<p>Some of &quot;When Angles Sing's&quot; singers</p>

Some of "When Angles Sing's" singers

Credit: When Angels Sing

SXSW: 'When Angels Sing' stuns with soundtrack

Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson and Austinites galore

AUSTIN --  The Christmas film "When Angels Sing" boasts Willie Nelson as Santa Claus; Lyle Lovett as a holiday-happy neighbor to Harry Connick, Jr.'s Scrooge, due to his unhappy Christmas past; and Kris Kristofferson as his dad, and his heart if full of the season's joy.

So, of course, the soundtrack is X-mas excellence.

The film -- shot in Austin and premiered at South By Southwest -- is as family-friendly as they come, with Connick's usual charm and easiness oozing from in between the green and red trim. The trademark seems to be Hallmark, though the film has yet to get picked up. The music won't hurt its chances: Family singalongs, a stumble into a church, caroling and a gander through Austin's hot spots (including Salt Lick, nom) provide ample opportunities for originals and Christmas classics.

Lovett has an extended acoustic jam with Kat Edmonson and Nelson gets a solo on "Amazing Grace." Connick refrains from singing in the film until a duet with Nelson on the closing credits. I especially loved the cameos from the Trishas and from Dale Watson, who give this film a particular Austin glaze that could help sell music, if not the film itself.

"Kris and Harry are great," Nelson told me of his co-stars and collaborators before the premiere. "I like good writers, good singers and good people. They don’t get any better than those guys."

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<p>Olivia Wilde</p>

Olivia Wilde

Credit: AP Photo

Olivia Wilde talks about nudity in 'Drinking Buddies': Consent in Hollywood

A short discussion on 'We Saw Your Boobs' and giving actresses credit

AUSTIN – When Olivia Wilde stripped her clothes off in front of Jake Johnson in “Drinking Buddies,” you could hear an audible gasp in the Paramount theater during the film’s premiere at South By Southwest.

Wilde and Johnson play Kate and Luke, friends and coworkers, who in this scene are out on a weekend trip to a cabin. Both have brought their significant others on the vacation, but then the “drinking buddies” find themselves deliciously alone on a beach. As is their wont, they flirt heavily, and late into their night of boozing and teetering on the edge of hooking up, Kate starts taking off her clothes and heads toward the water, urging Luke to skinny dip with her.
 
The fact that the viewing audience reacted as they did in that moment exposed a visceral reaction to the quandary, the acting, and to Wilde’s bare skin. (Notably, Johnson’s Luke doesn’t follow suit.)
 
Many of Joe Swanberg’s films have included nudity – male and female – and writers before have criticized the filmmaker of using nudity as exploitative, or as an easy way to shock audiences into conveying emotional nakedness.
 
In an interview after the premiere, however, Wilde said it’d serve the audience well to trust actors in their decisions for nude and sex scenes because, for example, getting nude for “Drinking Buddies” was all her idea. There was no script for the film, only Swanberg as its captain, and Wilde told her director she wanted to skinny dip because “it felt so incredibly organic to that moment.”
 
“I didn’t feel conflicted. That is the magic moment [Kate’s] been waiting for, where she is offering herself, quite literally, to [Luke]. She’s being so inappropriate, and she knows it,” Wilde told me. “And if Joe had said it’s too inappropriate, like ‘If you’re nude it’d be too jarring,’ I would have fought for it.”
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<p>Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O at SXSW</p>

Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O at SXSW

Watch: Yeah Yeah Yeahs amaze with new album title track 'Mosquito' at SXSW

Watch the whole show, while you're at it

AUSTIN -- As you'd suspect, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs rolled out some new tunes at the South By Southwest music conference during their concert at Stubb's last night, what with their fresh album due April 16.

So they came out swatting, with the title track to the new effort, "Mosquito." Now, this song had previously made its way online from another live show this month. However, it's important to note how energetic its performance is here, how batty and aggro Karen O gets, like Siouxie and Electric 6 cramming their best ideas together.

Now imagine that going the whole show. Because it did.

The evidence is in the video below, which capturers the 55-minute show. To skip the pre-show banter from the NPR folks, fast-forward to about the 6-minute mark.

But also don't miss the performance of two brand new songs, debuts of "Subway" and "Under the Earth," which make me think that "Mosquito" may not be a slighter or leaner album, but proves the band has an expert touch on their more off-the-hinge moments, feeling more playful around their song structures. "Sacrilege" -- their current single -- features a gospel choir on tape, but that crescendo was tracked at the show, which is too bad. The choir could've been the audience, who seemed fairly well-acquainted with the track already.

