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Lucinda Williams, Cover Songs, CYHSY, Barktoberfest   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 08, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SIMON & GARFUNKEL, like Christopher Columbus and the cast of Easy Rider, look for "America."

JOHNNY ROTTEN, on the 30th anniversary reissue of "God Save The Queen," tells London's Sun that Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl and that vinyl is still where it's at.  He concludes with a familiar saying.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS has been playing an album a night in NYC and LA.  The second set each night has featured plenty of guests, including Steve Earle, Fionn Regan, David Johansen on "Jailhouse Tears" (nsfw) and "Looking For A Kiss," David Byrne on "Buck Naked" and Willie Nile on "I Wanna Be Sedated."

COVER ME:  Heather Browne is streaming three tracks from a covers disc released by BBC Radio One -- The Foo Fighters cover "Band On The Run," Stereophonics cover "You Sexy Thing," and Kooks cover "All That She Wants."

BOB DYLAN:  NY magazine's Culture Vulture compiles his ten most incomprehensible interviews, with plenty of embedded video.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & PATTI SCIALFA are being sued by an Olympic equestrian for allegedly backing out of a contract to buy a horse worth 850K for their daughter.  It really doesn't get any more blue-collar than that.

JOY DIVISION:  Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner talk to London's Sun about their late bandmate Ian Curtis after watching the biopic Control.  It appears that director Anton Corbijn and his cast really did their homework, as this mash-up clip of "Transmission" demonstrates.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE NATIONAL:  A piece in Canada's Gazette suggests that writing songs up to their standard takes as long as it has taken the band to achieve a level of notoriety.

LOUDON WAINRIGHT III played the World Cafe on Friday, so you can stream the whole gig now via NPR.

KATE MOSS & LILY ALLEN reportedly got into a verbal catfight over Courtney Love at London's The Groucho Club.

PETE DOHERTY tried to kill himself in rehab after discovering that his ex love Kate Moss was dating a new man, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The pop tart continues her meltdown.  Her first scheduled visit with her children since being stripped of custody was a disaster, though Life & Style has the Spears spin on the same story.  She has reportedly reunited with her with estranged mom; OK! magazine claims that mama Lynne and little sister Jamie Lynn flew into L.A. to stage an intervention... but that Spears stormed out of her Malibu home afterward.  Her "friends" are worried that the court-ordered parenting counseling and drug-testing will cause an added drain to her rapidly depleting funds.  "Performers make money off touring," a source told Page Six. "And we all know she can't do that."  Ouch!

PAM ANDERSON and French Hotel sex tape co-star Rick Salomon tied the knot Saturday night in Las Vegas at the Mirage Hotel before Anderson's children and members of her family, during the break between between Anderson's two magic shows.  It is the third doomed marriage for both of them.

JENNIFER LOPEZ is knocked up.  Indeed, TMZ reports that J.Lo and Marc Anthony are expecting twins, so eventually there will be gossip about whether artificial insemination was involved.

LINDSAY LOHAN is officially checked out of the exclusive Cirque Lodge Treatment Center in Utah, according to her parents.  Li-Lo plans to start filming her tango-themed move, Dare to Love Me, in L.A. on Oct. 15. A source tells People magazine that Lohan has been insured for the film.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The Rock's Game Plan scored another upset victory with 16.2 million on a 29% drop, while The Heartbreak Kid remake opened to  a disappointing 14 mil from 3,299 theaters.  The Kingdom fell the normal 45% its second weekend in release, earning 9.3 mil and continuing to disappoint, though it may just be difficult selling war-themed movies this season.  Resident Evil 3 came in 4th place, taking in 4.3 mil.  Rounding out the Top Five, The Seeker flopped, earning a mere 3.7 mil in its debut.  Good Luck Chuck dropped 44% and two spots from last weekend, making 3.5 mil, for a total of 29.1 million.  The J-Lo produced, Reggaeton-themed drama Feel The Noise debuted with just enough over 3.4 mil to edge out 3:10 to Yuma.  The Brave One managed ninth place and 2.3 million -- a comment on the lack of competition.  Mr. Woodcock rounds out the Top Ten with 2.2 million, it has made just over 20 mill on a rumored 80 mil budget.  Overall, box office was down 26% compared to last year's.

THE DARJEELING LIMITED, I'm sad to report, disappointed me.  If The Life Aquatic found Wes Anderson & Co. treading water creatively, The Darjeeling Limited finds them as lost as the Whitman bros. are in the script, and relying on metaphors as obvious as the two I just used.  Though a number of the unfavorable reviews of this movie suggest Anderson has simply reduced the magic of earlier films like Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums to formula, the real problem for me was one of the ways in which this movie departs from the Anderson formula.  In his earlier films, Anderson has been very good (his detractors would say too good) at defining the relationships of the characters to each other early in each flick.  In The Darjeeling Limited, the relationship among the members of the Whitman family never get very well-defined, which made me care much less about their struggles.  Moreover, while Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman did well enough with the material they had, Owen Wilson seemed miscast as the most anal-retentive of the three brothers.  The movie has its moments, but they are really only moments.  Hardcore Anderson fans are going to want to see it anyway, but I don't see The Darjeeling Limited as broadening Anderson's audience.  If you do go see it, watch Hotel Chevalier online first, which makes it maddening that it's offered through iTunes (you can see it in two parts via the Tube, but shhh...).

