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Sufjan Stevens, Petra Haden, Don Ho, Holiday Bin, and Ziggy the Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 27, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SUFJAN STEVENS got a good review for his Christmas box in the Boston Globe. CDReviews likes it too, while snarkily noting that Pitchfork managed to review it twice. You can watch the animated video for "Put the Lights o­n the Tree" and see a winged Stevens throw inflatable Santas like footballs into a Dublin crowd during a live take o­n "The Worst Christmas Ever!"

MORE HOLIDAY CDS are reviewed by the staff at The Detroit News.

THE KILLERS are releasing a Christmas single titled, "A Great Big Sleigh," o­n December 5th as a download o­nly through iTunes.

PETRA HADEN is interviewed and performs a capella covers of "I Can See For Miles," "Odorono" and "God o­nly Knows," plus an original for the World Cafe.


ROBERT LOCKWOOD, JR., the stepson and apprentice of blues uber-legend Robert Johnson, has passed away. There's a video at the link, but "Everyday I Have the Blues" is good also. ANITA O'DAY, the "Jezebel of Jazz," died of cardiac arrest after a period of declining health at age 91. Among her best-known perfomances is this take o­n "Sweet Georgia Brown" at the Newport Jazz Festival.

NELLY FURTADO turned down a cool 500 grand (

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Dean & Britta, the Ben Folds Fake, Cutout Bin, and a baby Okapi   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 24, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



... with BRENDAN BENSON. Before his songs helped propel The Raconteurs up the charts (with an assist from the Jack White brand), Benson was cranking out tunes that are Top40 hits in some other, cooler, dimension -- like "Tiny Spark," "Metarie," "Spit It Out" and "Cold Hands, Warm Heart."

TOM WAITS: The New York Sun reviews his Orphans box set: "And as the subtitle makes plain, the discs are divided by sound. 'Brawlers' boasts the blues shouters and abrasive rockers, 'Bawlers' contains the ballads, and 'B*stards' is a collection of tribute compilation tracks, spoken word pieces, and experiments. It's not a proper career summary, but the breadth of the music here reflects Mr. Waits's oeuvre during the last quarter-century, highlighting its best and worst aspects."

BOX SETS: Tom Waits is not among the boxes reviewed by the Thin Cities' Pioneer Press, but the article does gover goth, soul folk... and the Bee Gees.

CAT POWER and the Memphis Rhythm Band palyed DC's 9:30 Club o­n the 20th, so you can stream and download it now from NPR.

DEAN & BRITTA: The former Luna-tics talk to the Pitchfork about their upcoming album, featuring originals and covers of Donovan and Lee Hazlewood. you can stream "Words You Used To Say" from MySpace.

THE BEN FOLDS FAKE: Improv Everywhere was invited by the man himself to cause trouble at his recent NYC gigs. And yes, there's video.

THE NME "COOL" LIST is not o­n the mag's web site, but Stereogum has it. London's Independent interviews Beth Ditto of the Gossip, who tops this year's list. You can stream The Gossip from Myspace.

GRIZZLY BEAR has some free audio up o­n their site, including two acoustic tracks.

KRIST NOVOSELIC of Nirvana is coming out of retirement to play bass o­n the first tour in more than a decade by FLIPPER.

BOB MOULD talks to Billboard about his next album, which looks to be continuing in the pop mold.

THE CUTOUT BIN: This Friday's fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine include: Sufjan Stevens - Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time!; They Might Be Giants - New York City; Nick Lowe - Cruel To Be Kind; Todd Rundgren - Hello Its Me; Fountains Of Wayne - Radiation Vibe; The Posies - Dream All Day; The Jesus & Mary Chain - Happy When It Rains; Julianna Hatfield and Evan Dando - It's a Shame About Ray; Hindu Love Gods - Gonna Have A Good Time Tonight; Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World; Eddie & The Hot Rods - Do Anything You Wanna Do; Fairport Convention - It's Only Witchcraft; Richard Thompson - Oops! I Did It Again; Ohio Players - Fire; and Bob Seger - Ramblin' Gamblin Man.

MICHAEL RICHARDS CRACK-UPDATE: The ex-Kramer called the Rev. Al Sharpton to apologize for his racist rant at a Los Angeles comedy club, but Shrapton wasm't having it: "He called me yesterday to say sorry, but it's not my place to accept that o­n behalf of all blacks. I can forgive, but I'm not the victim here. What he said hurt a lot of people." It's not Al's place? I thought it was o­n his business card.

NOW SHOWING: Ire ported o­n this week's wide releases Tuesday, but I note that late-arriving reviews dropped Tenacious D to 53 percent and Deja Vu to 63 percent o­n the Tomatometer. I saw the latter, which was okay, though not great. I do give the picture credit for including the line, "I need more cowbell!"

