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New R.E.M., Kelley Stoltz, Van Hunt, Lions on Horseback   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


R.E.M. has put up a promo video for the upcoming Accelerate album.  You can stream the single, "Supernatural Superserious," via Pitchfork.

FEIST won the Shortlist Music Prize for her album The Reminder.  Finalists for the 2007 Shortlist Music Prize also included Arcade Fire, Burial, Justice, LCD Soundsystem, M.I.A., Spoon, Stars, Wilco and Working for a Nuclear Free City.

KELLEY STOLTZ talks to the East Bay Express about playing and singing almost every note on his new album for Sub Pop: "I try to work every day, whether it's going well or not. It's fun to think up a drumbeat and a bass part and then solve the musical arithmetic problem that creates. It's boring to play guitar all day..."  As Pate's Jon Pratt once said, the guitar player always wants to be the drummer.  You can stream a bunch of new and old tracks via StoltzSpace.  Fans of Harry Nilsson, mid-period Kinks and early Paul McCartney (solo) should check it out.

DEAN & BRITTA talk to the Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot about the transition from Luna and covering new ground on their latest album.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND bassist Chris Baio talks to DC's Express, which notes in passing that the band's breakthrough buzz has stirred debate about musical misappropriation and the tension between upper-class privilege and education and rock music.  As to the former, I would note that it was just a few months ago that people were debating whether indie music was too "white."

TWO HOURS TRAFFIC:  At Chromewaves, Frank Yang touts the staying power-pop of the Charlottetown combo.  He's got plenty of A/V linkage, including an album stream, so I'll just tease it with the new video for "Nighthawks."

HAROLD & MAUDE never had an official soundtrack... until now, courtesy of rock critic turned movie maven Cameron Crowe.  And it's a deluxe package on vinyl.

VAN HUNT:  The neo-soul man's latest album, "Popular," was scheduled to be released this month on Blue Note Records, but this week the singer announced that he has severed ties with the label, the latest victim of the turmoil at Blue Note's parent company, EMI.  Blue Note had already sent pre-release copies of the album to the media for review purposes; an EP previewing tracks from the album is streaming at HuntSpace, sounding funkier than evah.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS:  Gruff Rhys talks to the SF Bay Guardian about the mellower mood that shaped the recording of the band's latest LP, Hey, Venus!

THE 20 MEANEST LOVE SONGS, according to Spinner.

BRITNEY SPEARS was discharged from the psych ward at UCLA Medical Center, after doctors determined she did not pose the legal danger to herself or to others, such that they could continue to hold her against her will.  The conservatorship is still in place.  The pop wreck was pursued by a swarm of paparazzi, as caught on helicopter video.  Rolling Stone has posted an excerpt from its cover story on the decline and fall of the pop tart,  US Weekly has more tidbits from the RS piece, starting with the disclosure that as a teen, mama Lynne, allowed her to get breast implants, which were later removed.  Sam Lufti admitted to giving Spears "a handful of pills" before her parents arrived to get her into treatment.  She apparently also believes Lutfi is the one who stole items from her house.

KIRSTEN DUNST checked herself into the Cirque Lodge rehab clinic in Utah, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.  Fellow actress Eva Mendes is also in the mountaintop facility right now.

DELTA BURKE checked herself into a psychiatric hospital last week for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and "hoarding."

BRADGELINA:  Jolie's rumored pregnancy may be more the result of insecurity than love, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer, which claims she spent the last year terrified that Pitt would end their relationship if she failed to give him another child.

KATHERINE HEIGL and her new hubby, musician Josh Kelley wuz robbed!  By a dumb car thief who passed up guitars worth thousands, instead picking up a GPS device worth about a few hundred bucks.

HEATH LEDGER died from an accidental overdose of prescription medications including painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills, the New York City medical examiner's office said Wednesday.  In a statement released through Ledger's publicist, Ledger's father, Kim, said Wednesday: "While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath's accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage."  The Drug Enforcement Administration is stepping in to determine how the actor was able to obtain so many prescription drugs.  Baby mama Michelle Williams and her two-year-old daughter arrived in Perth, Australia, Wednesday afternoon local time for Ledger's funeral.  There is a rumor that his dead body was snapped, and 300K is the price on that photo.

COLIN FARRELL says the release of his cop movie Pride & Glory keeps getting delayed because The Golden Compass was a financial disaster for New Line pictures.

SCIENTOLOGISTS are at war with a member of their own family - the outspoken niece of the church's powerful leader, David Miscavige.

