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Feelies, Shearwater, Courteeners, Barry White, Monster Worms   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 03, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE FEELIES cover Jonathan Richman's "Egyptian Reggae."

SHEARWATER has a new song, "Castaways," on the Matablog, along with details on their upcoming LP.

THE COURTEENERS did the four free songs thing at Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.

BARRY WHITE -- and a new box set -- get a segment plus tracks from NPR's Morning Edition.

THE LOVELL SISTERS played a mini-set of virtuoso Bluegrass at the World Cafe.

GRAMMY NOMINATIONS went to all of these folks, though these are the major categories.  The L.A. Times: "The 2010 Grammy nominations are a complete puzzler, and one has to wonder just where Recording Academy voters are discovering their music."

THE BEACH BOYS: It's the "Little Saint Nick," natch.

MORRISSEY lists his Desert Island Discs for the BBC.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks to New York magazine about the new album, Law & Order, fans naming children after people in his songs and why he wants an Amy Grant tattoo.

THE HOLD STEADY: Craig Finn talks to Spinner about the differences between his current band and Lifter Puller.

JOE SHANAHAN, owner of the Metro/Smart Bar music-club complex, is profiled by the Chicago Tribune.

PETER BJORN & JOHN visit the Hockey Hall of Fame with the National Post.

TIGER WOODS: The National Enquirer caught Tiger Woods in a steamy extramarital affair two years ago, but killed the story in exchange for the golfer doing a rare cover-shoot for its sister mag - despite Tiger's exclusive deal with a rival publication, a former editor told The New York Post.  Also the text messages to the cocktail waitress are out.  Woods issued a statement that he let his family down with his "transgressions" (plural) and is working things out in prvate.  Working things out may entail intense marriage counseling, a seven-figure payment and a a total rewrite on the couple's prenuptial agreement.

LINDSAY LOHAN and Samantha Ronson may be getting back together, with the help of... John Mayer?

MARILYN MONROE was caught seemingly smoking pot on a newly unearthed home movie.

JESSICA SIMPSON's creepy ex-preacher dad had a run-in with a gorilla in Africa.

MEREDITH BAXTER: One of America's best-known TV moms comes out of the closet as a real-life lesbian.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Another baby in the works?

THE 10 MOST-WATCHED TV EPISODES of the decade: "With the increasingly fractured TV universe, we probably won't see a list quite like this again."

IRAN freed five British sailors detained last week when their racing yacht drifted accidentally into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf.  Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad says the days of friendly relations with the UN nuke watchdogs are over.  Ahmadinejad also said that Iran will itself enrich uranium up to 20 percent purity in a blow to Western efforts to stop Tehran's sensitive nuclear activities.

AFGHANISTAN: European and other US allies will contribute more than 5000 new troops to the international force.  Except from Poland, the pledges came in small numbers from small nations, with France and Germany remaining silent.  The Taliban currently contest or control large areas of the country (map at the link).

IRAQ: Civilian deaths in Iraq have dropped to a six-year low in November.


NAKED MOLE RATS may be the record-setters among mammals for being able to survive without oxygen. No word about clothed ones.

STARLINGS give paparazzi the bird.

MOOSE accused of murder; husband cleared.

3083 Reads

The XX, Andrew W.K., Cover Songs, Helium Puppy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 02, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JOE STRUMMER loved Bruce Springsteen, as it turns out -- which put me in mind of the posthumous all-star version of "London Calling" at the 2003 Grammys.

THE XX stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming via MPR.

THE TOP 10 ALBUMS of 2009, according to the World Cafe's David Dye, including tracks from Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears and Allen Toussaint, both of which could have been on my faves list. 

ANDREW W. K. did a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

THE 30 BEST COVER SONGS OF THE DECADE, according to Paste, with plenty of embedded audio.

HOT CHIP is advance streaming the title track to their One Life Stand album.

U2 cover "Merry Christmas, Baby (Please Come Home)," ripped from the premiere, for extra retro goodness.

LOS CAMPENSINOS! Tom gives Drowned in Sound the low down / scoop / details on the upcoming album, Romance Is Boring.

