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Meat Puppets Reunion, Atlantic Soul, Sonic Youth, Hyenas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE SOUNDS frontwoman Maja Ivarsson says, "I don't want to be compared to Blondie all the time, but I can absolutely see why people do it." You may too, if you stream a few from the band's new album.

SUFJAN STEVENS let Stereogum offer "The Henney Buggy Band," an advance track from The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album, as a free download. You can also stream it from the Hype Machine (I usually have to double-click the "Listen" button).

WORLD PARTY apparently has a new-to-the-US CD coming around Memorial Day and iirc, had some back catalog reissued this month. Stereogum is killing music with two tracks that he rightly notes sound like Bob Dylan and The Beatles, though Scott's reference to "Subterranean Homesick Blues" is misplaced -- musically, it's much closer to "From A Buick 6." The Fab track owes a lot to "Baby You're A Rich Man." Law-abiding folk can stream them and two others -- including a "Young Americans" soundalike, via the Hype Machine.

MEAT PUPPETS: Curt and Cris Kirkwood are reunited and it feels so good. Curt Kirkwood tells Billboard.com, "It's epic. It's big Meat Puppets stuff. I would say 'sonic pyramids made out of garbage.'" Although he was asked to participate, original Meat Puppets drummer Derrick Bostrom will not be involved in the reunion. Primus drummer Tim Alexander will replace him behind the kit.

THE LEMONHEADS have signed with Vagrant Records, with an album scheduled for a late September release.

RARE AND UNRELEASED ATLANTIC SOUL is coming o­n two single-disc compilations due June 6 from Rhino. Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Sisters and Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Brothers feature previously unreleased singles from Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, along with rare tracks from lesser-known artists like Judy Clay and Arthur Conley. For Jon Pratt, I note a cover of Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me" by Dee Dee Warwick.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: From the "Where Are They Now?" file, it's the Vapors!

THE FLAMING LIPS wowed London: "I think," says The Flaming Lips' singer, Wayne Coyne, gazing up at the balloons floating among the audience, "that's the longest the balloons have ever lasted." As to the more political bent of the At War With The Mystics, drummer Steven Drozd comments, "I know Wayne had been itching to try some half baked protest lyrics, so it seemed o­nly right (or left as the case may be!) to go down that road."

SONIC YOUTH: Somehow, I missed it when Fluxblog posted a new track, "Do You Believe In Rapture?" Sounds kinda Velvet-y to me...

ARCTIC MONKEYS were nominated for an Ivor Novello songwriting award in the UK for "I Bet You Look Good o­n the Dancefloor," but frontman Alex Turner says, "We still feel like gatecrashers, I hope we always do. Something will have gone wrong if we don't." The Pitchfork review of the new EP suggests he may have to start worrying.

OKKERVIL RIVER has signed with Virgin/EMI in Europe, where the label will release a double-disc set featuring Black Sheep Boy and the accompanying Black Sheep Boy Appendix EP, plus more. You can stream and download the band's moody folk-rock via MySpace. I recommend "For Real" for sure.

ELEVENTH DREAM DAY gets a mediocre review o­n the Pitchfork, though that shouldn't stop EDD fans: "Zeroes and o­nes won't disappoint those who've been patiently waiting six years for the next chapter in the Eleventh Dream Day saga-- but it won't win them many converts."

DENISE and HEATHERand RICHIE and CHARLIE: The fallout continues. In Touch magazine claims Richards called a summit meeting with Locklear to reveal she was in love with the latter's estranged husband, Richie Sambora. Star magazine claims Locklear confronted Richards, who was stunned into silence as Locklear proclaimed, "Well, I think you've answered the question. I never want to see you again. You no longer exist to me. It's like you've died." Fortunately, TMZ has the video of happier times from Spin City. Lloyd Grove looks at why Richards seems to have the upper hand with the paparazzi.

BRITNEY SPEARS: I thought she was blaming the manufacturer for her son's tumble from his high chair, but we now learn that the pregnant pop tart has canned the nanny. If I could convince her that Earth was at fault for being in her baby's way, would she leave for another planet?

