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Spoon Leaks, Mixtapes, Meat Puppets, Husky-Kitten tussle   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 21, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SPOON:  The band's July release, the ill-titled Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, has leaked on the Internet -- and Stereogum likes it.  Of the tracks that have trickled onto the music blogs, "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb" would be my pick to click; "Finer Feelings" was also an immediate grabber, with "Don't Make Me a Target" close behind.  Songs like "Black Like Me" and "Don't You Evah" seem like growers, too.  Why the band picked "The Ghost of You Lingers" for the first video for the LP is a little mystifying -- it's alright, but a little more challenging than some of the others.

AMY WINEHOUSE wed her on-again, then off-again, then back-on-again boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil Friday morning in Miami... the celebrated with a breakfast of burger and fries at the Big Pink Diner.

LOVE IS A MIXTAPE:  Heather Browne loves Rob Sheffield's book (previously noted here) and is streaming a killer mixtape of her own in tribute.

WILCO -- and frontman Jeff Tweedy -- get a meaty profile in London's Independent.  Tweedy talks about cleaning up with Australia's The Age, recording and songwriting with Mother Jones... and lists his favorite albums of the 1970s for The Wall Street Journal. (Thanks, LHB.)

ANDREW BIRD played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream the whole show on demand via NPR now.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Donovan prepares to blow your little mind on "Sunshine Superman."

ICE CREAM TRUCK MUSIC is blurbed in The New York Times.  But my brain is such a sponge for triva that I can direct you you to posts from 2005 and 2006 at WFMU's blog that have more, including MP3s of ice cream truck music.

THE HOLD STEADY:  Crawdaddy nicely attacks the Springsteen comparison: "Craig Finn is not the new Springsteen. He's not the new Springsteen anymore than Springsteen was the new Dylan or Dylan was the new Guthrie, for that matter..."  Nevertheless, Craig Finn wears the "bar band" title with pride.  And keyboardist Franz Nicolay wants to feed off the crowds, noting some of the band's best shows have been in other "flyover" towns such as Iowa City.

TERRY CALLIER:  An Aquarium Drunkard has posted a "drop-dead, badass soul jam" titled "You Miss Your Candyman" from Callier's 1973 abum, What Color is Love.

THE MEAT PUPPETS frontman Curt Kirkwood and fan-turned drummer Ted Marcus talk to LiveDaily about the band's reunion, Marcus' introduction to Meat Puppets, and Cris Kirkwood's recovery.  Curt tells the Salt Lake Tribune that it's about branding.

867-5309:  Having recently featured Jenny's phone number, I could not help but note this Boston Globe article on two plumbing companies fighting over it in court.

JESSICA SIMPSON and JOHN MAYER are on a break, "But they have broken up and gotten back together at least ten times before," according to a source close to Simpson.  She claims to be "very happy."  She also is denying reports that she was dropped by the Operation Smile charity.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Shrek the Third easily topped the box office with an estimated 122 million -- slightly better than most expected -- a record for an animated movie and the third biggest opening weekend of all-time, behind only Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.  Of course, it may fall to fourth once Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End opens next weekend.  But its success caused Spider-Man 3 to lose another 51%, though few tears will be shed at its 747 million worldwide total.  28 Weeks Later dropped one spot to third place with an estimated 5.2 million, and little was left for anyone else.  Sleeper hit Disturbia took in 3.7 million.  Georgia Rule dropped from third to fifth with 3.5 million.  Fracture held onto the sixth slot agaain with 2.4 million, Delta Farce slid to seventh with 1.8 million.  The Invisible dropped to eighth with 1.3 million.  Hot Fuzz bumped up to ninth with 1.2 million, just ahead of Keri Russell in Waitress, which made 1.1 million in limited release.

THE McCARTNEYS reportedly have called a truce in their acrimonious divorce battle, for their daughter's sake.

GEORGE MICHAEL has admitted being addicted to prescription drugs... and said he believes the world would be a better place if more people smoked marijuana.

JACKO has dropped his attempt to stop an auction of Jackson memorabilia and will be allowed to take 20 items from the auction first, probably the embarassing sexual material.

THE FRENCH HOTEL plans to pen a prison diary - and hopes it will make her millions.  California's Son of Sam law was struck down as unconstitutional in 2002.

BRITNEY SPEARS demanded to be let off the United Airlines flight from L.A. to Miami, minutes before takeoff Friday night, because it didn't have leather seats.  And she apparently had a lip-sync glitch in Orlando.

