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Seth MacFarlane's galloping theme song for 'A Million Ways to Die in the West': Hear the Alan Jackson tune -- EXCLUSIVE

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Western ballads are no stranger to death and bloodshed. Heck, Marty Robbins probably has more people getting shot in his songs than N.W.A. But Seth MacFarlane’s newly released theme song from his mordantly morbid comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West is probably the first ballad dedicated specifically to the act of getting shuffled off the dusty trail of life.

MacFarlane recorded the ditty with country-music star Alan Jackson, and it’s a quick-pickin’ old-timey tune, filled with Elmer Bernstein swells, fiddle sawing, and baritone lines like “six bullets in the gut/or just a paper cut” and “they’ll blast you into shards/for playing good at cards.” Listen to “A Million Ways to Die” below and let us know what you think. After all, you can never go wrong combining westerns and music. READ FULL STORY

Listen to Grouplove's 'The Fault In Our Stars' soundtrack song 'Let Me In' - EXCLUSIVE

The upcoming The Fault In Our Stars is a love story based on a hugely beloved YA novel, so of course it comes armed with a sweet soundtrack full of decorated alt-pop wonders and feel-good tearjerkers.

The Fault In Our Stars — Music From The Motion Picture arrives on May 19 and features brand new tracks from Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX, M83, Lykke Li, Jake Bugg, Ray LaMontagne, and a host of others. (Check out the entire track list at the bottom.)

One of those new songs is Grouplove’s “Let Me In,” a dreamy, synthy sing-along that gets its exclusive premiere below.

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Want to buy the Oscar-nominated music from the 'Her' soundtrack? You can't

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When the chatter first began about Spike Jonze’s warm, lovely film Her, one of the talking points was the music: Arcade Fire member William Butler and fellow Canadian Owen Pallett (known to the pop world as Final Fantasy) would be writing the score, Arcade Fire would perform it, and additional musical input would come from Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O (who had previously collaborated with Jonze on the music for Where The Wild Things Are).

The results lived up to the anticipation; the music in Her perfectly complements the internal life of lead character Theodore Twombly (played by Joaquin Phoenix). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences agreed, and when the Oscar nominations were handed down last week, both the score (by Butler and Pallett) and the original song “The Moon Song” (performed by Karen O and written by her and Jonze) were included in the race for prizes. 

But despite the accolades, the music from Her is unavailable for purchase, either in physical or digital form. READ FULL STORY

The Oscar music snubs: no love for Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, 'Llewyn Davis' or Coldplay

Check to make sure the rivers haven’t turned to blood and all first-borns aren’t suddenly afflicted with pox, because the impossible has happened: Taylor Swift was not nominated for an award.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ passing on Swift’s “Sweeter Than Fiction” (from the film One Chance) is easily one of the most high-profile snubs from this morning’s Oscar nominations announcement. The song was nominated for a Golden Globe and seemed like an obvious pick for an invite on Oscar night, if only because people love giving Taylor Swift gold trophies (and also because it would have brought some much-needed youth to the Oscar party).

Instead, the contenders in the Best Original Song category are U2′s “Ordinary Love” (from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom), Karen O’s “The Moon Song” (Her), Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” (Despicable Me 2), Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel’s “Alone But Not Alone” (from the deeply obscure Christian film of the same name), and the song “Let It Go” from the Disney blockbuster Frozen, which is performed by Idina Menzel and written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. (It’s the writers, not the performers, who take home the gold.)

The race seems to be down to the Golden Globe winner and sentimental favorite “Ordinary Love” (which would be as much an award for the late Nelson Mandela as it would be for U2) and the sales juggernaut “Let It Go” (which has propelled the Frozen soundtrack to the top of the mainstream album chart and elevated it to gold status). “Happy” and “The Moon Song” are much longer shots, but both are both cool choices crafted by deeply respected members of the music world.

