Maroon 5's music video for 'Animals' will be the most disturbing thing you'll watch all day

Maroon 5's music video for 'Animals' will be the most disturbing thing you'll watch all day

Think twice about your Top 40

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine does a disgusting and disturbing acting turn in the band's new music video for "Animals," which could seriously cause you nightmares. Co-starring supermodel Behati Prinsloo (Levine's wife), the clip features Levine as a psychotic and literal butcher, who becomes obsessed with his beautiful customer and starts stalking her. He finds out where she lives, snaps pics without her consent, has grand delusions of bedding her and having the bestest, sexiest blood-soaked sex with her.

Unlike Maroon 5's horrendous "Misery" music video, this little ditty shoots for at least some gritty realism, with Levine's character trying to actually make a move on his -- as the song describes her -- "prey." She rejects him.

This is a character who owns a bunch of knives with an unhealthy relationship with meat, mind you. Sex and violence combine in what are ultimately these delusions, but hint at the possible rape and bloody murder for the characters after the tape stops rolling.

I can't say that Levine's willingness to appear as a mentally ill predator of unsuspecting women is "brave," per se; the video's gaze falls repeatedly on his and her stunning mostly naked bodies, a pretty cheesecake move, particularly with one's wife. I'm particularly stunned, though, at how game director Sameul Bayer is presenting (without preaching or commentary) very grotesque, gory cinematography along with the scenes of sexualization, an excessive pouring-out of blood over their unbelievable coitus. And how bad it makes Levine look.

It's an extremely confrontational, and purposefully provocative video, despite its most absurd, asshole-ish elements. While we crown our celebrities as -- say -- People's Sexiest Men Alive, or Victoria's Secret Angels, it's not like we really know them. Similarly, our biggest pop songs and stars use predatory lyrics and we accept them wholecloth or at least as part of the norm. Persona and person and character blend.

"But don't deny the animal / That comes alive when I'm inside you... Baby, I'm preying on you tonight / Hunt you down eat you alive / Just like animals / Maybe you think that you can hide / I can smell your scent from miles," Levine croons. This song is a Top 40 staple, right this minute. Give that a think, and how the conception of those lyrics gives way to this gross visualization.

It's tells a story, I'd argue, that has crossed the minds of many women, women even who are fans of Maroon 5: that the man with the neckbeard at the club whose flirtations you reject will come back and murder you.

This is to say, even the lightest, silliest, most exaggerated or heavy-handed pop music sometimes dares to challenge the status quo with something disgusting or heartbreaking. This song is very disturbing, and this promotional tool (the video) forces the viewer to just think about it. It is up to us -- fans, viewers, critics -- to accept or deny the turn. It makes pop music complicated, if you want it to be.

A video like this forces that challenge. Remarkably, even for a band like Maroon 5.

Samuel Bayer has directed other interesting -- if not iconic -- music videos for artists like Green Day, Nirvana, David Bowie, Garbage, Sheryl Crow, Marilyn Manson and more. "Animals" is off of Maroon 5's newest album "V."

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Steve Aoki talks 'Neon Future,' film work and that one time he was almost in 'Tropic Thunder'
Credit: AP Photo

Steve Aoki talks 'Neon Future,' film work and that one time he was almost in 'Tropic Thunder'

'Delirious (Boneless)' makes an impact on the charts for the DJ

Steve Aoki will celebrate the release of his new album "Neon Future I" tomorrow (Sept. 29), but has even more coming down the pike to get excited for

For the second time in his career, the star DJ and producer recently cracked the Hot 100 and the top 10 of Billboard's Dance/Electronic Songs tally as lead artist, with "Delirious (Boneless)" with Chris Lake and Tujamo featuring Kid Ink. You can check that out below.

Furthermore, his "Neon Future" will see its sequel in 2015, with all new club tracks and wall-to-wall bangers.

In Januaray, Aoki and his family story will be the spotlight of a new documentary premiering from David Gelb, ("Jiro Dreams of Sushi"), title to-be-announced, via Relativity. For two years, Aoki has kept his own cameraman in his employ, shooting night after night of sold out residencies, massive festival gigs, and, obviously, all of the cakings.

If you're confused about the latter, it's an Aoki gig trademark, where fans will suddenly find themselves covered in sheet cake, which the DJ himself throws into the crowds. It was introduced after Aoki had been literally riding an inflatable raft on top of his audiences.

