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Zumpano, Crowded House, English Beat, Tiger Cubs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SHOCKING BLUE play a rare, raw, live version of signature tune "Venus" on Dutch TV.  Sounds more like the Jefferson Airplane.

ZUMPANO -- A.C. Newman's band before the New Pornographers -- gets the Shadow Classic designation at NPR, with three streaming tracks of power-pop goodness.

BRIGHT EYES:  Conor Oberst talks about politics, the comfort of music and "silver linings in the human experience" in Paper magazine.

CROWDED HOUSE:  LA Weekly is streaming four new tracks from the band via its digital jukebox.

KEREN ANN:  The 33-year-old Israeli-born, New York-based French singer-guitarist  tells PopMatters that she learns how to live through music.

SHARON JONES and the DAP-KINGS:  While the latter have been backing Amy Winehouse on her US tour, Ms. Jones has been busy bringing her impressive pipes to projects for Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright, They Might Be Giants and others.  They have a new LP due in September; 'till then, let's watch 'em cover "Things Got To Get Better" at their last album release party.

FEIST:  The NYT review of Monday's gig at NYC's Town Hall includes an audio Q&A by Jon Pareles in the sidebar. 

THE ENGLISH BEAT:  Former lead singer Dave Wakeling stopped at the World Cafe for an interview and in-studio performance of Beat classics you can stream via NPR on demand.

THE B-52s are back in Athens, GA, wrapping up work on their new album, just 15 years after the last one.  Fred Schneider says, "There's more electronica on it. It's up-tempo and a bit sexed-up. It's sexier than ever."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer and supposedly sober supermodel went to the Isle of Wight festival, but ended up drinking and arguing in a pub, missing most of the bands.  Not that Moss should care --  her assets have doubled in value since the cocaine snortng scandal that threatened to destroy her career.  And both of them are doing ad campaigns for designer Roberto Cavalli; pics at the link.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Her parents, who jumped the vistitors' line at the jail, claim she's "weepy," but "hanging in there."  OTOH, paparazzi agency X17 claims that her mental state has allegedly taken a recent turn for the worse, with the jail assigning "three additional guards to watch her 'round the clock."  The AP notes that few Hollywood players have come out in her support, quoting PR flack Howard Bragman: "Paris's career was made in a microwave and not in a crock pot," he said, adding that she lacks the self- awareness that might inspire empathy from her colleagues.  But Barbara Walters says she would be willing to have the celebutante co-host The View.  She was visited by Dr. Steven Hoefflin, "the plastic surgeon to the stars" during her house arrest, though he is reported to also be akin to the Hilton family's private doctor  An X-rated website featuring nude photos and videos of the heirhead just re-opened after being shut down by court injunction.  US Weekly claims her medical problems in jail were symptoms of withdrawal from not only Adderall (as previously reported), but also Xanax, referring to "igh self-administered doses" of the drugs.

LINDSAY LOHAN reportedly has hired a group of Heirhead look-alikes for her 21st birthday party, as the real onemay be in jail for the event.  This is the gossip equivalent of crossing the streams from Ghostbusters.

GEORGE MICHAEL is considering making a £50 million offer for Damien Hirst's diamond-encrusted skull -- which fortunately is a work of art.

JENNIFER ANISTON is denying adoption rumors again.  And she was reportedly warned by her ex, Brad Pitt, to dump her new bf, Paul Sculfor.  I doubt it, but maybe Pitt reads PerezHilton.

GREY'S ANATOMY:  Isaiah Washington talked to Entertainment Weekly about getting the boot from the hit show.  Apparently, someone convinced him that just quoting Network made him sound like a complete loon.  But someone forgot to slip that memo to Washington pal and black gay activist Jasmyne Cannick, who sees the firing as a hit by Hollywood's "gay mafia."

BRITNEY SPEARS:  US Weekly is reporting that the pop tart reconciled with stage mother Lynne on June 10th, while Life & Style claims that "Brit was cordial, but you could've cut the tension with a knife."  The NYPost's Cindy Adams reported that Fed-Ex had again knocked up baby mama Shar Jackson -- a report swiftly denied by reps for both.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is awfully busy these days.  Just a few short weeks after shooting with Sienna Miller, the Daily Mail runs on-set pics from the adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel Atonement.  Keira told Empire magazine: "This is such a relief. Not that I don't enjoy all that Pirates stuff, but it's not about my character - it's about Johnny's character."  I would suggest that one reason the first Pirates flick was better than the sequels was that it was actually told from Elizabeth Swann's point-of-view -- which was a nifty inversion of the trad macho movie formula.

KNOCKED UP:  A piece in the New York Times claims that the hit comedy, as well as sleeper success Waitress, "go out of their way to sidestep real life" because "possibility of not having the baby is never discussed by either woman despite her circumstances."  I have yet to see Waitress, but the author is clearly wrong about Knocked Up, in which Alison discusses it with her mother.

THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH?  Radar magazine asks whether Bob Barker is retiring tomorrow because of one too many lawsuits.

MR. WIZARD, a/k/a Don Herbert, died of bone cancer; he was 89.  James Lileks links to a video and posts audio of Bob & Ray's wonderful "Mr. Science" parody.

BRADGELINA:  Mike Walker of the ever-reliable National Enquirer reports that while filming her new flick Wanted in Prague, Jolie visited a sex shop called "Erotic City" and purchased a black leather garter belt and a black riding crop.

