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Tag: Music (1-10 of 40)

'Sonic Highways' premiere react: Foo Fighters dig into musical roots for impressive documentary

Recording an album is tough, but after 20 years of producing music, the most difficult aspect may be keeping the process fresh. The Foo Fighters took that concept to a new level while creating their latest album, due out in November–they toured the United States, recording each song in a different city, hoping that the music scene of the area would influence the track.

But Dave Grohl didn’t just want to record Sonic Highways–he decided to document the experience, interviewing figures important to each city’s musical history for a documentary series that shares the album’s name. In turn, those interviews shaped the album, as Grohl fashioned his lyrics out of the words of his documentary subjects.

So Sonic Highways attempts to be three different things–a history of music in America, the story of what inspired the Foo Fighters, particularly Dave Grohl, and a behind-the-scenes look at the music production process. Having to serve so many masters unfortunately detracts from the ultimate impact of each story thread, but the show’s ambition and actual construction are fascinating enough for anyone interested in American music, Foo Fighters fan or not, that Sonic Highways is still a unique and enjoyable look into the country’s defining musical history.

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Colombian musician Juanes to guest star on 'Jane The Virgin'

Juanes will guest star on The CW comedy series Jane The Virgin, EW has learned.

The Grammy winner will play a music producer and smooth-talking ladies’ man who considers producing a demo record for Jane’s pop-music obsessed mother Xiomara (Andrea Navedo). READ FULL STORY

Miley Cyrus 'Bangerz Tour' documentary coming to NBC in July

Get ready for two hours of Miley just being Miley: Next month, NBC will air Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour, a two-hour documentary special featuring behind-the-scenes and live performance footage from upcoming concerts in Spain and Portugal. READ FULL STORY

Pluto.TV: Is this the new world of online video?

It started with Elmo. A little over a year ago, web entrepreneur Ilya Pozin was working on his computer with his two-year-old daughter perched in his lap. To keep her entertained, he was searching for online Sesame Street videos. He’d put one on, but after each one ended, his daughter would yell out, “More Elmo, Daddy!” —  and Pozin would have to go on the hunt for another video. “I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Why am I having to DJ for her every three minutes?'” Pozin says, laughing. “I should be able to just throw on a channel for my daughter that plays videos she loves constantly.”

So he and co-founders Nick Grouf and Tom Ryan built a new web platform, Pluto.TV, to do just that. The platform, which launched today, March 31, essentially sifts through the millions of online videos available on Youtube and elsewhere, finds the best ones, and then put them into channels, and shows on those channels, that run 24/7. It’s like a cable menu for online video. So, for instance, if you’re really, really into cute cat videos (and let’s face it, who isn’t), you can click on Pluto’s Cats channel, and watch a curated list of the best of those  —  everything from shows on “Big Cats” to “Kitten Zone” — all.day.long., for free. You can also DVR stuff and invite friends via Facebook to watch videos with you (and chat about them) live.

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'Pretty Little Liars' music: Singer-songwriter Chris Arena gives an inside look

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For singer-songwriter Chris Arena, everything changed the night that he heard Alexi Murdoch’s “Orange Sky” on The O.C. In that moment, he decided to walk away from a life filled with touring and paying bars to perform so that he could get a chance to really be heard. Realizing what great television music moments could be, he decided to focus on cinematic music.

“[The O.C.] broke so many good acts,” Arena said. “It almost set the tone for, I feel like, the Grey’s Anatomys and the Dawson’s Creeks; those shows really paved the way for this whole movement of new artists focusing on cinematic music. I just picked a point and focused.”

More specifically, he picked ABC Family’s hit show Pretty Little Liars. “My brother [and] his girlfriend – they’re a little younger than I am – he and his girlfriend and all her friends, they’re obsessed with the show. They would talk about it and geek out on it. I just thought that was a good target. I wasn’t really familiar with the show that much, and I started watching it, and I kind of secretly developed a really strong liking for the show, and I thought it was interesting. It worked out really nicely because they needed a lot of music that dealt with heartbreak and singer-songwriter acoustics. It was a nice match.”

