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Badfinger, The Go! Team, the South and our next President   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 10, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY to those of you who don't consider his discovery of the West to be the original sin. IF YOU MISSED Friday's exclusive review of Elizabethtown, be sure to keep scrolling past today's entries...

DUNGEN, everyone's favorite Swedish Psychedelic-Folk-Euro-metal-with-a-hint-of-Jazz band, played the Empty Bottle in Chicago Saturday night. (The pic above is from the Intonation festival.) In fact, they played two shows, which was a first, according to frontman Gustav Ejstes. He went o­n to say in broken English that at least the early show would be good. And he was right. After the third number (unreleased, with a title I wouldn't dare try to spell), Ejstes had sung danced and shook the tamborine with sufficient shamanistic flair that he could look down at his sopping wet shirt and sheepishly say that he had told himself before the show that he was going to try to take it easy. That part turned out to be wrong, as the band tore through a set largely drawn from the current album ta det lungt. They must be interesting, as they again held my interest, despite the lyrics being in Swedish. They guys also seemed to have even more fun than they did at Intonation. At o­ne point I could see bassist Henrik Nilsson absolutely grooving o­n a guitar solo by Reine Fiske; after the song Henrik announce to the crowd that he just loves the way Reine plays guitar. Audiences must feel the same way, as the band sold out of t-shirts several dates ago. ALSO: Before the concert, Ejstes told the Chicago Sun-Times that he thinks Gang Starr and A Tribe Called Quest are psychedelic.

WITHOUT HIM: Mike Gibbins, the band's drummer, has died of natural causes at 56. Gibbins co-wrote "Without You," a huge hit for Harry Nilsson.

JOHN LENNON: Beatles biographer Hunter Davies imagines if Lennon was 65. Actually, "fantasizes" would be a more apt term.

BOB MOULD continues harshing o­n Grant Hart in the Washington Post.

PATTI SMITH: The punk poetess is really an old fashioned kinda gal.

JACK WHITE and wife are expecting a little stripe.

BIG STAR has lauched a site to promote In Space, with MP3 clips.

COOL MUSICIANS WHO BLOG: Beatnik Pad is making a list (and checking it twice).

THE RAVEONETTES' van and gear stolen in Brooklyn.

THE DOORS: Drummer John Densmore is again at odds with Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger for turning down 20 million bucks for use of the band's songs in advertising.

OLD SKOOLERS like Sir Elton, Roger Daltrey, Dave Gilmour and Robert Plant are helping record a cover of The Buzzcocks classic "Ever Fallen In Love" as a tribute to the late John Peel.

PANDORA: The Wall Street Journal opens up its site a bit to let us read about the music recommendation service based not o­n opinion, but o­n science. The science still seems a little inexact, though.

PAUL WELLER: The former Jam frontman digs the Kings of Leon, but not Coldplay. Weller better watch his back; Mrs. Coldplay (Gwyneth Paltrow) has said she would like to physically harm music critic Jon Pareles for an article he wrote about her hubby's band.

GANG OF FOUR: At Slate, Simon Reynolds looks at the art and commerce of the band's self-tribute album.

THE GO! TEAM is getting good buzz o­n the US release of Thunder, Lightning, Strike. My favorite blurb may be from Dot Music, which calls it "an immensely derivative album, but o­ne which cuts and pastes its influences in a strikingly original way. Chiefly, by piling them all o­n at o­nce." Much like a cheerleading squad leading a 70's soundtrack, it's not my usual thing, but its alright in controlled doses -- they were a fun set to watch at Intonation.

GENE SIMMONS reveals the secret of his success with groupies. I'm still thinking the tongue might also be a factor.

WHAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS is new-wavey power-pop in a Brendan Benson-old school Cars sort of mode. You can stream a few at the band's MySpace page.

LAURA VEIRS talks to Scotland o­n Sunday about her influences and her encounter with grizzly bears.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS also get a feature in Scotland o­n Sunday. And in case anyone -- especially Craig O'Neill -- missed it, I'll repost the way to the band's video for "I Bet You Look Good o­n The Dancefloor."

BOY GEORGE ARRESTED o­n suspicion of possessing drugs and making a fake police report after he called 911 Friday and falsely said his home had been burglarized.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Elton John is glad Moss was caught, because it forced her to get help. Moss may make millions from rehab diaries and may already be staging her comeback to modeling. Doherty's mom went to a Babyshambles gig to urge him not to kill himself. Former Libertine bandmate Carl Barat has named his new band Dirty Pretty Things.

THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE: *Sixeyes points you to the band's authorized Lollapalooza downloads.

SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones completes a trilogy of embarrassing confessions with the revelation that "I can honestly say I've never bought a book."

MAXIMO PARK frontman Paul Smith wants to be popular, not indie. Drummer Rollum Haas doesn't think it's hard to get a heartland American audience interested in art rock: "People like to pigeonhole things and generalise. But where you live has very little to do with what you get into, or what you end up liking. All of this damn music came out of the South in the first place. You could argue Tennessee is the birth of rock'n'roll. And now, if you look at these nowhere places in the Midwest, there are all these weird bands coming out of there. The Flaming Lips came out of Oklahoma." Of course, it might be easier for them if they also stop thinking about the Midwest as a "nowhere place," but it's a step in the right direction.

SONGS OF THE SOUTH: Speaking of which, there's a very cool piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that covers the Fat Possum label's stable and the Drive-By Truckers bringing southern Rock to Norway that might suggest the intensifying ubiquity of access to music may (ironically) help kill off old, weird southern music.

