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Rare Velvet Underground, New Sonic Youth, a Rain of Fish and Frogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 22, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


CLICK AND SEE the improbable 1972 reunion of Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico at a club called Le Bataclan in Paris. Nico had parted ways with the Velvet Underground in 1967; Cale left the following year. But Reed and Cale were both recording in England in 1972 and were amenable to doing a show with Nico, who was living in Paris. Reed and Cale play "Heroin." Nico joins them for "Femme Fatale." BONUS: In 1993, Reed and Cale reunited with Mo Tucker and Sterling Morrison for a set that included "Sweet Jane." RELATED: London's Independent looks at how Warhol's endorsement of the VU continues to echo today.

SONIC YOUTH: Rather Ripped isn't due until June 13th, but you can stream every track now from the band's website. o­nTD excerpts from Wire magazine, where we learn that Thurston Moore sees the new album as Sonic Youth's breakout, like Blondie's Parallel Lines.

ELVIS COSTELLO and DIANA KRALL expecting a child? (2nd item.) It will take more evidence to convince me.

THE 25 BEST MUSIC WEBSITES, according to Entertainment Weekly. And Stereogum is gloating over Pitchfork.

PERE UBU frontman David Thomas apparently made some rather questionable comments about rock and authenticity at the Experience Music Project Pop Conference

ARCTIC MONKEYS are planning to make their first feature film, "a kind of music documentary, with lots of fable and fiction and music."

LOVE WILL TEAR US APART... AGAIN: And again. And again. 19 times over. You can stream 'em from the list for My Old Kentucky Blog at the Hype Machine. Indeed, looking at the list from MKOB, it's clear Dodge is also compiling covers of The Smiths' "There's A Light That Never Goes Out." You will know or be able to infer what I mean when I write that today is the day Kevin Penner -- wherever he may be -- should discover this site.

M.I.A.: The British Sri-Lankan star has been denied a visa to visit or work in the US by immigration officials. The NME claims that "It currently remains unclear why MIA, real name Maya Arulpragasam, is being denied entry into America, where her popularity has grown steadily since the release of her 2005 Mercury Music Prize-nominated debut album Arular." Apparently, the NME is unaware that Arular is the name of her father, who was affiliated with the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka -- a group that has carried out more suicide bombings than any other terrorist group and reportedly invented the individual suicide bomber "jacket" of explosives. M.I.A. uses the Tiger symbols and praises the LTTE and the PLO in her music. And she sees herself as a spokesperson. There was a lengthy, complex discussion of the issue at I Love Music last year -- during which someone predicted this would happen. So why the NME is clueless about it is a mystery.

CONSUMER GUIDE: Robert Christgau's latest is up at the Village Voice, with Dr. John, Fats Domino and Neil Young among the pick hits.

TAPES 'N' TAPES London's Guardian uses the Twin Cities' buzz band as an example of "How to happen overnight." You can stream four tracks from The Loon via MySpace.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS did a studio session at Minnesota Public Radio last week for your listening enjoyment.

CAMERA OBSCURA and LLOYD COLE: At Chromewaves, Frank notes that the first single from Camera Obscura's upcoming album is called "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken," an answer song to the wonderful Lloyd Cole & The Commotions number, "Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?" Frank rightly notes that Camera Obscura, like Belle & Sebastian, seem to be adding some soul influence to their twee foundation. Frank has other CO links posted also.

JOHN LEE HOOKER will get his first box set, in part because his estate needs money to pay the taxes. Eugene Skuratowicz, manager of the Hooker estate, says : "Our prime drive is his legacy, but the estate needs to get healthy."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Rough Trade are denying reports in British papers that they've dropped the troubled singer's band Babyshambles due to his wretched behavior. Rather, the label's contract with him had come to a natural end. Which is more likely than Doherty himself coming to a natural end.

SIR PAUL may blame the media for his divorce from Heather, but what that may mean is that Heather was frustrated at having her "important" charity work eclipsed by him, despite his reclusive nature.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Da Vinci Code proved critic-proof, raking in 77 million bucks domestically and 224 million wolrdwide -- the second-biggest debut ever at the global box office. However, its internal multiplier is around 2.6, raising the possibility of a big drop-off next weekend. Maybe that's why director Ron Howard changed his tune from suggesting that people who might be upset not go see it right away to: "This sounds a little hucksterish, but people really respond to the movie better the second time than they do the first time." Of course, when you've banked a quarter-billion (about double its budget), it's probably not a big worry. Over The Hedge came in second with 37 million, suggesting Ice Age 2 was enough for families for now. Mission: Impossible iii came in third with 11 million -- a steep 56 percent drop over last weekend. However, with 231 million in worldwide receipts to date, it will likely break even or make money, even with marketing costs. But it seems like Hanks has the B.O. bragging rights now.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has banned his adopted kids from watching TV and playing computer games. Other parents do this, though I can't help but suspect in Cruise's case, he doesn't want the kids to see how the rest of the world sees him. For example, heading into emeritus status at 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace slams Cruise for campaigning against anti-depressants and psychiatry, insisting he has no idea what he's talking about.

BRADGELINA: Though rumors of Jolie's impending labor swirled all weekend, pics of Pitt bicycle riding with Maddox and Zahara suggest otherwise. The couple is the target of a satire Aniston Friend Courteney Cox is developing for the FX network.

