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Record Shopping with Jack Antonoff -- the fun. guitarist talks Bleachers, Bruce, and the bands that inspired him

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“I could probably name thousands of albums that I want,” Jack Antonoff muses, sifting through the stacks at Permanent Records in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (just blocks, coincidentally, from Café Grumpy, where his girlfriend, Lena Dunham, pretends to work on HBO’s Girls).

Lucky for us, the 30-year-old fun. guitarist and vinyl junkie kept his focus on a select few, including vintage punk favorites and a Boss classic, and reflected on the role they’ve played in his musical education. One title Antonoff couldn’t find? His own band Bleachers’ debut, Strange Desire, released July 15 and featuring the lead single “I Wanna Get Better,” which currently sits at the top of the Alternative Songs chart. “That, I desperately want,” he says. “It’s coming!”

Below, the results of his haul after spending sunny Saturday perusing vinyl with EW. —Ray Rahman READ FULL STORY

Jay Z will headline the Global Citizen Festival in September

On September 27, a lineup including Jay-Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, fun., Tiësto, and The Roots will perform at the third annual Global Citizen Festival, held on the Great Lawn in New York’s Central Park.

Now in its third year, the Global Citizen Festival is a outdoor concert whose main goal is to raise awareness and inspire action to combat extreme poverty worldwide. The Global Poverty Project, the organization behind the festival, hopes to use the event as a tool “promote activism through something people love—live musical entertainment—and in turn, give our world leaders a clear and compelling mandate to commit to ending extreme poverty by 2030.” Every year, the event is held around the same time as the United Nations General Assembly. This year, the festival will be televised by NBC and MSNBC.

Tickets to the Global Citizen Festival are earned, not bought. To earn tickets, fans visit the Global Citizen website, sign up, and complete several tasks aimed at spreading awareness. Each task earns a certain number of points, and once a fan earns eight points, he or she can enter to win tickets to the event. There will be five draws this summer, and would-be concertgoers can enter up to six times. A total of 48,000 free tickets will be given out this year.

“After last year’s success, Jay Z put up his hand and said, ‘I want to headline Year 3,’” Hugh Evans, chief executive of the Global Poverty Project, said to the New York Times. “ We sat down with people from his Shawn Carter Foundation and found that there are so many alliances between what they’re trying to do and what we’re trying to do.

Last year’s lineup included John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Kings of Leon, and Stevie Wonder, who closed the festival with an hour-long set that included a cover John Lennon’s “Imagine” (see below). Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, also made a special appearance and addressed the crowd during Wonder’s set.

Lena Dunham directs new Bleachers video for 'I Wanna Get Better' -- watch it here

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The Bleachers video for “I Wanna Get Better” feels a lot like an episode of Girls: emotional discord and screwed-up relationships set against a backdrop of real-world apartments and therapists’ offices — and of course, random celebrity cameos.

The clip opens with lead singer Jack Antonoff (also the bassist of fun., and the real-life boyfriend of Ms. Dunham) chasing after his girlfriend as she storms out of the house, leaving him for good. “This is crazy; we’re, like, not even awake yet,” he whines. “Come back inside and I’ll make you an espresso.” But she’s not going to be placated, and his day is downhill from there.

Antonoff arrives at his psychiatric practice with coffee on his crotch and a bevy of disgruntled clients to see — played by actors like Retta from Parks & Rec and Mary Kay Place from Big Love. Everyone’s screaming “I Wanna Get Better,” (which should definitely be the theme song for GIRLS):

Anyway, watch the clip here:

READ FULL STORY

Daft Punk, Pink, Kendrick Lamar among first announced Grammy performers

The fans have asked “Just Give Me A Reason” to watch the Grammys, and the producers (and Pink) have answered.

Believe it or not, we’re only about a month away from the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, which will take place Sunday, January 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. While plenty of people are invested in the nominees, the real stars of that particular show are the performers, and the bookers have begun to roll out the docket.

First up is Pink and Nate Ruess, who will be performing “Just Give Me A Reason,” the Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper that the fun. frontman co-wrote with Pink for her excellent 2012 album The Truth About Love. It will mark the first time the pair have been on network television together, though hardly the first Grammy appearances for either artist: Pink last showed up at the 2010 awards to perform a stunning rendition of “Glitter in the Air,” and fun. showed up on last year’s show to blast out “Carry On.” READ FULL STORY

Miley Cyrus and the rise of #YOLO pop

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One week ago, Miley Cyrus left the nation reeling after her performance of “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines” at the Video Music Awards. Parents watched in horror as the girl they remembered as Hannah Montana twerked in a teddy-bear leotard, gyrated on Robin Thicke‘s crotch in nothing more than a creamsicle bikini, and rubbed her nether-regions with a phallic foam finger. The whole display was provocative, pointless, and, for most viewers, shocking.

