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Advance Drive-By Truckers, Morrissey, Cutout Bin, Cloverfield   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 18, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with RADIOHEAD's surprise show at the 93 Feet East club in London two nights ago!  It was the first show this intimate since some US dates around the time of OK Computer.  The Times of London writes that the gig "felt like a modern-day equivalent of The Beatles' al fresco show on the rooftop of their Apple HQ" and "So much for the myth that they no longer rock."  The band played the entirety of the new In Rainbows album: "15 Step," "Bodysnatchers," "Nude," "Weird," "Fishes/Arpeggi," "All I Need," "Faust Arp," "Reckoner," "House of Cards," "Jigsaw Falling into Place," and "Videotape."  I feel slightly guilty about featuring Rradiohead just two weeks after their New Year's webcast, but this is a special case.  If you're burned out on Radiohead, check out my Wednesday qurtet of videos from Duffy.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS:  Rolling Stone can hook you up to an advance stream of the upcoming Brighter Than Creation's Dark album, plus Robert Christgau's review of the record.  And maybe the lawyers will stay away.

TEDDY THOMPSON talks to London's Telegraph about American country music and working with parents Richard and Linda, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, and Emmylou Harris.

LILY ALLEN is reportedly heartbroken after suffering a miscarriage.

NICOLE ATKINS & THE SEA are playing the World Cafe at noon EST today.  You can stream the gig live -- or on demand a bit later -- via NPR.

MORRISSEY is accosted by a stream of stage divers in the live footage backing "That's How People Grow Up," the new track on his upcoming Greatest Hits LP.

THE ROLLING STONES are putting out the soundtrack to the Marty Scorsese concert film, Shine A Light, on Universal, not EMI.  Seems like Paul McCartney is not the only classic rocker not happy with EMI's new management -- esp. its policy against big advances.

WILCO:  At Cinema Blend, Jessica Grabert explains how she learned to loathe the band -- and why she thinks others love Tweedy & Co.  (Thx, LHB.)

THE DAP-KINGS are set to jet to L.A. to back Amy Winehouse at the Grammys -- provided she passes the drug test necessary for a visa and the show isn't derailed by the writers' strike.

PETE DOHERTY, who is in training for this year's Flora London Marathon, is wearing his girlfriend's bras to protect his "sore nipples."

CUTOUT BIN:  From Marshall Crenshaw to Candi Staton, from Gram Parsons to Xiu Xiu, from The Clash to Nelson Riddle, this Friday's fortuitous finds -- with covers a-plenty -- can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM

CLOVERFIELD is -- as the trailers and ads suggest -- "The Blair Godzilla Project" (I'm sure plenty will draw that analogy) -- a giant monster movie told as a video verite mockumentary from the point of view of a group of friends and acquaintances in NYC at the wrong time.  I suppose NYC natives may feel queasy about some of the 9/11-esque imagery, though similar images appeared in Spielber's non-NYC-based War of the Worlds.  I do not think there is any sort of 9/11 subtext to the movie.  I congratulate the filmmakers for managing to keep the monster -- and one of its unique facets -- largely secret in the Internet age (I was aware of this facet, but if you want the spoiler, click the "Read full article..." link at the bottom of today's entry.  What makes Cloverfield good, as opposed to great, however, is that the backstory for the main characters is not as fleshed out as it could have been, given the clever way it was presented.  This weakness, combined with the fact that the focal character Rob is not always sympathetic, almost ensures (though it was likely to happen any way) that the character the audence likes the most is Hud, who is the largely unseen cameraman.  It does give the movie a strange symmetry, as the monster itself is more glimpsed than seen.  Indeed, I suspect people will debate whether the monster should ever be fully revealed (my take would be they should have actually waited for the moment where it is fully revealed, and shown a bit less in a couple of distance shots).  It is a movie ultimately more about style than substance, but is stylish and gives the audience enough to keep it worried about whether some or all of the cast will survive.  BONUS:  The teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot ran in front of Cloverfield, but about all you see is a peek at the USS Enterprise.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to Cloverfield, which goes way wide on 3411 screens and a 70 percent rating on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's wide releases are the Katherine Heigl rom-com 27 Dresses, which is scoring 35 percent; and the Keaton-Latifah-Holmes comedy Mad Money, currently scoring 22 percent.  Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood expands to 389 screens and a 90 percent score.  And there is still the adorable Juno, which has been No. 2 at the box office during the week.

BRITNEY SPEARS: The pop wreck's agenda for Wednesday included getting stopped for speeding, and a 2 a.m. shopping spree without pants.  That is how the paparazzi at X17 got nsfw photographic evidence that the pop tart is not pregnant.  Four paparazzi were arrested for reckless driving while chasing Britney Spears' car around Mission Hills.  On Thursday morning, "manager" Sam Lutfi barged in on Britney in the shower, during a phone call into Ryan Seacrest's radio show.  UPDATE:  TMZ has sources sugestinng that Spears has multiple-personality disorder.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, Britney's 16-year-old knocked up sister, denies miscarriage rumors.

