How's Tom Cruise, who are the new enemies and where the hell is Bryan Cranston?
Katie Hasty Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 3:22 PM
The first trailer for the Hollywood makeover of Broadway musical and '80s metal music driver "Rock of Ages" has arrived. Adam Shankman -- who brought "Hairspray" to the big-screen in 2007 -- is at the helm, and has revealed plot points and actual hairspray in this early glimpse.
Below are five things we've gleaned from the preview of "Rock of Ages," due June 1 next year:
Stephin Merritt is back with songs that don't play for longer than three minutes
Katie Hasty Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011 12:38 PM
Just as we surmised when it was announced Stephin Merritt and Co. were playing South By Southwest: Magnetic Fields has prepared the way for a new album, "Love at the Bottom of the Sea," due on March 6.
It will be their first album for Merge records in 13 years, their last for the indie label having been another "Love" set: they issued three-parter "69 Love Songs" in 1999, and then put their last three albums out via Nonesuch (former home to Wilco).
"Love at the Bottom of the Sea" -- a title that sounds equal parts desperate, slow-moving, fatalistic and romantic -- is Magnetic Fields' 10th album, it utilizes a stable of Merritt's usual collaborators, including Claudia Gonson, Sam Davol, John Woo, Shirley Simms, Johny Blood and Daniel Handle. Merritt sticks to his signature brevity, too, on the 15 tracks, with no song exceeding three minutes in length.
Pre-orders are up now with extra goodies for the first 100 folks who sign up, and early vinyl purchasers will have dibs on eggshell colored records. Lovely.
Magnetic Fields will be supporting the release with its SXSW showcase, plus a slew of tour dates, below.
Opening credit sequence to David Fincher's new adaptation is pretty-fluid
Katie Hasty Monday, Dec 12, 2011 9:20 PM
It's no new news that Trent Reznor had Karen O's help in re-creating Led Zeppelin's classic "Immigrant Song" for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." What's fresh is the way David Fincher introduces it in the opening credit sequence to his adaptation.
Check out the very liquid, very dark animated video clip to the much-anticipated film.
I already have some feelings about the Nine Inch Nails' frontman's contributions overall, and those are to come. But the lo-rez version of this opening clip has nothing on the reality on the big-screen version. It's visually abstract and then sensually sick as it rolls on, much like the movie itself. See it in the theater if you can.
The approach to "Immigrant Song" is especially poignant, a woman singing Robert Plant's part, the lyrics literally about over-lording and imperialism. It's a very masculine song, from it's infamous riff and it's rallying cry. Vikings, too, are also ironically associated with that good old-fashioned rote "raping and pillaging."
'From the Basement' DVD/Blu-Ray release imminent; more tour dates TBA
Katie Hasty Monday, Dec 12, 2011 12:51 PM
Despite not having been on "The King of Limbs" album, Radiohead's "The Daily Mail" and "Staircase" have made the rounds enough this year to be considered part of that album.
Never the less, the British band has decided to finally, formally release those two songs, recorded during TKoL sessions, as MP3s and WAVs starting on Dec. 19. The two must be purchased together, and are available now for pre-order through the band's website.
Dec. 19 is also the date which fans can purchase Nigel Godrich's "The King of Limbs - From the Basement" DVD of the group performing TKoL in full, plus the two tracks above and the song "Supercollider." (The latter was released as a 12" single b/w "The Butcher" earlier this year.) Any order also includes a free download of the intimate concert performance.
These arrive in time for the holidays, but also ahead of Radiohead's North American tour. Check out all announced dates here; a press releases promises "more live dates to be announced soon."
Radiohead didn't tour or play many shows at all this summer and fall (with a few stops in New York), and spent some of it milkingexpanding on TKoL with their remix releases. That's a whole lot of merch at the table this spring.
Katy Perry introduces the dancing Swede, who performs 'Call Your Girlfriend' and 'Dancing'
Katie Hasty Monday, Dec 12, 2011 12:19 PM
Robyn opened for Katy Perry during the pop star's California Dreams tour, so it seemed only natural the two paired up again for "Saturday Night Live."
Robyn, mygirl-crush, was the musical guest on "SNL" this past weekend, with Perry hosting. And while I actually love both of those women's voices (Perry's is its own little study in "vocal fry"), the Swede brought a bag of her moves.
At times, she was out-of-breath for "Dancing on My Own," but she brought the same campy, desperate energy in her face and on the chorus. "Call Your Girlfriend" was much steadier, and she whirled through the same dance interlude from the music video, including that stellar stumble move.
Just thought you'd like this. She and Perry need a fashion face-off. That is all.
Two longstanding institutions have added new -- or "newer" -- music-makers into their fold. Pharrell Williams has been tapped as a music consultant to the Oscars, as has Hans Zimmer; and the duo best known as Underworld has been appointed music director of the London-hosted 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.
