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Meet Hozier, this weekend's 'SNL' musical guest and 'The Blues Brothers' obsessive

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Even if you don’t know recognize Hozier by name, you may have already run across “Take Me To Church,” the soulful ballad that showed up in a key moment during HBO’s The Leftovers and comes pre-approved by Revenge, Arrow, and The Fault In Our Stars music supervisor Season Kent. The track steadily climbed up the Irish singles chart last fall, then made its first impact in America after Hozier performed it on The Late Show With David Letterman in the spring. It currently sits at 62 on the Billboard Hot 100, has over 13 million views on YouTube, and promises to leap even further into the consciousness thanks to his appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Not bad for a song cut in a cramped storage space.

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TV Jukebox: 'American Horror Story: Freak Show,' 'The Flash,' 'Please Like Me,' and more of the week's best music-on-TV moments

Have you found yourself wondering, “What’s that song?” while watching your favorite TV shows? We’re here to tell you. Check out our Spotify playlist and see why these music picks clicked. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: Spoilers ahead.) READ FULL STORY

Teen-pop veteran Tinashe grows up and out on 'Aquarius'

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Aquarius, released this week, may be Tinashe’s first proper album, but she’s far from a rookie in the entertainment game. The 21-year-old singer got her start early as an actor, appearing in Robert Zemeckis’s CGI Christmas flick The Polar Express and the Bob Dylan-starring surrealist sci-fi project Masked and Anonymous before being recruited at age 14 to join a manufactured teen-pop group. That may not sound like a very auspicious start for a serious music career, but she says it was valuable nonetheless. “I think I learned a lot being in a situation where I wasn’t necessarily able to create music that was totally true to who I was or to present the person who I was,” she says over the phone from her home in Los Angeles.

If anything, her time in The Stunners helped give Tinashe a good idea of what she didn’t want to do when she struck out on her own. After the group split up in 2011 she started working on solo material in her home studio, sans record contract. “When you’re part a group,” she says, “it’s definitely a group effort, creatively. When I wasn’t signed to a record label I was free to make my own decisions. I definitely felt the need to create stuff on my own and just do things and make my own decisions and just put things out there. It was a really important step for me because it really opened the door so that now I have so much creative control in my art.”

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Synths and psychedelia collide on Canopies' 'The Plunderers and the Pillagers'

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Milwaukee electro-psych-pop quintet Canopies have a lot of synthesizers and a lot of patience. Despite the buzzworthiness of their sound, which should resonate with fans of MGMT, the group eschewed the urge to rush into releasing its first album and instead went two solid years with a pile of vintage equipment patiently assembling their debut, Maximize Your Faith (out Dec. 9 on Forged Artifacts).

The payoff to their slow-moving approach is apparent on the intricately layered instrumentation on “The Plunderers and the Pillagers,” which you can spend multiple listens peeling apart to find the nifty little flourishes woven into the mix. Or you could just sit back and enjoy the song’s expansive hooks and crackling energy, which make it an excellent choice for starting off your weekend with a synth-heavy bang.

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Meghan Trainor talks 'All About That Bass' (and all about Beyonce, Swift, and Bieber)

By now you probably know that Meghan Trainor is “All About That Bass.” The irresistible hit single, a body-positive polemic dolled up in a poodle skirt, has turned the Nashville wannabe into a pop star in four months flat: It’s notched more than 120 million views on YouTube, and has spent five weeks and counting perched atop the Billboard Hot 100. Not bad for a 20-year-old from Nantucket, Mass., who moved south to write songs. “I don’t feel like a famous pop star yet,” she tells EW. “I still get super nervous. I’m like, ‘Fake it till you make it!’ Or ‘Pretend you’re Beyoncé right now!’ That almost works.”

If she keeps this up, it won’t be long before up-and-comers are pretending they’re Meghan Trainor. But until then, the singer has a simple request: Can she please get paid now?

EW: “All About That Bass” is No. 1 in 25 countries. Have you splurged on anything yet?
MEGHAN TRAINOR: I mean, you don’t see money at first. I’m like, “Where the money is?” I still have the same exact bank account.

How did the line “I’m all about that bass, no treble” originally come about?
[Producer Kevin Kadish] had written “Bass, no treble,” and I was in my phase of saying, “I’m all about that Mexican food!” [Laughs] That was my slang. So I was like, “I’m all about that bass, no treble.” He said, “I can’t figure out what to relate it with.” And I was like, “Booty!” Once we started writing it, I remember his smile when he said “skinny bitches.” That’s when we looked at each other like, “We’ll never make a dime off this, but I’m fine with that.”

