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Jawbox, Mason Jennings, The XX, Bob Dylan, Space Butterfly   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JAWBOX reunited for the first time in 12 years on the Fallon show, playing "Savory" on air and "FF=66" and "68" for the internet.

MASON JENNINGS stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set streaming via NPR.

THE SWELL SEASON played a set at the Triple Door in Seattle, which you can watch or hear via NPR.

THE BEST BRITISH BANDS OF 2009, with tracks from Fanfarlo, Richard Hawley, Gomez, Madness and more, courtesy of WFUV.

THE XX are profiled by Robert Christgau for NPR.

BOB DYLAN has an animated video for "Little Drummer Boy."

LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION: Dev Hynes is releasing free downloadable "bootlegs," starting with House-Sitting Songs: "At the time that I did it in May, I put it online and then took it off within the hour. I put it on this morning after listening and thought, 'Wow, this is pretty cool."

THE TOP 10 CHRISTMAS ALBUMS made by Jews, courtesy of Jewcy.

THE FLAMING LIPS are selling a Silver Trembling Fetus Christmas tree ornament. Video at the link.

MYSPACE has bought iMeem.

TIGER WOODS reportedly sent some embarrassing e-mail to Rachel Uchitel. Jaimee Grubbs has been romantically linked to George Clooney.  The mistress toteboard reportedly stands at lucky 13.


JESSICA SIMPSON and BILLY CORGAN spotted leaving a NYC hotel.

NICOLAS CAGE's baby mama is suing the actor for fraud and breach of contract, alleging she's been caught in the web of his financial mismanagement.

JENNIFER GARNER talks work and family with W magazine.

YOUTH IN REVOLT, starring Michael Cera, has a red-band trailer online.

SPIDER-MAN 4: Movieline reports that Raimi's sequel is circling John Malkovich and Anne Hathaway to play Spider-Man's adversaries, and neither evildoer is quite what you might have expected.

AS THE WORLD Doesn't Turn.

THE WORST MOVIES OF THE DECADE, according to Moviefone.

IRAN claimed that a new UN station to detect nuclear explosions built near its border is used for spying by the West. Saudi Arabia denied it kidnapped an Iranian nuclear scientist during the Haj. A judiciary official said Iran will "show no mercy" toward opposition protesters.

AFGHANISTAN: Gen. Petraeus warned Congress Wednesday that the military situation likely will "get harder before it gets easier."

IRAQ: A senior Mahdi Army facilitator with direct links to leadership in Iran was captured in Baghdad.

BUTTERFLY IN SPACE: Let's go to the video.

HOLY COW: Obviously.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A suicide squirrel cut power to 9000 people in Ohio.

A RELUCTANT COW was rescued from Darwin Harbour in Australia.

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NME's 2009 picks, Liars, TMBG, Os Mutantes, Cow-Fu   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE BEATLES' Royal Variety Performance from 1963: "From Me To You," "'Til There Was You" and "Twist & Shout." John Lennon introduced the finale thusly: "For our last number I'd like to ask your help: Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewelry..."  The incident came to mind because, when Lady GaGa met the Queen and performed in a red latex Elizabethan gown, she too asked the audience to rattle their jewelry.

NPR listeners pick The Best Music Of 2009. You can stream single tracks or a two-hour exravaganza.

LIARS released an advance track, "Scissors" from their upcoming LP to stream or download.

LIGHTNING DUST played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

OS MUTANTES did a feature and two-fer at the World Cafe.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: "Santa's Beard."  Their cover of "New York City" is pretty seasonal, too.

NME publishes its 50 best albums and 50 tracks of the year.

ONE-HIT WONDERS OF THE DECADE, courtesy of Billboard.

NOTES ON THE NOUGHTIES: The musically fragmented decade.

SUN RECORDS: The Guardian pays tribute to the revolutionary ears of Sam Philips.

TIGER WOODS' mother-in-law was taken from his home to the hospital, but reportedly was released hours later.  Woods allegedly paid for some liposuction.  Mrs. Woods has bought a mansion in Sweden. Gatorade is shutting down production of their special brand of Tiger Woods' brew this month; the company calls it coincidental.  But no TV ads featuring Tiger have run since Nov. 29th. BONUS: Deadspin tours Tigerland.

BRYANT GUMBEL is being treated for lung cancer.

LINDSAY LOHAN with a controversial, NSFW photoshoot, just in time for Gratuitous Wednesday.

