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Mick Jones, New Ryan Adams, Joanna Newsom, and the Surfin' Cow   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 08, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


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New Releases, U2 vs. REM, Jonathan Richman, and Gatorland Ablaze   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 07, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


NEW RELEASES: Foo Fighters, J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton, PJ Harvey's Peel Sessions, and early Bee Gees are streaming from AOL this week. Isobel Campbell rolls out the Brit-folk o­n Milkwhite Sheets. Pavement has a deluxe reissue of Wowee Zowie. Voxtrot puts out another EP, titled Your Biggest Fan. And the self-titled album fom El Perro del Mar (a/k/a Sarah Assbring) hits US shores, which is a good excuse to link the video for "God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)," a lovely song in the mode of early Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark and Pet Sounds.

U2 vs. R.E.M.: Stylus pits the two alternative icons against each other in a number of categories, including "More Ridiculous Frontman" and "Better Simpsons Cameo."

THE BLACK KEYS and the Black Angels played DC's 9:30 Club Saturday night, so you can stream both sets now from NPR, which says both bands "make raw, fuzz-filled riff-rock in the spirit of classic '60s and early '70s metal bands."

HERE COMES YOUR TOP TEN NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS: The New York Post compiles a list of the biggest o­nstage meltdowns in rock history.

BECK and Marissa Ribisi are expecting their second child this April.

TWOFER TUESDAY: Jonathan Richman, in a two-person There's Something About Mary mode, plays "Pablo Picasso" and "I Was Dancing in a Lesbian Bar."

MARIANNE FAITHFULL has made a full recovery from breast cancer, her publicist said yesterday.

DIGGING BRIAN JONES? o­n the eve of a BBC documentary raising questions about the former Rolling Stone's "death by misadventure," Trevor Hobley, the 56-year-old chairman of the Brian Jones fan club, will present a dossier of evidence from a team of forensic experts to the Attorney General in the hope of getting a fresh inquest, including exhuming the body.  The BBC video may still be streaming at the first link.

SUFJAN STEVENS & CALEXICO are the subjects of this week's Austin City Limits o­n PBS, which offers video previews in glorious Quicktime.

GENESIS officially announced its long-threatened reunion tour. Former frontman Peter Gabriel will not be participating. Also apparently not involved is guitarist Steve Hackett, who played with the band in the Gabriel era but left in 1977.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON: The typically gorgeous bombshell turned up at the UK premiere of The Prestige in a frumptastic ballgown and hair the color of a rodeo clown. You have to wonder whether she was distracted by scandalous rumor.

THE McCARTNEYS: Everyone has an opinion o­n their divorce, including Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly planning to stay at the Four Seasons indefinitely, after Spenderline allegedly went o­n a crazy rampage at their Malibu home.

ZACH BRAFF was spotted walking the dogs with Jessica Biel at Griffith Park in Los Angeles o­n Saturday.

PETRA NEMCOVA: Is the tsunami-surviving supermodel def jamming with Russell Simmons? The hip-hop mogul insists they are "just friends" and charity partners.

BRADGELINA: While Jolie talked refugees and Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy with India's minister of state for external affairs, Pitt flew back to Tinseltown for the Babel premiere. Pitt also supported Madonna's adoption of a 13-month-old boy from Africa; maybe he missed Madge's jab at Jolie in this week's Time magazine.

MADONNA: Speaking of Madge, she now fears she's becoming an unpopular parent because hubby Guy Ritchie leaves all the disciplining to her.

JESSICA SIMPSON was o­n hand to launch BLOCKBUSTER Total Access. No word as to how soon Simpson will be available for rental.

HILARY DUFF has an 18-year-old stalker who was arrested over the weekend, after allegedly threatening to kill Duff. And apparently, he's o­ne of those in-love stalkers, which is even crazier than someone threatening her o­n purely artistic grounds. Just plain wrong.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY turned down a threesome with two sisters, for all the right reasons.

DEMI MOORE: Entertainment Tonight had a hilarious interview with Moore in connection with the movie Bobby: "In the movie, Demi and co-star Sharon Stone share a powerful scene about the pressure o­n women to be perfect. In real life, Demi -- who has three daughters -- says that, at 43, she takes a philosophical approach..." Yes the "philosophical approach" of spending over 400K o­n cosmetic surgery. And that if you have a full facelift, Botox and collagen injections, you too can be the new face of L'Oreal in more than o­ne way.

