when the follow-up album to 2011's "DooWops and Hooligans" will come out, although Mars tweeted that he has finished the set.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
"Scary Movie 5"

 "Scary Movie 5"

See a new photo from the set of 'Scary Movie 5' featuring reality TV stars

A 'Mob Wives' star will come to blows with a 'Real Housewives' icon

"Scary Movie 5" doesn't hit theaters until April 19, 2013, but fans of the franchise can get a peek at what's to come from this photo from the film -- and it seems this movie is pulling at least a few stars from the small screen and sending them into battle.

Read Full Post
<p>'Hitchcock'</p>

'Hitchcock'

Credit: Fox Searchlight

'Hitchcock' to open AFI Film Festival

Anthony Hopkins starrer will make its world premiere at L.A. event

This year's AFI Film Festival will open with the world premiere of "Hitchcock," starring Anthony Hopkins as the Master of Suspense.

The film explores the making of the director's iconic 1960 horror film "Psycho."

It also stars Helen Mirren as Hitch's wife Alma, while the "Psycho" cast will be portrayed as follows: Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins.

Sacha Gervasi ("Anvil! The Story of Anvil") is directing from a script based on the Stephen Rebello book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho."

Read Full Post
<p>Kerry Washington of &quot;Scandal&quot;</p>

Kerry Washington of "Scandal"

Credit: ABC

Interview: Kerry Washington discusses Season 2 of ABC's 'Scandal'

Thursday's premiere is titled 'White Hat's Off'
"Scandal" was one of the pleasant surprises of last spring.
 
Held back until April and then rushing through its first season in only seven episodes, the Shonda Rhimes-created Beltway drama proved to be stylish, soapy, occasionally shocking and, as the title suggests, scandalous. 
 
Anchoring the whole production was a compelling performance by Kerry Washington, playing uber-fixer Olivia Pope, a success-at-any-cost DC mastermind with a sensitive past involving the President of the United States.
 
"Scandal" returns to ABC on Thursday (September 27) night with an episode titled "White Hat's Off." Last week, I got on the phone with Washington to chat about the premiere and the development of "Scandal" into its second season. 
 
Washington wasn't always prepared to humor my suppositions about her character, but it's still a good conversation...
 
Read Full Post
Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 151

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 151

Dan and Alan talk 'Elementary,' 'Last Resort,' 'Homeland,' 'Dexter' and more

The

Happy Thursday, Boys & Girls!
 
As promised, here's our bonus mid-week (late-mid-week?) installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
In this episode, we review a quartet of new shows -- "Last Resort," "Elementary," "Made in Jersey" and "666 Park Avenue" -- as well as Sunday's premieres of "Dexter" and "Homeland" on Showtime.
 
Check back at the beginning of next week when we talk about a bunch of returning shows from this week and answer some mail (write us!) and other various stuff.
 
Here's today's breakdown:
"Last Resort" (00:00:50 - 00:17:35)
"Elementary" (00:17:35 - 00:28:00)
"Made in Jersey" (00:28:00 - 00:39:00)
"666 Park Avenue" (00:39:00 - 00:46:05)
"Dexter" (00:46:10 - 00:58:15)
"Homeland" (00:58:15 - 01:12:40)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

Read Full Post
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 151: 'Last Resort,' 'Elementary,' 'Homeland,' 'Dexter' & more
Credit: CBS

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 151: 'Last Resort,' 'Elementary,' 'Homeland,' 'Dexter' & more

Dan and Alan also review 'Made in Jersey' and '666 Park Avenue'

The

The TV season is (still) here! The TV season is (still) here! Premiere week's not over yet, which means it's time for more reviews of new shows, plus thoughts on a couple of notable Showtime dramas — one coming off an Emmy-winning season nearly everyone liked, and one coming off a season almost nobody liked.

The line-up: 

"Last Resort" (00:00:50 - 00:17:35)
"Elementary" (00:17:35 - 00:28:00)
"Made in Jersey" (00:28:00 - 00:39:00)
"666 Park Avenue" (00:39:00 - 00:46:05)
"Dexter" (00:46:10 - 00:58:15)
"Homeland" (00:58:15 - 01:12:40)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME