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Nick Cave, She & Him, Nicole Atkins, Knut Redux   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NICK CAVE and the BAD SEEDS have posted the video for "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!"  And we can dig it!

SHE & HIM:  Actress-singer Zooey Deschanel talked about her upcoming album with M. Ward on KCRW.  The Playlist has posted MP3s from the duo, including a cover of Smokey Robinson's "You Really Got A Hold On Me."  So did tkincher.  (Thx Chromewaves, where Frank Yang also posted their cover of Richard & Linda Thomspon's "When I Get To The Border."

LINDA STEIN:  More details have emerged about a possible motive behind the alleged killing of the former Ramones manager by her assistant Natavia Lowery.  New reports allege that Lowery was stealing from Stein for months before the murder.

BEST OF 2007:  You can stream eight hours of the year's top 97 Modern Rock and Alternative albums at WOXY.  The full list is also at the link.

NEKO CASE has booked a half-dozen dates around the Northeast to try out some new songs from her next album.  While you're waiting for that, the demo for "Behind The House," previously available only on the Live From Austin City Limits CD, is now freely downloadable from the news page on Case's website (not the downloads section; go figure).

NICOLE ATKINS and the SEA deliver an energetic take on her "Maybe Tonight" for Conan O'Brien.

CAT POWER:  Chan Marshall is blogging her charity mission through India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Tanzania.

JOHN C. REILLY & THE HARD WALKERS stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set of songs from the movie, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.


THE MUSIC INDUSTRY vs. ACADEMIA:  Music execs claim illegal file-sharing is kiling them; economists disagree.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The photo agency that employs the popwreck's roadtrip buddy is shopping around semi-nude pics of Spears, and reportedly have licensed them to an Aussie rag for a paltry 57K, instead of the multi-million-dollar asking price.  The LAPD officers slapped Spears with a temporary restraining order last Thursday night during her custody standoff.  Dad Jamie tried to have Spears committed.  The pop tart reportedly is afraid to seek treatment because she fears she will lose her kids forever.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS:  The 18-year-old beau of Britney's 16-year-old knocked-up sister has marriage on his mind, according to OK! magazine.  No word on whether OK! magazine has bough the rights to the shotgun wedding, y'all!

WILL SMITH has joined the ranks of Hollywood power players actively recruiting for the Church of Scientology.

LINDSAY LOHAN allegedly traumatized a woman who was in the car that Li-Lo chased before being arrested last July, according to papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

AMERICAN IDOL:  A new season, a new, spectacular Paula Abdul meltdown!  I particularly like her yelling into her cell phone in a "deep, rage-filled Poltergeist voice."

JESSICA SIMPSON:  To the relief of Dallas Cowboys fans, the pneumatic blonde will steer clear of QB-bf Tony Romo's playoff game.

MADONNA visited a synagogue, a church and a mosque in Mubai, India, as part of a holiday with her family.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE getting cozy with his Alpha Dog co-star Amanda Seyfried behind Jessica Biel's back?

CLOVERFIELD:  The NYDN reports on how producer J.J. Abrams and company have managed to keep the monster a mystery in an era of spoiler web sites, saturation advertising and product tie-ins.

AWARDS SEASON:  Despite the Golden Globes debacle, Oscars organisers are hopeful of reaching a deal with writers that would allow the highlight of awards season.  The Writers' Guild of America has already said its members will not be allowed to write the script for the Oscars show, but has not yet explicitly confirmed if it will picket.

WRITERS' STRIKE:  Speaking of which, up to 1000 employees on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank could be laid off anytime after Friday as a result of the Hollywood writers strike.  OTOH, without the strike, we might never have gotten to see late night host Conan O'Brien cover Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky."

