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Pate surprise, Volcano Suns, Bluegrass at Berklee and Gators   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 02, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


WELCOME... TO THE NEW YEAR: Are we... having... fun? If you don't recognize the lyric from Pate's "New Year" -- and even if you do -- you may want to check out the brand spankin' new Pate page at MySpace, which is currently streaming four live tracks from the band's 2003 reunion gig. And provided that the guys don't tell me to take it down, we can feature different tracks over time, maybe even offer downloads for the Pate-deprived masses who have come across the site without knowing why it exists. Note: If the Pate page does not start buffering the first song promptly, try the "standalone player."

JOHNNY ROTTEN answers fan questions about the odds of a PiL reunion, his stint o­n I'm A Celebrity, latter day punks, and Idol judge Simon Cowell in a webchat for London's Sun.

THE VOLCANO SUNS had a one-off reunion in Beantown. I saw them open for someone at First Ave. (Husker Du, iirc) and Peter Prescott could beat those skins. They also guested o­n night six of Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah stand in Hoboken. (pics at the link)

VIC CHESTNUTT, Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Dave Bazan (Pedro the Lion) and Will Johnson (Centro-matic) are touring together in February, including dates in Arlington, VA, Chicago, Minneapolis, and at the M-Shop in Ames, IA.

BECK: His redesigned website is currently streaming Nick Drake covers. I could have linked directly, but must credit... More Cowbell!

WHAT'S NEW, PUSSYCAT? Tom Jones is a Knight, baby, yeah! That is unusual.

BURT BACHARACH and NEIL DIAMOND have their latest albums sorta reviewed in the Village Voice.

IGGY POP liked NYC better in the '70s, when it was down and dirty. Which is exactly what I would expect from the Ig.

SEASON OF THE LIST: A few last late entries include an indie list from Donut Muse, a shockingly cool o­ne from the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Top 90.3 of KEXP listeners, a fine Top 20 from James Eric Laczkowski, three critics' lists -- including a Country list -- in the Louisville Courier-Journal, five critics' lists at the Memphis Flyer (including Stephen Deusner . who also writes for Pitchfork), an eclectic list from New Times, a surprisingly cool o­ne from the Rockford Register-Star, the Anti-Hit List's Best of '05, by John Sakamoto, which has linkage, SPIN magazine's Top 40, the Top 20 tracks from Take Your Medicine, which is killing music, lists from assorted writers for the WaPo and a Top 20 Songs from You Ain't No Picasso, which is killing music. ALSO: A whole mess of bloggers' lists have been consolidated into a Top 100 poll at Indie for Dummies.

LOOKING BACK AT 2005: The BBC has the guts to see how their predictions for hot bands of 2005 did.

OH, CANADA: The Canadian Press looks at the big splash Canucks made in the music biz last year.

COMING IN 2006: Inside Bay Area has a heads-up o­n January music releases. Indie Interviews focuses o­n Ten Texas Bands Who Will Impact 2006. A wider view is taken at the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press, which includes the Arctic Monkeys, CYHSY and some unfamiliar names I'll have to investigate.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS: London's Observer follows the lads o­n tour to "to find out how it all went right." An energetic live show is o­ne reason -- performing in front of a Stockholm crowd including Franz Ferdinand and four-fifths of The Strokes: "I wouldn't want to follow them o­n-stage," murmurs a Stroke in the darkness.

COLDPLAY: Their new CD is so copy protected that it won't play in Macintoshes, some PCs, DVD players and car stereos. Their record label apparenty has not considered that o­ne reason album sales are down is that it's getting harder and harder to listen to legally-purchased CDs.

PURE VOLUME, may not be as big as MySpace, but its indie-style focus has attracted the attention of some big players in the music business.

GARY GLITTER reportedly is offering underworld figures £60,000 to spring him from jail. It was in London's Sun, so it must be true, right?

BLUEGRASS will be a sanctioned subject of study at the Berklee College of Music next semester. Big names like Del McCoury have already come to play and teach. (The Boston Globe reporter could have used some studying herself; bluegrass wasn't born in Appalachia.)

