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M Ward, Death Vessel, Blitzen Trapper, The Prisoner, Cat & Cockatoo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


M WARD has released a Video for "Hold Time," from the upcoming album of the same name.

DEATH VESSEL did three free songs for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased. "This is pretty like flower beds and daisy chains and Dolly Parton or Karen Carpenter pretty."

PAPER ROUTE did five free songs for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased. " In nearly every one of the ephemeral songs that Paper Route writes, there's a sense of intense foreboding - like someone's got a foot out of the door and there are outstretched arms reaching to reverse the momentum carrying them away."

MERGE RECORDS is offering its 2008 sampler free with registration.

BUFFETLIBRE has unleashed about 90 covers of 80s songs by indie bands.  Downloads and videos at the link.

BLITZEN TRAPPER has a new stop-motion video for "Furr."

JOHN LENNON's MBE has turned up. Buckingham Palace will leave its fate to Yoko Ono.

JACKO hopes to bury his 24-year feud with Sir Paul McCartney - by leaving his share of the Beatles back catalog to him in his will.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Land of Talk's Liz Powell is now an official member of the collective.

EURYTHMICS: Dave Stewart has bizarre new project.

BRADGELINA: Pitt has an interview in W Magazine, in which he acquits Jolie of the charge of home-wrecking, and Aniston of the last round of catty remarks.

BRITNEY SPEARS goes into permanent conservatorship.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON: Lohan has moved out of Ronson's pad and has been seen on the town alone, but reportedly wants back with Sam.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is not planning parenthood anytime soon.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER is moving out on Matthew Broderick, according to the ever-reliable Star.

CARMEN ELECTRA says she's found a hot new use for hangers, but refuses to go into details.

THE PRISONER:  You can watch the entire original series via AMC's website in advance of their reimagined miniseries, which stars Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel.

LARRY FLYNT & JOE FRANCIS want a government bailout, but will settle for publicity.

JENNIFER CONNELLY's sudden weight loss may be a reaction to the recent death of her father.

INDIA: Transcripts of phone calls Indian authorities say they intercepted during the November Mumbai attacks were part of a dossier of evidence New Delhi handed Pakistan this week that it says definitively proves that the siege was launched from across the border.

PAKISTAN: The Taliban murdered two more "US spies" in North Waziristan. The Taliban killed four policemen during an attack on a checkpoint in Hangu; another policeman was killed while defusing a bomb in Bannu. Four more beheaded bodies were found in Swat. Ajmal Amir Qasab, the only surviving gunman from November's deadly Mumbai terrorist attacks, is a Pakistani citizen, the government confirmed on Wednesday.

A CAT & COCKATOO, living together...  I think you know what I'm saying.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: The "Save Our Squirrels" campaign begun in 2006 to rescue Britain's red squirrels, with its rallying motto of "Save a red, eat a gray!", created a market for culled squirrel meat.

ANGELINA the LABRADOR saved her owner's life by knocking her out of the way as the roof of her house fell in.

CHINESE ZOO ANIMALS are huddling next a fire and electric heaters to beat the cold weather. Pic of giraffes living like hoboes at the link.

HEDGEHOGS are legalized in Lawrence, KS, after a three-year lobbying effort by 11 year-old Judson King.  Video at the link.

3250 Reads

Ron Asheton RIP, Montt Mardie, XTC, Dog and a blankie   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE STOOGES: Guitarist Ron Asheton is dead at 60, sometime over the past few days, apparently of natural causes. Here are two remembrances from Greg Kot, the Detroit Free Press and the GuardianIggy Pop and the surviving Stooges issue their statement.  NPR has two classic Tube links, but it's "No Fun" for me.

MONTT MARDIE: Frank Yang nominates this singer-songwriter as the new face of Swedish pop for 2009, with A/V links a-plenty: "Musical cribs from The Cure nestle alongside classic Brill Building song structures and quotes from Meatloaf. Lyrics reference Breakfast At Tiffany's and Star Wars - Introducing is a glorious open house pop culture party, where everything is fair game and welcomed with love..."

