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New Releases, Arcade Fire, Low Anthem, Alela Diane, Chinchillas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ARCADE FIRE & CYNDI LAUPER joined together on "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and Arcade Fire's "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)", just in time for Twofer Tuesday.

NEW RELEASES from Fleet Foxes, Raphael Saadiq, Manchester Orchestra, Okkervil River, Cars, Booker T, Felice Bros, Man Man, Sloan, Le Butcherettes and many more are streaming this week via Spinner.

THE LOW ANTHEM stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

ALELA DIANE stopped by Oregon Public Broadcasting for a chat and mini-set in audio and video.

OMD: Live on KEXP at SXSW.

JOHN WALKER, one of the founders of the Walker Brothers, has died at the age of 67, after a six-month battle with liver cancer. So it makes sense to make "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" and "Make It Easy On Yourself" for Twofer Tuesday.

FLEET FOXES: Robin Pecknond talks to Pitchfork about the Pacific Northwest, the selfishness of art, and why authenticity still matters to music fans. You can seen them Live From Stubb's in Austin, TX, tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET.

CASS McCOMBS sent snail mail for an L.A. Times profile of the singer-songwriter.

PETER HOOK's EP of Joy Division re-recordings has been delayed "due to legal issiues."

MICHAEL STIPE became so ill as he battled bulimia, he thought he was suffering from AIDS.

LINDSAY LOHAN poses as a vampire in a new art exhibit in L.A. At least I think it's a pose.

WHITNEY HOUSTON checked herself in to an out-patient rehabilitation program, but insists it's not for drugs or alcohol. Her own rep disagrees. Awkward!

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER & MARIA SHRIVER have separated, with Shriver moving out of their Brentwood mansion while the two determine the next step in their 25-year marriage.

JUSTIN BIEBER was a "brat" on the set of CSI, according to star Marg Helgenberger, Bieber thinks the comments were lame.

SIMON COWELL might have competition for the title of "meanest judge" on The X Factor in music industry veteran and table-mate Antonio "L.A." Reid. (I generally have not watched American idol, but what I see on Twitter suggests people want miss Simon and want more mean.)

RACHEL McADAMS is wearing a ring, but sources close to the actress and boyfriend Michael Sheen deny an engagement.

ALICIA SILVERSTONE gave birth to a boy over the weekend.

KELLY BROOK has been left ‘devastated' after losing the baby girl she was expecting with her boyfriend Thom Evans.

BAHRAIN's king ordered an end to the emergency rule imposed in mid-March to quell a wave of anti-government protests as leading opposition figures went on trial Sunday for plotting against the Gulf state's monarchy.

LIBYA: NATO strike aircraft bombed military weapons depots in the town of Zintan.

IRAN:  Apparently bowing to unprecedented pressure from Iran's clerical establishment, Ahmadinejad welcomed an intelligence minister he had ousted in April back into his cabinet meeting on Sunday.  NPR starts a series on the US sabotage campaign against the theocracy.

PAKISTAN: Last week's US raid into Pakistan is fueling one of the country's most enduring-and potentially dangerous-conspiracy theories: that the US has designs on Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and is prepared to send highly trained commandos into the country to seize control of the weapons.


...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A pig with two snouts. And a big appetite.

A THREE-LEGGED DOG survives a tornado in Barton County, GA.

WHEN HOUSECATS ATTACK... a Cleveland man is airlifted to the hospital.

THE BIRDS: Michael Doherty was walking by a Tufts University classroom building on Dearborn Road in Somerville when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he was attacked.

4034 Reads

The Cars, Rome, Why?, Robbie Robertson, Cats of War   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 09, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


J MASCIS drops a video for "Is It Done" from Several Shades of Why.

THE CARS are advance streaming Move Like This.

ROME: Danger Mouse and Italian composer Daniele Luppi assemble many of the surviving performers of classic '60s and '70s Ennio Morricone scores - and, in half a dozen memorable cases, pairs them up with the vocals of Norah Jones or The White Stripes' Jack White.  The album is advance streaming via NPR.

