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Paul Westerberg, REM Tribute, Springsteen, Rat Island   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 03, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


PAUL WESTERBERG performed a new song, "Everyone's Stupid" and previously unreleased late-Replacements song, "Make The Best of Me," at that event for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame noted here earlier.  (via Heather Browne.)  Meanwhile, Captain's Dead seems to have posted all of the audio from the event; you can jukebox it via the ol' HM.

THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME:  Speaking of which, the 2008 nominees were announced the other day... and metalheads are displeased.  Gotta say it's not a banner year for the noms.

AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE:  Stereogum celebrates the 15th anniversary of the REM classic with a freely-downloadable tribute album, Drive XV.  Artists contributing tracks include the Meat Puppets, Wrens, Rogue Wave, Shout Out Louds, Dr. Dog, and more...

JOSE GONZALEZ:  The Swedish singer-songwriter most know from Sony's "bouncing balls" ad, played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.

HAS FREE MUSIC become a listener's birthright?  The Seattle Times looks at Internet leaks from the perspectives of indie lables, bands and fans.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN:  Spinner has a behind-the-scenes video from the band's tour practice sessions at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ.

LED ZEPPELIN will not tour after the Ahmet Ertegun tribute show at London's O2 Arena on November 26, according to Robert Plant, who is increasingly looking like one of those shrunken heads kids used to make out of apples.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE:  the canadian musical collective's next project is a book.

JOE HENRY does an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream from NPR.  Turns out he and his wife are living in a house built for the widow of assassinated Pres. Garfield.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer has tested negative for drugs for six weeks.  That is news!  Meanwhile, Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan says that Doherty and the supposedly sober supermodel "were one of those couples that would argue loads but when they got back together they would have mind-blowing sex."

BRITNEY SPEARS:  All that has been missing from her continuing train wreck was a sex tape, and the ever-reliable InTouch Weekly claims there is one -- though it may never be seen because the dude was so disappointed by his own performance.  There are two stories explaining how the pop tart lost custody of her two sons to Fed-Ex.  Her lawyer claims she temporarily lost custody because she couldn't provide a California driver's license and was accused of not taking a random drug and alcohol test.  OTOH, TMZ claims it was because she totally ignored L.A. County Commissioner Scott Gordon's orders to meet with a drug counselor, submit to drug testing, enroll in parenting classes and to sign the order.  Plus, both parents were barred from driving the children unless they could show a valid CA driver's license... which Spears still lacks. The pop tart has checked into the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, where a member of hotel security was knocked out -- allegedly by a trespassing paparazzo. That Other Blog has some seedy backstory related to the latter incident.

PAM ANDERSON:  There's speculation in OK! magazine that her and Rick Salomon's bizarre almost-wedding in Vegas may be due to pregnancy.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Gibson may not have fallen off the wagon, but he often looks like it.

BRADGELINA:  Actress Bai Ling claims that she and Jolie shared a "special attraction" while filming  Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Jolie's documentary A Place in Time.

JENNY McCARTHY tells Extra TV that she couldn't have asked for God to bring her anyone better than Jim Carrey.  And was abruptly struck by lightning.

EVA LONGORIA has an interesting response to the rumored sex tape floating around the Internet.  I give it an "E" for effort.

LINDSAY LOHAN not only tested positive for cocaine recently, but is also combining prescription drugs to get high and has arranged for people to sneak vodka to her in water bottles while she's attending AA meetings in the Cirque Lodge rehab facility...when she's not sneaking out to see a new boyfriend.  All of that according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY & JAMES McAVOY apologized to each other after shooting their love scene for Atonement.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG said on The View that she might like a threesome with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband... while Pelosi was a guest on the show.

SYLVESTER STALLONE says he and his Rambo sequel movie crew recently witnessed the human toll of unspeakable atrocities while filming along the Burmese border: "This is a hellhole beyond your wildest dreams..."  About 4000 monks have been rounded up in the past week as the military government has tried to stamp out pro-democracy protests.  They will be sent to prisons in the far north of the country, sources have told the BBC.

SEAN PENN defended Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez's shutdown of RCTV while talking to David Letterman, claiming the station called for the assassination of Chavez "every day."  Groups like Reporters Without BordersHuman Rights Watch and The Carter Center disagree, but maybe Penn thinks they are all part of the vast, right-wing conspiracy.

"TERRORIST 007":  Buried in FBI Dir. Mueller's remarks to the CFR is the story of a 22-year-old student allegedly at the center of three different terror cases, spanning at least seven countries.

PAKISTAN: Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday positioned his former spy chief to take over Pakistan's army if he steps down following presidential elections this Saturday.  The Leavenworth-educated Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Kiani is widely considered to be moderate and pro-Western.

