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White Rabbits, Steve Miller, Scott Matthews, Jessica the Hippo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE WHITE RABBITS have been getting enough blog buzz that I should have blurbed them before they got to play "The Plot" on The Late Show with Dave.  This Brooklyn-by-way-of-Missouri sextet has the energy of native NYC bands like The Strokes, but with a ska influence reminiscent of early Madness or (especially) The Specials.  Indeed, their interest in rhythm occasionally has a slight tropical bent, too.  Pitchfork gave their debut LP, Fort Nightly, a decent 8.1 score.  You can currently stream a bunch of tracks from the album via the ol' HM.  The band also did the Daytrotter interview, plus free songs, three of which are brand new.

THE SWELL SEASON:  The Chicago Sun-Times profiles singer-songwriters Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova -- who wrote the music for the hit Irish indie film, Once, as well as star in it.  You can stream a few tracks from SwellSpace.

MARNIE STERN may exude "cheeky optimism," but the WaPo's Express also notes that she "pairs frenetic fretwork with crunching barre chords."  Interview and embedded video at the link.

HARD-FI:  The Clash-influenced rockers have their sophomore LP due in September, but the single, "Suburban Knights," is already streaming at TheirSpace.  If you've never heard them, I'd start with "Cash Machine," though.

DANIEL JOHNSON, the manic depressive singer-songwriter and artist talked to Drowned in Sound while touring the UK.

STEVE MILLER:  You know why people keep talking about him.  He came to mind because The Simpsons Movie arrives Friday, which had me thinking about "The Way We Was."

SON VOLT welcomes David Beckham to the US with a cover of The Fab Four's "Hello, Goodbye" for ESPN.

STAX RECORDS is honoring its own legacy by expanding the original double-LP release from the legendary Wattstax festival into a 3-CD collection featuring 47 songs.

SCOTT MATTHEWS: "Frequently (and justifiably) compared to a cross between Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake," according to David Dye at the World Cafe, you can stream a twofer and judge for yourself.

IS JONI MITCHELL the next major artist to sign with Starbucks?

DRINKY BLOHAN:  Though her enabling mother carefully said she is "in a safe place" and her lawyer carefully said she is "receiving medical care," it appears that Lindsay Lohan is not in rehab following yesterday's new arrest on DUI and cocaine charges.  The paparazzi at X17 claim that Li-Lo had been "desperate" for cash in recent days, offering to sell photos to the agency for 30 grand.  The actress was recently dumped by her on-off boyfriend Callum Best - because she's "too boring" when she's sober, according to British tabloid reports.  The producers of Lohan's next film remain hopeful the film will not be completely shelved amid reported financial troubles and Lohan's possible jail time.

BRITNEY SPEARS was snapped driving with her son on her lap again, which caused the pop tart to explode at the photogs.  And OK! Magazine says they're going to show Britney as she really was on the day of her disastrous photo shoot.

JOHNNY DEPP turned Pirate of the Mediterranean, setting sail for a romantic getaway with his long-term partner, French actress Vanessa Paradis.  Ladies, your shirtless Depp pics are at the link.

PAUL POTTS is keeping his day job, in case the opera singing gig doesn't pan out.  He entered the Britain's Got Talent competition on a coin-flip.

ENSIGN PAVEL CHEKHOV hopes to rally Starfleet cadets against Myanmar's military junta, an earthly "outpost of tyranny."

FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF:  Aussie writer Sam de Brito blogs that "everything you need to know about life is contained in the 102 minute running time of this '80s classic."

24 casts America's first lesbian President -- Cherry Jones, who irl is partnered with the younger and hotter Sarah Paulson.

HOT GHETTO MESS may not be the best name for a TV show, even if it's airing on BET.  The concept of the show -- based on a website by that name -- is intriguing.

THE 77 MOST UNFORGETTABLE MOVIE SONGS --except musicals -- according to AOL Music.

THE 20 BEST & WORST CELEB BLOGS, according to Entertainment Weekly.

WOULD YOU LIKE A CHUTNEY SQUISHEE?  With The Simpsons Movie looming -- complete with the promotion turning 7-Eleven stores into Kwik-E-Marts -- Indian media has been making much ado about Apu.  Some desis see the Apu character and promotion as a travesty, others as much Apu about nothing.

