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Ty Segall, Hold Steady, The National, Happy Feet   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 30, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


EDWYN COLLINS is joined by Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy on "Do It Again," an advance track from Losing Sleep.

TY SEGALL did five free songs for Daytrotter. For fans of primitivism.

THE HOLD STEADY, Live at First Ave on the Fourth of July.

SARA & SEAN WATKINS of Nickel Creek stopped by Folk Alley for a session.

THE NATIONAL: There are two versions of their recent gig at the legendary Maxwell's posted at nyctaper.

SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU BORIS YELTSIN covers Green's "Got to Get a Record Out" to close a set at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

JOHNNY CASH: Inspired by Dan Hill?

VAN DYKE PARKS: His early years are profiled by KPCC. (Thx, LHB.)

LONG WINTERS frontman John Roderick's Top 10 reasons he hates year-end Top 10 Lists. (Thx again, LHB.)

ABBA singer Agnetha Faltskog would like to meet with her former bandmates to discuss a reunion.

CHARLIE SHEEN is partying hard once again and missed three family Christmas events as he lived the high life, according to RadarOnline.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE & ANNE HATHAWAY are this year's Hasty Pudding Award winners.

GIRLS GONE WILD mogul Joe Francis and Christina McLarty have split less than two months after tying the knot. Shocka!

BRETT FAVRE was fined 50 grand by the NFL Wednesday for failing to cooperate with the league's investigation into graphic photos and suggestive messages he was accused of sending to a woman while both were employed by the Jets in 2008. Somehow, the NYT forgot to report that Wednesday was -- coincidentally enough -- the day after New Jersey's statute of limitations for workplace sexual harassment claims ran out.

CLINT EASTWOOD reveals more casting for his J. Edgar Hoover biopic.


TERROR in the UK: The US State Dept confirms that the 12 terrorism suspects arrested in the UK last week had targeted the American Embassy in London.

IRAN: Fuel consumption has fallen by 20 percent one week after the government ended petroleum subsidies.

PAKISTAN: The apparent use of a woman for carrying out suicide blast in Bajaur Agency on Saturday is a change of tactics and could turn into a dangerous trend.

HAPPY FEET: Life imitates animation.

POLAR BEAR vs SEAGULL: Who you got?

NEARLY 70 BATS have been found dead in Tucson and Arizona Game and Fish officials are searching for answers.

WHEN JELLYFISH ATTACK: Paramedics hospitalized at least three people while nearly 100 were treated for jellyfish stings Wednesday in Wakiki.

HOW CURIOUS GEORGE Escaped the Nazis.

1872 Reads

Elbow, Jason Collett, Weepies, Kitteh Foosball   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ELBOW previews "Lippy Kids" from Build a Rocket, Boys! (due in March), live at Blueprint Studios.

ABIGAIL WASHBURN is advance streaming City of Refuge, which "takes her outside of the her comfortable folk and roots sound and pushes her toward a more rock and pop feel."

JASON COLLETT did three free songs for Daytrotter.

YOUSSOU N'DOUR, rumored to be a future candidate for president of Senegal, is one of NPR's 50 Great Voices.

THE DECEMBERISTS have dropped "January Hymn" as the second advance track to The King Is Dead LP.

THE WEEPIES stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

THE SPINNERS: "Rubberband Man." Guaranteed to blow your mind.

THE NUMBER ONE LPs of 2010, according to Billboard, compiled by Idolator.

THE 50 BEST SONGS of 2010, according to Paste.

THE 20 WORST SONGS of 2010, according to the Village Voice.

AN ANONYMOUS TWITTER ACCOUNT is the Village Voice's Music Critic of the Year.

THE LOHANS are mulling legal action against "Dogs in Pocketbooks" - a movie pretty clearly based on Lindsay Lohan's wild ride. Lohan will blow out of Betty Ford next week, but she has a plan in place to stay sober.

ELTON JOHN becomes a dad at 62.

REESE WITHERSPOON got engaged to Hollywood agent Jim Toth.

LILY ALLEN got engaged to boyfriend Sam Cooper while they were vacationing in Bali.

LeANN RIMES and Eddie Cibrian also got engaged over the holidays.

KELSEY GRAMMER wants a quickie divorce in order to remarry. He may be on the hook for 50 million dollars to his future ex.

DEMI LOVATO may or may not have a sex tape, but she has an unlikely ally who's gonna make sure it never gets released.

