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Wrens, Elliot Smith, Shearwater, Cat Loves Bananas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 16, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE WRENS have a video for their new song, "Marked Up."

ELLIOT SMITH: An entire album's worth of unfinished recordings and outtakes from From A Basement On The Hill has leaked.

SHEARWATER stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

HALEY BONAR does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.

ANDREW BIRD gets a profile + tracks at NPR's All Things Considered.

HEARTLESS BAST^RDS were "Out at Sea" in their network TV debut from the Ed Sullivan Theater.

M WARD talks to Ann Powers at the L.A. Times about his arrangements, re-creating songs and more.  He also got profiled in The New York Times, with emphasis on his old skool leanings.

NEKO CASE is also profiled in The New York Times Magazine, with a multimedia sidebar.

PATRICK WOLF talks to Spinner about his two upcoming albums, and to BlackBook about how he got Tilda Swinton involved.  He's currently streaming a sampler.

LOS CAMPESINOS! Gareth Campesino talks to Boston Globe about the exclamation point and more...

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Friday the 13th remake headlines with 42.2 million (on a 19 million production budget) for the biggest weekend of the year to date.  That take was about twice the amount most predicted.  This weekend is again up more than 25 percent year-over-year.  Valentine's Day ensured enough people were into He's Just Not That Into You for it to rake in another 19.6 million.  But Taken was close behind, making 19.25 million on a mere six percent drop.  Confessions of a Shopaholic debuted in fourth with 15.4 million -- not bad considering that Isla Fisher had start-studded competition and the movie got poor reviews.  Coraline rounds out the Top Five with 15.3 million on a mere nine percent drop.  It has made back its reported 35 million production budget, and should do alright next weekend, but may run into trouble when the Joans Bros. show up in theaters two weekends hence.

JESSICA SIMPSON admits: "I've had times when my pants split right down the middle when I bent down to reach a note."

MICKEY ROURKE says he'd rather be stuck on an island with only the company of "a gorilla" than hook up with Courtney Love. Video at the link.

AMY WINEHOUSE was admitted to a hospital on Friday after collapsing while struggling with addiction on her never-ending vacation in St. Lucia.

MUSIC & LYRICS? Hugh Grant is reportedly "off again" with sometimes steady Jemima Khan, having been... caught canoodling not one but two women at an NYC club last week.  Was that before or after he was... wait for it... caught canoodling with Drew Barrymore?

KATE MOSS is pregnant with her second child, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.

WATCHMEN released a trailer for "Tales of the Black Freighter," a comic read by one of the charcters in the Watchmen graphic novel.

HEIDI KLUM is too heavy and too short to be a runway queen? Karl Lagerfeld and Claudia Schiffer dosn't know who she is?

GREY'S ANATOMY creator Shonda Rhimes says T.R. Knight and Katherine Heigl are not leaving the show.

PRESIDENTS DAY is recognized now instead of Washington's birthday, But in 1776, David McCullough notes that when Washington took command in July 1775, he thought he would be home at Mount Vernon by Christmas. McCullough catalogs Washington's blunders -- many of them nearly fatal to the Cause -- but concludes: "He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, nor a gifted orator, not an intellectual... He had made serious mistakes in judgment. But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood... and above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake, and he never gave up." That, as much as anything, is why Washington is usually ranked among the greatest of US presidents.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia fired the head of the controversial religious police force and the country's most senior judge in a wide ranging shake-up of the cabinet and other government posts.

PAKISTAN: Two missiles fired from American drone aircraft killed more than 30 people, including Qaeda and Taliban fighters, near the Pakistani border with Afghanistan on Saturday, according to a Pakistani intelligence official and residents of the area. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Sen. Intell Cmite,  exposed a Pakistani partnership on Predator launches that the US had tried to keep quiet.

WINSTON the CAT loves bananas. Really. But SFW.

500-LB MANATEE RESCUED from a pond at a private golf club in North Palm Beach.

A DEAD GATOR turns up in a yard in Ypsilanti Township.

A SNAKE turns up in an Indian toilet. Pics at the link.

A BABY MEERKAT turned up in North Wales.  Hakuna Mutata.

3168 Reads

Romance, School of 7 Bells, Faces, Cutout Bin, Super-Cows   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 13, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with a little ROMANCE! I've never been a big Valentine's Day guy, but I have always liked Paul Westerberg's "Valentine."  And Lou Rawls crooning "You'll Never Find" will always hold fond memories for me.  So it wasn't tough to add to the list John Hiatt's "Real Fine Love," The Beatles with "Thing We Said Today" (which Pate's Jon & Mike played at a fmr roomie's wedding), Billy Bragg's "Greetings To The New Brunette," The Ronettes' "Be My Baby"  and The Four Tops belting out "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'" on Shivaree, before closing with the Velvet Undergorund's "I'll Be Your Mirror," Elvis Costello's "Alison,"  The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" and Richard Thompson's solo take on "Dimming of the Day."

