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Luna, Deap Sea Diver, Wild Child, All Songs, Dog & Parrot   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 03, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN performs "Out In The Street" circa 1980, ahead of thedeluxe box set of The River coming this week.

LUNA plays a mini-set at KEXP.

DEEP SEA DIVER streams their holiday EP, It's Christmas Time.

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

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: The Year In Music 2015.

M WARD drops "Girl From Conejo Valley" ahead of More Rain.

LA SERA drops “High Notes” ahead of Music For Listening To Music To.

NADA SURF drops “Believe You’re Mine” ahead of You Know Who You Are.

THE SNAILS (a Future Islands side job) drops "Snails Christmas (I Want A New Shell)."

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

NEKO CASE talks to Aquarium Drunkard about women with guitars, the punkness of gospel, and the violent nature of her lyrics.

WOLF ALICE: A Different Kind of Beast.

THE INTERNET Didn't Kill the Album Star?

THE TOP 50 LPs of 2015, according to NME.

SANDRA BULLOCK has adopted a daughter, Laila, from Louisiana.

JOSH HARTNETT and longtime girlfriend Tamsin Egerton are new parents.

COURTNEY COX and her fiance rocker Johnny McDaid have broken up, and called off their wedding.

A SECRET MEETING of 44 top Hollywood movers and shakers has come up with a four-point plan “for solving the gender parity issue that plagues Hollywood.”

PETER JACKSON (Lord of the Rings) will be directing an episode of Doctor Who.

STAR WARS: According to reports, over 2500 actors have auditioned to play Han Solo in a prequel anthology film.Also the NYT visits a probable location in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE has a whole new trailer out.

NORTH KOREA: Satellite photographs from October and early November indicate North Korea is digging a new tunnel for nuclear testing, but there are no signs that a such a test is imminent, a U.S. research institute said on Wednesday.

LIBYA: A report released on Tuesday by a United Nations monitoring group examining terrorist groups in Libya warns ISIS has built up a significant presence in Libya and could further expand the territory it controls through local alliances, but will likely face a number of challenges and constraints in the months ahead.

IRAQ: A new force of special operations troops being deployed by the United States to Iraq will likely number around 100, U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren said on Wednesday. Meanwhile, on the front lines of the battle against the Islamic State, suspicion of the United States runs deep.

A TINY DOG and a GIANT PARROT, playing together... mass hysteria!

TWO HUGE GATORS engaged in a terrifying mano-a-mano showdown at Myakka Pines Golf Club in Florida.

A BADLY BEHAVED SQUIRREL got into a kindergarten classroom in Novato and caused quite a ruckus.

NORWAY's PRIME MINISTER caught in cow flatulence flap.

2106 Reads

Another personal day? In December, no less?   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 02, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

KarlSAD, BUT TRUE. I should return tomorrow with the usual. But really, there was only one story yesterday...

2047 Reads

Tom Jones, Rickie Lee Jones, Health, Holiday Indie, Cow   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 01, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BILLY IDOL turned 60 yesterday. Nice day for a "White Wedding"?

TOM JONES advance streams Long Lost Suitcase, which surveys decades of Americana.

RICKIE LEE JONES stopped by WFUV for a chat and mini-set.

HEALTH stopped by WFUV for a chat and mini-set.

INDIE FOR THE HOLIDAYS is streaming if you have Amazon Prime. Brooklyn Vegan shares four tracks for everyone.

JAMES drops "To My Surprise" ahead of Girl At The End Of The World.

GLAM XMAS:  Wizzard's awesome "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" (1973's UK Xmas No. 1) are your Twofer Tuesday.

EAGLES OF DEATH METAL has called upon artists of all genres to cover its Zipper Down track "I Love You All the Time" with the intention of donating all proceeds to the families of the Paris attack's victims, including the band's merchandise manager Nick Alexander.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and the Pace of Nostalgia.

NEW ORDER's original bassist, Peter Hook, is suing the band for "many millions of pounds" in a row over royalties.

A HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE from Pitchfork.

