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Andrew Bird, Alt-J, Americana, Cohen Covers, Crossing Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE KILLERS' video for "Here With Me", directed by Tim Burton, features a Winona Ryder cameo.

ANDREW BIRD stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

ALT-J played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

THE TOP FOLK & AMERICANA LPs OF 2012: Folk Alley streams tracks from their selections.

17 LEONARD COHEN COVERS, collected by Largehearted Boy.

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

THE BEST LPs OF 2012, according to critics at The Guardian.

THE MOST OVERLOOKED ALBUMS of 2012, according to the Daily Swarm.



NOW SHOWING (OR SOON): This weekend's wide releases start today with The Guilt Trip, currently scoring 43 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and the 3-D rerelease of Monsters, Inc., scoring 95 percent.  Friday brings Jack Reacher, which is currently scoring 79 percent; This is 40, scoring 62 percent; and the near-wide debut of Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away, which is currently not scored. Christmas brings Django Unchained, currently scoring 97 percent; Les Miserables, scoring 72 percent; and Parental Guidance, unscored.  All of these are early numbers, so double-check the links before heading off to the cineplex.

BRITNEY SPEARS: To be dumped by Jason Trawick? Too good to check.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Too broke for a shrink? That's what RadarOnline claims.

ORLANDO BLOOM & MIRANDA KERR deny a split. Or her mum does, anyway.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL & BEN GIBBARD, otoh, are officially divorced.

KATY PERRY & JOHN MAYER were... wait for it.... caught canoodling at an intimate birthday party in NYC.

QUENTIN TARANTINO is tired of defending his films each time the US is shocked by gun violence.  But his Django Unchained star, Jamie Foxx, think the films have influence.

KATE UPTON previews the SI Swimsuit issue... from Antarctica

LIBYA: Assailants attacked two Benghazi police stations on Sunday in an attempt to free one or two prisoners linked to assassinations of security officials; four policemen were killed and several others were wounded.

SYRIA: After days of heavy fighting, rebel forces took control of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp south of Damascus. The government massed forces to retake the camp. Large numbers of Palestinian residents fled. Rebels made further gains in central Syria.

IRAN's president said Western sanctions would not slow down its nuclear program. Iran's nuclear chief said Iran would not stop enriching uranium to 20 percent. The US resumed efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program.

EGYPT: Opponents resumed protests over a draft constitution. Egypt's public prosecutor, appointed by President Morsi, resigned.

THIS CAT helps school crossing guards.

PUGGLES: Two baby echidnas, which weighed less than one gram each when they hatched at the Perth Zoo in August, are the result of the first successful breeding from zoo-born echidnas.

A FOX makes like Pooh and the honey pot, but with a Volkswagen.

BIRDS are lining their nests with cigarette butts to repel pests and keep themselves warm, according to research.

2531 Reads

Tegan & Sara, Jingle Jams, Stornoway, Kim Wilde, Terrier Pup   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TEGAN & SARA cover Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time."

CHRISTMAS RELEASES from Bing Crosby, the Beach Boys, the Rat Pack and more are streaming this week at Spinner.

JINGLE JAMS: An eclectic mix of holiday tunes from NPR.

STORNOWAY unveils new material unplugged at The Guardian.

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

THE XX drops a cver of Wham!'s "Last Christmas."

KIM WILDE drunkenly warbles "Kids In America" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" on the subway.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks with Willamette Week about the song, "White Cedar." (Thx, LHB.)

SILVER JEWS frontman David Berman is essayed at Tablet.


KISS: The A.V. Club reviews drummer Peter Criss's "endearingly needy and sleazy" memoir.

AMY WINEHOUSE may not have died from alcohol poisoning, this according to London officials who are launching a new inquest into the singer's death next month.

CHANNING TATUM and his wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum "are pleased to announce that they are expecting the birth of their first child next year."

BROOKE MUELLER spent just six days in rehab (ostensibly for Adderall).


JIMMY FALLON may take over the Tonight Show.

BRITNEY SPEARS may be off The X Factor.

STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS has a full trailer online already.

THE UNITED STATES State Department designated Michel Samaha, Lebanon's former Minister of Information and Tourism, as a global terrorist for plotting with Syrian officials "to conduct bombing attacks against Lebanese political and religious figures in northern Lebanon."

SYRIA: Saying neither side could win the conflict, Syria's vice president called for a negotiated settlement. Both Turkey and Iran put forward plans to end the conflict.

EGYPT's judges moved to boycott the second round of voting in the constitutional referendum. Opposition leaders called for protests on Tuesday over alleged polling violations in the first round.

IRAQ: Thirty-two Iraqis were killed and more than 100 were wounded in a series of bombings and attacks across the country.

BOSTON TERRIER PUP is too excited to keep his feet planted.

CIRCUS ELEPHANTS were saved from the deadly Siberian cold by vodka.

A SHETLAND PONY takes the Berlin subway.

MAYBE THE DINGO stole your cash and jewelry.

