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Little St. Nick, Top Debut Albums, Watson Twins, Broccoli Kitten   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE BEACH BOYS serve up a vintage take on "Little St. Nick."  Contrary to what it says at the link, it's from Shindig!, iirc.

SMASHING PUMPKINS: Billy Corgan talks to the Chicago Tribune about the retooled band's new business model.

DAVID BYRNE weighs in on the Mattel-Bratz fight. Yes, really.

THE TOP 11 DEBUT ALBUMS of 2008, with streaming tracks, according to KEXP.

THE YEAR IN MUSIC, with streaming tracks, according to All Songs Considered.

THE WATSON TWINS are the latest video session at LaundroMatinee.  Songs include "Only You," the Cure's "Just Like Heaven" and a medley that features a slice of Bill Wither's "Ain't No Sunshine."

RA RA RIOT singer Wes Miles talks to the Louisville Courier-Journal about his Vampire Weekend connection and the band's wild emotional ride after the death of drummer John Pike.

STARS: Amy Millan talks to JAM! about the band's quickie, self-released Sad Robots EP, plus future plans. 

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks about his love for heavy metal, Howard lovecraft and more with the New Zealand Herald.

THE HOLD STEADY: Craig Finn talks to This Is Nottingham about The Wire, his role models and lterary style, plus more...

BRITNEY SPEARS tops the Billboard 200 albums chart for the first time in more than five years.

MARK RUFFALO mourns the death of his younger brother Scott, who has died after being shot in the head last week in Beverly Hills.   The main suspect says Scott shot himself playing Russian Roulette.

GOSSIP GIRL: Life imitates television.

BRADGELINA: Pitt's Rolling Stone interview is excerpted online: "'I normally need my kids to do this,' he mutters, as he attempts to connect my iPod into his stereo..."

JENNIFER ANISTON, reportedly baffled that people care about her personal life, blabs some more about on-again bf John Mayer, calling him "extraordinary."  And blabs some more about Angelina Jolie in GQ.

WATCHMEN: The Philip Glass-scored footage from the Watchmen Comic-Con 2008 panel has finally been released online. You can download it for free via iTunes.

THE 25 SMARTEST PEOPLE ON TV, according to Entertainment Weekly, includes the cast of The View.  Which might explain why TV is in such dire straits.

PAKISTAN has announced it will take action against the leaders of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Lashker-e-Taiba groups for their roles in the Mumbai terror attack, including freezing assets of the groups.  The prime minister confirmed that Pakistan has arrested two leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba.  The Mumbai attacks ahve prompted concerns among US intell officials that Lashkar-e-Taiba is emerging both as a more potent threat to American interests and as a potential successor to Al Qaeda.

IRAQ is developing its National Police forces, frreing up its military to focus on exxternal threats.

BROCCOLI KITTEN, Broccoli Kitten what are they feeding you?

CAT BURGLAR has got his claws into 35 teddies and soft toys in the last year, but really likes a type of stuffed leopard.

RARE WHITE TIGER CUBS were rescued after being abandoned in the wild in South Africa. Slideshow at the link.

A BABY MALE GORILLA may be abandoned and left to the care of the staff at the San Francisco Zoo. Pics and video at the link.

BANDIT the TORTOISE, having surprisingly survived being run over by a car, gets his own set of wheels.

3418 Reads

Holiday Mixes, Matthew Sweet, New U2, Shark Attack   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE RACONTEURS' bluegrass version of "Old Enough," with Ricky Scaggs and Ashley Monroe, is online, with a hint of Everlys.

MATTHEW SWEET played a short set for Mountain Stage, which you can stream on demand via NPR.

WOXY is again streaming its Holiday Mixer 24/7, "filled with unique renditions of your holiday favorites by modern rockers from around the globe."

NPR is also offering a streaming holiday mix that is more eclectic by genre, but a mere 100 songs in length.

PARTS & LABOR get a World Cafe twofer of tracks featuring samples sent in by fans.

