THE HOLD STEADY: Craig Finn talks to the L.A. Times about layers on the band's latest album, including the covert harpsichord incident. And the band is posterized in the title video to "Stay Positive".
NEW RELEASES: Neil Young and International Noise Conspiracy are among those with albums streaming this week at Spinner. Hall & Oates and the Cadillac Records sdtk are streaming via the AOL mothership.
PAUL WESTERBERG: With "Alex Chilton" in Rock Band 2, he talks to RockBand.com about writing that salute to Big Star's frontman, and a whole lot more -- including the money he lost on his recent 49-cent digital album, and the Replacements reunion that nearly happened last month.
MATT POND P.A. has a free EP to download from the official website.
ELVIS COSTELLO talks to SPIN; an excerpt is posted online.
JULIANA HATFIELD blogs an update on her anorexia, along with an analysis of a song she wrote when she was in the Blake Babies, "Until I Almost Died." Throw in the Blake Babies' fab cover of "Temptation Eyes" and you have Twofer Tuesday.
NICK CAVE compares the Bad Seeds to Grinderman for ChartAttack.
IDLEWILD is taking advance orders for their next, as-yet unrecorded album: Fifteen quid will bag you a limited edition CD with exclusive packaging, at least one bonus track and access to a website full of photos, videos, blogs and downloads from the band's December gigs at Glasgow's King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. Plus a thank you in the liner notes.
FRIGHTENED RABBIT is keeping a tour diary for Drowned In Sound.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij is careful not to reveal too much about plans for the band's second album to Diamondback Online. (Thx, LHB.)
TINA FEY is the cover story in the new Vanity Fair. Gossip outlets seem interested in the story of her facial scar, but there's plenty of other interesting stuff there.
KIRSTEN DUNST has obtained a restraining order against a 25-year-old alleged stalker.
KATE HUDSON admits she once stalked a man she was desperate to date.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise denies that he pressured Amazon to stop selling a book critical of the Church of Scientology.
BRADGELINA: Pitt reveals what Jolie does not do well.
THE 100 BEST MOVIES OF 2008, according to the Times of London.
MADONNA & ALEX RODRIGUEZ were both spotted in Mexico City last weekend.
BRITNEY SPEARS is again the queen of Yahoo searches.
AFGHANISTAN: Only one US serviceman died in Afghanistan in November, a dramatic drop that the US military attributed to their campaign against insurgent leaders, operations by Afghan and Pakistani forces and the onset of winter.
IRAN: German firms are trying to circumvent economic sanctions imposed by the UN and EU.
IRAQ: A country club in Baghdad has staged the Iraqi capital's first public beauty contest since the downfall of Saddam Hussein.
THE RETURN OF SPAGHETTI CAT: The viral oddity + the guy who did "Hamster on a piano" = Crazy Delicious.
GEODUCKS are not ducks, but vaguely obscene-looking mollusks.
PRAIRIE DOG THEFT: Is there anything lower?
LIONS are not digging the snow in Scotland. Cool (very cool) pics at the link.
ZOE THE DALMATION is deaf, but has been given a new lease on life after learning sign language.