<p>The Civil Wars, &quot;The Civil Wars&quot;</p>

The Civil Wars, "The Civil Wars"

Credit: Columbia

Album review: The Civil Wars' self-titled album burns, burns, burns

HitFix
B
Readers
A+
Duo now on hiatus after an album about wanting and not having

It’s really a shame that the Civil Wars are unlikely to tour off of their second, self-titled album, because the duo spends at least half of the 12-track set right in the pocket. Blistering vocal moments outweigh any whimpering; Joy Williams and John Paul White relish in “The Civil Wars’” emotional heights, making it all the more enthralling and heartbreaking for the listener who mourns the Grammy Award winners' grave status as a band.

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Listen to Kings of Leon's new single and watch their new video for 'Supersoaker'

Listen to Kings of Leon's new single and watch their new video for 'Supersoaker'

Rockers power down to mid-tempo for 'Wait for Me' from 'Mechanical Bull'

Kings of Leon have now introduced two songs from their new album "Mechanical Bull." "Supersoaker" was the first single, swooning over sentimental girls. This new track "Wait for Me," has the band slowing their gait to mid-tempo.

For the latter, it kicks off like a slower version of "Twilight Zone" -- no, not the theme song to the show, but the Golden Earring mega-hit from 1982. While we're jumping decades, it pounces all over late-'90s mainstream rockers, with lyrics earnestly, timelessly generic. This is a harmless, safe passage toward radio, but doesn't pop like "Use Somebody" or "Crawl" did previously. Then again, I thought "Radioactive" should have blown up bigger than it did, so it depends on what temperature rock dials are feeling now at the end of this summer.

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Just look at this Animal Collective music video

Just look at this Animal Collective music video

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
Band announces rescheduled tour dates

Animal Collective have been out of the news in the past few months, as their last major band announcement was to axe a good number of their tour dates due to band member Avey Tare's "intense case of strep throat." The electronic noise-makers are readying to hit the road again soon, though, and have dropped a new music video to help promote the stint and their wildly variant new album "Centipede Hz."

"Monkey Riches" was one of the more likeable tracks from the 2012 set, in that it has this beautifully glitchy, extremely ornery climax that cascades double, with the bouncy balls of Avey's voice wedging itself between galling bass and technical loops that will leave your eyes, head and hand spinning (counter-clockwise). Y'know, like rope.

That's the only metaphor you can really attach to the magic-led fable that is the music video for "Monkey Riches." And old man -- lets call him Gichel Mondry -- tries to teach his young student his skills, mocking him while his young nurse watches on. Ultimately, 2/3 of the group ends up down a well, there's a rope monster, some psychedelia and an inspired color palate to remind you that you haven't slipped into the other batsh*t insane video we posted today.

Animal Collective's new tour dates are below.

Sept. 6 - Portland, OR @ MusicFest NW
Sept. 7 - Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
Sept. 8 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Depot
Sept. 9 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
Sept. 11 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Sept. 14 - Mexico City, MX @ Ceremonia Festival
Oct. 16 - Madison, WI @ Orpheum Theatre
Oct. 17 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
Oct. 20 - San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Festival
Oct. 21 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern
Oct. 22 - Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee
Oct. 24 - Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theater
Oct. 25 - St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
Oct. 26 - Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit
Oct. 27 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Oct. 28 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Dec. 1 - Washington, D.C. @ 930 Club
Dec. 2 - Portland, ME @ The State Theatre
Dec. 4 - Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Hall
Dec. 5 - Covington, KY @ Madison Theater
Dec. 6 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
Dec. 8 - Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
 

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<p>The Julie Ruin</p>

The Julie Ruin

Credit: Shervin Lainez

Listen to two new songs from Kathleen Hanna's The Julie Ruin

Punk-rock band from former Le Tigre/Bikini Kill frontwoman unleashes armageddon

I can't wait for you see "The Punk Singer," I really can't. That film's subject -- the former Bikini Kill and Le Tigre frontwoman Kathleen Hanna -- has had a long journey, which includes a stint away from stage and studio due to illness from Lyme disease. The documentary serializes her career so well, and now everything's coming up stinking roses. The singer and performer is primed for a stunning comeback.

So now we're a month away from the album release from Hanna's new band The Julie Ruin (not to be confused with her former solo handle, simply Julie Ruin), and the rock 'n' roll group now has two songs to show off.

