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The King, Son Volt, New PJ Harvey, Dancing Sheep   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 16, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ELVIS PRESLEY remains a global pop phenomenon on the 30th anniversary of his death.  Canada's Star-Phoenix, which discusses ten important parts of Elvis history worth reliving, notes: "His was a sequined coat of many colours: '50s Greaser Elvis. Military Elvis. Hollywood Elvis. Aloha from Hawaii Elvis. Vegas Elvis. And, ultimately, Dead Fat Elvis."  The BBC has friend and aide Sonny West recall life with The King, while London's Mirror has Elvis recipes.  The Belfast Telegraph lists 30 weird and wonderful Elvis facts. iAfrica pays tribute to Elvis in numbers.  Good Morning America surveys his film career, a decent chunk of which is airing today on Turner Classic Movies

ACTION NEWS 5 has posted its local coverage from Aug. 16-17, 1977, on the Tube, where you can also see funeral footage from the BBC Archive.  Here's read the obit that ran the next day in the Washington Post. Elvis Presley News recaps the international headlines from the event and links to the eulogy at his funeral.  Geraldo Rivera had national coverage that night, though he would later wallow in the King's drug habit.  On a happier note, check out what is likely the first footage taken of Elvis, with backstage shots of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly in 1955; shades of Walk The Line!  You can also see him play "I Got A Woman" live o­n his first TV appearance in 1956. I also include his performance of "Hound Dog" o­n The Milton Berle Show six months later, not o­nly because it's historic, but also because Paul Miller and I often reached for it when we would stumble into our KUSR shift at the last minute -- on the record, Uncle Miltie vamps for awhile, which gave us time to pull records for the show.  He was also iconic in "Jailhouse Rock" that year.  Elvis sang a mashup of "Love Me Tender" and "Witchcraft" with Frank Sinatra when he got back from the Army.  All of his movies -- such as "Viva Las Vegas" --made money, but his musical career stalled in the 1960s until he electrified and charmed the public with his televised '68 Comeback Special, which you can see uncut and unedited on the Tube.  1970 finds him singing "In The Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds" in the jumpsuit, though pre-bloated.  I'm going to throw in "Little Sister" just 'cause I like it.  Sadly, in a few short years, bloated jumpuit Elvis would be delivering a wacked-out take on "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" -- though to be fair, this audio-only version from 1969 is even more demented and he knows it.  I would rather remember Jumpsuit Elvis for the signature horns that open "See See Rider."  a tribute to his enduring legacy as the fact that he could hit the charts decades after his death with a remix of "A Little Less Conversation," a video subtly recalling "Jailhouse Rock."  And I've heard Paul Oakenfold's remix of "Rubberneckin'" in at least two movie trailers this year.  Indeed, this year even saw the bizzare CGI Elvis duet with Celine Dion on American Idol, which will likely make tomorrow's posthumous duet with daughter Lisa Marie seem almost normal by comparison.  Had The King not keeled over in the crapper 30 years ago, just imagine what Rick Rubin could have done for him.

ELVIS, INC.:  The King may be gone, but the brand lives on, making millions and recruiting new fans under the watchful eyes of Elvis Presley Enterprises and CKX, Inc.  The WaPo covers it all, from the Disney licensing to the Elvis Reese's Banana Creme Peanut Butter Cup to the 250-million-dollar renovation plans for Graceland and its visitor center.  The Chicago Sun-Times notes that TCB helped open the doors of Graceland to the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition this week -- the estate's first recognition of the folks they don't like to call impersonators.

TEGAN & SARA play a four-song acoustic mini-set and talk about Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Meg White for Spinner.

LINDA THOMPSON talks to the New York Sun about the crucial role son Teddy and daughter Kamilla played in the making of her new album

SON VOLT frontman Jay Farrar stopped by The Current for a conversation and a mini-set you can stream via MPR.

MAXIMO PARK frontman Paul Smith explains his onstage book reading to the Sydney Morning Herald, later adding, "I think I was probably more rock'n'roll before we were successful."

PJ HARVEY:  Prefix is streaming a broadcast rip of "When Under Ether," the first single from her upcoming seventh album.

THE B-52s:  Domino Rally is streaming some nuggets a bit further off the beaten track from the band's back catalog.


