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Iron & Wine, Crooked Fingers, Cane Toads, Joanna Newsom, Bradgelina and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

IRON AND WINE: Sam Beam's most recent disc under the name Iron and Wine, the Woman King EP, got a good writeup o­n the Pitchfork in February. I just got around to it last weekend and must agree. It's got a bluesy folk vibe that really sets a mood. If there was still a Music Works, it would probably end up in repeat mode all day long.

TOMMY RAMONE is starting an alt-bluegrass duo named Uncle Monk.

CROOKED FINGERS recently appeared o­n WMPG's Local Motives show; the interview and five songs available for download and are a good way to sample stuff from the band's latest disc.

ON THE PITCHFORK: An article about musicians who also write criticism or blog, like the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle.

BOB MOULD blogs that he just finished his new album and is listening to the master in different settings. And like everyone else, Bob had thoughts o­n the passing of Pope John Paul II.

BRITNEY SPEARS disinherited Kevin Federline before marrying him. And fed up with the "false tabloids" reporting o­n her shaky marriage, the pop tart now gives an interview to a ten-year-old girl.

MARIAH CAREY looked too much like a slutty diva for o­ne NYC co-op board. That's understandable, but some of the other cases listed in the linked article are more distasteful.

COPYRIGHT: New York state's highest court has ruled that Capitol Records holds common law copyrights in recordings where the federal copyright has expired.

MIRACLE CURE: Boing-Boing explains why you so often see news stories expecting a cure for some disease "in five years," based on some study.

U.K. ELECTION: Coldplay's Chris Martin is (unsurprisingly) making trade his number o­ne issue in the election. There's a British blog devoted to analyzing the latest polls. PoliticalBetting's current survey of the bookies predicts a Labour majority of 54 seats, much smaller than today.

CANADA: There's plenty of links o­n Adscam and the related publication ban (and many unrelated hot topics) in the 19th edition of the Red Ensign Brigade.

CULT OF THE iPod: What's o­n President Bush's iPod? "Castanets" by Alejandro Escovedo. And "My Sharona," among others. iPod Mini killers are reviewed by c|Net, via the San Francisco Chronicle.

WHAT IS THE PERFECT ROCK AND ROLL SONG? Class Maledictorian Amber Taylor has one candidate, but there are plenty of others. RELATED: The Stones are set to roll again, with a combined age of 242.

IRAQ: The Marines came thisclose to bagging Abu Musab Zarqawi, according to Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, whose 1st Marine Expeditionary Force is back home at Camp Pendleton, Calif., after months of intense combat in Anbar province. Arthur Chrenkoff rounds up other good news from Iraq. Even the New York Times ran a cautiously optimistic piece Monday, which may well mean things are falling apart there.

SATELLITE RADIO: Kathy Lally reports that we are what we listen to: "This is the first time I've gone shopping for an electronic object and discovered I had to give myself and other members of my listening household a personality test." What would Ms. Lally make of XM's new partnership with AOL?

THE END IS NIGH: It's been a while since we had a story about the plague of cane toads down under, but they are not forgottten. A member of the Aussie parliament is encouraged to smash the cane toads to death with golf clubs and cricket bats. Perhaps more strange, local animal welfare groups discouraged people from taking up Tollner's call to arms, saying freezing the animals to death was more humane.

THE MOOSE DEFENSE INITIATIVE: High-tech laser and infrared devices, developed for space exploration and anti-missile systems, are being adapted to warn motorists when a moose wanders into the road.

PRINTMAFIA is another in a series of outfits I've found doing cool music posters.

Q: ARE WE NOT MEN? A: We are Devo's webmaster. I can't be too judgmental, however, as I'm pretty sure I have one of those flowerpot hats in storage somewhere.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Blackmail and robbery charges against the troubled former Libertine and Babyshambles frontman have been dropped due to insufficient evidence.

HARPIST JOANNA NEWSOM and the "New Weird America" are essayed by the BBC, with streaming audio and video of Newsom and others in Real format.

SHE'LL BE A VERB: Who knew the Game Theory tune was about Jane Fonda?

KEANU REEVES: How bad an actor do you have to be to get a thumbs down from Ashton Kutcher? Whoah, indeed.

ISRAEL recognizes a "new Schindler."

PALESTINIAN GUNMEN from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took up positions during an Israeli army incursion in the West Bank city of Nablus, on Monday. Coincidentally, the Associated Press and Reuters both had photographers trained on the very same group of gunmen in the midst of a potential battle. What are the odds?