So with that idea in mind, Arena started writing. “I started to write songs based on some of the scenes I’d been watching, and to put it in a polite way, I kind of harassed this one editor at Pretty Little Liars and sent him maybe 10 or 15 fully produced songs,” Arena said. “The first eight or nine didn’t get a response, and then he finally picked up on one, and he said, ‘We’re gonna try it out.’ And they used a 17-second clip of a song called “Babyfish.” They had a lot of people that got on board with the music, and they invited me to the editing bay, and one thing led to another. It worked out pretty well, actually. It was a very organic, natural process in that sense.”

Now, Arena has had six songs featured on Pretty Little Liars, as well as another on the now-canceled spinoff Ravenswood. So how does the process work? Well for starters, Arena is given months to brainstorm, write, and produce his music. For example, he was brought to the studio back in August to watch the Caleb and Hanna breakup scene, which would later air in the show’s Jan. 7 winter premiere. READ FULL STORY

'Parks and Recreation': Wilco's Jeff Tweedy to guest -- EXCLUSIVE

A regionally famous rock band may reunite in Pawnee, and its singer will be portrayed by… Jeff Tweedy. READ FULL STORY

Britney Spears documentary tanked in ratings

Britney Spears’ residency at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino begins tonight, and while people may be anticipating the show, they weren’t that excited about E!’s two-hour documentary, I Am Britney Jean, following the four months of preparation for it. USA Today reports the Dec. 22 premiere garnered just 706,000 viewers. As of now, you can catch the full documentary here, though the first riveting question Spears is asked — “What’s your favorite bubble gum?”* — may have you switching YouTube channels. READ FULL STORY

'Bob's Burgers' animates The National singing Thanksgiving song in boatloads of gravy -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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Fans of The National, Bob’s Burgers and, well, gravy, you are in for a treat: The Fox comedy has animated the Brooklyn indie rockers singing “Sailors in Your Mouth,” the wistful ode to the savory sauce that was heard in Sunday’s Thanksgiving episode. That wasn’t the first time that the band and Bob’s Burgers bonded: The National contributed a rendition of “Kill Your Turkey” to last year’s Thanksgiving episode, and Bob’s Burgers writer Scott Jacobson directed the video for The National’s “Conversation 16,” which stars… Bob’s voice actor Kristen Schaal.

Press play for a trippy, drippy journey into Bob’s mouth and beyond. READ FULL STORY

Nico Vega reinvents 'Bang Bang' for 'Bonnie & Clyde' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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If Bonnie & Clyde had to have a theme song, chances are “Bang Bang” would be an apt title to sum up the doomed duo, who are being revived once more for A&E’s miniseries event this winter.

The four-hour, two-part series (set to air Dec. 8 and 9 on A&E, Lifetime and History) stars Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger as the notorious pair of Depression-era outlaws. In anticipation of the movie event, A&E has just released this video of rockers Nico Vega re-interpreting the classic Nancy Sinatra melancholia “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” which was itself a cover of a hit for Cher.

Though the song has been used in film multiple times since Sinatra’s 1966 recording (notably in the opening credits of Kill Bill), Nico Vega’s uniquely rock-tinged cover (available on iTunes) is certifiably haunting. Check out the exclusive video below to get a look behind the scenes as Nico Vega lays down the track, interspersed with some premiere clips of Bonnie and Clyde. It’s bloody fantastic!
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'The Good Wife' composer talks the drama and comedy of 'Hitting the Fan'

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If you’re still recovering from the Oct. 27 episode of CBS’ The Good Wife, appropriately titled “Hitting the Fan,” you’re not alone. It will be remembered as one of the series’ best — a perfect storm of pitch-perfect writing/directing, acting, and score. You could feel it from the opening moments, when Will (Josh Charles) set the firing of Alicia (Julianna Margulies) in motion after learning she planned to leave the law firm and everyone started scrambling to steal clients or keep them. The mood was tense but fun as the actors reveled in the machinations scripted by exec producers Robert and Michelle King as much as their characters. And the music captured it. Watch a clip below.

