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Blind Boys of Alabama, Jessica Lea Wayfield, Wooden Birds, Bulldogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART see themselves as kids in "The Body."

THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

THE WOODEN BIRDS stopped by Oregon Public Broadcasting for a session.

WILLIAM ELLIOT WHITMORE is advance streaming Field Songs.

PICTUREPLAN is advance streaming Thee Phyisical. Not really my bag, but maybe yours.

KURT VILE: The video for "Baby's Arms" was directed and filmed by Todd Cole entirely on the Windows Phone.

THE FLAMING LIPS: Wayne Coyne talks new projects with The Quietus.

THURSTON MOORE talks to The Quietus about working with Beck and the acoustic guitar.

MEAT PUPPETS: Cris Kirkwood talks reunions with OnMilwaukee (Thx, LHB.)

BRIAN ENO discusses the release of his new collaboration with British poet Rick Holland, "Drums Between the Bells" at the L.A. Times.

ANTONY HEGARTY talks to The Observer about sexuality, fame and why Jesus was a girl.

SPOTIFY is finally set to launch in the United States.

ALICE COOPER's strange encounter with Brian Wilson. And Iggy Pop.


NATALIE PORTMAN has decided to name her son Aleph after a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

JOHNNY DEPP has hauled in 350 million from the Pirates franchise. No wonder he's close to a deal for a fifth outing.

CHARLIE SHEEN's new TV show will be based on the movie "Anger Management" and Charlie will be playing the Jack Nicholson character.  His ex-wife Brooke Mueller she vows to to unleash her lawyers if anyone trashes her at the upcoming Comedy Central Roast.

JUSTIN BIEBER's Vanity Fair cover may be the worst-selling issue in 12 years.

CASEY ANTHONY gets the predictable adult film offer, but why would she, given that she's likely to make over a million from book deals and such?

KERI RUSSELL is pregnant for the second time.

JAMES SPADER is set to join the cast of The Office.

CHRISTOPER WALKEN will play Zeus in Gods Behaving Badly.

THE TOP 15 CEREBRAL SCI-FI-FILMS, according to The Film Stage.

TERROR in the USA: The US has indicted Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame for supporting both Shabaab and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

EGYPT: A leader of Egypt's top secular party says the 9/11 terrorist attacks were "made in the USA," the Holocaust is "a lie" and Anne Frank's memoir is "a fake."

AFGHANISTAN: The apparent capture of a British soldier in Helmand is another chilling reminder that the fighting in Afghanistan is far from over and that the Taliban - despite the pounding it took over the winter months - is still capable and resilient.

IRAQ: Iranian-backed militias in Iraq are using more sophisticated weapons than in the past to target US troops and military installations in Iraq, according to senior US officials.

BULLDOGS on SWINGS: Let's go to the video.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Militant rodents unleashed a wildfire that risked the release of plutonium and uranium from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

SNAKE on a TRAIN: A Honduran milk snake halted the bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo.

A MONSTER PLANT with flowers the size of umbrellas and sap that causes blisters and blindness, is spreading across New York.

LUCKY the LABRADOR wins the PSDA slimming title.

2845 Reads

TMBG, New Releases, Raveonettes, BOAT, Scorpion on a Plane   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS brings in The Onion office staff to play Chumbawumba's "Tubthumping" for The A.V. Club Undercover. And it is terrific.

NEW RELEASES from Memory Tapes, Robert Ellis, Federico Aubele and more are streaming this week via Spinner.

THE RAVEONETTES stopped by WFUV for a chat and mini-set.

BOAT did five free songs for Daytrotter.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Roio shares rehearsals for Bruce's 2009 tour.

DAVID BOWIE plays "Young Americans" for Cavett, looking and sounding too much acquainted with the Thin White Duke.

BON IVER: Justin Vernon talks to American Songwriter about, er, songwriting.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks to WUOR about growing up in Cali.

NICK LOWE talks to the L.A. Times about Buddy Holly and Wilco.

GIVERS: The Observer essays their irrepressible good-time vibe.

