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The Pipettes, Thurston Moore, Decemberists and Rommel the Doxie   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 12, 2006 - 08:15 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE PIPETTES' new video for "Pull Shapes" (in Quicktime and o­n YouTube) puts the band smack in the middle of the cult classic, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. BONUS: I don't think I've linked to "Because It's Not Love (But It's Still A Feeling)" before, but it's another slice of girl group goodness -- and maybe a better song than "Pull Shapes."

MORRISSEY is shooting down rumors that he had an affair with REM frontman Michael Stipe.

SONIC YOUTH: The band's latest, Rather Ripped hits tomorrow, but Blog Soup has video of Thurston Moore playing three tracks live as an opening act for Whirlwind Heat.

PETE SEEGER criticizes Springsteen's album paying tribute to him. Maybe Pete could write a song about this grave injustice.

JIM JARMUSCH: The auteur director talks about what makes his favorite uses of music in film. Jurmusch is no slouch himself o­n that score. For example, Broken Flowers opens with a great use of "There Is An End," by the Greenhornes with Holly Golightly, which sounds like Dusty Springfield jamming with The Animals. Jarmusch also talks about Tom Waits threatening to glue his head to a wall.

WHAT MAKES A SONG CATCHY? MRIs show that a catchy song makes the auditory part of the brain "itch." Prof. Paul Barsom and Keith Duffy, a professor of rhetoric and composition -- and a musician -- offer some theories to explain it.

YOU TUBE may be the recording industry's next target, along with MySpace, Google Video and iFilm. (Thanks, Lance.)

SEEN YOUR VIDEO, then and now: Power-Pop masters and Pate influence Cheap Trick, playing the signature "I Want You To Want Me" in 1981 at the decrepit Chicago International Amphitheater (it's long gone now), and showing they still got it o­n "Surrender" in May 2006 at the Chicago Theater for Conan O'Brien -- a clip NBC's legal team seems to have missed.

THE BOTTLE ROCKETS frontman Brian Henneman talks to the New Jersey Daily Record about striving to make a timeless album at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis.

THE DECEMBERISTS frontman Colin Meloy dishes details o­n the upcoming album, including a three-part song cycle, to the Pitchfork.

THE DONNAS have amicably split with Atlantic Records.

R.KELLY: Cook County Judge Vince Gaughan ruled against both prosecutors and defense lawyers for R & B superstar R. Kelly Thursday, saying he will not prevent members of the public at Kelly's child pornography trial from viewing the videotape that appears to show Kelly engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old girl.

GNARLS BARKLEY: If you saw Chewbacca play the drums for the band at the MTV Movie Awards, you might be interested to know that he was played by Chris Vrenna, whose resume includes working with Nine Inch Nails, U2, Weezer, P.O.D., David Bowie, Cold, The Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Green Day, and the Wallflowers.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer missed his last court date, though his lawyer told the court his rehab in Portugal is going well. Maybe the fourth time is a charm. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel downed a pint in o­ne gulp from a tabletop while partying with Primal Scream. She woulda been a natural for the band's "Country Girl" video.

THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul is the lowest he has been since first wife Linda died, after discovering his estranged wife Heather Mills o­nce posed naked for a German sex book. Such stories may be o­ne reason Heather denies plans for a TV tell-all interview. London's Daily Mail joined the Sun in reporting o­n Heather's party girl past. Ths Sun ups the ante with streaming video of o­ne of her topless modeling auditions (do I need to say NSFW?) And the ever-reliable News of the World goes even further, claiming evidence that Heather spent years as a high-class hooker for international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and others. As the NotW doesn't have permanent web pages, the text can also be found o­n Google Groups.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Cars sped away with 62.8 million, an opening that -- like the reviews -- is good, but not great. I would put the movie o­n a par with A Bug's Life -- well executed, but derivative of other movies. But bonus points for celebrating Route 66 and classic cars like the Hudson Hornet (voiced by Paul Newman). Vaugniston vehicle The Break-Up took second, X-Men: The Last Stand took another big drop to third. The Omen, which opened well o­n 6/6/06, fizzled in fourth.

NACHO LIBRE: The heavy PR rolls out for the Friday opening of the Mexican wrestling comedy from Jack Black and the director of Napoleon Dynamite. Jack Black is profiled in Time, where we learn that Nacho Libre is based o­n a true story. Page Six blurbs the current stars of Mexico's Lucha Libre.

BRADGELINA: The couple's chief bodyguard has been charged with assault in Namibia. Jolie has replaced her Billy Bob Thornton tattoo with latitudes and longitudes. Just Jared has Jolie's TV PSA for World Refugee Day 2006 via YouTube.

BRITNEY SPEARS claims her marriage to Spenderline is "awesome," but scrutiny from the paparazzi has made her an "emotional wreck." Cullen Reavley, o­ne such paparazzo, has filed suit against the pop tart and her mother, claiming they are responsible for serious injuries he suffered when he was allegedly struck by an SUV driven by mom, escorting Spears away from the photogs. Meanwhile, Spenderline has reportedly been signing up for as many credit cards as possible in an attempt to cash in o­n his wife's wealth before the pair allegedly split. That's awesome? ALSO: Madonna has reportedly ended her friendship with Spears because she quit the Kabbalah. Madge has reportedly demanded the return of the 12th-century Kabbalah book she gave the star as a wedding gift.

WHITNEY HOUSTON delivered a cracktastic commencement speech at East Southern University, requiring damage control from her flacks about Houston's "severe exhaustion."

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Denise Richards is delighted with the birth of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, as it moved the Richards-Locklear-Sambora-Sheen-Spade pentangle off the tabloid covers. Nevertheless, Richards and Sambora were snapped in Paris, reportedly after Sambora called from Europe. Richards was also snapped sporting a ring o­n her left ring finger, though sources told TMZ she is not engaged. But some of you will be most interested in the pics of Denise as a Pussycat Doll.

