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Aphex Twin drops new song 'mini pops 67' from first album in 13 years

Aphex Twin drops new song 'mini pops 67' from first album in 13 years

Don't waste this on bad speakers or headphones

You know when you open up a streaming player or a YouTube video and there are some dischordant mixture of sounds that you sometimes have to pause to make sure there aren't  other players or ads somewhere flooding your sound?

It's around the 0:34 mark that I did that the first time on the new Aphex Twin song "mini pops 67 (source field mix)." These dissonances continue in patches, sometimes when least expected. Gorgeous piano rhythms bubble, only to be derailed in vocal slips and sythesizer half-tones. The beat continues, but the downbeat will switch places as the phrase ends, or a flurry of hits come ahead of the "1." Richard D. James' voice falls right in line, but gets manipulated, auto-correct, slurred and fuzzed out in an unexpected -- and delightful -- fashion.

Yup, it sure is an Aphex Twin song. On repeated listens, these tonal experiments become less like studio accidents and more like structured, exciting, intricate and sassy-ass lab work. It's a trip, at high volume. Get all the texture by putting on those cans and chugging through your Friday.

"mini pops 67 (source field mix)" is on Aphex Twin's new album "SYRO," the producer and songwriter's first album in 13 years. It's out Sept. 23 via Warp.

Here is the tracklist for "SYRO":

1. minipops 67 (source field mix) (aka the manchester track)
2. XMAS_EveT10 (thanaton3 mix)
3. produk 29
4. 4 bit 9d api+e+6
5. 180db_
6. CIRCLONT6A (syrobonkus mix)
7. fz pseudotimestrech+e+3
8. CIRCLONT14 (shrymoming mix)
9. syro u473t8+e (piezoluminescence mix)
10. PAPAT4 (pineal mix)
11. s950tx16wasr10 (earth portal mix)
12. aisatsana

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'True Detective' may get Justin Lin to direct 2 episodes

'True Detective' may get Justin Lin to direct 2 episodes

“True Detective” may get Justin Lin to direct 2 episodes
The “Fast and the Furious” director, who’s also directed “Community,” could succeed Cary Fukunaga and direct the first two episodes of Season 2.

Chris Rock: "I met Joan Rivers on the worst day of her life” — my 1st time on TV
"I did the very last ‘The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers’ on Fox,” says Rock. "It was my first time on television. Her show just gotten cancelled and her husband had just shot himself in the head. And for whatever reason, she decided to go and do the last show. Boy, did I learn about the show must go on that day.” Rock goes on to say that Rivers "had it together on camera,” then cried during the commercial break. But “she kept it together.” PLUS: Report: Rupert Murdoch ordered the NY Post to downplay Rivers’ death on the front page, Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen talk about why gay people love Joan, Joan's book sales are up 60,000%, New Yorker pays a cartoon tribute to Joan, and her autopsy was inconclusive.

“Alpha House” gets a cameo out of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren
The Massachusetts senator yesterday filmed a scene as herself for the 2nd season of the Amazon series.

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Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande aces The National Anthem: Watch

No flub, no bad notes, just great singing

The Seattle Seahawks weren't the only winner last night. Ariana Grande is having a good week: Her new album, “My Everything,” came in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with a commanding lead, “Bang Bang,” her collaboration with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj continue to climb up the charts, and she absolutely nailed the National Anthem as the NFL season opener last night when the Green Bay Packers met the Seahawks.

Listen for yourself below. She didn’t goof up the words a la Christina Aguilera at the 2011 Super Bowl or Steven Tyler at a  playoff game. And she was certainly on key, unlike Roseanne Barr.

We recommend her for the gig at the 2015 Super Bowl.

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Walking Duh: AMC gives 'Walking Dead' companion series a pilot order
Credit: AMC

Walking Duh: AMC gives 'Walking Dead' companion series a pilot order

Dave Erickson and Robert Kirkman are writing the zombie spinoff

Guess what? AMC has given a pilot order to its currently untitled "Walking Dead" companion series.

What? You'd assumed the "Walking Dead" companion series had already just been given a series order? Well, not exactly.

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AMC orders a 'Walking Dead' companion series pilot

AMC orders a “Walking Dead” companion series pilot
The new series will be set in the same "zombie-plagued universe," but in a different location with an entirely new cast. “Almost from the beginning of The Walking Dead on AMC, fans have been curious about what is going on in the zombie apocalypse in other parts of the world,” says AMC President Charlie Collier. “In fact, beyond requests for zombie cameos, it’s the question I get asked the most.”

