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AUSTIN -- Jared Leto was not only busy promoting his 30 Seconds To Mars doc "Artifact" at SXSW, but he was also getting ready to push his rock act's new song.
Leto shot the music video for "Up in the Air," the band's forthcoming new single, and was editing the clip during his visit to Austin for the film fest. In less than a day, the song will be revealed, and overall, "It's very different, it's a complete departure," the actor/musician told me on the red carpet to "Artifact."
The band last released their album "This Is War" in 2009, after warring with their label Virgin; "Artifact" is a making-of chronicle of that set and the industry conflict behind it.
Check out what else Leto had to say about the space-bound track, and what's up with the winter coat in an central Texas spring.
“I took some time to live my life, but don’t think I’m just his little wife,” sings Mrs. Shawn Carter, i.e. Beyonce, on “Bow Down/I Been On,” a track she dropped via SoundCloud on Sunday.
[More after the jump...]
AUSTIN -- If there's anybody who had a front row seat on the dismantling of the traditional music industry model, it's Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, the two founders of Napster. They put that show on. Peer-to-peer sharing indisputably was part of weakening labels, falling sales and creative disputes between artists and the companies that were supposed to support their artform, and Napster was one of the first companies to do P2P well. In turn, it was the lightning rod to the storm to come.
Fanning and Parker were on hand for the premiere of "Downloaded," a documentary on Napster, at this year's South By Southwest film conference, and further spoke of Napster's influence on today's modern industry landscape during a SXSW interactive panel. They told crowds here first-hand what it was like to be the darlings and the "criminals" of the internet era, and just what the hell they can do about it today, 14 years after Napster was founded.
Watching "Downloaded" at SXSW was like watching my own personal history. I remember scrolling through millions of available songs in the millions of free libraries and it shaped the music listener I am today. I remember Napster's various interfaces, MTVs coverage, Metallica media interviews, even the Senate hearings, but even more so, I remember the high of falling in love with new artists because a free, curated and boundless archive was an obnoxious dial-up modem sound away.
There's also that faint remembrance -- a turn of the stomach, really -- when I realized it wouldn't be this free forever, when the RIAA was suing users, when artists I liked were being hurt because contracts and monetizing systems weren't up to par. Copyrights are still the center issue today as hundreds of companies work to take chips out of iTunes' seller dominance and streaming discovery services try to break through mainstream and make their own money.
Like the hoards of music artists converging on Austin, millions of artists are online and dying to be heard. And so then there's Fanning and Parker, again, front row.
Parker is an investor and board member of Spotify (and he and Fanning are tapping another technology, Airtime, in hopes that it clicks with video consumers).
A review of the "Girls" season 2 finale coming up just as soon as I diagnose myself from reading Louisa May Alcott...
A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I'm sent home to do some knitting...
1. Justin Timberlake: First he conquers “Saturday Night Live,” then he slays it on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” for five nights in a row. #EGOTby35
2. Luke Bryan: The country star lands his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with “Spring Break...Here to Party.” Are we the only ones that find it a little creepy that at 36 he’s still celebrating Spring Break?
3. David Bowie: His first album in 10 years, “The Next Day” looks like it will enter at the top of the charts next week. Not bad for someone who did absolutely nothing to help promote the set.
4. SXSW: Hipsters decry the annual music convention in Austin is so over as they simultaneously whine that they can’t get into the Prince or “Sound City” shows.
5. Dave Grohl: His status as most-beloved rock star remains intact after a passionate, soul-stirring keynote at SXSW.
6. Quincy Jones: The legend turned 80 this week and he’s still more active than four 20 -year olds combined.
7. Pink: It’s looking like the biggest hit from “The Truth About Love” is still to come as “Just Give Me A Reason,” featuring fun’s Nate Ruess soars 47-18 on the Billboard Hot 100.
8. The Grammys: NARAS will produce a Grammy-themed cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Grammy winners and nominees will perform and there will be more than 4,000 Grammy artifacts on board.
9. AEG: In quite the surprise move, the concert promotion/live venue company is taken off the market (after not getting the $8 million it was asking for) and longterm majordomo Tim Leiweke departs. Is that just the start of the changes?
10. Yahoo: Because the world needs another festival, Yahoo announces “Yahoo on the Road,” a 21-date summer outing featuring such acts as Fun., The Lumineers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons.
I've offered up my defense of Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers," a hypnotic depiction of the disenchantment of youth and a state-of-mind film that gets more right than it doesn't. Pity, though, that there are those seemingly willing to make an opinion without diving into the film. But I guess from the outside, I can understand why this one smells a certain way to a certain type.
"It's a rather potent study of 'spring break' as a state of mind, the desperate race for greener pastures that grows like a fungus in small town America," I wrote of the film on Thursday before planting a flag for James Franco's awards hopes. But whether this one finds that kind of rhythm at the end of the year or not (likely not), I'm happy with considering it one of the year's best films so far. But I want to know what everyone else thinks, because I anticipate even more varied reactions as it makes its way to the public. So when and if you get the chance to see the film this weekend or when it expands wider next week, give us your thoughts in the comments section, and feel free to vote in the poll below.
Despite the lows of late, I'm a big Jim Carrey fan. So I'll probably go see "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" at some point this week, even if the reviews are pretty dreadful. "The good things in the film are more frustrating because the film never finds a way to tie it all together, thematically or tonally, " HitFix's Drew McWeeny wrote in his review. "That would have been a magic trick worth applauding if they had."
I imagine a fair amount of the readership is going to give it a whirl this weekend, so as always, we have a space for you to tell us what you thought. Is it a nice dose of comedy abracadabra or a total con? Rifle off your take in the comments section, and feel free to vote in our poll below.