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Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson, Iron & Wine, Ugliest Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 25, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



NICK LOWE may be known for the british pub pop of "Cruel To Be Kind" and "Crackin' Up," but PopMatters has a piece on his recent career reinvention with songs like "The Club," from his new At My Age LP, which is rootsier than ever.  BTW, Lowe's age is 58; he first became a dad at 56. You can also stream a Lowe mini-set from the World Cafe via NPR.

RICHARD THOMPSON played DC's 9:30 Club Friday night so you can stream the gig on demand from NPR.  Mark Caro notes that some at RT's Park West gig in Chicago would have liked a chair.  RT talks to the Philadelphia Daily News he was "very cynical about the flower-power thing," but still thinks music can change the world, and embraces the Internet age.

INDIE SELLS OUT:  Little Steven Van Zandt writes about why he promotes indie bands for TV commercials.

IRON & WINE: The Shepherd's Dog doesn't come out until September, but there have been a few leaks in addition to "Boy With A Coin," there is the fab boogie of "The Devil Never Sleeps" and the laid-back "Carousel."

THURSTON MOORE of Sonic Youth is putting out his first solo LP in 12 years this September; it's primarily acoustic guitar and bass, but with guitar solo's from Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis.

THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT:  Hank Medress, a founding member of the 1960s doo-wop group the Tokens, died last Monday of lung cancer; he was 68.  Best known for "Wimoweh," natch.  BONUS:  They Might Be Giants paid tribute in "The Guitar."

PAUL WELLER and GRAHAM COXON will release a joint collaboration, entitled, ‘This Old Town,' via digital download on July 2nd.

THE EDITORS:  An End Has A Start doesn't come out until mid-July in the US, but you can stream the whole thing right now at TheirSpace.

LINDSAY BUCKINGHAM looks back at the Rumors LP, 30 years later, with Spinner.

JOHN DOE played a mini-set for NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, and compares his acting gigs to his music gigs for Pate magazine.

DAVID LEE ROTH had such an unquenchable thirst for sex during his Van Halen days that he gave generous cash rewards to staffers who supplied him with the hottest girls, according to a new, unauthorized bio of the platinum-selling band.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The most expensive comedy ever, Evan Almighty, topped the box office, but with only 32 million -- well below even the 40 million studio lowball estimate.  Exit polls suggest that without "frequent church attenders," this film might have gone down as one of the biggest bombs in Hollywood history.  OUCH!  Recouping the 210 million budget, even worldwide, seems... unlikely.  Thriller 1408 debuted in second, making 20 million (on a 25 million budget).  The Fantastic Four flick plunged 65 percent in its second weekend, will likely make less than the original and about break even domestically.  Ocean's 13 made another 11 million, and is slightly ahead of where O12 was after three weekends.  Knocked Up rounds out the Top Five with another 10 million, breaking the 100 million mark on a 30 million budget.  Pirates 3 adds seven million to its total in the US and has made 872 million worldwide; it may win the ultimate battle with Spider-Man 3 (which fell out of the Top Ten this weekend).  Surf's Up pulled in 6.7 million in seventh place.  Shrek the Third crosses the 300 million mark in eighth place.  Nancy Drew didn't drop much, even in ninth place, but it didn't start well enough.  Rounding out the Top Ten is the debut of A Mighty Heart, with four million.

A MIGHTY HEART continued to cause controversy, on top of Jolie's attempts to control her press for the movie.  Paramount Vantage staged a Thursday night screening and discussion with participation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations to the dispair of Jewish activists and Judea Pearl, father of the late journo Daniel Pearl.  Apparently, they didn't think inviting a group recently named as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in connection with a Texas terror-financing trial was a good idea.  At the other end of the scale, Roger Ebert compared the US government and those who complain about the news to terrorists in his review of the flick, though neither group has a policy of beheading innocent civilians, last I checked.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie has cut funds to a charity named after son Maddox in his native Cambodia, according to reports.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The heirhead is due to be sprung Tuesday.  The reportedly lucrative interview with NBC is off; while the Peacock denies it was ever on, the NYT reported on how ABC was outbid.  Instead, the celebutante will make her post-jail appearance on Larry King Live Wednesday night.  And the family has thought better of having a post-jail party.  BTW, Radar has a little something on the shrink who helped get her home release.

LINDSAY LOHAN is still in rehab, but after a divorce hearing, Dina Lohan's security guard and Michael Lohan traded some vicious barbs.  Let's go to the video.

BRITNEY SPEARS is set to join Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, Debbie Harry, The Dresden Dolls and more for the True Colors tour date in L.A. June 30th.  No mention of whether Rosie O'Donnell will be there.  X17 claims that the pop tart may be trying to get a restraining order against her mother.

EDDIE MURPHY is the father of "Scary Spice" Melanie Brown's 2-month-old daughter; at least that's what Brown's rep says of the DNA test results.

PAUL POTTS still has to get out of bed to go to work, but now his work will be singing opera for the Queen and recording albums for Simon Cowell's label.  Video from the opera singer's Today show appearance at the link.  (Thanks, Lance.)

