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The Blue Van, Mystery Train, Pavement, Badgers and Banned Pigs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


CREAM began its three-night reunion at Madison Square Garden. While the Boston Globe had a boffo review, Rolling Stone, the New York Daily News and The New York Times were a bit more restrained in their praise.

WILCO has four tracks from the upcoming live DVD available for view in streaming Quicktime.

THE HIVES recently did a DJ stint playing some of their favorite tunes for the Ausie Broadcating Corp., which can be streamed from the link.

THE BLUE VAN: If you think the Hives are okay, you may well like The Blue Van, a Danish outfit that cites The Who, The Small Faces, The Sonics and the MC5 as influences. You can stream a few from MySpace. There are a couple of MP3s for download at You Ain't No Picasso, including a cover of "Have Love, Will Travel," but it's not killing music, as they are available through the band's website. But if you go to the band's site, you can also snag a cover of "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag."

ELVIS PRESLEY: Most everyone has seen the King with President Nixon, but Elvis World Japan has a directory full of other celebrity meetings, including Rosalyn Carter, B.B. King, Jane Russell, country great Hank Snow, Sophia Loren and many, many, more.

MYSTERY TRAIN: Locust St. is killing music with the original single by Little Junior's Blue Flames.

THE POSIES: Jon Auer is interviewed in Losing Today.

COLDPLAY frontman Chris Martin has revealed that Coldplay's lyrics need improving? How about "admitted?" Speaking of admissions, Martin -- recently named the world's sexiest vegetarian -- admits he eats things that have breathed.

PAVEMENT: Turquoise Days is killing music with a bunch of live covers, including Echo & the Bunnymen, the Velvet Underground and the Pixies.

TED NUGENT thinks that Sharon Osbourne should be slapped silly. And to think the Nuge used to say things that could be considered controversial...

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS: London's Guardian asks, Have they changed the music business? the correct answer is "no," though they do show how the business is changing.

PETER GABRIEL will be organizing the opening ceremonies for the World Cup.

FIERY FURNACES' newest scores a mere 4.0 o­n the Pitchfork: "Rehearsing My Choir is a sprawling piano opera starring Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger's grandmother, Olga Sarantos, and it's every bit as terrible and fantastic as it sounds." And it's not doing much better at Metacritic.

WONDERWALL: The Top Five Ironic Versions of the Oasis staple are listed by the Harvard Independent.

PUMP AUDIO helps independent musicians and artists who are o­n small labels, or unsigned, get their songs o­nto cable TV and into commercials.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer pens a piece for London's Guardian to explain... why he should write a theme song for his favorite soccer team. After all, a man has to have priorities.

GWYNETH PALTROW has cryptically confirmed she is pregnant again. She has also slammed reports she criticized Britain and plans to return to her native America: "The British press are just ridiculous. I've never said anything like that." Of course, she reportedly made the comments to the US edition of Marie Claire magazine...

BETTING o­n CELEBS: Speaking of pregnant celebrities, online gamblers think it's likely that Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z are expecting. They also pick Angelina Jolie as most likely to be the next Bond girl over Jessica Alba.

GEORGE CLOONEY: For future reference, it's okay to go to the hospital before the spinal fluid starts leaking from your nose. You're a bigtime movie star; someone will take you to the hospital if you demand to go.

DANNY BONADUCE may be sober, but he still can't seem to get happy: "It's embarrassing, but I'm at my happiest when I'm getting punched in the face," he tells FHM magazine.

SUSAN SARANDON: Yeah, it was kinda inevitable that you would have to talk to your son about playing a lesbian vampire.

AL PACINO: James Caan, Ed Harris, Robert DeNiro, Andy Garcia, Meryl Streep, Marisa Tomei, Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves were among those saluting Pacino as he was presented with the 2005 American Cinematheque Award o­n Friday. As a tribute to Pacino's career, each of them shouted the last part of their speeches. Except Colin Farrell, who gave his speech sans pants. That last bit is true.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie may be working o­n a full-frontal pictorial together, if In Touch magazine is to be belived. In the meantime, we make do with a pic of Jolie alongside her equally crazed looking brother at the Worldwide Orphans Foundation Benefit Gala. At least they didn't make out this time.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN will guest-star in an episode of 24 this season, playing an ambitious Senator who thinks he should be the pretend President o­n the show.

EVA LONGORIA: The Desperate Housewife just wants to hang out at the Wal-Mart in San Antonio. Or she's planning a future career in stand-up comedy.

VINCENT D'ONOFRIO, star of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, forced the early end of an NBC-mandated sex harrassment sensitivity seminar by berating a network attorney over the issue of whether an actor might need to watch pornography in his trailer.

ALEC BALDWIN: Maybe his custody battle with Kim Basinger would be less bitter if he could land a date.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Perez Hilton gets first-had news that Li-Lo is covering "The Edge Of Seventeen" o­n her new album, reportedly with a cameo from Stevie Nicks. Oh boy.

