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Dave Stewart, Monsters of Folk, Fun, Riverdance Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 21, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

DAVE STEWART dropped "Christmas is For Lovers" last week for free! BONUS: Annie Lennox (the other half of Eurythmics) and Al Green covered Jackie DeShannon's "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" for the Scrooged soundtrack.

THE MONSTERS OF FOLK play a mini-set for the World Cafe, now streaming on demand.

FUN did three free songs for Daytrotter. And with a name like Fun...

EIGHT CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED ALBUMS from 2009, according to Paste, with links to listen.

THE FLAMING LIPS: Wayne Coyne is interviewed by NPR's All Things Considered. The band's cover album of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon drops Tuesday online.

JAMIE LIDELL, FEIST and NELS CLINE are featured on "War in Peace," the lastest track from Beck's Record Club cover of Skip Spence's 1969 LP, Oar.

THE TOP 25 SONGS and ALBUMS of 2009, according to Rolling Stone.

GRANT HART holds nothing back when talking to Blurt about hsi new album, addiction, his relationship with Bob Mould and the prospects of a Husker Du reunion.

TORI AMOS gives Rolling Stone a track-by-track tour through her 1992 debut, Little Earthquakes.

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: Tom Morello of RATM has just announced a massive free gig if they beat out the X Factor candidate for the UK Christmas Number One.  Apparently, the sales are coming right down to the wire! 

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: To the surprise of absolutely no one, Avatar dominated cineplexes to the tune of 73 million. It was not the biggest December debut evah (that was I Am Legend's 77.2 mill), most likely to blizzards on the East Coast.  Avatar will have 3-D screens and young audiences to itself for a few weeks, so this should rake it in through mid-January at least.  Though it likely cost about 300 million to make, it could gross as much as 750 million worldwide. The Princess and the Frog dropped to second -- and it was a nasty 50 percent drop for a Disney movie -- bringing in 12.2 million.  The Blind Side continued on strong in the third slot, making another ten million.  Did You Hear About the Morgans? Not too many people did, as it opened in the fourth slot with only seven million on a lot of screens. Ouch.  New Moon rounds out the Top Five, though another big drop to 4.4 million means it will be a stretch to break 300 million domestically.

AVATAR: I will be in a very small minority, but I almost walked out on this thing.  I could have overlooked its trite, ham-fisted politics and its cliche-ridden plot if there had been any characters to care about, but they too were all cardboard stereotypes.  The screenplay makes Titanic seem downright Shakespearean. The protagonist, Jake Sully, is actually set up with a big conflict at the outset that is resolved without more than an ounce of drama by Act II.  If you hear someone joke about this movie being "Dances with Wolves meets Ferngully," it's no joke -- or a bad one on its audience. Technically, the CGI is gorgeous, the motion-capture well-done and the 3-D is occasionally stunning.  And in every one of those moments I couldn't help but be annoyed at that all of that technical talent was so completely wasted.

THE PHANTOM MENACE gets a devastating and funny, 70+ minute deconstruction from Red Letter Media (language warning).  The first segment also doubles as a good guide to movie criticism.  And Avatar suffers from almost all of the problems identified in that first segment.

BRITTANY MURPHY died of a heart attack. She was 32. Whoa.

TIGER WOODS is reportedly staying at his second home in Orlando.

AMY WINEHOUSE is re-engaged to ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, and they want to have kids. What. Could. Go. Wrong?

JON and KATE: Divorced.

KATE HUDSON tried to avoid a Blue Christmas without Alex Rodriguez.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES nominations went to these folks.

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD nominations went to these folks.

CLASH OF THE TITANS has a second trailer online. Release the Kraken!

THE RUNAWAYS has a trailer online that does not relieve my anxiety.

ROGER EBERT lists his Best Films of 2009, both mainstream and inependent, though most will not have seen many of the mainstream ones, either.

BREAKOUT STARS of 2010, according to Film.com.

DAN O'BANNON, the creative force behind the enduring 'Alien' franchise, has died at the age of 63 in Los Angeles after a short illness. Dark Star was fun, too.

