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Jenny Lewis, Laura Cantrell, Monkeys and Little Pink Dolphins for you and me   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 23, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


GARY "ELVIS" SCHEPERS UPDATE: Pate frontman Jon Pratt and wife Naomi drove 14 hours and endured a Chicago snowstorm to attend o­ne of the week-long series of benefit concerts featuring a veritable who's who of Chicago music scheduled to help defray Schepers' unwieldy medical costs following an attack from "flesh-eating bacteria" and a diagnosisof Type 2 diabetes. The Chicago Tribune also has a video feature o­n the artists and bands involved in the effort, with Scheper's phoned comment, "They're doing the cool thing. I'm just lying here with a hose in my foot." The New Duncan Imperials put o­n a fine show and sold Service vinyl for Gary, with whom they played in The Service. NDI also dedicated "Pensacola 99" to Jon and Naomi.

The Gary Schepers Trust has been set up at National City Bank. Donations for Schepers, made payable to "Gary Schepers Trust," can be made at any National City branch location or mailed to: National City Bank, 1520 N. Damen Ave., Chicago IL, 60622

Saturday, the Pratts visited Millenium Park, as Jon was keen to see the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion and BP bridge. If you haven't been to the park, you might want to check out the interesting photos at Flickr, along with clustery goodness. It was wonderful to catch up with the Pratts, whom I hope will stop by to see the park again in warmer weather.

JENNY LEWIS of Rilo Kiley has her Americana-styled solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat out tomorrow. It's "consistently clever," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which also gives Cat Power's The Greatest a boffo write-up in an article using Dusty In Memphis as a touchstone. Lewis is interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle, London's Independent and SPIN. You can stream two from the album at MySpace.

ROGER McGUINN, former leader of the Byrds, talks to the Bradenton Herald about the Folk Den McGuinn's music blog, through which he wants to preserve and perhaps popularize traditional folk music. McGuinn also hand-picked three downloads as a sampler.

BRITISH FOLK: London's Observer has an overview of the growing scene, along with a recommendation to watch A Mighty Wind.

BELLE & SEBASTIAN: Stuart Murdoch talks to Drowned in Sound about the increased role of the other members in writing and arranging the upcoming album, The Life Pursuit.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL: The former member of Belle & Sebastian has her list of music you should hear at Amazon, with bonus recommendations and some from new collaborator Mark Lanegan (ex-Queens of the Stone Age and Screaming Trees).

DEERHOOF drummer Greg Saunier insists that his experimental indie rock band is commercial because ''everything I do is for sale." The Boston Globe reports that the band may not be mersh yet, but is trying to become more accessible.

LAURA CANTRELL plays and meets THE BOSS: Beware of the Blog has Quicktime video of Cantrell playing "Used Cars" at the Nebraska tribute show and Springsteen joining Cantrell, The National, ex-Del Fuego Dan Zanes and more playing some Woody Guthrie's "Oklahoma Hills."

THE NATIONAL also played live for WOXY in September. So Much Silence is killing music.

NELLIE McKAY still seems a little miffed about her break-up with Columbia/Sony. The good news is that McKay and her mother/manager put up the money for her album's recording, which should make regaining rights to its 23 songs less problematic. There's talk about an initial Internet-only release and CDs in February or March.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS top the UK charts for a second time with their latest single, "When the Sun Goes Down," beating out singles from: Notorious BIG, Diddy and Nelly; Will Young; and Beyonce. Heh. ALSO COOL: Hard-Fi and Editors took numbers o­ne and two respectively in the UK album charts. Stereogum has more o­n Editors.

BON JOVI discovers that Slippery When Wet is a better name for an album than for the condition of an airport runway. And Jon insists that working in the music business meant it was inevitable he would cheat o­n his wife.

WILSON PICKETT: There are two more audio pieces o­n the wicked Pickett up at NPR.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Model Jessie Leonard learned that her live-in lover Jamie Burke was having an affair with supposedly sober supermodel Moss from a television newsflash. Frustrated detectives waiting to question Moss in London about cocaine believe she has started behaving like a "fugitive" and may cuff her if she returns to England. British cops recently questioned former Clash guitarist Mick Jones in the matter. Meanwhile, troubled singer Doherty again pleaded guilty to possession of heroin, crack cocaine, morphine and cannabis. That was just a few hours after he started a donnybrook at a London gig.

BRADGELINA: Jolie is rumored to be expecting twins as the result of fertility treatments, according to the ever-reliable Sun. With Jolie, o­ne wonders whether "fertility treatments" refers to something medical or supernatural. Meanwhile, Maddox and Zahara are officially Jolie-Pitts. And Wyclef Jean thought the pair would be the target of a kidnapping plot during their recent trip to Haiti.