CULT OF THE iPod: The photo here is of an art piece, but you can now buy the iBelieve, billed as "a social commentary o­n the fastest growing religion in the world."

TOP TECH TRENDS, as divined by futurists asked by Wired News.

NANOTECH: FWIW, Nanodot is liveblogging the Foresight Conference.

GOOGLE would like to know a lot more about you to put in the Google Base.

THE NEW REPUBLIC has launched a blog called The Plank. On day one, there was a lot of discussion of... Michael Jordan.

A GRIM MILESTONE: That's what the AP called the 200th US military death in Iraq. That quote was used in a BBC story. ABC News also called it a "grim milestone." So did CBS News. And Scripps Howard News Service. And Canada's Globe and Mail. And the International Herald-Tribune, (though you may have seen the version that appeared in The New York Times.) And the New York Daily News. And London's Times. And NPR. And the Village Voice. And the San Francisco Chronicle. And the Chicago Tribune story that ran o­n Knight-Ridder's wire. And Islam Online. The picture to the right was on the front page of MSNBC.com on Tuesday. Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, the spokesman for the American-led multinational force, called o­n news organizations not to look at the 2,000th death as a milestone in the conflict, noting that it "is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations."

IRAQ: Bill Roggio posts o­n raids in Husaybah, Karabilah and Ushsh. Some women in Baghdad are taking up arms in private security jobs for reasons both personal and political. Seventy-nine percent of Iraqi voters approved the draft constitution; the press focused o­n Sunni Arab claims of vote fraud, though UN officials rejected them. These stories almost always quote Saleh Mutlaq and Hussein al-Falluji without mentioning that their NDC is home to many former Baathists and that the largest Sunni party, the IIP, has its sights set o­n the December elections. Indeed, the deadline for registering parties and electoral coalitions is Friday.

DOZENS OF PILOT WHALES have died after stranding themselves o­n a beach o­n the Australian island of Tasmania.

BADGERS break into a jail and attack the guards in Wiltshire, England.

UK PIGS: A West Yorkshire school has banned books containing stories about pigs from the classroom in case they offend Muslim children. British banks are banning piggy banks for fear of offending some Muslims. Neither seem to fear offending Muslims with the stereotype that they are all hotheads waiting for some excuse to blow their stacks.

GOLDFISH BOWLS are banned in Rome as animal cruelty. The city council also requires owners to regularly exercise their dogs.

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Ditty Bops, Bluegrass, The Jam, Zombies, Witches and Religious Animals   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


DITTY BOPS are profiled in Paste, but that piece doesn't really capture their mix of influences, including appalachian folk and western swing. You can stream their album from their website and check out their calendar.

SUFJAN STEVENS gets a good concert review from London's Independent.

THE ARROGANTS: Gorilla vs. Bear is touting this band as "Beautiful indie pop music, recommended for fans of The Sundays or Mazzy Star." That's certainly in the ballpark. There are a few MP3s at the link, but plenty more at the band's site. or you can stream a few from the band's MySpace page.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: The Boston Globe talks to Kevin Drew about the self-titled album as a reaction to the band's sudden semi-success: ''We didn't want to come out swinging. We wanted to come out sliding." Toronto Life talks to BSS producer (and occasional member) Dave Newfeld about his style and role in making BSS records.

BLUEGRASS: Billboard reports that it's good times for the form, with live shows and satellite radio broadening the bluegrass audience, especially younger fans.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS play a wedding gig of sorts.

THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN, the indie tribute to Rubber Soul comes out today. Frank ay Chromewaves is largely unimpressed, and kills Nellie McKay's jazzy "If I Needed Someone" this week. Low's version of "Nowhere Man" pops up at You Ain't No Picasso. You can stream samples at the album's web site and stream a few complete tracks from the site's "media" page.

THE JAM: Where are they now? Ex-Jam drummer Rick Buckler has formed a Jam tribute band, while Bruce Foxton plays with Stiff Little Fingers and Paul Weller tours solo. ALSO: Pate fans of the old school should note today's US release of the BBC compilation. A review of the UK release suggests it's a hodgepodge of studio and live material. Will the extra live disc be included?

BONO says Yoko Ono thinks of him as John Lennon's "son." Would Julian Lennon consider that a compliment?

LIZ PHAIR: Carl Wilson covers the Phair hoax blog, and thinks she might have been better suited to "The Star-Spangled Banner" than "God Bless America" at the World Series. Considering that she was a bit flat and worse o­n the high notes, I'd have to agree. BTW, the first two people I asked about her World Series appearance had the same response: "I had to leave the room."

PROTEIN WISDOM: Jeff Goldstein is again talking back to 80s music.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The shamed supermodel is writing poetry in rehab to help her relax.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY wept for an entire day after a critic slammed her lap dancing performance in Domino. Fortunately, I've heard her performance in the upcoming remake of Pride and Prejudice is much better. In the meantime, if she wants to work o­n her lap dancing, I know how to do constructive criticism.

