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REM, New Releases, Wire, Duffy, Croc vs. Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


R.E.M.'s appearance on Austin City Limits aired over the long weekend, including "Supernatural Superserious."

NEW RELEASES: There may or may not be new albums streaming in full from Spinner when you read this. John Hiatt is the Same Old Man -- which is a good thing. Spiritualized releases Songs in A&E. Julie Ocean debuts with Long Gone and Nearly There.

WIRE has released "One of Us," the single and opening track from the legendary UK post-punkers' 11th studio album.  You can download it from the 'Gum or stream it from the 'Gum Mix.

THE DECEMBERISTS frontman Colin Meloy tals to The Sun about his solo excursion, his inspirations and the follow-up to The Crane Wife.

PAUL WELLER is interviewed by The Scotsman and profiled by The Independent.

DUFFY performs a mini-set for The Interface, including 'Mercy,' 'Stepping Stone,' 'Warwick Avenue' and 'Syrup and Honey,' plus an interview.  That's more than Twofer Tuesday.

ISLANDS frontman Nick Thorburn talks to the Montreal Mirror about how the band's break-up and re-configuration resulted in the Arm's Way album.

THE B-52's singer Fred Schneider talks to the Orange County Register about the impact of the Internet on new and old fans coming to their shows.

LAURA CANTRELL talks to PopMatters about Trains and Boats and Planes, a new record of traveling cover songs.

TAPES N' TAPES drummer Jeremy Hanson talks to the Birmingham Post about the impact of music blogs and MySpace on indie music-making.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull took in an estimated 151 million bucks domestic over the holiday weekend, a bit below the average projection, but the actuals may boost this total past last year's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.  Indy seems to have rolled like a giant boulder over Prince Caspian, as the second Narnia film dropped 48 percent to make 28.6 million in its second weekend; it is making far less than The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe while burdened with a bigger budget.  Iron Man held up much better in its third weekend at 25.6 million and could finish over the 300 million mark in the US.  What Happens in Vegas continues to survive as counter-programming, making another 11 million, while Speed Racer continues to tank, even in the fifth slot, with 5.2 million.


JESSICA SIMPSON & TONY ROMO: According to TMZ, Romo was paid to show up at Ashlee Simpson's wedding, because a pic of Jessica & Tony was key to People paying over a million for the wedding photos.  However, the pair looked like they were on a dinner date at N9NE Steakhouse in Dallas on Saturday. Have they made up, or is it made-up?

ROBERT REDFORD has announced he is engaged to his girlfriend Sibylle Szaggars, whom he has dated since 1996.

KATE HUDSON & LANCE ARMSTRONG were... wait for it... caught canoodling in Cannes, at a party thrown by designer Dolce and Gabbana.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON were... wait for it... caught canoodling and cavorting in Cannes, atop P Diddy's party yacht.  More pics at Egotastic.

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE went to Cannes together, but did little to scotch persistent rumors that their seven-year marriage is on the rocks.

BRITNEY SPEARS has been spied stepping out with the new man in her life, who has already earned the blessing of her dad.

PATRICK SWAZE, currently battling pancreatic cancer, was spotted with his wife in the crowd Friday as the L.A. Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference playoff series.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN continue to blast each other; this time it's Richards's turn:  "I don't want Charlie's prostitute-tranny-infested sperm. I have two beautiful kids. We'll leave it at that. I am so over him. He's the one who can't move on. He's disgusting and he's hit an all-time low."

JEN & JOHN: Page Six claims the couple were quietly dating for three months prior to coming out earlier this month as a couple in Miami.  The ever-reliable Star magazine claims to have the details of their superhot, kinky sex life.

DICK MARTIN, the zany half of the comedy team whose "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" took television by storm in the 1960s, making stars of Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin and creating such national catch-phrases as "Sock it to me!" has died. He was 86.  Younger folks may have to look him up in their Funk and Wagnall's.

SHELDON ADELSON, the billionaire casino mogul who runs Las Vegas Sands Corp., brought 40 wounded soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center to the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Vegas for an all-expenses-paid getaway with all the perks normally saved for casinos' richest regulars.