IRAQ:  The ruling Shiites are opposing arming "Awakening" councils and the integration of militant Sunnis into the national police force.  But if you doubt the action is shifting toward the provinces, follow the moneyIraqi interior ministry commandos said they captured the local head of AQI operating in northern Babil province's "Triangle of Death."  Soldiers from the 2nd Iraqi Army Division, with US Special Forces as advisers, detained 23 suspected AQI terrorists during an intelligence-driven raid in Sharkat.

IOWA's STATE FAIR may drop KGGO's erotic corn dog-eating contest.  It's the end of an era.

BEER ME, FLASH:  Life imitates commercials.

RAT ISLAND:  Two centuries after rats first landed on a remote Aleutian island from a shipwreck, wildlife managers in Alaska are plotting how to evict the non-native rodent from the island that bears their name.

ANOTHER GRIM REAPER DOG:  Libby, A 14-year-old therapy poodle, won't pass the threshold of those about to die.

A CRIPPLED COW MOOSE nursing its calf in west Anchorage, Alaska, is showing such a knack for survival that state biologists have so far avoided the normal course of putting her down.

SURPRISED DUCK HUNTER bags a 25-lb alligator in Farmington, Wisconsin.  Hence the surprised part.

3325 Reads

New Releases, Okkervil River, Caribou, Trouser Snake   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 02, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FLAGRANT FOWL has an upcoming folk/indie remix project titled Tambourine Dream; the promo video includes tracks from Iron & Wine, Nico, Panda Bear and Bruce Springsteen.

NEW RELEASES:  Richard Hawley, PJ Harvey, The New Amsterdams, The Most Serene Republic, The Mobius Band, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty and more are streaming in full from Spinner.  The Sadies' new LP -- "inspired amalgam of psychedelic country rock, surf, bluegrass and Ennio Morricone-inspired instrumentalsis" -- is streaming in full from YepRoc.  And the debut album from The Pipettes is still streaming at their site.

RADIOHEAD says you can pay as much or as little as you like for the band's new album, which will be available for download from the band's website on October 10.  RELATED:  It looks like The Charlatans (UK) are also giving it away.  But probably kicking themselves that they announced it the same day as Radiohead.

OKKERVIL RIVER played the Rock and Roll Hotel Sunday night, you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.

SHIVAREE is recording an album of covers from troubled artists like Gary Glitter, R. Kelly, Phil Spector, Michael Jackson, Ike Turner and Rick James.  The title: "Tainted Love: Mating Calls & Fight Songs."

CARIBOU has followed the example of John Vanderslice, purveying Snaith's Syd Barrett-meets-The Zombies pop on a tour of blog love.  You can catch a live video of "Melody Day" at the 'Gum, "She's The One" on the P-Fork, "Eli" on Daytrotter, and "After Hours" (not the VU tune) at GvsB.  And that's your Twofer Tuesday...times two.

THE FLAMING LIPS:  Wayne Coyne talks about the band's wacky live shows with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to promote the band's first live DVD: "There's probably 1,000 clips of us on YouTube, so people are already seeing elements of the show. But this is how Flaming Lips is presenting itself to the world."

STEVE EARLE:  The hard-core troubadour talks to Canada's Globe & Mail about his move to NYC.

IRON & WINE:  Sam Beam talks to Pitchfork about the recording of his new album, The Shepherd's Dog,

BETTYE LaVETTE talks to Stylus about her influences growing up, recording with the Drive-By Truckers, the current state of R&B and more.

THE TOP 10 WAYS TO MAKE BETTER RECORDS, also courtesy of Stylus.

BRITNEY SPEARS lost custody of her two sons until further order of the court in her custody battle with Fed-Ex.  Then she went to the tanning salon.  It seems that that K-Fed's lawyer went to LA Superior Court Monday morning to allege that the pop tart was driving without a license over the weekend while her children were in the car.  Spears is also rejecting advice from virtually her entire management team, including her mother, doing everything she can to make sure she's photographed almost daily by the paparazzi.  And why not?  It's working for her so far...

JENNIFER ANISTON... and Orlando Bloom?  Spent the weekend together at a resort in Mexico?

KEITH URBAN had a motorcycle accident on the way to an AA meeting, and blames the paparazzi for following him too closely.

LINDSAY LOHAN will spend five days at a secluded lodge in the Utah mountains with her ex-con father Michael.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was grilled by David Letterman about her stint in the LA County jail.

EVA LONGORIA:  The sex tape rumored to be circulating the Internet is smelling kinda fishy, though some are still claiming the tape really exists.

