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U2, Bon Iver, Moldy Peaches, John Stewart, Conan the Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 21, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


U2:  Given that the US marks Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday today, "Pride (In the Name of Love)" and "MLK" are your obvious choices.

ROBERT PLANT & ALISON KRAUSS plot a US tour that could seriously complicate any Led Zeppelin reunion tour.

BON IVER:  Justin Vernon stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THURSTON MOORE is scoring an adult DVD directed by photographer/filmmaker Richard Kern, who has also directed several Sonic Youth videos.  He's like the indie Eddie Van Halen.

BUDDY MILLER hits the road with friends and fan Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin on the "Three Girls and Their Buddy Tour."

THE BRUNETTES did the four free songs to stream or download thing for a daytrotter session.

THE MOLDY PEACHES will be reuniting to perform "Anyone Else But You" on The View today, in support of the Juno soundtrack.  But now you can see 'em at the Juno premiere instead.

JOHN STEWART, a member of The Kingston Trio, with an acclaimed solo career that included recording more than 40 albums, died after a massive stroke on Saturday at age 68.  Unfortunately my favorite solo stuff, like "The Mother Road," is not avaliable online.  He is, however, best known for writing "Daydream Believer," which was a No. 1 hit for The Monkees in December 1967 (their last).  In 1979, Anne Muuray's version hit No.1 on on the Adult Contemporary chart, No. 3 on the country chart, and No. 12 on the pop chart.  But I think you would rather watch Paul Westerberg cover it in 1993 as the crowd goes berzerk.  Or watch The Edge leads Madison Square Garden in a kareoke version on U2's PopMart tourBONUSDavy Jones ambushes The Edge in Los Angeles.

MARK RONSON:  Music insiders claim the 32-year-old Svengali is the most extraordinary young figure to emerge on the scene in decades, potentially as influential as Phil Spector was in the Sixties.  The Daily Mail's profile includes cameos from Keith Moon, Michael Jackson, Tom-Kat, some of the most well-known names in British politics, and a famous fraudster.

GARY GLITTER is in the hospital after suffering a heart attack in the Vietnamese jail where he is serving three years for abusing girls aged 11 and 12.  British and Vietnamese officials have been in talks over his early release on health grounds.

AMY WINEHOUSE appeared wild-eyed and dishevelled in court when she came to support her jailed husband Blake Fielder-Civil.  As her husband was led back into custody she interrupted court proceedings to shout: "Love you handsome. Gorgeous one."  She then rounded on reporters sitting in court and yelled: "I wasn't talking to you."

PETE DOHERTY has reportedly knocked up the 20-year-old god-daughter of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.  The tabloid claims she has still not told her parents she is pregnant, but I'm guessing there will be inquiries.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The paparazzi at X17 Online are claiming that Britney's sometime manager and pal Sam Lutfi showed the agency's photogs a copy of the pop wreck's restraining order against supposed bf Adnan Ghalib.  For his part, Ghalib says he is not aware of any restraining order and has been out of town for a funeral since Friday.  The LAPD says no restraining order has been officially filed, but that doesn't mean Spears hasn't started the paperwork.  Meanwhile, Spears has reportedly been canned from a three-million-dollar movie role.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise brands federal officials "liars" and takes credit for saving the lives of hundreds of supposedly poisoned workers at Ground Zero in a wacky new Scientology video.  BONUS:  Radar magazine, one of the first to flag the Scientology videos, has some highlights from the list of questions asked in a Scientology "audit."

NICOLE KIDMAN was a cold, petulant and moody diva, according to the unauthorized biography of her ex-husband, Tom Cruise.  And yet still comes off better than he does.

KATE MOSS celebrated her 34th birthday with a sleazy orgy involving three other partygoers, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.  Her boyfriend was not among them.  The catwalk queen got hot and sweaty with two female models and a lucky male guest while a crowd of onlookers snorted cocaine and ogled the eye-popping performance.

PAMELA ANDERSON is no longer pregnant, though there is no elaboration on how that came about.

LINDSAY LOHAN will soon be working at a morgue as part of her punishment for misdemeanor drunken driving.  Eveyone is going with The Sixth Sense punchline, so Ill add that the punishment is very Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The mystery monster of Cloverfield stomped the competition to the tune of 41 million; the flick had a budget of between 25-25 million.  Ketherine Heigl's 27 Dresses also wore well, making 22.4 million.  The Bucket List and the adorable Juno held well, dropping only 22 and 25 percent repectively.  The former is a sure bet to break even, while the latter seems a sure bet to break 100 million.  First Sunday tumbled 56 percent in its second weekend.  Mad Money debuted in a disappointing seventh spot, while Alvin and the Chipmunks near the 200 million mark.  Atonement stayed in the Ten spot, but increased its receipts 12 percent over last weekend.  There Will Be Blood made it to eleven after expanding to 389 screens.

