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Eartha Kitt, Yo La Tengo, WOXY double-CD, Dog shoplifts   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 29, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


EARTHA KITT, known for songs like "Santa Baby" and for playing the Catwoman on the Batman TV series, died Christmas Day of colon cancer at 81.

YO LA TENGO performed their eight nights of Hanukkah at Maxwell's.  You can read their diary (w/ pics) at the band's official site and download audio for December 23rd24th and 27th via nyctaper.

WOXY is offering a freely downloadable double-CD featuring the Best of their Lounge Acts from 2008.

ERIC CLAPTON is a fan of shooting trips in the countryside, and collected guns as he did guitars. But he's still in denial about the deputy.

THE OLD 97s: Murry Hammond talks about the band's most recent album and his solo LP with My San Antonio.

PINK FLOYD: Old and busted? Syncing Dark Side of the Moon to the Wizard of Oz.  The new hotness? Syncing it to extinction-level event CGI from the Discovery Channel.

MY MORNING JACKET had a pretty good year, as chronicled at the Louisville Courier-Journal.

BETTY LaVETTE had a pretty good year, as chronicled at MLive. Embedded videos at the link, too.

THAO NGUYEN talks to the Washington Post as part of a Best of 2008 series.  Embedded video there as well.

LOCAL H gets some local lvin' from the Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Marley & Me takes it with 37 million over the weekend, and 51 million since opening on Christmas.  Team Aniston has to be happy that it beat out Team Pitt for biggest Christmas opening, though this movie -- like the recent Beverly Hills Chihuahua -- is more evidence of the power of a cute dog to bring people to the multiplex. Over the weekend, Disney's Bedtime Stories (28 million) ascended to the second slot while The Curious Case of Benjamin Button took the third slot (27 million), though Button won by a million over the entire Christmas period (39 to 38 mill).  Bedtime Stories will probably be Adam Sandlers second 100 million dollar grosser this year.  Button has a reported 150 million production budget, but an opening this big may boost its Oscar odds. Valkyrie debuted in the fourth slot with 21 million (30 since Christmas) -- not bad considering the bad buzz surrounding the flick.Yes Man dropped from the top to round out the Top Fve, with 16.4 million.  Below the fold, The Spirit opened in ninth place with 6.5 million (10.3 since Christmas).

TOM-KAT are living in fear after receiving death threats believed to have come from groups opposed to Scientology.

GISELE BUNDCHEN & TOM BRADY engaged? Brady's dad says he hasn't heard anything about it.

MARIAH CAREY: Another pregnancy rumor.

AMY WINEHOUSE: A truckload of dirt from her ex-personal assistant in the uber-reliable News of the World.

WATCHMEN: In a surprise ruling, a federal judge in Los Angeles said he intended to grant 20th Century Fox's claim that it owns a copyright interest in the highly-anticipated superhero saga shot by Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures and set for release in March.

DREW BARRYMORE & JASON SEGEL sing "Rainbow Connection."  Let's go to the video.

JAY MOHR is adding the last name of wife Nikki Cox to his own. Yes, really.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ: Even more TMI from the latter.

LAURA ZUNIGA, a reigning Mexican beauty queen from the drug-plagued state of Sinaloa, was arrested with suspected gang members in a truck filled with guns and ammo, police say.

RUSSIA has thrown down a new gauntlet to Barack Obama with an announcement that it will sharply increase production of strategic nuclear missiles. Shocka.

AFGHANISTAN: The CIA is winning the hearts and minds of tribal chieftains with little blue pills

DOG takes the five-fingered discount on a rawhide bone at Smith's Food & Drug for Christmas.  Video at the link.

A CONFUSED SEA LION that approached the west end of the main runway at Oakland International Airport was taken to an animal sanctuary in Sausalito.  Video at the link.

SQUID: Rough Sex at 40,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It's a whale of a tale, lad.

THE SNUB-NOSED MONKEY makes Ugly Overload.

CAN BOTTLENOSED DOLPHINS survive a winter near the Jersey shore?

