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A note about The Interview   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

I'm taking a personal day today during the busy holiday/end-of-year season, buut should be back tomorrow.

 

Nevertheless, I did want to offer a few brief comments on the decision by Sony Pictures to cancel the release of The Interview in the face of terrorist threats.  I sort of understood the earlier decision by theater chains to cancel showing the movie. After all, they could have been legally required to beef up security in respose to such threats. And the holiday season is a significant part of theaters' business; having people stay away from the movies in December would be very tough economically on a thin-margin business that's more about selling popcorn than making apolitical statement (these factors tend to distinguish the movie theater biz from newspapers that pulled cartoons in the face of terror threats.  The studio's decision--which apparently extends to home video and to future projects--is tougher to understand, given the degree to which Hollywood likes to think it Speaks Truth to Power. Then again, Tinseltown has been pandering to the People's Republic of China and domestic interest groups for years.  Bowing to the treats of hackers aligned with North Korea is just another slidefurther down the slope.

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TVotR, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Suzanne Vega, Barr Bros, Turtles   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

ST VINCENT has shared a video for “Birth In Reverse."

TV ON THE RADIO played in front of a live audience at Apogee studios.

CYMBALS EAT GUITARS stopped by WFUV's Studio A for a chat and mini-set.

SUZANNE VEGA perform in the WNYC Soundcheck studio.

THE BARR BROTHERS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

THE DECEMBERISTS share a lyric video for "The Wrong Year."

DARLENE LOVE sings decades of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" for Letterman.

THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME announced the class of 2015.

SUN KIL MOON: Mark Kozelek looks back on his weirdest year in the public eye to date.

EX HEX  opines on some Bests of 2014 at Magnet.

FOLK ALLEY's Top 10 Folk And Americana Albums Of 2014.

BILL COSBY: The L.A. County District Attorney has rejected a case involving a woman who claims that when she was 15 the comic sexually molested her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974. But a new claim has surfaced from a woman who said she was drugged at the Playboy Mansion in 2008 and woke to find the comedian licking and kissing her toes.

SETH ROGEN & JAMES FRANCO have canceled all upcoming media appearances after the Sony hackers have threatened a 9/11-like attack on movie theaters that screen their North Korean comedy The Interview.

BRAD PITT and the kids filled in for the chickenpoxed Angelina Jolie at the premiere of her latest film, Unbroken.

MEL B: The fmr Spice Girl has walked out on her husband of seven years, Stephen Belafonte, amid fervent Internet rumors of domestic abuse, the Sun Newspaper reports.

JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS and his girlfriend, Mara Lane, are engaged.

TIM BURTON & WINONA RYDER are up for Beetlejuice 2.

THE UNITED KINGDOM: smail Abdulrahman, Muktar Said Ibrahim, Yassin Omar, and Ramzi Mohammed, who were sentenced to life in prison for an al Qaeda plot to attack London transport on July 21, 2005, two weeks after the deadly July 7 subway bombings, lost their appeals to the European Court of Human Rights.

SYRIA: The Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham, and elements of the Free Syrian Army have taken two key regime bases in Idlib province.

IRAQ: Washington believed Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi would get serious about recruiting Sunni tribes to fight the Islamic State. Now it's not so sure.

ONE TURTLE saves another.

A DEEP SEA SNAIL was named after Joe Strummer.

OWLS have acupuncture to help them recover.

PET TATTOOS and PIERCINGS have been outlawed in NYC.

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Johnny Greenwood, D'Angelo, Shovels & Rope, The Shivas, Massage Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

PANDA BEAR dropped a video for a new Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper track called “Boys Latin” on Adult Swim.

JOHNNY GREENWOOD streams the Inherent Vice soundtrack.

D'ANGELO & THE VANGUARD streams Black Messiah, which isn't really my bag, but there may be some of you late 20th century R & B fans.

SHOVELS & ROPE play a live in-studio set at KEXP.

THE SHIVAS channel vintage 1960's Northwest rock 'n' roll in this bouncy set for Audioasis.

MODEST MOUSE drops "Lampshades on Fire" off their forthcoming album Strangers to Ourselves.

CHRISSIE HYNDE drops an alternate version of the seasonal "2000 Miles."

SHE & HIM get animated for their take on "Baby, It's Cold Outside," which Zooey originally sang in Elf.

