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Of Montreal Karaoke, New Releases, Jolie Holland, The Walrus   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


OF MONTREAL PLAYED KARAOKE at NYC's Studio B for a party sponsored by New York magazine.  Actor Paul Rudd and actor-director David Wain show how hard it is to sing Boston's classic "More Than A Feeling."  Stereogum contest winner Griffin Walker tried his hand at Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."  Remember, kids -- before the Internet, you would have missed this. (Photo: Pavlunka.)

SITE NEWS:  Barring a disaster, Pate will serve its three millionth page today.  Thanks to everyone for stopping by, including new site member (and former KUSR jock) Terry Nielsen!

NEW RELEASES:  Joseph Arthur, the Smithereens, the Noisettes, Nine Inch Nails, the Hold Steady and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.  Elk City, featuring the vocal talents of Renée LoBue, releases New Believers.  The Shaky Hands release a self-titled debut album, with Mary-Anne nowhere to be found.  The alt-country-esque Dolly Varden release The Panic Bell.

WILCO:  Billboard interviews frontman Jeff Tweedy about the writing and recording the band's upcoming album in the "Wilco loft" in Chicago's Irving Park.  A free download that comes along with pre-orders of Wilco's Sky Blue Sky shows the band playing "Hate It Here" in the loft.

FOUNTAINS of WAYNE:  Adam Schlesinger talks to PopMatters about the paradoxical nature of rock stardom: "If you take it seriously, you look like a jerk. But you have to take it seriously to do it well enough to keep doing it."  He also talks about the upsides and downsides of having a hit, which was a good excuse for PM to embed the "Stacy's Mom" video at the end of the article.

TWOFER TUESDAY:  I had to surf down under to find Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders performing "The Game of Love" and "A Groovy Kind of Love."  The latter might even be semi-live.

ALL THINGS FEIST:  If you dug Leslie Feist's new video for "1 2 3 4" linked here yesterday, there's an unofficial blog that tracks... well, you know.

JOLIE HOLLAND has an interview and free songs posted at Daytrotter.  Holland reacts to the death of Kurt Vonnegut: "Knowing he envied musicians makes me try to appreciate being a musician more.  I hope he's in that version of heaven that he wrote about, where everyone is there, including Hitler, who just keeps apologizing."

PHIL SPECTOR:  Juury selection resumed in his murder trial, with lawyers questioning people individually about their knowledge of the hit producer and the late cult-movie actress, Lana Clarkson.

KICKING IT OLD SKOOL:  The last time I saw Jon Pratt, we discussed how the digital age has removed a lot of the tangible fun of being a music fan.  Design Observer has a piece on "a grim-faced resistance movement amongst dozens of tiny record labels determined to hang onto physical packaging and expressive cover art, no matter what."  NPR's Morning Edition has a stream on the resurgence in vinyl.

RICHARD GERE'S repeated kisses on the cheeks of actress Shilpa Shetty in an event to promote AIDS awareness sparked protests in India on Monday with demonstrators burning effigies of the actor.  The protesters said Gere's kissing of Shilpa was against Indian culture.

BRITNEY SPEARS may be kinda wacky, but she gave twelve times more to charity than Leo DiCaprio, whose PR image is one of social consciousness.

MADONNA desperately wants to become the female Bono and be taken as seriously as him.  She may want to start by letting the father of her adopted son know when she is coming for a visit.

McGOSLING:  Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, recently rumored to be planning secret summer nuptuals, have split up?  Sounds more like Gosling was pulling some paparazzi's leg.

THE ODD COUPLE:  At least, that's what I would call Ann Coulter and Jimmy "Dyn-O-Mite" Walker.

EVA LONGORIA:  The Desperate Housewife is "not averse to being tied up" in bed.  PopSugar has pics from Longoria's wedding shower -- including a toiletpaper-draped Teri Hatcher.  No bondage pics, though.

MARILYN MANSON-DITA VON TEESE BREAK-UPDATE:  The goth rocker is officially calling 19-year-old actress Evan Rachel Wood his girlfiriend, not to mention his "double" and his "twin."

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, and her diaries failed to sell at an auction this weekend, but are now available for a minimum bid of $25,000 each.  You can almost hear the 15-minute-clock tolling.

NICOLE KIDMAN received her Order of Australia from Governor-General Michael Jeffery in a ceremony at Government House in Canberra last weekend:  "I think the great thing about you, Ms Kidman, is what have you have done to better the human condition," the Governor-General said.