"Ha Ha Ha" arrived today via EW, and it warns of Armageddon. I think. I knocked over a box of nail polish and ran wildly through my rooms while listening to it, so I'm only assuming that was the theme.

UPDATE: Here you go:

The band also dropped "Oh Come On" just a couple of weeks ago, and it too has the appropriate amounts of screaming and sarcasm to get me through cleaning up all this nail polish. Hear it below.

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Watch a wacky new MGMT video for 'Your Life Is a Lie'

Watch a wacky new MGMT video for 'Your Life Is a Lie'

HitFix
C+
Readers
n/a
Eggs, lizards, a little person, bondage gear and a disappointed little girl

Sometimes, you'll dream of random artifacts from your day and your childhood, with every object and silly action feeling like it's all in good fun. But then you wake up feeling icky, like you forgot to do something important from the day before, or have many secrets you're bound to share.

In the music video for MGMT's new song "Your Life Is a Lie," those artifacts are of life and illusion. It is filled with symbolic and random ephemera including lizards, soccer balls, a dying man, bondage gear, a pyramid of eggs and your wife.

And like your dream, MGMT forgot to do something important, as in: they forgot to make a real song. The video is kind of great. The song may be from a forgotten episode of "Space Ghost."

"Your Life Is a Lie" is off of MGMT's next, self-titled album, out Sept. 17.

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Jason Bateman, Ed Helms, Jason Sudeikis are Mumford & Sons in new video

Jason Bateman, Ed Helms, Jason Sudeikis are Mumford & Sons in new video

HitFix
A
Readers
n/a
Two 'Horrible Bosses' leads reunite for hilarious clip for 'Hopeless Wanderer'

Band wanders down a dusty road. Band in a barn. Band in a boat. Band under old-timey lightbulbs. Band in matching outfits. Band metaphorically making out with itself. Band making out with itself.

With exception to the latter, the new music video for Mumford & Sons' "Hopeless Wanderer" makes fun of the folksy tropes of roots rock bands with the help of Jason Bateman, Ed Helms, Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte starring as Mumford & Sons themselves.

What starts out as a normal, sun-spattered trip into a grassy field turns into literal chaos as two "Horrible Bosses" leads, Helms and Sudeikis' "Saturday Night Live" cohort Forte bang out comedy gold. Homoeroticism, unbearable melancholy, banjo solos, The Who-inspired breakage, dripping instruments, vaudeville and a singularly spectacular beard combine for this effective interpretation of the "Babel" track.

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Watch: Kanye West remixes 'The Canyons' trailer with new music

Watch: Kanye West remixes 'The Canyons' trailer with new music

Also, Yeezy makes a surprise concert cameo that is off the hook: 'New Slaves'

There may be a few things that have blighted the release of director Paul Schrader's "The Canyons," including the trailer. Or maybe that's what Kanye West thought, so he and his arts company DONDA made a "Canyons" trailer remix, which includes new music from the hitmaker.

"The Canyons," starring Lindsay Lohan and James Deen, was penned by West's pal Bret Easton Ellis; the "American Psycho" writer helped put together West's "American Psycho" parody promo video for his latest album "Yeezus." So this West "remix" essentially brought collaborators back together.

"The Canyons" hits theaters and iTunes VOD today. Check it out:

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<p>Drake single art: Still at Degrassi High?</p>

Drake single art: Still at Degrassi High?

10 best and worst lines from Drake's new 'All Me' feat. Big Sean and 2 Chainz

Is the Aziz Ansari bit right on?

Drake posted another new song to his OVO website overnight, and despite its title "All Me," he gets a big bump from its guests: Big Sean, 2 Chainz and a bit from Aziz Ansari.

The latter appears only in a sampled quote from the comedian's "Funny People," as rap-inspired Randy, the stand-up with a DJ. "These bitches gotta start paying me for this, can't get no more free Randy," is the line. It's something simultaneously so quotable and yet obviously satire.

There's an element to Drake (and, at times, his cohorts) that toys with the absurdity, of the Lifestyle, the brags, the bravado and, of course, the money. Drake's last album "Take Care" cast Good Drake and Bad Drake together, often in the same verse, and like an alter-ego gabbing all over his most vulnerable self. Or is it vice-versa?

On "All Me" -- which moves smoothly over church bells, clanks, a music box, video game bomb noises, the constant brrr of bass and a dark, dirging voice --  there's a continuation of Drake at his most divisive, and correspondingly, his most absurd. Big Sean and 2 Chainz follow suit. The result are some good, bad and funny lines, check them out below.

