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Fountains of Sedaka, Bjork, Replacements, a 6-Legged Calf   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 07, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NEIL SEDAKA is backed by the Fountains of Wayne on "Calendar Girl" at Joes Pub in NYC, so you'll have to watch the original Scopitone to see the chicks.

WILCO frontman Jeff Tweedy talks about this summer's festival gigs with SPIN; there's even linked video.

BJORK played NYC's United Palace Saturday night, with African collective Konono No. 1 both opening for and backing her.  You can stream their sets via NPR on demand.

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff talks about a recent knife fight, "literary bands" and more with The Believer.  Welcome to the Working Week has also reprinted Scheff's essay on file-sharing, icymi last year.

JOE JACKSON, an early Pate influence, was a recent "vault" selection at Idolator, so you can stream "It's Different for Girls" and "I'm the Man" via the ol' HM at the moment.

THE REPLACEMENTS: By chance, three interviews turned up last week.  The first is the entirely appropos "Drinking with the Replacements" from ther old Creem magazine. (Thanks LHB and Waved Rumor)  The second is on video from 1984, conducted by DJ Mike Eck of Real George's Back Room. Finally, there's a segment from the Cutting Edge show sponsored by IRS Records; about halfway thorugh, the interviewer finally asks why the band shaved its eyebrows.

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC:  Seed magazine has posted a conversation between David Byrne and Daniel Levitin, neuroscientist and author of This is Your Brain on Music. Or, if you prefer, you can watch it on video.

AN AQUARIUM DRUNKARD has posted his latest podcast, which ranges from Link Wray to Captain Beefheart to Dwight Yoakum to Guided by Voices to the Beatles.

THE TOP 50 INDIE ANTHEMS, according to NME, lean in a British direction, as you might imagine.  From this side of the pond, the lack of Replacements, Huskers, Minutemen, etc. is rather glaring.

MONDO DIAO talks to Straight about trying to stay out of the touring rut on tour.  And while they are on tour, you can stream a bunch of tracks via the ol' HM.

THE WEEKEND BOX OFFICE IS SPIDER-MAN 3, which took in an estimated 148 million in its first weekend, surpassing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest by about $12 million.  Its Friday-Saturday total of $109.8 million would be the third largest opening of all-time, beating Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.  The original Spider-Man took a week to make that much money.  Indeed, Spidey 3 scored the biggest worldwide opening ever with 375 million, upsetting the previous record of $254 mil by Star Wars Episode III. Spider-Man 3 is already the third largest movie of the year behind Wild Hogs and 300.  The per screen average was over 34,000, despite having the widest release ever..  Whether it will have legs in the face of the third Shrek and Pirates movies remains to be seen, but will probably own the next two weeks.

Second place at the cineplex was Disturbia which made 5.7 million on a 36.6% drop.  Everything else in the Top Ten dropped at least 49%.  Fracture and The Invisible earned in the low threee million range.  Rounding out the Top Five, Next dropped 61% to make 2.7 million.  Lucky You debuted in the unlucky sixth slot, making 2.5 million.  Meet the Robinsons was close behind with 2.4 million, while Blades of Glory skated in with 2.3 million.  Hot Fuzz made another 2 million, while Are We Done Yet? clung tenaciously to the bottom of the Top Ten with 1.7 million.  Another way to put this is that Spider-Man 3 made more each day than the rest did all weekend.

THE FRENCH HOTEL arrived ten minutes late to the hearing on her probation violation and was sentenced to 45 days in county jail; the judge's ruling excluded her from paying to serve time in a jail of her choice, as some violators are allowed to do.  TMZ has the rundown on what the heirhead can expect at the Century Regional Detention Facility in beautiful Lynwood,Calif. -- just minutes from nearby Compton!

DAVID HASSELHOFF:  The release of that videotape showing the former Baywatch star intoxicated and incoherent -- shot by his 16-year-old daughter -- has turned the actor into a mean, lean, damage-control machine.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly furious about those topless pictures of her leaking online.  They really aren't much worse than other real photo shoots the pop tart has done, but I'm sure she thinks they set back her image rehab.

LINDSAY LOHAN is spiralling out of control since rehab, according to the uber-reliable News of the World, which has sordid snaps purporting to show Li-Lo on a cocaine binge.

SASHA BARON COHEN, contrary to prior rumors, will not be playing Freddie Mercury in a musical biopic.

PAMELA ANDERSON wants to see movie beauty SCARLETT JOHANSSON disrobe for Playboy, but does not think she would agree to it.  But would it kill Pam to try to convince Scar-Jo?