MICK JAGGER shot a pilot for ABC, with the working title, Let's Rob Mick Jagger. I was disappointed to discover it's not a reality show.

TERI HATCHER suffered a scratch to her right cornea when a light bulb exploded o­n the Desperate Housewives set. She will be rockin' the eye patch, matey. Last year, castmate Eva Longoria was taken to a nearby hospital after being "bumped o­n the head by something" while shooting a scene o­n location. So maybe Wisteria Lane could use a branch office of OSHA.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise's crazy train jumps the track, as he skipped out o­n a Mission: Impossible III press conference in Paris to tour the city with Isabella and Connor, who Cruise adopted during his marriage to Nicole Kidman. But the unstoppable Cruise is better in this commercial spoof than the original Nike ad.

BRADGELINA: Jolie thanked the press for covering teleconference with British finance minister Gordon Brown o­n the Global Campaign for Education. Star magazine claims Jolie and Pitt plan to name their child "Africa." Jolie explains to NBC's Ann Curry that Pitt happens. And we learn that the couple is chowing down o­n KFC in Nambia.

QUENTIN TARANTINO has reportedly signed o­n to direct a Jimi Hendrix biopic. I'll believe it when I see it.

PETER BOGDANOVICH is going to tour with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

COURTNEY LOVE: Producer and former 4 Non Blondes singer Linda Perry wants to help with Courtney's comeback: "I can't allow myself as a music lover and someone who really respects that artist to go down with America's Sweetheart. That record sucked. She knows it. The world knows it. It was a horrible, crap-ass record."

THE SIMPSONS: The A.V. Club interviews creator Matt Groening about the planned movie and more, including a list of Simpsons quotes for everyday use.

THE CLINTONS appeared for the unveiling of their portraits at the National Portrait Gallery. The portrait of former Pres. Clinton was missing a wedding ring. Oops. Sen. Hillary Clinton, asked about it after a press conference, stammered, referring inquiries to her husband: "You know, I think that I ... you'll have to ask him or his office..."

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is the newest face of Chanel and the world's sexiest woman, according to a poll of "readers" of the British edition of FHM magazine. In March, the US edition picked Scarlett Johansson, who ranks 3rd o­n the UK list. Knightley placed 5th o­n the US list.

EDU-BLOGGING: For o­nce, I have remembered that the latest Carnival Of Education is posted.

IRAQ: NBC ambushes Prime Minister designate al-Maliki outside the men's room. At ITM, Omar looks at who will be the loyal opposition to the forming government. Michael Fumento lives to blog a firefight, which is stressful enough to excuse his mistaking the Animals for the Stones. Hardly anyone has noticed that former secretary of state James Baker III will be advising Pres. Bush o­n Iraq. Bill Roggio examines what the latest Zaqawi video says about al-Qaeda in Iraq's propaganda and military capabilities. US troops are training Iraqi forces, but they’re also watching for signs of death squad activity. And some Huffington Post readers are supporting the troops.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE OIL: Sen. Charles Schumer was again proving how dangerous it is to be between him and a TV camera: "We've got to look very seriously at breaking up the oil companies. This did not happen when there were 10 or 15 oil companies because you found good old fashioned American competition would work." Chuck apparently doesn't remember the 1970s, but after all, it was the 1970s. In a later interview, Chuck was forced to admit: "On this score, the Clinton administration is as much to blame as the Bush administration. It was the Clinton administration that allowed Exxon and Mobil to merge -- and that was a terrible, terrible thing." In fact, the Clinton Justice Department and FTC also cleared the BP-Amoco and Texaco-Chevron mergers. The Bush Admin. allowed Texaco-Chevron to buy Unocal, after Congress blocked Unocal's sale to a firm controlled by Communist China. Schumer claims: "Supply and demand did not cause gasoline to go up 40 cents a gallon in o­ne month. Look at the supply numbers, look at the demand numbers, consult any economist." If I did, I would hear about the cost of summer blend gas, compounded in Schumer's home state of NY by the switch-over from MTBE to ethanol as an additive. Economists would also tell me that oil company mergers account for no more than 1.2 percent of pump prices. But Chuck should be glad to learn this; otherwise, someone might ask him why, as a member of the House and Senate throughout the 1990s, he didn't try to stop these mergers.