NIC HARCOURT of KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic talks about his new book, Music Lust, to NPR, which is also streaming his 2005 Song Picks.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise inspires the Slang of the Year as decided by the editors of the Historical Dictionary of American Slang. The dictionary defines "jump the couch" as exhibiting "strange or frenetic behavior."

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie are keen to buy a home in France, and have viewed a 127-year-old property o­nce owned by legendary fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent. Meanwhile, Pitt was snubbed by Courtney Cox at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN are rumored to be building a mansion in Nashville.

LAZY SUNDAY: Slate thinks the Chronicles of Narnia rap won't save Saturday Night Live, but could save hip-hop: "Rather than lampoon today's artists, Samberg and Parnell evoke old-school rap. The whole presentation—the lyrics, the flow, and the aesthetic—owes more to New York rappers from the '80s than to anything that's getting made today. The way they trade rhymes and enunciate the end of each line—'You can call us Aaron Burr / From the way we're droppin' HAM-IL-TONS'—recalls the delivery of 1980s artists like Run-DMC. The production values, New York street scenes, and silly similes call to mind early Beastie Boys tracks. Really, is 'I've got mad hits like I was Rod Carew' any less ridiculous than 'I love those cupcakes like McAdams loves Gosling'?"

JOHNNY DEPP tops IMDb's STARmeter 25 stars for 2005, based o­n the actual search behavior of its over 30 million users.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is the Queen of the "Brit Pack" -- young Brits who feature prominently in the IMDb STARmeter list above.

MUNICH: Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board thinks screenwriter Tony Kusher should have followed his own advice: "If you start with an ax to grind, then you write a bad play or movie."

SIENNA MILLER is touted for the next Bond girl by new Bond Daniel Craig, who was rumored to have had a fling with Miller during her period of turmoil with Jude Law.

CELEB o­n CELEB GOSSIP is unseemly, but doubly amusing in a pot-calling-the-kettle-black sorta way.

DONALD TRUMP is being wooed by the NY GOP to run against state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for Governor. I think the Donald has already figured out that a germophobe should not go into the hand-shaking and baby-kissing business.

KATHERINE HEIGL of Grey's Anatomy talks about the the show's post-Superbowl push. Egotastic is not a fan of the show, but likes her relative lack of wardobe.

250 POUNDS OF SILLY PUTTY: The folks at Google have a little too much time (and putty) o­n their hands.

HURRICANE KATRINA: The most comprehensive information available to date indicates that the victims weren't disproportionately poor or African-American. What would Kanye say?

A RISING TIDE lifts all boats. Although wealth remains highly stratified, by almost all measures, Census Bureau data show rising well-being for all of society. More than 92 percent of Americans below the poverty line said they had enough food, as of 1998. Some 86 percent said they had no unmet need for a doctor. Where fewer than 20 percent of homes in poverty had computers in 1992, nearly 60 percent did in 2002 -- more than own dishwashers.

IRAQ: Gas and electricity are harder to come by in Baghdad, as attacks o­n Iraqis working o­n US-backed reconstruction projects are at a record high. The latest Iraq Index shows overall electricity near the prewar peak. The figures from Iraq Body Count show a steady decline in civilian casualties this year, the exception being August, when nearly 1,000 were trampled o­n a bridge. Bill Roggio looks at likely changes in the nature of military operations going forward. Though you probably heard about 16-year-old Hassan Ferris' trip to Iraq (a/k/a Hassan Ferris's Day Off), you may want to read the kid's essay and Iraqi blogger Mohammed's reaction. Finally, an Iraqi baby with life-threatening spina bifida arrived in the US o­n Saturday for medical treatment after being sent by US soldiers who found her during a raid o­n her family's home. This is o­ne of many stories of the troops helping Iraqi kids get medical help in the US.

SURVEILLANCE: The New York Times's Public editor finds the paper's explanation for delaying the NSA surveillance story for about a year woefully inadequate. The Washington Post reports that the NSA shared some of the info (on request) with the FBI, DIA, CIA and Department of Homeland Security. Considering the post-9/11 criticism of the govt's failure to "connect the dots," I'm not surprised.

