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Feist, Peter Jesperson, Okkervil River, and Andi the Police Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 16, 2005 - 08:10 AM
Posted by: kbade



WOLFGANG'S VAULT: According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Sagan picked up a ton of vintage rock posters, photos. shirts, tickets and other memorabilia when Bill Graham Presents sold out to Clear Channel. Word has it that Sagan is working o­n the audio and video as well.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: From last year, penguin diving.

LESLIE FEIST has more tour dates, including a stop at the fabled M-Shop in Ames. Fellow BSSer Jason Collett will be opening most of the gigs. Feist has audio at her redesigned website.

KRISTEN HERSH is offering a free EP from her current band, 50 Foot Wave, to attract "earballs." Hersh writes: "It's an experiment. Who knows how it will go? Wheee!"

PETER JESPERSON, the man who discovered The Replacements and co-founded Twin/Tone Records, is now a Senior VP and A&R rep for maverick indie label New West Records, where he handles Drive-By Truckers, the Austin City Limits catalog, and much more. And he uses o­ne of my favorite phrases, "who'd a-thunk?"

SXSW 2006 has announced a partial lineup, as if The Arctic Monkeys, Belle and Sebastian, The Boy Least Likely To, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Neko Case, Cat Power, The Earlies, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Go! Team, Clarence Frogman Henry, The Plimsouls, Robert Pollard, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Tom Verlaine, and many, many more, along with events featuring Neil Young, kd lang, Sam Moore, the Pretenders, Judy Collins, Billy Bragg, and Kris Krisofferson weren't enough to whet your appetite.

SEASON OF THE LIST:   Filter has Top Tens from Finn Cohen of The Nein, Clearlake, Odd Nosdam of cLOUDDEAD and The Like.  The A.V. Club has seven "best ofs" from the staff.

THE ATTORNEYS are (with an occasional misfire) making with the early 80's new wave sounds with two pages at MySpace. Check 'em out, if you're in the mood for that sound; some of the stuff o­n the second page is very Brit Nouveau.

THE WHITE STRIPES: Jack complains that other bands are adopting the band's red, white and black color scheme. Jack is also working o­n a commercial for Coca-Cola, which I believe used the same scheme even before the Stripes.  So did Pate.

OKKERVIL RIVER scores an 8.2 o­n the Pitchfork for the Black Sheep Boy Appendix EP. You can hear some of the initial Black Sheep Boy album at MySpace and the OR website.

JOY DIVISION: New Order are working o­n new material for Control, the long-awaited biopic of the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis.

RHETT MILLER: The Old 97's frontman talks about his upcoming album, The Believer (due Feb. 28), at Rolling Stone.

COLDPLAY frontman Chris Martin is jabbed repeatedly by former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown. For example, he thinks the current Coldplay album "sounds so much like Echo & the Bunnymen that it amazes him how they've got away with it. (I thought it was the Jesus and Mary Chain that picked up where your precious Echo left off.)

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer is slammed for wasting his life o­n drugs... by Ozzy Osbourne. Ouch. And Doherty’s former drug dealer has begged him to have an HIV test — after being diagnosed with the virus himself. Not a good weekend for ol' Pete.

KING KONG: Universal has to be a little nervous at the 9.8 million opening, but I would think that a 60-65 million weekend would be quite good for a three hour film. USA Today has some of the fun facts for fanboys to which I alluded in my mini-review yesterday. Naomi Watts tells Dark Horizons that she might slow down and start a family; wonder if Liev Schreiber knows about this... ALSO: Boing-Boing hooks you up to inter-species romance.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Kong mays also benefit from the other movies opening wide this weekend are faring poorly o­n the Tomatometer.

BRITNEY SPEARS reclaimed the top spot o­n Yahoo's annual list of the most-searched for terms o­n the Internet. But photo searches favored Jessica Simpson and the French Hotel.

MORGAN FREEMAN says the concept of a month dedicated to black history is "ridiculous" in an interview o­n CBS' 60 Minutes to air Sunday. "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."

GEORGE W. BUSH HATES WHITE PEOPLE: Although the 2000 Census shows New Orleans was 28 percent white, caucasians appear to make up 41 percent of the dead from Hurricane Katrina. Maybe Kanye West should have a sitdown with Morgan Freeman.

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE and JONATHAN SCHAECH just announced they're getting divorced, but she's already seeing Alaskan fisherman/rocker/skateboarder Lee Grivas? I keep imagining Schaech calling her a smelly pirate hooker, but not in a good way.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is doing an underwater photo shoot for the Water Aid charity. After diving into the tank used for the James Bond films at Pinewood Studios, Knightley joked, "I don’t think I’ve got the right assets for a Bond film — but maybe I’ll become a scuba diver after this shoot!"

GLORIA STEINEM criticizes Hugh Hefner and gets criticized for it by Muslim groups.

TERI HATCHER gets an apology from the National Enquirer over the story that she used a van in her driveway for sex romps. I'm also sorry that's not true.

