TIME Television

Watch The Voice Coaches Perform Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’

Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams welcome back Christina Aguilera

The Voice kicks off Season 8 on Feb. 23 with Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams welcoming back coach Christina Aguilera.

The coaches open the season premiere with a performance of Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” and EW has an exclusive clip of the collaboration.

 

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Music

Blur Is Releasing Their First New Album in 12 Years

The band also released a new song, "Go Out Now"

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Blur surprised fans this morning by announcing that they will be releasing their first new album in 12 years.

The Brit-pop band, best known for songs like “Blue Jeans” and “The Universal,” came out of presumed retirement today when they made the announcement at a press conference that their eighth album, The Magic Whip, is due April 27. It is available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon now.

Blur rose to fame in the early ’90s alongside other swoon-worthy bands like Oasis and Pulp who were part of the wave of British alt-pop bands sailing onto U.S. airwaves. Unlike Oasis, though, Blur hadn’t officially broken up nor had they released any new music in years; instead, they toured the festival circuit playing their greatest hits. But today, in a press conference hosted by famed BBC presenter Zane Lowe, live-streamed on Facebook, the band’s singer Damon Albarn admitted that the band needed to return to the studio: “I really felt at the end of the last gigs that that was it. There was no way we could do another gig without another album.”

Albarn described their new album’s sound as “urban” and said it drew on the work created by David Bowie in Berlin in the mid-70s. The first track from The Magic Whip is a dark synth-heavy track called “Go Out,” which bodes well for the band’s evolution.

The band also tweeted out the first look at the album’s cover art:

 

TIME movies

Go Inside the London Costume Shop Oscar-Winning Designers Rely On

Angels the Costumiers

London shop Angels the Costumiers has been supplying costumes to award-winning films for decades

The Oscar nominees for this year’s Best Costume Design award represent a diverse bunch of films populated with princesses, witches, hotel porters and aristocrats. Yet there’s one thing that most of them have in common: Angels.

The London-based company Angels the Costumiers has strong ties to the film industry and has provided ensembles for four of the five films nominated in the costume category this year: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Into the Woods, Maleficent and Mr. Turner. (Inherent Vice’s designer Mark Bridges received the fifth nod.)

Yet this year’s crop of award-nominated films isn’t an anomaly for Angels’ clients. The company has worked on a total of 35 films that have won Best Costume Oscars — a figure that could change to 36 come Sunday — as well as many more prestige films that took home awards in other categories.

The company, which was established in 1840 by Morris Angel, first made its name providing costumes to London’s theater industry. A century later, the company — which is still run by the Angel family today — began working with the television and film industries; since then, they’ve provided frocks on Downton Abbey, kilts in Braveheart and the military uniforms in the upcoming Dad’s Army remake.

Angels the CostumiersMel Gibson’s William Wallace costume from Braveheart

 

Of course, Angels isn’t the only costume supplier that Hollywood can turn to. For example, Western Costume Company, in Los Angeles, has also been supplying costumes to studios for decades and has outfitted some major films, including Gone with the Wind and Roots. Jeremy Angel, Angels’ creative director, admits that Western is a competitor for film work — Western’s proximity to Hollywood surely helps — though he quickly adds, “There’s no one who competes on the size that we do, on the range.”

Today Angels has two shops, one in central London, which rents out costumes to the public for parties or events, and the other, which houses the majority of the Angels collection, in north London. The latter shop includes a warehouse that Angel told me on a recent tour holds more than five million pieces of clothing — or eight miles worth of racks.

Those racks of garments — not to mention the boxes of shoes, shelves of hats and cases of jewelry — are essential when a designer comes to Angels to outfit a film. While some designers are looking for brand new, customized costumes for their cast, others are happy to select from the smorgasbord of silk, lace, canvas and linens that Angels already has in stock. “Every single customer we have is completely different,” says Angel. “So we have to be able to adapt.”

Yet taking care of such a large collection is also a huge task. Special vents keep the warehouse cool, and the collection is treated to a bi-weekly fumigation process to prevent damage.

