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<p>Fiona Apple</p>

Fiona Apple

Credit: Facebook

Fiona Apple confirms SXSW festival gig: What can we expect?

New Apple album on the way in 2012, so is this a way to introduce it?

Fiona Apple hasn't done many high-profile gigs in the last five years, but the Los Angeles-based songwriter is stepping out this spring at South By Southwest. The 34-year-old has been confirmed for Pitchfork's SXSW showcase at the Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas on March 15.

The space holds around 400 people, reserved only for badgeholders during the music conference -- that's not a lot of people to witness what may be Apple's first new songs since 2005's "Extraordinary Machine."

Epic's LA Reed Tweeted earlier this year that fans could expect her next album in a "few weeks," causing a spokesperson to reel that claim in. “It’ll absolutely be this year,” said the spokeswoman. "But timing wise, I don’t know exactly when.”

Every year breeds talk that it will be the year Apple releases new music, but even Apple herself mentioned that an album was finished -- and has been finished for more than a year. During a rare appearance at Largo in L.A. with frequent collaborator Jon Brion, Apple declined singing any of her new songs. "I can't remember [how to play] any of my new songs because they've been done for a f*cking year."

Apple has sung jazz and traditional tunes live in years after she was finished touring off of "Machines," and contributed some help to new recordings like the Buddy Holly cover "Everyday" for 2011's "Rave On Buddy Holly" tribute comp and "Hey Big Dog" on Margaret Cho's 2010 comedy album "Cho Independent."

SXSW may be Apple's larger-scale introduction to her new music.

Are you ready to have her back?

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<p>Jack White and Ruby Amanfu in &quot;Love Interruption&quot;</p>

Jack White and Ruby Amanfu in "Love Interruption"

Credit: Third Man Records

Watch: Jack White has a 'Love Interruption' with blue-hued music video

Former White Stripes frontman set solo dates in conjunction with 'Blunderbuss'

Nothing says Valentine's Day like the line "I want love / to murder my own mother."

Jack White has released the accompanying music video to his single "Love Interruption," and you can be assured by his baller status because he surrounds himself with beautiful women. Duetting singer Ruby Amanfu, singer-songwriter Brooke Waggoner on wurlitzer and classical performer Emily Bowland on bass clarinet round out the band on this sparse track, their beehives cast into the blue, blue air of the clip.

OH! And there's a dog. There's a widdle wuv for you. White directed the clip himself.

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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' - 'Reunion Pt. 3'

It's Kim's turn on the reunion that seemingly will never end

We have finally reached the end of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" three-part reunion, which feels a bit like having gotten through a particularly tedious government studies class or a "Nightline" marathon. But the good news is that we finally get to see Kim post-rehab, Dana (before she's shuffled off into the reality TV sunset, I'm sure) and all the many men of the show (all three of them). And really, isn't that enough?

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Watch: Train takes classic cars in sweet video for 'Drive By'

Watch: Train takes classic cars in sweet video for 'Drive By'

It's hard to do a 'Drive By' in a locomotive

Train’s Patrick Monahan likes his lady, his wine and his classic car and not necessarily in this order.

In the video for the jaunty “Drive By,” he’s done his woman wrong and has to figure out a way to get back into her good graces. He’s got a lot going for him (besides being a rock star): he’s got a 1967 Pontiac Firebird and lots of friends who also can caravan with him in their classic cars  (remember, the song is called “Drive By”) from San Francisco to Sonoma.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Ethan McCord in a still from James Spione's 'Incident in New Baghdad.'</p>

Ethan McCord in a still from James Spione's 'Incident in New Baghdad.'

Credit: ShortsHD/Magnolia Pictures

Oscar-nominated short ‘Incident in New Baghdad’ inspires death threats

The veteran who serves as the film's central subject has come under attack

Director James Spione’s Oscar-nominated short documentary “Incident in New Baghdad” focuses on one of the Iraq War’s most controversial events. On July 12, 2007, two Apache helicopters opened fire on a group of people in Baghdad, killing two Reuters journalists and a number of other unarmed civilians. Nearly three years later, in April of 2010, WikiLeaks released classified footage of the incident from a gunsight camera, turning the eyes of the world toward what became known as the “Collateral Murder” video.

One of the first infantry soldiers to reach the scene on the ground, Ethan McCord, also became the only veteran willing to speak publicly about the events of that day. McCord saved two children who were caught in the fire and later became an outspoken supporter of the anti-war movement, as well as the primary subject of Spione’s documentary short. You can take a look at a clip of McCord’s description of the killings in an excerpt from the film here and, if you so choose, the actual “Collateral Murder” video here.

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The Costa Concordia

 The Costa Concordia

Credit: Discovery Channel

Watch: Chaos breaks out in 'Cruise Ship Disaster: Inside the Concordia'

Survivors' footage drives the special about the recent maritime disaster

If it all seemed a bit like the sinking of the Titanic when it was happening, the capsizing of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy is now revealed to be, at least through survivors' footage, possibly just as scary. In "Cruise Ship Disaster: Inside the Concordia" (world premiere special airs Sun. Feb. 19 at 10 p.m. on Discovery), exclusive footage shows Captain Francsesco Schettino speaking by phone on the bridge, seemingly oblivious to the emergency situation unraveling for his 4,200 passengers and crew. An officer is heard shouting, "What shall we do?" while someone else cries "General emergency!" and yet the order to abandon ship still isn't given. Instead, Schettino is heard asking for "tug boats." Hard to believe? Watch a snippet of the special below. 

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<p>Bradley Cooper</p>

Bradley Cooper

Credit: AP Photo

'Hangover' star Bradley Cooper will present at the Oscars

Actor will soon be seen in 'The Words' and 'The Silver Linings Playbook'

Bradley Cooper will get over his "Hangover" on Oscar night by acting as a presenter at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony,

He'll be in good company, joining such previously announced Oscar presenters as Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Milla Jovovich, Emma Stone and Jennifer Lopez.