FRIENDS: Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox spent Christmas Eve together. Aw.

HUGH HEFNER is engaged, but will he actually marry Crystal Harris?

THE NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY adds 25 more films, deeming Airplane! and others "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."

THE TOP 10 HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIES of 2010, compiled by Film Drunk.

AfPAK: There's no practical way for US troops to seal Afghanistan's vast border with Pakistan and stop all Taliban fighters from slipping through, so they are focusing on defending vulnerable towns and fighting insurgents on Afghan soil, a US military commander said Tuesday.

IRAQ's leaders are investigating the possibility of removing some of Baghdad's hundreds of much hated checkpoints because of the improving security situation.

KITTEH totally cheats at foosball.

NEWS CHOPPER blows calf to safety.

ILLINOIS PET STORES will now be required to give buyers the details of every animal's health history.

FINDING NEMO? No, but it might be Bruce the Shark.

1977 Reads

Best Releases, Stars, Ben Wilkins, Jackson 5, Christmas Puppehs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN releases "The Magic" as the first video from her upcoming album, The Deep Field.

BEST RELEASES from Superchunk, Tracey Thorn, The National, Beach House and more are streaming via Spinner.

STARS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

BEN WILKINS, whose piano-powered alt-pop recalls Ben Folds, gets a feature plus tracks from Weekend All Things Considered.

THE JACKSON 5's unreleased first studio recording --a version of "Big Boy" -- is streaming a bit via the Chicago Reader.

THE SMITHS: Unreleased Demos & Instrumentals.

SIMON & GARFUNKEL: "Homeward Bound" and "I Am a Rock" for Twofer Tuesday.

THE YEAR IN MUSIC NEWS, courtesy of Pitchfork.

DAFT PUNK talks to the L.A. Times about scoring Tron Legacy (Part 1, Part 2).

MARNIE STERN is profiled by Sasha Frere-Jones for The New Yorker.

ARCADE FIRE: Will and Win Butler joked with the BBC about Harry Potter and Kanye West as they reflected on their stellar year.

NATALIE PORTMAN and choreographer Benjamin Millepied are engaged and expecting their first child. I sense a great disturbance in the Force.

ALANIS MORISSETTE and Mario 'Souleye' Treadway welcomed a baby boy on Christmas Day. Obligatory "you oughtta know" reference goes here.

THE TOP 10 MUGSHOTS of 2010, courtesy of E! Online.

LYDIA HEARST SHAW, a model, 26-year-old heir to the Hearst publishing fortune and daughter of once-kidnapped Patricia Campbell Hearst and Bernard Shaw, has landed her first big Hollywood role as a comic character based on troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan.

TRUE GRIT: Back in the Sixties, Paramount bought copies of the novel to make it a hit.

TRON: UPRISING is coming to a TV screen near you, with Bruce Boxleitner, Elijah Wood, Linda Moore, Paul Reubens, and Lance Henriksen.

THE 10 MOST BEAUTIFUL FILMS of 2010, according to / Film's David Chen.

15 GREAT PUBLIC DOMAIN MOVIES streaming online, including His Girl Friday and a great Fleischer Bros. Superman short, via Moviefone.

TERROR in the UK: A court charged nine Muslim men for conspiring to carry out terror attacks in the United Kingdom.

AFGHANISTAN: Internal UN maps show a marked deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan during this year's fighting season. A Pentagon report mandated by Congress drew similar conclusions when it was released last month.

PUPPEHS FOR CHRISTMAS: Let's go to the videos.

PAUL the PSYCHIC OCTOPUS has won a Dafta award, which celebrates the best weird news stories of 2010.

200000 REINDEER in Norway are being fitted with reflectors to protect them from being run over.

CHUPACABRA shot in Kentucky? Or just a follicly challenged raccoon?

2009 Reads

PJ Harvey, Gorillaz, Sharon Jones, World's Smartest Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 27, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl




PJ HARVEY drops the "Last Living Rose" from the upcoming Let England Shake.

GORILLAZ are streaming The Fall in return for your address.

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS: The Current is streaming their full set from Rock the Garden.

DAVID GRAY stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

PUNCH BROTHERS play a short set on Mountain Stage.

THE BANGLES: It's getting almost impossible to find this version of their cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter," but worth it.

GUIDED BY VOICES: Robert Pollard tells Spinner the secrets to the band's success.

GRIZZLY BEAR: Daniel Rossen talks to the NYDN about scoring Blue Valentine and the the band's next album.

