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Will The Killers Collaborate With Muse?

Now that would be an interesting combination. Can you imagine both bands competing with one another to create the most futuristic modern indie rock explosion? Think of the light show they’d need if they performed together. The crowd would go blind! Well perhaps we’ll see (or not see, rather) sometime in the near future. According to NME, The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers says they would like to collaborate with Muse. The two bands have “become good friends” and they’d “never rule out working together.” Whether this will definitely happen is uncertain, but you can bet that the result would be either absolute “Madness” or “Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll.”

If you like Muse or The Killers, you should check out OurStage artist A Lion Named Roar.

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The Killers “Runaway” EMA Performance Video
Sound & Vision: Can Muse Become the Biggest Band in the World?
New Release Roundup: The Week of September 18th

The Killers Debut Trailer For New Album ‘Battleborn’

The Killers teased fans by releasing a trailer for their upcoming album Battleborn today. Battleborn, slated for a release some time this fall, will be The Killers’ fourth album and their first since 2008′s Day & Age.

The trailer doesn’t really say a lot about the new record. To be fair, it’s only a minute and a half long. But it does hint at what we should expect from The Killers’ next offering. We see the band giving a lot of serious stares out into the distance and shots of a bonfire in the desert. The real action, though, is in the sonic accompaniment. Whatever song is playing over the trailer is heavy on the dreamy synths and features some Springsteen-inspired guitar riffage. In other words, it sounds like the best elements of Sam’s Town wedded to Day & Age‘s songwriting.

The Killers began recording Battleborn in May of 2011, working with producers including Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, The Fray), Steve Lillywhite (Dave Matthews Band, U2), and Damian Taylor (Bjork). When asked about the title of the record, frontman Brandon Flowers said, “In a sense, all Americans are battle born. Our ancestors came here for something better.” It should be noted that the band’s personal recording studio also carries the name Battle Born.

Check out the trailer for Battleborn below.

Mark Wahlberg’s Celebrity Challenge: Making Justin Bieber a Movie Star

If anyone can do it, it would be the pop artist formerly known as Marky Mark. The task at hand: transforming Justin Bieber from Canadian teen-pop idol into Hollywood matinee idol

Mark Wahlberg already knows a thing or three about reinvention. When he first burst onto the entertainment scene in 1991 as the leader of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunk—a two-hit wonder from whom nobody expected any kind of longevity, and afterwards as a Calvin Klein underwear model—few probably thought he’d be likely to succeed past the mid-decade mark.

Yet two decades later, he’s still here. He’s a movie star and a respected actor, a successful producer (of the TV series Entourage and Boardwalk Empire, and of last year’s Best Picture Oscar contender, The Fighter) and an Academy Award acting nominee (Best Supporting Actor for 2006′s The Departed).

His next project: making Justin Bieber a film star. “I see the guy and spent time with him, and you see what he does and how he does it,” Wahlberg told MTV News last year, “and then you actually have a conversation with him, and it’s there.”

Picture this (because Wahlberg already has): Bieber in a The Color of Money-type film, which Wahlberg is developing for Paramount Pictures, with basketball replacing pool. Bieber would take the Tom Cruise role, and Wahlberg would cast a formidable screen legend like Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall or Jack Nicholson as the grizzled vet, the Color of Money archetype that finally won Paul Newman an Oscar in 1987.

It sounds like a dream job—for someone else. If Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Justin Timberlake, Tim McGraw and Wahlberg himself have taught us anything, when making the transition from music to movies, it’s best to start small. Both Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera tried to fulfill their film-star fantasy by starring above the title the first time out (in Crossroads and Burlesque, respectively), and thus far, neither one’s Hollywood dream has come true.

Enimen has yet to find a follow-up worthy of his debut starring role in 2002′s 8 Mile; the Hollywood heat surrounding The Bodyguard star Whitney Houston, set to test the acting waters again in a 2012 remake of Sparkle, quickly cooled after three films; Beyoncé has gotten plenty of acting work, but her Hollywood career has yet to generate any kind of major excitement; and Evita aside, Madonna has been most successful onscreen in supporting roles (Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy, A League of Their Own). Former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar her first time out for Dreamgirls, but what has she done for us lately?

That Bieber’s 2011 documentary/concert film, Never Say Never, was a major box-office success ($73 million in North America) indicates that movie-ticket buyers will shell out bucks to see him on the big screen. And he’s already had a guest-starring role in C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation. But pop stars are always booking cameos and story arcs in hit TV shows, and in Never Say Never, Bieber was literally playing himself. If Wahlberg is going to guide him through the Hollywood jungle, he’d be wise to pull out the map that he himself used.