THE GOSSIP: Beth Ditto talks about Portland, various musical influences and more with The New York Times.

JOHN FOGERTY talks to Spinner about "Fortunate Son" and The Big Lebowski.

PAUL McCARTNEY sold out London's O2 Arena in four seconds.

LISA LOEB had a baby girl. Congrats!

TIGER WOODS told his wife that she ruined their Thanksgiving and stormed out of their house before crashing his car, according to RadarOnline.  Woods' alleged mistress launches a ferocious attack on the tabloids and their sources. Meanwhile, a L.A. cocktail waitress tells Us Weekly that she had a steamy 31-month fling with Tiger and has a voicemail recording and text messages to prove it.  And there may be still more women making such claims. BONUS: This animated reconstruction is your must-watch clip of the day.

NICOLE RICHIE is headlining a single-camera half-hour sitcom in development at ABC.

MEL BROOKS and CARL REINER talk to The A.V. Club about the longevity of the straight-guy/funny-guy comedy dynamic, writing plays for critics, and Jewish humor.

THE INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD nominations are out.  Zooey wuz robbed!  But otherwise a good day for (500) Days of Summer, and Anvil!

MILA KUNIS gets a feature and photoshoot at BlackBook.

HARRY POTTER and the DEATHLY HALLOWS: USA Today has a first look.

TWILIGHT: Summit Entertainment faces big money decisions if they plan to split the final vampire book into two movies.

BOURNE 4 seems to be missing a director at the moment.  Paul Greengrass has a statement.

THE BLACK HOLE: Disney's first-ever PG flick is getting a remake from the team working on Tron: Legacy.

IRAN's plans to build 10 more uranium enrichment facilities are largely bluster after the UN's strongly worded letter, analysts say. The British Foreign Secretary, has called for the swift release of the five sailors captured after their yacht strayed into Iranian waters.

AFGHANISTAN: The US is seeking to extend its control over the day-to-day running of Afghanistan with the appointment of an international "high representative" in Kabul in an attempt to bypass Hamid Karzai's much-criticized government.

HELIUM PUPPY? I think not, but cute anyway.

WHEN A TIGER ATTACKS, it looks pretty much exactly like this.

A DEER was missing the foorball game, and really had dibs on the sofa.

DAY OF THE DOLPHIN, er SEA LION: A Russian scientist who trains seals to carry out secret military missions complained in a newspaper interview Tuesday that Russia has fallen behind the US in the race to arm sea mammals.

3089 Reads

New Releases, Swell Season, Ted Leo, Roomba Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 01, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


OVER NINE MILLION SERVED: Thanks for stopping by! 

THE TOP MUSIC VIDEOS OF 2009, according to Pitchfork. Regular Pate visitors were exposed to most of them, including Dinosaur, Jr's "Over It."

NEW RELEASES: The Up in the Air Soundtrack leads the slim pickins this week at Spinner.

THE SWELL SEASON did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: An advance track from Spoon, plus Charlotte Gainsbourg, Devendra banhart, Tegan & Sara and more in the latest installment of the NPR series.

TED LEO has a new track, "Even Heroes Have to Die," to download or stream via the 'Gum.

GLAM XMAS:  Wizzard's awesome "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" (1973's UK Xmas No. 1) are your Twofer Tuesday.

DON'T STOP BELIEVIN': How the 1981 power ballad has enjoyed an astonishing second life in the digital age -- and may become the UK's Christmas No.1.

VINCE GUARALDI, likely best-known for scoring A Charlie Brown Christmas (scheduled to air tonight on ABC), was featured on Weekend Edition Saturday.

BRIAN ENO celebrates "The Death of Uncool."

THE FLAMING LIPS are planning to cover Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon live on New Year's Eve.

TIGER WOODS: Cops are stepping up an investigation into whether an act of domestic violence occurred in Tiger's lair, as Woods canceled plans to attend his own golf tournament in SoCal.  TMZ now has an eyewitness account of what happened immediately following Tiger's car accident.  The woman accused by the tabloids of haing an affair with Woods has been linked to other celebs.

