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New Releases, The Decemberists, Bishop Allen, and Sammy the Duck   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


OK GO's latest video, for "Here It Goes Again" is an internet hit for good reason. Musically, it's somewhere between Cracker and the Kinks, which is not a bad place to be.

NEW RELEASES: It's another slow week before things pick up with the "back to school" indie crowd. But The Sex Pistols' Spunk, Bonnie Raitt, a Grand Funk GH, and a Monkees' deluxe reissue are streaming in full from AOL. The Buzzcocks have a new single with live B-sides. And there's a limited edition box set of the KISS solo albums! No?

THE 200 GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960's: Remember those fabulous Sixties? All this week Indie tastemaker Pitchfork does.

YACHT ROCK: Stereogum reports o­n Michael McDonald's shout out to Paul Rudd in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. You can watch the "Yacht Rock" comedy shorts that inspired the term o­n YouTube and stream McDonald and others via the Hype Machine.

THE DECEMBERISTS' upcoming album is leaking o­nto the internet. And though the band (and its lawyers, probably) is getting tracks taken down, they don't disappear from the Hype Machine quite as quickly.

CLELL TICKLE, the indie marketing guru who threatened folks watching Tapes N/ Tapes at the Pitchfork Fest, is profiled in this short film. Dialog probably NSFW, even after bleeping.

SLEATER-KINNEY: The band's last pogo is reviewed in the L.A. Times. It's not clear what comes next for the riot grrls, though lead guitarist Carrie Brownstein recently interviewed Saddam Hussein.

BISHOP ALLEN is o­ne of the bands in a Wall Street Journal article about making money via the web. BA is releasing four new songs a month for a year o­n their site. "Click Click Click Click" is from July. YANP has bonus tracks from prior months.

SOME VELVET MORNING: When I blurbed Nancy Sinatra back in May, Ken King noted to me how strange her duet with Lee Hazlewood was o­n "Some Velvet Morning." Since then, I've run across the original again, along with danceable version by Primal Scream with Kate Moss and a strangely fitting, reverb-soaked cover by Slowdive.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Although the supposedly sober supermodel is helping the troubled singer kick drugs, rumors of their engagement are denied.

JESSICA SIMPSON played a surprise Friday night performance at West Hollywood's gay & lesbian nightclub Factory. Egotastic has your video of bad dancing and making "You Spin Me 'Round (Like A Record)" sound even worse than the original. *Shudder* Meanwhile, ex-hubby Nick Lachey was asked if he would rather be trapped o­n a desert island with the pneumatic blonde's creepy dad-manager Joe or Satan. After some hesitation, Lachey said, "I might take my chances with Satan, Prince of Darkness."

KATE HUDSON and CHRIS ROBINSON are separating after nearly six years of marriage.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Perhaps inspired by Monday's events in the Mideast, Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards have also agreed to an interim cessation of hostilities. No word so far o­n whether an international force will be called in to keep the peace.

HUGH GRANT, meanwhile, is rumored to be getting married to Jemima Khan... in about two years.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The couple played Good Samaritans for some auto accident victims, while civilians claim a Tom-Kitten sighting at a birthday for Jaden Smith, son of Jada Pinkett and Will Smith.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON and JOSH HARTNETT are reportedly moving into a luxury six-million-dollar NYC loft, requesting extra soundproofing in their bedroom. Hartnett's rep denies they are moving in together.

MADONNA: Kids say the darnedest things. Madge's daughter's reaction to the video for "Hung Up," which featured the 47-year-old gyrating in a leotard: "Yuck, that's disgusting. Why are you behaving like that?"

BOY GEORGE lashed out at the press as he began his court-ordered community service cleaning up the streets of NYC. VH1's Best Week Ever has video, though not of his hissy fit.

FARRAH FAWCETT gets better plastic surgery. But I don't think that cures the crazy part.

WILLIAM SHATNER was roasted for at a Comedy Central special to air Aug. 20th. I like that they made him sit in Captain Kirk's chair.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS denies the documented staging of photos in Lebanon, but maybe we should not be surprised. For example, o­n Sunday, the AP quoted Azzam Tamimi, "director of the London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought," blaming the rise of Islamic terrorism o­n the war in Iraq and the situation in "Palestine." Nothing in the story suggests that Tamimi himself publicly calls for the eradication of Israel and declares his support for Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, as you can see in the linked video.

IRAQ: Michael Yon is back to blogging from the theater. He has an interview with Omar from ITM and a quick piece noting that despite the incredible progress that has been made in Iraq, we are in great peril of losing the war entirely. He mentions censorship in that post, but his interview at Pundit Review radio suggests he does not think it's too late to get things back o­n track, though things remain as dangerous in Afghanistan. Yon also has choice words for the global media coverage of the war.

AIR TERROR PLOT: German authorities are investigating links to suspects arrested in London following an alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners. MI5 agents used and "sneak and peek" raids to plant bugs in the homes of key suspects. The alleged ringleader quickly broke under Pakistani interrogation that "was probably not gentle." These are cases to at least consider when the US debates issues like "sneak and peek" warrants under the PATRIOT Act, rendition of terror suspects to countries that practice torture, and US interrogation methods. I would prefer to have the moral high ground, but I wouldn't want to watch nine airliners explode over US cities from there, either.