ELECTION DAY '06: I'm generally not big o­n predictions. Why? Because predictions are based o­n polls, and conducting and intrepreting them is as much art as science. Take, for example, the final USA TODAY/Gallup poll, which finds that 68 percent of adults are "absolutely certain" they will vote -- a number higher than ever recorded for a mid-term election. Add in that the 2002 elections had record turnout, but that was only 69 percent of registered voters -- a smaller group than adults. The eligible-voter turnout of 2002 was 39.5 percent. At which it becomes fairly clear that many people lie to pollsters about their voting records. And that's just for generic national polls; at a statewide level, a 5 percent lead in the polls predicts the winner 60-65 percent of the time. The polling done for any given House race will be even more problematic.

However, in lieu of predictions, I can provide some yardsticks. The average post-WWII loss for a presidency in its sixth year has been 29 House seats and six Senate seats. At websites where people actually bet o­n such things, such as InTrade and TradeSports, the Tuesday night numbers suggested that most people think the Dems will pick up between 20-25 House seats, with about a 70 percent chance the GOP will retain control of the Senate. So pundits and partisans will make their predictions and try to game expectations, but the final tallies should probably be measured against those numbers.

IRAQ: A round-the-clock curfew imposed in Baghdad before Saddam's conviction of crimes against humanity eased o­n Monday, as the surge in violence expected immediately after the verdict did not materialize. Iraq's appeals court is expected to rule by the middle of January. The Iraqi government has proposed a law that would enable thousands of former Baath party members to win back their jobs, in hopes of enticing them away from the insurgency. The AP has a fine report that US Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad is likely to quit: (a) in the coming months; (b) as soon as the end of this year; or (c) after next Spring. Special Iraqi Army forces detained three suspects o­n a raid in Sadr City. Iraqi police commandos killed 53 suspected Al Qaeda members in a fierce gunbattle o­n the southern outskirts of Baghdad. The Washington Post reports that many US soldiers serving in Iraq believe that pulling out "would set Iraq o­n a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy."

GATORLAND ABLAZE: Two 8-foot-long pythons and a 5-foot-long crocodile died in a three-alarm fire at Gatorland, in Orlando, FL. And here I thought all of Florida was Gatorland. But it seems that the attraction opened in 1949 and attracts about 400,000 tourists each year to watch some fine gator wrasslin'! Video at the link.

DOGS, having grown tired of the traditional belly-scratch, are increasingly enjoying a good, professional massage.

A PEKINGESE, otoh, was not as lucky, as the German Army called him up for national service. Tommy Jakob, however, will not be serving, as he died in 2002.

A WATER BUFFALO wrecked a 32-ton truck... near Newcastle, England? Driver Ronnie Storey said, "It

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Pretenders, Austin James Band, Magic Numbers, and Tina the Tortoise   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 06, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE PRETENDERS' reissues didn't really make my radar, but Rhino has packaged them with bonus discs of rariries like the demos for "Brass In Pocket," "Kid," "Talk of the Town" and a different, guitar-based version of "I Go to Sleep." So I thought it best to lead with a rehearsal video of "Stop Your Sobbing." I also found tasty live versions of "Message of Love" from Fridays and "My City Was Gone" from the Us Festival (!) Topping it off is a semi-unplugged "Brass In Pocket."

THE AUSTIN JAMES BAND has a cowboy and an "Injun," but they sound much more like SMiLE-era Beach Boys than the Village People. You can stream three tracks of theirs via MySpace. (thx Dodge.)


MISSION OF BURMA has uploaded Roger Miller's Piano Cocktail version of "Academy Fight Song" to MySpace for your streaming and downloading enjoyment.

WEEZER and THE BEACH BOYS: Matt Brundage notes intriguing similarities between the two bands. It's like that old Lincoln-Kennedy thing... but with the Beach Boys and Weezer.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS talk to London's Sunday Times, the Independent and NME about the follow-up to their double-platinum UK debut, whch comes out this week in the UK. For now, we Yanks have to make do with the cartoony goodness of "Forever Lost."

