<p>Matt Berninger</p>

Matt Berninger

Credit: 4AD

HitFix Interview: The National pulls double duty at Sundance

Frontman Matt Berninger talks music in 'Win Win' and 'If a Tree Falls'

PARK CITY - What fans may know is that The National contributed a brand new song to the Sundance featured flick "Win Win." What they may not know is that the closing credits track, "Think You Can Wait," also boasts Sharon Van Etten -- and that the rock act could also be heard in an additional film at the film festival.

The National provided instrumentals and the whole track "Cherry Tree" (from their EP of the same name) to "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front."

I caught up with frontman Matt Berninger on my sixth night at the festival, and he explained how "Win Win" director Tom McCarthy was a "huge fan" of the band and had been listening to their music as he crafted his Paul Giamatti-starring film.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>&quot;The Woods&quot;</p>

"The Woods"

Sundance Soundtracks: Dirty Projectors, Hank Williams, 'Life' and 'Die'

Where does 'You Are My Sunshine' fit in?

PARK CITY -- I felt about the characters in "The Woods" the same way I do whenever I see posters promoting MTV's new "Skins" series: In no way do I want to be friends with these people.

Director Matthew Lessner takes a satirical lens to modern, well-meaning hipsters, vaguely aware of international strife and macro-environmentalism, who have thrust themselves into the woods to start their lives all over again. There's pop culture references and products galore -- along with all the riches of American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and the local Goodwill combined.

But the score and soundtrack is less pronounced and more hrrrmed and murmured. Lessner's cast resonates the ideas and long hair of a post-Woodstock America, which is apt for music selections from Sun Araw, Lucky Dragons, personal fave Indian Jewelry and composer Lydia Ainsworth. It's heavy on the '70s psych-rock tip, with plenty of distorted and reverbed electrics. It was like playing trees with e-bows.

It was a joy, too, to hear a contribution from Dirty Projectors, particularly a cut that isn't from well-worn (but -loved) "Bitte Orca"; "D. Henley's Dream" came from David Longstreth and Co.'s 2005 set, and those chorus of harmony voices really sent these lost characters deeper into their self-inflicted wilderness.


Hey, here's a good one if you want a handful of versions of your favorite song, "Lost Highway." One publisher (Sony/ATV) at least cashed in, with some gruffer, some classic, some tender takes on the same track: Hank Williams, of course, the gravel of Stephen Fretwell and one by somebody named Liam Ó Maonlai, who I assume hails from the same land as the film's dear Irish fools. The latter is just a breath-taking kind of pretty.

"Knuckle" itself isn't exactly a classic, but captures a certain rivalry in a certain space and time in Ireland. They compete with each other with in bare-knuckle fist fights and then talk a lot of shit when they get home. It's sort of like the necessity of ego of burgeoning musicians -- very few will arrive safely on the other side with a memorable legacy.


Remind me in the morning: I need to call my mom. Because I saw "How to Die in Oregon." And now I need to call my mom.

The viewer may develop an early resilience upon viewing an aging man bellow "Old Joe Black" as he breathes his last early in this documentary. But by the fourth quarter -- and a family sings "You Are My Sunshine," followed by a hummed Johnny Cash/traditional -- you may reconsider just how cold and dark that heart of yours is. Get sober and see this.


"Life in a Day" -- otherwise known as the YouTube movie -- is a collection of little thrills. Sweeping horns and strings sometimes help that. The tiny toy voice of Ellie Goulding and the African chutzpah of Baaba Maal will do it too.

I was pleased to see Matthew Herbert's name behind the motifs "A Day at a Time" and "A Penny at a Time"; the British songwriter has been chugging away at his compositions in excess of a decade. That well-written score/theme is rivaled in the film only by a traditional Angolan song, sung by three women, grinding flour. As your brain tries to pick out the films subject from off the map in your mind, the music pushes the daylong narrative along at a flash-pace.

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<p>&quot;Beats, Rhymes and Life&quot;</p>

"Beats, Rhymes and Life"

Sundance Review: 'Beats, Rhymes and Life' doc doesn't miss a note

A Tribe Called Quest gets its first feature, with Michael Rapaport at the helm

Michael Rapaport probably wouldn’t have been much of a director if he didn’t love hip-hop so much, but the execution of his directorial debut “Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest” expresses just that.

Tribe – who broke up originally in 1998 but have taken up a handful of reunion shows in recent years – made a bold move in allowing Rapaport to suss out their creation and implosion. This, not just because the director is better known for acting, or that three of the four ATCQ’s members still have active music careers at stake; but because this was a world of wounds easy to re-open. And, in part, that’s what makes the documentary great.

