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BMRC, Television, Kelley Stoltz, Trout Pouts and Rebel Elephants   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 20, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


GEORGE WASHINGTON: Though now lumped in with everyone for Presidents' Day, tomorrow is the birthday of the "Father of his Country." A team of scientists that began reimagining Washington as a reckless, rambunctious, 18th century action hero are putting finishing touches o­n wax sculptures so realistic they should shatter stereotypes when displayed at Mount Vernon this year. The statues show Washington at three stages in his life: an ambitious 19-year-old surveyor, a weary 45-year-old field commander and a deep-thinking, 57-year-old president being sworn into office. In 1776, David McCullough notes that when Washington took command in July 1775, he thought he would be home at Mount Vernon by Christmas. McCullough catalogs Washington's blunders -- many of them nearly fatal to the Cause -- but concludes: "He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, nor a gifted orator, not an intellectual... He had made serious mistakes in judgment. But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood... and above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake, and he never gave up." That, as much as anything, is why Washington is usually ranked among the greatest of US presidents.

ARCTIC MONKEYS: With Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not hitting US stores tomorrow, NPR has discovers the phenomenon. The Daily Collegian actually reviews the songwriting. The Philadelphia Inquirer likes the band, but prefers Art Brut -- and there's certainly a case to be made for that.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' Carl Newman tells the Calgary Sun that the members' various projects -- Dan Bejar in Destroyer, Neko Case's solo career, etc. -- creates mutual buzz that benefits all of them.

THE WHO is planning a hi-tech world tour with a mix of pay-per-view and free webcasts.

BUZZCOCKS frontmen Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle still fight over who writes the better songs -- usually with their fists.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB is o­n tour, so the readership of The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC get a quick history of the band leading up to the change of style to the Americana-tinged Howl. You can stream a bunch of BMRC video from Rolling Stone, including exclusive live tracks.

TELEVISION: At *Sixeyes, Alan pays tribute to the seminal guitar band by killing music (for a limited time) with selections from Marquee Moon and Adventure -- two of his all-time favorite albums.

YELLOW SUBMARINE: A rare drawing has been discovered by David Ashton -- a close childhood friend of John Lennon -- and he is certain it sparked the idea for the pop ditty. There's just o­ne problem with that theory: Paul wrote the song.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Bangles -- obvious, but universal.

YOU TUBE: Friday, I warned that artists and others would start demanding that their stuff be yanked from the video-sharing service. Now we learn that NBC has demanded the removal of "Lazy Sunday," a/k/a the Narnia rap, from the service that helped make it an Internet hit.

KELLEY STOLZ: The multi-instrumentalist's new album, Below The Branches, is currently scoring a 77 at Metacritic, For example, The New York Times says: "In concise, perpetually tuneful songs, his voice echoes the slouchy charm of the Kinks' Ray Davies, while the sun-dazed reverberations of the Beach Boys meet the music-hall bounce of the Beatles." And that's pretty accurate, as you'll hear from the three tracks streaming at MySpace, with "The Sun Comes Through" downloadable from the new album. Sub Pop has a download of "Memory Collector." And Stolks has archived downloads, including three cuts from Crockodials, his version of Crocodiles by Echo & the Bunnymen.

RAY DAVIES: London's Guardian gives his new album, Other People's Lives, three stars out of five.

SPIN magazine is close to being sold for the bargain-basement price of five million dollars -- with the cash part being significantly less than that. The magazine o­nce sold for 42 million.

JOURNEY: Former frontman Steve Perry refuses to contact his ex-bandmates, because he fears any show of unity will spark reunion rumors. Hard to argue with that.

WOXY: The indie internet radio station is profiled in the Cincinnati Post in connection with its current subscriber drive: "Unlike zillions of Web sites that stream music, WOXY.com is still a true radio station with live, knowledgeable DJs and several dynamic music features, including frequent live performances from bands playing the Cincinnati area. It may indeed be the "future of rock 'n' roll," but that future has not come to the Internet just yet. Station operators are trying to deal with an advertising community o­n how to size up the hybrid..."

DANIEL JOHNSON: The bipolar indie musician who lapsed into a comalike state for several weeks is having his artwork displyed in the prestigious Whitney Biennial.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: There are Internet rumors that the troubled singer is an elaborate hoax by The KLF, though more likely the rumors are a hoax by The KLF. Either way, I'm sure the French Hotel would like to meet him. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel will reportedly know within two weeks if she is to be charged following her infamous cocaine-snorting scandal. Prior reports suggest she won't be.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Eight Below topped Date Movie, though not o­n a per screen average; Freedomland tanked in seventh place.

ROGER EBERT predicts that Brokeback Mountain will not win Best Picture as he launches his annual "Outguess Ebert" contest.

THE BAFTAS: Brokeback Mountain did take top prize at the British version of the Oscars, however. Ang Lee and Jake Gyllenhaal won their categories also. Best British film went to Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit.

MADONNA admitted she and hubby Guy Ritchie have "clashes" and "petty fights" – but she lashed out at rumors of marriage trouble. Y'know, those rumors that have Madge asking everyone from the London Kabbalah Centre to Elton John and his partner David Furnish for advice. Sounds like she might need another hit from oxygen tank.

BROKEBACK-STABBING? Heath Ledger believes George Clooney deserves the best supporting actor Oscar this year for his performance in Syriana, rather than his Brokeback Mountain co-star Jake Gyllenhaal (and he was caught o­n video saying it). Larry McMurtry, who co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Brokeback, says the film’s meaning can be summarized: "Life is not for sissies." Had he not co-written the screenplay, the ranks of the professionally offended would be demanding an apology for use of the word "sissy."

JENNY McCARTHY is rubbishing reports she had lesbian sex in a Las Vegas restroom with porn queen Jenna Jameson, who told the story o­n the Howard Stern show.

EVA GREEN will play femme fatale Vesper Lynd in the new James Bond movie, Casino Royale. Last year, she starred in Ridley Scott's historical drama Kingdom of Heaven. However, she was much more naked in these NSFW video clips from The Dreamers.

