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Little Barrie, Wilco, Keren Ann, FoW, Pet Heroes   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 09, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



LITTLE BARRIE put a British pop spin on American blues forms, not unlike an update of some British Invasion bands.  My picks to click would be "Love You" and the older, Stax-influenced "Free Salute," but they have a few more streaming at TheirSpace, and even more are on the ol' HM at the moment.

WILCO:  Pitchfork interviews frontman Jeff Tweedy about (among other things) the collaborative nature of Sky Blue Sky, which is due next week, but is streaming from Spinner this week.  ALSO:  The band will be playing on a Prairie Home Companion this weekend.

NICK CAVE talks with The Japan Times about the "impotent rage" behind his latest group Grinderman, his fetish for violence and how Kylie Minogue killed his career in the land of the rising sun.

FEIST has a live broadband session streaming via AOL Canada.  (Thanks, Chromewaves.)

COCOROSIE have been arrested, resultting in the cancellation of the rest of their North American tour.

KEREN ANN talks to Time magazine about her songs and building an international fanbase: "It's great doing it the old-fashioned way... Touring and touring and touring."  You can stream her languid pop via HerSpace.

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE will be touring with the reunited Squeeze and Crowded House this summer after getting chummy with Glenn Tilbrook, according to Spinner, which also has more on Crowded House.  The Fountains have been posting their old videos on the Tube, including their oh-so-new-wavey clip for "Denise."

RYAN ADAMS has settled on the track listing for his ninth studio album, Easy Tiger, due June 26 via Lost Highway.

THE PONYS:  The Chicago quartet visited The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream from MPR on demand. 

NEIL YOUNG and RICK JAMES were in the same band in the mid-'60s -- Spinner has the backstory.

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  There was no testimony Tuesday, but on Monday, former assistant Dianne Ogden testified that the producer put a weapon to her head and forced her to stay when she tried to leave his home after a 1989 party.  Spector's colorful defense attny, Bruce Cutler, must be over his health issues, as he was in full dramatic form, earning a reprimand from the judge on cross-examination.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is urging her fans to join her in a desperate plea to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to keep her out of jail.  I can think of few things more likely to boost the Governator's popularity than denying the celebutante a pardon.  The heirhead has reunited with PR flack Elliot Mintz and spent Monday night at attorney Robert Shapiro's "Sober Day USA" event on the Paramount Studios lot in L.A.

GEORGE MICHAEL pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while unfit through drugs, admitting he was in the unusual situation of being ashamed of something he had done.`  I guess he was proud of trying to pick up that undercover cop in the rest stop bathroom.

PRINCE will play 21 concerts in London this autumn and plans to take time off music to study the Bible.  A PR company helping to publicize the tour said Prince would be performing his greatest hits "for the very last time," but the artist did not confirm the claim.  Indeed, Prince said he planned to change his show every night, including a possible cameo from Amy Winehouse.

AMY WINEHOUSE, btw, is rumored to be in the running as a "Bond" girl, as 007 producer Barbara Broccoli is a fan of the singer.

PAULA ABDUL hired a "personal life coach" to get her through the downward spiral that began when she lost a multimillion-dollar deal for her own fragrance and cosmetics line by taking a personal call on her cell phone during a meeting with the company's chief execs, according to the National Enquirer.

SPIDER-MAN 4:  Sony Pictures chief executive Michael Lynton tells the BBC: "Everybody has every intention of making a fourth, a fifth and a sixth and on and on" and that there would be "as many as we can make good stories for."  But there's the rub.  Kirsten Dunst doesn't want to strap on the padded bra without director Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire.  For his part, Maguire has said it depends on if there's a story worth telling.  Sony is reportedly interested in a fourth flick with The Lizard and Carnage as villains, with or without Raimi.

LINDSAY LOHAN has been forced to assure friends and family that photographs allegedly showing her snorting cocaine in a nightclub toilet are fake.

JESSICA SIMPSON tells Extra that she is naturally brunette: "People don't know that about me... I was really blond as a kid, but then I just started getting darker and darker."  You would think that some, maybe a lot, of people would know that about her... or maybe only her waxer knew for sure.  TMZ has video from the same appearance of Jessica grinding with Eva Longoria.

MELANIE GRIFFITH, with skin tauter than ever, seems to have paid a visit to the trout pout shop.

CATE BLANCHETT, sadly, appears to be the latest actress on the Skeletor Diet.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY talks to London's Observer about Pirates, her post-Pirates career, and perfume, but tries hard not to talk about her weight or love life.

