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Brad Delp RIP, Squeeze, Phil Spector, Dog vs. Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 12, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BRAD DELP, the lead singer for the band Boston, was found dead Friday in his home in southern New Hampshire. He was 55.   Police said an incident report would not be available until today.  On Friday night, the band's website was taken down and replaced with the statement: "We just lost the nicest guy in rock and roll." The Boston Globe's Steve Morse, who had known Delp since the group first played the Boston Garden in 1977, agrees, as does Brett Milano of the Boston Herald.  Bandmate and brother-in-law Barry Goudreau has posted a message at his website also.  The band was rumored to be planning a summer reunion tour.  The man had an amazing voice, introduced to most of us on the instant classic, "More Than A Feeling."

GRAVE MEN:  Coincidentally, John Harris just visited UK rockers' grave sites for London's Guardian.  Pic of a black dog visiting John Bonham's resting place at the link.

JAMES BROWN was finally laid to rest Saturday in a crypt emblazoned with the words "Godfather of Soul," according to the Rev. Al Sharpton.  Yes, Anna Nicole Smith managed to die and get buried in the time between Brown's death and funeral.  And JB's sopt is reportedly temporary.

THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME Induction Ceremonies will be streaming via Spinner tonight at 8:30 EST.  Plenty of of R&R Hall goodies at Spinner also, as I noted last Thursday.  The ceremonies will also be televised on VH1 Classic and its high-definition MTV sister channel, MHD.  L.A. Times critic Robert Hilburn lists who he thinks should be "deductees" from the Rock Hall.  REM's Mike Mills fears the band may have to play a Van Halen medley.

PTICHFORK MUSIC FEST tickets go onsale today at noon CST.  Confirmed acts so far include Cat Power, Iron & Wine, Grizzly Bear, and Of Montreal.

WILCO is unfazed by the leaks from their upcoming Sky Blue Sky album.  Indeed, the band has always had a laid-back attitude about such things on the assumption that their fans will ultimately support them financially.  So far, they have been right.

SQUEEZE has jumped on the reunion tour bandwagon and will play UK shows under that name this fall for the first time since 1999.  So far, no word on who will be joining Difford & Tilbrook, or whether they will be coming to North America.  In the meantime, you can pick from among "Up the Junction" (from Top of the Pops), "Cool For Cats," "Black Coffee In Bed," "Is That Love" (again from TotP), "Tempted," a live take on "Take Me I'm Yours," and "Hourglass."

THE PHIL SPECTOR TAPES:  London's Telegraph is posting audio from an interview conducted just 36 hours before actress Lana Clarkson was shot dead in the legendary producer's mansion.

THE BEST INDIE SONGS EVER:  Rolling Stone's blog is taking nominations.

THE BESNARD LAKES make "Song of the Day" at NPR with "Disaster," which is anything but: "When combined with the rolling swing of the drums and the psychedelic falsetto harmonies, comparisons to The Beach Boys are inevitable."

THE HOLD STEADY keyboardist Franz Nicolay is flattered by the recurring Springsteen comparisons: "Everyone in the band is a Springsteen fan. I don't hear it as much as a lot of people do, but sometimes I think that's just shorthand for 'rock band with piano or wordy lyrics.'"  The whole band has drinks at at Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC's East Village with Kate Rocland of the New York Times.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer has asked ex-Libertine bandmate Carl Barat to be the best man at his wedding to the supposedly sober supermodel.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Moviegoers were prerpared for box office glory, propelling 300 to a March record opening estimated at million, edging out Ice Age: The Meltdown, even with an R rating.  It is the the third biggest opening weekend ever for a R-rated flick, finishing only behind The Passion of the Christ and The Matrix Reloaded.  Wild Hogs dropped to second place with $28 million, while Bridge to Terabithia would up in the third slot with $6.9 million as Ghost Rider dropped to fourth with $6.8 million.  Zodiac seemingly suffered the brunt of the 300 onslaught, dropping to fifth with $6.77 million.  The Number 23 earned $4.33 million (and will be lucky to break even), followed by Norbit, which earned $4.31 million (and may break the $100 mill mark).  Music and Lyrics continued to disappoint with $3.8 million, while Breach managed to hang on to a top ten spot, because Reno 911! Miami and Black Snake Moan dropped out of the top ten, leaving Amazing Grace to round out the field.

