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Dan Mangan, Kat Dahlia, Anonymous 4, Death Grips, Excited Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 05, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE drops a disturbing video for "Golden Facelift."

DAN MANGAN + BLACKSMITH is advance streaming Club Meds.

KAT DAHLIA is advance streaming My Garden.

ANONYMOUS 4 is advance streaming 1865.

DEATH GRIPS is supposedly defunct, but streaming an instrumental album called Fashion Week.

JENS LEKMAN drops “Postcard #1," because it's his new year's resolution for 2015 to share his thoughts weekly.

NANCY SINATRA: "These Boots Are Made For Walking." Are you ready?

BILLY JOEL, defended by NPR's Linda Holmes.

BOSTON CALLING: The Guardian calls the city the heart of America's DIY renaissance.

BONO may never play guitar again, following a cycling accident that left him with a titanium elbow.

60 BIG ALBUM  ANNIVERSARIES compiled by NME.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies topped the chart with 21.9 million.  This final installment has topped the chart for every day of its release, except for Christmas.  It is tracking about where the prior Hobbit flicks have been, but lower than the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Into The Woods places with 19 million, again edging out Unbroken, which shows with 18.4 million. Both of these had budgets in the 50-65 million range and should turn a tidy profit once they run overseas.  The Woman in Black 2: The Angel of Death takes the fourth slot with a much-stronger-than-expected 15.1 million debut (gurus projected 9-11 million).  As such it's likely to profit on a presumably low budget (the original cost only 15 million and included Daniel radcliffe in the cast).  Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb rounds out the Top Five with 14.5 million, which means the film may not reach profitability in theaters, but probably not too big a loss before heading to the home market.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT quietly married girlfriend Tasha McCauley on Dec. 20.

EDWARD HERRMANN, the towering, melodious-voiced actor who brought Franklin D. Roosevelt to life in films and documentaries, won a Tony Award and charmed audiences as the stuffy dad on TV's Gilmore Girls, died Wednesday. He was 71.

STUART SCOTT, a longtime anchor at ESPN, died Sunday morning at the age of 49, following a long battle with cancer.

MILA KUNIS & ASHTON KUTCHER: Secretly married?

CHARLIZE THERON & SEAN PENN are reportedly secretly engaged.

TAYE DIGGS & IDINA MENZEL finalized their divorce.

SLASH has filed for divorce.

GIADA DE LAURENTIS...and John Mayer?

JAMIE-LYNN SPEARS pulled a knife to break up a fight.

PRINCE ANDREW denied any contact with a woman who claims he abused her as an underaged sex slave during an orgy.

SAM RAIMI hated Spider-Man 3 as much as you did.

DONNA DOUGLAS, best known as Elly May Clampett of The Beverly Hillbillies, died at the age of 81. She also had some small roles in films and bigger ones on TV series, including a memorable Twilight Zone episode, "Eye of the Beholder." Max Baer (Jethro) remembers.

NIGERIA: Boko Haram fighters took over a Nigerian military base in the Borno state town of Baga, killing a number of people and sending others fleeing into neighboring Chad.

SYRIA: Representatives of a Syrian rebel group claim the US ignored a an early plan to stop the Islamic State.

KIBO is excited about dinner.

A CHINESE real estate developer who bought and ate three endangered tigers to entertain friends has been sentenced to 13 years in jail and 1.55 million yuan ($329,500).

A BRAZILLIAN MAN puts three live tarantulas in his mouth.

A GOLDFISH underwent surgery for constipation.

 

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Basically taking the day off...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 02, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

...But THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH is this weekend's sole wide release, currently scoring 33 percent on the ol' Tomatometer. So go see The Imitation Game or something, and rejoin me on Monday. Happy New Year!