REESE WITHERSPOON's rep denied reports that she split with Jake Gyllenhaal.

DAVID HASSELHOFF was released from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday after a psych hold, according tot RadarOnline.

MERYL STREEP: The Fantastic Mrs. Fox gets the cover profile of the new Vanity Fair.

ALEC BALDWIN claims he'll retire from acting when his contract with 30 Rock expires in 2012.

THE HOBBIT may delay filming until mid-summer 2010.

ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL went Breakfast Club on an ex's forehead, during an altercation at her New York apartment earlier this month, police told RadarOnline.

HELENA CHRISTENSEN, the Danish supermodel, has described the joys of posing nude at 40.

HONOR KILLINGS in the USA are raising concerns.

IRAN is holding five British yachtsmen hostage as they sailed from Bahrain to Dubai for the start of an international race.

ROOMBA CAT lords its tech advantage over a hapless dog.

TWO DOGS in Beijing have tested positive for swine flu in the second case of animals catching the disease in China along with pigs in the northeast.

BABY BONOBO: Awww...some pics.

BURPING SHEEP: Threat or Menace?

3744 Reads

Paul Weller, Telekinesis, Frightened Rabbit, Big Pink, Kitteh   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 30, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


PAUL WELLER & KEVIN SHIELDS: The men behind The Jam and My Bloody Valentine team up for "7 & 3 is the Striker's Name."

TELEKINESIS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including one unreleased.

FRIGHTENED RABBIT also did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

THE BIG PINK stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming via MPR.

SAM ROBERTS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming via MPR.

THE HEADLIGHTS have a new video for "Love Song For Buddy" that's even sadder than the song.

THE ALBUMS OF THE DECADE, according to The Guardian.

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN: Ian McCullcoch talks to New York magazine about divine inspiration, the voices in his head, and arena rock.

THE XX: Romy Madley Croft talks to the Seattle Times about the band's  debut, with embedded audio.

SINGERS WHO CAN'T SING, courtesy of the Telegraph.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Twilight: New Moon again took the top slot with 42.5 million (66 million over the long weekend), sailing to 230 million so far.  But the sequel did have a drop suggesting frontloading, as The Blind Side almost beat the vampires from Fri-Sun, making 40.1 million on an 18 percent increase over last weekend.  The Sandra Bullock sports drama broke the 100 million mark, too. 2012 held onto the third spot with 18 million, with a 138 million total against a 200 million budget (good thing the worldwide total is about 487 million).  Old Dogs debuted at No.4 with 16.8 million, as people fooled into seeing Wid Hogs have apparently learned something.  A Christmas Carol got an unsurprising holdiay bump, jumping 30 percent to take in 16 million; it too crosses the 100 million mark but will need those holiday legs against a 200 million budget.  Below the fold, Ninja Assassin opened in sixth, with a lackluster 13.3 million (21.2 million since Wednesday) against a 40 million budget.  The Road opened in 11th place, but was on a mere 111 screens.

THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX unfortunately landed in ninth place after expanding wide for the holidays (eighth over the long weekend).  Perhaps people just did not know what to make of the combo of 70's-style animation and director Wes Anderson.  But this is not only a charming movie the whole family can enjoy, but also a return to form for Anderson.  It's no Royal Tenenbaums, but a marked improvement over the disappointing Darjeeling Ltd.  Maybe good word of mouth can build on its good reviews to help a probable Oscar nominee next weekend (before Disney's The Princes and the Frog arrives on Dec. 11th).

TIGER WOODS was injured in a car accident outside his Isleworth home, driving into a fire hydrant and a tree. TMZ claims he was being attacked by his wife over reports of alleged infidelity, and that the star golfer may have been taking painkillers.  The gossip blog further claims that Tiger told a friend he needed a "Kobe special" and said his wife had "gone ghetto" on him.  Also, Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, changed the story she told the first officer on the scene, according to law enforcement sources.  Woods refused to meet with police over the weekend.  The alleged mistress denies any affair, and is reportedly meeting with celeb lawyer Gloria Allred.

