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Credit: Rhian Askins

Interview: Clinic already knows what its next album sounds like

Ade Blackburn on the 'necessary evil' of selling music to commercials

AUSTIN -- Clinic already knows what their next album is going to sound like.

Ade Blackburn and his Liverpool-bred band have survived eight album releases over 13 years, the most recent "Free Reign" from 2012 getting a makeover as "Free Reign II," a totally different mix. And maybe that's eh key to the four piece together: mixing, remixing, new inspiration. Thusly, the album that arrives after this  guitar-heavy, instrumentally-centered effort may have no guitars at all.
But some things stay the same. The art-punk band has always performed in clinical masks and other costumes, for instance. Rock music of the '60s and early '70s has consistently influenced their records. They don't shy away from a good concept.
Clinic just wrapped a tour of the U.S. last month and are hitting a few fests in Europe throughout the rest of the summer. Blackburn and I caught up at Austin Psych Fest -- during which they were performing -- to talk about the band's past, their future, self-producing and selling music to commercials.
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<p>Aaron Johnson, seen here reprising his role as Kick-Ass for this summer's sequel, may be joining 'The Avengers 2' as the character Quicksilver</p>

Aaron Johnson, seen here reprising his role as Kick-Ass for this summer's sequel, may be joining 'The Avengers 2' as the character Quicksilver

Credit: Universal Pictures

Aaron Taylor-Johnson may be joining 'The Avengers 2' as Quicksilver

I can't wait to see if there's a point to all this corporate posturing

Sometime in the next few weeks, I'll be running my coverage of my visit to the set of "Kick-Ass 2," where I had a few days to myself to see how director Jeff Wadlow is working with the returning cast, including Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, to make the sequel even more dangerous and deranged than the original. Of course, a big part of that coverage will be my conversation with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who returns to the sequel as Dave/Kick-Ass, the main character.

I was on the set for the original, and then really hadn't seen much of him since, so when I finally ran into him on the sequel, I was amazed by just how much muscle he's packed onto his frame. The difference that a few years make is monumental, and I suspect Johnson is a guy who studios are going to cast in action leads for many years to come. He's a smart actor who can play vulnerable very well, and for his age, he has a remarkable sense of maturity.

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Why 'Game of Thrones' Red Wedding was more traumatic on TV than in the books

Why "Game of Thrones" Red Wedding was more traumatic on TV than in the books

For one thing, Robb Stark wasn't even a major character in the books. For another, the TV show was able to throw viewers off its scent, unlike the books. PLUS: George R.R. Martin gives "spoilers" to Conan, "GoT" criticized for its use of British accents, Martin sits down with Ryan Seacrest, about the Season 3 costumes, "Brienne" gets a call from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and "Gendry" talks the season finale.

Neil Patrick Harris touts this year's "supersized Tonys"
This year, the show is moving to the much-bigger Radio City Musical Hall, which gives him room for the Rockettes.

"Boy Meets World" cast reunites
Ben Savage, Rider Strong and Danielle Fishel reunited today with other former castmates at the ATX Television Festival in Austin.

Matthew Weiner: I cast James Wolk on "Mad Men" because he's so mysterious

As for Bob Benson, Weiner says, "I'm not going to comment on whether or not he's a government spy." PLUS: "Ted Chaough" feels lucky that his role was expanded, and Bryan Batt things Sal would still be in the closet.

Watch the trailer for NBC's "Siberia"

"Lost" meets "Survivor" on this fake reality show.

"The Following" may jump ahead in time

Kevin Bacon says writers are mulling putting his character "in a different sort of head space."

Tyler Perry is making OWN more attractive to black viewers than BET
Oprah didn't create her channel for African-American viewers, but OWN has emerged as the No. 2 network among black women ages 25 to 54.

Bog Saget returns to his "Full House" home
"In San Fran. Couldn't resist," he tweeted.

"Graceland" has a respectable debut
About 3.3 million tuned in for the USA series' premiere.

