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Led Zep Reunion, NPs, Sonic Youth, VHS or Beta, Pitbull & Chicks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


LILY ALLEN reunited The Specials' Terry Hall and Lynval Golding (for the first time in over 20 years) for a cover of that band's ska-licious "Gangsters."

LED ZEPPELIN REUNION?  Rumors are swirling that Page, Plant and Jones, with Jason Bonham, may do a full tour following a tribute show to the late Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS:  A.C. Newman has track-by-track commentary on the band's upcoming Challengers album.  *Sixeyes is streaming tracks from artists mentioned as inspiration by Newman, including The Move, Harry Nilsson and Paul McCartney.

PAUL McCARTNEY, btw, continues the press campaign for Memory Almost Full, giving pretty good interview to both PopMatters (mostly about songwriting) and Stereogum (mostly about this whole Intarweb thingy and recording).

THE SPINTO BAND visited Daytrotter for the interview and free songs combo, including a hip-hopped-up version of their staple, "Oh, Mandy."

SONIC YOUTH in CHINA:  SplitWorks has posted a mini-documentary on the band's first trip to the PRC.

MORRISSEY answers another round of good questions from fans at the True To You fanzine, including bits on The Smiths' first US tour, reuniting the New York Dolls, songwriting and more...

VHS OR BETA are streaming two new tracks with an 80s vibe from the upcoming Bring On The Comets album, due August 28th.

NEIL YOUNG:  The first volume of his long-awaited Archives series is going to be a little more long-awaited.

WILCO shows their love for the Nintendo Wii on their latest tour t-shirt.

CRAZY TRAIN!  A Swedish heavy metal fan has had his musical preferences officially classified as a disability. The results of a psychological analysis enable the metal lover to supplement his income with state benefits.  It's your one-way ticket...  All Aboard!

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Before the heirhead was released from Lynwood Tuesday morning amid a media frenzy (ET has the scary video), her lawyer slipped TMZ's Harvey Levin a personalized sketch and note from the heirhead herself.  The "changed" celebutante spent her first free morning getting full-length hair extensions.  That last bit is from US Weekly, which is blacking out coverage of Ms. Jailbird in print this week.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  When it was rumored that the pop tart would join the Cyndi Lauper-led True Colors tour, I joked that we hadn't heard about it from Rosie O'Donnell.  Now we have.

MADONNA has paid $12 million for her sixth house in London.  The 10-bedroom townhouse sits next door to the family's eight-bedroom home in the Marylebone area of the British capital.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Mom Dina confirms Li-Lo is doing the extended care plan at the Promises rehab clinic.  Good for her.  Meanwhile, Mom and Dad have been ordered to undergo family therapy by a New York judge.

TIGER WOODS posted pics of his baby daughter on his website, instead of selling them to some magazine.  Good for him.

JOHN TRAVOLTA:  Gossip sites are having some fun with his bad hairpiece.

WWE STAR CHRIS BENOIT reportedly strangled his wife on Saturday, smothered his son in his bed on Sunday, and hanged himself on Monday.  He apparently had a history of domestic violence.  Speculation that steroid use was a cause is hotly denied by WWE.

ELLEN BARKIN and RALPH FINNES were caught canoodling (and then some) at the Mercer Hotel in NYC.  Page Six reminds us that Fiennes was warned to take an HIV test after he had unprotected sex with a Qantas stewardess on a flight to India.

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA leapt to the defense of 24's uber-agent Jack Bauer at a recent international conference of top judges and homeland security officials in Ottawa debating the use of torture against alleged terrorists.  What I found funny was that the New York Daily News seemed surprised he was a fan of the show.

IRON MAN:  Entertainment Weekly has your first cast photo from Jon Favreau's adaptation of the classic comic book.

INDIANA JONES IV:  There is a Quicktime video from the first day of shooting on the movie not officially titled Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods.

IRAN:  Three senior figures of the regime have been killed in two months, almost entirely unreported by the English-language media.  Iranians are protesting over getting only two hours' notice of gasoline rationing that limits private drivers to 100 liters of fuel a month.

IRAQ:  Dr. David Kilcullen, Senior Counterinsurgency Adviser to Gen. Petraeus, has a post on "Understanding Current Operations in Iraq" that lays out the intention and concept behind these ops, so that you can judge for yourself whether the "surge" is working.  An Iraqi tribal leader was assassinated in Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi police said, a day after a suicide bomber killed six Sunni Arab tribal leaders opposed to al Qaeda.  Hamid Abid Al-Shijera from Wasit province was believed to be a Shiite.  At least five people were killed when Shiite militiamen ambushed an Iraqi army patrol in the central city of Diwaniyah.  Baghdad finalized negotiations with the Kurdistan Regional Government on the revenue distribution arrangements for the hydrocarbons law last week, overcoming one of the hurdles blocking the legislation's smooth passage.  More than a third of Iraq's national police battalion commanders are now Sunni after a purge of Shiites who had a sectarian bias, according to a US general.  Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has issued a report on Iraqi Insurgent Media operations.

