These actors could play these pop stars in a biopic now

These actors could play these pop stars in a biopic now

Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mark Ruffalo... who would they play?

James Brown biopic "Get On Up" with recent Hitfix interviewee Chadwick Boseman heads to theaters Friday. Tom Hiddleston and Ansel Elgort will play Hank Williams and Van Cliburn, respectively, soon. The N.W.A. flick has its cast. Andre 3000 already stepped up as Jimi Hendrix in "All Is By My Side," out just recently.

Biopics have been a draw for awards voters too, like for "Ray" and "Walk the Line," for their actors and the music.

So why wait? Might as well start planning ahead while our favorite artists are with us.

In the gallery below, I spitball some actors and the contemporary musicians they could play. Undoubtedly, Tilda Swinton could play quite a few, but which first? Who looks like Taylor Swift? Who could be a doppelganger for Alicia Keys or Drake? How does Miley Cyrus fit in? And why are Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Ruffalo on this list?

Add your own suggestions in the comments. I'd be particularly keen to see Mark Strong take on Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor -- "Come Back Stronger," what do you think?

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Exclusive song premiere: Adebisi Shank's 'World in Harmony'
Credit: Sargent House

Exclusive song premiere: Adebisi Shank's 'World in Harmony'

From 'This Is The Third Album From A Band Called Adebisi Shank'

Imagine a green pasture through which you and an army of one thousand synthesizers charge toward the ocean on pixelated horses, the sky is gold glitter, and you are a stick of candy dynamite.

That's one approximation of "World in Harmony," the opening track from Irish trio Adebisi Shank's new self-evidently titled "This Is The Third Album From A Band Called Adebisi Shank," due Aug. 12. Check out the HitFix exclusive premiere of the track below.

"We were trying to make something euphoric and huge, a universe of our own imagination that we could escape into," said bassist Vin in a statement. "Our inspirations were more cinematic and fantastical."

It should tell you something that the band lists video games, movies and one particular HBO hit series among its other more musical inspirations.

Want more to sample? Below "World in Harmony" is "Voodoo Vision" and "Big Unit," too.

Here is the tracklist for "This Is The Third Album From A Band Called Adebisi Shank":

1. World In Harmony
2. Big Unit
3. Turnaround
4. Mazel Tov
5. Thundertruth
6. Sensation
7. Chaos Emeralds
8. Voodoo Vision
9. (trio always)

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Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and more made a rap song for 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'

Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and more made a rap song for 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'

If the movie looks like what this song sounds like...

The new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie got itself a new Teenage Music Ninja Track, it's a rap song, and it's called "Shell Shocked."

I'm going to give you a minute to stop laughing.

 

 

"Shell Shocked" is by Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign and guests producers Kill The Noise & Madsonik. That's officially more features than there are turtles. Somebody has to call dibs on Splinter.

Beyond its many rhymers, "Shell Shocked" has all the things to make your favorite nine-year-old slam dance in the living room: big bass, clap track, trap clap and mastering with no restraint, on top of the recurring chorus "knock knock / you about to get shell shocked."

In a press release, Wiz, Ty and Juicy J each justify why they decided to take on the song, with nary a mention of the obvious ($$$$$$$), and yet (and yes) there's mentions of Rolex watches and girls taking naughty pictures in its narrative.

God is dead and the world is on fire. Check out the single "Shell Shocked" below. Another TMNT rap classic is below that. "TMNT" is in theaters on Aug. 8.

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Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway dress in drag for Jenny Lewis' new music video

Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway dress in drag for Jenny Lewis' new music video

Read the personal and female-centric lyrics to the Beck-guesting tune

Today, Jenny Lewis' premiered the music video for her Beck-produced song "Just One of the Guys." It is silly to perfection. And it has more than just Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway and Brie Larson in drag to unpackage.

