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Tom Petty, The Sonics, Nicole Atkins, Cutout Bin, and... Khan!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 02, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with TOM PETTY!  Earlier this week, the NYDN's Jim Farber wrote that "there's barely a wasted minute" in director Peter Bogdanovich's four-hour film on Petty, "Running Down a Dream."  I don't know that I would go quite that far, but the documentary is quite good -- and reminds me of how underrated Petty is.  The doc goes as far back as Petty's days in Mudcrutch, which led him -- and some future Heartbreakers -- to legendary A&R man Denny Cordell, who would produce the first TP records, including "American Girl," "I Need To Know" and "Listen To Her Heart."  He fought -- and beat -- his label twice.  The first fight -- over the sale of hsi contract to MCA -- preceded the seminal Damn The Torpedoes album (the master tapes were kept in hiding during litigation) that would launch the band to super-stardom with tracks like "Here Comes My Girl," "Even The Losers," "Don't Do Me Like That" and the signature "Refugee."  The second fight was over the pricing of his follow-up, Hard Promises, though in the movie Petty also shares the backstory for "The Waiting" from that LP.  The movie is not just PR, however; it is acknowledged that while the video for "You Got Lucky" was state of the art for that era, the Long After Dark album was treading water creatively.  

Bogdanovich also makes clear that Petty's success is due in no small part to a relentless drive that occasionally strays into the ruthless.  Petty was not above dumping band members, stealing band members and collaborators -- like Eurhythmics' Dave Stewart, whom he suggested write for Stevie Nicks, but ended up making off with him and "Don't Come Around Here No More" for himself, even though its psychedelic sound did not really fir with songs like "Rebels" on the Southern Accents album.  Indeed, the Wonderland-themed video for the former would supply Petty the Mad Hatter persona who would pop up in later videos for songs like "Into The Great Wide Open," which was expanded to almost seven minutes just because they had great footage from Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway.  And in the movie, Nicks doesn't seem to mind, esp. in light of the success of their collabration on tracks like "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around."  While I'm less of a fan of Petty's later work, the film tells the engaging backstory of the Traveling Wilburys, which reminds you that not just anyone gets to be in a band with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and the late Roy Orbison.  Indeed, TP & the Hartbreakers would later back Johnny Cash on one of those Ric Rubin productions.  And Petty is still capable of turning out great stuff, as the movie documents TP's solo LP, which spawned hits like "Won't Back Down," "Free Fallin'" and "Runnin' Down A Dream."  Somewhat surprisingly, it was Petty's biggest album to that point.  There's also some great footage of Petty standing up to some music-biz types who wanted former Byrd Roger McGuinn to record some piece of pop fluff;  Petty & McGuinn would turn out "King Of The Hill," a song about "Papa" John Phillips (though they don't say so in the movie).  McGuinn also tells the story of the first time someone played him "American Girl": "When did I record that?"  Catch it on Sundance or queue it.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK:  Like Don at Timedoor, Ken King are going to Hitchcock's show at Shank Hall tonight.  But Don is the one with a six-part interview of Hitchcock he did for Milk magazine in 1996.  At the moment, there's plenty of Hitchcock streaming via the ol' HM.  The Architectural Dance Society reviews Robyn's box set, adding rarities not included.

THE SONICS:  Seattle's seminal garage rockers of the 60's have semi-reunited and make their NYC debut tonight, playing for the first time in 35 years on a bill including the Stawberry Alarm Clock, the Fleshtones and the Lyres.  WFMU is still streaming their best known stuff and an interview with guitarist Larry Parypa.  Have love?  Will travel!

JOE JACKSON has reteamed with original Joe Jackson Band members Graham Maby (bass/vocals) and Dave Houghton (drums/vocals) for a new album due in January.  You can -- and should -- stream "King Pleasure Time" from the 'Gum Mix.

LINDA STEIN, who helped pioneer the punk music scene, influenced the careers of Madonna and the Ramones and went on to become known as a real estate agent to the stars was found bludgeoned to death Tuesday night in her apartment at 965 Fifth Avenue.  The ex-wife of Seymour Stein, the founder of Sire Records, Stein later parlayed her show business connections - including a decades-long friendship with Elton John - into a high-profile real estate career.

DEVENDRA BANHART did an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR.

NICOLE ATKINS wowed Letterman with a particularly torchy take on "The Way It Is" -- they even snuggle a bit at show's end.  If she looks familiar, maybe you have seen her American Express ad.  Her new album, Neptune City is streaming in full this week via Spinner, which also has video clips of Atkins re-visiting the Saint Club in Asbury Park, NJ, which borders Neptune City.  She also talked about immortalizing her hometown with the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

THE SEX PISTOLS were on Leno opposite Atkins, playing "Anarchy in the UK."  Johnny Rotten talked to the Orange County Register about the band's latest reunion: "Well, it's an anniversary of punk in England, and there's been garbage rubbish bands performing all year trying to claim the credit for what existed 30 years ago. We just decided to put our foot down on that and tell a few home truths..."

JOSE GONZALEZ did an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR, in which the Argentinian Swede talks about the music scene in Sweden - the third-largest exporter of pop music in the world.  He also names a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's Guest list feature.

LED ZEPPELIN:  The November 26th reunion concert has been pushed back to December 10th because guitarist Jimmy Page fractured his finger.

THE TOP TEN COWBELL SONGS, according to Cracked magazine, with plenty of embedded video... though it could have used, you know...

CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are: Casey Kasem - Long Distance Dedication (nsfw); Charles Fox - Wonder Woman Theme; Jackson 5 - Want You Back (DJ Skeet Skeet Edit); Band of Bees - Chicken Payback; Boots Randolph - Yakety Sax; Curley Moore - Soul Train; Pastel Vespa - The Boys are Back in Town (yes, that one); Sam & Dave - Soul Man; The Soul Survivors - Respect (O. Redding); Marlena Shaw - California Soul; Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On; Dusty Springfield - Just A Little Lovin'; Moody Blues - Go Now; Jan & Dean - Dead Man's Curve; Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - Hold Tight; The Leaves - Hey Joe; The Staple Singers - The Weight; The Hold Steady - Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (B. Dylan); The Byrds - So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star; Bob Dylan - Positively 4th Street; The Sadies - Never Again; M. Ward - Chinese Translation; eels - I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (Prince); The Suburbs - Love Is The Law; The Jam - Start!; Cake - Short Skirt, Long Jacket; and Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.

BRITNEY SPEARS invited a man to snort cocaine off her chest during a wild party at her Hollywood mansion just two days after losing visitation rights to see her sons, it has been reported.  The pop tart says she's doing the best she can.  Meanwhile, she's being sued by a former manager, Johnny Wright.  Nevertheless, Blackout sold an estimated 124,000 albums the first day of its release Tuesday and is set to become Spears' fifth consecutive number one album... although the top slot may go to the Eagles, if Wal-Mart chooses to report sales of its exclusive album.

THE FRENCH HOTEL dressed as a prisoner for Halloween.  The one thing she does know is PR, though TMZ now has video of her tantrum in a Toronto adult video store.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills, otoh, faces a PR backlash from her televised claim that the British press was engaging in a "hate campaign" against her, with the same British press referring to her as "out of control" and "wild-eyed," and scarier than Halloween on a "day of unhinged ranting."  Mills has been dropped by her publicist, who understands that you don't pick fights with those who by ink (and pixels) by the barrel.

LINDSAY LOHAN's aides are going out of their way to make sure the actress/singer stays sober after spending much of the summer in rehab, they've told staff at all her old hangouts not to let her drink alcohol.

LANCE ARMSTRONG & ASHLEY OLSEN were... wait for it... caught canoodling again, this time in the wee hours Wednesday at hip NYC restaurant the Waverly Inn, along with Armsrtong pal Owen Wilson.

OWEN WILSON, btw, has taken to relieving himself with the stall door open.  Despite having been spotted enjoying an occasional cocktail, Kate Hudson's ex is trying to prove he is not partaking of any other substances.  Or hanging out with Sen. Larry Craig.

NOW SHOWING:  This week's wide releases include Jerry Seinfeld's much-hyped Bee Movie, which is currently scoring 43 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (That's got to sting); The Ridley Scott-Russell Crowe-Denzel Washington crime drama American Gangster, currently scoring 82 percent; and John Cusack in the drama Martian Child, which is scoring 30 percent

GYLLENSPOON WITHERHALL took Reese's kids trick-or-treating, dressed as a witch and an ape.  Pics at the link.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise is shooting his Nazi movie, learning to run United Artists and promoting his marriage to Holmes, but what he'd really like to do is direct.

DOG the BOUNTY HUNTER was caught spewing an explosive, racist rant on tape of phone conversations with his son.  A&E has suspended production on his TV show.  "Pastor to the stars" Tim Storey says Dog is not a racist and has apologized for the tirade.

DAVID SPADE finally admitted that he dated Heather Locklear during an appearance on Letterman.  Video at the link.

JOSS WHEDON has created a new TV series, titled Dollhouse.  Starring Eliza Dushku, Whedon already has a seven-episode commitment from Fox.

SAVE THE CHEERLEADER, SAVE THE DOLPHINS:  Hayden Panettiere attempted to play real-life hero, teaming with the Save Japan Dolphins coalition in trying to disrupt the annual slaughter of dolphins by Japanese fisherman, who kill an estimated 23K of the sea creatures each year.  Let's go to the video.

NANO-RADIO:  Harnessing the electrical and mechanical properties of the carbon nanotube, a team of researchers has crafted a working radio from a single fiber of that material.  The source content for the first lab test of the radio was "Layla," by Derek and the Dominos, followed soon after by "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys.

IRAN:  The new central bank governor warned Pres. Ahmadinejad over money supply growth, urging measures to prevent a further rise in inflation.  Representatives of the six major powers involved in talks about Iran's nuclear program will meet in London today.  The US said that Russia and China had been blocking tough UN sanctions against Iran for months and pledged a drive to impose them if Iran did not halt nuclear activity within two weeks.  Pres. Ahmadinejad said he was "not worried at all" about broader economic sanctions, dismissing them as ineffective, but threatened unspecified economic retaliation against European countries that follow the US in imposing them.

IRAQ:  "Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated," according to Sheik Omar Jabouri, spokesman for the Iraqi Islamic Party and a member of the widespread and influential Jabouri Tribe.  Another member of the party said that al Qaeda has shifted targets, now trying to generate friction between tribes, but the tribes are not playing that game.  Embedded blogger Michael J. Totten writes about whether he only saw what the Army wanted him to see.  Tribal leaders from Anbar province pressed US SecDef Gates for help in expanding the size of the local police forces.  Iraq will set up more checkpoints along its northern frontier to keep out supplies for Kurdish rebels, while the Pentagon maintains that the US has given Turkey's armed forces "actionable intelligence" on the PKK rebels.