JESSICA SIMPSON was reprotedly snubbed by Reba McEntire when it came time to line up guests for her new, No. 1 album of duets.

DENISE RICHARDS may have snubbed Volvo, though her rep says otherwise.  Sources attributed the no-show to stress over her continuing nasty divorce with Charlie Sheen.

ROSE McGOWAN is rumored to be taking on the title role in the remake of Barbarella, as directed by bf/maybe-fiancee Robert Rodriguez.

INDIANA JONES IV is rumored to be shooting on an intriguing and familiar set.  Possible spoiler at the link.

JESSICA BIEL, sadly, appears to have passed on playing Wonder Woman in a live-action adaptation of Justice League of America.

UKRAINE:  The early parliamentary election results look good for the BYUT party of Yuliya Tymoshenko, who not only advocates closer relations with the West, but also -- as I noted here almost three years ago -- bears a striking resemblance to Princess Leia.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  The kingdom's leading religious authority on Monday warned young men against travelling abroad to wage jihad.

IRAQ:  Civilian deaths from violence across Iraq fell by 50 percent in September from the previous month to the lowest level recorded this year, according to data provided by the Health, Interior and Defense Ministries; that's in line with the casualty count from iCasualties, and substantally lower than the casualty count from last September.  Coalition offensives in southern Baghdad, spurred by Iraqi intelligence, have reduced AQI-inspired violence there by about 60 percent.  The current mission is focused on the southeastern part of the Doura neighborhood, a remaining bastion for AQI.  Violence has dropped dramatically in towns in northern Babil Province, south of Baghdad, where the US has enlisted Shiites frustrated with extremists from such groups as the Mahdi Army, run by Moqtada al-Sadr.  If the effort continues to be successful, it could counter false perceptions that the US is arming Sunnis against the Shiite government.  US troops killed seven terrorists and detained 11 suspects Sunday and Monday during operations to disrupt Al-Qaeda in Iraq leadership in central and northern Iraq.  Blogger Michael J. Totten goes on a humanitarian mission in Anbar; such are becoming more common now that the security situation has improved.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The saga of The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist" continues.  Col. Ricky Gibbs stated in a conference call that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp "did not recant," but that "he does not stand by the story."  "Laughing Wolf," a milblogger at the Blackfive blog, reports that he met Beauchamp and that he is not being held incommunicado.  And, according to Blackfive, there is more to come on the story.

ROXI & ALEX are playpals... but which is more agile?

TWO TIGER CUBS suffered injuries at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo.  Aneighboring amle tiger -- and the cubs' mother -- are suspects.  Both baby tigers are said to be recovering well from surgeries.

A BIRD CRASH caused an aircraft to turn back just after take off when it cracked the windshield and injured the co-pilot.

THINK LIKE A CAT:  A Certified Animal Behavior Consultant explains why cats always seem to end up in the lap of the  visitor who's allergic or doesn't like cats.

TROUSER SNAKE Kills Cambodian Man.  I'm not even going to try to top that headline.

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Iron & Wine, Animal Collective, Augie March, Bear Rescue   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 01, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS:  The clip for "I'm Impressed" is a Greco-Roman epic... with robots and tanks.

THE PIPETTES have been forced to delay their US tour until Oct. 25  in L.A. due to visa problems, but will be announcing rescheduled tour dates ASAP.  Their debut LP finally reaches the US tomorrow, so this gives folks more time to hear them, too.  And I won't miss Tuesday's installment of The War on PBS.

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff talks to Filter about the general musical influences on The Stage Names album and his fave lyricists.  He talks to the Philadelphia Daily news about some of the songs on the album, with a number of movie references in the answers.  The latter raises my suspicion that referring to Okkervil as a "mid-level band" in "Unless It's Kicks" is an allusion to Almost Famous.

IRON & WINE played DC's 9:30 Club Saturday night, so you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.

JENS LEKMAN is "encouraging journalists to make up stories" about him.  He also tells London's Guardian that he writes songs to force himself to do things, or to cheer himself up.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE played DC's 9:30 Club Friday night, so you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.  The band was also briefly profiled in the NY Daily News last Friday.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel has co-writing credits on four of the troubled singer's new tracks... and "French Dog Blues" isn't bad.

FEIST did an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream from NPR.  In its second week on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, "1 2 3 4" has shot up to No. 28 from a No. 61 debut, on the strength of that Apple iPod Nano commercial. Its digital sales have almost doubled, from 41K downloads to 73K.

NELLE McKAY talks to the Boston Globe about working with respected jazz cats like sax men Phil Woods and David Liebman and quirky vocalist Bob Dorough on her third album.  The 80-something Dorough mentored her as a teen, and is also the voice to Schoolhouse Rock favorites like "Conjunction Junction."