STEVE MARTIN received the eighth annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center Sunday night. In accepting the award, Martin pulled a slip of paper from his pocket, to read his favorite Twain "quote": "For God's sake, please don't name an award after me."

HOMER SIMPSON won the title of Philosopher Of The Decade from the British edition of Men's Health magazine. Editor Morgan Rees said: "These are people of real substance and solid achievement rather than temporary fame."

MISTER INCREDIBLE busted by the LAPD, along with Catwoman and others.

DASHTON: OK magazine is rumored to be furious at having paid three million for the lame B&W Kutcher-Moore wedding photos.

100 GREATEST MOVIES are to be listed by Total Film later this week, but the mag has already teased the Top Ten. Citizen Kane is number six, beaten by films including Fight Club. The number o­ne movie is funny.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie is furious with her Beowulf co-star Ray Winstone for leaking news about her alleged engagement to Pitt. Jolie is said to have refused to shoot any more scenes with Winstone until he apologizes. Meanwhile, Vaughniston is shacked up in the same West Hollywood villa where Billy Bob Thornton and Jolie began their affair.

WILLIAM SHATNER: The lower back pain that drove him to a hospital last week was caused by a kidney stone. Now he's showing it off o­n TV.

HOWARD STERN is losing audience even before his move to satellite radio.

ZOMBIE UPDATE: The Sci-Fi channel traces the history of Zombies and the possibility of contagious Zombochondria.

INTERVIEW WITH THE SAVIOUR: In two weeks, Anne Rice, the chronicler of vampires and witches, will publish Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, a novel about the seven-year-old Jesus, narrated by Christ himself. The advance notices say she's pulled it off.

WITCHES AND SATANISTS could use Britain's Racial and Religious Hatred Bill to trigger police investigations of their critics, should it become law. A similar law in Australia was used by a jailed witch to launch a criminal prosecution of the Salvation Army after it criticized witchcraft.

JESSICA ALBA seems annoyed that she always gets scripts that involve nudity: "Somehow, I don't think this is happening to Natalie Portman." Obviously, Alba has not seen Portman play a stripper in Closer, even though the pictures and even video is easy to find o­n the 'net. Do I need to note that, while not involving nudity, the links are probably NSFW?

IRAQ: Three enormous suicide bombs blew up near the Palestine Hotel -- home to many foreign journalists in Iraq --because the insurgents and jihadis know that the view from these hotels are what most media outlets show as representing Iraq as a whole. The head of the Arab League has strongly condemned the insurgents; the league previously supported Saddam and has been seen as biased toward Iraq's Sunni Arab minority. CNN has a video report o­n the effectiveness of Iraqi forces. Iraqi oil revenues were a record 2.6 billion dollars in September; a search of Google News suggests that the story is being ignored.

IRAQ II: Bill Roggio has posts up o­n unrest in Ramadi, the handover of four districts in Baghdad to the Iraqi Army, and conflicting press accounts o­n Miqdadiyah. However, the negative report from Knight-Ridder's Tom Lasseter linked there on the last point is contradicted not o­nly by the New York Times story mentioned, but also by outlets as diverse as Stars & Stripes and the Christian Science Monitor. Given Lasseter's record, I'm not surprised.

IRAQ BODY COUNTS: The Washington Post has a story about the U.S. military's revival of publicizing enemy body counts, which the story notes was "discredited" during the Vietnam War. Such body counts may not be the best way of measuring progress, but then why does the US media routinely publicize US military and Iraqi civilian deaths as though they are useful? The AP, Reuters and AFP are already anticipating the 2000th US military death.

CULT OF THE iPod: Looks like Apple will face a class-action lawsuit over those easily-scratched Nano screens, after all...

NANOTECH meets Kabbalah. Maybe it will be the theme of Madonna's next album. ALSO: Ten times lighter than steel, but 250 times stronger and superconductive! That's the hope for Buckypaper.

MAKE AN INFRARED CAMERA out of your old digital model. The French Hotel should take note.

HURRICANE KATRINA: All three levee breaches are looking less like acts of God and more like failures of engineering.

ROSA PARKS, dead at 92. By now, I would hope you already heard this, but better safe than sorry.

A DONKEY, LAMBS GOATS and ALPACAS are getting religion in Suffolk.

ANOTHER PYTHON, ANOTHER TOILET: Today's spotting comes from Kuala Lampur.

BRINGING YOUR PET COPPERHEAD TO SCHOOL sounds like a great idea, until it bites someone who may now lose an arm.

CATERPILLARS threaten the nation's maple syrup supply.

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Wilco EP, Arctic Monkeys, Zombies, Another Girl, Another Planet and Chimp Chat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 24, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


WILCO: Did you know that can download the Australian bonus CD attached to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot from Wilcoweb?

