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February 27, 2008

{Charlie Bartlett}

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You can watch the first five minutes of Charlie Bartlett online now! Charlie Bartlett is currently playing in theaters nationwide.

View the first five minutes right here

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{I'm Fucking Seth Rogan}


So it appears everybody is fucking everybody these days. Sarah Silverman's "I'm Fucking Matt Damon" video and her boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel's response, "I'm fucking Ben Affleck" have surely been seen by now.

Now, here's a marketing tactic for Kevin Smith's forthcoming film Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Kevin Smith, Elizabeth Banks and Seth Rogan (with gust spots from Jason Mewes and Traci Lords) have created their very own parody video, peep the last scene with Kevin Smith and M. Night Shyamalan's director credit. make brief appearances.

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{Beautiful Children}

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I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but Charles Bock's best-selling novel Beautiful Children, about characters adrift in Las Vegas, is now being offered for free online.

Here's the description from Amazon:
A portrait of a mythically depraved Las Vegas, this sweeping debut takes in everything from the bland misery of suburban Nevada to the exploitative Vegas sex industry. At the nexus of this Dickensian universe is Newell Ewing, a hyperactive 12-year-old boy with a comic-book obsession. One Saturday night, Newell disappears after going out with his socially awkward, considerably older friend. Orbiting around that central mystery are a web of sufferers: Newell's distraught parents, clinging onto a fraught but tender marriage; a growth-stunted comic book illustrator; a stripper who sacrifices bodily integrity for success; and a gang of street kids. Into their varying Vegas tableaux, Bock stuffs an overwhelming amount of evocative detail and brutally revealing dialogue (sometimes in the form of online chats). The story occasionally gets lost in amateur skin flicks, unmentionable body alterations and tattoos, and the greasy cruelty of adolescents, all of which are given unflinching and often deft closeups. The bleak, orgiastic final sequence, drawing together the disparate plot threads, feels contrived, but Bock's Vegas has hope, compassion and humor, and his set pieces are sharp and accomplished.

Download the novel right here

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{Hamlet 2}

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I was invited to an advanced screening of the forthcoming comedy tentatively titled Hamlet 2 last night. The comedy is about a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama teacher (Steve Coogan) who rallies his students and stages a modern day musical sequel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Hamlet 2 is directed by Andrew Fleming (Dick, Nancy Drew) and co-written by Fleming and Pam Brady (South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Team America, Hot Rod). The film stars: David Arquette, Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler, and Elisabeth Shue.

Hamlet 2 was one of the first (and biggest) sales at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, claimed by Focus Feaures for a reported $10 million.

Let's start with what doesn't work. Like does the silly male student who adores Dana have to be so swishy? Do the Latino students who wind up in Dana's (Coogan's) class have to be so horribly stereotyped? What's with the racist Christian girl who suddenly becomes enamored by the Latino kids culture? Then there's Amy Poehler (an ALCU lawyer ready to defend Dana's production), who's lines are written with the word 'Jew' as the punchline?

There are plenty of funny of moments, such as in the opening scenes that portray just how down-and-out Coogan's charactor is. The scenes toward the end of the film, during the musical, are also especially funny. See the "I feel like I've been raped in the face!" or the "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" numbers for examples.

At the end of the day this movie still needs plenty of editing, but there certainly is a comedy to work with here. I wish I had a trailer for you, but their keeping this one on lockdown for now.

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February 25, 2008

{The Charlatans}

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You've already heard the title track 'You Cross My Path' (if not go here, which was available exclusively on xfm.co.uk. Now here's the follow-up single 'Oh! Vanity'.

In true Radiohead fashion The Charlatans will be offering the album You Cross My Path for free in its entirity from Xfm online on March 3rd!

Download "Oh! Vanity" right here

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{Beautiful Losers}

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Beautiful Losers is a documentary film by Aaron Rose & Joshua Leonard celebrating the independent and D.I.Y. spirit that unified a loose-knit group of American artists who emerged from the underground youth subcultures of skateboarding, graffiti, punk rock and hip-hop including: Ed Templeton, Spike Jonze, Harmony Korine, Cheryl Dunn, Clare Rojas and Mark Gonzales.

View the Trailer right here...


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{SXSW Music Torrents}

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Those of us unlucky few who will not be in Austin for this years South by Southwest can still hear a gripload of new music (I'm talking over 40 tunes) from a whole lotta bands that will be playing the fest this year!

Grab a whole lotta SXSW downloads from this hefty zip file right here

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{“I’m F*cking Ben Affleck”}


Last night Jimmy Kimmel finally dropped his response to girlfriend Sarah Silverman’s “I’m F*cking Matt Damon” skit. He may have actually one-upped Silverman with his star studded video for “I’m F*cking Ben Affleck".

