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The Posies, New Releases, Twofer Tuesday, Hannah the Bulldog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 25, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE POSIES have a lot of cool stuff including MP3s of live acoustic Hollies and Kinks covers up o­n their website. Ken King and the Pavloviches and I saw them play acoustic and were duly impressed; besides, who could cover the Hollies any better (let alone the medley at the end)? Plus, "I May Hate You Sometimes" is o­ne of the best songs the Hollies never wrote.

NEW RELEASES: Bruce Springsteen, Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris, Secret Machines, k.d. lang, and The Coup are streaming in their entirety this week at AOL Music. There's a cheekily-titled UK-only EP from Arctic Monkeys, a new album from Eleventh Dream Day, some Elephant 6-style psychedelic indie folk from Elf Power, the remix album from Feist, some Nick Cave-meets-Brian Wilson with a dash of old skool New Wave madness from The Fever, angular new wave from The Rakes a less-trippy-than-usual outing from Starlight Mints and the Tom Verlaine albums. There's a compilation of Leadbelly: Important Recordings 1934-1949. There are also a bunch of "Stax Profiles" -- Albert King, Booker T. & the MG's, Otis Redding and Rufus Thomas. And Collectors' Choice Music is putting out a bunch of KC & the Sunshine Band!

CONSUMER'S GUIDE: Robert Christgau likes the old skool funk of The Coup and the Wire-inspired new wave of The Rakes, among others (see above for links).

BISHOP ALLEN, which is self-releasing an EP for every month in 2006, makes NPR's Song of the Day with "Central Booking," which appears o­n the February EP.

ISLANDS ended their NYC show by leading the crowd into the streets, pied-piper style. Stereogum hooks you up with pics and video.  Hear more at MySpace.

XTC: Marathon Packs is killing music with demos from the Nonsuch album. So for Twofer Tuesday, let's watch "The Mayor of Simpleton" and a tough live version of "Respectable Street."

MATTHEW SWEET talks to Suicide Girls about recording the Sid 'n' Susie album with Susanna Hoffs, the demise of the legendary Western Studios in LA and the surprising success of the Thorns (Sweet, Pete Droge and Shawn Mullins). Hear Sid 'n' Susie at MySpace.

NEKO CASE talks about her Ukranian roots, politcs, Canada, the New Pornographers and more at Wears the Trousers.

CENTRO-MATIC frontman Will Johnson tals to ChartAttack about his many bands, including South San Gabriel and The Undertow Orchestra. Even so, Centro-Matic has put out a dozen albums in a decade, plus the odd cassette and EP. You can hear all of Fort Recovery through Misra Records.

JOSE GONZALEZ talks to Tiny Mix Tapes about doing a world tour for a three-year-old album, lending his music to a commercial and learning he has the No. 1 ringtone in the UK: "Thank you. Yeah, the record's doing well there, but I didn't know..."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Rare and previously unheard tracks from the Libertines and Babyshambles are leaking o­nto the 'net, right from the troubled singer's stolen computer. You can probably stream some Libertines in several formats from the Hype Machine. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel could be charged with drug offenses in the next few days, according to reports. The police witness is Rebecca White, who also claims that she and Moss o­nce had a lesbian romp in a hotel room. NTTAWWT. Indeed, wouldn't that have been a better use of video than Kate blowing rails in some recording studio?

DENISE RICHARDS and CHARLIE SHEEN: The nastiness continues. Richards' bombshell allegations (which I forgot to mention include the claim that Sheen apparently demanded Richards get an abortion when he learned she was pregnant with their first child) are followed by pics of Richards caught cannodling with Richie Sambora, Bon Jovi guitarist and future ex of Heather Locklear, who was recently caught canoodling with comedian David Spade. Entertainment Tonight is Sheen-friendly, not even detailing Richards' allegations. It's probably a coincidence that ET and CBS, which runs Sheen's sitcom, are both owned by Viacom, right?

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise's crazy train crashed into the Mission: Impossible 3 presser in Rome. I guess Cruise had enough of that "staying at home to be with Holmes and the baby" line he was feeding everyone last week. Maybe he was again possessed by the spirit of wanderlust that had him hitchhiking with the men picking up prostitutes outside NYC's Holland Tunnel when he was a struggling actor.

THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS nominees are announced and voting has begun. Toughest to call will be Best Kiss, where Bradgelina and the Brokeback Cowboys are facing off.

SIENNA MILLER and JUDE LAW were snapped together agian, along with Law's kids.

BRITNEY SPEARS had a blow-up with hubby Spenderline in Vegas. She left Nero's restaurant at Caesars Palace in tears and skipped his gig at Pure. Sure, she could have turned up at the show just to flip him off, but having a fight was a good excuse to avoid the undoubted aural assault of her talentless spouse.

BRADGELINA: Rumors of a Monday wedding swirled as the US media started a bidding war over the rights to spy photos to appear in Huisgenoot this week. BTW, E! News Live was suggesting that pics of Baby Bradgelina or the Tom-kitten could fetch a cool million. And Jolie's lesbian lover claims she was also a booty call for Madonna. Tick-tock o­n those 15 minutes, Jenny.

GILLIAN ANDERSON: The divorce is out there in the court files. But the good news is she has two graphic sex scenes in her upcoming movie, Straightheads.

CARMEN ELECTRA claims hubby Dave Navarro helps keep her in tip-top condition. And that's not even counting the aerial circus hoop.

101 MOVIES YOU MUST SEE BEFORE YOU DIE, courtesy of Jim Emerson, who blogs at Roger Ebert's site. "It's not my idea of The Best Movies Ever Made... They're the common cultural currency of our time, the basic cinematic texts that everyone should know, at minimum, to be somewhat 'movie-literate.'"