LIV TYLER wishes she had French-kissed Kate Hudson when they played lesbian lovers in 2000 film, Dr. T and the Women.  Which may explain her enthusiastic greeting for Kate Bosworth earlier this month.

CAMERON DIAZ inadvertently offended Peruvians who suffered decades of violence from a Maoist insurgency by touring Peru Friday with a bag emblazoned with one of Mao Zedong's favorite political slogans.  She has apologized, saying she had no idea that the bag emblazoned with a red star she bought in the People's Republic of China had a Maoist slogan.

THE DARK KNIGHT has been shooting near my offfice for the past week, and is using the lot across from my home as a makeshift helipad as I write this, so I am reminded to point you toward video of the Batpod, as well as pics of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart shooting down in Hyde Park.

BRITAIN'S FIRST MUSLIM MP is stepping down after receiving death threats over his role in bringing three racist killers to justice.

THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:  Scores of Emiratis are angry that a pig-shaped toy is being sold in local malls.  "There are some dirty games being played against our culture and religion," said local parents.

IRAN is in the throes of one of its most ferocious crackdowns on dissent in years, with the government focusing on labor leaders, universities, the press, women's rights advocates, a former nuclear negotiator and Iranian-Americans. (Pics here that you will not see as often as, say, pics from Abu Ghraib prison.)  Tehran is encouraging people who receive "immoral" messages on their mobile phones to report them to the judiciary and receive a reward.  Instead of freezing all nuclear enrichment-related activity, as the UN Security Council has demanded, Iran has accelerated the program.  So of course, the UN's nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei says we should be focused on normalization of ties between Iran and the West.  And as Iran's economy is tanking, Reuters runs a light-hearted story on Pres. Ahmadinejad consulting his butcher for economic advice.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio rounds up news on the ops in Baqubah, Tikrit, Mosul, Fallujah and the "belts" around Baghdad.  US helicopters killed 17 Al Qaeda gunmen trying to sneak past a checkpoint in Baqubah.   Overall, Operation Phantom Thunder has netted 721 detainees so far, with 50 classified as leaders of cells and high-value targets, while Baghdad murders last week were down to 33, from 93 a week in January.  Michael Yon e-mailed that Operation Arrowhead Ripper in Baqubah was going well, though he elsewhere faults Iraqi commanders and US military media operations.  The commanders in the Baghdad "belts" also worry about the inadequacy of Iraqi troops (in numbers and equipment).  US forces using tips from Iraqi informants raided a safe house in Sadr City before dawn on Saturday and detained three militants with suspected of ties to Iran.  Prime Minister al-Maliki, citing a "misunderstanding" of an earlier remark, insists  that he supports the US tactic of arming Sunni Arab tribes to battle insurgents in Iraq.  And an Iraqi court has sentenced three former aides to Saddam Hussein, including the man known as "Chemical Ali," to death by hanging for their role in a 1980s genocide campaign that that killed up to 100000 Kurds (one of many figures that give perspective to the scale of violence in Iraq today).

ELWOOD, a 2-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix, was crowned the world's ugliest dog Friday at the annual ugly dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair.

CHARLIE, a black lab, drove his owner's car into the Pend Oreille River in Sagle, Idaho.  Things got a little weirder when the tow truck driver showed up.

FIREFIGHTERS resuscitated four cats and an albino rat from a charred apartment in southeastern Idaho.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A squirrel casing the Shanghai subway evaded security guards attempts to catch if for about seven hours.

KNUT UPDATE:  Despite recent high temperatures in Berlin, the celebrity polar bear cub isn't suffering from the heat, according to new infrared photos.

3522 Reads

Embarrassment, Ryan Adams, Wilco, Cutout Bin, Prairie Dog Threat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 22, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE EMBARRASSMENT!  The pride and joy of Lawrence, Kansas, they had a quirky pop to them from 1979-83 that fit with East Coast bands of the period, like Sneakers, the dB's, Rage To Live, the Individuals, etc.  Drummer Brent "Woody" Giessman actually headed east and joined the Del Fuegos, while guitarist Bill Goffrier went on to front Big Dipper.  Their stuff is not readily available, so these clips for "I'm A Don Juan," "Funtime," "Celebrity Art Party" and "Don't Choose The Wrong Song" are quite a find. (Thanks, songs:illinois!)

RICHARD THOMPSON talks about various songs on his new Sweet Warrior album with the Patriot-Press.

RYAN ADAMS:  The Easy Tiger LP isn't due until next Tuesday, but you can stream it now via MuchMusic.

DEVO is profiled in FACT magazine, with a look at (and links to) today's Devo-influenced bands. Plus, Jerry Casale suggests that Devo is performing live again precisely because of Devolution.

SUMMER MIX:  Heather Browne is streaming her mixdisc from I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, including tracks from Steve Miller, Jonathan Richman, the Mooney Suzuki and Nick Lowe.

MARK RONSON:  Guest vocalist Lily Allen plays Jessica Rabbit in the video for  "Oh My God"

THE THRILLS are streaming two new songs from their upcoming Teenager LP via ThrillsSpace.