But in all actuality, Cyrus’ deliberately vexing presentation wasn’t shocking at all. “We Can’t Stop” is a natural extension of the “Can’t Be Tamed” philosophy that Cyrus has been peddling since 2010. And by the same token, the song — in its irreverent disregard of all people in the name of a good time — is the crystallization of pop music’s ideals over the past year. In the wake of fun.‘s “We Are Young,” pop has quickly become a medium that worships its own youth unabashedly. Granted, pop music has always heralded youth (tellingly, Justin Timberlake, 32, was given a legacy prize at this year’s VMAs) — but it’s never been so self-aware about it.

“It’s not just about being like, ‘We don’t care what people say,'” Cyrus said of “We Can’t Stop” during a Billboard cover shoot in June. “It’s about living for right now.” In the same interview Cyrus said the single’s edgy video was meant to resonate with young people: “I know that we all live for those nights right now. We’re all young,” she said. “I want to talk to my fans about that.” That may sound like a shallow conversation, but currently, it’s the chosen topic in much of 2013’s pop music. READ FULL STORY

Fun. deal with their baggage in 'Why Am I The One' video: Watch here!

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The boys from fun. have established themselves as a great contemporary video band. Having already introduced narratives involving Civil War reenactments and drinking with dudes from MTV, there was clearly only one thread left: the story of a sad suitcase.

Such is the story of the new video for “Why Am I The One,” a sweet, melancholy ballad from fun.’s hugely successful album Some Nights. Watch as the dudes dress in fancy suits and look wistful while their precious cargo gets tossed all over creation, lost in a poker game, and strapped to the back of a motorcycle. For a music video about a valise that sort of looks like it has a face, it’s surprisingly compelling.

Give it a spin below.  READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Fallon talks about his show's biggest moments by this year's Grammy nominees

A look at the nominations for this Sunday’s Grammy Awards points to an interesting trend: Apparently, the road to Grammy-nominated glory runs through the Rockefeller Center studio that houses Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Many of this weekend’s potential winners have had their biggest moments on the show, from Frank Ocean’s TV debut to the “music room” remix of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”

What’s more, there could be Grammy gold coming to the show itself: Fallon’s Blow Your Pants Off (which consists largely of musical bits from the show) is nominated for Best Comedy Album, and house band the Roots’ Undun is up for Best Rap Album. EW caught up with Fallon a few weeks back to go over some of his show’s biggest highlights from this year’s crop of Grammy nominees.

Frank Ocean
“We booked the Odd Future guys a while back, before they got signed. So we stayed in touch with them, and Frank Ocean is from that crew, and we heard he had a record coming out, so we booked him to perform—he was making his TV debut on our show. Two days before is when he tweeted out that letter about his sexuality. That’s so crazy to do in the world of R&B and hip-hop, it’s just a thing that’s not really done. No one does that. So it made all these headlines, and the tag to all the headlines was, ‘And he’s performing on Jimmy Fallon.’ READ FULL STORY

Grammys producer: Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars among show's 'keepers of the flame'

Justin Timberlake will be up first today as rehearsals continue for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, and the singer will know he’s good to go when he gets an approving nod from Ken Ehrlich, the executive producer who is calling the tune for Sunday night’s show just as he has for past 33 years. No, that’s not a typo — Ehrlich has been the gatekeeper of the Grammys stage since the 1980 edition of the show, and he’s the guiding hand behind the show’s signature mix-and-match approach to putting artists and songs together in fused fashion. READ FULL STORY

Pink and Nate Ruess get wet, emotional in 'Just Give Me a Reason' video: Watch it here

Pink has debuted the music video for the Truth About Love cut “Just Give Me a Reason,” and, surprise, it’s surreally dramatic!

The main ingredients for the starry Diane Marte-helmed clip include a bed, a teddy bear with glowing eyes, a TV with rabbit ears, and so much water. And, of course, there’s also plenty of fun.’s Nate Ruess, the song’s featured vocalist — as well as Carey Hart, Pink’s featured real-life husband.

Let Pink’s imagination get the best of you with the video below:

READ FULL STORY

TV Jukebox -- Super Bowl commercials edition: Rolling Stones, Psy, Hans Zimmer and more

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When it comes to all the forms of entertainment in the Super Bowl telecast, music completes the package. No, we’re not talking about Beyonce’s halftime show. We’re talking about the tunes in all those commercials.

The music in this year’s Big Game ads was a mix of recent hits and decades-old classics. Appropriate for one of America’s biggest partying days, the song choices were mostly upbeat and celebratory, but there were a few more emotional tracks as well.

Here EW presents to you a special edition of TV Jukebox with those Super Bowl commercials in the spotlight. Check out our picks and Spotify playlist below. READ FULL STORY

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