Watch Ellie Goulding's 'Explosions' video

Watch Ellie Goulding's 'Explosions' video

Fire in black and white

Most explosions have a brilliant array of flaming color. Ellie Goulding's video for "Explosions" is in all black and white.

This performance-mostly clip doesn't give much insight into the ballad or the performer, but the song still stands as brilliant vocal theater.

"Explosions" is from Goulding's latest album "Halcyon," out last year. The English singer is currently on tour in the U.S., where you can see her in full color.

Beyonce's Super Bowl Half Time promo photo: Sexy referee

Beyonce's Super Bowl Half Time promo photo: Sexy referee

Destiny's Child star copped your Halloween get-up

This year for Halloween, er, the Super Bowl, Beyonce is wearing her sexiest referee getup. The superstar singer posted the promotional photo to her Tumblr, where she's also been sporting some sneak-peak photos of the rehearsals leading up to her official half time show performance for the NFL Championship this coming Sunday.

The stiff-arm pic appears to be from the same shoot that led to the initial teaser image for Bey's booking, where she's sporting hash marks on her cheeks. It continues the years-long tradition of other half time performers like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Who posing in thigh-high heels and hot pants in support of their appearances. (Prince, oddly, abstained.)

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<p>Merry Clayton and Darlene Love</p>

Merry Clayton and Darlene Love

Credit: HitFix

Darlene Love and Merry Clayton talk taking 'Twenty Feet From Stardom' on tour

Director Morgan Neville hints at making his doc even more musical than it already is

PARK CITY, UTAH -- Not wanting "Twenty Feet From Stardom" to be over when it's over is a perfectly reasonable reaction to seeing the film. If, logistically, a few things fall into place, it doesn't have to be over.

The Sundance-premiered documentary was a hit as soon as it flared up on the screens in Park City this month, with Weinstein label Radius-TWC picking up the title in the first acquisition of the festival. The film featured several in-studio performances from greats like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Lisa Fischer, and the filmmakers even had two of those tracks pressed onto promotional 7" records.

And last week, for those who witnessed it, a quintet of those vocalists gave a "one-night-only" performance of "their" greatest hits -- tracks like the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" and the Crystals' "Da Doo Ron Ron" which depended heavily on those backing tracks -- and they took the house to church. For Love, Clayton, Fischer, Tata Vega and Judith Hill, they not earned their way into the spotlight, but they loved the material and seemingly each other.

Speaking with me in Park City, "Twenty Feet" director Morgan Neville intimated that a series of live concerts could be in the works in supporting the film's theatrical release, said to be this summer. "I think they're ready... I think it's dawning on them that this is a special moment."

For Love and Clayton -- who swapped stories and overflowing enthusiasm for the final product during our chat -- they don't want to get their hopes too high, but if it "flows"... then more live music and perhaps even an album together could be in their collective future.

Watch the videos above and below. Do you think Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Sting and others could back them?

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<p>Marilyn Manson in &quot;Wrong Cops&quot;</p>

Marilyn Manson in "Wrong Cops"

How Marilyn Manson ended up in Quentin Dupieux's 'Wrong Cops'

'Rubber' director addresses cast puke

PARK CITY, UTAH -- Casting Marilyn Manson as a teenager takes at least a little imagination, and director Quentin Dupieux never seems to be shy of that. During the Sundance Film Festival, the brain behind "Rubber" and the more recent "Wrong" introduced his freak version of a perfect world, "Wrong Cops."

And in its first "episode" of three shown at the fest, Manson is needled by lead lousy cop Mark Burnham for his music taste and is falsely accused of prostitution.

In this dys-utopia, Manson worked his casting. "He killed it," Dupieux said in the Q&A after premiere.

He also explained how an industrial/hard rock musician found his way into an absurdity like "Wrong Cops." "[Manson] was in love with 'Rubber,'" the French director said. "I wrote the part for him… he just did it."

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Watch: Animal Collective's 'Applesauce' video directed by Gaspar Noé

Watch: Animal Collective's 'Applesauce' video directed by Gaspar Noé

HitFix
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Model Lindsey Wixson eats a peach

Animal Collective's music video for "Applesauce" is directed by Gaspar Noé and features a long, close shot of a model eating a peach in the dark in front of flashing multi-colored lights.

According to a release, "It is intended to be viewed in complete darkness for maximum effect." Taking this video into a dark closet (with at least three days of dirty laundry piled up), it turns into a video of a long, close shot of a model eating a peach in the dark in front of flashing multi-colored lights.

Noé -- who also directed Nick Cave's highly repetitive "We No Who U R" video -- is making use of avant-garde filmmaker Paul Sharits' 1968 short film “N:O:T:H:I:N:G,” which soundlessly loops flashing multi-colored lights.