SAHARA:  Confidential docs obtained by the L.A. Times from dueling lawsuits over the movie's projected $78.3 million loss provide a rare behind-the-curtain peek at expenditures that drain the budget of a major motion picture. The line items cover such things as "local bribes" within the Kingdom of Morocco and the salaries and "star perks" paid to Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz -- including  $150,223 for McConaughey's makeup artist, $48,893 for his personal chef, $67,977 for his personal trainer, and $179,262 for conveyance of his entourage to, from, and around Morocco.  $162,554 was spent on Cruz's hairstylist, $150,922 for her dialogue coach.

BRADGELINA:  A fairly detailed look at the state of the Pitt-Jolie partnership in the Daily Mail leads with a blunt quote from Pitt on living under the glare of intense public scrutiny: "It's hell. Certainly, pick on me - but why pick on Angelina? That's so low. She's such an amazing woman - like Supergirl, in every way."

GO, CYCLONES!  Iowa State's nationally ranked paintball team is going to the College Paintball National Championships to be held April 20-22 in Dallas. Currently No. 14 in the national rankings, Iowa State is playing its best paintball of the year as the nationals approach. (Thanks, Ken!)

ISLAMISM in the TWIN CITIES:  On an 11-0 vote Monday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission voted to crack down on Muslim taxi drivers refusing service to alcohol-toting riders.  Both sides agree that the dispute is probably heading for a court challenge, even though Ahmed Samatar, a recognized expert on Somali society at Macalester College in St. Paul, notes that "There is a general Islamic prohibition against drinking, but carrying alcohol for people in commercial enterprise has never been forbidden."

IRAQ:  The withdrawal of six Sadrist ministers from the cabinet may mark a new shift in Iraqi politics, from rigid sectarian alliances that act as a single "bloc" to a more diversified system with a less predictable dynamic.  Combined US and Iraqi raids inside Baghdad captured 129 insurgents and uncovered two bomb factories over the weekend.  The Interior Ministry claims that Iraqi security forces, with the help of the Anbar Salvation Council, killed the leader of the "Islamic State in Fallujah" and Al-Qaeda's military coordinator in Anbar province.  Almost a full brigade of between 2,000 and 3,000 additional soldiers is on the way to Diyala to interdict the volatile terrain between Baghdad and Baqubah, where things have not gone well for Coalition forces.  A rumor is circulating that some tribal leaders in the Diwaniya area may have called for the US to intervene in the area after they were unable to respond to the actions of the Mahdi Army.  Thousands of Iraqis upset about poor city services marched peacefully through the streets of Basra on Monday.

IRAQ and TURKEY:  Although the northern, Kurdish region of Iraq is better off than the rest of Iraq, there have been renewed tensions between the Iraqi Kurds and Turkey (which has its own Kurdish population and suspicion of ambitions to create Kurdistan).  Given that Turkey's election season has included a huge demonstration of Turkey's middle classes against Erdoğan's presidency as the embodiment of the "looming Islamic threat," the Kurds need to be playing it cool.  Der Spiegel has more on Istanbul as the Islamic world's most secular city.

GOO GOO GOO JOOB:  There's a reason why the walrus is making his O-face, and it is probably NSFW.

A GERMAN DOG drove the neighbors nuts by blasting His Master's Stereo until the Berlin Police cut power to the home.

PET HOARDING:  A Central Florida man was arrested on animal cruelty charges after officials said they discovered as many as 300 cats -- dead and alive -- inside his house with a layer of animal feces between two and three inches deep.  Photos and video at the link.

DOLPHINS and SEA LIONS may be the US Navy's best defense against terrorists in scuba gear.

SHARK RESCUE, with a TWIST:  Divers carrying out a marine wildlife survey rescued a basking shark that was close to death after it had become entangled in a fishing net about 100 metres off the Cornish coast.  Environmentalists suspect global warming.

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Live Stooges, Illinois, Feist, and Pygmy Rabbits   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 16, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE STOOGES were in town last night; going to the show was of course "My Idea of Fun."  They played the Congress Theater, which was just perfect -- the decaying palace still sells cans of beer, allows smoking, moshing and crowd surfing.  At 60 years old, Iggy Pop shook, shimmied, swiveled and spun across the stage almost continuously through the set, when he wasn't leaping atop the Marshall stacks to mock-fornicate the amp heads or doing some stage diving of his own (the first instance being during "I Wanna Be Your Dog," which was only the third song of the set). Mick Jagger wishes he had half the prance left in him that Iggy had on display.  It was truly a sonic blitzkrieg; my only nitpick would be my wish to have heard stuff like "Search and Destroy" from Raw Power.  Now on to the clips, most all of which contain profanity (as did our show).  Here they are playing "ATM" from the new album on French TV.  From the back catalog, we have "1969," followed by "1970," natch.  Plus, we have yet another instance of the crowd mobbing the stage for "No Fun" -- a stunt repeated last night in Chicago,as the song became a raucous shout-along.