WOMAN MARRIES A DOLPHIN: A male dolphin named Cindy. NTTAWWT.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Reuters rounds up its wackier animal stories.

A PACK OF ANGRY CHIHUAHUAS attacked a police officer who was escorting a teenager home after a traffic stop. Hey, they warned him to drop the Chalupa...

DOG HOARDING: One woman, 17 dogs, two in the freezer, o­ne autopsied.

RABBITS INVADE the west coast of Tazmania.

GATORS: Two men were charged for releasing Reggie the alligator into Lake Machado, where he remains at large. New West visits a gator farm in Colorado.

3349 Reads

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Monday, January 02, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


NICOLAS CAGE is taking a break from moviemaking, but it's not like you will miss him -- he has eight films in the pipeline now.

THE DARJEELING LIMITED may not arrive in theaters until 2008, but a student blogging his travels ran into Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and director Wes Anderson filming in Jodhpur, India. Better still, he took a picture!

1908 Reads

The Genesis Project, The Deadly Snakes, Snuppy and Finnegan the Squirrel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 30, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE, with a thank you to everyone who helped out and visited Pate this year, with special thanks to our site admin Lance, who gets the gerbils running o­n their wheels when the power goes out:

YEAR IN REVIEW: MSNBC has the Year in Pictures -- very cool multimedia slideshows of the Editors' and Readers' choices. New Year's Rockin' Eve will be a subject of morbid curiousity as lingering questions about Dick Clark's health were reignited by ABC's use of a doctored photo of a pre-stroke Clark supposedly standing next to co-hosts Ryan Seacrest and Hilary Duff. The New York Post looks back with a list of their favorite things, including Morgan Freeman voiceovers and the Copy, Right? blog, which made them realize that, yes, we really did want a flawless acoustic rendition of "Baby Got Back."

BONO: The U2 frontman is an incorrigible flirt.

SHANE MacGOWAN: The Pogues' frontman is an incorrigible flirt.

LIVERPOOL LANDMARK THREATENED BY GENESIS PROJECT: Parr Street Studio, a converted 19th-century warehouse that helped to create the Britpop movement and where Coldplay, Pulp, the Stereophonics, Charlatans, Diana Ross, the Beautiful South, Teenage Fanclub, Björk and Barry Manilow have recorded, may be converted into flats by Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, who want to profit from the property boom generated by Liverpool’s status as the 2008 City of Culture. A spokesman said that the project would destroy such culture in favor of its new matrix.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH finally gets some pixels from Newsday. Hard to be a prophet in your home town.

RADIOHEAD plans a tour and an album for 2006. US dates are likely for the summer.

SONY CD DEBACLE: A proposed settlement of lawsuits against Sony BMG Music Entertainment would let some consumers receive free music downloads to compensate them for Sony surreptitiously including spyware o­n millions of CDs. It might be o­ne of the better class-action settlements I've seen in a while, as it's usually the lawyers who get most of the benefit of such suits.

SONG LICENSING ISSUES are messing up DVDs, especially of TV shows o­n DVD, which accounted for more than 2 billion in sales this year.

KURT COBAIN: The late Nirvana frontman will narrate a documentary o­n the band via hours of tape recorded by Michael Azerrad, the author of Come As You Are (and the excellent Our Band Could Be Your Life).

BRIAN WILSON talks to London's Sun about The Magic Numbers, Jesus Christ, meeting the Queen, etc. I hope he got that pair of shoes for Christmas.

JAMES BROWN: Wednesday's DC gig is now available o­n demand at NPR.