IRAN acknowledged Saturday that at least three people detained in the country's postelection turmoil were beaten to death by their jailers. On Friday, the regime's nuke chief said the country has started making more efficient centrifuge models that it plans to put in use by early 2011. And the regime is on alert following death of dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.

AFGHANISTAN and IRAQ: Turns out that insurgents can see through the eyes of all kinds of US combat aircraft, not just drones, as previously reported.

RIVERDANCE CAT: Let's go to the video.

FROGS plague Christmas trees in Alaska.

HEY, IS THAT A KING COBRA IN YOUR MOUTH, or are you just... oh.

COWS stare unamazed as they take over Clark County, Wisconsin.

1106 Reads

Aimee Mann, Daisy Kitty & Lewis, Cutout Bin, Cowboy Monkey   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 18, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with AIMEE MANN's CHRISTMAS CAROL (profanity warnings): Part One has your Scrooge-y set-up with Michael Penn. Part Two features The Office's John Krasinski. Part Three has Michael Cera. Part Four has John C. Reilly.

FANFARLO did a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

KITTY, DAISY and LEWIS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including a cover of "Going Up the Country."

VAMPIRE WEEKEND are streaming another advance track, "White Sky."

FLORENCE and the MACHINE stopped by WFUV for a chat and mini-set streaming on demand.

THE PRETENDERS: "2000 Miles." It felt like Christmas time.

THE TOP ARTISTS OF THE DECADE, based on review data compiled at Metacritic, along with an analysis and compilation of album lists from various magazines. (Thanks, TV's Andy Levy.)

THE TOP 50 ALBUMS of 2009, according to Pitchfork.

AMERICAN INDIE IMPERIALISM! Oh, my!

IDOLATOR is getting refocused on pop music. Not shocking I guess... owner Buzzmedia already has Stereogum to cover the indie scene.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Crystals to the Buzzcocks, from James to Ted Nugent, from Billy Bragg to Billy Squire, plus M Ward, the Flirtations, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the Clash, the 5,6,7,8s and more -- this weekend'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 Avatar, which is currently scoring 82 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and the rom-com Did You Hear About the Morgans?, which is scoring nine percent.

TIGER WOODS: Elin Nordegren is taking the kids and traveling to Sweden for the holidays, as divorce rumors mushroom.  Nordegren reportedly hired a celebrity divorce attorney.  Meanwhile, Theresa Rogers may be getting a payoff.

JESSICA SIMPSON denies a tabloid report connecting her to Tiger Woods.

KATE HUDSON, upset by her breakup with Alex Rodriguez, found a sympathetic ear from Madonna.

ROBERT PATTINSON and KATY PERRY up close and personal Wednesday night at a supper club in Burbank.

IRON MAN 2: The first full trailer is unlocked.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: David Beckham dishes about an uncomfortable dinner with the couple.

BRADGELINA: New baby rumor.

HOLLYWOOD'S WORST REMAKES OF THE DECADE, according to Movieline.

IRAQ: Iranian-backed insurgents have used cheap, off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor US military operations. Bonus: The US has known about the security hole since the 1990s, but assumed local adversaries wouldn't know how to exploit it.

WHIPLASH the COWBOY MONKEY: Okay, it's an old Taco John's ad, but still awesome. More Trumpet!

A COW has been caught jumping six feet on to a roof, after the owners thought they had been burgled. Pic at the link. Maybe it was chasing reindeer.

KUNG FU MONKEYS turn on their master. Pic at the Link.

SANDI the CAT took the ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao, Spain. He has been brought back to Britain, but can't come home for up to six months because of quarantine rules.

993 Reads

Yo La Tengo, Har Mar Superstar, Tom Waits, Cats and Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

YO LA TENGO kicked off Paste's new "Live at Moog" series, and a set from White Rabbits is up now, too. Each also offers a free MP3.

THE 50 WORST SONGS OF THE DECADE are getting a countdown at the Village Voice, with plenty of clips.

HAR MAR SUPERSTAR did three free songs for Daytrotter.

BEST MUSIC OF 2009, according to NPR's Bob Boilen, Carrie Brownstein, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and more...

FUNKY CHRISTMAS: A vintage twofer from Egon, via NPR.