RICHARD GERE and actress Shilpa Shetty seem to be in better shape, now that the judge who issued obscenity charges against them was reportedly transferred from his post in Jaipur to the small town of Kishangarh several hours away.  High Court Commissioner C. P. Singh said the transfer was "routine" - but noted the order came from a state chief justice.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise has his friends out trying to convince People that Holmes is not a prisoner on the crazy train.

BRUCE WILLIS tells Vanity Fair that "it's hard for people to understand," but he goes on family vacations with ex-wife Demi Moore and her new husband Ashton Kutcher.

FRANCE:  Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy won the presidential election on Sunday, defeating Socialist Ségolène Royal by a comfortable margin.  Even women voters were shunning Royal.  Thousands of riot police were deployed in Paris after warnings that victory for Sarkozy could spark violent protests.

IRAN:  South Africa proposed a compromise to prevent global talks on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty from collapsing over Iranian objections to the agenda, and Tehran said it would consider the idea.  OTOH, Pres. Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that Iran is entitled to make complete use of all of its nuclear capacity and will never give up its inalienable right.  Iran's foreign minister walked out of a dinner of diplomats where he was seated directly across from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on the pretext that the female violinist entertaining the gathering was dressed too revealingly.

IRAQ:  Az-Zaman reported that the two main Shi'a militias - the Badr brigades, affiliated with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), and Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army - have been engaged in open confrontations in Baghdad, Diwaniya, Najaf and other Iraqi cities.  The newspaper also said that US forces have participated in the battles, on SCIRI's side, by using helicopters to bombard the Sadrist positions.  Iraq's foreign minister has an op-ed in the Washington Post begging the US not to abandon them.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A calf with six legs.  "He's a real freak," said Brian Slocum, who said the calf was born Sunday to one of his cows on acentral Nebraska farm. "I've never seen anything like this before."

RINGLING BROS. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is threatening to bypass P.T. Barnum's home state if Connecticut's legislature passes a bill prohibiting the use of an elephant-herding tool known as a bullhook.

DOGS will be pooping in luxury at the The Austonian, the swank 55-story luxury condo tower that will be going up at Second Street and Congress Avenue in Austin, TX.

A BRITISH WOMAN has applied to become the legal guardian of a chimp to fight for its human rights.

A PUPPY and a DUCK have become fast friends in China.  Let's go to the video.

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Buzzcocks, Cinco de Mayo, Cutout Bin, Spider-Man   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 04, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE BUZZCOCKS!  So many great songs... but they're short, so let's have more than usual.  Start with "What Do I Get?" live at Manchester's famed Electric Circus, followed by "Ever Fallen In Love?" plus "Love You More" and "I Don't Mind" from the Lesser Free Trade Hall.  Add "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" from German TV, along with "Sixteen Again" and "Nothing At All" from The Old Grey Whistle Test.  Finish by juxtaposing the promo clips for "Lipstick" and "Why She's the Girl From the Chainstore" with a recent -- and slightly censored -- live clip of "Orgasm Addict."

THE TOP 25 UNDER-APPRECIATED ARTISTS, according to Rolling Stone... and it's not a bad list at all, maybe because they got help from the blog's readers.  More than a few influences on Pate, too.

THE LONG WINTERS frontman John Roderick talks to the Salem Statesman Journal about a variety of topics including the post-grunge years in the Seattle music scene: "It was actually a really fertile time for music, '94-'98... The rest of the world didn't care about Seattle anymore, so musicians turned inward and played off each other."  There are still a bunch of Long Winters tracks to stream via the ol' HM right now, so you should do that.

EXENE CERVENKA talks to The A.V. Club about different types of songs and different types of audiences.

THE BROKEN WEST has a live mini-set streaming from the World Cafe via NPR.  David Dye thinks they may get his "Rookie of the Year."  I would say they are in the running.

CINCO DE MAYO is tomorrow, so here's your live Liz Phair and your Pee-Wee Herman, because you can never have "Too Much Tequila."  At least, not according to this public service announcement.

DEAN & BRITTA:  Dean Wareham, who may be more productive in a "funk" than most are at their peak, talked to Filter about coming out of that funk to record Back Numbers with wife Britta Phillips and legendary producer Tony Visconti.  Which is a good excuse to relink to the fab video for "Words You Used To Say."

BOB DYLAN has been singing to his grandson's kindergarten class just for fun. The kids tell their parents about the "weird man" who keeps coming to their class to sing "scary" songs on his guitar.

