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120 Minutes, Hoots & Hellmouth, ATP, Cutout Bin, Dramatic Lemur   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 19, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with 120 MINUTES!  With MTV cancelling Total Request Live, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the network's alt-rock show (a "dumping ground for light-rotation videos") -- in this case the 10th anniversary show.  Part 1 pays tribute to forerunners like the MC5, The Stooges, the Velvet Underground, punks like the Ramones, the Sex Pistols and The Clash, New Wave acts from Devo to Blondie to The Knack, brits like Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen, harcore like Bad Religion and the Dead Kennedys, college rockers like REM, the Smiths, the Replacements, Husker Du, and a cavalcade of those who followed, through Nirvana.  Part 2 has memories from alt-rockers about the show itself, odd interview clips, with bits of Big Audio Dynamite, Public Image Ltd., Morrissey, Lollapalooza, Cracker, Thurston Moore and Michael Stipe as Rush Limbaugh.  Part 3 is only about a minute, but you gey Lou reed smooching up host matt Pinfield.  Really, they did a pretty decent job of including the wheat rather than the chaff.  Youngsters just getting into indie rock could do worse than to look at that list of artists as a jumping-off point.

HOOTS & HELLMOUTH do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.  Americana with a touch of bluegrass and good humor.

LED ZEPPELIN REUNION: Robert Plant has been begging off due to the paperwork: "I've kept every one of the emails that were exchanged before the concert and I'm thinking of compiling them for a book, which I feel sure would be hailed as a sort of literary version of Spinal Tap..."

ALL TOMORROWS PARTIES: This weekend's bug fest will be simulcast Sat & Sun via WFMU, including sets from Wooden Shjips, Low, Lighning Bolt, Mercury Rev, Yo La Tengo, Bob Mould, Dinosaur Jr. and more...

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff gets chatty in the Great White North, including interviews in Straight, the Vancouver Sun and Monteal's Gazette.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE: Here's the "Coke Zero Trailer" that has Jack White miffed.  You can stream "Another Way to Die" at several places.

THE CHEMICAL BROS are streaming their Brotherhood album via Artist Direct.  Not really my genre, but I usually like 'em for that genre.

JENNY LEWIS tells Greg Kot that she's pretty sanguine about her musical career: "I can't believe that I ever got a pass to play music in the first place. I was a child actor --- are you kidding me? I should be like Corey Haim or Corey Feldman or the chick from ‘Diff'rent Strokes'..."

LUCINDA WILLIAMS is releasing a digital-only EP of protest songs in October, which should make Sylvia's month.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Banana Splits to Bob Dylan, from Sylvia to Steppenwolf, from the Ramones to Pink Floyd to Nancy Sinatra covering the Beatles, plus the Temptations, the Electric Prunes, Esquivel and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include My Best Friend's Girl, which opens on about 2600 screens, but was not screened for critics; the thriller Lakeview Terrace, which is currently scoring 30 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the animated Igor, which is coring 31 percent; and the sixth-sensy comedy Ghost Town, which is scoring 78 percent.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is in mourning today after losing two of her dogs to a vicious coyote attack.

MISCHA BARTON suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction while leaving a fashion show in London.

BRADGELINA: Jolie's rep rubbishes rumors that Pitt and Jolie have split.

CHARLIZE THERON: "I actually have seven children nobody knows about." She was kidding though, I think.

GWYNETH PALTROW gives the world an unprecedented peek at the two-hour rigorous workouts which helped her shed 20lbs of babyweight. Looking good looks pretty rough.

MAD MEN creator Matt Weiner talks to USA Today about the long strange trip the show took to get on the air, though I love what he told prople who asked how writing for The Sopranos was different from sitcoms: "It's the same job. I sit around in a room with a bunch of writers and talk about The Sopranos all day."  ALSO: The GateHouse Press service has an interesting piece about a mother and daughter watching Mad Men together.


IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad said on Thursday Iran would not halt sensitive nuclear work the West suspects is aimed at making bombs and brushed aside threats of more sanctions. Ahmadinejad also said Israel would not survive, even if it gave up land for a Palestinian state. A  top adviser of Iran's supreme leader said that in the event of war no ship passing through the oil-rich Gulf region would be beyond the reach of the country's missiles.