BRADGELINA:  Jolie's estranged dad, Jon Voight, was spotted leaving The Waldorf Astoria hotel where the Jolie-Pitts are staying.

ROSIE O'DONNELL is now claiming that Barbara Walters fired her from The View.  There's also an ambiguous reference to Astroglide in the article and I have no intention of trying to figure it out.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY was... wait for it... caught canoodling in period attire with boyfriend Rupert Friend between takes on the set of The Duchess.  Photos at the link.

EWAN MacGREGOR has flown to Iraq to meet Britain's only female bomb disposal expert working in the war-torn country and to present her with a bravery award.

BE KIND REWIND director Michel Gondry talks to MTV about the movie and the arc of his career so far: "If this movie is not trashed by people, I will start to feel confident."

COLUMBUS DAY:  I get it as a holiday, so I thought a few words might be in order. Over the course of my life, I have seen the image of Columbus swing from unvarnished hero to genocidal criminal. Locales like Berkeley, CA have renamed the day "Indigenous Peoples Day. The ever-reliable Wikipedia still contains allegations of Genocide from Ward Churchill, though his bogus accounts were o­ne of the reasons he was dismissed from Colorado University. Columbus was certainly no sweetheart, but at the end of the 15th Century, it is fair to say that Europeans often did not treat each other all that well. Moreover, before the furriners showed up, Native North and South Americans engaged in slavery, tribal massacre, infanticide, scalping, human sacrifice, and the ritual skinning of slaves for their priests to wear. It was a far less civilized time all 'round. But the West is civilized today in part because of Columbus. Some four centuries-plus later, we all are still struggling to become more civilized, but focusing criticism o­n the more-civilized while giving the less civilized a pass is not particularly useful to that struggle.

IRAQ:  Powerful Shiite clerics Mudtada al-Sadr and Abdul Aziz Hakim announced a peace agreement Saturday aimed at ending frequent gun battles between their followers.  The agreement was a positive sign for the government of Prime Minister al-Maliki, as support from both is seen as necessary to avoid a vote of no confidence in Parliament.  Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army is being blamed for a bloody attack on two of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines in the southern city of Karbala in late August.  Bill Roggio looks at AQI's Ramadan assassination program as Sunni insurgent groups continue to turn on the terror group.  A militant group leader accused of sectarian violence against Sunnis in the Arab Danan region was detained on Friday.  Bill Ardolino looks at the dramatic changes in the Fallujah Police Department from January 2007 to today.  Iraq's national security adviser says a "big fat no" to any military attack on Iran.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Although Time magazine has been slow to report that it's likely that no US soldiers will face murder charges from the Haditha shootings, the NYT blames the delay in investigating the incident for a loss of evidence.  That was a factor, but the NYT doesn't mention that the witness statements were contradictory to each other and contradicted in several cases by the physical evidence in the buildings.  Nor does the NYT report on whether the witnesses were biased, or looking to collect "blood money" from the US for their loss.  Nor does the NYT report that the hearing officer, Lt. Col. Paul Ware, wrote in one report that he recommended dismissing charges because they were based not only on were based on unreliable witness accounts, but also insupportable forensic evidence and questionable legal theories.  What the NYT does report about Lt. Col Ware is that "he felt that the killings should be considered in context - that of a war zone where the enemy ruthlessly employed civilians as cover" and that "He's aggressive, and he seems to make his judgments without regard for anything but the law. He must know that people - civilians, primarily - are going to howl about this, but that doesn't seem to be a concern."  So Ware considered the events in context and judged cases by the law, rather than public outcry for a scapegoat; that's quite an indictment.  BTW, the NYT story also suggests that Haditha had looked to be the "defining atrocity" of the conflict in Iraq... as opposed to the AQI truck-bombing that killed 500 Iraqis in a single day, or the Samarrah mosque bombing that ignited sectarian violence nationwide, or any of the many, many atrocities committed by jihadis in Iraq.  Apparently, the NYT is of the position that only the US commits war atrocities.  BONUS:  Defend Our Marines has a Marine Corps intelligence summary that says the deadly encounter was an intentional propaganda ploy planned and paid for by Al Qaeda foreign fighters.

IRAQ and the MEDIA II:  Yesterday, on CNN's Reliable Sources program, Robin Wright, who covers national security for The Washington Post, and CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr tell Howie Kurtz that that the decline in Iraqi casualties need not have gotten more media attention, but that any increase in US or Iraqi casualties "by any definition, is news."  Wright argues that the casualty count is "tricky," when in fact counts from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count and Iraq Body Count show the same trend as the numbers used by Gen. Petraeus, and has no explanation for why it was easy to count casualties when they were rising, but suddenly "tricky" now that they are declining.  If you prefer, you can watch the video on the Tube.

BARKTOBERFEST:  Dogs celebrate Halloween early in Pensacola, FL.  Gallery at the link.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  The NYT covers factional fighting between red and gray squirrels in the UK.

