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<p>Sufjan Stevens</p>

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens teams with Anticon label mates Serengeti and Son Lux

Trio will release 'Beak & Claw' EP as s/s/s

Enigmatic indie rock icon Sufjan Stevens has a history of doing the unexpected, whether it's planning (somewhat jokingly) to release an album dedicated to each of the fifty states (he's done two so far), recording multiple Christmas tunes, or composing a multimedia extravaganza celebrating the history of New York's BQE. Now the Detroit native is teaming with experimentalist Son Lux and rapper Serengeti (both on the revered underground hip hop label Anticon) for the new group s/s/s.

They'll release their debut EP, "Beak & Claw" on March 20.

The four-song release will include guest appearances by My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden on "If This Is Real" and Anticon fixture Doseone (Subtle, cLOUDDEAD, Themselves) on the likely hilarious "Octomom."

Stevens, mostly known for the hushed, folk-inflected orchestral pop found on "Illinois" and "Seven Swans," has always had an ear for the experimental, and his last full-length, "The Age of Adz," delved deep into dark, electronic territory.

Stevens and Serengeti previously teamed on a Buck 65 remix of Steven's "You Are the Blood" (which was a cover of a Castanets tune).

Here's the track listing for the "Beak & Claw" EP:

1. Museum Day
2. Beyond Any Doubt
3. If This Is Real
4. Octomom

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<p>Thom Yorke performing with Radiohead at Glastonbury 2011</p>

Thom Yorke performing with Radiohead at Glastonbury 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Radiohead performs two new songs live as U.S. tour kicks off

What do the critics have to say about the opening show? What was the setlist?

Didn't nab a ticket to Radiohead's U.S. tour? Here's what you might be missing. The British rock act started their American sojourn last night (Feb. 27) and bowed two brand new songs, on top of playing "OK Computer" B-Side "Meeting in the Aisle."

Thom Yorke introduced "Identikit" and "Cut a Hole/Skirting on the Surface," two fresh tracks; the first features two vocal counter-melodies, with Yorke's opposite struggling with the pitch. But it's mesmerizing nonetheless. The latter is a little more aaaaaaahhhhhhhhmbbbbeeeeeient, as the frontman meanders through some long vowels to a slow, dirge-like rhythm section. It's also led by a synth line, feeling much less organic.

Then there's "Meeting in the Aisle," which was recorded much closer to the stage. Thus, we get to see a Yorke-y silly dance.

The band played two encores, ended with "Karma Police" and performed from different time-spans in their catalog, though they stuck with a lot of current and recent work, with seven of the eight tracks from latest "The King of Limbs" plus recent outtake/singles "The Daily Mail" and "Staircase."

Below are some pull-quotes from reviews of the kick-off show, held at Miami's American Airlines Arena.

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<p>Noomi Rapace is going to help unravel the mysteries of 'Prometheus' when it opens in June, but today, Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof might have dropped a clue of their own at the TED conference.</p>

Noomi Rapace is going to help unravel the mysteries of 'Prometheus' when it opens in June, but today, Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof might have dropped a clue of their own at the TED conference.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Guy Pearce gives a TED talk on artificial humans in clever 'Prometheus' publicity stunt

Sir Peter Weyland bears a striking resemblance to the actor, don't you think?

If you're going to market your movie to me, have fun with it.

That's really all I ask.  I think the key to great movie marketing is that you have to figure out what movie you've made, and then crack the way to present that film to the public.  Don't lie about what movie you've made.  Don't hide the movie you've made.  Don't shroud the thing in mystery so completely that no one knows what the movie is.  And for god's sake, don't ruin it as you try to sell it to me.

So far, I think Fox has done a fairly masterful job with the actual materials they've released from "Prometheus."  Their one sheets are interesting.  The trailer that evokes the original 1979 "Alien" trailer without ever explicitly saying "Alien" anywhere on it is effective.  They're trying.

And today, there's a very cool new puzzle piece that they've dropped in the form of a fake TED talk.  Luke Scott directed the piece, which was conceived and designed by Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof.  You'd barely know that from the actual TED page, though, which plays it all very straight-faced.

