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Shovels & Rope, Seu George, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Giant Spider   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 01, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

TIM DARCY (Ought) shares a "Tall Glass of Water."

SHOVELS & ROPE played the Mountain Stage.

SEU GEORGE plays a mini-set during Morning Becomes Eclectic.

THAO & THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN played the Lincoln Center Out Of Doors series in New York's Damrosch Park.

THE BESNARD LAKES share "Laura Lee."

U2 cover "Merry Christmas, Baby (Please Come Home)," ripped from the premiere, for extra retro goodness.

LEONARD COHEN: Rolling Stone looks back on the many chapters of his remarkable life.

IGGY POP shares his top 5 favorite current bands and musicians with The New York Times.

ANGEL OLSEN talks about the 50's-ish, but Bowie-influenced "Shut Up Kiss Me" on the Song Exploder podcast.

HARANGUING CHAD: How Nickelback became pop's ultimate punchline.

TAYLOR SWIFT is the highest-paid musician—and the highest-paid celebrity of any stripe—on the planet, according to Forbes.

KANYE WEST & KIM KARDASHIAN were fighting before his recent hospitalization.

AMANDA SEYFRIED  is pregnant.

CHRIS PRATT talks to British GQ about stripping, working with Jennifer Lawrence and his self-made formula for success.

BACK TO THE FUTURE will not be remade or rebooted as long as producer Frank Marshall has any involvement.

GRANT TINKER, a revered producer and executive who founded MTM Enterprises with Mary Tyler Moore and later rose to the challenge of taking NBC from last place to first, has died. He was 90.

'JIM' DELLIGATI, the McDonald's franchisee who created the Big Mac nearly 50 years ago and saw it become perhaps the best-known fast-food sandwich in the world, died Monday at home in Pittsburgh. Delligatti, who according to his son ate at least one 540-calorie Big Mac a week for decades, was 98.

GERMAN authorities have arrested a suspected Islamist mole discovered working within the country’s domestic intelligence service, sparking criticism of an agency that has been on high alert following a string of attacks and foiled plots this year.

A GIANT SPIDER hatches her babies in an Aussie mailbox.

A MISSING FLORIDA DOG was found three years later in New Jersey.

AN 8-FT VENOMOUS COBRA escaped from a toilet in South Africa.

COW TIPPING, usually a myth, turns deadly.

1822 Reads

Devendra Banhart, Aaron Lee Tasjan, All Songs, Bull vs SUV   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CASS McCOMBS shared a video for "Run Sister Run."

DEVENDRA BANHART stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

AARON LEE TASJAN stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: Tracks from Laura Marling, Sam Phillips, Weyes Blood and more feature in the latest edition.

THE DECEMBERISTS shared an alternate version of "Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)," ft Alela Diane.

'ALLO DARLIN shares a final single, “Hymn On The 45."

IKE & TINA TURNER: "River Deep, Mountain High," live and de-Spectorized.

PERE UBU's David Thomas talks to Aquarium Drunkard about two new box sets, compartmentalizing, baseball as a metaphor for loners in art, how culture doesn’t exist, and his humbleness before an irrelevant audience.

PINK FLOYD'S Nick Mason stopped by World Cafe to talk about the band's early days and share bits of The Early Years 1965-1972.

THE EAGLES are in fact finished, according to Don Henley.

THE TOP 50 ALBUMS of 2016, according to Consequence of Sound.


GERARD BUTLER and his longtime girlfriend Morgan Brown have gone their separate ways.

KIM KARDASHIAN is worried about the kids being around Kanye West.

KATY PERRY & ORLANDO BLOOM engagement rumor.

BRANGELEXIT: Brad Pitt spent Thanksgiving alone in Turks and Caicos, without his estranged wife Angelina Jolie or their six children.

LAUREN GRAHAM talks to USA Today about her memoir-ish new book, Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls.

YEMEN: The Houthi movement and its allies formed a new government in Yemen on Monday, a surprise that angered their Saudi-backed rivals and complicated United Nations efforts to end a conflict that has ravaged the Arab world’s poorest country for much of the past two years.

BULL vs SUV: Who You Got?