NARNIA RAP REDUX: "Lazy Sunday," the viral hit from Saturday Night Live (also viewble through sites like YouTube) is covered by a nine- and seven-year-old duo. And Andy Samberg loves it. BONUS: YouTube also has the follow-up video from Samberg, "Young Chuck Norris." Not quite as good, but pretty funny, especially as I featured the Chuck Norris Random Fact Generator o­n Friday.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The heavily panned Underworld: Evolution tops the box office, followed by Hoodwinked and Glory Road. End of the Spear opened in eighth place, though its low budget means it may not be a loss. Brokeback Mountain moved up to fifth from ninth as it expanded to almost 1,200 screens.

BUBBLE: Steven Soderbergh's small film will be in theaters and o­n high-definition cable this Friday; a few days later, it also will be released o­n DVD. This is riling both independent movie houses and major studios, which makes it extra-cool that the soundtrack is by Robert Pollard.

THE WORLD'S BEST-PAID YOUNG CELEBS: Courtesy of Forbes magazine, natch.

DAVID HASSELHOFF blames his divorce o­n that ol' demon rum.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON says, "It's hard for actors to date each other, because they can be so damn moody." This following her skepticism of monogomy, cannot be good news for Josh Hartnett. Woody Allen thinks Scarlett should dress younger. Why am I not surprised?

ISSAC MIZRAHI, the fashion designer-turned-interviewer who groped Scarlett o­n the red carpet at the Golden Globes, is warned against a repeat of his outrageous behavior at the Oscars, even though the E! channel has not received any official complaints from any of the actresses involved in Mizrahi’s Golden Globes appearance.

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE star Jon Heder has scored a production deal for live action and animated projects. Sweet.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The decrease in Cruise's popularity due to his wackiness is bringing out previously silent critics. Emanuelle Beart now complains that Cruise insisted her character in the first Mission Impossible movie be o­ne-dimensional, lest the audience not like his character as much. Former nanny Suzanne Hansen says Cruise made his nannies sign confidentiality agreements so strict they couldn't even say for whom they were working.

NICOLE KIDMAN has reportedly broken off her engagement to country singer Keith Urban, fearing he has "not turned his back o­n his wild ways."

SIENNA MILLER and JUDE LAW are on the rocks again.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY was snubbed by the BAFTA awards -- have they no patriotism? She bribed security guards to let ticketless friends into the pre-Golden Globes Vanity Fair party. And she's a cruel heartbreaker.

IRAQ: The Shiite and Kurdish coalitions came up just short of the two-thirds majority needed to form a government o­n their own giving Sunni Arab parties a much stronger political voice than they had before. At Iraq the Model, Omar has the breakdown. Diplomats in Washington, Arab as well as American, said the US would lean hard o­n the government to be as inclusive as possible -- no doubt US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will be doing the leaning. Bill Roggio posts o­n insurgent groups declaring war o­n al Qaeda.

IRAN has secretly extended the uranium enrichment plant at the centre of the international controversy over its resumption of banned nuclear research earlier this month, satellite imagery has revealed. With Sens. McCain, Lieberman and Clinton getting hawkish o­n the issue, The New York Times looks at pros and cons of a military strike.

NANOTECH: The Science Blog notes that researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are making strides towards quantum computers, which if feasible, likely will have as large an impact o­n technology as the transistor.

LOKI THE SQUIRREL MONKEY loves his toy duck. Awwww...

RUSSIAN MONKEYS brave the arctic temperatures in Moscow with wine. I guess the vodka was taken by the elephants.

DONKEYS make good shepherds, with the right training.

THE THAMES WHALE: The charming story of a seven-ton whale that made its way up the Thames to central London (video) and the ensuing rescue effort turned tragic when the whale passed away o­n a barge towards deeper water in the Thames Estuary. Rescuers hoped worldwide public interest in the whale's fate would promote conservation of the endangered species.

PINK DOLPHINS are spotted near Hong Kong. What would John Cougar Mellenhead say?

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Wilson Pickett, Cloud Room, Peaches Geldof, Whale Shark and Goose Poop   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 20, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



WILSON PICKETT -- that wicked, wicked Pickett -- died of a heart attack at 64. As a teenager, Pickett formed a gospel music group called the Violinaires which toured with the likes of Sam Cooke and The Soul Stirrers. Pickett's first major break came when he was invited to join The Falcons in the early 1959. Future Memphis soul notables Joe Stubbs (brother of Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops), Sir Mack Rice and Eddie Floyd were also members. In 1962, when "I Found a Love" (featuring Pickett o­n lead vocals) peaked at #6 o­n the R&B charts, he cut his first solo recordings, including "I'm Gonna Cry," his first collaboration with Don Covay, an important figure in Southern soul music. Pickett also recorded a demo for a song he co-wrote called "If You Need Me." Pickett sent the demo to Atlantic Records, where co-founder and producer Jerry Wexler liked it so much that he gave it to Solomon Burke; it became o­ne of Burke's biggest hits and landed Pickett a deal with Atlantic, where Wexler called him "Wicked" Pickett.

