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Listen: Drake taps The Weeknd, Rihanna samples The xx, The Roots conjure Sufjan

Your week in urban set tapping into indie

It's no novelty for mainstream pop and urban artists to tap into the indie set. The week just seems to particularly heavy on it.

Drake's album "Take Care" has already leaked, but for those who crave the singer/MC bit by bit, there's new "Crew Love" and "The Ride" on which Drizzy takes advantage of melodies (and non-) from mysterious co-Canadian and singer The Weeknd. The former pushes the high end with the atmosphere and samples and takes it sweet time to get to Drake's initial verse. On the latter, Drake is confident there's not a sufficient amount of "feel" from fans and haters, as Weeknd's voice lilts and flits around loops in the background. It grooves less like a grandstand and more like a bedroom jam. It confuses me.

Meanwhile, it has become clear that Rihanna has worked in a sample from British rock sleepies The xx on her track "Drunk on Love" for her forthcoming album "Talk That Talk." That set is being previewed in seconds-long snippets, and the song in question (using "Intro") can be heard below.

Additionally, Sufjan Stevens may be inspired by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, but it seems Illadelph's The Roots are inspired by Sufjan Stevens. His "Greetings from Michigan" track "Redford (For Yia Yia & Pappou)" served as inspiration for The Roots' new album "undun" protagonist Redford Stephens. They included a track of Stevens playing the song, as a section of a "four-part movement."

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<p>Roger Corman at the Governors Awards two years ago.</p>

Roger Corman at the Governors Awards two years ago.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Interview: Roger Corman remains unflinching in the face of an evolving industry

The subject of the doc 'Corman's World' reflects on his legacy and unmet goals

"Every year at the Academy Awards they give out a lifetime achievement award," actor Bruce Dern says in the new documentary "Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel." "How they can not have gotten to Roger Corman by now is disgusting. And I don't know that they ever will because they say, 'Well, what are the great movies that he made?'"

That, of course, was an interview from a few years ago. Since then, the Academy has indeed toasted the life and times of Roger Corman, tapping him in 2009 for an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards, a designation many in the industry would agree was a long time coming.

Corman has produced nearly 400 films since 1954. Indeed, they might not register on the objective scale of "great movies," as Dern notes, but his legacy is undeniable. Corman has had a definitive hand in shaping the modern Hollywood landscape. He gave breaks to Francis Ford Coppola, Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese and Ron Howard among countless others. He broke the greats of today into the business, and yet he has remained on the fringe, borderline obscure.

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<p>Can you imagine being one of those extras and having to stand in the background and pretend to be smiling for both halves of shooting this scene from 'Jack and Jill'?&nbsp; What an amazing gig that must have been.</p>

Can you imagine being one of those extras and having to stand in the background and pretend to be smiling for both halves of shooting this scene from 'Jack and Jill'?  What an amazing gig that must have been.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: Adam Sandler's 'Jack and Jill' one of his career worsts

Both Jack and Jill are impossible to like, making the movie a tough sit

At this point, I think Adam Sandler has a pretty good idea of what he's going to be doing for the rest of his life, and he's made peace with it.  He makes a certain kind of film, running a few variations to keep it slightly different each time out, and they make a certain kind of money.  His friends all stay employed, nobody challenges him, and he's happy.

Good for him.

The people around Adam Sandler all seem to love him.  I can't recall ever hearing a bad word from anyone in Los Angeles who works for or with him.  Todd Garner, who produces many of the films that Sandler's part of these days including this one, loves him, and I know Todd well enough to know that he does not pretend about who he does or doesn't like.  Judd Apatow and Robert Smigel, two very funny men I have boundless respect for, think of Sandler as a dear friend and a comedic peer.  Sandler creates constant work for a core group of people, and they owe their livelihoods to him, something which must be a strange relationship to have with your friends, but which he seems to wear well.  They all seem to share his sensibilities enough that the films represent a pretty consistent example of comic voice bent to different scenarios and characters, but always within a certain range.

