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<p>Justine Waddell wearing one of Eiko Ishioka's designs in &quot;The Fall.&quot;</p>

Justine Waddell wearing one of Eiko Ishioka's designs in "The Fall."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Remembering Eiko Ishioka

The designer's work graced such films as 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' and 'Immortals'

I'm occasionally struck by the word-economizing way some people refer to the Best Costume Design Oscar as, simply, Best Costume: a minor, grammatically sound abbreviation that nonetheless skimps on a rather telling word. Almost any film, from studiously researched period pieces to Target-clothed contemporary works, is costumed -- but not every film is designed, its every shred of fabric selected and shaped to serve interdependent demands of character, atmosphere and directorial sensibility, while affording the designer a visible creative identity too.

Though chameleonic flexibility is prized, indeed required, of those who dress films across any number of genres, periods and guiding aesthetics, cinema's greatest costume designers are those whose artistic signature -- no less than that of a revered fashion designer -- is present in idiosyncratic stylistic details that connect otherwise vastly disparate projects. Eiko Ishioka, the gleefully cracked design genius who passed away last week at the age of 73, was one such artist: whether applied to a lavish Gothic period nightmare or a sleekly futuristic psycho-fantasy, her film costume work is bound by common forms, features and fetishes that build up to their own kind of auteur watermark.

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<p>Feist in &quot;The Bad In Each Other&quot;</p>

Feist in "The Bad In Each Other"

Watch: Feist warns of 'The Bad in Each Other' in heartbroken new video

Canadian songwriter finally paired up with Danish James Blake collaborator

Man, nothing breaks your heart like seeing somebody bury their dead dog.

That's how Feist's "The Bad In Each Other" starts out. Celebrations situations go sour, family relationships are hurt by jealousy, a one-night-stand gets to the sad part: examples of people bringing out "the worst in each other." This high-tension song pairs sweetness with noise, and God love that bari sax because it feels like everything is crumbling by the end.

Quoth Leslie Feist, via her website:

This video captures glimpses of something human, we get a peek inside something real between people - could be loss, longing and love. A lot of things which is about being a human being.... It is told in a way where it opens up more aspects than it concludes. Maybe something we can't grasp, but it points at it or touches it and leaves us with different kinds of emotions. You could think about the video like a song or a poem, and different people will connect to different things- and those connections might be different from time to time when they watch it.

Yup, will repeat this viewing tomorrow when I won't feel so badly for the little girl with the recorder.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 113

Dan and Alan talk 'Chuck,' but also 'Luck' and 'Key & Peele'

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls. After a one-week Sundance hiatus, The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast is BACK!
 
The bulk of this week's extra-long podcast is dedicated to remembering and celebrating "Chuck" (and my quibbles about the finale, I suppose). That's nearly an hour of podcasting time. But we also did a full review of HBO's "Luck" -- we chatted a bit about it last month after the tease, but this is longer -- and a review of Comedy Central's very good "Key & Peele." Oh and we teased the Super Bowl a bit, since it pits Alan's Giants against my Patriots.
 
But here's the breakdown:
Dan's Sundance (02:00 - 07:00)
"Key & Peele" (07:00 - 14:30)
"Luck" (14:30 - 33:40)
"Chuck" (33:40 - 01:25:20)
Super Bowl Preview (01:25:30 - 01:34:45)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>Garbage</p>

Garbage

Garbage sets release date for 'Not Your Kind of People'

Shirley Manson-fronted band adds tour dates

Garbage may have last released an album before the advent of Facebook and Twitter, but the band has certainly caught on to leaking out news about its new set bit by bit by bit via the world wide webs.

Last week came news of the launch of Garbage's own label and a Spring release date. Now, we get the release date and more tour dates.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 113: 'Chuck' finale, 'Luck' & 'Key & Peele'

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 113: 'Chuck' finale, 'Luck' & 'Key & Peele'

Dan's back from Sundance in time to say goodbye to a podcast favorite

The

I am back from California. Dan is back from Sundance. We are both back where we need to be, which is to record a new episode of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which we belatedly review HBO's "Luck," praise the debut of Comedy Central's "Key & Peele," then spend a whole lot of time saying goodbye to podcast favorite "Chuck" before doing a brief Super Bowl preview in which we failed to come up with a decent podcast bet.