TED NUGENT is upset about a lot of things, including Sir Paul McCartney firing meat-eaters from his tour.

WILCO stopped by the World Cafe for an interview and mini-set you can stream via NPR.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The Times of London has run two excerpts from the troubled singer's diaries, which have the occasional Spinal Tap quality to them.  He wrote that he hopes to marry the supposedly sober supermodel this summer, provided he is "smack and needle-free. ... I become (sic) 10 times happier than any given smackhead. Huzzah!"  Until then, you can watch the couple perform "KP Nuts" while dressed in band uniforms.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are: Gnarls Barkley vs Supertramp vs The Who vs Rockwell - Crazy Logic; The New York Dolls - Stranded in the Jungle; Wilco - Box Full of Letters; The Replacements - I Don't Know (Alternative Version); Band of Bees - Listening Man; Fontella Bass - Hold On This Time; The Self Righteous Brothers - Diana; Robert Pollard - Supernatural Car Lover; Pixies - Here Comes Your Man; The Who - Pictures Of Lily; Teenage Fanclub - What You Do To Me; T-Rex - 20th Century Boy; Ramones - Somebody Put Something In My Drink; Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot; Richard Hawley - Some Candy Talking (Jesus & Mary Chain); Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood - Summer Wine; The Thrills - One Horse Town; The Byrds - Chestnut Mare; Beach Boys - Sail on Sailor; REM. - Have You Ever Seen The Rain; Sean Na Na - Princess And The Pony; Youngbloods - Get Together; and Tom Petty - Don't Come Around Here No More.

FRENCH HOTEL in the GREYBAR HOTEL:  NBC has agreed to pay as much as a million bucks for the heirhead's first after-jail interview, which will appear on the Today show, according to the NYPost.  NBC News claims it has no commitment from Hilton for an interview, adding that "NBC News has not and will not pay for an interview."  But NBC's entertainment division has been in discussions with Hilton's camp, according to network sources, and could compensate Hilton through a development deal, effectively circumventing the news division's policy prohibiting payments for interviews.  No word on whether Ryan Seacrest had to pay to talk to the celebutante on the phone.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are the Noah-themed comedy Evan Almighty, currently scoring 24 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (which should only add to the studio angst noted below); the Stephen King adaptation 1408, which is scoring 89 percent; and Angelina Jolie as the widow of slain journo Daniel Pearl in A Mighty Heart, which is scoring 78 percent.

EVAN ALMIGHTY:  Universal isn't even trying to hide its nerves about the opening number this Friday for Hollywood's most expensive comedy ever, as the tracking is rumored to show parents were rejecting this big summer film as appropriate family fare, because they thought it was the exact sequel to Bruce Almighty and therefore too mature.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly stormed out of a shoot for her new perfume, but a disinterested source tells Page Six that her new album is amazing.

LINDSAY LOHAN passing out in a car over Memorial Day weekend may have stalled her acting career, but it has done wonders for hoodie sales at American Apparel.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE & JESSICA BIEL were caught canoodling aboard a luxury speedboat in Oslo, Norway.  The Daily Mail is calling it their personal "love boat," but I don't think the couple got any Ted Lange action.

GREY'S ANATOMY:  Disgruntled former cast member Isaiah Washington insists that it was actor T.R. Knight, not he, who should have been fired from the hit ABC medical dramedy.  And he's considering a lawsuit to clear his name.  All of which will make him much more attractive to Hollywood's casting agencies.

REESE & JAKE UPDATE:  Witherspoon and Gyllenhaal have currently cooled their low-key relationship.

ROSIE O'DONNELL'S replacement on The View may be a man, man.  Who knows?  It might even be PerezHilton.

THE BEST FILM COMEDIES OF ALL TIME, according to London's Sunday Observer -- starting with This Is Spinal Tap.

THE 50 DVDs EVERY FILM FAN SHOULD OWN is a five-part series at PopMatters, whose lists exclude obvious choices like  Citizen Kane, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz or Gone with the Wind.  A fair amount of embedded video in each part, too.

ROBOT CHICKEN:  The animated Star Wars special is streaming in full from AdultSwim.  George Lucas and Mark Hamill are among the voice talents.

WORLD'S BIGGEST UFOs have been seen hovering off the south coast of Britain by an airline pilot and his passengers.

CLOAKING DEVICE:  DARPA, the Pentagon's wide-eyed research arm, is working on it.

IRAN:  The BBC reports that Iranian naval forces in the Gulf tried to capture an Australian Navy boarding team but were vigorously repelled.  The incident took place before Iran successfully seized 15 British sailors and Marines in March.  Former Pres. Mohammad Khatami -- who passes for "moderate" and a "reformer" in Iran (which includes defending the death penalty for homosexuals) -- will be tried by a religious tribunal and possibly banned from preaching for the grievous sin of shaking hands with two women during a recent trip to Italy.  Khatami vehemently denies the charge; let's go to the video!

