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U2, Louris & Olson, White Rabbits, Horse-walking Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 06, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


U2 goes green playing "Sunday Bloody Sunday" for the people of Iran.

GARY LOURIS & MARK OLSON did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter at SxSW.

WHITE RABBITS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set, streaming via MPR.

JASON LYTLE also stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set, streaming via MPR.

VIC CHESTNUTT did a mini-set for Mountain Stage, now streaming via NPR.

BILLY BRAGG plays a new song in a camper at the Glastonbury festival.

WILCO: Jeff Tweedy talks to the Washington Post about the new album's surprises, former Wilco member Jay Bennett's recent untimely death and more.

JOHN VANDERSLICE talks to American Songwriter about non-concept songwriting, the danger of losing your ego, and more.

BAT FOR LASHES: Natasha Khan goes stage prop shopping with the New York Times.

LED ZEPPELIN & ABBA are being offered the bank to fill Jacko's O2 arena gigs.  The promoter wants alternate shows, despite the possibility of the most awesome double-bill of all time.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: For now, it's Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in a photo finish over the first Saturday July 4th since 1998, with each pulling in an estimated 42.5 million.  Despite the havok of the holiday, the robots have pulled in 293.5 million in 12 days in the US.  Ice Age 3 had a three-day take of 42.5 million, and 67.5 million since Wednesday, slightly better than expected.  Public Enemies debuted in the third slot with 26.1 million (and 41 million since Wednesday).  That's pretty good, given the holiday and the fact that it's a period piece, though it could use a good second weekend against its 100 million budget.  The Proposal dropped to fourth place, but the drop was amere 31 percent; it has pulled in 94.2 million on a 40 million production budget.  The Hangover rounds out the Top Five with another 10.4 million; it should outgross Wedding Crashers (209 million) by next weekend.

STEVE McNAIR, former NFL QB, was found shot to death inside the living room of a downtown Nashville condominium. A check of McNair's body at the scene by medical examiner staff this evening showed that he was shot multiple times. A female friend of McNair's, Sahel Kazemi, age 20, was also found dead in the living room. She appeared to have a single gunshot wound to the head.

MICHAEL JACKSON squirms through sex abuse questions on a video uncovered by the News of the World.

MADONNA will pay tribute to Michael Jackson during her Saturday concert at London's O2 arena, on the very same stage Jackson was to kick off his comeback tour this summer.

DAVID CARRADINE died from asphyxiation and the way the actor's body was bound allowed the medical examiner who oversaw a private autopsy to rule out suicide.

ADOLF HITLER reacts to Michael Jackson's death.

MEGAN FOX "says some very ridiculous things," according to Transformers director Michael Bay. And when Bay thinks that, it's a problem.



HARRY POTTER's Rupert Grint is recovering from a "mild bout" of swine flu. Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, has admitted having a crush on his co-star Emma Watson.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran's nuclear sites, according to the Times of London.

NORTH KOREA: Two independent scientists say the regime may be using an old Soviet ballistic missile to boost a rocket capable of reaching the West Coast of the United States.

AFGHANISTAN: The Russian government has agreed to let American troops and weapons bound for Afghanistan fly over Russian territory, officials on both sides said Friday.

IRAN: Former President Mohammad Khatami and an important group of religious leaders have joined those disputing the last election.  Meanwhile, the regime has declared Mir Hossein Mousavi a US agent and invented an Interpol investigation into the shooting death of 26-year-old "Neda." The Lede will continue to update the situation.

DOG WALKS HORSE: Let's go to the video.

HONEYBEE HORDES use two weapons - heat and carbon dioxide - to kill their natural enemies, giant hornets.

HUGE SPERM OF ANCIENT CRUSTACEANS: Sperm of modern ostracods can reach 10 times their body length.

A BABY PANDA goes on display at the Chiang Mai Zoo. Awww...

A BLIND POODLE  who fell into a storm drain has been happily reunited with her Long Island owner. Awww...

DESERT-LOBSTER DISPUTE turns pair into sagebrush heroes.

3761 Reads

Getting a head start on Independence Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 02, 2009 - 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.

THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER: last year, Hidden Track serves up 12 video versions. And the only ones not working now are Jimi Hendrix and Whitney Houston.

21 HYPERBOLIC PRO-AMERICA SONGS, starting with Lee Greenwood (Sylvia's favorite) and ending with the theme from Team America: World Police, with embedded video courtesy of The A.V. Club.  WMG wacked the movie clip, but you can get your NSFW goodness elsewhere.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, September 19, 1978.

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.

NEED AN E-CARD for the holiday? This is my current fave.

THE CUTOUT BIN: From Rick Astley to Sonic Youth, from Link Wray to Squeeze, from Johnny Cash to the Feelies, plus the Beatles, Belle & Sebastian, Reunion, Jack Nitzsche, Soul Asylum and more  -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  Ths weekend's wide releases are Public Enemies, which is currently scoring 61 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Ice Age 3, which is scoring 35 percent.