Angels also employs a staff of around 120 and has well-trained tailoring and alterations teams. Their staff are skilled at altering costumes to fit certain actors without actually cutting or permanently changing the garments so they may be used again. They’re also able to make costumes from scratch, tailored to an actor’s specific measurements. The company keeps old ledgers, dating back decades, with the measurements of actors like Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery.

Angels the CostumiersAlec Guinness’ Obi Wan Kenobi costume from Star Wars

The skill and attention to detail required to work with film costumes has proved to be a great breeding ground for designers themselves. The late Alexander McQueen once worked in Angels’ tailoring department; Angel says that his staff are routinely being “poached” to work directly on film sets.

And though the accolades for best costumes are actually awarded to the designer, not the suppliers of the costumes, Angel says they still take a lot of pride in the awards — especially when the designer happens to be a former employee. Jacqueline Durran, the designer who has been nominated for Mr. Turner this year, won the Oscar for Anna Karenina in 2013; Angel proudly says that “she used to work for us.” He and the rest of the staff take it as a mark of validation that former employees continue to come back to Angels as customers.

With the odds stacked in their favor, it seems likely that Angels will be able to add another Oscar win to their total on Sunday. Yet even if one of their films does win, they’re not likely to get much public credit for it — Angel says they’ve never received a shout-out in an acceptance speech before. But if the lack of fanfare from designers for the company’s work rankles, Angel doesn’t let on. He says they are “proud” of their films’ nominations, and delighted whenever there is a win, but, for the most part, Angels are already focused on sewing up their next films.

TIME movies

Here’s Who Will Win at the Oscars

While some winners are all but decided, the biggest prize of the night is tough to call

Three of the four acting contests are sewn up, and the fourth (Best Actor) is reaching mathematical certitude. The Best Director prize looks to be won by a Mexican for the second straight year. But when the Academy Awards air on Feb. 22, on ABC with host Neil Patrick Harris, the Best Picture category will make this one of the cloudiest Oscar races in ages.

The top contenders are trickster endeavors, each filmed in 30-some days: Birdman, which pretends to be a single shot lasting nearly two hours, and Boyhood, which spans 12 years of a Texas lad’s life. Earlier awards from the most influential Hollywood guilds—Producers, Directors and Screen Actors—give Birdman the edge: no film that failed to take at least one of these awards has won Oscar’s top prize since 1996, when Braveheart defeated the guilds’ favorite Apollo 13. Then again, the British Academy (BAFTA) has picked the “correct” film for the past six years. And this time, BAFTA chose Boyhood.

Hovering above these two acclaimed movies is the (red state) elephant on the ballot: American Sniper, which has earned more at the domestic box office than the other seven Best Picture nominees combined. But it won’t win. The Academy voters typically prefer to honor a socially relevant artistic triumph (12 Years a Slave last year, The Hurt Locker five years ago) over a crowd pleaser of distinction (Gravity, Avatar).

Here, then, are my picks for which films, filmmakers and stars will carry home 8½ lb. of Motion Picture Academy love from the 87th annual awards.

TIME Television

Watch Will Smith Perform ‘Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It’ on the Late Show with David Letterman

And he tries to get David Letterman to do it too

Will Smith may be more of an actor than a rapper these days, but when he’s out promoting a movie, he seems like he is always happy to drop a few verses on an always-appreciative audience.

On Wednesday night, he stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman and showed off his still-fresh skills with some solid bars of his old-school rap classic, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” with Paul Shaffer and the Late Show band backing him up.

This latest walk down memory lane comes a few weeks after Smith beatboxed “It Takes Two” with Jimmy Fallon over an iPad app on The Tonight Show.

See the full clip below:

TIME celebrities

Bill Cosby ‘Applauds’ Eddie Murphy For Not Playing Him on SNL Sketch

Actor accused of sexual assault "very appreciative" of Murphy's alleged refusal

Bill Cosby has publicly thanked Eddie Murphy for declining to play the comedian — who has been accused of sexual assault by more than 20 women — in Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary special this weekend.

