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Be Your Own Pet, Billy Bragg, Ronnie Spector and a ton 'o' bird poop   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 27, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BUCK OWENS, whose Bakersfield sound wound up being one of the blueprints for modern country, passed away at 76. The Washington Post has a nice piece o­n Owens' road back from Hee-Haw. Caught Up In The Fable has a nice eulogy, with video of o­ne of his many smash hits, "Tiger By The Tail."

BE YOUR OWN PET, from Nashville, was one of the most talked-about unsigned bands in America, even before they left school. Their self-titled debut album comes out tomorrow, but you can hear their somewhat abrasive punk sound at MySpace today.

ROCK AND ROLL SCIENTOLOGISTS, past and present, are catalogued in London's Independent.

JINGLE ROCK REDUX: After linking to a bunch of rock jingles Friday, I found that YANP linked to "Clap! Shake! Jump!" by Behavior, which is the song from the current Old Navy commercial.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH: Shakespeare o­nce asked, "What's in a name?" In the case of CYHSY, the Tuscon Weekly suggests the answer is " a lot."

DURAN DURAN: The band's 1995 release Thank You, which paid tribute to the bands that had inspired them, has been named the worst album of all time by music experts at Q magazine. The Independent lists the rest of the Worst Ten.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Robert Pollard works all of his accidental rock star mobes in the Guided by Voices video for "Bulldog Skin."

BILLY BRAGG thinks his early material hasn't dated much because he never really fit in the first place. He tells CNN that "I don't mind the label of political singer. But I do mind being dismissed as o­ne."

RONNIE SPECTOR talks to London's Observer about her upcoming album, which features cameos from Keith Richards, Patti Smith, the Rave-onettes and the Greenhornes, covering songs by the likes of the Ramones and Johnny Thunders. Her husband Jonathan explains why Ronnie can't talk about her ex, producer Phil Spector, who is facing murder charges. The Observer has a separate, positive advance review also.

ARCTIC MONKEYS drummer Matt Helders tells the Washington Post about overnight success: "We don't take it too seriously, but we do talk about it. We've done a lot already, achieved much more than we expected to achieve. It's not the end of the world if it doesn't last forever." The WaPo piece also notes that Monkeys frontman and songwriter Alex Turner "is blessed with an eye for vivid detail, an instinct for lyric and melodic economy, and empathy for his adolescent peers." The Independent notes a backlash from US hipsters. At least The Raconteurs are fans. Meanwhile, the band has revealed details of an upcoming EP, which will include new songs.

THE SLITS are reuniting for shows in Dublin and Berlin. But I think Pitchfork shouldn't be telling everyone to "Stop Youtube-ing 'Typical Girls.'"

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer's band, Babyshambles, missed a gig o­n the the day Doherty pleded guilty to drug charges... again. The latest advice for Doherty comes from Johnny Rotten: "Honestly, have a look at Ozzy Osbourne. Is that in your future? Rich and dumb as a doorbell -- I'd rather be poor and bright." Sounds kinda like Dean Wormer to me... Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel, who was rumored to be taking Doherty to France for a romantic weekend, is now also rumored to be having a phone fling with Colin Farrell. London's Mirror reports Moss went o­n a head banging 21-hour booze bender, including hooking up with divorced couple Sadie Frost and Jude Law -- though there was apparently no threesome. From there, Moss apparently spent the night with Doherty at the home of a mutual friend.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Celebrity magazine editors and the paparazzi were o­n call 24/7 this weekend, o­n rumors the Tom-Kitten is imminent. Ex Nicole Kidman believed -- apparently correctly -- that Cruise had someone eavesdropping o­n her phone conversations and would say things like, "So, Tom, are you listening," in the midst of calls with her friends.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Spike Lee's Inside Man dominated, pulling in 29 million. V for Vendetta came in second, with 12.3 million. V should be in the black before it reaches the DVD market, but a 52 percent drop suggests it won't have the legs of The Matrix.

V FOR VENDETTA was granted unparalleled access to film in Westminster last June; actor Stephen Fry has suggested tht may have been due to Euan Blair, the 22-year old son of the British prime minister, who was employed as a runner o­n the film.

BRADGELINA: Celebrity Living has an extraordinarily silly story about Jolie forbidding Pitt from doing sex scenes in movies. More plausible is Jolie joining in Maddox's judo class.

BRUCE WILLIS is dismissing reports of dating supermodel Petra Nemcova: "I wish. I’m just an old actor."

PENELOPE CRUZ had to wear a false butt for an upcoming movie after movie bosses decided her own posterior wasn't curvy enough. No wonder George Clooney is proud of Hollywood's progressive reputation.

GWYNETH PALTROW wants to name her second child Mortimer, after her godfather Steven Spielberg, according to some website.

DAVID HASSELHOFF allegedly broke his estranged wife's nose according to documents filed in his divorce case. Pamela Hasselhoff also claims that he o­nce pushed her hard into a car. No word o­n whether the car will testify.

JESSICA SIMPSON is probably smiling over tabloid reports that Laguna Beach's Kristin Cavallari was caught canoodling with someone other than Nick Lachey.

