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May 31, 2006

{Damien Jurado}

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My current favorite album is On My Way to Absence by the insanely talented Damien Jurado. Throughout his career Jurado has played around with various different styles. He can whisper a sad confessional song as well as experiment with slightly ecletic hooks. On his most recent effort Jurado presents 12 songs centered on jealousy. The tracks deal with love, death, and the day-to-day intimate details of close relationships. Delivered with his compelling and slightly wavering voice the album is consistent with Jurado's past works but manages to come off new. Standout tracks include "Fuel" and "White Center". However my ultimate Damien Jurado track is the poignant and moving "Ohio" which continues to reduce me to an emotional and teary-eyed mess whenever I listen to it...which is almost daily.

"White Center"

"Fuel"

Purchase On My Way to Absence here.

"Ohio"

Purchase Rehearsals For Departure here.

{The Promise}

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Oh, how I love Wǔxiá (pronounced woo-shar) films. The kitelike fighting scenes, the vibrant colors, the melodramatic romance, and all those wonderful fabrics blowing in the wind. I believe this film has began playing in (very) select theaters stateside, but if you don't see it listed in a theater near you, you can always find yourself a copy on ebay.

Plot Summary: A new epic fantasy set in China's mythical past, The Promise is a visually stunning tale of passion that unfolds against a backdrop of war as a beautiful and mysterious princess becomes the object of affection for three very different men - a powerful Duke, a brave general and a lowly slave. As passions spark and egos clash, lives will be ruined and lovers spurned and no one will ever be the same.

The film is directed by Chen Kaige, winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film for Farewell, My Concubine, The Promise was also nominated last year for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. Cinematography and production design are by Academy Award winners (for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) Peter Pau and Tom Yip.

View the trailer

{Thom Yorke}

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And so it begins...Radiohead frontman Thom yorke's first solo album (The Eraser) will officially release on July 11. Hear some newly leaked tracks:

"Analyse"

"Harrowdown Hill" (Courtesy of A Plague of Angels)

"Atoms for Peace" (Courtesy of Good Weather For Airstrikes)

"The Clock" (Courtesy of Obscure Sound)

"The Eraser"

"And it Rained All Night" (Courtesy of Blogs Are For Dogs)

"Black Swan" (Courtesy of Metro Distortion)

May 30, 2006

{12 and Holding}



12 and Holding explores the complexities of children losing their innocence and adults struggling to guide them. In the suburbs of America, three 12-year-olds begin a path of self-discovery. The film is directed by the very talented Michael Cuesta, whom who you may remember as the writer/director/producer of the disturbing and thought provoking film L.I.E., Cuesta has also directed a handful of HBO's Six Feet Under episodes and is currently adapting the bestselling novel 'The Miracle of Edgar Mint'. 12 and Holding is now playing in select theaters.

View the trailer from the Official Site

{Five Minute Laugh}

{Lewis Black}



This is about ten minutes worth of clips from Lewis Black's stand-up routine. Go on, have a laugh.

May 25, 2006

{The Lost Experience III}

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Two hour episodes of 24 and Lost made this week go by much faster than usuaul. Lost's season finale provided many answers, but left us with even more questions...which suits me just fine. We're not gonna spoil plot points for those of you who haven't viewed Season 2 yet, instead were gonna direct you towards some new links...

The Hanso commercial from last nights episode lead us to a new site, within the Hanso Careers site, Persephone has hidden another password. Look through the various job descriptions and write down all the grey letters. They created an anagram that, when solved, spells 'inmate asylum'. Use this as a password in the Board of Directors section for Vanderfield or Peck on the Hanso Foundation site. Don't worry about the login name.

This password opens up another classic Persephone hack revealing to us more corruption within the Hanso Foundation...specifically dealing with Vanderfield and Peck. Just punch in 'inmate asylum' as your keyword search to view the clues and remember to keep your cursor handy. There's more to be discovered on a couple of more Widmore sites floating around the web, but that will have to wait til the next Lost post. I'm going to take a much needed break from Lost now.

{Muse}



Muse are back, this the video for the glammy single "Super Massive Black Hole", get the download courtesy of What Would Jesus Blog. Hear some classic Muse from their MySpace.

May 24, 2006

{Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope}

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The beautiful and talented Regina Spektor's upcoming album Begin To Hope has been on regular rotation lately. Four songs from Begin To Hope have been released on iTunes already as exclusive singles: "Fidelity", "Better", "On The Radio", and "Summer In The City". The entire album is scheduled for a June 13th release.

Checkout:
"Samson"
"On The Radio"
"Hotel Song" (Courtesy of Kill Your Co-Workers)

"Fidelity"
"Better"
"Summer In The City" (Courtesy of Good Weather For Airstrikes)

{The Best of Chris Isaak}

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I first became aquianted with Chris Isaak when I saw a music video of his at the end of David Lynch's Wild at Heart vhs tape (vhs?). Did you know David Lynch directed that original video for "Wicked Games"? Well, unfortunetly that version wasn't as nice as the re-do with him gropping a super model on the beach.

There's a new Best of Chris Isaak CD is in stores...the album features 14 hits and four new tracks: a concert-favorite cover of Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me", an acoustic version of "Forever Blue", and two new original songs, "King Without A Castle" and "Let's Have A Party". Some of my favorites like "Don't Get So Down On Yourself", "Pretty Girls Don't Cry", and "Go Walking Down There" are missing but I guess they've got to save something for a Best of Vol.2, right? Wait a minute are there even another twenty or so excellent songs to warrant a vol.2? Hmmm...

"King Without A Castle" (Brand New)

"Can't Do A Thing (To Stop Me)" (Always been one of my favs)

There is also a Best of Chris Isaak DVD companion complete with Isaak and super models Helena Christensen and Laeticia Casta looking, well, sexy. I know "Wicked Games" is often reffered to as one of the sexiest videos of all time, but I'll be damned if this one isn't a runner-up...

Stream some tracks from Chris Isaak's site

Purchase the dvd here

{An Inconvenient Truth}



Quite possibly the most terrifying movie of the summer. An Inconvenient Truth explores the state of global warming, along with Al Gore’s personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change. A longtime advocate for the environment, Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way. The film is not a story of despair but rather a rallying cry. The film opens in NY and LA May 24th.

Visit the Official Site

View the trailer from Apple Trailers

May 23, 2006

{CH Interviews}

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You may (or may not) have noticed the new CH Interviews Banner on the sidebar...that's right we will now be doing interviews from time to time. So stay tuned and go read our first interview with the very talented singer/songwriter Thao Nguyen.

{The Streets - 'Never Went To Church'}



Mike Skinner mourns the loss of his father on this second single from the album The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living.

{TV Shows You Missed...But Shouldn't Have!}

This is an archived article from Melissa Marshall's Shelf Life section of US Airways Magazine. I liked (and agree with for the most part) her article so much I'm going to post the whole thing for you to view right here...
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Perhaps you never got to enjoy a great TV series because it ran opposite one of your favorite shows. Or maybe you recently heard rave reviews from friends or critics about a little-known TV program that’s now only an archived memory, hidden in a dusty library on some studio lot. Often in the highly competitive world of broadcast television, otherwise excellent shows don’t survive the fickle reality of early ratings. They’re off the air after the pilot or before we ever have a chance to appreciate them.