SAMMY the DUCK lives in the Palms of Largo assisted living community in FL, even though he's much younger than the human residents. It appears that Sammy may not be aware he is a duck. More pics and video at the link.

IT'S A PANDA BABY BOOM in China, with the birth of two more pairs of panda twins born at Chinese breeding centers.

WILD HORSES: The world's oldest known Przewalski horse -- the o­nly surviving subspecies of horse that has never been domesticated -- has died in the Prague zoo. Thanks to a breeding program, some 300 of the horses now live in the wild of Mongolia.

THE WOOLY MAMMOTH may stage a comeback of sorts, if Japanese researchers have their way.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY: Author Amy Sutherland's life changed after taking the techniques of the nation's premier school for exotic animal trainers and applying them to her husband.

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Moby Grape, Mountain Goats, Isobel Campbell, and Mystery Beasts   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 14, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


LISTEN (AND WATCH), MY FRIENDS, as the late Mike Douglas introduces Moby Grape playing "Omaha." Plus, we have the band playing "Hey Grandma," "Sitting By The Window" and "Sweet Ride (Never Again)." The band was largely a victim of corporate overhype and Skip Spence's madness, but that self-titled debut album is really solid.

ARTHUR LEE continues to be memorialized, more personally by songwriter Paul K in Giant magazine, with an appreciation of Forever Changes (with embedded video) at PopMatters that suggests the LA bands had a much grittier view of the Summer of Love than the Fan Francisco hippie contingent.

THE LONG WINTERS: At Chromewaves, Frank enthusiastically hooks you up to interviews, audio and video of a band he classifies as power-pop, but which I would compare more to the poppier side of the Jayhawks or Wilco. Which is still a pretty good thing. You can find even more via the Hype Machine, as Frank is not the o­nly blogger jazzed over the band. You can select single tracks or click o­n a media player at the top for a streaming jukebox.

NEKO CASE recommends comedy, music and media to The New York Times, including the documentary We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen. She also reccommends a disc from the Eccentric Soul series, which I second.

INSIDE THE ROCKERS STUDIO: To ceelebrate the deluxe reissue of Sebadoh III, Stereogum asks ten questions of Lou Barlow and Eric Gaffney. MP3s at the link, too.

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle talks to the Athens Exchange about touring and the state of the world: "Oh, it's sorry, but it's always been sorry: everybody always thinks 'this age is the worst age ever,' most religions sorta bank o­n that whole 'this must be the end!' feeling but where you've got people you're gonna have awful quarreling. That's just the way the world is, all you can do is try to keep your little corner of it friendly, maybe encourage a few other people to think what they can't do to do the same thing." He then seems to have given a drunken, impovisational performance worthy of the Replacements in their day. But he seems sober in the new video for "Woke Up New," from the Goats' forthcoming Get Lonely.

BEST LIVE BANDS: Brooklyn Vegan posts SPIN magazine's Top Ten as target practice for his readership.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL claims her her Mercury Prize nomination has her bad luck, self-doubt and disillusionment with the music industry. But she will probably attend the ceremony, lest her label kill her. You can stream some of her acclaimed collaboration with Mark Lanegan through MySpace and the Hype Machine.

JAMES BROWN wins an appeal of a sexual harassment case dismissed based o­n the statute of limitations.

BRYAN FERRY is back in style, according to London's Independent; "At 60, the enduring 'face' of Roxy Music provides an object lesson in the art of growing old elegantly..."

BRITNEY SPEARS moaning about being "ugly," belching and rambling about time travel has become a video hit o­n the internet, according to London's Sun.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby took a second victory lap, with the dance romance Step Up providing unexpected competition (though trend was down over the weekend. The foiled air terror plot seems to have dampened interest in Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, which is as moving as its glowing reviews suggest, though this may be inherent in the subject. It's a great reminder of the way people came together after 9/11, though it says nothing about the larger issues before or after that date. The other new releases, Pulse and Zoom, placed fifth and seventh.

JESSICA BIEL, Esquire magazine's reigning "Sexiest Woman Alive," reportedly got carried away enough at the Lotus nightclub to plant a big old smooch o­n an attractive female companion. Her rep denies it, natch.

IS THIS A BLIND ITEM? It involves a Very Famous Unmarried Hollywood Actor Prone To Starting Litigation If His Sexuality Is Ever Questioned. And spanking.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes has embarked o­n a strict exercise plan to get ready for the new Batman film, including yoga and kickboxing.

THE ODD GWYNETH PALTROW public service announcement posted here Friday is drawing a lot of Photoshop fun o­n the internet.

LINDSAY LOHAN may get booted from the Chateau Marmont for her excessive partying. The hotel's rep denies it. It would be bad timing for Lohan, who now has her very own stalker.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde gets a verbal smackdown from Reese Witherspoon: "My grandma did not fight for what she fought for, just so you can start telling women it's fun to be stupid."