THE TOP 10 of 2010, according to NPR's Ken Tucker.

THE DOORS responded to Florida's pardon of Jim Morrison.

IN MEMORIAM: Bands We Lost In 2010. Also, the NYT mag celebrates Alex Chilton and Bobby Hebb. Plus, add R & B singer Teena Marie to the list, dead at 54.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: It was not a Merry Christmas at your local coneplex. The Top 12 movies made 142.1 million bucks. That's a lot less than the 259.9 million in receipts last Christmas... but then again, Avatar was only in its second weekend.  But it's even less than the 179.6 in receipts from Christmas 2008, when the big movie was Marley & Me. So ouch.  Little Fockers tops the chart with 34 million, and $48 million since opening Wednesday, but that's not the 60 million many expected it to make.  Worse, the Jack Black-led Gulliver's Travels opened in seventh place, with 7.2 million against a reported 115 million budget.  However, True Grit came in second with 25.6 million (and 36.8 million since opening), about ten million above tracking estimates.  Tron Legacy dropped to the third slot with 20.1 million on a 54.3 percent drop that seems steep, but likely expected, given that its primary appeal would be to men of a certain age who ran out to see it immediately. Tron Legacy has grossed 111.3 million worldwide against a 170 million budget, so it ought to turn out alright at the end. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader dropped to the fourth slot with 10.8 million, only dropping 12.8 percent, despite losing 200 screens.  Its worldwide gross of 192.9 million against a 155 million budget looks good, though the franchise's future likely remains in doubt.  Yogi Bear rounds out the Top Five with 8.8 million, with a disappointing 36.8 million total against an 80 million budget.  Below the fold, The Fighter and Black Swan had small enough drops to keep their awards buzz percolating.

TRON LEGACY was a disappointment, primarily because Disney had decades to discern the flaws in the ground-breaking original cyberspace opera, but failed to correct them.  Moreover, the admittedly stunning 3-D action sequences were occasionally shot and edited in a way that made them difficult for the viewer to follow, except as beautiful spectacle (and they were that).  However, you do get Jeff Bridges playing several versions of his Flynn character, including one that melds Jeff Lebowski with Obi-Wan Kenobi.  And Olivia Wilde looks awfully sharp as a program, so I didn't exactly feel cheated... just a bit disappointed.

TRUE GRIT, otoh, was not a disappointment at all, despite the Coen Bros. leaving most of their quirkiness at home.  Jeff Bridges, to his credit, made no effort to recall John Wayne's version of Rooster Cogburn, while leaving no doubt as to how much he likes to pull a cork.  Similarly, Matt. Damon. will remind no one of Glen Campbell as LaBoeuf, but puts a nifty spin on the character.  However, this is really a coming out party for Hailee Steinfeld, whose Mattie Ross entirely transcends Kim Darby's take in the original.  That's no offense to Darby; it's more of a commentary at how much Hollywood has improved its craft over the past few decades, when it chooses to rise to an occasion.  The same could be said of the production design, art and set direction, costuming and cinematography -- and I just did.  True Grit was not a movie that needed to be remade, but if Hollywood's remakes turned out as well as this one, few would complain about the recycling.

LINDSAY LOHAN: The ex-Betty Ford staffer who claims Li-Lo assaulted her earlier this month will drop her criminal complaint and refuse to cooperate with authorities.  The woman could face criminal action and a civil lawsuit for violating HIPAA.

DANIEL CRAIG & RACHEL WEISZ were photographed laughing and holding hands over the Christmas weekend in the southwest English countryside town of Somerset.

RYAN REYNOLDS & SCARLETT JOHANSSON took an official step to divorce. Reynolds filed the papers.

HUGH HEFNER got engaged to girlfriend and Playmate Crystal Harris, in a May-December-60-years-later romance.

GINNIFER GOODWIN got engaged to her boyfriend Joey Kern.

COURTNEY COX and her Cougar Town costar Brian Van Holt were inseparable at the show's holiday party.

2010'S MOST CHARITABLE STARS, according to Do Something.

THE TOP FILMS of 2010, according to the Washington Post, the Village Voice and L.A. Weekly.

IRAN: Many critics say a number of personnel changes by Ahmadinejad have to do with the growing influence of one of his closest aides.

