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New U2, M Ward, Tommy Keene, Awards, Meerkats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 23, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WHITE STRIPES closed out Conan O'Brien's stint on Late Night with "We're Going To Be Friends."

U2 is streaming their new album; you may have to click on the cover to bring up all the tracks.

M WARD & JOHN WESLEY HARDING played the World Cafe on Friday, so you can stream the gig online via NPR.

BEN KWELLER also stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming via MPR.

TOMMY KEENE guest edited MAGNET last week, making a streaming late-night mixtape and writing about Sparks, "Dark Shadows," the Baldwin Fun Machine, British boogie-glam outfit Silverhead, seeing Led Zeppelin in 1969, Rock ‘n' Roll dressing rooms, the Trutone Music store, and Sally Crewe.

ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming via MPR.  And by the Ed Sullivan Theater to play "Aeon."

ANDREW BIRD talks to the Seattle Times about "going for an old, soaring, big, almost classic-country vocal sound" on the Noble Beast album.

43 SONGS ABOUT MONEY, compiled by Pimp Your Finances.

A.C. NEWMAN talked to ChartAttack about his solo LP and the New Pr0nographers, Brian Wilson and more...

ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt has passed away at 62 from a heart attack.

THE OSCARS went to these folks, in one of the flattest, predictable shows in a long time -- aside from the superfluous, flamboyant musical numbers (host Hugh Jackman dancing with Anne Hathaway for Nixon/Frost, with Hathaway as Nixon, may rank up there with that Rob Lowe & Snow White trainwreck). My personal highlight would be the guy who made the Best Animated Short saying "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto," though the guy who balanced the Oscar on his chin after winning Best Documentary for "Man on Wire" was a close second.  Not as bad as the last Emmy Awards show, but sheesh. Here's the obligatory gallery of red carpet photos. UPDATE: Defamer has a collection of clips from the show.

THE SPIRIT AWARDS went to these folks. A big night for The Wrestler, Milk, and Synedoche NY, as the originally indie Slumdog was excluded.  And Mickey Rourke's rambling, profanity-laden acceptance speech was the highlight, natch. Way better than any of the Oscar speeches.

THE RAZZIES went to these folks. A night that will live in infamy for Mike Myers (Worst Actor) in The Love Guru (Worst Picture).  The French Hotel managed to snag both Worst Actress (The Hottie and the Nottie) and Worst Supporting Actress (Repo: The Genetic Opera).  And we cannot say enough about Uwe Boll who was named Worst Director for three movies.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Tyler Perry's Madea Goes To Jail tops all with 41.1 million, even eclipsing the last Madea's 30 mill opening.  Taken dropped 40 percent, but still took in another 11.4 million, which must be music to FOX's ears.  Coraline dropped a mere 25 percent to take in 11 million, pretty amazing for a post-holiday weekend.  Coraline is now Focus Features' third biggest film, passing Lost in Translation and Atonement, trailing only Burn After Reading and Brokeback Mountain.  He's Just Not That Into You slid 56 percent post-Velentine's Day, taking in 8.5 million.  Slumdog Millionaire actually increased 10 percent in advance of the Oscars, rounding out the Top Five with 8 million.  Below the fold, Friday the 13th plummeted 80 percent, Confessions of a Shopaholic skidded 53 percent, and Fired Up opened down in the ninth slot.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRESS: The heartbroken ex-fiancé of Slumdog Millionaire beauty Freida Pinto tells the uber-reliable News of the World how the film's success and her "infatuation" with co-star Dev Patel finished their relationship.

WATCHMEN are the current cover story at Entertainment Weekly. Or the six-cover story.

NICOLE RICHIE is pregnant again.

JACKO is on the brink of a £150million comeback - with 30 London gigs, according to the ever-reliable Sun.

AL QAEDA founder Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, who goes by the nom de guerre Dr Fadl, has begun an ideological revolt against Osama bin Laden, blaming him for "every drop" of blood spilt in Afghanistan and Iraq.

ISLAMISM in the UK: British Muslims are providing the Taliban with electronic devices to make roadside bombs for use in attacks against British forces serving in southern Afghanistan, according to London's Telegraph.

BABY MEERKATS Zanzibar and Nairobi are already a huge hit with visitors to Taronga Zoo, in Sydney.  Lets go to the video.

