Latest Blog Posts

<p>Grace Potter</p>

Grace Potter

Watch: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals meet beasties in 'Never Go Back' video

Beautiful shot clip conjures up 'Where The Wild Things Are'

“The Hunger Games” meets “Where The Wild Things Are”  meets “Home Alone” in Grace Potter & The Nocturnals' new clip for “Never Go Back.”

The beautifully shot clip, directed by Isaac Rentz,  features a child who, like Charlie Brown, seemingly has no parental supervision, alone in a mansion. She’s invaded by a mob of human beasties who eat her food, frolic in the house and cause general mayhem. Like a little Katniss, she fights back with a bow and arrow, accidentally torching her mansion. But in the process, she sets herself free to join the beasties, who become her protectors and buddies and they’re free to roam like the feral kids in “Mad Max.”

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>From &quot;Man on Fire&quot;</p>

From "Man on Fire"

Watch: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros' delightful 'Man on Fire' video

'Martha Marcy May Marlene' actor Brady Corbet directs

I'm still putting the words together on how I feel about Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' new album "Here," but my feelings about the new video for single "Man on Fire" is simple: what a delight.

The clip, helmed by actor Brady Corbet, hits mostly schoolyards and gyms at high schools in New York with the purpose of capturing jubilant movements from cheerleaders, tumblers, step team, gymnasts, double-dutch champions and other shakers who are moving to, literally, their own beat. Proud mamas and sisters and coaches, the ilk, look on. It eventually leads to an abandoned lot where the New York City Ballet executes their choreography to the song, and let me tell you, there is nothing cuter than honest-to-god ballerinas busting out in Chuck Taylors.

Read Full Post
<p>Neil Young in his &quot;Americana&quot; silent film</p>

Neil Young in his "Americana" silent film

Watch: Neil Young and Crazy Horse's 'Americana' album, silent film streaming

Band crafts 40-minute silent film with Shepard Fairey's help

Neil Young and Crazy Horse's reunion album "Americana" is streaming in full, though the band is also offering 40-minutes of silence.

Rather, the rockers have released a 40-minute silent film that was crafted partly out of found footage to accompany each of "Americana's" 11 tracks. The opening scene features Young playing a writer who visits an art gallery -- which features works from designer Shepard Fairey -- "in hopes of finding illustrations for his new book about great American songs," according to NPR, which debuted the vid.

Young obviously finds what he's looking for, and thus starts "Americana," which is the Crazy-Horseian interpretation on classic songs like "Oh Susanna," "God Save the Queen" and "This Land Is Your Land." The remainder of the film is found footage from the silent film era, including works from director D.W. Griffith. Young -- under the name Bernard Shakey -- directed and cut the film.

Read Full Post
<p>Edie Falco and the rest of the &quot;Nurse Jackie&quot;&nbsp;gang will be back for a fifth season, with former &quot;Dexter&quot;&nbsp;showrunner Clyde Phillips as the new boss.</p>

Edie Falco and the rest of the "Nurse Jackie" gang will be back for a fifth season, with former "Dexter" showrunner Clyde Phillips as the new boss.

Credit: Showtime

Showtime renews 'Nurse Jackie' for season 5, hires ex-'Dexter' showrunner

Clyde Phillips will be in charge of Emmy-winning dramedy

Showtime has renewed "Nurse Jackie" for a fifth season, and has hired former "Dexter" showrunner Clyde Phillips to take over as the new boss.

Read Full Post
<p>Katee Sackhoff and Robert Taylor in &quot;Longmire.&quot;</p>

Katee Sackhoff and Robert Taylor in "Longmire."

Credit: A&E

Review: Mystery goes to Wyoming in A&E's 'Longmire'

Laconic lawman series features interesting performances from Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff and Lou Diamond Phillips

CBS recently decided that its latest Jesse Stone movie with Tom Selleck would be the series' last, because even though the films still pull in a healthy viewership total, the viewers are virtually all over 50, and therefore unfortunately viewed as worthless by the advertisers who pay the freight at CBS.

The math is a little different when you get to cable, though. History Channel has been crowing, with justification, about the huge ratings for its "Hatfields & McCoys" miniseries, which debuted with close to 14 million viewers, but far more modest numbers among adults 18-49.

