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Graham Parker, SxSW, Covers, Advance Meat Puppets, Unicorn   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

GRAHAM PARKER released a new album this week -- featuring "Stick To The Plan" -- which I forgot to mention the other day.  To make up for it, I tracked down the videos for two of his best-known songs, "Local Girls" and the Motown-esque "Wake Up (NextTo You)," as well as a clip of Parker playing "Discovering Japan" and ""Temporary Beauty" Billy Bragg-style at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music from late 2005. 

SxSW:  The big music fest is underway in Austin, TX.  The Hoodoo Gurus feature in Variety's coverage of the kickoff.  Rolling Stone's blog has the obligatory "has the festival gotten too mainstream and corporate?" piece, which is pretty funny, given that SxSW was first an industry gathering.  The fest certainly has become much more tech-savvy over the years.  Selected gigs will be on DirectTV, including The Buzzcocks, Annuals, The Polyphonic Spree, Peter Bjorn & John and more.  Even more gigs are streaming live and on demand from NPR as part of its extensive coverage, including PB&J, Apples in Stereo, Robyn Hitchcock, Steve Earle, The Stooges, Okkervil River and more...

GOOD COVERS, BAD COVERS:  The A.V. Club inventories "14 cover songs that are better than the originals," while USA Today's Whitney Matheson came up with a list of 20 quality covers in response to Cracked's list of "The 20 Worst Cover Songs in Pop Music History," which has embedded multimedia.

TEGAN & SARA, The Cinematics, and Mute Match are playing live in the current installment of Spinner's 3x3.

THE MEAT PUPPETS:  Curt Kirkwood talks to Stereogum about his band's new lineup and upcoming album.  Curt gave the 'gum "Disappear" as an advance track.

IT'S TIME TO DO THE "TIGHTEN UP":  Spinner claims that soulster Archie Bell was recuperating from a leg wound in an Army hospital in Germany when "Tighten Up" topped the charts in 1968... and that other soldiers convalescing at the hospital didn't believe that he was the Archie Bell.  Bell gives a different account on the Charles Snider Show, also explaining that the tune was indirectly inspired by his draft induction notice.  And if you watch a clip of Archie Bell & The Drells from back in the day, you can see a young Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn playing the guitar and bass. 

LESLIE FEIST and EMILY HAINES may be pursuing solo projects while Broken Social Scene is on hiatus, but they were seriously funny on the topic of women in rock when they crossed paths in London.

INDIE SELLS OUT:  The latest band to lend its music to a commercial is Animal Collective, whose "Sweet Road" is heard in an ad for Crayola crayons.

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE QUEEN -- the project featuring Blur frontman Damon Albarn, The Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Afrobeat pioneer and drummer Tony Allen and former Verve guitarist Simon Tong -- played Washington, DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream the gig from NPR now.

FATS DOMINO gets an update on the restoration of his home in post-Katrina N'awlins.  The place is getting fixed up by the Tipitina's Foundation, which which helped scores of musicians after the storm find housing and new instruments.  The project will cost upward of $100,000 -- at least some of which will come from a Fats tribute album featuring Elton John, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, B.B. King and others.

BRITNEY SPEARS has hooked up with a musician she met in AA, and plans to move in with him once she's out of rehab, according to the upcoming National Enquirer.  That tab's Mike Walker also reports that Justin Timberlake is getting a bit miffed at people asking him to help her.  The pop tart is also reported to be quitting rehab two days early to attend estranged hubby Fed-Ex's 29th birthday party.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday to adopt a boy from Vietnam.  Indeed, she may have sealed the deal by the time you read this.

DREW BARRYMORE was caught canoodling with director Spike Jonze during a romantic date in Santa Monica. 

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is in the running to play Nellie Forbush in a sexy revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, according to the New York Post.

ELLEN DeGENERES and PORTIA de ROSSI are getting married in June (though presumably not legally married), according to the National Enquirer.  Portia reportedly grilled Ellen about her marriage intentions and forced her to set a date.

AMERICAN IDOL:  Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest were throwing the gay innuendo around freely the other night.  Maybe they can get Ann Coulter to be a guest judge.  Is it all downhill frome here for the hit show?