OTTER-CAM: Probably the opposite of what you would think.

DOG trapped on a cliff holds out for a female rescuer. Good Boy!

BABY MONKEY born at the Calgary Zoo. Awww...some pic at the link.

PET HOARDING? The Humane Society of Missouri said it rescued more than 150 dogs and a Bengal tiger from a substandard dog breeder near Seneca.

1640 Reads

Elvis C+ She& Him + Jenny Lewis, Nirvana, Cutout Bin, Kitty Fight   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 20, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

... with a SPECTACLE!  Last week, Elvis Costello had She & Him and Jenny Lewis on his TV show for conversation and music, music, music.  In Part One, Elvis opens with "Show Biz Kids," has a Q&A with She & Him, then joins M Ward and Zooey Deschanel on "Change Is Hard."  In Part Two, Jenny Lewis chats up Elvis and performs "Pretty Bird," with M Ward taking the solo.  In Part Three, Zooey joins Elvis and Jenny on the twang-y "Carpetbaggers" and "Go Away." BONUS: M Ward rawked "Never Had Nobody Like You" at the Ed Sullivan Theater the other night.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK has a chat + tracks streaming via NPR's Day to Day.

THE TEN BEST SMITHS SONGS, Tubed by Paste magazine.

BLITZEN TRAPPER is profiled by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. (Thx, LHB.)

THE MC5: Kick Out The Jams for 1.99, brothers and sisters!

NIRVANA: Kurt Cobain would have been 42 years old today, so I'm linking "Come As You Are," "In Bloom," and the Unpluggedy version of "About A Girl."

TOP TEN SONGS ABOUT SMOKING, according to Pop Tarts Suck Toasted.

NEKO CASE talks to Mother Jones about being a hobo, the New Pr0nographers, country music, etc.

SUSANNA HOFFS talks to GetBack about the 20th anniversary of The Bangles' "Eternal Flame" (which has a funny backsory - who knew?), upcoming projects and more.

A.A. BONDY talks to Tuscon Weekly about his preference for analog recording and more...

SUB POP, the Label That Grunge Made, is profiled at... CNNMoney?

CUTOUT BIN: From the Aerovons to AC/DC, from the Osmonds to the Ohio Players, from the Beat Farmers to BTO, plus Lou Reed, Fountains of Wayne, Spoon, Foo Fighters, Martha & the Vandellas and more-- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

GRAN TORINO: I just realized I never posted a review blurb for this wonderful effort from Clint Eastwood.  His Walt Kowalski is every bit as politically incorrect as Dirty Harry -- and just as equal opportunity in his abusiveness -- but what appears at first to be racism turns out to be something quite different.  The Academy snubbed this film, and not for reasons of quality,  If this is Clint's last acting role, it will be a memorable swan song for an amazing career.  Ahney Her also turned in a great performance as one of Walt's Hmong neighbors; it is a debut that will be tough to top.

NOW SHOWING:  Oscar weekend's wide releases are the decidedly non-Oscar oriented Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, which is unscreened for critics, and Fired Up, which is scoring 32 percent on the ol' Tomatometer.

RHIANNA & CHRIS BROWN: TMZ has a photo of Rihanna taken after Chris Brown allegedly beat her. E! Online reports that Brown is being investigated for a variety of felonies.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The weight story inevitably becomes the pregnancy rumor, though a source close to her bf, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo, says Romo likes Simpson ''with a few more pounds on her.''

TOM CRUISE is popular with studios again, after "Valkyrie" did better than expected around the world.

SHERLOCK HOLMES: Warner Bros. denied reports claiming the studio had asked Guy Ritchie to reshoot parts of the movie, calling the additional work standard pickup shooting. 

WOODY ALLEN talks to The Irish Times about his 40-plus years in film, the movies he's most proud of, why Oscars don't interest him, the attractions of film-making in Ireland, and how children have changed both his life and his work.

100 ESSENTIAL FEMALE FILM PERFORMANCES, a mega-feature compiled by PopMatters.

VIDEOGUM embarks on The Hunt For The Worst Movie of All Time.

WATCHMEN will run about 2 hours 36 minutes in theaters, but the DVD may have two longer versions.  Collider has nine clips, including new material beyond the four clips released earlier this week.