LOST is a clip show this week, so fans have to make do with news of the "Lost Experience" — an Internet game that will feature a parallel story line that will give insight into the top-rated show. Plus, news that Evangeline Lilly intends to continue doing missionary work.

THE 20-MILLION-DOLLAR WOMAN is not Julia Roberts... at least not when it comes to celebrity endorsement deals. That honor goes to Catherine Zeta-Jones, who tops a list compiled by Adweek magazine.

WES ANDERSON directed JASON SCHWARTZMAN in Rushmore. The duo is reunited in a new ad for American Express. No word o­n what they were paid, but it was probably less than Catherine Zeta-Jones.

IRAQ: With al-Maliki the presumptive prime minister, Mohammed at ITM begins to look at party posturing over cabinet positions. Defense, Interior and Oil will be the o­nes to watch. Bill Roggio discovers that bin Laden did mention Iraq in his latest tape, calling Baghdad the epicenter of jihad. AQ No. 2 Zawahiri calls it "the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era." So why was OBL was urging jihadis to go to the Sudan instead?

BIN LADEN IN THE MEDIA: Speaking of OBL, while Reuters has a policy against calling anyone a terrorist, did you know that the AP and AFP refer to OBL as a "Saudi dissident?" I hear people -- including folks at the wire services -- say that o­ne person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter, but when OBL makes these tapes, there's no mention of freedom o­n them. If his side ever won, these journalists would soon find themselves beheaded, having outlived their usefulness to his propaganda efforts.

IRAN IN THE MEDIA: The AP notes that Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad said o­n o­n Monday that "We say that this fake regime (Israel) cannot not logically continue to live." The AP refers to this as "criticism" of Israel. But at least the AP reported the comment, which is more than Reuters could manage.

HANNAH claimed the top prize in the 27th annual "Beautiful Bulldog" contest in Des Moines, IA, which marks the beginning of the Drake Relays, o­ne of the nation's oldest and most prestigious track and field meets.

SNUPPY, the world's first and o­nly cloned dog, celebrated his first birthday with ice cream and sausages.

A MALLARD has made a nest for herself and her babies-to-be in a Minnesota hardware store's garden department. And why not? It's outdoorsy, but much more comfy. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (does Doug Newman still work there?) said the birds are federally protected and their nests cannot be relocated until the eggs hatch.

MORMON CRICKETS are munching their way across millions of acres in the arid West. I thought that we expect the Mormons to travel across the arid West.

SHEEP are billboards in the Netherlands. Burma-Shear!

BABY PIGMY HIPPO debuts at the Tokyo Zoo. Awww...

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Ronnie Spector, Mountain Goats, the Arsenal Squirrel and Mini-Donkeys   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 24, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


JENNY LEWIS, in the midst of an international tour, tells Manchester o­nline her solo album was inspired by Laura Nyro and the Sun Records sound. You can hear a couple of examples of that sound via MySpace.

ANDREW BIRD talks to Billboard about the recording of his next full-length album, due early next year. Bird plans o­n previewing new material during his stints at music festivals this summer, including Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza.

RONNIE SPECTOR talks about her past with producer Phil and what London's Independent calls "her surprisingly good new rock'n'roll album," The Last of the Rock Stars -- which comes out in the UK in May (with no US release date yet).

COLDPLAY and JACK WHITE are among those making the Sunday Times Rich List for 2006.

FIERY FURNACES: the brother-sister duo take The New York Times to a Greek restaurant: "This is really hard for us... Matt and I see each other so much that the last thing we want to do o­n a Friday night is go out. We don't go out socially."

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle talks to Harmonium about pop masterpieces, the first 45s he heard, filesharing, and more...

GNARLS BARKLEY -- a collaboration of DJ/producer Danger Mouse with Cee-Lo -- is Britain's current buzz band. The duo's debut single, "Crazy," made NPR's Song of the Day and rightly so -- there's no reason this song couldn't be a monster worldwide hit with mainstream listeners. The video is a Rohrschach test. The whole album is streaming via MySpace, including a cover of the Violent Femmes' "Gone Daddy Gone."

DANIEL JOHNSON: London's Guardian interviews and profiles the manic depressive lo-fi musician in connection with the award-winning documentary, The Devil and Daniel Johnston.

EMMYLOU HARRIS and MARK KNOPFLER talk to London's Telegraph about their new album, All The Roadrunning: "Emmy brings such a wealth of experience that it's like a director having the finest actress for a film," says Knopfler, who wrote the bulk of the songs. They also talked to the Independent. The title track is streaming in Real format from the front page of Emmylou's website. And there's more to stream from this promo, including "This Is Us."

THE DOORS plan to announce today that will soon make more than a dozen concerts from 1967-1970 available for download from th band's website. They are using the same tech companies as Pearl Jam: "Anything that Pearl Jam does, I'm down with, because they have so much integrity," drummer John Densmore says. "Pearl Jam is always trying to find new things and explore new technology, and I like that." BTW, the band still sells over a million albums yearly.

THE RAMONES: Too Tough to Die, a documentary chronicling the last 21/2 days of Johnny Ramone's life, premieres this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The doc is directed by Mandy Stein, whose father, Seymour Stein, signed the band to Sire Records and whose mother co-managed the group before she became a top real estate broker.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer is planning a Johnny Cash-style prison gig for his former cellmates... provided he can stay out of prison himself. Ex-Libetine bandmate Carl Barat talks to the Guardian about the good old days with Doherty: "Well, I don't know. The good old days never seem good at the time, do they?"

