<p>Fun. with Janelle Monae at the MTV Movie Awards</p>

Fun. with Janelle Monae at the MTV Movie Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: fun. and Janelle Monae are 'Young' at MTV Movie Awards

How was the opening act?

Ever want to know how the band behind ubiquitous "We Are Young" would fare on popular broadcast television? Pretty well, actually.

fun. took the stage to open the 2012 MTV Movie Awards during the live broadcast on Sunday night, tackling their hit "We Are Young" with the help of Janelle Monae, who features on the song. Donning matching white tuxedos with cropped pants, the band was joined by a mini-choir and the buoyant singer, who reversed her outfit to be mostly-black-clad. All looked postively amped.

Frontman Nate Ruess -- formerly of the Format -- came off almost overly eager, considering his breath control, but proved powerful and on-point with the excitement of the teen-endearing evening. Monae was very visible in the latter half of the song, much more evident than her criminally underutilized vocal part in the actual song.

"We Are Young" was a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100. The band is on tour now, and will remain eternally as such.

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<p>Johnny Depp performs with the Black Keys at the 2012 MTV&nbsp;Movie Awards</p>

Johnny Depp performs with the Black Keys at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards

Credit: MTV/PictureGroup

Watch: Johnny Depp performs with Black Keys at MTV Movie Awards

MTV's 'Generation Award' winner

Johnny Depp took home a "Generation Award" at tonight's MTV Movie Awards, but perhaps he felt more honored to be taking the stage with the Black Keys.

The Oscar-nominated actor performed on guitar to the Keys' summer jam "Gold on the Ceiling" on a stage in-the-round at the Los Angeles-based, live-broadcast ceremony. Depp was wordless during the song, allowing for singer Dan Auerbach's 50 shades of sexy to resonate against the uptempo jam.

After accepting his award from Aerosmith -- who are desperate to promote their "G.I. Joe" song "Legendary Child" and their new album, and who have very little to do with Johnny Depp -- Depp continued to play through the commercial with the blues-rock group on "Lonely Boy," which is also off their latest "El Camino."

Depp was quiet and appreciative in his speech, thanking legends Aerosmith and "up-and-coming legends the Black Keys." The presenting hosts reminded audiences that Depp dropped out of school at a young age to become a musician; he's been known to perform with other artists from Oasis to Marilyn Manson, and looked to Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards as his inspiration for the role of Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise films.

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<p>Lil Wayne</p>

Lil Wayne

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Lil Wayne collabs with Big Sean and Chris Brown for new tracks

Two very different radio jams, one as a Young Money/G.O.O.D. Music mash-up

Lil Wayne may have recent conflict with Kanye West's G.O.O.D. camp -- specifically Pusha T -- but that hasn't kept him from releasing what has been suggested is the first song to arrive from his "I Am Not a Human Being 2" album.

"My Homies Still" features G.O.O.D. Music's Big Sean, from whom Weezy borrows heavily for the hook and even some of the rap's generally sunny outlook; he injects "Go stupid" from Sean's 2011 hit "Dance (A$$)" while he and his collaborator weave around girls, skating and a mix of both good and bad one-liners.

I can't stand how it opens. I grow to love it as it ends. Their voices are good together. Too bad their respective labels aren't.

Pusha T lobbed a little beef Lil Wayne's lil buddy Drake's and Young Money's way with his "Exodus 23:1," with veiled talk of "n*ggas" signing other "n*ggas" and "Contract all f*cked / Explain up I guess that means you all f*cked up." This was a little more than a week ago, after which Weezy Tweeted "F*ck pusha t and anybody that love em." About a day later, he dropped Pusha diss track "Goulish." (It wasn't... great.. They can't all be zingers, but you can actually give a response some time, Wayne.)

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<p>Beck's &quot;I Just Started...&quot; cover, as part of the Blue Series</p>

Beck's "I Just Started..." cover, as part of the Blue Series

Credit: Third Man Records

Listen to three new Beck songs, with Jack White and Childish Gambino

'I Just Started Hating Some People Today,' 'Blue Randy' and 'Silk Pillow' arrive

Funny Beck, blue Beck, rapping Beck. Fans got all three this week as the trailblazing singer-songwriter released a new single through Third Man Records with Jack White, and collaborated with Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) on a one-off posted to the rapper's website.

As previously reported, Beck Hansen dropped by White's Third Man Nashville studio at the tail-end of a album recording mission, with White producing and guesting what would be "I Just Started Hating Some People Today" with B-Side saddy "Blue Randy."

As was discussed in my interview with Third Man cohort Reggie Watts, the label loves to mix comedy with music, but that's been a part of Beck's history for years. He weaves his snark and deadpan with a country guitar performance and loping, cool melodies on this A-Side, grinding it to an halt with White screaming and a casual woman's voice showing you the door. Who he hates -- and if he really hates -- may not be the message, but it's a theme and that would fit perfectly well on White's solo effort "Blunderbuss."