AUGIE MARCH (whose name comes from the book "The Adventures of Augie March" by Saul Bellow) stopped by The Current for an chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

BONO was in Philadelphia on Thursday night to accept the Liberty Award for his humanitarian work in Africa, but it was the current political unrest in Burma that was on his mind as he addressed the audience, which included one of last year's recipients, former President George H. W. Bush.

JOHN VANDERSLICE talks about the value of changing styles with the Washington Square News (Thx, LHB) and acting as an unstable narrator with Artvoice.

PAMELA ANDERSON & RICK SOLOMON (the French Hotel's sextape co-star) got hitched, according to the paparazzi at X17.  At the very least, they got a marriage license.  Third time's a charm for both of them, I'm sure.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  In a major upset, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson had the winning Game Plan, beating The Kingdom at the cineplex by 22.7 million to 17,7 million.  The two were neck-and-neck on Friday, but The Game Plan pulled away when the familiues poured in on Sat and Sun.  It also spells trouble for The Kingdom, which reportedly has an 70-80 million budget to recoup.  Resident Evil: Extinction plummeted a huge 66 percent to earn a mere 8 mil in its second frame; Good Luck Chuck took in 6.3 mil on a 54 percent decline.  3:10 to Yuma rounded out the Top Five with 4.2 mil; the Western's total is 43.9 mil, which means it will likely break even in the US.  The Brave One continued to lose ground, earning 3.7 million on a 50 percent drop.  Mr.  Woodcock made 3 mil; it's 19.6 million total to date makes it unlikely to break even.  David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises dropped 49 percent to make 2.9 million.  Sydney White also drops 49 percent with a take of 2.7 million.  Across the Universe rounds out the Top Ten by growing 5 percent on a wider release, but its overall total is only 5.5 million.  Feast of Love opened in 11th place.


BRITNEY SPEARS:  According to the uber-reliable Life and Style Weekly, friends and family are desperate for her to join Lindsay Lohan in rehab, after mama Lynne Spears received a phone call about the pop tart taking Ecstasy -- and anti-anxiety drug Ativan to come down from the Ecstasy.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Her ex-con dad is heading to Utah next week to spend five days of "quality time" with his troubled daughter at the Cirque Lodge rehab facility.

EVA LONGORIA has a sex tape?  Inquiring minds want to know.


TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Publicist David Hans Schmidt, who pleaded guilty last month to attempting to extort Tom Cruise, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Phoenix home on Friday.  Tom Cruise is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

DAVE NAVARRO, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction guitarist, has directed and co-written his first pr0n flick.

BRADGELINA:  Contrary to prior reports, Jolie has not been fired as the face of St. John... yet.  Jolie and Jennifer Aniston now have more than Pitt in common -- they have just scooped the joint title for Most Powerful Actress awarded by Guinness World Records.

NICOLE RICHIE has enrolled in an alcohol education class... though I would have thought she could teach one.

SHILPA SHETTY'S UK spokeswoman has denied that the Bollywood star was arrested in India over her kiss with Richard Gere.

OWEN WILSON, recovering from a suicide attempt, was visited by comedian Steve Coogan, whom Courtney Love claims dragged Wilson into a hard-living party lifestyle helped accelerate his downward spiral into drugs and depression.  Coogan has denied the accusations.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  A Saudi man divorced his wife for watching alone a television program presented by a male, an act he deemed immoral, the Al Shams newspaper reported on Saturday.  ALso:  London's Independent reports that recent information on the kingdom's efforts to crack down on terrorist financing is almost non-existent.

TERROR in the US:  Investor's Business Daily looks at evidence from the Holy Land Foundation trial showing that several leaders of the Muslim establishment in the US over the last decade conspired to infiltrate the US political system, change Middle East policy, gradually Islamize America, and hatched a plot to fund overseas terrorists.

IRAN:  On Saturday, Iran's parliament approved a nonbinding resolution labeling the CIA and the US Army "terrorist organizations," in apparent response to a US Senate resolution seeking to give a similar designation to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.  Call it the "I Know You Are, But What Am I? Act" of 2007.

IRAQ:  A senior leader of AQI responsible for bringing foreign fighters into the country and seizing and executing US soldiers in 2006 was killed Monday in a US airstrike.  A new GAO report found the average number of daily attacks decreased to 123 in August 2007 -- the lowest level since June 2006.  The report noted that attacks in Iraq normally increase during the month of Ramadan, but so far violence during Ramadan has fallen by almost 40 percent from last year.  US military deaths in Iraq stood at a 14-month low on Sunday.  Indeed, in September, violence was down in every category, especially deaths due to al Qaeda's suicide bombers and to Shiite death squads in Baghdad.

