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Green Day, Black Keys, Fake Critics and Art, and Cloned Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SUFJAN STEVENS was o­n the MTV, disclaiming responsibility for Texas. Yesterday, I mentioned that Stevens is contributing to a Rubber Soul tribute album. Today, I note that Welcome to the Midwest is killing music.

GREEN DAY has pulled its early albums and EPs from the Lookout! label. So if they were o­n your wish list, now would be the time to get them.

YOU AIN'T NO PICASSO is really killing the music these days, including new Sonic Youth songs.

RYAN ADAMS submits to the mob.

THE BLACK KEYS: I keep forgetting to mention that if you like your blues-rock duos with a little less garage and theatricality than the White Stripes, you could do worse than the Black Keys. The Fat Possum label has MP3s from Thickfreakness and Rubber Factory for your guilt-free downloading pleasure.

AL ARONOWITZ, who introduced Bob Dylan to the Beatles, is dead of cancer at age 77. Dylan wrote "Mr. Tambourine Man" in his kitchen.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: The L.A. Times goes behind the scenes of the pair's infamous Palm Springs photo shoot of "Domestic Bliss." Photographer Steven Klein said Pitt and Jolie remained "in character" through most of the two-day shoot.

ROAD PICTURE: Jack Kerouac's On the Road is coming to the big screen. Golden God Billy Crudup is set to star as legendary speed freak Neal Cassady.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Wonka is slowly conquering overseas markets.

BATMAN BEGINS with a 14 year-old boy donning the cape and cowl in Edwards, CO. "He believes he's o­n a mission to help people get off drugs," Eagle County Sheriff's Office spokewoman Kim Andree said. "He really believes he's helping. I think the family is working o­n getting him some assistance." Or a room at the Hilton.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Hubby Nick Lachey was protesting too much o­n Live With Regis and Kelly.

JACKO JUSTICE: Michael Jackson has sold his first post-trial softball interview to the new, U.S. version of Britain's OK! magazine for two million bucks. Page Six notes that Jacko is now living in Bahrain with his three remarkably light-skinned children.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS: NPR will be streaming her concert live Sunday night.

STEVEN MALKMUS is interviewed at PopMatters about his new album and more: "It's not really a singer-songwriter record but it's definitely in the same ballpark. I mean Matador probably started that a bit."

JOHN MAYER is calling o­n fans to make a song out of some lyrics that didn't make it o­nto his upcoming album. The winner will receive a Fender John Mayer Signature Stratocaster guitar... and no royalties, I'm guessing.

ANSWER SONGS seem to be a lost art these days, but a whole bunch of old o­nes are posted at WFMU's blog.

CBGB and its landlord have restarted negotiations that could keep the birthplace of punk rock at its current Lower East Side location. Once Soprano Steven Van Zandt intervened, a sit-down was inevitable.

AMERICANS NOT COMING TOGETHER: The massive voter-mobilization project, heavily funded by billionaire George Soros, is disbanding its state offices. With major unions leaving the AFL-CIO, someone like Howard Dean ought to view such news as an opportunity to centralize get-out-the-vote operations within the DNC, in line with the GOP's more efficient 2004 operation.

SIENNA MILLER is rumored to be pregnant by Jude Law. Reps for Miller and Law would not confirm or deny the report. If true, expect the bidding o­n a certain pool table to intensify. Factory Girl director swears his casting of Miller had nothing to do with her newly enhanced press profile. And VH1's Best Week Ever blog draws a parallel between the Law-Miller story and the final season of HBO's Six Feet Under (SPOILER WARNING).

FAKE MOVIE CRITICS cost Sony 1.5 million bucks.

FAKE MUNCH PAINTINGS stolen from Oslo's Hotel Continental. "It's a real fiasco for the thieves," hotel manager Siv Lunde Kolrud said.

IRAQ: Journo-blogger Steven Vincent was murdered in Basra.

ROBOTS EXPLORE LOST CITY UNDERSEA using high-speed Internet connections.

NANO-MEDICINE: Nanotubules are being used to kill cancer cells with laser heat and to deliver drugs to pre-determined locations anywhere in the human body.

HACK YOUR ELEVATOR: You can turn most elevators into your personal express car.

COSMIC RAYS may kill astronauts traveling to and returning from Mars. Or turn them into superheroes.

EDU-BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is o­nline.

BEAT THE MARKET: Invest in virtue and vice.

PAYING A SPEEDING TICKET WITH PENNIES sounds clever, but the judge had the last laugh.

IRAQ II: Twenty-three Marines have been killed in recent days o­n missions in a number of towns along the Euphrates River simultaneously to seal a major infiltration route for foreign fighters and to try to deny insurgents the ability to move around freely and seek safe haven. Bill Roggio has analysis at the Fourth Rail, including a linked report to Iraqi blogger Omar's translated account of a meeting of the disparate elements of the insurgency in Lebanon. In this context, Roggio's prior post o­n escalation may be useful also.

CINCINNATI IS MORE INTO CORNHOLE THAN NYC: "There are places where cornhole, so familiar at Cincinnati church festivals and beer gardens, is considered an exotic form of recreation. One of them, apparently, is New York City, whence the Today show dispatched a crew Monday night to film a cornhole report." Who'da thunkit?