LARRY THE CAT, No. 10 Downing Street's mouser, keeps the Chancellor of the Exchequer's cats locked up next door.

ELVERS: Three men admitted Monday to illegally netting the tiny, translucent juvenile eels from the Cooper River and arranging their sale.

SNAKES falling through light fittings Down Under.

1897 Reads

The New Lines, Suuns, Margo Price, Raveonettes, Lions v Giraffe   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ULTIMATE PAINTING shares a video for "Monday Morning, Somewhere Central."

THE NEW LINES advance stream Love and Cannibalism, and it's kinda charming.

SUUNS played the Pitchfork Music Festival Paris.

MARGO PRICE played a Tiny Desk Concert.

THE RAVEONETTES share their latest soung-of-the-month, "Fast Food."

JASON and the SCORCHERS cover "Absolutely Sweet Marie" and play "Harvest Moon" for Twofer Tuesday.

GILLIAN WELCH talked to Salon about the new "bootleg" version of Revival.

PRINCE: Most of his old bands will play Celebration 2017 to mark the one-year anniversary of his death.

ERIC CLAPTON announces what may be his final four US shows.

THE TOP 50 ALBUMS of 2016, according to Rolling Stone.

CARRIE FISHER talks to Rolling Stone about LSD, death, and sex with Han Solo.

KANYE WEST will not get out of the hospital as planned. Kim Kardashian has been sleeping by her husband's side and helping to feed him while he's in the hospital for exhaustion.

AMBER HEARD & JOHNNY DEPP will finalize their 7MM divorce settlement this week, and she will fulfill her promise to donate the money to charity.

WES ANDERSON directed this year's Christmas ad from clothing retailers H&M, starring Adrien Brody.

EVAN RACHEL WOOD talked to Rolling Stone about how her wild past (including past sexual assaults) and personal demons prepped her for Westworld.

THE ALIENIST has found two of its stars: Daniel Bruhl and Luke Evans.

TOM HOLLAND may join DAISY RIDLEY in Lionsgate’s post-apocalyptic thriller Chaos Walking.

BELGIUM: The terror cell responsible for the Brussels attacks in March had no plans to target Britain, suspect Mohamed Abrini told Belgian authorities.

LIONS vs GIRAFFE: Who You Got?

GIANT PANDA CUB BEI BEI is bright, alert and eating several softened foods after “life-saving” surgery Friday morning to remove bamboo that was obstructing his bowels.

FREEZING FISH & SEA CREATURES into a theme park skating rink was a bad idea.

THE SWEDISH CHRISTMAS GOAT was torched, per tradition.

1785 Reads

Whitney, Big Thief, Polyvinyl Records, The Band, Cow Attack   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 28, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


OK GO's video for "That One Moment" took less than 30 seconds to shoot.

WHITNEY played the Pitchfork Music Festival Paris.

BIG THIEF stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

POLYVINYL PLAYS POLYVINYL, which has Polyvinyl artists covering other Polyvinyl artists for the label's 20th anniversary is streaming online.

THE ROLLING STONES share the Bukka White/Eddie Tayor blues classic “Ride ‘Em On Down.”

BEST COAST shares “Christmas and Everyday,” the band’s contribution to Amazon’s new holiday special An American Girl Story—Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas.

THE LAST WALTZ: The Band's classic live event tuned 40 over the weekend. Robbie Robertson talked to Morning Edition about it. Pitchfork looks at The Band beforeth ey were The Band.

THE TOP 50 ALBUMS OF 2016, according to NME.

THE 50 BEST HOLIDAY SONGS, according to Pitchfork.

THE 12 BEST DOLLY PARTON SONGS, according to Paste.

PUNK FUNERAL: The son of Vivienne Westwood and the late Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren has set fire to an estimated £5m worth of punk memorabilia on a boat on the river Thames.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Disney's Moana topped the holiday box office with 55.5MM over the weekend and 81.1MM since its Wednesday night debut; that's a bit shy of Frozen over similar timframes, but I'm betting the Mouse is verrry happy against a reported 150MM budget. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them placed with a strong 45.1MM (65.8MM over 5 days); this extension of the Potterverse is well on its way to profitability.  Doctor Strange shows with 13.4MM (18.9MM over 5 days), crossing the 200MM mark in North America and reaching 616MM worldwide, suggesting the sorcerer 's magic is in the black already.  The debut of Allied took the fourth slot with 13MM (18MM over 5 days), which means it will need big help overseas to profit against an 85MM production budget.  Arrival rounded outh the Top Five with 11.3MM (15.6MM over 5 days) on a leggy 7 percent drop; the rightly-acclaimed sci-fi that's about so much more than aliens still stands a chance of becoming profitable in theaters.

