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Alejandro Escovedo, Wolf Parade, The Roots, Cat kisses   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 21, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BRIAN FALLON (The Gaslight Anthem) joins BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN on "No Surrender."

ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO is advance streaming Street Songs of Love.

WOLF PARADE is advance streaming Expo 86.

THE ROOTS are advance streaming How I Got Over, with cameos from Joanna Newsom, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and the ladies of the Dirty Projectors.

THE WATSON TWINS play a short set on the Mountain Stage.

INXS: "Don't Change," live at the US Festival.

STARS frontman Torquil Campbell gives the National Post a track-by-track tour of The Five Ghosts.

LATE BLOOMERS: The National, the Hold Steady and Spoon are profiled by CNN.

BILLY BRAGG: Consequence of Sound delves into the history of "St. Swithin's Day." (Thx, LHB.) 

THE GOLDEN AGE Of Hipper-Than-Thou CD Fetishization Begins Now.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Toy Story 3 easily took the weekend with 109 million, roughly in line with predictions.  It's the biggest Pixar opening ever (since The Incredibles which opened at 70 million), the biggest June opening ever (edging Transformers 2) and may save the summer for cineplexes.  It may also be the first serious Oscar contender of the year.  The Karate Kid reboot drops 48 percent and takes in 29 million -- which is actually pretty good considering the competition.  It passed the 100 million mark on a 40 million budget.  The A-Team drops 46 percent and makes 13.8 million, but will be lucky to recoup its 100 million budget domestically.  Get Him To The Greek holds the fourth slot, and its 47 million total passes its budget (excluding marketing, prints, etc.).  Shrek Forever After drops two slots to round out the Top Five; its 65 percent drop at the hands of Toy Story 3 is pretty severe, but the studio isn't going to weep over 223 million in domestic receipts.

TOY STORY 3 may not be Pixar's best, but it exceeded my expectation, which was that the emotional theme of abandonment had been thoroughly mined in the first two installments.  Some reviewers suggested that this one might succumb to the temptation of so many sequels to overstuff the film with new characters and action, but I don't think the new characters detracted from a focus on Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the original cast.  Other reviewers pegged this as a Pixar version of a Dreamworks animated flick -- and while the Ken and Barbie material edged a bit in that more kitschy direction, the Pixar team largely hewed to to the sincere approach that is the studio's hallmark.  Indeed, when things are at their bleakest for our heroes, you realize what an achievement it has been for Pixar to get people so invested in CGI versions of plastic toys.  "Story" is there in the title, but as always, it's characterization and tone that elevate the movie above the competition (looking decidedly second-rate in the previews).

MICHAEL JACKSON's mother Katherine talks to the Mirror a year on from the star's death.

JEREMY LONDON's wife was in the car with him when he was "kidnapped" and his alleged abductor gave her a ride home during the alleged crime, according to RadarOnline.

JESSE JAMES is moving to Austin at the end of July ... partly so his children can continue their relationship with Sandra Bullock.

LINDSAY LOHAN is off the hook with the L.A. County Probation Department for the whole SCRAM thing earlier this month ... because she tested clean.

GARY COLEMAN was cremated.

IRAN's new revolutionary politics.

AFGHANISTAN: Violence increased dramatically in the first four months of this year, according to the UN. Of course, that tends to happen when there's more fighting.

IRAQ: With US soldiers pulling out over the next 18 months, the Pentagon is getting rid of the fixtures and fittings of the bases they live in, some of it at auction, some bound for the black market.

HARVEY the CAT is not that into you.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT is stimulated with 1.25 million dollars in rope bridges for Arizona.

THREE RARE BIRDS OF PREY now nest at Three Mile Island.

PYTHON in a washing machine.

ALLIGATOR caught with bare hands by a reptile wrangler in Ohio.