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'Grow Up, Tony Phillips'' Emily Hagins on why SXSW is ideal for young filmmakers
Credit: Arcanum

'Grow Up, Tony Phillips'' Emily Hagins on why SXSW is ideal for young filmmakers

Plus: Watch the trailer for the quirky comedy from the 20-year-old director

Austin's South By Southwest Film Festival is known as a friendly place for young filmmakers, their eccentric movies, and devoted movie junkies. 

It may be the ideal forum to unveil the new indie comedy "Grow Up, Tony Phillips," from the Austin-based 20-year-old director Emily Hagins. The quirky, micro-budget slice-of-life comedy centers on an 18-year-old man-child who doesn't want to give up trick or treating on Halloween. 

HitFix's Katie Hasty sat down with Hagins to discuss the film, and why SXSW seems to be the perfect place for "Tony Phillips" to meet the world.

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<p>Prince on 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon'</p>

Prince on 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon'

Credit: NBC

Confirmed: Prince will close out SXSW Music Fest

Legendary artist will play Samsung party

HitFix exclusively reported on Monday that this year's SXSW was set to get a dose of Prince for the very first time, and now it's official.

Samsung has confirmed that Prince will perform at its March 16 party, closing out the sprawling Austin festival, according to Mashable

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<p>Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson are &quot;Drinking Buddies&quot;</p>

Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson are "Drinking Buddies"

Credit: Ben Richardson

SXSW: Joe Swanberg, Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde talk beer and sex in ‘Drinking Buddies’

Why does Joe Swanberg make improvised movies on women characters?

AUSTIN -- What is readily apparent from Joe Swanberg’s latest film “Drinking Buddies” is that the actors genuinely liked each other. In a press event following the film’s premiere at South By Southwest, Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick confirmed as much, and even more so.

After a particularly explosive scene between his character and Wilde’s, Johnson had to text Wilde later to ask, “Are we cool?” Kendrick exploded into tears following a high-tension scene with Livingston, not because the scene necessarily broke her heart, but because of a prospect of a scene to come, where she’d have to recall to Johnson -- her character’s boyfriend in the film -- of her indiscretion.
 
Such is the challenge and highlight of a film like “Drinking Buddies,” dubbed an “improvised movie” because it had no script. Johnson said, though, that doesn’t mean this ship had no captain. “There was a clear vision start to finish,” he said.
 
That vision was through the eyes of a woman, Kate, “heavily based” on the real life of Swanberg’s female friend who works at a microbrewery in Chicago, where this film is also set. It’s a portrait of being a woman in a man’s world, of wanting attention, wanting to be attained but also, as Swanberg said, “getting good at deflecting that male attention.”
 
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Exclusive: Selena Gomez reveals the title of her new single as 'Come and Get It'
Credit: HitFix

Exclusive: Selena Gomez reveals the title of her new single as 'Come and Get It'

Song -- sans Taylor Swift -- is out in April

AUSTIN -- In the middle of Spring Break, promoting her movie "Spring Breakers," Selena Gomez has even another reason to party. The pop singer and actress has been completing work on her new album, and revealed to HitFix during our interview this week at the South By Southwest film conference the title of her new single: "Come and Get It" will be out in April, and it will be a "good taste" of the album to follow.

"This is the hardest I've ever worked on an album," Gomez told me during our sit-down, during which she described the overall sound as "pop-electro." She calls "Come and Get It" a fun dance track.

What it won't have is Taylor Swift. MTV previously Tweeted that Gomez' next single was co-written by Swift, but Gomez seemed perplexed at the suggestion that she collaborated with her friend. "I definitely didn't work with Taylor on this record, but she's heard my stuff," she explained.

The as-yet-untitled album, however, will boast the influence of "Spring Breakers" composer and soundtrack man Skrillex.

Gomez' last album, "When the Sun Goes Down," was released in 2011.

Check out the video above for more details on Gomez' album and her feelings on production. Are you ready to come and get "Come and Get It?" Do you think we'll hear it before April?

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<p>From &quot;Good Ol' Freda&quot;: Freda Kelly and Paul McCartney</p>

From "Good Ol' Freda": Freda Kelly and Paul McCartney

SXSW Film: 'Good Ol' Freda' boasts rare music and lessons in the value of music

A discussion on 'one-off' recordings and the value of songs in the modern music era

AUSTIN -- At the top of the film "Good Ol' Freda," Beatles fans get hit in the face with one of the rarer, frequently bootlegged pieces of the Fab Four's history. It's the sound of the first Beatles Christmas recording, from 1963, of John, Paul, George and Ringo singing bits of "Good King Wenceslas" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," with scripted and improvised bits on wishing fans a happy holiday. It and all the following years' records were sent only to members of the Beatles fan club.

