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<p>Sam Amidon</p>

Sam Amidon

Song Of The Day: Sam Amidon's 'My Old Friend'

Songwriter signs to Nonesuch

Congratulations to wordsmith, songwriter and damned fine live performer Sam Amidon, who has signed to Nonesuch records. The label will be releasing "Bright Sunny South" on May 14.

The set was produced by Amidon, Doveman (aka Thomas Bartlett) and industry mainstay Jerry Boys, and features Amidon on guitar, fiddle, banjo and piano for his folk- and American roots-based tunes. Bartlett, Shahzad Ismaily, Chris Vatalaro and jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler also perform.

Check out the first song to arrive from "South," "My Old Friend," and just let instrumental arrival after verse one just lift this one up.

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Watch: fun. and all their baggage for 'Why Am I The One' music video

Watch: fun. and all their baggage for 'Why Am I The One' music video

All that you can't leave behind

The band fun. does its best to leave its baggage behind in the video for "Why Am I the One." A literal piece of luggage co-stars in this slick, sad clip.

The Grammy Award-winning band slogs its way through a city and sips of drinks as personal baggage keeps symbolically re-appearing, enduring bumps in the road, scuffs, abuse and abduction. In the finale, Nate Ruess and the rest address the baggage-head on, but turning it into song and then sending it on its way.

A relationship with repeated offense can be such the burden. Check out the lyrics below the video in YouTube.

And also keep your ears open for the very start, for the muzak version of "Some Nights," the title track to the album from which "Why Am I the One" is culled.

As previously reported, fun. is on tour all summer with Tegan and Sara and is on tap for the newly announced Boston Calling rock festival this May.

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'Harlem Shake' makes it two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100

Who scores the lone new entry in the top 10?

Harlem Shake” tops the Billboard Hot 100 for the second week in a row, thanks to the chart’s change in methodology.

The viral sensation by Baauer bowed at No. 1 last week after Billboard added YouTube video streaming data to the mix: chart positions are determined by airplay, digital sales, and streaming.  Streaming has led the charge for “Shake,” but look for radio play to increase as Warner Bros.’s makes a deal with indie label Mad Decent to push the song to radio.

Former No. 1, “Thrift Shop,” from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis stays at No. 2. And if the new methodology seems to make radio play less relevant, don’t tell that to Bruno Mars, whose “When I Was Your Man” rockets 8-3, based larger on airplay. The song is also selling well and becomes his 11th tune to surpass 1 million downloads in less than three  years.  Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” slides 7-9.

Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” rises 5-4, trading places with will.i. am and Britney Spears’ “Scream & Shout.”

For the bottom half of the Top 10, Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” continues its climb to the top as it rises  10-6. Rihanna’s “Stay” featuring Mikky Ekko falls 3-7, but that’s simply because it had a huge Grammy bounce last week. Its story at airplay is just beginning, so as spins increase, look for it to rise again.

Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” featuring Jay-Z may not have Kanye West’s vote, but the public continues to approve, as it inches 9-8.

Lil Wayne’s “Love Me,” featuring Drake and Future, is the only newcomer in the Top 10, just making the cut at No. 10. It is the rappers 18th Hot 100 Top 10.


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<p>Things are definitely shaping up nicely for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'</p>

Things are definitely shaping up nicely for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Chris Cooper could be set to go full Goblin for 'Amazing Spider-Man 2'

Or this could be a slow burn that's just getting started

I'll say this for Marc Webb:  he's got good taste in casting.

Chris Cooper is now onboard to play Norman Osborn in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," which means he could well be menacing Peter Parker right there alongside Electro (Jamie Foxx) and The Rhino (Paul Giamatti).

That's a lot of characters to juggle for a blockbuster which is also introducing Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) and Mary Jane Watson (Shailene Woodley) into the series.  We still have no idea if The Daily Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson are going to be brought into Webb's series any time soon, and we also don't know exactly how these new characters are going to be used.

Osborn was kept off-screen in Webb's first film.  We heard mention of him, but he quite literally stayed in the shadows.  It was obvious that they were building to a reveal, and having someone like Cooper play the part pays off that tease.  The question now is which version of Osborn we'll be seeing in the film. Is he going to already be deeply involved in the research that transformed him into the Green Goblin?  Or is he going to try to reverse engineer the accident that gave Peter his spider powers and is that what's going to push him over the edge?

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<p>&quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

"The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

New 'Walking Dead' showrunner confirmed, season 4 production begins in May

Scott M. Gimple replaces Glen Mazzara, who replaced Frank Darabont

"The Walking Dead" is the biggest hit in the history of AMC, and one of the biggest in the history of cable television — at the moment, it's the highest-rated entertainment show of this season in all of television —  but success has not brought with it stability. Original showrunner Frank Darabont departed under murky circumstances midway through season 2, to be replaced by his lieutenant Glen Mazzara. And when the season 4 renewal came in, it was with the announcement that Mazzara would be departing the series over the ever-popular creative differences.

Though it's been rumored for months that Scott M. Gimple (who's been on the writing staff since season 2) would be promoted to replace Mazzara, AMC wouldn't confirm that until today, when the channel also announced more details about the fourth season.

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<p>&quot;Stoker&quot; is the first English-language feature from South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook.</p>

"Stoker" is the first English-language feature from South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook.

