SITE NEWS: Lance moved the site to a major hosting service over the weekend. We hope this will help speed things up a bit. Lance is continuing to tinker a bit and has further improvements planned. Thanks, Lance!
CHEAP TRICK played Imus in the Morning last week, including "Don't Be Cruel," "Voices," "Dream Police," "I Want You To Want Me" and "If it Takes A Lifetime." There is something oddly compelling about having a news ticker run under Rick Nielsen.
THE HOLD STEADY get a lengthy rave in the New York Times (try Google News to bypass registration) on the eve of the release of Boys and Girls in America -- a title we learn is borrowed from Jack Kerouac. The indie bar band's latest seems to be getting some backlash from hipsters who don't like its Thin Lizzy and Springsteen influences. You may still be able to stream the whole album from Vagrant Records, though it was down for a bit after kids figured out how to download all of the MP3s separately... bad kids! Otherwise, you can stream three new tracks from MySpace.
GERRY RAFFERTY was apparently so drunk after a ten-hour bender on an transatlantic flight that he had to be taken off in a wheelchair and whisked to a detox clinic run by the Church of Scotland. Does this mean he hasn't given up the one-night stands, either?
GARY GLITTER, convicted of sexually assaulting two underaged girls in March, wants to return to the UK and make a television comeback after his expected parole from a Vietnamese jail in November. I would guess the UK authorities might have different plans for him.
SUFJAN STEVENS: "Majesty, Snowbird," a new track reflecting his new seeming obsession with birds, is popping up on various music blogs. YANP will also point you toward the video.
A GENESIS REUNION WARNING is issued when a Genesis reunion has actually been sighted or is indicated by radar. Those in the affected areas should go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level, away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Do not open windows. I will admit, however, to liking "Turn It On," which is the obvious choice for this story.
EVAN DANDO and THE DEARS played the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia last week, so you can stream them from NPR now.
WHO NEEDS LUTE MUSIC? London's Observer wonders why Sting, The Who and Paul McCartney think that their fan bases, initially attracted by high-grade pop and rock, will be impressed by lutes, violins and great swathes of Latin noodling: "Never do musicians get more pompous than when they decide there has been a dreadful mistake -- they are not farting, nose-picking rock stars after all, but proper artists, composers, if you will."
ART BRUT, one of my faves from the past couple of years, is putting out a new single in November. Until then, make do with plenty of great tracks on the Hype Machine.
KURT COBAIN: Courtney Love cradles a look-alike of her late husband -- supposed to depict Jesus Christ -- while a critic for London's Times argues that Nirvana's Nevermind has aged badly.
THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP: I saw Michel Gondry's latest film, which may never achieve wide release, as it lacks both the stars and emotional depth of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And a fair amount is subtitled, though neccessary for the plot. That's not to say it wasn't good; it was. Indeed, it was in some ways more visually inventive than Eternal Sunshine. Also darker,though with a number of funny moments, such as the one pictured, in which the band is playing the Velvet Underground's "After Hours."
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Ashton Kutcher grabs the top two slots with Open Season and The Guardian. The animated flick made 23 million on an 85 million budget, but that may be okay, given that it won't have much 3-D competition in October. Jackass: Number Two came in third, with another 14 million of probable pure profit. School For Scoundrels did an anemic 9.1 million opening, but on mere a 20 million budget. Jet Li's Fearless plunged 55 percent to 4.7 million after his fans turned out for the opening. Gridiron Gand skidded to sixth, though it should end up in the black. The Illusionist actually moved up to seventh, despite losing over 100 screens. Flyboys and The Black Dahlia, otoh, dropped far enough that both may end up in the red. Little Miss Sunshine again clung to the top ten.
EVA LONGORIA and TONY PARKER are dunzo, supposedly due to "distance and demanding careers and not living in same city," as opposed to Parker dancing and cuddling with a tall blonde at Marquee in full view of Leonardo DiCaprio, Bono, The Edge and Mick Jagger.
ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S "wedding" to attorney Howard K. Stern was "not legally binding," according to her other attorney. Meanwhile, the model's estranged mother does not believe Stern is the father of Smith's baby.