EBERT on SISKEL, ten years after the latter's untimely death.  Essay + Videos at the link.

OSCAR PREDICTIONS:  Critics have theirs.  So does Nate Silver, who has also crunched stats for baseball and presidential contests.

THE BOX OFFICE BUMP usually enjoyed by Oscar's best picture contenders still hasn't quite materialized for many in this year's class.

SYRIA is rebuilding its chemical weapons capability, according to satellite images analysed by Jane's Intelligence Review.

IRAN has enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb, UN officials acknowledged on Thursday.

PAKISTAN: The US was secretly flying unmanned drones from the Shamsi airbase in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan as early as 2006, according to an image of the base from Google Earth.  And Pakistani intell may be making these airstrikes more precise. Eleven of al Qaeda's top 20 commanders have been killed or captured since August because of the Predator missions conducted by the CIA, according to a Pakistani official, and current and former US intelligence officials.  The controversial peace agreement designed to end Taliban violence in the Swat Valley hangs in limbo amid criticism in Pakistan and rising concern in Washington.

KITTEH CAGE MATCH, in a laundry basket.

GIANT RABBITS are back on the menu in Spain.

AFRICAN WILDCAT turns up in a backyard in N'awlins.

POODLE coughs up her owner's nose for Italian police.

CHIMP ATTACK UPDATE: The chimp and its owner were probably a little too friendly.

1588 Reads

School of 7 Bells, Bell X-1, White Lies, Black Keys, Cats & Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 19, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS: Benjamin Curtis does a Q&A with Clash about songwriting, leaving Sectret machines, and more.  The band's latest video is for "Half Asleep."

M WARD stopped by WNYC for a chat and mini-set streaming on demand via NPR.

BELL X-1 did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.

EL PERRO DEL MAR: Sarah Assbring is streaming a new track, "Change of Heart," at HerSpace.

YEAH YEAH YEAHS have a new track, "Zero," that's streaming at YANP.

THE BRITS went to these folks. Duffy was a big winner, but statues also went to Paul Weller, Elbow and Kings of Leon.

WHITE LIES, who have a New Order/ Echo/ Interpol/ Editors sorta vibe, have a video out for "Farewell to the Fairground."

BLACK KEYS: Dan Auerbach gets a chat + tracks from his solo LP at NPR's Day To Day.

LOW: Drowned In Sound runs a two-part, album-by-album, Tubed overview as Slowcore Week continues.

TINTED WINDOWS, comprised of Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos, Taylor Hanson (!), and bassist Adam Schlesinger of Fountains Of Wayne, will debut at SxSW

THE NATIONAL: Aaron Dressner talks to Virgin Music about helming the Dark Was The Night charity comp.

TOUCH & GO is going... going....

MICKEY ROURKE's Chihuahua, Loki, one of the dogs memorably thanked by Rourke in his Golden Globe acceptance speech, has died.

TRACY MORGAN's swanky apartment caught fire Wednesday morning, causing him to lose most if not all of its contents after a lightbulb in one of his fish tanks busted.

RACHEL BILSON & HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN engaged?

FREIDA PINTO, the star of Slumdog Millionaire, has been hiding a secret husband, a close friend of the couple has claimed.

GUY RITCHIE was fuming last night after being ordered to re-shoot five weeks' worth of scenes for his Sherlock Holmes film.

CONAN O'BRIEN & STEPHEN COLBERT have a Late Night dance-off.

CLIVE OWEN, Everyman? Not if the box office for The International is any indicator.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER will play Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Expendables, which has to beat actually being Governor of California these days.  The cast now includes Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Forest Whitaker, Eric Roberts and Danny Trejo (a/k/a Machete).

RAINN WILSON ("Dwight" on "The Office) has a CNN commentary about religious persecution in Iran, focusing on a 'trial' going on very soon for seven Baha'i national leaders.

PAKISTAN: American officials have privately backed Pakistan's "Sharia law for peace" deal with Taliban militants in the Swat Valley despite publicly criticising it as a "negative development." Tom Ricks makes the case for the deal; Bill Roggio argues against it.

