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Yo La Tengo, Har Mar Superstar, Tom Waits, Cats and Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


YO LA TENGO kicked off Paste's new "Live at Moog" series, and a set from White Rabbits is up now, too. Each also offers a free MP3.

THE 50 WORST SONGS OF THE DECADE are getting a countdown at the Village Voice, with plenty of clips.

HAR MAR SUPERSTAR did three free songs for Daytrotter.

BEST MUSIC OF 2009, according to NPR's Bob Boilen, Carrie Brownstein, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and more...

FUNKY CHRISTMAS: A vintage twofer from Egon, via NPR.

THE WHO is getting a tribute benefit concert at Carnegie Hall, with a lineup including Bob Mould, Bettye LaVette, Mose Allison, Frank Black, Robyn Hitchcock, The Smithereens, and... Bobby McFerrin?

TOM WAITS gives a reading of a "Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis."

THE HOLD STEADY's Craig Finn talks to New York magazine about the stories in his Lifter Puller songs.

R.E.M.: Bill Berry appears on this year's Christmas single.

JASON ISBELL drinks with American Songwriter.


SPANDAU BALLET may be the first band to play in outer space. Yes, it's "True."

TIGER WOODS: Elin Nordegren is taking the cubs and moving to a new den. Sources tell People that she plans to leave the golfer. And in news too good to check, she may sign a deal with Puma. Us claims that Woods and Rachel Uchitel "are not over," while another of his women may appear in an adult video.  Plus, one of Tiger's doctors is reportedly under investigation for HGH distribution.

COURTNEY LOVE got slapped with a restraining order, prohibiting her from having any direct or indirect contact with her daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL and REESE WITHERSPOON: The splitsville story goes wide.

KATE HUDSON and A-ROD: More on their split, including the claim that she always wanted to be on camera. That would be a shock.

LINDSAY LOHAN has been ordered to step up her alcohol education program classes.

TIM BURTON'S ALICE in WONDERLAND has photos and a trailer online.

PRINCE OF PERSIA has a behind-the-scenes clip online.

THE WORST FILMS OF THE YEAR, according to The A.V. Club.

MR. SKIN unveils his annual list of the top celebrity nude scenes of the year.

IRAN test-fired an upgraded version of its most advanced missile, which is capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe, according to state media. The US is planning an unprecedented missile defense test against an Iranian ICBM.

PAKISTAN: Newsweek reports that Pres. Obama believes that widening the scope of the drone attacks into Quetta would be risky and unwise.  The WaPo reports that Pakistani Pres. Zardari has resisted a direct appeal from Pres. Obama for a rapid expansion of Pakistani military operations in tribal areas and has called on the US to speed up military assistance to Pakistani forces and to intervene more forcefully with India.

IRAQ: Dozens of Iraqi security force members were involved in attacks that killed up to 112 people in Baghdad last week, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Wednesday.

CATS and DOGS, laying together...  Mass hysteria!

FLATULENT TURTLES plague the Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre at the holidays.

AN INJURED SWALLOW is taught to fly again with a special harness. But will it be able to carry a coconut?

OCTOPUSES have been observed stacking coconut shells and carrying them around as portable shelters. But they have no air speed velocity.

3118 Reads

U2 + Elvis Costello, Elliot Smith   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


U2 joined ELVIS COSTELLO on his Spectacle show, mashing up "Pump It Up" with "Get On Your Boots" and playing each other's material including "Stuck In A Moment," "Mysterious Ways," and "Two Shots Happy, One Shot Sad." 

ELLIOT SMITH: An unreleased song, "Cecilia/Amanda," is available to stream and download.

JAPANDROIDS did two free songs for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.

SEA WOLF played material from their new album on Morning Becomes Eclectic.

VISQUEEN's Rachel Flotard talked to NPR's Morning Edition about the songs she wrote during her father's sickness, which became the unexpectedly upbeat rock album Message to Garcia.

THE DARKNESS wuz robbed when "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" only made it to No.2 in the UK for 2003.  Frontman Justin Hawkins was reportedly very bitter about the defeat.

THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME will induct The Stooges, The Hollies, Genesis, ABBA and Jimmy Cliff, while snubbing Darlene Love, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, KISS, and Donna Summer.

WILCO: Jeff Tweedy talks to The Independent about longevity against the odds and a dream comeback.

A.A. BONDY talks to PopMatters about reinventing himself as a working-class folk singer.

JOHN LYDON, a/k/a Johnny Rotten, regrets allowing Sid Vicious into the ranks of the Sex Pistols.

