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JAMC, Guilty Pleasures, Glenn Mercer, White Stripes, Tiny Dancer   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 30, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN:  The band's real first reunion show since 1998 at Pomona's Glass House was called "rocky" by Tony Pierce at LAist, but other attendees commenting at Stereogum disagreed...and my prior online encounters with Pierce give me more confidence in the 'Gum folk.  No Scarlett Johansson singing backup, but Giant Drag queen Annie Hardy (linked here on Friday) joined in on "Just Like Honey."  Both of the first two links have an extra clip.  BONUS:  Here's video of "Sidewalking."  DOUBLE-BONUS:  Scarlett Johansson did show for the Coachella festival.  ALSO:  Jim Reid is working with Rhino Records on an extensive rarities box set.

COACHELLA got plenty of press, but I enjoyed the coveage from Stereogum and even Rolling Stone, who had Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste blog it for them.

GUILT BY ASSOCIATION:  Some of the biggest names in indie music -- including Devendra Banhart, Superchunk, Mike Watt, Jim O'Rourke and Luna -- have recorded versions of their favorite guilty pleasures for a compilation due August 7th.  You can stream Petra Haden's fab take on Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" (which also quotes Wilson Phillips), plus Will Oldham's cover of Mariah Carey's "Can't Take That Away" and Devendra Banhart's cover of Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger" at the AlbumSpace -- where all are the subject of a video contest. 

IGGY POP talks to Spinner about Mike Watt, Steve Albini and Ashlee Simpson.

GLENN MERCER, late of the Feelies and Wake Ooloo, has a solo album coming from Pravda Records (where you can still get your Pate on).  Wheels In Motion will feature ex-Feelies Stan Demeski, Vinny DeNunzio, Dave Weckerman, Anton Fier (all played drums on various tracks) and Brenda Sauter (bass).  You can stream a couple from Glenn at HisSpace.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Speaking of guilty pleasures, they don't get much guiltier than Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat."  "Strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre?'  NTTAWWT.  But at least I posted the shorter version, from the Old Grey Whistle Test.

CROWDED HOUSE will release its first album in nearly 15 years in July, featuring Smiths/Modest Mouse guitarist Johnny Marr on a pair of songs.

THE WHITE STRIPES:  I've been remiss in not mentiong a few things about Icky Thump, which is due June 19th.  You can check out the cover art, which has Jack and Meg dressed as a Pearly King and Pearly Queen.  Paste has the track listing.  And most important, the title track was played on XM radio, which means it has turned up on the ol' HM.

PETER BJORN & JOHN:  Peter answers questions for Gothamist, including "What came first, the music or the misery?" (which he may not have caught as a High Fidelity reference).  In the Washington Post, Bjorn talked about the "Young Folks" and the Stop Peter Bjorn and John blog: "That was one of the best blogs I ever read," Yttling says, "but it stopped too early."  The trio plays DC's 9:30 club tonight, so you should be able to stream it live on NPR, and on demand starting Tuesday.

THE TRAGICALLY HIP has a live set streaming from the World Cafe via NPR.  Pate fans may be amused to discover one of the songs in the set is titled "Bobcaygeon."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer and Carl Barat have dismissed the idea of a full-blown Libertines comeback, following their recent reunion at London's Hackney Empire earlier this month.

BRADGELINA:  The National Enquirer is reporting that Jolie has a potentially fatal "serious health problem" (does it get more serious than fatal?), claiming she is "losing her hair", suffers "uncontrollable shaking" and is plagued by blinding headaches.  It adds that Pitt will stand by the actress, despite rumours that he wants Jennifer Aniston back.  I dunno... these pics of Jolie autographing some dude's balls look alright.  Other rumors have the couple discussing a sequel to Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Folks took the pre-Spidey weekend off, with no films cracking the $10 million mark.  Disturbia took number one for the third week, making $9.1 million on a mere 30% drop; it has performed well above expectations and raises Shia LeBouf's profile for the fourth Indiana Jones flick.  The Invisible and Next debuted at $7.6 million and $7.2 million; two flops that may have to make their money on the Spidey overflow next weekend.  Fracture was not far behind at $7.1 million this weekend, but its performance has been anemic overall.   Blades of Glory rounds out the Top Five, having now made $108.1 million on a $60 million budget.  Disney's Meet the Robinsons falls to sixth, earning $4.9 million in its fifth weekend.  Hot Fuzz added 464 venues, earned $4.8 million, and dropped a negligible 18%.  Vacancy slid from fourth to eighth, earning $4.2 million, and dropping a serious 45%.  WWE's The Condemned finishes ninth; its per screen average is below even other WWE movies.  Are We Done Yet? wasn't, but will be next weekend.