SLY STONE returns after a nearly 30-year absence with an album dropping August 16.

CHARLIE SHEEN will be roasted on Comedy Central opposite the Ashton Kutcher's debut on Two and a Half Men.

CASEY ANTHONY: Off to find the real killer. Irony alert.

JENNIFER ANISTON: Taking a year off.

ARNOLD & MARIA SPLIT: After Shriver officially filed for divorce from estranged husband, Schwarzenegger reportedly agreed to give his soon-to-be ex-wife a "very generous divorce settlement." Not that he has a great deal of choice, legally or practically.

LENNY KRAVITZ is interviewed by Details.


THE 10 BEST TOM HANKS FILMS, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Larry Crowne not one of them.

AUSTRALIA: Police in New South Wales state have been given more powers to remove burkas and other face coverings to identify crime suspects. Islamic leaders in the state said they were comfortable with the new measure; civil liberty groups expressed concern.

YEMEN: The top general in the opposition says he rejects a new proposal that would allow the country's embattled Pres Saleh to remain in power until a new leader is found. Meanwhile, the VP says security in his country is "deteriorating," including a growing threat from Al Qaeda.

PAKISTAN: Obama administration officials believe that Pakistan's powerful spy agency ordered the killing of a Pakistani journalist who had written scathing reports about the infiltration of militants in the country's military, according to American officials.

AFGHANISTAN: Pres Karzai is locked in a fight over his bid to oust dozens of lawmakers and is grappling with a scandal surrounding Kabul Bank that has curtailed foreign aid. Then there are allegations that he's trying to claim a third term.

SCORPION on a PLANE: Terror at 30000 feet.

A MONKEY steals a camera to take his own picture.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Now they're winning a British lottery.

A 70-LB TORTOISE stolen Saturday from a Lincolnwood (IL) exotic animal store has been returned "with only a few minor dings."

2810 Reads

Jayhawks, Eleanore Friedberger, The Horrors, Dove vs Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE JAYHAWKS played Taste of Chicago over the weekend and I went when the storms foretold failed to materialize (though a few minutes of rain was a welcome respite to a baking sun and humidity).  The reunited quintet opened with "Wichita" from Hollywood Town Hall; the set leaned heavily on that LP and Tomorrow The Green Grass (the reissues of these albums being the focus of their current tour). Certainly, the latter LP's "Blue" got the biggest round of applause of a well received set, though "Waiting For the Sun" was also a highlight.  The band also unveiled a few from their upcoming Mockingbird Time album, including "She Walks in So Many Ways" and "Black Eyed Susan."  Folks who were there for the free music seemed to enjoy it and were perhaps surprised at the band's cover of Grand Funk's "Bad Time."  The attitude of the band was as sunny as the day turned out; they seemed to view it as a chance to add to their rabid fan base, and likely succeeded.  Not having seen The Jayhawks in their initial run was on my regrets list and I am glad to cross it off, particularly as their harmonies (not merely the incredible blend of Gary Louris and Mark Olson, but also the occasional spice of Karen Grotberg and Tim O'Reagan) seem as strong as ever.

EVEREST opened for the Jayhawks, and if you listen to this Morning Becomes Eclectic, it's not surprising that Neil Young signed the band to his label. But even more than Young, the band reminded me of the fictional Stillwater from Almost Famous, absent the Jagger/Richards or Plant/Page dynamic.  That is, Everest is very much in the genre of classic rock without sounding too much like any of those bands in particular (not a bad thing, imho).

ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER is advance streaming Last Summer.

THE HORRORS are advance streaming Skying.

THE SUNDELLES did five free songs for Daytrotter.

LOLLAPALOOZA: Get your free MP3s from Spinner.

THE REPLACEMENTS played their final show 20 years ago yesterday. Stream it.

RYAN ADAMS covers "Nutshell" (Alice in Chains) and offers a new track, "Empty Room," a collaboration with the missus (Mandy Moore).

GUIDED BY VOICES: NYC Taper joins the band in offering two streaming tracks from McCarren Park, June 18, 2011; the whole set (and all their reunion gigs) may be purchesed from the band.

