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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.

3355 Reads

SFA, Richard Thompson, Jack White & Bob Dylan, Alpacas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SUPER FURRY ANIMALS:  The video for their new single, "Run-Away," subtly captures the essential cheesiness of videos from the early 80s.

THURSTON MOORE tells critics of Sonic Youth's Starbucks pact to switch to decaf: "There's no difference between working with Starbucks and working with record labels like Universal and Geffen. It's a knee-jerk reaction from PC watchdogs..."  RELATED:  Apple and Starbucks will be offering "Song of the Day" cards between October 2 and November 7.

RICHARD THOMPSON:  The preeminent Brit-folk-rock singer-songwriter-guitarist did an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR.  (Thanks, Sylvia.)

NEW PORNOGRPAHERS frontman A.C. Newman is fine with being called "the west coast Broken Social Scene... as long as reciprocally they get called The New Pornographers of the east."  BONUS:  Don't miss the band's second challenge in its ongoing contest for fans.

THE NATIONAL:  Matt Berninger talks to USC's Daily Trojan about the band's higher profile, which was helped in part by reverse exposure when Clap Your Hands Say Yeah opened their last tour.  (Thanks, LHB.)

JACK WHITE joins BOB DYLAN for "One More Cup of Coffee" at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium.  So bootleg it ends abruptly when the videographer gets caught by security.  You can see the prior gig's setlist at Stereogum.

EMMYLOU HARRIS does a Q&A about Songbird, her upcoming four-CD retrospective, in the latest issue of Fader Magazine.  Oddly, you can download the whole mag for free.

THE GREENCARDS:  According to NPR, they may be "the best Americana artist with no native claim to North America."  You can stream an entire gig from Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom, or sample four tracks (including the Bluegrass-y "Lonesome Side of Town") at the link.

PRE-SCALPING:  Fan clubs are getting miffed over members selling presale passwords on specialized Web sites and even eBay and Craigslist.

THE POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE:  Chromewaves reports on Patrick Watson's surprise win, rounds up other reax and hooks you up with A/V links for Watson and his fellow nominees.

KEIFER SUTHERLAND was busted on suspicion of DUI in West Hollywood late Monday night, after allegedly blowing more than twice the legal limit of .08. He has been convicted of DUI in the past five years; a second conviction carries a mandatory minimum of five days in jail.  Of course, it's the L.A. County jail, so maybe more like 90 minutes.  And he's Jack Bauer, so he could escape in less time than that.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Lawyers made an unscheduled appearance in the pop tart's child custody battle to "refine" the court order requiring Spears undergo semi-weekly random drug and alcohol testing and parenting classes.

LINDSAY LOHAN is reportedly set to leave rehab this weekend.  Lock your medicine cabinets.

DREW BARRYMORE danced and worked the counter for a "Drunk and Horny" party at a West Hollywood gay bar.  NTTAWWT.

HEATH LEDGER was recently caught canoodling Helena Christensen, but The Joker may still be on the prowl.

SIENNA MILLER is mighty miffed that pictures emerged of her in her birthday suit with a daisy chain crown on the set of her new movie.  That second link may be nsfw, natch.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in New York this week to discuss global diplomacy.

REESE WITHERSPOON & JAKE GYLLENHAAL:  Is their on-again, off-again relationship on-again?

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY:  If you sue the Daily Mail for libel, you can expect to be painted by the paper as a whining diva later.  US Weekly has a more benign spin on the same quotes.

INDIANA JONES IV:  An extra working on "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" has been fired for dishing major spoilers to his hometown paper.  And the story has disappeared from the paper's website and from Harry Knowles' influential Ain't It Cool News site.  Sounds like a job for Indiana Jones!

MYANMAR: It will always be Burma to J. Peterman... and to Pres. Bush, who announced new sanctions Tuesday against the military dictatorship there, accusing it of imposing "a 19-year reign of fear'' that denies basic freedoms of speech, assembly and worship.  Troops moved into the streets of Rangoon in apparent readiness for a confrontation with pro-democracy protesters.  Others concerned about the situation include Ensign Pavel Chekhov and Jim Carrey.  BONUS:  Boston Herald editor and columnist Jules Crittenden titles his roundup "Mission of Burma."