IRAN'S parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill that could lead to the death penalty for persons working in the production of pornographic movies.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  The AP claims that: "Violence in Iraq, as measured by casualties among troops and civilians, has edged higher despite the U.S.-led security push in Baghdad, the Pentagon told Congress on Wednesday."  However, if you download the actual report (Acrobat format), it never says this.  The report says that "The overall level of violence in Iraq this quarter remained similar to the previous reporting period but shifted location."  One reason the report doesn't say that "violence edged higher" is that while the AP says the report covers "the February-May period," it in fact covers only through May 4, but includes days before the US started the new operation (at least 235 deaths from 2/10-14/07).  Another reason is that the Pentagon would not say that violence increased "despite" the "surge" without looking at the trend during the period, which shows an overall decrease in civilian deaths.  And while the AP mentions in passing that "violence fell in the capital and in Anbar province," it does not mention that nationwide, sectarian murders have dropped from over 1600 in December 2006 to a little over 600 in April -- a drop of 62.5%.

IRAQ:  Iraqi political, religious and communal leaders unanimously condemned the attack that destroyed the two minarets of the revered Askari shrine in Samarra by suspected Sunni insurgents on Wednesday morning.  Amid appeals for calm, al-Sadr's Mahdi Army is armed and ready, sources report, and clashes broke out in a number of areas in Baghdad before a curfew was imposed.  Suspicion fell immediately on the relatively small guard force that had protected the shrine since the attack in February last year, a unit composed almost of entirely of Sunnis and which American and Iraqi commanders had long suspected of harboring Al Qaeda sympathizers.  The 1920 Revolution Brigade has driven Al Qaeda out of the city of Buriz in Diyala province.  Coalition Forces have killed the Al Qaeda military emir of Mosul.  The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed by Prime Minister al-Maliki.  Dr. David Kilcullen, Gen. David Petraeus' chief adviser on counter-insurgency warfare, explains how marriage rites helped split the Anbar tribes from Al Qaeda.

TWO BENGAL TIGER CUBS are being reared by a pair of feline fanatics in Germany at the Tiger Garden Ingelheim (i.e., the couple's backyard), which already houses five adult tigers.  Video at the link.

MATING GATORS go wild for tubas playing B flat.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  An aggressive squirrel went on the rampage in southern Germany, injuring three people. A 72-year-old pensioner finally put a stop to the mayhem, killing the creature stone dead with his crutch.

A MAN was attacked with a swordfish snout in a home invasion in central Queensland, police say.

A BABY DOLPHIN has been given access to a dolphin "chat line" because the mother is deaf and speaks in a monotone.  The article does not mention whether the chat line bills per-minute.

5186 Reads

White Stripes, Pipettes, Nick Drake, Game Theory, Gorilla Run   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


GNARLS BARKLEY + THEREMIN = "Crazy" delicious!

THE WHITE STRIPES:  Icky Thump hits the stores next week, but you can stream it all now via MTV.

CRUISIN':  Why settle for Capt. Stubing's Magic Band when you can cruise to Cozumel and the Caymans with Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller and Brandi Carlile?  I'd even take that Ben Folds trip if Ted Lange was pouring the drinks.

THE PIPETTES stopped by The Current, so you can stream a mini-set on demand via MPR.

SON VOLT frontman Jay Farrar talks about his influences (musical and otherwise) and living in the Midwest at Richmond.com

IRON & WINE:  Sam Beam's next album, The Sheperd's Dog, isn't due until September, and the single isn't due until July, but Dodge is streaming "Boy With a Coin" from My Old Kentucky Blog.

NICK DRAKE:  The tragic story of the late British singer-songwriter is told through family members and musicians in A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake (Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five).  There's a chunk missing in Part Two, but some of it is here.

BONO'S anti-poverty campaign investing $30 million to pressure the presidential candidates to focus on the issue -- and has enlisted former Senate majority Leaders Frist and Daschle to co-chair the effort.

CAT POWER:  Chan Marshall is now the first woman to have won the Shortlist Prize (for her album The Greatest),  which this year was judged by a panel including Franz Ferdinand, Sufjan Stevens, the Flaming Lips, and, Panic! at the Disco.  The prize site has a nifty juke box, too.  BONUS:  Pitchfork is streaming tracks from Cat Power and Bright Eyes from the soundtrack to Ethan Hawke's upcoming movie, The Hottest State.

GAME THEORY and THE LOUD FAMILY:  Some Velvet Blog is streaming tunes from both of Scott Miller's prog-pop bands, including covers of songs by America and The Hollies.

PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  Los Angeles County sheriff's criminalist Steve Renteria is on the stand, with defense lawyers eliciting testimony that Spector's DNA was not recovered from under Lana Clarkson's nails and that Clarkson's DNA, not Spector's, was found on the gun that was fired into her mouth -- which they will argue shows a lack of struggle.

THE DISNEY SONGBOOK:  Pete Doherty will join Shane Macgowan, Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave, Beth Orton, Baaba Maal, Ralph Steadman and Bryan Ferry to pay tribute to classic Disney songs at a concer organized by Saturday Night Live producer Hal Willner -- a follow-up of sorts to Stay Awake, an album celebrating Disney hits that Willner produced in 1987.  Reclusive legend Van Dyke Parks, famed for producing Brian Wilson and more recently Joanna Newson, will arrange the score.  Click through for Cocker's  Dumbo story.