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  According to super-reliable Star magazine, Cruise thinks Holmes is straying from Scientology and would like her to have a five-hour sauna session and a vegetable oil enema to help get her mind right.

HOLLYWOOD'S DRUG PROBLEM is nothing new, but in a frightening turn, it appears to have become more publicly accepted.  Mischa Barton, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Kirsten Dunst, were a bit more old skool bout things last week in NYC, partying until Barton puked... and then partying some more.

FERGIE:  The Black Eyed Peas frontwoman was banned from boarding a jet in L.A. for being drunk.

ASHTON KUTCHER is flacking for NBC's new reality series The Real Wedding Crashers, but the network told the press not to ask him any "personal" questions -- a request that is reigniting those Demi Moore pregnancy rumors.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA has revealed she likes to play naughty doctors-and-nurses sex games with her music producer husband Jordan Bratman... to a soundtrack by Radiohead?

AUSTRALIA'S TOP MUSLIM CLERIC, who used a Ramadan sermon to complain about long sentences for gang rape and to compare immodestly dressed women to uncovered meat, suggesting they invited sexual assault, is urgently working on the creation of "The Australian Peace Party."

IRAN:  London-based Arabic newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reports that Tehran has lost contact with a senior Iranian officer serving in Iraq and that dozens of members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and military intelligence units have defected to the US forces in Iraq over the past three years.  The government is also outraged by the smash movie 300.

IRAQ:  US troop fatalities are down 60 percent since the start of the new security plan in Baghdad, even though the plan puts the troops directly in contested areas of the capital.  (Iraqi numbers were even rosier) Car bombs blamed on al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab terrorists spiked in February, though another day since Coalition efforts to disrupt the bomb factories has passed without a spectacular attack.  There has been a slight uptick in violence in the past few days, however, and it is possible that terrorists will have something planned for the fourth anniversary of the Coalition's invasion.  IraqSlogger reports on the decline of Al Qaeda in Anbar province.  The Times of London reports on former Prime Minister Allawi's attempted comeback with a new secular political bloc, though regular Pate visitors should already know about it.  Iraqi security forces captured a top al-Qaeda leader in Mosul, local television said.  Richard Miniter has an unconfirmed report that the US is talking disarmament with commanders of the Mahdi Army.

HASSENFEFFER the BEAGLE was rescued from a 125-foot-tall mountain ledge by a six-man team from the Blount County Fire Department in Tennessee.  He has since been reunited with his owner.

TWO STRAY CATS attacked three people after they got into a house in North Platte, Nebraska.  Brian Setzer claims to have an alibi.

SUICIDE SQUIRREL takes down the grid in the wild and wooly rodeo town of Pendleton, Oregon.

AKILI the GORILLA came from Germany to Amsterdam to impregnate three previously unlucky females.  Artis Zoo spokesman Bart Kret said that the first offspring appears to be "very heavy and hairy, with very thick arms," making him a master of the obvious.

SNAKE in a PRESS BOX at the Mets-Indians spring training game on Tuesday.  How popular are sportswriters?  "As the snake slithered across notebooks and laptop computers in the bottom of the fourth inning, fans stood up and laughed as they gazed into the press area."

UNICORNS don't let friends drive drunk.

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Arthur Conley, Sniff 'N' The Tears, REM, The Un-definitive 200, KIller Frogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

DO YOU LIKE GOOD MUSIC?  You know, "Sweet Soul Music," by Arthur Conley.

MORE ROCK HALL REDUX:  Spinner has now broken out a number of individual video clips from the induction ceremonies.  So if you wanted to skip right to the REM stuff including their take on Iggy Pop's "I Wanna Be Your Dog" with Patti Smith, you can do it.

SUE TUBE:  Viacom, which demanded that YouTube remove 100,000 infringing clips last month, has now filed a lawsuit against the Google-owned video-sharing site.

BRIGHT EYES:  Conor Oberst was the latest guest DJ on NPR's All Songs Considered, featuring songs from the new EP alongside The Cure, Jackson Browne and more.