SAUDI ARABIA:  Girls used pepper spray on members of the religious police who were "politely" trying to advise and guide them regarding their inappropriate clothing.  One of the girls videoed the incident with her mobile phone.  Saudi women are petitioning King Abdullah in an unprecedented bid to push the government to lift a ban on females driving in the Kingdom.  Saudi women's rights activist Wajeha Al-Huweidar says the petition is only the beginning, which gave me an earworm.

IRAN:  Pres. Ahmadinejad continued his propaganda tour at a meeting of US Muslim leaders, claiming the Holocaust was a pretext for occupation of Palestine and the differences between Shia and Sunni Muslims have been created by enemies (as opposed to going as far back as 600 AD).  Iran's judiciary has sealed off the offices of a popular news Web site critical of Ahmadinejad's policies after journalists continued to update it, despite official filtering.  French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy piled pressure on Iran at the UN, saying it would be unacceptable for the Islamic republic to get hold of nuclear weapons.

IRAQ:  Civil war has been averted and Iranian intervention has "ceased to exist," Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki said Monday.  I'm taking that with a grain of salt.  Iran is smuggling advanced weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, into Iraq to be used against US troops, and the Iraqi gov't remains a mess.  However, the Iraqi parliament's newly formed women's caucus will pressure the government to roll out concrete policies to help victims of the war.  Female MPs have also reached an accord on "general principles," such as the rejection of violence and the support for national reconciliation efforts.  Non-sectarian caucuses seem like an encouraging development.  Supporters of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, otoh, have embarked on a tour of neighboring countries to explain his group's latest anti-US strategies.  MSNBC takes a look at how the US military defines a sectarian killing without the hyperventilation that surrounded the report from Gen. Petraeus in September. 

IRAQ II:  The AQ-affiliated "Islamic State of Iraq" accuses the 1920 Revolution Brigades of betraying Islam by joining US forces in their fight against AQ, while rolling out a new propaganda video featuring small children with AK-47 assault rifles.  The group is also likely behind a systematic campaign to assassinate police chiefs, police officers, Interior Ministry officials and tribal leaders throughout Iraq.

ICYMI:  A Swedish TV hostess vomits on camera, ostensibly due to female health issues.  Consider yourself warned.

A PAIR of PERUVIAN ALPACAS -- William and Harry -- have been hired to protect Cornish hens on a British farm.  Video at the link.

ANOTHER PURLOINED BUNNY in Washington State.  This time, a pet rabbit named Sugar Bunny was stolen from a preschool and fliers protesting circus animal acts were left in its empty cage.  PETA denies responsibility, though its name appeared on some of the fliers.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Lumpy squirrels are hosts for botfly larvae.  But still good eatin'!

SNAKE HEAD found in a can of green beans in Iowa City, IA:  "It was ... yuck, it was really yuck."

AN ORANGUTAN attacks the paparazzi in Borneo.  And why not?  She's bound to be judgment-proof.

WOMAN tells police someone shaved her cat.  So many punchlines, only some of which involve Mr. Bigglesworth.

4564 Reads

New Releases, Weakerthans, Marshall Crenshaw, Goat news   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS ask "How Do You Let A Good Man Down?" live on French TV, complete with the old skool Dap-Tone introduction.

NEW RELEASES:  Ooh, it's a big Tuesday.  Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Stars, Jose Gonzalez, Devendra Banhart, Cave Singers, Sea Wolf, Matt Pond PA, Shicking Pinks and more are streaming via Spinner, while the new Foo Fighters is streaming at AOL.  PJ Harvey, Iron & Wine, Nellie McKaySteve Earle and Bettye LaVette are among the more established artists with albums out today.  The Weakerthans are streaming their new LP in full as is  The Acorn.  Other lesser-known worthies include albums from Georgie James, and Damon & Naomi (the part of Galaxie 500 that is not Dean & Brita).  And there's an EP from lush pop duo the Bird and the Bee.