THE FRENCH HOTEL in the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Wile the heirhead has been telling Barbara Walters about God giving her a second chance, Page Six claims that her doting daddy, Rick Hilton, has been shopping a "Get Out of Jail" bash for his little girl to the top Las Vegas clubs.  Rick and mom Kathy turned up at the jail, surrounded by armed guards and swamped by paparazzi.  PETA would like the former Carl's Jr. burger shill to become a spokesperson for chickens' rights.  But they might have to contact her directly, as she's been dropped by her agent.  BONUS:  Meanwhile, George Clooney is demanding an immediate retraction and an apology from KP International for disseminating stories quoting Clooney -- who has sympathetic to Yong Hollywood -- as saying the celebutante cannot complain about the harsh media spotlight:  "You can only get so far without any discernible talent. Then you either work or use cheap publicity tricks to keep the public's attention. Then you are in no position to complain if, like Paris, you are on the receiving end of bad publicity."

NAOMI WATTS and LIEV SCHREIBER are denying reports that they secretly married with a private ceremony in New York last week.  Their baby is due in August.

CATHERINE KEENER and DERMOT MULRONEY have filed for divorce; the papers indicate the two separated in May of 2005.  The couple have been married for 17 years and have one son,

ANNE HECHE must give primary custody of her son and child support to her estranged husband.  OTOH, Heche will now have more time to start dating women again.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE talked to the Daily Mail about a bunch of topics, including doing sex scenes on film and diagnosing his ex-gf, Britney Spears: "I think this goes for anyone: It all starts with the songs. The truth of it is, she had catchy songs. If she had catchy songs again, I don't think anybody would be chastising her as much as they are."

LINDSAY LOHAN reportedly has a new pal in rehab -- disgraced New York socialite Dori Cooperman, who entered Promises for help with prescription pills and booze two weeks ago after she checked out of the Meadows rehab clinic in Arizona because it wasn't "cool" enough.  Li-Lo's rehab threatened to derail a major deal with the fashion label Jill Stuart.  And it's a good time to sue Lohan for hitting your van with her car.

SIENNA MILLER has split from singer Jamie Burke and seems keen on Scottish singer Paulo Nutini, whose current relationship is going through a rough patch already.  BTW, Nutini sounds older and wiser than 20-years-old, so you may want to stream a few from HisSpace.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul has invited Heather Mills to his 65th birthday bash next Monday, marking an astonishing turnaround in their bitter divorce battle.

RYAN REYNOLDS has a lovely essay at the Huffington Post about the joys of blowing up mailboxes and piles of dog crap with firecrackers.

INDIANA JONES IV:  Sean Connery will not un-retire to reprise his role as Henry Jones, but the blog post at London's Guardian notes that the film's working title is Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods.

THE SOPRANOS finale brought HBO to the edge of an historic feat: a show on a pay cable network available in about 30 million homes was more popular last week than all but one show on the far larger world of broadcast television, and definitely putting the whack on the Tony Awards and the NBA Finals.  In a fitting touch, creator David Chase gave his exclusive exit interview to the New Jersey Star-Ledger -- the newspaper Tony used to fetch from his driveway.  In a much less classy move, people upset with the series finale vandalized Chase's Wikipedia entry.  BONUS:  The singer of the final song demanded to know how the show ended.

THE COUNCIL on AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS, recently named as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in connection with a Texas terror-financing trial, has seen its membership decline more than 90 percent since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to tax documents.  And its current donor drive is lagging as well.

IRAN:  The UN's nuke agency thinks Iran could have 8000 centrifuges enriching uranium by December, a significant rise in nuclear capability likely to fuel fears that Tehran seeks nuclear weapons.  IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei told an IAEA meeting in Vienna that the "brewing confrontation" with Iran over its atomic ambitions "must be defused."  ElBaradei could do his part by not letting Iran believe he was going to downplay the Iranian nuke program, which tends to embolden Iran and cause distrust in the West.  A senior US diplomat accused Iran of transferring weapons to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan -- the most direct comments yet on the issue by a ranking US official.  Fifty-seven Iranian economists attacked Pres. Ahmadinejad, accusing his gov't of ignoring the basics of economics.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio looks at the current state of the Baghdad Security Plan, noting in part that while sectarian killings were reported to have increased during May, after falling significantly the first four months of the year, the number is still half of what it was in December 2006.  Moreover, murders are down significantly in May for the Karkh district (home to once-volatile Haifa Street) and the Adhamiyah neighborhood.  Despite heavy pressure from Congress, the White House and top military commanders, the deadlock in Iraqi politics has reached a point where many Iraqi and US officials now question whether any substantive laws will pass before the end of the year.  Militants bombed a bridge over a major highway for the third consecutive day, suggesting a new campaign against key transport routes may have begun.  An anonymous tribal leader accused the Anbar Salvation Council of conducting secret operations to assassinate Iraqi resistance leaders from outside Al-Qaeda and other well-known figures and former army officers, according to Quds Press.  May be true, may be propaganda intended to increase tribal frictions noted here yesterday.  Al-Hayat reported that the two main Kurdish parties are attempting to unite their semi-regular Peshmerga forces in preparation for a possible military confrontation with Turkey.  US and Iraqi forces raided a lollipop factory being used to make bombs, finding boxes full of explosives and two tons of fertilizer in the basement of the facility in northern Iraq.

THE GREAT GORILLA RUN through Golden Gate Park benefitted The Gorilla Organization, which was established nearly 30 years ago to save endangered gorillas in Africa.

PET HOARDING:  Today we have a classic catlady, fretting over what will happen to the estimated 70 cats she has rescued and cared for over the years, now that she is being foreclosed on.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Firefighters suspect a squirrel is the culprit behind a blaze that claimed a house in Blue Island, IL last weekend.  Judging from an arched power line abutting the two-story home, the fire was likely sparked by electricity -- which is the classic squirrel modus operandi.