"I needed something new," Aoki told me, of that shift in audience participation tactics.

The DJ spoke to HitFix and a small group of journalists from the set of the forthcoming "Point Break" remake earlier this month; he canceled a massive club gig to make his cameo in the film, which he said is representative of "the epicness of what 'Point Break' is to me."

Aoki also detailed why he didn't want to pass on this newest film gig: saying "no" had bit him in the butt before.

"In 2007, I got offered to play myself in a movie. [But] I had this gig, and it was paying me a lot of money at the time. The movie ended up being 'Tropic Thunder,'" he explained, saying it'd be for a scene when Tom Cruise's character Les Grossman hit "play" on his iPod, and the camera pans to an actual performer in his office. "I was supposed to be the slave DJ in the corner." Aoki, dejected, shook his head.

With all the cameramen that have actually been around lately, Aoki said "I feel pretty comfortable in front of a camera," that he's learned to "not get so stiff, just be myself." He said he's been inspired by what he's been seeing from teens at his own gigs, "You see these kids, going nuts, going ape-sh*t. Raging. That energy is so effective, you just want to always have that."

At some of his shows, he's seen other crowds or dissaffected club-goers "hanging, talking, socializing. At the festivals I'm playing now, these kids are so focused on the drop," he described, smiling. "This whole 'I don't give a f*ck about how I look, how I'm sweating, I just care about the music right now... I'm in my mid-30s, and I'm going nuts just like those little kids."

And, in case you were curious, Aoki has seen that Andy Samberg skit from "Saturday Night Live," the digital short "When Will The Bass Drop." And he loves it.

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Fergie's comeback single 'L.A. Love (La La)' is very Fergie... and 'Rack City'
Credit: AP Photo

Fergie's comeback single 'L.A. Love (La La)' is very Fergie... and 'Rack City'

HitFix
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Readers
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Don't be mad at DJ Mustard

Don't blame DJ Mustard that his impermeable hip-hop formula is so wide spread. It's certainly made its way onto Fergie's radar.

The Black Eyed Peas singer and Fergalicious rapper is back, with a new single "L.A. Love (La La)." Stream it below. She tapped DJ Mustard to co-produce and co-write the tune, which is a little swirl of "Rack City" with, I dunno, maybe The Fugees' "Ooh La La La," those "las" bopping in the high registers on the chorus.

Fergie's been all around the world, and whole world exists in Los Angeles, which means she's trying on an array of accents and "ratchet" inflections, many which will drive you up the damn wall. "Lohn-dohn" and "Switzerland" don't bang the same, my dear; that is how it go.

That is, I'm nervous for the music video. Proceed with caution, you wild multi-platinum pop artist.

"L.A. Love (La La)" is Fergie's first new tune since her contribution to last year's "The Great Gatsby" soundtrack, "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody." She is currently working on a follow-up to her 2006 solo album "The Dutchess."

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<p>Lorde</p>

Lorde

Credit: AP Photo

Listen to Lorde's new song for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1'

HitFix
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'Yellow Flicker Beat' is all colors and quiet violence

"I'm a princess carved in marble / smoother than a storm," sings Lorde on her new song "Yellow Flicker Beat." "And the scars that mark my body, they’re silver and gold... I'm locking up everyone who ever laid a finger on me."

The track is less so about the New Zealand artist herself, but more an ode for Katniss Everdeen, as it was crafted for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" soundtrack. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter curated the entire soundtrack, with "Yellow Flick Beat" the first reveal of the tracklist. No word which other artists will appear on it.

"Yellow Flicker Beat" has a determined plod to it, topped with Lorde's descriptive and headstrong lyrics. Her hypnotically wavy voice hets harmonies over the big choruses, with production work from Adele helmer Paul Epworth to amplify the drama.

I think this one may be a grower for fans of Lorde's "Pure Heroine," but it certainly evades your typical syrupy end-credits ballad. Academy Award nominee Lorde, maybe?

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" is in theaters Nov. 21. We'll update you on when to expect the soundtrack.

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Michael Shannon, Conan O'Brien and more go bananas in new Jeff Tweedy video

Michael Shannon, Conan O'Brien and more go bananas in new Jeff Tweedy video

John Hodgeman, Mavis Staples, Steve Albini, Chance the Rapper and more cameo

In a alternate universe, bands sign to labels with overlords who enlist artistic services to line their own pockets. Dystopia! Tyranny!

Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer -- who go by the name Tweedy for new album "Sukierae" -- made a decidedly big talent video for their song "Low Key." Comedian and "Parks & Rec" actor Nick Offerman directed stars like John Hodgeman, Michael Shannon, Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter, Tweedy collaborator Mavis Staples, Chicagoans Steve Albini, Chance the Rapper and more.

The record company Neverland warps with a muzak version of the Tweedy-penned song, which then gives way to a Wes Andersonian odyssey of selling the vinyl version of "Sukierae" door-to-door in the Tweedy hometown.

Some observations:

1. Why can't we all get paid in bags of money.

2. Think the "Get Happy" workshop is pointing out the finer merits of Pharrell's "Happy?" Happiness is in you, Tweedys.

3. Steve Albini probably doesn't want your record because Steve Albini has probably heard all he ever needs to hear.

4. Catscatscats

5. Given this satire and Conor Oberst's vision of record labels in the future, I'll take Conor's. Interesting history there, with Oberst's home label Nonesuch and Wilco...

5a. And I'd take Ryan Adams' label dystopia over either.

6. I don't think the phrase "You will be allowed to live for one more cycle" is a mistake. One more album cycle. Wilco started their own dBpm label three years ago (with distro via Anti-), wonder how they're feeling about THAT.

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Best Albums Of 2014 So Far: Fall Edition

Best Albums Of 2014 So Far: Fall Edition

Catching up with Miranda Lambert, Aphex Twin, Shellac, FKA Twigs and more

The first time Team HitFix checked in with our favorite albums this year, we were extolling sets from St. Vincent, Beck, Kelis, The War on Drugs, Future and future-islands" class="autolink">Future Islands (not related) around April.

For the halfway mark of 2014, Melinda Newman shared some of the efforts topping her charts, like country star Miranda Lambert, rising country star Sturgill Simpson, "Stay With Me" saddie Sam Smith, new folkers First Aid Kit and veteran singer Rosanne Cash.

How did we get through three-quarters of the year so far? As we anticipate (or simply cross our fingers) for new albums from acts like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Adele and Frank Oceans to rear up by the end of 2014, there's been some awesome new additions to our running list.

Click through our gallery below, for our descriptions of great 2014 albums from Aphex Twin, Shellac, Alvvays and FKA Twigs, Sylvan Esso, Neil Young and Freddie Gibbs & Madlib.

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Bangin' behind the wheel: Keith Urban's NSFW 'Somewhere In My Car' music video

Bangin' behind the wheel: Keith Urban's NSFW 'Somewhere In My Car' music video

Wet white shirts, steamy windows and, like, ART, man

I literally laughed out loud watching Keith Urban's part-porny "Somewhere in my Car" music video.

No, it's not the Scorpions guitar solo.

No, it's not the laughable strip tease on three separate occasions, or the wet white t-shirt.

No, it's not that topless make-out scene and the hair stroke like she's in the freaking shower.

It's the fire. FIRE IN THE POURING RAIN, LIKE TOTALLY LIKE A METHAPHOR! Like his lead character's loins, ha!

I'm all for pop songs for sexy times. This particular song isn't about the loss of a lady love because she had a really nice personality. This song is about memories of banging in a car. And if you couldn't tell that's what the song was about, here is some corny footage of two very  models Jehane Paris and Rodrigo Calazans (but a particularly undressed Paris) getting busy in a car. Acting debuts, the both of 'em!

Don't be fooled, though, this music video isn't about the One That Got Away. It's about coming thisclose to maybe seeing a beautiful woman's nipples. (You can tell it's real country, though, 'cuz she's wearing a pair of cut-offs.)

"Somewhere in My Car" is off of Urban's latest album "Fuse."

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The 7 most unrealistic things about Hilary Duff's new music video for 'All About You'

The 7 most unrealistic things about Hilary Duff's new music video for 'All About You'

Product placement, country dance moves, face-petting and the L.A. River

Hilary Duff's new music video for her banjo-plunking pop single "All About You" is an adorable L.A. adventure. But it is almost as though she's challenging you, to not go there with her.

Here are some observations about this suspension of disbelief.

1. Its ratio of hot hotties to middling locales and color palettes is pretty off the charts. Hilary Duff would probably not eat at that diner, that is not where Hilary Duff would host dance rehearsal, and the L.A. River is not exactly a prime host for a gaggle of models. That dude would not be selling those records at that record shop (maybe at Urban Outffitters, though).