STEVE EARLE talks to PopMatters about politics and the more personal themes on his new album.

THE WEAKERTHANS talk to ChartAttack about the somewhat accidental creation of the band's first album in four years.  You can stream the whole album at the "New Releases" link above.

JOHN VANDERSLICE and BISHOP ALLEN both played the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC over the weekend; you can stream both sets (or either) on demand via NPR.

MARSHALL CRENSHAW, an influence on early (and arguably late) Pate, doesn't have a lot of vintage video online, but MTV was good enough to post "Whenever You're On My Mind" from Field Day and "Little Wild One (No. 5)" from Downtown at iFilm.  That's your Twofer Tuesday, but as a bonus, I'll toss in his solo rendition of "Someday, Someway" from his recent World Cafe Live DVD.

INDIE SELLS OUT:  More indie rock ad licensing sparks more spirited discussion at the 'Gum.  I do have to chuckle over the comments from "justin," who claims to be an art director at an ad agency and claims the bands aren't paid significant money.  Ad deals paid for the Spinto Band's European tour, Of Montreal's elaborate stage show, and Tracy Spuehler's second album, to name a few examples.  And that's just the direct effect.  Feist's "1 2 3 4" entered the Top 40 in the UK after the iPod Nano ad started airing, while her album went from No. 95 to No. 44 in the US.  Even larger bands like Wilco see ad deals as a way of getting their music in front of the public as getting commercial radio airplay route gets more difficult.  I also think it's funny that some folks don't realize that musicians were doing this as far back as the 1960s.

PAUL WESTERBERG played ten songs and was interviewed by former Del Fuego Warren Zanes for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  More tidbits in the Strib's PopLife blog.

BEN HARPER did an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer sent his former lover a brooch with a dead mouse attached to it, according to the UK's uber-reliable Daily Star.  Doherty has met his dad for the first time in three years - as pals insist he is kicking drugs.  Meanwhile, Moss and actress Sienna Miller reportedly got into a verbal catfight over Rhys Ifans at a reception.

MEG WHITE:  The Internet was abuzz with reports of a sex tape featuring the White Stripes drummer, but her rep vehemently denies Meg is on the tape.

HANNAH MONTANA:  A rep for 14-year-old star Miley Cyrus strongly denies a fake teen magazine article making the celebrity blog rounds claiming Cyrus is pregnant.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Her rep strongly denies allegations in divorce proceedings that Dead Stays Alive frontman Tony Allen had sex with Lohan while staying at the Cirque Lodge rehab clinic.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  "Secret witness" Tony Barretto said on Monday's Today show he witnessed Britney using drugs on two occasions, but not in front of her children.

VANESSA HUDGENS:  More risque photos of the High School Musical starlet surface, though not the additional nudes pics rumored to be floating around.

BRADGELINA:  Prepping for his next role, Pitt paid a visit to The Washington Post's newsroom on Friday and sent the hearts of hard-nosed scribes aflutter: "It was like angels singing."  Meanwhile, Jolie was taking meetings with Colin Powell and then with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss her recent trips to Iraq and Syria.

DENISE & CHARLIE:  Charlie Sheen says he will not dignify allegations made by ex-wife Denise Richards in recent court papers... and then goes on for another six paragraphs.

OJ SIMPSON's creepily-looking-like-Nicole-Brown girlfriend Christie Prody did not sleep with OJ's gardener, according to Prody's mother.  Which is what you would say in any event if you were concerned about your daughter losing her head.

CELEBRITY BREAST IMPLANTS are evaluated for the Daily Mail by cosmetic surgeon Patrick Mallucci.  A dirty job, but someone had to do it.

JESSICA ALBA has been voted the most desired single female celebrity in a poll at the Yahoo! Personals dating site.  Others in the Top Five may surprise you.

HARRISON FORD & CALLISTA FLOCKHART ride Space Mountain.  And they aren't even the funny part of the pic at the link.

MARCEL MARCEAU:  Now even quiter at age 84.  His new "I'm dead" act is stunningly realistic.