THE WHO is getting a tribute benefit concert at Carnegie Hall, with a lineup including Bob Mould, Bettye LaVette, Mose Allison, Frank Black, Robyn Hitchcock, The Smithereens, and... Bobby McFerrin?

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

THE HOLD STEADY's Craig Finn talks to New York magazine about the stories in his Lifter Puller songs.

R.E.M.: Bill Berry appears on this year's Christmas single.

JASON ISBELL drinks with American Songwriter.

SAD, DISTURBING CHRISTMAS SONGS, courtesy of Westword.

SPANDAU BALLET may be the first band to play in outer space. Yes, it's "True."

TIGER WOODS: Elin Nordegren is taking the cubs and moving to a new den. Sources tell People that she plans to leave the golfer. And in news too good to check, she may sign a deal with Puma. Us claims that Woods and Rachel Uchitel "are not over," while another of his women may appear in an adult video.  Plus, one of Tiger's doctors is reportedly under investigation for HGH distribution.

COURTNEY LOVE got slapped with a restraining order, prohibiting her from having any direct or indirect contact with her daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL and REESE WITHERSPOON: The splitsville story goes wide.

KATE HUDSON and A-ROD: More on their split, including the claim that she always wanted to be on camera. That would be a shock.

LINDSAY LOHAN has been ordered to step up her alcohol education program classes.

TIM BURTON'S ALICE in WONDERLAND has photos and a trailer online.

PRINCE OF PERSIA has a behind-the-scenes clip online.

THE WORST FILMS OF THE YEAR, according to The A.V. Club.

MR. SKIN unveils his annual list of the top celebrity nude scenes of the year.

IRAN test-fired an upgraded version of its most advanced missile, which is capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe, according to state media. The US is planning an unprecedented missile defense test against an Iranian ICBM.

PAKISTAN: Newsweek reports that Pres. Obama believes that widening the scope of the drone attacks into Quetta would be risky and unwise.  The WaPo reports that Pakistani Pres. Zardari has resisted a direct appeal from Pres. Obama for a rapid expansion of Pakistani military operations in tribal areas and has called on the US to speed up military assistance to Pakistani forces and to intervene more forcefully with India.

IRAQ: Dozens of Iraqi security force members were involved in attacks that killed up to 112 people in Baghdad last week, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Wednesday.

CATS and DOGS, laying together...  Mass hysteria!

FLATULENT TURTLES plague the Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre at the holidays.

AN INJURED SWALLOW is taught to fly again with a special harness. But will it be able to carry a coconut?

OCTOPUSES have been observed stacking coconut shells and carrying them around as portable shelters. But they have no air speed velocity.

999 Reads

U2 + Elvis Costello, Elliot Smith   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

U2 joined ELVIS COSTELLO on his Spectacle show, mashing up "Pump It Up" with "Get On Your Boots" and playing each other's material including "Stuck In A Moment," "Mysterious Ways," and "Two Shots Happy, One Shot Sad." 

ELLIOT SMITH: An unreleased song, "Cecilia/Amanda," is available to stream and download.

JAPANDROIDS did two free songs for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.

SEA WOLF played material from their new album on Morning Becomes Eclectic.

VISQUEEN's Rachel Flotard talked to NPR's Morning Edition about the songs she wrote during her father's sickness, which became the unexpectedly upbeat rock album Message to Garcia.

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.

THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME will induct The Stooges, The Hollies, Genesis, ABBA and Jimmy Cliff, while snubbing Darlene Love, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, KISS, and Donna Summer.

WILCO: Jeff Tweedy talks to The Independent about longevity against the odds and a dream comeback.

A.A. BONDY talks to PopMatters about reinventing himself as a working-class folk singer.

JOHN LYDON, a/k/a Johnny Rotten, regrets allowing Sid Vicious into the ranks of the Sex Pistols.

TIGER WOODS: The mistress toteboard stands at 14.  Woods had crisis managers bail him out of sticky situations with women long before Rachel Uchitel became a household name - sources tell TMZ.

