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<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Lady Gaga performs brand new song 'Princess Die' live

Sad song about suicide? Read all the lyrics

Lady Gaga performed a brand new song "Princess Die" for her Melbourne audience this week, and she seemed pretty aware that the tune would head straight to YouTube today.

In her intro, she warned that the song may or may not be on her next new album -- the title which will be announced in September -- and that it's sad, solo tone shouldn't be a reflection on its overall sound. "Princess Die," however, reflects Mother Monster's most "deep and personal thoughts I've ever had."

She emphasized that it was spelled "D-I-E," not "Di," the nickname for England's late Princess Diana, who perished in a car crash in 1997. However, some lines from the song mirror Diana details, particularly with the last verse about paparazzi, the limo and her rich boyfriend. However, the piano-led track points more toward a suicide, or someone who is considering suicide, which may have some folks up in arms.

If Gaga decides to keep this thing slow, it will probably be her darkest song yet. A very odd choice for a roll-out of new material, but OK: she needs that dimension anyway, to get her more intimate with her fans. But let's hope she also has a dance single up her sleeve by time she finally decides to announce some U.S. tour dates.

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<p>Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in the first poster for Fox Searchlight's &quot;The Sessions,&quot;&nbsp;formerly known as &quot;The Surrogate.&quot;</p>

Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in the first poster for Fox Searchlight's "The Sessions," formerly known as "The Surrogate."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: New ‘The Sessions’ poster continues John Hawkes ‘Surrogate’ Oscar campaign

A prime best actor candidate

Awards season is still months away from formally beginning, but the best actor race is already shaping up.  It's going to be another competitive year with highly anticipated performances from Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln"), Denzel Washington ("Flight") and Philip Seymour Hoffman ("The Master") on the way.  There is, however, one phenomenal turn that's been waiting in the wings since Sundance, John Hawkes acclaimed portrayal of polio victim Mark O'Brien in "The Sessions."

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<p>Louis C.K. on &quot;Louie.&quot;</p>

Louis C.K. on "Louie."

Credit: FX

Review: FX's 'Louie' still unpredictable, and brilliant, in season 3

Louis C.K. keeps trying new ideas and new faces, including Melissa Leo and Parker Posey
Midway through the third episode of the new season of "Louie" — which was and continues to be one of the very best shows on television — Louis C.K. is introduced to a Spanish phrase that, loosely translated, means, "Say you don't know, and then you learn everything." As hard as it is to apply any motto to a show as idiosyncratic and unpredictable as "Louie," that's a pretty good one.
 
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<p>Mumford and Sons</p>

Mumford and Sons

Mumford & Sons set up August U.S. tour in advance of new album

Dates include their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover dates

Mumford & Sons will take to the road this August for a 15-date tour. The outing includes the British group’s four multi-artist Gentlemen of the Road Stopover festivals they are curating in a quartet of small towns.

M&S will undoubtedly preview a number of tunes from the group’s second album, due this fall. They took a break from completing the follow-up to "Sigh No More" to record "Learn Me Right" with Birdy for the Pixar film "Brave."

The group began debuting songs that could be on the new album earlier this year at some radio stations, as well as playing three new tunes at SXSW, "Lovers Eyes," "Lover of the Light," and "Ghosts The We Knew." 

Mumford & Sons  US tour dates


August 1 - Hoboken, NJ @ Pier A (No Fee Ticket)
August 4 - Portland, ME @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
August 6 - Providence, RI @ Providence Performing Arts Center
August 7 - Canandaigua, NY @ Marvin Sands Performing Arts
August 9 - Portsmouth, VA @ nTelos Wireless Pavilion
August 11 - Bristol, VA @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
August 13 - Louisville, KY @ Louisville Waterfront Park
August 14 - Columbus, OH @ The LC Pavilion
August 18 - Dixon, IL @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
August 20 - Lincoln, NE @ Pinewood Bowl Theatre
August 21 - Laramie, WY @ Gryphon Theatre
August 22 - Magna, UT @ The Saltair
August 25 - Monterey, CA @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
August 28 - Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
September 1 - Snowmass Village, CO @ Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival

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<p>Dave Matthews Band</p>

Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band sets release date for new album 'Away From The World'

Group reunites with producer Steve Lillywhite for seventh studio album

On Sept. 11, Dave Matthews Band will release “Away From the World,”  its first studio album since 2009’s “Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King.” 