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has a solid roundup of Day 5 of Operation Phantom Thunder (the name of the overarching operation to secure the Baghdad Belts), including links to Michael Yon and the NYT's Michael Gordon, both embedded in Baqubah and reporting the US-Iraqi forces are getting tips from the locals on where to find IEDs and enemy fighters.  Since those reports, Gordon has filed a story about local distrust of the Iraqi Army coming into Baqubah, and Joe Klein of Time magazine managed to helicopter into Baqubah, who has more on why the local Sunnis are turning.  Klein reminds us that in prior major ops, terrorists have slipped away -- the AP quotes  Lt. Gen. Odierno as saying the US believes 80 percent of the upper level al-Qaeda leaders fled the city, but 80 percent of the lower level leaders were still there.  The 1920 Revolution Brigades have issued a series of frantic statements denying any role in the ongoing US-led security operation in restive Diyala province.  Prime Minister al-Maliki has formed a committee to vet Iraqi tribal leaders and groups the US has begun arming, according to SecDef Robert Gates.  In a British newspaper interview published Thursday, Gen. Petraeus said he expected al-Qaeda to try to counter the US surge with a surge of its own ("Al-Qaeda is keenly aware of the Washington clock"), and blamed agents trained, equipped and advised by Iran for the Baghdad kidnapping of five British citizens three weeks ago.

THE PRAIRIE DOG THREAT:  Five seconds of pure entertainment, icymi.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A Blue Island, IL  home caught fire for the second time in eight days when squirrels knocked high-voltage wires loose from a nearby utility pole.

SEVERED GOAT HEAD prompts suspicion in death of baby dolphin.  Not just any baby dolphin, either -- it's the one that had the chat line.

EX-MARINE killed a 300-pound black bear with a log near Helen, GA.  Yet in my head, it reads "killed him a bar."  I really should seek help.  BONUS:  A grizzly bear tranquilized so it could be painted with pink dots has died.

KITTY SAVED!  And it only took two fire trucks, five firefighters, several animal rescuers and about 250 gallons of water.

BINGE DRINKING RATS raid a liquor store.  Like a PG-13 version of Ratatouille.

GORILLAS use plant leaves to clean their faces and hands after a messy snack.  Dang dirty apes; they wanna be like you.

4341 Reads

Cheap Trick, The National, Lucky Soul, Mini-Donkeys   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CHEAP TRICK:  The State of Illinois still doesn't have a new budget, but Pate fans will be delighted to learn that the State Senate is set to declare April 1st "Cheap Trick Day" in Illinois, in recognition of the Illinois-bred band's accomplishments, which include 28 albums, more than 5000 concerts and more than 20 million records sold.  (Thanks, Debbie & Sylvia!)  Guitarist Rick Nielsen briefly jumped off tour to accept the honor (to be made official next week) and shake the capitol free from its traditional decorum with a never-ending stream of wisecracks:  When Senate GOP staffer Lisa Sims approached Nielsen in a corridor, held out her cell phone and asked him to say hello to her boyfriend, Nielsen put his mouth to the phone and asked, "Can I put my clothes on first?"  Later, to the delight and applause of senators, Nielsen pulled off another patented stage trick: He dipped into his pockets and threw fistfuls of guitar picks at the senators and their staff -- and even a few into a press box.  The band got its start around Rockford, Ill., a generation ago, and has remained rooted there, despite a slew of top-100 hits in the 1970s, including "Surrender," "I Want You to Want Me" and "Dream Police."  BONUS:  Vintage video of "He's A Whore."

THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN:  Former drummer John Moore talks to the cantankerous Reid brothers about their return as Elder Statesmen of Rock: "The lure of a big payday gave them the perfect excuse to resume relations while saving face. Both could claim the pragmatism of a cheque with many zeros, while still maintaining a facade of mutual loathing should it prove necessary..."  RTWT; it's all good, starting with a haircut.

THE NATIONAL played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream the gig on demand via NPR today.

THEREMIN-MANIA:  Moon Maan's Rick McCollum (former Afghan Whigs guitarist) uses and raves over the semi-obscure instrument.  You can stream a few tracks from MoonSpace.

RYAN ADAMS stopped by The Current (in a suit, no less), so you can stream an inteview on demand via MPR.  While he was there, he spoke candidly about his injuries and foibles; his sobriety, and stage fright.

PATTI SMITH, poet and punk, covers Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

ANTONY and the JOHNSONS frontman Antony Hegarty talks to Ireland's Independent about the influence Lou Reed and the African-American tradition of music have on his work.  So he probably won't mind that Bjork thought Antony was a black woman, before having him sing on her new album.

LUCKY SOUL -- a classic R&B-influenced British band I've thumbs-upped before -- is streaming The Great Unwanted album in full from their website.  (Thanks, Chromewaves.)

THE HOLD STEADY:  Stereogum points you to John Roderick's (The Long Winters) snarky review of the Hold Steady's Bonnaroo set, along with a video of the band's opening number "Stuck Between Stations."

M WARD:  Although "in less than a decade he's gone from a barely heard bedroom troubadour to a guy that the Boston Pops might need time to create arrangements for," he talks to Boston's Phoenix mostly about producing, including an upcoming LP from Zooey Deschanel.