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February 24, 2008

{The Black Keys}

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The Black Keys are now streaming a brand new track ("Strange Times") over on their MySpace page. The song is off The Black Keys highly anticipated (Danger Mouse produced) forthcoming album titled Attack & Release out on April 1st. You can purchase the new track from iTunes.

Stream "Strange Times" right here

Here's a preview...


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February 20, 2008

{Idlewild}

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Idlewild recently compiled a best of CD/DVD titled Scottish Fiction: Best of 1997-2007, as well as a collection of b-sides and cover versions titled A Distant History: Rarities 1997-2007. Needless to say I've had a whole lotta Idlewild blasting through my iPod lately!

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I'm hosting a couple of my favorite tunes featured on the Scottish Fiction album, as well as a couple of their earlier b-sides from the Distant History album. Listening to these two albums, you can really hear how much Idlewild has grown as a band.

Here's a couple of highlights off Scottish Fiction...

"Let Me Sleep (Next To the Mirror)"

"El Capitan"

Here's a couple of rarities from A Distant History: Rarities...

"This is Worse"

"There's Glory in Your Story"

Hear more from Idlewild's site

Purchase the albums right here

Here's some footage from Scottish Fiction DVD...


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{Los Angeles United Film Festival}

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Los Angeles United Film Festival (LAUFF) showcases films reflecting a wide range of topics and experiences. The festival's focus is to bring together talented filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, thus creating a "United" showcase of creative energy and talent. The LAUFF is proud to present an amazing list of Award-Winning Documentaries & LA Premieres.

I was recently invited to attend the Los Angeles United Film Festival, which takes place on April 18th - 20th at the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills. I'm gonna do a little pre-press by directing you to a few documentaries that I'm looking forward to seeing.

I Met the Walrus Trailer


The Union Trailer


Strictly Backround Trailer


Visit the Los Angeles United Film Festival's MySpace or the official Los Angeles United Film Festival site for tix or general info.

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{A Faulty Chromosome}

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I recently received A Faulty Chromosome's new album titled “As an Ex-Anorexic's Six Sicks Exit, ..." in my inbox and was pleasantly surprised. They describe their sound as a slopbucket of shoegaze tremolo, hand-claps, 8-bit blips, water-damaged mister rogers records, and mashed casio chords set to drum machine’d beats. The Burbank trio find inspiration in bands like: The Feelies, New Order, Half Japanese, Pavement, My Bloody Valentine, Sebadoh, and Suicide.



Have a listen for yourself...

"Jackie O"

"Them Pleasures of the Flesh"

Stream the album in it's entirety right here

Purchase the album right here

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{Where the Wild Things Are}

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The verdict is still out on whether this clip, which popped up online a few days ago, is real or not. The clip is from Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers scripted adaptation of Maurice Sendak's children's book Where the Wild Things Are. The visual effects for the film may have resulted in the film being pushed back to 2009, so this may in fact be an early (or unfinished) clip we're looking at. Judge for yourself...




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February 15, 2008

{Eels}

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I had a chance to see Eels (aka Mark Oliver Everett or a man called ‘E’) perform on Valentine's Day at the (soon-to-close) Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana. Instead of an opening act we were treated to an hour-long BBC documentary on Everett's life story (see below for a synopsis). He performed material from his recently released Meet the Eels: Essential Eels Vol. I 1996 - 2006, as well as the Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities, and Unreleased 1996 - 2006.

A few songs into his set he brought his friend out to join him onstage (the two switched off on piano, guitar, and drums) and Everett had him read excerpts from his memoirs titled Things The Grandchildren Should Know. This was billed as his warm-up show for his tour and the format, which featured excerpts from the book followed by songs that tied in with his passages from the novel worked brilliantly.

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Here's the Synopsis for Everett's memoirs titled Things The Grandchildren Should Know from Amazon (because I couldn't put it any better myself):
How does one young man survive the deaths of his entire family and manage to make something worthwhile of his life? In Things The Grandchildren Should Know Mark Oliver Everett tells the story of what it's like to grow up the insecure son of a genius in a wacky Virginia Ice Storm-like family. Left to run wild with his sister, his father (Hugh Everett, an American physicist who first proposed the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics) off in some parallel universe of his own invention, Everett's upbringing was 'ridiculous, sometimes tragic and always unsteady'. But somehow he manages to not only survive his crazy upbringing and ensuing tragedies; he makes something of his life, striking out on a journey to find himself by channelling his experiences into his, eventually, critically acclaimed music with the Eels. But it's not an easy path. Told with surprising candour, Things The Grandchildren Should Know is an inspiring and remarkable story, full of hope, humour and wry wisdom.

I, for one, can't wait to pick this book up.

Here's a highlight from Meet The Eels...