Zimmer's addition is little surprise, considering he's an Academy Award winner (and nine-time nominee, jeez). In addition, his hands may be a little free at the moment: as HitFix's In Contention blog pointed out, the "Rango" composer kept himself off the ballot for the year. Dude wants to relax, OK? Zimmer helped inform "Tron" composers and international dance superstars Daft Punk on their electric adventure, so may he with Neptunes production wunderkind Williams.
Pharrell headed up the villainous and buoyant soundtrack to 2010's "Despicable Me," which at least thwarted the pitfalls of cloying cuteness and gooshy sentimentality that sometimes plagues animated features. The Grammy winner's insight may add an contemporary upbeat feel to the Oscars, while Zimmer will obviously have the timing down.
The 84th annual Academy Awards take place on Feb. 26.
Meanwhile, Underworld have warned of "unexpected" results for their ceremony score, but they're paired with a predictable partner. The three-hour event is headed by director Danny Boyle -- who featured their song "Born Slippy" in his film "Trainspotting," collaborated with the duo for his stage adaptation of "Frankenstein" last year and tapped them for work on movies like "The Beach" and "Sunshine."
The Olympics gig "is very slightly bigger than anything we've ever done," Underworld's Karl Hyde told Billboard. "We knew that, with 'Frankenstein,' we'd been locked down for several months living at the theater and developing that project, and with something like this would equally require us to be focused 100 percent on it. But when Danny asks, we will say yes, because he takes us on an amazing journey."
Video-making duo Daniels goes on another epic journey, post-Battles
Katie Hasty Thursday, Dec 8, 2011 12:02 PM
Filmmaking duo Daniels made an epic journey of a man falling down an escalator, so undoubtedly they can take you on a ride when given access to an entire crash course.
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert were behind Foster the People's newest video "Don't Stop (Color on the Walls)," featuring members of the band and Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe. A driver's exam goes terribly awry, then awesomely awry, then romantically awry, as police try to nab a thief who has a little help getting away.
The song that has launched a thousand car commercials now is successful in wrecking a couple vehicles in its wake. Pretty entertaining.
Plus: Fat Possum's Unknown Mortal Orchestra has a fresh video
Katie Hasty Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011 8:24 PM
It was back in March this year that we warned you of the imminent return of Spiritualized. This March, in 2012, the Jason Pierce-fronted band will make its presence known again. The English rock act has announced its new album "Sweet Heart Sweet Light," to drop some time in that thawing month.
The band performed at the Other Voices festival in Ireland last weekend, the set streamed for audiences who couldn't make it. Leftover are two new songs, now available via The Guardian: "So Long Pretty Things" and "Hey Jane."On the latter, I closed my eyes and heard Brendan Benson. On the former, I hear a little soul between the pure rock-pop, mostly with a chorus I can remember.
On neither did I hear a good mix, particularly with those backing vocals. I look forward to the actual song releases.
“When you make a record, it has to be the single most important thing in your world. This time around, I wanted to do something that encompassed all I love in rock ‘n’ roll music. It’s got everything from Brötzmann and Berry right through to Dennis and Brian Wilson," said Pierce, aka J. Spaceman in a release. "I’m obsessed with music and the way you put it together and I don’t believe there are any rules.”
Yeah, OK, but are you actually going to shoot me in a rocket to space with this one again, maaaaan? That's what Spiritualized's "Songs in A&E" partially did for me in 2008.
Fat Possum (Andrew Bird's former roost) will be putting out "Swee Heart Sweet Light": That label already had a pair of amazing releases this year, with Yuck's self-titled set and A.A. Bondy's "Believer." On top of that, I've finally spent some time with Unknown Mortal Orchestra during my top 10 pursuits this month, and can recommend "Bicycle." Lucky for all of us, the high-octane music video for that track dropped today. If Spiritualized doesn't pysch-rock us proper, UMO most certainly will.
Indie rock crew and Immaculate Noise favorite Sleigh Bells have a band name that could jingle, but they'd rather issue a "Reign of Terror" for the holidays.
The New York duo are prepared to release their sophomore set, on the heels of their excellent 2010 debut "Treats," on Feb. 14 through Mom + Pop (who we've mentioned this week as being totally on fire).
"Terror" has a terrific teaser in advance, posted below. I feel like I'm about to go to a football game now.
Check out an advance track from his Richard Swift collaboration, 'Maraqopa'
Katie Hasty Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011 12:45 PM
Spend a yultide by the fireside with Damien Jurado, who's pumped out a piano- and horn-laden version of "Christmas Time Is Here." The Vince Guaraldi original -- popularized via "A Charlie Brown Christmas" -- has a melancholy slowness that Jurado's falsetto capitalizes upon, warms up with the Aki Kurose Middle School Academy Glee Club and prepares your brain waves for a long winter's nap.