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Wilco, Courtney Barnett, Cass McCombs, Circus Tigers   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


R.B. GREAVES: "Take a Letter, Maria."

WILCO, headlining the Solid Sound festival.

COURTNEY BARNETT, Live at Solid Sound.


CAR SEAT HEADREST: The making of a new song, “Stop Lying to Me.”


OH SEES share an animated video for "Poisoned Stones."

U2: A newly discovered bootleg from 1979 features two previously unreleased songs.

THE SILVER JEWS' David Berman talks to Aquarium Drunkard about making music with his new band, Purple Mountains, and looked back on past work with Silver Jews and his old college pal Stephen Malkmus.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks to Gold Flake Paint about wizards, parenting and more. (h/t Frank Yang.)

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Olivia Newton-John's chillout smash "Have You Never Been Mellow," the Doobie Brothers' folksy, rambling hit "Black Water," Frankie Valli's drippy ballad "My Eyes Adored You,"and Labelle's sex-worker smash "Lady Marmalade."


KEVIN SPACEY has been questioned in the U.S. by officers from Scotland Yard about the sexual assault allegations he faces in the U.K.

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL has a trailer online.

HALLE BAILEY -- not to be confused with Halle Berry -- has been cast as Ariel in Disney's live-action version of The Little Mermaid, and it's controversial because what isn't.

JOKER director Todd Phillips thinks people will be mad at his departure from the comics. I think Comics fans are fine with departures from canon, so long as the movie is good and the departures make sense.

THE JESUS ROLLS: John Turturro's Big Lebowski spinoff is scheduled to hit theaters in early 2020.



"WHAT? I got one."

CIRCUS TIGERS turn on trainer, maul him to death despite frantic attempts to intervene.

USING OLD BRAS to save old tortoises.

EVERYTHiNG YOU WANTED TO KNOW about the international implications of reanimating pig brains but were afraid to ask.

1233 Reads

The media mostly took the long holiday weekend off, but Things.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 08, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Spider-Man: Far From Home swings high above the chart with 185MM, a record 6-day Independence Day launch and Sony's best opening oversix days, which started with a record Tuesday opening record of 39.2MM. The three-day weekend total was 93.6MM.  It crushed Homecoming's 117MM debut, though that film opened after the Fourth in 2017. It also grossed another 395MM in international markets, almost 50 percent higher ythan Homecoming. And with no wannabe blockbusters coming Friday, odds look good for a big follow-up frame. Toy Story 4 placed with 34.3MMon a 43 percent drop and broke the 300MM mark domestic. Yesterday shows with 10.8MM on a fairly leggy 37 percent dro; it's probably close to breaking even worldwide. Annabelle Comes Home takes the fourth slot with 9.8MM on a 52 percent drop; that's not uncommon for a horror flick, but it tends to confirm this will be the first in The Conjuring Universe to disappoint expectations. The Aladdin reboot rounds out the Top Five with another 7.6MM on a 25 percent drop as it crosses the 900MM mark worldwide.

THE ROLLING STONES covered "Mercy Mercy" for the first time since their legendary 1969 concert in Hyde Park.

THE WHO: Townshend and Daltrey debuted “Hero Ground Zero” at Wembley. And Eddie Vedder joined them for “The Punk And The Godfather."

THE BIRD & THE BEE bring BECK on for a jazzy take on Van Halen’s "Hot for Teacher."

JOHNNY MARR invited a fan onstage to play guitar on The Smiths' "This Charming Man"... and he nailed it.

STEVIE WONDER is battling a serious but manageable health issue as he continues to perform and make music.

JOAO GILBERTO, one of the principal architects of bossa nova, has died at 88.

MULAN: Another Disney live-action remake drops a teaser trailer.

KEVIN SPACEY: The former Massachusetts busboy who accused the actor of sexual assault has abruptly dropped his lawsuit, his lawyer said Friday.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN, billionaire pedophile, was arrested for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, and will appear in court in New Yorktoday, according to the Daily Beast.

RUSSELL CROWE came close to playing Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy — but he was put off by one phone call with director Peter Jackson.

THE TOP 12 SEINFELD EPISODES, according to Uproxx.

CAMERON BOYCE, known for his roles in the Disney Channel franchise "Descendants" and the TV show "Jessie," has died. He was just 20 years old.

