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Noah & the Whale, Jenny Lewis, Fall Music Preview, LOLCats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NOAH AND THE WHALE go for a Wes Anderson look in the video for the infectious "Five Years Time."  The song, which has been used in a Saturn commercial, appears on the band's long-overdue Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down album.

JENNY LEWIS is streaming her new Acid Tongue album with help from that Steve Jobs guy.

JULIANA HATFIELD: Largehearted Boy has her playlist for her memoir.  The playlist is a bit of a memoir itself, discussing her first kiss, "the most authentically tortured and anguished vocal performance" she ever witnessed, and so on.

FALL MUSIC PREVIEW:  Tracks from Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Jolie Holland, Eagles of Death Metal and more are freatured in the latest All Songs Considered.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND have a new track, "Ottoman," a new track on the Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, streaming via the 'Gum.

THOSE DANCING DAYS bring the Swedish propulsive pop on "Home Sweet Home."

FRIGHTENED RABBIT vocalist Scott Hutchinson writes about the joys of the road for the Guardian: "I have many wonderful and happy memories already, such as the time we all drank petrol in Kidderminster to celebrate the birthday of Wayne Sleep. Then there was the night in the Nevada desert, when I allowed an angry scorpion to sting my penis repeatedly in an effort to make it look more like a Jesus..."

BEACH HOUSE: You can stream a new single, "Used To Be," via GvsB.

PORTASTATIC: Mac McCaughan talks to Billboard about the Band's 20th anniversary comp and the Merge Records box set.

KINDIE MUSIC: Children's-music blogger Stefan Shepherd compiles streaming tracks from They Might Be Giants, Central Services, and The Nields for All Things Considered.

CHARLIZE THERON swilled a Margarita and sang a karaoke version of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Let's go to the video.

CHARLIE SHEEN's pregnant wife, Brooke Mueller, has been discharged from the hospital after emergency gall-bladder surgery -- an operation that can be risky during the early stages of pregnancy.

SHARON STONE has lost physical custody of her 8-year-old son Roan.

MEL GIBSON bought the ocean-view home of sex addict David Duchovny and Téa Leoni for about 11.5 million.

MEG RYAN tells In Style magazine that ex-hubby Dennis Quaid "was not faithful to me for a very long time, and that was very painful. I found out more about that after I was divorced."  She also talks about her thing with Russell Crowe.

GWYNETH PALTROW launches Goop.

SAMANTHA RONSON, who is now publicly Lindsay Lohan's galpal, turned down a landmark lesbian watering hole in NYC seeking her DJ services for a charity benefit.

CLAY AIKEN is gay? Who'da thunkit?

IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad railed against "Zionist murderers" in a speech to the UN on Tuesday and vowed to resist American bullying and defend Iran's right to nuclear power. He repeatedly referred to what he described as Zionist control over international "financial and monetary centers," a widely discredited accusation that is often associated with anti-Semitism.  Meanwhile, back at home, Christian convert Ramtin Soudmand faces the death penalty after being jailed for the crime of 'ertedad' or abandoning the Muslim faith.

IRAQ: Facing a local population that has grown intolerant of AQI's indiscriminate acts of violence, many AQI operatives have gone underground - some have reportedly formed sleeper cells in the Iraqi security forces. Iraqi authorities are giving former militants, people who committed minor crimes or who are suspected of offences in the once insurgent bastion of Samarra a chance to clear their name if they turn themselves in. Sunni Arab Awakening Councils are showing signs of restiveness as their US-paid leaders face major changes, military sources say. The Long War Journal covers the Iraqi Security Forces logistical organization and development.

A PIG the size of a Shetland pony has been terrorizing a woman in a town in Murwillumbah, Australia.

LOLCATS: A hard-hitting investigative report in the business section of the L.A. Times.

A FAMILY DOG in Alabama brought home a child's foot, but searchers combing surrounding woods found no signs of any other remains and don't know where the child might be.

THE ZOOKEEPER who hand-reared Knut the polar bear and helped turn the animal into a global celebrity has been found dead in his Berlin flat.

GARZILLA: Chad Leonard went looking for catfish in the Georgia's Alapaha River. Instead, he caught a net full of teeth and temper, a state-record longnose gar.

3541 Reads

New Releases, Ani DiFranco, The Stooges, Cow!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TV ON THE RADIO releases Dear Science today; the new video is "Golden Age."