THE FLAMING LIPS are in talks with Broadway producer Des McAnuff (the Who's Tommy, Jersey Boys)  about a Broadway version of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  I will trust Ken King to notify Craig O'Neill that I have found the clip for "Driver's Seat," by Sniff 'N' The Tears.

R.E.M. :  The four original members have covered John Lennon's "Instant Karma" as the title track of a charity album benefiting Amnesty International's campaign to end the Darfur genocide.  Rolling Stone's blog has an audio interview with REM on the day of their induction into the R&R Hall of Fame.

THE DEFINITIVE 200 -- a list of "200 ranked albums everyone should own"-- was developed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers in celebration of the art form of the record album.  It's probably easier to see the whole list at once via the R&R Hall of Fame.  The list is supposed to be comprised of original albums and soundtracks, with no "greatest hits" collections or "Now"-type compilations.  It's a rule that allows Saturday Night Fever onto the list, along with many lesser soundtracks.  And it's a rule NARM skirts in putting Elvis Presley At Sun on the list.  The Sand Diego Untion-Tribune lists the list's more obvious flaws and omissions, though it incorrectly reports that John Coltrane is omitted (A Love Supreme checks in at No. 78).  Lists are intended to stimulate debate, but any list that includes four Metallica albums, Creed, and the Forrest Gump soundtrack, while leaving out the Ramones, Elvis Costello, The Smiths, Talking Heads, Tom Waits, The Velvet Undergorund, The Byrds and The Kinks is hardly a definitive list of what everyone should own.

THE ONE AM RADIO gets an audio feature on the World Cafe that you can stream from NPR.

LEVON HELM  former drummer for The Band, is suing a Manhattan advertising firm over the use of the band's signature song, "The Weight," in a television commercial for Cingular.

JOHNNY DEPP has vowed not to return to the set of Sweeney Todd until his daughter is fully recovered from her mystery illness.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, so look for original vampire slayer Kristy Swanson to play a faux-Smith when the model's sad death is ripped from the headlines on Law & Order.

SYLVESTER STALLONE faces a drug charge in Australia.  Rocky allegedly tried to import 48 vials of a restricted human growth hormone when he arrived in Sydney last month.

REGIS PHILBIN is taking a leave of at least five weeks from Live with Regis & Kelly undergo heart bypass surgery.  "Had a nice chat with Dave (Letterman), he highly recommends it," Philbin joked.  "He would like to do it again, I think."

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO'S bodyguards were reported to have been arrested after a scuffle with photographers in Jerusalem, but it turns out they were just taken to a local police station for questioning.  After police got things sorted out, a TRO was issued to keep photogs away from Leo and his gf, supermodel Bar Rafaeli.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  It appears her Dad was due to be sprung from prison.  Once known as the "Hollywood Dad from Hell," he's now an ordained minister, ready to spread the word and "make amends for his past mistakes."  I wonder what he would say about Lohan being spotted with Jude Law at all hours of the hight.  And what he would say about a report that she was spotted drinking beer in a club last weekend.  Or the report of Li-Lo running over a photographer in NYC.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  The pneumatic blonde's envy over her sister's current success has Jessica calling Ashlee's new look "trampy."

POST SECRET:  There is no way of knowing whether one of these celebs is hiding a baby, but that hasn't stopped folks from speculating.  The name of the relevant picture file is intriguing.

DEMI MOORE and ASHTON KUTCHER are facing a new round of pregnancy rumors.

GREEN MOVIES:  The New York Times notes that a slew of upcoming releases have environmental themes, including The Simpsons Movie and the remake of The Creature From the Black Lagoon.  Yet the same paper on the same day has an article on scientists alarmed at what the alarmism of Al Gore and his three-alarm film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.

EVANGELINE LILLY:  Wednesday is a good day to point y'all to a picture of the Lost hottie almost losing her bikini bottom in the surf.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is outraged by a pr0nographic comic book depicting her having sex with Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp... all in their Pirates of the Caribbean regalia.  Disney was reported to be considering taking legal action, but these things have a way of leaking all over the Internet.  BTW, that last link is SFW, but beyond that...

FRENCH JEWS, fearing persecution from militant Muslims, are flocking to Florida.  The latest State Department human rights report, issued last week, cited more anti-Semitic incidents in France during the first nine months of 2006 than during the same period in 2005 -- but fewer than in the first nine months of 2004.