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS are putting the finishing touches o­n their as-yet-untitled sixth studio album, due next spring. Patterson Hood says, "Lord knows I've got a backlog of songs, but when we went into the studio I pretty much ignored it. Everything else we've written since we started recording." Hood also has a solo album coming out; you can download some demos at his site.

THE DECEMBERISTS: Someone is killing music with three live tracks of unreleased songs o­n a faux page at PureVolume. And Colin Meloy thinks that the band, unlike The Arcade Fire, hasn't been successful enough to worry about a backlash.

THE ARCADE FIRE: Lead singer Win Butler thalks to the Chicago Tribune from a cellphone while shopping for an acoustic guitar in Portland.

THE STROKES: Stereogum notes yet another leak from the upcoming album.

PAUL McCARTNEY gives Ben Okuly permission to marry Melissa Steele: "Well, that's a first for me," McCartney quipped of the in-concert engagement. "And I hope it's a last for you, Ben."

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS: *Sixeyes notes that the next big thing's label has a half-dozen legally downloadable demos. Get them now, thank me later.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Jim Ray of MSNBC joins the list of those finding that the band's self-titled album grows o­n you. There's audio at the link, too.

MAXIMO PARK frontman Paul Smith is profiled in London's Guardian: "To get over the girls, he turned to drink. To get over the drink, he turned to music."

COLDPLAY frontman Chris Martin is interviewed by Ricky Gervais in glorious Quicktime.

FIVE OTHER GIRLS, FIVE OTHER PLANETS: Someone at Oh No, They Didn't has posted The Only Ones' "Another Girl, Another Planet" and six covers, including The Replacements (natch) and The Mighty Lemon Drops.

SILVER JEWS: On Friday, I noted that Tanglewood Numbers is doing alright at Metacritic. The blog of a band named Johnny Domino is killing music with two of the new SJ tracks and an old o­ne.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The radio station for the University of East Anglia has banned Doherty and his bands, Babyshambles and The Libertines, after Babyshambles canceled a string of confirmed gigs at UEA.

MADONNA is promoting Confessions o­n The Dancefloor with confessions off the dancefloor, such as the revelation that she "got married for all the wrong reasons."

LOU REED was a presenter at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards in NYC, where someone asked him, "'Do you live here?" After much laughter, Reed sighed, "Fame is fleeting."

IRAQ: Bill Roggio looks at "flypaper" and "bleedback:" "There is no singular answer to the question of whether Iraq is a training ground or a killing field for al Qaeda, as the answer is that Iraq is both." He also reviews ground raids in the Qaim region o­n the border with Syria, credited to an increase in local intelligence. London's Telegraph headlines a report US troops fighting losing battle for Sunni triangle, which seems to be based o­n observations in Duluiya and Dour -- two small towns in Saddam's home province. On Saturday, the AP reported that US troops are maintaining high morale in Baqouba, which is in the same area, but o­n Sunday, someone changed the headline of the same story to "U.S. Troops Try to Maintain Morale in Iraq." There's good news about security improvements in the middle of an AP story titled, "Iraq Insurgency Shows No Signs of Abating," but it's sandwiched between speculation from experts as to how things could get worse. Michael Yon reports o­n the referendum, which he spent alongside the top enlisted man for coalition forces in Iraq.

BRITNEY SPEARS feels the pangs of conscience and decides not to sell pictures of her baby to a celeb mag. Of course, they leaked to fan sites like TangibleBrit.com, but the pop tart is threatening legal action against anyone who publishes them, causing a big apology from TangibleBrit.com. However, Spears' legal team must not be very adept at the Internet, as it missed a bunch of other sites that copied the pics from TangibleBrit. ALSO: K-Fed is fed up with the couple's sex life taking a back seat to his baby.

VARIETY'S ICONS OF THE CENTURY is online in their entirety, in alphabetical order. Plenty of musicians and moguls.

CAMERON DIAZ helped lead a lecture o­n environmentally friendly design at Stanford University. The AP added, "Diaz's latest film, North Country, opened Friday. By the time you read this, maybe the AP will have figured out that Diaz is not in that movie.

NICHOLAS CAGE seems to be in the market for a custom chopper. Perhaps starring in Ghost Rider, the screen adaptation of the motorcyle-riding comic book antihero, put him in the mood.

SYRIA: A U.N. report implicating senior Syrian officials in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri increased pressure o­n the government and ignited renewed demands that Lebanon's pro-Syrian president step down. And that's after the U.N. doctored the report, removing the names of President al-Assad’s brother, brother-in-law and other high-ranking Syrian officials. Michael J. Totten blogs and photoblogs the reaction in Beirut. Publius Pundit has a good round up of blog coverage.

ZOMBIES lurched through the streets of Madison, WI o­n Saturday, following similar incidents in Seattle and Vancouver.

SEVEN SPOOKIEST MOVIE HOUSES: Nominees are posted at Cinematical.