KHAN the WONDER DOG!  A rescued doberman saved a toddler from a king brown snake - the world's third most venomous - by throwing her out of harm's way as it attacked, biting the dog's leg.  Let's have a big shout out for... Khaaan!  Heck, let's play two.  BONUS: Khan really should be sporting a doggie mullet.  DOUBLE BONUS:  A kelpie named Tess, hailed as a lifesaver, is in a coma after defending its owner from an attack by a deadly giant eastern brown snake on Australia's Gold Coast.

15000 DUCKS INCINERATED in a fois gras-related fire near Swan Lake in NY.  An apparent duck feces eruption ensued.

A PIG-SITTER in Winona MN may face abuse charges for letting the potbellied porker get too fat.

MAN WRESTLES and RESCUES SHARK on Miramar Beach in Florida.  Let's go to the video.

AN ESCAPED KANGAROO is on the lam in Copenhagen.

SILENCE of the SHEEP:  Swiss police are baffled after a flock of 90 sheep vanished from a remote Alpine pasture - for the second time.  Anyone seen Harold?

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Hold Steady & Art Brut, Pipettes, Vetiver, Pet Fit Club   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 01, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE HOLD STEADY knocked 'em dead for Halloween at the Metro.  I had not seen the Hold Steady on this tour, so it was my first time seeing newer songs like set opener "Stuck Between Stations," "Chips Ahoy" and  "You Can Make Him Like You" or Tad Kubler unleashing the double-necked guitar  as he does here on "Party Pit."  Sadly, none of these videos captures the band in the spaghetti Western garb they donned for the occasion... but you may see it some day as the gig was being recorded fo a live album and was shot by a video crew also.  I have to think it will be tough to get a good live album because -- like the Who -- the band is so energetic that the visual may come at the expense of a technically perfect take.  But they had an almost equally energetic audience who seized their chances to sing and clap along (there was a group near me that could have stood a little less energy).  My nitpick would be that Craig Finn referred to "Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night," but they didn't play it.  Finn used the encore of "Killer Parties" to tell the crowd -- as always -- how much joy there is in what they do (as he does on this clip of "Most People Are DJs").  

ART BRUT made for a dynamite opener, packing as much energy as their full show into the opening slot.  The band was in full Halloween regalia, with frontman Eddie Argos dressed as Jumpsuit Elvis, while his guitarists came as a Roman centurion and a skeleton.  They launched per usual with "Formed A Band," this time assisted by a karaoke screen behind them.  Ken King and I actually heard newer material like "Direct Hit" at Pitchfork 2006, but it was fully developed now.  Given the opportunity to broaden their audience, Art Brut larded the setlist with show-stoppers like "My Little Brother," "Good Weekend," and the fab "Emily Kane," complete with dialog from Eddie Argos.  BONUS:  Hold Steady axeman Tad Kubler talked to the Northwest Herald in advance of the gig about the benefit of playing with Springsteen and the StonesDOUBLE BONUS UPDATE:  Pitchfork has photos of both bands in costume.

THE PIPETTES:  Gwenno talks to Washington's Herald, noting the group is less manufactured than their 60s girl-group sound might suggest.  The band also has a behind-the-scenes video of a photoshoot posted at MySpaceTV.  (Thanks, Chromewaves.)

RIOT GRRRLS:  Mark Hooper argues that the indie feminist icons of today are a bit of a mess.  I would argue that The Pipettes (unmentioned in the post) are feminist in their own unique way, more subtle and satirical than bands like Bikini Kill.

THE SPICE GIRLS:  As we've got a "girl power" theme going, I note that London's Guardian both loves and hates their reunion single.

DEBBIE HARRY talks about hitting the road, closing CBGBs and more with Ireland's Independent.

SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO is normally not my bag, but the debate over whether second video for "Hustler" is  a "send up (of) glamour girl culture," exploitation or simply nauseating makes it a nice fit with other blurbs today.

QUEENS of the STONE AGE:  Now that Halloween is past, we can look forward to the band's cameo on the Travel Channel's Chef Anthony Bourdain's Holiday Special, which they discuss in a video at the 'Gum.  Frontman Josh Homme also lists a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's Guest List feature.

VETIVER:  I just noticed that you can stream the current album from this "freak folk" combo from their blog.  It's at the bottom of the left column.

BON IVER has signed to Jagjaguwar for the official release of his sweet-spot-hitting debut For Emma, Forever Ago early next year.  Reveille interviews Justin Vernon about all the blog buzz surrounding the LP and streams some highlights, though you can stream the whole unreleased album now via Virb.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS:  John Flansburg reflects on the band's silver anniversary with North Carolina's News & Observer.  The band's classic "Birdhouse In Your Soul" turned up on ABC's fantasy drama Pushing Daisies.

BRITNEY SPEARS is actually getting good reviews for her new album from the AP, BBC and Chicago Tribune, even from Entertainment Weekly and the Guardian.  Not everyone likes it, natch.  At the NYDN, Jim Farber wrote: "If a blowup sex doll could sing, this is what she'd sound like."  However, her label has officially given up on getting the troubled pop tart more involved in marketing the album.  She even stopped in mid-interview with Ryan Seacrest to take a shower.  Meanwhile, Spears' personal assistant, Kalie Machado, is dishing details of Brit's breakup with Fed-Ex and declaring, "She needs mental help."  And Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo is laughing off rumors that he and Spears are an item.

LINDSAY LOHAN has wised up and has bailed on hosting a New Year's Eve party for Vegas nightclub LAX.

ASHLEY OLSEN & LANCE ARMSTRONG were... wait for it... caught canoodling at NYC's Gramercy Park Hotel on Monday night.  She is as skinny as a bicycle.

