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T.Rex, Bettye LaVette, Beirut, Cutout Bin, Pig on a Toilet   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 14, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with T.REX!  Mastermind Marc Bolan died in a car wreck (a MINI Cooper with backup singer Gloria Jones at the wheel, no less) 30 years ago this weekend, so it seems timely to remember him and his band with a few items off the beaten path, like this working version of "Get It On (Bang A Gong)," which is a little nsfw toward the end (the original version is in today's Cutout Bin).  This live radio version of "20th Century Boy" is interesting, though the original is still tops.  French TV is the source for live clips of "Hot Love" and "Jeepster" circa 1972, as well as "Ride A White Swan" from 1971. The band's "Baby Strange" later found its way into Big Star's setlists.  Bolan fan russsmiff1 has posted documentaries including The Story Of Marc Bolan & T.Rex, while trexmania07 has posted Who Got Marc Bolan´s Millions?

BOB DYLAN allows me to send a special message to you.

REGINA SPEKTOR talks to the Baltimore Sun about expanding the sounds on her latest album, Begin To Hope.  There are MP3s at the link, but I recently revisited her MySpace page and decided I liked her even more than I first thought, so perhaps you will also.

SIOUXSIE SIOUX talks make-up and deep-sea diving with London's Telegraph.  And song-writing.  Video at the link, too.

BETTYE LaVETTE & DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS gave Pitchfork "Before the Money Came" before the album came out, and it's smokin'.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, in keeping with their new Challengers album, are issuing odd YouTube challenges to their fans; one prize in the contests will be the right to challenge the band.

BEIRUT is making special live videos for all the songs on the upcoming Flying Club Cup album with La Blogotheque.  The first two, "Nantes" (played in a stairwell, as pictured) and "The Penalty" are already posted.

MANU CHAO:  London's Telegraph lists 10 reasons why he is global pop's most important star, and points you to several videos.

PRINCE is considering legal action against a number of websites - including eBay and YouTube - which he says encourage piracy of his music and videos.

RILO KILEY drummer Jason Boesel talks to NOW Toronto (with audio clips) about the polarized response to the band's latest LP, Under The Blacklight.  You can sample the polarized responses via Metacritic.

PETE DOHERTY is reportedly in talks with television executives to become the manager of his own soccer team for a reality series.

CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Led Zeppelin - Rock And Roll; Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - I'm Walkin' (F. Domino); Bruce Springsteen - Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley); Little Richard - Tutti Frutti; Marshall Crenshaw - Someday, Someway; Heavy Trash - Crazy Pritty Baby; U2 - Desire; Morphine - Thursday; Lucky Soul - One Kiss Don't Make A Summer (Radio Edit); Jens Lekman - A Postcard To Nina; Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Pump It Up; R.E.M. - It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine); Sniff And The Tears - Drivers Seat; Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star; The Cars - Candy-O; Smoosh - Find A Way; The Go! Team - Panther Dash; The Langley Schools Music Project - Sweet Caroline; Neil Diamond - Kentucky Woman; Earth Wind & Fire - September; Stevie Wonder - Higher Ground; Steely Dan - My Old School; Band of Bees - Listening Man; Deee-Lite - You Sexy Thing (Hot Chocolate); T.Rex - Get It On; Kiss - Rock And Roll All Nite; Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes; and Cat Stevens (a/k/a Yusuf Islam) - The Wind.

BRITNEY SPEARS is trying to avoid a public hearing in her child custody battle with Fed-Ex.  Hip-hop super-producer Timbaland told MTV News that Spears had ruined a planned collaboration with Justin Timberlake with her ginormous ego.  London's Sun claims that Spears was so freaked before the VMAs that she took enough prescription drugs to floor an elephant.  But the American Idol judges have issued an open call to the pop tart to let them manage her crumbling career.  "We have decided we can bring Britney back," Simon Cowell said. "We are serious. We plan to buy her underpants, get her bigger shorts to perform in and get her away from her stupid friends."

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are: Jodie Foster's revenge flick, The Brave One, which is currently scoring 53 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; The Billy Bob Thornton-Dane Cook comedy Mr. Woodcock, currently scoring 19 percent, and Dragon Wars, which was not screened for critics and may set back diplomatic relations with South Korea several years.

OWEN WILSON is reportedly in that small group who thought Mr. Woodcock was funny.  US Weekly also claims that the Wilson clan is not angry with Owen's ex-gf kate Hudson, just her friends.

HEATH LEDGER was... wait for it... caught canoodling Helena Christensen at a Tuesday night dinner, just a week after announcing his split from Michelle Williams.

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL's Vanessa Hudgens was caught faux-canoodling a girlfriend.  Harmless stuff, but probably not good timing after that nude pic turned up on the Internet, which caused her to cancel last night's scheduled Tonight Show appearance.

EWAN MacGREGOR & COLIN FARRELL are friends and lovers... or so MacGregor told the press at the premiere of their film, Cassandra's Dream, in Toronto.  Farrell confirmed this moments later: "We're lovers, but only physically. No movies, no dinners, or long meaningful conversations caring about how the other person is doing in their lives."  BONUS:  The last time Farrell was in Toronto a local radio station offered 2000 to the person who could bring him in for an interview, so Farrell took a homeless man to the station for the money... and gave the man another 10000 in cash and gifts a few days ago.