I doubt that A&E will get ratings comparable to either the Jesse Stone films or "Hatfields" for its new mystery series "Longmire" (Sunday at 10 p.m.), but it doesn't need to in order to be a successful companion piece to "The Glades." And Jesse Stone fans may find a lot that feels familiar, and appealing, in the new series.

Read Full Post
<p>Mia Sara charms a unicorn in... er, wait... Kristen Stewart charms the White Hart in a lovely moment from the new fantasy-adventure 'Snow White and the Huntsman'</p>

Mia Sara charms a unicorn in... er, wait... Kristen Stewart charms the White Hart in a lovely moment from the new fantasy-adventure 'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Kristen Stewart battles Charlize Theron in surprising 'Snow White'

Strong fairy tale tone and ambitious first-time filmmaker deliver interesting take on oft-told tale

The last time Joe Roth produced an updated take on a classic fantasy story, the result was the numbingly painful "Alice In Wonderland," so when he announced an updated "Snow White," complete with a transformation by the lead character into a sword-wielding warrior, it immediately set me on edge.  After all, if I had to bet on either Tim Burton or a first-time filmmaker named Rupert Sanders to deliver something worthwhile, I would have put my money on Burton.

And I would have been wrong.

The greatest thing "Snow White And The Huntsman" has going for it is that it treats its fairy tale story seriously, and it treats the world it takes place in with a sense of wonder.  While Rupert Sanders seems to be a very big fan of Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson, he manages to make this feel like its own thing.  It is still recognizably the Snow White story, but Evan Daughtery, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini's screenplay expand the story in ways that feel like logical extensions of the text rather than radical reinventions.  The thing that surprised me most is that the film plays as dark as it does.  This is not a film for kids under 13 or so, and it is filled with nightmare imagery that many young viewers could be upset by.  Considering the almost insane levels of darkness in the original Grimm fairy tales, it's appropriate.  I'm just not used to seeing fairy tales treated this way by mainstream Hollywood.

Read Full Post
'American Idol's' Phillip Phillips lands big on Billboard Hot 100
Credit: Michael Becker/Fox

'American Idol's' Phillip Phillips lands big on Billboard Hot 100

Is it enough to bump Gotye out of the top spot?

Phillip Phillips fans are supporting the newly-crowned “American Idol” Season  11 champ in a big way: “Home,” becomes the first coronation single to enter the Billboard Hot 100 in the Top 10 in four years.

Bolstered by 278,000 in download sales, the tune bows at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on Billboard’s digital sales chart. The Hot 100 combines radio plays, social media activity, and digital sales. David Cook’s “The Time Of My Life” debuted at No. 8 in 2008, according to Billboard.

Phillips proves no threat to Gotye, whose “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra spends its seventh week at No. 1, giving it honors as the longest-running song at the top in 2012 as it surges past fun’s “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae. That track spent six frames at the top.

That means that Carly Rae Jepsen has to hang out at No. 2 against with “Call Me Maybe,” though continuing gains in radio play will help make her a real possibility for No. 1 next week. The next six songs also hold steady:  Maroon 5’s “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa is No. 3, the aforementioned “We Are Young” is No. 4, and Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” is No. 5. Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” featuring Sia is No. 6, One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” is No. 7 and the Wanted’s “Glad You Came” is No. 8.

Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” reenters the Hot 100 at No. 9, while Phillips is No. 10.

Read Full Post
John Mayer lands his third No. 1 on the Billboard 200
Credit: Sony Music

John Mayer lands his third No. 1 on the Billboard 200

The album chart is loaded with 'American Idol' titles

John Mayer scores his third No. 1 album this week as “Born and Raised” bows at the top of the Billboard 200.

The set opens with 219,000 units sold. His  2003 chart topper, “Heavier Things,” opened with 317,000 copies, while his last studio album, 2009’s “Battle Studies,” started its chart run with 289,000.

The number is all the more impressive given that Mayer’s ongoing throat issues have left him unable to promote the album other than a few scattered talk show appearances, where he sat in with the house bands, but did not sing.