GEORGE CLOONEY has been made a UN "messenger of peace" to promote the organization's peacekeeping activities around the world.

REESE & RYAN are reportedly squabbling over how much time their kids are spending with Witherspoon's new boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal.

HEATH LEDGER & GEMMA WARD are rumored to be dating.

SUZANNE PLESHETTE,  the smoky-voiced actress who played Bob Newhart's wife Emily for six years on the popular 1970s sitcom "The Bob Newhart Show," has died of respiratory failure. She was 70.  In real life, she was married to Newhart regular Tom Poston.

ALLAN MELVIN , a popular character actor who played butcher Sam Franklin on The Brady Bunch and Archie Bunker's neighbor and friend Barney on All in the Family, has died of cancer. He was 84.

JESSICA SIMPSON's problems with Dallas Cowboys fans inspire The Onion: "Speaking to reporters she had invited into her impenetrable subterranean Texas lair on Monday, Jessica Simpson gloated over the victory she recently achieved after nearly two years of using her personal charms, her unique brand of cunning, and every resource at her disposal to meticulously plot the downfall of the Cowboys' 2007 season..."

CARTOON JIHAD:  A Belarus court sentenced a newspaper editor to three years in prison for reprinting a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.  Meanwhile, in Canada, Alberta's Human Rights Commission is going after former publisher Ezra Levant for publishing the cartoons.  His opening statement is wonderfully defiant.

IRAN:  David B. Crist, who served in the Marine Corps reserves in Iraq in 2003 and now works for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recounts prior incidents of US ships being targeted by the small boats of Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has a series of maps showing AQI's shrinking area of operations in Iraq.  Street battles between members of a messianic cult and Iraqi troops erupted in Basra and Nasiriyah.  However, one of the holiest events for Shiite Muslims ended peacefully Saturday in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala, attended by millions.  US commanders hope they can turn Moqtada al-Sadr's Shiite supporters the same way they have former Sunni insurgents.  However, his Mahdi Army may not renew the ceasefire.  About 75 percent of Baghdad's neighborhoods are now secure, a dramatic increase from eight percent a year ago when President Bush ordered more troops to the capital, US military figures show.  Five brigade combat teams, equal to 2007's troop "surge," should be home by July, accorrding to SecDef Gates.

CONAN, an 18-month-old long haired chihuahua, folds his paws in prayer alongside a Buddhist priest at Shuri-kannondo temple in Naha city, Okinawa province, Japan.  I would guess there are not too many Buddhists named Conan.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT has spawned its own cartoon jihad in Romania, with embedded video goodness.

PET HOARDING:  Hundreds of neglected animals found on a ranch in Lancaster, Calif., were being rescued Saturday, including 30 cats, 40 chickens and turkeys, 100 goats and sheep, a llama, an emu, a pregnant horse, three potbellied pigs and a 600-pound farm pig. Many of the animals were pregnant.

POOP POWER soon will be fueling the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

A RABBIT has adopted six abandoned kittens in Aberdeen, Sctotland.  Awww...some photo and video at the link.

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Advance Drive-By Truckers, Morrissey, Cutout Bin, Cloverfield   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 18, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with RADIOHEAD's surprise show at the 93 Feet East club in London two nights ago!  It was the first show this intimate since some US dates around the time of OK Computer.  The Times of London writes that the gig "felt like a modern-day equivalent of The Beatles' al fresco show on the rooftop of their Apple HQ" and "So much for the myth that they no longer rock."  The band played the entirety of the new In Rainbows album: "15 Step," "Bodysnatchers," "Nude," "Weird," "Fishes/Arpeggi," "All I Need," "Faust Arp," "Reckoner," "House of Cards," "Jigsaw Falling into Place," and "Videotape."  I feel slightly guilty about featuring Rradiohead just two weeks after their New Year's webcast, but this is a special case.  If you're burned out on Radiohead, check out my Wednesday qurtet of videos from Duffy.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS:  Rolling Stone can hook you up to an advance stream of the upcoming Brighter Than Creation's Dark album, plus Robert Christgau's review of the record.  And maybe the lawyers will stay away.

TEDDY THOMPSON talks to London's Telegraph about American country music and working with parents Richard and Linda, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, and Emmylou Harris.

LILY ALLEN is reportedly heartbroken after suffering a miscarriage.

NICOLE ATKINS & THE SEA are playing the World Cafe at noon EST today.  You can stream the gig live -- or on demand a bit later -- via NPR.