LINDSAY LOHAN plans to stay in rehab for more than a month -- a sign she is taking it seriously this time.  Her ex-con Dad says he's pleased with his daughter's progress. "Lindsay has found this righteous path because she's going to church and that's a good sign."

BRITNEY SPEARS, otoh, was reportedly seen kicking back several rounds of cocktails on June 15, less than 90 days after leaving rehab.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Not only stuck in jail, but Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are saying son Jack bedded the heirhead.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA pregnancy rumors are near the delivery stage.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  Is The Price Right for her to host her favorite game show?  Roger Friedman claims the issues are ore likely to be O'Donnell's refusal to leave NYC for Tinseltown and NBC's ardent courtship.  In a recent video on her blog, O'Donnell has claimed the producers don't want her.

JESSICA BIEL is pronounced extremely hot by US Weekly as her career takes off, though the author of the new GQ cover story writer takes a photo with Biel and then makes the observation, "You never quite understand how unattractive you are until you see yourself in a picture with Jessica Biel."  Oddly enough, that pic did not make the GQ photo spread.

UMA THURMAN put rumors of marrying hotelier Andre Balazs by taking up with actor-director-producer David White.

LIV TYLER is "definitely" going to have plastic surgery in the future. "Especially when you see what happens to your body after you have a baby."

PAULA ABDUL is set to team up with the people behind the Chicken Soup For The Soul.  She does seem like she could use a self-help book. 

GEORGE CLOONEY talks politics and activism -- especially regarding Darfur -- with the L.A. Times: "If celebrity is a credit card, then I'm using it.  I knew I had to shine light on this situation."  This includes going on a diplomatic mission to China, one of the main countries blocking any action on Darfur.

BRADGELINA:  Though she apologized for trying to control the press surrounding her new movie, A Mighty Heart, tipsters tell Page Six that Jolie went on to ban some entertainment weeklies, including Us Weekly and Life & Style, from speaking to her at the film's junket on Friday - only allowing access to OK! and People magazine, with which she has a cozy relationship.  And Jolie reproedly was less than thrilled that Jennifer Aniston got a visit from her ex Brad Pitt's mother on Father's Day.

AFI has updated its "100 Years...100 Movies" list, icymi it last night on TV.  The AP looks at the changes in the last decade.

SALMAN RUSHDIE:  The committee that recommended him for a knighthood did not discuss any possible political ramifications and never imagined that the award would provoke the furious response that it has done in parts of the Muslim world, while the writers' group that led the lobbying hoped that the honor would lead to better relations between Britain and Asia.  Kind of a scary window into how clueless the British elite is when it comes to addressing Islamic fundamentalism.  Of course, when the British media can run a story on the rise in "honor killings" without mentioning religion as a factor, perhaps it's not so shocking.

IRAN:  The US House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on the UN Security Council to charge Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad with violating international laws pertaining to genocide by calling for the destruction of Israel.  Best of luck with that.  The deputy speaker of the Iranian parliament blames Israel and the US for the Palestinian fighting in the Gaza Strip.  Tehran's Police Chief says the people's tastes have changed toward purchasing appropriate clothing, not mentioning that the Tehran Police beat people who violate the dress code.  And by the time you read this, a couple may have been stoned to death for adultery and having a child out of wedlock.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has an overview of the largest offensive operation since the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom ended in the spring of 2003.  In Diyala province, soldiers have uncovered more than 1000 roadside bombs around Baqubah.  After US and Iraqi forces gain control of the western side of the city, they intend to take fingerprints and other biometric data from every resident who seems to be a potential fighter, as well as test for the presence of explosive material on suspects' hands.  More than 10 Iraqi tribes in the Baghdad area have reached agreements with US and Iraqi forces for the first time to oppose al-Qaeda.  Iraqi VP Adel Abdul Mahdi tendered his resignation last week -- and other senior officials considered resigning -- in recent weeks over the failures of their government to make progress after more than a year in power, according to Iraqi and US officials.  OTOH, according to London's Guardian, Kurdish leaders said last night they had struck an important deal with the central govt over a law to divide up Iraq's oil revenues, which is seen by the Bush Admin. as one of the benchmarks in attempts to foster national reconciliation.

COUNTER-INSURGENCY TRAINING at Fort Polk's Joint Readiness Training Center ranges from simulating the latest terror tactics to emphasizing respect for the populace and Iraqi culture.

SOMETIMES THE CHEETAH eats you, sometimes it just poops through the sunroof.

A RABID BOBCAT is strangled to death by 62-year-old Vietnam vet Dale Rippy.

SERVICE DOGS in Maryland are working their way through school by painting abstract art.  The doggie da Vincis also have a line of greeting cards that has sold out as word spreads about the unusual works of art.  One of the original works has sold for $350.

THE IGUANA THREAT:  An iguana took down the grid in Big Pine Key, FL... and lived.  This could be tthe squirrels' powerful new weapon.

MINI-DONKEYS, each named for a country music legend, make great pets.