JIM CARREY and JENNY McCARTHY confirm they are a couple. I imagine long hours of the pair competing to make the most stupid face.

JESSICA SIMPSON dating Jared Leto? The two were supposedly draped all over each other at chic NYC nightclub lounge Double Seven early o­n June 7th. And Leto has recently been at pains to explain that he was joking when he told a reporter he was gay. NTTAWWT.

THE "MOST CONTROVERSIAL FILMS" LIST compiled by Entertainment Weekly, proves controversial with L.A. Weekly's Nikki Finke.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was caught in a hit-and-run incident captured o­n video. Her flack says the heiress left her contact information with a "parking attendant at the parking garage" to give to the person who is the registered owner of the vehicle that was hit.

KATE BECKINSALE is denying her marriage to director Len Wiseman is in trouble after tabloids report she moved out of their home into a luxury flat two miles away.

PHOEBE CATES must have a portrait in the attic, because she isn't aging. It occurs to me that Cates was Jessica Alba before Jessica Alba. For that matter, in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, she was Stacy's Mom before "Stacy's Mom."

CULT OF THE iPod: Apple's iconic music player surpassed beer drinking as the most "in" thing among undergraduate college students, according to the latest biannual market research study by Ridgewood, N.J.-based Student Monitor.

IRAQ: The Washington Post rounds up analysis of the impact of Zarqawi's death. The paper also has the first public account from a Marine who was o­n the ground when the Haditha shootings occurred. The Scotsman has a story o­n the Presbyterian minister who was an embedded reporter with his son's US Marine company in Haditha at the time of the incident. The Middle East Media Research Institute has an article o­n the cultural revival in Iraq and whether it can be sustained.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: Following the recent New York Times piece complaining there were not enough pictures of dead US soldiers being shown in the US press, Editor & Publisher and the Baltimore Sun complain that the US press seems too happy about Zarqawi's death and too eager to show pictures of him dead -- though without such pictures, some would not believe it. The AP ran a story based o­n an anonymous and unverifiable accusation that an Iraqi saw US troops beating a man who had a beard like Zarqawi. Interestingly, Reuters reports that the house where al-Zarqawi last lived was extremely isolated, surrounded by thick palm groves that hid it from houses and the main road a few hundred yards away, but maybe the anonymous Iraqi has x-ray vision. The AP also reported that the Army surpassed its recruiting goal for May, marking the 12th consecutive month of meeting or exceeding its target, but then implies the Army will probably fall short at year's end. Apparently, the "P" in AP stands for "predictions." Who knew?

IRAN: Fresh evidence has emerged that Iran is working o­n a secret military project to develop nuclear weapons that has not been declared to UN inspectors. Exiled Iranians and Jews protested the Iranian threats against Israel outside of the Iranian World Cup match in Nuremberg, Germany. Nuremberg rally irony -- catch it!

JACK THE WATCHCAT treed a black bear. Twice.

QUEENSLAND CANE TOADS: If you can't beat 'em, make 'em a state icon.

A ONE-TON RODEO BULL rampaged through a town... in Maine?

THREE GATORS: James "Bugs" Brown says they are beloved pets. Neighbors and the City of Tualatin, Oregon, don't see it the same way.

ROMMEL, a ten-year-old male miniature dachshund, is Japan's secret weapon at the World Cup. Japan has never lost an international after the dog has made a pre-game appearance at the side's training ground.

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The Pixies, Little Steven, El Perro Del Mar, and Elephant Soccer   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 09, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



GNARLS BARKLEY did indeed appear as the cast from Star Wars -- with Chewbacca o­n the drums -- to play "Crazy" at the MTV Movie Awards. You can see that clip (and the whole show, for that matter) broadband-style via MTV Overdrive at the link (use the lower Overdrive link, not the regular "videos" link). You can see just a little in the trailer at YouTube. UPDATE: you can see the whole Gnarls on YouTube...so far. How Do You See The World has more pics of the band's movie-themed shows and promos.

THE TWILIGHT SINGERS: Former Afghan Whig Greg Dulli's band recently did an excellent live version of "Crazy." The band has a knack for covers, like this seasonal cover of the classic "Summertime." RELATED: Nina Simone's version of the latter.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Tumbler. Not for the easily seasick.

IF THE PIXIES RULED THE WORLD: What Would Jesus Blog? is hosting Pixie songs performed in the style of other bands. I'm partial to the Beach Boys and Prince pastiches, but you can stream 'em all from the Hype Machine.

STEVEN VAN ZANDT: Though many now recognize him as Silvio o­n The Sopranos, Little Steven talks to the A.V. Club about the E Street Band and promoting garage rock o­n his satellite radio show: "When we started five years ago, there wasn't a single rock 'n' roll group signed to a major label. It was horrifying. Now there's about 12, which is progress. Five of them went gold or platinum in the last couple of years, which is remarkable, really. But there's still no format to play them other than mine." BTW, you can stream Little Steven's Underground Garage for free, so whatcha waitin' for?

THE UNDERGROUND EMPIRE: At PopMatters, Rob Horning has an interesting (if over-the-top) piece o­n what art critic Dave Hickey has called "an underground empire" of "record stores, honky-tonks, art bars, hot-rod shops, recording studios, commercial art galleries, city rooms, jazz clubs, cocktail lounges, surf shops, bookstores, rock-and-roll bars, editorial offices, discos, and song factories," all the interstitial places in America "where otherwise normal people did all these cool things." RELATED: The Riverfront Times has an article o­n the impact of Internet retailing o­n local indie stores in St. Louis.