GOAT-KILLING BEASTIE TERRIFIES TAIWAN:  A 23-man posse was mounted after a goat-farmer in the mountainous Linkou district of the island reported eight deaths amongst his 100-strong herd.  A woman who witnessed the attack said the beast "looked like a tiger".

JUMPING STURGEON, Injured Floridian.

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TMBG, New Releases, Feist, Richard Thompson, Daisy the Cow   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 12, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS have released a stop-motion clip for "With the Dark" from the forthcoming album, The Else.

NEW RELEASES:  Queens of the Stone Age, O'Death, Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles, country legend Porter Wagoner, Sonic Youth's DayDream Nation re-issue and more are streaming in full via Spinner.  Previously unseen video of the Traveling Wilburys accompanies re-issues of their two albums.  Tuatara -- another project of REM guitarist Peter Buck and Minus 5 frontman Scott McCaughey (and many more) -- release On East Of The Sun, with guest vocals from Mark Olson and Gary Louris (Jayhawks), Sufi Poet Coleman Barks, Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Jessy Greene (Geraldine Fibbers), Dean Wareham (Luna, Dean & Britta), John Wesley Harding, Gina Sala, and Victoria Williams.  Indeed, Mark Olson releases his first solo LP (produced by Ben Vaughn), also with a guest appearance from Gary Louris.  John Doe (of X) releses his seventh solo disc, with cameos from Dan Auerbach (Black Keys), Aimee Mann, Kathleen Edwards, and Jill Sobule.  And in a similar Americana sorta vein, Blitzen Trapper, who just got off tour with the Hold Steady, release  Wild Mountain Nation, the band's third album. 

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS:  Matador is offering two bonus options for pre-orders of the NP's Challengers LP under the label's "Buy Early, Get Now" program.

THE CONCRETES have been posting new songs at TheirSpace, including "Oh Boy and "A Whale's Heart."

MOUNTAIN GOATS mastermind John Darnielle talks to CokeMachineGlow about the upcoming album and his upcoming book for the 33 1/3 series on Black Sabbath's Master of Reality.

FEIST plays three songs off her new album, The Reminder, for the DL via AOL.  It's Twofer Tuesday and then some.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE:  Pitchfork has news on the Kevin Drew solo LP, due in September and apparently part of a new series.

THE ARCADE FIRE did some subliminal advertising for their album on The Price Is Right.  Video at the link.

RICHARD THOMPSON explains the title of his Sweet Warrior album to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS:  NineBullets.net is streaming live takes of new songs the band is testing on the road.

THE FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The heirhead told Barbara Walters in a collect call from the LA County jail that God has given her a second chance to help people with breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.  You can watch Baba Wawa explain it all on The View.  Sister Nicky and sometime bf Stavros Niarchos got preferential treatment while visiting the jail.  Tommy Chong and writer Christopher Hitchens take her side; Jamie Lee Curtis does not.  The Rev. Al Sharpton met with Sheriff Lee Baca today to discuss how the case has exposed "unfairness" in the jail system.  BTW, it costs more than ten times the normal amount to jail the celebutante.  Former Hollywood publicist Jonathan Jaxson thinks he knows why she was shaking, twitching, sweating, crying, and limp upon being sent to jail, though TMZ reports that she is taking Adderall for ADD and that she was not receiving all of her medications at Lynwood.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG is probably Rosie O'Donnell's replacement on The View, with an insider telling Star magazine Goldberg has all the right qualifications: "She also is liberal and outspoken but not crazy like Rosie was."  BTW, The View's ratings increased when O'Donnell left the show.

MADONNA reportedly halted a full-blown sex romp in a no-tell motel with John F. Kennedy Jr. because he didn't have protection.  That Madge was still legally married to Sean Penn, and JFK, Jr. had a steady girlfriend were not deal-breakers.  Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond says Madge lived in his flat with junkies and hookers when she was starting out.

EDDIE MURPHY was set to appear in court to provide a DNA test to finally clear up the mystery of whether ex-Spice Girl Mel B's baby is his Golden Child.

JENNIFER ANISTON:  British model Paul Sculfor was spotted leaving Aniston's Malibu pad on Sunday, after the two spent the previous night on the town with Posh Beckham.  The uber-reliable News of the World quotes "friends" as claiming that Sculfor was a raging cocaine fiend who snorted the drug with Kate Moss before they met Nelson Mandela, not to mention is a serial womanizer.

BRITNEY SPEARS, after weeks of secret meetings and tearful late-night discussions, is set to reunite with Fed-Ex?  Somehow, I doubt it.  VIDEO BONUS:  I'm sure it's pure coincidence that former Spears bf Justin Timberlake was throwing bits of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" into his live show and changing the lyrics of both to refer to a "she."

LINDSAY LOHAN is "doing great" in rehab, according to stage mom Dina, who finally decided to visit her daughter ten days into her treatment.

RICHARD DREYFUSS does not like President Bush, but he really hates Thomas Jefferson, who Dreyfuss calls "the worst person in American history. All he did was defend slavery."

MISS CONDUCT:  If rehabbed ex-Miss USA Tera Conner wants to clean up her image, she may want to avoid photo oops with pr0n queen Tera Patrick.

KATHERINE HEIGL has laid down the law to her pop-star fiancé, Josh Kelley -- keep girls off the tour bus: "If the boys in the band want to meet girls, they can go to a local bar."