In 1965, Pickett scored a #21 pop hit with "In the Midnight Hour," which he co-wrote with legendary sessions musician Steve Cropper. A slew of late '60s R&B/soul hits followed, including "Land of 1,000 Dances," "Funky Broadway," "634-5789," "She's Lookin' Good" and "Mustang Sally." He even cut a surprisingly soulful cover of the Archies' "Sugar, Sugar." Muscle Shoals session guitarist Duane Allman talked Pickett into covering "Hey Jude," which was a hit for Pickett and helped launch Allman's career. As the '70s dawned, Pickett scored three consecutive top 20 pop singles with "Engine Number 9," "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You" and "Don't Knock My Love Pt. 1." His last hit song was "Fire and Water" in 1972. He was was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and two years later, he was also given the Pioneer award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. NPR has an audio remembrance. Pickett is also being remembered at MP3 blogs like Soul Shower, Spread the Good Word and An Aquarium Drunkard. Blogger Milbarge notes that Pickett's death comes o­n the heels of the death of Lou Rawls -- with Rawls, Pickett, Redding, Dave Prater, and even Arthur Conley dead, Sam Moore and James Brown should watch their health.

DEVO DISNEY! Devo have reformed to record a kids album called Devo 2.0 that will be released o­n March 17 by Disney Sound. Disney Sound's first releases were 2005's Here Come The ABC's CD and DVD from They Might Be Giants. Next up is a project with The Go-Go's. For now, we have the "Whip It" video in all of its terrifying glory.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: The Chuck Norris Random Fact Generator. Or you can go straight to the Top 30 Chuck Norris facts. ALSO: Chuck's take o­n the phenomenon.

JOHN LENNON'S original draft of lyrics to "A Day in the Life" has gone o­n sale in a sealed-bid auction ending March 7. The manuscript is expected to fetch about two million bucks.

BRIGHT EYES: Dylan Schäfer of USC's Daily Trojan knows Conor Oberst -- he's a fan of Conor Oberst -- but writes that Conor Oberst is no Bob Dylan.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE-ster Kevin Drew talks to the Toronto Star about how the world sees Canada as o­ne big scene and playing a 5 1/2 hour show in Tokyo.

100K VINTAGE AND DELETED EUROPEAN RECORDINGS are being unearthed by Universal Music Group for o­nline distribution. This program will offer material that, in some cases, goes back to the early days of recorded music. More recent material will include Eddie and the Hot Rods and Fairport Convention.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKER Patterson Hood talks about the importance of homecoming as the band is set to play Athens, GA this weekend.

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO: The band's self-produced and self-released debut, The Best Party Ever, was in Rough Trade's top 10 biggest sellers of the year. Multi-instrumentalist Pete Hobbs and lyricist/singer Jof Owen talk to MusicOMH about how pile of Smash Hits vinyl from 1980-1985 they bought for £3 changed their lives. You can also stream a few tracks from MySpace before the album gets here.

ARETHA FRANKLIN, AARON NEVILLE and DR JOHN will perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl next month.

TEGAN & SARA are glad people are getting over the whole Canadian identical twin-sister lesbian thing and enjoying their music. You can hear some yourself at MySpace.

ARCTIC MONKEYS: Their upcoming album's title, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, is a tribute to Albert Finney and the character he played in Saturday Night And Sunday Morning.

CLOUD ROOM: Pitchfork ran a feature, "The Smash That Wasn't," about what can go wrong making an indie album, highlighting some friction between Cloud Room and its label, Gigantic. This being the Digital Age, the band has posted its response to the feature. You can stream the non-smash and a new song at MySpace.

THE DECEMBERISTS frontman Colin Meloy played a solo set o­n KEXP. You Ain't No Picasso is killing music.

BRADGELINA: Jolie has vowed to put maternal duties before her career when she gives birth to Pitt's child -- which her adopted children will discuss years later in therapy. Fametracker, in a first, performs a fame audit of the pair's fetus: "We will need special goggles. No, the goggles won't protect us. We'll need artists, great artists, who'll sacrifice their eyes for o­ne brief gaze upon the Brangelina infant (or, as we like to call it, the Infangelina), sketch its glory quickly, then spend their rest of their lives as blind babbling fools, jibbering in some monastery somewhere..."

NOW SHOWING: The big opener this weekend is Underworld: Evolution, which seemingly was not shown to critics -- a red flag, there. End of the Spear also opens today. Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, by Albert Brooks, opens in limited release. Match Point, The New World, and Brokeback Mountain expand their screens.

LOVE MONKEY: I noted Wednesday that I thought I would give the show a chance -- a decision reinforced upon learning that Nic Harcourt, KCRW's music director and host of the weekday radio show "Morning Becomes Eclectic," is the show's music consultant. So far, he's booked buzz bands She Wants Revenge and Robbers o­n High Street, more established acts such as Aimee Mann, and an unsigned singer-songwriter named Eugene whose demo Harcourt received at KCRW.

SUPERMAN RETURNS: Are cost overruns Kryptonite for the Movie the Man of Steel?

SPIDERMAN 3: Gwen Stacy lives... and lives. She may be played by Bryce Dallas Howard.

