SCOTT McCAUGHEY: His current supergroup, The Minus 5, has a new album coming on February 7th... and a tour. (After Scott finishes playing a UK tour with with Robyn Hitchcock -- and Kimberley Rew in Cambridge.) There's media available at the first link in addition to the MP3 of "Twilight Distillery." EXTRA COOL: There are downloads of the Young Fresh Fellows, McCaughey with Robyn Hitchcock, and much, much more at Universal Trendsetter, including a Quicktime video of "The Young Fresh Fellows Theme" from Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest.
ROBERT POLLARD: His first post-GbV musical album, From A Compound Eye, drops today, so he's been doing interviews with the Dayton Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune, where he tells Greg Kot about being in college listening to Devo and Genesis at the same time... which explains a lot.
JENNY LEWIS and BLAKE SENNETT (as part of the Elected) of Rilo Kiley have their side projects dropping today also. Frank at Chromewaves clebrates by posting a Rilo Kiley cover of Bowie's "Rock'N'Roll Suicide."
OTHER NEW RELEASES include Ace Frehley: Greatest Hits Live.
LITTLE HITS: The Pitch profiles the Lawrence, KS-based music blog focused on obscure indie-pop artists from the 80's, though blogger Jon Harrison also declares his love of the sound of '60's singles.
THE POSTAL SERVICE: Ben Gibbard is more than annoyed that Apple's new TV commercial for the Intel chip features a shot-for-shot recreation of their video for "Such Great Heights," made by the same filmmakers responsible for the original.
COLIN MELOY talks about literary influences and his first band, Tarkio, with The Stranger in connection with the release of Omnibus, the new double-disc Tarkio compilation. You Ain't No Picasso is killing music with Meloy covers of Big Star and Shirley Collins.
RAY DAVIES claims that Queen Elizabeth II wants to get medieval on the mugger who shot the Kinks frontman in New Orleans.
HARD-FI frontman Richard Archer is surprised the band's album hit #1 in the UK, even though he wants to reach people beyond music geeks.
RUSH: Geddy Lee and Neil Peart have joined Alex Lifeson's lawsuit alleging the band suffered financial damages because of Lifeson's injuries, arrest and criminal case stemming from a New Year's Eve fight in Naples, FL.
ISOBEL CAMPBELL and MARK LANEGAN: Campbell talks to the Scotsman about the difficulty of recording with Lanegan, given his busy tour schedule: "I said to [Belle & Sebastian bassist] Bobby Kildea, 'I think I've found my Lee Hazlewood, but I think I might have lost him again.' But I would never expect to tie him down or anything."
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE started work on their next album at Bearsville Studios, near Woodstock in upstate New York. That's where the dB's recorded Like This, so let's hope the musical good luck outweighs the business bad luck.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Amber Taylor alerted me to a MeFi post noting that Cruise has only three incisors -- which may suggest a holoprosencephaly syndrome that affects his ability to father a child. There are other theories mentioned there that won't be repeated here for legal reasons, natch.
LOVE MONKEY: Though the new CBS dramedy about an indie A&R man will inflict LeAnn Rimes on us tonight, there is the promise of Ben Folds, Aimee Mann, She Wants Revenge and Si Se.
FRIENDS: Rumors of a reunion are greatly exaggerated, according to NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker. They won't be there for you.
JESSICA SIMPSON thinks she has "amazing boobs" -- so does hercreepy father. The ever-reliable National Enquirer has Nick and Jessica hugging outside Simpson family's Encino pad.
KATE MOSS has spent the last two weeks making arrangements to speak with British police investigating allegations of cocaine use, though no timetable for her appearance has been set, says her spokesman, Stuart Higgins. The timing of this announcement has nothing to do with weekend reports that the cops believe she is acting like a fugitive.
DREW BARRYMORE admits she is drawn to lovers who inspire her. Like The Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti, who inspired her to do it in the womens' bathroom of a NYC opera house in the middle of La Boheme.