THE FRENCH HOTEL was reportedly attacked by her pet kinkajou, though the kinkajou denies it. Ever the animal lover, the heiress has bought the plot next to Marilyn Monroe's grave to bury her pet goat. Yet Hilton (and her ilk) get a a tongue-lashing from Lost hottie Evangeline Lily: ""Those people couldn't give a rat's ass if somebody was starving in the street next to them."

HEIDI KLUM vs. ELLE MACPHERSON: A new Victoria's Secret ad campaign is having Klum call herself "The Body" -- a title long claimed by fellow supermodel Elle Macpherson. This sort of dispute is ideally suited to be settled by Jell-O wrestling, except that Klum is pregnant again. Having just pointed folks to Klum's recent Esquire layout o­n Friday, I must also point you to these recent pics of Macpherson in the Caribbean, just in the interest of fairness.

REVENGE OF THE GREEN HELMET: Last Friday, I linked to German TV video of a man known as "Green Helmet" staging photos at Qana. The AP, rather than conceding the point, has responded by running a glowing profile of Salam Daher (in which he is suddenly dressed in a blue helmet and flak jacket like those worn by the press) and telling a columnist that "Partisans o­n both sides of a conflict will interpret images of that conflict in different ways. AP strives to stick to the facts." Really? The AP reported inflated casualty numbers from Qana, then did an elaborate tapdance to explain it away. Salam Daher provided these phony numbers. Indeed, the AP's hero seemingly provided an alias to the AP at the time, yet they relay his accounts as though they are not suspect. The AP's photo captions in no way suggested that photos were being staged in the manner shown by the video. The AP suggests that the displaying of corpses is not unusual in the Middle East, though an Egyptian blogger openly mocks that explanation. The display of corpses is not unusual among groups seeking a propaganda advantage, but the AP should not be involved in passing along staged photos without telling viewers what they are seeing. The L.A. Times and international photogs are taking this issue a bit more seriously. Meanwhile, the blog that identified the doctored Reuters photo now has a piece from someone who purportedly worked for AP Television News claiming that the AP's lucrative side deal with Arabic media skews their entire operation.

MIDEAST CONFLICT: Pajamas Media carried a report via Tom Harb of the World Lebanese Cultural Union, purporting to describe the internal struggles at the Lebanese Council of Ministersí meeting that delayed approval of a cessation of the conflict. Michael J. Totten blogged and photographed from the "free-fire zone" in Israel.

AIR TERROR FALLOUT: With Britain carrying out some two dozen serious investigations into suspected terrorist groups, in the midst of the investigation of a plot that may have included using a baby's bottle to hold a liquid explosive, a letter to the Prime Minister from British Muslim groups calling for "urgent" changes to UK foreign policy seems to have backfired, as Tony Blair's Ministers and even the editors of London's Guardian respond that British Muslim leaders need to do more to deter terrorism (much to the chagrin of some of the paper's readers). The Guardian and the Times recognize the need to court more sensible Muslims; after all last week's big bust started with a tip from a worried Muslim. But if Secretary of State for Communities Ruth Kelly thinks terrorists can o­nly be defeated by national unity, she should note the recent poll showing that 81 percent of British Muslims consider themselves Muslims first, with o­nly seven percent seeing themselves as Britons first.

A KANGAROO in China is thought to be the first to have an artificial limb.

MYSTERY BEASTS: People o­n a northern Manitoba reserve are avoiding a lake after three sled dogs were gutted amid reports that a strange creature is o­n the loose. In the French town of Boulogne-sur-Mer, scores of policemen -- some armed with shotguns -- are hunting a mysterious big black feline. An animal resembling the hyenas in the Lion King has been spotted in northern Minnesota.

KILLER SQUIRREL UPDATE: Following Friday's report from the UK is a story of a squirrel that attacked at least seven people in Winter Park, FL this month.

PETS may get legal protection in domestic abuse cases, if domestic violence support groups and animal welfare advocates are successful.

THREE PITBULLS unleashed to "cause some excitement" do exactly that in Kansas City, MO.

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I'm From Barcelona, Beatle Bob, Cutout Bin, and a Hot Pig   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 11, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



... with I'M FROM BARCELONA, a 29-member pop collective that actually hails from Sweden, incorporating strings, horns, banjo, accordion, and kazoos into bouncy indie pop with the uplift of the Polyphonic Spree without the cultish white robes. Pitchfork rated Let Me Introduce My Friends at 8.4, with a "Best New Music" tag. The video for "We're From Barcelona" is the obvious (and uber-catchy) place to start, but "Collection of Stamps" has the most fun with a giant keyboard I've seen since Big. BONUS: Those videos don't give a cliue as to how their thing works o­nstage, so here's the band live at the Painter Popaganda festival in Stockholm. Up With Indie!

GOOD VIBRATIONS: Paste magazine visits the New York Theremin Summit, recaps the strange story of its inventor, Russian intellectual Leon Theremin, and explains that the instrument technically was not used o­n the Brian Wilson classic.

DONNY HATHAWAY is a legend and "a kind of stealth patron saint" of R & B, according to critic Tom Moon in a new NPR series o­n "Shadow Classics." The piece has three Hathaway tracks for your streaming pleasure.

RICK JAMES now has a massive two ton jet-black tombstone, bearing an image of the funk legend clad in tight pants, jacket and clutching a guitar. It's superfreakyyy--ow!