MORRISSEY is accosted by a stream of stage divers in the live footage backing "That's How People Grow Up," the new track on his upcoming Greatest Hits LP.

THE ROLLING STONES are putting out the soundtrack to the Marty Scorsese concert film, Shine A Light, on Universal, not EMI.  Seems like Paul McCartney is not the only classic rocker not happy with EMI's new management -- esp. its policy against big advances.

WILCO:  At Cinema Blend, Jessica Grabert explains how she learned to loathe the band -- and why she thinks others love Tweedy & Co.  (Thx, LHB.)

THE DAP-KINGS are set to jet to L.A. to back Amy Winehouse at the Grammys -- provided she passes the drug test necessary for a visa and the show isn't derailed by the writers' strike.

PETE DOHERTY, who is in training for this year's Flora London Marathon, is wearing his girlfriend's bras to protect his "sore nipples."

CUTOUT BIN:  From Marshall Crenshaw to Candi Staton, from Gram Parsons to Xiu Xiu, from The Clash to Nelson Riddle, this Friday's fortuitous finds -- with covers a-plenty -- can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM

CLOVERFIELD is -- as the trailers and ads suggest -- "The Blair Godzilla Project" (I'm sure plenty will draw that analogy) -- a giant monster movie told as a video verite mockumentary from the point of view of a group of friends and acquaintances in NYC at the wrong time.  I suppose NYC natives may feel queasy about some of the 9/11-esque imagery, though similar images appeared in Spielber's non-NYC-based War of the Worlds.  I do not think there is any sort of 9/11 subtext to the movie.  I congratulate the filmmakers for managing to keep the monster -- and one of its unique facets -- largely secret in the Internet age (I was aware of this facet, but if you want the spoiler, click the "Read full article..." link at the bottom of today's entry.  What makes Cloverfield good, as opposed to great, however, is that the backstory for the main characters is not as fleshed out as it could have been, given the clever way it was presented.  This weakness, combined with the fact that the focal character Rob is not always sympathetic, almost ensures (though it was likely to happen any way) that the character the audence likes the most is Hud, who is the largely unseen cameraman.  It does give the movie a strange symmetry, as the monster itself is more glimpsed than seen.  Indeed, I suspect people will debate whether the monster should ever be fully revealed (my take would be they should have actually waited for the moment where it is fully revealed, and shown a bit less in a couple of distance shots).  It is a movie ultimately more about style than substance, but is stylish and gives the audience enough to keep it worried about whether some or all of the cast will survive.  BONUS:  The teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot ran in front of Cloverfield, but about all you see is a peek at the USS Enterprise.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to Cloverfield, which goes way wide on 3411 screens and a 70 percent rating on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's wide releases are the Katherine Heigl rom-com 27 Dresses, which is scoring 35 percent; and the Keaton-Latifah-Holmes comedy Mad Money, currently scoring 22 percent.  Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood expands to 389 screens and a 90 percent score.  And there is still the adorable Juno, which has been No. 2 at the box office during the week.

BRITNEY SPEARS: The pop wreck's agenda for Wednesday included getting stopped for speeding, and a 2 a.m. shopping spree without pants.  That is how the paparazzi at X17 got nsfw photographic evidence that the pop tart is not pregnant.  Four paparazzi were arrested for reckless driving while chasing Britney Spears' car around Mission Hills.  On Thursday morning, "manager" Sam Lutfi barged in on Britney in the shower, during a phone call into Ryan Seacrest's radio show.  UPDATE:  TMZ has sources sugestinng that Spears has multiple-personality disorder.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, Britney's 16-year-old knocked up sister, denies miscarriage rumors.

OWEN WILSON was busted on film and video buying a monkey pipe at the Green House Smoke Shop in Venice Beach, Calif.  Isn't he supposed to be rehabbed?

DREW BARRYMORE was... wait for it... caught canoodling on camera with co-star Jason Long at the New Orleans airport.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is going to entertain the troops in the Persian Gulf, the USO has announced.  The precise dates are undisclosed.  For some reason, Scar-Jo gets a large supply of fan letters from the military and wanted to do more than just answer them on paper.

SEAN PENN:  Was Sienna Miller a factor in his split from Robin Wright Penn? 

KIEFER SUTHERLAND gets out of the slammer Monday morning.  A Glendale City Jail rep told People magazine: "He never wanted preferential treatment from the get go, and we respect him for that."

THE X-FILES sequel is a "stand-alone movie, not a mythology conspiracy one," says series creator Chris Carter.  Probably a smart decision -- how could they compete for conspiracies now that the Internet is ubiquitous?

