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Shindig Xmas, Brian Wilson, Mates of State, Cutout Bin, Nuclear Crocs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 19, 2008 - 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."

BRIAN WILSON played the Warner Theatre in DC; you can stream the gig and an interview via NPR.

MATES OF STATE played Mountain Stage; you can stream the short set, which includes a cover of Jackson Browne's "These Days," via NPR. 

GLASVEGAS: James Allan talks about the Phil Spector influence and more with the Telegraph.

LONGWAVE stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE KINKS: "Father Christmas."

THE WORST SONG LYRICS of 2008, in a March Madness-style tournament at the Village Voice.

THE LILYWHITE SESSIONS: After a bit of a hiatus, Steve Lilywhite has produced mini-sets for both Mercury Rev and The Pretenders.

THE NATIONAL: Aaron Dessner talks future projects with Billboard.

CUTOUT BIN: From Vince Guaraldi to Nick Cave, from Cat Power to Looking Glass, from The Psychedelic Furs to The Hollies, plus TMBG, Jens Lekman, Them, The Who and more  -- this Friday'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 Yes Man, which is currently scoring 36 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; The Tale of Despereaux, which is currently scoring 42 percent; and Seven Pounds, scoring 31 percent.

AWARDS SEASON: The Screen Actors' Guild nominations are announced; the L.A. Times has analysis. ALSO: New York magazine reviews nine Oscar hopefuls at once.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is auctioning a used tissue for charity on eBay; the bids are in the thousands.

JEREMY PIVEN will abruptly end his run in Broadway's "Speed-the-Plow," claiming illness due to to a high mercury count. It has nothing to do with his seeming prima donna behavior on stage recently. Nosiree -- just ask Piven's doctor.

MARK RUFFALO's brother's death was ruled a homicide, after early speculation that Scott shot himself during a game of Russian roulette.


FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF: A look inside the "Where Are They Now?" file.

THE WORST MOVIES of 2008, according to the A.V. Club.

STAR TREK: JJ Abrams talks to MTV about the reboot -- and fanboy expectations.

IRAQ: Up to 35 officials in the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior ranking as high as general have been arrested over the past three days with some of them accused of quietly working to reconstitute Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, according to senior security officials in Baghdad.

MOTHER & CHILD HIPPOS cavort at the Berlin Zoo. Awww...some pics and video at the link.

NUCLEAR CROCODILES: Has no one in Florida seen a Godzilla movie?

ANGRY MONKEYS turned on their cruel trainer and beat him with his own stick. Pic at the link.

PET HOARDING: Berlin officials say they have rescued 1500 parakeets from a two-room apartment.

THE TIGER TEMPLE: At a popular tourist attraction in Thailand, tigers live in harmony with monks. Video at the link.

3431 Reads

School of 7 Bells, Crooked Fingers, Mountain Goats, Death Metal Puppy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS get a feature plus tracks via NPR's Day to Day. They also kicked off a new series at the 'Gum with a video of "Caldo." And they have a set on The Interface.

CROOKED FINGERS does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

NEKO CASE: Piano Saver! Video of her recording her new album, Middle Cyclone, at the link.

YEAH YEAH YEAHS have a special holiday tune streaming at the moment.

THE BEST YULETIDE POP, according to the Telegraph.

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 last year's Trekky Records Christmas show.  It's Threefer Thursday -- like Twofer Tuesday, but it's one more.

THE SMITHS: Johnny Marr rubbishes reuinion rumors (again).

STEPHEN MALKMUS, otoh, leaves the door open for a Pavement reunion.

ANTHONY KLEIDIS, Red Hot Chili Peppers front man, narrowly escaped kidney failure.

R.E.M.: Mike Mills turned 50 yesterday.

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE are slamming recent stories about their divorce settlement -- even though the source was Madge's US rep.

NICOLE KIDMAN has been warned by Aborigines who say she will not be able to have more children because she broke a sacred taboo by playing a didgeridoo on German television.

LINDSAY LOHAN: An overzealous fan was arrested yesterday after he tried to get around security at a Scottsdale nightclub in the hopes of getting close to La Lohan.

JENNIFER LOPEZ & MARC ANTHONY: Marriage at the "breaking point"?

GWYNETH PALTROW & CHRIS MARTIN are doing just fine, according to Paltrow's mom, Blythe Danner.

FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS: The Season 2 premiere is already online, well in advance of its official airdate.

JESSICA ALBA & JACK BLACK will star in a fake movie shown within the special post-SuperBowl episode of The Office.

