<p>Tyler Glenn</p>

Tyler Glenn

Credit: HitFix

Tyler Glenn talks Neon Trees' new album 'Pop Psychology' and coming out of the closet

To those still afraid: 'Tweet me if you need a friend'

LOS ANGELES - Neon Trees' new album "Pop Psychology" drops today, and just a month ago, frontman Tyler Glenn came out as gay. According to Glenn, fans are going to hear a lot of intersection of the latter in the former.

Speaking to me from the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards this month, Glenn said that a lot of lyrics from "Pop Psychology" came from "therapy sessions... it feels very cathartic."

His advice to those who are closeted is that "it's OK to be scared" though "it's the best thing I've done in a long time."

"I know how it feels," Glenn continued. "Tweet me if you need a friend."

Watch the rest of the video above for Glenn's tips on keeping your voice and watching out for those hard-partying nights.

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<p>Kermit, remixed</p>

Kermit, remixed

Credit: Disney

Exclusive premiere: Shy Kidx's EDM remix of 'The Muppets Show' theme

Go bananas to this wild ride and others on Disney remix album 'Dconstructed'

For the Muppets fan who could use their beloved characters in neon hues, we bring you Shy Kidx's remix of "The Muppets Show" theme song.

Today (April 22), Disney released a whole album called "Dconstructed," packed to the brim of playful EDM reduxes of their powerhouse back catalog. You, too, can go bananas to versions of "Circle of Life," "You’ve Got a Friend in Me" and more from DJs and producers like Kaskade, Armin Van Buuren and U.N.K.L.E.

Back to Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang: try and name every character in the video below, which includes never-before-seen Muppets footage.

And then get up and walk in straight line. Use handrails if you have to.

“The Muppet Show Theme” (Shy Kidx Remix), "Dconstructed" and Shy Kidx's EP "Orion" (Epitaph) are out now.

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'Afflicted' actors Derek Lee and Clif Prowse on what's wrong with monster movies

'Afflicted' actors Derek Lee and Clif Prowse on what's wrong with monster movies

Bad angles, scary pictures: Co-directors talk what makes found footage films work

With a title like "Afflicted," and the skin-crawling movie posters that have accompanied, there's no question a creature is coming.

But for "Afflicted" co-stars/co-directors Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, it's all about the timing and emotional expenditure to get to that first true scare in their horror film.

It was back in late 2013 that I talked to longtime friends and collaborators Lee and Prowse, as they took their small budget film to genre-loving Fantastic Fest in Austin. On film, they happen to also play filmmaking friends Derek and Cliff, who travel overseas and are suddenly sidelined by a newly contracted health condition.

It was just this past week the pair finally unleashed their found footage/documentary-style film into theaters, on a small enough scale that the film's greatest thrills and even its central creature have not been spoiled, to some degree.

Below, however, are some spoilers. Check out what Lee and Prowse had to say about their budget, the makeup, making found footage work and why vampires are still a lasting legend in the movie-making world.

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<p>RZA</p>

RZA

Credit: HitFix

RZA on Wu-Tang's $5 million-plus secret album, and why 'Tomorrow' won't be easy

Preparation on 'A Better Tomorrow' is 'a stumbling block'

LOS ANGELES - RZA may be out and about promoting his film "Brick Mansions" co-starring the late Paul Walker, but it's clear that the rapper/director/actor/producer is also in full-promo mode for the couple of projects Wu-Tang Clan has in the hopper.

Most recently, RZA announced that the hip-hop group had spent the last six years secretly recording the album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," of which only a single copy will be released, and to the highest bidder. The album will be encased in original silver-and-nickel box designed by artist Yahya and is intended -- in RZA's words -- as a work of art; whoever ends up purchasing it can do with it whatever he or she wants, whether hold it in a private collection or release it somehow for public consumption or otherwise. Curious fans will hopefully be able to listen to "Shaolin" like they would view a touring piece of art or artifacts: in museums and galleries, and for a price.

In the meantime, the MC admitted the Wu's 20th anniversary album "A Better Tomorrow" has undergone a number of delays, and it's currently (and very tentatively) slated for release this summer. RZA's mentioned in other reports that the participation of Raekwon among other members has been dodgy.

But, yes, the whole crew is present and accounted for on "Once Upon a Time..." RZA told me in our video interview, though recording it was a vastly different experience than laying down "A Better Tomorrow."

Below is an abridged transcription of RZA's response to what Wu-Tang Clan's participation was like for "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," and what he hopes to achieve with its rare release:

I think the secrecy of that project allowed it to be fulfilled. I think the openness of "A Better Tomorrow" is gonna be a stumbling block. Which is weird, but it is part of the dynamic of my crew.