Steve Lillywhite, who produced DMB’s first three albums, helmed the group’s seventh studio set. Fans who pre-order “World” will receive an additional five bonus tracks recorded live on the band’s summer tour.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Dustin Hoffman in &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

Dustin Hoffman in "Luck."

Credit: HBO

If I had an Emmy ballot 2012: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Can Dustin Hoffman take down Bryan Cranston? And who else makes the cut?

Time for part 7 of our look at the Emmy nominations process for 2012. As always, Fienberg and I are going to approach things in two ways. I'll pretend that I have an Emmy ballot and make my picks for the six actors or shows I would put on my ballot, while Dan will rank the potential nominees from most likely to least. And, as always, we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't consider people who didn't submit themselves, nor can we reassign anyone to a more suitable or easier category.

We're continuing to move through the lead performer categories, this time with Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Dan's predictions are here, and my preferences are coming right up...

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<p>There's no faking it... Nora Ephron, screenwriter of 'When Harry Met Sally,' will be deeply missed.</p>

There's no faking it... Nora Ephron, screenwriter of 'When Harry Met Sally,' will be deeply missed.

Credit: 20th Century Fox Home Video

'When Harry Met Sally' screenwriter Nora Ephron remembered

From 'Silkwood' to 'Julia and Julia,' we look at the impact of one of Hollywood's most loved writers

Nora Ephron followed an unusual career trajectory in Hollywood, and the single greatest compliment I can pay to her on the occasion of her passing is that you can clearly identify what makes something a Nora Ephron movie.  Her voice was strong and distinct, and from the start of her Hollywood career to the end of it, she did personal work that somehow also managed to fit comfortably into the ever-changing modern studio system.  That is no easy feat, no matter what the gender of the artist, and when you praise Ephron, it should be as a writer and not just a woman writer.

She came from Hollywood stock, of course, with parents who were part of the old Hollywood studio system, and I have no doubt she learned all you would ever need to know about navigating the political system growing up that way.  She was around for the production of films like "Desk Set" and "Carousel" and "There's No Business Like Show Business," and her parents worked on TV variety shows as well.  She couldn't have been any more ground zero for a career in film, but for a while, she worked more as an essayist.  She was part of the world of politics and journalism, married for a time to Carl Bernstein, and her first theatrical feature, "Silkwood," was a very smart and angry portrait of famed nuclear industry whistle-blower Karen Silkwood.  She was working with Mike Nichols, with Meryl Streep.  Talk about hitting the ground running.  Her journalist's background made her an inspired choice for "Silkwood," and it's a really good script.

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Naya Rivera on 'The Glee Project'

Naya Rivera gets wasted on 'The Glee Project'

Credit: Tyler Golden/Oxygen

'The Glee Project' recap: 'Sexuality' is a real turn off

Naya Rivera shows up to do nothing and it's a shame only one person goes home

The second season cast of "The Glee Project" tackling sexuality turns out to be about as sexy as Lars von Trier directing an episode of "iCarly." It's either the ugliest cute thing or the cutest ugly thing you've ever seen, and either way it's a bad combination.

Here's how it started:

This week's theme: Sexuality
Homework assignment: Color Me Badd's "I Wanna Sex You Up"
Guest mentor: Naya Rivera

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<p>There's a whoooooole lot of this in 'The Amazing Spider-Man,' but if you're looking for more than a pose, brace yourself for a letdown.</p>

There's a whoooooole lot of this in 'The Amazing Spider-Man,' but if you're looking for more than a pose, brace yourself for a letdown.

Credit: Sony/Columbia

Review: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' is neither amazing nor new

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone work well together, but it's just not enough

There is one moment of pure visual magic in "The Amazing Spider-Man," perfectly staged and realized, and when the Stan Lee cameo is the best thing in your movie, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

One of the biggest questions you're going to hear in the days and weeks ahead as people finally get a chance to see this series reboot is going to be "Why?"  Sony's answer to that question is "Because we had to."  From a business perspective, they had no choice but to make another movie, and since they couldn't afford to stay in the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire business, they made a decision to go back to the start and kick things off with a new creative team…

… only they didn't.  The producers are still the same producers, and sure enough, Alvin Sargent's got a shared screenplay credit on the film, making him the most consistent creative player in the series so far.  While there's one advantage to restarting the entire series, allowing them to layer in Gwen Stacy from the very start and then, somewhere down the road, play out her most infamous story line, what you gain by doing that, you lose in narrative momentum.  This film's got one major issue that nothing can overcome, and that is a profound feeling of "been there, done that."