ONE-NIGHT STANDS was the theme of last week's Culture Vulture playlist in London's Guardian. Some of the songs are not found o­nline, and some not by the artist listed -- but I found some interesting covers in this list: "You Shook Me All Night Long" by the Arab Strap; "Darling Nikki" by the Foo Fighters; "Pretty In Pink" (soundtrack version) by The Psychedelic Furs; and "F--- and Run" by Liz Phair. Plus, I dug up video of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" by the Shirrelles and a cover of "Angel Of The Morning" by Juice Newton (I tried to find the Pretenders' version, I really, really did).

BEATLE BOB: "Beatle Bob dances alone. This itself is enough to fuel rumors. He is the fan who, through sheer enthusiasm, can steal a show... On any given night he materializes, seemingly out of nowhere, and then vanishes, leaving a wake of speculation about where he lives and how he earns his living..." Some folks wish he would just sit down. There's a teaser trailer for a Beatle Bob documentary posted o­n MySpace, with clips of Bob in action, plus commentary from Bob and rockers like Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon. But his latest coup was appearing onstage with The Frames at Lollapalooza.

THE ROLLING STONES: Mick Jagger admits he takes lessons to preserve his voice after more than three decades of touring -- and recommends it for living rockers, too. Meanwhile, Kasabian's Tom Meighan backpedals from his claim that his band -- which is opening for the Stones in Europe -- would be forced to pay to see the living dead headliners play.

JOLIE HOLLAND talks to the Sydney Morning Herald about dating and musical role model Tom Waits. There's a selection of Holland tracks streamable from the Hype Machine. You can select them individually or select a media player at the top of the page for a Jolie jukebox.

THOM YORKE: The Radiohead frontman removed his call for British PM Tony Blair's ouster from the band's website without explanation, leading to all sorts of speculation.

CUTOUT BIN: More fortuitous finds from ye olde Hype Machine. Frank Black - Duke of Earl; Big Daddy - Ice Ice Baby (trust me o­n that); The Ronettes - (The Best Part Of) Breakin' Up; The Belle Stars - Iko Iko; Eels - I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man; The La's - There She Goes; Ben Folds - Lost In The Supermarket; The Wrens - This Boy Is Exhausted; The Boo Radleys - Alone Again Or (Arthur Lee, RIP); World of Twist - She's A Rainbow (Tony Ogden, RIP); David Essex - Rock o­n.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer is hoping to marry the supposedly sober supermodel as soon as he cleans up his act for good (so it might be awhile, if history is any guide). In the meantime, the attention the couple attracts is drawing the ire of his bandmates in Babyshambles.

NOW SHOWING: This week's wide releases are World Trade Center (currently scoring 70 percent o­n the Tomatometer, higher with the "cream of the crop" critics. BTW, I'm not saying that director Oliver Stone had anything to do with yesterday's big air terror alert... but I question the timing) and the "didn't I see this with Travolta" dance movie Step Up (21 percent). The X-Men-meets-Sky High family comedy Zoom and the "dead people as a computer virus" thriller Pulse open wide without advance showings for critics; draw your own inference. The critically-acclaimed Little Miss Sunshine expands, though o­nly to 153 screens. Fortunately, o­ne was near me. It's a dark comedy with an ultimately positive take o­n what happens when your dream is dashed. The ensemble cast prevents delving into any of the characters with depth, but still very nicely done. You can stream some of the soundtrack, which includes Sufjan Stevens and DeVotchka, via MySpace.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: X-17 seems to have blurry arial shots of the Tom-Kitten, taken by copter through a window of Tom-Kat Manor. That seems a little intrusive. Meanwhile, Holmes supposedly had Cruise pass a note to Brad Pitt asking for him and the Jolie-Pitt clan to join Tom and his family for a barbecue. Cruise has also invited Victoria and David Beckham to meet baby Suri, with a list of instructions of how to behave around their daughter. I'm sure no pitch for Scientology would be involved in either case.

BRITNEY SPEARS wants to renew her wedding vows with Spenderline? Most gossips are using the "Oops, I Did It Again" punchline, so I'm going with "Crazy."

BRADGELINA: Building o­n prior rumors, the latest is that Jolie is having people spy o­n Pitt while he's shooting movies, after they allegedly agreed to take a year off after the birth of Shiloh.

VAUGHNISTON: As noted yesterday, Aniston's rep denied that Vaughn had proposed. US Weekly stands by its story, upping the ante by blogging "Famous Denials By Jen Anistonís Publicist." In the face of conflicting rumors, MSNBC consults a Magic 8-Ball and a Ouija board. No, really.


DAVE NAVARRO and CARMEN ELECTRA BREAK-UPDATE: Electra filed for divorce Thursday. Citing irreconcilable differences, Electra requests that their assets be divided as specified in their prenuptial agreement and that the court not award spousal support to either party.

JESSICA SIMPSON probably won't be getting a reality show o­n Bravo anytime soon. Andy Cohen, Bravo's Vice President of Production and Programming, writes (albeit in the style of teenage girl) in his blog: "I will never give her another chance. She is everything that's wrong with the world. I told him I have to stand for something. I hate her. My parents taught me not to hate anybody so I am going to revise that and say that I can't stand the sight of her stupid blank face."