OWEN WILSON was busted on film and video buying a monkey pipe at the Green House Smoke Shop in Venice Beach, Calif.  Isn't he supposed to be rehabbed?

DREW BARRYMORE was... wait for it... caught canoodling on camera with co-star Jason Long at the New Orleans airport.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is going to entertain the troops in the Persian Gulf, the USO has announced.  The precise dates are undisclosed.  For some reason, Scar-Jo gets a large supply of fan letters from the military and wanted to do more than just answer them on paper.

SEAN PENN:  Was Sienna Miller a factor in his split from Robin Wright Penn? 

KIEFER SUTHERLAND gets out of the slammer Monday morning.  A Glendale City Jail rep told People magazine: "He never wanted preferential treatment from the get go, and we respect him for that."

THE X-FILES sequel is a "stand-alone movie, not a mythology conspiracy one," says series creator Chris Carter.  Probably a smart decision -- how could they compete for conspiracies now that the Internet is ubiquitous?

HOLLYWOOD WRITERS' STRIKE:  The Directors Guild of America struck a deal with the major studios that may pressure the Writers Guild to settle the 11-week-old strike that has roiled Tinseltown.  Which was why -- imho --the studios were working on a deal with the directors even before the strike.

THE OSCAR NOMINEES for Best Picture, once reflected a kind of national cinema, but have become a smaller niche market than horror films or urban comedies.

RACHEL BILSON, who has been seen on episodes of Chuck after the demise of The O.C., and will soon be on the big screen in Jumper, has a photo spread the February 2008 issue of GQ magazine.  There's also a video of the photo-shoot soundtracked with Vampire Weekend's "A-Punk."  Yep, it's Gratuitous Friday.

IRAN is confident of a prompt solution to the dispute over its nuclear program, despite the possiblility of further UN Security Council sanctions, but deputy foreign minister warned that failure to find a solution would play into the hands of those who favor unilateral action and war.  A new GAO report claims the three-year international effort to pressure Iran is faltering, and questions the impact of 20 years of US economic sanctions on Tehran.  At the Counterterrorism Blog, Matthew Levitt argues that the new report misses the point.  Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki publicly claimed that Pres. Bush would be impeached by his own party over his statements about Iran, displaying the keen grasp of US politics and the US Constitution Iran needs in its top diplomat.

LT. COL. JOHN NAGL, blurbed here yesterday, was interviewed on WHYY's Fresh Air about what's next for Iraq.

IRAQ:  Gen. Petraeus said Iran was still training terrorists despite its pledge to cut support for the insurgency.  He and SecDef Gates are at odds over the speed of the drawdown for the "surge."  More than 75K US and Iraqi soldiers are preparing to launch the widest military operation since 2003 in three Sunni provinces in what is being described by military sources, as a crucial attempt to uproot AQI.  The US military conducted more than five times as many airstrikes in Iraq last year as it did in 2006, targeting AQI safe houses, insurgent bombmaking facilities and weapons stockpiles in an aggressive strategy aimed at supporting the "surge" by overwhelming enemies with air power.  Iraq faces a period of economic growth and political progress, according to assessments by the International Monetary Fund and the UN.

WOLFGANG LEANDER:  Swimming with sharks is his hobby.  He's 67 and has been doing it since he was 14, but not without incident.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Grey squirrels are even more devious than anyone realized.

MOOKIE the BULL, won in a poker game, was kept in a garage in Ewing, NJ... until someone tipped off Animal Control.

THE ROBOT ZOO will offer children in Qatar the chance to explore the biomechanics of complex animal robots to discover how real animals work.  Freaky pic at the link.

Read full article: 'Advance Drive-By Truckers, Morrissey, Cutout Bin, Cloverfield'
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Advance Cat Power, Idolator Pop, Magnetic Fields, Flocke   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE ROSEBUDS left Jasmine instructions to work up a cover song for the band.  The resulting take on Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" is a little too true to the original for my taste, but fairly impressive work for a dog.  Good cowbell, Jasmine!  (The original video is a click-trough at the link, too.)

CAT POWER:  You can listen to an advance stream of her upcoming Jukebox album via MuchMusic.  I had trouble streaming a couple of tracks; if you do, just click on the next track.  UPDATE:  Darn lawyers.

IDOLATOR POP:  The second annual Idolator Pop Critics Poll is online, with poll results, essays, individual ballots, music mixes and more.

