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Bishop Allen, SxSW, Rumble Strips, Kermit, Horny Turtle   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BISHOP ALLEN: "Dimmer" is the latest video from their GRRR album.

SXSW: All Songs Considered rolls out a streaming preview of the big fest down in Austin, while Amazon has a free 11-track sampler for download.  But, wait! There's more! At iMeem!

THE RUMBLE STRIPS do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, all previously unreleased.

THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN get a nifty historical essay at the newly-redesigned Pitchfork.

NEKO CASE talks to The A.V. Club about listening to herself, making the Middle Cyclone album, and more...

KERMIT dons the Big Suit for "Once In A Lifetime."  This is the real Kermit, not Sad Kermit.

SMASHING PUMPKINS: Mr. Corgan Goes to Washington, asks to get paid.

HANDSOME FURS: Dan Boeckner talks to ChartAttack -- not once, but twice -- about the band's new album. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

DAFT PUNK has been signed to write the original music score for Tron 2.0.

FIVE of the MOST IMPORTANT MUSTACHES in Music History, according to Earfarm.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE & JESSICA BIEL: Summer wedding rumors.

RHIANNA & CHRIS BROWN: Recording together. Ugh. Also, Brown's manager triggered the fight that left Rihanna battered and bruised and Chris Brown an accused felon. Allegedly.

ROSARIO DAWSON plans to lick her children in public for misbehaving.

MICHAEL J. FOX is returning to primetime TV -- in a reality show of sorts.

WATCHMEN: Dr. Manhattan is examined by a physics prof at Scientific American.

100 MOVIE & TV THEMES in 10 minutes. No one has guessed them all yet.

THE FANTASTIC FOUR is joining the reboot gang.

THOR: Is Kenneth Branagh casting Alexander Skarsgård? And if so, for which role?

IRAN: It would be difficult to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and hard to tell which combination of carrots and sticks might convince Iran's leaders to abandon that goal, the US Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, told the Senate Tuesday. Reminder: A nuclear Iran will likely set off an arms race in the Middle East.

AFGHANISTAN: Heavy layers of body armor  may be an impediment to winning the fight in Afghanistan, according to the AP. The proper balance between troop safety and mobility will be examined this week during a series of oversight hearings by the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.  The reality is that the same tradeoffs existed in Iraq, where some were bent on making body armor a political issue.  Apparently, it's now okay to have grown-up discussions about difficult choices.

IRAQ: A suicide bomber struck Sunni and Shiite tribal leaders and high-ranking security officials touring a market after a reconciliation meeting west of Baghdad on Tuesday. Baath party hardliners led by Iraq's executed president Saddam Hussein's number two on Tuesday spurned repeated calls for national reconciliation from the "traitors" of the new government.

TURTLE & SHOE, living together... mass hysteria.

SNAKE in a KITCHEN: An upstate New York woman walked into her kitchen early Sunday morning to find a 4-and-a-half-foot-long ball python.

BLUE DUCKS ARE likely to die out in UK, after the only two remaining males fell for each other.

BLUE TITS hit hard by housing crisis.

THE UNUSUAL REPRODUCTIVE LIFE of the Naked Mole Rat.  Though I suspect the Clothed Mole Rat would be even more unusual.

4088 Reads

New Releases, Y-Y-Yeahs, Feelies, Confused Squirrel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY declares "I Am Goodbye" in advance of his album next week. And talks to the L.A. Times Pop & Hiss blog about touring, being interviewed, acting, etc.

NEW RELEASES: Elvis Perkins, Cursive, Handsome Furs, John Wesley Harding, a BoDeans reissue and more are streaming this week via Spinner.

YEAH YEAH YEAHS are advance streaming the upcoming It's Blitz album.

THE FEELIES: Glenn Mercer talks to Gotham Acme about their reunion; streaming MP3's include the new "Time Is Right."

MARK OLSON & GARY LOURIS talk to JamBase aboout the recording of their reunion album.

MASH-UPS: The Beatles vs LCD Soundsystem vs The Kinks is like a Threefer-in-One Tuesday, but I'm still partial to "Paperback Believer."

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS: Benjamin Curtis talks to Drowned In Sound about the recording of the Alpinisms LP, laying the ghost of his old band (Secret Machines) to rest and also about his obsession with the Slowcore movement.