U2 premieres "I Believe in Father Christmas," a charity track for (RED)WIRE, at iLike.

BLUR will reunite next summer in Hyde Park for their first performance since 2000, with more shows "in other parts of the country."

THE GUMMY AWARDS, Stereogum and Videogum's annual readers poll celebrating the best entertainment offerings of the year, are online.  Fleet Foxes tops the Best Albums list.

KEN STRINGFELLOW talks to the Jerusalem Post about The Posies and his other ongoing projects.

THE PIPETTES: With her solo single on the way, former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall tells The Quietus about the perils and pleasures of leaving the pop world behind.

JESSICA BIEL makes the Jaunary cover of the UK edition of GQ, in which she talks about Hollywood and her good looks, but not about bf Justin Timberlake. But beyond those pics, you may want to check out the trailer for Powder Blue, in which she plays an exotic dancer.

GREY'S ANATOMY: Multiple sources confirm to Entertainment Weekly that T.R. Knight has asked to be released from his contract, a request that both ABC and Grey's show-runner Shonda Rhimes appear poised to grant.

MARIAH CAREY was spotted coming out of a well-known ob/gyn's office in L.A., "clutching what looked like a sonogram and being greeted by her entourage with cheers.

MADONNA is looking to find Yankee Slugger Alex Rodriguez a new home base just a short throw from her own.

ANNE HATHAWAY: We now have video of the actress auctioning herself for chariity.

CLINT EASTWOOD might want to stay away from the singing. A man's got to know his limitations.

THE VICTORIA'S SECRET FASHION SHOW, icymi, offered as a public service, what with it being the holiday shopping season and all. Just call it Gratuitous Wednesday.

THE BREAKOUT STARS of 2008, according to Forbes magazine.

THE MOST DISAPPOINTING MOVIES of 2008, according to About.com's Jürgen Fauth. and Spoutblog's Karina Longworth.

PAKISTAN: Masood Azhar, the founder and leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, has been placed under house arrest. Azhar established Jaish-e-Mohammed the next year as an offshoot of the Harkat-u-Ansar, one of many terror groups created with the help of Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence agency to fight the Indians in Kashmir. Pakistani forces targeted offices and camps in Muzaffarabad run by Lashkar-e-Taiba, the main terror group behind the Mumbai terror siege. India claims that all of the Mumbai terrorists have been traced back to Pakistan.

AFGHANISTAN: Military commanders are exploring options for getting supplies into Afghanistan after recent attacks on logistical depots in Pakistan.

A GREAT WHITE SHARK attacks two scuba divers in Mexico.  What say you, Police Chief Brody?

CATS and DOGS and HUMANS: Comparative evolution.

BIZARRE ASSASSIN SPIDERS discovered in Madagascar.

HEY, IS THAT a sedated monkey in your shirt?

BEAVERS accused by environmental activists of illegal logging.

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New Releases, Cold War Kids, Tom Jones, Kitty slide   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


OH, PRETTY WOMAN: All Things Considered marked the 20th anniversary of the death of rock 'n' roll pioneer Roy Orbison with the backstory of his signature hit. Here's a star-studded version with Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, Tom Waits and more having an absolute blast. Rrrrrrawr.

NEW RELEASES: Funeral Party, Justice and Neil Young are among theose with albums streaming via Spinner in another thin week for new releases. Holiday discs from The Raveonettes, Elvis Presley, Bela Fleck, Rosie Thomas, Manheim Steamroller and many more are streaming via AOL.

COLD WAR KIDS stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

RYAN ADAMS has started writing for BlackBook magazine. In his debut, he does not disappoint -- though his response to negative concert review in the L.A. Times is also a good read in its own way.

TOM JONES was interviewed for NPR's Weekend Edition, along with new audio tracks and classic Tube links.  In that spirit, and the spirit of Twofer Tuesday, check out Sir Tom singing "It's Not Ununsal" and the new "If He Should Ever Leave You" on Canadian Idol, which opens with some great archival footage.

