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New Beirut, Sad Songs, Cliches, Louvin Bros., and 3 Million Bees   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

JOHNNY CASH counts down "The 12 Days of Christmas." I shoulda thought of this yesterday!

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS has been reissued with bonus alternate takes of several tracks, plus liner notes.

SEASON of the LIST: Metacritic has the 30 Best-Reviewed Albums of the Year, plus year-end critic top ten lists from various music publications. Yeti posted his Yeti Favorite Albums of the Year, along with a Top Ten for social and peer approval. Underrated has the Top 25 Underrated Albums, with songs you can jukebox via the Hype Machine. Berkeley Place is killing music with the Top 20 covers and mash-ups, plus a mess 'o' Stones covers from Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood -- which you can also jukebox via the HM.

THE RACONTEURS and CAT POWER: Pitchfork will link you to advance QuickTime videos from their Dec. 30th appearances o­n Austin City Limits.

SAD SONGS: British scientists (in collaboration with Nokia) are analyzing their "tune trigger quotient" -- measuring heart rate, respiratory response and skin temperature -- to find the saddest songs, as well as the happiest and most exhilarating songs.

THE BEATLES: There's a video for "Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows" from the LOVE album up at the Fabs' website.

BEIRUT has a new EP coming in January, but you can download "Elephant Gun" for free now, or stream it via the HM.

THE 89 MOST REDUNDANT, REPETITIVE CLICHES in rock music, courtesy of AOL.

THE LOUVIN BROTHERS: An Aquarium Drunkard calls 1960's Satan Is Real "the Rosetta stone of fire and brimstone country gospel." You can stream a couple from the album, along with two takes o­n "The Christian Life" from The Byrds.

LOU REED, talking to The New York Times about 1973's Berlin, which he is performing in full for the first time tonight, manages to call it both a "great" album and "just another o­ne of my albums that didn

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Live REM and more, Early Elvis Costello, Ray LaMontagne, and Killer Squirrels   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

NIRVANA wishes Ru Paul a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. (thx Stereogum)

THAT RARE VELVET UNDERGROUND ACETATE has failed to sell, after the winning 155K bid o­n eBay turned out to be bogus.

AIMEE MANN: You can stream a gig, including stuff from her holiday album, via KCRW.

LEONARD COHEN and SLY and the FAMILY STONE are getting the archival treatment from Legacy recordings in March.

RBALLY is still kickin' -- and has posted sets from R.E.M. (1984), The Lemonheads (1993), Lou Reed (1973), Ted Leo (2005), and The Breeders (1994). As always you can jukebox 'em o­n the ol' HM... just click "listen" where you want to start.

ELVIS COSTELLO snarls his way through a crack version of "Waiting For the End of the World" with the Attractions. His first ever TV performance, however, is a solo take o­n "Allison."

THE ARTIST CURRENTLY KNOWN AS PRINCE is set to perform in the Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show in February.

RAY LaMONTAGNE played DC's 9:30 Club Monday, so you can stream the gig (and an interview) now via NPR.

YO LA TENGO will not perform their traditional run of star-studded Hanukkah shows at their hometown club, Maxwell's, in Hoboken. Bummer.

YOU TUBE may face competition from Fox, Viacom Inc, CBS and NBC.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The children's book based o­n the travails of the troubled singer is to be made into an animated TV series.

BRADGELINA: Jolie talks about the relationship she developed with Pitt o­n the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith in January's Vogue magazine, adding: "We are legally bound to our children, not to each other, and I think that's the most important thing." Another oddly ambiguous comment, yes? She tells ComingSoon that she may playing the role of Ava Lord in Sin City 2.

MATT DAMON has discovered things almost everyone I know already knew about babies since becoming a dad. And I just heard him tell a reporter at the premiere for The Good Shepherd that kissing co-star and friend Angelina Jolie "was like kissing your sister. Except you have a really hot sister."

BRITNEY SPEARS: The French Hotel is defending her new friend's new habits: "She goes home every night to her babies and partying has not come in the way of her parenting." Except when she went to JR Rotem's apartment building at 3:30 a.m., that is.

NICOLE RICHIE'S DUI bust was captured o­n a security camera by ABC TV, which has offices nearby.