BAFTA AWARDS: The nominees are led by The Constant Gardener, but Brokeback Mountain and Crash are close behind. And George Clooney got two noms in the supprting actor category, which will almost certainly split his vote.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON says that Woody Allen would interrupt the shooting of intense scenes in Match Point to ask, "So how old were you when you lost your virginity?" I have no idea why Soon-Yi decided to start dropping by the set.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Spenderline is at it again. This time he wants her to foot the bill for a Las Vegas nightclub he can run when he's done pretending he has musical talent.

PEACHES HONEYBLOSSOM MICHELLE CHARLOTTE ANGEL VANESSA GELDOF, daughter of Bob, and sister of Fifi Trixibelle, Pixie and Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, comes out against celebs giving their kids silly names. No, really.

PRINCE: SkinnySlim blogs the Golden Globes afterparty thrown by the Artist formerly known as a goofy symbol.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: London's Sun reports that TV bosses have axed an episode of South Park which outs a fictional Tom Cruise character as gay — because they are scared the real actor will sue.

EX-PANTHERS CHEERLEADER Angela Keathley got six months probation for her role in a bathroom brawl sparked by accusations that she was having sex with another cheerleader. Victoria Renee Thomas (the hotter o­ne) has denied the sex allegation and pleaded not guilty.

STACY'S MOM claims she can't find a date.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar writes about the results of election fraud investigations, but nails a larger point: "Actually, o­ne of our biggest problems is the lack of trust between the different parties and more dangerous is the little trust the parties have in democracy. This trust crisis is what causes those irrational reactions. The Shia politicians, although they are the biggest winners in the elections are still behaving like victims and they worry about whether this or that Sunni candidate was part of the Ba’ath party. And the same applies to the Sunni who are afraid of Shia domination despite the fact that their (the Sunni) parties will control nearly 30% of the parliament and there’s no chance they can be marginalized again. Not o­nly that, both sides say they’re being conspired upon by the others. This lack of trust will keep being a problem for Iraq…I’m not expecting politicians to trust each other but I hope they mature to trust democracy."

THE STANS: Bill Roggio notes that last Friday's airstrike in the Pakistani border town of Damadola also killed al-Qaeda’s operational commanders in Pakistan and Afghanistan. That's in addition to AQ's WMD chief. He also notes that the stepped-up terror campaign in Afghanistan by AQ and the Taliban does not sit well with the Afghanis, who organized a protest chanting, “death to Pakistan, death to al-Qaeda and death to the Taliban.”

PURPORTED BIN LADEN TAPE warns Americans of impending attacks and offers a truce (but not really, because who says OBL controlls all terrorists). At the Counterterrorism Blog, Dr. Walid Phares offers translation and analysis. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross posts o­n al-Qaeda's attempt to signal that it can be appeased.

IRAN: French President Jacques Chirac for the first time raised the threat of a nuclear strike o­n any state that launches "terrorist" attacks against France. He said France's doctrine of nuclear deterrence has been extended to protect the country's "strategic supplies," taken to mean oil. Although Chirac did not single out any country in his speech, he did mention "the temptation by certain countries to obtain nuclear capabilities in contravention of treaties."

THE WORLD'S LARGEST FISH is shrinking. That's the whale shark, which should not be confused with the far more deadly jaguar shark.

FUGITIVE WALLABY in France is headed for the stewpot after being found dead from a hit-and-run accident.

WASPFISH: A new species of the venomous creature was identified in the South Africa Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity collection in Grahamstown.

GEESE poop. It's a staggering problem that has Oakland, CA trying to figure out how to chase away some 2,000 resident Canadian geese that produce a ton of poop daily from Lake Merritt without running afoul of the Federal Migratory Bird and Endangered Species acts.

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The Elected, The National, Cherryholmes, Spiders and Snake   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 19, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BLAKE SENNETT talks about recording his side project The Elected, which is dropping the same day as the solo album from his Rilo Kiley partner, Jenny Lewis: "I guess Jenny's Gene Simmons. So maybe I'm Paul Stanley." You can -- and should -- stream a couple from the band's website, as it's pretty nifty pop music. Meanwhile, Bows + Arrows is killing music with the downloads.

NEIL YOUNG: Rolling Stone excerpts its cover story o­n the godfather of grunge (and alt-country?), along with a feature o­n "The Best Neil Young Songs You Never Heard" and an archival Young interview by Cameron Crowe.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH announce tour dates.

WE ARE SCIENTISTS and MORNINGWOOD drew comparisons just because their albums dropped the same day. The New York Times compares their live shows, again to Morningwood's detriment. At Coolfer, Glenn updates his buzz-tracking of the two bands, which shows W.A.S. pulling away (in part due to the Scientists' UK following). Similarly, Morningwood is scoring 53 at Metacritic, while W.A.S. scores a 66.

THE WHITE STRIPES will appear o­n The Simpsons, though not until next season, due to the lengthy animation production cycle.

ISSAC HAYES, who is hospitalized with exhaustion in Memphis, is apparently not the cat who won't cop out...

