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M Ward, Nouvelle Vague, Rawk, New Hitchcock, and Mini-Cows   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 06, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


M WARD explains to the Village Voice why Post-War isn't a very political album: "I've never been that interested in recording the sound of me getting something off of my chest. I'm much more excited and enthusiastic about the idea of recording a record that's maybe gonna last a little while." The article calls "Chinese Translation" o­ne of Ward's best songs yet; you can see the cartoon at the link, or opt for his network TV debut. And you can still stream the album from Merge Records.

R.E.M. will reunite with former drummer Bill Berry when the band is inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Atlanta o­n September 16th. This will likely re-ignite those recurring rumors that Berry may rejoin the band.

NOUVELLE VAGUE: This French group, which just announced a tour, covers the alternative rock of the 80s -- including U2, The Clash, Blondie, Buzzcocks, Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, The Smiths, Dead Kennedys and more -- as cabaret music. Stream some via the Hype Machine.

WILLIE NELSON and RYAN ADAMS: Stereogum has more info about their collaboration tells you how to preview three advance tracks.

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK: Harp magazine has a piece o­n the rise and timeless appeal of hard rock, with a bit about the "bumper crop of rock bands flying the flag for classic big rock soundsóin teeny little clubs." And to think I had just featured Diamond Nights' "Destination Diamonds" in the Cutout Bin two Fridays ago. Of course, I don't need to tell Pate fans about hard rock, as the boys were rawking us with tracks like "New Year" and "She's So Special" when the Replacements were bringing KISS back into style.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS won Britain's Nationwide Mercury Prize for their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. The shocked band joked the prize should have gone to a fellow nominee from Sheffield: "Somebody call 999. Richard Hawley's been robbed." Stylus had handicapped the race, with profiles of the nominees: "Now, the Arctic Monkees will not win. Period." Isobel Campbell was pretty ambivalent about her chances when she spoke to Drowned In Sound. But now that's it's over, we can enjoy the return to YouTube of the live take of "I Bet You Look Good o­n The Dancefloor" o­n the Show That Must Not Be Named.

PET SOUNDS: The podcasts covering "That's Not Me" and "Don't Talk (Put Your Head o­n My Shoulder)" are posted at the album's 40th anniversary blog.

SGT. PEPPER'S retook the top spot in a recent poll of the UK's fave No. 1 album, bouncing back from a silly NME.com poll that gave the award to Definitely Maybe by Oasis.

MEET THE BEACHLES: How could I not folow items o­n Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper's without pointing you to the mash-up album Sgt. Petsounds?

ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 have released another advance track, "Museum of Sex," from Hitchcock's upcoming album, Ole! Tarantula. The song features a Groovy Decay-esque saxaphone part. YANP was also good enough to repost the first advance track, "Adventure Rocket Ship."

JESSICA SIMPSON is still croaking from the burst blood vessel in her vocal cords, but managed to hoarsely interrogate Manhattan attorney Salvatore Strazzullo about the tax implications of all the swag she carted off at the MTV VMAs. Given that she just got ex hubby Nick Lachey to take a lowball property settlement in their divorce, you would think money would not be a problem, but maybe she's been told that her album sales are disappointing. The pneumatic blonde also managed to croak a denial of the story that she's dating John Mayer, which may be true, depending o­n the definition of "dating." And BWE has video of her seemingly lip-synching o­n The View, which you would think she would abvoid after her sister's embarrassing SNL appearance, though this may relate back to a certain desperation to promote the album.

THE VILLAGE POLICEMAN was sentenced to three years' probation Tuesday o­n drug possession charges after he agreed to enter a treatment program. It's another victory for celeb defense lawyer Mark Geragos.

BRITNEY SPEARS makes a run for the border. The pregnant pop tart looks to be smoking, too.

KATIE COURIC began her o­n-air stint as anchor of the CBS Evening News. It was live-blogged by Prof. Ann Althouse, and insta-reviewed at Lost Remote, which was a bit kinder. Couric had already launched her blog at CBSNews, with Tabloid Baby catching her in an apparent lie. SEMI-RELATED: It turns out that the real action at CBS News is o­n the weekends with Russ Mitchell.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: It's a good thing Katie Couric ran those Vanity Fair pics of the Tom-Kitten last night, because Holmes ain't lookin' too good herself these days... BTW, here's that Vanity Fair cover.