IRAQ:  Nine US soldiers were killed in the first two days of a new drive to kill AQI fighters holed up in Diyala and Salahuddin provinces.  Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling said that in his area of control - Diyala, Salahuddin, Kirkuk and Nineveh provinces - 24000 American soldiers, 50000 members of the Iraqi army and 80000 Iraqi police are taking part in the offensive.  In December, US military deaths in Iraq fell to the lowest monthly total in almost four years, and estimates of civilian deaths also showed a sharp decline.  Operation Iron Harvest is underway in Miqdadiyah; up to 20 AQI fighters were reported killed and 10 captured. The Iraqi Army arrested the AQI leader behind an attack on the Yazidi villages in Sinjar; police arrested another key AQI leader in Khalidiya.  In the south, police arrested a mayor and four insurgents behind the Karbala fighting in August.

IRAQ & ANTHROPOLOGY:  Reuters has a feature on the US military's "Human Terrain Team" program, which embeds anthropologists with combat brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan in the hope of helping tactical commanders in the field understand local cultures.  Prof. David Matsuda, a self-described peacenik who opposed the war in Iraq, says, "I'm a Californian. I'm a liberal. I'm a Democrat. My impetus is to come here and help end this thing."  Though Reuters calls the HTT program the "latest tactic in Iraq,"  David Kilcullen (now an advisor to Gen. Petraeus) and Pentagon consultant Montgomery McFate - who grew up in the sixties on a communal houseboat in Marin County, Calif. - have been working on rolling it out since at least 2006, but met resistance from anthropologists who still have bad feelings from the 1960s.  Indeed, the American Anthropological Association has denounced the HTT program, saying it could lead to ethics being compromised, the profession's reputation damaged, and worst of all, research subjects becoming military targets.  Dr. Marcus Griffin is blogging his experiences in the program.

KNUT REDUX:  The Nuremberg Zoo came under fire for refusing to save the lives of two polar bear cubs who were apparently eaten by their mother, in order to avoid a sequel of "Knut mania."  Zoo chiefs had said nature should take its course in the case of the cubs that polar bear Vilma gave birth to five weeks ago.  Attention is now focused on polar bear Vera, who also recently gave birth. Reacting to the public outcry, the zoo yesterday announced it would be rearing her cub by hand.

A MONKEY and TWO BABY CROCS were stolen from an Aussie wildlife park.  Shockingly, cannabis was involved; the teen thief's lawyer said his client admitted it was a "dumb stoner" thing to do.

THE HOUSTON ZOO allowed visitors to play tug-o-war with a lion, two days after a tiger escaped and at the San Francisco Zoo and killed a teenage boy.  Video at the link.

A RARE AYE AYE, persecuted and hunted to near-extinction in its native Madagascar, has been born at Bristol Zoo.  Freaky lemur pic at the link.

SWEATER PUPPY leads to an arrest in Plantation, FL... yet has nothing to do with a gentlemen's club.

3168 Reads

Vampire Weekend, New AMC and Xiu Xiu, Gorilla kidnapper   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


VAMPIRE WEEKEND: The first single from their upcoming debut, "A-Punk," is a little bit world beat, a little bit Feelies.

DESTROYER frontman Dan Bejar talks to Billboard about the Trouble In Dreams album, due this spring.

KIMYA DAWSON of Moldy Peaches talks to Spinner about the Juno soundtrack, with six streaming tracks.

THE SHINS:  Criminal charges were dropped against keyboardist Martin Crandall and his ex-girfriend (and former ANTM contestant) Elyse Sewell due to insufficient evidence in an alleged incident of domestic violence.

AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB:  You can download or stream an advance track, "All The Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco," from the club's upcoming LP, The Golden Age, via the 'Gum.  There's also the band's notes about the lighter tone of the new stuff, plus an amusing bio, in which Mark Eitzel reminds us AMC has been around since my college days.

THAT PETROL EMOTION:  I had to put on "Big Decision" while the primary returns came in from New Hampshire.  Whatcha gotta do in this day and age?  You gotta agitate and educate and organize...

THE KINKS:  In news sure to depress my former housemate Dale, Dave Davies is denying brother Ray's claim that the original lineup would reunite this year.

YEASAYER guitarist Anand Wilder talks to Pitchfork about the much-anticipated debut album, the band's varied musical influences, technological solutions to global warming, and more.  You can stream a few (and download one) via YeaSpace.