KATE HUDSON and OWEN WILSON went mattress shopping at Leeds in Santa Monica, test-flopped on a few, then zeroed in on a bouncy number called... the CelebrityBed.  And managed to offend at least one other customer in the process.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  New court documents, show that Ryan Phillippe wants to make a clean break from his marriage with Reese Witherspoon. He is asking for joint custody of the two kids, but no spousal or child support.

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO has reportedly signalled the end of his relationship with Israeli model Bar Rafaeli by hooking up with actress Daya Fernandez at the Cannes Film Festival.

JENNA JAMESON:  The pr0n princess proclaims her fondness for Scarlett Johansson and Hillary Clinton in a new intreview.

ROSIE O'DONNELL, who once said she would have a structural engineer on The View to talk about 9/11, has instead booked Korey Rowe and Dylan Avery, the creators of the online conspiracy film Loose Change,  You can watch their film get debunked in real time, or discover that even shock jocks Opie & Anthony are capable of doing it.

MICHAEL MOORE:  After his new flick Sicko debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, Canadian journalists grilled Moore about the large liberties he took with the facts about Canada's government-funded medical system.

FRANCE:  A Paris festival celebrating US music and culture has been called off following a series of anti-American threats -- including at least one mentioning Al-Qaeda organisers said on Sunday.

HAMAS MOUSE UPDATE:  The story of the Mickey Mouse look-alike who preaches armed "resistance" and Islamic domination is an indication of how the new Palestinian "unity" government has been functioning for the past three months.

IRAQ:  IraqSlogger has a link-rich round-up of the past week's news.  The leader of Iraq's largest Shiite party and a key figure in the country's political reform process, was diagnosed with lung cancer and traveled immediately to  Iran to seek medical treatment.  Moqtada al-Sadr is wooing Sunnis and open to US politicians seeking withdrawal from Iraq.  Bill Roggio surveys signals that a military showdown between Coalition forces in al Qaeda is looming in Diyala province.  London's Guardian has a piece on Iranian influence in Basra.  Coalition Forces detained suspected members of a secret cell terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training.

A KITTEN fights a HUSKY:  Fortunately for the kitty, the dog's heart just isn't in it.

SHARK ATTACK:  A woman bitten by a shark as she waded in knee-deep water at a remote Australian holiday beach said she fought off the predator with her camera to stop it from turning on her children.

KNUT UPDATE:  Having shared the cover of Vanity Fair's Green issue with Leo DiCaprio, the cuddly polar bear does a photo op with Newt Gingrich.

RARE DONKEYS:  The fourth foal of a breed of donkey rarer than the giant panda has been born in the space of a fortnight at a British farm.  Awww...some pic at the link.

A TANK FULL OF SHARKS and STINGRAYS is the perfect spot for a sword-swallower.

4530 Reads

The Sweet, Kinks, Cutout Bin, Shrek 3, Tiger Triplets   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 18, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl




...with THE SWEET!  The bubble-glam rockers are probably best known for the trifecta of "Little Willy," "Ballroom Blitz" and "Fox on the Run," though they also charted with the harder-edged "Action" and the more ballad-y "Love is Like Oxygen."  All of those clips also feature the band's rather unique fashion sense, but you have to see the clip for "Wig Wam Bam" -- complete with headdress -- to see the band at its most ridiculous.

WILCO and SON VOLT:  In the L.A. Weekly, Mark Mauer writes that it's "totally unfair and totally unnecessary to compare the new albums from Wilco and Son Volt..." then does so.  BONUS:  That Truncheon Thing has posted Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot demos. (Thanks, LHB.)

THE KINKS:  Heather Browne is streaming a 1977 gig at Winterland in San Francisco.

BO DIDDLEY is in the hospital after suffering a stroke on Sunday.

LAURA VEIRS talks to the Washington Post's Express about nature and -- inadvertently -- government funding of the arts: "There's no support for artists in this culture; there's no funding. You're going to have to do it yourself and stick it out and that, I think, is why we have so many great artists."  Embedded videos at the link, too.

CROWDED HOUSE has posted a new song at its website for your streaming pleasure.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  One-hit wonders Los Bravos perform "Black is Black."  So true.

SMASHING PUMPKINS:  The band's new album cover art is global warming-themed, but Billy Corgan & Co. may want to note that alarmist messages about global warming are counter-productive, according to the head of a leading climate research center.

BONO and BILLY SQUIRE are having a NYC co-op dispute over whether hazardous smoke from fireplaces, including Squier's, is drifting from chimneys into the penthouse duplex where Bono lives with his wife and four children.

