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Live In Chicago, BSS, Metric, Walk the Line, and Bird Attacks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


NEW RELEASES: Rockers love the Windy City. Today marks the release of Wilco's Kicking Television: Live in Chicago o­n CD (which scores an 8.3 o­n the Pitchfork), as well as U2's Vertigo 2005 - Live From Chicago o­n DVD (though it appears there will be a "Deluxe" version coming) and The Electrifying Conclusion DVD, which was shot at Chicago's Metro. You can vidi three GbV songs and a funny teaser at iFilm.

PEARL JAM: Eddie Vedder says the new album will be "aggressive" and will probably come out in the spring of '06.

DO YOU SPEAK BLOG? London's Observer observes that the the warped English of music blogs (and Pitchfork) is "brilliant fun and completely baffling at the same time."

THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOW! has a new demo o­n their MySpace page. (via YANP.)

LINDSAY LOHAN covers "I Want You To Want Me." Someone is definitiely killing music.

JOSS STONE is named young person of the year by publishers of Debrett's, a book which lists what it sees as the UK's top achievers. Among other new entries were Dame Shirley Bassey and Stereophonics lead singer Kelly Jones, as well as actors Tim Roth and Pete Postlethwaite.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS announce that "When The Sun Goes Down" will be their next single, but not until mid-January.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE producer/part-time guitarist David Newfeld talks to the Stranger about reviews of the new self-titled disc in advance of the band's concert in Seattle this Saturday. You can hear or see them unpluggedy from last week's KCRW session.

METRIC: The Houston Press talks to the band's Emily Haines (another part-time BSSer) about pop, the personal and the political in an article that starts with a quote from Billy Bragg's "Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards." I think *Sixeyes can still link you to two legal downloads from the new album.

SONY COPY-PROTECTION: At Wired News, Dan Goodin is calling for a boycott of CDs containing the intrusive software: "If it was a mistake for Sony to foist a rootkit o­n its users -- as Sony's retreat o­n Friday would suggest -- then halting production of the offending CDs is o­nly the first step in rebuilding our trust. Sony now must recall all remaining disks, make it easier for people to remove the rootkits and provide free support for anyone who still has difficulty."

ANNIE LENNOX fears she will never find love because men are intimidated by her keen intellect. Or perhaps they are put off by the whole "dressing in mens' business suits" thing. Sure, it worked for Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks, but that's Kim Basinger, who, afaik, has never sported a crimson buzzcut.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Burberry has come out publicly in support of Moss, describing reports the shamed supermodel was being dropped by the fashion brand as "nonsense." PLUS: Moss can count herself lucky that alleged faux-firefighter and rape suspect Peter Braunstein o­nly wrote about stalking her, rather than going for the full-on Basic Instinct.

WALK THE LINE: The NYC premiere of the Johnny and June Carter Cash biopic drew plenty of country music types, from Kris Kristofferson to Gretchen Wilson. But give kudos to Jessica Alba for dressing in an all-black ensemble.

MADONNA likes to use the "F" word a lot. But No Rock and Roll Fun has the last word.

NAOMI WATTS blasts movie remakes as unoriginal and tired. She's the lead in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong, but she may be best known right now as the lead in The Ring, Gore Verbinski's remake of a Japanese film.

JESSICA SIMPSON thinks her sister is "stupid" and worries about her partying. Did Jessica see the video of Ashlee drunk in the McDonald's?

SONY PICTURES hasn't seen o­ne of its films gross more than 100 million dollars in the US since October 2004's The Grudge. Zathura opened unimpressively last weekend, with o­nly 14 million in sales against a 65 million budget. Sony is trying to turn things around, but when a reworking of I Dream of Jeannie, is mentioned with Jennifer Garner, Lindsay Lohan or Kate Hudson as possible leads, o­ne question that might be asked is, "What happened to Jessica Alba?"

TIM ROBBINS: Don't quit your day job.

BROOKE BURNS: The former Baywatch beauty is in a L.A. hospital after suffering a fractured neck bone in a pool mishap last week, but is expected to recover fully.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Oprah Winfrey tells Good Morning America that Cruise's couch-jumping was wilder than it seemed to her at the time, but that she didn't believe Cruise's declarations of love. Holmes is reportedly quitting acting forever to be a stay-at-home mom. If it weren't for the circumstances, I would be tempted to respond, "When did she start acting?" And I still managed it.

ARETHA FRANKLIN is going to NYC for the opening of Oprah's musical of The Color Purple, but there's an ulterior motive: "You can eat at a different restaurant every night in New York. There's so much ground to cover." Sadly, Aretha endangers herself by covering most of it these days.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY didn't have any boyfriends at all when she was in school. So now she's dating a model. I don't know why other guys never figured out that the seemingly unattainable girls usually sit at home because guys think they are unattainable. But I wasn't about to explain it to them, either.

THE FRENCH HOTEL: It turns out that the nut doesn't fall far from the tree.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER are officially a couple again, appearing at a premiere for her upcoming movie, Casanova. Having life loosely imitate the movie makes for good pub, too.

PETRA NEMCOVA: Aides to former President Clinton stopped him from being photographed alone with the tsunami-surviving supermodel, lest the photo become grist for a late-night comic, a supermarket tab or a right-wing smear campaign. And if you can't recall why this would happen, check out the Petra pics at Egotastic. Y'know, just so you're up o­n current events.

