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<p>Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator (as centaur)</p>

Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator (as centaur)

Credit: YouTube

Odd Future's new 'Rella': This is the vid that the Web hath made

Tracklist for 'OF Tape Vol. 2' revealed; 'Loiter Squad' gets a drop date

At the end of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All's music video for brand new "Rella," Tyler, the Creator mouths the phrase "What the f*ck?" That is a proper response to the whole rest of the music video.

Jizz jokes, humans turning into cats, a hot Asian girl, porn, furries, male-on-female violence, drug-taking voyeurism and a centaur are among the amenities of this clip, seemingly made for and by the Internet. (Perhaps its no coincidence that a OFWGKTA side project is named The Internet.)

The lyrics are about as juvenile -- Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis and Tyler, the Creator all have their boasts of b*tches and "dicks," carving girls up, rhyming "MC Lyte" with "dykes," all the stuff that purposefully agitates the LGBT and feminist groups already miffed at these guys. It's like Nicki Minaj pissing off the Catholic church by performing a piece with the specific aim of pissing off the Catholic church.

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<p>Jules and Grayson begin their third-season journey in the most glamorous of locations on the season premiere of 'Cougar Town'</p>

Jules and Grayson begin their third-season journey in the most glamorous of locations on the season premiere of 'Cougar Town'

Credit: ABC

One Thing I Love Today: 'Cougar Town' deserves your attention

An old column returns and kicks off with a look at the underdog ABC comedy

I got a truly lovely e-mail from a reader recently, in response to the "To Kill A Mockingbird" piece I posted last week, and one thing it did was remind me that one of the best columns I ever started only to tank later was "One Thing I Love Today," a minimalist's version of The Morning Read.  And, yes, as someone pointed out on my James Bond article this morning, I have a terrific track record of starting things I never finish.  My problem isn't that I'm lazy… it's the opposite.  I try to do too many things, and that ends up biting me in the ass more often than not.  So I've been thinking about how to handle The Morning Read, which many of you have requested, and which won't be coming back.

I've got to confess that as much as I liked The Morning Read, it wasn't a traffic generator, and to do it well, it takes more time than the readership ever justified.  It sent a lot of traffic out, but it didn't always result in a lot of traffic for us.  And while it may sound craven to talk about traffic and page views and the like, I work in a digital media where readership is quantified, absolutely.

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Watch: Mike Myers teaches Kevin Kline some Oscar etiquette in Funny or Die clip

Watch: Mike Myers teaches Kevin Kline some Oscar etiquette in Funny or Die clip

Sir Cecil Worthington is the latest British caricature from the 'Austin Powers' actor

 

Can't wait for the inevitable "Austin Powers 4"? Oscar's latest attempt at humor -- starring Mike Myers and Kevin Kline -- may be enough to tide you over. Fair warning: Only die hard Myers fans need apply.

In a move that appears to be intended to make the Oscars look a bit more "fun," the Academy has enlisted the help of Myers and Funny or Die to create this "Oscar Etiquette" video, as seen on the Oscar site. It's an amusing premise that, for some reason, runs for nearly five insufferable minutes.

Oscar winner Kline is accused of mishandling his "A Fish Called Wanda" trophy (richly deserved, by the way), and only the stuffy British aristocrat Sir Cecil Worthington (guess who) can help re-educate the actor in the art of holding and storing the prized award. Sporting a bad comb over, fake teeth, and dressed like a refugee from "Masterpiece Theater," Myers resurrects his shop-worn schtick, seen in everything from "Saturday Night Live" to "Inglourious Basterds," as he schools a bewildered Kline in Oscar etiquette using convoluted mnemonic devices, Snickers bars and flat jokes. It may be the closest Myers ever gets to an Oscar.

What do you think of the video? The Oscars air this Sunday, February 26 on ABC at 7 ET/4 PT.

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<p>Sergio Mendes</p>

Sergio Mendes

Interview: Sergio Mendes on his Oscar nomination for 'Rio'

How does he feel about not getting to perform on the Feb. 26 Academy Awards?

What do you give a man who’s celebrating his 50th anniversary of making music this year? How about an Oscar?

That would suit Sergio Mendes just fine.  The legendary Brazilian composer/performer is nominated for his first Oscar with “Real in Rio,” from the animated feature “Rio.” Mendes co-wrote the music with Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett (best known for co-writing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”) wrote the lyrics.

“Real in Rio” is up against “Man Or Muppet” from “The Muppets”  for original song. The two were the only tunes that passed the rigorous scrutiny of  the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’s music branch.

Read Gregory Ellwood's interview with Flight of The Conchords’ Bret McKenzie, who wrote “Man Or Muppet,” here.

Read Kris Tapley's prediction on who will take home the Oscar here.

Mendes was “immediately fascinated” by the story of the two macaws (voiced by Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg) who go through quite the adventure after being captured by bird smugglers.  Mendes wanted the song, which appears in the beginning and the end of the movie, to make people think about “Rio waking up in the morning. It’s a melody that starts very simply. You think about Rio, the greenery, the oceans, the mountains,” he says. “I wanted it to go through the movie and in the end of the movie, that music should really explode.”