Most people, if you offer them medicine, they won't take it. You gotta put it in their food. And "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" was like the medicine was put into the food. "A Better Tomorrow is like, "Yo, you need this" and "Nah, I don't need it." That's the analogy I will give it.

I will say "A Better Tomorrow" isn't only for us, it's for the people, for the world... that's what that concept is. "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" is a dream of a fan. People always ask me "How did it feel to make 'The Man with the Iron Fists,' to have Gordon Liu in your movie and T-Kwan [Thomas Chow Wai Kwan] and Quentin Tarantino all around you?' I'm fan of these people. That's the greatest feeling, [as] a fan to finally realize his dream and to meet the people he admired become his peers.

"Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" is that story ... more than anything, it ain't that people gotta raise money. The price of something is because of the rarity of it. But the idea of music being art, of music being a work of art, and a piece of art... people are responding more to the artistic value of it more than the number value.

Of course the number value is gonna be whatever. I've sold an album for $5 million before. I sold "Bobby Digital," I had a $5 million budget. "Wu-Tang Forever" is nothing new, getting a lot of money. It's about now appreciating art for what it is. That's what's been missing. We've become entitled.

Here we have a movie, "Brick Mansions." It took years to make, and for actors, you're talking 60 to 70 days schedule, some away from your families. Guys risking their lives jumping of roof. Millions of dollars spent, thousands of hours... and a person now gets to enjoy all this for $10 to $12. Why try to get it for free? If you keep getting it for free, how can we make another one? You don't want music, then say that. And we'll stop. That's something I'm really adamant about, fans of music and film will realize that as they legally consume, it's gonna bring back the output.

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'Portlandia' interview: 11 fun facts on Jeff Tweedy, Season 4, 'Seth Myers' and more

'Portlandia' interview: 11 fun facts on Jeff Tweedy, Season 4, 'Seth Myers' and more

Sleater-Kinney guitarist is toying with new music

Just as the new fourth season of "Portlandia" was gearing up, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen were making the rounds at South By Southwest.

Armisen had only recently been named as the house band leader for "Late Night with Seth Myers," reuniting the two "Saturday Night Live" cohorts for another late-night adventure.

A different reunion may run across the minds of Sleater-Kinney fans, who saw video of the band back together playing "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" with Neil Young last fall. After our interview at SXSW, Brownstein didn't indicate if the trio was set to come together again. But that doesn't mean she isn't playing music...

As another new ep of "Portlandia" rolls out tonight, here are 10 fun facts that came out of our interview to keep in mind.

1. Apparently, Armisen and Brownstein are incapable of getting sick of each other. Plus, "We don't see each other all the time, we only shoot six months out of the year," the latter smiled.

2. Armisen said that the duo consciously cut recurring arcs to be a little shorter in Season 4, so audiences would be able to watch shows more out of order without getting too lost.

3. "Portlandia" has always been blessed with a big number of surprising (and surprisingly funny) guest stars, but it's not a matter of crossing names off of a list. Brownstein says that often, actors and artists reach out to them because they're fans of the show, and if the fit's good and timing works out, then something "wonderful" always seems to happen

4. The most magic from a guest star so far -- or at least in this season -- is from Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, who stars in tonight's episode. "We didn't know how the sketch was gonna end," they conceded and yet the fire alarm story seemed to anchor his whole bit.

5. Speaking of tonight's show, the characters Peter and Nance have come back, circling around on Peter's old band The Bahama Knights and their hit song, which has become one of Brownstein and Armisten's favorite original jams from the series.

6. "Portlandia" is now even more scripted than before. Brownstein says "the more infrastructure in a scene or sketch, the more we can improvise." It's just good for the actors to know that there's an actual, planned ending to each.

7. When fans come up to them in public to quote their favorite lines, "it's between 'Cacao' and 'Put a bird on it,'" though Armisen also hears quite a few "A-O Rivers."

8. Yes, they have some current events and Portland hipster idiosyncrasies that they simply can't their way into to make funny.

9. Armisen on putting the very talented band for "Late Night..." together: he made sure that every member "wanted to do it" that each was "in a place in their lives that were ready to do it, and ready to give a lot.... any show asks a lot."

10. Brownstein is working on some music of her own. "I'm doing a little music right now but I don't know what's going to come of it," not indicating if it'd be for her own project, for Wild Flag, S-K or beyond. Armisen and she are finding "engaging" with new music disheartening at times, but...