2720 Reads

Careful with that gift card, Eugene.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 26, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


I'm technically taking the day off, but as people may be looking to spend some holiday cash on music, I thought I would relink to my faves list, the aggregated reviews at Metacritic, and the expansive List of Lists at Largrehearted Boy.  A cross-section of all of those lists going beyond my tastes -- but not too far beyond my tastes -- might include those from Aquarium Drunkard, Berkeley Place, Chromewaves, Drowned in Sound, Gorilla vs. Bear, I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, Largehearted BoyMuzzle of Bees, Paste, Pitchfork, PopMatters, Stereogum's Gummy Awards and Tiny Mix Tapes.  Many of those have streaming audio or video samples to pique your interest.  Those are primarily links to lists of albums, LHB's big list of lists can hook you up with best songs lists, often from the same sources I just linked.

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And they'd FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with AIMEE MANN's CHRISTMAS CAROL (profanity warnings): Part One has your Scrooge-y set-up with Michael Penn. Part Two features The Office's John Krasinski. Part Three has Michael Cera. Part Four has John C. Reilly.

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

NORAD will be tracking Santa, per usual.

STEPHEN COLBERT & ELVIS COSTELLO: "There Are Much Worse Things to Believe In" makes NPR's Song of the Day

BILLY MACK: Because "Christmas Is All Around.".

THE FLAMING LIPS 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.

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.  BONUS:  The late Phil Hartman hosted a documentary on the making of the cartoon classic.

DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY'S cross-generational duet o­n "Little Drummer Boy."

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.

HOLIDAY BIN:  Your stocking stuffers -- from Richard Cheese to James Brown, from Louis Armstrong to Stephen Colbert, from Sufjan Stevens to Thurl Ravenscroft, Rosie Thomas, The Chesterfield Kings, Liz Phair, The Band and more  -- are 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: Bailey backlash from warped, frustrated old people appears at the New York Times and Portfolio.

NOW SHOWING:  The wide Christmas releases are the Disney/Adam Sandler comedy Bedtime Stories, which is currently scoring 24 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Marley and Me, which is currently scoring 37 percent; the Ton Cruise Nazi movie Valkyrie, which is scoring 59 percent; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, scoring 75 percent; and The Spirit at 13 percent. Reviews are thin right now, so those numbers may change.   NOTE: MGM has doubled down on the promo budget for Valkyrie, and the Cruise camp went so far as to offer a screening for anyone at a radio station and their friends -- at the Cruise home, no less -- if only they'd "say 'nice things' about the movie," according to one source.

THE RAMONES:  "Merry Christmas, Baby (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)."

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 has inspired ads like this season's Apple ad, (and this one) and even more so last year's AFLAC commercial.

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

CLASSIC TV CHRISTMAS SPECIALS by the truckload, linked at WFMU.

NAT KING COLE:  His chestnuts are roasting.


2515 Reads

Noah & the Whale, Mt. Goats, Stereolab, Unclever Sheep   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


OF MONTREAL played "An Eluardian Instance" for Dave last week, which was a pretty good week for Dave.

NOAH & THE WHALE do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle has posted three old tracks (previously unreleased, afaik) with the hope you will donate five bucks to a charity or two.

STEREOLAB stopped by the World Cafe for a mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

BET YOU THINK THIS SONG IS ABOUT YOU: The Guardian profiles the real-life subjects of noted rock songs.

CHRIS ISAAK serves up "Blue Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" for a colorful Twofer Tuesday.

TOP TEN 2008 LISTS from a variety of alt-rockers queried by Filter.

2009: A look ahead at anticipated albums via Stereogum.

LEONARD COHEN is profiled in The Scotsman, including his time as a notorious womanizer.

WARNER MUSIC is yanking all of its clips from the Tube.

JACKO reportedly needs an emergency transplant operation to save his life from a rare lung condition, according to the author of a new biography of the singer.

AMY WINEHOUSE appears to be winning her battle against drugs as she looked the picture of health during a winter break in the sun.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Dad and brother Bryan get paid.

GUY RITCHIE: Madonna's futrure ex may have moved on to millionaire heiress Jemima Khan.

RUSSELL CROWE and director Ridley Scott may be feuding as the prepare to shoot "Nottingham," a revisionist version of the Robin Hood legend.

