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Jenny & Johnny, Grace Potter, Liz Phair, John Lennon, Possum   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 20, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JENNY & JOHNNY stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.  The duo made their national television debut on Conan, performing I'm Having Fun Now single "Big Wave" for the broadcast and a web-exclusive take on "Scissor Runner."

GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

LIZ PHAIR performed a six-song concert at World Cafe Live.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND covers Cheryl Cole's "Fight For This Love."

JOHN LENNON: Roio offers alternate mixes and sessions from Walls and Bridges.

TOM WAITS gives a reading of a "Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis."

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: Rock legend Don Van Vliet died Friday from complications from multiple sclerosis in California. Dangerous Minds can hook you up with a streaming documentary, presented by the late John Peel. (Thx, LHB.) In addition we have the 1980 profile of Beefheart by Lester Bangs.

DESTROYER: Dan Bejar talks to Paste about the band's new, poppier direction, the empty promises of red wine, and the futility of creating art for oneself.

MIDDLE BROTHER: John McCauley III (Deer Tick), Matt Vasquez (Delta Spirit) and Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) prepare to unleash their debut self-titled full-length, slated for March 1.

THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS HIT: From Elvis to Shakey, from Cliff Richard to Mark E Smith, every pop star worth their salt has sung a song of Santa at some point. But there is an art to the festive ditty. Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley cracks the code.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Tron Legacy is the number one film of the weekend, earning an estimated 43.6 million, which is likely a bit disappointing given its ultrawide release and 200 million budget. OTOH, films opening that big in this frame annually have tended to finish with 180-200 million domestically, so it's not terrible news, either.  Yogi Bear placed with 16.7 million -- a notch or so above Marmaduke, but way less than Alvin & the Chipmunks. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader drops 48 percent to the third slot with 12.4 million, lagging far behind the prior films in the franchise.  The Fighter leaps into the fourth spot on wide release with 12.2 million (12.6 total) against a 25 million budget, meaning it will make a tidy profit by the end of its run, further enhancing Oscar buzz around it.  The Tourist rounds out the Top Five with 8.7 million in receipts, but its 47 percent drop and ~30 million total against a 100 million budget continues to disappoint.  Below the fold, Tangled seems leggy is sixth place, and Black Swan dropped to seventh, but made more money than last week -- 8.3 million and a total now beating its 13 million production budget. How Do You Know? debuted in eighth place with 7.6 million against a 120 million budget. Ouch.

DEMI LOVATO vehemently denies sex tape rumors.

JULIA STILES denies breaking up Michael C. Hall's marriage.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & RYAN REYNOLDS share a happy meal or something.

TONY ROMO is engaged to pageant queen and KDAF-TV anchor Candice Crawford.

NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN is dropping the most explosive claims of abuse from her lawsuit against her former Desperate Housewives employers and as a result she will not have to submit to a psychiatric evaluation, according to RadarOnline.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL is suing popular shoemaker Steve Madden for two million bucks - claiming the company stiffed her completely over an endorsement deal she made with them in August 2010.

THE TOP MOVIE THEMES and TRENDS of 2010, according to the NYT's A.O. Scott.

ROGER EBERT'S Best Feature Films of 2010.

IRAN: The Chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mullen said Iran is still pursuing nuclear weapons, and said the US is prepared to deal with Iranian aggression.

AFGHANISTAN: A major threat to the success of the US Afghan war strategy are the ratlines that snake along the rough roads of the country's East and South, providing insurgents with weapons and other supplies from neighboring Pakistan.

IRAQ: The Iraqiya party, led by Iyad Allawi, will join a government headed by Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki. Iraqiya agreed to join after a ban on three members of its party was lifted.

RELEASE THE... POSSUM? Was the Kraken unavailable?

NEARLY 20000 CAMELS camels from the UAE and other Gulf Arab countries have converged on Abu Dhabi's western region for one of the world's biggest camel beauty contests involving prizes worth nearly 9.5 million dollars.

MONKEYS have taken up residence with a raccoon near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

MEERKAT ABDUCTION lands two teen boys in hot water.

HOLLY the COYOTE was rescued from an ice patch on Lake Michigan.

3244 Reads

Aimee Mann, Diplomats of Solid Sound, Cousins, Iron & Wine, Singing Parrot   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 17, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with AIMEE MANN's CHRISTMAS CAROL (profanity warnings): Part One has your Scrooge-y set-up with Michael Penn. Part Two features The Office's John Krasinski. Part Three has Michael Cera. Part Four has John C. Reilly.

THE DIPLOMATS OF SOLID SOUND did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.  Soul from Iowa City, improbably enough!

COUSINS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter at Pop Montreal.

CLOUD CULT stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set (and some painting).