50 CENT: I think Perez Hilton is implying something about the gangsta. NTTAWWT.

SETVE GUTTENBERG: I know, I know... but this interview may be the funniest thing he's done in decades: "From 1980 to 1990, I shot more films than any other actor in the Screen Actors Guild apart from Gene Hackman. Everyone keeps asking me that stupid question: 'What are you doing?' I say: 'Why do I need to do anything? I'm rich...'" And he's just warming up.

CARMEN ELECTRA: It looks like Santa thinks she's been a bad girl. And not in a good way.

RACHEL McADAMS and RYAN GOSLING: The Notebook co-stars may be thinking about engagement rings, but some (by which I mean me) are more interested in her wardrobe malfunction at the premiere of The Family Stone.

IRAQ: The election went off without serious incident. Particularly encouraging was high turnout by Sunni Arabs, such as the reported 70 percent turnout in Fallujah and as high as 83 percent in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, with voting in large numbers even in hotbeds of insurgent activity such as Ramadi and Haqlaniya. Indeed, Sunni militants said they would defend polling stations in cities like Ramadi against al Qaeda and other groups who vowed to disrupt the vote. Pajamas Media has a roundup from Iraqi journalists and bloggers in a number of provinces. Bill Roggio has a photo of turnout in Barwana, which is near Haqlaniyah and Haditha. The press runs headlines like "After Iraq vote success, now for the hard part," as though building a constitutional representative democracy in the heart of the Middle East in 1,000 days is easy. The New York Times, while stressing the coming struggle between Islamist and secular factions (wow, that's news), did manage to quote retired airline mechanic Zuhiar al-Zahawi, o­ne of many Sunnis who sat out the elections in January but voted Thursday: "We will talk to each other, and we will connect with each other, and we will weave the country together like a piece of cloth."

GOOGLE MUSIC is a a new service intended to give searchers fast links to song lyrics, musical artists and CD titles o­n the main search results page. How long until the RIAA sues Google?

EDU-BLOGGING: Almost forgot that the 45th Carnival of Education is o­nline.

MARCH OF THE PENGUINS: King penguins at a zoo in northern Japan are gaining weight, so the keepers are forcing them to march, but not in a Bataan sort of way.

FROGS: Your dumb criminal story of the day is the fools who poached frogs in France.

AN OHIO POLICE DOG is being sued by a convicted drug dealer for alleged civil rights violations. Last Thursday, Andi the German shepherd was informed of the suit, sort of. With a paw print, the dog "signed" the paper indicating he had been formally served with the complaint.

CHICKEN RUN: After a truck carrying thousands of broody hens lost its load in rural Ireland, 7,000 chickens began to lay eggs o­n the highway, creating a hazardous slick and traffic chaos.

4148 Reads

Kong(!), Brendan Benson, Robert Pollard and a Panda Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



OF COURSE I ran to the cinema opening day for Peter Jackson's incredible re-telling of the 1933 classic, which managed to meet my high expectations for it. The iconic moments from the original are enhanced (with o­ne exception, which I won't specify, so as not to spoil anything). The action sequences are pumped up and expanded (including the "spider pit" sequence Jackson obsesses over o­n the extras disc to the Special Edition of the original o­n DVD, which I also highly recommend). Indeed, post-Jurassic Park, Jackson still manages to find new and interesting things to do with dinosaurs. Jackson also does a wonderful job of taking the parts of the original he has jettisoned and re-incorporating them back into the film in new ways -- e.g., dialog from the original turns up in the movie-within-the-movie here. But most important, Jackson fleshes out the relationship between Kong and Ann Darrow to heighten the emotional resonance of this tragic tale (and make the film generally more palatable to women, I suspect). A three-hour film is a bladder-tester; everyone will have a scene or two that they would have cut to tighten it up. But I never felt uninvolved, even during the exposition at the outset.

JIMMY PAGE was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his work with poor Brazilian children.

BRENDAN BENSON talks to Uncut about the Detroit scene and The Alternative To Love. You can hear BB at his MySpace page, with even more at his website.

HOLIDAY MUSIC is surveyed -- in very different ways -- in the Detroit Metro Times and the Philadelphia Daily News.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Filter has new Top Tens from Beck and Adam “Doseone” Drucker of Subtle. Other Music lists its Best Rock Albums with RealAudio. The AP's Jake Coyle also has a Top Ten.

BECK: Speaking of which, PopMatters has an article examining the role -- if any -- Scientology plays in Beck's music.

NEIL DIAMOND: NPR has an audio piece o­n his Rick Rubin-produced 12 Songs. I can't recommend buying it until you can get copies without Sony's XCD scheme, but you can stream some clips at his website.

ROBERT POLLARD: Filter has a free download of "Love Is Stronger Than Witchcraft," from Pollard's upcoming album for your listening enjoyment.

A CHARLIE BROWN KWANZAA: I can't endorse it. It's a product of mostoffensivevideo.com, and whoever that is does their best to live down to the name. But if you feel compelled to see the Peanuts gang in glorious Quicktime, speaking jive, with more profanity (and use of the "n" word) per minute than Pulp Fiction, plus the music of Lee Hazelwood, don't say I didn't warn you. Really, I'm not kidding.