I think of Jenny Lewis as an artist whose spent a career surrounded by dudes. She started up with in Rilo Kiley at the age 22 with all-guys, toured with the Postal Service, written and recorded music with her boyfriend Johnathan Rice as Jenny & Johnny, works in an indie rock industry that is male-dominated. In her earliest career, she was a child actress, and now she writes scores and soundtracks for film. (Though, don't discount: she also recorded and toured with ladies The Watson Twins, who helped launch her as a solo act, a wonderful ensemble.)

In a lot of industries, being "just one of the guys" holds serious social capitol as a woman. This can take a variety of forms, but I think it whittles down to having a voice and being a hang that isn't perceptively different from males around you. The stereotypes: farting, drinking whiskey, talking about hot girls, low self-maintenance, Chuck Taylors, whatever.

In Lewis' video, dressing in drag means lampooning these cliches, but also offers social commentary to what the content of her song actually speaks to: "No matter how hard I try to be just one of the guys / there's a little something inside that won't let me... There's only one difference between you and me / when I look at myself all I can see / I'm just another lady without a baby."

Lewis is 38 years old. The video shows her taking a pregnancy test, she makes reference to her "ticking clock" and how "all our friends they get it on / But the girls are still staying young." Her age and her want/ability to bear children weighs on Lewis in this song, who acknowledges how "hard" she wants to be one of the guys while at the same time shrugging off the ageist tendencies of her "friends" as so-typical at best and sexist at worst. There are those outside forces and there are those inside her, as the "sister to my own sorrow."

And I don't think Lewis' selection of talent for her music video directorial debut is coincidence, either. Brie Larson, Kristen Stewart and Anne Hathaway (and collaborator-drummer-actress Tennessee Thomas) are fans of Lewis' work, but they can also be stand-ins for industry double standards. I think of Hathaway as ultra-feminine, and her famous tears for "Les Miserables" are recreated here as she apes as a dude. "Twilight" franchise star Kristen Stewart is an accidental celebrity in a lot of ways, and took the brunt of attacks over her romantic life's foibles. Brie Larson is a comedic and dramatic actress, who so far seems to actively avoid compromising roles that box her into one type of character or another.

So, yes, dressing them in (tacky) drag is funny on its face; it makes light what is heavy. But it's also a shot back at baby-making, "having it all" notions, topics rendered inapproachable "if I were a boy..." They're a crop of what ladies do and do not do, as the last lines of the song suggest.

Which takes it to some next-level sh*t debuting it on GQ, the self-proclaimed "authority on men." It's a deliberate choice -- a little bit of punking, a little of education, a little subtext, a little empowerment. (I find that emphasis of the article is on the "fun" of the shoot, and a light mention of how good Brie Larson looks as a bro.)

Aside from/because of/despite all that, it's a great tune to boot.

"Just One of the Guys," produced by and featuring Beck, is on Jenny Lewis' next solo album "Voyager," out on July 29.

Read the full lyrics below the video.

All our friends they get it on
But the girls are still staying young
if I get caught being rude in a conversation
with the child-bride on a summer vacation

No matter how hard I try to be just one of the guys
there's a little something inside that won't let me
no matter how hard I try to have an open mind
there's a little voice inside that prevents me

And how I live you got me here
locked in this bathroom full of tears
and I have begged for you and I have borrowed
but I've been the only sister to my own sorrow

No matter how hard I try to be just one of the guys
there's a little something inside that won't let me
no matter how hard I try to have an open mind
there's a little clock inside that keeps tickin'

There's only one difference between you and me
when I look at myself all I can see
I'm just another lady without a baby

No matter how hard I try to be just one of the guys
there's a little something inside that won't let me
no matter how hard I try to have an open mind
there's a little cop inside that prevents me

I'm not gonna break for you, I'm not gonna pray for you, I'm not gonna pay for you
that's not what ladies do

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Trailer for Nick Cave's '20,000 Days on Earth' documentary: Rock out with talk out

Trailer for Nick Cave's '20,000 Days on Earth' documentary: Rock out with talk out

Unorthodoc due September

"20,000 Days on Earth," the new Nick Cave film introduced at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, is not your typical music documentary. Instead of the acclaimed musician chatting with filmmakers off-camera, he's "interviewed" by a psychoanalyst. Instead of introducing archival material during a third-person retrospective voice-over, Cave gets a rundown of his own past by archivists. Instead of a face-to-face chat with collaborators from his past like Kylie Minogue and Blixa Bargeld, their perspectives are explored from sitting in the back seat of his car.

