<p>Idris Elba in &quot;Lover of the Light&quot;</p>

Idris Elba in "Lover of the Light"

Credit: Glassnote

Watch: Mumford & Sons' 'Lover of the Light' video with Idris Elba

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'The Wire' star runs blindly; more tour dates announced

One can be blind and still be a "Lover of the Light": that seems to be the moral to the story in the Mumford & Sons' video of the same name, which features the directing and acting talents of "The Wire" star Idris Elba.

Co-directed with Dan Cadan, "Lover" sends a man who cannot see into the stunning landscapes of Pembrokeshire, Wales without his dog or cane. I'm moved by the details and pauses inside the man's house, as he converses with himself, and selects a tie to wear as he takes himself on a date to the forests, cliffs and the beach. 

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<p>Kanye West is like &quot;no.&quot;</p>

Kanye West is like "no."

Kanye West 'Cruel Winter' trailer was a fake

Austin Christianson says it wasn't meant for distribution

Maybe we only wanted George Bush to narrate a Kanye West concept album.

The trailer to "Cruel Winter" that was widely distributed last week -- purportedly for a short film by Austin Christianson via West -- was merely a concept pitch from Christianson. The director told Fuse of the vague plan.

"Without getting into many details, I will say that the trailer was independently made and the video is essentially a concept trailer," he said. "It's used for pitching an idea and/or concept to a client. With that said, the video was being used for pitching purposes and it's naturally intended only for the client to see."

The sample used in the trailer is from George W. Bush's "Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf," which has an easy-going apocalyptic feel.

And so how does something like that end up into mainstream circulation via YouTube, huh? Just sounds like Christianson had good intentions as a professional, and even used the copyright attribution to DONDA (West's creative/film component to his empire) and maybe is a little embarrassed especially after Def Jam claimed no ownership and the clip was pulled down.

The existence of a "Cruel Winter" album is still in question. Something called "Cruel Winter" -- perhaps a companion to "Cruel Summer" -- is in the works. Waiting, however, is still cruel. Is West soliciting pitches for such a thing? Because I hear that George Lucas is interested in making little films now.

<p>Dave Stewart's &quot;The Ringmaster General&quot;</p>

Dave Stewart's "The Ringmaster General"

HitFix Interview: Dave Stewart talks 'Ringmaster' sensibilities and 'Zombie Broadway'

'Malibu Country' and his album-making film make TV premieres tonight

Dave Stewart is an artist whose livelihood thrives off of collaboration. The former Eurythmics founder these days splits his time between his guest-heavy rock albums, producing other artists’ work – frequently with acts who also show on his records – and managing film and TV projects via his company Weapons of Mass Entertainment. He was just one part of a five-person supergroup SuperHeavy, with Joss Stone, Mick Jagger, A.R. Rahman and Damian Marley, and they released their first full-length last year. He produced Stevie Nicks’ new album “In Your Dreams,” and the doc of the same name, which made its bow at the Hamptons Film Festival last month.

He is also a songwriter, producer and musician that savors his own eccentricities. In album-making documentary “The Ringmaster General,” he chronicles the making-of the 2012 album of the same name plus last year’s “The Blackbird Diaries” through songmaking vignettes, but also shots of him brainstorming in the bathtub with his sunglasses on. He pressures martinis in Nashville’s Blackbird studios at any given moment, with off-handed references to friends like Annie (Lennox), Bob (Dylan) and Reese (Witherspoon). Re-created “footage” has managers exclaiming budget emergencies and his wife confused as to where the hell he is, as Stewart enthusiastically recalls his new guitar’s origins and candy-stores a costume shop catering to all his showman’s cravings. Meanwhile, famous females like Alison Krauss, Martina McBride, Colbie Caillat, The Secret Sisters, Joss Stone, Stevie Nicks, Jessie Baylin, Diane Birch and Orianthi all come by to take their turn at the mic on his country-inspired tunes.
 
“The Ringmaster General” – the film – makes it’s broadcast premiere tonight on Palladia. The pilot for his ABC show “Malibu Country” starring Reba McEntire also makes its bow tonight. Below is my abridged phone interview with Stewart, on what it is to be damned busy.
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<p>Kanye West</p>

Kanye West

Credit: AP Photo

Kanye West drops trailer to 'Cruel Winter' short film... in advance of new album?