DOGS are cloned in South Korea. It has taken scientists longer to clone a dog than other animals because of the difficulty in producing mature, unfertilised canine eggs in the laboratory.

BRITISH PETS can now go to fat camp.

THE NARCOLEPTIC DACHSHUND: Rusty is cute and a little sad to watch.

PETA KFC PROTEST DRAWS MORE CUSTOMERS: ''There's a place in this world for all of God's creations . . . right next to the mashed potatoes,'' said Rusty Smith, a KFC customer who sat o­n a patch of grass outside the restaurant with a group of co-workers, watching the protest.

"GENTLEMEN'S" CLUB HOLDS GOLF OUTING, police investigation of public indecency follows. Video at the link...

WOMAN MARRIES WEDDING PLANNER: Life imitates mediocre romantic comedy.

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Del McCoury, Dungen, Lester Bangs, Cats, Dogs, Pandas and the Blue Lobster   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


RICHARD THOMPSON has a new album coming out next week. Chromewaves has a nice round-up of links o­n "one of the finest singer/songwriter/guitarists alive today," including links where RT talks about being a Muslim post-9/11 and coaching Arnold Schwarzenegger's son in football.

DEL McCOURY: The crossover appeal of the bluegrass master is largely attributable to Phish? And there's a story about a Nashville gig you don't want to miss about... FREEBIRD!

YOUR FAVORITE RECORDS: Prof. Ann Althouse asks, "What is the peak year for you, for your favorite music recordings?" She picks 1666, which is o­ne of mine. But go far enough in the comments and you'll find some love for the mid-80's based o­n the Mpls. scene.

ELVIS PRESLEY: At The Register, someone was in the mood for a creepy headline.

BOB POLLARD: Tiny Mix Tapes reports that Suitcase II: American Superdream Wow will drop o­n Halloween. It will start with Track 101, natch.

GREG DULLI, formerly of the Afghan Wigs, will self-release Amber Headlights in September. He previously shelved the album to make a tribute to his late friend Ted Demme.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: The long-awaited Vanity Fair interview with Jennifer Aniston is finally hitting the newsstand. Her take o­n Pitt's latest hairstyle is the key quote: "Billy Idol called. He wants his look back." Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria is deeply ashamed of herself for wearing an "I’ll have your baby, Brad" T-shirt and has sent Aniston a written apology.

JOHNNY DEPP wants to make a film about Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett.

JUDE LAW AND SIENNA MILLER are holding peace talks in the Cotswolds. And maybe picking up some nice Beatrix Potter tchotchkes near Wordsworth's old pad.

THE HUFFINGTON POST: I give Arianna credit for not firing Greg Gutfeld. Apparently, so does Gutfeld or he would never have posted Huff-Po FAQs.

ELECTION DAY: Don't Forget the Motor City! Early primary returns showed Martha Reeves o­n track to advance to the Nov. 8 general election for the Detroit City Council.

ELECTION DAY II: In Ohio, a former GOP lawmaker won a special election to Congress o­n Tuesday, narrowly defeating Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran who drew national attention to the race with his military service and a series of harsh attacks o­n President Bush. At least, that's the AP lede. Democrats had viewed the race as a bellwether for 2006, saying even a strong showing by Hackett in such a heavily GOP district would be a good sign for them in the midterm elections. But for all of the "harsh attacks" Hackett made, watch his TV ad -- after all, this is how most people find out about candidates. Not o­nly does it not attack President Bush, it opens with a clip of a Bush speech and is filled with Hackett's agreement with the need to see the job through. The ad never mentions Hackett's disagreement with the decision to invade Iraq. The ad doesn't even mention that he is a Democrat. I think there are a fair number of Democrats who won't see that approach as the path to victory in 2006.

DUNGEN (pronounced DUNE-yen) released an expanded edition of Ta Det Lugnt in the U.S. The Pitchfork reviewer gives it a rocking 9.3: "Ta Det Lugnt is an exceedingly triumphant psych-pop oddity that evokes Keith Moon's drum fills o­n The Who Sell Out, the wraiths of unsung bedroom psyche celebrants, and the acoustic sustain and harmonizing of The Byrds' Younger Than Yesterday." You can sample the psychedelic Swedes at Subliminal Sounds and Memphis Industries.

LESTER BANGS INTERVIEWED BRIAN ENO for a book that never got published. But Perfect Sound Forever has it o­nline.

DURAN DURAN: When bassist John Taylor told a friend that the band was reuniting, the friend responded, "Well, I know it's gonna sound OK, but what are you going to wear?"

NEIL DIAMOND is pushing his Rick Rubin-produced disc back to November. "According to a source, this latest move was made to give Columbia more time to set up the album, as it is now considered o­ne of the label's top holiday projects." I just got chills; did you just get chills?

THE METH EPIDEMIC: The media seems addicted to meth... stories.

RUSSIA will not renew permission for ABC-TV to operate in the country after the network broadcast an interview with a notorious Chechen warlord.

JESSICA ALBA is the most appreciated celebrity for her hairstyle, according to July user statistics from BeautyRiot.com. Is that an incredibly lame pretext for mentioning these pictures? Guilty as charged!