ONE HOUSE, 26,000 XMAS LIGHTS: Strung for charity.

THE CHURCH OF STOP-SHOPPING: The faux Rev. Bill Talen wants to "save Christmas from the shopocalypse!" Talen has published two books, a CD of anti-shopping gospel tunes and a DVD. His current pre-Christmas cross-country tour to Los Angeles is being filmed for a documentary. I'm sure it's all free.

THE MORNING NEWS examines what your Christmas tree says about you.

SEASONAL QUIZ: Which of Santa's Reindeer are You?

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise was scheduled to make a rare personal appearance Wednesday night to raise money for a Scientology program that claims to be healing firefighters and rescue workers who breathed toxic smoke o­n 9/11. Doctors say the "purification rundown" dreamed up by science fiction writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is worthless quackery consisting of sauna sweating, ingestion of cooking oil and large doses of niacin. ALSO: The teaser trailer for Mission Impossible 3 is o­nline.

MADONNA: Apparently, there's a good reason why "Super Pop" was left off Madge's new album.

NARNIA: Rumor has it that Prince Caspian, the second story in the Chronicles of Narnia, has been greenlit for a December 2007 theatrical release.

THE DA VINCI CODE teaser trailer is o­nline.

VAUGHNISTON: Jennifer Aniston sleeps with her dog -- in his basket -- when she's lonely: "I know that sounds insane," she admits. There's a reason it sounds insane, Jen.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT is not officially canceled by Fox, but ABC and Showtime have shown interest in nabbing the show for their nets.

GOLDEN GLOBES nominations are inevitably followed by the ritual declarations of shock or ignorance by the nominees. But there should be a special category of awards for folks like Alanis Morissette -- who claimed that she thought the sudden cascade of phone calls meant that a loved o­ne had been injured -- and Keira Knightley -- who claims that her joy at being nominated was immediately punctured when her mom told her she wouldn't win.

JESSICA ALBA was allegedly behaving badly at an NYC bash last weekend.

THE JACKO FAMILY cycle may repeat, this time as a reality TV farce.

ANNIE LENNOX reportedly snubbed Orlando Bloom, mistaking him for "just another fan."

HAL 2000 will soon be greenlighting projects for movie studios.

QUENTIN TARANTINO has agreed to help Tyra Banks find America's Next Top Foot Model. In light of his meditation of sensual foot massage in Pulp Fiction, the lingering shots of Uma Thurman's feet in Kill Bill, Vol. I, and so o­n, I think the pattern is pretty clear.

PETRA NEMCOVA: Did Bruce Willis really pay 50K to get the tsnunami-surviving supermodel's phone number? The man has a rep as a horndog, but really...

IRAQ: A new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll has a rise in approval for sending troops to Iraq, creating a rough 50/50 split o­n the issue and the question of whether the US will win there. Maj. Ben Connable, who is headed for his third tour of duty, has an op-ed in the Washington Post explaining why 64 percent of US military officers think they will succeed if they are allowed to continue their work. Margaret Friedenauer, a reporter for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, now embedded with the 172nd Stryker Brigade in Mosul, writes: "Everything I thought I knew was wrong... Maybe not wrong, but certainly different than the picture in my head."

IRAQI ELECTION DAY: Quite apart from US troops, citizens and media, Iraqis were preparing to express their own opinions. Iraqi blogger Mohammed and his friends "found that our ambitions are way bigger than the mere idea of voting or practicing our right to elect, now we feel that our votes are a responsibility and a heavy o­ne." And homegrown Iraqi insurgent groups are trying to open contacts with the US in the hope of launching a dialogue that would draw them into the political process.

PRES. BUSH o­n IRAQ INTELL: The AP, CNN. London's Times, and scores of others seem to think it's news that Pres. Bush admitted the prewar intell o­n Iraq was wrong and took responsibility for the decision to invade Iraq based o­n that intell. The Carpetbagger Report, a blog long critical of Bush, notes that "Bush has acknowledged the problems with pre-war intelligence many times before." I don't know how many is "many," but it took me o­nly a few minutes to find Bush saying the same things o­n Meet the Press in February 2004.

PANDA DOG: An Awwww...some photo gallery is up at Sky News.

DEER SUFFERS DOUBLY: After being struck by a car, the occupants stuff the still-living animal into the trunk.

DONKEYS are forced into jihad in Afghanistan.

UDDER MADNESS: PETA may have creepy plans for the Super Bowl.

2893 Reads

The ISU Daily List, The National, BMRC and Sad Hamsters   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: With Christmas just around the corner, you might consider getting me o­ne of these:

The price might seem a bit steep fully assembled, but the kit version is o­nly 17 thousand.

BOB DYLAN will start a new career as a radio DJ o­n XM Satellite Radio next March.

ELVIS COSTELLO and ALLEN TOUSSAINT have recorded a new album in New Orleans.

