<p>How to Destroy Angels</p>

How to Destroy Angels

Trent Reznor's How To Destroy Angels releasing new EP

Collaboration with wife has a label home at Columbia

Happy holidays! How about some honey-voiced industrial music?

Trent Reznor's How to Destroy Angels -- his group with wife and vocalist Mariqueen Maandig, longtime collaborator Atticus Ross and art director Rob Sheridan -- is preparing another EP release, titled "An Omen." It will be the first drop through their new label home on Columbia.

Wait, Columbia?

Trent Reznor's name has been among the closest-associated with "new indie" or "digital economy" or the good old-fashioned "DIY." Since his snipey break with Interscope during his Nine Inch Nails days, Reznor's been a vocal proponent of operating outside of the traditional major label system. He's sold his recordings -- including his Academy Award-winning compositions for "The Social Network" -- through his own social networks and partnerships and got to keep the royalties in-house (his own house).

Nipping it in the bud, he offered this short response via Facebook:

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<p>Logan Lerman and Emma Watson in &quot;The Perks of Being a Wallflower&quot;</p>

Logan Lerman and Emma Watson in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"

‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ soundtrack: Good taste as love letter

Stephen Chbosky's own screen adaptation moves beyond teen romance

 

Youth commands that all must endure a Smiths phase. If it was not you yourself who, at one point, attended the church of Morrissey, then at least a family member or someone close to you did. Stephen Chbosky, author of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” recognizes this post-1982 rite and fully integrated in to his own screen adaptation, with the story’s principals fledgling through high school and exchanging mixtapes in the meanwhile.
 
Starring Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson as an island on the island of “misfit toys” in the early ‘90s, “Wallflower” is an achingly real peer back into the awkward and frequently painful growth of those years.  Lerman’s mentally troubled lead Charlie’s most poignant moments revolved around the passage of holidays (every school kid looks forward to the breaks), and by his major musical moments. His first standout is “Asleep,” by the Smiths. It’s fitting, as the viewer gets to know Charlie. It’s also a bummer.
 
Other standouts are Charlie’s first feeling of “infinite,” during David Bowie’s “Heroes.” He hits the dance floor for the first time when the two-person clique of Watson’s Sam and her misanthropic stepbrother Patrick (Miller) peel themselves from the wall: “Finally, they’re playing good music,” Patrick says over the start of “Come on Eileen.” Charlie makes his first cassette for Sam, which includes Nick Drake. It’s first spin at a party is then rejected by Sam’s lame love interest Craig (“I don’t write poetry… poetry writes me”) in favor of hit “Bust a Move” by Young MC, which appropriately sports the line “A chick walks by you wish you could sex her / But you're standing on the wall like you was Poindexter.”
 
Behind the songlist of “Perks” is Alexandra Patsavas, who – aside from tracking all your favorite DVR’ed dramas – is no stranger to soundtracking teenaged drama: that is, the “Twilight Saga.” All of it. The screen material aside, she’s succeeded in commissioning new tracks from bands that have since busted wide open.
 
Here, on “Perks,” Patsavas revisits an era with which she’s deeply familiar, and spins it as a teen would see it. There’s the tensions between The Ultimate Slow Dance (Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”) and the jagged grunge of all-female L7’s “Pretend That We’re Dead.” Sam has a personal epiphany describing the moment she heard a Cocteau Twins song while Charlie slips into a 900 ft. Jesus track as he’s stoned off his gourd.
 
Essential to plot, too, is the prominence of “Rocky Horror Picture Show LIVE,” the a little circus of loving, tight-knit freaks that grew loud and strong in the post-Reagan years. Charlie’s debut in the show itself was reminiscent of the “Under Pressure” scene from “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” another movie with a spin on teen mental illness.
 