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<p>R. Kelly's &quot;Soula Coaster&quot;</p>

R. Kelly's "Soula Coaster"

Listen: R. Kelly releases incredible new song, unbelievable autobiography title

Songwriter/singer/conceptual artist is also heading up the 'Sparkle' soundtrack

R. Kelly has written an autobiography and I can't wait to read it, particularly in lieu of today's new track "Shut Up," which continues the dialogue: is Robert Kelly for real or is this all an elaborate conceptual scheme destined to trigger society's unrealized surrealist destiny?

Read: Is this man really singing about his tonsil surgery?

The answer is: he is. All of the above, perhaps. He was, remember, the genius behind "Trapped in the Closet."

"Shut Up" was posted to Kelly's Twitter, a declaration to nay-sayers who nay-said R. would never bounce back after a a good old-fashioned abcess-drain this summer. Whether these detractors are imaginary, very real, or something in between (perhaps hired men, paid to detract), the 44-year-old R&B legend felt strongly enough to toss in some f-bombs and to thank God for having his back in the battle.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Transformers:&nbsp;Dark of the Moon&quot;</p>

A scene from "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Tech Support: 'War Horse,' 'Transformers' in the, uh, mix for Best Sound Mixing

And could we see, of all things, 'The Artist' pop up?

When dialogue was originally introduced into films, Charlie Chaplin considered it a fad that wouldn’t last. Alas, we now know how wrong that was. But sound can not only enrich a film by its addition of dialogue. The use of sound can build mood and tell the story in ways that would not be possible if our films remained silent.

Formerly called simply "Best Sound," the category of Best Sound Mixing awards the individuals who: 1) mix together dialogue, music, sound effects and everything else we hear in the soundscape of a film (up to three re-recording mixers) and 2) capture the sound as it is being filmed (the production sound mixer). This distinguishes the category from Best Sound Editing, which awards the creation and integration of artificially created sounds.

The category has an affinity for blockbusters and war films. That said, musicals frequently show up here, too. Moreover, Best Picture contenders can surprisingly get caught up in a sweep (“The King’s Speech”’s nomination last year is a good example).

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<p>Eddie&nbsp;Murphy in &quot;Eddie Murphy:&nbsp;Raw&quot;</p>

Eddie Murphy in "Eddie Murphy: Raw"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Oscarweb Round-up: Murphygate

Also: Clooney would be shocked by 'Descendants' snub and Wasikowska hits the circuit

This has been the week from hell. But at least we're on the down-slope of it. And yesterday's quickly developing flurry of news has left plenty of pieces across the web in its wake. And to think, I was considering skipping Oscar Talk this week due to travel plans. Today's round-up is packed with stuff about that news, so strap in. And to kick things off, Nathaniel Rogers was actually at a lunch for "Martha Marcy May Marlene" in New York when the news hit. (There was a similar one here in Los Angeles but I had to skip it when the news started flying.) Rogers was seated with a trio of Academy members, so, naturally, he asked their thoughts on the situation. [Film Experience]

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Hannah Simone and Zooey Deschanel in "New Girl."
Hannah Simone and Zooey Deschanel in "New Girl."
Credit: FOX

The Morning Round-Up: 'New Girl,' 'Raising Hope,' 'Terra Nova' & 'The Good Wife'

Romantic tension, blackouts and cupcakes, oh my!

With all of ABC's comedies pre-empted last night by the CMA Awards, this seems a good time to catch up briefly on some other shows it took me a while to clear off the DVR. Quick reviews of, in order, "New Girl," "Raising Hope," "Terra Nova" and "The Good Wife" coming up just as soon as I laugh in the face of thousands of years of samurai culture...

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<p>New &quot;The Office&quot;&nbsp;bosses Ed Helms and James Spader haven't been bringing the funny.</p>

New "The Office" bosses Ed Helms and James Spader haven't been bringing the funny.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'The Office' struggles to find its center post-Steve Carell

Ed Helms, James Spader not bringing enough laughs to the comedy's new incarnation

When Steve Carell announced that last season would be his last with "The Office," he presented that show's producers with both a horrible dilemma and a tremendous opportunity.

For so many years, Carell was "The Office," and it was easy to understand the sentiment from those who insisted the show should end when he left, even as it was clear that struggling NBC wouldn't cancel one of its few remaining hits.

