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Peter Gabriel, Metallica, Flaming Lips, UMO, Golden Retriever   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 30, 2013 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


YUCK drops a video for "Somewhere."

PETER GABRIEL streams Scratch My Back -- on which he covers indie artists -- and And I'll Scratch Yours -- on which he covers them.

METALLICA, Live in Antarctica.

THE NEW STANDARDS HOLIDAY SHOW, 2013: Featuring, among other things, the reunion of Trip Shakespeare.

THE FLAMING LIPS' extremely rare 2nd Cassette Demo.

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA drops the 22-minute "SB-01."

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS cover "Goldfinger," as you always suspected they would.

SONDRE LERCHE covers Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball," as you had no idea he would.

DAVID BOWIE: Rare footage of "The Jean Genie" from a 1973 performance on Top of the Pops.

RUN WESTY RUN talks to The Current about why they chose to reunite now, what it was like having R.E.M.'s Pete Buck produce two records—Green Cat Island and David's Drum -- and more.

THE FAB FOUR  stopped by World Cafe to talk about their Christmassy new LP.

U2 is returning to Island Records for their next LP, due this Spring.

STEVIE NICKS officiated Vanessa Carlton's wedding.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tops the chart with 29.9 million. That's behind the pace of the first Hobbit, but this one has raked in 466 million worldwide so far. The real news may be Frozen placing with 28.8 million, a 47 percent increase from last weekend from the extraordinarily leggy Disney pic. Consider that Frozen is handily besting the Hunger Games sequel, which is itself pretty darned leggy.  Doing this well in a fifth weekend (when theaters see most of the profit) will keep Frozen on screens for weeks to come. Anchorman 2 shows with 20.1 million; it will break the 100 million mark this week, to the dismay of people who suffered through an avalanche of marketing.  American Hustle takes the fourth slot with 19.6 million and a 60 million domestic total -- much faster than The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook took to reach that mark. The debut of The Wolf of Wall Street rounds out the Top Five with 18 million and a 34 million total since Christmas. It's likely to recoupa 100 millionproduction budget domestically and reap profit overseas. Below the fold, Saving Mr Banks earned 14 million, a 50 percent increase from the prior weekend. Moreover, the other Christmas openers -- Walter Mitty, 47 Ronin, and Grudge Match -- all performed poorly.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: It's a wonder the latest from Scorsese and DiCaprio didn't merit an NC-17 rating, given the sheer volume of frontal nudity on display in their serio-comedic take on the rise and fall of convicted trader Jordan Balfort.  The nudity and laughs have caused the daughter of one of Balfort's associates to complain the film glamorizes Balfort's frauds. I don't think it does so much more than Oliver Stone's Wall Street, ultimately. And yet, aside from the sex and comedy, it's not clear The Wolf has much more to say on its subject than Wall Street did. Moreover, Scorsese likely could have trimmed a half-hour from its three-hour length and not missed much.That said, i'd likely preferan extraneous half-hour of Scorsese than most other move half-hours.  Plus, Jonah Hill is terrific in this film as Balfort's demented sidekick, and Margot Robbie holds her own as Balfort's wife (a far different role than earlier this year in About Time). Moreover, as usual, Scorsese's soundtrack is superb.  Overall,The Wolf of Wall Street was quite good, but know going in this is extreme debauchery and fraud played for laughs.

BRITNEY SPEARS opens in Vegas. How real were those abs?

MILEY CYRUS & KELLAN LUTZ fueled those dating rumors at a Britney Spears afterparty in Vegas.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY talks to Harper's Bazaar about feminism, film and why she will never join Twitter.

SELENA GOMEZ is taking tme off to deal with Lupus.

PHIL ROBERTSON & DUCK DYNASTY will remain on A & E. Follow the money.

AFGHANISTAN: The gains the United States and its allies have made during the past three years are likely to have been significantly eroded by 2017, even if Washington leaves behind a few thousand troops and continues bankrolling the impoverished nation, according to officials familiar with the report.

