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<p>Yeah Yeah Yeahs</p>

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Credit: Interscope

Head to church with Yeah Yeah Yeahs' new single 'Sacrilege'

Gospel choir counters Karen O's neon pink voice

Yeah Yeah Yeahs have lifted the curtain on their very dramatic first single from their new album. "Sacrilege," from "Mosquito," is a dark, saucy rocker with a choir and a show-stopping a capella ending. It's the one for the festivals and arenas, which also makes me hesitant to assume the rest of the effort, due April 16, is anything like it, considering all the psychedelia of that album cover, the mysterium of the album teaser trailer and the YYY's long, happy history of curve ball album cuts.

That drum sound -- the cymbals in particular -- is so delicious and crunchy and in-room. I want that to be applied to Karen O's nuanced, door-busting vocals, and instead it seems to be needlesly buried under a pile-on of effects for the sake of drama. This has a gospel choir, for crying out loud, it needn't push the winning "Watchtower"/"Gimme Shelter" formula into an acid bath, but I see what you did there with all God's angels singing about sacrilege. I feel like I just walked out of the post-Apocalypse.

Dave Sitek produced the whole set, so make sure your speakers are cranked to sample.

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<p>Trent Reznor</p>

Trent Reznor

Credit: Rob Sheridan

Nine Inch Nails relaunching with tour and a crazy new lineup

Members of Jane's Addiction, King Crimson and more join the jaunt

Trent Reznor has always maintained that Nine Inch Nails was never over, just that he had some other interests. Now, we'll hear what the frontman has in mind for his long-lasting industrial/rock project, as they hit the road this summer in a new configuration.

"Nine Inch Nails are touring this year," reads a statement from Reznor, unleashed this morning. His other band How to destroy angels_ with wife Mariqueen Maandig and collaborator Atticus Ross is still going forward with their "Welcome Oblivion" album release next week and spring tour dates, but Reznor will shape-shift for NIN this summer on the road.

The new lineup boasts of Reznor and NIN alumni Alessandro Cortini and Ilan Rubin, plus Eric Avery (Jane's Addiction), Adrian Belew (King Crimson) and Josh Eustois (Telefon Tel Aviv). The addition I'm most curious about is Belew, who at 63 has proven himself over and over again as a frontman, as a flavorful guest guitarist on Nine Inch Nails' records and an able-bodied multi-instrumentalist. On the road he may (or hopefully) will support the band with more than some choice licks.

According to the release, NIN will be playing in arenas, purportedly after HTDA_ is all finished promoting the full-length. No word on an album release.

Here is the full statement from Reznor via Pitchfork:

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence admits she just had a shot before speaking to the press backstage at the 85th Academy Awards.</p>

Jennifer Lawrence admits she just had a shot before speaking to the press backstage at the 85th Academy Awards.

Jennifer Lawrence once again proves why she's freakin' awesome

A rare great backstage Q&A

Not surprising to anyone who's spent more than five minutes with her, Jennifer Lawrence's honest and funny personality shined through as she spoke to the press backstage at the 85th Academy Awards Sunday night.  The "Silver Linings Playbook" actress handled her fall before accepting her first Oscar with self-deprecating humor and class on stage.  Lawrence continued to charm as she took some typically silly questions from the international journalists during the traditional post Q&A. In particular, her "process" of getting dressed for the show is awesome.  You can watch the best of her remarks in the embedded video below. If you're experiencing any Oscar show hangover today, it should absolutely do the trick and perk you right back up. Enjoy.

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<p>Sean&nbsp;Fine and Andrea Nix&nbsp;Fine backstage at the 85th annual Academy Awards</p>

Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine backstage at the 85th annual Academy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Oscar-winning director Sean Fine shows some RG3 support at the Academy Awards

Is it wrong that this makes me like the movie even more?

Here's a nice story that totally blind-sided me today. Did you know that Oscar-winning filmmaker Sean Fine ("Inocente") is a huge Redskins fan? It goes deeper than that, actually, and this blog post from Stephen Czarda lays out the story, which led to Fine sporting some nifty burgundy and gold socks on the red carpet last night.

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<p>Claudio Miranda holds his Oscar for Best&nbsp;Cinematography for &quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

Claudio Miranda holds his Oscar for Best Cinematography for "Life of Pi"

Credit: AP Photo

Tech Support: 'Life of Pi' has a strong crafts showing at the Oscars

But seven films were awarded across the 10 categories

I’m writing this column, the last Tech Support entry for this 2012-2013 Oscar season, with a strange combination of ambivalence and a touch of the bittersweet. Despite the fun of awards season, and this one in particular, it is somewhat relieving to see it come to an end.

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<p>Mumford &amp; Sons</p>

Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons reveal plans for third album

But first, there's plenty of life left in 'Babel'

Mumford & Son’s Grammy Award for album of the year for “Babel” hasn’t even had time to gather dust, and yet the British quintet is already thinking about its third album and it sounds like it’s time for a little something different.

"I do feel like we're ready to make the departure,"  keyboardist Ben Lovett told Rolling Stone.  "There's definitely cohesion between the two albums [2010's 'Sigh No More' and 'Babel']. Now that we've done that, we're not desperate to walk away from that sound, but we're willing to explore what else we could do. These two albums are like brothers. Do something that's a cousin."

“There’s other sounds we want to make,” chimes in Marcus Mumford. And we can only assume he’s joking when he adds one of those sounds is “Like, hip-hop. We really want to rap.”

The band is fleshing out new ideas on its winter tour, with a practice room set up at every venue, but the new album could be a few years away, says banjo player Winston Marshall.  That seems likely given that “Babel” is only on its second single (and first single, “I Will Wait,” is still gaining traction on the Hot 100).