Of course, there's plenty of music all around -- with new score pieces from Cave and his Bad Seeds, as well as behind-the-scenes clips of their creative process during the making-of "Push the Sky Away" and two key performances. As mentioned during my interview with Cave and "20,000 Days on Earth" filmmakers Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, there's a melding of the man and myth, which is really what the man does with his music anyway.

The first trailer for "20,000 Days on Earth" is now available, stream it below. This extraordinary film heads to theaters on Sept. 19. Check out a full clip from Drafthouse below that, and the interview from Sundance beyond that. Cave is on tour now.

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Neko Case and Kelly Hogan's new video warns: 'These Aren’t The Droids'

Neko Case and Kelly Hogan's new video warns: 'These Aren’t The Droids'

But it may be just what you're looking for

We've already pointed out the many splendor thing about Kelly Hogan and Neko Case's very silly and strong feministing song "These Aren't The Droids." I giggle every time at the "sexbot with only holes" line.

But the music video to the comedy track may also be a fun primer for some of you leading up to San Diego Comic-Con, first, for some great cosplay ideas. Secondly: tips on dining table etiquette and what to do with your tasers. Third, it's a reiteration of how people shouldn't treat  girls (geeky or not) like second-rate space citizens. We may get you pregnant by pointing at you.

Ellie Kemper also co-stars, so you've got that.

"These Aren't The Droids" is a track off of the benefit album "2776," which boasts contributions from other music and comedy acts including Patton Oswalt, Reggie Watts, Aimee Mann, Ed Helms, Will Forte and more. As a matter of fact, I premiered a different song, "Escape from New York," by Ashanti, Andy Richter and more. Proceeds go to OneKid OneWorld.

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Fred Armisen says his Supporting Actor Emmy nomination is a 'Portlandia' team win

Fred Armisen says his Supporting Actor Emmy nomination is a 'Portlandia' team win

HitFix interview: Will Seth Meyers pull him in for musical duties at the ceremony?

This morning, Fred Armisen used the words "really," "exciting" and "group" extensively as he hopped on the horn to discuss "Portlandia's" six Emmy Nominations for the 2014 honors.

The IFC program earned nods for a varied crop of comedy and variety series awards, some of which are more elaborate than others: Art Direction For Variety, Nonfiction, Reality Or Reality-Competition Program; Directing For A Variety Series; Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series; Guest Actor In A Comedy Series; and Writing For A Variety Series.

But a surprise first for Armisen was in a major category, for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series.

In my second interview in a half year with Armisen, I ask about his newly minted Supporting Actor nominee status, the snub of Brownstein for Supporting Actress, and what role (if any) he may play at the ceremony in August with "Late Night" buddy and Emmys ceremony host Seth Meyers.

Check out the television shows with the most 2014 Emmy nominations here.

Congratulations! What has your morning been like, did you get up bright and early for the announcement?

Fred Armisen: We have to get up fairly early anyway for pre-production, but I definitely woke up to a whole bunch of really excited texts from friends and the group. 

I mean, I really love TV. I love watching TV so much. Thank you so much, I'm just... yes.

This is the first time you've earned an Actor Emmy nomination. Does that feel any different than "Portlandia's" other former nominations?

It's all a huge honor, all the way through. It's all because the way we work on the show, we do everything in a group. It's very harmonious. It's just really exciting.