SONY DRM DEBACLE is now under investigation by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the fourth such state investigation looking into whether Sony BMG violated privacy and consumer protection laws. In addition, a number of state and federal class action suits have been filed against Sony BMG.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Gorilla vs. Bear is killing music with his Top 33 songs of the year. The Minor Fall, The Major Lift lists "Music of Note" for '05, with a couple that haven't made the bulk of these lists. Canadians get more love of lists posted at Are You Familiar and pop (all love). And the lists from the staff at the Iowa State Daily are up. It seems that o­ne critic is heavily into death metal. And indie-rock chick Katie Piepel continues the Daily tradition of obscuring o­ne's face for the photo; she should send Jim Hemphill a royalty check. I wanted to obscure my face with o­ne of Hemphill's columns for my staff photo, but was denied.

TOMMY: Good thing he can't read Protein Wisdom. ALSO: Part Four of "Making Hippie music more palatable to Red Staters" takes o­n Stephen Stills.

SNOW PATROL is starting to record their next album. Don't be surprised if it's influenced by Sufjan Stevens.

BONO is still hanging out with former Sen. Jesse Helms. The two men dined and talked about their work o­n fighting the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

PINK FLOYD: Guitarist David Gilmour is putting out a solo album and hitting the road. Crazy diamond Syd Barrett is getting his own DVD in February.

THE NATIONAL: I don't remember where I just saw this, but there's plenty 'o' Quicktime goodness posted at SPIN magazine.

COOLFER fronts what's New at Online Stores, with iTunes adding 11 XTC albums and nine from... Foghat.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB has announced tour dates, including cities where Pate members reside. If you haven't heard BRMC lately, you should check out the band's MySpace page.

SMITHS guitarist Johnny Marr and bassist Andy Rourke will perform together at an English charity show January 28 for the first time since the band split in 1987. Rumors have circulated that former Smiths frontman Morrissey will be involved in the show but at present there's no indication he will participate.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel will stay in the US rather than return to Britain, as a drug conviction in the UK might jeopardize her abililty to work in the States.

BRITNEY SPEARS gave Cletus the Ferrari again, but he's reportedly consulted a divorce attorney and been dumb enough to talk about it.

GAY GAUCHOS GLOM GLOBES NOMS is the headline I would write for Variety o­n the Golden Globe nominees announced Tuesday, of which Brokeback Mountain lassoed seven. Indeed, the Best Picture noms are all indie pics with grosses under 35 million.

KING KONG: Fwiw, Matt Drudge reports that Universal projects a 110 million dollar US opening, less than Revenge of the Sith, but more than the latest Harry Potter opening.

STACY'S MOM had to go to the hospital after suffering severe stomach cramps.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER: Apparently, if he cheats o­n her again, her dad will kill him.

HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN is accosted by someone yelling, "You ruined the Star Wars movies!" Granted, HC did seem like a block of wood, but doesn't most of the blame rest with George Lucas, who managed to make even Samuel Jackson seem stiff?

KATE BECKINSALE is doing naked webcasting for her husband when they're working apart. Where's a hacker when you need o­ne?

PLAYBOY MODELS busted for public intoxication o­n a flight to San Antonio allegedly tried to wiggle out of it in exactly the way you would imagine it in Playboy's Letters section.

JULIA ROBERTS -- and a bad photo of her, at that -- does not sell as many magazines as Bradgelina or Jessica Simpson. It seems that Jann Wenner could stand to hire me as a consultant.

TIME INC. is becoming People, Inc.

SUPERMAN RETURNS, albeit less super after the visual effects crew works over his codpiece.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is trying to reconcile... with Nicole Richie.

RACHEL McADAMS: Somewhat contrary to earlier reports, she did do the nude photoshoot with Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson for Vanity Fair. That's the kind of Hollywood trouper spirit we like to see.

CRUNKS '05: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections is sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious. With special musical guest Broken Social Scene.

IRAQ: Iraqi expatriates cast absentee ballots at polling places across the US in their homeland's historic parliamentary elections, some of them excitedly lining up before the polls opened and many driving hundreds of miles. The Officers Club blogs preparations for security to protect the voters in Iraq. Bill Roggio blogs about "Jihadis, Elections and Ramadi." And Ed Wong of The New York Times finds Sunnis in Saddam's hometown are working feverishly to get out the vote, even though they largely boycotted the January elections.

LEBANON: The second Mehlis Report o­n the assassination of Rafik Hariri by Syrian and Lebanese security authorities has been released. Syria's response was to rant and to claim it was cooperating with the UN investigation, even while trying to drag it out for years. France submitted a draft resolution in the Security Council extending and broadening the probe to cover other assassinations in Lebanon, prompting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to implicate France in a "conspiracy" and demand France investigate the "assassination" of Yassir Arafat. Michael J. Totten, blogging from Beirut, covers the reaction to the new wave of car bomb assassinations against anti-Syrian journalists and political figures in Lebanon.

CULT OF THE iPod: A study by psychologists at the University of Leicester found that while new technology has widened people's access to music, they pay less attention to it. Adrian North, who led the researchers, believes that the unprecedented quantity of digital audio now available over the internet which is also shared with friends has led to music being "cheapened" as a commodity. ALSO: Critics say iTunes-only downloads and inflexible pricing are hurting song sales.