THE DOORS:  Over the weekend, former members of the band have marked the 40th anniversary of the death of Jim Morrison by lighting candles at his grave in Paris.  So why not "Light My Fire" and "Touch Me" for Twofer Tuesday?

BOB MOULD talks to NY mag's Vulture about his memoirs.

THE BEST OF 2011 (So Far): According to Drowned in Sound; Paste staffers Bonnie Stiernberg, Josh Jackson, and Max Blau; SPIN and The Queitus.

BLONDIE: Debbie Harry talks to the Daily Mail about new artists, Botox and more...

RICK SPRINGFIELD: Charged with two counts of DUI.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: To the surprise of no one, Transformers 3 cleans up with 97.5 million over the weekend, and 162.2 million since opening Wednesday.  That's actually about 38 million less than what Transformers 2 took in over a similar period, despite the 3-D premium price.  But it has already grossed 391 million worldwide, so we have likely not seen the last of the autobots, even if Shia LeBeouf is making noise like he's done.  Cars 2 skids a remarkable 62 percent to the second slot with 25.1 million -- was it just the Transformers, or a quality problem? Hmmm.  Bad Teacher dropped 55 percent to the third slot with 14.1 million, but is already well in the black on its 20 million budget.  Larry Crowne debuted at No.4 with 13 million, which is a sure disappointment for a Hanks-Roberts vehicle, though it won't likely count as a financial flop, given its 30 million budget.  Rounding out the Top 5 is the 7.6 million debut of Monte Carlo, which ain't bad against a 20 million budget.

ARNOLD & MARIA: Shriver filed for divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger, revealing there is no prenup, which reportedly means they will split as much as 400 million dollars. (Note the media savvy of dumping the divorce filing on the Friday night before the July 4th weekend.)

RYAN REYNOLDS & SCARLETT JOHANSSON are officially divorced.

KATE MOSS got hitched to rocker Jamie Hince.

SALMA HAYEK's billionaire husband fathered Linda Evangelista's child.

DANIEL RADCLIFFE: Why I Don't Drink Alcohol Anymore.

CHARLIE SHEEN's ex, Brooke Mueller, is out of rehab.

ASHTON KUTCHER is having a Twitter fight with the Village Voice over child prostitution. He has gone so far as to tweet advertisers about the Voice's Back Page personal ads.

PRINCE ALBERT II wed longtime love Charlene Wittstock in a civil ceremony inside the palace in Monaco on Friday afternoon.

AL QAEDA: Toward the end of his decade in hiding, Osama bin Laden was spending as much time exchanging messages about al-Qaeda's struggles as he was plotting ways for the terrorist network to reassert its strength.

IRAN's elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has transferred lethal new munitions to its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent months, according to senior US officials, in a bid to accelerate the US withdrawals from these countries.

EGYPT: Liberals and secularists now fear that at least some of their newfound freedoms may be backfiring. But if the revolution has had an uncomfortable lesson for Egypt's discordant and inexperienced liberals, it has the same catch for the Islamists: with free expression comes diversity, and not everyone is going to agree.

IRAQI commandos are taking the lead in rooting out insurgents, but want US special ops to stay in-country.

DOVE vs CAT: Who you got?

TWO RACCOONS carjacked a German motorist.

RATS rampant at Arizona's Capitol building.

A WAYWARD BABOON that apparently escaped from an amusement park and became a mini-celebrity -- appearing at a golf course and being followed on Twitter -- was captured Saturday after spending three days on the lam.

THE LESSER WATER BOATMAN is the loudest creature in the world thanks to the insect's noisy 'singing penis', scientists have discovered.

