Happy Independence Day, From The Muppets

Many sane people hate The Cardigans’ sappy pop ballad “Lovefool”, and they’re probably right to do so. But I like it. And apparently The Morning Benders do to. If that hurts our indie street cred, so be it. Here’s the band with an acoustic take on the “classic”:

The Apples in Stereo are back! And they brought a hobbit with them… Robert Schneider and crew are getting set to release an album called Travellers in Space and Time, and they’ve released the video for the first single, “Dance Floor”. The song is a departure for the band, bringing them into a sort of electro-pop-dance world. The video features Elijah Wood, who, in addition to being a hobbit, owns Simian Records, the company behind the album. And he directed the video for the band’s awesome song “Energy”. Check out “Dance Floor”, and let me know what you think:

Travellers in Space & Time is out Tuesday, but you can pre-order it now.

via You Ain’t No Picasso

I could complicate this with some kind of diatribe about the merits of the buddy cop genre, and the possibilities inherent in turning them on their heads, but let’s just focus on the fact that Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock are playing a pair of superstar cops, and Will Ferrell and Marky Mark Wahlberg are playing The Other Guys. That’s either a recipe for complete disaster, or a funny-ass movie. The trailer shows some potential:

The Other Guys hit theaters August 6th.

Last week we got to hear Bruce Springsteen pay homage to one of his heroes. This week he’s the object of another homage, this time from Justin Townes Earle. Earle stopped by The AV Club as part of their Undercover series, and he chose to cover Springsteen’s classic “Atlantic City”. Nebraska is my favorite Springsteen album, and “Atlantic City” is my favorite song on the album, and I think that version of the song perfectly captures the bleak scenario laid out in its lyrics. So it takes a lot for me to really like a cover of it. But Earle knocks it out of the park. Check it out:

Kristian Matsson, aka Tallest Man on Earth
I have to admit, when it comes to Sweden I have a bit of a musical bias. I don’t think I’m alone though. Abba has emotionally scarred a lot of people, and I think it’s fair for all of us to hold a grudge. Plus, the country is also home to a thriving death metal scene. But I suppose I should ease up on the Swedes a bit, and take a bit of time to explore the rest of their music, which lies somewhere between the polar opposites of 70s synth-pop and gloom, doom, and screaming. Nestled deep in that musical valley is Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man on Earth, a man who holds little in common with Abba or In Flames.
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Sometimes you have to love the iPod’s Genius feature. You’re in the mood for a certain type of song, so you put one on and hit the Genius button, and the iPod magically finds more songs that are similar to it. Kind of. Sometimes it gets a little confused. For instance, today I started a Genius playlist on Jimmy Buffett’s “Kick it in Second Wind”, and the next song that came up was Bruce Springsteen’s “Pay Me My Money Down”, from We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. Not exactly similar. One of Buffett’s more straight-ahead rock songs into The Boss doing essentially a folk/bluegrass song. Sorry Apple, you’re no genius this time. But…

I hadn’t listened to that Bruce album in a while, and this little Genius slip up made me go back and listen to it again. And I then I remembered just how much I love the whole album. So tonight we’re going to get my favorite song from it, performed live. Here’s Mr, Springsteen, paying homage to Pete Seeger, with “Jesse James”:

Thanks Apple! Your screw up actually paid off this time!

Have you heard about Beck’s Record Club? It’s a really cool idea. He gets a group of friends together and they cover a whole album. In one day. They’ve done this a few times already, covering albums by Leonard Cohen, Skip Spence, and The Velvet Underground. This time they’re taking on INXS’ album Kick. Here’s Mr Hanson, joined by St. Vincent and Angus Andrews from Liars, doing a slowed-down version of “New Sensation”:

via Stereogum

Sunday Music Spotlight – The Little Ones

The Little Ones
It’s a beautiful spring day here in the mid-Atlantic, full of blue skies, gentle breezes, and plenty of sunshine. So it seems appropriate to feature a band that comes from a land of sunshine and plays the kind of top-down pop songs that sound best under clear skies. The Little Ones hail from LA, and their songs are as bright and clear as the California sunshine.
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Saturday Night Live has produced a ton of terrible movies over the years. Many of them came from funny sketches, but had a tough time translating a few minutes of laughs into a 90 minute film. The MacGruber sketches aren’t all that funny to begin with, and they have a hard time carrying a 2 1/2 minute red band trailer. Ouch. Check it out, if you dare:

MacGruber limps into theaters May 21st.

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