"Climbing To The Moon" (Jon Brion Remix) (Previously Unreleased)

Read a favorable review for Things The Grandchildren Should Know here

Order Things The Grandchildren Should Know, Meet The Eels, or Useless Trinkets here

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February 14, 2008

{Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull}

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Awe, c'mon...you know you're mad for it!!!!!!

View the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Trailer right here...


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February 13, 2008

{Teeth}

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Awhile back I was cordially invited to the red carpet premiere of Teeth. I couldn't make it, but after watching the preview I wish I had.

Here's the synopsis: High school student Dawn works hard at suppressing her budding sexuality by being the local chastity group's most active participant. Her task is made even more difficult by her stepbrother Brad's increasingly provocative behavior at home. A stranger to her own body, innocent Dawn discovers she has a toothed vagina ('vagina dentata') when she becomes the object of violence. As she struggles to comprehend her anatomical uniqueness, Dawn experiences both the pitfalls and the power of being a living example of the vagina dentata myth.

Teeth is written and directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein and is currently playing in select theaters.

View the first five minutes of the movie right here...


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{Kanye West at the Grammys}



Kanye West - "Stronger/Hey Mama" at the Grammys...keep an eye out for a couple of hip French robots!



Also, here's the new super sexy (and funny) video for "Flashing Lights"!

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{Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure}

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Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure is a new book featuring some six word memoirs by, well, famous and obscure people. Larry Smith, the founding editor of Smith magazine, and Rachel Fershleiser (Smith's memoir editor) capture real-life stories in six words — no more, no less. The collection has plenty of six-word insights from everyday folks as well as famous writers, musicians, etc.

Inspired by the idea that Ernest Hemingway was once asked to write a memoir in six words, writing "For sale: baby shoes, never used". The book takes twists on this classic concept of the six-word memoir and highlights a wide range of possibilities (i.e. short short story, autobiography, epitaph, shorter haiku, a meatier one-liner). Try it yourself, it's lotsa fun!

Here's some of my favs from both famous and obscure people...

'Fifteen years since last professional haircut' - Dave Eggers
'Couldn't cope so I wrote songs' - Aimee Mann
'Well, I thought it was funny' - Stephen Colbert
'After Harvard, had baby with crackhead' - Robin Templeton
'Catholic school backfired. Sin is in!' - Nikki Beland
'Savior complex makes for many disappointments' - Alanna Schubach
'Nobody cared, then they did. Why?' - Chuck Klosterman
'She said she was negative. Damn' - Ryan McRae
'A sake mom, not soccer mom' - Shawna Hausman
'Almost a victim of my family' - Chuck Sangster
'The psychic said I'd be richer' - Elizabeth Bernstein
'Grumpy old soundman needs love, too' - Lennie Rosengard
'Mom died, Dad screwed us over' - Lesley Kysely

View the Preview right here...


Six-Word Memoir book preview from SMITHmag on Vimeo.

Hear more about Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure from NPR

Purchase Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure right here

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{Hot Chip}

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You can stream Hot Chip's latest dancefloor friendly album Made in the Dark right now!

Stream Made in the Dark in it's entirety right here

Here's the video for "Ready for the Floor"...


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{David and the Citizens}

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Swedish indie pop band David & The Citizens threw up a free 4-song digital EP titled I Saw My Reflection And I Didn't Recognize MySelf. The upbeat opener "With Every New Day" and the closing ballad "Anything"are both highlights.

The entirety of I Saw My Reflection And I Didn't Recognize Myself is available as a zip file right here (Just scroll down and click on the image underneath the: I Saw My Reflection And I Didn't Recognize Myself entry)

Visit David & The Citizens' audio page contains a whole lot of music to stream and download!

{The Mountain Goats}

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Weekend America asked The Mountain Goats to write a song about Super Tuesday...and they did!

Listen to "Down to the Ark" right here

And on that note...

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Illustrator Shepard Fairey has produced two Obama posters with the slogans 'Hope' and 'Progress'. You can purchase the 24" x 36" silkscreens for fifty bucks on his website. *****UPDATE***** The limited edition posters are now sold out.

{Nada Surf}

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Nada Surf is now streaming their entire forthcoming album on their MySpace! Their fifth album, titled Lucky, will release on Feb. 5th (from Barsuk Records) and features guest spots from Ed Harcourt ("Weightless" and "Beautiful Beat"), the Long Winters John Roderick ("Ice on the Wing"), and Ben Gibbard and Harvey Danger's Sean Nelson ("See These Bones").

Hear more from Nada Surf's MySpace

Hear the tracks individually from Hype Machine

{El Perro Del Mar}

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Caffeine-Headache fav El Perro Del Mar (aka Sarah Assbring) is back with the first new single to her forthcoming album titled From the Valley to the Stars, which will be released on April 22nd. The album is preceded by the single 'How Did We Forget?' which will be available on 7" as well as a digital download on February 13th.