MY KIND OF TOWN: O.J. Simpson was heckled mercilessly before he was escorted out of the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Ill., o­n Saturday. He did not even have approval from organizers to sign autographs!

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: George Lucas is already at work o­n not o­ne, but two Star Wars TV series. What would Vader say?

BLACK EYED PEAS frontwoman Fergie may misunderstand the band's name. Someone should spell it out for her.

CONDUCT UNBECOMING: A vice cop gone bad, turned in by a high-dollar madam and his ex-prostitute wife. Abusiveness, drug use and sexual deviance. Members of an elite sheriff's unit running out of control. A personal trainer peddling designer drugs. An FBI agent kicked off the case. Political ambition colliding with unpleasant facts. And finally, days before the cop was to be tried, a top-level decision to pay him off and kill the case. Read the whole thing...

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Sounds like the troubled singer's band Babyshambles is playing out its contractual obligations.

JOHN WESLEY HARDING has posted his Music You Should Hear at Amazon, focusing o­n records that influenced the making of The Love Hall Tryst.

RICKY MARTIN: Middle East diplomacy is not his forte.

CBGB: Monday night kicked-off a 41-day run of announced benefit shows to try to rescue the club's lease. Little Steven Van Zandt was there, as were Lenny Kaye, Debbie Harry and more.

AIR GUITAR: A dance teacher who took part in a national air guitar competition o­n the spur of the moment has begun researching for a doctorate in the subject. Amanda Griffiths is fascinated as to why so few women play air guitar. I blame the patriarchy.

JOHN CUSACK, currently starring in Must Love Dogs, does not own a dog and is so computer-illiterate that he could not use an o­nline dating service even if he wanted to for some strange reason. I note this because he's been getting semi-fairly ripped for always playing Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything, but he is acting.

JESSICA SIMPSON is seemingly fudging the truth o­n the brand of acne medicine that cleared up her face.

THE SOPRANOS: Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts) turned out his crew to raise 465K for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for kids with cancer. As for the new Sopranos season currently shooting? James Gandolfini would say o­nly, "Different. Lots of surprises."

IDENTITY THEFT: You may check your own credit reports to protect against the crime, but have you checked your kids' credit?

YOUR LEAST-FAVORITE CONSERVATIVES, as ranked by conservative bloggers.

BLUE LOBSTERS are one in a million.

TV DINNERS are no more harmful to the environment than home cookin'.

STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING o­n CALIFORNIA'S COAST, above and beyond the usual strangeness. Few scientists are willing to blame global warming for dead birds, fewer fish, and drop in plankton, but few are willing to rule it out, either.

ANOTHER DAY, another high school teacher parking with her students.

ELEVEN HOLES-IN-ONE in a single round of golf. If North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il says so, he must have done it. And he says he did it o­n the first round he ever played. Might as well quit while you're ahead.

VAMPIRE WATCH: Teresa Shields says she was driving home Friday night when a bat flew through her car window and bit her. Note this is a vampire watch, meaning conditions are right for vampirism. I'll let you know if it gets moved up to a vampire warning.

IT'S A BOY! The National Zoo's caretakers now know the sex of the giant panda cub born three and o­ne-half-weeks ago. Giant panda mothers dote o­n their cubs, making it hard for the zoo's staff to get to the cub for examinations.

CATS AND DOGS: Persnickety the cat saves a family in a fire behind the Cheddar Cutrain. Meanwhile, in Jaipur, black dogs ward off the ill-effects of Saturn.

PYTHONS like warm, humid air, making the dishwasher a perfect place to hide.

LLAMAS escape from an Austrian zoo, hit the road in search of adventure.

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Bob Dylan, The Knitters, The Runaways, Cats, Dogs and Monkey Hordes   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


CHEAP TRICK'S BUN E CARLOS has his own brand of coffee. You can even get an autographed bag at auction.

BOB MOULD: Chromewaves is your source for rich, bloggy goodness o­n the man and his new album.

HE WAS SO MUCH OLDER THEN: London's Telegraph has an article suggesting that the Martin Scorsese documentary No Direction Home is part of Bob Dylan's plan to market himself to the younger generation.

DON'T GO BREAKIN' MY HEART: Stereogum kills music by posting an MP3 of the song as performed by ODB and Macy Gray. In this context, I use the term "music" loosely. Very loosely. The "killing" part, however, is near-literal. If you thought Elton and Kiki made this as bad as possible, you thought wrong.

JOHN DOE, promoting the new Knitters album, talks to the Chicago Sun-Times about the similarities of punk and country music.

FRANZ FERDINAND may have o­nly o­ne album out, but has already spawned a bluegrass tribute record.

THE RUNAWAYS: Edgeplay, a documentary about the all-girl rock band written and directed by their second bassist, Victory Tischler-Blue, debuts o­n Showtime this week. It has all the elements of a VH1 Behind The Music, but cooler. It appears that Joan Jett didn't cooperate with this production, though she does get called a really good kisser by o­ne of her ex-bandmates.

DOWNLOADS AND STREAMS: Stereogum rounded up guilt-free MP3s o­n Friday. Imho, the cuts from Koufax, The Double, longwave, Hard-Fi (someone has the Clash Collection), and the Fruit Bats were okay. Brooklyn Vegan linked up the streams from Merge Records o­n Monday, including Man-Made by Teenage Fanclub (which sounds quite a bit like Teenage Fanclub, but less fuzzy overall) and Gone Ain't Gone from Tim Fite. What I heard of The Rosebuds' Unwind was pretty cool, too.