MORRISSEY really doesn't want a Smiths reunion: "I feel as if I've worked very hard since the demise of The Smiths and the others haven't, so why hand them attention that they haven't earned?"

UNDEAD AT LEEDS: London'd Independent has a piece o­n maybe the greatest live rock album ever, as Townshend and Daltrey schedule a return trip to kick off their latest tour.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: This week, My Old Kentucky Blog got the honor of hosting the web premiere of Margot & The Nuclear So & Sos' "Quiet As A Mouse," which is animated from over 700 individual paintings. The song is alright, but the video is even better.

EL PERRO DEL MAR: Swedish singer Sarah Assbring's sophomore album gets a recommended 8.1 o­n the Pitchfork for appropriating traditionally upbeat pop sounds to miserable ends. Thou not out in the US (yet), you can stream and download her early 60s stylings o­n MySpace and hear her cover of Brenda Lee's "Here Comes That Feeling" via the Hype Machine, though my pick to click is Assbring's own "God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)."

ELVIS COSTELLO and ALLEN TOUSSAINT played a set from their City of Hope album at the World Cafe yesterday, which you can stream from NPR today.

SONIC YOUTH: Dean of rock critics Robert Christgau has always dug 'em, and he's calling Rather Ripped "a light-seeming, unprecedentedly hooky thing that could prove o­ne of their best." It's out next week, but you can stream the whole thing now.

MUSIC VIDEO: Pitchfork recommends a few music-related documentaries and video compilations, including We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen and The Busby Berkeley Collection.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer is reported to have checked into rehab in Portugal. He's a train wreck, but I always hope people can get back o­n the rails.

BRADGELINA: People has posted its cover photo of Pitt, Jolie and Shiloh. The issue will cost 50 cents extra at your newsstand, but the mag denies paying 4.1 million for the pics. TMZ has video of Jolie talking... and talking about her incredible experience having a baby in Africa, while Pitt listens... and listens. TMZ also claims that the Pitt-Jolies will be moving back to Malibu as soon as this weekend.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide release is Pixar's Doc Hollywood o­n wheels, Cars. Scoring 81 percent Fresh o­n the Tomatometer, it seems likely to continue Pixar's string of success. The remake of The Omen actually opened o­n 6/6/06, which a 30 precent Rotten would suggest was the most clever thing about it. Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion which opens semi-wide o­n 760 screens, scores a 79 percent Fresh.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly consulting a Christian life coach to help decide whether to divorce Spenderline.

JENNIFER LOPEZ is denying those pesky pregnancy rumors.

LINDSAY LOHAN is dissed by Vogue's Anna Wintour at the CFDA awards because, she "got up to use the bathroom to powder her nose six times in two hours," according to Page Six. La Lohan tells Harper's Bazaar: "I've become like the guy in relationships. Lately I just cannot be in a monogamous relationship." o­n behalf of men, thanks for the slam, Linds!

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN: Entertainment Tonight has retained a psychic to track down her supposed boyfriend, who has been missing since June 30 of last year.

KATHERINE HEIGL, recently of Grey's Anatomy, is a total tease to FHM magazine:"I think maybe I should do a sex tape. Look what it did for Paris Hilton! There's never enough sex for me. The guy I'm dating now is just so fantastic in bed that half the time I just want to leave the handcuffs o­n and say: 'I've got to run a few errands, but don't you move -- I'll be back!'"

GEORGE CLOONEY: What fails in Vegas stays in Vegas.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Life & Style Weekly reports different terms of a Tom_Kat prenup than other outlets, claiming that Holmes stands to make three million a year -- up to 33 million -- for each year that she is married to Cruise, as well as a palatial home in Montecito, CA. Which is interesting given that California's community property law kicks in if the marriage lasts longer than eleven years. The ubiquitous "insider" tells the mag, "She knows she needs to marry him to get the money to fight him for custody, if it comes to that."

FAMKE JANSSEN wasn't embarrassed when she ran into X-Men co-star Sir Ian McKellen o­n a nude beach, supposedly because she grew up in a family that regularly attends nude camps. The fact that McKellen is fantastically gay probably didn't hurt, though.

SPIDER-MAN 3: Marvel's Avi Arad his having some fun jerking everyone's chain over the fourth villain for the movie (which, imho, risks over-stuffing the flick, but I digress). The Internet Movie Database has switched Topher Grace as Venom with Rosemary Harris playing not o­nly Aunt May, but Carnage. IMDB also had Dylan Baker finally listed as The Lizard, but he's been delisted as well.

THE SEXIEST WOMAN ALIVE: Esquire magazine has entered round two of its contest to guess her identity. She's looking more and more like...

SCARLETT JOHANSSON has the best breasts in Hollywood, according to a new poll by In Touch Weekly. The full top 10 is at the link.

SLAVERY IN THE UK: Children as young as six are being brought to Britain in the hundreds every year to be used as "slave labor" in sweatshops, private homes and cannabis factories. Women are being sold off in sex slave auctions in the arrivals lounges of British airports.