MOANA: I still find it interesting that Disney animated flicks retain their distinctive Disney-ness under the leadership of fmr Pixar honcho John Lasseter.  Moana plays with the Princess formula a bit and even pokes fun at it in places (stay past the credits for the final example of this), but never disrespectfully.  Moana is reliably charming.  Its score benefits from bringing in Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda as well.  Overall, it's very good, but not great; its artistry, casting and characters may be more memorable than its heroine's journey.  In this case, that's enough to carry the film, but not place it on the top tier of Disney confections.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2:  Sean Gunn leaks a tidbit or two about the setup for the sequel.

KANYE WEST has been paranoid and profoundly depressed, and he's been dealing with these issues for a long time.

FLORENCE HENDERSON, who began her career as an ingénue soprano in stage musicals in the 1950s but made a more lasting impression on television as the perky 1970s sitcom mom on The Brady Bunch, died of heart failure on Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 82.  A number of the Brady kids tweeted their tributes.

RON GLASS, a prolific TV actor known for playing Ron Harris in the sitcom Barney Miller and Shepherd Derrial Book in Firefly, has died of respiratory failure. He was 71. The Firefly cast and more paid tribute.

FIDEL CASTRO is dead at age 90.

MONTENEGRO: Serbia has deported a group of Russians suspected of involvement in a coup plot in neighboring Montenegro, in the latest twist in a murky sequence of events that apparently threatened the lives of two European prime ministers.


A GOAT WITH ANXIETY ISSUES is calmed by wearing a duck costume.

FEMALE VERVET MONKEYS manipulate males into fighting battles by lavishing attention on brave soldiers while giving noncombatants the cold shoulder.

RATTLESNAKES are moving on state office buildings in Austin, TX.

1934 Reads

Faves 2016   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE... with FAVES 2016!  I occasionally hear from folks who want to know what music -- from among all of the posts I do here -- I recommend.  To some degree, I recommend all of it, unless I expressly write otherwise (e.g., it's not my thing, but it might be yours).  With the holiday shopping season upon us, I have tried to make a list of reasonable size.  It's an unordered list. I likely will have overlooked something that I really dig.  Some of these are grouped together, because that's the way they occurred to me at the moment.  And note these are my faves; I'm not purporting to list the "Best" albums of the year.

CAR SEAT HEADREST:  The pseudononymous Will Toledo makes my Faves for a second year running with Teens of Denial, the morehi-fi and all-original successor to Teens of Style.  As far back as college, when people asked me why I like what was then "college rock," and has been equally poorly labeled as "alternative" orr "indie" music, one of my answers was (and is) the joy of watching or listenting to talent come into its own.  Sure, not every percolating band band will become R.E.M., U2, or even the B-52s or the Go-Gos -- and that's okay; it doesn't mean that you can't also enjoy the artists people only discover and appreciate years later.  Toledo is feeling his songwriting oats right about now and has the resources to realize his visions.  What's not to like?

BEACH SLANG: A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings is  near-perfectly named and an example of a certain genre of punk-ish rock --think early-to-mid Replacements -- that you likely won't beat this year.  Philsophically, "Future Mixtape for the Art Kids" (language warning) says what I just wrote, while musically, "Spin The Dial" and "Punks In a Disco" are shamelessly Westerbergian.  If you're going to steal, steal from the best; Lord knows Westerberg did.

PARQUET COURTS:  Insouciant, by turns angular and loopy, Human Performance tends to remind me of both mid-period Pavement and mid-period Meat Puppets without sounding very much like either of them. It's more the spirit of the album, which could easily soundtrack taking inventory of the imaginary record store in my noggin.