RUPERT EVERETT complains that Hollywood discriminates against him because he's gay, while detailing "affairs with a series of high-profile women," including Susan Sarandon and the late Paula Yates. But his autobiography, Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins, looks to be deliciously catty about Hollywood, if his comments about Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Sharon Stone are any indication.

JOE ESZTERHAS: Speaking of catty tell-alls, the screewriter of Basic Instinct, Flashdance, Showgirls and Jagged Edge rips Val Kilmer, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, and Madonna (among others) in his new book, The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God.

MICHAEL CAINE sounds like he agrees with Everett and Eszterhas regarding the how stunningly banal and formulaic Hollywood has become. Kinda makes you wonder why he did Miss Congeniality, Austin Powers in Goldmember, and Bewitched.

MADONNA has hubby Guy Ritchie o­n a sex schedule to put the spice back into their love life. Because nothing says passion like a schedule.

THE FRENCH HOTEL: British graffiti artist Banksy has tampered with 500 copies of her new CD, Paris, changing pictures o­n the album sleeve to show Hilton topless and with a dog's head. And who noticed?

OSAMA BIN LADEN will not face capture in Pakistan if he agrees to lead a "peaceful life," Pakistani officials tell ABC News. Yet that report dropped ABC's earlier caviat that few expect the deal to hold up. The Asia Times has sources saying the US is set o­n a plan of hot pursuit of enemy combatants across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, so a withdrawal of Pakistani forces from the area would be convenient, wouldn't it?

IRAQ in the MEDIA: The Baltimore Sun runs a piece titled Killings o­n rise in Iraqi capital: "Although August as a whole was less violent than the month before, last week's killings suggested that death squads are still able to roam around Baghdad despite checkpoints and curfews." So if the US and Iraqi forces have a good month, we will focus o­n the last bad week, because it's not like both sides adapt their tactics as time goes o­n in a war, even though the article quotes US military spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Johnson: "This is going to be ebb and flow."

CARTOON JIHAD: Abu Bashar, who led a delegation of Danish imams to the Middle East to foment outrage over the cartoons of Mohammed published in Denmark (and used fakes to do so) knows three of the nine men arrested in Denmark in a suspected terror plot. And one of the German train bombing suspects a train ticket to the Danish city of Odense, where Bashar lives, and the clericís phone number. As Walt Disney taught us, it's a small, small, world.

A DOG STAR IS BORN, as the Internet discusses the IKEA catalog.

MINI-COWS are the Next Big Thing; let's go to the video. (Thanks, Dad.)

SNAKE in a CAR: Better still, the car was in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Shreveport, LA.

SNAKE in a SPLINT: A cobra got a new lease of life after veterinary surgeons in India treated its fractured bones and released him into the wild again.

150 EXOTIC MONKEYS lead this tale of incipient pet hoarding in a a middle-class Johannesburg suburb.

SUICIDE SQUIRREL enters paradise to stop a Finnish opera singer o­n a bicycle.

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Lou Reed, New Releases, Rare Dylan, Schoolhouse Rock, and Cujo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 05, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS tanked in the ratings, down 28 percent from last year and almost 50 percent from two years ago. Maybe they should have had more than a minute of Lou Reed with The Raconteurs playing "White Light, White Heat." BONUS: Reed joins David Bowie o­n "White Light, White Heat" and Bowie's "Queen B*tch."

NEW RELEASES: It's a slow week after the holiday and before a big week next Tuesday. Grizzly Bear's Yellow House and Hem's Funnel Cloud are the main attractions streaming in full from AOL this week, unless you're a fan of Beyonce or Iron Maiden. Stereogum did Inside the Rockers Studio with Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear, with a link to an alternate stream. The new Audioslave album is streaming from VH1. Heather Browne pointed me to Paolo Nutini, whose new record comes out in the US toaday, evoking bits of old skool R & B, Van Morrison, Joe Cocker and such. And if you want to get a jump o­n next week, you might check out TV o­n the Radio, which has "Wolf Like Me" from the Pitchfork-approved Return to Cookie Mountain posted ahead of the US release date.

BOB DYLAN: Last week's release of Modern Times inspired Aquarium Drunkard to repost 25 outtakes and alternates from Dylan's Freewheelin'. You can also jukebox 'em via the Hype Machine. SEMI-RELATED: Golden Fiddle posted a Dylan-inspired set of songs about trains.

R.I.P. WOXY: After two years, the fabulous Internet radio station will go offline Sept. 15th. Listen before it's too late.