MP3 BLOGS: o­n the heels of the Chicago Tribune article noted yesterday, the Boston Globe runs a pice citing The Suburbs Are Killing Us, The Number o­ne Songs in Heaven and Soul-Sides.

BEST OF 2005 (SO FAR): This time all the way from Shanghai. o­nline retailer Insound lists its best of the rest of the year in its newsletter.

THE GODFATHER OF SOUL was encouraged to keep o­n keepin' o­n by Pope John Paul II. That's in o­ne of two books James Brown has "co-written." Martha Bayles' review tells which is the o­ne to get.

THE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND seems like it gets a good review from Page Six, but we later find that "the show didn't find its groove" until ex-Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio made a cameo.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer gats no respect from cartoons. Damon Albarn of Gorillaz: "The concert was all about raising awareness, but Peter looked like he was having trouble raising his own awareness - he looked wasted. He is well overrated."

BLAXPLOITATION: No doubt Quentin Tarantino is killing music if he ever visits Blaxploitation, which has plenty of soundtrack sample downloads available.

JACKO JUSTICE: Michael Jackson's latest greatest hits album has sold just 8,000 copies in its first week of release in the U.S. Even the hideous Invincible sold two million units.

CAT STEVENS thinks the problem behind the London terror bombings is that there's not enough Islamic education in Britain. Another theory might be that the problem is people like the converted Yusuf Islam, who publicly endorsed the death sentence issued by Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie in February 1989. And who attends fundraisers for Hamas front groups at which he calls Judaism a "so-called religion." I don't think you want to be followed by Cat's moonshadow.

LONDON: Ramzi Mohammed, suspected of being responsible for the failed Oval bombing, tried to get the imam at his mosque sacked for preaching against terrorism. Yet the people in his community describe him as "sweet" and "an extremely nice, peaceful man."

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt is rumored to have given up smoking under the threat of no sex from Jolie... but what about afterward?

HUGH JACKMAN and his wife have adopted a second child. Trying to keep up with Mr. & Mrs. Smith?

JUDE LAW, who admitted having a fling with his kids' nanny, told seemig ex-fiancee Sienna Miller he wants to have her baby to prove his commitment to her. It would also prove Law has a womb. The article notes that Miller's personal humiliation has been good for her career, landing her the Edie Sedgwick role in Factory Girl.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON now says that kissed her "like a 16-year-old schoolboy." Do you think she would have said that if The Island had not flopped?

CHRISTINA RICCI Cured Of Nymphomania By Samuel L. Jackson In Black Snake Moan: Whoever wrote that headline had a good day. However, I think starring opposite Justin Timberlake would have the same effect.

BRITNEY SPEARS is planning a Kabbalah blessing for her baby. Why not? The kid is going to need all the help he or she can get.

KATE HUDSON: A reporter for the Guardian seems vaguely peeved that Hudson handled her so easily. Imagine how that reporter would feel if she knew that Hudson splashes water over herself as protection her from her "negative" Hollywood peers.

SAUDI KING FAHD: Dead. The former Crown Prince Abdullah, Fahd's half brother, has been named the new Saudi king. Abdullah may be more reform-minded than others in the House of Saud, which may be faint praise. He has promised that women will be able to vote in local elections in 2009. That reformist streak also may extend to economic policy.

IRAQ: The big story in Iraq Monday may be what didn't happen. The head of the panel drawing up the new constitution did not seek a 30-day extension, announcing that a draft would be ready by the mid-August deadline. Iraqi blogger Omar (a dentist, iirc) thinks about potential compromises over some of the more controversial questions.

IRAQ II: Saddam's hidden money may be funding many of the diverse groups engaged in terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere. Michael Yon has posted a prelude to a major report o­n progress and challenges in standing up Iraqi forces in Mosul, which takes you to his first major dispatch from that city for a review. Arthur Chrenkoff has his biweekly round-up of under-reported good news. Steven Bochco's Over There gets another scathing review from someone who has been over there. And Army Staff Sgt. Dale L. Horn has been named a sheik by elders in the region he patrols.

CULT OF THE iPod: An article in the Detroit News starts off with word that iPod bar nights are cropping up in Motown, but touches o­n a number of iPod-related societal issues.

PODCASTING: It looks like Fox is embracing podcasting to offer recaps of episodes of Fox shows and even recaps of last season for selected shows like 24 and Arrested Development for listening before the new season's launch.

THIS JUST IN: Men still hog the remote control.

THIS JUST IN II: When we have a hot Summer, more people buy ice cream.

THIS JUST IN III: Ford Motor Co. is ending a newly formed relationship with rapper Eminem. Turns out the young man uses cuss words!

UZBEKISTAN: The U.S. has lost a strategically significant base near the border with Afghanistan because it stood up for political liberty in a country rarely mentioned in the nightly news.

DOGS: Jake, a 4-year-old golden retriever, placed 72nd in the South End Rowing Club's 10th annual Alcatraz Invitational -- a 1.2 mile swim from the infamous prison island to the San Francisco shore -- beating 428 humans.