HILLARY CLINTON wants your vote for her campaign theme song.  I'll skip over the Elton John joke to ask why she isn't going with Merle Haggard.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer and supposedly sober supermodel were caught canoodling at the Cow Pub in London's Notting Hill.  And if you take a closeup of those pics, you can see what looks like a white residue in the corner of her right nostril.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are:  Elvis Costello - Radio, Radio; The Archies - Sugar, Sugar; Harry Belafonte - Jump in the Line; Friends of Distinction - Grazing in the Grass; The Mountain Goats - The Boys Are Back In Town/Ignition; Violent Femmes - American Music;  Bo Diddley - You Can't Judge A Book...; Four Tops - It's the Same Old Song; J. Geils Band - I Do; Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning; The Kinks - Sunny Afternoon; Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Women; Pink Floyd - See Emily Play (rough mix); Slade - Mamma Weer All Crazee Now; Ryan Adams - Rocket Man (live); Lou Reed - Walk on the Wild Side; Bananarama - Cruel Summer; The Bel-Airs - Mr. Moto; The Windbreakers - You Never Give Up; and The Replacements - Can't Hardly Wait.

SHREK THE THIRD:  This advance screening I really did attend mostly as a service to Pate visitors.  I really liked the first Shrek, and thought the sequel was alright, but this one is currently scoring only 45 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, so I was not champing at the bit.  But it's this weekend's sole wide release, and I doubt the reviews -- mine inclded -- will stop many from seeing it.  Critics not liking this movie suggest that this franchise has become what it originally satirized; those liking it tend to say the same thing, but with the positive spin that it is reiventing the fairy tale cartoon genre.  I can see both points, but tend to fall more in that more negative camp.  The first had some wickedly satirical jabs at Disney; the second at least sent up Hollywood.  Shrek the Third only manages to poke fun at high school -- and not with any degree of originality.  But kids will probably still like the characters and the broad comedy; their parents will probably get a chuckle out of the parenthood jokes (though again, no great originality there).  It's not a bad movie, just a long way from the original.  And if you're whether it will depose Spider-Man 3 from the top spot, consider that Shrek 2 broke the 100 million mark in its opening frame.

LINDSAY LOHAN and current beau Callum Best are already at the point of having a "screamfest" at the Soho Grand in NYC, after Best was seen collecting digits from all the models at Cipriani Downtown, every time Lohan's back was turned.

JACKO has gotten a temporary restraining order against the sale of more than 20,000 Jackson family artifacts bought as part of a New Jersey bankruptcy case.  But if he keeps it up, the buyer may offer some of Jacko's dirty laundry for auction.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  People are freaking out that the celebutante may serve only 23 days of her 45-day sentence on that probation violation based on "good conduct," but it's not uncommon in the US to get day-for-day credit if you behave yourself.  It's less common than it used to be for more serious crimes, thanks to truth-in-sentencing laws, but there you have it.  Also, TMZ reports that the heirhead has abandoned her appeal, so she will be doing the time.

JENNA FISHER was celebrating the renewal of The Office Monday night with friends when she slipped on a restaurant's marble steps and fractured four bones in her back.  SEMI-RELATED:  The Office's  Rashida Jones and John Krasinski, who dated in real life in 2005, and date on the show, may be dating IRL again.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  It appears that her creepy dad-manager Joe approves of new beau John Mayer.  Turns out Joe is a fan.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  New beau Howie Day is already back in rehab.  A friend of Day's who spoke to Life & Style doubts the relationship will continue, pointing out that neither will be a good influence for the other.

FARRAH FAWCETT is reportedly facing a new cancer battle, just three months after being given the all clear on her 60th birthday.

ELIJAH WOOD is to play Iggy Pop in The Passenger biopic?  I don't mind him as an actor and he reportedly has good musical taste, but it still seems like odd casting.

BRUCE WILLIS, 52, is now dating Playboy Playmate Tamara Witmer, 23 (which makes her only 5 years older than Willis' daughter, Rumer).  He is also fed up with listening to outspoken actors -- and believes their opinion shouldn't mean "jack s**t" to the general public.

S.E. HINTON:  The reclusive author is doing some press to promote her new book, though I don't know that she needs to --The Outsiders, written 40 years ago, is selling as well as it ever has.