AFGHANISTAN: A potential attack against the US Embassy appeared to be thwarted Friday as a joint Afghan and international military patrol killed two men during an operation in Kabul. Meanwhile, American-led NATO forces have claimed gains in the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, but a strategically vital part of Afghanistan's east, at the crossroads of Highway 1 from Kabul to Kandahar and along roads out to the provinces of Paktia and Paktika, has proved stubborn.

CHASER the BORDER COLLIE has learned the names of 1,022 individual items -- more than any other animal, even the legendary Alex the parrot.

A RARE AFRICAN LION CUB was born at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Wisconsin. It's the Circle of Life.

SEVEN SMALL DOGS are in quarantine at the city-county animal shelter after their 98-year-old owner's toes were eaten as she slept.

SYLVESTER the FERAL CAT: A Christmas story.

2690 Reads

Ho Cubed, Holiday Bin, Etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with CHRIS ISAAK, live at Universal Studios last December 12th. Your holiday-themed numbers include "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Hey, Santa," "Last Month of the Year," "Blue Christmas," and "Christmas on TV." Bonus: Dreidel banter!

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS:  Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.  Mental Floss has "The Real Story Behind A Charlie Brown Christmas (and why it almost wasn't shown)." The WaPo has reflections from producer-director Lee Mendelson.

DARLENE LOVE & RONNIE SPECTOR duet on "Sleigh Ride" and "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree."

THE POGUES:  It's not Christmas Eve in the drunk tank (or even St. Patrick's Day) without a "Fairytale of New York."

JULIAN CASABLANCAS of The Strokes covers SNL's "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" with Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, and The Roots.

NORAD will be tracking Santa, per usual. CNET has a history and behind-the scenes story.

BILLY MACK: Because "Christmas Is All Around."

THE FLAMING LIPS perform "White Christmas" as only they can.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: "The Keep That Keeps Giving."  Not to be confused with "The Gift," which is not Christmasey at all.

GLAM XMAS:  I started the month with Wizzard's awesome "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" (1973's UK Xmas No. 1). The circle is now complete.

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS:  The real deal, not Jim Carrey.  Then he slunk to the ice box. He took the Whos' feast. He took the who pudding, he took the roast beast. He emptied the ice box as quick as a flash. Why, the Grinch even took the last can of who hash.

DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY'S cross-generational duet o­n "Little Drummer Boy." This historic even was recently recreated by Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Plus, "Gulliver's Travels" co-stars Jack Black and Jason Segel have done a cartoon cover.  The Detroit Free Press has a column on the duet embedding all three.

THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS:  Many people believe human activity is causing global warming.  I blame Snow Miser and Heat Miser.

CHICAGO CHRISTMAS MEMORIES:  If you grew up in Chicago (and I suspect other places), the season is not complete without watching the short cartoons of "Hardrock, Coco & Joe" (a story fantastic, a story so queer), "Suzy Snowflake" and the jazzy version of "Frosty the Snowman."

THE BEATLES fan club messages for 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.

THE TRON 1982 HOLIDAY SPECIAL, courtesy of Funny Or Die.

HOLIDAY BIN:  Darlene Love, the Pretenders, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Mayer Hawthorne, Ray Charles, Dave Edmunds, and Sufjan Stevens are just a few of the stocking stuffers now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Pate even had a song titled "Rope Around The Moon," so watch the whole thing.  (If you don't want to download the Veoh player, it's Tubed in B & W or colorized. BONUS: Vintage Bailey backlash from warped, frustrated old people at the New York Times and Portfolio.

NOW SHOWING:  The wide releases for on Christmas (or as early as yesterday in some cases) include Little Fockers, which is currently scoring 7 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the Coen Bros take on True Grit, currently scoring 97 percent; and Gulliver's Travels, scoring 22 percent.  The King's Speech, which is getting all sorts of awards buzz, expands to 600 screens scoring 95 percent.

RUDOLPH, THE RED-NOSED REINDEER:  Pull up an ice block and lend an ear!  Herbie wanted to be a dentistNTTAWWT.  BONUS:  The Rankin-Bass classic continues to inspire ads like last season's Verizon ad, following 2008's Apple ad, and even more so 2007's AFLAC commercial.

FESTIVUS:  For the rest of us.  Technically already started, so I can be one of your grievances.

CLASSIC TV CHRISTMAS SPECIALS by the truckload, linked at WFMU. Also, 23 TV Episodes based on "A Christmas Carol."

NAT KING COLE:  His chestnuts are roasting.


100 ANIMALS in Santa hats. You're welcome.


2279 Reads

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