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Lou Rawls, Jens Lekman, CYHSY video, Bosley the Pug and Mouse Vengeance   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 09, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


GARY "ELVIS" SCHEPERS UPDATE: The first benefit concert dates are o­n the Pitchfork, with more to follow.

PILGRIM BAPTIST CHURCH: Fire destroyed this 116-year-old Chicago church o­n Friday, a historic structure that was built as a synagogue and became known as the birthplace of American gospel music. But you may know it as the place where "Joliet" Jake Blues had a divine revelation.

TOUR DATES for the Arctic Monkeys, as well as the twin bill of Belle & Sebastian with the New Pornographers are out, including many cities with Pate fans.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL (ex-Belle & Sebastian) and Mark Lanegan (ex-Screaming Trees) have put out the Ramblin' Man EP as a preview of their Ballad Of The Broken Seas album. The EP is streaming.

ROBERT FRIPP is providing the themes for the next generation of Windows. Channel 9 has video of the recording session.

JON PARELES writes in The New York Times that "2005 was a year for unheroic, unambitious pop with little more to say than 'Play me o­n the radio.'" At Coolfer, Glenn offers a rebuttal, noting there has always been a gap between the critically-acclaimed and the popular. Both seem to think pop should be more political, as though the public is clamoring for Pink's open letter to the President.

DEF LEPPARD is doing an album of covers, including T. Rex and The Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset."

LOU RAWLS died Friday of cancer at 72. Rawls was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2004 and brain cancer in May 2005. He did an excellent show when I saw him and (as some of you know) I will always have fond memories of "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine." NPR has an audio report. The Boston Herald has a wonderful piece also, starting with the time that Rawls was declared dead... in 1958.

SYD BARRETT TURNED 60 o­n Friday, so London's Independent solicited remembrances of the crazy diamond, including o­ne from David Gilmour o­n trying to work with Syd after his meltdown.

JENS LEKMAN was supposedly going o­n hiatus, but he talked and played o­n NPR over the weekend. Streaming songs there, too, so you can hear lyrics such as "Yeah, I got busted/I painted a dirty word o­n your old man's Mercedes-Benz/'Cause you told me to do it..." with punchy horns, soulful harmonica and hand-claps.

THE ANTI-HIT LIST: John Sakomoto has ten songs to look forward to in 2006, including Elivis Costello reworking "Clubland" as "a joyful Latin jazz showcase."

SONIC YOUTH has begun recording its next album at Sear Sound Studio in New York, where the group put such prior albums as Sister and Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star to tape.

TED NUGENT may not have been in suspended animation since the '60s, but for someone still thinking about running for Governor of Michigan, the man has no inner monologue.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Reeling from recent photographs depicting the supposedly sober supermodel embracing new beau Jamie Burke, the troubled singer is having his tattoo bearing the letter 'K' removed from his left arm. Meanwhile, Moss insists she's too busy working to return to Britain for police questioning. Or she will return and is very happy to co-operate with the police, depending o­n which tabloid you read.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE knocked 'em dead in London, according to the Guardian

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH gets profiled by Scotland o­n Sunday while rehearsing earlier this month for Late Night With Conan O'Brien. You can see the video of that appearance at Prefix... though it's not their best, it's not bad.

JOAN JETT: The Tacoma News-Tribune lists ten reasons she rocks.

CULT OF THE iPod (CELEB ED.): London's Guardian "asked eight very different musicians to swap iPods. No o­ne knew whose tunes they were listening to, but that didn't stop them from guessing - and making some rather harsh judgments..."

JASON ISBELL, the youngest Drive-By Trucker, talks about his upcoming solo album.

GARY GLITTER, now charged with committing obscene acts with two underaged girls, gets a little support from Roger Daltrey, who says Glitter nedds to be helped, rather than shot.

COURTNEY LOVE lost the historic bungalow she bought in the late 1990s to a Los Angeles mortgage company after a foreclosure auction generated no bids.

JESSICA SIMPSON had the most photos in US Weekly in 2005. Meanwhile, estranged hubby Nick Lachey admits he liked to wear her shoes. Maybe it gave him an idea of what it was like to wear the Daisy Dukes in that relationship.

STAGE PARENTS: When Lindsay Lohan admitted in the new issue of Vanity Fair that she'd used drugs "a little" and was throwing up her lunch, her mom/manager Dina blew it off. The New York Daily News surveys Dina, creepy dad/manager Joe Simpson and more.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Surprisingly (to me, anyway) Hostel topped the weekend, despite its gruesome subject matter and R-rating. Narnia placed, with Kong to show.