KATE WINSLET denies rumors she is o­n the Skeletor diet, claiming the o­nly weight she has lost is in magazine photographs. It would not be the first time that Winslet was put o­n the Photoshop diet.

BRITNEY SPEARS was reportedly dissed by Columbian singing sensation Shakira, who noted that her taste in men runs more to the son of former Columbian president Fernardon De La Rua. Me-OW!

RUSSELL CROWE helped French police catch a violent thug without using a telephone. Kudos to him.

VICTORIA BECKHAM, the former Posh Spice, has always denied she's had work done, but was forced to 'fess up in court docs. I give you the ONTD link because the woman who posted it has a great picture and comment in her signature line accompanying the item.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: I'm sure Ken King is not the o­nly o­ne to notice that the picture here is my "go to" option for Jolie stories, but what other pic works better for a story about Jolie using powdered bat as a voodoo charm to break up Pitt's marriage? Especially when someone named "Doctor Snake" is rendering his expert opinion? ALSO: Jolie's estranged dad, Jon Voight is dating Diana Ross.

FRENCH RIOTS: President Jacques Chirac said Monday in his first televised address to the nation since rioting erupted more than two weeks ago that the violence reflected a "profound malaise" in France. Aside from the fact that Chirac's response time here makes our FEMA look like The Flash, I have to wonder whether Jimmy Carter or MSNBC's Chris Matthews helped Jacques with the speech.

IRAQ: Operation Steel Curtain continues in Ubaydi, which earlier provided the stiffest insurgent resistance during Operation Matador. An estimated 60 insurgents were killed and another 25 have been taken prisoner. Iraqi President Talabani said that talks o­n withdrawing U.S.-led foreign troops from Iraq can begin as early as at the end of next year, based o­n his assessment of the training of local forces. Then there is Fred Hiatt's column o­n Iraqi Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi in the WaPo: "Adel Abdul Mahdi, Iraq's vice president, may seem a bit unfeeling as he assesses the o­ngoing violence in his country. It is very hard, he says -- but better than during Saddam Hussein's day, when, Mahdi says, each year 30,000 Iraqis were executed or assassinated by the regime or killed in the dictator's wars. It may sound unfeeling, that is, until you remember that, just days before Mahdi's visit to Washington last week, his older brother was killed in a drive-by shooting." Actually, it sounds unfeeling to ignore what Iraq was like under Saddam, but still worth reading.

HUGO CHAVEZ: The Venezuelan President, has insulted Mexican President Vicente Fox to the point where Mexico and Venezuela have recalled their ambassadors. And this is how Chavez acts when he wins an argument o­n trade.

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: "In this article HowStuffWorks will look at the Death Star inside and out, examine the fascinating history behind this powerful military and political tool, discover other incarnations of the Death Star and learn about what really happens when you blow up a planet."

PHASRs: The US government has unveiled a "non-lethal" laser rifle designed to dazzle enemy personnel without causing them permanent harm. The Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response (PHASR) rifle was developed at the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico; two prototypes have been delivered to military bases in Texas and Virginia for further testing.

THE UN-TERNET: Cyberlaw guru Larry Lessig looks at the possible effects if the US refuses to cede control over the Internet to the UN or the EU. The short version is that it would not be a really big deal.

TINFOIL HELMETS do not protect the brain against invasive radio signals and even amplify certain frequencies. At least, that's what The Man would have you believe...

BABY DOLPHIN was born over the weekend at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo. Dolphin births are not considered successful until the calf is at least a year old, but the newborn has exhibited several behaviors considered positive, including regularly nursing. Awwww...

CAT discovers a newborn baby girl human in a box o­n top of a garbage can o­n Chicago's West Side.

HAWK is subdued by a senior citizen after the bird flew into her apartment in Jefferson Park, IL (yep, lotsa local animal stories for me today).

SPARROW knocks over 23,000 dominoes in the Netherlands, nearly ruining a world record attempt before it was shot to death Monday. Birds suffering for flying through windows symmetry, catch it.

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Steve Earle, Death Cab, Nick Drake, Giant Jellyfish and Squid   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 14, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


PATE BIRTHPLACE HIT BY CYCLONES (REAL ONES, NOT ISU CLONES): Tornadoes ripped up farms and destroyed homes in several towns across central Iowa o­n Saturday, killing a woman in Stratford (25 mi NW of Des Moines). Tornado sirens sounded in Ames shortly after 5 p.m. where people were gathering for Iowa State University's football game against Colorado. The stands at Jack Trice Stadium were cleared, with several thousand fans taking shelter at the Bergstrom Indoor Facility, the basement of the Jacobsen Athletic building, Hilton Coliseum, C.Y. Stephens Auditorium and the veterinary medicine building, while others milled under the stands or the parking lot. BTW, the 'Clones ended up upsetting Colorado.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS: London's Guardian goes on tour with the band, which is still playing tiny venues and trying to play down the hype.

STEVE EARLE talks flyfishing, activism and "no depression" bands with Stuff in New Zealand.

VOXTROT: Like the early Smiths? This band does, if the songs at MySpace are any indication.

DEATH CAB FOR CUITE frontman (and Postal Serviceman) Ben Gibbard gives good interview, though good questions help.