ERIC DANE, a/k/a Dr. McSteamy on Grey's Anatomy, was treated for skin cancer.

JASON BATEMAN confirmed that the folks behind Arrested Development have put the wheels in motion toward a major motion picture of the cancelled cult comedy.

CONAN O' BRIEN, JON STEWART & STEPHEN COLBERT, filling time due to the writers' strike appeared on each other's late-night TV shows Monday in a mock feud over who "made" Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.  Eventually, blowtorches, bricks, stunt doubles and even a little dancing were employed.  The magic of the Internet brings us the video from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, followed by the finale on Late Night.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  The Christian Science Monitor looks at the varied reasons The Kingdom has not done much to ease oil prices.

IRAN has sentenced a 22-year-old to death after being found guilty of drinking alcohol for a fourth time.

IRAQ:  Bill Ardolino is posting a guide to Iraqi politics, starting with the structure of the executive branch under the Iraqi constitution: "Applied to American politics, such a scenario might look like a Republican president's cabinet divided among Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and Libertarians, roughly proportional to their prevalence in Congress..."  Iraqi and UN officials toured a bomb-damaged Shiite shrine in northern Iraq on Wednesday as workers took the first steps in a long-delayed reconstruction - nearly two years after the attack on the famed golden dome became a rallying point for Shiite rage.  The US military said videos seized from suspected AQI hideouts show militants training children who appear as young as 10 to kidnap and kill.  Here's one of the videos.  And here's video of Iraqi Special Forces rescuing an 11-year-old boy who had been kidnapped and held for ransom by a ring of terrorists near Kirkuk.

THIS SHOCKING PICTURE come from the animal park at Xiamen in Fujian, south-east China, where the public seem to delight in humiliating circus-style stunts and have no regard for animal cruelty.  More at the link.

SEVERAL DOGS were saved by cardiopulmonary resuscitation and mouth-to-mouth from Kissimmee firefighters.  Pics and video at the link.

RATTLESNAKE dispatched by three cops with shotguns in Ozona, FL.

PET HOARDING:  Apache Junction police found 96 rabbits, 47 dogs, chickens, pigs, goats, horses, an African Grey Parrot and a cockatiel kept in abusive conditions when they responded to a tip Tuesday at a house in a rural area of Arizona.

DOLPHINS don't let friends drive drunk.

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Lightspeed Champion, American Music Club, Adele, Rats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION starts with a kitty, but switches to aguitar for most of the genre-bending "Galaxy of the Lost."  Remember, you can stream the full album this week via Spinner.

AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB:  Merge Records is already advance streaming The Golden Age album, due in stores on February 19. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

THE RAVEONETTES:  Sune Rose Wagner talks to Pitchfork about "switching record labels, boycotting remakes of classic films, writing songs in bed, and, of course, lust lust lust."

THE THERMALS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including one previously unreleased.

RICHARD HAWLEY gets an excellent profile/interview in the Times of London: "His songbook, which is fast-tracking him towards national treasure status, celebrates the ordinary and everyday over the aspirational and ersatz, finding romance in little lives and big dreams... Exactly who buys his music was, initially, a puzzle to Mute. That Lady's Bridge reached the Top Ten shows there is no shortage of fans, and Hawley is proud to have confounded conventional marketing demographics..."

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO has finished their sophomore album and are hititng the road for a few dates.  That's good enough to relink to the charming video that helped grab attention for their debut, "Be Gentle With Me," a song I hear in the ads for the adorable Juno.  We got us a puppet theme going today.

FEIST talks to the Associated Press about songwriting advice she got from her sound man, her Grammy nominations and -- of course -- her videos: "The videos are there to make the songs visible, to manifest something audible in a visible way... For me, what better way to do that for a song that's really child-like and joyful than to dance around in a blue-sparkled pantsuit?"

TYLER RAMSEY:  The folksy singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist recently invited to join Band of Horses  stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.  He was also blurbed recently by Harp magazine.

THE BEATLES:  Previously unseen photos from the day The Fab Four first hit No. 1 -- and memories of the day by photographer Michael Ward -- appear at the Times of London.  Embedded video also.