NATIONAL SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS name Capote best picture of 2005 after six ballots. A History of Violence earned second place. Capote star Philip Seymour Hoffman was voted best actor; second place to Jeff Daniels in The Squid and the Whale. Reese Witherspoon was selected as best actress for Walk the Line; Keira Knightley won second place for Pride and Prejudice. Best nonfiction film went to Grizzly Man.

THE DECADE THE BLOCKBUSTER DIED: The Long Tail blog offers a two-part analysis of the relative lack of multi-platinum albums in this century.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: The cowboys in Sheridan, WY, don't cotton much to them pudding-eating types, despite the popularity of the gay rodeo circuit in America.

XTINA AGUILERA shot video to play during a now-cancelled tour that looks like vintage erotica.

FACTORY GIRL: Sienna Miller promos the production by posing like Edie Sedwick for Vogue. Thanks to Google, it's easy to determine whether it's live or Memorex.

KATE BECKINSALE thinks American football and baseball are gay. NTTAWWT, aside from annoying sports fans and gay people.

HEATH LEDGER: Fathering a child made him want to start a war. Which is odd enough, but especially so from the mouth that said, ""I wouldn't want to go to war for anything either. Unless it was really to protect my family and it was my homeland being invaded."

BRADGELINA: Acclaimed architect Frank Gehry has laughed off reports he is building an seaside skyscraper with Pitt.

GWYNETH PALTROW and JENNIFER ANISTON reportedly bonding over some Brad-bashing.

GEORGE CLOONEY explains why the suicide bombers in Syriana are sympathetically depicted as pious heroes while all the Americans in the movie are greedy or homicidal cynics: "They the terrorists are, in a way, the most sympathetic, but I think that's important... because if you are going to fight a war o­n terror, which is not a state that you can go and bomb, then you need to understand what it is that creates the people who would do such horrible things, rather then just saying - labeling them as evildoers." While we need to understand what makes terrorists tick, it does not follow that they must be given sympathetic treatment in film. Five of the 9/11 attackers made several trips to Las Vegas to hold meetings, gamble and be entertained by topless dancers. Not very pious. Getting a man with the mental ability of a four year-old to carry out a suicide attack is not particularly heroic. Moreover, many Muslims don't view beheading teachers or translators as Islamic. So portraying such people sympathetically may show that Clooney needs to work harder at understanding what makes terrorists tick.

EDU-BLOGGING: Forgot to mention that the 48th Carnival of Education is o­nline.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar discusses the creation of the third large political bloc, led by Allawi and suggests the parties are using the time until the final election results are announced to "organize their lines, probe the pulse of other parties and prepare for the real negotiations that are yet to come." Bill Roggio responds to corrections made to a Washington Post article that lumped him in with paid propaganda; folks across the political spectrum think Roggio was unfairly treated. Meanwhile, it seems that the Army has started to recognize the value of milblogs in getting their story out.

BODY ARMOR: The New York Times (via the Houston Chronicle) reports o­n a Pentagon study finging that at least 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor. Of course, if you look only at fatalities caused by wounds to the torso, such a result logically follows. US soldiers in the field were not all supportive of a the study, with some troops arguing Saturday that more armor would hinder combat effectiveness. This is at least the second time the NYT's take o­n body armor has differed from troops who actually wear it.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: In a web exclusive, Time runs a column from Joe Klein arguing that liberal democrats are playing too fast and too loose with issues of war and peace.

BOSLEY THE PUG was allegedly kidnapped by a carnie, turning the Internet into a dragnet involving DNA testing.

WIENER DOG: Amber Taylor directs us to a well-told tale of dachshund mischief by Miss Doxie.

BRITISH PETS are becoming obese and face chronic illnesses such as heart complaint, diabetes and arthritis.

COW ESCAPED ABATTOIR, dodged vehicles, ran in front of a train, braved the icy Missouri River and took three tranquilizer darts before being recaptured six hours later. News of the heifer's adventures prompted a number of people to offer to buy the animal.

DRIVE-THRU PRESERVES: When they tell you not to have your doors or windows open, they mean it.

MOUSE VENGEANCE: A simple house mouse callously thrown into a fire rises phoenix-like from the ashes to wreak vengeance o­n his tormentor.

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Bettye LaVette, The Fall, Harvey Pekar, Quaggas and Urban Coyotes   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 06, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: The Falling Sand game. Actually, I don't know if it's a game, but it is a timewaster.

REMINDER: If you haven't visited, the Pate page at MySpace is streaming four live tracks from the band's 2003 reunion gig.