BRITNEY SPEARS complains about the state of pop music and being chased by aggressive paparazzi, but wants you to know she's not bitter.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has quashed rumors that she's leaving London for Hollywood: "I would never leave. I'm 20, and my family and my friends are there, and a lot of work for me comes from there - and I get the p*** taken out of me much more there than anywhere else!" Besides, moving to L.A. would just aggravate her body-image issues.

THE DAVIE-BROWN INDEX aims to bring scientific know-how to the subjective world of celebrity appeal, evaluating the worth of 1,500 celebrities based o­n eight criteria: appeal, notice, trendsetting, influence, trust, endorsement, aspiration and awareness. It turns out that Suntory and Dewar's were right o­n target in hiring Sean Connery to hawk their whiskey.

JESSICA SIMPSON is rumored to be in talks for a tell-all sidown with Diane Sawyer. Meanwhile, hubby Nick Lachey has response to the pneumatic blonde's divorce petition, challenging the date of separation (which affects the community property), asking for his jewelty back, and reserving his right to ask for spousal support.

THE TROUT POUT SHOP: A member of Oh No They Didn't helpfully posts a pictorial guide to celebrity collagen injections.

CULT OF THE iPod: Victory Records' boss and founder Tony Brummel has defiantly refused to license any of his label's music through iTunes because it "makes music disposable. It makes it a faceless impulse item. It steals its soul."

BLOGGING: William Safire lead hsi "On Language" column with "blargon" from the denizens of the world of Web logs. New York magazine has an article the begins with complaints about alleged inequality in the blogosphere, but if you read the entire thing, you find this: "You think the A-list is the A-list is the A-list," says David Sifry, the CEO of Technorati. "But I’m telling you, boy, does it shift—and does it shift fast." Guy Kawasaki offers advice o­n "How to Suck Up to a Blogger," because "It used to be that ink begat buzz... Nowadays buzz begets ink."

IRAQ: The AP's Antonio Castaneda, embedded with Marines from Regimental Combat Team 2, blogs the soundtrack for a recent supply trip: "My thoughts were interrupted when tunes by the notorious 1980s hairband "Poison" kicked in. The song "Every Rose Has a Thorn" played, which made me desperately hope that we wouldn't be maimed to such an appallingly bad song. I wasn't about to complain though. Music had a disproportionately positive effect in lifeless parts of Iraq, and I had just seen the Spartan living conditions that these Marines survived in. They deserved to listen to whatever music they preferred, even if it was this bad."

IRAQ II: Michael J. Totten has another dispatch from Kurdistan: "A Western journalist I met in Erbil, who has been in Iraq for some time, told me the place challenges almost every liberal idea he has ever had in his head. I don’t know what he was like, ideologically speaking, before he got there. But he certainly doesn’t have orthodox left-wing opinions today. (Some right-wingers, especially those who think of the entire Islamic religion as a totalitarian death cult, would likewise get a crash-course in reality if they ever bothered to hang out in Iraq and meet actual Muslims.)"

JAILED CHEERLEADERS: Twenty-one members of North Korean cheering squads who traveled to South Korea for international sports events are being held in a prison camp for talking about what they saw in the South.

CARTOON JIHAD: A Pakistani cleric announced a o­ne million dollar bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew the Prophet Muhammad caricatures, apparently ignorant that there were a dozen cartoonists involved. Authorities in a central Russian city o­n Friday ordered the closing of a newspaper that published a cartoon showing Muhammed, along with Jesus, Moses and Buddha. In Libya, eleven people were killed and an Italian consulate was burned during Friday night protests, prompting Italian Reform Minister Roberto Calderoli -- who wore t-shirts bearing the cartoons -- to resign under pressure. In northern Nigeria, at least 16 people have been killed during protests. At that last link, the BBC states, "Islamic tradition strictly prohibits any depiction of Allah or the Prophet," which is a myth, just like the myth that the Muslim world is not used to laughing at religion. So the BBC apparently takes the extremists at face value, as opposed to committing acts of journalism. In NYC, protesters waved signs showing the Islamic flag atop the White House, denouncing freedom of speech. In Pakistan, veiled women carried a sign reading "God Bless Hitler" (check the hilarious German caption stating that the intent of the sign was unclear).

CARTOON JIHAD II: CBS's 60 Minutes ran a feature o­n this turmoil, the subtext of which was to blame the Danish newspaper, to state that "The lines between fantasy and reality aren’t sharply defined around Denmark," and to suggest the nation is racist (dutifully following London's Guardian.) Viewers were given no idea that Denmark was already self-censoring due to the violence of Islamic extremists in Denmark and the Netherlands. The show implicitly accused the newspaper of having a double standard because the editors "recently rejected a satirical depiction of the resurrection, saying it would cause a public outcry." CBS did not mention that the same cartoonist who drew the image of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban drew a cartoon with Jesus o­n the cross having dollar notes in his eyes and another with the star of David attached to a bomb fuse. In painting Danish Muslims as an oppressed minority, the show stated: "They may benefit from Denmark’s welfare system, but there isn’t a real mosque in the entire country; they have to make do with converted factories." The reality is that the small Muslim population consumes over o­ne-third of Danish welfare spending (and it doesn't occur to 60 Minutes that lavish welfare spending may support the Islamic extremist lifestyle). 60 Minutes pointed to no evidence that the gov't is preventing Muslims from building mosques; does CBS thinks the government should be building them? The notion that Denmark is racist or xenophobic isn't borne out by the latest study of 51 countries. And the claim that moderate Muslims are " fast disappearing into fantasies of fear" is not true, either. That's a lot of work o­n the part of 60 Minutes to end up siding with tolerance for extremism over against freedom of speech.

OPEN HOUSE OF ILL-REPUTE: Amsterdam's famed red light district has held its first ever "open day" as its peepshows and brothels gave crowds of wide-eyed visitors free entry to help shed the area's increasingly negative reputation. "This is a very good idea," 28-year-old Dutchman Maarten Ritsema said, grinning after experiencing his first ever lap-dance at the Bar La Vie en Proost.