DAYTROTTER is set to be acquired by Wolfgang's Vault -- the historic live music archive of Bill Graham Presents -- in an effort to reach a younger audience.  Daytrotter celebrated the announcement with a downloadable live Ramones cut from the Palladium in 1978,

BOB MOULD tells MSNBC that he is "a lover, not a fighter."  Not that anyone will confuse him with Jacko.

SIR PAUL McCARTNEY is to stage the first major UK exhibition of photographs by his late wife Linda, to mark the 10th anniversary of her death.  Having seen such an exhibition here in the US, I must say that photography was her true talent, as one might expect from a member of the Eastman family.  Of course, watching Linda's infamous 1990 "Hey Jude" track will convince you of that, too.

THE DECEMBERISTS frontman Colin Meloy is releasing a live solo album from his 2006 acoustic tour in April.

MAGNETIC FIELDS:  The Current blog has "A Brief History of the Magnetic Fields" to mark the release of the new Distortion LP, which you can stream in full this week via Spinner or MagSpace. And you can listen to Robert Christgau's review from All Things Considered via NPR.

THE NATIONAL:  Matt Berninger talks to The Age down under about the creative friction within the band.

IKE TURNER died of an accidental cocaine overdose, the San Diego County Coroner revealed today.

AMY WINEHOUSE may make a Christmas/Hanukkah album this year.  Meanwhile, the uber-reliable NOW tabloid claims Winehouse's jailed hubby Blake Fielder-Civil has asked her for a divorce.  According to her dad, his mom is putting the idea into Blake's noggin.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  As predicted, after hosting the Cruise-based Scientology PR video, Gawker has received a copyright infringement notice from the Scientologists' lawyers, to which Gawker has reponded not only through its lawyer, but also by hosting four more Cruisetastic Scientology clips.  The controversy made The Today Show yesterday morning, and was mentioned by the  AP, which tends to support Gawker's claim for the newsworthiness of the video.

JESSICA SIMPSON has reportedly angered Dallas Cowbows fans so much that the pneumatic blonde has had to beef up her security.  However, ex-beau John Mayer defends Simpson and her love of Texas: "I just thought it would mean something coming from the guy who has the absolute least to gain from this..."

O.J. SIMPSON grimaced as the judge doubled his bail to 250K, after learning he never paid any money to a bail bondsman when he initially was released. Video at the link.  AFAIK, John Mayer has had no comment.

DAVID SPADE, previously linked to Heather Locklear and Pam Anderson, may have knocked up a 22-year-old Playboy Playmate: "If it is true that I am the father of her child, then I will accept responsibility."

EDDIE MURPHY & TRACY EDMONDS have called it quits just two weeks after their intimate wedding.

BRITNEY SPEARS and her married boytoy, paparazzo Adnan Ghalib, were captured on photos and video checking out a pregnancy test at Rite-Aid on Monday afternoon.  The photos, however, were taken by Ghalib's photo agency, so grain of salt.  The Daily Mail covers Ghalib's nerdy Birmingham background, whith photos for proof.  The pop wreck's cousin and former assistant Alli Sims says the troubled pop star is "not crazy," but she's worried about Ghalib.  Spears camp follower Sam Lufti seems to be worried also; he's using pal Chad Hardcastle as as bait to lure her from Ghalib.  Meanwhile, a psychologist has filed a complaint against Dr. Phil with the California Board of Psychology, alleging the TV doc was illegally practicing without a license when he paid a visit to the pop tart.

GWYNETH PALTROW UPDATE:  The latest speculation is that her brief hospital stay on Monday was due to a a pregnancy complication.  Her rep non-denies it as "guesswork at best."

HOLLYWOOD WRITERS' STRIKE:  In the wake of the cancellation of the traditional Golden Globe Awards ceremony, Writers Guild of America West president Patric Verrone reiterated that he does not anticipate granting the Academy Awards a waiver unless the striking writers and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reach a deal.  Verrone also said the WGA had received a similar waiver request Tuesday for the Grammy Awards.

SEAN PENN wrote a letter blasting the San Francisco Chronicle for publishing an article critical of celebs who suck up to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, arguing that Chavez was democratically elected, and that dictators don't lose constitutional referendums.  Penn forgot to mention that Chavez tried to overturn the results of Venezuela's recent vote but was rebuffed by the military.  Maybe Penn would be okay with "aspiring dictator" or "dictator wannabe" to describe Chavez.

CLOVERFIELD "inadvertently disses New York for what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, by re-enacting scenes of buildings exploding and massive clouds of debris for fun and profit," according to Roger Friedman, who apparently missed the promos with the headless Statue of Liberty.  He also calls it "an 84-minute rollercoaster ride of a monster movie that should be a big hit."

WANNA SEE KATIE COURIC swearing and clueless about the New Hampshire primary she anchored last week?  Of course you do.  NSFW, Courtesy of Harry Shearer.