THE NATIONAL got to play with the Boss at a NYC concert where bands performed Springsteen's Nebraska album in its entirety. Springsteen featured the National's "About Today" in the music played in venues before shows o­n his recent solo tour, and Aaron Dessner enthused, "It was almost absurd to me that he knows and likes our music." But not really surprising, given that their world-weary brand of Americana has been comapred to his, not to mention everyone from Golden Smog to GbV to Nick Cave. You can stream a few from the critically acclaimed Alligator at MySpace.

RYAN ADAMS gets a Village Voice profile subtitled: "Here's more non-bad publicity for a guy who never sees it that way."

PATTI SMITH, CAT POWER and KEVIN SHIELDS of My Bloody Valentine collaborated o­n a spoken word + music version of Smith's The Coral Sea.

SONY XCD DEBACLE: The security-compromising rootkit malware has been detected o­n military and government computer systems.

CHERRYHOLMES: The crtically acclaimed family bluegrass band gets an audio profile at NPR, along with three streaming tracks.

A LOOK AHEAD: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette previews upcoming releases from "big deal" bands, including The Flaming Lips, Wilco, Ray Davies and Prince.

BRADGELINA: Us magazine reports that Jennifer Aniston was tipped about Jolie's pregnancy by Pitt's family. Pitt's friends say that his sense of fun has returned since leaving Aniston for Jolie.

LEIF GARRETT charged with heroin possession and not looking good. The L.A. Times has the before and after shots.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES, otoh, is looking younger all the time. Britain's Daily Mail has the before and after shots.

TERI HATCHER and GEORGE CLOONEY are playing coy about their rumored date. IIRC, Hatcher said that she had picked her Golden Globes dress to win a man, not an award.

JUST ASKING: When Page Six asks, "which cuckolded cutie suffered an additional heartbreak when she decided to abort her child?" and "which pop strumpet preferred a certain kind of sexual intercourse, which let her technically maintain her virgin status, with her various hookups before she married her current husband?", do they think these are actually blind items?

KATE MOSS: The supposedly sober supermodel's new beau reportedly has a live-in girlfriend who is also a model. But could that have been enough to drive her into the clutches of Jack Osbourne? "A Lowdown spy reports that even Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson and Jessica Simpson were aghast as the 32-year-old mother of o­ne bumped and ground her waif-like charms into the slimmed-down 20-year-old son of Ozzy."

FELICITY HUFFMAN and WILLIAM H. MACY snapped getting their groove o­n at the InStyle Golden Globes afterparty.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Switching from Kabbalah to Hinduism?

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Less than a week after she was released from a hospital, Li-Lo is partying heartily again — but her mother insists there’s nothing to worry about. (2nd item.)

MADONNA: Friends of Madge worry that "she's working herself right into exhaustion."

STEVEN SPIELBERG: FWIW, Matt Drudge reports the uber-director is miffed that Universal chief Stacey Snider is backing Brokeback Mountain in the Oscars campaign, at the expense of Munich.

EVANGELINE LILLY: The Lost hottie o­nce filmed a TV commercial for a steamy chatline.

CULT OF THE iPod: Both NBC and ABC have seen a rise in viewer ratings since adding select TV shows to the iTunes Music Store.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: McSweeney's has "Selection From George W. Bush's Eavesdropping Tapes: Matthew Barney and Bjork Place an Ikea Phone Order."

PAKISTAN: Pakistani officials now believe that al Qaeda's master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert was killed in last week's US missile attack. He is described by authorities as the man who ran al Qaeda's infamous Derunta training camp in Afghanistan, where he used dogs and other animals as subjects for experiments with poison and chemicals. Counterterrism expert Dan Darling reported that Abu Khabab al-Masri ran al-Qaeda’s WMD program and was likely involved in the foiled Amman WMD attack.

IRAQ: Monday was homecoming day in California for 600 soldiers of a National Guard battalion that officials said suffered the most combat casualties of any California unit since the Korean War. The battalion included some of the best milbloggers, such as Major K and Danjel Bout, the Commander of A Co, 1-184 IN, 3ID in southern Baghdad. Bill Roggio covers the shift from offensive operations to counterinsurgency operations in Anbar province.

HAMSTER and SNAKE at the Tokyo Zoo are best friends, even though the hamster's name translates as "meal."

KAYLEE THE DOLPHIN SMUGGLED TO THE HOSPITAL in Chicago for a CT scan of her lungs. The procedure was planned like a small military operation. Because of her dorsal fin, o­nly half of Kaylee could fit in, but it was enough to see both her lungs.

SPIDERS, CENTIPEDES and SCORPION-LIKE CREATURES were among 27 new animal species that biologists have discovered in the dark, damp caves of two Central California national parks.

PRINCESS THE CAT interrupts Jean Poole and her 9-month-old granddaughter's nap, alerting them to a fire in their mobile home.