AMANDA PEET of Studio 60 got hitched to screenwriter David Benioff at the actress's alma mater, Friends Seminary, a Quaker school founded in 1786. Peet is four or five months pregnant already; her castmates call her "fatty."
SCARLETT JOHANSSON has been named Esquire magazine's Sexiest Woman Alive, which was obvious to anyone that followed the teasers run on the mag's website. Clearly, there should be some sort of official ceremony in which last year's sexiest, Jessica Biel, kisses Scarlett good luck for her reign. My favorite part of the story is where she asks, "What about my brain?", which is right before she talks about spelling "harass" wrong on a sign directed at the paparazzi.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise will threaten to sue the press over a lot of things, but he cannot sue them for making fun of his height, particularly in relation to Holmes. So that's going to happen.
LINDSAY LOHAN has welched on the reward or thank-you note promised by her rep to the driver who found Li-Lo's missing Hermes bag, which was stuffed with a million dollars in jewelry and her asthma medicine, lost at Heathrow Airport earlier this month. Classy!
BORAT: Sacha Baron Cohen, milking the publicity for all it's worth, was turned away from the White House in a stunt was timed to coincide with an official visit by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is said to be displeased with Cohen's fictional TV reporter from Kazakhstan. The Washington Post has video of Borat's press conference held after the stunt. It appears he's now dragging Uzbekistan into the fight.
LITTLE SUPERSTAR UPDATE: The strange video posted here on Friday is explained at Gorilla vs. Bear.
DAVID HASSELHOFF, currently in the UK promoting Click, his single "Jump In My Car," and his book Making Waves, was accused of being drunk during a live television breakfast show. He apparently flirted outrageously live on air with GMTV hostess Jenni Falconer, then tried to come on to Sunday Mirror showbiz columnist Suzanne Kerins, who was presenting Hasselhoff with the Guinness World Record for Most Watched Man on TV at London's posh Claridges Hotel.
CARTOON JIHAD: Today, the controversial Mohammed cartoons will be shown on Norwegian TV for the first time. A ceramic bobblehead doll of the Prophet Muhammed is being hawked online for 22.99 a pop by an ex-Marine. That's going to go down well in some quarters. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is part of the a "Zionist" conspiracy to exert cultural influence, according to Iranian state television. Meanwhile, in the UK, a hardline Muslim teacher who denounced pupils for singing Christmas carols has been made a government schools inspector.
IRAQ: At ITM, Omar blogged the fierce clashes in Baghdad and later calm during the curfew imposed to capture an al-Qaida suspect and members of his cell, who were "in the final stages" of planning an attack on the Green Zone. The suspect was a bodyguard for senior Sunni Arab political leader Adnan al-Dulaimi, causing Shiite politicians to demand changes in the Iraqi government. Meanwhile, security forces are closing in on the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, a senior Iraqi official said Sunday.
IRAQ II: Army Col. Sean B. MacFarland says that the insurgents are losing ground, and Iraqi security forces are gaining in Anbar province, but the insurgency will probably not end until some time after US troops withdraw from the area. Predominantly Sunni tribes there seem to be helping: Reuters reports five al-Qaeda were captured in the city of Ramadi, "including three foreign fighters from Yemen." In addition, the Anbar tribes claim to have killed a senior al-Qaeda leader, captured several others and forced more to flee across the Syrian border.
CATS and DOGS are using their own social networking sites. Plenty of cute pics from Dogster.com and Catster.com at the link.
ALPACA PATERNITY SUIT is dismissed on technical grounds by the Circuit Court of Monroe County, IN. So there's a good chance it could be refiled in Illinois.
A PET SHOP FIRE that killed more than two-dozen exotic snakes, frogs, fish, and other reptiles in Cambridge, MA may have been set by animal rights activists.
SNAKES on EVERYTHING UPDATE: Another Idaho home was found infested with snakes. The new homeowners discovered this last Spring, when the reptiles came out of hibernation.
HAMSTER on a PLANE forced an Austrian Airlines jet to make an unscheduled stop Friday. I think we all know What Samuel L. Jackson would say.