CATS rule the Internet, according to Sara Boxer of The New York Times. Imho, Ms. Boxer is often wrong about such things, so I take this with a grain of salt. And Ms. Boxer has never had much good to say about bloggers, hence this: "Those cats are like so many bloggers sitting at home staring into their computer screens and watching other bloggers blog other bloggers. Cats, who live indoors and love to prowl, are the soul of the blogosphere. Dogs would never blog." So, in that analogy, what sort of animal is the o­ne stuck having to write about bloggers for the NYT?

FUGITIVE TURTLE out cruising for chicks?

HORDES OF MONKEYS are invading Puerto Rico's agricultural fields, devastating crops and eluding capture. Primates are not native to Puerto Rico, but the island has been home to a species of monkey dating back to the 1950s, when scientists brought them here for medical experiments.

REMOVING AN ALLIGATOR FROM UNDER YOUR CAR: It's not as easy as poking it with a stick.


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Maximo Park, Johnny Depp's addictions, Pygmy Hippos and Lowly Insects   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 01, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


JOHN LENNON AUCTION: A handwritten lyric sheet for "All You Need is Love" went for just over a million bucks. The tunic that inspired the cover for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" went for about 174K. And pair of Lennon's trademark round wire spectacles was sold for around 95K. All you need is cash.

STAR WARS AUCTION: Producer Gary Kurtz's auction also went well -- better than expected, in fact. Luke Skywalker's lightsaber from Star Wars sold for $264,000. Darth Vader's lightsaber from The Empire Strikes Back fetched $155,000 instead of the estimated $52,000 to $79,000. Yoda's walking stick from TESB fetched $66,000, instead of the expected $11,000. There were some iconic non-Star Wars items also.

A RUBBER SOUL TRIBUTE ALBUM will include tracks from Sufjan Stevens, the Fiery Furnaces, Ted Leo, Low, Nellie McKay, Ben Kweller and more.

MAXIMO PARK frontman Paul Smith likes to (as they would say at the Ratskeller) "make show."

CASH IN: Compilations of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash get rave reviews at PopMatters.

THE PIXIES' guitarist, Joey Santiago, is writing the score for the new Showtime original comedy series Weeds.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes claims he was mortified about having to pose in a transparent spandex bodysuit for her Batman Begins action figure. I don't think anyone who has seen Sam Raimi's The Gift is buying that. Holmes' claims that she was terrified she wasn't going to be good enough in the hit comic-book film is much more believable -- and she's not signed to do the sequel. Meanwhile, Lauren Bacall doesn't think much of Cruise.

BARBRA STREISAND petitioned the Surgeon General last year to legalize LSD for medicinal use? That's what it says in Pravda, which is Russian for "truth!"

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, who stirred up controversy by saying that America "was in some way responsible" for the 9/11 attacks, has signed o­n to star in Oliver Stone's 9/11 movie.

OSAMA BIN LADEN COKE PLOT: The DEA is discounting a New York Post front-page story that OBL tried to buy tons of Colombian cocaine to spike with poison and resell to Americans. The NYP stands by its story.

IRAQ: CENTCOM commander General John Abizaid spoke to Austin Bay at Camp Fallujah in June: "The mood of how this war is going in Baghdad and Arab capitals is better than in Washington and London... The center of friction is now somewhere west of Baghdad. Last year I would have said it was Baghdad. It's moved from Baghdad, west. Into Al Anbar... We're squeezing them more and more. It's clear from the intel that Zarqawi is under pressure. Al Qaeda is under pressure everywhere. The main problem [in Iraq] is the Sunni Arab community coming into the political process, and that takes patient military and political skills." He says more about Al Anbar and the Iraqi Army at the link.

OH YEAH, WE'RE GOING TO THE LASER SHOW: Presented in association with MTV2, Sonic Vision is a collaborative effort between Moby and New York's American Museum of Natural History, featuring music by such notables as Coldplay, Audioslave, David Byrne and Brian Eno. It's also playing at Chicago's Adler Planetarium. But no Fountains of Wayne?

JIMI HENDRIX pretended to be gay so he would be discharged from the army, according to a new biography. I knew he often wore womens' blouses, but I figured that was because he was left-handed.

PINK FLOYD is remembered in the L.A. Times.

"THAT'S A GOOD NAME FOR A ROCK BAND:" Humorist Dave Barry has a couple posted at his blog.

WE'RE AN AMERICAN BAND: Ask MetaFilter is discussing American bands "that were equally musically adept, great songwriting, and inspirational."

CHINA may have more Christians than Communists.

LONDON BOMBING:  Police arrested seven more people during a Sunday raid.  Police raiding apartments Friday in London and Rome rounded up the last of the four suspects from the failed July 21 attacks. TV crews almost got too close to the action. ALSO: o­ne by o­ne, Al-Qaeda’s affiliated websites have vanished until o­nly a handful remain; Israeli intelligence agents detect the hand of British intelligence.

DRRTY DIETING: Christina Aguilera is reportedly following a bizarre diet with four new food groups: crunchy, soft, hot and cold.

JANN WENNER would probably have a heart attack if he ever saw my desk.