THE McCARTNEYS:  A 'suicidal' Heather Mills broke down during a television interview, claiming that the media has been smearing her name and treating her in the same way as Princess Diana and Kate McCann.  She also accused a "certain party" of spreading smears against her to prevent the truth coming out.   Video at the link.  Also, Mills' recent firework display scared her neighbor's dog to death, the pooch's owner has claimed.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie pulled out of a talk in Italy about global topics and the future of humankind due to "personal reasons."  Italian papers claimed it was because she is expecting her second child with Pitt.  Meanwhile, Sen. Barack Obama's campaign has turned town an offer from Pitt to make appearances on the presidential candidate's behalf.

OWEN WILSON... and JESSICA SIMPSON?  They raced lawnmowers with Willie Nelson, and reportedly spent Sunday evening together at the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica.  Better get Vader warming up in the bullpen.  There are also equally dubious reports that Wilson is exchanging phone calls and e-mails with ex-gf Kate Hudson.  BONUS:  At Slate, Troy Patterson defends the much-criticized interview, posted to MySpaceTV last weekend, between Wilson and director Wes Anderson.

JENNIFER LOPEZ:  Weeks after her new album tanked and her movie El Cantante fell flat, her next film is going straight to video.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  David Beckham insists that while he and wife Posh Spice have become friends with Tom-Kat, 'Cruise doesn't shove Scientology down our throats.'  Oh, there's a punchline in there somewhere, but I would have to put on the lawyer's hat to word it properly.

GYLLENSPOON WITHERHAAL were caught getting cozy on the beach.  Video at the link.

WALK THE LINE was named best music biopic in a poll taken by the British Internet DVD site Lovefilm.com.  The Top Ten are at the link.

THE WORST CELEBRITY PLASTIC SURGERY, according to Maxim magazine.  I should have posted this yesterday, as it's plenty scary.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  A primary school was accused of forcing teachers dress up as Muslims for a day, to celebrate the end of Ramadan: "Staff have got to go along with it - or let's face it, they would be branded racist."  OTOH, books calling for the beheading of lapsed Muslims, ordering women to remain indoors and forbidding interfaith marriage are being sold inside some of Britain's leading mosques, according to research by a conservative think-tank.  The Times of London reports that five of the books were also found in searches during Scotland Yard antiterrorist investigations since 2001.

MALAYSIA:  Muslim men are suffering sleepless nights and cannot pray properly because their thoughts are distracted by a growing number of women who wear sexy clothes in public,  a prominent cleric said.

AFGHANISTAN has been the subject of grim news as of late, but Bill Roggio reports that the Taliban is surrounded in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.  Even so, NATO and Afghan forces will continue to fight a holding action in Afghanistan until the Taliban and al Qaeda are uprooted from their bases along the borders in Pakistan.

IRAQ:  US combat deaths are headed for the lowest level in more than a year and a half and the fifth consecutive monthly decline.  In Taji, terrorists are now "on the run" because of sectarian reconciliation.  As a result, the overall quality of life in rural North Baghdad Province has improved.  The tribal sheikhs rescued from an AQ kidnapping vowed to move forward: "We are an integrated Sunni-Shiite group that has pledged itself to reconciliation and which had come to Baghdad to agree on its mechanisms."  British forces are to transfer responsibility for security in Basra province to Iraq's government in December.  Iraqi police killed an al Qaeda commander in western Iraq.  Iraqi soldiers east of Baghdad gave the US military a thousand-dollar check last week to aid victims of California's wildfires.  An Iraqi fisherman caught a six-foot shark in a river more than 160 miles from the sea.  Of course, this means we must go to the video. (NSFW)

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Time magazine's piece "Has the Surge Reached Its Limits?" leads with a "horrible discovery" -- "Iraqi police said they found 20 decapitated bodies dumped near a police station west of Baquba, the capital of Diyala province."  In fact, Iraqi police denied earlier reports that 20 headless bodies had been found dumped near Baquba.  The story's point about the national gov't still needing to get its act together is valid, though reconciliation and progress may eventually be driven by the provinces.   The Time story also notes Iraqi data showing that sectarian violence has dropped about 85 percent from its peak. 

PET FIT CLUB:  A group of podgy pets with a combined weight of more than a sixth of a ton were unveiled today as contestants in the Pet Fit Club competition organised by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals.  Doesn't this kind of press violate the first rule of Pet Fit Club?

THE ASHERA is billed as the world's "largest, rarest and most exotic" domestic cat.  One can be yours for the low, low price of about 24 grand.

A PIG MONUMENT has been unveiled in a Russian region famous for its sausages.  I imagine the pigs have mixed feelings about it.

WOOF WATER:  Dogs ask for it by name!

WILE E. FOXES embrace the easy city life in Germany.  Mu-NICH is where they'd rather stay.

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Tricks, Treats, Halloween Bin, Pets in Costume   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


STREAMING FROM THE CASTLE EAST: This fan-made 1973 video for "The Monster Mash" is today's must-see clip (natch), though you can also see Bobby "Boris" Pickett perform it live at Little Steven's Halloween a Go-Go 2005. The covers by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and The Misfits are pretty good also -- the latter uses clips from the Rankin-Bass animated classic, Mad Monster Party.

BOB DYLAN inspires Halloween costumes.

THE FLAMING LIPS led the March Of 1,000 Flaming Skeletons, as part of Oklahoma City's inaugural Ghouls Gone Wild Halloween Parade.  Videos at the link.

THE SCARIEST MUSIC STARS, according to Gigwise.