MICHAEL MOORE and FRED THOMPSON are having a showbiz feud.  Thompson, the lawyer-turned-actor-turned-Senator-turned actor currently mulling a possible presidential campaign, criticized Michael Moore for cozying up to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro during the making of Moore's upcoming film, Sicko.  Moore responded by challenging Thompson to a health care debate.  Thompson replied with a video demurring, but suggesting Moore ask Castro about Cuban documentarian Nicolas Guillen Landrian, who Castro had thrown into a mental institution and given electroshock treatments.  Moore is miffed about Cuban cigars supposedly in Thompson's video -- though I suspect they are props Thompson put in just to tweak Moore.

ROSIE O'DONNELL suggests the US gov't and military are terrorists, claiming that the US has killed 655K Iraqis.  This would appear to be a reference to the Lancet study that has been widely crriticized by scientists and is possibly fraudulent.  Earlier this month, the so-called "Queen of Nice" was reminding us that Islamic jihadis are mothers and fathers, too.

IRAN appears to have solved most of its technological problems and is beginning to enrich uranium on a far larger scale than before, according to the UN's nuke watchdogs.  This has the usual suspects, particularly Russia, questioning whether the demand that Iran suspend still makes sense.  Because what you really want to do is reward a regime that has flouted both the the Nonproliferation Treaty and UN sanctions repeatedly.  In other news, Iran plans to start manufacturing "Islamic bicycles" for women that conceals their figure.  National police have announced that men and women must not be allowed inside internet cafes together but in separate days or schedules "to avoid unpleasant promiscuity."

IRAQ:  Iraqi officials seem to have skirted a constitutional crisis over the controversial issue of reforming the Iraqi constitution -- for the moment, anyway.  The Iraqi Ministry of Oil lambasted a GAO report leaked to the NYT about the alleged smuggling of 100-300K barrels of Iraqi crude oil a day, pointing out how large such an operation would have to be, yet remain undetected passing through US-controlled outlets.  Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, meeting with Marines across Anbar province, emphasizes the power of a friendly wave.

HUANI the FARM DOG nurses three newborn tiger triplets for the Jinan Paomaling Wild Animal World in Shandong province, China.  It's not her first time, either.


MAGGIE the ELEPHANT hadn't fallen, but she couldn't get up.

CAMELS are being used in South Australia to search for uranium deposits.  We had best keep them away from the squirrels and geese.

BORIS the OWL he has fathered three chicks with a flighty bird 21 years his junior; they are believed to be the only breeding pair of western Siberian eagle owls in captivity in the world.  Boris previously had cataract surgery because he couldn't see the lady owls.

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Feist, The National, Nico, Chuck Berry, Killer Tortoise   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FEIST played "I Feel It All" unpluggedy on a bus for Jimmy Kimmel Live.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD, is soon to become an action figure, but that's the only merch he's doing for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED is currently featuring tracks from The White Stripes, Battles, Elliott Smith, an ELP reissue and more, streaming on demand via NPR.

IKE TURNER was arrested and locked up late Tuesday night on drug-related charges in Los Angeles, after he was clocked driving 80 mph on the 405 Freeway.  UPDATE:  The bust turned out to be the result of a computer problem -- someone forgot to clear a 1989 warrant that had been recalled by the judge.

THE NATIONAL:  Their new album, Boxer, gets a thumbs-up from Frank at Chromewaves, and the Village Voice thinks the band may get to use the advice it got from Bruce Springsteen about playing large gigs.  You can still stream the whole album this week via Spinner.

NICO covers David Bowie's "Heroes" somewhere in England.  And now that you mention it, her pupils do look a little dilated.

ARETHA FRANKIN is rumored to be headed to the chapel.

COUNTING CROWS have been posting covers at TheirSpace, including The Faces' "Ooh La La."  But they change 'em up, so you may want to stream more selections via the ol' HM.

PHIL SPECTOR:  Inside Edition obtained exclusive video of the pop producer speaking for the first time in his own words about the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.  Spector made the video in 2005 in his chess room where Clarkson was found dead. Spector originally intended to post it on his web site to defend himself against the accusations of murdering Clarkson.

CHUCK BERRY:  His Blues compilation is this week's Shadow Classic at NPR, which has three tracks streaming.

JESSICA BIEL and JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE were caught canoodling on a string of romantic dates in the UK on JT's world tour.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON and RYAN REYNOLDS were caught canoodling during the Damnwells' show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly still so "furious" that mom made her go to rehab that she refused to visit her mother in the hospital on Mother's Day.