TERROR in the US:  You probably already know that six foreign-born Muslims were arrested and accused Tuesday of plotting to attack Fort Dix and slaughter scores of US soldiers.  The Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded the bust, but requested that media outlets and public officials refrain from linking this case to the faith of Islam.  Defendant Eljvir Duka was reportedly recorded as saying: ``In the end... when someone ... attacks your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad.''  Defendant, Serdar Tatar allegedly said, "I'm doing it in the name of Allah.''  And the group was busted after they asked a store clerk to copy a video of them firing assault weapons and screaming about jihad.  So it is fair to say that these defendants linked their actions to Islam.  CAIR's attempt to squash any discussion of the topic tends only to remind one of how many CAIR officials have themselves been charged with (and some convicted of) offenses related to the support of Islamic terrorism.

IRAN:  The head of state-run television has said all homegrown drama programs should feature scenes showing characters praying or they will be denied airtime.

IRAQ:  the Pentagon announced the deployment of 35K troops as replacements for others currently operating in Iraq, not any addition to the "surge."  Members of the Iraqi Parliament are miffed that Pres. Bush and assorted Congressfolk are suggesting it's a bad time for them to take a two-month vaction.  The US is letting members of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army continue to guard the most revered Shiite shrine in Baghdad, to avoid diverting resources from other parts of the city where security is worse.  Al-Hayat reports that anti-al Qaeda Sunni groups have finally announced their public opposition to AQ and its "Islamic State of Iraq" front group.  Tribal leaders from the Anbar Salvation Council - having successfully driven out most al-Qaeda elements from Anbar province - are attempting to assume a larger political role over their areas and their interests are colliding with those of the US-appointed governor, who is seen as a dictator.  The L.A. Times reports on improved conditions in Ramadi, where the number of uniformed Iraqi police officers and provincial troops on Ramadi's streets has multiplied to 6,700 from only 200 last July.  Michael Yon files another gritty dispatch with British forces in Basra.

THREE DOGS and a CAT were inducted into the Purina Hall of Fame for feats of bravery and determination that saved lives.

ALEX the GOLDEN RETRIEVER has lawyered up in a custody dispute after his millionaire owner died without a will.

A DRAGON is on the loose in West Palm Beach, Florida.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A squirrel scratched one child, bit another, and chased the police in Mechanicsburg, PA, before succumbing to the application of deadly force.  The cops took it to the state Department of Agriculture laboratory in Harrisburg for rabies testing, but they may want to check for plague, just to be on the safe side.

CRAFTY OCTOPUS UPDATE:  We now have a picture of the octopus at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, which is able to screw open bottles filled with her favourite crab meat as well as play with her handlers.  Octi's keeper, Libor Mach, said: "She's quite happy to be here because she can actually take the lid off her tank and climb out if she wants."

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New National, New Releases, Modest Mouse, ZooTube   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE NATIONAL has a video for "Mistaken for Strangers" from their upcoming album, The Boxer, posted at MTV.

NEW RELEASES:  Wilco (a week early), Lavender Diamond, Maximo Park, Page France and more are all streaming in full this week via Spinner, while Fields is treaming in full via AOL.  Bjork is the probably the week's big release, though.  Keren Ann is worth a listen.  The Clientele releases God Save the Clientele, which is a nice Kinks allusion.  Elliott Smith gets another posthumous release.  I haven't heard much from Electralane, but the Arcade Fire has picked them as an opening act.  I have to tip Sea Wolf just because the band's pgae lists as influences every band they or you can think of with "wolf" in the name.  And Great Lake Swimmers is a band I have overlooked but are liked by musicbloggers whose taste I trust.

SON VOLT mastermind Jay Farrar talks to the Houston Chronicle about his writing process, getting older and the death of Uncle Tupelo.

SONIC YOUTH siren Kim Gordon half-jokes with Drowned in Sound that the band is performing Daydream nation in its entirety for the money, but ends up saying, "That's the only quote you're going to use, isn't it? About the money..."  Kim Gordon knows the press.

MODEST MOUSE played Philadelphia's Electric Factory last Thursday; you can stream the whole gig via NPR on demand.

TWOFER TUESDAY:  They say it's your "Birthday" -- happy birthday to ya!  Plus the ungrammatical, but semi-related "Live and Let Die."

NEW ORDER has split up, perhaps for good, according to bassist Peter Hook.

THE NOISETTES are interviewed in PopMatters.  You can stream their mix of punk, blues, and garage rock from Studio $B via NPR.