SONIC YOUTH is touring Japan this week, so Lee Renaldo was talking to the Japan Times about the band's history and preparing to play Daydream Nation at the Pitchfork fest this summer, while Thurston Moore talked to the Daily Yomiuri about the No Wave documentary Kill Your Idols (which is already on DVD here) and the No Wave movement generally.

ILLINOIS is actually from Pennsylvania, which puts them near the World Cafe; you can stream their set from Friday now, via NPR.  Their EP "blends pianos, banjos and Moog synths into guitar, drums and bass to create a unique, laidback sound."

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH frontman Alec Ounsworth tells the Cornell Sun how he came to be working on a children's album... but given the tenor of his other comments, I would take it with a grain of salt.

M WARD has been opening for folks on the East Coast, so he talked to the Hartford Courant about music as time travel and tells the Boston Herald: "I have a dream job, so I might as well work as hard as I can."

FEIST runs through her resume for the Times of London, including her stint backing up Peaches as an X-rated rapping sock puppet, B*tch Lap Lap.  It's a good excuse -- if any was needed -- to link her fab new video for "1 2 3 4" from her new album, The Reminder.  Leslie Feist even talks about the video at the start of the profile she got in Sunday's NYT: "I'm going to be carried around on the shoulders of 50 people, like Madonna in ‘Material Girl,' only minus the pearls and the back muscles."  The NYT article also has a podcast.

MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG is streaming a ton of live tracks from Dodge's SIRIUS Blog Radio sessions.  The latest is from the unsigned Mancino, but the link will also take you to sessions from The Broken West , Catfish Haven, Margot & the Nuclera So & Sos, and more...

GIVE THE DRUMMER SOME:  Jon Wurster, who has sat on the throne with Superchunk, Robert Pollard, Ryan Adams and more, shuffles his iPod for the A.V. Club, but my fave bit is his story about getting Blue Öyster Cult's drummer to autograph a cowbell for a wedding present, because... well, you know.

NOW That's What I Call Indie Music, according to Billboard.

DON HO is dead at 76.  You have to figure Don Imus is pretty angry about the timing.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The Daily Mail has the dark side of the troubled singer's solo gigs at the Hackney Empire in London: "All the scabrous signs of his drug-based decadence were on show: weeping sores, bleeding nostrils, cracked lips. Pete Doherty almost had to prise open his mouth to sing..."  Top it off with an afterparty pic of the supposed sober supermodel being dangled upside-down from a second-story window, Jacko-style.

BRITNEY SPEARS used the paparazzi at X17 to deliver a video rant against the media, her management, and rehab, which starts at the link, but has three more parts. UPDATE: Part Four.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Disturbia topped the box office with a  million take -- about double of what analysts had projected.   Blades of Glory and Meet the Robinsons each dropped a slot , bring in $14 and $12 million, respectively.  Perfect Stranger opened in fourth with $11.5 million.  Are We Done Yet? dropped 35% to fifth place, making $9.2 million. Pathfinder opened in sixth place, with $4.8 million, with the Top Ten rounded out by a close bunching of Wild Hogs, The Reaping, 300, and Grindhouse (which dropped 63% and must have the bomb stink on it).  Redline debuted in 11th; Aqua Teen Hunger Force opened in 13th place, though the latter was in the top five on a per screen basis.

MADONNA reportedly "set her heart" on adopting a Malawian tot Grace after watching video footage of her playing in an orphanage, but the orphanage is going slowly after Madge's last adoption debacle.

PENELOPE CRUZ wants to have kids of her own - but she also hopes to adopt.  Well, of course... at this point it would be simpler to report on celebs who do not want to adopt.

PRINCE WILLIAM reportedly has split with galpal Kate Middleton; royal pals claim the romance was doomed when he decided to put Army life first.

THE MOST EXPENSIVE CELEB DIVORCES, according to Forbes magazine, complete with sidebars like "Celebrity Annulments."  Number Two on the main list may shock you.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is still struggling with monogamy.

NATALIE PORTMAN wouldn't mind embarking on a lesbian relationship, for the simple reason that she doesn't want to disconnect herself from half of the world population -- a theory exponded in Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy.  As she just shot The Other Boleyn Girl with Scarlett Johansson, how could she not fanatasize?

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY and LINDSAY LOHAN will set screens alight when they film a steamy threesome for their new movie Best Time Of Our Lives, according to reports.  I think i reported this before, but it has popped up again, so how could I not repeat it to complete a trifecta?

THE McCARTNEYS:  The uber-reliable News of the World is claiming that Heather Mills once enjoyed a sex-for-cash foursome including an Arab prince and TV actress at the centre of the BAE slush fund scandal.

JENNIFER LOPEZ reportedly was sounding like a Scientologist during her guest stint as a mentor on American Idol.