NEW RELEASES: The Raveonettes, Blitzen Trapper, Golden Smog, Old Crow Medicine Show and Cold War Kids are among those with albums streaming this week via Spinner.

CONOR OBERST talks to Tulsa World about recording, songwriting and why his latest album is not Bright Eyes.

DAVID BYRNE talks to Pitchfork about subjects from music to bike racks.

ANI DI FRANCO did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME nominees are announced.  The Stooges and Wanda Jackson should have gotten in last year!  Future Rock Hall has all the eligibles who have been snubbed.  It's a good excuse to link to the classic Stooges video of "TV Eye" and "1970" from the Cincinnati Pop Festival for your Twofer Tuesday.  BONUS: Wanda Jackson belts out "Hard-Headed Woman" on the old Town Hall Party.

BASIA BULAT is humble about her multi-instrumentalism in the Boston Globe.

NICO: Former Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale is curating a tribute to the late chanteuse, with singers including Peter Murphy and Mark Lanegan.

STEVE EARLE talks to amNY about living in the Village.

KID ROCK kept his last album off iTunes and the singles chart.  But he probably made lots more money that way.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS:  A picture of her brestfeeding her baby has sparked a federal child pornography investigation.

TRAVIS BARKER & DJ AM had Shanna Moakler and Mandy Moore rushing to their hospital beds after surviving that jet crash Friday.

DREW BARRYMORE & KIRSTEN DUNST are getting catty over actor Justin Long.

STEVEN TYLER, Aerosmith frontman, got into Cher's pants.  Literally.

JENNIFER GARNER & BEN AFFLECK are reportedly expecting a boy the second time around.

LINDSAY LOHAN is buying a £2.5 million love-nest in NYC's famous Dakota building for her and galpal Samantha Ronson, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.

THE EMMYS hit an all-time ratings low.  I'm not surprised.  If Mad Men had not been nominated, I would have bailed on that stinker of a show about 5 minutes in.  But I think it also reflects that critically acclaimed like Mad Men, 30 Rock and John Adams did not have big audiences in the first instance.

MAD MEN: Executive producer Matthew Weiner and actors Jon Hamm and John Slattery discuss the madness of Madison Avenue circa 1960 on NPR's Fresh Air (Season One spoilers).  Hamm is hosting SNL on October 25.

IRAN could be hiding a secret nuclear program, according to UN watchdogs. Shocka.

IRAQ: Forced off the streets with diminished political clout, Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army militia struggle for relevancy.  Meanwhile, Iraqi Shiite fighters who trained inside Iran to operate in assassination squads are starting to return home.

COW gets frisky in Bulgaria.  Was it the mood music?

TEN PIGLETS, in a variety of colors and patterns.  Awww...some pic at the link.

KILLER SLUGS march northward in Sweden. People are getting concerned, slowly.

STOLEN CHIHUAHUA turns up at the vet's office after ingesting meth.

PET RATS and a HAMSTER were rescued in Edinburgh, Scotland after fire crews were alerted by a quick-thinking neighbor.

4358 Reads

Earl Palmer RIP, Westerberg, Bell X-1, Brian Wilson, Cats & Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 22, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


EARL PALMER, a legendary session drummer who manned the throne on songs from "Tutti Fruitti," "Something Else," "I'm Walkin'" and "La Bamba" to "Dead Man's Curve," "River Deep, Mountain High" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" to sessions with the Mamas & Papas, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits and Frank Sinatra, not to mention film scores for movies including Judgment at Nuremberg and HUD and television shows, including the Theme from The Flintstones, has passed away at 84.

PAUL WESTERBERG talks to Newsday about late Replacements drummer Steve Foley and the reissues of the band's major label albums.

BELL X-1 played the World Cafe on Friday; you can stream the gig on demand via NPR.

JOHN VANDERSLICE stopped by Oregon Public Radio for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand, including a new song.

BAVID BYRNE & BRIAN ENO: Bryne talks to the Baltimore Sun about collaborating in the Internet Age.

BRIAN WILSON performs a goofy version of "Lucky Old Sun" for a Black Cab Session, with a bit of a Beach Boys classic tagged onto the end as a bonus.

EDDIE VEDDER has penned "All the Way," a Chicago Cubs-themed song written at the request of Cubs legend Ernie Banks.  The song will be available for download soon.

JAYMAY does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, two previously unreleased.

SILVER JEWS: David Berman recalls for Tuscon Weekly how he got into songwriting while working as a security guard.

JULIANA HATFIELD: Excerpts from her new memoir are published by The Phoenix.