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Chris Brown

5 things we learned about Chris Brown from his new Billboard interview

Hey, people, he's only human

Chris Brown is one of those artists that seems to be made of teflon. No matter how many transgressions he commits, his largely female fan base not only continues to support him, but vigorously defends his tarnished honor, radio stations continue to play his music, he continues to get nominated for awards (including Grammys), and sell concert tickets.

After reading his cover story in Billboard, out today, I think I know why. Part of it is his ability to put himself forth— if not as the victim— as someone who these bad things just seem to happen to. He keeps saying he wants to be a better man, but his words don’t seem to lead to better actions for long periods of time. Nor do his words seem to indicate that he fully grasps the depth of some of his misdeeds. Maybe that’s because other than going to jail (not to make that sound like a picnic), there’s not a lot of fall out for his bad behavior. He seems to pick up right where he left off career-wise every time. He comes out with his new album, “X,” on Sept. 16. “Loyal,” the latest single from that effort, peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.  

Here are five things we learned about Brown from Billboard’s cover story:

1. He’s only human. He likes to say that a lot. Three times in the interview, he brings it up. In a Sept. 4 statement to Billboard (as a response to the shootings at the pre-VMA party he hosted and other events since the interview was conducted in mid-August), he didn’t answer the question, he simply said “I can only say that I am only human and I have made mistakes.” When asked what lesson he learned from being in jail (he served 108 days earlier this year for violating his parole), he replied, “Realizing I’m human like everyone else.” Asked to define redemption, he answered, in part, “Know that you’re human.”….

2. If he couldn’t make music or dance, he’d stay in the arts. “I would be somewhere in the industry, but not necessarily around music,” he says. “It would be more like fashion design, or I’d probably be a painter or street artist. I’m eclectic, with different styles of creativity. But painting is one of my biggest passions.”

3. He knows people will never let him forget about beating Rihanna and he’s okay with haters hating because that’s, uh, their problem: “As long as you’re doing something good, people will always bring up old stuff or negative stuff because they don’t want you to surpass a certain level or elevate,” he says. “But as long as you have your head on straight, it shouldn’t matter what people want to say.”

4. Jail was not fun. This was his daily routine: “A guard wakes you up; you eat. You stay in your cell most of the time, basically 24 hours a day,” he says. “Maybe on Mondays you go to the roof inside of a cage and have a phone call. It’s isolation. You have time to focus on what matters, on what to do and what not to do.”

5. And in response to that question we all want to know— how the hell has he kept such a loyal fanbase—he credits God. “My faith in knowing what my purpose is and how I’m trying to find out what my purpose is,” he says. “My fan base speaks volumes [to that]. I never want to say that I know everything or I know what the best song or a hit is. I just put it out there for people to like and love. I make music for myself personally, but I also try to do music that people can relate to, have fun with; evoke as much emotion as possible from my audience and peers. It’s God and just consistency with my talent. Being able to persevere if I get knocked down and always get back up.”

Read more of the interview here.

Will you buy "X" when it comes out?

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<p>Seahawks QB Russell Wilson</p>

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Packers-Seahawks NFL opener leads NBC Thursday

'The Quest' stays low against big NBC, CBS competition

Fast National ratings for Thursday, September 4, 2014.

The Thursday night premiere of NBC's Sunday Night Football -- program listings are silly -- pitting the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks against the perennially contending Green Bay Packers helped NBC dominate primetime in all measures.

While the Thursday kickoff was down a bit from last year's Ravens-Broncos opener, NBC is still calling this the third highest rated Thursday NFL Kickoff game ever in metered markets. And, of course, it goes without saying that these are preliminary ratings and will likely understate the numbers for the game itself.

Despite the football, the night only other piece of major original programming, CBS' "Big Brother," was actually up week-to-week, while ABC's "The Quest" was flat.

On to the numbers...

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Peter Gallagher joins 'SVU'
Credit: USA

Peter Gallagher joins 'SVU'

Peter Gallagher joins “SVU”
The former “O.C.” dad will oversee the special victims unit as Deputy Chief William Dodds.

NY Times corrects its Joan Rivers obituary: She died in 2014, not 1914
The Times had the perfect correction for its Joan Rivers’ obituary: "An earlier version of a label that appeared with this obituary on the home page of misstated the year of Ms. Rivers’s death. It  was 2014, of course, not 1914.” PLUS: Rivers’ funeral will be private despite her requesting “a huge showbiz” funeral, read TV Guide profiles of Rivers from 1966 and 1968, explaining Joan's “Can We Talk?" catchphrase, and recalling the one time Rivers hosted “SNL,” in 1983.