Listen to "How Did We Forget?" right here

Hear more from El Perro Del Mar's MySpace

February 12, 2008

{This American Life}

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This American Life is planning a stage show that would be filmed and sent live via satellite to movie theaters across the country. Ira Glass perform will host a audience Q&A via satellite with theater attendees. This is a public radio program first, but to make it happen This American Life needs to know if you’re interested! They are asking for your input by taking this very short survey (it’ll take less than two minutes).

Here's one of my favorite clips from a past This American Life episode: The Allure of The Mean Friend. This clip is from Mike Albo's book The Underminer (because I've known plenty of 'em). Give it a listen...

"The Underminer"

Take the This American Life survey right here

Here's the Trailer for the first season of the television show...


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{Late Night Sounds Feb. Mix 08}

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The Late Night Sounds is a (roughly 30 min.) eclectic monthly mixtape I put together of some under-the-radar artists, both past and present.

We skipped the month of December, but the February Late Night Sounds Mix is up and features some indie pop, British rock, trip-hop, and indie rock from: The Moonbabies, Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, Jay Jay Johanson, Via Audio, Elizabeth & The Catapult, Federico Aubele, The Boyfriends, and Teenage Fanclub. Give it a listen or just checkout the artists on your own...

Mp3: Late Night Sounds Feb. Mix 08

Tracklisting:

1. The Moonbabies - "Take Me To the Ballroom" (Get the download from Stereoscope)

2. Ezra Furman & The Harpoons - "I Wanna Be Ignored" (Get the download from Butter Team)

3. Jay Jay Johanson - "Tell Me When The Party's Over"

4. Via Audio - "Developing Modern People" (Mp3 courtesy of Alankomaat)

5. Elizabeth & The Catapult - "Race You Back Home" (Mp3 courtesy of Out the Other)

6. Federico Aubele - "Maria Jose" (Get the download from Proodos)

7. Coconut Records - "West Coast" (Get the download from Who Killed the Mixtape)

8. The Boyfriends - "No Tomorrow" (Get the download from Pop n' Cherries)

9. Teenage Fanclub - "Your Love is the Place Where I Come From"

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{Vampire Weekend}



I thought I would be catching the indie-band-of-the-moment Vampire Weekend at Coachella before all the single day passes sold out! No such luck getting tix for their L.A. concert at the El Rey Theatre either. So for us unlucky ones, let's just be happy with watching live clips like this. This is "Oxford Comma" (Live) from MTV Spanking New Sessions

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February 07, 2008

{The Principles of Uncertainty}

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I've recently read and enjoyed Maira Kalman's new book (based on her NY Times blog) The Principles of Uncertainty. The book is a mix of imaginative and moving illustrations, in which she reflects on life, love, and death. The Principles of Uncertainty is both poignant and funny.

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Checkout some photo examples (in her book these clips are illustrated) from the NY Times

Watch an interview with Maira Kalman her illustrated column, turned book here

Order Principles of Uncertainty here

{Eels}

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Eels (aka Mark Oliver Everett or a man called ‘E’) has just released Meet the Eels: Essential Eels Vol. I 1996 - 2006, as well as Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities, and Unreleased 1996 - 2006... together that's over fifty tracks between both collections!

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In addition to working on his next album, Everett has also released his memoirs titled Things The Grandchildren Should Know.

Here's the Synopsis from Amazon (because I couldn't put it any better myself):
How does one young man survive the deaths of his entire family and manage to make something worthwhile of his life? In Things The Grandchildren Should Know Mark Oliver Everett tells the story of what it's like to grow up the insecure son of a genius in a wacky Virginia Ice Storm-like family. Left to run wild with his sister, his father (Hugh Everett, an American physicist who first proposed the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics) off in some parallel universe of his own invention, Everett's upbringing was 'ridiculous, sometimes tragic and always unsteady'. But somehow he manages to not only survive his crazy upbringing and ensuing tragedies; he makes something of his life, striking out on a journey to find himself by channelling his experiences into his, eventually, critically acclaimed music with the Eels. But it's not an easy path. Told with surprising candour, Things The Grandchildren Should Know is an inspiring and remarkable story, full of hope, humour and wry wisdom.

I, for one, can't wait to pick this book up.

Here's a highlight from Meet The Eels...

"Climbing To The Moon" (Jon Brion Remix) (Previously Unreleased)

Read a favorable review for Things The Grandchildren Should Know here

Order Things The Grandchildren Should Know, Meet The Eels, or Useless Trinkets here

February 04, 2008

{Smart People}

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Smart People is an indie-comedy that premiered at this years Sundance Film festival. The story revolves around a literature professor (Dennis Quaid), his overachieving daughter (Ellen Page), and his freeloading brother (Thomas Haden Church). The film is the directorial debut from Noam Murro and was produced by Michael London (producer of Sideways). Look for Smart People in theaters April 11th.

View the Trailer right here...

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