TERRORIST 007:  Back in October, I flagged the story of a 22-year-old student allegedly at the center of three different terror cases, spanning at least seven countries, buried in a speech by FBI Dir. Mueller.  Now you can read the bizarre story of how the son of a diplomat became the world's most wanted cyber-jihadist in the Times of London and the Daily Mail.  Or, if you prefer, watch TV coverage from the BBC.

ALLEGED US TERROR PLOTS:  A former congressman and UN delegate was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than 130K to an al Qaeda and Taliban supporter who has threatened US and international troops in Afghanistan.  Meanwhile, the "Fort Dix Six" face additional charges, including attempted murder, after a grand jury concluded there was evidence the men tried to kill uniformed members of the military.  Coincidentally (or not), TIME magazine ran a piece this week throwing doubt on a key piece of documentary evidence in the case.

LT. COL. JOHN NAGL, author of the book "Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons From Malaya and Vietnam" and  a co-author of the Army's new manual on counterinsurgency operations, has decided to leave the service to study strategic issues full time at a new Washington think tank.  In a piece by Slate's Fred Kaplan about the Army's difficulty in retaining talented mid level officers, Nagl emphasized that, contrary to some rumors floating around, he is not leaving out of anger or disgruntlement.  It's still a loss.  BONUS:  Watch Nagl's appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart fromAugust 2007.

KNUT REDUX: The Nuremberg Zoo's polar bear cub, unofficially named ''Flocke'' has opened her eyes for the first time.  Let's go to the video.

UNDERCOVER CATS obtain a murder confession from their owner.  I can haz evidence?

A SNAKE is not a fashion accessory.  Not in New York, anyway.

DOG BARKING may soon be translated for humans by computer.

MONKEYS can use their brainpower to control the walking patterns of robots.  Your future is Planet of the Apes meets The Terminator.

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Ryan Adams, Vampire Weekend, Duffy(!), Cheetah Cubs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


RYAN ADAMS plays "Like Yesterday" on his webcam and turns it into an ad for a fictional album, then uploads it to the Tube.  Because he's Ryan Adams.

R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe was excused from jury duty in a sexual assault case, after telling the judge he could not be fair and impartial because he has been the target of stalkers and death threats.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED:  A rare live track from Billie Holiday, plus Magnetic Fields, JAMC, Vampire Weekend and Peter Gabriel are streaming in the latest edition from NPR.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND, btw, stopped by KEXP for a chat and mini-set available to stream or download.

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle holds forth on the craft of songwriting at Drowned In Sound.

DUFFY:  Tell me someone sounds like Dusty In Memphis and you have my attention, even if she really sounds a bit more like Lulu.  The single "Rockferry" is just gorgeous.  Her live takes on "Mercy" and "Warwick Avenue" from Later with Jools Holland aren't bad, either, though the samples of the fully-orchestrated studio versions streaming at DuffySpace are better.  BONUS: A little behind-the-scenes of Duffy working on "Syrup & Honey" with collaborator Bernard Butler.

COACHELLA will swing both ways this summer.

YEASAYER, a combo "working in the long shadow cast by the highly influential collaboration between Brian Eno and David Byrne in the late '70s and early '80s," gets an audio feature from the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR.

THE NOISE FROM BROOKLYN: Bands including Yeasayer, Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors are noticed in a video feature on the MTV.

STATE of THE INDUSTRY:  The Silicon Alley Insider perks up at the mention of EMI's 400K budget for hookers and blow.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Gawker is hosting the suppressed Cruise-based Scientology PR video and daring the Church to bring it on.  To quote Gawker, "if Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch was an 8 on the scale of scary, this is a 10."  Diane Sawyer and GMA botched their interview with Holmes, failing to ask about personal issues at all, let alone the ne new Adrew Mortion bio of Cruise.

DIANE KEATON, meanwhile, dropped the F-bomb on Diane Sawyer today. Good Morning, America!  Video at the link.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  PageSix.com claims the pop wreck called Fed-Ex to tell him she was getting hitched to paparazzo Adnan Ghalib. Fed-Ex later heard that Ghalib and Spears went to Mexico after her hospitalization for Ghalib to get a quickie divorce from wife AzLynn.  Longtime Britney confidant and cousin Alli Sims does not like Ghalib.  The couple was recently spotted at the Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks, Calif., where Spears walked naked around upscale clothing storeUPDATE:  A report that Spears had penned a suicide note days before her last breakdown is being denied by pal Sam Lufti.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY announced on his website today that his girlfriend, Camilla Alves, is pregnant with his child.