MICHAEL JACKSON named Diana Ross as the backup guardian for his children.  The Jackson family confirmed that there will be no public or private memorial service at the Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara this weekend.  Jackson had dozens of injection sites all over his body.  Propofol, a powerful anesthesia, was found in the house after Jackson died. Based on preliminary sales numbers from Nielsen SoundScan, the entire top nine positions on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog Albums chart will house Jackson-related titles.

LINDSAY LOHAN turns 23 today, and already made 70K to host an all-day "pre-celebration" at the MGM Grand in Vegas.

JESSICA SIMPSON belted out the National Anthem Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the Tiger Tourney. She wore a hip-hugging red-and-blue striped dress, and "eventually left the first green before any of her body parts managed to escape."

KARL MALDEN, one of Hollywood's strongest and most versatile supporting actors, who won an Oscar playing his Broadway-originated role as Mitch in "A Streetcar Named Desire," died Wednesday. He was 97. In a movie career that flourished in the 1950s and '60s, Malden played a variety of roles in more than 50 films, including the sympathetic priest in "On the Waterfront," the resentful husband in "Baby Doll," the warden in "Birdman of Alcatraz," the outlaw-turned-sheriff in "One-Eyed Jacks," the pioneer patriarch in "How the West Was Won," Madame Rose's suitor in "Gypsy," the card dealerin "The Cincinnati Kid" and Gen. Omar Bradley in "Patton."  But for all his movie and television roles, it was primarily the series of American Express traveler's-check commercials Malden made between 1973 and 1994 that gave him his greatest public recognition.

NORTH KOREA: A North Korean ship monitored for more than a week by the US Navy changed course and is heading back the way it came, US officials said.  The ship was originally believed to be bound for Myanmar with suspicious cargo on board, possibly illicit weapons.

IRAQ: The DoD has pics of the handover to Iraqi troops.  Gen. Ray Odierno accuses Iran of continuing to support and train militants who are carrying out attacks, including most of the ones in Baghdad.

IRAN:  The Lede is still updating on revolutionary ferment in the Islamic Theocracy after the apparently stolen, rigged election.

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

CAT MADNESS: Let's go to the video. Brace yourself.

HOPPY the CAT became one of just two cats currently labeled "potentially dangerous" in the Twin Cities.

A MISSING CAT appeared on screen on BBC1's Question Time as David Dimbleby, politicians and pundits discussed topics as diverse as the wearing of burkhas, the situation in Iran and MP's expenses.

GIANT SPITTING WORMS: Fans of the giant Palouse earthworm are once again seeking federal protection for the rare, sweet-smelling species that spits at predators.

A MONITOR LIZARD went unmonitored in Libertyville, IL.

HUNDREDS OF DOLPHINS are surrounding Long Island Sound.  Wait until they leave to panic.

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St Vincent, Rock the Garden, Wilco, Secret Squirrel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ST. VINCENT: Annie Clark made her network TV debut playing "Marrow" at the Ed Sullivan Theater.

ROCK THE GARDEN: The Current hosts highlights of a lineup including The Decemberists, Calexico, Yeasayer, and Solid Gold.

DIXIE BEE-LINERS stopped by WSKU, so NPR has the audio and video.

BJORK is the Guest DJ for the latest edition of All Songs Considered.

WILCO: Jeff Tweedy talks to TIME, while Paste devoted a day to the band.

DON'T STOP BELIEVIN' as pop-cultural touchstone: 'The Sopranos' used the 1981 Journey hit as its swan song, but the tune itself lives on in movies, TV and theater as the go-to show closer. BONUS: What was Ellen Page thinking?

JENS LEKMAN contracted Swine Flu. Yes, really. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

ALT-COUNTRY WEEK continues at Drowned In Sound, with features on Silver Jews, Will Oldham, and London's alt-country scene.

THE TWILIGHT SAD has preview tracks from their upcoming LP and a feature at ClashMusic.

CULT of the iPOD: When the Sony Walkman was launched, 30 years ago this week, it started a revolution in portable music. But how does it compare with its digital successors? The Magazine invited 13-year-old Scott Campbell to swap his iPod for a Walkman for a week.

MICHAEL JACKSON IS STILL DEAD, and his children's biological father is Arnold Klein, Jackson's L.A.-based dermatologist. Jackson never adopted his three children, either. On a funnier note, Jacko cut his dad out of his will. Jackson's body will return to his Neverland Ranch on Thursday morning for a public viewing Friday.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA got into a fight Saturday night in Las Vegas after an unidentified woman threw a drink at the tennis ace.

SIMON COWELL's "American Idol" contract negotiations are leaking out and the numbers are eye-popping.

