TIME Television

Weezer Front Man Rivers Cuomo Has Inspired a New Sitcom at Fox

Rivers Cuomo
Rivers Cuomo of Weezer Owen Sweeney—Invision/AP

A show about a 30-something rock star from the creator of Psych got a pilot order

Say it is so: Fox Broadcasting Co. has ordered a pilot of a sitcom based on the life Weezer front man Rivers Cuomo.

DeToured will follow a fictional musician who decides to give up his rock-star lifestyle for normalcy, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Cuomo made a similar move several years ago when he took time off to study full-time at Harvard, where he chose to live in student housing and try out for extracurricular activities like a regular college kid.

Psych creator Steve Franks will write and executive-produce the project. Cuomo and his band, meanwhile, will release their next studio album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, on Oct. 7.

[THR]

TIME Music

Here Are 4 Things We Want in YouTube’s New Music Streaming Service

Google Holds Event For Creators At YouTube Tokyo Space
Google Inc.'s YouTube logo is displayed on a wall as video creators participate in a workshop as part of the YouTube Partner Program at the company's YouTube Space studio in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday, March 30, 2013. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

It seems that YouTube’s oft-delayed subscription music streaming service may soon see the light of day. The service was slated to launch by the end of the summer, the Financial Times reported in June, and Android Police recently leaked images purported to be from the new platform, which it said is currently called YouTube Music Key. The streaming service was originally expected to launch late last year, but has faced roadblocks involving royalty negotiations with independent labels, among other snags.

So far, Google has been tight-lipped about exactly what features will differentiate vanilla YouTube, this new paid service (expected to cost $9.99 per month) and Google’s other music subscription service, Google Play Music All Access. All we know for sure is that, as with most other streaming services, the paid version of YouTube will be stripped of ads. If the new service takes advantage of the reasons people already love YouTube, though, it could outshine current streaming heavyweights like Spotify and Beats Music.

Here’s what we’d like to see from YouTube’s foray into paid streaming:

Access to Covers, Remixes and Mixtapes

YouTube’s biggest advantage over other music-listening platforms is its sheer size. People upload 100 hours worth of content to the website each minute, and the vast majority of its most popular videos relate to music. YouTube Music Key is expected to take advantage of this scale by pulling in covers, remixes, parodies and unofficial singles and mixtapes to complement the record label-approved content that populates other streaming services. That means an up-and-coming artist like Chance the Rapper, who has released two acclaimed independent mixtapes you can’t access on Spotify, could be easier to discover on YouTube’s new service.

Quality Playlists

Playlists are a given function of any streaming service, but they can vary widely in quality. YouTube already has a playlist function called YouTube Mix, which automatically generates a playlist to follow any popular video based on what other users clicked after watching it. That’s a nice start, but we’d also like to see lists picked by experts, like with Beats, or organized around specific times of day or activities, like with Songza.

A Strong Social Component

One of the highlights of Spotify is its integration with Facebook, which allows users to track their friends’ listening habits and build collaborative playlists with them. Google, with its wide array of services that are linked by universal company accounts, has a similar ability to connect friends seamlessly.

Tight Integration with Google’s Other Music Services

YouTube Music Key will actually be Google’s third subscription music service, following in the footsteps of Google Play Music All Access and the recently-acquired Songza. It’s still not clear why Google needs three of these things, but they might as well let users to enjoy the benefits of all of them under a single subscription. In particular, Play Music All Access’s uploading feature, which allows people to save songs from their personal libraries in the cloud and then access them from any device, would be a killer way to make the YouTube music service catalogue essentially limitless.

TIME Music

Watch Grimes’ Totally Insane Video for ‘Go,’ Inspired by Dante’s ‘Inferno’

The electro-pop artist takes you through her personal circles of Hell

+ READ ARTICLE

Canadian producer and electro-pop singer Grimes, born Claire Boucher, originally wrote the song “Go” for Rihanna — but it was turned down. Though RiRi probably would have taken it and made it awesome, the way things turned out is just fine. Grimes and collaborator Blood Diamonds decided to claim the track for themselves, releasing it in June. In her hands, the track features screams and drops and echoes; it’s dreamy and it’s weird and works wonderfully.