PROTEIN WISDOM: Jeff Goldstein has his five word review of Sideways o­nline (fans of the Dream Syndicate will enjoy it all the more). He also has an interesting excerpt of a subscription-only article from the Weekly Standard with bad news from Saudi Arabia in the war o­n terror.

NAKED PATIENT PHOTOS: A woman has filed a lawsuit against a hospital alleging that while she was anesthetized, naked and awaiting surgery, a hospital employee took pictures of her and then distributed them.

THE SOURCE magazine has problems. MTV reports that co-founder Raymond "Benzino" Scott stepped down as chief brand manager o­n Friday, claiming that "everyone is too politically correct." Coincidentally, o­n Monday, two of the magazine's highest-ranking former female executives filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing co-owners David Mays, the Chief Executive Officer, and Raymond "Benzino" Scott, the Chief Brand Executive, of committing gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and unlawful retaliation against women at the company.

PHONY AS A THREE DOLLAR BILL? No -- but Mike Bolesta got into a lot of trouble paying a repair bill with two-dollar bills.

LEBANON has dropped off the front pages, but Publius has an update. Also, blogger Michael J. Totten -- temporarily posting at Spirit of America -- is noting unity in the opposition camp and taking a lot of photos while in-country.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Brad Pitt is personally denying the Us magazine story that he and Jolie looked like a couple over a hotel weekend promoting their upcoming movie. Nevertheless, Pitt pays the mag a backhanded compliment: "Because these tabloids are making so much money, and yes, I consider Us Weekly a tabloid, they go to great lengths to corroborate their stories, whether they are true or not." Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston became godmother to Courtney Cox Arquette's daughter. Fortunately for Pitt and Jolie, Aniston did not use the occasion to settle all family business.

SEYMOUR HERSH: New York magazine notes that the investigative journalist who broke the Abu Grahib story admits that he often fudges the facts in his interviews and speeches. The article also surveys his uneven track record in print.

ACTRESSES AND WHORES is the title of a book; here, it's reviewed by one of the latter.

TROUBLE FOR ELITE COLLEGES? Steve Goodman, a consultant who advises college-bound students and their families, writes in the Washington Post that "With faculty and administrations leading the way, political correctness and posturing -- from both the left and right -- is reaching dizzying heights in the land of the ivory tower. And rising right along with it is the frustration of middle-class parents, who are growing increasingly resentful of paying sky-high tuition for colleges they see offering their kids a menu of questionable courses and politically absurd campus climates that detract from the quality of a university education." One of the schools mentioned more than o­nce in that article is Columbia, which recently issued a report whitewashing dozens of complaints lodged against faculty members. Perhaps most odd is that the report purports to clear the faculty members involved of anti-Semitism, but the complaining students never made that allegation.

I... AM... IRON MAN. Okay, not really, but I soon could be.

NEAR IMPACT: With high profile stories swamping television, you may have missed "Science's Doomsday Team vs. the Asteroids," about the rock that would miss Earth o­nly by 15,000 to 25,000 miles -- about o­ne-tenth the distance to the moon. RELATED: Stephen Sommers, apparently tired of remaking Universal Studios' horror classics, intends to remake When Worlds Collide, a George Pal "so bad it's good" gem that used to run frequently o­n WGN's Family Classics when I was a ute.

SMUCKERS UPDATE: On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected an effort by J.M. Smucker Co. to patent its process for making pocket-size peanut butter and jelly pastries called "Uncrustables."

IRAN: After a quarter-century of estrangement from Iran, the Bush administration is openly preparing to spend government funds in that country to promote democracy. I'm pretty sure the key word in that last sentence is "openly."

GERMANY: The highest ranking female member of parliament theorizes that the U.S. government set the Catholic pedophilia scandal in motion and made Poland its chief partner in the Iraq war because it wanted to weaken an already frail pope. Not even Der Spiegel is buying it.

SPANISH MEN will have to learn to change diapers and don washing-up gloves under the terms of a new law designed to strike a blow at centuries of Latin machismo.

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Rock Movies, The Posies, Bloc Party, Global Dandruff and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 11, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

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Kathleen Edwards, Wilco, Jenna Bush, The Pope, Bob Pollard and more cowbell   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 08, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

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Lucinda Williams, Scott McCaughey, Joe Strummer, Kofi Annan and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 09:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

[Note: If the site has seemed a little slow lately, you should know that our administrator Lance is upgrading our server over the next couple of weeks to handle increased demand. Thanks for your patience and patronage! I know that sounds like, "Your call is very important to us, please hold...," but we do mean it. - KB]

LUCINDA WILLIAMS news is briefly rounded up at Thrasher's Blog.

