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New Releases, Menomena, Jesca Hoop, NPs, Cows   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


KLAXONS drop a video for "Echoes," which is not a Pink Floyd cover.

NEW RELEASES: Kristen Hersh, These United States, Mountain Man, The Books and more are streaming this week at Spinner.

MENOMENA is advance streaming Mines.

JESCA HOOP is advance streaming Hunting My Dress.

NEW PR0NOGRAPHERS stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

THE OLD 97s drop a cover of the Stones' "Rocks Off" as a teaser to their new EP.

THE KINKS: "Last of the Steam Powered Trains" and "Picture Book," circa 1969, from the album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, for Twofer Tuesday. (Thx, Jay Cost.)

BUILT TO SPILL: Doug Martsch talks to the San Francisco Chronicle about two decades under the radar.

LOVE LANGUAGE:  Stuart McLamb talks to PopMatters about the band's move to Merge, the major differences in songwriting and recording between the debut album and Libraries, and his not-so-secret love of Amy Grant. LL bandmates Missy Thangs and BJ Burton join in on the fun.

MAVIS STAPLES answers 5 Questions for the Detroit Free Press.

U2, AC/DC & BEYONCE top Forbes Top Earning Musicians list.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Gibson's rep denies the report that the family is headed to a land Down Under.  Baby mama Oksana Grigorieva reportedly signed an agreement with Gibson for a 15 million dollar deal, which would have kept the Mel tapes secret, but she ultimately walked away from it. The dentist who examined Grigorieva the day after the January 6 showdown with Gibson now says she was indeed struck in the mouth.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Robert Shapiro has not convinced her that she must surrender to a jail sentence.

TIGER WOODS: Mistress No. 1 Rachel Uchitel is headed to Celebrity Rehab (along with Jeremy London), not Celebrity Apprentice.

BRITNEY SPEARS: The child abuse investigation against her was dropped by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, according to RadarOnline.

ANCHORMAN 2 would have been a musical, but is not being made.

THOR: The new set photo isn't doing much for me, sadly.

GLEE: A rep for Filipino teen singer Charice Pempengco denies that the upcoming Glee star, 18, underwent Botox to change her appearance.

JERSEY SHORE: The cast is on strike. The producers are playing hardball, but are close to a deal for a hefty raise.

SYRIA has banned the face-covering Islamic veil from the country's universities to prevent what it sees as a threat to its secular identity.

IRAQ is calling on international oil companies that won contracts to develop 11 oil and gas fields to show they are able to meet their obligations.

COWS: Let's go to the video.

RUNAWAY LEMURS are recaptured in an Austrian bar. 

THE HORTON PLAINS SLENDER LORIS: Photographed for the first time.

THE SWARM: Did they come to see the Marlins or the Nationals?

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Broken Social Scene, The Heavy, Quasi, Inception, Melon Kitteh   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 19, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE AVETT BROS premiere "Head Full of Doubt - Road Full of Promise" at NPR.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

THE HEAVY stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set. How you like them now?

QUASI did three free songs for Daytrotter, with an illustration reminiscent of The Kids Are Alright.

MOSE ALLISON: The American music icon stopped by the WFUV studios for a chat and mini-set.

THE KINGSMEN: "Money (That's What I Want)," in glorious color.

