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<p>Bon Iver's Justin Vernon</p>

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon

Listen: Bon Iver and The Chieftains on 'Down in the Willow Garden'

Has a murder ballad ever sounded so lovely?

Bon Iver and the Chieftains make death sound beautiful on their remake of the traditional murder ballad “Down In the Willow Garden.”

The song, which appears on the Chieftains’ 50th anniversary album, “Voice of Ages,” spins a tale of a man about to be hanged for poisoning, stabbing and then dumping his lover’s body in the river. It’s been recorded by everyone from Charlie Monroe to the Everly Brothers to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and now it’s the Grammy-nominated  Bon Iver’s turn. His take is haunting and mournful, as a murder ballad should be. It is also unexpectedly lovely, expecially because of the Chieftains’ instrumentation. It's streaming at Pitchfork.

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<p>Gina Carano cleans up nice, but don't forget, gentlemen... she can end you.</p>

Gina Carano cleans up nice, but don't forget, gentlemen... she can end you.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Gina Carano brings the charm as we discuss 'Haywire' and beating on Fassbender

This fighter-turned-actor seems at home discussing her new movie

Gina Carano has charisma to spare, and it's little wonder Soderbergh felt driven to make a film in which he could showcase her.

I'm not a fight fan.  Well, that's only part true.  I don't watch MMA or UFC or really any sort of fighting, but that's because there are only so many hours in any given day, and I have to prioritize about what I do with my time.  I always have more movies to watch.  I always have something to read.  I always have something I could be writing.  I am constantly able to find something that I should be doing, and so the idea of spending a night watching fighting just doesn't fit into the timetable I've got set up.

I do like the actual sport of fighting, though.  I grew up a boxing fan, and I see how boxing has evolved into these other major forms of organized fighting now.  I can see why the audience is drawn to the other forms, and I can see why the stars that have emerged from this world are considered stars.  There is a different level of physical engagement we see from these people, a different level of abuse that they seem willing to subject themselves to, and that's part of the thrill of MMA.  We're impressed by these people because it seems completely deranged to voluntarily step into a ring where someone could beat the holy hell out of you and leave you unconscious with a torn rotator cuff within 45 seconds of starting.  That's not a tornado I want to stick my arm into, thanks, so those who do it and who do it well are definitely to be admired.

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<p>Keith Urban</p>

Keith Urban

Credit: AP Photo

Lady Antebellum and Band Perry join Keith Urban for All for the Hall

Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town and Thompson Square also on April benefit bill

While Taylor Swift is off sticking it to her ex-boyfriends, Keith Urban will be joined by Lady Antebellum, Pistol Annies, The Band Perry and many more for the annual All For The Hall concert, April 10.

The concert, which takes place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, benefits the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Other artists on the bill include Vince Gill, Alabama, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Thompson Square and the Oak Ridge Boys.

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<p>Colin Firth, David Dencik, Toby Jones and John Hurt in &quot;Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.&quot;</p>

Colin Firth, David Dencik, Toby Jones and John Hurt in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."

Credit: Focus Features

Rhapsody in tweed: on the costumes of 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

BAFTA recognized Jacqueline Durran's work this morning, but will the Guild?

As I discussed this morning, the few instances where the BAFTA nominations -- voted on by the collected membership -- part ways with the top five choices of the category's relevant branch don't always reflect very well on the awards' voting system. "The Iron Lady" over "Young Adult" for Best Original Screenplay? "War Horse" over "Drive" for Best Cinematography (and over "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" for Best Visual Effects)? Jim Broadbent over, well, anyone for Best Supporting Actor? I'm unconvinced.

One area, however, where BAFTA at large did well to overrule the chapter vote was in Best Costume Design: where the costumers plumped for the lavish but rote Elizabethan rufflery of "Anonymous," the general voters jumped forward a few centuries to nominate "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" instead. Put it down to a sweep mentality if you like -- the film did score 11 nominations, after all -- but that strikes me as a particularly astute pick nonetheless.

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<p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(45, 45, 45); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px; ">Cedric Bixler-Zavala of</span>&nbsp;The Mars Volta</p>

Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta

Credit: AP Photo/Dave Martin

Can you guess the crazy name of The Mars Volta's latest album?

Band members also keeping busy with recent At the Drive-In reunion

With previous album titles including "De-Loused in the Comatorium," "Amputechture," "The Bedlam in Goliath" and "Octahedron," it's hard to know what The Mars Volta is talking about most of the time. Now a pop quiz, music fans: Which of these is the actual title for The Mars Volta's upcoming sixth album?