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"The Bachelor"

"The Bachelor"

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'The Bachelor' has his overnight dates with the final three

The remaining ladies get their fantasy suite invites

Ben is off to "magical" Switzerland, which I hope means he's going to turn Courtney into a frog while he's there, but probably not. But Ben is too busy feeling all sorts of emotions. He's felt happy and sad and vulnerable and... well, other stuff, but I'm so bored by this guy that I started sorting my sock drawer and stopped paying attention. Really, the only thing making Ben even passably interesting as the latest bachelor is his bizarre fixation on the baby-talking mean girl Courtney. Although i can't really say I care that much if he decides to run off into the sunset with this nightmare, I hate to see all these women who seem otherwise sane get kicked aside for Widdle Coohdney and her endless lower lip sucking, skirt twirling and weirdly immature behavior (that is, when she isn't trying to get Ben to rip off his clothing -- she really has just two speeds). I'm sure that's for the best, but still.  

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<p>Jean Dujardin and Uggie the Dog in one of the year's most awarded films, &quot;The Artist&quot;</p>

Jean Dujardin and Uggie the Dog in one of the year's most awarded films, "The Artist"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

The 2011-2012 Film Awards Circuit

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

And so, the Oscar madness has come to a close. Before moseying on into the new territory of 2012, one more time, here is The Circuit, your one-stop shop for all of the announcements from the 2011-2012 film awards season.

From AFI to the Washington D.C. Film Critics Association and everything in between, this list represents the most comprehensive cross-section of the year you're bound to find, all of it providing tea leaves and intrigue, building right up to the film industry's big moment: Oscar night.

Enjoy reliving the memories. And before you know it, we'll be putting together another one for the new season.

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<p>John Mayer in April 2011</p>

John Mayer in April 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Is John Mayer singing about Taylor Swift on new single, 'Shadow Days?'

Or is it Jennifer Aniston or Jessica Simpson?

“Well I ain’t no troublemaker and I never meant her harm, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t make it hard to carry on.”

Hmmm. That line comes about a minute in to John Mayer’s new single, “Shadow Days.” Is he talking about Taylor Swift, who supposedly wrote the excoriating “Dear John” from “Speak Now” about him after he broke her heart? He could be talking about Jessica Simpson or Jennifer Aniston. Really, there’s not a shortage of potentials here.

(Listen to the track here)

Regardless, the track, the first single from Mayer’s forthcoming fifth album, “Born and Raised,”  out May 22, is full of contrition. It’s an apology to the world at large, almost, as he sings, “I’m a good man with a good heart, had a tough time, got a rough start, but I finally learned to let it go.” Mayer starts a tour on April 9.

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<p>Vampire Weekend</p>

Vampire Weekend

Credit: XL

Pitchfork announces festival lineup: Feist, Vampire Weekend, Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Hot Chip, A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, AraabMuzik, plus more to be announced

The Pitchfork Music Festival is back for a seventh year, and one of its headliners may be signalling new music on the way. Feist, Vampire Weekend and Godspeed You! Black Emperor are among the biggest names in this initial lineup announcement, in addition to Hot Chip, AraabMuzik, A$AP Rocky, The Field, Liturgy, Kendrick Lamar, Grimes, Cloud Nothings, Tim Hecker and Willis Earl Beal.

The Chicago-bound event runs July 13-15, with single-day and weekend tickets going up on March 9 at noon CST. Organizers' "goal has always been to create an affordable atmosphere with music at its focus," so ticket prices will not increase over last year's sum, with single-day going for $45 a piece and weekend at $110.

Pitchfork also says that 30 more acts are TBA, so we may not even be looking at the biggest names yet.

But confirming Vampire Weekend is at least somewhat informative: the band only scheduled five concerts in 2011, and the only U.S. stop, the Music To Know festival, was canceled. This new date may signal that the group has more U.S. touring action planned, if not offering ample opportunity for Ezra Koenig & Co. to bow some new material.

Also, interestingly, Lamar and A$AP Rocky are Drake's Club Paradise tour openers -- will they be bring any, uh, friends along?

Last year, I pointed out some of the Pitchfork batting averages of the artists that were performing at the fest, a parallel of what their rating on the site was prior to the lineup announcement. For this year:

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<p>Elijah Wood and Jason Gann will be back for a new &quot;Wilfred&quot; season in June.</p>

Elijah Wood and Jason Gann will be back for a new "Wilfred" season in June.