THETANLAND!? Mike Walker of the National Enquirer reports that the Church of Scientology is looking at purchasing Jacko's Neverland Ranch and making it a retreat for Scientologists.

PINK reportedly wants to open a chain of strip clubs, in which she will dance herself. It seems like just a few months ago that Pink was satirizing porno paparazzi girls... oh, wait it was just a couple of months ago.

JAKE GYLLENHALL and KIRSTEN DUNST: Reconciling for the sake of their dogs? That would be mighty Swank of them.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR was probably not smiling o­n learning that Richie Sambora is seeking joint physical custody of their eight-year-old daughter, Ava. Perhaps more intriguing is that Sambora's legal response seeks enforcement of the couple's prenup.

NANOTECH: Golden drug "nanoshuttles" target "zip codes" in the human body. Someday they may attack troublesome tissue, carry drugs, or reflect signals back to imaging systems.

IRAQ: Former Dem Sen. and 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey says a recently declassified Iraqi account of a 1995 meeting between Osama bin Laden and a senior Iraqi envoy presents a "significant set of facts," and believes our understanding of Saddam's relationship with Al Qaeda would become much deeper as more captured Iraqi documents and audiotapes are disclosed. Some of those docs seem to show that Saddam's regime hid Russian and Turkish scientists from UN weapons inspectors and that US war plans were disclosed to the regime by the Russian ambassador. Bill Roggio covers Operations Iron Strike, Northern Lights, Scales of Justice and Swarmer.

THE MEDIA AND IRAQ: The Washington Post runs a five-page analysis of the paper's coverage. Though I could point out a number of errors the paper has made, overall, the WaPo coverage is among the more defensible in the media, so I don't expect similar pieces from other outlets. I will note that Post reporter Thomas Ricks admits that coverage within Iraq is seen through the lens of politics, not military ops or reconstruction. I would suggest that the topics are inter-related and that a media failure to recognize this is probably a source of many of the complaints they receive. Elsewhere, Bill Roggio -- who is mentioned in the article --comments o­n how the WaPo covered him and the paper's attitude generally.

BELARUS: Publius Pundit rounded up coverage of the Lukashenko regime's brutal crackdown o­n opposition protesters after an earlier protest ended peacefully. Alexander Kozulin, a key opposition leader, has been arrested.

THE BIRDS: Life imitates High Anxiety in downtown Orlando, FL.

KNOCK, KNOCK: Who's there? An eight-foot long alligator, if you live in Bonita Springs, FL.

SQUIRRELS: British politicians were urged to eat grey squirrels as part of a radical plan to prevent the indigenous red variety of the species from disappearing. And here I thought squirrel was a delicacy primarily in Tennessee...

PANDAS: Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian told China Thursday to drop the idea of giving the island a goodwill gift of a pair of pandas, saying pandas brought up in cages or given as gifts will not be happy.

4150 Reads

Rockers Sell Out, Centro-Matic, Feist and a 255-year-old Tortoise   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 24, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



KINKS KOMMERCIALS: Though everyone thinks of Pete Townshend doing The Who Sell Out, we're increasingly hearing Ray Davies placing Kinks songs for ads, including "All Day and All of the Night" for a new Tide campaign. "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" for IBM and "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy" for Abbott Labs. This follows the use of "Picture Book" in an award-winning ad for HP. The linked article misses that Ray got started with a toy story, even without the Kinks.

JINGLE ROCK: Of course, it's not just the classic rockers delving into advertising. I'm reminded that the Toronto Star ran a piece earlier this year o­n Jim Guthrie, who wrote "Hands in My Pocket" for a Capital One commercial. But the indie acts have proven more problematic for the business world. Pizza Hut rejected Ween's demos for obvious reasons. Nor did Yo La Tengo's Coke jingle, anti-smoking PSA or cellphone ad ever make the airwaves.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: The Optus Tennis Challenge. It doesn't get much more mindless than this.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, INDIE ROCK: The soundtrack for the videogame Major League Baseball 2K6 will include Belle and Sebastian, Guided By Voices, Interpol, Pavement, Preston School of Industry, Stephen Malkmus, Yo La Tengo and more...

YO LA TENGO: Speaking of which, YANP posted more covers from the WFMU pledge drive request set. Thank Ken King for reminding me.

NEKO CASE lives in Chicago and likes to kick off her tours in the Twin Cities: "We always feel like audiences there really care when we play. They don't have that weird self-consciousness you see in other cities. That's Midwestern hospitality, I guess." You can hear her at her newly revamped website, with podcasting to come o­n tour.

CENTRO-MATIC may have Guided by Voices-like song fragments and a touch of high-plains Texas twang, but Will Johnson tells Creative Loafing that he still favors songs bursting with fuzzed-out, feedback-happy guitars, atom-mashing bass and drums, and we-dare-you-not-to sing-along vocals: "We like choruses. S--t, the Replacements did it, and I was weaned o­n that, and a lot of my favorite bands do it to this day." Check 'em out at MySpace.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: VH1 Classic has auctioned off hours of programming for Hurricane Katrina relief, so this Sunday the channel will air the English and German versions of Nena's "99 Luftballons" for an entire hour. But if you can't wait until Sunday, there is always YouTube.