BETTYE LaVETTE has been a soul singer since the '60s, but she's getting noticed for I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise, produced by Joe Henry, which is an album of covers by contemporary female songwriters like Fiona Apple and Rosanne Cash. There's some streaming at the link, but check her website for a clip of Lucinda Williams' "Joy": "The two singers share a rawness in their voices — a sense that, dammit, they’ve lived. There’s a whole catalog of Williams’ tunes that LaVette would sound just perfect covering..."

ARCTIC MONKEYS: Contrary to prior reports, the band's album doesn't hit the States until February. Coolfer also hooks you up with modo AM linkage.

SHAWEN ACRES, helmed by former Guided by Voices guitarist Nate Farley has three MP3s at the official website, with o­ne streaming at MySpace.

BARRY COWSILL, a member of the popular 1960s singing family The Cowsills (whose story inspired The Partridge Family), was found dead o­n a New Orleans wharf nearly four months after he disappeared. He was 51. The coroner had not determined the cause of death but believed it was related to Hurricane Katrina -- but he may not know that Barry left a phone message with his sister Susan several days after the storm.

SEASON OF THE LIST: The New York Times wonders why music writers love the lists. LA Weekly lists "ten albums that stank up the room."

INSOUND SALE: Speaking of lists, Insound is running a 25 percent off sale o­n the Pitchfork Top 50 Albums of 2005.

THE FALL: A writer for London's Guardian tracks down all 43 people Michael E Smith cycled through the band: "It's a Tuesday morning in December, and I'm ringing people called Brown in Rotherham. 'Hello,' I begin again. 'I'm trying to trace Jonnie Brown who used to play in the Fall. He came from Rotherham and I wondered if you might be a relative.' 'The Who?' asks the latest Mr Brown. 'No. The Fall - the band from Salford. He played bass for three weeks in 1978.' 'Is this some kind of joke?'"

DAVID LEE ROTH will be waiting a while o­n that "inevitable Van Halen reunion. A source close to Van Halen told Page Six that Roth is deluding himself about replacing Hagar: "He might have talked to Alex, but it's going to be a cold day in hell before he ever rejoins the band."

M WARD has recently recorded a stunning cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Green River" for charity, available through eMusic now, with iTunes and Rhgapsody soon to follow.

DOWNLOAD PROBE: New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer has now widened the investigation of download pricing to include various paid music stores.

BARRY GIBB bought Johnny Cash's house.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: o­ne of the UK's top police officers has called for the supposedly sober supermodel to return to Britain to answer questions over her alleged cocaine use. No Rock and Roll Fun reports that Moss has decided to return, but I haven't seen it confirmed.

BRADGELINA: Best Jolie Pregnancy Rumor Ever. It starts with Jennifer Aniston dialing Pitt's cellphone and getting Jolie instead...

NOW SHOWING: Hostel rates a fresh 89 o­n the Tomatometer, but I suspect the weekend will be another Kong-Narnia tussle. After all, can Hostel pull a huge crowd when the good reviews say things like: "It's an extreme film with its eye o­n a general audience, and it can't serve two masters. Still, I recommend it to people who think there aren't enough eyes being snipped out in films these days..."

LOHAN LOWDOWN: The pregnancy test that went to her hospital room was not for Li-Lo, if you believe her PR flack.

KEVIN SPACEY has been "outed" by a government-backed lesson plan for teaching gay history in Britain's schools.

SAG AWARDS: The list of nominees is out; no surprise that they love Brokeback Mountain. I expect much the same when the Film Actors Guild announces their noms.

GARFLECK: Affleck pimps himself out for his daughter's diapers. How's the career going? Guess Garner will have to be a working mom.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise tried to mend fences with his fiancée's family, but after reportedly tense holidays spent at Holmes’ house, wedding plans may have been put o­n hold.

SIENNA MILLER resents her media image as a wronged "little girl" in her relationship with o­n-again boyfriend Jude Law. So in the future, I'll refer to her as the "gullible masochist."

CINDERELLA STORY: Sadly, I was not high-bidder o­n a round of golf with Bill Murray.

HARVEY PEKAR talks to NewCity Chicago about his latest graphic novel and the return of the American Splendor comic.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has been spotted with Pride & Prejudice Rupert Friend. But is he just a friend?

THE FRENCH HOTEL is being sued o­ne of her boyfriend's friends for talking trash about him -- now he alleges that she "has a drug and alcohol problem, some rather shady associates, and is known for erratic behavior."

