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Listen: Rihanna and Chris Brown on not one, but two, remixes
Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Listen: Rihanna and Chris Brown on not one, but two, remixes

The duo pairs up for 'Birthday Cake' and 'Turn Up The Music'

So what’s worse than Chris Brown and Rihanna reuniting for one remix? How about the fact that they reunited for two remixes.  Just in case we didn’t get the hint that she had forgiven him for bashing her about three years ago, Rihanna not only had Brown appear on the remix of “Birthday Cake,” from her album “Talk That Talk,” but she showed up on a remix of his song “Turn Up The Music” on Monday.

And wait, it gets even better! Monday was Rihanna's birthday!

On the salacious “Birthday Cake” Remix, which has been stretched by nearly two minutes from the short version that appears on the album,  Brown comes in around 1:15 with the phase “Girl I want to fuck you right now/I’ve been missing your body.” 

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Megan Hilty and Will Chase in &quot;Smash.&quot;</p>

Megan Hilty and Will Chase in "Smash."

Credit: NBC

'Smash' - 'Enter Mr. DiMaggio': Joltin' Julia

Various creative problems come to the forefront in a bumpy third episode

A review of tonight's "Smash" coming up just as soon as I can hear it in the O's...

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"The Voice"

 "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' - 'The Blind Auditions, Pt. 4'

The blind auditions continue for our judges

The blind auditions continue! Right now!

8:01 p.m. EST - Ducky from Pennsylvania has a silly mustache, and he paints. If he gets on "The Voice," he can get married! So, there's a lot at stake. I'd suggest he could get married anyway, as he probably needs someone to help support him and pay his bills, but alright. He performs "Tighten Up." Though he has a pretty unique, nuanced voice, no one turns for Ducky. Cee-Lo just didn't feel he was the best. Christina wishes she'd pressed her button. Adam declares he has a sweet mustache! Easy to say when you're not stuck grooming him, Adam. Blake offers him a sip from his cup. Ducky takes it, because it's all he's getting. Blake thinks he'll look back and regret not snapping him up. Carson invites everyone to weigh in on whether @duckydukemusic was unfairly overlooked. 

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<p>Sleigh Bells' &quot;Reign of Terror&quot;</p>

Sleigh Bells' "Reign of Terror"

Credit: Mom + Pop

Album Review: Sleigh Bells, 'Reign of Terror'

Def Leppard, Atari and Alexis Krauss' cheerleading: A winning team?

Sleigh Bells’ “Reign of Terror” opens with the sound of a roaring crowd, a time-honored trick and tradition of heralding your own hype on the record, for the record. Alexis Krauss barks out to her band’s invisible fans as co-founder Derek Miller begins to peel back layers of break-neck guitar shreds on aptly named opener “True Shred Guitar.” It evaporates into “Born to Lose,” a sour-noted spin on well well-trod titles like “Born to Run,” “Born to Be Wild” and “Born to Fly” (and, not to ignore a recent No. 2-seller, Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die”). “End of the Line” is like a slow dance sequence from a lost John Hughes teen drama, put to the rhythm of a double kick drum. 

For all the pop-influenced weird rock contemporaries in Sleigh Bells’ league – acts like M.I.A., Liars, Crystal Castles and Bonde do Rolê – the duo owes just as much to Atari 8-bit video games, Def Leppard and Dokken. The ‘80s, metal and ‘80s metal influence is laid bare on the gnarly riff and screams on “Demons,” the guitar harmonies on “Road to Hell” and the chug-chug of “D.O.A.”

Listen to "Reign of Terror" in its entirety here.
 
Krauss’ voice doesn’t temper the nostalgia, she just updates it. The multi-octave vocal runs are replaced by flinty cheerleader shouts and girly gang vocals, trading places with glinting dream pop sing-songing. Outmoded descriptions of hot girls and fast cars is revised with lyrics on what happens when they crash and burn, just as the title implies. “Leader of the Pack” – another familiar title – even starts off with a bomb’s kaboom, and Krauss asking “Do you remember when / you used to sleep at night…”
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<p>Jean Dujardin after winning Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2011.</p>

Jean Dujardin after winning Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2011.

Credit: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

Cannes regains its Oscar foresight

Three of this year's Best Picture nominees began life on the Croisette

As the absence of any potential Oscar fodder from the just-wrapped Berlin Film Festival became apparent -- pundits on the hunt for a second consecutive "A Separation"-style crossover item were disappointed with the lineup, though cineastes needn't have been -- I got to thinking about the presence of festival fare in this year's Academy Awards class.

In recent years, the festival circuit has become far more integral to the Oscar race than it used to be: all but one of the last six Best Picture winners debuted at a high-profile festival, from Cannes and Venice to Toronto and Telluride.