FEIST: Arts & Crafts is compiling Open Season, which will feature demo and acoustic versions of songs, remixes, collaborations and songs that were recorded for Let It Die, but didn't make the cut. She already has a alternate video for "Mushaboom" You can also hear the Postal Service remix that will appear o­n Open Season, though it will take a moment to load up at the Hype Machine.

THE RACONTEURS: Scots report o­n the semi-supergroup's second-ever gig at Stereogum. There's also a link to their video.

DIAMOND NIGHTS: Brooklyn Vegan publishes an e-mail from Minnesota Public Radio complaining about the band's behavior during an instudio performance at SXSW. He also links you to the performance.

CHRISSIE HYNDE and former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones share a tender memory of a liaison in a bathroom at a party in the mid-70s. Hynde said the most memorable thing about that encounter was that she briefly dropped her vegetarian ways and ate a piece of meat afterwards. That's afterwards, so get your mind out of the gutter.

THE NEW STANDARDS: The Pate generation may remember Chan Poling of the Suburbs and John Munson of Semisonic (and Trip Shakespeare). They're two-thirds of a band that is recording jazz versions of indie faves including Beck's "The New Pollution," The Clash's "London Calling" and The Replacements' "I Will Dare." Replacements fans may recall that Poling played piano o­n "Sixteen Blue," another track from Let It Be, where he was credited as appearing "no thanks to PolyGram Records."

THE FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne is eminently quotable for London's Telegraph, but my fave may be this: "Art's o­nly worthwhile if you really have something inside of you that you have to get out, I think. I'm not saying it to change the world. I'm just saying it to change myself."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer pleaded guilty to possession of pot, crack and heroin, then kicked a microphone from a BBC reporter's hand while leaving the courthouse.

BRITNEY SPEARS is the subject of a pro-life monument that probably won't be good publicity for Spears or the pro-life movement. Meanwhile, rumors of her second pregnancy wax and wane depending o­n whether she did or did not drink at Spenderline's birthday party, where the couple was cozy, but Spears did not wear her ring.

NOW SHOWING: This week's wide releases are Spike Lee's Inside Man (82 percent Fresh o­n the Tomatometer), as well as the apparently unscreened but probably critic-proof Stay Alive (teen horror) and Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (presumably a comedy).

STING has asked about setting up a fantasy sex party with notorious orgy organizer Palagia, according to Page Six, citing Palagia's rep. A rep for Sting said: "This is so absurd I can't even comment."

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde is going into the hair extension business. And if the picture of Simpson at the link is any indicator, she will fail spectacularly. Meanwhile, future ex Nick Lachey is following the Justin Timberlake model by making a video to buld sympathy.

SHARON OSBOURNE was crowned Celebrity Mum of the Year Wednesday. That unlikely feat was made easier by the competition, which included supposedly sober supermodel Kate Moss. OTOH, Sharon's daughter Kelly supported Moss as a candidate.

BRADGELINA: Pitt is looking a little haggard lately. Pitt's desire to spend more time with his new family may be complicating plans for Ocean's 13 and annoying George Clooney.

CARMEN ELECTRA is now personally denying her marriage to Dave Navarro is o­n the rocks, noting that she's still wearing her wedding ring. Indeed, she's spicing things up with a rhinestone whip and rhinestone handcuffs. No word o­n whether she's tried the pasta trick o­n Dave yet. BTW, is Dave wearing his ring?

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT star Jason Bateman suggests Showtime wants to pick up the acclaimed comedy for at least two seasons.

GRAPHIC NOVELS: From American Splendor to V for Vendetta, the Ottawa citizen examines why graphic novels are becoming fodder for Hollywood movies and a literary phenomenon. The article glosses over the quote from collector Erin Collins that mentions storyboards. The folks who made the Matrix trilogy are o­n record explaining how their comic-style storyboards helped sell the film to a studio and creates economy when shooting it.

BEARDS are back in style, according to The New York Times, which cites George Clooney, Heath Ledger, Hugo Weaving and Tim Harrington -- the lead singer of the rock band Les Savy Fav -- as examples of the trend. If o­nly they had seen Michael Douglas...

THE DEATH OF CHEF: If you missed the highly-rated South Park season premiere Wednesday night, you can see the thinly-veiled satire o­n Scientology and the dust-up with Issac Hayes via YouTube.

THE EASTER BUNNY has been booted from the lobby of the City Council offices in St. Paul, as he could be offensive to non-Christians.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is back in full-on man-eating mode. Apparently, she can't stop at literally making a cartoon of herself.

IRAQ: At ITM Mohammed looks at the upcoming "third stage" of political negotiations, the structure of the national security committee, and how it may keep Ibrahim al-Jafari in place as Prime Minister. Comedy Central is hosting video of Jon Stewart's Daily Show interview with Gen. Georges Sada, the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force, who says Iraq moved WMDs into Syria before the invasion. Sada has an interesting backstory, too.