GRIZZLY BEAR: CokeMachineGlow begins an interview with Ed Droste, "How did you find out your brakes had gone out?" You can stream and download the band's appearance o­n The Interface via AOL.

PAGE FRANCE frontman Michael Nau acknowledges his lyrics have religious leanings, but doesn't want that overshadowing what the band's label calls their "folkloric storytelling, campfire sing-a-longs and lovelock tales." You can stream a bunch from the band via the Hype Machine.

SERENDIPITY: A piece in the Washington Post explores finding new music through sites like the Hype Machine and Pandora.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The trobled singer was "rushed" to the hospital after getting the supposedly sober supermodel's engagement ring stuck o­n his own finger. The couple has also inspired a children's book, focusing o­n a disheveled boy named Pete who "isn't fond of rules and regulations," which insures that "sometimes he falls down a lot." Meanwhile, Moss reportedly has had a bitter falling out with Doherty over his reluctance to build bridges with her mum Linda.

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS sets the record straight, admits he is not. NTTAWWT. Had he come out of the closet a bit earlier, he probably could have gotten a Best Supporting Actor nomination for playing the straight version of NPH in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Warning: that video clip is NSFW, unless you work at Bada-Bing!

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Borat, despite being scaled back from 2,000 screens to 837 based o­n low tracking numbers, beat out two family films opening o­n over 3,000 screens apiece to win the weekend with 26 million bucks. You can bet Borat will expand to at least 2,000 screens next weekend. I thought it was both funny and offensive, but there was no way it could live up to some of the hype dubbing it the funniest movie ever. The Santa Clause 3 and Flushed Away raked in 20 and 19 million, respectively. Flushed Away was quite nice -- very much an Aardman film (e.g., Wallace & Grommit, Chicken Run) made with Dreamworks' CGI than o­ne filled with Shrek-style pop culture satire for adults, though there were a few such moments. Saw III dropped to fourth place, but has made six times its 10 million budget already. The Departed remained in the top five with a slight 19 percent drop; this is huge for Scorsese. The Prestige also dropped a mere 19 percent, showing legs that will mean profitability. Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers dropped to seventh place and could be gone before audiences start thinking about Oscar contenders.

THE McCARTNEYS: London's Daily Mail claims that Sir Paul has secretly paid

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Big Star, New Foo Fighters, Long Winters, Cutout Bin, and a Puppy Rescue   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 03, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with BIG STAR 2.0 abroad. Pretty decent bootleg video of "September Gurls" in Stockholm and "Ballad of El Goodo" in Tivoli Utrecht. The legendary Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens are joined by Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies, who play an irreverent cover of "Thirteen" during an in-store near Rotterdam. BONUS: The Posies play "Solar Sister" unplugged, along with the studio clip for "Golden Blunders," which may be my fave from them.

FOO FIGHTERS' new acoustic album is streaming from MySpace.

FRANK BLACK, contrary to prior reports, says that The Pixies may get together in January, but without concrete plans for a new album. He also talks about having to make brutal choices from among the legendary sessionmen backing him o­n Fast Man Raider Man, form which you can stream three tracks via MySpace.

THE LONG WINTERS played a mini-set at the World Cafe, which is streaming from NPR. Host David Dye notes that frontman John Roderick sounds a bit like Michael Stipe. And he does.

BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY: The San Francisco Chronicle asks Will Oldham whether Bonnie "Prince" Billy is a role that he plays: "To some extent it is, yeah... and I take my roles pretty seriously." Oldham also talks about recording in Iceland with the Portland Mercury.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Hues Corporation performs "Rock The Boat." Rock o­n with your bad self!

THE SLITS' Ari Up tells The A.V. Club that she thinks America will give the band whatever respect it deserves o­n the reunion tour, noting there will never be another band like them: "It's impossible. You can't recreate that. That's why no o­ne ever sounded like The Slits or looked like them, no matter how many people tried it, or were influenced by it. There will never be another Sex Pistols. There will never be another Clash."

VAN HALEN has hired a 15-year-old bass player. His name is familiar.

HUNKY DORY: An Aquarium Drunkard is streaming Bowie's "Quicksand," along with the demo and a cover by Dinosaur, Jr.

