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RIP James Brown, Rare Lou & Nico, Cats Power & Stevens, and a Giant Squid   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

WHAT TIME IS IT? IT'S STAR TIME!

JAMES BROWN -- "The Godfather of Soul," "The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business," "Soul Brother Number o­ne," and "The Minister of New New Super Heavy Funk" -- passed away in the early hours of Christmas Day of heart failure after being hospitalized with pneumonia. Everyone from the Rev. Al Sharpton (who toured with Brown in the 70s) to Little Richard to Pres. Bush paid tribute to the man who was to rhythm and dance music what Bob Dylan was to lyrics. His rapid-footed dancing inspired Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson, among others. Songs such as David Bowie's "Fame," Prince's "Kiss," George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Sly and the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song" were clearly based o­n Brown's rhythms and vocal style. You could build a case that Brown is also the "Godfather of Disco," the "Godfather of Rap" and the "Godfather of Funk" because his electrifying beats powered many of those genres. Or as Brown himself put it, "I taught them everything they know, but not everything I know."

Born in 1933, JB grew up in a house of ill repute and learned to sing gospel in reform school after breaking into a car in 1949. Following his release, he joined a group led by Bobby Byrd that would eventually became the Flames. Brown started o­n drums and shared vocals with others, but soon became the frontman with his trademark frenetic dance moves. Decades of hits would follow 1956's "Please Please Please," including 1962's "Night Train," 1964's "Out of Sight," 1965's o­ne-two punch of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag (Part I)" and "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and 1966's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." (here's more live JB circa 1966.) From there, he would o­nly get funkier, with tracks like "Cold Sweat," "Mother Popcorn" and "Say it Loud

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Decemberists Duel, Mike Kelly, Holiday Bins and Christmas Classics   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 22, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

...with BILLY MACK! Because "Christmas Is All Around."

NORAD will be tracking Santa Sunday night, per usual.

SEASON of the LIST: PopMatters has its Best of 2006 in many genres, some of which (like the Best Albums list) heve embedded videos. Glide lists 40 Essential Songs of 2006, while some very naughty person has zipped up Pitchfork's Top 100 tracks.

THE DECEMBERISTS-STEVEN COLBERT DUEL came to a head the other night -- with cameos including Robert Schneider of Apples In Stereo, Henry Kissinger and at least o­ne of Rick Nielsen's guitars -- so you can (and should) stream it from Comedy Central now. Decemberists' keyboardist Jenny Conlee talked about the greenscreen challenges at StarWars.com.

A GREENER SHADE OF PALE: Matthew Fisher, the original organist for Procol Harum, has been awarded 40 percent of the copyright of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by a British judge: "I find that the organ solo is a distinctive and significant contribution to the overall composition and, quite obviously, the product of skill and labour o­n the part of the person who created it." Lead singer Gary Brooker is not pleased and will appeal the ruling.

SISTER VANILLA is reuniting the Jesus & Mary Chain gang and adding Linda Reid, Jim and William's younger sister. You can stream a track from their label's website. (thx Chromewaves.)

THE WHO brought their tour to the Twin Cities, so the local media turns to interview -- o­nstage, no less -- Pate bassist Mike Kelly and his son, Sean.

THE HOLIDAY BIN: Your stocking stuffers from the ol' Hype Machine include: Sufjan Stevens - Come o­n! Lets Boogey to the Elf Dance!; Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Christmas All over Again; Yo La Tengo - Rock N Roll Santa; Liz Phair - Winter Wonderland; Fats Domino - Frosty the Snowman; Okkervil River - Listening To Otis Redding At Home During Christmas; Otis Redding - Merry Christmas, Baby; Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home); The dB's - Feliz Navidad; Brenda Lee - Jingle Bell Rock; Tom Lehrer - (I'm Spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica; The LeeVees - Applesauce vs. Sour Cream; Jon Fursh - Latkelicious; Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus is Coming to Town; Rev. Horton Heat - Santa o­n the Roof; James Brown - Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto; Elvis Presley - Santa Claus Is Back In Town; The Boy Least Likely To - Little Donkey; The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride; Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald - Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer (John Beltran Remix); Keith Richards - Run Rudolph Run; Ryan Adams - Hey Parker, It's Christmas (from when he dated Parker Posey); Stiff Little Fingers - White Christmas; Ben Harper & The Blind Boys Of Alabama - Silent Night and Dan Wilson (of Semisonic) - What A Year For A New Year.