LINDSAY LOHAN, otoh, has a mother who seems unconcerned about that video allegedly showing Li-Lo sharing cocaine in a club bathroom.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but newly-revealed diary excerpts reveal that she was delighted by rough sex, ecstatic over the prospect of plastic surgery for her breasts, and fearful of a jealous boyfriend. The AP adds: "She was careless with spelling, punctuation, and, too often, with her own well-being."

SARAH SILVERMAN:  The risque comedienne is riding high with her own show on Comedy Central, a gig hosting the MTV Movie Awards, and even a (satirical) photospread for Maxim magazine.  But she talks about her teenage depression and more with US Weekly.

JERRY SEINFELD is returning to NBC -- in a series of mini-episodes promoting his upcoming DreamWorks animated film, Bee Movie.

CAMERON DIAZ has reportedly stolen Minnie Driver's  fiancé, magician Criss Angel.  Diaz and Angel were... wait for it... caught canoodling Monday night in Vegas.  Which is ironic, as she is currently closing a deal to co-star with Ashton Kutcher in What Happens in Vegas.  Diaz also seems to have flashed Ellen DeGeneres during a TV interview; video at the link.

BRANGELINA are "totally a joke" to Jennifer Aniston, a pal tells US Weekly in a piece playing up Jolie's recent admission that baby Shiloh was deliberately conceived before Pitt's divorce was final.  Apparently, the mag is still miffed at Jolie's cozy relationship with People.

DAVID HASSELHOFF has been hospitalized under pseudonyms 13 times for alcohol poisoning, according to his ex-wife, Pamela Bach.  Something to keep in mind when The Hoff is complaining that he does not get credit for the fall of the Berlin Wall.

ROSIE O'DONNELL writes on he blog that The View has booked a show for 9/11 conspiracy theorists.  And Popular Mechanics debunks O'Donnell's latest comments on the collapse of World Trade Center 7.

ISLAMISM in PENNSYLVANIA:  The leader of the Islamic Center of Johnstown has stepped down, two weeks after calling for the death penalty for a speaker who was critical of the Muslim faith.  The resignation comes in response to a request by board members, who said his statements do not reflect the views of the center's members.

TERROR in the UK:  A British judge admitted on Wednesday he was struggling to cope with basic terms like "Web site" in the trial of three men accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet.  Violent Islamist material posted on the Internet, including beheadings of Western hostages, is central to the case.

IRAN:  Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has ruled out direct talks with the US on bilateral issues at the upcoming talks in Baghdad.  A Kurdish man visiting his family in Iran was arrested for drinking two beers and sentenced to 130 lashes. The sentence was carried out publicly.

IRAQ:  Coalition forces may have narrowed the search for the soldiers missing since last Saturday and have captured 11 suspected al Qaeda believed to be involved in the operation.  IraqSlogger scores an exclusive interview with Gen. Petraeus, who said it is difficult to predict how well the "surge"  will succeed before the full number of troops arrive and that he would not have a definitive answer about prospects for stability by September.  Slogger also posted video of new "war czar" Lt. Gen. Lute from the Charlie Rose Show in Jan. 2006.  The NYT has a leaked draft GAO report stating that the number of attacks on civilians and security forces stayed relatively steady or declined slightly since the "surge" started; an Iraqi deputy prime minister told the paper that the "surge" was having a positive impact in the Shiite-dominated eastern half of the city, but Iraqi intelligence had concluded that al Qaeda was "surging" at the same time to counteract the US program, damping any immediate gains.  The data in the Iraq Index and at iCasualties shows the number of civilian deaths are declining, with far fewer sectarian killings and more AQ suicide attacks, killing fewer people.

ATTACK of the Killer Tortoise!  BONUS:  At the other end of the scale is the soft-shelled turtle.

A 19-YEAR-OLD ORANGUTAN is expected to have improved vision after successfully undergoing cataract surgery Wednesday, the world's first ever such operation on a great ape.

A NEW BABY SUMATRAN RHINO named Harapan (the Indonesian word for "hope") made his public debut at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.  On April 29, Emi became the first Sumatran rhino in history to produce three calves in captivity.  Pics at the link.

RESCUERS had to speak French to a dog trapped in a drain because it couldn't understand English.

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Eddie & the Hot Rods, New Go! Team, St. Vincent, Irish Dolphins   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


EDDIE & THE HOT RODS perform "Do Anything You Wanna Do" on The Marc Show.  I'm confident that Ken King will alert Craig O'Neill.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS have been making kids' albums, composing tunes for everything from Dunkin' Donuts to Disney's Meet the Robinsons, touring and posting dozens of podcasts on their website, but Gothamis asks John Flansburgh about the duo's new album The Else, due in stores on July 10th, but available now via iTunes.

