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Richard Thompson, Advance Of Montreal, Oasis, and Zombie Chickens   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

YOU THINK WE LOOK PRETTY GOOD TOGETHER? Richard Thompson and his nimble fingers knock down a version of The Who's "Substitute" in Cleveland, circa 1989.

THE JACKIN' POP POLL: Idolator is trying to supplant the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll, now that the VV has fired Robert Christgau and Chuck Eddy. Idolator will send ballots to 1200 critics, with the effort to be edited by Michaelangelo Matos -- a Seattle-based music critic and author of the 33 1/3 book o­n Sign O' The Times.

OF MONTREAL: You can stream the band's upcoming album, Hissing Fauna Are You The Destroyer? in its entirety, via the band's label. (Thanks, YANP.)

STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER: It was 40 years ago -- though perhaps not today -- that the sessions that would become Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band began with the recording of this classic track. London's Independent has the backstory. I hooked you up with a documentary o­n its recording at the beginning of October.

OASIS: You can stream Noel Gallagher and Gem playing at Le Cabaret Sauvage via MSN.

IT'S "HEY YA," Charlie Brown! Shake it like a Polaroid picture! (not really.)

FRENCH KICKS get a good review in Glide magazine for their glossy, 80s-style pop. You can stream a bunch via the HM, though I prefer the less synthy stuff like "Trying Whining" and "So Far We Are."

ROUGH TRADE is having a rough time. A projected financial loss this year may cause Sanctuary Group to sell its 49 percent interest in the veterean indie label.

JOLIE HOLLAND stays away from trying to slap a o­ne-word label -- like "Americana" or "folk" o­n her music... and rightly so. You can still stream some of her idiosyncratic stuff o­n the HM.

HOLIDAY MIX: The Late Greats posted a trove of tunes for the season. You can jukebox 'em o­n the HM -- just scroll down to Nov. 24th and click "listen" next to the song with which you want to start. As a teaser, you might try James Brown's "Funky Christmas" and Tom Waits covering "Silent Night."

BRITNEY SPEARS has ditched plans to co-host the Billboard Music Awards with the French Hotel next week. Maybe the pop tart's "people" are telling her that the heiress is fast becoming PR poison. Yet Spears was without panties again, which has to be a concern to biz people. In Touch magazine claims that Fed-Ex was having an affair with former p0rn star and exotic dancer Kendra Jade a full month before Spears filed for divorce. Actually, I believe they prefer to be called "adult film actresses." Meanwhile, the Dixie Chicks devoted a song to Fed-Ex during their gig in L.A. The Chicks apparently won't rest until they have offended everyone.

LINDSAY LOHAN: As noted previously, La lohan would like to play Stevie Nicks in a Fleetwood Mac biopic. TMZ has video of Li-Lo singing "The Edge of Seventeen" at a Beverly Hills karaoke joint.

PAM ANDERSON-KID ROCK BREAK-UPDATE: Rock's camp is putting out the word that the couple split because he was tired of staying home with the kids while she was out partying. Pam's rep denies that Rock ever single-parented her kids, natch.

MADONNA: Human rights organizations will help decide whether Madge is fit to adopt a Malawian toddler, a judge ruled Wednesday.

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO does not want to hear about your petty problems after spending six months filming Blood Diamond in poverty-stricken Mozambique. And he pledge funds to support an orphan girl, as well her orphanage in South Africa. But he has no plans to have children of his own, adding, "I'm not married right now." So old-fashioned, that Leo.

IS KIRSTEN DUNST PREGNANT? The super-reliable Star magazine's e-mail newsletter claims that Dunst is wearing baggy clothing, ordering big boxes of chocolate, complaining of lower back pain and nausea during filming Spider-Man 3, and asking about the pregnancy of co-star Tobey Maguire's fianc

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Trip Shakespeare, Jay Bennett, Field Music, and Florida Panthers   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

TWO MILLION PAGE VIEWS: Barring a tech meltdown, this site will probably break that mark today. Thanks again to Lance for keeping things running, and to y'all for stopping by!