Now, the song has a video to go with it, it’s completely nuts. Like, next-level crazy — and we mean that in a good way.

The video, co-directed by Grimes and her brother Mac, was inspired by Dante’s Inferno, as she explains on her Tumblr. The different scenes represent a contemporary take on Dante’s infamous circles of Hell. (The EDM clubbing scenes really nail it, because really, what’s more hellish than that?)

Visually, Grimes explains, the video also takes cues from X-Men, Metal Gear and Dune. You’ll also note some pretty clear Game of Thrones influence, along with dancing mimes, epic treks through sand dunes, flashing lights, fish-eye shots, and even some throwback Adidas flip-flops. Yep: this video is nuts. Watch up top.

 

 

TIME Music

Chuck Berry Honored at Polar Music Prize Ceremony in Stockholm

Chuck Berry In Concert - January 1, 2011
Chuck Berry performs at the Congress Theater on January 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Barry Brecheisen/FilmMagic

Think of it as the Nobel of the music world

Polar Music Prize laureate Chuck Berry has been honored at an awards ceremony in Sweden.

Poor health prevented the rock ‘n’ roll legend, now 87, from leaving his home outside of St. Louis to attend the event in Stockholm. But the ‘Johnny B. Goode’ singer had Welsh musician Dave Edmunds read his acceptance speech at the ceremony.

“My heart is in Sweden,” he said. “I understand what a great honor it is to be a recipient. I am sorry that I am unable to travel and receive this personally.”

The Polar Music Prize is the so-called “Nobel of the music world,” awarded annually to one recipient each from the fields of modern and classical music. The award was established 25 years ago by the manager of ABBA, Stig Anderson. Previous laureates include Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin.

Keith Richards paid tribute to Berry in a video that was played at the award ceremony. “Chuck Berry, he just leaped out of the radio at me. I ate him basically, I mean I breathed him,” he said. “If I listened to Chuck Berry, I was full for the day.”

In a statement made when announcing Berry’s award in May, the Polar Music Prize Foundation said: “Chuck Berry was the rock ’n’ roll pioneer who turned the electric guitar into the main instrument of rock music. Every riff and solo played by rock guitarists over the last 60 years contains DNA that can be traced right back to Chuck Berry.”

Berry was recognized alongside theatre and opera director Peter Sellars, who is known for bringing controversial flair to the stage. Sellars received Tuesday’s prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

TIME Music

‘Don’t Shoot': Rappers, R&B Singers Release Mike Brown Tribute Song

Money from the sale of the song will go to the Mike Brown Memorial Fund

A slew of rappers and R&B singers released a song Wednesday that pays tribute to Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed black teen shot in Missouri by police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.

The song, entitled “Don’t Shoot” features artists including The Game, Rick Ross and Diddy, all of whom speak passionately about the need for justice in the wake of the teen’s death. Its release comes only two days after Brown’s funeral and two weeks after his hometown of Ferguson exploded in protest of the police.

The Game told Rolling Stone he wanted to release the song because the issues surrounding Brown’s death really struck a chord.

“I am a black man with kids of my own that I love more than anything, and I cannot fathom a horrific tragedy like Michael Brown’s happening to them,” the rapper told Rolling Stone. “This possibility has shaken me to my core. That is why this song must be made and why it was so easy for so many of my friends to come together and unite against the injustice.

The song is available for purchase on iTunes. Funds from the song’s sales will to the Mike Brown Memorial Fund.

TIME Music

Nick Jonas: I Want a Career Like Elvis Presley

Nick Jonas
Nick Jonas rehearses in Los Angeles for his new self titled album on August 22, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. Gabriel Olsen—Getty Images

Also: his new single was inspired by a time when another guy was looking at his girlfriend's ass

Nick Jonas is redefining himself this year. The musician and actor, formerly one-third of the Jonas Brothers, will unveil an R&B-inspired solo album this fall and stars on Kingdom, a gritty TV drama about martial arts fighting. For the series, which premieres October 8 on DirectTV and also stars Frank Grillo, Jonas bulked up and learned how to fight, focusing intently on creating a role that showcased a more dramatic side of his acting abilities. His album is equally sincere, but not quite as serious, a collection of songs that reveal a new side of Jonas as a musician.

