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Nirvana Unplugged, Nick Lowe, White Denim, Peter O'Toole RIP, Buffalo vs Lion   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 16, 2013 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

NIRVANA played MTV Unplugged In New York 20 years ago. Watch the whole ting and get off my lawn.

NICK LOWE stopped by WFUV's Studio A to play new songs and chat about the making of his Christmas album.

WHITE DENIM stopped by WFUV's Studio A to play new songs and to talk with me about the making of Corsicana Lemonade.

CRYSTAL ANTLERS put their own unique twist on surf-psych-punk at KEXP.

SARAH JAROSZ played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

CHARLES BRADLEY covers Black Sabbath's "Changes."

IRON & WINE, CALEXICO, KATHLEEN EDWARDS & GLEN HANSARD team up to cover the Pogues' seasonal classic, "Fairytale of  New York," for Jimmy Fallon.

MOE TUCKER remembers Lou Reed.

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA's Ruban Nielson talks about insomnia, the occult and more with The Guardian.

WHAT MAKES TENNESSEE MUSIC GREAT? Editors from The Oxford American talk to Weekend Edition about  assembling the Tennessee music issue.

THE TOP ALBUMS of 2013, according to American Songwriter

PETER O'TOOLE, an Irish bookmaker’s son with a hell-raising streak whose performance in the 1962 epic film Lawrence of Arabia earned him overnight fame and established him as one of his generation’s most charismatic actors, died on Saturday in London. He was 81. Sadly, most of his obits omit The Lion in Winter, in which he is terrific and stages one of the most dysfunctional family Christmases evah.I had just watched it again on Saturday, and it still holds up, minus about 20 seconds in the middle.

JOAN FONTAINE, the Oscar-winning actress who strred in Hitchcock's Suspicion and Rebecca, both rival and sister to Olivia de Havilland, has died at 96.

TOM LAUGHLIN, the maverick actor and filmmaker best known for the Billy Jack films, has died. He was 82. One tin soldier rides away.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: As expected, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tops the chart with 73.7 million, which is mostly good news. Granted, it's not the 85 million record set by the first Hobbit; indeed, this is only the fourth biggest December debut.  OTOH, Hollywood largely avoided competing against the first Hobbit, which ultimately underwhelmed many.  This time, Peter Jackson still faced competition for screens from movies still doing big business, including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Frozen, and even the debut of Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas. Moreover, worldwide receipts for Smaug are actually running a bit ahead of the last Middle Earth pic, so it's likely this will finish over a billion.  Frozen placed with 22.2 million on a leggy 30 percent drop on over 3700 screens (see what I mean?).  Disney's domestic total here is 164 million and -- based on Tangled's track record -- is likely to rake in another 115 million or so over the holidays. A Madea Christmas shows with 16 million, which is below the 20 million-like-clockwork Perry usually gets.  In fact, the lowest a Madea pic has opened is 25 million, so perhaps Christmas was a bad idea here. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire drops 2 notches, but still rakes in 13.2 million on over 3500 screen; its 356 million domestic still puts this one in range of breaking 400 million over the holiday season. Thor: The Dark World rounds out the Top, but with a mere 2.7 million that tells you who Smaug killed.  Even so, it will cross 200 million domestic soon and is already north of 600 million worldwide. Below the fold, Out of the Furnace is flopping.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG is one where I don't think I have much to offer beyond the conventional wisdom.  Many found An Unexpected Journey to be slow to get moving and overstuffed; Smaug is still a bit overstuffed, but not slow-moving, as one would expect from a second act, and better for it.  This one is much less about Dwaves singing and eating, and a bit more about Elves decapitating Orcs and riddling them with arrows.  Orlando Bloom returns as Legolas, though the character did not appear in the book.  I've heard hardcore fans were not pleased that Evangeline Lilly (Lost) was cast as Tauriel, an Elf (and a storyline) invented by Jackson and his wife/partner, Fran Walsh, but I can't say she particularly bothered me.  Smaug is voiced by the seemingly ubiquitous Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaaauuug!), who also reprises his role as the Neuromancer. If you're not overly attached to the book you can settle in for an entertaining ride.