KISS got their first television exposure in 1976 on The Paul Lynde Halloween Special.

"DO THEY KNOW IT'S HALLOWEEN?" is last year's all-star charity send-up of Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" featuring Roky Erikson, Elvira, plus members from Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, Smoosh, Rilo Kiley, Sparks and many more.

OZZY OSBOURNE shares his first memories of Halloween -- and plenty of expletives -- with PopMatters.

JIM CARROLL sings about "People Who Died."

FOURTEEN SONGS ABOUT VAMPIRES, courtesy of The A.V. Club, with plenty of embedded video.

HALLOWEEN BIN:  Today's tricks and treats from the ol' HM are:  John Carpenter - Halloween Theme; Twink - Rosemary's Baby Theme; Lewis Lee - Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes; Danny Elfman - This Is Halloween; Siouxsie & The Banshees - Halloween; Dead Kennedys - Halloween; Comateens - The Munsters Theme; The Who - Boris the Spider; Gnarls Barkley - The Boogie Monster; Otis Redding - Trick or Treat; Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put a Spell on You; Billy Bragg & Wilco - Hoodoo Voodoo; Roky Erickson And The Aliens - I Walked With A Zombie; The Flaming Lips - Halloween On The Barbary Coast; Grant Lee Buffalo - Halloween; The Postmarks - Every Day Is Halloween;  Spoon - The Ghost Of You Lingers; Ryan Adams - Halloween Head; New York Dolls - Frankenstein; Smashing Pumpkins - Godzilla (Blue Oyster Cult); and Jane's Addiction - Sympathy For The Devil (Live).

THE TIME WARP:  Let's do it again.

BRITNEY SPEARS puts a little Rocky Horror into every day.  Spears has not regained custody of her kids, based largely on a bad report from the parenting coach.  And that's probably before anyone reads about the supposedly rehabbed pop tart staggering into Hollywood hotspot Winston's Monday night, slurping on Grey Goose vodka and mixers throughout the night.  Or seen the video of her stumbling out.  At the same time she's trying to get the judge to drop the random drug tests.  Genius.  Meanwhile, kinky photos of a half-naked Spears perched on a priest's lap and leaning seductively against a church confessional sparked outrage among Catholic leaders (though I would think Spears preferable to an altar boy).  A Kentucky church is out to save her soul.  And Mama Lynne Spears is writing a book about parenting.

ROBERT GOULET died Tuesday in L.A. at 73, awaiting a lung transplant.

THE 50 BEST-REVIEWED HORROR MOVIES, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

THE TOP 25 HORROR MOVIES, according to Time magazine, includes Bambi.

THE TOP 10 ZOMBIE MOVIES of ALL TIME, according to Stylus magazine, which dies today.

NIGHT of the KILLER LAMP:  23 Ridiculous Horror-Movie Adversaries, courtesy of The A.V. Club.

FROM GHOSTS to ZOMBIES:  A survey of horror sub-genres from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

THRILL THE WORLD:  Last weekend, in 17 countries across five continents, hundreds of people went for for the world record for "Largest Simultaneous Thriller Dance."  The number of total participants will be tallied over the next few days and posted on http://www.thrilltheworld.com/, where you can also learn the dance.  I dunno... I still think the filipino prisoners beat this.

ZOMBIES in PLAIN ENGLISH:  A handy video survival guide for the season.

IT'S ALIVE!  How Frankenstein Created a Cultural Monster.

WAR of the WORLDS:  The infamous Orson Welles broadcast turned 69 yesterday.  You can stream it from the Internet Archive.

HALLOWEEN TRIVIA gets a linky round-up from the Bismarck Tribune.

THE 13 TOP-EARNING DEAD CELEBS, according to Forbes magazine.  As predicted last year, Kurt Cobain is off the list.  There are still plenty of musicians, but the number three slot goes to "Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schulz, which takes to...

IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, in its entirety, Charlie Brown.  Every year, the bootleg video rises from the Internet patch.

A TRICK on News10 Good Morning in Sacramento, CA is your treat,

A TRAILER FULL of HUMAN HEADS:  It was not the type of cargo Royse City Police expected to find early on a Sunday morning traffic stop.

HALLOWEEN is not as big a holiday in Germany, where passengers on a train mistook a reveller dressed as a zombie for a murder victim and called the police.

BRITAIN'S TEN MOST HAUNTED Historic Homes, according to the National Trust.

SMASHING PUMPKINS:  Metro features a gallery of designs from Extreme Pumpkins, while /Film showcases cinematic designs.

THIS YEAR'S COSTUME TREND:  Little girls dressing as skanks.

CONSUMER PROBE:  Speaking of costumes, as a public service, I point you to this classic expose of hazardous Halloween costumes, featuring an interview of costumer Irwin Mainway.

CRAZY PET HALLOWEEN COSTUMES, courtesy of NBC10 in Philadelphia.  But none of them make BWE's list of the Top 10 Most Humiliating Pet Costumes.

PRECIOUS the BULLDOG was tagged by graffiti artists.  That trick is no treat.

WILD BOARS are destroying farmland and forest in tropical Queensland.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  You may now resume eating the varmints in the Garden State.

WHEN COWS ATTACK:  A Sussex policeman has been discharged from hospital after an attack by about 50 cows left him with four broken ribs and a punctured lung.

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New Releases, Andrew Bird, Off Broadway, Wake-Up Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ST. VINCENT:  Annie Clark's new video for "Jesus Saves, I Spend" makes me appreciate Ken King's continued involvement with Scouting.