PITCHFEST NOTES:  Broken Social Scene overcame some early sound difficulties to rock the crowd on Friday.  "Forced to Love" and "Super-Connected" struck me as particularly killer.  BSS has lost a bit of its earnestness since last I saw them, but they made up for it with some real swagger, definitely growing into bigger stages and crowds.  As much as I wanted Modest Mouse to make me a fan, they remain in the "respect, but don't love" bin.  Titus Andronicus may have had the strongest set I saw Saturday, defying stifling heat and humidity to deliver a dynamic high-octane set that employed guests from tourmates Hallelujah the Hills for the band's newer, Americana-tinged punk anthems; frontman Patrick Stickles was more charismatic than I thought he'd be, too.  Saturday actually started with a set by Free Energy, a 70s-style stoner pop band I like more in concept than execution -- but they endeared me to them a bit more live, as they seem a bit more comfy on a stage than in a studio at this point.  Sonny & the Sunsets were casual and charming; though I've compared them to She & Him, they often sounded  bit like the mutant off spring of the Modern Lovers and X, which ain't bad.  The Smith Westerns impressed me a bit more live, though that may be because it hadn't struck me that they're all too young to drink in Illinois.  Caught the last half of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, which is still impressive all these years later; I wonder if Jon ever wonders why Jack White made it bigger than him. (Here's local critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis on Day 2.)  I didn't go in for much of Sunday, as there was a rain storm early, with more in the forecast; I didn't want weather to force me out before Pavement.  I caught Girls, Beach House and St. Vincent on the webcast, all of whom did just fine (and probably sounded better on the webcast than over the P.A.), though from what I read on Twitter, I still would have preferred Local Natives in lieu of Beach House.  While awaiting Pavement, I could not help but see Big Boi.  I like him okay in OutKast, and his set wasn't bad, but they had the backing tracks hooked up to his videoes way too much for my taste; it's the sort of thing that makes me think even rappers don't find rappers compelling to watch.  Finally, there was Pavement, who were really, really good (even though Malkmus was having a little trouble with his voice and there was intermittent bass feedback). They seemed tighter than on the records (and I suspect tighter than they were back in the day).  The set list was primarily from their Matador records, though they reached back for some choice cuts like "Stereo" and "Trigger Cut."  In any event, it's a strange and amusing experience to hear a crowd that large shouting in unison things like "...and we're coming to the chorus now..." (during "Gold Soundz").  A satisfying capper to a fest that I think otherwise had less overall energy than some past years.

SHE & HIM: M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel pick their musical love letters to California.

SGT. PEPPER: Geoff Emerick -- the original engineer on the Beatles milestone -- talks to Blender about working with Cheap Trick on Sgt. Pepper Live.

10 ESSENTIAL TEENBEAT ALBUMS, compiled by Douglas Wolk.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Inception takes the top slot with 60.4 million -- a tribute to the drawing power of DiCaprio and director Chris Nolan, as it's not like this is an easy film to explain and market. Despicable Me drops a respectable 42 percent to bring in 32.7 million as it passes the 100 million mark. The Sorcerer's Apprentice debuts at No.3, taking in 17.3 million and 24.5 million since opening last week.  Seems problematic against a 150 million budget.  The Twilight Saga: Eclipse drops 57 percent to the fourth slot with 13.5 million -- but it has already raked in almost 265 million domestic against a 68 million budget.  Toy Story 3 drops 44 percent to round out the Top Five, but that 13.5 million is just art of the 362.7 million it has made domestically against a 200 million budget.

INCEPTION: Chris Nolan strikes again.  After The Dark Knight, he veers back to the more overtly psychological.  Though less challenging than Memento, exceedingly well done.  There aren't any star turns to speak of, as it's truly an ensemble effort.

MAD MEL UPDATE:  RadarOnline runs a picture purporting to show Gibson's baby mama Oksana Grigorieva after he allegedly punched her in the mouth.  Meanwhile, the competition seems plugged into TeamGibson.  Sources connected with the dentist who treated Grigorieva tell TMZ the dentist believes "100% the photo circulating on the Internet has been altered," though he also said one of her veneers was cracked and another broken.  And sources connected with Gibson tell TMZ they have "hard proof" Grigorieva tried to extort the actor-director.  And sources connected with the investigation say the photos and video of Grigorieva's alleged injuries are raising "serious questions" about her story that Gibson struck her.  The Daily Mail claims Mel is selling the mansion and having his ex and kids return with him to Australia.

JOHN STAMOS: The Michigan couple accused of trying to extort 680k from the actor -- claiming they had photos of the actor with strippers and cocaine -- was found guilty and now face 5 years in prison.

TIGER WOODS: Donald Trump offered the golfer's mistress numero uno Rachel Uchitel a job on the next season of "The Celebrity Apprentice."

MELISSA ETHERIGE claims her ex-partner Tammy Lynn Michaels used their kids as pawns to serve her with court papers.

WESLEY SNIPES is looking at hard time for tax evasion.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT answers 20 Questions for Playboy. Read it for the articles!