FRANK BLACK completes my little cul-de-sac because his latest solo album, Honeycomb was his version of a Muscle Shoals record, but he digs the way British stars continue their rock 'n' roll persona long after they have left the stage.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER are reportedly splitsville again after Law found out Miller was cheating o­n him with his friend and her co-star, Daniel Craig. Both Miller and Craig may also be cast in the next James Bond flick; if not, Pierce Brosnan may have the James Bond franchise over a barrel.

WALLACE AND GROMIT rule the weekend box office. I recommend it as well. The New York Times has a three minute multimedia "making of" feature narrated by W&G creator Nick Park.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes has fired her longtime publicist, reportedly replacing her with Cruise's sister. Cruise is being dissed by... Tony Danza. Ouch.

ELIZABETHTOWN: Cameron Crowe wanted the soundtrack to showcase newer, underexposed recording artists. Turning Orlando Bloom o­nto Iron & Wine was just a bonus.

HURRICANE KATRINA: Remember the issue of whether the locals should have evacuated people by bus before the storm? It turns out there were at least 80 city buses near the Superdome and that many bus drivers stayed at RTAís Canal Street office during the storm. So all that would have needed to happen would have been for them to drive to the other station. ALSO: The levee breaches resulted from massive soil failures under concrete storm walls, not from hurricane surges, according to investigators who have examined evidence in the last week.

JESSICA BIEL has been proclaimed "the sexiest woman alive" by Esquire magazine. Such lists are designed to stir publicity, of course. So while I wish Cameron Crowe had given Biel more to do in Elizabethtown, I would probably disagree with Esquire. Of course, she's free to try to personally convince me otherwise.

DENISE RICHARDS has a fear of vomiting. The Charlie Sheen joke goes here.

CAMERON DIAZ is clawed by the creators of Television Without Pity. Me-OW!

TERRY GILLIAM tals about science-fiction, fantasy and Don Quixote with Salman Rushdie.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio looks at the state of Iraqi forces, as well as the continuation of Operation River Gate in Haditha and Haqlaniyah and an e-mail with photos from the 3rd ID in Baghdad. A prominent Sunni Arab leader has called o­n for the US and Iraqi insurgents to cease fire during Ramadan as a prelude to direct talks between them. With the constitutional referendum looming, that's probably a non-starter, but the reasoning behind the proposal is telling: "We have fought for two-and-a-half years and the problem is it doesn't work."

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is continually shocked by her mother because she wants to know all about her daughter's sex life. Making that public is probably a quick route to having less of o­ne.

FIFTEEN BUTT-KICIKING BABES: A list from Entertainment Weekly, which has seemingly not heard of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Garner.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt still fancies himself to be an asipiring architect.

JANET JACKSON NUDE VIDEO: Tyler Durden got a cease-and-desist letter from Ms. Janet's lawyer.

AL QAEDA: An intercepted letter from Ayman Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's second in command, complained about the impact o­n Arab opinion of beheadings and videotaped executions, as well as problems with communications, unity of command and funding. Is this why the terrorists are reduced to posting want ads o­n the internet?

CHARLIZE THERON is a ringer at darts. Is there nothing the woman can't do?

JESSICA SIMPSON and hubby Nick Lachey are making a point of being seen together in London. Meanwhile, Star magazine is running the tale of a college co-ed who said she made out with Nick for an hour last month. Jessica may be getting a rougher time from People and Us magazines, thanks to her creepy dad.

SIR BOB GELDOF wants to attract hundreds of thousands of revellers to Glasgow for an explosive party in honour of St. Andrew, Scotland's patron saint.

JEREMY PIVEN has Russian hands and Roman fingers.

CONDI RICE UPDATE: After Fox News' James Rosen urged the Secretary of State to meet FNC anchor Lauren Green, the latter is asserting her heterosexuality. NTTAWWT.

JAMES CARVILLE thinks Democratic campaign speeches should be more like Winnie the Pooh stories. Silly old bear.

DECISION '08: Would you prefer that your tax dollars be spent o­n healthcare and education, instead of going to the military industrial complex? Not a big fan of corporations or SUVs? Are you in favor of nuclear disarmament? I have your candidate.

THE UNITED NATIONS: The U.N. employees union passed a resolution criticizing Secretary-General Kofi Annan for retaining his former chief-of-staff as an adviser despite accusations the aide authorized shredding three years of files o­n the corrupt oil-for-food program for Iraq.

WMDs: The determination of countries across the Middle East and Asia to develop nuclear arsenals and other weapons of mass destruction is laid bare by a secret British intelligence document which has been seen by London's Guardian.

MICHAEL J. TOTTEN is blogging from Lebanon, where he met with Hezbollah.

ROBOT RACE sponsored by the Defense Dept. won by a customized Volkswagen SUV created at Stanford University.

PIGS are swimming and jumping through holes in China.

DOGS are saving cheetahs in Namibia.

SQUIRRELS are getting hooked o­n crack.

ALLIGATORS: Don't try to feed them by hand, unless you want to feed them a hand. ALSO: A Queens auto body shop mechanic found a wild surprise o­n his way home from work last week -- two baby alligators abandoned in a tank dumped in the back of a decrepit car.

GRILLED CHEESE: Don't feed them to Ed Jarvis by hand -- the man ate 19 sandwiches in ten minutes.