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Maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE NEW YEAR STARTS HERE (see y'all Friday. Or Monday. Not sure yet.):

...with THE BEAT FARMERS!  Making a tradition of this more sober than usual, professionally-shot, early BF gig recorded at Universal Studios, including "There She Goes Again" (VU); "Road to Ruin," "Bigger Fool," "Reason to Believe" (Springsteen), "Powderfinger" (N. Young), "Happy Boy," "Big Ugly Wheels," "Bigger Stones," "Gun Sale at the Church," "Dallas Blues," "I Wanna Be Free," "Lakeside Trailer Park," "Death Train," and "Seven Year Itch."  If you're new to the band, my picks would be "Bigger Stones," "Happy Boy" and the cover of your choice.  BONUS:  Now how much would you pay?  But wait... there's more!  If you really want to see someone put the "bar" in "bar band," watch these NSFW clips from Houston, TX of the late Country Dick Montana leading the band through "Lucille" (K. Rogers) -- complete with his favorite beer bottle stunts -- followed by "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Wino," "Are You Drinkin' With Me, Jesus?" and "Mondo."  SUPER-SPECIAL BONUS: Country Dick rolls out "California Kid" and "Anarchy in the UK" (Language warning).

LAZYEYES streams their New Year EP.

MICHAEL STIPE performed a surprise mini-set, opening for Patti Smith in NYC.

THE BEST of 2014, as picked by David Dye, Bob Boilen, Ann Powers, Robin Hilton, and Stephen Thompson.

LOU REED Hears The Ramones For The First Time.

TINY DESK CONCERTS: NPR rounds up 2014.

U2: Crushingly obvious, I know. But this version of the video is not on the Tube, for some reason.

NICK CAVE & SHANE MacGOWAN: "What a Wonderful World."

ABBA wishes you a "Happy New Year,"  but it doesn't sound anywhere as celebratory as "Take A Chance On Me." 

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS perform "This Year" at the M-Shop in Ames, IA.

OTIS & CARLA have a "New Year's Resolution."

CLAUDE PATE: Don't forget you can stream a live version of "New Year" at PateSpace, or a fan-made video on the Tube, which has comments from a member of The Eclectics and Friend of Pate Ken King.

JOE JACKSON: Pate frequently attempted "One More Time" to hilarious effect, so today I stick with Joe's early material, including "Sunday Papers" live on the OGWT, "Kinda Kute" on the Kenny Everett Video Show, a Beat Crazy-era run of "On Your Radio" the official clip for "It's Different For Girls" and a bracing live take on "I'm The Man." That last one is taken from the Rock Goes To College show, which also boasts this pulsing version of his signature "Is She Really Going Out With Him?"  BONUS: The appropos finale, "Got The Time?"

THE 101 MOST ANTICIPATED LPs of 2015.

THE GUMMY AWARDS: Stereogum's Best Of 2014 readers’ poll.

THE BEST LPs of 2014, according to The Guardian staff.

IN MEMORIAM 1: Musicians and entertainers remembered by NPR Music.

IN MEMORIAM 2: Stereogum's Bands We Lost in 2014.

THE ZOMBIES: "This Will Be Our Year."

JEREMY RENNER's wife wants out of their marriage after just 10 months.

GIADA DE LAURENTIS and her husband of 11 years, Todd Thompson, have called it quits.  She hit the bar first.

CHRIS ROCK was just tired of being married.

KALEY CUOCO-SWEETING does not consider herself a feminist and likes cooking for her husband.

CHARLIZE THERON & SEAN PENN are discussing when and where they will have a wedding.

ANGELINA JOLIE credits the late Louis Zamperini with teaching her to embrace spirituality.

THE WORST FILMS of 2014, according to The A.V. Club and the Daily Beast.

UKRAINE's President said on Monday he would meet the leaders of Russia, France and Germany on Jan. 15 in an attempt to restore peace to Kiev's eastern territories and acknowledged Kiev lacked the resources to regain control by military means.

RUSSIA's Supreme Court decided in closed session Monday to designate the Islamic State and the Al Nusrah Front as terrorist groups and ban them from the country.

AFGHANISTAN: Women fear oppression as the US withdraws.

A DEDICATED DOG as filmed chasing an ambulance carrying its homeless owner after the man suffered an epileptic fit in the streets of Brazil.

A CAT accidentally sold with a mattress is found via social media.

DOGS masqueraded as pandas in an Italian circus.

THE NYE POSSUM DROP won't feature a possum, after agitation from PETA.

 

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Jetpacks, Suzanne Vega, Jonathan Wilson, Cat Scritching   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

KING TUFF played "Eyes of the Muse" for Conan.

WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS performs in the WNYC Soundcheck studio.

SUZANNE VEGA played Holiday Cheer for WFUV at the Beacon Theater.