The line-up: 

Dan's Sundance (02:00 - 07:00)
"Key & Peele" (07:00 - 14:30)
"Luck" (14:30 - 33:40)
"Chuck" (33:40 - 01:25:20)
Super Bowl Preview (01:25:30 - 01:34:45)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
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<p>The Spice Girls in 2008</p>

The Spice Girls in 2008

Credit: AP Photo

Spice Girls and Pussycat Dolls reveal plans fit for a queen

Watch a sneak peek of the Dolls' Super Bowl ad

Proving that the sum is greater than any of the individual parts (sorry, Nicole Scherzinger),  a new iteration of the Pussycat Dolls will be unwrapped in a GoDaddy commercial set to air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

It’s a match made in Madison Ave. heaven: GoDaddy, which registers web names, has a history of revealing revealing female body parts in its ads, and the Pussycat Dolls have lots of body parts to reveal.

The new PD line-up, according to Popcrush, includes former Girlicious gal Christina Sayers, former pro cheerleaders Vanessa Curry and Erica Jenkins, “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant Paula Van Oppen, and ex-Paradiso Girl Lauren Bennett (best known for appearing on LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem”).

[More after the jump...]

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<p>The Civil Wars </p>

The Civil Wars

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Civil Wars talk T Bone Burnett, 'Hunger Games' and the Grammys

Folky duo set Sundance time aside for tour talk and 'Finding North'

Joy Williams and John Paul White -- known as The Civil Wars -- released "Barton Hallow" one year ago, almost to the day. Aside from making a lot of critics' year-end lists, the album was also a springboard for dozens of other unique opportunities in the past months. And by "unique opportunities," I mean they earned a couple of Grammy Award nominations, recorded with T Bone Burnett from some film soundtracks, toured extensively around the country, collaborated with the Chieftans and Taylor Swift,  played Nashville's Ryman, late night television shows and "Prairie Home Companion." It's sold healthfully. The year 2011 wasn't just good: it was gangbusters.

"The sky's the limit," Williams said during our interview during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival last week. The Civil Wars were on hand to promote "Finding North," the documentary film on hunger in America, with a score  featuring T Bone Burnett.

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<p>Axl Rose during Guns N' Roses' set at Rock in Rio in October 2011</p>

Axl Rose during Guns N' Roses' set at Rock in Rio in October 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Guns N' Roses set dates for short Northeast club tour

Three nights in New York included in the bill

Guns N’ Roses will embark on a series of intimate shows in February, including three dates in New York clubs, one of which leader Axl Rose hasn’t played in 24 years.

The tour, timed with Fashion Week according to the press release, starts Feb. 10 at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, before moving to Terminal 5 on Feb. 12 and then Webster Hall on Feb. 15. When Rose last played the Webster Hall for an MTV concert special, it was still called The Ritz and will return to that name for the gig.

Below are the confirmed shows, but it sounds like more may be added. Tickets go on sale Jan. 31.  The current line-up of Guns N’ Roses is Axl Rose, DJ Ashba (guitar), Dizzy Reed (keyboards), Tommy Stinson (bass), Richard Fortus (guitar), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), Chris Pitman (keyboards) and Frank Ferrer (drums).

The original line-up of Guns N’ Roses will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on April 14 on Cleveland. No word on how many of the members, such as Slash, Steve Adler and Izzy Stradlin will join Rose for the ceremony.

Tour Dates

February 10  Roseland Ballroom            New York, NY
February 12  Terminal 5                       New York, NY
February 15  The Ritz (Webster Hall)      New York, NY
February 19  House of Blues                 Chicago, IL
February 23  The Fillmore                     Silver Spring, MD
February 24  House of Blues                 Atlantic City, NJ

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<p>M.I.A., &quot;Bad Girls&quot;</p>

M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

Credit: N.E.E.T./Interscope

Listen: M.I.A. releases new 'Bad Girls' single in advance of Madonna video

Quirky and fierce songwriter taking the stage with Madge and Nicki Minaj at Super Bowl

M.I.A. is capping on her recent collaboration with Madonna for a little extra fame of her own. If I were her, I'd do the same too.

