THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...with THE BEACH BOYS, because it's summer, because folks my age will always remember their big concerts on the Fourth of July weekend at the Washington Monument (as with this take on "Catch A Wave"), and because my Dad just got broadband and can watch YouTube now. Given the time of year, I have to include this 1964 clip of "Surfin' U.S.A." 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! You can see Jack Benny intoduce these quick takes on "Barbara Ann" and "California Girls." Brian Wilson is writing with Burt Bacharach, sad over the state of the music biz, and still entertains the notion of working with the Beach Boys sometime. Brian just turned 64; "Good Vibrations" just turned 40. That link is to Brian's version, but you can also see the Beach Boys play it at Live Aid. Brian also did a nice solo take on "God Only Knows" in this clip from 1988.
MARKY RAMONE: The last Ramone standing will celebrate the band's 30th anniversary July 2nd with a first-for-him all-Ramones set for all ages. Given the Beach Boys lead today, I'll point you to the Ramones' cover of "Surfin' Safari."
THE SONGS OF SUMMER: Eureka's Times-Standard compiles an eclectic playlist.
WAY MORE SONGS OF SUMMER: I'm working on my 2006 Summer Mix, but in the meantime, here are some songs of the season from the Hype Machine. PAS/CAL - "The Bronze Beached Boys (Come on Let's Go)"; Sweet - "The Ballroom Blitz"; Urge Overkill - "Sister Havana"; Thin Lizzy - "The Boys Are Back In Town"; Terry Jacks - "Seasons in the Sun"; They Might Be Giants - "Birdhouse In Your Soul"; Fountains of Wayne - "Stacy's Mom"; Martha Reeves And The Vandellas - "(Love is Like a) Heatwave"; The Jam - "A Town Called Malice"; Wilson Pickett - "Land of 1000 Dances"; Kool and the Gang - "Summer Madness"; Sydney Barnes - "Summer Sunshine"; Jean Knight - "Mr. Big Stuff"; Reunion - "Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)"; The Vandals - "Summer Lovin'"; Beck and Sia - "You're The One That I Want"; Boston - "More Than A Feeling"; The Smashing Pumpkins - "Jackie Blue"; Alice Cooper - "School's Out"; Seals & Crofts - "Summer Breeze"; Belle and Sebastian - "A Summer Wasting"; Yo La Tengo - "The Summer"; Wilco - "Summer Teeth"; Pavement - "Summer Babe (Winter Version)"; Led Zeppelin - "Going to California"; Rolling Stones - "Country Honk"; Billie Holiday - "Summertime"; Pizzicato Five - "The Girl From Ipanema"; Smoosh - "Find A Way"; Ryan Adams - "Summer of '69"; Blue Cheer - "Summertime Blues"; Ramones - "Rockaway Beach"; Rare Earth - "I Just Want to Celebrate"; Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers - "That Summer Feeling."
ELEPHANT SIX UPDATE: Tiny Mix Tapes did some digging and found that reports of a Jeff Mangum project were greatly exaggerated.
JOY DIVISION: The Ian Curtis biopic Control will feature the music not only of Joy Division and New Order, but also David Bowie, Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop, Roxy Music, Lou Reed, Sex Pistols and more...
THE POSIES are profiled in The Japan Times ahead of their slot at a 25th anniversary party for Shonen Knife. Ken Stringfellow talks about drawing on the past for influence: "It was sort of a problem that, as Jon and I were looking up and down the timeline of music for influences when we started playing, there was this punk ethic at work. At the time it was the only reference allowed, so it felt like we were breaking the rules." You can stream three from the latest Posies album via MySpace. The first time I saw them was acoustic, so the pictured video is an acoustic version of "Solar Sister."
IS JASON MOLINA (Magnolia Electric Co., etc.) the new Robert Pollard? Molina has finished no less than six new albums -- including one with Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker founder David Lowery -- though only two will be released this year. Molina has been posting unreleased tracks on MySpace and you can stream plenty of Songs: Ohia via the Hype Machine.
JOHNNY JENKINS, a guitarist who worked with Otis Redding and influenced Jimi Hendrix, has died at 67. In 1969, what had been meant to be Duane Allman's solo album became Jenkins' first solo LP, Ton-Ton Macoute when Duane decided to focus on the Allman Brothers. Florida Cracker is killing music with a track from that album. Check out the comments there, too.
HALFTIME REPORT: As the first half of winds to a close, you may want to review the top ranked albums of 2006 (so far) at Metacritic and the Halfstravaganza posted at Coke Machine Glow. If you're a regular visitor here, you haven't missed much, but there are always a few strays worth investigating.
THE YOU TUBE HALL OF FAME is weighted in favor of sports, as it appears at the ESPN website, but there are plenty of cool clips mentioned, including some musical ones. ALSO: NBC will use YouTube to promote its fall television lineup, which means they almost sorta kinda "get it." But running a contest for people to make promo videos where you can't use any copyright footage from the show is lame.