SAVING MR. BANKS is not the film you might expect from the advertising. This is in no small part a (perhaps exaggerated) biopic of Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, ably portrayed by Emma Thompson, who has experience playing seemingly reserved women with emotions churning beneath the surface.  The movie suggests Travers selling the movie rights to Walt Disney was in some sense therapeutic for her, when the real story is much more one of a woman standing up to The Mouse. But Travers is dead and The Mouse gets to write the popular history of the encounter.  That said, the movie is entertaining and well-executed when taken at face value. As Disney, Tom Hanks plays a smaller, though pivotal, role in the film than the marketing suggests (again, Hanks is well-cast here as he loves anything smacking of the Sixties). Thompson spends as much or more screen time with Paul Giamatti (her driver), Bradley Whitford (screenwiter Don DaGradi) and Jason Schwartzman and BJ Novak (the Sherman songwriting team), all of who make the most of their material. If you watch, stay for the credit sequence, which features some rare audio from the Disney archive.

KHLOE KARDASHIAN filed court documents to divorce Lamar Odom and restore her name. Later that day, she was photographed heading to the gym with baseball star Matt Kemp.

LINDSAY LOHAN is writing a tell-all book.

EMILIA CLARKE (Game of Thrones) will play Sarah Connor in the Terminator reboot, re-teaming with director Alan Taylor.

ED HELMS is rebooting The Naked Gun, presumably without OJ Simpson.

YEMEN's parliament passed a non-binding bill to ban US drone strikes inside the country.

SYRIA: The UK is tightening sanctions on the Assad regime in Syria after discovering that it managed to obtain regime funds from banks in France and used them to buy food for the Syrian army. A coalition of 15 armed rebel groups, including the Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council, reportedly joined together to form the "Syrian Rebels Front"; talks between the FSA and the Islamic Front have not produced an accord, and the FSA as a result sought to form a new military coalition to unify the Syrian rebels that support the FSA.

IRAQ: Insurgents killed 20 people in attacks throughout the country.

AFRICAN CAPE BUFFALO vs LION: Who you got?

BUTTONS AND KITTY, living together... mass hysteria!

A ZEBRA is on the lam in Tennessee.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A two-headed piglet.

649 Reads

Shindig Christmas, Head & the Heart, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Black Joe Lewis, Emu   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 13, 2013 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with SHINDIG CHRISTMAS '64! The full episode has gone dark, but still-available clips include The Beach Boys' "Dance, Dance, Dance," Bobby Sherman and Donna Loren singing "Keep on Searching," the Righteous Brothers doing "The Jerk" and an awesome milk commercial, Marvin Gaye with "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" and Adam Faith with "Watch Your Step," Donna Loren returning with a Spector-esque, but rougher "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and The Beach Boys deliver a set including "Little Saint Nick," "Monster Mash" (yes, really) "Papa Oom Mow Mow," and "Johnny B. Goode." Lastly, we have Marvin Gaye with "Hitch Hike" and The Beach Boys on "We Three Kings."

THE HEAD AND THE HEART play a mini-set at World Cafe Live.

DALE EARNHARDT JR JR brought their effervescent style of electro-pop to KEXP's Midday Show.

BLACK JOE LEWIS hit WFUV's Studio A to play songs from his new LP, Electric Shave.

THE BESNARD LAKES stopped by KEXP's Midday Show for a chat and mini-set. 

BLITZEN TRAPPER drops a video for "Thirsty Man."

AL GREEN is profiled by the Oxford American (Thx, LHB).

OKKERVIL RIVER's Will Sheff talks to Salon about nerddom.

CHEAP TRICK: A Delaware judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by three members of the rock group Cheap Trick against the band's ex-drummer, Bun E. Carlos, saying a dispute among the musicians should be decided in federal court in Illinois, where they formed.

THE TOP ALBUMS of 1989, according to Slicing Up Eyeballs readers.

THE CUTOUT BIN is taking a week off.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is currently scoring 73 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, which went unscreened for critics as usual.

PRINCE will appear on the Super Bowl episode of "The New Girl."

THE GOLDEN GLOBES nominations went to these folks.

SUSAN SARANDON claims she was stoned through almost all of these awards shows.

KHLOE KARDASHIAN is reportedly done with Lamar Odom, and the final straw was the alcohol/drug-fueled rap song in which Lamar brags about cheating on her.

JASON SIEGEL to play David Foster Wallace? Um...okay?

