FIRST OF ALL, Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day, me hearties!
R.E.M. REUNION: I had the audio yesterday, but now you can see Bill Berry reunited with Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills as they are inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, playing "Begin The Begin," "Losing My Religion" (with backup from Scott McCaughey) and "Man On The Moon."
NEW RELEASES: It's a bit of a slow week. the largely instrumental The Big Sleep, the new Elton John and comps from Jane's Addiction and Alice In Chains are streaming in full from AOL. Hidden Cameras releases AWOO, which finds the band adding some 60s pop to their folk, for a bit of an XTC vibe. Bonnie "Prince" Billy" lets loose with The Letting Go. He's going to be on the Conan O'Brien show tonight, also. Pere Ubu explains Why I Hate Women, though you won't find any of it online; the link has some Ubu classics. Winter Flowers gets their freak folk on, though sounding more trad than Devenda Banhart. Free gets a Live at the BBC release. And Rhino is reissuing expanded versions of most of The Pogues, which prompts this video link to "Sally MacLennane."
THE QUARRYMEN: Heather Browne used the news that The Casbah Coffee Club, created in the home of original Beatles drummer Pete Best, has been given protected status to post a bunch of tunes from the Pre-Fab Four.
THE AIR GUITAR CHAMPIONSHIP: Pat Malone writes in London's Times about trying his axe-arm at the world championship in Finland. SPIN magazine has video of Ochi "Dainoji" Yosuke's winning performance.
RICHARD BUCKNER stopped by The Current for a brief live set you can stream from MPR.
SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Primitive music video from Joe Walsh's James Gang, playing "Walk Away." Squeezing it in before the end of summer.
MISSION OF BURMA is swept away by molten magma from Mt. Hood in the latest entry for the band's Tour Diary. But I think Roger Miller is pulling our leg. Pics at the link, too.
SUFJAN STEVENS and THE RACONTEURS: Gorilla Vs. Bear has details of their Austin City Limits TV tapings. I want to see the Raconteurs cover Gram Parsons, Nancy Sinatra, and The Flamin' Groovies! For now, we have to make do with watching The White Stripes cameo on The Simpsons
M WARD: Post-War is Stereophile's Recording of the Month. He was also featured recently at Metromix. Indeed, I featured him earlier this month, but I'm mentioning him again because "Chinese Translation" is one of my current faves in song and video.
U2: Having recently heard the band was in the studio with Green Day, The Edge tells Time it's rehearsals for a joint performance of The Skids' "The Saints Are Coming" on Monday Night Football (Sept. 25th) for the re-opening of the Superdome. And they're just gettting comfy with Rick Rubin. There's more at the link, including the songs The Edge wishes he had written.
INXS: A TV reality show, a tour and... dropped by Epic Records.
PRES. BUSH and LITTLE RICHARD: From The Daily Show. The Pres. could use a translator on occasion.
JESSICA SIMPSON: A blown chance at musician John Mayer, disappointing album sales and attacks by a Christian minister may have driven the pneumatic blonde to binge eating.
ANNA NICOLE SMITH: Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht says the model's son was on prescription anti-depression medication when he died, but agreed there was no evidence that Daniel Smith died from a "suicidal overdose." Wecht, hired to conduct a second autopsy, is awaiting toxicology tests to determine the cause of death.
MAD MEL UPDATE: The embattled actor-director came out of seclusion Saturday to walk his 26-year-old daughter Hannah down the aisle, as she married blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
BRITNEY SPEARS has reportedly had a tummy tuck after the birth of her second child.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes is reportedly having doubts about marrying Cruise. I am reportedly having doubts about that story, though it should be true.
KATE HUDSON and CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: It seems that Hudson and Owen Wilson are not trying hard to hide that they're spending a lot of time together.
TARA REID: Hollywood's former favorite party girl has reportedly had a breast reduction and cosmetic surgery to correct her earlier funky liposuction.
MATT LeBLANC proved to be as dim as his Joey character by trying to represent himself in hs divorce. He eneded up consulting with and eventually hiring a big name LA lawyer.
ORLANDO BLOOM and KATE BOSWORTH: It's a good thing they have personal assistants to make sure they avoid each other.
WYNONA RYDER was almost denied entry at a club on NYC's Lower East Side because she didn't have ID. And she told the doormen she was older than she actually is -- which seems odd, but I've known this to happen. Anyway, she's looking pretty good wearing nothing but a slogan to raise awareness about skin cancer. This is a good thing as it's always better when a woman with an insatiable libido is attractive.
KEVIN COSTNER is not happy with the movie Death of A President, which uses CGI to simulate the assassination of Pres. Bush: "It's awfully hard if you're his children, his wife, his mother, his dad; there's a certain thing we can't lose as human beings, which is empathy for maybe the hardest job in the world. Whether we think it's being performed right or not we can't, like, wish... or think that's even cute." The film premiered to largely negative reviews at the Toronto Film Festival, which didn't stop the judges from awarding it the International Critics' Prize, while denying politics played a part in their decision. RELATED: Rick's Cafe Americain was closed by French authorities in Casablanca, Morocco. Said Capt. Renault: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"
UNDERSTANDING ISLAMIC EXTREMISM: Sam Harris, the proudly liberal author of The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason, heaps scorn on Pop Benedict XVI's remarks on Islam, which have prompted rage in the Muslim world. Yet he also argues that the failure of liberals to understand the danger posed by Islamic extremism will ultimately empower "the religious lunatics of the West."
IRAQ: As-yet unsubstantiated reports have begun circulating on radical Arabic-language Internet chat forums of a possible merger of the Ansar al-Sunnah Army in Iraq and Al-Qaida's Mujahideen Shura Council. Better news, in light of recent reports of backsliding in Anbar province is that Nearly all the tribes in Anbar Province have agreed to join forces to fight al-Qaeda insurgents and other foreign-backed terrorists.
ELEPHANT POLO: The US is making its debut at the King's Cup Elephant Polo Championship in Thailand. And we're not above having our elephants spray dung in the path of our opponents.
WILD BOAR ATTACK foiled by playing opossum.
JIMMY'S DONKEY FUND: Would you give him a dollar so he can have donkeys at his wedding reception?
THE GOAT magically turned into my brother after I killed it, your honor. What? Like you've never heard of a were-goat...
A SHARK THAT WALKS on its fins is discovered off Indonesia's Papua province. Candygram...