BEN AFFLECK & JENNIFER GARNER had a family Thanksgiving.

GWEN STEFANI & BLAKE SHELTON also apparently spent time with their families over Thanksgiving.

HAYDEN PANETTIERE is enjoying being home with her boxer fiancé, Wladimir Klitschko, and the couple's 11-month-old daughter, Kaya, after seeking treatment for postpartum depression.

AMY SCHUMER, YOKO ONO, PATTI SMITH and others will be appearing in the new Pirelli calendar. Apparently, it's "empowering."

JAMES DEEN, adult film actor, was accused of assault by three adult film actresses.

CARRIE FISHER condemned Britain's biggest cinema chains for banning the Church of England advert film of the Lord's Prayer.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS drops two more TV spots.

BATMAN v SUPERMAN  posted a sneak peek online.

UKRAINE: The United States has delivered more than 260MM in non-lethal military equipment to help the government of Ukraine in its fight against a Russian-backed insurgency, but some of the U.S.-supplied gear meant to protect and transport Ukrainian military forces is little more than junk.

LIBYA: The New York Times reports on life under ISIS rule. The first public beheadings have started.

DUDLEY THE COW loves his new prosthetic leg.

A DOG injured in a hit-and-run accident is believed to have walked almost 200 miles to find the Russian woman who nursed her back to health. And it would walk 200 more.

TARDIGRADES steal loads of DNA from other living things, including bacteria and plants, allowing it to adapt to its environment.

AN ABANDONED BABY ORANGUTAN makes a miracle recovery.

2092 Reads

Grace Potter, Villagers, Nathaniel Rateliff, Baio, Q-Tip Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 30, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MY MORNING JACKET covers Eagles of Death Metal's  "I Love You All The Time" and honor victims of the Paris attacks.

GRACE POTTER stopped by World Cafe Live for a chat and mini-set.

VILLAGERS: Conor O'Brien stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

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

ARTHUR BROWN is the god of hellfire... and he brings you "Fire!" It's a crazy world.

EAGLES OF DEATH METAL's full interview on the Paris attacks is posted by VICE.

SPOON bassist Rob Pope ranks the band's LPs for Noisey.

THE CORAL's James Skelly talks to NME about how the reunion is going.

TEN ESSENTIAL SPARKS SONGS, compiled by Pitchfork.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: (Note: These are the three-day numbers, not five-day holiday numbers) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 tops the chart with 51.6MM -- still lagging its predecessors, but still making a truckload of money (even when compared to Lionsgate's Twilight franchise). Pixar's The Good Dinosaur placed with 39.2MM, which is well behind Inside Out, but the strategy here was to get the movie out during the slower Thanksgiving weekend and try to ride good reviews and word of mouth through the entire holiday season. Creed showed with 30.1MM, which is close to what was projected for the entire five-day weekend, and higher than any of the Rocky movies to date. Spectre takes the fourth slot with 12.8MM on a leggy 15 percent drop; this Bond stll lags Skyfall but still leads the other Craig-era installments and should profit in theatres.  The Peanuts Movie rounds out the Top Five with 9.7MM, which is probably a win, given the competition from Pixar. Clarlie Brown has recouped his production budget in North America, and is just starting to roll out in overseas markets.

ANNE HATHAWAY and husband Adam Shulman are expecting their first child.

MARY-KATE OLSEN had bowls of cigarettes at her wedding to French banker Olivier Sarkozy.

SINEAD O'CONNOR has been found “safe and sound” and she's getting medical attention after posting an angry 'suicide note" on Facebook.

TIM TEBOW was dumped by his model girlfriend because he won't have sex with her.

ROMAN POLANSKI: A Polish court's decision to deny the director's extradition to the United States on a 1977 child sex conviction became legally binding on Friday.


EGYPTIAN security forces have uncovered a tunnel stretching under the Gaza-Sinai border lined with iron.

IRAN: The nuclear deal is not a signed document. Also, a U.N. report on whether Iran has in the past carried out work related to nuclear weapons will not reach a definitive conclusion on the subject.

