<p>Tom Waits' &quot;Hell Broke Luce&quot; is terrifying (and one of the songwriter's greatest achievements)</p>

Tom Waits' "Hell Broke Luce" is terrifying (and one of the songwriter's greatest achievements)

Watch: Tom Waits joins the ranks in outstanding 'War Broke Luce' video

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One of the songwriter's greatest songs is miserable: And what does misery love?

Tom Waits doesn't use the term "f*ck" lightly.

In fact, in the more than 250 released studio recordings from the songwriter, you'll find nary a mention, with exception to "Hell Broke Luce," from Waits' recent "Bad As Me."

It's unsettling to hear him say the word with emphasis -- and twice! -- but then again, "Luce" is an unsettling track. For this military cadence, Waits adoptive persona is a sour band of soldiers, lobbing dark humor and complaints from the frontline, as young kids would reflect on the "good homes" they left behind before they enlisted.

With the mention of Kevlar, meth, Humvees and suicide bombs, Waits effectively pairs the familiar "left right left" marching chant with vernacular and specific terrors of today's wars in the Middle East. And yet, the lost limbs, scorched skin, body bags and general laid waste are depressingly evergreen. With a "boom" he makes his thesis, that the horrors overseas follow soldiers home to America.

"Well I was over here, America, to vote / I left my arm in my coat / My mom she died and never wrote," he chants. Take the title of the song, with Luce as a character: "Now I’m home / and I’m blind / And I’m broke / What is next?"

"Hell Broke Luce" is a terrifying song. It's supposed to be, and it's also one of Waits' greatest achievements, new or not. It's a painful and political anti-war song for and within the fighting ranks, for after the war is "finished."

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<p>From Antony and the Johnsons' &quot;Cut the World&quot;</p>

From Antony and the Johnsons' "Cut the World"

Watch: Willem Dafoe, 'Game of Thrones' star feature in bloody Antony & the Johnsons vid

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Nabil strikes again

Video director Nabil may have cooled your body temperature in Bon Iver's "Holocene" or ">Kanye West's "Coldest Winter" videos, or heated it up in Frank Ocean's "Novacane" last summer. For Antony & the Johnson's "Cut the World," he may shear your life's blood off entirely.

Willem Dafoe plays boss to "Game of Thrones" actress Carice van Houten (Melisandre!), who plays a willowy and heavy-hearted secretary. But, rather than death by fire, Dafoe only has some brief narration with van Houten before he meets his end in a bloody fashion.

In fact, the clip turns into a whole revolt by secretaries, hinting at lust and revenge through a mass action. Is it commentary on the working class? An extreme play on secretarial, deep longings? A spin on stereotype? A feminsit motion? Whatever it is, I'll remember that final scene in the square for a while to come: the cameo by performance artist and Antony collaborator Marina Abramovi? will stop your heart on its own. Her appearance is reminiscent of the cover shot for Antony and the Johnsons' "Crying Light," of butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno.

It's a curious example, too, of integrating an actual script into a song featuring singing. Dafoe and van Houten have only a scant few lines, appearing mostly in the songwriting gaps, but it works. And bums me out.

"Cut the World" is off of Antony Hegarty and his band's live album of the same name, itself a previously unreleased, erm, cut from the melancholy songwriter's catalog. It arrives on virtual and real shelves tomorrow.

 

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<p>Blur's catalog giveaway: All seven CDs and all seven vinyl albums, special edition and remastered</p>

Blur's catalog giveaway: All seven CDs and all seven vinyl albums, special edition and remastered

WIN! Blur's full discography giveaway: remastered CD and vinyl

Contest giving away two catalog prize packs of groundbreaking British rock

You may have noticed that Blur turned 21 this past week. In America, I suppose that means the band can finally drink. But for these groundbreaking British rockers... that means they re-released their entire discography in eye-popping boxed sets.

In order to celebrate Blur's big birthday, Immaculate Noise is two sets of Blur's entire discography -- all seven catalog albums on 2-disc special edition remastered CDs, and all seven albums on special edition vinyl. Two different prize packs, y'all.

Each to the two different prizes include "Leisure" (1991), "Modern Life Is Rubbish" (1993), "Parklife" (1994), "The Great Escape" (1995), "Blur" (1997), "13" (1999) and "Think Tank" (2003), plus a Blur poster.

Get a complete description of the tracklists off of the CD remasters, check out the Blur's page on the new editions.

How do you ***WIN*** one of these hot items?

1. Follow me, Katie Hasty, @KatieAPrincess on Twitter
2. Follow HitFix @HitFix on Twitter
3. Tweet @KatieAPrincess, @HitFix and the hashtag #BlurCatalogGiveaway and specify if you want CD or vinyl or either format somewhere in the Tweet.

That's it. The Tweet doesn't have to be entertaining or funny or include your favorite Blur tune or something even more obscure than what is described above. But extra fun certainly can't hurt your chances (or your Twitter feed).

You must Tweet your entry by 11:59 p.m. PST on Wednesday, Aug. 8. Winners are selected at random.

Don't say HitFix never did anything for you. All we do is love you. And Damon Albarn.

