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New Releases, Sneak Previews, the B-52s, Hope the Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THAO NGUYEN rolls out some cheap but charming claymation for "Bag of Hammers."

NEW RELEASES:  Sigur Ros, Amos Lee and classic reissues from Blondie and Liz Phair are among those streaming in full this week via Spinner. Alejandro Escovedo unleashes his Real Animal. The Watson Twins release Fire Songs.

SNEAK PREVIEW songs from the Hold Steady, Beck, Randy Newman, Conor Oberst and more from NPR's All Songs Considered.

THE SHINS plan to self-release their next album, though they will likely maintain a pressing and distribution deal with Sub Pop records.

MUDCRUTCH  is specially mastering their album's vinyl release for a more traditional sound.

THE B-52s have a new album out, but I dug into the back catalog and came up with "Private Idaho" and "Dirty Back Road" for Twofer Tuesday.

LYKKE LI tells the Independent that she wants to be the next madonna, which seems unlikely, given her mix of pop, soul, folk and hip-hop, with sounds created not only by her voice, but also with foot stomps, chimes, theremin, flute, kazoo and harpsichord.

POMEGRANATES do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.  Kinda Modest Mouse or Death Cab, with some faux-Brit inflection.

FRIGHTENED RABBIT is briefly profiled in the Portland Mercury.

HIGH GAS PRICES hit Indie bands on tour.

KATE HUDSON & LANCE ARMSTRONG were... wait for it... caught canoodling during a love match on a tennis court in Brentwood Los Angeles Sunday.

CAMERON DIAZ was... wait for it... caught canoodling with Brit model Paul Sculfor (who was linked to Jennifer Aniston last year).

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON appeared stronger than ever as they enjoyed a romantic weekend in Los Angeles.  They were not caught canoodling.

HEATHER MILLS may well appear in the next season of Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice."

KATE MOSS and her clique of Primrose Hillbillies are shunning Sienna Miller not only for breaking up with Rhys Ifans but also for the way she has gone about things.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY won her battle to open her bitter divorce case with ex husband Peter Cook to the public.  Budding singer Diana Bianchi (Cook's then-19-year-old assistant)  - who was at the center of the divorce scandal two years ago - will testify in the upcoming divorce trial, her lawyer told Entertainment Tonight on Monday.

MAD MEN, about the world of advertising on Madison Avenue set in New York in the early 1960s, returns for a second season on AMC beginning July 27; the DVD set of the first season goes on sale July 1.  The show got a lengthy feature in last weekend's New York Times Magazine.  There are "best ofs," "behind the scenes" and all sorts of videos at AMCtv. Some spoilers there by the time you get to "The Lies."

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but baby daddy Larry Birkhead paid nearly three grand at an auction Saturday for lingerie she wore in a Playboy shoot. Birkhead explained he wanted to give their 1-year-old daughter Dannielynn a keepsake of her mother.  Not at all creepy.

ISLAMISM in the UK: Extremists are winning the battle for the hearts and minds of Britain's young Muslims, a disturbing police report warns.  Meanwhile, novelist Ian McEwan launched a stinging attack on Islamism, prompted in defense of his friend Martin Amis.

IRAQ will award contracts to 41 foreign oil firms in a bid to boost production that could give multinationals a potentially lucrative foothold in huge but underdeveloped oil fields. Roadside bomb attacks and fatalities are down by almost 90 percent over the last year, according to Pentagon records and interviews with military leaders.  The Counter-terrorism Blog highlights status reports from the Institute for the Study of War and the Government Accountability Office.  Iraqi forces defeat US troops... on the soccer field.

HOPE, the appropriately named two-legged Maltese puppy gets around by using a specially-designed device which features wheels from a model airplane. Pics and video at the link.

BABY CROCODILES start chatting to one another and to their mothers just before they hatch, perhaps signaling that it is time to be born. Audio at the link.

