SLADE: "Merry Xmas Everybody."
NEW RELEASES: You know it's a slow week when OC Mix 6: Covering Our Tracks -- indie bands covering older alternative songs for The OC -- is the most interesting thing streaming in ful from AOL this week (unless you're jonesing for Gwen Stefani). I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness has re-released its debut EP for wider distribution on the band's new label.
SEASON of the LIST: Today, I'm just featuring lists from two of my favorite music blogs, Chromewaves and Gorilla vs. Bear. Both note that these aren't necessarily "Best of" lists as much as the albums that affected them the most this year. G vs. B also hooks you up with downloads of a bunch of free and legal mp3s from their fave albums.
MY MORNING JACKET frontman Jim James ticks off a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's "Guest List" feature. Here's a preview clip for the band's Okonokos CD/DVD.
TONY SILVESTER of the MAIN INGREDIENT passed away at the age of 65. Unfortunately, I was hard-pressed to find their biggest hit, "Everybody Plays The Fool," online, but you can watch the group perform "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely" on Soul Train.
IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME for Jerry Lee Lewis, but he got around to recording Led Zep's "Rock and Roll" on his first album in 20 years. This performance from the Today show isn't as sharp as the recorded version, and lacks Jimmy Page, but nice to see the man still has the "Killer" instinct. BONUS: The man is a blur in this 49 second version of "Down The Line." DOUBLE BONUS: The Killer cranks out "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' on" on Shndig, with the legendary James Burton playing a guitar solo from atop the piano, later joined by Jackie Wilson and the Righteous Bros.
CAT POWER: Chan Marshall talks to Harp about love, loss and becoming the new face of Chanel: "I was sitting on a pile of Louis Vuitton luggage, drinking water, with an apple and a cigarette in my hand, my cell phone, oh, and two guitars, and out comes Karl Lagerfeld. He walks up, looks at me and says, 'Only a woman can look glamorous when smoking.'"
EMILY HAINES, of Metric and Broken Social Scene, is touring to support her solo debut. You can stream a couple of songs from a World Cafe gig at NPR.
THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn talks about the the benefits of being on the Vagrant label with Pitchfork.
PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer escaped jail time on drug possession charges after suffering a "breakdown" in his rehab, but reportedly owes a massive undisclosed sum to the Malmaison Hotel in Clerkenwell after he "caused mayhem" there over the weekend with an unnamed female companion.
GWYNETH PALTROW says that she feels "so proud to be American," adding, "I am a New York girl, that's how I always think of myself and see myself." She's busy doing damage control after a Portuguese newspaper quoted her as saying that the "British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans." She blames her rusty seventh-grade Spanish. So I wonder what language she used in August when she told Harper's Bazzar that London is "not has hectic as New York and not as vapid as Los Angeles" and her British friends are "intelligent and they're not looking over my shoulder at dinner to see if there's anyone better walking in." For that matter, Gwynnie has previously had to backpedal from suggestions she was going to move out of the US entirely.
SIR PAUL McCARTNEY is battling MORRISSEY and Sir David Attenborough in a BBC show's search for Britain's greatest living icon.
BRITNEY SPEARS is taking pole-dancing lessons from the French Hotel, according to unidentified British reports. The pop tart also is reported to have spent quality time with Hilton's ex-bf in the bathroom of the Hollywood Roosevelt. No word on whether she was wearing panties. The latest exhibit in the Gallery of the Absurd is a piece portraying Spears, Hilton and Lindsay Lohan as "The Three Disgraces."
MADONNA and hubby Guy Ritchie have reportedly been seeing a marriage counsellor, with their union hitting "rock bottom" after the couple's controversial adoption of a Malawi baby.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise just blew 4.75 on a British masion near Scientology's UK HQ, but he and Holmes won't be staying there until the horrific stench problem is fixed.
JESSICA SIMPSON apparently botched a tribute to Dolly Parton at Sunday night's 29th annual Kennedy Center ceremony, which honored Parton, Steven Spielberg, singers Dolly Parton and Smokey Robinson, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and conductor Zubin Mehta.
GEORGE CLOONEY is mourning the death of his nearly 300-lb. potbellied pig Max. Clooney sometimes shared the same bed with Max, NTTAWWT.