TRIP SHAKESPEARE: Long before Dan Wilson and John Munson hit the charts as Semisonic with "Closing Time," they were in Trip Shakespeare with Dan's brother Matt and percussionist Elaine Harris. Their style was indie, but with really strong harmony singing and an attention to melodic songwriting that surely influenced Semisonic. I saw their first show outside their Twin Cities homebase (maybe you did, too) and was impressed particularly with "Pearle," which first appeared o­n the Applehead Man EP, later re-recorded for the band's major label debut, Across the Universe. You can watch the video -- shot at the legendary First Avenue -- at the last link and stream a few more songs o­n a fan-maintained MySpace page.

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS: Vince Guaraldi's classic score -- and the story behind it -- get a streaming feature at NPR.

CHRISTMAS MUSIC PICKS: The critics of the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram compile playlists of songs. At NPR, Weekend Edition Sunday musical director Ned Wharton has streaming samples from his album picks, which range from Smoosh to Bootsy Collins. The latter also makes it o­nto an album list at PopMatters, which includes an embedded video from Twisted Sister.

THE LITTLE ONES have gotten good buzz over the past few months from music blogs like Good Hodgkins and *Sixeyes, but I didn't give 'em a listen until Frank at Chromewaves had some kind words the weekend before last. You can stream their hook-laden, pastel pop from MySpace.

THE PITCHFORK EFFECT: This story's been done and done, but the Guardian has good stuff from musicians o­n the impact of websites like Pitchfork and PopMatters o­n their careers, including a funny o­ne from Jof Owen of The Boy Least Likely To -- who had not heard of Pitchfork until they got reviewed in April 2005. There's also a recap of some classic Pitchfork reviews, so RTWT. Also, Slate has a new piece titled, "Die, Pichfork, Die!"

VAN SHE is classified o­n MySpace as "Black Metal/Powerpop/Techno." I'm not sure about Black Metal -- it would be more accurate to call them "the band that would be soundtracking the next teen comedy from John Hughes, if he still made teen comedies." Even the video for "Kelly" is chock full of 80s refs. You can also stream a few from the aforementioned social networking site.

JAY BENNETT talks to PopMatters about his solo career and the way his departure from Wilco is portrayed in I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: "Strangely enough, I go back and forth as to whether I really am vilified in that movie. I have to admit."

NORFOLK & WESTERN blog the Thanksgiving traffic o­n I-40 in North Carolina, and more in their tour diary for Portland's Local Cut. You cans stream some of their eclectic folk-rock via the HM.

FIELD MUSIC is a British band I overlooked when I did the imaginary SXSW series, but Stereogum has posted two new tracks, "Give It Lose It Take It" and "Sitting Tight," that are pretty neat -- angular instrumental parts with nifty vocal harmonies.

THE FUTUREHEADS have been dropped by their label, but are ready to rawk.

DANNY FIELDS, who signed The Stooges, Nico, David Peel and the MC5 to Elektra, and later managed The Ramones, explains why he thinks the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is "kind of an evil institution."

BRITNEY SPEARS: The French Hotel is a bad influence o­n the pop tart, who is slacking o­n her comeback recording schedule and really, really needs to wear panties. (very NSFW.) She might also want to avoid pics of her carrying her wine glass to the car and getting behind the wheel. People -- and by "people," I mean "I" -- might start wondering whether this gives Fed-Ex some traction in child custody negotiations. New pals Lindsay Lohan and the French Hotel may have been happily hanging with Spears Monday -- so much so that they took a little nap in their car -- but London's Sun has video of the pair catfighting last Saturday night. BONUS: Sunday, La Lohan was snapped buying designer handcuffs.

PAM ANDERSON-KID ROCK BREAK-UPDATE: Friends say they're shocked by the split, but o­ne source told Page Six it was due to Rock's "male insecurity and major anger issues," with a blow-up at a Borat screening being the final straw. Speaking of Borat, the film's massive success may have Universal already feeling buyer's remorse about the 42 million laid out for Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno project, with fears of additional lawsuits and that Cohen's cover may be permanently blown.

THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul is swamped for autographs at rare public appearance in London, while estranged wife Heather Mills announces a celebrity auction to a couple of office workers eating their sandwiches. Mills also seems to be a recurring target for celebs at awards shows.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: Is Owen "The Butterscotch Stallion" Wilson planning to propose to Hudson before she's officially divorced?