JOHNNY DEPP secretly visited Great Ormond Street Hospital yesterday to donate £1 million of his own money to thank staff for saving his daughter's life.  And on November 29, unknown to the public, Depp spent four hours at the hospital telling bedtime stories to patients dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow after having his costume flown over from Los Angeles.

ELLEN DeGENERES has dethroned Oprah Winfrey from the top of the Harris Poll's annual rundowns of America's favorite TV and film stars.  Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp are the favorite movie stars.  Full lists at the link.

GWYNETH PALTROW has retrurned home after being admitted to a New York hospital Monday afternoon.  The reason for the hospitalization remains unknown, but New York magazine reports Paltrow was doing an organic five-day live-food fast.

ZAC EFRON of High School Musical is recovering after being hospitalized with appendicitis.

EVA LONGORIA -- wife of San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker -- is defending Jessica Simpson from Dallas Cowboys fans.

CHARLIZE THERON & VIGGO MORTENSON have signed onto the bigscreen adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's bestselling novel, The Road.

SIMON COWELL of American Idol, knows what the American public wants in its presidential candidates.  They want them to be more like... Simon Cowell.

FRENCH PRES. SARKOZY secretly wed his Italian model fiancee, Carla Bruni?  Ooh la la!

ALESSANDRA AMBROSIO, Victoria's Secret angel extraordinaire, is knocked up?  Funny, she doesn't look it in any of the many, many pictures I studied.  Because it's gratuitous Wednesday.

TERROR in the UK?  As many as 1500 white Britons are believed to have converted to Islam for the purpose of funding, planning and carrying out surprise terror attacks inside the UK, according to one MI5 source.

IRAN:  A little-known fact: the European Union has gone further than the two UN Security Council resolutions against Iran actually require.  The tough European stance is surprising since there are huge commercial interests at stake, but shows Europe's recognition of the threat posed by the Islamic theocracy.

IRAQ:  USA Today is debriefed on a 17-hour Christmas firefight in Mosul that resulted in the deaths of ten AQI terrorists, including the head of an assassination cell, a financier and a military leader.  Syrian sheikh 'Abd Al-Mun'im Mustafa Halima, considered one of the leading theoreticians of the contemporary Salafi-jihadist stream in Islam, is trying to reconcile AQI with groups now backing the US, against the US.  A senior Awakening leader was killed in central Baghdad; two of his aides and four civilians were wounded. A policeman and two Awakening fighters were killed in Shurqat. Police arrested 35 insurgents during two separate operations in Kirkuk.

CHEETAH CUBS befriend the baby gazelle their mother caught for dinner.  More awww...some pics at the link.

THE AUSTRIAN SUPREME COURT rejected claims that a chimp is a human being.  I'm torn between going with The Elephant Man or Planet of the Apes.

AN ENRAGED WATER BUFFALO went on an hour-long rampage in northern Vietnam, goring four people and destroying food stalls before being shot to death by police, officials said Tuesday.  Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome?

DINOSAURS started having sex much earlier than previously thought, according to a new study out of U of C at Berkeley.  I blame the permissive culture of the Jurassic period.  And we all know what happened to the dinosaurs.

WHEN GIANT RATS ROAMED THE EARTH:  The fossilised skull of a rat the size of a car has been unearthed. It was so big that it probably spent much of its life semi-submerged in water, like a hippo, to reduce the stresses caused by its size.  No word so far on when it started having sex.

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MGMT, New Releases, Sharon Jones, Drunken Carp   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MGMT, a buzz band from Brooklyn, divides the hipper-than-thou hipster boho community, but they wore some bitchin' capes on Letterman, so you can watch "Time to Pretend" and make up your own mind.  Nice ending, guys.

NEW RELEASES:  Magnetic Fields, The Whigs, Dirty On Purpose and Ringo Starr are streaming in full via Spinner.

BJÖRK allegedly attacked a photographer - ripping his shirt in half - after he snapped her early-morning arrival at Auckland International Airport, the New Zealand Herald reported Monday.  According to a later story in the Herald, neither Jeffrey nor the newspaper planned to press charges.  People magazine can link you to the video of her last attack of a reporter.

SHARON and the DAP-KINGS stopped by the studios at WFUV for a chat and mini-set; you can stream both or just the music via NPR.  This actually dates to the release of the current album, but Jones talks about her career and her other jobs, like being a prison guard at Riker's Island.

YO LA TENGO:  Ira Kaplan tells the U of GA's Black & Red that he finds touring unsettling... and "it would be weird if it wasn't."  (Thx, LHB.)

JIMI HENDRIX plays "Voodoo Chile," "Hey, Joe" and Cream's "Sunshine Of your Love," live on the Lulu Show in 1969.  It's like Twofer Tuesday... but it's one more.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND talks with Billboard about touching up their debut LP and plotting a tour.

