<p>Conan O'Brien and Langhorne Slim</p>

Conan O'Brien and Langhorne Slim

Credit: TBS

Video: Conan O'Brien crashed a Langhorne Slim show and sang some Elvis

Late-night comedian showed the country-rock band some love with two songs

LOS ANGELES - Fans of Langhorne Slim & The Law may have seen some pretty wild shows from the singer-songwriter, but few can compare to Conan O'Brien crashing the party.

The late-night comedian hosted Slim and his merry men on his show "Conan" last year, and further showed his love and appreciation of the band at the Troubadour last night (Oct. 16) by taking the stage and performing on two songs.

O'Brien and Langhorne Slim first covered Elvis Presley's Sun Records rendition of classic "Blue Moon of Kentucky," the former warning, "Yeah, the comedian's gonna sing…"

The whole country-rock crew came out for Slim's own "Found My Heart" from the 2012 album "The Way We Move."

"Now we're gonna play a track that I've listened to 10,000 times," O'Brien said, then continuing on to bang out the tune on acoustic guitar. The two hugged after the mid-set interruption.

Watch the two songs from the Troubadour show last night in the video below, plus check out the band's performance on "Conan" last year, during which O'Brien also played "Found My Heart." O'Brien recorded "Blue Moon of Kentucky" at a June 2010 session at Jack White's Third Man Records HQ in Nashville, and that's below, too.

Langhorne Slim & The Law are on tour through the end of the month. Slim has spent time on a number of indie labels, but found his most recent home with Ramseur (The Avett Brothers) last year for "The Way We Move," his latest.

<p>Kanye West</p>

Kanye West

Win 2 tickets to a Kanye West concert! Enter our giveaway contest

Yeezy kicks off his 'Yeezus' tour this week: Five runners-up take home a poster

Kanye West kicks off his "Yeezus" tour this week, and HitFix is here to help you and a friend get into the concert.

We're giving away TWO Kanye West show tickets, in a market of the grand prize winner's choosing. Five runners-up will score a Yeezus concert tour poster, featured below.

There are two chances to enter:

1. Retweet the following embedded Tweet and Follow @HitFix

2. For a second, bonus entry, share the embedded Facebook Post and Like HitFix on Facebook

 
Travel and accommodation are not included for the winning ticket. Any venue age restrictions apply. Entrants must live in the U.S., and their Twitter accounts cannot be set on private (otherwise, we can't tell what and if you Tweet). Contest ends Oct. 18, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
 
Kendrick Lamar is on tap to open all dates, though a re-reunited A Tribe Called Quest and Pusha T are on for select shows.

"Yeezus" is West's latest album, which arrived at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 charts and was led by single "Black Skinhead." Check out all of the Kanye West 2013 tour dates below. For more tour info, head to Kanye West's website.

Yeezus tour poster

10/19/13:    Seattle, WA    KeyArena
10/20/13:    Vancouver, B.C.    Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena 
10/22/13:    San Jose, CA    SAP Center
10/23/13:    Oakland, CA    Oracle Arena 
10/25/13:    Las Vegas, NV    MGM Grand Garden Arena 
10/26/13:    Los Angeles, CA        STAPLES Center 
10/28/13:    Los Angeles, CA        STAPLES Center 
11/01/13:    Anaheim, CA    Honda Center
11/03/13:    Denver, CO    Pepsi Center 
11/05/13:    Minneapolis, MN        Target Center 
11/07/13:    Chicago, IL    United Center 
11/08/13:    Columbus, OH    Nationwide Arena 
11/09/13:    Chicago, IL    United Center 
11/10/13:    Detroit, MI    Palace of Auburn Hills
11/12/13:    Toronto, Ont.    Air Canada Centre 
11/13/13:    Toronto, Ont.    Air Canada Centre 
11/14/13:    Montreal, Que.    Bell Centre 
11/16/13:    Philadelphia, PA        Wells Fargo Center 
11/17/13:    Boston, MA    TD Garden 
11/19/13:    Brooklyn, NY    Barclays Center 
11/20/13:    Brooklyn, NY    Barclays Center 
11/21/13:    Washington, DC        Verizon Center 
11/23/13:    New York, NY    Madison Square Garden 
11/24/13:    New York, NY    Madison Square Garden 
11/29/13:    Miami, FL    AmericanAirlines Arena 
11/30/13     Tampa, FL    Tampa Bay Times Forum 
12/01/13:    Atlanta, GA    Philips Arena 
12/05/13:    New Orleans, LA        New Orleans Arena 
12/06/13:    Dallas, TX    American Airlines Center
12/07/13:    Houston, TX    Toyota Center