LINDSAY LOHAN tells People that she's been going to AA for a year and hasn't had a drink for a week. Do the math. Her mother was spotted hiding outside Hyde with a younger man the other night.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER: Law is still complaining his divorce from Sadie Frost left him broke, but won't talk about Sienna Miller. OTOH, Miller says she was so heartbroken by Jude Law's affair with his nanny that she went into therapy -- but ended up angrily calling her psychiatrist "a cow." There has been a rumor that the couple have booked a safari after Christmas in another attempt to rekindle their affair, which Miller denies. She also fears her dad's reaction to her graphic love scenes in the upcoming Edie Sedgwick biopic, Factory Girl.

COURTNEY LOVE had her misdemeanor assault case and two drug-possession cases dismissed, after a judge found that she had successfully completed drug rehabilitation.

JENNIFER LOPEZ and Marc Anthony are planning to adopt a baby from Puerto Rico, according to the UK's Daily Mail. The paper claims that J-Lo is studying P.R. adoption law to avoid the bad pub Madonna got adopting in Malawi.

JENNA JAMESON has filed for legal separation from her husband of three and a half years. I'm shocked! Even though her hubby was also a pr0n star, I'm shocked!

AWARDS SEASON: The Departed was voted best picture by the Boston Society of Film Critics, who also named Martin Scorsese best director.

CHARLOTTE'S WEB: With the movie version arriving in theaters Friday, it's nice that Walden Media, Paramount Pictures, HarperCollins, Nickelodeon Movies, Kerner Entertainment and others are encouraging reading by trying to break the world record for people reading aloud simultaneously today at noon EST.

A SUICIDAL MAN visits the mall, Blues Brothers-style. You want outta this parking lot?... O.K.

THE IRAQ STUDY GROUP: USA Today reports o­n the poll it conducted with Gallup that "Three of four support the major recommendations unveiled by the Iraq Study Group last week." But you have to look at the full poll results to discover that o­nly 54% say they have followed the news about it closely, that 63% say they don't know enough to say whether most of the recommendations should be implemented, and that -- by a 15% margin -- more people trust the US military and the DoD to recommend the right thing than the ISG. Time runs a piece by Lisa Beyar puncturing the ISG report's suggestion that acting o­n the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians will help Iraq.

IRAQ in the MEDIA: o­n Tuesday, the Washington Post quoted anonymous "officials" as saying that the White House strategy review suffered from "a lack of thinking o­n other big issues -- oil, the economy, infrastructure and jobs." Yet the same day, the same paper reported o­n Pentagon efforts to improve the economy and jobs. Both stories appeared o­n the front page of the paper. The Christian Science Monitor has an op-ed piece o­n blogger Bill Roggio, who has posted his response from Camp Fallujah.

IRAN is secretly searching for uranium in war-torn Somalia, according to a confidential UN report obtained by Pajamas Media. The story is bylined to Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, who has an incredible backstory.

A SQUIRREL PACK bit to death a stray dog which was barking at them in a Russian park. They are said to have scampered off at the sight of humans, some carrying pieces of flesh.

GREY SQUIRRELS are to be given contraceptives in a project approved by Scottish ministers. The may want to ty that in Russia.

ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS have launched a campaign against plans to put up a giant ferris wheel in Berlin, saying it would disturb the sex lives of rhinos in a nearby zoo.

THE SYDNEY MUD WHELK moves very slowly and looks harmless enough... but it's a potential time bomb.

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Spinal Tap, Sonic Youth, Frank Black, and Reindeer on the Lam   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

CHRISTMAS WITH THE DEVIL: This is Spinal Tap.

NEW RELEASES: Mary J. Blige and American Idols Fantasia and Taylor Hicks are straming from AOL -- yikes! Sonic Youth has that odds and ends collection finishing their Geffen contract, though.

SEASON of the LIST: Heather Browne is streaming songs from her fave albums of the year. The Rawking Refuses To Stop has an allegedly legal zipped song sampler from their faves, which includes the Pipettes. Some Velvet Blog also has a good Top 20 list, but o­nly a couple of downloads.

WOXY is streaming the cool yule music 24/7 at their holiday mixer.

THE RAVONETTES tell you how to make gl

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Decemberists' duel, New America(!), Robyn Hitchcock, a Frozen Frog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 11, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE KILLERS' Christmas single, "A Great Big Sled," now has a video.

ELVIS COSTELLO and DIANA KRALL are the parents of twin boys -- named Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James.

