This week HitFix is revisiting some of the key turning points in recent entertainment history and considering what would have happened if history had turned a bit differently. What if...?
AUSTIN - Lake Bell’s film “In A World...” – which she directed, wrote and lead acted– is laugh-out-loud funny, with what she calls a “scoop of message” on top. Leading the charge with a comedic ensemble that includes Dmitri Martin, Rob Cordry, Tig Notaro, Ken Marino, Nick Offerman, Stephanie Allynne and more, Bell outlines what is essentially a battle of the sexes.
Bell’s character Carol is a voice actor trying to make a dent in the commercial world doing voiceover gigs; Fred Melamed, who plays her father Sam in “In a World…,” is a master of the craft (both in the film and in real life). As Carol fights her way through auditions, and makes her way to the final round to utter the famed movie trailer phrase “In a world…”, she’s fights against the advisement of her father and other dude characters as the sole woman in a male monopolized industry.
If you'll recall, Justin Timberlake made a very high-profile alliance with Budweiser, for their Platinum brew, which help amp up his and his single "Suit & Tie's" visibility on television. Jay Z did, as well, as he and Timberlake promoted their Legends Of Summer tour together. These were part of Bud's "Made for Music" campaign, which now includes a second spot from Rihanna since July.
"Right Now" is the seventh single off of Rihanna's "Unapologetic," but it was introduced as the single back in June. Right now (heh), we're looking down the barrel of a particularly busy autumn-into-holiday album season, with Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Drake, Timberlake and other chart-toppers having announced new releases leading up to Thanksgiving.
And if there's one artist that loves the holiday shopping season, it's Rihanna (and if there's one label, it's Def Jam): Ri-Ri's last four albums have been released in either the third or fourth week of November, around those Black Friday sales, with 2009's "Rated R," 2010's "Loud," 2011's "Talk That Talk" and 2012's "Unapologetic" arriving at Nos. 4, 3, 3 and 1, respectively, on The Billboard 200 chart. See a trend?
MTV Italy wrote earlier this month that Rihanna was plotting a new album for November. MTV U.S. didn't really run with that baton, though the rumor was strongly circulated. And there may be a good reason why the network didn't pick up with it here: those MTV VMAs, Aug. 25, seemingly has every big name on board as performers. The Daft Punk "surprise" has been spoiled since the "Colbert" snafu, so maybe Rihanna may roll in, too. (Or maybe One Direction, because the boy band has a stop soon in New York to promote their forthcoming 3D film "1D: This Is Us." Brooklyn is just a subway stop away...)
Rihanna's Diamonds World Tour starts back up overseas in September and ends Oct. 8. She has no domestic dates listed in the in-betweens.
Lady Gaga's "Applause" leaked over the past weekend, more than a week earlier than the pop singer was prepared to reveal the song and its music video. So you can see why the lyric video for "Applause" looks a little rushed: it was shot in a rush, to add some traction to a leaky reveal.
Mother Monster gathered up some Little Monsters and some drag queens and hit Micky's nightclub and gay bar in West Hollywood just last night (Aug. 13), coming up with a colorfully cable-access performance for the vid. Featured is Gaga in her some of her "Applause" single cover makeup, with several performers rocking a similar look. Fans partied in close quarters with the singer and her new recruits.
After the experience, Gaga felt a calling.
Watch the "Applause" lyric video below. The official "Applause" music video is still expected to arrive within the week, leading up to Gaga's performance at the MTV VMAs on Aug. 25. Her album "ARTPOP" is out Nov. 11.
Yoko Ono roped in the surviving members of the Beastie Boys for some "additional beats, programming, and other curve balls” on a remix of "Bad Dancer," marking the first time we've heard from them 'Boys since the passing of Adam Yauch.
"Bad Dancer" and another new song "Tabetai," both below, appear on a new album by Plastic Ono Band, "Take Me to the Land of Hell." The latter song features some bottle sounds and vocals from tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus and basically sounds like many phrases from "Pootie Tang." Yoko sings behind the beat on the former in her typically quirky Yoko Ono way, and it definitely has a Beasties Brand on the new beats by Mike D and Ad-Rock.
Nine Inch Nails have been performing their new song "Copy of A" from "Hesitation Marks" as they've headlined at various music festivals recently. Now, there's the official studio version available for stream.
Trent Reznor has kept firm to his "no yelling" policy on "Hesitation Marks" thus far, and this song represents some of his more mellow vocals. The hollow effect on those on top of the looping sampler and itchy beat make for a happy little paranoid number, a good contrast to first single "Came Back Haunted."
"Copy of A" can be downloaded for free right now at Amazon UK. "Hesistation Marks" is out Sept. 3.
Watch NIN's "Came Back Haunted" music video by David Lynch. See below for tracklist and tour dates.