NEW RELEASES:  The 'I'm Not There' Dylan biopic soundtrack, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Carbon/Silicon, Nicole Atkins and more are streaming in full via Spinner this week.  The soundtrack has contributions from Stephen Malkmus, Sonic Youth, Jeff Tweedy, Sufjan Stevens, Cat Power, Yo La Tengo, Tom Verlaine, the Hold Steady, Iron and Wine, Eddie Vedder, Los Lobos, Jack Johnson, and Roger McGuinn.  Ian Ball of Gomez has his solo debut out today, too.  The bass line to "Failure" may sound vaguely familiar to fans of The Beatles and The Jam.

A PALER SHADE OF WHITE REDUX:  The recent New Yorker piece by Sasha Frere-Jones on the unbearable whiteness of indie rock is sharply dissected by Tim Mohr on Playboy's music blog.  That's right, I read it for the blog postings.  BONUS:  Will Butler of Arcade Fire responds.

ARCADE FIRE:  London's Guardian has a piece profiling a "band trying to make sense of their ascent to stardom," which one hopes is different from a think-piece on a "mid-level band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom."

ANDREW BIRD is backed by veteran indie rockers Dianogah on five songs -- some previously unreleased -- you can stream and download from Daytrotter.

OFF BROADWAY:  The late-'70s power pop group from Oak Park, IL "played a quirky hopped-up blend of Beatlesque melodies and Move-like power" and still perform at local gigs occasionally, as these live videos of "Stay In Time" and "Bully Bully" demonstrate on Twofer Tuesday.  You can stream a few tracks, including a live take on "Full Moon Turn My Head Around," at TheirSpace.

U2:  Last year, the band's music publishing company paid 25.8 million dollars to five unidentified "employees," whom most preume to be the band, plus manager Paul McGuinness.

SHARON JONES:  The soul singer talks to NPR about her breakthrough success, which was decades in the making.

FIONN REGAN:  The folk troubadour talks to Ireland's Independent about songwriting and being compared to such sainted singer-songwriters as Bob Dylan and Nick Drake.  You may want to stream a few tracks at FionnSpace.

YEAR IN REVIEW:  Some folks have gotten a head start on looking back.  At the Guardian's blog, Ben Myers writes that 2007 was a stinker year for music, though he's mostly focused on the UK and his exceptions tend to be from the US.  At the Catbirdseat, you can check out the much beloved music-blogger "Best of 2007" Cheat Sheat.

PORTER WAGONER, the country music legend who charted 81 times and mentored Dolly Parton, died Sunday at a Nashville hospice at 80. The singer was suffering from lung cancer.  In June, he released his last CD, Wagonmaster, to some of the best reviews of his career. And in July, he opened for the White Stripes at a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden.  Full obit at CMT.  Pitchfork has your embeded videos.

BRITNEY SPEARS gave Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo a lap dance, according to American Idol MC Ryan Seacrest.

OPRAH WINFREY made a tearful apology and begged for forgiveness Sunday as she met the parents of students at her all-girls academy, which is reeling from lurid allegations of sexual abuse.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills reportedly blew 200K on a lavish fourth birthday party for daughter Beatrice.  Including a pony.

NICOLE KIDMAN turned up at Australia's music industry awards in a see-through dress, but did not seem entirely comfortable in it.

GEORGE CLOONEY recently installed an egg-throwing machine at his mansion on Italy's ritzy Lake Como, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine. The machine, which the hunky actor helped design, hurls rag eggs at those who cross an infrared sensor in front of his 15-bedroom Villa Oleandra.

JESSICA SIMPSON has become the latest in a long line of female celebrities to launch her own perfume.  It will be called "Nitwit."  Okay, I made up that last bit.

JACKO has defaulted on a 23-million-dollar loan and must pay -- with interest -- in 90 days, or he will lose his Neverland Ranch.

JAMES McAVOY is in the frame to play Kurt Cobain in the upcoming biopic about the life and death of the rock star.

SIENNA MILLER:  Her new relationship with scruffy Rhys Ifans has friends of both wondering whether it will end in tears... an if so, for whom.

MADONNA:  Hubby Guy Ritchie has quashed rumors that the adoption of baby David Banda drove a wedge between him and Madge.

LEO DiCAPRIO was a late bloomer, according to Russell Crowe, who tells Entertainment Weekly he'd like to hear more about Leo's social life since then, preferably with pictures.

EVAN RACHEL WOOD, Marilyn Manson's 19-year-old actress girlfriend, is reportedly close to signing a recording contract with Interscope Records, which just happens to be Manson's label.

MICHAEL MOORE's most recent movie, Sicko, has opened in Europe.  Britons who know their National Health Service do not recognize it in his movie... and they support the NHS.  Others would point out that dental care and baby delivery can be self-service if you rely on the NHS.

THE JENA 6:  A local journalist tells the story you haven't heard.  You will be shocked, shocked, to discover that the media got most of the basics wrong.

ISLAMISM in GERMANY:  Chancellor Angela Merkel has joined a growing movement to criminalize forced marriages in Germany, which is growing less tolerant of practices among Muslim immigrants that clash with the nation's liberal social values.

IRAQ:  Iraqi troops on Monday rescued eight of 11 kidnapped tribal leaders after a gunbattle with their captors, defense ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari told AFP.  The US military accused Arkan Hasnawi, a former Shiite militant from radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, of kidnapping the group of Shiite and Sunni leaders.  The Shiite-dominated national government is resisting efforts to integrate more Sunnis into the police force.  Rockets fired at a US base southeast of Baghdad on Oct. 23 were manufactured in Iran.  The threat from al-Qaeda in several former strongholds in Baghdad has been significantly reduced, but criminals who have established "almost mafia-like presence" in some areas pose a new threat, Gen. Petraeus said Sunday.  Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial, ubiquitous Iraqi politician and one-time Bush administration favorite, has re-emerged to press Iraq's central government to use early security gains from the surge to deliver better electricity, health, education and local security services to Baghdad neighborhoods.  Michael Yon's latest dispatch argues that Iraq is looking better month by month, but at the current rate, surely we shall fail in Afghanistan.