TERROR in the UK: A British court convicted Bilal Abdulla for his role as the leader of a terror cell that attacked a nightclub and the Glasgow airport.

INDIA: A Lashkar-e-Taiba spokesman based out of Pakistan-held Kashmir vowed to continue to fight the Indians in the disputed territories and denied his group was behind the Mumbai attack. Indian intell confirmed calls made by terrorists during the Mumbai siege were made to senior Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives.

IRAQ: US forces may stay in the still-volatile city of Mosul beyond the June deadline for Americans to pull back to bases.

DEATH METAL PUPPY: Death metal is now cute ... or puppies are now scary.

SHARKS will be listening to Christmas pop songs as part of a scientific study in Scotland. Yes, really.

ERNEST the CAT has had his sight restored by contact lenses in what is believed to be a medical first.

GAY PENGUINS thrown out of their zoo colony for repeatedly stealing eggs have been given some of their own to look after following a protest by animal rights groups.

THREE BRITISH SCOUT LEADERS were forced to trek through jungle for five days after a hippopotamus capsized their canoe, ending a planned 2,500-mile river journey through Africa. I would have thought Scout leaders smart enough not to share a canoe with a hippo.

3672 Reads

Zooey, Ray LaMontagne, The Darkness, Dolphin Stampede   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MUNCHAUSEN BY PROXY: The fake synth band fronted by Zooey Deschanel in the upcoming Jim Carrey flick Yes Man, perform a "Sweet Ballad" that is anything but. Technically SFW, but probably inappropriate.

RAY LaMONTAGNE does a World Cafe mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

GOLDEN ANIMALS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream via MPR.

FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne talks to The Current's Steve Seel about the seven-year genesis of the band's new dramatic feature film, Christmas on Mars.

THE ARCADE FIRE is releasing a DVD next year, but pre-orders get a digital download now.

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.

OF MONTREAL: Kevin Barnes and Bryan Poole talk to Filter about the songwriting for and recording of this year's Skeletal Lamping album.

THE LONG WINTERS: Paste lists "5 Lyrics That Prove John Roderick Is A Better Songwriter Than Your Favorite Songwriter."

JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT have a new song streaming at the moment.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED has posted the Best Album results of its listeners' poll, with streaming audio.

BRITNEY SPEARS & ELLEN DeGENERES go caroling. NTTAWWT. Okay, maybe a little. (Part One, Part Two.)

MADONNA falls down onstage about 38 seconds into this clip. And I laugh, 'cause I'm in a catty mood.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: If you ban Fox's Roger Friedman from your Nazi movie premiere, he will just excerpt someone else's really nasty review of Cruise's performance.  Didn't you know that?  ALSO: Cruise tells US magazine that he would "love it" if the Tom-Kitten became an actress.  As if Cruise won't be the biggest stage dad evah.

SHARON OSBOURNE is under police investigation after scuffling with a contestant on her reality TV show -- the now even more ironically-titled Rock Of Love: Charm School.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ: To write that the latter dishes TMI to Howard Stern would be a gross understatement, with the emphasis on "gross."

WOLVERINE has posted its first trailer online.

ALEC BALDWIN  did a chat session with Washington Post readers touching on 30 Rock, Glengarry Glen Ross and his new book on fatherhood.

PETER FALK's daughter says her father is no longer competent to run his own life because he suffers from Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

DENNIS QUAID and his wife have settled their dispute with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center over a bungled procedure that almost killed their twin babies last year.

PAKISTAN: A US strike in North Waziristan killed two people; no senior Taliban or al Qaeda leaders have been reported killed. Pakistani truckers have refused to transport NATO supplies due to Taliban attacks. Only one of 40 wanted leaders of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa has been detained.

IRAQ: An al Qaeda-linked group in Iraq has confirmed the death of Abu Maysara, a top operative who the US military said was killed in a clash last month. The US military has announced that its last 10 female detainees were handed over to Iraqi authorities on Monday. The number of detainees has dropped from over 26K to about 15500 in the past year.

DOLPHIN STAMPEDE: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

FUGITIVE EMU is back in custody after roaming northern Rhode Island for a month.

SOCKS, the former First Feline, has been diagnosed with cancer, which is sad even at age 19.

PET HOARDING: Misdemeanor charges related to illegal ferret possession were dropped against Scott Haynie in Humboldt County, CA. Haynie already pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty after authorities found more than 100 dead and malnourished pets at his home.

MORE THAN 1000 SPECIES have been discovered in Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong region over the past several years, including a dragon millipede and a spider "as big as a dinner plate." The BBC has a slideshow.