PITBULLS get all the chicks.  Here they are sleeping together.  And two months later, Sharkey still hasn't eaten them.

THE LION WHISPERER:  Animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson is profiled by the Daily Mail.  Plenty of good pics the paper can recycle when he becomes the Lion Entree.

TIGERS straying into villages around Bangladesh's Sundarbans mangrove forests have killed three people and some 50 cattle over the last 15 days, according to forest officials.  This is what I'm talking about.

COYOTE chases a woman mowing her lawn in Orrington, Maine.  Local police were baffled; I'm guessing it was an Acme lawnmower.

SPIDERS, SQUID and LOBSTERS might get the same protection under British law enjoyed by dogs, cats and horses if they are kept in captivity.

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Rufus, New Releases, Booker T. & the MGs, Mike Watt, Hare Threat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BONNARUFUS!  The White Stripes, Lily Allen and Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne were among those interviewed by Rufus from Pancake Mountain at the Bonnaroo festival.  Part One includes Coyne and Northern State's Hesta Prynn singing karaoke with Rufus (only slightly less fabulous than the classic Coyne-Rufus karaoke).  The Stripes are in both parts, but in Part Two, they teach Rufus "John the Revelator."  PLUS:  Jack White gives a more conventional interview to Pitchfork.

NEW RELEASES:  Kinda slow week, sad to say.  Ryan Adams is probably the premium platter.  Bad Brains, Beastie Boys, Scissors For Lefty and Bryan Ferry's Dylan covers are among those streaming from Spinner.  Frank Black has a "Best Of" compilation, with a new track or two.  And there's the new Nick Lowe LP I mentioned yesterday.

ROBERT POLLARD:  Somehow, I missed that Luna Music has put out Crickets: The Best of The Fading Captain Series as a 56-track double-disc.  Probably worth it just for the anthemic GbV live staple, "Alone, Stinking and Unafraid."

BOOKER T. and the M.G.'s:  1971's Melting Pot, which ranges from agitated funk to humid swamp-rock to revival-tent gospel and molasses-slow blues, is the current "Shadow Classic" at NPR, where you can stream three tracks.

THE NATIONAL:  The Boston Globe reports on the band's (not-so) sudden success, while guitarist Bryce Dessner disclosed six secrets to that success to the San Francisco Chronicle.

MIKE WATT + the MISSINGMEN cover "Three Girl Rhumba" and "Ex-Lion Tamer" from Wire's classic Pink Flag LP for Twofer Tuesday.

VINYL:  Don't call it a comeback, but those round, black objects that sound better than MP3s continue a resurgence in indie circles.

THE LONG WINTERS:  John Roderick does the Daytrotter interview, along with the usual free songs to stream and download.

THE 100 WORST COVER SONGS, according to Retrocrush, with a fair amount of embedded video.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel and the troubled singer play Cleopatra and Brando in their first joint ad campaign.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Barbara Walters says doing a post-jail interview with the heirhead would be "tawdry" and beneath her.  Yet when her network was still bidding for that interview, Walters was publicly floating the idea of having the celebutante co-host The View.  BONUS:  Her appearance on Larry King Live is bumping Michael Moore off the show Wednesday night.

ROSIE O'DONNELL confirms that it's unlikely that she will get The Price Is Right gig she coveted.  Don't be shocked if she resurfaces on MSNBC, where she could better showcase her special brand of crazy.

EVA LONGORIA and TONY PARKER are selling their wedding photos to OK! magazine for more than two million bucks.

NICOLE KIDMAN is the new face of... wait for it... Nintendo?

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE reportedly threw things and spat at his fans from a hotel balcony in Sweden.  At least no babies were dangled.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise is launching a PR campaign for the rebirth of United Artists as a slap at Sumner Redstone, who nixed Cruise's renewal at Paramount.  However, UA's second pic, in which Cruise will play Claus von Stauffenberg -- a leading figure in a failed 1944 assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler -- is "bound to be rubbish," according to the Stauffenberg family.  Indeed, Germany has barred the fimmakers from using German military sites because Cruise is a Scientologist.

TMZ, oft linked here, is the subject of a New York Times piece on the site's financial success and growing clout in Tinseltown.

A MIGHTY HEART:  Asra Q. Nomani, one of Daniel Pearl's colleagues at The Wall Street Journal, is not thrilled at the amount of license taken by the movie: "Danny had a cameo in his own murder."