ALEC BALDWIN may have dumped CAA as his agency last week because a video posted on FunnyOrDie.com -- a site started by CAA's Will Farrell -- that showed Dora the Explorer listening to his infamous phone rant against his daughter.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise's friend Jenna Elfman is shooting down reports that the actor's five-month marriage to Katie Holmes is unstable.  Elfman, who, like Cruise, is a fellow Scientologist, rejects tabloid stories alleging that Holmes has been living in a "prison-like" environment and that Cruise has pushed her to adopt his spiritual beliefs.

BRITNEY SPEARS was pulled over by Beverly Hills police for allegedly speeding but was let off with a warning.

SNOOP DOGG has been banned from entering Australia after failing a character test, according to officials.

JESSICA BIEL keeps her distance from the Hollywood celebrity party scene, mainly because she has no interest in being photographed rolling out of nightclubs drunk.  She is also convinced she could take care of herself in a physical confrontation; thanks to the training she's received on action flicks, she feels "sort of feel unstoppable."

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, and baby daddy Larry Birkhead got one million bucks richer in a secret deal with NBC that provided exclusives for the network's Today and Access Hollywood programs, and on its Bravo channel.

RICHARD GERE, ordered arrested by an Indian court for kissing Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, offered a "sincere apology" for any offense he caused: "My clumsy attempt at a 'Shall We Dance' move was a naive misread of Indian customs and I assure you nothing more."  He also tried to get Shilpy off the hook: "Of course, I've felt terrible that she should carry a burden that is no fault of hers. The burden is mine and no one else's."

WILL & GRACE creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan will get "a s**tload" of money" in settling a lawsuit they brought against NBC, alleging the network screwed them out of a fortune in profits by cooking the books. In a twist, the jury had already rendered a verdict for $48.5 million plus an untold amount in punitive damages, but before the verdict was read, NBC lawyers told the court that they discovered new information that the juryforeman had a website which revealed he allegedly hated big corporations, which resulted in the foreman's removal and would have resulted in new deliberations.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Reese Witherspoon's rumored romance with co-star Jake Gyllenhaal is rumored to be dunzo, supposedly over family demands on Witherspoon's time.

FHM's 100 SEXIEST WOMEN 2007 is topped by Jessica Alba, but the entire list (with photos and webclips) can be found at the link.

IRAN has banned Western-style haircuts and eyebrow plucking for men.  Ther seems to be a similar ban in the Palestinan Territory.

TURKEY:  Some 700,000 Turks waving the red national flag flooded central Istanbul on Sunday to demand the resignation of the government, saying the Islamic roots of Turkey's leaders threatened to destroy the country's modern foundations.  More than 300,000 people took part in a similar rally in Ankara two weeks ago.

BIG FISHES CAUGHT:  Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi was captured by the CIA as he was attempting to travel back to his native country, Iraq to "manage" al Qaeda's operations, including plots on Western interests outside of Iraq.  He's so big he's listed just a few lines below Osama bin Laden in Executive Order 13224, executed by Bush on September 23, 2001.  He brokered the relationship between bin Laden and Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi.  Also in General Petraeus' public comments about conditions in Iraq, he noted the the detention of Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, who is not a Baathist or a member of al-Qaeda, but was working for Iran, heading a network of insurgents created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps with the express purpose of committing violence against US and coalition forces in Iraq. He was on the Iraqi Government's "41 most wanted" list.

IRAQ:  In a massive synchronized effort to disrupt the al-Qaeda network, Coalition Forces descended on targets in Anbar and Salah ad Din provinces, capturing 72 suspected terrorists and seizing bomb-making materials.  Up to 20 thousand policemen have been recruited by the Anbar Salvation Council in recent weeks.  The Iraqi Command of the Saddam's old Baath Party announced that 30 senior command members of the party have been expelled for attempting to divide the party, for contacting "foreign intelligence agencies," and for "high treason" against the party and nation.  Armed clashes broke out in Kadhmiya district in northern Baghdad after US forces stormed Muqtada Al-Sadr's office and arrested some of the people inside.  Details of a long-anticipated cabinet shake-up are due to be announced soon, two Iraqi members of parliament said.  And the NYT reports on the improved climate in Anbar province, while doing its best to assure us that doom could still be just around the corner.

TINY DANCER, a rust-colored, long-haired Chihuahua that may just be the world's smallest dog, weighing 18 ounces and standing not much more than 4 inches tall.  Born June 8, Dancer can't officially claim the title until he is 1 year old.  (Thanks, Dad.)

THE DOG-SHEEP SCAM, mentioned here Friday, looks to be an urban myth which last did the rounds in February 2006.

A ZHENGZHAO CITY CAT gave birth to four kittens, one of which looks like a white poodle.  Or maybe a sheep!

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A South Carolina squirrel seems to be shaking down local businesses in some sort of protection racket.  Meanwhile, a squirrel found dead of the plague near Denver raises questions about the rodents' WMD program.