I assume you feel pretty strongly that Carrie should have gotten an actress nomination?

I feel like is all part of the same thing. There's nothing singular about my nomination in the category. We do everything together.

When I went to sleep last night, I was think about the group, not in sums of should or shouldn't. It's all celebration. We're lucky to be doing comedy at all. We're lucky to have a show on air. Even that is a really huge honor to be in anything.

We really all write together, perform together. She's nominated for writing. It's all very much in the same room.

The Emmys have special rules for comedy actors in a variety series, about submitting as Supporting as opposed to Leads. You're obviously a co-lead in "Portlandia," but your nomination is for Supporting Actor. Do you have any strong feelings about those inner workings, anything you'd want to change?

I just don't know how everything... works. I just feel like we all get to go and be part of it. It's not for me to say what should and shouldn't be. There are people who are definitely better with questions like that.

Has Seth [Meyers] dialed you in for any musical duties for the ceremony?

We haven't talked about it yet. I hope that may come somewhere down the line. We've been texting all this morning.

Any other nominees this morning that knock your socks off?

Oh man. I sit down at my TV and I've got "Veep," "[Inside] Amy Schumer," "Key & Peele"... in the future, we're gonna look back at this time period and think, "People really did some great shows, great work, great art." "Orange Is The New Black," are you kidding me? "Girls?" All of it I love it all, how exciting.

 

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<p>Weezer at the Firefly music fest in June 2014</p>

Weezer at the Firefly music fest in June 2014

Credit: AP Photo

Weezer reveal release date, title, 'Blue'-ness of 'Alright' new album

Why old albums are like a home remodeling television show

Did you ever watch an episode of, say, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and there's a young kid in the family and the designer asks "What do you like?" and kid's like "I like baseball and blah blah blah," and then all of a sudden when the reveal happens, the kid's room is ENTIRELY covered in baseball wallpaper and decals and baseballs and paraphernalia and you think, man, they are just gonna outgrow that if you shove it down their throats.

We were like that kid -- "I liked the Blue album and 'Pinkerton!'" -- when it comes to Weezer and it was iterated enough that Weezer heard.

The Blue album came out in 1994, "Pinkerton" in 1996. The band -- after a number of hit singles, a number of maligned albums, some bonkers pop experiments and funny, fun live shows -- heard the cry "I like those albums" and reissued "Pinkerton" and made a tour out of it in 2012. (I saw it, it was tight.)

So maybe now they think that's all we ever want?

"If you took the 'Pinkerton' band and then play all the other records," drummer Pat Wilson today told EW, "that's what we sound like now. Bombastic, loose, kind of booming. This record sounds like it's going to have the tight structure of Blue album with a little bit more abandon like 'Pinkerton.'"

Weezer have announced the release date of "Everything Will Be Alright In The End" (which, as a title, sounds much more like Shins meeting Modest Mouse but I digress), which is due Sept. 30. There is a preview for it above, with the song "Return to Ithaca." It was produced by the Cars' frontman Ric Ocasek, who you'll remember produced the Blue album (OK OK OK and "The Green Album" in 2001).

Hoping it's all you ever wanted.

Everything Will Be Alright In The End

Here are Weezer's tour dates:

7/24/14                            London, ON @ Rock The Park 2014
7/25/14                            Belleville, ON @ Empire Rockfest
7/26/14                            Rimouski, QC @ Les Grandes Fetes du St-Laurent
8/1/14                               Las Vegas, CA @ The Cosmopolitan
8/2/14                              Del Mar, CA @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Summer Concert Series
8/9/14                              Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest PNC Plaza
8/13/14                            Southaven, MS @ Snowden Grove Amphitheater
8/14/14                            Lake Charles, LA @ L’Auberge Casino Resort
8/31/14                            Los Angeles, CA @ Made In America
9/6/14                              Charlotte, NC @ 106.5 The End presents Weenie Roast ‘14
9/12/14                            Paso Robles, CA @ Vino Robles Amphitheatre
9/13/14                            Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival
9/14/14                            Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
9/19/14                            Denver, CO @ Riot Fest

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<p>Why is this man smiling</p>

Why is this man smiling

Nobody's buying what Robin Thicke's selling: 'Paula' tanks in first week's sales

Although, we may be complicit in a bounceback...

