<p>Yeah, keep smiling, dork.</p>

Yeah, keep smiling, dork.

Watch: James Franco, Kalup Linzy in 'Rising' music video

Just, wow

My boyfriend James Franco is in a electronic music duo called Kalup & Franco, with partner Kalup Linzy.

They made a song called "Rising" and posted the "music video" in advance of their EP "Turn It Up," due July 12.

It's useless.


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Credit: EMI

Watch: Coldplay's 'Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall' music video

Partly animated clip takes the graffiti theme to a new degree

The fun part of being in Coldplay is the ability to purchase an abandoned residential building in the middle of nowhere and cover it in paint. Or, at least, that's what the British soft rock band got up to for the music video to "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall."

Frontman Chris Martin has said that the band was inspired by '80s graffiti and tagging in New York as they made their new, as-yet-untitled effort. If you check their promo photos, and the single art for "Waterfall," you'll see they may be beating the theme to death, as they did with the French military motif for last "Viva La Vida."

However, the overwhelming smell of drying paint and spraycan fumes won't overtake your viewing experience of the clip, which features some beautiful stop-motion concept work. The sad part is, the band turns to the wrong decade -- the '90s -- for those parts with the blacklight paint. Whatever. Wait for the end as you watch an entire building structure get covered in color, splashes raining down from the windows as the band "rocks out" in a field.

The fun parts remind me of the best moments from "Strawberry Swing" and cutout-happy "Don't Panic."

Coldplay are working on finishing their fifth full-length, and have already premiered two additional new songs this month for the "Teardrop" EP. No word yet if those songs, "Major Minus" and "Moving to Mars," will be on the full studio set. They headlined Glastonbury over the weekend and will be pulling similar duty at Lollapalooza in Chicago in August.


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<p>Tom Petty</p>

Tom Petty

Credit: AP Photo

Tom Petty to Bachmann: 'back down,' plus more music vs. politician fights

Springsteen, Jackson Brown, Foo Fighters: Songs on campaign trails that hit bumps

Tom Petty has penned some pretty iconic songs in the past, but the liberal-leaning artist isn't always keen on letting politicians use his tracks on the campaign trail. In the latest example of artists dissenting to politicians' use of their songs for polling gain, the rocker has told Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to quit using his song "American Girl" at rallies.

Bachmann reportedly played the track during her stops in Iowa this week. There is no word yet if Petty has served a cease-and-desist letter to prevent its further use.

Petty had a similar problem with former president George W. Bush's use of "Won't Back Down" during his campaign in 2000, and a letter was served then. However, the same song was approved for use from  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Democratic presidential run in 2008. Virginia's Jim Webb and New Jersey's Robert Menendez used the track in their Senate races and Eliot Spitzer had it during his gubernatorial run.

A cease-and-desist letter sometimes stops a song's use dead in its tracks; sometimes there is a disconnect between an artist's personal endorsement and copyright holders' and performance rights groups' allowance for a song's usage. Sometimes politicians continue to use songs without securing license for a song use and risk going to court later. Some have even rewritten tunes under the auspices of "parody," a legal use of a melody. And some candidates an continue

Below is a short history of other somewhat recent stand-offs between politician and musicians. In many cases, the fight is against Republican or right wing-leaning candidates. Can you think of some more?


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<p>Drake at the 2011 BET Awards</p>

Drake at the 2011 BET Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Drake drop official video for 'Marvin's Room'

Is this the hip-hop version of 'Need You Now?'

What is it with tough guys these days? Yesterday Eminem succumbed to his jealousy and shot himself over a girl in the "Space Bound" video, and today Drake -- ever-suffering from his short-lived fame -- drinks himself stupid and drunk-dials a taken lady he lusts after.

I haven't tried to hide my wariness of Drake, and I still contend dude's acclaim is unearned thus far. I think that this new video and track "Marvin's Room" is another example, why we should just give pretty Young Money a pass, particularly on lyrics.

But the cheap clip is, appropriately, dark, and is "heavy" as the singer and MC contends with the weight of love, lust and power balance between man and woman. How? Drunk dialing. It's the great leveler of playing fields. Lady Antebellum's inebriated yearnings from "Need You Now" earned them awards and fan loyalty, but scratched an itch that so many singles suffer. This emo crap may just fly.


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<p>Ryan Adams</p>

Ryan Adams

Song(s) Of The Day: Ryan Adams drops new song, Alice In Chains cover

Checking on the ex-Lost Highway-man

Last we checked in on Ryan Adams, he was prepping a Cardinals double-album "III/IV," which was ultimately released late last year through his own PaxAm label and he was still hocking his sci-fi metal collection "Orion."

The singer-songwriter has been in tour in Europe most recently, and has released some new music that's kind of a bit of the former and some of the latter. Adams did his own take on heavy rockers Alice In Chains' "Nutshell" and made it real laid-back-like. He also dropped bawler "Empty Room," which is also streaming below in its minor-keyed glory.

Nothing bombastic here to see, but he is still obviously productive and backed by an ensemble as willing to take up as easy a tempo as he. The songs are on an exclusive 7" he's been selling on the road internationally.

No word when and if Adams will be touring the U.S. this year, or what his next recording project will be.


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Listen: Bjork previews new album with inaugural 'Crystalline' song

Are the lyrics a bit too 'nebulous?'

Bjork has begun her crusade to unveil her new iPad-album-interactive-media-thing "Biophelia," and the first song from the set has arrived.