SYRIA: The OPCW's report on chemical weapons use in Syria found that such weapons were "probably used" in five of seven reported instances, and that in three of those five, soldiers were targeted. The instances of probable use were: Khan al-Assal, near Aleppo city, in March; Saraqeb, near Idlib city, in April; and in Jobar, Ashrafiat Sahnaya, and Ghouta, all near Damascus, in August.

IRAN: The Homeland Security Department has investigated whether Iranian operatives exploited a controversial U.S. visa program for immigrant investors, according to a DHS memo revealed on Thursday.

LIBYA: Benghazi has become a regional hub for Islamist extremists seeking to hone their combat skills.

EMU vs WEASEL BALL: Who you got?

BEE RUSTLING: Is there anything lower?

A BABY MONKEY with a wacky haircut was born at the Leicestershire zoo.

A MASSIVE TOILET SNAKE bit a man where only a man is bit.

557 Reads

Iron & Wine, Minor Alps, Mark McGuire, LambCam   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS drop a video for “Ain’t No Chimneys In The Projects.”

IRON & WINE: Sam Beam graced KEXP with his southern charm and shared songs from Iron & Wine's new album Ghost On Ghost, along with some all time favorites.

MINOR ALPS: Matthew Caws and Julianna Hatfield come together for their first ever performance as Minor Alps in celebration of Barsuk's 15th anniversary. 

NPR MUSIC is streaming their 100 Favorite Songs of 2013.

MARK McGUIRE is streaming The Sounds of Xmas.

WOODEN SHJIPS drops a video for "Everybody Knows."

JOHN LYDON (a/k/a Johnny Rotten) talks to Clash about Virgin (his former label), the general state of the music industry and the world in general. (Thx, LHB.)

ROBERT POLLARD talks to Rolling Stone about songwriting, writer's block, and the future of Guided by Voices.

TOTO keyboardist and "Africa" lead vocalist David Paich was not thrilled that CBS used the song in a piece about Nelson Mandela's memorial.

MORRISSEY's solo albums, ranked by Stereogum.

PAUL WALKER died after the speeding Porsche in which he was riding hydroplaned on reflective plastic markers in the street ... at least that's what his family and accident reconstruction experts believe.

POPE FRANCIS is Time's Man of the Year. Sorry, Miley.

THE SAG AWARDS nominations went to these folks.

ASHTON KUTCHER & MILA KUNIS share a PDA at Sun Records in Memphis.

DREW BARRYMORE is having a second girl.

MADONNA and Brahim Zaibat have split after three years.

PETER SELLERS: Two of the comedian's early shorts, long thought lost, were discovered in a London dumpster.

IRAN: The White House says that an Iranian ballistic missile test would not invalidate a recently signed nuclear accord meant to temporarily halt some of Iran’s most controversial nuclear work.

SYRIA: The top Syrian rebel commander supported by the West was run out of his headquarters in northern Syria over the weekend and fled to Turkey and then Doha after Islamist fighters took over facilities run by Western-backed opposition, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

IRAQ:  Al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have increased attacks on strategic targets in parts of western Iraq in the past three months in a bid to make their putative state a reality, security officials and analysts say.

LAMB CAM: Let's go to the video.

MAN BITES DOG. Naked man, police dog.

SQUIRT THE SNAKE is mourned by a Celebrity Apprentice.

A DOG hit by a car is rescued on a busy highway by an 11-year-old.

346 Reads

Ezra Furman, Man Man, Wooden Shjips, Corgi   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE FOO FIGHTERS, Live at... a pizza joint in Moorpark, CA?

EZRA FURMAN is streaming Day of the Dog, which The Guardian calls "rock'n'roll at its fuzziest, providing a punky take on powerpop and R&B." it's eclectic.

MAN MAN stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

WOODEN SHJIPS brought their hazy, psychedelic rock to the KEXP studio.

LAKE STREET DIVE stopped by Oregon Public Broadcasting for a chat and mini-set.

ROBIN THICKE & RON BURGUNDY cover the Christopher Cross, um, classic, "Ride Like The Wind."

THE RAMONES: "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)."

NICK LOWE talks to All Things Considered about his Christmas album, and plays a couple of tunes.

BOB DYLAN: What can we learn from his handwriting on "Mr. Tambourine Man"? 

THE WALKMEN: Inside Their Final Days.

DROWNED IN SOUND lists their favorite albums and top songs of the year. 