PENGUIN EGG UPDATE: Kyala and Oscar, the penguins who had their chick stolen just before Christmas have hatched another egg at a zoo in southern England. The new chick was born Tuesday, but has yet to be named and its sex was not yet known.

ELEPHANTS WITHOUT A CAUSE: Inexperienced teenage mothers, combined with a lack of older bulls, appears to have created a generation of "teenage delinquent" elephants. Researcher Richard Lair: "The more human beings they see, the less tolerant they become."

GONZO, a four-foot-long black and white Argentinian tegu lizard is o­n the loose in peaceful Cambridgeshire.

A TWO-METER CROC turned up in a carport in the centre of Jabiru, Australia. Rangers captured the crocodile, which spent the night in o­ne of the ranger's bathtubs before it was released at the South Alligator boat ramp.

TIGER POOP is being tested as an animal pest repellant.

PLANNED GOAT SEX PRANK results in animal cruelty charges against Trenton Dakota Jackson of the Alpha Gamma Rho frat at Western Kentucky University. Chapter pres. Brian Peyton said that nobody actually was going to have sex with the goat, which police officers found stuffed into a storage room, standing in its own urine and feces.

"TINY" WOMAN ATTACKS POLAR BEAR and wins. I must remember to ask Sylvia if they're related.

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BSS, the Fab Four, Spinal Tap, Kid Rock sex tape, Wayward Whippet   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 17, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



... is a phrase lifted from the seminal British pop music show Ready Steady Go, which is warmly remembered in London's Guardian. The show's final theme song was Them's "Baby Please Don't Go." Van Morrison and the lads mimed it for the show in 1966.

MUSICAL TIMEWASTER: The Pianographique. Trippy.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE has a revolving door, but mainstays Justin Peroff and Andrew Whiteman talk to KyndMusic about the non-process of making their records and a possible album of alternate takes. RELATED: Closet OC Fan is killing music with a bootleg of Feist covering BSS's "Major Label Debut."

76 TROMBONES are a combo from Brooklyn that serves up Americana with a laid-back, downbeat manner that reminds me a bit of Silver Jews, if a bit less poetic. You can download and stream four tracks at MySpace. (Thanks, Gorilla vs.Bear.)

THE BEATLES NOW: Terry Teachout notes that while many have written about the band in terms of the "sociology of celebrity," few write about the Fab Four's place in musical history.

THE GO-BETWEENS: Robert Foster tells Stylus about That Striped Sunlight Sound, a concert DVD package plus a CD, and notes that he's listening not o­nly to Beth Orton and Arctic Monkeys, but also Neil Diamond and Jimmy Buffett.

LEONARD COHEN tells The Globe and Mail that his recent financial and legal difficulties "have proved very nourishing in their way."

WOLFGANG'S VAULT RADIO: The memorabilia outlet previously noted here (and I have since had a friend have a very good experience with them) now offers Vault Radio, which streams recordings from concerts Bill Graham promoted, including The Who, Cream, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, James Taylor and The Sex Pistols. NPR has an audio backgrounder.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: From VH1's "Where Are They Now?" file, Spinal Tap. These clips hit the highlights of This Is Spinal Tap, but include new interviews with the lads, e.g., Nigel Tufnel talking about his new apprenticeship at an aquarium. The link above takes you to part o­ne; check the sidebar for the follow-up clips.

YOU TUBE: The video-sharing site gets noticed by NPR, which links you to video of a Wilson Pickett-James Brown medley of "Cold Sweat" and "Midnight Hour," T. Rex's "Get It o­n" and videos by Arctic Monkeys and Howlin' Wolf. The more the media notices YouTube, the sooner artists and labels will start demanding their stuff be removed, so enjoy it while you can.

PAUL WELLER mended fences with James Blunt at the Brit Awards. Meanwhile Coldplay's Chris Martin feels neglected because he has yet to be the focus of a verbal attack from Weller. Seems like Weller knows when a snub is as good as a jab.

THE JUNO AWARDS: Nickelback dominates the nomination list for Canada's 2006 Juno Awards. New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene, Hot Hot Heat, Metric and Tegan & Sara were shut out of mainstream categories; Montreal's Arcade Fire received just three lesser nominations. The National Post explains "Why Avril will always out-Juno Arcade Fire: "Some of the people who are members of CARAS are o­nly finding out about Arcade Fire now, and the o­nly reason is because they were o­n the cover of Time magazine," says Larry LeBlanc, bureau chief for Billboard magazine in Canada.

DINOSAUR, JR. has been noodling around with thoughts of working o­n an album this summer.

WEEZER: Ann Althouse excerpts a New York Times piece o­n 35-year-old frontman Rivers Cuomo living an austere existence in a dorm room at Harvard.

MADONNA: Hubby Guy Ritchie turned up with Madge at the Brit Awards -- for just half an hour. Ritchie didn't smile for the photogs. The kiss they shared when she won Best International Female was awkward and she forgot to thank Guy in her speech, as the video shows. Madge wasn't wearing her wedding ring, either -- not the best move when you're trying to convince everyone the marriage is fine.

KID ROCK and SCOTT STAPP (former Creed singer) are featured o­n a sex tape. It's not a Brokeback Mountain thing, but the promo video makes it seem as trashtastic as could be imagined.

JACKO JUSTICE: The the California Court of Appeal has ruled that the order terminating Debbie Rowe's parental rights was invalid and that she can pursue custody of the former couple's two children. The trial judge commented that the marriage "was an arranged deal from the beginning..." Rowe apparently made millions from the deal, but now wants custody of the kids based o­n the child molestation charges brought against Jacko and his alleged association with the Nation of islam.

NOW SHOWING: The movies opening wide today are the Antarctic sled dog tale Eight Below (79% Fresh o­n the Tomatometer), the racial drama Freedomland (20% Rotten), and Date Movie, which is apparently not being shown to critics, with all that implies.

GEORGE LUCAS received a National Medal of Science and Technology for his company's innovative visual effects and technology in films in a White House ceremony Monday. It seems unlikely that he will ever get a medal for directing.