DITA VON TEESE portrays a sexy schoolteacher in a new campaign urging animal lovers to spay or neuter their cats and dogs.  But in a reversal for both the burlesque dancer and PETA, Von Teese keeps her clothes on for the ad.

IRAN:  After days of public criticism, Columbia U's Pres. Bollinger did not introduce Iran's Pres. Ahmadinejad as much as indict him, for Iran's brutal crackdown on scholars, journalists and human rights advocates, the denial of the Holocaust, calling for the destruction of Israel, funding terrorism, the proxy war against US troops in Iraq, and Iran's refusal to adhere to international standards for nuclear weapons verification.  To his credit, it was better than I expected, but it raises the question of why Ahmedinejad was invited in the first place.  Bollinger claimed it was "consistent with the idea that one should know thine enemies" -- as though we don't know what Iran has been up to recently.  Moreover, Bollinger admitted that he doubted Ahmedinejad would have the intellectual courage to answer the questions raised -- and of course he did not.  So the net result was that Ahmedinejad was given a (once) prestigious platform to again defend Holocaust deniers and raise questions about who carried out the 9/11 attacks.  No doubt the clips shown on TV throughout the Middle East will be those where Ahmedinejad got applause, rather than the derisive laughter he got for suggesting there are no gays in Iran (though maybe he thinks all of them have been executed already).  And Bollinger will be portrayed as rude and disrespectful to a head of government, which was pretty much the take of Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian studies at Columbia University.  Iranian state media claims Ahmedinejad got a standing ovation and repeated applause, ignoring Bollinger's introduction, natch.

IRAQ:  As top Shiite and Sunni Muslim leaders broke their Ramadan fast together in a symbolic show of unity Monday, a suicide bomber struck in their midst, killing as many as 25 people and injuring 40 in Baqubah.  Anbar tribes are still helping secure the main highway through the province to the border with Jordan and Syria.  The assassination of a Mahdi Army leader reignites sectraian violence in one Baghdad neighborhood.  Michael J. Totten interviews 3rd ID Lt. Col. Mike Silverman about (among other things) how Baghdad differs from Anbar and Diyala provinces.

POLAR BEARS will pursue you if you wear a seal costume.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  An albino Koala bear.  Awww...some pic and video at the link.

A GOAT was left behind by burglars in Reefton, NZ.  No, the home did not already have a goat.

NANNY the GOAT, meanwhile, is still on the lam near Decatur, Alabama.

PET HOARDING:  Seventy-four cats were seized from a couple in a trailer in the Saint John area of Canada; the SPCA seized 123 cats from the same trailer in April.

COWS stare unamazed at pint-sized Herefords raised on the ranchettes replacing working ranches in much of California.

4057 Reads

Mt. Goats, The National, A-Sides, Neil Young, Wiener Dog Races   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 24, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ROGUE WAVE plays "Lake Michigan" from their new LP on a late night television show.

MITCH EASTER:  The 80s indie icon talks with the Riverfront Times about his past with Let's Active and his present record, Dynamico: "It's a happily admitted vanity project, and if anybody wants to hear it, great!"

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle talks to DC's Express about storytellers, musical and otherwise.  He also posted "From TG&Y," an outtake from the band's upcoming album, at tMG forums.  That link expires today, so if you cant't get it there, you can download it at Chromewaves, too.

YO LA TENGO:  Ira Kaplan talks to the Boston Globe about providing live instrumental accompaniment to "The Sounds of Science," a series of underwater documentaries shot by French avant-garde filmmaker Jean Painleve.

THE NATIONAL stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

WRECKLESS ERIC:  The movie Stranger Than Fiction debuted on cable this weekend; it makes great use of Eric's "Whole Wide World," though if you haven't seen the movie, you should stick with this rare live clip.

BETTYE LaVETTE talks to TimeOut Chicago about putting the Drive-By Truckers through their paces as the support band on her upcoming album: "Patterson Hood is telling people now that he sent me 50 songs and I threw them back at him! I've been telling people that it's not true. It was only 40 songs."  A good excuse to relink to "Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye LaVette)."

THE A-SIDES:  I was already thinking of blurbing this Philly power-pop combo when this gig for the World Cafe became available via NPR.