Blur's album catalog on CD and vinyl

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<p>Phillip Phillips in &quot;Home&quot;</p>

Phillip Phillips in "Home"

Credit: VEVO

Watch: Phillip Phillips debuts 'Home' video in time for Olympic glory

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So much Mumford

In this past season, America adopted Phillip Phillips as its newly crowned "American Idol" winner. Now, the songwriter and performer's song "Home" was adopted by NBC for its Team U.S.A. women's gymnastics Olympics coverage.

So it's only right that Phillips finally release an official music video for "Home," which you can check out below.

Be honest: who didn't think this was a Mumford & Sons track when you first heard it? And how many more people went out and bought Mumfords' "Sigh No More" once they knew that was the inspiration?

And the visuals behind the track are precisely the kind of thing the British band would have early in its career -- and, in fact, in a way have. "Big Easy Express" -- which chronicled that band's journey across America with Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros -- had all the sun-dapple-dee-doo, writerly focus and natural, moving-image magic that "Home" has, only with a bigger budget and a timeline that covered more than just Salt Lake City to Denver.

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<p>Mariah Carey</p>

Mariah Carey

Credit: Island/Def Jam

Listen: Mariah Carey releases rap-less 'Triumphant' dance remix

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This is much closer to that thing you wanted

Yesterday, Mariah Carey released a disappointingly Mariah-reductive new song "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" featuring, primarily, special guests Meek Mill and Rick Ross

Island detected the All of the Earth's disappointment and rush-ordered a "vintage throwback" dance remix, or are trolling us by ascribing to a rule that says they should wait a day before calling us back with a superior version of a song. Either way, we greeted the day with all Mariah and no rap with this new "Triumphant."

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<p>Grizzly Bear</p>

Grizzly Bear

Credit: Barbara Anastacio

Listen: Grizzly Bear's straight-forward 'Yet Again' is a different taste of 'Shields'

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How is it comparte to 'Sleeping Ute?'

Grizzly Bear have released another new track from their new album "Shields," which will be among the best-selling albums out in September. How is it a guarantee it'll sell well? Listen to "Yet Again."

While the first song the Brooklyn-based crew released had much more attack and more confrontation in its production, "Yet Again" has one of the best melodies I've heard yet from the quartet. It's all washy and panned electrics, and that voice dreamily floating over tom-heavy drums. It's catchy enough to attract new listeners, and has enough of an advanced arrangement and stacked harmony to satisfy longstanding fans.

And by longstanding, I mean since the band has started putting out material in 2004.

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<p>Mariah Carey's &quot;Triumphant (Get 'Em)&quot;</p>

Mariah Carey's "Triumphant (Get 'Em)"

Credit: Island

Listen: Mariah Carey's new 'Triumphant' is more glory for Meek Mill and Rick Ross

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New 'American Idol' judge mostly gets the hook

Mariah Carey's brand new song "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" arrives right in time for the Olympics, and in the week following her confirmed appointment to the judgeship of "American Idol." Predictably, it's a track about rising to the top -- which Carey did years and so many years ago -- but she barely makes a victory lap with lab partners Meek Mill and Rick Ross.

The Maybach Music cohorts have sole claim over the verses and Milly kicks the whole thing off after the bounce-bounce of Carey's repeated rhythmic "get 'em get 'em get 'ems." He keeps the game pretty clean -- something about mountain climbing and sticking it to the haters. The Island folks are aiming hard at top 40 with this inspirationally PG song, and that point it driven home further by the fact that Ross edits his line about throwing "big money" at strippers and keeps the action with his "blonde bombshells" to a minimum. Instead, Rozay rehashes how hard he can make it rain and then rhymes "humble beginnings" with... "beginning."

Carey softly and sweetly tackles her inexplicably short bridge. But, for fans, you'll get your infamous high note runs as she battles an army of clicks and thumps from the drum machine.

Listen to the complete song here, on Mariah Carey's website.

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<p>Justin Bieber in &quot;As Long As You Love Me&quot;</p>

Justin Bieber in "As Long As You Love Me"

Credit: VEVO

Watch: Justin Bieber and Michael Madsen get violent in 'As Long As You Love Me'

Tears, blood, dance and a mob dad

Actor Michael Madsen's best-known roles are from "Reservoir Dogs," "Kill Bill" and "Donnie Brasco." Just what kind of character do you think he'd play in a Justin Bieber music video?

That's right, in "As Long as You Love Me," Bieber gets roughed up by Madsen, who plays his video girlfriend's ultra-intimidating father, who appropriately dons a lot of gold rings, smokes cigars and beats the living snot out of the love-sick 18-year-old.

"I love her," JB tells Daddy Fearest at the beginning of the clip.

"Sure you do..."

"... you don't know us."

"I don't want to."

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<p>Drake, Lady Gaga and Rihanna</p>

Drake, Lady Gaga and Rihanna

Credit: AP Photos

2012 MTV VMAs nominations: 5 questions we have

Where is Lady Gaga? Lil Wayne nominated for what? Will Chris Brown, Drake and Rihanna all show up?