For now, let somebody else drive. Don’t even let him ride shotgun just yet. Bieber would be better off in the backseat, cast in an ensemble movie where he doesn’t have to do all of the heavy lifting (see Taylor Swift in Valentine’s Day—on second thought, don’t).

When Wahlberg landed his first major starring role, in 1997′s Boogie Nights, he was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) and surrounded by highly esteemed talents like Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly and a soon-to-be-briefly resurgent (and Oscar-nominated for the first time) Burt Reynolds.

Even after Boogie Nights, Wahlberg’s most notable films—I Heart Huckabees, The Departed, The Fighter—have featured plenty of Oscar-caliber talent. And in The Departed, it was Wahlberg, not costars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon or Jack Nicholson who walked away with the Oscar nod.

But Wahlberg seems to have other ideas for Bieber, whom he calls “really talented.” And if he exhibits no discernible talent for film acting once the cameras roll? “I will extract it,” Wahlberg said.

Good luck to them both. They’ll need it. Wahlberg may have proven that he’s a miracle worker by going from rapper to underwear hunk to Oscar nominee, but Bieber holding his own with a DeNiro or a Duvall or a Nicholson sounds like an almost-impossible dream.

10 Music Stars Who Deserve a Hollywood Big-Screen Test

1. Lady Gaga

Best Performance in a Video: “Paparazzi”

2. John Mayer

Best Performance in a Video: “Who Says”

3. Ke$ha

Best Performance in a Video: “Blow”

4. Mary J. Blige

Best Performance in a Video: “Be Without You”

5. Pink

Best Performance in a Video: “Glitter in the Air” (live at the 2010 GRAMMY Awards)

6. Duffy

Best Performance in a Video: “Warwick Avenue”

7. Fiona Apple

Best Performance in a Video: “Fast As You Can”

8. Richard Ashcroft

Best Performance in a Video: “Break the Night with Colour”

9. Roisin Murphy

Best Performance in a Video: “Overpowered”

10. Brandon Flowers

Best Performance in a Video: The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done”

Your Country’s Right Here: Lindi Ortega’s ‘Little Red Boots’ Jump On Roots Charts

For Lindi Ortega, the Little Red Boots tell it all.

Not only is this the title of Ortega’s debut album, released June 7 on Last Gang Records, but the term is a reminder of this phase of her career. The former Interscope artist, whose well-known for her work with The Killers’ Brandon Flowers and the UK band Keane, took a look at her art not long ago and realized her heart belongs to country.

“It was a metamorphosis,” Ortega said of the direction in which her songwriting traveled. “I was writing songs and they had [the flavor of] Nora Jones and k.d. lang, that vibe. And my favorite record [of late] is Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. I love that warm, old school vibe and tried to capture that essence in this recording.”

The Toronto resident’s commitment to the sound was underscored on a trip to Nashville when she found real-life little red boots. Since her manager purchased them for her, they’vebeen her constant companion as she has recorded her new album and toured.

“I slipped them on and I could literally hear a chorus of angels,” she said. “It happened to be my birthday at the time, too. I’ve had them now for about two years and the soles are coming off but I’m keeping them always.”

Perhaps it’s not surprising that Ortega’s music sounds like a mix of sounds from Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. Those and other traditional country performers made the music that Ortega was raised on.

“My mom was huge into country and that is what got me into country,” says Ortega who has “Bird on a Wire,” from a Leonard Cohen song, tattooed on her wrist. “I love Johnny [Cash], Willie [Nelson], and of course a lot of country people covered Leonard Cohen.”

Frequent trips to Nashville is just what Ortega needed to let the country flow into her own songs.

“I found awesome people there, friends who came to visit me in Toronto,” she said. “It was cool to hear how my music and styling fit in with the Nashville way of writing. My brand of country comes from the old school and it’s really, really cool to mesh it with new country ideas.”

“You know, it’s hard to refer to touring as a job because I love it so much.”

Clearly the love is there for roots fans, too, who put the new album at No. 10 on the roots chart, behind recent releases by Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and other major artists.

“The next part of my story is to tour,” said Ortega. “I’d love to be heavily touring across the United States and working on a new record. It’d also be amazing to do some collaborations. This is all just icing on the cake.”

Find out more about Lindi, her album and her upcoming concerts on her Web site.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Jewel performs undercover karaoke

So, just for kicks and because Funny Or Die told her to, Jewel dressed up as a sheepish business woman with glasses and a fake nose and hit up the Gas Light karaoke bar for some good old fashioned pranking. After being coaxed to the stage by her fake co-workers, Jewel belted out a bunch of her own material. Spoiler alert: She sounds just like herself. Check out the video below.

Carlos Santana proposes to girlfriend onstage

It’s not often that a rock legend pops the question to his drummer in the middle of a concert. This Monday at a concert in Chicago, Carlos Santana boldly went where few have gone before, and proposed to his girlfriend and band member, Cindy Blackman, after her drum solo on “Corazon Espinado.” Must have been some solo.

