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Ben Harper, John Doe & the Sadies, Art Brut, Box Cat Returns   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BLITZEN TRAPPER was joined by FLEET FOXES on "Furr" in Eugene, Oregon.

BEN HARPER is advance streaming his new album, due May 5th.

JOHN DOE & THE SADIES are streaming their new album, Country Club. Wonderful North Americana.

MARIA TAYLOR stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming on demand via MPR.

ART BRUT gets an audio review plus tracks from Robert Christgau for NPR.

THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART go lo-fi in the official video for "Young Adult Friction."

DUKES of STRATOSHPEARE: Andy Partridge producer John Leckie talk about the inspiration behind the 25 O'clock  recordings in a two-part podcast.

BEN LEE answers the infamous 20 Questions at PopMatters.

STEVE EARLE talks to Billboard about his upcoming Townes Van Zandt tribute album.

JASON ISBELL talks to the Houston Chronicle about playing pool. Yes, really.

JULIA ROBERTS let the F-bombs fly at a salute to Tom Hanks. Video at the link.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER & MATTHEW BRODERICK are expecting twin girls via a surrogate.

MADONNA boytoy Jesus Luz is getting dissed by other male catwalkers, who presumably know he's only getting work from Madge's pals to keep him legally in the USA.

FARRAH FAWCETT must not be doing well; Redmond O'Neal was sprung from jail for three hours over the weekend to see her.

MEGAN FOX is on the set of Jonah Hex.  That's some corset she's wearing.

JESSICA BIEL: Her Powder Blue is going stratight-to-DVD.  If Biel as a stripper can't get to the big screen, it's got to be pretty awful.

TERMINATOR: SALVATION has three new TV spots, with new f/x footage.

FRANCE: Hundreds of ‘highly intimate' images -- plus a video -- of French First Lady Carla Bruni and an ex-lover have been stolen during a burglary in Paris.

PAKISTAN launched an operation against the Taliban in Buner. The operation is the latest in a series of disjointed offensives that have failed to blunt the Taliban's advance in Pakistan.

IRAQ displayed the man they claim is Islamic State of Iraq leader Abu Omar al Baghdadi on television.

RETURN of the BOX CAT: Maru is back... and this time, she's got a bigger box!

A CHIHUAHUA is no match for 70 mph winds.

A LITERARY CAT turns up at a British library almost every day while his owners are at work. He spends the day on his favorite blue chair, only leaving the building when he sees his owners arriving home.

A PLAGUE OF MORMON CRICKETS is fought off with hard rock in the Nevada desert.

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Matt & Kim, New Releases, The Kinks, Pig Breakout   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MATT & KIM end up wearing much less in the video for "Lessons Learned," shot In NYC's Times Square.

NEW RELEASES: Bob Dylan, Ben Folds, the New York Dolls and more are streaming in full this week at Spinner.

M WARD stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming now via MPR.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED; Art Brut, Akron/Family, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and more have tracks streaming in the latest edition of the long-running NPR series.

METRIC: Emily Haines does a track-by-track breakdown of the band's upcoming album, Fantasies, at Drowned In Sound.

THE KINKS supply "Days" and "The Village Green Preservation Society" for Twofer Tuesday.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS frontman Gruff Rhys talks about Pitchfork about the Velvet Underground, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Jim O'Rourke.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND frontman Ezra Koenig talks to Entertainment Weekly about the band's upcoming sophomore LP.

BOOKER T talks to the Boston Globe about his first solo album in 20 years, "Potato Hole," with guest turns by Neil Young and the Drive-By Truckers that imbue his trademark instrumental soul with gritty Southern-rock stylings.

SONGS that make The A.V. Club cry. No Barry Manilow in sight.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON have been meeting up on the sly, according to the NYDN. A source close to Lohan tells People magazine that the "Mean Girls" star's alarming recent weight loss is an attempt to get attention from Ronson.

BRADGELINA beat back a book by a former bodyguard... for now.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE co-stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto are an item, according to Patel's mother.

MADONNA has reunited with her Brazilian man-candy, Jesus Luz. Madge's friends in fashion are hiring him so he can work legally in the US.