AMAZON is selling its bestselling 2008 MP3 albums for just five bucks each.

CULT of the iPod: Apple said Tuesday that it would remove anticopying restrictions on all of the songs in its popular iTunes Store and allow record companies to set a range of prices for them.

THE RETURN OF THE 7" 45: Don't call it a comeback.

XTC is blogging about their songs.  Most recently about "Generals & Majors," but just keep scolling. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

ROBBERT BOBBLE & the BUBBLE MACHINE, the alter ego of Apples In Stereo frontman Robert Schneider, performs the kind of garage-y, surf-tinged psychedelia you'd expect, but with an all-ages twist.  Stream a few. For the children.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: Ben Gibbard talks to The A.V. Club, presumably before news of his engagement to Zooey Deschanel leaked out.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE is profiled at Billboard.

OXFORD AMERICAN's 10th Anniversary Music Issue is out. The CDs aren't on line, but the liner notes are, plus Grant Alden on the demise of No Depression, the legendary alt-country magazine that he co-founded and edited, and on the (dreary, at best?) future of music criticism.

ALYSSA MILANO is getting hitched to CAA agent David Bugliari.

JENNIFER GARNER & BEN AFFLECK are the proud parents of a new baby girl.

JOSH BROLIN & JEFFREY WRIGHT, charged with interfering with a cop during a bar brawl last July, settled their criminal case in Shreveport, LA.  Maybe the arrest video did the trick.

RIP TORN pleaded not guilty to two counts stemming from a Dec. 14 drunken driving arrest.

MADONNA's rumored boytoy, Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez, is reportedly "still hung up" on Madge and refused Donna Karan's advances over the New Year.

WATCHMEN has a new video journal online; this one covers The Minutemen.

CRAIG FERGUSON made a surprise announcement on his CBS Late Late Show Monday night: He got married over the holidays. Video at the link.

PATRICK SWAYZE talks to Barbara Walters about "going through hell" in his yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer, and taking on a leading role in a new television series.

IRAN: More than 70K students have volunteered to carry out suicide bombings against Israel, according to Iran's state news agency.  But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not responded to their request for permission, which suggests that the campaigns are mostly propaganda.

IRAQ: An Iraqi battalion shifts from Baghdad to the northern city of Mosul to conduct counterinsurgency operations.

MILLIE the SPANIEL needs to get her blankie out of the dryer.

BEES: Cocaine alters their judgment, stimulates their behavior and makes them exaggeratedly enthusiastic about things that might not otherwise excite them.

SERIAL SNAKE THIEVES BUSTED: One in fact had a rainbow boa in his pocket.

PITBULL ATTACK thwarted by a 9-year-old jiu-jitsu master.

A PAIR OF DEER drop in on a class at Faith Baptist School in Hamilton, NJ.

3254 Reads

MMJ, New Releases, Glasvegas, Calexico, Tara & Bella   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MY MORNING JACKET apparently tore the roof off MSG on NYE, if the trove of audio and video at Brooklyn Vegan is any guide. Or you can stream the whole gig -- with covers of Sam Cooke, James Brown, Kool & The Gang, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and more -- via the Internet Archive.  As a teaser, here's "You're All I Need," with a cameo from Nicole Atkins.

NEW RELEASES: The debut album from Glasvegas is streaming in full at Spinner.

THAO NGUYEN does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased ("The New One").

BON IVER gets a feature on All Things Considered, with news on Justin Vernon's next release.

CALEXICO drops a free download at the Threadless t-shirt site. Yes, really.

STONEHENGE was built as a dance arena for prehistoric raves, a university professor believes.  And where are they now, the little people of Stonehenge? BONUS: "(Listen to the) Flower People" as a Twofer Tuesday.

BLACK LIPS will give you a new track from their forthcoming album 200 Million Thousand, in return for your e-mail address.

OASIS: Liam and Noel Gallagher almost came to blows recently - this time over a Facebook update.

GENE SIMMONS will play a cartoon dentist on Nick at Nite.