INDIANA JONES has put his hat on again, incymi.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE: /film has the first photo from the Spike Jonze adaptation of the Maurice Sendak classic. 

WITHOUT BREASTS, THERE IS NO PARADISE:  That's the name of the successful Colombian telenovela NBC is developing as a likely primetime project.

JOHNNY DEPP clearly was not expecting a kiddie pirate musical to break out on Japanese TV.

ROBOTS:  Doing the jobs migrant farm workers just won't do.

AUSTRALIA'S NEW TOP MUSLIM CLERIC declares his support for Hezbollah.  He had already  refused to accept Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

TERROR in the GAZA STRIP:  Palestinian intelligence chief Tawfiq al-Tirawi says Iran played a big role in the seizure of the Gaza Strip.  Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims worldwide to back Hamas with weapons, money and attacks on US and Israeli interests, urging Hamas to unite with al-Qaeda after its takeover of Gaza.  An AQ cell in Egypt is also calling for support of Hamas.

IRAQ:  Michael Yon reports that some AQI leaders may be trapped in Baqubah.  He also notes that "Whereas the Iraqi Army is coming into the fight, and playing increasingly critical roles, the local police force is less impressive."  The AQI had installed Sharia courts that -- among other things -- sanctioned the amputation of the two "smoking fingers" for those who violated anti-smoking laws.  US and Iraqi forces discovered what appeared to be an Al Qaeda-run "execution house" as well.  Not to mention an entire neighborhood rigged with explosives.  As Gen. Petraeus suggested the other day, AQI is launching its own "surge" in the form of a wave of suicide bombings killing dozens in Baghdad, Hilla and Baiji.  The Baghdad hotel bombing killed six Iraqi tribal leaders opposed to AQI.  In Newsweek, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari describes the relationship between Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki and Gen, Petraeus, as "difficult."  There is continued support for the "surge" in Baghdad, if the writing on the walls is any indicator.  GRAIN OF SALT:  London's Sun reports that Iranian forces are being choppered over the Iraqi border to bomb British troops in the south.

THE HARE THREAT:  A hoarde of hares recently closed Milan's Linate Airport, after confusing radar equipment and getting caught in the wheels of at least two aircraft during take-off and landing.  Let's go to the video.

THE WORM THREAT:  Turns out the wrigglers produce a significant amount of greenhouse gases.

A BOA CONSTRICTOR will usually squeeze its prey, but it will also bite you in the face, as snake "expert" Brady Barr found out while filming a show for the National Geographic Channel.  Pics at the link.

PET HOARDING:  I was reminded to note the over 50 dogs found in "deplorable condition" in NY, as well as the 43 dead cats placed in a refrigerator alongside condiments and other food items in Quebec by a German Press Agency story of vets calling animal hoarding a mental illness.  Who'da thunkit?

THE LOCH NESS MONSTER:  The latest theory is that it's an elephant.  No, really.

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Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson, Iron & Wine, Ugliest Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 25, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



NICK LOWE may be known for the british pub pop of "Cruel To Be Kind" and "Crackin' Up," but PopMatters has a piece on his recent career reinvention with songs like "The Club," from his new At My Age LP, which is rootsier than ever.  BTW, Lowe's age is 58; he first became a dad at 56. You can also stream a Lowe mini-set from the World Cafe via NPR.

RICHARD THOMPSON played DC's 9:30 Club Friday night so you can stream the gig on demand from NPR.  Mark Caro notes that some at RT's Park West gig in Chicago would have liked a chair.  RT talks to the Philadelphia Daily News he was "very cynical about the flower-power thing," but still thinks music can change the world, and embraces the Internet age.

INDIE SELLS OUT:  Little Steven Van Zandt writes about why he promotes indie bands for TV commercials.

IRON & WINE: The Shepherd's Dog doesn't come out until September, but there have been a few leaks in addition to "Boy With A Coin," there is the fab boogie of "The Devil Never Sleeps" and the laid-back "Carousel."

THURSTON MOORE of Sonic Youth is putting out his first solo LP in 12 years this September; it's primarily acoustic guitar and bass, but with guitar solo's from Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis.

THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT:  Hank Medress, a founding member of the 1960s doo-wop group the Tokens, died last Monday of lung cancer; he was 68.  Best known for "Wimoweh," natch.  BONUS:  They Might Be Giants paid tribute in "The Guitar."

PAUL WELLER and GRAHAM COXON will release a joint collaboration, entitled, ‘This Old Town,' via digital download on July 2nd.

THE EDITORS:  An End Has A Start doesn't come out until mid-July in the US, but you can stream the whole thing right now at TheirSpace.

