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<p>Zac Brown in June 2011</p>

Zac Brown in June 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Zac Brown Band plots new album 'Uncaged' for July release

ZBB expands with new percussionist, Brown talks current tour

Zac Brown Band will bow its new studio album and newest band member on July 10.

Uncaged,” the group’s third major label set, features the addition of percussionist Daniel de los Reyes. Brown told the AP that the ZBB, which is already quite the collective, was inspired to add the percussionist to “create a new kind of pulse within the band.”  De los Reyes previously played with Earth, Wind & Fire and Jennifer Lopez. No word yet on who will produce the set.

The band’s last album was 2010’s “You Get What You Give" on Southern Ground/Atlantic.

We’re not sure how they’re finding time to record since ZBB is on tour now through the rest of the summer behind its biggest, most expansive production so far.  “We always want to exceed everyone’s expectations,” Brown told Hitfix when we talked to him at the Academy of Country Music Awards a few weeks ago. “We want them to come in expecting one thing and get way more than that.” The tour includes ZBB’s Southern Ground label mates Sonia Leigh and Blackberry Smoke.

Brown is also hands-on in getting Camp Southern Ground off the ground. A pet project of Brown's ever since he was a camp counselor when he was 14, the Camp, based in Fayetteville, Ga.,  will be "a state-of-the-art camp where kids can come—mainstream, underprivileged, and kids with developmental disorders," the father of four says. "It's a big project, a big undertaking. It's coming together so far and I believe it will the rest of the way, but we need help." Folks can make donations to the camp, which plans to open in 2014, at  www.campsouthernground.org.

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<p>Gotye</p>

Gotye

Credit: AP Photo

Gotye's 'Somebody' gleefully stays at No. 1, Maroon 5 bows big on Hot 100

What else happens in the top 10 this week?

Gotye, who has been backpedaling after criticizing “Glee’s” cover of “Somebody That I Used To Know,” stays at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the song this week, but he fends off a heavy challenge from Maroon 5.

The group’s “Payphone” zooms onto the chart at No. 3, propelled by digital sales of 493,000. That’s the most sold by any group (not solo artist) in one week, according to Billboard. The previous group high was 465,000 for Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow,” according to Billboard.  (The best week total for all acts remains Flo Rida’s “Right Round” with 636,000). While digital sales are the main driver in Maroon 5’s success, “Payphone” gets a strong start at radio as well, entering at No. 36 on Billboard’s Radio Songs chart.   The No. 3 entry is the group’s best Hot 100 start.

In the rest of the top 5,  fun.’s “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae remains at No. 2, while Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” gains a spot, moving No. 4-5. The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” falls from No. 3-5.

“Payphone” is the only new entry in the Top 10 (Train’s “Drive By” just misses by climbing from No. 13 to No. 11).  Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” featuring Sia stays at No. 6. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” rises one spot to No. 7. Three other titles slide, but remain in the top 10:  One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” slips from No. 4 to No. 8; Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” drops two to No. 9 and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” weakens, falling one spot to No. 10.

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<p>Will 'The Hunger Games' be the big winner this year at the MTV&nbsp;Movie Awards?</p>

Will 'The Hunger Games' be the big winner this year at the MTV Movie Awards?

Credit: Lionsgate

MTV Movie Awards adds new categories including 'Best On-Screen Dirt Bag'

'We Are Young' hitmakers Fun. added as first musical performer

Who's your favorite dirt bag?

The MTV Movie Awards, the cable channel's safely irreverent annual toast to the big screen, unveiled several new categories for this year's show, including Best On-Screen Transformation, Best Gut-Wrenching Performance and Best On-Screen Dirt Bag (as opposed to off-screen dirt bag?).

They join perennial favorites such as Movie of the Year, Best Fight and Best Kiss.

On the music side, Fun., the spritely rockers behind the smash hit "We Are Young" were the first of the show's performers to be revealed (and expect a guest appearance from Janelle Monae). The band will perform during a salute to the greatest party films of all time.

Because of its timing (the summer, as opposed to the end of the year), the MTV Movie Awards will allow the final "Harry Potter" film to compete with "The Hunger Games," and will also potentially honor such seemingly-distant films as "The Help."