THE GO! TEAM has a new track titled "Grip Like A Vice" streaming at TheirSpace.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS:  John Darnielle talks with 3:AM magazine about his favorite authors

ANDREW BIRD:  His latest Armchair Apocrypha continues the violinist's trend toward a more crowd-pleasing sound, with traditional rock instrumentation, as featured on three tracks streaming via NPR.

USE IT:  The fourth quarter of the Bulls-Pistons playoff game on TNT opened with a fab track from the New Pornographers.  Oddly enough, no one on TV mentioned the band by name.

BLUES SINGER'S WOMAN Permitted To Tell Her Side.  It's the kind of story that makes The Onion America's News Source.

ST. VINCENT:  Annie Clark talks to LAist's Tony Pierce about playing with the Polyphonic Spree, playing with Sufjan Stevens, touring with John Vanderslice and working with Steve Albini.  There's embedded video, and An Aquarium Drunkard can hook you up with more video from SxSW.

AN AQUARIUM DRUNKARD:  Speaking of which, I forgot to link the latest AD podcast, which ranges from The Long Winters and Alejandro Escovedo to Peter Tosh to Sonic Youth and Kings of Convenience.

SINGLES:  The Associated Press has discovered that track downloads are changing the face of the music industry.  Who knew?

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  For once, the troubled singer was caught carrying kittens to the recording studio, instead of getting arrested for something; the supposedly sober supermodel is away at her second home in the Cotswolds.

LINDSAY LOHAN tops Maxim magazine's eighth annual "Hot 100" list, a ranking by editors weighing buzz and beauty for women in film, TV, music, sports and fashion.  And yet her new Brit boy-toy may already be cheating on her, though they looked cozy enough in the Bahamas, where the rehabbed Li-Lo was toting a bottle of Jack Daniels.

THE MAXIM HOT 100 LIST, btw, is the subject of a photo gallery at the mag's website.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Denise Richards and Richie Sambora broke up about two months ago, her rep confirms.  A Sambora source calls the split "amicable."

THE FRENCH HOTEL is supposedly so  "emotionally distraught and traumatized" from being senyenced to 45 days in the L.A. County Jail for violating her probation on that DUI bust that she is "not capable of any meaningful participation" in a civil trial brought against her by diamond heiress Zeta Graff.  Meanwhile, Joe Arpaio -- the country's toughest sheriff -- has offered to stick the celebutante in the Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix, Arizona.  People dream of her stuck in the tent city, but I doubt it.

JOHN MAYER advised presidential candidate John Edwards on how to reaching the youth of America.  Apparently, "'You've got to get me in the first 20 seconds."  Which might explain how Mayer ended up dating Jessica Simpson.  Edwards told New York magazine that he set up a meeting with Mayer so that he can hear more.

BRITNEY SPEARS has a Mini-Me; Lindsay Lohan is a fan.  Let's go to the video, shall we?

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but we just found out that her assets totaled only 710 grand.  And ex-companion Howard K. Stern has put in a request to be the special administrator of the estate.

SYLVESTER STALLONE has pleaded guilty to importing a banned human growth hormone into Australia.  He will be sentenced -- more like fined -- next week.

BRUCE WILLIS has been chatting online under a pseudonym at Aint-It-Cool-News... and managing to anger director Michael Bay as a bonus.

EWAN MacGREGOR has been caught buying large numbers of "Wonderjocks," which is sorta like a Wonderbra, but not quite.

JESSICA ALBA:  Summer really must be looming, as she has donned all sorts of swimwear for GQ.

FRANCE:  An Al-Qaeda front group in Europe threatened to launch bloody attacks in France in response to the election of "crusader and Zionist" Nicolas Sarkozy as president.  If only France had not invaded Iraq.  Oh, wait...

AFGHANISTAN:  Thirty-six hours before he was killed by US forces, Taliban Commander Mullah Dadullah said he was training American and British citizens to carry out suicide missions in their home countries.  Video at the link.

IRAN:  Some Iranians are intrigued by the freewheeling experiment in Shiite empowerment taking place across the border in Iraq, where -- Iraq's myriad problems aside -- imams can say whatever they want in political Friday sermons, newspapers and satellite channels regularly slam the government, and religious observance is respected and encouraged but not required.  Which would give the mullocracy in Iran a motive to disrupt that experiment.