THE EMMYS: Mad Men became the first basic cable show ever to win the best-drama Emmy... and did so in its first season. Creator Matt Weiner also won for writing the pilot.  30 Rock won for best comedy series, with Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin also taking home statues.  The John Adams miniseries also did quite well, with Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson all winning.  Here's the full list of winners. And Josh Groban sang a bizarre medley of TV theme songs. If that clip gets yanked from the Tube, you may be able to see it at BWE's liveblog.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Lakeview Terrace wins the weekend with 15.6 million, at the high end for Samuel L. Jackson (who is becoming omnipresent in movies).  The budget was only 22 million, so this looks like a winner.  Burn After Reading comes in a solid second with 11.3 million and also looks to be a winner. My Best Fried's Girl debuts in third with 8.3 million, but may end up profitable on a 20 million budget.  Igor debuts in fourth place with eight million, and will likely not recoup its 30 million budget in theaters.  Righteous Kill, the De Niro-Pacino team up, rounds out the Top Five with 7.7 million, on a 53 percent drop that should embarrass its stars.  Ghost Town, the best reviewed movie opening this weekend, opened in eigth place with 5.2 million, though its per screen average was decent.

TRAVIS BARKER & DJ AM -- former Blink-182 drummer and former fiancee of Nicole Richie, respectively -- suffered second and third degree burns in a jet crash that killed four people Friday.  Both are expected to make a full recovery.

ROB LOWE and his wife engaged in "disgusting racially and sexually offensive behavior," according to the latest filing by their ex-nanny.

DAVID DUCHOVNY is doing really well in sex rehab, according to his Californication co-star Evan Handler.

MADONNA falls down, goes boom onstage.  Video and pics at the link.

GEORGE MICHAEL busted with crack in a public washroom again.  Only the type of crack has changed.


PAM ANDERSON has found a man as plastic as she is.

GARY COLEMAN has been sued by a man who claims the actor punched him and ran into him with his truck in a bowling alley parking lot. "What you talking about, Willis?" and Big Lebowski jokes ensue.

HEATHER MILLS is suing her former publicist for more than £250,000 for breach of confidence and falsehood over newspaper allegations that Mills trynedto smear her ex-husband Sir Paul McCartney during their acrimonious divorce earlier this year.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes faced a barrage of protests at her Broadway debut from a crowd of anti-Scientology demonstrators who carried protests declaring 'Free Katie!'.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  Saudi women find a role model in... Oprah Winfrey.

IRAN: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is Iran's top political and military figure, said his country's hostility to Israel extended beyond the government to the Israeli people as well. In saying so, he was brushing aside recent overtures by top Iranian officials to the Israeli public.

IRAQ: The NYT's Pulitzer winner Dexter Filkins, back in the country for the first time since 2006, seems stunned by the progress made in his absence. A spate of recent news articles demonstrate that the Iraqi Police are finally stepping up to the plate, including Iraqi policewomen. Gen. Jack Keane (Ret.) talks to the WSJ about why the surge worked, including its role in spreading the Awakening movement.

BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA star Rusco was rescued from a shelter and trained by the dude who trained squirrels for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."  BWE has pics from the movie's all-dog premiere.

A RAGING BULL roamed the streets of Queens in NYC, until lassoed by a member of the NYPD.  The bull suddenly died before he could be taken to an animal sanctuary.  Pics and video at the link.

HEY, IS THAT A HARE IN YOUR BRA, or are you just... oh, it is.

HUNDREDS OF UNKNOWN SPECIES lurk in northern Australian waters, including brilliant soft corals and tiny crustaceans, according to marine biologists.

CATS & DOGS can live together harmoniously, if introduced when young.  That is, if you're willing to risk a disaster of Biblical proportions.

3975 Reads

120 Minutes, Hoots & Hellmouth, ATP, Cutout Bin, Dramatic Lemur   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 19, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with 120 MINUTES!  With MTV cancelling Total Request Live, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the network's alt-rock show (a "dumping ground for light-rotation videos") -- in this case the 10th anniversary show.  Part 1 pays tribute to forerunners like the MC5, The Stooges, the Velvet Underground, punks like the Ramones, the Sex Pistols and The Clash, New Wave acts from Devo to Blondie to The Knack, brits like Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen, harcore like Bad Religion and the Dead Kennedys, college rockers like REM, the Smiths, the Replacements, Husker Du, and a cavalcade of those who followed, through Nirvana.  Part 2 has memories from alt-rockers about the show itself, odd interview clips, with bits of Big Audio Dynamite, Public Image Ltd., Morrissey, Lollapalooza, Cracker, Thurston Moore and Michael Stipe as Rush Limbaugh.  Part 3 is only about a minute, but you gey Lou reed smooching up host matt Pinfield.  Really, they did a pretty decent job of including the wheat rather than the chaff.  Youngsters just getting into indie rock could do worse than to look at that list of artists as a jumping-off point.

