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Tag: EW Exclusives (1-10 of 82)

Stream 'No Coast,' from Braid's first new album in 16 years -- EXCLUSIVE

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Braid signed off in 1999, the year after the release of its finest work, Frame and Canvas – leaving behind a lengthy discography and a place of honor in the emo history books. The band, originally from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, had spent years touring relentlessly and releasing a dizzying number of songs before the strain of it all became too much. (Three-fourths of the band went on to form the incredible, underrated Hey Mercedes.)

But you never really leave something that was such a big part of you for so long, as the quartet later discovered. There was a brief reunion in 2004 to celebrate the DVD release of a film about the band’s final shows, and then a surprise EP, Closer to Closed, in 2011. Now, Braid has returned with its first full-length since Frame and Canvas, a new album whose title, No Coast, is also a rallying cry.

“The album was titled No Coast before any of the songs were written,” singer-guitarist Bob Nanna tells EW. “We used the term as guidance, not as much thematically but more in terms of work ethic: ‘Let’s work hard and not coast on autopilot or rely on our back catalog to spur interest in this new material.'”

Ahead of the album’s release on Topshelf Records July 8, EW is streaming the title track — a phenomenon that’s new to Braid (and Nanna’s other projects for that matter), whose albums have never shared titles with songs. “When we started writing this song, we found ourselves saying the words ‘no coast’ along to the opening beats, so that became its tentative title. When Chris [Broach, singer-guitarist] and I fleshed out the lyrics, we then decided to stick with the title and the theme for the song.” READ FULL STORY

Summer Music Preview: Hear indie-dance duo Phantogram's favorite summer songs

Phantogram’s blend of electronic rock, trip-hop and shoegaze dreaminess doesn’t sound like something you’d hear emanating from a barn in upstate New York, but that’s where the duo has written most of their music — at least when they’re not crashing with Olympic snowboarding champion Shaun White.

Now members Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, who met in high school, will spend the summer in fields, festival stages, and other non-barn structures to promote their latest album Voices now through late August.

And to help inaugurate our Summer Music Preview, on stands today, they made a playlist for us featuring some of their favorite artists, from Beck and Bowie to Q-Tip and Kendrick Lamar. Stream it below: READ FULL STORY

A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera, 'Say Something' -- EXCLUSIVE

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Sometimes you don’t have to audition and hustle and hope and pray for a spot on a TV talent show to get the attention of a superstar. Sometimes the superstar comes to you.

Pop icon and Voice mentor Christina Aguilera has spun her metaphorical red chair around for the New York duo Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino, a.k.a. Glee-song alums A Great Big World — asking to sing on a rerecording of their song “Say Something.”

She’ll perform the track with the pair on The Voice on Nov. 5 and the song goes on sale tomorrow on iTunes, but you can hear it here first exclusively: READ FULL STORY

Watch Swedish metal band Graveyard's 'Endless Night' video - EXCLUSIVE

Sure, most of the great Scandinavian metal bands hail from Norway, but don’t count out that country’s neighbor. Sweden is no slouch when it comes to the devil’s music — especially Graveyard, whose new album Lights Out lands on these shores on November 6 (you can pre-order the CD here and the digital version here).

Taking cues from the swampier, bluesier side of Black Sabbath, Graveyard have released two previous albums of impeccably scuzzy rock full of caustic spasms and thick fuzz. They continue that tradition on Lights Out, which turns up the throbbing low end and gives frontman Joakim Nilsson extra space to croon and bellow.

“Endless Night” is as good an entry point as any for this quartet of bearded tundra-dwellers, so check out the exclusive premiere of the freewheeling, head-tripping video below: READ FULL STORY

Train on VH1's 'Behind the Music': The story behind hit 'Drops of Jupiter' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Can you believe that VH1’s Behind the Music is turning 15?

The series launches its latest season this Sunday, Sept. 16, at 9 p.m. with an hour focused on pop-rock band Train, which delivered its biggest hit in 2009 with “Hey, Soul Sister.” But it’s actually another of their singles — 2001’s “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” — that truly launched them, climbing to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

That song is the subject of an online-only, Behind the Music companion series titled Behind the Song, which EW is exclusively debuting below.

The process of creation wasn’t easy, according to frontman Pat Monahan: “I just couldn’t figure out what to write, but then I woke up from a dream about a year after my mother passed away with the words ‘back in the atmosphere,'” he remembers. “It was just her way of saying what it was like — she was swimming through the planets and came to me with drops of Jupiter in her hair.”

The rest, as they say, is history. The full, four-minute Behind the Song episode is below, and parts of it are woven into Sunday’s season premiere episode of Behind the Music, which will also touch on Train’s multiplatinum success, struggles ith drug addiction, money woes, and two-year hiatus.

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Alicia Keys to perform with Stevie Wonder at Billboard Music Awards -- EXCLUSIVE

Grammy-winning “Fallin'” singer Alicia Keys will present the Billboard Icon Award to Stevie Wonder — and perform with the legendary artist — at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, EW has learned exclusively.