RACHEL BILSON: The other OC hottie keeps the paparazzi at bay with a body double.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar writes that the current surge in violence is eroding confidence in government misitries, the Iraqi Army and the political parties: "I think this is the darkest image we have conveyed from Iraq in more than two years but it is a fact that it hasn’t been this bad in Iraq ever since the 9th of April 2003..." Bill Roggio also notes that the latest attacks have deadly results, but argues that the attacks have not provoked the Shiites into a civil war, and notes the Sunnis in Ramadi returned to the site of horror and are joining the police.

FRANCE has slipped off the front page and the nightly news, so it's worth noting that 425 car burnings were recorded around the country Saturday night, larger than last year's 333 New Year's Eve blazes, but was considered good news. A gang police rounded up after incidents of vandalism in Nice and put o­n a train to send them home robbed and sexually assaulted passengers, trashed the train and threatened to kill victims who used cellphones to call for help. Of nine people rounded up the day after the train episode, seven were quickly released from custody because they were minors.

HYPERSPACE DRIVE: Warp speed ahead?

MISTER SOFTEE unveiled a new o­nline music service, but it will not be compatible with iPods. Oh well, at least they have rushed out the security patch for for the Windows Meta File vulnerability.

BIRD ATTACK: A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a woman who claims she was attacked by a bird at a Lowe's store in Fairview Heights, IL.

QUAGGAS: In what would be an unprecedented feat, a South African amateur scientist says he is going to bring a descendant from the zebra back from extinction.

IT'S A GIANT CROC: Unlabeled fossils — a jawbone, some teeth and armored plates — have been identified as those of a 30-foot-long crocodile, the largest that ever lived in prehistoric New Mexico. The fossils were stored, unclassified, for six years at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

URBAN COYOTES are thriving in the Windy City. Researchers estimate that there may be somewhere between several hundred and a couple thousand coyotes living in Chicago.

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We Are Scientists, Sly Stone, Dion, Miracle Cat, Horny Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


WE ARE SCIENTISTS has announced their tour dates in support of With Love and Squalor, which got a 6.7 o­n the Pitchfork, but a 4 out of 5 stars write-up from London's Guardian. And Filter thinks it's a band to watch. Tou can decide for yourself by streaming three tracks from MySpace or checking out the audio and video at the Sci-Cave. It's angular, new-wavish sorta rock... hip now, as it was 20 years ago when Pate got started.

OTHER JANUARY RELEASES range from the Arctic Mokeys to a bunch of T. Rex reissues. Talking Heads DualDiscs, Robert Pollard, Aqualung, Laura Veirs and Test Icicles, too.

ROBERT CHRISTGAU has the latest consumer guide at the Village Voice. Looks like a "best of 2005" to me...

SLY STONE has old unheard stuff o­n the Internet, just like Elliot Smith and Neutral Milk Hotel. But Sly's seems like a family affair.

YUPSTERS are why indie labels now claim 27 percent of the music market — their largest share in recent memory -- according to Newsweek.

THE HOLD STEADY: Aquarium Drunkard has posted part two of his interview with keyboardist Franz Nicolay. I neglected to mention before that he's fun to watch o­nstage, too.

SUFJAN STEVENS may take a hiatus from music to write a book.

DION is singing the blues o­n his album due next week: "Dion said that despite being urged at various times by Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison and Steven Van Zandt to make an album of blues, he never seriously considered it until a record producer, Richard Gottehrer, heard him talking about his early influences and performing examples" o­n NPR. And since the NYT link will die soon enough, there's Althouse.

PINK will be speaking truth to power o­n her next album, I'm Not Dead -- a title that just cries out for mockery.

NELLIE McKAY if you missed it earlier, the AP and the NYT can catch you up o­n her acrimonious split with Columbia Records.

COURTNEY LOVE has collaborated with the Dead 60s guitarist Ben Gordon o­n tracks for her second solo album.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The tabloids have the supposedly sober supermodel going from "just friends" to falling in love with 20-year-old Jamie Burke: "She says he is just what she needs as, after Pete Doherty, he makes her feel normal again," said o­ne source. Peter Stoker of the National Drugs Prevention Alliance said Moss should be wary about starting another relationship when she should be concentrating o­n her recovery. But Ma Moss likes him much more than Doherty.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Li-Lo tells Vanity Fair she suffered from bulimia and took drugs, then denies cocaine use and has her publicist call the mag the next day to try to get the confession omitted from the article. Just Jared has the Vanity Fair layout. And Best Week Ever had a dubious report of a pregnancy test being smuggled to her hospital room. (The photos are down at BWE, hence the link to IDLY.)

DENISE RICHARDS and CHARLIE SHEEN are headed toward divorce again.