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Robert Pollard, Built to Spill, Love Monkey and a Chupacabra?   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


ROBERT POLLARD: Newsday's Glenn Gamboa writes: "On his new solo album, From a Compound Eye, Pollard reconnects with the quirkiness of his earlier work without losing the musical momentum he generated with later incarnations of Guided by Voices."

THE ROCK ROBOT is blogging its way through the voluminous Guided by Voices/Pollard catalog.

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE singer Zack de la Rocha turned down an offer to join rasta-punk legends Bad Brains, who are currently fronted by former Cro-Mags growler John "Bloodclot" Joseph.

THE BLUES MUSIC AWARDS nominations include several unlikely challengers who emerged from the fringes to take o­n the big boys.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKER Jason Isbell used to play in Bo Bice's band and comments o­n his success.

MORRISSEY is under fire after voicing his support for violent animal rights activists. And he's starting an extensive UK tour.

CAT POWER: More buzz for Chan Marshall and the Greatest in The Age and (with Beth Orton) The New York Times. Reminder -- the whole album is streaming at MySpace.

PAUL WELLER will accept the Outstanding Contribution To Music gong at next month’s Brit Awards so that he can give an emotional speech in tribute to his seriously ill dad.

HARD-FI frontman Richard Archer wonders why the Brit Awards leave pop acts out of the pop category.

BUILT TO SPILL will have a new album, You In Reverse, out in April. There's an advance track, nine minutes long, up at MySpace.

WE ARE SCIENTISTS frontman Keith Murray talks about his unrequited love for heavy metal.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer has bought three Jaguars this past month, even as he was losing thousand of pounds for himself and others by failing to turn up for gigs.

LOVE MONKEY: The Orlando Sentinel, in looking at the growing influence of pop and rock o­n television (and vice-versa), notes that CBS's new Love Monkey, starring Tom Cavanagh as an A & R guy, will feature a number of little-known bands and performers. Despite the presence of Jason Priestley, I was persuaded by the promise of bands, Cavanagh, Judy Greer and Ivana Milicevic to watch. Like Tom Shales, I found it "easy to dismiss yet hard to dislike," with "charm by the oodle, and some very beguiling tricks up its sleeve." How many TV shows are going to show you the Hotel Chelsea and CBGB at all, let alone in the same hour?

GOLDEN GLOBES AFTERPARTY: There's plenty of backstage gossip from USA Today and the AP. Eva Longoria told the McPaper that she and Jamie Foxx are just friends, but that's not what a source told Perez Hilton. Are Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber still together? Page Six implied they are not, but Perez claims a very good source saw them together at the CAA afterparty. But o­ne of my favorite nuggets is Defamer's screen cap of Russell Crowe chowing down o­n a burger from a telltale, off-the-menu Styrofoam container during the ceremonies.

RUSSELL CROWE also has confirmed reports his wife Danielle Spencer is expecting their second child.

HOLLY HUNTER gave birth to twins. No word o­n whether they have superpowers.

PARADISE NOW: The movie about two Nablus car mechanics who are sent to carry out a double suicide-bombing in Tel Aviv gets bad reviews o­n the West Bank: "This movie doesn't help the Palestinian cause," said an armed Palestinian militant who would not give his name because he's o­n the run. "People who go to carry out bombings do not hesitate so much."

LARRY WACHOWSKI: Rolling Stone has a lengthy piece o­n the co-director of the blockbuster Matrix movies taking up with a dominatrix, cross-dressing and hinting he's a candidate for gender-reassignment surgery.

HALLE BERRY may procreate with a random dude at the end of the Summer.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Rumored to be dating the lonely Sean Lennon. Last month he told a newspaper he was looking for any woman from 18- 45 with an IQ above 130. So I'm guessing that doesn't last.

HOWARD STERN has had some work done. CityRag has the before and after shots.

WILLIAM SHATNER. Sells. His. Kidney. Stone. The money will go to Habitat for Humanity.

BRITTANY MURPHY is engaged again, this time to the man who hung her Christmas lights.

KATE BECKINSALE claims she has "fat ass" days when she is so insecure about her looks that she can't leave the house. Now there's a role model for young girls.

JESSICA SIMPSON is currently in talks for another reality show: "I like the idea as it could be empowering to women to show that life goes o­n after a marriage."

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar posts that President Talabani insists o­n including the Sunni Arabs in the new government, while the main Shia party is suffering from internal conflicts over the nomination of the new prime minister. Bill Roggio, looking at the major security incidents reported over the past week, suggests that al-Qaeda wants coordination of jihadi groups in Iraq because al-Qaeda in Iraq may be having a problem in sustaining a mass-casualty campaign over time outside Baghdad. Baby Noor, the Iraqi infant who underwent surgery in Atlanta for spina bifida, will have to return to the hospital so fluid can be drained from her back.

IRAN: It's a tug-of-war over Russia. Britain softened its stance over imposing sanctions in an effort to maintain international unity regarding Tehran's nuclear program. Russia moved towards the US and European position, while coincidentally the Iranian ambassador in Moscow praised a proposal to move Tehran's uranium enrichment program to Russia. China remains a wild card.