<p>Forever Fest founders Sarah Pitre and Brandy Fons</p>

Forever Fest founders Sarah Pitre and Brandy Fons

Credit: Annie Ray

Forever Fest: Girlie films and culture event launches in Austin

Tickets now on sale for festival curated for fangirls: Read the HitFix Q&A

When Forever Fest founders Sarah Pitre and Brandy Fons first told me about their event, I was hard-pressed to think of another festival like it. Programmed by women and celebrating girlie pop culture, the weekend-long Alamo Drafthouse affair's demo seems like an after-thought at so many other popular film, book and culture festivals.

"Empire Records," young adult literature, "Dirty Dancing," "Sixteen Candles," cute cat videos and Danceoke (that's karaoke for dancing... look out "Single Ladies") are among the front-and-center features of fangirl-centric festival, which runs Nov. 1-3. Like the Drafthouse's program for Fantastic Fest, Forever Fest is catered to the fan.

Organizers and founders Pitre (a lead programmer for the Drafthouse and host of Girlie Nights) and Fons (of Fons PR, of which the Drafthouse is a client) have already launched their Kickstarter to fund "the ultimate slumber party," set at the Alamo's Ritz location and the Intercontinental in the capital's downtown. The hope is that attendees invite their girl friends (and guy friends, too), as a weekend out to safely be as girlie as little or as much as they want.

But like anything branded for females, there comes an almost political level of what qualifies as "girlie" or "for women." "Rom-com," "girlie" and "chick flick" carry heavy weight, as gendered terms and with some needlessly negative connotations. The organizers have remained resolutely light when it comes to their event, that FF acts not as a statement but a celebration. Below the video, check out what the organizers have to say about reclaiming "girlie," who and what the fest is for and why there aren't more Forever Fests out there. 

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<p>Eminem's &quot;Rap God&quot;</p>

Eminem's "Rap God"

Listen: Eminem's new song 'Rap God' plus the 'MMLP2' tracklist featuring Rihanna

Is Eminem answering Kanye West and Jay Z's 'No Church' in kind with this god business?

"Why be a king when you could be a god?" Eminem asks at the end of six minutes of blazing fast-rap in new song "Rap God."

"What's a king to a god?" West asked in "No Church in the Wild," which has a killer hook and a loping verse trade-off.

They're both rhetorical question that touches on Kanye West's self-deification this year with "Yeezus" and his superstar collabo with Jay Z in Watch the Throne. So just what does Yeezy and Yeezus have to do with Eminem and "Rap God?"

Eminem's spent about 14 as hip-hop royalty, so it's curious he's only just now feeling those purple robes as a guilt god member. Using "lyrical acrobatic stunts," a renewed and self-aware double entredre of the term "faggot," a love letter to the rappers that made him and then hearkening his own song "We Made You," Marshall Mathers here is putting the leg in "legacy" so he has something to stand on when it comes to his place in rap heaven. While the maxi pad jokes remain unending -- seriously, and a Bill Clinton jab? -- his skills here are pristine and entertaining, even when he's poking fun at himself and rapping on hip-hop/pop tensions. After his flimsy hook, he goes: "I know the way to get [haters] motivated, I make elevating music / You make elevator music / 'Oh, he’s too mainstream,' well, that’s what they doing getting jealous, they confuse it / It’s not hip-hop, it’s pop, cause I found a hella way to fuse it / With rock, shock rap with Doc." It's like one big, glorious inside joke.

