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New Releases, Decemberists, Disappears, Tinariwen, Fun Boy 3, Orangutan   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE DECEMBERISTS premiere a video for "Calamity Song" influenced by David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest.

NEW RELEASES from Stephin Merritt, CSS, Dave Stewart and Active Child, the Muppets tribute LP, a Patti Smith "best of" and more are streaming this week at Spinner.

DISAPPEARS, the Chicago-based super-group featuring Brian Case of the Ponys and 90-Day Men, John Dwyer of Coachwhips and now Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, did the four free songs thing at Daytrotter.

TINARIWEN, nomads from Saharan North Africa, are "just about the best guitar-based rock band of the 21st century"? (As Vincent Vega would say, "That's a bold statement.") Take an advance listen to Tassili and judge for yourself.

25 BANDS YOU NEED TO HEAR, according to NME.

FUN BOY THREE play "Our Lips Are Sealed" and "Summertime" for Twofer Tuesday. I suppose I should remind the young'uns that singer Terry Hall co-wrote "Lips."

STEPHEN MALKMUS talks to Vulture about his album title controversy, the NBA, online scrabble, etc.

JOLIE HOLLAND talks to PopMatters about the recording of Pint of Blood.

24 SONGS that prematurely expanded our vocabularies.

FIVE SONGS that mock Bob Dylan.

NICK ASHFORD, one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson that penned elegant, soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan and others, died Monday at age 70, his former publicist said.  He had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment.

LINDSAY LOHAN ws reportedly "was drinking and partying hard" at the Kardashian wedding.

KIM KARDASHIAN is set to make almost 18 million off her wedding to Kris Humphries.

JENNIFER GARNER & BEN AFFLECK are expecting a third child.

KIMBERLY STEWART gave birth to Benicio del Toro's baby.

BRAD PITT: Why an A-list actor was willing to go to bat for Moneyball -- an adventure story about sabermetrics. (Also, check out Pitt's assistant on World War Z.)

DANIEL RADCLIFFE talks Harry Potter and why Twilight's Robert Pattinson has it harder.

HILARY DUFF got dumped from The Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Apparently, pregnancy was a deal-breaker.

DONALD FAISON (Scrubs) got engaged to Cacee Cobb, Jessica Simpson's BFF.

THE AVENGERS: D23 footage discussed at AICN.

IRAN has started moving the machines that enrich uranium for nuclear fuel from its main atomic complex in the central city of Natanz to an underground bunker near the holy city of Qom, its top nuclear official was quoted as saying on Monday.

SYRIA: Arab nations on the UN's top human rights body cautiously joined the call for Syria to cease its bloody crackdown and cooperate with an international probe, illustrating President Bashar al-Assad's growing isolation.

LIBYA: With attention focused on important cities and bigger battles to the east, Gaddafi may have underestimated the tenacity of the uprising in the western mountains.

AN ORANGUTAN washes his face with a towel. He wants to be like you.

A KINKY KANGAROO with a love for frilly knickers managed to escape from its owner and go on a lingerie loot.

BEAKY the EMU: From washing in the bath to joining in at mealtimes, Beaky loves being the family pet.

SAYCHELLES ISLANDERS are stunned by two fatal shark attacks in just two weeks, fearing it will kill their crucial tourism industry.

2815 Reads

Radiohead, Kate Bush, Jon Spencer, Itchy Seal   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 22, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


RADIOHEAD performs The King of Limbs in its entirety...From The Basement.

DEAD MAN WINTER stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

KATE BUSH has an interview plus tracks at World Cafe.

FRESH MILLIONS do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.


NINE INCH NAILS: Cover Me presents a tribute to The Downward Spiral.

BON IVER treks Iceland in the video for "Holocene."

EMMY THE GREAT talks to the Paris Review about her broken engagement, patron saints and more...

FITZ & THE TANTRUMS talk to Magnifier about their  non-stop hot sweaty mess dance party.

PITCHFORK at 15 concludes with a bunch of Top Fives of columns, selections from the long-running Guest List, screen-shots from Pitchfork's past, and links to features that helped to define a scene or sound.