GIRLS GONE WILD founder has allegedly been found with pills in his Florida jail cell -- and the reason he got caught is because he allegedly tried to bribe a guard for a bottle of water with a $100 bill.  He could be charged with the crime of introducing contraband into a correctional facility, a felony, and possession of a controlled substance.  Joe had a very bad week.

CHRISTINA RICCI is playing Trixie in the Wachowski Bros' live-action adaptation of the 1960s cartoon Speed Racer.  There are short video interviews with Ricci and Emile Hirsch on the Tube.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora are officially divorced.

MIA FARROW pressures STEVEN SPIELBERG, who may get some action from China on the genocide in Darfur.

PAKISTAN:  Villagers in the North West Frontier Province raised a tribal army to clash with Taliban fighters last week after the terrorists beat up some transvestite dancers, shaved their heads and broken their musical instruments near Abdulkhel, as the dancers were headed to perform at a wedding.  No, really.

IRAN:  The Mullahs' nuclear ambitions have Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey all exploring their nuke options.  Many diplomats and analysts say that the Sunni Arab governments are so anxious about Iran's nuclear progress that they would even, grudgingly, support a US military strike against Iran.  It is hard to guess how likely that would be -- the Iranian nuke bunkers may be very tough to strike effectively.

IRAQ:  Some panicked after the bombing at the Parliament building and a bridge, but later reports revised the death toll from the former down to one, noted that the Parliament bomber had been arrested before and that several bodyguards of parliament members and government officials are routinely detained on different charges and then later released after intervention by officials acting on their weight in the government.  Civilian deaths are down 45% in Baghdad since the start of the new security plan there two months ago, when compared to the two months prior.  Civilian deaths are up outside the city, but nationwide, civilian deaths are down 20% in the past two months.

ENDANGERED PYGMY RABBITS reintroduced into the wild in Washington state are being quickly eaten.  Only four of the 20 rabbits released on March 13th remained at the Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area as of last Tuesday.

150 FERAL TERRAPINS which have been terrorizing wildlife are to be rounded up in Hampstead Heath, UK.  Blame the TMNT.

ILLEGAL BEAVER caught in the wild by staff from Edinburgh Zoo... and it's a male.

SNAKE will be tougher to eat when the Stockton, CA restaurant Taboo by the Delta closes its doors June 1st.  The eatery also serves gators, shark, frog legs and turtle.

A BABY OWL spent the night at the Crafton Hills College police station, but it was allowed to leave the next morning on its own recognizance.

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CCR, Fountains of Wayne, Little Ones, Cutout Bin, Croc Attack   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 13, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL!  Hard to believe that I have not featured Fogerty & Co. before, but here are live clips of "Travelin' Band," "Proud Mary," "Born on the Bayou" and "Green River."  You might also check out the synced clips for "Fortunate Son" (because the song is so good) and "Down on the Corner" (because the visuals are amusing).

WILCO frontman Jeff Tweedy talks sense on music-sharing and leaking with Australia's Courier-Mail, as well as tackling the myth that struggle or suffering must go with the creative process.  He also explains the title of the upcoming Sky Blue Sky album.

SON VOLT frontman Jay Farrar answers five questions from NOW! Toronto, starting with "What album or song changed your life?"

FOUNTAINS of WAYNE played the World Cafe yesterday, so you should be able to stream a mini-set (3 new tunes + "Joe Rey") from NPR now.  UPDATE:  Until that stream gets posted by NPR, you can stream a few from FoWSpace... or a lost soul gem from Bob & Gene that makes NPR's Song of the Day from Oliver Wang (of the Soul-Sides blog).

THE BEATLES catalog is a step closer to download, as Apple Corps Ltd, have settled a row over £30 million in royalties with EMI.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: John Linnell tells Billboard about the duo's next album, kids' DVD, and work on for an animated film based on Neil Gaiman's book Coraline.  Puts me in the mood for "Birdhouse In Your Soul."

THE SHINS pull off a daring daylight mission in the new video for "Australia."

MY HUMPS REDUX:  Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie sent Alanis Morissette a congratulatory cake in the shape of a derriere after the latter's satirical cover of "My Humps" became an onlinve video sensation.  The video is also embedded at the link, should you need to see it again.

THE LITTLE ONES play "Either/Or" with Drowned in Sound, including "Superpowers: invisibility or the power of flight?"  You can stream a few of their tunes at TheirSpace.