"Good Ol' Freda's" namesake Freda Kelly was the president and leader of the Beatles fan club for their entire career. And as director Ryan White said in the Q&A session after the documentary's premiere, it was a real testament to Kelly's integral role in the history of the Beatles' music career that the filmmakers were able to secure the sync rights to include that Christmas record for the movie.

In fact, there were four Beatles songs besides the Christmas recording that were weaved into Freda's chronological narrative: "I Saw Her Standing There," "Love Me Do," "I Feel Fine" and "I Will."

While Kelly's story is small, contained and another (albeit unfettered) look into the history of the Beatles, the securing of those licenses is epic in scope. As the music industry has splintered and merged and evolved in the past 40 years, so have the issues of copyright and ownership of Beatles master recordings. White said, "On my death bed... these will be the four proudest moments of my life, getting those four songs," conceding that it's "well known" that there are "countless circles of people" who must grant permission for these recordings. Publishers, labels, songwriters, estates and other rights holders make up these "countless" stakes.

It reminds me of Soundcloud and other music sharing technologies utilized by artists big and small today. On Soundcloud, a performer can share a snippet of work, or demos or unfinished, unmastered, unclaimed bits of music, just in order to connect with their audiences or workshop through their artistic ideas. They could put out their own Christmas recording of "Rudolph," just to say hi and thanks. Years later, what is the value of that work, when it is easily attained? "Rare" music is now so rarely rare.

We're in gawky, awkward teenaged years of music sharing (just ask the guys at Napster and the film "Downloaded"), and the intrinsic and net value of music is in a raw flux, due to the fact that artists make one-off and "exercise" material available readily. Some don't. In either case, were the artist to retain all rights to their material and exercise control over it -- as copyrights holders have done in the case of the Beatles -- good night and good luck, because from YouTube to Soundcloud to filesharing networks, they're everybody's at this point.

There are few artists that will ever be as famous and as "valued" as the Beatles, and for those that are, there's no such thing as the "rare Christmas recording" anymore. "Good Ol' Freda" is an inadvertent lesson in what rare even means to the current music consumer. That, on its face, is worth a trip to see "Freda."
 

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<p>Mumford &amp; Sons</p>

Mumford & Sons

Credit: Glassnote

Watch: Mumford & Sons' 'Whispers in the Dark' music video

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Pre-show rituals

A lot of bands have pre-show rituals, what it takes for the members to pump themselves up for the stage. For Mumford & Sons in their video for "Whispers in the Dark," theirs may sometimes involve a sea adventure and fashions from the 1800s.

 While Marcus Mumford spiritual, desirous lyrics may point to an actual "ark," but the lead singer's chosen vessel is a motorcycle here, the leather jacket covering his usual tweed vest.

"There’s something a little different this time, with a concept concocted by the band in conjunction with director Jim Canty and featuring all four band members. It was shot in Camden, New Jersey during their recent East Coast US Tour and also features some other familiar faces," the band posted on their website. Canty has helmed vids for other artists like Mark Ronson and Spiritualized.

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<p>Prince at the 2013 Grammys</p>

Prince at the 2013 Grammys

Credit: AP Photo

Exclusive: Prince will perform at SXSW

The Purple One is set to hit the stage in Austin next Saturday

The rumors are true: Prince is set to take the stage at the South By Southwest music conference for the first time. The Purple One is getting a specially remodeled stage at La Zona Rosa in downtown Austin, a source confirmed to HitFix.

The festival this year is already boasting music's biggest names like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Flaming Lips and Dave Grohl's Sound City Players, but Prince's concert will be bursting from its own seams with a 22-piece band. Prince hits the stage late Saturday night.

Furthermore, fest-goers should keep their eyes peeled for a certain awards show held during music festivities in Austin this week: His Royal Badness is slated as a "special guest" at the podium.

No word yet on how badge -holders or fans get access to the concert, stay tuned.

Are you attending SXSW this week? Peruse our list of 10 music-themed movies to watch out for here, and check out what resident HitFix movie critic Drew McWeeny had to say about two of the film festival's biggest movie premieres: horror remake "Evil Dead" and Jim Carrey-Steve Carell magician comedy "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," both of which debuted in Austin over the weekend.

The SXSW Music Festival runs from March 12-17. You can browse a schedule of confirmed performers over at the fest's official website.

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