CARTOON JIHAD: Imam Ahmed Akkari -- the spokesman for the Danish Muslim organizations which led the protest against the Muhammed cartoons -- was caught o­n hidden camera suggesting that a moderate Muslim politician be blown up if he becomes Foreign or Immigration Minister. He was kidding, of course. ALSO: Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor for Reuters, wrote a story claiming "The strong Western response to a threatened death sentence for an Afghan convert to Christianity looks something like a mirror image of the Muslim reaction to the Prophet Mohammad caricatures printed in the European press." Apparently, someone at Reuters figured out how wacky this was, because Heneghan was singing a different tune by dinnertime.

BELARUS: Police in Minsk have detained scores of demonstrators camped in a central square to protest President Alexander Lukashenko’s victory in a disputed election. Publius Pundit wonders what will happed to the massive demonstration planned for today...

BOAVISTA THE GREYHOUND, owned by actor Vinnie Jones, won the £55,000 Irish Cup last month, capping a 24-course unbeaten run. But was he juiced?

DOGS and their owners eat at the same table at The Paradise Pet club in Shanghai.

ADWAITYA, a tortoise given to Robert Clive of the British East India Company by British sailors from the Seychelles in 1775, passed away Wednesday night. Born in 1750, London's Times reminds us just how old that is.

COCKROACHES are the latest thing in jewelry. Video of the still living, crystal-studded hissing roaches at the link.

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Flaming Lips, Minus 5, Richard Hawley, Mini-Horses   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE FLAMING LIPS played "Bohemian Rhapsody" during a surprise show at SXSW. Stereogum has onstage video. KissAtlanta has it in Quicktime. Take Your Medicine is killing music with a MP3 download. You can hear the upcoming album, At War With The Mystics, in the audio section of the band's website. Jim DeRogatis is promoting his new book o­n the band.

SCOTT McCAUGHEY: The Young Fresh Fellow and Minus 5 frontman does a piece for Harp o­n the record that changed his life after listing a bunch of candidates. However, when Ken King and I saw the Minus 5 Wed. night, Scott picked a favorite not on that list to cover -- The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks." And for an encore, he led the touring unit, including REM's Peter Buck on bass, through "Circle Sky," by the Monkees (written by Michael Nesmith). Of course, there was a lot of great Minus 5 music as well. Peter Buck also put in a cameo on lead guitar during the opening set from The Silos -- on a swampy version of Jonathan Richman's "I'm Straight."

AEROSMITH frontman Steven Tyler will undergo mystery surgery this week for his mystery medical malady, forcing the band to cancel the rest of its North American tour. UPDATE: It looks to be throat surgery. We wish him well, natch.

MORRISSEY apologizes to Arctic Monkeys for complaining they had become too famous too soon: "I'm sorry that the comments I made at South By Southwest about the Arctic Monkeys were printed so harshly. "I actually quite like the Arctic Monkeys and whatever I said was said with tender, avuncular concern. I hope to God I didn't upset their grannies. "In any case, I was wrong about their success being too sudden and without any dues paid, because that's exactly how it happened for The Smiths. So, I really should shut it." You can preview Morrissey's new album at MySpace.

WILCO bassist John Stirratt talks to the Des Moines Register about new sounds, new songs and living in the North and the South.

JASON COLLETT: The Broken Social Scenester talks to Drowned In Sound about his acclaimed solo album and how being overlooked in Canada helps make music, but causes musicians to leave. You may still be able to get a free Collett track via SXSW.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: From Hullabaloo, we have The Byrds syncing "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better," with equally synced go-go dancing during Roger's guitar solo.

KELLEY STOLTZ: The McCartney-esque singer-songwriter tells PopMatters that he loves his work and recorded his first full-length album with 100 percent renewable energy. You can stream a few via MySpace.

LYNYRD SKYNYRD: Though I focused o­n Blondie and the Sex Pistols getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who better to write about the Southern Rockers' entry than Drive-By Truckers frontman Patterson Hood?

RICHARD HAWLEY is the latest answer to Jerry's question, "How the hell did I miss ----'s album last year?" at Yeti Don't Dance. There is some killing of music involved, but I think you can still get a taste of the Orbison-esque Hawley with a legal download via SXSW.

JOHN LENNON: Yoko Ono has attacked a pay-per-view TV 'seance' that attempts to contact the late Beatle from beyond the grave as "tasteless, tacky and exploitative." It may well be worse than Lennon: The Musical.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer openly took heroin, ecstasy and crack cocaine throughout an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes reportedly fears what Scientological parenting rules will do to her Cruise-spawn, which the church sees as a kind of "second coming." That's according to the ever-reliable Star. Meanwhile, Cruise's daughter, Isabella, seems less than thrilled with Cruise's very public displays of affection.

OMIGOD, THEY KILLED CHEF! The South Park character died a horrible, funny death after his brains were scrambled by the "Super Adventure Club" -- a not-at-all thinly veiled jab at the Church of Scientology, which is rumored to be responsible for Isaac Hayes' alleged (or forced) refusal to continue voicing the character.

BRADGELINA: Oprah Winfrey bans the couple from her show, pledges allegiance to Team Aniston. Meanwhile, Jolie may be miffed at Pitt's drinking habits.

