<p>Justin Timberlake's &quot;Mirrors&quot;</p>

Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors"

Credit: RCA Records

Countdown to MTV's Video Music Awards: Best Male Video

Will it be Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke?

As MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards approach, we’ll countdown to the Aug. 25 ceremony, which airs live at 9 p.m. ET from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the nominations with six each, closely followed by Bruno Mars, Pink, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus and Thirty Seconds To Mars.

Among the artists performing on the show are Lady Gaga, who will open the awards; Timberlake, Mars, and Cyrus.

We’ll look at a different category each day leading up to Aug. 25.


Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors"
Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell, "Blurred Lines"
Bruno Mars, "Locked Out of Heaven"
Ed Sheeran, "Lego House"
Kendrick Lamar, "Swimming Pools"

The Contenders: JT’s “Mirrors” is an epic production that spawns the story of a couple’s tumultuous  life together before evolving into an artsy dance number. Like “Mirrors,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools” takes an artsy approach to the story of his drunk father and Lamar’s relationship with alcohol. Robin Thicke’s clip features nearly naked women, which would make it the instant frontrunner, but there’s been enough backlash that it may suffer among female voters. Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” is a fuzzy club performance with ‘70s gauzy effects. Ed Sheeran’s video for “Lego House” is sweet, lowkey, and slighty creepy, but it doesn’t really compare with the others, unless you’re a huge Sheeran fan. In that case, the scenes of stalker Rupert Grint impersonating Sheehan as he walks through town in his red hoodie straight onto stage (and into the arms of awaiting security) will have you rooting for the British songwriter. Timberlake’s video is the most elaborate and artistic of the bunch, but the second half could also strike some as pretentious. When in doubt, go for the boobies, especially since the award is fan voted, and the fact that “Blurred Lines” is not just the song of the summer, it’s the song of 2013.

Who Should Win:
“Mirrors,” Justin Timberlake
Who Will Win: “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke

Who are you rooting for? 

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<p>Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver in a scene from &quot;Inside Llewyn Davis.&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver in a scene from "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Credit: CBS Films

Jack White, Marcus Mumford, Avett Bros. set to play 'Inside Llewyn Davis' concert

Benefit show, organized by Coen Brothers and T Bone Burnett, also features Patti Smith, Joan Baez

Jack White, Mumford & Sons’ Marcus Mumford, the Avett Brothers, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, and The Punch Brothers will play a benefit concert at New York’s Town Hall on Sept. 29 to promote “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

The film’s music supervisor and long-time Joel and Ethan Coen collaborator T Bone Burnett organized the concert, dubbed “Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis'," along with the Coen Brothers. Proceeds from the event will go to the National Recording Preservation Foundation.

Burnett revealed to Hitfix in May at Cannes that some concerts were planned around the movie’s release. "I don't think we're going to do a tour, but we're going to do a series of shows," Burnett said. "I guess we should announce it. Are we ready? I don't know when we're supposed to talk about this, but we're going to do a series of shows. There won't be a tour. I won't say that." The team produced a very successful series of shows around the music of "O Brother Where Art Thou" more than a decade ago.

The Joel and Ethan Coen movie is one of the main selections announced today for the 51st annual New York Film Festival, which runs Sept. 27-Oct. 13. Following its bow at the Cannes International Film Festival this Spring, where it won the Grand Prix, the movie about a folk singer in the ‘60s in New York’s Greenwich Villlage, will skip the Toronto Film Festival.
Also on the "Another Day, Another Time" bill are Joan Baez, Rhiannon Giddens of Caroline Chocolate Drops, Milk Carton Kids, Conor Oberst, Patti Smith, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, as well as Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, and Stark Sands, all of whom appear in "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Marcus Mumford serves as an associate producer on the movie’s soundtrack, which comes out Nov. 12 on Nonesuch. He also appears on the track, “The Auld Triangle.” Other artists on the soundtrack include the film’s stars Isaac, Mumford’s wife Carey Mulligan, and Justin Timberlake, as well as Bob Dylan.

The official poster for Another Day Another Time the Inside Llewyn Davis charity concert

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Kelly Clarkson reveals details for  'Wrapped in Red' holiday set
Credit: RCA

Kelly Clarkson reveals details for 'Wrapped in Red' holiday set

She sprinkles new tunes amid the familiar

It’s a big fall for Kelly Clarkson. Not only is she getting married, but on Oct. 29, she’ll deliver a little bundle in the form of “Wrapped in Red,” a holiday album.