BRITNEY SPEARS: TMZ has pics and video of Spears breaking down after almost spilling her baby (but not her drink) outside the Ritz Carlton Hotel in NYC. The pop tart is also being criticized by a leading dietitian for regularly feeding her baby son ice cream. Also, people are noticing that Spears has hardly seen Spenderline. since revealing she was pregnant again.

MADONNA admits she married Guy Ritchie for the wrong reasons. But that not wearing the wedding ring is nothing to worry about. Move along.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE: An angry young woman who claims she met Sheen o­nline supports Richards' bombshell claims: "We dated for about a month. He's such a (bleep)ing perv. He would ask me to dress up, like, in pigtails and schoolgirl outfits. I don't think he's like a pedophile, but he's definitely into really young girls. You know like 18, 19. I don't doubt that everything his wife is saying now is true..."

NICOLAS CAGE has bought an island in the Bahamas.

TYRA BANKS: At Slate, J.E. Dahl implies she's a racist, but I don't think that holds up. Anti-Southern, maybe.

LINDSAY LOHAN is raving that she's now officially sexier than Angelina Jolie, based o­n the Maxim Top 100 List. However, no o­ne's yet had the heart to tell Lohan the poll was not the traditional o­ne for 'most sexy,' but for the 'most successful' women in the entertainment industry at the moment. And that the list was compiled before the disappointing box office for Lohan's Just My Luck. Also, La Lohan has been caught canoodling again with the French Hotel's ex-fiancee.

JESSICA ALBA is kicking a** in scenes she's shooting for the MTV Movie Awards.  The picture at the right is nice, but wait until you see her banging some dude's head into a parking meter.

IRAQ: Iraq's parliament approved a national unity government, though incoming Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was unable to make a final decision about the defense minister, interior minister, and minister for national security. Most of the press coverage also mentioned a series of attacks undoubtedly planned to coincide with the event. At ITM, Mohammed offers his own take. The AP reports o­n Iraqis being split o­n whether the new government will be able to curtail sectarian violence. Although I think such skepticism is warranted, the two most negative quotes in the story come from the widow of an Iraqi soldier killed during the Iran-Iraq war and from a 44-year-old former Iraqi soldier, both from the southern city of Amarah. This suggests they are Sunnis. At ITM, Omar writes that many of his family, friends and acquaintances are leaving Iraq -- or at least Baghdad -- at least temporarily. Omar is a middle-class Sunni, which would suggest that the reports from papers like the NYT address a primarily Sunni migration. The NYT didn't report o­n the at least 1.2 million returnees to Iraq, natch. Nevertheless, the migration does show the urgent need for the new government to put down insurgents, militias and their death squads. The silver lining (such as it is) is that migration by the more peaceful Sunnis may make that task easier.

IRAQ II: IraqPundit looks at the cozy, symbiotic relationship between former Interior Minister Bayan Jabr and WaPo reporter Ellen Knickmeyer. Najim Al Jibouri, the Mayor of Tal Afar, came to Colorado Springs to thank the the 3rd Armored Cavalry at a "welcome home" ceremony. Of course, the US can't solve all of Iraq's problems, such the Iraqi obsession with Lionel Richie.

IRAN: The Iranian parliament passed an Islamic dress code, which requires the approval of Ayatollah Khameni. The good news is that early reports that the law would require the countryís Jews and other religious minorities to wear colored badges turned out to be false, though the idea apparently had been floated (and Iran did this well before the Nazis). The bad news remains that Iranian women will be pressured back into their chardors.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: As bad as the Islamic dress code in Iran is, the contents of supposedly cleaned up schoolbooks in Saudi Arabia remain at least as odious.

SQUIRRELS with vintage cameras. Do squirrels have the cash to afford vintage cameras, or did they just squirrel them away? Please stop me... now.

BEARS RETURN TO GERMANY for the first time in 170 years. And they're looking for revenge. Just kidding about that last bit. I hope.

WHERE'S YOUR MESSIAH NOW? British Weather Services has issued a warning of a summer downpour of frogs and fish. No, really.

FROGS: Speaking of which, frog jockeys faced off Sunday in the Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jump Jubilee, an annual gathering in California's gold country that honors Mark Twain's famed fable, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."

CAT-SNATCHERS sentenced to community service for taking Mr. Kibbles from his home and leaving him in the Everglades in February 2005. Yes, I realize I could have gone with a term other than "Cat-snatchers," but I'm trying to behave a little.

DEER ATTACKS remain a danger at Southern Illinois University. At least seven people threatened or injured by does o­n campus last year, prompting the school to start a safety campaign.

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Hoodoo Gurus, Twilight Singers, The Pipettes, and the Koranic Tuna Code   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 19, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with the HOODOO GURUS. Longtime Pate fans probably know them -- they stopped in Ames, IA o­n their first US tour (and the city is thanked in the notes for Mars Needs Guitars) -- but some of the young'uns may have not heard this Aussie blend of Sixties power-pop, bubblegum pop, Beatle-esque harmonies, psychedelia and grungey garage rock. You can hear all of those elements in the video for "Like Wow, Wipe-Out!" You can hear the influence of disgraced glam rocker Gary Glitter in the video for "Leilani" from Stone-Age Romeos. And when Dale Stevermer and I saw the band open for the Bangles, they brought the Bangles roadies out to go-go dance o­n the risers and do the chanting when they covered Glitter's signature "Rock and Roll, Pt. II." They work the three-chord medley o­n the ballad "My Girl," which is not the Temptations number (Sylvia Hauser should check out the Greyhounds in the vid). You can stream four more wonderful tunes from a fan site o­n MySpace. Oom-gawaa!

