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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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Hold Steady, Decemberists, A-ha(!), James Brown, and Squirrels on Crack   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE HOLD STEADY: The Boston Herald hits the Springsteen comparison again, but notes that: "Instead of trying to seduce Rosalita, Finn

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Monster Mashes, New Releases, Werewolves, Dracula, and the Blob   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


IT'S HALLOWEEN: It's time for scares, it's time for screams; it's Halloween!

STREAMING FROM THE CASTLE EAST: This fan-made 1973 video for "The Monster Mash" is today's must-see clip, though you can also see Bobby "Boris" Pickett perform it live at the Horror Hall of Fame. The covers by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and The Misfits are pretty good also -- the latter uses clips from the Rankin-Bass animated classic, Mad Monster Party.

NEW RELEASES: You know it's a scary week for new releases when Spenderline's "rap" album is the big album streaming from AOL this week (thought the Borat soundtrack is there, too). And crazy b-ball thug Ron Artest has an album out. Less scary, but more tragic, is the posthumous release from the Exploding Hearts. Pretty Little Head is finally released by Nellie McKay, who is scary in her own special way. And then there is...

ANDY PARTRIDGE of XTC, who gets a lengthy profile and podcast at PopMatters, leading up to today's solo release of the Fuzzy Warbles Collector's Box: "I thought to myself, 'Look, if anyone

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