XIU XIU, an experimental band with a sound that's hard to peg -- but has elements of mid-period Peter Gabriel, Sonic Youth, Joy Division and more -- is advance streaming the upcoming Women As Lovers album at XiuSpace through Friday.

TED NUGENT:  The limited edition of his latest disc has a cover to rival Spinal Tap's infamous Smell The Glove.

BRITNEY SPEARS spoke with a British accent during her mental lockdown at Cedars-Sinai hospital last Friday.  The popwreck abruptly pulled the plug on her weekend with paparazzo Adnan Ghalib and returned alone Monday to her Beverly Hills abode, a source close to Brit exclusively told Ryan Seacrest.  Her family feared that Ghalib, is going to leak provocative pictures of the pop star to news outlets.  But after Spears had her Mercedes towed and impounded by police Monday night after abandoning it on L.A.'s busy Sunset Boulevard due to a flat tire, she went home with a different photog.  BONUS:  Best Week Ever has "10 Easy Steps to Turn Around Britney Spears' Reputation."

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, Britney's knocked-up 16-year-old sister, scored huge ratings for Nickelodeon's Zoey 101.  George Clooney will be miffed.

EMINEM, whose weight has reportedly ballooned to over 200 lbs, was rushed to the hospital for a serious heart condition and severe pneumonia.

KETHERINE HEIGL would like to start a family within the next year to year in a half, though her past comments suggest she'll adopt.

SEAN PENN was served with divorce papers after wife Robin Wright Penn allegedly found him in bed with two other women during an intended romantic getaway in Lake Tahoe, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

MR. BLACKWELL releases his 48th Annual Worst-Dressed Women list.  Britney Spears wuz robbed!

BRADGELINA:  Pitt apparently still sneaks the ganja, accoring to the ever-reliable Star magazine, but has been reduced to bogarting from Steve-O from MTV's Jacka**, because Jolie likes her men clean.  Zahara turned three yesterday.

JESSICA ALBA tells Elle magazine that High School Musical's Zac Efron "looks like a child with a lot of makeup."  Of course, Efron's co-star/gf Vanessa Hudgens has called him a sissy and a little girl, so maybe Alba meant it in a good way.

AWARDS SEASON:  The Directors' Guild of America Award nominees are announced.  Movies nominated for the DGA tend to be the ones that make Oscar's best-picture list.  Moreover, only six times since 1948 has the winner not gone on to win the corresponding Oscar.  CHUD lists the notable snubs.

CLOVERFIELD:  The mystery moster movie unleashes the viral video with faux Italian, Spanish and German news clips.  /Film has the clips and translations.

PAKISTAN:  The US is pushing Pakistan to cut the supply lines of the Taliban and al-Qaeda between Pakistan and Afghanistan by squeezing them between coalition forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan forces across the border.

WHY WE'RE IN THE GULF:  Historian Walter Russell Mead writes that it's all about the oil... and would be, even if the US left the Persian Gulf.

IRAN:  The US Navy released dramatic video and audio of this weekend's stand-off with Iran. The video shows Iranian speedboats swarming around three American warships going through the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz.  Meanwhile, five convicted criminals in southeastern Iran have received the seldom-used form of punishment of amputation.  The five men were found guilty of armed robbery, hostage taking, and firing at police, though officially they were convicted of "acting against God" and "corruption upon this Earth."

IRAQ:  Another wave of action against AQI and Shiite "special groups" extremists  has been launched to build on the military success of the "surge" to date.  Iraqi and US forces kicked off Operation Phanton Phoenix, a major operation targeting the terror groups throughout Iraq.  Part of Phantom Phoenix entails nonlethal operations that will continue to put combat outposts and joint security stations into the areas cleared of extremists.  Operation Hero's Harvest is underway in Miqdadiyah, soon to spread throughout Diyala province.

A GORILLA tried to make off with a tourist in the Virunga mountain forests on the northern border of Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo.  Pics at the link.

TUSKER the ELEPHANT is dead, shot by rangers after New Year's revelers at a safari camp in Zimbabwe provoked the elephant into trampling several cars.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A cat took out the power grid in Nampa, Idaho, blacking out more than 12000 homes and businesses.  But you know squirrels put the cat up to it.