DENISE RICHARDS and CHARLIE SHEEN are headed toward extreme nastiness in their divorce, with Richards alleging Sheen physically abused her, made death threats and that his alleged pornography and prostitution habits have put their children at risk (Sheen denies all, natch). Richards says in her 17-page declaration that during their reconciliation last September, she discovered Sheen was visiting websites with "very young girls, who looked underage to me, with pigtails, braces, no pubic hair, performing oral sex with each other." Richards also claims that Sheen accessed gay porn featuring very young men. Life & Style magazine recently reported that Sheen met a much younger woman o­n an internet dating site. Sheen was ordered o­n Friday to stay at least 300 feet from Richards, her home, her car and their two daughters except during supervised visits with the kids. Looks like Sheen picked the wrong week to launch a kids' clothing line... or Denise picked the right o­ne to make these charges.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Unsurprisingly, Silent Hill won the weekend with 20 million in receipts, right in line with other recent horror films directly aimed at teens, like Hostel and When a Stranger Calls. Scary Movie 4 came in second, followed by The Sentinel. The other wide release, American Dreamz, managed o­nly 3.6 million, which must be disappointing, even o­n a 17 million budget.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise's young neighbors are making a small fortune selling lemonade and cookies to the paparazzi outside the actor's home in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, israelis now say that the name "Suri" means "get out of here" in Hebrew.

NICOLE KIDMAN has stated through her publicist that she never congratulated Tom Cruise or Katie Holmes o­n the birth of their new little baby Suri. Press reports had her wishing mother and daughter well, but not mentioning her crazy ex-husband. That's a compound Me-OW!

CELEB SCIENTOLOGISTS: KNBC in LA has an extensive slideshow of current and former members of the controversial church.

GOSSIPOLA: The alleged payola scandal involving Jared Paul Stern has prompted the New York Post's Page Six to axe all of its freelance employees.

BRADGELINA: The couple has gotten Namibian authorities to eject four photogs from the country or face arrest. Jolie is buying Richard Branson's man-made version of Ethiopia, located in Dubai. She also plans to take out a large ad in USA Today this week, urging Congress to fully fund peacekeepers in Darfur, Sudan. She reportedly notes in the ad, "I'm an actress, and certainly no foreign policy expert." No kidding. The US has, through mustachioed UN Amb. John Bolton, been seeking action o­n Darfur (which some pundits believe to be mild) and it has been Russia and China blocking UN action, just as they did with Iraq and are doing with Iran.

BRITNEY SPEARS: According to the National Enquirer, the pop tart's former bodyguards are gearing up to tell all about her drug use, sex life and her turbulent relationship with hubby Kevin Federline.

SHANNEN DOHERTY may have found her dream TV job at last.

UNITED 93: Iraqi actor Lewis Alsamari, who plays a hijacker in the movie opening Friday, must be pretty good -- he has been denied entry into the US to attend the premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

JULIANNE MOORE speaks out about the Skeletor diet prevalent in figure-conscious Hollywood.

THE FRENCH HOTEL nearly electrocuted herself by drunkenly jumping into a swimming pool after a garden light had fallen into it.

LINDSAY LOHAN has set her sights o­n Jessica Simpson's future ex, Nick Lachey? That would be Young Hollywood's reality version of Bellus and Zira.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar wonders whether Jawad al-Maliki will be any more acceptable to the Kurds and Sunnis than al-Jaafari, and has a rundown of the latest meeting of parliament. I think al-Maliki probably needs to find at least another six votes to become Prime Minister. Informal polls of young officers suggest that about 25 percent believed that Rumsfeld should resign, and 75 percent believed that he should remain. Many officers who blame Rumsfeld are not faulting President Bush, and some criticize the retired generals who said nothing before the invasion. The US had an interpreter pick up a phone call from insurgents, who stupidly kept calling back to ask what the Americans were doing and announced they would attack in ten minutes. And how does the enemy views things? It appears that bin Laden is urging fighters to go to the Sudan.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE OIL: Take a look at a graph comparing Pres. Bush's approval rating with gas prices. And there's not much Bush can do o­n a long-term basis about surging demand from China and India outstripping supply. Greens have noted that India's use of oil has doubled since 1992, while China went from near self-sufficiency in the mid-1990s to the world's second largest oil importer in 2004. Congressional Democrats propose boosting car fuel efficiency standards. But CAFE standards were imposed in 1974 and the US drives now twice as much and is more dependent o­n foreign oil, which suggests that CAFE standards are not much of a conservation measure. What both parties would like is to repeal the law of supply and demand.

THE ARSENAL SQUIRREL: Friday, I had an article o­n the squirrel brought a Champions League soccer semi-final to a standstill. The video is o­n YouTube.

PUG PUPPY: Adopted as part of a cat's second litter. Pic at the link.

WALLABYS are the newest weapon against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

ROBOT SNAKES may eventually slither through collapsed buildings in search of trapped victims.

MINI-DONKEYS: Could anyone stop from uttering, "Awwwww," and smiling when nudged by a velvety dark nose overshadowed by enormous fuzzy ears?

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Catfish Haven, Guillemots, The Wrens and a Transgendered Hen   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Keep Katie Quiet by catching the crazy pills, or she will fall into the clutches of Xenu!

CATFISH HAVEN: It may be some comment o­n the Internet Age that it took Frank, a Canadian blogger, to alert me to this Chicago band, which is kinda like Son Volt, if Farrar had been a little influenced by Stax/Volt. You can stream a few tracks via MySpace and download them from the band's website.

THE VILLAGE VOICE: The axe is swinging at the venerable alt-weekly, with new owners firing music editor and writer Chuck Eddy and stripping Robert Christgau of his editing position, though perhaps not his writing position.

THE NIGHTS ARE GETTING LONGER: It won't be long 'till Summer comes, now that the Boys are here again.

SMOOSH: The tween duo has signed with indie label Barsuk -- current home to Nada Surf, Starlight Mints, and Mates Of State and original home to Death Cab For Cutie -- and already has album and tour details.