IRAQ: A rare decision by SecDef Gates to reject a Marine Corps recommendation that one of its heroes receive the Medal of Honor has angered Marines who say Sgt. Rafael Peralta sacrificed his life to save theirs by covering a live grenade thrown by insurgents during a 2004 firefight in Fallujah.

DRAMATIC ANIMALS:  The original Dramatic Chipmunk spawns imitators like the Dramatic Cat and the Dramatic Lemur. (Thx, Lance.)

DINOSAURS prove it's better to be lucky than to be good.

THE BLACK FOX: According to legend, it brings doom and disaster to anyone who sees it. This is the first caught on camera in the UK.

GIANT KANGAROO RATS are to be counted from space.

RARE (AND UGLY) HAIRY-NOSED OTTERS discovered in Vietnam.

WHEN PIGS FLY: Must be the Royal Melbourne agricultural show in Australia.

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Norman Whitfield RIP, Louris & Olson, Eugene McGuiness, Cat & Hen   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NORMAN WHITFIELD, one of the creators of the Motown sound and the psychedlic soul sound of the late 60s, died Tuesday of complications from his long struggle with diabetes at age 67. He was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 2004, with frequent collaborator Barrett Strong.  Whitfield had a hand in smash hits like "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," and a string of Temptations classics, including "Ain't Too Proud to Beg,"  "(I Know) I'm Losing You," "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)," "Psychedelic Shack," "Ball of Confusion," and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," which was one of Whitfield's Motown Grammy winners (the other being "Cloud Nine" -- you can find a fuller list at Wikipedia).  Whitfield left Motown in 1973 to form his own label and produce songs like Rose Royce's "Car Wash"; the soundtrack to the movie would earn him another Grammy.  He returned to Motown in the 1980s.  In 2005, he pleaded guilty for failing to report royalty income and served six months of house arrest due to his health problems.  Whitfield is also immortalized in Billy Bragg's "Levi Stubbs' Tears."

GARY LOURIS & MARK OLSON: The former Jayhawks are advance streaming three tracks from their upcoming album, Ready For The Flood, due in January. And all three are really, really good.

THE HOLD STEADY gets some good pub at... Christianity Today.

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

THE NATIONAL is profiled in USA Today.

EUGENE McGUINESS takes us to the "Moscow State Circus." Poppy goodness in fencing outfits.

OF MONTREAL is streaming a premix of "Id Engager" from a an upcoming 12" of remixes of songs on the equally upcoming Skeletal Lamping album.  I prefer the original, even if it's still a bit "Do You Think I'm Disco."

VAMPIRE WEEKEND bassist Chris Baio talks to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat before hitting the Treasure Island Festival in the Bay this weekend. He's getting a little tired of the Paul Simon comparisons.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: Remastered CCR, Ray LaMontagne and Land of Talk are among those featured in the new installment of the long-running NPR series.

KANYE WEST & JENNY LEWIS meet in an airport lounge... and it's not the start of a joke.

RYAN O'NEAL & SON were arrested Wednesday at the actor's Malibu home for alleged meth possession.

BRADGELINA: Pitt announced Wednesday that he's donating 100 grand to fight California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that would eliminate same-sex couples' right to marry.  Previously, Pitt has said he's ready to marry actress Angelina Jolie once all Americans are "legally able" to marry, so there's a personal angle here, too.

JESSICA SIMPSON debuted atop Billboard's country chart (and No.4 on the Top 200), so maybe she can lay off the compulsive eating.  OTOH, sales of 65K is way below the 101K debut of her last album, so maybe not.

ANNE HATHAWAY: Turning into a diva? Or still broken up over her break-up?

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY & ORLANDO BLOOM in a remake of Saturday Night Fever?

LINDSAY LOHAN: Snubbed by Barack Obama's campaign, defended by John McCain's campaign. Strange bedfellows.

JULIUS & ETHEL ROSENBERG were in fact Soviet spies, according to Morton Sobell, the co-defendant in their famous espionage trial.

NORTH KOREA has tested the engine mechanism for an ICBM that might be able to hit major cities on the US West Coast, according to an account published Tuesday in the South Korean press. This violates a 2006 UN Security Council resolution.

IRAN: The International Atomic Energy Agency has presented intelligence to 35 nations allegedly showing plans to redesign an Iranian missile to accommodate a nuclear payload. Iran the claims information was fabricated. A US grand jury indicted eight individuals and eight corporations fr conspiracy to transfer prohibited technology to Iran. Some of the electronics have been used in IEDs in Iraq. The US Treasury designated six Iranian military firms as supplying Iran with equipment for its nuclear program.