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

With 'Stoker' on the way, 10 great English-language debuts by foreign directors

From F.W. Murnau to Alfonso Cuarón, these directors didn't get lost in translation

To call any foreign auteur attempting his first English-language feature a "fish out of water" doesn't give him (or her) a great deal of credit: a fish out of water is a pretty dead fish, after all, and it's hardly a novel observation that many artists are positively inspired by unfamiliar climes. But film history littered with enough unsuccessful crossover attempts to make us nervous whenever an esteemed world-cinema name decides to shed the subtitles (well, for us, at least).

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"Hoarding: Buried Alive"

 "Hoarding: Buried Alive"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive: This house is really a killer on 'Hoarding: Buried Alive'

After a woman dies, her adult children walk in on a nightmare mess

Tonight's episode of "Hoarding: Buried Alive" is called "This House Killed Her," so you know it's bad. How bad, you ask? Well, you can watch below if you're not sure. And you have a strong stomach. That would help. 

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The 2012-2013 Film Awards Circuit

The 2012-2013 Film Awards Circuit

Charting the winners and losers of this year's Oscar season

And that, as they say, is that. The 2012-2013 film awards season was, in so many words, exhilarating, competitive, contentious, record-breaking, precedent-setting and awe-inspiring. Whether your favorites won or didn't even get an invite to the dance, the whole of it was a journey with many twists and turns. In the end, Ben Affleck's "Argo" dominated the critics awards, the industry awards and, eventually, the Oscars. And even if things soon enough settled into a bit of predictability, getting there was a blast. So if you'd like to relive all of the craziness along the way, feel free to do so via the links below, charting the ups and downs throughout the season.

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<p>Jess (Zooey Deschanel)&nbsp;and Jax McTavish (Steve Howey)&nbsp;in a scene from last night's &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Jax McTavish (Steve Howey) in a scene from last night's "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

How a 'New Girl' script gets made

Story ideas don't always come easy, but the work is usually worth it for the great FOX comedy
"You must think we're such dummies," an exasperated J.J. Philbin tells me.

This is somewhere in the fourth of five hours I'll spend at the writers offices of "New Girl" late on a Friday afternoon in January, watching as the show's writers work on a story outline for "TinFinity," the 18th episode of the terrific FOX comedy's second season. (It aired last night.) As Philbin suggests, it has not been coming easily to them on this day.
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<p>Why did one of these Oscar winners come out looking better than the other when all was said and done?</p>

Why did one of these Oscar winners come out looking better than the other when all was said and done?

Credit: AP Photo

Eight lessons learned from the 2012-2013 Awards Season

Let's keep Washington politics out of Oscar, shall we?

An unlikely awards season ended where it started.I had the pleasure of attending the first public screening of "Argo" at the Telluride Film Festival in September. Five months later, "Argo" pulled off a historical comeback to win the Best Picture prize many of us predicted it would take that sunny Labor day weekend. In the half a year between those moments, Hollywood managed to release six $100 million-plus-grossing best picture nominees (unthinkable at the beginning of the season) and make past controversies such as Melissa Leo's infamous for your consideration ads seem as inconsequential as a playground fight between two 5-year-olds. This season was serious and a battle of mammoth egos that won't long be forgotten. Thankfully, however, there are always lessons for pundits, studio executives, their likely still-stressed-out consultants and, most importantly, the powers at be at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Open up your books to page one, students, and let's review...

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"The Real Housewives of Orange County"

 "The Real Housewives of Orange County"

Credit: Bravo

Do we really need an 8th season of 'The Real Housewives of Orange County'?

More importantly, can one new wife save the show?

So, we all know that "The Real Housewives of Orange County" will be returning for an 8th season on April 1 (insert for April Fool's Day joke here). The question is, how many of us care? And is plunking just one new housewife into the mix enough to keep this branch of the franches alive?

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'Jack the Giant Slayer' director Bryan Singer talks 3D, family films and 'X Men: Days of Future Past'

'Jack the Giant Slayer' director Bryan Singer talks 3D, family films and 'X Men: Days of Future Past'

Which aspects of 'Jack and the Beanstalk' were sacred?
RICHMOND, ENGLAND - I rushed in to interview with "Jack the Giant Slayer" director fresh off of shooting my musical stand-up (Check It Out Below) in front of Hampton Court Palace. 
I apologized for my cold hands, but Singer knows a thing or two about shooting in the frigid temperatures in Henry VIII's former residence. Much of "Jack the Giant Slayer" is shot on elaborate soundstages and using digital trickery, but several key outdoor and crowd scenes were shot in the  open spaces and courtyards around the palace, which justified the location of the film's recent junket and has added some historically confusing footnotes to the guided tours.
We chatted in a room decorated with a painting that Singer told me was one of the Queen's favorites, but it was unclear which Elizabeth was playing favorites with the Hampton art. 
You may have already seen Singer's interview-closing discussion of his approach to "X-Men: Days of Future Past," but we also talked about "Jack the Giant Slayer," including his approach to the classic fairy tale/legend,  the target age range for the new film and his learning curve with 3D technology.
Check out the full interview above and my interview with "Jack the Giant Slayer" stars Nicholas Hoult and Eleanor Tomlinson.
"Jack the Giant Slayer" opens on Friday, March 1.
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