PETER TORK claims Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner is keeping the Monkees out of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

NICK DRAKE:  Stereogum has posted a track from the upcoming set of unreleased rarities titled "Black Mountain Blues," which you can also stream from the 'Gum Mix at the link.  Hate Something Beautiful has posted another unrealeased track, "They're Leaving Me Behind," streamable via the ol' HM.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer was arrested yet again over the weekend on suspicion of possessing a class A drug.  The supposedly sober supermodel was reportedly already furious with fiancé Doherty after he failed to attend a rehab appointment earlier this week -- opting instead to go to the pub.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  The Hiltons were reportedly stunned that America's premiere celebutard got sentenced to 45 days in the county jail.  The heirhead reportedly broke down in tears during a posh lunch with her mom at a Beverly Hills eatery the next day.  Longtime PR flack Elliot Mintz has ditched her.  She tells Harper's Bazaar that the cops pull her over all the time to hit on her.  She is appealing the sentence, natch.

DEBORAH GIBSON has urged today's young party girls to clean up their acts -- or risk looking and feeling terrible when they hit her age.

NATALIE PORTMAN, out promoting the Foundation for International Community Assistance, which provides micro loans to the poor, says the only thing she has in common with Britney Spears is that she also shaved her head -- for the 2006 film V for Vendetta.

DAVID HASSELHOFF:  A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has suspended the Hoff's rights to visit his children in the wake of the videotape showing the actor drunk on his living room floor.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise has plunked down 35 million for a Beverly Hills home for himself, Holmes and the Tom-Kitten.  The new address reportedly was not even on the market, so Cruise must have made an offer the owner couldn't refuse.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie has threatened to pull out of filming on her latest movie in the Czech capital Prague after being hounded by paparazzi.

BRITTANY MURPHY, who called off an an engagement to another man just over eight months ago, has secretly wed screenwriter Simon Monjack.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY and SIENNA MILLER:  The Daily Mail has pics of the pair shooting The Best Time of Our Lives, which will feature them in a lesbian love scene... but I cannot help noting that Miller is standing upwind of Knightley.

GISELE BUNDCHEN is reportedly counting down the seconds until her contract with Victoria's Secret runs out so she can cash in on a new deal with H&M.

GWYNETH PALTROW and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin have sold their townhouse in New York's trendy TriBeCa area because they want to be in London full-time for their children's education.

THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS nominees are announced, with voting online.

THE DALAI LAMA was in Chicago over the weekend, where he said he hasn't attained enlightenment yet... which tends to make me think he owes me a tip for that caddying gig years ago.

FANTASTIC FOUR: Rise Of The Silver Surfer has a new trailer online (and before Spidey 3).  I must say I am quite worried that they have messed this up worse than the first one.

IT'S THE END of the WORLD AS WE KNOW IT:  Paul Watson, founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and famous for militant intervention to stop whalers, now warns mankind is "acting like a virus" harmin the Earth and that "curing the biosphere of the human virus will also require a radical and invasive approach."  Personally, think Agent Smith was more eloquent on this point, though just as wrong-headed.  Watson calls for a radical reduction of the human population by about 5 billion; the Optimum Population Trust says childbirth must be reduced to slow global warming.  This neo-Malthusian doom-saying ignores that the rate of world population growth has fallen by more than 40 percent since the late 1960s and that forecasts show that, even in the absence of major wars or pandemics, the human population may fall during our children's lifetimes.  So there's not much need for the fiery ritual of Carousel.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  Though I noted last Friday that MI-5 is concerned about 2000 terrorism suspects and their supporters, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens says the real number is about 4000.

FRANCE: Official figures released on Monday said demonstrators set fire to 730 cars and injured 78 policemen across France, with 592 people arrested in the violent protests against conservative Nicolas Sarkozy's victory in Sunday's presidential election.  The tally was revised sharply upwards after an initial report downplayed the clashes and was at odds with local police figures and eyewitness reports.  But you could have seen this election miles away:  The French dislike themselves even more than the Americans do, according to a recent opinion poll.

TURKEY:  The ruling Islamic party's choice for president, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, withdrew his candidacy Sunday after parliament again failed to reach a quorum, setting the stage for what many here view as decisive parliamentary elections in July, as Gul is expected eventually to stand again.  The Islamic party pushed Monday for a constitutional amendment that allows the president to be elected in a popular vote rather than in a parliamentary poll.  Which is the sort of reaction to losing that worried the secular population of Turkey in the first place.

IRAQ at HOME:  Congress will tussle with the White House and Pentagon over the clarity of any benchmarks inserted into a defense funding law.  Badger 6, stationed in Anbar, notes the media's benchmarks are biased toward failure.  In the Washington Examiner, Tom Elliot wonders whether the media will again fail to ask tough questions about Iraq, specifically about deadlines and timetables.

ZOO TUBE:  Hundreds of amateur mini-movies shot at Chicago's Brookfield and Lincoln Park zoos as well as at the Shedd Aquarium are posted at YouTube -- including some involving the more fun parts of the circle of life.  However, the most popular Brookfield flick is a video of a 1996 incident in which a child fell into the ape exhibit and was carried by the gorilla Binti Jua.