THE SNAIL THREAT: Island apple snails, originally from South America, could threaten public health and the environment in South Carolina.

THE BIRDS: Horny male blackbirds are on the attack in Chicago.  In the event of an attack, bark like a dog. Really.

RAT DUMPING follows the failure of a a reptile business in Marion County, FL.

3259 Reads

Impossible Shapes, Duffy, Celeb DJs, World's Ugliest Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 23, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE IMPOSSIBLE SHAPES ease us into the week with the time-lapsing clip for "Infinity's Lips" from their new self-titled album.

DUFFY stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

BROTHERS & SISTERS who kick out the jams -- like the Fiery Furnaces, Smosoh and Tegan & Sara -- talk to the Observer about the drawbacks and joys of working together.

HEY, MR. DJ: Jason Schwartzman, Conan O'Brien and John Cusack are among those who have sat in on KCRW's Guest DJ Project.

ROBERT POLLARD of GbV and many other bands talks to Indy Week about his side work as a visual artist.

JOURNEY is getting a second wind from new lead vocalist Arnel Pineda, a Filipino singer who they found leading a Manila cover band on YouTube. A new album featuring original songs and re-recorded classics that shot up to the fifth highest-selling album in the US since its debut three weeks ago.  I guess we all know the moral of the story.

THE CONSTANTINES are profiled in the Toronto Sun.

JONATHAN COULTON does a particularly amusing "Random Rules" iPod shuffle for The A.V. Club.

ROGUE WAVE talks to Drowned In Sound about all of the band's new beginnings in the past year, including leaving Sub Pop records: "Sub Pop are a great label, but they put out a lot of bands. They were a great label for us to be on, because you get that stamp of approval, you get Sub Pop on your record. Some labels, you're gonna listen no matter what band it is..."

SUB POP co-founder/label president Jonathan Poneman talks to Billboard about keeping the label in business for 20 years.

AMY WINEHOUSE has contracted emphysema and could be confined to a wheelchair within a month if she doesn't quit drugs.

GEORGE CARLIN is dead at 71. Insert some profanity here.

HUGH HEFNER: Family swinging, homemeade sex films, and a gay tryst all feature in an upcoming biography of the Playboy founder: "This is the most authoritative book ever written about me . . . It's all essentially true," Hef told Page Six.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY: Violent surfers delivered a beatdown to about a dozen paparazzi trying to shoot the actor enjoying some tasty waves.

HEATHER MILLS has a hunky new toyboy, according to the News of the World.

DREW BARRYMORE & JUSTIN LONG are like "two peas in a pod," according to friend (and fab actor) Sam Rockwell.  Since it's Justin Long, I must make the obligatory "two peas in an iPod" joke.

JESSICA SIMPSON denies that her creepy dad-manager Joe fit her for a training bra.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Get Smart gets the top slot with 39.1 million -- about 10 percent above projections, in line with reboots of older TV shows and a decent start on making back its relatively conservative 80 million budget (its really more than that, but shh.)  The Love Guru bombed by opening in fourth with a paltry 14 million against a 62 million budget.  Kung Fu Panda showed strength in the second slot making 21.7 million in its third weekend.  The Incredible Hulk and The Happening both tanked in their second weekends -- 61 and 67 percent, respectively, to take the third and fifth spots.  Below the surface the story may be that Indiana Jones may fail to catch Iron Man by the end of their respective runs.

GET SMART:  I found Get Smart to be quite mediocre -- not bad, but not great either; the reboot completely rewrites the characters of Maxwell Smart and Agent 99, making it a far more conventional sort of comedy, even if it was refereshing to have 99 be the assertive half of the duo.  Or maybe it was just having Anne Hathaway in leather catsuits and reaching  up her dress for various gadgets that was nice.

ELLEN DeGENERES gave Portia de Rossi a glittering ring with pink diamonds for their upcoming wedding that will air in part on DeGeneres's talk show.