NOAH & THE WHALE: Charlie Fink talks to Scotland On Sunday about the unreliability of Wikipedia, upcoming shows, Andy kaufman, lyrics, etc.

CHARLIE LOUVIN talks to the Boston Herald about 60+ years of making music.

ALINA SIMONE talks to PopMatters about her Russian-language collection of covers of songs by Soviet punk poet and cult legend Yanka Dyagileva.

MEGAN FOX is reportedly disengaged from Brian Austin Green, but is still living at his house. OTOH, she has been seen more than once with Twilight's Robert Pattinson.

BRITNEY SPEARS has had the mother of all wardrobe malfunctions - exposing her private parts and then telling a packed audience what she'd done. 

HAYDEN PANETTIERE went ballistic on the press at a fundraiser benefiting the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific Foundation Sunday in Honolulu. The headline says she shoved a TV reporter, but that's not in the text of the story.

RHIANNA is warned by Oprah that Chris Brown will hit her again.

AMY WINEHOUSE's legal troubles have prevented her from gaining a US work visa.

ASHLEE SIMPSON has become the latest tenant of The CW's refurbished Melrose Place.

GWYNETH PALTROW can be a diva when the crew isn't ready for her? Shocka!

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE & JESSICA BIEL made surprise cartoon cameos on SNL.

DIRECTORS, WRITERS & ACTORS on Twitter, compiled by /Film.

WATCHMEN: Slate asks how other directors, like Woody Allen, might have filmed the comics classic.

MARTHA STEWART is mourning the loss of her beloved Chow Chow, Ghenghis Khan, who died in a deadly propane explosion at a kennel in Pennsylvania.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a 75-year-old Syrian woman to 40 lashes, four months imprisonment and deportation from the kingdom for having two unrelated men in her house, according to local media reports.

AFGHANISTAN: The US is considering using Iran as an alternate supply route for its forces in Afghanistan. Pres. Obama has hinted that the US could talk to moderate elements of the Taliban as part of its strategy in Afghanistan; Pres. Karzai and analysts are not optimistic.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Okay, maybe not this one. Or maybe the "Yakety Sax" is throwing me off.

KANGAROO terrorizes sleeping Aussie family. No word on squirrel involvement. Yet.

OWLS ATTACK skiers at the Rolland F. Perry City Forest in Bangor, Maine.No word on squirrel involvement. Yet.

BABY POLAR BEARS take their first steps in the wild.  Awww... some pics at the link.

A CAPTIVE CHIMP was caught planning an attack on zoo visitors.

3054 Reads

CYHSY, Submarines, Vetiver, Screaming Frog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 09, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH stopped by Fallon's last week to debut "Statues."

FRIGHTENED RABBIT stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR, while reading Scott Hutchinson's Q&A with MAGNET.

THE SUBMARINES stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming via MPR.

BENJY FERREE has a Lounge Act session available for download at WOXY.

THE PITCHFORK MUSIC FEST has started announcing acts, including Grizzly Bear and The National.

VETIVER have released a karaoke-spoofing video for "Everyday," the lead single from the Tight Knit album.

THE HOLD STEADY: Craig Finn talks to Paste about the band's upcoming live album/documentary combo, upcoming opening dates for Dave Matthews, etc.

DEAN & BRITTA:  Dean talks to TimeOut Chicago about performing 13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's "Screen Tests," and have been guest-editing at MAGNET, with pieces on La Blogotheque, "Badlands," Todd Barry, "Another Bullsh*t Night In Suck City," the Pittsburgh Signs Project, Spectrum, The Sand Pebbles, Bread Pudding, Opal, and "Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It."

RICHARD THOMPSON gets a new 4-CD box -- Walking On A Wire: Richard Thompson (1968-2009) -- on June 30.

MUSIC THAT MAKES YOU DUMB: Virgil Griffith, a 25-year-old Caltech graduate student, has aggregated Facebook data about the favorite bands and books among students of various colleges and plotted them against the average SAT scores at those schools, creating a tongue-in-cheek statistical look at taste and intelligence.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Folks watched the Watchmen to the tune of 55.7 million -- less than some predicted, but solid, considering its rating, length, largely unknown cast and characters, and mixed reviews.  It's the second biggest March opener ever, behind Zach Snyder's last pic, 300, which grossed a whopping 70.9 million in 2007.  But tinseltown awaits next weekend, to see whether it matches 300's 54 percent drop.  Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail dropped to second, with 8.8 million, while Taken climbed to third with 7.5 million.  Slumdog Millionaire dropped to the fourth slot with 6.9 million.  Paul Blart: Mall Cop climbed back into the Top Five with 4.2 million.