WHY? did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

ROBBIE ROBERTSON (The Band) stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

JOLIE HOLLAND dropped "Gold and Yellow" in advance of Pint of Blood.

THE WHO: "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere," live in '65.

ROBERT JOHNSON, the most influential blues player of all time, would have turned 100 yesterday.  He was profiled by Weekend Edition and PopMatters.

GLASVEGAS talks to NME the making of 'Euphoric Heartbreak', and how crippling shyness, learning to talk to girls, sleep deprivation and whiskey all played a part in the LP's inception.

THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART's Kip Berman theorizes about alt-rock at amNY. (Thx, LHB.)

SMASHING PUMPKINS will never reunite in its classic lineup, according to Billy Corgan.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Thor rules the cineplex with 66 million dollars, about 10 percent above the tracking predictions.  And the God of Thunder has already pulled in almost twice as much as that overseas, meaning the risk of spending 150 million on a lesser-known character will pay off big for Marvel and Paramount.  Fast Five placed with 32.5 million, a 62 percent drop that is steep, but typical of the franchise.  Fast Five is also raking it in overseas.  Jumping the Broom shows with 13.7 million against a 7 million budget, surprisingly beating the debut of Something Borrowed, which took in 13.1 million against a 35 million budget.  Rio rounds out the Top Five (despite losing lucrative 3-D screens to Thor) with 8.2 million.  Rio's 45 percent drop is fairly big, but the birds have brought home 114 million US and 265 million overseas against a 90 million budget.

THOR REDUX:  In Friday's review, I wrote that I wasn't sure Kenneth Branagh needed to direct because Thor isn't Shakespeare.  However, Branagh makes the case that there are some similarities at the end of this io9 piece. Skim to the end to avoid mild spoilers.

LINDSAY LOHAN does a racy photoshoot and denies John Travolta is recruiting her into Scientology.

CHARLIE SHEEN: Kelly Preston now backs his account of the infamous 1990 shooting incident.

PAUL McCARTNEY and his girlfriend of four years, Nancy Shevell, are engaged to be married.

PAULA ABDUL rejoins SIMON COWELL on The X Factor, along with previously announced judges Cheryl Cole and Antonio "L.A." Reid. Nicole Scherzinger  and Steve Jones will host.

TARA REID partied so hard her tooth fell out? Too funny to check.

WILL SMITH has emerged as the frontrunner to star in Quentin Tarantino's next film, Django Unchained, a spaghetti Western about a slave in the Old South who teams with a German bounty hunter to search for his wife.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS has a new trailer out, featuring Havok.

LIBYA: Pro-Gaddafi forces bombed four fuel storage containers in the port of rebel-held Misrata, destroying the city's fuel supply.

SYRIA: Government tanks and troops entered the city of Baniyas, penetrating Sunni enclaves; protesters formed human chains.

EGYPT: Twelve people were killed after more than 500 Salafists gathered outside a Christian church in a Cairo suburb to demand that a woman rumored to have converted to Islam be released. Egypt's ruling military council has lifted the entry ban against the nephew of Anwar Sadat's assassin and nearly 2000 others, many of them Islamists who went to Afghanistan in the 1980s.  More than 2000 secular political activists met to try to create a unified movement to press for deeper democratic reforms.

IRAQ: Eighteen people, including al Qaeda's governor for Baghdad and seven security officers, were killed during a failed jailbreak. Security forces in Mosul killed the governor of Ninewa for al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq.

PAKISTAN: The CIA may have focused its war on al Qaeda in Pakistan's tribal badlands but Osama bin Laden's killing exposes the limits of drone strikes and the need to broaden intelligence in cities. A senior official in Pakistan's civilian government told ABC News, "Elements of Pakistan intelligence -- probably rogue or retired -- were involved in aiding, abetting and sheltering the leader of al Qaeda."

A DOG really wants to fetch, but the statue won't play ball.

ALLIGATORS: Chicks dig 'em. Or possibly not.

A BOA CONSTRICTOR that interrupted a memorial service in Dauphin County, PA, last week has found a temporary home at the Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary in Manheim.

CHIMPS have at least 66 distinct gestures they use to talk to each other.