The lilting rhythms and beats are a bright as the dancing birds themselves. Recorded in Los Angeles, the song features 20 drummers, who were recorded live in a drum circle.

Unbelievably, “Real in Rio” is the first tune Mendes has ever written for a film and he loved the collaborative effort. “Writing for a movie is such team work,” the 71-year old says. He credits John Powell, who scored the movie, as the “glue that held everything together.”

Mendes, who lives in Los Angeles, found out about his nomination from the movie’s director, Carlos Saldanha, who also directed the three “Ice Age” films). Saldanha called him at 6 a.m. “He said to me, ‘Get your tux ready because you’re nominated’,” Mendes recalls. “This is the biggest honor one can have.” 

While there are plenty of people excised about only two songs receiving nominations for original song, Mendes says he wasn’t aware of the stringent new criteria put in place a few years ago until after he got nominated.

And even though his temperament seems as easy going as his music, he will allow that “it would have been nice” to play the song on the Feb. 26 telecast.  Neither of the two nominated tunes will be performed. “Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen,” he says. “It would have been a great opportunity. It’s a song we’ve been performing in our shows. We get a tremendous reaction.” 

But even the exclusion can’t get him flustered. “Who am I to judge? Everyone has their own priority. I’m sure the people on the television part have their own concerns. Why make a big thing out of it? Let’s enjoy our lives.”

It’s a big month for Mendes: on Feb. 10, he performed “The Fool On The Hill” in front of the song’s co-author, Paul McCartney, at The Recording Academy’s annual MusiCares dinner. Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 took the song to No. 6 on the Billboard pop charts in 1968.

“I’d never played in front of him before,” Mendes says. “It was wonderful, a magical evening...I recorded that song in 1968 and we’re in 2012 and I’ve played that song everywhere in the world. It’s one song that I never took out of the repertoire.” That and, of course, Mendes’ signature song “Mas  Que Nada” (written by Jorge Ben), which also appears in “Rio” in a new version.

For Mendes, introducing the music of his native Brazil to people around the world, whether it’s in film or in concert, never gets old...even after 50 years. This year, he’ll play in Asia and Europe, as well as in Brazil.  “That’s where I was born, those are my roots. It’s something that I love,” he says. “It’s wonderful to hear people in different countries singing your songs.

Check out "Real In Rio" here.

Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter @HitFixMelinda

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<p>Kevin Kline in&nbsp;&quot;A&nbsp;Fish Called Wanda&quot;</p>

Kevin Kline in "A Fish Called Wanda"

Credit: MGM

My favorite Oscar win: Kevin Kline for 'A Fish Called Wanda'

On final approach, we look back at some of Oscar’s finer moments

In the final heated build-up to Oscar night, the tendency is to look at all of the ways the Academy has failed us or is bound to fail us. We do last-minute championing of underdog films and performances or perform a final public, or private, snub lament (not to worry, some of that is forthcoming).

I thought it might be nice, however, to take a look back at some of the moments where the fates have aligned to provide a win we can really appreciate. I spent some time yesterday afternoon looking over the Academy Award winners of the past 20-odd years, and there were some notable pleasures in the mix. Whether they were upsets or favored, whether I recall watching the moment live or have since come to appreciate the significance, they inspire that rare sense of visceral gratification.

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<p>A moment in the opening scene of &quot;Rio,&quot;&nbsp;featuring Best Original&nbsp;Song nominee &quot;Real in&nbsp;Rio&quot;</p>

A moment in the opening scene of "Rio," featuring Best Original Song nominee "Real in Rio"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Music (Original Song)

'The Muppets' and 'Rio' square off

(The Oscar Guide will be your chaperone through the Academy's 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 26, with the Best Picture finale on Saturday, February 25.)

So, 39 songs were qualified for eligibility in this year's Best Original Song race. 39. That's one short of 40. But apparently 37 of them just weren't good enough for the music branch, as the category turned up two -- yes, two -- nominees. One of them, at least to my mind, is dubious at best, while the other would at least appear to be in a cakewalk for the win (judging by consensus).

Is it not just patently obvious that the music branch can't be bothered with this category anymore? Just get rid of it if that's the case. I happen to like the category (many would like to see it die a quick death), but seeing something like this go down, after countless screw-ups in better fields over the last few years, it's just painful to watch.

The nominees are…

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<p>&quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;will be back in its old timeslot starring March 15.</p>

"Community" will be back in its old timeslot starring March 15.

Credit: NBC

'Community' returning to NBC in March, 'Parks and Recreation' taking a break

NBC also announces premieres for 'Bent' and 'Best Friends Forever' and other schedule moves

"Community" finally has a new home on NBC's schedule... and it's the old home. NBC just announced  that the comedy will be returning on Thursday, March 15, at 8 p.m. — the exact timeslot it was exiled from earlier this season as part of NBC's mid-season shuffle.