The Bad

Lady Gaga sullies John Lennon’s piano

Lady and the Piano

Oh no she di’int! Sean Lennon posted pics of Lady Gaga in her usual studs and fishnets uniform playing his father’s iconic Steinway piano. “With gaga at mom’s house, she’s belting on the white piano,” Lennon tweeted. Well, Beatles fans weren’t having that, and unleashed a torrent of protestations, e.g. “WHY WOULD YOU LET LADY GAGA PLAY ON JOHN’S PIANO?” Lennon responded with, “What should we do, lock it away in a dusty room? So judgmental…Come on, lighten up.” Yeah guys, lighten up. Remember, purple tear drops she cries … you don’t want that getting on a white piano.

The Ugly

Edward Cullen gives Courtney Love the what-for

Robert Pattinson

After rumors circulated that Twilight star Robert Pattinson might be cast as Kurt Cobain in a biopic, Courtney Love, of course, had to vent her spleen in a public way. And when you start talking smack about a vampire, the fangs come out. R-Patz lashed back in an interview with the Daily Mirror, calling Love “a dick,” which makes him sound less like Cobain and more like his Love-hating Nirvana bandmates David Grohl and Chris Novoselic. Isn’t Pattinson amazing?

Miscellany

Poptarts: Lion of Ido

You’ll have to forgive me for my unrelenting love of Top 40 pop hits, but the first song I listened to by Lion of Ido was their kick ass cover of “No Air” by Jordin Sparks.  As much as I love Jordin, I give huge props to Lion of Ido for this cover. It’s absolutely awesome. After falling in love with them via our mutual love of “No Air,” I discovered their covers weren’t the only  thing that’s awesome. Front man Ido Zmishlany has a voice equipped with the power of pop rock groups like Panic At The Disco and depth of indie favs such as The Killers’ Brandon Flowers. And he writes pop hooks that could compete with any Top 40 hit. Their songs are perfect for any indie pop lover with an affinity for hand claps and snaps mixed with electro pop beats.

Hailing from NYC, these guys have headlined at marquee venues all over the city. They have performed with the like of Matt & Kim and have written songs with The Click Five, The Cars and Tommy Lee. Ido is also currently producing fellow OurStage artist Amanda Kaletsky’s new album. Lion of Ido’s video for “Hard  To Love” (below) showcase why this band is actually easy to adore. The montage of incriminating pictures during a night on the town in NYC is the perfect backdrop for this relentlessly catchy song about the struggles of love. Check out the band on OurStage and their song “Day By Day” below! You can also download their new EP for FREE right here!

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Lenny Kravitz headlines benefit concert for oil spill

Lenny Kravitz

Almost three weeks after the explosion of a BP oil rig of the coast of Louisiana, New Orleans’ biggest names will join forces for Gulf Aid, a benefit concert aimed at cleaning up one of the biggest spills in the history of the area. With more than 210,000 gallons of crude oil now polluting the Gulf and threatening aquatic ecosystems, the situation is heartbreaking. Lenny Kravitz will join Mos Def, Ani DiFranco, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, George Porter Jr., Cyril Neville and more on May 16th in New Orleans at the Mardi Gras World River City to help raise funds to offset the damage of this disaster. Kudos to all for their efforts in fixing this mess.

M.I.A. releases “XXXO,” disses the Biebs

M.I.A.

After attacking Lady Gaga and releasing one of the most violent musical videos in recent history, M.I.A. is back in the press this week, but this time it’s for debuting the first single off her forthcoming album. “XXXO” is another catchy dance floor hit for the British performer/politico and hints at good things to come. But it wouldn’t be enough for Ms. Arulpragasam to simply bestow an edgy pop gem upon us, she’s also gotta serve up a side dish of cheek, this time directed at Justin Bieber. Quoth M.I.A. to the folks at NME: “I find the new Justin Bieber video more violent and more of an assault to my eyes and senses than what I’ve made.” Touche! And, agreed.

The Bad

Babies dance to “Single Ladies,” grown men sing to “Bad Romance”

What’s more disturbing — a troupe of tiny girls popping, locking, twirling, strutting and grinding to “Single Ladies” for the World of Dance competition, or a gang of grungy grown men gathered on the street to sing an a cappella version of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Wait, don’t answer yet—watch the videos below and get back to us.

The Ugly

Ke$ha’s meow mix revealed

Ke$ha is sooo lucky. It’s just not fair for one human to hog all that musical talent. We’re kidding of course. Oh, you weren’t? Well then you might want to take a look at the video below. Turns out Ke$ha’s been squeezing cats in the studio to get that feline-in-heat effect on all her songs.

Miscellany

 


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