BRITNEY SPEARS:  To bolster his side of their child custody battle, Fed-Ex has been collecting stories from the pop tart's employees about her alleged bad parenting and it seems they have plenty to say, with tales of drunken exhibitionism and allegedly asking a nanny to sleep in the same bed with her and son Sean.  On the night when she drunkenly seduced a college student in a hotel swimming pool, Spears allegedly ended up kissing and fondling former assistant Shannon Funk, according to an article set for publication in OK! magazine.  Funk has denied a romantic relationship with Spears.  The ever-reliable Life & Style Weekly reports that kid sister Jamie Lynn Spears is taking Fed-Ex's side in the child custody dispute.  The also-reliable National Enquirer claims Fed-Ex plans to use video from the 15 security cameras that were installed in their Malibu home, including a clip of Spears allegedly whacking Fed-Ex with a frying pan -- life imitates cartoons.

LINDSAY LOHAN is getting sued for assault and negligence by a passenger in a car the actress allegedly chased while drunk last month.  TMZ has the complaint, which alleges the cops drew their guns during the incident.  The site also has the first photos of Li-Lo on a break from rehab in Orem, Utah.

MADONNA shocked passengers on a recent transatlantic flight after witnesses claim she whipped out a needle and started injecting herself... with vitamins.  Other celebrities who are rumoured to use the energy boosting shots include rehabbers Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has sold her Spanish-style 1920s mansion in ten days for 4.25 million, having paid just 2.9 million for it two years ago.  And we learn that Cameron Diaz was one of those complaining about the tumult the heirhead brought to the neighborhood after violating probation on her DUI conviction.

SIENNA MILLER, after being romantically linked to co-star Sean Bean earlier in the week, is also said to have fallen for co-star Matthew Rhys on the set of the Dylan Thomas biopic The Edge Of Love.

EVAN RACHEL WOOD:  The 19-year-old actress tells GQ that kissing 38-year-old boyfriend amid raining blood for the "Heart-Shaped Glasses" video was "one of the most romantic moments of my entire life,"  Wood claims the video does not contain actual sex -- despite reports to the contrary.

JOHN MAYER and MANDY MOORE a couple?  They were spotted having lunch, which is enough for people to start gossiping, anyway.  Moore is laughing it off:  "Oh my goodness. John and I have been friends for years, no romance."  Indeed, US Weekly claims Mayer has been... wait for it.... caught near-canoodling with Cameron Diaz?

DON IMUS reached a settlement with CBS radio that allows him to return to the airwaves at a new station four months after he made a sexist and racist remark about the Rutgers women's basketball team.  Industry experts say broadcast executives can have a very short memory if it means boosting ratings which Imus can still deliver.  Others may have longer memories.  Kia Vaughn, star center for the Rutgers Women's Basketball team, has filed a lawsuit against Imus for libel, slander and defamation.

JACKO continues to accumulate lawsuits.  The latest have been filed by celebrity super-lawyers Lavely & Singer for unpaid bills and by Sheik Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who claim Jacko is reneging on their agreement to make a CD and start a record company.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt's spokeswoman is denying reports Pitt and Jolie are planning to adopt a fourth child from Africa.

MICHAEL VICK, the embattled NFL QB facing federal charges related to his alleged participation in dogfighting, has been hit with a 63-billion-dollar lawsuit filed by a South Carolina inmate who alleges Vick stole his pit bulls and sold them on eBay to buy missiles from Iran.

KARL ROVE:  The departing White House deputy chief of stafftells the WaPo that his biggest regret was going to the White House Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner in March and performing as MC Rove.  It's a funny answer, but was Rove also taking an evil jab at those who think he should have bigger regrets?

NANO-BATTERY:  It's waffer-thin, like an after-dinner mint (NSFW).

VENEZUELA:  Hugo Chavez wants to be President-for-Life.  Shocka!  Couldn't have seen that one coming; after all, Sean Penn loves the guy.

IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad believes that Islamic rule is mankind's only way for salvation and that Pres. Bush has dispatched the CIA to hunt down the Islamic Messiah.  In the meantime, Ahmadinejad is attempting to rebrand himself as a listening politician by establishing a hotline for ordinary voters, to be run by aides in the presidential office.

IRAQ:  Gen. Petraeus is expected to propose removing US troops soon from several areas where commanders believe security has improved, possibly including Al Anbar province.  The L.A. Times adds that "it does not necessarily follow that Petraeus would call for reducing the overall number of troops in the country," though realistically, the "surge" will likely end by next April, based on already-stretched troop rotations.  Indeed, Gen. Petraeus believes the US footprint will have to be "a good bit smaller" by next summer.  Former insurgents are being targeted by AQI.  Italian anti-mafia investigators busted up a huge backdoor arms deal negotiated through an intermediary for Iraq's interior ministry.  The Oil Ministry confirmed the abduction of Fmr. Undersecretary Abdul-Jabbar Al-Wakaa alongside other officials.  Iraq and Jordan have agreed to share more intell to fight al Qaeda and other militant groups waging terror attacks across the region, Iraq's national security adviser says.  Embedded blogger Wesley Morgan's squadron got a visit from the Counterinsurgency Academy, a small institution whose mission is to help prepare arriving commanders to take over their areas without going through too disastrous of a transition period.  Blogger Michael J. Totten writes about the prevalence of Mahdi Army sympathizers in the Iraqi Army.