Film composer David Buckley, who’s scored the show since midway through its first season, said one challenge was not letting the music get ahead of the drama. “An episode like this one, more than ever, the music has a sort of identity that can rise up and then fall back down,” he says. Another challenge: The different tones. “This cue, more than any in any episode — probably, in fact, more than anything I’ve ever done before — was trying to navigate that intricate path of drama and comedy. It was serious. There was energy. There was propulsion. But it could also find nods and winks to the lighter parts of the scene,” he says. “The scripts are so clever, the story lines are so intricate, that really quite swiftly you can be moving from something emotional and personal and perhaps sad to someone with a twinkle in their eye.” READ FULL STORY

'Arrested Development,' 'Elementary,' 'Da Vinci's Demons,' and more: The making of this year's Emmy-nominated music

The Primetime Creative Arts Emmys celebrated behind-the-scenes artists on Sunday — including composers recognized for their work on shows like Elementary, House of Cards, and The Borgias. The characters in the series they work on play more than a small role in shaping the shows’ sounds, as EW learned in talking to the nominees in the music score categories on the carpet ahead of the ceremony, which will air on FXX this Saturday.

Starz’s Da Vinci’s Demons won the award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music, while Downton Abbey won for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series, and ReelzChannel’s World Without End snagged the award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special.

Read on to learn more about the making of the music for five shows.

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'Vampire Diaries' music supervisor: How 'The O.C.' started a trend that could save indie music

If you want to hear about the latest Katy Perry song or find out when Miley Cyrus’ sure-to-offend new album comes out, all you have to do is open the page of any magazine, check out the homepage of any (and every) blog, or just head on over to your favorite form of social media and see what’s buzzing. But how do you discover smaller indie bands anymore? If they’re not creating chaos at an awards show or topping the Billboard charts, it’s not always as obvious as music fans would like it to be. Enter Chris Mollere, music supervisor for hit shows The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars.

Mollere recently spoke to Rolling Stone about how he sees his job as an opportunity to feature great bands, both known and unknown, on a possibly unexpected (but rather large) platform — television — a trend that he credits to the 2003 hit show The O.C.

The O.C. was where music really jumped out at me on TV,” Mollere said. “Easy Rider was one of the first movies to have a song soundtrack, but The O.C. was the show that changed that format on television and showed that you could do things like have a song with lyrics play during a scene with dialogue. Before The O.C., that was not an accepted thing. The O.C. also broke bands like Death Cab and the Killers. A placement on that show took bands to another level.”
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'Agents of SHIELD': Clark Gregg's 'commanding presence' calls the tune for composer Bear McCreary

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At Comic-Con this week in San Diego, Bear McCreary will be introduced as the composer for the ABC pilot for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which aims to bring the Marvel Universe into primetime television with a mythology that is tethered somewhat to the silver screen exploits of the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D., the government agency that answers a world with thunder gods and gamma-green monsters.

McCreary’s new post will surprise exactly no one in San Diego. The classically trained pianist and graduate of USC’s Thornton School of Music has been in the ear of discerning genre fans in a big way the past decade as the composer of some truly distinctive themes — among them the unsettling strings that open AMC’s record-setting hit The Walking Dead and the dark tribal exhilaration of the drums that ushered in episodes of the Peabody Award-winning series Battlestar Galactica.

Jeph Loeb, the head of television for Marvel, said McCreary is a collaborator with boundless energy and a gift for finding the “emotional vibrancy” of moments and music and message. We caught up with the 34-year-old McCreary for a quick chat about music, heroes, Joss Whedon, and an old television show about an intergalactic garbage hauler.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: With a project like this there are so many questions from the get-go but is there a place you typically start that investigation? Do you start with pinning down facts or finding feelings?
BEAR MCCREARY: I like to bring something unique to every project I take on, something that can immediately hook the audience and tell them what show or film they’re watching, or game they’re playing. The furious tremolo strings at the beginning of The Walking Dead main title, or the heavy percussion of Battlestar Galactica are great examples. At first glance, I was nervous that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be difficult to approach. … It ties together a cinematic universe that spans years of characters, storylines and scores by talented composers. The instant I saw the pilot, I connected immediately with the characters.
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