GOTH FOLK: The Times of London examines an ideal accompaniment to the gloomy new year.

LOVE IS ALL: Josephine Olausson talks to Pitchfork about the Swedish quintet's sophomore album, A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night, the outside pressures to adjust their sound for the marketplace, and the pros and cons of reading one's own press.

JOHN TRAVOLTA & KELLY PRESTON's son Jett dies of a "seizure" according to the death certificate.  The autopsy findings may never be public.

REBECCA ROMIJN & JERRY O'CONNELL welcome twin girls.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON are dunzo? Li-Lo denies it.

JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT and her fiancé Ross McCall are dunzo.


DEAD SNOW: A Norwegian Nazi zombie movie coming to Sundance and to theaters in September. With an Indian Jones reference, no less. It could be the best Norwegian Nazi zombie movie ever.

GARY OLDMAN has married for the fourth time, tying the knot with musician Alexandra Edenborough at a secret ceremony.

MADONNA: Daughter Lourdes has enrolled at a New York drama school made famous by Macaulay Culkin, Scarlett Johansson and Sarah Jessica Parker.  Did anyone ever suggest that to Madge?

CELEBRITY & MEDIA TWITTER ACCOUNTS were hacked after Twitter's internal admin tools were compromised. Which doesn't exclude the possibility that Britney Spears has more than one orifice with teeth.

PAKISTAN: On the heels of their crusade against girls going to schools, the Taliban have now issued new dictum in the areas under their sway asking parents of the grown up daughters to marry them to militants or "face dire consequences." This kind of idiocy was a factor in turning the Anbar tribes agaist Al Qaeda in Iraq.

IRAN: Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday warned Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki against a security pact with the United States.  The Ayatollah may want to catch up on his news reading.

TARA & BELLA, living together at the Elephant sanctuary, through sickness and health.  A heart-warming disaster of Biblical proportions.

HEY, YOU MOUNTAIN LIONS: Get off of my lawn!

INDIA, the First Cat, died in office Sunday.

PANDA CUB debuts at the Atlanta Zoo.

SHARKS HAVE WIMPY BITES, but compensate with sharp teeth and wide mouths. What say you, Police Chief Brody?

3258 Reads

Uglysuit, Andrew Bird, Blitzen Trapper, Cat Attack   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 05, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


UGLYSUIT plays a rooftop in "Chicago."

ANDREW BIRD gets an in-depth NYT magazine profile, which finds him worried on the edge of a breakthrough. NPR is offering an advance stream of his upcoming Noble Beast LP.

BLITZEN TRAPPER have a Weekend Edition feature plus tracks streaming via NPR.

WINTERPILLS played the World Cafe Friday, so you can stream the gig on demand via NPR.

GLASVEGAS: The New York Press wonders whether the Spectorian Scots can make it in the States. Bassist Paul Donoghue promises a less orcehestrated, rawking version of the band onstage. Chromewaves has more links and an MP3 of the band covering "Be My Baby."

THE BUZZCOCKS' Singles Going Steady -- and its most memorable single, "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" -- is essayed by the Columbia Spectator.

ANTONY and the JOHNSONS frontman Antony Hegarty is profiled at The Guardian.

THE HOLD STEADY's Franz Nicolay hopes his solo LP will start to get people like me from always linking him to the band.  But for now, I think it helps get him attention.

FRIENDLY FIRES count Tom Jones and Bono among their fans. I noted their Current mini-set back in October.

JOHNNY VAN ZANDT talks about the enduring influence of Lynyrd Skynyrd. (Thx, LHB.)

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Marley & Me repeats as No.1 with 24 million, as the top seven films remain unchanged from last weekend.  The dog has already crossed the 100 million mark. Bedtime Stories held really well, with a mere 26 percent drop, and should end up well in the black.  Benjamin Button is only about halfway to breaking even. Valkyrie even looks like it will turn a profit worldwide, thanks to a limited 60 million budget.  Yes Man rounds out the Top Five and also looks to be mildly profitable by the end.  Indeed, most of the movies in the Top Ten are looking at least okay -- even the disappointing The Day The Earth Stood Still -- due to some fiscal sanity on the budgeting front.  Below the fold, the story may be Oscar possibles like Doubt and Slumdog Millionaire  rising to 8th and 10th despite being on far fewer screens than the major releases.