Clarkson announced the Christmas set way back in April, telling CMT Radio Live host Cody Allan, “I’ve been dying to make a Christmas record for more than a decade and I’m finally making one,” she says, but details had been scant until now.

“Wrapped In Red” will include two new holiday-themed tracks, “Underneath the Tree” and “Wrapped In Red,” as well as Clarkson’s covers of such standards as “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Blue Christmas,” “Run Run Rudolph,” and “Please Come Home For Christmas.” A full track listing is forthcoming.

“Underneath The Tree,” written by Clarkson and Greg Kurstin, who also produced the track, will be the first single. The cover for "Wrapped In Red" features an elegant profile shot of Clarkson, wrapped, appropriately enough, in red.

In the meantime, Clarkson’s one-off country single, “Tie It Up,” continues to garner country airplay and will remain a stand-alone single, for now. It will not be included on “Wrapped In Red” as a bonus track, according to her label, RCA.

The first "American Idol" winner is on tour with Maroon 5 through Oct. 6.

Are you as excited as Clarkson for her holiday album? 


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<p>Lady Gaga in &quot;Applause&quot;</p>

Lady Gaga in "Applause"


New 'Applause' video: Watch me pull a Lady Gaga out of my hat

She'll do anything to earn your applause

Lady Gaga continues her one-woman performance art with the very theatrical video for “Applause,” which she premiered on “Good Morning America” today.

Shot primarily in black and white by Dutch photographers Inez & Vinoodh, “Applause” shows there is nothing Lady Gaga won’t do to get your attention, whether it’s catching a knife between her teeth, turning into a swan, popping out of a magician’s hat, dancing maniacally, or writhing around in a clam shell bikini. Because, damn it, she wants your “Applause,” but she is willing to work for it. 

There are art/film references aplenty from pop artist Jeff Koons, whom she mentions in the lyrics, to Fellini to even Janet Jackson’s Rolling Stone cover with someone else shielding her breasts.

[More after the jump...]


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<p>Kelly Rowland, Beyonce Knowles and Michelle Williams reuniting as Destiny's Child during Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, LA on Feb. 3, 2013.</p>

Kelly Rowland, Beyonce Knowles and Michelle Williams reuniting as Destiny's Child during Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, LA on Feb. 3, 2013.

Credit: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

What If Destiny's Child hadn't broken up?

Where would Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams be now?

This week HitFix is revisiting some of the key turning points in recent entertainment history and considering what would have happened if history had turned a bit differently. What if...?

In the early and mid- 2000s, the Destiny’s Child line-up of Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams ruled the pop charts with the trio’s bootylicious pop/R&B mix, selling more than 60 million albums worldwide before disbanding in 2005.

What if Destiny’s Child hadn’t broken up?

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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

Music Power Rankings: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Luke Bryan rule this week

Morrissey and Charlie Brown also make the list

1. Katy Perry: She comes “roaring” back with hot first new single from “Prism,” as the single wins the battle between Perry and Lady Gaga’s “Applause” and is on track to sell close to 500,000 copies in its first week.

2. Luke Bryan:
Country superstar’s new album, “Crash My Party,” released Tuesday, will crash onto the Billboard 200 with sales of more than 500,000 copies in its first week. And he’s done it by staying country as country can be.

3. George Strait: Billboard names him the recipient of its Legends of Live award as the cowboy rides away on his last tour, taking the record for the most No. 1 tunes by any artist in any genre with him. It’s good to be king.

4.Lady Gaga: Katy Perry may win the first week single sales battle (“Roar’s” 450,000 to “Applause’s” 225,000), but Momma Monster managed to snare her share of this week’s headlines, including condemning the leak of her uplifting, sweet duet with Cher, “The Greatest.” C’mon LG, let Cher include it on her album!

5. This Charming Charlie: Smiths fans are dying over the great new Tumblr that combines Peanuts cartoons with Morrissey lyrics. Charlie Brown and the whole gang get into the act in one of the greatest combos since peanut butter and chocolate.

6.Pete Townshend:
The Who frontman diffuses an assault from One Direction fans by saying he likes the band and he doesn’t mind at all if “Best Song Ever” rips off “Baba O’Riley. (a comparison we noted ourselves)   Can a duet be far behind?

7. Eminem: Slim Shady drops his first new music in two years with “Survival,” a biting, propulsive track from “Call Of Duty: Ghosts.” Shady’s back and he’s taking names.