ADELE is topping the UK charts this week, but her meteoric rise is stirring all sorts of debate about the British hype machinery.  The Independent has not only an overview, but also a round-up of reviews and Andy Gill's lament that her success is "depressingly inevitable."  You can stream her album this week via MuchMusic.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The restraining order against Sam Lufti alleges that Lufti drugged Spears, cut her home phone line and removed her cell phone chargers, took over her life and finances, and controlled the paparazzi who pursued her for months.  The order reminds us that Sam's real name is Osama.  The conservators of her estate have been trying to serve Lufti with the order, to no avail, yet.  Britney's married paparazzo boyfriend Adnan Ghalib was turned away when he tried to pay her a visit at the hospital.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, Britney's 16-year-old knocked up sister,  is leaving mama Lynne to live with dad Jamie in L.A., to be closer to work and to circumvent Lynne's disapproval of baby daddy Casey Aldridge.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE is apparently winning back Jessica Biel, after getting caught cheating twice. (2nd item.)

HEATH LEDGER:  Autopsy results in the 28-year-old actor's January 22 death should be available within the next 24 hours or so.

LINDSAY LOHAN is opening up to Glamour magazine about her party-girl image, getting back to work and how she's ridding her life of bad influences.  Of course, "That's not to say I'll never go to a club again, because I'd be lying."  Well, yeah, given that you have been caught plain falling off the wagon several times already.  Lohan talks about some of her old and new bad habits in the March issue of Harper's Bazzar.  Also, it seems Li-Lo has visited the trout pout shop again.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Next Monday, Heather Mills is set to cross-examine Sir Paul in a courtroom showdown to win a hefty slice of his £825 million fortune.  Literally.  Mills has apparently spent so much of the interim money she already received that she plans to represent herself in the five-day High Court battle next week - giving her the opportunity to grill 65-year-old Sir Paul.  There is an old saying about people who represent themselves having a fool as a client that is appropos here.

JENNIFER LOPEZ is officially pregnant with twins, according to her father.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie may be preganant with twins (or not), but was spotted boarding a British Airways flight to Amman, Jordan at LAX.

BRUCE WILLIS celebrated Ashton Kutcher's 29th birthday with his ex and Kutcher's current wife, Demi Moore.

ROSIE O'DONNELL claims that President Bush almost killed her, though it was really her own clumsiness.

VANITY FAIR issues its annual Hollywood issue nationwide February 12, but you can see, the cover and the gatefold now.  Emily Blunt, Amy Adams, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Alice Braga, Ellen Page, Zoë Saldana, Elizabeth Banks, Ginnifer Goodwin, and America Ferrera are the "Fresh Faces" photographed by Annie Leibovitz.  The mag is also hosting a "behind the scenes" video of the photoshoot, and a gallery of her past Hollywood photos.  However, the mag has cancelled its traditional A-List Oscars bash in solidarity with the writers' strike.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  A radical preacher who heckled the British Home Secretary tried to recruit Muslims to fight British soldiers in Iraq and raise money for terrorists, a court has been told.  In a video played to the jury, one his co-defendants praised Osama bin Laden and said Islam was a "religion of terrorism."

AL QAEDA, increasingly tamped down in Iraq, is establishing cells in other countries as Osama bin Laden's organization uses Pakistan's tribal region to train for attacks in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa and the United States, the US intelligence chief said Tuesday.

PAKISTAN:  The US said "vulnerabilities exist" regarding the security of Pakistan's nuckes.  Al Qaeda still has a safe haven in northwestern Pakistan.  Only six of the 24 districts in the Northwest Frontier Province are considered to have a "normal" security situation to allow elections.  The government may launch a "search operation" to clear al Qaeda from Mardan.

IRAQ:  On Sunday, Shiite and Sunni religious figures from across Iraq met in Baghdad, along with other Muslim leaders from across the Arab and Islamic worlds, to help save their country -- and others -- from sectarian conflict.  Residents of the northern city of Mosul are hastily stocking up with supplies ahead of what Prime Minister al-Maliki has called a "decisive battle" against AQI, traders said yesterday.

STRANGE NEW CREATURE discovered in Tanzania may be a giant shrew or a tiny elephant.

...AND EVERYWHERE that Steve Eddy went, the "free range chicken" was sure to go.

YEAR of the RAT:  An animal rights group called Monday for China to treat rats with kindness and respect, as millions across the nation begin to celebrate the coming Year of the Rat.  "Rats sing, they dream, and they express empathy for others," Coco Yu of PETA's Asia-Pacific branch said in a statement.  Occasionally, they cook gourmet food, too.  I'm sensing a royalty opportunity for Al Stewart.

CROCODILES can eat 23 percent of their body weight at once, bones and all.  The secret is in their hearts.