So what's the difference between a rap king and a rap god? Maybe it's someone who can make those jokes, and pull it off. "What's a rap god to a god?" may be the next question, hopefully answered in kind in the next Watch the Throne effort...

... or later on in Eminem's next album "Marshall Mathers LP 2," due on Nov. 5. Over the weekend Eminem also revealed the tracklist to "MMLP2," which features guest appearances from Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, fun.'s Nate Ruess and Sklar Grey. There's also a song on it called "Asshole," two recently revealed songs "Berzerk" and "Survival" and (you guessed it!) a skit. Check out the full tracklist below "Rap God."

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<p>David Bowie</p>

David Bowie

James Murphy remixed David Bowie's 'Love Is Lost': You're welcome

He lives for chopped applause

Chopping and screwing a track of applause is nothing new -- and James Murphy re-titles his remix to David Bowie's "Lost Is Lost" as such. The former LCD Soundsystem frontman tips his hat to composer Steve Reich and his "Clapping Music" in this dark dance redux.

The result of the "Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy For The DFA" is something spirited and menacing, with a wry smile as you put your hands together. Bowie's lamentations reside in caverns of reverb next to rhythmic sythesizers, the clapping ultimately dying out after a dramatic chorus and then 5 more minutes of music.

Murphy and Bowie spent some time in the lab together as they both worked on Arcade Fire's "Reflektor," at least; knowing Bowie's affinity for the band, he may show up on more than just one song on the double-album. Murphy signed on to produce much of the Montreal band's new album. Now when is Regine going to sing on a Murphy song, with Bowie directing and acting in the video, hrm?

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<p>Danny Trejo, Alexa Vega, Robert Rodriguez</p>

Danny Trejo, Alexa Vega, Robert Rodriguez

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Alexa Vega and Danny Trejo talk 'Machete Kills' and Latino heros

Former 'Spy Kid' Vega explains what it takes to be a Robert Rodriguez babe

AUSTIN - No matter how you say the name -- and in "Machete Kills," it's said a lot -- Danny Trejo's role of Machete in Robert Rodriguez' movies makes a very distinct impression.

In an interview with HitFix during the promotion of "Kills" at Fantastic Fest, Trejo, co-star Alexa Vega and Rodriguez talked about the image and place in modern cinema Machete holds. Audiences "identify" with the ex-Federale, unstoppable hero because "he's not flying, not wearing tights. He's just a guy," Trejo said. He said he looks like a guy you ask "if you need help moving."

But Trejo's portrayal is also one of the few roles that puts an older Latino in the lead protagonist seat. "I think it's important to have another one of those," Rodriguez said of making the sequel, "whether people wanted it or not."

"In my neigborhood [growing up], when we used to see a hero, it was like, 'Damn... he's pretty.' Not all guys look like that," Trejo said. "I mean... I'm not pretty."

Vega -- who helped lead Rodriguez' successful "Spy Kids" movies -- comforted her co-star, though her character KillJoy in the film is among the cast of Rodriguez' "babes," a stand-in for prettiness (even when its villainous, too).

To be a babe in a pulpy Rodriguez film, according to Vega, "takes serious..."

"Cajones!" Trejo chimed in.

"Attitude," Vega concluded, saying it took a good amount of confidence and comfort with herself to walk onto the "Machete Kills" set with assless chaps and metal bras. She was also comforted that, for the women in Rodriguez' films, "you know it's gonna come out looking great."

Trejo sees a great amount of strength in all of Rodriguez' characters, including the babes. "There's nobody weak. Doesn't matter what role they have, it's a strong persona. It's not stereotypical."

Coming from working with Rodriguez as a young girl in "Spy Kids," Vega said "it took a lot of convincing" to land this role as a sexy, 25-year-old brothel-occupying assassin. "That outfit helped me pull it off."

Watch the complete interview above. "Machete Kills" hits theaters wide on Friday (Oct. 11).

