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Author: Leah Greenblatt (1-10 of 730)

The Best and Worst of the AMAs 2014 -- what did you think?

As a fan-voted competition, the American Music Awards are — no offense to that terrifying pointy trophy — much more about the performances than the prizes (most of which were given away off-camera anyway).

So what were your favorite moments? Did you love or hate Taylor Swift turning “Blank Space” into an Andrew Lloyd Weber extravaganza? What did you think of J.Lo’s “Booty,” and booty? Was Selena Gomez definitely crying? Is that dance Lorde does chiropractically safe to imitate at home?

We’ll have our full performance gallery up soon, but in the meantime share your thoughts on tonight’s intermittently censored and generally entertaining show in the comments below.

American Music Awards 2014: The Winners List

A list of tonight’s winners, updated in real time:

Favorite Pop Rock Band, Duo, or Group: One Direction

Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Album: Iggy Azalea, The New Classic 

Favorite Pop Rock Male: Sam Smith

Favorite Country Male: Luke Bryan

Favorite Pop/Rock Album: One Direction, Midnight Memories

 Favorite Pop/Rock Female: Katy Perry

 Favorite Alternative Artist: Imagine Dragons

Favorite New Artist: Five Seconds of Summer

Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Artist: Iggy Azalea

Favorite Country Album: Bradley Gilbert, Just As I Am

Artist of the Year: One Direction

Eleven awards were handed out off camera. For a complete list visit theamas.com.

Record shopping with Interpol frontman Paul Banks

You might expect the leader of aughties postpunk overlords Interpol — who will release their first album in four years, El Pintor, on Sept. 9 — to be dour and aloof, or at least shrink away from bright sunlight. But the guy who strolls into Brooklyn’s Rough Trade Records on a sweltering August afternoon is friendly and voluble (and has a pretty brutal backspin, it turns out, on the store’s Ping-Pong table).

Over piles of vinyl and iced Americanos, Paul Banks, 36, talked with EW about the song that still gives him chills, his early obsessions with Nirvana and N.W.A, and the homemade mixtape that really freaked out his mom.

Sonic Youth,
Daydream Nation (1988)

“The first band that made me want to make music was Nirvana. So I was very aware of anything Nirvana-
affiliated, and I was watching an episode of 120 Minutes with them that Thurston Moore was hosting, and I remember thinking, ‘Who the f— is this dude that Nirvana keeps hanging out with? What’s the deal here?’ I
was very mindful of ‘Nirvana took this band out on tour, they must be someone I should know about.’

So I got [1990’s] Goo, which at that age didn’t really speak to me. But when I got to college, I got EVOL and Daydream Nation, which just… The textures and the guitar tones and the drive—I mean, some of the most beautiful guitar work of any rock songs ever is on this record. Insofar as one wants to emulate things as a musician, those were the things I wanted to emulate.” READ FULL STORY

The VMAs opening number with Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Jessie J and more: What did you think?

How many rhinestones were on Ariana Grande’s Barbarella-call-girl onesie?  How bouncy is her ponytail? How freaked out was the PA who had to man the censor button during Nicki Minaj’s NC-17 celebration of snakes and a special kind of salad?

These and many more questions came to us during an opening medley that featured Grande performing “Break Free” direct from space (kind of), Nicki Minaj not using her previously scheduled reptile muses during the Sir Mix-a-Lot-sampling “Anaconda,”  and Jessie J looking sane and moderately amused during “Bang Bang,” while Grande strutted in yet another future onesie and Minaj clutched at her decency when a wardrobe quick-change wasn’t quick enough.

But you tell us, readers, what did you think of the VMAs opener?

 

Watch A$AP Rocky hang out at Kathy Griffin's house in a NSFW scene from new Noisey doc here -- EXCLUSIVE

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The upcoming A$AP Rocky documentary SVDDXNLY is not short on celebrity cameos: There be Snoop; there be Macklemore; there be Drake and Rihanna and Schoolboy Q and Big Sean and Bun B and Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa and Jeremy Scott and Glee‘s Naya Rivera looking like she took a real wrong left turn at the Glendale Galleria.

But the hour-long film’s maximum bonkers moment may be the footage of Rocky’s visit to the Los Angeles home of actress/comedian/Bravolebrity Kathy Griffin, in which two famous people arrive as strangers and leave as death-wish friends, and A$AP learns many new things about sex, secret handshakes, and how to light a very expensive fireplace from the future.

