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<p>Sufjan Stevens' &quot;Silver &amp; Gold&quot;</p>

Sufjan Stevens' "Silver & Gold"

Sufjan Stevens preps new Christmas music boxed set

Listen to 'Christmas Unicorn': it's what you're in for

I'm a sucker for Christmas music. I marvel every year on how holiday album sales go, which songs get a redux from popular artists, how new originals reflect the immediacy of our times. Christmas carols, hymns and songs are not only written with a sense or urgency -- due to the season and any religious connote -- but are frequently performed and delivered with an affecting earnestness, that even the sarcastic odes or parodies are dropped with a sense of projected purpose. Christmas music has weight, and its performers are allowed to indulge.

Sufjan Stevens' first boxed set of Christmas music was five discs long, and was a collection of EPs and long-players intended for dispersal to family and friends from 2001 to 2006. And it sounded that way. Stevens already has this bright-eyed, left-of-center innocence to his voice, and classic anthems on acoustic and banjo is already so divine. His Christian roots also plays into the authentic selection, when he recorded non-Christmas hymns like "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Come Thou Fount" to include instead of non-religious regulars like "Jingle Bell Rock" or its ilk. He, of course, included some obnoxious and cheeky originals like "Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!" and "Did I Make You Cry on Christmas? (Well, You Deserved It!)." (You can tell those, by the excess exclamation points.)

The singer-songwriter will be releasing another new set of Christmas albums, a collection of those from 2007-2012, under the boxed name "Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Volumes 6-10." These, too, were originally released to family and friends. Some of the individual titles (and their respective covers) have dipped into the "silly" costume box, including "Christmas Infinity Voyage," "I Am Santa's Helper" and "Christmas Unicorn."

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<p>Andre Rison in the &quot;30 for 30&quot;&nbsp;documentary &quot;Broke.&quot;</p>

Andre Rison in the "30 for 30" documentary "Broke."

Credit: ESPN

Review: ESPN's '30 for 30' returns with 'Broke' & '9.79*'

Sports documentary series resumes with stories of bankrupt athletes and doping sprinters

It never made sense to me that ESPN decided to ditch the "30 for 30" documentary name. Yes, Bill Simmons had come up with the idea to celebrate the network's 30th anniversary. But the original run of "30 for 30" films ran well into ESPN's 31st anniversary year, and sometimes, a brand name transcends its literal meaning. (20th Century Fox didn't suddenly change to 21st Century Fox, for instance.) When "30 for 30" ended, ESPN continued to put out some good documentaries under the "ESPN Films Presents" banner, but they appeared irregularly, you couldn't set a DVR season pass for them, and it didn't have that same cumulative feeling that the original series had. I made a point to watch nearly all the "30 for 30" docs (skipping the Red Sox one for partisan reasons and missing one or two others due to scheduling), and that same completist's impulse simply wasn't there for the "ESPN Films Presents" movies that followed.

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Watch: Echo Kellum and Lucy Punch talk 'Ben and Kate'

Watch: Echo Kellum and Lucy Punch talk 'Ben and Kate'

FOX comedy airs its second episode on Wednesday
 
Now, it's on to Lucy Punch and Echo Kellum, who play BJ and Tommy on the FOX Tuesday comedy.
 
While Faxon and Johnson can tap creator Dana Fox for information about the real-life inspirations for their characters, Punch and Kellum have been able to stray from Fox's own family history and in this interview, they discuss the development of BJ and Tommy.
 
The two actors also tease upcoming details about their characters and explain the secret to not being upstaged by Jones.
 
Check out the interview... 
 
"Ben and Kate" airs on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on FOX.
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<p>Kelly Macdonald and Steve Buscemi in &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Kelly Macdonald and Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'Boardwalk Empire' for season 4

1920s gangster drama recently won another directing Emmy

HBO has renewed "Boardwalk Empire" for a fourth season.

The Prohibition era gangster drama hasn't been the awards juggernaut HBO might have hoped for (though it was a surprise winner for the Emmy drama directing award this year, even without Martin Scorsese behind the camera), but it's been a solid hit, with the pay cable channel estimating that 7.2 million people have watched the third season premiere on various platforms.

“Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese and the rest of their outstanding team continue to produce a stunning show thatnever fails to surprise and entertain,” HBO president Michael Lombardo said in a statement.  “We are excited to bring this unique series back for a fourth season.”

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<p>Stills and one-sheets can only hint at the gorgeous palette of 'Holy Motors,' the new film by Leos Carax</p>

Stills and one-sheets can only hint at the gorgeous palette of 'Holy Motors,' the new film by Leos Carax

Credit: Indomina Group

Exclusive: The US poster for the year's best movie 'Holy Motors'

Neon and neoprene sell the burnished dream of Leos Carax

While I was at Fantastic Fest last week, "Holy Motors" screened five or six times, and they kept adding screenings later in the schedule.  It was wildly impressive to see how many people fell in love with the film.  It's not an easy movie.  It's not a movie that will ever play on 3000 screens at one time.  But it's a gorgeous movie, a big beautiful drunken dream of a movie, and I love that people are responding to it.

The movie's going to be opening in the US soon, in limited release, and when the film's publicists asked if I wanted to be the first one to present the poster to you, I jumped.  Selling a movie like "Holy Motors" is a real test, because it doesn't offer anything like a conventional plot, and it's not particularly star-heavy.  Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue both appear in it, and Minogue is great in it.  The film belongs to Dennis Levant and Edith Scob, and it's the most amazing duet of the year, a dance between these two great actors.  Scob is part of France's film history, and I can't think of a better way to wrap up an iconic career of performances than in a film about the power of icons and performance.

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<p>Cover art for &quot;Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!&quot;</p>

Cover art for "Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!"

Credit: Constellation

Godspeed You! Black Emperor releasing first album in 10 years

And it's out in two weeks

Lift your skinny fists, Godspeed fans. The Montreal-based sonic boom of a band will be dropping their first album in more than 10 years, with only a two-week wait.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor last released "Yanqui U.X.O." in November 2002, and it was only one of four studio sets the rockers have dropped. Now, "Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!" is due on Oct. 16 in the U.S., with the promise of the "dark" sound matter that made the band pop, whether live or through headphones.

"The future looks dark indeed, but on the evidence of this new recording, Godspeed appears wholly committed to staring it down, channeling it, and fighting for some rays of sound (and flickers of light) that feel hopeful and true," reads a statement in the release.

The songs were formed out of seeds from before their 2003 hiatus; they fleshed them out starting after they reformed in 2010 for select live shows. What exactly that sounds like may be their artful blend of drone, repetition, LOUDquietLOUD, pulsing intergalactic guitar coitus, but the release went more out of its way to explain why the band isn't investing in the whole three-month album promotional cycle.

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<p>Daniella Alonso as Nora and Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie Matheson in &quot;Revolution.&quot;</p>

Daniella Alonso as Nora and Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie Matheson in "Revolution."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Revolution' - 'No Quarter'

Miles and Charlie run afoul of the militia and the resistance

A quick review of last night's "Revolution" coming up just as soon as I Shawshank my way out of here...

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<p>Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in &quot;Moonrise Kingdom.&quot;</p>

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in "Moonrise Kingdom."

Credit: Focus Features

Roundup: The kids are more than all right

Also: The rise of Lionsgate, and India's complex Oscar history

Just yesterday, I was talking about the likelihood of 8 year-old Quvenzhane Wallis becoming the youngest Best Actress nominee on record -- but she's not the only child actor making waves this year. TV critic Mary McNamara goes so far as to label 2012 "the year of the kid," citing a number of young small-screen talents, alongside Wallis and "Moonrise Kingdom" leads Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, as proving the universal storytelling power of "the shared experience of childhood." Not mentioned in her piece, but tying into her argument are Best Actor hopeful Tom Holland from "The Impossible," and two young standouts from foreign Oscar contenders: Berlinale Best Actress winner Rachel Mwanza in "War Witch" and Kacey Mott Klein in "Sister." What others? [LA Times

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<p>On &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother,&quot;&nbsp;Barney imagines married life with Quinn.</p>

On "How I Met Your Mother," Barney imagines married life with Quinn.

Credit: CBS

Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Pre-Nup'

Everyone's relationship hits a rough patch at the exact same moment

A review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I name your lady parts...