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Japanese Pepsi Smash is just plain demented.

ERIC CLAPTON slags Simon Cowell, Coldplay and U2, and worries that modern bands are forgetting where rock and roll has come from. He may be right, though some will call him an old fogey for mentioning it.

STING is making an album of 16th century lute music. What would Slowhand say?

THE TWILIGHT SINGERS: I feel a twinge of guilt over missing that former Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli's current band released a new album this week. Dulli talks to Pulse of the Twin Cities about owning a couple of bars in L.A. and how living in New Orleans part-time for the past eight years affected the making of Powder Burns. You can hear some of it via MySpace.

THE PIPETTES: Skatterbrain has the modern girl-group's live, semi-acoustic cover of "I Think We're Alone Now" paired with the original by Tommy James & The Shondells. Elsewhere o­n the 'net, The Rich Girls Are Weeping has a studio track, "ABC," which isn't as good as the Jackson 5 or Len Barry -- or even their own "Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me" -- but it's not bad.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS singer/guitarist Mike Cooley tells the Illinois Entertainer that Europeans get "the duality of the Southern thing."

THE BEATLES: Marathon Packs, in conjunction with a contest to win the entire Beatles catalog, notes that "the Beatles are probably o­nly important to a lot of younger music fans in an academic sense, i.e. as history. As in, o­ne must like the Beatles, because they're the Beatles... So, MP has a must-read two-parter o­n favorite "Beatle moments," such as "Count-Offs" (like the classic opening of "I Saw Her Standing There"), "Studio Tricks" (like George's solo from "I'm o­nly Sleeping" played forward and backward), "Ringo's Stick Work" (from "What You're Doing" and "Tomorrow Never Knows") and more, all illustrated with MP3s. And just so Ken King doesn't miss it, o­ne highlight is the opening of "Mr. Moonlight."

VISCERAL SONG MOMENTS: Speaking of which Good Hodgkins surveyed a number of music bloggers to offer up musical moments that convey a "human emotion and cause its listener to feel the same."

ARCTIC MONKEYS hammered Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher in the getting hammered department.

TOM VERLAINE: A former (and future) Television axemeister messes with the New York Post. For example, when asked how it feels when people refer to him as a guitar legend, Verlaine replies: "I feel like I have to get some almond ice cream."

KELLEY STOLTZ may still have obvious Beatles and Beach Boys influences, but he was inspired to be a musician by David Bowie. You can stream three and download two of his tunes at MySpace.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The video of the troubled singer seemingly squirting a syringe filled with blood during an MTV interview has surfaced. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel is now romantically linked to MTV presenter Russell Brand, who has problems of his own.

SIR PAUL is rumored to have agreed to a £50million quickie divorce from wife Heather (who reportedly had delusions of grandeur) to avoid a bitter public squabble over cash. There's also a breakdown of Paul's £825 million fortune at the first link.

NOW SHOWING: The weekend's big story will probably be whether The Da Vinci Code, which is currently rating 16 percent Rotten o­n the Tomatometer, will be beaten by the family friendly Over the Hedge, which opens o­n about 300 more screens and is rating 60 percent Fresh. The remaining wide release, See No Evil, is this week's disposable horror movie we won't bother to advance screen for the critics.

IAN McKELLEN, promoting The Da Vinci Code o­n the Today show Thursday morning, responded to those who wanted a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie this way: "Iíve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer at the front saying 'This is fiction.' I mean walking o­n water? I mean, it takes an act of faith." Well, yes, it does. McKellen went o­n to say he found the Bible "somewhat preachy" and called the ending "a bit of a downer."

RON HOWARD, director of The Da Vinci Code, is urging people not to see the movie right away if they suspect the movie will upset them. Which is a comment studio folk will haul out if the movie underperforms this weekend.

WILLIAM SHATNER and AVRIL ALVIGNE play father and daughter in Over the Hedge, but never met each other until they interviewed each other for Moviefone, asking questions submitted over the 'net. The two discuss doing voices for an animated movie, Lavigne's favorite song, their homeland Canada, science-fiction versus comedy, the three things they love about movies and more. Not bad at all for a promo device.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: David Spade's rebound romance with Heather Locklear has ended, according to In Touch Weekly. John Stamos talked about dating Denise Richards and nearly hooking up with Heather o­n Howard Stern's radio show.

BRITNEY SPEARS: A few days after the baby car seat flap, the pop tart almost drops Sean Preston while carrying a drink in her other hand. After the incident, Spears said, "This is why I need a gun."

JENNIFER LOPEZ: Is she pregnant? Popsugar weighs the evidence.

LINDSAY LOHAN: 37-year-old movie director Brett Ratner, o­nce rumored to be romancing 19-year-old Li-lo, admitted he would like to photograph her naked.

BRADGELINA: The paparazzi are getting restless in Namibia as the widely reported due date of May 18th passes. D'ya think Jolie fed them a fake date? I do! The couple are said to have struck a £2.6million deal with a US weekly magazine for the first pictures of the baby, with the money going to UNICEF. Pitt's family denies being angry with Jolie, though Pitt's mother remains close to his ex, Jennifer Aniston.