MORRISSEY: As Jon Pratt is fond of saying, it's hard to be a prophet in your hometown. So it's no surprise that London's Telegraph writes of his Manchester gig: "To anyone who wasn't a foaming-mouthed fan, it might feel odd to watch a man of Morrissey's age and bulk - he now looks somewhere between a stouter Ted Hughes and a wardrobe disguised as Herman Munster - prancing and preening like he did as a sapling-thin youth..." But the review does improve from there. That review does not mention Moz's own o­n-stage snark against Radio 1 and Bono.

MARK MOTHERSBAUGH talks about his first major art exhibition in England, TV and movie scoring and Devo 2.0. I think he'd like you to know him for Pee Wee's Playhouse and The Royal Tenenbaums than for Herbie: Fully Loaded or The Ringer (starring Johnny Knoxville).

GUILLEMOTS played the World Cafe, which is apt, as the members hail from all over the globe. Their mini-set is streaming from NPR, with a bonus track. The first song is a new song that sounds like a trippy version of U2.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Early o­n, Pate would cover a few vintage U2 tunes, though they weren't really vintage then. Here's U2 playing "Street Mission," a song from the band's second demo, which was played live o­nly a handful of times (probably rightly so). It's from 1978, but the lads are sporting some proto-80's bad fashion and hair. BONUS: The Beat Farmers used to do an a cappella Led Zeppelin medley, but I didn't know U2 would stoop that low (though "Bullet the Blue Sky" should have been a hint).

BEN FOLDS liked his cab driver's harmonica playing so much that he invited the cabbie to sit in o­n his band's gig at the Wharton Center in Lansing, MI.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: The newly-released A Blessing and a Curse is garnering generally favorable reviews via Metacritic. I'm inclined to agree with the Pitchfork review: "(F)or the first time in the group's decade of existence, they've made an album that doesn't entirely live up to their reputation." The Flagpole review is much the same, though it's a bit early to start comparing DBT to post-Exile o­n Main Street Rolling Stones. The material is stronger than that overall and there are several really good tracks. Fortunately, you can hear the whole album through the weekend at AOL Music and form your own opinion.

SHE WANTS REVENGE is mocked by the ghost of Ian Curtis, who even takes a jab at the band's MySpace page.

THE WRENS impressed me at last year's Intonation Festival, but their stuff is hard to find. Good Hodgkins is killing music with alternate versions of tracks from the highly-acclaimed Meadowlands. The more law-abiding can stream the tracks via the Hype Machine.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The BBC interviews the troubled singer's fans as he escapes jail time again, but the photo taken outside the courthouse reveals a deathly pallor. He was put o­n a two-year supervision order, given 18 months in drug rehabilitation, and banned from driving for six months. Doherty was then arrested in east London a few hours later o­n suspicion of drugs possession with intent to supply.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: London's Sun reports details o­n the silent birth in accordance with Scientology guidelines and says Cruise is self-deprecatingly claiming to have been "jumping o­n couches" since Holmes gave birth. E! channel gossip Ted Casablanca, otoh, says Cruise's reppers clammed up o­n the subject. Meanwhile, people continue to ponder the baby's name, Suri. It turns out that Suri's name can be traced to "Sarah," which in Hebrew o­nce meant "princess" or "noblewoman," but by such a circuitous route that the connection is lost o­n most Israelis. FilmStew notes that "Suri Cruise" is pretty homophonic with "Syracuse," which is where Cruise himself was born. The Gallery of the Absurd has posted the Tom-Rat Family Portrait. World of Wonder has a rather dubious photo of mother and daughter and even more dubious video of Cruise eating the placenta. Cruise's Mission Impossible 3 co-stars duck all talk of the Tom-kitten. And E! News Live had someone from Us Weekly noting that no o­ne has seen Katie's parents since the birth...

NICOLE KIDMAN congratulated Katie Holmes after she gave birth to daughter Suri o­n Tuesday -- but made no mention of her ex-husband. Me-OW!

NOW PLAYING: This week's wide releases in theaters are: Silent Hill, the based-on-a-videogame horror not screened for critics; Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland and Eva Longoria joining the Secret Service for The Sentinel(30 percent Rotten o­n the Tomatometer); and the please-don't-call-it-a-satire mix of pop and politics American Dreamz (36 percent Rotten). Oddly enough, Ebert likes the last two. I may be working o­n this month's book club selection.

SIENNA MILLER has been secretly dating a hunky DKNY model and hotel owner for three weeks, according to London's Mirror. I guess things didn't work out with Hayden Christensen.

JULIA ROBERTS debuts o­n Broadway and the critics who wanted to love her... didn't. Us Weekly and the BBC pick the raspberries.

BRADGELINA: With Princess Tomkitten delivered, Life & Style magazine purports to have details of a planned African Jolie-Pitt wedding, usually performed in the Banti dialect. The couple has denied reports that they are already married. The National Enquirer claims that Jolie plans to dump Pitt when the baby arrives. Jolie supposedly can't deal with Pitt's jealousy after Pitt allegedly found Jolie secretly e-maiing with Colin Farrell. Pitt, ever the architect wannabe, asked people to submit proposals for an environmentally friendly design competition he is sponsoring to rebuild parts of New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina. And Jolie has supposedly agreed to play Lara Croft in another Tomb Raider movie. That's right, Jolie makes movies, doesn't she?

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY gets a dismissal in a lawsuit filed by an obsessed fan claiming that he had raped, drugged and tried to kill her. Then he saved a cat from being set o­n fire by thugs in Sherman Oaks, CA. Alright, Alright, Alright.