A DOG was saved from a mountain lion by the dead aim of an 80-year-old in Fairburn, SD.

THE PYGMY RABBIT may get federal protection, new identity.

3081 Reads

Beirut, Mobius Band, Soul Asylum, Georgie James, Lassie   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 08, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


EDDIE VEDDER:  "Guaranteed" is the folksy second single from his soundtrack for Into The Wild.

NEW RELEASES?  Not really for the indie crowd.  Radiohead and Interpol are still streaming in full via Spinner.

BEIRUT brought its indie cabaret to KEXP for a chat and six-song set you can stream on demand via NPR.

ROCK'S GREATEST BASS RIFFS, according to Jon Sobel at Blogcritics.  There is a shocking lack of Entwistle.

MOBIUS BAND, a Brooklyn combo that seasons its indie pop with a dash of electro, did the free songs to stream or download thing over at Daytrotter.  Thee of the four tracks are from the band's sophomore album, Heaven.  My picks to click would be "Friends Like These" and "Hallie."

SOUL ASYLUM dip into their back catalog for the classic "Never Really Been" at the Northern Lights Theater; Milwaukee, WI.  Throw in a cover of Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy" and you have Twofer Tuesday.  BONUS:  At the beginning of this clip for a newer song, "Lately," you can hear the band morph their own "Misery" into McCartney's "Silly Love Songs."

GEORGIE JAMES visited the World Cafe for a chat and four-song set of "melodic, harmony-drenched songs steeped in '60s and '70s rock-pop nostalgia" you can stream via NPR.

JOANNA NEWSOM:  Indie's favorite harpist has a nttawwt moment while discussing her second album, Ys: "It would have been sort of terrible if I had tried to do a modified version of the same thing, trying to make it more successful, palatable. Not that there's anything wrong with immediacy or accessibility in music."

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS are streaming the title track from Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, which is due in the US this April. 

DRM RIP:  Sony BMG Music Entertainment is finalizing plans to sell songs without the copyright protection software that has long restricted the use of music downloaded from the Internet; it is the last of the four majors to to drop DRM, or "digital rights management."  Looks like there's a catch, though.

BRITNEY SPEARS tested free of illegal drugs and alcohol during her two-night mental lockdown at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.  Note the word "illegal."  Dr. Phil canceled plans to do a show on the popwreck, because the situation is "too intense."  Criticism from his fellow shrinks had nothing to do with it.  Spears went into hiding with her new boyfriend, British paparazzo Adnam Ghalib, has been touting around intimate pictures taken of them together in recent days with a staggering £500,000 price tag.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Billionaire heir turned art dealer Andy Valmorbida may be yet another man caught in Li-Lo's web.  Lohan's former neighbors are battling to stop her moving back to the Los Angeles apartment block she terrorized last summer.

DREW BARRYMORE is said to be pushing her "Get a Mac" boyfriend, Justin Long, to propose despite her bad track record with marriages and the fact that she's only been dating Long for five months.  It's in the National Enquirer, so it must be true.

GWYNETH PALTROW admits to the joys of tabloid gossip, even though she knows it's often inaccurate.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL talks about her role in The Dark Knight and her Agent Provocateur ad campaign: "Somehow I hadn't understood that there'd be all these pictures of me out there in my underwear..."

NICOLE KIDMAN & KEITH URBAN have confirmed they are expecting their first child and are said to be thrilled.  The rumors were becoming undeniable after Kidman pulled out of her latest project.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  As expected, the unauthorized Cruise bio has prompted outrage from Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields and from the Church of Scientology, which is mulling a 100-million-dollar lawsuit against author Andrew Morton and publisher St. Martin's Press.

AWARDS SEASON:  The strike-ridden Golden Globes will air as clip shows and a press conference covered by NBC News.  Oof.  "No Country for Old Men" was the big winner at the 73rd Annual New York Film Critics Circle awards, drawing the picture nod and three other prizes, including Javier Bardem for supporting actor.  Daniel Day-Lewis drew the lead actor nod for "There Will be Blood."  With no picket signs in sight, stars turned out for the Critics' Choice Awards on Monday, with generally similar results.