KEITH URBAN was out of rehab and on a periodic furlough with wife Nicole Kidman last weekend. Urban has been offered help by Kidman's Fur co-star Robert Downey Jr. Apparently, he volunteered to call Urban with encouragement, but Kidman suggested they wait until he's out (of rehab) so they can all sit down for a long talk. Uh-huh.
KATE BECKINSALE has been sporting a bald patch, which people speculate may be due to alopecia or the use of hair extensions.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON has vowed to do a nude scene before she gets old and gray.
LANE GARRISON, of FOX TV's Prison Break, struck a tree with his SUV Saturday night, killing a 17-year-old boy. According to the Beverly Hills Police, actor Lane Garrison displayed "symptoms of alcohol intoxication."
THE 50 GREATEST COMMERCIALS OF THE 80s, courtesy of Giant magazine, complete with embedded YouTube video! I must note that number two is the ad for Freedom Rock. I also agree with the commenter who decried the absence of Apple's "1984" ad.
WHO IS CAPT. JAMIL HUSSEIN, Pt. V: I thought this story was done, but Monday's New York Times ran an article that seems to criticize both the AP and bloggers suspicious of a story about six Sunni worshipers allegedly doused in kerosene and burned alive by Shiite attackers. Yet the article, by Tom Zeller, Jr. omits the dispute over whether the AP's source is in fact an Iraqi policeman. Worse, the article notes that it was unusual that "little in the way of fallout over the event itself has been detected" in Baghdad -- without noting that the point was first made on the newspaper's own blog. However, the article does nicely capture the AP's arrogant and paranoid attitude toward bloggers, sometimes known as readers. Speaking of the media and bloggers, Bill Roggio has returned to Iraq and the first thing he reports is that our troops have near-unanimous contempt for the media. Granted, the troops will have their own biases, but the troops are not monolithic, either.
IRAQ: The leader of the largest Shiite party urged senior US officials not to withdraw US troops from his country but to transfer more military authority to the government in Baghdad. Iraq's national security adviser says he is shocked by UN head Kofi Annan's suggestion that the average Iraqi is worse off than under Saddam. I'm not, given that the oil-for-food scandal was an Kofi Annan special. At ITM, Omar relays reports that PM al-Maliki and tribal chiefs of Sadr City have agreed on a security plan that would exclude coalition forces. A piece in Newsweek suggests that the US military is fed up with al-Maliki. The WSJ has more on current military thinking. Another report that Zalmay Khalilzad is leaving his post as US ambassador. Sunni insurgents claimed they killed Shiite militia commander Abu Deraa, a deputy of Maqtada al-Sadr once known as the "Siite Zarqawi." Sunni clerics in Basra joined the fatwa against killing Shiites or belonging to extremist or terrorist groups. The Iraqi Army's 9th Mechanized Division apparently did not do well under fire in Baghdad's crowded Fadhil quarter last week.
LEBANON: Renewed clashes erupted in Beirut late Monday after the body of a Hezbollah supporter slain a day earlier was paraded through the heart of the capital. Abu Kais notes that the Hezbollah supporter may not have been shot by the Sunni residents of the Beirut neighborhood of Qasqas. Kais writes that the area is "infested" with pro-Assad Ahbash (Sunni) Islamists; he would not put it past one of them or some Syrian intelligence operative to have pulled the trigger.
THE ROLLING ROCK BEER APE: If you've heard the radio commercials from the phony group complaining, here's the viral ad the brewery wants you to see.
THE CHRISTMAS GOAT in Gavle, Sweden has been burned again -- the 22nd time it has gone up in smoke since the town began the tradition in 1966.
DEWEY READMORE BOOKS, a 19-year-old cat who became a mascot for the city library in Spencer, IA after being found in a book drop, passed away last week the arms of librarian Vicki Myron.
A 62-YEAR-OLD LOBSTER wowed crowds in the northern Algerian coastal town of Jijel after a local fisherman netted that crustacean, along with two 59-year olds, and two more aged 48 and 46.
AN AUSSIE CATHERINE THE GREAT was nabbed in a paddock, getting too friendly with Mr. Ed.