A TIGER charged bikers in India.

FLORIDA GATORS were caught eating their second corpse in a week.

NEW YORK: It's the largest seizure of illegal reptiles in state history, including six gila monsters.

A COW and a DOG: The latter seems a little uncomfortable, tbh.

...More tomorrow, barring the unforeseen.

1225 Reads

Our Purple Mountain Majesties Request   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


...with THE BEACH BOYS!  It's Pate Reunion Weekend and time to "Do It Again."  Because folks my age will always remember their mammoth July 4th concerts at the Washington Monument -- as with this 1980 take o­n "Good Vibrations."  Their "Lost Concert" from 1964 includes "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Long, Tall Texan," "Little Deuce Coupe," "Surfer Girl," "Surfin' USA," "Shut Down," "In My Room," "Papa Ooh Mow Mow," and "Hawaii." Their take on "Dance, Dance, Dance" from Shindig! later that year is like a slice of Christmas in July.  There's also a nifty twofer of "I Get Around" and "'When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" from their first UK TV appearance o­n Ready Steady Go!  The Andy Williams Show serves up "Help Me, Rhonda," while The Jack Benny Hour produced these quick takes o­n "Barbara Ann" and "California Girls."  There's a primitive video for "Wouldn't It Be Nice" that starts with a cameo from Brian Wilson's dogs (Banana and Louie), who appear at the end of the Pet Sounds LP.  And I'll finish with a live version of "God Only Knows" from the 1967 European tour -- one of the last Brian would do for a decade or so.

RAY CHARLES performs "America The Beautiful" like no one else.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: Bruce Springsteen, circa 1978, before it came out on The River.

AMERICAN MUSIC: The Violent Femmes, circa 1992.

DAVE ALVIN: Hey, baby, it's the "4th of July."


THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER: As performed by Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Smokey Robinson, members of the Grateful Dead, and Umphrey’s McGee.

THE UNITED STATES prepares to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4, 1776. As the Wikipedia notes, this is a little arbitrary: New Englanders had been fighting Britain since April 1775; the first motion in the Continental Congress for independence was made o­n June 8th; and the Congress voted 12-0 for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain o­n July 2, 1776. Even so, the publication of the Declaration was momentous .  If you're not in DC, the best way to see and learn about the Declaration may be through the Charters of Freedom website. Or you can watch Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas, Renee Zelleweger, Kevin Spacey, Wynona Ryder and other Hollywood folk read the Declaration.

Of course, the holiday more broadly celebrates the American Revolutionary War, and the Founders' unlikely victory. People with the highest standard of living and the lowest taxes in the Western World fought a sometimes unpopular war for our freedom. Early o­n, the Revolutionaries (also known as "Americans" or "Patriots") had the active support of about 40 to 45 percent of the colonial population. By 1779, there were more Americans fighting with the British than with Washington, which is why Washington needed help from the French, the Spanish and freed Blacks. You can separate fact from fiction regarding the sacrifices and fates of the Founders at Snopes. You can hear two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough read from the first chapter of his 1776 via NPR. Or watch a nifty clip on the passage and public reading of the Declaration from the John Adams miniseries.

NOW SHOWING: This long weekend's wide releases are Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is currently scoring 93 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Midsommar, which is scoring 82 percent.

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME has most of what made its predecessor, Homecoming, a blast, which is to say it still has the trappings of a teen comedy (including the 80s music) wrapped up in superhero action -- and its backed up by most of the cast returning and adjusting to life after the events of Averngers: Endgame. The movie's biggest flaw is that the tricky part of the plot recalls another movie and made a bit more sense in that movie. Nevertheless, the performances are winning (including Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck), the European setting is charming and the action is well-staged. The film also uses today's controversies about "fake news" as grist for its mill without getting political about it. There is a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene; both are good, but you definitely do not want to miss that mid-credits scene.

MYSTERIO: Big Spidey Spoilers in this interesting take.

ELVIS PRESLEY: Baz Luhrmann is testing a top group of young actors for his film about the legendary singer and his manager Colonel Tom Parker.

TAYLOR SWIFT: Scott Borchetta tells his side of the story of their label's sale; there are many issues.

DAISY RIDLEY talks revisionist Shakespeare, Star Wars: Episode IX and why she understands the intense online backlash to 2017's The Last Jedi.