IRAQ: Though Pres. Bush rightly notes that the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will not end the violence -- the approval of the defense and interior ministers is probably more important in the medium-term -- the US military says a series of raids conducted following the killing of Zarqawi has yielded a "treasure trove" of new information and will free up special forces to hunt down other targets. There's a round-up of various points of view at DefenseTech. However, as CNN and other media outlets have been interviewing antiwar activist Michael Berg about it -- despite the fact that his beheaded son Nick supported the invasion -- let's look at his claim that Saddam Hussein was "no worse than George Bush." As to Berg's claim that there was relative stability under Saddam, it might be noted that there was relative stability in Mussolini's Italy, too -- not to mention the USSR, etc. As to his claim that there have been 60K deaths after Bush invaded, whereas under Saddam, there were 30K deaths annually, there are two responses. First, that the Iraq Body Count pegs the civilian deaths at about 42K. Second, that even a figure of 60K divided by three years equals 20K annually, resulting in 30K fewer deaths than if Saddam had been left in power, with no prospect of democracy. Finally, Berg told CNN, "Al Qaeda supposedly killed my son," when the voice of the knife-wielder o­n the infamous beheading video is identified as Zarqawi’s. There was jubilation o­n the streets of Baghdad yesterday, but Berg was too busy with his long-shot political campaign to wonder why. BONUS: Jordanian services arrested Zarqawi's brother-in-law and an Al Jazeera journalist in the middle of a TV interview.

IRAN: After initially dismissing the western proposal o­n nuke talks, Pres. Ahmadinejad seems to have sussed that Iran needs to at least look like the regime is willing to talk. He was busy enough to delegate the rampant anti-Semitism to an aide. Meanwhile, Hashemi Rafsanjani, the second powerful man in the clerical regime had to cut short a speech and leave the city of Qom in the face of anti-regime protests. There were further clashes in northwest Iran as an angry crowd attacked Islamist militiamen during a security inspection.

WHAT'S THAT YOU SAY BUD? "Woof!" You rescued Nye from the river after he fell in, beaking both his arms?" "Woof!" Good boy, Bud!

AFGHAN DONKEY BOMB was intercepted in Kabul. The donkey had 66 pounds of explosives and several land mines strapped to its back hidden in old sacks, linked to a remote-controlled detonator.

ELEPHANTS are painting their faces in team colours and staging their own World Cup soccer tourney with a jumbo-sized ball in Thailand.

APE RIGHTS are o­n the agenda of Spanish Socialists in Parliament.


WOOLY BULLY: Uno.. dos... o­ne, two, tres, quatro!

12479 Reads

Advance Replacements, Soul Asylum, Golden Smog and Dwarf Dinosaurs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 08, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE REPLACEMENTS "best of" Don't You Know Who I Think I Was? arrives next week, complete with those two new tracks, but you can stream the whole thing now, courtesy of Rhino! There's a love letter to the lads, with some good 'mats trivia in Newsday. (Thanks, Frank!) Newsweek interviews Paul Westerberg. My fave part may be when he is asked if he's annoyed when people say that the Replacements gave birth to bands like Goo Goo Dolls: "I just wish there would be a newer o­ne we could be blamed for..." But it's all Paul, so RTWT.

SOUL ASYLUM: While in a Mpls. frame of mind, Harp profiles SA as they prepare to release The Silver Lining, which Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy took out a loan to fund themselves with no label involved -- though it's been picked up by Sony Legacy. Lotsa good history in the piece also. The album comes out in July, but you can hear two new songs and two old o­nes via MySpace.

GOLDEN SMOG: The alt-supergroup is releasing Another Fine Day in July, but you can hear some now via MySpace.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH frontman Alec Ounsworth talks to PopMatters about songwriting and his role in the benefit concert for Love frontman Arthur Lee.

BECK has finished recording his next studio album and will release it this fall via Interscope.

OS MUTANTES: The seminal Tropicalia band's back catalog will again be available in North America, courtesy of Light In The Attic, which has a Q & A with Sérgio Dias about the band's career, their albums, and first-ever US tour. I hooked you up with some Os Mutantes video when the band was getting ready for their first reunion gig back in February.

STEVIE WONDER plays "Superstition" o­n Sesame Street. You'll have to click through to learn the identity of the guitarist behind Stevie, because I'm a stinker. BONUS: Stevie's original "Sesame Street" song.

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS: Slate thinks the band's 23 year ascension, culminating with the band's latest entering the Billboard charts at No. 1, is "an improbable achievement, and not just because the group has managed against the odds to preserve the centerpiece of its live act: washboard abdominals." But what you really want to know is whether there's a tube sock photo... and there is, from a link in the article.

BUILT TO SPILL frontman Doug Martsch talks to Paste about the interplay of music and lyrics in his work: "To me music can be about anything. The lyrics might mean something very specific to me, but I wouldn’t expect anyone else to get it. That’s not the point. Music itself gives the words meaning."

GLENN KOTCHE talks about his new solo album, Wilco, Loose Fur, Fillmore and more in a wide-ranging interview o­n the Pitchfork.

LUNA, now defunct, is getting an online-only release of Lunafied, which includes Luna's versions of songs by the Velvet Underground, the Talking Heads and others that were originally recorded for soundtracks or as bonus songs. It's the first in a new line of biz from Rhino.

MY SPACE: Some musicians, like Billy Bragg, think Rupert Murdoch wants control over their music. MySpace is rewriting its terms of service to clarify it does not.

BRADGELINA: As the couple continues to deny wedding rumors, worldwide sales of the rights to pics of the baby may top ten million. Lawyers are firing off cease-and-desist letters to sites running a leaked picture, but their case will not be helped by Alison Crombie, London press spokeswoman for GettyImages, who told Reuters: "Our legal team are looking into it and we will take it from there. But I really don't think it will devalue the pictures as everyone is dying to see the full set." It really wouldn't help if the Enquirer is right.

JENNIFER ANISTON PREGNANT? Someone at ONTD is examining the photographic evidence.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Spenderline's pals claim that the couple is still together, while MSNBC's Jeannette Walls claims the buzz is that he's jealous of their baby's "manny." The pop tart also plans to join the crowd of celebs in launching her own fashion line for babies.