PEGGY, a six-month-old Rottweiler cross, set fire to her home -- then survived by leaping into the bath and gulping air through the plughole.

HOGZILLA, the near-mythical monster hog that roamed south Georgia, is headed for the big screen in an indie horror flick.

3257 Reads

Animals, Pipettes, Flaming Lips, Cutout Bin, Dog Tails   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 27, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE ANIMALS!  Because nothing fuels a Friday like "Don't Bring Me Down"  and other classics like "We Gotta Get Out of this Place" (on an odd set), "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (at the 1965 NME poll-winners concert), "It's My Life" (on another weird set for Hullaballoo), and "House of the Rising Sun" (natch).

THE PIPETTES announce US tour dates and release dates for an EP and their album.  Do I have my ticket?  Why, yes. (If you haven't heard them, visit their website.)

THE FRAMES played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream the gig on demand from NPR now.

20 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW about Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, excerpted from The Act You've Known For All These Years, due on June 1 -- the 30th anniversary of the LP's release.  Take it with a grain of salt; No.2 -- "Paul hadn't taken LSD when he wrote 'Lucy'," overlooks the fact that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was written mainly by John.

THE FLAMING LIPS:  Stereogum can hook you up to streams of "The Supreme Being Teaches Spiderman How To Be In Love," which will appear on the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack.  Because it would be just too weird -- even for the Lips -- to have that on the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  A guilty pleasure just popped up on the Tube -- "Baker Street," by Gerry Rafferty.  BONUS:  Foo Fighters.

PHIL SPECTOR may be facing a murder rap, but it didn't stop him from trashing Jacko, Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen and more in an upcoming biography.  Meanwhile, the first witness in his trial, Dorothy Melvin, testified this afternoon that the music legend pulled a revolver and assaulted her in his Pasadena home in 1993.

GIANT DRAG:  Annie Hardy talks to LA Weekly about soldiering on without multi-instrumentalist Micah Calabrese, and about her imaginary boyfriend.  The article mentions GD's raw cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game," but their stripped-down cover of "God Only Knows" is pretty good, too.

SOPHOMORE SLUMPS?  MTV News suggests that second albums from buzz bands like the Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have landed "with a thud."  But the Arcade Fire scores an 87 on Metacritic and debuted at No.2 on the Billboard chart, with the Arctic Monkeys scoring 82 on Metacritic.  Bloc Party scored 65 and debuted at number 12 on the Billboard chart,  CYHSY scored 63 and debuted at 47 on the Billboard charts -- their debut has sold three times as much, but never made the US charts.  So in MTV's haste to point out that the hype machine worked so well that nothing these bands did could possibly live up to the expectations, their continued success is unfairly discounted.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are:  Bernard Herrmann - Twisted Nerve;  Otis Redding - I Can't Turn You Loose; Wilson Pickett - Everybody Needs Somebody to Love; Cheap Trick - Surrender; Urge Overkill - Sister Havana; Thin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back In Town; Van Halen - You Really Got Me; The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society; The Feelies - Let's Go; The Smithereens - Behind the Wall of Sleep; Mando Diao - Long Before Rock 'n' Roll; The Jesus & Mary Chain - Taste Of Cindy; Teenage Fanclub - Like A Virgin; Snow Patrol - Crazy In Love; Arctic Monkeys - Baby, I'm Yours; The Zombies - When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through Your Eyes; The Detroit Cobras - I Wanna Know Whats Going On; Space Negroes - In A Gadda Da Vida; and Rare Earth - I Just Want To Celebrate.

HUGH GRANT was arrested after allegedly hurling a tub of baked beans at a paparazzo.  He also reportedly kicked snapper Ian Whittaker.  Alleged pics at the link.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Speaking of paparazzi, her hostility toward the press makes a lot more sense once you see her convertable trailed by eight carloads of photogs.  But it would be less crazy if she wasn't phoning the paps before she goes out.

NOW SHOWING:  The weekend before Spider-Man 3 finds studios dumping the following into wide release:  Nicolas Cage and Jessica Biel in Next, currently scoring 33 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; WWE Films' The Condemned, scoring 12 percent; the supernatural teen thriller The Invisible and Jamie Kennedy Kickin' It Old School were not screened for critics.

ROSIE O'DONNELL'S departure from The View was triggered when when Barbara Walters failed to defend her against Donald Trump?  Or was it because Rosie wanted Barbara's job?  I don't pretend to know, and tend to believe the obvious answer that she didn't want to be locked into a three-year deal if she thought she could make more money doing other things.  But I also think these ruminations are a fitting way to bid adieu to TV's biggest conspiracy theorist.

EVE was busted on suspicion of DUI after she crashed her gold Maserati on Hollywood Boulevard, but the really odd part of the story is the early-hours jailhouse visit from Sean Penn.