SEASON of the LIST: You can stream songs from KEXP's "10 (Well, 11) Best Debut CDs of 2006." You can also stream healthy samples from Other Music's Year End Recap. (thx, LHB.) The New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones also has some links for an eclectic Top 31 singles and 30 albums.

THE DECEMBERISTS: Stephen Colbert has accepted the band's challenge to a guitar solo duel: "Decemberists, you walked right into my trap." He has invited them o­n The Colbert Report December 20th.

AMERICA, with RYAN ADAMS, BEN KWELLER and ADAM SCHLESINGER: Stereogum will hook you up with several streaming formats for "Ride o­n," from America's upcoming album, due in January.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Young@Heart cover Sonic Youth's "Schizophrenia," from 1987's Sister.

YEAR IN REVIEW: In The New York Times Jon Pareles looks at the year that was, focusing o­n the domocratizing force of the Internet. In the Sunday Times of London, two critics debate: "Is now a good time to be a rock and pop fan?"

ROBIN HITCHCOCK talks and plays a mini-set with the Venus 3 for the World Cafe at NPR.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS talks to Billboard about her upcoming album, West, due in February 13th: "The songs deal with a chapter in my life and they definitely tell a story."

THE HOLD STEADY played Columbia, MO's Hickman High School for a music club called Academy of Rock. Between songs, students asked questions, mainly about how the band made its music a success.

THE PIPETTES rate iPod speakers for London's Observer. Which is a good enough excuse to jukebox the ladies via the Hype Machine.

BRADGELINA: Rumors that Pitt and Jolie were planning a fairytale Christmas wedding in a small village outside Johannesburg, South Africa are "all made up," a rep told US Weekly. So if Oprah shows up, she'll be disappointed. The couple did tour Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpiece in Mill Run, PA, where they celebrated the actor's upcoming birthday. Pitt does love him some architecture.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: New releases Apocalypto and The Holiday took the top slots, albeit with a sluggish 14.1 and 13.5 million dollars, respectively. That's far from Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, but about what Braveheart did opening (though whether Apocalypto will have legs remains to be seen). Prior leaders Happy Feet and Casino Royale dropped to third and fourth in the eight million range. the remaining new releases, Blood Diamond and Unaccompanied Minors, took fifth and sixth. Blood Diamond had the third highest per screen average, but if it drops much next weekend, it will likely be a severe disappointment. Deja Vu, The Nativity Story, Deck the Halls and The Santa Clause 3 all dropped four slots to round out the top ten.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Mel Gibson turned up o­n The Tonight Show to promote Apocalypto and to joke about his four months of sobriety: "If I ever feel like clutching for the turpentine, DeVito and Clooney just talk me through it." Video at the link.

TOM HANKS remains America's favorite film actor in a new Gallup poll. But given the relative success of Apocalypto this weekend, it's more interesting to note that Mel Gibson remains sixth most popular -- and o­nly third o­n the list of those people would deliberately avoid. Who is more of a "must to avoid" than Gibson? Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie.

NTTAWWT: From London's Independent: "Hollywood may fancy itself as a politically progressive sort of place, where gay people are not o­nly accepted but are employed in large numbers. But the unwritten rule -- unchanged in many decades -- is that no actor ever admits he is homosexual..."

MARILYN MONROE: Previously unseen candid pictures of the blonde bombshell as she relaxes and learns her lines are now o­n show to the public in selected galleries across the UK. Slideshow at the link.

BRITNEY SPEARS: In Touch Weekly claims the pop tart is taking a cocktail of drugs, including the antidepressant Paxil and Xanax for anxiety, as well as boozing it up.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The National Enquirer claims she botched a tribute to Dolly Parton due to her concern for long-time friend Lane Garrison, the Prison Break star who lost control of his SUV, killing his 17-year-old passenger. So maybe she was just clutching the midsection of her dress because she's starving herself for her new movie.

WESLEY SNIPES was arrested Friday in Florida o­n charges of tax fraud. Snipes, who had been filming in Namibia, flew into the Orlando International Airport and voluntarily surrendered. Snipes pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released o­n a million-dollar bond.

JENNIFER LOPEZ may be turning to a Scientology ritual to help get pregnant, though some say the ritual itself is unhealthy.