IRAQ:  The White House ended its search for a war czar on Tuesday, naming Lt. Gen. John Lute, director of operations of the Pentagon's Joint Staff, who has publicly acknowledged the difficulty of encouraging the Iraqis to assume control of their own security.  The NYT looks at the challenges facing the Iraqi military as it tries to take a leading stabilizing role.  Though some issues remain open, an Iraqi committee agreed to send to parliament a plan to reform the constitution, an important step towards implementing national reconciliation laws that the US says are critical to ending violence.  British military officers have held secret talks with leaders of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, according to President Talabani.  Al-Qaeda has lost the support of Iraq's top Sunni cleric, though he remains opposed to the US and the Iraqi gov't.  US and Iraqi forces reportedly commenced a new campaign to secure Diyala province on Monday.  In addition, more than 280 prominent personalities and tribal and military leaders have formed a "Baquba Salvation Council" to confront acts of violence in Diyala. A leading al Qaeda expert told a security conference at Lloyd's of London insurance market that Iraq would become a "terrorist Disneyland" if coalition troops withdraw from Iraq in the next year, and that after two or three years, US forces would have to go back to Iraq.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  It was a crazy scene at the CVS Pharmacy in Port Saint John, FL, after a squirrel went on the attack.  Video at the link.

THE GOOSE THREAT:  A British law student recounts the harrowing tale of how he lost his mobile phone after being "mugged" by an angry flock.

IRISH DOLPHINS have their own dialect.  Could be the Guinness.

A CAT trapped in a cargo crate without food or water seems to have survived a 35-day sea voyage from China to the US.

DOGS are an emerging market for cellphones, webcams, GPS units, and other hi-tech gadgetry.

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Robyn Hitchcock, New Releases, Clash Covers, Bunny Letter-opener   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ROBYN HITCHCOCK talks to Harp magazine about the tour documentary, Sex, Food, Death and Insects, which I have seen and enjoyed.  There are three clips on the Tube (Clips One, Two and Three).

NEW RELEASES:  The National (in advance), Hot Chip, Wilco, Dungen and more are streaming in full via Spinner this week.  Wilco got a paltry 5.2 at Pitchfork, while the Jim DeRogatis writes in the Chicago Sun-Times that he only began to appreciate some of it after a dozen listens.  But the beauty is that you can listen for yourself online.  I'm anxious to stream the Dungen.  Great Northern releases an album of summery pop-rock called Eenie Meenie.  The High Strung, currently touring with Son Volt, has a new one called Get the GuestsPink Martini has an international flavor on Hey Eugene!  And  Ian Hunter has a new album on YepRoc.

THE HOLD STEADY talked to the NYT magazine for a piece about sex, drugs and updating your blog.  Guitarist Tad Kubler is the band's online point man, and he's ambivalent about privacy issues, while Keyboardist Franz Nicolay, knowing his offstage comments now turn up on blogs, laments:  "You can't be the drunken guy who just got offstage anymore... You start acting like a pro athlete, saying all these banal things after you get off the field."  OK Go's lead singer, Damian Kulash is also quoted. (Thanks, Sylvia, who writes from what she calls "the" gated community.  Which is very funny to those who know her.)

THE CLASH:  Berkeley Place has the only band that matters covered, from A-Z.  You can jukebox 'em via the ol' HM, too; just scroll down to May 10th and click listen next to the track you want.

JOY DIVISION is profiled in London's Independent, as Anton Corbijn's film about the late Joy Division frontman, Control: The Ian Curtis Film, will be premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on the 27th anniversary of the singer's suicide.

TWOFER TUESDAY brings two themes from James Bond movies -- Shirley Bassey with a live take on "Goldfinger," and Chris Cornell with "You Know My Name" from the opening of Casino Royale.  The latter is evr-so-slightly spoiler-y, but you really should have seen Casino Royale already.

LILY ALLEN was freaking out about her weight on her blog the other day, but she seems to have gotten over it now.

TIM FINN, former leader of Split Enz, played for WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on May 11, so you can stream the whole gig now from NPR on demand.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS finally have a release date -- July 17 -- for their second album in North America. Originally slated to be released in February, the album hit a few snags during the band's switch from Capitol to Astralwerks.

LES PAUL:  The 91-year-old guitar wizard enthralled a hometown crowd in Waukesha, WI, Thursday night at a concert that raised more than 100 grand for an exhibit on his life.  You can stream a pre-concert interview from WGN Radio, which finds Les Paul talking about -- among other things -- his first meetings with Django Reinhardt, Louie Armstrong, Nat "King Cole" and others.  The interviewers mention the new Les Paul documentary Chasing Sound; you can see ten minutes on the Tube.

