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'Yellow Submarine' casting rumors: Darth Maul IS Paul McCartney?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, a quartet of actors are in negotiations to portray The Beatles in director Robert Zemeckis’ planned 3D remake of the 1968 film Yellow Submarine. The four thespians are Princess Bride star Cary Elwes who is apparently in the frame to impersonate George Harrison, Dean Lennox Kelly from the UK dramedy Shameless who will tackle John Lennon, Epic Movie actor Adam Campbell who will negotiate Ringo’s nasal vowels, and Peter Serafinowicz who will take on Paul McCartney. Serafinowicz’s credits include Shaun of the Dead, Couple’s Retreat, and the fantastic fake science show Look Around You, though there is a strong possibility that the words “He was the voice of Darth Maul” may appear on the Brit actor’s gravestone.

All in all, that seems like a line-up capable of handling the Fab Four’s Liverpudlian twang. They’re all Brits and Serafinowicz, in particular, is an accent master and Liverpool-raised to boot. Meanwhile, anyone crying “Foul!” over the idea of people impersonating John, Paul, George and Ringo, may care to note that the Beatles’ animated avatars in the original movie were also voiced by actors, with the Beatles themselves only contributing to a live action sequence at the end (see below).

Are you a big fan of the original movie? What do you think of these rumored casting choices? All together now!

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Flea, ZZ Top, and Andrew WK’s reworking of ‘The Simpsons’ theme song: Best cover of a TV show song ever?
‘Badder Romance’: Watch the Lady Gaga-approved YouTube spoof
Ke$ha: Could she be 2010’s Gaga?

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Happy birthday Elvis: 75 reasons to love the King on his 75th!

Elvis Presley was born 75 years ago today. To mark the occasion, we’ve compiled a list of 75 reasons to be grateful for the King’s existence, which you’ll find after the jump.

But have we Taken Care of Business? Or should we be leaving the building in shame for what we’ve left off? Take a look and tell us what you think.

Thankyouverymuch!

Photo credit: Doc Pele/Retna Ltd.

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Saruman from 'Lord of the Rings' to release concept album of 'symphonic metal'

I’m an absolute Christopher Lee fiend—an appropriate term given the veteran British thesp has portrayed the devilish likes of Dracula, Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movies. However, I didn’t know that he has a sideline as a heavy metal vocalist. It turns out Lee has performed with both New York metallers Manowar and Italian rockers Rhapsody who recruited the great man to sing on their 2006 opus—and I think “opus” is probably the right word to use here—Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret.

Now the 87-year-old Lee is striking out on his own. In the video clip you can see below the actor reveals that in March he will release a concept CD of “symphonic metal.” The album is called Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross and features Lee singing the part of the titular 8th century European leader. That’s right: Christopher Lee is about to get medieval on your a–!

You can listen to snippets from Charlemagne on MySpace. Personally, I’m a big fan of Lee’s performance on “Act III: The Bloody Verdict of Verden” and in particular his rousing cry of “I shed the blood of the Saxon men!” But, hey, I’ve never heard a song about Saxon men blood-shedding that I didn’t like.” I’ve also embedded below a video of Lee playing with Rhapsody which proves that Lee really is quite a good singer, and that Italians really are crazy as hell.

Check it all out and tell us what you think. Is Lee’s career curve ball an honorable departure or as horrifying as many of the parts he has played?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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‘American Idiot’ is coming to Broadway
What did we leave off our Best Songs by ‘American Idol’ graduates?
Is ‘London Calling’ the best album of all time?
Willie Mitchell: RIP
Butch Walker: An exclusive stream
Michael Jackson: Lenny Kravitz confirms leaked ‘collaboration’ is genuine

Photo credit: Pierre Vinet

The Chipettes' 'Single Ladies': Worst novelty song since Crazy Frog?

For reasons that lie somewhat beyond my comprehension, the soundtrack to the Alvin and the Chipmunks “Squeakquel” — including the monstrosity embedded above — looks set to enter the Top 10 this week (according to Hits). That’s more than Carrie Underwood, more than Rihanna, more than both Glee compilations. More than John Mayer. More than almost literally every listenable musical artist on the planet, a category in which I am generously including the Black Eyed Peas. If you have bought the soundtrack to the “Squeakquel,” I am obviously curious to know why…

…but I think I am more curious about the following poll:

If this were 1989, and you were the U.S. military, trying to end your standoff with deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and you could only play one song on repeat at high volume outside the embassy where Noriega was seeking refuge, which would it be?