ROBERT CHRISTGAU, o­ne of the deans of rock criticism, has been fired by the Village Voice. Canuck critic Carl Wilson asks: "If there's a Pazz & Jop poll this year, does it get boycotted?"

ROCK 'N' ROLL AIN'T NOISE POLLUTION: Researchers at a Scottish university believe that the sound of guitar-based rock such as Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC and the Red Hot Chili Peppers improves concentration and boosts memory. OTOH, the Housing Council in Cardiff is taking a 37-year-old mother-of-four to court for blasting out 80s hits, such as Europeís "The Final Countdown," and singing along until the early hours.

SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK: It is back-to-school season, so you may want a refresher course via You Tube. "Conjunction Junction," "I'm Just A Bill," My Hero, Zero" and many more, plus a "making of" documentary.

SUFJAN STEVENS is putting out a five-CD-EP Christmas box set in November. Gorilla vs. Bear posted a new song, "Sister Winter," and o­ne of Sufjan's old o­nes, "That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!"

TAPES N TAPES gets a nice profile in London's Guardian that begins with sage advice from indie marketing guru Clell Tickle.

EDDIE VAN HALEN, as previously noted, decided to do the music for an "adult" video. Stereogum has the MP3s, which you can stream via the Hype Machine.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer got his sentencing o­n drug charges postponed until December, after a judge ordered him to continue rehabilitation and complimented o­ne of his songs. No, I didn't make up that last bit. Maybe the judge should hear from Ozzy Osbourne's son Jack, who has figured out that Doherty doesn't want help yet.

STEVE IRWIN: The "Crocodile Hunter," icymi, was killed by a stingray barb to the chest off Australia's north coast. Marine experts say Irwin had little chance of surviving after being struck in the chest, as opposed to the foot. And there apparently is video that has been given to police. The Burning Oak blog posted MP3s in tribute.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Invincible managed to snag the top spot for a second weekend, with an estimated 15.2 million, beating out new releases Crank and The Wicker Man. The indie Little Miss Sunshine took fourth while The Illusionist took the fifth slot (with the highest per screen average) in an expanded release. The other new release, Crossover, stumbled into 11th place.

OLIVER STONE, watching World Trade Center slide into eighth place and struggle to make back its production and marketing costs, cannot hold his tongue any longer, accusing movies like Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down of promoting war: "Things have gotten very dark and frankly there is more terror, there is more death, there is more war. The consequences of 9/11 are far worse than the day itself." If Stone checks a history book, he may discover that there was also more war and more death after the real Pearl Harbor. He might also learn that Osama bin Laden was emboldened by the US pullout from Somalia, not to mention the US track record of not fighting back after the first WTC bombing, the Khobar Towers bombing, the 1998 US embassy bombings, and the USS Cole bombing.

THE McCARTNEYS: The increasingly acrimonious divorce of Sir Paul and his estranged wife Heather Mills is taking a psychological toll o­n their two-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde won a new Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 convertible at the VMAs last week.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: In the wake of his humiliating ejection from the Paramount lot, Cruise turned up to apologize personally to Brooke Shields for his anti-anti-depressant rant o­n the Today show. Cruise's first marriage to Nicole Kidman reportedly broke up during the filming of Eyes Wide Shut because the couple's characters were too close for comfort, according to a new Kidman biography. The National Enquirer claims to have seen the photos of the Tom-Kitten taken for Vanity Fair magazine: "The baby has a mop of dark hair and strongly resembles Katie. No resemblance to Tom is immediately apparent." While waiting to see those photos, we can enjoy this video of Top Gun as a silent movie.

MADONNA has enraged animal rights groups by importing baby pheasant chicks to her country estate in England so she can charge people 18K for the privilege of shooting them in October.

BEYONCE: Perez Hilton is posting a series accusing of the singer "borrowing" imagery from Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and the Spice Girls.

ELLEN DeGENERES and PORTIA de ROSSI were in a chain auto collision late Friday afternoon. TMZ has video of the aftermath, because o­ne of the cars in the chain was full of paparazzi. I smell lawsuit -- Ellen complained of neck and back pain, while Portia complained of back pain.

LIZA MINNELLI and PETER GEST BREAK-UPDATE: Their nasty divorce battle is escalating, with Minnelli accusing Gest of trying to poison her and Gest charging that she hid the fact that she had a sexually transmitted disease.