RICHARD JENI, noted comedian, is dead from an apparent suicide.  Comedienne Elaine Boosler pays tribute at the HuffPo.

LIZ HURLEY and Arun Nayar got married yet again -- this time with a traditional exchange of garlands and a Hindu ceremony to finalize their marriage in Nayar's native India.

THE McCARTNEYS:  People are actually wagering on whether Heather Mills' leg will fall off during this season of Dancing With the Stars.

ANTONELLA BARBA, already getting offers from the pr0n industry following her exit from American Idol, should expect a call from Playboy magazine.

SALMA HAYEK is engaged to and pregnant (presumably by) François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of luxury goods firm PPR, which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, as well as a French department store and national music chain.

MADONNA:  The Material Mom's nanny is currently shopping a tell-all memoir detailing the inner workings of the Madonna-Guy Ritchie household.  It has reportedly been bought by Crown and claims -- among other things -- that Madge is an overly strict mother who won't allow anybody to make noise in the house while she's sleeping and who imposed a complete house ban on all television, newspapers or magazines.

NIP/TUCK has slated guest appearances from a boatload of celebs, including Madonna and Nicole Kidman.  You wouldd think they were giving free plastic surgery or something.

COURTNEY LOVE is being sued for an unpaid 180 grand rehab bill.  That sounds like a lot of money, but we are talking about rehab for Courtney Love.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL is in final negotiations to replace Katie Holmes for The Dark Knight, the' sequel to Batman Begins.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie talks to Newsweek about celebrity, refugees and her life in New Orleans.  Jole reportedly told the uber-reliable News of the World that she narrowly escaped a kidnapping plot during a visit to an unnamed destination in her capacity as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.  Her recent decision to adopt a boy from Vietnam provides inspiration to the Gallery of the Absurd.

SPAIN is much more of a terror target today than before, due to renewed Al Qaeda threats and "synergy" between Al Qaeda and the Maghreb groups.  Last month, AQ No. 2 Ayman Zawahiri called on Islamic radicals in the Maghreb to "raise the flag of jihad" over North Africa and Spain "to once again feel the soil of Al Andalus beneath your feet," according to transcripts. Al Andalus refers to that part of Spain controlled by Muslim forces for seven centuries until their expulsion by a Roman Catholic army in 1492.  If only Spain would pull out of Iraq.  Oh, wait...

THE 'STANS:  The US is stepping up its hunt for Osama bin Laden by dispatching additional CIA operatives and paramilitary officers to Pakistan to kill or capture the Al Qaeda leader.  Gulbuddin Hekmatyar now claims he has not split with the Taliban.  I was skeptical of the initial report to the contrary.  Afghan and Iranian border forces clashed after the Iranians entered Afghan territory.

IRAN:  There continue to be conflicting reports over whether former deputy defense minister Ali Reza Asghari has defected to the West.  He is believed to have documents proving a link between the Iranian military establishment and terror groups including Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, as well as the Mahdi Army in Iraq and the SCIRI's Badr Corps.  If Asgari has defected, "it may represent the biggest intelligence coup for the U.S. and Israel in Hezbollah's history," Nicholas Noe of Mideastwire.com, an expert on Hezbollah, wrote on Syriacomment.com.  The Times of London claims Asgari had been spying on Iran since 2003.  Meanwhile, Sunni insurgents kidnapped four soldiers of Iran's Revolutionary Guard; the group denied ties with Al Qaueda and the Taliban.  The Mullocracy celebrated International Women's Day by beating and arresting peaceful demonstrators and censoring the news.  An the Iranian economy continues to melt down; Iran could cease to be a net oil exporter altogether in 2015.

