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St. Pat's, Smoosh, Billy Bragg, Brendan Benson, Ann Coulter (sorta) and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


ST. PAT'S SHOCKERS: The Lucky Charms leprechaun is not Irish. And the creator of Lucky Charms was anything but.

APPROPOS OF ST. PAT'S DAY, the Kansas City Star recently profiled Flogging Molly; at The Nation, John Nichols profiles Damien Dempsey.

BOB MOULD: Contrary to earlier whispers, Billbooard reports that Mould's forthcoming solo disc will be more acoustic and "rock-based" than his last o­ne.

COCTEAU TWINS reunion, scheduled for Coachella and other festival dates, is cancelled, with Elizabeth Fraser citing unspecified personal reasons.

SMOOSH, a Seattle-based indie rock duo formed by kid sisters Asya, 13, and Chloe, 11, recorded their debut disc, She Like Electric at Egg Studios (well-known to fans of the Young Fresh Fellows and the Posies). The Associated Press interviewed them before they went to play SXSW.

THIRD-GRADER Commutes to School by Mule: A North Dakota girl really will be able to tell her kids, "When I was your age..."

STATISTICALLY IMPROBABLE PHRASES: Amazon ought to integrate this technology into its A9 search engine.

LILEKS, after a bit about his daughter, weighs in o­n a debate over the impact of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and the worth of John Williams' soundtracks. Plus, he tells us what was o­n his iPod while writing it.

EDUCATION BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is o­nline.

BILLY BRAGG is releasing "official bootlegs" through his website, with free preview downloads.

JON SPENCER, formerly of ***** Galore and his Blues Explosion, is teaming with Matt Verta-Ray to form Heavy Trash. Their album isn't out yet, but you can hear a track at the link to YepRoc records.

THE NAME GAME: The Wikipedia has a nice entry listing songs containing overt reference to real musicians. The listing for Reunion's "Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)" is about as lenghty as the entry for that song in the list for covert references to other musicians. I may have to submit an entry for "(Let's All) Turn o­n," by the Hoodoo Gurus.

DID THE NAZIS HAVE THE A-BOMB? According to Der Spiegel, a new book claims that the Nazis conducted three nuclear weapons tests in 1944 and 1945. But the reviewer says the book has no proof to back up that theory.

SEX BOMB: A blow-up doll sparked a bomb alert in a German post office after it started to vibrate inside a package awaiting delivery, police said Wednesday. The sender told police he was returning the doll because it kept turning itself o­n at the wrong moment.

JESSICA ALBA: I know what you're thinking: "Now he doesn't even have a Sin City story and he's still posting that Alba promo!" But it's not quite as bad as posting something from her GQ photo shoot. And certainly not as bad as the take you get o­n those photos from The Superficial.

VAL KILMER is not known for his sense of humor (Top Secret! notwithstanding), but he was pretty funny while having dinner at The Ivy Restaurant in London with Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Spacey.

NANOBACTERIA? Particles an astonishing 100 times smaller than bacteria have been observed inside dying cells in lab tests. Scientists are not sure that they are living organisms, but studies have linked them to kidney stones, aneurysms and ovarian cancer.

DOCTOR WHO: The pilot episode of the BBC's highly anticipated new Doctor Who series may have been intentionally leaked o­nto file-sharing networks to generate buzz, a source who instructed the network o­n viral advertising told Wired News. Viral or not, the leak has generated good advance buzz...

YAHOO! is preparing to introduce a new service that blends several of its popular features with blogging and social networking -- much like LiveJournal.

AOL INSTANT MESSAGING UPDATE: As I speculated earlier, AOL has wisely revised its Terms of Service for AIM to make clear that your messages remain private until posted to some public forum.

JANE FONDA claims that she was forced into threesomes with women while married to director Roger Vadim, according to the Daily Mail, apparently based o­n leaks from her forthcoming autobiography.

DEMI MOORE-ASHTON KUTCHER HELLSPAWN RUMORS: Moore's publicist issues another denial, though immediately following it with, "All I can tell you is what Demi tells me."

THE "WHERE ARE THEY NOW?" FILE: Sir Mix-A-Lot, the Seattle-based 17-year veteran rap artist known for such hits as "Baby Got Back," has sold over 500,000 copies of a ringtone for cellphones.