Here is the "Hesitation Marks" tracklist:
1. The Eater of Dreams
2. Copy of A
3. Came Back Haunted
4. Find My Way
5. All Time Low
9. Various Methods of Escape
11. I Would for You
12. In Two
13. While I’m Still Here
14. Black Noise
Here are Nine Inch Nails' tour dates:
08/15 - Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop
08/16 - Biddinghuizen, Holland @ Lowlands Festival
08/18 - Hockenheim, Germany @ Rock 'n' Heim
08/21 - Belfast, Northern Ireland @ Belsonic Festival
08/23 - Leeds, England @ Leeds Festival
08/24 - Paris, France @ Rock en Seine
08/25 - Reading, England @ Reading Festival
08/28 - Milan, Italy @ Mediolanum Forum
08/31 - 09/1 - Philadelphia, PA @ Made in America Festival
09/28 - St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
09/30 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
10/01 - St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena
10/03 - Montreal, QC @ Centre Bell
10/04 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
10/05 - Cleveland, OH @ Wolstein Center
10/07 - Auburn Hill, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
10/08 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Petersen Events Center
10/11 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
10/14 - Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
10/15 - Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
10/18 - Washington, D.C. @ Verizon Center
10/19 - University Park, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center
10/21 - Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena
10/22 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
10/24 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
10/25-27 - Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit
10/30 - Sunrise, FL @ BB&T Center
10/31 - Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
11/1-3 - New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Music Experience
11/05 - San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
11/08 - Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
11/09 - Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center
11/11 - El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center
11/13 - Broomfield, CO @ 1st Bank Center
11/15 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
11/16 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
11/18 - Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena
11/19 - Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena
11/21 - Vancouver, British Columbia @ Rogers Arena
11/22 - Seattle, WA @ KeyArena
11/24 - Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
11/25 - Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome
"Did they poison my food? Is it cause I'm a girl? / If I puked up some sonnets would you call me "a miracle?"
Neko Case gets fairly specific -- and, thusly, cryptic -- on her new song "Night Still Comes." This swaying tune brings in soul and gospel elements into its killer chorus, and the large chorus that sings her chorus. "You never held it at the right angle," they sing, never naming what "it" is as she relates how a forest consumes her and the ocean dashes her biggest "plans."
"Night Still Comes" is yet another example on Case's next album "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You" of slipping her character's gender into the "Fight." On "Man," she took up a male as its subject, but not just any male: a very male-y male, an archetype of manly adages in song. Here, pairing the term "puke" up with "is it 'cause I'm a girl" makes it really confrontational, even if we still have no idea what the hell is going on.
I'll just mark this as another good one from Case, whose "Worse Things Get" is out on Sept. 3 via Anti-. The album features guest spots from M. Ward, members of The New Pornographers, My Morning Jacket, Calexico and more. Full tracklist and tour dates are below.
Here is the tracklist for "The Worse Things Get":
1. Wild Creatures
2. Night Still Comes
4. I’m From Nowhere
5. Bracing for Sunday
6. Nearly Midnight, Honolulu
7. Calling Cards
8. City Swans
10. Local Girl
11. Where Did I Leave That Fire
Here are Neko Case's tour dates:
8/09 – Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Folk Festival
8/11 – Regina, SK @ Regina Folk Festival
8/24-25 – Monterey, CA @ First City Festival
9/06 – Chicago, IL @ A.V. Fest/Hideout Block Party
9/08 – Portland, OR @ Musicfest NW
9/11 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
9/12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Orpheum Theater
9/13 – Santa Fe, NM @ Lensic Performing Center
9/14 – Denver, CO @ The Ellie Caulkins
9/16 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Butte Garden Amphitheater
9/17 – Boise, ID @ The Knitting Factory
9/18 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount
9/19 – Eugene, OR @ The Cuthbert Amphitheater
9/20 – Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theater
9/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
9/26 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
10/04-06 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10/05-06 – Los Angeles, CA @ Way Over Yonder Fest
10/11-13 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10/15 – Lawrence, KS @ Liberty Hall
10/16 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/17 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/19 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
10/20 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
10/23 – Nashville, TN @ The Cannery
10/24 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
10/26 – Durham, NC @ The Durham Performing Arts Center
10/27 – Charlottesville, VA @ The Paramount
11/01 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre
"The Abramovic Method Practiced by Lady Gaga" is a video of the pop star trying to sing a long tone for a very long time, and posing naked, laying on the floor, standing in a creek, and other various eccentric postures and settings.
No, it's not a music video.It's about three minutes of art that you might not "get," the result of a three-day retreat Gaga spent with the famed performance artist Marina Abramovic, spending time on "series of exercises designed to heighten participants' awareness of their physical and mental experience in the present moment." The Institute released the video in an effort to raise awareness of its Kickstarter -- which, in itself, is something to behold.
The "Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI) will be the first space dedicated to practicing the Abramovic Method, which prepares participants to both perform and observe long durational work," reads the description from the Vimeo page. Maybe Mother Monster is just trying to up her performance ante when it comes to her next album "ARTPOP?"
This video is not safe for work, in case this needs to be repeated.
"ARTPOP" is out Nov. 22, to be preceded by single "Applause," due Aug. 19.
Your rock 'n' roll movie might be in trouble if there's too much talking and not enough rocking. That may be the plight of "CBGB," the new film centered on the famed New York city punk club.
Alan Rickman is obviously a big selling point of a film like this, lending credibility and personality to a history that all but burns with personality (and VD). With Hilly Kristal's estate needing to sign off on his visage and all, of course it'd be a "must" to have Rickman's role at the center of this wiry, drug-addled universe. But, here, dish him a line like "Why not live your dreams?". Here's a cockroach crack and a necessary few seconds allotted to CBGB's bathroom. And on top of that, a bunch of actors like Malin Akerman, Rupert Grint, Ashley Greene, Johnny Galecki, Ryan Hurst, Justin Bartha and Bradley Whitford dressed as members of groups like Talking Heads, Blondie, The Ramones, Dead Boys, The Police, Iggy Pop and Patti Smith Group, but without a clue as to how they'll play these awesome punk icons.
I'm not seeing a lot of teeth here. Or the acid-tongues, the sharp sounds or the bleary eyes. I see Halloween (no, not the band) costumes and bits of comedy script. Musical "Rock of Ages" had twice the amount of music in its hairspray-dominated trailers, and we all know how "Rock of Ages" turned out.