Robin Thicke's last album became his first No. 1 on The Billboard 200 album sales chart when it bowed in the U.S. in 2013: "Blurred Lines" was the name, and "Blurred Lines" it boasted. The runaway hit single (and it's breast-bearing "unrated" music video) help propel Thicke's name back into consumer consciousness because, consider, Thicke was a hot dog in 2008 for "Something Else" (No. 3) then dropped down a bit with hilariously named "Sex Therapy: The Session" (No. 9) and "Love After War" (No. 22) in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

So maybe it was the success that doomed Thicke's new album "Paula," which apparently sold just more than 500 (five hundred) copies in the U.K. last week, and made it to No. 9 on The Billboard 200 this week with only 24,000 copies. To put that into perspective, "Blurred Lines" sold 177,000 copies when it came out last summer. "Love After War" (that No. 22) sold more than 40,000 in its debut week.

Lots of factors can go into this. "Get Her Back," the lead single, was only just added at radio in the last couple of weeks. It starts at No. 82 on the Hot 100. It's an OK song, but it doesn't snap like "Blurred Lines."

"Get Her Back" has been promoted via TV appearances, but so has a couple other choice cuts from "Paula," which may not point consumers at a singular touchstone for buying.

There was only about a month put into promoting this album cycle.

And, also, "Paula" is really weird, and puts fans in a really weird place.

It's said that new album sales are a reflection of the last album, and if you'll remember, "Blurred Lines" (the song) put many fans and potential fans in an awkward spot, ultimately because of content. Obviously, the T.I. and Pharrell Williams-featuring single had (and still has) loads of support as a party and radio song. But it wasn't all good feelings, with it's "blurred" messaging in the lyrics and the video, giving many people a stink-face about Thicke, who went on a weirdly Weiner-esque defense of the song. For instance, that "Today" show head-scratcher. Plus, people got sick as sh*t of it as it mixed with the peak of Miley Cyrus twerk hysteria.

Then, there's "Paula," an album that my cohort Melinda Newman called a mix of apologies and revenge. It's devoted to his estranged wife Paula Patton, and he's made it explicit that this album was intended to "win her back." That in itself makes it a liability for a singer who is airing his and his wife's dirty laundry with such slap-dash commercial gusto.

I love Usher's "Confessions." It's also an album about splitting up and divorce and marital issues. But it sure as hell isn't called "Tameka." In R&B, there's a requisite demand for intimacy and authenticity, for the listener and by the performer. And there's also an art to keeping it personal, despite the famous-ness of its artist. That you can call a blurred line. The explicit shame-training artlessness to "Paula" -- months after the dick-swinging of "Blurred Lines" and the conversations about sexism and womanizing it started -- doesn't seem so much as a "confession," but a power and publicity play, so air and embarrass. Whether wrongdoing in the Patton-Thicke marriage was on his part, or her part or their combined parts (heh), there's a creep factor Thicke should have considered before his showed up with a busted-up face in the truly terrible "Get Her Back" music video.

Speaking of music videos, most of Robin Thicke's aren't doing him any favors, so there's that.

"Paula" wasn't working for consumers. Again, I think it's healthy and good for music fans to have complicated relationships to their artists. Robin Thicke is forcing those complications, as he's smiling and winking at the camera the whole time.

Perhaps Thicke will be thankful that his low albums sales in the U.K. and the U.S. will raise awareness that he even has a new album out. Hell, you could see this article and think the same thing, though I'll warn it's densely mediocre. Go give a spin to Trey Songz' "Trigga" instead (he's No. 1 this week).