MINNIE DRIVER enjoyed a casual baby shower over the weekend.

IRAQ: The New York Times does an overview of the big security gains and lingering questions, blogs the security and social situation in each of Iraq's three largest cities, and charts progress on security and political benchmarks established by the Brookings Institution.  The last of the five US Army brigades to deploy with the "troop surge" in Iraq will return in July after a 13-month deployment.

GUS, a one-eyed, three-legged Chinese Crested won the 2008 World's Ugliest Dog Contest on Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif.  Pics and video at the link.

WHAT DO YOU DO with an aged lemur? I must observe that Rollie looks a lot like the Lorax.

SIX TIGER CUBS debuted at the Small World petting zoo at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, TX -- after a group from Spring Hill Wildlife Ranch in Bryan allegedly tried to sell the cubs at a Wal-Mart parking lot in McAllen.

FUGITIVE MONKEYS: Trappers have captured 8 of 15 monkeys who broke out of the Safari Wild park in lakeland FL, by swimming a moat.

A POLICE DOG trying to sniff out an axe attacker overnight was thrown off the scent by an unrelated cannabis operation. No word on whether the munchies were involved.

4617 Reads

Bonnaroo, Islands, Guilty Pleasures, Cutout Bin, Clumsy Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 20, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with BONNAROO 2008!  Glide magazine's Pullin' Tubes has collected tons of video from last weekend's big fest.  Sadly, much of the Cat Power set has been yanked, but they missed her interpretive medley of "Blue Moon" and "(Dream) All I Have To Do."  The Broken Social Scene set is still there and "Shoreline 7/4" is pretty nice, even without Leslie Feist. The handheld fan footage of Pearl Jam isn't bad, including originals like "Better Man" and "Daughter" along with The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me."  Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings get the crowd whipped up with "Not Gonna Cry."  And though far from the stage, it's still fun to hear Disco Biscuits cover Men Without Hats' "Safety Dance" and Alison Krauss & Robert Plant duet on Zep's "Battle of Evermore."  There's plenty more at that first link-- Ben Folds, My Morning Jacket, Tegan & Sara, the Swell Season, the Raconteurs and more...

LARGEHEARTED BOY has Hallelelujah the Hills singer and guitarist Ryan Walsh interview brother and sister Cassie Berman (of the Silver Jews) and Joe Marrett (of Hallelujah the Hills and Ketman).  Berman reveals: "The first record I remember us both obsessing over was the Chicago Bears 'Superbowl Shuffle.'"

ISLANDS stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

RICHARD THOMPSON spends 60 Seconds with the Colorado Springs Independent.

THE PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL has a sampler of this years' artists available for dowload through festival partner emusic, if you're willing to do the site's free trial.

TEN GUILTY PLEASURES of the 80s, compiled by the B-List.  For legal reasons, they have no video for Prince's "When U Were Mine," but this live version from 1981 is pretty sweet.

14 SONGS YOU SHOULD NEVER PLAY IN A BAR, courtesy of Holy Taco.  Hard to argue with 'em, really.

SUZANNE VEGA blogs her status as a two-hit wonder and 20-year musician for the New York Times.  Steaming audio tracks at the link also.  Vega promises more on the DNA remix of "Tom's Diner."

GUNS 'N' ROSES:  Antiquiet had posted nine tracks from the long-delayed Chinese Democracy LP.  They're removed now, but the commentary is still there.

CUTOUT BIN: Walken's got a fee-vah to launch this Friday's fortuitous finds, including the Mummies, Stealer's Wheel, the Pixies, the Violent Femmes, John Lennon, the Zombies and more -- all of which can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, Britney's knocked-up 17-year-old sis, isn't knocked-up any more, having given birth to a baby girl named Maddie Briann.

AMY WINEHOUSE could be in hospital for weeks after relatives vowed to do whatever it takes to make her quit drugs.