JESSICA ALBA says she can't understand why actresses choose to have plastic surgery.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  Watch Christian Bale and director Chris Nolan do a presser with Chicago's Mayor Daley about making the Windy City into Gotham City over the summer.  Batman-on-film has an extra's set report.  And while Nolan says he plans to use five times the locations this time around, the movie trucks were again parked a block west of my day job yesterday.

THIS is CNN... where a reporter apparently paid off gunmen to put on a show for a story about Nigerian resistance fighters.  The reporter's former lover further claims that the reporter said it "was done in agreement with CNN and in accordance with their usual standards."

AUSTRALIA'S NEW TOP MUSLIM CLERIC got off to a controversial start yesterday, refusing to accept Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.  His stance flies in the face of bin Laden's own confession, aired in a December 2001 video.  He also said his predecessor's comments comparing scantily-clad women to "uncovered meat" who invited rape was meant only for a Muslim audience... to which the response should be, "that doesn't make it right."

al-HURRA:  The editorial director of the US taxpayer-funded, Arabic-language TV station resigned after being "professionally and personally attacked" in the media "for reasons I still don't understand."  According to news reports, the station gave airtime to Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya and an al Qaeda operative, and none of the senior news managers at the station spoke Arabic at the time.  Not understanding these criticisms would probably be grounds for firing in and of itself.

THE GAZA STRIP:  Militants battling on the rooftops of Gaza fired on the Palestinian government headquarters on Monday, forcing the ministers to flee the building.  Fighting between Fatah and Hamas forces resumed over the weekend; on Sunday, two militants from the rival sides were dragged onto high-rise rooftops and thrown to their deaths.

IRAN:  A prominent Iranian-American scholar being held on spy charges here is being treated well and may be released in coming weeks, a senior Iranian official told FOX News.  Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, is holding a conference aiming to promote religious tolerance and affirming the reality of the Jewish Holocaust -- an "anti-conference of Tehran", where a December 2006 meet cast doubt on the genocide of Jews during World War II.

IRAQ:  The top US military commander for the Middle East has warned Prime Minister al-Maliki that the Iraqi government needs to make tangible political progress by next month to counter the growing tide of opposition to the war in Congress.  Moqtada al-Sadr visited top Shiite cleric ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf and both discussed the latest security and political developments in Iraq.  US military officials here are increasingly envisioning a "post-occupation" troop presence in Iraq that neither maintains current levels nor leads to a complete pullout, but aims for a smaller, longer-term force that would remain in the country for years.  The co-chairs of the Iraq Study Group said they were unsure whether the goal of pulling combat troops out of Iraq by March 2008 remains valid.  Dr. David Kilcullen, an authority on counterinsurgency appointed to advise Gen. Petraeus, is talking about recruiting more Iraqi soldiers and increasing their divisions from 11 to 20.  There's also a cautionary note: "Everybody knows that July and August are going to be bad months," said Dr. Kilcullen, reminding several company commanders and other officers that Petraeus' plus up report, expected in September, will be a target for insurgents.

DAISY the COW presumably stares unamazed as Crackling and Porkchop tap that udder in the the South-West dairy town of Harvey, Australia.  "Their relationship is very strange, but not really part of the dairy farm scene, or at least it shouldn't be," co-owner Jennifer Maughan laughed.

A HIGHWAY PATROLMAN blasted one snake while escaping a gang of them, including the rattler that bit him, in Billings MT.

WORD to the WISE:  Never bring a cottonmouth water moccasin to a bar fight.

A FROG with fluorescent purple markings and 12 kinds of dung beetles were among two dozen new species discovered in the remote plateaus of eastern Suriname.  Looks trippy, but no word on whether you can lick them.

BLUE-EYED CICADA, lovely cicada.  Child of nature, but not friend of man.

ALMOST CARNIVAL SEASON:  A dozen riders on an Arkansas roller coaster spent half an hour hanging upside down - 150 feet above the ground - after a power outage shut down the attraction.  But were they charged extra?

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Meat Puppets, Richard Thompson, Great Lakes Swimmers, Angry Hippo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 11, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


DUNGEN brew up an old skool psychedelic clip for "Familj" from the Tio Bitar album.  Guitarist Reine Fiske is interviewed by Stylus about the band, Swedish psychedelia, and more.

THE MEAT PUPPETS get a profile in the LA Times with a near-killer lead: "The bullet is still there in Cris Kirkwood's back, a permanent reminder of how bad it got for him..."  The piece further notes: "The simultaneous reemergence of the Meat Puppets and Dinosaur Jr. is a reminder of the remarkable output of SST Records in the 1980s, when the Lawndale-based label run by the South Bay punk band Black Flag released records by those two bands as well as Sonic Youth, the Minutemen, Flipper, Hüsker Dü and other groups that laid the groundwork for alternative rock, wearing grooves in the interstates for few rewards beyond the satisfaction of playing."

ROBBIE FULKS expertly wields the parodic skewer and the music theory on "Fountains of Wayne Hotline."

THE WHITE STRIPES:  Jack White talked to the New York Times about a number of topics, including the importance of smoke and mirrors.

THE BLACK KEYS -- the "down-and-dirty duo from Akron, Ohio" -- got a recent audio segment on NPR's All Things Considered, along with links to their DC gig last November.

RICHARD THOMPSON:  The Denver Post talks to the guitar master and cheery raconteur behind the dark song catalog.