IRAQ II:  The death toll in the suicide bombings Tuesday in northern Iraq has risen to at least 500, local officials in Nineveh province said, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in Iraq since the US invasion in 2003.  Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon said the coordinated attacks were a "trademark al Qaeda event" designed to sway US public opinion against the war.  Last month, Gen. Petraeus warned that the summer may see a mini-Tet offensive designed to push US politics over the brink.  A glance at iCasualties suggests AQI would have to launch several more such attacks to cause as many civilian casualties as there were in April or May, let alone February or March.  Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John Warner (R-VA) have gone to Iraq to tell its leaders that they must accept responsibility for their country.  Prime Minister al-Maliki appeared to clear the way for a "crisis council" that seeks to save his crumbling government.

THE DOG OF DOOM:  Following in the pawprints of Oscar the Cat, Scamp the Schnauzer lives at The Pines nursing home in Ohio - where his owner, a staff member, claims he has been present for the death of virtually every patient for the past three years.

MASSIVE PARROT HEIST:  Forty-five parrots worth more than 1,000 dollars each have been abducted from a Long Island, New York, pet store.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  California ground squirrels have learned to intimidate rattlesnakes by heating their tails and shaking them aggressively.

OLIVER the MONKEY having made his second breakout from behind bars in less than a month, was recaptured and secured in a cage with with triple chains and locks in Tupelo, Miss.

A BLACK WIDOW IS NOT A GOOD PET:  In Dortmund, Germany, police broke in to Mark Voegel's apartment to find spider Bettina along with 200 others, several snakes, a gecko lizard called Helmut and several thousand termites had gorged on his body.

A TROUPE of DANCING SHEEP have been stranded hundreds of miles from home for 11 days in the wake of a foot and mouth alert in Britain.

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New Rogue Wave, Castanets and NPs, Spoon, Lion Reunion   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ROGUE WAVE are sharing the advance track "Lake Michigan" with a bunch 'o' music blogs, including MOKB.  Heather Browne digs the whole album; her blog is where I noticed the "making of Asleep At Heaven's Gate" video.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' Challengers album officially drops next Tuesday, but you can stream the whole album now, via Much Music (Thx, Chromewaves!)

CASTANETS are sharing new stuff also.  Pitchfork is streaming "This is the Early Game," while GvsB has an advance remix of "Strong Animal," which you can stream via the ol' HM.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK:  Filter has the details on the box set, titled I Wanna Go Backwards, which is due October 16th.  A second box set, Bad Case of History, is due for release in early 2008.

ELVIS WEEK:  Some 50K believe they will all be received in Graceland on the eve 30th anniversary of his death.  I'll be donning the jumpsuit tommorrow, but you can check out the GracelandCam and a video overview of the week (with a look inside the mansion) at ElvisWeek.com.

THE 25 MOST INFLUENTIAL PUNK BANDS, according to Shoutmouth, with plenty 'o' embedded audio-video goodness.

JOHN VANDERSLICE concluded his tour of blog love at Chromewaves, where he dropped the live video for "Minaret."  An Aquarium Drunkard has seven solo acoustic videos taken the L.A. River basin.

AMY WINEHOUSE finally admitted she and her husband have serious drug problems after a showdown with their parents.  Apparently, overdosing on a cocktail of heroin, ecstasy, cocaine and the horse tranquilliser ketamine, motivated Winehouse to enter rehab in the US.

SPOON did a video interview and mini-set from their latest record for The Interface via the DL and Spinner.  Frontman Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno talked to DCist about playing festival gigs and Veronica Mars, and more.

ANATOMY of a LEAK:  Spin magazine charts how albums reach the Internet before the official release date.

TONY WILSON, a/k/a "Mr. Manchester" for launching bands like Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays, may get a posthumous tribute show... in Liverpool.  Here's a 2002 TV profile of Wilson going all the way back to the heyday of Punk (there's some language) and a new two-part retrospective from BBC's Newsnight with one of Wilson's last interviews and comments fro the worlds of music and TV.

BRADGELINA are reportedly preparing to adopt their fourth non-biological child in Ethiopia in three months.  Meanwhile, Pittwatch has pics of Chicagoans gawking like tourists as the couple leaves the Japonais restaurant.

SIR PAUL McCARTNEY & CHRISTIE BRINKLEY were spotted chatting at a James Taylor concert Saturday night, sparking otherwise unfounded rumors of a romance.