What struck me most about the music from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is that it presents good taste as a love letter. In those tough teenaged years of self-discovery, the formation of refined and personal tastes is almost essential to survival. Just as John Cusack’s Rob in “High Fidelity” exposed girls he liked to his Top 5s, so does each distinct  misfit toy in “Wallflower.” Mae Whitman’s character Mary Elizabeth wants to highten Charlie’s knowledge base with “Billie Holiday and foreign films.” Charlie’s teacher (Paul Rudd) is his fount of indispensible literature. Despite its perceived un-coolness, Charlie rocks a fitted suit to class. And to express love to one another, Charlie and Sam exchange mixtapes, in the hope of turning each other onto something new or simply to endear.
 
It’s smart that during one of Charlie’s mental “breaks,” there’s only silence. For theater-goers, it will be just as jolting, as we spend our days filling up with Top 5s, instant queues, Smiths songs and other love letters.

 

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Exclusive: 2012 Fantastic Fest debates to feature blogger, twins and a 'Miami Connection'

Exclusive: 2012 Fantastic Fest debates to feature blogger, twins and a 'Miami Connection'

Joe Swanberg puts his game face on

AUSTIN -- It's only right that Fantastic Fest's signature event is the potent combination of intellectual discourse, visual culture and blood sport. The Fantastic Fest Debates have become more prominent with each passing year and according to Carrie Matherly, Assistant Director of Fantastic Fest, 2012's crop of showdowns will be no exception.

The premise remains the same: two combatants debate on a topic, and then fight -- or "fight" -- in a boxing ring. This year's crop of four debates includes a couple new twists, in that martial arts will replace boxing in some cases, and the opening fight will feature a woman-on-woman scuffle.

As for the latter, they're siblings -- twins, actually. And both are martial arts experts. And co-directors. And they'll be dressed as Kitana and Mileena from "Mortal Kombat."

Jen and Sylvia Soska, the directors of Fest U.S. premiering "American Mary," will literally kick things off on Saturday at the Debates, on the topic of remakes. "They had a hard time coming up with a topic, because they agree on almost everything," Matherly conceded.

Is Exploding Pants Syndrome a thing?

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<p>Fantastic Fest is a face-meltingly good time: my personal favorite as a 100 Best Kills contender (&quot;Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark&quot;)</p>

Fantastic Fest is a face-meltingly good time: my personal favorite as a 100 Best Kills contender ("Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark")

Fantastic Fest: 5 Great Events That Aren't Movies

Haunted houses, the boxing ring debates and fantastical sex

The undead in slow-motion; gore-stained flesh; firearmed robots; foreign language throw-downs; webby animated fictions; and a documentary about penises. I'm not saying Fantastic Fest attendees can get sick of such things. I'm saying there's something more in case you want it.

Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League and his team have locked down a schedule of genre-driven extra-curriculars from seasonally appropriate hauntings to the famed Debates to having sex with air in a public formum.

And this year, I'm not only soaking in Fantatstic Fest for the first time, but attending the fest for the first time as a newly transplanted Austinite. The upshot to this is that my comfort zone isn't challenged to heartily: the various events essentially take place in the same block at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar and League's own Highball lounge and bar, the epicenter of post-film playtime in Austin.

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<p>Tegan and Sara's &quot;Closer&quot; single artwork</p>

Tegan and Sara's "Closer" single artwork

Credit: Warner Bros.

Listen: Tegan and Sara drop radio-friendly new single 'Closer'

HitFix
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Readers
A+
Flirtatiously catchy

When I spoke to Tegan Quin earlier this year about her and her sister Sara's new album, she promised it'd be more radio-friendly. Judging from "Closer," the first single from the as-yet-untitled set, she wasn't joking.

The synth-happy, sex-ready track has a blues structure at times, and without all the tears. Tegan and Sara repeat their sweet refrains twice each, concluding they'd want their lover-to-be "underneath me." "Let's make things physical / I won't treat you like you're typical," they bop over lasers, harmonies and a BPM that winds you up for... whatever.