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Elbow, New Releases, Nick Cave, Buddy Holly, Flocke   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ELBOW:  The first single for the Manchester combo's next album, "Grounds For Divorce," was on the Tube for a few days before it was yanked, but fortunately, it's a world...wide... web.  Might take a moment to load and won't autoplay, but right there for you.

NEW RELEASES:  Bob Mould, Sons & Daughters, Lightspeed Champion, Hot Chip and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.  Singer-songwriter Basia Bulat is getting plenty of sweet, sweet blog buzz for her Oh, My Darling.  BSSer Jason Collett drops his solo LP.  Kelley Stoltz releases Circular Sounds -- his first album for Sub Pop.  Adele -- a 19-year-old topping the UK charts and touted as "the next Amy Winehouse," but without the drama or the Dap-Kings, is streaming her debut via MuchMusic.

GANG OF FOUR are continuing to record new material.  Bassist Dave Allen tells Billboard: "The biggest surprise is that we've been capable of getting back to our roots. A whole bunch that we've done sounds like 'Entertainment!' (their 1979 debut album). It's more aggressive, more angular."  Drummer Hugo Burnham is sitting out the sessions due to unnamed health issues. "Hugo's still involved in some ways, but it's a very personal issue that will be discussed at a later date," Allen says.<br clear="none" />

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

NICK CAVE:  PopMatters takes a long look at "The 21st Century Love Songs of Nick Cave," many of which were written (ironically enough)  after Cave turned off his computer and returned to writing in notebooks and with a manual typewriter.

ARCADE FIRE is considering suing the FOX network for using "No Cars Go" in a NFL promo without permission during the Super Bowl.

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED:  I again managed to miss the anniversary of the small-plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson, a/k/a "The Big Bopper."  In memoriam, here is Buddy Holly and the Crickets playing "Oh, Boy!" on the Ed Sullivan Show, Richie Valens playing "Ooh, My Head!" and the Big Bopper with his signature, "Chantilly Lace."  And that's Threefer Tuesday.

MENOMENA bassist/co-lead vocalist Justin Harris talks to Matt at YANP about album flow, the band's multi-instrumentalists, and more.

PHOSPHORESCENT did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter; three of them are previously unreleased.

LAST.FM has cut a deal with all four major record companies which will give users access to any song they like and stream it for free (three times) thanks to ad revenue that will come from page views and demographically-specific videos.

AMY WINEHOUSE is getting set to go to the Grammys, leaving rehab Monday to go to the US embassy to renew her visa.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Lawyers for the pop wreck tried to convince the Commissioner that Britney "feels hatred" toward her dad, doesn't trust him and wants him removed as co-conservator.  The Commish wasn't convinced that Andrew Streisand, the second cousin of Babs, was properly retained by Britney, but we learned that the Spears estate is worth 40 million.  The end result of the hearing?  Jamie Spears is still the co-conservator of Britney's estate, as is Andrew Wallet through Valentine's Day.  Sam Lufti is under a restraining order, barring him from contatcting the pop tart.  ALSO:  Fun rumor of the day?  Spears is "on the edge" after discovering sex tapes were stolen from her Beverly Hills home.

KIRSTIE ALLEY is Keeping Scientology Working in a jargon-filled interview for one of the sect's in-house magazines.

PAM ANDERSON is to strip on stage at Paris' Le Crazy Horse cabaret club on February 13 and 14.  This was inevitable, wasn't it?  Anderson is said to be "in discussions" about whether or not she will appear fully nude in the finale.

ELLE MACPHERSON is the new cougar in town, according to the NY Post's Page Six, which claims the 44-year-old supermodel is dating 21-year-old Vito Schnabel.

COURTNEY LOVE credits Orlando Bloom with helping her to stay off drugs by introducing her to Buddhist chanting.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie took to the stage at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival to discuss her career and reveal a few candid nuggets from her off-screen life, including comments on her estranged father Jon Voight, ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton, and more.  Reporters were told not to ask about reports that she is expecting.

ANGELA KINSEY from The Office blogs her pregnancy, hangin' with Jenna Fischer in NYC, winning at the SAG Awards, and more...

SELMA BLAIR regrets chopping off her long hair, because she is regularly mistaken for Tom Cruise.  Ouch.

JIMMY KIMMEL reveals his thoughts on the Matt Damon-Sarah Silveman video sprung on his fifth anniversary show.