FRANCE: The ringleader behind the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris had plans to strike Jewish targets and to disrupt schools and the transport system in France, according to sources close to the investigation. He also boasted of the ease with which he had re-entered Europe from Syria via Greece two months earlier, exploiting the confusion of the migrant crisis and the continent's passport-free Schengen system. The Paris attackers exploited intelligence holes from France to Syria, authorities say, taking advantage of mistrust between European governments, France's overwhelmed security services and the collapse of authority across the war zone contested by the Islamic State group.

LIBYA: The port city of Surt is an actively managed colony of the central Islamic State, crowded with foreign fighters from around the region, according to residents, local militia leaders and hostages recently released from the city’s main prison.

A CAT balances a Q-Tip.

LOUD FROGS FROM PUERTO RICO are overrunning the big island of Hawai'i.

A PARALYZED PUP was saved from euthanasia and walks again.

A TIGER AND A GOAT, living together... mass hysteria!

2012 Reads

Faves 2015   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 26, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE... with FAVES 2015!  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.

FATHER JOHN MISTY: At the time, I thought Josh Tillman was kind of crazy to leave Fleet Foxes for his solo pseudo-persona. It turns out that we've heard little from Fleet Foxes since (which still irks me).  And Tillman has proved himself to be kind of crazy, but in a good ways.  I Love You, Honeybear is a seamless blend of West Coast singer-songwriter Americana and Van Morrison-esque arrangements supporting meditations on relationships that are by turns acerbic and deeply resonant.

RYLEY WALKER: As Pate frontman Jon Pratt once remarked (probably paraphrasing Luke) It's hard to be a prophet in your hometown.  Accordingly, I must give a shout to the Chicago-based guitarist-songwriter's Primrose Green, which neatly recalls the heyday of British folk-rock without slavishly aping it. A nice companion to the Misty album, methinks.

KURT VILE: The internet may have forever changed this dynamic, but when I was in college, and "college rock" was in its infancy, I tended to feel like a fan of college football, or minor-league baseball, in the sense it was fascinating to watch bands work on making it to the bigs, or decide it simply wasn't for them.  On B’lieve I’m Goin Down…  Vile continues to carve out a niche not unlike the one Neil Young carved out for himself in the 70s,though this one is less Crazy Horse and more pastoral than his previous LP. Like Young, he seems content to wander (or stumble) along his own path, perhaps flirting with the mainstream while not wading fully into it. Not bad for a former forklift driver.

COURTNEY BARNETT may be this year's indie "It Girl," but Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit confidently lives up to the hype buzz launched from her debut EP. In terms of writing chops, early Liz Phair may be the closest comp (if less profane), but musically, she also recalls many other faves of the mid-90s, such as Beck, the Breeders and Pavement.

SUFJAN STEVENS: After grandly orchestrated concept albums and a flirtation with electronica, Stevens released Carrie & Lowell, which harnesses his prodigious lyrical skill to a predominantly acoustic meditation on the death of his mother and his relationship with her and his stepfather. It's arguably his best work to date, albeit a very tough listen.

JD McPHERSON: Sometimes, you just want to hear new, yet classic, Rock 'N Roll (as opposed to Rock). That's when you reach for Let The Good Times Roll. There's little need to re-invent the wheel when you already have a hot rod in your garage.

GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH: Their sophomore LP, Darling...It's Too Late is no slump; in fact, it's a great improvement upon their forgettable debut and a catchy mashup of vintage garage and surf sounds, with just the hint of R & B you might have found on an early Stones or Chesterfield Kings album.

LEON BRIDGES:A star run at SXSW lifted Bridges to the top of the current crop of artists working the vintage R&B sound. Coming Home may recall Sam Cooke a bit too much at times, but Leon's exquisite vocals  will keep ears peeled for some time to come.

JASON ISBELL: Southeastern, which reflected his struggle with addicition, established Isbell as an artistic force outside the Drive-By Truckers. Something More Than Free may not be an identical artistic triumph, but it's enough of one to suggest Isbell doesn't need demons (at least ones quite as demonic) as a muse -- which makes me feel less guilty enjoying this particular collection of quality Americana. It's also hard to go wrong with The Lone Bellow's Then Came the Morning.