But many series that never found their audience while on-air have since found new life on DVD. The following are nine shows that earned high marks by many a TV reviewer yet didn’t thrive for a variety of reasons (but certainly not for lack of quality).

Wonderfalls
2004, Twentieth Century Fox
A recent Ivy League grad with a philosophy degree and no sense of direction is working in a Niagara Falls gift store when she gets bits of cryptic advice from various animal figurines. Is she crazy? Is God talking to her? Is it just her subconscious? The show never makes it clear, but as Jaye (Caroline Dhavernas), the show’s heroine, attempts to fulfill the wishes of her animal muses, the plots twist, turn, and, inevitably, subvert viewer expectation. The witty and cynical Jaye shines as she interacts with her bourgeois family that doesn’t “get” her or understand her and friends who accept her for who she is. The series, which was filmed on location, makes terrific use of the Niagara Falls locale, capturing its kitsch, nostalgia, and wonder.

Carnivale
2003–2005, HBO Home Video
The Depression-set story of young carnie Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl), who is endowed with supernatural healing powers, moves at a glacial pace, but the surreal imagery and good-versus-evil theme eventually pays off big-time. Literary and highly symbolic, everything from the opening credits to each individual shot is more reminiscent of an art film than of a television series. Best, however, are the intriguing denizens of the carnival, including the blind, absinthe-swilling mystic; his bearded-lady lover; the sexy snake charmer; and the diminutive manager, whose no-nonsense demeanor holds the de-facto carnival family together.

Arrested Development
2003–2006, Twentieth Century Fox
Despite its being adored by critics and winning multiple awards, the Fox network axed this hilarious comedy chronicling the misadventures of the wealthy Bluth family. Shot on film, with narration by Ron Howard, the show features Jason Bateman in a stellar performance as straight-man Michael Bluth as he attempts to save the family business after his father is put in prison for securities fraud. Whether it’s the sublime silliness of a Bluth son’s career as a magician, the bizarre occurrence of Michael driving a set of movable stairs, or the sharp tastelessness of the Bluths’ construction company having built homes for Saddam Hussein, the comedy always feels fresh and fearless. And, like The Simpsons, Arrested Development stands up to multiple viewings because the rapid-fire jokes are so layered and sly. Currently, rumors are flying that a cable network might pick up the show, but network switches always mean changes. For now, the best way to experience the Bluths in all their dysfunctional glory is via DVD.

Dead Like Me
2003–2004, MGM
A tart flip side to Touched by an Angel, this dark comedy chronicles the afterlife of Georgia Lass (Ellen Muth), an aimless young woman who dies in a freak accident and is recruited to become a grim reaper. She hangs around Earth to help usher the souls of the dead to their final destination. The show manages to pull off its heavy premise by embracing the absurdity of its own assumption while recognizing the solemnness of death itself. George (as she likes to be called) gets together with her boss Rube (Mandy Patinkin) and her fellow reapers at a waffle shop restaurant. Despite their state, the reapers must moonlight at other jobs in order to live. Assigned to “accident detail” in her afterlife, the young protagonist struggles with her role in taking the souls of those who die unexpectedly.

Greg the Bunny
2002, Twentieth Century Fox
A wicked satire of contemporary culture, Greg the Bunny features a “fabricated American” (read: puppet) who, thanks to the connections of his friend and roommate Jimmy (Seth Green), becomes the star of a children’s show called Sweetknuckle Junction. The show’s premise, in which puppets live and work among humans, takes some getting used to, but, in the end, is brilliant in the way it allows for the skewering of everything from kiddie shows to sexual mores to political correctness. Although the puppets are the real stars of the show, they don’t upstage human performers like Eugene Levy, who plays a television director, or brash comic Sarah Silverman in her role as a tough network executive.

Firefly
2002–2003, Twentieth Century Fox
Joss Whedon, the man behind cult favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created this outer-space opera that imagines a future where humans, the lone inhabitants of the universe, have colonized the planets and moons of a distant solar system. Having fought on the wrong end of a recently ended war, the hardscrabble crew of the spaceship Serenity faces personal, political, and economic hardship while traveling between colonies. Led by snarky, rebel-of-a-lost-cause Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), the crew ekes out a living through various legal and illegal means while protecting two mysterious fugitives. Often romantic and comical, Firefly eschews geek speak and alien makeup for character development and snappy dialogue. Small details, such as clothing that suggests a mixture of Eastern and Western culture and the incorporation of Chinese slang into English, add depth and realism to a setting that depicts Earth’s culture as it might evolve. Firefly proved so successful on DVD that in 2005, Universal Pictures released Serenity, a feature film sequel.

Boomtown
2002–2003, Artisan Entertainment
In a field cluttered with police procedurals, Boomtown stands out with strong writing, nuanced character development, and standout performances from Donnie Wahlberg, Mykelti Williamson, and, especially, Neal McDonough as morally ambiguous deputy district attorney David McNorris. The show, in which each episode examines a crime from multiple points of view, expects its audience to pay attention and dares to present the machinations of crime and punishment as difficult, complex, and impossible to wrap up neatly in 60 minutes.

Freaks and Geeks
1999–2000, Shout Factory
In a 1980s suburban-Michigan town, geeky Sam (John Francis Daley) muddles through his first year of high school as his formerly geeky older sister Lindsay (Linda Cardellini) begins wearing a beat-up army jacket and social- izing with the freaks that smoke, get high, and skip school. The plots revolve around small yet paradoxically enormous events like school dances, keg parties, and starting a garage band. The characters’ victories are few and far between, and the period details, from hairstyles to the classic-rock soundtrack, are achingly perfect. Unlike most high school shows, Freaks and Geeks presents a world where skin has flaws, clothes don’t come from runways, and the teenage dialogue doesn’t sound like it was written by 35-year-old sitcom writers. Sam and his oddball friends grapple with innocent tortures like dodgeball, bullies, and first crushes. Meanwhile, Lindsay forges her own identity while coming to the sobering realization that life doesn’t get much better than what she’s experiencing.

{Joseph Arthur}

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Joseph Arthur posted a somber new song on his website called "Last Train To Ithaca", written soon after Hurricane Katrina struck.

From his site: "There is a line in it "Everybody lost their home in a wind named Katrina." Not only the people of New Orleans but all Americans were abandoned in the wake of this catastrophe. There is still much to be done. I offer this song as a reminder of the people who still need our help. Please make a donation large or small at www.mercycorps.org or visit inthesunfoundation.org." Listen to the song via Joseph Arthur's site.

Joseph Arthur's song In The Sun inspired Michael Stipe to make an iTunes Exclusive EP with all proceeds going to the In The Sun Foundation, which was established by Stipe for the purpose of helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The EP features 6 different versions of the song featuring various guests on each track. The original version from Arthur's 2000 album Come Where I'm From.