SNOWY the CAT & GLADYS the HEN, living together... mass hysteria, a disaster of Biblical proportions.

JURASSIC FROG: Okay, technically a Triassic frog, but still very nasty.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A militant flying squirrel invades a home through the toilet.  And don't think that the squirrels aren't putting the pythons up to it also.

A PARROT is worrying staff and scaring children at the at the South Park birdhouse by telling visitors to "f*** off".  His keeper blames Cartman.

MILLIONS OF SPIDERS have colonized the HafenCity revitalization of Hamburg's old port district, daily Berliner Morgenpost reported on Monday. Some windows alone are infested with more than 700 creepy crawlers.  Creepy, crawly, creepy crawly...

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Black Kids & Cut Copy, Walkmen, Cheap Trick, Ninja Kitty   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BLACK KIDS & CUT COPY join forces on a cover of Blondie's "Union City Blue."  It put me in the mood to hear the original, too.

CALEXICO: Joey Burns tlks to PopMatters about the influence of the Southwest -- and various styles of music -- have on the band and its latest Carried To Dust album.  Plus, bits on backing other artists, John Covertino's drumming and more...

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

SILVER JEWS: David Berman talks to Indy Weekly about how touring and time have influenced his songwriting.

SAM PHILLIPS, Christian rocker turned ornate popsetr and ex-wife of T-Bone Burnett, played the Ram's Head in Annapolis, MD, so you can stream the full gig on demand via NPR.

CHEAP TRICK: Have you seen her face? She's got a face that would stop a clock...

UNCLE TUPELO: Prefix lists the 10 Best Albums to crawl from the band's wreckage.

RA RA RIOT did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

NICK CAVE talks to the L.A. Times about songwriting, the differences between The Bad Seeds and Grinderman, and more... (Thx, LHB.)

ALT-FOLK, ANTI-FOLK, ETC. is essayed, in of all places, The National, which originates in the United Arab Emirates. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

EVA MENDES claims 50 men in 50 states. The best states were Arizona and Colorado; the worst was Alaska.

PAUL McCARTNEY has refused to cancel a Tel Aviv concert to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary despite threats from an Islamic extremist.

KATE HUDSON shared some of her best and worst dating moments to promote her new comedy, My Best Friend's Girl.

BRADGELINA: Newly-discovered pics of a 16-year-old Jolie run in the Daily Mail, because it's a slow news day and it's Jolie.

MISCHA BARTON & JOSH HARTNETT both headed back to his hotel at the end of the night after they bumped into one another at trendy London club Bungalow 8.

MAD MEN: Rich Sommer ("Harry Crane") talks to the official MM blog about his fellow cast members, doing DVD commentary and his video entry for AMC's "Be On Mad Men" contest, in which he read for the part of Peggy.

JENNA FISCHER (a/k/a "Pam" in The Office) is a cat lover, bordering on cat lady.

CHRIS ELLIOTT: His generation's most underappreciated comic genius?

IRAN: The Revolutionary Guards Corps has assumed control of the defense of the Persian Gulf. The IAEA's nuclear inspections are at a "dead end" after Iran halted cooperation. China said no further sanctions will be imposed by the UN.  The parliament ratified a bill under which any Muslim who converts to another religion would be put to death, with no possibility of pardon.

IRAQ: In one of his last acts as the top US commander in Iraq, Gen. Petraeus drafted a final letter of thanks for the troops ­- and underscored his view that the struggle to bring stability there is far from over.  Sunni Arab insurgents, routed or weakened in Baghdad and cities, are making a stand in Mosul during Ramadan. US and Iraqi forces killed al Qaeda's leader in Tamin (Kirkuk) province and captured the leader of Diyala province. Iraqi forces detained 63 suspected AQI operatives in Ninewa province.

NINJA KITTY: Let's go to the video.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A chicken-footed duck, scared of water.

SNAKES in a SPIGOT: She looks and, to her utter horror, discovers the stuff of urban legend: A skinny, foot-long snake had fallen from the faucet to her bathwater...

120 MILLION-YEAR-OLD ANT discovered by German scientists. Dead, but still notable.

IGUANAS may be labeled as "reptiles of concern" in Florida.