SIENNA MILLER is rumored to have spent a romantic evening with Sean Bean, who will co-star with Miller in a movie adaptation of Oscar Wilde's A Woman Of No Importance.

BRITNEY SPEARS may open the irrelevant MTV Video Music Awards show.  And when an anonymous source suddenly starts defending the pop tart to the paparazzi at X17, the unstated message is likely that she is resisting paying Fed-Ex more money to settle their child custody battle.  Her former bodyguard was served with two subpoenas by Fed-Ex's lawyer on Monday night.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Sources close to the ditzy heirhead tell Page Six her new grown-up attitude is nothing but a big, phony act.  Shocka!

JESSICA BIEL & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE are planning to shack up once JT completes his world tour next month, according to the ever-reliable Life and Style Weekly.

SALMA HAYEK is planning three wedding ceremonies -- in Mexico, Paris, and L.A., according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

KATIE COURIC:  With ratings for the CBS Evening News in the dumper, producer Rick Kaplan brought in a team of professional dancers to the office last week and got staffers to dance en masse to Michael Jackson's "Thriller."  Yes, the stunt was inspired by the viral video of Filipino prison inmates working on their version, though it could have just as easily been inspired by 13 Going On 30.

"THE WACKNESS" seems like an apt title for a movie in which 63-year-old Sir Ben Kingsley will passionately lock lips with Mary-Kate Olsen.

JAMES BLUNT:  Speaking of Mary-Kate, the cringeworthy singer songwriter was seen at a weekend party chatting up Mischa Barton before moving on to the Olsen Twins.  I guess he must have dumped supermodel Petra Nemcova for being too fat.  Is there a slang term that is the opposite of "chubby chaser?"

SHILPA SHETTY, the Bollywood beauty who got in trouble earlier this year when she and Richard Gere kissed in public at an AIDS awareness event in India, is in the running to become a Bond girl.  Is she qualified?  I report, you decide.

THE FINAL FRONTIER:  A microwave-generated plasma shield that could help aircraft evade radar or protect it from WMD attacks was granted a patent yesterday.

THE MATRIX:  Here, the part of Morpheus will be played by Dr. Nick Bostrom, philosopher and director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford.  And I suddenly have a good excuse for staying up late on the Internet.

INDIA:  Troops are on the streets in a major security crackdown ahead of Independence Day celebrations.  Traditionally marked by violent attacks by separatist militants or Maoist rebels, for this holiday, authorities are taking reports of threats issued by Al-Qaeda seriously.

PAKISTAN:  Pres. Musharraf is calling for the political mainstreaming of the Taliban in Afghanistan.  Yeesh.

IRAQ:  At least 175 people were killed and more than 200 wounded when four suicide truck bombs targeted people from the Yazidi sect, which speaks a Kurdish dialect but follows a pre-Islamic religion and has its own cultural traditions.  US troops in Baghdad rescued and are nursing 10-month-old Fatima Jbouri, who was dumped outside in the garbage on a day when the temperature hit 118 degrees after her mother and uncle were killed by gunmen.  Bill Roggio reports on Operation Lightning Hammer, which is pursuing al-Qaeda operatives who fled Baqubah at the outset of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, the AQI attempts to disrupt US supply lines response, as well as ops against the Mahdi Army and Iranian Qods forces.  In Baghdad, embedded blogger Wesley Morgan goes on a patrol of Haifa Street and the Sunni neighborhood of Saddamiya, where al Qaeda's main stronghold had been during the January fighting.  In the NYT, John S. Burns writes that Gen. Petraeus is looking to get -- and give -- unvarnished reports.  Finally, Der Spiegel has a detailed and wide-ranging must-read tour of the state of Iraq today.

LION reunites with the humans who raised him and released him into the wild in Africa.  Awww... very Born Free.  Let's go to the karaoke.

KERRY the HORSE raced to the rescue to save her owner from a raging... cow.

KANGAROO sightings have been reported along US 90, outside Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

GOAT PRANK lands three teen girls a sentence in court.  Hey, it's not like they were trying to milk it.

CAT BOTCHES SUICIDE?  Or was it foul play?

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New Go! Team, New Releases, Mojo Nixon, VU, Giant Pike   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


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New Go! Team, Tony Wilson R.I.P., BRMC, King Jimmy the Goat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 13, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE GO! TEAM has posted another advance video from the upcoming LP.  This one is aptly titled "Doing It Right," filled with handclaps, marching band horns and xylophone and the band's signature 70-80s vibe.