Why more TV shows should kill off their characters
Killing off characters makes great business sense, according to Forbes.

Do complex TV shows need to be rewatched?

"Game of Thrones," for instance, is a much better on repeated viewing.

Reality TV hoaxer appeared on 8 different shows as 8 different people

Ken Tarr fooled everybody from Judge Joe Brown to Judge Mathis.

Bravo strands its stars on the beach for new summer promos

Check out a soaking web Padma Lakshmi and James Lipton playing cards with a monkey. PLUS: Brandi Glanville's dog kidnapped.

"Survivor: Caramoan" star creates a comic book based on his experiences

Erik Reichenbach's "Starving, For Attention" is a "completely legal parody."

Dan Stevens has lost 30 pounds since leaving "Downton Abbey"

He shed the weight for a new role. PLUS: Stevens on hysterical Twitter fans, and there will be a shocking storyline in Season 4.

Watch Starz's trailer for "The White Queen"

Could this be the next "Game of Thrones"?

ABC ordering "The Black Box" from Bryan Singer and "The L Word" creator
The series would follow a renowned neuroscientist named Elizabeth Black who secretly suffers from mental illness.

Why "Big Bang Theory" changed Raj's problem with women

The character needed to grow, though he won't be changing that much.

Every fake "Arrested Development" video, compiled
Watch a mashup of the fakest websites.

Paula Deen coming out with her own line of butter
Walmart and Walgreens will sell the special Deen butter in five flavors.

Jimmy Kimmel hangs with his fiancee and Sarah Silverman
Kimmel reunited with Silverman last night at the AFI tribute to Mel Brooks.

Here's the 1st trailer for "Luther" Season 3

BBC America brings back Idris Elba's series for four consecutive nights in September.

George Takei employs a joke-writer for his Facebook page
The "Star Trek" star reportedly pays his joke-writer $10 per joke.

"Falling Skies" is back for an action-packed Season 3

The new season kicks off Sunday seven months after the end of Season 2.

A psychiatrist explains the science of binge-watching
According to psychiatrist Richard Rosenthal, Netflix is "taking advantage of human nature" with its "post play" model. PLUS; Kate Walsh: "I love binging on shows."

"Phineas and Ferb" meets Marvel superheroes
It's Disney synergy at its finest.

WEtv star Tamar Braxton welcomes a boy

The "Tamar & Vince" star gave birth to her 3rd child.

Linda Cardellini gets engaged
The "Freaks and Geeks" and "Mad Men" actress is set to wed her longtime boyfriend and father of her daughter.

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<p>Peter Sarsgaard and Cate Blanchett in &quot;Blue Jasmine.&quot;</p>

Peter Sarsgaard and Cate Blanchett in "Blue Jasmine."

Credit: Sony Classics

Cate Blanchett is on edge in enticing trailer for Woody Allen's 'Blue Jasmine'

Will she be the latest actor to impress the Academy for a Woody collaboration?

Though he remains an all-time favorite, I try to keep my expectations firmly clamped down for any new Woody Allen these days: even supposed return-to-form "Midnight in Paris" didn't quite land right with me, so it's best to let the sporadic pleasures of his latter-day work come as pleasant surprises. Yet I've broken protocol and allowed myself to get increasingly excited about his dramedy "Blue Jasmine," which hits theaters on July 26.

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<p>Brace yourself for a whoooooooole lot of this.</p>

Brace yourself for a whoooooooole lot of this.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Review: Brad Pitt tries to bring 'World War Z' to life and fails

Another example of the blurring line between games and films in narrative

First, there is no point comparing this to the Max Brooks book of the same name. This is not an adaptation of the book. It's barely related. This is a case of a studio liking a title and building a brand-new high concept around it after they buy the rights. Love it or hate it, this "World War Z" is its own thing.