JULIANA HATFIELD:  Timedoor covers her lost God's Foot album, which should have come out in 1996.  Posted tracks include "Chance Is Waiting" from the album and an outtake titled "I Didn't Know."

ARCHITECTURE in HELSINKI did the four free songs for stream or download for Daytrotter.

BRITISH SEA POWER:  At Chromewaves, Frank Yang has an advance (good) review for Do You Like Rock Music?, due on February 12th, along with your A/V linkage.

BRITNEY SPEARS still may not visit her children, a court commissioner ruled Monday, following a custody hearing the pop wreck missed.  In a bizarre and chaotic scene outside the courthouse, Spears arrived for the afternoon session of the proceedings - but abruptly left the courthouse after paparazzi surrounded her.  Sources tell TMZ the Commissioner now views mental health -- not substance abuse -- as the root of Britney's problems. Commissioner Scott Gordon was definitely influenced by Brit's no-show and was deeply concerned that her instability posed a danger to her children.  Speaking of whch, "The boys are doing fantastic," a source close to the family tells PageSix.com, "but they have not asked for their mom even once since Kevin has had them full-time."  Yesterday, she had a public screaming fit in her wacky British accent.  BONUS:  The News of the World claims that Spears may convert to Islam to marry her already married paparazzo boyfriend Adnan Ghalib, while the equally-reliable Express reports she intends to marry in a Scientology ceremony.  Maybe the truth is that Ghalib still talks to his wife and is fleecing Spears for his work as glorified gofer.

THE FRENCH HOTEL told her fans at the club LAX, "I want to f*** you all!"  Which, in her case, might not have been an exaggeration.

BEYONCE KNOWLES is rumored to be married to and pregnant by Jay-Z, according to the ever-reliable London Mirror.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON will make her directorial debut as part of a Woody Allen-helmed project showcasing 12 short films.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  Bitter, deranged Dallas Cowboys fans are blaming the pneumatic blonde for the team's plyoff loss after QB Tony Romo vacationed with her in Mexico.  And it makes wide recever Terrell Owens cry.  While they're at it, why don't they blame Lynsey Nordstrom, the Simpson impersonator pictured above hired by the New York Post to roam the stadium before gametime?  Nordstrom told the New Jersey Star-Ledger  she was paid her usual fee -- $500 for the first hour and $250 for each following hour.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but her daughter Dannielynn may require eye surgery for strabismus, which is a turning in of one of her eyes.

MARY J. BLIGE:  The Grammy-winning singer blasted a report linking her and other A-list celebrities to doctors and pharmacists targeted in a statewide steroid investigation.  Yes, really.

REESE WITHERSPOON stay grounded by having children who've barfed on her shoes before award shows.

AWARDS SEASON:  Speaking of which, only a Hollywood rag like Variety would photoshop a picture to compare the Golden Globes collapse to the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War.  You stay classy, Tinseltown!

CLOVERFIELD:  The NY Post lists the seven deadly signs that the mystery monster movie is this year's Snakes on a Plane.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Despite legal threats, Andrew Morton's biography of Cruise has emboldened other critics, one of whom flagged Scientology promotional videos found online.  The clips were yanked within a half-hour of being publicized on various websites, but US Weekly has some transcript of it, while The Huffington Post has screenshots.  BONUS:  Slate has condnsed all of the juicy bits of the Cruise bio.

JENNA JAMESON announced her retirement from that sort of video at the AVN in Vegas over the weekend.

GLOBAL WARMING:  Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser who is credited with convincing Tony Blair of the urgency of global warming, now thinks some parts of the green movement are in danger of going too far: "There is a suspicion, and I have that suspicion myself, that a large number of people who label themselves 'green' are actually keen to take us back to the 18th or even the 17th century."  The answer to climate change, he says, is in embracing technology and technological solutions, not rejecting them.

IRAN:  Pres. Bush is privately disowning the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iran to help to quiet a rising chorus of voices inside Israel's defense community that are calling for unilateral military action against the Islamic theocracy's nuclear program.

IRAQ:  Eager to cement current security gains, the US military has shifted its strategy from the streets to the corridors of power in a high-stakes effort to persuade Iraq's wary Shiite leaders to put thousands of predominantly Sunni men, many of them former insurgents, on the government payroll.  Sheikh Ahmed Abu Reesha, leader of the "Anbar Awakening" that has ended much of AQI's hold over western Iraq, warned that an early pullout of US troops would spark a return of savage sectarian violence and be "disastrous."  The Iraqi defense minister says his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq's borders from external threat until at least 2018.  The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps slipped into the green zone of Baghdad last month to press Tehran's hardline position over the terms of the current talks with American officials, it was claimed last week.  Operation Iron Harvest in the north has resulted in 60 al Qaeda fighters killed and 193 suspects captured since last week. Seven AQI fighters were killed in clashes south of Baqubah. Iraqi Special Forces captured an IED cell leader in Mosul.  A senior Sadrist leader was killed in Baghdad.

