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New Releases, Fang Island, Lucero, Dachshund vs Crab   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CHUMBAWUMBA calls it quits this year. They claim there will be no reuinion, but you know, they get up again.

NEW RELEASES from Dirty Projectors, Mission of Burma, Old Crow Medicine Show and more, plus a best of the English Beat are streaming this week at Spinner.

FANG ISLAND is advance streaming Major.

LUCERO stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

EXITMUSIC plays a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

THE RAVEONETTES drop "She Owns the Streets" ahead of Observator.

ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI drops the oh-so-summery “Only In My Dreams" ahead of Mature Themes.

THE STANDELLS play "Dirty Water" and "Storm A'Comin" live on the Mike Douglas Show on May 27, 1966. BONUS "Hey, Joe" for Threefer Tuesday.

REGINA SPEKTOR is profiled by The Telegraph.

JAPANDROIDS talk to Interview about band bios, their preferred narrative mode, The Hold Steady, and why Celebration Rock may not be a summer album after all. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

THE GOSSIP: Beth Ditto does a Q & A with The Guardian.

MICK JAGGER, DAVID BOWIE & THE PLAYBOY MODEL: The classic tale, reprised for Mick's biography.

TOM CRUISE & KATIE HOLMES have signed a divorce settlement hammered out by their lawyers. The issues of custody and religion are reportedly quite detailed.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is set to pocket a record-breaking 20 million bucks to reprise her comic-book heroine role in an "Avengers" sequel.

KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN and boyfriend Scott Disick have welcomed their second child, a daughter named Penelope Scotland Disick.

SIENNA MILLER and fiance Tom Sturridge welcomed their first child over the weekend in London.

LILY ALLEN is expecting her second child with husband Sam Cooper.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN has signed on to play Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire, the much anticipated second movie in the Hunger Games trilogy.

HAPPY DAYS are here again: Five cast members have settled their royalty lawsuit with CBS.

FRANCE: A TV station yesterday broadcast audio clips of recordings between Toulouse shooter Mohammed Merah and police negotiators during the siege before his death in March. In the recordings, Merah claimed links with al Qaeda members in Pakistan.

SYRIA: Al Qaeda in Iraq and other jihadist groups have been operating from within Syria for years, with the support of the Syrian government, and are now turning on their state sponsor.

IRAQ: The trial of Vice President Hashemi has been postponed as a federal court reviews an appeal.

AFGHANISTAN: The Taliban publicly executes a woman as the crowd cheers.

DACHSHUND vs CRAB: Who you got?

WOODCHUCKS are suspected in a rash of NY cemetery flag thefts, but I think they should be looking at squirrels.

AN IGUANA was rescued by Miami firefighters from a car dashboard.

KING PIG, a one-ton porker worshipped in China has been laid to rest at his own temple.

3025 Reads

JEFF the Brotherhood, Clare & the Reasons, Baroness, Watermelon Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 09, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BLUR drops an in-studio video for "Under the Westway."

JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD is advance streaming Hypnotic Nights.

CLARE & THE REASONS advance stream KR-51 (which is a model of moped).

BARONESS is advance streaming the Yellow and Green double set.

TEN FREE SONGS via USA Today and iTunes.

KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND: "Boogie Shoes," live in Miami, circa 1974.

THE REPLACEMENTS: Pleased to Meet Me turns 25. I drove Music Works' Paul Miller out to the UPS depot to pick it up first thing that Tuesday morning.  I saw the opening show of the tour at First Ave. (w/ Young Fresh Fellows opening).  Get off my lawn.

CRO-MAGS co-founder Harley Flanagan attacked two current members of the band with a hunting knife before a gig at the CBGB Festival.

SLEIGH BELLS:  Derek and Alexis finish off each other’s sentences as they talk to Drowned In Sound about unleashing Reign Of Terror, Freddie Mercury as the ultimate front-person, and how they would have stopped at nothing to be the band they want to be.