BRIAN WILSON is doing an album of Disney songs; click through for "Heigh-Ho" and "Whistle While You Work."

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Help rises to the top of the chart with 20.5 million, powered by the book's fans, some racial contoversy and Disney marketing.  Not many summer dramas do well; this one has racked up 71.8 million domestic against a 25 million budget in a little over two weeks. (I wrote last week this could be a phemon; looking more like it today.)  Rise of the Planet of the Apes sinks just a notch to second with 16.3 million; the 93 million reboot prequel has now taken in 133.8 million domestic, with close to another 100 million overseas. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World is third with 12 million, the lowest opening ever for this franchise; even so, with a mere 27 million budget, most of the pain here will be felt by the audience.  The Conan reboot opens in fourth with 10 million against a 90 million budget -- Ouch!  The Smurfs round out the Top 5 with an estmated 8 million, though the debut of the Fright Night remake's estimated 7.9 million may result in a flip when the final figures are in.  Kinda sad, as Fright Night got shockingly good reviews for a remake of an 80s horror classic.  One hopes good buzz turns into legs, but the studio may be kicking itself for not waiting amonth or so on this one.

KIM KARDASHIAN's wedding pics sell for 1.5 million dollars.


LINDSAY LOHAN is suing the rapper Pitbull for a line in his mega-hit, "Give Me Everything," for a disparaging lyric about her.

DANIEL RADCLIFFE's mystery girlfriend is revealed.

GWYNETH PALTROW: Rude to the help?

JERRY LEWIS, contra prior reports, will host this year's Labor Day weekend Muscular Dystrophy Association. UPDATE: Not so fast. You'll never walk alone, but apparently, Jerry will.

SID & MARTY KROFFT talk to The A.V. Club about what the future holds for H.R. Pufnstuf as well as the origins of their career, their disappointment over the Land Of The Lost movie, and the fine line between Charles Nelson Reilly and the character he played on Lidsville.

10 TV CHARACTERS who saved their shows.

LIBYA: Rebel fighters streamed into Tripoli as Gaddafi's forces collapsed and crowds took to the streets to celebrate, tearing down posters of the Libyan leader. Sky News and The Lede have been live-blogging the breaking news.

AFGHANISTAN: Southern Helmland province suffers its third turban bombing of the summer.  Turbans aren't searched at security checkpoints out of "cultural sensitivity." Probably great comfort to the dead and their families.

BARANOV the SEAL has an itch.

A "COW WHISPERER," helicopters and infrared cameras: no effort is being spared to find Austrian runaway cow Yvonne, who escaped slaughter in May to seek refuge in a Bavarian forest.

A BABY ELEPHANT in a raincoat. Cute, and very sad.

A FUNERAL-CRASHING BOA CONSTRICTOR has been nursed back to health and is ready to be adopted.

A CAT and a BABY DEER, cuddling together...Mass hysteria!

2700 Reads

Smiths, Other Lives, Zola Jesus, Chris Whitley, Cutout Bin, Emmitt Thunderpaws   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 19, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE SMITHS! RhinoUK has posted a 17-minute long "lost" documentary made for the press, ostensibly to promate the band's 1992 "best of" release.

OTHER LIVES played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

ABE VIGODA (the band, not the actor) did the four free songs thing at Daytrotter.

ZOLA JESUS does a twofer at Daytrotter.

WARREN HAYNES, one of Rolling Stone's 25 greatest guitarists of all time, plays World Cafe Live.

CHRIS WHITLEY: Railroad Sunset.

THE CURE: Yeah, it's that day of the week again.

BRIAN WILSON: Portrait of the Artist.

PITCHFORK at 15: A decade and a half of choice interview quotes.

WAR IS OVER: Ending a four-year legal battle with over 3000 independent music publishers, Google Inc.‘s online video site YouTube has agreed to pay licensing fees with the National Music Publishers Assn.

RETROMANIA: Simon Reynolds' new book was reviewed and excerpted at the NYT.