HOOTS & HELLMOUTH do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.  Americana with a touch of bluegrass and good humor.

LED ZEPPELIN REUNION: Robert Plant has been begging off due to the paperwork: "I've kept every one of the emails that were exchanged before the concert and I'm thinking of compiling them for a book, which I feel sure would be hailed as a sort of literary version of Spinal Tap..."

ALL TOMORROWS PARTIES: This weekend's bug fest will be simulcast Sat & Sun via WFMU, including sets from Wooden Shjips, Low, Lighning Bolt, Mercury Rev, Yo La Tengo, Bob Mould, Dinosaur Jr. and more...

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff gets chatty in the Great White North, including interviews in Straight, the Vancouver Sun and Monteal's Gazette.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE: Here's the "Coke Zero Trailer" that has Jack White miffed.  You can stream "Another Way to Die" at several places.

THE CHEMICAL BROS are streaming their Brotherhood album via Artist Direct.  Not really my genre, but I usually like 'em for that genre.

JENNY LEWIS tells Greg Kot that she's pretty sanguine about her musical career: "I can't believe that I ever got a pass to play music in the first place. I was a child actor --- are you kidding me? I should be like Corey Haim or Corey Feldman or the chick from ‘Diff'rent Strokes'..."

LUCINDA WILLIAMS is releasing a digital-only EP of protest songs in October, which should make Sylvia's month.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Banana Splits to Bob Dylan, from Sylvia to Steppenwolf, from the Ramones to Pink Floyd to Nancy Sinatra covering the Beatles, plus the Temptations, the Electric Prunes, Esquivel 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 wide releases include My Best Friend's Girl, which opens on about 2600 screens, but was not screened for critics; the thriller Lakeview Terrace, which is currently scoring 30 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the animated Igor, which is coring 31 percent; and the sixth-sensy comedy Ghost Town, which is scoring 78 percent.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is in mourning today after losing two of her dogs to a vicious coyote attack.

MISCHA BARTON suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction while leaving a fashion show in London.

BRADGELINA: Jolie's rep rubbishes rumors that Pitt and Jolie have split.

CHARLIZE THERON: "I actually have seven children nobody knows about." She was kidding though, I think.

GWYNETH PALTROW gives the world an unprecedented peek at the two-hour rigorous workouts which helped her shed 20lbs of babyweight. Looking good looks pretty rough.

MAD MEN creator Matt Weiner talks to USA Today about the long strange trip the show took to get on the air, though I love what he told prople who asked how writing for The Sopranos was different from sitcoms: "It's the same job. I sit around in a room with a bunch of writers and talk about The Sopranos all day."  ALSO: The GateHouse Press service has an interesting piece about a mother and daughter watching Mad Men together.


IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad said on Thursday Iran would not halt sensitive nuclear work the West suspects is aimed at making bombs and brushed aside threats of more sanctions. Ahmadinejad also said Israel would not survive, even if it gave up land for a Palestinian state. A  top adviser of Iran's supreme leader said that in the event of war no ship passing through the oil-rich Gulf region would be beyond the reach of the country's missiles.

IRAQ: A rare decision by SecDef Gates to reject a Marine Corps recommendation that one of its heroes receive the Medal of Honor has angered Marines who say Sgt. Rafael Peralta sacrificed his life to save theirs by covering a live grenade thrown by insurgents during a 2004 firefight in Fallujah.

DRAMATIC ANIMALS:  The original Dramatic Chipmunk spawns imitators like the Dramatic Cat and the Dramatic Lemur. (Thx, Lance.)

DINOSAURS prove it's better to be lucky than to be good.

THE BLACK FOX: According to legend, it brings doom and disaster to anyone who sees it. This is the first caught on camera in the UK.

GIANT KANGAROO RATS are to be counted from space.

RARE (AND UGLY) HAIRY-NOSED OTTERS discovered in Vietnam.

WHEN PIGS FLY: Must be the Royal Melbourne agricultural show in Australia.