IRON & WINE drops "Tree By The River" as a sweet, sweet advance track to Kiss Each Other Clean.

GEORGE JONES is one of NPR's 50 Great Voices.

YOU AIN'T NO PICASSO is streaming Matt's 50 Favorite Songs of 2010.

REMINDER: Amazon MP3's 25 Days of Free continues.

THE PRETENDERS: "2000 Miles." It felt like Christmas time.

PITCHFORK's TOP 50 ALBUMS of 2010 starts here.

ARETHA FRANKLIN underwent "highly successful" surgery for an undisclosed ailment on Dec. 2 - and is reported to have pancreatic cancer - was discharged from a Detroit hospital earlier this week.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: The Listeners' Poll.

SUEDE talks to The Quietus about their triumphant (and now extended) return.

JIMI HENDRIX biopic nixed, perhaps due to concerns about the impact a film would have on catalog sales.

THE CUTOUT BIN is on hiatus this week, as the ol' HM was busy retooling itself yesterday.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include Yogi Bear, which is currently scoring 14 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Tron Legacy, which is scoring 51 percent; and How Do You Know, scoring 28 percent. The Fighter expands wide, scoring 87 percent.  Black Swan goes near-wide, scoring 88 percent.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is "partying very hard" on her "girls' trip" in Jamaica, seeking solace from her failed marriage to Ryan Reynolds - but she's still wearing her wedding ring. E! Online has speculated that Blake Lively, who co-stars with Reynolds in Green Lantern, may have led him astray.

DAVID ARQUETTE says he's having a bit of a nervous beakdown and drinking a lot since his split from Courtney Cox.

MILEY CYRUS is shrugging off her salvia smoking scandal.

LINDSAY LOHAN is afraid she's being targeted by a stalker; the Betty Ford clinic is taking measures to protect her.

MARIAH CAREY and Nick Cannon are having twins.

PRINCE HARRY... and a Real Housewife?

WINONA RYDER talks to GQ about her run-in with Mel Gibson, painkillers, Black Swan and more...

THE SAG AWARDS nominations are announced. The King's Speech and The Fighter score four each, while True Grit's Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld also get nods.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY had some lost footage surface in a Kansas salt-mine vault.

BLAKE EDWARDS, director of Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Great Race, The Days of Wine and Roses, the original Pink Panther franchise, 10, S.O.B. and others, died of complications from pneumonia at age 88. Nikke Finke has a remembrance.

IRAN reportedly has begun secret negotiations on proposals to surrender a substantial part of its uranium stockpile and suspend enriching nuclear fuel in return for an end to sanctions that have crippled the country's economy. I'd love to see some proposal for policing any such deal. Meanwhile, Tehran has cut the annual budget it provides Hezbollah by over 40 percent, stirring an unprecedented crisis within the Lebanese Shi'ite guerrilla organization.

PAKISTAN: Two new classified intelligence reports say there is a limited chance of success in Afghanistan unless Pakistan hunts down insurgents operating from havens on its Afghan border. But Pakistanis may be incapable of doing that because their forces are already "stretched too thin."

AFGHANISTAN: CNN's Nic Robertson, having covered Afghanistan since the 1990s, revisited some of the places he'd reported from over the years to see what had changed.

IRAQ: Captured insurgents who claim al Qaeda is planning suicide attacks in the US and Europe during the Christmas season, two senior officials said Wednesday. The botched bombing in central Stockholm last weekend was among the alleged plots the insurgents revealed.

LOLITA the PARROT practices singing Drowning Pool's "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor."

FLYING SQUID: Rare photos from off the coast of Japan.

SOME SHARKS can become invisible. Gonna need a bigger cloak.

ONE CROCODILE SPECIES was vegetarian... 80 million years ago.

BRITAIN's UGLIEST DOG is sprung from a shelter.

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Springsteen, R.E.M., Mountain Goats, Yorkie   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND play songs from The Promise for the first time.

R.E.M. drop "Discoverer," the opening track to the upcoming Collapse Into Now album.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle dropped "Tyler Lambert's Grave" as an outtake from next year's All Eternals Deck.

TAME IMPALA stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

THE HELIGOATS played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

THE RED RIVER played a very unplugged Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

THE DARKNESS wuz robbed when "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" only made it to No.2 in the UK for 2003.  Frontman Justin Hawkins was reportedly very bitter about the defeat.

THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME will induct Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Darlene Love and Dr. John.

2010's BIGGEST LETDOWNS, according to the crew at MOKB.

20 HONORABLE MENTIONS from Pitchfork, which starts rolling out its Top 50 Albums today.

WOLF PARADE drummer Arlen Thompson talked to Prefix about the band's third LP.

FLEET FOXES advise The Pains of Being Pure At Heart about licensing their songs for commercials.

