Latest Blog Posts

<p>Jason Mraz</p>

Jason Mraz

Album Review: Jason Mraz's 'Love is a Four Letter Word'

The 'I'm Yours' gets all 'we are the world' on new set

We’ll have whatever Jason Mraz is smoking, please. On “Love Is A Four Letter Word,” out today, Mraz is at his hippie-dippiest, peace-loving, live-in-the-now best. If you thought he was mellow before, just wait until you check out the new material. Throughout the album’s 12 songs, he explores love in all its forms and it’s safe to say, he’s for it.

In these troubled times, Mraz is here to tell us that everything is just as it should be, right here and right now. It’s Up With People set to a slight reggae beat. If such affirmations were used sparingly, it would be fine, but “Love” drowns in them so aggressively that it feels like the album should come complete with rainbows, unicorns, fluffy puppies, and tweeting love birds.

Read Full Post
Listen: A$AP Rocky's 'Goldie' shines
Credit: RCA

Listen: A$AP Rocky's 'Goldie' shines

Produced by 'N*ggas in Paris' hitmaker Hit-Boy

A$AP Rocky wasn't on our Hip-Hop's New Class list for nothing. The general behind-the-beat swagger of the rapper's new "Goldie" is no "understatement," aided by the big beat of Hit-Boy.

For those playing at home, that producer was the same hitmaker behind Lil Wayne and Eminem's "Drop the World and Kanye West and Jay-Z's "N*ggas in Paris," and is a firm associate of Ye's G.O.O.D. Music label. (Perhaps he'll be contributing to that forthcoming compilation?)

"Goldie" is off of A$AP's forthcoming RCA debut "LongLiveA$AP," out in July, not to be confused with recently re-released mixtape "LiveLoveA$AP." The track features an easy beat and Rocky dropping his vocals an octave for the refrain, a la Tyler's Golf Wang Goblin growl. No zingers stand out more than others, though I could swear there's a Naked And Famous name-drop in there and I could definitely do without the "ch*nk eyes" reference. However, his voice fits in a perfect mix range, where the rhymes rattle off like a drum. He's got a good grip on Hit-Boy's particular brand. Hopefully there will be another pairing in the future.

 

Read Full Post
<p>Chris Hemsworth in &quot;The Cabin in the Woods.&quot;</p>

Chris Hemsworth in "The Cabin in the Woods."

Credit: Lionsgate

On 'Cabin in the Woods,' 'Prometheus' and spoilerphobia

Are we too concerned about knowing too much?

"I hope you die." "Were you bullied as a child?" "Go fuck yourself." "Learn how to write." "You're a haemorrhoid." "How do you still have a job?"

Any film critic even passingly acquainted with the internet must by now have got used to the idea of being reviewed themselves. Twitter, blog culture and the decidedly mixed blessing of commenting facilities have made it easier than ever for disgruntled readers to let critics know precisely how much they disagree with them, and in some more simple-minded cases, how inept this difference in opinion makes them. Some may say professional criticism is an increasingly irrelevant art, yet the critic-reader dialogue has never been so active.

Even in this climate, however, the comments above -- culled from reader responses to a single review last week, some of them corrected for spelling and grammar -- are exceptional in their biliousness. These are not the standard dull-witted complaints from movie fans struggling with the concept of objectivity; in many cases, they're from readers who haven't yet watched the film in question. These are the complaints of viewers, or potential ones, who somehow feel that their filmgoing experience has been violated. The film is Drew Goddard's acclaimed po-mo horror flick "The Cabin in the Woods," the critic Mark Olsen of The Village Voice. The crime: a spoiler.

Read Full Post
<p>Metallica</p>

Metallica

Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young & Crazy Horse headlining Outside Lands

Jack White, Foo Fighters, Beck, Skrillex... so many dudes

Outside Lands has confirmed its major lineup announcement, with Stevie Wonder, Metallica, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Jack White leading the way for the weekend music and food festival.

The San Francisco event runs Aug. 10-12 in Golden Gate Park. Tickets go up via the Outside Lands website on Thursday (April 19) at noon PST and, judging from years past, get 'em quick: it will likely sell out, particularly with a few factors in mind...