LINDSAY LOHAN, consistent with a prior rumor, reportedly "made out" with her female DJ best friend in front of Japanese clubbers.  DJ Samantha Ronson was certainly there when Li-Lo told Nylon magazine: "I will say, though, that it's so much harder to stay sober in New York. Though it's hard in L.A. not to go out, it gets lonely. Being an actress is lonely, and I never want to be alone. I hate sleeping alone."

THE FRENCH HOTEL was publicly dissed by the Artist Currently Known As Prince during a Vegas club gig.

SHARON STONE, otoh, publicly dissed Barry Manilow at a charity event raising cash for the Women's Sports Foundation.

RICHARD GERE and Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty are now subject to arrest warrants issued by an Indian court after the two (gasp) kissed in public.

KATE BECKINSALE may be a former anorexic, but was nevertheless accused of insensitivity when she likened anorexic girls to "crack whores" and said family problems were often to blame, rather than pictures of skinny celebrities.

BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID:  ICYMI, Celine Dion duets with Elvis Presley on "If I Can Dream."  You could probably feel the spinning in the backyard at Graceland.

THERE IS STILL GOOD IN HIM:  I really want to see this on the big screen.

GLOBAL WARMING:  The Financial Times has an in-depth feature on carbon offsets, including articles suggesting that millions have been spent on "carbon credit" projects that yield few if any environmental benefits, including paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.  Progressive political consultant Matt Stoller worries about the global cap-and-trade program, too.  And when you hear Al Gore touting offsets, keep in mind that Al Gore is the chairman of a carbon offset intermediary.

SUICIDE BOMBERS:  There's an interesting story at NPR on research into a single neighborhood in the Moroccan village of Tetuan that produced over 30 suicide bombers, sent first to Spain and later to Iraq.  In particular, we should take note of the connection with the non-jihadi criminals in the drug trade, as there are people who will argue that jihadis do not work with infidels.

IRAQ:  The Interior Ministry says the Adhamiya Wall has led to a substantial drop in sectarian killings, a claim disputed by human rights groups and the local press -- and they are probably right, at least as to the magnitude.  A joint US-Iraqi force, backed by military choppers, stormed Sadr City early Thursday.  The Baghdad operations command claimed it had arrested 217 suspected militants in various parts of the capital over the past 24 hours -- which is as-yet unconfirmed and would represent a massive sweep.  Bill Roggio looks at al Qaeda in Iraq's capaign in Diyala province, while IraqSlogger looks at the US and Iraqi forces building up there, including a search for the self-appointed leader of the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq."  J.D. Johannes blogs on the tough but necessary job of taking the census in Fallujah.  A representative of the Anbar Salvation Front recently called for the Iraqi government to allow them to pursue al-Qaeda elements into strongholds in neighboring provincesCNN's Michael Ware -- who is no fan of current US policy in Iraq -- talks about Diyala and also says that a US pullout will hand Iraq to Iran and al Qaeda.

ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT:  The New York Times covers breakthrough research into dog body language.

THOUSANDS of rich Japanese women were conned by a firm into believing lambs were valuable miniature poodles.  A must-see pic of a lamb shaved like a poodle at the link. 

COWARDLY CANINES are being taught to face their fears at a self confidence course designed to bring out the inner wolf.  No word as to whether it's taught by Toto.

KNUT UPDATE:  Berlin zoo chiefs have slammed a sick and/or funny Internet game that encourages players to kill cuddly-wuddly polar bear Knut.

A MAGICAL SNAKE appears when a self-proclaimed Zimbabwean prophet is accused of rape.  Yes, an actual snake.

116-YEAR-OLD GOATHERD claims his long life is down to never having had sex with a woman.

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Spinal Tap, Death-Proof, Dr. Dog, Rock Shots, Raging Deer   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CHRIS CORNELL  presents a bluesy, full-band arrangement of Jacko's "Bille Jean," which is probably how it will turn up on his solo LP next month.  I think I may still prefer the solo acoustic version.

SPINAL TAP IS REUNITING to play the Live Earth concert at Wembley Stadium in London in July.  In keeping with the event's global warming message, they are also releasing a new single called "Warmer Than Hell."  Marty DiBergi has directed a new 15-minute film about the band's reunion, which was to be shown at the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC last night.

DEATH-PROOF:  Pitchfork can hook you up to streams of Jack Nitzsche and Smith from the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino's half of Grindhouse.

BLOODSHOT RECORDS, which provides a home to Chicago's overlooked alt-country musicians, gets a nice profile from the Detroit Free Press.  Co-founder Rob Miller doesn't want to be pigeon-holed, however, noting the label also hosts bands like the Detroit Cobras, who talk to Harp magazine abut their new album, Tried and True.