The singer-songwriter goes into his typical bonkers wordplay mode on "Silk Pillow," rapping with Gambino in a bro-down of dorks dorking out. Beyond those obvious motifs, the co-production is what holds this attention-deficit ditty together. A fun outing for the boys, but not sure how long it will last for the community.

Stream "Silk Pillow" here. Enjoy Big Ghost's liner notes and that amusing "cover."

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<p>From &quot;Man on Fire&quot;</p>

From "Man on Fire"

Watch: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros' delightful 'Man on Fire' video

'Martha Marcy May Marlene' actor Brady Corbet directs

I'm still putting the words together on how I feel about Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' new album "Here," but my feelings about the new video for single "Man on Fire" is simple: what a delight.

The clip, helmed by actor Brady Corbet, hits mostly schoolyards and gyms at high schools in New York with the purpose of capturing jubilant movements from cheerleaders, tumblers, step team, gymnasts, double-dutch champions and other shakers who are moving to, literally, their own beat. Proud mamas and sisters and coaches, the ilk, look on. It eventually leads to an abandoned lot where the New York City Ballet executes their choreography to the song, and let me tell you, there is nothing cuter than honest-to-god ballerinas busting out in Chuck Taylors.

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<p>Neil Young in his &quot;Americana&quot; silent film</p>

Neil Young in his "Americana" silent film

Watch: Neil Young and Crazy Horse's 'Americana' album, silent film streaming

Band crafts 40-minute silent film with Shepard Fairey's help

Neil Young and Crazy Horse's reunion album "Americana" is streaming in full, though the band is also offering 40-minutes of silence.

Rather, the rockers have released a 40-minute silent film that was crafted partly out of found footage to accompany each of "Americana's" 11 tracks. The opening scene features Young playing a writer who visits an art gallery -- which features works from designer Shepard Fairey -- "in hopes of finding illustrations for his new book about great American songs," according to NPR, which debuted the vid.

Young obviously finds what he's looking for, and thus starts "Americana," which is the Crazy-Horseian interpretation on classic songs like "Oh Susanna," "God Save the Queen" and "This Land Is Your Land." The remainder of the film is found footage from the silent film era, including works from director D.W. Griffith. Young -- under the name Bernard Shakey -- directed and cut the film.

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<p>Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta in &quot;Rock of Ages&quot;</p>

Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta in "Rock of Ages"

Interview: Julianne Hough on 'Rock of Ages' and a Tom Cruise lap dance

Country pop singer reports in from the set of the Broadway-movie conversion

Apart from her country music career, Julianne Hough has built a reputation for showing up in musical films lately, including “Burlesque” with Christina Aguilera and the “Footloose” remake. Of course, the convincing powers of co-starring in a flick with Tom Cruise didn’t hurt to say “yes” to one more, now with cinematic adaptation of Broadway show “Rock of Ages.” 

Hough will hit the stage, the Sunset Strip and the stripper pole for her role as Sherrie in the film, due in theaters June 15, with other co-stars like Paul Giamatti, Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin and Catherine Zeta-Jones. But then again, not all of them will get a lap dance from the rising star…
 
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<p>Russell Brand, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta and Alec Baldwin in &quot;Rock of Ages&quot;</p>

Russell Brand, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta and Alec Baldwin in "Rock of Ages"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Set Visit Preview: 'Rock of Ages' is Tom Cruise singing, Adam Shankman laughing

How to make straight guys rock-out with a gay kiss on the Sunset Strip

Julianne Hough’s character Sherrie in “Rock of Ages” arrives onto the scene in a floral-enhanced dress, with an obscenely cumbersome suitcase in hand while a skinny punk jerk is rattled between policemen and hookers. Skipping alongside ‘80s choppers and liquor ads, Sherrie sings “Just Like Paradize” as her nose points at a rack of girlie mags and cigarettes next to the Roxy. At the edge of her jaunt is one of the film’s fictional focal points, the Bourbon Room, sullied and dank like used chewing gum on the sidewalk. It’s like the opening of “Rock of Ages” is a whiskey-drunk “Wizard of Oz,” with the Sunset Strip as the Yellow Brick Road and the munchkins starring as gum-chewing, crimp-haired, Poison-baiting Lollipop Guild.

Judging from the promos that have arrived from director Adam Shankman’s new creation, there’s going to be a lot of jokes about hair, just as there were in his other film “Hairspray.” But the rebuilt Strip – carved out of a low-rent neighborhood in Miami – boasts some darkness and details: understated, celebrated, a stark contrast to Hough’s bright chirp.
 
“This whole movie is like meta-paced. Like if you blow on any of the sets they’ll fall down,” said Shankman during a film shoot last year. He’s bringing the jukebox musical to life with what he said is the same budget but half the time as “Hairspray.”
 
So the set may not be sturdy, but the cash reserves were seemingly saved for casting. Along with Hough, the all-star lineup includes Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Mary J. Blige, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bryan Cranston. But the real spotlights are on the songs, with roses and thorns from the ‘80s from artists like Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi and, of course, Journey.
 