BRADGELINA: While Jolie was filming Salt in DC, Pitt met with Pres. Obama at the White House Thursday to discuss post-Katrina reconstruction in New Orleans.

CHARLES BARKLEY didn't have to wear the trad stripes in jail.


RHIANNA & CHRIS BROWN may or may not plan to co-author a book about abuse and appear together on a number of talk shows. Brown wants to cop a plea, but only to a misdemeanor, with no jail time.

JULIA ROBERTS is a superstar, but her box-office reign might be over, according to Newsweek.

LILY ALLEN claims to be suffereing her own credit crunch.

UP: The next outing from Pixar has a full-length trailer online. Looks to have more action than previously suggested.

SATURDAY MORNING WATCHMEN: You don't have to have read the book to enjoy the movie, but this video is twice as funny if you've read or seen.

IRAN, Hamas and Hezbollah offered international support to Sudan's president after he was charged with war crimes in Darfur. A shoe was hurled at Pres. Ahmadinejad while he was in the city of Urmia, an Iranian Web site has reported. A number of pro-Ahmadinejad bloggers denied the report, claiming it was a rumor spread by "monarchists" and "anti-revolutionaries," the accepted terms for members of the Iranian opposition. Iran test-fired a new air-to-surface missile, Iranian media reported, despite the offer by the Obama Administration to engage in direct talks if it "unclenches its fist."

PAKISTAN: The Taliban cements power, hard-line Ismaic law after signing the truce (which they have already broken). Many analysts believe any final peace deal in Swat, like a previous agreement with the militants that failed last year, will eventually collapse leaving the Taliban in a stronger position, having been given time to consolidate.

AFGHANISTAN: The US military is laboring to shore up a vulnerable supply chain through Pakistan and Central Asia as it seeks to expand the flow of supplies into Afghanistan by at least 50 percent to support an influx of tens of thousands of troops, according to defense officials and experts. Regular Pate visitors probably know this, but, icymi.

IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN: The Mudville Gazette notes that the headlines about US troops going from Iraq to Afghanistan are not always as advertised.

CAT & FROG, not living together.  The frog screams, but is unscathed.

TIGER & DOLPHINS, living together... mass hysteria.

ST. BERNARD who froze to the ice on a pond had to be rescued with a mallet.

OCK in the BOX: The sea creature got his 7-foot long body into a locked trunk only 14 inches wide.

FISH WITH HUMAN FACES are making waves in South Korea.

CROC ATTACK survivor talks to WSBT in South Bend, Indiana.

3119 Reads

Lou Reed, Cutout Bin, Watchmen, Snake vs. Hippo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 06, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with LOU REED! He turned 67 this week, which seems like a good excuse to link a few from his Sessions at West 54th Street.  Selections include: "Sweet Jane," "Perfect Day," "Satellite of Love," "Dirty Blvd." and "Pale Blue Eyes."

FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne rips on Arcade Fire. It's on like Donkey Kong!

ALL THE SAINTS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming on demand via MPR.

THE BOTTICELLIS do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.

CROOKED FINGERS is currently streaming "Your Control," a duet between Eric Bachmann and Neko Case.

THE 100 GREATEST SINGER-SONGWRITER ALBUMS, according to ChordStrike.  En route to the 2003 Pate reunion, Craig O'Neill observed that you cannot deny the power of Tapestry.

EASYBEATS: The fish, the barrel, the smoking gun!

JASON ISBELL talks to JamBase about the recording of his solo album. "Seven-Mile Island" is also steamable at the link.

DeVotchKa's Nick Urata talks to the Line of Best Fit about instrumentals, lyrics, the band's stage show, etc.

PETER TORK: A rare form of cancer has been discovered on the tongue of the ex-Monkee, who will undergo surgery this week in NYC.

THE RECORD STORE: James Lileks remembers the era B.C.D.

CUTOUT BIN: From Spinal Tap to the Parliaments, from Carly Simon to Veruca Salt, from David Boie to Pop!, plus David Ruffin, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Kinks, the Proclaimers and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

WATCHMEN, currently scoring 64 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, is this weekend's sole wide release -- and I rushed out to see it, as a service to you, dear reader.  First, I remind everyone that this is an R-rated picture for good reason. Director Zach Snyder's prior project was "300," which should tell you he does not shy from some truly grisly scenes against deserving and quite undeserving victims. 