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New Releases, 100 Top Tracks, Glam Xmas, Cat Elevator   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BON IVER brought three drummers to play "Skinny Love" for Dave last week.

NEW RELEASES: The French Exit and Various Artists have albums streaming during this very thin week via Spinner.

THE 100 BEST TRACKS of 2008, with plenty of streaming audio, according to Pitchfork.

AIMEE MANN brought her off-the-wall Christmas variety show to the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA over the weekend.  You can stream the whole gig, with cameos from Nellie McKay , Grant-Lee Phillips and Amos Lee, via NPR.

GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS do the five free songs thing for Daytrotter, all previously unreleased.

GLAM XMAS:  Wizzard's awesome "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" (1973's UK Xmas No. 1) are your Twofer Tuesday.

CLARE & THE REASONS do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including a cover of Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."

ZOOEY DESCHANEL talks movies, music and prom with the NYDN.

FRIGHTENED RABBIT: Scott and Grant Hutchison talk to Drowned In Sound about touring with Death Cab for Cutie, putting mustard in the mac & cheese, and more...

ELVIS COSTELLO is profiled in The New Yorker regarding his new TV show.

THE SEX PISTOLS might record a new album in 2009? Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE: Contrary to prior reports, Madge's rep confirms that Ritchie will be receiving a divorce settlement between 76 and 92 million dollars in cash and property, including the couple's country retreat Ashcombe House in Wiltshire.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise reappears on The Today Show to make nice with Matt Lauer, now that he has a new movie to promote. Video at the link.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly is in talks with Madonna to make a series of appearances on her forthcoming tour, according to Spears' choreographer Wade Robson.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is threatening legal action against UK Cosmopolitan for running an allegedly phony interview about her life as a newlywed.

NAOMI WATTS & LIEV SCHREIBER name their baby boy Samuel, which is a totally wacky choice in Hollywood.

JACKO's latest look can be summed up in a word: Zorro

MAD MEN: Christina Hendricks, a/k/a Mad Men's Joan Holloway, got engaged to actor Geoffrey Arend, whose next role is as an ad man on a basic cable show. John Hamm is interviewed by Zach Galifianakis (profanity warning): "Jon Hamm... Am I pronouncing that right?"

2008's TOP TEN IN MOVIES & TV, according to the American Film Institute.

AWARDS SEASON: The NYT's Carpetbagger handicaps possible Best Picture Oscar nominations.

AFGHANISTAN: Ten Green Berets received the Silver Star for a single battle in which they subdued an estimated 150 to 200 insurgents. Sarah Chayes argues that the international community needs to pressure the Afghan government to clean up, to provide a clearer alternative to the Taliban. TIME magazine suggests the US will consider scaling back its nation-building goals in favor of a provincial structure that relies more on local militias to provide security. Indie blogger Michael Yon has a two-part dispatch dealing with winning hearts and minds there.

IRAQ: Blogger Michael J. Totten goes on a raid in Baghdad, looking for one of the most dangerous terrorist leaders in all of Iraq.

A FRENCH CAT has trained its owner to provide elevator service.

A BOMB-SNIFFING DOG is adopted by former Air Force K9 handler Jamie Mangan when the pair returned from Iraq after their Humvee was hit in an IED attack. Awww...

A NEARLY FROZEN SEA TURTLE found on a Cape Cod beach headed to the New England Aquarium in Boston for a slow but steady warmup.

MERLIN the CAT is to be returned to his original owners after a 16-month catnapping dispute.

THE SECRET WORLD OF ANTS: Their eco-consciousness, their sexism, and their suicide bombers.

3297 Reads

Spinto Band, Dan Wilson, Tom Waits, Reindeer Toupee   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 15, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BLOC PARTY presents a fractured fairy tale in "One Month Off," from the band's upcoming album.

THE SPINTO BAND brought their irrepressible energy to the World Cafe for a set you can stream on demand via NPR.

DAN WILSON: The Grammy-winning former frontman in Semisonic and guitarist in Trip Shakespeare stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE MINUS STORY does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, with one previously unreleased.

MATES OF STATE talk to The A.V. Club about their busy year, traveling with kids, and The A.V. Club's D+ review of Re-Arrange Us.

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

THE SMITHS: Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr are now reported to be regularly in touch with each other, prompting a fresh round of reunion rumors.

LOVE IS ALL: The Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot talks to frontwoman Josephine Olausson about advancing artistically while keeping a DIY attitude on the Swedish band's sophomore album.

