Mixed Media

Never-Nudes Rejoice: Arrested Development Movie In the Works?

| Thu Nov. 13, 2008 3:30 PM EST

mojo-photo-arresteddev.jpgSo much good news! Obama wins, and now this—can the discovery that donuts are good for you be far behind? Some website called Collider.com has video of Jeffrey Tambor saying that an Arrested Development movie "is a go." Eeee! The details are sketchy but Tambor seems pretty confident, claiming that "when the writer and the director calls you it's a pretty good sign." Also, last night Keith Olbermann reported that David Cross has also confirmed he got the same call. It all seems so real, but maybe this is just a bunch of fake mini-actors meant to fool Japanese investors?

After the jump: the long, Bluthian saga

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XM and Sirius Merge (and Cut) Stations

| Wed Nov. 12, 2008 9:06 PM EST

mojo-photo-siriusxmmerger.jpgRolling Stone reports that the long-anticipated union of XM and Sirius' roster of music channels took place today, resulting in the elimination of some stations. The move had been expected since the companies' merger went through back in July, but it still took some listeners by surprise. Flagship stations like Sirius' Howard Stern channel and the Eminem-led "Shade 45" as well as XM's Bob Dylan and Tom Petty stations will remain, unsurprisingly, but say goodbye to Sirius' "Left of Center" (whose college rock playlist is now supposed to be covered by XM's "XMU") and XM's "Fred," "Ethel" and "Lucy," whose variations on the alt-rock theme are all kaput.

After the jump: hear a station die!

Top 5: New Music

| Wed Nov. 12, 2008 8:22 PM EST

mojo-photo-top5-1112.jpg

In this edition, blippy '80s-style electro bemoans unrequited love, swaggering rock offers brutal dishonesty, freaky beats reminisce about sugary treats, Portugal gives us the party jams, and in the biggest shocker of all, a hip-hop producer may enjoy marijuana.

1. Lo-Fi Fnk – "Want U" (from Kitsune Maison 6)
This track from the juggernaut French electro label combines a retro-rave piano line with deadpan neo-80s vocals for a sound that's somewhere between Madonna producer Stuart Price and Cut Copy, then, halfway through, it seems to de- and re-construct itself. Sure, as the lyrics say, "you can't make someone want you," but you can sure make them like your crazy tune. (mp3 from Ohh! Crapp)

2. Eagles of Death Metal – "Anything 'Cept the Truth" (from Heart On on Downtown)
These Eagles have always seemed like a junk-food dalliance compared to Josh Homme's other project, the meat-and-potatoes (and, uh, drugs) Queens of the Stone Age. The new album is a mixed bag and often descends into eye-rolling raunch-camp, but when it gets a little serious, it takes on the strutting groove of the Rolling Stones. (Stream at Last.fm)

3. Tobacco – "Hairy Candy" (from F***ed Up Friends on Anticon)
People call this kind of music "druggy," but to me it just seems awesome, although I've always said I may just be naturally stoned. Tobacco is apparently one guy, a member of Pittsburgh freaks Black Moth Super Rainbow (whose 2007 album Dandelion Gum is also great). Friends was recorded way out in rural Pennsylvania, and while its noodly synth melodies may owe something to Boards of Canada, this is gritty and organic music, a nature walk with a kooky 70s soundtrack. (mp3 from Penned Madness)

Elton John, Tegan & Sara Weigh In on Prop 8

| Wed Nov. 12, 2008 6:30 PM EST

mojo-photo-tegansaraelton.jpgThe passage of California's Proposition 8, re-banning same-sex marriage, has inspired a variety of responses from music's out gays. While most have reacted with anger, some even threatening to withhold taxes, Sir Elton John is more practical. Gays and lesbians have often made peace with our lack of marriage rights by rejecting the institution itself, and John has taken this side, blaming Prop 8's win on "the word marriage" freaking people out:

"What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage… I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," said John. "The word marriage, I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships."

Okay, Elton, let me introduce you to Tegan & Sara.

Yes, You're Old: Nirvana Baby, Now 17, Reenacts Nevermind Cover

| Wed Nov. 12, 2008 5:52 PM EST

mojo-photo-nevermindguy.jpgI know your corns were giving you trouble and you just stepped on your bifocals, but here's another reminder of your rapidly advancing age: the wee tot whose wee-wee was displayed proudly on the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind album is now 17 years old, and he has recreated the famous photo, just to rub it in. Spencer Elden was just a baby when his parents were paid $200 to drop him in a pool for the up-and-coming Seattle band. The resulting image of the infant swimming hungrily after a dollar bill (coinciding with Nirvana's move to Geffen) has since become one of the most iconic in the history of recorded music. MTV News says it's "unclear" why Elden shot the new photo, although I think the subject of the photo itself might be a big hint. Elden's wearing dopey board shorts in the new photo, which EW's Popwatch blog says turns out to be "the difference between art and commerce," and they're right: naked, it would have been a kind of John-Lennon-In-Bed-With-Yoko statement, but instead it gives the impression some sleazy web site gave him 50 bucks, and he goes "okay, but I'm keeping the shorts on," and they go, "fine, just hurry up, we've got a Lohan story to cover." So the whole thing feels more sad and embarrassing than anything else. ...Or wait, maybe that's our gray hair that's sad and embarrassing.