THE CATS OF WAR: Slate goofs on the "Dogs of War" stories linked here last week. (Thx, Lance.)

2994 Reads

Ben Folds, Booker T, Vaccines, Cutout Bin, Thor, Foxes   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 06, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with BEN FOLDS! The Ben Folds Five, to be exact, at a gig not to be named to keep the intellectual property cops off scent. Your selections include "Missing the War", "Kate", "Battle of Who Could Care Less", "The Last Polka", "Selfless, Cold and Composed", "Brick", "Smoke", "Philosophy", "Emaline", "Theme from 'Dr. Pyser'", "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces", "Underground", the Flaming Lips' "She Don't Use Jelly" and "Song for the Dumped".

BOOKER T. JONES is advance streaming The Road From Memphis.

RAPHAEL SAADIQ did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

THE VACCINES did three free songs for Daytrotter at SXSW.

THE BASEBALL PROJECT: Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, Linda Pitmon and Peter Buck visited Oregon Public Broadcasting for a chat and mini-set in audio and video.

BLACK KEYS drop "Dearest," their contribution to the upcoming Buddy Holly tribute LP.

RUPERT HOLMES: "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)."  Mostly because my mind goes there every time one of these stories pops up. Plus, an arguable Cinco de Mayo hangover.

COLOR ME OBSESSED: The Mpls. City Pages profiles the making of the new Replacements documentary.

PANDA BEAR is interviewed by actor Oliver Platt for New York magazine.

R.E.M. will reissue Lifes Rich Pageant as two-disc set, the second being demos.

THE FELICE BROS: Ian Felice talks to the Capital Times about the recording of the band's adventurous new album, Celebration, Florida. (Thx, LHB.)

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS: Mick Harvey talks to Spinner about his departure from the band.

CUTOUT BIN: From Big Star to John Lee Hooker, from Harry Nilsson to the Beastie Boys, from Marc Cohn to the Ramones, from Husker Du to the Zombies, plus Girls, the Cramps, the Replacements, Joe Jackson and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are the Marvel epic Thor, which is currently scoring 83 percent on the ol Tomatometer; the rom-com Something Borrowed, currently scoring 14 percent; and the also martial Jumping the Broom, scoring 43 percent.

THOR works about as well as it could have and better than I expected when Marvel Studios announced the project.  Imho, Thor always seemed a bit out of place in the Marvel Universe.  After all, the Marvel formula was to give relatable, flawed people like Peter Parker or Tony Stark super-abilities through some sort of science.  In contrast, Thor was the Norse God of Thunder with mythic power and a personality that seemed separate from his human alter ego, Dr. Don Blake.  The movie addresses the first problem with a dash of Arthur C. Clarke and the second by (almost) dispensing with Blake and making the Thor persona more explicitly flawed (which actually serves the original idea of the comic better).  Although Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins (and even Kat Dennings) are the "names" in this film, Chris Hemsworth makes a name for himself by carrying it, as he ultimately must.  I don't know that we really needed Kenneth Branagh to direct this (Asgard is not Shakespeare), but he manages to bridge the two realms without taking you out of the movie.  It's not a perfect movie -- Thor's arc may come a bit too easily to him, Loki's motivation seems a bit muddled in the third act, and Thor still seems to me like he should be in the DC Universe with the Kryptonians and the Amazons.  Nevertheless, Thor was a surprisingly engaging adaptation.  Two additional notes: (1) I saw the 3-D version, but don't think it added terribly much to the experience; and (2) per usual, viewers may want to stay until the end of the credits.

PRINCE WILLIAM & KATE: You're dying to know their pet names for each other, right? or are you more interested in Kate's sister Pippa dirty dancing with a half-naked dude?

BRYAN ADAMS is a dad for the first time.

KATIE COURIC is about to turn her abject failure at CBS into a 20 million dollar deal with ABC for a talk show and involvement with the news division.

BRAD PITT & COURTENEY COX were able to attend a birthday dinner for their manager without getting into a fight over Jennifer Aniston.

ELIN NORDEGREN, the former Mrs. Tiger Woods, is back on the market.