HYENAS find that sex is no laughing matter. For example, hyenas give birth through the clitoris. That o­ne even makes me uncomfortable.

GOOFY is found bludgeoned and stabbed to death in Pittsburgh. This is what happens when you're used to living in the Magic Kingdom.

SQUIRRELS are being driven nutty by noisy wind farms in California, potentially disrupting the ecosystem.

FOXES, long associated with Britain's leafy countryside, foxes now have become a common sight in London. There are an estimated 10,000 foxes now living in the London area, some of them very near the financial district, Buckingham Palace, and No. 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's residence. The 2004 Hunting Act bans the hunting of foxes with packs of dogs, but shooting foxes by licensed gun owners (both of them) remains legal under British law, as do most forms of trapping.

EYE, A SIX-FOOT LONG ANACONDA, survived a fire in a music store in Santa Ana, CA. The Music Works was always pretty casual, but I don't think Paul ever kept an 50 lb. anaconda there.

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Nick Cave, Drive-By Truckers, Of Montreal and Dachshund vs. Snake   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE PIPETTES talk about girl groups, popularity, their new label and recording their debut album with Wears The Trousers. And it's another excuse for me to urge you to listen to a few or watch the video for "Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me" at their MySpace page.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS: David Johansen tells Pitchfork how the band was reunited by Morrissey.

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND and CAPTAIN BEEFHEART are the latest two subjects of the in-depth documentary series, Under Review: An Independent Critical Analysis, out o­n DVD this week.

NICK CAVE talks to Suicide Girls about writing songs, novels and screenplays: "I'm really interested in language and how it's used. With films I watch them indiscriminately. I go to the DVD shop, get four DVDs, go home and sit there. I don't have to use my brain. I can just get sucked into a story which is the great thing about films. You just turn it o­n and you get swallowed in whether you like it or not. Now I have an enormous library of really bad, mediocre and great films in my head. They all have some influence. I often watch a film and think, 'Why didn't they do that? That would have been much more interesting.'"

SPIN magazine is turning into Us Weekly under its new management.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: Mike Cooley, o­ne of the band's three guitarist-songwriters, talks to PopMatters about the comparisons to Skynyrd and Neil Young and covering Jim Carroll. At Chromewaves, Frank is killing music with DBT's cover of "Like A Rolling Stone."

TRESPASSERS WILLIAM, which has moved from L.A. to Seattle, makes floaty indie pop in the ballpark of Mazzy Star or the Sundays. You can hear some new and old tracks via MySpace.

JOHN DEE GRAHAM: The former True Believer and Austin fixture maks NPR's Song of the Day with the rockin' "Something Wonderful."

ISLANDS: There's now more video of the band taking to the streets at the end of their NYC gig o­n YouTube.

GNARLS BARKLEY are doing interviews with Pitchfork and PopMatters, which you should check out -- even if it's just to see their amusing, movie-themed promo photos. But if you listen to the should-be-feel-good-hit-of-the-summer, "Crazy," you might be interested in the story behind this collaboration. I've mentioned the song twice this week, so you can tell it's my current earworm. PLUS: Check out Ray LaMontagne's acoustic cover of "Crazy."

OF MONTREAL has a new track -- "a cloud crashes" -- to stream or download from the band's MySpace page, though it may be a cover.

DIRTY PRETTY THINGS frontman Carl Barat says the Libertines made him a little older and wiser. Barat was speaking at the launch of Dirty Pretty Things' debut single, "Bang Bang You’re Dead," in London.

BRITNEY SPEARS -- as you may have heard, is pregnant with the second spawn of Spenderline. BTW, their fight before his Vegas gig may have been K-Fed banning Britney from attending, for fear of being upstaged.

TOBEY MAGUIRE is getting hitched. And why not? How do you get pub in Hollywood these days without getting married, pregnant or divorced? Certainly not by making movies.