THE SEXIEST WOMAN ALIVE: Esquire magazine has posted its latest teaser interview for its contest to guess who the mag has selected. Actually, it's more of a spoiler interview, which I had already guessed.

HEIDI KLUM: Speaking of Esquire, the supermodel is not wearing much in the new issue. Just a little something for a Friday.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL is set to portray Janis Joplin in the Penelope Spheeris-directed indie biopic. I like Zooey, and she can sing, though I'm not sure she can sing like Janis. Still, she beats Lindsay Lohan, who was o­nce rumored to have the part.

DIANE LANE: The Unfaithful star gives love a bad name.

HOORAY FOR HEZBOLLYWOOD: German TV ran video of "Green Helmet" staging photos at Qana. When a European blogger first started raising questions about this guy, Kathleen Carroll, AP's senior vice president and executive editor dismissed them, saying that in addition to personally speaking with photo editors, "I also know from 30 years of experience in this business that you can't get competitive journalists to participate in the kind of (staging) experience that is being described." She may want to rethink that. And that building that supposedly got bombed twice, weeks apart? Make that three times. CNN had a piece o­n the faking or staging of photos from the conflict, with Anderson Cooper relating how Hezbollah was "making stuff up" and staging ambulance runs for the press.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed raises interesting questions about the Arabic media. Chaos continues in some areas of Baghdad. Iraqi police arrested three gunmen hiding in a mosque in western Baghdad. Shepherds in the rural western Baghdad neighborhood of Gazalea have recently been murdered, according to locals, for failing to diaper their goats. However, after US and Iraqi sealed off parts of the southern Dora district, the murder rate, which peaked at 20 a day after a surge in sectarian violence, is now zero.

AIR TERROR PLOT FOILED: You know this already. The plot was similar to the failed "Operation Bojinka" of 1995. The Times of London has a dramatic backgrounder o­n the police raids triggered when it was learned -- perhaps from an undercover agent or US intercepts of the group's communications -- that the terrorists had developed the capacity to assemble bombs meant for flights to New York, Washington, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. A senior Pakistani official told the Times of London that at least three of the people arrested were linked to al Qaeda -- two having been to Pakistan for explosives training with known AQ commanders. The paper also has a list of the suspects. The Council o­n American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) criticized Pres. Bush for calling a foiled plot to blow up airplanes part of a "war with Islamic fascists." CAIR officials have been charged with, and some convicted of, offenses related to the support of Islamist terrorism. OTOH, MPAC's members have claimed Israel was to blame for 9/11, have opposed freezing the assets of Islamic charities linked to terrorism and have denounced several FBI arrests of suspected terrorists in the United States.

EDU-BLOGGING: The 79th Carnival of Education is o­nline, with a theme of Readin', 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic.

PERCY THE MINIATURE PIG tries to beat Britain's heat wave.

LOUIS THE GOAT was crowned King of Ireland o­n Thursday in o­ne of the country's oldest festivals. Hail King Lou! (Do you get a deal o­n Guinness with that?)

AN OCTOPUS IN THE OHIO RIVER died after playing a role in a student film.

A SQUIRREL near Swindon in the UK may give the harmless little bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail a run for his money.

A LOBSTER PICKPOCKET is busted near Plymouth in the UK and pays the ultimate price.

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Tom Waits, Beirut, Broken Social Scene, and a Tiny Kitty   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


TOM WAITS almost certainly doesn't care what I thought of last night''s show at Chicago's Auditorium Theater. After all, Waits is considered by some to be one of the world's greatest living songwriters, melding rock, jazz noir, swampy blues and clanking vaudeville music into his unmistakeable sound. Someone who has a virtual second career suing companies that try to rip off his songs and sound for commercials. A guy working overtime to stop ticket scalpers and counterfeiters from charging Stones and McCartney-level prices o­n eBay for tickets for this tiny tour to promote Orphans, a collection of "orphan" Waits songs not due until November. A man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. But fwiw, I thought the show very cool indeed. Very simply staged and lit, because Tom Waits and his music have all the theatrics you need for an evening.

Let's go to the audio-video. You can watch Waits talk to David Letterman about homework and an artistic horse before playing "Make It Rain," the number Waits opened with last night (and a scorcher of a version at that). Other highlights of the first part of the set included "God's Away o­n Business" and "All The World Is Green," which some YouTuber inexplicably used for a LotR fan video.

After a while, the band (except stand-up bassist Larry Taylor) left and a piano was rolled centerstage, where Tom recalled living near Belmont and Sheffield (expressing dismay that it's a nicer neighborhood now) before playing "Tango Til They're Sore." He then told a variation o­n the joke at the start of this clip of "Johnsburg, Illinois" before playing "Tom Traubert's Blues" (you can also see bootleg video of his Aug 5th rendition in Nashville). When the rest of the band returned (including Tom's son Casey o­n drums), the set tended to favor some of the weirder Waits (as if regular Waits isn't), including the announcement that it was "storytime" before Waits launched into the funny paranoia of "What's He Building?" The latter part of the regular set tended to favor his bluesier side, with mid-tempo numbers like "Whistlin' Past The Graveyard."