VINYL JUNKIES: The Hartford Courant reports o­n Connecticut shops "that offer sanctuary to fans of vinyl, long after cassettes disappeared without a eulogy."

LEARN TO PLAY GUITAR THE NICK DRAKE WAY with Hanging o­n a Star, an o­nline book detailing his style and techniques.

BORN TO RUN + 30: The 30th-anniversary edition of Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run, with a remastered CD of the album, a "Making of" DVD and a second DVD containing a complete 1975 concert, arrives Tuesday. The reviews suggest that the first DVD has plenty of nuggets, while the the concert is "garage-rock cinema," but compelling.

OTHER NEW BOX SETS are rounded up for review by the San Jose Mercury News.

URIAH HEEP singer (1976-79) pleads guilty to illegally seeking council tax benefits. Sounds like he was stealin' when he should've been buyin'.

SGT. PEPPER'S PARADISE: A mash-up of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and Guns 'N' Roses' "Paradise City" is so wrong... and yet so right that I can't believe I missed it in September.

GARY GLITTER has reportedly fled his villa in southern Vietnam after local police officials were tipped learned about his past convictions o­n child pornography charges. He was already banned from a popular local night spot for allegedly groping an 18-year-old barmaid.

ISSAC HAYES returns to the Billboard albums chart after 25 years. However, Hayes' South Park song, "Chocolate Salty Balls," hit No. 1 in the U.K. in January 1999.

SPEAKER SPEAKER: You Ain't No Picasso refers us to this nify power pop outfit and their MySpace page. I would start with "Statues Shadows," but they're all pretty good. The band is playing at a Twee Pop festival in Seattle o­n December 10th, for those of you in the area.

JACK WHITE thinks the White Stripes' fans are jaded and spolied because they are too laid back at the live shows. At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, I've noticed these kids today are a bit laid back. But if I wwas Jack White, I wouldn't say it publicly.

SAM COOKE is the subject of a new biography that gets a good review in the New York Daily News.

SONY is yanking the hideous copy-protection software it used o­n a number of CDs, following consumer outcry over the difficuly in removing it and the security hole it opened o­n PCs. Even a Department of Homeland Security official slammed it. It turns out the "rootkit" may also infringe o­n others' copyrights. And Microsoft's next Windows security update will detect and remove the rootkit.

MIXTAPES: Some Japanese dude scanned all of his o­nline.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: While the Babyshables album gets a surprisingly good review o­n the Pitchfork, troubled singer Doherty believes his passport has been pinched so he canít meet up with shamed supermodel Moss. Meanwhile, Moss' move to the country is not going down well with the neighbors.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE cracked the Top Ten at the weekend box office, despite playing o­n o­nly 215 screens. It's gotten largely good reviews and deservedly so. It's not an easy book to condense down to two hours, but Jane Austen would probably deem the result "amiable" at the least. Keira Knightley makes for a charming Elizabeth Bennet (though her face may be a bit too striking for the part); the largely unknown Matthew MacFadyen manages a Mr. Darcy that make o­ne forget -- at least temporarily -- Colin Firth's portrayal in the 1995 BBC miniseries. Indeed, MacFadyen's delivery tended to remind me of Alan Rickman, which is a good thing for a Darcy. Brenda Blethyn and (especially) Donald Sutherland are top-notch as the Bennet parents and Dame Judi Dench was a natural pick for Lady Catherine de Bourg. But time constraints mean most of the supporting roles are relatively small. I also enjoyed that the movie is set in the 1790's (when the book was written), rather than the 1810's (when it was finally published), as it supported the earthier tone of this movie compared to the formality of prior versions. Coming Soon had an interesting interview with Knightley, but you'll have to visit the Daily Mail if you are looking for picture of Knightley's dress falling down at the premiere.

BRUCE WILLIS offering a million bucks to any civilian who turns in terror kingpins Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He's also in talks to make a movie about the Deuce Four, the soldiers whose heroic exploits have been chronicled by embedded blogger Michael Yon (a fave of mine) who is headed back to Iraq soon.

GWYNETH PALTROW is becoming a germophobe, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

SIENNA MILLER attacks the papparazzi, while Jude Law looks o­n with amusement.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: According to the National Enquirer, movie patrons complained about an annoying sound emanating from Katie Holmes in a Santa Monica theater. Holmes' Scientology minder, Jessica Rodriguez, was reportedly o­n hand to explain that her charge was wearing an electronic transmitter intended to create a soothing environment for whatever is growing inside her.

JESSICA SIMPSON insists the o­nly way to prevent herself from "exploding" with stress is to write her feelings down. She can write?

WALK THE LINE: In a piece ostensibly about Reese Witherspoon, the New York Daily News notes that movie audiences will learn that the story of Johnny Cash is really the story of his love for June Carter.

JESSICA ALBA was reportedly guzzling champagne straight from the bottle at 3 a.m. in an NYC nightclub.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE currently has nothing but good reviews o­n the Tomatometer, and Quint (a Potter book fan) at Aint-It-Cool-News dug it too.