8. Robin Thicke:
In a rather strange lawsuit, the “Blurred Lines” singer/co-writer has filed a suit asking a judge to rule that the song does not steal from Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” and Parliament’s “Sexy Ways,” before either party (or estate) has filed a suit claiming the song is rip-off.  Talk about a preemptive strike...

9. Michelle Obama:
Is a gold record next for the First Lady? She makes a cameo appearance in “Everybody,” a hip-hop song about eating healthily and taking care of our bodies. We just want to know if she does the Dougie in the video.

10. Kelly Clarkson: T
he singer is banned from taking a ring once worn by Jane Austen out of England, but she sweetly agrees to sell it back to the Jane Austen museum if it can raise enough money to pay her what she paid for the ring. As the engaged star prepares to walk down the aisle, we think she already has a ring on it so she can spare Austen's bling.

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<p>Luke Bryan</p>

Luke Bryan

Credit: Donn Jones/AP

Luke Bryan 'Crashes' onto next week's Billboard 200

Can he beat Jay Z's first-week numbers?

Luke Bryan will have a monster of a week next week as “Crash My Party” crashes onto the Billboard 200 with sales of up to 525,000.

If he gains enough steam before the chart closes Sunday night and hits 529,000, he’ll roll right past Jay Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” to have the second highest debut of the year  (second only to Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience.”  Read our review of Bryan’s “Crash My Party."

Not only will “Crash” lead the chart next week, but the excitement around Bryan’s new release lifts the tide for his last full-length set, “Tailgates and Taglines,” which will zoom back onto the chart at around No. 14, according to Hits Daily Double.

The only other debut in the Top 10 comes from “Love & Hip Hop” reality show star K. Michelle, whose “Rebellious Soul” pops in at No. 2 with sales of up to 70,000.

The remainder of the Top 10 are repeaters: “Now That’s What I Call Music 47” is at No. 3, while Robin Thicke’s former No. 1, “Blurred Lines,” is No. 4. This week’s No. 1 set, “The Civil Wars” by the defunct duo, drops to No. 5.

Jay Z’s aforementioned “Magna Carta Holy Grail” will likely be at No. 6, while Disney’s soundtrack to the wildly popular TV movie, “Teen Beach,” is at No. 7.

Rounding out the Top 10, Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s To The Good Times”  is at No. 8, Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” at No. 9 and Five Finger Death Punch’s “Wrong Side Of Heaven, Vol. 1” at No. 10.


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<p>Marco Beltrami</p>

Marco Beltrami

Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami on navigating his way through 'World War Z' and Brad Pitt

How did Tommy Lee Jones contribute to the 'WWZ' score?

POZNAN, POLAND—Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami recently found himself in a rather unenviable position, caught between “World War Z’s” producer/star Brad Pitt, director Marc Forster and Paramount Studios as the different factions clashed over the direction and tone of the zombie action pic.

He kept his head down and tried to serve all his masters, including writing two score for the same picture. Luckily, things normally go a little smoother for the Yale School of Music graduate, who broke into the business by scoring a number of horror movies, including “Scream,” “Scream 2,” Halloween H20,” “Resident Evil,” but has expanded to all genres. He has scored TV series, including “The Practice,” as well as “3:10 to Yuma,” “The Hurt Locker,” “A Good Day To Die Hard,” “Trouble With the Curve,” “The Wolverine,” and the upcoming remake  of “Carrie” and Tommy Lee Jones’ new film, “The Homesman.”

After teaching a master class at the Transatlantyk Festival here, Beltrami sat down with Hitfix to discuss navigating the “WWZ” waters and his upcoming projects.

You got hired for “Scream” in 1996, even though, by your own admission, you are not a horror movie fan. When you look at your resume there are a lot of horror movies on there. Have you become a fan?


But you continue to work in the genre, including scoring the forthcoming remake of “Carrie.”

See, a lot of the movies that I’ve done, I don’t consider them to be real horror movies. They’re not in the ‘Saw’ or torture-porn movie [style]. The “Scream” movies are over the top and there’s a lightness to them. “Carrie,” to me, is a weird coming of age story for a girl. But it’s like maybe it’s more of a drama about her that has turns bad, but I don’t see it as that horrific.

Did you reference any of the score from the 1976 movie when you did yours?

I like Pino Donaggio’s score  a lot and it’s very thematic, but there wasn’t really a way I could put it in.

You scored this summer’s thriller “World War Z.” How did you keep from getting caught in the crosshairs after the director Marc Forster, Brad Pitt, and Paramount all clashed? Did you just keep your head down?