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Richard Wright RIP, New Releases, Tegan & Sara, Cat vs Printer   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


RICHARD WRIGHT, the founding member of Pink Floyd whose piano and synthesizer work played a critical part in the pioneering British psychedelic rock band's ethereal sound, died Monday after a short battle with cancer at 65.  Wright co-wrote songs including "Atom Heart Mother," "Echoes," "The Great Gig in the Sky," "Us and Them," and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." Include his vocals on "Comfortably Numb" with David Gilmour via Spinner for your Twofer Tuesday Tribute. 

NEW RELEASES: Dressy Bessy, Mother Mother and Raphael Saadiq are among the albums streaming in this week full via Spinner.  Lisa Loeb has released a kid's album, Lisa's Camp.

KINGS OF LEON are advance streaming their upcoming Only By The Night album.

BOB MOULD inks a deal to write an auto-biography with journalist Michael Azerrad, author of the fabulous Our Band Could Be Your Life.  Plus, he's got a "guitar album" coming in March.

THE BEATLES: Sir Paul rubbishes rumors that John wanted to have a sexual relationship with him. Audio at the link.

TEGAN & SARA premiere the new video for the lovely "Call It Off" at Spinner.

AKRON/FAMILY talks to Pitchfork about self-definition, the need to keep changing and the long, strange road between being a hipster and a hippie.

JULIANA HATFIELD talks to the AP about her new memoir and returning to music after a year-long hiatus.

EMMYLOU HARRIS diaries a week for the Telegraph.

TV on the RADIO is profiled by Jon Pareles for the Scotsman on Sunday.

MEGAN FOX was a teenage lesbian, with a major crush on a stripper. I mention this to point out that I didn't just look at the pictures from the new GQ feature.

LINDSAY LOHAN popped a paparazzi in the nose.

BRITNEY SPEARS will release her next album on December 2nd. Consider yourself warned.

AMY WINEHOUSE refused to go to her own birthday party after realising how drugs have ravaged her looks.

SARAH SILVERMAN took home a Creative Arts Emmy for her video, "I'm F****** Matt Damon," but thanked her ex, Jimmy Kimmel.

GEORGE TAKEI, best known as Star Trek's Mr. Sulu, boldly walked down the aisle with his long-time boyfriend, as stars of the classic sci-fi TV series looked on, including best man Walter Koenig who played Chekhov and matron of honour Nichelle Nichols who starred as Uhura.  The Daily Mail has the pics, but the AP has the details, including that the couple entered to the strains of "One Singular Sensation" from the Broadway musical "A Chorus Line."

THE DARK KNIGHT will return to IMAX in January -- the height of Academy Awards voting season. BONUS: Batgirl has much more of a pottymouth than I remember from reading comics.

ISLAMISM in the UK: Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases. Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: Sheikh Muhammad Munajid, a cleric,and former diplomat at the Saudi embassy in Washington DC, claimed Mickey Mouse is "one of Satan's soldiers" and must die.

IRAN: The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran has repeatedly blocked their investigation into allegations it tried to make nuclear arms and the probe is now deadlocked. Elements in the Iranian state are sending weapons across the border to the Taliban in Afghanistan, a BBC investigation has uncovered.

IRAQ: Defense Minister al-Ubaidi affirmed that more than 6000 officers and 20000 recruits of the former army were enrolled into security forces. Iraq's parliament lifted the immunity of a Sunni lawmaker for visiting Israel last week to attend an international conference to fight terrorism.  US SecDef Gates expects the US combat role to keep shrinking.

CAT VS. PRINTER: Let's go to the video.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: Walruses with musical instruments.  Goo goo goo joob.

A LION rode out Hurricane Ike in Houston. Rescue workers aren't keen to check in on it.

BUDDY the GERMAN SHEPHERD: "What's that you say Buddy?" *Woof! Woof!* "Your owner has had a seizure? We'll be right there..."

FRANK MUNDUS, legendary shark fisherman said to have inspired the Captain Quint character in the movie "Jaws," died at 82 after a heart attack. Show him the way to go home.

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Brian & Zooey, Fratellis, The Sea & Cake, Rogue Cow & Hamster   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 15, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BRIAN WILSON & ZOOEY DESCHANEL interview each other at the Hollywood Bowl as part of the "Artist on Artist" series.  And Wilson is relatively normal for it.  He does tell Deschanel that she's a "very pretty girl" at the end, but there plenty of people who might blurt that out.