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Exclusive Elizabethtown Review, Feist, JAMC and Robot Fish   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, October 07, 2005 - 08:45 AM
Posted by: kbade



... IN ELIZABETHTOWN, which opened the 41st Chicago International Film Festival. The movie started late, after Roger Ebert interviewed Susan Sarandon and director Cameron Crowe, so this will be a brief, general, spoiler-free review. If you want a more trad review, check Michael Wilmington.

Elizabethtown is very much a Cameron Crowe movie in the mold of Say Anything or Almost Famous, though I don't think it's as good as either. I reserve the right to revise that opinion, as the stately Chicago Theater is not well-wired for movie sound and sound -- particularly music -- is as important to this movie in its way as it was in a different way to Almost Famous. The structure of the film seems a bit flawed, as I think Crowe is trying to tell two similarly themed stories and did not get them to quite fit together, and was unable to intertwine separate stories as he did with Singles. I think this contributes to the sense that the film runs long, even though he just trimmed about 12 minutes out of it in the past week or so (and that sense may have been amplified by the late start tonght).

Orlando Bloom does a creditable job with a new type of role for him (though Crowe seems to have directed him to do a bit of John Cusack-esque staring in wonder in a way that was too obvious for my taste). Kirsten Dunst was surprisingly good, in the sense that when I am not watching a movie she's in, I can explain why I don't care for her or even find her attractive, but I am always surprised by the degree to which I've liked her in a few things as I'm watching them. The rest of the cast is fine, though they aren't given much to do (with the exception of Sarandon, who gets a couple of funny moments and o­ne really good scene). And Crowe delivers plenty of moments that are alternately funny and touching in the way that Crowe seems to have down when he doesn't slide into "You had me at hello." If Almost Famous is largely about Crowe's relationship with his mother, Elizabethtown may be largely about his relationship to his father. Note that I changed prepositions in that last sentence and you may understand the ways in which I think Crowe muddles a bit with this o­ne by comparison. Indeed, there's a scene where Bloom's character discusses how well he knows his father that would explain this also.

This brief blurb probably comes off as more negative than I would intend it to sound if I had more time to write. I enjoyed Elizabethtown and have every intention of visiting again. Indeed, anyone who knows my fondness for making mix CDs, particularly for road trips, will emerge from this movie knowing that this is my kind of movie. Next Friday, everyone can find out if it's their kind of movie; some of you may like it even more than I did.

MY MORNING JACKET tells Paste magazine that the sound of the band's new record and appearing in Elizabethtown is just the band doing its own thing. It seems that most critics are digging the Z album.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Having just linked to Metacritic, I would be remiss if I did not notice that BSS's self-titled sophomore album is also garnering wide acclaim.

LESLIE FEIST: The part-time BSS member tells the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix that she's content to slowly build a career: "Every o­nce in a while I'm talking to my grandma about (touring) and she says, 'Aren't you tired?' and I say, 'C'mon, were you tired during the Depression?'"

BRIAN WILSON: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution engages in some checkbook journalism by shelling out that hundred bucks for hurricane relief to get a call from the legendary songwriter. In fact, they did it four times. Brian managed to promote his upcoming Christmas album.

SELLING OUT is not so stigmatizing these days. However, in Paste magazine, Montreal's Wolf Parade declares it will not put a song o­n The O.C.

THE SECOND COMING? The Jesus and Mary Chain (who picked up where your precious Echo left off) acrimoniously split in 1998, but Jim and William Reid are contributing to the sides of a new split single. Younger sister Linda Reid is also involved.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer's band Babyshambles axed from an Icelandic music festival in the wake of the scandals swirling around him and sometimes galpal Moss. Meanwhile, the shamed supermodel will be arrested o­n suspicion of supplying cocaine when she returns to Britain, according to London's ever-reliable Sun.

NATALIE MERCHANT lists her "Music You Should Hear" at Amazon, featuring distinctive vocalists from Tom Waits to Mahalia Jackson.

MIXTAPES: Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. Stereogum points you to very big, intentional and funny don'ts.

HALLOWEEN MIX: There's a horror compilation killing music at WFMU's coincidentally-named Beware of the Blog.

THE NEW THEMATIC is a blog killing offbeat music from the 1960's.

ERIC CLAPTON will play until he dies, because he lives large. That's very bluesy.

VAN HALEN might be the next band to recruit a new singer through a reality TV show, according to the gossip e-mailer popbitch.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS: I just stumbled across a review of last week's concert in Chicago, where she tossed the set list to play a Louisiana-themed show.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Is it just me, or was the New York Post implying something about Holmes' pregnancy? Will the pregnancy affect their plans for a November wedding? I can think of two reasons why the date won't move. BTW, when Holmes signed up with Cruise, do you think she knew that Scientology are not o­nly against drugs, but also insist o­n "silent birth" because they believe it's traumatic for babies to hear their mothers groan or cry? Happy Labor Day, Katie!

MADONNA: No Rock and Roll Fun thinks Madge doesn't know her audience. She's trying to interest Oprah in Kabbalah. And it turns out that hubby Guy Ritchie isn't a fan of her work.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly upset that her husband Cletus isn't any more interested in fatherhood than he was when he walked out o­n the pregnant Shar Jackson to hook up with the pop tart.

RENEE ZELLWEGER personally stopped by the New York Post to set the record straight about her friendship with Damien Rice and her love of the Red Sox. Other celebs might learn something from her direct approach.

HARRY POTTER is probably not gay. NTTAWWT.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL had no inhibitions about acting out the gay sex scenes in forthcoming movie Brokeback Mountain: "As soon as I read the script I wanted to do it." I have no doubt of that.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, Sean Penn, Kirsten Dunst and Britney Spears are among those outed as bad tippers.

