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Rockin' New Year's Eve. Or something.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 31, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE BEAT FARMERS!  Because I was in the mood for an encore of this more sober than usual, professionally-shot, early BF gig recorded at Universal Studios, including "There She Goes Again" (VU); "Road to Ruin," "Bigger Fool," "Reason to Believe" (Springsteen), "Powderfinger" (N. Young), "Happy Boy," "Big Ugly Wheels," "Bigger Stones," "Gun Sale at the Church," "Dallas Blues," "I Wanna Be Free," "Lakeside Trailer Park," "Death Train," and "Seven Year Itch."  If you're new to the band, my picks would be "Bigger Stones," "Happy Boy" and the cover of your choice.  SUPER-SPECIAL BONUS:  Now how much would you pay?  But wait... there's more!  If you really want to see someone put the "bar" in "bar band," watch these NSFW clips from Houston, TX of the late Country Dick Montana leading the band through "Lucille" (K. Rogers) -- complete with his favorite beer bottle stunts -- followed by "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Wino," "Are You Drinkin' With Me, Jesus?" and "Mondo."

YEASAYER is offering a live album for download. Name your price, including free.

THE KLAXONS are offering the Landmarks of Lunacy EP for streaming and download.

THE TOP EPs of 2010, according to KCRW social media host Betsy Moyer, with streaming tracks from Dale Earnhart Jr. Jr., The Smiles, The Generationals, Sufjan Stevens and more...

THE ROXY MUSIC STORY: A BBC documentary presented by Jarvis Cocker. One day left to listen!

BELLE & SEBASTIAN: The webcast is over, but the band's Holiday Spectacular, with popular classics, fan favorites and a few festive surprises, remains available in audio.

MARK RONSON & BUSINESS INTL stopped by WNYC's Green Space for a mini-session.

JOE JACKSON: Pate frequently attempted "One More Time" to hilarious effect, so today I stick with Joe's early material, including "Sunday Papers" live on the OGWT, "Kinda Kute" on the Kenny Everett Video Show, a Beat Crazy-era run of "On Your Radio" the official clip for "It's Different For Girls" and a bracing live take on "I'm The Man." That last one is taken from the Rock Goes To College show, which also boasts this pulsing version of his signature "Is She Really Going Out With Him?"

SHARON VON ETTEN is interviewed by The Dumbing of America, so it's worth a backlink to her recent World Cafe session. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

BOB SEGER is celebrated at The Guardian, including a vintage video of one of my all-time favorite Seger tracks, "Rambklin' Gamblin' Man."

THE TURD in the CAVIAR: 24 songs that almost derail great albums.

IN MEMORIAM: NPR's accounting for Musicians We Lost in 2010.

THE CUTOUT BIN: From Guy Lombardo to AC / DC, from Otis & Carla to Ray Davies & Alex Chilton, from Guided by Voices to Roy Orbison, plus the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Members, Sylvia and more -- the final fortuitous finds of the year are now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NICK CAVE & SHANE MacGOWAN: "What a Wonderful World."

NOW SHOWING? There are no new wide releases this weekend.  The controversial Blue Valentine opens on a whopping four screens, which I'm guessing are in NYC and LA for awards purposes.  However, I do have a couple of capsule reviews of current releases...

THE FIGHTER: I was tempted to say "it's a boxing movie." It has many of the boxing tropes, but it's really more about family (and as such, not really a family film).  Accordingly, while Mark Wahlberg is the lead in the film, and capable enough as such, it's really Amy Adams, Melissa Leo and especially Christian Bale who fuel this film (as the girlfriend, mother and brother, respectively).  Wahlberg may take the punches, but it's Bale's scenes that are the most brutal, in no small part to the way in which he melts into his role, even at the physical level.

BLACK SWAN: The family behind the performer is here, though not the centerpiece. Here I give into the temptation to say "it's a backstage drama." Indeed, Black Swan pulls out the gimmick of having the backstage parallel the onstage to some degree.  And a movie which does that had better be good at it or be dismissed as formula.  In this case it is good, for the opposite reason as The Fighter.  Here, while Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey (plus Vincent Cassel and Wynona Ryder in lesser roles) are a capable supporting cast, Black Swan rises on the star turn of Natalie Portman, who makes her Nina Sayers far more compelling and sympathetic than she ought to be on paper.  I have seen this compared to Darren Aronofsky's last film, The Wrestler, because he originally had the characters in the same script -- and that's unfair.  Granted, both characters sacrifice themselves for their performances, but in terms of genre and tone, The Wrestler may be closer to The Fighter (which Aronofsky exec produced) than the psychodrama of Black Swan.

SHOWBIZ NEWS is truly dead, so we'll meet back here in the New Year! 

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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.

2423 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.

2504 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?

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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.

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