THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...with JOHN F. KENNEDY. Perhaps you've heard the former President was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald 50 years ago today. Over the years, the man and the assassination have turned up in -- or inspired -- any number of songs. The Beach Boys' "The Warmth Of The Sun" was written in its immediate aftermath, while Dion's "Abraham, Martin and John," and The Byrds' version of "He Was A Friend Of Mine" -- here with David Crosby's Monterey moment -- are more overt. Elvis Costello's "Less Than Zero" referred to a different Oswald, but the confusion was so pervasive he eventaully obliged with a "Dallas version" of the tune. Even as incongruous a song as The Dream Academy's "Life In A Northern Town" refers to the post-assassination ennui being broken by the arrival of The Beatles on American shores. And while it's not musical, this edition of Inside Mad Men from Season Three doesn't require you to know the show to understand the impact of not only the assassination, but also the killing of Oswald by Jack Ruby. Also, courtesy of my pal Nathan, is live coverage from WFAA in Dallas.
CULTS played a mini-set at KUTX.
CHVRCHES stopped by WFUV's Studio A for a chat and mini-set.
TRAMPLED BY TURTLES played the Secret Stage at the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival.
LAURA MARLING played a mini-set at KUTX.
INXS: "Don't Change." Because Michael Hutchence also died on this date, albeit in 1997. (Thx to Nathan for the reminder.) BTW, C.S. Lewis also passed on this date, for all you fans of The Screwtape Letters, the Chronicles of Narnia, and McGosling.
METRIC: Emily Haines talks to Chicagoist about technology’s effect on the music industry and how some things never change.
SPENCER KRUG (Moonface, Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown) talks to PopMatters about writing and recording Julia With Blue Jeans On.
LAURIE ANDERSON reveals her favorite Lou Reed song.
THE 50 BEST DEBUT SINGLES, according to Flavorwire.
THE CUTOUT BIN: It's a Wes Weekend streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.If you see tracks from last week's playlist, try refreshing your browser, because something's not quite right with the HM as I write this.
NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which is currently scoring 94 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Delivery Man, scoring 40 percent.
HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, the second in the dystopian young adult franchise, may actually better than the first installment. Perhaps this is because it tends to play more as a political thriller than pop culture satire (though elements of this remain, primarily in the deliciously over-the-top reprise performance from Stanley Tucci as a host of the Games). Perhaps it's because the young adult angle is downplayed, though it's still there as well. Perhaps it's because the plot doesn't require the killing of young children, which means the action can be shot without the herky-jerky camera that didn't really show anything. Maybe it's because the cast is joined by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jena Malone, who seem incapable of being bad at acting. All of that said, I still tend to find the franchise as compelling as the rabid fans of the books. But this one was good enough to get me back for the inevitable third installment.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE was hospitalized before the L.A. premiere of her Hunger Games blockbuster because her tummy hurt. She thought it was an ulcer; it tuned out to be gas.
KENDALL JENNER...and One Direction's Harry Styles?
CHRIS BROWN is complaining he should be allowed to take medical marijuana for his anger management issues because it's legal in California.
HUGH JACKMAN recently had skin cancer removed from his nose.
AMANDA BYNES isn't planning on living with her parents after she leaves rehab.
LIAM HEMSWORTH: Getting along fine without Miley Cyrus.
MUPPETS MOST WANTED has a new trailer online.
SANDMAN: David Goyer has pitched a take on the seminal comic series that WB likes; Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the ideal candidate to play the lynchpin character Morpheus.
EGYPT: A policeman was shot and killed while trying to arrest suspects in the recent assassination of a senior national security official in Cairo.
PAKISTAN: The US killed three Haqqani Network leaders in a drone strike in Hangu. The strike is the first outside of the tribal areas in four years. Pakistan "strongly condemned" the US attack.
AFGHANISTAN: President Karzai wants to delay signing the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US until after elections in April 2014.
SYRIA: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham clashed with rebels in Idlib. ISIS imposed 'sharia' restrictions on clothing for schoolgirls in Idlib. ISIS, the Al Nusrah Front, and other Islamist rebels clashed with regime forces in east Reef Aleppo and near the 80th brigade base.
WHAT DOES THE RAM SAY? You will tell me if the ram stops screaming, won't you, Clarice?
BEAVER steals hunter's rifle.
A TINY DIK-DIK was thrust into the position of carer for her younger brother after they were both rejected by their mother.
A "TROLL DOLL" INSECT is discovered in the South American rainforest.