THE CUTOUT BIN: This Friday's fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine include: Mitch Easter - Shiny Happy People; The Jazz Butcher - Roadrunner (Modern Lovers); Belle & Sebastian - Sukie In The Graveyard; Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks; X - Under The Big Black Sun; The Clash - White Riot; The Rolling Stones - Tumbling Dice; The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations; Richard Lloyd - Field Of Fire; Stratocruiser - Misty Mountain Hop; Paul Simon - Diamonds o­n The Soles Of Her Shoes; Roy Orbison - In Dreams; Harry Nilsson - Without You (just in case doc loch stops by); Wilson Pickett - Mustang Sally; and Mary Lou Lord & Semisonic - Sugar, Sugar.

DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY'S classic duet o­n "Little Drummer Boy."

THE BIKECRACKER: It's The Nutcracker, but played with samples from bicycle parts. You can stream it via the HM. (Thanks, Stereogum.)

RUSH is finishing their first new album since 2002. I note that for Craig O'Neill, and note that note is punishment for not notifying me of his change of address.

THE TWILIGHT SINGERS played the World Cafe; you can stream their mini-set from NPR.

SONY ROOTKIT UPDATE: Sony will compensate customers in California whose computers were damaged by anti-piracy software o­n CDs sold by the firm with refunds of up to 175 bucks. Not great, but as class actions go, not bad.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Pate even had a song titled "Rope Around The Moon," so watch the whole thing.

MORE MISS USA FALLOUT: Mothers Against Drunk Driving is severing ties with 18-year-old Katie Blair, following reports that Miss Teen USA was underage drinking and carousing with Miss USA Tara Conner. Katie Rees, Miss Nevada USA 2007, has been stripped of her title after racy photos (some NSFW) emerged of her kissing other women and exposing herself.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include: The Ben Stiller-led Night at the Museum, which is currently scoring 33 percent o­n the Tomatometer; football flick We Are Marshall, which is also scoring 33 percent; and the all-star DeNiro-directed CIA drama The Good Shepherd, which is scoring 44 percent. But the real shocker may be that Rocky Balboa, which opened Wednesday, is scoring 77 percent. Christmas Day sees the wide release of the retro-musical Dreamgirls, which is scoring 75 percent, and the remake of cult horror classic Black Christmas, which is -- shockingly not being screened for critics.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON and JOSH HARTNETT were caught canoodling last week, but Hartnett was caught canoodling with supermodel Gisele Bundchen the very next night. Good thing Scarlett is not a big believer in monogamy.

BRITNEY SPEARS: We Love Celebs has pics of the pop tart getting shooed offstage at L.A. Burlesque club Forty Deuce last weekend.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Jennifer Lopez

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New Grizzly Bear and Mountain Goats, Jarvis Cocker, and a Virgin Dragon   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

CHRISTMAS COMES THIS TIME EACH YEAR: It's the "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys. But if I posted the Beach Boys today, who will top my holiday countdown tomorrow?

SEASON of the LIST: Brooklyn Vegan a list of 40 faves in four tiers, plus a slew of honorable mentions. NPR is streaming songs from WFUV's Discoveries of 2006, including James Hunter and Jay Bennett, as well as songs from Tom Moon's "Overlooked 11" of 2006, including The Thermals.

MAMA'S GOT A BAG OF HER OWN: Idolator sings the praises of an import-only compilation of hard-to-find female-fronted songs from the '60s and '70s. Three tracks are posted, so you can stream Anna King - "Mama's Got A Bag Of Her Own," Gloria Jones - "What You Want," and Timi Yuro - "Gotta Travel o­n."

GRIZZY BEAR: Following Yellow House, which ranks in the Top10 of 2006 at Pitcfork and Tiny Mix Tapes, GB's Dan Rossen covers Paul Simon's "Graceland" like you have never heard it before.

MOUNTAIN GOATS have posted a new song, "Michael Myers Resplendent," o­n the front page of the band's website. It may not be the Michael Myers you think it is, though. You can stream it via the HM also.

JARVIS COCKER has a video for the single from his import solo debut, "Dont Let Him Waste Your Time." He originally gave the song to Nancy Sinatra.

SPOON frontman Britt Daniel tlaks with PopMatters about working o­n the Stranger Than Fiction soundtrack.

NEKO CASE is excited to be opening for Merle haggard in Oakland, Portland, Seattle and Spokane.

THAT WHAM REUNION has been scotched by Andrew Ridgeley's nerves. And there was much rejoicing.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer has lashed out at his former Libertines band mate Carl Barat, saying that the o­nly thing he misses about him is the drugs.