JONATHAN WILSO played Holiday Cheer for WFUV at the Beacon Theater.

NYCTAPER's Top 10 concerts of 2014 includes streaming tracks.

BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD play a medley of "For What It's Worth" and "Mr. Soul."

TEGAN & SARA: The former talksd to SPIN about the making of So Jealous, going bowling with Meg White in 2004, and why she's "not in the business" of pleasing anyone but herself.

BRIAN RITCHIE talks to The Guardian about the Violent Femmes, Robert Plant, the Japanese bamboo flute, and more.

THE PITCHFORK READERS' POLL is released.

BON SCOTT, the original frontman for AC/DC, may get a new documentary and a biopic.

SOFIA VERGARA is engaged to Joe Manganiello.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA freaked out in the Magic Kingdom.

CHRIS ROCK claims his estranged wife is keeping his kids from him.

KHLOE KARDASHIAN would divorce LAMAR ODOM, if she could find him.

TAYLOR SWIFT has been named DoSomething.org's most charitable celeb, topping a list of stars including Laverne Cox, Beyonce, and Emma Watson.

THE 20 Most Pirated Films of 2014.

AFGHANISTAN: US airstrikes remain crucial to Afghan forces battling the Taliban.

PAKISTAN: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday ordered the conditional release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi - the alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks - on the condition that the accused submits a security bond worth Rs1 million.

A CAT demands to be scritched.

THE PLIGHT OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY:  The population of monarch butterflies, one of the most popular species in the United States, has been in a steep decline across the country.

OCTOPUS vs SEAL: Who you got?

A SCARY HEDGEHOG prompted an emergency police call. Dinsdale!

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Conor Oberst, Natalie Merchant, Lone Bellow, Laura Marling, Excited Pup   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 29, 2014 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

RYAN ADAMS & JENNY LEWIS played "She's Not Me" and "Just One of the Guys" for Kimmel.

CONOR OBERST played Holiday Cheer fro WFUV at the Beacon Theater.

NATALIE MERCHANT played Holiday Cheer fro WFUV at the Beacon Theater.

THE LONE BELLOW played Holiday Cheer fro WFUV at the Beacon Theater.

LAURA MARLING played Holiday Cheer fro WFUV at the Beacon Theater.

THE BANGLES: This rawkin' version of their cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter" has resurfaced on the Tube, but the linked version is better quality.  More cowbell, Debbie!

YO LA TENGO's Top 20, according to Paste.

SYLVAN ESSO's lead singer Amelia Meath discusses the duo's priestly superfans and feminism at SPIN.

CHUMPED singer Anika Pyle writes about women in Punk for Vulture.

WHAT YOUR FAVE 2014 ALBUM says about you, according to Flavorwire.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies tops the holiday weekend chart with 41.4 million, which is a resurgence, tho still about 54 million behind The Return of the King, which had a similar release calendar. Unbroken places with 31.7 million (47.3 since Christmas), with word of mouth apparently making up for less enthusiastic reviews. With Jolie making the Zamperini biopic for 65 million (instead of the originally projected 120), this should be big for Universal. Into the Woods shows with 13 million (46 million since Christmas); this one was also made for a relatively modest 50 million with big names working for small money on this prestige musical. The Mouse counts his money.  Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb drops to fouth place with 20.6 million, though that's a 20 percent jump over last weekend.  Folks seeking nonmusical family fare for the holidays have put this installment back on track for possible profit.  Annie rounds out the Top 5 with 16.6 million and 45.8 total against a 65 million budget, despite poor reviews.Below the fold, The Interview made 1.8 million (2.9 since Christmas) on about 300 screens--but it reportedly made another 15 million in the video-on-demand market, which would be good enough for No. 6 on the chart, if the charts allowed it.  Whether this strange tale can sustain more streaming revenues is anyone's guess.  The Gambler is in the seventh slot (eighth if you count The Interview)with a less-than-hot 9.3 million debut (14.3 million since Christmas); here again,not terrible against a 25 million budget.  The Imitation Game leapt up to No. 8 8 million in expanding to 747 screens, outperforming the similarly released The King's Speech.  Tim Burton's Big Eyes debuts with 3 million (4.4 since Christmas), against a mere 10 million budget.  