THE NEW VICTORIA'S SECRET AD, directed by Michael Bay, also just in time for Gratuitous Wednesday.

SANDRA BULLOCK and JESSE JAMES won a child custody battle against adult film actress Janine Lindemulder, who served six months in prison for tax evasion.

JENNA FISHER: Summer bride.

UMA THURMAN and her fiance, multimillionaire Arpad Busson, have called it quits.

THE HOBBIT: Casting starts this week. Tom Waits wants a role.


THE TOP TEN MOVIES no one saw in 2009, according to Moviefone.

IRAQ: A series of devastating car bombings rocked Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 121 people and wounding hundreds more, according to preliminary accounts by witnesses, the police and hospital officials.

COW-FU: Let's go to the video.

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE: Heron eats snake eating fish.

HEY, IS THAT 23 geckos and 20 skinks hidden in your underwear, or are you... oh.

POLAR BEAR gives birth to two cubs in a Canadian zoo... and has not eaten them. Yet.


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New Releases, Smashing Pumpkins, Patrick Watson, Turtle   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE SUBMARINES release a video for "Submarine Symphonika," which you may have heard in the latest iPhone ad.

NEW RELEASES: Animal Collective, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Buffett, John Vanderslice, Lifter Puller and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.

SMASHING PUMPKINS: Billy Corgan releases "A Song for a Son" -- the first from his 44-trackTeargarden by Kaleidyscope.

GOV'T MULE played the World Cafe on Friday; you can stream the gig now via NPR.

PATRICK WATSON talked about his varied influences -- from contemporary indie rock, to 1940s cartoon music and impressionist composers -- on All Things Considered.

EDDIE VEDDER is engaged.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & the E STREET BAND told Paris last year that "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."  But I still like the vintage video from Passaic, NJ in 1978.

SLY STONE has a record deal for a 2010 release.

CAT POWER talks to Australia's Courier Mail about writing her next album.

TOO MUCH JOY frontman Tom Quirk posts "My .47 Royalty Statement: How Major Labels Cook the Books with Digital Downloads."

VINYL and TURNTABLE sales continue to rise, though many of the latter now run iPods.

WHAT DO Fleet Foxes, Shrley Bassey, Muse and 2 Pac have in common?

TIGER WOODS: And then there were ten, including a former adult film starlet. Allegedly. Some claim Tiger's driver was uncovered. Radar claims that Mrs. Woods has moved out of the house.

ALEXA RAY JOEL was released from the hospital.

LINDSAY LOHAN spent the night at How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segel's pad in West Hollywood. And just did a ménage à trois magazine photo shoot, inspired by Johnny Depp and Kate Moss.

BRITNEY SPEARS' team has taken the first step toward ending the conservatorship.

DRACULA: After the Twilight saga, Summit Entertainment plans to revisit Dracula with Brad Pitt.

A BRADGELINA statue is intended to inspire "sexual healing for the room's occupants." So what's wrong with Marvin Gaye?

HARRY POTTER and the DEATHLY HALLOWS will feature a "very sexy" love scene in which actor Daniel Radcliffe appears nude alongside co-star Emma Watson.



TERROR in the USA: New federal charges filed Monday allege that a Chicago man, who was arrested in October for planning terrorist attacks against a Danish newspaper and two of its employees, also conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years preceding the November 2008 terrorist attack on India's largest city that killed approximately 170 people, including six Americans, and injured hundreds more.

IRAN: Security forces and militiamen clashed with thousands of protesters shouting "death to the dictator" outside Tehran University on Monday, beating them with batons and firing tear gas.  Journalists were banned from covering these events, and the regime slowed Internet access to a crawl. Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad claims the US is attempting to thwart the return of mankind's savior.

IRAQ: political leaders have resolved the election dispute.

FEEDING A WILD TURTLE: Let's go to the video.

COWS busted in house-licking incident.

CAT IN HART FLAT haz plague?

KIKI THE TORTOISE, whose energetic lovemaking made him a favourite with the French public, succumbs to an infection at age 146.

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Altamont, Devo, Regina Spektor, Dogs Tree Decorate   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 07, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ALTAMONT:  Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the infamous Altamont Speedway Free Festival, headlined and organized by the The Rolling Stones.  The event is best known for having been marred by violence, including one killing and three accidental deaths.  Entertainment Weekly's Owen Glieberman looks at the big picture, while The New York Times talked to the sister of Meredith Hunter, the man murdered at the fest.  Filmmakers Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin shot footage of the concert and incorporated it into a subsequent documentary film entitled Gimme Shelter -- and thanks to the marvels of modern technology, you can stream the movie on demand. BONUS: Chris Hillman of the Flying Burrito Brothers remembers.