PIRATES 5? Pirates 4 (On Stranger Tides) doesn't hit US theaters until May 20, so Johnny Depp isn't rushing into the next one just yet.

LIZ TAYLOR, MICHAEL JACKSON & MARLON BRANDO fled NYC after 9/11 and went on a road trip, with Brando demanding they stop at nearly every KFC and Burger King they passed along the highway.   This must be made into a movie.

KILLING BIN LADEN: Will the "treasure trove" of intelligence seized at Osama's safe house lead to a significant degradation of al Qaeda's network?

IRAN: A Congressional panel released a report that alleges that Iran's elite Al-Quds force offers support to Al-Qaeda, adding a new dimension to the militant threat to the United States.  Speaking of new dimenasions, close allies of Ahmadinejad have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  But if you can summon djinns, why do you need nukes?

FOXES, Domesticated.

THEM! Almost 50 million years ago, ants the size of hummingbirds roamed what is now Wyoming, a new fossil discovery reveals.

SNAKE in a... dishwasher.

THE RED-FOOTED TORTOISE teaches scientists about contagious yawning.

CATS FROM HELL: Jackson Galaxy promtes his new show on Animal Planet.

3227 Reads

Cinco de Mayo, The Decemberists, Cheap Trick, Baby Panda   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 05, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with LOS LOBOS: "I Got Loaded" (with an added snippet of "Turn On Your Lovelight") from their fabulous first full-lengther, How Will the Wolf Survive? "Don't Worry Baby," "Evangeline," "Our Last Night," and "A Matter of Time" were on that album, too.

PEE WEE HERMAN: "Tequila." Obvs.

HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS: Rare video of "A Taste of Honey" from 1967.

ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO reels off about a minute of "Whole Lotta Love" before covering "All the Young Dudes."

JIMMY BUFFETT: Margaritaville. Obvs.

LIZ PHAIR: "Cinco de Mayo." Obvs.

THE DECEMBERISTS' keyboardist, Jenny Conlee, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Our best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

NEKO CASE is interviewed in a Julie Klausner podcast about art school, walruses, Neko's crush on Michael Palin, and the myth of "Backstage Johnnies." (Thx, LHB.)

BRANDI CARLILE talks to Glide about all aspects of her career, ranging from beginning in Seattle up to the new studio album she's already recorded, her strong bond with the Indigo Girls, her love for recreating synth-based 80s music and why she's carrying on Dolly Parton's well-deserved diva flame.

GOOGLE should buy the music industry.

CHEAP TRICK brings you the Mariachi mash-up of "Surrender."

CHARLIE SHEEN may not get an Emmy nomination, unless he exploits a loophole in the rules. Vanity Fair denied paying him a million for an interview.

MAD MEL WATCH: Gibson's ex-girlfriend dropped her domestic violence accusations against the actor during a court hearing Wednesday morning, according to sources close to both Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva.

MARIE OSMOND remarried her first husband Wednesday in Las Vegas.

JESSE JAMES details every painful moment of telling Sandra Bullock about his cheating in his new book, American Outlaw.  And he told Howard Stern that Kat Von D. is hotter in bed than Bullock. Uber-klassy.

SUPERMAN: The newest Man of Steel, Henry Cavill, got engaged to his showjumper girlfriend, Ellen Whitaker, after popping the question on a trip to Hollywood. The classic Perry White, Jackie Cooper, who  survived Hollywood's notorious graveyard of child stardom and flourished as an adult in television and modern pictures, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles at 88.

ROTTEN TOMATOES is owned by Flixter, which was just bought by Warner Bros.  People are raising questions about the WB possibly gaming the Tomatometer, but I think that's easier imagined than done.  A whistleblower could rat the studio out to the Internet.  Film critics might notice if their reviews were being misrepresented on the site.  Seems like the risk would outweigh the marginal benefits.

OSAMA BIN LADEN: Debunking 10 key myths surrounding al-Qaeda's former leader.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS say an al-Qaeda member on the kingdom's most wanted list called from abroad and turned himself in.

