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

Metallica's James Hetfield

Credit: AP Photo

'Predators' director Nimród Antal helming Metallica 3D film

Shooting begins in August -- not in conjunction with Orion Music + More fest

At this point in Metallica's decades-long career, the band seems to be both breaking out of their usual album cycles and forming a longer-lasting impression of their storied history. While it was, largely, a sonic nightmare, last year's collaboration with Lou Reed on "Lulu" showed a willingness on the band's part to try something new and combine with other artists; they also recently announced their own curated music festival, the Orion Music + More event in June, which exposes their tastes to fans and expands on their legacy as a metal staple. So while the reception of their last album "Death Magnetic" in 2008 was frequently mixed, Metallica now seems to be focused on telling and remixing their own story.

And now the band has a film director attached to one of their next projects in expanding their enduring brand. In January, Metallica had announced that they intended to make a 3D film with producer Charlotte Huggins, and this week they named Nimrod Antal as the as-yet-untitled project's helmer.

Antal was behind 2010's "Predators," the fifth film in the franchise starring Adrien Brody. He had also previously released Hungarian language film "Kontroll," which collected the Award of the Youth honor at Cannes in 2004, plus 2007's "Vacancy" (with Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson) and 2009's "Armored" (Matt Dillon).

What pushed Antal over the edge to become director? Was Darren Aronofsky busy?

"I've been a fan of Nimróds since his first Hungarian film, Kontroll, showed up at Cannes in 2004 and blew everybody away, said Metallica's Lars Ulrich in a press release. "I've watched with excitement his career in Hollywood blossom over the last few years.  Within five minutes of meeting him I was addicted to his enthusiasm, his take on the creative process and his 'thinking outside of the box' personality.  Let's get on with it!!!"

The release describes the effort to be "a marriage of narrative and concert," to begin shooting in August and for release in the summer of 2013. That means there probably won't be crew on site at Orion, which takes place in June.

We'll see what this feature director can bring to the table with documentary footage.

This, of course, is not the first time Metallica has been the main subject on-film: gripping band-drama doc "Some Kind of Monster" was released in 2004.

 

 

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Listen: Sufjan Stevens drops new tracks with s/s/s and Rosie Thomas

Listen: Sufjan Stevens drops new tracks with s/s/s and Rosie Thomas

Indie singer continues fixation with autotune

Always up for a bit of experimentation, indie godhead Sufjan Stevens has two new tracks out today that are superficially very different but both end up sounding roughly the same. Both are underwhelming.

First up is the debut song from his new collaborative group s/s/s, featuring Anticon label mates Serengeti and Son Lux. "Museum Day" is the first single off the "Beak & Claw' EP," which will be available March 20, and includes guests Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and adventurous Anticon rapper Doseone.

"Museum Day" is much too long at six minutes, featuring an extended opening that highlights Stevens' recent enthusiasm for autotune (is T-Pain somehow the most influential vocalist of the last decade?). Rapper Serengeti dominates much of the rest of the track with slow flows offering typically cryptic Anticon references and rhymes. Here it here:



Meanwhile, Stevens is also keeping it real on the traditional singer-songwriter side, releasing a split 7" with indie chanteuse Rosie Thomas. It won't be released until Record Store Day on April 21, but you can hear the first track ("Where Were You?") here:



Simultaneously low-key and anthemic, the overlong song also relies too much on the recent trend of artful autotune in indie rock (see: Bon Iver, Poliça), but fits in with the electronic leanings of Stevens' last studio album "The Age of Adz." Seriously though, Stevens has an amazing natural voice and, while autotune can be fun here and there, it just isn't something he needs to spend so much time using. 

The single's B-side has Stevens responding with "Here I Am." Cute. The single's cover is also cute:


Photobucket

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<p>Fiona Apple</p>

Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple's new album title is really, really long

'When the Pawn' flashback, plus: almost all her shows are sold out

Here is the 23-word title to Fiona Apple's new album: "The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do."

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<p>Jay-Z</p>

Jay-Z

Jay-Z livestreaming concert from Austin during SXSW Interactive

Crowd-sourcing set list, Twitter-syncing: Hov returns to Texas

Jay-Z played South By Southwest last year but, this year, things will be a little bit different.

The hip-hop mogul has been tapped to play a solo concert by American Express -- in conjunction with Twitter and SXSW to launch a new AmEx syncing feature. Hov's show will take place on March 12 at the rap-ripe time of 7 p.m. CST from Austin City Limits Live.

For those playing at home, that's the day before the Music portion of SXSW begins, and one of the last days of the Interactive portion. Tickets are free, however you must 1) be an Interactive badge-holder 2) be an American Express cardholder 3) have a Twitter account that you then sync with your AmEx 4) endure a first-come-first-serve ticket line starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday (March 10) 5) hold your breath while you hop on your left leg for two minutes without losing balance as you hum the National Anthem.

For those that can't make any of that dream come true, AmEx will be live-streaming Jay-Z's concert on their specially launched Jay-Z Sync Show YouTube page, as well as broadcasting it on to a billboard on Austin's main drag, 6th Street.

Jay-Z fans will be able to Tweet their song requests, with the most-requested songs getting play. My suggestion: launching a national campaign for Crowd-Sourcing Awareness, where we all band together in one accord to demand "It's Raining Men." Hallelujah?

Jay-Z took the stage with Kanye West last year during VEVO's first SXSW concert series launch, marking their first live promotional effort in amping up Watch The Throne. VEVO is returning this year, lineup TBA.

The rapper has remained relatively quiet after the birth of his and Beyonce's first baby, Blue Ivy, on Jan. 7, though he did host a suite of historic solo concerts at Carnegie Hall last month. Do you think he'll be bowing new songs?