You wanted to sell it to another artist?
We pitched it as songwriters, and no one wanted it. The only one who liked it, I think, was a person on Beyoncé’s team. But it couldn’t work for her, because… obvious reasons.

What do you mean?
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This Week in Diplo: Diplo turns 10

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There was a time pre-Diplo. Really. Ten years ago—long before the Vegas residencies, the star-studded recording sessions, headlining festivals, and all the many, many hits—a 25-year-old Diplo was just releasing his first album, Florida, on Big Dada Records. He threw the collection up on his Soundcloud page this week and announced that the album would be reissued with unreleased tracks on Black Friday (Nov. 28).

On his celebratory Instagram he captioned: “10 years ago.. i made my first album, ‘Florida,’ between a small apartment in Philly and my mom’s house in Florida.. i was working late nights and taking a bus through the city every night, smoking some weed, putting on headphones & just making things I never heard before and could just imagine.. making this record created an entirely new world for me. now that i think back it’s a very strange beginning and it’s crazy it’s been 10 years since it’s first release but really this record represents my first 23 years of life.. what i had inside of me and where i came from so i’m excited to revisit it.. i put it up on soundcloud for all of you to hear.. a special re-release will come black friday”

The album is remarkably up-to-date, but given that Diplo has been the zeitgeist in music over the last handful of years, his future-casting ability should perhaps not be too surprising.

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Melvin Van Peebles on his new album and the possibility of alien life

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Melvin Van Peebles is best known as a filmmaker, thanks to his 1971 Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, often credited as the first blaxploitation movie but really more similar to the French avant-garde films of the time. But over a long and richly textured career, he’s also been a novelist, a playwright, a financial professional (in the ’80s he wrote a book on options trading), a visual artist, and the editor of the French-language edition of Mad magazine.

In one of the lesser-known phases of his life Van Peebles did graduate work in astronomy. “I was getting my Ph.D in Holland—I speak Dutch—for a number of years before I moved to France,” he says, “because I had one of those offers you couldn’t turn down. They offered me to come and do my films.” His studies were an outgrowth of some high-flying assignments during a Cold War stint in the Air Force. “I used to be the third person in the secret jets we had—they were secret at the time—a jet bomber that flew at immense heights carrying atomic bombs. We went on what they called ‘globetrotter’ missions, where we’d take off from a base in Southern California, fly up to usually Alaska, then refuel, fly down along the Bering Strait—the idea was that the groups of planes would always be in the air. As a navigator I started studying astronomy, because sometimes you’re not able to use the equipment, so you’d have to do it the old-fashioned way, figuring out what you were seeing in the sky.”

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Swedish electro-poppers Kate Boy drop 'Open Fire'

In 2011 Kate Akhurst moved from Australia to Stockholm, Sweden in search of musical collaborators with more in common with her aesthetic vision than she could find at home. Producers Hampus Nordgren and Markus Dextegen seem to have fit the bill, bringing a quintessentially Swedish flavor to the electronic arrangements they bring to their group Kate Boy. “Open Fire,” from their upcoming debut LP, has all the sonic ambition of The Knife mixed with pop hooks worthy of Max Martin.

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Report: Katy Perry to play Super Bowl halftime show

Katy Perry’s roar will entertain at the Super Bowl halftime show, according to various reports. The likes of Page Six, Billboard, and Variety have all confirmed that Perry was tapped for the gig. READ FULL STORY

El-P has one explanation for 'Meow the Jewels' album: 'Marijuana'

Run the Jewels’ second album is available for pre-order nowas are several bonus packages, including one called “The F— Boy Revenge Package” that promises the rap duo, made up of El-P and Killer Mike, will take revenge on your greatest enemy in exchange for a cool $100,000. Worth it?

The bonus packages, which range in price from $7,500 to $10 million, were never meant to be taken seriously: El-P just got stoned one day and decided to write up a bunch of funny extras for the pre-order site. But a dedicated fan latched onto one of the extras, the “Meow the Jewels Album Package,” which promised that Run the Jewels would “re-record RTJ2 using nothing but cat sounds for music” in exchange for $40,000. And now it might be happening. READ FULL STORY

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