SNAKE IN A WARDROBE:  No sign of a withch, though.

A RANDY PEACOCK sexually attacked Baronet Sir Benjamin Slade's Lexus,  incidenatlly proving the bird to be gay.  NTTAWWT.

BEETLES caught overdosing on Peruvian cocaine.  Dutch customs feeling their oats after last week's bust of Mr. Potato Head.

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Lemonheads, Otter, R. Hitchcock, Cutout Bin, Lizard Love   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, October 05, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE LEMONHEADS!  Evan Dando's songbook has always struck me as autmnal, though not all of it really is.  For example, a very young Dando released his take on Suzanne Vega's hit "Luka" in May '89.  He dissolved the band after releasing the Lovey LP, but returned with a new lineup on "It's A Shame About Ray" in July '92. Despite Johnny Depp's appearance in that video, the album lingered in the lower reaches of the charts, despite being filled with grunge-pop goodness like "Confetti."  But that November, Atlantic released the band's take on Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson," which shot to No. 19 on the UK charts and landed Dando unlikely US gigs like "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee."  The flip side of that single was the goofy "Being Around," which becomes a singalong live.  The followup LP, C'mon, Feel the Lemonheads, hit the Top 5 in the UK, but only No. 56 in the US, with the single "Into Your Arms," which would later turn up on the soundtrack to Before Sunrise and in an FTD commercial.  The other two videos from the LP, like "Ray," sport celeb cameos -- Angelina Jolie turns up in "It's About Time" and a young Chloë Sevigny can be seen in "Big Gay Heart" (which Dando makes safe-for-broadcat with a funny spoonerism).  Unfortunately, Dando would soon slide into heavy drugs and the next album, Car Button Cloth was not nearly as successful -- commercially or artistically.  An unremarkable solo album and sporadic gigs would follow, until Dando got his personal life together and revived The Lemonheads brand witha self-titled LP in 2005, from which "Black Gown" was the lead track.  BONUS:  Dando and Mudhoney's Mark Arm fromted the DKT-MC5 on a ripping version (is there any other kind) of the classic "Kick Out the Jams" of The Late Late Show.

OTTER -- a band including longtime Friend of Pate Scott Jasper -- will be playing the Octagon Center for the Arts (427 Douglas Ave in Ames) S-a-tur-day... night!  The party is BYOB, with free pop & munchies. Kids 14 and under get in free.  The show should run from 8-10:30; Doors @ 7:30.  You can stream a few songs from OtterSpace, as well as a few songs from opening band Snafu.

THE DECEMBERISTS:  Colin Meloy tells The List that he planned to do something different from the more traditional guitar quartet from the outset: "I thought the songs I was writing were straight pop songs, you see, which drew from the tradition of XTC and Robyn Hitchcock. So with just two guitars, a bass and drums I reckoned we'd be doing it a disservice, that it would be a whole lot weirder to play straight pop music with a folk band. As far as the lyrics go, they're just a channel for my weird fascinations, an opportunity to get it all out there."  (Thx, LHB.)

ROBYN HITCHCOCK:  Speaking of which, Berkeley Place has a two-parter of a July benefit concert where he did the full Sgt Pepper's album, plus a few more from the Beatles, Kinks, Hendrix and the Soft Boys.  You can stream some -- but not all -- of them via the ol' HM.

ARCADE FIRE has a big announcement Saturday, Oct 6.

PHIL SPECTOR will be retried for murder, but his current lawyers are fleeing the scene.

BARRY McGUIRE's immortal "Eve of Destruction!"  Remember those fabulous Sixties?

SUZANNE VEGA stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

1977:  The new issue of SPIN is devoted to "The Year Punk Exploded," with interviews of Johnny Rotten, The Clash's Mick Jones, and more.  Slacker internet radio currently has a SPIN Punk station set up in its "Spotlight" folder.  RELATED: London's Telegraph has an in-depth piece on Malcolm McLaren, who managed the Sex Pistols (and later Bow Wow Wow), then reinvented himself as a pioneer of scratch and hip-hop.  ALSO:  Johnny Rotten says bass player Glen Matlock has insisted the Pistols not swear during their upcoming reunion tour, because his son will be at some of the concerts.  Oh, that's likely.  EVEN STRANGER:  Pre-Schoolers interview Blondie's Deborah Harry; don't miss the kid who goes all Iggy Pop with the peanut butter!

3x3: From NYC, you can see performances from TV on the Radio, the Hold Steady, and the Rapture via AOL.