RYAN REYNOLDS has been dealing with the end of his marriage to Scarlett Johansson by platonically reaching out to an ex the past few months.

MICHAEL C. HALL - who recently announced his split from wife Jennifer Carpenter - has been spotted getting cozy with actress Julia Stiles. Some might ask how long this has been going on.

HULK HOGAN married girlfriend Jennifer McDaniels on Tuesday evening in Clearwater, Florida - but the nuptials were plunged into chaos when cops were called to break-up a brawl between a photographer and the wrestler's bodyguards.

LINDSAY LOHAN is not playing Linda Lovelace in a feature film is because she didn't want to play a drug addict after what she's been through, according to her stage mom Dina. Might want to be more proactive with that spin next time.

DENISE RICHARDS has been quietly dating Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx. Someone likes her some bad boys.

TIGER WOODS: Ex-wife Elin Nordegren is allegedly getting close to a handsome student at her Florida college.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, executive producer of Facebook, is TIME's Person of the Year. Which would've made more sense five years ago, but I guess they had to wait for the movie. Idle question: Do people get more timely news today through Facebook or TIME?

JON FAVREAU tells the L.A. Times why he is walking away from the billion-dollar Iron Man franchise and will join Guillermo del Toro and David Fincher as part of a next wave of filmmakers making live-action feature films rooted in the imagery of Disney theme parks and classic characters.

PEOPLE teases their Most Intriguing Newsmakers.

THE COEN BROS talk True Grit with Vanity Fair.

TERROR in SWEDEN: The Stockholm suicide bomber trained for jihad for four years. Information posted online about the suspect in a botched suicide attack in Sweden suggests he had help from others in publicizing the incident and maybe also in planning it, security experts say.

NORTH KOREA: The Obama admin. has concluded that North Korea's new plant to enrich nuclear fuel uses technology that is "significantly more advanced" than what Iran has struggled over two decades to assemble, according to senior administration and intelligence officials. North Korea appears to be readying for a possible third nuclear test as early as next March.

IRAN: The Stuxnet virus, which has attacked Iran's nuclear facilities and which Israel is suspected of creating, has set back the Islamic Republic's nuclear program by two years, a top German computer consultant who was one of the first experts to analyze the program's code told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. SORTA RELATED: Stuxnet could be redirected to launch a broad attack on US basic services, such as water and power supplies, says a report to Congress.

AFGHANISTAN: The US and NATO are predicting heavier fighting this winter with more Taliban fighters staying in eastern Afghanistan instead of slipping over the border into Pakistan.

IRAQ: The UN Security Council has voted to lift most international sanctions imposed on Iraq during the Saddam Hussein era. Nothing gets by them! Oh, wait...

A YORKIE in the SNOW: Let's go to the video.

THE SKUNK Who Stole Christmas.

A RUNAWAY DOG interrupted operations at Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo, the biggest city in South America.

LIVE BABY MICE tumble out of a packet of crisps a British woman had just picked up in Tesco.

PSA: How to stop your pets from destroying or eating your Christmas decorations.

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Decemberists, Jingle Jams, Beach Boys, Cat Diaries   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE's latest video is for "Texico B^tches."

THE DECEMBERISTS: Colin Meloy stops by WFUV to preview new tracks from the upcoming The King Is Dead album.

JINGLE JAMS: NPR's annual Holiday Mix.

10 DEPRESSING CHRISTMAS SONGS, with embedded audio, including Prince's "Another Lonely Christmas." Plus, 5 Depressing Blues Songs for Christmas.

BEACH BOYS: Roio has 3 discs of SMiLE outtakes.

SUFJAN STEVENS: "Put the Lights on the Tree."

THE TOP 100 TRACKS of 2010, according to Pitchfork.

BELLE & SEBASTIAN: Stuart Murdoch talked to Pitchfork about his new book and everything else he has going on.

THE 20 BEST REISSUES of 2010, according to PopMatters.

LIZ PHAIR does a Q & A with OMG. (Thx, LHB.)

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & RYAN REYNOLDS have decided to end their marriage after a bit over two years.

MICHAEL C. HALL and Jennifer Carpenter (both of Dexter) are divorcing after two years of marriage. I'm guessing this won't attract as much attention as Scar-Jo and Ryan.

CHARLIE SHEEN will not be prosecuted over what is now being euphemized as "The Plaza Hotel incident" back in October.

LINDSAY LOHAN has turned down an offer to appear on Dancing With the Stars, her stage mom Dina tells RadarOnline.

LIZ HURLEY's alleged love interest speaks out after her separation announcement.

JENNIFER CONNELLY & PAUL BETTANY are having a baby. It's their second, her third.