DUFFY has an interview and retro-tinged fashion layout the Evening Standard magazine.

RICHARD THOMPSON: The British folk-rock icon, up to his ears in accolades, talks to JAM.

MARK LANEGAN gives Prefix a characteristically gruff interview about working with Isobel Campbell: "I always consider myself to be a pretty good breakfast cook that ended up as a singer..."

MICHAEL BOLTON gets preferential tratment from airport security? Isn't that exactly backwards?

BILL MURRAY is NYC's most unlikely new party guy, turning up at bars and house parties alike, not to mention party-hopping with the band MGMT: "He's not a boozy, sweaty party hound who gets caught on camera cheesing it up with pretty young girls (see: Mel Gibson, Bono); rather, he's more like a ghost in the night, who shows up out of nowhere, engages in utterly random conversations and then exits gracefully-leaving witnesses to wonder what the hell just happened..." FLASHBACK: In 2006, Murray turned up at a students' party in St. Andrews, even doing some dishes.

JAY LENO will remain at NBC in May 2009, doing a show at 9 p.m. when Conan O'Brien takes the reins at The Tonight Show.

JENNIFER ANISTON says she doesn't get why people care about her life so much, which may make it unanimous, absent false modesty.

LINDSAY LOHAN was nuzzling Sean Penn at his proivate dinner for the movie Milk? Don't worry; if she splits from galpal Samantha Ronson, you'l be able to read about it on her MySpace page.

ANNE HATHAWAY: Three fans bid 12K for drinks with the Rachel Getting Married actress at the Cracked X-mas Fundraiser in Los Angeles Sunday night.

JESSICA ALBA: Real vs. Photoshopped. And the real story may be how little airbrushing was done.

WATCHMEN releases its 9th video journal entry; this one gives props to the props.

THE NANNY wants to be The Senator. IMHO, she should tout playing a nanny on television as experience directly relevant to the job.

THE STANS: Taliban raiders destroyed hundreds of NATO vehicles over the past several days in Pakistan's insurgency-wracked Northwest Frontier Province. A US military spokeswoman described Sunday's attacks in Peshawar as "militarily insignificant." US intelligence circles are now re-evaluating a long-discarded proposal to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism. The Taliban has a permanent presence in nearly 75 percent of Afghanistan, a new report by an international think tank says.

IRAN rejected a proposal by President-elect Barack Obama that a combination of economic incentives and tighter sanctions might persuade the Iranian government to change its behavior. Shocka.

THE MUMBAI ATTACKS were the subject of a panel held by the Counterterrorism Blog. What caught my eye were comments by Dr. David Kilcullen, an Aussie who has been advising Gen. Petraeus on counter-insurgencies:  "This was not some Islamic charity or some group working alone from the Deccan Mujahedeen: this has all the hallmarks of a Special Forces raid, closer to a commando or SBS raiding activity than a traditional Al Qaeda style terrorist attack... We can deduce they had some professional help though I think it is much too early to state who that support came from. It has been set up to look like a Pakistani government operation. We should be careful until we know more..." UPDATE: It turns out those comments caught the attention of Newsweek's Fareed Zakaraia, too.

KITTENS ON A SLIDE: Let's go to the video. Music by Dick Dale.

PUPPIES save toddler lost in the woods. BONUS: Dog owner leaps into freezing lake Michigan to save his pet.

BABY ELEPHANTS: Awww...some pics from a breeding center in the Nepalese city of Chitwan.

DANCES WITH WOLVES? A wildlife park in China is looking for three human volunteers to share an enclosure with 36 wild wolves.

3437 Reads

LCD Soundsystem, Raphael Saadiq, TMBG, Munchkin Cats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 08, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


KERMIT the FROG covers LCD Soundsystem's "New York, I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down"? No, that's the actual track, and James Murphy appears to cop to the Kermit influence.