Three other new title enter the top 10: Slash’s “Apocalyptic Love” bows at No. 4’ MercyMe’s “The Hurt & The Healer” at No. 7 and Sara Bareilles’ EP, “Once Upon Another Time” at No. 8.

Last week’s No. 2 and 3 titles, Adele’s “21” and Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away,” hold their ground this week.

Elsewhere in the Top 10, One Direction’s “Up All Night” jumps No. 10-5 (on the strength of the band’s U.S. tour starting), while Lionel Richie’s “Tuskegee,” the year’s best selling album after “21,” climbs No. 9-6.

“Tuskegee” trades places with “Now That’s What I Call Music 42,” which tumbles three spots to No. 9, while “Up All Night” and Norah Jones’ “Little Broken Hearts’ flip spaces, as her album slides from No. 5-10.

Last week’s chart topper, Adam Lambert’s “Trespassing,” plummets out of the Top 10 to No. 12.  In other “American Idol” contestant activity, newly coronated Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips enters the chart at No. 11 with “Journey to the Finale.”  Season 10 finalist Haley Reinhart enters at No. 17 with “Listen Up!,” while Season 8 winner Kris Allen bows at No. 26 with “Thank Yo Camellia.” This year’s runner-up, Jessica Sanchez, comes in at No. 126 wiht her “Journey To the Finale” album.

Overall sales were up 3% from last week, but down 22% from the same week of 2011.

Read Full Post
<p>Hayden Panettiere of &quot;Nashville&quot;</p>

Hayden Panettiere of "Nashville"

Credit: ABC

DVR Gridlock 2012-13: Wednesday Nights

Will 'X Factor' get a Britney Boost? Can 'Nashville' equal 'Revenge'?
[This week, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned.]
Read Full Post
<p>Florence and the Machine's &quot;Spectrum&quot;</p>

Florence and the Machine's "Spectrum"

Watch: Light emanates from Florence's crotch in new F+TM 'Spectrum' video

David LaChapelle-directed clip is long on beauty, short on sense

It’s Florence + the Machine meets “Swan Lake” meets “Metropolis” in the British act’s new video, “Spectrum.”

Directed by famed photographer David LaChapelle and John Byrne, the music clip is, as one might imagine, a visual feast, full of stunning, lush colors and images from F+TM namesake Florence Welch’s bright red hair to the blinding white of the dancers’ costumes to the glittering city scape populated by Egyptian soldiers.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Justin Bieber</p>

Justin Bieber

Credit: AP Photo

Police threaten to shut down free Justin Bieber Oslo concert

NBC camera crews are taping show for June 21 network special

As NBC is touting  “Justin Bieber Believe: All Around The World,”  a new special on the teen star that will air on June 21, a drama is playing out as the police are threatening to shut down the shoot.

Bieber is in Oslo today and is slated to perform six songs free tonight at 9:20 pm Norway time at the Opera House. The mini-concert will be part of the one-hour “All Around the World” special, which  will combine performance video and behind-the-scenes footage as cameras follow Bieber around the globe promoting the new album, out June 19, and first single, “Boyfriend.”

The doc trails  Bieber as he travels through seven countries in 12 days, ending with a New York City show. However, today in Oslo, the unruly crowd has police saying they will pull the plug. Bieber and his manager, Scooter Braun, have been tweeting to fans all day asking them to calm down. “Norway, please listen to the police,”Bieber tweeted. “ I don’t want anyone getting hurt. I want everything to go to plan, but your safety must come first.”

Bieber was the subject of his own 3D theatrical release, 2011’s “Never Say Never,” which followed him on his 2010 concert tour.

“Justin Bieber Believe: All Around the World” is produced by Ian Stewart with Done and Dusted Productions.

We'll update the situation later.