DR. DOG, dug here before have a mini-set streaming from the World Cafe via NPR, where they are described as "Filtering classic rock and pop hooks through a willfully lo-fi aesthetic a la Pavement or Guided by Voices."

BABY GOT BACK:  The Sir Mix-A-Lot classic is performed in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan by some seriously ill people.

MICK JAGGER encountered a rare, luminous cigar-shaped mothership while camping at the Glastonbury festival in 1968, according to Michael C Luckman, author of Alien Rock: The Rock 'n' Roll Extraterrestrial Connection.

ROCK SHOTS:  Tom Wright, who traveled as a road manager with bands like the Rolling Stones, the Faces and the Who from the late 1960s through the early '80s, has a photo-filled memoir coming out in May.  NPR has audio, photos and an excerpt to whet your appetite.

FORTY SONGS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD is a sponsored feature at Rolling Stone, but it's not bad, if a bit dodgy as you get closer to the present-day.  You can stream the songs at the link, too.

THE PHIL SPECTOR MURDER TRIAL opened yesterday, with prosecutor Alan Jackson telling jurors that Spector had a "rich history of violence against women" and that he is someone "who, when he's confronted with the right circumstances, when he's confronted with the right situations, turns sinister and deadly."  A jury of nine men and three women was sworn in last week in L.A.. The trial will be televised; there's multimedia coverage at CourtTV's website, and at the L.A. TimesCBS has a short video recap.

APPROPOS OF NOTHING:  Pres. Bush gets his groove on.

ALEC BALDWIN will appear on The View this Friday, having approached the show after Rosie O'Donnell said she was sympathetic to him in the wake of the incendiary voice mail he left for his 11-year-old daughter, calling her a "thoughtless little pig."  Didn't Alec put out a statement saying he wasn't going to talk about this?  In any event, the audience for the pre-taped segment found it riveting and emotional.  The part that would get me emotional is his suggestion that he is interested in being released from his 30 Rock contract.  Fortunately, NBC says that's a non-starter.

ROSIE O'DONNELL will stop hosting The View in mid-June, after she and ABC could not agree on a contract.  But our national nightmare is not over; she will still be on the show in smaller doses.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise has reportedly told Holmes to attend "mommy classes" taught by Scientologists.

BEYONCE is pulling her album B'Day - Deluxe Edition amidst a lawsuit that claims the singer recorded someone else's song without permission, according to MTV.

COURTNEY LOVE is selling her clothes on eBay, with proceeds going to charity.

BRITNEY SPEARS is already back on the bottle, according to the upcoming issue of In Touch.  And Jessica Simpson's creepy dad would like to handle... her comeback.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is petitioning the Los Angeles Superior Court to legally change the name of her newly adopted son to Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt.

GIRLS GONE WILD mogul Joe Francis has been charged with one count of misdemeanor sexual battery by the L.A. City Attorney.  This has not been Joe's month.

VANESSA MINNILLO is leaving MTV's Total Request Live to pursue other projects, like shacking up with boyfriend Nick Lachey.

CATE BLANCHETT:  Golden Fiddle has you first look at her playing Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, Todd Haynes' bizarro biopic.

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE 2007, according to People magazine.  There's a photo gallery, starting with Scarlett Johansson, plus sidebars on Beauties at Every Age, video of The Models of Victoria's Secret, and more.

ROBOTS that can think for themselves could soon be caring for our children and the elderly and policing our streets, say experts.  Are we safe from robots that can think for themselves?  Scientists have expressed concern about the use of autonomous decision-making robots, particularly for military use.

IN THE EVENT OF ALIEN INASION, humans may have to mount a mujahideen-type resistance, according to Travis Taylor and Bob Boan, who have done consulting work for the Defense Department and NASA.  Which by no means rules out their being completely wacky.

IRAQ:  Baghdad was unusually low yesterday, with no major attacks inside the city.  It seems that the Adhamiya security barrier will be built, albeit in a modified fashion.  Moqtada al-Sadr called for a protest against the Adhamiya barrier.  A high-level Sunni opposition MP has said that a new, non-sectarian political coalition will soon be formed, but we've heard this before.  Coalition forces killed a senior al Qaeda leader during a raid northwest of Baghdad; his car bomb cell "used 12- to 13-year-old children as drivers.  Though violence in Ramadi has decreased, the US military has reportedly begun issuing special identification cards to locals as a measure to keep non-residents away from the city.  NBC News reports that the commander of Camp Cropper, the massive US Army detention center in Baghdad, has been charged with aiding the enemy.  Michael J. Totten blogs a tour with the Kurdish police, complete with embedded video of the cops tuning up a suspect.  Time magazine reports that Iraq may have twice as much oil than previously thought, including about 100 billion barrels of oil and a large amount of gas in the Sunni-dominated Al-Anbar province -- which, if true, might help a political reconciliation.