WARD CHURCHILL, the Colorado prof who became infamous for calling some of the World Trade Center victims "little Eichmanns" in an essay, has been fired for "repeated and deliberate" infractions of scholarship rules.  He vows to sue.

IRAN:  The French Press Agency goes on patrol with the Fashion Police.  Women not hewing to the strict Islamic dress code are arrested and sent to a "center for combating vice."

IRAQ:  In the second round of US-Iran talks, the two sides agreed to form a new panel for more regular cooperation on Iraq security issues.  US Amb. Ryan Crocker notes that added that since Iranian and US reps last met to discuss the matter two months ago, Iranian-supported militia attacks on US and Iraqi forces had seen "an escalation, not a de-escalation."  So, anyone want odds on the Iranians cooperating?   The Islamic State of Iraq denied that US troops had captured the highest ranking Iraqi in the leadership of AQ and that that the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq - identified as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi - was a "fictional role" and that an actor is used for audio recordings of speeches posted on the Web.  Anyone hear from Khaled al-Mashhadani lately?  Blogger Michael J. Totten has a photo essay from his patrol in Baghdad's Graya'at neighborhood with the 82nd Airborne.  IraqSlogger has a map showing the remaining hotspots of sectarian violence in Baghdad, though the site's claim that that the number of unidentified bodies in the capital has risen again to pre-surge levels over the last two months doesn't jibe with the actual numbers.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  London's Guardian and Observer recently ran a remarkably (for them) even-handed piece on the state of the nation, esp. northern Iraq: "For there are two Iraqs in evidence these days: not just the one where weddings are bombed and young women murdered in reply. The other Iraq is harder to dramatise but it is equally real. It is a place where boring, ordinary things take place. And in taking place become extraordinary in the context of conflict," later adding, "the expectation that America may be crumbling over Iraq - and may leave soon - has acted as an accelerant where the violence is worst..."

IRAQ in the MEDIA II:  The New Republic has been running articles attributed to a US soldier in Baghdad using the pen name "Scott Thomas," describing gruesome incidents in Iraq.  Last week, The Weekly Standard questioned the veracity of the New Republic articles in a variety of areas, including the design and operation of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the non-existence of a "Saddam-era mass grave site" described in the TNR articles.  TNR Editor Franklin Foer originally posted on the mag's blog, claiming he was getting corroboration from other soldiers, but yesterday told the NYT it's difficult to get them on the phone.  Vietnam vet Bruce Kesler writes that neither TNR nor The Weekly Standard have fared well in this episode, though he clearly is skeptical of the TNR pieces.  You would think that the mag that published all those stories from Stephen Glass would have corroborated these inflammatory articles before running them.

JESSICA the HIPPO:  If you watch only one ridiculously cute video about a domesticated hippo today, make it this one.  And when you think it can't get cuter, it does.

A COYOTE has been running around the southern end of Chicago's Lincoln Park, and he seems to be too wily for animal control right now.  Let's go to the video... or the slideshow.

PRIZE-WINNING POODLE Afonwen Welch Fusilier is the latest victim of identity theft.

OCTOPUS turns archaeologist, uncovers sunken treasure of the coast of South Korea.

ASSAULT with a DEADLY TURKEY charged in Seffner, Florida.

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Lohan Busted Again -- I'm Shocked! Shocked!!!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 04:11 PM
Posted by: Karl


LINDSAY LOHAN was popped early this morning for possession of cocaine, driving under the influence, transporting a narcotic into a custodial facility and driving on a suspended license  -- her second bust in less than three months.  Law enforcement now says Lohan was stopped after cops got a call of a vehicle being chased by another vehicle. The chasing vehicle was being driven by Lohan.   If convicted, she would almost certainly do time, especially with another possible DUI looming.  Here's your mugshot.  It seems that TMZ will be all over this story, so you can always check the Li-Lo category for updates throughout the day.

The usual daily tripe is below.

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John Vanderslice, New Releases, Martha & the Vandellas, Ziggy & Stardust   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JOHN VANDERSLICE is giving live-in-studio videos from his new album to his fave music blogs, starting with "Kookaburra" at Stereogum.

NEW RELEASES:  John Vanderslice, Tegan & Sara, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more are streaming from Spinner this week.  Prince's latest is streaming from AOL.  Bishop Allen is streaming three from The Broken String, which contains mostly re-recorded versions of songs from their monthly EP project.