IRAQ:  US and Iranian diplomats were cautiously optimistic over the results of the regional meeting in Baghdad, though the two nations traded jabs behind the scenes..  On Friday, Joint US-Iraqi forces arrested a prominent commander of the Mahdi Army.  Special Iraqi Army Forces (with Coalition advisors) conducted raids Saturday in Sadr City against "rogue elements" of the Mahdi Army allegedly responsible for inciting sectarian violence in Baghdad.  Sources are telling IraqSlogger that areas in the southern parts of Baghdad, controlled by militant Sunni groups, are nearly deserted by their inhabitants, and even the security forces are not present.  I would take those reports with a grain of salt, given the array of security forces assigned there.  IraqSlogger is also hearing that Moqtada al-Sadr did not go to Karbala and remains in Najaf.  Coalition Forces killed one terrorist and captured 16 suspected terrorists including an alleged al-Qaeda media emir during raids Friday morning throughout Iraq.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  Robert Kagan, one of the original advocates of the "surge" streategy developing in Baghdad, wonders whether the media has a backup plan in case the the "surge" works.  Well to start, there will be stories focusing on suicide attacks on Shiite pilgrims showing "the limitations of the US-led crackdown."  And focusing on attacks outside Baghdad.  The decrease in execution-style slayings by Shiite death squads will get mentioned in paragraph 15.  Very few of these stories will note that those pilgrims killed represent a tiny fraction of the millions of pilgrims who went to cities like Karbala for the Shia holiday.

IT'S DOG vs. SHARK... and the dog seems to get the better of the exchange!  Let's go to the video.

MORE DOG NEWS:  British dogs are working out.  American dogs are taking their meds, possibly on your dime.

CALL ME ISHMAEL:  A mother humpback whale and her baby lash out at snorkelers.  Let's go to the video.

JEALOUS CAT attacks its owner.  Beware the green-eyed gato.

WHACKING DAY in Sweetwater, TX, rattles ecologists.  The annual rattlesnake roundup is billed by the city as the biggest in the world.

HOW DO YOU GET CRABS FROM A GORILLA?  I cannot top that headline, but evolution has something to do with it.

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A Special Wilco Weekend Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 07:23 AM
Posted by: kbade

KarlWILCO is streaming the upcoming Sky Blue Sky album on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 10 pm. EST, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST.  In glorious Quicktime.

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Wilco, Advance Fountains of Wayne, Cutout Bin, Lassie   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 09, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



... with WILCO!  Anyone who has seen I Am Trying to Break Your Heart will appreciate the irony of Warner Bros. posting early Wilco videos on the Tube, including "Box Full Of Letters" and "I Must Be High" from A.M., as well as  "Outtasite (Outta Mind)" from Being There.

EDDIE VAN HALEN will not attend his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, because he has checked into rehab.

FOUNTAINS of WAYNE is streaming another track from the upcoming Traffic & Weather album called "Yolanda Hayes" (Real | Win).  You can stream "'92 Subaru" at TheirSpace.  Heather Browne is streaming "Michael & Heather at the Baggage Claim."  And you can stream samples from the whole album at the band's official store.

R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe tells USA Today that "The industry that was music is no longer" on the eve of his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: "Peter Buck always mentions the horse buggy whip factory and the feeling around the lunch table the day the automobile was introduced. That's the music industry, which is ripe for an immense recession. People either have their heads in the sand or they're trying to hold on to what still works and apply it to a completely new landscape."  I cannot help but think of Larry the Liquidator's speech in Other People's Money.

AN AQUARIUM DRUNKARD now has an Internet radio station hosted via Spinner.  Playlist at the link. 

THE TEN BEST MOMENTS from this week in rock history, according to YES! Weekly.

GET UP for KISS playing "Detroit Rock City" on The Paul Lynde Halloween Special in 1976.

GREIL MARCUS talks to the Columbia Dispatch about new and old bands, songs used in commercials, Lester Bangs and more.

MICHAEL NESMITH'S country-tinged solo debut from 1969 is this week's "Shadow Classic" at NPR, which is streaming a few tracks.