A BEARDED SEAL has strayed into Florida's Intracoastal Waterway, hundreds of miles from its Arctic home.  Or is it a Cuban seal using a disguise to immigrate from the nearby island dictatorship?

KILLER WHALES are so pink and cute when they are babies!

TWO RESCUE BIRDS have died after a hole was cut in the fence of their aviary in order to let them free.  Pc Steve Knight, of Dorset Police, said: "These birds are well looked after and are only able to survive because of the care taken of them."

A PAIR of SPIDERS were discovered nesting in a 9-year-old boy's ear, icymi.

A DECLAWED, 8-YEAR-OLD CAT is too scary for Canada's postal system in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

A SMILING LION is not scary enough for a boy visiting a drive-thru safari park in Bedfordshire.


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Fountains of Sedaka, Bjork, Replacements, a 6-Legged Calf   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 07, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NEIL SEDAKA is backed by the Fountains of Wayne on "Calendar Girl" at Joes Pub in NYC, so you'll have to watch the original Scopitone to see the chicks.

WILCO frontman Jeff Tweedy talks about this summer's festival gigs with SPIN; there's even linked video.

BJORK played NYC's United Palace Saturday night, with African collective Konono No. 1 both opening for and backing her.  You can stream their sets via NPR on demand.

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff talks about a recent knife fight, "literary bands" and more with The Believer.  Welcome to the Working Week has also reprinted Scheff's essay on file-sharing, icymi last year.

JOE JACKSON, an early Pate influence, was a recent "vault" selection at Idolator, so you can stream "It's Different for Girls" and "I'm the Man" via the ol' HM at the moment.

THE REPLACEMENTS: By chance, three interviews turned up last week.  The first is the entirely appropos "Drinking with the Replacements" from ther old Creem magazine. (Thanks LHB and Waved Rumor)  The second is on video from 1984, conducted by DJ Mike Eck of Real George's Back Room. Finally, there's a segment from the Cutting Edge show sponsored by IRS Records; about halfway thorugh, the interviewer finally asks why the band shaved its eyebrows.

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC:  Seed magazine has posted a conversation between David Byrne and Daniel Levitin, neuroscientist and author of This is Your Brain on Music. Or, if you prefer, you can watch it on video.

AN AQUARIUM DRUNKARD has posted his latest podcast, which ranges from Link Wray to Captain Beefheart to Dwight Yoakum to Guided by Voices to the Beatles.

THE TOP 50 INDIE ANTHEMS, according to NME, lean in a British direction, as you might imagine.  From this side of the pond, the lack of Replacements, Huskers, Minutemen, etc. is rather glaring.

MONDO DIAO talks to Straight about trying to stay out of the touring rut on tour.  And while they are on tour, you can stream a bunch of tracks via the ol' HM.

THE WEEKEND BOX OFFICE IS SPIDER-MAN 3, which took in an estimated 148 million in its first weekend, surpassing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest by about $12 million.  Its Friday-Saturday total of $109.8 million would be the third largest opening of all-time, beating Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.  The original Spider-Man took a week to make that much money.  Indeed, Spidey 3 scored the biggest worldwide opening ever with 375 million, upsetting the previous record of $254 mil by Star Wars Episode III. Spider-Man 3 is already the third largest movie of the year behind Wild Hogs and 300.  The per screen average was over 34,000, despite having the widest release ever..  Whether it will have legs in the face of the third Shrek and Pirates movies remains to be seen, but will probably own the next two weeks.

Second place at the cineplex was Disturbia which made 5.7 million on a 36.6% drop.  Everything else in the Top Ten dropped at least 49%.  Fracture and The Invisible earned in the low threee million range.  Rounding out the Top Five, Next dropped 61% to make 2.7 million.  Lucky You debuted in the unlucky sixth slot, making 2.5 million.  Meet the Robinsons was close behind with 2.4 million, while Blades of Glory skated in with 2.3 million.  Hot Fuzz made another 2 million, while Are We Done Yet? clung tenaciously to the bottom of the Top Ten with 1.7 million.  Another way to put this is that Spider-Man 3 made more each day than the rest did all weekend.

THE FRENCH HOTEL arrived ten minutes late to the hearing on her probation violation and was sentenced to 45 days in county jail; the judge's ruling excluded her from paying to serve time in a jail of her choice, as some violators are allowed to do.  TMZ has the rundown on what the heirhead can expect at the Century Regional Detention Facility in beautiful Lynwood,Calif. -- just minutes from nearby Compton!