3675 Reads

Go! Team, Summer Music, Kevin Drew, Radiohead, Frog Threat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE GO! TEAM have released the video for "Grip Like A Vice," from their second LP, due in September.

OUR GENERATION?  London's Observer Music Monthly wants you to meet the teenage kids playing for kicks.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED:  The NPR show's 2007 Summer Music Preview includes tracks from Spoon, Tegan and Sara, Nick Drake, Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson, the Beastie Boys and more.  The latest regular show includes tracks from The National, the Polyphonic Spree, Travis, the John Lennon tribute, Lightning Dust, Patti Smith and more.

RICHARD LLOYD, who was already leaving Television this summer, has been hospitalized for nearly a month now with pneumonia.

O' DEATH use Appalachian menace to make Brooklyn kids convulse with joy.  Daytrotter has free songs from a SxSW session to stream and download.

KEVIN DREW:  Brooklyn Vegan has a new track from the Broken Social Scenester, titled "TBTF."  Guess what the "F" stands for.

RADIOHEAD:  As the band works on its new album, Nigel Godrich has uploaded "bits of tape which have been chopped out of the mixes when they were edited" in QuickTime, but you can also watch and listen on the Tube.

WEDDING BELL BLUES:  Stephen Thompson of NPR was asked by his niece asked me to put together an hour of love-themed dinner music for her wedding reception.  He has posted his wedding mix, with six streaming tracks.

WELCOME... to the People's Republic of Bono.  SEMI-RELATED:  I can't believe I missed the L.A. Times piece on Pope Rosie.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND:  Captain's Dead is streaming a soundboard recording from New Years Eve 1975 at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia.  I dig the languid take on Manfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo."

DUDE Hits Like an Old Lady.  Ouch.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The billboards for a morning radio show which implied she was "Certifiable" have been taken down under the legal threat noted here yesterday.  Lawyers and law profs disagreed over the strength of the pop tart's claim, including UCLA's Eugene Volokh, though I didn't see anything on it where he blogs.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The celebutante reportedly spends the days looking at the ceiling and walls of her cell, presumably entranced by the sound of the wind whistling through her head.

TIGER WOODS and his wife are the proud parents of a baby girl.  No word on when he starts teaching her to putt.

SASHA BARON COHEN and ISLA FISHER are having a girl?

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  London's Sun is claiming Holmes is knocked up again.  The Daily Mail shows no bump in most recent photos.

JOHN TRAVOLTA blames Virginia Tech, Columbine and all the other tragic school shootings not on the psychos who committed the heinous acts - but on psychiatric drugs.  And possibly Xenu.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and JESSICA BIEL:  JT just told the press it was a bad idea to have Biel on tour with him in the UK, but this week she met up with him in Amsterdam and Stockholm... though they tried being sneaky about it.  I guess he really can't say "no" to her -- NTTAWWT!

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but a Los Angeles judge Tuesday named Howard K. Stern executor of her estate and Larry Birkhead guardian of his and Smith's daughter, Dannielynn.

PATTON OSWALT, the voice behind French rat Remy in Ratatouille, is guesting on the Food Channel's Emeril Live! to promote Pixar's upcoming animated treat.  After downing a glass of red wine, he mock-slurs, "Thanks for having me on the show, Rachael..."

SICKO:  The Weinstein Co. has hired several firms that specialize in dealing with piracy and is taking "a very aggressive approach" before the release of Michael Moore's healthcare movie.  This extended to creating phony websites to phish personal info from people trying to download the movie.  Even Moore was upset over the eventual leak, so I guess his fondness for money exceeds his fondess for socialist and communist regimes.  Not surprising, when you remember that his foundation owns tens of thousands of shares in Big PharmCo Eli Lilly, in addition to Halliburton, Boeing and Sunoco.  BONUS:  Moore thanks 9/11 conspiracy theorists at a screening of Sicko.

O.J. SIMPSON:  The manuscript for his book, If I Did It, has leaked online.  Here's another scene.

NATALIE PORTMAN is co-author of a scientific paper on the neuroscience of child development, specifically object permanence - the ability to understand that objects do not disappear from the world when they are out of sight, something that typically develops in the first year of life.

BAR-B-QUE:  A Giant Leap For Mankind.

TERROR in the GAZA STRIP:  Some 1000 Palestinians marched in Gaza City, protesting under the banner "Stop the Killing."  Guess what happened?

PAKISTAN:  Analysts say Washington's fears that Islamic extremists will take control of Pakistan are overblown.  Let's hope so.  One might wonder how the fragile nuclear state would be doing if thousands of jihadi extremists had poured into the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region instead of into Iraq.

IRAQ:  The large-scale military operation in Diyala province's capital city of Baqubah (northeast of Baghdad) involves "approximately 10000 Soldiers, with a full complement of attack helicopters, close air support, Strykers and Bradley Fighting Vehicles." (The NYT had it at 2000 soldiers on Monday.)  Michael Yon is back in Baqubah, where he paints the background and e-mails Glenn Reynolds that the city is surrounded by our forces and there is sharp fighting.  A joint force of Iraqi and US troops reportedly arrested the leader of al-Qaeda armed group in Muqdadiya, Diyala province.  Meanwhile, US and British forces overwhelmed Shiite militiamen in Maysan province (south of Baghdad, where two of the five "surge" brigades are based).  Kirkuk seems determined to remain calm, though looming constitutional issues could open the door to sectarian strife.