BRITNEY SPEARS had a wardrobe malfunction in Anaheim, CA. And that euphemism really does not do it justice. Video at the link.

GILLIAN ANDERSON is being lined up to appear in an upcoming episode of Dr Who. The truth must be really out there.

TOMMY & THE COOL MULE, starring Kevin Sorbo and Ice-T (as the mule) has a trailer online. Yes, really.

WOLVERINE:  The Mexico City premiere was postponed due to swine flu.  The flu virus crisis will likely hurt Wolverine's box office in Mexico, as the Mexican government has asked residents to stay home.

IRAN: Israel has reportedly sunk a second Iranian ship carrying weapons destined for Hamas in Gaza. An Iranian-American  journalist detained by Iran and sentenced to eight years in jail on espionage charges is "very frail" amid a hunger strike she started a week ago, her father said.

PAKISTAN: President Asif Ali Zardari said Monday that Pakistani intelligence believes Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead but acknowledged they had no evidence.  However, there is plenty of evidence of Pakistani intelligence backing the Taliban.  As a distraction from the sorry state of Pakistani security under Taliban assault, it's a pretty lame attempt.

IRAQ: Prime Minister al Maliki confirms the capture of AQI leader Abu Omar al Baghdadi.  The US military has not confirmed the report.

CAT & BABY POSSUMS, living together... mass hysteria.

MORE THAN 180 PIGS escaped from a truck just yards from the slaughterhouse where they were due to meet their fate. Pic at the link.

ALFIE THE HORSE has a blonde mustache. Pic at the link.

AN 11-FT CROC turns up on a doorstep in Tampa.

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King Khan, Bear Hands, Sufjan, M83, Bull in a Market   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 27, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


KING KHAN & THE SHRINES work it like Wilson Pickett in "Land of the Freak."

BEAR HANDS did three free songs for Daytrotter, two previously unreleased.

THE STRANGE BOYS did three free songs for Daytrotter at SxSW.

FISCHERSPOONER covered an obscure REM track, "Fascinating," at Michael Stipe's request as a bonus to their forthcoming Entertainment LP. Both versions at the link.

SUFJAN STEVENS has posted an old demo of a song about Sofia Copppola.

M83 debuts "We Own the Sky" on PitchforkTV.

WISH YOU WERE HERE, an illustrated history of indie music scnes around the USA, has a big honkin' excerpt online.

ST. VINCENT: Annie Clark talks to The Guardian about her second album and he nom de rock.

THE LAs Lee Mavers might be ready to record a second album -- after a 19 years hiatus --.with Pete Doherty and the Babyshambles?

THE FLAMING LIPS: Oklahoma lawmakers who voted against making a Flaming Lips tune the official state rock song represent a minority of "small-minded religious wackos," lead singer Wayne Coyne says.  Gov. Brad Henry resolved the issue by announcing he would sign an executive order proclaiming "Do You Realize??" the official rock song of Oklahoma.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Obsessed takes the top slot with 28.5 million, about 10-15 milion higher than the gurus expected. Apparently, there were a lot of people who wanted to see Beyonce in an imitation of Fatal Attraction. 17 Again drops 50 percent to second place with 11.7 million; this will presumably still be a decent moneymaker for the WB.  Fighting opens in the third slot with 11 million, and will probably break even on a presumably modest budget.  The Soloist opened in fourth place with 9.7 million, as against a reported 60 million budget. The Earth documentary rounds out the Top Five with 8.6 million -- but it already made almost 80 million overseas, so I'm thinking Disney isn't too upset.  Overall, this was a very good weekend for late April, which is traditionally a dumping ground before the blockbusters arrive in May. This April's box office is ahead of last year's by about 150 million when comparing Top 12 grosses.

BEA ARTHUR, who starred in the hit TV shows "Maude" and "The Golden Girls" and who won a Tony Award for the musical "Mame," died Saturday at 86.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON reportedly spent the night together.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS's baby daddy is in the hospital after a single car accident.

PAM ANDERSON has fallen on hard times, according to the ever-reliable Courtney Love.

JOE PANTOLIANO talks about the Matrix -- and it's less successful follow-ups. Click-through for his discussion of The Sopranos, too.

WOLVERINE will have multiple secret endings on different prints and theaters will be showing different versions.