DAVID BYRNE's Fake iPhone Apps.

ATTN RICK NIELSEN: Your 12-necked guitars are ready.

CUTOUT BIN: From Husker Du to James Brown, from the Dead Kennedys to Feist, from Sly & the Family Stone to the Feelies, plus the Lovin' Spoonful, Smithereens, Ventures, Black Keys and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include: the latest Spy Kids, which was not screened for critics; the reboot of Conan the Barbarian, currently scoring 27 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the remake of Fright Night, scoring 76 percent; and One Day, at 29 percent.

GWYNETH PALTROW saved a life on 9/11?

ANNE HATHAWAY's diet sounds a bit extreme.

DANIEL RADCLIFFE and the Mystery Girlfriend.

JESSE JAMES & KAT VON D: Together again.

KATE WINSLET, EMMA THOMPSON & RACHEL WEISZ have formed the "British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League."

BLADE RUNNER: Ridley Scott is committing to direct and produce a sequel or a prequel to the 1982 cult classic.

PAUL REUBENS talks to The Wrap about reviving Pee-Wee, Judd Appatow, and his Emmy nomination.

ROGER EBERT excerpts his upcoming memoirs.

YEMEN: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters took control of the coastal city of Sharqa in Abyan province.

PAKISTAN's unpopular president, Asif Ali Zardari, is receiving rare domestic praise this week for a move that even opponents say could help accomplish something that has long been the domain of the Pakistani army -- pacifying the militant-riddled tribal belt.

AFGHANISTAN: The NATO-led alliance has switched approach in training Afghan forces, a US major general said, in the face of escalating violence and a looming 2014 deadline to hand over security responsibilities.

EMMITT THUNDERPAWS welcomes his military dad home.

THE NEW CHUPACABRA? Prince George's Hospital Center workers have adopted a mythical creature as their new mascot.

A CAPYBARA was spotted by workers at the Paso Robles Wastewater Treatment Plant and photographed before submerging back into the water.

A GROUNDHOG terrorizes Princeton, NJ. Dinsdale! (no, that would be a hedgehog.)

2601 Reads

Stephin Merritt, Ron Sexsmith, Neil Young, Woodstock, Otter & Puppy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


LOCKSLEY: The dancetastic -- and unofficial, I think -- video for "The Whip" pays homage to Dirty Dancing, Boogie Nights, Wayne's World, Risky Business, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction and many more...

STEPHIN MERRITT is advance streaming Obscurities.

RON SEXSMITH plays a session at WFUV's Studio A.

NEIL YOUNG: Chicago Hurricane, November 15, 1976.


WOODSTOCK: Forgot to mention that on Aug. 15-17, 1969, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in a lovely natural amphitheater in Bethel (not Woodstock), NY for "three days of peace and music," including sets from Crosby, Stills and NashThe Who, Santana, Joe Cocker, Jefferson AirplaneArlo Guthrie, Canned HeatJimi Hendrix, and the proverbial many more. 

PITCHFORK at 15 lists One Song Wonders. Guess how many! And sad about the Pipettes...

TOM WAITS hill have announcement about new material on August 23. But someone may have let the cat out of the bag.

MY MORNING JACKET keyboardist Bo Koster talks to CityBeat about their Unstaged concert, stuffed animals, and more... (Thx, LHB.)

KISS was dropped from the Michael Jackson tribute concert, after Gene Simmons commented that he thought MJ was a child molester.

BRADGELINA: People reports that  life in their big, boisterous family is as much about everyday bonding as it is the big adventure.  It's almost as if the magazine had some sort of relationship with the couple or something.

RYAN REYNOLDS & SANDRA BULLOCK took her son Louis hiking in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.

JANN WENNER is finally being sued for divorce by his estranged wife Jane Wenner -- 16 years after he sparked a sensation by leaving her and moving in with his gay lover, former Calvin Klein model Matthew Nye.

GWYNETH PALTROW renounces plastic surgery as "pure vanity" in the new German issue of OK! - except for a boob job, that is.