THE OSCARS:  At The Envelope, Jim Brooks and Tom O'Neil (even more so) list notable Oscar snubs.  At Newsweek, Marc Peyser argues that "The Oscars Must Die."

BOND GIRLS:  The best and worst are the subject of a poll from the Daily Mail, and of a similar gallery at Entertainment Weekly.  Shirley Eaton/Jill Masterson wuz robbed!

DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY:  Britons are losing their grip on reality, according to a poll out Monday which showed that nearly a quarter think Winston Churchill was a myth while the majority reckon Sherlock Holmes was real.

WIKI JIHAD:  There are people trying to get pictures of Mohammed removed from the Wikipedia.  It appears that Wikipedia is standing its ground.

THE STANS:  US intell sources are reportedly claiming al-Qaeda nuclear weapons expert Abu Khabab al-Misri was the real target of last week's CIA airstrike in northern Pakistan which is said to have killed one of the terror network's key leaders, Abu Laith al-Libi.

IRAN accused France of adopting an "unfriendly" position in Tehran's nuclear row with the West, and said that the military base Paris was setting up in the Gulf would harm peace in the region.

IRAQ:  US troops killed 15 suspected militants and detained 26 more in raids against AQI north of Baghdad and in Mosul.  There were 12 EFP attacks against Coalition Forces in January - the highest monthly total in more than a year.  Baghdad is drowning in sewage, thirsty for water and largely powerless, an Iraqi official said on Sunday in a grim assessment of services in the capital five years after the US-led invasion.  The "surge" ops  are allowing services to be gradually restored.  Demand for electricity was likely to outstrip supply for several years, in part because Iraqis were increasingly buying electrical appliances as the security situation improved.

FLOCKE UPDATE:  The current cuddly polar bear cub gets to see himself in a mirror.

IRISH SETTER KELLY has had a record-breaking 16 pups; Her owner Dee Farndell claims a diet of battered cod was the secret.  Pics of puppies(!) at the link.

...AND THERE WERE PIGS all over the highway.  Video at the link.

A 5-METER LONG, 100Kg PYTHON sleeps with a seven-year-old Cambodian boy.  Nothing tragic about it.  Yet.

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Rise & Shine Campers! Bob Mould, Redwalls, Swee' Pea   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 04, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


I got flowers...in the Spring...

First D.J.: Rise and shine, campers and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.
Second D.J.: It's cold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?
First D.J.: Not hardly. So the big question o­n everybody's lips...
Second D.J.: o­n their chapped lips...
First D.J.: ...their chapped lips is, "Does Phil feel lucky?" Punxsatawney Phil! That's right, woodchuck chuckers it's...


Actually, Groundhog Day was Saturday, when the real Punxsutawney Phil ---  the Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary -- predicted six more weeks of winter.  Other groundhogs differed.  According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, Phil has seen his shadow 98 times, and hasn't seen it (predicting an early spring) only 14 times.  Phil's track record is hotly disputed, though he's has been right 80 percent of the time over the last ten years.  Nevertheless, a crowd of 40000 spent a night of revelry awaiting the sunrise and the groundhog at Gobbler's Knob in the tiny Pennsylvania hamlet that has become known as the "Weather Capital of the World," due in no small part to the movie, which makes every day Groundhog Day.

This is o­ne time where the Internet really fails to capture the true excitement of a movie about a large squirrel predicting the weather. However, you can see the trailer as a refresher.

In 2005, Roger Ebert revisited Groundhog Day, declaring that the film "finds its note and purpose so precisely that its genius may not be immediately noticeable. It unfolds so inevitably, is so entertaining, so apparently effortless, that you have to stand back and slap yourself before you see how good it really is."

At the other end of the political spectrum, Jonah Goldberg's equally effusive movie meditation grabbed the cover of National Review: "When I set out to write this article, I thought it'd be fun to do a quirky homage to an offbeat flick, o­ne I think is brilliant as both comedy and moral philosophy. But while doing what I intended to be cursory research -- how much reporting do you need for a review of a twelve-year-old movie that plays constantly o­n cable? -- I discovered that I wasn't alone in my interest. In the years since its release the film has been taken up by Jews, Catholics, Evangelicals, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, and followers of the oppressed Chinese Falun Gong movement."

Indeed, a 2004 article mentioned by Ebert (but not linked) from London's Independent observes that the Harold Ramis comedy has been hailed by some religious leaders as the most spiritual film of all time. In addition to the examples given in that article, another can be found at the Christian Science Monitor.

Don't drive angry!

As Phil Connors ultimately observed: "When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter."