CHUCK KLOSTERMAN talks to MPR, shuffles his iPod for the A.V. Club and claims that "everybody who does music criticism loves ABBA." For that matter, so does Redd Kross.

BOB DYLAN and POPE JOHN PAUL II:  Behind the music.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM include:  Leonard Cohen - Everybody Knows (do you?); Big Star - Feel; Bright Eyes - Four Winds; Son Volt - The Picture; Wilco - Sky Blue Sky; ELO - Mr. Blue Sky; Apples In Stereo - Energy; INXS - New Sensation; Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 - Adventure Rocket Ship; Husker Du - Up in the Air; The Lemonheads - Alison's Starting to Happen; Art Brut - Emily Kane; The Kinks - 20th Century Man; The Mountain Goats - No Children; Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA (acoustic demo); Robert Plant - Whole Lotta Love (acoustic); The Who - Heinz Baked Beans; Stevie Wonder - If You Really Loved Me; Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now; The Specials - Guns of Navarone; The Clash - Rudie Can't Fail; The English Beat - Mirror in the Bathroom; and Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions - People Get Ready.

JOHNNY DEPP was frantic with worry after daughter Lily-Rose she was rushed to the hospital ten days ago with a mystery illness rumored to be blood poisoning from a rusty tack -- but Depp's rep says she is "doing much better" now.  Depp and longtime partner Vanessa Paradis reportedly not left Lily-Rose's bedside since she was admitted to the hospital on February 28.

NOW SHOWING:  This weeks wide release is the adaptation of Frank Miller's 300, which is currently scoring 59 percent on the ol' Tomatometer... though about ten points less with the "cream of the crop" critics.  The spiritual coming-of-age drama The Ultimate Gift opens on about 800 screens with a score of 35 percent.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills is asking for £10,000 a day in her divorce from Sir Paul -- just to "get by." 

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Is there a baby boy in the couple's future?

ANTONELLA BARBA has a future in pr0n waiting after she got the boot from American Idol.

TOM BRADY has knocked up new gf/supermodel Gisele Bundchen? That's the claim made at a popular European celebrity website.  Brady's pregnant ex-gf Bridget Moynihan had no comment.


SCARLETT JOHANSSON has recently been seen hawking everything from Disney World to Mt. Rainer coffee. Does she really need the money?  The L.A. Times looks at the world of celebrity endorsements and voiceovers

MADONNA has come under fire for failing to properly restrain her 17-month-old adopted son in her SUV.  X17 has the pics and video.  Has Madge learned nothing from Britney Spears?

GWEN STEFANI is packing heat to keep other women away from hubby Gavin Rossdale.  But she's got nothing on Blues Traveler frontman John Popper, who was popped for driving 111 mph with an arsenal large enough to save John Conner from Skynet.

MISCHA BARTON, the former O.C. hottie, has gotten into two auto accidents in less than three weeks.  I certainly hope she's not smoking and driving.

MICK JAGGER and WARREN BEATTY were spotted doing lunch in West Hollywood the other day.  Carly Simon probably thought they were talking about her.

SHARON STONE:  Looking good!  Or not.  Making faces doesn't help, Sharon.

BORAT made an unexpected cameo appearance as a victim of censorship in a heavyweight annual human rights report issued by the US State Department.

IN THE RED:  The "RED" anti-poverty campaign championed by Bono, Oprah and other celebs and marketed by Gap, Apple and Motorola with an estimated 100 million bucks, has raised only 18 million worldwide -- though it's hoped to break even by the end of the year.

IRAN:  Contrary to other reports, the former deputy defense minister who disappeared from Turkey last month is not cooperating with Western intelligence agencies and his whereabouts remain a mystery, a U.S. official told FOX News Thursday.  Make of that what you will.