11. ... she likes records by Run the Jewels, King Krule, War on Drugs and Angel Olsen. (Good gets, Secretly Canadian, Fool's Gold, XL and Dead Oceans). Between the two, they're big on guitarists and songwriters St. Vincent and Marnie Stern. And, literally, to the rock group Real Estate, Brownstein beamed "What a band!" 

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<p>NEEDTOBREATHE</p>

NEEDTOBREATHE

Credit: Atlantic

Exclusive: NEEDTOBREATHE's new song 'Feet Don't Fail Me Now'

From rock act's forthcoming album 'Rivers in the Wasteland'

The title to Needtobreathe's "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" is also fair request: those feet will be set to stomping in this new song.

This HitFix exclusive track premiere is from the Southern-hued rockers' forthcoming album "Rivers in the Wasteland," due on April 15.

"'Feet Don't fail me now' is what we like to call 'maraca rock.' There is a constant pace to the song that makes you feel like you're running from something," said band founders Bear and Bo Rinehart in a statement on the song, which is "about youth, ambition and fear of failure set to the soundtrack of a car chase. There's even a ZZ Top/'Knight Rider' moment in there that we're very proud of."

Leading up to the release of "Rivers in the Wasteland," Needtobreathe is dropping a song per day. In addition to "Feet" below, listen to what else the South Carolinians have in store on their website, which so far is a mix of chaos, beauty, simplicity, noise and emotion.

The relentlessly touring band is also likely headed to a town near you: dates are below.

Here are NEEDTOBREATHE's tour dates:

     Apr 16        In-Store @ Fingerprints Music    Long Beach, CA
     Apr 19        Grimey's    Nashville, TN
     Apr 19        Grand Ole Opry    Nashville, TN
     May 01    Gillioz Theatre    Springfield, MO
     May 02    Brady Theater    Tulsa, OK
     May 03    Suburbia Music Festival    Plano, TX
     May 05    Marquee Theatre    Phoenix, AZ
     May 06    The Wiltern    Los Angeles, CA
     May 07    The Fillmore    San Francisco, CA
     May 09    Neptune Theatre    Seattle, WA
     May 10    Neptune Theatre    Seattle, WA
     May 11    Vogue Theatre    Vancouver, Canada
     May 14    The Fillmore    Denver, CO
     May 15    Uptown Theatre    Kansas City, MO
     May 16    Hangout Festival    Gulf Shores, AL
     May 31    The Tabernacle    Atlanta, GA
     Jun 01        The Tabernacle    Atlanta, GA
     Jun 03        Stage AE    Pittsburgh, PA
     Jun 04        Ichthus Festival    Lexington, KY
     Jun 05        House of Blues     Cleveland, OH
     Jun 06        Murat Theatre    Indianapolis, IN
     Jun 08        Pabst Theater    Milwaukee, WI
     Jun 10        Simon Estes    Des Moines, IA
     Jun 12        Skyway Theatre    Minneapolis, MN
     Jun 13        The Pageant    St Louis, MO
     Jun 14        House of Blues     Chicago, IL
     Jun 15        House of Blues     Chicago, IL
     Jun 17        Town Ballroom    Buffalo, NY
     Jun 19        Danforth Theatre    Toronto, Canada
     Jun 20        The Fillmore    Detroit, MI
     Jun 21        Meijer Gardens    Grand Rapids, MI
     Jun 25        Creation NE    Mt Union, PA
     Aug 16        DownPour Festival    Great Falls, MT

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<p>Tom and Matt Berninger</p>

Tom and Matt Berninger

Credit: HitFix

Matt Berninger on 'Mistaken for Strangers': The good and bad luck of The National

Frontman and filmmaker-brother Tom Berninger talk crying on film

LOS ANGELES - The new film "Mistaken for Strangers" featuring The National certainly has a lot of the band in it. But it's not about The National. It's much more about singer Matt Berninger and his brother Tom, and the measure of success, particularly among siblings.

The National is made up of Berninger plus two pairs of brothers, with Bryce and Aaron Dessner, and Scott and Bryan Devendorf. When Matt invited his brother Tom to become a roadie on The National's frequently sold-out world tour a couple years ago, "I wanted him to bring his camera to maybe make some videos or stuff for our website. He didn't even know he was gonna be making a feature film at that point," Matt told me in our HitFix interview. 

No, "Mistaken for Strangers" did not turn out to be "a slick, cool profile" but a summary of Tom's struggle with feeling aimless and struggling with his own self-identity next to his successful indie-rock brother. It was a question of "at what point did I go down the wrong path," Tom explained in his own words, "a look into who I've become, and who I have become is not so bad, and I just had to roll with it."