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<p>Explosions in the Sky with David Wingo</p>

Explosions in the Sky with David Wingo

Credit: Munaf Rayani

Explosions In The Sky and David Wingo composing score for Al Pacino-starring 'Manglehorn'

Musicians gather together for another David Gordon Green flick -- after that Nine Inch Nails tour

AUSTIN - The soundtrack for director David Gordon Green's "Prince Avalanche" will be dropping only next week, but the film's score composers David Wingo and Explosions In The Sky are already eying another project together -- this one starring Al Pacino.

With a script by Paul Logan from a story by Logan and Green, "Manglehorn," will begin shooting this fall with Pacino as its title character, A.J. Manglehorn, "an eccentric man who tries to come to terms with a past crime that cost him the love of his life." In an interview with HitFix, Wingo and Explosions drummer Chris Hrasky said they'd reunite for recording and composing starting in late 2013.

"We'll spend the end of the year diving into that," Hrasky said.

That doesn't mean that Explosions In The Sky and film composer Wingo (who also releases albums under the name Ola Podrida) won't be brainstorming before then. Wingo will be playing some guitar, bass and samplers with Explosions while they go on tour this fall; at first they'll be headlining in August, but then they'll be hitting arenas as one of the opening bands on Nine Inch Nails' much-anticipated comeback tour in support of "Hesitation Marks."

Wingo and "The Sitter" co-composer Jeff McIlwain have completed their score for David Gordon Green's next film "Joe" (starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan); that Texas-based movie will be out soon on the festival circuit. Wingo said that Green's work on a "Suspiria" remake is "still on hold."

"Prince Avalanche" with Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch goes wide to theaters on Aug. 9, while its soundtrack hits shelves on Aug. 6 via Temporary Residence. You can hear the "Prince Avalanche" soundtrack in its entirety here.

Hrasky said that Explosions In The Sky will concentrate on a follow-up album to their 2011 set "Take Care, Take Care, Take Care" in 2014.

Stay tuned for a complete interview with Wingo and Hrasky, about Nine Inch Nails, instrumental music, "Prince Avalanche," Ola Podrida and rebirth.

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<p>Maggie Carey</p>

Maggie Carey

Watch: Director Maggie Carey talks 'To Do List,' John Hughes and the female orgasm

'Maggie, are you ever gonna make a movie we want to see?'

SAN DIEGO - "'Maggie, are you ever gonna make a movie we want to see?'"

"The To Do List" director Maggie Carey was talking about her parents, and their reaction to her describing her new film.

"And I said 'Probably not.' They wish I made a Ken Burns style documentary.'"

Carey used the term "earnest" over and over again as we discussed her very funny new film, which stars Aubrey Plaza as overachieving teenaged girl Brandy who is curious about sex. Like all other things in her life, everything's a goal to cross off of a literal list, even the vaunted "first time" of getting lucky.

"[Firsts] are always so awkward as a teenager, and there's an inherent humor about that," Carey said. "That's what's fun about the point of view on the film, is that you don't normally see an overachieving girl like this trying to tackle something that should be more... organic."

And precisely because the POV is female is also what makes "To Do" worth doing. Viewers are used to watching total squares trying to have their first sexual experience, but they're typically male. We've also got the backdrop of John Hughes' coming-of-agers like "16 Candles," which Carey loves. Her 1993-set "frank, honest" film doesn't look, sound or feel like those, because frankly and honestly, blowjobs, handjobs, masturbation, premature ejaculation, anal sex, car sex and the female orgasm are literally the touchstones of Brandy's own "coming of age" (no pun intended).

What age Brandy is arriving at is central to its plot. Her transition from high school to college is about experience, but also about the journey from getting laid to getting properly laid. It's not a perspective Carey sees much in movies today in part because it takes an amount of maturity and a lifting of male-female "double standards" to tell the story.

"[Brandy] is also 18," Carey said, noting that her heroine knows about condoms and birth control. "She's always in control, she's never taken advantage of."

Check out the rest of our interview, on hip-hop, college radio and pop in the era; Andy Samberg's grunge guy and her low, low budget; how sexual "firsts" are like war stories; ironing Grateful Dead t-shirts; her crush on Eddie Vedder; and how Aubrey Plaza's character is about to get awesome.

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