PAKISTAN: Reason catches The New York Times and AFP misidentifying an artillery shell as the "remains of a missile." Perhaps these media outlets simply don't know much about things military -- which is a disadvantage when covering a war. Meanwhile, Pakistani authorities confirmed that four or five foreign terrorists were killed in the US strike that hoped to target al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: The Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU filed federal lawsuits seeking to end Pres. Bush's electronic eavesdropping program. Though the ACLU has a broad range of clients involved, they will probably have difficulties proving they have "standing" to bring their suit. The CCR suit seems stronger, as its lawyers represent enemy combatants, but those clients are not plaintiffs to the suit, which may be problematic. ALSO: FBI officials repeatedly complained to the NSA that the flood of tips led them to few potential terrorists inside the country they did not know of from other sources and diverted agents from counter- terrorism work they viewed as more productive. The differing views of the FBI and the NSA may reflect both bureaucratic rivalry and a culture clash. As the FBI seems to have a hard time finding spies in its own ranks, they might need to do a rethink o­n intell sharing.

ANOTHER TEXAS CHUPACABRA? Local animal experts are having a hard time identifying a strange looking animal killed in Angelina County, TX o­n Friday. Looks like a deformed coyote to me.

PARROT SQUEALS: A computer programmer found out his girlfriend was having an affair when his pet parrot kept repeating her lover's name, British media reported Tuesday. Usually, it's the girlfriend who makes that mistake. At least, that's what I've heard. From friends. Of friends.

CHINCHILLAS and BOA CONSTRICTORS were among the animals blessed in Spain to mark the feast day of Saint Anthony, patron saint of animals.

PETS: They're going to live forever... if they graduate from the fame academy for pets in Germany, where talented animals get the chance to sing, dance and play musical instruments.

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CVB, SXSW, BRMC, Tim Fite, Golden Globes, The Dog Whisperer   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


ARCTIC MONKEYS: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not gets a perfect ten from NME: "Essentially this is a stripped-down, punk rock record with every touchstone of Great British Music covered: The Britishness of The Kinks, the melodic nous of The Beatles, the sneer of Sex Pistols, the wit of The Smiths, the groove of The Stone Roses, the anthems of Oasis, the clatter of The Libertines..." The album also scores five stars in the Guardian: "The spectre of Oasis lurks around Arctic Monkeys, proof that even the most promising beginnings can turn into a dreary, reactionary bore. For now, however, they look and sound unstoppable." The Observer headline is "Believe the hype." At *Sixeyes, Alan gives it an 8.5: "A still raw and very good band with an impressive debut... it's a mass media wet dream." Alan also links you to AM MP3s... You can also check out this BBC Real Audio feature o­n the lads.

CAT POWER: Chan Marshall gets a biographical piece in Newsday. Her latest The Greatest, comes out today and was featured here yesterday, so scroll o­n down.

CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN is again touring behind New Roman Times, a rock opera that could be described as progressive both musically and politically. Guitarist Greg Lisher: "If Bush had lost, it might have screwed up our concept. Since he's still in office, our record still has some life to it."

ROCK ME, AMADEUS: Alex Ross, the music critic of The New Yorker, compiles an All-time Top 40, based o­n Google hits. Guess who beats The Beatles?

SXSW 2006 The full list of acts is a "humdinger." See You in the Pit returns to blog the bands (with much suspected killing of music), starting with The Earlies, singer Allison Goldfrapp, Thunderbirds Are Now! and indie chanteuse Neko Case.

WE ARE SCIENTISTS: Keith Murray found the sudden interest of major labels at SXSW "sort of amusing because it felt like we all knew something that everybody else apparently didn't -- that we were some idiot band from Brooklyn."

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB: You can stream their set for World Cafe from NPR.

POPWORLD sounds like my kind of television show. I would like to see Britney Spears walk out and Gwen Stefani grow visibly angry when aggressively interviewed about cheese.

E-LABELS, like UMe and Cordless, get no respect. Just ask the Posies' Ken Stringfellow and Devo's Gerald Casale. The latter says of the CD: "People want objects. It's a fetish." Well, yeah... which leads to the next story.

LINER NOTES are going digital and interactive.

TIM FITE: IGN puts the 25 year old from rural Pennsylvania in a group that "tweaks the conventions of folk music," including Camper Van Beethoven, Howe Gelb, The Gourds, and Beck. He's got a few streaming at MySpace and older tracks for download at his website.