2008 IN REVIEW: The Times of London asks musicians, including Elbow's Guy Garvey, Adele and Justin Vernon (a/k/a Bon Iver) about their year.

NPR announces layoffs and program cancellations to fix a 23 million dollar budget deficit, bit its execs make more than the President and the Chief Justice of the United States.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The Day the Earth Stood Still sits atop the chart with 31 million -- but that's far less than past films kicking off the holiday season (I Am Legend and National Treasure: Book of Secrets both made about 45 million). Nevertheless, with an 80 million production budget, the movie should end up in the black. Four Christmases drops to second with 13.3 million, dropping only 20 percent. It has now exceeded the production budget and should hit 100 million next weekend. Twilight made eight million; it has now topped 150 million on a 37 million production budget, and will almost certainly finish in the Top Ten for the year. Disney's Bolt came in fourth with 7.5 million, dropping only 23 percent; it will beat Meet The Robinsons, but fall well short of Chicken Little. Baz Luhrmann's Australia rounds out the Top Five with 4.2 million, but it has taken in only 37.8 million at a production cost of $130 million -- those are Speed Racer type numbers. Ouch. Below the fold, Quantum of Solace continued toward becoming the most lucrative Bond movie ever, and  Nothing Like The Holidays had a disappointing debut with 3.5 million. Overall, this weekend was off significanly from this weekend last year.

NAOMI WATTS & LIEV SCHREIBER welcomed their second child, a baby boy, on Saturday.

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE are to call a Christmas truce for the sake of their children.

CHARLIE & DENISE: Sheen and Richards's daughters are unharmed after being involved in a car accident Friday in Malibu.

HUGH JACKMAN will host the 81st annual Academy Awards in February.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has obtained a restraining order against a military veteran facing a weapons rap who repeatedly showed up uninvited to Cruise's Beverly Hills home to try and hand deliver a letter to the star. I think I have to concede Cruise that one. But then he had to go imitate Elvis Presley on the Tonight Show. ALSO: Variety gives Valkyrie a "Meh."

AMY WINEHOUSE has been helping out as a nurse during her hospital stay in a bid to avoid being kicked out.

GWYNETH PALTROW faces rumors that she has had work done on her chassis.

MICHAEL BOLTON & NICOLETTE SHERIDAN: Their breakup left him "basically homeless - and stuck with two houses."

JENNIFER ANISTON, no doubt still puzzled over interest in her private life, blabs more about her nekked-but-for-a-necktie GQ cover.  And on-again bf John Mayer gets in on the act.

PAULA ABDUL is looking to leave American Idol, perhaps as early as this season's auditions.  She has other projects, you see.

BETTIE PAGE, the 50s pinup queen whose popularity underwent a cult-like revival in the last 20 years, died Thursday in Los Angeles at 85. After largely disappearing in 1957, her private life - two failed marriages, a fight against poverty and mental illness, resurrection as a born-again Christian, years of seclusion in Southern California - was a mystery to all but a few close friends.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD... and her two and a half ton monument features quotes from a particularly wacky episode of her reality show.

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS: Stills from Quentin Tarantino's WWII flick have surfaced online.

ROGER AVARY, the Oscar-winning co-screenwriter of Pulp Fiction, was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter on Friday for a deadly car accident in January.

AL QAEDA: A growing feud between Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's chief lieutenant, and Sayyed Imam al-Sharif, the jailed ex-leader of Egypt's Islamic Jihad, could weaken support for Al Qaeda.

PAKISTAN:  The president said the ISI has no links to Lashkar-e-Taiba. The foreign minister said there is no evidence Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a front group for Lashkar. The interior adviser said action was not taken against Jamaat-ud-Dawa due to pressure form India. Let's hope all that denial is just for public consumption.

IRAQ: The specialized Oil Police should be ready to take over full responsibility for protecting the nation's oil pipelines from theft and attack by late 2010. Iran is no longer actively supplying Iraqi militias with a particularly lethal kind of roadside bomb, suggesting a strategic shift by the Iranian theocracy.

BUBBA EATS A BURRITO in one second. Let's go to the video.

D-BOY the PITBULL took three bullets for his family while fending off an intruder. Video at the link.

A CHIPMUNK fills a woman's engine compartment with thousands of black walnuts. Investigation continues as to links with militant squirrels.

CAT SHOOTS MAN: The man claims it was an accident.

SHAGGY the REINDEER models the world's first antler toupee after his horns fell off during mating season. Ho-ho-ho worthy pics at the link.

3274 Reads

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