SEAN CONNERY RETIRES, saying it would take a Mafia-style "offer he couldn't refuse" to tempt him to make another film. In an interview with a New Zealand newspaper, the actor says he has no time for the "idiots" now making films in Hollywood.

THE MIX CD EXCHANGE: The making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. First of all you're using someone else's poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing. The Mix CD Exchange is a community for people who love putting music together in just the right order to create that perfect transition, that sweet irony, or just that amazing compilation of songs. For example, a mix based o­n the theme of A Summer Love.

IRAQ II: Michael Yon reports o­n the many soldiers and Marines who are working towards attaining U.S. citizenship while in uniform, under fire, in Iraq. Compare it with The New York Times coverage of the same topic. An article in USA Today worries about the effects of multiple tours of duty, particularly o­n Marines. Metallica makes a cameo as the Greek chorus. No, really. And as Greyhawk points out at The Mudville Gazette, "As with all such "news reports" from Iraq, there are no direct quotes from any Marine supporting the overall tone of the piece."

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: The BBC does its own take o­n the trained squirrels. I want a trained squirrel... The flick slipped to number two in weekend receipts; o­n a per screen average, it's number four, behind Wedding Crashers, March of the Penguins and Must Love Dogs. SEMI-RELATED: Johhny Depp is addicted to sticky toffee pudding. And the Teletubbies. Plus, he came up with his Wonka voice while playing with Barbies.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Johnny Knoxville got into a bar brawl with a "young frat-boy type" bothering Kate Moss, an alleged former flame of the married Knoxville and alleged fiancée of the troubled singer Doherty. Surprisingly, Mrs. Knoxville was not present.

DAVID BECKHAM'S FOOT works wonders o­n a soccer field... and in a retaurant, as it turns out. I suspect he was subject to a penalty kick from Victoria.

MUSICIAN JOKES: It's not all about stem cell research and fiscal policy at "The Corner" of National Review o­nline; last Friday, readers were e-mailing musician jokes. Somebody gave some to the drummer, but that was followed by guitarist jokes then o­nto the bass player and the lead singer, as well as members of marching bands. I'm sparing you the french horn and viola jokes.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says all foreign students at madrassas must leave the country. But the BBC's Aamer Ahmed Khan says it is not clear what effect these measures will have o­n extremism as the more militant students work at unregulated madrassas that have survived previous crackdowns. ALSO: In the northwest, more than a hundred tribal women have taken a stand against creeping fundamentalism by declaring themselves candidates in local elections that Muslim leaders had decreed a male-only preserve.

IRAQ III: The Defense Department has drawn up a and to a max of 60K by the end of 2006. But this still seems contingent of Iraqis keeping to the timeline for elections in December 2005. Framers of the new constitution said Sunday they may need a 30 day extension; President Jalal Talabani insisted that the Aug. 15 deadline for parliament to approve the draft charter must be met. A showdown was expected today.

IGGY POP rates a 7.9 o­n the Pitchfork for A Million in Prizes: The Anthology.

WHAT IS INDIE ROCK? Carl Wilson suggests it's a cultural mood ring.

MP3 BLOGS get a shout out from the Chicago Tribune, including the Tofu Hut (discussing how a 1934 recording of a vocal style called "eephing" sounds like "strange country sex") and Fluxblog, whose Matthew Perpetua has been hired as a talent scout for Universal Music Group's European division.

LONDON: The Guardian's executive editor for news has resigned, reportedly because of a split o­n the staff caused when he fired a trainee journalists exposed as a member of an extremist Islamist organisation.

FRANCE will expel 12 Islamic "preachers of hate" in August.

WHY DO THEY HATE US? At the moment, it seems that democracy -- and even the U.S. -- are gaining in popularity.

SURFIN' SAFARI: There's no woodie big enough to carry that board.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? "I have read story after story about how someone lost a child or a spouse to the evils of casino gambling, but no o­ne ever tells the sad tale of the home torn apart by Fantasy Sports."

REAL MEN OF GENIUS: Today, we salute you, Mr. Sleepy Bud Light Truck Driver. You know there are thirsty aging baby boomers in Arizona, so you skip a nap to put the hammer down in a way those Clydesdales never could. No artificial stimulants for you because you know Bud is a family brand. You take pride in what you do, right up to the moment you spill 30,000 cans of watery beer o­nto the interstate. That's what makes you Mr. Sleepy Bud Light Truck Driver. Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis Missouri; fine, how's yours?

OVER THERE: Steven Bochco's Iraq-based drama drew 4.1 million viewers in its premiere o­n FX, making it the night's most-watched show o­n cable. But I wonder whether those numbers will hold. The show seems to be getting mostly thumbs-down from members of the military and their families. Ry and the commenters at Blackfive's blog seem most put off by the abundant sterotypes and Hollywood cliches in the first episode. In contrast, L.A. Times reporters who spent time in Iraq mostly think the characters seem real. Apparently, these reporters don't realize that they may be saying that even spending time in Iraq may not cause them to revisit stereotypical views of those who serve in the military.

JAY FARRAR: The Son Volt frontman gets interveiewed for Newsweek, albeit a web exclusive.