MIRA SORVINO is expecting her second child with husband Chris Backus, according to People magazine.

MICHA BARTON is on the verge of splitting from boyfriend Cisco Adler because of his possessive behavior. But at least the couples NYE screaming match seems to have mellowed following some burning of the ganja weed.

IS THE BLOOM OFF ORLANDO? The Entertainment Weekly blog mulls the NYT article that made him an example of the supposed failed attempt to force certain young actors and actreeses o­n the public. I tend to agree with the comment that the problem is really with the quality of movies, which is a function of the fact that you can do more in-depth character and plot o­n cable TV now, levaing movies to gravitate toward their natural advantage of size, which tends to produce big -- but often dumb -- action pictures.

BRADGELINA: Now the tabs are spicing up the pregnancy rumor with the marriage rumor, this time prompted by lawyers' opinions of Pitt's adoption of Jolie's kids. ALSO: The ladies and gay guys may enjoy Pitt in biker gear.

OCEAN'S 13: This time Clooney walks off with a big bag of money from Warner Bros. by having his partner shoot film of his friends all hanging out at his villa.

JON STEWART is rumored to be hosting the Oscars this year.

BEST PICTURE: No film has won the Oscar for best picture after being snubbed by the Producers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America... so which movies got nominations from both? And is it time for an exception?

THE FRENCH HOTEL is again accused of of using racist ­epithets.

SIENNA MILLER claims she has tamed Jude Law. And she's young enough to not know that o­ne way to untame a guy is to walk around saying you have tamed him.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio writes about the latest round of small scale operations in Ramadi. StrategyPage notes that while many Iraqi leaders realize that the old ways of tribal revenge will not work, Iraqis prefer to "come at problems sideways, indirectly, so as not to make much of a fuss." Baghdad Guy, deployed with the 101st Airborne Division, 506th Infantry, paints a portrait of the streets of Baghdad.

IRAN: The bad news is that Pres. Ahmadinejad has said that the Holocaust was a myth, called for Israel to be wiped off the map, banned Western music from state-run radio and television, and doggedly pursued a nuclear program. The good news is that civic defiance against Ahmadinejad's authoritarianism is increasing.

CULT OF THE iPod: Mac Rumors is tracking the free downloads offered at iTunes.

TAGGING CONTENT may sound as geeky and boring as filing things, but Jeff Jarvis (formerly of TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly) notes that they will allow you to "discover content tagged by others, to target searches and advertising, to connect people of common interests, and even to collect the wisdom of the crowds."

PUPPY BOOM: There's no doubt about what dogs have been doing since Hurricane Katrina.

MIRACLE CAT survives a high-speed, 70-mile ride in the underbelly of a SUV. (Thanks, Debbie)

RARE BLACK RHINO is born at the Dvur Kralove zoo in the north of the Czech Republic. Zoos have launched an intensive breeding program to help save the species from extinction.

FUGITIVE BOARS: More than 60 boars which escaped after animal rights activists cut a fence at the Woodlands Wild Boar Farm in Devon, southwest England, remain at large two weeks later.

ANIMALS KNOW STUPID when they see it. And they see it frequently.

WIENER DOG caught canoodling with a lion. Video may be NSFW, if your boss is sqeamish about inter-species loving.

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Diff'rent Strokes, Punk Pix, Folsom Prison, and the Two-headed Snake   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Pate is streaming at MySpace.

THE STROKES' new album is getting a 68 score at Metacritic, so you may prefer to stream it in its entirety before deciding to buy it. Frank at Chromewaves is killing music with the band's cover of The Clash's "Clampdown."

EARLY RADIOHEAD tracks have surfaced o­n the Internet.

PUNK PIX, and new wavers, too... Johnny Rotten, The Clash, Paul Weller and more archival photos from Andy Rosen.

PETE TOWNSHEND is trying to remain positive about his escalating deafness as he rests his ears prior to the Who tour this summer.

DAVID LEE ROTH says that a reunion of the original Van Halen lineup is "inevitable." You hear that Mr. Anderson?... That is the sound of inevitability...

1967 was the greatest year for pop music, according to BBC 2 radio listeners, though the article's claim that '67 was "the year that British bands took over America" is rather silly. The British Invasion occurred years earlier, bands mentioned in the piece include The Doors (American) and Jimi Hendrix (American with UK backup), Pink Floyd had little impact in the US then, The Beach Boys released "Good Vibrations" in 1966, etc.

RILO KILEY: You Ain't No Picasso is killing music with a second round of covers of songs by the Velvet Underground, David Bowie, Elliot Smith etc.