ACCORDINGLY, we start off a new week:

...with Sonny & Cher o­n Hullabaloo and famously o­n Letterman years later, plus UB40 with Chrissie Hynde, not to mention The Cynics (from the Bonograph tribute CD), and David Bowie & Marianne Faithful.

SALES VS. INFLUENCE:  The Times of London lists the 20 best-selling albums and it its lsit of the 20 most influential albums ever.

BOB MOULD visited the World Cafe Thursday, so you can stream the set -- with selections spanning his career --on demand now via NPR.

CAT POWER:  At Chromewaves, Frank Yang has a nice take on the way her covers albums mark different phases of Chan Marshall's musical evolution.

RICHARD HAWLEY stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set -- including comments on the UK's efforts to address "antisocial behavior" -- that you can stream via NPR.

THE REDWALLS, a Chicago band I should plug more often, plays "Modern Diet" from their self-titled LP for Letterman.

BEST of 2008:  Apparently, the Times of London believes it's never too early to start making a list.

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and live tracks you can stream on demand via NPR.

LILY ALLEN has been dumped by Chemical Brother Ed Simons, just weeks after losing their unborn baby.  She appears to have been involved in a last-ditch attempt to salvage the relationship after she was pictured leaving his flat yesterday morning.

AMY WINEHOUSE was on a hospital drip after becoming dangerously dehydrated as she went "cold turkey" from drugs.  However, she has since been spotted out and about London

BRITNEY SPEARS got her stay in a psychiatric ward extended Sunday, as doctors decided to keep her hospitalized an additional 14 days.  People magazine describes conditions at the hospital.  Meanwhile, her house may have been robbed.  This can happen when the world knows you're not at home.  A Los Angeles court commissioner has placed the pop wreck and her estate under the temporary conservatorship of dad Jamie Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet.  Jamie now has the power to restrict her visitors, arrange 24-hour care and security, cut off all of hers credit cards and to prosecute any restraining orders on her behalf.  Britney did not take the news well, responding with a profanity-laden tirade in her wacky British accent.  Sam Lufti, on the outs with the pop tart's parents, calls her family crazy.  A British photographer has quit the chasing media pack, warning the hounding could kill her.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Hannah Montana's digital 3-D concert movie crushed the box office, taking in 29 million bucks on 683 screens.  That is the biggest win of any film playing over Super Bowl weekend -- including Titanic.  And the budget for Hannah Montana was a rumored seven million.  The folks at Disney are swimming in Scrooge McDuck's money bin today.  You do that by charging 15 bucks per ticket, even for kids, with a one-week limited engagement.  Jessica Alba brought in 13 million for The Eye, while the other new releases opened below the Top Ten.  Katherine Heigl's 27 Dresses held a respectable third place in its third week, while last weeken's openers all tumbled 50-60 percent.  The adorable Juno shot back from seventh to fourth with 110 million in total receipts.

HEATH LEDGER:  The Daily Mail prints stills from the unreleased video the late actor made of "Black Dog" by Nick Drake -- the cult singer-songwriter whose death bore disturbing similarities to his own.  Eerie, verging on creepy.  Or maybe just plain creepy.  Baby mama Michelle Williams is heart-broken and begs for privacy.

JESSICA ALBA has -- according to the uber-reliable Aussie tab New Weekly -- walked out on her fiancé Cash Warren after a series of explosive fights over her pregnancy, vowing she'll never have another baby.  Look for them to be photographed together shortly.

KYLIE MINOGUE is reportedly back together with ex Olivier Martinez, supposedly on the condition of a "life plan" including marriage and children.

EVA MENDEZ reportedly checked into Utah's Cirque Lodge rehab clinic and has been in the facility, which deals with substance-abuse problems, for several weeks.

KIRSTEN DUNST "on the verge of a breakdown?"  Her rep denies it.

WESLEY SNIPES was found not guilty of federal tax-fraud and conspiracy charges Friday, but was convicted on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file a tax return.

SUPER BOWL ADS:  You can watch 'em all via AOL, including the new trailers for Iron Man, Prince Caspian (Narnia) and Wall-E, as well as  Beyonce doing the Thriller dance with lizards for Life Water.  Alternatively, you can watch and vote for your favorites at Spotbowl through noon on Tuesday.

HOLLYWOOD WRITERS' STRIKE:  Informal talks between representatives of Hollywood's striking writers and production companies have eliminated the major roadblocks to a new contract, which could lead to a tentative agreement as early as this week, according to the usual anonymous sources.