THE IMITATION GAME is likely the best movie I've seen since Interstellar two months ago, and perhaps longer than that. I once programmed computers in the basement where this was built, and I like WWII flicks, so I may be a bit biased.  But I will still say this biopic of the admittedly not-normal computing pioneer Alan Turing is one of the best of the year.  Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley easily deserve their Golden Globe nominations, particularly Knightley, who makes the absolute most of a smaller, less flashy role as one of Turing's collegues in the British effort to break the 159 million million possibilities of Nazis' Enigma code (which changed daily).  Mark Strong also gets some delicious moments as the head of MI6, thugh he also has the challenge of never revealing exactly what he knows about Turing. Rory Kinnear is also good as a police detective whose investigation of a robbery of Turing's home takes a surprising (to him) direction.  A slightly didactic epilogue is one of the rare flaws in a sceenplay that follows Turing through three periods in his life that turn out to be even more interrelated than they initially seem. I highly recommend this one.

BIG EYES: Tim Burton's biopic of Walter and Margaret Keane is named for the primary feature of the kitschy, sometimes crrepy paintings of children that the Keanes launched from the art world into the popular consciousness in the early-to-mid 60s.  One could immediately imagine that Burton would be drawn to this sort of pop culture artifact, and the film is evidence that he's better off paying homage to this sort of thing than when he wallows in it (See, e.g., Dark Shadows).  If anything, one of the flaws of this movie is that Burton may maintain too much of a distance from how he feels about the art itself.  I also tend to wonder how much direction actually came from Burton.  Amy Adams does her usual stellar job with the repressed and suppressed Margaret, but Christoph Waltzreally chews the scenery as Walter.  It may be that Walter was every bit as over-the-top as depicted, but as the villain in this Mad Men-esque tale, the seeming caricature tends to gloss over his contribution to the partnership (however fraudulent it was) and diminish the charm that a top con man has to possess. None of this means Waltz isn't fun to watch chew the scenery mind you -- the performances and the visuals from Burton's team are engaging and the story is briskly paced. I ended up liking it, while being slightly disappointed.

INTO THE WOODS: Right up front, know that I'm not a big fan of musicals.  Some of the classics, sure--Singin' in the Rain, West Side Story, Gigi. And I like any number of the best Disney flicks, which are de facto musicals (E.g., Beauty and the Beast).  But overall, not so much.  So when I write that I found myself fidgeting toward the end, bear that in mind.  I know Sondheim is one of the greats, and that reimagining fairy tales was way ahead of the curve in the late 80s.  But I couldn't help feeling like the music and lyrics were more interested in impressing than moving.  The performances are fine, some more than fine.  We all sort of knew Anna Kendrick could sing, but Emily Blunt and Chris Pine were surprisingly good. I in no way felt cheated and was generally entertained, but this was my least favorite movie of the holiday weekend...for what that's worth from a nonfan of musicals.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE is the top-grossing actor of 2014, according to the latest Forbes list.

CHRIS ROCK and his wife are divorcing after nearly 20 years together.

AMANDA BYNES is reportedly stable, lucid and off her meds. A holiday miracle? Or a temporary reprieve from mental illness?

ALICIA KEYS  and her husband Swizz Beatz welcomed their second child on Saturday.

SOLANGE KNOWLES is getting dogged by the taxman almost immediately after she got hitched.

DUSTIN DIAMOND, a/k/a/ Screech, was busted for an alleged stabbing.

AFGHANISTAN: The US formally ended the 13-year International Security Assistance Force combat mission in Afghanistan, marking the event with a ceremony in Kabul. Some 13K Coalition troops will remain in Afghanistan for NATO's Resolute Support training mission.

THE ISLAMIC STATE has killed 1,878 people in Syria during the past six months, the majority of them civilians, a British-based Syrian monitoring organization said on Sunday.

IRAN's army said Saturday it has deployed a suicide drone for the first time in massive ongoing military drills near the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

AN EXCITED PUPPY spots its owner.

A HIPPO that panicked while being transported by truck in Taiwan jumped from the vehicle, breaking a leg and causing confused residents to report spotting a dinosaur on the loose.

OBESE PENGUINS are waddling off the holiday weight.

AN OSTRICH on the lam takes off down a Chinese highway.

 

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