THE HOLD STEADY has tour dates in February. Not in my neck of the woods, but DC, Austin and L.A. are o­n the list. ALSO: Keyboardist Franz Nicolay talks about the band's growing success, the Anti-Social Music collective he helped found in 200) and more in part o­ne of an interview with Aquarium Drunkard.

THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOW have parted with drummer Michael Durgan -- who was the last original member of the original lineup.

COOLFER Glenn blogs what's new at o­nline stores, including ten Funkadelic albums added to iTunes. But the real biggie is School House Rock videos!

RY COODER: Aquarium Drunkard is killing music with selections from Cooder's acclaimed Chavez Ravine.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: In an effort to impress the supposedly sober supermodel, the troubled singer threw a security-laden New Year's Eve party that everyone fled before midnight.

HOUSE OF FREAKS: The band's former singer was found dead with his family in his burning house in Virginia in a quadruple murder that has baffled police.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX accompanied Walk The Line to Folsom Prison and played a few numbers unplugged. That probably seemed like a break from dating Lindsay Lohan. We'll know that rumor is true if Joaquin ends up in rehab again before the Oscars.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Speaking of which, Li-Lo was hospitalized in Miami after suffering an asthma attack Monday night, but is fine now. For you skeptics, it turns out that the Lohan does have asthma as o­ne of her "risk factors."

REESE WITHERSPOON gave husband Ryan Phillippe her recording of his two favorite Sinatra tunes for Christmas, probably requiring an Oscar-caliber performance of joy from him.

VAUGHNISTON: Aniston says cheese makes her happy, which would explain her movie career. But the gal still moves magazines at a record pace.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: Larry David wants no part of it. And he uses his own phrase, so I won't.

SIENNA MILLER BANS JUDE LAW from the set of Factory Girl, supposedly at the behest of the studio bosses.

JASON LEE: The Asbury Park Press notes that the My Name is Earl star was a professional skateboarder and entrepreneur before getting into acting.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND: When not saving the world in a single day, special counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer gets falling-down drunk, even wrecking a Christmas tree during a seven-hour bender.

JESSICA SIMPSON filled out those Daisy Dukes with gel inserts? I guess I'm going to have to scrutinize those bikini scenes to verify this ugly rumor. As a public service to you, the reader, natch.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: He may be unhinged, but Cruise was voted the top money-making star for US movie theaters in 2005 by theater owners and operators, beating out Johnny Depp, Bradgelina and more.

HUGH JACKMAN: As the site has some female readers who like the cut of his jib, I note that Just Jared has pictures of H-Jack getting domestic with Max and Ava.

DONALD TRUMP, as I suspected, has no interest in running for NY Gov.

KUNG FU COMEDY is in development for NBC. Mr. & Mrs. Smith director Doug Liman is teaming with writer Dave Caplan o­n the project. Says Caplan: "Luckily for me, the list of ex-private eye, kung fu-trained comedy writers is pretty short."

THE WIZARD OF OZ is a cult film? Who knew? Who thinks this? Friends of Dorothy? Hippies who sync it up to Dark Side of the Moon?

GWYNETH PALTROW is having a Kabbalah exorcism of her London pad. Couldn't she just divorce Chris Martin?

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar reports that negotiations between leaders of the major blocs seem to have ended, with most apparently returning to Baghdad to brief their cadres and perhaps to prepare for expected future meetings. Allawi seems to have dropped off the media radar. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace told the AP that the US ambassador was working with Iraqi leaders to bring more Sunni Arabs into the security forces, though he stressed it was up to the Iraqis to resolve the issue. Petrol returned to Baghdad as Iraq’s main oil refinery resumed production o­n Monday.

IRAN: According to London's Guardian, the Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment. The assessment declares that Iran has developed an extensive web of front companies, official bodies, academic institutes and middlemen dedicated to obtaining - in western Europe and in the former USSR - the expertise, training, and equipment for nuclear programmes, missile development, and biological and chemical weapons arsenals. Iran has told the UN's nuclear watchdog that it plans to resume nuclear fuel research after a 2 1/2-year hiatus. Pres. Ahmadinejad has told lawmakers that trying to work with Europe "had not achieved anything for Iran." Ahmadinejad also considered global reaction to his remark last month that the Holocaust was a myth had been "positive."

VENEZUELA: The top-selling toy this Christmas was the Hugo Chavez action figure. Different versions of the doll include o­ne in a combat uniform and o­ne another which reads o­ne of the president's anti-American speeches.

TWO-HEADED ALBINO RAT SNAKE can be yours for a mere 150K. Best of all, o­ne head is male and o­ne is female.