NORA the piano-playing cat is an Internet sensation, with 2.5 million viewers across the globe logging on to see her antics.  Embedded video of the puss playing atonal jazz at the link.

CORNELL'S CAT EXPERT dies after swerving his motorcycle to avoid hitting a cat.

SUICIDE SQUIRREL takes down the grid in Dover, Rochester, Rollinsford and Somersworth, New Hampshire.

DEER RAMPAGE through a New Oxford, Pennsylvania retirement home before making their escape.  Surveillance video and pics at the link.

A CAMEL sat on and killed the owner of an exotic animal farm while were being filmed by a local television station on Sunday.

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Live Art Brut and Yo La Tengo, Advance Feist, Raging Cow   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ART BRUT:  Pitchfork has well-shot video of a new song, "Direct Hit," live at Subterranean in Chicago -- a show that sold out before I remembered to get tickets.  But I relish the chance to kick myself again.

BONO and THE EDGE are set to write the music and lyrics for a Broadway musical based on Spider-Man, according to Variety.

FEIST:  Leslie Feist's new album, The Reminder, doesn't come out in the US until next month, but you can stream the whole thing now at HerSpace.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD OF THE UNDEAD has lost his mom, who was 91.  Plenty of punchlines, but tragedy + time = comedy.

YO LA TENGO was a recent Lounge Act; you can stream their stripped-down set and interview, including two Kinks covers, via the WOXY blog.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  R.E.M.'s underrated little gem, "Near Wild Heaven," which I find very Spring-y.

THE 22 MOST ANNOYING SONGS, according to WNBC viewers, via the 'Gum.

THE NIGHTWATCHMAN:  I forgot to mention that former Audioslave and RATM axeman Tom Morello's acoustic solo album is streaming in full from AOL this week.

EDDIE VAN HALEN is out of rehab and looking 1000% better.  Dramatic before and after pics at the link.

MALAJUBE is a band that gets plenty of blog buzz, but which I've tended to overlook, probably because they're French-Canadian and I tend to focus on lyrics.  Anyway, they got an audio twofer at the World Cafe (via NPR), and there's plenty more to stream via the ol' HM.

BALDWIN-BASINGER UPDATE:  Kim Basinger denies leaking the voicemail of ex-hubby Alec Baldwin calling their 11-year-old daughter a "thoughtless little pig," and claims the voicemail was not sealed under a court order.  Alec Baldwin makes the Gallery of the Absurd in an ad for the talking "Daddy Dearest" doll.

SHERYL CROW is now claiming her proposed one-square limit on toilet paper (which even drew mockery from Rosie O'Donnell) was itself a joke.  Yet her partner on the global warming tour, Laurie David, has long bragged about using recycled toilet paper.  It could be that Crow was making fun of David, as the gossip is that the two have become rival divas on the road.

ROSIE O'DONNELL, meanwhile, shocked (shocked!) folks with her blue shtick at a fete for New York's most accomplished women in media at the Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom.  O'Donnell's publicist, Cindi Berger, was unapologetic: "When you ask for Rosie, you know what you're getting..."

JONATHAN RHYS-MEYERS has checked into rehab to "maintain his recovery" from alcohol.  Until recently, I wouldn't have paid it much mind, but I'm enjoying his work in The Tudors.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills was voted off Dancing with the Stars last night, after weeks of teasing people with the notion that her artificial leg might fly off.

KIRSTEN DUNST looks like she really enjoyed the afterparty for the UK premiere of Spider-Man 3.  Meanwhile, her latest beau, Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell is getting chatty with the press about their hook-up.

MARILYN MANSON-DITA VON TEESE BREAK-UPDATE:  Von Teese speaks frankly (and at length) about her split from the goth rocker, and seems downright conventional by comparison to Manson:  "It was difficult, because I was trying to get him help for his problems, and eventually I realised that he didn't want help. I wasn't supportive about his partying or his relationship with another girl, and as much as I loved him I wasn't going to be part of that.."

SHANNA MOAKLER:  The former Dancing with the Stars contestant posted contact information for Lindsay Lohan and the French Hotel on her MySpace page because she "tried to disassociate myself from both these parties for some time now and like a fungus they wont go away."

GIRLS GONE WILD founder Joe Francis pleaded guilty to one count of criminal contempt, and is still facing three more weeks of hard time in the Florida jail that is already not going well.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Apparently, being an uber-Scientologist doesn't make you smart enough to realize that when your wife works off the baby weight, it's the wrong time to buy her a fancy scale that tracks body fat.

ROGER EBERT is not looking good at the moment, but he's not letting that stop him from attending his Overlooked Film Festival in Urbana, IL.