HENRY ROLLINS visits...Uzbekistan.

WKRP IN PERPETUITY: What the new Shout Factory box set says about late 70s radio.

THE 100 BEST TRACKS of 2014, according to Pitchfork.

AQUARIUM DRUNKARD's 2014 Year In Review.

CHRIS HEMSWORTH: The Manliest Man in Hollywood?

AMAL CLOONEY is  Barbara Walters' most fascinating person of 2014.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON talked to Walters about her bod, and motherhood.

CHRIS PRATT & CHANNING TATUM are planning a Ghostbusters spinoff?

GABY HOFFMAN became a mom last month when she gave birth to her first child.

SCOTT STAPP: The Creed frontman placed a call to the dean of his kid's school last month, warning that ISIS will attack the people of Florida, and he knows that because the terrorists are members of his family. Dude.

KNIGHT OF CUPS, the next picture from director Terrence Malick, has a trailer online.

AUSTRALIA: Police stormed a cafe in downtown Sydney where Man Haron Monis, an Iranian self-styled cleric and known criminal, was holding hostages for 16 hours after forcing them to display an Islamist flag at the cafe window. Monis and two hostages were killed and a number of hostages were injured; others managed to escape. During the siege, Monis, a convert from Shia to Sunni Islam, had demanded that an Islamic State flag be delivered to the cafe.

ATTACKING ISIS from a floating city.

SYRIA's army seized an area north of Aleppo on Sunday and killed insurgents as fierce battles raged over the strategic territory, a group monitoring the war and state media reported.

A CAT gives a dog a head massage. (Thx, Zoey!)

GERONIMO THE BEAVER parachuted into Idaho’s backcountry in 1950.

ROBOTUNA: The US military has been developing a robotic tuna that can infiltrate enemy territory.

WHEN COWS ATTACK: One dead in British Columbia.

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Foxygen, Honeyblood, Pat Benatar, Horse Feathers, Homework Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 15, 2014 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

FATHER JOHN MISTY drops a video for "Chateau Lobby No. 4."

FOXYGEN stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

HONEYBLOOD stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set

PAT BENATAR & NEIL GIRALDO played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

HORSE FEATHERS play a couple in the KUT studio.

GLAM CHOPS: Art Brut's Eddie Argos has a "Countdown to Christmas."

WILCO frontman Jeff Tweedy talks to The Independent about the band's 20th anniversary, and his new family band.

MICHAEL STIPE talks to CBS This Morning about R.E.M.

DOLLY PARTON talks to The Guardian about still going strong in her fifth decade of making music.

STEREOGUM's Favorite Songs of 2014.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Exodus: Gods and Kings tops the chart, but with a mere 24.5 million.The holiday season gives the Ridley Scott epic a shot at recouping its 140 million budget statside, leaving overseas markets to provide the additional 280 million it needs to reach profitability in theaters. But overall bad reviews and a B- Cinemascore suggest that may not happen, particularly with another Hobbit arriving this Wednesday, and another Night at the Museum coming Friday.  Ouch.  Mockingjay likely benefitted from the Exodus thud, as it dropped only 40 percent to place with another 13.2 million.  This Hunger Games still lads the prior installment, but is likely to profit to the tune of 400 million worldwide. The Penguins of Madagascar show with 7.3 million on a 33 percent drop; with 58.8 million domestic to date, and another 100 million overseas, this installment of the franchise seems unlikely to profit in theaters.  Top Five debuts in the fourth slot with 7.2 million against a reported 10-12.5 million budget, which means this one may well profit through the holiday season.  Beg Hero 6 rounds out the Top 5 with 6.1 million on a leggy 24 percent drop, continuing a slow rollout overseas that has earned 70 million to date.

BILL COSBY broke his silence Friday, albeit briefly, only to lecture the media on remaining “neutral” regarding the growing list of rape and sexual abuse allegations against him, and to say that his wife is standing by him.

ANGELINA JOLIE will be withdrawing from public events scheduled over the coming days due to a mild bout of chicken pox.

HAYDEN PANETTIERE is a new mom after welcoming her first child with fiancé Wladimir Klitschko on Tuesday, Dec. 9.

JOSH CHARLES is a new father after welcoming a son on Tuesday, Dec. 9.

MILEY CYRUS was hospitalized Friday night for what looks like some kind of weird flesh wound on her wrist.