2807 Reads

Power Pop, She & Him, Jayhawks, Cutout Bin, Leonard & Lula   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 18, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with POWER POP! Inspired by the Michael Chabon essay linked here at the start of the week, but also by the time of the season.  For whatever reason, I have considered Summer the ideal season for gems like the Raspberries' "Go All The Way" and "I Wanna Be With You", Badfinger's "No Matter What" (which Pate covered on occasion), and even Todd Rundgren's "I Saw the Light".  Ditto for more obscure tracks like The Records' "Starry Eyes", The Rubinoos "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (see also their vintage cover of "Please Please Me") and Shoes' "Too Late".  Sadly, there does not seem to be live footage of Bram Tchaikovsky's "Girl of My Dreams", though there is a video in its backstory.

SHE & HIM stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

THE JAYHAWKS, live in the Netherlands, June 18, 1997.

RUBIK does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, which uses The Cars as a comparison that I'm not completely buying. Still nice, though.

THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH plays a short set on the Mountain Stage.

THE TEN BEST RAMONES SONGS, according to Paste.

EELS drop "Looking Up" waaaay in advance of Tomorrow Morning.

THE TEMPTATIONS: "I Can't Get Next To You."

BLITZEN TRAPPER: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tries to nail down their sound.

GARY SHIDER, guitarist and musical director for Parliament Funkadelic , passed away Wednesday. He was 56. RIP, Starchild.

MGMT: Andrew VanWyngarden talks to the Chicago Tribune about the band's 12-minute suite, "Siberian Breaks."

BEST SUMMER ROCK SONGS, according to Culture Mob. Plenty of good songs there, but highly debatable. (Thx, LHB.)

MUSIC's SACRED COWS, attacked from beyond the grave.


CUTOUT BIN: From the Sweet to Joy Division, from Belle & Sebastian to Billy Preston, from the Nerves to Cat Power, plus the Kinks, Broken Social Scene, Otis Redding, the Replacements and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include Toy Story 3, which is scoring 100 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and the adaptation of Jonah Hex, which is scoring 00 percent.


JEREMY LONDON (Party of Five) was abducted, robbed and forced to smoke drugs during a harrowing five hour ordeal in Palm Springs. Really.

TIGER WOODS:  A DNA test disproves the claim of an adult film actress that Woods fathered her 9-year-old son.  Meanwhile, Elin has returned to the US from China, according to RadarOnline. Move the pins on your map accordingly.

MILEY CYRUS: That upskirt pic caused ABC to stop advertising on Perez Hilton's blog.

DAVID SPADE... and Padma Lakshmi?

THE BLUES BROTHERS trurns 30. Dan Ackroyd shares memories. The Chicago Tribune also looks at the locations, then and now. It's highly recommended by the Vatican.

PSYCHO turns 50. It's the most eternal of thrillers, the one that changed movies... and the world.

IRAN, defying week-old UN sanctions over its nuclear program, promised to build four new reactors for atomic "medical research." The European Union followed the US' lead to press for tighter sanctions on Iranian corporations.

AF-PAK: The current state of the Afghan war mirrors Iraq circa 2005-2006.

LEONARD & LULA: Let's go to the video.

SNOWY the TERRIER ate five toy cats. One was X-rayed.

TURKEYS terrorize a Spokane neighborhood.

CATIOS are the new hotness.

KNUT NUTS: Most polar bears in captivity in Germany have psychological problems, with Berlin Zoo's superstar Knut probably the worst of all, scientists said Thursday after a two-year study. I blame Leo DiCaprio.

3338 Reads

Laura Veirs, Sandy Denny, Jackie DeShannon, Freaky Fish   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE breaks out "Texico B^tches" for Fallon.

LAURA VEIRS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

SANDY DENNY is one of NPR's 50 Great Voices.

JACKIE DeSHANNON gets a feature plus tracks from Fresh Air, marking her induction into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame today. "When You Walk in the Room" is a personal fave of mine.

MAGIC BULLETS songwriter Corey Cunningham talks to SF Weekly about the band's sophomore LP, which is streaming via Spinner through the weekend.