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<p>James Murphy</p>

James Murphy

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Murphy, Squarepusher headlining Creators Project in SF

Bowie's 'Life on Mars' revisited, plus: LCD frontman joins Beck, Devendra Banhard in art piece

The Creators Project has announced a  weekend-long art and tech fest featuring the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a full music set by ex-LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy and a multimedia show from Squarepusher. And it's in two weeks. And it's free. The art/tech/music/media event runs March 17-18 at Fort Mason and the complete lineup of artist and art-makers is actually pretty astounding.

The YYY's appearance may signal new music in the works, considering they've been absent from the road for about two years; frontwoman Karen O and guitarist/co-founder Nick Zinner have been working on their "psycho-opera" "Stop the Virgens," and Karen was heard singing on "Immigrant Song" for Trent Reznor's soundtrack to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." It's been quiet besides.

Everybody's been wondering what James Murphy's been up to since shuttering the LCD Soundsystem name, and this DJ set may be the best indication yet of what's inspiring him. The 42-year-old spent countless years before LCD DJing, running the DFA label and playing in what he frequently called a paraded of "shitty bands." What will he spin?

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<p>Tyler, the Creator in &quot;Loiter Squad&quot;</p>

Tyler, the Creator in "Loiter Squad"

Odd Future's 'Loiter Squad' promo, 'NY (Ned Flander)' vid, Frank Ocean joins Coldplay's tour

Tyler, the Creator dishes out $8,000 for vandalism

Odd Future have two new eye candies this week, neither of which makes much sense, par for the course.

"Loiter Squad," the hip-hop group's live-action "Adult Swim" show due later this month, has a new promo for the character Jasper, which equates to something like a series of animated .gifs. Chop and screw at your leisure.

Then there's "NY (Ned Flander)," featuring Tyler, the Creator and Hodgy Beats and the frequent appearance of Lucas Vercetti, who's featured on the cover of the group's new album "The OF Tape Vol. 2." Repeated is the meme of big girls shaking ass, while Hodgy gyrates in lounge chair and Tyler appears as a fussy, large-headed baby, a digression from his powerful state as a long-haired centaur from "Rella."

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<p>Arcade Fire</p>

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire, Metallica, Feist, Black Keys prep Record Store Day releases

Merge and Warner Bros. announce some of their April 21 slate

Around this time of year, music news is dominated by South By Southwest, Coachella and Record Store Day news, all of which help drive the visibility of participating artists. For acts like Arcade Fire, Metallica, the Black Keys and Feist, today is just one of those days, for the RSD retail holiday on April 21. Merge Records and Warner Bros. have announced their current crop of exclusive, deluxe and rare releases.

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<p>Robin Thicke and friend</p>

Robin Thicke and friend

Today in New Music Videos: Lil Wayne, Robin Thicke, Grimes, Avril, Santigold

Watch Weezy's non-appearance at 'Jimmy Kimmel,' plus: Chairlift's Choose Your Own Adventure!

Check out new music videos from Robin Thicke with Lil Wayne, Chairlift, Santigold, Avril Lavigne, Grimes, Beth Jeans Houghton and more.

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<p>From Paul Van Dyk's &quot;Verano&quot; (Dr. Spaceman?)</p>
<br />

From Paul Van Dyk's "Verano" (Dr. Spaceman?)


Watch Paul Van Dyk's very expensive sci-fi album trailer and music video

Veteran dance DJ and producer is back with new effort in April, first in 5 years

In Paul Van Dyk's world, if we are the last humans to survive a nuclear fallout or hostile interaction with mysterious, floating outer-spacemen, or our own science-fiction-driven evolution, then he wants it to be a dance-heavy affair.

Who knows, maybe somebody's dancing underneath that protective spacesuit in the "Verano" music video, but the veteran producer and DJ hints at a much larger scale narrative with his new album "Evolution." The trailer for the new album -- his first in five years -- is only a minute long, but some of the designs and animation is so beautiful, I wouldn't doubt that he and his handlers have many, many more videos to debut in conjunction with this release. I mean, why pay that much money for just one clip?

"Evolution" is PVD's sixth album and the follow-up to 2007's "In Between," though of course this productive German DJ (he is primarily a producer, after all) has been extremely active with the years in between, including collaboration discs, singles and installments from his VONYC Sessions compilations.

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<p>Johnny Marr</p>

Johnny Marr

Credit: AP Photo

Johnny Marr's Smiths reunion joke shocks U.K.'s corridors of power

Former Deputy Prime Minister wants legendary band to re-form

File under: "Big Mouth Strikes Again" or "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore."

Last week, when ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr joked about the band following through on a long-hoped-for reunion in exchange for a new U.K. government, most folks just laughed it off, but some seemed to have taken it to heart.

While picking up an award for Best Reissue at the NME Awards in England, Marr cracked, "We won't be reforming this week. Maybe if the government stepped down. If this government stepped down, I'll reform the band. How's that? That's a fair trade, isn't it? I think the country would be better off, don't you? I'll do it if the coalition steps down."

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Labour MP John Prescott took Marr's jest to the next level, indicating that he'll throw his weight behind a coup of the current Coalition government headed by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Prescott, apparently a fan, tweeted, "Hello Johnny. Just to say we'll work really hard on that reunion! #pleasepleaseletmegetwhatiwant" and, later, "Please reform #cosheavenknowsweremiserablenow."

Marr has made plenty of great post-Smiths music with The The, Electronic, The Cribs and Modest Mouse, but has had to endure reunion questions ever since his flagship band split in the late '80s.

Despite Marr's facetious claim, getting Smiths frontman Morrissey interested would prove to be an even bigger challenge than provoking a revolution. Moz has made it clear time and again that he's not interested in re-living The Smiths' glory days, despite rumored offers of big paydays from Coachella and other like-minded music festivals.

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