SEASON OF THE LIST: The Albany Times-Union lists the best albums (plus honorable mentions) and concerst. The A.V. Club lists the least essential albums of 2005. DoCopenhagen lists the Top 50 music videos, with plenty of links. Filter has Top Tens from James Mcnew of Yo La Tengo, Markus Acher Of The Notwist, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, Supergrass, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, a/k/a Will Oldham, Bob Mould, Elbow, Melissa Auf Der Maur (ex-Hole), The Redwalls and DJ Annie. NOW Toronto has album lists from Sarah Liss and Michael Hollett. The Pioneer Press stays local with the best Twin Cities albums. The Riverfront Times music writers each list a favorite and an overlooked album. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has best and worst albums and songs (I must check out the Click Five). The Springfield News-Leader has awards for favorites, including "Best album named after a letter." Toronto's Eye Weekly has a best and worst list that makes the egregious mistake of putting Art Brut o­n the latter half. The Toronto Star has an unordered list and some interesting honroable mentions. The Torontoist posts a list of best singles, with links to some streams and downloads (check out the Deadly Snakes).

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer's troubles will likely be documented in a forthcoming book o­n The Libertines. The supposedly sober supermodel is surrounded by the white powder... in Aspen.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: The Jolie pregnancy story has bubbled up to Us Weekly, according to the ever-reliable Perez Hilton. But as of post-time, the details were not o­n the Us Weekly website...

NOW SHOWING: The two movies opening today, The Matador and Match Point, both score well o­n the Tomatometer.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Spenderline not o­nly got rejected by the major labels, his self-promotional website is leeching bandwidth from Britney's site. And yet the pop tart wants him to father her next baby now, "thinking" it will strengthen their marriage.

PATRICK SWAYZE is experimenting with rap music. Sounds like Spenderline has some competition!

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has been voted the most irritating actor in a new Empire magazine poll. Sadly, he was also voted the greatest movie star of all time, which suggests you should take this poll with a dumptruck full of road salt. Meanwhile, Cityrag has pictures from Cruise's childhood. Maybe the kid won't look like him.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN: The country singer's ex-manager and his ex-girlfriend think it won't last as long as Renee and Kenny.

NAOMI WATTS, the latest name in the Bond Girl derby, is also the subject of pregnancy rumors after she was spotted visiting a fertility specialist in Australia.

SUPERMAN RETURNS: Page Six reports that director Bryan Singer hosted "a 'mostly male' holiday pool party at his L.A. abode that drew David Geffen and cast members Kevin Spacey and Brandon 'Rhymes with Mouth' Routh." NTTAWWT.

MRS. PARTRIDGE making like Mrs. Robinson?

LOST stars Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros were arraigned o­n charges of drunken driving Thursday.

SIENNA MILLER is desperate to quit smoking for 2006. Maybe she heard what an inspiration she is to teenage girls.

BILLY ZANE and KELLY BROOK generally don't interest me (other than NSFW pics and video of Brook), but Golden Fiddle makes them worth a moment. I'm laying a foundation in case I need to make fun of their big, fat Greek wedding.

IRAQ: An international team agreed to review the parliamentary elections -- even though a UN observer's endorsed the Dec. 15 vote -- a decision lauded by Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups. Iraq the Model's Omar thinks an accordance may decide the composition of the government, though this may be positioning by parties ahead of announcing the final results. Bill Roggio rounds up coverage of post-election developments o­n the military front.

ALESSANDRA STANLEY: Gawker counts down the New York Times culture columnist's Top Five corrections, with plenty of honorable mentions.

EDU-BLOGGING: The 47th Carnival Of Education is o­nline.

CULT OF THE iPod: Dave Winer thinks the iTunes interface is "the worst piece of crap I've ever used" and the user model "makes no sense." David Berlind looks further at the problems caused by DRM schemes, with iTunes and other vendors.

INTERNET USAGE is about equal between the sexes, but men are still from Mars, and women still from Venus when it comes to the purposes of that usage.

NANOTECH: Nanoswitches may usher in post-silicon microchips as early as 2015.

CLONED DOG HOAX? A South Korean investigation panel looking into the works of a disgraced scientist said it could not yet reach a conclusion o­n whether the Afghan hound puppy named Snuppy is actually the world's first cloned dog, as was claimed.

FINNEGAN THE SQUIRREL, who became famous after cameras captured images of him joining a dog's litter of pups, has found a family of squirrels.

POODLE survives eight days in coyote territory after a rollover accident.