CHRIS TUCKER, whose o­nly major movie credits are Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2, is going to collect 25 million smackers for Rush Hour 3. Lesson -- you o­nly need to be able to do o­ne thing well to be successful.

CHER turns 60 Saturday. There is no way I will top Jossip's headline.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY talks to Vogue about fashion (d-uh), movie costumes and using fashion to play a character o­n the red carpet.

MY WISH LIST: I was watching Goldfinger last night and it reminded me that someone could buy me Oddjob's hat when it goes up for auction next month.

IRAQ: Chris Albritton, who is blogging from Iraq, has more o­n Iran arming the insurgency. Thomas Friedman of The New York Times predicts the next few months are crucial, every few months. Amir Taheri, the former editor of Iran's largest daily newspaper, takes a look at the big picture and the future.

IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad is writing a letter to Pope Benedict. Anyone want to bet it will be another da'wa?

NSA SURVEILLANCE: BellSouth asked USA Today o­n Thursday to "retract the false and unsubstantiated statements" about the company that it contends were in a May 11 story about a database of domestic calling records maintained by the National Security Agency. The paper is reviewing the request.

BABY ZOO ANIMALS are featured in an AOL slideshow. Awww...

KITTY is a 400 lb. lion being kept as a pet, along with a dozen dogs and a lizard, by the Collins family in Melvin, KY. Some of the neighbors ar less than thrilled. You have imaginary banjo music playing in your head right now, don't you?

TRACKING THE KILLER GATOR: Florida Fish and Wildlife workers say they have found new evidence but that they still have not nabbed the gator responsible for killing a woman in Marion County over the weekend.

A FOUR-FOOT ANACONDA was found slithering around o­ne of Britainís biggest shopping centers.

A RACCOON survived an 11,000 volt electric shock in southeast Cyprus.

APES are able to plan ahead, researchers report in Friday's issue of the journal Science. They are just waiting for the big war.

DOGS: Pepe, a Jack Russell terrier, darted over a cliff's edge in Pacific Palisades while chasing a squirrel, landing o­n the Pacific Coast Highway. Pepe lived, but his owner had to be rescued from the face of the cliff. Zion, a Labrador retriever, retrieved a 9-year-old boy from the Roaring Fork River after the boy fell overboard from his raft.

KORANIC TUNA UPDATE: The fish with markings that resembled a Koranic text has disappeared from the Kenyan Fisheries Department in Mombasa. It's being called a theft, but maybe it's a miracle.

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Sufjan Stevens, Cat Stevens, Hard-Fi and Florida Gator Attacks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 18, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF MAY is a British psych-folk band, with the psychedelia sounding a little more American and the folk sounding a little more British. It seemed like this would be a good day to feature them. You can hear "Hide and Seek," the single that came out last week, via the Hype Machine. You can also stream a couple from the band's self-titled debut album at MySpace. The band has an extended version of "Eighteen Days," recorded while o­n tour with the Minus 5 and Robyn Hitchcock, available in the band's blog, with live and studio downloads elsewhere at the official website, plus four more live cuts via KEXP's blog.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FEST has posted the initial lineup for 2006, including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, the Flaming Lips, Gnarls Barkley, the Raconteurs, the Shins, Feist, Stars, Cat Power and the Memphis Rhythm Band, the New Pornographers, Son Volt, Nickel Creek, Iron & Wine, Calexico and many, many more...

KEITH RICHARDS' fall from a coconut tree may cost the Rolling Stones 15 million bucks.

SUFJAN STEVENS talks to Pitchfork about The Avalanche, copyright law, ornithology, punk band the Ex and his imaginary baby. Scott from Sterogum ended up staring at the back of Sufjan's head at a Laura Veirs concert. I can relate, as I stared at the back of Bob Mould's head when Soul Asylum opened for Husker Du o­n the Flip Your Wig tour.

TRESPASSERS WILLIAM discusses alternate sequencing of their album o­n their blog. You can stream a couple of new and old tracks via MySpace.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: I am teasing you by telling you that the Mamas & Papas lip-synced "California Dreaming" really well o­n Hullaballoo, but not showing you the go-go dancers, who are worth the wait.

THE PRETENDERS: Chrissie Hynde's high school nickname was Bernice.


THE 50 WORST ARTISTS IN MUSIC HISTORY according to Blender magazine, which seems to believe music history started in the mid-to-late 1960s.

THE KINKS: Now that my ex-college roomie Dale is a Pate site member, I must post the demo of "I Go To Sleep" I found o­n the Hype Machine.

HARD-FI: The Clash-influenced DIY rockers are profiled in London's Guardian, with frontman Richard Archer wanting the band to be the biggest in the world without forgetting where they came from. And railing against the rumor that he dated Scarlett Johansson. You can sample the band via MySpace.

SIR PAUL and HEATHER MILLS are splitsville after four years of marriage and blame the media for it. Paul didn't want a prenup, so if their split reaches court, it could be the biggest divorce case in British history. I would settle for a dollar per allusion to "We Can Work It Out" and "She's Leaving Home" I read today.

ISSAC HAYES and wife Adjowa announced the birth of their baby son. He was born o­n April 10th, but with Issac being a Scientologist, the actual birth was probably quiet.

THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS CAT STEVENS, a/k/a Yusuf Islam, is returning with a new album that he hopes will bridge the divide between Islam and the west. He has his work cut out for him. He expressed horror over the 9/11 attacks, but that followed his support for the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, his stated belief that Taliban-style extremism was a product of the media and Hollywood, his calling Judaism a "so-called religion" when he was the guest of honor at a fundraiser for a group identified by the Canadian government as a "front" for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, his support for Saddam Hussein, as well as his possibly funding blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Hamas.

LINDSAY LOHAN throws a tantrum when That 70s Show cast member (and Scientologist) Danny Masterson refused to admit her to his weekly jazz night at an L.A. club because he doesn't respect the way she lives her life. At least she can find consolation in her perfect breasts.

THE FRENCH HOTEL and oil heir (and Mischa Barton ex-bf) Brandon Davis hate Lindsay Lohan. TMZ has the video of Davis unleashing a filthy torrent as Hilton laughs with approval. At o­ne point, Davis hurls a racial invective toward Lohan's ex-bf Wilmer Valderrama, asking, "Is he in a mariachi band?"

MISCHA BARTON, the OC hottie, has a hard time hailing a taxi in NYC. Taxi drivers have a hard time spotting the nearly two-dimensional.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Friends say that Holmes has been "constantly in tears" since the birth of the Tom-Kitten, sparking fears she has post-partum depression. Her fiancťe Cruise, of course, publicly criticized Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressants for post-partum depression, as psychiatric drugs are frowned o­n by Scientology. But what does Scientology say about karma?

BRITNEY SPEARS and Spenderline have fallen far enough that they are dissed with impunity by seventies supermodel Janice Dickinson: "I never found him hot at all. But sheís a hick anyway. She needs to get hot again. Stop clomping around in those Malibu flip-flops."

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde is miffed that her sister is stealing her look.

THE DA VINCI CODE: Although I will post "Now Showing" o­n Friday, it appears that the Code drew lukewarm praise, shrugs of indifference, some jeering laughter and a few derisive jabs at the Cannes Film Festival. The New York Times, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are among those panning the flick. The National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation is upset because it will be the 68th movie since 1960 to feature an evil albino.

BOTTLE ROCKET: The debut film of Wes Anderson was an expansion of this 13-minute short.

TONY SNOW: The new White House press secretary's first televised briefing is reviewed in Variety.

GREY'S ANATOMY: The ABC hit will go head-to-head with CSI next Fall. The ABC upfront -- where the network unveiled its Fall lineup for advertisers -- included a gender-bending parody of the show's famous shower dream sequence. Which was a good excuse to link to the latter again.

TX TEACHER MISCONDUCT: An English teacher at a Texas high school is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student, after asked an assistant principal if he could take a female student to the prom. A biology teacher at another Texas high school reportedly resigned after she sent a female student an inappropriate video clip by cell phone.

IRAQ: Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki told the AP that he would present the Cabinet to parliament o­n Saturday, with or without a decision o­n the critical ministries of interior and defense. Rep. John Murtha, an outspoken war critic, claims that Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood" after allegedly responding to a roadside bomb ambush that killed a Marine during a patrol in Haditha. The incident is still under investigation. "I do not know where Rep. Murtha is obtaining is information," said Lt. Col. Sean Gibson, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Central Command. So much for "innocent until proven guilty" or even charged. But if these soldiers did commit atrocities, Murtha doesn't blame them; he blames the Bush Administration.

IRAN is shelling Kurdish villages in Iraq. And executing a 17-year-old-girl for killing an attempted rapist (had she been raped, she could hav received 100 lashes for having extra-marital sex). And Pres. Ahmadinejad rejecting the offer of a light-water nuclear reactor: "Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold from him?"

CARTOON JIHAD: Harper's magazine has reprinted the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, with commentary by leading American cartoonist Art Spiegelman, who offers what he calls a "fatwa bomb meter" to rate their offensiveness. He's wrong about why they were first printed, he's probably right in writing that the cartoons appear "banal and inoffensive" to secular eyes, revealing a gulf in understanding, and that US news outlets were not showing them out of "political correctness that smelled of hypocrisy and fear." The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance blasted the cartoons as provocative.  Meanwhile, several European secret services are o­n the lookout for special Islamist commandos allegedly trying to kill the 12 Danish cartoonists.

MAGGIE THE ELEPHANT is not much interested in using her treadmill to go for a brisk morning walk, or for that matter an afternoon or evening walk. There are days where I can sympathize with that.

HIPPOS: As a public service announcement, I advise you against trying to outrun a hippo -- they have been clocked in short running dashes at 30 mph.

MOUNTAIN LIONS: As a second public service announcement, I note that a cougar can fit through your dog door and may find your pet cat to be tasty.

FLORIDA GATOR ATTACKS: Three recent fatal attacks have caused the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program in Okeechobee to be swamped with calls -- 225 o­n Monday alone, which is more than double the amount of calls answered last year. In Bradenton, a woman shot a gator that came into her home and attacked her dog. The local deputy gave her a warning citation for hunting without a license.

JERSEY BEARS: For the third time in less than two weeks, a black bear was caught in an urban part of the Garden State and was to be killed because of a state policy that bans the bruins from densely populated areas. Life imitates The Sopranos.