That "look" included some cringe- and tears-inducing moments -- for the brothers as well as for the audience. Interviews with the Berningers' parents; footage of Tom getting fired from the tour;  Matt's frustrations with his brother; heady moments from the stage and behind it all took place just prior to and during the recording of the band's 2013 album "Trouble Will Find Me."

"When I was finishing the movie on his band, I realized a better movie was not having the band in it that much," Tom explained about this "soul searching." After the film debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, he got feedback that he wasn't alone in this family or creative dynamic.

For the The National, they too have had periods of drought that made them ask serious questions about "rolling with it."

"We got knocked down a bunch at the beginning," Berninger said, after explaining what he meant in "Strangers" by saying his band's had "good luck."  "We kept clinging to the positive things. You can let bad luck stop you, or you can just ignore it," advising that when only two people showed up to the shows, to play your heart out to them. "There days when there were none..."

Those sparse gigging days seem to be gone. The band has release six full-lengths, gone on a number of successful tours and diversified by sometimes working on solo projects, film scores, soundtrack spots and, well, have become a "Bob's Burgers" holiday staple. The last three full-lengths have all been released in May, three years apart, but Matt said he wouldn't be surprised if the follow-up to "High Violet" may take a little longer.

Watch the full interview with Matt and Tom Berninger above to learn more about The National's recording process and what the band didn't want out of Tom's documentary.

"Mistaken for Strangers" heads to theaters, VOD and iTunes tomorrow (March 28).

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2014 hit singles that need to go away already

2014 hit singles that need to go away already

No more #Selfie, we're not all that 'Loyal'

We're only a quarter of a way into 2014 and the lists have already started. For me, it's a hit list of sort, with some "hits" shy a letter.

Some tracks like Pitbull's "Timber" and Chris Brown's "Loyal" were release late into 2013 and reaching critical mass just now. Others like The Chainsmokers' "#Selfie" bounded in from out of nowhere while the world spied for new formulas from acts like Jennifer Lopez or lingering singles-in-wait from Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars

Below is a chronicle of songs that just need to get lost already, from Brantley Gilbert to -- get your gasp out now -- the "Frozen" song.

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Exclusive U.S. premiere: Augustines' Walkabout video blog, part 1

Exclusive U.S. premiere: Augustines' Walkabout video blog, part 1

Rock act gives us a glimpse of life on stage overseas

"Britain had become a second home for us, and London is where we began our journey supporting our sophomore release 'Augustines.' Our drummer Rob Allen and multi-instrumentalist Al Hardiman are both British and we enjoy our happy NYC / London camp," Augustines frontman Billy McCarthy told HitFix. "It seemed fitting to film 'Cruel City' and our Walkabout blog in England. Viva England, Viva New York!"

And so sets the scene of the rock band's first installment of their Walkabout Blog. The exclusive video above was shot while the band visited and performed in London, and features their next U.K. single "Now You Are Free," due on April 28.

I interviewed Augustines -- then known as We Are Augustines -- in January 2012, around the time they released the music video to  emotional, driving single "Chapel Song"; in these two years that have followed, clearly the intensity hasn't lessened. In this video blog, you can see written all over McCarthy's face.

As you can tell from the title -- "Walkabout Blog Pt.1 London - Now You Are Free" -- this is just the first part of many, as the band continues to update fans with more music and footage from the road. The band performs overseas again starting April 10; all tour dates are here. Their second, self-titled album was released last month.

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<p>John Ridley at the 2014 Oscars</p>

John Ridley at the 2014 Oscars

Credit: AP Photo

Interview: John Ridley on Oscars and Jimi Hendrix pic 'All Is By My Side'

'12 Years a Slave' writer talks penning race and art in rockers' life

In the same week -- really, the same 24 hours -- he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for "12 Years a Slave," John Ridley flew to Austin to launch into work on the pilot for ABC's "American Crime." That meant, too, he could promote "Jimi: All Is Lost," to which he referred as his "child," his baby, a film fit for the South By Southwest film conference and is creeping toward theatrical release on May.

"All Is By My Side" and "12 Years a Slave" both made their debut at the Toronto International Film Festival last year; but it's the former that he wrote, directed and executive produced. Touching on one year of rocker Jimi Hendrix's early career, Ridley also had to work-around the notoriously difficult Hendrix estate, which denied the film any usage of Hendrix's recorded work, and long timeline conversations with people producing the film.

I thought that "All Is By My Side" toyed with what really makes up "the cast of characters" in Hendrix's life, namely the women that surrounded him. He abused some, like he ultimately did his drugs, which Ridley's script also alludes to. His passions for guitar and art and music felt so light-hearted compared to his inner-struggles for acceptance, and the film knowingly complicates the story of Jimi Hendrix before he became famous to thousands -- and, ultimately, millions -- of fans at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967.