Aguilera, Usher, Enrique and the rest may outline specifically what they want their bedroom playtime to be in the most explicit terms possible; here, the Quins keep their requests and desires simple, melodically innocent and flirtatious. And no acoustic guitars here.

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<p>Ryan Bingham</p>

Ryan Bingham

Credit: Anna Axster

Oscar winner Ryan Bingham talks 'Tomorrowland' and writing a new soundtrack

Country and rock songwriter talks about life after 'Crazy Heart' and 'Weary Kind'

“It’s me, motherf*cker, I’m knocking on the door.” These are words not entirely unexpected from the same guy who took home a Grammy and an Oscar for “The Weary Kind” nearly three years ago. But the lyrics are indicative of at least the confrontational sound coming from “Tomorrowland,” Ryan Bingham’s new record and the first for his own label Axster Bingham Records. (The quoted track’s called “Guess Who’s Knocking.” Should have started with a spoiler alert.) 

The country and rock songwriter said in our interview that he spun a lot of records from the late ‘70s – the Clash, Bowie, Iggy Pop, Jimi Hendrix, Zeppelin – when making the set, out of a friend’s private, secluded home in Malibu. Punk rock records “opened the door, was a really big influence” on the final result, sussed out with co-producer Justin Stanley. He incorporated a lot more electric guitars, for one.
 
The bigger, more robust rock sonics could also be the reaction to Bingham’s own career legacy up until now. His co-writes with T Bone Burnett on the “Crazy Heart” soundtrack put him on the map, but for his more tender material.
 
“I write real personal stuff, and I played a lot of tours kinda stripped down and acoustic. After a while, it’s just hard to get through those songs every night. It’s hard to be that vulnerable,” he said. Over the couple of years that followed “Crazy Heart,” for one, both of his parents passed away.
 
“Now, playing shows with these [songs] are a lot of fun. I get to rock the f*ck out.”
 
And his touring and recorded successes are in tandem with his wife Anna Axster, half the namesake of the label. She helps to manage; she’s also at work creating a  feature film “A Country Called Home,” and Bingham will be writing the music for the movie.
 
“It’s a film about tolerance,” he said. It follows a young girl from a small town to her move to a bigger city, but some “family issues” follow her as she heads back home. Bingham said the story was inspired by his travels across middle America, touring with his wife in “places you wouldn’t visit when you go on a trip. “
 
The film is getting cast right now, and Bingham hopes it starts shooting in the spring. It would be his first original soundtrack since “Crazy Heart.”
 
Bingham will begin touring in support of “Tomorrowland” starting next week on Sept. 25. The album is out today (Sept. 18).
 

 

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<p>The Killers' &quot;Battle Born&quot;</p>

The Killers' "Battle Born"

Credit: Island

Review: The Killers, 'Battle Born'

HitFix
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Readers
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What fuses six producers' work together, besides glitter and tears?

The Killers’ last album “Day & Age” was marked by their further embrace of glitter and dance. New “Battle Born,” in a way, is their ignoring the day and age – that is, this current one. 

The Las Vegas quartet has a nostalgia and escapism thing going on in this set, and not just in its lyrics; it has all the Born-to-Run bravado in its anthems while band also ducks down its head and wades unwaveringly into decadent ‘80s power balladry, vocally adept ‘70s arena rock and Depeche Mod-ular synth-pop.
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<p>Corin Tucker Band</p>

Corin Tucker Band

Credit: John Clark

Interview: Corin Tucker on 'Kill My Blues,' Odd Future and Pussy Riot

Watch the Corin Tucker Band's music video for 'Neskowin'

“It hasn’t been easy to transition into being a mom with two kids, having a career,” Corin Tucker said in our recent interview. Sounds like a struggle that any mother with a job has, and – bless the mothers – they gotta have their outlet. Tucker’s creative outlet is her job. Tucker’s job is rock ‘n’ roll. 

