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New Releases, REM, School of Seven Bells, Wavves, Turtlecam   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE NEW PR0NOGRAPHERS delivered a sweet take on "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk" at the Ed Sullivan Theater.

NEW RELEASES:  Stuff like Jimmie Vaughan and Kylie Minogue are streaming in full from Spinner, instead of stuff liek Robert Pollard or even Big Boi.  What's up with that?

R.E.M.: The double-disc reissue of Fables of the Reconstruction is streaming via KCRW.

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS is advance streaming Disconnect from Desire.

WAVVES is still advance streaming King of the Beach, icymi over the holiday weekend. Because you shouldn't miss it. (Content warning.)

ADMIRAL RADLEY (Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle and drummer Aaron Burtch along with Ariana Murray and Aaron Espinoza of Earlimart) is advance streaming I Heart California.  Advisory: This album contains explicit adult language.

MANFRED MANN: "Do Wah Diddy" and "The Mighty Quinn" are your Twofer Tuesday.

GANG OF FOUR singer / co-songwriter Jon King gets all academic with DIY, and discusses his views on songwriting, "subject-matter", and the secret to selling records but not selling out. (Thx, LHB.)

ROBERT CHRISTGAU talks to the L.A. Times about the end of the Consumer's Guide.

THE SADIES: Dallas Good talks to ChartAttack about the more spooky and psychedelic vibe onn the band's latest LP.

LOU REED: The Velvet Underground legend infuriates fans with a 'fearless night of non-rock' with Laurie Anderson and John Zorn.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The Twilight Saga: Eclipse easily topped the weekend with 69 million.  The sparkly vampires have hauled in 161 million since opening on midnight Wednesday -- but one wonders whether the studio is entirely happy, given that New Moon made 164 million in its opening 5 days, absent a big holiday weekend.  July 4 is a bit of a confounder for franchises historically; this installment could still outgross the second by the end of its run.  The Last Airbender placed with 40.6 million (57 million since opening Thursday) against a 150 million budget.  A big drop next weekend could doom any hopes for a sequel and further tarnish the rep of M. Night Shamalayan.  Toy Story 3 showed with 30 million.  Its 49 percent drop was not unexpected over the holiday weekend, and it will break the 300 million barrier shortly, making it the odds-on favorite for the year's biggest grossing movie (yes, even counting Harry Potter later this year).  Grown-Ups drops even more steeply, but its 18.5 million puts it near recouping its 80 million budget.  Knight & Day rounds out the Top Five with 10.2 million, but it has only made 45.5 million domestic against a 117 million budget.

JENNA FISCHER married screenwriter Lee Kirk this weekend in a private ceremony.


MELISSA ETHERIDGE went to court Friday to formally end her partnership with Tammy Lynn Michaels, seeking joint custody of their 3-year-old twins.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Jasmine Waltz, the cocktail waitress who, according to reports, hit Lindsay Lohan in the wee hours of Friday morning, has denied striking the actress.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was arrested, then cleared, of pot charges at the World Cup.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR just completed a 30-day, in-patient rehab program for prescription drugs.

JESSICA SIMPSON is reportedly dating ex San Francisco 49ers tight end Eric Johnson.

THE HOBBIT: Delays could cost the production Ian McKellen.

IRAN allegedly sold Syria an advanced radar system in an arms transfer that took place in mid-2009.  Meanwhile, Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, a mother of two, could be stoned to death at any moment under the terms of a death sentence handed down by Iranian authorities.

AFGHANISTAN: The 101st Airborne Division is now taking on the Taliban in "The Heart of Darkness."

TURTLECAM: Let's go to the video.


TABBY CAT rescued from a storm drain after four nights.

COWS stare unamazed as Shakespeare boosts milk production.

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Beach Boys, the Star-Spangled Banner, Wavves, Twiggy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 02, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE BEACH BOYS!  Because folks my age will always remember their mammoth July 4th concerts at the Washington Monument -- as with these 1980 takes o­n "Good Vibrations",  and "Do It Again." 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" 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 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.

A MIX FOR AMERICA: Streaming via NPR.

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 233rd anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. 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 2nd. 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 drafing of the Declaration from the John Adams miniseries, which is running again on HBO tomorrow night.

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

WAVVES is streaming King of the Beach, which was just named Best New Music by Pitchfork.

SLEIGH BELLS: Alexis Krauss talks to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the adjustment period going from session musician and school teacher to unleashed frontwoman. 

CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS are profiled at PopMatters.

FRANZ NICOLAY (ex-Hold Steady) is interviewed at Largehearted Boy by Demander's Karen Kanan Correa about his chapbooks. I love that in the first segment, Franz mentions both oysters and snails without any reference to Spartacus.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: Mike Cooley talks to The Boot about the band's country influences, and their opening slot for Tom Petty. (Thx, LHB.)

ARETHA FRANKLIN will duet with former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a fundraising event for inner city children in Philly.

THE TOP 50 BEATLESONGS, according to Gibson.

THE BEST ALBUM COVERS, according to Flavorwire.