MICHAEL RICHARDS CRACK-UPDATE: The Rev. Jesse Jackson called for a boycott of the latest Seinfeld DVD, a way of exacting economic punishment for the ex-Kramer's racist meltdown. Which would explain why Richards did a separate apology o­n Jackson's syndicated radio show. Huffington Post blogger Trey Ellis advised Richards to stop apologizing, especially to the likes of Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton (even while excusing Jackson's "Hymietown" remark as an "ill-chosen quip"). Meanwhile, Richards' crisis-management expert is busy explaining Richards' bogus claim of being Jewish. Maybe the Rev. Jackson would have accepted the apology if he had known Richards wasn't a tribesman.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Britains uber-reliable Daily Star claims that the couple may release a rendition of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," though record labels are allegedly loathe to have the money go to Scientology. That's about as believable as Holmes' dad really approving of the (non-Catholic) marriage. More believably, Giorgio Armani sewed a girdle into Cruise's undergarment for the wedding to cover up Maverick's recent weight gain. And it is believable that the couple may have lost that lovin' feeling -- London's super-reliable Sun claims the couple fought before and after the wedding, with Holmes upset to be yanked away from her parents to honeymoon with Cruise's Scientology-honcho best man.

MADONNA: How the mighty have fallen -- her TV tour special tanked in the ratings. Madge was beaten by a Fox rerun of Cheaper by the Dozen and Univision's telenovela, La Fea Mas Bella.

JESSICA BIEL and DEREK JETER took their canoodling tour to Vegas over the post-Thanksgiving weekend.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE: Witherspoon is reportedly growing close to Jake Gyllenhaal o­n the set of their new movie Rendition. Jake has been her shoulder to cry o­n, according to US Weekly.

PETRA NEMCOVA says she is "very much in love" with singer James Blunt, dismissing rumors they had split and that she was with Def jam honcho Russell Simmons. I am so disappointed, I can't even post her picture right now.

HEROES MARATHON: If you regret not having tuned into this season's hit series, the Sci Fi Channel is airing the first six episodes tonight, starting at 6 p.m. ET. Sci-Fi also reruns the week's new episodes Fridays at 7 p.m. ET.

THE INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS nominees are announced, with Little Miss Sunshine and Half-Nelson leading the contenders with five noms apiece. Coming Soon has the full list.

WHO IS CAPT. JAMIL HUSSEIN, Pt. II: The AP calls CENTCOM's questioning of the legitimacy of o­ne of its sources "frankly ludicrous," apparently because the "police captain cited in our story has long been known to the AP reporters..." The AP is incurious as to why Capt. Hussein is apparently not known to the Iraqi government (even though the AP knows about infiltration of the IP). The AP ignores CENTCOM's point that the Interior ministry forbids anyone below the level of chief to be an Iraqi Police spokesperson, which is what the AP calls Hussein. The AP also ignores that "another AP-popular IP spokesman, Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq, supposedly of the city's Yarmouk police station, does not work at that police station and is also not authorized to speak o­n behalf of the IP" -- and is apparently wanted for questioning. The AP's non-response does not surprise me, as it's basically what they did in the case of Salam Daher in Lebanon.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed writes about the fear and organization in his mixed neighborhood during the curfew period in Baghdad. Bill Roggio examines claims by Tom Ricks of the Washington Post about the state of Anbar province, with his military sources "furious" that the story is being politicized. ABCNews reports that Pentagon officials are considering moving US forces out of Anbar province to join the fight in Baghdad. Hey, I wish I had thought of that. And if it happens, maybe Anbar isn't as bad off as the WaPo suggests.

IRAN, btw, is reportedly training members of Moktada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in both Lebanon and Iraq. Because all the mullahs want to do is give peace a chance.

PANTHERS will take up the slack in Florida, should the gators be defeated.

RACOONS invade Brooklyn. Where they came from is anyone

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Cat and Cat, New Releases, The Embarrassment, and Dieting Cats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS is on ABC tonight. Or you can watch it now.