The self-titled album features collaborations with Mike Posner, Angel Haze and Demi Lovato. TIME caught up with Jonas at his management’s Los Angeles office, where he and his live band have been rehearsing the new material.

TIME: Is your new album finished?

Nick Jonas: Yeah, we’re finished. Just working on liner notes and album art now, which is the fun part. The plan is actually to roll right into another [album]. I want to get it started and ready to go hopefully in the next month or so. The mentality was to take the new way of releasing music, which is to just always have something out. It feels like a good plan.

Did you go into this album with a vision for the music?

I did. I came in really wanting to make a record that was different from anything I’d done in the past, but that was true to my influences: Stevie Wonder, Prince, Bee Gees. And then, more recently, The Weeknd and Frank Ocean. That whole vibe of alternative R&B/pop. It just fell into a really natural place really early. To the point where we were six songs in, like, “Oh, we have a record taking shape.” I came in really sure of what I wanted to do.

What did you want to say on the album lyrically?

I think that fear was a big thing in the songs I was writing. The song “Jealous” — the root of that is fear. A song called “Nothing Will Be Better” has fear at the forefront. In a lot of ways, as an artist you’re best way to free yourself of whatever it is that’s bothering you or causing the fear is to just write and get it all out. I tried to do that. I think I said a lot. I made myself uncomfortable at times in what I was saying, which I think is good. I wanted to make the kind of record that left the audience with more questions than answers. I think the best art does that. Hopefully the second installment answers some of those [questions].

You said the album poses a lot of questions. What do you think is the most significant question it asks?

One of the biggest questions is, “What is it you fear and why do you fear it and how does it affect you?” For me, it was fear of the unknown, fear of my next steps, fear of making bold choices. In creating the music and feeling free in that way, I think the questions were answered and the fear was gone. I feel really good now!

What do you think was the boldest choice you’ve made with your solo career?

Just starting it. That was pretty bold. That took a lot just to get to that place where I could have that conversation and roll it out from there. And I really did push myself to step outside of my comfort zone and work with people that I’d never worked with before. I’d become really selective with who I worked with, and I think that limited me in a lot of ways. Trying to open my mind up to new people and new collaborators was a big thing.

What’s your goal for your career overall going forward?

My goal is to be the kind of performer that can be in movies and television shows, like the show Kingdom I’m doing now. Be in that and have a career in that, but also do my music. Both are a form of my artistry and it’s a shame that sometimes you’re limited to one. A lot of people feel like you have to focus on one at a time, but I want to be greedy and do both. I hope I can. I look at people like Elvis, who did both, and it was amazing. There’s a million examples of people who have made the transition from one to the other, but I’d love to be able to do both and make an impact in both.

How did you get the role in Kingdom?

Once the [Jonas] Brothers and I finished that chapter, I met with the team and said, “I want to make acting a priority.” I took a bunch of meetings. There were a lot of obstacles to overcome, trying to make a transition to things that were grittier and had heavier subject matter. There were a lot of “no”s. I kept working hard and finally got in for this show, which is a big reach. But they said my work was great, and the role was mine. It was a big win. It’s very intense. It’s heavy. It was about an hour drive to set every day and I was so thankful for that ride because on the way home I needed an hour just to turn on some classical music and clear my head because it was really heavy stuff.

Do you know yet if it will get a second season?

We don’t know yet. We literally finished last Tuesday. We’ll probably find out after the first week.

You clearly got really fit for the role. How did you prepare physically for playing a fighter?

I’ve gotten pretty into physical fitness this last year. Getting to the gym more, eating healthier. I really enjoyed that and when I got this role the goal was to put on 15 pounds of muscle. Just to have an animalistic aesthetic and feel. These fighters have a very specific physicality so it was about trying to capture that. I worked with a trainer here in LA and did the fight training on top. I was on a really strict diet plan that had me eating about 4,500 calories a day, just getting huge.