RAISING BABY SQUIRRELS? Let Squirrels For You be your guide. Awww...some pics at the link.

NINE DIAMONDBACK TERRAPINS were rescued from an Asian food market in upstate NY by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

DOG wears ten million in jewels?

MOLES uncover the Lost Ark of the Covenant? Not really, but they did make a find...

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Cat Power, Revolting Cocks, Wings For Wheels and Panda Cubs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


NOTE: If you missed yesterday's announcement, there is now a Pate page o­n MySpace, which is currently streaming four tracks from their 2003 reunion gig. More details yesterday.

LIT-BLOGGING: It looks as though I will be joining Amber Taylor's book blogging club. At the end of January, folks will be discussing Blindness, should you care to join in.

CAT POWER is streaming The Greatest in advance of its release and it sounds pretty darn cool.

THE REVOLTING COCKS will return with a new album this spring, including cameos from Gibby Haynes, Billy Gibbons, Jello Biafra, Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen.

FILE-SHARING networks like Grokster and Morpheus are contemplating what they o­nce couldn't abide -- doing business by the entertainment industry's rules to survive.

CD CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT: When looking at any possible settlement of the Sony XCD debacle, we should keep in mind the settlement of a price-fixing lawsuit brought by Attorneys General in 41 states. Part of the settlement required the major labels to give 76 million in albums to schools, colleges and libraries. To prevent the companies from dumping unwanted inventory, lawyers for the states came up with a formula based o­n how much time artists spent o­n the Billboard charts. So how did the Milwaukee Public Library received 1,235 copies of Whitney Houston's 1991 recording of "The Star-Spangled Banner," 188 copies of Michael Bolton's Timeless, 375 of Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1971, and 104 copies of Will Smith's Willennium?

MORRISSEY claims that when he moves house the most important room in the house is the bathroom because that's where he comes up with all his hits.

BORN TO RUN: I was just watching Wings For Wheels: The Making of Born To Run, a DVD included in the Born To Run box set. And while there's riveting video from both sides of the glass in the movie, what immediately struck me was something that should have been obvious, but never occurred to me until now. At the start of the film, Bruce talks about driving "the circuit" in Asbury Park and the album representing an "endless summer night." Yet neither he -- nor anyone I've read, iirc -- has noted the album was written and recorded shortly after the August 1973 release of American Graffiti. That movie is about cruising, telling multiple stories from an endless summer night, and is -- as Born To Run would be -- addressing the theme of escape from that culture. The movie was the first to use wall-to-wall pop music as its score; the album recalls the music of that era, but augmented the Spectorian wall of sound with a lyricism that was cinematic in scope. I figure that someone else must have already noticed this, but a Google search comes up with Bob Seger as o­ne of the few to link the two.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Drive-By Truckers frontman Patterson Hood has posted a Top Ten plus more at his website. One Louder has album lists from Jeff and Rajeev.

UP IN 2006: The San Francisco Chronicle has ten pop discoveries for 2006, some of which have been featured here already.

SHAWN COLVIN is o­nly half-kidding when she says the theme for her new studio album is mid-life crisis. She's moved from Columbia to Nonesuch -- home to acts like Wilco and Brian Wilson.

SUFJAN STEVENS won Stereogum's male indie rock hottie poll. Better luck next year, Colin Meloy. Stereogum followed up with a poll of which state Sufjan should do next in his 50 state project.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer went o­n the "bender of all benders" after seeing pictures of the supposedly sober supermodel kissing a fresh-faced 20-year-old.

MILDLY MYOPIC ITEMS: Page Six has some not very blind items, including a reference to "a model, supposedly free of her drug woes, back o­n the powder, doing lines at Teddy's in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel." That can't be Kate Moss, natch -- when she was at Teddy's she confided to a friend: "I'm drinking but I'm not doing drugs." ALSO: Golden Fiddle asks, "Which increasingly raspy-voiced Tinseltown temptress's o­nce 19-year-old face is rapidly catching up to her 50-year-old hands?" And Spencer gives you a little hint, as if o­ne was needed.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Chronic (what?) cles of Narnia edges out Kong, though not o­n a per screen average. Gregg Kilday of The Hollywood Reporter argues that part of Kong's problem is Matt Drudge. Actually, if you matched Kong and Narnia at similar points in their runs, Kong falls o­nly a few million behind, which is pretty good for a movie that runs three hours and thus cannot be shown as often as Narnia (which did not have to compete with Kong when it opened). Tom O'Neil -- Tinseltown's answer to Mel Kiper, Jr. -- thinks Kong might grab the most Oscar noms, which is a good predictor of the eventual winner.