HOLLYWOOD WRITERS' STRIKE:  The Directors Guild of America struck a deal with the major studios that may pressure the Writers Guild to settle the 11-week-old strike that has roiled Tinseltown.  Which was why -- imho --the studios were working on a deal with the directors even before the strike.

THE OSCAR NOMINEES for Best Picture, once reflected a kind of national cinema, but have become a smaller niche market than horror films or urban comedies.

RACHEL BILSON, who has been seen on episodes of Chuck after the demise of The O.C., and will soon be on the big screen in Jumper, has a photo spread the February 2008 issue of GQ magazine.  There's also a video of the photo-shoot soundtracked with Vampire Weekend's "A-Punk."  Yep, it's Gratuitous Friday.

IRAN is confident of a prompt solution to the dispute over its nuclear program, despite the possiblility of further UN Security Council sanctions, but deputy foreign minister warned that failure to find a solution would play into the hands of those who favor unilateral action and war.  A new GAO report claims the three-year international effort to pressure Iran is faltering, and questions the impact of 20 years of US economic sanctions on Tehran.  At the Counterterrorism Blog, Matthew Levitt argues that the new report misses the point.  Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki publicly claimed that Pres. Bush would be impeached by his own party over his statements about Iran, displaying the keen grasp of US politics and the US Constitution Iran needs in its top diplomat.

LT. COL. JOHN NAGL, blurbed here yesterday, was interviewed on WHYY's Fresh Air about what's next for Iraq.

IRAQ:  Gen. Petraeus said Iran was still training terrorists despite its pledge to cut support for the insurgency.  He and SecDef Gates are at odds over the speed of the drawdown for the "surge."  More than 75K US and Iraqi soldiers are preparing to launch the widest military operation since 2003 in three Sunni provinces in what is being described by military sources, as a crucial attempt to uproot AQI.  The US military conducted more than five times as many airstrikes in Iraq last year as it did in 2006, targeting AQI safe houses, insurgent bombmaking facilities and weapons stockpiles in an aggressive strategy aimed at supporting the "surge" by overwhelming enemies with air power.  Iraq faces a period of economic growth and political progress, according to assessments by the International Monetary Fund and the UN.

WOLFGANG LEANDER:  Swimming with sharks is his hobby.  He's 67 and has been doing it since he was 14, but not without incident.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Grey squirrels are even more devious than anyone realized.

MOOKIE the BULL, won in a poker game, was kept in a garage in Ewing, NJ... until someone tipped off Animal Control.

THE ROBOT ZOO will offer children in Qatar the chance to explore the biomechanics of complex animal robots to discover how real animals work.  Freaky pic at the link.

Read full article: 'Advance Drive-By Truckers, Morrissey, Cutout Bin, Cloverfield'
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Advance Cat Power, Idolator Pop, Magnetic Fields, Flocke   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE ROSEBUDS left Jasmine instructions to work up a cover song for the band.  The resulting take on Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" is a little too true to the original for my taste, but fairly impressive work for a dog.  Good cowbell, Jasmine!  (The original video is a click-trough at the link, too.)

CAT POWER:  You can listen to an advance stream of her upcoming Jukebox album via MuchMusic.  I had trouble streaming a couple of tracks; if you do, just click on the next track.  UPDATE:  Darn lawyers.

IDOLATOR POP:  The second annual Idolator Pop Critics Poll is online, with poll results, essays, individual ballots, music mixes and more.

DAYTROTTER is set to be acquired by Wolfgang's Vault -- the historic live music archive of Bill Graham Presents -- in an effort to reach a younger audience.  Daytrotter celebrated the announcement with a downloadable live Ramones cut from the Palladium in 1978,

BOB MOULD tells MSNBC that he is "a lover, not a fighter."  Not that anyone will confuse him with Jacko.

SIR PAUL McCARTNEY is to stage the first major UK exhibition of photographs by his late wife Linda, to mark the 10th anniversary of her death.  Having seen such an exhibition here in the US, I must say that photography was her true talent, as one might expect from a member of the Eastman family.  Of course, watching Linda's infamous 1990 "Hey Jude" track will convince you of that, too.

THE DECEMBERISTS frontman Colin Meloy is releasing a live solo album from his 2006 acoustic tour in April.

MAGNETIC FIELDS:  The Current blog has "A Brief History of the Magnetic Fields" to mark the release of the new Distortion LP, which you can stream in full this week via Spinner or MagSpace. And you can listen to Robert Christgau's review from All Things Considered via NPR.

THE NATIONAL:  Matt Berninger talks to The Age down under about the creative friction within the band.

IKE TURNER died of an accidental cocaine overdose, the San Diego County Coroner revealed today.