RICHARD HAWLEY talks songwriting and Sheffield with Allmusic. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are:  NFL Films (John Facenda) - The Autumn Wind; The Apples in Stereo - Signal in the Sky (Let's Go);  Katrina & The Waves - Walking On Sunshine; R.E.M. - Radio Free Europe (Original Hib-Tone Single Version); Pixies - Here Comes Your Man; The Bongos - In The Congo; The Plimsouls - A Million Miles Away; Dramarama - Anything, Anything; Redd Kross - Mess Around; Pavement - Cut Your Hair; Vanity Fare - Hitchin' A Ride; The Replacements - Little Mascara; The Rolling Stones - Mother's Little Helper; Question Mark and The Mysterians - 96 Tears; CCR - I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins); 10,000 Maniacs - Because the Night (B. Springsteen/P. Smith); Manfred Mann - Blinded by the Light (B. Springsteen); Van Halen - You Really Got Me (The Kinks); Slade - C*m On Feel The Noize; The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Fire; Ike & Tina Turner - Whole Lotta Love (Zeppelin); Joe Cocker - The Letter (live); KT Tunstall - I Want You Back (Jackson 5); Smashing Pumpkins - 1979; and Joe Jackson - Got The Time.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The court's latest order may give Fed-Ex custody of their kids for at least three weeks, with supervised visitation, the pop tart looked like she was in a really good mood checking into the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.  The Spears camp is also denying that she is going back into rehab.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are Ben Stiller's remake of The Heartbreak Kid, currently scoring 44 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; The Seeker, which is scoring 25 percent; The expansion of The Jane Austen Book Club, scoring 73 percent; and the Reggaeton drama Feel the Noise, which has not been screened much for critics.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  The paparazzi at X17 claim she's out of rehab, while other reports claim she has no immediate intentions of leaving Cirque Lodge and may be considering college while Hollywood frets over her insurability.

JENNIFER ANISTON is the No. 1 covergirl, according to a Forbes.com ranking of the top-selling faces on celebrity magazines.  At the bottom of the list?  Britney Spears and the French Hotel.  Heh.

BRADGELINA:  Photos of Jolie in a midriff-baring tank top would have ruined InTouch Weekly's plans for this week's cover: "Is Angelina Jolie pregnant?"  So the glossy bought exclusive rights to the shots to prevent other mags from running them.  Now that's journalism!  A shame, too -- those pics would have gone well with the ever-reliable National Enquirer tale of a boozed-up Jolie collapsing into Pitt's arms.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN:  More excerpts from Sheen's e-mail to Richards over the course of their custody dispute, with Sheen telling his ex, "Go cry to your bald mom, you (bleeping) loser" -- a reference to the fact that her mother was undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer.

JESSICA BIEL has joined JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE in Toronto, where he is shooting a role in The Love Guru, with Mike Myers and Jessica Alba.  Yet it is Myers who is playing the guru. Go figure.  (There's actually a better punchline at the link.)

NATALIE PORTMAN addressed a packed auditorium at Stanford on fighting poverty worldwide through microfinance.

KIM & KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN, who will star in E!'s  series Keeping Up With the Kardashians this fall, are letting it be known that a criminal investigation is being launched over sexually explicit pictures of them taken while they were underage.

INDIANA JONES has recovered computers and photographs taken from the set of his latest movie.  They were then crated up and stored in a ginormous warehouse.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES caused an international flap after Teri Hatcher's character joked about the quality of medical school in the Philippines.  Let's go to the video.

WALL-E:  Pixar's next movie, to be released in June 2008, has a new trailer online this week.  Director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) says, "It occurred to me that I'm basically making R2-D2, The Movie," and gave some general plot points to the crowd at Comic-Con.

MR. POTATO HEAD had enough ecstasy in him for an entire rave.  The ginormous grin gave him away to Aussie customs cops.

AYAAN HIRSI ALI, an outspoken Dutch critic of Islam who moved to the US to escape death threats in the Netherlands, has returned there to fight a Dutch government plan to cut off financing for her bodyguards.

IRAQ:  The Iraqi government has thwarted investigations into corruption at the top levels of Prime Minister al-Maliki's administration, including probes of his relatives, while nearly four dozen anti-corruption employees or their family members have been brutally murdered, according to the former top Iraqi corruption investigator.  A member of Iraq's parliament is in US custody and being questioned after an Iraqi special forces raid on a suspected AQI meeting; he's a member of the main Sunni Arab bloc, which pulled out of al-Maliki's fractured Shia-led coalition government last month.  Sheikh Muawiya Jebara, a senior member of the Salahuddin Awakening Council, was killed in a roadside bomb attack north of Baghdad.  The US military says that American and Iraqi forces have arrested an alleged financier for AQ who had received 100 million  dollars from donors outside Iraq to fund insurgent operations.  Hamas in Iraq has publicly accused AQI of fanatacism, torture and murder of Iraqis, adding that AQ "has actually made people here think that the occupation forces are merciful and humane by comparison."

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  A Marine Corps official has recommended that murder charges be dismissed against Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the Camp Pendleton squad leader accused in the deaths of 17 civilians killed in the Iraqi city of Haditha two years ago.  Lt. Col. Paul Ware recommends that Wuretich be tried for the lesser offense of negligent homicide.  It is now likely that no one involved in the Haditha case will face murder charges.  Time magazine made the shootings a cover story and wrote many pieces on it, calling the incident a "symbol of a war gone bad," not to mention claiming that the soldiers involved seemingly killed 24 civilians "in cold blood."  However, if you search Time's website, you will find that Time did no report when charges were dropped against Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt and Capt. Randy Stone.  And it did no report when Lt. Col. Ware recommended dismissing charges agaisnt Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum.  And as I write this, there is noy mention of the recommendation to dismiss murder charges as to Wuretich at Time's site -- though by the time you read this there may be an AP story that will vanish in a few days.  So it may turn out that, while tragic, Haditha will not turn out to be Iraq's version of the my Lai massacre.  Just don't expect to find that out from the magazine that broke the story.