MATT DAMON took Jimmy Kimmel's long-running gag to a whole new level on the fifth 5th anniversary of Kimmel's show, by starring in a heavily-bleeped, but still NSFW video with Kimmel's girlfriend, comedienne Sarah Silverman.

CARLA BRUNI is in fact the new first lady of France, according to People magazine.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the ex-supermodel turned singer-songwriter wed in a civil ceremony Saturday morning morning in Paris.

THE UGLIEST BUILDING EVER:  The Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea -- the world's 22nd largest skyscraper -- has been vacant for two decades and is likely to stay that way.  It is such an eyesore, the Communist regime routinely covers it up, airbrushing it to make it look like it's open -- or Photoshopping or cropping it out of pictures completely.  Pics and video at the link.

THE STANS:  There is an excellent round-up of our precarious position in Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Small Wars Journal blog.  Bill Roggio reports that the fighting in Swat is currently more deadly than in Iraq.

IRAQ:  Al Qaeda fanatics plumbed to sickening new depths by turning two women with Down's syndrome into human bombs to kill 99 people in Baghdad.  There is a whiff of desperation in that depravity, esp. given AQ's attitude towards women.  Top Sunni politicians tried to stop final approval of de-Baathification legislation, but Iraq's presidency council approved it yesterday, the final step for the first US-backed benchmark approved by parliament.  US commanders and allied Iraqi sheiks have begun recruiting "concerned local citizens" directly from US detention facilities.

SWEE' PEA the border collie was just one of the record-breakers featured on a special edition of the Oprah Winfrey show.  You can see Swee' Pea is doing balancing that glass while climbing the stairs at the link.

WHEN LIONS ATTACK, it might just be a case of mistaken identity.  But that was probably small comfort to British teacher Kate Drew as the 400-lb beast sank its teeth into her head...

SHIH TZU SCANDAL forces the resignation of the mayor of Alice, TX.  Shih Tzu happens.

THE DOG at my Super Bowl tickets.  Like no one has heard that one before.  Video at the link.

COW!  An automobile accident caused Tonya Coccia to pick up an uninvited passenger in Rehoboth, Mass.  Video at the link.

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Lennon & McCartney, She & Him, Cutout Bin, Flocke Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 01, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with the MUSIC of LENNON & McCARTNEY! Both Beatles and non-Beatles tunes, as interpreted in different languages and in styles from pop to jazz to classical for this 1965 TV special. John and Paul introduce some of the segments, which include Sir George Martin, Peter & Gordon, Lulu, Marianne Faithfull, Dick Rivers, Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, Cilla Black, Henry Mancini, Esther Phillips, Peter Sellers... and yeah, yeah, yeah, The Beatles.  (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.)  BONUS:  If you missed it lasttime I posted it, I recommend The Beatnix playing "Stairway To Heaven."

SHE & HIM:  Zooey Deschanel & M Ward dropped an advance track, "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?", to stream or downoad via the 'Gum.  Has a bit of a retro feel, but without the obvious chliches.

JOE HENRY:  The singer-songwriter talks mostly about his production work with the Detroit Free Press.

SCOTLAND YARD GOSPEL CHOIR -- which is jangly and sorta twee, not gospel -- stopped by KEXP for a chat and mini-set which you can stream (or just the music) via NPR.

ROLLING STONES:  A similarly named magazine is showing some of Ethan Russell's fab photos from the band's late 1969 tour (that would end in the ill-fated Altamont festival), plus two vintage stories about the tour and tragedy.

THE RAVEONETTES:  The brand spankin' new video for "Candy" is kinda cheap, but the song makes up for it.  I'm thinking the burlesque dancers are from the tour Ken King and I saw for the last album.

CAT POWER:  Chan Marshall's Jukebox debuted at No. 12 on Billboard's Top 200 Album Chart -- not only her best ever, but the best debut in the 20 year history of Matador Records.  She has a new website for the album, which is streaming music via the ol' HM!

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

VAMPIRE WEEKEND:  Rostam Batmanglij lists a few of his favorite things -- including Tchaikovsky's deep cuts -- for Pitchfork's "Guest List" feature.

