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2013 Academy Awards preperations

 2013 Academy Awards preperations

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: CulturePop Podcast No. 2 - The Oscars, Mariah Carey, Downton Abbey

Hear Melinda and Liane weigh in on reality TV and more

Okay, before you listen, know that we had the technical difficulty of sounding like we were recording in a subway bathroom. We didn't put echo on our voices, I swear. But if you turn down the volume, we sound fine, I think. Just a little… dramatic, I maybe. Yes, we're still finding the right mix of software, Skype and level adjusting! Next week will be better! 

 
Here's the rundown: 
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<p>&quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

"Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Life of Pi' and 'Lincoln' among International Film Music Critics Association award winners

Danny Elfman crowned Film Composer of the Year

Mychael Danna was awarded Film Score of the Year by the International Film Music Critics Association for his work on Ang Lee's "Life of Pi." Danny Elfman was recognized as Film Composer of the Year while "Lincoln," "Ted," "Skyfall," "John Carter" and "Rise of the Guardians" won throughout the genre categories. Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of the 2012-2013 film awards season at The Circuit.

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<p>Adele</p>

Adele

Credit: AP Photo

Will the 2013 Oscars be the only time Adele performs 'Skyfall?'

Sources tell HitFix that's the case...for now

Rumor has it Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony may be the only time that Adele performs her Oscar-nominated James Bond theme live.

Sources tell Hitfix that her Feb. 24 performance of "Skyfall" will be a one-time thing and that she never plans to sing the song live again. It appears the show’s  producers are doing nothing to dissuade viewers from thinking otherwise.  Craig Zadan, who is producing with Neil Meron, told The Hollywood Reporter,“What’s really exciting for us is that Adele is singing ‘Skyfall’ for the first time, and maybe the only time, she will have performed it live. It’s a special one-off event.”

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<p>The Foo Fighters at the Grammys</p>

The Foo Fighters at the Grammys

Credit: AP Photo

Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters head back to work on a new album

Band reunites after shortest break ever

Do you know what today is? Today is the day that Dave Grohl returns to Los Angeles to start work on a new Foo Fighters album.

As you may recall, last summer, Grohl struck fear in the heart of Foo fans when he said his band was going to take a long break. The good news is that time is clearly relative.

Wednesday  night at the Brit Awards,  Grohl told the ceremony’s host , James Corden, that he was headed back to Cali to work on the follow-up to 2011’s “Wasting Light,” according to NME.

"We have a plan, we know exactly what's coming next and I have the music for the next record and we're going to start working on it once we finish doing all this stuff,” Grohl says. “We have really awesome, big plans for the next album and I'm really excited about it."

In addition to stepping in as a guest host on “Chelsea Lately,” playing gigs surrounding his documentary, “Sound City;" directing Soundgarden videos, and appearing on the new Queens of the Stone Age album,  it sounds like Grohl is just as eager to get back to the Foos as the fans are.

As far as a release date, he couldn’t narrow down that time frame, only telling Corden, “eventually.”

Watch Taylor Hawkins and Pat Smear talk about the band's break at the Sundance premiere of "Sound City"  here.


 

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<p>Kendrick Lamar</p>

Kendrick Lamar

Listen: Kendrick Lamar adds a verse and remix to Emeli Sande's 'Next to Me'

Rapper headlining Spin show at SXSW; British singer wins big at the Brits

Kendrick Lamar added a little more stomp-and-clap plus a verse to Emeli Sande's already-excellent "Next to Me."

The remix arrived on the web today, only a few scant hours after the British singer Sande took home two massive honors at the Brit Awards last night -- for best female, and best british album.

You can hear both versions below.

Lamar is also making headlines today for being added to a big SXSW party next month: He'll be headlining Spin's Austin Throwdown on March 15 at Stubb's.

He also told MTV that he'd like Janet Jackson to appear in his music video for "Poetic Justice," off of his jaw-dropping 2012 album "good kid, m.A.A.d city." And wouldn't you know it, Jackson got word and is now considering it.

"Janet, c'mon, Janet. No paperwork with the managers, contact the managers. This is artist to artist," Lamar pitched in December. "This is a young boy that looked up to you for years. Please, yeah, video, Janet Jackson 'Poetic Justice.' It'll only be right."

Now: "Yeah, she heard the message, so we're still crossing our fingers right now."