IRAN:  Major powers moved closer to agreement on a modest package of new sanctions against Iran likely to include an embargo on Iranian arms exports and an asset freeze on more individuals and companies associated with Tehran's nuclear and missile programs.  Iran's Foreign Minister said the nation was prepared to offer "necessary" guarantees on its nuclear program -- if the issue is withdrawn from the UN Security Council.

IRAQ:  Gen. David Petraeus tells USA Today that Coalition forces have detained about 700 members of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in Baghdad; a White House memo said 16,000 suspected insurgents are already being held by allied forces.  A Washington Post article by Thomas Ricks claiming that the February 2006 Samarra mosque bombing was not a major tipping point for the war is thoroughly debunked by Evan Kohlmann at the Counterterrorism Blog.  Coalition forces completed a nine-day sweep throughout Baghdad to disrupt the city's car bomb network.  For the moment, it seems to have disrupted the bomb factories, as there have been no VBIED attacks in the 48 hours since, as I write this.  Al-Sabbah reports that Coalition forces are planning to launch a campaign against terrorists in Diyala province (The AP now reports 700 troops have already arrived there.)  Acting on a tip, seven people were arrested over suicide bomb attacks on Shiite pilgrims in the central city of Hilla that left around 120 dead.  Many Iraqis will put their ethnic and sectarian differences aside for two hours tomorrow to unite in rooting for their national soccer team in its Olympic soccer qualifying match against North Korea.

KILLER FROGS are threatening the lily pond in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.  They're clawed!  They're carnivorous!  They're cannibalistic!  Let's go to the video.

SQUIRREL NEWS:  Albino Squirrels vie to become one of the "Seven Wonders of Illinois."  Meanwhile, in Cape Town, South Africa, city officials are denying the rumor that that the city council wants to put squirrels on the pill.

CATS:  A new study shows that they do not like men with long beards, especially long dark beards.  And they are confused by goatees and Van Dykes.

CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE?  No, but the dog has this boy's lip.

A LEGLESS PANDA needs a hand to help her sex life.  The "legless" joke writes itself.

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New Releases, Zombies, Bangles, Pipettes, Suicide Squirrrels   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE FRATELLIS are a British band that have been getting blog buzz stateside, particularly since they landed the latest iPod commercial.  But I prefer, the longform version of "Flathead" which features pin-ups as well as silhouettes -- so sue me.  More on them in the next item...

NEW RELEASES:  Neil Young, Amy Winehouse, the Fratellis and Rosie Thomas are all streaming in full via Spinner this week.  Stax Records also has its 50th Anniversary compilation out today.

ROCK HALL REDUX:  Patti Smith reflected on her induction into the R&R Hall of Fame in The New York Times and there's info on her upcoming covers album in the New York Daily News.  Also in the local love category is "R.E.M. in the Hall," filled with photos, videos, interviews and such at Online Athens.  The Gainesville times gets reflections on REM from Pylon's Michael Lachowski.  NPR has posted archival interviews with Patti Smith, Ronnie Spector, and REM , as well as an audio feature on Grandmaster Flash.  You can get the blow-by-blow account of the evening -- complete with REM's Pete Buck launching his busted amp into the crowd -- via Spinner, where you can also watch the show on demand, starting with The Ronettes (backed by Paul Shaffer and a Wall of Sound) on "Baby, I Love You," "Walking In The Rain" (one of my faves) and (natch) "Be My Baby." Shaffer then reads a congratulatory note from Phil Spector to a shocked audience.  That's followed by a video of Hall of Fame highlights that almost justifies the existence of the institution.  Which reminds me to mention that if you follow that last link, you can get hooked up to past performances also.

THE ZOMBIES:  Colin Blunstone does an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle that begins with a discussion of the current popularity of zombies in general, but gets around to the subject of musical history.

GREGG ALLMAN, relaxing in Savannah, GA, tells PopMatters about how the Allman Brothers came to embrace improvisational jams, his distaste for how CDs and the iPod have affected music, and who he digs now.