The end of the set and encore included "Murder in the Red Barn" and "The Day After Tomorrow' -- the latter being a shoo-in geographically and topically. A second encore included "Singapore" (iirc) -- and this bootleg video from Memphis shows how Waits and the band would dramatically take the stage from behind curtains. The finale of the evening was "Time," which happens to be a favorite Waits track of mine. A wonderful evening, but if you want even more Waits there's plenty to stream via the Hype Machine -- if you select o­ne of the players at the top of the HM page, it's like a Waits jukebox!

THE CANDY BARS and THEATER FIRE, two bands that would sound at home o­n the Garden State soundtrack, are the focus of an audio feature from NPR's All Things Considered.

THE SHINS: Speaking of the Garden State soundtrack, The Shins have pushed the release of their next disc to 2007. The band has ditched UK festival dates to keep recording.

BEIRUT frontman Zach Condon talks to New York Magazine about working to live up to the band's early buzz and live down its suddenly topical name. The writer describes Beirutís songs as "like the lush score to a movie about Gypsies and bohemians." You can hear them yourself via the Hype Machine.

PATE BASSIST MIKE KELLY recently reminded me that in the bizarre world of eBay, Pate is considered a hip-hop dance band.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Stereogum has great set of photos taken backstage at Lollapalooza with the Canadian collective and a minute of "7/4 Shoreline" taken from the press pit. You can see the whole song also, albeit from further back in the crowd. The happy medium of sound quality to distance may be this clip of "Stars and Sons," but the ladies of BSS o­nly make a cameo o­n this number, during the audience participation segment. Of course, for even better sound quality, there's plenty more BSS streaming via the Hype Machine.

MALAJUBE, a band with a sound music blogger Kayhryn Yu rightly compares to "The Flaming Lips or the Super Furry Animals, with a touch of The Beatles at times," makes NPR's Song of the Day with "Montreal -40C." If o­nly the band wan't French.

MUSIC RECOMMENDATION SERVICES: Pate fan Denise Fryzek recently e-mailed me to gush about the music-recommendation-service-Internet-radio-station Pandora. I haven't blurbed the topic recently, so it's worth revisiting for our many new visitors. Pandora streams and recommends music to listeners based o­n its Music Genome Project, which involves a team of musicians analyzing a song's inherent qualities -- melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, etc. -- as the basis of its recommendations. In contrast, competing services, such as Last.fm, use profiles generated by its users to make recommendations. For example, folks who like the Jesus & Mary Chain and Echo & the Bunnymen also tend to like the Velvet Underground. These services are based o­n a business model of exploiting what Chris Anderson has famously called the "Long Tail." Anderson argues that products that are in low demand or have low sales volume can collectively make up a market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters, if the store or distribution channel is large enough, a la Amazon or Netflix. Anderson recently wrote about "The Rise and Fall of the Hit" in Wired magazine. Lee Gomes was skeptical of the "Long Tail" in a review of Anderson's book o­n the theory; Anderson responded o­n his blog; Nick Carr reprinted a reply from Gomes.

THE HIT FACTORY, home to recording sessions by John Lennon, Stevie Wonder, Madonna and U2, is going condo.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer, recently seen again with supposedly sober supermodel Kate Moss, has done a painting in blood of himself a mystery naked woman. He has also been working o­n an anti-drug anthem with The Streets' Mike Skinner.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Apparently, the National Enquirer is prepping a story alleging that Mel Gibson has "indulged in years of cocaine and booze binges and torrid extramarital affairs." Meanwhile, Disney is shopping Gibson's upcoming Apocalypto to other potential distributors.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Sources tell Page Six that Vanity Fair has landed the first photos of the Tom-Kitten -- taken by Annie Leibovitz and scheduled for publication this Fall.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde's creepy dad-manager, who reportedly told stories at an MTV meeting of helping her to fit for her first bra, is apparently close to getting the axe from both Jessica and sister Ashlee. Meanwhile, her post-divorce affairs seem to be fizzling (2nd item).

BRITNEY SPEARS looks much better heavily airbrushed. Teddy & Moo have the before-and-after shots.

ROBIN WILLIAMS has been admitted into rehab for alcohol abuse. He must have taken the flop of The Night Listener pretty hard.

VAUGHNISTON: US Weekly has Vaughn proposing to Aniston. Jen's rep denies it. Meanwhile, Britain's Star magazine has Aniston heartbroken that Vaughn has distanced himself and refuses to discuss marriage.

BRADGELINA: The ever-reliable Star magazine claims that Jolie has moved out, taking the kids with her, while US Weekly has Jolie still moved in.

POPE BENEDICT XVI wants to wear my red shoes.

BILL CLINTON is turning 60 o­n Aug. 17, but the birthday celebrations will continue for months, culminating with a private Rolling Stones concert at the Beacon Theatre o­n Oct. 29. Political observers point out that the New York festivities are well-timed to coincide with the 59th birthday Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, which is Oct. 26 -- just a week before Election Day. Of course, it will o­nly be well-timed if Bill can keep his hands to himself. Or, more accurately, if he can keep those stories out of the media.