That's in marked contrast to the beginning of the new century, when all five winners from "Gladiator" through to "Million Dollar Baby" were major studio productions that had no need of a festival platform. As independents increasingly dominate the awards conversation, so too do the festivals that birth them: spotting an orphan film that can be groomed into a major Oscar player has become a more viable practice for many studios than developing their own, with Harvey Weinstein still the master of the game.

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<p>Santigold</p>

Santigold

Listen: Santigold's new 'Disparate Youth'; singer opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers

Little Dragon and Sleigh Bells also on tap for RHCP dates

Santigold has a hell of a way of announcing her spring tour. The rhythm-loving singer has been tapped to open for Red Hot Chili Peppers, along with Sleigh Bells and Little Dragon.

To celebrate, she's dropped her second song from forthcoming and tentatively titled "Master Of My Make-Believe," available below. It proceeds her first single from the fresh effort, "Big Mouth."

"Disparate Youth" actually sounds a little more grown up and a little more chilled out. Santigold's voice just flows over a hazy, bassy drive.

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Credit: HBO

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 116

Dan and Alan talk 'Downton Abbey,' 'On Freddie Roach' and answer mail

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
The banks may be closed for some alleged holiday, but The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast remains in business.
 
This week, we talked about the full season of "Downton Abbey" following its premiere on Sunday, we caught up with HBO's excellent "On Freddie Roach" and we answer a lot of Listener Mail (and we've collected a lot more for the weeks to come). Good times!
 
Here's the breakdown:
"Downton Abbey" (00:01:30 - 00:21:00)
"On Freddie Roach" (00:21:00 - 00:29:30)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:29:30 - 00:44:10)
Listener Mail - Pilots (00:45:55 - 00:59:10)
Listen Mail - Linsanity and Asian Representations (00:59:10 - 01:07:00)
Listener Mail - Critically acclaimed shows we don't acclaim (01:07:00 - 01:13:45)
Listener Mail - The Ann Perkins Problem (01:13:50 - 01:18:40)
Listener Mail - FOX's truncated schedule (01:18:50 - 01:22:25)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>Your author with Ice-T at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival</p>

Your author with Ice-T at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Credit: HitFix

Interview: Ice-T talks Lil Wayne, reality TV and making-of 'Something from Nothing'

As 'The Art of Rap' earns a release date, the 'Law & Order' actor goes back to rhyming roots

For a man so well-versed in reality television, Ice-T didn't want his directorial debut to look anything like "what's on MTV." The actor/rapper has co-starred in "Law & Order: SVU" since 2000 as Detective Tutuola; the second season of "Ice Loves Coco," his reality television show with wife Coco on E!, just premiered this week.

And yet documentary "Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap" had no drama, no competitions or current events cut in to the narrative to create arc. In fact, there was no narrative; there's only a couple cinematic structures in place -- of artists talking, artists rapping and then a sweeping aerial view of rappers' hometowns of Los Angeles, Detroit or New York.

That also means there was no archival footage or old music videos, or even much of a hip-hop history lesson -- just some well-loved songs and the hip-hop royalty that made them. Repetition is the hitch of this style of documentary, but it was also a rapper roundup that only somebody like Ice-T could muster. Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Eminem, Nas, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Chuck D, KRS-One, Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and more engage in spirited, intimate conversations about the literal art of rapping over a beat, and then each spitting a favorite verse from another rapper.

Because all of the footage was fresh for this film's can, that makes for a lot of rare and singular moments for rappers to tip their hat at one another.

Ice-T and "Something from Nothing" co-director Andy Baybutt wanted to "keep everything unique," the rapper told me during an interview at the Sundance Film Festival this January. The doc made its bow there.

"If I’m making a film, I wanna shoot everything with frames -- no [still] pictures or old film, no nothing. What we did was we shot them cinematically, and then we'd let it breathe, with shots of New York or whatever."
 
The result, he said, is like a big long list of everybody's legends, with more than 100 artists interviewed, around five dozen making it into the film and even more waiting in the wings to be included.
 
"All you can say is, 'I didn’t see my favorite artist,' but that'd be impossible to include everybody. When I got the nod for Sundance, I had a three-hour film. I had to cut it to two hours," he said. "Everybody’s doing the movie to be in the movie."
 
Of course, to see contemporary chart-topping acts like Em and Kanye getting sentimental about their art is a stunning insight. I asked Ice if anybody from the Young Money crew was invited in.
 
"Wayne was moving around, I was shooting 'Law & Order,' the camera crew was in London... Getting people in the same place at the same time was really, really difficult. We called Wayne and they'd be like 'OK, we can do it at 3,' and then I’d get my camera crew and they go 'Now it's at 9,'" Ice-T explained. "We’re not paying [Wayne], it’s a favor. So then it’d be like, 'Let’s do it tomorrow...' We got what we could."
 