BRADGELINA: Controversial artist Daniel Edwards -- who did the wacky sculpture of Britney Spears -- is working o­n an X-rated sculpture of Brad Pitt with both Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. Both Aniston and Jolie are reported to be angered by the plans, and are taking appropriate measures to ensure the work is never exhibited. Just goes to show the power of art to bring people together, though a source told the Daily Star that Pitt "doesnít seem to be bothered by the threesome portrayal at all." Which is because he's male and aware of Jolie's bisexual past.

IRAQ: The Iraqi Ground Forces Command assumed command and control of the 8th Iraqi Army Division from the Multinational Corps Iraq. Iraqi security forces will take over security in the Dhi Qar province later this month. Al Qaeda's No. 2 operative in Iraq, linked to the Samarra mosque bombing in February, has been arrested. AQ denies it, which suggests it might be a bigger deal than I would have thought. Pajamas Media reports that US troops uncovered at least 240 chemical weapon shells north of Baghdad, fortunately empty (though Saddam's regime could have filled them quickly enough).

IRAQ in the MEDIA: The L.A. Times ran a ridiculous piece, "Iraqi Casualties Increase by 1,000 a Month," claiming to be based o­n "based o­n new government figures." The story now carries a correction of the initial version, but the fat remains that the Pentagon report does not contain new figures. Moreover, the same paper reported o­n the dramatic drop in Baghdad's homicide rate last week. In August, violent deaths dropped from 3500 to 973 nationwide and from 1500 to 550 in Baghdad. Last week, The New York Times tried to pretend the drop wasn't happening, focusing instead o­n a couple of bad days (just as they did in April). Now the NYT reports: "Troops Cut Death, but Not Fear, in Baghdad Zone." If the press fairly and consistently looked at longer trends, it might be concluded that numbers-wise, things haven't changed much since February, though some progress is being made in Baghdad.

FREDDIE the DOG digs a pony.

CUJO is not a good name for a dog, especially after it bites a four-year-old boy.

DOGS: Does being being left-pawed, right-pawed or ambidextrous indicate an animal's suitability for a career in law enforcement or as a guide dog for the blind? Scientists investigate.

HEDGEHOGS force McDonald's to redesign its McFlurry ice-cream containers.

A BEAR-HUNTING TRIP goes very wrong in Alaska. Not as wrong as in Grizzly Man, most likely because this man had a gun.

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I was gonna take the day off, but y'all kept coming!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 04, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


...So here's an all musical entry for your holiday enjoyment.  I'll be back at full steam Tuesday.

HAPPY LABOR DAY: I could o­nly find the audio for Billy Bragg's take o­n "There Is Power In A Union." That's probably because that track is from Talking To The Taxman About Poetry. And the single from that LP was the gorgeous "Greetings To The New Brunette," which features some swirly guitar work from The Smiths' Johnny Marr, backing vocals from Kirsty MacColl and some tasteful tambourine.

MORE SONGS ABOUT WORKING AND FOOD: Harmonium is killing music with working songs. The San Luis Obispo Tribune has an article discussing a few work songs, but primarily a playlist of some of the greatest songs ever inspired by a rumbling stomach.

SUMMER MIXES: Some Velvet Blog has posted a summer mini-mix; you can stream tracks there or jukebox them via the Hype Machine. The mix was sparked by The Tyde -- which I heard and liked even before knowing that Ric Menck (who originally hails from my neck of the woods) was o­n drums. And if you don't jukebox the set, you might miss an earlier track o­n SVB -- a "More Cowbell" mash-up! The accompanying post also has video of Christopher Walken and The Chambers Bros. "Time Has Come Today." Back o­n subject, I note that the stock photo and illustration house Veer is for some unkown reason posting summer mix playlists, which you can then buy through iTunes.

THE BEATLES (and their survivors) have been given the green light to return to court for the latest round in a long-running, multi-million pound battle with EMI and Capitol Records over royalties. Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, together with John Lennon's widow Yoko o­no, the estate of the late George Harrison and the Beatles' company Apple Corps, are also seeking to reclaim the rights to the band's master recordings. London's Independent counts down the Fab Four's Top Ten Lawsuits.

THE REPLACEMENTS: The Jefitoblog has posted a bootleg from The Ritz, in NYC, o­n July 27, 1987. You can jukebox it via the Hype Machine by selecting o­ne of the media players at the top of the page at the link.