LINDSAY BUCKINGHAM looks back at the Rumors LP, 30 years later, with Spinner.

JOHN DOE played a mini-set for NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, and compares his acting gigs to his music gigs for Pate magazine.

DAVID LEE ROTH had such an unquenchable thirst for sex during his Van Halen days that he gave generous cash rewards to staffers who supplied him with the hottest girls, according to a new, unauthorized bio of the platinum-selling band.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The most expensive comedy ever, Evan Almighty, topped the box office, but with only 32 million -- well below even the 40 million studio lowball estimate.  Exit polls suggest that without "frequent church attenders," this film might have gone down as one of the biggest bombs in Hollywood history.  OUCH!  Recouping the 210 million budget, even worldwide, seems... unlikely.  Thriller 1408 debuted in second, making 20 million (on a 25 million budget).  The Fantastic Four flick plunged 65 percent in its second weekend, will likely make less than the original and about break even domestically.  Ocean's 13 made another 11 million, and is slightly ahead of where O12 was after three weekends.  Knocked Up rounds out the Top Five with another 10 million, breaking the 100 million mark on a 30 million budget.  Pirates 3 adds seven million to its total in the US and has made 872 million worldwide; it may win the ultimate battle with Spider-Man 3 (which fell out of the Top Ten this weekend).  Surf's Up pulled in 6.7 million in seventh place.  Shrek the Third crosses the 300 million mark in eighth place.  Nancy Drew didn't drop much, even in ninth place, but it didn't start well enough.  Rounding out the Top Ten is the debut of A Mighty Heart, with four million.

A MIGHTY HEART continued to cause controversy, on top of Jolie's attempts to control her press for the movie.  Paramount Vantage staged a Thursday night screening and discussion with participation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations to the dispair of Jewish activists and Judea Pearl, father of the late journo Daniel Pearl.  Apparently, they didn't think inviting a group recently named as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in connection with a Texas terror-financing trial was a good idea.  At the other end of the scale, Roger Ebert compared the US government and those who complain about the news to terrorists in his review of the flick, though neither group has a policy of beheading innocent civilians, last I checked.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie has cut funds to a charity named after son Maddox in his native Cambodia, according to reports.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The heirhead is due to be sprung Tuesday.  The reportedly lucrative interview with NBC is off; while the Peacock denies it was ever on, the NYT reported on how ABC was outbid.  Instead, the celebutante will make her post-jail appearance on Larry King Live Wednesday night.  And the family has thought better of having a post-jail party.  BTW, Radar has a little something on the shrink who helped get her home release.

LINDSAY LOHAN is still in rehab, but after a divorce hearing, Dina Lohan's security guard and Michael Lohan traded some vicious barbs.  Let's go to the video.

BRITNEY SPEARS is set to join Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, Debbie Harry, The Dresden Dolls and more for the True Colors tour date in L.A. June 30th.  No mention of whether Rosie O'Donnell will be there.  X17 claims that the pop tart may be trying to get a restraining order against her mother.

EDDIE MURPHY is the father of "Scary Spice" Melanie Brown's 2-month-old daughter; at least that's what Brown's rep says of the DNA test results.

PAUL POTTS still has to get out of bed to go to work, but now his work will be singing opera for the Queen and recording albums for Simon Cowell's label.  Video from the opera singer's Today show appearance at the link.  (Thanks, Lance.)

LIV TYLER wishes she had French-kissed Kate Hudson when they played lesbian lovers in 2000 film, Dr. T and the Women.  Which may explain her enthusiastic greeting for Kate Bosworth earlier this month.

CAMERON DIAZ inadvertently offended Peruvians who suffered decades of violence from a Maoist insurgency by touring Peru Friday with a bag emblazoned with one of Mao Zedong's favorite political slogans.  She has apologized, saying she had no idea that the bag emblazoned with a red star she bought in the People's Republic of China had a Maoist slogan.

THE DARK KNIGHT has been shooting near my offfice for the past week, and is using the lot across from my home as a makeshift helipad as I write this, so I am reminded to point you toward video of the Batpod, as well as pics of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart shooting down in Hyde Park.

BRITAIN'S FIRST MUSLIM MP is stepping down after receiving death threats over his role in bringing three racist killers to justice.

THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:  Scores of Emiratis are angry that a pig-shaped toy is being sold in local malls.  "There are some dirty games being played against our culture and religion," said local parents.