Michael Stipe feat. Chris Martin - "In the Sun"

Purchase the In The Sun EP (or send donation) here.

Joseph Arthur - "In the Sun"

Purchase Come Where I'm From here.

May 22, 2006

{Five Minute Laugh}

{Billy Connolly}



I hereby begin a regular feature I'll call 'Five Minute Laugh', which basically consists me posting a comedy bit (via youtube) every monday, from here on out. I watched a Billy Connolly: Erect For Thirty Years over the weekend so I'll start this off with him. Enjoy.

{Morrissey}



Today I am battling with a hangover...it is also Moz's birthday, so drag out all your Morrissey albums and feel a little blue. For some rarities go here and here.

May 19, 2006

{Stephen Colbert}

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Did you see Stephen Colbert Colbert Roast President George W. at the 2006 White House Correspondents dinner last week. The comedian made humorous remarks about various current events and the relationship between the press and the White House. If you've already seen it, watch it again from Google Video, this never gets old.

...and in related news, I posted about this before but I'm going to post it again because Stephen Colbert is a funny man.

{Strangers With Candy}



ThinkFilm presents an Exclusive first look at the Strangers With Candy movie trailer. This movie has been finished for quite some time now. Warner Bros Independent decided upon shelving it awhile back...for unknown reasons. Now the cult-classic Comedy Central show has finally got a release date (June 28th). The story is said to be the prequel to the series, in which features Jerri Blank is a 46-year-old "boozer, user and a loser" who tries to put her life back together again by returning to high school with girls 1/3 her age. Stephen Colbert's deadpan humor is hilarious as always and Amy Sedaris is just plain nuts...and I love it. Purchase the Strangers With Candy series here.

May 18, 2006

{Bombay TV}

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I found this link to Bombay TV from Rocketboom earlier this week and I've been spending entirely too much time making corny videos like this one. There's also Bombay TV 2 link there for you to piece together a series of clips to make a much longer scene...you know you want to make your own.

{The Lost Experience II}

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It looks like (for the time being) this Lost Experience game may end up being a weekly feature...

If you were watching last nights episode cafefully you'd have seen the Hanso commercial with a new website listed. Go to the letyourcompassguideyou site, aim your mouse under the east direction and when you see the numbers flash up, click on 108. This will guide you to a new site with an index of Hanso folders, click around and see what files you can get into. I found this jeep jpeg with the password 'the mouth piece'.

Sidetrack for a moment...I'm not sure where this came from, but here's a jeep commercial for the CJ7-Hatch...


Okay, enough of that, go over to the Hanso site, under the executive bios section click on Hugh Mcintyre and enter the password 'the mouth piece' in the available space. After the video of the girl, click on the falling documents, see if you can read any of 'em.

Another thing found after going through the letyourcompassguideyou site and viewing the index of Hanso folders was a jpeg (which I can't seem to find anymore) of an article from Hanso stating that they deny any accusations made by Gary Troup in his book Bad Twin...which brings us to the book.

You can order gary Troup's novel Bad Twin it from amazon or on audio from iTunes.

Under the 'About the Author' description on amazon it reads... Bad Twin is the highly-anticipated new novel by acclaimed mystery writer Gary Troup. Bad Twin was delivered to Hyperion just days before Troup boarded Oceanic Flight 815, which was lost in flight from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles in September 2004. He remains missing and is presumed dead.

There are 9 clips of Troup speaking with Book Talk about the Hanso Foundation...view them all.

I also found this video of an Alvar Hanso/Persephone hack from the Hanso Foundation Website, I don't know what the code was to hack into this and except for the ending, the text is just too small to read...

Clearly I'm lost.

May 17, 2006

{Stranglehold}

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Movies to video games have always been something to laugh about most of the time. It use to be that they were thrown together for payola reasons and came together with bad storylines and gameplay. There are always exceptions, but it use to be rare for them to be worth the time.

Now with the recent attempts by people like the Wachowski Brothers to fix this problem things are looking up and although when this topic comes up I cross fingers and think how fun it will be to play Vic in Quentin Tarantino's "The Vega Brothers" I know that videogame is only in my dreams. But not to worry. The only reason why I dream about that is because John Woo has already stepped up to the plate and he just might bat 1000.

Acclaimed director John Woo talks with the E3 Insider about his next-generation videogame, Stranglehold, which was on display at last weeks E3 Expo. The game stars Chow Yun-Fat and is a sequel to his cult classic film Hard Boiled.

Here's an excerpt from the interview...

E3: Why did you decide to get involved in videogames?

Woo: I went to E3 several years ago and saw my action style imitated in a lot of other games, and they were not even well done. I thought I should protect my trademark and produce my own videogames. I can bring stronger characters and better storytelling to the games. I want the game player to feel like they are watching a movie, except that they are in the director's seat.

E3: What were your goals with Stranglehold?

Woo: With Stranglehold, I wanted to go back to my roots and do a gritty, emotional, and sensational game. It's kind of like my Hong Kong movie Hard Boiled, but in a more updated environment. I never believed I could have topped my action in that film, but Stranglehold will bring the action to an even higher level.

E3: Will there be a Stranglehold movie?

Woo: I definitely want to do a Stranglehold movie. Toys and graphic novels would follow immediately.

E3: Why are Hollywood directors getting involved in games?

Woo: I heard there are other directors who want to develop movies and games at the same time. Stranglehold is a first for me and I definitely want to do more.

{Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime}



Largely ignored by mainstream media, many disturbing facts surrounding the attacks of 9/11 raise deeply ethical questions associated with issues of accountability, justice and censorship in America.

Everybodys Gotta Learn Sometime is a compelling film outlining the disturbing and heavily censored facts associated with the worst terrorist attacks in American history. And while a grassroots movement worldwide continues to grow, and demand answers to the many unanswered questions, the publics outcry for accountability and transparency makes this a thought provoking (if not disturbing) film.

Everybodys Gotta Learn Sometime is a FREE MOVIE, produced by an independent artist, for educational and journalistic purposes only. The film premiered last week at the Tribeca Film Festival to a standing ovation and is now being made available for non-commercial distribution on the internet.

A message from producer John Albanese:

The Tribeca screening went very well, and I am extremely grateful for the outpouring of support I am receiving for all over the world. Unfortunately, the volume of inquiries is making personalized responses impossible.

Additionally, the volume of traffic to my website crisisinamerica.org has been monstrous, and my site is in danger of shutting down.

I would encourage you to feel free to copy this film, and post it, and stream it, everywhere and anywhere you can, to help relieve the traffic to my sites. I would only ask that you not edit the film in any way or attempt to sell it in any way. I would also ask that you attempt to not post any heavily compressed versions that will make the film hard to view.

Additionally, 911blogger has very graciously agreed to convert and post my film on their site. My heartfelt thanks goes out to them for their generous offer and partnership. It is exactly this sort of community partnership that will eventually win the social revolution for peoples hearts and minds.

Additional footage from the Tribeca screening will be available online shortly as well. The film was very well received, and I think there is some power in showing the standing ovation we received, to help normalize peoples perceptions on 9/11. Representatives from RawStory and Scope Magazine were in attendance and a copy of the film has been provided to Vanity Fair upon their request.