REESE WITHERSPOON & JAKE GYLLENHAAL, after six months of on-and-off dating, are reportedly kaput, but perhaps not permanently.

DEMI MOORE, after spending 450K on cosmetic surgery and still not getting big-money parts she had presumably hoped to win - has decided to speak out against ageism in Hollywood.

THE BEST & WORST-DRESSED CELEBS, according to People magazine.  The NYDN has the highlights, but there's complete coverage at the mag's website.

JESSICA ALBA:  On-again bf Cash Warren has threatened to sue the National Enquirer over a scandalous expose which claims he cheated on Alba with a Russian model.

THE 100 BEST TV SHOWS of ALL-TIME, according to Time magazine -- with plenty of video clips, though they had none for The Ernie Kovacs Show, so I felt compelled to link The Nairobi Trio.  I also feel compelled to note that Time had to censor the clip for Deadwood; apparently, you cannot find 30 seconds of that show where someone doesn't drop the F-bomb.

TERROR in TEXAS?  Texas' top homeland security official says that terrorists with ties to Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaeda have been arrested crossing the Texas border with Mexico in recent years.  His remarks are similar to those made recently by National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, who last month told the El Paso Times that a small number of people with known links to terrorist organizations have been caught crossing the border.

MIDEAST MYSTERY:  Turkey provided Israel with intelligence on targets in Syria prior to last week's alleged Israeli Air Force flyover into the country and did not coordinate the move with Prime Minister Erdogan, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida claimed on Thursday.  If true, why?  Concern over a rumored Syrian nuclear facility being built with help from North Korea?

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: Despite some efforts as an ally in the war on terror, not one person identified by the US and the UN as a terror financier has been prosecuted by the Saudis, Stuart Levey, the under secretary of the Treasury in charge of tracking terror financing, told ABC News.

IRAQ:  Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, a leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, was killed Thursday afternoon when a bomb exploded outside his house.  His legacy seemed to unite Iraqi leaders across the sectarian spectrum.  Abu Risha's fellow tribal leaders, along with US military officials, vowed to protect the Anbar Salvation Council and carry on his mission, and said they expected his death would galvanize further support.  A joint three-day operation between Iraqi troops and US Special Forces netted 80 prisoners and killed three suspects in eastern Iraq.  US forces killed and detained 95 terrorists and demolished a house rigged with explosives in operations targeting Al-Qaeda in northern Baghdad.  Bill Roggio reports on counter-insurgency sucesses in the Triangle of Death, southeast of Baghdad.  Defense sources told Washington's Examiner that Iran has recalled the Qods Forces out of concern that more Iranian operatives would be captured and disclose valuable information about how Iran is funding, training and arming Iraqi Shiites.  But the Qods are only part of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

PIG on a TOILET:  Let's go to the video.

AN ABANDONED MONKEY finds love with a pigeon at an animal sanctuary in China.  Awww...some photo at the link.

PUPPIES have learned how to scam people on the Internet.

MISSING BOA CONSTRICTOR:  Her owner fears for the life... of the snake.  Priorities.

FEMALE CHIMPS love the bad boys, as if they would be any different.

4686 Reads

Advance Kevin Drew and Eddie Vedder, Led Zep, 300 Cats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, September 13, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



HARD-FI:  The DIY rockers perform a set for AOL Sessions and talk to the Manchester Eveneing News about renovating the old taxi office where they recorded their debut before recording their sophomore effort.  If you haven't heard 'em before, there's a distinct Clash influence.

LED ZEPPELIN officially announced the band will headline the Nov. 26 tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun, who founded Atlantic Records in 1947.  Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings (possibly with Mick Jagger), Foreigner and Paolo Nutini are also scheduled.  Tickets are to be awarded by lottery via a website which has already crashed due to excessive traffic.  The BBC recounts the legend of Led Zeppelin.  And you can get the Led out via the ol' HM.

KEVIN DREW:  The Broken Social Scenester's solo LP is streaming in full via MuchMusic.  (Thx, Chromewaves.)

PORTLAND:  Slate proclaims the city America's indie-rock Mecca, which causes Seattlest to hold a roundtable on whether Portland is cooler than Seattle.

EDDIE VEDDER:  The Pearl Jammer's solo LP/sdtk for Into The Wild is streaming in full from WROV, "The Rock of Virginia." (Thx, Heather Browne.)

THE GO! TEAM mastermind Ian Parton talks to Paste magazine about vintage Sesame Street cartoons, "The Wrath of Marcie," country music and more.  Which reminds me to post the video for "Keys To The City" (which adds some surftastic guitars to the mix) and to note again that the entire Proof Of Youth album is streaming this week via Spinner.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS frontman A.C. Newman talks to the SFBG about the expanded palette of sound on the band's new album and to Filter about all things Summer.

BATTLES:  Despite being a geek, their proggy math rock somehow fails to press my buttons so far.  But they clearly work for lots of people -- their debut was widely acclaimed.  So you may want to check out the streaming review of the album at NPR to decide for yourself.