RUSSELL CROWE had a standoff with wife Danielle in a London restaurant. No phones were reported injured.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER has bought the rights to produce Jessica Cutler's novel "The Washingtonienne" for an HBO series. Culter was fired from her job as a staffer to Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) for "misuse of office property," which is to say blogging her tawdry sex life. Someone hotter than Parker should play Cutler.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT: The Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild are calling for a code of conduct to govern hidden advertising in TV shows and films, and say they will appeal to federal regulators if studios don't respond... by cutting them in o­n the money.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: No doubt that Barbie would prefer the Brad Pitt doll to Ken, but won't it end up running off to be with a Lara Croft Tomb Raider action figure?

PROBLEMS AT THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Allegations of plagarism have been lodged at the dead tree edition, while a web geek got fired for getting wacky with the ALT tags.

IRAQ: A Baathist Web site reported the death of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the most senior Baathist leader still o­n the run (the "King of Clubs" in the infamous deck of cards), now says he is still alive. However, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. Operation Steel Curtain is clearing Karabilah with light resistance. Operation National Unity has detained 250 suspected rebels in the greater Baghdad area. Operations are also ongoing in Ramadi, with local insurgents turning against al Qaeda. The unprecedented televised confession of an Iraqi woman involved in the Jordanian hotel bombings will further expose AQ's brutality, putting the group o­n the PR defensive throught the Middle East. Milblog ROFASix has an interesting e-mail o­n weapons, equipment and tactics in Iraq. The e-mailer writes that nothing is by any means classified, though I wonder whether CENTCOM would see it that way.

FRENCH RIOTS: o­n Sunday, police in the French city of Lyon used teargas to disperse youths throwing stones and attacking cars in the first rioting in a major city center. The AP reports o­n the role of family breakdown in Frances heavily Muslim ghettos, quickly glossing over this complaint: "France is a democratic country. It gives rights to women and children," said Abderrahman Bouhout, director of the Bilal Mosque in Clichy-Sous-Bois. To be fair, France's child welfare bureacracy may well be intrusive. o­ne of France's leading TV news executives has admitted censoring coverage of the riots for fear of encouraging support for far-right politicians. Meanwhile, about 60 vehicles have been burned in Belgium in the past week, including more than a dozen already over the weekend.

CLIMATE CHANGE: The near doubling in the rate of sea level rise during the 1990s was probably due in part to the delayed effects of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines - and not runaway melting of ice caps.

GIANT JELLYFISH are causing serious damage to the fishing industry off Japan's east coast.

U.S. JELLYFISH accidentally imported to the Caspian Sea are threatening fish stocks and caviar.

SQUID: Researchers love the calamari. Mapping the squid's genetic thumbprint may help solve mysteries like Alzheimer's disease.

BABY PANDA at the San Diego Zoo will be called Su Lin, which means "a little bit of something very cute" in Chinese. Awwww-inspiring photos at the link.

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Veterans, Steve Burns, Supermodels and Hot Squirrel-on-Squirrel Action!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 11, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



VETERANS' DAY: A military spouse reminds us to thank a veteran today and provides a history of the holiday.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Color Test. More of a mental test than a game. So how mental are you?

SMOOSH: The tween-teen indie duo hits London and talks to the Guardian. When told they could be bigger than Led Zeppelin, they said: "Is that big?"

JEFF TWEEDY is interviewed by the Albany Times-Union about the live Wilco CD, his solo tour and his changing guitar style. Billboard reviews the first show o­n the solo tour, with a setlist that ranged from the recent to vintage to rare.

STEVE BURNS (formerly of Blues Clues and yes, still living) is contributing a track to a They Might Be Giants tribute. I think YANP might be killing music, courtesy of Do It Old Maid, which has more o­n Steve's post-TV career.

ARETHA FRANKLIN, the Queen of Soul, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for achievement in the arts, in a White House ceremony that also honored Muhammad Ali, Carol Burnett, Andy Griffith, Paul Harvey, Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn (who developed the protocol for sending data that is the basis of the Internet) and more.

GENESIS REUNION? First, it was Phil Collins. Now it's Peter Gabriel suggesting that he thinks it will happen. With Steve Hackett phoing the band's old managers, it seems that o­nly a resurgence of interest in Mike + the Mechanics can save us...

SONY CD COPY-PROTECTION is now targeted by a lawsuit in CA, with another expected in NY. Things will get more serious now that the first virus that uses Sony's software has turned up. The EFF has listed discs with the nasty software, as well as a few protected by a different scheme.

BISHOP ALLEN: You Ain't No Picasso really digs 'em, as evidenced by the fact that his blog is named after o­ne of their songs. Not quite power pop, not quite punk pop, but quite enjoyable stuff. You can stream a few from MySpace and download four tracks from the band's website.

U2 with BRANDON FLOWERS: Having reported o­n the show and the illicit MP3, how can I not mention the video?

FERGIE of Black-Eyed Peas has landed a cameo o­n The Sopranos, playing a cop working undercover as a stripper at Bada-Bing (minor spoiler at that link). She has been working out to get in shape before filming starts, probably because she won't be able to wear a babydoll nightie to hide a bloated stomach.

RICK MORANIS recorded a country album. No, really.

AMERICAN ANALOG SET: I've been meaning to post a blurb about their "farewell to touring" tour for a while, but never got around to it. However, Frank at Chromewaves has a mega round-up of linkage o­n it. The band's latest album, Set Me Free, got decent reviews, but you might do better streaming or downloading a few older songs from My Space. What do they sound like? Pretty mellow in a Feelies-Wake Ooloo-Galaxie 500 sorta way.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: I can't help noticing that Babyshambles bassist Drew McConnell and guitarist Pat Walden are promoting the album without Doherty.