I believe that UNITY is the most important attribute that we as 9/11 activists should strive for in 2006. There are many different opinions and theories and approaches to cracking this nut. Lets agree to disagree but, ultimately, the only thing that matters is that 9/11 is exposed, and this tragic USA foreign policy that threatens to engulf the world be STOPPED! We must remember that this is not a competition, and not seek to undercut each others efforts. We have enough barriers to overcome, without creating our own.

We move into an unprecedented dangerous time for American foreign policy. I believe that the 9/11 movement holds the keys to bringing sanity and true power into the hands of the people.

Watch the video in a larger dimension from Google Video (the video is pretty low-res but will be upgraded soon)

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The song used to open the film is Beck's cover of (surprise) "Everybodys Gotta Learn Sometime", but I much prefer the original version from The Korgis. If you haven't checked these guys out yet, I highly recommend you do so. These tracks are from the album Don't Look Back: The Very Best of The Korgis...

“Everybodys Gotta Learn Sometime”

“If I Had You”

(Purchase Don't Look Back: The Very Best of The Korgis here)

{Zero 7- The Garden}

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Lately I've been getting cozy with some of these down-tempo tracks from Zero 7's upcoming album The Garden. The album hits stores May 22 and features lead vocals by Jose Gonzales and Sia. have a listen...

"Futures"
"Today"
"Throw It All Away"
"This Fine Social Scene"
"Seeing Things" (Courtesy of Nellies Life)

"Left Behind" (Courtesy of I Guess I'm Floating)

For more info visit Zero 7's MySpace.

May 16, 2006

{Austin City Limits}

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I just read a leaked report of the Austin City Limits Fest Lineup (to be officially announced on Thursday) from the Austinist. The report is said to come from a reliable source, but it is a leaked report nonetheless. So consider this a rumor, until thursday...when I could say 'told you so'. This years fest goes down September 15-17.

Reported line-up:
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Damian Marley
Flaming Lips
Kings of Leon
Damien Rice
Centro-matic
The Raconteurs
Jose Gonzales
Van Morrison
Son Volt
Kathleen Edwards
The Shins
Sparklehorse
Gomez
Okkervil River
Ween
Ben Kweller
Nada Surf
G. Love and Special Sauce
Willie Nelson
Matisyahu
Aimee Mann
Kasey Chambers
Iron & Wine
I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness…
Calexico
Nickel Creek
Galactic
Guster
Gnarls Barkley
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Massive Attack
Marah
KT Tunstall
Asleep at the Wheel
John Mayer
The Black Angels
Explosions in the Sky
Cat Power
Sara Hickman
Thievery Corporation
Trish Murphy
The New Pornographers
Jack Ingram
Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
Los Lonely Boys
Wolf Parade
String Cheese Incident
Secret Machines
and about 50 more bands ...

{X-Men 3: The Last Stand 7 Min. of Footage}



Did you catch the seven minutes of X3 footage when it aired during the O.C. last week? Yeah, me neither, but like everything it popped up online recently. So go on give it a viewing and see if still think this third installment is going to be ridiculous as you think it is.

{Red Lightning}

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Calling all Morrissey fanatics...

Alain Whyte has been known as Morrissey's co-writer, collaborator and guitarist for nearly two decades, now he steps to the forefront with a band of his own. Red Lightning have completed their full length album with producer David Newton (Mighty Lemon Drops, Fonda, The Blood Arm & Blue Aeroplanes). The band also features John DiMambro on bass (who has recorded with Down by Law, Gentleman Jack Grisham of T.S.O.L, and psychobilly madmen The Rocketz) and Milo Todesco on drums (who has recorded with Down By Law, Armond Chakmakian of Shadow Fax, Jim Cherry of Strung Out, and Zero Down). Their tour kicks off tomorrow night, here's the dates...

May 17 Club Statik at Little Temple Bar Silverlake, CA

May 27 Club Addiction Paramount, CA

May 30 Viper Room Hollywood, CA

Jun 1 Popscene/San Francisco San Francisco, CA

Jun 3 San Jose Tower Records Instore Campbell(San Jose), CA

Jun 15 Brick by Brick San Diego, CA

Jun 17 Safari Sams Hollywood, CA

Jun 25 Henry Fonda/Music Box Los Angeles, CA

Hear more from Red Lightning's MySpace

Purchase their album from CD Baby

May 15, 2006

{Wassup Rockers}

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Synopsis:

Larry Clark's Wassup Rockers is about a group of Latino teenagers in South Central Los Angeles who, instead of conforming to the hip hop culture of their gang infested neighborhood, wear tight pants, listen to punk rock, and ride their tricked out skateboards. Avoiding the violence of their dangerous home turf is an everyday challenge. The Rockers decide to travel by bus to skate the world famous “Nine Stairs” at Beverly Hills High School. There they meet some local girls, attracted to the “punks” from the ghetto, but the day quickly goes bad. They’re hassled by rich boys from the neighbourhood and rousted by the Beverly Hills Police. Trying to escape arrest by the cops and fights with the locals kids, the Rockers run from house to house and yard to yard in this wealthy and foreign world, looking for a way to get home. An action movie with wild chases through LA and a powerful soundtrack.

Director's Note:

Ten years ago, I made the film Kids and used real New York City street kids in the principal roles (discovering Rosario Dawson and Chloe Sevigny). Similarly, Wassup Rockers will feature South Central Los Angeles street kids in the leading roles.

Wassup Rockers is a story I’ve written based on real life experiences of a group of Latino teenagers who, instead of conforming to the hip hop culture of their gang infested neighborhood, wear their clothes tight (young), listen to (and play) punk rock and ride their skateboards. Constantly harassed for being different, they have to fight to be themselves. One morning they take the Metro and City Bus into Hollywood to skate the famous “Nine Stairs” at Beverly Hills High that they always see in the popular skateboard videos. While there, they catch the attention of some rich white Beverly Hills girls – leading to trouble with the girls’ boyfriends as well as the police. The police chase them simply because they’re there (“you don’t belong here”) and they run into Beverly Hills where they meet up with the girls and a variety of Beverly Hills residents, getting into really big trouble as they are chased by the police and residents. The story culminates with a wild chase through Los Angeles as the Rockers try to escape to the (relative) safety of South Central.

Two of my favorite movies of all time are The Swimmer (directed by Frank Perry) and The Warriors (directed by Walter Hill). Remember Burt Lancaster going into people’s backyards to swim across Beverly Hills, pool by pool? Or the Warriors trying to get home – gang neighborhood by gang neighborhood?

Our “Rockers” go into Beverly Hills backyard by backyard, trying to escape – but finding new adventures in each backyard and, like the Warriors, trying to get to the safety of home. I plan to use the organic Punk Rock (our Rockers have a garage band) and Hip Hop street music of South Central Los Angeles, using local musicians (there are some great undiscovered bands in the ghetto). When we get to Beverly Hills, the music should reflect the tastes of the residents we meet in the film… the rich Beverly Hills white girls might listen to Usher or Nelly or ??? The “Fashion World” people might have a DJ at a backyard lawn party spinning beats..?? I know I want to reflect the musical tastes of the characters in the film so that the soundtrack is eclectic and mirrors reality.