First, Metallica's from there, folks, and have no other U.S. tour dates on slate this year except for June 23-24 at their own Orion Music + More Festival in Atlantic City, N.J. Furthermore, the Metallica 3-D movie is slated to start shooting in August, and you can bet there will be footage taken at this Outside Lands gig. If you're a fan, fight to the front.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse are releasing their first new album in 15 years ("Americana") on June 5, but the band's status in rock annuls was marked by their electric live concerts. The collaborative group has only played one show this year, and this gig is only their second announced.

Stevie Wonder -- for all anybody cares -- can just continue being Stevie Wonder as his marquee moment this year.

Jack White seems to be sticking largely to festival bookings to support his solo album; Beck already signalled a return to the stage with his headlining gigs at the Governor's Ball in New York and Sasquatch! in Washington state; and, yesterday, we explained that the Foo Fighters were plotting to record new material later this year, in addition to promoting Dave Grohl's "Sound City" documentary.

Read Full Post
<p>Owl City's Adam Young</p>

Owl City's Adam Young

EXCLUSIVE first listen: Owl City combines with Mark Hoppus for new track 'Dementia'

Blink-182 singer and electro-pop star are a perfect combo

Well, look what just flew onto my desk. A brand new Owl City song "Dementia" has surfaced, signalling the way for a fresh album from the electro-pop star.

And it appears that Adam Young has made some more famous new friends. Mark Hoppus -- singer for Blink-182 and +44 -- helps out on vocal duties for this high-energy track. I can't tell if Hoppus also had a hand in producing this sure-fire radio hit, but he has helmed for acts like Motion City Soundtrack, Fall Out Boy and New Found Glory. So this particular combo is just slightly out of each artist's usual arena, with Owl City branching out into a much more rock-reliant sound.

Read Full Post
<p>What is Chris Evans laughing at?&nbsp; I'll give you a hint... you wouldn't like him when he's angry.</p>

What is Chris Evans laughing at?  I'll give you a hint... you wouldn't like him when he's angry.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans assemble for 'Avengers' interview

What power reduces Captain America and Thor to tears of laughter?

A year from now, when you look at me and I'm 60 to 70 pounds lighter than I am right now, you can trace that decision back to the moment I was sitting across from Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans and felt like the most horrifying specimen of manhood of all time.

Look, I get it… these guys are paid to be superheroes.  But nothing will make you question the genetic lottery more than a full day spent talking to the actual physical embodiments of Thor and Captain America.  It would be easier to take if I could report back that they are terrible people, rude and abrasive and totally hung up on the whole movie star thing… only that wouldn't be true.  In actuality, everyone in the cast seems to be really centered and smart and grateful for what they're doing these days.

Hemsworth has come a long way in a few short years, and it's funny to look at him in "Cabin In The Woods," before he had any idea he was going to suit up as the God of Thunder, while Evans seems to have completely left behind any thoughts of the "Fantastic Four" films he was in, embodying a totally different personality as Steve Rogers.

Read Full Post
<p>Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in "Skyfall."

Credit: Sony Pictures

James Bond and Silva have an explosive moment on the set of 'Skyfall'

Chris Corbould says it's the best Bond script he's ever read

LONDON - On a rainy Tuesday afternoon, about 30 international journalists and 15 or so other visitors to the set of "Skyfall" sat on the famed 007 sound stages at Pinewood Studios in London in front of a large monitor.  We were about to see a massive "event" happen during a live scene being filmed for Sam Mendes' new James Bond flick.  Our earplugs were in place and we were ready to be wowed.

And we waited.

And we waited.

In fact, we all waited for a good 90 minutes.  Quietly, like a congregation in a cathedral paining for something exciting to happen.  Would it be worth it in the long run?

Read Full Post
The Voice Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera shakes things up on 'The Voice'

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' quarterfinals - Team Blake and Team Christina

Two surprise eliminations close the night

The coaches are down to four contestants apiece, and favorites have started to emerge.

Odds are good that coaches' darling Jesse and darkhorse Lindsey will advance on Team Christina (though I'm still partial to teen rocker Ashley). While Team Blake offers more suspense, though I would guess RaeLynn and either Erin or Jordis are the most likely to move forward this week.