ALEXANDRO ESCOVEDO is writing and performing again, after switching to holistic treatment for his Hepatitis C.

WILCO: Jeff Tweedy talks to... wait for it... the Financial Times about filesharing: "I'm embarrassed personally for really big artists who whine about it. After all, you have to be pretty damn successful for people to consider pirating your music." Former Wilco-ite Jay Bennett has two discs reviewed o­n the Pitchfork.

NEIL YOUNG has left the hospital, is expected to make a full recovery and to return to Nashville next week to continue work o­n an album. Young's brain aneurysm was treated by state-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgery.

SCOTT McCAUGHEY of the Young Fresh Fellows and the Minus 5 has a "List of Music You Should Hear" posted at Amazon.

METHANE STUDIOS has a gallery of cool posters produced for cool bands.

GEORGE LUCAS, JAMES CAMERON AND PETER JACKSON are among the directors touting a new form of 3D to pave the way for digital cinema.

IRAQ: As a Kurd in Iraq's disputed north, Jalal Talabani spent a lifetime resisting Arab domination. Now he is interim president of Iraq, o­ne of the largest and potentially wealthiest Arab nations. ''Today Jalal Talabani made it to the seat of power, while Saddam Hussein is sitting in jail,'' said Mohammed Saleh, a 42-year-old Kurd in Kirkuk. ''Who would have thought?''

IT'S CARNIVAL SEASON year-round in the blogosphere. A new Carnival Of Education and Tangled Bank (Carnival of Science blogging) are o­nline.

DENVER VICE: A man out o­n bail after being charged with 33 counts of sexual assault while impersonating a massage therapist was arrested Monday for allegedly posing as a vice cop.

JOE STRUMMER: Unreleased tracks from his pre-Clash band, the 101ers, will be released next month.

AUDIOSLAVE guitarist Tom Morello is urging young Britons to vote in the upcoming general election. While slamming Tony Blair's involvement in the Iraq war, Morello admitted that he did not know which way he would vote as a British citizen: "I don't know what the slate of candidates is, I'd have to call my friend Billy Bragg. I defer to his opinion o­n that o­ne!"

QUEEN went ahead with a gig in Rome o­n Monday despite a plea from the Vatican to cancel out of respect for the Pope. Although a fan of the group, Guido Bertolaso, who is overseeing Rome's arrangements for Pope John Paul II's funeral, said: "I think that in this moment of pain and prayer, a concert should not be held in our capital - with all due respect to what others believe." If he's a fan, Mr. Bertolaso should have known what Queen would do.

POPE JOHN PAUL II is being reborn as a comic book superhero, battling evil with an anti-Devil cape and special chastity pants.

SHANNON ELIZABETH is already moving o­n from her husband, but Defamer notices her "party fingers."

CULT OF THE iPod: Office workers who share music via iTunes track their coworkers' comings and goings and form opinions about them based o­n their playlists. A new study, funded in part by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, finds the opinions are not always what the sharer intended.

VIKINGS: A Norwegian historical center is recruiting friendly, playful Vikings; axe-wielding vandals need not apply. Will the center have a telescope?

SOLDIERS OF LOVE? Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has called o­n the IRA to lay down their arms.

WAR o­n TERROR: A senior military officer serving in the Middle East e-mails Austin Bay about the definition of victory, noting in part: "Military action is a necessary, but insufficient component of the formula for victory." A University of Central Florida biology professor has given up his passport after spending nearly two weeks in jail for allegedly stealing eight vials of cloned DNA pieces from a tuberculosis organism.

TINY SPY PLANE: The Wasp robotic plane, designed for troops who need a peek at the enemy before going in, has a 13 inch wingspan and is launched by hand.

MS. WHEELCHAIR PAGEANT REDUX: A new Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin has been crowned after pageant leaders stripped the original winner of the title when she appeared in a newspaper photograph standing up. The runner-up refused to accept the crown out of protest. Lee's sister, who was named Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota, dropped out of the competition in that state. And the coordinator for the organization's Minnesota program stepped down from her job to "stand up for Janeal Lee," a high school teacher and muscular dystrophy sufferer who uses a scooter as her main way to get around but says she can walk up to 50 feet o­n a good day and stand while teaching.

KIRSTEN DUNST and Jake Gyllenhaal staged their break-up and plan to marry.

MORE WEIRD BURGER KING ADS: Visible through Screenhead.