THE 25 UNDISPUTED GUILTY PLEASURE BANDS, according to Rolling Stone.  Craig O'Neill is going to feel so vindicated.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  Though the supposedly sober supermodel reportedly has been urged by fashion chiefs to dump the troubled singer, Doherty dedicated a song to Moss at the first of two solo sell-out shows at the Hackney Empire, calling her his "beautiful fiancee."  Moss also joined Doherty onstage for two numbers; pics at the second link.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM include:  Chicago Cubs - Beautiful Day Montage; Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky; The Wonders - That Thing You Do; Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life; The Wombats - Backfire at the Disco; Art Brut - Pump Up The Volume; The Modern Lovers - I'm Straight; Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down); George Baker Selection - Little Green Bag; April March - Chick Habit; Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - Hold Tight; Eddie Kendricks - Keep On Truckin' Pt1; Joe Tex - The Love You Save May Be Your Own; Morcheeba - Crystal Blue Persuasion; Janis Joplin - The Roller Skate Song; The Byrds - Everybody's Been Burned; T.Rex - T.Rex - Summertime Blues; Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love; and Randy Newman - Sail Away.

NOW SHOWING:  This week's wide releases at the local cineplex include the expanded release of Richard Gere in The Hoax, which is currently scoring 85 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Bruce Willis and Halle Berry in the erotic thriller Perfect Stranger (18 percent); the Rear Window-inspired Disturbia (50 percent); an uncreened-for-critics Eurotrashy take on The Fast and the Furious called Redline; the largely-unscreened Viking raised by Native Americans in Pathfinder; the unscreened sounds-like-The-Usual-Suspects crime drama Slow Burn; and the big-screen arrival of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which is currently scoring 64 percent.So maybe, just maybe, Grindhouse has a second chance at a first impression.

DON IMUS got the ax from CBS Radio, following a week of uproar over the radio host's derogatory comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team.  Time Magazine once named the cantankerous broadcaster as one of the 25 Most Influential People in America, and he is a member of the National Broadcaster Hall of Fame.

MADONNA is headed back to Malawi for another child?  Her rep denies it: "Madonna is going to Africa to continue her work with the Raising Malawi organization. She is overseeing the building of a children's health-care center. She is absolutely not adopting another baby."

LEO DiCAPRIO and BAR RAFAELI having a kid and quick wedding this summer?   DiCaprio's rep says the preganancy rumor "totally b.s." and "100 percent made up bollocks."  Which suggests that DiCaprio's rep is European or a fan of the Sex Pistols.

COURTNEY LOVE is still publicly insisting her new figure is due to diet and exercise, but the rumor now is about gastric band surgery.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Reese Witherspoon's nascent romance with Jake Gyllenhaal is the real thing, friends say.  And witness tells People magazine that the pair were... yes, caught canoodling during dinner at L.A's Il Sole restaurant.

JACKO may finally be getting rid of Neverland for something closer to $20 million than the $50 million original asking price.  Jackson's rep denies the tacky ranch is for sale.

KURT VONNEGUT died on Wednesday at the age of 84 as a result of head injuries sustained in a fall at his home in New York last week.  The Financial Times gave an overview of his oeuvre.  Though best known for his novels, I was partial to some of his short stories, particularly "Harrison Bergeron."

DIANE KEATON:  I mentioned earlier that the Film Society of Lincoln Center was honoring her career; The Reeler recaps the event, complete with embedded video of Steve Martin plaing a song for her on the banjo.

THE "24" CREW liked being spoofed on South Park so much that they sent Matt Stone and Trey Parker their very own suitcase nuke.  Pics at the link.

BRADGELINA:  The latest revenge rumor from tabs ticked that Jolie is cozy with People magazine is that when Jolie returned from Vietnam with Pax Thien she suddenly stopped showering Shiloh with attention -- and that Pitt is upset about it.

SPAIN:  The emergence of a new al-Qaeda-linked organization in Northern Africa is alarming Spain, which is concerned about Islamists' calls for the reconquest of the country they regard as a lost part of the Muslim world.  Pulling out of Iraq doesn't seem to have appeased the radicals who are still angry about the Christian Reconquest in 1492.  Who'da thunkit?

IRAQ:  As you probably heard, a suicide bomber killed eight people (including two lawmakers) at the Iraqi parliament building.  If you haven't seen it, there is video from al-Hurra.  Pajamas Media's Richard Miniter was in the building and files a report.  Time magazine reports that the bomber was a guard for one of the members of parliament and that the metal detectors at the entrance to the Baghdad Convention Center, where Parliament is housed, were not operating Thursday,  IraqSlogger looks at security around the Green Zone, noting that while American troops control the entrances to the Green Zone, Iraqis control the entrance to the parliament building.  ITM's Omar Fadhil reports local reaction that if anyone is to blame, it's the members of parliament themselves, who are famous for complaining about "security measures" in the Green Zone being "insulting" to them and to Iraq's sovereignty.  AP Iraq bureau chief Steven R. Hurst files a report claiming that the bombing raises questions about the "surge," though he does not quote a single source to back this up.  The piece is labeled "news analysis" at MSNBC, but it is not labeled as opinion in most media as I write this.  Though it looks like security could be tightened at the GZ checkpoints, the claim that the "surge" is supposed to stop an inside job by a legislator's bodyguard seems a bit weak.  A better criticism would be to look at what -- if anything -- the inside job says about the strength of the fledgling democracy there.