HALLOWEEN: Sadly, I've missed the confirmed delivery deadline for Haunted Memories portraits that change as you pass by, and it's also too late to get a creepy Burger King mask.

BE AFRAID... BE VERY AFRAID: Celine Dion is planning to have a second child after her contract with Caesar's Palace ends in 2007.

THE WEEKEND BOX OFFICE was nothing to shout about. I saw Capote, which will almost certainly get an Oscar nomination for Philip Seymour Hoffman.

AFGHANISTAN: President Karzai condemned the alleged desecration of the bodies of two dead Taliban fighters by U.S. troops, but he said mistakes happen in war and Afghans shouldn't let it mar their impression of the U.S. The New York Times somehow missed the second part.

CAROLYN MURPHY, SI swimsuit coverbabe, is the star of a sizzling sex tape apparently stolen from her ex-husband, Jake Schroeder. And it seems that Jake really doesn't care: "She barely lets me see our daughter, Dylan. The most I see Dylan these days is in the pages of Vogue — something Carolyn promised she'd never do. Carolyn is as fake as her new t - ts. She's just about the almighty dollar."

SARAH JESSICA PARKER has taken to dressing like The Beatles circa Yellow Submarine to please her two-year-old son.

CHARLIZE THERON doesn't want to overwork, so she hasn't read a movie script since her Oscar win last year. Strangely enough, she did read the script for Aeon Flux and decided to do it anyway.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Felicity Huffman's bar dance to KC and the Sunshine Band's "Boogie Shoes" was undoubtedly a special treat for fans of her prior series, the late and lamented SportsNight.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX is getting more Oscar buzz for his portrayal of Johnny Cash in Walk The Line: Long after shooting finished, "I remember my girlfriend saying, 'Why are you …? Stop talking like that!'" Phoenix says, suggesting a Cash drawl. "I was like, 'Like what?'"

HURRICANE KATRINA: Contradicting another bit of conventional wisdom, it turns out that wealthy, predominantly white neighborhoods had high death figures and massive property damage.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise's popularity has plunged steeply in the past few months, according to Genius Insight, a New York-based marketing and research firm. The poll showed that he dropped from the 11th most liked celebrity to the 197th; he now ranks among the top five most controversial actors (those who are heavily disliked and liked), along with David Spade, Tom Green, Pauly Shore and Ashton Kutcher. Meanwhile, Holmes is knitting things for the baby: "It's amazing. I'm so happy. I feel great. I'm beaming."

CULT OF THE iPod: The inevitable iPorn is turning up. Porn drives technology -- VCRs, cable TV, the world-wide web, etc. Just imagine the potential for a gadget that can be handheld.

BROADBAND BY BALLOON was successfully tested in Sweden.

NANOTECH meets biotech: Biomedical engineers have erected some of the tallest of towers o­n the tiniest of scales by getting biological molecules to do the labor. The research is o­ne step toward creating functional nanostructures out of biological materials. ALSO the Speculist has a podcast with with Christine Peterson of the Foresight Nanotech Institute, which includes a sneak preview of the Advancing Beneficial Nanotech conference.

THE ANTIWAR MOVEMENT: Rolling Stone has an article about the uneasy truce between soldiers and socialists that threatens to split the movement. But both factions are gearing up to publicize the 2,000th military death in Iraq.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: IHC Services, which did big business with the U.N. procurement department, had links both to Saddam's old sanctions-busting networks, and to a businessman known for his ties to a figure designated by the U.N. itself as a financier of Al Qaeda.

CHIMPANZEES chat with each other over dinner. The finding could lead to better understanding of the origins of human speech. There's audio at the link.

RAT GROOMING is becoming all the rage.

COUGARS seem to be returning to the Midwest.

PYTHON INVASION feared in Florida. By December, researchers plan to tag a handful of pythons with radio-tracking devices to map their slitherings. As early as next year -- if funding comes through -- they hope to start trapping pythons and dispatching them by lethal injection.

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Sylvia Hauser, The Hold Steady, Arctic Monkeys and Zombie Worms   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, October 21, 2005 - 08:30 AM
Posted by: kbade



...AT AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION somewhere in the Southeast. After jokingly referring to Ms. Hauser's new life as a biker chick, I am informed that Ms. H got a 250cc Honda Rebel for her birthday. It's apparently a fine bike for Sylvia-sized people. And for a Japanese bike, it still has a Southern Accent.  Her fiancee's bike is in the background, as are signs that she is producing Extreme Makeover: Home Edition amid the Kudzu and wild hogs.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: A classic... penguin smacking.

JENNY LEWIS of Rilo Kiley talks about covering The Traveling Wilburys with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard for her solo album due in January. MTV says it "draws heavily from the winsome sexiness of Dusty Springfield's masterpiece Dusty in Memphis and the unbridled moxie of Loretta Lynn's Coal Miner's Daughter." Let's hope so!

CREAM: Ginger Baker claims the band broke up because Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce insisted o­n turning it up to eleven.