INDONESIA: The Islamic Defenders Front met at its headquarters in Jakarta to hail Osama bin Laden's death as a martyr.

SYRIA: Security forces have rounded up hundreds of anti-regime protesters and have charged them with "degrading the prestige of the state," according to a human rights group.

PAKISTANI papers condemned the government for having failed to detect the presence of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, terming it a "great embarrassment."

A BABY PANDA rides a rocking horse. Sort of.

THE DOGS OF WAR: A fearless four-legged recruit joined US Special Forces as they stormed Osama Bin Laden's secret lair. Foreign Policy pays tribute with a big slideshow.

CAMEL SWALLOWS VET in pedicure mishap? It only looks that way.

A PARTIALLY PARALYZED KANGAROO will continue as a therapy animal to a depressed woman in Oklahoma.

3871 Reads

Man Man, Wild Beasts, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Craig Finn, Gator vs Patrol Car   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 04, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ROCKY VOTOLATO & MATT POND PA play the Human League's "Don't You Want Me" for The A.V. Club Undercover.

MAN MAN is advance streaming Life Fantastic.

WILD BEASTS are advance streaming Smother.

JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

CRAIG FINN of the Hold Steady debuts "Not Much Left" at the Wits.

IKE & TINA TURNER: "River Deep, Mountain High," live and de-Spectorized.

TEENAGE FANCLUB's Norman Blake speaks to Aquarium Drunkard about the speed of recording as Jonny, the influences in its songs, how Merge Records came on board and why a little humor in music is never a bad thing.

THE CARS: Ric Ocasek talks to The A.V. Club about his decision to re-form the band, the baggage that prevented a reunion in the past (including The New Cars), and whether he's looking forward to touring again.

ANNA CALVI is declared an Artist to Watch at Rolling Stone, which is also streaming her album.

SOUNDCLOUD CEO and co-founder Alexander Ljung talks to the NYT about how sound will become the sixth sense of the social graph.

LINDSAY LOHAN is angry over reports that she skipped out on community service, saying she was not due for orientation until today.  That's because she's poised to avoid jail entirely, despite her 120-day sentence.

CHARLIE SHEEN claims he did not shoot Kelly Preston ... and that it was Kelly herself who caused the gun to fire and injure herself in the infamous 1990 incident.

THE DUKE & DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE are headed to Hollywood in July.

SHANIA TWAIN talked about her ex-husband's affair on Oprah.

WILL FARRELL made good on his promise to rid Conan O'Brien of his beard.

JANUARY JONES was reportedly so intent on starting a family that it drove a wedge between her and ex-beau Jason Sudeikis.

KATY PERRY talks about her religious childhood, career, and narriage to Russell Brand in the new issue of Vanity Fair.

KRISTEN WIIG is profiled by TIME about Bridesmaids.

SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN: ‘Thor' star Chris Hemsworth has emerged as a front runner to star in the Universal fairy tale opposite Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart.

MAXIM'S HOT 100 for 2011, just in time for Gratuitous Wednesday.

TERROR in the UK: Five young men from London, believed to be Bangladeshis, were detained yesterday while taking pictures of the Sellafield nuclear site. Following the arrests, counterterrorism officials conducted raids on four houses in east London.

YEMEN: The Republican Guard abandoned a base in Labus in Lahj province after clashes with the tribes for 10 days.

EGYPT: The Muslim Brotherhood has made devout moderation a cornerstone of their post-Mubarak strategy, but the group's statement after the death of Osama bin Laden suggests they may not be so moderate.

PAKISTAN: Hundreds of people gathered in Quetta to mourn the death of Osama bin Laden. CIA chief Leon Panetta tells TIME that US officials feared that Pakistan could have undermined the operation by leaking word to its targets.

GATOR vs PATROL CAR: Who you got?


LUCY BROWN's slobber, sloth and bloodshot eyes helped her to the title of this year's Beautiful Bulldog. For some bizarre reason, the event is part of the Drake Relays sporting event in Des Moines, Iowa.

A DOG & GOOSE have become unlikely best friends in China after the dog rescued the bird after it was hit by a car.

2975 Reads

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