JIMI HENDRIX and the ROLLING STONES celebrate Jimi's last birthday backstage at Madison Square Garden in NYC on November 27, 1969.  The soundtrack includes "My Little One," featuring Jimi, Brian Jones, Dave Mason and Mitch Mitchell.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT talks to Newsday about the "kind of fast-paced, spitfire delivery of life that I seem to have right now, where I'm doing 12 projects, living in Manhattan, jet-setting around..."  You can stream his two-hour performance from New York's Gramercy Theater from Saturday night now via NPR.

LESLIE FEIST tells the Washington Post that she may decide to become ambitious someday.

MASON JENNINGS talked to Heather Browne about inspiring art, fatherhood, the impact of the Internet and more, plus embedded audio and video.

GREAT LAKES SWIMMERS brought their "sweetly rustic, warmly melancholic folk-pop" to the World Cafe last Friday; you can stream their gig now via NPR.

JEFF TWEEDY reviews the Uncle Tupelo and Wilco discographies with Harp magazine.

THE FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The heirhead was "teetering on the brink" in the medical ward at Twin Towers, an L.A. County jail facility, refusing to eat or sleep -- perhaps from fear that someone would photograph her on the toilet, possibly with a cellphone hidden in a very intimate place.   Her condition improved over the weekend, perhaps under threat of being transferred to the mental ward.

GEORGE MICHAEL, otoh, will not serve any jail time after pleading guilty last month to driving while under the influence of drugs.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Ocean's 13 led with 37 million -- slightly less than the openings of the first two in the series -- but will probably still do well world wide.  Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End dropped 52% to second place; it has made 714 million on a 300 million budget worldwide, two-thirds of that outside the US.  Knocked Up came in third, dropping only 34%; it has already made 66 million in the US on a 30 million budget.  Surf's Up debuted in fourth with 18 million -- surprisingly good reviews may not overcome penguin fatigue here.  Shrek the Third suffered a 44% drop to round out the Top Five, though it as made almost twice its 160 million budget worldwide.  Hostel, Pt. II opened in the sixth slot with 8 million (less than half the original's opening); good thing the budget was only about ten million.  Mr. Brooks dropped 50% in its second week, though it will end up making money on its 20 million budget.  Spider-Man 3 sild 40%, from fifth to eighth, though (again) it's going to make significant bucks worldwide.  Waitress dropped only 18% to go from sixth to ninth; it has made 12 million to date.  Disturbia again clings to the tenth slot on a 50% drop, having made over 77 million in the US on a 20 million budget.

RESSE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Speculation over the romance between Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon is heating up after the duo were spotted leaving a doctor's surgery for the second time in as many weeks - sparking talk she may be pregnant.

XTINA AGUILERA, everyone's favorite dirrty girl, made a visit to a maternity doctor on Thursday - sparking talk that she may be pregnant, too.

LINDSAY LOHAN has allegedly asked pals to smuggle sleeping pills into rehab, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.  Insiders allegedly tell the Star that Lindsay's first four days were spent in detox, ridding her body of alcohol, cocaine, Percocet, Vicodin and other meds.  He ex-bodyguard is planning a tell-all book on Lohan, filled with tales of ten-hour cocaine binges, frenzied lesbian romps with scores of girls, suicide attempts and more.  Should the link at the uber-reliable News of the World change, you should be able to find it here.  (Yes, she's the kind of a girl that makes the News of the World.)  Meanwhile, stage mom Dina took ten days to visit her daughter in rehab, and has not bothered to show for custody hearings.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie has been officially approved as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which no doubt delights her, as she does not want to be remembered as an actress.

GREY'S ANATOMY:  Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight have been invited back for a fourth season, but Isaiah Washington  has been shown the door after his anti-gay slur.  Washington's bizzare, yet official response was to quote Howard Beale: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more."

SIENNA MILLER denies she is a slut.  Of course, if you have to make a Nixonian denial, chances are you'e already in trouble.

PAULA ABDUL:  Her new Bravo reality show is being called "train-wreck-tastic," a portrait of a needy celebrity who, in the lap of pampering, constantly believes herself to be mistreated by those around her.

SAMMY DAVIS, JR. is the subject of not one, but four biopics currently in development.  For now, you can watch him dance with James Brown or working the crowd for an MDA telethon.

TERROR in the US:  The investigation into the terror plot to bomb JFK Airport is widening beyond the four men in custody, with more suspects sought outside the US, a law enforcement official said Friday.  In Trinidada, the Jamaat al Muslimeen group denies ties to the plot.

AUSTRALIA'S TOP MUSLIM CLERIC, who complained about long sentences for gang rape and compared immodestly dressed women to uncovered meat, suggesting they invited sexual assault, and who was creating "The Australian Peace Party," has reportedly stepped down from the honorary title, though it's unclear as to whether he jumped or was pushed.

IRAN:  Anti-terrorist officers and MI6 are now investigating a British-based plot allegedly to supply Iran with material for use in a nuclear weapons program.  Meanwhile, satellite imagery links Iran to the attack in Karbala, Iraq which resulted in five US soldiers killed.

IRAQ:  The NYT/IHT rounds up US efforts to arm Sunni groups like the Anbar Salvation Council, even as rumors fly that the Anbar group may be evolving or dissolving.  US military officials say they are making progress in negotiating with tribal leaders in Diyala province.  The tribes around Tikrit -- Saddam's home area -- refuse to join the Salahuddin Salvation Council.  The Iraqi gov't is reportedly close to agreement on 80% of insurgents' requests in ongoing negotiations.  Iraq's leading political blocs agreed to replace the speaker of Parliament, a Sunni, after hearing accusations that his bodyguards assaulted a Shiite lawmaker.  Al Qaeda in Iraq has stepped up its bombing campaign nationwide against the Iraqi security forces.  Michael Yon has another photo-filled dispatch while embedded with the Brits in southern Iraq.