"Crystalline" features all the jittery, time-challenging beats that her previous "Volta" reigned upon, her breathy Icelandic-accented and carefully-chose words floating above. And, as per usual, she plucks out the natural language and imagery, of crystal structures spreading out like fingers, under the rocks. And it sounds like a stoner anthem. Perhaps Bjork's been chasing the dragon?

The five-minute, wide-eyed love-in thrives in its minimal and, um, "nebulous" language, narrative-free, as the druggy rhythm takes over with the help of a toy piano and then climaxes in a sparkling trip-hop summit. It reminded me vaguely of "Hyper-Ballad," though that song crested back when the songwriter seemed still interested in penning A Big Chorus.

This track seems to be an introduction of her celebrations, of these weird "bio"-fueled anomalies in nature and in humans (and in "human nature," perhaps).

And it appears there are many a'remixer who may get their greedy little hands on the tracks. Best Mustache contender Omar Souleyman is giving "Crystalline" a crack apparently, video below. Reduxes like these may just put some meat on the bones of this skeleton.

Each of "Biophelia's" 10 songs/compositions will have "coordinated apps," but no word what the feature will hold for "Crystalline." The track will be available for purchase starting on June 30. Bjork will be performing new music from "Biophelia" -- defined by the singer as “love of life or living systems" -- during her three-week residency at art-centric Manchester International Festival starting Thursday (June 27) to July 16. Click here for all dates.


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Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Eminem's 'Space Bound' features suicide, porn star Sasha Grey

Graphic, ambiguous clip features Slim Shady suffering girl problems

In a weeks that may feature Jill Scott overtaking Eminem and Royce 5'9"'s Bad Meets Evil set on The Billboard 200, Slim Shady is back with a brand new music video from him "Recovery" album released last year.

"Space Bound" was one of the more pop-leaning tracks from "Recovery" I thought should be turned into a single, and here it is, almost exactly a year after the album release. For the clip, Eminem returns to his rain/fog motif, as he emotes about a break-up and a break from reality. The dream-like scene has him riding shotgun with his love on a quiet dark road, stopping off at a diner, and some sad suspicions derived from evidence on her cellphone. She leaves her table and disappears into a house, he follows her and can't find her.

At points, all along the "road," Em's split personalities stop, seemingly unable to handle it. And whether he calls it quits in the car, in the diner, in the house, the conclusion is the same: his love (or "lust") is too much. He offs himself in a graphic manner.

It probably doesn't help that his "supernova" is porn star Sasha Grey, who gives a, erm, minimal performance.


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Listen: Wilco release new single 'I Might'

Congrats are in order, with a glockenspiel to boot

Color me interested in Wilco again. As we mentioned before, the band was to bow its first single during its very own Solid Sound festival in Massachusetts this weekend, and the track, "I Might," is a doozy.

There's nothing stadium or over-the-top about it, but the simplicity makes it memorable. Tweedy doesn't go wild with the metaphors or with the dictionary, but pushes the easy melody through the chuh-chuh-chuh of guitars, fuzzy bass, and a cute glockenspiel. Mikael Jorgensen dialed in his inner-Steve Nieve circa 1978 with the keyboards. I could hum this thing.

The limited-edition blue vinyl release was sold at the festival and is up for pre-order via the band's own label dBpm, distributed by Anti-. The B-side is the band's cover of Immaculate Noise fave Nick Lowe's "I Love My Label." I see what you did there. A traditional black vinyl version will be out July 19. No word on if a digital version will become available at retailers same day, but vinyl purchasers will get a complimentary digital download.


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<p>Could Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer play Neko Case and Nick Cave in a biopic? A very <em>sexy </em> vampire biopic?</p>

Could Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer play Neko Case and Nick Cave in a biopic? A very sexy vampire biopic?

Song Of The Day: Neko Case, Nick Cave cover Zombies for 'True Blood'

Classic 'She's Not There' gets a little duet action

Guys, it's here! It's here!

No, not "True Blood" (season premiere Sunday). I don't drink the stuff. But a song for "True Blood."

As previously reported, Neko Case and Nick Cave combined their own willowy, billowy voices for a cover of the Zombies' famed "She's Not There."

It's here [KCRW].

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Credit: EMI

Listen: Coldplay unveils two more new songs from 'Waterfall' EP

'Major Minus' and 'Moving to Mars' will be available for download on Sunday

As HitFix's resident Coldplay apologist, I figured it best to inform you that more new music from the British soft-rock band is on the way. A digital EP "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" is going up at midnight on Sunday morning; all three songs -- including the title track -- can be sampled now.

Crooner "Moving to Mars" is short but sweet, with frontman Chris Martin letting his low end simmer before launching into space with that falsetto. "Major Minus" is a mega 'minder that they are, indeed, a very British rock-pop group afterall, though they muddle their typically clean sound with some fuzzy sonics.

This release is certainly a good method to tide over fans' appetite for another full-length from the quartet, who have yet to announce any details on said set aside from comments like those to the BBC that the developing album is about "love, addiction, OCD, escape and working for someone you don’t like.” This EP announcement is actually surprise news, and an excellent experiment that country artists have toyed with: many have put out a series of EPs with new music as opposed to enduring the usual two-and-a-half-year full-length album cycle. And for Americans who have to wait until August to see the band live here again, it's a way to access new music that attendees at Glastonbury may otherwise be solely privy.

That is, unless you're watching some late-night TV on Saturday. VH1 has laid claim to a "Live from Glastonbury" performance from the group.

Colplay will be at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits this year. As previously reported, their Glastonbury warm-up group and recent Immaculate Noise interviewee Elbow will be at both as well.



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