DARK SHADOWS: Warner Brothers has tapped Seth Grahame-Smith -- who wrote both Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- to pen the screenplay for the Johnny Depp-led old skool vampire reboot.

FRANCE: Officials say rioters burned cars and shot at police in Grenoble while protesting the police shooting of a man accused of robbing a casino. Le Monde says the youths started their rampage after hearing a Muslim imam give a ceremony for an alleged robber -- a tidbit you won't see reported by Reuters, Bloomberg, the Telegraph, etc.  Those of you thinking that journalists are always interested in reportiong why things happen are sadly mistaken.

IRAN: The CIA is investigating whether Shahram Amiri, the Iranian nuclear scientist who defected to the US but last week flew back to Tehran, was a double agent.  His role as one of the sources for the now heavily disputed 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that downplayed Iran's suspected nuclear weapons operations has raised further doubts.  Iran's main reformist political party has issued a daring statement blaming the government of Ahmadinejad for a Thursday evening double-suicide bombing that killed at least 27 people and injured hundreds in southwest Iran. Having successfully suppressed the opposition uprising that followed last summer's disputed presidential election, Ahmadinejad and his supporters are now renewing their efforts to marginalize another rival group - Iran's traditional conservatives.

AFGHANISTAN: NATO is failing to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan, according to a poll released on Friday showing most people in Taliban heartlands view foreign troops negatively and believe the Taliban should join the government.   However, 55 percent of Afghans surveyed believed NATO and the Afghan government were winning the war against Taliban insurgents.  Leaders in the US military are turning to the author of the book "Three Cups of Tea," Greg Mortenson, for help on that front.

KITTEN vs WATERMELON: Let's go to the video.

WHEN BAMBI ATTACKS:. Some "wacko" deer have residents of a community in eastern British Columbia on edge after a newspaper carrier was attacked twice in a week.

MAX the DOG, trapped in a car on a 90-degree day in eastern Pennsylvania, honked the horn until he was rescued.

KILLER CROC eats a puppy, and nothing can be done with the croc since it is an endangered species.

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PitchFest, Danger Mouse, Great Covers, Cutout Bin, Timmy+Tanya   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 16, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with the PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL! I've got my tickets, though I doubt I'll take the Bataan Death March approach of prior years. The big draw (for me and in general) is the reunited Pavement, whom I never saw the first time around.  Fortunately, I'm much less keen on buzz band Sleigh Bells than I should be on paper, so I'll be able to camp for a good spot for Pavement on Sunday Night.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Modest Mouse is the big draw on Friday, though I'm more excited about seeing Broken Social Scene again, after missing their last tour. I'm not a big fan of Saturday's big act, LCD Soundsystem, but I'll be there earlier in the day for bands like Titus Andronicus and the even more obscure Sonny & the Sunsets.  Sunday looks to be an all-day affair, with bands like Best Coast, Girls, Local Natives and St. Vincent (pictured) looming large on my sked (also Beach House, if I can squeeze 'em in). And chances are I'll run across a band or two that unexpectedly impresses along the way.  But even if I don't, the 3-day pass was a steal for the amount of music to see and hear (even if the storms come Sunday).

50s NOSTALGIA by 80s BABIES? All Songs Considered considers what I think is more fairly described as the more timeless elements in songs from She & Him, Mynabirds, The Like, Best Coast and Surfer Blood, as I don't think any of them are a straight nostalgia play.

DANGER MOUSE & DAVID LYNCH stopped by KCRW to talk up Dark Night of the Soul.

FIVE GREAT COVER SONGS from 2010 (So Far).

HARVEY FUQUA: Oliver Wang picks 5 must-hear works from the late Motown producer.

ADMIRAL RADLEY: Members of Earlimart and Grandaddy stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

GARY NUMAN plays "Cars" on 24 cars, powered by a DieHard battery.

MAGNETIC FIELDS: Under the Radar talks to Stephin Merritt's long-time collaborator Claudia Gonson about the new behind-the scenes documentary on the band.

GOGOL BORDELLO frontman Lionel Hutz talks to Spinner about the band's raucous internationalism.

LAURIE ANDERSON talks to the Philadelphia Inquirer about how husband Lou Reed helped her finish her new album.