JOHN TRAVOLTA & KELLY PRESTON lost their 16-year-old son Jett while vacationing in the Bahamas.  Jett reportedly collapsed and died after suffering a seizure inside the family's suite at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island. He may also have fatally struck his head in the bathroom there.  Police have launched an investigation, but do not suspect foul play. However, there does appear to be conflict between the police and Camp Travolta over the timeline of events. Some have raised quesions about whether Scientology played a role in these events, though it appears Jett was once on anti-seizure medication. And then there's this.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise claims he overcame the effects of his dyslexia thanks to Scientology in an interview published on Sunday. Also, the movie Valkyrie's use of a prop Hitler globe may draw a lawsuit from the real globe's owner.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON reportedly rang in the new year with a nasty fistfight.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR evaded DUI charges with a no contest plea to a misdemeanor reckless driving charge in court Friday.

SAM SHEPARD was busted for DUI in Normal, IL, over the weekend.

PAT HINGLE, veteran of stage, television and film acting, passed away late Saturday noght.

NINE: A post-apocalyptic animated film produced by Tim Burton has a teaser trailer online.

GEORGE CLOONEY & the FRENCH HOTEL are hanging out together? I always wondered what would happen when that final seal was cracked.

TARA REID has checked out of rehab.

THE STATE OF JIHAD, 2008: The Long War Journal's roundup of the major developments in the primary and secondary theaters during the past year.

IRAQ: The post-SoFA regime is tested as a suicide attack outside a Shia shrine in Baghdad killed 35 civilians and wounded 79 more.

CAT SNEEZE ATTACK: Let's go to the video.

ASSISTANCE ANIMALS go well beyond guide dogs to monkeys for quadriplegia and agoraphobia, guide miniature horses, a goat for muscular dystrophy, a parrot for psychosis and any number of animals for anxiety, including cats, ferrets, pigs, at least one iguana and a duck.

ORANGUTAN is learning to jet ski -- or trying to get closer to his trainer.

SMART BATS have smaller testicles. Don't all species say this?

ILLEGAL SEAFOOD is more than just a reataurant in Oxford, MA: "The story is about more than contraband seafood. It is a tale of lobsters on a death-defying journey, one marred by tragedy and for some, redemption..."

PORCUPINES attack the resort village of Telluride, CO.  Dinsdale... Dinsdale!

2994 Reads

Tom Petty, Los Lobos, Jeff Mangum, Cutout Bin, Duck Escalator   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 02, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with TOM PETTY!  Over the holidays, I have again caught big chunks of Peter Bogdanovich's four-hour film on Petty, "Running Down a Dream,"  reminding me again how underrated he is.  The doc goes as far back as Petty's days in Mudcrutch, which led him -- and some future Heartbreakers -- to legendary A&R man Denny Cordell, who would produce the first TP records, including "American Girl," "I Need To Know" and "Listen To Her Heart."  He fought -- and beat -- his label twice.  The first fight -- over the sale of his contract to MCA -- preceded the seminal Damn The Torpedoes album (the master tapes were kept in hiding during litigation) that would launch the band to super-stardom with tracks like "Here Comes My Girl," "Even The Losers," "Don't Do Me Like That" and the signature "Refugee."  The second fight was over the pricing of his follow-up, Hard Promises; in the movie Petty also shares the backstory for "The Waiting" from that LP.  The movie is not just PR; it is acknowledged that while the video for "You Got Lucky" was state of the art for that era, the Long After Dark album was treading water creatively.  