VAUGHNISTON: Aniston's friends (or is that Friends?) are concerned that hanging with Vince Vaughn is making her "Vegas, Baby!"

JESSICA SIMPSON: Maybe the reason Star magazine is rubbishing rumors that the pneumatic blonde hooked up with Maroon 5's Adam Levine is that the tab claims Simpson hooked up with Jude Law at the Chateau Marmont over the weekend of Feb. 3, with o­ne guest asking the hotel for a change of rooms due to the noise. Reportedly, Simpson had to be similarly shushed with Levine.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: After reports that Holmes was going to bail o­n Cruise's trip down under for a funeral, the photos show she turned up, after all. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the persisting rumors that the pair have "already worked out the visitation rights" for their unborn child -- which Cruise's rep denies, natch. BONUS: The Best Week Ever blog has a Cruise-Oprah video mash-up of the show they want to see.

SIENNA MILLER, in a moment of clarity, says she will never design her own clothing line: "I would hate the fact that people are wearing clothes with my name o­n. After all, I'm an actress." But if she knows it would be a fashion disaster, why all the fugly ensembles?

THE CULT OF LLOYD: The Washington Post looks at the cult of women who have a fetish for Lloyd Dobler, the character played by John Cusack in Say Anything. Lloyd also serves to introduce an article in Tango magazine about movie myths that mess up women's love lives.

COVER CURSE: Appearing o­n the front of Redbook magazine may be hazardous to your relationship.

REN AND STIMPY CREATOR JOHN K has started a blog with all sorts of drawings, including sketches of celebrities (such as Tom-Kat and Vaughniston).

BRITNEY SPEARS drops this gem in the lap of People magazine: "I found out after the baby," she says earnestly, "that I can sing!" So. Many. Punchlines.

THE OLYMPICS are less of a television event than past games so far, with competition from American Idol, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Survivor and other shows. But when you see the ratings declining over time for the Oscars and the World Series, it's also proof that big events in general have less pull. Plus, people don't have to wait for results in the Internet age -- even for the last-place results. (Thanks, Debbie)

IRAQ: Bill Roggio notes that both the US military and al-Qaeda have a vested interest in learning how to properly fight an insurgency. Michael J. Totten checks out the nightlife -- such as it is -- in Erbil: "Iraqi Kurdistan is more pro-American than America... Even the Islamists I met were weirdly pro-American in some ways – and again it’s not just because the US destroyed Saddam Hussein." West Point's Combating Terrorism Center issued a report arguing that the US should rely more o­n indirect propaganda and allies in the Middle East than direct military action, but there are arguments to be made against indirect propaganda campaigns also. And often enough, the folks who oppose the military campaigns also oppose the propaganda campaigns.

CARTOON JIHAD: In London's Times, Simon Jenkins argues that the derisive Danish cartoons of Muhammad don't defend free speech, they threaten it: "The traditional balance between free speech and respect for the feelings of others is evidently becoming harder to sustain. The resulting turbulence can o­nly feed the propaganda of the right to attack or expel immigrants and those of alien culture. And it can o­nly feed the appetite of government to restrain free speech where it really matters, as in criticising itself." I agree that no media outlet is obliged to republish the cartoons to defend free speech, but claiming that o­ne should not run them for fear of future attempts censorship is to argue that it is not worth defending the right to publish such cartoons against the threat of Islamic extremists, because you might then have to defend the same right as against the government. I would argue that conceding as to o­ne threat merely weakens the media as against the other. And for a third view, Christopher Hitchens is always up for advocating the mockery of religion in general.

EDU-BLOGGING: The 54th midway of the Carnival of Education is o­nline. Non-educators are going to skip right to the post about elementary kids "dating" o­ne another.

BIZZARE DOG ABUSE: A man in Melbourne, Fla., faces animal abuse charges after three dogs were found in a locked storage shed with hair so long that they were barely able to move, according to a Local 6 News report. Poor things look worse than Saddam coming out of his spider hole.

WAYWARD WESTMINSTER WHIPPET: Police called off the search Thursday for award-winning show dog Bohem C'est La Vie (a/k/a ViVi), who bolted from her travel cage at NYC's JFK airport after she took a breed award at this week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Whippets may have really good survival instincts, but -- like Greyhounds -- are runners.

CLOVER and BRODIE have given birth to a black and white colobus monkey at Melbourne Zoo. Which is a good thing, as they are also colobus monkeys. And an endangered species. Pic at the link.

TOXIC CANE TOADS have evolved longer legs in the few short decades since humans introduced them into Australia and are now invading the country at a rate of about 30 miles a year.

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James Hunter, the Brit Awards, Willie Nelson and Rufus - King of Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


JAMES HUNTER likes his soul music old school, but he will disagree: "I feel this music is as relevant for people today as it would've been 40 years ago," he explains. "It has a groove that makes people feel good--it makes girls want to dance. What's retro or old-sounding about that?" He's featured o­n Van Morrison's live album A Night in San Francisco and the studio recording Days Like This. His first US album, People Gonna Talk, drops March 7th, but you can stream a couple from the World Cafe at NPR, or the four tracks at MySpace, or clips from every track at his website.

THE BRIT AWARDS: Kaiser Chiefs led the winners, winning three prizes (including best British group and best rock act). Arctic Monkeys won best British breakthrough act. Prince did show up to play "Purple Rain" and "Let's Go Crazy." Kanye West (best international male) performed "Gold Digger" accompanied by 77 women wearing gold body paint and bikinis. Paul Weller was presented with the outstanding contribution to music award.

PAUL WELLER: His father begged him not to break up The Jam at the height of its success, because he was convinced it would spell the end of his musical career.

J. MASCIS talks to Rolling Stone about his old school metal band, Witch, for which he plays drums -- further proof of Jon Pratt's theorem that the guitarist always wants to be the drummer. You can stream a couple from TeePee Records.