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming on demand via MPR.

THE FACES: Captain's Dead has posted a 1974 gig from Detroit for downloading or streaming.

NICKEL EYE, the side project of Strokes bassist Nikolai Fraiture, does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, occasionally sounding like TMBG+CVB.

BEACH HOUSE Victoria Legrand e-mails with Emmy the Great for Drowned In Sound.

LET'S STAY TOGETHER: The Al Green hit is the latest classic to get the upgraded NPR 100 treatment, with three decades of video links.

THE OPPOSING VIEW:  Ever Fallen In Love? Love Stinks. Love Hurts. Love Will Tear Us Apart. Only Love Can Break Your Heart. And don't forget to give me back my black t-shirt (nsfw)!

ANTI-SAPPY LOVE SONGS, courtesy of The Santa Clara (and LHB).

PETER GABRIEL is bailing on the Oscars.

GUILLEMOTS are celebrated at Creative Loafing.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE have organized a mock-political campaign against "autotune abuse in music."

CUTOUT BIN: From Big Daddy to Sonic Youth, from 999 to Derek & the Dominos, from the Jackson 5 to The Clash, plus Lou Reed, Sppon, Eels, She & Him and more-- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

CORALINE (3-D): Equal parts whimsical and creepy, animator Henry Selick does a masterful job with adapting Neil Gaiman's book about an unhappy girl who should be careful what she wishes for (even if a few major liberties were taken).  It remains sufficiently dark that parents may want to think twice before taking small children.  See it in 3-D if you can; there's not a lot of gratuitous thrown objects, but Selick uses the latest tech to create depth that showcases his marvelous sets (and set pieces).

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include the coincidentally-timed remake of Friday The 13th, which is currently scoring 27 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Confessions of a Shopaholic, which is scoring 22 percent, and The International, scoring 55 percent.

RHIANNA & CHRIS BROWN: Sources tell TMZ that the L.A. County District Attorney kicked the case back to the police for further investigation because evidence that Brown made criminal threats against Rihanna is kind of thin. However, Brown almost certainly be charged with felony domestic battery, a lesser offense but still serious.

MADONNA is reportedly furious that scandal-plagued Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez has gone back to his wife.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Fmr bf Adnan Ghalib is under investigation for felony assault with a deadly weapon with a vehicle.

JENNIFER ANISTON gets romantic advice from Jennifer Aniston. And she could use it.

THE TEN GREATEST HIT JOBS IN MOVIE HISTORY, according to New York magazine. And Tubed.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX makes his bid for the list of Letterman's most awkward moments.

THE DARK KNIGHT will not return to your cinema anytime soon.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL & PETER SARSGAARD talk to The Scotsman about working together in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and almost wearing out the "A" key on my keyboard.

CHINA has developed a rolling lethal injection bus complete with a live video feed of the killings.

PAKISTAN: Dr. David Kilcullen, considered one of the leading thinkers on counterinsurgency, thinks US unmanned aerial attacks in Pakistan should be curtailed. Bill Roggio agrees in general, but adds caveats.

AFGHANISTAN: Three Taliban teams attacked the Justice and Education ministries and a prisons building in Kabul, killing 19 and wounding more than 50.  Afghan intelligence is investigating Pakistani links to the coordinated attack, which is a new tactic for ther Taliban.

MEET THE SUPER-COWS:  We have video and a photo gallery.

UNCONSCIOUS TIGER bites zoo's veterinarian. Tigers do it in their sleep.

A DORMOUSE sleeps on a rose.  Awww...

SEVEN of the BIGGEST BEASTS of all time, according to National Geographic.

ZOOROTICA: It's what's for Valentine's Day.

6195 Reads

U2, Spinal Tap, Lykke Li, AC Newman, Koala(s) Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


U2 releases a video for "Get On Your Boots," the first single from the band's new album.


SPINAL TAP (and doc director Marty DiBergi) talk to Vanity Fair about the 25th anniversary of This Is Spinal Tap. Audio at the link.  BONUS: Did you know Christopher Guest has a serious band?

LYKKE LI stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming on demand via MPR.

A.C. NEWMAN covers A-ha's "Take On Me" for Starbucks.

RA RA RIOT: "Can You Tell" this is their new video? Take my wife, please!

THE SUBMARINES get the "25 Random Things" list at BlackBook.

CARRIE BROWNSTEIN picks out a Valentine's Day song for You.

JOHN WESLEY HARDING talks to Blurt about his new label, which gets talent recommendations by people like author Nick Hornby and Robyn Hitchcock.

DR. DOG talks about their opening acts, analog recording and more with Mountain Xpress. (Thx, LHB.)