At the same time, here was an aging sitcom, which like so many before it had begun repeating itself, which had arguably exhausted most of the comic potential of the Michael Scott character. There was no rule that said the office couldn't have a new boss, someone very different from Michael, who might give this great comedy a chance to reinvent itself in the way that "Cheers" did when Kirstie Alley succeeded Shelley Long, or that "M*A*S*H" managed to do with each of its cast changes.

We've now seen six episodes of the first post-Carell season (plus a handful of episodes last spring where the producers and characters were trying to figure out who would run the branch without Michael), and unfortunately it's hard to argue so far with the people who wanted the show to end with Michael's departure.

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<p>Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were one of the highlights of this year's CMA Awards.</p>

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were one of the highlights of this year's CMA Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

The best and worst, worst, worst of the 2011 CMA Awards

We review the highlights and the many lowlights

Is it still 2011? The 45th annual CMA Awards just wrapped and as they showed shots from the opening musical numbers over the closing credits, they seemed so long ago that I’d forgotten they’d taken place.

Before I unleash here, let’s get it straight that I love country music. I grew up in the south, went to college in Nashville and started my career there, so these criticisms aren’t coming from some left coaster who has an elite disdain and instant dismissiveness for the genre so prevalent in people  in Los Angeles and New York. Plus, I have greatly enjoyed the CMA Awards in years past.

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<p>Hugh Laurie talks &quot;Arthur Christmas.&quot;</p>

Hugh Laurie talks "Arthur Christmas."

Hugh Laurie didn't imagine he would be so 'buff' in fantastic 'Arthur Christmas'

'House' star talks about his role in new Aardman animated film

Hugh Laurie is no stranger to voice over work.  Whether it's "Monsters vs. Aliens," "Stuart Little" or numerous other appearances, Laurie's vocal talents has served him well.  Now, just in time for the holidays, the "House" star can be heard in Aardman Animation and Sony Picture Animation's clever and charming new feature "Arthur Christmas."

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<p>Ms.&nbsp;Piggy would like you to think really hard about this.</p>

Ms. Piggy would like you to think really hard about this.

One last 'Muppets' nudge... from Miss Piggy

The @MuppetOscars campaign should at least warrant a mention on the show

Alright, so we all had our fun. With the news that Brian Grazer is coming on board to "save" the Oscars, one gets the feeling that the Academy is ready to just move along, swiftly. So I'm not betting on the most creative Oscarcast. Do your best and get the hell out of this year. That kind of thing.

So, no room to pay for and mobilize The Muppets to have a key role in things, no matter if all you really need is a chair with a hole in it. But earlier today, the @MuppetOscars Twitter account shot up by 6,000 followers (going from 700+ in the morning to over 6,700 as of 9pm PT), with "Muppets" trending at one point. The Facebook page blew up with "likes" and messages; 10,000 followers there. Members of the international audience even chimed in: "I'd actually watch it... at 4am!" Fan art. Etc.

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<p>Whitney of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Whitney of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: South Pacific' - 'Cut Throat'

Everybody picks on Cochran and two castaways head to Redemption
Pre-credit sequence. We pick right up after Tribal Council on a mighty awkward walk back to Te Tuna, particularly for Cochran, who gets pulled aside by Ozzy. Cochran tries explaining that he just didn't want his fate determined by a stone, which Ozzy doesn't particularly buy. Ozzy seems pretty chill to me, but Saintly Brandon comes over to protect Cochran from the The Bad Man. "We're not gangsters over here, man," Ozzy tells Brandon, before turning to Cochran and reminding him that "I put my ass on the line for you, directly and personally." This isn't exactly true, but Ozzy's pretending to believe it's true. "You just stabbed me in the back so hard," Ozzy concludes, calling Cochran a "wiener." Jim much more blunt, telling Cochran that he is "A poor excuse for a man," advising him to never talk to him again. Whitney's also displeased, telling Cochran and she and Keith saved him three times. "You've got a lot to learn, buddy. You disgust me," Whitney says. Ouch. Cochran's new alliance welcomes him around the fire, but he's unsure of his position. And then we let Jimbo and Whitney swear a bit more about how much they hate Cochran. This is gonna be an obnoxious episode, isn't it?
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