2652 Reads

In the course of Human Events...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 01, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE BEACH BOYS!  Yep, time to "Do It Again."  Because folks my age will always remember their mammoth July 4th concerts at the Washington Monument -- as with this 1980 take o­n "Good Vibrations." Given the time of year, I have to include this 1964 clip of "Surfin' U.S.A." which I think is from the same gig that produced these takes on "Little Deuce Coupe," "In My Room," "Shut Down," "Surfer Girl" and "Fun, Fun Fun." Their take on "Dance, Dance, Dance" from Shindig! later that year is like a slice of Christmas in July.  There's also a nifty twofer of "I Get Around" and "'When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" from their first UK TV appearance o­n Ready Steady Go!  The Andy Williams Show serves up "Help Me, Rhonda," while The Jack Benny Hour produced these quick takes o­n "Barbara Ann" and "California Girls."  There's a primitive video for "Wouldn't It Be Nice" that starts with a cameo from Brian Wilson's dogs (Banana and Louie), who appear at the end of the Pet Sounds LP.  And I'll finish with a live version of "God Only Knows" from the 1967 European tour -- one of the last Brian would do for a decade or so.

RAY CHARLES performs "America The Beautiful" like no one else.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: Bruce Springsteen, circa 1978, before it came out on The River.


THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER: From 2008, Hidden Track serves up 12 video versions. And the only ones not working now are Jimi Hendrix and Whitney Houston.

THE UNITED STATES prepares to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4, 1776. As the Wikipedia notes, this is a little arbitrary: New Englanders had been fighting Britain since April 1775; the first motion in the Continental Congress for independence was made o­n June 8th; and the Congress voted 12-0 for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain o­n July 2, 1776. Even so, the publication of the Declaration was momentous .  If you're not in DC, the best way to see and learn about the Declaration may be through the Charters of Freedom website. But you can watch Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas, Renee Zelleweger, Kevin Spacey, Wynona Ryder and other Hollywood folk read the Declaration, after a short introduction by Morgan Freeman.

Of course, the holiday more broadly celebrates the American Revolutionary War, and the Founders' unlikely victory. People with the highest standard of living and the lowest taxes in the Western World fought a sometimes unpopular war for our freedom. Early o­n, the Revolutionaries (also known as "Americans" or "Patriots") had the active support of about 40 to 45 percent of the colonial population. By 1779, there were more Americans fighting with the British than with Washington, which is why Washington needed help from the French, the Spanish and freed Blacks. You can separate fact from fiction regarding the sacrifices and fates of the Founders at Snopes. You can hear two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough read from the first chapter of his 1776 via NPR. Or watch a nifty clip on the passage and public reading of the Declaration from the John Adams miniseries.

DAVE ALVIN: Hey, baby, it's the "4th of July."

POPULAR SONGS: Who Really Owns Them?

NINE HIT SONGS Musicians gave Away to Other Artists.

RETROMANIA: Simon Reynolds talks to PopMatters about his new book and pop's addiction to its own past.

IS THERE A FORMULA FOR HIT SONGS? Two grad students are working on it at Rutgers.

CUTOUT BIN: From Elvis Costello to Led Zeppelin, from Best Coast to Wilson Pickett, from Let's Active to Tom Petty, plus the Modern Lovers, David Byrne, the Beach Boys, the Feelies, Don Covay and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING: In addition to Transformers 3, which opened Wednesday scoring 36 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's wide counter-programming includes Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in Larry Crowne, which is scoring 33 percent; and Selena Gomez in Monte Carlo, scoring 43 percent.

SHIA LeBEOUF & MEGAN FOX: More details leak after LeBeouf self-leaked to Details.

JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS (The Tudors) was hospitalized in London this week after a possible suicide attempt involving pills, according to the ever-reliable Sun.

DENISE RICHARDS adopted a baby girl domestically.

LINDSAY LOHAN stumbles leaving a social club on her first night out after the end of her house arrest.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE takes a minority stake in MySpace after its acquisition by online advertising network Specific Media and will help the company develop its new strategy and creative direction.

TOBEY MAGUIRE categorically denies he participated in illegal celebrity poker games.

PRINCE HARRY is having secret trysts with lingerie and swimwear model Florence Brudenell-Bruce, according to the ever-reliable Sun.

CHRIS HANSEN of To Catch a Predator was caught cheating on his wife by the National Enquirer.

AMERICAN IDOL: Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson re-sign as judges; J-Lo remains on the fence.

THOR 2 is pencilled for Summer 2013, albeit without director Kenneth Branagh.

