THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...with THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL! The obligatory "Summer in the City" put me in a post-Memorial Day mood, as I had not featured them is some time. So let's do the other big hits: "Daydream," "Do You Believe in Magic," and "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice." Also, the band gets some orchestral backing on "Darlin' Be Home Soon," which is lesser-known today, but which reached No. 15 on the Billboard charts in 1967.
GLASVEGAS: James Allen stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set, including a Queen cover.
IVAN & ALYOSHA stopped by Oregon Public Broadcasting for a session in audio and video.
CAVEMAN did three free songs for Daytrotter (but one of 'em is pretty long).
GIVERS stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.
TOM VEK is advance streaming Leisure Seizure.
THE GRAND RAPIDS LIP DUB: I'm reaally not a fan of Don McLean's "American Pie," but credit where credit is due. Backstory at NPR.
MATT & KIM: The former talks to PopMatters about how the duo came together, their high-energy songs and shows, and more...
ELBOW: Guy Garvey and Pete Turner talk to State about Build A Rocket Boys! and the band's longevity. (Thx, Chromewaves.)
PATRICK WOLF talks to Drowned In Sound about going less confessional and more inspirational.
THE DECLINE AND FALL OF BANDS, according to the National Post.
CUTOUT BIN: From the Beatles to the Bay City Rollers, from Carla Thomas to They Might Be Giants, from John Fogerty to Spinal Tap, plus the Byrds, Replacements, Temptations, T. Rex and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is this weekend's sole wide release, currently scoring 85 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (a bit lower with "Top Critics)... and rightly so. Matthew Vaughn's direction puts a sharp spin on the 60s backstory of Charles and Erik (Magneto), ably portrayed by James McAvoy and even more ably by Michael Fassbender (tho the antihero/villain role may have something to do with it). The younger members of the team(s) are fine, albeit given less to do, proportionately. The script packs about 2 1/2 hours of movie into about 2 hours, so there's plenty of action and character development. The period setting is appropriate to the original X-Men, and - along with a global scope - allows for some groovy art direction and costuming. Perhaps not as good as the first two Spider-Man flicks or the first Iron Man, but close enough and a worthy companion to the first two installments of the X-Men franchise.
ZOE KRAVITZ & MICHAEL FASSBENDER of X-Men: First Class take their relationship public.
ARNOLD & MARIA: Schwarzenegger met with daughters Christina and Katherine at the Fairmont Miramar hotel in Santa Monica for a pow wow about his impending divorce from the girls' mother, Maria Shriver. TMZ now claims, contra prior reports that there was no DNA test on Arnold's love child to establish paternity.
KIM KARDASHIAN sold her engagement pics for 300 grand.
JENNIFER LOPEZ's first honeymoon tape is the subject of a bidding war.
JENNIFER ANISTON is introducing her new man, actor and screenwriter Justin Theroux, to her close pals.
AMY ADAMS has formally been set to star in Paul Thomas Anderson's untitled film, which begins production later this month.
MARTIN SCORSESE may direct a feature about the romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
IRAN: Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi was forced to leave Bolivia after Argentina attempted to enforce an Interpol warrant for his arrest for his involvement in the 1994 bombing that killed 85 people. Russia's foreign minister said there is "no proof" that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
SYRIA: Syrian security forces killed 41 people, including children, while shelling and launching sniper attacks on civilians in the town of Rastan.
EGYPT: Post-revolution, the northern Sinai is increasingly lawless.
PAKISTAN and the US are building a joint intelligence team to go after top terrorist suspects inside Pakistan, a fledgling step to restoring trust blown on both sides by the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces during a secret raid last month.
IRAQ is not ready to stand on its own yet, according to US lawmakers of both parties.
A DANCING OWL: Let's go to the video.
A PACK OF SHARKS came dangerously close to the Long Island shore, closing beaches. What say you, Police Chief Brody?
RATS in an Engine Block.
DINSDALE! Changing garden trends has seen UK hedgehog numbers decline 25 percent over the past 10 years. What can be done to help them?