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Zooey, Ray LaMontagne, The Darkness, Dolphin Stampede   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MUNCHAUSEN BY PROXY: The fake synth band fronted by Zooey Deschanel in the upcoming Jim Carrey flick Yes Man, perform a "Sweet Ballad" that is anything but. Technically SFW, but probably inappropriate.

RAY LaMONTAGNE does a World Cafe mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

GOLDEN ANIMALS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream via MPR.

FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne talks to The Current's Steve Seel about the seven-year genesis of the band's new dramatic feature film, Christmas on Mars.

THE ARCADE FIRE is releasing a DVD next year, but pre-orders get a digital download now.

THE DARKNESS wuz robbed when "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" only made it to No.2 in the UK for 2003.  Frontman Justin Hawkins was reportedly very bitter about the defeat.

OF MONTREAL: Kevin Barnes and Bryan Poole talk to Filter about the songwriting for and recording of this year's Skeletal Lamping album.

THE LONG WINTERS: Paste lists "5 Lyrics That Prove John Roderick Is A Better Songwriter Than Your Favorite Songwriter."

JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT have a new song streaming at the moment.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED has posted the Best Album results of its listeners' poll, with streaming audio.

BRITNEY SPEARS & ELLEN DeGENERES go caroling. NTTAWWT. Okay, maybe a little. (Part One, Part Two.)

MADONNA falls down onstage about 38 seconds into this clip. And I laugh, 'cause I'm in a catty mood.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: If you ban Fox's Roger Friedman from your Nazi movie premiere, he will just excerpt someone else's really nasty review of Cruise's performance.  Didn't you know that?  ALSO: Cruise tells US magazine that he would "love it" if the Tom-Kitten became an actress.  As if Cruise won't be the biggest stage dad evah.

SHARON OSBOURNE is under police investigation after scuffling with a contestant on her reality TV show -- the now even more ironically-titled Rock Of Love: Charm School.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ: To write that the latter dishes TMI to Howard Stern would be a gross understatement, with the emphasis on "gross."

WOLVERINE has posted its first trailer online.

ALEC BALDWIN  did a chat session with Washington Post readers touching on 30 Rock, Glengarry Glen Ross and his new book on fatherhood.

PETER FALK's daughter says her father is no longer competent to run his own life because he suffers from Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

DENNIS QUAID and his wife have settled their dispute with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center over a bungled procedure that almost killed their twin babies last year.

PAKISTAN: A US strike in North Waziristan killed two people; no senior Taliban or al Qaeda leaders have been reported killed. Pakistani truckers have refused to transport NATO supplies due to Taliban attacks. Only one of 40 wanted leaders of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa has been detained.

IRAQ: An al Qaeda-linked group in Iraq has confirmed the death of Abu Maysara, a top operative who the US military said was killed in a clash last month. The US military has announced that its last 10 female detainees were handed over to Iraqi authorities on Monday. The number of detainees has dropped from over 26K to about 15500 in the past year.

DOLPHIN STAMPEDE: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

FUGITIVE EMU is back in custody after roaming northern Rhode Island for a month.

SOCKS, the former First Feline, has been diagnosed with cancer, which is sad even at age 19.

PET HOARDING: Misdemeanor charges related to illegal ferret possession were dropped against Scott Haynie in Humboldt County, CA. Haynie already pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty after authorities found more than 100 dead and malnourished pets at his home.

MORE THAN 1000 SPECIES have been discovered in Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong region over the past several years, including a dragon millipede and a spider "as big as a dinner plate." The BBC has a slideshow.

3545 Reads

New Releases, 100 Top Tracks, Glam Xmas, Cat Elevator   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BON IVER brought three drummers to play "Skinny Love" for Dave last week.

NEW RELEASES: The French Exit and Various Artists have albums streaming during this very thin week via Spinner.

THE 100 BEST TRACKS of 2008, with plenty of streaming audio, according to Pitchfork.

AIMEE MANN brought her off-the-wall Christmas variety show to the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA over the weekend.  You can stream the whole gig, with cameos from Nellie McKay , Grant-Lee Phillips and Amos Lee, via NPR.

GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS do the five free songs thing for Daytrotter, all previously unreleased.

GLAM XMAS:  Wizzard's awesome "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" (1973's UK Xmas No. 1) are your Twofer Tuesday.

CLARE & THE REASONS do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including a cover of Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."

ZOOEY DESCHANEL talks movies, music and prom with the NYDN.

FRIGHTENED RABBIT: Scott and Grant Hutchison talk to Drowned In Sound about touring with Death Cab for Cutie, putting mustard in the mac & cheese, and more...

ELVIS COSTELLO is profiled in The New Yorker regarding his new TV show.

THE SEX PISTOLS might record a new album in 2009? Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE: Contrary to prior reports, Madge's rep confirms that Ritchie will be receiving a divorce settlement between 76 and 92 million dollars in cash and property, including the couple's country retreat Ashcombe House in Wiltshire.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise reappears on The Today Show to make nice with Matt Lauer, now that he has a new movie to promote. Video at the link.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly is in talks with Madonna to make a series of appearances on her forthcoming tour, according to Spears' choreographer Wade Robson.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is threatening legal action against UK Cosmopolitan for running an allegedly phony interview about her life as a newlywed.

NAOMI WATTS & LIEV SCHREIBER name their baby boy Samuel, which is a totally wacky choice in Hollywood.

JACKO's latest look can be summed up in a word: Zorro

MAD MEN: Christina Hendricks, a/k/a Mad Men's Joan Holloway, got engaged to actor Geoffrey Arend, whose next role is as an ad man on a basic cable show. John Hamm is interviewed by Zach Galifianakis (profanity warning): "Jon Hamm... Am I pronouncing that right?"

2008's TOP TEN IN MOVIES & TV, according to the American Film Institute.

AWARDS SEASON: The NYT's Carpetbagger handicaps possible Best Picture Oscar nominations.

AFGHANISTAN: Ten Green Berets received the Silver Star for a single battle in which they subdued an estimated 150 to 200 insurgents. Sarah Chayes argues that the international community needs to pressure the Afghan government to clean up, to provide a clearer alternative to the Taliban. TIME magazine suggests the US will consider scaling back its nation-building goals in favor of a provincial structure that relies more on local militias to provide security. Indie blogger Michael Yon has a two-part dispatch dealing with winning hearts and minds there.

IRAQ: Blogger Michael J. Totten goes on a raid in Baghdad, looking for one of the most dangerous terrorist leaders in all of Iraq.

A FRENCH CAT has trained its owner to provide elevator service.

A BOMB-SNIFFING DOG is adopted by former Air Force K9 handler Jamie Mangan when the pair returned from Iraq after their Humvee was hit in an IED attack. Awww...

A NEARLY FROZEN SEA TURTLE found on a Cape Cod beach headed to the New England Aquarium in Boston for a slow but steady warmup.

MERLIN the CAT is to be returned to his original owners after a 16-month catnapping dispute.

THE SECRET WORLD OF ANTS: Their eco-consciousness, their sexism, and their suicide bombers.

2514 Reads

Spinto Band, Dan Wilson, Tom Waits, Reindeer Toupee   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 15, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BLOC PARTY presents a fractured fairy tale in "One Month Off," from the band's upcoming album.

THE SPINTO BAND brought their irrepressible energy to the World Cafe for a set you can stream on demand via NPR.

DAN WILSON: The Grammy-winning former frontman in Semisonic and guitarist in Trip Shakespeare stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE MINUS STORY does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, with one previously unreleased.

MATES OF STATE talk to The A.V. Club about their busy year, traveling with kids, and The A.V. Club's D+ review of Re-Arrange Us.

TOM WAITS gives a reading of a "Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis."

THE SMITHS: Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr are now reported to be regularly in touch with each other, prompting a fresh round of reunion rumors.

LOVE IS ALL: The Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot talks to frontwoman Josephine Olausson about advancing artistically while keeping a DIY attitude on the Swedish band's sophomore album.

2008 IN REVIEW: The Times of London asks musicians, including Elbow's Guy Garvey, Adele and Justin Vernon (a/k/a Bon Iver) about their year.