AMY WINEHOUSE may make a Christmas/Hanukkah album this year.  Meanwhile, the uber-reliable NOW tabloid claims Winehouse's jailed hubby Blake Fielder-Civil has asked her for a divorce.  According to her dad, his mom is putting the idea into Blake's noggin.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  As predicted, after hosting the Cruise-based Scientology PR video, Gawker has received a copyright infringement notice from the Scientologists' lawyers, to which Gawker has reponded not only through its lawyer, but also by hosting four more Cruisetastic Scientology clips.  The controversy made The Today Show yesterday morning, and was mentioned by the  AP, which tends to support Gawker's claim for the newsworthiness of the video.

JESSICA SIMPSON has reportedly angered Dallas Cowbows fans so much that the pneumatic blonde has had to beef up her security.  However, ex-beau John Mayer defends Simpson and her love of Texas: "I just thought it would mean something coming from the guy who has the absolute least to gain from this..."

O.J. SIMPSON grimaced as the judge doubled his bail to 250K, after learning he never paid any money to a bail bondsman when he initially was released. Video at the link.  AFAIK, John Mayer has had no comment.

DAVID SPADE, previously linked to Heather Locklear and Pam Anderson, may have knocked up a 22-year-old Playboy Playmate: "If it is true that I am the father of her child, then I will accept responsibility."

EDDIE MURPHY & TRACY EDMONDS have called it quits just two weeks after their intimate wedding.

BRITNEY SPEARS and her married boytoy, paparazzo Adnan Ghalib, were captured on photos and video checking out a pregnancy test at Rite-Aid on Monday afternoon.  The photos, however, were taken by Ghalib's photo agency, so grain of salt.  The Daily Mail covers Ghalib's nerdy Birmingham background, whith photos for proof.  The pop wreck's cousin and former assistant Alli Sims says the troubled pop star is "not crazy," but she's worried about Ghalib.  Spears camp follower Sam Lufti seems to be worried also; he's using pal Chad Hardcastle as as bait to lure her from Ghalib.  Meanwhile, a psychologist has filed a complaint against Dr. Phil with the California Board of Psychology, alleging the TV doc was illegally practicing without a license when he paid a visit to the pop tart.

GWYNETH PALTROW UPDATE:  The latest speculation is that her brief hospital stay on Monday was due to a a pregnancy complication.  Her rep non-denies it as "guesswork at best."

HOLLYWOOD WRITERS' STRIKE:  In the wake of the cancellation of the traditional Golden Globe Awards ceremony, Writers Guild of America West president Patric Verrone reiterated that he does not anticipate granting the Academy Awards a waiver unless the striking writers and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reach a deal.  Verrone also said the WGA had received a similar waiver request Tuesday for the Grammy Awards.

SEAN PENN wrote a letter blasting the San Francisco Chronicle for publishing an article critical of celebs who suck up to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, arguing that Chavez was democratically elected, and that dictators don't lose constitutional referendums.  Penn forgot to mention that Chavez tried to overturn the results of Venezuela's recent vote but was rebuffed by the military.  Maybe Penn would be okay with "aspiring dictator" or "dictator wannabe" to describe Chavez.

CLOVERFIELD "inadvertently disses New York for what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, by re-enacting scenes of buildings exploding and massive clouds of debris for fun and profit," according to Roger Friedman, who apparently missed the promos with the headless Statue of Liberty.  He also calls it "an 84-minute rollercoaster ride of a monster movie that should be a big hit."

WANNA SEE KATIE COURIC swearing and clueless about the New Hampshire primary she anchored last week?  Of course you do.  NSFW, Courtesy of Harry Shearer.

TERRORIST 007:  Back in October, I flagged the story of a 22-year-old student allegedly at the center of three different terror cases, spanning at least seven countries, buried in a speech by FBI Dir. Mueller.  Now you can read the bizarre story of how the son of a diplomat became the world's most wanted cyber-jihadist in the Times of London and the Daily Mail.  Or, if you prefer, watch TV coverage from the BBC.

ALLEGED US TERROR PLOTS:  A former congressman and UN delegate was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than 130K to an al Qaeda and Taliban supporter who has threatened US and international troops in Afghanistan.  Meanwhile, the "Fort Dix Six" face additional charges, including attempted murder, after a grand jury concluded there was evidence the men tried to kill uniformed members of the military.  Coincidentally (or not), TIME magazine ran a piece this week throwing doubt on a key piece of documentary evidence in the case.