Cosby’s spokesperson said he was “very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions,” NBC reports.

Norm Macdonald tweeted that he had asked Murphy to play Cosby during a Celebrity Jeopardy sketch, but said Murphy refused:

Kenan Thompson played Cosby instead.

Read next: 5 Essential Moments from SNL‘s 40th Anniversary Special

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME movies

Everything You Need to Know About This Year’s Oscars

The complete rundown for the 87th Academy Awards

Favorites have already emerged in many of the Oscar categories this year, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few surprises when the awards show airs Sunday at 8:30 p.m. E.T. on ABC. From the battle of Birdman vs. Boyhood to a handful of mystery performances, the 87th Academy Awards promise to be eventful—if a little predictable.

Who’s hosting? Neil Patrick Harris makes his debut running the show, though he’s had good practice—he kicked off the 82nd awards with the opening number “No One Wants to Do It Alone.” This time around, he’ll perform a song by the Frozen duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez called “Moving Pictures.” Harris got good reviews for his previous hosting gigs at the Emmys and the Tonys, so this one should go off without a hitch.

Who else is performing? As usual, each of the nominees for Best Original Song will be performed: That means Adam Levine with “Lost Stars” (from Begin Again), Common and John Legend with “Glory” (Selma), Rita Ora with “Grateful” (Beyond the Lights), Tim McGraw with “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me) and Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island with “Everything Is Awesome” (The Lego Movie). We’ll also see special performances from Lady Gaga, Jack Black, Jennifer Hudson and Anna Kendrick, but producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan haven’t released specifics on their sequences.

Who’s expected to win? Boyhood and Birdman will duke it out for Best Picture, with their respective directors Richard Linklater and Alejandro González Iñárritu neck and neck for Best Director. Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette are widely perceived to have locks on Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for Still Alice and Boyhood, respectively. While there’s a contingency pushing for Michael Keaton to take home the Best Actor statue for Birdman, Eddie Redmayne still looks like the safest bet for his turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. J.K. Simmons is all but a sure thing as Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash. For a more comprehensive take, see TIME’s predictions courtesy of film critic Richard Corliss.

MORE Oscars 2015: See the Full List of Nominees

Any notable presenters? John Travolta will be back despite—or perhaps because of—his flubbing Idina Menzel’s name as “Adele Dazeem” last year, a decision TIME’s Daniel D’Addario calls “the most brilliant move the producers could have made.” Others on the long list include Dakota Johnson, fresh out of the spotlight for the Fifty Shades of Grey release, and Selma star David Oyelowo—despite the fact that he was snubbed in the Best Actor category.

Other big snubs? Oyelowo’s director Ava DuVernay would have been the first black woman to be nominated in the Best Director category; it’s an oversight that feels all the more noteworthy given that the MLK biopic was released during a historical moment when American race relations have been particularly fraught. On a lighter note: Fans were stunned when The Lego Movie didn’t get nominated for Best Animated Feature, since many had predicted it would win. Other conspicuous omissions include Clint Eastwood for his American Sniper directing, Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler, Jennifer Aniston for Cake and Amy Adams for Big Eyes, a performance that won her a Golden Globe. A Most Violent Year, Gone Girl and Unbroken were also expected to get more love from the Academy.

Get ready for surprise performances, upsets, and maybe even a moment that lives up to last year’s epic selfie. The red carpet special starts at 7 p.m. EST.

TIME Bizarre

Kentucky Police Blame Cold Weather On … Elsa From Frozen

Frozen
Disney

"Suspect is a blonde female last seen wearing a long blue dress and is known to burst into song 'Let it Go!'"

Cold weather hasn’t stopped a Kentucky police department from showing its sense of humor.

The Harlan City Police Department posted on its Facebook page Wednesday that it blamed poor weather on Elsa from Frozen, and that it had taken out a warrant for the snow princess’ arrest.

For the uninitiated, Elsa possesses the magical power to create snow and ice.