Of course, that leaves “Alone But Not Alone,” one of the most inexplicable Oscar nominations in the history of the awards. The film barely exists, and the song itself is a dreary dirge of a hymn that sounds like it should be played in the midst of a sleepy Sunday morning mass. It has virtually no chance of winning, and its legacy will be as a bizarre curiosity in a category notorious for them.

It would be a less shocking inclusion if the Oscar nomination shortlist (75 songs in all) didn’t contain so many markedly stronger options. READ FULL STORY

On the 30th anniversary of the release of 'Scarface,' hear Giorgio Moroder's new remix of 'Tony's Theme' - EXCLUSIVE

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Dance music legend Giorgio Moroder has spent the better part of 2013 looking back. He explored his own biography with the help of some French robots on Daft Punk’s “Giorgio By Moroder,” from the Grammy-nominated Random Access Memories, and remixed Donna Summer’s “Love To Love You Baby” (a song he initially built in 1975) for an album commemorating the late disco diva.

Now he’s remixed himself once again, this time taking the digital scalpel to “Tony’s Theme,” from one of Moroder’s finest film scores: Scarface, which hit theaters exactly 30 years ago today.

In a conversation today with EW, Moroder remembere getting the call from director Brian De Palma about the project and creating the now-legendary score for Al Pacino’s Tony Montana, one of cinema’s most iconic gangsters. “I wanted something a little bit mysterious, because this character is very complex and kind of mysterious coming from Cuba,” Moroder recalls.

“I wanted it to have a little bit of a classical feel in the sequence of the chords. The idea came from a German half-classical singer called Klaus Nomi. He had one song where he did a very high voice, a staccato, a little bit like Laurie Anderson on ‘O Superman.’ Those two songs kind of inspired me, so I came up with the chords and then brought in the big choir and strings and all the rest.”

The new remix of “Tony’s Theme” is more of a complete reinvention — Moroder did not use any of the original tracks to construct the new song. That points to the tune’s versatility. “It works quite well with a big orchestra, and it works quite well with just a piano,” he said. “There’s one section [in the movie] when Tony kills someone, and there I played kind of soft; I think it’s just a bass line. So it works well both big and small.”

Check out the exclusive premiere of Moroder’s new remix of “Tony’s Theme” below.  READ FULL STORY

Ed Sheeran on working with Peter Jackson on 'The Hobbit' song 'I See Fire': 'I'm a massive fan of Tolkien and of Peter' - EXCLUSIVE

Yesterday, The Hobbit director Peter Jackson pulled back the curtain on “I See Fire,” the Ed Sheeran song that will play over the closing credits of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. As Jackson explained on his Facebook page, the process began when the two had lunch during Sheeran’s tour through New Zealand, and continued after Jackson brought Sheeran in to view the movie and work on the song.

Sheeran has worked with a number of high-profile musicians—including Taylor Swift and Lupe Fiasco—but “I See Fire” was his first collaboration with a filmmaker. “He was fantastic,” Sheeran tells EW. “At every point where I’d be adding something, I’d play him the song afterwards. I was there for three days, and at the end of every day he would come and listen to the song and give me notes.”

“He knows what he wants,” he continued, “but he doesn’t pretend to be musical in any way. He let me go on with it, but he also knows his movie, so he would tell me something needs to be less energetic, or more relaxed, or whatever. He knows the colors and templates of what the song should be rather than how the melody should go.”

Sheeran’s also a longtime devotee of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien—The Hobbit was the first book his dad read to him as a child, and Sheeran’s grandfather owns a first edition of the novel. READ FULL STORY

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' composer Hans Zimmer recruits Pharrell Williams, Johnny Marr, others for movie music supergroup

Hans Zimmer has never had any trouble crafting movie scores on his own. He has worked on over 150 movies, won himself an Oscar (for The Lion King, in 1995), and gave birth to the BWOOOM that just about every other movie composer has stolen.

But everybody needs a little company, and for the score to the forthcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Zimmer went ahead and got himself a super group. According to Sony Pictures, Zimmer and director Marc Webb have recruited Pharrell Williams, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, Incubus’ Michael Einziger, and former Eurythmic/current blues revivalist Dave Stewart.