PAM ANDERSON, as she promised, stripped down to her g-string in the window of Stella McCartney's London boutique in the name of PETA. And she looks pretty scary.
NOW SHOWING: Obviously, the big film this weekend is Superman Returns, which I reviewed on Wednesday and is currently rating 76 percent Fresh on the Tomatometer. Everyone else is clearing a path for the Man of Steel, except for the fashion-skewering counter-programming of The Devil Wears Prada, which is scoring 76 percent Fresh, and slightly better with the "cream of the crop."
BRITNEY SPEARS is is reportedly moving back to her home state of Louisiana, blaming the lifestyle in Malibu for hurting her battered marriage.
DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Denise Richards is selling the Westlake Village home she bought last year following her separation from Charlie Sheen, which is a stone's throw from the home of her rival, Heather Locklear.
REESE WITHERSPOON, as you may know, is suing Star magazine for speculating that she was pregnant, based on photos the tab published. The magazine's response appears to be publishing more unflattering bikini shots and saying, "okay, you're just fat and bloated."
NICOLE KIDMAN, otoh, looks pretty good in a bikini on her honeymoon. Just don't get to close to her head.
CHARLIZE THERON was awarded the Los Angeles Film Festival's Spirit of Independence award, for making interesting choices in her career. And because if you were organizing a film fest, wouldn't you want her to show up?
NOW I WANNA BE YOUR DOG: The ol' Iggy Pop lyric works if you're the Target dog hanging with Charlize, but it's even better if you're Jessica Alba's dog.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has reportedly refused to release pictures of baby daughter Suri because of his Scientology beliefs. Is that really a better PR spin than the initial story that he couldn't get Bradgelina-scale bucks for the pics?
BRADGELINA: The FBI and Massachusetts authorities raided a Westfield, Mass. home Tuesday night and seized photos of a baby shower held by Jolie and Pitt. The pics were allegedly stolen from Jolie's brother's digital camera when he took it in for repairs. That's him with Jolie in the pic at left. Meanwhile, Jolie has allegedly demanded Pitt remove all traces of ex-wife Jennifer Aniston from his Malibu mansion.
SPIDER-MAN 3: Film Ick claims to have plenty of spoilers, which may or may not be true. Proceed at your own risk.
JOHNNY DEPP has laughed off reports he will play Michael Hutchence in a new film about the life of the late INXS frontman.
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY begged film bosses to let her kiss Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and gives him better marks than co-star Orlando Bloom.
IRAQ: Bill Roggio takes a detailed look at the insurgent counter-proposal to Prime Minister al-Maliki's national reconciliation plan. The US military claimed an advantage in the fight against al-Qaida in Iraq, saying raids since Zarqawi's death have forced many of its foreign fighters out into the open to be captured or killed. Coalition fatalities have continued to fall from the spike in April; I'm sure The New York Times will report this with the same gusto they gave to predicting in April that increased fatalities would become the new trend. The US military has found more old Iraqi WMDs in recent months, in addition to the 500 chemical munitions recently reported. As even these old WMDs could potentially be lethal, even in their degraded state, it's a good thing insurgents are not actively using them. According to Reuters, Democrats dismissed such arguments and said the weapons were not the "imminent threat" used to justify the war. So it's worth noting that Pres. Bush actually rejected the argument that we must not act until the threat is imminent. Obviously, people can disagree with that argument, but Pres. Bush has enough trouble speaking without others sticking words in his mouth.
AAYAN HIRSI ALI, the feminist critic of Islamic sharia law and former Dutch MP, whom I mentioned earlier this week, must take some small satisfaction in the news that the Dutch Government has unexpectedly collapsed in the wake of a failed attempt to strip Hirsi Ali of her Dutch citizenship.
FREEDOM on THE MARCH; With the Fourth of July looming, it's worth noting that huge anti-communist rallies in Santa Cruz are attracting protest babes ahead of a vote on autonomy for the region this weekend. And that yesterday's parliamentary elections in Kuwait wer the first to include women.
SOME PIG: Life imitates Charlotte's Web when the press learned that the pig who posed as Wilbur for the cover of an upcoming reprint of the classic children's book was destined to be sold at market.
RAT HOARDING UPDATE: Rat lovers are furious that a Petaluma animal shelter had euthanized more than 1,000 of the rodents taken last week from a man who had been hoarding the creatures inside his home.
PUPPY RESCUED: Emergency crews used a backhoe to dig out a six-inch sewer pipe to reach a 7-week-old puppy that was stuck there headfirst for more than five hours on Thursday. Awww...
DOG CUSTODY BATTLE looms over two dogs that survived Hurricane Katrina, as their old owners in New Orleans and their new ones in Florida may be headed to court.
A MARMOSET turned up running loose in San Mateo CA. Pics at the link.
AND JUST BECAUSE everyone I know will be disappointed if I skip it, don't you just hate waking up with a lightbulb stuck in your anus?