JESSICA SIMPSON, who caught a wave of criticism two weeks ago for wearing a pair of "mom jeans" and a double leopard print belt on stage, wants to create a line of clothes that flatter every figure: "By now I know what works if you're curvy." Ummm... no.

MISCHA BARTON, otoh, is looking shockingly thin.

RHIANNA & CHRIS BROWN: The explosive fight that landed sultry singer Rihanna in the hospital ignited when singer Chris Brown got a text message from another young woman, a source said.

MICKEY ROURKE & COURTNEY LOVE have been secretly seeing each other for the past three weeks, according to the Daily Mirror.

SALMA HAYEK breastfed another woman's baby during a trip to Sierra Leone in front of "Nightline" cameras.

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS: Quentin Tarantino releases a teaser trailer for his WWII flick.

PRINCE HARRY was hit by a new race row last night after allegedly telling a comic he didn't "sound like a black chap."

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: From Illinois to the Smithsonian, Americans are celebrating the 200th birthday of 16th President of the United States. Two things you may not have known about Honest Abe: (1) he was an early adopter of the telegraph; and (2) he once sported a punky haircut.

AFGHANISTAN: Michael Yon has an unclassified PowerPoint presentation from the Marines on complex IED attacks in the Helmand and Farah provinces.

IRAN is thisclose to having enough weapons-grade uranium for a bomb, and will likely have enough for three bombs by year's end, according to the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control.

IRAQ's military is purchasing American helicopters, cargo planes and tanks equipment that typically requires a prolonged US presence for maintenance and training.  "To me that could indicate that the Iraqis would like to have a long-term strategic relationship with the United States," said Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, who is in charge of training Iraq's security services and military.

UPDATE: TWO BURNED KOALAS rescued from Australia's deadliest bushfires have provided some heart-warming relief after days of devastation and the loss of more than 180 lives. Awww...some pics and video at the link.

ZOO ANIMALS including a turtle, bearded dragons and thorny devil lizards, were fed to a crocodile by a seven-year-old in Australia.

SHARK ATTACK in Woolloomooloo. Thank goodness I'm just typing, not reading aloud.

PET HOARDING UPDATE: North Texas authorities seized 22 dogs found crammed inside a station wagon with their owner -- now with a picture.

STUMP the SUSSEX SPANIEL, who technically retired four years ago took home Best in Show on Tuesday at the 133rd Annual Westminster Kennel Club show at Madison Square Garden, becoming the oldest to win the award.

3055 Reads

Tom Jones, Valentines, Beirut, Trampoline Foxes   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TOM JONES did a Take-Away show for La Blogtheque, including "We Got Love," "If Ever I Should Leave You" and "Green Grass of Home."

GARY LOURIS & MARK OLSON talk to PopMatters about their new album, a possible Jayhawks reunion, the incredible "Blue," and more...

PRE-VALENTINES: Lesser-known Love Songs (not too sure 'bout that) and Songs For Heartbreakers are streaming via NPR.

ART BRUT has a new album, produced by Frank Black,  coming in April or May.

EMMY THE GREAT talks to the BBC about her unconventional education, songwriting, catastrophes, etc.

BEIRUT made their network debut playing "A Sunday Smile" for Dave, which I don't think was the plan, though he pronounced it "cool."

THE DAMNWELLS will give you their album for your e-mail address.

NOAH and the WHALE: The Times of London visits the combo in-studio.

LYKKE LI tells the Mpls City Pages that she does not like comparisons to other Swedish songstresses: "But it's a thing I have to struggle with as well (because) I'm not very fond of my own voice, and I want to sound like Tom Waits, but then I sound like this really young girl, and I feel like this big, black man inside--(a) crazy lunatic, and then I look in the mirror and I look like 17! It's a struggle for everybody involved..." 

DUFFY shares a "day in the life" with the Times of London.

CANADIAN SONGSTRESSES, including Liz Powell, Jenn Grant and Emma-Lee, are rounded up by the Globe & Mail.

THE SI SWIMSUIT ISSUE sports Bar Rafaeli on the cover.  The photo and video-laden mini-site is online.  The swimsuit issue accounts for 11 percent of Sports Illustrated's annual revenue.

RHIANNA is said to have suffered "horrific" injuries after an alleged beating by singer Chris Brown.  She is cooperating with investigators building a domestic violence case against her boyfriend, and has postponed a concert in Kuala Lumpur

JENNIFER ANISTON & JOHN MAYER: He wrote a song for her 40th birthday. Couldn't have seen that coming a mile away.

THE FRENCH HOTEL pitched Paul McCartney on a duet.  Sir Paul said he'd have to check his schedule before running away as quickly as his legs would carry him.

GEORGE CLOONEY and... Benazir Bhutto's niece?


THE INTERNATIONAL opens Friday, but you can watch the first five minutes online.

KATE WINSLET tells Nightline she would prefer to avoid being the most nominated Oscar loser.

