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The Black Keys

Album Review: The Black Keys' 'Turn Blue' turns back time

The duo's eighth set is steeped in the '70s

The Black KeysDan Auerbach told Rolling Stone that the goal with the duo’s eighth album, “Turn Blue,” out tomorrow (13), was to make a “headphone record.”

Well, they have certainly done that.

In fact, listening to the album through speakers feels like you’re doing it a disservice and missing lovingly crafted details.  “Turn Blue” is an album that is meant to be heard in its entirety with your full attention as the music pans from left to right and flows from your ears into your brain. It is not background music. In fact, we’d suggest to get the full effect, sink into a bean bag chair and a lava lamp.

The album gets off to a trippy start with the nearly seven-minute fuzzy opus,“Weight Of Love.” But that only hints at what’s to come. On “Turn Blue,” a punchy guitar line morphs into a sonic wave that threatens to blow your mind via headphones, and if “Weight of Love” recalls Pink Floyd, wait until you get to “Bullet in the Brain.” It practically demands to be listened to alongside “Comfortably Numb.”

First single, “Fever,” is one of the most straight ahead rock tracks on the album, but even it has the Black Keys’ usual little tics that make it sound unlike anything else on the radio. Plus, it includes the most delightful use of a farfisa organ since ? Mark & The Mysterians’ “96 Tears,” before it seemingly shifts into a different song.

Lyrically, the album deals primarily with romantic disillusionment and betrayal, such as on “Bullet In The Brain,” when Auerbach sings “I let you use my gifts to back those lying lips.”

Auerbach has turned into such an accomplished producer —in the last two years alone, he’s worked with Ray LaMontagne, Lana Del Rey, Dr. John,  and Michael Kiwanuka —but here the band gets an able assist from Danger Mouse, who ups the psychedelic factor.

Part of The Black Keys appeal has always been Carney’s drumming, which is more upfront in the mix than many other drummers, but never overwhelms the song. On the hypnotic “It’s Up To You Now,” percussion takes the lead, setting the tone as the song shifts tempos from frenetic to druggy, but never veers from the ‘70s rock that influenced it.

In fact, the album seldom leaves the ‘70s thematically, even if it does change styles.  On “Waiting On Words,” even though the song is produced like a rock track, Auerbach delivers a soulful vocal that recalls Smokey Robinson filtered through a tremolo guitar.

The Black Keys haven’t abandoned the funk that got them so far on their last album, 2011’s “El Camino,” but it gets slightly muted here on songs like the swaying “10 Lovers.”

Auerbach and Carney deserve credit for staying so true to the ‘70s premise, but it doesn’t necessarily wear well. By the time track 10, “In Our Prime,” rolls around and Auerbach goes into a wonky guitar solo, it’s the tiniest bit tedious, but then the band comes back and closes with “Gotta Get Away,” a straight-ahead rocker that is so poppy it practically pops out of the speakers and starts dancing on the floor by itself. It doesn’t have the usual heft of a Black Keys’ tune but that’s part of its appeal. It’s lightweight and frothy and utterly delectable. Maybe that could be the starting point for album number nine.

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Credit: FOX

First FOX 'Gracepoint' images don't show David Tennant's American accent

They do, however, feature Anna Gunn and Nick Nolte

A week ago at this time, I was on the set of FOX's "Gracepoint" on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Over two days, I talked to all of the show's stars, including David Tennant, Anna Gunn, Michael Peña and Kevin Rankin, who told me that he wouldn't want to play a British version of Herc in a British "Friday Night Lights." [No, a British "Friday Night Lights" doesn't exist, silly. We were just discussing the very interesting thing Tennant is doing in "Gracepoint," essentially reprising his "Broadchurch" role, only with a different name and a different accent. And yes, I've heard his American accent for the show. And no, he didn't use the accent in his interviews.]

At the time, "Gracepoint" was shooting its ninth episode and, to an actor, they all claimed that they didn't know who the killer was, but that it was allegedly different from the killer in "Broadchurch," a claim that FOX executives repeated this morning in announcing that the 10-episode "Gracepoint" will air on Thursdays at 9 p.m. this fall.

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"Orange Is the New Black"

"Orange Is the New Black"

Credit: Netflix

'Orange Is the New Black': Check out season 2 posters and video

It's a long wait until June, but this should help

Netflix is holding fans of "Orange Is the New Black" in solitary (figuratively speaking) until Fri. June 6, when the show returns for its second season. To tempt us, the network has released posters of some of our favorite characters (Alex, Lorna, Nicky and Sophia) as well as a brief interview with Uzo "Crazy Eyes" Aduba, who simply sees her character as "passionate." Well, that's one way of putting it. 

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Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae's 'Heroes' clip turns misfits into superheroes: Watch

But here's a usage of the Bowie classic we like even better

We can all be heroes of our own lives, according to Janelle Monae’s new video for “Heroes.”