ANGIE HARMON regularly tantalizes her husband, former NY Giant Jason Sehorn, by donning sexy schoolgirl and French maid costumes. Excuse me; I'll be back in a moment.

KEVIN SMITH: You don't have to be a fan of Clerks or even Chasing Amy to enjoy the writer-director's story of working o­n a script for Superman Lives that demonstrates just how messed-up folks are in Tinseltown. You do, however, have to tolerate a Deadwood-level of profanity.

IRAQ: US troops arrested four Iraqi men in the kidnapping of American journalist Jill Carroll, who was freed in March. Maj. Gen. Bill McCoy, who commands the Corps of Engineers in Iraq, responds to a WaPo story o­n reconstruction, but it appears that the paper can't be bothered to print it.

MIDEAST CONFLICT and the MEDIA: The Washington Post, The New York Times and USA Today finally noticed that bloggers are uncovering fraud and Hezbollah propaganda in the output of Reuters and other news outlets. The NYT tries to defend itself by noting it corrected its caption of the phony corpse in Tyre, though this correction went unnoticed by the paper's web edition (which tells you how many people ever see a newspaper's corrections). Meanwhile, the Israeli press is surveying still more photos coming out of Lebanon being challenged by bloggers.

IS HEED THE WORLD'S SMALLEST CAT? The Guinness Book of Records thinks he's o­n track to beat the current record holder, Mr. Peebles from Illinois...

BEAR WRASSLIN': In hindsight, Jeff Morris concedes it was "the absolute epic moment of stupidity in my life."

A SIX-FOOT SWORDFISH was caught less than a mile off the coast of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland --two or three thousand miles away from its natural habitat in the Mediterranean.

PET HOARDING: This time, it's 300 pit bull terriers from a suspected dogfighting ring found at a Liberty County, TX residence where a man bled to death after being shot in the leg last week.

A JUMPING STRUGEON knocked a 23-year-old man o­n a personal watercraft unconscious, way down upon the Suwannee River. You're gonna need a bigger boat.

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P.F. Sloan, R.E.M., Arthur Lee, The Wrens, and Penguins on the Highway   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


P.F. SLOAN, who wrote hits like "Secret Agent Man," "You Baby" -- and who can forget Barry McGuire's immortal "Eve of Destruction?" -- as well as playing o­n 60s hits like "Letís Live For Today" and "California Dreamin'," is working o­n o­n album of old and new songs with help from Lucinda Williams, Frank Black, The Rascals' Felix Cavaliere and Buddy Miller.

LOLLAPALOOZA REMAINDERS: Pitchfork deigned to cover the rival fest in a piece that, contrary to almost every other review, rips the Flaming Lips' set. At Chromewaves, Frank posted a four-part round-up chock full of links to pics, MP3s and videos from the bands that palyed the fest. At Stereogum, amrit posted a bunch of nifty stage and backstage shots, including Patti Smith making a last-minute appearance at the Kids stage.

R.E.M.: rbally has a two-part posting of a bootleg of a gig at the UK's National Bowl in 1995. You can stream it from the Hype Machine without killing music.

U2 has reportedly transferred some of its publishing company to Holland to avoid taxes. Meanwhile, Bono's Elevation Partners just bought a significant minority stake in Forbes Media.

ARTHUR LEE: More remembrances of the late Love frontman. The first is in print from The Doors' John Densmore. The second is an excellent audio piece o­n Lee and Love from rock historian Ed Ward at NPR. BONUS: If you're willing to download a small plug-in and reboot your computer, you can stream Love's classic Forever Changes album from Rhapsody for free.

THE WRENS: I told Ken at the Pitchfork Fest that The Wrens were among the bands I saw at the 2005 fest that I would eagerly see again. At *Sixeyes, alan streams a few and updates us o­n Kathryn Yu's documentary o­n the band, which has been o­n a long and winding road, yet persevering. The video above is "Faster Gun" from The Meadowlands.

IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson airlifted 200 British citizens who fled war-torn Beirut from Cyprus to the UK.

BOB DYLAN: This folk-rock singer-songwriter from Minnesota almost seems a bit old to be launching a MySpace page, but his songs are kinda catchy. I recommend him.

THE DIXIE CHICKS have canceled 14 shows and pushed back others o­n their current tour. The group says it has replaced them with other dates. Opening for Puppet Show?

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel were caught getting cozy at the low-key Rhythm Festival in Clapham o­n Sunday, hobnobbing backstage with Jerry Lee Lewis and Shane McGowan.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Ralph Shapiro, the Deputy in Charge at the Malibu branch of the D.A.'s office, has been taken off the Mel Gibson case, while the L.A. County Sheriff's Department officially rejected TMZ's request for the video and audio tapes of Gibson's arrest. The actor's fall makes Malibu neighbors feel comfy dishing o­n Mel's kids. And Oasys Mobile has created a "Mel in Malibu" ringtone with a professional actor impersonating Gibsonís infamous tirade.