IRAQ II:  Turkey has suspended ratification of a bilateral anti-terrorism cooperation agreement with Iraq, as the number of Turkish troops inside Iraq seeking PKK terrorists reaches 2000.  Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq are warning local people to prepare to run for the hills if Turkey attacks.

THE WAKE-UP CAT is climbing the viral video charts.  (Thanks, Amber.)

STANLEY the TERRIER:  Gunning for the Red Baron, or dressing as Snoopy for Halloween?

WINTER the DOLPHIN, who lost her tail fin after becoming tangled in a crab trap at sea, has been fitted with an artificial tail.

SWALLOWER FISH has eyes bigger than its stomach, and takes on a three-foot-long snake mackerel.

MONKEY SQUADS:  New monkey-catchers have been hired by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to deal with the monkey menace in the city.  Who you gonna call?

MING the QUAHOG CLAM, who has died at age 405, lived longer than any other creature known to man.

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New Pornographers, Ingrid Michaelson, Sean Riley, Two Cats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 29, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


APOSTLE OF HUSTLE:  BSS lead guitarist Andrew Whiteman's other band has a new video for "Cheap Like Sebastien," which is a nice way to ease into an autumnal Monday.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS played DC's 9:30 Club Saturday, with opening sets by Benjy Ferree and Emma Pollock.  You can stream all three sets on demand via NPR.

THE REPLACEMENTS:  I stumbled across an interview of Jim Walsh, author of The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting.  I loved this from the interviewer's intro: You should have been here, the walls of old venues like the 7th Street Entry seem to whisper to its younger patrons. You should have seen it.  I did, and you should have (nyah).

INGRID MICHAELSON:  You may think you haven't heard of her, but her MySpace page landed her songs all over TV --on Grey's Anatomy, One Tree Hill, Kyle XY, The Real World and in an Old Navy ad that put her album on the Billboard charts as an unsigned artist.  You can check out embedded video at DC's Express and Rolling Stone.

FIERY FURNACES:  Matthew Friedberger tells the NY Post about Widow City: "We thought we'd make not so much a '70s-sounding record, but a record full of '70s sounds, if that makes any sense."

THE PIPETTES are sporting new dresses and hair colors on the US tour.

SEAN RILEY and the SLOWRIDERS are from Portugal, but sound nothing like it.  Their video for "Moving On" popped up in my new custom news aggregator, which led me to the band's MySpace page, where their friends include T-Bone Burnett and Heavy Trash.  More songs streaming there, too.

NELLIE McKAY played the World Cafe Friday, you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.

THE SEX PISTOLS warmed up for their reunion tour in LA... and it was anarchic.

OiNK -- the music-sharing site busted by Interpol last week, will be succeeded by BOiNK, which will be launched by Pirate Bay, a movie-trading site.

AMY WINEHOUSE has spoken for the first time about the overdose which nearly killed her - and revealed she owes her life to husband Blake Fielder-Civil.

PETE DOHERTY avoided jail Friday and was instead given a suspended custodial sentence plus a fine on drug and driving offenses.

CONTROL:  I got out to see the Ian Curtis biopic on Saturday.  I managed to get five blisters on my feet and a bruised shin getting there, which I mention only because Control is the sort of film that still goes down well when one is in a certain amount of pain.  I find myself much in agreement with Frank Yang's review -- Anton Corbijn's film looks like his incredible photography set into motion, and no band is more apt for a black & white movie than Joy Division.  The primary cast -- in particular Sam Riley as Ian -- do a great job with the material they have; the re-creation of  Joy Div's performances are downright eerie.  I also think the movie performs a service by placing Curtis and his story in a real and generally pedestrian reality, as Joy Division records always sounded to me as though they took place in some other more epic and abstract realm.  The main flaw in the film (imho) may have been the problem in real life, which is that Ian Curtis was so self-isolated offstage that we rarely get a sense of his inner workings outside the songs.  Perhaps that's all there was, though outside reading suggests there was more to the man.  Based on the film alone, it's hard to see why Ian and Deborah married, though it seems part of Ian's pattern to have pursued his goals, only to remain unsatisfied when he reached them.  It is also sad that the same people who seemed so protective of Ian with regard to his epilepsy come off here as so unprotective after his first suicide attempt.  And it appears that in reality, Factory label founder Tony Wilson didn't see it coming, even if Ian's other love, Annik Honore, did.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Saw IV topped the pre-Halloween box office with 32.1 million -- about what its predecessors made and better than analysts expected.  Steve Carell did well to open Dan In Real Life with 12 million on less than 2000 screens.  30 Days Of Night took a big 58% drop, but landed in third place with 6.7mil, but has made back 27 of its 30 mil production budget.  The Game Plan took in another 6.28 mil, for a total of 77 mil so far. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? rounded out the Top Five with another 5.7 mil, for a total of 47.3mil to date.  Michael Clayton dropped to sixth place with 5mil, for a total of 28.7 mil. Gone Baby Gone was off a mere 29% and took in 3.9 mil.  The Comebacks dropped to eighth with 3.4 mil.  We Own The Night dropped to ninth with 3.3mil, but has made 25mil on a 21 mil budget, Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas 3D rounds out the Top Ten with 3.3 mil.  Rendition fell out of the Top Ten in its second weekend -- ouch.