THE BANGLES are "Going Down To Liverpool" to do nothing with Mr. Spock.  The song was written by once-and-future Soft Boy Kimberley Rew for Katrina and the Waves.  Add "Hero Takes A Fall," the single from their major label debut, and you have your Twofer Tuesday.

DEAN & BRITTA comment on a few of the fabled boy-girl pairs who came before them for the Boston Globe.  They cite Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg, whcih I think seals that the latest D&B video was inspired by ol' Serge.

THE PIPETTES are getting rave reviews for their first North American gigs in Toronto and Brooklyn, NYC.  Yummy pics at both links, too!  The ladies also score a "Song of the Day" slot at NPR with one of their lesser-known tunes, "The Burning Ambition of the Early Diuretics."  And you can stream their album from the official website.

CHARLIE LOUVIN:  The Phoenix thinks that the Country Music Hall of Famer's new self-titled album is a "missed opportunity," but you can listen to his rendition of "Great Atomic Power" with Jeff Tweedy to get a feel for it yourself.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel whisked the troubled singer off in a helicopter for a spring time picnic for his 28th birthday; both were spotted sporting rings on their wedding fingers.  For someone dating Doherty, it's odd to read that Moss views her four-year-old daughter Lila as a "partner in crime."

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills has agreed to accept a million divorce settlement from Sir Paul, dropping her demand for sole custody of the couple's daughter, Beatrice, and getting one of the ex-Beatle's homes, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.  The Daily Mail, meanwhile, has pics of Mills practicing for Dancing With the Stars that hold out the promise that she will be wearing silly outfits.

MADONNA reportedly will be doing a nude scene when she appears on FX's Nip/Tuck.  Cue Claude Rains.

SNOOP DOGG was busted in Stockholm, Sweden for suspected narcotics use.  Cue Claude Rains.

ELIZABETH HURLEY'S big fat Indian wedding was marred by a scuffle between journalists and security guards.

TOM BRADY and GISELE BUNDCHEN, contrary to prior gossip, are not expecting a child.  The couple is buying a house in New York and building a nursery in it -- for his expected child by Bridget Mynihan -- according  to the National Enquirer.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Did a nightclub's security cameras capture the pop tart partying hard with the club's female dancers?  The club says no, but a source tells NYDN's Rush & Molloy that "If that thing goes on the Internet, there's going to be big trouble. It might be what they need to take Spears' kids away from her."  The UK's super-reliable Daily Express reports that Spears  has confessed to doctors that she has been suffering from bulimia since she was 16.

SIENNA MILLER took on the stalkerazzi at NYC nightclub Plumm, seizing a photog's camera and deleting photos of her living it up at a performance by her new rocker boyfriend, Jamie Burke.

PAM ANDERSON & TOMMY LEE reuniting?  Or just french kissing each other goodbye?

OPRAH WINFREY'S newly-opened school in South Africa is so strict that it's freaking out the students' parents.

JENNIFER LOPEZ and MARC ANTHONY are rumored to be fighting over having kids and Scientology.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise reportedly tried to convince CNN's Larry King of the virtues of Scientology and took King on a personal tour of a church exhibit that attacks psychiatry.

WHO ARE THOSE GUYS?  An elite group of Native American trackers called the Shadow Wolves may be joining the hunt for Osama bin Laden and other top terror masters.

ANDY ROONEY suggests that the US Army and Navy is increasingly comprised of "losers" from "the botton of the barrel."  In reality, the average reading level of new soldiers is roughly a full grade level higher than their civilian peers and enlistees' high school graduation rate is 17 percent higher than their civilian peers.  And despite issuing more so-called "moral waivers," misconduct by our troops appears to be declining in recent years as recruit quality has generally improved.  Rooney's rant does not seem to be motivated by antiwar sentiment so much as a personal hatred he had for serving in the Army during WWII.  Ironically, he notes that many of the people he served with -- now often called "the greatest generation" -- are people he thinks would have needed moral waivers today.