TIGER WOODS: The mistress toteboard stands at 14.  Woods had crisis managers bail him out of sticky situations with women long before Rachel Uchitel became a household name - sources tell TMZ.

RHIANNA gives an interview and revealing photoshoot to GQ.  Her ex, Chris Brown, accused Wal-Mart of blackballing his album, then deleted his Twitter account.

TONY ROMO is engaged. I'm sure Jessica Simpson is taking it well.

JOHN MAYER: Too "freaked out" to date at the moment.

AVATAR: James Cameron talks to Vanity Fair about Dances With Smurfs.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES NOMINATIONS went to these folks. Congrats!

THE TOP FILMS OF 2009, according to Quentin Tarantino.

ROBIN HOOD, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe, has a trailer online.

CAPRICA: The pilot for the Battlestar Galactica prequel is online.

PAKISTAN: Demands by the US to crack down on the strongest Taliban warrior in Afghanistan, Siraj Haqqani, whose fighters pose the biggest threat to American forces, have been rebuffed by the Pakistani military, according to Pakistani military officials and diplomats.

AFGHANISTAN: FNC's Greg Palkot has video from his embed with a company of Special Force A-Teams.

TAIWANESE PIG FARMERS have started to potty train their pigs to keep them from defecating in nearby rivers.  I think I have a demo video.

IT'S NOT RAINING CATS and DOGS, but there was a slight Pomeranian in the Quad Cities.

GIANT LOBSTER gets a reprieve.

KITTEH rides 120 miles through sub-zero temps in the wheel well of a SUV.

3101 Reads

New Releases, Loch Lomond, Thao, Whistling Puppy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE MUPPETS: "Ringing of the Bells."

NEW RELEASES: Julian Lennon, Lisa Hannigan and Variety Lab are streaming this week via Spinner.

LOCH LOMOND did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, two previously unreleased.

THAO and the GET DOWN STAY DOWN stopped by Oregon Public Broadcasting, which has audio and video.

JINGLE JAMS: A Holiday Mix From NPR Music

GRIZZLY BEAR is scoring Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Phillips.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman James Darnielle was backed by Superchunk's Jon Wurster on drums.for three Christmas covers -- including Chuck Berry's "Run, Run Rudolph" at the 2006 Trekky Records Christmas show.  It's Threefer Thursday -- like Twofer Tuesday, but it's one more.

LARGEHEARTED BOY's Favorite Albums of 2009.  Different from mine, but all noteworthy.

THE TOP 100 SONGS OF 2009, accoring to Pitchfork.

TITUS ANDRONICUS is releasing a Civil War-themed album, with cameos from the Hold Steady's Craig Finn (as Walt Whitman) and more...

DANGER MOUSE and THE SHINS' James Mercer have launched a viral campaign for their Broken Bells project.

THE NOUGHTIES: A Cultural Golden Age?

TIGER WOODS is the gift that keeps giving in the slow pre-holidays news period.  Florida's Department of Children and Families has an open investigation that it is actively pursuing into a possible domestic violence incident - with a weapon -- between Tiger Woods and his wife.  Business firm Accenture dropped its sponsorship of Tiger.  Elin was spotted not wearing her wedding ring.

COURTNEY LOVE has lost legal control of her daughter.

KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN gave birth to a son.

ORLANDO BLOOM and MIRANDA KERR deny they are engaged.


LINDSAY LOHAN is selling off second-hand clothes on her family's website.

RICKY GERVAIS was profiled on 60 Minutes.

QUENTIN TARANTINO talks about the Inglourious Basterds DVD and its extras with the MTV.

IRAN: A new anti-government movement has sprung up among protesters in Iran --  with men posting pictures of themselves on the Internet wearing women's head scarves as a political statement.

PAKISTAN: Senior US officials are pushing to expand CIA drone strikes beyond Pakistan's tribal region and into a major city in an attempt to pressure the Pakistani government to pursue Taliban leaders based in Quetta. Of 48 attacks carried out this year, only six have taken place since the end of September, according to data compiled by The Long War Journal.

WHISTLING PUPPY: Let's go to the video.

ESKIMO the REINDEER has a bigger problem than Rudolph.

A TEENAGE DOLPHIN has been accused of bullying swimmers and waterskiers in New Zealand.

WILD BOARS trapped German walkers in a trash dumpster.

2980 Reads

Fanfarlo, Phoenix, Nellie McKay, Surprised Kitteh 2   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 14, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


EELS released a video for "In My Younger Days" from the upcoming End Times album.