SPARROW UPDATE: The sparrow which was shot dead for knocking over 23,000 dominoes in the Netherlands is to go o­n display at Rotterdam's Natural History Museum. The bird will be placed o­n top of a box of dominoes. o­n Friday, the bird's killer was fined 200 bucks for shooting a protected species.

DEPRESSED HAMSTERS help scientists study seasonal affective disorder.

DOGS really have no need to practice circumcision, do they?

DOG PANTING while playing or anticipating a much desired walk seems to be laughing.

RAMPAGING GEESE eat a school in Romania.

3188 Reads

The Hives, Love Is All, The Jolly Rogers and Harvey the Giant Gator   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


NOTE: Our site admin Lance says the site had an issue with IP addressing yesterday, so if you missed Monday's entry, just keep scrollin', scrollin', scrollin'...

THE DECEMBERISTS: Colin Meloy officially announces the band has signed with Capitol records, via the Pitchfork. Meloy manages to call the label "winsome" at o­ne point. Meloy added that the Decemberists will remain o­n Rough Trade in the UK, since Rough Trade is "pretty much the coolest label o­n the planet right now."

THE HIVES' Pelle Almqvist talks to PopMatters about the bizzare nature of his job and the fleeting success of hip-hop albums.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Filter adds Top Tens from The Go! Team and Roddy Woobmle of Idlewild. Chicago-based critics including Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot offer Sound Opinions' "best of " lists. Bows + Arrows has a Top 24 Albums list, with a few worthies that slipped off many of the other indie lists. At Chromewaves, Frank has a Top Ten of 2005 and a few 2004 albums he discovered this year -- and he's killing music at both links.

JEFF TWEEDY of Wilco talks to the AP about the usual Tweedy topics. The phrase "killing music" pops up in o­ne of his answers.

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN: Former B&S writer-singer-cellist Isobel Campbell was so intent o­n recording a perfect whip sound for her upcoming album with Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, QOTSA) that she ended up buying the leather accessory from a sex shop.

LOVE IS ALL is a Swedish indie pop group that scores an 8.7 o­n the Pitchfork with Nine Times That Same Song. Their sound strikes me as a cross between No Wave and the earliest U2 records, but you can stream o­ne at the band's MySpace page, another at their label's MySpace page and kill music at Yeti Don't Dance.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS announce the track listing for the upcoming album, which has moved up to drop o­n January 30th.

PAUL McCARTNEY: If you thought his late wife Linda got him into the animal rights movement, you will be surprised that he credits Walt Disney's Bambi for inspiring him. Walt must be spinning in his ice block.

BEATLES REUNION: Yoko sabotaged it.

THE JOLLY ROGERS sound more like a more upbeat take o­n acts like Sufjan Stevens and Belle & Sebastian than pirate music. You can stream a few from MySpace or download them from the band's website. I am partial to "Walk In the Park" and "Oh, Be One."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The tale of the troubled singer is recapped in a review of Babyshambles' album in The New York Times. The shamed supermodel has been voted Best-Dressed Woman Of 2005 in a poll for Grazia magazine. The Top Ten -- almost all of whom are discussed often here -- are listed at the link.

COLIN FARRELL is being treated for exhaustion and dependency o­n prescription medication, according to his publicist. But AFP has a story headlined "Overdose pour l'acteur Colin Farrell lors du tournage de Miami Vice" that says, "L'équipe des urgences médicale, qui a examiné l'acteur, a retrouvé dans son sang des "traces de cocaïne, de majijuana et d'une autre drogue qui n'a pu être identifiée", a indiqué la radio Sarandi." I haven't seen this story in English -- which should raise a red flag -- but I don't think you have to know much French to translate this o­ne. (The AFP story also ran at a French-Canadian site.)

SARAH JESSICA PARKER: o­ne the o­ne hand, she says her marriage to Matthew Broderick is working. OTOH, SJP reportedly says she is so used to Broderick not being around, it often feels like there's an "interloper" in their home whenever he's not working. Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY, People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, rescued a little girl from a prowling coyote. Well, alright, allright, alright.

KATE BECKINSALE is revelling in her new-found curves after putting o­n weight for her latest film Click, because the extra weight boosted her sex life. Last time, it was the leather catsuit from Underworld serving that purpose. I used to be baffled by her choice of movie roles, but I think I have it decoded now.

AWARDS SEASON is gearing up, as the New York Film Critics Circle, the New York Film Critics o­nline, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn, and the controversial National Board of Review all weigh in. No overwhelming trends yet, though things look good for Brokeback Mountain, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon and Keira Knightley (though the last two will be Oscar competitors). Steve Pond tries to sort it out.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Supermodel Jenny Shimizu speaks for the first time about her steamy ten-year relationship with bisexual Jolie and her belief that Pitt’s relationship may be short-lived: "There has never been an ending to her and I. I think there never will be."

KING KONG: I note that Turner Classic Movies is running the 1933 classic tonight, while American Movie Classics is running the frightening 1976 remake. What are the odds?

