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Getting a head start on Independence Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 02, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE FOURTH of JULY WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE BEACH BOYS!  Because folks my age will always remember their mammoth July 4th concerts at the Washington Monument -- as with these 1980 takes o­n "Good Vibrations",  and "Do It Again." Given the time of year, I have to include this 1964 clip of "Surfin' U.S.A." which I think is from the same gig that produced these takes on "Little Deuce Coupe," "In My Room" and "Fun, Fun Fun." Their take on "Dance, Dance, Dance" from Shindig! later that year is like a slice of Christmas in July.  There's also a nifty twofer of "I Get Around" and "'When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" from their first UK TV appearance o­n Ready Steady Go! The Jack Benny Hour produced these quick takes o­n "Barbara Ann" and "California Girls."  There's a primitive video for "Wouldn't It Be Nice" that starts with a cameo from Brian Wilson's dogs (Banana and Louie), who appear at the end of the Pet Sounds LP.  And I'll finish with a live version of "God Only Knows" from the 1967 European tour -- one of the last Brian would do for a decade or so.

RAY CHARLES performs "America The Beautiful" like no one else.

THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER: last year, Hidden Track serves up 12 video versions. And the only ones not working now are Jimi Hendrix and Whitney Houston.

21 HYPERBOLIC PRO-AMERICA SONGS, starting with Lee Greenwood (Sylvia's favorite) and ending with the theme from Team America: World Police, with embedded video courtesy of The A.V. Club.  WMG wacked the movie clip, but you can get your NSFW goodness elsewhere.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, September 19, 1978.

THE UNITED STATES prepares to celebrate the 233rd anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. As the Wikipedia notes, this is a little arbitrary: New Englanders had been fighting Britain since April 1775; the first motion in the Continental Congress for independence was made o­n June 8th; and the Congress voted 12-0 for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain o­n July 2nd. Even so, the publication of the Declaration was momentous .  If you're not in DC, the best way to see and learn about the Declaration may be through the Charters of Freedom website. But you can watch Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas, Renee Zelleweger, Kevin Spacey, Wynona Ryder and other Hollywood folk read the Declaration, after a short introduction by Morgan Freeman.

Of course, the holiday more broadly celebrates the American Revolutionary War, and the Founders' unlikely victory. People with the highest standard of living and the lowest taxes in the Western World fought a sometimes unpopular war for our freedom. Early o­n, the Revolutionaries (also known as "Americans" or "Patriots") had the active support of about 40 to 45 percent of the colonial population. By 1779, there were more Americans fighting with the British than with Washington, which is why Washington needed help from the French, the Spanish and freed Blacks. You can separate fact from fiction regarding the sacrifices and fates of the Founders at Snopes. You can hear two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough read from the first chapter of his 1776 via NPR. Or watch a nifty clip on the drafing of the Declaration from the John Adams miniseries.

NEED AN E-CARD for the holiday? This is my current fave.

THE CUTOUT BIN: From Rick Astley to Sonic Youth, from Link Wray to Squeeze, from Johnny Cash to the Feelies, plus the Beatles, Belle & Sebastian, Reunion, Jack Nitzsche, Soul Asylum and more  -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  Ths weekend's wide releases are Public Enemies, which is currently scoring 61 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Ice Age 3, which is scoring 35 percent.

MICHAEL JACKSON named Diana Ross as the backup guardian for his children.  The Jackson family confirmed that there will be no public or private memorial service at the Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara this weekend.  Jackson had dozens of injection sites all over his body.  Propofol, a powerful anesthesia, was found in the house after Jackson died. Based on preliminary sales numbers from Nielsen SoundScan, the entire top nine positions on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog Albums chart will house Jackson-related titles.

LINDSAY LOHAN turns 23 today, and already made 70K to host an all-day "pre-celebration" at the MGM Grand in Vegas.

JESSICA SIMPSON belted out the National Anthem Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the Tiger Tourney. She wore a hip-hugging red-and-blue striped dress, and "eventually left the first green before any of her body parts managed to escape."

KARL MALDEN, one of Hollywood's strongest and most versatile supporting actors, who won an Oscar playing his Broadway-originated role as Mitch in "A Streetcar Named Desire," died Wednesday. He was 97. In a movie career that flourished in the 1950s and '60s, Malden played a variety of roles in more than 50 films, including the sympathetic priest in "On the Waterfront," the resentful husband in "Baby Doll," the warden in "Birdman of Alcatraz," the outlaw-turned-sheriff in "One-Eyed Jacks," the pioneer patriarch in "How the West Was Won," Madame Rose's suitor in "Gypsy," the card dealerin "The Cincinnati Kid" and Gen. Omar Bradley in "Patton."  But for all his movie and television roles, it was primarily the series of American Express traveler's-check commercials Malden made between 1973 and 1994 that gave him his greatest public recognition.