KATE WINSLET welcomed her third child, a son, on Saturday.

JULIA ROBERTS looks knocked up.

JUSTIN BIEBER called a curvy fan a ‘beached whale’... before enjoying a sunbathing session with a topless blonde.

TOM CRUISE is still trying to make Jack Reacher happen.

EMMY ROSSUM talks to Esquire, mostly about her pets, and the body she found in the road.

BETTE MIDLER will play Mae West in a HBO biopic.

PAKISTAN: US SecDef Hagel told Pakistani officials that keeping supply lines open may be key to the continuance of military aid to Pakistan.

EGYPT: Security forces clashed with Muslim Brotherhood supporters at al Azhar University.

SYRIA: The United States has suspended delivery of non-lethal aid into northern Syria due to concerns over gains by Islamist rebels there.

IRAQ: A suicide bomber killed 11 people in an attack at a funeral in Baqubah. Seventeen more Iraqis were killed in bombings and attacks in Abara and at a Shia shrine near Baqubah.

CORGI ON A CAROUSEL: Let's go to the video.

ICELANDIC HERRING: Not afraid of the Rolling Stones. Should've shown 'em Keith.

ANOTHER FUGITIVE REINDEER took it on the lam; this one swam into Lake Dillon in CO.

A BULL SEAL stranded honeymooners on a remote island for days by stealing their dinghy.

 

374 Reads

Dr Dog, Ariel Pink, Dismemberment Plan, Fox   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

DEVENDRA BANHART drops a clip for "Mondo Taurobolium," ft. voice work from Rose McGowan.

DR DOG streams their new four-track Oh My Christmas Tree EP.

ARIEL PINK streams Early Live Recordings.

THE DISMEMBERMENT PLAN played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR. 

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY: Live in Nottingham, Feb. 9, 2004

ST. VINCENT: Annie Clark drops "Birth In Reverse" ahead of her self-titled fourth LP.

SUMMER CAMP covers Wham!'s "Last Christmas."

THE FLAMING LIPS, KE$HA & NEW FUMES cover The Stone Roses' "Elizabeth My Dear."

BOB GELDOF, by his own admission, is responsible for two of the worst songs in history: "'Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "We Are The World."

RAY DAVIES stopped by World Cafe to talk about his new memoir, Americana: The Kinks, The Riff, The Road: The Story.He talks to The Observer about London's changing face, eavesdropping and his fear of big fish and artichokes.

JIMI HENDRIX: The Guardian excerpts a new collection of interviews.

BAD RELIGION talked to Weekend Edition about their Christmas album. 

THE BEST ALBUMS of 2013, according to Q magazine

LINDSAY LOHAN may be sued by Barron Hilton after he as attacked at the Miami masion where she has been staying.Looks like there were drugs at the party.

LAMAR ODOM cut a deal in his DUI case — agreeing to plead “no contest” to the crime and in exchange he'll be on probation for the next 3 years.

BRITNEY SPEARS talks motherhood, perfectionism, heartbreak - and why, with her Vegas residency starting, she's feeling the pressure.

MACAULAY CULKIN has formed a pizza-related Velvet Underground tribute band.

MEREDITH BAXTER and her longtime partner, contractor Nancy Locke, were married in an intimate ceremony on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.

ADAM SANDLER tops the new Forbes list of Hollywood's most overpaid actors.

AFGHANISTAN & IRAN signed a security pact. This will end well.

SAUDI ARABIA: The Interior Ministry is expanding the kingdom's jihadist rehabilitation program, due to fears that jihadists in Syria will engage in terrorism when they return; three more rehab centers are planned in addition to the two already in operation.

LIBYA: A car bomb at the funeral of a Benghazi intelligence official yesterday killed one person and injured six others; it is believed to be the first time a car bomb has targeted a terror victim's funeral in Libya, although the tactic is common in Iraq.

SYRIA: Regime troops and Hezbollah allies advanced against fighters from the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham in the town of Nabek near the Lebanon border.

IRAQ: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham killed 39 people in a series of bombings and attacks throughout Iraq.

 

A FOX jumps for joy. And treats.

THE IKEA MONKEY: One year after becoming (in)famous, Darwin is growing into a healthy adolescent.

A TEEN GORILLA uses a human skin care supplement to attract a mate.

COLD-RESISTANT COCKROACHES invade Manhattan.

350 Reads

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