RACHEL McADAMS and RYAN GOSLING may be taking their o­n-screen romance from The Notebook to the chapel.

THE CLINTONS reportedly looked uneasy during dinner at Nobu when Denise Rich came over to say hello. Page Six seems to attribute this to Rich's generosity to the Dems raising eyebrows after her ex-husband, Marc, was given a presidential pardon. But shouldn't a gossip column be aware of the obligatory sex rumor floated by the National Enquirer, especially as Pres. Clinton and the Enquirer had the same attorney at the time.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is the world's worst celebrity dog owner, according to an o­nline vote by readers of two dog magazines. Joss Stone is the best.

MARY POPPINS was written by P. L. Travers, who, as it turns out, was no Mary Poppins.

JESSICA SIMPSON playing the field already? She was spotted with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine before her separation from Nick lachey was announced. Now she's been seen dating Trace Ayala, best friend and business partner of Justin Timberlake and may be the reason Ayala and fiancee Elisha Cuthbert seem to be apart. And quite possibly grounds for seeking to have Ayala committed to a mental health facility. Plus, Rush & Molloy have sister Ashlee and creepy dad-manager Joe talking about the Simpson family assets.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio, still blogging from Ramadi, interviews Major General Richard A. Huck, Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Division, leads the fight against the insurgency and reconstruction efforts in the bulk of Anbar province. Iraqi blogger Omar has photos and more about the early voting for the parliamentary election.

PUBLIC OPINION IN IRAQ: ABC News, along with the BBC, Time magazine and others, conducted a poll of Iraqis finding "surprising levels of optimism... with living conditions improved, security more a national worry than a local o­ne, and expectations for the future high." Despite the daily violence there, most living conditions are rated positively, seven in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve in the year ahead. More than six in 10 feel very safe in their own neighborhoods, up sharply from just 40 percent in a poll in June 2004. And 61 percent say local security is good — up from 49 percent in the first ABC News poll in Iraq in February 2004. The Associated Press accentuates the negative, noting that "More than two-thirds of those surveyed oppose the presence of troops from the United States and its coalition partners and less than half, 44 percent, say their country is better off now than it was before the war..." The AP ignores that the new poll numbers are much better than those in a secret Ministry of Defence poll leaked last month that said 82 percent were "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops. And the AP doesn't mention that while "only" 44 percent say Iraq is better off now, that's more than the 39 percent who say it's worse off (see Question 5 in the poll). To be sure, not all of the poll results are rosy, but the o­nes that are seem to have put US news organizations in states of shock and denial.

NANOTECH: The AP looks at efforts to study the risks of nanoparticles. Kevin Ausman, executive director of the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology at Rice University, says the nanotechnology sector is ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding potential dangers, and is doing far more early research than has been done in other industries, even o­ne as relatively new as biotechnology.

BLOGGING FOR THE MASSES: Yahoo Web Hosting is offering the popular MovableType software and WordPress may also be offered.

HARVEY THE GIANT ALLIGATOR is leaving the basement of the Southside Middle School in Rockville Centre, NY.

MICE WITH HUMAN BRAIN CELLS have been created at the Salk Institute in San Diego. Too. Many. Punchlines.

NINE WHALES and 24 DOLPHINS may have been killed by the snowstorm that hit the East Coast over the weekend.

DOG BITES OFF MAN'S NOSE, but it's re-attached even after the dog swallowed it.


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Milburn, Thunderegg, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Kangaroo and Pigs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 12, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe topped the weekend box office, with an estimated 67 million in receipts. That seems like a lot -- it beats Defamer's projection handily. The only film that opened bigger during the pre-Christmas season is The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. It also also earned 42 million more overseas. But with a 180 million budget, Disney (despite the happy talk at the last link) might be a bit nervous about King Kong storming theaters Wednesday. I thought it was a faithful adaptation of the book -- there's a little extra exposition at the start of the film and a little more action, but both are unintusive and perhaps necessary for modern audiences unfamiliar with the British restraint found in Lewis' book. It's a good to near-great family movie, but one which some adults may compare (unfairly) to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

WHO WILL BE HOT IN '06? London's Guardian asked the hottest new bands from this year.

MILBURN was o­ne of the picks from Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys in the last story. And fans of the early Pate sound will probably want to stream or download a few mod-punk nuggets from the band's MySpace page, which cites The Specials and The Jam as influences. And here's a recent piece o­n the band from Gigwise.

BEATLES ALT-HISTORY: A fiction article asks, "What if it was John Lennon rather than Pete Best who left The Beatles when they were o­n the cusp of fame?"

U2: Life imitates The Onion.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Filter has even more Top Tens, including lists from producer Christopher Fudurich and Alexandre Ortiz of We Are Wolves. Rough Trade has its Top 100 Albums for 2005, based o­n shop sales and staff votes. Parasol Records staffers have their top picks, too. The CD Times' Tobias Rogers lists his ten favourite pop moments of the year. Glide magazine has its Top 20 albums. Things I'd Rather Be Doing has a Top Ten, a Next Ten and Five More. Product Shop NYC has a Best 57 Albums list. The critics at the East Bay Express offer their Top Tens. About.com lists the Top 10 Classic Rock Box Sets Of 2005. Even the Financial Times' list of best pop records is relatively cool.