A CHINESE CHICKEN thought dead survives two days in the freezer: "No, no, I will never eat it. I will keep it as a magic charm," Gan Shugen said.

A SHARK is celebrating an extrordinary virgin birth in a Hungarian aquarium.  Will it walk on land?

TWO LEOPARDS run free in Africa for the first time, following 20 years in captivity.  Let's go to the Andy Wiliams.

A GATOR ATTACK on three dogs in Delray Beach, FL has left one canine presumed dead.

DRUNKEN CARP are all part of the fun of a Shinto ceremony dating back to the Edo Period in Japan.  Pic at the link.

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Polyphonic Spree, Jason, Bon Iver, Louis the Octopus   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 14, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE POLYPHONIC SPREE is premiering the video for "We Crawl" -- which involved acclaimed indie film maker Dante Harper issuing cameras and loose instructions all 23 members of the band -- at JamBase, which is also running a contest with a signed Spree robe as the prize.

JASON RINGENBERG talks to the Southern Illinoisian about the breadth of his carrer, from his start in Carbondale, IL, to his children's rock persona, Farmer Jason.  The article also raisies an intersting point about southern Illinois as an incubator for Americana music.

BON IVER:  Justin Vernon's backstory of recording in the woods of Wisconsin is told by the Mpls. Star-Tribune, which has also posted several streaming tracks from For Emma, Forever Ago.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS:  There is an advance review of the upcoming Brighter Than Creation's Dark album at the 'Gum.

RILO KILEY stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set, streaming on demand from NPR.

THE FORTUNES' biggest hit was "You've Got Your Troubles (I've Got Mine)," played here at the 1966 NME poll winners' concert.  Lead singer Ron Allen's troubles are over; he died over the weekend of liver cancer.  He was 63.

STEVE EARLE talks about playing for and acting in HBO's The Wire.  His hip-hoppin' take on Tom Waits' "'Way Down in the Hole" is also streaming there.

WOXY TO GO:  No, the Internet radio station is not folding again.  Rather, its blog is offering free and legal downloads from its current playlist.

SON VOLT 2.0:  Jay Farrar talks to the Gary Post-Tribune about the similarities and differences between the new line-up and the Nineties version.

AMY WINEHOUSE could miss her big Grammy appearance because she won't kick drugs fast enough to pass a drug test.  And blonde is not her color.

PETE DOHERTY is dating a stunning young catwalk model who has been tipped by fashion experts as the next Kate Moss.  Based on the pic at the link, I don't see it. 

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Fed-Ex's attorney will ask the court today that the Spears's visitation rights "be cut off completely until the trial in April," a source close to the case tells Usmagazine.com.  However, a source close to Britney's lawyer tells PageSix.com that Commissioner Scott Gordon is expected to reinstate the pop wreck's visitation with very limited and brief visits.  Meanwhile, the pop tart continued her bizarre behavior. going out in her old wedding dress with her new boyfriend, married British paparazzo Adnan Ghalib.

ROGER AVARY, the Oscar-winning co-screenwriter of Pulp Fiction (and most recently co-writer on Beowulf) was arrested Sunday on suspicion of manslaughter and driving under the influence after a Ventura County car crash that killed a man and injured Avary's wife.

TINSELTOWN BABY BOOM:  Nicole Richie & Joel Madden, Christina Aguilera, David Allen Grier and Courtney Thorne-Smith all became parents in a 24-hour span.  ALSO: Stella McCartney.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Speaking of which, Heather Mills snubbed her neighbors when she celebrated her 40th birthday bash Saturday night - so they blasted out Beatles hits as her guests arrived.  Sir Paul spent £8,000 on birthday gifts for Mills -- while she was secretly hiring an ex-SAS trooper and former M15 spy to try and make Sir Paul look like a bad dad.

O.J. SIMPSON returned to jail on Friday, where he will spend several days before a judge hears allegations that he violated terms of his bail in an armed robbery case.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise and Holmes were spotted dining with the French Hotel after the premiere of Katie's new film Mad Money.

NICOLE KIDMAN faces a difficult family decision over where to deliver her baby.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The Bucket List took the top slot with 19.5 million, largely on the star power of Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  It's a good opening for Jack, though I doubt it will have the legs of movies like Something's Gotta Give.  First Sunday was just behind at 19 million; Screen Gems had a similar opening for Stomp The Yard 52 weeks ago.  But the real story continues to be Juno, which slipped only 11 percent to third (from the second-place it got when last weekend's actual receipts were tallied.  With a gross over 71 million, Juno is about to pass Sideways as the biggest earner ever for Fox Searchlight and will likely break the 100 million mark with ease.  Atonement, clinging to the bottom rung of the Top Ten, fell off 15 percent in expanded release.  I suspect that it would do better if the writers' strike was not wrecking shows like the Golden Globes.  Charlie Wilson's War, which could also use awards show PR, has fallen out of the Top Ten.