NORTH KOREA: A North Korean ship monitored for more than a week by the US Navy changed course and is heading back the way it came, US officials said.  The ship was originally believed to be bound for Myanmar with suspicious cargo on board, possibly illicit weapons.

IRAQ: The DoD has pics of the handover to Iraqi troops.  Gen. Ray Odierno accuses Iran of continuing to support and train militants who are carrying out attacks, including most of the ones in Baghdad.

IRAN:  The Lede is still updating on revolutionary ferment in the Islamic Theocracy after the apparently stolen, rigged election.

TWIGGY: For the Fourth of July weekend, why not another look at the water-skiing squirrel? Great story. Compelling and rich.

CAT MADNESS: Let's go to the video. Brace yourself.

HOPPY the CAT became one of just two cats currently labeled "potentially dangerous" in the Twin Cities.

A MISSING CAT appeared on screen on BBC1's Question Time as David Dimbleby, politicians and pundits discussed topics as diverse as the wearing of burkhas, the situation in Iran and MP's expenses.

GIANT SPITTING WORMS: Fans of the giant Palouse earthworm are once again seeking federal protection for the rare, sweet-smelling species that spits at predators.

A MONITOR LIZARD went unmonitored in Libertyville, IL.

HUNDREDS OF DOLPHINS are surrounding Long Island Sound.  Wait until they leave to panic.

1709 Reads

St Vincent, Rock the Garden, Wilco, Secret Squirrel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

ST. VINCENT: Annie Clark made her network TV debut playing "Marrow" at the Ed Sullivan Theater.

ROCK THE GARDEN: The Current hosts highlights of a lineup including The Decemberists, Calexico, Yeasayer, and Solid Gold.

DIXIE BEE-LINERS stopped by WSKU, so NPR has the audio and video.

BJORK is the Guest DJ for the latest edition of All Songs Considered.

WILCO: Jeff Tweedy talks to TIME, while Paste devoted a day to the band.

DON'T STOP BELIEVIN' as pop-cultural touchstone: 'The Sopranos' used the 1981 Journey hit as its swan song, but the tune itself lives on in movies, TV and theater as the go-to show closer. BONUS: What was Ellen Page thinking?

JENS LEKMAN contracted Swine Flu. Yes, really. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

ALT-COUNTRY WEEK continues at Drowned In Sound, with features on Silver Jews, Will Oldham, and London's alt-country scene.

THE TWILIGHT SAD has preview tracks from their upcoming LP and a feature at ClashMusic.

CULT of the iPOD: When the Sony Walkman was launched, 30 years ago this week, it started a revolution in portable music. But how does it compare with its digital successors? The Magazine invited 13-year-old Scott Campbell to swap his iPod for a Walkman for a week.

MICHAEL JACKSON IS STILL DEAD, and his children's biological father is Arnold Klein, Jackson's L.A.-based dermatologist. Jackson never adopted his three children, either. On a funnier note, Jacko cut his dad out of his will. Jackson's body will return to his Neverland Ranch on Thursday morning for a public viewing Friday.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA got into a fight Saturday night in Las Vegas after an unidentified woman threw a drink at the tennis ace.

SIMON COWELL's "American Idol" contract negotiations are leaking out and the numbers are eye-popping.

JOAN JETT made KRISTEN STEWART to burst into tears on the set of upcoming biopic "The Runaways."

SARAH JESSICA PARKER & MATTHEW BRODERICK are showing off their new twins.

WEB SITE STORY: When you're on the 'net...

PAKISTAN: The Taliban in North Waziristan have ended a peace agreement with the government, putting in jeopardy the military's plan to isolate Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan. Terrorist groups banned by Pakistan, including the Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, are expanding operations and recruitment in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, according to a secret government report.

IRAN: The Lede is still updating on the continuing crackdown and disappearing dissidents in the Islamic Theocracy after the apparently stolen, rigged election.

IRAQ: Kirk Johnson, a former US government official in Iraq, has spent the last two years trying to save Iraqis who worked for the US as interpreters, embassy workers, subcontractors, and in other jobs, and as a result were forced into hiding, tortured, raped, or killed by insurgents and militia. His passion to protect those targeted for death is so fierce he's been compared to Oskar Schindler, the German businessman who saved Jews from Nazi death camps.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A militant squirrel involved in a murder plot tries to hide from police questioning.