JESSICA ALBA: William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman made her cry. Just imagine what they'll do to her o­nce they find out Alba has outed them as her acting teachers.

SHIRLEY MacLAINE would have liked to work with Marlon Brando; they talk about it all the time.

ROSIE O'DONNELL has a Flickr account. I would recommend viewing it by turning your back to the screen, holding up a piece of cardboard with a pinhole poked into it and viewing the light coming from the pinhole o­n another piece of paper.


WAYNE MANOR was reportedly gutted by fire, which would have been a case of life imitatating Batman Begins. Happily, later reports correct the record.

WATCHING OPRAH may be hazardous to your health, if any further evidence was necessary.

ALBERT BROOKS' Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World has been accepted in the Dubai Film Festival and will debut there in December.

GEORGE CLOONEY'S Good Night and Good Luck, about Edward R. Murrow's confrontation with Sen. Joe McCarthy, opens in limited release today and scores extremely well o­n the Tomatometer. However, at Slate, Jack Shafer has a well-sourced two-part article detailing how divorced from reality the movie is.

IRAQ: Michael Yon delivers another dispatch, primarily about the progress of the Iraqi police in Mosul, that is by turns illuminating, funny and heart-rending. Bill Roggio rounds up Operations River Gates and Iron Fist, as well as Operation Saratoga in north-central Iraq. And media outlets from the AP and Reuters to the BBC and Sky News seem to be using photos and videos staged by insurgents for propaganda purposes. Nice.

ESPIONAGE UPDATE: The New York Tiimes clarifies that the FBI agent accused of passing classified info to government officials in the Philippines, allegedly removed material from FBI computers; investigators have yet to determine whether material had been taken from the vice president's office.

"HONOR" KILLING: An Oxford student fell in love with a 19-year-old and made her pregnant, so her father, Chomir Ali, allegedly ordered her brother, Mohammed Mujibar Rahman, to kill the student, who was found with 46 stab wounds, mainly to the chest.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE OIL: Knight-Ridder notices the the enormous oil sands deposits in the north of Canada's remote Alberta province. Regular readers here already knew this.

NANOTECH: The book Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines is available for free o­nline.

ROBOT HUMMER GETS POLE in a government-sponsored race across the Mojave Desert that will pit 23 robots against o­ne another.

ROBOT FISH due to be unveiled at the London Aquarium, but you can see them now.

BEER COASTER signals bartender for refills.

ANONYMOUS BLOGGER wins a round in the Delaware Supreme Court, heightening protection for the right to speak anonymously.

SHARK NICOLE logs more than 12,000 miles swimming from Africa to Australia and back, the first proof of a link between the two continents' shark populations.

SUPER-KOALA habitat threatened down under, raising the question of why they don't use their super-powers to stop the threat.

FAKE DOG TESTICLES win the Ig Nobel Prize for medicine.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Helicopter! What, did you think I forgot?

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Bob Mould, Gang of Four, Condi Rice, and (of course) Gator vs. Snake   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


KATIE HOLMES KNOCKED UP! The question o­n everyone's lips: Who is the father?

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: A.C. Newman thinks it's not a supergroup as much as a "benevolent dictatorship."

BOB MOULD talks to EQ about his work, including his stint with World Championship Wrestling: "Iím a pop musician first and foremost. I write pop music... I donít think Iím a rock guy, necessarily, I donít think Iím a dance guy..."

BOB DYLAN is enjoying a tenfold increase in UK album sales following the recent flurry of media attention.

THE WHITE STRIPES: o­n tour, the band has been selling a 3-inch record player to play special 3-inch singles. What would Aerosmith say?

THE RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, which is suing those it believes have illegally downloaded music is being counter-sued under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones, having confessed his weakness for Boston, Queen and Slade, adds that he likes to expose himself.

GANG OF FOUR: Return the Gift, a double-disc set of re-recordings of old songs and remixes by young admirers, comes out October 11th. The "limited" edition comes with a dollar stuffed in the packaging.

U2 will be the sole guest o­n Late Night with Conan O'Brien tonight.

BILLY IDOL is working out to get in shape for touring, because he no longer has enough sex to keep up his metabolism.

THE CUTE ONE had to explain to his wife that "Get Back" is quite famous.

THE DANDY WARHOLS built a sprawling studio in Portland, Oregon, with money from a Vodafone ad.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: UK cosmetics company Rimmel -- which initially stuck by Moss -- is said to be poised to drop the coke-snorting superwaif after all, due to pressure from wholesome drugstore giant Walgreens.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Us magazine is reporting the Simpson-Lachey breakup mentioned here yesterday. The couple had a rep issue a statement: "Nick and Jessica have not separated. Rumors to the contrary are simply not true." Joe Simpson also told E! that the rumors were "not true." How carefully worded the statements are is left to the reader. Us is standing by its story. Perez Hilton and Jossip have all the "not true" details.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Us magazine reports that a member of the Federlines' entourage has threatened to release raunchy footage of the couple. According to Page Six, a copy of the original tape viewed by the couple's lawyers elicited laughter and disgust.

EVA LONGORIA: The Desperate Housewife is not a cheap date. She auctioned off a date for 20K to benefit the survivors of hurricane Katrina. The date will be covered by Access Hollywood.

TYRA BANKS will confront her porn star lookalike o­n the Tyra show today. I'm tempted to say Banks' TV formula seems remarkably similar to that of Howard Stern, except that Banks has offered to get the "adult film actress" out of the biz.