JOHN LYDON (a/k/a Johnny Rotten) refers to The Police reunion as "soggy old dead carcasses," even as the Pistols prepare their second reunion.

NEIL YOUNG:  In honor of the upcoming Chrome Dreams II, That Truncheon Thing has posted the never-officially released Chrome Dreams album for download, along with six bonus tracks.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  "Mystery witness" and former bodyguard Tony Barretto goes on the record with the uber-reliable News of The World with tales of the pop tart in a drug-strewn hotel room on a binge with junkie lover Howie Day just days after checking out of rehab.  Spears was reportedly was spotted fighting back tears at her third lawyer's office before she was charged Friday with one count of hit and run causing property damage and one count of driving without a valid California driver's license.  And she may be headed back to rehab, though sources tell E! that "everyone is worried she won't go at the last minute."

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The number one film of the weekend is Resident Evil: Extinction with 24 million, but if history is a guide, expect a nasty drop next weekend.  It will likely break even domestically (about 45 million), do a bit better than equal that overseas and rake it in on DVD.  The terribly reviewed Good Luck Chuck comes in second with 14 million a tribute to the allure of the Alba.  The Brave One drops a disappointing 45% to third place with 7.4 million.  3:10 to Yuma held better with a 29% drop and 6.4 million (this one is also likely to break even in the US and depend on Russell Crowe to sell tickets overseas).  Eastern Promises rounds out the Top Five with 5.7 million (sadly, this one will be lucky to make back 30 of its 50 million budget in the US).  Sydney White debuted with 5.3 million.   Mr. Woodcock dropped 43% from third to seventh with 5 million.  Superbad made another 3.1 million; it won't do as well as Knocked Up, but will likely top big summer comedies like Blades of Glory and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry on a much smaller budget.  The bourne Ultimatum held on for another 2.7 million.  Dragon Wars rounds out the Top Ten -- despite a 50% drop -- with 2.5 million. 

DENISE & & CHARLIE:  Charlie Sheen's fiancee Brooke Mueller is denouncing Denise Richards's claims against Sheen in their heated custody battle - claims that now include accusations about the way he handled his engagement to Mueller.

RICHIE SAMBORA returned to rehab for the second time this year -- this time at the Cirque Lodge in Utah -- the same rehab facility where Lindsay Lohan is currently receiving treatment.

SALMA HAYEK and her businessman fiancé, François Henri Pinault, are the parents of a baby girl, Valentina Paloma Pinault.

ALICE GHOSTLEY, a Tony Award-winning actress best known as a regular on the sitcom Bewitched from 1966-72, playing Esmeralda, a shy, bumbling witch whose spells never worked, died at 83 of cancer.

MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA!  The book publisher for Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady on the 1970s sitcom "The Brady Bunch," is shooting down rumors that she had a lesbian on-set affair with co-star Eve Plumb, who played her younger sister Jan.  The story of the alleged lesbian affair started circulating the Internet Friday, and was picked up by at least one newspaper on Saturday.

GEORGE CLOONEY and galpal Sarah Larson were in a motorcycle accident Friday.  Clooney had a hairline rib fracture and road rash, while Larson broke a foot.  Larson has been known to down a martini with a scorpion in it, so I'm sure she'll manage.

BRADGELINA have reportedly enlisted the help of one of Myanmar's leading monks to plan a trip to an orphanage, with an eye toward expanding their "rainbow" family.

JENNIFER LOPEZ is rumored to be estranged from her mother at the same time rumors swirl that she may become a mother.

KIM KARDASHIAN has done a 12-page pictorial for Playboy that reveals more than originally planned.  Oh, sure.

MARIA MENOUNOS, the former ET infobabe was chatted up by fmr. Pres. Bill Clinton at VH1's Save the Music Foundation 10th Anniversary party.  Then again, even Big Bird chats up Maria.

DENNIS RODMAN is under investigation by the Orange County Sheriff's Department for an alleged sexual battery.  A source tells TMZ that the ex-basketball star allegedly slapped a female bar hopper's rear so hard, it left a "major mark."