2319 Reads

Feelies + Yo La Tengo, Lissie, Joey Kneisser, Polite Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 17, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE FEELIES joined YO LA TENGO on the Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray" during YLT's annual Hannukah run at Maxwell's. (Thx, Ken King.)

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

JOEY KNEISER is streaming Midnight For The Graveyard Heart.

LEAGUES: The Nashville trio features two unreleased songs from World Cafe Next.

10 R.E.M. COVERS, rounded up by Largehearted Boy.

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

TRACEY THORN talks to the Daily Swarm about her Christmas LP, Everything But The Girl, X Factor, and more.

SHE'S WITH THE BAND: Quotations from Pamela Des Barres.

GEORGE CLINTON was ordered to transfer his copyrights in certain songs to court appointed receiver.

THE 10 BEST PRETENDERS SONGS, according to Stereogum.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey tops the chart with 84.8 million, which is a December record.  Nevertheless, it may earn less than Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and cost more to make (250-70 million). No one will have to hold a garage sale for Peter Jackson, but he may want to consider tightening up the next two installments (more on that below. Rise of the Guardians, capturing what's left of the family market is a distant second with 7.4 million, with Lincoln a close third at 7.2 million (financially, Rise will be lucky to push worldwide, while Lincoln is easily profitable).  Skyfall takes the biggest Hobbit hit, dropping from first to fourth with 7 million.  Life of Pi hangs in to round out the Top 5 (again) with 5.4 million.  Overall, the box office is way up over both last weekend, and the same weekend last year.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY is a movie that just can't win... at least with a lot of the top film critics.  By expanding a single book into three movies, Peter Jackson simultaneously pits slimmer material against the more epic LotR trilogy and invites everyone to recall their discomfort with the multiple endings of LotR: Return of the King.  Is this first Hobbit "too long"? It is slowly paced -- particularly in the first two acts -- but I never felt bored or that the film dragged, particularly given the amount of exposition and character introduction required.  Perhaps my age is showing, but if I'm paying as much as I am for a movie (particularly with the tech premium for 3-D, 48 fps), I am going with the mindset that if Jackson wants to ramble a bit and dip into secondary material to enrich what is going to be a 7+ hour story, I'm not going to get impatient about it.  I suppose it may be an issue for younger viewers.  I will say that, like some others, the 3-D 48 fps presentation (48 frames per second as compared to the typical 24 frames for film or 30 for video) was occasionally disconcerting and strangely reminiscent of videogame action, so choose your presentation wisely.  In short, I might not have made the upfront choices Jackson made, but I found his execution of them entertaining and unworthy of the harsh words some have had for the effort.

LINDSAY LOHAN sent a belated “thank you” card and flowers to Charlie Sheen for that 100k check he gave her. She reportedly admits her life has gone off the rails and she desperately needs professional help.  Meanwhile, a strip club may save her storage locker.

AMANDA BYNES's lawyer convinced the judge to throw out two criminal charges against the actress.  A decidedly unhappy city attorney intends to continue a DUI case against her.

RUSSELL CROWE revealed he is determined to bring his family back together and lashed out at 'false and cruel' reports surrounding his love life.

MATT. DAMON. opens up about those ol' gay rumors about him and Ben Afflleck.

MARISA MILLER and her husband, music producer Griffin Guess are parents after welcoming their first child on Thursday.

DONALD FAISON married CaCee Cobb, Jessica Simpson's former personal assistant.

KRISTEN STEWART: I rarely do fashion stories but get a load of this.

SYRIA: Rebel forces made gains in the northern area of Aleppo. Government troops assaulted a rebel-held area southwest of Damascus. US officials said Syrian government forces had loaded dozens of bombs and shells with chemical weapons.

EGYPTIANS went to the polls to vote for a new constitution. New Islamist groups are emerging in Alexandria, including Hazemoun, the Third Islamist Current, and the Salafi Front.

AFGHANISTAN: President Karzai said US and NATO troops should withdraw from Afghan villages as soon as possible.

A CAT politely asks for attention.

CHEETAHS from the Houston Zoo work out at the Sam Houston Race Park.

SQUABBLING BLACK SWANS reconcile in Regent's Park.

A MUZZLED DOG alerted humans to animals in distress by honking the car horn.

2208 Reads

Shindig Christmas, Lyle Lovett, Clare & the Reasons, Cutout Bin, Nice Beaver   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 14, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with SHINDIG CHRISTMAS '64! Part One includes 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. Part Two includes Marvin Gaye with "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" and Adam Faith with "Watch Your Step," plus Bobby Sherman singing "Sleigh Ride" and Adam Faith returning with "Santa Claus Is Back In Town."  In Part Three, Donna Loren returns 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." Part Four brings Marvin Gaye with "Hitch Hike" and concludes with The Beach Boys on "We Three Kings."

LYLE LOVETT plays some of his earliest stuff in a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR.

CLARE & THE REASONS deliver some chamber pop to WNYC Soundcheck.

THE BABIES chug through a set of fuzzed out songs at KEXP.

MUSIC BLOG ZEITGEIST 2012: The ol' HM streams tracks from its 50 Top Artists.