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn talks to the Tuscon Weekly: about being being featured in an Internet sitcom funded by Target: "In indie rock there's this sort of elitist thing. Most people who have heard of us already are not going to hear about us at Target, nor are they buying their music at Target. I don't want to get into a situation at any point where it's like if you don't read Pitchfork then you can't hear about us, because that's not where we're coming from."

ON THE PITCHFORK: Speaking of which, the Detroit Cobras get a reads-better-than-the-number-suggests 7.5 for Baby, their latest batch of obscure R&B covers.

THE SILVER JEWS album Tanglewood Numbers is racking up an composite score of 79 at Metacritic -- not bad given the expectations set by American Water and the wait since 2001's Bright Flight.

U2 keeps Bono away from coffee because he becomes difficult to deal with when he's consumed caffeine. Who'da thunkit?

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS: The wholesale killing of music as someone posts a whole bunch of Arctic Monkeys live video.

SO.WRONG... Earlier this week, Amber Taylor e-mailed me a link to Jonathan Coulton's cover of "Baby Got Back." To return the favor, I sent her a link to Nina Gordon (ex-Veruca Salt) covering "Straight Outta Compton." But when Ms. Taylor posted the Coulton link as appealing to "some of you sickos," I had to e-mail her that real sickos would prefer the rap version of "Build Me Up, Buttercup" featuring ODB. Ms. Taylor posted it under the heading "Wrong piled upon wrong" and gave me the blame I so richly deserve.

VAN HALEN denies involvement with the Rock Star TV show.

THE STROKES: Stereogum is killing music with another leak from the upcoming album.

DAVE MATTHEWS is performing o­n a Caribbean cruise. If he's lucky, no o­ne will dump human waste o­n him.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS' John Darnielle tries to answer a question: "Now that Scarlett Johansson's mainstream makeover is complete, indie guys from coast to coast are wondering: on whom shall I crush now?"

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The Babyshambles album has leaked o­nto the internet. Some bloggers are less than impressed. However, Stereogum likes it and is killing music. Supermodel Helena Christensen is backing Moss, which would be more believable if she were to recreate the video to Chris Issak's "Wicked Game" with me while she explained herself.

YOUR SUBCULTURE SOUNDTRACK is a new indie-centric wiki.

DONT STOP BELIEVIN': The Chicago White Sox, headed for their first World Series since 1959, have adopted Journey's 1981 hit as their postseason rallying cry, with A.J. Pierzynski blaring the tune in the clubhouse after the team's American League pennant-clinching victory over the Angels o­n Sunday. The players also sang the tune o­n the flight home from Anaheim. Is it that they don't want me to root for them, or are they just trying to make the Black Sox look better?

DO THEY KNOW IT'S HALLOWEEN? The charity single featuring Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire, Roky Erickson, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beck, Sum 41, Sloan, Sonic Youth, and more now has a video.

NEW WAVE SINGLES: If you'r a fan of the seven-inchers from the days of skinny ties, here's a massive gallery of sleeves for your enjoyment.

MADONNA denies she was trying to use a Kabbalah mystic for profit (or prophet), but No Rock and Roll Fun is dubious. Madge is also griping that people treat her attraction to Kabbalah as though she had announced that she's joined the Nazi party.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Us Weekly has its story and is sticking to it.

MICHAEL JACKSON has been summoned for jury duty in L.A. His lawyers hope to get a deferment.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: The teen diva was reportedly sprawled out o­n the dirty linoleum floor of a West Hollywood 7-Eleven at 5 a.m. Her rep denies it, natch.

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON is being remade. It might even be good, as it's being produced by Gary Ross, whose father was a writer o­n the 1954 original.

ROSE McGOWAN almost got herself arrested in Hollywood Tuesday night. The story appears to be a misunderstanding with a security guard; the nosy rumors floating around the 'net would blow your mind.

CARTOONS are the first movies in decades to be shown in Saudi Arabia. And they will be shown to women and children. "These are small steps that King Abdullah is trying to take to live up to his reputation as the champion of reformers," said Mai Yamani, a Saudi-born writer and academic.

BILL GATES: Mister Softee tells The New Yorker that that his o­ne distraction from business and philanthropy is the Fox TV thriller 24. He watches it obsessively — or at least he did until Elisha Cuthbert's character disappeared this past season. I thought about putting Bill's picture here... for about a nanosecond.

HURRICANE KATRINA is cusing a surge of tattoos in the Big Easy.

GWYNETH PALTROW finds the UK's streets are dirty, the weather cold and its customer services "rubbish." Of course, she recently criticized the US, too. Seems like she's unhappy wherever she is and might want to look at the common denominator.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie and Pitt go joyriding in her jet. Rumors of their engagement cause the usual internet phenomena, such as the inevitable wedding registry. One of the items there is the unrated DVD of Jolie's Original Sin, which may be why IDLY can point you to a 28 MB unrated clip of a sex scene between Antonio Banderas and Jolie from the movie. NSFW? You betcha!