KEVIN COSTNER: His reps are vigorously denying that he is the subject of a blind item in London's Daily Mirror about a star who engaged in sexual self-gratification in front of a horrified masseuse at a posh Scottish golf resort.

ROCKUMENTARIES: At Indiewire, Anthony Kaufman asks: Is it just coincidence that there are three compelling documentaries about rock musicians with briefly thrilling, eventually sorry, sad lives cut down by drugs and mental illness?

CHER celebrates her plastic surgery and attends the Agent Provocateur fashion show with a zombie.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON: Dumped by Josh Hartnett?

CHARLIZE THERON: Rumors of a split with long-time beau Stuart Townsend have resurfaced in Star magazine.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: The DVD will be out soon, but right now, you can see it in 30 seconds. With bunnies.

EVA LONGORIA had to "clarify" that when the lights are out, her beau (and NBA player) Tony Parker "is the teacher." Apparently, humiliating your boyfriend in an interview is not a smart thing to do.

SHARON STONE, currently working o­n Mideast peace and joining in solidarity with a French student strike, absolutely screamed at the top of her voice before every take in Basic Instinct 2. Which may well be how the audience reacts.

REMAKES: The PopWatch blog at Entertainment Weekly offers a limited defense of Hollywood's tendency to recycle.

BEFORE THEY WERE STARS: I'm sure George Clooney and Brad Pitt are thrilled to have their early TV appearances streaming from AOL.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY visited the trout pout shop? Has the world gone mad?

IRAQ: Bill Roggio notes that a joint US and Iraqi rapid reaction team decimated insurgents attempting to attack the Madain police station, following a successful attack o­n the police in Miqdadiyah (which may have been an inside job). He reminds us that Al Qaueda unsuccessfully attacked Camp Gannon in Husaybah and the Abu Ghraib prison in the spring of 2005. At ITM, Mohammed is miffed at recent Russian overtures, given the nation's past support of Saddam.

IRAQ AND THE MEDIA: An Iraqi cameraman working for CBS News when he was detained by the US military will be tried next month. The AP story has plenty of quotes from journos protesting the unfair treatment of Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein. It leaves out that he was referred to CBS by a "fixer" in Tikrit (i.e., Saddam Hussein's hometown) "who has had a trusted relationship with CBS News for two years." It also fails to mention that o­ne military official said at least four videos in Hussein's camera show roadside bomb attacks o­n U.S. troops -- all shot in a manner suggesting prior knowledge of the attacks and that he had scouted a shooting location in sight of the target. That's in addition to the e-mail from the US task force at Abu Ghraib saying Hussein "appeared to be instigating a crowd" in Mosul.

CULT OF THE iPod: Apple calls a proposed French law that could break the locks tying songs from the iTunes store to iPod players "state-sponsored piracy."

NANOTECH: Trials of carbon nanotube TVs -- which could combine the picture quality of CRTs with the slim profile of LCDs -- are o­n the horizon.

MINI-HORSES can be worth thousands in Florida property tax breaks under a 1959 agricultural exemption being debated in the legislature. Why? As Jason Curtis, supervisor of the agriculture division of the Broward County Property Appraiser's Office, says the law classifies the minis as livestock: "A horse is a horse is a horse." Of course.

WILY COYOTE that had been dining o­n duck in NYC's Central Park since Sunday was caught o­n Wednesday. The Coyote blames the ACME Corp. for his capture. Let's go to the video.

OLD DOGS may not learn new tricks, but they get plenty of health care in Japan, where the number of aging canines surpasses even the well-known graying of the nation's human population.

HIBERNATING CATERPILLARS burn a tremendous amount of fat while hibernating during the transformation to butterflies. This is really going to annoy the bears.

LONGHORN wanders into a Houston fire station. Why is this news? After all, it is Texas...

4418 Reads

The National, Silver Jews, Radiohead, Plunging Piper the Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE NATIONAL: Singer Matt Berninger says that the slow-building success of the Alligator album may be due to the band picking the songs that held their interest the longest, which were not the more immediate, catchy o­nes. OTOH, Benninger adds: "The National is not easy to Google. Maybe that's why we're a slow-builder." You can stream three tracks from Alligator at MySpace to see if they grow o­n you.

ARCTIC MONKEYS: Noel Gallagher of Oasis responds to Morrissey's critical comments o­n the sudden success of lads from Sheffield: "It happens when it happens, man, and I would say thank God that it does happen. You'd be a bit of an idiot if you said, 'No, I'm too young for a record deal.'" When bass player Andy Nicholson's instrument failed o­n him in San Francisco, frontman Alex Turner was left to entertain the crowd - and did so by performing a new song, "Despair in the Departure Lounge."

THE ARTIST CURRENTLY KNOWN AS PRINCE is being sued for the purple-hued alterations he made to his rented Los Angeles mansion.

SILVER JEWS: Some friends of frontman David Berman fret about how the reclusive songwriter will adapt to travel and to socializing and performing.

SONDRE LERCHE talks to Billboard about the increased jazz influence o­n his new album, Duper Sessions, which you can stream in its entirety from AOL Music.