Wassup Rockers screens:
Jun 27 at the Egyptian Theatre Los Angeles CA Jun 30 at the Nuart Theatre Los Angeles CA

The bad thing about using non-professional actors in a film is, well, they usually can't act. A couple of clips make this painfully obvious, but I'm willing to overlook that fact in light of the bigger picture.



Watch four more clips.

Wassup Rockers MySpace

In true punk rock fashion, listen to a couple of Buzzcocks rarities (Courtesy of 7inch Punk)

{Late Night Sounds May Mix}

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The Late Night Sounds is a monthly mixtape I put together of some under-the-radar bands, both past and present. The May '06 Mix is finally up, one day I aim to put these mixes out at the begining of the month. I've inserted links to bands' sites and Mp3's (if I could find 'em), so feel free to give it a listen or checkout the artists on your own...

Mp3: Late Night Sounds May Mix '06

Tracklisting:

1. Noonday Underground - “London” (Mp3 courtesy of Bar None Records)

This London-based group list The Beatles and Stax-soul as two of their primary influences. Noonday Underground lifted their named from a Tom Wolfe essay about 1960s mods dancing on their lunch break in a London club called the Scene. This track is off their 2001 album Self Assembly.

2. John Egdell - “He Didn’t Want You To Go”

John Egdell is from Newcastle, England. His songs are like small pictures of life, some just touching on a minute long. John describes his songs as "diary entries and unsent letters". He has put out six self released demo collections to date, this song however, is from John's debut album Your Big Day. Recommended for fans of: The Lucksmiths or Teenage Fanclub. Hear more from John Egdell's MySpace.

3. Cineplexx - "Tarde" (Get the Mp3 from Cineplexx MySpace)

Cineplexx (a.k.a. Sebastian Litmanovich) is an electronic pop artist from Buenos Aires, this track is from the album Pequenos Accidentes Domesticos.

4. Method Actors - "Do The Method" (Mp3 courtesy of Little Hits)

Little Hits is a site that hosts rarities in hopes to spark an interest, eventually leading to legitimate re-issue of the works of an artist represented, or wider recognition of already available releases. This song is coverted from vinyl. The Method Actors were a duo out of Athens, GA who were into the funkier, no-wave side of post-punk.

5. Fujiya & Miyagi - "Sucking Punch"

Fujiya & Miyagi were a duo formed in Brighton UK, releasing their first album Electro Karaoke in 2002. They became a quartet for awhile and have now been whittled down to a three piece. They claim they are trying their best, and that they may or may not get a drummer. This song is one of their funkier numbers off their album Transparent Things. Hear more from Fujiya & Miyaki's MySpace.

6. Jetpack UK - "Destroy Your Hideout"

Jetpack UK aren't from the UK at all...their from Nashville TN. They play Brit-pop flavored rock with energetic hooks and infectious melodies. Hear more from Jetpack UK's MySpace.

7. David Garza - "Jezebel Grin"

David (that's Dah-veed) Garza is one of my favorite singer-songwriter's. One time I caught him perform and I was chatting with him beforehand, he asked what I wanted to hear so I ran off about a dozen or so songs I wouldn't mind hearing...he played them all. This song from David Garza's box set A Strange Mess of Flowers. This boxed set is fillled with outtakes and rarities, if you're not familiar with his work I would start with one of his previous albums (4-Track Manifesto, This Euphoria, or Overdub) before picking this one up. I could go on forever, but I won't, read more about David from his old Atlantic Records page. Hear some rarities from David Garza's MySpace

8. Man Man - "I'd Rather Go Blind" (Get the Mp3 from Man Man's MySpace)

Yes, that's the Etta James classic they're covering. This Philly act have been compared to Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, and Frank Zappa. They've also been lauded for their notorious live shows. They recorded this song just for the hell of it, if you haven't picked up they're album Six Demon Bag I suggest you do so.

9. The Notwist - "Pilot"

This band originally formed near Munich as a hardcore punk band, gradually they began to embrace a fusion of classic '80s indie-pop songwriting and electronic backings. This song is from one of the best (and overlooked) albums of 2003 (Neon Golden). Fans of Radiohead or Erlend Oye might enjoy this one. Hear more from The Notwist's MySpace.

10. The Horrors - "Full Moon"

This is an organ heavy garage rock number from a much hyped London quartet. This demo is their catchiest song to date. Hear more from The Horrors MySpace.

May 12, 2006

{Morrissey - "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" Video}



Or "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" UK TV Video...which do you prefer? I think I prefer the later.

May 11, 2006

{The Lost Experience}

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Here are some steps to help you navigate your way around the complete online Lost experience...

First off, go to the Hanso Foundation site and sign on for the newsletter...the password is 'breaking strain'. Then, send Joop a message. Do so and circular images appear, click on them until a clue appears...use your cursor while viewing the clue, it will allow you to move around the document when you are trying to read the text.

Okay enough of that, go back to the Hanso Foundation site, the clock will change to OB:EY, and you are taken to the sublymonal site, the title bar of the web page says "subLYMONal". I think that the caps "LYMON" is going to be very important, as it was even mentioned in option 3 when you call the phone number (from the fake commercial that aired). The rap that the girl does says something about blending lemon and lime to create lymon. Possibly something to look into, but we'll tackle that another time.

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Not seen the OB:EY thing yet at Hanso? Well, you can simply skip this step by going straight to the Sublymonal site

Once there, you will see six bright lights in a glowing hexagon. Click on your cursor 4 times (you know, the Lost numbers...4 8 15 16 23 42) on the first image. The light will glow green and all the lights rotate. Then click your cursor 8 times to unlock the next image...and so forth. When all the lights have been turned green the lights all shrink into a tiny hexagon which rotates as the LOST logo is played. Then a green glowing TV appears with green waves on it like on an oscilloscope. Then the words code: and Heir Apparent appear separately at regular intervals. The text below the TV reads: Sublymonal message unlocked

If you continue to click around the screen you will be directed back to the Hanso website (or you can just go back there yourself), under the 'executive bios' section. Click on 'Dr Thomas Mittelwerk' a little textfield will appear in the middle of the text. Type in "heir apparent" and press enter and you will get a video clue. *When an image appears, use your cursor to click around.

*Note that you have to enter "breaking strain" as the password on signing up for the newsletter before going to the Dr. with the 'heir apparent' code.

Checkout the Lost Experience as more clues will undoubdtedly be surfacing.

Also, checkout this note-for-note decoded blast door image

Did you miss last nights episode or do you simply wish to watch it again, then go here

Why not watch that Dharma Initiative Pearl Orientation Video once more...

{Jelly Donut}

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When I caught a performance from Sean Hayes at Largo the other night he jokingly spoke of Terets Without Regrets, a variety show of-sorts in Oakland, CA. Every Terets Without Regrets event features a freestyle MC battle for $100. This particular battle featured a rapper who calls himself Jelly Donut...probably due to the fact that he, well, dresses up in a jelly donut costume.