NPR announces layoffs and program cancellations to fix a 23 million dollar budget deficit, bit its execs make more than the President and the Chief Justice of the United States.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The Day the Earth Stood Still sits atop the chart with 31 million -- but that's far less than past films kicking off the holiday season (I Am Legend and National Treasure: Book of Secrets both made about 45 million). Nevertheless, with an 80 million production budget, the movie should end up in the black. Four Christmases drops to second with 13.3 million, dropping only 20 percent. It has now exceeded the production budget and should hit 100 million next weekend. Twilight made eight million; it has now topped 150 million on a 37 million production budget, and will almost certainly finish in the Top Ten for the year. Disney's Bolt came in fourth with 7.5 million, dropping only 23 percent; it will beat Meet The Robinsons, but fall well short of Chicken Little. Baz Luhrmann's Australia rounds out the Top Five with 4.2 million, but it has taken in only 37.8 million at a production cost of $130 million -- those are Speed Racer type numbers. Ouch. Below the fold, Quantum of Solace continued toward becoming the most lucrative Bond movie ever, and  Nothing Like The Holidays had a disappointing debut with 3.5 million. Overall, this weekend was off significanly from this weekend last year.

NAOMI WATTS & LIEV SCHREIBER welcomed their second child, a baby boy, on Saturday.

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE are to call a Christmas truce for the sake of their children.

CHARLIE & DENISE: Sheen and Richards's daughters are unharmed after being involved in a car accident Friday in Malibu.

HUGH JACKMAN will host the 81st annual Academy Awards in February.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has obtained a restraining order against a military veteran facing a weapons rap who repeatedly showed up uninvited to Cruise's Beverly Hills home to try and hand deliver a letter to the star. I think I have to concede Cruise that one. But then he had to go imitate Elvis Presley on the Tonight Show. ALSO: Variety gives Valkyrie a "Meh."

AMY WINEHOUSE has been helping out as a nurse during her hospital stay in a bid to avoid being kicked out.

GWYNETH PALTROW faces rumors that she has had work done on her chassis.

MICHAEL BOLTON & NICOLETTE SHERIDAN: Their breakup left him "basically homeless - and stuck with two houses."

JENNIFER ANISTON, no doubt still puzzled over interest in her private life, blabs more about her nekked-but-for-a-necktie GQ cover.  And on-again bf John Mayer gets in on the act.

PAULA ABDUL is looking to leave American Idol, perhaps as early as this season's auditions.  She has other projects, you see.

BETTIE PAGE, the 50s pinup queen whose popularity underwent a cult-like revival in the last 20 years, died Thursday in Los Angeles at 85. After largely disappearing in 1957, her private life - two failed marriages, a fight against poverty and mental illness, resurrection as a born-again Christian, years of seclusion in Southern California - was a mystery to all but a few close friends.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD... and her two and a half ton monument features quotes from a particularly wacky episode of her reality show.

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS: Stills from Quentin Tarantino's WWII flick have surfaced online.

ROGER AVARY, the Oscar-winning co-screenwriter of Pulp Fiction, was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter on Friday for a deadly car accident in January.

AL QAEDA: A growing feud between Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's chief lieutenant, and Sayyed Imam al-Sharif, the jailed ex-leader of Egypt's Islamic Jihad, could weaken support for Al Qaeda.

PAKISTAN:  The president said the ISI has no links to Lashkar-e-Taiba. The foreign minister said there is no evidence Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a front group for Lashkar. The interior adviser said action was not taken against Jamaat-ud-Dawa due to pressure form India. Let's hope all that denial is just for public consumption.

IRAQ: The specialized Oil Police should be ready to take over full responsibility for protecting the nation's oil pipelines from theft and attack by late 2010. Iran is no longer actively supplying Iraqi militias with a particularly lethal kind of roadside bomb, suggesting a strategic shift by the Iranian theocracy.

BUBBA EATS A BURRITO in one second. Let's go to the video.

D-BOY the PITBULL took three bullets for his family while fending off an intruder. Video at the link.

A CHIPMUNK fills a woman's engine compartment with thousands of black walnuts. Investigation continues as to links with militant squirrels.

CAT SHOOTS MAN: The man claims it was an accident.