IRAQ:  Sunni-led Arab governments plan to use this weekend's conference in Baghdad to press for a greater Sunni role in Iraq... which does not please Iraq's Shia-dominated government.  Moqtada al-Sadr reportedly appeared in public in Karbala, which would make sense because its a favored Shia pilgrimage site and this Saturday is a big Shia holiday.  Big enough, in fact, that some roads have been closed in Baghdad for extra security.  Gen. David Petraeus -- in his first news conference since taking command in Iraq -- says additional US forces will be sent to areas outside Baghdad where militants are regrouping, especially Diyala province.  He added that "military action is necessary... but it is not sufficient" because Iraqi political action and reconcilation are necessary to achieve peace and stability.  And Bill Roggio has a report from embedded cartoonist Chris Muir.

THE 'STANS:  US troops in Afghanistan arrested the deputy head of the Taliban fighters in the Pakistani tribal area of Waziristan, according to a report on Al Jazeera.  A big deal, if true.  Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, longtime Afghan tribal warlord and Taliban ally, announced that he has ended his cooperation with them and "suggested" that he could reach a peace deal with the Afghan government.  We'll see.

LASSIE died saving her owners from a burning house in Anderson, Indiana.  First it was Captain America, now this.  It's been a tough week.

HEIDI THE CAT got fitted with a pacemaker in Melbourne, Australia.

A HIGH-SPEED PONY CHASE ends well in Munich.

MORE THAN PET HOARDING:  Bangladeshi security forces more used to confiscating luxury cars in anti-corruption cases were instead called on to seize a virtual mini zoo from a former minister, including four deer, seven peacocks, two emus, three golden pheasants, eleven turkeys, two mynahs, a dove and four rare pigeons.

ELEPHANTS:  Lending them a hand can be a dangerous bit of business: "One guy I know got a black eye from being hit by an elephant's penis."

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Panda Bear, R&R Hall of Fame Mania, Wilco, an Earless Terrier   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


PANDA BEAR:  For whatever reason, I had been glossing over the buzz for the solo efforts of Animal Collective's Noah Lennox at some of my go-to music blogs, like Gorilla vs. Bear and Stereogum.  I'm not sure why, as mid-period Beach Boys kept getting mentioned, and regular visitors here know I'm a sucker for that.  I finally gave in after a rave post at Aquarium Drunkard... and I was all set to link to the oh-so-trippy "Bros." when the 'gum posted the video for "Bros."  Kismet!

THE 2007 ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES -- Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, R.E.M., The Ronnettes, Patti Smith and Van Halen -- get the royal treatment at Spinner, with photos, interviews, and streaming "Best Of" albums from each.  BONUS:  An article in the New York Post sadly suggests that Ronnie Spector may give her ex Phil competition in the crazy department.

CAT POWER:  Chan Marshall has some live video up at Rolling Stone, including a cover of Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping."

GENESIS is carrying through its threatened reunion and will tour North America this fall, destroying all life in favor of its new matrix.

RYAN ADAMS is playing Stonehenge.  Not the Spinal Tap song, but the actual Stonehenge.

THE BIG BOPPER suffered massive fractures and likely died immediately in the 1959 plane crash that also killed early rock 'n' rollers Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, a forensic anthropologist said Tuesday after exhuming the body.  The exam was requested by the Bopper's son to settle long-standing rumors a gun might have been fired on board the plane and that the Big Bopper might have survived the crash and died trying to get help.  The Bopper's big hit was "Chantilly Lace," natch.

TONY VISCONTI:  The famed record producer has a new autobiography out, so he talked to the UK's Metro about working with Marc Bolan and David Bowie.  He tells Billboard that today, he and Bowie exchange e-mail and YouTube clips.

WILCO:  Another day, another leak.  This time, Idolator has posted "Impossible Germany," on which the blog thinks the band "are clearly nicking Television."  To which I would say, "a little."

OASIS frontman Noel Gallagher and gf Sara MacDonald are expecting a baby.  It's her first child; Noel has a seven-year-old daughter, Anais, with ex-wife Meg Mathews.

OF MONTREAL frontman Kevin Barnes (who recently gave new meaning to the term "frontman") talks to Express about the Cleveland Indians and Gilbert Arenas.  But it's a nice excuse to relink to the goofy video for "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse," anyway.

