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Jens Lekman, White Rabbits, Cover Songs, Dogs Adopting   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 10, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JENS LEKMAN:  I've been wanting to share "A Postcard to Nina," a song about being a beard for a lesbian friend, since he played it at the Pitchfork Fest in 2006.  It's going to be on his next record, but even this solo version on ukelele is great.  BONUS:  Jens and his Swedish all-hotties at "Sweet Summer Night on Hammer Hill" at P-Fest.

THE WHITE RABBITS play new songs and discuss what their early sound was like on at the World Cafe via NPR.

THE MOST ROCKIN' SONG OF ALL TIME is generating plenty of nominations at The A.V. Club -- most better than the author's suggestion.  At the moment -- given the author's rules -- I would go with this one.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE:  David Portner (Avey Tare) and Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) talk to Drowned In Sound about their evolving psych-folk sound, which you can hear in the videos embedded with the piece.

DEVENDRA BANHART shows the L.A. Times the rock landmarks outside -- and inside -- his Topanga Canyon house and studio.

TOO SOON TO COVER?  Day to Day talks to music critic Chris Martins about the multiple versions of the Rihanna hit "Umbrella" floating around now as a springboard to discuss the issue of race in cover songs (going back to Pat Boone) and indie hipster takes on rap.  The audio segment really does not address what the web summary asks -- "Is there an etiquette dictating how long one should wait before covering a song?"  I would say no.  The indie irony of some other cases aside, I thought it was kinda nifty that Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" was a good enough song to get covered right away by artists as different as Ray Lamontagne, Nelly Furtado, Kooks and Cat Power.  Alternatively, if Richard Thompson covers "Oops... I Did It Again," or Ted Leo puts his spin on the Kelly Clarkson hit "Since U Been Gone," people can listen with fresh ears, and perhaps discover that a song might be good despite who made it famous.  Conversely, Alanis Morissette's "My Humps" video works as scathing satire of the original Black Eyed Peas hit.  Given the way the Internet has tended to throw the music biz back to the days when the single was supreme, we should not be shocked at the return of the contemporaneous cover.   BONUS:  A Stylus staffer lists his "Top Ten Songs I'd Cover If I Recorded an Album of Covers," which isn't nearly as obscure as most Stylus staff lists.

3X3:  You can watch performances from Swell Season, Stateless and G. Love & Special Sauce via Spinner.

PHIL SPECTOR:  As his murder trial goes to jury, we learn that he did one last production before going to trial.

AMY WINEHOUSE's father is trying to cut off her drug money by asking her to sign control of her cash over to him.

PETE DOHERTY was snapped appearing to give his kitten crack - from a mini-pipe he made specially for it.  Sad pic at the link.

SHOOT 'EM UP is -- as generally billed -- an over-the-top action flick, meant as a spoof.  However, the cartoonish level of violence didn't work as well for me in the more realistic setting here as it did in Sin City, which landed squarely between film and graphic novel.  And the plot is probably too original and dark to be a straight satire of the genre; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang did that better.  I'm glad I went for the performances of Clive Owen (in a role even funnier if you have seen him in Children of Men), Paul Giamatti as the villain and the gorgeous Monica Bellucci as the hooker with a heart of gold.  Inasmuch as they were all slumming it, I only wish the script had allowed them to seem like they were having more fun doing it.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  US moviegoers rode the 3:10 To Yuma in the amount of 14.1 million, but that's the worst weekend total for the number one movie in North America since April 27th - 29th. Moreover, the Western had a 50 million budget, 27 million for prints and advertising and (word is) significant negative cost.  Rob Zombie's Halloween reboot tumbed 62 % into second place with 10 million.  Superbad dropped a modest 36 percent to make 8 million and cross the 100 million mark on its 20 million budget.  Balls of Fury dropped 50% to make 5.6 million.  The Bourne Ultimatum rounds out the Top Five with another 5.5 million; it has a worldwide total of 286 million on its 110 million budget.  Shoot 'Em Up underperformed in its debut, making a mere 5.4 million.  Rush Hour 3 made 5.3 million; it has made 182 million worldwide on a 140 million budget, but some 40% of that goes to the starts and director, not the studio.  Mr. Bean's Holiday came in eighth with 3.3 million, just 60K or so ahead of The Nanny Diaries.  Hairspray actually climbed back to the bottom rung of the Top Ten with about 2 million.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly told friends she was nervous about performing at the MTV VMAs and was spotted drinking Grey Goose vodka at a party Saturday night -- even though MTV lectured Spears to behave in Las Vegas.  On the one hand, she shouldn't have been nervous, as both she and the show are faded figures in the music biz.  OTOH, perhaps she should have been nervous, as her performance was reportedly snooze-inducing.  The video sems to bear that out.  Meanwhile, limelight-seeking lawyer Gloria Allred is on her way to court in the Spears/Fed-Ex custody fight, claiming she has a secret witness who wants to testify at the Sept. 17 hearing.

KID ROCK allegedly "clocked" Tommy Lee at the MTV VMAs in Las Vegas Sunday night.  Las Vegas Metro Police sources tell TMZ that they have found Kid Rock and have questioned him.