SHAGGY the REINDEER models the world's first antler toupee after his horns fell off during mating season. Ho-ho-ho worthy pics at the link.

2469 Reads

The Band, Ryan Adams, Cutout Bin, Animal Videos galore   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 12, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE BAND!  The Last Waltz, billed as a "farewell" concert after 16 years of touring, found The Band joined by special guests, including Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Dr. John, and Neil Young.  Someone has posted virtually all of Martin Scorsese's 1978 documentary, which features concert performances, scenes shot on a studio soundstage and interviews by Scorsese with members of The Band.  The Wikipedia entry for the show has a tracklisting and is pretty good place to start for more background on the concert and the movie.

RYAN ADAMS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

4AD is offering a free 2008 sampler with tracks from TV on the Radio, Deerhunter, Dept. of Eagles, Stereolab, Bon Iver and more, in return for your e-mail address.

GUSTER, whose members have been busy breeding, move from Reprise to Columbia.  Of course, at this time of year, you will also find Adam Gardner playing Hannukah tunes in The LeeVees.

JIMI HENDRIX: You can download Electric Ladyland for 1.99 at Amazon.

JOHNNY CASH, with June Carter Cash, family and friends, on "The 12 Days Of Christmas."  Fish, meet barrel... Bang!

ADELE talks to the Telegraph about her Grammy nominations and critical acclaim, and to Billboard about plans for her sophomore album.

THE DECEMBERISTS have a release date and tracklisting for their next LP, Hazards of Love.

UGLYSUIT pianist Jonathan Martin talks to the Austin American-Statesman's 360 music blog about life since hooking up with the Touch & Go label.

TOM JONES, featured here on Tuesday, talks to the Washington Post about his first album to get a US release in 15 years.

CUTOUT BIN:  From Quincy Jones to Bishop Allen, from Al Stewart to the Music Machine, from Belle & Sebastian to Grand Funk Railroad, Badfinger, the Del Fuegos, Mates of State, Tobin Sprout, Adele, The Kinks 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 are: the remake of the sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, which is currently scoring 21 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the animated Delgo, which is currently scoring nine percent; and the dysfunctional family comedy Nothing Like the Holidays, which is scoring 54 percent.

UNNECESSARY REMAKES: A full list of essential remakes might be shorter, but this slideshow at PopEater isn't bad.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES nominations were announced yesterday, marking the point where awards season starts to move into full swing, followed immediately by discussions of nomination snubs and surprises.

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE remain locked in a prolonged legal battle over custody of their children, according to the Daily Mail.

GWYNETH PALTROW & CHRIS MARTIN are holed up in their London home "trying to make their marriage better," a source tells the NYDN.

KATE WALSH of Private Practice is getting divorced by her husband, after a little more than a year of marriage.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ have found no buyers for their baby photos? Ouch.

JENNIFER ANISTON, likely still puzzling over public interest in her private life, wears only a necktie on the cover of the January GQ.

KATE WINSLET & LEO DiCAPRIO do a joint interview with Entertainment Weekly, which ends up being more about how Titanic affected them than their upcoming pic, Revolution Road.

THE WRESTLER, which features new Golden Globe nominees Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, has been in very limited release, but you can watch a clip at Yahoo! Movies

THE DARK KNIGHT shatters DVD sales records, though the double-DVD is indeed disappointing in the extras. Fortunately, the movie is pretty good.

CARRIE FISHER promotes her new book, Wishful Drinking, on the Today Show.  She is clearly a hit with Matt Lauer, and even the crew is laughing as she tells stories like the one where her parents got Cary Grant to counsel her to stop doing LSD.

STAR TREK fans may be glad to hear that Majel Barrett-Roddenberry will reprise her role as the voice of the Enterprise computer in the JJ Abrams reboot.  The widow of series creator Gene Rodenberry, she also played Nurse Christine Chapel in the original series.

PAKISTAN has banned Jamat-ud-Dawa -- a charity linked to militants suspected in the Mumbai attacks -- after the UN declared it a terrorist group. The UN Security Council also added the group and four of its leaders to the list of entities and organizations known to support al Qaeda and the Taliban, and as an alias of the proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group.