DAVID HASSELHOFF:  The release of that videotape showing the former Baywatch star intoxicated and incoherent -- shot by his 16-year-old daughter -- has turned the actor into a mean, lean, damage-control machine.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly furious about those topless pictures of her leaking online.  They really aren't much worse than other real photo shoots the pop tart has done, but I'm sure she thinks they set back her image rehab.

LINDSAY LOHAN is spiralling out of control since rehab, according to the uber-reliable News of the World, which has sordid snaps purporting to show Li-Lo on a cocaine binge.

SASHA BARON COHEN, contrary to prior rumors, will not be playing Freddie Mercury in a musical biopic.

PAMELA ANDERSON wants to see movie beauty SCARLETT JOHANSSON disrobe for Playboy, but does not think she would agree to it.  But would it kill Pam to try to convince Scar-Jo?

RICHARD GERE and actress Shilpa Shetty seem to be in better shape, now that the judge who issued obscenity charges against them was reportedly transferred from his post in Jaipur to the small town of Kishangarh several hours away.  High Court Commissioner C. P. Singh said the transfer was "routine" - but noted the order came from a state chief justice.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise has his friends out trying to convince People that Holmes is not a prisoner on the crazy train.

BRUCE WILLIS tells Vanity Fair that "it's hard for people to understand," but he goes on family vacations with ex-wife Demi Moore and her new husband Ashton Kutcher.

FRANCE:  Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy won the presidential election on Sunday, defeating Socialist Ségolène Royal by a comfortable margin.  Even women voters were shunning Royal.  Thousands of riot police were deployed in Paris after warnings that victory for Sarkozy could spark violent protests.

IRAN:  South Africa proposed a compromise to prevent global talks on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty from collapsing over Iranian objections to the agenda, and Tehran said it would consider the idea.  OTOH, Pres. Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that Iran is entitled to make complete use of all of its nuclear capacity and will never give up its inalienable right.  Iran's foreign minister walked out of a dinner of diplomats where he was seated directly across from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on the pretext that the female violinist entertaining the gathering was dressed too revealingly.

IRAQ:  Az-Zaman reported that the two main Shi'a militias - the Badr brigades, affiliated with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), and Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army - have been engaged in open confrontations in Baghdad, Diwaniya, Najaf and other Iraqi cities.  The newspaper also said that US forces have participated in the battles, on SCIRI's side, by using helicopters to bombard the Sadrist positions.  Iraq's foreign minister has an op-ed in the Washington Post begging the US not to abandon them.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A calf with six legs.  "He's a real freak," said Brian Slocum, who said the calf was born Sunday to one of his cows on acentral Nebraska farm. "I've never seen anything like this before."

RINGLING BROS. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is threatening to bypass P.T. Barnum's home state if Connecticut's legislature passes a bill prohibiting the use of an elephant-herding tool known as a bullhook.

DOGS will be pooping in luxury at the The Austonian, the swank 55-story luxury condo tower that will be going up at Second Street and Congress Avenue in Austin, TX.

A BRITISH WOMAN has applied to become the legal guardian of a chimp to fight for its human rights.

A PUPPY and a DUCK have become fast friends in China.  Let's go to the video.

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Buzzcocks, Cinco de Mayo, Cutout Bin, Spider-Man   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 04, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE BUZZCOCKS!  So many great songs... but they're short, so let's have more than usual.  Start with "What Do I Get?" live at Manchester's famed Electric Circus, followed by "Ever Fallen In Love?" plus "Love You More" and "I Don't Mind" from the Lesser Free Trade Hall.  Add "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" from German TV, along with "Sixteen Again" and "Nothing At All" from The Old Grey Whistle Test.  Finish by juxtaposing the promo clips for "Lipstick" and "Why She's the Girl From the Chainstore" with a recent -- and slightly censored -- live clip of "Orgasm Addict."

THE TOP 25 UNDER-APPRECIATED ARTISTS, according to Rolling Stone... and it's not a bad list at all, maybe because they got help from the blog's readers.  More than a few influences on Pate, too.

THE LONG WINTERS frontman John Roderick talks to the Salem Statesman Journal about a variety of topics including the post-grunge years in the Seattle music scene: "It was actually a really fertile time for music, '94-'98... The rest of the world didn't care about Seattle anymore, so musicians turned inward and played off each other."  There are still a bunch of Long Winters tracks to stream via the ol' HM right now, so you should do that.

EXENE CERVENKA talks to The A.V. Club about different types of songs and different types of audiences.

THE BROKEN WEST has a live mini-set streaming from the World Cafe via NPR.  David Dye thinks they may get his "Rookie of the Year."  I would say they are in the running.

CINCO DE MAYO is tomorrow, so here's your live Liz Phair and your Pee-Wee Herman, because you can never have "Too Much Tequila."  At least, not according to this public service announcement.