JOAN JETT made KRISTEN STEWART to burst into tears on the set of upcoming biopic "The Runaways."

SARAH JESSICA PARKER & MATTHEW BRODERICK are showing off their new twins.

WEB SITE STORY: When you're on the 'net...

PAKISTAN: The Taliban in North Waziristan have ended a peace agreement with the government, putting in jeopardy the military's plan to isolate Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan. Terrorist groups banned by Pakistan, including the Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, are expanding operations and recruitment in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, according to a secret government report.

IRAN: The Lede is still updating on the continuing crackdown and disappearing dissidents in the Islamic Theocracy after the apparently stolen, rigged election.

IRAQ: Kirk Johnson, a former US government official in Iraq, has spent the last two years trying to save Iraqis who worked for the US as interpreters, embassy workers, subcontractors, and in other jobs, and as a result were forced into hiding, tortured, raped, or killed by insurgents and militia. His passion to protect those targeted for death is so fierce he's been compared to Oskar Schindler, the German businessman who saved Jews from Nazi death camps.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A militant squirrel involved in a murder plot tries to hide from police questioning.

ORPHAN IGUANA stolen from Iowa rescue center.

THE DOG ATE my checks. And my passport.

ULTIMATE CAT LADY: 46-year-old South African Riana Van Nieuwenhuizen shares her home with 4 orphaned cheetahs, 5 lions and 2 tigers.

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Feelies, New Releases, Neil Young & Sir Paul, Moonwalkin Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE FEELIES played Chicago's Millenium Park last night, their first reunion date in Chicago.  There's no video online yet, but there are still clips of last year's reunion, including indoor video of "Let's Go," "Slipping (into something)," "Raised Eyebrows," "Away,"  "Doin' It Again," the new song "Time is Right" (w/ cowbell!) and the Stones' "Paint It Black."  Our show picked up momentum like a snowball rolled downhill, turning the area in front of the seating into a pogo pit by the time the band closed their set with "Crazy Rhythms."  And they kept it on "10" for an encore of REM's "Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars)," "Fa Ci la" and the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On," and a second encore of "Paint It Black."

NEW RELEASES: The Donnas, Moby and Levon Helm are among those albums streaming in full this week via Spinner.

CASS McCOMBS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

FLEET FOXES have a new song, "Blue Spotted Tail," downloadable via Pitchfork.

MARIA TAYLOR gave a Tiny Desk Concert while NPR's Bob Boilen was on vacation.

PAUL McCARTNEY joined NEIL YOUNG for "A Day in the Life" last Saturday in Hyde Park.

ALT-COUNTRY WEEK kicks off at Drowned In Sound with plenty of embedded video.

GRIZZLY BEAR: Ed Droste talks to Pitchfork about taking the band's new LP on the road.

FRANZ FEDINAND's Alex Kapranos has a video interview at NME about this year's Glastonbury fest.

MYSTIC RIVER BAND guitarist Taylor Hollingsworth talks to the Lexington Courier-Journal about lucking into a gig with Conor Oberst.

MICHAEL JACKSON IS STILL DEAD: The Sun ran fabricated autopsy results?  Who'da thunkit!? A custody battle looms over the kids who may or may not have been fathered by Jacko. Lisa Marie Presley says more than she probably ever has about her late ex-husband.  E! Online looks for Jacko's animals.

BILLY MAYS IS STILL DEAD, from a pulmonary embolism, according to the coroner in Tampa, Fla., who announced preliminary autopsy results at a press conference Monday. So the speculation about the head injury during last weekend's rough plane landing did not pan out.

MEGAN FOX & SHIA LeBEOUF are certainly fanning the gossip fires when it comes to reports they're an item.

HEATH LEDGER: Vanity Fair investigates why the late actor was so ambivalent about his own stardom, and what happened at the end of his life.

STAN LEE does a cameo in all of the Marvel comic-book pictures; Collider claims to know what he's doing in Iron Man 2.

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS has a new trailer posted at Fandango.

FRED TRAVALENA, the master impressionist and singer whose broad repertoire of voices ranged from Jack Nicholson to Sammy Davis Jr. to Bugs Bunny, has died. He was 66.

NORTH KOREA: The US Air Force says it has successfully launched an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile from a California base, firing it to targets in the Pacific Ocean, in a story that carefully avoids any mention of North Korea.

IRAN: The Lede is still updating on the aftermath of the apparently stolen, rigged election in the Islamic theocracy.

IRAQ: As US troops move on, Iraqis fear the coming turmoil.


50 ANIMALS in fake beards.

PABST the BOXER was named the World's Ugliest Dog (non-purebred category) at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Northern California.

THE SWARM: An urban bee-wrangler says a swarm of at least 8000 honeybees will be getting a new home after causing a buzz of excitement on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

A PENGUIN did not make it to the washroom in time.