DAVID BYRNE and BRIAN ENO: The duo's influential My Life in the Bush of Ghosts will be reissued March 28 o­n Nonesuch, with seven previously unreleased tracks that date from the original recording sessions.

AC/DC: Bon Scott's grave in western Australia was classified with a heritage listing Wednesday. Heritage listings are usually reserved for buildings, but the grave was recognized because of AC/DC's global popularity and because it is visited by thousands of fans annually. They get there by taking the Highway to Hell, natch.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The emblematic Replacements video for "B-stards of Young," from the band's major-label debut, Tim.

SAM MOORE (of Sam & Dave) has inked a new deal with Rhino, with an album, Overnight Sensational, due May 16.

DARK SIDE OF THE MOON will be performed in its entirety by Roger Waters at this year's Roskilde Festival.

WILLIE NELSON not o­nly contribured to the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack, he's now released "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other," in which the Texas country icon sings about love among men o­n the range. It's supposed to be available exclusively at iTunes, few things remain exclusive for long on the Internet.

BOB GELDOF has joined forces with Transparency International to better ensure global aid is not lost to corruption. They will focus o­n the 50 billion dollars pledged last year by the G8.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer blames his fame for his drug problems. As the BBC TOTP points out, it's more like the reverse these days.

MADONNA reportedly went from the Grammys to Cedars Sinai hospital in L.A. last week for hernia surgery. Hubby Guy Ritchie was not at her side.

GWYNETH PALTROW thinks Madonna has amazing boobs. She also reportedly said that if she ever got a "free pass" to indulge a crush, "it would be with someone like Phil Selway, my musical hero." The Radiohead drummer may well be a better musical choice than her hubby Chris Martin, but I can't imagine it was fun at home that evening.

JENNIFER GARNER is using Britney Spears as motivation to shed her baby weight.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly negotiating to become the spokeswoman for an all-natural appetite suppressant. Granted, it's the Star, but it's not difficult to see Britney using Anna Nicole Smith as a career model.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Regarding the pair's alleged split, Cruise's his rep, Paul Bloch exclusively tells Star, "This is totally and 100 percent untrue." Which is what Bloch also exclusively told Access Hollywood. I would think that o­ne's credibility is diminished when everyone else thinks thy have an exclusive from you. Of course, as Gawker notes, Life & Style is not exactly the Oracle of Delphi, either.

BRADGELINA: Pitt and Jolie want to buy a second home in Paris, far from the prying lenses of the press. You can almost hear Johnny Depp grumbling, "There goes the neighborhood..."

JESSICA SIMPSON: Us Weekly claims that the pneumatic blonde has been more than canoodling with Maroon 5's Adam Levine since 2004, "while Simpson was still wed to Nick Lachey." (Note to Us: she's still wed to Lachey.) The Daily Blabber has details from the story. TV reports have Simpson denying the story, natch. Meanwhile, Star is claiming that earlier reports of a Simpson-Levine hookup at the Chateau Marmont o­n Feb 7 are untrue, supposedly with pics to prove she was in NYC. The problem with this is that the walk of shame dates to January.

SIENNA MILLER was shocked when she slimmed down to play Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl because her breasts vanished. An objective observer would want to judge for himself -- or herself.

TERI HATCHER complains her lovelife is "nightmarish" because she has been without romance for nearly a year. She won't run a personal ad looking for love o­n the Internet, "But can you imagine the National Enquirer? That would be fun." Or maybe when a tabloid runs a story about you having a special love van parked in the driveway, you should consider it a good suggestion instead of suing for libel.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN has been passed in its entirety by the film censors in Singapore, despite the country's stringent laws against homosexuality. Gay sex is punishable by a maximum of two years imprisonment in the country. Singapore's media content director said Ang Lee's film was passed as it did not "promote or glamorise the lifestyle."

OSCAR PREDICTIONS by computer reflect the consensus views of critics this year.

CITIZEN OPRAH: Why America’s most powerful celebrity should be more feared than loved.

WERNER HERZOG: I previously noted that the Grizzly Man director shrugged off a shot from an air rifle in the middle of an interview. The BBC has the video of the interview, complete with the shooting, posted for our enjoyment.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Mohammed posts that the Shia UIA bloc risks being outnumbered and that the political map of Iraq may be about to change. Michael J. Totten is blogging from Erbil in Kurdistan -- today he's got an entry with plenty of pictures of Dream City, a massive development going up o­n the outskirts of the city. ABC's Nightline aired portions of tape recordings of Saddam meeting with top aides during the 1990s in which Saddam put forth the future probability terrorism with weapons of mass destruction and otherwise details attempts to hide information about WMD programs from UN inspectors. FWIW, Ali Ibrahim al-Tikriti, a/k/a the "Butcher of Basra," claims that Saddam provided Al-Qaeda with intelligence support and whatever money or munitions they could provide and that Saddam's weapons are in Syria due to certain military deals dating back to the late 1980s. he is the second ex-Iraqi commander to make claims about Syria in recent days.

CARTOON JIHAD: Three more people died in Pakistan yesterday as more than 70,000 "demonstrators" torched and ransacked franchises of Western shops and fast-food restaurants and were drawn into gun battles in several cities -- all over cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. In Iraq, officials condemned the airing of photos and video showing Iraqi prisoners being abused in the Abu Ghraib prison in 2003, complaining that the footage would o­nly enflame tensions in the war-ravaged country. What does that have to do with the cartoon riots? The answer is that western media have largely refused to show any of the Danish cartoons at the heart of that story, ostensibly because some of them are offensive to Muslims and could enflame tensions. Yet the same media outlets -- The New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN and the BBC, to name a few -- have no qualms about publishing years-old photos regarding a prison the US no longer runs, where those soldiers involved have been tried and punished, at a time where the Muslim world is already inflamed. It begins to look like these outlets will publish inflammatory material that increases the risk to US troops, but will not publish such material where these outlets fear they may be subject to greater risk.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to vote today o­n whether to start an inquiry into the NSA's eavesdropping o­n international telephone calls. But the panel, which was clearly leaning in favor of an inquiry last week, now is closely divided and possibly inclined against it, apparently due to last week's closed briefings of the full House and Senate intelligence committees, and to private appeals to wavering GOP senators by officials, including Vice President Cheney. Insert your Veep with a shotgun joke here. ALSO: Slate covers the pervasive wiretapping by European governments, which may suggest that international calls are not all that private in the first place.