AL QAEDA is unraveling from within, according to new articles in The New Republic and The New Yorker.  Lawrence Wright, author of the latter article, tells NPR, "In some respects, they are not losing, they are regenerating. But they're still much reduced from what they were. They're clearly losing in Iraq. Their popularity all across the Muslim world is plummeting because Muslims are the main victims. And people are beginning to question the use of violence not only in the case of al-Qaeda but even in resistance movements in Palestine."

IRAQ: Less than one week after pushing into the northern two-thirds of Sadr City from the walled southern neighborhoods, the Iraqi Army is uncovering substantial weapons caches in the Mahdi Army stronghold. As the Iraqi security forces continue to work to secure Sadr City, US and Iraqi forces are pressuring the Mahdi Army in greater Baghdad and beyond. Al-Qaeda fighters and other Sunni insurgents have largely scattered from the northern city of Mosul in the face of a US-Iraqi sweep, fleeing to desert areas further south, an Iraqi commander said Sunday. The US military said AQI was "off-balance and on the run" but remains a very lethal threat. Iraqi legislators must hurry up and pass a provincial elections law by the start of July if they want the vote to happen on the agreed Oct. 1 date, the head of Iraq's Electoral Commission said on Friday.

CROC vs. SHARK: A clash of the titans in the wilds of Australia.

BELLA, a Labrador cross, may be the oldest dog evah at 203 years young. Pics at the link.

THUMBELINA, the world's smallest horse, had to have some dental work done in Connecticut.  Pic at the link.

A FULLY FORMED GECKO was found inside a hen's egg, trying to sell the yolk auto insurance.

POODLES bred as hunting dogs. Not as wacky as it sounds. Video at the link.

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Memorial Day   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 26, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MEMORIAL DAY has become -- in the minds of some -- a day devoted to uncovering their swimming pools and barbeques. So take a moment (preferably at 3 p.m. local time) to remember what it's really about. Milblogger Blackfive remembers the fallen, while filmmaker JD Johannes has video of Memorial Day 2007 at OP Delta, Kharmah, Iraq. Maj. Bob Krumm e-mails Instapundit that in Iraq, Coalition Forces have just experienced their least costly week of the entire war. The Mudville Gazette reprints the remarkable story of Lt. Rick Rescorla. The Wikipedia entry for Memorial Day notes a race track connection unrelated to the Indy 500 -- and even mentions the Drive-By Truckers.  But that DBT number is nowhere near as well-known as Sgt. Barry Sadler's No. 1 smash, "Ballad of the Green Beret."

There's not much breaking news this weekend, so I'll be back tomorrow with the usual tripe.

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Aretha Franklin, Richard Hawley, Cutout Bin, Anteater   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 23, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with ARETHA FRANKLIN, Live in Stockholm, 1968! The "Lady Soul" concert was broadcast on Swedish TV, including "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Come Back Baby," "Dr Feelgood (Love Is A Serious Business)," "Since You've Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby)" "I  Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)," "Chain Of Fools," and "Respect."

MEMORIAL DAY RADIO: WOXY starts running its Modern Rock 500 on Saturday. Chicago's WLS reverts back to classic Top 40 format Monday for the Big 89 Rewind.

CAT POWER: The Guardian Music Blog wonders whether she can regain the momentum she lost to her breakdowns and misbehavior.  Yes, she can.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: New tracks from Mates of State and Sam Phillips highlight the latest edition of the long-running NPR series.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: TIME magazine profiles the 20-year phenomenon that spans the generations. Here's the video podcast for "Seven" mentioned in the profile.

KID ROCK: You may be hearing a mutant hybrid of Warren Zevon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bob Seger "All Summer Long." Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

TOP 5 DRIVING SONGS, as compiled by Carrie Brownstein, former guitarist for Sleater-Kinney and host of NPR's Monitor Mix blog.

RICHARD HAWLEY: Frank Yang, being lucky enough to see him play the Royal Albert Hall, has plenty of A/V linkage for someone you should know.

THE TING TINGS' meteoric ascent from TheirSpace to a major-label record deal and an iPod commercial, is chronicled on NPR's Day to Day.

THE CONSTANTINES guitarist Steve Lambke talks to JamBase as the band quits their day jobs.

CUTOUT BIN: From Elvis Presley to Elvis Costello, from Otis Redding to R. Dean Taylor, from Kenny Rogers to Devo, Janis Joplin, The Replacements, Faith No More and the Undisputed Truth, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

CAMERON DIAZ plays a mother who shaves her head in support of her ill daughter in the upcoming My Sister's Keeper.