TOBIAS ESSO, JR:  Getting compared to the likes of Harry Nilsson and early Randy Newman on your debut is an awfully high bar, and I don't know that Goon clears it. But I do know that Nilsson is dead and Newman is soundtracking Pixar movies, so this was as close as you were going to get from a piano-based singer-songwriter in 2015, and that's not chopped liver.

CAR SEAT HEADREST, a/k/a Will Toledo (also not his real name) delivered Teens of Style, his first on a label (Matador) and a lo-fi gem in the ballpark of Guided By Voices, Pavement, and early Telekinesis. It's also mostly in the style he's been delivering for five years, unbeknownst to me.  Indeed, Teens of Style reworks some tracks from of his earlier efforts, making it a natural introduction of sorts to Toldeo's more mature and accessible catalog. 

TITUS ANDRONICUS: The Most Lamentable Tragedy, a sprawling and eclectic 100-minute rock opera that marries the ambition of The Monitor to the more personal concerns of Local Business.  Patrick Stickles may be the closes Millennials get to The Replacements and Husker Du (The Hold Steady notwithstanding) and I suspect the kids are missing out.

WAVVES: On V, Nathan Williams doesn't depart much from his patented formula of skuzzy, punky pop.  Then again, it's a good formula. Mike Love would approve, if it didn't appeal so much to stoners.  Wavves also teamed with the Cloud Nothings on No Life For Me, which is almost as good.

TAME IMPALA: Currents admittedly falls closer to Daft Punk than my wheelhouse or the psychedelia with which the band previously made my Faves list.  Nevertheless, the songwriting is strong as ever, and shows a commitment to the album as an art form that is refereshing in the internet era of endless singles-grazing (though I love that also, given how much it reminds me of the 60s). Django Django's Born Under Saturn is also in this general space.

THEE OH SEES have put out at least a dozen albums (14, iirc) but Mutilator Defeated At Last is one of their stronger efforts, with enough variation in their psych-garage universe to keep things interesting.  Maybe the album for those of you missing the old Tame Impala.  Or maybe you want the real deal from The Sonics, whose This Is The Sonics found Seattle's garage icons picking up right where they left off.

DESTROYER: Dan Bejar, expanding on the 70s soft-rock he re-imagined on Kaputt, uses Poison Season to celebrate the Young Americans-Hunky Dory era of David Bowie, with flourishes of early Springsteen and Lou Reed. If that makes Poison Season a bit less unified than its predecessor LP, so be it.  By turns baroque and funky, it's an album that easily soundtracks your day in regular rotation.

DEERHUNTER: I don't know what happened to Bradford Cox, but he decided to make his most accessible album to date, Fading Frontier.  Cox claimed to be influenced by REM, Tom Petty, and INXS, and I sort of believe it.

LOWER DENS: I don't know what happened to Jana Hunter, but she decided to make her most accessible album to date, Escape from Evil, which borrows more from the synthier side of the 80s -- a-Ha, 'Til Tuesday, 

JEFF LYNNE's ELO:  Perhaps you've heard of ELO.  But it's worth noting that Alone In The Universe is a mature and yet familar-sounding album from an artist whom post-Punk indie rock has always oddly embraced. A Not Guilty pleasure, if not his best.

KEITH RICHARDS: Maybe you've heard of him also. But Crosseyed Heart is a solid solo effort from the Rolling Stone, even if I would've done something a little different with the backing vocals on a couple of tracks.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Wilco, Bob Dylan's latest Bootleg Series, Sleater-Kinney, Mountain Goats, Joanna Newsom, Richard Thompson, Lord Huron, Eagles of Death Metal and the Alabama Shakes are among those I'm simply to lazy to write about at this hour. But I figure you're almost as familiar with them as ELO or Keef Richards, Lord of the Undead.  if not, check 'em out.


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? Did that yesterday; check it out.

2404 Reads

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