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Following the lead of the Academy Awards, the Latin Grammys have now decided to expand the field for album of the year from five to 10 contenders. The Latin Grammys come under the same umbrella as the Grammys: the National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences (NARAS), though the two have separate boards of trustees. Should the Grammys follow suit?
The Latin Grammys will also expand the nominees to 10 in the other three general categories: song, record and best new artist.
While a representative of the Recording Academy told the Los Angeles Times that the move does not mean the Grammy Awards will do the same, you can bet that the idea is being floated around.
[More after the jump...]
A review of tonight's "Awake" coming up just as soon as I destroy a sacred song from your childhood...
There’s not a lot in Silversun Pickups’ swirling, heavy music to indicate the Los Angeles alternative rock band’s four members enjoy busting a move, but it turns out they do — often resulting in collateral damage.
“We love to have dance parties,” says drummer Christopher Guanlao. “When we’re on the road, one of the things to kill the boredom is to have a dance party on the bus. A lot of the times, they’re impromptu, but they go off. We’ve broken tables, lighting fixtures...Luckily our techs are amazing and fix it before we have to return the bus.”
Some of those dance vibes found their way onto SSPU’s third full-length album, “Neck of the Woods,” which came out Tuesday. The album looks like it could debut in the top 5on the Billboard 200, making it the band’s highest charting set yet, topping 2009’s “Swoon,” which bowed at No. 7.
While the songs, including first single “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings),” are instantly recognizable as SSPU, there’s an added groove that is fully deliberate, whether on the propulsive, insistent blast of opening track “Skin Graph,” the machine-gun rat-a-tat on “Out of Breath,” or full-on dance tune “The Pit.” “We definitely wanted to have more of a groove to the songs,” Guanlao says. “For me, it was really fun to actually do it; to step away from the rock drumming for a bit and get into a groove” on some of the tracks.
In fact, Guanlao was kept very busy on the album, so much so that he’s still figuring out how to replicate the songs live. “There’s definitely a lot more drumming involved on this one and a lot more percussive drumming,” he says. “This was the first time I played a shaker on a song. I did a lot of drum stuff, extra drum rolls, extra drum accents, that goes throughout the songs. It definitely feels like there’s a lot more going on. It gets tricky when you think about it in the live aspect: All of a sudden I realize if I only had that extra arm, I could do everything perfectly.”
For “Neck Of the Woods,” the band, which also includes vocalist/guitarist Brian Aubert, bassist/background vocalist Nikki Monniger and keyboardist Joseph Lester— switched to a new producer, Jacknife Lee, best known for his work with R.E.M., Snow Patrol and Weezer.
“He took out a lot of the fat,” Guanlao says. “If we didn’t have Jacknife around, we might have been going into the prog rock world. We tend to kind of write a lot of parts for songs and I think it worked well with ‘Swoon,’ but we definitely didn’t want to continue in that route. We’d give him a song that had six or seven changes and he’d say we only need three or four and he was right. We didn’t need two choruses in a song, we need one good one.”
For a brief time after the album’s release on Tuesday, it was No. 1 on iTunes album chart, a moment captured by one of the group’s managers, who took a screen shot and sent it to the band. “I was like, that‘s crazy!,” Guanlao. “I was kind of saying, What a bizarre world where we’re above Carrie Underwood. It’s great. The support that we’ve gotten from all our fans, it means the world to us. That’s why I do it.”
The band remains signed to Los Angeles indie Dangerbird Records, long after majors came calling following the group’s success with “Swoon.” Aubert recently told Billboard that there was nothing a major label could do for them, except, as he joked, offer them a helicopter ride.
Which, quite frankly, sounds pretty sweet to Guanlao. “I read that article, and I was like, ‘I want a helicopter ride...I don’t know what he’s talking about, that’s kind of cool’,” he says laughing. “It you put that on the offer, that’s something to consider, though it’s not a yacht.”
Seriously, Guanlao agrees with Aubert. “He’s absolutely right. What can a major label give us right now? The days of huge signing advances that you could live off for the rest of your life are gone and we wouldn’t really want to do that anyway. We’re happy where we are.”
SSPU’s touring dance card is full through the rest of the year, a prospect that intimidated Guanlao until the band nailed the songs on “Neck” live. “Two months ago, when we didn’t know how to play the songs, that’s daunting. Now, it’s like, ‘let’s bring it on!’”