CUTOUT BIN: From The Stooges to Simon & Garfunkel, from the Clash to Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood, from Edwin Starr to the Young Fresh Fellows, plus Stealer's Wheel, REM, Buffalo Springfield, Led Zeppelin, Simple Minds and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide release is Christopher Nolan's Inception, which is currently scoring 89 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, while The Sorcerer's Apprentice opened Wednesday, scoring 41 percent.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Oksana Grigorieva says Gibson hit and bruised his baby daughter - and there are photos to prove it, according to RadarOnline, which also has another really NSFW audio rant from the actor-director.  Gibson's lawyers claim to have hard evidence the tapes Grigorieva secretly recorded have been tampered with and edited. Also, Gibson's soon-to-be ex-wife, Robyn, has written a sworn declaration on behalf of Mel, saying he has never physically abused her or any of their children in the 28 years they were married.

LINDSAY LOHAN has picked up famed lawyer Robert Shapiro as her attorney; his plan is not to appeal Lindsay's 90-day jail sentence, but to have her check into a sober living home in which he's involved.

STEVEN SEAGAL: A million-dollar sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former assistant against the former action star has been dismissed in Los Angeles.

OPRAH is down in the basement, looking for her lost viewers.

KELSEY GRAMMER didn't have a prenup, and will pay the price of romanticism.

EMMA STONE is profiled at GQ.

PETER FERNANDEZ, the actor and voice director best known as the title character in the animated Speed Racer series, passed away yesterday due to lung cancer. He was 83. Go, Speed, Go! (Thx, Duchess Rebecca.)

AFGHANISTAN: The quality and reliability of the Afghan army have been called into question by the Pentagon. Meanwhile, the Afghan government on Wednesday approved a program to establish local defense forces that American military officials hope will help remote areas of the country thwart attacks by Taliban insurgents. And the CSM reports on what Kandahar residents say about the war.

IRAQ: The United States handed over the last detention facility under its control to Iraqi authorities on Thursday.

TIMMY & TANYA: A bullied, lonely tortoise finds love with a plastic toy female.

KITTEHS rescued in Afghanistan. Awww.... some pics at the link.

A BULL rammed his horns into the groin of a British tourist as 11 people were injured on the last day of the Pamplona festival in northern Spain.

CHUPACABRAS: The legendary chupacabra -- the goat-sucker animal once believed to roam in Miami-Dade -- is rearing its ugly head again, this time in Texas.

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Free Energy, Moore Bros, Feelies, Tranformer Owl   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BETTYE LaVETTE covers McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" on GMA.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: New tracks from Panda Bear and The Walkmen lead off the latest installment of the long-running NPR series.

FREE ENERGY stopped by the World Cafe for a mini-set.

THE MOORE BROTHERS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter. Kind of a pomo Simon & Garfunkel.

THE FEELIES, Live at Bearsville Theater, September 12, 2009. Courtesy of NYCtaper, who posted the band's cover of REM's "Boxcars" as a teaser.

WYE OAK gets a feature plus tracks from NPR's Morning Edition.

THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS are "Standing Next to Me."

ROXY MUSIC is reuniting on Bryan Ferry's upcoming solo LP.

TED LEO: Reports of his retirement were greatly exaggerated. It's a whole feature on Ted at the Village Voice.

PUBLIC IMAGE LTD's reunion is financed by John Lydon's Country Life butter ads.

CHRISTGAU'S CONSUMER GUIDE, remembered at New York magazine.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Gibson demands sex from his girlfriend and tells her he will burn down the house afterwards in one of the most bizarre and outrageous segments of audio obtained exclusively by RadarOnline.  They also report that Gibson pulled a handgun on Oksana Grigorieva as she tried to escape his Malibu mansion after their violent January 6 confrontation.

PENELOPE CRUZ & JAVIER BARDEM get hitched. Of course, in the movie, they got divorced after she tried to kill him. Also, Cruz denies pregnancy rumors.

BRET MICHAELS denies reports that he has proposed to his on-and-off girlfriend of 16 years Kristi Lynn Gibson, a source tells the ever-reliable Star.