THE POPCORN PALACE ECONOMY: At Slate, Edward Jay Epstein notes that movie theaters are in three different businesses -- but primarily the fast-food business.

STEVEN SPIELBERG is denying rumored plans for a film version of the new Mary Poppins musical.

MUNICH: Judea Pearl, mother of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, is not a fan of Spielberg's current film: "Regrettably, Spielberg's Munich now adds a Hollywood-styled confusion to the moral relativism o­n terrorism..."

THE SOPRANOS have a teaser trailer and a behind-the-scenes clip posted at HBO -- March 2006 is not far away.

GWYNETH PALTROW has started taking her Jewish roots seriously after missing out o­n two years of fasting during the religion's high holy days.

HOLLYWOOD 2006: The Washington Post posts a deliberately silly list of who and what is "in" and "out" this year. MSNBC has suggested resolutions for our favorite A-listers. Example: Tom-Kat should resolve "To fulfill their dreams of being the perfect, most well-adjusted family in Hollywood. o­ne that no o­ne could possibly suspect of being a complete sham perpetrated by a 40-something Scientologist who worries that his days of being the go-to stud are numbered and a former WB refugee who sees o­nly horror movie sequels in her future..."

MICHA BARTON: The OC hottie seems to have realized that new beau and rocker Cisco Adler is not all that. At his band's last gig, "Every time Cisco would look over at her, she was not even paying attention," says an observer.

JACK BLACK finally speaks of his fear of Sean Penn.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Perez Hilton is sticking by those Jolie pregnancy rumors. And now the rumors have found their way to Britain's News of the World, which claims that Jolie had a secret scan at Santa Monica's St John's Hospital Health Center in California last month.

ORLANDO BLOOM is the poster boy for a New York Times article arguing that the studios' strategy of shying away from bigger stars and the huge price tags that accompany them, in favor of trying to boost up-and-comers like Bloom to the A-list, is failing. But as TMZ notes, Bloom has just been paid 11.9 million to reprise his role in back-to-back sequels of Pirates of the Caribbean.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, both Omar and Mohammed have updates and thoughts o­n the continued negotiations among the political parties, particularly the surprising involvement of the largely Sunni Arab Accord Front. US News has a lengthy piece o­n cracking an insurgent cell. Unsurprisingly, it's neither pretty nor easy; Given the chance by the media, someone thousands of miles away will second guess some of the tactics described. Bill Roggio notes that the insurgents' New Year’s Day bombings were a bust, but Monday's suicide attack in Baquba was far more effective, as al-Qaeda appears to be shifting operations northward. London's Telegraph has a story o­n a US sniper dropping an Iraqi insurgent who had just killed an American soldier from three quarters of a mile away.

IRAQ II: The Washington Post ran an article o­n reconstruction funds being "diverted" to security, a story the WaPo seems to like a lot, given that they did the same story in May, July and October. What you won't find in that coverage is any story about the reconstruction that has been accomplished, even though President Bush gave a major speech o­n it last month.

SYRIA: The Baath Party has expelled former Vice-President Abdul Halim Khaddam -- a day after parliament voted to bring treason charges against him for remarks implicating President al-Assad in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.

IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad, who has said the Holocaust was a myth, now has charged that European countries sought to complete the genocide by establishing a Jewish state in the midst of Muslim countries. He also said that anti-Semitism had a long history in Europe, while Jews had lived peacefully among Muslims for centuries -- which sorta contradicts his first point.

VENEZUELA: President Hugo Chavez decided Christmas was a good day to make a speech claiming that "the descendants of those who crucified Christ... have taken ownership of the riches of the world." Sounds sympatico with Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad.

CULT OF THE iPod: According to figures from Hitwise, the o­nline intelligence company, visits to music download sites, such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store, saw a 50 percent increase between December 24 and 25. And Queen Elizabeth II has been rocking the Pod enough to name designer Jonathan Ive a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

PANDA CUBS: A record 21 pandas survived after being born using artificial insemination in China last year, state media said, as scientists hailed the program aimed at saving the endangered species.

TOMMY THE CAT called 911 when his owner had fallen and couldn't get up. The man got the cat three years ago and tried to train him to call 911, unsure if the training ever stuck. Now he knows.

DOG'S BEST FRIEND... is another dog. That's o­ne finding of a study that measured stress levels in dogs that become anxious during thunderstorms.

FORTY-ONE BEACHED WHALES had to be put down in New Zealand.

A COBRA has an obvious downside as a pet.

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