LIBYA: House lawmakers on Sunday disputed a new report that concludes Al Qaeda played no role in the fatal 2012 terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

SYRIA: Since its appearance last April, al Qaeda-linked ISIS has changed the course of the Syrian war. Russia says the Syrian toxin removal deadline will be missed.

IRAN: State TV quoted Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi as claiming that Iran has decided to not put 1000 second generation centrifuges into operation at one of its nuclear fuel enrichment sites. Salehi also said Iran currently has 19000 operating centrifuges, and is now developing third and fourth generation-type centrifuges, and that Tehran is in discussions with Moscow over the construction of four new nuclear power plants in Iran.

GOLDEN RETREIVER retreived from icy waters by firefighters.

DOLPHINS are getting high on puffer fish.

STRAY CAT mothers a PUPPY...

A PRE-CHRISTMAS SUBWAY MIRACLE that saved the life of a blind man and his guide dog in Harlem on Tuesday was followed a day later by the gift of a lifetime.

2486 Reads

Ramones, Andrew Bird, Tift Merritt, Shearwater, Husky Pup   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 27, 2013 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE RAMONES! Live at the Rainbow, December 31, 1977.  Your setlist includes: "Blitzkrieg Bop"; "I Wanna Be Well"; "Glad to See You Go"; "You're Gonna Kill That Girl"; "Commando"; "Havana Affair"; "Cretin Hop"; "Listen to My Heart"; "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You"; "Pinhead"; "Do You Wanna Dance?"; "Now I Wanna Be a Good Boy"; "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue;" and "We're a Happy Family." BONUS: The band's first bio.

ANDREW BIRD & TIFT MERRITT perform an WFUV Live concert at Rockwood Music Hall.

SHEARWATER frontman Jonathan Meiburg enters the KEXP studio for a solo acoustic set of cover songs, featuring a few from the band's 2013 release Fellow Travelers.

THOSE DARLINS stop by the KEXP Midday Show to perform songs from their most recent album, Blur The Line.

JULIANA BARWICK performs her beautifully haunting atmospheric songs live on KEXP.

THE BANGLES: This version of their cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter" has resurfaced on the Tube, but the linked version is better quality.  More cowbell, Debbie!

RICHARD HELL explores the underground music scene in NYC. At one time, he was responsible for it.

YUCK: Guitarist Max Bloom looks back at the band's wild year at DIY.

THE THREE OH SEES are going on indefinite hiatus.

HAIM: Este talks to Drowned In Sound about the band’s experience as women in music, the consequences of dedicating a song to David Cameron, and why they'll never go solo.


NOW SHOWING: ICYMI, newly wide on Christmas are: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which is currently scoring 47 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Grudge Match, which is scoring 20 percent; 47 Ronin, scoring 11 percent; The Wolf of Wall Street, debuting at 76 percent and Justin Bieber's Believe, which was not screened for non-Beliebers. My recent mini-reviews include American Hustle, Anchorman 2, Inside Llewyn Davis, Saving Mr Banks, and The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug.

CHRISTMAS BOX OFFICE: The Hobbit edged The Wolf of Wall Street.

JUSTIN BIEBER says he's not kidding about retiring; sources keep saying he is.

MILEY CYRUS is hooking up with Twilight's Kellan Lutz and talking to... The New York Times. She doesn't even realize she just said there's nothing more authentic to her than Hannah Montana.

JESSICA BIEL wasn't there for JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE's SNL appearnace, so of course people assume they're divorcing.

ASHTON KUTCHER & MILA KUNIS: Looming engagement rumors. Because it's a slow week, even for gossip.

TORI SPELLING apparently has been cheated on by husband Dean McDermott.

LEBANON's Grand Mufti called on Muslim officials to "save Islam from the aggression of some Muslims against Christian nuns and bishops."

SYRIA: Regime officials reached an agreement to allow food into the blockaded rebel-held town of Mou'adamiya if the rebels hand over their heavy weapons and residents raise the Syrian flag.