YEMEN: Islamic militants linked to Al Qaeda gained ground on Wednesday in fierce fighting with security forces just outside the strategic southern port city of Zinjibar.

EGYPT: The Victorious Islamists.

IRAQ: June was the bloodiest month for American forces in two years.  US Military officials in Baghdad and at the Pentagon blamed the mounting death toll on the growing sophistication of weapons that insurgents and Iranian-backed militia groups are using, including powerful rockets, armor-piercing grenades and jam-resistant roadside bombs suspected of coming from Iran.

TWIGGY: For the Fourth of July weekend, why not another look at the water-skiing squirrel? Great story. Compelling and rich.

A POLAR BEAR and his trainer...playing together...Mass hysteria!

MISTER PIP: World's Grumpiest Cat?

A GIANT SQUID was found dead off Port Martin, FL.

A SMALL, PLANT-EATING DINOSAUR that became extinct 65 million years ago was the king of the head butt.

2969 Reads

Sondre Lerche, Civil Wars, Low, Whiskeytown, Tiny Sheepdog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


GIVERS defy gravity in the clip for "Up Up Up." For fans of Vampire Weekend.

SONDRE LERCHE plays a session at Morning Becomes Eclectic.

THE CIVIL WARS played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

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

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: Tracks from Fountains of Wayne, Wilco, Gillian Welch, Paul McCartney and more feature in the latest installment of the long-running series.

WHISKEYTOWN, Live at the 7th Street Entry, October 30, 1997.

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM drops the title track to "Seeds We Sow."


THE 13 BEST SMITHS SONGS, according to PopMatters.

HOODOO GURUS: "Come Anytime" was the first single from Magna ***** Louder, which came out 22 years ago this week. Get. Off. My. Lawn.

BJORK talks to Pitchfork and Stereogum about the upcoming Biolphilia album/app/thingamajig.

MIKE WATT talks to Aquarium Drunkard about the influences on Hyphenated-man -- Hieronymous Bosch and the Minutemen (who were in turn inspired by Wire).

JOHN LENNON: Closet Reagan Republican? Imagine...

CLARENCE CLEMONS: Eulogy by Bruce Springsteen.

DAVID BAZAN talks to Birmingham Weekly about the making of Strange Negotiations. (Thx, LHB.)

KATE BUSH talks to Interview about The Director's cut, American pop, and more...

LINDSAY LOHAN's painfully relaxing stint under house arrest is finally over.

QUENTIN TARANTINO is on the business end of a nasty and perhaps hoaxy viral email.

CHARLIE SHEEN claims he took steroids for his role in Major League.

DAVID DUCHOVNY & TEA LEONI are separated. No shocka there. A long time coming, really.

PIPPA MIDDLETON was spotted with her supposed ex bf at Wimbledon.

TRACY MORGAN has offended the mentally disabled, just weeks after profusely apologizing to the LGBT community.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 4 has a trailer online.

THE HOBBIT has new images online.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS detained at least five women accused of defying the men-only driving rule in the ultraconservative Arab kingdom.

IRAN: Britain accused Iran of testing nuclear-capable missiles. the US said Iran is "bragging" about its missile program. Ahmedinejad denounced the arrest of four of his followers in the government.

SYRIA: Security forces killed seven civilians during operations against anti-regime protesters in the villages of Mareyan and Ahsem. Britain accused Iran of supporting Syria's crackdown on anti-regime elements.

LIBYA: France confirmed that it is providing weapons to Libyan rebels fighting Gaddafi.

EGYPT: Security forces wounded more than 1000 protesters at Tahrir Square in Cairo. The protesters demand the prosecution of security officials who killed demonstrators earlier this year.

NANCY the CHIHUAHUA: World's Tiniest Sheepdog. Video at the link.

TURTLES forced a runway closure at NYC's JFK airport.

RABBITS enjoy the ganja, like the dormouse said.

A WATER BUFFALO gored an Australian pensioner to death in the Philippines after the man slammed into the beast while driving home from a nightclub on his motorbike.

2848 Reads

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