1. Sadomastodon
2. The Anti-Corpse Brings Down the Stars
3. Aduequitters
4. Golgothan Bacchanal
5. Noctourniquet

If you chose No. 5, you win a phantom high-five. The prog revivalists have said that "Noctourniquet" is a concept album inspired by such varied sources as the DC Comics villain Solomon Grundy ("...born on a Monday"), 1980s UK alt-rockers The Godfathers, and the ancient Greek hero Hyacinthus. The band's main maestros, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, also produced the album.

The album's release coincides with the recently announced reunion of Bixler-Zavala and Rodriguez-Lopez's previous band, the Texas post-hardcore outfit At the Drive-In, who are back together after an 11-year vacation. That means the Mars Volta boys could be pulling double-duty on the road, or will have to favor one band over the other. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here's a taste of a new song as performed in Helsinki this summer:

The track listing for "Noctourniquet" is as follows:

1. "The Whip Hand"
2. "Aegis"
3. "Dyslexicon"
4. "Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound"
5. "The Malkin Jewel"
6. "Lapochka"
7. "In Absentia"
8. "Imago"
9. "Molochwalker"
10. "Trinkets Pale of Moon"
11. "Vedemalady"
12. "Noctourniquet"
13. "Zed and Two Naughts"

The album will be released March 27. At the Drive-In is scheduled to play the multi-weekend Coachella Festival in Indio, Calif. in April. 

Are you excited for the new record? Or are you more into the At the Drive-In reunion?

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<p>Courteney Cox and the rest of the &quot;Cougar Town&quot;&nbsp;gang finally got some good news today with a premiere date and timeslot.</p>

Courteney Cox and the rest of the "Cougar Town" gang finally got some good news today with a premiere date and timeslot.

Credit: ABC

'Cougar Town' fans get a premiere date for Valentine's Day

Courteney Cox comedy to return Tuesdays at 8:30

When the gang from "Cougar Towncrashed press tour with their own unofficial TCA party to talk about the show and their responsibility to interact with fans, the unspoken assumption among everyone there was that the show would wind up on Tuesdays at 8:30 after "Last Man Standing," replacing "Work It." The only question was when. How long would it take ABC to pull the plug on "Work It," and how many weeks would they feel they needed to promote the "Cougar Town" season 3 premiere?

Well, ABC killed "Work It" last week, and today they announced (via Twitter) that "Cougar Town" will be back on Tuesday, February 14 at 8:30 p.m.

It's not an especially good timeslot, as I don't see a ton of audience crossover between this show and "Last Man," but it's going to be on the air. And at this point, the future of the show is going to have as much to do with ABC's ownership of it (it is, in fact, the only current ABC comedy owned by ABC/Disney).

As mentioned in one of the above-linked posts, I've seen the first five episodes of the season, and they're very good: silly and sweet and warm and drunk in that "Cougar Town" way. And now you get to see 'em. Enjoy.

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<p>Odd Future</p>

Odd Future

Odd Future and Tyler, The Creator schedule new 2012 albums

Mellowhype and the hip-hop crew's Adult Swim show also slated

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All had a big 2011, but 2012's looking even larger-scale. The hip-hop crew is preparing to release their first album on their own Odd Future record label, have a start date on their Adult Swim Cartoon Network show and individual members will blast off, again, with solo efforts.

First up is OFWGKTA's mysteriously titled "OF Tape Vol. 2," with all new music from Tyler, the Creator, Hodgy Beats, Frank Ocean, Leftbrain, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Syd the Kyd and The Internet. It's out on March 20 and is the group's first, real, honest-to-God album release, having spent the best of the last two years putting out mixtapes and singles individually.

After a hefty courting period early last year, Odd Future's choice to put out their own records was obviously fueled by their desire for creative control, corporately; their hell-bent proclivity to offend and their odd live and video behavior could obviously be dampened by a traditional debut album premiere (they're still getting major distro). That being said, there's no tracklist or single listed yet. Perhaps it's all puppy dogs and rainbows from here on out.

The world will know, once the crew hits the road on a 10-date tour in March to support, schedule TBA. Each stop will feature a "pop up store" in each city, in tandem with yet another Odd Future project. "Loiter Squad," Odd Future's live-action Adult Swim show, will bow on March 25, and with that audience and merchandising opportunity, I can only imagine the most creative of swag.

A press release also states that fans of Tyler, The Creator's "Goblins" will soon hear its follow-up. Tyler's next solo effort "Wolf" will drop "later in the Spring." Mellowhype (Hodgy and Left Brain) also have their set "Numbers" out in the summer. Frank Ocean's Def Jam set is in the works.

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<p>Elizabeth Olsen in &quot;Martha Marcy May Marlene,&quot; one Sundance 2011 hit that didn't deliver on its early promise.</p>

Elizabeth Olsen in "Martha Marcy May Marlene," one Sundance 2011 hit that didn't deliver on its early promise.