COUNTER-INSURGENCY: The New York Times reviews the new book from David Kilcullen, "The Accidental Guerilla."

PAKISTAN: Taliban gunmen were filmed executing a surprised couple whom they repeatedly shot for the alleged crime of adultery. A local journalist was invited to witness the execution, who filmed it with his mobile phone for a Pakistani channel, Dawn News. Meanwhile, spokesman Haji Muslim Khan said that Taliban anger was partly caused by the presence of female American soldiers in the region. Grievance du jour.

LIKE A BULL in a CHINA SHOP: A bull in an Irish Supermarket.

GRACEFUL ROBOT PENGUINS were unveiled by German engineering firm Festo this week. Video at the link.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A Michigan teacher guiding students around the University of Michigan campus was attacked by an irate squirrel when she tried to help one of its young. A classic ambush situation.

MEET RUPPY, the world's first genetically-engineered, glow-in-the-dark puppy.

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Hoodoo Gurus, Glasvegas, TMBG, Cutout Bin, Cute Montage   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 24, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with the HOODOO GURUS! Live at a club in Italy, circa 1987.  Part 1 includes "In the Wild," "On My Street" and "Good Times."  Part 2 includes "Come See Me," "In the Middle of the Land," and "I Want You Back."  Part 3 includes "Mars Needs Guitars!" "I Was the One," and "What's My Scene." Part 4 includes "Bittersweet" and "Like Wow, Wipeout." Part 5 includes a cover of "Teenage Head" and "I Was a Kamikaze Pilot."

CHAIRLIFT stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming now via MPR.

GLASVEGAS did the four free songs thing for a Daytrotter SxSW session, one previously unreleased.

SHOEGAZE gets a week-long feature at Drowned In Sound.

SONIC YOUTH: The Quietus has a track-by-track rundown on the upcoming The Eternal album.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: The literal version of "Birdhouse In Your Soul" for Twofer Friday.

YEAH YEAH YEAHS talk to Drowned In Sound about the science of fun.

FINDLAY BROWN: Hit By A Wall Of Sound? Beats being shot by Phil Spector! Actually, this session reminds me a bit of the Olson & Louris stuff, too, with dashes of the Everlys.

UH-OH: Matador Records has postponed reissuing albums by Mogwai, Yo La Tengo and Cat Power after losing the master tapes when a pressing plant went bust.

CUTOUT BIN: Form Katrina & the Waves to King Khan & the Shrines, from Billy Bragg to Booker T, from the White Stripes to the Chi-Lites, plus Bowie, T Rex and double helpings of the Replacements and Guided by Voices -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include Obsessed, which has plenty of TV ads, but no screenings for critics ; Fighting, currently scoring 36 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and The Soloist, scoring 51 percent.  Earth, the documetary launched on Earth Day (Dang, that's some clever PR), is scoring 85 percent.

LINDSAY LOHAN may have been blindsided by her breakup with Samantha Ronson, but claims that she thought it would be much harder, and that she and Ronson are still talking.

JAY LENO is "doing just fine" in the hospital after falling ill yesterday, according to a network rep.

JACKO may have been involved in a bizarre hit-and-run collision with an ambulance in Beverly Hills.

HAYDEN PANETTIERE wuz robbed!  Save the jewelry, save the cheerleader.

MAD MEL UPDATE: A Russian pop star who allegedly had an affair with Mel Gibson has been silenced by the actor's lawyers.

HENSON'S 11: Audio from the "Ocean's 11" trailer, video from "The Great Muppet Caper."

MICHAEL PHELPS is denying rumors that he is dating Miss California. Shocka.

IRANIAN SNIPER, or WOOKIE? How to tell them apart.

NORTH KOREA has become a fully fledged nuclear power with the capacity to wipe out entire cities in Japan and South Korea.

PAKISTAN teeters on the brink of collapse as Taliban fighters threatened to overrun the volatile country. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the state, which has nuclear capability, now posed a 'mortal threat' to the world.  How mortal? The Taliban takeover of Haripur would put the Taliban on the doorstep of Islamabad and would also put two major nuclear facilities at risk.

IRAQ: Unconfirmed reports from the Iraqi Army said Islamic State of Iraq leader Abu Omar al Baghdadi was captured in eastern Baghdad.