CAT POWER sings Cat Stevens to help out the diamond industry in this uncertain holiday shopping season. She previously covered The Nerves' "Hangin' o­n the Telephone for Cingular, which you can watch in glorious Quicktime or stream the audio via the HM. Thanks, Stereogum.) BONUS: Here's a little more o­n the Artist Formerly Known As Cat Stevens.

NEW RELEASES: Ouch! Gwen Stefani and Patti LaBelle are the o­nly two remotely interesting albums streaming from AOL this week. Okay, AOL is also streaming the Clipse album that got Best New Music o­n the Pitchfork, if you're into hip-hop. Midlake is reissuing its rare debut EP; it isn't o­nline but you can stream more recent tracks o­n the HM.

BETH DITTO: The Times of London thinks that media coverage of "the 15-stone lesbian from Arkansas" (and singer for the Gossip) by the Independent, the Guardian and others shows that the NME has re-invented itself for the Internet Age. LILY ALLEN, who also ranked high o­n the "cool list" with Ditto, think's putting a male goup o­n the cover shows the mag's lingering sexism.

TOM WAITS talks to the Pitchfork about California, his favorite instrument, his favorite sound, Scarlett Johansson doing an album of Waits covers and more.

THE BLACK KEYS are profiled by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. you can stream the raw, bluesy rock from their set at Washington, DC's 9:30 Club via NPR.

THE BYRDS' final appearance as a quintet seems to have been these performances of "Set You Free This Time" and "It Won't Be Wrong" o­n Where The Action Is, February 21st, 1966. BONUS: Roger McGuinn and David Crosby talk to the BBC about how The Jet Set became The Byrds.

THE EMBARRASSMENT: The pride of Lawrence, KS will be the subject of an as yet-untitled documentary. Harp magazine calls them "The Best Band You Never Heard," apparently unaware that people like me read Harp. I even played 'em o­n the radio. You can stream "Death Travels West" and more via MySpace.

PAUL WESTERBERG tells Harp that, after collaborating o­n Open Season, he would consider working o­n another movie soundtrack, "but after hearing strings and orchestras o­n everything for two and half years, I just want to get a guitar, a bass and some drums and make the most garagelike, nasty piece of crap I can."

SYD BARRETT: The late, tragic founder of Pink Floyd's stuff -- from a guitar to a plastic Christmas tree -- will go up for auction next week. David Gilmour announced an EP tribute to his former bandmate, which will feature a live version of "Arnold Layne," recorded by Gilmour and David Bowie at the Royal Albert Hall in May.

AN AQUARIUM DRUNKARD has a new streaming podcast posted, ranging from The Meters and Jean-Michel Bernard to The Animals and R.E.M.

THE TOP 20 SONGS of the last 20 years, according to Q magazine. Here we are now, entertain us!

PAM ANDERSON has filed for divorce from husband Kid Rock, and vice versa. The couple married in August, with multiple ceremonies. TMZ reports there was no prenup, but the two were married for such a brief period of time -- shorter than the Renee Zellweger-Kenny Chesney marriage -- that it will probably have little impact.

BRITNEY SPEARS, not content to make the French Hotel like her sister, has apparently added Lindsay Lohan to the posse. Is your survival kit packed near the shelter yet?

MADONNA has offered to help Britney Spears get through her divorce crisis

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Sufjan Stevens, Petra Haden, Don Ho, Holiday Bin, and Ziggy the Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 27, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SUFJAN STEVENS got a good review for his Christmas box in the Boston Globe. CDReviews likes it too, while snarkily noting that Pitchfork managed to review it twice. You can watch the animated video for "Put the Lights o­n the Tree" and see a winged Stevens throw inflatable Santas like footballs into a Dublin crowd during a live take o­n "The Worst Christmas Ever!"

MORE HOLIDAY CDS are reviewed by the staff at The Detroit News.

THE KILLERS are releasing a Christmas single titled, "A Great Big Sleigh," o­n December 5th as a download o­nly through iTunes.

PETRA HADEN is interviewed and performs a capella covers of "I Can See For Miles," "Odorono" and "God o­nly Knows," plus an original for the World Cafe.

THE DISCERNING HIPSTER HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE, courtesy of Shots Ring Out.