I caught up with Ridley at SXSW at the time of "All Is By My Side's" U.S. debut at the fest, to ask about women's roles in the film, Hendrix and race, films with messaging, Andre Benjamin (Outkast rapper Andre 3000) as Jimi, and how that whole winning-Academy-Awards-thing is going.

HitFix: You haven’t been able to really enjoy your Oscar win, have you?

John Ridley: I have not had time to literally sit at home with the wonderful statue, I had to jump on a plane to Austin and work on this pilot. I didn’t get to just revel in it.

I have to say there’s something nice about leaving that behind, leaving truly with my family and knowing what’s next, and knowing there were people truly supportive of me before it happened. That’s a good feeling. In some ways it was like a dream, like it didn’t happen. The reality is it all happened so fast. It takes years to get there, it takes months to get to that moment, once they start with which film is going to be [selected], who’s in, who’s in play, who’s not… it’s always gonna be over too quickly.

Do you feel like this has a long goodbye? Do you need to have some kind of closure with your films?

It’s odd because for me, the reality of “12 Years a Slave” started in 2008 so in some ways I feel like I’m being rewarded for something I did in high school. It feels great, but people ask you questions about it, want to recollect about it, and I'm like, “I think I did this?”. It was a beautiful end for everybody involved, but there is a level of “It’s done now.” I’m ready for what’s next in my life.

“All Is By My Side” also took a long time, and it just keeps going.

Like with “12 Years a Slave,” sometimes you’re just a writer --  and that’s just the way it is, you’re kinda removed, you hand it off to this amazing team.

In all actuality, we were filming “All Is By My Side” at the same time they were filming “12 Years a Slave.” You’re handing over your child to other people and they’re raising amazingly well, but there’s a cool remove. With “All Is By My Side,” that’s the kid you’re with every single day, from the moment you sit down to write it, to the moment early on when you pitch it to other people, then you meet these producers who believe in it, you meet actors like Andre and Imogen and Hayley, then you shoot it, you’re working with an editor, every step of the way.

Toronto [Film Festival] was amazing in that both of my kids were there – “12 Years” on that Friday, “All Is By My Side” was Saturday. People are talking about the film, it’s being reviewed in the right ways, but you’re not done with it yet. It hasn’t gotten its release, it does go on and on and on. It’s this dance.

I don’t want to beat the metaphor to death, but I feel like now I’m the dad and I’m having this last dance with my daughter. It grabs me different, this one. Every step of the way, every moment, every cut, I had a hand in and worked with the people who helped execute it. This is a special feeling. The ways people are responding to this film are phenomenal. The way people respond to Andre and his performance… That makes me proud.

After TIFF, what was reflected back at you? What did you take from the TIFF experience, and what are you hoping more people would “get?”

I was very happy with people how they responded in Toronto. You can’t come into things and manage how people feel. Any time you put something out into the public, you always take that risk of people loving or hating it. You can’t live or die by reviews. I want people to appreciate what we were trying to do with it, that it’s not a conventional narrative, that it is just one year out of someone’s life, that we’re not trying to be dependent on certain artifacts but get a certain emotional velocity throughout this film.

I always talk about a film that inspires me, “Sid & Nancy,” [even though] I don’t really dig punk rock music. There were bits and pieces of the Sex Pistols within it, but that’s not what the film was about. It was about these two individuals who were no good for anyone else but each other. That’s what we wanted to do; it’s about relationships and about connectivity.

When people appreciated this was not a traditional biopic, that’s what I want people to get out of it, that we were hopefully celebrating this gentleman’s life. We’re not about the tragic end of the story. It was important to me that we kind of end on a hopeful note. The last words are about being inspired and inspiring others.

I look back on my career and the early pictures I was a part of – they were kind of exuberiant and nutty – like “U Turn” and “Three Kings” and “Undercover Brother” -- and they were all great to work on. But you do get a little bit older and you have kids and you want them to have a takeaway. Whether it’s “Red Tails,” “12 Years a Slave”  and even with “Jimi”… I don’t want my kids walking away from this thinking sex drugs and rock ‘n’ roll is all there is to be.

But Jimi inspired people. I want that to be the message of it. People responded to the style, the performances. It’s not a typical cradle-to-grave downer biopic. In a place like SXSW, where it’s about celebrating music, celebrating diversity, celebrating energy and creativity, we were trying to do that in all aspects.

Three major themes this film struck on were fame – pre-fame, really – women, and people of color. To that last one, there’s the nugget in the film where there’s an “us and them” exchange, with the black activist scene. Were you torn wanting to tell more of that side of that story, on race?

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