RAPHAEL SAADIQ stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

THE LOW ANTHEM broght their Americana sound to the World Cafe Friday; you can stream the gig in full via NPR.

THE HOLD STEADY: Craig Finn himself pens a brief account of the band's rise for The Independent. He probably regrets not mentioning Franz.

TV ON THE RADIO: Jaleel Bunton talked to The Line of Best Fit about politics, why he's the drummer, Jimi Hendrix and why the internet might not be so awful after all.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: "Santa's Beard." Yep, that time of year again.

DAMIEN JURADO does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

70s ROCKERS in THEIR PARENTS' HOMES: Apartment Therapy links to a series of framed prints from LIFE magazine featuring Elton John, Eric Clapton, David Crosby and others with their parents and their parents' period decor. Hint: To see details, "Select Size" for a particular print; you'll go to a page with a Zoom function.

INTERNET KILLED THE RADIO STAR: We lose the element of surprise and the invisible curator.

STEVE DAHL, a Chicago radio personality for more than 30 years whose broadcast style inspired a generation of voices (including Howard Stern), told his listeners that he was being taken off the air. His "blowing up" of disco records on the air and Insane Coho Lips Anti-Disco Army rallies built to a crescendo with a 1979 "Disco Demolition" night at Chicago's Comiskey Park, which has become part of broadcasting and baseball lore.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Four Christmases repeated at No.1 with 18.1 million on what is traditionally one of the worst movie weekends annually. Twilight jumped back into second place with 13.1 million, even as receipts dropped almost 50 percent. Bolt came in third with 9.7 million, and was one of several movies to drop over 60 percent this weekend. Australia jumped over James Bond to the fourth slot with seven million.  Quantum of Solace dropped 65 percent to bring in 6.6 million.  Overall, 007 has made about 150 million in the US, close to what Casino Royale made in 2006; worldwide, the movie should break 500 million this week.  This weekend's debuts failed to crack the Top Five. Punisher: WarZone opened at No.8, while Cadillac Records opened at No. 9 (though the latter had a decent per screen average). Nobel Son came in at No. 15.

MADONNA is handing Guy Ritchie a £32 million divorce payoff, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.

LINDSAY LOHAN vents that Facebook disabled her page because they thought she was an imposter.

ANGELINA JOLIE is the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, and makes No. 24 on the Hollywood Reporter's Power 100 List of Women in Entertainment.

PAUL BENEDICT, who played the English neighbor Harry Bentley on "The Jeffersons," has died at 70. As it turns out, he was not English. Benedict began his  career in the Theatre Company of Boston, alongside Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino. Really.

JESSICA ALBA comes to the rescue on another cold Monday with behind the scenes pics from her Campari calandar.

BOY GEORGE was found guilty on Friday of falsely imprisoning a Norwegian male escort by handcuffing him to a wall.

O.J. SIMPSON, icymi, was put away Friday for at least nine years - and perhaps the rest of his life - for an armed robbery in a hotel room.

BETTIE PAGE,  one of the most notable models of the 20th century, is hospitalized in intensive care after suffering a heart attack in Los Angeles.

IRAQ: Moqtada al-Sadr's loyalists are on the defensive, struggling to remain politically relevant as the US role in Iraq diminishes and Prime Minister al-Maliki gains stature. Iraq will dispatch police commandos to protect sites such as the ancient city of Babylon that were left vulnerable to looting after the US invasion in 2003. A raid on a major al-Qaeda hideout north of Baghdad has uncovered evidence of a network of child suicide bombers who have been coerced into launching terror attacks across Iraq.

MUNCHKIN CATS:  A relatively new breed created by a mutation that results in cats with abnormally short legs. Let's go to the video.

LONESOME GEORGE, the conservation icon of the Galapagos islands and last surviving tortoise of his kind, is set to stay lonely - at least for the time being.

