THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...with MICHAEL JACKSON, who died at 50, after suffering a cardiac arrest Thursday afternoon. I can't say was ever a fan, but there is no denying his hits with the Jackson 5, like "I Want You Back," "ABC," and "Never Can Say Goodbye," and solo hits like "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," and "Billie Jean," which not only broke the color barrier at MTV, but also ushered in an era of big-budget videos that may have peaked with the John Landis-directed "Thriller," the title track of the mega-seller that also spawned smashes like "Beat It." At his peak, Jackson was a phenomenon to rank with Sinatra or Presley, making his descent to a sick, pathetic figure of tabloid curiousity all the more morbid. More at Rolling Stone, TIME and the NYT.
REGINA SPEKTOR has an interview+tracks with NPR's Morning Edition. Plus, NPR is still streaming her new album at the moment.
PATTERSON HOOD talks to the Washington Examiner about the origins of his current solo lP, which is streaming in full through the weekend at Spinner.
SON VOLT: Jay Farrar talks to Aquarium Drunkard about the songwriting on the upcoming American Central Dust LP, and provides the advance track, "Down to the Wire."
SONIC YOUTH: Thurston Moore chats up TimeOut Chicago, while Steve Shelley talks to the Detroit Free Press.
JASON LYTLE: "It's the Weekend." And not a moment too soon.
AMANDA PALMER: "How an indie musician can make 19K in 10 hours using Twitter." (Thx, LHB.)
THOSE DARLINS talk to The Tennesseean about recording in Brooklyn. Click-trough for the DarlinSpace link, too.
PHIL SPECTOR is hoping to get a few comforts of home in his new prison cell, and a television, iPod and computer access are at the top of his list.
OTTER, with friend of Pate Scott Jasper, is playing 5-8 p.m. at Bandshell Park in Ames, IA. Be there or be square! Guys wear ties, gals wear dresses!
THE CUTOUT BIN: From Frankie Valli to the MC5, from Paul Simon to the Dead Boys, from William Shatner to Johnny Thunders, plus Bob Seger, the Jackson 5, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch, Saron Jones & the Dap-Kings, The Smiths, Big Star and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.
MEGAN FOX suffers "anxiety attacks" when she looks at herself, which makes it close to unanimous. She also claims the hardest aspect of being in the limelight is learning to keep her opinions to herself, which does seem to be a problem for her. Meanwhile, Kodak is offerring 5K to the first person who can provide verifiable information that enables Kodak to connect the snubbed "flower boy" with the actress... did Gawker find him?
NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which opened on Wednesday and is scoring 22 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and counter-programming from My Sister's Keeper, which is currently scoring 42 percent.
ANGELINA JOLIE is said to be furious that Transformers starlet Megan Fox has been tipped to nab her leading role in the next Tomb Raider film... according to the evr reliable Sun.
MARILYN MANSON tells SPIN that his heartbreak inspires fantasies about killing ex-girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood.
MARLON BRANDO was seduced by Jackie O in 1964, according to a new book, which also purports to reveal a post- assassination affair with RFK.
FARRAH FAWCETT, a multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee, died of cancer Thursday morning at 62. Farrah was the face, body and hair of the 1970s, but she tried to be more, and occasionally succeeded.
JOHNNY DEPP was in Chicago for the red carpet screening of "Public Enemies," and tipped "the waiter to the stars" at Gibsons four grand.
WATCHMEN: the Director's Cut will play at four select movie theaters in L.A. Dallas, Minneapolis and NY next month.
THE RUNAWAYS: Scout Taylor-Compton has been cast as Lita Ford alongside Kristen Stewart (Joan Jett) and Dakota Fanning (Cherie) in the pic based on the true story of the all-girl proto-glam-punk band.
NORTH KOREA vowed Thursday to enlarge its atomic arsenal and warned of a "fire shower of nuclear retaliation" in the event of a US attack, as the regime marked the 1950 outbreak of the Korean War.
IRAN: The Lede is still updating on the increasing crackdown on dissenters in the Islamic theocracy in the wake of an apparently stolen, rigged election. The doctor who tried to save Neda after she was shot at a protest talked to the BBC.
PAKISTAN: Taliban leader Baitullah Mahsud was at the funeral of a terror commander but left before a suspected US drone attack that killed 80 people, residents in South Waziristan say.
ALLIGATOR VS. WATERMELON: It's the Gallagher of gators!
A MONKEY urinated on Zambian President Rupiah Banda as he spoke to reporters outside his State House offices on Wednesday.
A CAT survives being skewered by a crossbow arrow. Pic at the link.
A MARMOT wandered in the front door of a restaurant in Prosser, WA on Monday and settled into a corner. It's no coincidence that marmots are related to squirrels.
AUSSIE WALLABIES are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said.