WIRED's Listening Post blog  lists "Five Reasons MP3 Blogs Could Be the Next Record Labels."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  Supermodel Naomi Campbell seems delighted that the troubled singer is out of the supposedly sober supermodel's life.  Pete should take note, as Naomi will slap him or bean him with a cellphone...

BRITNEY SPEARS, like everyone else, was traumatized watching her VMAs debacle, as she could see herself on monitors in the auditorium:  "Oh, my God, I looked like a fat pig! I looked like a fat pig!"  This despite using an ab-defining spray tan preshow to create the illusion of more tone.  It didn't help that her hair stylist quit when the pop tart either insisted on his female assistants (according to her camp) or was overruled in wanting brown hair (according to people backstage), with the result that she ended up wearing Jessica Simpson's hair extensions.  Former Hollywood publicist turned blogger Jonathan Jaxson claims that Spears was not only drinking, but also doing cocaine (allegedly) before the show.  Nevertheless, Britney's trainwreck was golden for MTV.  Ratings-wise, the VMAs averaged 7.1 million total viewers, up 23 percent compared with last year's near-record-low 5.8 million. It was the highest-rated ad-supported cable telecast this year in the targeted 12-34 year-old demographic.  It sent record traffic to MTV.com.  The story of how she came to do the VMAs gets coverage in the NYT.  Now Spears must decide whether to try to reedem herself in front of record and radio executives by performing at the NAB Radio Show's R&R Convention later this month in Charlotte, NC.

CHRIS CROCKER is getting his 15 minutes with the video "Leave Britney Alone!" (nsfw), which has had more than 2.3 million hits on the Tube.

BRITNEY SPEARS & MADONNA:   Muslim terrorist leaders threatened to forcibly convert Britney Spears and Madonna to Islam and warned if they resist, their heads would be cut off for "spreading Satanic culture," according to a new book released yesterday.

ROSIE O'DONNELL used to break her own limbs with either a baseball bat or a wooden hanger when she was a child, according to her upcoming book.  So the insanity is not a new development.

REESE WITHERSPOON tells Elle magazine that she was struck by panic attacks months after the breakdown of her marriage to Ryan Phillippe.  And she is none too thrilled about renewed attention from the paparazzi: "It's one thing if you're up for it and you want it, and you go out without your panties on.  But if you're wearing panties - gosh darn it, leave me alone!"

BRAD PITT & EDWARD NORTON are re-teaming for something... are we allowed to talk about it?

JON STEWART is getting another shot at the Oscar podium, but neither he nor the Academy is talking about it.  Which is apparently the first rule of Oscars hosting.  Nikki Finke puzzles over the decision.

GEORGE CLOONEY gives a seminar in how to get good press from the paparazzi.  Video at the link.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has so many pets she has to employ a zookeeper to look after them all.

OPRAH WINFREY, like the late Queen of Mean Leona Helmsley, is leaving tens of millions to her dogs in her will.


KATHY GRIFFIN is getting ripped by the Catholic League for her speech accepting a Creative Arts Emmy for her reality TV show:  "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this. He had nothing to do with this... suck it Jesus, this award is my God now."  Obviously, the "suck it" part is out of line; she would never say that about Allah for fear of death threats or actual murder.  OTOH, I can't believe the Catholic League -- or anyone else -- would think that Jesus actually had something to do with Griffin's Emmy.

OSAMA BIN LADEN:  As folks debate the authenticity of the latest OBL tapes, Neal Krawetz, an expert on digital image forensics, says the video released on 9/7 contained many visual and audio splices, and that all of the modifications were of very low quality.  Fir background, Wired recently blogged a piece on Krawetz's detection software.

IRAN's nuclear transparency deal with UN inspectors could be a recipe for delay and the lack of provision for suspending Tehran's uranium enrichment is unacceptable, European Union powers said on Wednesday.  Given yesterday's claim that Germany was more interested in a US airstrike than more UN sanctions, the tough talk from the German Ambassador is notable, though our State Dept. says Germany remains fully supportive of new UN sanctions.  Meanwhile, Pres. Ahmadinejad took what CNN calls a "hard line" against Israel, saying it "cannot continue its life."

IRAQ:  The German Press Agency reports that an Iranian intelligence officer and an al-Qaeda terrorist network leader in Salahaddin province were killed in a US raid in the city of Samarra.  US military officials tell ABC News that a rocket used in an attack on coalition headquarters at Camp Victory Tuesday was made in Iran.  US and Iraqi forces have captured more than 50 suspected insurgents during raids this week.  The AP talked to soldiers at FOB Delta about the main points of Gen. David Petraeus' testimony to Congress.  Iraq expects the number of US troops in the war-torn country to fall to 100,000 by the end of next year, according to Iraq's National Security Adviser.  Blogger Michael J. Totten has pics of the devastaion in Ramadi before it became perhaps the safest city in all of Iraq outside of Kurdistan: "Almost everywhere I have been in the Middle East is more "normal" than it appears in the media... Ramadi, in my experience, is the great exception. Ramadi was worse than it appeared in the media."  Michael Yon's latest dispatch is from Combat Outpost White Castle in downtown Baqubah, where he writes about (among other things) working with the 1920 Revolution Brigades.