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Bono's News, New Yo La Tengo, Binge Listening and an Undercover Cat Update.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BONO was guest editor of London's Independent yesterday. He penned an editorial about celebrity activism and Product RED. Bob Geldof wrote a piece advocating trade over aid to Africa. The Edge was interviewed about helping rebuild New orleans, starting with the music scene, followed by churches: "We rely o­n politicians too much. They don't necessarily have the skills to deal with a situation like this, or the vision. So it's down to the artists and the musicians who understand what's at stake." And Elvis Costello turned out a broader review of pop and politics.

PEARL JAM fans are worried that lead singer Eddie Vedder's girlfriend, model Jill McCormick, is becoming "the Yoko o­no of the band."

JOHNNY BOY: The London duo works a Spectorian vibe somewhere between the Ravonettes and the Pipettes o­n "You Are the Generation That Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve," which made Song of the Day at NPR.

20 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: For example, No. 9: Bruce intended to give "Hungry Heart" to the Ramones, but manager Jon Landau persuaded him to keep the song for himself.

GUNS 'N' ROSES: Following up o­n the band's shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, Axl said: "In regards to our new record . . . hold your breath for a little longer for that.."

YO LA TENGO has a new track, "Beanbag Chair," to download or stream it via the Hype Machine. As previously suggested, it's really upbeat for YLT. BONUS: From Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics, we have YLT killing o­n Iggy Pop's "Raw Power" and dying o­n Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died."

PERE UBU: Ken King though that Lee Hazlewood-Nancy Sinatra duet posted last Friday was pretty strange, but give me Pere Ubu playing "Birdies" from URGH! A Music War.

BRENDAN BENSON is the subject of a *Sixeyes six-pack, with Alan pointing to even more via the Hype Machine.

BINGE LISTENING: "When youíre bingeing you donít just listen. You absorb. You become saturated. The sound of the band becomes your sound; their ethos becomes your ethos. When you walk down the street, itís their music that you hear in your head, even when youíre not wearing headphones. You begin to prize certain off-key moments in their songs, idiosyncratic chord changes, or fumbled lyrics."

GANG OF FOUR: Dave Allen is blogging his various musical activities at the website for the label he founded, Pampelmoose.

WHITE RIOT: Camper Van Beethoven did a country version of the Clash classic o­n their first tour -- and they played it when I saw them in March.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer singer squirted a syringe-full of his own blood at two MTV News cameramen after injecting heroin in view of the production team. And his mum intends to write a tell-all (3rd item.)

KATE MOSS: Although retail giant Philip Green bid 108K at a charity auction for a kiss from the supposedly sober supermodel, she ended up making out with Hugh Grant's girlfriend for a full minute instead. An eyewitness said: "We thought it was going to be a kiss o­n the cheek. It lasted just over 60 seconds. A few people were shocked but everyone was laughing after."

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Sources connected with the couple tell TMZ that Richards and Sambora are "totally together" and that Richards is trying to arrange to travel overseas to be with Sambora during the tour. Also, Richards is developing a kid's clothing line o­ne month after Sheen debuted his own collection of kidswear (coincidentally, the day Richards made her bombshell allegations against Sheen).

LINDAY LOHAN and the FRENCH HOTEL reportedly got into a bar brawl at a Hollywood hotspot last Friday night.

ASHLEE SIMPSON got a nose job, according to her rep. Someone should tell Ashlee, who, at last report, didn't know.

MANDY MOORE has finally denied that Wilmer Valderrama's claim that he took her virginity.

DAVE NAVARRO:  After wrestling with his sexuality for years, the Jane's Addiction and RHCP guitarist tells a gay magazine that "I'm not gay, nor am I bisexual." NTTAWWT. The cover of the magazine, however, is very gay. NTTAWWT.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN are officially engaged, as confirmed by Kidman at the 30th Anniversary gala for the organization UNIFEM.

THE MAXIM 100 LIST of the most successful women in film, TV, music, sports and fashion, mentioned here yesterday, is published in full at ONTD.

THE SEXIEST WOMAN ALIVE: Esquire magazine is running a multiple rounds of 20 questions as a teaser and inviting people to guess who it is. Round 1 is up now.

JACK BAUER and THE CREEPY BURGER KING invading MySpace. The premiere episode of 24 and the first episode of season five will be available for free to the more than 75 million registered MySpace users, while the rest of the first and fifth-season episodes will go for 1.99 per download through a MySpace page sponsored by Burger King. Actually, I don't know if the Creepy Burger King has an official role in th project, though it would be cool if they shot a promo of Jack Bauer threatening BK at gunpoint.

MADONNA was recently snapped in L.A. without her wedding ring. Her rep. says it's no big deal, natch. And it seems Madge will be crossinng a picket line to play the Forum in L.A. this weekend.

PAMELA ANDERSON marked National Orgasm Day by urging people to go vegetarian. Too. Many. Punchlines.

LOST: The season finale is tonight, so there were minor-spoiler-sprinkled stories in both Entertainment Weekly and Newsweek this week. They give away questions that will be answered, but not the answers.

CULT OF THE iPod: Audiophiles now have options for pimping their pods.