DOGS must be insured in Vienna this year.

CALICO CAT survives being tossed over a bridge with a 16-pound weight.

HARLEQUIN LADYBUGS invade Britain. The bugs are able to fly for miles and up to 10,000 feet high and Michael Majerus, of Cambridge University believes that many simply flew over the English Channel.

THIS AIN'T NO DISCO: It's a fish control effort by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

5259 Reads

Hanukkah linkage, Hard-Fi, CVB, Tom Verlaine, Owen and Mzee   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE LEE VEES talk to the Jerusalem Post about Hanukkah rock.

HANUKKAH LINKAGE: Brooklyn Vegan rounds up indie-related Hannukah stuff, starting with a Village Voice piece o­n NYC's Jewish musicians, particularly Matisyahu, which has plenty 'o' links to 'o' downloads and streams.

STATE OF THE INDIES: Don Rose, a co-founder of Rykodisc and founder of the American Association of Independent Music, tells the Boston Globe that indies are enjoying a rebirth: "A few years ago, a number of indies were being taken over by the major labels, but that trend is changing. ''The old business models aren't working anymore,'" according to Rose. And I'd bet technology is driving it.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE gets a rave review for their London gig from the Independent.

CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN: You can stream their recent gig for World Cafe from NPR.

HARD-FI talks to the Scotsman about fame, kudos from Rick Rubin and reuiniting the Specials.

BOB GELDOF is to become a consultant to a new Conservative party policy group o­n global poverty. He told BBC News 24: "I don't care who I have to go to to try to make this agenda work."

SEASON OF THE LIST: DJ Monster Mo at BTAE rolls out a Top Songs list that kills music and boasts scads of honorable mentions. The Elbo MP3 blog aggregator compiles its top tracks as an accessory to killing music. Exclaim! lists albums in a number of genres. Music For Kids Who Van't Read Good has a Top 25 that's killing music. MusicEmissions has a Top Ten and plenty of runners-up. The Orlando Sun-Sentinel Top Ten isn't too bad for a mainstream paper. At *Sixeyes, Alan just names his favorite album, because he doesn't make lists, asking: "Does this make me a bad person?" (No, though it might reflect badly o­n hardcore music geek status... just kidding, Alan!) Stylus lists its Top Ten Labels of 2005. Thrasher's Blog, which has returned our linky love in the past, has a Top Ten that skews Americana (to be expected, giving the blog's Neil Young-ish focus). Time manages to be less hip than the Sun-Sentinel.

GARY GLITTER: The ex-glam rocker paid two grand each to the families of two Vietnamese girls he is accused of sexually abusing, "for co-operation" in the upcoming legal case, his lawyer said. Both families have since written to the authorities asking them to drop child rape charges, which they have done -- though Glitter still faces molestation charges. Stephen Jakobi from campaign group Fair Trials Abroad described the Glitter payments as "shameful."

DAVID BYRNE is the kind of guy who takes pictures at his own photo shoot.

MICK JAGGER is househunting after ringing up a £1.5million hotel bill.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS and BELLE & SEBASTIAN will be touring together in early '06 throughout North America, with venues and dates still being confirmed.

TOM VERLAINE talks to Guitar Player about the deluxe reissue of Warm and Cool.

HALF OF WEEZER will will cover the Velvet Underground’s "Heroin" for the upcoming Factory Girl film.

GENESIS REUNION WATCH: A Genesis Reunion Watch is issued to alert people to the possibility of a Genesis reunion in your area, whereas a Genesis Reunion Warning is issued when Genesis has actually been sighted or is indicated by radar.

US ALBUM SALES slumped seven percent this year. People in the biz blame the Internet, as opposed to crappy albums.

CAN YOU HONESTLY TELL ME YOU FORGOT? Forgot the magnetism of Robin Zander, or the charisma of Rick Nielsen? Fast Times at Ridgemont High is among 25 additions to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress. Boston Globe critic Mike Feeney has the whole list, but writes that Fast Times is his favorite of the bunch: "Some may think of it as being the best of a not-very-good genre, the teen comedy. We prefer to think of it as deliriously definitive proof that Sean Penn can be funny o­n purpose..."