IRAQ II:  One of Iraq's main armed groups -- the Islamic Army in Iraq -- has confirmed a split with al-Qaeda.  Michael Yon is now embedded with British troops in Basra; his latest dispatch takes us inside Operation Arezzo, part of three simultaneous strike and arrest operations in the al Quibla district of the city.  Plenty of battle pics there also.  Patrick J. Lasswell is blogging from the relatively peaceful north, and has pics and video from the Souk in Suliamaniya.

FRIDAY THE 13TH is an apt time for a story about a crocodile removing a zookeeper's arm. Dramatic arm-rescuing video at the link, in Real and Windows formats.  (Thanks, Lance.)

AN ANTEATER attacked a young zookeeper in Argentina, ripping open the woman's abdomen and legs with its long claws and leaving her in critical condition.  No Sadly, nramatic rescue video at the link.

T-REX proteins have been decoded by researchers at North Carolina State University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.  Theme park to follow.

THREE GREYHOUNDS were the first to donate to Britain's first blood bank for pets.

A CONFUSED COCKATOO at the Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary has spent a fortnight trying to hatch a bowl of chocolate eggs.  Obviously, it can only be done by a marshmallow Peep.

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Sonic Youth, REM, Man Man, Jay Bennett, MC Nuts   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE BEAT FARMERS:  I featured an early live set from them a couple of Fridays ago, but here's a Joey Harris-era studio clip of the wonderful "Hollywood Hills," introduced by Country Dick Montana.

SONIC YOUTH:  Thurston Moore explains why he didn't mind that classmates nicknamed him "Lurch."  But Stereogum offers a different candidate for that handle.

R.E.M.:  Tom Moon calls Up! "the great misunderstood R.E.M. album" and makes it his Shadow Classic, with tracks streaming at NPR.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD, once lobbed a boy's pet canary out of a window, having mistaken it for an alarm clock.

MAN MAN:  Rewriteable Content has posted new songs from the avant-popsters recorded live, which you can jukebox via the ol' HM.

ELLIOTT SMITH:  The late singer-songwriter covers The Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" at an unplugged in-store appearance from almost a decade ago.

A REAL FIFTH BEATLE, Neil Aspinall, has left Apple Corps after 40 years of service.  I Heard The News Today rounds up the UK press reax and rumors for his departure.

WILCO: X-Press Online gives the drummer some and interviews Glenn Kotche about the band's upcoming Sky Blue Sky album.  Kotche talks about the band's musical process along the way.

JAY BENNETT, fairly or not most known for being the guy who used to be in Wilco, has an interview and free songs at Daytrotter.  BTW, GvsB relays that Daytrotter is going to be doubly-good for the next four months.

WE WANT THE WORLD, AND WE WANT IT... NOW:  Rock fans hope FL Gov. Charlie Crist will grant a posthumous pardon in Jim Morrison's famed exposure case.

McGOSLING secretly getting hitched? US Weekly quotes a source close Rachel McAdams as saying she and Ryan Gosling will wed this year, but want to avoid the press.  McAdams' rep calls it "completely false."

J-LO and MARC ANTHONY secretly splitting?  OK! magazine declares that the two have "called it quits," while friends of the pair tell the NYDN all is well.

DON IMUS:  MSNBC will drop its simulcast of the "Imus in the Morning" radio program, responding to growing outrage over the radio host's racial slur against the Rutgers women's basketball team.  CBS radio has not announced plans to discontinue the show, as major advertisers began pulling out.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills has been bombarded with offers of work on American TV since her success on Dancing With The Stars.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD;  Dancer-singer Willa Ford has signed to play her in an indie biopic that will begin shooting next week.

GIRLS GONE WILD founder Joe Francis was indicted Wednesday on federal tax evasion charges for illegally deducting more than $20 million in phony business expenses from his 2002 and 2003 corporate tax returns.  Allegedly.  This is separate from his arrest Tuesday on a federal warrant for contempt of court.

LANE GARRISON, late of TV's Prison Break, will plead guilty to manslaughter, according to TMZ.  Garrison was charged with vehicular manslaughter in connection with the death of a Beverly Hills high school student last December.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE showed his continuing affection for Cameron Diaz when he was asked about her in GQ magazine.  And he's busy writing songs for Madoona's next album, due in November.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Ryan Phillippe was reportedly drinking last week at the Chateau Marmont in L.A. and a source told Page Six "He started screaming at these girls, 'Hey, you're hot! Get over here!' The girls just ignored him."  And somewhere Reese Witherspoon laughed until she wet herself.