Sarah Silverman insults Jimmy Kimmel in talking about her “Masters of Sex” boyfriend Michael Sheen
“I don’t think I ever knew what love was” before dating him, Silverman tells Kimmel. “I don’t think I’ve ever been in love before, I realize.” PLUS: Silverman talks bringing pot to the Emmys, and Kimmel gets Erin Andrews and NFL players to read mean tweets.

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Late-night hosts pay tribute to Joan Rivers

Late-night hosts pay tribute to Joan Rivers
David Letterman called her a “real pioneer,” Jimmy Fallon choked up recalling getting a kiss from Rivers on his first “Tonight Show,” Seth Meyers recalled having Rivers on as a guest a month ago, and Jon Stewart paid tribute to her in his moment of zen. PLUS: Kimmel and Sarah Silverman remember Joan, who e-mailed Silverman last week congratulating her for her Emmy.

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Robert Downey Jr.'s 'The Judge' opens Toronto as the spotlight turns to Robert Duvall

Robert Downey Jr.'s 'The Judge' opens Toronto as the spotlight turns to Robert Duvall

Are there any awards chances for TIFF's opening night premiere?

TORONTO — The 39th annual Toronto International Film Festival kicked off Thursday night and its opening night film, "The Judge," brought some major star power. TIFF is known as being a red carpet festival (they seem to even be openly hyping it up this year) and nothing is better than Robert Downey Jr., one of the biggest stars in the world, posing for the paparazzi outside the massive Roy Thomson Hall.

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<p>Richard Sammel of &quot;The Strain&quot;</p>

Richard Sammel of "The Strain"

Credit: FX

Interview: 'The Strain' co-star Richard Sammel on Nazis, vampires and how he's like Jean-Claude Van Damme

German actor also discusses Eichorst's makeup routine

For the past two months, viewers have been disturbed and unsettled by Richard Sammel's performance as Eichorst, the Nazi concentration camp guard turned vampire apocalypse facilitator, on FX's "The Strain." 

Playing both the human (but inhuman) Nazi version of Eichorst and his steely, arrogant contemporary incarnation, Sammel has given very different monstrous shadings to his role.

That's why it's a bit funny to Skype up with the smiley, voluble Sammel and have him immediately cackle in pleasure at being able to identify my mogwai avatar from "Gremlins,"  before he very politely asks me to switch on my webcam so that we can see each other as we chat.

Sammel is in a good mood because it's the first sunny day in Paris for a while. Or maybe he just genuinely enjoys talking about his part in the FX vampire drama, which was recently renewed for a second season.

"I think basically bad guys in TV or movies, mostly blockbuster movies, they often are very much reduced to their dramatic function, doing bad things so that the hero can shine. But a bad guy becomes interesting when you can follow his motivations," Sammel says.

When it comes to motivations, Sammel suggests that he has done nearly 100 movies and he's only worked in a Nazi context in 22 of them, a fact he accepts as "generational guilt."

Sammel, who speaks more languages than you do better than you do (or more languages than I do better than I do), talks in long, articulate bursts, giving answers that sometimes range over 1000 words. Fortunately, they're thoughtful and often funny words and in our 30 minute conversation, I found that he was anticipating my follow-up questions with some frequency.

Honestly, I could have talked about the "generational guilt" idea and how it relates to a show about vampires for the full interview, but I also wanted to talk with Sammel about Eichorst's complicated makeup routine and getting to do stunt work in recent episodes.

Sunday (September 7) night's episode of "The Strain" is a big one for Sammel. Check out the full Q&A below. And be sure to read it in your head using Sammel/Eichorst's German accent...

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Review: Robert Downey Jr. is guilty of being shameless in 'The Judge'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Robert Downey Jr. is guilty of being shameless in 'The Judge'

Prepare to be manipulated. Poorly.

Someone really, really needs a hug from Robert Downey Sr.

Written by Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque, and a blender full of better legal thrillers and family dramas, "The Judge" has been directed by David Dobkin almost entirely in ornate second-unit establishing shots and dramatic entrances. It is an insistent film, and "subtle" isn't even a consideration. This is a movie that will tell you the same piece of information nine times to make a point because it has no faith at all that you will understand it. It also features more endings than "Return Of The King," and it feels like a movie the younger, rowdier Robert Downey Jr. would have made fun of mercilessly.

Honestly, as soon as the first scene with Downey played out, I started to worry. There's a trial. He's a big high-powered defense attorney. We meet him standing at a urinal. The opposing counsel, played by David Krumholtz, comes in to confront him.

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