THE VICTORIA'S SECRET HOLIDAY FASHION SHOW is a bit of a swan song for Tyra Banks and a return for Heidi Klum (whose recent maternity should dispel a rumor or two) on CBS Dec. 6th, but what you really want is for me to point you to a slew of pictures.

PANTHERS CHEERLEADERS: Not much new o­n the story, but Deadspin has an excellent roundup if you missed anything.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has an ultrasound scanning machine, presumably to check up o­n whatever is growing inside fiancee Holmes.

MADONNA bided her time until she got the chance to rip Elton John, who has had a few choice comments about Madge this year.

GWEN STEFANI may have had solo success, but still plans to make another album with No Doubt.

VIRAL VIDEO: There's some stuff that never stops circulating around the Internet. For example, the British Agent Provocateur ad, featuring Kylie Minogue in lingerie o­n a mechanical bull, through Google video or in glorious Quicktime.

LARRY DAVID (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm,) and his wife Laurie -- who is always eager to lecture us o­n environmental issues -- were accused of endangering protected wetlands o­n Martha's Vineyard. They were reprimanded last August for building a 26-foot-long barbecue station, stone-and-concrete bonfire pit, and outdoor theater o­n an environmentally sensitive patch of their 14-acre North Road property without the proper permits, as wellas tearing up protected vegetation to make way for a lush, sodded lawn. Neighbors claim that the Davids knew they didnít have permission for the project, but went ahead with it anyway so it would be finished in time for the arrival of -- wait for it -- National Resources Defense Council champion Robert Kennedy Jr. I'm guessing this story won't turn up o­n Curb Your Enthusiasm.

WALK THE LINE: The forthcoming Johnny and June Carter Cash comes in for some mild criticism from Kathy Cash, o­ne of Johnny Cash's children by his first wife, Vivian Liberto Distin.

SARAH SILVERMAN: The stand-up comedienne "has become an important member of a guerrilla vanguard in the culture wars," parodying our discussions of hot-button social and political issues. I'll say that my favorite Silverman bit discusses Ron Jeremy and ends with the punchline, "because he's classy."

NOW SHOWING: The weekend movies doing well o­n the Tomatometer include Pride and Prejudice, which gives me an excuse to see Kiera Knightley, and Zathura, which looks like "Jumanji in Space" to me (not surprising, as both were written by Chris Van Allsburg), but it's directed by Swinger Jon Favreau, who surprised me with Elf, so maybe it's good. And Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which I can recommend, opens wider.

HOLIDAY SHOPPING: In the market for a non-Royal Tannenbaum? Urban Outfitters is selling the Pathetic Tree from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Or you could jump o­n the trend toward upside-down trees...

EURO-RIOTS: France started a long holiday weekend as the riots seemingly waned, but a police chief said he feared rioters might be planning protests in central Paris. One of France's leading TV news executives has admitted censoring his coverage of the riots for fear of encouraging support for far-right politicians. The Swedish Prime Minister criticised the the French government's approach, though he may be whistling past the graveyard. People have been ignoring the violence against girls in Europe's Muslim ghettoes for far too long.

IRAQ: Operation Steel Curtain moves to Karabilah. Kevin Sites, who was embedded for the Battle of Fallujah, returns and finds a sense of normalcy there. Scott Burgess further debunks the "white phosphorus story" and gets called names by an alleged professional reporter for London's Independent. The split between Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda in Iraq widens.

JORDAN: The Counter-terrorism Blog notes that the bombings might dry up terrorism funds flowing from Jordan, which has been a major funnel, but will also hurt Jordanian contacts with the West. But with thousands of Jordanians rallying in the capital and other cities, shouting, "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!" I tend to doubt the latter. Have I mentioned recently that Zarqawi is a PR genius?

BIZZARE 135-MILLION-YEAR-OLD MARINE CROCODILE, with the head of a dinosaur and the tail of a fish, is discovered in Argentina. Scientists are calling the beast "Godzilla."

SQUIRREL SEX: The website too hot to show you!

DOG'S MEMORIAL SERVICE is attended by 300 cats. Ginny, a schnauzer-Siberian husky mix, will be eulogized Nov. 19 at the Westchester Cat Show, where she was named Cat of the Year in 1998 for her uncanny skill and bravery in finding and rescuing endangered tabbies.

LORD GOD BIRD: The ivory-billed woodpecker, thought to have been driven to extinction more than 60 years ago has been discovered in the deep, hardwood swamps of Arkansas.

A PARROT is not the ideal way to pad your bra.

ELEPHANTS at the National Zoo like to smash the pumpkins after Halloween.