THE WORLDS MOST SPOILT BlTCH is a tiny chihuahua... but she doesn't belong to the French Hotel.

LIZARD LOVE TRIANGLES:  A three-way sex struggle resembling the game rock-paper-scissors may have existed for 175 million years or more in lizards, research now suggests.  Cue New Order.

ORANGUNTAN PREFERS BLONDES, even more so with tattoos.

THE RUSSIAN BEAR threatens our cranberry supply.

A$$ CHEWING STARTS FIGHT:  I'm not going to top that headline.

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Richard Hawley, Radiohead, Sharon Jones, Giant Spider   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, October 04, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


RICHARD HAWLEY:  "Imagine a song recorded by Morrissey, written by The Everly Brothers and produced by Roy Orbison, and that should provide some idea of what to expect from 'Tonight the Streets Are Ours,'" writes Chantal de la Rionda, who makes it NPR's Song of the Day.  But why stop there when you can stream the entire Lady's Bridge album this week via Spinner?  Be warned, however, that the not-so-serious new video for "Serious" contains a brief glimpse of mannequin nudity.

RADIOHEAD: The band's website crashed under the weight of traffic pre-ordering the new release, In Rainbows, at any price they wanted.  At The Atlantic, blogger Megan McArdle (whose work I have enjoyed since she was Jane Galt) surveyes reax from economics bloggers to the band literally charging what the market will bear.

MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO.:  Jason Molina corresponds with the Boston Globe, setting up a discusssion of the importance of the album or box set in the Internet era.

NICK DRAKE's sister Gabrielle talks about the late singer-songwriter, their family, the posthumous Family Tree album and more with the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS maestro A.C. Newman talks to the Vancouver Sun about some of the songs on the Challengers LP, and about the importance of making your own kind of music: "I think the minute we start chasing any kind of success, we would just be screwed."  He also talked to Georgia's Straight about pop as art and much more.

SHARON JONES sounds a little miffed that it took Amy Winehouse for folks to notice the Dap-Kings.  Ms. Jones smoked through "Keep On Lookin" at the release party for the new album -- 100 Days, 100 Nights -- which you can stream in full this week via Spinner.  (Thanks, Brooklyn Vegan.)

SIOUXSIE SIOUX got a World Cafe audio feature marking her solo debut you can stream on demand via NPR.

AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES:  Reason magazine's Brian Doherty asks, "Can punk rock and alternative comics make peace with entrepreneurial capitalism?"

AKRON/FAMILY:  The genre-spanning band did an audio and video session for the Basement Tapes series recorded in Spring Grove, IL.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS singer Romeo Stodart tells Harp magazine, "We're not just a happy-go-lucky band into West Coast '60s pop" -- apoint underscored by his choice of favorite love songs.

PETE DOHERTY is engaged to Canadian-born model Irina Lazareanu?  I would have a lot more trust in that story if it had not identified the troubled singer as the "former drummer for the Babyshambles."

BRITNEY SPEARS was "optimistic" she would get her kids back Wednesday when she planned to tell the court she missed her mandatory drug test because of a scheduling snafu.  The pop tart was also issued an interim CA driver's license Tuesday -- a requirement of the court.  But Fed-Ex will retain custody of the children and Britney will get monitored visitation.  Her biggest defender, her assistant Alli Sims, packed her bags and abruptly moved out of Brit's Malibu home this morning - and possibly out of her life.  Her aunt last night admitted her family fear they will "turn on the TV and find out she is dead."  OK! magazine claims Spears may re-enter rehab in an attempt to earn back custody of her children.  But at least her single hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

EX-EAGLE DON FELDER's sex-and-drugs-drenched memoir was killed by publisher Hyperion after his ex-bandmates cried foul last month, but Orion Publishing Group plans to bring it out next month in the UK, which means the good parts would turn up on the Internet shortly thereafter.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but her fmr lawyer and companion, Howard K. Stern, filed a 60-million-dollar libel lawsuit Tuesday against Rita Cosby and her publisher over a book she wrote that claims Stern and Smith's ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, had a sexual encounter.

NICOLAS CAGE woke up Tuesday and found a guy wandering inside his digs and wearing his coat.

BEYONCE KNOWLES is dropping a concert in Kuala Lumpur rather than tone down her act.  She will instead perform in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on November 1. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN:  Roger Friedman has more from their increasingly nasty child custody dispute, including allegations that Sheen refuses to let the girls have common vaccinations because he thinks they will be harmed.  And Sheen calls Richards a "sad, jobless pig" in e-mail.

MARILYN MANSON got to meet gf Evan Rachel Wood's parents, and the talk around the dinner table was as strange as you might expect.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt talks to Parade magazine  about faith, family and fighting for the the founding principles of America.

TV's BIGGEST EARNERS made a collective 723 million dollars from June 2006 to June 2007, according to the Forbes TV 20.

