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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Housewives of Beverly Hills' - 'Night of A Thousand Surprises'

It's total chaos at Lisa's opening of Sur

 

Oh joy, it's time for Lisa's big opening of Sur. After months of demo work, painting and polishing, what better way to show off this lovely new space than a private party? Yeah, and the gods laughed hard at that one. Let's just say that if Pandora's wedding is even half as eventful, she might want to think about scrapping the whole thing and getting hitched at a drive-thru wedding chapel in Vegas. I'm fairly sure we will never see a gray hair on Lisa's head, but this evening would have turned most people's hair pure white. 

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"The Bachelor"

 "The Bachelor"

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'The Bachelor' gets a late arrival - and the girls freak out

When one of Brad's rejects arrives, all hell breaks loose - and one girl faints

It's off to San Francisco for the final 16 girls, which is sure to end in either a nervous breakdown in the City by the Bay or, possibly, someone jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Given how cray-cray this season has been thus far, I just can't rule it out.

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<p>Sarah Jones and Sam Neill in &quot;Alcatraz.&quot;</p>

Sarah Jones and Sam Neill in "Alcatraz."

Credit: FOX

'Alcatraz' - 'Pilot/Ernest Cobb': We have to go back!

What did everybody think of FOX's new J.J. Abrams drama?

I posted my review of FOX's "Alcatraz" this morning. Now it's your turn. On the J.J. Abrams continuum (whether or not you want to include non-sci-fi stuff like "Felicity" and/or stuff he was only tangentially involved in like "Six Degrees" and "What About Brian?"), where does this rank? Were you engaged by the two cases investigated by the team? Happy to see Jorge Garcia playing such a Hurley-esque character? Is Sarah Jones a compelling lead? Did the final moment of the second episode excite you or make you shrug? 

Have at it. As I said in the review, I imagine I'll check back later in the season to see if it's gotten any less formulaic.

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<p>Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig may have been all smiles at this press event in November, but in 'Skyfall,' the two will be pitted against each other.</p>

Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig may have been all smiles at this press event in November, but in 'Skyfall,' the two will be pitted against each other.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

'Skyfall' gets an official synopsis on the day James Bond turns 50

We begin a year-long look back at the biggest action series of all time

Fifty years ago today, Terence Young stood on a set in Jamaica and rolled film for the very first time on a feature film about Ian Fleming's creation, James Bond.  It was the scene where Bond arrives at the Kingston airport and tries to avoid being photographed.  It was a significant day at the end of a long search for the right man to play the part and even though Ian Fleming wasn't convinced at first, Sean Connery not only turned out to be a nascent movie star, but he made Bond an icon that endures even now.

Fifty years later, EON Productions and Sony are in production on the latest film in the series, with Daniel Craig playing Bond for the third time.  And today, Sony Pictures released a terse but interesting summary of what we can expect when "Skyfall" opens later in the year.

I've been a Bond fan since my first exposure to the character.  I was seven years old when my dad took me to see "The Spy Who Loved Me" in the theater, and it was love at first sight.  Sure, part of the kick was the idea that my dad was taking me to see a "grown-up" movie with him, just the two of us.  And part of it was because I could tell how important the character was to him.  Mostly, though, the whole thing was just so damn cool.

After all, he had a car that turned into a submarine.  When you're seven, that's the most insanely mind-blowing idea possible.

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<p>Could home support push &quot;My Week With Marilyn&quot; into BAFTA's Best Film category?</p>

Could home support push "My Week With Marilyn" into BAFTA's Best Film category?

Credit: The Weinstein Company

BAFTA nominations on the way

British Academy's picks to land at 11.40 PST

I'm not bothering to predict the BAFTA nominations this year because 1) the longlists largely take the guesswork out of that for us; 2) no voting group that thinks "Midnight in Paris" had better visual effects than "The Tree of Life" deserves too much of our time and attention; and 3) I mean, seriously. But anyway, they're a few hours away -- a breakfast-time announcement for the Brits, a pre-midnight one for Hollywood -- and if you have any last-minute thoughts, hopes or projections about the British Academy's selections, here's the place for them.

One thing we can be certain of: after struggling to gain traction on the US precursor circuit, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," which jointly led the longlists with 16 mentions, will finally receive a warm embrace here. The combination of literary cache, old-and-new-school British acting elite and spectacular box-office should set it up as the chief BAFTA rival to all-purpose frontrunner "The Artist," which can also expect a bucketload of nominations.

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<p>Craig Finn</p>

Craig Finn

Credit: Jeremy Balderson

Interview: Craig Finn's 'intimate' on solo album as Hold Steady starts new set

Listen: 'Clear Heart Full Eyes' title inspired by 'Friday Night Lights' -- game on?

“Going solo” can be a pretty loaded term. Sometimes it points to loneliness, or alienation. Sometimes it’s a breaking-free, an inner-wildness. For Craig Finn, the tendency is simply one of being “alone and separate,” a “highway” individualism. 

“In a touring band like [the Hold Steady], there’s two types of people. There’s the kind who spends all their time around people. And then I’m the guy walking on the side of the highway in my down time, with people yelling out of their cars at me.”
 
The Hold Steady singer endeavored to write his solo debut “Clear Heart Full Eyes” in a similar, confrontational and unfussy way.
 
When his band finished yet another touring hike in 2010, he found himself at the young end of 2011 wanting to “entertain myself,” using what he described as his own “limited” guitar talents and “build up a song form a simple thing. And that’s what I had -- a very simple thing,” he told me in our recent interview.
 
He wrote the songs at hoome in Brooklyn and took them down to Texas, to work with Spoon producer Mike McCarthy.
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<p>Jeff Tweedy</p>

Jeff Tweedy

Wilco takes a year off from Solid Sound Festival, vows 2013 return

Band cites launch of new label and touring for hiatus

Wilco will return with its Solid Sound Festival in 2013 after taking this year off.