THE CUTOUT BIN: This Friday's fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine include: Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around; Blake Babies - Temptation Eyes; The Bangles - In Your Room; The Woodentops - You Make Me Feel; The Beach Boys - Sail o­n Sailor; Al Green - Love And Hapiness; Joan Jett & Paul Westerberg - Let's Do It; The Shins - Taste Of Cindy; Todd Rundgren - Bang o­n The Drum All Day; Sweet - Teenage Rampage; The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog; The Move - Stephanie Knows Who (live); Led Zeppelin - Babe I`m Gonna Leave You; Heart - Crazy o­n You; and AC/DC - It's a Long Way to the Top.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: X Factor and American Idol judge Simon Cowell says the troubled singer would never make it in a TV contest, adding that without the supposedly sober supermodel, Doherty would probably forget to show up for the auditions. Moss was named Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards, while Colombia's vice president singled out Moss for criticism in a campaign accusing coke-using celebrities of fuelling the country's civil war.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise's new mission is to resurrect the United Artists movie studio for MGM -- which is a little ironic, given that UA was founded by actors by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and director D.W. Griffith.

NOW SHOWING: This weeks wide releases are family films -- Flushed Away, the Dreamworks-Aardman collaboration currently scoring 88 percent o­n the Tomatometer, and The Santa Clause 3, which is not being screened for critics. Both are opening o­n over 3000 screens apiece. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, the much-anticipated, controversial comedy is scoring 93 percent, but is ppening a little less-than-wide, o­n 837 screens. Perhaps FOX is concerned about how it will play in Peoria.

BORAT: TV news producer Dharma Arthur is claiming that comedian Sacha Baron Cohen

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Meat Puppets, Goth music, Thunderclap Newman, and the First Dog of KY   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 02, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE MEAT PUPPETS were a tight, indie mash-up of the Dead and ZZ Top by the time they recorded "Sam," and their live cover of "Little Wing" does credit to Hendrix. However, these earlier live clips of their own "Up o­n the Sun," a countrified take o­n "Sea of Love" and a thrashy, mumbling version of "Midnight Rider" date back to when the Kirkwood Bros. really couldn't sing, so watch them just for their sloppy, Replacements-esque entertainment value.

THE FLAMING LIPS may have an Oklahoma City street named after them. Granted, it's a poorly lit alley, littered with open dumpsters. But the sponsor of the effort thinks the renaming might spur a clean-up.

THE SHINS have one of their new songs, "Phantom Limb," streaming from MySpace. Other streams are... unofficial.

ERIC BACHMANN (Archers of Loaf, Crooked Fingers) came up with Spanish and Mandarin Chinese lessons when he shuffled his iPod for the A.V. Club. But he also turns up Tom Waits and acknowledges his influence: "I mean, I don't need to hear another song about a Puerto Rican midget or anything, but he's really great."

WHAT IS GOTH? A review of Rhino's A Life Less Lived: The Gothic Box in PopMatters claims the set will force the listener to rethink their definitions of "goth." There's also plenty of video embedded in the piece.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Thunderclap Newman performs "Something In The Air" o­n the Beat Club. ICYDK, the band has an unusual backstory.

THE 33 HOTTEST BANDS IN CANADA, according to a panel of forty Canadian music writers, bloggers and radio hosts assembled by I (heart) Music. I think I've blurbed about a dozen of them here; there's o­ne I'm trying out now for a future blurb, too.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE is o­ne of those Canadian groups, but co-founder Brandon Canning cautions against lumping everyone together in a brief primer for the Houston Chronicle. The latest BSS video is the misnamed-but-catchy "Major Label Debut."

THE DECEMBERISTS are always getting asked about their move to Capitol Records, so it's notable that multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk has some fairly funny comments o­n the subject for the Philadelphia Weekly. It's good enough that I'll use o­ne of the lesser comments: "Never o­nce did we say, 'We want to play to even bigger audiences.' In fact, we don't ever really want to play basketball arenas or anything like that. That's, like, for athletes." (I think they would play a big house if invited, but that's still funny.)

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Being engaged to a the supposedly sober supermodel has not dampened the troubled singer's enthusiasm for dressing up in women

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