HEIDI KLUM & SEAL are welcoming a baby boy with five names: Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel.

BRITNEY BREAK-UPDATE: Spears is searching for a new home in Miami, while estranged hubby Fed-Ex has been offered

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Sam & Dave, Joanna Newsom, Redd Kross, and Turkeys, Turkeys, Turkeys!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 23, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


EVERYBODY PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER for Sam & Dave o­n "I Thank You." What were you expecting? Dido? Alanis Morissette?

"I'M THANKFUL" by veteran soul singer Spanky Wilson (with British electronica soul producer Quantic) was recently NPR's Song of the Day, but they shoulda saved it for today! That, or Bing Crosby.

JOANNA NEWSOM talks in-depth with the Pitchfork about working with the legendary Van Dyke Parks o­n her new album, Ys: "He did make it clear that he didn't want me to settle just because he's so great. Of course the first draft he sent me was genius; it was brilliant-- it had his mark and compositional voice all over it. It would've been so easy to fall in love with those parts because of how great he is and how much I love his sound. But the effort to bring those things closer to something that resonated with me as my own and bound me closely to these songs was very huge and took a long time. He never made me feel like I was being unreasonable wanting things to work that way. He also did disagree with me sometimes, and sometimes he won our little arguments. And I'm very glad for the arguments he won, because he was right to have won them, and the whole work sounds better because of that..." The entire Ys album can be found o­n the HM: "Emily"; "Monkey & Bear"; "Sawdust & Diamonds"; "Only Skin"; and "Cosmia." My pick to click would be the o­ne with the animals, because who doesn't like animals?

FIELD MUSIC produces an angular, yet highly harmonic brand of pop -- think The Posies, with bits of The Futureheads and mid-period Beach Boys around the edges. Then stream 'em via the Hype Machine.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO(S): Redd Kross play "Annie's Gone" and "1976" from Third Eye, which may be my favorite album of theirs, maybe because it reminds me of the Hoodoo Gurus.

RIC OCASEK talked to the A.V. Club about his second career as a record producer and was asked whether he enjoyed going through his early home videos for a Cars DVD: "Enjoy? (Laughs.) It was kind of interesting, because I hardly remembered what I had. Certainly some of the home movies, I hadn't seen for so long. The footage was taken from VHS and Betamax... It dates everything in kind of a cool way. That's the way things looked, and that's the way things looked when you videotaped them. I kind of like that aspect of it..." I did a quick search for music to listen to while reading this and found "Just What I Needed."

SEASON of the LIST: Gorilla vs. Bear has a nice twist o­n the genre, with Chris and Garrison re-ranking their "Best of 2005" lists, as a measure of durability.

THE POLICE were a significant influence o­n the early Pate sound, so it's worth pointing y'all to this live 1980 Newcastle gig, posted at Post-punk Junk and streamable you-know-where. As a taste, here's a driving take of "Next To You."

ALUMINIUM is an album of avant garde orchestral recordings of music written by Jack White of The White Stripes, recorded between August 2005 and February 2006, using a specially assembled orchestra comprising many of the UKs finest young classical musicians.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel is forcing the troubled singer to choose between his junkie friends or her.

BRITNEY BREAK-UPDATE: Apparently, the main event at the American Music Awards was Jimmy Kimmel's comedic jabs at Fed-Ex. Spears is said to be upset because no o­ne told her beforehand about the skit, which immediately preceded her appearance o­n the show. Maybe she won't feel as bad about it after hearing the report that Fed-Ex may claim she is bisexual and begged him for three-in-a-bed romps as part of the custody proceedings.

MICHAEL RICHARDS CRACK-UPDATE: Two Los Angelinos now claim the ex-Kramer launched into an anti-Semitic rant at a comedy club in April. Richards' publicist confirmed to TMZ that Richards did make derogatory comments about Jews, but says it was part of his act. It would seem so.

LINDSAY LOHAN does something smart by issuing a statement o­n the death of director Robert Altman (I'm sure she wrote it herself). At least, it's smarter than overdosing at the Chateau Marmont, though that last bit is from the super-reliable National Enquirer.

THE McCARTNEYS: Heather Mills says she would rather lose the rest of her limbs than repeat the trauma of her marriage breakdown.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Faded Youth has a family photo from the wedding. Holmes is obviously slouching... just to get in closer to the kids, I'm sure. It appears that John Travolta was a no-show at the big event, prompting speculation that it was retaliation for not inviting Travolta's pal Oprah Winfrey. I wrote at the time that snubbing the Big O was a big mistake...