With a large help from animators and the obviously tireless work of editor Lenny Mesina, Rapaport establishes early a unique rhythm and timbre to his film. It's like the film itself is hip-hop, or at least shadows it in style. Like sampling and scratching, he cobbles together 25 years of interpersonal history with verses of animation interstitials, archival photo stills, music breaks, talking heads and live concert footage. And still the story shakes out in one cohesive piece.

The lens largely turns on childhood buddies Q-Tip and Phife Dawg -- back in the day when they were teenagers -- and the time it took them and cohorts Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad to get serious about their deal with Jive and going mainstream from their realm in Queens. The beginning of the film is like an upbeat mosaic, a celebration of a certain place and time in hip-hop, in the late ‘80s, with insights from those who were there -- like DJ Redlight, De La Soul, Prince Paul. Then onto the supergroup of positive hip-hop thinkers in Native Tongues Posse, where baby-faced video of Queen Latifah and the Jungle Brothers bounced around to celebrate the positive motion of hip-hop.

Fast forward and its dudes like Common or Mos Def or Kanye West jumping up to rap Phife’s parts as Q-Tip delves into his solo career but still enjoys the legacy of his Tribesmen. It’s linear, and it hurts, going from beginning to bitter end (and to somewhat less-bitter end).

The kick in the stomach is when Phife discusses his various medical issues due to childhood onset diabetes, from the offhanded demonstration on measuring out insulin, to the emotional apex when his wife offers up one of her kidneys as his fail. Jarobi – who followed Phife down to Atlanta after the group started descending into its breakup – breaks down into tears discussing his friend’s deterioration.

It’s these moment of vulnerability and fire that Rapaport was thankfully able to cull from these veterans. For example, at one point when Phife is asked what he thinks of today’s hip-hop, he reveals, “I could do with or without it,” giving pause to the modern hip-hop lover. Q-Tip steams as he says the whole group will only take the stage together again if they get inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. In discussing his unraveling friendship with ailing Phife, he calls the emotive situation “faggoty” without restraint. And it feels like crap when he says it. It’s what Phife, after the film screened, called “real.”

But you also see ATCQ as originators and creators, crafting the beat behind “Can I Kick It?” or dumbfounding rhymes like “Let me hit it from the back, girl I won't catch a hernia / Bust off on your couch, now you got Seaman’s Furniture.” They light up and they’re funny as hell, with their one-liners punctuated with a bass drum a beat later, or their laughter cut off like the click of a phone.

The concert footage could’ve had a better handle on sound and the angles. I like the big camera pans on the seas of arms waving in the air, during Rock the Bells in 2008 and in Japan and Australia in 2010, where the love could be felt for a stadium mile. The other original live shots could've used a lot more fine-tuning.

But all in all, Rapaport’s film shows a real joy and passion, for ATCQ’s music and the culture they helped to create. Where some documentaries fail in creating a connection between the viewer and the subjects who used to be “in love” so to speak, this one doesn’t accelerate through all the necessaries to get to the breakup and subsequent heartache of each. The veteran hip-hop act could’ve merely been portrayed as an abstract (pun intended) idea more than they are humans with creative and emotional needs, but “Beats, Rhymes and Life” doesn’t miss a note.

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<p>&quot;Beats, Rhymes and Life&quot;</p>

"Beats, Rhymes and Life"

Q&A: Tears, laughter from Michael Rapaport, Phife on 'Beats, Rhymes...' doc

Rapper breaks down in post-film chat

Laughter and tears: that sums up A Tribe Called Quest documentary “Beats, Rhymes and Life” on the whole. But that’s also what came of direcetor (and actor) Michael Rapaport’s Q&A – with Tribesman Phife Dawg -- after the film’s premiere at Sundance on Saturday (Jan. 23).

In a full house, the two dissected their motivations for delving into the project – Rapaport putting himself on the line in his directorial debut, Phife with a holy host of backstorys on the rise and fall of the veteran hip-hop troupe.

Rapaport essentially wanted to know what would come of ATCQ’s legacy post-breakup, but even Phife doesn’t know what to think of the future. Speaking with friends, industry and press, the rapper spoke on his reaction of the film, but most strikingly on the absence of cohorts Jarobi, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and longtime best-friend and sometime enemy Q-Tip. And broke down in tears with his down on the lectern.

The statement from the missing three on the documentary is as follows:

Thanks to our fans for their support through the years and for the enthusiasm around the documentary. We hope that the film’s perspective conveys our love of hip-hop culture. We could not attend Sundance, but we want to express our love and appreciation for the support that we have received in advance of the film’s premiere tonight. We hope that it is well received. Thank you.


And below is the complete transcript of the post-movie chat. Check out news on Phife’s next career move, Rapaport’s love of hip-hop and a little into why the hell A Tribe Called Quest ever broke up.


On working with Madlib and Peanut Butter Wolf for the soundtrack and score…

Michael Rapaport:
I had no one else in mind. I always wanted Madlip to do it from the beginning, that was my first choice. And Wolf. I wanted someone was was an offspring of a Tribe Called Quest and somebody who was definitely, you could feel the inspiration… the same essence.

He’s not here. He’s really hard to get a hold of. But when he comes he shows up with the goods

What prompted him to start a documentary on ATCQ…


MR: I decided to do the documentary, I came up with the idea… I saw Tribe performing in 2006 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles and it was just a beautiful show. And backstage it was this famous person and that famous person… everybody was just so happy. it reminded me of those old rock ‘n’ roll photos that you see of Jimi Hendrix screwing around with Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan. It was this joyous thing.

A really famous actor  offhanded Leonardo diCaprio (laughter_ and I said to him I want to make a documentary about Tribe Called Quest. And he’s like, “You should do it.”

So I started approaching the guys one by one and here we are now.

On the change in producing hip-hop records from ATCQ’s time to hip-hop being made today…

Phife:
Before I answer that question, I want you guys to know, I’m not that bad of a guy [pointing at screen]. (Laughter) It is real life and I’m glad that Mike was able to bring it to y’all in such a great way.

There’s a generation gap, obviously. I don’t wanna badmouth or bash anybody, but I blame it on a lot of labels. I blame it on a lot of radio stations. Radio stations almost dictate to you what’s hot. And a lot of things that are really really hot you can tell people take time and put their all into doin’ it, like your Gangstarrs… rest in peace, Guru – nowadays, I don’t blame it on the artist so much because they’re only gonna do what you allow them to do. There’s a lot of laziness goin on, but the radio stations and labels – they accept it.

We need to bring some good music back like Marsha Ambrosius. And Jill Scott and Erykah Badu. People who really bounce to the beat of their own drum and have no problem pushing the envelope, not being afraid to try new things.

I mean, why do you think that Outkast is so successful? They never had a problem being themselves, they made their own name. Kanye [West], Tribe Called Quest – if I say so myself.

But it’s not to knock the rappers that are out there right now. I just wish they would do their homework. Recognize realize what it takes to have longevity in this game. Because you could be No. 1 with a bullet on Billboard today [Jan.] 22nd, and next Tuesday, Eminem could drop an album, and nobody will be checkin’ for yo’ ass. That’s just how fickle hip-hop is.

Now, country music, Randy Travis and  Garth Brooks they can sing “I left my heart in Arizona, Minnesota,” wherever, and they’re selling 10 million plus every time out. We don’t have it like that. We have to be creative. We have to keep it going creatively. So, that’s the difference – it’s unfortunate – but I’m praying we will get our stuff together.

What were your motivations for doing the film…

MR: I mean, my motivation for doing the film was… if you grew up a first generation hip-hop lover, A Tribe Called Quest was our Rolling Stones, our Beatles, our Led Zeppelin. The same way like people growing up around the Beatles, like my mom who was at Shea Stadium when they first came to New York. Tribe Called Quest meant that much to us.

When they broke up in 1998 in that scene at Tramps [in Seattle] in that last show, I remember saying to my friend, “I feel like my parents are getting divorced.” It was that upsetting to the fans.

When I would see the guys around town, and Chris Lighty and their manager – I would ask, “Is A Tribe Called Quest gonna make more music? Is A Tribe Called Quest gonna make more music?” And in hip-hop, the life span is short. You have great hip-hop artists who have been killed, who are in jail, the artform is still evolving. For me it was almost criminal that they would make music and they were all functioning. So my reason for making the movie, my initial question was, “Is A Tribe Called Quest make more music?” I don’t know the answer to that, I’ll let Phife answer that… But that’s what I wanted to get out of it. They’re alive and kicking and the people still want ‘em, so I hope it can still happen. I wanted to answer that and explore what they did and influence people and I wanted to understand why they broke up and if there was gonna be any more.

Phife: To be honest, I was totally caught off-guard when Ali called me one day – a day before the Rock the Bells show in L.A.  – and Ali gave me a heads up that Mike was gonna call me about this so-called documentary. And Mike called me like two minutes after Ali because [Mike] doesn’t play.

I say, “Yo, it sounds cool,” and I’m thinking “Behind the Music”-ish and “Driven.” You know those shows, and I love those shows. But for me? I don’t mind being in Lil Wayne and Pink’s business, but put Tribe’s business out there? We were in a funny place… but I asked Mike, “How real can I keep it? It’s kinda messy right now, man. I don’t if this shit be done.

I said, “Ali agreed?” “Yeah.” “Jarobi agreed?” “Yeah.” “Last but not least, Q-Tip the Abstract Poetic agreed?” and he’s like “Yeah.” So I was like, alright, I’m all in…

I knew at the end of the day there were gonna be bumps in the road just like any group. But I’m just so happy to be here, witnessing. I wish….

[Cries]

I wish the rest of them were here, man. Cause they don’t understand like, I listen to you guys’ responses throughout the movie. Q-Tip just has no idea how many people love him. He up there crackin’ jokes, talkin’ about the “Can I Kick It?” beat drums... You guys were dyin’ laughter.

He don’t see that shit. He’s so concerned with, “Yo man, I don’t know, I don’t know…” Just like I said on screen: On Monday, he’s with it, the rest of the week you don’t know what’s gonna happen. I just wish we was all here to see how much love you guys showed this movie. They gonna see it. They won’t see the love.

[Applause]

I love my dudes, man. No matter what we went through. We’re 40 years of age – I don’t look it, I don’t think [laughter]… This is the time to reap the benefits, to really enjoy… you know how many people would love to be in our place? We been doin’ this shit since 1989 professionally, man. I wanna like to thank Barry Weiss for signing us… a lot of artists, they always go through things with their label… We’ve been through our trials and tribulations with Jive Records. But they gave us a chance, and we’re still eating off of that, off of 1989. If they didn’t believe in us, Michael wouldn’t have been able to do this movie.

I just want them to be here – maybe they’ll be at Tribeca. But I just want to thank y’all…

I’m working on a new album now, “Songs in the Key of Phife, Volume 1: Cheryl’s Big Son”… I lost my grandmother this past June, so I’m dedicated that to her and my mom…

How hard was the editing process, with so many angles… [Edit: from Questlove of The Roots, no less…]

MR: Yeah, it was only 95 minutes.

The editing process was brutal. When I got into the editing room, that’s when I was like, “Oh shit. You’re just a dumbass actor. What the fuck are you doing?” There was concert footage and two or three cameras at one concert. And interviews. And, Ahmir from the Roots, you could have a whole movie of you on Tribe Called Quest. There was people we cut out of the movie, like great star people…

At the end of the day, I had to go back to the guys, as great as the sidebars were. Busta Rhymes could’ve had his own five minute thing, or Large Prfesssor… or J Dilla. But at the end of the day. To put it in a nutshell, it was excruciating. I was a ridiculous process being in the editing room, sleeping in there, farting in there. We really worked hard. We carved out some of the best stuff.
 

 

 

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<p>50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather</p>

50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather

Watch: 50 Cent talks 'Tomorrow Today,' hip-hop films and finance

Rapper/entrepreneur's Cheetah Vision Films collaborating with boxer Floyd Mayweather

PARK CITY - "I won't be able to rap forever," 50 Cent, aka Curtis Jackson said during a press conference on Saturday.

"And I won't be able to box forever," added Floyd Mayweather.

I'm sure there's innumerable other reasons why the two professional entertainers have decided to go into the movie business, but at least Fif has figured out how to get the financials in order for a great second act.

[Video and story after the jump...]

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<p>&quot;The Terrys&quot; give birth to a Flying Lotus</p>

"The Terrys" give birth to a Flying Lotus

Sundance Soundtracks: Flying Lotus, Edwarde Sharpe, Phosphorescent cameos

Shorts Program I was more than just Beasties, plus: hip-hop 'On the Ice'

PARK CITY -- Shorts Program I may boast of one of the biggest music stories to come from the Sundance Film Festival this year due to the Beastie Boys blasting new tunes, but its quirky cohorts shouldn't be overlooked for a nice crop of music.

Flying Lotus -- festival beloved laptopper and producer -- scored the mobile home mind-fuck "The Terrys," which follows methamphetamine misadventures and puppet births of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. The "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" creators seemed to fit naturally with the Warp-signed artist, considering the latter has been known to contribute his craft to shows on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" program schedule.

It's a subtle addition to "The Terrys," but two grown men dry-humping and giving birth to demons need at least one ground wire.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Mark Pellington's &quot;I Melt With You&quot; features &quot;Brand New Cadillac&quot; from The Clash's &quot;London Calling&quot;</p>

Mark Pellington's "I Melt With You" features "Brand New Cadillac" from The Clash's "London Calling"

UPDATED Exclusive: Sundance Soundtracks: 'I Melt With You' feat. U2, Clash, Pixies

Director Mark Pellington pulls out all stops, with Talking Heads, Beasties, the Cure, Joan Jett

PARK CITY -- This year I'll be reprising my role covering one angle of the Sundance fray, separating wheat and chaffe in scores and soundtracks.

Last year, big winners came not-coincidentally from two of my favorite films, period. "Blue Valentine" and "Winter's Bone" captured movement so easily in their music supervision and track choices, with the former laden with the heavy-lidded harmonies of Grizzly Bear and '50s pop heartbreak, the latter with authentic Ozarks folk and string musics.

There will be no dearth in compelling new projects this year, particularly when it comes to hip-hop.

But I've already got my eye on a horsey whose casting (Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe) and story may be strange, but its soundtrack looks like perfect sense. "Melt With You" gets a 2011 remix of its namesake song from Modern English, but also another one of theirs too – along with about two dozen, top-shelf classic new wave, modern rock and punk tracks, from the Clash and the Sex Pistols, to X and Dead Kennedys, Talking Heads to Cabaret Voltaire, to Grandmaster Flash and Sundance co-headliners Beastie Boys.
 
I'm intrigued by the brutal teasers that have been seeping out to promote "Melt With You“ these "men on the brink of enlightenment." If the emotion meets the time period and the rock star arc to these songs, everybody goes home happy and paid.

[More after the jump]

HitFix's Drew McWeeny, in speaking with Pellington publicist Bebe Lerner, was told that the director pulled out all the stops" all of his music video connects, favors, musical collaborators and friends“ to secure a top-notch, big-name final for the soundtrack.
 
I don't doubt it. Securing ALL these rights would be a flat-out miracle, and not just in terms of money. It's some of these acts' biggest tracks, thus those with the most legacy on the line, like "Just Like Honey, "Maggot Brain," "Debaser" and "Bad Reputation." And U2, I mean, just any ol' U2 (oh "Boy!"), a band with whom Pellington's helmed major video projects and who knows there won't be any mistreatment of the material.
 
Shocked not seeing any Pearl Jam in there, because hey it's Mark Pellington and, shit, Jane's and Filter are on there. The most contemporary artist -- and one of the few women artists on the list -- is a Swedish singer-songwritery type named Emma Ejwertz,. Pellington helmed a music video for her a couple years ago after having heard her music through a contest submission to the "Henry Poole Is Here" soundtrack. A 2009 gem from the late, great Vic Chesnutt also made the cut.
 
Below are the available and known cues for "Melt With You." Drew will be reviewing later during Sundance festivities. It debuts on Jan. 26 with additional screeners in Park City each day on Jan. 27-30.

 

What do you think of this little collection?

 

SEX PISTOLS - Pretty Vacant
CRAMPS - Primitive
X - Los Angeles
DEEP 6 - The Lawn
LOVE AND ROCKETS - Kundalini Express
U2 - Out Of Control
PIXIES - Debaser
TALKING HEADS - Memories Can’t Wait
DEAD KENNEDYS - Holiday In Cambodia
X - Hungry Wolf
GALAXIE 500 - Blue Thunder
FUNKADELIC - Maggot Brain
GRANDMASTER FLASH - White Lines
SPECIALS - Do The Dog
CLASH - Brand New Cadillac
BEASTIE BOYS - Slow And Low
JOAN JETT - Bad Reputation
ENGLISH BEAT - Click Click
PIXIES - Caribou
JESUS AND MARY CHAIN - Just Like Honey
CURE - Lullabye
JANES ADDICTION - I Would For You
VIC CHESNUTT - Coward
FILTER - Hey Man Nice Shot
EMMA EJWERTZ - Love Is Here
MODERN ENGLISH - Gathering Dust
CABARET VOLTAIRE - Nag Nag Nag
JULIAN PLENTI - Skyscraper
MODERN ENGLISH - Melt With You Remix 2011

UPDATE: NOV. 2, 2011:

The final artists from the cue sheet for the theatrical release of "Melt With You" is available, with many of the same names, but some missing. Here is what Magnolia wishes to share. "I Melt With You" is out Dec. 5.