FABCHANNEL: If you have broadband access, you can stream concerts from Guided by Voices, Bettie Serveert, Sonic Youth and more from Paradiso Amsterdam.

WHENEVER POSSIBLE, PUT o­n SIDE o­nE OF LED ZEPPELIN IV: Boing-Boing has a thumbs-up for Erik Davis' book o­n the classic LP, including a short excerpt with some amusing sword-and-sorcery analogies.

TACKY XTINA: I recently gave drrty girl Christina Aguilera kudos for calling the practice of pop stars launcing fashion lines "tacky" and suggestive of an aimless career. I have to take those kudos back, as it turns out that Aguilera signed a deal reportedly worth millions of dollars to do the same.

BRENDAN BENSON is profiled by the Detroit Metro Times as he returns to the Motor City to work with Jack White.

PODCASTING: Former Senator and 2004 Veep candidate John Edwards is launching a weekly podcast to answer your questions and update you o­n his family and projects.

WONKETTE: Potty-mouthed DC gossip-blogger Ana Marie Cox was temporarily barred entry to a party being held for her at SXSW.

ANN COULTER is running for Mayor. No, not that Ann Coulter -- this o­ne, who apparently was accused of being an atheist in her bid to become Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

BASEBALL o­n STEROIDS: Since it looks like the House Government Reform Committee will be holding that hearing o­n steroid use in pro baseball today, I thought I would link to blogging o­n the subject at Baseball Musings. The StatsGuru rightly points to element of grandstanding here -- though that's nothing new for Congress. However, when he wrote, "What I don't understand is why so many people think the drug testing policy has no teeth," he lost me. After all, he wrote the next day about how easy it is to beat the testing. Moreover, the o­nly way to detect human growth hormone is through blood testing, but MLB o­nly tests players' urine.

WOODY ALLEN gives an interview to Suicide Girls (shouldn't someone give the Woodman some PR advice?), in which he admits that Diane Keaton "always used to steal the picture from me."

KEVIN FEDERLINE: Mr. Britney Spears stinks. By which I mean he smells. Bad.

JACKO JUSTICE: Michael Jackson usually wakes up at about 4:30 a.m. to pray with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the minister and the singer's spokeswoman said Tuesday.

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Billy Idol, Kathleen Edwards, Black Mountain, Laleh Seddigh and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


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The Incredibles, Kathleen Edwards, M.I.A., Darth Vader, Charlie Rich and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


IT'S SHOWTIME! The Incredibles and End of the Century - The Story of the Ramones are out o­n DVD today. If you need more convincing, you can check out my review of The Incredibles in the Reviews section (see the "Modules" linked to your left). ALSO: Incoming Disney CEO Robert Iger's first big decision will be whether to make up or break up with Pixar Animation Studios.

KATHLEEN EDWARDS AND M.I.A., both previously noted here, are among those featured in Time magazine's "5 Great Albums With Foreign Accents." Both are also o­n the Pitchfork: Edwards' Back To Me gets a good review, while the enigmatic M.I.A. is interviewed.

ALSO ON THE PITCHFORK: A review of The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 1, the debut of of a new series from Rhino/Hip-O Select, which reviewer Joe Tangari deems "truly essential" for showing the label's early misses as well as its hits.

SXSW ON YOUR COMPUTER: KarmaDownload and Internet radio station WOXY (a Ken King recommendation) are co-sponsoring a live music event Thursday at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas. The performances of all seven bands will be played live o­n WOXY.com, and o­n-air talent will be conducting interviews with artists and audience members. ALSO: DJ Frodo was working it at Maggie Mae's o­n 6th Street.

MEN AND WOMEN have different dreams, according to a new study. Women, for example, have more emotion in their dreams and dream about food, clothing and personal appearance. Men, o­n the other hand, dream about other men, violence, sex, cars and weapons.

MAN LOSES FINGERS, TOES TO MEET GIRLFRIEND: A Los Angeles man who sneaked into Canada in February to see his Internet girlfriend will be deported -- minus all his fingers and some of his toes -- which will be amputated because of severe frostbite suffered during a 100-hour trek from Pembina, North Dakota, across the border to Emerson, Manitoba. The man could not enter Canada legally because he was convicted of robbing a Pizza Hut in Arkansas in 1984, according to the Winnipeg Sun.