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Watching Fifth Harmony's 'BO$$' video with the sound off

Watching Fifth Harmony's 'BO$$' video with the sound off

A too-close reading: Grab a drink, sit down

Literally the first shot of this video sets you into a state of confusion: are those doctors jackets or blazers? And where are their pants?

The first phrases emblazoned across the screen is "Think Like A Boss... Dreams Don't Work Unless You Do... Find Yourself And Be That." These are in two different fonts: the first phrase is in Impact and the other font and words make me want to buy organic bath stuffs.

So far, the outfits are quite literally binary: white or black. Each seems to lay claim to different choreography schemes with white denoting unity and black meaning individuality. Each require complex arm movements denoting bossness.

Boss means strutting on a catwalk and extreme arm movement. If I didn't know that the most-used phrase in this song was "Michelle Obama," I wouldn't be doing the dog-headtilt thing here.

Holding up signs that look like enlarged Scrabble letters, I am told the quintet is "confident." Now, pretend legs are butterfly wings and that explains what their preceding floor move is.

Confident women air-hump chairs.

Seconds later, they kick those chairs, with heels on. But I thought they liked the chairs?

Boys and girls approach a small table and they don't like each other. There's a fight, or at least some aggressive smack talk. It may be political.

A girl and a guy face off, because this is a battle of the sexes. There's an ingredient in this drink, I wish I knew what it was because it tastes so obvious.

Based on physical strength, everybody here knows she would lose this match. Everybody. If this is a battle for symbolic bossness, then of course she won because that is the name of the song. If this was a battle of the sexes -- and we've established that this is -- can it not end in a draw? Must there always be a superiority and establishment class? I'm alarmed at this symbolic arm wrestling match. Must boss equal female?

Mystery solved: there is a catwalk in this music video because there is a [camera] product placement. The product has its own flash on it, yet we continue to see bursts of those old-timey flash bulbs. I dare to dream it is another symbol in this symbol-rich music video:  the old timey camera flashes are the male establishment and the new petite flashes on the [camera] are representative female and because Fifth Harmony were paid to host a brand in the video, they (and by proxy females) are boss, despite the aesthetic advantages of a male flashbulb state.

The women salute a flag that says "Boss / Fifth Harmony," delivering on another unsolved mystery: they are in the military, and more specifically, privates in the sexy nurses branch. They pledge allegiance to themselves.

Returning to the arm wrestling match, we have another face-off. Finding herself immediately outmatched, our female snatches the ballcap from her rival's head and puts it on her head, an assertion of flirtation, sexual dominance, gender reversal and "wiles." Wiles are looked down upon by the male troupe, who deem wiles irresistible and, thus, unjust. She solidifies the victory by using two hands instead of one, a slight breach in traditional arm wrestling etiquette. Considering the pre-established military state of Fifth Harmony, one can only conclude that the tussle between the sexes here is over the female recruit physical requirements for the integration into Marine ground combat units. A hot topic! It is political.

He takes off his shirt, a momentary inverse on the male gaze, her spoils of winning the war.

The [camera] is turned on the male photographers, who are revealed to be the ladies' arm wrestling rivals. Like an explorer photographing a newly exposed native peoples, she reveals she has captured their souls with her flashy boxy thingie.

Since bossness, and superiority in arm strength and arm movement is confirmed, the women now are ready for marriage, which could be the sole and only explanation for their virginal,  lace- and satin-dominated floor length white gowns. The camera, the gaze and conservative value is reclaimed. Marital availability becomes an indicator light for bossness. The First Lady iterations become inextricable interwoven with Annie Leibovitz retro.

I can't anymore. This song and its video is playful but pedantic. Fifth Harmony's "BO$$" went on sale yesterday, and will be included on "The X Factor" ensemble's first full-length album, out in the fall.

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