STAR TREK REBOOT:  Spoilers and ill-tidings about the script at Ain't-It-Cool-News.

PETRA NEMCOVA:  The tsunami-surviving supermodel is still ridiculously hot for Gratuitous Tuesday.

THE TUDORS now has a "behind the scenes" video to promote Season Two.

PAKISTAN:  A senior al Qaeda commander has been reported captured in the city of Lahore and is "under interrogation" at an undisclosed location, according to a Pakistani newspaper.  The report of Amin al Haq's capture has not been confirmed.  Pakistan is not specifically looking for Osama bin Laden, Pres. Pervez Musharraf said on Sunday.  Most Pakistanis want their country to be a democratic Islamic state and are deeply distrustful of the US and its war on terrorism, according to a poll released on Sunday: "It shows there is no major Western-oriented secular sub-group in Pakistan. People want more Islam. They don't think Pakistan is pious enough or that Islamic values are adequately expressed in daily life," said Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org.

IRAN:  Five Revolutionary Guard boats "harassed and provoked" three US Navy ships early Sunday in international waters, the US military said Monday, calling the encounter a "significant" confrontation.  The Iranian boats made "threatening" moves toward the US ships, which received a radio transmission that said, "I am coming at you. You will explode in a couple of minutes."  "They were a heartbeat from being blown up," a Pentagon official, speaking of the Iranians, told ABC News.  Meanwhile, the IHT reports that a rift is emerging between Pres. Ahmadinejad and supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei... though regular Pate vistors know that already.

IRAQ:  Two suicide bombers killed the leader of the Adhamiyah Awakening and 13 others. An Awakening fighter was killed and three al Qaeda were captured in a clash in Buhriz.  Milblogger Maj. Andrew Olmsted was killed in an ambush near Sadiyah; his "final post" -- to be published in the event of his death -- is at the link.

LASSIE:  *Woof!*  "What's that, girl?" *Woof, Woof!* "You were profiled by NPR?  Let's Listen!"

LITTLE MISS DOLITTLE:  Four-year-old Rose Willcocks speaks only to the animals.

WILD ELEPHANTS on Indonesia's Sumatra have repeatedly outsmarted efforts to stop them stealing crops.

A NZ MAN risked life and limb by dangling upside-down in the sea to take close-up pictures of a circling great white shark.  Cue Sheriff Brody (nsfw)!

DINGO, a three-year-old labrador, was admitted to a veterinary clinic in Austria at the weekend, barely able to stand on his own four paws and reeking "like a beer hall," a newspaper reported on Monday.  Cue Dean Wormer!

4771 Reads

Magnetic Fields, Ting Tings, Shins, Albino Animals   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 07, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE FIERY FURNACES have a new video, for "Duplexes of the Dead."  Yeah, the screencap is a bit of a giveaway.

MAGNETIC FIELDS:  Stephen Merritt talks to both Drowned In Sound and Mother Jones about his upcoming Distortion LP.

THE TING TINGS:  Influential indie-jay Nic Harcourt put their unreleased demos in his Top Ten for 2007, saying they write great pop songs with an indie aesthetic.  So it's a fair bet you'll hear more about them this year.  Harcourt had the guitar-drums duo (which does not sound like the White Stripes) in for a session streaming in audio and video from Morning Becomes Eclectic.  And there are tracks streaming at TingSpace.

POP! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?  Classical conductor Charles Hazlewood explores the mechanics of hit songs like Arctic Monkeys' "I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."

MARK RONSON, the producer-DJ-musician is the guest DJ for All Songs Considered, including some unreleased tracks from artists like Adele (who should appeal to those who like Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse).

THE RAVEONETTES play "Ally, Walk With Me" live at the Triple Door in Seattle.

THE SHINS keyboardist Marin Crandall and girlfriend Elyse Sewell (from America's Next Top Model) were both arrested after some domestic violence.

SILVER JEWS:  David Berman talks to Pitchfork about his new attitudes, new routines, and the upcoming record he's preparing: "I don't know if this album is necessarily so good, but it's so much better than what's out there. To me, it appears to be really, really good."