Shortly after, the Harlan police posted another message warning residents that, joking aside, the weather was still serious business.

While we might not be able to blame Elsa for the weather, how about issuing an arrest warrant for getting “Let It Go” stuck in our heads for the past year and a half?

TIME Television

How Cable Networks Are Cramming More Ads in Your Favorite Shows

Getty Images

Here's why Kramer, Jerry and George might sound as if they've been inhaling helium

Cable TV networks have found a new way to stuff more commercials into reruns of old TV shows and movies without extending the run time: they’re literally speeding them up.

Networks TBS and TNT have used compression technology to shorten programming, the Wall Street Journal reports. TBS has sped up crowd pleasers from Seinfeld reruns to the movie The Wizard of Oz, and TNT has done the same with Friends. The most discernible impact on the viewer is that the characters’ voices are a notch higher.

Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman said of the practice: ““It feels wrong. It is not how it was shot, written or imagined. It wasn’t meant to be that way, so don’t make it that way.”

But the networks are trying to offset shrinking ad revenue. “It is a way to keep the revenue from going down as much as the ratings,” one top executive at a major cable programmer told the WSJ. “The only way we can do it is to double down and stretch the unit load a little more.”

According to Nielsen, the average commercial time on cable TV per hour has increased to 15.8 minutes in 2014 from 14.5 minutes five years ago, with networks such as MTV, TV Land and Spike now containing over 20 minutes of non-programming content an hour.

TIME Books

Eleanor & Park Author Rainbow Rowell Talks Fifty Shades and Franzen

Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell

The author is headed to BookCon in May to talk about her upcoming novel, Carry On

What do you call a work of fiction about another work of fiction that first appeared inside another work of fiction? You might say fanfiction, had Rainbow Rowell not written all three. The acclaimed author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl just announced she’s headed to BookCon on May 30 to discuss with Tumblr’s Rachel Fershleiser her upcoming fantasy novel, Carry On, and its unusual origins.

The novel, out in October, follows a young magician at a Hogwarts-like school named Simon Snow, and he’s already familiar to Rowell’s readers. The protagonist of 2013’s Fangirl, Cath, was obsessed with a massively popular fictional book series about the adventures of Simon Snow; parts of the fictional series, as well as Cath’s own fanfiction, appeared throughout Fangirl. TIME recently spoke to Rowell about building a fantasy world from scratch, Fifty Shades of Grey and how that Eleanor & Park movie is coming along.

TIME: So what do you call a book like this?
Rainbow Rowell: I think it’s just straight-up fiction. Some people have said, “Oh, you’re writing fanfiction for your own book!” I don’t think it’s fanfiction, I think it’s more like canon! Because even though Simon Snow is fictional inside of Fangirl, I still had to make him up. He still feels like he’s my character.

What’s it like writing your first fantasy novel?
I’ve always read so much fantasy and science fiction, but before Fangirl I didn’t think I could write fantasy. Maybe because I worked at a newspaper for so long, I didn’t feel I could let go like that. When I wrote Fangirl, writing the Simon Snow parts were my favorite parts, and they came really easily. Nobody said, “This fantasy part sucks!” So I thought, “Maybe I could do this.” My brain was ready to go there.

Did Carry On emerge from the leftover Simon Snow segments that went unused in Fangirl?
They didn’t really make it into the book. The Simon Snow I was writing in Fangirl was a different Simon Snow. When I was writing as [fictional Simon Snow author] Gemma T. Leslie, I envisioned this feeling of British children’s literature and had a very traditional middle-grade voice. When I was writing Cath, it was more of what a talented teenage girl writing romantic fantasy would do. Neither of those voices are me. When I started writing my own Simon Snow, it was more what I would do with this character.

The characters of Simon Snow play a small part in Fangirl, but from the fanart and fanfiction created about them, they’re just as beloved as your other characters.
For people in fandom, that’s actually ideal. Sometimes the characters that people love most in fandom are characters like Draco Malfoy. You can do a lot with Draco Malfoy because there’s not much Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter books. You get some of him, but there’s so much to fill in.