THE UNITED NATIONS: In a meeting closed to the media, secretary-general Kofi Annan tells staff the scandals engulfing the U.N. would act as a catalyst for reform, while at the same time blaming the media for reporting them unfairly. Mr. Annan took eight questions and left to a standing ovation. One former senior U.N. official told FOX News those questions had all been planted by Annan's staff; Annan's spokesman denied that claim. But Annan's problems run deeper than the generally meager reporting o­n U.N. scandals. Last November, the U.N. Staff Union passed a resolution expressing no confidence in the senior U.N. staff. The London Observer, generally not aligned with FOX News politically, carries a column from a former U.N. human rights observer in Somalia, Rwanda, Haiti and Liberia which asks, "How many more must die before Kofi quits?" Kenneth Cain also claims that when he visited the U.N. human resources office in New York to complain personally about child sex abuse case by peacekeepers in Liberia, "they laughed at my naive outrage: 'It happens all the time in the field,' they said. 'There's nothing we can do.'"

BRITNEY SPEARS and hubby K-Fed just spent time at a Santa Monica hotel, but Britney stayed in the main building and Kevin stayed in the bungalows. The New York Post's Page Six quotes a spywitness: "Kevin played a lot of golf at a nearby golf course and Britney was just roaming the hotel everyday in either a muu-muu or an oversized sweatshirt, sobbing. Her mother was with her, but not Kevin. Britney left the hotel [Monday], but Kevin is still here."

FASTER CABLE INTERNET: The industry's standard-settings unit plans to endorse technology that will let operators boost speeds 400% to 1,600%, over their existing lines.

SMUCKERS wants a patent o­n its sealed, crustless peanut butter and jelly pockets.

BIG P*SSY: Vincent Pastore, best known as The Sopranos' late mobster Big P*ssy, has been slapped with assault charges following a violent argument with his fiance Saturday in New York.

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Muddy Waters, The Bees, More Desperate Divas, Johnny Gosch and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

NEIL ARMSTRONG, MUDDY WATERS AND NIRVANA are among 50 recordings being added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry. The discovery of a previously unknown recording by jazz masters Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane was also announced Tuesday. Other inductees from the rock era include James Brown's 1965 Live at the Apollo, the Beach Boys' 1966 Pet Sounds, 1971's The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East and Public Enemy's 1989 Fear of a Black Planet.

THE BEES released their latest single, "Chicken Payback," o­n Monday. You can (and should) see their video to hear it. Would I steer you wrong? Yes; if I know you well enough, I probably already have. But really, what's to lose here? It's daffy fun, trust me.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Simon Rix lists Kaiser Chiefs' favorite albums and singles. Olivia Tremor Contol books two U.K. gigs and o­ne at the 40 Watt in Athens, GA. More, please.

DAVID LOWERY of CVB and Cracker gives a blogging friend advice o­n "How To Win Friends and Influence People in the Music Business."

COVERVILLE is always fun, but its latest podcast includes the Talking Heads' version of "Take Me To The River," which reminded me to recommend it here.

"SUPERFREAK!" It's hard to run for City Council if you are Rick James.

SIDEWAYS: According to Rex Pickett, the author of the book, the story is kinda autobiographical. BTW, kudos to the PR flack who got that story placed o­n the day the movie came out o­n DVD. And I must add that the DVD commentary by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church is quite fun.

SPEAKING OF DVD EXTRAS, The New York Times looks at those who have mastered the young art of turning the video edition of a film into a sui generis event, from menu design to bonus features.

SERIAL KILLER'S DAD sells DVDs of his son's confession, replete with details of of how he lured women to his house and strangled them. Now there's a guy intent o­n beating the fathers of Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson in the creepiness sweepstakes.

LINDSAY LOHAN may be trying to take our minds off of that ugly Bruce Willis rumor with a Christian Slater rumor. Doesn't work for me; sure, Slater is closer to Lohan's age, but Willis has more showbiz clout.

BRITNEY SPEARS: In another sign of the apocolypse, the pop tart and hubby Kevin Federline will star in their own surreality series o­n UPN. No word o­n whether Vegas-based VIP Hostess Vanessa Hulihan, who issued a non-denial of hijinx with K-Fed, or a Kabbalah rabbi will have guest shots o­n the show.

DESPERATE DIVAS REDUX: Teri Hatcher tells her side of the photo shoot disputes linked here yesterday. So does Vanity Fair contributing editor Ned Zeman. Reading these articles together, o­ne gets the impression that ABC does not want Hatcher to be getting more attention than the other Housewives (as she has been), and that Vanity Fair may have purposefully violated ABC's conditions to generate the kerfuffle and get pub for their mag. If I was really conspiratorial, I'd note that the show has returned for its big finale in sweeps season, too.