RADIOHEAD:  In Rainbows -- even after its "pay-what-you-want" download offer -- is likely to top the charts in the US and the UK.

AMY WINEHOUSE:  Police have found no evidence of involvement in the criminal charges against hubby Blake Fielder-Civil.  And while he's in jail, Pete Doherty tried to put the moves on her, but was rebuffed.

BRITNEY SPEARS was released from her mental lockdown on Saturday, because tantrums and likely bipolar behavior do not make her dangerous to herself or others.  Her early release had Fed-Ex beefing up security and sendind her dad into a spiral. However, PageSix claims that the pop tart will be voluntarily going into extended inpatient psychiatric care at an undisclosed location in California.  During her stay, Dr. Phil was summoned by the parents; he is now talking to Entertainment Tonight and taping a show about the popwreck today to air Wednesday -- possibly with Spears as a guest (though I would bet against that).  A lawyer from The Apprentice offers to rep Spears in court for free.  The media is rumored to be prepping Spears obituaries, just in case.

LINDSAY LOHAN reportedly bedded an Italian drummer six hours after meeting him.

JACK BLACK & TANYA HADEN are expecting a second child.  Haden is the sister of indie fave Petra Haden.

JESSICA BIEL & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE invest in a new mattress, as Biel reportedly didn't want to sleep on the same bed as his old girlfriends.

JESSICA SIMPSON & TONY ROMO:  Keeping up appearances on vacation in Mexico.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise has become the de-facto second in command of the Church of Scientology, according to a new biography -- which Cruise's lawyer denounces as a "pack of lies."

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  National Treasure: Book of Secrets managed to three-peat as the champ, albeit with a 43 percent drop.  However, the adorable Juno is again the real story of the weekend, rising to third place in expanded release.  It will likely outgross last year's little-film-that-could, Little Miss Sunshine, by next weekend, almost assuring serious Oscar nominations.  The horror of One Missed Call debuted in a respectable fifth place.  Atonement -- which I reviewed on Friday -- climbed into the Top Ten in expanded release.

YOU REALLY LIKE ME:  Reese Witherspoon proved to be the most-liked celebrity among ten women who regularly found their way onto magazine covers and into gossip columns in 2007, according to a survey by E-Poll Market Research.  Troubled celebrities like the French Hotel, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears were at the bottom.  IMDb.com released its list of top 25 stars for 2007, which was topped for the second year by Johnny Depp, but which contains ten names not listed last year.

CELEB POLITICAL ENDORSEMENTS:  In Election 2008, Scarlett Johansson goes for Obama, while Chuck Norris goes for Huckabee.  McCain courts the youth vote with... Wilford Brimley.  A study by E-Poll Market Research finds that celebrities are not as influential in politics as they may be in selling products, fashion, entertainment and books-- and may actually work against the candidates.  Especially if the celeb is Rosie O'Donnell, Tom Cruise, Madonna, Jane Fonda or Donald Trump.

THE WRITERS' STRIKE:  As tipped here, the Golden Globes will air without celebrities if the strike has not ended.  Meanwhile, the WGA reportedly clinched an "Independent Agreement" with Tom Cruise's and Paula Wagner's re-started United Artists, which would give the struggling studio a leg up on the others.  Divide and conquer.

DAVID LYNCH:  An extra from the quirky director's Inland Empire limited edition DVD is re-edited into a nsfw faux ad for the iPhone.  All that's missing is the dancing dwarf.

"HONOR KILLING" in DALLAS?  Yes, according to the great-aunt of two teenage girls found shot to death in a taxi at an Irving motel Tuesday night.

NUKE SECRETS FOR SALE:  Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt US govt officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  Islamic extremists have created "no-go" areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter, one of the Church of England's most senior bishops warns.  Islamic groups demand his resignation.