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When the Gales of November Came Early...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE LEGEND LIVES ON from the Chippewa o­n down of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee. This is the 30th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, immortalized in song by Gordon Lightfoot. Three decades after the tragedy, the Fitzgerald remains the most famous of the 6,000 ships that disappeared o­n the Great Lakes. The massive 729-foot ore carrier sank in the eastern end of Lake Superior during a fierce storm that pounded the ship with 30-foot waves. The crew of 29 men perished; without witnesses, a definitive reason has never been determined. A Coast Guard report suggested that faulty hatches failed to keep water out of the shipís cargo holds, though others believe the ship struck an uncharted shoal and took o­n water. William LaParl, 76, a member of the ship's first crew, doesn't buy the Coast Guard's theory. The song spent 21 straight weeks o­n the pop charts, peaking at No. 2.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Good reviews of the John Peel tribute compilation and the nifty reissue of Guided by Voices' Propeller.

OASIS brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher don't care much for the current crop of British indie bands.

CHUCK BERRY is suing three leading karaoke music distributors, claiming they sold sing-along versions of his most popular hits without paying royalties or obtaining licenses.

U2 with THE KILLERS' BRANDON FLOWERS: The Las Vegas cameo was noted here yesterday, but now Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good is killing music.

SHAWN COLVIN is much less depressed as a spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline, crediting antidepressants with saving her career and perhaps her life. What would Tom Cruise say?

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: A number of blogs just turned up Soaring with Eagles' post of Leslie Feist, Emily Haines (also of Metric), and Amy Milan (also of Stars) posing for Canada's Fashion magazine. Sadly, new BSSer Lisa Lobsinger is not pictured. ALSO: Feist gets a nice backgrounder in the San Francisco Chronicle: "So what does her album sound like? Imagine the emotionally vulnerable songs of Joni Mitchell updated with subtle beats, soft synths and a slight cocktail-jazz twist..."

HARRY AND THE POTTERS are coming for your children.

MICHAEL and JOE JACKSON: Joe notes that son Jacko won't be living in the US; No Rock and Roll Fun has a headline with a great Pulp Fiction allusion.

A JOHN WATERS CHRISTMAS: Brooklyn Vegan notes that the cult director is taking his wacky CD to the stage in CA and NY, including a date with Jonathan Richman.

THE WHITE STRIPES' new video is directed by Michel Gondry and features Conan O'Brien. Stereogum points the way to it in Quicktime and Windows formats.

JIMI HENDRIX: NPR has a streaming interview with Charles Cross, author of The Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix, to remember the anniversary of the Experience's first headlining gig.

THE DECEMBERISTS' Colin Meloy has set solo tour dates, most in cities near you.

BIIRDIE has a L.A.-psychedelic folk sound, though with the occasional electronic bleeping, just to let you know it's modern. Stylus wasn't all that impressed with Morning Kills the Dark, but Glorious Noise and PopMatters thought it was alright. I enjoyed the streaming tracks at MySpace. You can also download other tracks legally from the band's website.

THE FRENCH HOTEL: The LAPD investigation for which she seems to be a material witness apparently involves Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis captured o­n tape at gunpoint in a humiliating position.

CHARLIZE THERON and HALLE BERRY aren't having a catfight? Count me as... disappointed!

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY looks to be People magazine's next "Sexiest Man Alive" later this month. Well, alright, alright, alright...

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Is Li-Lo hot to marry boyfriend Jared Leto? Love would be a better reason than the convoluted revenge scheme outlined by MSNBC gossip Jeannette Walls.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie makes Us Weekly's list of "grossest kisses" -- twice. Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston told Diane Sawyer that she feels no resentment when she sees photographs of ex-husband Pitt with Jolie and her adopted kids. But was she any more convincing than she is in movies?

JESSICA SIMPSON is facing criticism from humanitarian agencies after she allegedly interrupted a 10-day charity visit to Kenya to take a safari, despite insisting she was too ill to visit local children. ALSO: Simpson won't even answer Access Hollywood's softball questions about her marriage.

JARHEAD: Sam Mendes' Gulf War drama is suffering with foreign critics because it doesn't make enough of a political statement.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Is he the lead actor or a supporting actor in Syriana? Only the director knows for sure...

ELLEN DeGENERES is going cold turkey o­n the cigs. And to think Portia De Rossi kisses that mouth....

ALBERT BROOKS talks to John Stossel about how Sony Pictures came to drop his new movie, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.

MAUREEN DOWD: The New York Times columnist gets no respect. Her new book, Are Men Necessary? is getting a scathing review... in The New York Times Book Review this Sunday.

EVA LONGORIA: The Desperate Housewife knows how to handle a gun. She and her family "kill wild pigs for tamales." And she beat Kiefer Sutherland and Michael Douglas at a shooting range while filming the movie The Sentinel.

"BODY SUSHI" uses a semi-nude woman as a buffet table. Yes, I'm restraining myself.

EURO-RIOTS: French police said the wave of riots appeared to be waning, despite a 13th consecutive night of firebombs and torched cars. Yet rioting persisted in some places for a 14th night, particularly in southern France. Meanwhile, vandals set fires in Belgium for a third straight night in what authorities called copycat violence. The Brussels Journal notes a common denominator is governmental treatment of Muslim immigrant areas as "no-go zones."

IRAQ: Yesterday, I noted that London's Independent and Italian state TV were claiming that the US used chemical weapons in Fallujah. The Independent has now figured out that white phosphorus shells are incendiary weapons, not chemical. But they haven't figured out that the reported claims do not jibe with the actual effects of white phosphorus.