EGYPT: Gamaa Islamiyya said the government's decision to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group opens the door to violenceAuthorities arrested dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members in security sweeps. A new poll found that over a third of Egyptians hold the Brotherhood responsible for the recent Mansoura bombing, which was claimed by Ansar Jerusalem.

IRAQ: The US delivered 75 Hellfire missiles to Iraq last week, and is providing unarmed reconnaissance drones and other equipment, as well as targeting assistance by the CIA, to help the Maliki government cope with security challenges posed by al Qaeda.

A HUSKY PUPPY tries to howl.

HIPPOS are nearly impossible to castrate. Who knew?

ROBBIE the CAT, who overcame horrific burns in an accident, was named Pet Survivor of the Year by the UK's leading veterinary charity.

PIRHANAS attacked Christmas day swimmers, injuring 60.

2559 Reads

The Day After Christmas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 26, 2013 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


I'M TAKING THE BLOG DAY OFF, but I didn't want to leave your post-holiday cupboard bare. Insofar as some of you might have some holiday cash or gift cards to deplete, you might consider my Faves of 2013. I worote there that there might be a couple of bands I overlooked and there are.  So check out Jagwar Ma, which puts retro genres in modern clothes, as well as Adam Green and Binki Shapiro, who nicle update the Lee Greenwood and Nancy Sinatra dynamic.

Also, some of you might be headed to the movies for the holiday season, so let me remind you I have recently mini-reviewed American Hustle, Anchorman 2, Inside Llewyn Davis, Saving Mr Banks, and The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug

Newly wide on Christmas are: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which is currently scoring 44 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Grudge Match, which is scoring 31 percent; 47 Ronin, scoring 15 percent; The Wolf of Wall Street, debuting at 82 percent and Justin Bieber's Believe, which was not screened for non-Beliebers.

See you Friday!

2026 Reads

Tomorrow is Christmas! It's practically here!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with CHRIS ISAAK, live at Universal Studios. Your holiday-themed numbers include "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Hey, Santa," "Last Month of the Year," "Blue Christmas," and "Christmas on TV." Bonus: Dreidel banter!

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS:  Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.  Mental Floss has "The Real Story Behind A Charlie Brown Christmas (and why it almost wasn't shown)." The WaPo has reflections from producer-director Lee Mendelson ( piece so populat the WaPo officiall reran it this year.)

DARLENE LOVE & RONNIE SPECTOR duet on "Sleigh Ride" and "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree."

THE POGUES:  It's not Christmas Eve in the drunk tank (or even St. Patrick's Day) without a "Fairytale of New York."

ANTON BARBEAU, an occasional collaborator of the late Scott Miller, crafted his own "Xmas Song."

SLICING UP EYEBALLS has a vintage alternative mixtape for you.

THREE NEW CHRISTMAS TUNES, excludive to The Guardian.

NORAD will be tracking Santa, per usual. CNET has a history and behind-the scenes story.

THE 25 BEST CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, according to Complex.

BILLY MACK: Because "Christmas Is All Around."  ALSO: The Atlantic's Chris Orr spent the season debating whether Love Actually is an awful movie.

THE FLAMING LIPS are streaming their 2008 feature film Christmas On Mars in its entirety.  They also perform "White Christmas" as only they can.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: "The Keep That Keeps Giving."  Not to be confused with "The Gift," which is not Christmasey at all.

CALEXICO: Speaking of presents, here's their "Gift X-Change."

THE MUPPETS: "Ringing of the Bells." Not to be confused with Super Furry Animals.

AN XMAS FLASH MOB from the Berklee College of Music broke out into an impromptu performance of the classic Christmas carol “O Holy Night” at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

GLAM XMAS:  I started the month with Wizzard's awesome "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" (1973's UK Xmas No. 1). The circle is now complete.

HALL & OATES: "Jingle Bell Rock," reduced to its molten kitchy essense.