NANOTECH: Using the parts inside a single molecule, scientists have constructed the world's smallest car -- four nanometers, slightly wider than a strand of DNA.

CULT OF THE iPod: iLounge has the Top Ten Things You Wanted to Know About the 5G iPod for regular folks and for techies and audiophiles.

IRAQ: Guardian journalist Rory Carroll was freed by a group of Sadr City residents; it appears that Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi was present when he was released. Carroll wants to go o­n reporting o­n Iraq; maybe he'll rethink that "US troops are more dangerous than the insurgents" angle he was working. Iraqi security forces arrested a nephew of Saddam o­n suspicion he was funneling foreign money to the insurgents. A senior lieutenant to Zarqawi was killed by US-led forces near Ramadi. Saad Ali Firas Muntar al-Dulaimi was chiefly responsible for planning and executing all terrorist attacks o­n Iraqi and coalition forces in the Ramadi and Fallujah areas, according to the military. And Al-Qaeda in Iraq has released a new statement in which it explains that they are not fighting the US occupation of Iraq, but to create "an Islamic state which is part of the caliphate and the Muslim territory."

MUDSLINGER THE PIG does all sorts of tricks, including playing soccer. Which would be strange enough without the sudden appearance of MacKenzie Phillips in this video.

A RAT released o­n a deserted island off New Zealand beat scientists, traps, baits and sniffer dogs before being captured four months later o­n a neighbouring island. Sounds like a good time to read up o­n the rat love manifesto.

CATS may be allergic to humans.

DOG suffers from narcolepsy. Now that Skeeter falls asleep in mid-trot, the Hendersons place him in a stroller for his customary walk.

ZOMBIE WORMS feast o­n the corpses of whales o­n the ocean floor.

200 LB. BABY ELEPHANT is delivered in less than ten minutes. I fing it more off that many elephants take days to deliver their massive offspring.

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The Decemberists, Apollo Sunshine, The Posies and Wireless Cows   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE DECEMBERISTS played Chicago Tuesday and Wednesday; Ken King and I saw them last night. As when I saw them at the Intonation festival, for a band that often gets compared to Robyn Hitchcock and the Smiths for its literary quirkiness, the sextet knows how to "make show." Live, the band packed a bigger wallop than o­n the albums, especially a galloping version of "The Infanta" from Picaresque, though "This Sporting Life" and even "Sixteen Military Wives" were punchier. Although the set favored Picaresque, the band did dip into the back catalog for crowd favorites like "Leslie Anne Levine" and "Red Right Ankle," a request frontman Colin Meloy dedicated to his "sweetheart," who we learned created the band's avian backdrop. I also want to highlight the contribution of violinist and vocalist Petra Haden, who is the newest Decemberist and seems to be having a great deal of fun with it. Indeed, the band "making show" works beyond mere theatricality because all of the members seem to be having fun making music. The encore was energetic as well, with Meloy leading the band through a hyper-kinetic cover of ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" (sadly the bootleg video link I had is dead now) and their own "I Was Made For The Stage." The show was sponsored by KEXP, which has a streaming studio appearance from March o­nline. I believe the show was recorded, so perhaps you too will soon be able to enjoy a part of a highly entertaining evening.

SON VOLT is doing a concert webcast from the 9:30 Club in DC for NPR this Friday at 10 Eastern/9 Central. You can also stream past shows from the link, including My Morning Jacket with Kathleen Edwards.

JOHNNY CASH: Pitchfork has the skinny o­n the first-ever single-disc career retrospective.

MY MORNING JACKET: Seen their video for "Off the Record?"

APOLLO SUNSHINE is written up at YANP. He's killing music a little, but scrupulous readers can stream a few from the band's MySpace page.

THE CONSTANTINES are interviewed at PopMatters, which ironically is the low score for the band's new album at Metacritic, which gives a composite score of 81.

WEEZER frontman Rivers Cuomo is going back to Harvard. I thought he wanted to be in Beverly Hills.

THE POSIES get a web-exclusive profile at Paste. Better still, Auer and Stringfellow play Jukebox Jury with Seattle Weekly. Stringfellow says that being in a band "is like being drafted with friends and sent to Guadalcanal; it's either going to be the world's greatest bonding experience or something ugly is going to come out of it—some tale you o­nly tell your grandchildren when you're really drunk."

FIERY FURNACES cover "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" for the Rubber Soul tribute disc. Stereogum kills the music.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Kevin Drew gives what I suspect is half-serious advice to people listening to the band's new self-titled album: "If you listen to this record song by song I think you'll love it. If you put it o­n all at o­nce it's very difficult to find something to get into. It's not an instant coffee... But if you want a crazy psychedelic indie-rock disco party, then hey, do we have an album for you!"

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH have a chat with the Austinist.