3962 Reads

Norman Whitfield RIP, Louris & Olson, Eugene McGuiness, Cat & Hen   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NORMAN WHITFIELD, one of the creators of the Motown sound and the psychedlic soul sound of the late 60s, died Tuesday of complications from his long struggle with diabetes at age 67. He was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 2004, with frequent collaborator Barrett Strong.  Whitfield had a hand in smash hits like "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," and a string of Temptations classics, including "Ain't Too Proud to Beg,"  "(I Know) I'm Losing You," "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)," "Psychedelic Shack," "Ball of Confusion," and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," which was one of Whitfield's Motown Grammy winners (the other being "Cloud Nine" -- you can find a fuller list at Wikipedia).  Whitfield left Motown in 1973 to form his own label and produce songs like Rose Royce's "Car Wash"; the soundtrack to the movie would earn him another Grammy.  He returned to Motown in the 1980s.  In 2005, he pleaded guilty for failing to report royalty income and served six months of house arrest due to his health problems.  Whitfield is also immortalized in Billy Bragg's "Levi Stubbs' Tears."

GARY LOURIS & MARK OLSON: The former Jayhawks are advance streaming three tracks from their upcoming album, Ready For The Flood, due in January. And all three are really, really good.

THE HOLD STEADY gets some good pub at... Christianity Today.

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

THE NATIONAL is profiled in USA Today.

EUGENE McGUINESS takes us to the "Moscow State Circus." Poppy goodness in fencing outfits.

OF MONTREAL is streaming a premix of "Id Engager" from a an upcoming 12" of remixes of songs on the equally upcoming Skeletal Lamping album.  I prefer the original, even if it's still a bit "Do You Think I'm Disco."

VAMPIRE WEEKEND bassist Chris Baio talks to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat before hitting the Treasure Island Festival in the Bay this weekend. He's getting a little tired of the Paul Simon comparisons.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: Remastered CCR, Ray LaMontagne and Land of Talk are among those featured in the new installment of the long-running NPR series.

KANYE WEST & JENNY LEWIS meet in an airport lounge... and it's not the start of a joke.

RYAN O'NEAL & SON were arrested Wednesday at the actor's Malibu home for alleged meth possession.

BRADGELINA: Pitt announced Wednesday that he's donating 100 grand to fight California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that would eliminate same-sex couples' right to marry.  Previously, Pitt has said he's ready to marry actress Angelina Jolie once all Americans are "legally able" to marry, so there's a personal angle here, too.

JESSICA SIMPSON debuted atop Billboard's country chart (and No.4 on the Top 200), so maybe she can lay off the compulsive eating.  OTOH, sales of 65K is way below the 101K debut of her last album, so maybe not.

ANNE HATHAWAY: Turning into a diva? Or still broken up over her break-up?

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY & ORLANDO BLOOM in a remake of Saturday Night Fever?

LINDSAY LOHAN: Snubbed by Barack Obama's campaign, defended by John McCain's campaign. Strange bedfellows.

JULIUS & ETHEL ROSENBERG were in fact Soviet spies, according to Morton Sobell, the co-defendant in their famous espionage trial.

NORTH KOREA has tested the engine mechanism for an ICBM that might be able to hit major cities on the US West Coast, according to an account published Tuesday in the South Korean press. This violates a 2006 UN Security Council resolution.

IRAN: The International Atomic Energy Agency has presented intelligence to 35 nations allegedly showing plans to redesign an Iranian missile to accommodate a nuclear payload. Iran the claims information was fabricated. A US grand jury indicted eight individuals and eight corporations fr conspiracy to transfer prohibited technology to Iran. Some of the electronics have been used in IEDs in Iraq. The US Treasury designated six Iranian military firms as supplying Iran with equipment for its nuclear program.

SNOWY the CAT & GLADYS the HEN, living together... mass hysteria, a disaster of Biblical proportions.

JURASSIC FROG: Okay, technically a Triassic frog, but still very nasty.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A militant flying squirrel invades a home through the toilet.  And don't think that the squirrels aren't putting the pythons up to it also.

A PARROT is worrying staff and scaring children at the at the South Park birdhouse by telling visitors to "f*** off".  His keeper blames Cartman.

MILLIONS OF SPIDERS have colonized the HafenCity revitalization of Hamburg's old port district, daily Berliner Morgenpost reported on Monday. Some windows alone are infested with more than 700 creepy crawlers.  Creepy, crawly, creepy crawly...

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