IRAN is in the throes of one of its most ferocious crackdowns on dissent in years, with the government focusing on labor leaders, universities, the press, women's rights advocates, a former nuclear negotiator and Iranian-Americans. (Pics here that you will not see as often as, say, pics from Abu Ghraib prison.)  Tehran is encouraging people who receive "immoral" messages on their mobile phones to report them to the judiciary and receive a reward.  Instead of freezing all nuclear enrichment-related activity, as the UN Security Council has demanded, Iran has accelerated the program.  So of course, the UN's nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei says we should be focused on normalization of ties between Iran and the West.  And as Iran's economy is tanking, Reuters runs a light-hearted story on Pres. Ahmadinejad consulting his butcher for economic advice.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio rounds up news on the ops in Baqubah, Tikrit, Mosul, Fallujah and the "belts" around Baghdad.  US helicopters killed 17 Al Qaeda gunmen trying to sneak past a checkpoint in Baqubah.   Overall, Operation Phantom Thunder has netted 721 detainees so far, with 50 classified as leaders of cells and high-value targets, while Baghdad murders last week were down to 33, from 93 a week in January.  Michael Yon e-mailed that Operation Arrowhead Ripper in Baqubah was going well, though he elsewhere faults Iraqi commanders and US military media operations.  The commanders in the Baghdad "belts" also worry about the inadequacy of Iraqi troops (in numbers and equipment).  US forces using tips from Iraqi informants raided a safe house in Sadr City before dawn on Saturday and detained three militants with suspected of ties to Iran.  Prime Minister al-Maliki, citing a "misunderstanding" of an earlier remark, insists  that he supports the US tactic of arming Sunni Arab tribes to battle insurgents in Iraq.  And an Iraqi court has sentenced three former aides to Saddam Hussein, including the man known as "Chemical Ali," to death by hanging for their role in a 1980s genocide campaign that that killed up to 100000 Kurds (one of many figures that give perspective to the scale of violence in Iraq today).

ELWOOD, a 2-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix, was crowned the world's ugliest dog Friday at the annual ugly dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair.

CHARLIE, a black lab, drove his owner's car into the Pend Oreille River in Sagle, Idaho.  Things got a little weirder when the tow truck driver showed up.

FIREFIGHTERS resuscitated four cats and an albino rat from a charred apartment in southeastern Idaho.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A squirrel casing the Shanghai subway evaded security guards attempts to catch if for about seven hours.

KNUT UPDATE:  Despite recent high temperatures in Berlin, the celebrity polar bear cub isn't suffering from the heat, according to new infrared photos.

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Embarrassment, Ryan Adams, Wilco, Cutout Bin, Prairie Dog Threat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 22, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE EMBARRASSMENT!  The pride and joy of Lawrence, Kansas, they had a quirky pop to them from 1979-83 that fit with East Coast bands of the period, like Sneakers, the dB's, Rage To Live, the Individuals, etc.  Drummer Brent "Woody" Giessman actually headed east and joined the Del Fuegos, while guitarist Bill Goffrier went on to front Big Dipper.  Their stuff is not readily available, so these clips for "I'm A Don Juan," "Funtime," "Celebrity Art Party" and "Don't Choose The Wrong Song" are quite a find. (Thanks, songs:illinois!)

RICHARD THOMPSON talks about various songs on his new Sweet Warrior album with the Patriot-Press.

RYAN ADAMS:  The Easy Tiger LP isn't due until next Tuesday, but you can stream it now via MuchMusic.

DEVO is profiled in FACT magazine, with a look at (and links to) today's Devo-influenced bands. Plus, Jerry Casale suggests that Devo is performing live again precisely because of Devolution.

SUMMER MIX:  Heather Browne is streaming her mixdisc from I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, including tracks from Steve Miller, Jonathan Richman, the Mooney Suzuki and Nick Lowe.

MARK RONSON:  Guest vocalist Lily Allen plays Jessica Rabbit in the video for  "Oh My God"

THE THRILLS are streaming two new songs from their upcoming Teenager LP via ThrillsSpace.

TED NUGENT is upset about a lot of things, including Sir Paul McCartney firing meat-eaters from his tour.

WILCO stopped by the World Cafe for an interview and mini-set you can stream via NPR.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The Times of London has run two excerpts from the troubled singer's diaries, which have the occasional Spinal Tap quality to them.  He wrote that he hopes to marry the supposedly sober supermodel this summer, provided he is "smack and needle-free. ... I become (sic) 10 times happier than any given smackhead. Huzzah!"  Until then, you can watch the couple perform "KP Nuts" while dressed in band uniforms.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are: Gnarls Barkley vs Supertramp vs The Who vs Rockwell - Crazy Logic; The New York Dolls - Stranded in the Jungle; Wilco - Box Full of Letters; The Replacements - I Don't Know (Alternative Version); Band of Bees - Listening Man; Fontella Bass - Hold On This Time; The Self Righteous Brothers - Diana; Robert Pollard - Supernatural Car Lover; Pixies - Here Comes Your Man; The Who - Pictures Of Lily; Teenage Fanclub - What You Do To Me; T-Rex - 20th Century Boy; Ramones - Somebody Put Something In My Drink; Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot; Richard Hawley - Some Candy Talking (Jesus & Mary Chain); Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood - Summer Wine; The Thrills - One Horse Town; The Byrds - Chestnut Mare; Beach Boys - Sail on Sailor; REM. - Have You Ever Seen The Rain; Sean Na Na - Princess And The Pony; Youngbloods - Get Together; and Tom Petty - Don't Come Around Here No More.