2. Hilary Duff does not need to cyber stalk, especially not utilizing the advanced features of [REDACTED PRODUCT PLACEMENT]. Hilary Duff just knows. She's always known. And that dude would have noticed Hilary Duff before you can say "Tinder."

3. Face petting. A lot of it. Why all the face petting.

4. Overalls and flannels may be back, but they are not this much back. You might as well have worn Saran wrap and hoodies to rehearsal, because your ass would sweat either way. I see nary a sweat, only JBF hair.

5. The impact of these fashion choices, plus a modified line dance, plus cowboy booties makes this song as country as Madonna's grillz makes her a thug.

6. Oh please with that car.

7. Four girls begin walking down a long tunnel together toward the L.A. River. Determine their velocity, by using variables of heel height, the caliber of bum pee and fecal odors, exponentially combined by every notch at which the temperature sits above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The last answer you should get in your calculations is "jaunty." That's just math, people.

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<p>Lana Del Rey</p>

Lana Del Rey

Who's gonna save the music industry: PornHub or Urban Outfitters?

No really: Porn site launches label, outfitter vinyl sales soar

Sure, 2014 may be on track to be the worst year in SoundScan's history for music sales, but there might be some bright spots in some very unsuspecting corners: PornHub and Urban Outfitters.

Today, the pornography site announced that it was starting its own label, in a report from Billboard. And yesterday, the clothing and home goods retailer claimed to be "the world's number one vinyl seller," according to Buzzfeed.

(Pictured: Lana Del Rey, whose most recent record "UltraViolence" can be bought now via Urban Outfitters as an "exclusive edition" on blue and lavender vinyl with special album art.)

As for the former, PornHub Records has launched, and coincides with a Song Search Contest to find a "PornHub Anthem." The winner won't necessarily be signed to the label, but is guaranteed to be have chosen from a panel (chock full of who we assume will be very distinguished guests) and the winning music video to be seen by at least 500,000 viewers, with $5,000 to be pocketed.

Keep in mind, PornHub averages about 40 million pageviews a day. How's that day job of yours. Good.

PornHub has hosted premieres of music video content like electronic producer FaltyDL's "Some Jazz Sh*t" video, Coolio's aptly named "Take It To The Hub" and Xiu Xiu's "Black D*ck."

"We're looking for acts that aren't necessarily porn-focused," said PornHub vice president Corey Price of their label model. "We're an ad-based network looking for content that appeals to our demographic. Mature lyrics for an adult audience; no boy bands or teen-pop, for instance."

As for Urban Outfitters' demo, there takes a little wordsmithing to make their case, but according to business reporter Sapne Maheshwari, this is what chief administrating officer Calvin Hollinger said during a meeting with analysts yesterday: "Music is very, very important to the Urban customer… in fact, we are the world’s number one vinyl seller.”

Instead of UO owning its own inventory, it offers wares through about 100 vendors who are already in the marketplace instead. So it's really connecting those businesses to the buyers. 

As for either really saving the music industry? Not really happening. Vinyl records sales are still a drop in the hat compared to digital and CD albums (like, the difference of a hundred million) and PornHub's music appeal will really all depend on how they release and promote their, um, output.

But, hey, this is what they mean when they say music is a "lifestyle."

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<p>Asha Sing</p>

Asha Sing

Credit: Nebil Moo

Exclusive Premiere: Asha Sing's party pop 'Satellite' video

Summer's not over yet

You may have picked up on Asha Sing's beat last summer with her infectious "Mercy." And this summer is hardly over, according to her new music video for "Satellite."

Today, HitFix exclusively premieres the vid from the Miami-based artist, below. Again, Sing actively incorporates her Desi roots with a handful of Holi powder around her pool party.

"Satellite was really fun for me to make because it was the first time I got to take more of a directors role. We specifically created a story where I got to show my personality and more of my acting chops," Sing said. "The best part was that a lot of my best friends and family were in the video. We were cracking up the entire shoot trying to finish."

This fall, the former Shakira backup dancer sets off on her Be Unique Tour in South Florida to middle and high schools, to share her story "of choosing an education first and how she set out to break the barrier between Indian and American pop music, blending them together and ridding it of stereotypes."

The single "Satellite" was released in August.

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