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS:  The real deal, not Jim Carrey.  Then he slunk to the ice box. He took the Whos' feast. He took the who pudding, he took the roast beast. He emptied the ice box as quick as a flash. Why, the Grinch even took the last can of who hash.

DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY'S cross-generational duet o­n "Little Drummer Boy." This historic even was recreated by Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Plus, Jack Black and Jason Segel have done a cartoon cover

THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS:  Many people believe human activity is causing global warming.  I blame Snow Miser and Heat Miser.

CHICAGO CHRISTMAS MEMORIES:  If you grew up in Chicago (and I suspect other places), the season is not complete without watching the short cartoons of "Hardrock, Coco & Joe" (a story fantastic, a story so queer), "Suzy Snowflake" and the jazzy version of "Frosty the Snowman."

THE BEATLES fan club messages for 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.

THE TRON 1982 HOLIDAY SPECIAL, courtesy of Funny Or Die.

THE SEX PISTOLS' final UK show was a Christmas benefit.

PU$$Y RIOT will be home for Christmas, in what the band calls a PR stunt by the Russian government.

HOLIDAY BIN: From Cheap Trick to The Band, from The Ventures to Futureheads, from Clarence Carter to The dB's, plus Darlene Love, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Beach Boys, Yo La Tengo and more -- your stocking stuffers are now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM..

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Pate even had a song titled "Rope Around The Moon," so watch the whole thing. BONUS: Vintage Bailey backlash from warped, frustrated old people at the New York Times and Portfolio. DOUBLE-BONUS: 22 TV variations on It's A Wonderful Life.

RUDOLPH, THE RED-NOSED REINDEER:  Pull up an ice block and lend an ear!  Herbie wanted to be a dentistNTTAWWT.  BONUS:  The Rankin-Bass classic continues to inspire ads like 2009's Verizon ad, following 2008's Apple ad, and even more so 2007's AFLAC commercial.

FESTIVUS:  For the rest of us.  Technically already started, so I can be one of your grievances.

SCARY GHOST STORIES: I overheard Andy Williams crooning "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" in a store this month, and the lyric about "scary ghost stories" never really struck me before.  Took me a second, but I supposed he was referring to Dickens.  It turns out -- as noted by a coworker -- that this was a thing in Victorian England...  and the modern day. BONUS: Krampus!

TEN UNFORGETTABLE Musical Christmas Moments On Film.

THE 30 BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES, according to Empire magazine.

CLASSIC TV CHRISTMAS SPECIALS by the truckload, linked at WFMU, the post is a few years old, but many of the links still work. Also, 23 TV Episodes based on "A Christmas Carol."

NAT KING COLE:  His chestnuts are roasting.

MAYMO THE BEAGLE gets 210 bottles for Christmas.

100 ANIMALS in Santa hats. You're welcome.


14 ANIMALS Who Tried to Ruin Christmas.

AN AUSTRALIAN FAMILY shot into the Guinness Book of Records in 2011 after decorating their home with an astonishing 331038 Christmas lights. If the video at the link doesn't work, try this one.

2404 Reads

Wire, Luscious Jackson, Dismemberment Plan, Howlin' Wolf   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 23, 2013 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


PAUL McCARTNEY, BARRY GIBB & MADONNA all turned up on SNL with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.

WIRE performs live on the KEXP Afternoon Show and talks about the Drill Festival.

LUSCIOUS JACKSON stopped by WFUV to chat and play songs old and new.

LEAGUES stopped by WFUV's Studio A to play a mini-set.

THE DISMEMBERMENT PLAN  perform a very special show for KEXP's VIP club members at the Triple Door while touring for their latest album, Uncanny Valley.

TOM WAITS gives a reading of a "Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis."

ELVIS COSTELLO talks to Esquire about YouTube, pompous critics, Questlove, Hank Williams, and how he just never got into Zeppelin.

KEN STRINGFELLOW talks to ToneDeaf about Big Star, The Posies, and the pre-internet era of music. (Thx to the late Chromewaves.)