And this is not the only reason that this is not a movie for kids.  While Watchmen is a movie about masked heroes (and one superhero), it is not a superhero movie in any traditional sense.  Rather, it is a pretty faithful adaptation of Alan Moore's classic series/graphic novel, which has action, but is also a combination of murder mystery, political thriller (not dissimilar in tone to Moore's "V for Vendetta"), speculation on the impact such people would have on world history and a meditation on the psychology of people who would, in the words of one character, "get dressed at 3 a.m. to go do something stupid."  At least, it is as faithful as could be done in 2 1/2 hours.

The series not only had a huge impact on comics, but on the portrayal of superheroes in movies, from The Incredibles to The Dark Knight.  However, all these years later, Watchmen remains a more extreme version of those projects it influenced.  I disagree with the reviews who suggest it may be inaccessible to those who have not read the book (though be sure to show up on time; the beautifully executed opening credits (spoileriffic) provide a lot of context to what follows).  I half-agree with the reviews that suggest that the big screen treatment in some ways creates a bit of the gloss the book intended to put on the genre.  But that flaw is also in the original material -- albeit more subtly.  While Moore's generally anarchist politics inform the narrative and his skewering of certain types of characters, he is a talented enough as a writer that these characters are fleshed out to the point where we sympathize, despite Moore's overall intent.  This is particularly true of the sociopathic Rorschach (who makes The Dark Knight and Dirty Harry seem wimpy), wonderfully played by Jackie Earle Haley.  Indeed, the biggest crowd reaction of the screening comes from a line delivered when he is near his lowest point -- a line straight from the book, as much of the best dialog is.

The soundtrack largely takes its cues from the book as well, though there is a rather unfortunate substitution of Leonard Cohen for Billie Holiday, and I think Elvis Costello got left out.  Overall, I recommend it; just know what you're getting yourself into.  Roger Ebert gave it four stars, and will be seeing it again. I probably will, too.

DAKOTA FANNING is negotiating to play lead singer Cheri Currie in "The Runaways," the biopic of the '70s all-girl band that already has "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart playing Joan Jett.

RHIANNA & CHRIS BROWN: The L.A. County District Attorney charged Chris Brown with felony assault and making criminal threats, also a felony. Law enforcement is leaking details of Brown's attack and Rhianna's statements to the police about past beatings. Brown's lawyers are discussing a possible plea bargain.

MICHAEL STRAHAN bugged the car of galpal Nicole Murphy (Eddie's ex) and went ballistic when she found it, according to the NYP.

VINCE VAUGHN is engaged. Wouldn't want to be John Mayer today.

JACKO announces his "comeback" tour in a manner that inspires absolutely no confidence. Videos at the link.

THE SEINFELD CAST will be featured in a multiple-episode story arc on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm this fall. That seems like worlds colliding.

LINDSAY LOHAN is fuming that Katie Holmes got the cover of the latest issue of Glamour magazine.

WOLVERINE: Hugh Jackman talks to USA Today about the upcoming X-Men spin-off: "The character has always reminded me of Dirty Harry or Han Solo. He's a good guy, not a nice guy..."

PUBLIC ENEMIES, the Dillinger biopic starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, has a trailer online in glorious Quicktime.

CASTLE, Nathan Fillion's new ABC series, premieres Monday, but you can watch the first 13 minutes now.

SEVEN CELEB CAREERS that launched by accident.

CLUE will return as a live-action murder mystery under the direction of pirate-master Gore Verbinski.

PAKISTAN: Taliban militants blew up 16 shops selling music and DVDs in northwest Pakistan overnight, police said Thursday. The top US diplomat in Kabul warned that Pakistan posed a bigger security problem for the rest of the world than Afghanistan, in a newspaper interview published Thursday.

IRAN plans to start up its first atomic power plant this summer. Iran can develop a nuclear weapon within a year and has ready access to enough fissile material to produce up to 50 nuclear weapons, according to a panel of current and former US officials advising the Obama administration.

IRAQ: The military leader of AQI has been killed in Anbar province.

SNAKE VOMITS A HIPPO: Let's go to the video.

TATOOED CATS, Creepy Pics.