But tonight Christina and Blake each get their own chance to alter the competition: They both have to eliminate one contestant before voting even opens.

Oh, I love it when they force the coaches to be mean! And I'm sincerely glad these decisions aren't left entirely up to America...

Read Full Post
<p>Ted puts on a green dress to help out Barney on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Ted puts on a green dress to help out Barney on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Now We're Even': Canadian chopper

Ted puts on a dress, Lily has a dream and Robin gets famous

A review of tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as my face turns vermillion...

Read Full Post
From L-R: Kiss, The Monkees, Heart
From L-R: Kiss, The Monkees, Heart

The next 10 acts who should go into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Let the debate begin: Kiss, Rush, and Chic top the list

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2012 over the weekend amid a slew of no shows and controversy, once again, over acts that have not been invited to join the Cleveland edifice.

Here are the 10 acts that should be the next to get in. The Hall only inducts five performers at a time so we know they aren’t all going in in 2013, but all are eligible. Some of them have been on the ballot before and been denied, others, like Kiss, like to shout it, shout it out loud, that they have been wronged over and over.

Read Full Post
<p>Mmmmmmm... popcorn.</p>

Mmmmmmm... popcorn.

Credit: Wikipedia

One Thing I Love Today: Commander Future returns to Popcorn Fiction

Excuse me while I indulge in a little self-promotion

I have had a deep attraction to pulp fiction for most of my life, and in some ways, I wish I'd been able to work in an earlier era, where an author could develop a character and there were dozens of places where you could publish an ongoing series.  I envy guys like Lester Dent and Robert E. Howard because there was a market for the kind of work they did, one that I would argue doesn't really exist in the same way today.

However, I've been exceptionally lucky in the last year or so, because I was able to connect with Derek Haas and Popcorn Fiction, and I've been offered a home for my own pulp hero, Commander Future.  This morning, we published the third story about his adventures as chronicled by Peter Underhill, and it's my favorite of the series so far.

More than that, though, I'm just honored to be part of the Popcorn Fiction family.  Haas has been picking stories every week for a few years now, and he's proven to have great taste and a broad definition of what belongs on the site.  A few weeks ago, Film School Rejects editor/writer Cole Abaius published a story on the site under his alternate identity, Scott Beggs, but Haas has included a wide range of voices on the site.  Guys like Rian Johnson, Charlie Huston, Mark Wheaton, Eric Heisserer, Patton Oswalt, Larry Doyle, and Eric Red have all published stories on the site, and Haas has started to develop a stable of regular authors who contribute to the site.  I'm particularly taken with the work that Les Bohem has contributed.  Just knowing that I've shared an outlet with Lawrence Block is enough to make me feel like this is a milestone, something I should cherish.

Read Full Post
<p>Dave Grohl</p>

Dave Grohl

Credit: AP Photo

Nirvana today: Dave Grohl records with Krist Novoselic, plus... Kurt Cobain solo album

Hole reunites, weirdly; Courtney Love apologizes over asinine rumor-mongering

This past week, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Butch Vig, Hole, Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson and a whole swirl of Nirvana characters past ahve banded together in a milky way of news. 

First, Dave Grohl is reportedly in the studio with former Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic and "Nevermind" producer Butch Vig. Or so says Vig.

"The last 24 hours have been surreal! Had a great gig at the El Rey last night, and spent today recording with Dave, Krist and special guest!" Vig Tweeted late last week.

No more has been said about the "special guest," but here's some context: Grohl's forthcoming documentary "Sound City" is still filming, and promises some unique collaborations. Thus, replied the Sound City Twitter account to the legendary producer, "always a pleasure @butchvig." It appears the recording session will go in the film, which still awaits a release date.

The reunion of Grohl, Novoselic and Vig isn't totally new: the three came together for the Foo Fighters' last "Wasting Light" album last year, with the bassist guesting on the set. The Foos have said that they are planning to record a new album starting later this year.

On a related note, it seems that late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain had planned a solo album. Or so says Eric Erlandson.

The guitarist performed with Cobain's wife Courtney Love in Hole and was a longtime friend of the Nirvana singer. Erlander is currently promoting his newly released book "Letters to Kurt" and told Fuse that Cobain was writing new material for what could have been his solo debut.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME