<p>Kelis at the NPR showcase at Stubb&#39;s</p>

Kelis at the NPR showcase at Stubb's

Credit: NPR

South By Southwest Superlatives: Music and movies' best in show

Coathangers, dancing, 'The Mule,' Jodorowsky and fashion tips from Betty Who

Now that we've caught up on sleep and let the ringing from our ears cease, Drew McWeeny and I got our thoughts together to go over some of the bests and bizarre-est from from this year's South By Southwest music and film conference in Austin.

Despite having to leave a couple days early this time around (thus, missing out on half the music-side), I still managed to see more than 30 bands in two-and-a-half days. I enjoyed many of the films, including and especially "Only Lovers Left Alive" and "Before I Disappear," for this ninth year in a row at the festival, I'll always have my heart set and open for the hundreds of bands that make the tough trek into the chaos that is 6th street and appended.

In the gallery below, I outline some of the acts that left the biggest impression on me, including The Coathangers, Les Claypool, Kelis, Charli XCX, High Tension, and more. Read on for Drew's account of sitting with Alejandro Jodorowsky, watching "The Mule" and having a close-to-very-awkward moment.

20 must-see new bands at SXSW: Listen, even if you're not going

20 must-see new bands at SXSW: Listen, even if you're not going

Cymbals, Black Tusk, Teen, Destruction Unit, Stalley, and other artists to know

Sure, you could see Lady Gaga, Soundgarden and Coldplay at the South By Southwest Music Conference next week.

But then you could see dozens of other hot artists that might not be on your radar yet.

Here's a breakdown, with music streams, of 20 artists you may very well fall in love with, from the punk souls of Ghetto Ghouls and Perfect Pussy, to rappers like Stalley and Black Milk, psych like Destruction Unit, dance like Tomas Barfod, pop like Samsaya, noise like Bo Ningen, metal like Black Tusk, country like Lydia Loveless and more.

Check out more music below. What are you excited to see at SXSW this year?

Exclusive behind-the-scenes: Ace Reporter's 'Stick To' music video

Exclusive behind-the-scenes: Ace Reporter's 'Stick To' music video

You don't just eat Franklin BBQ

Like a moth to flame, during SXSW I will flock toward Franklin BBQ.

I have more in common with Ace Reporter's "Stick To" music video than I thought.

Directed by Austin-based Peter Simonite and Annie Gunn, "Stick To" personifies one of the weirder winged insects and puts him on a bike; he's drawn to a light in an apartment, who as it ends up is Alex Gehring from rock band Ringo Deathstarr

Watch the video below, then watch our exclusive behind-the-scenes commentary video below it. Simonite and Gunn describe the process of sending their human-moth out into the streets, and just how he got his dusty aura: with the help of ashes collected from Franklin's barbeque pits.

Gunn and Simonite were also behind Immaculate Noise favorite Explosions in the Sky's short film "Postcard from 1952"; the latter director also helmed another clip from a popular Austin band -- Spoon -- for their "Everything Hits at Once."

<p>From &quot;Big in Japan&quot;</p>

From "Big in Japan"

Exclusive premiere: 4 posters from rock 'n' roll SXSW film 'Big in Japan'

Tennis Pro gets a second chance overseas

South By Southwest is the perfect stage for the collision of music, film and hungry artistic urges, thus "Big in Japan" may be the perfect film for the fest. Director John Jeffcoat follows the real-life band Tennis Pro on tour, where the performers hope to get their break as a recognizable name in rock and abandon their dayjobs.

Sound familiar, ye Austin-bound?

Today, we get the honor of debuting the colorful posters for "Big in Japan," "a semi-fictionalized rock 'n roll road movie," below. I prefer the pink and red one because it's like candy plus a seizure.

Here's the full synopsis:

When an opportunity arises for Seattle rock band Tennis Pro to take their act on the road to Japan - where the allure of a second chance at recognition awaits them - they can’t refuse. On their Tokyo musical odyssey, the guys experience the thrills and setbacks of taking their music into unknown territory and in the process learn a thing or two about themselves. Told with rollicking humor and catchy tunes, director John Jeffcoat ("Outsourced") utilizes a fresh narrative approach and guerrilla production style mixed with an international storyline to craft a dynamic and entertaining story. Music and film intersect with two cultures to reveal simple, oftentimes hilarious, universal truths.

"Big in Japan" premieres at SXSW on Tuesday, March 11 at the Stateside Theater in downtown Austin.

Big in Japan poster 1

Big in Japan poster 2

Big in Japan poster 3

Big in Japan poster 4

<p>From &quot;Honeymoon&quot;</p>

From "Honeymoon"

Exclusive: Poster debut for scary SXSW film 'Honeymoon'

'Sinister' getaway becomes a post-nuptial nightmare in this Midnight selection

You know how catching the bouquet at the wedding is considered a "nice" thing? Well, you wouldn't want to get your hands on this one.

Today we exclusively reveal the poster to SXSW film pick "Honeymoon"; the synopsis alone gives me heebies.

Young newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) travel to remote lake country for their honeymoon where the promise of private romance awaits them.  Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods.

Midnight selection "Honeymoon" is helmed by first-time director Leigh Janiak, who was impressed by Treadaway's performances in "Fish Tank" and "Control."

"What's interesting about Harry is that he has this masculinity that's not a typical 'dude' way and I'm drawn to that... when he read it, he really got that this wasn't a stereotypical 'I'm a man' role," Janiak said in our interview. She said the film definitely has a way of toying with gender roles, a "back and forth," and a play on "how well you can really know another person."

"Honeymoon" premieres at the Austin-based fest on Friday (March 7) at 11:45pm at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz.

Honeymoon SXSW poster

Lana Del Rey working with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach: How's she fit in?

Lana Del Rey working with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach: How's she fit in?

Who are the other recent acts the songwriter/performer/producer has collaborated with?

Lana Del Rey and Dan Auerbach are apparently collaborating on the former's next album "Ultraviolence," while the latter has some explaining to do.

The recent "Once Upon a Dream" cover artist Tweeted a photo of her and the Black Keys frontman together, with her arms around his neck, each appropriately stoic. "Me and Dan Auerbach are excited to present you Ultraviolence," she posted, which Auerbach retweeted. Del Rey had announced the "Ultraviolence" title when she premiered her "Tropico" video last month, with a May 1 release date.

With what little one could cull from the statement, the pairing sounds to be more than just a duet or some guitarwork: the guitarist and singer could likely be producing the set. That scenery in black and white could be the Akron Analog studio near Auerbach's Ohio hometown or at his Easy

 

Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the conversations that led this to be. The Black Keys have never held back their opinion on pop music -- or music tech, label politics, and so on -- and back in 2012, Auerbach had some strong feelings about the "Lana Del Reys" of the world. This was right around the time after "Video Games" blew up, "Born to Die" was about to hit shelves and Del Rey hit "Saturday Night Live" with a foal-on-ice effect.

"On some level, we've seen that Lana Del Rey thing since we first started. All of a sudden this new band would be headlining festivals and we're like, 'Wait, how did they get that?' We've been here for two, three, four, five years and we're still working our way up. But then they're gone. Just as quickly as they get up there, they disappear," Auerbach told MTV in early January 2012.

Maybe Auerbach sees something in Del Rey - beyond Interscope's backing -- that's worth keeping from "disappering." And maybe it's something he'd like to see in himself: as a producer, he's primarily worked with artists in a rock and heritage rock framework. If "Tropico," "Born to Die" and Del Rey's other pop, singer-songwriter and genre amalgams are any indication, the Black Keysman may want to stretch out this time.

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<p>Tegan and Sara</p>

Tegan and Sara

Credit: Lindsey Byrnes

6 reasons Tegan And Sara are totally on fire right now

Everything is awesome for musical sister duo

Tegan and Sara Quin made a very conscious decision to make their music more "accessible" with the release of their last album "Heartthrob" last year.

“Look at Adele and Coldplay, who are accessible to more people. For their fans, that’s really raw and emotional… I can’t change my voice. I’m never gonna sound like Katy Perry or Chris Martin or Adele,” Tegan told me back in May 2012. “There’s always going to be fans who wish we still sat on stools and didn’t have a band and played our shows that way… but now I want to share my music with as many people as I can.”

"Heartthrob" became one of the sister-duo's best-selling album to date, and yielded their biggest singles, and thrust them further into music's mainstream -- and main stage, big screen, small screen and into headlines. And even moreso lately, it seems, they're everywhere.

Here's six major reasons Tegan and Sara have been totally killing it so far in 2014:
 

1. "Everything Is Awesome." It is indeed. Anybody who has set foot in "The Lego Movie" and/or The Internet will be unable to deny the attractive power of the film's, erm, anthem "Everything Is Awesome."

Everything is cool when you're part of a team. And it took a team. Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo produced and co-wrote the soundtrack to "Lego Movie," including this brain-gum of a single. Tegan and Sara plus comedy troupe The Lonely Island all piled on to its "remix," which itself should be the topic of a masters thesis class in contemporary pop music. It not only makes fun of popular music tropes, but has its own lyrical subversion and performances that T&S knock out of the park.


2. Opening for Katy Perry.
A few months ago, I had the privilege of seeing Katy Perry take the stage at the Hollywood Bowl, and some of her own personal favorite, hand-picked artists open the show. T&S, who have performed with Perry before, lit up the Hollywood Bowl with their typically hysterical banter. Their appreciation for each other, their acumen to warm a (literally) chilly and mainstream crowd and their kinship with Perry could kindle even the coldest cockles.

Perry has tapped T&S among her set openers for the forthcoming Prismatic World Tour, with Tegan and Sara's spots starting Sept. 9 in Vancouver. Don't expect "Everything Is Awesome" to make the setlist, though.

"Without the Lonely Island guys traveling with us, I can't really imagine it within our set. But that's not because I'm not proud of it," Sara Quin told Billboard.


3. "Don't Find Another Love."
I have listened to this new song from the soundtrack to "Endless Love" about 700 times. It's equal parts Ellie Goulding, Local Natives and Diana Ross, and yet still inextricably Tegan and Sara. Upbeat and "wicked," it's simple and unapologetically sweet.

Do not see the movie. I'm sorry. Do listen to this amazing soundtrack, which also has some Immaculate Noise favorites like Nonono, Cults, The Tallest Man On Earth and The Bird And The Bee with The National's Matt Berninger. There is no pouty Pettyfer to contend with.


4. Oreos.
God, as if I didn't love Oreos enough. Tegan and Sara retained their distinct style and voices for a fresh commercial for the milk-loving cookie co. And they didn't write this "Wonderfilled" jingle, ad company The Martin Agency did. How did they manage to find the perfect opportunity to line their pockets with fresh, delicious money without compromising their sound? Well, of course, it helps that their sound has drastically changed from their early career, but the dance-pop version of T&S is a no-brainer for partnerships like these.

This campaign started around the Grammys last month. Now give me a bite.


5. "Shudder to Think."
Still hungry? How about their original song for Oscar-nominated "Dallas Buyers Club?" Beyond even that: 10% of the sales of the soundtrack went to (RED) in the global fight against AIDS. This burst of awesome has staying power into 2014 because "DBC" is up for a whopping six Academy Awards in March, including Best Picture. How about a Best Song nod for T&S soon, huh?


6. That Ellen Page name-check.
The "Juno" actress and your new best friend gave a nine-minute speech on Valentine's Day as a coming-out, during a human rights conference. "I am here today because I am gay," Page said, then saluting others' efforts to "promote safety, inclusion, and well-being for LGBTQ youth."

"There are pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity that define how we’re all supposed to act, dress, and speak, and they serve no one. Anyone who defies these so-called 'norms' becomes worthy of comment and scrutiny, and the LGBT community knows this all too well," Page said from the podium at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Time To THRIVE conference. "Yet there is courage all around us. The football hero Michael Sam; the actress Laverne Cox; the musicians Tegan and Sara Quin; the family that supports their daughter or son who has come out."

Tegan and Sara were "out" as lesbians in their teens. Fifteen years on, strangers still approach them and tell them their own stories of coming-out. T&S have been powerful and vocal activists and advocates for LGBT rights, starting by being who they are and being very talented. A hat-tip from a high-profile actress is not just lip service but a testament to power by example. A very cool moment.

 

 

U2's new music video for 'Invisible' gets the Mark Romanek touch

U2's new music video for 'Invisible' gets the Mark Romanek touch

Is this a sneak peak into the look and life of the Irish band's next tour?

The music video to U2's "Invisible" is out, and it may be a little sneak-peak into the band's aspirations for their next live tour.

Bono's light-up, drop down mic has a big emphasis out of the black and white, shot by Mark Romanek; it's the rock band's first go-round with the director, who helmed a few little ditties including Nine Inch Nails' "Closer," Johnny Cash's "Hurt" and Michael Jackson's "Scream." So, yeah, the man loves his light. The bulb boards soar with movement behind the band and frontman Bono is able to navigate the catwalk in a sea of waving arms.

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<p>Outkast</p>

Outkast

Win two tickets to the 2014 CounterPoint Music Festival with Outkast

3-day music festival in Georgia also features J. Cole, Foster the People and more

***UPDATE: We have our winner! Thanks to all who entered.****

For the first time in more than 10 years, Outkast will reunite in their home state of Georgia come April, and it's the CounterPoint Music Festival that's bringing them there.

To celebrate, HitFix is giving away two tickets with camping (approximate value of $448) to the 3-day fest, which will also feature performances from be Pretty Lights, Foster the People, STS9, J. Cole, Major Lazer, Krewella, Big Gigantic, Flux Pavilion, Above & Beyond, Matt and Kim and more.

CounterPoint runs April 25-27 in Kingston Downs, Ga., about an hour outside of Atlanta. Can we hear you say hey ya?