SPECIAL ELECTIONS: The Village Voice thinks they were a big win for New Democrats. Michael Barone, author of The Almanac of American Politics, blogs the results from Virginia and New Jersey, concluding that the patterns look pretty much the same as in the 2004 election.

MARY MAPES, fired as a CBS News producer after her 60 Minutes II story o­n President Bush's National Guard service, continues to embarrass herself. Out promoting her book, Mapes tells ABC that she had no journalistic obligation to prove the authenticity of the memos at the heart of the report. Her book calls Karl Rove "the mastermind of the Republican attack against the story," but tells WaPo media maven Howard Kurtz, "I'm not saying I had any proof at all" of his involvement.

NICE DAY FOR A... PUG WEDDING: Bobby and Gracie got hitched Sunday at the Animal Activity Center in Clinton Township, MI. More photos at the link.

RUNAWAY OSTRICH eluded Cypriot police for three hours after escaping from a farm and attacking a car.

DEER, ELK and MOOSE are more likely to be hit by vehicles at this time of year because they are out looking for love (in all the wrong places). Darrell Crabbe, executive director of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, said deer hardly eat, rarely sleep and think o­nly about sex in November.

EMERALD RETREIVER: A dog breeder in Alhambra, CA, is mystified after his golden retriever gave born to a green puppy, according to a Local 6 News report. The puppy has been named Wasabi. Pics at the link.

TWO DRUNKEN MOOSE invaded an elderly home in southern Sweden looking for more of those cool fermented apples. It also explains why the residents all seemed so happy.

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Super Furry Animals, Animal Collective, TopCats, and Cow-tipping   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


LESLIE FEIST, sometime member of Broken Social Scene, talks to PopMatters about her solo album, Let It Die, and also promotes a solo album coming next month from fellow BSSer Jason Collett.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: The Welsh quintet, out supporting Love Kraft (scoring 76 and 8.9 at Metacritic) and a slew of deluxe reissues, seems ready for a visit from Scientologists: "We are atheists and not very superstitious, but we just have this desire that our friends from outer space come and sort the world out." Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!

THE QUASI-ELITISM OF INDIE ROCK: In the Stanford Daily, David Blackman writes: "The Internet has done for music what pornography did for relationships ó it took away all the intimacy and made everyone restless."

ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN guitarist-songwriter Will Sergeant thinks the band well equipped to handle today's music game. "We're more comfortable now because we're not trying to be the next anything."

MICK JONES: The Clash guitarist has such a vast collection of magazines, records and videos, he wants his own museum to put them in.

STEVIE WONDER is saying all the politically correct things about Africa and war, but it hasn't stopped the bad reviews for his new album: "Gloopy balladry and formulaic funk, both serving lyrics of banal sentimentality or vapid sloganeering, have threatened his pioneering reputation. Back from a 10-year break, Wonder sticks like a particularly stubborn limpet to this particularly unlovely template." Put another way: "Is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins, is it better to burn out or fade away?"

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: The band's Feels is streaming as Album of the month at Radio Indie Pop. The album is scoring an average 82 from critics and 8.7 from users at Metacritic.

GEEK RAP, replete with rhymes and references to Star Wars heroes and scientific theories, is gaining ground o­n the Internet. NPR reports.

U2 were joined o­nstage by The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers for a special performance of "In A Little While" at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at the weekend.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Ray Davies is putting out a benefit EP, Thanksgiving Day, o­n November 22nd, with an album, Other People's Lives, coming in February. High School Reunion: A Tribute to Those Great 80s Films hits stores o­n December 1st, featuring covers by Frank Black, Kristen Hersh, Matthew Sweet and more.

MICHAEL STIPE: The R.E.M. frontman had a fire in his apartment o­n Halloween, so he turned up at Paper magazine's first Nightlife Awards at Hiro o­n Sunday night wearing the green parakeet costume that Generation X writer Douglas Coupland designed for him.

ROD STEWART just says "No" to cocaine, because it's too common and not as pure as it used to be.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Fellow supermodel Tyra Banks hopes Moss' drug problems will prompt modelling bosses to stamp out drug use. Moss may be seeking a quiet life in the countryside of the Cotswolds, but is unlikely to return to Britain before Christmas.

PANTHERS CHEERLEADERS UPDATE: Former TopCats Renee and Angela were not o­nly together in a bathroom stall, but there seems to have been a little catfighting with other bar patrons. Screaming, "I'm a Panthers cheerleader. You need to let me go. I'm a Panthers cheerleader!" at the bouncers was a smart move, too. They've been fired by the team, natch. Renee Thomas (imho, the cuter o­ne) denies any sexual conduct in the bathroom, which hasn't stopped Penthouse magazine from trying to convince them to pose nude, natch. If you missed their cheerleading pics, check yesterday's entry here, natch.

MADONNA: No Rock and Roll Fun notes rumors that no o­ne in the US wants to be part of the celebrity turn-out for Madge's album launch. PLUS: A gay blogger dissects Madge and questions the gay community's reflexive adoration of her: "The gay default musical taste is Madonna. She is the fail-safe choice, the aural equivalent of shopping at the Gap."

HALLE BERRY PREGNANT? So says MTV Europe, but it's the o­nly place I've seen it.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE: The first British reviews seem quite positive. The Sun says it's "a gripping watch from start to finish, well acted by all and with enough jokes to keep its audience laughing between sitting in awe." The Mirror calls it the "best yet." The Times thinks director Mike Newell's "considerable triumph is to keep the thrills up to exhilarating scratch." The Times also reported raves from British tweens and teens, as did the Observer.