GOLDEN GLOBES:  Speaking of which, Atonement won Best Drama, with the full list of winners at the link.  Juno wuz robbed, though tens of millions of dollars probably eases the disappointment.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is being asked by Courtney Love to play her in the new £30million movie about life with tragic rocker husband Kurt Cobain, who reportedly will be played by Ryan Gosling (though I'll bet that's a "Courtney wants" thing also).

BRADGELINA:  Pitt is not getting his own museum in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri.

VIVICA A. FOX says, "Vivica does not have a sex tape. If I did, I would be making my own money off of it."  Vivica sometimes refers to Vivica in the third person.

JEREMY PIVEN is pursuing burlesque babe Dita Von Teese, who was just officially divored from Marilyn Manson.

THE HOBBIT, Pt 2:  Elijah Wood talks about the possibility that the Lord of the Rings cast may appear in the planned film bridging The Hobbit and the Tolkien trilogy.

HARRY POTTER UPDATE:  Crew working on the sixth Potter film, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, have been told J.K. Rowling's seventh novel, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, will be released in two halves.

CLOVERFIELD:  GreenCine rounds up advance buzz on the mystery monster movie.  You can watch exclusive TV spots at Premiere Daily and Fandango.

MIDEAST MYSTERY:  The puzzling site in Syria that Israeli jets bombed in September grew more curious on Friday with the release of a satellite photograph showing new construction there that resembles the site's former main building.  If international inspectors eventually get to the site, he added, they will have a more difficult time looking for nuclear evidence. David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, noted:"The new building covers whatever remained of the destroyed one."

IRAN:  The story of last week's clash in the Strait of Hormuz between the US Navy and Iranian gunboats also gets stranger over time.  The threatening radio transmission heard during the incident may have come from a locally famous heckler known among ship drivers as the "Filipino Monkey."  And the objects dropped by the Iranian boats apparently posed no threat.  However, the incident eerily echoed a 2002 wargame in which the US "lost" 16 major warships.  US sailors have not forgotten how a small boat that hid among refueling and garbage vessels off a port in Yemen detonated alongside the American destroyer Cole in October 2000, killing 17 Americans and crippling the warship.  Also, sources within Iran's ministry of foreign affairs claim that Pres. Ahmadinejad was kept in the dark about the decision to challenge the US ships until after the confrontation had ended. He is understood to have been unhappy about the action, which was ordered by hardline elements in the country's Revolutionary Guard.  Which is unsettling on its face and in its implication that the Guard is more hardline than Ahmadinejad.

IRAQ:  Iraq's parliament unanimously passed a benchmark law Saturday allowing lower-ranking former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party to reclaim government jobs, the first major piece of US-backed legislation it has adopted.  The Interior Ministry claimed Friday that AQI has been successfully penetrated by means of a recently formed government security apparatus and is virtually an "open book."  Two senior AQI operatives were killed along with 32 foot soldiers during fighting in Arab Jabour, Miqdadiyah, and the Samarra region as part of Operation Phantom Phoenix.  Light snow fell in Baghdad early on Friday in what weather officials said was the first time in about a 100 years; delighted residents declared it an omen of peace.

THE MILITARY and the MEDIA:  The New York Times has launched "War Torn," a "series of articles and multimedia about veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have committed killings, or been charged with them, after coming home."  The Army responds that the NYT's statistics "appear to be based on a basic review of American newspaper crime stories from 2004 to 2006, rather than statistics provided by the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense, or even any interviews with military medical or judicial professionals."  Bloggers who disagree over Iraq -- like Phil Carter and Marc Danziger --  agree that the statistics are misleading.  Bruce Kesler notes this is consistent with a media that inflates the extent of PSTD among members of the military.

NINETEEN BALD EAGLES died in Alaska on Friday after gorging themselves on a truck full of fish waste outside a processing plant.

LOUIS the OCTOPUS is so attached to his Mr Potato Head that he turns aggressive when aquarium staff try to remove it from his tank.  Pic at the link.

A DOPE-SMOKING MONKEY needs a new home.  Nobby was caught up a 1997 police raid after being photographed puffing on a hash bong in Southend, Essex.

A STOLEN PUPPY was found on Kitty Street.  Who would look there?

SNAKE BALLS UPDATE:  The golf balls surgically removed from a python which swallowed them thinking they were hen eggs have been sold on eBay for $1401.

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