LT. COL. JOHN NAGL, author of the book "Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons From Malaya and Vietnam" and  a co-author of the Army's new manual on counterinsurgency operations, has decided to leave the service to study strategic issues full time at a new Washington think tank.  In a piece by Slate's Fred Kaplan about the Army's difficulty in retaining talented mid level officers, Nagl emphasized that, contrary to some rumors floating around, he is not leaving out of anger or disgruntlement.  It's still a loss.  BONUS:  Watch Nagl's appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart fromAugust 2007.

KNUT REDUX: The Nuremberg Zoo's polar bear cub, unofficially named ''Flocke'' has opened her eyes for the first time.  Let's go to the video.

UNDERCOVER CATS obtain a murder confession from their owner.  I can haz evidence?

A SNAKE is not a fashion accessory.  Not in New York, anyway.

DOG BARKING may soon be translated for humans by computer.

MONKEYS can use their brainpower to control the walking patterns of robots.  Your future is Planet of the Apes meets The Terminator.

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Ryan Adams, Vampire Weekend, Duffy(!), Cheetah Cubs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


RYAN ADAMS plays "Like Yesterday" on his webcam and turns it into an ad for a fictional album, then uploads it to the Tube.  Because he's Ryan Adams.

R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe was excused from jury duty in a sexual assault case, after telling the judge he could not be fair and impartial because he has been the target of stalkers and death threats.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED:  A rare live track from Billie Holiday, plus Magnetic Fields, JAMC, Vampire Weekend and Peter Gabriel are streaming in the latest edition from NPR.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND, btw, stopped by KEXP for a chat and mini-set available to stream or download.

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle holds forth on the craft of songwriting at Drowned In Sound.

DUFFY:  Tell me someone sounds like Dusty In Memphis and you have my attention, even if she really sounds a bit more like Lulu.  The single "Rockferry" is just gorgeous.  Her live takes on "Mercy" and "Warwick Avenue" from Later with Jools Holland aren't bad, either, though the samples of the fully-orchestrated studio versions streaming at DuffySpace are better.  BONUS: A little behind-the-scenes of Duffy working on "Syrup & Honey" with collaborator Bernard Butler.

COACHELLA will swing both ways this summer.

YEASAYER, a combo "working in the long shadow cast by the highly influential collaboration between Brian Eno and David Byrne in the late '70s and early '80s," gets an audio feature from the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR.

THE NOISE FROM BROOKLYN: Bands including Yeasayer, Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors are noticed in a video feature on the MTV.

STATE of THE INDUSTRY:  The Silicon Alley Insider perks up at the mention of EMI's 400K budget for hookers and blow.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Gawker is hosting the suppressed Cruise-based Scientology PR video and daring the Church to bring it on.  To quote Gawker, "if Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch was an 8 on the scale of scary, this is a 10."  Diane Sawyer and GMA botched their interview with Holmes, failing to ask about personal issues at all, let alone the ne new Adrew Mortion bio of Cruise.

DIANE KEATON, meanwhile, dropped the F-bomb on Diane Sawyer today. Good Morning, America!  Video at the link.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  PageSix.com claims the pop wreck called Fed-Ex to tell him she was getting hitched to paparazzo Adnan Ghalib. Fed-Ex later heard that Ghalib and Spears went to Mexico after her hospitalization for Ghalib to get a quickie divorce from wife AzLynn.  Longtime Britney confidant and cousin Alli Sims does not like Ghalib.  The couple was recently spotted at the Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks, Calif., where Spears walked naked around upscale clothing storeUPDATE:  A report that Spears had penned a suicide note days before her last breakdown is being denied by pal Sam Lufti.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY announced on his website today that his girlfriend, Camilla Alves, is pregnant with his child.

JOHNNY DEPP secretly visited Great Ormond Street Hospital yesterday to donate £1 million of his own money to thank staff for saving his daughter's life.  And on November 29, unknown to the public, Depp spent four hours at the hospital telling bedtime stories to patients dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow after having his costume flown over from Los Angeles.

ELLEN DeGENERES has dethroned Oprah Winfrey from the top of the Harris Poll's annual rundowns of America's favorite TV and film stars.  Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp are the favorite movie stars.  Full lists at the link.

GWYNETH PALTROW has retrurned home after being admitted to a New York hospital Monday afternoon.  The reason for the hospitalization remains unknown, but New York magazine reports Paltrow was doing an organic five-day live-food fast.

ZAC EFRON of High School Musical is recovering after being hospitalized with appendicitis.

EVA LONGORIA -- wife of San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker -- is defending Jessica Simpson from Dallas Cowboys fans.

CHARLIZE THERON & VIGGO MORTENSON have signed onto the bigscreen adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's bestselling novel, The Road.

SIMON COWELL of American Idol, knows what the American public wants in its presidential candidates.  They want them to be more like... Simon Cowell.