 

<p>The Lumineers</p>

The Lumineers

Watch: The Lumineers' gorgeous animated video for 'Submarines'

HitFix
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Folk-rockers go deep-sea diving

The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" put them on the map, but their newest single "Submarines" puts them under water.

Check out the acoustic-rockers' music video for the track, the third radio-pushed song from their self-titled album. Directed by longtime band collaborator Nicholas Sutton Bell, it's a fable-tastic journey under the sea. Keep your eyes peeled for the octopus, who is my favorite.

The Lumineers are on tour in the 'States through the end of the month, then head overseas to Europe in November, then head the other way overseas (Australia, Asia) in early 2014.

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Lady Gaga is nude on the cover of her new 'ARTPOP' album

Lady Gaga is nude on the cover of her new 'ARTPOP' album

Is it artful? Does it pop?

Lady Gaga has birthed the new album cover to her next album "ARTPOP."

The pop star poses nude as a plastic version of herself, fairly makeup-less, with lights shining down on her to make her eyes rather placid, if not downright tired. And I say tired because she is straddling a shining blue orb, to which she may have just performed coitus or given birth, the photographer's flash reflected back at us. She is gripping her breasts -- spheres censored -- an activity less sexual than protected. Renaissance and classical art is chopped and screwed in a sun's rays pattern behind the giant hot pink letters of her name.

The artwork is by Jeff Koons, who she name-checks in her latest single "Applause." Gaga Tweeted the lyrics in her reveal of the cover.

 

As the nation is having its Naked Miley Cyrus conversation, it's interesting to have yet another provocative image of solo female singers straddling balls that are not of the "Wrecking" variety. There's a celebrity awareness in this image, and while I don't think it's really all that pleasing, it wants to intimate a larger conversation about plastic "pop" music and the legacy of art before it.

Or all the songs could just sound like "Applause" and I'd be OK with that.

"ARTPOP" is out on Nov. 11.

Lady Gaga ARTPOP cover artwork

Track-by-track review: Miley Cyrus' new album 'Bangerz'

Track-by-track review: Miley Cyrus' new album 'Bangerz'

HitFix
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Readers
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Bangin' or bust?

Miley Cyrus has a brand problem ahead of her. This is nothing new to female solo artists who have had a run in their youth only to be painted into a corner in their later years, and no doubt, she and her label are looking at longevity even as the "nowness" of some songs from "Bangerz" fade within a near-instant.

"Bangerz" is all over the map. It's expensively made and tailored song-for-song to showcase Cyrus' affinities and still-growing sense of style and delivery. There's raw material there in the 20-year-old, and any inch of good tape is blown to such max proportions, it's hard to hear what a Miley Cyrus even is. The former "Hannah Montana" has caught flack lately for her boisterous fashions and photos, sexual explicit performances and the pre-occupation (and co-option) of black culture to lend legitimacy to her "grown-up" recording phase. But make no mistake: controversy often parades as substance, with which fun-loving "Bangerz" struggles. There are too many imitations and unearned affectations to know what kind of performed Cyrus is at her core.

Still, when it's on, it's so on, like with her single "We Can't Stop." "Bangerz" also has its fair share of starters.

Below are thoughts on the album, track by track:

1. “Adore You” – It’s always a risk to start an album with a "baby baby baby" ballad, but here, the the point seems to attract the crowd who prefers their Rihanna simmering rather than boiling.

2. "We Can't Stop" -- Still one of the more tasty, hearty dark pop jams of 2013, "Stop" should have kicked this thing off. The unfussy tempo mixed with an insistent melody and casual drug use makes this a winner. Also features one of the four hundred million Mike WiLL Made It shout-outs on this album.

3. "SMS (Bangerz)" -- You know you're in trouble when the thing that makes the most sense on your track is a codeine-controlled Britney Spears verse bubbling nonsense over more nonsense. This hot pop mess irrationally rips off Ke$ha's "Animal" a couple years too late.