Read Full Post
<p>Russell Brand, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta and Alec Baldwin in &quot;Rock of Ages&quot;</p>

Russell Brand, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta and Alec Baldwin in "Rock of Ages"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Set Visit Preview: 'Rock of Ages' is Tom Cruise singing, Adam Shankman laughing

How to make straight guys rock-out with a gay kiss on the Sunset Strip

Julianne Hough’s character Sherrie in “Rock of Ages” arrives onto the scene in a floral-enhanced dress, with an obscenely cumbersome suitcase in hand while a skinny punk jerk is rattled between policemen and hookers. Skipping alongside ‘80s choppers and liquor ads, Sherrie sings “Just Like Paradize” as her nose points at a rack of girlie mags and cigarettes next to the Roxy. At the edge of her jaunt is one of the film’s fictional focal points, the Bourbon Room, sullied and dank like used chewing gum on the sidewalk. It’s like the opening of “Rock of Ages” is a whiskey-drunk “Wizard of Oz,” with the Sunset Strip as the Yellow Brick Road and the munchkins starring as gum-chewing, crimp-haired, Poison-baiting Lollipop Guild.

Judging from the promos that have arrived from director Adam Shankman’s new creation, there’s going to be a lot of jokes about hair, just as there were in his other film “Hairspray.” But the rebuilt Strip – carved out of a low-rent neighborhood in Miami – boasts some darkness and details: understated, celebrated, a stark contrast to Hough’s bright chirp.
“This whole movie is like meta-paced. Like if you blow on any of the sets they’ll fall down,” said Shankman during a film shoot last year. He’s bringing the jukebox musical to life with what he said is the same budget but half the time as “Hairspray.”
So the set may not be sturdy, but the cash reserves were seemingly saved for casting. Along with Hough, the all-star lineup includes Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Mary J. Blige, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bryan Cranston. But the real spotlights are on the songs, with roses and thorns from the ‘80s from artists like Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi and, of course, Journey.
“I was singing ‘Don't Stop Believin’’ before ‘Glee,’ and there was someone before me too. These songs are timeless,” said Diego Boneta, who plays the romantic orbit around Hough’s Sherrie as would-be-rock-star Drew. “If it wasn't Glee, it would've been someone else.”
It’s Cruise who takes the last lead as Stacee Jaxx, an early-30-something rocker who tries splitting from his longtime band. It’s the 49-year-old “Mission Impossible” action star’s first musical film.
“We put him with Axl Rose's singing guy because I needed the songs to be really rock, I needed the voices to be rock ‘n’ roll, not Broadway,” Shankman recalls about the early “Rock of Ages” rehearsals. “And the guy got him to sing way the f*ck up, and it would have thick, amazing sound to it. Apparently, Tom has in his family, has, like, some opera singers. And so he's genetically predisposed to be able to sing.”
Dancing, at times, was a different matter, particularly since Cruise’s craft needs a little more... motivation.
“You have to be careful what you say, because he listens so much. He really takes what you say and then starts to pull it apart… You don't improv [dance] movement with him,” Shankman said, discussing working with choreographer Mia Michaels (“So You Think You Can Dance”). “There's nothing he does in the movie that wasn't choreographed to the knuckle. He wants to why you're doing, like, a hip roll or something like that. I don't want to f*cking have to tell you why you're doing a hip roll, because there's a piece of music that does it. Tom wants to know why.
“There's nothing bad about that, it's just very challenging to us to have to explain things that are just organic.”
Another challenge to the “Rock of Ages” shoot was the combination of sex and rock ‘n’ roll: not that it’s not a natural, erm, coming-together, but it’s a PG-13 flick. “Sex and humor are the two big choreographic sort of points in this,” Shankman says.
That means Malin Akerman singing the tune of “I Want to Know What Love Is” as she pulls apart the laces to Stacee’s pants with her teeth. It’s world-class pole dancing champions accompanying essentially the rock version of “Be Our Guest.” Drew’s dreams are altered into a New Kids on the Block-style boy band while there’s a gay love story between Baldwin and Brand’s characters. Zeta-Jones’ Patricia Whitmore is essentially the First Lady of Los Angeles circa 1987 (not exactly what audiences grew to love from her role in “Chicago”).
“You have incredibly famous people doing incredibly weird sh*t. And it's all through my filter. And they've all given over to me, and I feel very grateful that they have, because I feel incredibly lucky,” Shankman continues. “I was so stunned when I went to see the [original] play, that the house was full of straight guys rocking out, freaking out and loving a musical. I was like, if I can make a musical for straight guys… are you f*cking kidding me? Then I’d be a rock star.”


Read Full Post