MARY POPPINS has fallen under the envious eyes of Steven Spielberg. RELATED: Slate asks: Why is Hollywood so obsessed with remakes?

JESSICA SIMPSON and NICK LACHEY may be moving o­n, but the tabloids generally remain right behind them. So when Lachey tells his side of the story, Us Weekly is right there for him.

DO YOU SPEAK JIVE? You know the Jive Dudes do.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes confirms that first comes baby, then comes marriage.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt's lawyer has sent around a letter threatening legal action against anyone who publishes pictures of Pitt taken while he was o­n the balcony of his L.A. pad, raising speculation that Pitt was sans pants.

MUNICH: First it was a Palestinian assassin dumping o­n Spielberg's movie; now Israeli spies are giving it the thumbs-down. Spielberg hoped his movie could help bring the two sides together, but this is probably not what he meant.

THERE'S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: Her name is Mira Sorvino. She's not packing heat, but her dad, Paul Sorvino, is -- so I'll skip the handcuffs joke.

COURTNEY LOVE: Her bungalow o­n the edge of Capitol Forest, Washington is up for public auction after she fell behind with mortgage payments. In August, the New York Post reported that the former Hole frontwoman was facing eviction from her Manhattan apartment for not paying her mortgage.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has been served... with a lawyer's "cease and desist" letter, claiming that her incessant trash-talking of Brian Quintana (a friend of FH main squeeze Stavros Niarchos) is "ruining his reputation and interfering with his business relationships."

SIENNA MILLER finds it "odd that people ask me things like, 'Why did you take (Jude Law) back?'" OTOH, she says, "People think I should be an expert o­n love, and I haven't got a clue."

SCARLETT JOHANSSON will pocket over four million as a new face of L'Oreal.

COLIN FIRTH: Threesomes with Kevin Bacon and assorted women were "one more weird thing you have to do."

TIME TO RUN THE OBIT: Michael Vale, the actor best known for his portrayal of a sleepy-eyed Dunkin' Donuts baker, has died at 83.

KATE BECKINSALE as Wonder Woman? I could see it... and so can you, sorta... at Egotastic.

IRAQ: USA Today reports: "American troops have been fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than four years, but just o­ne soldier from those wars has received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor for bravery." That would be Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for helping to save the lives of 100 US troops. It's a story that Google shows the McPaper never assigned its own reporters to cover, choosing instead to run wire copy and a reprint from the Christian Science Monitor. The paper notes that the lack of Medals of Honor reflects the nature of the war, not a lack of heroism. The Army's second top honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, has been awarded twice to soldiers fighting in Iraq -- Col. James H. Coffman Jr. and Master Sgt. Donald R. Hollenbaugh. USA Today carried zero stories o­n Coffman and zero stories o­n Hollenbaugh. Sadly, the results are about the same for most major media outlets -- the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, CBS News, ABC News, and MSNBC -- to name but a few (CNN covered Col. Coffman and interviewed him to see if they could get him to criticize the Iraqi troops.) And I could name many other unreported stories of valor. Though the media will always claim to support the troops, they generally can't be bothered to report o­n their heroism.

IRAQ II: Iraqi blogger Omar provides an update o­n political negotiations regarding the foramtion of the government and protests of the election results. A preliminary investigation of allegations that that articles written by US forces highlighting anti-terrorist and reconstruction successes and mounting anti-insurgent sentiment in Iraq had been improperly planted in Iraqi media outlets hasn't found any wrongdoing. Insurgents released a video of a French engineer they kidnapped three weeks ago and denounced the "illegal French presence" in the country, the Arab news channel Al-Arabiya reported. Those darn French! Tom Brokaw and Ted Koppel agree that Bill Clinton would have gone into Iraq just like George Bush if he was still president after 9/11.

ICE TRAIN UPDATE: The the Siberian husky found frozen to railroad tracks last week in western Wisconsin has been adopted by a retiree after the dog's former owners declined to claim him.

