Alicia Keys talks scoring Sundance pic 'Mister and Pete' and maybe playing Lena Horn
Credit: HitFix

Alicia Keys talks scoring Sundance pic 'Mister and Pete' and maybe playing Lena Horn

Could her film cohorts Jordin Sparks and Jennifer Hudson show up on future tracks?

Alicia Keys just scheduled her 2013 tour dates, but this month is marked up with her other, new gig, as executive producer and score composer for Sundance film "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete."

Directed by George Tillman, Jr., the drama is led by two "incredibly" young, fresh actors, in addition to some names that will sound familiar to fans of Keys' music and contemporaries: Jordin Sparks and Jennifer Hudson.

In a cast with other "grown-ups" like Anthony Mackie and Jeffrey Wright, the two singing stars will be stretching out their acting muscles yet again. Keys said "Jennifer Hudson is outstanding" in her role as a heroin-addicted mom from the projects in New York. You can learn more about that transformation in HitFix's interview with Hudson here.

Keys is open to collaborating with those two former "AI" stars on future recording projects. As for the music in "Mister and Pete," she described it as "pulled back" compared to what's on recent albums like "Girl on Fire."

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Watch: Jennifer Hudson talks Sundance's 'Mister and Pete,' Grammys and Alicia Keys collab
Credit: HitFix

Watch: Jennifer Hudson talks Sundance's 'Mister and Pete,' Grammys and Alicia Keys collab

Tattoos and heroin addiction: This Oscar-award winner steps into new skin

When you think tattoos and heroin addiction, the name Jennifer Hudson comes to mind, right? 1_vm0lhv06

Fans of the Oscar-winning singer and actress have never seen her in such a state, but they will in "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete," a film that has harder edges than its cutely rhyming title implies. Hudson plays a wayward mother to a child on the cusp of his teenaged years in New York.

"I've never had a drink before, I've never been drunk, unsober, in my entire life… I would never get a tattoo! It could not have been the furthest thing from myself," she told me on the "Mister and Pete" red carpet last night (Jan. 17).

The film's directed by George Tillman, Jr. ("Notorious," "Barber Shop") who has an affinity for casting and working with musicians as actors in his films. So it's little surprise that Hudson has some musical co-workers, including Jordin Sparks and the executive producer of the film, Alicia Keys.

Keys also wrote the score to "Mister and Pete," so is there any room for Hudson's Grammy Award-winning vocals in the film? And is the door open on a collaboration with Keys in the future.

"God no," she said in accordance with the former. As for the latter, there's a hint of things to come...

Hudson also saw a lot of high action at the Grammy Awards last year, as she was tapped in to sing a tribute to Whitney Houston only a day after the singer died at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Thankfully, Hudson said, she'll be watching the ceremony "from my couch" this year.

Watch the full video for all the good news on Hudson and "Mister and Pete."


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<p>Metallica's James Hetfield</p>

Metallica's James Hetfield

Credit: AP Photo

Metallica documentary-drama 'Through the Never' due in August

Dane DeHaan starring in concert-led 3D feature, with a 're-opening' of Picturehouse

Metallica's 3D film will not only be a documentary, but part-drama as well. Dane DeHaan ("Lawless," "Chronicle") will be co-starring beside the metal band in "Metallica Through the Never," due August 9,  as "a young band crew member who is sent out on an urgent mission while the band is playing a rousing live set in front of a sold-out crowd and unexpectedly finds his world turned completely upside down."

As previously reported, Nimród Antal ("Kontroll") is at the helm of the film, which is named for one of the legendary crew's songs (below). The concert footage was shot in August at a Metallica show in Vancouver, and it will get released via Picturehouse, the movie distributor that has described the "Never" release as a "re-opening" of its doors.

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<p>Jaden Smith is alone... Jaden Smith is <em>utterly</em> alone...</p>

Jaden Smith is alone... Jaden Smith is utterly alone...

Will Smith's kids Jaden and Willow tap into teenaged pain on 'Kite': Listen

Drake and Rihanna, together again!

Willow and Jaden Smith are 12- and 14-years-olds, both the progeny of Will Smith. And they are "lost," according to their new track together "Kite."

Their ages are worth reiterating, shedding light on the elementary nature of each's rhymes, but also on the times: it's true that the Weeknd and Frank Ocean blew up in 2012, and in 2013, these Smiths -- as is their nature -- are imitating them.

Willow's no stranger to working her way around her girlish range like Rihanna, with previous output like "21st Century Girl." She put on her blackest eyeshade for another release "Sugar and Spice," out last week, which had her emoting over a sample from Radiohead's dour "Codex"; I did my best to ignore it (partly due to the further infantilization of women by a 12-year-old who couldn't possibly comprehend such an infliction particularly on her generation, but I digress) but "Sugar" was indicative of the sour...

Because at the top comes Jaden, with Drake as an overt influence, as he rhymes about his obvious teenaged sorrows of having every privilege and still feeling unhappy. "I am a poet, I do not explain..." he says in the middle of a 32-bar exploration of "-ain." Pain, being the most prevalent.

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Watch: Santigold's 'Girls' video for 'Girls' features girls, but no Lena Dunham

Watch: Santigold's 'Girls' video for 'Girls' features girls, but no Lena Dunham

And that's OK... now dance

Lena Dunham's show "Girls" took home gobs of Golden Globes Awards last night, but today is Santigold's "Girls" triumph.