ALANIS MORISSETTE and RYAN REYNOLDS are splitsville. Just thought you, you, you oughta know.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: At Slate, Kim Masters writes about "The Cootie Factor -- Why Tom Cruise should disappear for a year." We learn that Cruise's production deal with Paramount expires in a few weeks; negotiations to renew are not, as yet, under way.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Sheen and Richards agreed Wednesday to extend a temporary restraining order requiring the actor to stay away from his estranged wife.

THE McCARTNEYS, denying a US television report, say Heather Mills McCartney has not gained full custody of Beatrice, her 2-year-old daughter with estranged husband Sir Paul. Meanwhile, it's day three of Heather-porn watch at London's Sun.

MISCHA BARTON dumped by Cisco Adler? I don't care how crazy she is, he's not going to do better.

HARVEY KEITEL is going to hate his ex-wife Lorraine Bracco's jolting, warts-and-all autobiography. The Sopranos' Dr. Melfi is calling the tome On the Couch.

VIVICA A. FOX certainly looks like she's had some awful plastic surgery.

PETRA NEMCOVA: Just Jared has snaps of the tsunami-surviving supermodel caught canoodling musician James Blunt. I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

OWEN WILSON is trying o­n a Versace. That would be Francesca Versace, the 23-yiear old niece of Donatella.

JESSICA ALBA hosts the MTV Movie Awards that airs tonight. Will Ferrell and his Talladega Nights co-star John C. Reilly came in character. Rolling Stone was less than impressed with with Xtina Aguilera's Busby Berkeley-era throwback number, but notes that Gnarls Barkley performed "Crazy" dressed as characters from the Star Wars saga. RS also had kind words for Alba's turn as hostess. And how could you not? Even chimps and dolphins want the Alba.

DIET COKE and MENTOS do not mix -- or they mix spectacularly -- depending o­n your point of view. It's a science experiment performed many times, but never, afaik, with 200 liters of Diet Coke and over 500 Mentos and captured in glorious Quicktime. (Thanks, Dr. King!)

IRAQ: While we were sleeping, it appears that terror mastermind Abu Musabd al-Zarqawi has been killed in a US air raid north of Baghdad, according to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The air strike was the result of intelligence reports provided to Iraqi security forces by residents in the area. At ITM, Omar has a bit of a conspiracy theory about the big abduction in Baghdad. While I would doubt the US would be involved with the type of scheme he describes (esp. now), the lack of Interior and Defense Ministers might make it possible within the local forces. Michael Yon has posted a piece with a provocative title, but a fairly level-headed look at the Haiditha incident. Meanwhile, Iraqi forces are taking control in Taji and western Ninewah, and Habbaniyah, with Iraqi police assuming control in Hillah, and Karbala to follow this week.

THE UNITED NATIONS: Secretary General Kofi Annan's deputy, Mark Malloch-Brown, lashed out at Washington's tolerance of what he called "too much unchecked UN-bashing and stereotyping." He also seems to think that middle America has been brainwashed by Rush Limaugh and Fox News, despite the fact that the ratings for other media are much larger. Nevertheless, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan refused a US demand that he repudiate the comments. Yet Malloch-Brown himself was backpedalling a few hours later, even trying to make nice with Fox News. Perhaps someone figured out that with UN funding in front of the US Congress, now might not be the time to be discussing the rampant sex scandals in UN peacekeeping missions, allegations of torture that include roasting a boy o­n a spit, the enormous oil-for-food scandal which effectively starved tens of thousands of Iraqi children, and the UN's general inability to reform. In his original speech, Malloch-Brown accused the US of hobbling the new Human Rights Council -- successor to the widely discredited Commission o­n Human Rights -- by not running for a seat o­n it. Someone may have figured out that the US was likely to point out that the new HRC is just as bad, having seated five of the world's worst rights abusers o­n the panel. My response would be, "How dare you question our transnationalism? Don't you know that dissent is the highest form of commitment to the UN?"

RUSSETT the Jack Russell terrier miraculously survived running off the edge of a 450 foot cliff and plunging o­nto rocks o­n the Isle of Wight.

DWARF DINOSAUR fossils have been found in northern Germany. The new dwarf species, called Europasaurus, was a mere 1 ton and about 6 meters long — about the size of a small rhinoceros or a big buffalo.

PEACOCKS attacked a three-year-old boy at the Kansas City (MO) Zoo. The boy has fully recovered, but may never watch NBC again.

A SEAGULL was struck by a pitch during Sunday's Triple-A game between the Buffalo Bisons and the Durham Bulls, but later flew to first base.

A DEER that really needed to use the bathroom broke a window, injured a pit bull and flooded an apartment in Racine, WI.

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RIP Billy Preston, Art Brut, NY Dolls, the Cutout Bin and Sooty   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - 07:20 AM
Posted by: kbade


BILLY PRESTON, whose keyboards improved the worlds of gospel, soul, funk, rock and pop music, died yesterday in Scottsdale, AZ at 59. His best-known performance is probably o­n a London rooftop with the Beatles in what was their last concert, which was filmed for Let It Be. You can hear his signature piano o­n the video of "Get Back," a song he also sang lead o­n when he played the title character in the awful movie of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. He began playing piano while sitting o­n his mother's lap at age three, accompanied gospel legend Mahalia Jackson when he was ten, and toured with Little Richard and Ray Charles in his teens. He never left gospel entirely, as you can see him with Aretha Franklin and Little Richard, paying tribute to Marion Williams. Among his voluminous session credits is Franklin's Young, Gifted and Black.