FRENCH PRES. SARKOZY secretly wed his Italian model fiancee, Carla Bruni?  Ooh la la!

ALESSANDRA AMBROSIO, Victoria's Secret angel extraordinaire, is knocked up?  Funny, she doesn't look it in any of the many, many pictures I studied.  Because it's gratuitous Wednesday.

TERROR in the UK?  As many as 1500 white Britons are believed to have converted to Islam for the purpose of funding, planning and carrying out surprise terror attacks inside the UK, according to one MI5 source.

IRAN:  A little-known fact: the European Union has gone further than the two UN Security Council resolutions against Iran actually require.  The tough European stance is surprising since there are huge commercial interests at stake, but shows Europe's recognition of the threat posed by the Islamic theocracy.

IRAQ:  USA Today is debriefed on a 17-hour Christmas firefight in Mosul that resulted in the deaths of ten AQI terrorists, including the head of an assassination cell, a financier and a military leader.  Syrian sheikh 'Abd Al-Mun'im Mustafa Halima, considered one of the leading theoreticians of the contemporary Salafi-jihadist stream in Islam, is trying to reconcile AQI with groups now backing the US, against the US.  A senior Awakening leader was killed in central Baghdad; two of his aides and four civilians were wounded. A policeman and two Awakening fighters were killed in Shurqat. Police arrested 35 insurgents during two separate operations in Kirkuk.

CHEETAH CUBS befriend the baby gazelle their mother caught for dinner.  More awww...some pics at the link.

THE AUSTRIAN SUPREME COURT rejected claims that a chimp is a human being.  I'm torn between going with The Elephant Man or Planet of the Apes.

AN ENRAGED WATER BUFFALO went on an hour-long rampage in northern Vietnam, goring four people and destroying food stalls before being shot to death by police, officials said Tuesday.  Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome?

DINOSAURS started having sex much earlier than previously thought, according to a new study out of U of C at Berkeley.  I blame the permissive culture of the Jurassic period.  And we all know what happened to the dinosaurs.

WHEN GIANT RATS ROAMED THE EARTH:  The fossilised skull of a rat the size of a car has been unearthed. It was so big that it probably spent much of its life semi-submerged in water, like a hippo, to reduce the stresses caused by its size.  No word so far on when it started having sex.

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MGMT, New Releases, Sharon Jones, Drunken Carp   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MGMT, a buzz band from Brooklyn, divides the hipper-than-thou hipster boho community, but they wore some bitchin' capes on Letterman, so you can watch "Time to Pretend" and make up your own mind.  Nice ending, guys.

NEW RELEASES:  Magnetic Fields, The Whigs, Dirty On Purpose and Ringo Starr are streaming in full via Spinner.

BJÖRK allegedly attacked a photographer - ripping his shirt in half - after he snapped her early-morning arrival at Auckland International Airport, the New Zealand Herald reported Monday.  According to a later story in the Herald, neither Jeffrey nor the newspaper planned to press charges.  People magazine can link you to the video of her last attack of a reporter.

SHARON and the DAP-KINGS stopped by the studios at WFUV for a chat and mini-set; you can stream both or just the music via NPR.  This actually dates to the release of the current album, but Jones talks about her career and her other jobs, like being a prison guard at Riker's Island.

YO LA TENGO:  Ira Kaplan tells the U of GA's Black & Red that he finds touring unsettling... and "it would be weird if it wasn't."  (Thx, LHB.)

JIMI HENDRIX plays "Voodoo Chile," "Hey, Joe" and Cream's "Sunshine Of your Love," live on the Lulu Show in 1969.  It's like Twofer Tuesday... but it's one more.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND talks with Billboard about touching up their debut LP and plotting a tour.

JULIANA HATFIELD:  Timedoor covers her lost God's Foot album, which should have come out in 1996.  Posted tracks include "Chance Is Waiting" from the album and an outtake titled "I Didn't Know."

ARCHITECTURE in HELSINKI did the four free songs for stream or download for Daytrotter.

BRITISH SEA POWER:  At Chromewaves, Frank Yang has an advance (good) review for Do You Like Rock Music?, due on February 12th, along with your A/V linkage.