ROB LOWE wins a round in court as his ex-nanny's claims of labor code violations are dismissed.  The sex harassment claims move forward for now.

HULU's DAYS of SUMMER:  The online video service is rolling out a big video daily, including full streams of Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and the Three Stooges Collection 1934-1936. N'yuk n'yuk n'yuk!

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is more comfortable doing nude scenes than singing. She's probably not alone in that opinion.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are the semi-mod adaptation of Get Smart, currently scoring a (surprising to me ) 54 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and the Mike Myers vehicle The Love Guru, which is scoring a (not at all surprising to me) 10 percent.  Get Smart even does well with the "Cream of the Crop" critics. Of the three that studios really watch,  Variety and the Hollywood Reporter are thumbs-down, but the most valued Roger Ebert is thumbs-up. BONUS: Anne Hathaway (Agent 99) is on an emotional roller-coaster following her split from long time bf Raffaello Follieri.

ISLAMISM in KUWAIT: They want to outlaw Xboxes and ban Christmas, do away with the Arab world's version of "American Idol," and keep female drivers off the roads. Kuwait is seeing a surge in conservative Islamist legislative proposals just one month after the country's Salafi Islamists and tribal candidates gained a majority in its National Assembly.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan and NATO forces have cleared Taliban militants from a district near Kandahar, killing or wounding hundreds of rebels, a provincial governor said Thursday. There was no confirmation by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

IRAN on Thursday it was ready to negotiate over a new package of economic incentives put forward by major powers seeking to persuade Tehran to curb its nuclear work. Analysts also believe Tehran is using delaying tactics to press ahead with atomic work. An Iranian official said on Thursday time was on Iran's side.

IRAQ: Iraqi security forces launched a crackdown on Shi'ite militias in Amara, the latest drive in Prime Minister al-Maliki's campaign to restore order to Iraq. Among those arrested were Amara's mayor, Rafea Abdul-Jabbar, and a member of the municipal council.  The mayor, who also was acting deputy governor for Maysan province, is a Muqtada al-Sadr loyalist. Al-Sadr's aides complained that the mayor's arrest violated the spirit of agreements made in talks with the government in the run-up to the operation.  Iraq's foreign ministry says that Iraqi and US officials are seeking a compromise regarding a new security pact.

CHESTER may be Britain's clumsiest dog. He's broken bones falling down holes, broken his tailbone, lost teeth and dislocated his shoulder, smashed his face on furniture and falls down stairs every week.  Full list, and an a photographed encounter with a planter at the link.

A BLACK BEAR CUB is Lovin' It in South Brunswick.

CIRCLES the DUCK: Still under an order of protection in Mastic, NY.

CHICKENS ain't noise polution.  Or are they?

SKUNK on a PLANE delayed a flight from Miami to Bogotá for nearly 2 ½ hours Wednesday.

BOOMERANG, a racing pigeon, has flown back to her original owner, 10 years after he gave the bird away. A heart-warming story; compelling and rich.

4025 Reads

Mates of State, Bob Pollard, Conor Oberst, Harvey   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


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Last Shadow Puppets, Teddy Thompson, Nicole Atkins, Pigeons   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS crank out a simple, but fab clip for "Standing Next to Me."

TEDDY THOMPSON's new album, A Piece of What You Need, is streaming in full this week via AOL.

DUFFY, THE SEX PISTOLS, LED ZEPPELIN & NEIL DIAMOND were among this year's Mojo Award winners.  Duffy was reportedly left in tears after falling afoul of Johnny Rotten.  Motorhead's Lemmy and Jimmy Page got along so well they wanted to swap phone numbers -- but neither could figure out how to work their cellphones.

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

FAMOUS SONGS and their muses, including Patti Boyd, Sharona Alperin, Prudence Farrow, Caroline Kennedy and many more...

NICOLE ATKINS plays a new song, "Caught In The Way," on a bale of hay at Bonnaroo for SPIN.

R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills comes out as a heterosexual to New York magazine.