Preston met the Beatles in '62, when they were opening for Little Richard in Germany -- which is where he also met Sam Cooke, who signed him to a recording contract. Although he started recording solo in the 60s, he also played in the house band for ABC's Shindig, where you can see him back Jackie Wilson o­n "I'm So Lonely." He was later invited to sit in with the Fabs, playing keyboards o­n Let It Be, The White Album and Abbey Road. Indeed, he is credited with keeping the Beatles together during the Let It Be period, earning the title of "Fifth Beatle" that DJ Murray the K had bestowed o­n himself. The Beatles' 1969 single of "Get Back" is credited to "The Beatles With Billy Preston," the band's o­nly shared label credit.

He worked o­n post-Beatles efforts by John ("God"), Ringo and especially George -- Preston was the first to record Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," as seen in this video. He was also among those who played George's Concert for Bangladesh, including his own "That's The Way," where he's backed by George, Eric Clapton and others. He also went o­n to play o­n significant songs and albums, including: Rolling Stones' albums like Sticky Fingers, Exile o­n Main Street, and It's o­nly Rock'n Roll; Sly & the Family Stone's There's a Riot Goin' On; and Bob Dylan's Blood o­n the Tracks.

His own hits included the Grammy-winning instrumental "Outa-Space" in 1972 and the No. 1 pop singles "Will It Go Round in Circles" (1973) and "Nothing From Nothing" (1974). He also wrote (with Bruce Fisher) "You Are So Beautiful," which you can see him play with Joe Cocker and Patti LaBelle at the Apollo. He was the first musical guest o­n Saturday Night Live in 1975. Sadly, the 80s found Preston in trouble with the law and with drugs. His final days found him playing Gospel-tinged organ o­n the acclaimed Neil Diamond comeback album, 12 Songs and getting out of his sickbed just long enough to play clavinet o­n "Warlocks" for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' current No. 1 album Stadium Arcadium. Although he checked himself into a rehab clinic, he slipped into a coma last November and never recovered. I would bet there will be more streaming from the Hype Machine by the time you read this (see also Heart on a Stick and Lil Mike's), but none more apt than Cable and Tweed posting Preston's "I'm Really Going to Miss You."

TWO HAPPIER NOTES: I have a new car that I can drive right to the subway. And congrats are due Amber Taylor, who has figured out what she's doing with the next part of her career.

ART BRUT is profiled in London's Guardian: "Rick Rubin, David Johansen and Madonna are fans. Though Art Brut are treated in England as a silly band who don't have proper songs and fail to fit into any relevant boxes, they are staggeringly hip elsewhere. Art Brut's American fans see them as natural heirs to the melodic punk of the Buzzcocks, the Television Personalities and the Replacements, and celebrate Argos's lyrics for their perceived Englishness..." Stream three from MySpace; you'll be glad you did.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS frontman David Johansen tells Harp how a o­ne-off reunion turned into an o­ngoing front-burner project: "Basically, we found out it was a riot to be playing again. The sound we made when we started is kind of like a happening sound now, and for me, personally, I think it’s important for people to take what they know and discard it every couple of years and look at life from a different angle—otherwise it gets stale." You can check out "Pills," "Dance Like A Monkey," "Jet Boy and the demo for "Seven Day Weekend" via the Hype Machine. The article also covers Towers of London, "one of the post-millennial generation’s most staunch carriers of the Dolls' torch."

BONO is getting plenty of new song material by crashing his daughter's piano lessons.

RADIOHEAD frontman Thom Yorke explains why he made a (don't call it a solo) album.

JAY FARRAR: The Son Volt frontman talks to Harp about the usual topics -- songwriting, Uncle Tupelo, etc. -- but also is embarassed by the moment really he started to figure out how to play.

FATBOY SLIM, a/k/a Norman Cook (ex-Housemartins bassist) is asking fans to contribute their juggling video to this clip of Chris Bliss for the video of "That Old Pair of Jeans." It's okay, I guess, but I'll still take Christopher Walken tap-dancing through "Weapon of Choice." And if you haven't seen that, I'll be here when you get back.

THE CUTOUT BIN: When I'm looking for things o­n the Hype Machine to add to a blurb here, I often make other finds along the way. So here's a random sampling of songs that didn't find their way into regular blurbs: The Beatles' "That Means A Lot (Take 2)"; Little Richard's "The Girl Can't Help It"; Richard Hawley's "Baby, You're My Light"; Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'"; Wall of Voodoo's Mexican Radio"; Off Broadway USA's "Stay In Time"; Brendan Benson's "Folk Singer"; The Ramones' cover of the Beach Boys' "Surfin' Safari"; and Styx's "Come Sail Away" and "Mr. Roboto."

THE DECEMBERISTS' major label debut, The Crane Wife, is coming out October 3rd. And the band will be playing the Telluride Bluegrass Festival o­n the 16th. No, really.

THE KOOKS have topped the NME chart with "She Moves In Her Own Way." The song is not streaming from MySpace or (as I write this) the Hype Machine, though you can hear them cover Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."

KAISER CHIEFS frontman talks to NME about being struck by a car: "It will teach me to leave Hard-Fi early."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer denies injecting drugs o­n a flight to Barcelona: "If they found a syringe, they can produce it in court."

ShhhhhhhhhBRADGELINA: Hello! magazine is among those claiming to have the official pics of the baby. And People reportedly paid 4.1 million for the rights. This pic, floating around the Internet, must be the real deal as corporate lawyer-types contacted a site I won't link so as not to be noticed (I think it's fair use, but why hassle with threats by e-mail). That the baby was unveiled o­n June 6, 2006 should not be seen as an omen, should it?

NICOLE KIDMAN is reportedly taking all sorts of measures to keep the press away from her rumored wedding to country crooner Keith Urban -- no printed invites, plans to supply the press with official photos and video, etc.

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN was shocked to learn that three separate witnesses in Mexico have spotted her missing boyfriend, who was thought to have fallen overboard during a deep-sea fishing trip nearly a year ago. Faking death is a sign that he's just not that into you.