300 CATS:  This is SPARTA!  But with cats.

CUTE CUBS:  Calusa, a 2-month-old Florida panther cub, debuts at Lowry Park Zoo near Tampa, while a tiny Asiatic lion born only days ago is now being hand-reared at the Chester Zoo near Liverpool, England.  Awww...some pics at the links, natch.

A MASSIVE WILD BOAR -- one of 100 set free from a farm by animal rights activists -- had to be shot dead outside Devon, as up to 175 wild boars now ter up crops and terrorize dog walkers in the area.

A SAD TAIL:  A male chow mix laid down in the middle of a busy street to keep watch over its companion, a female German shepherd mix, after it was hit and killed by a car in Denver.

MAGGOT ART is creeping its way into more elementary school classrooms, according to the Dallas Morning News.  Pics and video at the link.

4060 Reads

Cracker, Drug Rug, The National, Neil Young, Pooch Pool Party   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CRACKER frontman David Lowery has posted a new solo track on his blog, titled "Baby, All Those Girls Meant Nothing To Me."  The full band has video and free downloads available via the "Basement Tapes" ConcertLiveWire is capturing of bands passing through the Chicagoland area.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED is currently streaming tracks from the New Pornographers, Bishop Allen, Josh Ritter, The Go! Team, Manu Chao and Kenyan dance music from Extra Golden.

BLUR are to set to record together as a four-piece for the first time since 2002, when guitarist Graham Coxon left the band.

VAN HALEN:  Blabbermouth has a report from a rehearsal for the 3/4ths reunion, complete with set list.  I may have to see this.

DRUG RUG was SPIN magazine's "Band of the Day" yesterday, so I thought I would mention their album is streaming this week via Spinner.  It opens with old radio sounds; my friends know how much I love that.

THE NATIONAL tell an "Apartment Story" in the latest video from The Boxer album.

MP3s and the iPod are killing music quality, according to folks in the biz.  I would add that just as they have shifted the biz back towards singles, the loss in fidelity also takes us back to the days when records were produced with AM radio play in mind.  But a lot of great records were made in that era.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB has a gig from the the "secret stage" of the Bumbershoot Music Lounge streaming via NPR.  I'm still a sucker for the slide-guitar blues of "Ain't No Easy Way."

NEIL YOUNG:  Stylus has a honkin' list of Young covers.  An Aquarium Drunkard has Built to Spill's cover of "Cortez the Killer," plus video of the original, not to mention MP3 rips from the super-slick vinyl transfer of Time Fades Away, long out-of-print and never released as a CD.  You can jukebox those via the ol' HM.  Young has also announced tour dates; ticket purchasers will receive an advance copy of his new album.

AMY WINEHOUSE's mother is restricting her to a £300 a week budget to prevent her spending more on drugs.

JOE ZAWINUL, who shook up jazz with Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, and Weather Report, has died at 75.  He had been hospitalized since last month and suffered from a rare form of skin cancer.

BRITNEY SPEARS showed up for her big comeback late, unprepared and with a drink in her hand, according to Page Six.  "The dance number was spectacular - without her," said their spy at rehearsal.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, otoh, skipped the MTV VMA after-parties and opted for dinner with his two favorite ladies - his mom and his girlfriend Jessica Biel.  If Britney Spears wasn't a train wreck from the get-go, you could almost understand how having herr ex-boyfriend show up to the same party with Jessica Biel would drive her to drink.

MADONNA and director hubby Guy Ritchie were spotted leaving Claridges Hotel in London on Monday.  Madge was seen carrying a "Purple Penetrator" strap-on sex toy in a clear plastic bag.

OWEN WILSON is reportedly saying no, no, no to rehab, instead opting to hire a a 750-dollar-a-day sober companion to stay by his side 24/7.

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL:  The general consensus in Hollywood seems to think, if anything, the nude and risque photos floating around the Internet will give Vanessa Hudgens' career a boost... according to ABCNews, which, iirc, is owned by Disney, which also owns High School Musical.  That's iirc, because ABCNews doesn't remind anyone of it in the story.

LINDSAY LOHAN and her ex-con dad's reunion went really well, or they just milked it the best they could for a good photo op.

JESSICA SIMPSON is "talking about doing a country record and going back to her roots," according to creepy dad-manager Joe.  This seems inevitable.  Then, after a few more flops, appearances on The 300 Club and a gig in Branson.

CHARLIZE THERON is terrified her breasts are sagging at the ripe old age of 32.  Excuse me, I'll be the judge of that.  Or maybe Portsmouth University will be.

ROSIE O'DONNELL is trying to flog her upcoming book with passages about how Barbara Walters is old and ought to retire.  It is hard to have sympathy for Walters; if you lie down with a dog, you can wake up with fleas.

HARRY POTTER is now the top-grossing film franchise worldwide. Ever.  Who's your daddy now, Luke Skywalker?

INDIANA JONES IV now has an official title.

MANDY MOORE swears and works a stripper pole for gossip-blogger Perez Hilton.  Video at the link.

PHIL COLLINS:  The Genesis drummer speaks out on the phenomenon of Cadbury Dairy Milk's drumming monkey.