INCREDIBLE ANIMAL VIDEOS: Wired's Top Ten list (of which I have posted at least six over the years) has inspired a follow-up Readers' Choice list (of which I have poseted at least seven over the years).

DOGS have a sense of fairness and resent it when other dogs get better treatment. (Thx, Dad!)

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: The Daily Mail has posted pics of militant squirrels training in Kung-Fu.

BAT and TORTOISE SPECIES NAMES are up for auction by Purdue University, just in time for the holidays!  Like the Star registry, but even bettah!

A FUGITIVE EMU has been on the lam for three weeks after he was sprung by a pig at his 22-acre animal sanctuary in Foster, RI.

BONUS FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: I haven't posted a timewaster in a while, but here's Parachute. (Thx, Ken!)

2436 Reads

Little St. Nick, Top Debut Albums, Watson Twins, Broccoli Kitten   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE BEACH BOYS serve up a vintage take on "Little St. Nick."  Contrary to what it says at the link, it's from Shindig!, iirc.

SMASHING PUMPKINS: Billy Corgan talks to the Chicago Tribune about the retooled band's new business model.

DAVID BYRNE weighs in on the Mattel-Bratz fight. Yes, really.

THE TOP 11 DEBUT ALBUMS of 2008, with streaming tracks, according to KEXP.

THE YEAR IN MUSIC, with streaming tracks, according to All Songs Considered.

THE WATSON TWINS are the latest video session at LaundroMatinee.  Songs include "Only You," the Cure's "Just Like Heaven" and a medley that features a slice of Bill Wither's "Ain't No Sunshine."

RA RA RIOT singer Wes Miles talks to the Louisville Courier-Journal about his Vampire Weekend connection and the band's wild emotional ride after the death of drummer John Pike.

STARS: Amy Millan talks to JAM! about the band's quickie, self-released Sad Robots EP, plus future plans. 

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks about his love for heavy metal, Howard lovecraft and more with the New Zealand Herald.

THE HOLD STEADY: Craig Finn talks to This Is Nottingham about The Wire, his role models and lterary style, plus more...

BRITNEY SPEARS tops the Billboard 200 albums chart for the first time in more than five years.

MARK RUFFALO mourns the death of his younger brother Scott, who has died after being shot in the head last week in Beverly Hills.   The main suspect says Scott shot himself playing Russian Roulette.

GOSSIP GIRL: Life imitates television.

BRADGELINA: Pitt's Rolling Stone interview is excerpted online: "'I normally need my kids to do this,' he mutters, as he attempts to connect my iPod into his stereo..."

JENNIFER ANISTON, reportedly baffled that people care about her personal life, blabs some more about on-again bf John Mayer, calling him "extraordinary."  And blabs some more about Angelina Jolie in GQ.

WATCHMEN: The Philip Glass-scored footage from the Watchmen Comic-Con 2008 panel has finally been released online. You can download it for free via iTunes.

THE 25 SMARTEST PEOPLE ON TV, according to Entertainment Weekly, includes the cast of The View.  Which might explain why TV is in such dire straits.

PAKISTAN has announced it will take action against the leaders of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Lashker-e-Taiba groups for their roles in the Mumbai terror attack, including freezing assets of the groups.  The prime minister confirmed that Pakistan has arrested two leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba.  The Mumbai attacks ahve prompted concerns among US intell officials that Lashkar-e-Taiba is emerging both as a more potent threat to American interests and as a potential successor to Al Qaeda.

IRAQ is developing its National Police forces, frreing up its military to focus on exxternal threats.

BROCCOLI KITTEN, Broccoli Kitten what are they feeding you?

CAT BURGLAR has got his claws into 35 teddies and soft toys in the last year, but really likes a type of stuffed leopard.

RARE WHITE TIGER CUBS were rescued after being abandoned in the wild in South Africa. Slideshow at the link.

A BABY MALE GORILLA may be abandoned and left to the care of the staff at the San Francisco Zoo. Pics and video at the link.

BANDIT the TORTOISE, having surprisingly survived being run over by a car, gets his own set of wheels.

2697 Reads

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