Rap fans will be able to check out the film large-scale when it bows this summer on June 8, via The Indomina Group.

 

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 116: 'Downton Abbey,' 'On Freddie Roach,' reality TV & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 116: 'Downton Abbey,' 'On Freddie Roach,' reality TV & more

Dan and Alan also answer your questions on pilot season, Ann Perkins and Jeremy Lin

The

It's a slow week in television, relatively-speaking (no major premieres, at least), which makes for an eclectic Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, where talk of the Dowager Countess of "Downton Abbey" rubs up against discussion of boxing trainer Freddie Roach, Ann Perkins' love life, pilot season, and, of course, new podcast mainstay Jeremy Lin (but only kinda-sorta).

The line-up: 

"Downton Abbey" (00:01:30 - 00:21:00)
"On Freddie Roach" (00:21:00 - 00:29:30)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:29:30 - 00:44:10)
Listener Mail - Pilots (00:45:55 - 00:59:10)
Listen Mail - Linsanity and Asian Representations (00:59:10 - 01:07:00)
Listener Mail - Critically acclaimed shows we don't acclaim (01:07:00 - 01:13:45)
Listener Mail - The Ann Perkins Problem (01:13:50 - 01:18:40)
Listener Mail - FOX's truncated schedule (01:18:50 - 01:22:25)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
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<p>B&eacute;r&eacute;nice Bejo and Jean Dujardin on the set of &quot;The Artist&quot;</p>

Bérénice Bejo and Jean Dujardin on the set of "The Artist"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Off the Carpet: We won't get another hero

Oscar season heads into the home stretch with no real surprises in sight

Ballots are due tomorrow. The great settling has occurred. And now is the time of year when people bored with the proceedings scratch and claw for an alternative.

There isn't one. Despite a grand showing for "The Descendants" in the final stretch, it's not the one to pull the carpet out from under "The Artist." Despite "The Help" having a considerable amount of support throughout the Academy, it's not the one. And somehow, "Hugo" isn't the one, either, despite considerable spending in phase two (though the two nomination leaders spent quite a bit separately). There is no savior.

In a column today, Sasha Stone tries to make the case that more time would have mattered. It wouldn't have. If anything, a number of members are still (believe it or not) DISCOVERING "The Artist." When Stone writes that "no one seems to want 'The Artist' to win,'" she is, I think, responding to the echo-chamber that is movie punditry.

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<p>Bruce Springsteen at the 2012 Grammy Awards</p>

Bruce Springsteen at the 2012 Grammy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Bruce Springsteen debuting new song a day, starting with 'Easy Money'

'Wrecking Ball' getting a premiere, track by track

Bruce Springsteen will let fans hear his new album in its entirety prior to release, with one new track debuting a day now until March 6, when the "Wrecking Ball" drops.

Today starts this sequenced chain of daily events, with "Easy Money" over on Backstreets.com. Rolling Stone gets dibs on "Shackled and Drawn" tomorrow. An incomplete schedule is below and, lest you forget, album opener "We Take Care of Our Own" has already manifested in stream and music video form.

"Easy Money" is an Americana-tinged stomper, swimming in choral and gang vocals, driven by a stomp-and-clap rhythm section and laced with fiddles. It's actually pretty, well, easy.

Here are the Boss' current tour dates, starting on March 18.

    •    Today: "Easy Money" on Backstreets.com
    •    Tuesday, Feb. 21: "Shackled and Drawn" at Rollingstone.com
    •    Wednesday, Feb 22: "Jack of All Trades"
    •    Thursday, Feb. 23: "Death to My Hometown"
    •    Friday, Feb. 24: "This Depression"
    •    Monday, Feb. 27: "Wrecking Ball"
    •    Tuesday, Feb. 28: "You've Got It"
    •    Wednesday, Feb. 29: "Rocky Ground"
    •    Thursday, March 1: "Land of Hope and Dreams"
    •    Friday, March 2: "We Are Alive"
 

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<p>Blur</p>

Blur

Listen: Blur performs new song 'Under the West Way' live

More news that another album's on the way: We told you so

Blur made a charity concert appearance this weekend, but ended up giving even more to fans all over the world.

In a video clip posted from the War Child benefit show at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn are seen performing a brand new song, titled "Under the West Way," with the former on acoustic guitar and the latter on piano. The slow-burner is a little theatric though instrumentally understated. And it is very, very Blur.

And do your best to ignore the show-goer who is practicing his whistle: wrong time, dude.

The band may play "West Way" or maybe even more new material tomorrow night (Feb. 21) during the Brit Awards. The last recording they dropped was in 2010, for Record Store Day, but their last album was 2003's "Think Tank." And, as previously reported, Coxon said that there is definitely another Blur album in the works, on the heels of their 2009 live reunion.

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