THE TWO JOHNS: diw magazine interviews John Vanderslice and the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle, friends and collaborators who have May birthdays that are just days apart. Yet neither likes to talk about their songwriting -- as Vanderslice explains: "I understand what he means. I don't mind talking about songwriting but, in general, the last thing I want to chat about is indie rock. I would much rather talk about movies or basketball or really anything else. It's all you ever do, so you don't need to dwell o­n it. .."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: With Tom Jones gettting knighted by the Queen of England a week from today, enjoy a vintage version of "It's Not Unusual" and a later performance of "She's A Lady."

YOU TUBE: The astonishing growth of the viral video site -- now streaming 30 million videos a day -- has put old-guard media empires o­n the defensive, but for every corporate lawyer firing off angry letters to YouTube, there are two more executives exploring potential partnership opportunities -- maybe even an outright acquisition. Sometimes, a media company is doing both.

GOTHS are art lovers, who aspire to middle-class values and will end up in respectable professions, not ticking timebombs, according to a thesis by Dr. Dunja Brill.

CARLOS SANTANA spoke out against Pres. Bush while in Peru: "I have wisdom. I feel love. I live in the present and I try to present a dimension that brings harmony and healing. My concept is the opposite of George W. Bush." Whatever o­ne thinks of Pres. Bush, at least he he does not credit the angel Metatron for his success or employ a guru named "Dr. Dan" to "calibrate the consciousness" of his employees.

AMY MILLAN: The Broken Social Scene continues to extend itself as Millan -- who is also the frontwoman of Stars -- announces a solo album due o­n May 30 in Canada and August 29 in America. The track "Skinny Boy" is currently available as a free download -- just follow the link o­n the Stars page at the Arts & Crafts website.

RADIOHEAD will contribute music to Richard Linklater's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's cult science fiction book A Scanner Darkly. Frontman Thom Yorke -- who may or may not have a solo LP in the works -- says he turned down the chance to discuss climate change with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, preferring to "just shout my mouth off from the sidelines."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer serenaded retired boxer Mike Tyson in the bar of a UK hotel. The pair are said to have stayed up talking until dawn. I hope Pete didn't go up to Tyson's hotel room.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: An ad running in Los Angeles, Buffalo, NY and Jackson Hole, WY, blasts Cruise and Scientology for opposing phsychiatric medication. The ad focuses o­n the case of Jeremy Perkins, the schizophrenic son of Elli Perkins -- a senior auditor at the Buffalo Scientology branch. He received vitamins as treatment and stabbed his mother to death. This sort of bad pub, combined with an uneven record at the box office, means a lot rides o­n the success or failure of Mission Impossible 3.

BRADGELINA: I'm not a big Jennifer Aniston fan, but I chuckled over her donating Pitt’s clothes to charity.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Kristin Cavallari (MTV's Laguna Beach) was spotted returning from the new Bel Air mansion of Simpson's future ex, Nick Lachey. Moreover, 80 percent of those writing People magazine side with Lachey in the divorce dispute.

BARBRA STREISAND is doing another farewell tour. She plans to give the Who a run for the farewell market.

SIENNA MILLER: Her big sister has stepped in to insist she takes some time out from her "hectic lifestyle." Isn't a "time out" what parents impose o­n their misbehaving children?

THE BOX OFFICE WINDOW may narrow, but not close, according to studio execs, theater owners and directors like M. Night Shyamalan.

NAOMI WATTS is rumored to have hit a rough patch with beau Liev Schreiber, though her rep denies it, natch.

CYNDI LAUPER struggles with motherhood, because she finds it difficult to interact with other mothers at sports day and important school events, and insists her fame makes the matter worse. It may also be that claiming to be psychic doesn't play well with the other moms.

COLIN FARRELL is on the wagon while shooting the cop drama Pride and Glory. It would be nice if the rehab is taking.

BRUCE WILLIS was in supermodel Petra Nemcova's doghouse at his own birthday party, after standing her up at the V for Vendetta premiere last week.

SUPERMAN RETURNS spoilers from ShoWest are spilt at Ain't-It-Cool-News.

MATTHEW PERRY getting cozy with Piper Perabo? Maybe he should send a thank you to SNL for the shout-out in the Narnia Rap.

TOM STOPPARD: The famed playright writes that free speech is not an inalienable human right. Marxist Prof. Norm Geras points out four bad arguments in the article.

LOST hottie Evangeline Lilly thinks about retiring from acting in just ten years' time, because the stress of fame is eating away at her nerves. Page Six suggests that the show is losing steam from reruns. Maybe ABC needs to bring o­n the Brazilian ad team.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio rounds up current military ops, which are primarily in Baghdad and north-central Iraq. Operation Swarmer also continues near Samarra, where the attack o­n the Golden Mosque has tipped public sympathy in the favor of Iraqi government forces. The Mesopotamian follows up his weekend posting: "I think most people here, including the political elites realize that a civil war is something unthinkable that will tear the country apart." And he urges that "The American people too, should not forget the fundamentals of the situation."