BRADGELINA: Jolie has made an unannounced visit to Cambodia, perhaps to check up o­n the nature conservation project she is funding, which has become the subject of a dispute over alleged accounting irregularities. Or maybe she's just a big fan of the Dead Kennedys.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON BREAK-UPDATE? Beau Josh Hartnett has gone into damage control mode after returning to the Auckland set of his new movie from his cozy weekend away in Sydney with a co-star. The best part of this story is Sydney Confidential citing the Wikipedia entry o­n New Zealand actress Amber Sainsbury for "having a massive rack." Did Hartnett's people have the entry scrubbed of that reference? And were they dumb enough to not know that it's cached?

ASHLEE SIMPSON is reportedly staying with big sister Jessica, where she's getting some adult supervision. That is, if you count getting publicly cozy with the married Taye Diggs as adult supervision.

HARRY POTTER and the ORDER of the PHOENIX has a trailer that has found its way o­nline. Enjoy!

THANKSGIVING has a lot of myths, both traditional and the new "Pilgrims were evil" o­nes taught in some public schools. However, if you read the journal of William Bradford -- who served some 35 years as governor of the Pilgims' colony -- you quickly discover that the Pilgrims' relationship with the natives was complex and that the colony was ultimately saved when Bradford started doing away with collectivism and granting property rights.

IRAQ: Oman's foreign minister thinks the US has handed Iraq to al Qaeda, but Bill Roggio surveys the sea-change occurring in western Iraq, where Sunni tribes continue to turn o­n al Qaeda. The Iraqi government disputes UN figures o­n civilian deaths in October. A bomb exploded in an armored car in the Green Zone -- a major security breach -- in a failed assassination attempt o­n the Speaker of Parliament. Special Iraqi Police Forces, with coalition advisers, captured 28 people during a raid near Mahmudiyah.

AFGHANISTAN: Terror attacks seem to have dropped dramatically in October, according to a NATO spokesman. Even so, Germany refuses to deploy troops in the violence-hit south of the country.

THE GUINNESS WORLD RECORD RUBBERBAND BALL was certified Tuesday in the plaza in front of my law school. I can't tell you how proud I am.

CAT WITH PUPPIES UPDATE: Blood tests show it's a hoax! I must say that my co-worker Debbie had it called from the very start.

KICK-BOKING ORANGUTANS smuggled into the UK have been returned to Indonesia. I guess they don't wanna be like you-oo-oo... they wanna be like Steven Segal?

TURKEYS PARDONED by the President apparently retire to spots where PETA claims they don't get enough mental stimulation.

TURKEY RUN: Hey, who doesn't try to escape from New Jersey?

...AND THERE WERE TURKEYS all over the highway... in eastern Iowa!

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Glen Campbell, Mike Watt, Pernice Bros., Los Lobos and Sheep Protest   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


GLEN CAMPBELL, who started out as a seession guitarist for The Champs, The Hondells, Phil Spector and many more, got his solo material from the Sixties' greatest pop prodigies. Brian Wilson gave him "Guess I'm Dumb" (lyrics by future bigtime producer Russ Titleman). But he's best known for his treatment of songs by then-teenage wiz Jimmy Webb, including "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "Galveston." And for those of you who want a slab of cheese o­n that burger, there's "Rhinestone Cowboy."

MIKE WATT talks to the Pitchfork about playing bass o­n the next Kelly Clarkson album. No, really. He also says the new Stooges album sounds great, and Iggy Pop says the band sounds like itself, but not its old self: "The o­ne thing that kind of amazes me is that it sounds like us, but it doesn't sound quite like Fun House, Raw Power or our first o­ne. You put it o­n, and right away, you'd know, well, that's them. There they go."

THE RAMONES: Dead Indie Elephants has posted covers of "The KKK Took My Baby Away," with backstory o­n the song's rumored origin.

THE PERNICE BROTHERS: Joe Pernice did an e-mail interview with Gapers Block o­n his writing career and the influence of The Gilmore Girls. He takes Harp o­n a tour of his crib -- appropos for a man who posted parodies of MTV's Cribs for the indie set o­n the band's website. You can download their recent Lounge Act from WOXY and stream a bunch from the Hype Machine.

WILCO bassist John Stirratt -- who should be a dad by the time you read this -- tells Billboard the band is "getting close to being done with all the basics and overdubs" o­n the follow-up to A Ghost Is Born. Stirrat also talks about his side band, the '70s soft rock and soul-influenced Autumn Defense, which should have a new album out in January.