HURRICANE KATRINA: With the Hurricane season two weeks away, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Monday that residents of metropolitan New Orleans will see few changes in the state's phased evacuation plan. Absent from Blanco's announcement were specific shelters outside southeast Louisiana, a step much anticipated by local governments who plan to use public buses to send residents without transportation to state-approved locations. Ultimately, Blanco said, the state's best opportunity to save lives during future storms rests in the hands of individuals who must take the personal responsibility to get their families away from southeast Louisiana.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed writes about the quest for electricity in Baghdad as Summer approaches. Bill Roggio looks at Coalition strikes o­n "The Triangle of Death" -- the apparent staging area for attacks o­n Baghdad. Sgt. Jeremiah Workman received the Navy Cross, the Marine Corp's second-highest award, for rescuing fellow Marines while under heavy enemy fire in Fallujah. Like a lot of soldiers, he declined to tell the story himself. And every major US press outlet declined also.

IRAN: Opinion Journal looks at what the Bush administration could do, short of launching air strikes, to persuade Iran's leaders that their bid to develop nuclear weapons will exact an unacceptable price o­n their regime.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: After USA Today reported last Thursday that three phone companies had assisted the NSA in collecting "call records of tens of millions of Americans," two of those companies -- Verizon and BellSouth -- have denied it. USA Today says it's confident in its story and will look closely into the issues raised by the denials.

DALMATIAN RIDES A BICYCLE to the strains of "Dixie." In Japan.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOGS: Pet owners now cite emotional support as a reason to bring pets to restaurants, spas, airplanes, offices and other public areas -- a result of the 2003 ruling by the Department of Transportation stating that animals used to aid people with emotional ailments should be given the same access and privileges as animals helping people with blindness or deafness. The full story originated in The New York Times.

ANOTHER RECORD SHARK CATCH: A Miami doctor with a slew of world fishing records added another o­ne to his collection when he caught a 385-pound lemon shark o­n fly tackle.

UNDERCOVER CAT UPDATE: Fred, the crime-fighting cat key to an undercover sting in February to get a man pretending to be a veterinarian, is in the process of being certified as a therapy cat.

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New Releases (for families), Fiery Furnaces, Final Fantasy, and Bambi   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


FIERY FURNACES: The prolific Matthew Friedberger talks to Good Hodgkins about his upcoming solo album, writing long, multi-part songs and his rep for writing "difficult" music: "I donít understand 'difficult.' Popular things are either about gratification or surprise. I like, and the band likes, surprises. You know, which game do you like to playó'Again?' Or, do you like to unwrap boxes? Do you see what I mean?" You can unwrap "Benton Harbor Blues," I'm In No Mood and "Black-hearted Boy" via the Hype Machine.

NEW RELEASES: The Raconteurs, T-Bone Burnett, Doves, Dinosaur Jr. reissues and the soundtrack to Over the Hedge (Ben Folds, William Shatner, etc.) are streaming in full from AOL Music. There's also new indie psych-folk from Drag City artists Faun Fables and Espers. Plus there's British pop by way of Austin TX o­n the new Voxtrot EP.

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: Former Del Fuego Dan Zanes has a new kids' record out, with cameos from The Blind Boys of Alabama, Natalie Merchant, Nick Cave and more... Johnny and June Carter Cash also have a children's album out today.

THE RACONTEURS are scoring a respectable 76 o­n Metacritic. Pitchfork notes that it's not all about Jack White: "Benson is an equal partner in this operation, and it's his power-pop rubric that largely dictates the sound of the album. Benson-sung songs like "Hands" and "Intimate Secretary" crackle with a Cheap Trick kind of charm, given extra heft by White's predilection for harder guitar sounds."

THE FLAMING LIPS: Wayne Coyne is encouraging aspiring musicians to move to Oklahoma City: "People should come to Oklahoma City, take advantage of how cheap it is to live here, play in a band, work at a restaurant that affords you the freedom to create your own identity -- but it also affords you the ability to fail." Just don't sound like the Flaming Lips; Wayne doesn't want a scene, man.

RICHARD HAWLEY talks to Popmatters about the politics of his songwriting: "I don't like to write songs that look at the big picture of the downtrodden masses, but that doesn't mean I don't understand. This is no time for foolish complacency. My way of thinking is to treat human beings with respect o­n a o­ne-on-one level. That's what I do in my songs. I think that itself is a political statement, even if it boils down to 'don't be an a*sehole.'"

FINAL FANTASY: Owen Pallett brought the chamber-pop to the Music Gallery in Toronto in April, including "The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead." But you might be more interested in the twofer -- Pallett and Ed from Grizzly Bear performing Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" at The Luminaire, Kilburn o­n May 10th.

LEONARD COHEN made a rare public appearance in Toronto this past weekend. The reclusive singer is said to be planning a tour this autumn and is working o­n a new album. And the press seems to be figuring out that Cohen having a nine million dollar judgment against his former manager is not the same as collecting it.

RICHARD BUTLER recently stopped by the World Cafe, so you can stream it (including a kinda eerie acoustic take o­n "Love My Way") from NPR. And he doesn't shy from talking about the Psychedelic Furs, either.

THE 40 MOST AWESOMELY BAD METAL SONGS... EVER, as counted down (with audio clips) by VH1.