G.O.O.D. music crew seems to think something big's on the way

Are we ready for a new world order? That's what the trailer to a new short film, "Cruel Winter," asks us. Kanye West has probably already crowned himself king of said order.

The rapper/producer has apparently headed up another short, fueling speculation that "Cruel Winter" will not only be a film but a complete album to follow-up his G.O.O.D. Music compilation "Cruel Summer."

The video itself answers almost nothing, using only the ominous-sounding pre-recorded sample and pictures of the coldest months wreaking havoc on the landscape. It could be incredibly beautiful. And pretentious. Or, with any luck, both.

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<p>Vampire Weekend on &quot;Jimmy Kimmel Live&quot;</p>

Vampire Weekend on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"

New Music: Vampire Weekend debut 'Unbelievers' on 'Jimmy Kimmel'

New York indie-pop troupe preparing another new release?

Happy Halloween! Here is a gentle new pop song!

It looks like Vampire Weekend are back and in effect, as they took to the stage on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and spooked the audience in the most sane, easy way possible: with boppy piano, Ezra Koenig's square longing and some righteous facepaint. The song is called "Unbelievers."

What's missing here is, frankly, a proper sound mix, but also the electric guitar: I rather miss that hollow-body Gretsch, and chonking acoustic guitar isn't quite filling in those spaces. Still, it's a second solid look into what the band has been up to. Vampire Weekend premiered a fresh track, "New Song No. 2," at a show in July.

If history has any bearing on when we hear more studio material, remember that the pop-rock band's first two albums both came out in January, getting a leg up during the slow post-Christmas period.

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Listen: Ludacris, David Guetta and Usher combine for banger 'Rest of My Life'

Listen: Ludacris, David Guetta and Usher combine for banger 'Rest of My Life'

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Rap, R&B and dance stars combine for 'Ludaversal' single

Three mega-stars from dance, R&B and rap have combined for one damn uplifting single. Ludacris recruited Usher and David Guetta for "Rest of My Life," a quiet-LOUD-quiet wave of "women, weed and alcohol," extolling the virtues of the wilder side of life.

Despite the declarations, this thing is fairly tame for Ludacris, who leans hard on PG-13 hip-pop lyrics, letting Usher pump up the pre-chorus and giving Guetta the floor for all of the "chorus," which is the sound of top 40 radio programmers (or is it singular, "programmer," now?) positively losing it. The song goes up on iTunes tomorrow and goes wide for adds on Nov. 19, right before Thanksgiving.

This is Ludacris doing ore pop. Do you want the rest of the record to sound that way?

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<p>Beyonce and Miguel</p>

Beyonce and Miguel

Credit: Instagram

Beyonce hits the studio with Miguel

Dreams come true, folks

Hey, it's not just that Miguel has put out what is possibly one of the best R&B albums this year. But his hard work (and those VOCALS, oh the vocals) have caught more than just my and 64,999 other album buyers' attentions.

Miguel Tweeted and Instagrammed a photo of himself standing next to a smiling Beyonce yesterday. The two appear to be in the studio -- and considering Miguel has penned for acts like Usher before and earned Grammy nominations for his performances, dude's got the chops to work with one of the most popular female singers today.

The songwriter/producer has apparently been writing for a whole crop of Virgos this month, according to his Tweet (Beyonce's b-day was on Sept. 4): 

Beyonce is on tap to perform during the Super Bowl Halftime Show in February, and you can bet your bottom dollar that she'll be promoting something new at that time. If Ryan Tedder is to be believed, Bey's got two "projects" in the works. Now that she dropped from Clint Eastwood's "A Star Is Born" reboot, some time has been freed up for other projects, including a documentary about her own life. Diane Warren is also proclaimed to be writing tunes for the superstar.

Miguel released "Kaleidoscope Dream" in late September.

<p>&quot;CeeLo's Magic Moment&quot;</p>

"CeeLo's Magic Moment"

Credit: Elektra/Atlantic

Review: CeeLo Green's Christmas album 'CeeLo's Magic Moment'

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How does 'The Voice' judge do with guests Christina Aguilera, the Muppets and Straight No Chaser?

