THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...with SLY & THE FAMILY STONE! The mileage shows, but Sly exceeded my expectations in clips from the North Sea Jazz Festival, just last week. He is finally brought onstage for "Stand," "If You Want Me To Stay" and "Sing A Simple Song," leaves during "I Want To Take You Higher," but returns with relative gusto for "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)." It might be the shades and the neck malady, but the mellower Sly almost gives off a bit of a Ray Charles vibe at times.
LUCINDA WILLIAMS talks to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle about her younger fans, the critical response to her last album and her fear of buying a house.
DAVID VANDERVELDE talks to AZ Central about his glam-rock influences, working with Jay Bennett and touring for the first time. You can (and should) stream a few now at HisSpace.
"LITTLE" STEVEN VAN ZANDT is chairing the music committee that's overseeing the tracks to be featured on the videogame Rock Band, a highly-anticipated multiple-instrument take on Guitar Hero.
THE FIGURINES: When The Deer Wore Blue comes out on July 23rd, but you can stream their floaty psych-pop LP now, via this German e-card.
SPOON frontman Britt Daniel talks about the new album's goofy title, misspelt song titles and more with The A.V. Club.
JARVIS COCKER rocks Barcelona's Summercase festival with an encore performance of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."
SONIC YOUTH talks to the L.A. Times about their initial reluctance to perform Daydream Nation in its entirety.
RYAN ADAMS & ELTON JOHN shared a stage on April 2, 2002. And you can jukebox it.SUMMER MIX: A Deeper Shade of Soul did its first podcast called "A Soul Summer," including tracks from Aretha Franklin, Tony Joe White, Otis Redding, Candi Staton, King Curtis and more. Coincidentally, Candy Staton is in my Summer mix as well; great minds think alike...
AMY WINEHOUSE appeared to be in tears onstage in London, hitting herself on the head with a microphone in frustration when she forgot the words to her songs, and a fan said she finished by spitting into the crowd.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Heather Browne reprints Jon Landau's (in)famous "I saw rock and roll's future and its name is Bruce Springsteen" article as a prelude to a February 1975 bootleg from The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, featuring -- among other things -- the first known performance of "Thunder Road" (with in-progress lyrics and a different title). Stream or download at the link.
PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel has left her north London home after being hounded by the troubled singer's friends, begging to give her a message from him.
THE CUTOUT BIN: This Friday's fortutitous finds on the ol' HM are: The Chicago Cubs - Hey Hey Holy Mackerel; Muddy Waters - Got My Mojo Working; Wilson Pickett - Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do); Gladys Knight & the Pips - I Heard It Through the Grapevine; Britt Daniel - Set Me Free (Kinks); Lucky Soul - Ain't Never Been Cool; Belle & Sebastian - Funny Little Frog; Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over; Nazz - Hello It's Me; Left Banke - She May Call You Up Tonight; The Who - I'm Free; The Jam - So Sad About Us (Demo); The Byrds - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (B. Dylan); Radiohead - Nobody Does It Better (C. Simon); Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure; Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song; Tone Loc - Wild Thing; The Cars - You're All I've Got Tonight; They Might Be Giants - Ana Ng; Electric Light Orchestra - Turn to Stone; and Tom Waits - Time.
NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include the movie-tuned-musical-turned-movie musical Hairspray, which is currently scoring an impressive 94 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and the Adam Sandler-Kevin James comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, which is scoring a decidedly less impressive 20 percent.
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN is talken to Details magazine about Hairspray, his unique cadence and more... cowbell!
RESCUE DAWN: Platforming to a significant number of theaters is Werner Herzog's Vietnam POW escape drama, Rescue Dawn, which is scoring 89 percent on the Tomatometer. Herzog first did a documentary of the escape in 1997, Little Dieter Needs to Fly. Herzog talks about both films, the difficult shoot, and the political climate in America with IFC.