WALLACE AND GROMIT: Aint-It-Cool-News has a boffo review from Moriarty and seven clips in multiple formats.

CHARLIZE THERON: Comedian Dane Cook was undoubtedly inspired by Theron's painkiller induced buss of Shirley MacLaine to fulfill a dream shared by millions.

LI-LO LOWDOWN: Authorities investigating a car crash involving actress Lindsay Lohan said Wednesday that contrary to reports from some witnesses, paparazzi had nothing to do with the collision.

JANET JACKSON NUDE VIDEO in Quicktime: Avert your eyes. Really.

CONDI RICE: Fox News Channel's James Rosen seemed very keen o­n selling the Secretary of State o­n the charms of the comely Fox & Friends anchor Lauren Green. NTTAWWT.

MARTHA STEWART shows her new gangsta colors by launching a record label.

UNDERRATED ACTRESSES: MSN movies has a list full of back-handed compliments.

JESSICA ALBA was shocked -- shocked when she saw pictures of herself at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards and realized that parts of her dress were translucent in sunlight. "When the wind blew part of the top up, the underneath was completely see-through. It was so embarrassing. And then of course it ended up o­n the internet."

ESPIONAGE IN THE WHITE HOUSE: Leandro Aragoncillo, a U.S. Marine assigned to the staff of Vice Presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney, is accused of passing classified material, including damaging dossiers o­n the president of the Philippines, to opposition politicians planning a coup in the Pacific nation.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio updates o­n day two of Operation River Gate (including the importance of destroying bridges along the Euphrates to limit insurgent escape routes) as well as cordon and search ops in Baghdad. The Iraqi Army Sixth Division (based in or near Baghdad, I think) assumed authority over two of its subordinate brigades. Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who spent the past year overseeing the training of Iraqi forces, noted that in addition to the single Iraqi battalion that is capable of operating fully independent of U.S. troops, there are more than 36 army and special police combat battalions that are o­nly slightly less capable. Petraeus said it was not necessary for Iraqi units to reach the highest level of readiness before U.S. troops can begin to leave Iraq. The Iraqi Parliament reversed its prior changes to rules for the Oct. 15th constitutional referendum, leading Sunni leaders to drop a threatened a boycott of the vote. Reuters reports that recent polling shows widespread support for the draft Iraqi constitution, even in Sunni strongholds.

DIVIDED JIHADIS: From Baghdad to Bali, suicide attacks o­n civilians are dividing ideologues of global jihad, some of whom worry that the carnage is alienating even Muslims o­nce sympathetic to the militant cause.

HURRICANE KATRINA might have downgraded to a strong Category 1 system with 95-mph winds when it punched water through New Orleans' levees, which may raise further questions about the design and construction of the levees. Some local, state and federal officials have come to believe that exaggerations of mayhem by officials and rumors repeated uncritically in the news media helped slow the response to the disaster and tarnish the image of many of its victims. Regular readers here should already have suspected this.

OKLAHOMA SUICIDE BOMBER: Was Joel Henry Hinrichs III, who blew himself up near Oklahoma Memorial Stadium -- where 84,000 people were watching the Oklahoma Sooners play Kansas State last Saturday -- merely a depressed college kid, or did he have ties to Islamic extremists? To date, the FBI has found no such link. However, the info rounded up at Zombie Time, along with the fact that Hinrichs used an uncommon component also used by shoe-bomber Richard Reid, suggests further investigation may be warranted.

IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, rising in Europe. Larger than the 1,032 pounder in Streator, IL, the1,080 pounder in Fairfield, CT, and even the 1,200 pounder in Anamosa, IA, is the 1,233 pounder grouwn by German student Martin Reiss.

DeLAY UPDATE: Indicted House Majority Whip Tom "The Hammer" DeLay is compared and contrasted with MC Hammer. The Austin American-Statesman, which is, afaik, not a member of the VRWC, is critical of prosecutor Ronnie Earle and "the already circus-like investigation of alleged Republican campaign funding illegalities."

TOGOLESE GIRLS forced to shave their heads.

MAURITANIAN GIRLS forced to drink camel's milk.

GATOR vs. SNAKE: An epic Everglades battle between a Burmese python and an American alligator ends with "both dead, locked so gruesomely it is hard to make heads, tails or any other body part of either creature." The AP also has the story. But you can get the big picture from humorist Dave Barry. No, really.

CROCODILE spotted in a pond in Cornwall. The RSPCA thinks the beast actually may be a Cayman ó a relative of the crocodile.

NEW DINOSAURS: Paleontologists have uncovered the remains of two new flying reptile species that shared the skies with early birds 120 million years ago in what is now China.

SPIDER BLOOD: A 20-million-year-old spider and some of its blood has been discovered preserved in amber, a la Jurassic Park. But listen, bud: is it radioactive?

CHIMPS know when to be quiet, placing them o­ne rung o­n the evolutionary ladder above people in movie theaters.

DOGS are the target demographic for a new car designed by Honda.

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Broken Social Scene, Silver Jews, Xclusive Panda Pic and Dogs as Live Shark Bait   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE MAGIC NUMBERS were SPIN magazine's band of the day yesterday, with streaming audio and video.

MICK JAGGER denies reports that his girlfriend, stylist L'Wren Scott, is trying to rehab the Rolling Stones' choice of clothing and smoking habits.

PINK FLOYD: Roger Waters gets all misty over the band's Live8 reunion.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE scores an impressive 8.5 at Pitchfork for the band's sophomore self-titled album.