20 SONGS for Sticking It to The Man.


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Amazing Spider-Man tops the chart with 65 million (and a 140 million total to date).  That's good, but not nearly as good as The Avengers or The Hunger Games.  Indeed, it is not as good as the not-good 151-176 million Spider-Man 3 made in its first 3-6 days.  Still, it has a 341 million global total to date against a 230 million budget.  Ted places with a leggy 32.6 million and a mere 40 percent drop from its debut; its domestic total is 120 million against a 50 million budget, and hasn't played worldwide yet.  Brave shows with 20.2 million and continues to perform somewhere between Up and Wall-E.  Savages debuts in the fourth slot with 16.1 million against a 45 million budget.  Magic Mike rounds out the Top 5 with 15.6 million on a 60 percent drop -- which isn't terrible considering the subject and the fact that Warner Bros paid only 7 mill to distribute a film that has raked in 72.8 million domestic.

SAVAGES: If you needed proof that Oliver Stone still does sex, drugs and violence better than overt politics, Savages is your ticket. That said, Stone's adaptation of a novel by Don Winslow often seems to lack the propulsive narrative drive of his Scarface screenplay.  In a movie like JFK, Stone realized he needed sharp editing to keep folks interested; anyone thinking this will be paced like a Quentin Tarantino film will be disappointed (despite the occasional nod in that direction). However, setting aside the expectations set by the marketing, this is Stone's best film in years.  He largely succeeds in the not-easy task of getting you to buy the romantic triangle of the three ostensible leads, even making a sharp observation on it later in the film. And I say ostensible leads because Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro and John Travolta get the diabolically fun roles that are the real reason to see the film.  I suspect the divided opinion on this movie has much to do with its ending, which is a crazy, but entirely reasonable twist if you have fully invested, or a terrible cheat if you have not.

TOM CRUISE & KATIE HOLMES have called a temporary truce while their lawyers try to negotiate a full divorce settlement.

ELLIE KEMPER (The Office) has finally swapped her bridesmaid dress for a wedding gown.

GEORGE CLOONEY & STACY KIEBLER got food poisoning in Italy.

JENNIFER LOPEZ is developing an drama for ABC Family about a lesbian couple who suddenly have their already child heavy household turned upside down when a wayward teenage girl moves in.

NATALIE WOOD's death certificate has been changed from “Accident” to “Undetermined.”

ERNEST BORGNINE, the beefy screen star known for blustery, often villainous roles, but who won the Best Actor Oscar for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in "Marty" in 1955, died Sunday. He was 95.

A CAT eats watermelon.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: 30 escape the zoo... 38 are recaptured.

THE SWARM: A honey producer near Grande Prairie, Alta., suspects another beekeeper may be responsible for the theft of millions of his bees.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A fish with genitals on his head.

2704 Reads

Prince, Beach House, Neil Young, 'Mats, Cutout Bin, Terrier + Guinea Pig   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 06, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with PRINCE!  A full-length, unauthorized UK documentary on the Mpls icon, his career, and influence is available to watch in full via the internets.

BEACH HOUSE stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

TWIN SHADOW is advance streaming Confess. (Click through for a link to the similarly 80s-synthy Chromatics LP.)

NEIL YOUNG stopped by World Cafe for a chat and some true Americana.

THE REPLACEMENTS' Final Show, July 4, 1991.

SPINNER produced its June mixtape for July.

IGGY POP & BETHANY COSENTINO recorded a song for the True Blood soundtrack called "Let's Boot And Rally."

WALTHAM: "Cheryl (Come and Take a Ride)" would've been a smash in the 80s.

PAUL HEATON (Housemartins, Beautiful South) is interviewed by Gareth Paisey (Los Campesinos!) at Drowned In Sound about Heaton's "soul opera," The 8th.

THE TOP 20 PUNK PROTEST SONGS, according to PopMatters.

10 GREAT VIDEOS WITH PUPPETS, courtesy of Paste.

THE BEST of 2012 (So Far), according to The Line of Best Fit, Part 1 and Part 2.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Jesus & Mary Chain to Jan & Dean, from the Beatles to Big Country, from  Brendan Benson to George Benson, plus Queen, Love & Rockets, James Brown, the Ramones and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to The Amazing Spider-Man, which is currently scoring 73 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's wide releases include Oliver Stone's Savages, scoring 51 percent; and Katy Perry: Part of Me, scoring 78 percent. (Updated.)