TONY WILSON, the Manchester music impresario who founded Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub, died Friday night, aged 57, after a heart attack on Thursday.  The Salford-born journalist brought bands including Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and James to a wider audience. Factory's pioneering approach to design and architecture also helped kick-start Manchester's transformation into a European cultural center.  Chromewaves can hook you up with NME's coverage of reax from Creation Records founder Alan McGee, Factory Records graphic designer Peter Saville and Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order.  Music blogs posting tracks in tribute include Some Velvet Blog, Ear Farm, and Product Shop NYC.  Given it's summer, I have to single out Happy Mondays' cover of "The Boys Are Back In Town."  It does make for a "Blue Monday."

AMY WINEHOUSE is in rehab?  The Daily Mail says yes, yes, yes; NME says no, no no.

PATTIE BOYD:  The Daily Mail has a second excerpt from her autobiography, on the collapse of her marriage to Eric Clapton, as well as the revenge exacted on Clapton by his ex Lory Del Santo and George Harrison.

HE'S A WHORE:  After almost a year's absence, Darren Robbins has returned to blogging with rare Beatles, live Cheap Trick from '79 and more...

NICK DRAKE:  The video for "Way To Blue" from the posthumous Family Tree LP naturally features family photos from the Drake estate.

RATTLE YOUR JEWELRY:  Newly declassified from Britain's Foreign Office reveal the ugly side of rampant Beatlemania at the British Embassy in Washington DC.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB did an interview and mini-set of their "gutsy rock 'n' roll" for the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR.

RILO KILEY guitarist and co-vocalist Blake Sennett tells to LAist that the band's move to a major label hasn't been as big a change as one might think: "I think there's a big difference between Saddle Creek and Warner Bros. but at the end 0f the day, it's not like all Saddle Creek's money is going to Darfur and Warner Bros. proceeds are going to Pres. Bush." Sennett might be interested to know that folks from Human Rights Watch and even someone as far to the Left as Daniel Schorr will admit that Pres. Bush and the US have done far more on Darfur than any other government.  It has been countries like Russia and China blocking UN action and violating the arms embargo that was imposed -- which is quite similar to what they did with respect to Iraq.

SIOUXSIE SIOUX:  The classic punk frontwoman  will roll out her first solo LP this Autumn.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Rush Hour 3 topped the charts this weekend, taking in 50.2 million -- but that's less than the sequel made, with the injury componded by the fact that the studio is giving 40 percent of the gross to the stars and directorThe Bourne Ultimatum dropped 51% to take second place with 33.7 million, but has made 132.3 million in 10 days, befre opening internationally.  The Simpsons Movie held onto third with $11.1 million.   Stardust met the low end of most analysts' expectations with 9 million, against a 70 million budget; international receipts may save it. Underdog rounded out the Top Five with 6.5 million, but less than 25 million total. Hairspray took in 6.4 million, while I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry broke the 100 million mark with another 5.9 million. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix added another 5.4 million to to a 822 million total worldwide. No Reservations made 3.9 million; Daddy Day Camp, the pseudo-sequel to the Eddie Murphy hit, debuted  in 10th with 3.6 million, about 3 million below expecations.

BRITNEY SPEARS' cousin/assistant, Alli Sims, was slapped with a a deposition subpoena in the Spears-Fed-Ex child custody battle.

MERV GRIFFIN, whose talk show once rivaled that of Johnny Carson's, whose real-estate empire once rivaled that of Donald Trump's, and who invented both Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, died from prostate cancer at 82.  SCTV fans will say, "Oooohhh!"  Pat Sajak remembers.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills hits Vegas with her daughter, almost £70 million, and a frumpy sun hat.

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE is officially divorced from husband Jonathan Schaech. I was never a fan of the Heardsmen, anyway.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Even Woody Allen is warning her of the danger of becoming uninsurable.  So nice of the Woodman to take an interest in someone who just turned 21.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie claims she has given up lesbian and sado-masochistic romps after falling for Pitt.  As though that would make Pitt happy.  Guess that report of Jolie buying a riding crop in Prague in June must have been off-base.  In any event, her former lesbian lover Jenny Shimizu doesn't think it will last.  Meanwhile, we have some video of Jolie getting dragged around in a Dodge Viper and chatting up the director on the set of Wanted.

JOAN JETT has signed onto the cast in Lighthouse Entertainment's 80s-themed teen comedy Endless Bummer -- and will likely contribute to the soundtrack.

BILLY GRAHAM:  Dose someone at Time magazine think he's the Devil?  Or Batman?

THE ONLINE COMMUNITY'S TOP 100 FILMS, according to Cinema Fusion.

BLADE RUNNER:  The Ultimate Collection DVD doesn't hit stores until December, but Yahoo has clips streaming now.