A "FROG HOTEL," designed to protect mating frogs, is to be created on the banks of the Water of Leith.  I totally see Robyn Hitchcock visiting.


BINTLETS born at the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens in Hawaii. I didn't know what they were, either.

AN ORPHANED BABY OTTER has found a new home at The Florida Aquarium. Awww... some pics at the link.

6512 Reads

Art Brut, Antony, Spinal Tap, Tom Jones, Bob Mould, Cat Ranch   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ART BRUT visits "Alcoholics Unanimous" in the first single from their upcoming album, "Art Brut vs. Satan."

ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS played DC's Sixth and I Synagogue; you can stream the gig via NPR, or watch the gig on PitchforkTV.

SPINAL TAP talk about their Unwigged reunion tour and play an acoustic medley at NPR's Day to Day.

TOM JONES played a Tiny Dest Concert at the office of NPR's Bob Boilen.

MAC McCAUGHAN of Superchunk, Portastatic and Merge Records, talks to PopMatters about his career, his bands, and those wonderful four-track recordings that he thought he lost 'lo those many years ago.

BOB MOULD & NO AGE play the band's "Miner" and Husker Du's "New Day Rising" at the Noise Pop festival.

GRIZZLY BEAR frontman Ed Droste sent Drowned In Sound a progress report on the making of their new record, Veckatimest.

MP3 DEALS: A free Stax Records sampler is among the many cheap albums currently on sale at Amazon, including LPs from Sex Pistols, The Cars, U2, TV on the Radio, Adele, Van Morrison, REM, Springsteen etc.  BTW, Pate doesn't make any money off that referral (though I should look into it).  I just figure some folks might like a deal on legal downloads.

ABE VIGODA is Band of the Week at Paste.

THE BEATLES are now the subject of a Master of Arts degree program at Liverpool Hope University.

WATCHMEN: Jackie Earle Haley talks to the A.V. Club about playing Rorschach. Patrick Wilson (who plays Nite Owl) talks to New York magazine about the possibility of sudden fame. Wired has a behind-the scenes piece that chronicles the cult classic's long jorney to the screen. And don't miss this clip from the Veidt Music Network, circa 1983.

ZACH SNYDER, Watchmen's director, is beginning to put together an all-female cast for his next project, "Sucker Punch."

BRITNEY SPEARS: Don't call it a comeback quite yet, says the normally fluffy People.com. Ouch!

ROBIN WILLIAMS is at a Miami hospital with heart issues and could be laid up for a while.

MARISKA HARGITAY is back in the hospital after suffering chest pains. This is the third time Hargitay has been hospitalized since December.

KATHERINE HEIGL is quickly earning the reputation for being one of Hollywood's most difficult divas.

500 DAYS OF SUMMER, the upcoming indie starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, now has a full-length trailer online, which opens with a discussion of The Smiths.

LEO DiCAPRIO will star in "Inception," the science-fiction film that Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight") wrote and will direct as his next pic at Warner Bros.

MEGAN FOX is in final negotiations to star opposite Josh Brolin and John Malkovich in "Jonah Hex," Warner Bros.' action Western based on the DC Comics character. She also is attached to star and develop "Fathom," Fox Atomic's comic book-based underwater adventure. ALSO: She was spotted out with her supposedly ex-fiancé Brian Austin Green.

REESE WITHERSPOON talks about an Oscar, a divorce, and a guy named Jake with Elle UK.

IRAN: The commander-in-chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps said his country's missiles can target Israel's nuclear facilities.

IRAQ: Casualties among Iraqi civilians and security forces last month hit their second-lowest level in nearly four years. US withdrawal depends on creating new Army units to train Iraqi soldiers to secure Iraq, but the composition of those units has yet to be determined. Several indicators show the quality of life for the average Iraqi is on the rise as the sixth anniversary of the start of the war approaches.

THE CABOODLE RANCH: 500 cats, no waiting.


HOMELESS SEWERAGE HIPPO: South African environmental authorities are looking for homes for hippos, putting out a plea today for people to offer their premises to a hippopotamus that has moved into a water treatment plant.

SNAKE in a CAR: A couple drove 170 kilometres (100 miles) from South Africa's famous Kruger National Park with a highly venomous spitting cobra in their car, the Beeld newspaper reported on Wednesday.

BEETLES benefit from torture phalluses. Yes, really. Pic at the link.

3400 Reads

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