CATE BLANCHETT talked to Entertainment Weekly about Elizabeth: The Golden Age, I'm Not There (where she plays Bob Dylan) and Indiana Jones 4. Here's the extended trailer for Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which I've heard may disappoint, but at least will avoid Blanchett's plan to drink her own urine.

OSAMA BIN LADEN is under fire from one of his most prominent Saudi mentors, the preacher and scholar Salman al-Oadah, who publicly reproached OBL for causing widespread mayhem and killing.  Newsweek claims that a faction within Al Qaeda had been conspiring to sideline him, perhaps led by AQ No. 2 Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

IRAN:  CBS's 60 Minutes gave more airtime for Pres. Ahmadinejad to suggest that the US is the "root cause" of 9/11, defend government censorship, deny the presence of Iranian forces in Iraq, roll out talking points against th Bush Admin. (including Hurricane Katrina) and attack his interviewer as being like the CIA, and claim that 80 percent of the US believes the US gov't knew about 9/11 in advance.  The level at which he was challenged ranges from token to toothless.  The same will be true when he visits Columbia University today.  Americans are much better at challenging their own government than a tyrant from a theocracy which made kidnapping Americans at the US Embassy its first order of business.  RELATED:  A drunk staggers from the bar to his car, only to realize that he's dropped his keys somewhere. A friend comes across him two hours later, on his hands and knees under the lamppost on the corner. "Why are you looking here?" the friend asks. "You must have dropped them nearer to the car." The drunk responds, "Yeah, but the light's better over here."

IRAQ:  The US military arrested 25 suspects in the assassination of Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, who allied himself with the US and unified tribes in Anbar province against AQI.  Ahmed Abu Risha vows that the fight his brother started against AQI will not falter.  The "Awakening" movement agaisnt AQI continues to spread.  More than 1200 Iraqi males from in and around Tarmiyah stood in line for hours to join Iraqi Security Forces, local sheiks and Coalition Forces on Sept. 12.  Tribal leaders representing 20 of Diyala province's 25 major tribes have signed agreements to support US and Iraqi forces.  Bill Roggio looks at the situation in Arab Jabour in the southern region of Baghdad province and interviews General Mustaffa, the leader of Arab Jabour's "Concerned Citizens."

RUNNING of the WIENERS:  Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati staged its first-ever Dachshund race at Fountain Square.  Here's a photo gallery of the race.  RELATED:  From San Diego, video of more than 300 Dachshunds running a qualifying round for the 2007 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals.

THE PURLOINED BUNNY:  Security has been tightened at Seattle's Puyallup Fair agricultural tents after someone apparently swiped a prize-winning rabbit after it was awarded the blue ribbon.

SKUNK RESCUED in Grand Rapids, MI after it got its head stuck in a can.  Video at the link, courtesy of WOOD-TV (which I would have thought was in Lumberton).

BULLFROGS alarm wildlife officials in Utah, and it isn't even concern over a Biblical plague.

ENDANGERED IGUANAS tried to enter the country illegally inside a man's prosthetic leg.

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Beatles, Apples In Stereo, Van Halen, Cutout Bin, Wiener Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 21, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



THE BEATLES at BUDOKAN!  In June-July of 1966, the lovable moptops became the first musical group to perform at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, which engendered complaints from the older generations who considered it near-sacred ground. Consequently, the security for the trip was extensive; police stood shoulder-to-shoulder along the road from the airport to the hotel.  They performed five times in three days to audiences of about 10000 per performance. Oft-bootlegged, this is their show from June 30th --  Part 1 includes "Rock & Roll Music," "She's A Woman" and "If I Needed Someone."  Part 2 includes "Day Tripper," "Baby's In Black" and "I Feel Fine."  Part 3 includes "Yesterday," "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "Nowhere Man." Part 4 concludes with "Paperback Writer" and "I'm Down."

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman is interviewed in print and video by Hallelujah The Hills frontman Ryan Walsh for the Phoenix.

THE APPLES IN STEREO brought their psychedelic rock and power-pop to the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC Wednesday, so you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.  The opening act was Aqueduct, which is a good match.  Their album is streaming at the link now, or you can stream and download my pick to click, "Living A Lie," and others at AqueSpace.