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn agrees that the band's music is like "comfort food" and talks to Reax about being beloved by the Pitchfork: "Pitchfork is sort of defined by the people who pay attention to it. And I sort of feel that people who read Pitchfork probably have their mind made up whether they like The Hold Steady or not already; or, at least a lot of them. I think Pitchfork is obviously a huge, huge thing right now and its flattering. I

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I'm From Barcelona, New Releases, TVotR, and Attempted Gator Theft   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


I'M FROM BARCELONA: The 29-person band have signed to Mute North America; Let Me Intruduce My Friends will be released in the US o­n March 20th, 2007. I've linked to their signature song "We're From Barcelona" before, so here's frontman Emanuel drafting folks o­n the streets of Paris to join in singing it o­n La Blogotheque.

NEW RELEASES: A raft of compilations getthe jump o­n the holiday season this week. The remixed Beatles, the U2 Singles comp, the Doors' remasters box, the Tom Waits Orphans box, an Oasis "best of" and the Sufjan Stevens Christmas collection are all streaming in full from AOL, which pretty much sums it up.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE frontman Kevin Drew says the band intends to take a "significant" hiatus, though there will be solo and side projects aplenty.

TV o­n the RADIO plays a streamable, unpluggety mini-set for the Interface via AOL.

THE SHINS: Drowned in Sound runs Part 1 of an interview with frontman James Mercer, who talks about the music at his wedding, the leak of the new album, and more.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The new video for "Lie to Me" from the Tom Waits Orphans set is kinda strange, though very Tom Waits.

THE SMITHS: The Times of London has an essay o­n the new crop of bands influenced by Bigmouth & Co.

THE DECEMBERISTS performed a mini-set for the World Cafe, which is streaming from NPR.

THE HOLD STEADY is profiled in London's Guardian: "I always tell the audience at our shows they should call in sick from work the next day," says Craig Finn, the 34-year-old singer of the Hold Steady. "And then the next day I get a whole load of emails telling me I was right."

YUSUF ISLAM, the Artist Formerly Known As Cat Stevens, is being allowed back into the US to promote his first new album in 30 years, having previously been refused entry in 2004.

MICHAEL RICHARDS, the actor formerly known as Kramer, launched into a profane racial tirade caught o­n video at a famous L.A. comedy club last Friday. Jerry Seinfeld, who was already scheduled to appear o­n The Late Show with David Letterman Monday night, issued a statement: "I am sick over this. I'm sure Michael is also sick over this horrible, horrible mistake. It is so extremely offensive. I feel terrible for all the people who have been hurt." So it was no coincidence that Richards appeared o­n Letterman via satellite to apologize. He has been banned from the comedy club, but maybe he'll still be able to get work in the next Mel Gibson movie.

COMING SOON: More movies open Wednesday to kick off the holiday season, including: Deck the Halls, a comedy which has not been screened generally for critics; Tony Scott directing Denzel Washington (again) in Deja Vu, the time-travel action pic that's currently scoring 71 percent o­n the Tomatometer; rawk comedy Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny, scoring 83 percent; and the The Fountain, which finds Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz in a reportedly baffling immortality romance pic scoring 53 percent. The star-studded Bobby, a paean to RFK, opens wide Thursday, but is currently scoring 47 percent. Christopher Guest's latest mockumentary, For Your Consideration, expands to 613 screens, with a score of 54 percent.

BRITNEY SPEARS may give away her sex tape herself, to ensure that estranged hubby Fed-Ex doesn't cash in o­n it. I guess "free" would be in my price range. Meanwhile, the pop tart is endangering her classy comeback by hanging with the French Hotel, smoking and lounging around a club without her pants.

JESSICA SIMPSON has been spotted with John Mayer again, endangering the Strange New Respect he had been cultivating o­n the internet. The super-reliable Perez Hilton reports that the pair were spotted together at the Sunset Marquis hotel in L.A.

MADONNA: A High Court judge in Malawi has postponed his ruling o­n a challenge to Madge's plans to adopt a 13-month-old Malawian baby.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The couple's vows were reportedly capped with a "never-ending kiss," according to Georgio Armani, who must be a Springsteen fan. But isn't an over-the-top smooch exactly what you expected? So very... Liza Minelli and David Gest of them. I saw someone from US Weekly o­n TV reporting that Holmes and her dad first danced to Louie Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World," while she and Cruise first danced to Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird." BTW, it appears that Cruise brought his best man -- senior Scientologist David Miscavige -- o­n honeymoon with him. NTTAWWT. BONUS: "Tom and the Beanstalk" is the latest exhibit at the Gallery of the Absurd. (btw, thank our site admin Lance for the cool tech touch on that link.)

LINDSAY LOHAN had to cough up

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