HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: With Christmas just around the corner, you might consider getting me one of these:
The price might seem a bit steep fully assembled, but the kit version is only 17 thousand.
BOB DYLAN will start a new career as a radio DJ on XM Satellite Radio next March.
ELVIS COSTELLO and ALLEN TOUSSAINT have recorded a new album in New Orleans.
SONY DRM DEBACLE is now under investigation by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the fourth such state investigation looking into whether Sony BMG violated privacy and consumer protection laws. In addition, a number of state and federal class action suits have been filed against Sony BMG.
SEASON OF THE LIST: Gorilla vs. Bear is killing music with his Top 33 songs of the year. The Minor Fall, The Major Lift lists "Music of Note" for '05, with a couple that haven't made the bulk of these lists. Canadians get more love of lists posted at Are You Familiar and pop (all love). And the lists from the staff at the Iowa State Daily are up. It seems that one critic is heavily into death metal. And indie-rock chick Katie Piepel continues the Daily tradition of obscuring one's face for the photo; she should send Jim Hemphill a royalty check. I wanted to obscure my face with one of Hemphill's columns for my staff photo, but was denied.
TOMMY: Good thing he can't read Protein Wisdom. ALSO: Part Four of "Making Hippie music more palatable to Red Staters" takes on Stephen Stills.
SNOW PATROL is starting to record their next album. Don't be surprised if it's influenced by Sufjan Stevens.
BONO is still hanging out with former Sen. Jesse Helms. The two men dined and talked about their work on fighting the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
PINK FLOYD: Guitarist David Gilmour is putting out a solo album and hitting the road. Crazy diamond Syd Barrett is getting his own DVD in February.
THE NATIONAL: I don't remember where I just saw this, but there's plenty 'o' Quicktime goodness posted at SPIN magazine.
COOLFER fronts what's New at Online Stores, with iTunes adding 11 XTC albums and nine from... Foghat.
BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB has announced tour dates, including cities where Pate members reside. If you haven't heard BRMC lately, you should check out the band's MySpace page.
SMITHS guitarist Johnny Marr and bassist Andy Rourke will perform together at an English charity show January 28 for the first time since the band split in 1987. Rumors have circulated that former Smiths frontman Morrissey will be involved in the show but at present there's no indication he will participate.
PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel will stay in the US rather than return to Britain, as a drug conviction in the UK might jeopardize her abililty to work in the States.
BRITNEY SPEARS gave Cletus the Ferrari again, but he's reportedly consulted a divorce attorney and been dumb enough to talk about it.
GAY GAUCHOS GLOM GLOBES NOMS is the headline I would write for Variety on the Golden Globe nominees announced Tuesday, of which Brokeback Mountain lassoed seven. Indeed, the Best Picture noms are all indie pics with grosses under 35 million.
KING KONG: Fwiw, Matt Drudge reports that Universal projects a 110 million dollar US opening, less than Revenge of the Sith, but more than the latest Harry Potter opening.
STACY'S MOM had to go to the hospital after suffering severe stomach cramps.
JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER: Apparently, if he cheats on her again, her dad will kill him.
HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN is accosted by someone yelling, "You ruined the Star Wars movies!" Granted, HC did seem like a block of wood, but doesn't most of the blame rest with George Lucas, who managed to make even Samuel Jackson seem stiff?
KATE BECKINSALE is doing naked webcasting for her husband when they're working apart. Where's a hacker when you need one?
PLAYBOY MODELS busted for public intoxication on a flight to San Antonio allegedly tried to wiggle out of it in exactly the way you would imagine it in Playboy's Letters section.
JULIA ROBERTS -- and a bad photo of her, at that -- does not sell as many magazines as Bradgelina or Jessica Simpson. It seems that Jann Wenner could stand to hire me as a consultant.
TIME INC. is becoming People, Inc.
SUPERMAN RETURNS, albeit less super after the visual effects crew works over his codpiece.
THE FRENCH HOTEL is trying to reconcile... with Nicole Richie.
RACHEL McADAMS: Somewhat contrary to earlier reports, she did do the nude photoshoot with Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson for Vanity Fair. That's the kind of Hollywood trouper spirit we like to see.
CRUNKS '05: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections is sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious. With special musical guest Broken Social Scene.
IRAQ: Iraqi expatriates cast absentee ballots at polling places across the US in their homeland's historic parliamentary elections, some of them excitedly lining up before the polls opened and many driving hundreds of miles. The Officers Club blogs preparations for security to protect the voters in Iraq. Bill Roggio blogs about "Jihadis, Elections and Ramadi." And Ed Wong of The New York Times finds Sunnis in Saddam's hometown are working feverishly to get out the vote, even though they largely boycotted the January elections.
LEBANON: The second Mehlis Report on the assassination of Rafik Hariri by Syrian and Lebanese security authorities has been released. Syria's response was to rant and to claim it was cooperating with the UN investigation, even while trying to drag it out for years. France submitted a draft resolution in the Security Council extending and broadening the probe to cover other assassinations in Lebanon, prompting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to implicate France in a "conspiracy" and demand France investigate the "assassination" of Yassir Arafat. Michael J. Totten, blogging from Beirut, covers the reaction to the new wave of car bomb assassinations against anti-Syrian journalists and political figures in Lebanon.
CULT OF THE iPod: A study by psychologists at the University of Leicester found that while new technology has widened people's access to music, they pay less attention to it. Adrian North, who led the researchers, believes that the unprecedented quantity of digital audio now available over the internet which is also shared with friends has led to music being "cheapened" as a commodity. ALSO: Critics say iTunes-only downloads and inflexible pricing are hurting song sales.
SPARROW UPDATE: The sparrow which was shot dead for knocking over 23,000 dominoes in the Netherlands is to go on display at Rotterdam's Natural History Museum. The bird will be placed on top of a box of dominoes. on Friday, the bird's killer was fined 200 bucks for shooting a protected species.
DEPRESSED HAMSTERS help scientists study seasonal affective disorder.
DOGS really have no need to practice circumcision, do they?
DOG PANTING while playing or anticipating a much desired walk seems to be laughing.
RAMPAGING GEESE eat a school in Romania.