SHAKE IT LIKE A POLAROID PICTURE: Mat Weddle has raised the visibility of his band, Obadiah Parker, with this unpluggety cover of Outkast's "Hey Ya." Obviously a different take than the original. As Andre 3000 tells Rolling Stone that the song was inspired by seeing The Hives, I thought I'd toss in that band's "Hate To Say I Told You So" as a bonus.

RONALD ISLEY, who sang such hits as "Twist and Shout" and "This Old Heart of Mine" as a member of the Isley Brothers, was sentenced o­n Friday to three years in federal prison for tax evasion. Isley fought the power and... well, you know...

THE GUILLEMOTS get a feature about the quirky band's sudden UK success in London's Independent o­n the eve of the Mercury Prize award for which the band was nominated. Frontman Fyfe Dangerfield: "I already feel like we've made it. I felt like we'd made it last December when we played to a sold out crowd of 300. But we've kept upping the stakes. After we supported Rufus Wainwright I didn't think we could top that, but then we did Top of the Pops, which was beyond surreal. Then, last month, when we played T In The Park, no o­ne would leave the tent after we'd finished playing. And last night in Colchester we had a massive audience singalong and I even spotted someone air-drumming to a song!" There are plenty of tracks streaming via the Hype Machine, natch. Good stuff.

THE KINKS: Heather Browne gives a big thumbs up to the tribute album, This Is Where I Belong: The Songs of Ray Davies and The Kinks. She posted a few tracks -- including covers from Fountains of Wayne and Jonathan Richman -- which you can also stream via the Hype Machine.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel still hopes for a Buddhist-inspired quasi-marriage to the troubled singer, telling friends, "I love him so much. Heís the sexiest man o­n the planet." Meanwhile, Doherty is being kicked out of the flat he has trashed owing more than £10,000 in rent. The walls of the £350,000 pad are covered in blood and graffiti and used syringes and broken glass carpet the floor. So Pete shouldn't be expecting his security deposit back. Meanwhile, you can hear his collaboration with Mike Skinner o­n The Streets MySpace page.

CAR-EOKE: My iPod was in shuffle mode while I was driving around this weekend, but it didn't seem very random, serving up a heckuva summer mix. Loaded with more than a week's worth of music, the first ten songs it selected were: Cheap Trick - Hello There (seen at the end of this rare Japanese clip); The Ramones - Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio; The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star; The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer In The City; AC/DC - Back In Black; Belle & Sebastian - Sukie in the Graveyard; Carl Carlton - Everlasting Love; B-52s - Deadbeat Club; The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me; and The Beach Boys - When I Grow Up To Be A Man. Later, it served up great transitions, like o­ne from Blondie - Dreaming to The Clash - Spanish Bombs and a trifecta of: T. Rex - 20th Century Boy; Paper Lace - The Night Chicago Died and The Jackson 5 - ABC. Sylvia Hauser recently reminded me that "ABC" was the first 45 she ever bought. I had to confess my recent interest in the song was due to its appearance in the best scene in Clerks 2.

THE JERRY LEWIS MDA TELETHON is a Labor Day staple, but I didn't know if I was going to catch any of it this year. Fortunately, the magic of YouTube brings us Frank Sinatra's famous 1976 appearance (Parts 1, 2, 3). Part Two is where Ol' Blue Eyes springs estranged ex-partner Dean Martin o­n Jerry. There's also a more recent clip of the clearly unhealthy Lewis courageously struggling through his traditional rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone."

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Ramones, Peter Holsapple, VMAs, Cutout Bin, and a Super-Squirrel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 01, 2006 - 09:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with THE RAMONES, playing Live in Rome, circa 1980. A concert documentary in three parts (1, 2, 3) showing the lads delivering o­ne of their trademarked relentless performances. At a castle, no less. Hey, ho!

CHROMEWAVES: Frank Yang may be the Martin Scorsese of blog awards, but his Chromewaves blog is "a great site to be introduced to new music" and a "must-read," in no small part because "in a field sometimes marked by over-the-top writing, his prose style remains enthusiastic, yet admirably restrained." And he's a Cal Ripken of blogging, too -- I can't remember him missing a day. What's more, he's going to be helping steer the future of music policy in October, along with people like David Byrne. Anyway, despite the fact that I steal from him frequently, Pate has made his blogroll. And while it's probably not really like two grand in our pockets, I'm honored that he found the site useful. So I'm having site admin Lance add Chromewaves to the site's "Interesting Links" page -- which is the closest thing we have to a blogroll. And it's inspired me to add some more notable music blogs there in the future, which I'll note here as needed.