AFGHANISTAN: Pres. Karzai is turning a new page in relations with the US, his spokesman has said.  Meanwhile, the top US commander in Afghanistan predicted that the bolstered numbers of US soldiers in Afghanistan (about 55K) will remain near those levels for up to five years.

IRAQ: Kurdistan, which was one of the most stable regions in past years, is now one of the more politically restive, as other areas have cooled down.  Ironic.

FORBIDDEN LOVE: Cats and Dogs and Rabbits and Ducks and Snakes, living together... mass hysteria.

PARK RANGER & LION seem to be getting a little too friendly.

CAT diagnoses owner with lung cancer.

THE GOAT is a housewrecker.

A GIANT RAT with one-inch-long teeth has been caught in the southern Chinese province of Fujian. Pic at the link.

3150 Reads

Primitives, More New Releases, Slowcore, Killer Chimp   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE PRIMITIVES co-founder Steve Dullaghan was found dead at age 45. He co-wrote their biggest hit, "Crash."

NEW RELEASES REDUX: Spinner finally updated with full album streams from M Ward, Benjy Feree, Vetiver, Abe Vigoda and more...

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: Morrissey, Coconut Records, a Sufjan Stevens remix and more are featured in the latest installment of the long-running NPR series.

LAURA GIBSON is giving a first listen to her Beasts of Seasons album via NPR.

SPINAL TAP: Derek Smalls looks back at the rockumentary for The Observer... and mentions that "Guest, McKean, and Shearer - are rumoured to be preparing acoustic shows that will include Tap songs among other, less powerful, selections."

GERRY RAFFERTY has been missing for nearly six months after mysteriously disappearing from St Thomas's Hospital in London last August?  It turns out that the singer is living in hiding in the south of England, being cared for by a friend.  You just had to know where to look.

IT'S SLOWCORE WEEK at Drowned In Sound, starting with a video-laden introduction and pieces on Galaxie 500, Slint and Codeine.

FLEET FOXES' Robin Peckhold covers Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe" under the White Antelope moniker.

PIRATE BAY TRIAL: Half of the charges levelled at the founders of the file-sharing site have been dropped. And the trial is being Twittered.

JASON ISBELL talks to the Nashville City Paper about playing more than 200 shows annually.

DAPTONE RECORDS, home of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, wuz robbed!

THE JACKO AUCTION:  The contents of Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch are on the block in April.  Photo gallery at The Guardian.

RHIANNA has declined to officially comment on Chris Brown's "apology" for beating her, but sources say she is "appalled" by Brown's statement.

JESSICA BIEL & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE are moving to the Big Apple.

JENNIFER ANISTON & JOHN MAYER were... wait for it... caught canoodling on camera on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas.

LILY ALLEN & PEREZ HILTON had a catfight on Twitter, with the singer calling the blogger a "little parasite" and a "bitter lonely old queen."

ANNE HATHAWAY does a Q&A on her Rachel Getting Married role at the HuffPo.

WATCHMEN: /Film rounds up four new clips from around teh Internets.

JONNY QWEST news at IESB, much of it predictable, not much of it good.

IRAN: Israel is using hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents to disrupt the regime's illicit nuclear weapons project, experts say.

AFGHANISTAN by the numbers, compiled by Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann of the New America Foundation. The newest number, however, is 17K.  Matthew P. Dearing and Matthew C. DuPee, Research Associates with the Program for Culture & Conflict Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School, want to focus on building up Afghan civilian defense forces locally, as does a new report from the US Institute of Peace.

IRAQ is regaining its place in the region and is no longer seen as a US puppet, according to Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. Meanwhile, violence nationwide in Iraq is at its lowest point in five years and its dampening, combined with restrictions on US unilateral action, has made boredom a real enemy for many American combat soldiers and Marines.

A DRUGGED-UP CELEBRITY CHIMP that appeared in a television advertisement with Morgan Fairchild and was in a show with the singer Sheryl Crow was shot dead by police after savaging a woman in Connecticut.  The woman remained listed in "extremely critical" condition on Tuesday, as police officials investigated whether illness might have changed the animal's behavior.  The owner is being harassed by PETA.

AN ALLIGATOR falls in love with a sanitation truck. Video at the link.

A MOOSE falls in lust with a buffalo statue.

AMOROUS BRUSH TURKEYS are raping chickens as their numbers rise in Brisbane and they look for a mate, according to a leading Queensland biologist.