BRADGELINA:  We now know that Jolie is adopting a 4-year-old boy from Vietnam... and it appears to be on the fast track.  In the meantime, she's taking advantage of her residence in N'awlins to study voodoo, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

BRITNEY SPEARS is refusing to take anti-depressants in rehab or to to go to family therapy.  The first part is really odd, given rumors that she thinks she's suffering from post-partum depression, not substance abuse.  The pop tart has been reprimanded for making cellphone calls, has left the facility to shop, and now wants to leave rehab for good.  At least she has reformed Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx rooting for her, not to mention hit producer Timbaland and ex-bf Justin Timberlake.

ROSIE O'DONNELL says she has been getting treatment for depression since the Columbine school shootings and hangs upside down for up to a half-hour a day to improve her mental state.  Y'know, like a bat.  She feels the most important thing to do when you're feeling depressed is to get up and move -- all visual evidence to the contrary.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise has reportedly has called the producers of Holmes's new movie and told them he will be on set every day.  Holmes's agent supposedly chose the role for her because -- unlike the Batman Begins sequel she bailed from -- Holmes wouldn't be kissing anyone or have a sex scene.

RALPH FINNES - already under fire for a recent romp with a stewardess in an airline toilet - has sparked a second storm by frolicking naked at 5 a.m. with four young women in a hotel pool.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON tells Parade magazine that she looks like a boy, somehow avoiding mention of anything below her neck.

LINDSAY LOHAN is still having some bad days out of rehab.  According to the ever-reliable In Touch Weekly, she recently turned up to the set of her new movie hours late, napped in her trailer for five hours, then threw up and immediately went home.

STING'S STAFF live in a climate of fear because his wife subjects them to gratuitous abuse to make her "feel royal", an employment tribunal has heard.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Those rumors about Reese Witherspoon and new co-star Jake Gyllenhaal are re-ignited after folks spotted them visiting each other's pads in NYC, after Witherspoon tried to squash rumors from the set.  Meanwhile, Ryan Phillippe and Ashlee Simpson were seen getting cozy at a Hollywood club, though he reportedly beat off her advances.

BILL MAHER denies he "advocates the whacking" of Vice-Pres. Dick Cheney.  He just supports the rights of those who do.

300:  Zach Snyder's adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel (based on the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae) arrives in theaters tomorrow.  Prepare for glory by watching the latest trailer, or peruse iFilm's collection of 300 clips and extras.

IRAQ:  US and Iraqi forces originally planned for setting up 35 or 40 joint security outposts in Baghdad, but now it appears there will be about 70 such posts.  Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said that there has been an increase of citizen-provided tips to Iraqi and coalition authorities in the three weeks since the new security plan got started.  Two of the five additional US brigades involved in the so-called "surge" have arrived in Iraq, with a third brigade awaiting deployment in Kuwait.  Wednesday saw more targeted attacks mounted against Shia pilgrims outside the capital.  IraqSlogger reports that some former Mahdi militiamen have begun to dissociate themselves from Moqtada al-Sadr and take up arms to try to defend their Baghdad neighborhoods from attacks.  Shiite extremist groups are also surfacing in southern Iraq.  At ITM, Omar reports on political parties realigning in a more secular direction.  The Iraqi government is also trying to influence the Syrian government to stem the flow of foreign jihadis into Iraq by subtly raising the prospect of reopening the Iraq-Syria oil pipeline.

IRAN will attend the international conference on Iraq in Baghdad on Saturday.  The co-author of an upcoming book on Pres. Ahmadinejad reports that the recent disappearance of a former deputy defense minister has created panic inside Ahmadinejad's administration.  It appears that the former minister is cooperating with Western intell agenciesRussia is threatening to drag its heels on construction of the Bushehr nuclear plant over purported payment problems.  Coincidentally, the state-run press carries claims that Iran will not need anyone's help to build the next nuke facility.  The parliament approved rationing and hiking the price of gasoline, which is another reason why Hashemi Rafsanjani is openly challenging Ahmadinejad, especially on the economy.  The large-scale protests staged by teachers over the past week would be another reason.  And Ahmadinejad reportedly got into a spat with Syrian Pres. Assad over the establishment of an international tribunal on the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

AFGHANISTAN:  Afghan soldiers have captured a Taliban leader who tried to flee a security operation in the south dressed in a burqa, NATO said on Wednesday.