HURRICANE KATRINA: Yesterday, a House panel released a scathing report concluding that deaths, damage and suffering could have been decreased if the White House and federal, state and local officials had responded more urgently to Katrina. Popular Mechanics finds the the report to be "riddled with poor logic, internal contradictions and exaggerations." The report "seems designed to narrow attention o­nto a few individuals, ignoring larger, and frankly more important, issues—such as what role FEMA should actually take in large-scale emergencies."

BEST IN SHOW: Hail, Rufus -- the king of dogs. He wagged his tail when he won the the 130th Westminster Dog Show Tuesday, overcoming his unpopular breed as a Bull Terrirer o­n the strength of his perfectly egg-shaped head. Rufus (a/k/a "Champion Rocky Top's Sundance Kid") beat out a favorite -- a Norfolk terrier named Coco -- and a Dandie Dinmont co-owned by Bill Cosby to reach the final ring. So where is his buzzy bee!?

ZOO SEX TOURISM: I was shocked, shocked to discover that this trend started in San Francisco. Jane Tollini, former penguin keeper at the San Francisco Zoo, came up with the idea 17 years ago: "I like to watch."

ASSASSIN SPIDERS welcome a new member of the species from the remote forests of the African island nation of Madagascar.

MOOSE CHEESE: The Exeter News-Letter delves deep into the exotic world of moose-milking.

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Rare Pate, Jens Lekman, the Centipede King and the Scorpion Queen   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 08:30 AM
Posted by: kbade


ANOTHER RARE PATE TRACK, courtesy of Jon Pratt: The original two track master for "My Turn." This is not the mix Tom Tatman did for South East Records' Iowa Compilation. It's available in the "Downloads" section of the site, accessible thru the links at the left and top of the page. Grab it. Dig it.

JENS LEKMAN is given up o­n his hiatus, discovering that being a musician is more rewarding than working in a bingo hall. He's giving away his tour EPs as free downloads. Oh You're So Silent, a compilation of his regular EPs, was universally acclaimed. You can stream some of his fab chamber pop from NPR and download two from his label.

TALKING HEADS reissues are streaming in their entirety from AOL Music. Elsewhere, David Byrne has posted a bit o­n the multimedia musical about Imelda Marcos he's worked o­n with Fatboy Slim.

THE SUBWAYS: The band's debut album, Young for Eternity is also streaming in its entirety from AOL Music. PopMatters spends a day o­n tour with the trio.

BONO is prodding the Mexican government to investigate the odd death of singer Kirsty MacColl, who was killed by a power boat in December 2000 while scuba diving with her two sons in Cozumel. And he's getting some results.

ROBERT POLLARD: At Things I'd Rather Be Doing, John Kenyon has outtakes from an interview with Pollard he did for PopMatters as part of a larger, as-yet unpublished piece. Pollard talks about producers and collaborators in this hunk.

PAUL WELLER played a tiny warm-up gig for the Brit awards, which heckled the audience, not to mention James Blunt, Sting and Bono: "I'm pretty sure I said all of it to be honest with you. I thought [the tabloids] were being polite, if anything."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: As the Wikipedia tells us, "In December 1977, Elvis Costello and The Attractions appeared o­n Saturday Night Live as a last minute fill-in for the Sex Pistols. During the live broadcast, Costello played the first few bars of "Less Than Zero," then -- much to the shock of the program's producers -- stopped and broke into a spirited rendition of the then-unreleased "Radio, Radio" (despite having been denied permission to play that song because of its anti-corporate message). Costello was not invited to perform o­n Saturday Night Live again for 12 years..."

GLEN MATLOCK: The Ex-Pistol has stuck up for punk proteges Green Day after Johnny Rotten dubbed them "a w**k outfit".

TEN TO WATCH and ten notable returns, courtesy of Glide.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL: Frank at Chromewaves is killing music with the ex-Belle & Sebastian belle's cover of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)."

BILLY BRAGG has his "List of Music You Should Hear" up at Amazon and it's surprisingly free of Woody Guthrie and "The Internationale."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The producers of the Brit Awards have invited the troubled singer to attend — in the hope he will turn up and cause chaos.

THE SI SWIMSUIT ISSUE came out yesterday, though the cover features a bevy of beauties -- including cover vets like Elle MacPherson and Stacy's Mom -- who misplaced their tops. Kinda defeats the notion it's about swimsuits, if anyone was dumb enough to believe it. If you can't get to a newsstand, you can peruse it on the web, watch videos from iTunes or get some o­n your cellphone or handheld device. Insert your "handheld device" punchline here. This is merely an expansion of the secondary products -- calendars, DVDs, and television shows -- that already bring in an extra ten million in revenue annually. And you can compare this year's shots to past years at SI's swimsuit collection.

PRINCE has arrived in the UK, but producers don't know whether he will show up to play the Brit Awards. Apparently, he may be partying like it's 1999 -- and making demands like it's 1984.

MADONNA converted from Catholicism to the ancient mysticism of Kabbalah because she found the Christian religion too restrictive. Of course, Kabbalah requires that o­ne live a modest and holy lifestyle in accordance to Torah Law, observing all those commandments applicable to them. Which is why Madonna is involved with pseudo-Kabbalah, which is quite a concept, given that Kabbalah itself is controversial within Judaism.

COURTNEY LOVE may be sued by her father if her forthcoming book alleges that he put her o­n the road to drug addiction by giving her LSD as a toddler.

BRITNEY SPEARS stopped at the Malibu Urgent Care Center o­n Monday, reportedly suffering from stomach cramps after filming a cameo o­n NBC's Will & Grace. A smarter woman would have known that Will & Grace has been nausea-inducing for a while now.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Perez Hilton reports the pneumatic blond's publicist confirmed that Simpson is "officially dating" Maroon 5's Adam Levine, then gets an official denial from Simpson's rep. Meanwhile, hubby Nick Lachey made a good impression with a speech at Cosmopolitan's Fun Fearless Male Awards.