IRAQ II:   More than 30000 tribal members in Iraq have come forward to work with US and Iraqi forces over the past six months, a phenomenon that is spreading beyond Anbar province to Baghdad and other regions of the country.  The Iraqi gov't, at the urging of the US, has ordered Iraqi army and police units to integrate the volunteers into their operations.  However, questions remain over whether these alliances will hold, whether they can improve security in mixed-sectarian areas such as Diyala province and Baghdad, and whether they will promote stability and national reconciliation or spur Iraq's fragmentation by proliferating armed groups.  The "Concerned Citizens" movement has spread to cities like Tarmiyah and Baghdad, but have yet to get official sanction from the Iraqi gov't.

A BEAR under a bridge near Lake Tahoe is rescued after dangling for almost 24 hours.  Let's go to the video.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A flock of green sheep...explained at the link.

BUNNY DUMPING:  Is there anything lower?

MISSOURI, now with more beaver than you can shake a gnewed stick at.

MATTHEW HIASL PAN -- a 26-year-old chimpanzee -- has been denied human status by an Austrian court.  Animal rights activists vow to appeal, because the chimp really has no interest in the matter.

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dBs, New Pollard and Springsteen, Cutout Bin, 2-Headed Turtle   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 28, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE dB's!  The influential, but oh-so-unlucky modern pop combo has been largely missing from the Tube, but we now can enjoy "Happenstance," "Bad Reputation" and "Living A Lie" from Sweden circa 1982.  Post-Stamey, we have the infamous, banned-from-MTV clip for "Amplifier," plus live takes of "She Got Soul" and "Not Cool" from the legendary Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ circa 1986.  From the same time period, you can see the band help close down Folk City in NYC with a cover of Bob Dylan's "Positively 4th Street."  BONUS:  The fabulous Marti Jones and Windbreaker Tim Lee cover the dB's classic "Neverland," also from 1986.

ROBERT POLLARD, ever-prolific, is releasing not one, but two albums on October 9th, Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love, and Standard Gargoyle Decisions, but you can stream them now.  Bob says "one focuses on his super-catchy pop side the other his more down and dirty rock side. It's like Beatles Vs. Stones! A battle to the death and, of course, Bob emerges as the victor."

SPOON:  Britt Daniel and Jim Eno answer six questions for Rolling Stone, which also hosts a live video of "Don't Make Me a Target" from Austin City Limits.  The band's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga album is still streaming in full from Merge Records.

THE WEAKERTHANS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream via MPR, while NPR serves up an audio feature on the new Reunion Tour album, full of songs about "bus drivers in Winnipeg, men in curling clubs, Bigfoot spotters and Edward Hopper paintings. "  At the moment, you can stream the whole album at TheirSpace.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and the E STREET BAND:  Magic comes out next Tuesday, but you can stream the whole thing today via Q104.3 out of NYC.  Yep, I'm Mr. Full Album Streams for the weekend today.

TEGAN & SARA cover "Umbrella," the Rhianna hit that sparked converstaions about cover songs at NPR and here.

FIONN REGAN:  The Irish singer-song writer is getting written up in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Boston Globe, where names like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett are being tossed around.  He's signed to the Lost Highway label, home to Lucinda Williams, Van Morrison and Willie Nelson.  So you may want to stream a few tracks at FionnSpace.

THE GO! TEAM mastermind Ian Parton lists a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's Guest List feature.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB:  Heather Browne scored her own interview with the lads last week, with a bit on the value of speaking out.  I thank Frank Yang for reminding me.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Quincy Jones - The Streetbeater; Todd Rundgren - Wolfman Jack; Sam & Dave - Hold On, I'm Coming (Live); Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On (Live); KT Tunstall - I Want You Back (Live; Jackson 5); The Soul Survivors - Expressway To Your Heart; Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs - Wooly Bully; Question Mark and The Mysterians - 96 Tears; The Who - Happy Jack; The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset; The Pretenders - Kid; Eddie & The Hot Rods - Do Anything You Wanna Do; Nick Lowe - Heart Of The City; The Members - Working Girl; Art Brut - Formed a Band; The Replacements - Favorite Thing (slightly nsfw); The Lemonheads - Confetti; The Bangles - Walk Like An Egyptian; The Flaming Lips - Just Like Starting Over (J. Lennon); Voice of the Beehive - I Think I Love You (yes, that one); Foo Fighters - Baker Street (G. Rafferty); The Byrds - The Christian Life (G. Parsons vox); Beach Boys - Sail On, Sailor; Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone; Neil Diamond - Cherry, Cherry; The Replacements - Route 66; and Beat Farmers - Happy Boy.