I am of very split mind on this film. It's fairly well-made, even though Marc Forster still prefers chaos over choreography in his action, making it hard to see what's happening much of the time. Brad Pitt's fine in it, although he's barely playing a character. There is so little time spent defining who Gerry Lane is or why he's the central figure in the narrative that they should have just gone the same way as "This Is The End," letting Pitt play himself. That's the ad campaign anyway. "Brad Pitt versus zombies." And I'll give them this… it's truth in advertising. This is Brad Pitt flying around the world so he can run from zombies in new and exciting places, and nothing more than that.

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<p>Honoree Mel Brooks addresses the audience during the American Film Institute's 41st Lifetime Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, June 6, 2013 in Los Angeles.</p>

Honoree Mel Brooks addresses the audience during the American Film Institute's 41st Lifetime Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, June 6, 2013 in Los Angeles.

Credit: Chris Pizello/Invision/AP

Scorsese, De Niro honor Mel Brooks at AFI Tribute

Morgan Freeman, Amy Poehler and Conan O'Brien also turn out to toast Hollywood legend

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman never worked with Mel Brooks, and the Oscar winners came to a ceremony in his honor to let him know they resent it.

Brooks received the American Film Institute's 41st Life Achievement Award Thursday, and Freeman and De Niro were among a galaxy of stars who paid tribute to the man behind "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein" and "The Producers."

De Niro asked whether there was a casting-couch process he could participate in, and Freeman quipped, "I've never even been on the same bus as Mel Brooks." Still, they thanked him for the decades of laughs.

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Actress who played a 'Walking Dead' zombie arrested in Obama/Bloomberg ricin case

Actress who played a "Walking Dead" zombie arrested in Obama/Bloomberg ricin case

Shannon Richardson, AKA Shannon Guess, was arrested Friday in connection with the mailing of three letters containing ricin to President Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Richardson, who has also appeared on "The Vampire Diaries," originally called the FBI to report that her husband sent out the letters.

Showtime orders a drama about truckers
"Heartland Trucking" will focus on the world of trucking in middle America.

Kristin Cavallari is now Kristin Cutler

The former "Hills" Star posted a photo of her wedding ring.

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<p>They're excited, sure, but should you be?</p>

They're excited, sure, but should you be?

Credit: Sony Classics

Review: The title is wishful thinking in Almodóvar's flat, unfunny 'I'm So Excited!'

Spanish auteur hits a career low in this low-energy throwback to his early work

Ah, the "early, funny ones." That seemingly innocent, but bitterly loaded, phrase for the evolved artist's simpler, less conflicted juvenilia was coined by Woody Allen in his 1980 film "Stardust Memories" to playfully antagonize fans with limited patience for his tonal experimentation. He was hardly the first nor the last filmmaker to look down his nose at his own foundational work, even as he backslid towards less risky creative territory in years to follow. Rarer is the established auteur who exhibits an active hankering for his own "early, funny ones," whether or not his audience is demanding the same -- but then, Pedro Almodóvar has never played by anyone's rules but his own.

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Craig Gass

 Craig Gass

Listen: CulturePop No. 16 - Guest host Craig Gass, "AGT," Amanda Bynes

True stories about Christopher Walken, Howard Stern and more

Melinda Newman was on the road this week so she wasn't able to do the podcast, but the good news is that comedian Craig Gass volunteered to fill her shoes. You may already know Craig from "The Howard Stern Show," "The King of Queens" or even as Miranda's donut lover on "Sex and the City." He's an amazing impressionist (I think his Christopher Walken, which you can hear on the podcast, is better than Jay Mohr's) and an equally amazing raconteur. He has a great true story about Walken and a unique perspective you haven't heard on the "America's Got Talent" dust-up, so tune in. The rundown is below, as well as a trailer for his new comedy album, "The Worst Comedy Show Ever." This is one podcast you won't want to miss. 