MY MORNING JACKET has a mix CD of nearly two dozen songs that it uses to get into the mood; Harp magazine has the tracklisting.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are:  Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free; The Ramones - Spiderman Theme; Hoodoo Gurus - Come Anytime; The Vapors - Turning Japanese; The Replacements - Can't Hardly Wait; Nick Lowe - Mary Provost; Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues; James Brown - Night Train; Big Mama Thornton - Hound Dog; The Black Keys - 10AM Automatic; The Hives - Hate To Say I Told You So; The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - Fire; Donny & Marie - A Little Bit Country; Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll?; Ted Nugent - Free-For-All; Rush - Working Man; Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song; Ike & Tina Turner - Whole Lotta Love; Sly & The Family Stone - Stand!; and Rhythm Heritage - Theme From S.W.A.T.

SPIDER-MAN 3:  Although I usually joke about going to advance or midnight screenings solely as service to Pate visitors, I should say it's half-true in this case.  One of the reasons I started posting movie-related things here is that -- before this site existed -- I used to get e-mail, phone calls, etc. from my friends who have kids about whether they could see movies like the first Spider-Man, because and my friends knew that I would have already seen it.  I could at least tell them what got a film a PG-13 rating... so I'll update with a review when I get back from the midnight show.

...and I'm back.  As y'all are probably going to see it regardless of my opinion, I'll say it's my least favorite of the series.  Which doesn't mean it isn't good; it is good.  And I wouldn't even say it's a disappointment.  The word I would use is "overstuffed."  Not necessarily a bad thing; an overstuffed chair or couch can be quite comfy.  But in a Spider-Man movie, I think you want to spend a little more time on the edge of your seat.  In particular, it's thematically overstuffed.  The first movie was about Spidey's credo: "With great power comes great responsibility."  The sequel dealt with the temptation to abandon that responsibility.  This movie deals somewhat with the "power" (and fame) side of the equation, and its temptations -- and could have been great had it stuck to that theme.  But the story ultimately turns on another theme; a good theme, which could also have made a great movie.  Juggling both themes, however, ultimately costs the flick a bit in its pacing and character development.  And the humor occasionally strays too far toward camp, though I would have completely forgiven that if not for the overstuffing.  As for taking the kids, I would say the level and types of violence are similar the first one.  However, I'll put one spoiler in the "extended entry" to explain one twist that might matter; you can access that spoiler by clicking the "Read Full Article" link at the bottom of today's blurbs. Overall, I recommend Spidey 3, but more mildly than I would have liked.  BONUS:  PopMatters has "A Guide to All Things Spider-Man," with embedded video and such.

NOW SHOWING:  Aside from the third coming of the web-slinger, which is currently scoring 65 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (but only 48 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics) this weekend's sole wide release is Drew Barrymore and Eric Bana in the poker movie Lucky You, which is scoring a mere 35 percent.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel left London restaurant China Tang at 9.30pm, by didn't arrive home until midnight - staggering out of the car with specks of what looks like white powder down her jeans.  I have to think the troubled singer is going to be miffed that Moss copped a powdered donut without him.

BRITNEY SPEARS lip-synched her routine of older hits again in L.A., leading MSNBC's Michael Ventre to ask, "Who are these gullible fools who wait hours for 15 minutes of nothing?"

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Witherspoon and co-star Jake Gyllenhaal were spotted giving each other an early-morning goodbye Monday after spending Sunday night together, according to the paps at X17.

BRADGELINA:  Despite tabloid break-up rumors, the couple shared a romantic meal in Prague the other night.  Jolie is there shooting the forthcoming action thriller Wanted.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Former Melrose Place costars Heather Locklear and Jack Wagner are teeing up a hot romance, People reports in its new issue.

LINDSAY LOHAN just can't seem to stop partying -- and, unluckily for her, word on the street is that someone may have recorded her revelry with a cellphone video camera.

THE FRENCH HOTEL  is in big trouble, if the Los Angeles City Attorney has his way.  He wants the celebutard to spend 45 days in jail on a probation violation for allegedly driving on a suspended license.

DAVID HASSELHOFF is a man in crisis!  Extra has obtained recent video in which a shirtless and extremely intoxicated Hasselhoff sits on the floor in his residence in Las Vegas so out of it that he is unable to feed himself a hamburger.  Pics at the link, but no video... yet.  Which means I have to go straight to the Oooga-Chakkas.  UPDATE:  Extra has some Quicktime video up at that first link; there's also video at ET... which was shot by his 16-year-old daughter!

THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE, according to Time magazine does not include US Pres. George W. Bush, but does include conspiracy theorist Rosie O'Donnell, and Justin Timberlake.  Pres. Bush made the Top 100 in the reader's poll, though he's far below former American Idol contestant Sanjaya Malaker, U2 frontman Bono, gossip-blogger Perez Hilton, and graphic novelist Frank Miller.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  British intell service MI-5 and police are monitoring about 2,000 individuals who they say are actively involved in supporting al-Qaeda.  Some are thought to have direct links with al-Qaeda in Pakistan.