HUGH JACKMAN sustained a minor facial injury while making a dramatic entrance to a taping of Oprah Winfrey's talk show at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES nominations are announced. The King's Speech leads with seven, with The Social Network, Black Swan, The Fighter and Inception also named for Best Drama.  Mad Men,'The Good Wife, Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead and 'Dexter were nominated for Best TV Drama (Breaking Bad snubbed).

SNOW WHITE: Dueling films target Charlize Theron and Julia Roberts for the Evil Queen.

THE 2010 BLACK LIST: Film executive Franklin Leonard's hot unproduced screenplay pecking order. Diablo Cody's Juno, Nancy Oliver's Lars And The Real Girl, Scott Neustader's and Michael Weber's 500 Days Of Summer, are just some of the screenplays which appeared on The Black List and then were made.

KOREA: South Korea said on Tuesday it suspects the North has been secretly enriching uranium at more locations besides its main nuclear site -- which could mean it has more material for building nuclear bombs. The head of South Korea's army resigned in the wake of the revelations.

IRAN: Ahmadinejad has designated Ali Akbar Salehi, his nuclear chief and ally, as 'caretaker' foreign minister, replacing Manouchehr Mottaki.

IRAQ: "The biggest story about Iraq may be what hasn't happened."

THE CAT DIARIES: Friskies marketing, but still cute.


A CAT saves his house from fire by opening a window.

PIGS try to go whee-whee-whee all the way home after their truck overturns.

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Best Releases, Black Keys, Springsteen, Lioness and Cubs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


OVER 11 MILLION SERVED: Thanks to everyone for stopping by! 

PAUL McCARTNEY cranked out some Wings staples, Beatles classics, including a tribute to John Lennon, on late night TV Saturday. A more-than-Twofer Tuesday.

NEW RELEASES? No, but top 2010 albums from The National, Titus Andronicus, Superchunk, Broken Social Scene, MGMT, Beach House, Caribou, Deerhunter, the Budos Band and more are streaming via Spinner.

THE BLACK KEYS stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

THE 50 BEST SONGS of 2010, according to Spinner, with embedded audio. BONUS: 100 Favorite Songs of 2010 from Said the Gramophone.

ROYAL THUNDER is advance streaming their self-titled debut. Again, not necessarily my bag, but maybe yours.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN brings "Merry Christmas Baby" and a vintage take on "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" for Twofer Tuesday.

JENNY & JOHNNY talk about their collaboration with BBC 6 Music. (Thx, LHB.)

MARC BOLAN & T.REX: A Prefix primer on T.Rex's best work and why Marc Bolan was one of the best rock stars who never made it.

THE BEST ALBUMS of 2010, according to Prefix.

RICHARD HELL reviews Jim Carroll's final book.

LINDSAY LOHAN is deeply hurt by Gwyneth Paltrow mocking her on national TV, and mad at CNN for calling her... provocative.

MILEY CYRUS: Ever since that video of her smoking a bong full of it came out -- despite an effort to suppress it -- sales of the herbal drug are sky high. Also, a childhood pal claims Miley was a real-life Mean Girl in school.

JENNIFER GREY underwent surgery last week to repair a ruptured disc in her back, suffered on the first night of the Dancing With the Stars finale. Nobody puts Baby in a corner, but she can put herself in a hospital.

NICOLE RICHIE did not invite the French Hotel to her wedding.

CAMERON DIAZ & A-ROD take their relationship public.

ZAK EFRON & VANESSA HUDGENS are dunzo. I blame Glee!

CHELSEA HANDLER: Dating 50 Cent... or just messing with people?

KELSEY GRAMMER sex tape? It's in the ever-reliable Star, so...

THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE announced its Top 10 Films and TV Shows for 2010.

CRITIC'S CHOICE MOVIE AWARDS: Black Swan received an unprecedented 12 nominations. True Grit, The King's Speech, Inception and The Social Network also did well.

TRUE GRIT, btw, has clips online.

PIRATES of the CARIBBEAN:ON STRANGER TIDES has an official trailer online.

YOGI BEAR opens on Friday -- here's the alternate ending, in which Boo Boo kills Yogi.

TERROR in SWEDEN: The Stockholm bomber was thrown out of a mosque in Luton three years ago following a row over his extremist beliefs, it has emerged. The suicide bomber ,who targeted Christmas shoppers, carried three sets of bombs and is believed to have had accomplices as the attack was "well planned".

IRAN: Ahmadinejad routinely ignores parliament's laws and undercuts its authority, leading some politicians and analysts to fear the country is slipping toward dictatorship.

IRAQI security forces are enabling progress in the country, a senior US military officer in Iraq said Monday.

A LIONESS trusts a man with her newborn cubs.

10 WEIRDEST NEW ANIMALS of 2010, courtesy of National Geographic.

CHICKEN MANURE ends a crash landing Down Under.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Yet another toilet infiltration.

2941 Reads

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