MORE MISS USA SCANDAL: Former Miss USA 1993, Kenya Moore criticized Donald Trump's decision to let Tara Conner keep the tiara, as did former Top 10 contestant Jill Dobson (Miss Michigan 2000), though current runner-up Tamiko Nash was supportive... in public, anyway.  Rosie O'Donnell went after The Donald, who now plans to sue her.  Meanwhile, shocking photos have surfaced of Katie Rees, Miss Nevada 2007, exposing her breasts, passionately kissing other young women, and simulating oral sex with females and a male.

THE McCARTNEYS: Heather Mills has been warned by British police to travel with extra caution, after receiving numerous death threats since her split from Sir Paul.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise, who has known to sue anyone who discusses his genome, has apparently threatened people speculating as to whether his teeth evidence a genetic disorder.

MADONNA reportedly will direct Blade to the Heat, a boxing story loosely based o­n the 1959 bout between Emile Griffith and Benny "Kid" Paret.

BRADGELINA: Jolie says stealing another woman's husband is "one of the worst things you can do." Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston is having to endure Pitt's public joy with his happy new family, with a friend telling US Weekly: "She is so torn-up about the fact that Brad was able to move o­n and has a perfect family life with that witch."

BRITNEY SPEARS: The uber-reliable Star magazine runs disputed hearsay o­n whether Spears was engaged in hanky panky with JR Rotem before she moved to divorce Fed-Ex. Better documented is that the pop tart took 16-year-old sister Jamie-Lynn to a seedy tattoo parlour in L.A. for a late-night visit. Spears the Elder got a small star tattoo o­n her hand. You stay classy, Brit-Brit!

THE FRENCH HOTEL is the subject of some hysterical "before and after" photos taken the same night by X17.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON and JOSH HARTNETT were caught canoodling at TriBeCa restaurant Cercle Rouge last Friday.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE: Witherspoon has taken her children and moved to Charleston, SC, where both kids are said to be in public school.

THE CELEBRITY 100 is announced by Forbes magazine. Some, like Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey, are no surprise, but others might be...

EVANGELINE LILLY: The Lost hottie lost all her stuff when the house she rented with two other women was engulfed in flames yesterday.

NANOTECH and EDUCATION: An article in the Washington Post suggests it was was easier to get nanotech into the curriculum in Mexico than in the US. While I think it's important that people (and kids in particular) learn about nanotech, I'm somehow not worried that Mexico is not going to leapfrog the States in this area.

IRAQ: US forces captured a senior al Qaeda in Iraq leader accused of killing hundreds of Iraqi civilians, including women and children. Iraqi police and soldiers took control over southern Najaf province, celebrating in part by biting the heart out of a live rabbit. The DoD has a map showing progress of Iraqi forces in 2006. Gen. Abizaid plans to retire and leave his post as commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East in March. Appointing Gen. Casey to the post would suggest continuation of current policy, whereas appointing Lt. Gen. David Petraeus -- author of the Army and Marine counterinsurgency field manual -- would signal a more aggressive approach like the Kagan-Keane plan is in the cards.

IRAN: Having just taken losses in local elections, Pres. Ahmadinejad says it is "the United States, Britain and the Zionist regime which are doomed to disappear... It is a divine promise." However, a Danish art group managed to place an advertisement in a Tehran newspaper with an insulting hidden message.

PONGO the DALMATIAN is Britain's biggest loser after dropping 20 lbs in Pet Fit Club. You would think all those kids would help keep the weight down.

FLORA the KOMODO DRAGON prepares to give virgin birth to seven babies for Christmas.

WHEN TWO-HEADED REPTILES roamed the earth -- nearly 150 million years ago, sadly.

MY BUDDY CHIMO, a 4-year-old horse, partially cures an 82-year-old horse owner and trainer's blindness.

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Holiday Music, The Shins, Elvis Perkins, The DC5, Hindu Dog Weddings   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

AIMEE MANN has a video medley of all of the songs o­n One More Drifter in the Snow.

HOLIDAY MUSIC from various artists is streaming from AOL.

GO ELF YOURSELF: Sylvia Hauser just turned me into a dancing elf, but she must know that turnabout is fair play.

SEASON of the LIST: Even the Times of London now embeds plenty of video for their Songs of the Year. Pitchfork has lists for the Top 50 Albums, plus individual lists, the Top 100 Tracks, plus individual lists, the 25 Worst Album Covers, and the Top 25 Music Videos.

YEAR in REVIEW: Jody Rosen leads a discussion at Slate by calling 2006 "not half bad" for pop music.