IRAQ:  The so-called "Islamic State of Iraq" has apparently issued a statement denying the claims of the death of its alleged leader, known as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, and admitting the death of its "official spokesman," a militant who was announced killed by the US.   The Iraqi government has sent a draft oil law to parliament -- a major step towards meeting one of the political benchmarks Washington has set for Baghdad -- but Sunni and (unexpected) Kurdish reservations could derail the bill.  The Bu-Fahed tribe, which had been one of al-Qaeda's staunchest supporters, has switched to join the Anbar Salvation Council, which is aligned with the Iraqi and US gov'ts.  The Karki and Shimouri tribes signed a peace agreement in Diyala province, promising to "consolidate and unify to battle all insurgents that penetrate among (their) tribes."  US and Iraqi forces took back the entire Tahrir neighborhood from al-Qaeda during a weeklong operation that wrapped up recently in Baquba, where Coalition forces had once been too undermanned to tackle AQ.

MYSTERY SERPENT:  It's not the Loch Ness Monster or the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but a seven-to-ten-foot-long creature recently caught on tape by a Florida diver does have scientists scratching their heads.  Video at the link.

SCIENTISTS believe they may have found a chink in the armour of the dreaded cane toad invading Australia en masse.  It's a parasite.

CASH FOR COCKROACHES:  The 25-cent-per-bug offer comes from the Houston Museum of Natural Science, which is trying to secure 1,000 live cockroaches for an updated insect display.

SNAKE on a BUS:  A four-foot snake was found on the Lafayette High School campus in Lousiana, wrapped around the mirror on a school bus just before classes let out.

COWS stare unamazed as they are rented for £80 per month in Eggerstanden, Switzerland.  Lessees may visit their cows as often as they want, milk them and receive a souvenir picture.

Read full article: 'Buzzcocks, Cinco de Mayo, Cutout Bin, Spider-Man'
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FoW, Thin Lizzy, New Buffalo Tom & PolySpree, Sex-Crazed Toads   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 03, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE:  Adam Schlesinger amuses The A.V. Club with tales of working on the movie Music And Lyrics, opening for Jessica Simpson, and fighting to receive less credit for his work.  Chris Collingwood, who worked as a psychiatric counselor before co-founding the band, tells the San Francisco Examiner about becoming a psychiatric patient -- he was blindsided a few months ago by recurring acid-trippy visions of "my ex-girlfriend, pulling puppies out of her head, puppies that weren't actually there."  The band just posted the video for "Someone To Love" at TheirSpace. 

THIN LIZZY:  It's not exactly "live," and to modern ears, its tightly scripted songs likely won't seem terribly "dangerous." Yet Live and Dangerous, a 1978 double album, is the best existing document of the under-appreciated Irish hard-rock band -- according to Tom Moon, who made it NPR's Shadow Classic this week.  You can stream three songs, including you-know-what.

BLUR will reconvene in the studio this summer and make a new album with founding guitarist Graham Coxon, Alex James has confirmed.

YOU'RE COVERED:  Heather Browne has posted scads of versions of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me," all streamable.  Pretending Life Is Like A Song has eight versions of "That's Entertainment" you can stream via the ol' HM.

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT?  London's Independent sits in on rehearsals for the Paul Weller-less Jam tour.

THE AMERICAN BREED does some wonderfully bad lip-syncing in this wonderfully cheap clip for "Bend Me, Shape Me."

SONIC YOUTH gets a lengthy profile from Filter magazine, celebrating 25 years of Kool Kulture.  RTWT.

BUFFALO TOM is back together after nine years with "Three Easy Pieces," which you can download or stream from the "'Gum Mix" at the link.

JOAN BAEZ, folk singer and anti-war activist, says she doesn't know why she was not allowed to perform for recovering soldiers recently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  John "Cougar" Mellencamp had apparently been invited and tried to stick her on the bill at the last minute.  Baez has a theory though: "There might have been one, there might have been 50 (soldiers) that thought I was a traitor."  Or it might have to do with the fact that she is tight with groups like Code Pink, which paraded coffins around Walter Reed.  If she wanted to sing now because she sincerely believes she "might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam," she might want to talk to her friends about taking the same attitude.

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE is previewing its upcoming Fragile Army album as an eight-minute mash-up.