The hilarious cast of "Bridesmaids," including Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne and Wendy McLendon-Covey, will also present together. The telecast produced Brian Grazer and Don Mischer.

Besides the two “Hangover” films, Cooper has recently been seen in “Limitless,” and “Valentine’s Day.” He'll next appear in the Sundance competitor “The Words," “The Place Beyond the Pines, "Serena” and David O. Russell's  “The Silver Linings Playbook.”

The Academy Awards will air live Sunday, February 26 from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

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<p>A scene from the Oscar-nominated short &quot;Pentecost.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

A scene from the Oscar-nominated short "Pentecost." 

Credit: ShortsHD/Magnolia Pictures

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Short Film (Live Action)

'Pentecost,' 'Raju,' 'The Shore,' 'Time Freak' and 'Tuba Atlantic' 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.)

Quick, what do Walt Disney, Jean-Claude Carrière, Taylor Hackford, Christine Lahti, Andrea Arnold, Martin McDonagh and that bloke who directed “The Devil Wears Prada” all have in common? If you wouldn’t have needed the headline of this post to tell you that they all won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, then you are a sage and dedicated Oscar scholar. If you didn’t know that, however, you might now realize that the winner of this humble award, used by many a viewer as a bathroom break opportunity, is often a name worth filing for future reference.

Whether any of this year’s nominees in the category have quite such bright futures ahead of them is open to question – well, except in the case of Terry George, twice Oscar-nominated in the past for feature film work. For my money, it’s a below-par field this year, with one clear standout – I hope the Academy agrees, and not just because I want to repeat my 3-for-3 prediction tally in the short races. If you fancy making your own educated guess, the films are currently in selected theaters, courtesy of Shorts International.

The nominees are... 

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<p>Belly boy: PiL in the studio in July 2011</p>

Belly boy: PiL in the studio in July 2011

Listen to Public Image Ltd.'s first song in two decades: 'One Drop'

EP due in April, full-length in May or June

"I am no vulture, this is my culture," John Lydon warns -- or is it a declaration?

Whatever he's portraying, it's in Public Image Ltd.'s first new song in 20 years, off their first studio effort since 1992's "That What Is Not." Defiant "One Drop" utilizes reggae rhythms and layers upon layers of guitars and processed noise, all with the former Sex Pistol's penchant vibrato and prrroper brrrah-brrrahing consonant rolls.

The chorus reminds me a little of LCD Soundsystem's "One Touch" -- one drop, after all, is rarely ever enough."We are the ageless, we are teenagers," he sing-says, the vocals mixed way up front. It's got a lot of character, though Lydon's certainly no teenager and the wear on his voice shows.

The song is from a new vinyl-only EP 'One Drop' out on April 21 for Record Store Day. It precedes PiL's first full-length in two decades, "This Is PiL," due in May or June.

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<p>A scene from&nbsp;Steve McQueen's &quot;Shame&quot;</p>

A scene from Steve McQueen's "Shame"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

The top 10 shots of 2011: part one

Celebrating the year in individual film images

They're heeeeeeerrrrreeeeee. That's right, the images have been assembled, the conversations have been had and the top 10 shots of 2011 are ready for their close-up (or over the shoulder, or two-shot, or insert, etc.).

It's become a bit of a tradition to note in this space that the year in cinematography wasn't particularly compelling on the whole. The 2007 season that first inspired the idea behind this piece (now entering its fifth year) really was an exceptional year for the individual film image.

However, while a year abundant in obvious visual takeaways would make writing this up quite a bit easier, I've grown to appreciate the digging and re-considering a lack-luster year requires. It's forced me to appreciate the images all the more.

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<p>Nicki MInaj at the 2012 Grammys</p>

Nicki MInaj at the 2012 Grammys

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Nicki Minaj's 'Starships' is headed straight into the stratosphere

She leaves the Grammy debacle far behind

Oh Nicki, all is forgiven. After we had to scrub our eyeballs following your truly  bizarre (and not in a good way) performance of “Roman Holiday” on Sunday night’s Grammys, you’ve now given us the perfect anecdote: a club-ready smash that is also destined for the top of the pop charts. It's good enough to even get the Catholic Church off your back after the other night... well maybe not.

“Starships” is an instantly catchy tune that combines rapping, singing, pop, electro-clash and only enough auto-tuning to still sound like it was recorded by a human. It’s put together as if constructed in Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, but, by God, it works. It’s as if LMFAO, Taio Cruz, and Minaj had a baby and this is what popped out.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Scott Rudin added a Grammy to his mantel on Sunday, joining the select group of individuals to have won all four major showbiz awards.</p>

Scott Rudin added a Grammy to his mantel on Sunday, joining the select group of individuals to have won all four major showbiz awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Amy Sancetta

Round-up: Scott Rudin joins the EGOT club

Also: Betting against 'A Separation,' and some Streep family history

The showbiz-geek fascination with the holy grail of the EGOT – that is, an individual who wins Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards over the course of their career – is something I don’t entirely share in, largely because because at least one of the wins always comes with some kind of diminutive asterisk. (Seriously, should spoken-word Grammys even count? Call me when someone wins a Best Actress Oscar, Album of the Year and the Nobel Peace Prize. In a single year.) Still, I’d never have guessed that the first new member of the club in over 10 years, joining the likes of Whoopi Goldberg and Audrey Hepburn, would be super-producer Scott Rudin: he made the list on Sunday by sharing “The Book of Mormon”’s Grammy for best musical-theater album. At least the man behind “Extremely Loud” and “Dragon Tattoo” has won something this season. [Carpetbagger

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