FRANKIE COSMOS: Next Thing, her first band-backed LP afaik, manages to be energetic without demaniding, and direct without being dramatic.  Not an immediate grabber, but it wears well.

BOB MOULD:  I really can't call Patch The Sky a return to form because for the most part, Mould is so dependably good.  If there's pleasure to be had in the discovery of new artists, there's also some to be found in that level of consistemcy.  It's a dark album, I suppose, but in that Townshendian "dance all over your problems" sort of way.

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD:  A confession: It would be more accurate for me to call Nonagon Infinity a guilty pleasure than a true Fave.  And I don't own it, but finding my self streaming it.  Is it early Black Sabbath meets early Metallica?  The Sex Pistols taking on Hawkwind? A roaring monster assembled from those bands plus everything from Aerosmith to the Allmans to Santana to prog and psych?  Yes. And by being all of those things, it manages to come off as relentless rather than tedious, with all the immediacy of a live performance.I probably could have used this spot to write about the great year Thee Oh Sees also had, but I suspect Pate bassist Mike Kelly will apperciate this LP far more.

ANDY SCHAUF:  The Party would never soundtrack a toga party, but it might be the perfect thing for that get-together with friends where you settle into overstuffed sofas and drink on a cloudy weekend afternoon, especially if your friends are into stuff like vintage Todd Rundgren. You know, more Something/Anything? than "Bang on the Drum."

THE LEMON TWIGS:  If Andy Schauf has a Rundgren-esque quality, maybe this brother act from Long Island bring more of a Harry Nilsson vibe on Do Hollywood. These two LPs make nice companion listening in that piano-based, 70's--pop influenced space.  Maybe I should toss Randy Newman in there also.  Maybe not as great as any of these, but the subgenre is one of my bags, baby.

RYLEY WALKER:  Another repeat from last year.  If Primrose Green had a bit of a early Van Morrison vibe, the finger-picking of Golden Sings That Have Been Sung reminds me more of Nick Drake.  A more upbeat Nick Drake, to be sure, but it would be tough to be a more downbeat one.  I think his vocals have improved also.

WHITNEY: That a couple of former Smith Westerns made Light Upon The Lake is a bit surprising, inasmuch as it channels a Laurel Canyon, early-70s singer songwriter feeling absent from their erlier band's work.  Then again, sometimes mucsicians find themselves more the second time around (just ask Matthew Sweet).

STURGILL SIMPSON: A Sailor's Guide to Earth may be the first Cosmic Country album to make my Faves list, as the Flying Burrito Bros clearly predate this website, let alone these lists. Plus, the Dap-Kings turn up occasionally to give the thing a Gram Parsons goes Muscle Shoals effect.

THE JAYHAWKS: I won't pretend that I think Paging Mr. Proust is among their best albums, but it's still quite solid and rewarding.  When you have a songwriter as talented as Gary Louris, the absence of Mark Olson stings less than it might otherwise (notice I said "less").

CHARLES BRADLEY: In a terrible year for soul fans in general, and Daptone Records in particular (after losing Miss Sharon Jones to cancer), at least we still have the terrific Changes, and Bradley fighting his own cancer diagnosis.  Do you need to hear his take on "God Bless America"?  You just might.

THE FRIGHTNRS: In another Daptone Records tragedy,  Nothing More to Say  wasn't released until a month after the passing of singer Dan Klein at age 33.  The Frightnrs fit in well at Daptone, even if their sound is retro-reggae instead of vintage soul.  When I was a college DJ, I filled in for one of the reggae guys on a Sunday or two, and the 60s/70s is where I always gravitated, so it's nice to have a new one.

THE JAMES HUNTER SIX: James Hunter continues to walk the path trod by Sam Cooke and early-to-mid Van Morrison on Hold On!  I may never tire of recommending him.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: American Band got much attention in this election year for its political content.  But anyone who's listened to the band with any care know politics are woven into the band's back catalog as well. Fortunately, Patterson Hood is such a talented songwriter that it rarely comes across as didactic, even when (as here) it's a little more overt.