TOM-KAT DONE!? That's what Life & Style Weekly is reporting: "The insiders say that Tom, 43, and Katie, 27, plan to keep up the charade of a romance until after their baby’s birth this spring." Cruise's publicists tell Access Hollywood: "It should be known that the story is 100 percent false." A rep for Life & Style responded: "We stand 100 percent behind our story."

JOSH LUCAS: The Glory Road star is looking for a new galpal and was spotted bumping and grinding o­n the dance floor with ex-Playmate Victoria Silvstedt at a Victoria's Secret pre-Valentine's Day bash. I have to think that Chris Wragge won't like to hear that.

SIENNA MILLER quashed any rumours of a Valentine’s reunion with ex Jude Law last night by saying: "I’m definitely single." In further comments, she makes like the president of the She-woman Man-hater's Club.

LOST: Ex-hobbit Dominic Monaghan and and Evangeline Lilly continue to be the subject of rumors that the couple will wed in Hawaii when the series wraps this spring and even that Lilly is pregnant, though the photo at the link doesn't convince me.

SHARON STONE is miffed that Basic Instinct 2 had to be edited to get an R-rating: "Let’s face it, this is going to be my last hurrah doing something like this and isn’t Basic Instinct 2 supposed to be even baser still?" Hard to argue with that logic, though it seems like the finished film won't be family fare (NSFW).

CHRIS PENN had "accidental death" caused by the combo of an enlarged heart and several prescription drugs.

UNCLE OWEN is dead, man. Miss him, miss him. Who knew he had been blacklisted in the 1950's?

THE 25TH ANNUAL OSCAR NOMINEES LUNCHEON was held Tuesday, with 116 Academy Award nominees -- from actors to visual-effects designers -- democratically seated to dine o­n beef tenderloin and Chilean sea bass. Sadly, though somehow fitting, Paul Giamatti was stuck in NYC by the weekend blizzard. Felicity Huffman was so excited that she was two hours early: "I helped set up the tables." I guess that's how she got that front row right seat for the "class photo." There's a link to huge version of the "class photo" at OscarWatch.

IRAQ: Though Bill Roggio has been regularly posting o­n the progress of Iraqi forces, there are now statistics to go with the anecdotal evidence. The US military says 40 percent of Iraq's combat battalions are effective enough to have taken the lead role in fighting the insurgency, a key measure for determining when U.S. forces can withdraw. At Iraq the Model, Omar posts an update o­n cracks within the main Shia party and notes that militias seem to be selling weapons sent by Iran to help them carry out attacks o­n coalition forces. BTW, I predicted the other day that if Iraqi forces did well securing the celebration of Ashura, the press wouldn't notice. I would brag, but it's like predicting the sun will rise in the east.

CARTOON JIHAD: Thousands rampaged through two cities Tuesday in Pakistan, burning buildings housing a hotel, banks and a KFC, vandalizing a Citibank and breaking windows at a Holiday Inn and a Pizza Hut. At least two people were killed in riots over the Danish cartoons. The secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference compared the publication of the cartoons to 9/11 and the Holocaust. Italy's Reform Minister Roberto Calderoli had T-shirts made emblazoned with cartoons, saying that they were not meant to be a provocation but added that he saw no point trying to appease extremists: "We have to put an end to this story that we can talk to these people. They o­nly want to humiliate people. Full stop. And what are we becoming? The civilization of melted butter?" Meanwhile, there is anger in Iran over a football cartoon printed in a German newspaper showing the Iranian national team standing in a World Cup stadium with bomb belts strapped to their jerseys. And Batman will soon be fighting al Qaeda, thanks to Frank Miller, perhaps best known for his Sin City books, but who earlier revived the Bat-franchise with The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One.

REGGIE THE BULLDOG is crowned Britain's Best Looking Dog.

AMERICAN PETS are increasingly enjoying their own birthday parties.

THE CENTIPEDE KING of Thailand married the Scorpion Queen o­n Valentine's Day. The bride wore a white wedding dress with 15 live scorpions attached to it.

SHEEP ABUSER in Michigan argues that he should not have to register as a sex offender.

WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD? Because the tractor trailer overturned o­n the highway.

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Ram Jam, Rhett Miller, Valentines, Anti-Valentines and a Goat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SLY STONE: Yet another version of the Grammy story. In this o­ne, Sly demanded (and got) a police escort to the show and fled o­n a motorcycle. And I finally found (with help from Coolfer Glenn) the video of the tribute.

THE NEW PANTHEON AWARDS: Several critics at Stylus give a rundown of the finalists. For example, Todd Hutlock o­n The Decemberists' Picaresque: "The fact that this, Arcade Fire, Sufjan, Antony, and Death Cab all got nominated makes me fairly confident which way this award is leaning... it's like they threw in Kings Of Leon just to the big kids wouldn't kick sand in their faces and steal their girls."

KILLING MUSIC: rbally has downloads of Jenny Lewis' recent BBC performance and Art Brut live in Vienna.

MEAT LOAF: His jet shot off a Manchester runway due to weight problems. So. Many. Punchlines.

BJORK is profiled by London's Guardian. Turns out she's a UNICEF goodwill ambassaor. And she talks about the infamous swan dress.

"BLACK BETTY" by Ram Jam has been banned from being played at University of New Hampshire hockey games after more than a decade because it is "theoretically racist." It seems unlikely that Leadbelly -- who wrote or adapted the song -- was a racist, so maybe it should just be "theoretically banned."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: "My Funny Valentine" as rendered by Rufus Wainwright with mom Kate McGarrigle o­n piano, and Chaka Khan. ALSO: Now that The New York Times has found YouTube, I wouldn't be surprised to find musicians and their lawyers swing into action.

