CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH gets a big ol' love letter from MSNBC. Although the band's album is still hard-to-get, you can download three songs from the website. I'm not as ga-ga over 'em as MSNBC or Pitchfork, but at least two of the songs have an interesting David Byrne-fronts-The Reivers vibe.
BIG STAR: The new album is now set to drop September 26th. Posie Jon Auer gives some backstory to Billboard. Carl Wilson starts revving up by reprinting his 2003 essay on the band, which has two nifty pop culture metaphors.
TEENAGE FANCLUB gets a boffo writeup in the New York Daily News.
FEELGOOD HIT OF THE SUMMER: The New York Daily News lists past summer smashes and lists the requirements for a "blaze of pop glory."
R&BS: In an article charting the the decline and fall of rhythm and blues, PopMatters' Mark Anthony Neal lists worthy artists still below the radar.
ROCK AND BASEBALL: At Pop (all love), Aaron Wherry analyzes which is the Best Band in the World by comparing rock bands to baseball teams.
MINDY McCREADY not only apparently attempted suicide, but was also found with a man charged last spring with trying to kill her.
JOSS STONE was rumored to have been dumped by the Gap for moving in with boyfriend Beau Dozier at the tender age of seventeen. And, I would speculate, for outing her butt double in the commercial. The Gap denies it, but says Stone will now be one of three musicians featured in their ads, along with Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child and Alanis Morissette.
WES ANDERSON may be better when he collaborates with Owen Wilson. I admit that the thought crossed my mind while watching The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, which I liked nonetheless.
NICOLE KIDMAN: Hey, I'd be glad to help, but someone who married Tom Cruise clearly has issues.
IRAQ: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld met with the Iraqi Prime Minister and the top U.S. commander in Iraq to discuss speeding preparations for the withdrawal of some U.S. troops as early as next spring. Gen. George Casey told reporters, "If the political process continues to go positively and if the development of the security forces continues to go as it is going, I do believe we'll still be able to take some fairly substantial reductions after these elections in the spring and summer." Iraq's national security adviser thinks that many cities are prepared to transfer the authority from foreign forces. In June, Lt. Gen. John Vines, who runs day-to-day military operations in Iraq, said that he thought a drawdown of 20,000 was possible next year.
DISCONTENT OF THE PEOPLE is as widespread as it has been in forty years in Cuba and erupting in violent protests across Iran.
DIAMOND NIGHTS: The Pitchfork review calls the band's EP "pure frat party filth." At Coolfer, Glenn adds, "...as if there's something wrong with that?" Both liked "Destination Diamonds," which is a download at the band's site.
FILESHARING: People who are killing music by illegally sharing tracks over the internet also spend four and a half times as much on legit digital music as those who do not, according to the latest research.
LOLLAPALOOZA: More photos at My Old Kentucky Blog, including pics of Sara (of Tegan and Sara) succumbing to the heat. Also, when Perry Farrell checked into Chicago's W Hotel, he got a a complimentary copy of Giant magazine, featuring the article "Lollapathetic," which accused him of turning the event into a crassly commercial cash cow.
PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer recently got some life coaching from Johnny Depp. Meanwhile on-and-off galpal Kate Moss won substantial libel damages on Wednesday over a tabloid newspaper's claims that she had collapsed in a cocaine-fueled coma.
VENUE: An article at PopMatters asks, "When should you feel more cheated at a rock show -- when the venue seems like a museum, an ersatz bazaar, or a toilet?" A look at how space affects performance.
PAYOLA: There are some funny e-mail quoted in NY AG Eliot Spitzer's press release on the Sony settlement.
JESSICA ALBA suffered from anorexia a few years back: "When I went from a girl's body to a woman's body with natural fat in places, I freaked out." So did most men and a fair number of women.
SIENNA MILLER has her rep denying the Orlando Bloom story, but gossips are now adding her ex-bf David Neville into the mix.
JANN WENNER is in early talks with MTV to do a reality show modeled after Donald Trump's Apprentice.
AL GORE got jokes and coaching from Johnny Carson. However, Ray Siller, Carson's long-time head writer, is apparently not a Gore fan.
LONDON: Suspected bomber Yasin Hassan Omar has been arrested. ABC News reports that the July 7th plot may have been much larger than previously known, as 12 more bombs were discovered in a car believed linked to the attack. ABC News also has a photo gallery of the devastation inside the Tube and x-rays of the bombs. Scotland Yard believes that the fugitive bombers who bungled their attacks last week returned to their secret cache of explosives to rearm themselves. David Ignatius of the Washington Post, looking at the photo of bombers on a pre-attack whitewater rafting trip in Wales, recognizes a "revolt of the privileged, Islamic version," but that's just the tip of his intriguing article. A new poll finds that Britons' sense of national identity depends far more on shared values and institutions than on nostalgia for warm beer and village cricket. But I think it does depend in part on the British sense of humor.