TERROR in GERMANY: The Islamic Jihad Union claimed responsibility for planning bombings that were foiled by the arrests of three suspects last week and confirmed that the US air base at Ramstein was among the targets. The attacks were aimed at pressing Germany to close its air base in Termez, Uzbekistan.  The plotters were secretly monitored under a new law that temporarily allows the National Security Agency to intercept e-mails overseas that pass through US switches.

IRAN:  Haleh Esfandiari, the Iranian-American academic held for four months in solitary confinement in the political wing of Iran's infamous Evin prison, speaks about the ordeal.  And fwiw, FNC claims that Germany will not support any further UN sanctions against Iran, due to concern about the effects they would have on the German economy.  But according to diplomats from other countries, Germany also gave the distinct impression that they would privately welcome, while publicly protesting, an US bombing campaign against Iran's nuclear facilities.  I dunno if any of that is true, but someone wanted it published...

ISLAMISM in the UK:  The widely-read children's section of the BBC's website basically blames the US for the 9/11 attacks.  In the Times of London, Martin Amis looks at the psychology of the Islamist death cult.

AMSTERDAM: A US citizen has confessed to using an axe to kill a Dutch student after failing to find a soldier to attack, his lawyer said Tuesday.  The suspect wanted to punish the Netherlands for its support of the war in Iraq.  And nothing says "peace" like an axe to the back of the head.

IRAQ:  The NYT finds Iraqis of different sects and ethnicities viewed the report from Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Crocker favorably because it - or at least the parts shown on television there - portrayed the situation accurately and because it signaled that there would be little change in the status quo.  In contrast to interviews with Iraqis three months ago, when when people refused to give a time frame for how long US troops should stay, now some say they want them for a minimum of three years and maybe even five years or more.  The AQI-affiliated "Islamic State of Iraq" announced it has created a "brigade" of women suicide bombers, a London-based Arab news agency reported Tuesday.  Blogger Bill Ardolino of InDC interviews "Leo," an interpreter for the US in Fallujah about past failure and current success there.

POOCH POOL PARTY:  Dogs take over the City Park pool at the 4th annual Pooch Plunge held in Fort Collins, CO.  It's like caddy day at the Bushwood Country Club, but with dogs.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Fire investigators are pinning several recent spot fires near Seeley Lake, MT, on an unlikely group of arsonists.  Incident Commander Scott Meyer responded to the wildland fire with several engines in tow, and later ruled that the squirrels belonged to a paramilitary squirrel organization that has abounded for years in Seeley Lake, called the Pine Cone Liberation Organization (PCLO).

AN EGYPTIAN COBRA is guarding a 120000-dollar pair of ruby- sapphire- and diamond-encrusted designer shoes at Harrod's in London.  It's like Raiders of the Lost Ark meets the Wizard of Oz.

NAMING RIGHTS for ten newly-discovered species -- including the world's first walking shark -- are being auctioned by US-based Conservation International, who discovered them during a survey of Indonesian wildlife.

ALEX, perhaps the world's most famous talking bird, apparently died of natural causes at 31.  African grey -- beautiful plumage.

4926 Reads

New REM, New Releases, New Castanets, Pub Pony   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


R.E.M. has posted "Leaving New York" from the upcoming live CD/DVD coming out on October 16.  'S okay.  Didn't change my life, but maybe you will like it more.

NEW RELEASES:  The Go! Team, Animal Collective, Joe Henry, Shout Out Louds, Claire & the Reasons, Ani DiFranco and more are streaming in full via Spinner.  Black Francis, a/k/a Frank Black, has a Bluefinger.  And songwriter Vic Chestnutt returns with North Star Deserter.

JOY DIVISION, meanwhile, has its catalog reissued on vinyl today, with double-CD deluxe editions rolling out at the end of October.

VHS OR BETA stopped by The Current for a chat and miniset you can stream via MPR.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE:  NOW Toronto lists the reasons the band has all the buzz at the moment (Thx, Chromewaves.)

INDIE SELLS OUT:  If you watched any football Sunday or Monday, you may have noticed that Feist stars in the new iPod Nano ad.  The song/video is "1 2 3 4."  I recently linked the all-indie choir version featuring members of Broken Social Scene, New Pornographers, Grizzly Bear, The National, Mates of State and Nicole Atkins.  Feist also got a little "musical" in the video for "Mushaboom" from her first solo LP.

ROUGH TRADE:  The revered British store-turned-label, its revival, and its new relationship with Beggars Banquet are covered by the Times of London.

CASTANETS:  Ray Raposa has posted a demo of a song titled "Glory B" at CastanetSpace.

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  The jury in the music producer's murder trial ended its first day of deliberations, while the judge imposed a gag order on Spector and his wife.

JIMMY REED:  You can stream tracks from the Big Boss Man and tribute tracks from Omar Kent Dykes and Jimmie Vaughan via NPR.

SOUND TEAM is disbanding after this weekend's ACL Fest gig, but bassist Bill Baird says the band's catalog will be available on their website, completely free, and in high quality digital format. Unreleased material will also be available, including live recordings, radio session, b-sides, and outtakes.

BRITNEY SPEARS was spotted "crying badly" after her dismal performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.  Poor woman can't even cry well.  The pop tart's defenders have no shortage of excuses.  And she went right back to wearing no panties.