THE NATIONAL frontman Matt Beringer discusses lyrics from The Boxer album with Paste.

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

JASON & THE SCORCHERS get a nifty profile with A/V at the Tennesseean in advance of a lifetime achievement award from the Americana Music Association Thursday night at the Ryman Auditorium. (Thx, LHB.)

SPIRITUALIZED frontan Jason Pierce talks about the intersection of the personal and the musical for The A.V. Club: "It's a weird situation, doing interviews. Nowhere else in the world can you talk about yourself and have people listen like they're interested over and over..."

THE SEA & CAKE help you ease into the week with the new video for "Weekend" from the Car Alarm album.

JACK WHITE says he had nothing to do with the decision to use his music in that James Bond-themed Coke Zero ad.

DRESSY BESSY has posted three new songs at DressySpace.

JESCA HOOP talks about her favorite songs, advice she got from Tom Waits and more with LAist.

GIANT SAND mastermind Howie Gelb talks about "harmony mixed with calamity" with Blurt.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Burn After Reading won the weekend with 19.4 million -- the first Coen Bros.movie to debut at No. 1 and their biggest weekend ever.  With a slight 37 million budget, this one will be a winner if it has any legs. Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys came in second with 18 million -- a bit below average, but probably not bad for a TP movie without Medea.  Righteous Kill came in third with 16.5 million, a not-so-righteous debut for a Pacino-DeNiro pairing budgeted at 60 million.  The Women debuted in fourth with about ten million, which is not good, but not bad, given it had a ridiculously low 16 million budget (I'm thinking stars took points and will be low-paid).  The House Bunny hangs in to round out the Top Five, while sixth-place Tropic Thunder broke the 100 million mark.  Bangkok Dangerous tumbled from first to eigth; Babylon A.D. plunged from sixth to 11th.

JENNIFER LOPEZ finished the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 28 seconds.

BRITNEY SPEARS apparently went on a date with Russell Brand, a former drug user who has been treated for sex addition.

SIR PAUL McCARTNEY has been threatened that he will be the target of suicide bombers unless he abandons plans to play his first concert in Israel.

O.J. SIMSPON: The jury has been selected in Simpson's kidnapping and armed robbery trial.  The trial judge rejected defense motions challenging the exclusion of individual African Americans and another motion challenging the entire jury.

ROB LOWE and his wife claim their ex-nanny terrified their children by discussing gang activity in her neighborhood "in graphic" detail, used "racially inappropriate" terms and even told stories of her sexual activities.

THE WORLD'S MOST GENEROUS CELEBS, according to Parade magazine.  Some obvious, some not.

BRADGELINA donated two million dollars to the Global Health Committee to establish a center to aid children affected by tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia.

PINK has reportedly turned to Scientology to help her move on after her split from husband Carey Hart.

THE SIMPSONS will pay homage to It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Transformers this Halloween.

NANOTECH: Tiny ships loaded with a cargo that can identify and destroy cancerous tumors are being tested on mice and could one day ply the human bloodstream.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: The Kingdom's top judicial cleric has issued a fatwa saying it is permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV networks that broadcast immoral content. But TIME claims that jihadism is waning there.

ISRAEL is buying 1000 bunker-busting smart bombs from the US, and upgrading its missile defense system. Hmmm.

THE STANS: NPR reports that last week's Special Ops raid in Pakistan last week was part of a three-phase plan, approved by Pres. Bush, to strike at Osama bin Laden and top al-Qaeda leadership.

IRAQ and the US have prepared a "final" draft of a security pact which could clear the way for a large-scale troop withdrawal by 2011 and it is now awaiting a political decision. Iraq is prepared to restart talks with the US and Iran, and is checking with both sides to see if a fresh round can be scheduled. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih met with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to discuss the viewpoint of the Kurdish leadership on the latest political developments and on the security situation in Iraq. Stars & Stripes reports on detention facility reform.

SHORTY the COW ran loose through Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, before being lassoed and returned safely to her owner. Video at the link.

OVER 700 TURTLES, one house -- near the Washington-Oregon state line.. Video at the link.

THE OKAPI, an African animal so elusive that it was once believed to be a mythical unicorn, has been photographed in the wild for the first time.

LARGE LIZARD AT LARGE in a Salisbury neighborhood.

SPEEDING HAMSTER in a playball overtook rush-hour traffic near Carlisle in the UK.

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