JACKO claims that a conspiracy by former attorneys, associates and advisers forced him into financial ruin. But the Mel Gibson story precludes him from being more specific.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY BREAK-UPDATE: The cover girl queen has taken a preliminary step in divorcing her philandering hubby, but may be wavering o­n going through with a permanent split. Peter Cook reportedly agreed in their prenup that she's entitled to keep the lioness' share of their marital assets, so perhaps he really seemed genuinely mournful at their recent confrontation in the Hamptons.

WORLD TRADE CENTER opens today to largely favorable reviews, but I won't be seeing it today, due to a prior engagement with Mr. Tom Waits. If you're still o­n the fence about seeing it, Coming Soon has posted eight clips in multiple formats. Director Oliver Stone takes praise fom his usual conservative critics in stride: "Listen, anybody -- right, left, Martian, any gender, any race, anywhere -- who loves the movie is a person I love." And with Stone, you know he means it -- especially the bit about the Martians. Stone also offered his opinion that "Nine-eleven was used politically to enhance American isolationism," which I suspect will come as some surprise to Afghanis and Iraqis.

THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul's security staff called the cops when o­ne of his estranged wife's guards climbed a wall to let her in to Sir Paul's estate, after realizing the locks at the home had been changed. A rep for Heather Mills gets the pathetic spin award: "She said it was hilarious. It was just a complete mix-up."

DAVE NAVARRO and CARMEN ELECTRA BREAK-UPDATE: Perez Hilton gets confirmation from Navarro that the guitarist is seeing porn superstarlet Jenna Jameson, who appears to be splitting from husband Jay Grdina. BTW, appropos of nothing, Jameson's MySpace page streams Fleetwood Mac's "Gypsy."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise and Holmes will reportedly be making a decision to release photographs of the Tom-Kitten "shortly." I put that in quotes because I don't wan't Cruise to think I'm making fun of his height.

SCIENTOLOGISTS had to rock-a rock-a rock-a nonstop tonight -- uh-huh! -- down at the Celebrity Centre. Video at the link, in which we learn that John Travolta is "everywoman." I thought L. Ron was not down with that.

LINDSAY LOHAN says she wants to entertain the troops in Iraq, but mistakenly thinks that singing is the way for her to do that. I'm pretty sure that the Supreme Court now puts that under Article Three of the Geneva Conventions.

THE SOPRANOS will have a new recurring celebrity role in the final episodes starting next March.

MORE FUNNY PHOTOS FROM THE MIDEAST: The AP claims the above photo shows Lebanese army soldiers inspecting "a damaged vehicle that was struck by Israeli ware (sic) plane missiles." Yet the windshield magically survived without even a crack! Also, it looks like the folks in Tyre are big fans of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, especially the scene where Eric Idle tries to rid himself of someone who is not quite dead. The AP ran a photo of the dead in Tyre, missing the guy getting up at the end. There's a different phony dead guy in these NYT photos from Tyre, too. And US News and World Report seems to have put a staged photo of a jihadi at a trash dump right o­n its cover. Hooray for Hezbollywood!

MIDEAST CONFLICT in the MEDIA II: Yesterday, I noted that Washington Post writer Tom Ricks went o­n CNN and casually accused Israel of allowing Hezbollah to retain some of its firepower so they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon. Now he seems to say this was a hypothetical suggested by retired US military officers, yet still claims what he said o­n CNN was accurate. None of the conclusions to be drawn from the apparent contradiction are favorable to Ricks. I also note that Ricks got away with this o­n a CNN show hosted by Howard Kurtz, who -- like Ricks -- also works for the WaPo.

IRAQ: The cellphone business is booming. OTOH, so is the suitcase business. While sectarian violence continues to flare in Baghdad, an Iraqi Army division took control of a section of the country that includes the cities of Tikrit and Kirkuk, marking the halfway point in transitioning from US control. Iraqi forces are also assuming responsibility for the training of their countryís soldiers. The New York Times notices the heroism of Capt. Brian Chontosh, who was awarded the Navy Cross, the second-highest award given to Marines -- in an op-ed by an author, as the paper never bothered to report o­n Chontosh.

...AND THERE WERE PENGUINS ALL OVER THE HIGHWAY: Twenty-one penguins from Indianapolis were rescued o­n a hot east Texas highway Tuesday after a truck carrying the wildlife to a temporary home south of Houston overturned. Four penguins and some exotic fish were killed in the accident, but an octopus was unhurt. Dramatic penguin pics and video at WTHR.

AN OTTER WAS PUNCHED IN THE FACE by a West Boca, FL woman after the otter grabbed her Labrador retriever and began to pull it into the water in the Tampa Bay area community. And in my head, Ron Burgundy is reading that.

TURTLE o­n FIRE: Cruel teenage morons are busted for lighting a turtle o­n fire and dancing around it, after the video they made of the ritual and posted o­n the Internet was e-mailed to local police.

PANDAPOLOOZA: A giant panda in China has given birth to the heaviest cub born in captivity after the longest period in labor; elsewhere in China, twin pandas each gave birth to twins.

TIGERPALOOZA: Endangered Siberian tigers get a new lease o­n life. Meanwhile, in NYC, a tiger owner who sued New York city and police for searching his apartment without a warrant to confiscate his pet 450-pound Siberian tiger are tantamount to "chutzpah," a federal judge said in a ruling dismissing the case.

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