FANFARLO and THE SWIMMERS played the World Cafe Friday. You can stream either set now via NPR.

CURTISS A stopped by the Current studios in support of his annual John Lennon Tribute Show. Three of my fave Lennon tunes, plus gossip about The Replacements and Stan Lee. What more could anyone want?

PHOENIX was profiled on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday.

NELLIE McKAY got a feature plus tracks from her Doris Day tribute album on Weekend Edition Sunday.

SUFJAN STEVENS: "Put the Lights on the Tree."

EXPOSED: Why indie rockers are baring it all.

BERNARD SUMNER talks to the San Francisco Chronicle about Bad Lieutenant, New Order, Joy Division, etc.

THE XX is profiled by the New York Observer.

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn talks to New York magazine about his screenplay adaptation of Chuck Klosterman's memoir Fargo Rock City.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Princess and the Frog easily topped the chart with 25 million, but that is at the low end of what industry "tracking" projected.  If the Frog lacks holiday legs, it could spell the end of 2-D animation at Disney. Lilo & Stitch opened to 35 million eight years ago; Disney hasn't come close since.  The Blind Side slipped back into th second slot with 15.5 million, but it has already taken in 150 million domestic on a 29 million budget.  Invictus debted in the third slot with nine million; it has a 60 million price tag, but should do well worldwide and carry well through awards season.  New Moon drops to the fourth spot with eight million on another big 48 percent drop -- not that anyone is going to cry over its 267.3 million total to date.  A Christmas Carol takes a small drop to round out the Top Five; it has made 242.7 worldwide against a 200 million budget.  It may yet have holdiday legs, though Avatar will take over 3-D screens this weekend.

TIGER WOODS has temporarily quit golf to sort out his private life. Gillette is officially phasing him out of their ads, but Nike is standing by their man. A woman who had a several-year affair with the golfer tried to get pregnant by him for years, according to RadarOnline. Plus, more allegations about the escort service surface at The Sun.


LINDSAY LOHAN is under attack from an Indian charity, which says she is claiming to have helped to rescue 40 child laborers in New Delhi when she was not actually in the country.

MADONNA is no longer Louis Vuitton's material girl, with a younger model taking her place as the face of the brand.

NATALIE PORTMAN will star in and produce "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," a film that is based on the bestselling book written by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen.

TERRY GILLIAM tells the Wall Street Journal how he finished "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" without Heath Ledger.

STAY COOL, a sort of high school comedy with an unusual cast, has a trailer online.

THE HURT LOCKER chosen as the year's best picture by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Gotta say I liked it.

IRAN says it is ready to exchange the bulk of its stockpile of enriched uranium for nuclear fuel rods - as proposed by the UN - but according to its own mechanisms and timetable. Hey, this wouldn't be yet another stalling tactic, would it?  An Iranian scientist who vanished six months ago has revealed secrets of his country's nuclear program with international weapons inspectors, according to the Sunday Telegraph.  Confidential intelligence documents obtained by The Times of London show that Iran is working on testing a key final component of a nuclear bomb.  Meanwhile, thousands are fleeing the country as the regime tightens the noose on dissent.

PAKISTAN signals a willingness to negotiate with the Taliban through sympathetic Islamist political parties.

IRAQ: Despite recent headline-grabbing bombings, the security situation is continuing to improve. Plenty of charts at the link.

SURPRISED KITTEH: The Sequel. Plus, a scientific explanation.

A DRUNKEN ELK terrorized the streets of Södertälje: "The game warden recognized the elk. It usually walks around and eats apples, gets drunk, and then gets aggressive," said police spokesperson Björn Engström.

PETUNIAS and POTATOES may actually be carnivorous plants, scientists now suggest.

A GIANT RODENT was found crushed to death at the Calgary Zoo, one of a string of odd incidents there.

GORILLAS will now be getting down at the Buffalo Zoo.

3148 Reads

Shindig Xmas, Tori Amos, Cash, Dylan, Diamond, Cutout Bin, MacGuyver Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 11, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with SHINDIG CHRISTMAS '64! Part One includes The Beach Boys' "Dance, Dance, Dance," Bobby Sherman and Donna Loren singing "Keep on Searching," the Righteous Brothers doing "The Jerk" and an awesome milk commercial. Part Two includes Marvin Gaye with "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" and Adam Faith with "Watch Your Step," plus Bobby Sherman singing "Sleigh Ride" and Adam Faith returning with "Santa Claus Is Back In Town."  In Part Three, Donna Loren returns with a Spector-esque, but rougher "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and The Beach Boys deliver a set including "Little Saint Nick," "Monster Mash" (yes, really) "Papa Oom Mow Mow," and "Johnny B. Goode." Part Four brings Marvin Gaye with "Hitch Hike" and concludes with The Beach Boys on "We Three Kings."

