<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

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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.

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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.

 

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<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

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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.

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Watch: Pat Smear and Taylor Hawkins talk Foo Fighters' future

Watch: Pat Smear and Taylor Hawkins talk Foo Fighters' future

How does the term 'reunion' sit with former Nirvana member Smear?

PARK CITY, UTAH -- Taylor Hawkins and Pat Smear have no fear that the Foo Fighters are finished. They're merely enjoying their break, supporting the lead Foo. At the "Sound City" premiere at Sundance, the two members fleshed out their feelings on Dave Grohl's non-album project  -- which, coincidentally, turned into an album project anyway ("Sound City - Real to Reel").

Smear -- who also played in Nirvana -- said that the assembled Sound City Players may just become "the greatest cover or backing band of all time."

As for the future of the Foos, "Today, it's just this. We're all here and we're all playing," he said, referring to the fact that all personnel was on hand for the premiere and helped on its soundtrack.

Drummer Hawkins said that the Foo Fighters have a "natural never-ending future... we're family." When Grohl told festival-goers last year that the band was going away for a while, "people made a bit more out of it" than it was. "I don't think it was meant to be dramatic. We should have said nothing, then everybody would be really happy when we came back. It's cyclical," said, commenting o n the album release cycle, "then everybody needs to go do something else."

For Hawkins, something else are "small" projects, mountain biking "every day of my life" and making time with his kids. "My 'that' is this, helping Dave out."

Watch the rest of our red carpet interview above, with a cameo from film buff and Slipknot leader Corey Taylor and Smear talking about the term "reunion" with Nirvana in mind.

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<p>Dave Grohl from &quot;Sound City&quot;</p>

Dave Grohl from "Sound City"

Credit: Roswell Films

Sundance Review: Dave Grohl's 'Sound City' is a fun, shaky rock doc

Jaw-dropping performances and a mangled argument for reel-to-reel

Dave Grohl set out to tell the story of his recording console, sold to him from the now-defunct Sound City recording studio in California. What he filmed was a lot more than that, and he ended up with too much to say.

"Sound City" marks the Foo Fighters frontman and Nirvana member's directorial debut, and Grohl seemingly fell into the claptrap that most documentary filmmakers face when they tackle a topic they love.

The doc begins with a road story, of Nirvana touring their way to this unofficial, unseemly rock hall of fame. It went on to tell of the studio's origins and its founders; then the technology of the Neve console and Sound City's drum room. From there, the script was strangled by a series of anecdotes and side tangents, polished moments and lingering interviews. It's as though the story were laid out in bullet points with only the thinnest segues. Like, Fleetwood Mac formed here, something something then Jimmy Iovine and Tom Petty, something something then the girls that worked at the studio, a brief on punk rock in the early 80s, Neil Young's car, the development of Rick Springfield by the studio manager, the advent of the CD age, something something now here's the new songs section...

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<p>Stevie Nicks at Sundance</p>

Stevie Nicks at Sundance

Credit: HitFix

Stevie Nicks on 'Sound City' and Fleetwood Mac: 'It's like the Volturi is coming for me'

Watch the video interview for the 'rock star' at Dave Grohl's movie premiere

PARK CITY - Stevie Nicks' storied career started, in part, out of the Sound City recording studio in California, which makes it a fine reason for her to co-star in Dave Grohl's Sundance documentary "Sound City." But the Fleetwood Mac singer and solo artist isn't entirely comfortable in front of the camera -- at least, that's not where she feels at home.

"I don't love being filmed and I don't love all the stuff that you have to think about instead of thinking about your music, I don't love the whole vanity thing. It bugs me," she told me, donning enormous sunglasses and fabulous fur on the red carpet at the "Sound City" premiere this weekend. "I never want to be a movie star… but [being] the Rock Star's O.K. because you don't have to do that that much. You really just have to work on your music and that's really where my heart is. But this is very much fun."

She's been showing up on film for "Sound City" and in the making-of film for her latest album "In Your Dreams," which is still baking. Then there's the re-reunion tour with Fleetwood Mac this year.

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<p>From &quot;Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer&quot;</p>

From "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer"

'Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer': Freed band member tackles Q&A at Sundance

Don't hold your breath for a Pussy Riot album

PARK CITY, UTAH -- "A Punk Prayer" from Russian band Pussy Riot has been in circulation for months as a rallying cry for feminism and political protest in Russia and worldwide. "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer," the documentary on the phenomenon, only bowed last night at the Sundance Film Festival.