TOM CRUISE & KATIE HOLMES have cut off all contact with each other, and her people are making it difficult for Tom to have contact with his daughter.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY and his wife, Camila Alves, are expecting a thrid child.

CLAIRE DANES & HUGH DANCY are expecting their first child.

JOHNNY DEPP & VANESSA PARADIS reportedly were on the rocks for two years.

THE BLUES BROTHERS: Never-before-seen photographs.

THE 10 BEST TV SHOWS of 2012 (So Far), according to Paste.

THE 10 BEST YEARS for SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS, according to Paste.

THE DEJA VU of Indie Movie Love.

THE UNITED KINGDOM: Antiterrorism police arrested six people, including three brothers from Stratford, the site of the Olympic Games.

SYRIA: Opposition political groups meeting in Cairo agreed to a transition plan and to support the Free Syrian Army, but failed to form a unified representative body.

IRAQ has "solid information" that al Qaeda militants are crossing from Iraq into Syria to carry out attacks and has sent reinforcements to the border, the foreign minister said on Thursday.


LIL BUB will be a kitten forever for medical reasons.

CAT RESCUED FROM A TREE: It only took a week.

THE WORLD'S TINIEST FLY decapitates ants - then lives in their heads

3290 Reads

Dirty Projectors, Brendan Benson, Brandi Carlisle, 2-Legged Kitty   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JEFF the BROTHERHOOD's video for "Sixpack" may be NSFW.

DIRTY PROJECTORS are advance streaming Swing Lo Magellan via the NYT. David Longstreth talks to Pitchfork about writing personal songs and moving away from abstraction.

BRENDAN BENSON stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

BRANDI CARLISLE stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

DELTA SPIRIT stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

FANG ISLAND drops "Seek It Out" ahead of Major.

BO DONALDSON & THE HEYWOODS: "Billy, Don't Be a Hero," from the Summer of '74. Workin' the Elvis jumpuit look.

SMASHING PUMPKINS: Billy Corgan thinks the next Lennon or Cobain will come from "India, Africa or China."

MATTHEW DEAR explains how he put his latest album together at The Line of Best Fit. (Thx, LHB.)

THE TOP 20 ALBUMS We've Been Waiting For Forever.

A HISTORY OF ROCK 'N' ROLL in 100 Riffs.

SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD: A romantic indie dramedy using the apocalypse for its meet-cute was almost certainly doomed to have a problem finding itself. Even so, Keira Knightley and Steve Carell are pretty charming in this tale of the state of love in the state of nature.  The highlights here -- e.g., a scene in a roadside restaurant, Knightley talking about her record collection -- make up for the gloom generally hangining over the proceedings.  Not compelling, but ultimately touching.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN shattered the Tuesday box office record. But what happened to the stuff in the trailer?

TOM CRUISE tops the Forbes Highest-Paid Actors List.

KATIE HOLMES's decision to leave Tom Cruise may have seemed sudden, but it involved meticulous planning.  Holmes reportedly was desperate to save Suri from a form of interrogation practiced by the Church of Scientology.

JACK REACHER, in which Tom Cruise plays 6' 5", has a teaser trailer online.

EVA LONGORIA and... Jets QB Mark Sanchez?

KATE BECKINSALE prefers normal aging to plastic surgery.

THE BEST INDIE MOVIES of 2012 (So Far), according to IndieWire.

SYRIA: Assad expressed regret over shooting down a Turkish jet. Turkey scrambled fighter jets for a third day after Syrian helicopters flew near to the Turkey-Syrian border.

PAKISTAN reopens the NATO supply route after the US apologizes for losses suffered by the Pakistani military.

A TWO-LEGGED KITTEN plays with a ball and gets around fine.

AN ABANDONED BABY KANGAROO is being hand reared by keepers in Germany.

ZOMBIE WORMS use acid to eat the bones of seabed skeletons.