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Wilco, Diane Birch, Sky Saxon, Drunk Monkeys   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 29, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


WILCO is advance streaming their album via NPR. The band played "You Never Know" for Conan last week.

UNCLE TUPELO: PopMatters looks back on five days in March of 1992, before the birth of Wilco, when Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar quietly altered the geography of the burgeoning alt-country music scene.

DIANE BIRCH played the World Cafe on Friday; you gan stream the gig on demand via NPR.

LONEY DEAR stopped by Oregon Public Broadcasting for a chat and mini-set streaming on demand.

SOUL SIBLINGS: Oliver Wang (of Soul-Sides) selects tracks from soul brothers and sisters for NPR.

SKY SAXON, lead singer and founder of the 1960s band the Seeds, which had a Top 40 hit in 1967 with "Pushin' Too Hard," died Thursday at a hospital in Austin, Texas, after a brief illness.

SONIC YOUTH: Thurston Moore talks to the Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot about the new album and the oddity of the Starbucks compilation disc.

STEVE EARLE tells the Cincinnati Inquirer that  "Townes," the album of songs written by the late Townes Van Zandt, is a road map of his career.

TINY VIPERS: Jesy Fortino talks to Decider about finding space in music, real chamber reverb, and mythical things in everyday life.

BEST OF 2009 (so far) according to Steve LaBate at Paste.

MICHAEL JACKSON: Leaked autopsy details show the singer's hips, thighs and shoulders were riddled with needle wounds - believed to be the result of injections of narcotic painkillers, given three times a day for years. The Jackson family hired a private pathologist for a second autopsy on the performer's body, suggesting distrust of officials or more interest in any role Jackson's physician may have played.  The attorney for Dr. Conrad Murray -- the pop icon's personal physician who was by the singer's side in his final moments -- said the doctor did not inject Jackson with Demerol before he died. NPR looked at the mess of Jackson's estate.  The former nanny is telling the Times of London about how Jackson's family and the Nation of Islam - Louis Farrakhan's black Muslims - were moving swiftly into the vacuum left by his death.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Transformers 2 reled the cinema with 112 million; the five-day total since opening is 201.2 million.  That's the second-best five day opening in history, behind only The Dark Knight's 203 million. It's also already earned over 100 million at the foreign box office.  The Proposal -- last weekend's champ --  dropped 45 percent to bring in 18.4 million; with a 69 million total to date, it is already Bullock's biggest domestic gross since Two Weeks Notice in 2002.  The Hangover hung in with another 17.2 million and now has a domestic haul of 183.2 million on a 35 million budget. Up took a hit, dropping 44 percent with 13 million -- but crossed the 250 million mark anyway.  The debut of My Sister's Keeper rounds out the Top Five with 12 million.  Below the fold Year One taked 70 percent, making only 5.8 million.  The Taking of Pellham 1 2 3 also continued to bomb.  Overall, the Top 12 did about 34 percent over last weekend and about ten percent over last year.

BILLY MAYS, the TV pitchman whose trademark voice helped sell everything from cleaning supplies to baking soda, was found dead Sunday morning by his wife at his Tampa home. Internet speculation swirls about a possible head injury from a recent rough plane landing.

EDDIE VAN HALEN married Janie Liszewski, his girlfriend of three years, on Saturday night.

MEGAN FOX: The London schoolboy left looking unhappy after being snubbed by Transformers star Megan Fox is being flown out to receive an apology and finally meet his idol.

THE HURT LOCKER, about an explosives disposal unit in Iraq, opened to good reviews in limited release.  Here's the trailer.

FARRAH FAWCETT's funeral is set fot tomorrow.

JEFF GOLDBLOOM: Reports of his death are greatly exaggerated.

TOPHER GRACE was... wait for it... caught canoodling Vanessa Minnillo, just days after announcing her breakup with Nich Lachey.

IRAN: The Lede returns today with more updates on the protests in Iran. The Washington Post covers the inspiring example of protesting Iranian women, both inside and outside the Islamic theocracy.

PAKISTAN has put bounties on the heads of some -- but not all -- of the senior Taliban leadership.

AFGHANISTAN: The Afghan police force will be expanded by an additional 10,000 officers. US envoy Richard Holbrooke described anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan as a failure.

THE ALCOHOLIC MONKEYS OF ST. KITTS: Let's go to the video.

MEGA-PIRANHA lived about 8 million to 10 million years ago and might have been quite comfortable stalking cartoon animals in an "Ice Age" movie.

MISS ELLIE wins title of World's Ugliest Pedigree Dog.

TRIPOD the KITTEH survives appalling injuries and surgery at two weeks old.

MAN & DOG plunge into a fecal lagoon at Kramfors-Sollefteå airport in Sweden.

THAI ELEPHANTS were painted black and white to look like the pandas who have stolen all their fans.

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