IRAN:  Russia announced indefinite delays to a joint nuclear power project and accused Tehran of abusing its goodwill.  Russia's main news agencies all quoted "an informed source" as complaining: "We are suffering losses in terms of foreign policy and our image while they stand their ground... If they do not respond to the questions of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), let them answer for themselves."  The state-run press claimed the family of missing former deputy defense minister Ali Reza Asgari visited the Turkish embassy in Tehran and accused the US and Israel of kidnapping him.  And they apparently produced photos of the family.

IRAQ:  At ITM, Mohammed writes that Iraqis weren't very tuned in to the Baghdad conference, while Omar writes about the IED fragment that landed in his yard.  Controversial Sunni Arab politician Salih al-Mutlaq talked to Radio Free Europe about former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's efforts to build a new nonsectarian, nonethnic political bloc.  Allawi's current party was one objecting to the debate of a draft law on oil and gas on the agenda of the Iraqi Parliament's session on Monday.  A senior figure in al-Qaeda in Iraq was arrested on Monday northeast of Baghdad, the official spokesman of the city's new security plan said.  The L.A. Times has a piece on how the new plan's round-the-clock security generates tips which lead to small victories that are the hallmark of classic counter-insurgency tactics.  One example in the story has a US spy drone surveilling a high-value target who was shacked up with a prostitute.  In a new tactic, the Islamic State of Iraq burned both Sunni and Shiite homes in a neighborhood of Muqdadiya, a city in Diyala Province.  Al-Mada claimed that the pro-government clans have completely expulsed Al Qaeda fighters from downtown Ramadi; if true, this would be extremely significant... but other outlets have not confirmed the story, possibly due to attacks on phone service in the city.

SUICIDE SQUIRRELS:  The threat is finally recognized in the USA Today.  Across the pond, folks are spearheading the European Squirrel Initiative to address the grey squirrel threat.

MAN SAVES BULLDOG with mouth-to-snout action.

PET HOARDING AS EDUCATION:  A kindergarten teacher known as the "Critter Lady" and her menagerie including a boa constrictor, turtles, frogs, small mammals and a monster toad were shaken up in a two-car collision while en route to a wildlife lecture in NYC.

DON'T BRING YOUR CAT to your child exploitation sting/arrest, please.  As it involves a 14-year-old, I'm skipping the obvious punchlines.

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Brad Delp RIP, Squeeze, Phil Spector, Dog vs. Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 12, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

BRAD DELP, the lead singer for the band Boston, was found dead Friday in his home in southern New Hampshire. He was 55.   Police said an incident report would not be available until today.  On Friday night, the band's website was taken down and replaced with the statement: "We just lost the nicest guy in rock and roll." The Boston Globe's Steve Morse, who had known Delp since the group first played the Boston Garden in 1977, agrees, as does Brett Milano of the Boston Herald.  Bandmate and brother-in-law Barry Goudreau has posted a message at his website also.  The band was rumored to be planning a summer reunion tour.  The man had an amazing voice, introduced to most of us on the instant classic, "More Than A Feeling."

GRAVE MEN:  Coincidentally, John Harris just visited UK rockers' grave sites for London's Guardian.  Pic of a black dog visiting John Bonham's resting place at the link.

JAMES BROWN was finally laid to rest Saturday in a crypt emblazoned with the words "Godfather of Soul," according to the Rev. Al Sharpton.  Yes, Anna Nicole Smith managed to die and get buried in the time between Brown's death and funeral.  And JB's sopt is reportedly temporary.

THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME Induction Ceremonies will be streaming via Spinner tonight at 8:30 EST.  Plenty of of R&R Hall goodies at Spinner also, as I noted last Thursday.  The ceremonies will also be televised on VH1 Classic and its high-definition MTV sister channel, MHD.  L.A. Times critic Robert Hilburn lists who he thinks should be "deductees" from the Rock Hall.  REM's Mike Mills fears the band may have to play a Van Halen medley.

PTICHFORK MUSIC FEST tickets go onsale today at noon CST.  Confirmed acts so far include Cat Power, Iron & Wine, Grizzly Bear, and Of Montreal.

WILCO is unfazed by the leaks from their upcoming Sky Blue Sky album.  Indeed, the band has always had a laid-back attitude about such things on the assumption that their fans will ultimately support them financially.  So far, they have been right.