ROTTEN TOMATOES, btw, has issued a Halftime Report for 2007 through the magic of Bayesian mathematics. Yet another reason to remind you to see Ratatouille.
THE EMMY NOMINATIONS are out, with The Sopranos and Ugly Betty getting the most. You can see or download the whole list at the official website. We can all look forward to a tough race for Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics, in which "Dick In A Box" faces off against "Everything Comes Down to Poo."
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has started shooting his controversial film about the 1944 plot to kill Hitler -- but the producers have yet to find a character to play the Nazi leader. BTW, the Scientology angle has overshadowed the usual Hollywood tittle-tattle that bubbles up when a Hollywood production hits Berlin, like Cruise turning down a woman driver because she was taller than him.
THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul has offered a £20 million divorce settlement to Heather Mills - and she in turn has said that she will accept £50 million, The Times of London.
BRITNEY SPEARS takes an ocean dip in her underwear. Classy!
ADRIAN GRENIER of Entourage managed to date Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Melissa Keller for almost two years without the paparazzi finding out.
HARRY POTTER author J.K. Rowling is more than a wee bit ticked off that The New York Times publiished a fairly spoiler-y review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before its release date. Photographed pages from Deathly Hallows, believed to include both fake and real versions, surfaced on the Internet and this week some books were shipped to customers by a US online retailer, prompting Scholastic to take legal action. Will Collier of Vodkapundit -- one of those who received his copy early -- tells his story at National Review Online.
TRANSFORMERS: When Shia LeBouf's character joked that they were probably Japanese, he didn't know how right he was. Here's Japanese video of a real Transformer.
NORMAN BORLAUG (an Iowan, btw) was awarded Congressional Gold Medal, America's highest civilian award, on Tuesday. Borlaug was the father of the "Green revolution" -- every nation his green thumb touched has known dramatic food production increases, falling fertility rates higher girls' education rates and rising living standards for average people. At the Huffington Post, Gregg Easterbrook wonders why the mass media ignored it. I was sick as a dog on Tuesday, but I did mention him last December.
HONOR KILLING in LONDON: A Kurdish woman was brutally raped, stamped on and strangled by members of her family and their friends in an "honor killing" carried out at her London home because she had fallen in love with the wrong man.
SAUDI ARABIA is touting its rehabilitation center for one time Al Qaeda adherents.
IRAN has recently intensified its harassment of critics and people it deems threatening to the government. Ali Afshari, a former student leader who was repeatedly jailed in Iran, says that Iran's repressive methods have actually led to the spreading of protests. He said women, students, and activists know they have to pay a price for their activism -- yet they continue their fight.
IRAQ: The provinces of Karbala and Anbar agreed to form a joint security committee to better achieve security cooperation and to coordinate information. US and Iraqi officials announced a ban on truck traffic into Kirkuk and proposed digging a trench around the northern city. US commanders are concerned about "some kind of Tet offensive that's going to affect the debate in Washington." Speaking of which, US Amb. Ryan Crocker told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "If there is one word I would use to sum up the atmosphere in Iraq... that word would be fear." Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Corps - Iraq, says the military plans to deliver a required progress report a September deadline, it needs at least until November to see whether trends are holding and to make a "more accurate assessment."
THE CIRCLE of LIFE: The Daily Mail has many more awww...some lion cub pics, for no particular reason.
GIANT SIAMESE CARP landed in Thailand; pic at the link. At 256 lbs, it's the one that didn't get away.
THE SWARM: About 10000 bees took up residence under a Pennsylvania woman's lounge chair.
A RABID WOODCHUCK attacked a woman in upstate NY. I sympathize, as I've heard rabies shots are really painful. Yet I must confess my first thought was this.
THE DOG ate my 800 dollars. Try telling that to the landlord.
TWISTER the BEAR CUB gets out of rehab. No, not that sort of rehab.
A DOG unseated a cyclist in the Tour de France, icymi.