RHIANNA gives an interview and revealing photoshoot to GQ.  Her ex, Chris Brown, accused Wal-Mart of blackballing his album, then deleted his Twitter account.

TONY ROMO is engaged. I'm sure Jessica Simpson is taking it well.

JOHN MAYER: Too "freaked out" to date at the moment.

AVATAR: James Cameron talks to Vanity Fair about Dances With Smurfs.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES NOMINATIONS went to these folks. Congrats!

THE TOP FILMS OF 2009, according to Quentin Tarantino.

ROBIN HOOD, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe, has a trailer online.

CAPRICA: The pilot for the Battlestar Galactica prequel is online.

PAKISTAN: Demands by the US to crack down on the strongest Taliban warrior in Afghanistan, Siraj Haqqani, whose fighters pose the biggest threat to American forces, have been rebuffed by the Pakistani military, according to Pakistani military officials and diplomats.

AFGHANISTAN: FNC's Greg Palkot has video from his embed with a company of Special Force A-Teams.

TAIWANESE PIG FARMERS have started to potty train their pigs to keep them from defecating in nearby rivers.  I think I have a demo video.

IT'S NOT RAINING CATS and DOGS, but there was a slight Pomeranian in the Quad Cities.

GIANT LOBSTER gets a reprieve.

KITTEH rides 120 miles through sub-zero temps in the wheel well of a SUV.

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New Releases, Loch Lomond, Thao, Whistling Puppy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE MUPPETS: "Ringing of the Bells."

NEW RELEASES: Julian Lennon, Lisa Hannigan and Variety Lab are streaming this week via Spinner.

LOCH LOMOND did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, two previously unreleased.

THAO and the GET DOWN STAY DOWN stopped by Oregon Public Broadcasting, which has audio and video.

JINGLE JAMS: A Holiday Mix From NPR Music

GRIZZLY BEAR is scoring Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Phillips.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman James Darnielle was backed by Superchunk's Jon Wurster on drums.for three Christmas covers -- including Chuck Berry's "Run, Run Rudolph" at the 2006 Trekky Records Christmas show.  It's Threefer Thursday -- like Twofer Tuesday, but it's one more.

LARGEHEARTED BOY's Favorite Albums of 2009.  Different from mine, but all noteworthy.

THE TOP 100 SONGS OF 2009, accoring to Pitchfork.

TITUS ANDRONICUS is releasing a Civil War-themed album, with cameos from the Hold Steady's Craig Finn (as Walt Whitman) and more...

DANGER MOUSE and THE SHINS' James Mercer have launched a viral campaign for their Broken Bells project.

THE NOUGHTIES: A Cultural Golden Age?

TIGER WOODS is the gift that keeps giving in the slow pre-holidays news period.  Florida's Department of Children and Families has an open investigation that it is actively pursuing into a possible domestic violence incident - with a weapon -- between Tiger Woods and his wife.  Business firm Accenture dropped its sponsorship of Tiger.  Elin was spotted not wearing her wedding ring.

COURTNEY LOVE has lost legal control of her daughter.

KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN gave birth to a son.

ORLANDO BLOOM and MIRANDA KERR deny they are engaged.

KATE HUDSON and A-ROD: Dunzo?

LINDSAY LOHAN is selling off second-hand clothes on her family's website.

RICKY GERVAIS was profiled on 60 Minutes.

QUENTIN TARANTINO talks about the Inglourious Basterds DVD and its extras with the MTV.

IRAN: A new anti-government movement has sprung up among protesters in Iran --  with men posting pictures of themselves on the Internet wearing women's head scarves as a political statement.

PAKISTAN: Senior US officials are pushing to expand CIA drone strikes beyond Pakistan's tribal region and into a major city in an attempt to pressure the Pakistani government to pursue Taliban leaders based in Quetta. Of 48 attacks carried out this year, only six have taken place since the end of September, according to data compiled by The Long War Journal.

WHISTLING PUPPY: Let's go to the video.

ESKIMO the REINDEER has a bigger problem than Rudolph.

A TEENAGE DOLPHIN has been accused of bullying swimmers and waterskiers in New Zealand.

WILD BOARS trapped German walkers in a trash dumpster.

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