DEAN & BRITTA:  Dean Wareham, who may be more productive in a "funk" than most are at their peak, talked to Filter about coming out of that funk to record Back Numbers with wife Britta Phillips and legendary producer Tony Visconti.  Which is a good excuse to relink to the fab video for "Words You Used To Say."

BOB DYLAN has been singing to his grandson's kindergarten class just for fun. The kids tell their parents about the "weird man" who keeps coming to their class to sing "scary" songs on his guitar.

MY MORNING JACKET has a mix CD of nearly two dozen songs that it uses to get into the mood; Harp magazine has the tracklisting.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are:  Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free; The Ramones - Spiderman Theme; Hoodoo Gurus - Come Anytime; The Vapors - Turning Japanese; The Replacements - Can't Hardly Wait; Nick Lowe - Mary Provost; Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues; James Brown - Night Train; Big Mama Thornton - Hound Dog; The Black Keys - 10AM Automatic; The Hives - Hate To Say I Told You So; The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - Fire; Donny & Marie - A Little Bit Country; Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll?; Ted Nugent - Free-For-All; Rush - Working Man; Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song; Ike & Tina Turner - Whole Lotta Love; Sly & The Family Stone - Stand!; and Rhythm Heritage - Theme From S.W.A.T.

SPIDER-MAN 3:  Although I usually joke about going to advance or midnight screenings solely as service to Pate visitors, I should say it's half-true in this case.  One of the reasons I started posting movie-related things here is that -- before this site existed -- I used to get e-mail, phone calls, etc. from my friends who have kids about whether they could see movies like the first Spider-Man, because and my friends knew that I would have already seen it.  I could at least tell them what got a film a PG-13 rating... so I'll update with a review when I get back from the midnight show.

...and I'm back.  As y'all are probably going to see it regardless of my opinion, I'll say it's my least favorite of the series.  Which doesn't mean it isn't good; it is good.  And I wouldn't even say it's a disappointment.  The word I would use is "overstuffed."  Not necessarily a bad thing; an overstuffed chair or couch can be quite comfy.  But in a Spider-Man movie, I think you want to spend a little more time on the edge of your seat.  In particular, it's thematically overstuffed.  The first movie was about Spidey's credo: "With great power comes great responsibility."  The sequel dealt with the temptation to abandon that responsibility.  This movie deals somewhat with the "power" (and fame) side of the equation, and its temptations -- and could have been great had it stuck to that theme.  But the story ultimately turns on another theme; a good theme, which could also have made a great movie.  Juggling both themes, however, ultimately costs the flick a bit in its pacing and character development.  And the humor occasionally strays too far toward camp, though I would have completely forgiven that if not for the overstuffing.  As for taking the kids, I would say the level and types of violence are similar the first one.  However, I'll put one spoiler in the "extended entry" to explain one twist that might matter; you can access that spoiler by clicking the "Read Full Article" link at the bottom of today's blurbs. Overall, I recommend Spidey 3, but more mildly than I would have liked.  BONUS:  PopMatters has "A Guide to All Things Spider-Man," with embedded video and such.

NOW SHOWING:  Aside from the third coming of the web-slinger, which is currently scoring 65 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (but only 48 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics) this weekend's sole wide release is Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana in the poker movie Lucky You, which is scoring a mere 35 percent.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel left London restaurant China Tang at 9.30pm, by didn't arrive home until midnight - staggering out of the car with specks of what looks like white powder down her jeans.  I have to think the troubled singer is going to be miffed that Moss copped a powdered donut without him.

BRITNEY SPEARS lip-synched her routine of older hits again in L.A., leading MSNBC's Michael Ventre to ask, "Who are these gullible fools who wait hours for 15 minutes of nothing?"

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Witherspoon and co-star Jake Gyllenhaal were spotted giving each other an early-morning goodbye Monday after spending Sunday night together, according to the paps at X17.

BRADGELINA:  Despite tabloid break-up rumors, the couple shared a romantic meal in Prague the other night.  Jolie is there shooting the forthcoming action thriller Wanted.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Former Melrose Place costars Heather Locklear and Jack Wagner are teeing up a hot romance, People reports in its new issue.

LINDSAY LOHAN just can't seem to stop partying -- and, unluckily for her, word on the street is that someone may have recorded her revelry with a cellphone video camera.

THE FRENCH HOTEL  is in big trouble, if the Los Angeles City Attorney has his way.  He wants the celebutard to spend 45 days in jail on a probation violation for allegedly driving on a suspended license.