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Letterman jokes on 'The View': 'Now I feel like I made a mistake'

Letterman jokes on “The View”: "Now I feel like I made a mistake”
David Letterman also responded to Bill O’Reilly’s concerns that Stephen Colbert couldn’t do his job. "Take a good look at me. I've done this show for 30 years," Letterman said. "If I can do it, I'm pretty sure Stephen Colbert can do it."

“The Blacklist’s” post-Super Bowl episode will be a 2-parter
NBC is taking a page out of the “Grey’s Anatomy” playbook. “Grey’s” got huge ratings by splitting its post-Super Bowl episode into two parts.


Fox is “going back to our roots” in its decision to end the all-animated Sunday block
Speaking about “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Mulaney’s” addition to the Sunday block, Fox Entertainment boss Kevin Reilly pointed to past live-action Fox shows that aired on Sunday, from “Married with Children” to “Malcolm in the Middle.”

NBC’s new schedule looks boring now that it’s no longer in freefall
"Calling NBC’s new schedule ‘boring' might sound like a burn,” says Josef Adalian, "but it’s actually just the opposite: Winning networks tend to be dull networks, and right now, the Peacock is totally winning.”

Jay Leno addresses his college alma mater’s graduates: “I always read bad reviews"
“You will learn more from your critics than you will ever learn from your friends,” Leno told graduates of Emerson College, where he graduated in 1973.

Michael Rosenbaum dropped from NBC’s “Mission Control”
The “Smallville” alum's role as "a handsome, jockish, stubborn and loudly likeable NASA astronaut” is being recast.

Weather Channel apologizes for snarky “bullying” tweet to a Ft. Worth City Councilman
Councilmember Joel Burns, who was part of the “It Gets Better” campaign, was told by The Weather Channel: “Sorry to see you go. Good luck on ending bullying.”

“Once Upon a Time” teases Queen Elsa
“Frozen” is coming to the ABC series. PLUS: “Once Upon a Time” bosses address last night’s twist.

Why does “SNL” keep cutting its best sketches and putting them online?
It’s become a trend to see the most interesting sketches end up on the web Sunday as an “extra” from dress rehearsal.

“Parks and Rec’s” Perd Hapley talks about playing a fake newscaster, including last night on “Revenge”
Turns out actor Jay Jackson is a former news anchor himself. In fact, he was part of an Emmy-winning newscast. Besides playing a newscaster, Jackson is pursuing his "real passion” as a jazz singer. But he also has a company that helps TV news reporters make their demo reels.

Sherri Shepherd didn’t talk about her separation on “The View”
A source tells People that she didn’t want to take away from Barbara Walters’ final shows.

There is talk of “Sherlock” filming Season 4 next year
“It will not be this year – but 2015 is very much the hope and expectation,” a source tells Radio Times. If it happens, “Sherlock” would likely air on PBS in early 2016.

Disney Jr.’s “Lucky Duck” to star “Ed’s” Tom Cavanaugh and “Smash’s” Megan Hilty
They’ll voice the characters in the rubber ducky movie.

This was “Mad Men’s” craziest episode yet
Does the character of Ginsberg have a connection to beat poet Allen Ginsberg? PLUS: Ben Feldman took home a souvenir from last night’s episode, “Mad Men” is returning to normal, this was the show’s most incoherent yet, and that scene felt sterile, manic, and oh-so-very creepy.

NBC’s “Constantine” trailer looks nothing like the movie, and that’s a good thing
The 2005 Keanu Reeves film was a disaster.

Ricky Gervais live-tweeted a night out with Russell Crowe
When Gervais posted a photo of them together, Crowe quipped: “see . . . that photo right there . . . the difference between TV and Cinema.”

“The Bachelorette’s” Andi Dorfman photoshopped without a shoulder in ABC promo
Also, her hands have been replaced. PLUS: “Bachelor” alum Kacie Boguskie weds.

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<p>&quot;The Wonders&quot;</p>

"The Wonders"

Credit: Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Check 2014: Alice Rohrwacher's 'The Wonders'

Continuing our festival preview with one of the Competition's freshest names

Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up, one of the clear (or not-so-clear) wild cards of the lineup: Alice Rohrwacher's "The Wonders."

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<p>Seriously... I look at this, and I am already smiling like a lunatic. &#39;Blazing Saddles&#39; forever.</p>

Seriously... I look at this, and I am already smiling like a lunatic. 'Blazing Saddles' forever.

Credit: Warner Bros Home Video

Mel Brooks discusses 'Blazing Saddles,' Brooksfilms, and the best screening ever

If you didn't already love Mel Brooks, this may change your mind

So the phone rings, and I answer it, and it's Mel Brooks.

That's an actual thing that happened. That's now something I can say. And even better, the 40 minute conversation that followed me answering the phone is one of my favorites in recent memory. How often do you get to talk to a comedy legend about one of the pinnacle moments of not only their career, but of film comedy in general?