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Watch: Seth MacFarlane talks 'Ted,' Giant Chicken fights and going R-rated

Watch: Seth MacFarlane talks 'Ted,' Giant Chicken fights and going R-rated

Why was it important to the 'Family Guy' creator to make Ted real?
In film and television, it's hardly unusual for troubled guys to take solace in the company of furry friends. 
 
James Stewart hobnobbed with an overgrown rabbit.
 
Mel Gibson got confrontational with a British beaver.
 
Elijah Wood smokes up with a randy dog.
 
And Mark Wahlberg has a co-dependent friendship with a uncouth teddy bear.
 
Unlike "Harvey," "The Beaver" and "Wilfred," however, the foul-mouthed ursine companion in "Ted" is unquestionably real and not in any way a manifestation of his human chum's tormented psyche. Ted is capable of driving, having sex and fighting, while Wahlberg's John Bennett isn't crazy, unless you think it's crazy to occasionally prioritize a talking bear over intimacy with Mila Kunis.
 
Last weekend, I sat down with "Ted" writer-director-star Seth MacFarlane to talk about his first foray into live-action filmmaking after years of providing FOX with the bulk of its Sunday Animation Domination lineup. 
 
We chatted about using "Family Guy" and his FOX experiences for preparation, the decision to make "Ted" R-rated and why it was important to him that Ted not be a figment of anybody's imagination. 
 
Check back in the next two days for my conversations with Wahlberg and Kunis.
 
"Ted" opens on Friday, June 29.
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<p>BAFTA is giving its own voting system a polish.</p>

BAFTA is giving its own voting system a polish.

Credit: AP Photo/Adam Butler

As the Academy deliberates, BAFTA makes its own voting tweaks

January longlists to be scrapped and chapter voting reversed

Ah, BAFTA -- even when they're not making a conscious decision to do so, they seem to wind up shadowing the Academy. As Kris reported yesterday, AMPAS brass are meeting today to discuss potential changes to the voting rules for next year's Academy Awards. Earlier today, however, BAFTA beat them to the punch by announcing an overhaul of their own voting system. They'd cry "First!" -- but it's not the English thing to do.

The changes are considerable, and to my eye, come with both pros and cons -- but the chief takeaway, for better or worse, is that it makes the BAFTA voting system markedly more similar to that of the Oscars. That'll disappoint those who treasure the quirks of the Brits' previous voting system, which sometimes resulted in some rather distinctive winners. But since dramatically shifting their calendar to precede the Oscars in 2000 -- they used to take place several weeks after -- the BAFTAs having been falling ever more in line with the American awards, so this feels like a natural progression. 

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<p>You do not want to know what one of those ladies just did on the floor in 'Ted,' Seth MacFarlane's new comedy</p>

You do not want to know what one of those ladies just did on the floor in 'Ted,' Seth MacFarlane's new comedy

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Seth MacFarlane's 'Ted' has a foul mouth but a sweet heart

Seamless character animation and great performances sell a big idea

If you had told me at the start of this summer that I would prefer both the Seth MacFarlane film and the Katy Perry film to "Prometheus," I would have laughed in your face.

Seth MacFarlane has become enormously wealthy thanks to his animation empire, the foundation of which is "Family Guy," a show that tends to be very divisive.  I've written before about my problems with it, and I think by now, you know whether or not you're a fan of the show's shotgun-style sensibility and the near-constant pop culture randomness.  The thing that always surprises me about the show is how MacFarlane's able to get some of the material by Fox's standards and practices, because "Family Guy" is frequently dirty in a way that is startling.  Looking at "American Dad" or "The Cleveland Show," one could be forgiven for thinking that he's basically a one-trick pony.  A successful one-trick pony, certainly, but limited nonetheless.

Walking into "Ted," all I'd seen was the first red-band trailer, and it looked to me like exactly what I would expect from a Seth MacFarlane film.  However, what the trailers haven't really sold yet is the emotional core of the movie which works incredibly well, and while the movie has a dirty mouth, it's got a sweet heart, and it suggests to me that MacFarlane's signature interests are tempered by a new maturity to his work.

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