There are three options -- and three opportunities -- to enter. Enter using any and/or all of the methods below:

Follow @HitFix on Twitter and ReTweet this tweet:

 

 

Like HitFix Entertainment News on Facebook and tell us the name of your favorite Katy Perry song in the comments of this Facebook post.
Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/immaculate-noise/win-two-tickets-to-a-katy-perry-concert-of-your-choosing#y7HsxEJQFvikGtSs.99

Follow @katieaprincess on Twitter and ReTweet this tweet:

 

 

Like HitFix Entertainment News on Facebook and tell us the name of your favorite artist from the CounterPoint lineup:

 

 

 

Entrants must be 21+ and must be U.S. residents. This contest runs through 11:59 a.m. PST on Thursday, Jan. 30. 2014. Your Twitter account cannot be set on private. Transportation will NOT be provided. See the Official Rules for more contest details.
Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/immaculate-noise/win-two-tickets-to-a-katy-perry-concert-of-your-choosing#y7HsxEJQFvikGtSs.99

Entrants must be 21+ and must be U.S. residents. This contest runs through 11:59 a.m. PST on Friday, Feb. 28. 2014. Your Twitter account cannot be set on private. Transportation will NOT be provided. See the Official Rules for more contest details.

CounterPoint Music Festival poster and lineup

www.counterpointfestival.com

www.facebook.com/cntrpntmusic

www.twitter.com/cntrpntmusic

www.instagram.com/cntrpntmusic

<p>Nick Cave in &quot;20,000 Days on Earth&quot;</p>

Nick Cave in "20,000 Days on Earth"

Nick Cave on '20,000 Days' doc and what we're to do when he dies

Interview: Songwriter, directors on Blixa Bargeld's emailed exit from the Bad Seeds

After the Nick Cave documentary-feature "20,000 Days on Earth" made its premiere at Sundance earlier this month, the film picked up a pair of honors at the film festival's 2014 awards ceremony, for directing and editing.

It was appropriate, really, for a narrative that tackles both Cave as a contemporary songwriter and as a  subject with a legendary past, a man and his myth: the film needed impeccable direction and shrewd editing.

Directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, friends and former collaborators of Cave's, began filming during the songwriter's sessions for newest album "Push the Sky Away," and yet sought to tell the story of his artistic journey to now. Instead of setting Cave down with journalists and letting talking heads talk, they paired him with a psychoanalyst and historical archivists. They didn't reveal the end of the album-making process, but the sweet banalities and live-recording environments that make a Cave & The Bad Seeds record. And they didn't film separate interviews with former colleagues like Kylie Minogue and Blixa Bargeld a cozy room: they put them in a car with Cave and they talked as he drove.

The latter -- with Bargeld -- was particularly captivating on screen, as the two awkwardly and sincerely talk about how a co-founding member of the Bad Seeds "left the band with a two line email that he sent to me. Then he was just gone." Bargeld had been performing with Cave for 20 years, when he quit the band unexpectedly 10 years ago.

"There was this sudden snatching of this character out of my life on a grand scale," Cave said during our interview in Park City after the film's debut.  "I hadn't even seen him since then... God knows why he agreed to do it... it ended up being a really beautiful thing. When I see Blixa in that car, my heart leaps as well. And I'm reminded what an incredibly powerful presence that this guy was."

Forsyth and Pollard also expounded on other larger-than-life characters in Cave's "bigger story" when it came to Susie Bick, Cave's wife since 1997, but they did it by pulling back. Cave goes into delicious detail about the first time he'd met her, and yet her face is always obscured or her back is turned in the film, just as her appearance on the cover of "Push the Sky Away" features her hands covering her face.

"It felt right to have her in the way that she's reflected and refracted in Nick's songs and particularly this album. It felt right to do that in the film, to not take that step into factual or reality and reduce her to this real person. She lives in the songs, and the presence she has, what she means to Nick, is magical. It's bigger than life, it's more imaginative," Pollard explained. Forsyth continued: "The more present she was in the film, the less that we really discovered about her. In the end, it was almost all taken away."

"20,000 Days on Earth" also became an opportunity for Cave to combine with Warren Ellis for an all-new soundtrack, a score which Pollard insists should "live on in some way." Between the extra footage for the film, the additional music from the "Push" sessions, the Opera House concert and small gig live performances in the movie, and the Ellis/Cave score, fans should hope for, at least, some interesting DVD extras.

"It just sort of slowly emerged to become a bigger thing. I realized this wasn't a film about me, it was something beyond a conventional celebrity documentary," Cave said about how the filmmaking team made his jam-packed fictional 20,000th day on Earth so unorthodox. Celebrity documentaries do so rarely wade into the waters of how artists wish to be remembered, for instance; in a scene where he's surrounded by scrapbooks and photographs and film, Cave cheekily suggests saving some for the "Nick Cave Memorial Museum," just as, in 2009, he joked about that gold statue to be erected in his likeness Australian home town.

So, I'll bite: how does Nick Cave wish to be memorialized after he's gone?

"The idea at the moment is that we make a huge gravestone, an extremely big one, and we fund it on Kickstarter. And if you give me £10,000, consider your name engraved on it."