Katia Samutsevich, Nadia Tolokonikovoy and Maria "Macha" Alyokhina were arrested in March 2012 for their feral punk performance in a church, a musical plea to remove Vladimir Putin from power. Under charges of hooliganism, they were put in prison, though just this fall, Samutsevich's sentence was suspended, though the other two arrested women are carrying out their terms. Two other Pussy Riot members escaped from the incident and have thumbed their noses at Russian authorities from hiding.

This seemingly small strife made waves in the music community in America and elsewhere, as a cry for equality and freedom of expression. Acts like Madonna (in a big way) and Bjork made public stances against Pussy Riot's imprisonment, and came out in support of a lenient sentencing, if not having the charges dropped altogether.

Only three days ago, a judge refused Alyokhina's request to postpone her sentence, so the two remain in a criminal facility. But things have freed up for Samutsevich, who answered Sundance audiences' questions via Skype from Russia after the documentary debuted.

Co-director Maxim Pozdorovkin translated her answers to burning questions from fans and newswatchers:

While she was in prison, did she know about the global awareness the band's imprisonment was raising?

We did know that there was some sort of global awareness going on and we heard about it and as it got bigger and bigger, and with Madonna's performance and all these other things, we felt like there were other things coming our way.

Was there any resentment felt from the other two women who remained imprisoned, after Katia's sentence was suspended?

There wasn't really any feelings. And even til the 10th, we were all certain we were going into a penal colony together. As I remembered it, they were all very happy for me. I went to visit them the day after I got out, so I don't think there's hard feelings.

Are you afraid, or is the band afraid of any dangerous backlash?

No, I don't fear any specific backlash from the religious community because part of that was a mass campaign against them... and that was just mostly words and threats. In terms of the government response, [I] think that we're probably on several black lists and some extremism lists, and it may be in the future when we continue to do performances, we may have [charges pressed against us] for smaller things, smaller actions.

Does Katia have any hope that the other two girls' sentences will also be suspended?

There's hope and not all legal means have been used up, so they will continue to fighting so that all opportunities will be used up.

Have they ever released an album officially, and do they have plans to?

No, we reject commercialism of any sort, and we have no plans to release anything commercial... we will never commodify our art.

Right now in Russia, how much is still going on in regards to Pussy Riot?

Most of the battle is to get Nadia and Macha out of jail. The punk prayer was deemed extremist and  ordered removed from the internet, so now they're repealing those decisions... it's a tough situation because of the repressive means that were used before, there's less of a drive than there was before for people on the streets.

There were two other people in the band that weren't arrested. What happened with them?

They're fine, they're in Russia (laughter).

What do the people of Russia think of Pussy Riot?

If you take just the average opinion, it tends to be overall negative of [us]. a\And part of the reason for this is because of the way the performance was presented it was considered almost exclusively as a religious act of hooliganism. So that's what most people tend to believe. Whereas the feminist and political aspect of our performance has been largely ignored and this points to the larger problem of cultural education that people don't understand it as a piece of art.

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Watch: 'Don Jon's Addiction' helmer Joseph Gordon-Levitt says rom-coms are porn
Credit: HitFix

Watch: 'Don Jon's Addiction' helmer Joseph Gordon-Levitt says rom-coms are porn

Julianne Moore mum on her character, but likes the sexy, 'intense' material

PARK CITY, UTAH - "Don Jon's Addiction" is just one of several films at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival with  firmly sexual scenarios at its center; it joins other films like "Lovelace," "Interior. Leather Bar" and "Kink" in the lineup. But as writer, director and star of "Don Jon's," Joseph Gordon-Levitt told HitFix he had a larger picture in mind, beyond his character's addiction to porn.

"I wanted to tell a story about love... people objectifying each other," he said of his film.

"Don Jon's" boasts other talent like love interest Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore, who wished to remain mum on the topic of her character on the red carpet.  But Gordon-Levitt further explains the idea of objectification, and how it turns into a comedy. "My character watches a lot of porn. Scarlett's character watches a lot of romantic Hollywood movies. I think all that stuff is hilarious."

Because to the "Looper" actor, rom-coms  are porn in a way, too.

Moore said the script was "beautifully written," even for subject matter that's "pretty intense,"

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