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<p>You may not know her yet, but it is hard to forget Antje Traue once you've seen her work as Faora in Zack Snyder's 'Man of Steel'</p>

You may not know her yet, but it is hard to forget Antje Traue once you've seen her work as Faora in Zack Snyder's 'Man of Steel'

Credit: HitFix

New face Antje Traue talks about stepping up for her big role in 'Man Of Steel'

Every bit as powerful as Superman, she's one of the many strong women in the film

It's safe to say that most filmgoers have no idea who Antje Traue is right now, but in a week, people are going to find themselves scrambling to figure out how to say her first name.

It's "aunt-juh," by the way. You're welcome, gents.

Traue is an East German actress who plays the crucial role of Faora-Ul in "Man of Steel." She is both companion and military right hand to General Zod (Michael Shannon), and when the film kicks into overdrive in its second half and the action gets apocalyptically scaled, Faora is right there in the middle of it, and she is just as scary as Zod. More importantly, she is just one of the many strong women represented in the film. It is easy to accuse the world of comic-book storytelling of handling its portrayal of women badly, but "Man Of Steel" seems particularly good at shaking off the more common problems.

Part of what defines the battles in the film are the very different moral codes that the characters follow. One of the major threads of the film involves the way Pa Kent (Kevin Costner) struggled to define morality and responsibility to his son, and we see the way all of those lessons manifest in the way Superman (Henry Cavill) handles himself as his fight with the Kryptonians progresses.

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Bryan Cranston on Samuel L. Jackson's 'Breaking Bad' monologue: 'Turn about is fair play'

Bryan Cranston on Samuel L. Jackson's "Breaking Bad" monologue: "Turn about is fair play"
"Loved it," the "Breaking Bad" star tweeted. But Cranston said to "stay tuned," apparently for his own reading of a Samuel L. Jackson monologue.

Dan Harmon on "Community" Season 4: "I'm not going to be a jerk about it"
He plans on watching last season for the first time this weekend. "I'm just going to sit by myself, pop some popcorn and watch it," he says, adding: "I know there were some great writers working on that show who bled with me for seasons one, two and three…the worst thing I can do is fart in their direction at all."

Go behind the scenes of "The Walking Dead" Season 4
AMC has an "in production" featurette.

Alec Baldwin may consider cable, recalls talking to NBC about a late-night show
"I had very serious conversations with them and other people about hosting what is essentially the podcast I do for WNYC," says Baldwin. Problem was, there was no place to put it on the schedule.

"The Wire's" David Simon criticizes media coverage of the gov't's data-mining
He writes: "Is it just me or does the entire news media  – as well as all the agitators and self-righteous bloviators on both sides of the aisle — not understand even the rudiments of electronic intercepts and the manner in which law enforcement actually uses such intercepts? It would seem so."

Kristin Cavallari is getting married to Jay Cutler

The couple filled out the paperwork for a marriage license this morning, according to TMZ.

"Game of Thrones" begins filming Season 4 next month

"Principal photography starts in July," says the show's wardrobe supervisor.

Jay Leno makes a Taylor Swift-inspired music video

Check him out in "63."

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<p>Neko Case</p>

Neko Case

Neko Case announces new album, teases 'Firey' new song

It's called 'The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight. The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.'

Neko Case has announced her next new album, the title to which is a mouthful. "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight. The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You." will be out some time later this year via Anti-, and the songwriter has begun its promotion with a video tease of the new song "Where Did I Leave That Fire."

"HEY, LOOK!!! IT'S FINALLY DONE!!" Case Tweeted last night. That revelation came a day after Minnesota Public Radio spun another new Neko Case song "Man" on-air; that song starts streaming on the regular on June 10.

As for "Where Did I Leave That Fire," Case features in the teaser video with mysterious scenes involving a bathtub, a theater, a house and a field over submarine sounds and lyrics indicating that, at some point, her character left his or her body.

I'm already in love with that snare sound, and I wonder how many incarnations that guitar amp went through to arrive at a sound that gets me ready for a fight.

"The Worse Things Get..." is the follow-up to 2009's "Middle Cyclone," which yielded Case's highest charting debut at No. 3.

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