LYDIA LUNCH, former frontwoman for Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, is profiled in the New York Times Magazine.

THE TOP 10 FOLK & AMERICANA ALBUMS of 2013, according to NPR.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug repeats atop the chart with 31.5 million. Its 57 percent drop is just about what happened to the first Hobbit -- but that's pretty good news considering the first one had lackluster competition like Jack Reacher and This is 40.Peter Jackson is still likely to make close to 300 million domestic and a billion worldwide.  Anchorman 2 places with 26.8 million and a five-day total of 40 million against its 50 million production budget (and Lord knows about the promo budget).  Probably not bad for a sequel nine years after the original; look for this to finish somewhere between 100 and 150 million domestic.  Frozen shows with 19.2 million on a fantastically leggy 15 percent drop.  As Walking With Dinosaurs debuted in the eighth slot, it's safe to say Frozen will continue to ring the register through the end of the year.  Frozen is playing like Lion King-era Disney.  American Hustle clibs to the fourth slot with 19.1 million -- director David O. Russell's biggest opening to date; the opening augurs well for awards season, though The Wolf Of Wall Street will compete financially come Christmas.  Saving Mr Banks rounds out the Top 5 with 9.3 million, which isn't bad, but must have the Mouse a little concerned about word of mouth.

ANCHORMAN 2: The conventional wisdomon this flick seems on-target. It has most of the flaws of a sequel -- the situtations and jokes are variations on the original, but pumped up a notch.  While the original Ron Burgundy farce used women in the workplace as a plot point, this one employs race, and not particularly well. In particular, the Burgundy's Coming To Dinner scene never quite crosses over from cringeworthy to hilarious. Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay find a better target in the trivial fixations of cable news, although even this bit of satire would have had much more bite five years ago.  Nevertheless, the bits -- derivative as they may be -- are funny enough that fans of the original will likely enjoy it.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS may be the saddest film the Coen Brothers have ever made. Set in the immediate-pre-Dylan folk music scene in NYC, Llewyn is apparently still mourning the dissolution of his prior musical partnership and testing the endurance of his friends -- and anyone else who loans him a couch on which to crash. Artistically, he does not seem to have found his purpose, and thus no method to achieve it; he only seems to know he does not want to merely exist, even as he heads down that path.  The cast does well with the script, and the more comic moments, generally involving a cat, John Goodman, or both are a welcome relief.  T-Bone Burnett does his usual impeccable work in supervising the music, obviously a central feature here.  Just be aware you are heading into a mini-tragedy; Raising Arizona, Fargo or The Big Lebowski this ain't.


CHARLIE SHEEN threatened Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson.

GWYNETH PALTROW has kissed and made up with Vanity Fair. It also sounds like the mag will be softening its coverage of her. A triumph for journalism.

KATE UPTON broke up with dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy; it's not my fault.

ANNA PAQUIN has been cut from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but only for time considerations.

THE UNITED STATES added two new terrorism charges against Osama bin Laden son-in-law Abu Ghaith.

SYRIA: The Al Nusrah Front carried out two suicide car bombings outside the al-Kandi hospital in Aleppo city. Islamists and al Qaeda-linked groups took over the hospital, which is near Aleppo Central Prison.

LIBYA: A suicide car bomber detonated at a military base in Barsis, outside Benghazi, killing at least six people and wounding 15 more. Benghazi's newly appointed head of military intelligence was assassinated in Derna.

EGYPT: Former president Mohammed Morsi and over 125 others were referred to court over charges related to a mass jailbreak in January 2011.

IRAQ: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham killed the commander of the Iraqi Army's 7th Division, the commander of the 28th Brigade, and 16 officers in a triple suicide attack in Rutbah. The commanders were visiting the town after an operation that targeted the ISIS.

HOWLIN' WOLF sings the blues.

A BOBCAT became entangled in a woman's window blinds.

COULD AN OCTOPUS be terrorizing Oklahoma's lakes?

MAYBE THE TERRIER ate your knickers

2139 Reads

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