DAVID HASSELHOFF is a man in crisis!  Extra has obtained recent video in which a shirtless and extremely intoxicated Hasselhoff sits on the floor in his residence in Las Vegas so out of it that he is unable to feed himself a hamburger.  Pics at the link, but no video... yet.  Which means I have to go straight to the Oooga-Chakkas.  UPDATE:  Extra has some Quicktime video up at that first link; there's also video at ET... which was shot by his 16-year-old daughter!

THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE, according to Time magazine does not include US Pres. George W. Bush, but does include conspiracy theorist Rosie O'Donnell, and Justin Timberlake.  Pres. Bush made the Top 100 in the reader's poll, though he's far below former American Idol contestant Sanjaya Malaker, U2 frontman Bono, gossip-blogger Perez Hilton, and graphic novelist Frank Miller.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  British intell service MI-5 and police are monitoring about 2,000 individuals who they say are actively involved in supporting al-Qaeda.  Some are thought to have direct links with al-Qaeda in Pakistan.

IRAQ:  The so-called "Islamic State of Iraq" has apparently issued a statement denying the claims of the death of its alleged leader, known as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, and admitting the death of its "official spokesman," a militant who was announced killed by the US.   The Iraqi government has sent a draft oil law to parliament -- a major step towards meeting one of the political benchmarks Washington has set for Baghdad -- but Sunni and (unexpected) Kurdish reservations could derail the bill.  The Bu-Fahed tribe, which had been one of al-Qaeda's staunchest supporters, has switched to join the Anbar Salvation Council, which is aligned with the Iraqi and US gov'ts.  The Karki and Shimouri tribes signed a peace agreement in Diyala province, promising to "consolidate and unify to battle all insurgents that penetrate among (their) tribes."  US and Iraqi forces took back the entire Tahrir neighborhood from al-Qaeda during a weeklong operation that wrapped up recently in Baquba, where Coalition forces had once been too undermanned to tackle AQ.

MYSTERY SERPENT:  It's not the Loch Ness Monster or the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but a seven-to-ten-foot-long creature recently caught on tape by a Florida diver does have scientists scratching their heads.  Video at the link.

SCIENTISTS believe they may have found a chink in the armour of the dreaded cane toad invading Australia en masse.  It's a parasite.

CASH FOR COCKROACHES:  The 25-cent-per-bug offer comes from the Houston Museum of Natural Science, which is trying to secure 1,000 live cockroaches for an updated insect display.

SNAKE on a BUS:  A four-foot snake was found on the Lafayette High School campus in Lousiana, wrapped around the mirror on a school bus just before classes let out.

COWS stare unamazed as they are rented for £80 per month in Eggerstanden, Switzerland.  Lessees may visit their cows as often as they want, milk them and receive a souvenir picture.

Read full article: 'Buzzcocks, Cinco de Mayo, Cutout Bin, Spider-Man'
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FoW, Thin Lizzy, New Buffalo Tom & PolySpree, Sex-Crazed Toads   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 03, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE:  Adam Schlesinger amuses The A.V. Club with tales of working on the movie Music And Lyrics, opening for Jessica Simpson, and fighting to receive less credit for his work.  Chris Collingwood, who worked as a psychiatric counselor before co-founding the band, tells the San Francisco Examiner about becoming a psychiatric patient -- he was blindsided a few months ago by recurring acid-trippy visions of "my ex-girlfriend, pulling puppies out of her head, puppies that weren't actually there."  The band just posted the video for "Someone To Love" at TheirSpace. 

THIN LIZZY:  It's not exactly "live," and to modern ears, its tightly scripted songs likely won't seem terribly "dangerous." Yet Live and Dangerous, a 1978 double album, is the best existing document of the under-appreciated Irish hard-rock band -- according to Tom Moon, who made it NPR's Shadow Classic this week.  You can stream three songs, including you-know-what.

BLUR will reconvene in the studio this summer and make a new album with founding guitarist Graham Coxon, Alex James has confirmed.

YOU'RE COVERED:  Heather Browne has posted scads of versions of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me," all streamable.  Pretending Life Is Like A Song has eight versions of "That's Entertainment" you can stream via the ol' HM.

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT?  London's Independent sits in on rehearsals for the Paul Weller-less Jam tour.

THE AMERICAN BREED does some wonderfully bad lip-syncing in this wonderfully cheap clip for "Bend Me, Shape Me."

SONIC YOUTH gets a lengthy profile from Filter magazine, celebrating 25 years of Kool Kulture.  RTWT.

BUFFALO TOM is back together after nine years with "Three Easy Pieces," which you can download or stream from the "'Gum Mix" at the link.

JOAN BAEZ, folk singer and anti-war activist, says she doesn't know why she was not allowed to perform for recovering soldiers recently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  John "Cougar" Mellencamp had apparently been invited and tried to stick her on the bill at the last minute.  Baez has a theory though: "There might have been one, there might have been 50 (soldiers) that thought I was a traitor."  Or it might have to do with the fact that she is tight with groups like Code Pink, which paraded coffins around Walter Reed.  If she wanted to sing now because she sincerely believes she "might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam," she might want to talk to her friends about taking the same attitude.