The 2012 MTV VMAs are arriving on Sept. 6, and five weeks out, the short list is in. As previously reported, Rihanna and Drake culled the most nominations with five a piece. Katy Perry earned four. Lady Gaga...

1) Well, Lady Gaga earned zero nods. She had "Marry the Night" and "You and I." The former is a killer dance track with a clip directed by Mother Monster herself, but -- granted -- it was eight full minutes of non-music footage that likely served as her reel for her first acting role in "Machete Kills." And the latter was a not-very-good-song with a video that was... interesting?

Regardless, the MTV VMAs have kind of been Gaga's thing: she donned a meat dress, she spent her camera face-time in 2010 kicking off her "Born This Way" album promo, trotted out Joe Calderone last year and has mega-plans to announce details on her new set some time in September.

Gaga has the superstar name that organizers wouldn't need to announce as a performer until way later into August but... would Gaga agree to play the show that snubbed her? Will she even hit the red carpet?

2) For best new artist, there are two boy bands, two chart-toppers and a newly developed, certifiable Def Jam R&B superstar who recently, popularly and publicly came out of the closet. One Direction and The Wanted may cancel each other out, fun.'s "We Are Young" have been out of rotation for about six months... is this a contest between Summer Jam winner Carly Rae Jepsen and Frank Ocean?

3) You know what's adorable? The majority of categories only have five nominees each, but it's Video With A Message that got a good-natured six. Why? Because why/how the hell else would they fit Lil Wayne's well-intentioned but poorly developed and badly acted "How to Love" in there?

You gotta hand it to MTV who wants to hand a statue for "messaging" to a man who also goes by the name Pussy Monster. Now that he's in the race next to B-listers like K'Naan, Rise Against and Gym Class Heroes, plus lesser-known tunes from Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato, does anybody stand a chance against Weezy?

4) Video of the Year: M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls." Really? I mean, I personally love that thing, but no "Otis?" Or something funny like "Big Bad Wolf?" Or a new artist or truly underdog artist like Childish Gambino or Of Monsters And Men? This is now a race of four, and everybody already knows "Take Care" wasn't Drake or Rihanna's song.

5)  Drake, Chris Brown and Rihanna: all up for a significant number and caliber of awards. Breezy seems to show up to any awards event he's invited to perform at, and still has face to save and singles to sell. Drake and Rihanna both have the same number of nominations, which sounds like they, too, would show up. Glass bottles, as a rule, are not allowed into L.A.'s Staple Center.

My question is: when can Adele put out another album so we can just give all the air time to her?

Here are the nominees for the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards:

Video of the Year
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used To Know"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

Best New Artist

Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
The Wanted, "Glad You Came"

Best Hip-Hop Video

Childish Gambino, "Heartbeat"
Drake feat. Lil Wayne, "HYFR"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz, "Mercy"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz, "Beez in the Trap"

Best Male Video

Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Usher, "Climax"

Best Female Video

Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Katy Perry, "Part of Me"
Beyoncé, "Love on Top"
Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
Selena Gomez & The Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song"

Best Pop Video

One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, "Payphone"

Best Rock Video

Coldplay, "Paradise"
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN"
Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"
Imagine Dragons, "It's Time"

Best Electronic Dance Music Video

Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close"
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Martin Solveig, "The Night Out"
Avicii, "Le7els"

Best Video With a Message
Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"
Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"
Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side"
Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter"
K'Naan feat. Nelly Furtado, "Is Anybody Out There?"
Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

Best Art Direction

Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"
Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats"
Of Monsters & Men, "Little Talks"

Best Choreography

Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
Avicii, "Le7els"
Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull, "Dance Again"

Best Cinematography
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Adele, "Someone Like You"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"

Best Direction
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Watch the Throne, "Otis"

Best Editing
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, "Mercy"

Best Visual Effects
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On"
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN"
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"

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<p>The &quot;Sparkle&quot; soundtrack</p>

The "Sparkle" soundtrack

Credit: RCA

Review: Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks lead 'Sparkle' soundtrack

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A remake, a tribute, spiritual, profane, a labor of many masters

The remake of the 1976 musical film “Sparkle” isn’t intended to serve as a historical document, but it does attempt to invoke the sounds and feel of the Motown era along with race relations in 1960s Detroit. It’s “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks’ first significant film appearance as its title role, and was to be the late Whitney Houston’s return to the big screen (and now it serves as her swan song). It gets further wattage from freshly penned contemporary R&B songs from R. Kelly, as well as an ample opportunity reintroduce Curtis Mayfield classics like “Something He Can Feel.” It's got the sacred, the profane, and some soul.

Thus, the soundtrack to “Sparkle” ends up serving more than one master, which makes for a muddled effort. The first pieces to arrive from the set were both from Whitney Houston, to effectively link her to the project as the movie’s promoted. She sings with Sparks on “Celebrate,” which has gotten a hard push at adult top 40 and contemporary formats at radio, but her weathered pipes sound harsh compared to the youthful saccharine of the AI star’s vocals. Houston is much more suited to heart-filled spiritual classic “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” with its slow speed, rusty lower range and all the room in the world for her religious pining.
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