Watch as America's favorite pastry devours Mc's in freestyle battle. Click on the image and let the laughs commence.

Be Jelly Donut's MySpace friend.

May 10, 2006

{On the Local Front}

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Last night I caught a performance from Sean Hayes, the folk singer, not the Will & Grace actor, at Largo in L.A. and I was reminded why I hold him in such high regard. He performed most of his new album Big Black Hole and the Little Baby Star (you can purchase it on iTunes or eMusic), which will undoubtedly be one of my favorite Albums of the Year. Hayes is a natural onstage, joking with the audience and even getting a little emotional when playing the profound break-up song "F****d Me Right Up". Mentioning afterwords that after the heartache, new experiences can be found, and then he broke into "Calling All Cars", a song about two broken hearts coming together. The second half of his set was more loose and he was joined by Jolie Holland and her band, who were just coming from an instore performance at Amoeba Records. Hayes will be opening up for Holland on the North American leg of their tour, here's the dates...

Thursday, 15th June Aladdin Theater Portland, OR

Friday 16th June The Nightlight Bellingham, WA

Saturday 17th June Triple Door Seattle, WA

Wednesday 21st June Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, UT

Friday 23rd June Boulder Theater Boulder, CO

Saturday 24th June Bluebird Theater Denver, CO

Tuesday 27th June Rhythm Room Phoenix, AZ

Wednesday 28th June Casbah San Diego, CA

Sat 1st July Bimbo's 365 Club San Francisco, CA

Tuesday 11th July Canal Room New York, NY

Friday 14th July Tin Angel Philadelphia, PA 19106


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Here's some Mp3's from Big Black Hole and the Little Baby Star courtesy of the SF Gate (although a voice comes in to let you know what you've just listened to towards the end):

"Boom Boom"

"Same God"

"3 A.M."

"Baby Black Hole and the Little Star"

Here's a couple of clean Mp3's courtesy of I Guess I'm Floating:

"Calling All Cars"

"F****d Me Right Up"

Here's one more, in which Hayes sings...'When the ladies have their high heel shoes on, they want to go out dancing'...poetry in motion.

"Pollinating Toes"

Listen to more samples here.

Also, hear a couple of tracks from Jolie Holland's new album Spring Time Can Kill You courtesy of Think Tank.

{Dim Make Records News}

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Dim Mak Records teamed up with IMEEM, a social network that is a serious source for exclusive band footage, photo sharing, and interviews, to bring you live exclusive footage and music of all their bands at events, on tour, or just hanging out!! You'll see exclusive photos, read exclusive tour journals and interviews from Dim Mak bands like Bloc Party, The Rakes, Pony Up, Scanners, Blood Brothers, everyone!! It's all coming to you through Dim Mak's IMEEM page.


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Scanners are being tipped as the hottest band to come out of London since The Rakes? Their debut album Violence Is Golden comes out on the fabulously dark day of 6/6/6. Have a listen...

The Scanners - "Lowlife"


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Dim Mak Records will be releasing the critically acclaimed album Maelstrom from Norwegian rock band Jr Ewing, to the American masses. Look for a July 25th release date, preview the track "Pitch Black Blonde" from the new album...

Jr. Ewing - "Pitch Black Blonde"


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Neighborhood Festival

Dim Mak have joined forces with Stake Productions to present L.A. with a new outdoor music festival, Neighborhood. This is the first installment and will be held on the grounds of The Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach and will feature: Moving Units, Ima Robot, Whirlwind Heat, Icarus Line, Mickey Avalon, Idiot Pilot, Rolling Blackouts, Coldwar Kids, Mika Miko and more… This is a day-long event that you won't want to miss if you're going ot be in the SoCal area on May 20th. They will also be announcing details about an after-party to be held on the boat real soon.

Buy your tix for Neighborhood Festival here.

For more info visit:

Dim Mak Site

DIm Mak MySpace

May 09, 2006

{AOL's Full CD Listening Party}

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You can stream many albums over at AOL's Full CD Listening Party...too many in fact. I might recommend streaming Snow Patrol's excellent album Eyes Open and Paul Simon's brand new album Surprise.

Go there and began listening now.

{Drawing Restraint 9}

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Björk and boyfriend Mathew Barney produce (and star) in this artsy film that is steeped in Japanese seafaring lore and Japanese ritual, in fact a large portion of the film depicts the two making preparations for a traditional Shinto wedding ceremony. At face value, the film is visual poetry, but dig deeper and you'll find metaphors hinting that life is a series of passages in a cycle of creation and destruction. The ship itself is said to be a metaphor for a whale, or Japan, or both. I'm not really sure, but the whale makes sense to me, and would explain some of the Moby Dick comparisons I've read about.

This is the official plot summary: The core idea of Drawing Restraint 9 is the relationship between self-imposed resistance and creativity, a theme it symbolically tracks through the construction and transformation of a vast sculpture of liquid Vaseline, called “The Field”, which is molded, poured, bisected and reformed on the deck of the ship over the course of the film.

The film is currently opening in select theaters and will only play for a limited time (only one week in my neck of the woods) and will not be released on DVD, so if your interested you'd better jump on it if the film screens near your town.

View the trailer.

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The film is directed by Mathew Barney, the soundtrack is composed by Björk and represents the first creative collaboration of two...I'm sure I'm not the only one who's thinking John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Stream samples from the Drawing Restraint 9 Soundtrack here...just scroll down.

May 08, 2006

{Touch & Go Records Releases}

Sometimes I forget that I have more than one email (or more than one MySpace for that matter) and I neglect putting the word out about news that I'm sent. In an effort to right my wrongs, I'm gonna try and post some stuff straight outta my inboxes this week.

The folks over at Touch & Go Records sent some press info and links to some new releases...

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The Spell is the most fitting name yet for a Black Heart Procession record. Spells are cast over a person, a love affair, a nation, a world; they enchant and entrap, disorient and delude. They are the heart of this record, both the webs they spin and the snap that occurs when they’re broken. And there is no better word to describe the spooky intoxication of The Black Heart Procession’s sound.

Black Heart Procession - "Not Just Words"

Stream more tracks from their E-card.


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The result of the thousands of miles travelled since 2004’s Feast of Wire, Calexico's Garden Ruin takes into account the enlarged line up of the band, its multicultural roots, the band’s growing input into the songwriting and arrangement process, the arrival of a producer, new domestic arrangements, international affairs, broadening horizons, developing ambitions and changing scenery. Garden Ruin is definitely not the sound of a band standing still.

Calexico - "Cruel"

Hear more from their E-card.

Also out...

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"We worked on When the Going Gets Dark for almost three difficult years. Quasi is the same two people since the beginning, since our cassette tape debut in 1993. Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss. We've been to hell and back as musicians and friends, and we wanted that depth to significantly impact the new material. Improvisation. . .facilitated the creation of unique, unrestrained moments. The songs were loose, the playing looser still. The turbulent act of being alive made it impossible for When the Going Gets Dark to sound anything less than rollicking and unruly."