THE DARK KNIGHT -- the Batman Begins sequel -- is filming near my place at the moment.  Sylvia Hauser was nice enough to warn me about street closures, so I pointed her to these photos, but this video clip with helicopter action is better.  Also, there have been some fishy photos supposedly of a Joker makeup test floating around the 'net, but I hadn't linked to them before now, because they're fishy.  So we must make do with a rumored Michael Keaton sighting and an unrelated fire in the old post office bldg. where they are shooting.

KRYPTONITE is discovered on Earth on the same day that astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, orbiting a "red dwarf" sun, no less?  Where is my tinfoil hat?

ETHIOPIA brings us the picture of the day -- a Mursi tribeswoman with an iPod and an AK-47.

UK TERROR ARRESTS:  Six men have been arrested on suspicion of inciting others to commit acts of terrorism abroad and fund-raising for terrorists.  They include Abu Izzadeen, also known as Omar Brooks, who the BBC reports "made headlines when he heckled Home Secretary John Reid at an event last year."  True enough, but the Beeb leaves out Izadeen calling the 7/7 London bombers as "completely praiseworthy" and mocking the victims of 7/7 and 9/11, and calling for all Muslims serving in the Army to be killed, not to mention the beheading of Muslims that work for the British gov't.

THE CIA used a fake science fiction film to sneak six Americans out of revolutionary Iran.  How is this not a movie yet?

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki is coming under pressure at home and Arab nations to cut a better political deal for the Sunni minority.  ITM's Omar Fadhil supports the controversial security barriers that would wall off most of the Sunni enclave of Adhamiya in Baghdad.  The mixed district of Mansour has been sealed off for the last several days, as Iraqi Army and National Guard conducti house-to-house searches in the area.  British forces were set to hand over al-Shuaiba military base west of Basra, to Iraqi forces on Tuesday.  A tribal coalition in western Iraq allied with the US is using harsh tactics in its battle against al-Qaeida in Anbar province, local sources tell IraqSlogger.  According to coalition briefings, attacks in Anbar province are at a two-year low; Ramadi, which used to see 20 to 25 attacks a day, now sees an average of two to four a day.  Tips to coalition forces are soaring. US troops used to find only 50% of IEDs; now they are defusing 80% before they detonate... which is why AQ has started blowing up chlorine trucks.

ARND DROSSEL put himself inside a cage to raise money for, and awareness about, psychiatric patients.  I think it's working.

A PREGNANT COW being chased by police and fire fighters caused £17,000 worth of damage on a three-hour rampage through Hanover, Germany.  Video at the link.

LONDON PIGEONS ASK: "Why do they hate us?"

NO BOAT ACCIDENT:  A 12-year-old boy was treated for puncture wounds after a shark bit him on the ankle -- the fourth shark attack in six weeks off Hutchinson Island, along Florida's east coast. "It's all psychological. You yell 'barracuda,' everybody says, 'Huh? What?' You yell 'shark,' we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July." (Thanks, Debbie.)

RIGGS won the "Beautiful Bulldog" contest, an annual event held to promote the 98th running of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, IA -- one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious track and field events.

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Sly Stone, New Releases, SSLYBY, Bjork, Giant Snail   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SLY & THE FAMILY STONE:  Pitchfork posted three fave video clips to mark today's reissues of all seven Sly & the Family Stone LPs.  I can't resist relinking the clip of the band playing "My Lady" to win 10K at a talent contest in Ohio.  And this clip of "Stand" from The Mike Douglas Show is pretty cool, too.

NEW RELEASES:  Arctic Monkeys, Patrick Wolf, Patti Smith, Dntel, Mando Diao and The Veils are all streaming in full this week from Spinner.  Golden Smog releases the cheekily-titled Blood on the Slacks.  In addition to the Sly Stone reissues, there are remasters from Leonard Cohen.

PATTI SMITH tells Perth Now that her choice of covers on the new album was governed by accessibility rather than a desire to pay tribute to artists who inspired her. (Thanks LHB.)

SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU, BORIS YELTSIN frontman Philip Dickey tells Radar magazine, "This is the busiest my phone and e-mail have ever been in my life" after then the first freely elected president of Russia and a towering figure of his time who sttod against the tanks of a military coup, presided over the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the demise of the Communist Party, died Monday.  There are already plenty of tracks from the band to stream via the ol' HM, including alive take on The Troggs' "With A Girl Like You," but I suspect there will be even more by the time you read this.

TOM WAITS:  Just where does the master songwriter and alchemist of sound, get all his ideas from?  MOJO magazine tried to find out at a "raw-steak red" roadhouse.  RTWT.

BJORK was interviewed by Brandon Stosuy for Pitchfork about the emphasis on rhythm on her new album, Volta, and more.  The first video from the album is "Earth Intruders."  If you're lucky, you might find a live version of it as well.

THE RUNAWAYS are headed to the silver screen as the subject of an indie drama, with Joan Jett as an exec producer.