BEE GEES: The late Maurice Gibb was o­nce a gun-toting drunk, according to a new tell-all written by his daughter.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES went to these folks. If you like fashion or enjoy actresses in hot dresses, check the galleries at Yahoo, E! Online, People and The Envelope. There are tons of hi-res pics at Egotastic, who also saw Issac grope Scarlett. Speaking of E!, I caught a bit of their red carpet show during dinner and got to see co-host Isaac Mizrahi grope one of Scarlett Johanssen's Golden Globes while examining her dress. Apparently, you can get away with that if you're very, very gay. Speaking of which, it was (as expected) a big night for Brokeback Mountain, which won in four of the seven categories, including best drama, best director and best screenplay. And Philip Seymour Hoffman won for playing Truman Capote, who the movie showed to be gay. (Who knew?) The other big winners were Johnny and June Carter Cash. Joaquin Phoenix -- after asking, "Whoever thought I'd win in the Comedy or Musical category?" -- thanked Johnny, June and T-Bone Burnett. Reese Witherspoon also won, as did Walk The Line. Steve Carrell of The Office had a great acceptance speech he claimed was written by his wife, Nancy; it ignored his career and instead praised his wife, noting that she had put aside her career for his. The producers of Lost also thanked Carrell's wife, which is not o­nly funny, but an excuse to link to Evangeline Lilly standing out in an aqua dress.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise gave his pregnant fiancee Holmes a unique 27th birthday present -- a DVD compendium of every movie he has acted in. Next year, it will be a mirror with his face pasted into it.

FELICITY HUFFMAN had to look long and hard in sex shops for a realistic-looking flaccid penis to play a transsexual in Transamerica. Then she named it -- so she must have been playing a cheesy man. She looked much more feminine on the red carpet with hubby William H. Macy, who she thanked when picking up the Globe for best actress in a drama.

JUST ASKING: Page Six has another round of not-so-blind items.

UMA THURMAN has found a boyfriend, who she uses to take a backhanded swipe at ex-husband Ethan Hawke. She also hints there may be table-dancing in her future, so Kate Moss and Lindsay Lohan should get her o­n speed-dial.

KATE MOSS: Speaking of which, Page Six had the supposedly sober supermodel hanging out at a Malibu club at 2 a.m. with a bunch of "hard-living, dirty punk rocker types with tattoos and piercings who looked like her ex Pete Doherty."

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY tells Cosmo that "I'm o­ne of those people who goes to a club and gets very, very sweaty and makes a complete fool of herself." Just o­ne of many reasons to like her. She lost out at the Globes to Reese Witherspoon, but was a a winner in white o­n the red carpet. She even topped the E! Online fashion poll.

BRADGELINA: People magazine is rumored to have donated 400K to a charity endorsed by Jolie to get those pregnancy pics.

BATMAN RUMORS: It seems that Warner Bros. and Chris Nolan are looking at names like Johnny Depp and Rachel Weisz for the sequel to Batman Begins.

KATE BECKINSALE, realizing that she is "not doing a very good job at conquering Hollywood," may return to the UK to raise her daughter. Apparently we are playing the sympathy card to get people to go see the Underworld sequel. Still, she looked, smashing -- if a bit ruffled -- o­n the red carpet o­n the Globes.

JESSICA SIMPSON hubby Nick Lachey admits he may have been too much of a cry-baby for her.

MISCHA BARTON: The OC starlet has resolved to put down the cigarette and pick up a sandwich this year.

BRITNEY SPEARS, in a moment of lucidity, went shopping without her wedding ring.

WALTER CRONKITE thinks the US should already be out of Iraq. He said o­ne of his proudest moments came at the end of a 1968 documentary he made following a visit to Vietnam during the Tet offensive. Urged by his boss to briefly set aside his objectivity to give his view of the situation, Cronkite said the war was unwinnable and that the U.S. should exit. As the Tet Offensive was a military disaster for the Vietcong, we are left to wonder why he's so proud of misreporting it -- even assuming the war was unwinnable, Tet wasn't evidence of it.

IRAQ: The number of US troops wounded in Iraq fell by more than a quarter in 2005 from a year earlier. Rather remarkable, given the extensive operations in Anbar province this past Fall. We can hope it reflects the growing involvement of Iraqi security forces. The electoral commission is throwing out votes from 227 ballot boxes in last month's parliamentary elections because of fraud, a tiny percentage of the total vote that shouldn't greatly affect overall results.

IRAN: Faced with President Ahmadinejad's nuclear ambitions, US and UK officials think US military action and Western sanctions are unlikely. Not mentioned in the story is the possibility of a preemptive strike from Israel.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: Former Veep Al Gore accused President Bush of breaking the law by authorizing the NSA to eavesdrop o­n international telephone calls without a court warrant. Gore failed to mention the Clinton Administration's record and positions o­n warrantless searches and warrantless wiretapping. And since there is no case law finding the NSA program illegal, maybe Gore should have concluded that there was no controlling legal authority o­n the issue.

MYSTERY FISH washes up o­n the shores of Cayman Brac this past weekend.

THE DOG WHISPERER treats the personality disorders of pets of Hollywood celebrities and sports superstars, but also has to work with the celebs. As he puts it: "I rehabilitate dogs; I train people."

STINKY THE PELICAN needs a ride from Surf City to a new home in Miami.

THE MOUNTAIN PINE BEETLE threatens the logging market of British Columbia.

PARROT ATTACK helped police identify a burglary suspect in Williamsport, PA.

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