Quasi - "The Rhino"


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Formed in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan, Blight was created in the wake of another great band's demise - The Fix, one of the earliest bands of the Midwest hardcore scene. Two of its members, Steve Miller (guitar) and Mike Achtenberg (bass) met head on with Tesco Vee -- lead throat and ringleader of the legendary Meatmen. With the addition of Pat Clark on drums, the band was complete, and ready to dive headlong into its short and fiery existence.

Blight - "Bludgeon"

Hear more from their E-card.

{Thao Nguyen}

**********RE-POST**********
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We've been crushing on Thao Nguyen for quite a long time. Her album Like the Linen made our Best Albums of 2005 list and we've played a couple of her songs on old Late Night Sounds podcasts, so I will refrain from singing praises this time around. Thao has a song featured on the up-coming Kill Rock Stars compilation The Sound The Hare Heard...


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Press release from Kill Rock Stars:

The Sound The Hare Heard
Ever hear the Buddhist parable about the pensive hare, wise lion, and a fallen acorn declaring the end of the world? Kill Rock Stars owner Slim Moon sure has. Inspired by the dense double meaning of the narrative and the raw power of six strings and soul-sleeved singers, be’s merged the two with The Sound the Hare Heard compilation.
“When I’m sifting through demos or following up on tips that people give me, I always pay special attention to the singer-songwriter types,” says Moon. “I’ve always had a soft spot for them, from Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell to Elliott Smith and Joanna Newsom. This compilation is a distillation of the songwriters — well established, just starting out, or somewhere in between — who have turned me on in the new millennium.”
Following in the tradition of such taste-making Kill Rock Stars compilations as 2000’s Fields and Streams (featuring The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Neko Case, Deerhoof and more before they “broke”) and 2004’s Tracks and Fields (the only place to hear Xiu Xiu on the same disc as Jucifer, Young People and His Name Is Alive), The Sound the Hare Heard handpicks its selections from the Kill Rock Stars roster and beyond. So you’ll hear a KRS standby like Colin Meloy rub against a respected outsider like Sufjan Stevens, as well as such Class of 2006 hopefuls as Death Vessel, Wooden Wand and Devin Davis. A grand, gorgeous mixtape for endless nights and comfortably numb mornings.

Tracklist:

Devin Davis - When The Angels Lift Our Eyelids In The Morning
Laura Veirs - Cast A Hook In Me
Sufjan Stevens - Adlai Stevenson
Thao Nguyen - Feet Asleep
Wooden Wand - Bones For Doctor Swah
Death Vessel - Dancers All
Essie Jain - Why
Jeff Hanson - Daylight
Imaad Wasif - Other Voices
Great Lake Swimmers - Where In The World Are You
Owen McCarthy - Stargazers Are Blind
Simone White - The American War
Nedelle - Poor Little City Boy
Southerly - Dumbing Down
Colin Meloy - Lazy Little Ada
Corrina Repp - The Sound You Warn
The Moore Brothers - Waves Of Wonder
Aliccia BB - Best Friend Forever
Danielle Howle - Kill My Love For You
Lauren Hoffman - Another Song About The Darkness
Lovers - Honea

The compilation is set for a May 9th release, here's a taste:

*********UPDATE**********

Corrinna Repp - "The Sound You Warn" (via My Old Kentucky Blog)

Colin Meloy - Lazy Little Ada (via Each Note Secure)

Sufjan Stevens - "Adlai Stevenson" (via I Guess I'm Floating)

Thao Nguyen - "Feet Asleep"

From Thao Nguyen's album Like The Linen:

"Hills"

"We" (Hear more from Thao's MySpace)

Order Like The Linen

Pre-order The Sound The Hare Heard

May 04, 2006

{Cinco De Mayo Playlist}

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El Cinco de Mayo is a national celebration in Mexico. It commemorates the victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza over the French expeditionary forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

But, much like St. Patty's Day, we now use this as an excuse to get drink way too many Corona's (or god forbid Tequila). Here's a mixtape to get you in the spirit:

Los Lobos - “Volver, Volver" (Live) (From Just Another Band from East L.A., purchase here)

Poncho Sanchez - "Cuidate Compai" (From Instant Party, purchase here)

Malo - “Suavecito” (From S/T album, purchase here)

Cafe Tacuba - “Como Te Extrano" (From Avalancha de Exitos, purchase here)

El Chicano - "El Cayuco" (From Best of El Chicano, purchase here)

Sonora Dinamita - "Amor de Mis Amores" (From 32 Canonazos, purchase here)

Ozomatli - “Como Ves" (From S/T album, purchase here)

{Marvel's Civil War}

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Marvels long-awaited Civil War series hit shelves yesterday, the series deals with legal and moral issues adding a whole new layer of realism to the Marvel Universe.
In the series one group led by Iron Man, is set to embrace the government's demand to register themselves as living weapons of mass destruction and reveal their secret identities. On the opposite side, Captain America and other heroes refuse. The series adresses issues like civil liberties, national security, public safety and private freedom.

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Here's some facts stated in a recent panel with Joe Quesada, Jim McCann, Brian Bendis, Dan Slott, Tom Brevoort, Ramon Bachs and Steve McNiven.

*The Fantastic Four will be torn "in many ways" as a result of Civil War. Brevoort added something in Civil War #1 will deeply affect the Fantastic Four. By the end of the event, the FF will be set up for a major storyline since, as the editor pointed out, the final issue of Civil War ships the same month as the 45th anniversary issue of the Fantastic Four.

*The villains of the Marvel Universe will be taking advantage of the fact the heroes are fighting, Brevoort said, adding that due to the circumstances the heroes are in, the villains suddenly find themselves planning capers on a whole new level.

*Bendis said The New Avengers will be “seismically altered” as a result of Civil War, "There is a winner, and there is a loser, and things will be shredded." The writer added the storyline in New Avengers will be entitled "New Avengers: Disassembled" - a five-issue arc. Each issue will be a part of the whole and, at the same time, focus on a single character.

*Brevoort said the larger Civil War storyline will see more obscure characters coming back to light, some that have been long forgotten, and some, according to Brevoort, who may be right under reader's noses.

*In regards to the blood seen on Captain America's shield in Mike Turner’s cover to Civil War #1, Brevoort said that the storyline is about a war, and in a war, you get to a point where the gloves are thrown down, and battles have to be fought - sometimes to the end.

*Brevoort said that while there will be no series cancellations as a result of Civil War, there will be a couple of new series launched. Likewise, the editor revealed, a handful of books will be completely shaken in regards to their status quo.

*Asked how much a fan would have to spend on Civil War to get the entire series, Quesada reiterated the entire Civil War story will be in the mini-series. The other series (X-Men: Civil War, Runaways/Young Avengers, Front Line) while important, will have stories set in the larger "Civil War" world, and the main storyline from the miniseries won't spill out into other series.

Who's side are you on?

Purchase Civil War issue #1 here.

Listen to Joe Quesada, Marvel Comics' editor in chief, and comic book writer Paul Jenkins talk with NPR's Talk of the Nation here

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...and don't forget this saturday (May 6th) is Free Comic Book Day!