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<p>Tomahawk's &quot;Oddfellows&quot;</p>

Tomahawk's "Oddfellows"

Credit: Ipecac Recordings

Review: Tomahawk's 'Oddfellows,' the rock band's first album in five years

HitFix
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Defining what's so 'odd'

After years and years as a rock chameleon -- in Fantômas, Mr. Bungle, Faith No More and Tomahawk -- Mike Patton, again, proves himself a master of mic technique on the latter's first album in five years, "Oddfellows." All at once wily, sensual, bonkers and practiced, that voice demands an equally versatile backing and a collaborative spirit to keep Tomahawk fans guessing.

Here, Patton grinds down "Oddfellows'" 13 songs with other members of Fantômas and Mr. Bungle, the Jesus Lizard's axeman Duane Denison and Battles drummer John Stanier. The result is a collection worthy of repeat listens, thought it's not always the most cohesive experience. It's right for a big speaker sound, in its happy accidents and tasteful, complicated back-and-forths between Patton and Denison's mini melody battles. The macho torrent that is "Waratorium" is countered by the perverse slink of "Baby Let's Play ______." The Nick Cave-ison lip curls of "A Thousand Eyes" burrow into an anything-goes genre mash on “Rise Up Dirty Waters,” like a heavy rock variety show fit for warm, red lights.

“Stone Letter” and “South Paw” are Tomahawk at its most conventional and – in no coincidence – the most dated-sounding songs on the set, drilling in the ‘90s hard rock rhythms ad nauseum. And ominous church bells aren't enough to save “I Can Almost See Them,” which goes nowhere.

Still, there's a lot to listen to on "Oddfellows," even when that band churns out only two minutes of punk and prog-opera sounds (see: "Typhoon"). The guitar sounds are particularly challenging and excellent, breeding as much poetry as Patton spits, like everyone's getting squeezed to death starting at the diaphragm in the best possible way.

You can hear all of "Oddfellows" streaming via Spin.

Watch: Grizzly Bear's 'gun-shy' video is a minor medical drama

Watch: Grizzly Bear's 'gun-shy' video is a minor medical drama

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Latest clip to arrive from 'Shields'

File under "Do Not Try This At Home." Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear work their way through various minor medical experiments, with their hair, skin, bllod, tears, sweat and nails in the latest video to arrive from their album "Shields."

"gun-shy" was directed by Kris Moyes, who helmed that Sia video you really, really liked, for "Buttons." I like his use of stop motion here, like a series of coordinated animated gifs, to a beat. The theme of renewel is there too, if you can shake the heeby-jeebies of acupunture and skin-shaving.

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Watch: Jenny Lewis talks 'Very Good Girls' score and hints at tour with Postal Service
Credit: HitFix

Watch: Jenny Lewis talks 'Very Good Girls' score and hints at tour with Postal Service

Solo effort on its way for 2013

PARK CITY, UTAH -- Jenny Lewis' old band Rilo Kiley provided the springboard sound for Naomi Foner's film "Very Good Girls," but it's all-new material that drives the rest of the flick.

Premiering at Sundance, "Very Good Girls" stars Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olson, and with the girls' coming-of-age tale along with the female director's debut, Lewis set out to have a "strong female voice" to her songs -- even if she didn't spend much time singing on the largely instrumental tracks. Lewis wrangled in some backup singers and took cues from legendary soundtracks like "Harold & Maude" and some newer composers to dive in.

"I think of 'There Will Be Blood' and Trent Reznor's works when I think of these song-based scores," she told me in Park City. "Using old ideas, they speak to a certain generation."

As for new solo material -- since Rilo Kiley has broken up -- Lewis says she's halfway through recording a new album, and is "forming the concept as we speak right now. I love collaborating, so there's a whole cast of characters that I've toured with, played with in the past. It's a village effort."

Lewis' last solo album, "Acid Tongue," dropped via Warner Bros. in 2008, boasting of contributors like Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward (of She & Him), Chris Robinson, boyfriend and songwriter Johnathan Rice and Elvis Costello. She also released a duo album Jenny And Johnny with Rice in 2010, "I'm Having Fun Now."

Lewis also strongly hinted that she's joining "old friends" the Postal Service for tour in 2013. She said that it had been "10 years since we've played a show," and that she'll be needing to dust off her synthesizer for the stint. As previously reported, synth-pop crew the Postal Service (DNTEL and Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard) have reconvened for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April, and are planning on skedding further tour dates for those who can't make the double-weekend event. Jenny Lewis sang on their sole album "Give Up."

"I'm very excited," she said of the mysterious reunion.

 

<p>Blur</p>

Blur

Credit: AP Photo

Coachella 2013 lineup announced: Blur, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix

The Stone Roses, the Postal Service, the xx, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more

One of the biggest and earliest festivals in the country has made its lineup known: Coachella has tapped Blur, the Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, the xx, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Postal Service as its headlining acts.

The organizers behind the 2013 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Tweeted their poster for the double-weekend event. It runs April 12-14 and April 19-21 at the Empire Polo grounds in Indio, Calif. Tickets are on sale now.