KEVIN COSTNER has been revealed as the celebrity accused of performing a sex act while being given a massage at a famous golf hotel.

AL PACINO will be overacting in Ocean's Thirteen, according to Variety. HOO-AH!

UNITED 93: Depending o­n who's talking, the 9/11 drama was either a big draw or a musn't-see at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere last night. Studio execs are nervous about the film, but USA Today reports: "When the film ended, sobs filled the otherwise-silent theater."

KELSEY GRAMMER wants to run for President: Hello, America... I'm listening.

DENISE and CHARLIE and RICHIE and HEATHER: I guess we won't be seeing Denise Richards and Heather Locklear making out again soon. Having been caught canoodling, Richards' and Sambora's people claim it's a case of friends reaching out for each other, while a Locklear source claims "Denise called Richie and initiated everything." We Love Celebs wonders whether Richards is the woman in the suggestive e-mail sent to Sambora that was the last straw for Locklear. Meanwhile, we discover that Sheen left profane and bigoted voicemail for Richards -- calling her "Dick Face" isn't the worst of it, but may be the funniest. Richards fears Sheen may have had a hand in the death of porn star and alleged hooker Chloe Jones. OTOH, Sheen is convinced Richards timed her attack sabotage his new children's clothing line -- a theory considerably less wacky than his theories about 9/11.

LOST star Michelle Rodriguez pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and chose jail over community service.

PHIL SPECTOR: The much-delayed murder trial of the "wall of sound" music producer was postponed again -- this time all the way back to January.

JACK KEROUAC: The On the Road author talks to Steve Allen and William Buckley, does some dramatic reading and dies in a short film o­n YouTube.

VIGGO MORTENSEN and DAVID CRONENBERG: The star and director of A History of Violence will be reteaming for another thriller, Eastern Promises.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise makes like wacko Jacko in Rome for the premiere of Mission: Impossible III, for which Yahoo has a new, exclusive clip.

BRADGELINA has largely kept the press at bay in Namibia, but that's changing a bit. Jolie told OK! magazine that she is afraid of marriage and starting a family. The couple has been featured in Hello magazine. And Jolie has done an exclusive interview with NBC's Ann Curry, which will air o­n the Today show Thursday, and o­n Dateline NBC Sunday.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar reports that Muqtada al-Sadr thinks soccer is a Jewish conspiracy. He has the video, too. At the Counterterrorism Blog, Walid Phares and Evan Kohlmann analyze Zarqawi's latest video. StrategyPage looks at how US troops built the "battlefield Internet" to exchange info o­n tactics and techniques that could help keep them alive in combat. At Slate,Daniel Gross notes that Halliburton isn't making much money o­n its Iraq-based contracts. And Staff Sgt. Martin Richburg saved an Internet cafe full of people from a bomb in Al Kisik -- o­ne of many stories that never seem to make the network news or the major newspapers.

IRAN threatens to hide and speed up its nuke program and to transfer the experience, knowledge and technology of its scientists.

STUCK IN LODI: A federal jury has convicted a 23-year-old man of supporting terrorists by attending an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan three years ago. But a separate jury hearing a case against the man's father deadlocked, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial.

GITMO: The International Committee of the Red Cross reports that detention conditions at Guantanamo have "improved considerably." ICRC Pres. Jakob Kellenberger also called it "extremely regrettable" that intense media focus o­n Gitmo seemed to distract from troubled sites in places like Chechnya and Burma, where the ICRC has suspended prison visits over disagreements with local authorities.

DACHSHUND SURVIVES POISONOUS SNAKE BITE that left the pet with a fang embedded in its head. Video at the link.

FRANKIE THE BULLDOG was trained for six months to recreate the always-circulating video of the skateboarding dog.

SKYLAR THE GOLDEN DOODLE burned down his owner's house trying to reheat a piece of pizza.

A JUMPING FISH put a 31-year-old woman in the hospital, way down along the Suwannee River.

A NINE-FOOT GATOR plans to sell the golf balls knocked into his lake at a city-owned golf course, so divers need to stay out.

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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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