TEGAN & SARA:  Tegan Quin talks about the influence her late grandmother had on the twins with Inside Bay Area.

THE TEN BEST BANDS THAT NEVER EXISTED, according to Earvolution.  Spinal Tap wuz robbed!  But there's a new viral video featuring the number one band on the list.

THE BYRDS:  Roger McGuinn tells Billboard that David Crosby has been piching a Byrds reunion for years, while McGuinn says it's best left as a "great memory,"

MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS lip-sync their way through the original recording of "Heatwave" (on Ready Steady Go) and a re-recorded version of "Dancing in the Streets" for a summer-themed Twofer Tuesday.

GNARLS HENDRIX?  Gnarls Barkley singer and hip-hop impresario Cee-Lo Green has bought the rights to early Jimi Hendrix master recordings.

RICHARD THOMPSON talks with icWales about getting hate mail and surviving through adaptation.

JEFF TWEEDY:  Wilco's frontman "shared what he's been listening to and why" with the NYT.

BJORK reportedly has a "huge black yacht" parked on the East River in Long Island City.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel is reportedly terrified about two missing tapes from her video diaries made with the troubled singer,  For his part, Doherty has begun another £3,000 detox program at a private clinic.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The pop tart's efforts to manage her own career are off to a craptacular start.  Spears directly negotiated a tell-all interview with OK! magazine set to run next week, but her behavior during the interview was "nothing less than a meltdown." She was, according to TMZ's sources, "completely out of it" during the accompanying photoshoot, which produced pics "so bad" that to publish them could "kill her career."  RTWT, complete with this loaded sentence: "She took frequent bathroom breaks our source says, and each time she returned her mood would change."  FWIW, the latest pregnancy rumor is probably baseless, but who can pass up the "she's not quite sure who the father is" bit?

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Was Heather Locklear "flipping out" over pics of rebound guy David Spade cavorting with Pam Anderson?  Doubtful.  Locklear looks pretty happy with Melrose Place co-star Jack Wagner.

THE SPICE GIRLS are being pressured to double the size of their world tour as paying them £10million apiece makes more economic sense with 50 dates.

POSH & BECKS, btw, enjoyed the full Hollywood treatment at a star-studded party hosted by Tom Cruise and Will Smith to welcome them to Los Angeles.

DREW CAREY... Come on down!

LINDSAY LOHAN allegedly amused herself in rehab by wandering around naked to shock male patients and staff, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  The German Protestant Church compared Cruise to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and claimed the actor was using his celebrity status to publicize the controversial Church of Scientology, which it called a "totalitarian organization."  Nazi analogies are almost always inappropriate, though the fact that Cruise is currently portraying one clearly made it very temptng.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Publicist and blogger Jonathan Jaxon takes you inside the strange and lonely life of the heirhead.

GEORGE MICHAEL has bought a dead cow wrapped around a pole for £3.5 million.  The punchline writes itself.

IS STEVEN SPIELBERG ready to leave the Paramount-DreamWorks studio marriage?

NICOLE KIDMAN saved HUGH JACKMAN from a poisonous scorpion on the set of Baz Luhrmann's new movie, Australia.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY may give her best screen performance to date -- and one of the most erotic moments that's likely to be seen on screen this year -- in the film of Ian McEwan's novel Atonement.

JESSICA BIEL says, "There's something about being with a guy who could cheat on you. It's pretty exciting."  It's good to be Justin Timberlake.

THE UNITED NATIONS suspended a Moroccan military contingent from its peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire while it investigated allegations of widespread sexual abuse.

COUNTER-INSURGENCY:  The Danger Room notes that after years of ignoring the issue of information warfare, the Army is working on a new "information operations" field manual.

AL QAEDA FAMILY FEUD?  Newsweek reportes that AQ No. 2 Ayman Al-Zawahiri  has moved aggressively to take operational control of the group, provoking a potentially serious ideological split within Al Qaeda over whether he is growing too powerful, and has become obsessed with toppling Pakistan's Pres. Musharraf.  John Arquilla, an intell expert who closely follows radical Islamist traffic, calls it "the battle for Al Qaeda's strategic soul. There is a profound strategic debate over whether to focus on overturning the government in Pakistan ... because that puts them in control of a nuclear capacity."