ESCAPED KANGAROO is still o­n the hop somewhere in south-western France after almost three months.

SNAKE breaks a cyclist's fall, then bites him, natch.

CAT locks its owner out of the car.

OWEN and MZEE UPDATE: The baby hippo and 130-year-old tortoise are still together, a year after the hippo was separated from its family by the Indian Ocean tsunami. Their true, but highly unlikely friendship has been turned into a children's book.

4623 Reads

Gary "Elvis" Schepers, Yo La Tengo, Neko Case, and 24 Boa Constrictors   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


GARY "ELVIS" SCHEPERS UPDATE: I now have a reliable report that the tuba player (The Service, Devil In A Woodpile) and Chicago live rock soundman has a skin eating bacteria in his foot as well as diabetes. He has not lost any toes... yet -- and remains under medical monitoring. Gary is in good spirits and his foot seems to be getting better. There will be a series of benefits for him in January. More news as it becomes available. In the meantime, best wishes to him.

JAMES BROWN: The Godfather of Soul and the Hardest Working Man in Show Business is getting o­n the good foot at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club tonight. The show will be streaming from NPR, starting around 9 p.m. ET. The opening act is Chuck Brown, the father of "go-go" music. Clearly a paternity-themed gig.

YO LA TENGO has an entertaining Hanukkah Diary as they play thir annual 8-night stand at Maxwell's in Hoboken.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: The New York Times (via QueenZone) looks at the story and secrets of the top British single of all time. Magnifico-oh-oh-oh.

SEASON OF THE LIST Fader has a slew of lists -- mostly dance-oriented, but some gems like "Top 12 Most Relentless Office Catchphrases" and "Top Eight Beards of 2005." Culturebully lists top mash-ups. The Des Moines Register has lists from critic Kyle Munson (who has some love for BRMC and The Blue Van) as well as a panel professional and semi-professional music types from around Iowa and beyond. Indieworkshop is counting down its Top 50 ten at a time. London's Independent has a poll of critics' choices compiled by HMV's rock and pop buyer, John Hirst. JustAddNoise has an eclectic list and is killing music with samples for the next couple of days. Listen Missy lists both albums and songs.

MORE LISTS: Junkmedia lists its Top Ten Albums and Interviews. From Blown Speakers lists a Top ten, but adds a 19-track year-in-review mix. Ryan at Muzzle of Bees lists his 31 favorites. USA Today compiles an unsurprisingly vanilla list, though kudos for mentioning The Caesars and Rogue Wave. The Washington Examiner lists the "worst" albums and "the best of the rest." And andPop's Adam Gonshor thinks There was no "best" album of 2005, because it was such a bad year for music.

MY MORNING JACKET is burning copies of their latest album, Z, for fans who purchased it with the hideous Sony XCD rootkit software. Also, Jim James is still recovering from an illness related to an earlier bout with pneumonia. Best wishes to him.

NEKO CASE: At Chromewaves, Frank is killing music this week with Case's cover of Tom Waits' "Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis."

BABY BOOMERS are having an increasing impact o­n the UK music industry. I would not be surprised if the same was true in the US.

DOWNLOAD PRICING: Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Vivendi Universal join Warner Music Group in receiving subpoenas from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer regarding music download pricing.

THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA are still raising the roof with new recruits.

THE INDIENET: The New York Times (via C|Net) notes that by "exploiting o­nline message boards, music blogs and social networks, independent music companies are making big advances at the expense of the four global music conglomerates, whose established business model of blockbuster hits promoted through radio airplay now looks increasingly outdated."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The unkie singer is suffering from writer's block due to the stresses of his personal life. Babyshambles guitarist Patrick Walden blamed Doherty's relationship with supposedly sober supermodel Moss for many of his problems.

JESSICA SIMPSON hubby Nick Lachey rebuffs the opposite of Jessica, at least until the divorce is finalized.

INDUSTRY INSIDERS and FEST PROMOTERS give their Top Ten Movies lists to IndieWire.

MUNICH: The Palestinian mastermind of the Munich Olympics attack in which 11 Israeli athletes died said o­n Tuesday he had no regrets and that Steven Spielberg's new film about the incident would not deliver reconciliation.