I was told I'd have about 15 minutes originally. Time was tight. And if you get offered 15 minutes to talk to Mel Brooks about "Blazing Saddles," you take it, right? We ended up having a really fun back and forth about that film, about films he's produced, about his partnership with Gene Wilder, and about the ways Hollywood failed the great Richard Pryor. The only reason we wrapped it up is because we had to, and it would have been easy to talk to him for twice as long.

What I enjoyed most is that from the moment I picked up the phone, I felt like he was willing to play. I managed to get out, "Hello, Mr. Brooks. How are you this afternoon?" before he was off and running.

"Okay, Drew, you're on."


"You're on. You are on. Describe your network. Describe it."

"My online home is HitFix. It is a website where we cover film, television, music… it's a broad entertainment site."

"It's a website? Is it popular?"

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NBC will tackle 'The Music Man' for a live musical performance

NBC will tackle “The Music Man” for a live musical performance
The 1957 musical will follow “The Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan."

“Rosemary’s Baby” remake bombs on NBC
About 3.7 million viewers checked out part 1 of the two-part miniseries.

“30 Rock” reunion: Jane Krakowski joining Tina Fey’s new NBC comedy
Krakowski will recur on "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” from the “30 Rock” producing team of Fey and Robert Carlock. She’ll play a rich woman who hires Kimmy Schmidt, played by Ellie Kemper, as her nanny.

Dan Harmon “won’t stand in the way” of a “Community” revival
Harmon writes in a Tumblr post that he was initially resistant on Friday to reviving “Community” elsewhere. “But,” he adds, "it doesn’t matter right now WHY I’d be lukewarm or if my reasons would be valid. What matters is, I won’t be lukewarm. I’ll heat up. I said 'eh' on a Friday afternoon, I will change it to a 'Sure, let’s talk' on Monday morning and Sony can do their thing. I’m not going to be the guy that recancels cancelled ‘Community.'"

“Mad Men” using its characters and products to campaign for an Emmy
"In the past, we've campaigned for Mad Men by letting the show sell itself," says AMC executive vp marketing Linda Schupack. "This year, we wanted to be a little more fun and playful."

Seth Meyers mocks NBC
Read his jokes from this morning’s upfront presentation.

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<p>Zoe Saldana of &quot;Rosemary&#39;s Baby&quot;</p>

Zoe Saldana of "Rosemary's Baby"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Once Upon a Time' finale rises, but viewers don't adopt 'Rosemary's Baby'

'Revenge' rises for its finale, while 'Cosmos' dips for FOX

Fast National ratings for Sunday, May 11, 2014.

"Rosemary's Baby" was no "Sound of Music Live" when it comes to NBC event ratings, as the first part of the horror remake drew impressively low ratings in its Sunday night debut.

Sunday stayed true to its usual form. "Once Upon a Time" and "Revenge" both rose in their series finales as ABC ruled primetime among young viewers, but it was CBS cruising to its usual overall win, paced by "The Good Wife."

Meanwhile, facing enhanced competition, FOX's "Cosmos" took a tumble, as did "The Simpsons" without last week's Lego hook.

On to the numbers.

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<p>Your &quot;American Idol&quot; judges</p>

Your "American Idol" judges

Credit: FOX

'American Idol' will have a trimmed Season 14, judges 'likely' to return

FOX execs discuss the new normal for 'Idol' expectations

If FOX is looking a bit lighter on its feet for the 2014-2015 season, that's probably because the network is dedicating a lot less programming time to singing competitions. 

The roughly 39 hours of "X Factor" programming that have glutted FOX's schedule the past three years with variable success are now entirely gone, making room for both more reality -- Two weekly hours of "Utopia" are on the fall schedule -- but also more scripted programming. 

And at midseason, while "American Idol" is slated to return for a 14th season, the colossus that towered atop the ratings heap for the better part of a decade will also be looking leaner in 2015.

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Credit: FOX

Upfronts 2014: FOX bets on year-round programming to counter 'Idol' struggles

'Gotham' is the big fall player, and live-action comedies mix with Sunday cartoons

For a decade or so, the schedules FOX announced during upfront week followed a predictable, amusing pattern: one schedule for the fall that would inevitably struggle, another schedule for mid-season built around the dominant presence of "American Idol," and then many, many changes made to that second schedule at a later date due to the struggles of the first.

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<p>FOX&#39;s &quot;Gotham&quot;</p>

FOX's "Gotham"

Credit: FOX

New 'Gotham' pictures tease future Batman, Catwoman, Penguin and more

FOX is airing the DC Comics prequel on Mondays at 8 p.m.

Normally upfronts bring the first video and images from new shows. That's not exactly the case with FOX's DC Comics prequel "Gotham," which has been anticipated enough that FOX and Warner Brothers TV have been teasing pictures  for several weeks and the first trailer for the drama aired last week with the premiere of "24: Live Another Day."

We've already seen glimpses of Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Jada Pinkett Smith and the rest of the stars of "Gotham," which will air on Mondays at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Here, however, are the first official gallery shots and stills for "Gotham," which has been ordered for 16 episode, rather than the normal 13, up-front with the potential for more.

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