HEADLINE OF THE WEEK so far, and I don't see anyone beating it.

BRADGELINA are rumored to be buying a £70 million, 240-foot long, triple-decker mega-yacht.  No doubt they will be using it for emergency rescue missions and to deliver food and meds to the world's disadvantaged.

IRAN, just kidnapped British sailors and marines, and still faces UN Security Council sanctions regarding its expanding nuclear program.  Even London's Guardian admits the sanctions are not working.  Nevertheless, Iran has as been elected Vice-Chairman of the UN Disarmament Commission for the 2007 session.  And thus the first order of business was to blame the US (and Israel, natch) for the world's problems.  Didn't see that coming...

IRAQ:  That fierce fight in the central Baghdad neighborhoods of Fadhil and Sheik Omar in the Rusafa district resulted in 20 insurgents killed and another 30 wounded, according to the US military.  The Sadrist bloc is threatening to pull out of the ruling Shiite Alliance, but it's not the first time they've made that threat.  The largest Sunni bloc in Parliament may intend to withdraw from the political process, due to outstanding arrest warrants for Tawafuq MPs, al-Melaf reports in Arabic. Capt. Eric Coulson, a company commander of an Army engineer unit in Anbar province, reports on Anbar Salvation Council fighters locking down the city of Khalidiya.  The chief US military spokesman in Iraq asserted on Wednesday that Iranian-made arms, manufactured as recently as last year, have reached Sunni insurgents.  Fouad Ajami has an interesting piece on a new, and fourth, phase of the US presence in Iraq.  Tish Durkin, who wrote about the war in Iraq in 2003-04 for publications including the New York Observer, the Atlantic Monthly, the National Journal, and Rolling Stone, writes about Iraq as a place of ambivalence at the Huffington Post.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  William Wordsworth's most famous poem has been reworked and rewritten in a hip-hop style -- accompanied by a pop video in which a giant squirrel named MC Nuts raps on the banks of Lake Ullswater.  Video at the link.

CHEETA the CHIMP, star of 12 Tarzan films in the 1930s and 40s, celebrated his 75th birthday at a primate center in Palm Springs, California.

A SWAN feeds its fish friends every day to the amazement of visitors to the Safari Park in Shenzhen City, China.  This is not to be confused with the duck that fed the koi featured here recently.

MANATEES may be reclassified as threatened instead of endangered, a move that would indicate the animal has rebounded from the brink of extinction.  The manatee would still remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

GERONIMO the COCKATOO (and his goofy owner) had to be rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter from the top of a 60 ft. pine tree near Houston, TX.

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More Glockenspiel, Low, Polka Floyd, The Ponys, Sterlina   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BORN TO RUN:  The album was good, but it could have used a little more glockenspiel.  Via WFMU, which can hook you up with even more glockenspiel.

LOW and LONEY, DEAR played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you can stream both sets, plus interviews from NPR now.

CAUGHT UP IN THE FABLE is a blog by pro guitar tech Tom Spaulding, who is currently headed to Brazil with Aerosmith.

POLKA FLOYD is... well, pretty much exactly what you think it is.

COVER SONGS, in all their varied forms, are defended in the Sydney Morning Herald.  But my fave part of the article may be Gloria Jones e-mailing from Sierra Leone to say she loves, loves, loves the cover of her 1964 hit "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  10cc sing about "The Things We Do For Love."

...AND IT BURNS, BURNS, BURNS:  Johnny Cash's longtime lakeside home, a showcase where he wrote much of his famous music and entertained US presidents, music royalty and visiting fans, was destroyed by fire on Tuesday.  The property was purchased by Barry Gibb in January 2006, so be glad I avoided the "Disco Inferno" joke.

THE PONYS get a twofer from the World Cafe you can stream from NPR now. 

ALBERT HAMMOND, JR. of The Strokes, now promoting his solo album talks about how his life was changed by Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and Guided by Voices.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer sparked rumours of a Libertines reunion by hanging with Carl Barat over the Easter weekend.  The supposedly sober supermodel was snapped with Beth Ditto, the 15-stone lesbian frontwoman for The Gossip.

ELIZABETH HURLEY and her new husband Arun Nayar, have been accused of breaching Hindu customs with their Indian wedding -- an allegation that could technically put them in jail.  And to make matters worse, it appears that Arun's father Vinod is willing to testify against them.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, and DNA tests show that Larry Birkhead is the father of her baby daughter, Dannielynn.  So if you had your money on Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, you are out of luck.  Another hearing is set for Friday to discuss the custody issue, which involves Birkhead, Smith's paramour Howard K. Stern, and her mother, Virgie Arthur.