That's the good news. The slightly bad news — but only very slightly — is that something's gotta give on NBC's Thursday schedule to make room for this, and for the moment, that something is "Parks and Recreation," which will take a 5-week break after its 18th episode of the season airs, returning on April 19 so that its final four episodes of the season can air after "The Office." ("Up All Night" will have finished its season by then.)

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<p>Jessica Chastain in&nbsp;&quot;The Help&quot;</p>

Jessica Chastain in "The Help"

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

The Lists: Top 10 Oscar upsets we'd like to see

Crossing our fingers for this hopeful and that

In five hours, it's pencils down for the Academy. Ballots are due this afternoon and then it's five days before we find out what they amounted to.

For the most part, these races are decided. We sometimes get big, stunning upsets, though typically they have one or two indicators that we only pick up on after the fact. Sometimes, though, they don't. Who can forget humble "Precious" scribe Geoffrey Fletcher having his name called for Best Adapted Screenplay two years ago, speechless as he took to the stage, expecting, like all of us, for the category to go a different way?

Those are the kinds of moments you hope for to shake things up, but particularly if you think they are deserving upsets. This year, there are certainly a few of those across the Academy's 24 categories worth spotlighting, and so we have, dedicating this last pre-show list to the cause.

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<p>Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep share a moment together during the Oscar nominees luncheon earlier this month. If the Academy votes as expected, neither actor will find themselves gracing the Kodak Theater stage on Sunday night.</p>

Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep share a moment together during the Oscar nominees luncheon earlier this month. If the Academy votes as expected, neither actor will find themselves gracing the Kodak Theater stage on Sunday night.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris PIzzello

Deadline day for Oscar voters: Will they surprise us?

Don't believe false pundits on upsets that won't happen

At 5:00 PM PST today, the 2011-2012 Oscar season will effectively be over.  

Of course, the actual awards will be handed out on Sunday during the 84th Academy Awards broadcast, but technically speaking 5:00 PM is the deadline for all Academy member ballots to arrive at the swanky downtown LA offices of AMPAS accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers. What the last decade has shown us, however, is that that small influx of last minute votes doesn't sway many races.  While all studios campaign up to the last minute to try and convince Academy members to vote for their nominees, almost half of the ballots are mailed in right away.  And that's why when "controversies" arise a week or two before ballots are due over say a nominated movie producer breaking Academy rules regarding contacting members or when a nominee just can't stop talking about her bizarre personal for your consideration ads they really don't affect the outcome of the races.  

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<p>B.o.B.</p>

B.o.B.

Listen: B.o.B.'s new track, 'So Good' featuring... no one

Atlanta rapper eschews the big names for his next single

B.o.B. has the cure for the winter doldrums with his new single “So Good.” On the mid-tempo swayer, he and his lady are getting away from it all.

Unlike some the rappers’ other singles, like “Airplanes” featuring Paramore’s Hayley Williams or “Magic” featuring Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, there’s no high-profile guest featured on the Ryan Tedder-produced track (although the OneRepublic frontman may have taken no credit and could be part of the backing vocals). Instead, there’s a background chorus, whose “La-la-las” give the song and even breezier appeal.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Steve McQueen thinks America is too &quot;scared of sex&quot; for &quot;Shame&quot; to have received an Oscar nomination.</p>

Steve McQueen thinks America is too "scared of sex" for "Shame" to have received an Oscar nomination.

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Round-up: McQueen blames America's fear of sex for Fassbender snub

Also: The oldest Oscar voter speaks, and Ebert sinks 'Titanic 3D'

Michael Fassbender's had nearly a month to get over missing out on an Oscar nod for "Shame," but clearly the snub still rankles for others. While we recently had Alfre Woodard calling out the Academy on being too conservative to consider him, "Shame" director Steve McQueen has now weighed in, calling Fassbender a "once-in-a-generation actor" and extending the blame for his non-nomination to America in general: "In America they're too scared of sex, that's why he wasn't nominated. If you look at the best actor list you're saying, 'Michael Fassbender is not on that list?" McQueen may be right that a lot of voters were uncomfortable with the film, but I think he'd be surprised how many of them didn't see it at all. [Yahoo! Movies]

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<p>LMFAO</p>

LMFAO

Watch: LMFAO's 'Sorry For Party Rocking' video with a special guest

Zebras and cops are all down with Sky Blu and Redfoo

You know what? I don’t think LMFAO is remotely apologetic for party rocking. At least not by the likes of the new video for “Sorry For Party Rocking.”  I also am not so sure how much the Redfoo and Sky Blu’s electro-pop anthems lend themselves to complicated linear plot lines, so the duo wisely keeps the hijinks light.

The clip opens with an fake old couple reminiscent of The Ropers from “Three’s Company” or Al and Peg Bundy from “Married With Children,” in that the wife wants some action, but the husband is not in the mood.  He goes over to the party house to get them to turn the noise down, but, of course, no one, even the cops, are about to stop the music.

[More after the jump...]

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