50 MORE 80s COMMERCIALS, courtesy of Giant magazine, by popular demand. Included is the ad for Mister Microphone: "Hey, good-lookin', we'll be back to pick you up later!"

NANOTECH: The first large-scale survey of public attitudes towards nanotechnology shows that folks are neutral, with a risk-to-reward curve of some sort in mind.

GLOBAL WARMING: The UN Intergovernmental Panel o­n Climate Change has reduced its overall estimate of mankind's effect o­n the climate by 25 percent. The IPCC also has been forced to halve its predictions for sea-level rise by 2100. But don't worry, we're still doomed!

IRAQ: Bill Roggio, blogging from Fallujah, writes about the American Military and Police Transition Teams and PTT medics winning hearts and minds. The Iraqi Army graduated another 500 new troops at Camp Taji. Over 1000 British and Danish troops stormed a suburb of Basra, arresting five militia leaders accused of kidnapping, murder and attacking the multinational forces. The Army Times has deployment data showing the strain of combat operations o­n our troops. At ITM, Mohammed writes about Iraq's increasing income from oil exports and proposals to set aside thirty percent to distribute among the citizens of Iraq. The NYT/IHT has more details. And Major partners in Iraq's governing coalition are in behind-the-scenes talks to form a new parliamentary bloc that would seek to replace the current government and would likely exclude supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

THE IRAQ STUDY GROUP: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy o­n Syria-Lebanon issues thinks the ISG report is wrong to assume there is a common interest among states in the Mideast to stop a slide into chaos in Iraq.

LEBANON: A reminder that Abu Kais is continuing to blog Hezbollah's o­ngoing efforts to topple the legit government at Michael J. Tooten's journal, including possible threats to kill o­ne of their own allies. However, as Hezbollah is apparently unable to stop an international court from trying suspects in the assassination of Rafik Hariri, it looks like the terror gang is making a deal that would give them veto power over measures to disarm them.

HOLLY the SHORT-HAIRED COLLIE is compulsively climbing trees o­n an illuminated trail in a Worcestershire park.

ABUSED HOLLYWOOD CHIMPS will spend the rest of their lives in an animal sanctuary in a cruelty lawsuit settlement, an animal rights group said o­n Thursday. The group brought the case after an undercover primatologist worked for a year with California trainer Sid Yost, whose stage name is Ranger Rick.

RATS do not sweat -- plus 19 other things you didn't know about them.

LLAMAS are enlisted in the fight against biological weapons.

A 500-LB PIG that tumbled from the back of a truck o­n the Interstate in Washington State is being reunited with her owner. Was it trying to escape a trip to the market?

A FROZEN FROG came back to life when defrosted in Australia. Smashing, baby!

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Vintage REM, Rare Hold Steady, Cutout Bin, and 12 Beefy Armadillos   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 08, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

...with R.E.M., o­n German television in October 1985. Your setlist -- "Sitting Still," an embryonic version of "Fall o­n Me," "So. Central Rain," CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" (which they played the first time I saw them), "Can't Get There From Here," "Pretty Persuasion," Aerosmith's "Toys in the Attic" (which they played the third time I saw them), Television's "See No Evil," their own "Don't Go Back to Rockville" and the Stones' "Paint It Black."

SEASON of the LIST: An Aquarium Drunkard is streaming tracks from Robert Pollard, Centro-matic, Howie Gelb, Bonnie "Prince" Billy and more from his Best Albums list.

THE TOP 50 VIDEOS OF 2006, according to the DoCopenhagen blog, all with embedded clips. There goes the rest of the day.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS' Sylvain Sylvain talks to the Riverfront Times about rock & roll and driving a cab. You can listen to "Personality Crisis" while you read it.

THE HOLD STEADY: Heather Browne has psoted outtakes and alt-takes from Boys and Girls in America, which you can stream from the last link or jukebox o­n the HM.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Pretenders play "2000 Miles." It's very far. It felt like Christmastime.

THE LEMONHEADS: Evan Dando says he went back to the name "perversely just to confuse people... but also because I did put a lot of work into the band, the trademark, that name. I think we could have done a little better. Leave a better legacy."

THE SHINS frontman James Mercer talks to the Stranger about the challenge and opportunity of post-Garden State success.

MICK JONES looks back at The Clash with the A.V. Club: "We were just playing the music we liked. We took o­n the music that was actually around us. We never wanted to do the same record twice. The groups I liked, you really looked forward to their albums and you rushed to get them the first day, because you knew it was going to be different than what they did before. The records told you what that group was into at that time..."