IRAQ:  The US command has prepared a detailed plan that foresees a significant American role for the next two years, though a decent chunk of that in a role similar to that recommended by the Iraq Study Group.  News that a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a house in Taji where a Sunni group fighting insurgents linked to AQI had gathered was buried in accounts from the WaPo and other US press, who headlined today's likely meeting of US and Iranian reps about the security situation in Iraq.  Fortunately, none of the tribal leaders were killed.  And it appears that in Taji, US forces have brokered an agreement between both Sunni and Shi'ite tribal leaders to join forces against al Qaeda and other extremists.  A suspected al Qaeda-allied terrorist was arrested July 18 in connection with the June kidnapping of two brothers, one of whom was a tribal sheikh.  IraqSlogger reports on the killing of Ayatollah Sistani's aide in the context of Friday sermons by clerics close to Sistani, in which fierce attacks were directed at the government and its inefficiencies.

IRAQ II:  The US commander in northern Iraq has proposed reducing his troop levels and shifting next year to missions focused less on direct combat.  Iraqi security forces have been fighting in major offensives around Baghdad and in Diyala province, which has given them combat experience but slowed their progress in other areas, such as logistics.  US forces are blockading a Mahdi Army stronghold north of Baghdad.

ZIGGY and STARDUST:  These border collie twin pups do indeed share something with glam-rock king David Bowie.

CHIHUAHUA HEROINE UPDATE:  Zoey, who protected an infant from a rattlesnake, has now made video coverage.

UNGRATEFUL RAT bites the hand of an Ontario policewoman trying to save it.

CHICKENS are becoming increasingly popular as pets.  There are no firm numbers available to illustrate the growth because it's hard to define who's keeping chickens for pets and who's keeping them to eat, said Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT now points to Israel, where the rodent population of the Negev is under threat from the offspring of a pair of squirrels that escaped from an alpaca farm in Mitzpe Ramon.  BONUS:  The Danger Room uncovers The Secret Squirrel Master Plan.

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Richard Hawley, Nilsson, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Shoplifting Seagull   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 23, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


RICHARD HAWLEY has a new video for the surprisingly upbeat "Tonight the Streets are Ours," from his upcoming LP.  Isn't that Amazing!  Now how much would you pay?  But wait, there's more...

THE YARDBIRDS REUNITE?  Rolling Stone claimed that Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck would rejoin the rhythm section, but  Beck's manager denies the story.

HARRY NILSSON:  An Aquarium Drunkard raves about the new Harry Nilsson documentary Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him)? and embeds the trailer.  He also embeds the first part of The Point, Harry Nilsson's 1971 animated feature -- narrated by his pal Ringo Starr -- which includes "Me and My Arrow."  He further posts tracks you can jukebox via the ol' HM.

THE 100 BEST COVER SONGS OF ALL TIME, according to the New York Post.  Best Week Ever located video for the Top Ten.

MINUS THE BEAR have an album due in September; the band recently got an audio feature on the World Cafe you can stream from NPR,"complete with precise guitar work and complex time changes."

CHEAP TRICK is set to perform the entire Sgt. Pepper album from start to finish at the Hollywood Bowl, accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, as well as special guests.  The first half of the concert will features other Beatles classics.

THE JAM deliver a raw live take on Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up."

RYAN ADAMS:  The rehabbed rockstar remains addicted to recording, telling the L.A. Times, "I get around a studio and I get pervy. The fact that we're in one right now literally makes me want to make a record today and be done like tomorrow..."

THE HOLD STEADY is Harry Potter's favorite band at the moment; Art Brut will be so jealous.

THE FUTURIST has posted WOXY's video interviews with The National and Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne from the Bonnaroo fest.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS frontman A.C. Newman talks to Metromix about the "pre-order, stream now" program and the Executive Edition of the upcoming Challengers LP.  And here's the link to "Buy Early, Get Now" site.

SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS:  His original (i many senses) version of "I Put A Spell On You" is streaming from Spinner, just because it's cool.

DAVENDRA BANHART, head freak-folkie, announces plans for a new album due in late September.