CASE/LANG/VEIRS: I would be tempted to call case/lang/veirs more than the sum of its parts, if Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs were not so excellent in their own rights.  This first joint effort -- not their last, I hope -- offers much of what is best about each, but it is also clearly the product of a collaboration that produces something a smidge different and excellent in its own right.

DAVID BOWIE: When Blackstar was released just days before Bowie's death, we didn't know he had been working steadily to maximize his output in the face of his looming mortality.  And Bowie being Bowie, he pushed the boundaries of popular miusic to the very end, bringing jazz. hip-hop, electronics and even a bit of folk into his last iteration of art rock. It's almost as if he was showing off to ensure we would miss him more.

LEONARD COHEN: Frankly, it's hard not to hear You Want It Darker in a similar vein to Blackstar.  Musically, the album is less experimental than Bowie, more of closing a circle by returning somewhat to his earlier folk-pop sound. But both men are great lyricists, and some of Cohens' lyrics, not to mention some of his last public comments, encourage the speculation that he knew they could be his final public statements.

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS:  And the tragedy keeps on coming. Skeleton Tree is pretty clearly related to the death of Cave's 15-year-old son Arthur, who fell off a cliff.  Cave has been spare and sombre before -- as on The Boatman's Call and even on Push the Sky Away --  but this album is so masterfully bleak, so painful a listen that it almost seems wrong to deem it a Fave.

SCOTT WALKER: Not the Wisconsin Governor, the one-time third of The Walker Brothers, who has traveled from Top 40 luminescence to bold and persistent experimentation over the decades.  Another confession: the soundtrack to The Childhood of a Leader  may not even be a Fave, but my internet buddy Jeff Blehar inspired me into a Scott Walker renaissance this year.  Ever ride the subway all night long?  If you do, you may want to put on The Collection 1967-70, or perhaps the late Walker Bros reunion LP, Nite Flights.  In fact, if you listen to those, you might also wonder whether Bowie wasn't having a similar renaissance when he was cooking up The Next Day and Blackstar.

IGGY POP:  Okay, enough of the wallowing; let's have some Pop. Or, as the fictionalized Lester Bangs in Almost Famous would have it, "Ih-gee Paaaahhp."  Post Pop Depression is anything but -- it's as lean, swaggering and bent on triumph as the man himself, seemingly drawing most from his Bowiest past work and drawing more raw power from Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.

THE MONKEES: Hey, hey, I've been a fan since I was a child; my parents had some of the original LPs.  A fifth-grade classmate I would meet again in high school turned me on to the later and the weirder material; before long, I was onto Mike Nesmith's solo LPs.  All of this years before the Prefab Four's first MTV revival, though that was the tour I saw.  In a year with relatively fewer of them, why not give yourself over to Good Times!  How many albums will include vocals not only from the late Davy Jones, but also the late Harry Nilsson?  Roughly half is retooled from the Monkees' vault, with songs written by Neil Diamond, Jeff Barry,Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, and so forth.  The other half, aside from new Nesmith and Tork numbers, is penned by a newer generation of great tunesmiths, including Adam Schlessinger, Andy Partridge, Rivers Cuomo, and Noel Gallager & Paul Weller.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Teenage Fanclub, Radiohead, Wire, Paul Simon, John K. Samson, School of Seven Bells, Lucinda Williams, Cass McCombs, Robert Pollard, Andrew Bird, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Descendents, White Denim, Wilco and Dinosaur Jr. are just a few more of those who put out albums worth blurbing this year, if I had managed my time better.

A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING:  It's always somewhere on the net.

WKRP: "Turkeys Away," in its entirety. And here's the turkey giveaway by itself.

THANKSGIVING has a lot of myths, both traditional and the new "Pilgrims were evil" o­nes taught in some public schools. Not to mention the fights over kindergarteners dressing as Native Americans.  However, if you read the journal of William Bradford -- who served some 35 years as governor of the Pilgims' colony -- you quickly discover that the Pilgrims' relationship with the natives was complex.  Ultimately, Bradford quieted internal discontent by doing away with the collectivism of a company town and granting property rights.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include: Pixar's Moana, which is currently scoring 97 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Allied, which is currently scoring 64 percent; Bad Santa 2, scoring 26 percent, and Rules Don't Apply, scoring 59 percent.

2025 Reads

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