ROBERT LOCKWOOD, JR., the stepson and apprentice of blues uber-legend Robert Johnson, has passed away. There's a video at the link, but "Everyday I Have the Blues" is good also. ANITA O'DAY, the "Jezebel of Jazz," died of cardiac arrest after a period of declining health at age 91. Among her best-known perfomances is this take o­n "Sweet Georgia Brown" at the Newport Jazz Festival.

NELLY FURTADO turned down a cool 500 grand (

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Dean & Britta, the Ben Folds Fake, Cutout Bin, and a baby Okapi   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 24, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

... with BRENDAN BENSON. Before his songs helped propel The Raconteurs up the charts (with an assist from the Jack White brand), Benson was cranking out tunes that are Top40 hits in some other, cooler, dimension -- like "Tiny Spark," "Metarie," "Spit It Out" and "Cold Hands, Warm Heart."

TOM WAITS: The New York Sun reviews his Orphans box set: "And as the subtitle makes plain, the discs are divided by sound. 'Brawlers' boasts the blues shouters and abrasive rockers, 'Bawlers' contains the ballads, and 'B*stards' is a collection of tribute compilation tracks, spoken word pieces, and experiments. It's not a proper career summary, but the breadth of the music here reflects Mr. Waits's oeuvre during the last quarter-century, highlighting its best and worst aspects."

BOX SETS: Tom Waits is not among the boxes reviewed by the Thin Cities' Pioneer Press, but the article does gover goth, soul folk... and the Bee Gees.

CAT POWER and the Memphis Rhythm Band palyed DC's 9:30 Club o­n the 20th, so you can stream and download it now from NPR.

DEAN & BRITTA: The former Luna-tics talk to the Pitchfork about their upcoming album, featuring originals and covers of Donovan and Lee Hazlewood. you can stream "Words You Used To Say" from MySpace.

THE BEN FOLDS FAKE: Improv Everywhere was invited by the man himself to cause trouble at his recent NYC gigs. And yes, there's video.

THE NME "COOL" LIST is not o­n the mag's web site, but Stereogum has it. London's Independent interviews Beth Ditto of the Gossip, who tops this year's list. You can stream The Gossip from Myspace.

GRIZZLY BEAR has some free audio up o­n their site, including two acoustic tracks.

KRIST NOVOSELIC of Nirvana is coming out of retirement to play bass o­n the first tour in more than a decade by FLIPPER.

BOB MOULD talks to Billboard about his next album, which looks to be continuing in the pop mold.

THE CUTOUT BIN: This Friday's fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine include: Sufjan Stevens - Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time!; They Might Be Giants - New York City; Nick Lowe - Cruel To Be Kind; Todd Rundgren - Hello Its Me; Fountains Of Wayne - Radiation Vibe; The Posies - Dream All Day; The Jesus & Mary Chain - Happy When It Rains; Julianna Hatfield and Evan Dando - It's a Shame About Ray; Hindu Love Gods - Gonna Have A Good Time Tonight; Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World; Eddie & The Hot Rods - Do Anything You Wanna Do; Fairport Convention - It's Only Witchcraft; Richard Thompson - Oops! I Did It Again; Ohio Players - Fire; and Bob Seger - Ramblin' Gamblin Man.

MICHAEL RICHARDS CRACK-UPDATE: The ex-Kramer called the Rev. Al Sharpton to apologize for his racist rant at a Los Angeles comedy club, but Shrapton wasm't having it: "He called me yesterday to say sorry, but it's not my place to accept that o­n behalf of all blacks. I can forgive, but I'm not the victim here. What he said hurt a lot of people." It's not Al's place? I thought it was o­n his business card.

NOW SHOWING: Ire ported o­n this week's wide releases Tuesday, but I note that late-arriving reviews dropped Tenacious D to 53 percent and Deja Vu to 63 percent o­n the Tomatometer. I saw the latter, which was okay, though not great. I do give the picture credit for including the line, "I need more cowbell!"

HEIDI KLUM & SEAL are welcoming a baby boy with five names: Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel.

BRITNEY BREAK-UPDATE: Spears is searching for a new home in Miami, while estranged hubby Fed-Ex has been offered

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