DEVO is streaming a 1978 live set.

REGINA SPEKTOR played a mini-set for the World Cafe streaming now via NPR.

NEON INDIAN did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND: "California English Pt. 2" is the dizzily weird B-side to the band's "Cousins" single, and possibly NSFW.  Also, Ezra Koenig and Chris Biao talk image issues and second album syndrome with the Irish Times.

GLAM CHOPS: Art Brut's Eddie Argos has a "Countdown to Christmas."

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE are to make a bid to beat this year's winner of 'The X Factor' to the UK's Christmas Number One single position.

THE 85 BEST MORRISSEY SOLO SONGS, according to The Awl.

LALA is getting bought up by Apple.


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: In the traditionally weak post-Thanksgiving frame, The Blind Side rises to the No. 1 spot with 20.4 million (a 49 percent drop from last weekend).  It could hit the 200 million mark domestically, which would make a stunning year for Sandra Bullock, whose The Proposal was her biggest film since Speed.  Twilight: New Moon finally drops to the second slot with 15.7 million, with a domestic total over a quarter-billion.  Brothers debuted in the third slot with 9.7 million, which is tepid enough to remove it from most Oscars consideration.  A Christmas Carol climbed up a spot to No.4 with 7.5 million, and will likely increase its weekend revenues as we head toward the holidays.  Old Dogs rounds out the Top 5, making 6.9 million after a 59 percent drop from its opening.  Below the fold, Armored opend in sixth place with 6.6 million, while Everybody's Fine proved a misnomer with a tenth place debut.  Overall, the Top 12 took in 92 million; last year that figure was 76.7 million.

UP IN THE AIR made the lucky 13th slot on a mere 15 screens, with a 77,333 per screen average.  Director Jason Reitman's follow-up to the adorable Juno was (imho) a solid B, B+ effort.  That's maybe a bit below where a lot of critics would place it, so I should emphasize that I do recommend it.  George Clooney is usually pretty good when he's acting (as opposed to acting cool or political) and he turns in a nice performance here as a man who enjoys living without any personal entanglements (though it may not be all that big a stretch for him in some respects).  And Jason Bateman was his usual excellent self in a minor role.  But it's really Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga who give this movie its spark.  Perhaps the best thing I can say about this movie is that it was not formulaic, with a set of mixed endings I won't spoil here.

ALEXA RAY JOEL, the 23-year-old singer/songwriter daughter of Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel was hospitalized Saturday after ingesting a large number of sleeping pills in what police consider a suicide attempt.  She may have been upset over a boyfriend, and may have taken a homeopathic medication. (really?)

TIGER WOODS: Alleged Mistress Number Four has lawyered up, as the mistress count stands at six.

RIVERS CUOMO, Weezer's lead singer, has reportedly been hospitalized after a bus crash.

AMY ADAMS: Knocked up. Enchanting.

JESSICA SIMPSON and... Billy Corgan? Run, Billy, run!

ACTRESS SALARY REPORT: The Hollywood Reporter tells how top ladies are faring in the recession.

A FORMER GITMO DETAINEE who went through the Saudi "rehab" program has emerged as a leading ideologue and theologian for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

IRAN's vice-president said today his country needs 20 industrial-scale uranium enrichment facilities, a potentially dramatic expansion of its nuclear program in defiance of UN demands.  Meanwhile, a simulation game played at Harvard last week had Iran closer to having the bomb, America failing to obtain tough UN sanctions; diplomatic relations with Russia, China and Europe strained; and Israel threatening unilateral military action.

DECEMBER 7, 1941: A "date which will live in infamy." I'll be watching Tora! Tora! Tora! on tonight. BTW, the first nation invaded by the US after entering WWII was Morocco, then Algeria, iirc.

DOGS decorate a Christmas Tree.

CHICKEN-LICKER charged with criminal damage.

A STRANDED TUNDRA SWAN may get a lift to the coast of British Columbia from Air Canada.

TINY BABY HEDGEHOG: Awww...some pics.