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL starlet Vanessa Hudgens apologized for the recently released nude photos of her circulating on the internet. In response to the rumors that the pics may be leading Disney to re-cast her role, a spokesperson said, "Walt Disney Studios, as a matter of policy, doesn't comment on ongoing negotiations."  Translation:  Take the million dollars before the Mouse finds out you once sent risqué photos of yourself to Nickelodeon star Drake Bell.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE & ANDY SAMBERG took home a statue for outstanding original music and lyrics for "D--- in a Box" at the Creative Arts Emmys, which are a precursor to the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 16.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is suing Hallmark Cards, claiming they used her likeness without permission.  And spoiled Christina Aguilera's pregnancy announcement.

GWYNETH PALTROW & CHRIS MARTIN have chosen comedian Simon Pegg to be godfather to their three-year-old daughter Apple.  Pegg says he'll uger the girl to have fun: "It's much more interesting than trying to be a good influence on her. I'm a comedian -- it's what they expect."

THE PATH TO 9/11:  The ABC miniseries, which recently received seven Emmy nominations and drew a combined two-night audience of more than 25 million viewers, is not on the path to DVD.  The miniseries' writer, Cyrus Nowrasteh, said he was told by a top executive at ABC Studios that "if Hillary weren't running for president, this wouldn't be a problem."  Oliver Stone says, "It's censorship of the most blatant kind.  I'm not vouching for its accuracy, it's a dramatisation but it's an important work that needs to be seen."

24:  Believing that the show is headed in a more liberal direction next season, Simpsons scribe Daniel Chun pens a script.

TOO MUCH TO BARE?  Nicole Kidman is an award-winning actor. So too is Maggie Gyllenhaal. So why do they - and other talented female Hollywood stars - still have to expose their bodies in order to get into the public eye? Kira Cochrane despairs  at the Guardian.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, meanwhile, admits she is trying to "have her cake and eat it" by taking her clothes off for advertisers while at the same time demanding privacy.  That's an ill-chosen metaphor, given that Knightley doesn't look like she's been near a piece of cake in years.

CARTOON JIHAD:  A sculpture created by the artist at the center of the Muhammad cartoon controversy was torched in southern Sweden on Thursday night.

TERROR in GERMANY:  Three suspected Islamist militants who were planning to attack US targets in Germany had orders to act by Sept. 15 and knew police were hot on their trail before their arrest, according to Der Spegel.  Why 9/15 instead of 9/11?  Maybe because 9/15 is the official date for the progress report from the White House to Congress on Iraq.  BTW, while the suspects arrested this week spent time at a terror training camp in Pakistan, two other suspects still at large are known to have spent time in Lebanon and Syria and the detonators found in Tuesday's raids came from Syria.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  Maajid Nawaz, one of the most senior members of the Islamist Hizb ut-Tahrir movement, has dramatically defected, saying that he no longer agrees with the movement's attempts to transform Islam into a narrow political ideology.

IRAQ:  Though the AP decribes the Iraq debate as a "sea of statistics," the NYT notes that both the US and Iraqi reports note a roughly 50 percent drop in the number of civilians deaths since the end of 2006.  Engram charts all of the different numbers to demonstrate the point (he also addresses the issue of seasonality in the data, showing that in 2005 and 2006, casualties increased in the summer months).  The NYT reports on the chaos remaining on the streets behind the overall data.  The Washington Post has a piece on the debate within the Bush Administration leading to the "surge" decision.  The WaPo also reported that a panel of experts assembled by the US Institute of Peace calls for a 50 percent reduction in US forces within three years and a total withdrawal and handover of security to the Iraqi military in five years.

IRAQ II:  A US airstrike killed a senior al Qaeda terrorist who masterminded truck bombings on the Yazidis last month that killed more than 400 people.  A former official responsible for security at the shrines in Samarra has been arrested for affiliation with the group that bombed the holy site in February of last year.  Blogger Bill Ardolino has a photo-filled post on the final stages of Operation Alljah in Fallujah, involving a coordinated series of counter-insurgency components.

IRAQ III:  On the Iraqi political front, more than 14000 employees in Iraq's Interior Ministry have been fired for failing to respect human rights, the government said on Sunday.  Buried in an AP report is news that the last boycott of parliament ended over the weekend.  For all of the talk about the gov't in disarray, it seems that the boycotts more or less started and ended during the summer recess.  Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister said that huge strides towards peace in Iraq were made during discussions between Middle Eastern power-brokers over the weekend.  The text of the "agreement" doesn't strike me that way, but we'll see.

MIMI the CHIHUAHUA adopts baby squirrels.  Awww... traitor!  BONUS:  A dog in China has adopted a piglet, nursing it as if it were her own puppy.  Pic at the link.

A MYSTERY HAMSTER whizzed past a young boy out on his bike on the street in an exercise ball.

EVERYBODY'S FREE... to wear hippo sweat.

POLAR BEARS:  Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will disappear by 2050, even under moderate projections for shrinking summer sea ice caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, government scientists reported on Friday.  Scientists estimate the current polar bear population at 22000, compared to as few as 5000 40 years ago.  So 43 years from now, we may have 40 percent more polar bears than we had 40 years ago.

FOXES made off with dozens of balls at the Addington Court Golf Centre in Croydon.  Sounds like a job for Carl Spackler.

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