JESSICA SIMPSON pulled out of a cover story for the September issue of Vanity Fair magazine because she refused to discuss her painful breakup with Nick Lachey. And she will probably end up playing Lucy Ewing in the Dallas movie o­nce the producers get tired of being turned down by Scarlett Johansson.

TOM HANKS must really be a big fan of ABBA.

WHEN SCANDALS COLLIDE: The New York Times reports that Hollywood PI Anthony Pellicano, currently under federal investigation for wiretapping and other alleged wrongdoing, allegedly tried to shake down billionaire Ron Burkle -- who set up an FBI sting against Page Six staffer Jared Paul Stern o­n an attemped shakedown.

LINDSAY LOHAN was the subject of an intervention by cast members from Saturday Night Live when she hosted last week. I would think the SNL cast knows how to spot when an intervention is warranted.

IRAQ: Prime Minister al-Jaafari cleared the way Thursday for Shiite leaders to withdraw his nomination for a second term, which could break the standoff blocking the formation of a new government. Big Lizards has analysis of likely replacements. US military officials say attacks against Iraq's vital infrastructure have dropped by 60 percent over the last three months, reflecting the development and capabilities of Iraqi security forces. London's Telegraph had a piece o­n Sheikh Osama Jadaan's campaign against foreign jihadis. The Washington Post looks at the fog of war in Baghdad's Adhamiyah neighborhood, while Zayed blogs from the middle of it. The L.A. Times asked Marines in Anbar province about the retired generals' criticism of SecDef Rumsfeld and finds most unimpressed.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: Yesterday, I linked to a Reuters story claiming that two teachers were beheaded in Baghdad. NBC News producer Karl Bostic and others investigated the story and found that nothing happened. Bostic calls it a "classic case of misinformation and bad reporting." Reuters remains in denial.

IRAN plans to step up uranium enrichment work soon and has asked European countries to help in the effort. That sounds crazy, but with Russia continuing to cooperate in constructing the Bushehr nuclear power plant, what's the harm in asking? New satellite imagery indicate Iran has expanded its uranium conversion site at Isfahan and reinforced its Natanz underground uranium enrichment plant against possible military strikes, according to the Institute for Science and International Security. And Iranian scientists are secretly conducting crucial nuclear research and development, using university laboratories as cover to avoid international scrutiny, according to highly placed opposition supporters within the Islamic regime.

DOG gets her head stuck in a pipe, probably chasing a rabbit. The pooch, now named "Piper," was taken to animal control in Fort Worth TX, where vets greased her neck with baby oil and successfully removed the pipe. Let's go to the video.

A HEN, after eight months laying dozens of eggs, suddenly turned into a cockerel -- sprouting a scarlet comb, tufty tail feathers and crowing at dawn. And it happened in the UK, not Sweden!

WERE-RABBIT UPDATE: The Felton were-rabbit remains at large as plans to bring in sharpshooters draw worldwide protest.

RATS are ratting out bombs and landmines in Columbia. Unlike dogs, rats weighing less than half a pound each and "don't trigger any explosions when they walk o­n a mine," said Col. Javier Cifuentes, director of the Sibate police academy, where basic training is taking place.

THE ARSENAL SQUIRREL stunned fans at north London's Highbury stadium by bringing a Champions League soccer semi-final to a standstill, then disappeared into the crowd.

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Sid 'n' Susie, Roy Orbison, Scott McCaughey, a Tough Badger and a Hip Snake   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SID 'N' SUSIE: We can probably be glad that Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs didn't know that Duran Duran, Rush and (soon) Def Leppard have done covers albums, as they might have decided to just have Sweet produce a Hoffs solo album instead of forming Sid 'n' Susie. Blogcritics may be right in saying that Under the Covers, Vol. 1 is never a bad listen nor is it ever a compelling o­ne. But after that, the critics diverge. The selections Newsday liked are the o­nes the Washington Times disliked. FWIW, I tend to agree with the WashTimes and the camp that believes the duo did better with the more obscure covers, such as The Left Banke's "She May Call You Up Tonight," The Zombies' "Care of Cell #44," and the Bee Gees' "Run to Me" (a bit of a cheat, as it was written in 1971). Sweet is apparently to blame for the inclusion of more well-known songs that tend to suffer by comparison to the originals. (reg. req'd, try using ididntknow, whattodo.) Indeed, Pate did a better cover of "The Kids Are Alright" when they felt like it. The Palm Beach Post used the album to profile Hoffs and find out what's new in Bangledom: "I just turned 47, but I don't feel like I am. I feel like the music has kept me young. We play better now, or that's what our longtime crew tells us," she says. "They say, 'Maybe it was the '80s fashions that were truly scary, but you guys look better now.'" Ken King and I saw them a couple of years ago and I tend to agree. While UTC v.1 is not in the league of The Lost Weekend by Danny & Dusty (made up of members from Green o­n Red, Dream Syndicate and Long Ryders), it's a pleasant platter. It's streaming in full this week at AOL Music; after that, you'll have to try the clips at the Sid 'n' Susie website and the three full tracks at MySpace.

BANGLES and GO-GOS are teaming with the new CW network for a reality show designed to launch America's next top girl band. The project will search for aspiring femme rockers who can also play their own instruments. "There aren't a lot of girl bands out there, and these women are determined to change that with this show," said producer Anthony Dominici.

B.B. KING played his 10,00th show Monday night, despite burying his son o­n Sunday and learning o­ne of his grandsons had been shot dead.

HEH: Stereogum compares reviews o­n the Pitchfork with those from fourth-graders.

INTONATION: Ken King and I are going to the Pitchfork Festival in July and I had not thought too much of the line-up for Intonation in June. But now they've added Roky Erickson, the reclusive former leader of the 13th Floor Elevators, and a reunited Blue Cheer. Pitchfork has added Os Mutantes, leaders of Brazil's Tropicalia movement in the early '70s. Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution In Sound is currently the highest scoring album of 2006 o­n Metacritic. I covered the Os Mutantes reunion, complete with vintage video clips, back o­n Feb 28th.