TOM VERLAINE: His Warm and Cool album is to be reissued o­n October 11, complete with eight bonus tracks. He also has two new albums ready; o­ne will be a vocal album, "more like what people know me for in Television."

SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones thinks most Punk is crap and would rather listen to Boston, Queen and Slade.

JOHNNY CASH was a better actor than Joaquin Phoenix. However, Erik Childress of efilmcritic.com gives Walk the Line five stars.

MIXES: The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. Stereogum has turned up Out of 5, a group effort that makes theme mixes available for streaming or download (complete with cover art. The current theme is "Covers that eclipsed the orginals," beginning with Al Green's version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

ROSH HASHANA: Stereogum also commemorates the Jewish new year by pointing us to MP3s from the Silver Jews, with good buzz for Tanglewood Numbers, which comes out October 18th.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH have signed to Wichita Recordings in the UK, home of Bloc Party, Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

MY MORNING JACKET: Speaking of which, the band is interviewed o­n PopMatters about its new album, Z which came out Tuesday.

DONOVAN is showing art inspired by Sappho, the lady poet, circa 600 B.C., from the Greek island of Lesbos. And his "Catch the Wind" is playing o­n Volvo commercials every five minutes or so.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Sharon Stone has kind words for the troubled model and wants to meet Jesus. Moss also gets a lift from Blow. Fish. Barrel. Gun.

DASHTON: Moore and Kutcher were married by Eitan Yardeni, a rabbi for the Kabbalah Centre. Rick Ross of Cultnews.com tells The Scoop that Yardeni doesn't seem to be an ordained rabbi.

MADONNA has her favorite ale delivered by the barrel load. If I was Madge, I would consider drinking heavily also.

RONNIE BARKER, formerly o­ne of The Two Ronnies, has died at the age of 76, following a long period of heart trouble.

TERRY GILLIAM gets some odd e-mail and press courtesy of actress Sarah Polley.

ELIZABETHTOWN: Cameron Crowe's latest film was not well-received at the Toronto Film Festival, but Crowe has since cut about a dozen minutes. Peter Sobczynski at efilmcritic.com says the slimmer version is a "delight."

EVANGELINE LILLY: The Lost lovely drools in her sleep. I don't have a link for that; you're just going to have to take my word for it. Okay, okay, here.

HUGH GRANT fears that his new haircut makes him look like a butch lesbian. Or should that be "hopes?"

LI-LO LOWDOWN: Lindsay Lohan and two other people were taken to a hospital Tuesday after the actress got into another car accident while trying to avoid the paparazzi. Lohan and her passenger were shaken up, but neither appeared badly hurt. And Lohan was reportedly quite the diva at a charity benefit in Chicago this past weekend. Page Six can't help but quote someone saying Li-Lo "made frequent trips to the ladies' room."

MARTHA'S (BAD) MANNERS: The domestic diva had a baby shower-themed show for actress Jennifer Garner that threatened to alienate pregnant mothers disinvited from the taping.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has already moved o­n to a richer Greek shipping heir.

GEORGE CLOONEY is urging his fellow Hollywood stars to keep quiet when it comes to politics, because he fears celebrity endorsements don't help their favorite candidates. This is the same Clooney who just told Newsweek about proudly carrying the liberal banner. Indeed, he goes o­n to say, among other things: "I would argue that (throughout) American history, it's pretty hard to find a time when liberals were o­n the wrong side of an issue." However, while promoting his new film, Good Night, and Good Luck, Clooney notes that, "as a country we always in time of fear seem to overreact a little bit. You know, Pearl Harbor happens and we round up all the Japanese-Americans and put them in internment camps." That internment was ordered by FDR and supported by Earl Warren, a pair most people would consider to be liberal. That's not being o­n the wrong side of an issue, mind you; that's an "overreaction." Just sayin'.

WILL and JADA PINKETT SMITH are trying to get corporate sponsors for their personal New Years' Eve Party. Sadder still, the corps aren't nibbling. Ouch!

HARVEY PEKAR has a new graphic novel in stores today, a prequel-of-sorts to American Splendor (the subject of a fine movie starring Paul Giamatti).

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jennifer Aniston doesn't want to be a rebound girl, but took a role in the upcoming Derailed after Juila Roberts told her Clive Owen was "dreamy." Why someone in Aniston's position would be seeking counsel from a obnoxious homewrecker is left a mystery.

HURRICANE RELIEF: Britney Spears is auctioning the white stone bra worn in her Toxic video and her nasty-looking flip-flops. Meanwhile, Brian Wilson is making over 500 personal phone calls and raising 210K after vowing to call anyone who contributed a Benjamin through his website.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Those rumors of an imminent separation from hubby Nick Lachey are floating around again. Boots... start walkin'...

WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS? A Kansas City husband and wife who ran a psychotherapy practice went o­n trial o­n Tuesday o­n charges that they kept mentally ill people as slaves, forced them to perform sex acts o­n videotape and then billed Medicare nearly $1 million for the "therapy."

SEX IS NOT A TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC BACK PAIN: Apparently, not everyone knows this.

LONGWANG BATTERS CHINA: Okay, call me Beavis.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio rounds up Operation Hiba (Mountaineers), a cordon and search operation in and around Ramadi, noting that an Iraqi Army patrol was attacked, and fought back effectively. Nevertheless, Coalition forces still have a tough job ahead in securing Ramadi. In addition, Coalition and Iraqi forces launched Operation Bawwabatu Annaher (River Gate), which apparently seeks to clear and hold (as opposed to cordon and search) Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana. Baghdad remains dangerous. Major K puts the drop in "fully capable" Iraqi Battalions into context, based o­n his experience conducting joint operations with Iraqi units.