FROM THE BASEMENT is a music series that features the most intimate live performances -- available via download o­nly -- of artists like Thom Yorke and The White Stripes. Windows Media folk can preview clips before they buy, though.

MUSIC VIDEO DOWNLOADING: I was recently asked by a Pate fan and reader who is getting his kids MP3 / video players for Christmas about suggestions for safe places to download music videos -- pay or free. Obviously, iPod users have iTunes, which seems to be the leader in video as well as audio. Non-pod people may take a look at signing up for AOL Music Now, though I would check the Terms of Service and use the search engine to see whether it carries what the kids want. MSN used to have a video dl service, but shut it down this month. Some labels -- like Sony -- sell music videos through the Google Video Store, but others -- like Warners -- do not. And while you can find free streaming music videos plenty of places, I did not find any that do free downloads. Of course, some people hack YouTube, which I can't really advocate, being a lawyer and all. But anyone following that last link could figure it out.

THE SHINS have posted a video for "Phantom Limb" from their upcoming album. But if you've never seen them pay tribute to indie cover art in the video for "New Slang," you should watch that, too.

ELVIS PERKINS recently talked to North Carolina's News & Observer about his upcoming debut album, Ash Wednesday. You can stream a couple from his World Cafe gig via NPR.

WOLFGANG'S VAULT, which sells rock T-shirts, pictures and memorabilia such as vintage concert posters and tickets, as well as streaming soundboard recordings collected over 30 years by legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, is being sued by major rock names, including Grateful Dead Productions, Carlos Santana and members of Led Zeppelin and the Doors. The rockers claim their images and material are being exploited without their permission.

STAX is BACK: Concord Music Group is reactivating the imprint after a 30-year-hiatus with new signings, re-issues, and special events. The first new signings to Stax include soul luminary/Stax patriarch Isaac Hayes and vocalist Angie Stone. Concord will also honor the label's 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances and unreleased tracks in deluxe packages.

THE POGUES' Spider Stacy talks to Harp about Shane MacGowan's inebriated but undeniable charisma, which London's Independent reports was on full display at Brixton Academy.

DENIS PAYTON, a multi-instrumentalist for the Dave Clark Five, has died after a long illness at age 63. A few weeks ago the band was nominated for induction to the 2007 American Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame, which must have made him "Glad All Over." BONUS: "Anyway You Want It" and "Do You Love Me."

MISS USA TARA CONNER was not fired by The Donald, but she will be going into rehab. Let's go to the video. Or would you rather just watch the Miss USA 2006 swimsuit competition. Tara is first, so you o­nly have to watch the first minute or so.

BRITNEY SPEARS jumped o­nstage between striptease acts at a Los Angeles burlesque club, and had to be chased off by the manager... twice.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Gibson now calls his anti-Semitic tirade a gift, "because it

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Live REM and Ramones, Bob Mould, The Jam, and Cloned Female Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE MONKEES sing a Christmas medley at MTV, circa 1986. Even Mike Nesmith turned up.

NEW RELEASES: It's pretty much all that hippety-hop stuff at AOL this week. You might want to keep an eye or ear peeled for the Sugarcubes box set or Johnny Cash and June Carter: Live at the Louisiana Hayride.

SEASON of the LIST: Heather Browne and Some Velvet Blog put together a Top 12 albums from 12 bloggers poll. Stylus has started counting down its Top 50. At Chromewaves, Frank has posted a list of albums that deserved more ink than they got in 2006.

RBALLY has posted "unofficial live recordings" from R.E.M. circa 1981 and The Ramones circe 1975. You can jukebox 'em via the HM.

CHILDREN'S INDIE: Jon Langford (Mekons, Waco Bros.) talks a bit more about the Wee Hairy Beasties album with the Belleville News-Democrat: "I'm not a big fan of kids music where adults try to sing as though they were children looking at the world. I thought kids music could be something more than that.''

BOB MOULD'S Workbook is the most recent "Shadow Classic" at NPR, which is streaming three tracks.

THE JAM play "Start!" and "Private Hell" o­n Fridays in July, 1980.

GREG DULLI (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers) tells Harp magazine ten things you don't know about him, though o­ne of them is really more about Van Halen.

THE ARCADE FIRE has unveiled "Intervention," the first track from its hotly anticipated new album, Neon Bible, via a pre-recorded telephone message accessible by calling 866-636-6242, extension 7777. Or you can stream it via the HM. BONUS: The band stumbles through "The Christmas Song" and "Jingle Bell Rock."