ROY ORBISON: Barbara Orbison, Roy's widow and former manager, talks to Billboard about the opening of the special Roy exhibit at at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and how she and Roy balanced their various relationships. I pointed everyone to Orbison video goodness o­n March 28th.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Given that we have Susanna Hoffs, 60s songs and Bangles news today, here's a video of a song covered by the Bangles the last time I saw them -- "You Were o­n My Mind," as performed by the We Five o­n Shindig in Sept. of 1965. Check the go-go dancers in the background.

MEMPHIS INDUSTRIES has a free compilation album for download through eMusic, with tracks from Blue States, Field Music, The Pipettes and more. If you try to "Download All," you'll be asked to register for the free trial of eMusic, but you can download them a track at a time without registering. This is also a good excuse to recommend you check out The Pipettes o­n MySpace if you missed 'em when I last mentioned them.

EX-JAYHAWKS Mark Olson and Gary Louris have o­nce again reunited for a brief West Coast swing starting April 28th. While there are no official plans for the two to record again, Louris does not rule out the possibility.

RHETT MILLER: The Old 97's frontman is profiled by the Tufts Daily as his tour swung through Boston.

SCOTT McCAUGHEY: The Minus 5 frontman talks to PopMatters about his bands and Paul Westerberg: "What else could we do? Even when (Westerberg) changed his own scene and quit being the rock 'n' roll mad man and started making records in his basement and hanging out with his little son, he still had to make records. I think I would do that too if I had to stop touring, which I don't want to do. I probably will tour until I'm 70 years old, as long as they can prop me up there." The Music Works' Paul Miller and I (and a few more) saw McCaughey's Young Fresh Fellows open for the Replacements at First Ave. o­n the opening night of the Pleased To Meet Me tour, which was quite the show. McCaughey came o­n satge wearing the wig he liberated from the M-Shop in Ames, IA and heckled Paul during the guitar solos.

FRANZ FERDINAND rejected a 50 million dollar advertising offer from a mystery corporation because it would have involved effectively handing over their identity.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: London's Times reports that while the Tomkitten's name Suri means "princess" in Hebrew and "red rose" in Farsi, it also means "pickpocket" in Japanese. I heard o­n E! News Live that it does not mean "princess" in Hebrew. Perez Hilton points out that Suri is a homonym for Surrey, which is where the "deceased" L. Ron Hubbard's home is located. The irony deepens upon learning that Brooke Shields gave birth o­n the same floor of the same hospital as Holmes. USA Today chronicles the timeline for Cruise's crazy train to fatherhood. Cruise has cancelled initial promotional appearances for Mission Impossible 3, ostensibly to spend time with Holmes and the baby. Some are wondering why the PR was scheduled in the first place, with the planned arrival of Princess Tomkitten. Perhaps the answer is that Cruise's hyped ABC News interview last Friday placed 48th in the Nielsen ratings. And if these three M:I3 clips are still o­n YouTube when you read this, their leakage at the start of the official PR campaign for the movie will seem intentional.

TERI HATCHER has received a published apology from London's Sun, which claimed Hatcher indulged in steamy romps in a camper van parked outside her L.A. home. Why someone who claims trouble getting a date would complain about that story is beyond me.

BRITNEY SPEARS may sue over her baby’s fall from a high chair. At least talking about it helps blunt those stories about DCFS having to turn up at the house after the kid's skull was fractured.

CHARLIE SHEEN is picking up a younger woman o­nline. (2nd item.)

BRADGELINA: The over-the-top security surrounding the couple is fuelling speculation they are about to marry in Namibia. Steppin' Out magazine's Chaunce Hayden dishes the dark side of former Calvin Klein model Jenny Shimizu's lesbian fling with Jolie.

ORLANDO BLOOM almost killed a motor scooter rider with his car.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Hubby Nick Lachey has choice words about his marriage in the Rolling Stone out Friday: "Jessica and I began playing these parts (on their MTV reality show Newlyweds) even when we were by ourselves. It became a really blurred line. There was a question about what truly was our reality..." The full Rolling Stone interview is already o­nline. And it looks like the pneumatic blonde is doing damage control.

SNAKES o­n A PLANE: Internet interest in the movie forced the studio to keep the kitchy title and shoot additional footage to meet the expectations of Internuts. Star Samuel L. Jackson tells USA Today that he the homemade trailers, the suggested soundtrack tunes, the gently mocking T-shirts and fake movie posters.

JUDE LAW went wild when he spotted a photog filming him with his ex-wife and three kids, even threatening the cameraman with pedophilia charges. Video at the link.

JACKO is off the hook in a New Orleans sex-abuse case filed by a man who said he had a "repressed memory" that the pop star sexually molested him 22 years ago.

DAVID HASSELHOFF has revealed a "spiritual calling" to change people's lives for the better and claims that Baywatch is helping the women's movement in Iran. Which brings us to the obligatory link for the Hoff's cover of "Hooked o­n a Feeling."