IRAQ:  The govt will continue to support US-backed Sunni Arab groups that have joined the fight against al-Qaeda and will integrate a "large number" of them in the security forces, according to Prime Minister al-Maliki.  Clerics loyal to radical Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr called on his followers Friday to respect a cease-fire and asked them to try to make peace with rival factions.  Iraq's culture of corruption stems from the actions of the international community and the controversial UN oil-for-food scheme, according to deputy prime minister Barham Saleh.  Osama bin Laden said the failure of Sunni Arab insurgents to align with AQI is hurting the global jihadist effort and will ultimately impede the establishment of an Islamic state in Iraq.  Almost 46K people returned to Iraq from Syria between mid-September and December 27, more than double the figure reported a month ago.  In Baghdad, two Iraqi soldiers were killed when they flung themselves onto a suicide bomber.

EMMY the CAT, accidentally locked in a garden shed in Devon survived for two months by licking condensation off the windows.

AN EXPLODING DOG has been blamed for a blaze at an Aussie pet crematorium.

SEVEN ALBINO GATORS have been stolen from a Brazilian zoo.  Let's go to the video.  BONUS:  An rare adult, unpigmented Adelie penguin was photographed in Antarctica.

JELLYFISH:  Mmmmm... them's good eats!

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New Mt. Goats and Mag Fields, Richard Swift, Cutout Bin, Turtle Tricks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 04, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with RADIOHEAD!  Here's your chance to watch "Scotch Mist" -- the band's New Year's Eve webcast, icymi.  Or you can watch individual songs.  Your tracklist includes "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi," "Bodysnatchers," "Jigsaw Falling Into Place," "15 Step," "Videotape," "Reckoner," "House Of Cards" and "All I Need," plus a version of "Faust Arp" from a prior webcast and a video for "Nude."

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS have pre-released the lead track from their upcoming Heretic Pride LP, "Sax Rohmer #1."  More rockin' than usual from them.

MAGNETIC FIELDS:  More tracks from the upcoming Distortion album are popping up on the 'net, including "Three-Way," "Old Fools" and "Too Drunk to Dream."

NILSSON SINGS NEWMAN makes the A.V. Club's Hall of Fame, including a stream of "Vine St."

RICHARD SWIFT:  Speaking of Nilsson, I'd say there's a whiff of him -- and piano-based pop like early McCartney and Elton John -- in Richard Swift, whom I have been negligent in not mentioning last year.  He did the interview and free songs thing at Daytrotter back in May.  That site now hears Swift may be working with Mark Ronson and The Dap-Kings on his next album, which might explain the bluesy demos streaming alongside the poppy studio tracks at SwiftSpace.

CARRY ON BY YOURSELF, you wayward ten-year-old girl.

BETTYE LaVETTE, getting over the shock of a Grammy nom, has advice for aspiring musicians: "If you know how to do something else, do it!"

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS:  Patterson Hood talks about recording with LaVette and working on a new DBT LP at the Independent Mail.

FUNKY FRIDAY:  Covert Curiousity is streaming tracks from up-n-comer Lack of Afro (incl. an Arctic Monkeys cover), plus tracks from a comp of super-rare Texas Funk from 1968-75.

CUTOUT BIN:  From Al Green to the Zombies, from Joe Jackson to Van Morrison, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  After blowing off a court-ordered deposition in her child custody case the other day, the pop tart showed up -- under threat of contemt, no doubt -- two hours late yesterday, effectively limiting the deposition to about 13 minutes.  Fed-Ex's lawyer may seek sanctions.  UPDATE:  Police, the fire department and an ambulance were at the the Spears house after the traiwreck refused to hand the kids back over to Fed-Ex.  Developing... UPDATE:  Spears was removed from her home strapped to a gurney, and is on a 72-hour mental lockdown!  The lawyers are back in courtUPDATE:  Fed-Ex gets sole legal and physical custody of the kids; Brit gets nothing, until further order of the court.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Caught on camera falling off the wagon.  And she's strapped for cash.  The first will not help the second.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS: Nickelodeon denies rumors the network was yanking Zoey 101, the teen school drama starring Britney's 16-year-old newly-knocked-up sister.