Click below to watch what happened when A$AP met Kathy –it’s just like when Harry Met Sally, but with 87% more hand job jokes. (Again, this clip is not NSFW): READ FULL STORY

Coldplay's new 'A Sky Full of Stars' video -- watch it here

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Hey there, busking millionaire! Chris Martin, playing the guy you really hope doesn’t get on your subway car, surprises the citizens of Sydney, Australia, with a wandering one-man-band act in the new clip for Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars.”

Oh but hark, here are the rest of the ‘Players, joining him for a semi-spontaneous (the band put a callout to fans on Twitter) street parade that ends in a crowning town-square glory of confetti and  singalongs and a thousand camera-phone snaps.

Watch it here: READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Scott: An essential playlist for the late jazz great

When “Little” Jimmy Scott—a rare genetic condition earned him the nickname—died in his sleep at his Las Vegas home last week at 88, the man Madonna once called “the only singer who makes me cry” left behind a legacy as beautiful and sad and strange as his voice.

Born third in a family of 10 and ­orphaned by age 13, the Cleveland native went on to record with artists from Charlie Parker to Lou Reed, and sang (the same song, “Why Was I Born?,” 40 years apart) at both Dwight Eisenhower’s and Bill Clinton’s inaugurations.

Label troubles led to a career lull in the ’70s and ’80s, and he took a series of menial jobs—fry cook, busboy, hospital orderly—until an early-­’90s resurgence brought new work, including collaborations with fans including Reed and Bruce Springsteen and an ­unforgettable cameo in Twin Peaks’ series finale.

For Scott, the song was always the thing: “If it tells a story, and I’m interested in the story,” he told EW in 1996, “then it’s a go.”

Below, stream a playlist of some of his best classic and covers: READ FULL STORY

Casey Kasem, famed radio DJ and voice actor, has died at 82

Casey Kasem, whose distinctive voice defined the interstitial sound of Top 40 radio for decades, has died. He was 82. The cause of death was not immediately released, though he had been ill for some time.

Kasem’s daughter Kerri tweeted the news Sunday morning, writing, “Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends. Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers. The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our Dad.”

Kasem, born Kemal Amin Kasem to Lebanese immigrant parents in Detroit in 1932, began his radio career when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, working as a disc-jockey-announcer on the Armed Forces Radio Korea Network before returning to civilian life and taking DJ posts at stations in San Francisco and Oakland, California. After moving to Los Angeles, he began playing small supporting roles in a number of low-budget Hollywood films, and made his first forays into television voice-overs. That led to work on a number of animated shows, including the role of Shaggy on Scooby Doo, which he reprised in both films and on TV for five decades. READ FULL STORY

Stream a Father's Day Playlist curated by the Walkmen's Walter Martin

When beloved aughties fivesome the Walkmen announced their indefinite hiatus late last year, Walter Martin decided to take an indie-rock road less traveled.

After becoming a dad for the first time, he began working on a sweetly understated of collection of folk-tinged ditties about clouds, Costa Rican monkeys, and messy hair, and brought in friends like Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Matt Berninger of the National to help out in the studio.

The result, We’re All Young Together, was released last month — music to the ears of parents eager for  family-friendly albums beyond the dancing dinosaur/Baby Beluga axis.

In honor of Father’s Day, Martin has created a playlist exclusively for EW; find out why he chose these songs from the likes of Johnny Cash, the Kinks, and Hank Williams Jr. and stream the full set on our Spotify player below: READ FULL STORY

Ray & Remora cover Pavement's 'Gold Soundz': Watch the video with Jeff Goldblum, Kim Gordon & more

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As Stephen Malkmus once memorably sang, “You can never quarantine the past.” But he didn’t say anything about covering it– so L.A. duo Ray & Remora, a.k.a.  Dan Crane and Amanda Walker, have taken on Pavement’s classic “Gold Soundz,” from 1994’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (which coincidentally turns 20 this month, if that doesn’t make you feel like a T-rex.)

R&R also grabbed a few famous friends to make cameos in the video for the song, including Malkmus, Kim Gordon, actor Jeff Goldblum, longtime Beastie Boys collaborator Money Mark, Weezer’s Scott Shriner, Inara George of The Bird and the Bee, and Mike Viola of The Candy Butchers.

Watch it below: READ FULL STORY

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