ECO-TRENDY HOLLYWOOD remains one of the biggest polluters in southern California, with many of its eco-friendly gestures simply showy stunts that make little difference.  To his credit, longtime green actor Ed Begley Jr joins in the indictment: "If you're going to drive around in a big ol' Hummer and then buy carbon offsets to mitigate that, that's like getting drunk on the weekends and throwing some money through the window of an AA meeting and thinking you're doing something."

THE DARJEELING LIMITED:  Wes Anderson's latest movie opens outside NYC and LA tomorrow, so I'm gearing up with some behind-the-scenes videos, including walking tours of the train's exterior and interior.  Jason Schwartzman, who co-wrote the screenplay as well as co-starring with Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody, was interviewed by NPR.  The NYT has posted video of a scene with mixable commentary from Anderson.  At Slate, Jonah Winer -- who makes it clear he's no fan on a number of levels -- argues that The Darjeeling Limited evidences the unbearable whiteness of Wes Anderson.  It strikes me that Winer overstates his case, particularly in misreading The Royal Tenenbaums.

PAKISTAN:  As a widening political crisis distracts Pres. Musharraf, Pakistan's army appears to be folding in the face of a mushrooming Taliban insurgency sweeping down from the Afghan border, diplomats and Western military officials say.

IRAN:  A groundswell of opposition to Iran is pushing US states to divest their pension funds from companies that do business in Iran, and behind-the-scenes political efforts by the Bush Admin. are paying off with increased European support of government sanctions.  In London's Telegraph, Simon Heffer writes that two (unnamed) American security experts contend that a US strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is not a question of if but when, regardless of whether it is done by Pres. Bush or his successor -- Democrat or Republican.

IRAQ:  Pres. Talabani spent about an hour in the Oval Office with Pres. Bush, discussing the importance for Iraq to move forward on national reconciliation.  The US military sees the Mahdi Army's current cease-fire as a possible opening; Army Lt. Gen. Odierno, the day-to-day military commander in Iraq, says that Coalition officials have met with Shiite sheikhs and tribal leaders in Sadr City.  He also outlined how ops may change throughout Iraq when the "surge" troops are drawn down next year.  Bartle Bull argues that reconciliation, which will never be complete, is happening -- even with Moqtada al-Sadr.

IRAQ II:  The US military discovered a list of some 500 al Qaeda terrorists recruited to fight in Iraq when a senior AQI member, called Muthanna, was killed in a September 11 raid.  A number of insurgent groups have formed a new coalition under Saddam's ex-No. 2, according to the Al-Arabiya news channel.  During the last two weeks of September, 205 terrorists were killed and arrested, while 77 displaced families returned to their homes in Baghdad, said an Iraqi military official.  Embedded blogger Bill Ardolino reports on the former Republican Guard Commando and insurgent who has become Fallujah's police chief.

A GIANT BOURGEOIS SPIDER took up residence on the banks of the River Thames on Wednesday.

CHICO the CAT has written an authorized biography of Pope Benedict XVI.

DAISY the DOG tried to dig up a bone... a two million years old fossilized bone from a wooly mammoth.  Pic at the link.

A LUNGING ROTTWEILER dodges a hailstorm of police bullets in New Zealand.

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE:  A prize-winning fisherman has asked for his remains to be used as bait when he dies.

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Paul Westerberg, REM Tribute, Springsteen, Rat Island   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 03, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


PAUL WESTERBERG performed a new song, "Everyone's Stupid" and previously unreleased late-Replacements song, "Make The Best of Me," at that event for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame noted here earlier.  (via Heather Browne.)  Meanwhile, Captain's Dead seems to have posted all of the audio from the event; you can jukebox it via the ol' HM.

THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME:  Speaking of which, the 2008 nominees were announced the other day... and metalheads are displeased.  Gotta say it's not a banner year for the noms.

AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE:  Stereogum celebrates the 15th anniversary of the REM classic with a freely-downloadable tribute album, Drive XV.  Artists contributing tracks include the Meat Puppets, Wrens, Rogue Wave, Shout Out Louds, Dr. Dog, and more...

JOSE GONZALEZ:  The Swedish singer-songwriter most know from Sony's "bouncing balls" ad, played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.

HAS FREE MUSIC become a listener's birthright?  The Seattle Times looks at Internet leaks from the perspectives of indie lables, bands and fans.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN:  Spinner has a behind-the-scenes video from the band's tour practice sessions at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ.

LED ZEPPELIN will not tour after the Ahmet Ertegun tribute show at London's O2 Arena on November 26, according to Robert Plant, who is increasingly looking like one of those shrunken heads kids used to make out of apples.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE:  the canadian musical collective's next project is a book.

JOE HENRY does an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream from NPR.  Turns out he and his wife are living in a house built for the widow of assassinated Pres. Garfield.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer has tested negative for drugs for six weeks.  That is news!  Meanwhile, Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan says that Doherty and the supposedly sober supermodel "were one of those couples that would argue loads but when they got back together they would have mind-blowing sex."