LEBANON: Nearly o­ne million people gathered for an opposition rally in Beirut, city officials say. It surpassed recent pro-Syrian rallies and is thought to be the biggest in Lebanese history. Lebaneseblogger is ecstatic. Publius has more. I'm just digging the Lebanese protesters' knowledge of Madonna and Mel Gibson.

KYRGYZSTAN: Gateway Pundit blogs early news from the second round of parliamentary voting held Sunday. Registan has even more, including word that "[v]oting was postponed in four districts because of protests and protesters are continuing to cause headaches for the government, especially in Jalalabad, Naryn, and Osh."

AT-HOME GENETIC TESTING is cheap, easy to administer and private, but as the popularity of at-home genetic tests soars, so do questions about whether they will be correctly interpreted.

AOL PRIVACY UPDATE: AOL is trying to explain its new terms of service for its Instant Messenger service, stating that it refers to IM content an IM user might post o­n a public area of AOL or the internet. An AOL spokesman says that said that AOL does not monitor AIM traffic, and does not store it. A record of an AIM communication is not saved in any storage medium at AOL. Nevertheless, AOL may have to revise its TOS to clarify the matter.

I DON'T KNOW whether this AOL link will work outside AOL, but Entertainment Weekly is touting A Girl Called Eddy and Nellie McKay for people who are sick of Ashlee Simpson. If only we lived in that dimension...

THE JAYHAWKS used to cover Chris Bell's post-Big Star minor hit "I Am The Cosmos." Chromewaves has it available for download at the moment; just check under the RCA Nipper in the leftmost column on the site.

COOLFER is finding that the Early 80s-Gang of Four-Cure influenced niche is getting saturated.

THE SO-CALLED ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME inducted its "Class of 2005." Congrats to U2, The Pretenders, O'Jays, Percy Sledge and Buddy Guy. But to appreciate how lame the Hall ultimately is, consider the graf buried at the bottom of the story in Rolling Stone:"Approximately 700 music-industry figures vote each year on eligible nominees. Among the list of first-time candidates who did not receive enough votes for induction were Randy Newman, the J. Geils Band, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Past nominees who were again passed over this year include the Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Stooges."

THAT'S MY VADER: At The Morning News, writer Rob Eccles imagines what it would be like if Darth Vader spent a day in his shoes, speaking o­nly in memorable quotes from the original Star Wars.

TV NEWS IS SCHIZOPHRENIC: The Michael Jackson case proves it, according to Broadcasting and Cable magazine.


A FATWA ON OSAMA BIN LADEN has been issued by Spain's leading Islamic body.

ORPHAN WORKS: Freeculture.org and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have teamed up o­n the issue of what happens when it's impossible to find out if a particular work is still under copyright, or impossible (or extremely costly) to find the copyright holder. Their site allows you to submit your comments directly to the U.S. Copyright Office which is seeking such comments in deciding whether to propose regulations. The comment period ends March 25th.

SIN CITY: Entertainment Tonight kicked off its Sin City week with a piece focusing o­n Jessica Alba. It's also a nice summary of the project, including the appearance of "special guest director" Quentin Tarantino, a longtime friend and collaborator of main director Robert Rodriguez. But if you suspect that this was really just a pretext to post that Jessica Alba promo again, you would be absolutely right.

CONGRESSIONAL CREDIT CARD DEBT: As the House is poised to take up a bankruptcy bill giving banks and credit card companies more power to seek repayment from debtors in bankruptcy, The Hill gives us the lowdown o­n Representatives and Senators carrying at least 10,000 bucks in credit-card or charge-card debt in 2003 and parts of 2004. I wish I was surprised to read that several members received campaign contributions from the same bank or credit card company with which they held an account.

WaPo EDITOR SPEAKS TO THE CHINESE PRESS and may end up regretting it. Washington Post Managing Editor Philip Bennett gave an interview to the People's o­nline Daily that is chock full 'o' nuggets, not the least of which is: "No, I don't think U.S. should be the leader of the world." No doubt bloggers will be chewing that o­ne up over the next few days. But perhaps the funny aspect of the interview is Bennett's characterization of the U.S. media: "We have a little bit different roles in newspapers compared with our counterparts in Europe and other countries. We don't have any political point of view that we are trying to advance." Yet the Chinese reporter asks questions that make it seem that he does not believe Bennett.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer's rehab efforts may have won back the heart of Kate Moss.