“The Movie Awards will be a re-imagined celebration of the most popular films and performances from the past year,” said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. “This year, we’ve overhauled categories and added a Breakthrough Performance award that will be chosen by some of the best directors in the world. We’re also making music a more central experience to the overall show creative, and are thrilled to announce fun. – a band that has already imprinted a new anthem on a generation – as our first musical moment.”



The complete
MTV Movie Awards categories:

Movie of the Year
Best Female Performance
Best Male Performance
Breakthrough Performance
Best Comedic Performance
Best Music*
Best On-Screen Transformation*
Best Gut-Wrenching Performance*
Best Kiss
Best Fight
Best Cast*
Best On-Screen Dirt Bag*

* = new category


The 21st Annual MTV Movie Awards will air live Sunday, June 3rd at 9 pm ET/PT.

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<p>The cast of &quot;The Avengers&quot;&nbsp;at Comic-Con in 2010</p>

The cast of "The Avengers" at Comic-Con in 2010

Credit: Screencrave

Should 'The Avengers' assemble for SAG ensemble?

Bear with me, here

A few weeks ago I saw "The Avengers." The next morning, I cranked out a thousand words or so with all my thoughts, I felt, perfectly representative of what I took away from the movie. I felt good about it. Then the internet ate it.

Oh well, it happens, but the gist of the piece was this: "The Avengers" succeeds mainly because its all-star cast, playing all-star characters, gels perfectly, organically, no ego tipping the scales, no "front man" (as it were) emerging from the mix. Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston work wonderfully off each other and finally bring Marvel to a place DC Comics should have been a few times over by now.*

So on one hand, yeah, the headline here is a joke. The Screen Actors Guild's nominating committee, and indeed, any "self-respecting" awards-giving body is highly unlikely to pass kudos approval on a film like "The Avengers." But in the case of a category meant to honor well-oiled machines like this one, perhaps they should.

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<p>Hannah Simone and Max Greenfield in &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Hannah Simone and Max Greenfield in "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

'New Girl' - 'Tomatoes': Mommy's all right, daddy's all right

Jess wants passion, Nick wants hope, and Schmidt suffers an injury

A quick review of last night's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I like ice skating for fun, not to save life...

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Cheesa, Jamar, Juliet on 'The Voice'

Cheesa, Jamar Rogers and Juliet Simms represent Team Cee-Lo on 'The Voice'

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' quarterfinals - Team Adam and Team Cee-Lo

Who got America's save for the semi-finals, and who did the coaches cut?

With Tony Lucca, Jamar and Juliet looking locked and loaded for next week's semi-finals, there's not much suspense to these second week of quarter-finals results.

The only real questions: Did America save Juliet or Jamar on Team Cee-Lo? And will Adam side with "power" vocals and save Katrina or "quirky" vocals and save Mathai?

Let's get right to it...

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<p>Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy are two of the bootlegging Bondurant brothers in John Hillcoat's 'Lawless,' set to head to Cannes in May before its US&nbsp;debut in August.</p>

Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy are two of the bootlegging Bondurant brothers in John Hillcoat's 'Lawless,' set to head to Cannes in May before its US debut in August.

Credit: The Weinstein Company

First 'Lawless' trailer makes great use of Oldman, Hardy, Pearce, and LaBeouf

Has John Hillcoat actually made a film that could be described as fun?

I was starting to think John Hillcoat was allergic to fun.

While I admire Hillcoat's commitment to the grim aesthetic he's pursued over his last few films, "The Proposition" and especially "The Road" are punishing experiences for a viewer.  Hillcoat seems to take some sort of pleasure in emotionally demolishing his audience, and he's seemed somewhat unwilling to even let in a little bit of light.

Now that we've got a trailer for "Lawless," his new film, I am more excited than I already was about seeing it at Cannes next month.  This looks like a blast, and it may well end up being the most commercial thing he's ever done as a filmmaker.

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<p>Iron Man and Captain America teaming up is just the first step of the truly wonderful 'The Avengers'</p>

Iron Man and Captain America teaming up is just the first step of the truly wonderful 'The Avengers'

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Marvel

Review: 'Avengers' assembles the best Marvel movie so far

Joss Whedon's sure hand as a writer/director elevates the material tremendously

I've seen the film twice now, and I'm going to do my best to avoid pointless hyperbole in reviewing this. 