THE FLASH: Andy Muschietti, the filmmaker behind the hit Stephen King adaptation It and the upcoming It: Chapter Two, is in talks to direct the film. Ezra Miller remains attached to star, but they're not using his script.

RUSSELL CROWE went a little Russell Crowe in defense of the late Roger Ailes.

COMEDIANS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE has a trailer online for the next season, which includes eddie Murphy and Seth Rogen.

TWIGGY: Another Fourth of July tradition, the water-skiing squirrel. She retired last summer, but it remains a great story. Compelling and rich.


COCKROACHES are becoming even harder to kill.

A RETICULATED PYTHON is on the loose in Cambridge.

1217 Reads

Raconteurs, Pure Bathing Culture, Mega Bog, Belle & Sebastian, Beagle   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 02, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


GARY WRIGHT will always be known as the "Dreamweaver," but add "Love is Alive" (with More Cowbell) and you have Twofer Tuesday.

THE RACONTEURS visit Morning Becomes Eclectic.

PURE BATHING CULTURE plays a Stereogum Session.

MEGA BOG covers Yukihiro Takahashi, Lady June and Kate Bush for a Lagniappe Session.

BELLE & SEBASTIAN return with "Sister Buddha."

TY SEGALL shares "Radio."


COURTNEY BARNETT joined WILCO for "Handshake Drugs" at the Solid Sound festival.

SLEATER-KINNEY: Janet Weiss leaves the band on the eve of a tour for their new LP.

A NEIL DIAMOND musical is headed for Broadway, according to the chair.

MITSKI is profiled by The New Yorker.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at The Eagles' country-rock ballad "Best Of My Love," their first-ever No. 1 hit.


AVENGERS: ENDGAME will not beat Avatar for now (though I wouldn't rule out another re-release nearer the end of the year).

SANDMAN: Neil Gaiman's beloved Vertigo comic is coming to Netflix.

AZIZ ANSARI is making a return to Netflix with a surprise special.

UTTERLY GOOPED:  Inside Gwyneth Paltrow's wacky wellness weekender.

THE LITTLE MERMAID:  Melissa McCarthy Jacob Tremblay, and Awkwafina are in talks to go under the sea for Disney's live-action remake of its animated classic.

OVERALL BOX OFFICE is down almost 10 percent at mid-year.

THE TALENT AGENCIES & THE WRITERS' GUILD are suing each other for alleged antitust violations.


THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963), as performed by a beagle.

WHEN YOU PICK UP YOUR DOG from the vet and he gives you that look, you know you're in trouble.

SPIDER-BEAR: A bear makes an impressively athletic leap from the deck of a British Columbia home to a tree before shimmying its way down.

1179 Reads

Busy pre-holiday weekend, but I have a few Things.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 01, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Toy Story 4 tops the chart with 58MM on a 52 percent drop from its debut; its domesic haul, boosted by strong weekday numbers, stands at 237MM, ahead of Toy Story 3's 226.8MMin its second frame. The long holdiday weekend should be good to Pixar.  Annabelle Comes Home places with 20.3MM, the lowest opening of The Conjuring universe; it will still profit against a reported 27MM budget, but look for this franchise to either slow its realeases or cut back on its budgets. Yesterday shows with 17MM against a 26MM budget; despite meh reviews, this could be Danny Boyle's most successful film after Slumdog Millionaire.  The Aladdin reboot breaks the 300MM mark domestically, grossing another 9.3MM in the fourth slot on a 29 percent drop.  The Secret Life of Pets 2 rounds out the Top Five with another 7MM on a 31 percent drop; it's vastly underperforming the original, but is still likely to profit.

TAYLOR SWIFT's catalog has been sold and she's none too happy about it.

SOPHIE TURNER & JOE JONAS had a second wedding ceremony in France.

ZOE KRAVITZ and Karl Glusman also had a second marriage ceremony in France; this one was at Lenny's pad in Paris.

TINA TURNER talked to CBS Sunday Morning about her voice, finding serenity and losing a son.

GAME OF THRONES' George R.R. martin is concerned about toxic fandom.

LORI LAUGHLIN is reportedly second-guessing a decision to turn down a plea deal in the college admissions scandal despite her belief that this is all a “huge misunderstanding.”

Should be back tomorrow with the regular portion, barring the unforeseen.

1206 Reads

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