BRITNEY SPEARS:  All that has been missing from her continuing train wreck was a sex tape, and the ever-reliable InTouch Weekly claims there is one -- though it may never be seen because the dude was so disappointed by his own performance.  There are two stories explaining how the pop tart lost custody of her two sons to Fed-Ex.  Her lawyer claims she temporarily lost custody because she couldn't provide a California driver's license and was accused of not taking a random drug and alcohol test.  OTOH, TMZ claims it was because she totally ignored L.A. County Commissioner Scott Gordon's orders to meet with a drug counselor, submit to drug testing, enroll in parenting classes and to sign the order.  Plus, both parents were barred from driving the children unless they could show a valid CA driver's license... which Spears still lacks. The pop tart has checked into the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, where a member of hotel security was knocked out -- allegedly by a trespassing paparazzo. That Other Blog has some seedy backstory related to the latter incident.

PAM ANDERSON:  There's speculation in OK! magazine that her and Rick Salomon's bizarre almost-wedding in Vegas may be due to pregnancy.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Gibson may not have fallen off the wagon, but he often looks like it.

BRADGELINA:  Actress Bai Ling claims that she and Jolie shared a "special attraction" while filming  Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Jolie's documentary A Place in Time.

JENNY McCARTHY tells Extra TV that she couldn't have asked for God to bring her anyone better than Jim Carrey.  And was abruptly struck by lightning.

EVA LONGORIA has an interesting response to the rumored sex tape floating around the Internet.  I give it an "E" for effort.

LINDSAY LOHAN not only tested positive for cocaine recently, but is also combining prescription drugs to get high and has arranged for people to sneak vodka to her in water bottles while she's attending AA meetings in the Cirque Lodge rehab facility...when she's not sneaking out to see a new boyfriend.  All of that according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY & JAMES McAVOY apologized to each other after shooting their love scene for Atonement.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG said on The View that she might like a threesome with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband... while Pelosi was a guest on the show.

SYLVESTER STALLONE says he and his Rambo sequel movie crew recently witnessed the human toll of unspeakable atrocities while filming along the Burmese border: "This is a hellhole beyond your wildest dreams..."  About 4000 monks have been rounded up in the past week as the military government has tried to stamp out pro-democracy protests.  They will be sent to prisons in the far north of the country, sources have told the BBC.

SEAN PENN defended Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez's shutdown of RCTV while talking to David Letterman, claiming the station called for the assassination of Chavez "every day."  Groups like Reporters Without BordersHuman Rights Watch and The Carter Center disagree, but maybe Penn thinks they are all part of the vast, right-wing conspiracy.

"TERRORIST 007":  Buried in FBI Dir. Mueller's remarks to the CFR is the story of a 22-year-old student allegedly at the center of three different terror cases, spanning at least seven countries.

PAKISTAN: Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday positioned his former spy chief to take over Pakistan's army if he steps down following presidential elections this Saturday.  The Leavenworth-educated Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Kiani is widely considered to be moderate and pro-Western.

IRAQ:  The ruling Shiites are opposing arming "Awakening" councils and the integration of militant Sunnis into the national police force.  But if you doubt the action is shifting toward the provinces, follow the moneyIraqi interior ministry commandos said they captured the local head of AQI operating in northern Babil province's "Triangle of Death."  Soldiers from the 2nd Iraqi Army Division, with US Special Forces as advisers, detained 23 suspected AQI terrorists during an intelligence-driven raid in Sharkat.

IOWA's STATE FAIR may drop KGGO's erotic corn dog-eating contest.  It's the end of an era.

BEER ME, FLASH:  Life imitates commercials.

RAT ISLAND:  Two centuries after rats first landed on a remote Aleutian island from a shipwreck, wildlife managers in Alaska are plotting how to evict the non-native rodent from the island that bears their name.

ANOTHER GRIM REAPER DOG:  Libby, A 14-year-old therapy poodle, won't pass the threshold of those about to die.

A CRIPPLED COW MOOSE nursing its calf in west Anchorage, Alaska, is showing such a knack for survival that state biologists have so far avoided the normal course of putting her down.

SURPRISED DUCK HUNTER bags a 25-lb alligator in Farmington, Wisconsin.  Hence the surprised part.

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New Releases, Okkervil River, Caribou, Trouser Snake   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 02, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FLAGRANT FOWL has an upcoming folk/indie remix project titled Tambourine Dream; the promo video includes tracks from Iron & Wine, Nico, Panda Bear and Bruce Springsteen.

NEW RELEASES:  Richard Hawley, PJ Harvey, The New Amsterdams, The Most Serene Republic, The Mobius Band, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty and more are streaming in full from Spinner.  The Sadies' new LP -- "inspired amalgam of psychedelic country rock, surf, bluegrass and Ennio Morricone-inspired instrumentalsis" -- is streaming in full from YepRoc.  And the debut album from The Pipettes is still streaming at their site.

RADIOHEAD says you can pay as much or as little as you like for the band's new album, which will be available for download from the band's website on October 10.  RELATED:  It looks like The Charlatans (UK) are also giving it away.  But probably kicking themselves that they announced it the same day as Radiohead.

OKKERVIL RIVER played the Rock and Roll Hotel Sunday night, you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.