TOMMY LEE talks to the Insider about his fight with Kid Rock at the VMAs; Rock was reportedly cited for misdemeanor battery.  MTV has the video.

KANYE WEST says he will never return to MTV, clearly suggesting that MTV doesn't care about Black people.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt picks his nose and ear for the paprazzi, while Jolie continues her disapppearing act.

JESSICA SIMPSON's creepy dad-manager Joe is still creepy.


IRON MAN:  The official teaser trailer can be seen in glorious Quicktime at Apple.  Not down with the QT?  Try here.  Still has the Black Sabbath, too.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY:  The Daily Mail has unearthed her first ever television appearance at age seven.

RENEE ZELLEWEGER admits she has a crush on Sir Paul McCartney: "I do have a big crush on Paul McCartney. I feel quite embarrassed saying it because I haven't even told him yet!"

OWEN WILSON is "doing great," according to Woody Harrelson, who reportedly tried to stage an intervention before Wilson's O.D./suicide attempt.

REESE WITHERSPOON picked up Jake Gyllenhaal after his Italian dinner in Toronto, where both are promoting their upcoming pic, Rendition.

9/11 + 6:  According to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, 71% of Americans called the terrorist attacks that killed almost 3,000 people the most memorable news event of their lifetime. Asked whether 9/11 changed the way they live, 29% said yes - up from 18% five years ago.  However, only 6% said they would observe today's anniversary in a formal way, such as attending a memorial event or taking the day off. Most - 71% - said they would mark it informally, perhaps by praying, keeping a moment of silence or watching news coverage. Almost one-quarter said they didn't plan to observe it at all.  There is a lot of video from the day posted o­n the Tube. WCBS in NYC has also posted raw video and a collection of video reports.  You may not have seen the photos taken by Bill Biggart, who was crushed when the second tower fell.

9/11 and EUROPE:  Europeans for the most part are looking inward to explain why Islamic extremists have made the Continent a favored target, while the US has been spared - despite its leadership and the anger it has stirred waging wars in two Muslim countries.  Questions about how minority populations of Muslims are integrated into the mainstream are coming to the fore, along with basic questions about Islam itself. Less attention is being focused on finger pointing at the US, analysts say.

OSAMA BIN LADEN apparently has another video coming, which introduces the prerecorded martyrdom video of one of the 9/11 hijackers, Waleed al Shehri.  Last year, AQ released statements of two 9/11 attackers saying that that their actions were inspired by an urge to avenge the suffering of Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya.  It's a reminder that the jihadis will always have a grievance, and don't really care which infidels they kill. As bin Laden said in October 2001, "This battle is not between al Qaeda and the US. This is a battle of Muslims against the global crusaders."

IRAQ:  Key members of Iraq's Shiite-dominated government made a rare trip to Anbar province to pledge more than 120 million in reconstruction money.  In Diyala province, 40 tribal leaders recently gathered to continue their discussions about the importance of reconciliation.  Moqtada al-Sadr is trying to overhaul the Mahdi Army, though to what purpose remains unclear.  The Counterterrorism Blog has Gen. David Petraeus' testimony before Congress and accompanying slides, as well as Amb. Ryan Crocker's testimony, downloadable as Adobe Acrobat files (.pdf).  One of the few new points to come out in the Q&A -- Gen. Petraeus said the flow of Iranian weapons into Iraq has increased but that Iranian Quds force and the Lebanese Hezbollah trainers had withdrawn.  And MoveOn questioned the general's patriotism in a full-page newspaper ad.  Yesterday, Democratic leadership aide on Capitol Hill said that the ad was "not helpful," but on Friday, one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity, said they expected outside groups to attack Gen. Petraeus so they wouldn't have to themselves.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  ABC and the BBC have a poll of Iraqi public opinion saying that everything is getting worse and the "surge" has failed.  The poll was completed on Aug. 24, but the media decided to release it 17 days later -- on the day Gen. Petraeus testified before Congress.  BTW, if you download the ABC version of the poll report, you find that this poll claims that Shiites comprise only 47% of the population and Sunni Arabs comprise 33%, rejecting the generally accepted figures of 60% and roughly 15-20%, for no reason other than that's how their sampling comes out.  Though ABC complains about the unsourced data in the CIA Factbook, the State Dept. also says the best estimates are 60-65% Shia, 12-15% Sunni Arab.  Both ABC and the BBC have relied on the generally accepted numbers, so why this change wouldn't be a big story in itself is left to the reader to decipher.

ALFIE, a three-year-old Shetland pony, is Jonesing for Guinness and cheese crisps at The Woodman in Woodmansterne, Surrey.

FRODO, a Welsh springer spaniel, got the kiss of life from a prison guard.  NTTAWWT.

SHERRI TIPPIE of Lakewood, CO, embraces and kisses a female beaver: "I love that smell. Don't you just love it? Nothing smells better to me."  NTTAWWT.

LAND LEECHES have become a problem in 29 of Japan's 47 prefectures.  Ew.

TREVOR the TURKEY CHICK has been fitted with webbed slippers to try to straighten out his deformed toes.  Awww...some photo at the link.