IRAQ II: Iraq's politicians struggle over rules for how to count the votes in the referendum o­n the draft constitution and conduct last-minute negotiations over changes to its language.

SLICES, DICES, CHOPS AND MAKES JULIENNE FRIES! Isn't that amazing! But wait! There's more...

LOST IN TRANSLATION takes whatever you type and translates it through several languages, then back to English.

GOOGLE'S OFFER TO BUILD FREE WI-FI IN SF: Mayor Gavin Newsom said he expects lawsuits and federal legislation will attempt to quash the effort. ALSO: Google partners with Sun to challenge Microsoft Office.

MICROSOFT has pulled out of licensing talks with EMI, Universal, Warner and Sony-BMG, apparently unwilling to pay the going royalty rates, which is a big relief to iTunes and other o­nline music services.

ONLINE TAXES: A coalition of 18 states, representing about 20 percent of the nation's population, hopes to convince e-tailers ó but does not force them ó to begin collecting state sales taxes. The Supreme Court ruled in 1967 and 1992 that states lack the power to force a retailer to collect sales taxes for a state where the retailer doesn't have a physical presence. The court left the door open to Congress to grant that power to the states, but Congress hasn't done so.

RICHARD FEYNMAN: A collection of his letters, selected and edited by his daughter, Michelle, sheds light o­n the great scientist as a teacher.

PANDAS: Seeing the panda cub story I had up the other day, my co-clerk forwarded me photos she took at the National Zoo recently of the cub's Dad, Tian Tian. According to the Zoo information desk attendant, Tian Tian is not interested in parenting and just "took off" after the baby was born "just like men." When Debbie saw him, he was just lolling around, eating bamboo, just like pandas. And in checking the spelling of Tian Tian, I discovered the National Zoo has a streaming panda cam.

WILLIAM SHATNER lobbies LA Gov. Blanco to save pets abandoned due to Hurricane Katrina. Pets rescued from the storm-ravaged area were special guests at the National Cathedral o­n Tuesday night for the annual blessing of the animals.

STRAY DOGS are being skewered o­n hooks and dragged behind boats as live shark bait o­n French-controlled Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. WARNING: There's a nasty picture at the link.

CATS: The 80th Carnival of the Cats is o­nline at Music and Cats.

BIRD FLU: President Bush, stirring debate o­n the worrisome possibility of a bird flu pandemic, suggested dispatching American troops to enforce quarantines in any areas with outbreaks of the killer virus. Areas like Devil's Tower?

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PAS/CAL, Apollo Sunshine, The Manolo and Singing Dolphin, Smoking Chimp   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


MICK JAGGER'S GIRLFRIEND has been nicknamed the "new Yoko Ono" for to get them to tidy up their appearance and live a healthier lifestyle o­n their world tour. Jerry Hall is enjoying a good gloat. To be fair, L'Wren Scott is more attractive than Yoko (though o­ne would think Jagger could do better).

MAC McCAUGHAN of Superchunk and Portastatic is interviewed in Free Williamsburg, with a free Portastatic download.

RAY DAVIES may have at last completed his first solo album since leaving the Kinks, and may ambark o­n his first major tour with a new band. Many of the songs are about his time in pre-Katrina New Orleans, but he has since tuned his attention to London.

THE STROKES: Stereogum is killing music again with another leaked track, "You Only Live Once" and a mashup of the prior leak, "Juicebox," with the "Peter Gunn Theme."

PAS/CAL is blogging the recording of their debut album. You should still be able to download "Summer Is Almost Here," even though it's almost gone.

APOLLO SUNSHINE has a Flaming Lips and Polyphonic Spree sorta vibe happening. You can hear the band at its MySpace page.

THE WHITE STRIPES are set to be the first band to play The Daily Show in December. Also, the band's next video will be directed by Michel Gondry.

TOP 100 MOMENTS IN OPERA down under. That's for our resident opera buff.

BOB MOULD thinks the music scene has improved lately.

I <3 THE '80's: Noted producer Steve Lillywhite, who has worked with such acts as U2, Johnny Thunders, Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Psychedelic Furs, XTC and Eddie & the Hot Rods, has joined the executive ranks at Columbia Records as a talent scout.

PITCHFORK likes the new Franz Ferdinand, but realllly doesn't like the new Liz Phair, the review for which begins: "Now this is a terrible Liz Phair record."

HARVEY DANGER is releasing its new album for free o­n the Internet.

BONO and BOB GELDOF may be Nobel Prize nominees. U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and former Senator Sam Nunn are also thought to be frontrunners, though hardly anyone bought their album.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS WATCH: Tyler Durden has (or maybe had, by the tiime you read this) the video of Moss doing cocaine. It's from an Italian news show, which added some things that make it doubly weird. Her ex-boyfriend, Jefferson Hack, brought her three-year old daughter to visit her in rehab. He also is seeking sole custody of the girl, who could be Jude Law's baby.

RENEE ZELLWEGER already has a new boyfriend?

NICHOLAS CAGE now has a son named Kal-El, which should force other celebrities to stop the can-you-top-this-name game. Do you think Cage is still miffed that he did not get to play Superman in the '90's?

COURTNEY COX is in negotiations to appear o­n Desperate Housewives. The headline writes itself.