Death
Big Dipper
Deep Six
Love and Rockets
U2
Pixies
Stone Roses
The Clash
The Dead Kennedys
Jensen Reed
Adam And The Ants
Galaxie 500
Funkadelic
Crucial Music
Grandmaster Flash
The Specials
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Pixies
The Jesus & Mary Chain
Bauhaus
Vic Chesnutt
Filter
Emma Ejwertz
Caberet Voltaire
Julian Plenti
The Sex Pistols

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<p>Adam &quot;MCA&quot; Yauch</p>

Adam "MCA" Yauch

Beastie Boys' 'Hot Sauce Committee' previewed in Sundance's 'Revisited'

Forget the cameos: three album tracks steal the spotlight

PARK CITY -- Festival goers may not have noticed it, but Sundance seems to be the first stop of many in  promoting the Beastie Boys' new album. Thankfully for Adam "MCA" Yauch, it coincides with one of his other favorite pastimes.

Shorts Program I premiered last night at the Sundance Film Festival, and in it was the 30-minute short film "Fight For Your Right Revisited," written and directed by the Beastie Boy, out through his Oscilloscope Laboratories. And half an hour was just enough time to preview three tracks from the hip-hop veterans' "Hot Sauce Committee Part 2": "Too Many Rappers" featuring Nas, "Make Some Noise" and "Say It.

Of course, the former has been around for couple years now, released as a single and even garnering a Grammy nomination.

But the other two hadn't gone wide -- until now.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Low</p>

Low

Credit: Sara Kiesling

Low releasing first new album in four years, 'C'mon'

Sub Pop act's winter games

After a four year wait, Low are prepared to release another new effort, titled "C'mon." Sub Pop drops it on April 12, with tour dates forthcoming.

It's the follow-up to 2007's "Drums and Guns," and upon a couple listens, think less guns. Think more healing than aching, maturing rather than ominous. But, considering it's slow-core, shoegaze Low, of course there's still that good old ache. Slow-builder "Nothing But Heart" alone will put you in that lonely but happy place.

"With the last couple of records, we were grappling with something outside of ourselves," said frontman Alan Sparhawk in a statement. "This one feels more like, 'Well, forget that. I'm looking in your eyes right now, and we need to figure out how to get through the next moment, together, as human beings.'"

For this one, the Minnesota-based band returned to Sacred Heart Studio, built out of an old church, to take advantage of the vaults and natural reverb. Amen.

This is working for me on a number of levels, including the fact that last night it was seven degrees here in Park City, Utah, and Spring is far, far away. Let's just say "C'mon" is gonna be that first crack of melt come April.

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<p>From &quot;Beats, Rhymes &amp; Life&quot;</p>

From "Beats, Rhymes & Life"

Sundance turns lens on hip-hop: Tribe Called Quest, Beasties, Lauryn Hill

Madlib, Questlove, Talib Kewli, Das Racist and more heading to Park City

Underneath the a firm base of snow in Park City, a hotbed of hip-hop is warming up for Sundance.

The festival this year will be featuring a number of films, performances and soundtracks with a hip-hop, rap and urban music bent, including a documentary on A Tribe Called Quest, appearances from Beastie Boys and a killer "Mixtape" with a score from The Roots' Questlove.

"Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest" as previously reported, turns the lens on the rise and fall of ATCQ, with Michael Rapaport helming. Not only will artists like Kanye West, Nas and De La Soul be providing some commentary on the troupe's influence, but producer and MC Madlib was on hand to compose the score and Peanut Butter Wolf was in charge of music supervision.

Check out stills from the documentary here.

Another doc, "Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975" focuses in on the Black Power movement in America during that year span, but has powerful contemporary voices with and behind the story. Questlove of The Roots is composing the score, and commentary from Black Star rapper and solo artist Talib Kweli and firey R&B/Urban singer Erykah Badu will feature.

And, of course, we've been eager to see Adam "MCA" Yauch take the stage to discuss his film short "Fight For Your Right Revisited." The star-studded film appears to have grown even star-studlier these days. Elijah Wood, Danny McBride and Seth Rogen are confirmed to play the Beastie Boys in part of the clip, with Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Jack Black on board to play the trio in another part.

[More after the jump...]

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