SQUEEZE has jumped on the reunion tour bandwagon and will play UK shows under that name this fall for the first time since 1999.  So far, no word on who will be joining Difford & Tilbrook, or whether they will be coming to North America.  In the meantime, you can pick from among "Up the Junction" (from Top of the Pops), "Cool For Cats," "Black Coffee In Bed," "Is That Love" (again from TotP), "Tempted," a live take on "Take Me I'm Yours," and "Hourglass."

THE PHIL SPECTOR TAPES:  London's Telegraph is posting audio from an interview conducted just 36 hours before actress Lana Clarkson was shot dead in the legendary producer's mansion.

THE BEST INDIE SONGS EVER:  Rolling Stone's blog is taking nominations.

THE BESNARD LAKES make "Song of the Day" at NPR with "Disaster," which is anything but: "When combined with the rolling swing of the drums and the psychedelic falsetto harmonies, comparisons to The Beach Boys are inevitable."

THE HOLD STEADY keyboardist Franz Nicolay is flattered by the recurring Springsteen comparisons: "Everyone in the band is a Springsteen fan. I don't hear it as much as a lot of people do, but sometimes I think that's just shorthand for 'rock band with piano or wordy lyrics.'"  The whole band has drinks at at Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC's East Village with Kate Rocland of the New York Times.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer has asked ex-Libertine bandmate Carl Barat to be the best man at his wedding to the supposedly sober supermodel.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Moviegoers were prerpared for box office glory, propelling 300 to a March record opening estimated at million, edging out Ice Age: The Meltdown, even with an R rating.  It is the the third biggest opening weekend ever for a R-rated flick, finishing only behind The Passion of the Christ and The Matrix Reloaded.  Wild Hogs dropped to second place with $28 million, while Bridge to Terabithia would up in the third slot with $6.9 million as Ghost Rider dropped to fourth with $6.8 million.  Zodiac seemingly suffered the brunt of the 300 onslaught, dropping to fifth with $6.77 million.  The Number 23 earned $4.33 million (and will be lucky to break even), followed by Norbit, which earned $4.31 million (and may break the $100 mill mark).  Music and Lyrics continued to disappoint with $3.8 million, while Breach managed to hang on to a top ten spot, because Reno 911! Miami and Black Snake Moan dropped out of the top ten, leaving Amazing Grace to round out the field.

RICHARD JENI, noted comedian, is dead from an apparent suicide.  Comedienne Elaine Boosler pays tribute at the HuffPo.

LIZ HURLEY and Arun Nayar got married yet again -- this time with a traditional exchange of garlands and a Hindu ceremony to finalize their marriage in Nayar's native India.

THE McCARTNEYS:  People are actually wagering on whether Heather Mills' leg will fall off during this season of Dancing With the Stars.

ANTONELLA BARBA, already getting offers from the pr0n industry following her exit from American Idol, should expect a call from Playboy magazine.

SALMA HAYEK is engaged to and pregnant (presumably by) François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of luxury goods firm PPR, which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, as well as a French department store and national music chain.

MADONNA:  The Material Mom's nanny is currently shopping a tell-all memoir detailing the inner workings of the Madonna-Guy Ritchie household.  It has reportedly been bought by Crown and claims -- among other things -- that Madge is an overly strict mother who won't allow anybody to make noise in the house while she's sleeping and who imposed a complete house ban on all television, newspapers or magazines.

NIP/TUCK has slated guest appearances from a boatload of celebs, including Madonna and Nicole Kidman.  You wouldd think they were giving free plastic surgery or something.

COURTNEY LOVE is being sued for an unpaid 180 grand rehab bill.  That sounds like a lot of money, but we are talking about rehab for Courtney Love.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL is in final negotiations to replace Katie Holmes for The Dark Knight, the' sequel to Batman Begins.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie talks to Newsweek about celebrity, refugees and her life in New Orleans.  Jole reportedly told the uber-reliable News of the World that she narrowly escaped a kidnapping plot during a visit to an unnamed destination in her capacity as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.  Her recent decision to adopt a boy from Vietnam provides inspiration to the Gallery of the Absurd.