So you actually learned how to fight?

I did, yeah! It was really amazing training. We worked with this guy Joe Daddy Stevenson, who is a famous fighters himself. We did a bootcamp with him for a couple of weeks and really got in the mind of the fighters. We all built up our own reasons why we, as our characters, were fighting.

Have you personally ever been in a fight?

No. Growing up with brothers, you push each other around and wrestle a little bit. Now they don’t really touch me, because I actually know how to handle myself.

How do your brothers feel about you pursuing your own career?

Any kind of transition, when you come from a family set up both in a band and also the extension of that, is going to be complicated at first. Luckily we’re all in a place now where we’re all doing what we want and what we love. That’s where it needed to be. So Kevin is with his family and enjoying that, and Joe is starting to work on some music projects and some DJing stuff. It feels like a really good time in all of our lives.

When you look back at the Jonas Brothers do you feel like that music represents you as an artist?

Yeah, I think so. We really tapped into a moment in pop culture that was band oriented. When we broke through it was on the back end of the pop-emo takeover. When we came into that our pop-rock sound fit. It was organic to who we were. We were writing all those songs. It was important to us then. And now, looking back on it, are there things I would have done a little differently? No, I don’t know that I would have. It was who we were then and each moment as an artist is that moment. You have to continue to grow and that happens over time.

Can you tease anything about your upcoming single “Jealous”?

The night before [we wrote it] I was out with my girl and this guy looked at her ass while we were out. I was all hyped up on the fighting I was doing. I was had to be like, “Okay, let’s stop for a minute.” Not only was I frustrated that he was disrespecting me like that, but also, I could actually take care of this situation. I got really passionate about it. I realized that jealousy was something that I was harboring so I wrote this song about it. It’s a fun song so it’s ironic that it came out of a situation that made me so angry. I love the song. The video is really special. I think it’s the best video I’ve made.

So instead of fighting people you’ll just write songs about them?

Yeah, that’s better. Make art, not war, right?

TIME Music

Lady Gaga Acts Like a Normal Person in the Video for Her Tony Bennett Duet

Watch the seemingly unlikely pair record "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" in the studio

+ READ ARTICLE

After the hot mess that was the artpop release — an album campaign so deflated it can no longer be referred to in all caps — Lady Gaga fans need a palate cleanser. Understanding this as well as anybody is Lady Gaga herself, whose upcoming duets album with jazz legend Tony Bennett takes an unexpected approach to reminding fans why they’re drawn to her in the first place.

Stripped down and no-frills in a way her solo material rarely is, Gaga’s new material would be more of a head-scratcher if her collaborator wasn’t so iconic (does anybody turn down Tony Bennett?) and if it wasn’t so well suited to her fondness for old-school showbiz. As the above video shows, she’s still fun to watch even when she’s just hanging out in the vocal both (and dressed like a relatively normal human, no less).

Cheek to Cheek, the duo’s album of jazz standards, arrives Sept. 23.

TIME Music

Jennifer Lopez Recruits Iggy Azalea for ‘Booty’ Remix

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez at the VMAs. Jordan Strauss—Invision/AP

Do she got the booty (remix)? She do!

Nicki Minaj can’t have all the fun: the “Anaconda” rapper and her posterior have broken records, held award shows hostage and inspired controversial memes, but now Jennifer Lopez, the original butt of jokes about butts, wants a piece of the action. J. Lo instructed viewers to “look for the ‘Booty’ remix” at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, and now, lo and behold, the “Booty” remix has surfaced like the great white whale of songs about butts.

Okay, not really — the track from J. Lo’s last album, A.K.A., doesn’t quite have the same ass-tronomical gravitational pull of other songs about round things in your face, but noted booty-bouncing enthusiast Iggy Azalea is now thankfully on hand (instead of original guest Pitbull) to inject the song with a little extra stuffing. Hear the track below:

TIME Music

Ariana Grande: I Do Not Always Order a Grande at Starbucks

Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande Tom Munro

Also: if she were an emoji, she would be the brunette with the dry expression, or maybe a picture of the universe

Ariana Grande could probably use a nap. She just opened the MTV Video Music Awards, dropped her sophomore album, My Everything (out Aug. 25), and starred in the new video for her Jessie J and Nicki Minaj collaboration, “Bang Bang” — all in the span of two days.