EVA LONGORIA is rumored to be engaged to NBA star Tony Parker again.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON is not proud of her films and thinks acting is a relatively pointless profession. If I was starring in an unauthorized gazillion-dollar remake of a fairly obscure no-budget sci-fi flick from 1979 called Parts: The Clonus Horror, I probably would say the same thing.
KATE BECKINSALE wants to play Wonder Woman on the big screen, which would certainly be preferable to Katie Holmes in the role.
DREAMWORKS SKG may get bought out by NBC Universal.
IRAQ II: Iraqi commandos captured an alleged associate of al-Qaeda's number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Drafters of the new constitution have summoned leaders of Iraqi religious, ethnic and political blocs to an emergency national summit this week in an attempt to hash out the toughest, deadlocking issues in reshaping the country. These issues include federalism, the role of religious law in the constitution, women's rights and the official name of the country.
CULT OF THE iPod: Some industry observers believe Apple's recalcitrance in opening-up its formats will doom the iPod someday. OTOH, dudes don't like being told, you're getting a Dell and Napster, either.
THIS JUST IN: Teenagers use the internet. A lot.
VIDEOGAME WIZARD: There has to be a twist.
HACKER SHUTS DOWN U.S. ARMY COMPUTERS: Gary McKinnon is accused of deleting files that shut down more than 2,000 computers in the U.S. Army's military district of Washington for 24 hours, "significantly disrupting governmental function."
GLOBAL WARMING: The U.S. and Australia are developing a new pact on climate change with a group of Asian countries. "We're going to have a 40% increase in emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, and the world needs a 50% reduction," said Ian Campbell, Australia's Environment Minister. "We've got to find something that works better."
THE SUPREME COURT: Democrats demand more of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' legal documents, including his legal writings from when he was principal deputy solicitor general. However, every living Solicitor General of both political parties has opposed such requests in the past: "Any attempt to intrude into the Office's highly privileged deliberations would come at the cost of the Solicitor General's ability to defend vigorously the United States' litigation interests -- a cost that also would be borne by Congress itself."
THE SPACE SHUTTLE hit a bird, which has to be tough to get off the windshield. Pics at the link. on a more serious note, NASA has grounded future shuttles until engineers solve the recurring problem of falling debris.
NANOTECH: The National Cancer Institute is on its way to becoming a Nano Cancer Institute as it prepares to spend 144.3 million dollars over five years on engineered nanoparticle research. Howard Lovy has more at his blog.
EDU-BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is online.
IRAQ III: Instapundit Glenn Reynolds interviews Michael Yon, who claims he is not a reporter, but whose dispatches from all over Iraq are a must-read. Austin Bay posts an e-mail that is both sobering and optimistic from an Iraqi he trusts. Jessica Simpson says ABC "mysteriously misplaced" footage of enemy attacks and shelling taped when she visited Iraq for a TV special -- footage she would have liked to show to America: "It put everything in perspective for me. It really did teach me the definition of sacrifice." Soldiers -- most of them Iraq vets -- thought Steven Bochco's Over There was "bogus." I was underwhelmed, but may tune back in if Dennis Franz does a cameo as a guard at Abu Ghraib.
LAP PILLOW: Turnabout is fair play as Japanese men turn to bizzare anthropomorphic pillows for comfort, as Japanese women do it also.
DO I LOOK FAT? The classic question is analyzed at The Columnist Manifesto.
TEEN WHO THREW UP on TEACHER sentenced to spend the next four months cleaning up after people who throw up in police cars. Very golden rule!
THE HOME FRONT: According to a new USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll, 32 percent say the U.S. can't win the war in Iraq; 21 percent say we could win, but they don't think we will; and 43 percent predict a victory. However, by 53-46 percent, those surveyed say the invasion wasn't a mistake, the strongest support since just after the Iraqi elections in January. Unfortunately, USA Today didn't post all of the questions and results -- as it usually does -- so we can't look behind the numbers. Some are less supportive than others. Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll apologized to the family of a Marine killed in Iraq for crashing his funeral, giving out her business card and telling his aunt that "our government'' was opposed to the war. In Ohio, vandals tore American flags out of the yard of a dead soldier's family the day after his funeral, then used them to set his sister-in-law's car on fire.
CHINESE PIGS are getting Harley-Davidson tattoos.
IGUANAS are overrunning Florida. They are one of the many examples of exotic wildlife in Florida that thrive in the state's humidity - then cause problems. Walking catfish, Gambian giant pouch rats and Burmese pythons are just a few other examples of nonnative species wreaking havoc in South Florida. In the Tampa Bay area, nonnatives include Quaker parrots (those loud, green birds often seen in palm trees) and Bufo marinus toads (which can kill large dogs with their toxic secretions).
TURTLES discover there is no fury like a woman scorned.
CATS: A clever new software program will keep Mr. Cuddly's paws off your computer.
MARLIN ATTACKS TEEN: Video of the young man and the sea. He might have needed a bigger boat.