ORPHAN IGUANA stolen from Iowa rescue center.

THE DOG ATE my checks. And my passport.

ULTIMATE CAT LADY: 46-year-old South African Riana Van Nieuwenhuizen shares her home with 4 orphaned cheetahs, 5 lions and 2 tigers.

1721 Reads

Feelies, New Releases, Neil Young & Sir Paul, Moonwalkin Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE FEELIES played Chicago's Millenium Park last night, their first reunion date in Chicago.  There's no video online yet, but there are still clips of last year's reunion, including indoor video of "Let's Go," "Slipping (into something)," "Raised Eyebrows," "Away,"  "Doin' It Again," the new song "Time is Right" (w/ cowbell!) and the Stones' "Paint It Black."  Our show picked up momentum like a snowball rolled downhill, turning the area in front of the seating into a pogo pit by the time the band closed their set with "Crazy Rhythms."  And they kept it on "10" for an encore of REM's "Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars)," "Fa Ci la" and the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On," and a second encore of "Paint It Black."

NEW RELEASES: The Donnas, Moby and Levon Helm are among those albums streaming in full this week via Spinner.

CASS McCOMBS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

FLEET FOXES have a new song, "Blue Spotted Tail," downloadable via Pitchfork.

MARIA TAYLOR gave a Tiny Desk Concert while NPR's Bob Boilen was on vacation.

PAUL McCARTNEY joined NEIL YOUNG for "A Day in the Life" last Saturday in Hyde Park.

ALT-COUNTRY WEEK kicks off at Drowned In Sound with plenty of embedded video.

GRIZZLY BEAR: Ed Droste talks to Pitchfork about taking the band's new LP on the road.

FRANZ FEDINAND's Alex Kapranos has a video interview at NME about this year's Glastonbury fest.

MYSTIC RIVER BAND guitarist Taylor Hollingsworth talks to the Lexington Courier-Journal about lucking into a gig with Conor Oberst.

MICHAEL JACKSON IS STILL DEAD: The Sun ran fabricated autopsy results?  Who'da thunkit!? A custody battle looms over the kids who may or may not have been fathered by Jacko. Lisa Marie Presley says more than she probably ever has about her late ex-husband.  E! Online looks for Jacko's animals.

BILLY MAYS IS STILL DEAD, from a pulmonary embolism, according to the coroner in Tampa, Fla., who announced preliminary autopsy results at a press conference Monday. So the speculation about the head injury during last weekend's rough plane landing did not pan out.

MEGAN FOX & SHIA LeBEOUF are certainly fanning the gossip fires when it comes to reports they're an item.

HEATH LEDGER: Vanity Fair investigates why the late actor was so ambivalent about his own stardom, and what happened at the end of his life.

STAN LEE does a cameo in all of the Marvel comic-book pictures; Collider claims to know what he's doing in Iron Man 2.

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS has a new trailer posted at Fandango.

FRED TRAVALENA, the master impressionist and singer whose broad repertoire of voices ranged from Jack Nicholson to Sammy Davis Jr. to Bugs Bunny, has died. He was 66.

NORTH KOREA: The US Air Force says it has successfully launched an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile from a California base, firing it to targets in the Pacific Ocean, in a story that carefully avoids any mention of North Korea.

IRAN: The Lede is still updating on the aftermath of the apparently stolen, rigged election in the Islamic theocracy.

IRAQ: As US troops move on, Iraqis fear the coming turmoil.

MOONWALKING DOG: A thriller.

50 ANIMALS in fake beards.

PABST the BOXER was named the World's Ugliest Dog (non-purebred category) at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Northern California.

THE SWARM: An urban bee-wrangler says a swarm of at least 8000 honeybees will be getting a new home after causing a buzz of excitement on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

A PENGUIN did not make it to the washroom in time.

1481 Reads

Wilco, Diane Birch, Sky Saxon, Drunk Monkeys   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 29, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

WILCO is advance streaming their album via NPR. The band played "You Never Know" for Conan last week.

UNCLE TUPELO: PopMatters looks back on five days in March of 1992, before the birth of Wilco, when Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar quietly altered the geography of the burgeoning alt-country music scene.

DIANE BIRCH played the World Cafe on Friday; you gan stream the gig on demand via NPR.