MAGIC KIDS, otoh, drop the chamber-poppy "Summer" from their upcoming Memphis album.

DEVO got "Fresh" at the Ed Sullivan Theater. ICYMI, here's video of the album listening party for cats.

TOM WAITS makes his mixtape suggestions to MOJO. (Thx, LHB.)

DEAN WAREHAM is doing an entire tour of Galaxie 500 material, but it's not a reunion.

BTO: Tim Bachman, one of the founding members of the 1970s band Bachman-Turner Overdrive, is facing child sex charges.

OZZY OSBOURNE is set to undergo genomic testing to see how he is still alive after years of abusing his body with drugs and alcohol.

MEGAN FOX & BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN are engaged again. But they've lost the ring.

MILEY CYRUS fires on Perez Hilton for posting an upskirt pic of the teenager on Twitter.

CHRIS KLEIN (American Pie) was busted on suspicion of DUI, with a BAC three times the legal limit. And he could be looking at jail time, based on his record.

CHARLIE SHEEN's wife, Brooke Mueller, is headed back to rehab.

ROBERT PATTINSON & KRISTEN STEWART are dunzo. Or they have a love nest. Pick 'em!

CLIVE OWEN & NICOLE KIDMAN will play Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn in an HBO pic produced by James Gandolfini.

IRAQ has accused Iranian forces of entering Iraqi territory and shelling Kurdish rebel positions in the north.

AF-PAK: The United States has presented evidence to Pakistan that a militant faction aligned with the Taliban and based in Pakistan orchestrated brazen attacks last month in Afghanistan. Gen. Petraeus told the US Senate that Pres. Obama's directive calling for the start of a conditions-based drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan in July 2011 shouldn't be considered as an exit date.  Meanwhile, Pakistan and Afghanistan are waiting for each other to make the next move against the Taliban.

MACROPINNO MICROSTOMA: A fish with a see-thru head.


A PYTHON nearly urinates on Princes William and Harry.

GIANT EARTHWORMS lose on appeal.

COW forced to marry boy who took advantage of her, and then drowned.

3289 Reads

Patrick Watson, Superchunk, Tift Merritt, Happy Goose   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MGMT drop a new video for "It's Working."

PERFUME GENIUS is advance streaming Learning.

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

SUPERCHUNK drops "Digging Into Something," which Jon Wurster rightly calls a "pop gem."

TIFT MERRITT gets a feature plus tracks from NPR's Talk of the Nation.

BLACK LIPS drop "Before You Judge Me" as a single.

BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE: From New Order and Frente. The song coincidentally popped up in my Twitter more than once, so it must mean something.

DEVENDRA BANHART talks to the Jerusalem Post about not identifying with the hippie movement, indigenous music, and more... 

DEVO: Mark Mothersbaugh talks to Drowned in Sound about the band's philosophy and new album.

TOM PETTY is partnering with Tribune Co to promote his new LP and tour -- and he's traditionally resisted these types of business deals.

BLACK MOUNTAIN: Stephen McBean talks to Pitchfork about the band's upcoming Wilderness Heart LP.

TIGER WOODS: Adult movie actress and escort Devon James is claiming the golfer fathered her secret love child, according to RadarOnline.

CHARLIE SHEEN is having car trouble again. Also, here's what his divorce would likely resemble, should he and Brooke Mueller pull the trigger.

MILEY CYRUS: Linking an upskirt photo of the 17-year-old on Twitter has blogger Perez Hilton in potentially big trouble.

LINDSAY LOHAN snapped in the arms of Gerard Butler.

CAMERON DIAZ doesn't necessarily see kids in her future.

HELL FREEZES OVER: Hollywood seeks original projects.

BOX OFFICE FUTURES approved by the CFTC have Tinseltown up in arms.

THE 100 BEST FILMS IN WORLD CINEMA, according to Empire magazine.