A TERRIFIED GAMEKEEPER had a lucky escape after he managed to sprint to safety from a charging hippopotamus.

POLICE DOGS have been sacked for lewd behavior in Thailand.

A DEER survives being hit by cars and shot by police... only to throw itself from the top of a parking garage in Lancaster, PA.

HE KILLED WEE WEE?  A man accused of fatally shooting a beloved pet goose named Wee Wee faces three misdemeanor charges in Yuba County, California.

A RACCOON took down the power grid in parts of Houston, TX.  But I think we all suspect the hand of the squirrels behind the scenes.

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The Pipettes, Legion of Rock Stars, Cutout Bin, Cats & Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 08, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE PIPETTES!  I just got back from seeing them play a packed house at the Empty Bottle in Chicago (previewed by Jim DeRogatis for the Sun-Times) and boy, are my arms tired!  That's because the lovely lasses from Brighton want you to finger-wag, clap your hands  and wave your arms in the 90 degree heat, just like they do... and if you can give the proper shout-outs in various songs so much the better, as they really feed off a crowd.   They opened with a new song, which I would guess is called "You Won't Forget Me," but it wasn't very long before they pulled out "Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me" much like this clip from  the Black Cat in DC.  Sometimes they seemed more excited about their new material, but they did really cook on crowd faves like "Dirty Mind" and the climactic "Pull Shapes" (like these clips from Lee's Palace in Toronto, but hotter and sweatier, with the crowd yelling, "What will you do when the music stops?").  The encore was "We Are the Pipettes," which is likely the first song you would hear streaming from their website.  BONUS:  What you see above is Gwenno, Rosay and Becki out of their signature polka-dots playing "Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me" unplugged at the CMJ offices in NYC.

PLUS:  The second band on the bill was the tween indie sister act Smoosh, so I'm tossing in their catchy "Find A Way," as well as their live cover of Bloc Party's "This Modern Life," so you can see they have their even younger sister sit in on bass for a couple of numbers. You can also stream a few at SmooshSpace.  Monster Bobby, the ladies' guitarist and collaborator, was third on the bill, with songs like "Let's Check Into the Hospital Together," and "One Moonlit Night" (which featured an Elvis sample singing backup).  BTW, I let Gwenno and Becki stand in front of me to catch the end of Smoosh's set, just as Asya was standing nearby to see the end of the Pipettes' set.  Also, when Smoosh plays soccer at the end of the "Find A Way" clip, that's not just for show -- it's also what they were doing around the corner when I showed up to the Empty Bottle.  FYI, I didn't interrupt, as it would have seemed just too darn creepy.  And I can confirm the Wikipedia entry stating that the Pipettes' drummer plays court musician Thomas Tallis on Showtime's The Tudors.

DANIEL JOHNSTON talked to Glide magazine about his current work and the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, which has turned up on cable recently.

I'M FROM BARCELONA:  The 28-member Swedish band is streaming a song about Britney Spears.

INSTANT KARMA:  The John Lennon tribute disc for Darfur is due next week, but you can stream it now via VH1.

FOUNTAINS of WAYNE co-founder and songwriter Adam Schlesinger is asked by Eye Weekly: "What is it about power-pop that seems to appeal exclusively to neurotic 20- and 30-something white guys?"

THE LEGION of ROCK STARS listen to classic rock and pop songs on 30dB noise-blocking headsets, play along, and record the results.

THE SMASHING PUMPKINS played a "secret" gig in Germany Tuesday night that included a a question and answer session.  When asked why he chose the German word Zeitgeist for the band's new album, Billy Corgan replied, "Because the word Hasselhoff was taken."

DAVE DEE, DOZY, BEAKY, MICK & TICH play "Hold Tight" on a carnival-themed set for Top of the Pops.  And it is almost carnival season...

THE ROSEBUDS did an interview and mini-set at the World Cafe, which you can stream via NPR.

WHY THE HIPSTER MUST DIE, according to TimeOut New York.

KEREN ANN talks to the Boston papers about her eclectic songwriting and her nomadic lifestyle.  You can hear some of the former streaming at HerSpace; I'm partial to the Velvet-y "Lay Your Head Down."

PETE TOWNSHEND talks to France's Metro about his songs (old and new) and the artists and bands he's digging now.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are: The Beach Boys - All Summer Long; Free - All Right Now; The Hues Corporation - Rock the Boat; The Pretenders - Talk of theTown; Old 97's - Question; Blondie - Heart of Glass; Cheap Trick - Oh, Candy; Stevie Nicks - Edge Of Seventeen; The Go! Team - Huddle Formation; Pavement - Cut Your Hair; Beck - Devil's Haircut; The Breeders - Cannonball; Yo La Tengo - Big Day Coming; The Beach Boys - The Warmth of the Sun; Locksley - The Past And The Present; Meat Loaf - You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night); Cream - White Room; Electric Light Orchestra - Roll Over Beethoven; and The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations.