SPAIN is much more of a terror target today than before, due to renewed Al Qaeda threats and "synergy" between Al Qaeda and the Maghreb groups.  Last month, AQ No. 2 Ayman Zawahiri called on Islamic radicals in the Maghreb to "raise the flag of jihad" over North Africa and Spain "to once again feel the soil of Al Andalus beneath your feet," according to transcripts. Al Andalus refers to that part of Spain controlled by Muslim forces for seven centuries until their expulsion by a Roman Catholic army in 1492.  If only Spain would pull out of Iraq.  Oh, wait...

THE 'STANS:  The US is stepping up its hunt for Osama bin Laden by dispatching additional CIA operatives and paramilitary officers to Pakistan to kill or capture the Al Qaeda leader.  Gulbuddin Hekmatyar now claims he has not split with the Taliban.  I was skeptical of the initial report to the contrary.  Afghan and Iranian border forces clashed after the Iranians entered Afghan territory.

IRAN:  There continue to be conflicting reports over whether former deputy defense minister Ali Reza Asghari has defected to the West.  He is believed to have documents proving a link between the Iranian military establishment and terror groups including Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, as well as the Mahdi Army in Iraq and the SCIRI's Badr Corps.  If Asgari has defected, "it may represent the biggest intelligence coup for the U.S. and Israel in Hezbollah's history," Nicholas Noe of Mideastwire.com, an expert on Hezbollah, wrote on Syriacomment.com.  The Times of London claims Asgari had been spying on Iran since 2003.  Meanwhile, Sunni insurgents kidnapped four soldiers of Iran's Revolutionary Guard; the group denied ties with Al Qaueda and the Taliban.  The Mullocracy celebrated International Women's Day by beating and arresting peaceful demonstrators and censoring the news.  An the Iranian economy continues to melt down; Iran could cease to be a net oil exporter altogether in 2015.

IRAQ:  US and Iranian diplomats were cautiously optimistic over the results of the regional meeting in Baghdad, though the two nations traded jabs behind the scenes..  On Friday, Joint US-Iraqi forces arrested a prominent commander of the Mahdi Army.  Special Iraqi Army Forces (with Coalition advisors) conducted raids Saturday in Sadr City against "rogue elements" of the Mahdi Army allegedly responsible for inciting sectarian violence in Baghdad.  Sources are telling IraqSlogger that areas in the southern parts of Baghdad, controlled by militant Sunni groups, are nearly deserted by their inhabitants, and even the security forces are not present.  I would take those reports with a grain of salt, given the array of security forces assigned there.  IraqSlogger is also hearing that Moqtada al-Sadr did not go to Karbala and remains in Najaf.  Coalition Forces killed one terrorist and captured 16 suspected terrorists including an alleged al-Qaeda media emir during raids Friday morning throughout Iraq.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  Robert Kagan, one of the original advocates of the "surge" streategy developing in Baghdad, wonders whether the media has a backup plan in case the the "surge" works.  Well to start, there will be stories focusing on suicide attacks on Shiite pilgrims showing "the limitations of the US-led crackdown."  And focusing on attacks outside Baghdad.  The decrease in execution-style slayings by Shiite death squads will get mentioned in paragraph 15.  Very few of these stories will note that those pilgrims killed represent a tiny fraction of the millions of pilgrims who went to cities like Karbala for the Shia holiday.

IT'S DOG vs. SHARK... and the dog seems to get the better of the exchange!  Let's go to the video.

MORE DOG NEWS:  British dogs are working out.  American dogs are taking their meds, possibly on your dime.

CALL ME ISHMAEL:  A mother humpback whale and her baby lash out at snorkelers.  Let's go to the video.

JEALOUS CAT attacks its owner.  Beware the green-eyed gato.

WHACKING DAY in Sweetwater, TX, rattles ecologists.  The annual rattlesnake roundup is billed by the city as the biggest in the world.

HOW DO YOU GET CRABS FROM A GORILLA?  I cannot top that headline, but evolution has something to do with it.

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A Special Wilco Weekend Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 07:23 AM
Posted by: kbade

KarlWILCO is streaming the upcoming Sky Blue Sky album on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 10 pm. EST, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST.  In glorious Quicktime.

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