DINOSAUR, JR. wuz robbed! No, really. Someone stole all of the band's gear in Brooklyn.

IS IT A "BACK TO SCHOOL" VIBE? Serendipity seems to have a number of music bloggers posting tracks from folks who Pate fans will probably remember from college. Some Velvet Blog is streaming a pair of tracks from Rage To Live (the Johnny Jenkins tracks are cool also, but I digress), who (as SVB notes) along with The Individuals (which I have o­n vinyl), The Feelies, The dB's and Yo La Tengo, defined the "Hoboken Sound." The dB's (who recently reunited in Chicago) were originally from Winston-Salem, NC, so imagine my delight that the NC Music History Blog posted some rare live stuff like dB's leader Peter Holsapple playing "Love Is For Lovers" solo. Musician-producers Mitch Easter and Don Dixon play o­n the other tracks posted there, which got me thinking about Easter's old band and turned up Let's Active's "Sweepstakes Winner." And while the pair is best known for producing the early R.E.M. records, Easter also produced NC fave The Connells. As the kids like to say these days, "Good Times..."

SUFJAN STEVENS is rockin' a new Fu Manchu o­n the cover of Topic magazine.

THE MTV MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS: Despite a gatecrasher's attempt to steal the top prize from J-Lo's hands and the efforts of Jack Black, the 2006 VMAs were reportedly pretty lame, though you can watch the show o­nline to judge for yourself. I won't spoil it by telling you the winner of Video of the Year. However, I will point you to The Five Most Absurd Moments In VMA History (with video) courtesy of the re-launched Cracked magazine.

BEN FOLDS has a blog o­n MySpace where he enthuses over the Dresden Dolls and how good it feels to draw a penis o­n the wall with a Sharpie marker. You can stream a bunch of Ben via the Hype Machine. Currently, there are some fairly odd cover songs in that playlist. If you click o­n o­ne of the icons at the top of the page, you'll have yourself a streaming Ben Folds jukebox.

THE CUTOUT BIN: Friday's fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine include: The Flaming Lips - If I Only Had A Brain; The Beatles - Junk; Bob Dylan - Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again; James Brown - Super Bad; Ike & Tina Turner - Bold Soul Sister; Blackbyrds - Do It, Fluid; Bananarama - Cruel Summer; New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle; The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979; The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner; Matthew Sweet - Livin' Thing (ELO); The Ataris - The Boys of Summer (Don Henley); Styx - Come Sail Away; and The Beach Boys - I Just Wasn't Made for These Times (Stereo Mix).

LESLIE FEIST got a marriage proposal in the pages of the Portland Mercury. You can find plenty of Feist, including an appearance o­n MPR's The Current and (esp. for Dale Stevermer) her cover of The Kinks' "Nothin' in This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'bout That Girl via the Hype Machine.

RUSH: Just in case Craig O'Neill visits over the weekend, I just wanted to note that The BM Rant recently blogged 2112, which you can stream via the Hype Machine.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Parlophone is pretending it hasn't inked a £1 million deal with the troubled singer's band, Babyshambles. The label admits it has been in talks with him, though. It's the record label equivalent of someone doing the "walk of shame" as they desperately try to forget a drunken, sleazy o­ne-night stand.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON has a sex scene in The Black Dahlia so steamy that critics have complained they found it difficult to concentrate afterward. Which officially makes me less geeky than movie critics. Who knew? TMZ has amusing video of Scarlett trying to address the issue of how sexy she is at a press conference for the movie.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's two widest releases, the Nicolas Cage horror-thriller The Wicker Man, and the Jason Statham action flick Crank, were not screened for critics. Crank is currently scoring 100 percent based o­n seven reviews o­n the Tomatometer, so it seems likely to drop (though it does have Dwight Yoakum and the dishy Amy Smart). The remaining new wide release is the basketball drama Crossover, which is currently getting a zero based o­n 20 reviews, so it's probably your must-avoid flick. The Illusionist is going into near-wide release at just under 1,000 screens -- I've noted it's good, though uninviting, with some Paul Giamatti goodness. And there's Little Miss Sunshine, too, if you haven't already seen it.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Splash News is claiming that Lohan's boyfriend Harry Morton was spotted at Cartier allegedly purchasing an engagement ring. And they do have pictures of him in the store. The pair have been dating for o­nly a month, but sometimes these things move fast.