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE is previewing its upcoming Fragile Army album as an eight-minute mash-up.

BRITNEY SPEARS performed live late Tuesday night for the first time in nearly three years for screaming fans at the House of Blues in San Diego.  The 14-minute set had the pop tart lip-syncing her way through "... Baby One More Time," "Do Somethin'," "I'm a Slave 4 U," "Breathe on Me" and "Toxic."  Oh, and some recent topless pics have surfaced on the 'net, too.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes has been "flirting" with her "Mad Money" co-star Adam Rothenberg, according to Life & Style, which reports that the twosome has been throwing more into their romantic performances than the movie script calls for.  Star magazine has similar scoop, plus word that when Cruise leaves the Louisiana set to fly back to L.A., she moves back to a house she set up in Southern Trace to be closer to the cast.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Star magazine joins the ranks of those claiming the recently rehabbed starlet is already back off the wagon, having been spotted downing champagne and other alcohol at the West Hollywood hotspot Winston's on April 19.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Reports of Witherspoon breaking it off with co-star Jake Gyllenhaal may be a bit premature, as the two were spotted driving together on the 101 Freeway in L.A. last Friday night.

BRADGELINA:  After Jolie made her directorial debut at the Tribeca Film Festival with her documentary A Place in Time, she gave a lapdance to Olivier Martinez, a participant in the documentary and her costar in the 2004 thriller Taking Lives, with whom she reportedly had a fling at the time.

EX-CIA CHIEF GEORGE TENET and RON JEREMY were high school classmates.

TOBEY MAGUIRE "seems like he's an excellent dad," according to Spider-Man series co-star James Franco.  And not gay, according to a new tell-all on the tabloid biz.  NTTAWWT.  BONUS:  Will Spider-Man 3 underachieve?

IRON MAN:  Yesterday, I linked to a pic of Tony Stark's "Mark I" armor; now Entertainment Weekly shows us the "Mark III" armor... and it rocks, too.

JESSICA ALBA, who last week topped FHM magazine's 100 sexiest women poll, has revealed she dresses down to hide away at premieres.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY says she was "devastated" when images of her appeared in magazine articles about the "skinny celebrity" debate.  Apparently so, as she now claims she would love to have a body like The Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto.  And saying that the "celebrity thing is completely crazy. I think I just have to move away or give it up altogether."

TURKEY:  The country's Constitutional Court annulled the first round of voting for a new President in the Turkish Parliament, effectively forcing early elections -- but that vote will not necessarily resolve the standoff between the Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP) and th secular establishment, including the military. If the AKP is returned with a stronger majority, some analysts are not ruling out the possibility of the military mounting a coup.

IRAN:  A meeting of 130 nations on how to shore up the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was suspended after Iran raised objections. Iran claims it is capable of mass producing the machines used for enriching uranium. Former nuke negotiator Hossein Mousavian, an ally of former President Rafsanjani, was arrested and may be tried for espionage.  Pres. Ahmadinejad was accused of indecency after he publicly embraced and kissed on the hand an elderly woman who used to be his schoolteacher.

IRAQ:  Confusion reigns over the report of AQI head Abu Ayyub al-Masri's death.  Prime Minister al-Maliki urged US Secretary of State Rice to talk with Iraq's neighbors for "the stability of Iraq and the region." Politics make for strange bedfellows as former Prime Minister Allawi's bloc is negotiating with the Sadrist bloc over forming a new opposition bloc in the parliament.  The Anbar Salvation Council has formed an expeditionary unit or units, designed to operate outside of Anbar's provincial boundaries, apparently with the approval of the Iraqi government.  Experts say pulling US forces from Iraq could trigger a catastrophe, affecting not just Iraq but its neighbors in the Middle East, with far-reaching global implications.

A WAYWARD GATOR blocked all eastbound lanes of Loop 410 in San Antonio, TX, while at least 10 officers and one game warden spent an hour Sunday morning poking, prodding, singing to him and eventually lassoing him.

SEX-CRAZED TOADS killed prime carp worth £20,000 at a fishing lake by dragging them down into an underwater orgy.

THE PACIFIC CHORUS FROG is now the official amphibian of Washington state.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Louisiana strikes back.

SHEEP-DOG SCAM UPDATE:  A Japanese film star has denied reports she was conned into buying a lamb disguised as a poodle.

THE SWARM:  The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center shut down the emergency room Monday, as officials waited for a beekeeper to come vacuum up the 7,000 insects.

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