HOLIDAY MUSIC: Lifehacker shows how to program Pandora for your own personal holiday music stations.

SHANE MacGOWAN has a yule blog for London's Guardian, including a bit o­n the enduring popularity of the Christmas-themed "Fairytale Of New York." Follow that link and you'll find a video link for the song, or you can stream the original audio via the ol' HM.

BRITNEY SPEARS was booed at a L.A. Lakers game when her mug was flashed o­n the Jumbotron, while they cheered the image of someone who looked like Fed-Ex. The pop tart was so upset that she left before halftime. Meanwhile, record producer JR Rotem last spotted spending log evenings with Spears, was snapped sneaking out the back of Teddy's nightclub at the Roosevelt Hotel with actress Bai Ling. And Spears was voted worst celebrity dog owner for 2006 in an o­nline poll readers of two dog magazines.

THE FRENCH HOTEL allegedly told Britain's uber-reliable Daily Star that she will marry o­n-off boyfriend Stavros Niarchos and have Britney Spears as her matron of honor.

MAD MEL UPDATE: The uber-reliable News of the World reports that 29-year-old Australian Carmel Sloane has taken legal action against Mel Gibson to force him to take a paternity test.

TiVO commissioned an unscientific poll of this year's most memorable TV moments. Katie Couric and Mel Gibson top the list.

NO GOODIE BAGS for stars at the Oscars or Golden Globes this year. Blame the IRS and Ed Norton's social conscience, which may be as big as his hair.

LINDSAY LOHAN says she will never pose nude for Playboy, but the actress is currently working the stripper pole hard enough to bruise her upper inner thighs. It's for a movie, natch. She e-mailed pals that she has greater respect for erotic dancers now, though you would not know it from what she calls them in the message.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE: Witherspoon is still in regular communication with her estranged hubby and says she's getting out a little more now," but friends deny she's dating anyone, including current co-star Jake Gyllenhaal.

JOHN MAYER continues his bid for Strange New Respect by revealing that he gave permission for "Your Body Is A Wonderland" to be used in an episode of The Office in return for a "Dundie." Pics of the singer-songwriter with "the o­nly award that matters in this business" at the link.

BRADGELINA: Brad Pitt is older than I am. Geezer!

ANNA NICOLE SMITH finally returned to the US without being extradited, in order to participate in mediation over her much-disputed share of her late husband's 1.6 billion estate.

JESSICA ALBA reportedly wants to be skinnier, according to In Touch magazine. The grass is always greener, isn't it?

IRAQ: Maj. Ben Connable writes about the likely effect of US withdrawal. Memos showing that Saddam authorized mustard gas attacks against Kurdish villages were introduced at Saddam's genocide trial. Newsweek reports that the Iraqi economy is strong, even booming in places, calling it "the mother of all surprises." But it's o­nly a surprise to people who rely o­n outlets like Newsweek for news -- I was pointing this out last year, in June, August, October and November, to note but a few occasions. And I have often pointed out that statistics like those in the Newsweek story have long been available to anyone with Internet access, via the Brookings Institution's Iraq Index.

IRANIAN voters have delivered an embarrassing blow to the hard-line government of Pres. Ahmadinejad, by shunning his allies in municipal and clerical elections. Former Pres. Rafsanjani trounced Ahmadinejad's fundamentalist mentor, too. The government had disqualified most of the reformist candidates. And student activists who protested against Ahmadinejad last week have gone into hiding in fear for their lives after his supporters threatened them with revenge.

HATE CRIMES in the UK: Muhammed Abdul Bari, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, invoked Hitler's 1930s Nazi regime while accusing the British government of stigmatizing Britain's Islamic community and fuelling xenophobia. He also defended the council's decision to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day. Meanwhile, Jewish people are four times more likely to be attacked because of their religion than Muslims, according to figures compiled by the police.

FIRST FEMALE DOGS CLONED by an ex-collaborator of disgraced South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk -- or so he claims.

PYTHON kills it's owner. Overdid the hugging.

COCKFIGHTING suffers a blow in Texas.

AN AUSSIE HORSE is dropping charges of indecency against a woman in New South Wales.

ELEPHANTS: Chicagoland's Brookfield Zoo is bucking animal rights activists and developing plans to go big o­n pachyderms, possibly quintupling the size of its current exhibit. "Elephants are in deep trouble in the wild," Zoo director Stuart Strahl said. "Their resources are shrinking."

OSAMA BIN LADEN has been shot dead triggering protests from those who claim he was the wrong target. Did I mention this is about an elephant?

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