ART BRUT guitarist Ian Catskilkin sees the band as more "rock" than "indie."  Singer Eddie Argos may crack wise, but he's also dead serious about his love of rock 'n' roll, talking to Georgia's Straight after spinning upcoming tourmates The Hold Steady for a charity DJ gig.  Which is what you would expect from a band likely to open a show with an excerpt of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" or AC/DC's "Back In Black" or "Highway to Hell."

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS stopped by The Current for a chat and miniset you can stream via MPR.  And you can see the video for "Shadow Government" at Spinner.

VAN HALEN:  Blabbermouth can hook you up with pics and videos from the last rehearsals for the 3/4ths reunion tour.  I may have to see this.

THE WATERBOYS:  The Celtic-tinged folk-rock outfit did an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream from NPR.

AMY WINEHOUSE was back to her shambling worst as she won Best Female at the MOBO awards.  Pics at the link.  I'm sure it was coincidence that her rider included two bottles of red wine (Rioja), two cases of Heineken, one large bottle of vodka (Smirnoff or Zubrowka), two bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne and two bottles of Jack Daniel's.

PETE DOHERTY & COURTNEY LOVE share a tender kiss?  Cue Vader.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Accidents Will Happen (Live); The Clash - I Fought The Law (S. Curtis); Georgie James - Only 'Cause You're Young; The Go! Team - Doing It Right; Yo La Tengo - Here Comes My Baby (C. Stevens); The Beach Boys - You're So Good To Me; Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run (Alternate Version); CSN and Sometimes Y - Woodstock; This Mortal Coil - I Am The Cosmos (C. Bell); Material Issue - I'd Wait a Million Years (Grass Roots); Lush - I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend (Rubinoos); The Rubinoos - Little Willy (Sweet); Mother Love Bone - Hold Your Head Up (Argent - Live - nsfw); The Flamin Groovies - Shakin' All Over (J. Kidd); Kevin Drew - Back Out On The ...; Local H - Toxic (yes, that one); Love Seed Mama Jump - My Best Friend's Girl (Cars; Live); Man Man - I'd Rather Go Blind (Etta James); The Beatles - I'm A Loser; Prefab Sprout - Faron Young; Patti Page - Conquest; Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind; Elton John - Philadelphia Freedom; Captain & Tennille - Love Will Keep Us Together; The Doobie Brothers - What A Fool Believes; Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat; Hall & Oates - Rich Girl; James Brown - Sunny; and Marvin Gaye - What's Going On.

EASTERN PROMISES may be David Cronenberg's most accessible movie since his remake of The Fly. That is not necessarily a good thing, as it pales a bit coming immediately after A History of Violence, which was successful while retaining more of the core creepiness of the Cronenberg canon.  Nevertheless, the film has much to recommend it.  Cronenberg does a mostly masterful job of immersing the audience in the seedy underworld of the Russian mob in London.  The cast is more than capable, with Viggo Mortensen perhaps earning an Oscar nomination; Armin Mueller-Stahl and Vincent Cassel were also excellent.  Naomi Watts was fine in her role, though she is not given as meaty a role as you might expect.  There is a plot twist that mucks up the ending a bit; the movie might have played better without it and likely would have played better had it been revealed only at the very end.  In sum, Eastern Promises is not Cronenberg's best work, but it still ranks above most of the movies released this year.

NOW SHOWING: In addition to Eastern Promises, which is currently scoring 85 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's wide releases are Resident Evil: Extinction, which was (shocka) not screened much for critics; the Dane Cook-Jessica Alba comedy Good Luck Chuck, currently scoring an abysmal 8 percent; and and the Amanda Bynes college comedy Sydney White, which is scoring 45 percent.

GOOD LUCK CHUCK may be a terrible movie, but director Mark Helfrich's notes on the soundtrack are pretty good, as is the soundtrack itself, including cuts from Art Brut, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Dandy Warhols and a new track from The Flaming Lips called "I Was Zapped By The Super Happy Rainbow," which Wayne Coyne also discusses at the first link.