RHETT MILLER: You can stream four advance tracks from the Old 97's frontman's upcoming solo album, The Believer (including a cover of Jon Brion's "I Believe She's Lying") via -- where else -- MySpace (if you get an error page, hit your "F5" button.).

JOY DIVISION: Casting has been announced for the upcoming Ian Curtis biopic, Control. Mostly unknowns, except Samantha Morton, Oscar-nominated for her work in Woody Allen's Sweet And Lowdown and Jim Sheridan's In America, who will play Curtis' widow, Deborah.

HIT SONGS are based partly o­n our perceived preferences of other people, according to a new study.

THE WRENS: PopMatters talks to the folks from Little Quill productions about making a documentary o­n the band. There's footage at Little Quill's website. You can stream and download "She Sends Kisses" from MySpace.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Hours after vowing o­n national television to stay away from crack and heroin, the troubled singer was reportedly kicked out of a football match for taking heroin in the toilets. At this rate it's hard for the BBC's Doherty timeline to stay current! Meanwhile, the latest rumor about the supposedly sober supermodel's visit to a brain doctor is that she fears she is losing her short term memory. So she may not be able to remember, for example, whether she ever took cocaine. It would also explain why she kept making up with Doherty. Look for the pair to star in a remake of 50 First Dates.

VALENTINES: If you forgot to order your Law & Order: Special Valentine Unit cards, you may still have a chance to send an e-card featuring Tom Cruise, Tara Reid or the French Hotel. from the Gallery of the Absurd. Sadly, you can't get Ernest Borgnine or The Olsen Twins in that format. BONUS: "A Valentine's ode to TomKat: "It's love when your sweetie passes over a long list of Hollywood prospects, including Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth and even 18-year-old Lindsay Lohan, for you!"

FIRST KISSES: Celebs share their generally embarrassing stories. And Heather Graham reveals she has terrible business sense.

MEMORABLE SCREEN KISSES are categorized -- e.g., "The desperate kiss," "The kiss in the rain," etc. -- at MSNBC.

ANTI-VALENTINES: The Washington Post asks readers to listen to and vote o­n a playlist of rage, regret and revenge. I'm not ant-valentine, but I'm impressed with the list, which ranges from Dolly Parton to Stevie Wonder to Wire, Husker Du and Neko Case. E-filmcritic has a nice list of breakup movies, including the brilliant Albert Brooks feature Modern Romance (which finally comes out as a DVD in May). And Forbes ranks the best love films by the amount of money they made, because what's more romantic than that?

ALEC BALDWIN was disappointed when he was set-up o­n a blind date with Cindy Crawford, because she wasn't beautiful enough.

BRADGELINA: If you need to reach Jolie when she's away from home, she's under the name "Miss Lollypop."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise is threatening to sue acclaimed biographer Andrew Morton after discovering he has hired a gay porn star to shed light o­n Cruise's private life.

CLAY AIKEN'S second album has been put "on hold" until the sex allegations of former Green Beret John Paulus blow over. Pun intended?

SIR IAN McKELLEN has attacked Hollywood's continuing homophobic attitude towards gay stars: "The film industry is very old fashioned in California. It is very, very, very difficult for an American actor who wants a film career to be open about his sexuality. And even more difficult for a woman if she's lesbian." Sorry, I'm not buying that last part.

BANDIDAS: Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek are starring in a melange of Bad Girls, The Magnificent Seven, and Buth Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. And they are reportedly more than happy to allow rumors that they are involved romantically to promote it.

BRITNEY SPEARS will celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans later this month, because she wants the city to continue its annual traditions. She'll be the chick looking for those beaded necklaces, y'all!

HEATHER LOCKLEAR and RICHIE SAMBORA: Star magazine has a non-steamy pic of the woman they claim was pictured in the X-rated e-mail to Sambora. along with a description of the the latter.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER: I love it when a gossip site reports that the two have permanently split and that they are rumored to have rekindled their stormy romance six hours later.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar notes that the Shia (UIA) bloc's nomination of Jafari to become the new Prime Minister will most likely complicate the process of forming the government and potentially split the UIA. Bill Roggio notes that as the political process moves forward at a frustratingly fitful pace, Iraqi forces are leading a number of counter-insurgency ops in northern and western Iraq.

IRAN: German prosecutors have charged two men with violating export laws apparently involving delivering weapons technology to Iran. A European Union diplomat claims that a larger group under investigation is believed to have ties to the nuclear black market run by Pakistan's now-disgraced nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. Iran abruptly postponed talks with Moscow o­n a plan to enrich Tehran's uranium o­n Russian territory. A major American attack o­n Iran's nuclear sites would kill up to 10,000 people and lead to war in the Middle East, according to a report from the Oxford Research Group. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross looks at exploiting Iran's internal political fissures; Amir Taheri goes even deeper o­n the subject. BTW, the White House press corps asked two questions about Iran on Monday, one of which suggesting that we should be concerned about the growing nuclear threat posed by Brazil. In contrast, there were several dozen questions asking why the White House press corps didn't find out about Dick Cheney's hunting accident earlier.

GETTY TRUST CHIEF Barry Munitz resigned Friday as CEO of the world's richest arts institution, under a cloud of allegations about his salary, perks and lavish spending. Instead of leaving with a 2.4 million lump sum severance package, as his contract stipulated, Munitz promised to pay the trust 250K to cover what its board's chairman described as "disputed items."

EDU-BLOGGING: Almost forgot the first Anniversary Edition of The Carnival Of Education is o­nline. Ken King may have a professional interest in it, but the rest of you will just want to scroll to the part about teen orgies.

VALENTINE'S GOAT: Oh sure, some people send flowers, but nothing says Love like a baby goat bearing a perfectly shaped heart o­n its fur. Video at the link.

GIGANTIC WHITE WORM smells like lillies. Come to think of it, that would have been a good backup to the Valentine's goat...

SHARK ATTACKS dropped in 2005 because people are fighting back more often when threatened and the ranks of ocean predators are thinning, but Jaws author Peter Benchley didn't live to hear it.

DOGS have regional accents just like their owners, a study claims.

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