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Round-up: The underperforming Sundance class of 2011

Also: Luhrmann on 'Gatsby' in 3D, and Elton vs. Madonna

With this year's Sundance Film Festival two days away, Tom Brueggemann observes that very few films in the lineup already have confirmed distribution deals -- and thinks last year's underperforming crop has something to do with it. While many recent breakout hits of previous fests have gone on to sleeper commercial success and/or Oscar glory, last year's Sundance sensations have struggled: even with glowing reviews, despite landing powerful distributors, the likes of "Martha Marcy May Marlene," "Like Crazy" and "Take Shelter" haven't caught fire with audiences or awards voters thus far. As Brueggemann reports it, even the biggest commercial success from last year's group, the Weinsteins' "Our Idiot Brother," was an underperformer. What gives? [Thompson on Hollywood]

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<p>Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in "Justified."

Credit: FX

Review: FX's 'Justified' loads up on bad guys for season 3

Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson join Raylan Givens' rogues gallery
Last season, FX's "Justified" introduced an instant classic villain in Margo Martindale's Mags Bennett, a hillbilly crime lord whose folksy maternal warmth masked a ruthless, indomitable mind. Mags made the show's second season a creative triumph, but she also left some enormous shoes to fill. And with the show's third season, which debuts tonight at 10, "Justified" producer Graham Yost has reasonably decided that the only way to replace Mags is by going with quantity over quality.
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<p>Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling in &quot;Drive.&quot;&nbsp; The film landed four BAFTA Film&nbsp;Awards nominations.</p>

Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling in "Drive."  The film landed four BAFTA Film Awards nominations.

Credit: FilmDistrict

10 surprises from the 2012 BAFTA Film Awards nominations

The Brits love 'Drive,' 'The Help' and 'Bridesmaids'

If there is any yearly awards event that usually reflects this writer's cinematic leanings it would be the BAFTA Film Awards.  In fact, the U.K.'s version of the Academy Awards has had a special place in my heart since they awarded Sigourney Weaver for a best supporting actress honor for the "Ice Storm" in 1998 after the U.S. Academy didn't even nominate her (sigh).  This year's 2012 BAFTA nominations delivered lots of love for "The Artist," "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "The Descendants" and "My Week with Marilyn" as expected, but there were some major surprises as well. Considering there is significant overlap between BAFTA and Academy membership (enough that studio consultants take the nods very seriously), today's nominations may be a sign of some intriguing surprises when the Oscar nods are announced seven days from now.  Let's review, shall we?

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<p>Local favourite &quot;Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy&quot; received 11 BAFTA nominations.</p>

Local favourite "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" received 11 BAFTA nominations.

Credit: Focus Features

'The Artist' and 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' lead BAFTA nominations

'Hugo' snubbed as 'Drive' cracks Best Film lineup

As ever with their nominations announcement, BAFTA giveth, and BAFTA taketh away. Excited to see "Drive" up for Best Film and Best Director? Sure, but in return we have to accept Jim Broadbent nominated, ahead of Albert Brooks, for a career-worst performance in "The Iron Lady," which also somehow copped a Best Original Screenplay nod. (Despite this showing, the film mercifully didn't crack their Best British Film lineup.)

Glad to see a strong showing at last for "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?" Yes, but the flipside of that is zero nominations for "The Tree of Life" -- no, not even a cinematography nod for Emmanuel Lubezki. Even when trying to anticipate the Oscar race, BAFTA remain a law unto themselves -- which can be as exasperating as it is occasionally rewarding.

The frontrunners, of course, could have been spotted from space. Oscar favorite "The Artist" naturally leads the way with 12 nominations -- the (mostly) silent film scored even in the Best Sound category -- while British loyalty netted an impressive 11 nods for domestic hit "Tinker, Tailor." The two will fight it out for the top award, though with the latter primed for the consolation prize of Best British Film, I think we know how this is going to go.

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<p>&nbsp;Meryl Streep celebrates her win for best actress - drama backstage at the 2012 Golden Globes.</p>

 Meryl Streep celebrates her win for best actress - drama backstage at the 2012 Golden Globes.

Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Analysis: Meryl Streep the biggest winner after 2012 Golden Globe Awards

How close will the Oscar best actress race get?

When the 69th Golden Globes began Sunday night, this pundit wasn't at a viewing party at the Beverly Hilton.  He wasn't live-blogging the show from the comfort of home (less than two miles from the Hilton) either.  Instead, and no disrespect to the never met a cologne they didn't like Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but Awards Campaign was in the middle of a championship final at a Las Vegas basketball tourney that was a tad more pressing (we all need lives people).  And while the LA United pulled out an impressive win in over time (booyah), "The Iron Lady's" Meryl Streep found herself pulling away with an equally impressive win for best actress drama.

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