As previously reported, the songwriter contributed the song "Girls" to the "Girls" TV show soundtrack. And it's fun. It evidently is fun to other girls as well. The video companion features women and girls of all ages lip-syncing to the track, bouncing and bounding in their natural habitats. No exposed booties or eye-popping costumery; no glamorous lens tricks or luxury cars or slathered-on makeup. We're so used to artifice, it's refreshing to just see females having a good time to a song after their own heart.

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<p>Ozzy Osbourne</p>

Ozzy Osbourne

Credit: AP Photo

Black Sabbath releasing first Ozzy-led album in 35 years

'13' will not feature original member Bill Ward

For the first time in 35 years, Black Sabbath led by Ozzy Osbourne is releasing an album of new originals. Ozzy, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler combined with Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk and superstar producer Rick Rubin for "13," due in June.

It was announced in late 2011 that Sabbath was reuniting for some festival dates, along with the promise that a new set was happening. But then original drummer Bill Ward quit over a contract dispute, claiming he was being short-changed, and Tony Iommi continued hard into his struggle against lymphoma.

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Credit: Beomsik Shimbe Shim

Yeah Yeah Yeahs tease new album with insane cover and trippy song preview

'Mosquito' looks like 'Paranorman,' boasts James Murphy

The cover to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' forthcoming new album "Mosquito" looks like  "Paranorman" mixed with a Garbage Pail Kids reboot. The effort was produced and engineered by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek and Nick Launay (YYYs, Arcade Fire, Nick Cave). The song teaser they posted sounds like the Black Angels. Karen O said that fans will hear "roots reggae and minimalist psychedelia influences" in the effort.

Well, this should be interesting.

The New York band confirmed the arrival of a new album this spring today. "Mosquito" flies onto shelves on April 16 via Interscope, with an abomination of cover art so brutal, I kinda love it.

In a press release, frontwoman Karen O (who now dons a blonde coif) describes the set as one would tell a drunk patron at a bar: “We took a more playful, lo-fi approach to songwriting. Much of the music was demoed in our little basement studio in Manhattan with drum machines, a sh*tty sample keyboard and tons of delay - which we called the soup… I think this record has more moodier and tripped-out songs than you've ever heard from us. This is a feel good, food for the soul, chicken soup for the ears Yeah Yeah Yeahs record  - which doesn't mean easy listening - it means kind of raw, kind of chaotic, kind of dreamy... Very us.”

The group tore open a glimpse into the recording process with a blurry video performance of an untitled song. The audio isn't top notch. It sounds psych-paranoid. Murphy produced one track for "Mosquito," and it will feature Dr. Octogon, aka Kool Keith.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- rounded out by Nick Zinner and Brian Chase -- performed a couple of new tracks during a show in Pomona, Calif., over the weekend, and you can hear those below, too.

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This Week in New Music: Low, Foxygen, National Park System, Carmen Villain

This Week in New Music: Low, Foxygen, National Park System, Carmen Villain

Check out videos and tracks from Generationals, William Tyler, Mobley and others

Check out new songs, videos and artists from this week, including Low, Generationals, William Tyler, Phaseone, Foxygen, Hands, National Park System and more.

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Listen: Destiny's Child's new song 'Nuclear' drops

Listen: Destiny's Child's new song 'Nuclear' drops

Pharrell produced this airy track

The term "nuclear" has a heaviness about it, but Destiny's Child's new song of the same name feels very much in the air.

As previously reported, the trio reunited for a fresh track for the first time in eight years, to pack an extra punch in with the release of their "Love Songs" hits compilation. "Nuclear" was produced by Pharrell Williams -- who is also helping on Beyonce's next solo album -- and the sound overall dips back into an early '90s R&B vibe, powered by high volts of tambourine.

It's a sweet and easy-listening tune, as Beyonce takes those runs in the refrain and Michelle Williams getting an even more angelic verse. It's not Song Of The Year by any stretch, due to lethargy, but it's pleasant hearing the Children back together.

According to Mashable (that's right: Mashable), Pharrell co-wrote "Nuclear" with Michelle, James Fauntleroy and Lonny Bereal.

Destiny's Child is on slate to take the stage with Beyonce during her solo career-driven halftime show at the Super Bowl, and they will tackle "Nuclear."

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<p>How To Destroy Angels</p>

How To Destroy Angels

Credit: Columbia

Watch: Trent Reznor's How To Destroy Angels 'Welcome' new album and video

'The loop closes' opens talk on full-length

While Oscar nominations dominated the news today, former Academy Award winner Trent Reznor has some non-film news of his own. His current band with Atticuss Ross and Mariqueen Maandig, How To Destroy Angels, has finally put a title and release date to their debut full-length.

"Welcome oblivion" (capitalization theirs) will be out on March 5 via Columbia; it's the follow-up to How To Destroy Angels' second EP "An Omen," released in the fall last year.

That set was their first in a partnership with Columbia records, which apparently was a strong enough showing for them to make good on another effort with the label.

Perhaps in an effort to kiss-off that set, the band has put out a dour video for "Omen" track "The loop closes." Because that's how they like to celebrate big news. Sleep tight in the videodrome.

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