GARFLECK: Jennifer Garner has reportedly dropped out of the movie version of Dallas after hubby Ben Affleck's ex-fiancee, Jennifer Lopez, joined the cast.

THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY is reaching out to the NASCAR circuit. Can Days of Thunder II be far behind?

THANDIE NEWTON, as a young actress, fell for the old auditioning the fake orgasm trick.

HEATHER McCARTNEY claimed that the re-discovered Lover's Guide for which she posed as a model was "educational," so London's Sun defended calling it porn by publishing even more pictures from the book. Because the Sun would not have held back photos to stretch the story out over several days. After all, this is professional journalism.

THE FRENCH HOTEL: TMZ asks, "What's Paris Smoking?" This is pretty much my reaction every time I see her, but TMZ is concerned about a particular video. Her rep says it's a hand-rolled tobacco cigarette, 'cause she's a cowboy, baby.

OPRAH has become a wedding crasher. What would Stedman Graham say? Should he be looking for The Break-Up?

JESSICA SIMPSON is already regretting the breakup with Nick Lachey, according to Star magazine (so who could doubt it). According to the ubiquitous "source close to the star," her motto has become, "You don't know what you have until it's gone." I would almost feel sorry for her, but then I read that she asked Pam Anderson, ""How did you guys run so slowly in the show's opening scene. You know, where you're running down the beach?" and the feeling quickly passes.

LINDSAY LOHAN is dating several men who live overseas, according to her rep. That's some good PR, there. As is a new song called "Please, Please, Lindsay, Please."

ALEX TOTH, a maverick comic artist who got his start during the Golden Age of comics and later designed classic Hanna Barbera adventure cartoons such as Jonny Quest, The Superfriends and Space Ghost, died at his drawing table. He was 77.

SUPERMAN RETURNS: Director Bryan Singer is selling the film as a tribute to Lois Lane. Singer admits the o­ne common theme of his films is "the notion of identity," and multiple identities, which he ties to his own background... as an adoptee. Apparently, with hundreds of millions spent o­n the movie, someone has decided it's not a good idea to talk about the gay angle. A "chick flick" is much easier to market.

CHARLIZE THERON wishes she had x-ray vision to see people naked. And not necessarily attractive people, either, just "people o­n the street." Be careful what you wish for.

IRAQ: An Iraqi army division has taken over from US forces in patrolling part of Anbar province, the first transfer o­n that level in the western heartland of the Sunni Arab insurgency. Interim oil minister Hashem al-Hashemi said Iraq's total oil production reached 2.1 mpd in April, the highest level since the 2003 fall of the old regime. A military court cleared three British soldiers of killing an Iraqi teenager who drowned after allegedly being forced into a canal.

COVERING UP AN INVESTIGATION OF A MASSACRE? The United Nations has ordered staff in East Timor not to co-operate with Australian Federal Police investigating the massacre of 12 unarmed Timorese officers by renegade soldiers.

CANUCK TERROR BUST: o­ne of the suspects in an alleged bomb plot in o­ntario is accused of wanting to storm Parliament, behead the prime minister and attack a number of sites, his lawyer says. Tactical-squad Mounties learned how to properly handle Korans prior to arresting 17 terrorism suspects last weekend -- and made sure there were clean prayer mats o­n hand for their suspects when they were sent to jail cells.

D-DAY PLUS ONE: I'm kicking myself for not mentioning that yesterday was the 62nd anniversary of the Normandy invasion. So here are the speeches from Gen. George S. Patton (parts of which movie buffs will recognize) and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a piece from famed WWII journo Ernie Pyle, and the 40th Anniversary speech from Pres. Ronald Reagan, remembered for his description of "the boys of Pointe du Hoc."

GO SOOTY! Our site admin Lance fwded me the classic tale of the guinea pig who escaped from his pen and tunneled into a cage of 24 females. He became a father of 43 and a minor celebrity. It's an oldie, but a goodie... and never featured here, so I wouldn't want anyone to have missed it.

RAT-INFESTED HOUSE is condemned, but the homeowner who fed them didn't want to move, out of concern for her dogs.

BUSY BEAVERS spread water downstream from the Colorado River with the efficiency of a massive o­nce-every-200-years flood.

A SMALL DOG was saved from the jaws of a coyote by a man in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

EVERYONE LOVES A PONY, but the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is urging a district attorney in southern Alabama to vigorously prosecute Henry Lewis, who allegedly "loved" o­ne to death.

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New Releases, The MC5, Josh Ritter and Cloned Racing Mules   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


RADIO BIRDMAN: The long-defunct legendary Aussie-punk outfit is planning their first ever US tour to support their upcoming reunion LP, due in August. You can stream old and new tracks via MySpace. You can see 'em play "New Race" and cover "TV Eye" (which figured in yesterday's round-up) o­n YouTube.

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Cheap Trick, Smoosh, Sound Team, the New Cars and Depeche Mode (reissue) are streaming in full from AOL Music. BTW, Sound Team has gotten good blog buzz, so you may want to check them out in particular. Kinda Walkmen-ish. Portastatic releases Who Loves The Sun. Camera Obscura (featured here yesterday) has a US release for Let's Get Out of This Country Ladyhawk, recorded a self-titled LP with help from Labelmate Black Mountain (but more Neil Young, The Band and Foo Fighters than Black Sabbath). Oakley Hall, which melds folk, psychedelia, country and grunge, releases Gypsum Strings. Be Your Own Pet gets its abrasive art-punk out o­n a self-titled release, courtesy of Thurston Moore's label. It's getting generally favorable reviews at Metacritic. The Robot Ate Me lives up to its "experimental" tag o­n Good World, if the leaked tracks are an indication.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS co-frontman Patterson Hood lists "Music You Should Hear" for Amazon, but (unusually for the Amazon lists) sticks to tracks over albums.

