Oscars 2014 Music Recap: Jared Leto, U2, Karen O, Vampire Weekend

Jared letoThe Oscars may not have been as music-packed as January’s Grammy Awards, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t room for a couple stand-out performances, and even a little award action for 30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto.

Just months after receiving a Golden Globe for best supporting actor, 30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto won an Oscar under the same category for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. In his acceptance speech, Leto not only thanked his mother, but “all the dreamers out there,” mentioning Ukraine and Venezuela, as he said “we are here and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight.”

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig performed a beautiful rendition of their track, “The Moon Song” from Her. The track was up against “Happy” from Despicable Me 2, “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, “Let It Go” from Frozen, and “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the film of the same name.

Also taking the stage was U2 with a performance of “Ordinary Love.” No strangers to being Oscar nominees (the band was nominated in 2003 for “The Hands That Built America”), the band gave a moving performance, playing against a backdrop of photos of the late Nelson Mandela.
You can view a full list of the evening’s winners here.
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Golden Globe 2014 Winners: Jared Leto, U2, Alex Ebert

Golden GlobesSunday night’s 71st annual Golden Globe awards saw quite a few winners from the music world, including Jared Leto, U2 and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Leto, well-known to music fans for his work in 30 Seconds To Mars, took home the award for Supporting Actor in Dallas Buyers Club, while Ebert received the Best Original Score award for his work with J.C. Chandor‘s All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford.

In one of the more moving speeches of the evening, U2’s Bono honored the late Nelson Mandela when awarded the Best Original Song trophy for their track “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

In the band’s acceptance speech, Bono said, “This really is personal, very very personal. This man turned our life upside down, right side up. A man who refused to hate but he thought love would do a better job. We wrote a love song because its kind of what’s extraordinary about the film. It’s a dysfunctional love story.”

You can view the full list of winners below.

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30 Seconds To Mars Announce Documentary Release Date

Jared Leto may still be reveling in the buzz from his latest performance in Dallas Buyers Club, but the Thirty Seconds To Mars frontman is wasting no time in gearing up for the release of Artifact, a documentary that follows the band’s 2008 attempt to void their contract with music giants EMI after the label sued them for $30 million. You can see the trailer after the jump.

Speaking about the film, Leto said, “I hope that artists and audiences watch this film and get a greater understanding of how things really work in the record industry, because understanding is the beginning of change. And whether they like it or not, change is coming. We battled a massive record corporation, challenged an entire industry, fought for our creative lives, and it was worth every single second. We put everything we had worked so hard for on the line. It was life or death. It was war.
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30 Seconds To Mars Release "Do Or Die" Video

Jared Leto‘s 30 Seconds To Mars have debuted the official video for their latest single, “Do Or Die.”

The video for the latest single to surface off May’s Love Lust Faith + Dream finds the band pushing further their cinematic visuals. The clip opens with a young man describing the death of his father, and how listening to 30STM made him feel better during dark times. It sounds bleak, but in context is quite uplifting. From there, the footage moves to a montage of 30STM performances from around the globe, each seemingly bigger than the last. You can view the video below.

30 Seconds to Mars may not be atop the rock charts stateside, but it’s clear from watching this clip that their reign over music is going quite well globally. If you like what you hear in the video, please make sure you support 30STM whenever time and finances allow. (more…)

Thirty Seconds To Mars Stream 'Love Lust Faith + Dreams'

Alternative rock act Thirty Seconds To Mars have released a stream of their forthcoming album, Love Lust Faith + Dreams.

A long-awaited release, the latest from Thirty Seconds To Mars finds the Jared Leto fronted band again pushing the boundaries of contemporary rock and roll. 30STM have never been a group to deliver something trendy, rather they prefer to set the trends, and with Love Lust Faith + Dreams they might just inspire a new wave a bands to arise from the grey of unsigned nothingness. You can stream the effort here (or at the end of this post).

Love Lust Faith + Dreams hits stores next week. Will you be picking it up? (more…)

Sound And Vision: It's the Same Old Song for Thespians Who Sing — and Chances Are It's Not a Hit!

Though Susan Boyle helped make music’s mainstream safer for the mature crowd, her chart-life-begins-at-nearly fifty success story remains a rarity. But perhaps in the case of Jeff Bridges, who won an Oscar for playing an alcoholic country singer in Crazy Heart, a music star could have been born at the ripe old age of 61. Alas, it was not to be. His debut album, Jeff Bridges, entered Billboard’s Top 200 album chart at No. 25 the week after its August 16 release and then tumbled to No. 58.

Thankfully, Bridges is in no danger of losing his day job.

These are hard times for actors and actresses moonlighting as recording artists. Back in the ’80s, the biggest movie stars usually were guaranteed at least one big pop hit if they bothered to try. Eddie Murphy, Bruce Willis, Don Johnson and Patrick Swayze all did, and each managed one trip to the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100. But that was then. By the ’90s, mega-stars like Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves and Russell Crowe were forming rock bands that went nowhere on the charts.

More recently, Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars has approached a level of heat commensurate with that of his acting career (which, considering his overall filmography, isn’t as impressive as it might sound), but there hasn’t been a movie star who’s been able to consistently score on the music charts since Jennifer Lopez made her seamless transition to pop diva in 1999 with the No. 1 hit “If You Had My Love.”

A handful of TV stars have done slightly better. Just in time for the September 18 Emmys, House star Hugh Laurie, an Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series nominee, sees his debut album, Let Them Talk (produced by Joe Henry, Madonna’s talented brother-in-law, and released in the U.S. on September 6, months after its successful spring launch in Europe), enter the Billboard Top 200 album chart at No. 16. Meanwhile, the single “Police Dog Blues” debuts at No. 58 on the Hot 100 — respectable, if not spectacular. But does his chart career have long-term potential? At first, Hilary Duff‘s seemed to, but her music career stalled nearly a half-decade ago (her one-time nemesis Lindsay Lohan‘s never really took off), and Miley Cyrus, who had to make her initial cross-over to pop as her small-screen alter-ego Hannah Montana, is in flux after tanking last year with Can’t Be Tamed.

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