SIENNA MILLER and JUDE LAW: London's Mirror claims Law is moving back in with his ex-wife Sadie Frost. E! gossip Ted Casablanca claims Miller dumped Law for her Factory Girl co-star Hayden Christensen: "It's all about opportunity," said a source. "She's just moving on to who's going to give her more publicity. Jude can't do that anymore." RELATED: Lou Reed, who knew Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol (obvs.) has an opinion on Factory Girl director George Hickenlooper and his cast: "They're all a bunch of whores." So Reed couldn't stop Hickenlooper from licensing his song? PLUS: Just Jared has Factory Girl photos, including Guy Pearce as Andy Warhol and the horror of Hayden Christensen as a fictionalized Bob Dylan.
WALK THE LINE: Rosanne Cash is not a fan of the movie or some of her late father's less-thoughtful fans.
MADONNA: Are Madge and hubby Guy Ritchie splitsville?
PORN STAR NAMES: New York Daily News gossip Ben Widdecombe asked actual porn stars to play the party game whereby people work out their "porn star name" by combining the name of their first pet with the street on which they grew up. Savanna Samson says hers would be "Frisky Clinton." But I'm pretty sure that name was already taken.
DIANE KEATON writes that she used to love the music of Judy Garland, but that "if you keep singing like that, singing songs of being victimized by love over and over and over again, it can't help but have a profound effect on your life. At a certain point, you're programming yourself to become a victim of love." Ah, yes... the eternal question: "What came first, the music or the misery?
NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN still enjoy a close relationship, contrary to other press accounts noted here yesterday. Or not.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON is now publicly beyond furious at designer-turned-E!-red-carpet interviewer Isaac Mizrahi for groping her at the Golden Globes. She said to friends, "If he hadn't been gay, I would have slapped him."
IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Mohammed suggests that it will take months to form a new government, and notes that six Iraqi militant groups announced that they will unite and join the residents of Anbar and Salahiddin in fighting al Qaeda. Local insurgents in Ramadi also have turned against al Qaeda. Senior US military officers based in Anbar suspect that al Qaeda supporters won seats in provincial assemblies. And the McPaper leads a story by reporting that "The number of attacks against coalition troops, Iraqi security forces and civilians increased 29% last year," leaving the facts that US fatalities were flat, the number of wounded US troops dropped 26%, and that the percentage of successful attacks against US forces dropped from 25-30% to 10% for the end.
CANADA: The opposition Conservatives were heading for a narrow victory in Monday's national election, ending 12 years of Liberal rule, major television networks said. Support for the Liberals had slipped amid voter fatigue and a major kickback scandal which brought down the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin in November. Regular visitors to this site could have seen this coming since last April.
NSA SURVEILLANCE: The Washington Post has a problem with the Administration's detailed legal justification for the NSA's warrantless international surveillance program. Power Line notes a flaw in the WaPo editorial. General Michael Hayden, who left the NSA last spring to become deputy director of national intelligence, defended the program, noting that he went beyond the White House and Justice Department legal justifications and also sought the opinions of the NSA's top lawyers, who supported the program. Gen. Hayden's speech and Q & A session at the National Press Club is downloadable as an Acrobat file.
FIRST CLASS HAMSTER: Two Cambridge students who sent a hamster through the post as a drunken prank have been fined and banned from owning animals. If "First Class" hadn't gnawed through the envelope and been spotted by the postman, he might have died in the sorting machine. The hamster is now living happily with a member of staff at the Clarendon Street veterinary practice where she was treated after she was found.
CHINESE PANDAS offered to Taiwan as a goodwill gesture are studying the island's local dialect to get better accustomed to their new home. I dunno... the pandas are known only by their numbers, 16 and 19. Sounds like secret agents to me.
HOT COW clambered into a neighbour's garden and jumped in a swimming pool during a heatwave in Brazil.
BOCEPHALUS THE CAMEL made a daring escape from a moving trailer in central Illinois. He was recaptured with only bruises and scratches.