MARILYN MANSON and his 19-year-old lolita EVAN RACHEL WOOD had real sex in the video for "Heart-Shaped Glasses?"  Manson's rep denies it, natch.  Video at the link and yes, probably NSFW.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Candy Spelling (widow of Aaron, mother of Tori) tells the heirhead to grow up.  Even better Patty Hearst thinks the celebutante's 45 days in jail will be cruel and unusual punishment... for the other prisoners.

BRITNEY SPEARS just wants attention, according to Avril Lavigne, who manages to be both correct and lacking a sense of irony.  A 6' x 10' painting of the famous paparazzi photo showing the pop tart showing everything was covered by a curtain for Sen. Brack Obama's recent campaign fundraiser at a Virginia art gallery.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  The couple keeps up the charm offensive with a piece at People about Holmes ordering cupcakes, pizza and ice cream cones for the cast and crew on her new movie.

LEAH REMINI, in a semi-related piece, prepares for life after The King of Queens by assuring People that she is not trying to convert Jennifer Lopez to Scientology.

CHRISTINA RICCI helps promote the DVD release of Black Snake Moan by telling London's Mirror that she spent nearly the whole film shoot almost nude, to stay in character.

SEAN CONNERY is ripping retiring British PM Tony Blair and boosting the cause of Scottish independence.

BRADGELINA:  With all the paparazzi in Prague, Pitt is singing the praises of relative anonymity in N'awlins, and vows to return to the Crescent City.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY wishes some of new co-star Sienna Miller's party skills would rub off on her.

GIRLS GONE WILD co-founder Joe Francis has demonstrated "significant psychiatric issues" in a Florida county jail, according to his lawyer,  But will a federal pen in Nevada be any more to his liking?

JESSICA ALBA heralds the coming of Summer in a tank top and bikini bottoms.

INSURGENCY and COUNTER-INSURGENCY:  Last week, the USA Today reported on a study commissioned by the Defense Department showing that rebels lose more often than they win and that the chances for stopping an insurgency improve after 10 years.  Regular Pate readers know that a longer study showed the same thing.  At the Small Wars Journal blog, David Kilcullen discusses whether the usual rules of counter-insurgency apply to so-called "religious insurgencies."

STRETCHING THE FORCE:  Austin Bay, a retired Army Reserve colonel, and Phillip Carter, an attorney and Army veteran, recently debated whether the US Army in dire straits, or under pressure but essentially sound.  One sign of strain may be a shoratge of senior captains, or captains closest to promotion, which is due in part to previous decisions to promote officers more quickly to meet targets for Army majors. OTOH, fast-tracking officers with expertise and experience from the battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq may help shorten the war.

IRAQ:  The US military acknowledged that three US soldiers, missing since Saturday, are probably being held hostage by an al Qaeda-affiliated group; a statement released purportedly by the Islamic State of Iraq, urged the US to give up looking for them, but that's unlikely.  A newly formed Sunni insurgent coalition accused al-Qaeda of killing 12 of its senior members in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood in a new sign of rifts between Iraq's militant groups.  Michael Yon's latest dispatch is that "The progress is very real.  But the potential for a disaster is also real."  Yon reprints the recent letter from Gen. Petraeus to the troops emphasizing that "Adherence to our values distinguishes us from our enemy. This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we-not our enemies-occupy the moral high ground..."  This even helps in Haditha, where some of our troops stand accused of murder, but the mayor of Haditha urges the Marines to stay: "The people of Germany and Japan would not have made progress without the Americans... The people of Iraq deserve the same."


A BLOWFISH in Scottsdale, AZ, has an overbite that requires regular dentistry.  Video at the link.

A 185-LB. SEA LION waddled ashore to join schoolchildren on a walk-a-thon at the Marin Country Day School next to the shores of the San Francisco Bay.

CHARLOTTE'S WEB DOWN UNDER:  Tasmanians witnessed a rare natural phenomenon at the weekend when millions of juvenile spiders left home and covered hundreds of hectares of pasture with strands of spider web.

CHINESE PANDAS have been working overtime at the Beijing Zoo to allow a flood of holiday visitors a glimpse of the country's favourite animal.  Given widespread slave labor in the workers' paradise, it's safe to say the baers will not be paid bamboo-and-a-half.

HEAVY PETTING:  Pet massage classes are filling up with pet owners, groomers, competitors and others, instructors say.  Meanwhile, scientists explain how to pet cats, dogs and cows.

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