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Jens Lekman, White Rabbits, Cover Songs, Dogs Adopting   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 10, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JENS LEKMAN:  I've been wanting to share "A Postcard to Nina," a song about being a beard for a lesbian friend, since he played it at the Pitchfork Fest in 2006.  It's going to be on his next record, but even this solo version on ukelele is great.  BONUS:  Jens and his Swedish all-hotties at "Sweet Summer Night on Hammer Hill" at P-Fest.

THE WHITE RABBITS play new songs and discuss what their early sound was like on at the World Cafe via NPR.

THE MOST ROCKIN' SONG OF ALL TIME is generating plenty of nominations at The A.V. Club -- most better than the author's suggestion.  At the moment -- given the author's rules -- I would go with this one.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE:  David Portner (Avey Tare) and Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) talk to Drowned In Sound about their evolving psych-folk sound, which you can hear in the videos embedded with the piece.

DEVENDRA BANHART shows the L.A. Times the rock landmarks outside -- and inside -- his Topanga Canyon house and studio.

TOO SOON TO COVER?  Day to Day talks to music critic Chris Martins about the multiple versions of the Rihanna hit "Umbrella" floating around now as a springboard to discuss the issue of race in cover songs (going back to Pat Boone) and indie hipster takes on rap.  The audio segment really does not address what the web summary asks -- "Is there an etiquette dictating how long one should wait before covering a song?"  I would say no.  The indie irony of some other cases aside, I thought it was kinda nifty that Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" was a good enough song to get covered right away by artists as different as Ray Lamontagne, Nelly Furtado, Kooks and Cat Power.  Alternatively, if Richard Thompson covers "Oops... I Did It Again," or Ted Leo puts his spin on the Kelly Clarkson hit "Since U Been Gone," people can listen with fresh ears, and perhaps discover that a song might be good despite who made it famous.  Conversely, Alanis Morissette's "My Humps" video works as scathing satire of the original Black Eyed Peas hit.  Given the way the Internet has tended to throw the music biz back to the days when the single was supreme, we should not be shocked at the return of the contemporaneous cover.   BONUS:  A Stylus staffer lists his "Top Ten Songs I'd Cover If I Recorded an Album of Covers," which isn't nearly as obscure as most Stylus staff lists.

3X3:  You can watch performances from Swell Season, Stateless and G. Love & Special Sauce via Spinner.

PHIL SPECTOR:  As his murder trial goes to jury, we learn that he did one last production before going to trial.

AMY WINEHOUSE's father is trying to cut off her drug money by asking her to sign control of her cash over to him.

PETE DOHERTY was snapped appearing to give his kitten crack - from a mini-pipe he made specially for it.  Sad pic at the link.

SHOOT 'EM UP is -- as generally billed -- an over-the-top action flick, meant as a spoof.  However, the cartoonish level of violence didn't work as well for me in the more realistic setting here as it did in Sin City, which landed squarely between film and graphic novel.  And the plot is probably too original and dark to be a straight satire of the genre; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang did that better.  I'm glad I went for the performances of Clive Owen (in a role even funnier if you have seen him in Children of Men), Paul Giamatti as the villain and the gorgeous Monica Bellucci as the hooker with a heart of gold.  Inasmuch as they were all slumming it, I only wish the script had allowed them to seem like they were having more fun doing it.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  US moviegoers rode the 3:10 To Yuma in the amount of 14.1 million, but that's the worst weekend total for the number one movie in North America since April 27th - 29th. Moreover, the Western had a 50 million budget, 27 million for prints and advertising and (word is) significant negative cost.  Rob Zombie's Halloween reboot tumbed 62 % into second place with 10 million.  Superbad dropped a modest 36 percent to make 8 million and cross the 100 million mark on its 20 million budget.  Balls of Fury dropped 50% to make 5.6 million.  The Bourne Ultimatum rounds out the Top Five with another 5.5 million; it has a worldwide total of 286 million on its 110 million budget.  Shoot 'Em Up underperformed in its debut, making a mere 5.4 million.  Rush Hour 3 made 5.3 million; it has made 182 million worldwide on a 140 million budget, but some 40% of that goes to the starts and director, not the studio.  Mr. Bean's Holiday came in eighth with 3.3 million, just 60K or so ahead of The Nanny Diaries.  Hairspray actually climbed back to the bottom rung of the Top Ten with about 2 million.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly told friends she was nervous about performing at the MTV VMAs and was spotted drinking Grey Goose vodka at a party Saturday night -- even though MTV lectured Spears to behave in Las Vegas.  On the one hand, she shouldn't have been nervous, as both she and the show are faded figures in the music biz.  OTOH, perhaps she should have been nervous, as her performance was reportedly snooze-inducing.  The video sems to bear that out.  Meanwhile, limelight-seeking lawyer Gloria Allred is on her way to court in the Spears/Fed-Ex custody fight, claiming she has a secret witness who wants to testify at the Sept. 17 hearing.

KID ROCK allegedly "clocked" Tommy Lee at the MTV VMAs in Las Vegas Sunday night.  Las Vegas Metro Police sources tell TMZ that they have found Kid Rock and have questioned him.