ROCKERS AND ACTORS are joining Oxfam's new campaign against agricultural subsidies, including Bono, REM's Michael Stipe, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Alanis Morrissette, Minnie Driver, Colin Firth and Antonio Banderas.

OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD? You might try the Library of Congress.

CULT OF THE iPod: Hewlett-Packard has discontinued an iPod reselling agreement in place with Apple since January 2004. The iPod Shuffle makes an appearance over the weekend in Chris Muir's Day by Day comic strip, which also touches o­n the issue of mixed relationships. And advertisers are avoiding opportunities to exploit the gadget, fearing the wrath of the cult.

TOP STORIES versus popular stories.

PHONY PHATWA? Last week, a group of American Islamic leaders held a press conference to announce a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against "terrorism and extremism." Steven Emerson maintains that the fatwa is bogus and that officials of the organizations involved have been directly linked to and associated with Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic extremist organizations.

PYGMY HIPPOPOTAMUS: Bono, a 20 day-old male baby pygmy hippopotamus, stays close to its mother, 10-year-old Tina, at Taman Safari Park in Bogor, West Java. I like that the pictures ended up as part of the Reuters slideshow for U2. Also, while looking for info o­n Bono, I came across pygmy elephants.

CATS: Five kittens got shipped to vermont with a brush trimmer sent back to the factory from South Carolina.

PYTHON visits a pizzeria in the western Austrian town of Freidstadt. Did it want a pizza topped with Spam?

MOOSE takes up residence at a miniature golf course. No doubt it was cooled by the windmills.

THIS SITE IS A LOWLY INSECT: If that doesn't sound good to you, keep in mind that it was a wiggly worm mere weeks ago, A blog called The Truth Laid Bear runs a project called the The TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem, which ranks sites' popularity by links. Currently, this site is ranked among the Lowly Insects, because we have been linked by Big Al's Army Life the o­nline diary of the deployment of a National Guard nurse out of Mississippi, written by his fiancée, Melinda (Although this site was listed as a "Blog of Interest," it looks like Melinda is redoing her sidebar, so I hope we reappear there.) I, for o­ne, am glad to have appeared there, as fiancées of those deployed to Iraq is a key demographic, imho. Melinda has a whole mess of great stuff o­n her blog, including a poem about Iraqi dust and sand that parodies Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham, a post o­n Ways to Support a Co-Worker or Friend Whose Loved o­ne Has Been Deployed (luckily, I seem to have been doing most of them even before reading it), and photos of Al at o­ne of Saddam's palaces and at the Gates of Babylon. Check it out; our visits will show up in her referrer log (you can see a few entries at the bottom of her sidebar), encourage her to keep Pate linked and move up the evolutionary chain!

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Now That's What I Call Indie Covers, Christopher Lee and Cow Emissions   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 29, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Sugar Crash, a version of Breakout to which I can relate.

LAURA CANTRELL: When I mentioned her the other day, I should have added that Elvis Costello o­nce said, "If Kitty Wells made Rubber Soul it would sound like Laura Cantrell." The late legendary DJ John Peel dug her, too. And she sang o­n They Might Be Giants' "The Guitar." If you're the sort who likes Lucinda Williams -- and you know who you are -- you can download several tracks legally.

YOU AIN'T NO PICASSO is absolutely killing music with Now That's What I Call Indie Covers! Vol. 1. David Byrne covers Whitney Houston! Rilo Kiley covers Robert Palmer and Pete Townshend! Of Montreal covers The Who! Belle and Sebastian cover ABBA! The Mountain Goats cover Ace of Base!!! (and if you've never heard the Mountain Goats cver Ace of Base, let me assure you it's every bit as cool as their Thin Lizzy/R. Kelly medley in its own way) Now how much would you pay? But wait... there's more! The Flaming Lips cover Queen! Click now and there's even a bonus link at the page with the bonus tracks! Servers are standing by!!!

SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES: The band's entire catalog is to be remastered and reissued. Which is much better than having it remastered and unissued. I would add that I love that the music blog linked above is One Louder.

MSN's VIRTUAL EARTH is more virtual than it should be.


FRIDAY AFTERNOON CLUB: Forget Google... try Droogle! Or: How to Drink Alone, from the fabulous My Blog is Poop.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON: The Island may be flopping, but the billboard unnecessarily exaggerating Johansson's physique is so good Scarlett nearly crashed her car. And since it's Sky News, there's an accompanying photo gallery. Sadly, the billboard has been taken down. What? You thought I wouldn't go the extra click to try to bring you the complete story?

MUST LOVE DOGS? Not if you're a movie critic.

CONOR OBERST, Wes Anderson, Jonathan Safran Foer and the new male infantilism? What's new about it?

ARE YOU A HIPSTER? Chromewaves has the links that will provide your answer. There's even a Wes Anderson reference.

TERROR BUSTS: A senior British al-Qaeda operative sought by authorities since the July 7 London bombing was arrested in Zambia. British authorities reportedly balked at giving U.S. officials permission to apprehend him last month. British police arrested nine more men in pre-dawn raids. Pakistani security forces arrested an Islamic militant thought to have set up a meeting between murdered U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl and his kidnappers. Russian Police engaged in an operation against militants in Dagestan, preventing a major terrorist attack in Moscow and detaining about 150 accomplices, including policemen, civilians and clerics.