About a third of CeeLo Green's 14-track Christmas album is pretty solid. This includes consideration that CeeLo's overall approach to singing tends toward the heavy-handed, an attribute absolutely compatible with Christmas records. But the most unnatural elements -- the forced styles outside his comfort zone, clunky duets, uninspired excesses -- are what ultimately causes "CeeLo's Magic Moment" to stumblebum around the season with only a few perfectly packaged gifts. 

Green positively delights over the three-song stretch of tracks 3 to 5, with "This Christmas," "The Christmas Song" and "White Christmas," all the Motown sheen over top Green's smiling consonants and midtempo bops. The mood on either side there is ruined, first, by his duel with powerhouse (and "The Voice" cohort) Christina Aguilera on "Baby, It's Cold Outside," a tune that turned out less conversational than it is two horny people yelling at each other ("YOU'VE REALLY BEEN NICE!..." "I'M THRILLED WHEN YOU TOUCH MY HAIR!"). Green's standing endorsement from the Muppets rallies on hot mess "All I Need Is Love," as it relies whole-cloth on "Mahna Mahna" with sprinkles of the word "Santa," the chosen ad lib over "baby."
 
"Magic Moment" is inflicted with Atlantic labelmates Straight No Chaser on three tracks, especially on novelty "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," as it's apparent the a capella crew's 15 minutes has extended into four years. Rod Stewart shows up on R&B classic "Merry Christmas Baby" to easy-listening effect, but it and the plain cover of Joni Mitchell's tender "River" lacks the color and heart that gospel choir-backed tracks like "Mary Did You Know." "All I Want for Christmas" and "Silent Night" dynamically are written in two different ways, but ultimately burst with the same bombast and artless backing from the same arranger's desk.
 
Select songs from "Magic Moment" would make such a highly successful EP in many ways, but like most EPs, it wouldn't sell the way a full-length set would, so Green bears what he can here with his wonderful voice. But ain't it just like Christmas, to over-extend?

 

<p>Nicki MInaj's crazy eyes in &quot;Va Va Voom&quot;</p>

Nicki MInaj's crazy eyes in "Va Va Voom"

Watch: Nicki MInaj's 'Va Va Voom' video is a fairytale with no sound magic

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Next single from 'Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up' takes from the sugar bowl

As evident on the original release of "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," Nicki Minaj can't help but to oscillate between trash-talking raps and pure, saccharine pop music for her singles, her sides and, apparently, her personalities. For the upcoming "Re-Up" of "Roman," the bonus tracks have been taking turns batting, starting with heady and bratty "The Boys" featuring Cassie, and now with this new cavity "Va Va Voom."

Of course, Minaj can't help but to play the villain sometime in this fairytale-driven narrative, but for the most part is the Queens-bred artist mugging in a variety of false lashes, with her penchant bright colors swimming all around her. I literally laughed out loud when when a dastardly Robin Hood darkens her doorway as she bakes sweets in a cottage (not making this up) and as she idles alongside a unicorn in a creek (still not making this up).

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<p>M83 at Austin City Limits</p>

M83 at Austin City Limits

Credit: Katie Hasty

Watch: Hope set for liftoff in M83's 'Steve McQueen' video

Contest-winning clip is full of wonder

M83's video for "Steve McQueen" deals with a lot of the same themes the lyrics to the song do: there's something hopeful and mysterious springing forth from us, at times, when the secret unlocking of our greatest desires feel, for once, within reach.

The clip thusly features a kid, a wrangler of magic around some unknown plot involving his toy animals and an unorthodox use of the garden sprinkler. It's colorful and unknowable, with animations from Spike Jonze collabo Sylvain Derosne, under the direction of Derosne and Balthazar Auxietre.

It came about as part of a video contest (in partnership with Genero.tv), with the directors describing their depiction of the “power of childhood, an eagerness for life, and the kind of paradoxical energy you have when you grow up.”

I'm confused by it, but I like it.

"Steve McQueen" is the next single from M83's "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" from last year. It will be out with multiple remixes starting on Nov. 27. M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez is also releasing a 12" for Record Store Day's Black Friday edition, with four remixes of that track, on Nov. 23.