Photo from splashnewsonline.com.

Still Rappin' For Obama

| Wed Nov. 12, 2008 4:44 PM EST

Seeing Party Ben's post on Jay Z's new victory rap, I thought I'd add a link to an NPR bit on how Obama energized (and cleaned up) some rappers. Apparently, some have moved from 'hos to po-li-ti-cos!

Get it?

See? I'm not a nerd.

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TV on the Radio and Portishead Battle It Out for Album of the Year

| Tue Nov. 11, 2008 6:38 PM EST

Perhaps you aren't aware of it, but deep in the trenches of music criticism, there's a war being fought. With only a month and a half left in 2008, nerds around the world will soon be forced to choose an Album of the Year, and there are two major contenders: Portishead's Third, an utterly bleak comeback album that makes the band's earlier work look like High School Musical, and TV on the Radio's Dear Science, a step forward for a band of Gloomy Gusses who suddenly seem almost optimistic. In the interest of helping music critics and music-critic-wannabes, here's a helpful graph comparing different aspects of the two albums.

New Music: The Sea and Cake

| Mon Nov. 10, 2008 6:53 PM EST

seaandcake150.jpgI must admit that when I first heard that Chicago rockers The Sea and Cake had another new album out—just a year after their last one—I was suspicious. That kind of prolificacy is rare to say the least. I mean, who are these guys, Stephen King? I suspected they would have lost some stamina along the way.

But I need not have worried, since this album, Car Alarm, is every bit as energetic and enthralling as the band's 2007 effort. A bit of background: At the height of Chicago's mid-'90s scene, members of legendary groups Tortoise, Shrimp Boat, and Coctails came together to form the Sea and Cake, which, since then, has evolved into a jazzed-up post-rock band. The quartet's eighth album finds the boys up to their old tricks, buzzing effortlessly from buoyant pop songs ("Aerial," "Window Sills") to dreamy steel-drum jams ("The Staircase"). This time, though, the buzz is subtle—think Sunday morning coffee, not nightclub. "Well I want inspiration/I keep it locked up, I want more," singer Sam Prekop whispers in "Down in the City." It's that sense of holding back—the energy just beneath Prekop's imperturbable cool—that gives this album its delicious tension. Contrary to its name, Car Alarm is anything but monotonous.

Read Stereogum's interview with the Sea and Cake guys here.

New Jay-Z Track Celebrates Obama Win

| Mon Nov. 10, 2008 5:29 PM EST

mojo-photo-jayz.jpgVarious web sites seem to be in disagreement about whether this new Jay-Z track was "officially" released or just leaked, but either way, it's on the internet and you can hear it. It's called "We Made History" and apparently celebrates Barack Obama's win on Tuesday with lyrics like "Where are you, victory? I need you desperately/Not just for the moment, to make history." The track was produced by Kanye West (in his new, ultra-basic synth-y style) and features the vocals of singer Tony Williams. It's got an appropriate lighters-in-the-air tempo, but resembles nothing so much as a cross between The Cars' "Drive" and a Chinese love song, and I'm not sure I'm down with it. But then again I thought "Love Lockdown" was weird at first and now I think it's awesome, so maybe I should just trust Kanye.

Listen or download "We Made History" here.

Also: this is the Riff's 1,000th post. Hooray! There's cake in my office! Not really! Either way, thanks for putting up with me, MoJo staff and readers. Now if we could just get more of the Jonesians to post stuff over here, we could almost have a real blog...

Photo by Flickr user Kim Erlandsen used under a Creative Commons license.

Melissa Etheridge Says "You Can Forget My Taxes"

| Fri Nov. 7, 2008 6:40 PM EST

mojo-photo-melissaetheridge.jpgYou go. Singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge has published a blog entry on Tina Brown's upstart web site "The Daily Beast" in which she responds to the recent passage of California's Proposition 8 by promising she won't pay state taxes any more:

Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

Hey, can we do that? Well, as much as I'm all about a creative class tax cut, my meager, scattershot, and often-cash income, plus the ability to write off just about everything I do (please don't audit me!) means the whole "not paying taxes" thing wouldn't be much of a protest in my house. Here's my suggestion: let's make Mormons' fears real, and try and destroy as many happy heterosexual marriages as we can. I'll meet you at the Pitt-Jolie mansion, Melissa. Wear something sexy, we've got work to do.