MADONNA has been cut out of husband Guy Ritchie's latest movie. A source is quoted by ContactMusic as saying, "Perhaps Guy did not want Madonna's kiss of death o­n his latest movie, or perhaps he just decided the scene wasn't quite right, but either way Madonna does not make the final cut." I vote for both of the above.

STARBUCKS is going to start selling CDs by new artists.

WEDDING LANTERNS sparked a UFO scare near Leez Priory in Britain.

GOOGLE will soon let the general public upload self-produced videos to its servers, according to co-founder Larry Page.

WHO DO YOU TRUST? Let's consult the brain scan.

JOHNNY GOSCH: If you attended Iowa State University at the time Pate was active, you probably recognize the name. The Des Moines Register has run a story about a wacky theory that the Iowa paperboy kidnapped in 1982 and never found is former White House correspondent Jeff Gannon, exposed in February as James Guckert, a man with no journalism experience and links to several gay escort addresses o­nline. Register staffer Erin Crawford notes that "The Gannon-Gosch conspiracy theory first appeared o­n the message board of a liberal political site called The Democratic Underground on Feb. 26." She also notes Sherman Skolnick's posts at Rense and Jeff Wells' blog, Rigorous Intuition. Anyone who visits these sites can figure out their politics, which makes Crawford's insertion of Rush Limbaugh into the story almost as wacky as the the Gosch-Gannon theory itself. The story says o­nly that he talked about Gannon (as did many others), not Gosch; the idea that Limbaugh would be claiming President Bush is involved with a government-run pedophile ring seems unlikely.

RELIGION AND JOURNALISM: There were 35,000 new major media stories o­n the Pope in the 24 hours after his death Saturday. Yet Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz told his weekly chat audience: "None of the networks has a fulltime religion reporter. Two of the three newsmagazines haven't replaced religion reporters who have left."

NPR's WHITE NOISE: Columnist Eric Deggans writes that "public radio - especially NPR's signature shows - just feels too darn white."

VIGILANTES AID ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT: The Border Patrol and human-rights groups have criticized the monthlong Minuteman Project, which is described as a protest of the federal government's inability to control the U.S.-Mexican border. However, in the first documented encounter between the Minutemen and Mexican nationals sneaking across the border, volunteers gave aid to a lost, emaciated and dehydrated man. The Border Patrol is still unhappy.

FEMALE BOXER DIES AFTER K.O.: Becky Zerlentes, 34, died Sunday from a head injury sustained in a Golden Gloves competition. The story avoids any reference to Million Dollar Baby.

GREEN DAY was baffled that the Marriott Marquis rejected the Independent Film Channel's billboard featuring the heart-shaped grenade gripped by a bloodied hand from the cover of the band's American Idiot. IFC exec Evan Shapiro smells politics, dismissing the stated reason that the ad was "distasteful." Politics is possible, but this eyewitness account of people falling to their deaths from the WTC and "piling up o­n the Marriott Marquis" o­n September 11th might explain why the hotel might not be keen to be displaying the bloody grenade.

WHY DID THE WTC COLLAPSE? A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology finds that the twin towers' design performed fairly well. The Village Voice provides the layperson's explanation: "The NIST, using computer models and mathematical analysis based o­n video and photographic evidence, says the fires were so hot they caused the outer walls o­n the impact side of each of the buildings to bow inward. Eventually the top of each tower began twisting and bending, and the columns were unable to hold the weight of the floors above."

BOYS AND GIRLS think differently from birth?

BILL GATES: wanted a drawbridge for his property in the Bronx, according gossip columnist Cindy Adams.

TONY BLAIR has asked the Queen to dissolve Parliament next week, setting a general election for May 5th. Current predictions are for a decent, but smaller majority for Blair's Labour Party, but opinion polls suggest Labour's lead over the Tories has slipped. American pollster Frank Luntz, who was a political commentator during the 1997 and 2001 elections, conducted a focus group and writes that "never have I seen voters so disgruntled as now."

A CHINESE FOOD DELIVERY MAN was found trapped in a broken elevator Tuesday, more than three days after he was reported missing. The Chinese community feared that Chen might have been a victim of robbery or foul play by immigrant smugglers. I'm sure he survived o­n the food he was supposed to deliver, but ten minutes later... Thank you very much; don't forget to tip your waitress.

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