BILLY CORGAN wants to reunite Smashing Pumpkins, but doesn't want to play the old songs right now, thank you very much. How about... FREEBIRD!

THE STROKES: Thanks to Golden Fiddle, we get an A/B boss comparison of advance reports o­n the band's third album from NME and Spin.

PAYOLA: Slate asks, "What's wrong with it?"

OOOH, BLACK DIAMOND: Almost certainly America's top black Neil Diamond impersonator. Download to hear for yourself.

EMINEM is getting strange new respect from those he mocks, including Moby and Hillary Duff.

IRAQ: Austin Bay posts a translated editorial from Al Adala, a newspaper published by the Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Blackfive thinks it was "pretty @#$%ing crazy" for Gen. Casey to talk about a drawdown as soon as next Spring or Summer (as noted here yesterday), but I think Blackfive is missing the two big "ifs" in Casey's statement.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt, Jolie and her kids are shacking up at Pitt's Malibu mansion. What will the neighbors say?

RENEE ZELLEWEGER may be getting divorced as quickly as she got married?

THE FRENCH HOTEL: Her 24-carat engagement ring is too heavy and is hurting her finger. She may not have to worry about that much longer.

OSAMA BIN LADEN plotted to sell poisoned cocaine in the U.S.

EGYPT: Stunned by the terror attacks o­n Sharm el-Sheik, Egyptians are debating whether mosques, schools and the government itself should be blamed for promoting Islamic extremism. That's good, as some of the events described in the linked article are sobering and the New York Sun has an article showing that many Egyptians are blaming Israel.

SUFJAN STEVENS has staffed his touring band with Illinois alums; with eight musicians, he’s confident that something close to justice will be done to the record o­nstage.

BRIAN ENO was inspired to make his first solo vocal album in 15 years by new technologies: He describes these "auto-tuning devices" as "altering the gender and the pitch of the voice, so that you could sound like a high-pitched female instead of a man with a cold - which is what I actually am." Eno has huge numbers of CDs containing tracks he has never released, and estimates he has o­nly released four percent of everything he has recorded: "I have a huge rejection rate - so when I die, they're going to have a party, with all those posthumous albums."

KAISER CHIEFS AND BLOC PARTY plan to team up for the holidays. It's almost like Christmas in July!

WASHINGTON STATE'S The Olympian newspaper has its own MP3 blog, with everything from bootleg Dylan/Cash tracks to local bands.

THE REST OF THE YEAR IN MUSIC: After all of those mid-year "Best of 2005" lists, the Daily Pennsylvanian looks forward.

CHRISTOPHER LEE was a real secret agent during WWII and has played everything from Dracula to Willy Wonka's father o­nscreen. Now, in his 80's, he's fronting two heavy metal bands.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Apparent ex-galpal Kate Moss gets a libel judgment against a London tabloid, but Pete prefers to punch a reporter in the face.

TOP TEN WORST SONG LYRICS EVER, according to Blogcritics.

SUPERGRASS: You can preview "St. Petersburg," another track off the band's upcoming disc, at the Road to Rouen site.

LIZ PHAIR: If you're still interested in Miz Liz, someone is not killing music from her forthcoming album so much as wounding it.

TARA REID: Living down to her reputation.

POLITICS MAY BE SHOW BUSINESS FOR UGLY PEOPLE, but that hasn't stopped The Hill newspaper from compiling its list of the Top 50 Most Beautiful People o­n Capitol Hill.

AN AMISH TEEN was charged with theft and underage consumption of alcohol, after police got complaints about loud music coming from a buggy.

THE CUTTHROAT WORLD OF PROFESSIONAL MINI-GOLF is exposed by The New York Times. I smell Pulitzer!

CULT OF THE iPod: In a victory for those killing music, the gadget escapes a Canadian tax levied o­n blank media such as CDs that the Canadian Private Copying Collective (which collects tariffs o­n behalf of musicians and record companies) sought to extend to MP3 players.

COW EMISSIONS are being measured in a "bio-bubble" by the University of California to help write the state's first air quality regulations for dairies, which could affect regulations nationwide. Researcher Frank Mitloehner wants o­ne thing to be clear: "We're not talking about flatulence." Right.

NIGERIAN COWS UPDATE: Nigerian cows continue to wreak havoc with traffic and motorists.

WILD PONIES: The annual pony swim across the Assateague Channel, made famous by Marguerite Henry's 1947 novel "Misty of Chincoteague" went forward despite a thick fog, raise money for the local Volunteer Fire Company, which cares for the ponies.

DOGS: More than a third of British dog owners fear dognapping; almost half of owners have now had their dog fitted with a microchip to track their dogs, according to a new poll.

FINALLY, I note that our own Sylvia Hauser has been working very hard these past few weeks in Chicago. However, by next Summer, she will probably be living in Georgia. So when I read news coverage of the heat wave sweeping the Southeastern U.S. and saw the picture here, I could not help thinking how much Sylvia would enjoy cooling off with a beer in the back of a pickup truck. I'm not kidding, either; I genuinely think she might enjoy it. So I thought it might provide a soothing image for Sylvia to contemplate in the midst of her hectic work schedule. Except for the two funky-looking dudes in the truck, of course.

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