BRITNEY SPEARS still may not visit her children, a court commissioner ruled Monday, following a custody hearing the pop wreck missed.  In a bizarre and chaotic scene outside the courthouse, Spears arrived for the afternoon session of the proceedings - but abruptly left the courthouse after paparazzi surrounded her.  Sources tell TMZ the Commissioner now views mental health -- not substance abuse -- as the root of Britney's problems. Commissioner Scott Gordon was definitely influenced by Brit's no-show and was deeply concerned that her instability posed a danger to her children.  Speaking of whch, "The boys are doing fantastic," a source close to the family tells PageSix.com, "but they have not asked for their mom even once since Kevin has had them full-time."  Yesterday, she had a public screaming fit in her wacky British accent.  BONUS:  The News of the World claims that Spears may convert to Islam to marry her already married paparazzo boyfriend Adnan Ghalib, while the equally-reliable Express reports she intends to marry in a Scientology ceremony.  Maybe the truth is that Ghalib still talks to his wife and is fleecing Spears for his work as glorified gofer.

THE FRENCH HOTEL told her fans at the club LAX, "I want to f*** you all!"  Which, in her case, might not have been an exaggeration.

BEYONCE KNOWLES is rumored to be married to and pregnant by Jay-Z, according to the ever-reliable London Mirror.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON will make her directorial debut as part of a Woody Allen-helmed project showcasing 12 short films.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  Bitter, deranged Dallas Cowboys fans are blaming the pneumatic blonde for the team's plyoff loss after QB Tony Romo vacationed with her in Mexico.  And it makes wide recever Terrell Owens cry.  While they're at it, why don't they blame Lynsey Nordstrom, the Simpson impersonator pictured above hired by the New York Post to roam the stadium before gametime?  Nordstrom told the New Jersey Star-Ledger  she was paid her usual fee -- $500 for the first hour and $250 for each following hour.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but her daughter Dannielynn may require eye surgery for strabismus, which is a turning in of one of her eyes.

MARY J. BLIGE:  The Grammy-winning singer blasted a report linking her and other A-list celebrities to doctors and pharmacists targeted in a statewide steroid investigation.  Yes, really.

REESE WITHERSPOON stay grounded by having children who've barfed on her shoes before award shows.

AWARDS SEASON:  Speaking of which, only a Hollywood rag like Variety would photoshop a picture to compare the Golden Globes collapse to the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War.  You stay classy, Tinseltown!

CLOVERFIELD:  The NY Post lists the seven deadly signs that the mystery monster movie is this year's Snakes on a Plane.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Despite legal threats, Andrew Morton's biography of Cruise has emboldened other critics, one of whom flagged Scientology promotional videos found online.  The clips were yanked within a half-hour of being publicized on various websites, but US Weekly has some transcript of it, while The Huffington Post has screenshots.  BONUS:  Slate has condnsed all of the juicy bits of the Cruise bio.

JENNA JAMESON announced her retirement from that sort of video at the AVN in Vegas over the weekend.

GLOBAL WARMING:  Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser who is credited with convincing Tony Blair of the urgency of global warming, now thinks some parts of the green movement are in danger of going too far: "There is a suspicion, and I have that suspicion myself, that a large number of people who label themselves 'green' are actually keen to take us back to the 18th or even the 17th century."  The answer to climate change, he says, is in embracing technology and technological solutions, not rejecting them.

IRAN:  Pres. Bush is privately disowning the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iran to help to quiet a rising chorus of voices inside Israel's defense community that are calling for unilateral military action against the Islamic theocracy's nuclear program.

IRAQ:  Eager to cement current security gains, the US military has shifted its strategy from the streets to the corridors of power in a high-stakes effort to persuade Iraq's wary Shiite leaders to put thousands of predominantly Sunni men, many of them former insurgents, on the government payroll.  Sheikh Ahmed Abu Reesha, leader of the "Anbar Awakening" that has ended much of AQI's hold over western Iraq, warned that an early pullout of US troops would spark a return of savage sectarian violence and be "disastrous."  The Iraqi defense minister says his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq's borders from external threat until at least 2018.  The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps slipped into the green zone of Baghdad last month to press Tehran's hardline position over the terms of the current talks with American officials, it was claimed last week.  Operation Iron Harvest in the north has resulted in 60 al Qaeda fighters killed and 193 suspects captured since last week. Seven AQI fighters were killed in clashes south of Baqubah. Iraqi Special Forces captured an IED cell leader in Mosul.  A senior Sadrist leader was killed in Baghdad.

A CHINESE CHICKEN thought dead survives two days in the freezer: "No, no, I will never eat it. I will keep it as a magic charm," Gan Shugen said.

A SHARK is celebrating an extrordinary virgin birth in a Hungarian aquarium.  Will it walk on land?

TWO LEOPARDS run free in Africa for the first time, following 20 years in captivity.  Let's go to the Andy Wiliams.

A GATOR ATTACK on three dogs in Delray Beach, FL has left one canine presumed dead.

DRUNKEN CARP are all part of the fun of a Shinto ceremony dating back to the Edo Period in Japan.  Pic at the link.

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