Credit: FX

FX announces June premiere dates for 'Louie,' 'Wilfred,' 'Anger Management' & Russell Brand talk show

All four series will air on Thursday nights

FX has a bunch of new comedy inventory coming up this summer, including new seasons of "Louie" and "Wilfred," the debut of Charlie Sheen's "Anger Management" and Russell Brand's new talk show "Strangely Uplifting." Turns out the plan is to have them all air on the same night, starting Thursday, June 28.

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<p>Most of the &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;gang will be on hand for the PaleyFest panel. </p>

Most of the "Community" gang will be on hand for the PaleyFest panel.

Credit: NBC

'Community' is coming to PaleyFest - and so am I

We'll discuss the possibility of six seasons, a movie, and a lot more on Saturday night

PaleyFest — the Paley Center for Media's annual celebration of television — kicks off on Friday night with the first of two weeks of panels featuring some of TV's most notable comedies and dramas. (You can see thefull schedule here.) I've always wanted to go to PaleyFest and have never been able to make the logistics work, but this year things are very different. First, Livestream and Hulu will both be streaming a number of the panels live (Livestream's link is already live; not sure where Hulu will house all its streams). Second, I'll actually be in LA this weekend to moderate the "Communitypanel on Saturday night.

As of now, the lineup for the panel includes Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi, Ken Jeong, Alison Brie and newly-minted Oscar winner/Angelina impersonator Jim Rash, plus Dan Harmon and several other producers. They'll be screening an upcoming episode, which is the one part of the panel that won't be available on the live streams (though East Coasters can attend a streamed event at the New York Paley Center that will feature the episode), followed by a lengthy session featuring questions from me and members of the audience.

Looking forward to it, and I'm glad that NBC already announced a return date, as the vibe would be very different if the show were still completely in limbo come Saturday night. I hope to see some of you there, and anyone who can't make it can watch it live from home that night. I have a good idea of what I want to ask the gang, but anyone who won't be there in person but has something they'd like to know can leave a comment here, and maybe I'll incorporate the best ones into my Q&A. 

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<p>Parents... this is what happens when you're not home... every single time...</p>

Parents... this is what happens when you're not home... every single time...

Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Todd Phillips produces the ultimate ode to bad behavior with 'Project X'

Just how out-of-control does the biggest house party of all time get?

I must confess that I am fascinated by the new film "Project X."  It's not a particularly complicated film, in either concept or execution, but maybe that simplicity is what I like about it.  At heart, "Project X" is a John Hughes movie from the '80s, right down to its final shot, but it's wrapped in a level of chaos and decadence that sums up the career of producer Todd Phillips with a gleeful degree of anarchy.

This may be the biggest budget found-footage film I've seen so far, and this and "Chronicle" both suggest that the language of found-footage is finding its way into the mainstream in a very real way, and that there are ways to crank it up.  This is the story of Thomas Kub (Thomas Mann) and his 17th birthday party, as thrown by him, his friend Costa (Oliver Cooper), and their friend JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown).  It is strictly forbidden by Mom (Caitlin Dulany) and Dad (Peter Mackenzie) before they leave town, but Costa browbeats the much more pliant Thomas, convincing him that this is for his own good.  Costa overplans this thing on a scale that is like mounting a full-sized D-Day to take control of a playground.  This party isn't just big.  This party isn't just crazy.  This party is the end of the goddamn world.

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<p>Michael Fassbender in &quot;Shame&quot;</p>

Michael Fassbender in "Shame"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Turn the page

Saying goodbye to the 2011 season

Another season in the record books. It's been my eleventh. How has it been for you?

Customarily, after a quick Off the Carpet recap, I circle back to considering the film awards season at the end of this day. So here I am with a handful of such considerations.

I still find myself seeing the year as something it really wasn't in the eyes of Academy. I think of "Margaret." I think of "Martha Marcy May Marlene." I think of "Shame." I think of the films that popped for me but not for AMPAS and I think, wow, my year was better than theirs. And that's fine. That's the subjectivity of it all. That's what it's all about.

But I also think about the transition to HitFix, which happened five months and one week ago today and couldn't have been smoother.

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<p>Anjelica Huston and Nick Jonas in &quot;Smash.&quot;</p>

Anjelica Huston and Nick Jonas in "Smash."

Credit: NBC

'Smash' - 'The Cost of Art': What not to wear

Can Nick Jonas save "Marilyn: The Musical"? And how does Ivy deal with stardom?

A review of tonight's "Smash" coming up just as soon as my mother sets me up for a date at a steak house...

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