A lot of it was coaching from my agent. I just make everybody feel like they’re getting what they need, even though there’s a lot of different parties involved. It took a lot of extra work, but it felt like it was an important gig and it was worth doing what needed to be done to keep it. It would have been easier to throw up my hands, and say, ‘You know what? I’ve had enough’.”

Did you think about walking away?

Every day. I thought one of two things was going to happen: either I would get fired or [I’d say] “This is it. I couldn’t take it anymore, I’m going to walk away.” I felt like an alcoholic, I had to take it one day at a time (laughs). One note at a time.

You also had to create two scores? Right? A quieter score Brad Pitt wanted and a more dramatic one Paramount wanted.

Not quieter. Not necessarily quieter, but less epic. More of an intensity of hearing almost the rosin on the bow on the strings as opposed to when you have a big orchestra and it becomes more diffuse.

Paramount wanted the more dramatic score so you were  working at two different studios on two separate scores?

Right. So [we] ended with a combo of the two, and everybody was a happy. It could have been a combo and everybody hated everything, but it worked out.

For “World War Z,”  what kind of research did you do?

The first time I saw the movie, there was an opening scene in Philadelphia and then it cut to an Emergency Broadcast Signal. That struck me as the crux of the movie right there. And I thought there’s a way to musicalize it. [Beltrami’s assistant] Buck [Sanders] went out and got tuning forks and we experimented with how do you create that in the purest way.

The score also includes your playing havalina skulls. That was Tommy Lee Jones’ idea, right?

We were at dinner and he was working on “Lincoln” or something He was like, ‘What are you working on?” So I was telling him about it and that we were looking at ways of trying to get the sound of teeth gnashing because it’s such an important part of the movie: the mystery of zombies. He said, “Have you checked out the havalina?” and I said, “The what?” He lives in Texas and he’s very knowledgeable about everything. So that was great.

So did the sound of some of their teeth clacking some make it in?

Yeah, it’s there, but way in the background for the most part.

You worked with Tommy Lee Jones on the “Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” score and you’re working on his new directorial project now too. What can you say about that?

It’s called “The Homesman.” It’s a western period piece [with Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep and Jones]. They came to homestead the land in Oklahoma and so forth. It turns out it wasn’t uncommon for women to go crazy from not seeing people for days at a time or death and illness of the kids. Famine. Just the wind.

People talk about how intense Tommy Lee Jones is to work with? What’s your working relationship like with him?

He likes what I come up with. I think I sort of understand him when he’s talking. I very much enjoy working with him, He thinks totally outside of the box.

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<p>Justin Timberlake</p>

Justin Timberlake

Credit: AP Photo

Justin Timberlake reveals 'The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2' track listing

Follow-up to year's biggest seller comes out Sept. 20

Fans have already heard “Take Back The Night,” the first single from Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2.” Now, they can at least imagine what the other 10 tracks sound like after Timberlake released the track listing last night.

The album, the follow-up to this year’s best-selling title, “The 20/20 Experience,” comes out Sept. 20 and fans can already pre-order it on Amazon and iTunes.

Timberlake, who has been on a stadium tour with Jay-Z this summer, will kick off his own headlining tour Oct. 31 in Montreal. But first, Timberlake will appear at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25. He is up for six awards.

“The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2” track listing:

1.Gimme What I Don't Want Know (I Want)
2. True Blood
3. Cabaret
4. TKO
5. Take Back The Night
6. Murder
7. Drink You Away
8. You Got It On
9. Amnesia
10. Only When I Walk Away
11. Not A Bad Thing

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Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Eminem drops new song 'Survival' in 'Call Of Duty: Ghosts' trailer

He promises 'more surprises in store'

Eminem dropped a new track today via a trailer for Activision’s “Call Of Duty: Ghosts”  video game, which comes out in November.

“Survival” is an in-your-face track that opens with ringing, throbbing guitars. Lyrically, Eminem details his rise in music and his devotion to his craft in stark life-or-death terms: “If I don’t do this music shit/I lose my shit,” in his usual intense, matter of fact way, as his rhymes about "coming into battle" with him compete with the automatic weapons. He warns any newcomers that taking him on will be a lost cause. A chorus, sung by the New Royales’ Liz Rodrigues, reinforces the “Survival” theme, as she sings, “This is survival of the fittest...this is winner take it all.”  (h/t to MTV on he Rodrigues info).

[More after the jump...]


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