CUTOUT BIN: From Linda Ronstadt to the Ramones, from Sly & the Family Stone to the Housemartins, from Billy Bragg to William Shatner, plus X, the Steve Miller Band, Dick Dale, the Kinks, the Modern Lovers and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which is scoring 50 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, The Last Airbender opened on Thursday with a Tomatometer reading of 06 percent.  Not looking good for M. Night Shamalayan, is it?

MAD MEL UPDATE: In one of the most explosive, racist and vile outbursts by a celebrity ever caught on tape, Mel Gibson told the mother of his love child that the way she was dressed would get her "raped by a pack of n***ers," according to RadarOnline.

TIGER WOODS will be a single man by the end of the day, perhaps for a lot less than the 750 million bucks reported earlier this week.

BRITNEY SPEARS was visited by social workers as part of an investigation by the L.A. Dept. of Children and Family Services into charges that the singer abused her two sons, says RadarOnline.

KELSEY GRAMMER's third marriage is coming to an end.

PEE-WEE HERMAN myy be headed back to the big screen, with an assist from Judd Apatow.

AFSHAN AZAD, who has appeared in four Harry Potter movies, was allegedly attacked at her home in Longsight in Manchester on May 21. Her father and brother have been charged with threatening to kill her.  Will anyone be shocked if this turns out to be an attempted honor killing?

JEFFREY JONES, best known for his portrayal of a high school principal in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," has been charged with a single felony count of failing to update his sex offender registration.

THE BEST SHOT MOVIES of 1998-2008, according to cinematographers polled by... American Cinematographer, natch. 

100 GREAT MOVIES Every Guy Must See.

THE 100 GREATEST MOVIE INSULTS in 10 minutes. Content Warning for language/sexual allusions.

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

A PUPPY near death was rescued from a deep slot canyon on the Utah-Arizona border. Video at the link!


SMUDGE the TERRIRER hits the open road on a classic motorcycle.

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Sharon Jones, Dr. Dog, Good Old War, Frisbee Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 01, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS play "Got to Be the Way It Is" at Rock the Garden 2010.

DR. DOG stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic  for a session.

WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

GOOD OLD WAR stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

LAURYN HILL is one of NPR's 50 Great Voices... and it was something of a coup to actually interview her.


BRIAN WILSON Reimagines Gershwin.

GUIDED BY VOICES is reuniting for the Matador Records 21st Anniversary bash in Vegas. Pavement, Sonic Youth and others are also headed to the desert.

PHOSPHORESCENT: Matt Houck talks to PopMatters about hitting the road and writing Here's to Taking It Easy, which he calls a "really fun, classic rock record."

VAMPIRE WEEKEND say they plan to take "more time" in recording their forthcoming third album, compared to their previous two records.

TIGER WOODS is said by the ever-reliable Sun to be giving ex-wife Elin Nordegren 750 million bucks in exchange for her never speaking of their divorce or his affairs in public. And that's not all. It's also said the deal will ban Tiger from bringing a girlfriend to meet the pair's two children until he marries her.

LINDSAY LOHAN concocted a diabolical plan to defraud an L.A. boutique out of thousands of dollars ... according to a lawsuit that was to be filed Wednesday. Plus: Lohan's 2007 DUI case may have plea bargained quickly because the cop who took custody of the cocaine mistook it for a breath mint and threw it in the trash.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE became the all-time highest-grossing pic for midnight runs, taking in over 30 milion in a few hours.

ZOE SALDANA is engaged, but not to Spock.

SANDRA BULLOCK & JESSE JAMES trusted each other when it came to coming up with a value of the assets they each held and the debts they each owed for the purposes of their divorce.

BRITNEY SPEARS is accused of beating her sons with a belt, and feeding them food to which the were allergic and making them ill, according to fmr bodyguard Fernando Flores.

MILEY CYRUS is ditching her wholesome image... and her fans are ditching her.

30 POST-APOCALYPTIC VISIONS of the 21st Century.

TERROR in NYC: Counterterrorism officials have linked one of the nation's most wanted al Qaeda operatives to last year's thwarted plot to bomb the New York subway system.

AFGHANISTAN: Blogger Bill Ardolino has initial impressions from his embed with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, in Musa Qala, Helmand province.

IRAQ: A rumor in Baghdad indicates the State of Law and Iraqiya parties may band together to form a government.

NISSA the BORDER COLLIE retrieves her Frisbee from a tree.

MANCHAS the CHIHUAHUA died protecting a four-year-old boy from two pit bulls that got into the owner's apartment.

70000 TURTLE EGGS are to be scooped up to save them from death in the oily Gulf of Mexico.


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Gogol Bordello, Steel Train, Jimmy Webb, Cat Lassie   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BLACK MOUNTAIN drop a grindhouse-y video for "Old Fangs."

GOGOL BORDELLO play a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

STEEL TRAIN did six free songs for Daytrotter.  Their new album is streaming at Spinner.

THE TOP 20 OF 2010 (so far), according to NPR listeners.

THE THERMALS drop "I Don't Believe You" as the single from their upcoming album.