THE MICHAEL STIPE LUNCHBOX that Bono and Coldplay's Chris Martin bid tens of thousands of pounds to get can be seen at R.E.M.H.Q.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Moss's mother has flown to America after a call for help with a week of "family therapy sessions."

BONO lunched with President Bush to follow up o­n their July talk at the G-8 summit and to discuss President Bush's cover version of "Sunday Bloody Sunday." The self-proclaimed "Imelda Marcos of sunglasses," also met with Congressional Democrats to talk about debt relief for developing countries and the global AIDS crisis.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is proud of her "leading ladies." Which may explain why she seems set o­n getting plastic surgery later in life.

MICK JAGGER is mocked by ex-wife Jerry Hall.

MADONNA is mocked by Jon Bon Jovi.

JESSICA SIMPSON and Nick Lachey continue to lead separate lives, according to Page Six and Us Weekly.

THE FRENCH HOTEL, in what may be a first, denies having sex with someone. Just when you thought Tom Sizemore had already hit rock bottom.

VAUGHNISTON: Just Jared has a boatload of photos of Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn caught canoodling o­n a Chicago hotel balcony.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The latest tabloid rumors have Cruise and Holmes getting hitched next month o­n a Mexican beach. A source told London's Daily Mirror, "Tom's old fashioned. He wants his child to be born in wedlock." That's sorta old-fashioned, I guess...

DAVID COPPERFIELD is hoping to impregnate a female participant o­n stage without touching her. Since so many sites have already mined the Tom Cruise jokes, I'll ask, "How does being married to Claudia Schiffer put you off women?"

DEAD MAN'S CHEST: Some Russian movie site has leaked pics of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel.

WILLEM DAFOE says his toughest sex scenes yet were in a new film co-starring and directed by his wife.

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF has hired former Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger and longtime Al Gore senior aide Ron Klain as advisers to the TV show, joining former White House social secretary Capricia Marshall and former Clinton communications aide Steve Cohen, who is a writer for the show.

EVANGELINE LILLY seems to be engaged to the Hobbit she works with o­n Lost (third item).

MEL GIBSON donates a million bucks to hurricane relief for Mexico?

CHURCH AND STATE? A San Antonio middle school is under fire for trying to change the curriculum to include grammar books, dictionaries and teaching manuals based o­n the beliefs of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

CULT OF THE iPod: The gadget is catching o­n as an educational tool at the elementary school level.

NANOTECH: When it comes to assessing the occupational health hazards of exposure to nanoparticles, what can we learn from other small particles and fibers such as asbestos?

HORSE-SEX DEATH CASE: A man who authorities say helped run a farm where people had sex with animals — and where a Seattle man died doing so with a horse — was charged with misdemeanor criminal-trespassing Tuesday. Washington state is o­ne of more than a dozen states that does not outlaw bestiality. "There is no evidence of injury to the animal to support animal-cruelty charges," said the county prosecutor's chief of staff. "This is the o­nly crime we can charge."

PARENTS ARE SHOCKED at their kids' casual attitudes about oral sex. Sarah Brown, director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, says, "What we're learning here is that adolescents are redefining what is intimate." Or maybe just redefining "is."  Somehow, the story avoids the term "Lewinsky."

HEALTH OF THE TROOPS: USA Today reports that more than o­ne in four U.S. troops have come home from the war with health problems that require medical or mental health treatment, according to the Pentagon's unprecedented detailed screening of troops before and after rotation to a war zone. This statistic includes things like toothaches and marital stress. The percentage of troops back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with health issues is close to the portion of former servicemembers coming to the VA for mental health or medical care. So it appears that health issues are not being ignored.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio looks at an unconventional approach to securing the border with Syria. Some analysts inside and outside the Bush administration are questioning the authenticity of the letter purportedly sent from al-Zawahiri to al-Zarqawi. A Spanish judge issued an arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers whose tank fired o­n the Hotel Palestine in Baghdad, killing a Spanish journalist and a Ukrainian cameraman. Jules Crittenden of the Boston Herald was there and says it "was an accident by well-intentioned men who had been under fire, some of it intense, since dawn the day before." Rory Carroll, who was writing articles for London's Guardian last month suggesting that US forces were a bigger threat to journalists than the insurgents, has been kidnapped by the inurgents.

THE UNITED NATIONS has developed procedures to curb sexual abuse by its peacekeepers but the measures are not being put into force because of a deep-seated culture of tolerating sexual exploitation, according to an independent review.

BOA CONSTRICTOR: Captured after popping up in the toilets of a posh block of flats in Manchester.

N.M. DOG attacks his owner, the author of a new state law that allows felony charges against owners of dangerous dogs.

COWS go wireless with Bluetooth technology.

ROADKILL: Why am I not surprised that the Stuffed Squirrel and Chipmunk Museum is located behind the Cheddar Curtain?

GATOR UPDATE: Here's o­ne I missed that turned up in a backyard in New Jersey.

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