JESSICA ALBA had a final meeting with her ex-bf Cash Warren, but is "definitely enjoying being single right now," a pal tells US Weekly.  Alba has said in the past that she embraces no-strings attached encounters when she's single.  One has to wonder whether someone sympathetic to Warren is the source for a nasty, libelous Alba rumor floating aroung the Internet.

WATCH WHERE YOU PARK YOUR WEINER: The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was ticketed for illegal parking in Chicago.  My cash-strapped city will ticket pretty much anything that moves. (Lance caught this one, too.)

GLOBAL WARMING:  Newsweek Contibuting Editor Robert Samuelson writes that last week's cover story on "global warming deniers" was "a wonderful read, marred only by its being fundamentally misleading."

DIRTY BOMB THREAT:  The NYPD increased radiological monitoring and established checkpoints to examine vehicles in lower Manhattan and at other locations around the city Friday night in response to an unverified dirty bomb threat.  It's not hard to see why -- aside from the health threat, a dirty bomb detonation in a major port could cost 20 billion in the first month alone.  Waht's more, on Friday, scientists warned that terrorists could learn from last year's murder of Alexander Litvinenko to carry out radiological attacks on cities far more devastating than a dirty bomb.

THE GOP STRAW POLL:  I don't generally do much domestic politics, but the straw poll is held in Ames -- Pate's home town -- so I thought I could add some non-partisan perspective from someone who knows the Hilton is not a hotel in Ames.  The straw poll is generally bought by some candidate (e.g., the Rev. Pat Robertson in 1988) , and not predictive of much.  Neither is the Iowa caucus, which causes The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan to ask, "why exactly does the Iowa caucus have this exalted status in the primary/caucus system?"  The answer is that -- once both major political parties reformed their nomination rules to favor caucuses and primaries over party fat cats, Jimmy Carter was able to use the IA caucus to propel himself to the 1976 Democratic nomination (and the Presidency) -- even though he actually came in second to "Uncommitted."  Candidates have been trying to duplicate the feat ever since, though with less and less success, as the element of surprise has been removed.

IRAQ:  US forces claimed success on Saturday in establishing their influence and denying al Qaeda fighters control of Iraq's Diyala River valley.  TheShiite pilgrmage to Kadhimiya was a surprisingly peaceful occasion.  A former military commander said British forces in Basra must retake the city or abandon it, but it appears that US forces will be doing the job.  Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan and Iraqi PM al-Maliki hammered out a tentative agreement whereby Turkey will shelve its threat to launch a military operation against the PKK terrorists holed up in the Iraqi Kurdish mountains while Baghdad will move to subdue the militants.  Sunni Arab political forces are jockeying for position in the next round of provincial elections.  Even as they call for an end to the war and pledge to bring the troops home, the Democratic presidential candidates are setting out positions that could leave the US engaged in Iraq for years.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Newsweek covers The New Republic's controversial "Baghdad Diartist."  TNR issued a statement Friday claiming that the Army has rejected the mag's requests to speak to Beauchamp, on the grounds that it wants "to protect his privacy," while Col. Steve Boylan responded that the Army "not preventing him from speaking to TNR or anyone. He has full access to the Morale Welfare and Recreation phones that all the other members of the unit are free to use. It is my understanding that he has been informed of the requests to speak to various members of the media, both traditional and non-traditional and has declined..."  TNR's latest statement also says that Beauchamp told TNR that "he signed several statements under what he described as pressure from the Army," but that "these statements did not contradict his articles."  Which raises the question of how Pvt. Beachamp was "pressured" by the Army into standing by his articles.  The potential punishment for lying to Army investigators is much worse than what he would get for recanting, not to mention worse than the pennalty for lying to TNR, which is nothing.

ELEPHANTS GONE WILD:  Anyone wanna bet he eats it?

A BABY GORILLA rejected by his mother, cuddles with a stuffed monkey.  Awww...some pics at the link.

KING JIMMY the GOAT'S silken locks glistened with raindrops for the start of the world renowned Killorglin Puck Fair in County Kerry, Ireland.

A BEHEADED SNAKE proves it is still dangerous in Prosser, Wash.

ADDY the OWL foiled burglars who stole her from her owner's home by biting them until they hurled her out the window of their getaway car and crashed.  And then carried an urgent message to Hogwarts.

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Punk, Johnny Thunders, Great Lake Swimmers, Cutout Bins, Racoon   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 10, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE SEVEN AGES of ROCK: PUNK!  This documentary from the BBC tells the tale of two cities -- NYC and London -- and the re-invention of rock at the end of the 1970's.  Bands featured and interviewed include the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Television, The Clash, Patti Smith, Buzzcocks and more.  Tubed in eight segments -- Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8.  There's some language, natch.