BRITNEY SPEARS performed live late Tuesday night for the first time in nearly three years for screaming fans at the House of Blues in San Diego.  The 14-minute set had the pop tart lip-syncing her way through "... Baby One More Time," "Do Somethin'," "I'm a Slave 4 U," "Breathe on Me" and "Toxic."  Oh, and some recent topless pics have surfaced on the 'net, too.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes has been "flirting" with her "Mad Money" co-star Adam Rothenberg, according to Life & Style, which reports that the twosome has been throwing more into their romantic performances than the movie script calls for.  Star magazine has similar scoop, plus word that when Cruise leaves the Louisiana set to fly back to L.A., she moves back to a house she set up in Southern Trace to be closer to the cast.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Star magazine joins the ranks of those claiming the recently rehabbed starlet is already back off the wagon, having been spotted downing champagne and other alcohol at the West Hollywood hotspot Winston's on April 19.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Reports of Witherspoon breaking it off with co-star Jake Gyllenhaal may be a bit premature, as the two were spotted driving together on the 101 Freeway in L.A. last Friday night.

BRADGELINA:  After Jolie made her directorial debut at the Tribeca Film Festival with her documentary A Place in Time, she gave a lapdance to Olivier Martinez, a participant in the documentary and her costar in the 2004 thriller Taking Lives, with whom she reportedly had a fling at the time.

EX-CIA CHIEF GEORGE TENET and RON JEREMY were high school classmates.

TOBEY MAGUIRE "seems like he's an excellent dad," according to Spider-Man series co-star James Franco.  And not gay, according to a new tell-all on the tabloid biz.  NTTAWWT.  BONUS:  Will Spider-Man 3 underachieve?

IRON MAN:  Yesterday, I linked to a pic of Tony Stark's "Mark I" armor; now Entertainment Weekly shows us the "Mark III" armor... and it rocks, too.

JESSICA ALBA, who last week topped FHM magazine's 100 sexiest women poll, has revealed she dresses down to hide away at premieres.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY says she was "devastated" when images of her appeared in magazine articles about the "skinny celebrity" debate.  Apparently so, as she now claims she would love to have a body like The Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto.  And saying that the "celebrity thing is completely crazy. I think I just have to move away or give it up altogether."

TURKEY:  The country's Constitutional Court annulled the first round of voting for a new President in the Turkish Parliament, effectively forcing early elections -- but that vote will not necessarily resolve the standoff between the Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP) and th secular establishment, including the military. If the AKP is returned with a stronger majority, some analysts are not ruling out the possibility of the military mounting a coup.

IRAN:  A meeting of 130 nations on how to shore up the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was suspended after Iran raised objections. Iran claims it is capable of mass producing the machines used for enriching uranium. Former nuke negotiator Hossein Mousavian, an ally of former President Rafsanjani, was arrested and may be tried for espionage.  Pres. Ahmadinejad was accused of indecency after he publicly embraced and kissed on the hand an elderly woman who used to be his schoolteacher.

IRAQ:  Confusion reigns over the report of AQI head Abu Ayyub al-Masri's death.  Prime Minister al-Maliki urged US Secretary of State Rice to talk with Iraq's neighbors for "the stability of Iraq and the region." Politics make for strange bedfellows as former Prime Minister Allawi's bloc is negotiating with the Sadrist bloc over forming a new opposition bloc in the parliament.  The Anbar Salvation Council has formed an expeditionary unit or units, designed to operate outside of Anbar's provincial boundaries, apparently with the approval of the Iraqi government.  Experts say pulling US forces from Iraq could trigger a catastrophe, affecting not just Iraq but its neighbors in the Middle East, with far-reaching global implications.

A WAYWARD GATOR blocked all eastbound lanes of Loop 410 in San Antonio, TX, while at least 10 officers and one game warden spent an hour Sunday morning poking, prodding, singing to him and eventually lassoing him.

SEX-CRAZED TOADS killed prime carp worth £20,000 at a fishing lake by dragging them down into an underwater orgy.

THE PACIFIC CHORUS FROG is now the official amphibian of Washington state.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Louisiana strikes back.

SHEEP-DOG SCAM UPDATE:  A Japanese film star has denied reports she was conned into buying a lamb disguised as a poodle.

THE SWARM:  The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center shut down the emergency room Monday, as officials waited for a beekeeper to come vacuum up the 7,000 insects.

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Lester Bangs, Advance Wilco and Bjork, Dungen, Knut   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CHUCK BERRY and JOHN LENNON, along with Yoko and Elephant's Memory, play "Johnny B. Goode" on The Mike Douglas Show.