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The dBs, Top Songs '09, Lightspeed Champion, Cutout Bin, Parrot   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 04, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE dB's!  The influential, but oh-so-unlucky modern pop combo performs "Happenstance," "Bad Reputation" and "Living A Lie" from Sweden circa 1982.  Chris Stamey left the band (temporarily) after which we got the infamous, banned-from-MTV clip for "Amplifier," plus live takes of "She Got Soul" and "Not Cool" from the legendary Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ circa 1986.  From the same time period, you can see the band help close down Folk City in NYC with a cover of Bob Dylan's "Positively 4th Street."  BONUS:  The fabulous Marti Jones and Windbreaker Tim Lee cover the dB's classic "Neverland," also from 1986.

THE TOP SONGS OF 2009, according to Sean at Said The Gramaphone. Big honkin' ZIP file of 75 songs. And at the moment, you can stream 'em via the ol' HM... just keep paging.

ROBERT FRANCIS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

THE TOP 50 NEW WAVE SONGS, as decided on by WFDU listeners.

FREEDY JOHNSTON is offering "Don't Fall in Love With a Lonely Girl" as a free download.

THE XX is profiled by Eye Weekly and Rolling Stone.

BIG STAR: The most under-appreciated band evah?

THE KINKS are getting a biopic by Julien Temple, which makes today perfect for "Father Christmas."

SELLING OUT TO SURVIVE: PopMatters spoke with a few artists whose music has appeared in advertising to find out what motivates them.

BLAKROC: The Black Keys' collaboration with hip-hoppers is featured on NPR's Morning Edition.

HIP-HOP IS DEAD, according to Simon Reynolds (and Sasha Frere-Jones).

JESCA HOOP talks to Strangeglue about the release of her sophomre LP. (Thx, LHB.)

LEMMY talks to Vice about Motörhead, Hawkwind, The Beatles and more...

LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION drops the video for "Marlene" in advance of the single and upcoming album.

HA HA TONKA: Brian Roberts talks to the Rochester City Paper about the influence of the Ozarks.

DAVID BOWIE: Read his letter to his first American fan.

DECADE IN REVIEW: What happened to pop?

YEAR-END MUSIC LISTS are pointless, argues Paul Morley.

THE CUTOUT BIN: From Sammy Davis Jr. to Yo La Tengo, from Teenage Fanclub to The Drifters, from Solomon Burke to Camera Obscura, plus Them, Glasvegas, the Rolling Stones, Chris Bell, John Lennon and more   -- this weekend's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekends wide releases are Everybody's Fine, which is currently scoring 51 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Brothers, currently scoring 58 percent; and Armored, which was not screened for critics.  Up in the Air, scoring 85 percent, opens on 10 screens.

TIGER WOODS: Rachel Uchitel now claims she was lying when she said she did not have an affair with the golfer.  Radar claims Jaimee Grubbs has a history of chasing famous sports professionals, tried to get into Playboy, made a sex tape and had a lesbian encounter.  Kalika Moquin denies being mistress number three.  The Daily Beast has more details on Tiger's prenup, though it may be getting a rewrite even now.

RONNIE WOOD: The Rolling Stones guitarist was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend Ekaterina Ivanova.

LINDSAY LOHAN... and Entourage star Kevin Connolly?

MARILYN MANSON and EVAN RACHEL WOOD together again? There have been rumbles about this before.

WILL FERRELL wants to play Simon Cowell in a biopic.

NATALIE PORTMAN talks to Marie Claire about surviving child stardom, escaping the "muse" trap, and emerging unscathed from her first tabloid scandal. There's a photoshoot, too.

ROBERT DUVALL may play Don Quixote for Terry Gilliam... if they get the money.

THE TOP 10 HEIST MOVIES, according to Hollywood.com, though most are pretty recent.  Ad among recent ones, I might put The Bank Job on that list.

THE BEST BAD MOVIES OF THE DECADE, according to The A.V. Club.

IRAN has been conducting a campaign of harassing and intimidating members of its diaspora world-wide -- not just prominent dissidents -- who criticize the regime, according to former Iranian lawmakers and former members of Iran's elite security force, the Revolutionary Guard, with knowledge of the program.  Part of the effort involves tracking the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube activity of Iranians around the world, and identifying them at opposition protests abroad, these people say.

PARROT TANTRUM: Let's go to the video. (mild language warning)

ORCA: How killer whales use a 'karate chop' to stun and then finish off killer sharks.

THOUSANDS OF ROTTING CAMELS are polluting vital waterholes and sacred sites in the Aussie Outback.

DOG PHOTOGRAPHER dies at 13, which is a decent age for a dog.  Cyrus's portfolio lives on.

ORANGUTAN PHOTOGRAPHER still going strong.

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