FRENCH HOTEL in the GREYBAR HOTEL:  NBC has agreed to pay as much as a million bucks for the heirhead's first after-jail interview, which will appear on the Today show, according to the NYPost.  NBC News claims it has no commitment from Hilton for an interview, adding that "NBC News has not and will not pay for an interview."  But NBC's entertainment division has been in discussions with Hilton's camp, according to network sources, and could compensate Hilton through a development deal, effectively circumventing the news division's policy prohibiting payments for interviews.  No word on whether Ryan Seacrest had to pay to talk to the celebutante on the phone.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are the Noah-themed comedy Evan Almighty, currently scoring 24 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (which should only add to the studio angst noted below); the Stephen King adaptation 1408, which is scoring 89 percent; and Angelina Jolie as the widow of slain journo Daniel Pearl in A Mighty Heart, which is scoring 78 percent.

EVAN ALMIGHTY:  Universal isn't even trying to hide its nerves about the opening number this Friday for Hollywood's most expensive comedy ever, as the tracking is rumored to show parents were rejecting this big summer film as appropriate family fare, because they thought it was the exact sequel to Bruce Almighty and therefore too mature.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly stormed out of a shoot for her new perfume, but a disinterested source tells Page Six that her new album is amazing.

LINDSAY LOHAN passing out in a car over Memorial Day weekend may have stalled her acting career, but it has done wonders for hoodie sales at American Apparel.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE & JESSICA BIEL were caught canoodling aboard a luxury speedboat in Oslo, Norway.  The Daily Mail is calling it their personal "love boat," but I don't think the couple got any Ted Lange action.

GREY'S ANATOMY:  Disgruntled former cast member Isaiah Washington insists that it was actor T.R. Knight, not he, who should have been fired from the hit ABC medical dramedy.  And he's considering a lawsuit to clear his name.  All of which will make him much more attractive to Hollywood's casting agencies.

REESE & JAKE UPDATE:  Witherspoon and Gyllenhaal have currently cooled their low-key relationship.

ROSIE O'DONNELL'S replacement on The View may be a man, man.  Who knows?  It might even be PerezHilton.

THE BEST FILM COMEDIES OF ALL TIME, according to London's Sunday Observer -- starting with This Is Spinal Tap.

THE 50 DVDs EVERY FILM FAN SHOULD OWN is a five-part series at PopMatters, whose lists exclude obvious choices like  Citizen Kane, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz or Gone with the Wind.  A fair amount of embedded video in each part, too.

ROBOT CHICKEN:  The animated Star Wars special is streaming in full from AdultSwim.  George Lucas and Mark Hamill are among the voice talents.

WORLD'S BIGGEST UFOs have been seen hovering off the south coast of Britain by an airline pilot and his passengers.

CLOAKING DEVICE:  DARPA, the Pentagon's wide-eyed research arm, is working on it.

IRAN:  The BBC reports that Iranian naval forces in the Gulf tried to capture an Australian Navy boarding team but were vigorously repelled.  The incident took place before Iran successfully seized 15 British sailors and Marines in March.  Former Pres. Mohammad Khatami -- who passes for "moderate" and a "reformer" in Iran (which includes defending the death penalty for homosexuals) -- will be tried by a religious tribunal and possibly banned from preaching for the grievous sin of shaking hands with two women during a recent trip to Italy.  Khatami vehemently denies the charge; let's go to the video!

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has a solid roundup of Day 5 of Operation Phantom Thunder (the name of the overarching operation to secure the Baghdad Belts), including links to Michael Yon and the NYT's Michael Gordon, both embedded in Baqubah and reporting the US-Iraqi forces are getting tips from the locals on where to find IEDs and enemy fighters.  Since those reports, Gordon has filed a story about local distrust of the Iraqi Army coming into Baqubah, and Joe Klein of Time magazine managed to helicopter into Baqubah, who has more on why the local Sunnis are turning.  Klein reminds us that in prior major ops, terrorists have slipped away -- the AP quotes  Lt. Gen. Odierno as saying the US believes 80 percent of the upper level al-Qaeda leaders fled the city, but 80 percent of the lower level leaders were still there.  The 1920 Revolution Brigades have issued a series of frantic statements denying any role in the ongoing US-led security operation in restive Diyala province.  Prime Minister al-Maliki has formed a committee to vet Iraqi tribal leaders and groups the US has begun arming, according to SecDef Robert Gates.  In a British newspaper interview published Thursday, Gen. Petraeus said he expected al-Qaeda to try to counter the US surge with a surge of its own ("Al-Qaeda is keenly aware of the Washington clock"), and blamed agents trained, equipped and advised by Iran for the Baghdad kidnapping of five British citizens three weeks ago.