Corin Tucker Band’s “Kill My Blues,” their sophomore set, is particularly cathartic, it seems. After their first release “1,000 Years,” “we really as a group had a lot of fun with the dance-ier and more rockin’ numbers… I thought about how my audience reacted to those songs, and the covers we were doing. I think that was one of the motivating forces, to make something that people move to, to have a groove going. We were able to really achieve that with adding Mike Clark,” the former Sleater-Kinney co-founder said of their added guitarist.
 
Clark, interestingly, was in Stephen Malkmus’ latest backing band the Jicks, a group Tucker’s former S-K bandmate Janet Weiss played in. Weiss now drums in Wild Flag with the other S-K co-founder Carrie Brownstein.
 
It’s only natural to keep up with what the trio is doing post-break-up, but for Tucker, it’s just part of her long history in independent rock music. Her first project, duo Heavens to Betsy, was among the punk-rooted trailblazers in the riot-grrrl movement in the early ‘90s: their one full-length dropped on Kill Rock Stars, the same label home to half of Sleater-Kinney’s output. The trio’s final album “The Woods” (which, today, remains so very excellent) went out via Sub Pop in 2005, but Tucker went back to KRS with her Band’s two albums.
 
“Kill Rock Stars has a willingness to really work with the artist, and to be flexible with what they’re doing… part of being an independent artists means having your hands in the business all the time, so they bring in a lot of ideas about it,” Tucker said. “I feel like there’s a team spirit going.”
 
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<p>Ben Folds with a Fraggle</p>

Ben Folds with a Fraggle

Watch: Anna Kendrick, 'Fraggle Rock,' Rob Corddry join Ben Folds Five video

'Do It Anyway' has the trio and the Henson puppets in reunion mode

"It's like a double reunion," Ben Folds says in the making-of video for "Do It Anyway." He's describing the sensation of his band putting out their first album in 13 years, and of "Fraggle Rock" coming back together for their 30th anniversary to help promote the set.

"Do It Anyway," as the rock group said, has a bounce like Muppets composer Paul Williams, so it works here for the video, which also features comedian Rob Corddry as a studio engineer and Anna Kendrick as the front desk ditz.

But, yeah. It's mostly Fraggles, and the imagination of Nerdist's Chris Hardwick. "We're making a Fraggle rock video," he enthuses.

Is this the sign of more Fraggly things to come? If the franchise is on the cusp of 30 years, we certainly hope so: just check out the reaction of all the musicians and actors to the theme song at the end of the clip.

"Do It Anyway" is off of "The Sound of the Life of the Mind," out tomorrow (Sept. 18). Do you like the track? Does the video give your heart much joy? Where's your Boy George tat?

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<p>Lady Gaga is an art piece</p>

Lady Gaga is an art piece

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: 'Lady Gaga Film' premieres as Lady Gaga behaves like Lady Gaga

Pop star gets a head tattoo -- live! -- and promos perfume at Guggenheim

A few hundred words have been written recently about Lady Gaga's Fame fragrance and it's television commercial. A few more were penned this week as she shaved a new 'do onto her head in an apparent tribute. Last night, the full-length "Lady Gaga Film" bowed at a museum.

These all have something to do with each other, but it's mostly just a week of Lady Gaga being Lady Gaga.

Television commercials for Mother Monster's perfume were culled from a longer film, cleverly titled "Lady Gaga Film," directed by photographer Steven Klein. The 5:30-long clip made a full debut at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, which hosted the fragrance's launch with Gaga herself.

More on the party later. First the film. There's some humping motor oil and a mind-graft with black plastic garbage bags. Gaga first appears as a giant gold idol, then later completely naked with her subjects crawling on her bits. There's some German, chanting and sex. It's very expensive. I think it's art? She thinks it's art.

Anyway, she made quite an entrance with her new consumer purchase item at the Guggenheim, and that entrance was also art.

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