LOST: The show is o­n hiatus until May 3rd, so fans will have to tide themselves over with news that former castaways Ian Somerhalder and Maggie Grace are a couple and that Cynthia Watros, who plays Libby, has been cast in a CBS comedy pilot.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON and Josh Hartnett must still be an item. That's sorta newsworthy, given her attitude about monogamy. But the real reason to post pictures of Johannson in a bikini is best explained in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: "The Internet is a communication tool used the world over where people can come together to b*tch about movies and share pornography with o­ne another." This item falls somewhere in the field generated by those two poles. But lest you think that I'm just facilitating the ogling of Johansson, let's all chuckle over the photos of Johansson wearing a bull ring.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed writes about the assassination of his brother-in-law, a doctor who returned to Iraq and was opening of a foundation that was going to offer essential services to the poor. Separate groups of gunmen entered two primary schools in Baghdad o­n Wednesday and beheaded two teachers in front of their students. Iraqi leaders abruptly scheduled a session of parliament for today amid indications that at least o­ne key government post could be filled. Michael Fumento has returned to Iraq and finds the the IZ more secure, but Fallujah less so than o­n his last visit. Michael J. Totten has photos of how normal the Kurdish northern part of Iraq is.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: Reuters runs a story with this lede: "The United States has botched efforts to improve public health in Iraq and Afghanistan, missing a chance to gain support in those countries, an independent report released o­n Wednesday said." Even a reading of the RAND Corp's press release shows that Reuters cherry-picked every negative aspect of the report and ignored every positive finding. Nor are Reuters readers told about the 60 percent drop in child mortality since Saddam was toppled, just o­ne of many USAID health-realted accomplishments. Nor are readers told that between 2.4 and 3.3 million Iraqis who had no clean drinking water in 2002 now have access to safe, potable water.

IRAN: A regime-backed group claimed it was trying to recruit suicide bombers in Britain to carry out attacks against Israel. Russia's foreign minister urged Iran to halt all uranium enrichment, saying the international community is demanding "urgent and constructive steps" from Tehran to ease concerns about its nuclear program. Iran probably reads that statement, then looks at the fact that Russia is selling Iran an air defense system, then laughs.

DEUCE THE TERRIER was awarded a lifetime membership to a golf club in south Wales because of his uncanny knack of finding lost balls from wayward shots. But dogs are banned from the clubhouse.

SQUIRREL abandons his attempt at identity fraud.


HIP SNAKE o­nce had hip vertebrae, which likely allowed the critter to use its legs to dig and crawl.

DESTRUCTIVE DUCKS: Banned from a village duck pond in Wales.

CHICKENS: Banned from crossing the road in Key West, FL.

COWS: Pate's Jon Pratt thought they were staring unamazed, but they were actually showing off how well they groomed themselves with trees, branches, fence posts and stumps.

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Islands, Pere Ubu, Tom-Kitten(!), NYC Coyotes and More Cowbell!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE WHITE STRIPES are getting sued by Jim Diamond -- the co-producer of their debut album and a mixer o­n De Stijl -- who claims he played a pivotal role in creating the band's signature sound. Meanwhile, we have the Jack White-penned Coca-Coal ad for your viewing pleasure -- and it sounds a bit different than I thought it would.

GRAM PARSONS: A documentary o­n the mythic musician written by Long Ryder Sid Griffin is coming to DVD o­n July 11th.

CALEXICO: Known for fusing the sounds of Mexican mariachi, Italian spaghetti westerns and American folk noir, Joey Burns addresses the more straightforward rock sound of the band's new album: "I think o­n each album there’s always been a little something added or changed... This o­ne just has more of an obvious shift." You can stream the album this week from AOL Music.

JUDAS PRIEST: The band's next album is inspired by Nostradamus, the 16th-century soothsayer. Why didn't Spinal Tap think of that? Maybe because Al Stewart already did...

ARCTIC MONKEYS frontman Alex Turner isn't concerned over charges that the soon-to-be-released EP is "cashing in" while the band is hot: "We want to do things our way, and people think it's arrogance, so it's inevitable some people will get tired of us."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: With American Idol attacking the Rod Stewart catalog this week, I thought it time to haul out The Faces' "Stay With Me," which I think is live, and "Maggie May," in which Ron Wood and Rod are mocking the lip-synch for Top of the Pops.

ISLANDS: The trippy folk-pop o­n the recently released Return To The Sea is getting "universal acclaim" o­n Metacritic and streaming in its entirety this week via MySpace.

LESLIE FEIST talks about juggling her solo career with Broken Social Scene appearances: "(I)t is a bit of a gear switch to go from, you know, the other day I was in the middle of my own tour through the states, and Jason Collett and I who are o­n this tour, we both had to fly to New York to do Conan with Broken Social Scene, and so we didn’t sleep for about 56 hours, and went straight off stage at our own shows in god knows where, o­nto a plane to New York, joined Broken, and got o­n another plane, and went back to Iowa or something. And that was a bit of a gear switch, to go from our own tour to being members of the biggest collective (laughs), but it was kind of a homecoming in a way as well, so its not something I have to think about too hard." While the Conan appearance got yanked off YouTube, you cans still see o­ne of Feist's "Mushaboom" videos there.

HARD-FI: The Clash-influenced band's "Middle Eastern Holiday" makes Song of the Day at NPR. It's about Iraq and -- like the Clash's "Rock the Casbah" -- manages to work the word "minaret" into the lyrics.

PERE UBU: Ubu Projex reports o­n upcoming albums from Pere Ubu and Rocket From the Tombs, but points you to some classic Ubu tracks o­n MySpace.

LOOSE FUR: The Village Voice runs a snarky, yet positive review for Born Again in the U.S.A., "which besides being cleverly titled is also quite good..."

THE TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS got a fever.. and the o­nly prescription is... more cowbell! Yes, more cowbell. And even more cowbell.

THE TOM-KITTEN COMETH! Cruise and Holmes "joyously welcomed the arrival of a baby girl, Suri, today," Cruise's rep said in a statement after People first broke the news Tuesday afternoon. The name Suri has its origins in Hebrew meaning "princess," or in Persian meaning "red rose," the rep added. I guess Xenu is a boy's name.  Even the normally fluffy E! channel can't help but poke fun at the Scientology-dictated "silent birth."  Let's all celebrate with an encore of "Havin' My Alien Baby!"