THE PRAIRIE DOG THREAT:  Five seconds of pure entertainment, icymi.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A Blue Island, IL  home caught fire for the second time in eight days when squirrels knocked high-voltage wires loose from a nearby utility pole.

SEVERED GOAT HEAD prompts suspicion in death of baby dolphin.  Not just any baby dolphin, either -- it's the one that had the chat line.

EX-MARINE killed a 300-pound black bear with a log near Helen, GA.  Yet in my head, it reads "killed him a bar."  I really should seek help.  BONUS:  A grizzly bear tranquilized so it could be painted with pink dots has died.

KITTY SAVED!  And it only took two fire trucks, five firefighters, several animal rescuers and about 250 gallons of water.

BINGE DRINKING RATS raid a liquor store.  Like a PG-13 version of Ratatouille.

GORILLAS use plant leaves to clean their faces and hands after a messy snack.  Dang dirty apes; they wanna be like you.

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Cheap Trick, The National, Lucky Soul, Mini-Donkeys   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CHEAP TRICK:  The State of Illinois still doesn't have a new budget, but Pate fans will be delighted to learn that the State Senate is set to declare April 1st "Cheap Trick Day" in Illinois, in recognition of the Illinois-bred band's accomplishments, which include 28 albums, more than 5000 concerts and more than 20 million records sold.  (Thanks, Debbie & Sylvia!)  Guitarist Rick Nielsen briefly jumped off tour to accept the honor (to be made official next week) and shake the capitol free from its traditional decorum with a never-ending stream of wisecracks:  When Senate GOP staffer Lisa Sims approached Nielsen in a corridor, held out her cell phone and asked him to say hello to her boyfriend, Nielsen put his mouth to the phone and asked, "Can I put my clothes on first?"  Later, to the delight and applause of senators, Nielsen pulled off another patented stage trick: He dipped into his pockets and threw fistfuls of guitar picks at the senators and their staff -- and even a few into a press box.  The band got its start around Rockford, Ill., a generation ago, and has remained rooted there, despite a slew of top-100 hits in the 1970s, including "Surrender," "I Want You to Want Me" and "Dream Police."  BONUS:  Vintage video of "He's A Whore."

THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN:  Former drummer John Moore talks to the cantankerous Reid brothers about their return as Elder Statesmen of Rock: "The lure of a big payday gave them the perfect excuse to resume relations while saving face. Both could claim the pragmatism of a cheque with many zeros, while still maintaining a facade of mutual loathing should it prove necessary..."  RTWT; it's all good, starting with a haircut.

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

THEREMIN-MANIA:  Moon Maan's Rick McCollum (former Afghan Whigs guitarist) uses and raves over the semi-obscure instrument.  You can stream a few tracks from MoonSpace.

RYAN ADAMS stopped by The Current (in a suit, no less), so you can stream an inteview on demand via MPR.  While he was there, he spoke candidly about his injuries and foibles; his sobriety, and stage fright.

PATTI SMITH, poet and punk, covers Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

ANTONY and the JOHNSONS frontman Antony Hegarty talks to Ireland's Independent about the influence Lou Reed and the African-American tradition of music have on his work.  So he probably won't mind that Bjork thought Antony was a black woman, before having him sing on her new album.

LUCKY SOUL -- a classic R&B-influenced British band I've thumbs-upped before -- is streaming The Great Unwanted album in full from their website.  (Thanks, Chromewaves.)

THE HOLD STEADY:  Stereogum points you to John Roderick's (The Long Winters) snarky review of the Hold Steady's Bonnaroo set, along with a video of the band's opening number "Stuck Between Stations."

M WARD:  Although "in less than a decade he's gone from a barely heard bedroom troubadour to a guy that the Boston Pops might need time to create arrangements for," he talks to Boston's Phoenix mostly about producing, including an upcoming LP from Zooey Deschanel.

LINDSAY LOHAN plans to stay in rehab for more than a month -- a sign she is taking it seriously this time.  Her ex-con Dad says he's pleased with his daughter's progress. "Lindsay has found this righteous path because she's going to church and that's a good sign."