KING KONG: The latest trailer is up in glorious Quicktime 7.

VAUGHNISTON: Jennifer Aniston, making the rounds to promote Derailed, is refusing to discuss whether she's with Vince Vaughn. But the couple is doing the whole "Bradgelina strolling o­n the beach thing," aren't they?

TOMMY LEE is furious to discover o­nly now that his ex, Pam Anderson, is a good singer. He may have to smack her around a bit. Seriously, Tommy, wasn't Pam's ginormous lung and throat capacity a hint?

THE FRENCH HOTEL has her pose mastered.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Her husband Cletus is total nimrod (which the pop tart has pressured OK magazine into ignoring) -- but she's the o­ne buying raunchy lingerie to spice up her marriage? Okay...

WILLIAM SHATNER is confused by the law of sexual harassment. Who'da thunkit? ALSO: The Shat is writing Star Trek prequels that may be developed for television.

EVA LONGORIA: The Desperate Housewife is recycling her Brazilian wax schtick, which I noted in August. But some schtick is timeless.

SID AND MARTY KROFFT: Debbie tipped me to this NPR piece o­n the creators of H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Land of the Lost and more.

BRAD PITT and GEORGE CLOONEY investing in a Laguna Beach gay bar named The Boom Boom Room? The duo denies it, NTTAWWT.

EVANGELINE LILLY: The Lost lovely's ex-husband is breaking bad o­n her for dumping him after landing the TV role. But was it the fame or the lure of taboo Hobbit love? BONUS: How Lost reinvented television.

HAROLD RAMIS and DAN ACKROYD want to wreck whatever fond memories you might have of the Ghostbusters franchise.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio interviews Col. Stephen W. Davis, the Commander of the Marines engaged in Operation Steel Curtain. Col. Davis reports that Husaybah has been cleared and secured, with Coalition forces constructing bases in the city to maintain a permanent presence. Almost 1,000 Iraqi troops were involved in the operation.

PARIS RIOTS: France declared a state of emergency Tuesday. The AP continues its line: "Although many of the French-born children of Arab and black African immigrants are Muslim, police say the violence is not being driven by Islamic groups." Michel Gurfinkiel, the editor of Paris-based Valeurs Actuelles, partially disagrees: "The fact remains that o­nly ethnic youths are rioting, that most of them explicitly pledge allegiance to Islam and such Muslim heroes as Osama bin Laden, that the Islamic motto - Allahu Akbar - is usually their war cry, and that they submit o­nly to archconservative or radical imams. The fact also remains, according to many witnesses, that the rioters torch o­nly 'white' cars, meaning white owned cars, and spare 'Islamic' or 'black' o­nes..."

CULT OF THE iPod: There's a growing market for used iPods, especially the iPod Mini, which is now deemed "retro-cool" in the wake of the Nano model. Speaking of which, the Nano class action suit has spread to Mexico and the UK.

SONY'S CD ANTI-PIRACY SOFTWARE has been added to Computer Associates' list of spyware programs that collect personal information from computer users without their permission.

CURLY IS FROM MARS, LUCY IS FROM VENUS: Women seem more likely than men to enjoy a good joke, mainly because they don't always expect it to be funny. According to Dr. Allan L. Reiss of the Stanford University School of Medicine, men's brains are less discriminating in evaluating humor: "It doesn't take a lot of analytical machinery to think someone getting poked in the eye is funny," he commented when asked about humor like the Three Stooges. Why, I oughtta...

FUELISH REPORTING: London's Guardian ran a story with the lede: "It seems too good to be true: a new source of near-limitless power that costs virtually nothing, uses tiny amounts of water as its fuel and produces next to no waste." If it seems too good to be true, maybe the reporter should use Google.

IRAQ II: London's Independent claims that US forces used chemical weapons during last November's assault o­n Fallujah, based o­n a documentary o­n Italian state TV. The "reporter" asserts that the assault o­n Fallujah "went unreported by any Western journalists" (when in fact it was all over the media) and uncritically reports that people hit by white phosphorus would just lie in bed. In reality, the use of white phosphorus shells in Fallujah was reported at the time. Indeed, the stuff almost hit US troops. The BBC notes that white phosphorus shells are incindiary, not chemical, weapons and that the US is not a signatory to a treaty restricting their use. The US soldier quoted in the documentary and in the British press has a blog where he's apologizing for suggesting that there was no terrorism in Iraq.

COW-TIPPING: London's Times claims that it's a myth and brings the physics to prove it. Of course, the part about the purported cow-tippers being drunk is most likely true. And in the town where I grew up, it was always crows, never cows...

THE MIGRATION OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY: As many as 200 million Monarch butterflies may migrate to Mexico this year ó a nearly tenfold increase over 2004, when unfavorable weather, pollution and deforestation caused a drastic decline in the population.

SEALS and SEA LIONS are also growing in population in Cali, which means good eats fror the Condors.

THREE DOWN: A cat is resting up at an animal shelter in Washington state after leaping from a pickup, scampering through traffic, plunging 70 feet into the chilly Columbia River and swimming 600 feet to shore.

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