CUTOUT BIN: From Jack Black to Patsy Cline, from the Staple Singers to the Replacements, from the Ramones to Roy Orbison, this Friday's fortuitous finds overfloweth and can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly has been classified at UCLA as "Gravely Disabled," meaning the patient is unable to take care of basic needs; it is a possible basis for involuntary commitment.  Her inner circle, including her estranged mother Lynne, chose to admit her to the UCLA Medical Center because of its experience with treating bipolar disorderTMZ claims that when admitted, the pop wreck said she was on Adderall, a stimulant used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder, and was taking up to ten laxatives a day.  For a time, she was hurling profanities at her parents and staff.  The ever-reliable National Enquirer claims Spears had been on a 24-hour meth binge before she was rushed to the hospital.  Sources tell PageSIx that Spears' legal team has been instructed by the pop tart's family not to talk to Sam Lutfi.  Mama Lynne feels that the biggest problem facing Britney's recovery is the circle of friends she's become involved with and desperately wants to take her daughter home to Louisiana  as soon as she's released from the hospital.

JUSTIN CHAMBERS, who plays Dr. Alex Karev on "Grey's Anatomy," checked himself in to the psych ward at UCLA Medical Center this week.  It's becoming the "in" spot in Tinseltown.  Co-star Katherine Heigl found out from a swarm of paparazzi.  Video at the link.

HEATH LEDGER:  Apparently bowing to pressure from celebrities and Hollywood publicists, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider have decided not to broadcast more footage from a video which shows the late Heath Ledger talking about his use of marijuana at a drug-fuelled Hollywood party, but it is of course posted on the Internet.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE cheated on Jessica Biel with Kate Hudson, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are Jessica Alba's horror-thriller The Eye, for which advance reviews were embargoed (I'm guessing they won't be stellar); the fantasy-comedy Over Her Dead Body, which is currently scoring 19 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and the comedy Strange Wilderness, which wasn't screened for critics at all.  There Will Be Blood expands to wide releasse, with its 90 percent score.

CLOVERFIELD director Matt Reeves is in early talks with Paramount to direct a "Cloverfield" sequel, and he has also made a deal with GreeneStreet Films to direct "The Invisible Woman."

BE KIND, REWIND involves Mos Def and Jack Black re-creating movies on erased videotapes, so it's only fair that director Michel Gondry returns the favor by re-creating the official trailer for the movie.

MARY LYNN RAJSKUB, who plays computer whiz Chloe O'Brian on Fox's 24, is pregnant: "With the strike going on, I had to keep busy!"

ETHAN HAWKE is about to become a father again, this time with Ryan Shawhughes, described as the former nanny to his children by Uma Thurman.

CHUCK and SAMANTHA WHO?  Zachary Levi and Christina Applegate, stars of the shows just mentioned, were... wait for it... caught canoodling in a dark dive named Ye Olde Coach & Horses in L.A.  Bonus points to Metromix for actually using the word "canoodling."

FARRAH FAWCETT apparently has lots of cancer.

INDIANA JONES IV:  Empire magazine has a new exclusve still from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, along with comments from producer Frank Marshall.

TUBE THRILLER:  A gueriila perfomance of the Jacko classic breaks out on the London Underground.  Pretty good, though it's hard to top those Filipino inmates.

DOUBLE-DIPPING:  Just in time for Superbowl parties, the New York Times examines the potential health risks of the Seinfeldian phenomenon.

ABU LAITH al-LIBI, considered by some as the third-ranking terrorist in al Qaeda and fourth in the world, has been snuffed in Pakistan, most likely by your friendly neighborhood Predator drone.

THE MILITARY and the MEDIA:  The Washington Post runs with a story reporting that the Army reached an all-time high of 17.5 suicides per 100,000 active-duty soldiers in 2006.  The story fails to mention that the national suicide average is 21.5 per 100,000 for males ages 20 to 34.  Oddly enough, the Hartford Courant did the same basic story, with the same basic omission, last year.  I applaud the Army's efforts to get a handle on the rise in suicides -- a trend contrary to past periods of combat.  I do not applaud newspapers who fail to note how remarkable the troops are with regard to their peers in the civilian sector.

FLOCKE: Knut's successor as official cuddly polar bear cub learns to crawl at the Nuremburg Zoo.

WHEN OWLS ATTACK:  Captured on surveillance video.

PET HOARDING:  A new case in Virginia Beach, VA includes not only more than 100 live ferrets, but also 89 frozen ferret carcasses.

DEER busted for breaking and entering in Parker City, IN.  In a bizarre coincidence, the home's owner lives in Virginia Beach, VA.

A RABBIT and an EAGLE have become unlikely best friends in China.  Pic at the link; the bunny seems to be a little uneasy, if you ask me.

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