I’d imagine that building out a magical world where anything goes would be incredibly fun but also overwhelming.
Anything goes, but you also don’t want your world and your magic to be just like someone else’s. I would think, what sort of magical things are community property, that every fantasy story has? And what is too much like that book I read in sixth grade? I would get stuck and have to remind myself that I don’t really know how the magic works in my favorite fantasy stories. I don’t really know how the Force works, and when George Lucas tried to explain it to me, that was very disappointing. I get really confused if I talk specifically about the magic in Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. I try not to get too bogged down about how it works. It’s magic! There’s no rational explanation to magic! I just tried to be consistent. When it breaks down is when you break your own rules.

Has the public perception of fandom and fanfiction changed since Fangirl came out?
It was already changing. It’s such a huge and a popular thing that I don’t think it was going to stay counter-culture and quiet. When I wrote Fangirl I had to explain what fanfiction was to a lot of people, and I don’t have to explain that much [today]. That will continue because the Harry Potter generation is growing up. The Harry Potter generation is the generation where fanfiction really became a big deal. Even if you weren’t writing fanfiction yourself, you know it’s there, you’re just much more fluent in the internet. And in its way, Fifty Shades of Grey introduced a lot of people to the concept of fanfiction, even if they got the wrong idea.

You obviously aren’t freaked out about fanfiction the way some authors are, but does something like Fifty Shades of Grey make you nervous — that someone could go in a direction you maybe wouldn’t approve of, one that could eclipse your own work?
If no one told you this is Twilight fanfiction, in my opinion, you would never know that those characters are Bella and Edward. I don’t know how Stephenie Meyer feels. Maybe she feels it’s too close. I felt like that seed had been planted pretty far away from the source material.

I don’t think ideas are as clean and separate as we think they are. Everything is derivative in a way. What you write is often a reaction or a response to the things you’ve read. I’ve read fantasy my whole life, so when I first sat down to write a fantasy novel, I was responding to all of these concepts of what it meant to be the chosen one, what it meant to have the gift and responsibility of magic. Definitely there is fanfiction that takes my characters in a direction that I wouldn’t intend for them — almost all fanfiction. They’re taking it away from the path that I’ve charted. It doesn’t really bother me.

Did you see Jonathan Franzen’s comments last week about young-adult fiction being “moral simplicity”? What did you think?
I didn’t see his quote, so I hate to respond to a quote that I didn’t see, but it’s a common thing to say. If he said that, he’s not alone in saying that. I don’t think people would be saying that if YA wasn’t popular right now. A lot of people look at something popular, and they’re dismissive of it because they don’t understand it. If you think YA is simple, you probably haven’t read a lot of it. But YA is not a genre. It’s just this really loosely defined category of books. If YA had always been this popular category, a lot of books we think of as classics would be YA. The Catcher in the Rye? Without question. Also, I don’t know that people just read YA. So I don’t know what he says, but I’m familiar with the argument.

How is writing the screenplay for Eleanor & Park?
I have finished a first draft, and DreamWorks is talking to a possible director.

Does adapting your own book feel like doing surgery on your own children, as I’ve heard one author describe it?
It felt more like trying to like transmogrify a dog into a cat and keeping it alive. I think it would be easier to adapt someone else’s novel or write a screenplay from scratch. It was difficult, and I’m sure it will continue to change. It’s just like learning how to do it on the job. Eleanor and Park is a tricky book because almost everything happens internally. There’s a lot unsaid. I had to figure out how to show it in the screenplay, but whoever directs the film will ultimately make those decisions. A movie belongs to a director much more to a screenwriter.

Will you be on set and involved in casting in the way John Green is with the movie versions of his books?
That really depends on the movie company and the director and how involved they want me to be. It’s someone else’s party. There are some directors who find the author really helpful, and there are others who are like, “I need to stay fresh and do my own thing.” Which I would understand because the director of the film has a completely different job. So I’m for it, I’d love to be involved. What I want is a director who really can make it happen. I want that more than I want to be involved.

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