In other comic related news:

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Last week Daniel Knauf, the creator of HBO's Emmy-award winning series Carnivale and his son Charlie Knauf began their six issue Iron Man stint.

The Knaufs recorded a podcast for Marvel.com (listen here), sheding some light into where they'd like to take Iron Man. Here's some exerpts: "What I love about Iron Man is that he's the one super hero who doesn't eclipse his alter-ego," says Daniel Knauf. "Tony Stark is a very complex, messed-up dude. This is a guy who desperately wants to help the human race, but his creative energy is almost exclusively dedicated to weapons design. What's wrong with that picture?"

This series marks Daniel Knauf's first foray into writing for comic book. "This arc will put Iron Man through the wringer," says Knauf. "I really want to dial in with big, monumental fights and action sequences, while taking Tony to some very dark places, forcing himself to face some hard truths as to what it really means to be a hero and that, sometimes, 'meaning well' is simply not enough. Knauf picks up the series where writer Warren Ellis left off.

Purchase Iron Man: Execute Program here.

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Also, if you haven't already done so, checkout Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine...Marvel Comics six-issue miniseries written by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof, and illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu and Dave McCaig. The title characters square off after Wolverine is contracted by Nick Fury to assassinate the Hulk, who is known to be residing in Tibet. Fans of Lost will appreciate the flashback-style storytelling.

Purchase Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine here.

If all this super hero stuff isn't your cup 'o tea, hold on, I'll compile a list of some non-super hero comics for you to enjoy.

May 03, 2006

{Josh Ritter - The Animal Years}

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My current five minute crush is Josh Ritter...I am fairly new to Josh and first heard about him via an NPR broadcast. Ritter who hails from Idaho has risen from obscurity and his fan base has continued to multiply. HBO's decision to use the excellent "Come and Find Me" (on Six Feet Under) from Ritters sophmore Golden Age of Radio no doubt came into play. After hearing his excellent track "Wolves" I must say that my heart is his (at least for now). Ritter, an accomplished troubadour has just released a new album titled The Animal Years. The album is a largely sober affair built around a pair of anti-war songs. "Girl in a War", with it's references to Laurel and Hardy is a sweet take on the dire political issues of the day, while "Thin Blue flame" is a startling epic of war and it's consequences which starts out as a languid ballad and slowly builds into a raging rant.

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Have a listen:

"Wolves"

"Thin Blue Flame"

"Girl in A War"

Get more downloads from Josh Ritter's MySpace (where you can launch the e card, and listen to the album in it's entirety) or his Official Site.

*Ritter performs June 9 at the El Rey (Los Angeles) and June 10 at The Casbah (San Diego)

Purchase The Animal Years here.

**********UPDATE**************
Here's a link to a live performance from Josh Ritter on April 21 in Chi-town, courtesy of The Late Greats blog.

{Mark Ryden: Fushigi Circus}

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Mark Ryden has an uncanny ability to evoke both glee and revulsion in his paintings. My particular favorite is "The Estacy of Cecelia", a piece that contains no less the eighteen eyes!!! Ryden has a new book out titled Fushigi Circus (that's 'mysterious circus' to those who are unfamiliar with the Japanese language), a clothbound collection of the works of Mark Ryden. It features new works, including Blood, Sweat, Tears, and The Creatrix, and a plethora of Ryden's most compelling works from past shows to the present. Ryden himself will be at MOCA in L.A. on May 13th in all of his eerie glory to sign copies of his latest attempt to make money....I mean enthrall us with his work.

Purchase Fushigi Circus here.

{Lily Allen}

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Word 'round the web is that Lily Allen is going to blow up this summer. She's already been hailed as a 'female Streets' and drawn comparisons to Lady Sovereign, but I think she has more in common with Nellie McKay...and I don't mean that as an insult. Lily is the daughter of Brit. actor/soccer anthem composer/ New Order collaborator Keith Allen and she has recently signed to Parlaphone Records. "LDN" will be the first single from her forthcoming album, and If you've already heard the track then you know why. The song has a catchy pop ska rhythm backed by a sample of Dizzee Rascal's "Fix Up, Look Sharp". "Smile" is said to be the second single.

Within the last few days her songs have been popping up all over the inkernet, Here's all the links you need:

"LDN"
"Knock Em Out"
"Cheryl Tweedy" (Courtesy of Yeti Dont Dance)

"Smile" (Courtesy of Heart On A Stick)

"Alfie" (Courtesy of Eardrums Shall Fail)

"Nan You're A Window Shopper" (Courtesy of Pardon My Freedom)

"Shame For You"
"Everything's Just Wonderful" (Courtesy of Homo Eclectic)

Visit Lily Allen's MySpace for more info.

May 02, 2006

{The Proposition}

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If Tom Waits can do theater, then Nick Cave can write a screenplay. The Proposition is an anti-western set in Australia. The film stars Guy Pearce and Emily Watson, was written by Nick Cave and directed by John Hillcoat.

Synopsis:
Set against the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the 1800’s Australian outback, The Proposition is a visually stunning tale of loyalty, revenge and the quest for justice in a land without rule. Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) is a renegade living in the lawless frontier who, along with his two brothers, Arthur (Danny Huston) and Mikey (Richard Wilson), is wanted for rape and murder. When local law enforcer Capt. Stanley (Ray Winestone) captures Charlie and Mikey he offers Charlie a bleak choice in an attempt to end the brutality that surrounds them. The only way to save his younger brother Mikey from the gallows is to track down and kill Arthur, his psychotic older brother, whom Capt. Stanley believes to be the ringleader in the violence. Both men face an impossible moral dilemma that leads to a murderous climax.

The Proposition opens in L.A. and N.Y. on May 5...View the trailer.


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This is one of my favorite Nick Cave songs, which is actually a Barry Adamson song featuring Nick Cave (from the album Oedipus Schmoedipus, purchase it here)...

"The Sweetest Embrace"

Hear more from this Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds MySpace.

{A Day Without An Immigrant}

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The top story today are the Day Without An Immigrant Rallies, here's some links in case you haven't gotten enough coverage:
NPR
LA Times
NY Times
SF Chronicle
Miami Herald
CNN
Yahoo News
OC Register


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...and in the protest spirit, Neil Young's new album Living Without War plays like one long anti-war outcry. The album features some catchy sing along chorus' backed by a 100-voice choir. You can stream the album in it's entirety here.

May 01, 2006

{Bits & Pieces}

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View tons of Coachella photos from Buzznet or checkout some horrible quality YouTube'd Coachella performances.

A Day Without Immigrants Rallies are taking place all over the country, get the scoop from NPR...and keep those wallets closed today.

Hugh Jackman brought an X3 clip with him on Jay Leno the other night. No oncreen action, but a sentinal no less...watch the scene from MovieBox.

I'm trying to get into this live set from The Raconteurs (courtesy of Phish & Chips blog), it's not really sinking in, but perhaps it will for you.

I'm in more of a mellow mood this morning so Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris' album All the Roadrunning seems to be doing the trick...stream the album here.


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