JESSICA ALBA's May 19 wedding to boyfriend Cash Warren might be one the most strategically sound decisions the actress has made in her career.

JODIE FOSTER cheated on her lesbian partner of 14 years with a younger, prettier woman who is now her new girlfriend, according to the National Enquirer.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has sicked his lawyers on luxury baby boutique Petit Tresor, accusing them of babbling to the tabs about Suri's outrageously expensive designer duds.

SHANIA TWAIN: People has a pic of the alleged other woman in her separation from her husband of 14 years, music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange. Marie-Anne Thiébaud the longtime secretary and house manager at the couple's estate in Switzerland, denies that she split up the marriage.

WINONA RYDER & KEANU REEVES are not a couple, according to OK! magazine, contardicitng a prior claim in Star magazine.

OK!'s TOP 50 MAN CANDY: Considering I linked to Maxim's Hot 100, I thought it only fair to link something for the ladies (and gay dudes, I suppose).

BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA: The scariest trailer I have seen in years.

TERROR IN THE UK: Police arrested a "radicalized" convert to Islam after he was injured in a bomb explosion in a city center on Thursday. The 22-year-old, who suffered cuts to his eye and facial burns in the explosion and remains in police custody at a hospital, has a history of mental illness.

TRENDS IN GLOBAL TERRORISM: A study released on Wednesday reports a decline in fatal attacks of terrorism worldwide and says US think-tank data showing sharp increases were distorted due to the inclusion of killings in Iraq.

IRAQ: Iraqi soldiers moved unhindered through Baghdad's vast Sadr City district on Wednesday as Shiite militiamen who have long controlled the area faded from view and schools and businesses began to reopen after weeks of strife. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani expects Iraqi forces will take control of security of all Iraqi territories by the end of this year. Gen. Petraeus said on Thursday he expects to recommend further troop cuts this year after a 45-day pause in withdrawals that begins in mid-July. Joint US-Iraqi forces on Thursday arrested 29 AQI gunmen in a military operation south of Baquba. AQI is stepping up its racketeering campaigns as the military clamps down on its operations.

ANTEATER EATS WITH A SPOON: And sucks Cheez Whiz right from the can.  Let's go to the video.

RUPERT the TORTOISE has escaped through a hole in a garden fence. His owner has warned he can be aggressive and he has been known to bite children and dogs.

THE SWARM attacked two men at a Fountain Hills, AZ home and also stung six emergency workers trying to rescue them.

A HERD OF WILD BOARS thwarted a suspected car thief's getaway in northern Germany.

MEXICAN DONKEY UPDATE: "Blacky" has been freed from jail after doing time for assault and battery. Let's go to the video.

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Islands, Tom Waits, She & Her, Indiana Jones, Squirrel Threat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BLONDIE: "Heart of Glass," filmed at Studio 54 in New York City, almost 30 years ago.

ISLANDS does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, inlcuding one previously released.  Nick Thorburn talks to the Victoria Times Colonist about the band's baroque pop.

LED ZEPPELIN will reportedly play four shows in Toronto this summer at the Skydome/Rogers Centre stadium this August. A "reliable source" tells MuchMusic that the dates will be announced shortly. No other shows will be announced, and the band apparently will not tour in the US, according to the report.

SPIRITUALIZED is advance streaming their album in full.

TOM WAITS is interviewed by Tom Waits about a wide range of topics -- artists who have shaped his creative life, songs that were beacons for him, what's wrong with the world, favorite scenes in movies, what he learned from parenthood, and much, much more...

SHE & HER: Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) guests with She & Him for a cover of ABBA's "Chiquitita."

DRIVE-BY TRUCKER Patterson Hood talks to Aquarium Drunkard about the band's latest album; the phrase "it happened pretty naturally" is used more than once, but Hood's answers generally get more interesting from there.

THE SILVER JEWS have released "Strange Victory, Strange Defeat," the lead track from Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea, for download or streaming at the 'Gum and the 'Gum Mix (among other places).

A.A. BONDY, buzzyworthy indie-folkster, does five free songs for Daytrotter, four previously released.