SALMA HAYEK thinks being super-rich and privileged is great. Points for honesty there.

ZOE SALDANA is briefly profiled at GQ, but there are a couple of pics, too.


GERARD DEPARDIEU went oui oui in the aisle of a grounded airplane.

DAVID LETTERMAN is the subject of an assassination threat posted on a website frequently used by al Qaeda.

PAKISTAN: Despite the US declaring a cut in funding to Pakistan, the Obama administration has asked for an additional 1.5 billion in "coalition support funds" for the 2012 financial year. Pakistan has in the past received over 75% of these additional funds which are technically meant for all of US allies.

AFGHANISTAN: After examining hundreds of combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan, the U.S military estimates 360 million US tax dollars has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has spent nearly a decade battling: the Taliban, criminals and power brokers with ties to both.

IRAQ: The single largest threat to Iraq's security today comes from Iranian-backed militia groups and the thousands of fighters, cash and weapons under their control, according to Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the spokesman for US forces in Iraq.

OTTER & PUPPY, playing together...Mass hysteria!

RATS THE SIZE OF RABBITS overrun Grand Army Plaza Park in New York.

A MOUSE grounded a flight from Stockholm to Chicago.

BEAU the LABRADOR can add subtract... and do square roots.

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Arctic Monkeys, Vaccines, GbV, Tom Waits, iPad Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


AGAINST ME! plays The Clash classic, "Janie Jones," for The A.V. Club Undercover.

ARCTIC MONKEYS frontman Alex Turner stopped by KEXP for a solo acoustic set of songs from Suck It And See.

THE VACCINES rattle the KEXP studios with their up-beat garage pop -- featuring tracks off their debut full length, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?

GUIDED BY VOICES: Live in Portland, OR, July 30, 1999.

TOM WAITS: Live in Bremen, Germany, April 26, 1977.

CANT: Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor's solo project drops "Believe," a departure from his day job for sure.

DAVID BOWIE has "most likely" retired, according to bio author Paul Trynka; "Golden Years" and "Fame" circa 1975 seemed an appropos pairing here.

ARCADE FIRE: The Butlers talk to the Telegraph about how they learnt to make music out of chaos.

SCRUFFY THE CAT have reunited around cancer-stricken frontman Charlie Chesterman after two decades apart and will play two headlining shows in their hometown this October. Videos at the link, too.

PITCHFORK at 15: Devendra Banhart, Eleanor Friedberger, Thomas Mars (Phoenix), Kevin Drew (BSS) and more share musical memories from the era.

BLACK SABBATH: The original lineup is reuniting for new material and a tour? Tommy Iommi says not.

MICHAEL JACKSON's estate is threatening the people behind the Michael Jackson Tribute concert.

PRINCE HARRY and lingerie model Florence Brudenell-Bruce have gone their separate ways as he concentrates on his army career. Shocka.

JULIE CHEN's "queen bee attitude" is forcing the ladies of CBS's "The Talk" to flee the daytime gab-fest after just one season.

BRADLEY COOPER leaves The Crow reboot; other actors circle.

TAYLOR MOMSEN quits acting, such as it was.

KEVIN SMITH is splitting his final film into two parts.

THE 25 BIGGEST BOX OFFICE BOMBS, adjusted for inflation.

IRAN: The Indian Navy seized a ship that recently left Iran and is carrying weapons thought to be destined for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters in Yemen.

EGYPT: Security forces detained four men who attempted to plant explosives on a gas pipeline in Al Arish in the Sinai. The pipeline has been attacked five times this year.

IRAQ: A string of coordinated bomb blasts across Iraq blamed on al-Qaeda killed at least 66 people on Monday in the country's bloodiest day of the year so far.

DOG watches an iPad. Squirrel!

AN ADORABLE BABY MEERKAT was abandoned by his family because he was born "out of wedlock."

OTIS the PUG enjoys skydiving with his owner.

TWO DAYS and 120 stitches later, the Whites said watching Shark Week on TV is nothing compared to having lived it.

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