Bogdanovich also makes clear that Petty's success is due in no small part to a relentless drive that occasionally strays into the ruthless.  Petty was not above dumping band members, stealing band members and collaborators -- like Eurhythmics' Dave Stewart, whom he suggested write for Stevie Nicks, but ended up making off with him and "Don't Come Around Here No More" for himself, even though its psychedelic sound did not really fit with songs like "Rebels" on the Southern Accents album.  Indeed, the Wonderland-themed video for the former would supply Petty the Mad Hatter persona who would pop up in later videos for songs like "Into The Great Wide Open," which was expanded to almost seven minutes just because they had great footage from Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway.  And in the movie, Nicks doesn't seem to mind, esp. in light of the success of their collabration on tracks like "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around."  While I'm less of a fan of Petty's later work, the film tells the engaging backstory of the Traveling Wilburys, which reminds you that not just anyone gets to be in a band with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and the late Roy Orbison.  Indeed, TP & the Hartbreakers backed Dylan on tour (saw it) and later backed Johnny Cash.  And Petty is still capable of turning out great stuff, as the movie documents TP's solo LP, which spawned hits like "Won't Back Down," "Free Fallin'" and "Runnin' Down A Dream."  Somewhat surprisingly, it was Petty's biggest album to that point.  There's also some great footage of Petty standing up to some music-biz types who wanted former Byrd Roger McGuinn to record some piece of pop fluff;  Petty & McGuinn would turn out "King Of The Hill," a song about "Papa" John Phillips (though they don't say so in the movie).  McGuinn also tells the story of the first time someone played him "American Girl": "When did I record that?"  Catch it on Sundance today or Jan 6th -- or queue it from Netflix.

DELANEY BRAMLETT of Delaney & Bonnie, a singer and songwriter whose bluesy, gospel- and country-flavored music influenced Eric Clapton and George Harrison among others, and whose songs were covered by popular musicians ranging from Ray Charles to Sonic Youth, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 69.

PRINCE tells Ann Powers of the L.A. Tines about plans to realease three albums this year and more...

LOS LOBOS, Live at Biddy Mulligan's in 1984, via Captain's Dead.

JEFF MANGUM of Neutral Milk Hotel, Live at Aquarius Records in 1996, via Aquarium Drunkard.

THE BEST 25 VIDEOS of 2008, according to Best Week Ever.

MUSIC DOWNLOADS set records, but not enough to offset declining CD sales.

WINTER 2009 RELEASES: Compiled at Pitchfork.

VIKING MOSES does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, three previously unreleased.

CUTOUT BIN: From Bob Dylan to Zager & Evans, from Stff Little Fingers to Sly & the Family Stone, from the Hombres to Devo, plus Billy Bragg, the Count Five, Cat Power, T.Rex and more  -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

GREAT MOVIES not available on DVD.

THE BEST DVDs of 2008, according to The A.V. Club.

THE WORST DVDs of 2008, according to PopMatters.

NOW SHOWING:  There are no new wide releases this weekend.

CHARLES BARKLEY gave statements to the police after his DUI arrest that were very Barkley.

JENNIFER GARNER did not give birth yesterday.

WATCHMEN has a new featurette online.

DARREN ARONOFSKY, director of The Wrestler, says wrestlers should be part of SAG.

TOP GUN: A visit to the "Where are they now?" file.

THE HOLLYWOOD RECESSION:  Studios have now had time to develop proposals for pictures about the financial chaos, inspiring a clutch of big-budget films over the next year.

PAKISTAN: Security forces detained 28 al Qaeda and Taliban facilitators as well as 116 Afghans during a security operation in Khyber.

IRAQ has transitioned to full sovereignty as the SoFA has taken effect. Iraqi forces detained 15 insurgents in separate raids throughout the country. 2008 had the lowest US troop casualties since the invasion, almost two-thirds lower than 2007 -- which I mention because the establishment media certainly did not bother to do so.

DUCKS ON AN ESCALATOR: Trying to get to the Chinese restaurant.

CREATURES GREAT & SMALL 2008: Year in Review in Photos.

DISABLED DUCK teaches tolerance and inspires hope in children.

BIRDWATCHER & BIRD cross signals.

2890 Reads

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