THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...with THE LEMONHEADS! Evan Dando's songbook has always struck me as autmnal, though not all of it really is. For example, a very young Dando released his take on Suzanne Vega's hit "Luka" in May '89. He dissolved the band after releasing the Lovey LP, but returned with a new lineup on "It's A Shame About Ray" in July '92. Despite Johnny Depp's appearance in that video, the album lingered in the lower reaches of the charts, despite being filled with grunge-pop goodness like "Rockin' Stroll" and "Confetti." But that November, Atlantic released the band's take on Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson," which shot to No. 19 on the UK charts and landed Dando unlikely US gigs like "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee." The flip side of that single was the goofy "Being Around," which becomes a singalong live. The followup LP, C'mon, Feel the Lemonheads, hit the Top 5 in the UK, but only No. 56 in the US, with the single "Into Your Arms," which would later turn up on the soundtrack to Before Sunrise and in an FTD commercial. The other two videos from the LP, like "Ray," sport celeb cameos -- Angelina Jolie turns up in "It's About Time" and a young Chloë Sevigny can be seen in "Big Gay Heart" (which Dando makes safe-for-broadcat with a funny spoonerism). Unfortunately, Dando would soon slide into heavy drugs and the next album, Car Button Cloth was not nearly as successful -- commercially or artistically. An unremarkable solo album and sporadic gigs would follow, until Dando got his personal life together and revived The Lemonheads brand witha self-titled LP in 2005, from which "Black Gown" was the lead track. BONUS: Dando and Mudhoney's Mark Arm fromted the DKT-MC5 on a ripping version (is there any other kind) of the classic "Kick Out the Jams" of The Late Late Show.
PJ HARVEY played the Warfield last week; you can stream the whole gig on demand now.
MIDDLE BROTHER - composed of John J. McCauley III of Deertick, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit - stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.
THE DECEMBERISTS: How about dozens of live covers? Not just of REM, Robyn Hitchcock, Big Star and the like, but Heart, Bad Company and Cheap trick, to name a few.
THE BEASTIE BOYS released the full 22-minute version of "Fight For Your Right Revisted."
MARIANNE FAITHFULL asks "Why Did We Have to Part?" in advance of Horse and High Heels.
ROY ORBISON, who would have turned 75 yesterday, was celebrated with a new video for his signature hit, "(Oh) Pretty Woman."
DOBIE GRAY is in with "The In Crowd."
THE WRENS: Charles Bissell spoke to Prefix about the upcoming album, the state of the blogosphere, and what would happen if they became superstars.
TIMES NEW VIKING talks to Drowned In Sound about leaving lo-fi behind.
FIVE FEMALE SINGERS every man should listen to, according to Carrie Brownstein.
50 SONGS every man should listen to, also from Esquire's music issue.
THE 10 BEST SOUTHERN ROCK ALBUMS, according to Alan Paul. (Thx, LHB.)
CUTOUT BIN: From Liz Phair to the Beatles, from Tom Jones to the Clash, from the Beach Boys to Husker Du, plus Psychedelic Furs, Them, Kenny Rogers, Red Kross, the Urban Dance Squad and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.
NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are: Water For Elephants, which is currently scoring 45 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, whcih was not screened for critics (per usual for Perry); and African Cats, which is scoring 70 percent.
LINDSAY LOHAN is back on the Gotti biopic.
CHARLIE SHEEN's exes, Brooke Mueller and Denise Richards, have struck up an unlikely friendship.
LADY GAGA & WEIRD AL YANKOVIC: Um... I'll let him explain it, but thankfully, it's about a song parody.
HALLE BERRY & GABRIEL AUBRY were back in court, but still haven't resolved their child custody dispute.
JENNIFER ANISTON & BRADLEY COOPER: Not. Happening.
ETHAN HAWKE is to be a dad for the fourth time. I'm guessing the mom-to-be will be careful about picking a nanny.
EMMA WATSON was routinely heckled by her fellow students at oh-so-tolerant Brown University.
KATE BECKINSALE has been offered the Sharon Stone role in the Total Recall remake opposite Colin Farrell. Eva Mendes and Rosario Dawson are the serious contenders for the role of Melina.
WHY IS THIS SATURDAY DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER DAYS? Because ABC has its annual showing of The Ten Commandments, a grand spectacle featuring acting from Edward G. Robinson and Anne Baxter that is so over-the-top that Yul Brenner starts to look good by comparison. And while Robinson's Dathan never actually spoke the line "Where's your Messiah now?" in the movie, it -- like "Play It Again, Sam" (not spoken in Casablanca) -- has become part of a part of our culture. The line actually comes from Billy Crystal (sample), originally a bit from the Oscars, iirc. It later turned up on The Simpsons, with Chief Wiggum playing Dathan to Ned Flanders' Moses. Mind you, I find it odd that this didn't air last weekend, before Passover. That's when I pulled out my DVD... and I'll get my Charlton Heston Easter fix with Ben-Hur.
INDONESIA: Police arrested 19 terror suspects involved in a plot to blow up a church over Easter weekend in Serpong; police found a massive bomb at the gas pipeline leading to the church.
IRAN: The UAE's foreign minister stated that Iran must treat its neighbors with "responsibility and respect." Kuwait's foreign minister accused an Iranian spy cell of planning attacks against US infrastructure in the country.
LIBYA: Rebels took control of a border outpost in the west after more than 200 pro-Gaddafi troops deserted to Tunisia. NATO bombers attacked Gaddafi forces in Tripoli and Gharyan.
AFGHANISTAN: Government officials in the north are building up their own ethnic-based militia groups to expand their influence and keep the Taliban at bay. But the spread of mostly Tajik and Uzbek militias is aggravating tensions with local Pashtuns.
WALDO the KITTEH, passed out on a bookshelf, silently summarizing my Friday.
GOLDFISH RACING cancelled in Tacoma.
...AND THERE WAS SHRIMP all over the highway.
A BLACK ANGUS COW gives birth to rare triplets in Manhattan. No, not that Manhattan.
SWAN and a TRACTOR: A Love Story.