Next up for Mumford is a brief European tour and then this summer they’ll hold their second annual Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers, the multi-artist festivals they started in small towns last year. After starting in Lewes, U.K., the shows will move to North American: Simcoe, Canada on Aug. 23-24, Troy, Ohio on Aug. 30-31,  Guthrie, Okla. on Sept. 6-7 and St. Augustine, Fla., on Sept. 13-14.
 

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<p>Metallica</p>

Metallica

Metallica's second Orion fest picks RHCP and Rise Against to headline

Two-day event moves to Detroit in June

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rise Against, Deftones, and Bassnectar will headline Metallica’s second annual Orion Music + More Festival.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Christoph&nbsp;Waltz backstage at the 85th annual Academy Awards</p>

Christoph Waltz backstage at the 85th annual Academy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Who is HitFix's top pundit in a tricky year for Oscar predictions?

Okay, so not anyone's best showing this year

Well, we knew going in that this would probably not be our proudest year for predictions. While a number of categories had cast-iron frontrunners, many were considerably trickier, with two or even three plausible outcomes making for little consensus among pundits.

Some years you simply have stronger instincts than others, and even with no jaw-dropping upsets last night, uncertainty got the better of us in a number of categories. Between our three HitFix pundits, it was Kris who came out on top, calling 18 out of 24 categories correctly. Greg Ellwood was just behind with 17 predictions right, while yours truly brought up the rear with a lowly 16.

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<p>&quot;Avatar:&nbsp;The Last Airbender.&quot;</p>

"Avatar: The Last Airbender."

Credit: Nickelodeon

While I was out...

'The Americans' was renewed, 'Parks and Recreation' had a wedding, and more

Glad to see me? I guess we're in the next life!

Back from a fun week off with the family, that included a trip to Disney World, the conclusion of an "Avatar: The Last Airbender" marathon(*) with my daughter, airport hijinks, etc. I clocked back in last night to watch and write about Seth MacFarlane and the Oscar-cast.

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Best and Worst of the 85th Academy Awards: Seth MacFarlane, Adele, Michelle Obama

Best and Worst of the 85th Academy Awards: Seth MacFarlane, Adele, Michelle Obama

Plus: What did you think was the biggest upset of the night?

Ah, Oscar. You never fail to disappoint and 2013 was clearly was the best and worst of times.  An incredibly uneven show with a host whose 15 minute monologue/intro/whatever you want to call it wasn't the best choice. Thankfully, however, there were some great individual musical numbers, some surprising upsets ("Django Unchained's" great night) and none other than the First Lady of the United States announcing best picture.  HitFix's editorial team has given the show a thorough review and recognized the best and worst of the 85th Academy Awards.

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<p>Katie and Max of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Katie and Max of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Loose Lips Sink Ships'

Water, water everywhere. That's a bad thing if you hate water.
You'll have to tell me, fellow "Amazing Race" fans: Was Sunday (February 24) night's episode really, really lame and anti-climactic or did it only feel lame to this recapper who had to watch the episode after seven-ish hours of consecutive tweeting and live-blogging of the Oscars and really might have preferred to just to to sleep, rather than dealing with an "Amazing Race" Leg with little travel, a couple uninspired challenges and a lot of whining? I mean, I'd like to think that even in my exhausted state, I would have enjoyed a GOOD episode of "The Amazing Race," but this didn't feel like one of those to me.
 
Or am I wrong? 
 
Click through and I'm gonna run through the episode as quickly as possible. 
 
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<p>Jennifer Hudson performing at the 2013 Oscars</p>

Jennifer Hudson performing at the 2013 Oscars

Credit: AP Photo

Who had the best Oscars music moment? Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Seth MacFarlane

'Chicago,' Barbra Streisand, Norah Jones, Shirley Bassey and Dancing With The Stars

Music and the movies was the unofficial-official theme of the 2013 Academy Awards, and big names were on hand to flesh the concept out. Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Barbra Streisand, host Seth MacFarlane, Kristin Chenoweth, Shirley Bassey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Norah Jones the cast of "Les Miserables" and more were all on hand to work the wares from their famed flicks.

Below is an outline of the show's big numbers and some commentary. Be sure to vote on which you think was the best. Has Adele won over your heart, too?

+ The show host Seth MacFarlane had promised big musical numbers from the top, once he got the job, and considering the depth of know-how from his creation of "Family Guy," the dude knows how to speak Hollywood. And did he. Maybe a little too well... or a little too Old Hollywood. In between cracks with Captain Kirk, he trotted out A-Lister Dancing With The Stars Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron for "The Way You Look Tonight" and a soft shoe bit with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe, who recently caught the Broadway musical bug.

+ Honoring 50 years of James Bond, the lead entertainer was Shirley Bassey and her "Goldfinger," which warranted a standing ovation. Watchers were perhaps hoping for a much bigger, more surprising combination of 007 alum (hey, I hear Paul McCartney's just sitting by the phone), but this stood well on its own.

+ An entire segment devoted to the stage musical turned out to honor only a couple of movies. The producers of the Oscars also happened to be executive producers of "Chicago," and they took this opportunity to pat themselves on the back. This first time: Catherine Zeta-Jones, doing a decent job of retreading her "All That Jazz" except for that whole lip-syncing thing. Jennifer Hudson, on the other hand, couldn't have phoned in her big, gorgeous, Academy Award-winning "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" from "Dreamgirls," reminding us that a movie doesn't necessarily have to be good in order to yield some timeless performances. "Les Miserables" had its big cast moment that even included Russell Crowe, bless his heart, for "One Day More" and "Suddenly." It felt like it went on for one day more.

+ Adele sang her Oscar-winner "Skyfall' with grace and shimmying charm. The overall sound mix was far less elegance. Watch it and read more here.


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