LONEY DEAR stopped by Oregon Public Broadcasting for a chat and mini-set streaming on demand.

SOUL SIBLINGS: Oliver Wang (of Soul-Sides) selects tracks from soul brothers and sisters for NPR.

SKY SAXON, lead singer and founder of the 1960s band the Seeds, which had a Top 40 hit in 1967 with "Pushin' Too Hard," died Thursday at a hospital in Austin, Texas, after a brief illness.

SONIC YOUTH: Thurston Moore talks to the Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot about the new album and the oddity of the Starbucks compilation disc.

STEVE EARLE tells the Cincinnati Inquirer that  "Townes," the album of songs written by the late Townes Van Zandt, is a road map of his career.

TINY VIPERS: Jesy Fortino talks to Decider about finding space in music, real chamber reverb, and mythical things in everyday life.

BEST OF 2009 (so far) according to Steve LaBate at Paste.

MICHAEL JACKSON: Leaked autopsy details show the singer's hips, thighs and shoulders were riddled with needle wounds - believed to be the result of injections of narcotic painkillers, given three times a day for years. The Jackson family hired a private pathologist for a second autopsy on the performer's body, suggesting distrust of officials or more interest in any role Jackson's physician may have played.  The attorney for Dr. Conrad Murray -- the pop icon's personal physician who was by the singer's side in his final moments -- said the doctor did not inject Jackson with Demerol before he died. NPR looked at the mess of Jackson's estate.  The former nanny is telling the Times of London about how Jackson's family and the Nation of Islam - Louis Farrakhan's black Muslims - were moving swiftly into the vacuum left by his death.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Transformers 2 reled the cinema with 112 million; the five-day total since opening is 201.2 million.  That's the second-best five day opening in history, behind only The Dark Knight's 203 million. It's also already earned over 100 million at the foreign box office.  The Proposal -- last weekend's champ --  dropped 45 percent to bring in 18.4 million; with a 69 million total to date, it is already Bullock's biggest domestic gross since Two Weeks Notice in 2002.  The Hangover hung in with another 17.2 million and now has a domestic haul of 183.2 million on a 35 million budget. Up took a hit, dropping 44 percent with 13 million -- but crossed the 250 million mark anyway.  The debut of My Sister's Keeper rounds out the Top Five with 12 million.  Below the fold Year One taked 70 percent, making only 5.8 million.  The Taking of Pellham 1 2 3 also continued to bomb.  Overall, the Top 12 did about 34 percent over last weekend and about ten percent over last year.

BILLY MAYS, the TV pitchman whose trademark voice helped sell everything from cleaning supplies to baking soda, was found dead Sunday morning by his wife at his Tampa home. Internet speculation swirls about a possible head injury from a recent rough plane landing.

EDDIE VAN HALEN married Janie Liszewski, his girlfriend of three years, on Saturday night.

MEGAN FOX: The London schoolboy left looking unhappy after being snubbed by Transformers star Megan Fox is being flown out to receive an apology and finally meet his idol.

THE HURT LOCKER, about an explosives disposal unit in Iraq, opened to good reviews in limited release.  Here's the trailer.

FARRAH FAWCETT's funeral is set fot tomorrow.

JEFF GOLDBLOOM: Reports of his death are greatly exaggerated.

TOPHER GRACE was... wait for it... caught canoodling Vanessa Minnillo, just days after announcing her breakup with Nich Lachey.

IRAN: The Lede returns today with more updates on the protests in Iran. The Washington Post covers the inspiring example of protesting Iranian women, both inside and outside the Islamic theocracy.

PAKISTAN has put bounties on the heads of some -- but not all -- of the senior Taliban leadership.

AFGHANISTAN: The Afghan police force will be expanded by an additional 10,000 officers. US envoy Richard Holbrooke described anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan as a failure.

THE ALCOHOLIC MONKEYS OF ST. KITTS: Let's go to the video.

MEGA-PIRANHA lived about 8 million to 10 million years ago and might have been quite comfortable stalking cartoon animals in an "Ice Age" movie.

MISS ELLIE wins title of World's Ugliest Pedigree Dog.

TRIPOD the KITTEH survives appalling injuries and surgery at two weeks old.

MAN & DOG plunge into a fecal lagoon at Kramfors-Sollefteå airport in Sweden.

THAI ELEPHANTS were painted black and white to look like the pandas who have stolen all their fans.

2359 Reads

Michael Jackson, Regina Spektor, Son Volt, Cutout Bin, Gator   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 26, 2009 - 02:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

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.

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