JOHNNY THUNDERS and the HEARTBREAKERS:  An Aquarium Drunkard has a guest post from a fellow blogger on the wreckage of Thunders' post-NY Dolls band and the band's fab 1977 demos -- two of which you can stream via the ol' HM.

JASON ISBELL:  The former Drive-By Trucker has an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe streaming from NPR.

WILCO:  Renowned avant-garde guitarist Nels Cline talks to the Winniped Sun about joining the band and Jeff Tweedy's post-rehab addiction.  (Thanks, LHB.)

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  The jury is taking a field trip to the fmr pop producer's castle-style mansion in Alhambra, just outside Los Angeles.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Looking for something to balance the classic punk?  Dee-Lite finds that "Groove Is In the Heart," with a little help from Bootsy Collins and Q-Tip.

THE EDMUND FITZGERALD:  Did a life preserver from the wreck fabled in song wash up 200 miles from the spot where it sank?

GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS did an interview and mini-set of their "sweetly rustic, warmly melancholic folk-pop" for the World Cafe, streaming on demand via NPR.

THE TOP 10 ALBUMS of 1983, according to Andrew Womack, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Morning News.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Homer Simpson - Spider Pig; Steve Earle - I Feel Alright; The Police - Next To You; Wire - 12XU; Dead Boys - Sonic Reducer; Television - See No Evil; The Replacements - Favorite Thing; Soul Asylum - Sometime To Return; Husker Du - Makes No Sense At All; The Soft Boys - I Wanna Destroy You; R.E.M. - Time After Time (Annelise); The Velvet Underground - She's My Best Friend; The Searchers - When You Walk In The Room; The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow; David Bowie - Lets Spend The Night Together; 13th Floor Elevators - She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own); Jefferson Airplane - Plastic Fantastic Lover; Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth; The Broken West - Down in the Valley; The Hold Steady - Your Little Hoodrat Friend; Whiskeytown - Dreams (Fleetwood Mac); and M.Ward - Green River (CCR).

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE:  Booker T. & the MG's - Time Is Tight; Sam & Dave - I Thank You; The Four Tops - Standing in the Shadow of Love; Otis Redding - I've Been Loving You Too Long; Smith - Baby, It's You; Gloria Jones - Tainted Love; Rufus & Carla Thomas/Rufus & Carla Thomas - When You Move You Lose; Stevie Wonder - Higher Ground; Hot Chip - Sexual Healing; The Go! Team - The Wrath of Marcie; ABBA - Dancing Queen; Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight; Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science; Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl (acoustic); Meat Loaf - Anything For Love; Brownsville Station - Smokin' in the Boys' Room; Cheap Trick - I Want You To Want Me; Led Zeppelin - Black Dog; and Hans Zimmer - Spider Pig.


LINDSAY LOHAN:  Longtime former bodyguard Tony Almeida tells InTouch magazine that neither Dina nor Michael Lohan provided any structure for Lindsay when she was growing up and that both were wild, abusive, neglectful partyers who needed to keep their "cash cow" daughter working to pay their bills.  Meanwhile, a fellow patient who just completed treatment at the Cirque Lodge in Utah claims Li-Lo's arrival and stay has been disruptive to others in the program.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are Rush Hour 3, currently scoring 27 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, the Neil Gaiman fantasy Stardust, which is scoring 73 percent (though only 54 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics) and the pseudo-sequel Daddy Day Camp, which is scoring 2 percent.

THE MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS nominees have been announced, but even Time magazine has figured out how irrelevant they are.

AMY WINEHOUSE was reportedly admitted to a London hospital due to "severe exhaustion," but London's Sun is claiming that it was in fact a "huge drug overdose."

REESE WITHERSPOON stashed JAKE GYLLENHAAL in a secret guest suite reserved just for her at the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel and later spent the night at Gyllenhaal's Hollywood Hills pad.  That should put to rest rumors that Witherspoon was on the verge of reconciling with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe.

BRADGELINA have descended upon Chicago for Jolie's next project, Wanted -- and are staying in the same hotel suite Jennifer Aniston used when she was filming The Break-Up.  Sun-Times gossip Bill Zwecker goes provincial to offer tips to Bradgelina-spotting.  It appears that Pitt was in California for the day, narrowly missing jury duty.

LEO DiCAPRIO isn't planning to campaign for any of the 2008 presidential candidates just yet: "I have yet to hear a candidate that has clearly laid out their environmental policy in a way that is inspiring to me."

ANNE HATHAWAY tells Newsweek that  "about 95 percent of my friends are gay men," as is her brother -- but ducked questions about whether that complicates her relationship with her boyfriend, who works for the Catholic Church.  NTTAWWT.