TIMMY, TOMMY & TERRY:  It took three 4-year-old identical siblings to play the ginger tabby in the final episode of The Sopranos.

THE PET ATHLETIC CLUB is doing booming business in Cincinnati, OH.

HORSEPLAY CAUGHT on CCTV:  An Oregon teenager is facing charges of burglary and sexual abuse of an animal after being arrested last week at a barn in northeast Corvallis.

A NEW YORK GATOR is hopping in the minivan and retiring to sunny Florida.

A SAINT BERNARD thrown out of a second-floor window landed on a man as he was walking down a street the southern-Polish city of Sosnowiec.

THE FROG THREAT in FLORIDA:  People scream after finding huge frogs in their toilet bowls. Electrified amphibians cause multiple blackouts. Frogs hitch rides in cars, later surprising unsuspecting drivers.

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New Releases, Monterey Pop, Of Montreal, Baby Hippo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE WRONG TROUSERS don't seem old enough to know that "Video Killed the Radio Star," but they seem to have studied it pretty well.

NEW RELEASES:  The White Stripes release Icky Thump and take over an old Tower Records store for the occasion.  Art Brut, the Polyphonic Spree, Mooney Suzuki, Rocky Votolato and more are streaming in full from Spinner.  The very trippy sophomore LP from Jennifer Gentle is streaming in full from HisSpace. Minus Story (from Lawrence KS) is also psychedelic, in a Flaming Lips sorta way.  And Lightning Dust -- a side project of the Black Mountain collective -- is streaming a few tracks, too.

A HISTORY of the FLEXI-DISC at Stylus has a money quote from Randy Johnston, who owns the Toronto-based record shop Molten Core:  "I used to consider flexis to be a cheap throwaway, but...(now) I can see flexis as a perfect piece of pop art. We're living at the end of a cheap, throwaway culture, after all."

MONTEREY POP turned 40 over the weekend, so Heather Browne is streaming some highlights of the legendary music fest.

DINOSAUR, JR, now reuinited, talk to Harp magazine about how their personalities have changed over the years.  Built to Spill leader Doug Martsch touts the band's influence, and J Mascis's guitar-noodling ability, to the AP.

OF MONTREAL backs AXE RIVERBOY (a pseudonym for Tahiti 80 frontman Xavier Boyer) on covers of The Zombies' "Care of Cell 44" and David Bowie's "Starman" for a La Blogotheque Take-away Show.  Add in Axe Riverboy's "Roundabout" and Of Montreal's "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games," for a Twofer of Twofers Tuesday. 

ROBERT POLLARD is not only realeasing two albums this Fall, but will also dip back into live shows, icluding one at Chicago's Metro.

PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  Former defense team member Sara Caplan was held in contempt of court Monday for continuing to refuse to testify about forensics expert Henry Lee's actions at the scene of Lana Clarkson's death.

RYAN ADAMS considers it a miracle he did not die.  Others consider his upcoming Easy Tiger LP focused and perhaps his best yet.

SUFJAN STEVENS:  GvsB wonders whether Stevens has new material about the state of Oregon, or whether it's a hoax.  Pichfork called his label, which says it's a hoax.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel acted as a roadie for the troubled singer, toting his acoustic guitar as she arrived at London's Royal Festival Hall for that Disney tribute concert.  Doherty is rumored to be reuniting with Libertines bandmate Carl Barat for a performance at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Shivering in the cold of her cell (at least it's cold to someone paper-thin), the heirhead made her dad a Father's Day card.  So cute.  She is probably out of jail next week, and her neighbors are unhappy.

BRITNEY SPEARS is threatening legal action against a Florida radio station that used a bald-headed photo of the pop tart on billboards that appear to call her sanity into question.  Interestingly, the lawyers' letter complains of commercial exploitation of her likeness, not libel.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  Barbara Walters said that, while "it's very hard for anyone to follow Rosie" on The View, the co-hosts now are able to talk about matters like "heterosexual sex" that they couldn't discuss when O'Donnell was the moderator.  If you think Walters is exaggerating, note that O'Donnell reportedly said, "I've been hanging around with those heteros for a full year and it's not fun..."

JULIA ROBERTS gives birth to the too-normally-named for a celebaby Henry, largely wiping out coverage of Keri Russell giving birth for the first time.

KRISTY SWANSON, the original vampire slayer, was arrested late Saturday night for allegedly assaulting the ex-wife of her baby daddy and former skating partner, Lloyd Eisler.  Swanson claims she was the real victim.