(Please feel free to nominate your own favorite intolerable song in the comments, if you feel that neither of these would have successfully brought Noriega to his knees.) READ FULL STORY

'Avatar' theme song: Does Leona Lewis' track sound just a touch too much like 'My Heart Will Go On'?

I’m old enough to remember a time when James Cameron made Guns N’ Roses-assisted movies about killer cyborgs (see video at bottom). These days he seems to be all about love stories and big ballads. You may recall that, for Titanic, the auteur recruited Celine Dion to sing a little ditty called “My Heart Will Go On.” And now Brit songbird Leona Lewis has provided some similarly big-lunged balladeering for his forthcoming sci fi extravaganza Avatar in the form of “I See You,” which you can hear below.

Actually, to my ears, it sounds at times like Lewis is going to break into “My Heart Will Go On.” Give “I See You” a listen, and see if you agree.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Daryl Hall on his surprise Grammy nomination
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Grammy noms for Best Album: All the single ladies (and a few back-up dudes)

Grammy nomination special: The best and worst performances
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Bryan Adams pens song for new movie 'Old Dogs': Listen to the exclusive stream here!

When Bryan Adams heard the folks at Disney were using his song “The Summer of ’69” in the new comedy Old Dogs, which is released tomorrow, he called the film company’s music chief to express his gratitude. “I said,’Thanks a lot for doing that,’  recalls the Canadian singer-songwriter, “He goes, ‘Hey, by the way, can you write me an original song?’ He told me a little bit about the movie, that Robin Williams and John Travolta are great friends, and then I sent him a song. Simple as that!” The track, which you can exclusively hear below, is a breezy number called “You’ve Been a Friend to Me.” Adams says that he was influenced by having spent most of the year doing acoustic shows: “The song’s got quite an acoustic swing to it, because that’s the instrument I’m using right now.”

Adams has contributed songs to numerous movies. Notably, his single “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” became a global smash in large part thanks to its appearance in the 1991 Kevin Costner action-romp Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. According to the Music Mix’s records, the song was a number one in Britain for seven years straight. “It’s still number one!” laughs Adams. “Actually, it was 16 weeks. I can remember my record company saying to me, ‘Listen, we have to pull the single, because we want to focus on the album. I said, ‘Just leave it’. I mean people were buying that record that never buy records. It struck a chord with people out there in the world that in some cases didn’t even speak English!”

Can you speak English? And, if not, how are you understanding this? Regardless, give a listen to Mr Adams’ newie, and tell us what you think.

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Aerosmith exclusive: Joe Perry denies Venezuelan singer rumors
Jennifer Lopez on AMAs fall: ‘I meant to do that!’

Adam Lambert at the AMAs: Simulated fellatio, bikini-area snapping, and makeout sessions. But what about the vocals?
Rihanna’s AMAs comeback performance: How did she do?

Charlotte Gainsbourg's new video with Beck, 'Heaven Can Wait': Welcome to the Crazydome

The video for Charlotte Gainsbourg’s new single “Heaven Can Wait,” with duet partner/producer Beck, shows that the French singer/actress might be nursing some surrealist scars from her lead role in Lars Von Trier’s latest film, Antichrist.

Nothing in this clip smacks of the dizzying, disturbing sexual violence in that controversial work, but it is full of cheeky visual non sequiturs that take you to that slow-motion “I just drank a bottle of cough syrup” world. The song itself is a low-key, Sunday afternoon pop song, not unlike Kill the Moonlight-era Spoon, but with more of a hangover:

Alt iconolast Beck keeps Charlotte company throughout the video and shows off a new clean-cut look: he is finally the kind of indie weirdo you can bring home to mom. The two of them meander through a world of slo-mo tennis/target practice, sleepovers, swimming pools and shotguns, mouthing lyrics about “trying to drive that escalator into the ground.” They even encounter a spaceman with a pancake-stack head, clearly a regular customer at the Intergalactic House of Pancakes.

What do you think, readers—is it good Maya Deren-esque fun? Or is its weirdness a little too contrived?