There’s no word on what song — or medley of songs — the pair will perform. Wonder and Keys have had a long-running kinship and respect for each other, as they performed “Higher Ground” together at the 2004 MTV VMAs and presented together at the 48th Grammy Awards in 2006 (pictured here). Keys has won 10 Billboard Music Awards during her career.

Modern Family acting duo Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen are taking on hosting duties at the awards show, which will broadcast live on ABC from the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas this Sunday at 8 p.m. Leading nominees for the awards include Adele, LMFAO, and Rihanna.

Just-announced presenters at the show include Whoopi Goldberg, Swizz Beatz, and Charlie Sheen. They join previously announced presenters Lisa Marie Presley, Wiz Khalifa, Luke Bryan, Robin Thicke, Brandy, Monica, Miley Cyrus, Taio Cruz, Gavin DeGraw, Gladys Knight, Julianne Hough, Natasha Bedingfield and Jeremy Sisto, along with musical acts Jordin Sparks, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Linkin Park, Nelly Furtado, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber, LMFAO, and The Wanted.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:
‘Modern Family’ stars Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen to host Billboard Music Awards — EXCLUSIVE
Adele, LMFAO, and Rihanna lead Billboard Music Award finalists

Hear 'On Your Way Up,' a new song from Showtime's 'Shameless' theme song band High Strung -- EXCLUSIVE

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There are several reasons you might be familiar with the Detroit band the High Strung.

Perhaps you know them from their bouncy garage ditty “The Luck You Got” (taken off their 2006 album Moxie Bravo), which soundtracks the theme song to the Showtime series Shameless. Or maybe from the shows they played at Guantanamo Bay, which they described to Vanity Fair as “like Detroit or L.A.”

There’s also a chance you remember them for their library tours, which This American Life chronicled in a segment titled “The Dewey Decibel System.”

Now you’ll know them from their catchy, Kinks-y new song “On Your Way Up,” taken from their upcoming album ?Posible o’ Imposible? (out April 17). The track, bowing exclusively on EW.com, tells the story of a man who, unlike the William H. Macy patriarch of Shameless, is riding the crest. Give it a spin below:

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Watch 'Parks and Rec' star Aubrey Plaza go crazy in new clip from ex Fleet Foxes drummer J. Tillman -- VIDEO EXCLUSIVE

Once upon a time, many months and Lana Del Rey posts ago, we asked Aubrey Plaza what was on her iPod.

The Parks and Recreation actress tipped us off to the then-unreleased “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” from J. Tillman, formerly of the Fleet Foxes, and mentioned that she’d be starring in its video.

And Aubrey Plaza is not a liar!

Under the moniker Father John Misty, Tillman has released the song (now titled “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”) as the lead single off his forthcoming debut Fear Fun (out May 1), as well as a video to match. Named for one of L.A.’s oldest burial grounds, the droney psych-rock dirge is a bit of a departure from Fleet Foxes’ fey forest-folk, but one that will likely please old fans nonetheless.

As for the video: “We created this trippy funeral scene in Laurel Canyon,” Parks and Rec‘s deadpan doyenne told us back in September. “I play a crazy person who destroys the funeral.”

Watch Plaza go certifiably H.A.M. — eating flowers, smashing turntables, smoking apples — in the video below:

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Britney Spears gets an unlikely compliment from Method Man on 'The TRL Decade': Watch the EXCLUSIVE clip here!

Between its launch in 1998 and its finale in 2008, MTV’s Total Request Live acted as the center of the television universe for pop music, movie stars, and whatever else fell into teen culture during the turn of the century. Airing every day after school live from MTV’s studio overlooking Times Square, TRL was an institution that not only counted down the most popular music videos of the day but also acted as a clearinghouse for what was cool in an age before social networking.

That note gets hit on a lot in the new documentary The TRL Decade, an hour-long special that premieres this Sunday, January 29 at 9:30 PM on VH1 as part of their RockDocs series. The film traces the origins of the show, which was constructed from the DNA of two other MTV shows (Total Request and MTV Live), and follows it through its huge peak during the pop music boom period that saw acts like the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera rule the radio.

It also highlights a number of huge moments in the show’s history, from wild star visits from Michael Jackson and Tom Cruise to serious business like the Columbine shooting and September 11th. As the show points out, TRL was the place where young people came to see what other teens were talking about, and in the days before Facebook, it was a gateway to both arguments and cultural consensus.

But of course, it was also a place where stars would collide in unpredictable ways. In the exclusive clip below, rapper Method Man tells the tale of the time he and Redman showed up on an episode of TRL that was being guest-hosted by Britney Spears and Sabrina the Teenage Witch star Melissa Joan Hart. According to Meth, they had quite an unusual exchange when they went to pose for a picture. Get the reveal below.

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'X Factor' runner-up Chris Rene signs record deal with Epic -- EXCLUSIVE

American Idol semi-finalists aren’t the only ones getting record deals these days.

Chris Rene, X Factor’s third-place finisher last season, has just told EW exclusively that he’ll be officially signing to Epic Records.

“I’ve dreamt about this moment my whole life,” says Rene. “And now its here. Working with L.A. Reid — ‘Big Homie’ —  is a dream come true; he’s a great man,” Rene continued, referring to his X Factor mentor, who also helms the label.

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