EMMA WATSON and boyfriend Matthew Janney, a top rugby player for Oxford University, have gone their separate ways.

SPAIN: A High Court prosecution of 15 members of an Islamic State recruiting group in Madrid revealed that it was headed by former Guantanamo detainee Lahcen Ikassrien, who used Madrid's largest mosque as a recruitment center.

UNITED KINGDOM Defence Minister Fallon said the UK will send a few hundred troops to Iraq in January to help train Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers; the British deployment will also include a small "force protection" contingent. A recently released US Senate report on post-9/11 CIA interrogations disclosed that information gained from former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg had led to the 2004 capture of al Qaeda's Dhiren Birot a.k.a. 'Issa al-Britani' or 'al-Hindi,' who was plotting a dirty bomb attack in London.

LIBYA's internationally recognized prime minister said that pro-government troops are moving toward Triploi "to liberate it" from Islamist militias and the rival government.

MAYBE THE DOG ate your homework. Yes, really.

A METER-LONG WORM was found inside a man's foot.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A two-headed baby salamander.

AFRICAN WILD DOG PUPS have been adopted by a Golden Retriever.

 

 

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Shindig, Colin Meloy, M Ward, We Are The Willows, Chihuahua vs Great Dane   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 12, 2014 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with A CHRISTMAS SHINDIG! The full episode has gone dark, but still-available clips from 1964 include The Beach Boys' "Dance, Dance, Dance," Bobby Sherman and Donna Loren singing "Keep on Searching," the Righteous Brothers doing "The Jerk" and an awesome milk commercial, Marvin Gaye with "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" and Adam Faith with "Watch Your Step," Donna Loren returning with a Spector-esque, but rougher "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and The Beach Boys deliver a set including "Little Saint Nick," "Monster Mash" (yes, really) "Papa Oom Mow Mow," and "Johnny B. Goode." Lastly, we have Marvin Gaye with "Hitch Hike" and The Beach Boys on "We Three Kings."

THE DECEMBERISTS' Colin Meloy stopped by WFUV for a chat and mini-set.

M WARD stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session sans Zooey.

WE ARE THE WILLOWS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

SONGS WE LOVE 2014 is a streaming mix at NPR.

THE JUILIANA HATFIELD THREE drops "If I Could" ahead of a reunion LP.

COURTNEY BARNETT & EVAN DANDO duet on his Lemonheads nugget, "Being Around."

BELLE & SEBASTIAN is profiled at length in The Guardian.

SMASHING PUMPKINS frontman Billy Corgan talks to Rolling Stone about losing his fanbase.

TEN BADASS ANTI-HOLIDAY TRACKS from the Houston Press. (Thx, LHB.)

THE 5 BEST TOM PETTY ALBUMS OF 2014 that Tom Petty did not release and had no involvement in whatsoever.

THE CUTOUT BIN takes another hiatus this week, as I'm just getting over a sinus infection. 98.6 as I write this, though. Whoo!

NOW SHOWING:This weekend's wide releases are Exodus: Gods and Kings, which is currently scoring 32 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (Ridley Scott, where's your Messiah now?); and Top Five, currently scoring 93 percent.

SCOTT RUDIN, bigtime movie producer, issued a public apology for the racially insensitive comments regarding President Obama that surfaced in an exchange of hacked private e-mails between him and Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Amy Pascal.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is expecting her first child with her husband, Klaxons singer James Righton.

BILL COSBY: Vanity Fair has published an article by one of his accusers, Beverly Johnson.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL is being sued because she allegedly broke a horse.

INSIDE OUT: The next Pixar pic has a trailer online.

INDONESIA: The new head of Indonesia's counterterrorism agency warned that the number of Indonesians joining the Islamic State has more than tripled since June, and said the total number of Indonesians who have joined the group in Iraq and Syria is about 514.

SYRIA's military and ISIS may be sworn enemies but instead of wiping each other off the battlefield they have been delicately dancing around each other.

BOKO HARAM: The Other Islamic State.

CHIHUAHUA vs GREAT DANE: Who you got?

THOUSANDS OF CROWS roosting at night in a western Ohio city's downtown have some residents comparing the landscape with the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds as they work to drive them away.

PACIFIC BARRELEYE: A deep-sea fish with tubular eyes and a transparent head.

CAT FANCY is dead; Long Live Catster (and Dogster).

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