LOS CAMPESINOS! drops a holiday single, "“A Doe to a Deer.”

RA RA RIOT premieres "When I Dream" at Entertainment Weekly.

PAUL McCARTNEY and the remaining members of Nirvana played "Cut Me Some Slack" at the 12-12-12 concert, icymi.  This preempts something Ken King sent me, so there's more goodness next week.

DEER TICK: John McCauley talks to CMJ about some of the best, worst and most ridiculous Christmas songs.

CHRISTOPHER OWENS talks to Spinner about going solo.

DAVID WAX (of David Wax Museum) talks to amNY about the band's genre-bending sound. (Thx, LHB)

CUTOUT BIN: From Adrian Belew to Van Morrison, from Booker T & the MGs to the Long Ryders, from Randy Newman to the Knack, plus the Beatles, Clash, Drivin' & Cryin', Squeeze and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is this weekend's sole wild release, scoring 69 percent on the ol' Tomatometer.

LINDSAY LOHAN is on the verge of losing expensive designer clothes, family heirlooms and potentially embarrassing items ... because she hasn't paid her storage bill.

LIAM HEMSWORTH: Miley Cyrus' fiance Liam Hemsworth rocked another man hard in the face during a ferocious street fight.


GILLIAN ANDERSON will return to TV to play Hannibal Lechter's therapist.

THE SAG AWARDS nominations went to these folks.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES nominations went to these folks.

THE UNITED STATES: Shaker Masri, an Alabama-born Chicago man, was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison. Masri had plotted to be a suicide bomber for al Qaeda or Shabaab in Somalia.

SYRIA: Russia's deputy foreign minister said the Assad regime was losing control of Syria; NATO's Secretary General assessed that the regime was approaching collapse. The Syrian Army fired SCUD ballistic missiles at rebel positions for the first time.

IRAQ: The central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government agreed on a plan to deescalate the situation in Kirkuk.


A BEAVER waves to a toddler. Hey, nice beaver!

A PIG weighing nearly 300 pounds was discovered in the back of a wrecked stolen car in Youngstown, Ohio. The car, a Nissan Cube, was totaled, but Penelope was unscathed. No word on whether she'll be charged.


THE CRISTMAS GOAT burns again.

2373 Reads

John Cale, Charles Bradley, Matthew Dear, Lonely Kitty   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


WAVVES drop "Sail to the Sun" as a single ahead of a new LP.

JOHN CALE recently stopped by the KEXP studio with his band. 

CHARLES BRADLEY & THE MENAHAN STREET BAND recently joined forces in the KEXP studio for a knock-down, drag-out live set of soulful howling tunes.

MATTHEW DEAR delivers a dark and entrancing set at WNYC Soundcheck.

ALL EYES stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set. 

CHRISTOPHER OWENS played "Here We Go" and the previously unheard "New York City" on BBC Radio 6.

THE RAMONES: "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)."

THE HOUSE OF LOVE frontman Guy Chadwick lists his favorite LPs for The Quietus.

THE 10 BEST CLASH SONGS, according to Stereogum.

HOT CHIP talks to The Guardian about why Prince remains King.

SAVOIR ADORE talks to PopMatters about their upcoming, crowdfunded LP.

LINDSAY LOHAN's probation was revoked; the judge has now set a hearing to decide whether to lock Lindsay up for the better part of a year.

ANNE HATHAWAY called her wardrobe malfunction "devastating," as though she hadn't starred in Havoc.

JUSTIN BIEBER was the target of a murder plot.

KATE MIDDLETON was blamed by Morrissey for that nurse's suicide. Because he's Morrissey.

ARIEL WINTER: The Modern Family actress will live with her sister, while her dad controls her estate, following allegations of abuse by her mom.

THE KARDASHIANS: Kris and Bruce Jenner are headed for divorce, according to the ever-reliable Star.

CARLY RAE JEPSEN's alleged phone hacker was busted.

NORTH KOREA successfully launched a satellite into orbit, demonstrating North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile capability. NATO, UN, Russian, and Japanese leaders criticized the launch.

SYRIA: The US recognized the opposition Syrian National Coalition as the "sole legitimate representative" of the Syrian people. More than 100 countries also recognized the opposition coalition. Russia, China, and Iran did not.

EGYPT: The National Salvation Front opposition alliance called for a "no" vote on the upcoming referendum on a draft constitution. Egyptians abroad began voting. Protests by both supporters and opponents of President Morsi continued in Cairo and across Egypt.

IRAQ: Security forces captured an al Qaeda commander near Mosul, four al Qaeda fighters in Fallujah, and three Ansar al Sunnah fighters in Kirkuk. A court sentenced three al Qaeda commanders and four fighters to death for kidnapping and executing 26 men in Anbar.

KITTEH doesn't want you to leave.

IKEA MONKEY: The owner of a monkey caught wandering outside an Ikea store in Toronto says the tiny primate should have the "right to choose" who he wants to live with.

POPULAR WOLF killed by hunters in Yellowstone.

SUPER RATS, carrying fatal diseases, have brits calling for stronger poisons. And bigger boats.

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