SONDRE LERCHE talked to Cinematical about his score for Dan In Real Life, among other things.  You can stream a few tracks via LercheSpace.

DAVID COPPERFIELD:  A Seattle federal grand jury is investigating allegations by an aspiring model who said she was raped, assaulted and threatened by the magician at his private island in the Bahamas in July.  Details at the link.

WITHERHAAL GYLLENSPOON showed up as a couple -- albeit in disguise -- at Kate Hudson's Halloween party.  Reese seems embarrassed.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD, joined 15K protesters marching against possible cuts in services at a hospital near his country home.  Wearing a skull-patterned scarf.  Really.

THE McCARTNEYS:  The Daily Mail looks at how the tables have turned on Heather Mills in her divorce battle with Sir Paul.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The verdict is still out on whether Britney will get joint custody of her kids back.  The pop tart looked extremely distraught during breaks in Friday's hearing and cursed at the press while returning to court crying.  Fed-Ex's new girlfriend, Nicole Narain, shoveled the dirt on Spears to the uber-reliable News of the World.

BRADGELINA is 2007's most popular celebrity costume, according to a survey.  I'm guessing the costumes include four or five baby dolls.

ELLEN DeGENERES has her rep denying rumors of trouble with girlfriend Portia de Rossi.  But her emotional breakdown over her adopted mutt boosted ratings for her daytime talk show at least ten percent.

THE FRENCH HOTEL's first major post-jail philanthropic effort - her planned trip to Rwanda - has been postponed by the "restructuring" of the  foundation that organized it.  Meanwhile, employees at a Toronto adult video store claim the heirhead stormed into their establishment and demanded posters promoting her infamous sex tape be removed.

ORLANDO BLOOM will not be charged over the accident he was involved in on October 12 that injured his two passengers.

OWEN WILSON was inteviewed by Wes Anderson for MySpace's Artist on Artist series, but the media -- from ABCNews to TMZ -- was miffed that the duo avoided Wilson's recent suicide attempt.  This seems dumb at two levels.  First, the series is designed to promote movies -- and The Darjeeling Limited's business did jump on Saturday.  It's not meant to be serious journalism.  Second, this means some media outlet can still try to get Wilson to talk about the suicide attempt; why should they be mad they werten't derived of a potential scoop?

WILLIAM. SHATNER. is. miffed. that. he. is. not. in. the. Star. Trek. reboot. movie.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG compared the post-9/11 US to Nazi Germany on The View Friday.  I guess I missed the part where the US built enormous extermiantion camps for Muslims.  And the part where Jews flew airplanes into German buildings.  Maybe that's Whoopi's theory on the Reichstag fire.

MIDEAST MYSTERY:  Last week, a company released a satellite photo showing that the main building of a possible nuke facility in Syria was well under way in September 2003 - four years before Israeli jets bombed it.  The NYT thinks this raises questions "about whether the Bush administration overlooked a nascent atomic threat in Syria while planning and executing a war in Iraq, which was later found to have no active nuclear program."  Or maybe Iraq taught them a lesson about not preemptively bombing things unless you're really, really, really sure about the threat.  Maybe the US asked Israel to provide photographs, physical material and soil samples from the site before greenlighting a raid.  Can the NYT really be critical of that?

IRAQ:  Iraqi Lt. Gen. Abud Qanbar says overall violence in Baghdad is down 80 percent over the same period in 2006; overall terrorist attacks are down 59 percent, and assassinations are down 72 percent.  US Lt. Gen. Odierno says the movement toward peace that began in mostly Sunni areas is moving into Shiite areas as well.  Today, US forces will turn over security to Iraqi authorities in Karbala province, a Shiite region in south.  However, radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr could end a ban on his militia's activities because of rising anger over US and Iraqi raids against his followers.  In Anbar, things are quieting enough that the Marines are working on garbage collection.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Your opinion of conditions in the Sadiyah neighborhood may vary, depending on whether you read the Army's Public Affairs release, US News & World Report, or the Washington Post.  Taken together, I think the message is that there is some progress there, but that unit morale will vary from day-to-day, particularly as the US gets down to the more intractable situations.

IRAQ and the MEDIA II:  The New Republic finally decided to post a response to the latest round of questions about its "Baghdad Diarist," Pvt. Scott Beauchamp.  It says the same things they have been telling other media.  TNR does not tell its readers about the pressure TNR Editors and Beauchamp's wife (then a TNR staffer) put on Beauchamp, claiming instead that they were only interested in the truth and that it's the Army pressuring him (though the penalty for making a false statement to the Army still existed when he supposedly told hs wife he backed the stories).  They continue to claim others back Beauchamp's stories, when they do not corroborate them.  TNR does not tell its readers that the official investigative report states that Beauchamp admitted he was not an eyewitness to at least two of the stories he claimed to have witnessed.  So either the Army is lying in its report or Beauchamp (or his wife) is lying to someone.  What we do know is that TNR is not telling the whole story to its readers.

TWO CATS, just sittin' around talkin'.

THE GREAT AMERICAN COOTER FESTIVAL in Citrus County, FL is shrouded in controversy.

DOG SHOOTS MAN:  In Tama, IA, no less.

A SIX-FOOT LONG CROC  has been found in a drain in the center of Cairns, Australia,  Click for the byline.

GIANT SEA SLUGS that squirt toxic ink invade Britain.

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