“Marc and I were talking about Spider-Man, and as the word got out, so many of our friends and musicians started calling us up, wanting to be a part of it, because they love Spider-Man,” Zimmer said in a statement. “That was the thing that united all of us ­ the great love for Spider-Man.  With all of these hugely talented people wanting to join us, it was Marc who said, ‘Why not start a band?’ Marc and I have had a great start jamming with everybody, and we still have a few surprises up our sleeve.”

Nobody is a stranger in this collective: Zimmer and Williams previously worked together on the music for Despicable Me and also at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, and Marr, Einziger, and Stewart have all lent their guitar playing talents to Zimmer scores in the past (on Inception, The Lone Ranger, and Madagascar 3, respectively).

The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which again stars Andrew Garfield as the web-slinger and welcomes Jamie Foxx as the villain Electro, will be in theaters on May 2, 2014.

'Dallas Buyers Club' soundtrack: Hear new songs from Tegan and Sara, Neon Trees, My Morning Jacket and more - EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE

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One of this fall’s most anticipated movies, The Dallas Buyers Club, tells the true story of Texas native Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), whose 1986 HIV diagnosis, received in an era before treatment was readily available, spurred him to start his own prescription drug-smuggling ring.

The movie, which also stars Jared Leto, Steve Zahn, and Jennifer Garner, doesn’t open until this Friday, November 1, but you can stream the soundtrack exclusively here today. The album features brand new compositions by the likes of Tegan and Sara, My Morning Jacket, Fitz and the Tantrums, Neon Trees, Cold War Kids, and Leto’s own band Thirty Seconds to Mars. The album kicks off with Shuggie Otis’ stoned-soul anthem “Sweet Thang,” and also includes two classic T. Rex songs.

If you buy the album on iTunes (where it goes on sale today), 40 cents of every sale will go to the AIDS relief charity Project (RED)‘s Global Fund.  Jared Leto will be taking over Project (RED)’s Twitter account today at 11:30 AM Eastern/8:30 AM Pacific to answer questions about the movie, the soundtrack, and AIDS awareness.

Listen to the full album below: READ FULL STORY

Lady Gaga premieres new song 'Aura' with 'Machete Kills' themed lyric video: Watch here

Though her new album ARTPOP isn’t out until November 11, Lady Gaga will be providing her fans with an ample dose of Gagaosity in the gloriously violent new Robert Rodriguez film Machete Killswhich opens this weekend. (Though it is being marketed as her acting debut, anybody who has seen the third season of The Sopranos knows her acting roots run deeper.)

Not coincidentally, Gaga premiered a new ARTPOP song called “Aura” earlier today, complete with a lyric video that features a ton of teaser footage from Machete Kills. If you like the idea of Danny Trejo throwing knives to the beat of Gaga’s throbbing thump, then the video below should carry you through the next few days.

Give a listen to “Aura” (and watch Cuba Gooding, Jr. pull off his face to reveal Ms. Gaga) below: READ FULL STORY

'Catching Fire' soundtrack tracklisting released: Christina Aguilera, Coldplay, Lumineers, Lorde, and more

Not too long ago, the most coveted soundtrack slot was for a series of movies about a sullen teenage girl who really wanted to marry a boring vampire. But artists both indie and mainstream are now clamoring for spots attached to the new cool YA franchise (with a way more badass girl at the helm).

Catching Fire, the latest film in The Hunger Games series, has already seen its soundtrack album set in motion with a lead single, Coldplay’s “Atlas,” and now the full tracklisting has been revealed — including new songs from the Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, Lorde, The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons, and Ellie Goulding.

Also on the roster? Former genie in a bottle and current Voice coach Christina Aguilera, who announced via Twitter that she has recorded a brand new song called “We Remain” specifically for Catching Fire:

“Love the underlying message of the Hunger Games,” she wrote. “‘We Remain’ is special new song, its message to my fans & how I connect w/ the movie, alike.”

Find the full tracklisting after the jump:

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