IS THE PLAYBOY MANSION A CRIME SCENE?  LAPD detectives have begun an investigation related to a report of a possible sexual assault at the Playboy Mansion in West L.A.

STEPHEN BALDWIN broke a shoulder and rib less than 3 seconds into his career as a bullrider.  Let's go to the video.

BRIDGET MOYNIHAN:  When New England Patriots QB Tom Brady gets someone pregnant, he gets them unbelievably pregnant.

CHRISTOPHER WALKEN cooks chicken upright in the oven, with carmelized pears.  I'm sure it's tasty, but couldn't it use... more cowbell?

GLOBAL WARMING:  Ironically, the same week that Newsweek decided to paint all global warming skeptics as corporate stooges and "deniers," blogger Steve McIntyre forced NASA to revise US temperature data used for climate modeling to correct a Y2K bug.  The revised data shows that 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now occur before World War II.  The Y2K bug was not easy to uncover because NASA's  James Hansen had refused to provide McKintyre with the algorithm used to generate temperature graph data.  The National Climatic Data Center, a branch of the NOAA, also tried to suppress the locations of the surface temperature monitoring stations that collect the basic temperature data -- some of which failed to meet the NCDC's  requirements, or were revealed to be in ridiculously unsuitable locations -- on hot black asphalt, next to trash burn barrels, beside heat exhaust vents, even attached to hot chimneys and above outdoor grills.  Whether or not these factors affect the overall science remains to be seen, but we should make sure we have solid data, properly functioning computer software and transparent methodology before those who question them are not-so-subtly compared to Holocaust "deniers."

IRAQ:  Newsweek gets a look inside an Iraqi "un-brainwashing" program for teen jihadis outside Camp Cropper.  Up to 2,760 non-Iraqis are locked up in Iraqi jails, among them 800 Iranians, the Iraqi delegation to an international security meeting in Damascus revealed on Wednesday.  Iraqi gov't and religious leaders charge that Saudi Arabia is doing little to stem the flow of its nationals to Iraq to wage "holy war" on Shiites. But some Saudi Arabian analysts say this is a way for Baghdad's Shiite leaders to steer attention away from Iran's involvement in Iraq.  The WaPo has a piece on the wary relations among the US military, former Sunni insurgents and the Shiite-dominated national gov't.  The top US general in northern Iraq said Wednesday he was redistributing troops and predicted any pullout from the country would take at least two years.  And the latest CNN poll shows that most Americans think that the war is winnable -- but still don't think that the US will win.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The New Republic's controverisal "Baghdad Diarist" gets covered by the Associated Press, which quotes Bob Steele, the Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values at The Poynter Institute school for journalists, and Paul McLeary, a staff writer for Columbia Journalism Review who has written about the matter, pointing out the ethical problems raised by the dubious diaries... which is slightly amusing, given that McLeary used to be more interested in attacking TNR's critics in his own writing.  It's also amusing to the extent that the AP itself used a pseudononymous police officer as a source for over 60 stories in Baghdad without even disclosing that fact to its readers (indeed, the AP has never admitted it).  Meanwhile, the conservative blog Confederate Yankee contacted one of TNR's sources and got different answers than the magazine did.

IRAQ and the MEDIA II:  The US military dropped charges on Thursday against two Marines charged in connection with the 2005 deaths of 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha.  Lt. Col. Paul Ware said murder charges brought against Sharratt were based on unreliable witness accounts, insupportable forensic evidence and questionable legal theories.  In April, murder charges were dismissed against Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz.  Time magazine, which broke the Haditha story and hyped it heavily, even calling it a "symbol of a war gone bad," has somehow neglected to inform its readers of these developments so far.  That's not surprising; in its "symbol" story, the mag predicted that "it's unlikely that even by throwing the book at the men responsible, the U.S. military will earn the goodwill of the civilian population" -- but somehow missed the Mayor begging the Marines to stay.  Of course, the remaining defendants may yet be found guilty of serious crimes, but it's a lesson about convicting our troops in the press before there has been any due process.

THE RACOON THREAT:  The furry little mask fits on this carpet thief caught on video.

A SEXUALLY SUSPECT PANDA once believed to be male gave birth to twin cubs this week in China.

A 700-LB. GRIZZLY BEAR escaped from a local zoo and is roaming Stevensville, Ontario, not far from a Lake Erie beach popular with Buffalo-area residents.

WHEN BEAVER ATTACKS:  A grandmother taking a leisurely swim in a Swedish river ended up in the hospital after a beaver attacked her with its tail, regional newspaper Nerikes Allehanda reported Wednesday.

THE RAT THREAT:  Clearly the shock troops for the squirrels, these British rodents blew up a home, killing a grandmother, by chewing through the gas pipes.

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