The talk-singing-rapping songwriter has revamped a "Vicki Leekz" mixtape track into "Bad Girls." And what do bad girls do well? Live fast and die young, apparently. Gunshots included. (Via Pitchfork)

But what is it with the mix? Or rather, what's with the lack of low ends today? I want this to be the banger it aspires to be, but there's a lot of overpowering treble squibbles flopping between what should be bigger beats. As is M.I.A.'s M.O., she relies heavily on lyrical repetition so it's always a joy to hear an actual, y'know, verse. Maya's attitude remains fierce.

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<p>Sacha Baron Cohen and Blackie in &quot;Hugo&quot;</p>

Sacha Baron Cohen and Blackie in "Hugo"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

As Oscar season goes to the dogs, Martin Scorsese stumps for Blackie

It's come to this

Two weekends back I was told that a famous director at the Golden Globes observed the parading of "The Artist," uh, "star" Uggie on the stage yet again to get the easy laughs and "awws" from the audience as the film won the Best Picture - Comedy/Musical award. "Why does Harvey keep dragging this f***ing dog around," he quipped. "There's a dog in our movie, too. Our dog could EAT that dog."

With a recent tongue-in-cheek op-ed in the pages of the Los Angeles Times bearing his name, I suppose it's okay to reveal now that, indeed, the director in question was Martin Scorsese. The article is meant as a cute stumping call for Blackie, the Doberman "star" of Scorsese's Best Picture nominee "Hugo" in the wake of the canine being snubbed in the nominations for the first annual Golden Collar Awards, but it's absolutely brilliant for the way it takes the piss out of Oscar season oh so succinctly.

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<p>Jack White</p>

Jack White

Credit: Third Man Records

Listen: Jack White announces debut solo album with a 'Love Interruption'

Third Man Records founder and former White Stripes leader is headed out alone

I'm almost surprised it's taken this long, but Jack White has finally prepared his solo debut. "Blunderbuss" will be the former White Stripes leader's first album under his own name, out on April 24, and from his description of it, it's will be all Jack White, all the time, and maybe on all instruments.

"I've put off making records under my own name for a long time but these songs feel like they could only be presented under my name. These songs were written from scratch, had nothing to do with anyone or anything else but my own expression, my own colors on my own canvas," he said in a statement.

To kick things off right, the Nashville-based songwriter's released the track "Love Interruption," streaming now on his newly launched website. He's joined by a female vocalist -- or treated his own vocals to a shot of estrogen -- but for the rest of it, it's a pretty stripped-down, burning bluesy song. There's no low end, and an acoustic guitar joined by a keyboard are the only accompaniment besides. I like it, it's catchy, but perhaps I expected something more bombastic?

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<p>A scene from &quot;A&nbsp;Morning Stroll&quot;</p>

A scene from "A Morning Stroll"

Credit: ShortsHD/Magnolia Pictures

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Short Film (Animated)

'Dimanche (Sunday),' 'Fantastic Flying Books,' 'La Luna,' 'A Morning Stroll' and 'Wild Life' square off

(The Oscar Guide will be 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 26, with the Best Picture finale on Saturday, February 25.)

US audiences will once again get a chance to see the Oscar-nominated shorts this year as Shorts International (via ShortsHD) and Magnolia Pictures will be launching its popular program for the seventh-straight year. The nominees for animation, live action and documentaries (included for just the second year) will hit 200 theaters across the country for a limited time on February 10.

This year's crop of contenders in the animated field is a bit thin compared to years past, I feel. There's a great diversity of craft, which is always nice -- and typical, as the branch generally does a good job of representing a solid cross-section. However, I just wasn't as taken with as many of the nominees as I usually am. Nevertheless, personally speaking, one entry really stands out above the rest and could be the winner. Though, of course, we know what assuming can do for us in this category. It's always a fresh race and this year might be no different.

The nominees are…

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