LINDSAY LOHAN sneakily turned herself in to the police late Thursday to be officially arrested for her May DUI incident.  A report that Lohan's antics in Vegas last weekend scared the bond stooges into de-funding her next pic is denied by her rep.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry topped the box office, opening with 34.8 million -- right in the ballpark of an Adam Sandler summer comedy opening. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix dropped to second place with 32.1 million; it's 58 percent drop was big, but not far out of line with others in the series, esp. with the final Potter book dropping on Saturday.  It has already made 559 million worldwide on a 150 million budget, so Sony remains smiling.  Hairspray debuted in third place with 27.8 million, which is probably a bit stronger than projected.  Transformers took in another 20.5 million and maybe enters the running for the biggest film of the summer.  Ratatouille rounds out the Top Five with 11 million; decent legs in the face of Harry Potter, but its final total will be hurt by that slower opening weekend.  Live Free or Die Hard pulled in another 7.3 million and in in the black on domestic receipts.  License to Wed, 1408 and Evan almighty all dropped nearly 50 percent.  Knocked Up rounds out the Top Ten.

TAMMY FAYE MESSNER, f/k/a Tammy Faye Bakker, who had battled colon cancer since 1996 that more recently spread to her lungs, died peacefully at her home Friday.

THE McCARTNEYS:  The Daily Mail claims that Sir Paul and Heather Mills are understood to have thrashed out a divorce deal in which she will receive almost £70 million.  Apparently, payments will be made over time to assure Sir Paul that Heather behaves herself.

MADONNA may be the latest celeb to disprove the saying that one can never be too rich or too thin.

JESSICA BIEL tells MTV that she "would definitely love to take on something that is physically totally different from what I look like and what I'm used to doing, do something like a 'Monster'."  Playing ugly got Charlize Theron an Oscar, so why not?

NAOMI WATTS looks due to give birth any moment now, perhaps to an alien bursting through her chest.  That is an odd-looking baby bulge.

CELEBRITY MAKEUNDERS:  The Daily Mail has pics from a website that photoshops celebs into ordinary-looking people.

ORLANDO BLOOM and co-star NAOMIE HARRIS were caught in a near-canoodling incident in London.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is reportedly none too happy that Pitt will be working with former lover and fiancée Gwyneth Paltrow on the Watergate film Dirty Tricks.  The couple took the kids incognito to a French adventure park.  "To see Brad Pitt knocking around in a bouncy castle with his children [and] screaming like wild animals was like a hallucination," said park operator Benjamin Gautier, breaking Rule No. 1 of Bouncy Castle Club.


TURKEY:  The Islamic-rooted ruling party won parliamentary elections by a wide margin Sunday, and the prime minister pledged to safeguard the country's secular traditions and do whatever the government deems necessary to fight separatist Kurdish rebels.  The party actually lost seats, but is expected to be able to form a ruling coalition.

AFGHANISTAN:  Col. Rahmatullah Safi, border police commander in the three western provinces of Farah, Badghis and Herat, claimed that his forces seized and intercepted weapons including anti-tank mines on the Afghan-Iranian border that were intended for the Taliban.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki urged parliament to cancel or shorten the summer recess so as to help the government solving some pending issues.  Iraq's national security advisor writes in the L.A. Times of the slow political process, "We have a government that requires consensus to make decisions. Unlike the dictatorial and authoritarian regimes of the past, our democracy cannot act quickly against the wishes of its constituents - something our supporters abroad should celebrate, not criticize."  Iraqi politicians from across the parliamentary spectrum have warned that a US withdrawal would cause bloodshed and leave the country dominated by radical militias.  Iraqi and Arab papers are abuzz with the news of the expected return of the Sunni "Iraqi Accord Front" to the parliament, after weeks of boycott.  The National Dialogue Front may also return if parliament takes up major bills like the draft oil law.

IRAQ II:  US forces are striking a variety of "handshake agreements" with Iraqi insurgents and militia groups, sometimes resulting in the release of fighters detained for attacking coalition forces, US military officials said in several recent interviews.  US forces have "turned the corner" in Anbar province, but it will take two more years for Iraqi forces to be ready to replace US troops, a senior US commander said Friday.  A top aide to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani was stabbed to death in what Sistani's supporters believe was a warning to Iraq's senior Shiite cleric; an inside job is suspected.  Michael Yon has a new dispatch about US forces in Diyala meeting with Iraqi Army officers and former insurgent leaders to work out "rules of cooperation."  All seemed most eager to oppose sectarian agendas.  Bill Roggio has two roundups on operations in Baghdad's Belts of eastern Anbar, northern Babil, and Diyala.   US troops on Sunday detained two suspected weapons smugglers who may be linked to Iran's elite Quds force.  Dozens of low-level members of AQI are daring to become informants for the US military in the hostile Baghdad neighborhood of Doura.