THE ZUTONS' lead singer, Dave McCabe, talks to the Irish Independent about The Kinks, Resevoir Dogs, buying a house on Winehouse money, etc.

INDIANA JONES and the KINGDOM of the CRYSTAL SKULL: "Prairie dogs... Why did it have to be prairie dogs?" I'm kidding, of course. You know I wouldn't spoil it for you! This one is better than Temple of Doom, but not as good as the Last Crusade, though that's largely a function of not having Sean Connery this time around.  I did not find Shia LeBeouf annoying like some other critics did (except for his introductory scen, which isn't his fault).  He wasn't as annoying as the sidekicks from Temple of Doom anyway.  For all of the problems Lucas and Spielberg had getting the right script, this one (credited to veteran scribe David Koepp) still had problems.  It has a topical allusion that (unlike those in Iron Man) goes nowhere.  It fails to make the Red Menace as menacing as the Nazis or Mola Ram (though Cate Blanchett does a sterling job with what she is given).  And it somehow fails to ever make the viewer feel that Indy or those closest to him are in truly grave danger, though it could have been easily accomplished.  Nevertheless, it is consistently entertaining; its best line is both entirely familiar and totally unexpected.  This is the Memorial Day weekend's only wide release and is currently scoring 77 percent on the ol' Tomatometer.

STEVEN TYLER of Aerosmith has checked into Las Encinas Hospital drug rehabilitation clinic, where Dr. Drew Pinsky treated patients for VH1's Celebrity Rehab.

JESSICA ALBA's wedding was a surprise to her own brother, who says she and hubby Cash Warren are going to do a big second ceremony later.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ's wedding photos are teased at People magazine's website.

WINONA RYDER & KEANU REEVES: More than co-stars in the drama The Private Lives of Pippa Lee?

DENISE RICHARDS denies asking for her ex Charlie Sheen's sperm, calling an e-mail purported to be from her to Sheen's now-fiancee Brooke Mueller "doctored." "I would never send an e-mail to (Mueller), and, at the time of that e-mail, I was with Richie (Sambora). If I wanted anybody's sperm, I'd have asked for Richie's," she said.  Video at the link.

SPIKE LEE is in Cannes to promote his World War II drama "Miracle at St. Anna," but he couldn't resist taking a few swipes at some fellow directors, including Joel and Ethan Coen and Clint Eastwood. Asked twice by The Times of London to respond to Lee's criticism, Eastwood stared out into the audience as the compere refused to accept a question that did not relate to his new movie, L'Échange.

PAKISTAN's new government has signed a peace deal with pro-Taliban militants, in what some US officials call a "victory for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda."

IRAN & IRAQ: Gen. Petraeus, who is to assume control of U.S. forces in the Middle East, has filled out his 46-page question-and-answer document submitted in advance of his confirmation hearing today.

IRAQ: Coalition forces detained two individuals May 17 -- including a key suspected AQI leader -- at a Sons of Iraq checkpoint in the Diwaniyah Peninsula area, approximately 40 km southeast of Baghdad. Coalition forces detained three wanted men and 26 other suspected terrorists during operations targeting AQI, around the country Tuesday and Wednesday.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Oakley Junior took a shine to Central Park ranger Mark Swift last Tuesday and has been following him about the picturesque site ever since.  Awww... so cute, until the day the ranger turns up murdered in his sleep.

LOST PARROT returns home after reciting his name and address to a stranger willing to help. He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet.

PIT BULL saves owner from Samurai-sword-wielding boyfriend.

NAKED GATOR WRASSLER in Bartow, FL, is a repeat offender.

A TINY NEW JELLYFISH SPECIES has its mouth on its underside and its anus wrapped around its brain.

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Death Cab, Avett Bros, Beck, Bon Iver, Flying Fish record   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


DEATH CAB hits the Black Cab to play "No Sunlight."

THE AVETT BROTHERS stopped by KEXP for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

BECK is now streaming a track from his upcoming record, the Danger Mouse-produced "Chemtrails."

LOVE STORY: The feature length documentary about seminal Arthur Lee-fronted Los Angeles rock band Love, will be released on DVD July 29th.

DAVID BYRNE & BRIAN ENO are re-teaming for a new album and tour in the fall. Byrne's agent is promising the live set list will consist of at least 40 percent Eno-era Talking Heads material.