Short version:  it's tremendous entertainment, confident and complete in a way that none of the Marvel movies so far have been, and I say that as someone who likes the Marvel movies in general.  The company makes an incremental leap forward with this movie, and they've set the bar fairly high for themselves in the future.  I am pleased and impressed and feel like this more than pays off any emotional investment I made in the movies as they were being released.

When discussing "The Avengers" as a film, though, there are several ways to approach it.  You can look at it as a further evolution of what Joss Whedon does as a writer and director.  You can review it based on its place in the Marvel canon overall.  You can analyze how it fits into the overall genre of superhero films.  I think the only way to place it in the correct context is to approach it from all of those directions, because the film seems to occupy a unique place in pop culture, and considering how big a commercial product it is, there's something sort of revolutionary about its very existence.

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<p>Naya Rivera and Lea Michele of &quot;Glee&quot;</p>
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Naya Rivera and Lea Michele of "Glee"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Glee' - 'Dance With Somebody'

Houston? We have a problem. Again.
Well, those good times lasted exactly a week. So, par for the course with “Glee.”
 
After scoring its second strong episode based around an album, not an artist, with “Saturday Night Glee-ver” (a spiritual sequel to last season’s excellent “Rumours”), the show went back to less successful areas with its Whitney Houston tribute installment “Dance With Somebody.” It’s not that these “concept” episodes, for lack of a better term, are inherently a bad idea. In stronger, more capable hands, delving into the back catalog of a single artist is a perfectly good way to structure an episode of a musical. But “Glee” almost never understands the difference between “using those songs to bring out actual emotional notes in its characters” and “simply restaging the music videos just for the hell of it.”
 
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<p>Travis tries to give Laurie some advice on &quot;Cougar Town.&quot;</p>

Travis tries to give Laurie some advice on "Cougar Town."

Credit: ABC

'Cougar Town' - 'Money Becomes King': Fifty-fifty vs. 100%

Jules and Grayson go to couples counseling, Laurie starts a business and Andy pranks Bobby

A quick review of tonight's "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I find enough courage to pull a tab off the "Drummer Wanted" poster...

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<p>Eva Mendes on the set of &quot;Holy Motors.&quot;</p>

Eva Mendes on the set of "Holy Motors."

Credit: Les Films du Losange

Cannes Check: Leos Carax's 'Holy Motors'

Continuing our series of Cannes competition previews

The auteur: Leos Carax (French, 51 years old)

The talent: There are a couple of eclectic ensembles to be found in this year's Cannes lineup, but surely none weirder than this one. That weatherbeaten French character actor (and longtime Carax associate) Denis Lavant ("Beau Travail") takes the lead role here is hardly a surprise. Gallic veterans Michel Piccoli (most recently seen in "We Have a Pope") and Edith Scob ("Summer Hours") also make sense. But who would have expected them to share the bill with Eva Mendes and, wait for it, Australian pop pixie Kylie Minogue? The mind reels.

Carax wrote the script on his own. Below the line, Bruno Dumont's favorite DP Yves Cape (who hit a career high with Claire Denis on "White Material") is one of two cinematographers on the project; the other, Caroline Champetier, recently won a Cesar for "Of Gods and Men." Editor Nelly Quettier (who also has some Claire Denis credits on her CV) has worked with Carax since 1986's "The Night is Young"; production designer Florian Sanson is a relative newcomer, but recently did some impressive work on "Black Venus." The score, apparently, is by British semi-novelty band The Divine Comedy, because, well, obviously

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<p>Beach Boys at the 2012 Grammys</p>

Beach Boys at the 2012 Grammys

Credit: AP Photo

UPDATE: Listen to all of Beach Boys 'That's Why God Made the Radio?'

Watch the reunited group's video promo: new album out on June 5

The Beach Boys have promised a new album this summer, and will make good on that promise on June 5.

The band has posted a new promo video in support of the as-yet-untitled set, featuring much of what will be the album's first single "That's Why God Made the Radio."

But will this mash note to radio prove moot? Pop radio's elders have stacked their harmonies like old times, yes, but the melody and style may still make it an uphill battle for any commercial play, particularly when A/C radio is so loath on new adds.

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