SAM the SEAGULL is about to shoplift some Chilli Heatwave flavor Doritos; he's a repeat offender.  Pics and video at the link.

CHINA:  Having noted their rat and mouse infestations last week, we note the place is also infested with gerbils and marmots.

SNAKE in a SHOWER:  And not in a good way.

PET HOARDING GOES EXOTIC, with an Ohio home containing bear cubs, a goat and a pet lion named Brutus.

ZOEY the CHIHUAHUA saved her owners' 1-year-old grandson from a rattlesnake, taking the bite herself.

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Sly Stone, Figurines, Ryan Adams & Elton John, Cutout Bin, Lion Cub   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with SLY & THE FAMILY STONE!  The mileage shows, but Sly exceeded my expectations in clips from the North Sea Jazz Festival, just last week.  He is finally brought onstage for "Stand," "If You Want Me To Stay" and "Sing A Simple Song," leaves during "I Want To Take You Higher," but returns with relative gusto for "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)."  It might be the shades and the neck malady, but the mellower Sly almost gives off a bit of a Ray Charles vibe at times.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS talks to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle about her younger fans, the critical response to her last album and her fear of buying a house.

DAVID VANDERVELDE talks to AZ Central about his glam-rock influences, working with Jay Bennett and touring for the first time.  You can (and should) stream a few now at HisSpace.

"LITTLE" STEVEN VAN ZANDT is chairing the music committee that's overseeing the tracks to be featured on the videogame Rock Band, a highly-anticipated multiple-instrument take on Guitar Hero.

THE FIGURINES:  When The Deer Wore Blue comes out on July 23rd, but you can stream their floaty psych-pop LP now, via this German e-card.

SPOON frontman Britt Daniel talks about the new album's goofy title, misspelt song titles and more with The A.V. Club.

JARVIS COCKER rocks Barcelona's Summercase festival with an encore performance of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."

SONIC YOUTH talks to the L.A. Times about their initial reluctance to perform Daydream Nation in its entirety.

RYAN ADAMS & ELTON JOHN shared a stage on April 2, 2002.  And you can jukebox it.SUMMER MIX:  A Deeper Shade of Soul did its first podcast called "A Soul Summer," including tracks from Aretha Franklin, Tony Joe White, Otis Redding, Candi Staton, King Curtis and more.  Coincidentally, Candy Staton is in my Summer mix as well; great minds think alike...

AMY WINEHOUSE appeared to be in tears onstage in London, hitting herself on the head with a microphone in frustration when she forgot the words to her songs, and a fan said she finished by spitting into the crowd.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN:  Heather Browne reprints Jon Landau's (in)famous "I saw rock and roll's future and its name is Bruce Springsteen" article as a prelude to a February 1975 bootleg from The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, featuring -- among other things -- the first known performance of "Thunder Road" (with in-progress lyrics and a different title).  Stream or download at the link.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel has left her north London home after being hounded by the troubled singer's friends, begging to give her a message from him.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortutitous finds on the ol' HM are: The Chicago Cubs - Hey Hey Holy Mackerel; Muddy Waters - Got My Mojo Working; Wilson Pickett - Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do); Gladys Knight & the Pips - I Heard It Through the Grapevine; Britt Daniel - Set Me Free (Kinks); Lucky Soul - Ain't Never Been Cool; Belle & Sebastian - Funny Little Frog; Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over; Nazz - Hello It's Me; Left Banke - She May Call You Up Tonight; The Who - I'm Free; The Jam - So Sad About Us (Demo); The Byrds - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (B. Dylan); Radiohead - Nobody Does It Better (C. Simon); Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure; Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song; Tone Loc - Wild Thing; The Cars - You're All I've Got Tonight; They Might Be Giants - Ana Ng; Electric Light Orchestra - Turn to Stone; and Tom Waits - Time.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include the movie-tuned-musical-turned-movie musical Hairspray, which is currently scoring an impressive 94 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and the Adam Sandler-Kevin James comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, which is scoring a decidedly less impressive 20 percent.

CHRISTOPHER WALKEN is talken to Details magazine about Hairspray, his unique cadence and more... cowbell!