GREY'S ANATOMY: Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight will soon take off their scrubs for good, according to co-star James Pickens.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  A 23-year-old unmarried woman was awarded one-year prison term and 100 lashes after she was raped and tried to end the pregnancy.

IRAN: The New York Times tries to suggest that Pres. Ahmadinejad is interested in dialogue with the US for reasons other than running out the clock on its nuclear program, but his comments about Iran being "the biggest victim of terrorism" and suggesting that fmr. Pres. Bush be tried and punished in some way tend to point in the other direction.  Indeed, buried near the end of the story is the reminder that Ahmadinejad's comments came two days after a fmr Iranian Pres. Khatami announced that he would challenge Ahmadinejad in presidential elections in June.  And even then, they repeat the line about Khatami being a pro-Western reformer, which I noted on Monday is kinda mythical. COINCIDENTALLY: Khatami was attacked by an angry stick-wielding mob shouting "Death to Khatami. We do not want American government."

AFGHANISTAN: Michael Yon looks at the year, and decades ahead.

FOXES on a TRAMPOLINE: Let's go to the video.

KOALA RESCUED from Aussie wildfires. Pic at the link.

HUNDREDS OF DOLPHINS mysteriously beached in the Philippines.

PET HOARDING: More than 100 chickens, rabbits, rodents, iguanas and tarantulas have been removed from a two-bedroom apartment in Buffalo, NY.

A LONELY COCKEREL has been nicknamed Romeo after he got lost looking for a mate and was found trying to break to into a caravan park in Somerset. Not to be unkind, but he's not an attractive fowl.

3559 Reads

Beatlemania, New Releases, Advance Tracks, Shoplifting Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BEATLEMANIA at National Review, 45 years later.  You can watch the Fabs play "All My Loving", "'Till There Was You", "She Loves You", and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on the Google.

NEW RELEASES: Lily Allen, Glen Campbell, ...Trail of Dead and Heartless Bast^rds are among those streaming in full this week at Spinner.

CAMERA OBSCURA unveil "My Maudlin Career," the title track from their upcoming album. Lush and Spectorian.

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO unveil "Every Goliath Has Its David," from the duo's upcoming sophomore album.  Sounds like them, with a dash of Dexy's Midnight Runners.

ELENI MANDELL gets an interview plus tracks with NPR's Morning Edition host Renee Montagne.

THE GRASS ROOTS lead guitarist (and star of The Office)  Creed Bratton had a birthday over the weekend.  So "Let's Live For Today" and "Midnight Confessions" are your Twofer Tuesday.

LOS CAMPESINOS! singer, lyricist and glockenspiel player Gareth Campesinos talks to MLive about the band's improbable success, the future, and the value of a college degree.

EMMY THE GREAT does a track-by-track breakdown of her debut LP and a mixtape for Drowned In Sound.

STEPHEN MALKMUS talks to Pitchfork about the Pavement reissues, being inter-generational and more...

NEKO CASE credits the Anti- label with her increased success.

CHRISTIAN BALE became a hero to cast and crew after his tirade. He runs, because we must chase him.

RHIANNA & CHRIS BROWN: The latter was detained by the LAPD after allegedly beating the former.  Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Rihanna's injuries were severe.

ALEX RODRIGUEZ admits he took performance-enhancing drugs because he was young, stupid and naive.  So what's his excuse for Madonna?

MADONNA making out wither her boytoy in W Magazine, with the wraparound shades hiding the years.

DENISE RICHARDS, BELINDA CARLISLE, STEVE-O & STEVE WOZNIAK will be on Dancing with the Stars this season. 

KATE HUDSON & OWEN WILSON, together again.

THE SOPRANOS UNCENSORED: About a half-hour of every profanity in the series... in chronological order. Probably NSFW, unless you work at Bada Bing.

JAMES WHITMORE, the veteran character actor James Whitmore, who appeared in films ranging from "Them!" and "The Asphalt Jungle" to "Planet of the Apes" and "The Shawshank Redemption," died Friday at his Malibu home at age 87 of lung cancer.

A.Q. KHAN who sold atomic bomb technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea, has been freed from house arrest in Pakistan. Oh joy.

AL QAEDA has reorganized its notorious paramilitary formations that were devastated during the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002.

IRAQ: Security forces have deployed 40000 officers and soldiers along the main routes leading to the southern holy city of Karbala a day after a roadside bomb killed two pilgrims.

SHOPLIFTING DOG turned in by its owner.

BARBECUED IGUANA lands two men in jail in the Bhamas.  No comment from Wall of Voodoo.

PET HOARDING: North Texas authorities seized 22 dogs found crammed inside a station wagon with their owner.

BULL tazered in Minnesota.

FUGITIVE ZEBRA chased by police through the streets of Augsburg, Germany.

10849 Reads

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