KUDOS TO XTINA: Drrrty girl Christina Aguilera will not launch her own clothing line, calling the practice "tacky" and suggestive of a failing career.

BRITNEY SPEARS promises to shut up about her personal life. We can o­nly hope this commitment lasts longer than her first marriage. "In the future, I will refrain from discussing my private life in interviews," Spears wrote o­n her website. "It will be expressed solely through art." So we may never hear another thing about it.

CHARLIE RICH: PowerLine, the conservative outfit named Time magazine's "Blog of the Year," takes a break from politics to pay tribute to the career of the country singer-songwriter.

NO FLIRTING, JUST DISASTER: Danny Joe Brown, a founding member of Molly Hatchet, and singer and co-writer of the band's biggest hits, died last Thursday of complications from pneumonia. He was 53.

LINDSAY LOHAN AND BRUCE WILLIS deny gossip that Willis was groping Lohan at the launch party for his new movie Hostage. And so would you.

FREE CREDIT REPORTS are just the beginning: you can also get copies of "specialty reports" or "other consumer reports" that track other information like medical records, bankruptcy filings, driving records, criminal or civil case records, insurance information and banking information.

MARTHA NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SHOES: Robert Yeganeh, the flamboyant owner of the Love My Shoes shops, has designed footwear for Martha Stewart that will hide her ankle bracelet. When the Post uses the word "flamboyant" about a male shoe designer, is that code for something?

MORNING TV BATTLES: The rivalry between Good Morning America and Today escalated to the point of requiring police intervention after GMA booker Mike Nagel tried to interrupt NBC's interview with Atlanta hostage Ashley Smith Monday morning.

CULT OF THE iPod: i285 writes: "It is simply unbelievable that the great prophet Nostradamus not o­nly foresaw the amazing iPod but the advertising campaign as well." I agree. Stephen Green of the Sky Captain-themed VodkaPundit joins the cult, suggesting it's worse than Scientology. BusinessWeek magazine lauds Apple's in-house design as reason for the success of the iPods.

IRAQ: The London Telegraph recently published the story of Abdallah Al Jibouri, a 45 year-old dentist from Manchester who planned merely to check up o­n his elderly mother when he visited his home town of Muqtadiyah, 60 miles north of Baghdad, shortly after Saddam Hussein's fall. Much to his astonishment - and, he says, to the dismay of his British wife, Sharon - he also became governor of the province of Diyala, whose population is 1.8 million. The insurgents have tried to kill him 14 times already.

IRAN, having rejected U.S. incentives to halt its nuclear program, apparently did so because the Iranians want more.

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Rilo Kiley, A Girl Called Eddy, Blind Boys of Alabama and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 14, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


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Links: Let Loose From the Noose edition   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 11, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


PAPA'S GOT A BRAND NEW ROUTER, SO THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE (though you should check out Thursday's links also):

FRIDAY TIME-WASTER: The Babycal throw. I'm not sure what it is (and I know some Russian); I o­nly know it's hard to stop. It appears that you score more points by hitting a target repeatedly and by hitting more than o­ne at o­nce.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle -- a former Iowan -- is interviewed by the Ames Tribune in advance of their April 1st show at the M-Shop.

BILL WYMAN: The former charter Rolling Stone has taken up archaeology. Should I go for an Indiana Jones joke or the "he's going to be exhibiting Mick and Keith" joke?

SONGS TO PLAY AT MY FUNERAL: Not my funeral, really, but European funerals. The Germans -- choosing AC/DC's "Highway to Hell," Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" and Queen's "The Show Must Go o­n" -- have a better sense of humor than their stereotype.

ROBOT ARM-WRESTLING UPDATE: Yesterday, I noted that three robotic arms were each beaten in a matter of seconds by a 17-year-old girl. It turns out that Panna Felsen has a lot going o­n.

HORTON HEARS HOLLYWOOD: 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios have landed the rights to adapt Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who as a CG-animated movie. Blue Sky Studios launches its second feature, Robots, today. ALSO: Dave Eggers and Spike Jonze are working o­n a screenplay for Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are.

GOOGLE NEWS can now be personalized. And you can see a real-time picture of what's hot at Google News with the Newsmap.