THE TWILIGHT SAD, a Scottish band getting lotsa blog love (and an 8.6 album review from Pitchfork) grab the Song of the Day slot at NPR with "That Summer, At Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy."  And there are currently scads of tracks streamable via the ol' HM.

LAURA VEIRS explains to MSNBC why her new band and album are both called "Saltbreakers."  You can stream the title track and plenty more at the moment via the ol' HM.

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff tells the Austin Chronicle that recording the band's latest album was no picnic.  The album has an Aug. 7th release date.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON will sing back up for the Jesus & Mary Chain at their Coachella warm-up date in Pomona, California on April 26.  No, really.  Now all they need is a cameo from Bill Murray.

MADONNA's marriage to movie director Guy Ritchie is reportedly on the rocks, after the filmmaker was spotted dancing intimately with a leggy mystery brunette at a London club.  Meanwhile, Madge reportedly snubbed the father of her adopted son while in Malawi, working on projects for her charity.

BRUCE WILLIS is said to be romancing his Perfect Stranger costar Tamara Feldman... if you ask her rep.  If you ask his, you'll get a different answer.

JENNIFER LOPEZ made 50 grand a minute to play for Russian billionaire Andrei Melnichenko's wife's birthday party.  Certainly a haul, though Xtina Aguilera made twice as much to play their wedding.

TOMMY LEE, Pam Anderson's first ex, recently spent an evening trying to woo Danish vixen May Anderson away from current beau Kid Rock, Pam Anderson's second ex.  The man has issues.

SIENNA MILLER will be having that threesome with Keira Knightley in the upcoming film The Best Time of Our Lives, after Lindsay Lohan pulled out of the project last week.

LINDSAY LOHAN, meanwhile, was spotted with droopy eyelids and a blank stare on her face as she stumbled out of an L.A. club.  Video at the link.

SALMA HAYEK has never been a fan of the Bible because she hates the way the good book depicts women and subliminally suggests that sex is dirty.  Pretty sure she's wrong on the second part at least.  Wait until she reads the Koran.

SHERYL CROW and LAURIE DAVID claim that presidential advisor Karl Rove was combative toward them on the issue of global warming at Saturday's White House Correspondents' dinner.  I would bet Rove does not care what David and Crow think about global warming, but David's version of the story seems dubious for several reasons: (a) Rove was sitting with staffers of The New York Times, not exactly a White House organ; (b) witnesses (likely said NYT staffers) told the Washington Post and National Review that David was very aggressive with Rove; (c)  Rove was reportedly polite in the last story of this genre; and (d) David's later comment, "I honestly thought that I was going to change his mind, like, right there and then" seems delusional at best.  The David-Crow brand of environmentalism (yes, both are against toilet paper) is mocked even by their friends on the Left side of the aisle; playing the victim sounds better than playing the rude dillitante.  BONUS:  Much like David's frequent private jet travel, it turns out Crow's tour has quite the carbon footprint -- 3 tractor-trailers, 4 buses and 6 cars.

SPIDER-MAN 3 is the most expensive movie ever made?  If not, it should be close enough to limt any profit Sony sees from it, according to Radar magazine.

NANOTECH:  To illustrate nanotechnology's potential in medicine, Northwestern University researcher Samuel Stupp was set to present results Monday showing paralyzed lab mice that have regained mobility through nanomaterial treatments.  Nevertheless, researchers are restrained, talking about results that may occur decades hence. (Thanks, Dad.)

IRAN launched a fresh nationwide drive aimed at forcing women whose clothes are deemed too tight and headscarves overly skimpy to fall in line with its Islamic dress rules.  The parliament is again trying to cut short the term of Pres. Ahmadinejad.  It appears that Tehran is trying to bribe most of the members of the Iraqi parliament.

IRAQ:  Confusion persists over whether or not the US military will continue with its plan to build barriers around the Sunni enclave of Adhamiya in Baghdad.  Controlling access to towns or neighborhoods -- whether via walls or fences ringed with barbed wire -- is a tried and true counterinsurgency technique... and unpopular with the insurgents as well as locals.  Bill Roggio notes significant changes which are occurring with the structure and development of the Iraqi Army.  Documentarian J.D. Johannes is back in Iraq and blogging from Fallujah: "I think there are parts of Al Anbar province where the war may be over and we just don't realize it."

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A giant snail, a/k/a/ caracol gigante.

SUICIDE SQUIRREL takes down the grid in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

BARNEY the MACAW taught a four-year-old autistic boy to talk.

CLONED DOGS will be mated, in an experiment to see whether they can reproduce normally.

PUPPY PROZAC:  The latest hype in pet prescriptions is a new drug called Reconcile, a beef flavored pill that dogs can take to help alleviate pet separation anxiety.

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