A BEAVER has been spotted in Detroit, following a 75-year absence from the city, ecologists say.  You knew the Motor City was in bad shape, but not this bad.

1638 Reads

Fleet Foxes, New Releases, Spinto Band, Kittens   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

FLEET FOXES have released an official video for "Mykonos."

NEW RELEASES: Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 release Goodnight, Oslo.  Eleni Mandell releases Artificial Fire. Tommy Keene releases In The Late Bright. Morrissey releases Years of Refusal. Benjy Feree releases Come Back to the Five and Dime, Bobby Dee. Spinner does not seem to have updated since last week, but maybe by the time you read this.

THE SPINTO BAND does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including a medley of "Give Me Just A Little More Time" (Chairman of the Board), "The Boys Are Back In Town" (Thin Lizzy) and "The Sweet Escape" (Gwen Stefani).

THE JOY FORMIDABLE are offering their album for download at the NME.

THE HANDSOME FAMILY answers the infamous 20 questions at PopMatters.  Audio playlist at the link.

SIMON & GARFUNKEL joined forces for a surprise reunion in NYC on Friday, performing three songs during the encore of Simon's show at the newly renovated Beacon Theater.

BACKBEAT:  Author Malcolm Gladwell recently noted that folks tend to overlook The Beatles' important formative period in Hamburg, but there is a 1994 movie about it, with a soundtrack of classics like "Money" and "Long Tall Sally" performed by an alt-star band including Dave Grohl, Thurston Moore, Greg Dulli, Dave Pirner, Mike Mills and Don Fleming.  And that's a Twofer Tuesday.

EMMY THE GREAT interviews Aidan Moffit (ex-Arab Strap), Darren Hayman (ex-Hefner), Mica Levi (Micachu) and Lightspeed Champion (about Steve Martin) for Drowned In Sound. She's a wild and crazy gal.

ONE-MAN BANDS, like Loney Dear and Phosphorescent, are surveyed by Jon Pareles for  the New York Times.

SAINT ETIENNE talks to the BBC about 20 years of musicmaking.

WILL OLDHAM talks about his Bonnie "Prince" Billy persona with... the Financial Times.

SALMA HAYEK got hitched to French businessman and baby daddy Francois-Henri Pinault on Valentine's Day, according to the French newsmagazine Le Point.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON reportedly had another blow-out on Valentine's Day. ALSO: Lohan admits she has lost some weight lately, but "it's not intentional."

MADONNA took Jesus to a Kabbalah meeting on Saturday.  Jesus Luz, that is.

HAYDEN PANETIERRE & MILO VENTIMIGLIA: The Heroes costars have called it quits.

KATE MOSS has denied she is pregnant but admitted to putting on enough weight to merit wearing a bra for the first time in her life.

MEL GIBSON: Stll Crazy.

WOLVERINE debuted a 60-second spot with plenty o' new footage on TV Sunday night. 

JOSS WHEDON, whose Dollhouse debuted Friday night, talks to NPR's Fresh Air about slayers. dolls and singing villains.

PAKISTAN: The government agreed to impose Islamic law and suspend a military offensive across a large swath of northwest Pakistan on Monday in concessions aimed at "pacifying" a spreading Taliban insurgency there.  Much like feeding an crocodile "pacifies" it... temporarily.

AFGHANISTAN: Kandahar police foiled a plot to blow up a provincial building in the city as US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke visited the South.  US forces killed the shadow governor of Afghanistan's northwestern province of Badghis and eight other Taliban leaders and fighters during an airstrike on a village near the border with Turkmenistan.  Gen. Petraeus says Iran is helping Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

IRAQ: Abu Ahmed was a longtime insurgent organizer and spiritual leader, but has become an indispensable partner in a covert war against AQI.  His transformation traces an arc followed by many of his countrymen, from all-out war against the Americans to revulsion against Al Qaeda's psychopathic ideology.

KITTENS, inspired by Kittens.

TEN PIGLETS have brought fresh hope for the future for Britain's rarest breed of pig.  Awww... some pics at the link.

POLAR BEAR plays peek-a-boo. At least he seems happy.

SO, AN ELK walks into a bar. At least, that's my theory, which is mine.

1398 Reads

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