TORI AMOS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

LOU BARLOW (Dinosaur, Jr., Sebadoh) performs solo material on Morning Becomes Eclectic.

BOB DYLAN: Captain's Dead has outtakes from Dylan's 1994 Unplugged set to stream or download.

THEFT OF THE DIAL: Director Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up In The Air) stopped by The Current studios for an interview and as a guest DJ.

JOHNNY CASH, with June Carter Cash, family and friends, on "The 12 Days Of Christmas." Fish, meet barrel... Bang! BONUS: Captain's Dead has a set from Amsterdam circa Feb. 1972 to stream or download.

FRANK YANG lists his Best Albums of 2009. Emmy the Great and Fanfarlo could have been on my list, too.

THE TOP ALBUMS OF 2009, according to The A.V. Club.

THE TOP ALBUMS OF THE DECADE, according to Rolling Stone.

THE GUMMY AWARDS are posted at Stereogum.

NEIL DIAMOND covers Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song."

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: Lou Reed, Moe Tucker and Doug Yule did a joint Q & A at the New York Public Library. Video at the link.

LONDON CALLING: The Quietus re-evaluates the Clash's classic double-LP... and unfairly so, imho.  Its variety makes it The Clash's version of The White Album, but with stronger material overall.  Its eclecticism did not usher in a more "conservative" rock and roll of the 80s and beyond; as anyone who lived it knows, the more "conservative" rock was always there.  Rather, London Calling helped open ears to a wide variety of non-mainstream influences and may mark the spot where our music world became increasingly fractionalized, even before the Internet.

INGRID MICHAELSON does a Q & A with the Leeds Music Scene.

CUTOUT BIN: From Feist to Husker Du, from the Beach Boys to Sly and the Family Stone, from Tom Waits to Focus (yes, Focus!), plus Alex Chilton, the Replacements, the Suburbs, Smokey Robinson, the cast of Glee and more -- this weekend's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are Disney's The Princess and the Frog, which is currently scoring 80 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and Clint Eastwood's Invictus, which is scoring 77 percent.  Up in the Air, scoring 89 percent, is also expanding, but not yet wide.

TIGER WOODS: People looks at Elin's nightmare.  Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer is removing placards of Tiger Woods from jewellery stores across Australia, but says the timing is unrelated to the champion golfer's recent transgressions.  Alleged mistress Rachel Uchitel has flipped out after learning how many women now claim to have had unprotected sex with Tiger, and plans to get tested for STDs. The ever-reliable Sun claims Tiger is is ready to quit golf in a desperate bid to save his shattered marriage.  Meanwhile, the owner of a now-defunct VIP escort service says in an exclusive interview that she counted Woods among her celebrity clients.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD bashes everyone from ‘American Idol' judge Simon Cowell to her Dallas Cowboy's ex, Tony Romo, at Esquire.


BILLY JOEL and CHRISTIE BRINKLEY issued a statement about their daughter Alexa Ray Joel's recent hospital stay.


AVATAR: The first reviews are in, and they are raves from Empire and Hollywood Reporter.

SCI-FI SUCCESSES OF THE DECADE: John Scalzi notes that out of the top 20 sci-fi movies of the last decade, 80 percent are based on comics or toys and/or a sequel and/or a remake.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Probably NSFW video, just in time for Gratuitous Friday.

PAKISTAN: An FBI team in Pakistan is investigating five American Muslim students who were arrested there yesterday on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks.

AFGHANISTAN: The Border Police are getting trained up: "Before, they basically told them to raise their right hand and gave them a gun and a uniform," said Lt. Col. Paul Cravey.

IRAQ: Prime Minister al-Maliki blamed recent bombings on political discord and a fractured society. By staking its reputation on improving security, Iraq's Shi'ite-led government has made itself a target for insurgents determined to undermine the prime minister ahead of national polls next year.

STEVE McQUEEN? More like MacGuyver.

TOO MANY CHIHUAHUAS in California, and Hollywood is blamed.

AND THERE WERE FROZEN TURKEYS all over the highway.

OSCAR, the bald parrot.

3292 Reads

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