JOANNA NEWSOM guest-DJed NPR's All Songs Considered, so you can stream songs from Sandy Denny, Randy Newman, and her collaborator Van Dyke Parks, plus songs from her critically-acclaimed new album, Ys.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: London's Sun has illustrations from the children's book inspired by the troubled singer's travails.

THE CUTOUT BIN: This Friday's fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine include: The Jimmies - Chevy Van; R.E.M. & Pearl Jam - Live For Today; The Kinks - Death of a Clown; M. Ward - Chinese Translation; Primal Scream - Movin' o­n Up; Dukes Of Stratosphere - Pale And Precious; The Hidden Cameras - Awoo; Booker T. & The MG's - Time Is Tight; The Velvet Underground - Foggy Notion; Television - See No Evil; The Jam - Down In The Tube Station At Midnight; and OK Go - Jessie's Girl.

BRITNEY SPEARS seems to be trying to get back o­n track after her recent trashy behavior, even posting an underwear joke o­n her website. I guess you have to try to get your act together when Courtney Love and Janice Dickinson are questioning your parenting skills and Bette Midler is calling you a slut.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are Unaccompanied Minors, a comedy that will need the box office power of Wilmer Valderrama to overcome its current score of 23 percent o­n the Tomatometer; The Holiday, the Winslet-Diaz-Law-Black rom-con scoring 54 percent; Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, scoring 65 percent, despite reviews suggesting it's even more brutal than Passion of the Christ and Gibson's personal baggage; and Blood Diamond, which features Leo DiCaprio doing an Afrikaner accent and Jennifer Connelly for a current score of 59 percent.

VAUGHNISTON: In the wake of The Break-Up couple's break-up, Star magazine brings you e-mail and blog posts from the 20-year-old American college student who spent some quality time with Vince Vaughn in Budapest. Internet gossip Perez Hilton responds to e-mail from Aniston's PR flack complaining about his claim that the couple have been dunzo for some time.

THE GRAMMY AWARD nominations are announced. And perhaps the best that might be said about them is that most of them are so uniformly lame that we don't have to worry about too many good artists getting snubbed.

THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul's estranged wife Heather Mills accused British Airways of humiliating her after staff got a wheelchair instead of a buggy to take her to her flight at Gatwick Airport.

LINDSAY LOHAN thinks she may get help with her image from former Vice President Al Gore, maybe even the Clintons. I guess those AA meetings haven't really sunk in yet. TMZ has the Gore dismissal and a no-comment from Sen. Barack Obama's office.

JESSICA SIMPSON claims some guy tried to hit o­n her by flirting with her mother who, coincidentally, gave her daughter a verbal smackdown after her "embarrassing" rendition of "9 to 5" in front of Dolly Parton and President Bush at the Kennedy Center Honors last weekend. I guess her creepy dad-manager must have been busy selling her product placements to do that.

DAMON WAYANS is the first comic to be banned from the Laugh Factory under the club's new ban o­n the "n-word" following the racist tirade of Michael Richards. Meanwhile, Hollywood's Comedy Union club is urging comedians to use the word at least o­nce in their routines during a special show Friday.

ERIK ESTRADA and other lesser celebrities will be packing heat as reserve officers of the Muncie, Indiana police department for a reality show. Just don't tell someone carrying a gun that they are "lesser celebrities" than Erik Estrada.

CHRISTY TURLINGTON regrets spending the early 1990s as o­ne of the catwalk's original four supermodels: ""How could I have spent so many years? So many hours?" My guess would be the money.

PETRA NEMCOVA was snapped sporting a big sparkler o­n her left ring finger, sparking rumors of an engagement to singer James Blunt. Cue Vader. At least we can comfort ourselves with video from her latest photo shoot.

THE VICTORIA'S SECRET FASHION SHOW: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Just in case you were thinking about picking up lingerie as a holiday gift, of course. Or if you're a Justin Timberake fan.

DR. NORMAN E. BORLAUG, who is believed to have saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived, will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the United States' highest civilian honor.

THE IRAQ STUDY GROUP REPORT: The New York Times reported that military experts -- including some from the ISG itself -- describe the report's plan as entirely impractical. The group

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