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<p>Miguel's &quot;Kaleidoscope Dream&quot; </p>

Miguel's "Kaleidoscope Dream"

Credit: RCA

Album Review: Miguel's 'Kaleidoscope Dream'

Colorful R&B album is a runaway success

While you’re losing it over that Frank Ocean album, another set this year can scratch that itch, and perhaps more efficiently.

Miguel’s “Kaleidescope Dream” is a relevant, saucy R&B adventure that incorporates rock, funk, electronica, soul and pop not out of novelty, but guardless necessity. The 25-year-old’s second album has more pronounced arrangements, and a unique combination of producers like Jerry Wonda, Pop & Oak and even Miguel Pimentel himself, on growing hit “Adorn.” Salaam Remi -- whose fingerprints sunk into retro grooves of similarly-minded old souls like Adele and Amy Winehouse -- helmed the lush title track and searing single-in-the-making “How Many Drinks?”.
 
As with that title, and “Pussy Is Mine” and “Do You…”, Miguel isn’t making capital-S Serious R&B music on every song, and even defaults to genre chestnuts like rhyming “pants” with “dance,” bless his heart. But then he’ll hit you with surprisingly delicious refrains like on sizzling “Arch & Point,” between the bars of 808s and distorted guitars: “Arch your back and point your toes.” “Where’s the Fun in Forever” freshens up the classic request to celebrate good times, with the bass going on a cardio workout while the drum lines are just chugging away at 70 mph on a flat, straight highway. Alicia Keys is along for the ride.
 
All the while is Miguel’s versatile vocals, recorded close to the mic and under control. Stars like Usher and Trey Songz make their erotic declarations in their loudest voice possible, like, “DROP YOUR PANTIES, NOW WE SEX,” but Miguel weaves his way around negative space and washy beats in his lust, like on Prince-ly “Use Me.” “Don’t Look Back” borrows lyric lines from the Zombies’ “Time of the Season” and “Kaleidoscope Dream” utilizes the beat from Eminem’s immensely popular “My Name Is,” and in neither case of borrowing is it obnoxious.
 
“Is there a God? / Is he watching? … But if not / what are we doing?” he sings on tasteful closer “Candles in the Sun,” signaling the end of an album that’s a little more heightened and a little less desperate than top 40 fashions. Every song feels special and tight, whether he’s singing on heaven or bedroom realms. And speaking of bedrooms, do not sleep on this album. You may want to sleep with it.

 

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Watch: 'Raising Hope' star Lucas Neff celebrates keeping Hope alive

Watch: 'Raising Hope' star Lucas Neff celebrates keeping Hope alive

FOX comedy star discusses Jimmy and Goth Jimmy
Lucas Neff is a good company man. 
 
When I sat down with the "Raising Hope" star, he was wearing a "Raising Hope" hat, a "Raising Hope" jacket and he was drinking from a "Raising Hope" mug. He's also wearing a "Raising Hope" t-shirt underneath the jacket, not that you can see it.
 
"Raising Hope" is returning for its third season on Tuesday (October 2) night and much of my conversation with Neff focuses on the way that the show has grown and changed, including the progression of his character and the evolution of the twins who play Baby Hope. 
 
He also, in moments of variable jest, discusses a fatalistic potential ending for "Raising Hope" and picks his favorite twin. 
 
It's a funny interview and I think you'll always keep in mind what show Neff is promoting, which is truly what counts.
 
"Raising Hope" returns on Tuesday, October 2 at 8 p.m. Stay tuned for my interviews with Garret Dillahunt & Martha Plimpton and with Shannon Woodward.
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Adam DeVine and Rebel Wilson

 Adam DeVine and Rebel Wilson

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Adam DeVine and Rebel Wilson talk 'Pitch Perfect'

Aussie comedian Wilson says 'we were too hot for the camera to handle'

Though Oscar-nominee Anna Kendrick might be the highest profile star of "Pitch Perfect," it's quirky comedians Adam DeVine ("Workaholics") and Rebel Wilson ("Bridesmaids") who steal the show. As members of competing a cappella singing groups, Bumper (DeVine) and Fat Amy (Wilson) have a love-hate relationship that seems on the verge of blossoming into something steamy -- but we may have to wait for the sequel to get the skinny. "There was a lot more between us," Wilson deadpanned. "I think they decided Anna Kendrick had been nominated for an Oscar, so she should get the main love story, really."

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