FUZZY FUZZY CUTE CUTE: A montage of awww...some.

THE SMILEY-FACE SPIDER, which is harmless to humans, has evolved to confuse predators, and evoke nolstalgia for the 1970s, scientists think.

UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: What to do if you encounter a cougar, presumably not the sort you encounter in bars.

A SPARROW learns not to smoke in bed.

CROCS on a PLANE: Two bad-tempered crocodiles caused anxious moments for the crew of a Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules.

THE BEAST of BODMIN: Caught on camera!

A WHALE PROTECTION BOAT crashed into and injured a whale off the Massachusetts coast.  US tax dollars at work!

A GROUP OF FOXES have been trained by a retiree to stand up on their hind legs like dogs and beg for food.  Awww...some pic at the link.

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The Cure, PB&J, The Walkmen, Cat vs Pigeon   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 23, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THAO with the GET DOWN STAY DOWN covered the Lovin' Spoonful's "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?" for Record Store Day.  Thao Nguyen is profiled in the Washington Post.

THE CURE is streaming all 30 songs from their secret show at L.A.'s Troubadour.

PETER BJORN & JOHN stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming on demand via MPR.

THE WALKMEN stopped by WNEW for a chat and acoustic mini-set streaming on demand.

MICACHU and the SHAPES talk to Paste about the band's name and kitchen-sink pop, with embedded audio.

NEKO CASE plays "This Tornado Loves You" at the Ed Sullivan Theater.

MAC McCAUGHAN of Superchunk, Portastatic and Merge Records does a Q&A with MAGNET, including Portastatic's cover of GbV's "Echoes Myron.

THE DECEMBERISTS -- and Carson Ellis, Colin Meloy's wife and band artist -- are profiled in Paste. Drowning, nerds, hard rock, etc.

ANDREW BIRD is profiled at Filter: "I ended up completely changing the way I make music out there. And when you spend that much time alone, you definitely find out who or what your demons are."

M WARD is profiled by the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette: Ward says he assembles his songs from snippets, half-songs, bridges, choruses and hooks he has recorded over the course of two decades. Ward says he has 500 such recordings and no system for organizing them.

BOB SEGER and his bassist are getting sued over an automobile accident. Like a rock.

LINDSAY LOHAN is drowning her sorrows over her breakup with Samantha Ronson in a sea of men - and some friends are terrified she'll go down the road Britney Spears traveled two years ago.

BEYONCE KNOWLES's raw  "board mix" is almost as bad as the late Linda McCartney's board mix.

ANGELINA JOLIE is signing onto a film franchise based on Patricia Cornwell's bestselling book series on medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE: No evidence suggests Rafiq Qureshi tried to sell his young daughter, Sumdog Millionaire actress Rubina Ali, police in Mumbai announced Wednesday.

TOM CRUISE is a one-man economic stimulus to the script doctoring business.

DENISE RICHARDS shows off her funbags.

MICHAEL PHELPS is dating Miss California?

HARRY POTTER: Daniel Radcliffe talks about the cliffhanger splitting of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

IRAN welcomes "constructive" talks with world powers on its nuclear program but insists the Islamic state will press ahead with its disputed work.  Meanwhile, the state-run news agency ran a story on its website praising the unveiling of an Iranian-made drone, that according to the Israeli daily Maariv bears a striking resemblance to an earlier photo taken in Israel of an Israeli-made drone.

PAKISTAN: So, how's that peace deal working out?  The Taliban have issued a direct challenge to the legitimacy of the Pakistani government, by declaring the country's entire legal system "un-Islamic."  The Taliban have seized control of another district in the country's northwest just 70 miles from the capital after consolidating their hold on the Swat valley.  The Daily Beast's Gerald Posner reports that Taliban forces are on the verge of seizing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

CAT vs. PIGEON: Who you got?

BUGGING BUGS: Tiny radio transmitters have been attached to ants to study their nest-hunting habits.

A BLACK BEAR is on the loose in Broward County, FL.

EAGLE mugs a 69-year-old woman in Austria.

THE BEAVER BAFFLE SYSTEM is being erected in Annapolis.  Hey, nice beaver!

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