THE KINGDOM:  Seeing this movie was like going to a restaurant, getting an okay appetizer, followed by a meal that is rather good, until you find a dead cockroach in the bottom of your dish.  The movie opens with a brief, flashy, over-simplified history of US-Saudi relations  (e.g., the 1973 oil embargo had as much or more to do with US economic policies, such as price controls and dropping the gold standard, as with supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War).  What follows is a largely well-made police procedural-turned-action flick. Although one could question how helpful the Saudis are in reality, the movie depicts a range of Saudi characters -- a prince, terrorists, a reformed terrorist, competent police, incompetent police, etc.  There is a range of Americans also -- with some depicted less favorably than the FBI investigators who are the focus of the story.  Unfortunately, the final scene imposes a sense of moral equivalence between the FBI and al-Qaeda that does not follow from its own plot and characters, let alone reality.  Neverheless, the suspense, action and chemistry of the ensemble make the other 97 percent of The Kingdom highly entertaining.

NOW SHOWING:  Ironically, The Kingdom is scoring a mere 45 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, primarily because the critics wanted it to be as heavy-handed and ideological as the final scene, as opposed to a conventional action movie with a Saudi backdrop.  In contrast, In the Valley of Elah, which ham-fistedly suggests the Iraq war is turning US soldiers into immoral, dysfunctional, drug-addicted criminals -- and takes liberties with the facts of the true story  to do so -- reaches 700 screens this weekend with 69 percent.  The Rock tries Disney comedy in The Game Plan, which is scoring 30 percent.  The romantic drama Feast of Love is scoring 56 percent overall, though 67 percent from the "Cream of the Crop" critics.

HOLLYWOOD DUST-UP:  In the L.A. Times, Andrew Breitbart and David Ehrenstein are debating the fall season of antiwar flicks, the role filmmakers should and do play in the domestic political debate, and Hollywood values.

ROGER EBERT, icymi, is America's most influential pundit, according to Forbes magazine.  Keep in mind that what is actually being measured is awareness and likability measurements among respondents within the demographic gold mine of advertisers--those between the ages of 25-54, with a college degree, making at least 50K annually.  So the list tends to exclude polarizing figures like Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann.

KNIGHT RIDER is returning as a two-hour backdoor pilot -- nttawwt -- with tentative plans to air it as a telepic on NBC later this season. 

MAD MEL UPDATE:  Mel Gibson is ignoring safety warnings from the US government and is going ahead with plans to move his wife Robyn and seven children 300 miles away from their home in California to a 26-million-dollar ranch in a rural area of Costa Rica that is known as "bandit territory."

PAMELA ANDERSON and DENISE RICHARDS have been offered a million to strip for Playboy... together.  No doubt it would promote their upcoming movie Blonde And Blonder.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie has been fired as the face of St. John, for whom she'd been modeling since September 2005.

LINDSAY LOHAN, contrary to prior reports, will not be leaving the Cirque Lodge rehab program in Utah this weekend, according to her mother.  Meanwhile, Jackass star Steve-O told Howard Stern on his radio show that Lohan once took a bag of cocaine from him.

HUGH GRANT stars in the real life story of three ladies and a taxicab.  Pics at the link.

SHILPA SHETTY was arrested at the Mumbai Airport in India over her infamous clinch with Richard Gere, after airport officials said she was still wanted in connection with obscenity charges.  Immigration officials had no record of the Supreme Court ruling which overturned a ban on her leaving the country.  And here I thought US airport security was a mess...

WES ANDERSON:  New York magazine's profile of the quirky director reads like one of his scripts, complete with a train trip and a virtual cameo from Bill Murray.  Anderson also says Owen Wilson is happy The Darjeeling Limited is being released now (in NYC and LA this weekend).  BTW, the Hotel Chevalier short prequel to The Darjeeling Limited is a free download at iTunes.

FURRIES vs. KLINGONS:  It's a mighty subcultural clash and bowling tournament in Atlanta on Saturday... or is it?  Poster at the link.  (Thanks, Amber.)

TERROR in the US:  Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed -- one of two Egyptian students arrested in Goose Creek, SC after authorities found four PVC pipes containing a mixture of potassium nitrate, kitty litter and sugar in his car's trunk -- reportedly admitted to FBI agents that he made a training video to show people in "Arabic countries" how to use remote-controlled bombs against American soldiers.

IRAN:  France does not believe claims by Pres. Ahmadinejad that his country's nuclear activities are peaceful, President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said Thursday.  Russia opposes new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program at this time because it would undermine a study by the UN atomic watchdog of Iran's activities.