MADONNA is arguing with hubby Guy Ritchie because she wants to take the kids o­n her Confessions world tour, instead of putting them in school. It seems like just a few months ago that Madge was claiming she couldn't tour Australia because her kids would have to be going to school.

JESSICA SIMPSON admits visiting the trout pout shop. Meanwhile, TMZ has video of ex Nick Lachey chasing Vanessa Minillo at full gallop.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes has a contingency plan to escape Cruise's clutches by helicopter, according to the ever-relaible Star magazine.

JOHN TRAVOLTA was snapped kissing a man o­n the lips. NTTAWWT, though L. Ron might disagree.

NICOLE KIDMAN: A rep for the actress suspects paparazzi may be doctoring photos to make Kidman look pregnant.

BRADGELINA: In Touch Weekly's latest story -- that Jolie "looks" pregnant again -- seems completely unfounded. The sole reason I mention it is for the response from Pitt's rep: "It's so stupid. That magazine is a joke." Technically a non-denial, but funny enough to sell me.

GEORGE CLOONEY and ELLEN BARKIN are heating up, according to London's Daily Mirror.

FORTY YEARS OF SI SWIMSUIT EDITION COVERS: I figured that traffic might be low here today in advance of the holiday, so here's a special treat for those of you stopping by.

YAHRR! Given Pate's origin in Iowa, I must note that the Congressional seat vacated by Rep. Nussle to run for Governor is being contested by a Pirate named James Hill.

SNAKES o­n a PLANE: The Unofficial Fisher-Price SoaP Action Set. Sadly, I was outbid for it.

RADICAL ISLAMISTS forced the cancellation of a 60th gala birthday party for the late Zanzibar-born Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

IRAN, to the surprise of no o­ne, failed to stop nuclear enrichment by a Thursday deadline, according to the UN's atomic watchdog. To the contrary, the report from the International Atomic Energy Agency details Iran's continued stonewalling and lack of cooperation with the agency. Inspectors have found highly enriched uranium, which at extreme levels can fuel bombs, twice in the past. The nuclear fingerprint of a recently verified sample did not match the others, though this appears to be from old, spent fuel.

AN ORPHANED BABY SQUIRREL survives a lightning strike in McAlester, OK.

BEBE, a five-year-old BICHON FRISE, becomes the first dog to get a court order of protection in the state of New York.

PET HOARDING: This time it's just 27 cats in Nashua, NH. But they still smelled bad.

AN EIGHT-FOOT GATOR was not allowed to audit gym class at Parrott Middle School in Brooksville, FL.

THE SHARK POPULATION is dwindling worldwide. I guess they're gonna need a bigger boat.

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New Decemberists and Pernice Bros., Flaming Lips, and Cows   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 31, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BOB DYLAN: Stereogum will hook you up with the video he did with Scarlett Johansson and his new iPod commercial. The New Yorker nicely reprints a 1964 profile of Dylan by Nat Hentoff, in which he declared he was done with "finger-pointing" songs. Remember, his new album is streaming in full from AOL this week.

THE DECEMBERISTS gave a free MP3 download titled "Summersong" to Pitchfork.

NEKO CASE doesn't need to be called alt-country; "country" is just fine with her. There's plenty of Neko, including a gig with Calexico, streaming at the Hype Machine at the moment, though my favorite of hers may still be "Deep Red Bells."

CAT POWER talks to The Phoenix about the benefits of sobriety and mixing solo shows with band gigs.

BRIAN WILSON always seems pretty lucid when he talks about Pet Sounds. You can hear it in the podcasts for the 40th Anniversary reissue, which is still streaming in full from AOL this week.

THE FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that behind the Jane Jetson-style dresses, green alien masks and Santa Claus suits is the relationship the band enjoys with its audience: "I came from the audience. To me, the audience makes all the difference. We really do come here to be with them. The way our show is now, without the audience being able to freak out and surrender to all this stuff, I don't think it would be anything." you can see those costumes at work in last month's TV performance of "Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber)," which also has Coyne working a double-neck guitar. The video quality is better o­n this mournful cover of "Suspicious Minds" for the BBC. And if you're new to the Lips' live antics, you should check out these short clips of Coyne in the Space Bubble and leading Red Rocks through part of "Bohemian Rhapsody."

TEGAN and SARA: Tegan does the "Random Rules" iPod shuffle for the A.V. Club, causing her to praise the praiseworthy Brendan Benson. You can stream Tegan and Sara via the Hype Machine, and Brendan Benson's "Spit It Out" via MySpace. Of course, I like his Spector-esque "The Pledge" and the title track to "The Alternative To Love" almost as much.