DAVID HASSELHOFF was rushed to a hospital by ambulance Friday after suffering a seizure.

JENNIFER LOPEZ's ex is threatening to make intimate home videos of the star public this week.

ROMAN POLANSKI got out on bail with help from French Pres. Sarkozy and is now under house arrest in his swank ski chalet in Gstaad.  Experts say that if the convicted rapist decides to flee again, the police will not be able to recapture him.

GERARD BUTLER had Thanksgiving dinner with singer Natalie Imbruglia and socialite Kimberly Stewart. So many punchlines.

JESSICA BIEL talks to The Independent about playing an alien and being treated like one.



SWITZERLAND: Voters have supported a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets, official results show. Women were more likely to vote for the ban.

IRAN, after receiving the dreaded "strongly worded letter" from the UN about its nuclear program, approved plans Sunday to build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities.

IRAQ: Thanksgiving in Tikrit.

SURPRISED KITTEH: Let's go to the video.

A FLATULENT PIG sparked fears of a potentially dangerous gas leak in Axedale, Australia.

A CHOCOLATE LABRADOR is taking a human's job at a BP gas station/convenience store in Clearater, FL.

ICEE THE CAT, rescued from almost certain death after a Colorado snowstorm.

ADORABLE BABY MEERKATS snuggle up to a cuddly teddy after their mother tragically died.

SUPER-TERMITES cause the govt of New South Wales to take extraordinary measures.

3495 Reads

When the Gales of November Came Late, Faves 2009 (plus more)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



with THE WRECK of the EDMUND FITZGERALD: The legend lives o­n from the Chippewa o­n down of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee. I inexplicably missed the 34rd anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald -- 729 feet-long, 75 feet in breadth, 39 feet in depth, weighing 13,632 gross tons -- an ore bulk carrier with a capacity of 25,000 tons. When it was launched o­n June 7 1958, at the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan, Fitzgerald was the largest ship o­n the Great Lakes. Here's misty, water-colored video of the launch.

The "Queen of the Great Lakes" sank in the eastern end of Lake Superior during a fierce storm -- including snow squalls -- that pounded the ship with 30-foot waves. The crew of 29 men perished; without witnesses, a definitive reason has never been determined. A Coast Guard report suggested that faulty hatches failed to keep water out of the ship's cargo holds, though others believe the ship struck an uncharted shoal and took o­n water. A documentary created and aired by the Discovery Channel concluded the loss of the due to freak waves that overwhelmed the faulty hatches.

After the wreck, the Rev. Richard Ingalls went to Mariners' Church in Detroit and rang its bell 29 times, o­nce for each life lost. The church continues to hold an annual memorial, which includes reading the names of the crewmen and ringing the church bell. Here's video of Rev. Ingalls recounting that night.

At the request of family members surviving her crew, Fitzgerald's 200 lb. bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society in 1995, as a joint project with the National Geographic Society, Canadian Navy, Sony Corporation, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell is now o­n display in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Here's a brief video from o­ne of the underwater explorations of the wreck. Throw in the 3-D animation, and you'll feel just like Bill Paxton.

The song by Gordon Lightfoot spent 21 straight weeks o­n the pop charts, peaking at No. 2. And there's a homemade video for it, which I highly recommend. Beats the tar of Celine Dion! (PS:  Ken King -- who has lived o­n the U.P. of  Michigan, says the gales of November are quite something.)

FAVES 2009:  I occasionally hear from folks who want to know what -- from among all of the posts I do here -- I recommend.  To some degree, I recommend all of it, unless I expressly write otherwise (e.g., it's not my thing, but it might be yours).  With the holiday shopping season upon us, I have tried to make a list of reasonable size.  It's an unordered list. I likely will have overlooked something that I really dig.  And some of these are grouped together, because that's the way they occurred to me at the moment.  And note these are my faves; I'm not purporting to list the "Best" albums of the year.