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Norah Jones: Current listening
Peter Gabriel covers Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Regina Spektor: When rock worlds collide
Neil Young’s ‘One of These Days': An EW exclusive stream from his new live album
New Grizzly Bear video ‘Ready, Able’: Viva la claymation
Solange covers the Dirty Projectors, delivers little bit of awesome

Miley Cyrus not a 'Twilight' fan: 'I've never seen it, nor will I ever'

It’s like the Easter bunny just pooped on a unicorn. Miley Cyrus, tween America’s pole-prancing, party-in-the-U.S.A.-ing overlord, wants nothing to do with Twilight—arguably the only pop cultural benchmark more important to her target demographic than her own multi-media empire.

“I’ve never seen [Twilight], and nor will I ever,” she tells Ohio radio station Q92 in a filmed backstage interview. “I don’t believe in it—I don’t believe in it. I don’t like vampires, I don’t like any of the stuff, like the wolf that pops out of the screen when I’m watching my TV at night. I don’t like it, I don’t want anything to do with it. I don’t like the shirts, any of it.”

Watch the clip after the jump, beginning just before the one-minute mark:

READ FULL STORY

Robert Pattinson thinks 'Twilight' mania is 'perhaps close' to what the Beatles went through

Oh, there’s no business like quote business. Last night, swoopy-haired Twilight star Robert Pattinson spoke to EW’s Carrie Bell at the New Moon premiere in Los Angeles—and linked the name of his vampire franchise with arguably the biggest four-pronged pop landmark of the last 50 years: John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

“You can’t prepare for this. It is just insane,” he said of the well-documented, culture-saturating Twi-frenzy. “I don’t know how the Beatles felt, but I imagine it was perhaps close to this. I think very few human beings will ever get to experience the same feelings and love we feel at Twilight events.”

Though his undoubtedly innocent (and not without merit) comparison is guaranteed to be reduced to breathless “Rob P sayz Twilight = Beatles OMGEEE!!” pull quotes out there in the LOL-osphere, it’s good to remember that John Lennon himself once got into pretty hot soup (record burnings, show cancellations, even death threats) for his infamous “We’re more popular than Jesus” quote back in 1966, at the height of Beatlemania.

Like nearly all pop cultural phenomena, the reign of Edward and Bella et al. will surely wane eventually, though not before a few more sequels—and a few million references in press outlets (this one included). But does it saturate our media and engage young people in part because there’s a dearth of that kind of lightning-rod star power in music now, or even the type of pop-radio mono-culture to support it?

Can a Beyonce or Lady Gaga, let alone a four-piece rock band, ever hope to be as culturally paramount as the Fab Four were (and one could argue, continue to be), and Twilight is today? And years from now, how will the Twi-team be judged by history—Pet Rock or Beatles-level monolith?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
New Lady Gaga, ‘Telephone’: Stream it here
Mariah Carey’s ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’ video: Play ball!
Rihanna’s violent, disturbing ‘Russian Roulette’ video: How dark is too dark?
Chris Brown’s “Crawl” video: He feels remorseful about a lost love. Do you care?
‘Glee: The Music, Vol. 2′ track listing revealed!
Solange covers the Dirty Projectors, delivers a little bit of awesome

Movie theme songs: What are the best and worst of all time?

The BBC reports today that Leona Lewis has been tapped to sing the theme song to James Cameron’s upcoming I-see-blue-people sci-fi epic Avatar, with the help of James Horner and Simon Franglen, the team who blessed/bedeviled the world with Celine Dion’s deathless chest-pounder “My Heart Will Go On” for Cameron’s Titanic back in 1997.

While Lewis prepares to bust her wing span on whatever the outer-space equivalent is of a ship’s prow, we’re compelled to take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly in movie theme songs, including—cue coyote flute— soundtrack king Ennio Morricone’s actual theme song for the 1966 Clint Eastwood spaghetti-western classic The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

There’s great schlock (Whitney’s Bodyguard epic “I Will Always Love You”; Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds,” for the 1984 movie of the same name; Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ Dirty Dancing duet, “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life”;), and schlock schlock (Aerosmith’s execrable Armageddon smash “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” Bryan Adams’ Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves mom-slayer “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”). READ FULL STORY

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