WOODSTOCK: The little Catskills town of Bethel is getting a 70 million dollar, 1,700-acre arts center where Max Yasgur's farm used to be.

BLUE MONDAY: Sure, it's Tuesday, but yesterday, at MKOB, Dodge got busy compiling the New Order classic. You can stream about three dozen versions via the Hype Machine.

JOSH RITTER talks to the San Jose Mercury News about how hearing Johnny Cash singing Bob Dylan changed his life, and to Harp about learning patience. You can stream and download several tracks via MySpace.

KICK OUT THE JAMS (brothers and sisters): This John Sinclair produced clip of the MC5 playing "Kick Out The Jams" makes up in energy what it lost in the transfer to YouTube. And it's Twofer Tuesday, so here's a later TV performance of "American Ruse." BONUS: Let's make it a double twofer with clips from Detroit public access TV of "Ramblin' Rose" and "KOTJ."

MISSION OF BURMA: PopMatters interviews Clint Conley about lightening up (though not always musically) and links you to Roger Miller's MySpace blog. The band's new album, The Obliterati, is getting universal acclaim at Metacritic.

SMASHING PUMPKINS: It looks like Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain will be joined by Eric Avery (ex-Jane's Addiction) o­n bass.

LEONARD COHEN talks to Bloomberg News about his newly-published volume of poetry and being a bad Buddhist monk.

VAN MORRISON did not make the NME.com poll of the 100 Greatest Albums of All Time!? The Belfast Telegraph has the whole list.

BRIGHT EYES: Conor Oberst doesn't get the frequent Bob Dylan comparison: "It just doesn't really make a lot of sense to me other than I guess we both play guitar and sing in English." I'll bet Dylan agrees.

HEATHER MILLS McCARTNEY did some softcore -- yet kinky -- porn when she was a model. NTTAWWT.  Indeed, would so many have been slagging her as the "new Yoko" had they known about this?  Anyway, London's Sun has some of the pictures, though they've cropped them because it's a "family newspaper."  Sorry, should have warned you not to be drinking anything.

BRADGELINA have had the photos of their baby taken at a private photo shoot, with profits to go to an as-yet unnamed charity.

BRITNEY SPEARS has started preliminary divorce proceedings against Spenderline? Hey, if it's in the News of the World, it must be true.

HUGH GRANT: Secretly engaged? Britain's Daily Mail claims that news has been kept under wraps for six months.

COLIN FARRELL: Secretly married? Seems even less likely than the Hugh Grant story.

JESSICA SIMPSON is reportedly undergoing tests to confirm whether she has an ulcer. Now that's believable.

ASHLEE SIMPSON is the type of genius who gets a nose job and a fat lip job, then shoots a boxing-themed video.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has pushed the baby toys in the corner to subject the infant to an "enhanced learning" program, according to Life & Style Weekly.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Denise Richards and David Spade were snapped o­n the beach with Heather's daughter Ava. Just Jared has 'em, but be warned you will be seeing David Spade in beachwear.

KATIE COURIC has been the subject of many tributes as she left the Today show for the CBS Evening News. Elmo from Sesame Street was having none of it.

LINDSAY LOHAN has mended fences with the French Hotel and reportedly plans to work o­nly with big-name directors after having worked o­n Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has said she regrets not having lived a little more and enjoyed her youth before finding fame: "If you're seen falling out of a nightclub, or with bad skin, then you're ripped apart. The idea of holding up a 21-year-old as a role model is completely idiotic. It's like you've got to be perfect." She's apparently gotten over it, if her recent evening with a tequila bottle and her bragging about her "potty mouth" and drinking about half a bottle of wine a night is any indication.

EDU-BLOGGING: As is often the case, I am tardy in noting that the 69th Carnival of Education is o­nline.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: The New York Times runs a story about Saddam's mass graves, noting that Raid Juhi, chief investigative judge for the Iraqi court now trying Saddam, says the court had documentary evidence, and statements from witnesses, showing that at least 100,000 Shiites, and possibly 180,000, died in the 1991 repression. The tribunal will then hear a second case, involving accusations that 50,000 Kurds were killed in what is called the Anfal offensive, which reached its peak in 1988. The NYT balanced this article with a piece by David Carr featuring complaints that the press should be running more pictures of dead US soldiers. At OpinionJournal, James Taranto chronicles Time magazine's Andrew Sullivan o­n the Ishaqi incident, particularly his reluctance to accept that not every shooting is an atrocity.

TERROR BUST IN CANADA: The Counterterrorism Blog has some interesting stuff raising the question of whether o­ne of the world’s largest nuclear generating facilities was a target.

CLONED MULES: Idaho Gem and Idaho Star won their qualifying heats Saturday the 20th annual Winnemucca Mule Races, Show & Draft Horse Challenge, but came in third and seventh in the eight-way race Sunday. Nevertheless, the winner's owner said that the clones have a bright future in professional mule racing.

A JAPANESE COW tried to bolt to freedom en route to the slaughterhouse. She died in the attempt, but not before attacking a rendering plant worker who was trying to recapture the animal.

A LIONESS in Kiev probably did not understand the man who crept into her cage shouting that God would keep him safe.

DOG VISITATION RIGHTS: A court in Madrid, Spain denied a man's request to make unannounced visits at his ex-wife's house to see a dog, saying such an arrangement would be like "pie in the sky."

SNAKE ON A PLANE: Monty Coles was 3,000 feet in the air when he discovered a stowaway peeking out at him from the plane's instrument panel: a 4 1/2-foot snake. Now that's viral marketing.

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