PET HOARDING: 30 Cats, 1 Jeep.

3171 Reads

Say Hello, It's Independence Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE BEACH BOYS!  Yep, 50 years going and time to "Do It Again."  Because folks my age will always remember their mammoth July 4th concerts at the Washington Monument -- as with this 1980 take o­n "Good Vibrations." 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," "Shut Down," "Surfer Girl" 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 Andy Williams Show serves up "Help Me, Rhonda," while 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.

MORE BEACH BOYS: Observations from The New Republic and George F. Will. But leave it to the New York Times to be the most political.

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

INDEPENDENCE DAY: Bruce Springsteen, circa 1978, before it came out on The River.

DAVE ALVIN: Hey, baby, it's the "4th of July."


THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER: From 2008, Hidden Track serves up 12 video versions. And the only ones not working now are Jimi Hendrix and Whitney Houston.

THE UNITED STATES prepares to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4, 1776. 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 2, 1776. 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 passage and public reading of the Declaration from the John Adams miniseries.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN? Not really. The Fun Spider-Man? Mostly. Reboots are even more a matter of art and commerce than the typical movie.  The best, like Batman Begins, elevate themselves over their predecessors.  Others serve larger artistic and commercial goals -- like the Ed Norton version of The Incredible Hulk, which sought to integrate the character into the Marvel Universe that would reach full fruition in The Avengers. (Indeed, the Hulk rebooted even more quickly than ol' Spidey here for that reason.)  In this case, it does not seem like there was much more rationale than to continue the franchise after the prior iteration exhausted itself creatively.  This being a full reboot, we revisit Spidey's origin; this version plays fast and loose with the canon, again for reasons of both art and commerce.  The old skooler in me enjoyed the introduction of the mechanical web-shooters and was less thrilled with some of the other liberties taken.  Indeed, I fear this script limits the series in ways the first trilogy did, even though it could have avoided the biggest of them.  All of that said, this version was not only entertaining, but also superior to Spider-Man 3 (perhaps not the highest bar to clear).  Although director Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer) might seem like an odd choice, he does well with young and engaging actors like Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, which is a key to its success.  Moreover, Webb does surprisingly well with the action sequences, which are generally well-planned and easy to follow, rather than the jumble of jump cuts you get from less thoughtful movies.  It's currently at 72 percent with a 6.8 rating on the ol Tomatometer, and that's about right, maybe a little low. 

STEVE DITKO, the co-creator of Spider-Man, has long been thought of as the J.D. Salinger of the comics world.

ANDY GRIFFITH, an actor whose folksy Southern manner charmed audiences for more than 50 years on Broadway, in movies, on records and especially on television - most notably as the small-town sheriff on the long-running situation comedy that bore his name - died on Tuesday at his home on Roanoke Island in North Carolina. He was 86. I just got "A Face in the Crowd" for my brithday, which still holds up; here's a Vanity Fair piece on the film.

TOM CRUISE & KATIE HOLMES: She gets vritually none of his fortune under the prenup, and that's fine with her.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Gibson threatened his own 78-year-old step-mom, spit in her face and sabotaged her marriage, according to legal docs.

ANN CURRY was ousted from Today by Matt Lauer?

JENA MALONE is in talks to play snide tribute Johanna Mason in The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire.

THE OLYMPICS: Officials deny reports of an al Qaeda threat.

FRANCE: Police arrested a 35-year-old Tunisian suspected of financing and recruiting for al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Fatah al Islam, and the Islamic State of Iraq.

IRAQ: Insurgents killed 36 Iraqis in bombings in Diwaniyah, Karbala, and Taji. Security forces captured a senior al Qaeda leader in Ramadi.

TWIGGY: Another Fourth of July tradition, the water-skiing squirrel. Great story. Compelling and rich.

A SOUTHERN FLYING SQUIRREL leaps 150 ft. through the night sky.

MOKELE-MBEME: Intrepid explorers hunt for the "African Loch Ness Monster."

THE WORLD'S UGLIEST DOG returns to British soil to promote his new documentary Mutt Ugly.

3273 Reads

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