LESTER BANGS:  Portrayed by Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman in Almost Famous, and paid tribute in song by musicians as diverse as the Ramones, Bob Seger, R.E.M., the Buzzcocks, the Mekons and Big Audio Dynamite, his iconoclastic rock criticism remains inspirational 25 years after his death.  So much so that PopMatters has posted an anguished open letter to Bangs on the sorry state of rock criticism.  BONUS:  The final chat with Lester Bangs from 11/99.

WILCO is now streaming Sky Blue Sky in full on demand ahead of the May 15 release date.

FEIST is offering three bonus downloads... if you get her new album through Best Buy!  What will this do to her indie cred?

BJORK'S new album is due next week, but you can stream the whole thing now from NME, in return for your e-mail address.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Since we're between the new Son Volt album and the upcoming Wilco album, I was in the mood for "Chickamauga" by Uncle Tupelo.

BOBBY "BORIS" PICKETT, whose dead-on Boris Karloff impression propelled the Halloween anthem "Monster Mash" to the top of the charts in 1962, making him one of pop music's most enduring one-hit wonders, has died of leukemia. He was 69.

DUNGEN has released "Familj" as an advance track from Tio Bitar, due May 15th.  Brandon Stuosy recently talked to guitarist Reine Fiske about his day job as a Swedish postal worker.

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL has been canceled until Monday, May 7, because of problems with defense attorney Bruce Cutler's diabetes medications.

NEIL YOUNG:  The Age notes that the recently released Crazy Horse at the Fillmore 1970 and Live At Massey Hall 1971 are just appetizers for a 10-disc box of CDs and DVDs due in September, The Archives Vol. 1, 1963-1972. That box, in turn, is one of "four or five" that Young has up his chequered flannel sleeve for future Christmases.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sean Ghent, hired last May to head up a new three-man close protection team for the couple as they prepared to announce their divorce, says Heather blames Sir Paul's broken promises over changing his boozy, dope-smoking lifestyle for splitting them up.  He also claims Sir Paul was depressed and seeing a shrink after the split.  Meanwhile, speculation is growing over the "deepening friendship" between the Cute One and brewery heiress Sabrina Guinness.

TOM POSTON, a comic TV fixture from "The Steve Allen Show," "To Tell the Truth," "Mork & Mindy," "The Bob Newhart Show" and "Newhart," to name but a few, died Monday at his L.A. home after a brief illness; he was 85.

BRITNEY SPEARS was the victim of attempted blackmail after a fan gave her a bugged teddy bear in order to eavesdrop on the pop tart's private conversations.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise seems to have made a friend of former target Brooke Shields, as the two (and their spouses) were betting their blues away in Sin City.

NO SECRET:  Gisele Bundchen is giving up her wings as lead angel for lingerie giant Victoria's Secret because it wouldn't up her $5 million-a-year salary.  A source told Page Six: "Her demands were outrageous. She got a new lawyer who was unrealistic."

ROSIE O'DONNELL says "you'll hear very soon" about her post-View plans.  In the meantime, she's using the show to suggest that Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11, that the gov't made things up to invade Iraq (though Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) would disagree), that the "vast majority" of the US military join because they are poor and uneducated (all data to the contrary), and remind us that terrorists are "mothers" and "fathers."  Osama bin Laden has fathered anywhere from 12 to 24 children, so what's not to like?

LINDSAY LOHAN admits that part of her loves being a paparazzi target -- but she wishes the photogs would stop bothering her for a while so that she can win an Oscar.  I don't think she could live without the cameras for that long.

ORLANDO BLOOM hugged an angry stalker who broke into his hotel room.  He may end up regretting telling that story.

BRADGELINA:  Angelina Jolie has more pull with the US Marshals than Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito.

KIM KARDASHIAN:  The celebutard has dropped her lawsuit against Vivid Entertainment over the release of her sex tape with former BF, R&B artist Ray J... and will reportedly receive close to five million in the settlement.

IRON MAN:  There's a "first look" at the superhero movie -- including quotes from Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau -- in the USA Today.  Actually, I'm digging this picture of the original armor from the movie.

RATATOUILLE:  It's not due until June 29th, but you can see nine minutes of Pixar's next picture (with intros from director Brad Bird) at Uncle Walt's place now.

GLOBAL WARMING:  During the last 10,000 years climate has been seesawing between the North and South Atlantic Oceans, according to a new study.  The results imply that Europe may face a slightly cooler future than predicted by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

TURKEY'S three-way standoff between the government, opposition and military over the next president moved to the nation's top court, where an expected ruling could send the nation to early elections - or to continued parliamentary balloting under the shadow of disapproving generals.