BLOG BUZZ MELTDOWN: I wish I had written the "Net Gains" section of this column in the Broward- Palm Beach New Times.

THE PERNICE BROTHERS are streaming new material from their recently redesigned website.

BECK talks with Wired about his new album and whether his last album, Guero, helped mark the death of the album as we know it.

JESSICA SIMPSON: US Weekly got around to blogging some of the details her hookup with John Mayer from their print story, after getting scooped by People's website Tuesday. The Simpson andd Mayer camps disagree over the amount of canoodling, but Mayer has laryngitis, just like she does. Coincidentally enough, ex Nick Lachey has finally "moved o­n" from the pneumatic blonde.

BRITNEY SPEARS would like you to buy her baby girl a chandelier. Meanwhile, hubby Spenderline will play the deadbeat husband of a celebrity o­n HBO's Entourage. I would have thought he'd get that sort of role o­n Law & Order -- ripped from today's headlines!

GWEN STEFANI is said to be "boycotting" the MTV Video Music Awards because of the shoddy treatment she got last year.

PINK is the new Hank Williams, Jr. For some reason, I'm not surprised.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Her wacky convict dad is now explaining the details of the wacky cartoon he sent in to the New York Daily News. And her flacks are back to pushing the "Harry Morton is trying to clean up her act" story.

GLENN FORD, a top box-office draw in the 1950s whose career spanned more than five decades and more than 100 films, was found dead at his Beverly Hills home by L.A. Fire Department paramedics just before 4 p.m. Wednesday. He was 90.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Viacom, having kicked Cruise off the Paramount lot, now has its SpikeTV channel mocking him, even while promoting him. Meanwhile, a Cruise look-alike is stealing prescription drugs from homes in Arapahoe County, CO.

BRADGELINA: Pitt and Jolie have people saying we should reset our Bradgelina decoder rings to "Happier than ever!"

CAMBERLAKE IN TROUBLE? Page Six says Justin Timberlake is acting single sans Cameron Diaz while promoting his CD. He's also taped a segment for the Ellen show that makes him sound like a wedding is about 15 years off.

NYC MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG endorses Shakira for the Video of the Year at MTVís Video Music Awards, passing over Xtina Aguilera, who would have appealed not o­nly to the Latino vote, but also to the locals generally.

JOE PISCOPO's divorce from his kid's former nanny is getting ugly. Who'da thunk?

HILARY SWANK denied hooking up with her agent in April as she divorced Chad Lowe, but it seems that the pair has been caught canoodling. Coincidentally, Campisi recently split from his wife, with whom he has a toddler.

EDU-BLOGGING: The 82nd Carnival of Education is posted, with a distinctly theatrical twist.

IRAQ and COUNTER-INSURGENCY: I haven't read Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam, but author Lt. Col. John A. Nagl -- who served in Iraq -- may have sold me with the preface to the paperback edition: "Authors generally learn something about their subject matter, and then write about it. I took the opposite approach..." That might sound odd, but I think it ultimately underscores the point that insurgent conflicts like Malaysia or Vietnam, the Philippines or Algeria, tend to be long and messy, regardless of outcome. And I don't know if Nagl ends up discussing troop levels, but when you look at these examples (esp. Vietnam and Algeria), it's hard to make a case that having more troops in Iraq at the outset would necessarily have made a difference.

BLOGGERS ABROAD: I'm a little remiss in mentioning that Publius Pundit has been blogging from Ukraine, where the Orange Revolution is faltering and Princess Leia is their o­nly hope. Michael J. Totten has been blogging from the border of Israel near Gaza, posting plenty of pictures, too.

A BABY ALBINO PYGMY MARMOSET clings to life -- and a thumb -- at the Froso Zoo in Sweden. The pygmy marmoset rarely rises above a weight of 100 grams.

SNAKES AT A MAILBOX: A timely twist o­n the postal cliche.

SNAKES o­n a CRIME SPREE: A car was stolen from an Arkansas convenience store Sunday night after the suspects allegedly used snakes to scare the carís owner away from her keys earlier in the day.

SNAKES o­n a PLANE will be auctioned off to benefit an animal rights organization.

DUTCH COWS NEED SEX, according to an animal rights group in Amsterdam.

SWISS COWS, however, do not want you to hug it out with them, so back off, willya?

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