KATHLEEN EDWARDS is interviewed for All Things Considered, along with the stream for her NON-COMMvention gig.

BILLY BRAGG tells the Montreal Gazette that his new album is his stab at making it into the Soul section of the record store.

WHEN ROCK STARS ATTACK: The best on-stage outbursts, according to the Limewire blog.  With embedded video.

ANNE HATHAWAY dumped her shady longtime Italian boyfriend Raffaello Follieri,as his scandals were hurting her reputation. Despite their split, it remains to be seen if the separation is permanent.

AMY WINEHOUSE remained in hospital on Tuesday for more tests after fainting at home on Monday and being rushed to a clinic by her father, a spokesman said.

BRITNEY SPEARS's father intends to sell her Studio City home in the latest liquidation of her assets, it was revealed in Los Angeles probate court Tuesday.

LANCE ARMSTRONG dodged the Kate Hudson question on The View. Video at the link.

JENNIFER ANISTON's rep claims that a report in Life & Style magazine that Aniston wanted to exclude her He's Just Not That Into You co-star Jennifer Connelly from a group cover shot for Marie Claire is "absolutely absurd."

DENISE RICHARDS claims to be "setting the record straight" on her new E! reality show, "It's Complicated," but several sources who know the actress say it's a record that she's making up.

BRADGELINA are actual human beings, according to Jolie's Wanted co-stars.

SOPHIA BUSH of One Tree Hill is back on the market.

CYD CHARISSE, the long-legged Texas beauty who danced with the Ballet Russe, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, died Tuesday. She was 86.

THE DARK KNIGHT's running time has been confirmed at 152 minutes: "In the 1950s and early '60s we had long, self-important movies about Jesus. In the 21st Century we have long, self-important movies about Batman."

GISELLE BUNDCHEN tells GQ that current beau Tom Brady "really, genuinely doesn't have a bad bone in his body," though Brady's baby mama, Bridget Moynahan, might have a different opinion.  Bundchen also discusses her split from Leonardo DiCaprio, whom she dated before Brady.

IRAN said on Tuesday uranium enrichment was its "red line" and would continue, despite an enhanced offer of incentives from big powers to stop activity the West fears could yield nuclear bombs.  Meanwhile, Aacorrespondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Persian-language Radio Farda, was barred from covering a UN food summit in Rome, because he wanted to ask Pres. Ahmadinejad, "If Iran is the second-largest oil producer in the world after Saudi Arabia, and the second-largest gas producer after Russia, and has more than $40 billion in reserves, why does such a rich country have 7 million people living under the poverty line of less than $1 a day?"  Apparently, Ahmadinejad has responded in the past in Iran with answers suggesting that "the economy is managed by the 12th imam," a religious leader whose return devout Shi'a await to usher in a golden age, or by challenging conventional wisdom by asking, "Who says inflation is a bad thing?"

IRAQ: The Iraqi government and military continue to shape the battlefield for the confrontation with the Mahdi Army in Maysan province. Iraqi troops replace border guards. Local police forces are raised. Maliki gives deadline for Mahdi Army to disarm. Sadrists fear being targeted.  European and Asian companies are beating their US rivals into Iraq now that security has improved the investment climate, Iraq and US officials say.  A military judge has dismissed charges against a Marine officer accused of failing to investigate the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha, amid concerns that a four-star general overseeing the prosecution was improperly influenced by an investigator.

PIGEONS are as smart as three-year-old children. And some art students.

FEMALE CHIMPS are total sluts. NTTAWWT.

ALBINO SNAKES fail to attack the police on their owner's command.  Oops. Video at the link.

MONITOR LIZARDS, JACKALS & BIRDS delayed over 100 flights in New Dehli, India, by straying onto the runway a day after a monsoon hit.

A PUFFER FISH sent a Cambodian teenager to the hospital by attacking the boy's scrotum.

7325 Reads

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