SAMANTHA RONSON: Being Lindsay Lohan's girlfriend may be lucrative, but it also may be exhausting and stressful.

THE FRENCH HOTEL burglary was captured on video, but the perp was wearing a mask.

BRADGELINA Collectors' Plates are on display at the Gallery of the Absurd.


IRAQ: Welcome to the first-ever public Christmas celebration in Baghdad, held Saturday and sponsored by the Iraqi Interior Ministry. Once thought to be infiltrated by death squads, the Ministry now is trying to root out sectarian violence -- as well as improve its PR image.  ALSO: The number of daily attacks in Iraq has dropped nearly 95 percent since last year; the country's murder rates have dropped below levels that existed before the start of US operations in Iraq. ALSO: Michael Portillo, a British journalist, broadcaster, former Conservative Party politician and Cabinet Minister, argues that Iraq shows Britain has lost the stomach for a fight.

DOG + SNOW = Crazy Delicious.


THE SQUIRREL THREAT: One can only imagine the plot that involves Pete the Purple Squirrel.

MICE suspected in deadly cat fire.

SHEEP without Harold turn out to be less than clever.

BREEDING OWLS defecate strategically, using their excrement to erect "No Trespassing" signs within their territories.

2711 Reads

Broken Social Scene, The Annuals, Springsteen, Goth Kittens   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 22, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE stopped by Dave's last week to play "Churches Under The Stairs" from Brendan Canning's "BSS Presents..." solo LP.

ANNUALS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

THE 50 BEST ALBUMS of 2008: Pitchfork rolls out its list.

KEITH RICHARDS, Lord of the Undead, claims to have turned 65, when we all know its more like 1065.

U2 had a strange year.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & the E STREET BAND told Paris Monday night that "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."  But I still like the vintage video from Passaic, NJ in 1978.

RHETT MILLER talks to the Washington Times about The Old 97s, his solo work and the Internet era.

2008: The Year In Band Names, courtesy of The A.V. Club.

THE BODEANS: A 25+ year timeline, from the Wisconsin State Journal.

FLEET FOXES are profiled by The Age.

RICK RUBIN, once thought to be Sony's savior, is being offloaded to a side label.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Yes Man wins the weekend with 18.1 million, followed by the debuts of Seven Pounds (16 million) and The Tale of Despereaux (10.5 million).  Even so, these numbers probably disappoint the studios that were hoping for Jim Carrey and Will Smith to play Santa this Christmas.  Yes Man opened about where Carrey's recent lackluster outings did, and Seven Pounds opened at the very low end of Will Smith's usual range.  Despereaux may be able to get some traction as the holidays' family flick.  The Day The Earth Stood Still dropped a whopping 67 percent to fourth place -- as Keanu might say, "Whoah." Four Christmases rounds out the Top Five, breaking the 100 million mark, with at least one more decent week coming.  Below the fold, the news is critics' darling Slumdog Millionaire jumping into the Top Ten at number eight, even though it's showing on only 589 screens.

THE FRENCH HOTEL wuz robbed to the tune of two million worth of jewelry and other belongings.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly has a new man in her life -- Good Charlotte's Benji Madden.  Spears' publicist denies the story.

JENNIFER ANISTON & JOHN MAYER were... wait for it... caught canoodling in New York City Thursday night.

MADONNA: Reportedly cavorting with a Brazilian model she met shooting an editorial layout for W magazine.

TARA REID entered rehab last week? Shocka.

MAJEL BARRETT RODDENBERRY, the widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, has died at 76.

AFGHANISTAN: The Economist comtemplates "the next surge."

IRAQ: US troops captured a Hezbollah Brigades leader and two associates, and two Special Groups leaders and eight operatives during separate raids in Baghdad.

CHARLEY the CAT has cerebellar hypoplasia.  Raising awareness of a condition more amusing than serious, in hopes of saving others.

GOTH KITTENS sold on the Internet have aroused the ire of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

JAPANESE GOBLIN SHARK ATTACK: Let's go to the video.  ALSO: Shark Commits Suicide on Waterslide.

PANDA DOG: Awww...some pics.

ONE HOT DOG survives 30 minutes in the Missouri River in subzero weather.

2556 Reads

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