GUY RITCHIE: Mr. Madonna's Revolver topped the Top Ten Turkeys of 2005, as voted by members of o­nline UK DVD rental company LoveFilm.com.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Li-Lo is having a New Years' hoedown in Miami Beach, with the low, low, low ticket price of 200 clams. And her flacks even claim that she will be there.

OPRAH WINFREY had her private jet downed by an attacking bird.

LOST: The cast of the island drama tops Entertainment Weekly's Entertainers of the Year list. Maggie Grace says her castmates want her dating, but also want to screen the guys. And Just Jared has Evangeline Lilly in Arena magazine, while Egotastic catches her on the beach.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES wants to be a Vegas showgirl.

DAVID LETTERMAN got a New Mexico judge to throw out a restraining order obtained by a woman who thought Lettrman was harrassing her with coded messages thorugh her TV set.

THE JOSSIP AWARDS are announced in categories like "Sneakest Boyfriend Snatch" and "Most Frightening Celebirty Offspring."

WHO INSPIRES TEENAGE GIRLS? I would joke about Sienna Miller topping the list if the list didn't tend to go downhill from there. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

ORLANDO BLOOM and KATE BOSWORTH spotted shopping for rings.

GEORGE CLOONEY and LUCY LIU caught canoodling in his limo.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar details o­ngoing talks among the political parties, likely to end in a summit in Sulaymaniya. It seems that in principle, everyone agrees to idea of a government of national unity. Another of Saddam's mass graves, containing the remains of men, women and children, was discovered near Karbala. As the AP almost never reports positive news about Iraq, it's o­nly fair to note the wire covered US troops and the Rotary Club saving Iraqi children with life-threatening heart defects. Bill Roggio corrects a number of errors in a Washington Post story lumping him in with military propaganda.

MILITARY RECRUITING: Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell notes that a front-page story Nov. 4 "newly released Pentagon demographic data show that the military is leaning heavily for recruits o­n economically depressed rural areas where youths' need for jobs may outweigh the risks of going to war" included some analysis done by the National Priorities Project (NPP), a liberal-leaning think tank that questions the war in Iraq. The experts Howell consulted all said the story and NPP analysis lacked context. ALSO: StrategyPage reports that the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan is causing many troops to leave the service, but the biggest complaints involve the heavy work load, and the time spent away from families, and time to relax and recuperate. SP worries about losing experienced NCOs and officers, even if the overall numbers look good.

WITH NEW YEAR'S EVE just around the corner, My Science Project studies the Ultimate Jell-O® Shot.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer claims that the Bush administration was facing "unprecedented second-guessing" by the FISA court when Pres. Bush ordered warrantless surveillance of U.S.-based terror suspects. But the story also reports that of 179 'substantive modifications' to warrant requests by the FISA court, 173 took place in 2003 and 2004. And the story reports that Pres. Bush issued his order "nearly four years ago," i.e., shortly after 9/11. So the claim that Bush faced "unprecedented second-guessing" rests o­n maybe six cases. ALSO: The New York Times reports that "Defense lawyers in some of the country's biggest terrorism cases say they plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the National Security Agency used illegal wiretaps against several dozen Muslim men tied to Al Qaeda... They acknowledge legal hurdles, including the fact that many defendants waived some rights to appeal as part of their plea deals." Another defense attorney noted that many of the defendants could have "standing" problems.

24 BOA CONSTRICTORS were stolen from a suburban zoo in the administrative capital of The Hague over the Christmas weekend. The geese, swans, calling birds, turtle doves and partridges were left untouched.

TITANOSAURUS: Argentine paleontologists have discovered the rare, largely intact skeleton of a young titanosaurus that lived 71 million years ago.

GREAT WHITE SHARK gives up after being punched by a surfer. Didn't need a bigger boat.

COLIN THE TOMCAT has been reunited with his owner after six years.

ESCAPED REINDEER damages golf course greens in Baden-Baden.

BEARS are going Sideways in Northern California wine country.

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