THE WAR is a seven-part series directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns.  Starts Sunday on PBS.  Videos and more at the link.

OJ SIMPSON:  Fred Goldman's lawyer is salivating, after TMZ ran an audio clip in which one of Simpson's alleged victims revealed that he helped Simpson set up an offshore bank account: "If it's there, it's going to be ours."

BRADGELINA:  Jolie reportedly has been giving secret parenting advice to Nicole Richie.  When you think about it, it's not a stretch from her humanitarian work for the UN.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  It might be time to make way for another Tom-Kitten, according to OK! magazine.

LINDSAY LOHAN wrecked a marriage in rehab?  Stephanie Allen, whose family is worth £720million, is devastated by allegations that her husband Tony had sex with Lohan in a toilet at the Circque Lodge clinic in Utah.

JESSICA SIMPSON looks like a drunken mess.  It's for her next movie, but it looks very natural, almost like she's not having to act much...

ROD STEWART seemingly has a whole family of underwear models.  Pics at the link.

VANESSA HUDGENS of High School Musical apparently has even more nude pics floating around out there, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.  And she's considering doing a photoshoot for a men's magazine, like Maxim or FHM, rather than Playboy.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has been banned from Munich's famed Oktoberfest for "cheapening" last year's event.  Ouch.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is rumored to be turning into a total diva on the set of of He's Just Not That Into You.  Say it ain't so, Scar-Jo!

HEROES:  Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia were spotted getting cozy, comfy and intimate during a Duran Duran concert at an official Emmys after-party. 

DAN RATHER:  The disgraced ex-anchor's lawsut against CBS over their handling of Memogate is simply baffling to his former colleagues.  "I think he's gone off the deep end," said Josh Howard, who was forced to resign as executive producer of 60 Minutes II after CBS retracted the story.

AFGHANISTAN:  US troops win hearts and minds with an assist from Van Morrison.

IRAN:  Pres. Ahmadinejad has backed off from his plan to visit "Ground Zero" while in NYC next week.  Meanwhile, a government spokesman says "Supporters of the Zionist regime will definitely receive the final response for their support" on October 12.

IRAQ:  Violence nationwide has fallen to its lowest level since before the bombing of a Shiite mosque in February 2006 that sparked savage sectarian bloodletting, and there has been a 50 percent drop in violence in Baghdad since January, according to the number two commander of US-led forces in Iraq (who acknowledges violence is still too high).  Bill Roggio visits troops in Baghdad's Adhamiyah neighborhood, where a controversial wall was built earier this year and seems to be working.  Interestingly, Roggio notes that the local "Concerned Citizens," along with the Iraqi Police in Adhamiyah fall under the command of the Iraqi Army.  However, the target date for putting Iraqi authorities in charge of security in all 18 provinces has slipped to at least July.  US troops arrested an Iranian in the northern city of Sulaimaniyah, alleging he is an officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp's elite Quds force and accusing him of helping to smuggle a deadly type of roadside bomb into Iraq.  The Kurdistan Regional Government called the arrest ''illegitimate,'' saying he was a member of a trade delegation invited by the local government and demanding his release.

IF YOU LIKE PINA COLADAS and getting caught in the rain, it still might end in tears.  One of the few times you might wish life was more like a Rupert Holmes song.

AN 8-INCH WIENER DOG was spared a death sentence after her owner was cleared of letting a dangerous dog run out of control.

A FLORIDA LIZARD underwent surgery for the removal of a toy lizard.  The lizard is presumably resting comfortably.

THE PIG COLOR SYMPHONY:  Courtesy of Chinese art students,  it involves painted pigs being left to roam at will in a field.

MAN NEARLY DIES after putting a rattlesnake down his throat.  Shockingly, alcohol was involved.  Graphic video at the link.

PORK YOUR PORK?  At a members-only restaurant in the Tokyo entertainment district Roppongi, having pork prepared "your way" also means having your way with the pork.  According to The Mainichi Daily News, wealthy customers can engage in the forbidden practice of sleeping with dinner.

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