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL starlet Vanessa Hudgens apologized for the recently released nude photos of her circulating on the internet. In response to the rumors that the pics may be leading Disney to re-cast her role, a spokesperson said, "Walt Disney Studios, as a matter of policy, doesn't comment on ongoing negotiations."  Translation:  Take the million dollars before the Mouse finds out you once sent risqué photos of yourself to Nickelodeon star Drake Bell.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE & ANDY SAMBERG took home a statue for outstanding original music and lyrics for "D--- in a Box" at the Creative Arts Emmys, which are a precursor to the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 16.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is suing Hallmark Cards, claiming they used her likeness without permission.  And spoiled Christina Aguilera's pregnancy announcement.

GWYNETH PALTROW & CHRIS MARTIN have chosen comedian Simon Pegg to be godfather to their three-year-old daughter Apple.  Pegg says he'll uger the girl to have fun: "It's much more interesting than trying to be a good influence on her. I'm a comedian -- it's what they expect."

THE PATH TO 9/11:  The ABC miniseries, which recently received seven Emmy nominations and drew a combined two-night audience of more than 25 million viewers, is not on the path to DVD.  The miniseries' writer, Cyrus Nowrasteh, said he was told by a top executive at ABC Studios that "if Hillary weren't running for president, this wouldn't be a problem."  Oliver Stone says, "It's censorship of the most blatant kind.  I'm not vouching for its accuracy, it's a dramatisation but it's an important work that needs to be seen."

24:  Believing that the show is headed in a more liberal direction next season, Simpsons scribe Daniel Chun pens a script.

TOO MUCH TO BARE?  Nicole Kidman is an award-winning actor. So too is Maggie Gyllenhaal. So why do they - and other talented female Hollywood stars - still have to expose their bodies in order to get into the public eye? Kira Cochrane despairs  at the Guardian.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, meanwhile, admits she is trying to "have her cake and eat it" by taking her clothes off for advertisers while at the same time demanding privacy.  That's an ill-chosen metaphor, given that Knightley doesn't look like she's been near a piece of cake in years.

CARTOON JIHAD:  A sculpture created by the artist at the center of the Muhammad cartoon controversy was torched in southern Sweden on Thursday night.

TERROR in GERMANY:  Three suspected Islamist militants who were planning to attack US targets in Germany had orders to act by Sept. 15 and knew police were hot on their trail before their arrest, according to Der Spegel.  Why 9/15 instead of 9/11?  Maybe because 9/15 is the official date for the progress report from the White House to Congress on Iraq.  BTW, while the suspects arrested this week spent time at a terror training camp in Pakistan, two other suspects still at large are known to have spent time in Lebanon and Syria and the detonators found in Tuesday's raids came from Syria.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  Maajid Nawaz, one of the most senior members of the Islamist Hizb ut-Tahrir movement, has dramatically defected, saying that he no longer agrees with the movement's attempts to transform Islam into a narrow political ideology.

IRAQ:  Though the AP decribes the Iraq debate as a "sea of statistics," the NYT notes that both the US and Iraqi reports note a roughly 50 percent drop in the number of civilians deaths since the end of 2006.  Engram charts all of the different numbers to demonstrate the point (he also addresses the issue of seasonality in the data, showing that in 2005 and 2006, casualties increased in the summer months).  The NYT reports on the chaos remaining on the streets behind the overall data.  The Washington Post has a piece on the debate within the Bush Administration leading to the "surge" decision.  The WaPo also reported that a panel of experts assembled by the US Institute of Peace calls for a 50 percent reduction in US forces within three years and a total withdrawal and handover of security to the Iraqi military in five years.

IRAQ II:  A US airstrike killed a senior al Qaeda terrorist who masterminded truck bombings on the Yazidis last month that killed more than 400 people.  A former official responsible for security at the shrines in Samarra has been arrested for affiliation with the group that bombed the holy site in February of last year.  Blogger Bill Ardolino has a photo-filled post on the final stages of Operation Alljah in Fallujah, involving a coordinated series of counter-insurgency components.

IRAQ III:  On the Iraqi political front, more than 14000 employees in Iraq's Interior Ministry have been fired for failing to respect human rights, the government said on Sunday.  Buried in an AP report is news that the last boycott of parliament ended over the weekend.  For all of the talk about the gov't in disarray, it seems that the boycotts more or less started and ended during the summer recess.  Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister said that huge strides towards peace in Iraq were made during discussions between Middle Eastern power-brokers over the weekend.  The text of the "agreement" doesn't strike me that way, but we'll see.

MIMI the CHIHUAHUA adopts baby squirrels.  Awww... traitor!  BONUS:  A dog in China has adopted a piglet, nursing it as if it were her own puppy.  Pic at the link.

A MYSTERY HAMSTER whizzed past a young boy out on his bike on the street in an exercise ball.

EVERYBODY'S FREE... to wear hippo sweat.

POLAR BEARS:  Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will disappear by 2050, even under moderate projections for shrinking summer sea ice caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, government scientists reported on Friday.  Scientists estimate the current polar bear population at 22000, compared to as few as 5000 40 years ago.  So 43 years from now, we may have 40 percent more polar bears than we had 40 years ago.

FOXES made off with dozens of balls at the Addington Court Golf Centre in Croydon.  Sounds like a job for Carl Spackler.

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