RESCUE DAWN:  Platforming to a significant number of theaters is Werner Herzog's Vietnam POW escape drama, Rescue Dawn, which is scoring 89 percent on the Tomatometer.  Herzog first did a documentary of the escape in 1997, Little Dieter Needs to Fly.  Herzog talks about both films, the difficult shoot, and the political climate in America with IFC.

ROTTEN TOMATOES, btw, has issued a Halftime Report for 2007 through the magic of Bayesian mathematics.  Yet another reason to remind you to see Ratatouille.

THE EMMY NOMINATIONS are out, with The Sopranos and Ugly Betty getting the most.  You can see or download the whole list at the official website.  We can all look forward to a tough race for Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics, in which "Dick In A Box" faces off against "Everything Comes Down to Poo."

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise has started shooting his controversial film about the 1944 plot to kill Hitler -- but the producers have yet to find a character to play the Nazi leader.  BTW, the Scientology angle has overshadowed the usual Hollywood tittle-tattle that bubbles up when a Hollywood production hits Berlin, like Cruise turning down a woman driver because she was taller than him.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul has offered a £20 million divorce settlement to Heather Mills - and she in turn has said that she will accept £50 million, The Times of London.

BRITNEY SPEARS takes an ocean dip in her underwear.  Classy!

ADRIAN GRENIER of Entourage managed to date Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Melissa Keller for almost two years without the paparazzi finding out.

HARRY POTTER author J.K. Rowling is more than a wee bit ticked off that The New York Times publiished a fairly spoiler-y review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before its release date.  Photographed pages from Deathly Hallows, believed to include both fake and real versions, surfaced on the Internet and this week some books were shipped to customers by a US online retailer, prompting Scholastic to take legal action.  Will Collier of Vodkapundit -- one of those who received his copy early -- tells his story at National Review Online.

TRANSFORMERS:  When Shia LeBouf's character joked that they were probably Japanese, he didn't know how right he was.  Here's Japanese video of a real Transformer.

NORMAN BORLAUG (an Iowan, btw) was awarded Congressional Gold Medal, America's highest civilian award, on Tuesday.  Borlaug was the father of the "Green revolution" --  every nation his green thumb touched has known dramatic food production increases, falling fertility rates higher girls' education rates and rising living standards for average people.  At the Huffington Post, Gregg Easterbrook wonders why the mass media ignored it.  I was sick as a dog on Tuesday, but I did mention him last December.

HONOR KILLING in LONDON:  A Kurdish woman was brutally raped, stamped on and strangled by members of her family and their friends in an "honor killing" carried out at her London home because she had fallen in love with the wrong man.

SAUDI ARABIA is touting its rehabilitation center for one time Al Qaeda adherents.

IRAN has recently intensified its harassment of critics and people it deems threatening to the government.  Ali Afshari, a former student leader who was repeatedly jailed in Iran, says that Iran's repressive methods have actually led to the spreading of protests. He said women, students, and activists know they have to pay a price for their activism -- yet they continue their fight.

IRAQ:  The provinces of Karbala and Anbar agreed to form a joint security committee to better achieve security cooperation and to coordinate information.  US and Iraqi officials announced a ban on truck traffic into Kirkuk and proposed digging a trench around the northern city.  US commanders are concerned about "some kind of Tet offensive that's going to affect the debate in Washington."  Speaking of which, US Amb. Ryan Crocker told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "If there is one word I would use to sum up the atmosphere in Iraq... that word would be fear."  Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Corps - Iraq, says the military plans to deliver a required progress report a September deadline, it needs at least until November to see whether trends are holding and to make a "more accurate assessment."

THE CIRCLE of LIFE:  The Daily Mail has many more awww...some lion cub pics, for no particular reason.

GIANT SIAMESE CARP landed in Thailand; pic at the link.  At 256 lbs, it's the one that didn't get away.

THE SWARM:  About 10000 bees took up residence under a Pennsylvania woman's lounge chair.

A RABID WOODCHUCK attacked a woman in upstate NY.  I sympathize, as I've heard rabies shots are really painful.  Yet I must confess my first thought was this.

THE DOG ate my 800 dollars.  Try telling that to the landlord.

TWISTER the BEAR CUB gets out of rehab.  No, not that sort of rehab.

A DOG unseated a cyclist in the Tour de France, icymi.

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