IRAN:  A grand coalition of anti-government forces is planning a second Iranian revolution via the ballot box to deny Pres. Ahmadinejad another term in office and break the grip of what they call the "militia state" on public life and personal freedom.  Meanwhile, the First International Congress on the Culture of Resistance got under way with a discussion of "The Islamic World, Victim of Terrorism."  Since yesterday was May Day, it's worth noting that Tehran has not been shy about partially severing the tongue of a labor organizer, or arresting the head of the bakery workers, or jailing striking teachers, and banning labor activities by metal and electrical workers.

IRAQ:  An Iraqi Interior ministry official announced the death of Abu Ayyoub al-Masri, known also as the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, but uncertainties have emerged and the claim is denied by  the "Islamic State of Iraq."  Shaker of salt.  A rumor is circulating in Baghdad that Moqtada al-Sadr has ordered the Mahdi Army to attack trucks transporting concrete blocks, in order to frustrate the plan to build a wall separating the area of Adamiya from the rest of the capital, according to IraqSlogger.  Bing West, on his 13th trip visiting with units in Iraq, reports from Combat Outpost Fort Apache in Adamiyah.  Owen West (Bing's son), who has served two tours in Iraq, has a NYT op-ed on the "surge."  Nationwide, it appears that US casualties were up and civilian casualties were down this month.  Prime Minister al-Maliki said that the Iraqi Cabinet accepted a draft law which states how Iraq's oil profits will be shared and outlines terms of how foreign oil agencies will be able to operate in the country.

KNUT UPDATE:  The polar bear's days of extreme cuteness are numbered now that he is gradually mutating from a fluffy porridge-lapping cub into a heavy bruiser with a penchant for meat off the bone.

LITTLE DEBBIE vs. THE BEAR -- and the snackcake wins!

REGGIE RETURNS!  Reggie the alligator reappeared Monday after vanishing for 1 1/2 years in L.A.'s Lake Machado, where the reptile turned up in 2005 and repeatedly skunked would-be 'gator wranglers.

DUCKS have evolved complicated genitals in what appears to be an "arms race" between the sexes, researchers reported on Tuesday.  Yeah, that's it... an "arms" race.

THE FASTEST CHIHUAHUA IN AMERICA competition has started up again.  Here's some video from last year.

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Beirut, New Releases, PB&J, Grizzly Bear, Goatgate   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 01, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BEIRUT:  The band's latest video, for "Elephant Gun," (from the Lon Gisland EP) sports trunks, trumpets, and the Middle-European sound for which the band is currently known (word is there will be less of it on the upcoming LP).

NEW RELEASES:  Dinosaur Jr., Feist, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the indie-friendly Spider-Man 3 sdtk and more are all streaming in full this week via Spinner.

JOY DIVISION:  The Ian Curtis biopic, Control, will open the Director's Fortnight at this years Cannes Film Festival.

PETER BJORN & JOHN played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you can stream their set and that of opener Fujiya and Miyagi via NPR now.

ARCTIC MONKEYS may have set a new UK chart record this weekend with 18 songs in the top 200 -- a position not seen since the heyday of The Beatles -- albeit with help from the new rules counting download sales.

TWOFER TUESDAY:  From the "Where Are They Now?" file, we have "I Spy for the FBI" and "Free Yourself" from Hollywood ska-soul combo The Untouchables -- both from Back Porch Video, which seems to have been a cross between early MTV and Wayne's World.

WARREN ZEVON:  The New York Times reviews  "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," a no-holds-barred oral history of the lovable but wildly aberrant singer-songwriter, as told to his estranged wife, Crystal Zevon, after learning he had terminal cancer.

GRIZZLY BEAR frontman Ed Droste is interviewed about touring, tattoos and technology at Daytrotter, along with the free song downloads, including the band's take on "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)":  "I think we were really struck by the lyrical content and how dark it was. Dan had gotten the Phil Spector box set and he'd been listening to it a lot. He said, ‘I think we need to play this song.' I'd never heard that one before. And a man singing it was really intriguing to us."

GRUFF RHYS:  Releasing his second solo album, Candylion, is just the latest in an eventful year for the Super Furry Animals frontman. The SFA have just finished recording their eighth studio album, likely due in August; he also has a number of festival gigs and just announced the formation of Neon Neon, a side project with Boom Bip, whose first record is also due for release this summer.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel are getting blamed for encouraging kids to smoke by making the habit "look cool."  Which is faintly amusing, considering that Doherty is set to miss the launch of his fiancée's new fashion line because he is having a new implant fitted to help him quit drugs.