JOHN STAMOS was "heartbroken" over his split with actress wife Rebecca Romijn when he first met the 17-year-old blonde now on trial for blackmailing him.

JESSE JAMES says he's moving to Austin so his three children can maintain a close relationship with stepmom Sandra Bullock and their adoptive brother, Louis... but a Cali judge has yet to decide in an ongoing custody trial whether to allow  James's daughter with ex-wife Janine Lindemulder to leave California, where Lindemulder lives.

THE HOBBIT: Peter Jackson is in Los Angeles this week quietly meeting with actors, but the sticking point continues to be the dire financial situation at MGM, which holds half the rights to the property (as does the WB).

MARK RUFFALO is in talks to play The Hulk in The Avengers movie.

THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA are going 3-D. Plus, a pic of Anthony Hopkins as Odin.

BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD: Together again. Heheheh.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: A group of young Saudi men have launched a campaign to convince Saudi men of the unappreciated virtues of polygamy.

AFGHANISTAN: The US has poured more than 100 million dollares into upgrading the Kajaki hydropower plant, in an effort to woo local sympathies away from the Taliban insurgency. Yet, one of the biggest beneficiaries of this American-taxpayer-financed project are the Taliban themselves.

TRANSFORMER OWL: More than meets the eye.

MAN sings to a Great White Shark: "People think I was mad but I proved my point," he said. Which is true, if the point was that he's cray-cray.

A 10-FT LONG GATOR bit off a man's hand, but officials managed to retrieve his hand from its stomach.


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The Heavy, Bruce Springsteen, Ariel Pink, Dolphin Escape   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SHE & HIM dropped an official video for "Thieves," with a George Melies vibe. 

THE HEAVY stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

MARINA & THE DIAMONDS also stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Roio has The Great White Boss, which includes tracks from his legendary stand at the Bottom Line in August 1975.

ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI gets a feature from World Cafe: Next.

KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND: "Boogie Shoes," live in Miami, circa 1974.

SLEIGH BELLS talk to Pitchfork about Korn, crunk, and kids these days.

ARCADE FIRE: Reuters reports on the band's art and commerce.

SANTANA popped the question to drummer Cindy Blackman as fans cheered on the newly engaged couple.

LIZ PHAIR explains her, er, odd online album, Funstyle.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Gibson is caught using yet another ethnic slur while going on a crazed rampage on new audio exclusively obtained and released by RadarOnline. Yet the Hollywood Reporter suggests the death of Gibson's career has been greatly exaggerated.

LINDSAY LOHAN still isn't fully aware of her dire situation, according to a lawyer who sat down with the actress over the weekend.  Maybe that's because her legal woes are turning into her biggest payday in years, with bids for the troubled starlet's pre- and post-prison interview coming in at over 500K. Meanwhile, the inmates cannot wait to get a piece of her.

JOHN STAMOS: An attorney for the actor denies the "Full House" and "ER" star had a romantic fling with a 17-year-old girl who six years later is accused of scheming to bilk him of hundreds of thousands of dollars by threatening to sell compromising photos to the tabloids.

VINCE VAUGHN is going to be a dad, baby.

KATE WINSLET & SAM MENDES are or are not giving their marriage another shot.

GEORGE STEINBRENNER, who bought a declining Yankees team in 1973, promised to stay out of its daily affairs and then, in an often tumultuous reign, placed his formidable stamp on 7 World Series championship teams, 11 pennant winners and a sporting world powerhouse valued at perhaps $1.6 billion, died Tuesday morning. He was 80 and lived in Tampa, Fla. I loved him on Seinfeld. Or something.

TRON: LEGACY received some key input from the elite brain trust at Pixar.

IRAQ: The US military has beefed up security at some of its bases after a threat that an Iranian-backed militant group was planning to attack.

AFGHANISTAN: Human Rights Watch has called on the Afghan government and its Western backers to ensure gains made by women in the country are not sacrificed in any peace talks with the Taliban.

A DOLPHIN attempted either an escape or suicide at Okinawa's Churaumi Aquarium.

A PET MONKEY was left stranded atop a utility pole after a truck crash in Ohio. 

SQUID may not be microwave-safe. Who knew?

FRIENDS don't let friends ride crocodiles drunk.

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