IRAQ:  More than 19000 militants have been killed in fighting with coalition forces since the insurgency began more than four years ago, according to military statistics released for the first time.  The statistics show that 4882 militants were killed in clashes with coalition forces this year, a 25% increase over all of last year.  Saddam Hussein signaled that he was willing to go into exile as long as he could take a billion dollars and information on weapons of mass destruction, according to a report of a Feb. 22, 2003, meeting between Pres. Bush and then-Spanish Pres. Aznar published by El Pais yesterday.  Which raises the questions: why did Saddam attach so much importance to information on Iraq's WMD program, and what message did that send to the West?  Barcepundit has some translation of the El Pais story, with background on the Spanish politics at work. 

IRAQ II:  Iraq's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani met the country's Sunni vice president on Thursday for the first time to discuss "The Iraqi National Compact," a set of 25 political principles unveiled by the largest Sunni Arab party on Wednesday aimed at removing deep mistrust among politicians.  Prime Minister al-Maliki seems to have weathered a political crisis that once threatened to bring down his government, though VP Hashemi's bloc currently remains at odds with the ruling alliance (which may be the impetus for the Compact and sitdown with Sistani).  Thousands of Iraqi Arabs have accepted financial compensation to leave Kirkuk, which leaders of the autonomous Kurdish region are seeking to control.  Tensions between Kirkuk's Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmen communities have risen ahead of a constitutionally mandated popular referendum on the oil-rich city's future, which is supposed to be held this year.  NPR claims that Diyala province remains in turmoil and the local population is increasingly anti-American.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A turtle with two heads.  Story and Video at the link.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: See-through frogs let us observe organs, blood vessels and eggs under the skin without performing dissections.  Pic at the link.

HORSE ROUND-UP:  Someone smuggled a miniature horse in a dog crate onto a plane that landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.  Pics and Video at the link.  Meanwhile, an Oklahoma City hockey coach bit the ear of a horse to stop a potentially dangerous stampede during the recent Oklahoma State Fair.  The hockey coach said his instinct took over.  Yes, really.

FUFI the CAT took a £7,000 private helicopter trip from Rome to Sardinia because it was afraid of planes and boats.

FUGITIVE MONKEY and OWNER are wanted for questioning in Boone County, MO.  Pic at the link.

THREE HOMESICK CROCODILES in Australia have shocked experts by walking 250 miles back "home" after being relocated.  It's like The Incredible Journey, but with crocodiles.

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Editors, Pipettes, Rilo Kiley, Apparitions, Goat Justice League   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, September 27, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE EDITORS, oft compared to Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, Franz Ferdinand and early U2, play the title track from their second LP, "An End Has A Start," on the late night show with the lantern-jawed host.

THE PIPETTES:  As their first full US tour prepares to launch RiotBecki explains to Detroit's Metro Times how The Beatles ruined everything.  That's actually part of the band's standard PR, but the writer actually provides another argument in support of the claim (such as it is).

RILO KILEY played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream the gig on demand via NPR.

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  A judge declared a mistrial in the murder case against legendary pop producer Phil Spector after a jury announced for the second time in eight days that it was hopelessly deadlocked at 10-2.  The jury's inability to reach a verdict capped a five-month trial that played like a Hollywood film noir classic -- with a twist of the bizarre.  Also, a death threat against Judge Fiedler was posted on MySpace.

IRON & WINE:  Sam Beam (again) defends licensing his version of the Postal Service hit "Such Great Heights" for an M&Ms commercial: "I eat M&Ms... There's no reason to be hoity-toity about it if you eat them..."

PETER BJORN & JOHN stopped by The Current for a chat and some whistling you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE APPARITIONS break out the stop-motion animation for "God Monkey Robot," part of what the band calls its "spacey golden pop rock."  You can also stream it, along with three more, at ApparitionSpace.  Though I first ran accross 'em when Heather Browne posted "Electricity + Drums" last month, I thank Amber for reminding me to blurb 'em.

BLONDE ON BLONDE:  Just a day after that video of Bob Dylan & Jack White from Nashville, LHB turned up a great piece in the Oxford American about the recording of Dylan's classic double-LP in Music City.  And don't tell anyone you don't own Blonde on Blonde.

THE GO! TEAM:  Ian Parton and Ninja talk to the Scotsman, with Ninja claiming she'll do a solo album someday.

THE WHO are the subject of two movies, "Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who" and "Six Quick Ones," due Nov. 6 on DVD.  Producer Nigel Sinclair tells Billboard.com that "almost half of the (clips) have never been seen before in any context," including film shot by managers Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert in 1964, when the Who were still known as the High Numbers.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel is saying she's engaged to Kills guitarist Jamie Hince in part as a way of letting Doherty know it is over between them - forever.