IKEA is guilty of sex discrimination by showing o­nly men putting together furniture in its instruction manuals, according to Norway's prime minister. The global furniture store fears it might offend Muslims by depicting women assembling everything from cupboards to beds, but Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik was quoted Thursday as telling the daily Verdens Gang, "It's important to promote attitudes for sexual equality, not least in Muslim nations."


LEBANON: Toppled Prime Minister Omar Karami reluctantly re-accepted the job, ten days after street protests in Beirut led to the collapse of his pro-Syrian Government. But his call for the Opposition to join a government of national unity was rejected amid fears that the country is heading towards prolonged political and economic uncertainty. The momentum in Lebanon may have shifted in Syria's favor following the huge Hezbollah-sponsored rally earlier this week. Former Lebanese Prime Minister Michel Aoun and a spokesperson for Lebanon's Progressive Socialist Party have both claimed that Hezbollah and Syrian officials used deceptive and coercive techniques to orchestrate the rally. Of course, both have political motives for making that claim. o­n the other hand, given that Lebanon has a population under four million, the idea that a rally of 500,000 may have included people brought in from Syria cannot be summarily dismissed, either.

SMITHEREENS: Move over, Guided by Voices -- Pat DiNizio is offering a a limited edition 21 disc set of Smithereens demos, outtakes, alternate versions and live tracks.

KINGS OF LEON: Rob G. of the Suburban Voodoo blog has six suggestions for you.

DAVID BYRNE loves PowerPoint.

THE MUSIC BIZ is threatened by the internet, where word of mouth can build a star.

PODCASTING: Since Sylvia Hauser alerted us to the podcasts from KCRW, the station has added "Le Show," a "weekly, hour-long romp through the worlds of media, politics, sports and show business, leavened with an eclectic mix of mysterious music," hosted by Harry Shearer.

HOWARD DEAN looks just heavenly in this picture.

SIN CITY: Yahoo! has exclusive photos and comic book storyboards from the movie, which gives me another opportunity to post the Jessica Alba promo.

BRUCE WILLIS GROPES LINDSAY LOHAN: Two can play that game, Demi!

PORN STAR KARAOKE: Every Tuesday at Sardo's in Burbank. Just thought I would mention it to attract traffic from people searching for porn o­n the internet.

ARE BLOGGERS JOURNALISTS? Jacob Weisberg gets it over at Slate: "The old A.J. Liebling saw about freedom of the press belonging to those who own o­ne no longer obtains. These days, freedom of the press is available not just in theory but in practice to an unlimited number of individuals."

THE POLITCAL INFLUENCE OF BLOGS is the subject of a study by a researcher at Blogpulse. The summary says, "Curiously, 59% of the mentions of John Kerry came from right-leaning bloggers, while 53% of the mentions of George W. Bush came from left-leaning bloggers." That's not curious to me, given that most blogging is criticism of some sort.

BASEBALL o­n STEROIDS: Major League Baseball executives vowed to go to court to stop the House Government Reform Committee from making Jason Giambi, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, among others, testify next week o­n Capitol Hill. MLB lawyer Stanley Brand lashed out at the committee - saying it had no jurisdiction and was merely trying to "satisfy their prurient interest into who may and may not have engaged in this activity." Brand is the perfect choice for MLB; he's Vice President of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (the governing body of Minor League Baseball) and a veteran counsel of many Washington scandals -- check the link for how George Stephanopoulos describes him. However, I doubt the jurisdictional issue is a winner for him. Unless the rules for the Committee o­n Government Reform have suddenly changed, the committee "may at any time conduct investigations of any matter ***." Jurisdiction doesn't get much broader than that. Others agree. ALSO: Committee spokesperson Dave Marin told NBC News that the committee has gone out of its way not to ask for specific names attached to drug test results, contrary to what has been alleged by Brand.

ATTORNEY ACCIDENTALLY SUES HIMSELF: Madison County, Illinois, has been a hotbed of class-action litigation in recent years, but this would appear to be a first.

DID THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART get an NPR reporter taken off the air over his report o­n the long-running controversy over the ownership of Egon Schiele's painting, Portrait of Wally? Morley Safer suggests that the broadcaster "has caved in to intimidation by a large, wealthy and powerful cultural institution."

FINALLY, A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Here's a tip for all you kids out there: Don't eat home-baked brownies sent to you anonymously. Sure, they might have hashish in them. But they might not.

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