Plus, Guanlao already has some ideas for early 2013. The Los Angeles Lakers fan is a basketball junkie who recently “freaked out” when he met the Orlando Magic’s JJ Redick, especially because Redick is a huge fan of SSPU’s and had even tweeted about listening to the band’s song, “Royal We,” to get pumped up before a game.
Guanlao shared his love for the Lakers with ESPN, hoping it might bring him a little love from his team. I [tweeted] the ESPN [article] to the Lakers, like, ‘Hey, check it out! If you have some tickets.. Do you need a mascot?” He’s heard nothing so far.
Hey Lakers, we hear he may have some spare time after December.
Any time I want to feel really old, all I need to do is spend some time with Chloe Grace Moretz.
Watching her prowl through "Dark Shadows" playing a character who is just on the verge of adulthood, it struck me how far she's come in what seems like just a few short years since I first met her. The first time we spoke, she had on a purple wig and was doing backflips out of a window as she was shot repeatedly in the chest for about 20 takes in a row. It was on the set of "Kick-Ass," and as I spent the next few days watching her work with Nicholas Cage, I was struck by how incredibly focused and self-aware she was, and how important her on-set support system of her mother and her brother were to keeping her protected. After all, "Kick-Ass" was fairly rowdy material, and even actors older than her might balk at some of what she was asked to do in the film.
Not Chloe, though. She has this ability to throw herself into the work she's doing completely, and a truly adult understanding of the things she's being asked to do. When I saw her the next time, it was for the Comic-Con panel on "Let Me In," and it was interesting to see her spend time with Kodi Smit-McPhee, her co-star in the film. He struck me as much younger than her, emotionally, and when they were together, she suddenly seemed much more like a kid. In those moments she was away from him and talking, that adult sensibility would drop back into place, and that contradiction seems to sum up what it is that makes Chloe so interesting on film.
It's time for another pulse-racing installment of "American Idol," kids!
Or at least it's time to twiddle our thumbs for 50 minutes and then wonder if a shocker is in store. Click through and follow the twiddling as it progresses.
The Cannes Film Festival unveiled its screening schedule today, and I'm both pleased and surprised to see that this year's edition is playing the long game. While it's often the case that most of the big-ticket premieres are spilled in the early stages of the fest, this year's programmers have stored up a number of the lineup's most eagerly-awaited English-language titles for the closing days: Jeff Nichols' "Mud" unspools on the last day of Competition, David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" on the penultimate day, and Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy" one day before that.
It's a pointed rejoinder to the many American journalists (HitFix's own Drew McWeeny among them) who have already planned to leave town days before the festival finishes, countering the accepted wisdom that the festival peters out toward the end. As in 2008, when "The Class" was the final Competition film screened and took many off-guard by winning the Palme d'Or, the message appears to be that, at Cannes, every day counts.
Pop. Pop. "Community" is coming back for a fourth season.
A source close to production has confirmed that NBC has ordered 13 episodes of the low-rated critical darling. Unlike the "30 Rock" final season renewal, as far as I know this is not officially the final order for the show. It's entirely possible "Community" could get a back 9 order next season or even, miracle of miracles, a fifth season. Unlike the aging, expensive "30 Rock," it makes no sense for NBC to cut off its options with "Community" before it has to. While I'd say it's probable that these 13 will be it for Jeff, Britta, Troy, Abed, Annie, Shirley, Pierce and company — and would allow the show to roughly mirror the four-year college experience — stranger things have happened at NBC in recent years (like five seasons of "Chuck"). Six seasons and a movie is still vaguely in play.
And while you celebrate this news, you can not only watch tonight's episode, but once again enjoy some furry fun with Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown and Jim Rash:
The premise for R. Kelly's last music video "Share My Love" is essentially: Kels is surrounded by girls with big boobs and small waists in evening dresses and everybody's super impressed. This time, for "It's On" featuring DJ Khaled and Ace Hood, it's about the same, only the girls are strippers.
I know this is challenging stuff. I hope your shoes are tied.
In one of the most boring refrains ever uttered by the otherworldly Kelly, the R&B singer tells us it's "on on on on on on on on on." He then bottles that boredom, and saves it for when a particularly lovely lady's ass is hanging all over his face and he kinda spaces out like, "Oh, her?, it's like whatever." Alcohol music is right.
The best part is when Khaled reminds the listener at the very end that he cooked this beat by poking his silly face into the frame for about 10 milliseconds.