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: The Washington Post ran a story asserting that: "With insurgent violence grinding o­n, essential services sagging below pre-invasion levels and the prospect of civil war looming, many Iraqis question whether Hussein's ouster was worth the cost." And if you choose to base your story o­n interviews with Sunni Arabs in Baghdad and Fallujah, as the WaPo does, you can find that opinion. OTOH, the most recent public opinion poll cited by the Brookings Institution's Iraq Index reports that 77 percent of Iraqis think ousting Saddam was worth it, despite the hardships of the past three years. You would also discover that the estimated electricity production for March is above prewar levels. The WaPo is the same paper that just reported the consensus view of Iraq vets that the media seems to have a predetermined, negative script for Iraq coverage. BONUS: Note that an AP story o­n 39 people killed by insurgents and sectarian violence buries news that the annual pilgimage to holy city of Karbala (where millions of Shi'ite faithful gathered to mark the end of the annual mourning period for the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed) passed largely without incident and absent the violent bomb attacks that have hit pilgrims there over the past two years.

CARTOON JIHAD: Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds quit o­n Tuesday after a row over the closure of a website with cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, embarrassing Prime Minister Goran Persson six months ahead of elections.

HOW 'BOUT THOSE CLONES! Site admin. Lance reminded me to note that ISU fired basketball coach Wayne Morgan and his staff after a CBS Sportsline.com story alleged that the Cyclones were the "centerpiece" of an elaborate recruiting scandal.

PILOTS PASS THE BRBON IN KY: Sylvia Hauser passes along a Wall Street Jounal article o­n the memorable codes the FAA assigns to air traffic routes: "To arrive in Nashville, it takes PICKN and GRNIN and often a pass through HEHAW..." There's plenty more at the link.

PIPER THE CAT may have used up a life or two but was unharmed after falling nearly 80 feet from a tree. Video at the link.

HUMPREY THE CAT, who lived at Number 10 Downing Street through three British prime ministers, passed away Monday.

HORSING AROUND: A dud of a stud at the center of a contract dispute rises to the occasion after the court orders the little blue pill.

SIX-LEGGED LAMB born in Belgium. I'm a little relieved there's no photo, though that won't stop me from making a mint jelly joke.

CANE TOAD UPDATE: While some Aussies are whacking the toad invaders, the RSPCA is offering a beer-for-toads program.

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The Pipettes, New Releases, Centro-Matic, Polar Bear Triplets   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE PIPETTES have married their classic girl group sound with the production skills of Gareth Parton (The Go! Team) and Andy Dragazis (Blue States) for the positively infectious "Your Kisses Are Wasted o­n Me." You can -- and should -- stream the audio or see the You Tube video at MySpace or stream the vid in glorious Quicktime from Memphis Industries.

NEW RELEASES: The highlights this week include guitar heroism from Band of Horses (just got a rave o­n the Pitchfork), more trad R & B and rock from singer-songwriter Cory Branan, all 59 non-album tracks from The Cocteau Twins, 60s-style pop from The Essex Green, My Bloody Valentine and Yo La Tengo-esque fuzz, made more trippy by The Lilys, new wavey dance music from Mates of State and the major label redux from The Artist Currently Known As Prince, complete with those Purple Tickets to his music factory.

MORRISSEY: Author Douglas Coupland, who named o­ne of his books after a Moz song, doesn't interview Morrissey so much as give you his impressions of meeting him in Rome: "His head (this is really weird, and I hope it doesn't go outside the boundaries of taste) is enormous. It's like a huge Charlie Brown parade float head. I walked into the bar to meet him and I saw this guy across the room with this massive head and I thought to myself, 'Man, that's o­ne massive head', and it was Morrissey."

CENTRO-MATIC: The Denton, TX quartet's latest, Fort Recovery, may be more accessible than usual, but the Village Voice likes it anyway. Some of it reminds me a bit of Guided by Voices.

NIKKI SUDDEN dresses like a pirate and talks about the deluxe re-issues of his back catalog.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: There are few videos more associated with the rise of MTV as a hitmaker than "Love My Way" by the Psychedelic Furs. And for Twofer Tuesday, I throw in the Furs' remake of their own "Pretty In Pink."

SXSW REDUX: The Washington Post has a round-up that praises the (as yet) unsigned indie goodness of Tapes 'N Tapes, the Billy Bragg-led hootenanny at the Central Presbyterian Church, The Flairz, a coed Australian tween trio... and the Arctic Monkeys, who managed to impress the jaded hipsters assembled in Austin. The BBC has an impressive photo galleries and streaming audio, including performances from Morrissey, Richard Hawley, The Zutons, Flaming Lips, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Guillemots and more. There are even more pics at Stereogum. Pitchfork has a three-day diary with pictures and some new names for me to research.

KING FLOYD III, the soul singer and songwriter best known for his 1970 hit "Groove Me," died of complications from a stroke and diabetes at 61. Red Kelly has a bio and tribute at the "B-side." There's more at Soul Sides.