GASSY COWS and HOGS could be taxed after the US Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases from motor vehicles amounts to air pollution.  The EPA denies any plan to do so... at the moment.


SNAKE in a PRINTER: It would explain their paper jam.  As a bonus, the reprile remains at large.

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Calexico, Top Videos, Cutout Bin, Dog vs. Balloons   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 05, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with CALEXICO! Live at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on October 15, 2008.  The setlist spans their career, not leaning heavily on their current album Carried To Dust -- and including their killer rendition of Love's "Alone Again Or," which I touted just last week.

SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU, BORIS YELTSIN: Lead guitarist and songwriter Will Knauer tals to Teen Ink, and it's amusing beyond the mere idea of it.

RA RA RIOT stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR, where they are likened to "Spoon with strings."

LOST ALBUMS that shouldn't be found, according to Seattle Weekly.

BEST OF 2008: Largehearted Boy is doing his usual yeoman's work compiling the list of lists.

THE TOP 40 VIDEOS OF 2008, according to Pitchfork. I'm singling out the Mountain Goats' "Sax Rohmer #1" because they probably should have been on last week's Faves list. RELATED: John Darnielle talks to Australia's Courier-Mail about the importance of a work ethic.

THE ANNUALS are finally "breaking" at Rolling Stone.  Video at the link.

DRESSY BESSY: Tammy Ealom talks about the importance of finding the right drummer.

PITCHFORK & FADER have entered a new strategic content and ad sales partnership.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Bonzo Doo Dah Dog Band to Manfred Mann's Earth Band, from The Clash to Ricky Nelson, from Iggy Pop to The Osmonds, from X to the Bay City Rollers, The Only Ones, Blitzen Trapper, Marvin Gaye and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's only wide release is Punisher: War Zone, which is currently scoring 19 percent on the ol' Tomatometer.  However, hundreds of screens will be showing Nobel Son, which is currently scoring 27 percent; and Cadillac Records, the Chess Records pic that is scoring 62 percent.

ANNE HECHE and her beau, actor James Tupper, are expecting their first child together.

JENNIFER ANISTON: Not pregnant, but longing for motherhood. Or so she says.

SEAN AVERY, the Dallas Stars center suspended by the NHL for making an offensive statement apparently referring to ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert, apologized Wednesday.

MADONNA: Is Alex Rodriguez already two-timing Madge with model Melissa Britos? Perhaps more important, can we get a gander at model Melissa Britos?

EVAN RACHEL WOOD: Inspired by her role as a bitter daughter in The Wrestler, the actress has re-established a relationship with her estranged dad.

MORGAN FREEMAN may pay out more than 100 million bucks in a potential divorce settlement.

SPOILER ALERT: The Fine Brothers spoil 100 movie endings in under four minutes.

BEA ARTHUR accepts her second shot at the TV Academy Hall of Fame.

WES ANDERSON talks to The A.V. Club about on-the-job training, directing James Caan and Gene Hackman, being despised, and what debut films he admires most.

MAD MEN: Jon Hamm officially joins 30 Rock for a multi-episode arc as the love interest of Tina Fey character Liz Lemon. Creator Matt Weiner talks to TV Time Machine for an hour about all sorts of things, including The Sopranos and The Twilight Zone.

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

IRAN: The Israeli Defense Force is drawing up options for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities that do not include coordination with the US,  according to the Jerusalem Post.

IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN: The US military reported the lowest level of casualties in both theaters of war in over five years of fighting.

DOG vs BALLOONS: Let's go to the video.  I love the ending.

DEMO the ORANGUTAN is quite the stud. And King Louie wants to be like us?

JONATHAN the TORTOISE, as it turns out, is also quite the stud at 176 years young.

SUPER ANTS prepare to invade Britain.

THE SWARM apparently saved a Conneaut, OH, house from a devastating fire late Tuesday night.

KNUT UPDATE: The once cuddly polar bear is now a dirty brown and facing eviction from the Berlin Zoo.

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