...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A Terrier with no ears.  Vets hope they will be able to let the tiny dog hear properly for the first time by making tiny openings where his outer ears should be.  Pics at the link.

GREY PANTHER POWER:  A 61-year-old British great-grandmother landed a 100 lb. shark on vacation... in Florida.  A 73-year-old British retiree helped save a man from the jaws of a 7-ft-long alligator while on vacation... in Florida.

SNAKES on a PLANE:  Workers at a northern Malaysian airport cargo complex found 2,400 snakes of a protected species in crates bound for Hong Kong sent by smugglers in Thailand, news reports said today.

COWS stare unamazed as they take the rap for eating dozens of chickens that went missing from a remote village in eastern India.

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Todd Rundgren, How Indie Rock Saved My Life, Russian Dwarf Hamster   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


TODD RUNDGREN and ROD STEWART are famous for the wrong reasons, according to a piece at the UWM Post.  In the interest of correcting the record, here is The Nazz's "Open My Eyes" and Rundgren's "Hello, It's Me" and "I Saw the Light."  And here is The Faces playing "Stay With Me" and "Ooh La La."

RY COODER gets audio features from both Morning Edition and World Cafe at NPR, streaming several songs from and interviews on My Name Is Buddy, a concept album about a farm cat who hooks up with a labor-agitating mouse and a blind preacher toad.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN:  Bright Eyes, The National, Spoon, Cat Power, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Mastadon and country legend Charlie Louvin (and guests) are all touring -- though not together.

MARY WEISS of the Shangri-Las has recorded her first album of new material since 1965.  NPR has the audio feature.  And yep, she's got a couple streaming from HerSpace, one of which is "A Certain Guy," which is really Ernie K-Doe's "A Certain Girl," later covered by The Yardbirds and Warren Zevon, among others.

WILCO has posted "What Light" from Sky Blue Sky for your streaming and downloading pleasure.  BTW, I did by chance hear the upcoming album over the weekend; it's quite good.  The opening track, "Either Way," really reminds me of The Band in spots.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  The Bird and the Bee in "Again and Again."  You can stream more jazzy pop from Inara George (daughter of the late Lowell George) and Greg Kurstin at TheirSpace.

ANDY PARTRIDGE of XTC, Barry Andrews of XTC and Shriekback and Shriekbacker Martyn Barker improv under the name Monstrance in glorious Quicktime.

MARGOT & THE NUCLEAR SO & SO'S:  My Old Kentucky Blog is streaming three new songs in advance of their debut on Dodge's Sirius satellite radio show.

JOHN SELLERS gives Largehearted Boy a music mix  for his new book, Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life, even though he thought:  "1) It was going to be impossible to narrow down the list to less than 1,000 songs, and 2) half of those were written by Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices."  More links at LHB.  You can also stream his interview with USA Today's Whitney Matheson, who also posts an excerpt from the book.

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY will soon announce its first Lou Reed/Delmore Schwartz Scholar.  What better way to celebrate than to jukebox an "alternate" version of the first Velvet Unnderground album.


SCARLETT JOHANSSON and JESSICA BIEL were snapped shopping together in Paris.  Scar-jo tried to hide behind her hat, but she couldn't hide on the video.  Somewhere, Justin Timberlake's ears were burning.

BRITNEY SPEARS is still in rehab, so Fed-Ex took the kids to Vegas last weekend.  American Idol judge Simon Cowell says that he could not care less about pop tart's recent meltdown and rehab stint, which he called "fashionable" and an "indulgence."

NAOMI CAMPBELL will be made to mop floors and sweep corridors at a New York city public building in the coming months, as punishment for attacking her maid.  But the real punishment is that she is barred from turning it into a reality show.