Earlier this summer, TIME caught up with Grande to get an explanation for the nonsensical lyrics of her summer hit “Break Free.” Now, read the rest of our interview with the pop star as she chats about her favorite emoji, her love of the ’90s and what people just don’t understand about her.

TIME: Did you and Iggy Azalea cause any problems on the set of the “Problem” video?

Ariana Grande: There was no mischief or pranking, but it was definitely a fun experience. She’s a lot taller — I had to stand on a box for our shots together. I [was] like, “I need a ladder over here.”

You both have signature pony tails, it must have been dangerous on set with all that whipping around.

Absolutely. There was lots of hair involved.

So what are you breaking free from in “Break Free”?

It is a great breakup song, but for me, personally, I didn’t have a boy to sing it about because I’m not breaking up with anybody. I sang it about my personal things that are holding me back, my fears, certain negativities in my life that were holding me back. Things I was afraid of like, ego and fear and all of that. I wanted to break free from all that I felt like was making me enjoy my life a little less.

It shows off your dance-diva side. What are your go-to moves in the club?

It’s hard to describe it. There’s a lot of strutting to the beat. There’s a lot of sitting down and leg-kicking and voguing and posing and hair flipping involved.

You talk to your fans a lot on Twitter. What’s the weirdest interaction you’ve had?

Oh my God, we don’t have the time, there are so many.

Please describe the emoji that best represent you.

There’s a brunette, severed head with the driest expression of all time on her face, and I really like that one. I feel like I relate to it. After that, I put the thinking bubble emoji followed by the boy emoji so it’s girl-thinking-of-boy. I really like that combination. There’s a navy blue square with stars in it, and it’s supposed to look like the universe. I really like that one as well.

Wow, you’ve actually given this a lot of thought.

Yeah, those are my go-to.

Important question: When you go Starbucks, do you always order a grande size?

No, sometimes I get that venti, you know? Some days that’s what you need in your life.

So you’re a big coffee drinker?

Yeah, I love soy lattes. Obviously I don’t have dairy because I’m a vegan, but they taste out of this world to me.

People called your last album a ‘90s throwback, but you were born in 1993. Do you even remember the 90s?

Of course I do! I wasn’t dead!

Not everyone your age does!

No, I remember so much. That was such a vivid time. I was obsessed with Missy Elliott, TLC and Eminem. Everything was so great. Nickelodeon had the best shows and the toys were dope and at P.E. time we had all the right things. I was a ‘90s kid, but I was alive, I remember things. Cartoons were great, music was great, the trends were mortifying.

Do you have a favorite ‘90s trend?

Oh my God, I don’t know. For me, the hair was so bad.

So bad it’s good? Aren’t the ‘90s back in now?

Of course. Maybe it’s more the early 2000s that are really shockingly embarrassing, fashion-wise. People had weird cornrows and light blue eyeshadows.

One reason people you love your Broadway covers of rap songs is they like hearing you swear. Do you curse a lot?

I absolutely do. I’m Italian! I wish I could less. But I don’t know why people are so shocked by me. I guess it’s because of the character I played so long being such a goody two-shoes. But I also think that people have a misrepresentation of me as a person because I’m friendly and I like to meet people and I like to talk to people and make people laugh. Sometimes people can confuse my niceness for weakness in a way — or ditziness or stupidity. But it doesn’t go hand-in-hand in that way, you know what I mean?

Yeah. What’s the biggest misconception people have about you?

Probably that. When people are shocked when they see me curse, I wish they knew my sense of humor. I have the sense of humor of a 14-year-old boy. It’s very crude. When I was 7 years old, my mom took me to see Rocky Horror. That’s just how my family is. We’re just this Italian family that loves slightly raunchy humor. Everyone sees Frankie on Big Brother, they get the idea.

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