DON IMUS:  The Rutgers women's basketball team blasted radio host Don Imus Tuesday for "racist and sexist remarks that are deplorable, despicable and abominable," but agreed to meet with the embattled radio host.  Rutgers' players and head coach C. Vivian Stringer said Imus' comments took the luster off an incredible season -- a comment which, imho (along with some of the players' comments) gives way too much weight and import to Don Imus.  These women are winners; acting like victims suggests that Imus is something more than a bitter old crank.

ROSEANNE BARR seems to be making a play for that Imus slot, saying on radio station KCAA, "Never once in my 54 years have I ever once heard a gay or lesbian person who's politically active say one thing about anything that was not about them... It's just, it's screwed. It's no different than the evangelicals, it's the same mindset. They want you to accept Jesus and you guys want us to all believe it's ok to be gay..."

THE GEICO CAVEMEN sitcom project is going to be helmed by the guys who brought you 3rd Rock From the Sun.

GIRLS GONE WILD creator Joe Francis was arrested Tuesday at the Panama City, FL airport on a warrant seeking his arrest for criminal contempt of court.  A judge ordered Francis's arrest last week after Francis reportedly changed the terms of a settlement deal stemming from a 2003 lawsuit in which seven women accused him of victimizing them by filming them in sexual situations while they were on spring break in Panama City.

GRINDHOUSE:  Harvey Weinstein is reportedly so disappointed in the Tarantino-Rodriguez double-feature's $11.6 million opening weekend gross that he's considering re-releasing Death Proof and Planet Terror separately in longer versions, the way they'll play in foreign markets and on DVD.  BONUS:  An Aquarium Drunkard dug the movie(s) and posted Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich's "Hold Tight" from the Death Proof soundtrack.  DOUBLE BONUS:  There are three more tunes streaming at the Death Proof website.

300:  The smash Spartan epic, otoh, has lessons for Hollywood, according to Business Week.

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is being remade, and the early news is not going to convince anyone that this is a good idea.

FELIX the CAT is suing the makers and sellers of the kitchy Kit-Cat Klock -- after 60 years of peaceful co-existence -- alleging the clock is a "blatant knockoff" violating 100 copyrights registered in the last century.  Bag of Tricks empty, ol' Cat?

SCARLETT JOHANSSON has topped a poll of women conducted by Glamour magazine naming the "world's sexiest body."  The top ten, with pictures, are at the link.  In no way should this list be confused with Double Viking's list of "Top 10 Celebrity Butterfaces."

I HAVE A GOOD IDEA, according to Amber Taylor.  It had to happen eventually, if only by chance.

IRAQ:  At ITM, Omar reports on yesterday's fierce fighting in Baghdad, Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army standing down in Diwaniya, and the Sadrists' "pitiful demonstrations."  IraqSlogger has more on the Baghdad battles and relays a report from Al Jazeera that locally recruited police are securing the city of Hit in Anbar province.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  The BBC cancelled a 90-minute drama about Britain's youngest surviving Victoria Cross hero because it feared it would alienate members of the audience opposed to the war in Iraq.  The Atlantic Monthly runs with "The inside story of how the interrogators of Task Force 145 cracked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's inner circle -- without resorting to torture -- and hunted down al-Qaeda's man in Iraq."  However, if you're a subscriber -- or leaf through the mag on the newsstand -- you will discover that the threat of being sent to the Abu Grahib prison was used to get terrorists to talk.

ISLAMISM in the MEDIA:  The producer of a tax-financed documentary on Islamic extremism claims his film has been dropped for political reasons from a television series that airs next week on more than 300 PBS stations nationwide.

SAVE STERLENA!  Residents of Wauseon, OH have launched a campaign to keep Sterlina, the 14-foot bovine mascot of the locally based Sterling Store convenience chain, which is being sold to a Canadian firm.  The rumor is that the fiber-glass mascot is headed to the Wisconsin headquarters of the Sterling chain's soon-to-be ex-owners.  Pic of Sterlina with Shriners in those tiny cars at the link!

MOOSE and REINDEER at a Stockholm wildlife park have been invited to an unusual taste panel that will help decide which type of salt should be used to de-ice the country's roads in wintertime.

AN OCTOPUS down under has learned to use two of her eight tentacles to open a bottle containing a crab.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Brits are concerned about detainees, but it turns out to be a hoax.

HONG KONG RACEHORSES need to learn to keep it in their pants.

AN 18-FOOT-LONG PYTHON is roadkill... in the North Yorkshire countryside?  Pic at the link.

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