BRITNEY SPEARS, otoh, was reportedly seen kicking back several rounds of cocktails on June 15, less than 90 days after leaving rehab.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Not only stuck in jail, but Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are saying son Jack bedded the heirhead.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA pregnancy rumors are near the delivery stage.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  Is The Price Right for her to host her favorite game show?  Roger Friedman claims the issues are ore likely to be O'Donnell's refusal to leave NYC for Tinseltown and NBC's ardent courtship.  In a recent video on her blog, O'Donnell has claimed the producers don't want her.

JESSICA BIEL is pronounced extremely hot by US Weekly as her career takes off, though the author of the new GQ cover story writer takes a photo with Biel and then makes the observation, "You never quite understand how unattractive you are until you see yourself in a picture with Jessica Biel."  Oddly enough, that pic did not make the GQ photo spread.

UMA THURMAN put rumors of marrying hotelier Andre Balazs by taking up with actor-director-producer David White.

LIV TYLER is "definitely" going to have plastic surgery in the future. "Especially when you see what happens to your body after you have a baby."

PAULA ABDUL is set to team up with the people behind the Chicken Soup For The Soul.  She does seem like she could use a self-help book. 

GEORGE CLOONEY talks politics and activism -- especially regarding Darfur -- with the L.A. Times: "If celebrity is a credit card, then I'm using it.  I knew I had to shine light on this situation."  This includes going on a diplomatic mission to China, one of the main countries blocking any action on Darfur.

BRADGELINA:  Though she apologized for trying to control the press surrounding her new movie, A Mighty Heart, tipsters tell Page Six that Jolie went on to ban some entertainment weeklies, including Us Weekly and Life & Style, from speaking to her at the film's junket on Friday - only allowing access to OK! and People magazine, with which she has a cozy relationship.  And Jolie reproedly was less than thrilled that Jennifer Aniston got a visit from her ex Brad Pitt's mother on Father's Day.

AFI has updated its "100 Years...100 Movies" list, icymi it last night on TV.  The AP looks at the changes in the last decade.

SALMAN RUSHDIE:  The committee that recommended him for a knighthood did not discuss any possible political ramifications and never imagined that the award would provoke the furious response that it has done in parts of the Muslim world, while the writers' group that led the lobbying hoped that the honor would lead to better relations between Britain and Asia.  Kind of a scary window into how clueless the British elite is when it comes to addressing Islamic fundamentalism.  Of course, when the British media can run a story on the rise in "honor killings" without mentioning religion as a factor, perhaps it's not so shocking.

IRAN:  The US House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on the UN Security Council to charge Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad with violating international laws pertaining to genocide by calling for the destruction of Israel.  Best of luck with that.  The deputy speaker of the Iranian parliament blames Israel and the US for the Palestinian fighting in the Gaza Strip.  Tehran's Police Chief says the people's tastes have changed toward purchasing appropriate clothing, not mentioning that the Tehran Police beat people who violate the dress code.  And by the time you read this, a couple may have been stoned to death for adultery and having a child out of wedlock.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has an overview of the largest offensive operation since the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom ended in the spring of 2003.  In Diyala province, soldiers have uncovered more than 1000 roadside bombs around Baqubah.  After US and Iraqi forces gain control of the western side of the city, they intend to take fingerprints and other biometric data from every resident who seems to be a potential fighter, as well as test for the presence of explosive material on suspects' hands.  More than 10 Iraqi tribes in the Baghdad area have reached agreements with US and Iraqi forces for the first time to oppose al-Qaeda.  Iraqi VP Adel Abdul Mahdi tendered his resignation last week -- and other senior officials considered resigning -- in recent weeks over the failures of their government to make progress after more than a year in power, according to Iraqi and US officials.  OTOH, according to London's Guardian, Kurdish leaders said last night they had struck an important deal with the central govt over a law to divide up Iraq's oil revenues, which is seen by the Bush Admin. as one of the benchmarks in attempts to foster national reconciliation.

COUNTER-INSURGENCY TRAINING at Fort Polk's Joint Readiness Training Center ranges from simulating the latest terror tactics to emphasizing respect for the populace and Iraqi culture.

SOMETIMES THE CHEETAH eats you, sometimes it just poops through the sunroof.

A RABID BOBCAT is strangled to death by 62-year-old Vietnam vet Dale Rippy.

SERVICE DOGS in Maryland are working their way through school by painting abstract art.  The doggie da Vincis also have a line of greeting cards that has sold out as word spreads about the unusual works of art.  One of the original works has sold for $350.

THE IGUANA THREAT:  An iguana took down the grid in Big Pine Key, FL... and lived.  This could be tthe squirrels' powerful new weapon.

MINI-DONKEYS, each named for a country music legend, make great pets.

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