MUSIC BLOGS are killing Rolling Stone for Scott Galupo... and probably many more. Galupo quotes Sean Michaels of Said the Gramophone: "It's this new intermediary between music and the audience." I've noticed this also, because it used to be said that o­ne of the big effects of the Internet would be "disintermediation," or what folks without pointy heads call "eliminating the middle man." But MP3 blogs and -- in a different way -- services like MySpace and YouTube are the new middlemen. There is now so much information instantly available that people will seek out bloggers with similar (or challenging) tastes to help sort through it. I do it, and if you visit here regularly, you do it too. BONUS: PBS's Mediashift looks at "Do-It-Yourself Ways to Find Good Music."

HOW DOES YOUR LIGHT SHINE? Most longtime Pate fans also know The Service -- they were the flagship of Pate's label (Paul Westerberg pretends to be them at the start of the Replacements' When the Sh*t Hits The Fans, too). The Service used to do a wicked version of Three Dog Night's "Shambala," so when the original popped up o­n the Hype Machine, I felt compelled to post it.

BRITNEY SPEARS is off Kabbalah because her baby is her "religion." Apparently, this is a religion practiced by bad car seat usage. The rest of the world will make do with her promise that there will be some "crazy-a*s stuff" o­n her next album. Did we expect otherwise?

NAOMI WATTS has been named as the latest UN special envoy o­n HIV/AIDS. Can adopting children from the Third World be far behind?

PRES. BUSH OVERSTEPS HIS AUTHORITY: Pres. Bush's TV address o­n immigration bumped Oprah's Legends Ball special to next Monday. How could he do this to "a spiritual leader for the new millennium, a moral voice of authority for the nation?"

REESE WITHERSPOON insists she and her actor husband are blissfully happy despite reports claiming otherwise. Such talk may be exaggerated, but if she talks publicly about having the normal marital ups and downs, she shouldn't be surprised that some will occasionally surmise that they are having a "down" period.

GENEROUS CELEBS: Forbes has top ten philanthropists list.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Futuree ex Nick Lachey is already o­n the hunt for a new wife.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA: Yesterday, I wondered whether Xtina's shift to a jazz and blues-influenced sound might turn off fans who flocked to the "Drrrty" girl. Based o­n the latest issue of GQ, it seems that Xtina has it sussed.

EVA LONGORIA: The Desperate Housewife repeats as No. 1 o­n Maxim magazine's seventh annual "Hot 100" list of the most successful women in film, TV, music, sports and fashion. I guess the 100-foot cover in the desert should have been a hint. Jessica Alba is No. 2, followed by Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, Stacy Keibler (Dancing With the Stars), Scarlett Johansson, Cameron Diaz, Kate Bosworth and Keira Knightley. To celebrate, Double Viking has photoshopped Alba and Longoria into each other's bikini pics.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Richie Sambora, o­n tour with Bon Jovi in Germany: "Tell my female fans I am single and ready to party."

ELLE MACPHERSON is a believer in "joyous and spontaneous" sex. And, as a measure of how messed-up the self-esteem of supermodels is, says she was ashamed of her appearance when she was younger.

RIPPED FROM TODAY'S HEADLINES: Dick Wolf, creator of the Law & Order franchise, is eyeing the exploits of Tinseltown P.I.-under-investigation Anthony Pellicano as an inspiration for Power, a series he's developing about prosecutors going after corrupt Hollywood honchos.

BRADGELINA: Brad Pitt's ears will be burning o­nce Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow start shooting a movie together.

THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS: Little-seen footage of Luke and Biggs cut from the original Star Wars has found its way to YouTube.

CULT OF THE iPod: This week, MTV is launching Urge as the latest competitor to Apple's iTunes. The service was developed in cooperation with Microsoft, and will be heavily promoted from within the latest version of the Windows Media Player and is relying o­n a subscription-based model.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio looks at a likely strike by Task Force 145 near Ramadi and the battle of Yusifayah. The AP picked up a story from the Hartford Courant about suicidal troops being sent into combat. The story notes that 22 US troops committed suicide in Iraq last year. What the story doesn't tell you is that the national suicide average is 21.5 per 100,000 for males ages 20 to 34. As there are more than 100K troops in Iraq, you don't even need a calculator to see that the suicide rate of US troops in Iraq is below the average for similar civilians. But for some reason, that fact is not news.

NOAM CHOMSKY, generally considered to be a key intellectual figure within the left wing of the US politics, has been visiting Lebanon and getting chummy with the leaders of Hezbollah, going so far as to imply that the US is the world's leading terrorist nation. For a number of reasons, folks who actually live in Lebanon think Chomsky is clueless.

A REAL LIFE BAMBI is growing up o­n a farm after surviving an accident that killed her mother in South Carolina. Video and pics at the link. Awww...

BEARS EAT MONKEY in front of horrified visitors at a Dutch zoo. WARNING: Pic at the link. Not overly graphic, but not pleasant. BONUS: Canadian Mountie fends off a bear attack.

GATORS BLAMED FOR TWO MORE DEATHS in Florida: "As the weather heats up, the alligators' metabolism increases and they have to eat more," Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Willie Puz said Sunday.

SNAKES... WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE SNAKES? Narcotics agents raiding a house near Shreveport, LA, were confronted by a guard snake. In Barbados, a team searches for a Burmese python suspected to be 18 feet long, as well as other snakes near Joe's River, St Joseph.

A SQUIRREL burns down a municipal building in Red Bay, Alabama.

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