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<p>Kristen Stewart</p>

Kristen Stewart

Credit: AP Photo

Kristen Stewart and Jane Fonda added to Oscars presenters list

Kerry Washington and Jennifer Garner will also grace the stage

"Twilight" star Kristen Stewart, Oscar winner Jane Fonda, Jennifer Garner and Kerry Washington have all been added as presenters for the upcoming Oscar telecast. 

Show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron made the announcement today.

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"The Bachelor"

 "The Bachelor"

Credit: ABC

Desiree of 'The Bachelor' talks about her jerk brother and losing Sean

She admits she wasn't 'the love of his life'

Desiree Hartsock, the latest girl kicked to the curb by Sean Lowe on "The Bachelor," won fans with her bubbly personality, loving nature and sense of humor, plus won sympathy when her brother Nathan was a complete jerk during the home visits. When Sean rejected Desiree, even he had to admit he might have made a mistake. In a conference call with journalists, Harsock discussed her brother, being the next "Bachelorette" and why she thinks things went wrong with Sean. 

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Watch: One Direction takes on Blondie's 'One Way Or Another' for a good cause

Watch: One Direction takes on Blondie's 'One Way Or Another' for a good cause

What happens when they go to 10 Downing Street?

Say what you will about One Direction, and you’ve probably said a lot if you have a teenage girl anywhere in your family, but the British group’s heart is definitely in the right place in this sweet video for the quintet’s remake of Blondie’s “One Way Or Another.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Naomi Watts in &quot;The&nbsp;Impossible&quot;</p>

Naomi Watts in "The Impossible"

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Oscar Guide 2013: Best Actress

Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emmanuelle Riva, Quvenzhané Wallis and Naomi Watts square off

(Welcome to the Oscar Guide, 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 24, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)

The race for Best Actress this year started out typical: it was thin. That's not a knock on the performances but really a knock on the kinds of roles open to women in this day and age. That dearth frequently yields a lackluster showing for the category, not that there aren't other great performances worth looking at. The problem is, those great performances aren't usually the sort that tickle the Academy's fancy.

By the end of the season, it got tighter. The supposed frontrunner first got some serious competition from a leading lady few saw coming, while things started percolating for a foreign film hopeful at just the right time. Meanwhile, performances nominated elsewhere from the likes of Helen Mirren ("Hitchcock") and Marion Cotillard ("Rust and Bone") were left by the wayside.

The nominees are…

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<p>Keira Knightley in &quot;Anna Karenina&quot;</p>

Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina"

Credit: Focus Features

Tech Support: Final thoughts on the 2012 crafts races

From Best Cinematography through Best Visual Effects, what will win?

I am already having withdrawal symptoms from this year’s Oscar race. I don’t need to repeat the litany of reasons this has become a unique year in Oscar history. I’ve loved (almost) every minute of it. SO many categories are exceptionally tight races. The crafts categories are no exception and there are many below-the-line artists to cheer for this year.

I think the Oscar Guides have been superb this year, and I don’t mean to duplicate them, so I’ll try to cut to the chase as I give a final preview of the 10 crafts categories set to be awarded at Sunday's 85th annual Academy Awards.

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<p>Joaquin Phoenix in &quot;The&nbsp;Master&quot;</p>

Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Oscar Guide 2013: Best Actor

Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix and Denzel Washington square off

(Welcome to the Oscar Guide, 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 24, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)

Down the stretch in phase one, and certainly once the nominees had been set in stone, an obvious Best Actor frontrunner emerged as maybe the safest bet on Oscar night. But the Best Actor race was competitive all season long in the nominations stage. A tight seven- or eight-horse race led to surprises here and there in the various precursor announcements, and even a slight one in the ultimate nominations announcement.

SAG nominee and expected contender John Hawkes ("The Sessions") was left on the sidelines, but he joined hopefuls like Jean-Louis Trintignant ("Amour"), Anthony Hopkins ("Hitchcock"), as well as Golden Globe-nominee Richard Gere ("Arbitrage") and BAFTA nominee Ben Affleck ("Argo") on the outside. But the ultimate line-up featured the ill and the impaired, the criminal and the Presidential, as two Oscar virgins joined a trio nominated a collective 14 times over the years.

The nominees are…

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<p>Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' co-creator Mike Schur on writing the perfect finale

Tonight's first episode won't end the series, but it could have
Do not be alarmed if the first of tonight’s two episodes of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” (it airs at 8:30) feels like a series finale. It was designed to function as one — just in case — as have the last several of the show’s season finales.
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