BRITNEY SPEARS hides from the paparazzi in the bathroom at Quizno's subs.  Let's go to the video.

JESSICA & ASHLEE SIMPSON have not turned into Britney-scale trainwrecks, and creepy dad-manager Joe takes the credit.  But Ashlee's nose job?  He had no say about it.

NATALIE PORTMAN:  You've heard about her nude scenes in Hotel Chevalier -- the short film played at festivals before Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited?  Let's go to the video! (nsfw, natch.)

BRADGELINA:  The New York Observer observes the goings-on around Maddox Jolie-Pitt starting school at the Lycée Français de New York on East 75th Street.

PAM ANDERSON:  Friends are worried about her increasingly wild behavior, especially now that she's hanging with the French Hotel's sex-tape partner, Rick Salomon.  And she's telling pals alternately that she is either engaged or already married to Salomon, whom she's only known about six weeks.

THE FRENCH HOTEL, meanwhile, is headed to Rwanda as part of her new, postjail commitment to spotlight what she feels are important causes around the world.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise plans to build a ten-million-dollar bunker to protect himself from the return of Xenu under his Telluride, Colorado, mansion, a source tells the ever-reliable Star magazine.

BRIDGET MOYNIHAN debuts her son John in OK! magazine, with no sign of baby daddy Tom Brady.

JOHN McTIERNAN, director of hit films including Die Hard and Predator, will spend four months behind bars for lying to the FBI about hiring the indicted private investigator Anthony Pellicano.  And that's federal time, not L.A.-days-equal-minutes time.

KEVIN SPACEY becomes the latest actor to meet with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, though perhaps he was just getting tips for when he reprises his role as Lex Luthor in the next Superman flick.

TALES OF THE HOFF:  The E! channel is readying a a Ryan Seacrest-produced scripted comedy starring David Hasselhoff, following the dark, twisted trials and tribulations of an international icon as he navigates Hollywood and the world of dating after divorce.  Hasselhoff will play the title role in the project, which insiders said will have a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" feel.  Ooga-Chaka!

JESSICA BIEL is in talks to play Wonder Woman in Warner Bros.' all-star superhero film Justice League of America, reports Variety.  The movie is set to be directed by George Miller, who gave us both Happy Feet and the Mad Max movies.

CARTOON JIHAD:  In the interest of fairness, I must report that a Swedish artist's sculpture depicting Christ as a well-endowed dog vanished within hours of the sculpture being installed on a roundabout.  OTOH, it does not seem to have sparked international protest, arson and murder.

IRAN:  Robert Stengel writes for Time magazine about the swank dinner Pres. Ahmadinejad threw as part of "a media campaign that - in its shrewdness, relentlessness, and quest for attention - would rival Angelina Jolie on a movie junket. And like any international figure, Mr. Ahmadinejad hones his performance for multiple audiences: in this case, the journalists and academics who can filter his speech and ideas for a wider American audience."  As Stengel then proceeds to regurgitate Ahmedinejad's talking points with not even a hint of skepticism, it seems to be working.

IRAQ:  A suicide bomber smashed his car into the house of a tribal sheikh in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, killing five people and wounding nine; it is not known if the sheikh was among the dead or injured.  This is near where AQI blew up nearly 400 Yezidis in August.  Hundreds of Iraqi police recruits, some of them coaxed back from the anti-US insurgency, graduated on Tuesday and pledged to help stabilize the volatile Abu Ghraib region just west of Baghdad.  Bill Roggio reports on three Baghdad neighborhoods thought to be among the last bastions of AQI in the capital.  The Council on Foreign Relations weighs in on the debate over casualty statistics, concluding (as I did earlier), that  the trend in the data as a whole is quite similar across sources.  Two Iraqi parliamentary blocs announced opposition to a plan aiming to subdivide Iraq on ethnic lines that passed the US Senate as a non-binding resolution.  While the US public and policy debate revolves largely around exit strategies and "redeployment," there is apparent consensus among European policy analysts that US troops should remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future.

FIGHTING GIRAFFES!  Let's go to the video!

A 12-FT, 550 LB HAMMERHEAD was caught off the Central Florida coast.  Danny Ficocello pulled the shark in along Flagler Beach without needing a bigger boat.  Video at the link.

PUPPERWARE PARTIES:  The events are ringing up revenues for companies like Shure Pets, based in Chicago.

A CAT sparks a divorce by eating his owner's spouse's parrots.

A PYTHON is no substitute for payment at the Taco Bell drive-thru window in Round Rock, TX.

PYGMY GOATS are legal pets in Seattle thanks to the heroic efforts of the Goat Justice League.

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