ROGER DALTREY worries about the Keith Moon biopic, but thinks that the upcoming Who album will be their best yet. OTOH, he's going deaf, so don't bet your copy of Who's Next o­n it.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL gets an audio feature at NPR for her album with Mark Lanegan, Ballad of the Broken Seas.

ROXY MUSIC is recording a new album with Brian Eno, who left the band in '73.

DAVE GROHL assures us he will not be naming his baby Moonchild or Tinkerbell.

CHEF-GATE! Fox's Roger Friedman claims that "Isaac Hayes did not quit South Park... someone quit it for him." Hayes recently suffered a stroke and "is constantly monitored by a Scientologist representative most of the time." Meanwhile, the cartoon's tenth season launches o­n Wednesday with a new episode titled "The Return of Chef!"

DONALD TRUMP had a baby boy. Actually, his wife Melania had it, though you have to listen to The Donald carefully to draw that distinction.

TOM SIZEMORE: The troubled actor reveals he enjoyed affairs with both Paris Hilton and Liz Hurley -- dubbing them the best of his 2,000 conquests. This could be considered high praise for Hurley, as the French Hotel may have as much experience as Sizemore. OTOH, Hurley was still involved with Hugh Grant at the time, so she may not like that sort of pub.

A HOLLYWOOD SUPERSTAR performed a sex act o­n himself while enjoying a massage, a hotel worker has claimed. The Writing Company attempts some detective work.

CARMEN ELECTRA and DAVE NAVARRO: Electra's rep can't imagine who started the rumor about a rough patch in the marriage. Hint -- it was Dave.

MADDOX PITT-JOLIE: has topped a new poll of cute celebrity kids appearing in In Touch Weekly.

SIENNA MILLER has reportedly begged ex-fiance Jude Law to give their relationship o­ne more chance? I dunno... there are plenty of pics of her cozy with Hayden Christensen floating around.

BRITNEY SPEARS is looking pregnant as her innie turns outie. She is threatening not o­nly another season of her reality show Chaotic, but also to feature Spenderline in a spinoff. But even that might not be the most embarassing video of the couple to see the light of day in the near future.

COLIN FARRELL: Speaking of which, a judge has blocked distribution of Farrell's romp with a former Playmate. But maybe his naked ballet for Salma Hayek will end up o­n the DVD for Ask the Dust.

THE GALLERY OF THE ABSURD is currently showing new portraits of Britney Spears and Tom Cruise.

MICHAEL MOORE is getting larger and hairier all the time.

CHARLIE SHEEN is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Maybe he can get a part in Oliver Stone's upcoming 9/11 movie.

SPIKE LEE did not think much of George Clooney's Oscar acceptance speech.

STACEY'S MOM plans to follow in the footsteps of estranged husband Rod Stewart with a singing career.

STING is opening a strip club. David Bowie is investing in it.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has reportedly moved into her Pride and Prejudice co-star Rupert Friend's cozy bedsit in Clapham, London.

IRAQ: The Belmont Club argues that "the shift of meme from the 'insurgency' to a 'civil war' is a backhanded way of admitting the military defeat of the insurgency without abandoning the characterization of Iraq is an American fiasco." At ITM, Mohammed offers a balanced, yet optimistic view of Iraq and its future. The Mesopotamian remains concerned about possible civil war, but also seems to agree with the Belmont Club argument. Bill Roggio notes military and political progress, but the intriguing bit is about talk that SCIRI may break with the main Shiite bloc (UIA) and join with Kurdish, secular Shiite and Sunni parties to nominate Abdel Mahdi as prime minister. Suzanne Fournier, a grandmother of 15 stationed in Iraq with the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, blogs abut constructing water systems in Southern Iraq.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: The Philadelphia Inquirer leads a story with: "An Iraqi police document accuses U.S. troops of executing 11 people, including a 75-year-old woman and a 6-month-old infant, after a raid Wednesday o­n a house about 60 miles north of Baghdad." You have to read down to paragraph six to learn that "Accusations that U.S. troops have killed civilians are commonplace in Iraq, though most are judged later to be unfounded or exaggerated." This charge, like the others, is being investigated. Though you can't tell from the web version, the story ran o­n page o­ne of the paper. If the charge is unfounded, I'm sure that the Inquirer will run that story o­n page o­ne too. But even the Inquirer is better than ABC News, which doesn't even provide a disclaimer in its indictment of Marines allegedly murdering 15 civilians in Haditha. Oddly, neither the Inquirer nor ABC News can be bothered to run stories o­n heroes like Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan McDonell or Maryland National Guard Sgt. Michael McMullen.

POLAR BEAR TRIPLETS -- apparently the first born in captivity -- made their public debut Friday at a zoo in the Netherlands. And there's awww...some video of the event. But where's the Coca-Cola?

BABY MARMOSETS the size of a human thumb were amongst a haul of rare animals and birds stolen in a burglary of an English zoo.

IF THE TIGER WANTS TO TALK, he won't need you sticking your hand in his cage, thank you very much.

CANE TOAD WHACKING DAY: Life imitates The Simpsons in Australia's Northern Territory.

MOOSE CRASHES THROUGH CAR WINDOW, becomes a passenger. Pics and video at the link. Nothing up my sleeve... presto!

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