4. "4x4" -- Did you know: Miley Cyrus is the daughter of singer Billy Ray Cyrus, and that she is also a very unruly? According to this experiment, she's a "female rebel," though fails to differentiate a female rebel from any other kind of rebel. She's too busy explaining her behaviors by banging on the dash as she drives "round and round" a spiral of accordion and shame. This genre hybrid represents "country" and "the South" in much the same way drag queens represent women. They're a different thing altogether.

5. "My Darlin'" -- The final song in this nasty block of blunders. Classic "Stand By Me" becomes reinterpreted into Cyrus and Future's auto-tuned grievances, a filler tune at best.

6. "Wrecking Ball" -- Without the mostly-nude music video, the ballad stands up as striking -- if somewhat generic - single for Cyrus, whose growl handles the tearful melodrama well.

7. "Love Money Party" -- While the best parts of this song are copy and pasted with little wiggle room for a varied performance, Cyrus seems to thrive in the rap-singing and the hot dance pace. The former child-star makes a comment here about the interchangeability of making money, partying and loving, something she may know a lot about. Her public persona and that slight drawl over an ominous beat is truly something to be beheld. Big Sean shows up for his bars, and while he could have just sneezed into a mic and collected a paycheck, he puts out primo effort. I want more songs like this.

8. "#GetItRight" -- The world will be better off when songs with hashtags in their title become a thing of the past, but I hope this tune gets trotted out as a single around April next year, becoming a contender for Song of the Summer 2014. Simple and catchy, Cyrus sounds like she's having fun for once.

9. "Drive" -- Another Mike WiLL joint, a laser-pointed EDM sound meets "Bleeding Love" with a middling vocal performance. No valentines awarded.

10. "FU" -- Christina Aguilera or Amy Winehouse would have doubtless blown this torchy, fabulous burlesque outta the bedroom. Here, I'm just pleased Cyrus doesn't blow it, period. "FU" showcases a carefully comped vocal line with French Montana, who might as well be just some guy from somewhere. It brims with attitude, but surgically tight to a fault.

11. "Do My Thang" -- Cyrus sings the big hook and lopes through raps in this trap-dripping hip-hop song. Any producer can plop lyrics to a click track, but Cyrus' fails hard as a rapper because of the patent falseness of her flow and thang-doing. This is like rote academia, with its senseless Mad Libs of "bitch" and "f*ck" and eye-rolling, fantastically fake-ass swagger. This is probably where she fought to keep a song on the 13-track set, and where she should have lost.

12. "Maybe You're Right" -- Proportionally, this would have fit right next to "FU," and thematically, it's like the regret that follows a bad blow-up like "FU." Her range struggles with the improved climaxes, though it's refreshingly emotive.

13. "Someone Else" -- This ooncha-ooncha closer might as well be about Cyrus' relationship to her fans and the press that's followed her in recent days. There's hints of instability and neediness in her high-pitched pleas and she reports "I've turned into someone else." We noticed. "Hold me close... tell me now is not the end." It's big and convincing, so maybe we'll stay after all?

Win it! Patty Griffin's 'Silver Bell' and lithograph

Win it! Patty Griffin's 'Silver Bell' and lithograph

'Lost' album from 2000 finally seeing the light of day on Oct. 8

Patty Griffin's new album is actually a bit old -- 13 years, in fact. "Silver Bell" has been an underground favorite of the folk singer's fans, ever since it was shelved and lost during the major label shuffle back in 2000.

Now "Silver Bell" is getting a proper release on Oct. 8 via Universal, and what is lost is now found: HitFix is giving away a copy of the album plus a lithograph of the album artwork.

Below are super-easy instructions on how to WIN IT:

1. Follow HitFix on Twitter.

2. Retweet HitFix's message below:

 

A winner will be randomly selected from retweeting entrants. Entrants cannot have their Twitter on "private," as we won't be able to see your tweet. Entrants must be U.S. residents.

And that's it. Contest is over at 11:59pm PST on Monday, Oct. 7.

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