RALPH FINNES finds that Harry Potter is already changing his life.

JAMES BOND is blamed for seeming to champion unsafe sex by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The journal also criticizes Basic Instinct for promoting even more unsafe sex with psychotic, ice-pick wielding killers.

JESSICA ALBA, who is thinking about that I Dream of Jeannie movie (if they get the script right), has a great response to the casting couch: "Of course I've been asked. But from a really crass point of view, if I just want to make out with somebody, I don't really want to see him in the morning, much less every day during filming."

MOVIE TRAILERS REVISITED: That hilariously remixed trailer for The Shining linked here (and many other places) Friday rated a story in The New York Times. Though not mentioned in the story, the scary remixes of West Side Story and Titanic are pretty good, too.

BROADCAST NETWORKS may launch shows o­n demand o­n cable systems in the near future. Hey, it's working for World Wrestling Entertainment...

NIPSEY RUSSELL, dead of cancer at 82.

JON STEWART and The Daily Show are featured in London's Guardian.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie and Pitt are reportedly throwing a "family blessing" costing over a million bucks for the actress's two adopted children. Pitt is said to be designing a Buddhist-style temple for the event.

ELLE MACPHERSON is renouncing fur under pressure from PETA. BTW, I tried reallly hard to find a picture of Elle wearing fur, but after looking at over 700 pictures, I have concluded that she is almost always photographed wearing swimwear, saran wrap and duct tape, or often less. This is just o­ne of the small sacrifices I make for you, the Pate reader.

WALLACE AND GROMIT: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is currently rating 100 percent o­n the Tomatometer.


DASHTON wedding photos and interview reportedly sold to OK! magazine for three million bucks.

MELISSA ETHERIDGE says she's working o­n a sitcom at ABC about what her life might have been like had she stayed in Kansas and became a teacher and been gay. The show's working title is Ellen.

WALTER CRONKITE thinks Americans lack the education to vote properly. He also fears the blogosphere, still in its "infancy," could threaten the standing of mainstream media as a news source for consumers already confused by cable's "opinion journalism." Walter obviously longs for the good old days, when he could get the story of the Tet Offensive completely backward without fear of some milblogger pointing it out.

GEORGE CLOONEY wants to restore honor to the term "liberal:" "I'm going to keep saying 'liberal' as loud as I can and as often as I can." Less than a month ago, Clooney was complaining that he couldn't voice his views without being criticized. And, like Cronkite, complaining about the fact that people are even able to widely publish opinions that disagree with theirs. Which, imho, is not particularly liberal. Maybe he's just a little cranky because his girlfriend's parents don't approve of him.

IRAQ: Human Rights Watch, which often has criticized alleged abuses by U.S. forces in Iraq, has figured out that insurgents are committing war crimes by targeting civilians in mass killings, abductions and beheadings. "People we have spoken with in the Middle East are increasingly repulsed by the behavior of insurgent groups in Iraq, even if they support a withdrawal of U.S. troops," said Sara Leah Whitson, the region's HRW director. Bill Roggio has posts o­n day three of Operation Iron Fist. The Belmont Club explains at least o­ne reason why the cities involved are important to the insurgents.

SAUDI ARABIA: Of the estimated 2.2 million Internet users in the Kingdom, 92.5 percent are trying to access a website that, for o­ne reason or another, has been blocked.

IRAN: The theocracy's airwaves have been buzzing with two new tunes apparently designed to rally public support for the regime's increasingly tense stand-off with the West over its nuclear ambitions.

A CLOWN in the operating room may relax anxious children who are about to undergo surgery, according to Italian researchers. That has to be a study of Italian hospitals, right? In this country, what kid in his right mind wants to be put under in the presence of a clown?

DARK CHOCOLATE may offer mild relief for diarrhea, in case you're looking for another excuse.

HARRIET MIERS, White House counsel, was nominated to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor o­n the Supreme Court. The Wall Street Journal rounded up the discussion among o­nline commentators of all stripes. The piece notes that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had nice things to say about her. o­n C-SPAN, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) indicated that Miers was o­n the list of acceptable candidates the Democrats gave to President Bush. And Miers already has a comedy blog.

THE HOTLINE, a pricey must-read for Washington DC heavyweights, has started a free blog. The Miers nomination was Topic A there Monday.

DeLAY UPDATE: Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle and his assistants rushed Monday to fix problems with an indictment against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay by charging him with conspiracy and money laundering. The hasty presentation of DeLay's case to a grand jury sitting for its first day of service was sparked after DeLay's lawyers filed a brief seeking dismissal of the charge of conspiracy to violate Texas election laws because the conspiracy laws did not apply to the state election code during the 2002 election. The new indictment is o­nline at FindLaw. And National Review's Byron York has seen a copy of the documentary-in-progress of the case.

DIGITAL MUSIC DOWNLOADS: The British music industry cheered a tripling of digital music sales in the first half of 2005 that offset persistent declines in overall sales. However, Britain's band managers are complaining about royalty rates paid by services like iTunes.

SHOE-BLOGGING: The Manolo, he makes six figures blogging about the shoes.

BASEBALL: As the palyoffs begin, I note that not every woman is a fan of the sport. Perhaps they would be interested in a history of the baseball uniform.

THE BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS was yesterday. Missed it by thatmuch.

DOLPHINS have been taught to sing the theme from Batman.

WALKING THE DOG is better than most diets.

CAT saved when driver swerved; skateboarder not so lucky.

CHIMP quits smoking after 16 years.

NANNY GOAT nurses an orphaned foal.

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