SPAWN: Neil Gaiman is suing Todd McFarlane over the rights in certain characters in the classic comic series. Again.

JORDAN is set on becoming the Middle East's newest nuclear power.

IRAN: The hardline spiritual mentor of Ahmedinejad has made a rare public call for producing the "special weapons" that are a monopoly of a few nations - a veiled reference to nuclear arms.

AFGHANISTAN: Six months after President Obama decided to send more forces to Afghanistan, the halting progress in the war has crystallized longstanding tensions within the government over the viability of his plan to turn around the country and begin pulling out by July 2011.  The US military's anti-corruption push could be beneficial for Taliban operations, too.

HAPPY GOOSE: Let's go to the video.

THE BIRDS: An aggressive buzzard has struck fear into villagers after launching a series of bloody attacks on people.

A GOAT was detained at a DUI checkpoint in Virginia.

SNAKE SOUP is going out of style in South Korea.

2797 Reads

New Releases, Stars, Chemical Bros, Fanfarlo, Popcorn Kittehs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JIMMY DEAN, singer-songwriter and sausage king, passed away at age 81, so "Big Bad John" is obligatory.

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Devo, Gaslight Anthem, Tom Petty, We Are Scientists, The Like, Pernice Bros, Here We Go Magic and... Foghat are among those streaming via Spinner this week. Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere, Chris Issak and more are streaming via AOL.

BONNAROO REDUX: Still more festival sets streaming on demand via NPR, including Jimmy Cliff, Regina Spektor, Dave Rawlings, Kris Kristofferson and more...

STARS are advance streaming The Five Ghosts.

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS are advance streaming Further.

ARCADE FIRE: Two new songs are streaming on teh Intarwebz.

FANFARLO released two videos for "Fire Escape" -- the happy version and the dark version. And it's Tuesday, iykwimaittyd.

NEW PR0NOGRAPHERS frontman Carl Newman talks to the Toronto Star about the band's humble beginnings, the backlash to the Challengers album, and more...

SUFJAN STEVENS is working with The National on his next LP. 

THE MELVINS crack the Billboard Top 200 after 26 years.

U2's Adam Clayton is suing the band's money manager for "negligence."


MICHAEL JACKSON: Parents Joe and Katherine are feuding over the singer's death.

GARY COLEMAN reportedly directed that he did not want anyone to pull the plug on him ... if he was ever in that situation.  Also, the mystery woman in his will was his girlfriend?

BRADLEY COOPER & RENEE ZELLWEGER are not engaged to be married, according to their reps.

LINDSAY LOHAN's pals are worried that the departure of her assistant is the beginning of a total unravel.

KATE HUDSON was spotted around Paris with Muse's frontman, Matthew Bellamy.

HEIDI & SPENCER are now accusing each other of having affairs, RadarOnline, with Heidi reportedly hiring a private investigator.

THE TONY AWARDS went to folks most would associate more with Hollywood, including Scarlett Johansson and Denzel Washington.

BURMA denies recent reports that it is developing a nuclear weapons program.

IRAN's hardline Revolutionary Guards have been rewarded with multi-billion dollar business contracts as payback for helping to suppress the mass protests that convulsed the country a year ago.

IRAQ's new parliament convened for just under 20 minutes Monday in what was little more than a symbolic inaugural session because of unresolved differences over key government positions - a precarious political limbo three months after inconclusive elections.

PAKISTAN: A Taliban commander bemons the influence of the Pakistani intelligence service.

AFGHANISTAN: The United States has discovered nearly 1 trillion dollars worth of untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials. But is there less here than meets the eye?

POPCORN KITTEHS: Let's go to the video.

300 TORTOISES caught trying to smuggle pot into Kuala Lumpur.

TOAD WHACKING: A possible tourism pitch Down Under.

A DOG foiled a carjacking bid northwest of Sydney.

PAKISTANI CROC RITUAL involves dangling a tot over the reptile's open jaws.

3110 Reads

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