MORE TOM-KAT: Cruise claims he was only joking about his plan to eat the placenta of his new baby. An o­nline poll showed that 84 percent blamed the press for Cruise's bad PR, but an investigation showed 14,000 of the 18,000 votes came from ten computers. Cruise walked out o­n an interviewer who suggested that experts say that dyslexia cannot be cured by Scientology.

BROOKE SHIELDS gave birth to a girl named Grier Hammond Henchy. The irony of Shields and Holmes giving birth within a day of each other is delish!

CELEBRITY BABY NAMES: The New York Times explores theories as to "Why Stars Name Babies Moxie, Moses and Apple," including the notions that stars are competing with each other and the public to be seen as creative or different (and able to get away with it).

BRADGELINA: Jolie and Pitt are enraging residents of Namibia with their security detail's heavy-handed demands for privacy. The team, which is reported to include former members of a notorious apartheid-era counter-insurgency unit, has blocked public roads and beaches, doused a photog who snapped Pitt and Maddox with pepper spray, and threatened to put others in the hospital. And it looks like Pitt got the tattoo for Maddox o­n his lower back, not the back of his neck as claimed earlier.

TOM-KITTEN vs. BABY BRADGELINA: USA Today polled celebrity watchers to find out which pregnancy is generating the most interest. This story should have run in Uterus Weekly.

WHITNEY HOUSTON is back in rehab, according to the National Enquirer.

THE SIMPSONS: Scientologist Nancy Cartwright, the voice for Bart Simpson, got the show to remove a joke: "Mormonism? That’s the second freakiest religion in America!" PLUS: The HeiDeas blog analyzes the linguistics of the show.

JOHN McTIERNAN, director of films like Die Hard and Predator, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the unfolding federal investigation of wiretapping and other alleged wrongdoing by Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano.

COLIN FARRELL has settled his sex tape suit with ex-Playmate Nicole Narain, but is proceeding against the Internet Commerce Group (which in turn may sue Narain for breach of contract).

WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, JOE DiMAGGIO? The author of movie classic The Graduate is completely broke and faces eviction from his home.

LINDSAY LOHAN is trying to shed her admitted "party-girl image" by partying until dawn with Nicole Richie and Eddie Vedder after her Saturday Night Live gig.

EVANGELINE LILLY: Wednesday is Lost night, so I had to note that the star who complained about men looking at her the other day was photographed in a bunny suit at Eastertime, putting a bit of a Playboy spin o­n the pagan element of the holiday.

NANOTECH: Molecules that self-assemble into nanoscale filaments may help knit brain and spinal-cord injuries. Though the Nature article is subscription o­nly, NanoDot has blurbed a bit more of it.

EDU-BLOGGING: Per usual, I'm tardy in noting the 62nd Carnival of Education, which has a Passover plagues theme.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio is merging with the Counterterrorism Blog and will be will be embedding in Afghanistan in mid-May, with plans to go o­n to Northern Africa and Iraq. Michael Yon, already in Afghanistan en route to Iraq, has a must-read piece explaining what he means in saying that Iraq is in a civil war, media coverage of Iraq and Afghanistan and more. Food for thought for proponents and opponents of the invasion alike. I was just directed to a tidbit buried in a piece for London's Sunday Times by Abdel Bari Atwan, a "journalist" o­n good terms with Osama bin Laden: "Like Zarqawi, many Arabs fleeing American retaliation in Afghanistan after 9/11 found refuge with Ansar al-Islam. But then came an unexpected development. According to Dr Muhammad al-Masari, a Saudi specialist o­n Al-Qaeda’s ideology, Saddam established contact with the 'Afghan Arabs' as early as 2001, believing he would be targeted by the US o­nce the Taliban was routed. In this version, disputed by other commentators, Saddam funded Al-Qaeda operatives to move into Iraq with the proviso that they would not undermine his regime. Sources close to the Ba’ath regime have told me that Saddam also used to send messengers to buy small plots of land from farmers in Sunni areas. In the middle of the night soldiers would bury arms and money caches for later use by the resistance." And three suspected insurgents appear to have been trying to plant a roadside bomb when they popped up o­n the video of a Predator spy plane. They didn't get to finish the job.

IRAN has pledged 50 to 100 million dollars to support Hamas, but some Iranians think that money would be better spent at home.

LIBYA marked the 20th anniversary of a US air raid o­n the country with a Lionel Richie concert in front of the ruined home of Muammar Gadaffi in Tripoli. No, really. Definitive proof that the UN Human Rights Commission is worthless.

NYC COYOTE UPDATE: Hal the coyote was not wily enough to escape capture in Central Park, but another was spotted in a Bronx park o­n Tuesday and given a much more pretentious name: Jacob Van Cortlandt, after a NYC mayor in the early 1700s who had a hand in the land transactions for the park. Hal, the Central Park coyote, died late last month as he was being tagged for release upstate.

RUFUS THE TURKEY UPDATE: The wild turkey that beguiled area residents and served as unofficial greeter, pet and tourist attraction at the Jacques Spur Junction Cafe in Cul de Sac, Idaho was apparently killed by a hunter.

JUMBO SHRIMP: A biologist in Colombia is in possession of what may be the world's largest shrimp.

COCO THE BABY TAPIR had her debut at an English zoo.

ENGLISH PET HOARDING: In West Sussex, over 200 dogs were found in a 40-foot shed. In Manchester, police found 200 reptiles and rodents in a man's garage, but the owner denies throwing snakes at the officers who raided his home.

THE HUMUHUMUNUKUNUKUAPUAA officially lost its title as Hawaii's state fish more than a decade ago, but is set to reclaim the honor, just as soon as legislators can spell it.

OCTOPUSES (or is it octopi?) have elbows! Who'da thunkit?

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