GREY'S ANATOMY:  ABC is using Isaiah Washington's anti-gay slur and subsequent "rehab" to play hardball in contract negotiations.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but Howard K. Stern has reportedly admitted he's not the father of Smith's daughter Dannielynn and is now willing to sign over the paternity rights to the man who believes he is the baby's real dad, Larry Birkhead - for the right price.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL, ANNE HATHAWAY, and her breasts on the set of Brokeback Mountain.  It's a touching story.  Maybe even more touching than the Stanley Tucci story.

LINDSAY LOHAN lashes out at the tabloids for romantically linking her to every man she is seen out with.  Maybe it's not a good idea to tell the tabloids: "Sex And The City changed everything for me because those girls would just sleep with so many people. And that's me. I'm not dating just one person. It is the variety of partners everyone likes, especially at my age."  ALSO:  Li-Lo looked disheveled and worryingly thin in the toilets of the plush Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel last weekend.

JUDE LAW and his kids had to bunk down at ex-wife Sadie Frost's house after his boiler exploded, because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Refreshingly normal for a celeb.

GWYNETH PALTROW will talk about her kids' celebrity play dates, but hubby (and Coldplay frontman) Chris Martin doesn't want to talk about Gwyneth Paltrow.

ASTRONUT Lisa Nowak may have been set off when she found these explicit e-mails between space shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein & Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman.

SPEED RACER:  The live-action version directed by the Wachowski Brothers starts production June 5 in Berlin and is due May 23, 2008.

PRES. GEORGE H.W. BUSH denies fondling Teri Hatcher's rear end; let's go to the video.

THE FAKE GUCCI AD:  The Swiss man who conned one of the country's biggest papers into publishing a two-page ad he created of himself posing semi-naked beside a bottle of Gucci perfume is a sign of how desperate some are becoming for their proverbial 15 minutes.  Andy Warhol would be proud, particularly of doing so through a fake ad.

FRANCE:  The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists.  Apparently the annual youth intifadas will go away if you cannot see them on the Internet.

IRAQ:  The joint US-Iraqi force of 1,150 soldiers and police have established 23 checkpoints in Sadr City.  Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militiamen have shaven their beards, changed their attire, and hidden their weapons, according to IraqSlogger.  Local council leaders in Shi'a areas fear that the crackdown on the militia will leave the Shi'a areas defenseless against armed Sunni extremists, who will try to re-incite the cycle of sectarian killing with high profile attacks both inside and outside the capital, as the attack on pilgrims traveling to Karbala shows.  Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno said that the readiness of the Iraqi battalions arriving in Baghdad is rising steadily and that there have been major recruiting successes in Anbar province.  Michael Yon also has another essential dispatch about Iraqi forces, with Lt. Gen Oderino and Geraldo Rivera making cameo appearances.  Col. Sean B. MacFarland, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, talked to Stars and Stripes about his unit's experiences in Tal Afar and Ramadi.  British troops have seized "a significant arsenal" of ammunition from insurgents in Basra.

IRAQ at HOME:  House Democrats are pushing to add billions of dollars to Pres. Bush's request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, including 900 million for troops suffering from brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Liberal House Democrats are revolting over the move, threatening to vote against the bill because it doesn't go far enough toward ending the war.

IRAN:  The former deputy defense minister who disappeared in neighboring Turkey last month is said to have sought asylum in the US, according to the newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat.  It's... interesting that this report -- and yesterday's -- originated in the Saudi-owned press.

DOG discovers that what happens at the Dominican Carnival does not necessarily stay at the Dominican Carnival.

A BLACK LABRADOR who plunged through thin ice on a Denver was reunited with her owner after a firefighter in a dive suit scooted along the ice and scooped up the scrambling pooch.  Let's go to the video.

ASSAULT with a stolen catfish.

THE BLACK RHINO BIRTH at Paignton Zoo in Devon was captured on webcam.  Video at the link.

A RUSSIAN DWARF HAMSTER escapes death!  It turns out this story dates back to last August, but I just could not resist the chance to type "Russian Dwarf Hamster."  Pic at the link.

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