Among the other big names are Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Jurassic 5, Modest Mouse, Sigur Ros, New Order, Hot Chip, Vampire Weekend, Social Distortion, the Wu-Tang Clan, Grizzly Bear and Lou Reed.

A few notes on this lineup:

  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined a number of big festivals in 2012 -- including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits -- so it's a little surprising to see them here for 2013.
  2. Looks like the Wu-Tang Clan has found dates that work for everyone. What's the wager that all members will be in attendance?
  3. Modest Mouse's appearance here is a pleasant surprise: they hit a couple of coastal fests in 2011 and 2012, but with no album in tow. This headlining appearance may indicate activity in the months ahead, as far as new material is concerned.
  4. We already knew that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend and Phoenix had new efforts coming, but how about that La Roux? LA ROUX? Get excited, people, there may be your new summer jam coming...
  5. Both Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds AND Grinderman made the marquee, with Cave apparently pulling quadruple duty over the weekends. It was in December 2011 that the band intimated that "Grinderman 2" and its subsequent tour was the end of that band, but now that assertion is effectively proven wrong.
  6. Sigur Ros announced just today on Reddit AMA that they have a new album coming, so not another Jonsi record. Which is just fine: the solo artist and his band have proven live concert imagination, so this large-scale, large stage show should be beautiful.
  7. Jurassic 5 split in 2007, so this reunion is pretty notable. Cut Chemist was the first to cut ties in 2006, so let's see what he and others bring to the table.
  8. How to Destroy Angels is on here -- not Nine Inch Nails. Not shocking, but we know that Trent Reznor is committed to that project at least through the spring.
  9. I'm kind of surprised that solo electronica/EDM/DJ artists aren't the marquee names. We're so used to AVICII, Skrillex, deadmau5, Calvin Harris, David Guetta and others dominating mainstream festivals, but you have to skip to line 3 (past New Order, past the xx) to get to artists like Benny Benassi, Bassnectar, Paul Oakenfold and their ilk.
  10. Blur were obviously listening. While Pulp made a reunion stop at the fest last year, 2013 is Blur's time to shine on the States, after a couple of short appearances in their native England. They're sharing a double-headline with the Stone Roses, which I have to think is contractual, because, man, just look at those catalogs and you tell me if folks are more excited for Damon Albarn.
  11. Lou Reed was at Metric's show this fall so... there's that.
  12. Johnny Marr's on there. You will note: that isn't the Smiths. We need to drop it.
  13. That Tweet of a rock in field? It's a polo ball, not a Rolling Stone.

Are you going to Coachella now?

Coachella 2013 lineup poster

Watch: Andrew Bird details children's TV show project 'Professor Socks'
Credit: HitFix

Watch: Andrew Bird details children's TV show project 'Professor Socks'

'Norman' film composer continues to think of albums as films

PARK CITY, UTAH -- Even as he started making albums in his late teens, Andrew Bird wanted to be a film composer. His earliest efforts with Bowl of Fire were organized and released as a film, his stage sets are arranged like a 35 mm frame. He made his first complete score with "Norman" in 2011, but is still in search of fresh filmmakers with whom he can collaborate.

"People I would love to work with already have their 'guy.' Like, David Lynch or Werner Herzog or Jim Jarmusch. I'm looking for a young version of those. Like Carter Burwell with the Coen Brothers -- he was just part of their world, just another creative mind in their group and he just happened to fill their minds with music. He was there from the start," Bird said during our interview at Sundance.

For 2013, Bird is proactively filling the shoes of a composer by making his own A/V project -- though it's not a movie (yet). The Chicago-bred musician is lining up an outlet and funding for a live-action children's television program, called "Professor Socks' TV Show." It was only a couple of days ago at Largo in L.A. that Bird bowed its theme song; for a father of a 2-year-old, the timing was right, to make kid-friendly music and to star in his own project.

Bird said he's been watching a lot of Sesame Street and has been inspired by Jim Henson's shows. He looked at "Professor Socks" as a "good excuse to play the old jug band stuff, the old hot jazz stuff" -- think Emmett Otter. Bird, coincidentally, contributed a track to 2011's "The Muppets"  "I'm thinking of all the friends I can bring into the process... trying to sneak in to the kids' thing through adults. It might be more of a cult, weird kind of musical."

The idea is also prompted, in part, by socks. The violinist, guitarist, singer and pro-whistler performs most of his shows without shoes on, thus Bird has always boasted an immaculate array of socks. "I haven't had to buy my own socks for a long time," he said.

Bird will play a "confused professor who's out to lunch on most scientific facts. He's very confused," he said. He's helped in part by assistants like a librarian and a foxy companion... rather, an animatronic fox (rhymes with socks, got it?). There's a magic dresser with magic socks and sliding across the floor in said socks transports him to other "vocational" worlds, "from as mundane as how they make bubble gum to the ballet."

Check out part one of two of my interview with Bird above, for more details on his film scoring and socks.