KING KHAN: Case in point.  When I was a full-time hipster, "What Is?" would have made my 2007 list as an import.  But it became available here in the States this year, and it's a tasty amalgam of garage, psych and classic R & B, with a dash of old school funk that is totally in one of my wheelhouses.  Indeed, "Land of the Freak" may be all of those things at once.

NEKO CASE found mainstream success this year with "Middle Cyclone," but I try not to be snobby about that sort of thing, despite he moving out of town.  The mainstream could be cooler and I would be just fine with it.

GRIZZLY BEAR, like Neko, found mainstream success with "Veckatimest."  But I have always been a sucker for odd, Brian Wilson-esque vocal pop, so there you have it.  ANIMAL COLLECTIVE fits into roughly the same vein with "Merriweather Post Pavillion," though that's even more artsy.  DIRTY PROJECTORS also fit the bill with "Bitte Orca".

M. WARD: Another artist on a roll, following last year's wonderful She & Him album with his own "Hold Time."  And he managed to squeeze in the MONSTERS OF FOLK album with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and Saddle Creek's Mike Mogis.

ST. VINCENT: Annie Clark brought equal measures of Disney-esque whimsy and guitar shredding to "Actor" and improbably made it work.

RICHARD HAWLEY: "Truelove's Gutter" may be his most challenging, least accessible albums -- so if you haven't heard him, "Cole's Corner" or "Lady's Bridge" might be better entry points.  But Hawley is another on this list who brings a classic sensibility into the heart of modern life.  Music for 3 a.m.

GIRLS: "Album" is a fave of the moment, and I think it might just stick.  Off-kilter. Askew. Profane!

CAMERA OBSCURA regularly taps into two of my other soft spots -- Spectorian pop and Northern Soul -- and "My Maudlin Career" is no exception. "The Sweetest Thing" just about is.

THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART: I love the Jesus and Mary Chain, and so does TPOBPAH, apparently.  Then again, JAMC loved the VU and the Ramones, so it all comes around.  It comes around so often that you have to be good to stand out, and they do.  Fuzzy, fizzy pop for now people now.  THE RAVEONETTES are also in this category; always good, but "In and Out of Control" is one of my faves of theirs. (I suspect SLEIGH BELLS will continue building buzz here, too.)

EDWARD SHARPE and the MAGNETIC ZEROS: Freaky collectives? Sure, I dig 'em.  And I heard "Home" close out an episode of NBC's "Community," which was freaky-deaky.

THE XX: Come to think of it, this might not be one of my faves -- and they already lost a member -- but I respect 'em.  Spare, spindly, and yet still atmospheric.

MAYER HAWTHORNE: Yep, I'm a sucker for classic R & B sounds, and all the more impressive for having made them all himself on "A Strange Arrangement," though he's got a band now. Also working the Wes Anderson vibe visually.

THE AVETT BROTHERS: "I and Love and You" has range and charm.  I suppose it could be called Americana, but in the way The Band is -- not weighed down by too much reverence for the foundations upon which it builds.  THE FELICE BROTHERS get honorable mention here for "Yonder is the Clock."

PHOENIX: They're from France, and yet I like "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix." So they must be doing something right, like becoming less ambient.

MASTODON: Okay, metal is really not my thing, but I know Pate bassist Mike Kelly likes his share, so "Crack the Skye" gets a mention here.

A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING:  It's always somewhere on the net.

THANKSGIVING has a lot of myths, both traditional and the new "Pilgrims were evil" o­nes taught in some public schools. Not to mention the fights over kindergarteners dressing as Native Americans.  However, if you read the journal of William Bradford -- who served some 35 years as governor of the Pilgims' colony -- you quickly discover that the Pilgrims' relationship with the natives was complex and that the colony was ultimately saved when Bradford started doing away with collectivism and granting property rights.

TURKEY TRACKER: Watch the bird.

CUTOUT BIN: From Vince Guaraldi to AC/DC, from Jackie Wilson to Graham Parker, from TMBG to Jimi Hendrix, plus Ray Davies, Blondie, Beck, Big Star and The Beatles, plus more  -- this weekend's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

3162 Reads

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