The group announced the hiatus on its website, but added that the band will play a summer concert to benefit MASS MoCA, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Mass.

Solid Sound Festival 3 will take place June 21-23, 2013 at MASS MoCa.

Wilco introduced the Solid Sound Festival in 2010, with the first event featuring the band as well as such acts as Mavis Staples, The Autumn Defense , The Nels Cline Singers and Kristen Schaal.

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Song Of The Day: Deftones and Far members combine for ††† “Prurien†”

Song Of The Day: Deftones and Far members combine for ††† “Prurien†”

They got you so excited...

Deftones have always had a flare for melodrama, which is part of the reason I've love them, will defend "White Pony" 'til doom, what-have-you.

So, as I previously reported, Deftones' Chino Moreno is lending his talents to new side project †††  -- or, for those who don't know the keyboard shortcut, Crosses -- formed with guitarist Shaun Lopez. And now there's another song to show for the pairing. 

“Prurien†” very well could be a Killers song, with Brandon Flowers off gambling somewhere. A good one. It pulses with a thousand (sampled) voices rising. Appropriate, as he sings: "They got you so excited / you wanna climb in / taste the / violence."

It's got a lot of percussion dabbling around the high end, and a crescendo that'll have you tuning up your air guitar. It's short, or at least feels that way.

The track is from "EP ††," which is from -- you guessed it! -- Crosses' second EP. It's out Jan. 24.

Here are Crosses' first-ever tour dates:

1/31 – Pomona, CA at The Glasshouse
2/01 – San Diego, CA at The Casbah
2/03 – Sacramento, CA at Ace Of Spades
2/04 – San Francisco, CA at Slim’s
3/31-04/01 – Santiago, CL at Lollapalooza Chile
4/03-04 – Buenos Aires, AR @ Quilmes Rock

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<p>Madonna at the Golden Globes</p>

Madonna at the Golden Globes

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Madonna reveals details on new album's 'light and dark' sides

Plus: Sniping from and at Elton John

Madonna revealed more details about “M.D.N.A.” last night at the Golden Globes, in between swipes at Elton John and talking about her win for “Masterpiece” from “W.E.”

As we’ve previously reported, French producer Martin Solveig produced the majority of the album, out in March. “I love his sound. It’s really fresh, doesn’t sound like anybody else’s,” Madge said backstage. “I would say his music is happy. It puts a smile on your face.”

[More after the jump...]

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Listen: Sleigh Bells signals single with 'Comeback Kid'
Credit: Mom + Pop

Listen: Sleigh Bells signals single with 'Comeback Kid'

Is this the mainstream bow they've been waiting for?

What I originally like about Sleigh Bells is that they sound like, at any moment, the whole thing can become unhingled. Engine and body parts alike will go flying everywhere. Every song is played at 11.

The duo's proper first single from "Reign in Terror?" Comparatively, it's like a 7. The crew already released "Born to Lose," which I think is a lot weirder and edgier than this keyboard-assisted, pretty number.

Part of this is the soft refrain and post-chorus, softening the blow on that double-bass-pedal sound. It's pouring sugar on saccharine, which is Alexis Krauss' cheerleader coo. There's nothing too "off" about the mix...

Which is why this might be the kind of single the band to push it further into mainstream consciousness. Like some of their other songs, I can imagine this playing behind a commercial for a car with a lot of horsepower but also for a computer that computes at very fast speeds. CoverGirl need not apply.

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<p>&quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;creator Matthew Weiner hugging star Elisabeth Moss at AMC's party at the Television Critics Association press tour.</p>

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner hugging star Elisabeth Moss at AMC's party at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Credit: AP

Interview: 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner previews season 5

It's 'every man for himself' when Don Draper and friends return on March 25
PASADENA - "Mad Men" will return on Sunday, March 25 with a two-hour episode that the show's creator Matthew Weiner called a "movie." Parts of it are structured like two episodes that will air on the same night, but both hours were directed by "The Suitcase" director Jennifer Getzinger, and Weiner tried to outline it so it would work as one big piece.
 
That's a splashy return for a show that's been off the air since October of 2010, and to get the press ready, AMC brought Weiner and virtually the entire "Mad Men" cast (from Jon Hamm on down to Jay R. Ferguson, who plays sexist art director Stan Rizzo) to press tour Saturday night for a meet-and-greet cocktail party. As always, the actors were on lockdown about what they could say about the new season (Christina Hendricks flinched at the notion of even hinting about what Joan's maternal side is like), so I eventually went straight to the source and spent a few minutes talking with Weiner and another reporter (whose questions are mixed in with mine) about what season 5 is about in terms of theme, if not plot.
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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 112: Press tour, 'Justified,' 'Touch' & 'Unsupervised'

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 112: Press tour, 'Justified,' 'Touch' & 'Unsupervised'

Dan and Alan also discuss the Golden Globes

The

Press tour is over, but before I left the warmth of California, Dan and I recorded another Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, running down the second half of the tour, reviewing several shows debuting over the next week and a half (the podcast is taking next week off while Dan goes to Sundance), and we even got on Skype later in the evening to talk briefly about a frustrating Golden Globes telecast.

Also, apologies for the various football-related interjections during the podcast. Giants-Packers was on in the background, and I couldn't help myself in a couple of spots.

The line-up: 

Press Tour Week Two (00:00 - 44:35)
"Justified" (44:40 - 51:40)
"Unsupervised" (51:40 - 57:15)
"Touch" (57:20 - 01:06:00)
The Golden Globes (01:06:45 - 01:15:00)
 
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 at sepinwall@hitfix.com and/or dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.
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