BRITNEY SPEARS is dating her drug counselor?  They both deny it, but Fed-Ex insists they're dating and her mother is thrilled the two are supposedly seeing each other, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

THE FRENCH HOTEL may be ordered back to the Graybar Hotel.  Hours after she was sent home under house arrest Thursday for an undisclosed medical condition, the judge who put her in jail for violating her reckless-driving probation ordered her into court Friday morning to decide if she should go back behind bars.  UPDATE:  Someone got all weepy being hauled to the courthouse in handcuffs!  UPDATEGo to jail.  Go directly to jail.  Do not pass "go."  Do not collect 200 dollars.  The Associated Press brings the drama.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are: the summer's fourth threequel, Ocean's 13, currently scoring 75 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the can-we-have more-penguins animated flick Surf's Up, scoring 77 percent (albeit on 13 reviews) and Eli Roth's Hostel, Pt. II, scoring 86 percent (albeit on six reviews).

BRADGELINA:  Jolie tells Marie Claire magazine how Pitt gets her out of her reserved shell: "I don't know how he does it, but...I talk a lot in the bath. It's easier to talk when you're naked...Get naked with me, and I'll talk!"  As it happens, Jolie was in town last night for an Ocean's 13 premiere, so I was sorely tempted to test that theory... but I already had tickets for the Pipettes.

GEORGE CLOONEY sympathizes with young Tinseltown's train-wrecks:  "If I were as famous as some of those kids who are on the magazines right now at 21 years old, I'd be shooting crack under my eyeball..."

JENNIFER ANISTON will be thrilled to learn that everyone notices her new beau's resemblance to her ex, Brad Pitt.  An Aniston friend says that Jen "is dating a bunch of guys" and hasn't settled on Mr. Right quite yet.

MAKING THE SHINING:  A 1-2-3-4 part behind-the-scenes documentary shot by Vivian Kubrick (daughter of Stanley).  And there are spoilers.  Plus the kid talking about what he's getting paid, and Jack Nicholson being Jack Nicholson (yet seeming more sane than Shelley Duvall).  BONUS:  I cannot help but re-link to the Shining trailer remix.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul talks about not talking about his divorce on Good Morning America.  Video at the link, too.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  New NBC programming chief Ben Silverman is telling friends he will do anything to get O'Donnell onto the network, and not just in daytime. Silverman is talking to O'Donnell about hosting a prime-time game show he has up his sleeve as well as a daytime hour a la The View.  Of course, it's easy to say you'll do "anything" for Rosie when you know she won't be interested in having sex with you.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora entered an undisclosed treatment facility on Wednesday, a rep for the band tod People magazine.

PIRATES:  Slate's Explainer separates fact from fiction.

GRADUATION SPEECH:  Mike Philbrick of ESPN has composed an address of nothing but quotes from sports movies.  Just don't tell Baz Luhrmann.

THE SOPRAN-OHS:  As the historic series draws to a close Sunday, it's worth watching a few minutes of "ohs," "heys" and -- of course -- assorted bits of profanity.

GLOBAL WARMING:  Greenland -- the biggest island in the world -- is a wind-raked place, gripped by ice over four-fifths of its land, prowled by polar bears, its coastlines choked by drifting icebergs and sea ice. Many of its 56,000 people, who live on the fringes of its giant ice cap, see the effects of global warming -- and cheer it on.  BTW, for those freaking over the nearly 11 degree rise in average temperature there from 1991-2003, it should be noted -- as Freeman Dyson has: "The effect of carbon dioxide is more important where the air is dry, and air is usually dry only where it is cold. The warming mainly occurs where air is cold and dry, mainly in the arctic rather than in the tropics, mainly in winter rather than in summer, and mainly at night rather than in daytime..."

INDIA:  A caste of farmers and shepherds went on a rampage throughout northern India in support of their demand to be reclassified as the lowest of the low, so they can get government jobs and university spots reserved for such groups.

IRAN:  According to ABCNews, NATO officials say they have caught Iran red-handed, shipping heavy arms, C4 explosives and advanced roadside bombs to the Taliban for use against NATO forces in Afghanistan, in what the officials say is a dramatic escalation of Iran's proxy war against the US and Great Britain.

IRAQ:  IraqSlogger looks at conflicting reports in the Iraqi media regarding both Turkish incursions into the Kurdish north and the state of the opposition bloc former Prime Minister Allawi is trying to form.  While the US has called on Turkey to not invade northern Iraq, recurring limited incidents of hot pursuit of PKK terrorists are unlikely to draw opposition from the US, or from Baghdad for that matter.  The first Iraqi police academy in Anbar province has opened; it's in Habbaniyah, where former Marine Gene Blanton blogs the return of Sheikh Khamis and a meeting at the city's "neighborhood watch" center.  Michael Yon forwards an e-mail about the situation in Hit from LTC Doug Crissman, who arrested the once-heroic Gen. Hamid there.  The North Shore Journal blog has graphs of US and terrorist deaths this year that you probably won't see anywhere else.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A cat that uses a fork, spoon, and chopsticks to eat.

PET HOARDING:  This time, it's more than 100 pet rats, dozens of rabbits and other animals including several birds, seized from the home of an 81-year-old woman in L.A.

GONNA NEED A BIGGER MARRIAGE:  Frank Maloney, his cousin Ed and friend Chuck "Tuna" Meyer caught a 9-foot bull shark, weighing over 600 pounds, after a three-hour struggle... but the real struggle is with Frank's wife, who is a card-carrying member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PEPPER the PIT BULL saved her family.  For now, anyway.

DOGS:  New research is adding to the growing evidence that man's best friend thinks a lot more than many humans have believed.

CHIZ-WHIZ, the world's most famous chinchilla, has died in his Plymouth home at the age of 21.  Yeah, I had no idea who he was either; he was the public face of the globally-known Chinchilla Chat Line website.  Yeah, I had no idea about that, either.

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