“I was singing ‘Don't Stop Believin’’ before ‘Glee,’ and there was someone before me too. These songs are timeless,” said Diego Boneta, who plays the romantic orbit around Hough’s Sherrie as would-be-rock-star Drew. “If it wasn't Glee, it would've been someone else.”
 
It’s Cruise who takes the last lead as Stacee Jaxx, an early-30-something rocker who tries splitting from his longtime band. It’s the 49-year-old “Mission Impossible” action star’s first musical film.
 
“We put him with Axl Rose's singing guy because I needed the songs to be really rock, I needed the voices to be rock ‘n’ roll, not Broadway,” Shankman recalls about the early “Rock of Ages” rehearsals. “And the guy got him to sing way the f*ck up, and it would have thick, amazing sound to it. Apparently, Tom has in his family, has, like, some opera singers. And so he's genetically predisposed to be able to sing.”
 
Dancing, at times, was a different matter, particularly since Cruise’s craft needs a little more... motivation.
 
“You have to be careful what you say, because he listens so much. He really takes what you say and then starts to pull it apart… You don't improv [dance] movement with him,” Shankman said, discussing working with choreographer Mia Michaels (“So You Think You Can Dance”). “There's nothing he does in the movie that wasn't choreographed to the knuckle. He wants to why you're doing, like, a hip roll or something like that. I don't want to f*cking have to tell you why you're doing a hip roll, because there's a piece of music that does it. Tom wants to know why.
 
“There's nothing bad about that, it's just very challenging to us to have to explain things that are just organic.”
 
Another challenge to the “Rock of Ages” shoot was the combination of sex and rock ‘n’ roll: not that it’s not a natural, erm, coming-together, but it’s a PG-13 flick. “Sex and humor are the two big choreographic sort of points in this,” Shankman says.
 
That means Malin Akerman singing the tune of “I Want to Know What Love Is” as she pulls apart the laces to Stacee’s pants with her teeth. It’s world-class pole dancing champions accompanying essentially the rock version of “Be Our Guest.” Drew’s dreams are altered into a New Kids on the Block-style boy band while there’s a gay love story between Baldwin and Brand’s characters. Zeta-Jones’ Patricia Whitmore is essentially the First Lady of Los Angeles circa 1987 (not exactly what audiences grew to love from her role in “Chicago”).
 
“You have incredibly famous people doing incredibly weird sh*t. And it's all through my filter. And they've all given over to me, and I feel very grateful that they have, because I feel incredibly lucky,” Shankman continues. “I was so stunned when I went to see the [original] play, that the house was full of straight guys rocking out, freaking out and loving a musical. I was like, if I can make a musical for straight guys… are you f*cking kidding me? Then I’d be a rock star.”
 

 

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<p>Hugh Jackman in &quot;Les Mis&eacute;rables&quot;</p>

Hugh Jackman in "Les Misérables"

Watch: 'Les Miserables' teaser trailer unveiled

Curtain is lifted on Hugh Jackman plus Anne Hathaway's big musical number

Taking beloved stage musical "Les Misérables" to the big screen is no easy feat, but in the new teaser trailer that dropped today, it seems the newest incarnation's filmmakers at least got the scale right. 

Featured in the clip is Professional High School Theater Girl Anne Hathaway singing her character Fantine's money shot "I Dreamed a Dream," as Hugh Jackman's Jean Valjean, Amanda Seyfried's pure-faced Cosette, Russel Crowe's militant Javert and others are revealed between sobs. There's even a blink of Samantha Barks, who is making a huge leap from stage to film as Eponine.

Victor Hugo's novel, set in 19th century, elegantly compounded the human condition and challenged the high and low ground of ethics and class loyalty, which made for good stage material and even romance when it was first adapted as plays -- and then as a musical in the 1980s. The music of that show is why the show is so fiercely defended and well-worn, because of its strong feminine arcs around Jean Valjean's hard-scrabble for redemption.

Which brings us back to size. What a stage musical can't do is reveal sweeping landscape aerials and assemble enough bodies to amp a student rebellion to scale. Capturing songs in close, quiet quarters also has the appeal of nixing full-throated stage sound, for much more intimate performances in-studio. Director Tom Hooper -- on whom every eye is fallen after "The King's Speech" -- seems unafraid to let the "Les Mis' actors look like dirt and, hopefully, let them act, fight and die like dirt, too, without the quick costume changes between acts.

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<p>From &quot;Shut Up and Play the Hits&quot;</p>
<br />

From "Shut Up and Play the Hits"


Credit: Oscilloscope Laboratories

LCD Soundsystem's 'Shut Up and Play the Hits' hits theaters one-night-only

Documentary-feature playing in six dozen movie theaters nationwide on July 18

On July 18, James Murphy and his band LCD Soundsystem will be taking the stage at Madison Square Garden once more -- on the screens at about six dozen movie theaters nationwide.

More than six months after the dance-rock band bid adieu in "Shut Up and Play the Hits" at its Sundance Film Festival premiere, Oscilloscope Laboratories is taking the documentary-feature on a one-day tour all over the country, with many tickets going on sale June 8.

Click here to check out all the cities and screenings details.

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