A HOLIDAY GUIDE for music of various genres at the Detroit Free Press.

THE SHINS must be getting their PR o­n, as the Rolling Stone article I noted the other day is joined by pieces o­n the upcoming album in NME and o­n the Pitchfork. Going from finger-picking folk to stuff that sounds like My Bloody Valentine and Fugazi sounds like quite a range.

IRON & WINE/CALEXICO: Carl Wilson thinks the sum may be greater than the parts of their collaboration. Of course, you can decide for yourself.

THE WHITE STRIPES: ContactMusic blurbs Meg White's Beatle-themed 31st birthday party.

DOWNLOADING LYRICS IS KILLING MUSIC: The Music Publishers' Association, which represents US sheet music companies, is planning to launch its first campaign against websites offering unlicensed song scores and lyrics in 2006. MPA president Lauren Keiser said he wanted site owners to be jailed. As with the music industry pre-iTunes, songwriters might ask why publishers and the MPA aren't trying to set up their own lyrics and tablature sites -- or partner with existing o­nes -- to take advantage of the Internet.

ONLINE SERVICES for musicians, such as Sonicbids (which helps book bands) are covered by USA Today. A day in the life of a musician in the digital age is charted in the Chicago Tribune. London's Observer and the Philadelphia Inquirer explore MySpace.

SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones got Lost star Naveen Andrews into Alcoholics Anonymous.

KEVIN COYNE; London's Independent profiles the late singer-songwriter who was often called -- probably unfairly -- Britain's Bob Dylan.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The shamed supermodel just landed a commercial for phone operator Virgin, just three months after a cocaine scandal threatened her career.

THUNDEREGG: *Sixeyes alerts us to this east Coast combo, which probably does better with songs like "Say We Did," where the vocals are stronger (thanks in part to Kendall Meade of Sparklehorse, the Spinanes, et al.), but also gets credit for lesser tracks with titles like "It's Not You, It's Not Me, It's Her" and "Tim McCarver Must Die."

BRUCE FOXTON is still bemused his ex-Jam bandmate Paul Weller refuses to speak to him, as they were pals when the band split.

JIMMY GALE GILMORE is part of the distinct minority of worthy Grammy nominees. NPR has a streamable story, plus three streaming tracks from Come o­n Back.

BARENAKED LADIES' pilot crashes at Fox: "I'd like to say it's because it's above them, it's too smart for them. But I'd be wrong," admits BNL frontman Steven Page.

MADONNA: No Rock and Roll Fun looks at how Madge copes with her busy mother-and-star lifestyle. It's not nice, so click o­n over.

KING KONG: Jack Black takes us behind the scenes with the 500 lb. gorilla. And he told director Peter Jackson: "My acting is awesome so there better not be any bad robot acting." Naomi Watts, who graces the new Vanity Fair, has no intention of making another action movie, because she is still nursing a string of Kong injuries. AP movie writer David Germain digs it: "It was reasonable to figure there was no way Jackson could top his monumental The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yet Jackson's done so with his spectacular update of the country-ape-meets-city-girl love story..."

JESSICA SIMPSON: Creepy dad/manager Joe is pressing for the divorce from Nick Lachey, but Jessica may not be fully o­n board.

RICHARD PRYOR: The path-breaking comedian died o­n Saturday of a heart attack after years of battling multiple sclerosis. He was 65. Pryor o­nce marveled "that I live in racist America and I'm uneducated, yet a lot of people love me and like what I do, and I can make a living from it. You can't do much better than that." Maybe America was less racist than he thought. And maybe he helped make it that way. Screenwriter Roger L. Simon shares his memories of working with Pryor on Bustin' Loose. (Pryor was a fair screenwriter himself, as Blazing Saddles demonstrates.) Dave Riehl has audio.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX took Method acting to eleven in Walk the Line, reportedly having an o­n-set fling with Ginnifer Goodwin, who played Johnny Cash's first wife, breaking it off the day that the two actors shot an emotional break-up scene.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Rumor has Cruise and Holmes on a shopping spree for a baby boy.

MATT DAMON married his longtime girlfriend Luciana Bozan at New York City Hall Friday morning, according to US Weekly The news about her pregnancy was coincidental, I'm sure.

RACHEL McADAMS stormed out of the November photo session for Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue because she had not been told she was to appear naked in a group portrait of Hollywood’s breathtaking beauties-of-the-moment, alongside Keira Knightley, Scarlett Johansson, and others. McAdams fired her rep, who had agreed to the shoot without McAdams' approval. McAdams fans will have to make do with the NSFW video hosted by Tyler Durden. Or the NSFW stills from the video at Egotastic.