BON IVER: Justin Vernon plays "Skinny Love" on Later with Jools Holland.  Apparently, the song was also featured on this week's episode of House.

EXENE CERVENKA, frontwoman of X, talks to the Village Voice about Fleetwood Mac, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, the X anniversary tour and more...

PANIC AT THE DISCO has traded in their guyliner for a copy of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and stopped by All Things Considered for a stripped-down mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

BLACK MOUNTAIN keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt talks to Drowned In Sound about trying to tour Europe on a budget.  Plenty of A/V linkage there also.

NEIL DIAMOND:  The Irish Independent asks, "Has he finally become hip?" He tops the UK album chart this week, fwiw.


JESSICA ALBA & CASH WARREN quietly wed Monday, says her rep. No, that's not Warren in the picture, or even a real wedding picture -- but the couple did meet while filming Fantastic Four. Shotgun weddings are the hot new trend in Hollywood.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ are honeymooning in their basement: "We got some blow-up palm trees," Wentz said. "A little fake-n-bake tanning booth. We're eating DiGiorno's pizza, getting in that tanning oven every once in a while, it's great." Wentz also told Ryan Seacrest that they have a pre-nup.

SHANIA TWAIN's split from her husband, music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, is reportedly due to a third party, but Lange denies the claims.

CAMERON DIAZ tells In Style magazine that when it comes to seducing her men, she prefers an outfit that accentuates her natural resources: a pair of heels and nothing else. That is a look that rarely goes out of style.

LIV TYLER: Newly single, and looking vaguely like a drag queen for an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

OWEN WILSON, a/k/a the Butterscotch Stallion, has handled his latest bust-up with Kate Hudson a lot better this time around - by immersing himself in blondes, boobs and beer.

THE McCARTNEYS: A photographer convicted of assaulting Sir Paul's ex-wife has been cleared of charges after Heather Mills failed to appear in court.

ALI LOHAN, Li-Lo's lil' sis, was hounded by Mean Girls.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is set to star in a new film adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear. Well, she's going to play Cordelia, anyway; the title role goes to Sir Anthony Hopkins.

A MEAN SEASON FOR TV: The writers strike, along with the rising popularity of DVRs and the increased availability of programming on multiple platforms, conspired to make this season the lowest-rated on record for the broadcasters.

KAREN ALLEN talks to USA Today about leaving her knitting to return with Indiana Jones to the Kingdom of the Crytal Skull.

IRAN's nuclear program may start a "cascade of proliferation" that could end with a dozen countries in the Middle East possessing nuclear weapons, a new study says.

40000 NATIONAL GUARD SOLDIERS were informed by the Pentagon Monday that they will be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the upcoming months and years.

IRAQ:  Some 10000 Iraqi troops fanned out in Baghdad's Sadr City on Tuesday in an attempt to establish government control in the Shiite militia enclave for the first time since Saddam Hussein's ouster. The large force in tanks and Humvees and on foot met no resistance from Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia as it rolled into the sprawling district. Coalition forces killed a senior AQI leader in Samarra and detained 20 additional suspected terrorists during operations around the country Monday and Tuesday. At Talisman's Gate, Nibras Kazimi translates a prolific jihadist sympathizer's "explosive" study of the steep drop in the number of insurgent operations conducted by the various jihadist groups, most notably AQI's 94 percent decline in operational ability over the last 12 months when only a year and half ago AQI accounted for 60 percent of all jihadist activity.

FLYING FISH likely break flying fish record at 45 seconds.  Video at the link.

MONSTER CARNIVOROUS MICE have overrun British-owned Gough Island. They have developed from eating insects and seeds and are now devouring young birds, including albatross chicks, at the rate of more than a million annually.

A DONKEY is doing time in southern Mexico for assault and battery. Chiapas police have thrown animals in the slammer before, including a bull that devoured corn crops and destroyed two wooden vending stands in March.

A CONFUSED WILD TURKEY smashed into a window at the Lubbock, TX county courthouse Monday was laid out for a while, but eventually was able to fly away. It left a turkey-shaped hole in the glass, just like a cartoon. I'm pretty sure Wild Turkey was involved.

SEXY SEA SLUGS get their own slideshow at ABC News.

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