LINDSAY LOHAN is being offered a free car service to ensure she gets from nightclubs to her home safely, when she comes out of rehab.  New York-based company Georgi clearly has great confidence in Li-Lo's ability to stay clean once she gets out of the Promises clinic.  US Weekly was reporting that Lohan canceled her 21st birthday party at PURE nightclub in Las Vegas on July 2nd, but the story seems to have vanished from the mag's website. 

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY and SIENNA MILLER:  Knightley hoped some of Miller's social skills would rub off on her, but the two are staying in and playing board games.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise is at the highest level of "clear" in Scientology - and now he may even perform a wedding for a friend, Australian heir James Packer, one of the church's richest benefactors.  Cruise renewed fears he may "inject" Scientology propaganda into a new film about German WWII officer Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg by turning up at Scientology's UK HQ. The couple was spotted partying until 7 a.m. with the Beckhams in Madrid after David Beckham's final game in Spain.  And there was the traditional Tom-Kat PDA photo-op at the game.

MORE CANOODLING!  The New York Post's Page Six is likely to expand to three pages, which is one of the signs of tha apocalypse.  Just a little Mark of The Beast humor.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie says she's open to making peace with her estranged father, Jon Voight.  Maybe she looks at Shiloh and sees a mini-Voight.

PAUL POTTS, the 36-year-old mobile phone salesman turned opera singer, will spend the £100,000 won from Britain's Got Talent on dental work.

SHARON STONE and other celebs are headed to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to raise money for AIDS victims - but are they doing it on the backs of that country's human-rights victims?

THE DARK KNIGHT:  Entertainment Weekly shows you Batman's new suit -- which is starting to look enough like the Joel Schumacher era to make me uneasy.  However, I do want to see more of the new Batpod.

JERI RYAN married French chef Christophe Eme in the French countryside over the weekend.  Jeri had accused her frst husband of asking her to perform sexual acts with him in public, and in adult clubs in New York, New Orleans, and Paris.

RATATOUILLE:  Speaking of French chefs, I saw the sneak preview of Pixar's latest over the weekend.  I'm waiting until closer to the June 29th opening to do a review, but circle your calendars. In the meantime, Jason Kottke makes some good points, including one about Pixar doing its homework on kitchens.  You can watch trailers and clips galore at Yahoo!

LIFE IMITATES MONTY PYTHON:  Dead guy not so dead after all.

TERROR in the US?  Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the US and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by ABCNews.com.  U.S. intell officials call it propaganda; former White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke takes it seriously.

THE UNITED NATIONS supposedly reformed its Human Rights Council, but the body now prepares to place Israel under a permanent indictment while eliminating expertsreporting on violations by Cuba and Belarus, and threatening those reporting on Burundi, Cambodia, North Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Burma, Somalia and Sudan.  Indeed, Incoming UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the slaughter in Darfur was triggered by global climate change.

IRAN:  Some 200 exiled Iranian dissidents of various political stripes gathered in Paris to launch a movement called "Solidarity Iran," seeking to devise more and better-coordinated ways of boosting efforts by people within Iran itself to replace the country's terrorist-sponsoring and brutal Islamic regime with secular, democratic rule.

IRAQ:  The US military began a major attack by more than 2000 American troops against Sunni insurgent positions in Baquba -- the capital of Diyala Province -- overnight, part of a larger operation aimed at blunting the persistent car and suicide bombings that have terrorized Iraqis and thwarted political reconciliation.  Bill Roggio has background on the major operations starting in the "belts" surrounding Baghdad and on joint Iraqi-British strikes on Iranian-backed terror cells in the south.  In Diyala, US soldiers also are willing to risk teaming up with militias to fight Al Qaeda-aligned groups.   Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki warned that US troops sometimes create new militias by arming Iraqi tribes, urging that such decisions be left to his government.  It's a fair point, though it would carry more weight if Maliki weren't backed by the Mahdi Army, while the tribes being armed are mostly Sunni.  CNN notes that raids aimed at disrupting the flow of weapons and fighters between Iraq and Iran resulted in the deaths of at least 20 militants early Monday in eastern Iraq.  Saudi Arabia calls on Iran not to interfere in Iraq's internal affairs, which is unlikely to deter Iran in any way.  Even Moqtada al-Sadr is continuing to criticize Iran to boost his nationalist cred; a high-level Sadr aide accuses Iran of helping Al Qaeda.  Basra's police chief has been reassigned or fired in the wake of two attacks against Sunni mosques in the city, reportedly sectarian reprisals for last week's attack on mosque in Samarra.  Iraqi officials do not expect a major Turkish incursion in the north.  In Baghdad, US soldiers found and rescued boys starving and chained to beds in a government-run orphanage for special needs children.

PAUL the BABY HIPPO is challenging polar bear cub Knut for public affection at the Berlin Zoo.

A ONE-EYED SNAKE was saved from being run over and shot in Rayville, LA.  And it wasn't even Mardi Gras.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A giant flying squirrel has been found in Jharkhand, India arousing the curiosity of forest officials and a bit of concern among tribals.

ALABAMA KITTENS may buy Mitchell Morris a new boat motor and a new heart.

A BLACK SEA BASS had to be deflated by the Harbor Patrol in Avalon, California, last week.

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