MUNICH: The New Republic's Leon Wieseltier is not a fan: "Munich is aesthetically no different from War of the Worlds, and never mind that o­ne treats questions of ethical and historical consequence and the other is stupid..." Variety is not too keen o­n it, either: "Filmmakers' fair-minded, liberal instincts have moved them to create a work that espouses rejecting an-eye-for-an-eye in order to give peace a chance. Unfortunately, in the Middle East, the olive branch has so frequently been met with guns that it's hard to feel that there's anything provocative or new or promising in the film's message..." It also seems that the movie is not a slam dunk for the Golden Globes, either.

UNIVERSAL TO BUY DREAMWORKS for a little over a billion, and they don't even get Shrek.

THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE names its top movies and TV shows of 2005.

ALEC BALDWIN claims Kim Basinger is trying to warp their daughter's mind with candy wrappers. No, really.

JACKO is warning those spreading drug rumours to "get good attorneys."

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has a shoe fetish. Which makes her like most women, except that she has the money to overdo it. Less harmful than drugs, anyway.

EMBEDS IN IRAQ: Two views from reporters embedded with the 101st Airborne Division -- Julian E. Barnes of U.S. News & World Report and the AP's Ryan Lenz, who just arrived. Barnes focuses o­n the goodwill operations of the 1-327 infantry battalion and notes that the "101st seems to have a much deeper appreciation and understanding of the region it oversees than other units have had." Bill Roggio files two dispatches from Ramadi, including an IED sweep down the meanest street in the city. Roggio also suggests that insurgents are leaving more rural areas of Anbar province to focus o­n Ramadi and Baghdad. ALSO: The US military has detained a high-ranking member of al Qaeda in Ramadi -- the highest ranking al Qaeda in Iraq member to be turned into Iraqi and US officials by local citizens.

ELECTIONS IN IRAQ: Iraqi insurgents in Anbar are urging Sunni Arabs to vote and warning al-Qaeda not to attack polling stations. London's Guardian has more o­n this increasing split between Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda. The New York Times reports o­n strain within the Shite coalition, partly because of a palpable decline in support from moderate voters and leading ayatollahs disenchanted with the performance of the current Shiite government.

IRAQ III: US troops are preparing to hand over control to Iraqi security in Baqouba. The AP story claims that "some American soldiers charged with training and preparing the Iraqis worry whether the rookie force is ready," but mention o­nly o­ne. An Iraqi general formerly in charge of special forces said he witnessed horrific scenes of torture in Iraqi prisons and accused a Shiite militia of being responsible. The Agence France Presse unritically reports this while noting in passing that the general is "a Sunni Arab with a long career in the military," which suggests he served in Saddam's regime and may have a motive to exaggerate. Popular Mechanics has an interesting feature o­n the adaptability of US troops in Iraq.

FORMER PRES. BILL CLINTON told a global audience o­n Friday that the Bush administration is "flat wrong" in claiming that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to fight global warming would damage the US economy. However, Clinton aministration economists admitted in 2001 that complying with the Kyoto protocol would be more costly -- potentially much more costly -- than they claimed when they were in office. Even then, Bill Clinton chose not to submit the protocol to the Senate for ratification -- yet the AP story calls Clinton a "champion" of it. Canada, Japan and the old 15-member European Union are all failing to meet their Kyoto targets, perhaps because -- as The New York Times reports -- "for now, economic growth is inconceivable" without producing CO2. But these countries have all agreed to negotiate a second round of targets they won't meet, so they should all feel good about themselves.

EUGENE McCARTHY, the former MN Senator whose anti-Vietnam War campaign embarrassed LBJ into withdrawing from the race, died Saturday. He was 89. That historic campaign was financed by a small group of wealthy liberals that would be illegal under today's campaign finance laws (which doesn't speak well of the law).

IRAN: Oddly enough, after Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map, Israel starts planning possible strikes o­n secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran. Looks like things could get hot in March if Iran's nuclear ambitions are not addressed by the UN by then.

CHINA: Gateway Pundit has a round-up of coverage, plus video o­n the government massacre of land rights protesters at Dongzhou Town.

CULT OF THE iPod: Playlist names its best iPod-related products of 2005.

YAHOO has acquired del.icio.us, the social bookmarking service. The del.icio.us team will soon be working in close proximity to their photo-sharing fraternal twin, Flickr.

KANGAROO ROADKILL... in rural Wisconsin?

THE RAT CONTROL ACADEMY: Another reason to love NYC.

HITCH-HIKING HOUND: A terrier named Toto took a ride with the cops down under.

BABY ELEPHANT conceived through artificial insemination is born in Jerusalem. Photo at the link. Awww.. ALSO: A Rwandan elephant has gotten cranky enough to warrant a United States government security warning.

A RAMBUNCTIOUS POTBELLIED PIG running wild near Turner Maine was captured, but slipped its bonds and nearly escaped from a truck. ALSO: American pig history is being taught at Xavier University. For shame, Ames!

ZOO AMINALS are makin' a list and checkin' it twice in Nebraska.

ENDANGERED RABBITS are released o­n the Faith Ranch, which is owned by the wine-making Gallo family with a conservation easement to the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge. Being rabbits, they stand a good chance of un-endangering themselves.

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