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.
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?
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."
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.
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.
Daft Punk released a 15-second commercial, a teaser trailer to their new album last weekend during "Saturday Night Live" with a blippy guitar-led groove. That groove seems to belong to "Dance to the Beat" a song that has successfully "leaked" from the French duo's new album.
And I say "leaked" because unlike other promotions and actual leaks, Columbia hasn't pulled the full-length, high-quality audio track down from YouTube yet, even as it sports the new Daft Punk signature, their performance helmets split and merged together.
Not only is "Dance to the Beat" making the rounds, but similarly so is "Future Is Now," a house anthem if there ever was one. It sports the same image plus an audio frequency bar and the Columbia logo.
The future is, indeed, now: the wait is... over? Producers have tried to scam fans into believing their own work was the work of Daft Punk, but there would undoubtedly have been quicker, swifter retribution (er, C&Ds) misusing the name, logos and sounds of the band if this were the case. Sneaky leaks seem to be in their wheelhouse in the promotional game at this point anyway.
Perhaps more will be revealed over the weekend, since that seems to be Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manual De Homem Christo's preferred promo time period.
The album -- as yet untitled -- was initially rumored to arrive next week on March 12. We'll be busy at SXSW. We can only dream that Daft Punk would be too.
Throw together a low-lit club, your favorite tank and bikini, the Dutty Wine, the stocking cap you owned in high school, Lil Viscious, Chaka Demus & Pliers' "Murder She Wrote,"and -- gasp! -- Lil Kim and you've got Nicki Minaj and French Montana together in the music video for the latter rapper's "Freaks."
Minaj makes a severely hot-n-bothered appearance in said gold pasties with only a jacket to keep her warm as Montana's over-dressed in this club-based video, for a song that's equally hot. I love the matter-of-factness in the MMG MC's voice, and Minaj's high-heeled dominance on the throne. ("American Idol" may have her climb down, though, and put on a shawl.)
Remember around the turn of the century, when everybody was building their web pages with a starscape background and low-contrast colored fonts (and lime green hyperlinks) with flaming skulls in the margins and everything in 48-point type?
The music video for FIDLAR's snot-rock anthem "Max Can't Surf," which is a perfectly produced piece of garage, is sort of like that webpage, as much in execution as it is in mood.
She & Him, "New Girl" star Zooey Deschanel's cutesy folk pop project with ace guitarist M. Ward, are back with a new summer name, just in time for the end of winter. "Never Wanted Your Love," the duo's first single from their upcoming fourth album, "Volume 3" (It's not a cheeky title; their third album was the holiday-themed lark "A Very She & Him Christmas").
Despite lyrics straight out of the Heartbreak Hotel, "Never" is a typically upbeat doodle of a pop song which highlights Deschanel's country-tinged vocals, some nice background harmony work and Ward's muted picking style.
Listen to it here:
"Volume 3" arrives May 7.