SHIVAREE is recording an album of covers from troubled artists like Gary Glitter, R. Kelly, Phil Spector, Michael Jackson, Ike Turner and Rick James.  The title: "Tainted Love: Mating Calls & Fight Songs."

CARIBOU has followed the example of John Vanderslice, purveying Snaith's Syd Barrett-meets-The Zombies pop on a tour of blog love.  You can catch a live video of "Melody Day" at the 'Gum, "She's The One" on the P-Fork, "Eli" on Daytrotter, and "After Hours" (not the VU tune) at GvsB.  And that's your Twofer Tuesday...times two.

THE FLAMING LIPS:  Wayne Coyne talks about the band's wacky live shows with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to promote the band's first live DVD: "There's probably 1,000 clips of us on YouTube, so people are already seeing elements of the show. But this is how Flaming Lips is presenting itself to the world."

STEVE EARLE:  The hard-core troubadour talks to Canada's Globe & Mail about his move to NYC.

IRON & WINE:  Sam Beam talks to Pitchfork about the recording of his new album, The Shepherd's Dog,

BETTYE LaVETTE talks to Stylus about her influences growing up, recording with the Drive-By Truckers, the current state of R&B and more.

THE TOP 10 WAYS TO MAKE BETTER RECORDS, also courtesy of Stylus.

BRITNEY SPEARS lost custody of her two sons until further order of the court in her custody battle with Fed-Ex.  Then she went to the tanning salon.  It seems that that K-Fed's lawyer went to LA Superior Court Monday morning to allege that the pop tart was driving without a license over the weekend while her children were in the car.  Spears is also rejecting advice from virtually her entire management team, including her mother, doing everything she can to make sure she's photographed almost daily by the paparazzi.  And why not?  It's working for her so far...

JENNIFER ANISTON... and Orlando Bloom?  Spent the weekend together at a resort in Mexico?

KEITH URBAN had a motorcycle accident on the way to an AA meeting, and blames the paparazzi for following him too closely.

LINDSAY LOHAN will spend five days at a secluded lodge in the Utah mountains with her ex-con father Michael.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was grilled by David Letterman about her stint in the LA County jail.

EVA LONGORIA:  The sex tape rumored to be circulating the Internet is smelling kinda fishy, though some are still claiming the tape really exists.

JESSICA SIMPSON was reprotedly snubbed by Reba McEntire when it came time to line up guests for her new, No. 1 album of duets.

DENISE RICHARDS may have snubbed Volvo, though her rep says otherwise.  Sources attributed the no-show to stress over her continuing nasty divorce with Charlie Sheen.

ROSE McGOWAN is rumored to be taking on the title role in the remake of Barbarella, as directed by bf/maybe-fiancee Robert Rodriguez.

INDIANA JONES IV is rumored to be shooting on an intriguing and familiar set.  Possible spoiler at the link.

JESSICA BIEL, sadly, appears to have passed on playing Wonder Woman in a live-action adaptation of Justice League of America.

UKRAINE:  The early parliamentary election results look good for the BYUT party of Yuliya Tymoshenko, who not only advocates closer relations with the West, but also -- as I noted here almost three years ago -- bears a striking resemblance to Princess Leia.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  The kingdom's leading religious authority on Monday warned young men against travelling abroad to wage jihad.

IRAQ:  Civilian deaths from violence across Iraq fell by 50 percent in September from the previous month to the lowest level recorded this year, according to data provided by the Health, Interior and Defense Ministries; that's in line with the casualty count from iCasualties, and substantally lower than the casualty count from last September.  Coalition offensives in southern Baghdad, spurred by Iraqi intelligence, have reduced AQI-inspired violence there by about 60 percent.  The current mission is focused on the southeastern part of the Doura neighborhood, a remaining bastion for AQI.  Violence has dropped dramatically in towns in northern Babil Province, south of Baghdad, where the US has enlisted Shiites frustrated with extremists from such groups as the Mahdi Army, run by Moqtada al-Sadr.  If the effort continues to be successful, it could counter false perceptions that the US is arming Sunnis against the Shiite government.  US troops killed seven terrorists and detained 11 suspects Sunday and Monday during operations to disrupt Al-Qaeda in Iraq leadership in central and northern Iraq.  Blogger Michael J. Totten goes on a humanitarian mission in Anbar; such are becoming more common now that the security situation has improved.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The saga of The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist" continues.  Col. Ricky Gibbs stated in a conference call that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp "did not recant," but that "he does not stand by the story."  "Laughing Wolf," a milblogger at the Blackfive blog, reports that he met Beauchamp and that he is not being held incommunicado.  And, according to Blackfive, there is more to come on the story.

ROXI & ALEX are playpals... but which is more agile?

TWO TIGER CUBS suffered injuries at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo.  Aneighboring amle tiger -- and the cubs' mother -- are suspects.  Both baby tigers are said to be recovering well from surgeries.

A BIRD CRASH caused an aircraft to turn back just after take off when it cracked the windshield and injured the co-pilot.

THINK LIKE A CAT:  A Certified Animal Behavior Consultant explains why cats always seem to end up in the lap of the  visitor who's allergic or doesn't like cats.

TROUSER SNAKE Kills Cambodian Man.  I'm not even going to try to top that headline.

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