JIMMY WEBB has a new album, with a bunch of duets on his classics, streaming in full via AOL.

BIG BOI is only occasionally my cup of tea, but he is streaming his new LP.

LaBELLE: "Lady Marmalade." I coulda used a little more cowbell.

JOHN WESLEY HARDING writes about David Bowie at Granta. (Thx, LHB.)

LAURIE ANDERSON is normally cool, but now she's angry, and getting angrier.

MUMFORD & SONS tell the BBC that their sophomore LP will sound "more urgent."

DICK CLARK is finally monetizing his back catalog.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE opens on over 4000 screens today, and is scoring 48 percent on the ol' Tomatometer.

STEVE CARELL says he's leaving The Office, but the show may go on.

AMY LOCANE (from the original Melrose Place) was charged in a fatal drunk-driving crash that killed a Montgomery woman Sunday night.

SUSAN SARANDON may be making a reality show -- about ping-pong. Yes, really.

OPRAH retakes the top slot on the Forbes Celebrity Power List.

KNIGHT & DAY: Fox's Tony Sella takes the blame for the flopping Cruise/Diaz flick.

COREY ALLEN, an actor-turned-director who played James Dean's leather-clad nemesis in ‘Rebel Without a Cause' and who was the last surviving member of the film's main cast, died of natural causes on Sunday.

IRAN: A man claiming to be an Iranian nuclear scientist whom Tehran alleges the United States kidnapped said he has escaped from US agents, in a video screened on Iranian television. Washington denied the Iranian accusations, with State Department spokesman Philip Crowley refusing to say whether or not Amiri was in the United States.  Meanwhile, Iran set tough terms for the resumption of nuclear talks, vowing to punish world powers for imposing new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

AFGHANISTAN: The US military has systematically overstated or failed to adequately measure the capabilities of Afghan security forces, whose performance is key to the Obama administration's exit strategy for the war, according to a new government audit.

WHAT IF Lassie was a cat?

RAD RODENTS: A mischievous bunch of fearless mice, who love nothing more than catching a wave and shooting a curl. Pics and video at the link.

OSCAR the CAT is running again... on bionic paws.

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New Releases, Sharon Jones, Of Montreal, Charlie Louvin, Goat Bridge   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


LENNY KRAVITZ ran across a chuch choir playing "I'll Fly Away."

NEW RELEASES: Alejandro Escovedo, the Harvey Girls, Maps and Atlases and more are streaming this week via Spinner.

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS stopped by for a session at Morning Becomes Eclectic.

OF MONTREAL drops "Coquet Coquette" as an advance track to False Priest.

DANGER MOUSE, SPARKLEHORSE & DAVID LYNCH are advance streaming the long-delayed Dark Night of the Soul, sadly posthumously in the case of Sparklehorse.

CHARLIE LOUVIN: The country/bluegrass legend does four free songs for Daytrotter.

TEARS FOR FEARS: "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" and "Shout" both topped the charts in the first half of 1985.

NICOLE ATKINS talks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about moving from Columbia to razor & Tie for her upcoming sophomore LP.

QUASI: Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss talk to The Line Of Best Fit about post-tour plans, playing cover songs, and more...

ROLLING STONE: Jann Wenner blames Bill Clinton for the magazine becoming boring in the 1990s. The problem with that theory is that it stunk in the 1980s, too.

THE NATIONAL: Scott Berninger triggered an airport evacuation

MEGAN FOX & BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN were married at a small, intimate ceremony at the Four Seasons Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. 

MAD MEL UPDATE: Oksana Grigorieva has secret evidence against Mel Gibson in their explosive legal battle and she has stored it on a DVD, according to RadarOnline.

SANDRA BULLOCK finalized her divorce from her husband of nearly five years, Jesse James, Monday morning.

VINCE NEIL of Mötley Crüe was arrested for suspicion of DUI this morning in Las Vegas.

CHRIS KLEIN is facing a mandatory sentence of four days in jail if he's convicted of his second DUI offense, the L.A. City Attorney's office announced Monday.

ANGELINA JOLIE did a wide-ranging interview with Vanity Fair. Why, it's almost like she's got a movie coming out...

LINDSAY LOHAN will appear in a new reality show that will follow her mom, Dina, and her siblings. Inevitable, wasn't it?

KATY PERRY & RUSSELL BRAND: Already married?

HARRY POTTER and the DEATHLY HALLOWS has a full-length trailer online.

JORDAN is looking to go nuclear.

AFGHANISTAN: As Gen. Petraeus prepares to take command, Pres. Karzai's outreach to the Taliban is drawing warnings from some Afghan factions, particularly women and ethnic minorities.

THE GOAT BRIDGE: Let's go to the video.

PRINCESS ABBY the Chihuahua triumphed at the World's Ugliest Dog 2010 contest in Northern California. I think Rascal wuz robbed!

A HEN in Cornwall laid a record-breaking 14 eggs in one day.

SHARK ATTACK: A 13-year-old girl is expected to fully recover after being attacked by a shark while swimming near an island off the coast of North Carolina. Which makes it safe for the "Right at the height of tourist season" reference.

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