PAM ANDERSON:  The divorce from Rick Salomon is back on.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise and Holmes are reportedly seeking medical advice following a series of failed attempts to conceive a second child, according to Britain's uber-reliable Now magazine,  Oddly, the story implies that it's Holmes that's being checked out, even though Cruise had trouble conceiving with second wife Nicole Kidman and has been dogged by rumors of holoprosencephaly.

JESSICA SIMPSON & TONY ROMO are a phony couple, set up by creepy dad-manager Joe to land a Super Bowl commercial with Pizza Hut, accoridng to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

THERE WILL BE BLOOD:  The latest film from Paul Thomas Anderson is as bleak and unforgiving as the plains where it is set and black as the oil around which its plot revolves.  As the movie is based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil!, I suspected there would be some quaint old school socialism in the script.  Ironically -- esp. to those who know me -- my biggest criticism of the film is that PTA took out almost all of the socialism, to the point that viewers may find a major late plot point  to be rather arbitrary.  Nevertheless, the story makes up for it with subtexts of the corruption of capitalism and religion.  More important, Daniel Day-Lewis -- in a star turn intentionally based on John Huston (and esp. Treasure of the Sierra Madre) -- is volcanic, sometimes erupting, but always bubbling and churning beneath the surface.  There is not much to like in Daniel Plainview, but everything to like in the way Daniel Day-Lewis commands the screen.  You can check out both trailers at IMDB.

ATONEMENT, like There Will Be Blood, is a period drama with not much in the way of likeable characters.  But this respectable adaptation of Ian McEwen's novel is -- again like TWBB -- one of the year's best dramas.  Well-acted by its ensemble cast, it is about a romance that takes a tragic turn, but also about... yes, atonement.  The look and cinematography of the film are also gorgeous, even when what is shown is quite ugly.  Similar to the Coen Bros.' No Country For Old Men, some viewers may be put off by the end of the film, which is true to the book, rather than a conventional movie ending.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide release is One Missed Call, a horror movie not screened for critics.  However, Juno expands to almost 2000 screens with its 94 percent score on the ol' Tomatometer, while Atonement expands to 583 screens with an 85 percent score.

RUSSELL CROWE:  Anti-gambling crusader.

EDDIE MURPHY's new marriage may not be legally valid, according to a report in the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

STAR TREK REBOOT spoilers are up at UGO's Movie Blog.

STAR TREK:  Speaking of which, there is a photoset of "The Galactically Hot Women of Star Trek TOS" posted on Flickr.  Because it's Gratuitous (and Geeky) Friday.  I know someone will be forwarding this link to his brother.

HONOR KILLINGS in the US?  Police in a Dallas, TX suburb continue to search for Yaser Abdel Said, who they believe killed his two teenage daughters and left their bodies in a taxi at an Irving hotel.  Police said they are looking into the possibility that the father was upset with his daughters' dating activities.  ALSO:  In the Chicago suburbs, Subhash Chander is accused of setting an apartment fire -- killing his pregnant daughter, her husband and their young child -- because the son-in-law didn't ask permission for the marriage, prosecutors said.

PAKISTAN:  The party of slain Benazir Bhutto will take part in Pakistan's delayed elections, her husband announced Thursday.

IRAQ:  Rival Shiite factions met to cement a tenuous peace agreement, while factions in Anbar grumble about each other.  A top Shiite politician acknowledged the contribution of US-backed Sunni Arab groups to the decline in violence across Iraq and called for their use in the continuing fight against al Qaeda.  Blogger Michael J. Totten finds out the sign on the door of Fallujah's Combat Operations Center, which says "Have a Plan to Kill Everyone You Meet," is no joke.  Foreign Policy interviewed Gen. David Petraeus to find out how he plans to draw down without leaving chaos behind.

A TURTLE was taught stupid pet tricks over the course of a decade... for child therapy.  Let's go to the video!

PITBULLS also do therapeutic work.

IT WAS RAINING IGUANAS in south Florida's Bill Baggs Park on Thursday morning.

HOT DOG:  A man's effort to keep his pig warm during Wednesday night's freeze ended up starting a fire that caused about 50K in damages to his home in St. Johns County, FL.

MALE MACAQUES pay for intercourse by using grooming as a currency.  And the market goes up and down.

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