ROSEANNE BARR has emerged as the top contender to replace Rosie O'Donnell next year on The View, according to Page Six.  RELATED:  O'Donnell is a TV maestro who could mean big bucks for the next studio that signs her up, TV industry experts say.  And it appears that Elisabeth Hasselbeck is knocked up again.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The pop tart's  family feud may soon be coming to a magazine near you. Spears, who fired her manager and is fighting with her dad, is in talks with Allure to do a makeover shoot for its cover and give a tell-all interview.  Vanity Fair is also interested.  Also, she's been spotted again with rehabbing rocker Howie Day.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills believes she will be awarded £25 million in her divorce from Sir Paul McCartney, friends claim. They spoke out after Miss Mills's former bodyguard, Sean Ghent, suggested she was seeking a £200 million settlement.

BOY GEORGE is being investigated by London detectives probing assault and false imprisonment allegations made by a 28-year-old male escort.

COURTNEY LOVE plans to auction Kurt Cobain's belongings at Christie's , with "a bunch" of the money going to charity.  Love feels she has to move on with her life:  "I still wear his pajamas to bed. How am I ever going to go form another relationship in my lifetime wearing Kurt's pajamas?"

BRADGELINA:  Jolie and Mariane Pearl (the widow of murdered  Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, whom Jolie is playing on film), sit for a joint interview with Glamour magazine, which starts with the unusual way they met.

JON VOIGHT, Jolie's estranged father, talks to Radar magazine about the war on terror... and does not give the typical Hollywood answers.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but publishers are being pitched a book based on hours of never-printed interviews, in which the former Playmate talks about everything from her alleged childhood sex abuse to bedroom memories of billionaire husband J. Howard Marshall.

MADONNA will be unable to adopt another child from Malawi until legal difficulties with David are resolved.

TOM-KAT gets a tabloid round-up of the rumors surrounding their marriage via MSN.

JODIE FOSTER will play Leni Riefenstahl in a movie bound to generate controversy over the life and work of the Nazi documentarian.  The project has been in the works for at least seven years, but now a script is being written, and a director is being negotiated.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Witherspoon has reportedly told Jake Gyllenhaal to "date other people until she's ready to commit."

MIRACLES of SCIENCE:  A wonder pill has been developed which not only boosts a female's sex drive, but helps her lose weight at the same time. So far it has been tested only on shrews and monkeys, so I'm sure there are plenty of punchlines to be had.

GLOBAL WARMING...on MARS:  The red planet is being hit by climate change and so fast that it could lose its southern ice cap.  The mechanism at work on Mars appears, however, to be different from that on Earth, as Martians have yet to invent the SUV.  So much for that War of the Worlds thing.

TURKEY:  Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has failed to gain enough support in parliament to become president.  Secular opposition parties want to stop the Islamist-rooted AK Party from winning the presidency and will challenge the election in court.

AFGHANISTAN:  NATO and Afghan forces killed 136 Taliban in a weekend offensive in the Zerkoh Valley of Herat.  Infant mortality has dropped by 18 percent, one of the first real signs of recovery for the country five years after the fall of the Taliban regime.  That means that 40,000 to 50,000 infants who were dying annually during the Taliban era are alive today.

IRAQ:  Al-Sabah reported that some community leaders in Adhamiya are working on forming a council for their own district like that formed in Anbar province to fight al Qaeda.  A department of the prime minister's office is playing a leading role in the arrest and removal of senior Iraqi army and national police officers, some of whom had apparently worked too aggressively to combat violent Shiite militias, according to US military officials in Baghdad.  Michael Yon, embedded with the 1-4 Cavalry securing Babel College in Baghdad, has posted a photo essay of his journeys, with notes on the impact of the new joint operation strategy in the capital: "Despite so much bad news, much of which I deliver, it's heartening that most of the Iraqis are not fearful of Americans. What many Iraqis REALLY want - and they say it clearly - is to communicate directly with Americans at home..."

GOATGATE:  Electronics giant Sony has sparked a major row over animal cruelty and the ethics of the computer industry by using a freshly slaughtered goat to promote a violent video game.  Gaming site Kotaku sought out Sony for... the rest of the story.

BRAZILIAN FIRE ANTS:  A 2001 study shows the state of Texas spent nearly billion trying to fend off these ants, which are blamed for attacking farm animals, destroying utility boxes and land.

A BEAR ATTACK may not be much worse than the recovery from a bear attack.

SUMATRAN ORANGUTANS at Zoo Atlanta are playing computer games while researchers study their cognitive skills -- and zoo visitors get to watch for fun.

A SUMATRAN RHINO from L.A. is getting the pampered treatment from his Indonesian keepers -- including mud, massages and frequent foot rubs -- in hopes of preserving the species.

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