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David Vandervelde, Lucinda Williams, "The Boys," the Bat Demon   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


DAVID VANDERVELDE brings the glam on "Jacket."  Even better, you can stream his whole debut album as I write this.

ELVIS PERKINS gets a mini-set at the World Cafe, which you can stream via NPR.

THE DECEMBERISTS are playing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl July 7th.  They also have a new long-form, 10-minute "Director's Cut" of "O, Valencia."

LUCINDA WILLIAMS talks to Paste, The Baltimore Sun and The Phoenix about her new album West. (Thanks, Chromewaves!)  As usual, you can jukebox a Lucinda mix via the ol' HM.

GUNS 'N' ROSES enter the periphery of the reunion radar.

"WE ARE THE BOYS" (Who Make All the Noise)" is a medley of early rock 'n' roll classics like "Great Balls 'o' Fire" and "Chantilly Lace," as recorded in this one-off project from Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy), Roy Wood (The Move), Chas Hodges (Chas 'n' Dave), and John Coghan (Status Quo).

YO LA TENGO fromtman Ira Kaplan tells X-Press Online how the band's music is shaped by their community.

THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN reunion may produce a new album, but the Reid brothers will be releasing solo albums this year in any event.  You can stream some Jim solo samples via HisSpace.

JAMES BROWN:  The six adult children of singer James Brown and his partner, Tomi Rae Hynie, have agreed on where the Godfather of Soul will be buried -- which is an undisclosed location, so maybe he will be guarded by VP Dick Cheney.  Brown's former manager reveals he keeps opening the golden casket to make sure Brown is still there; all needs now is to istall a refrigerator light.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel's jaw dropped when she saw the "Don't End Up Like Pete the Junkie" signs plastered outside a recent Babyshambles gig .

BRITNEY SPEARS is back out of rehab in less than a day (again).  The pop tart has reportedly claimed her head-sahving was because of a problem with lice, but  an unnamed source told OK! magazine that it was because Fed-Ex threatened that he was going to have people test her hair, which could show whether she had been abusing illegal drugs, which could be used in the couple's looming child-custody battle.  Coincidentally enough, Fed-Ex and his lawyers are seeking to expedite the child-custody proceedings.

JACKO is reportedly meeting with Prince for advice on how to land one of those long-running Vegas gigs like the Purple One has running at his 3121 Club.

TOM BRADY is officially excited about ex-gf Bridget Moynihan's pregnancy.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie and the kids meet a gay man dressed as an Oscar in N'awlins.  NTTAWWT.

LINDSAY LOHAN said she was "seriously considering" moving to London.  Of course, it's not the first time she has said that, either.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but it hasn't stopped TMZ from wondering whether Smith -- or her companion/lawyer Howard K. Stern -- were trying to changer her will at the time she died.

GREY'S ANATOMY will spin-off Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd into her own series.

NAOMI WATTS and LIEV SCHREIBER continue to attract pregnancy rumors.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA, otoh, is denying pregnancy rumors.

THE SEVEN WONDERS of the CELEBRITY WORLD, according to the Best Week Ever blog.  And one entry seems especially controversial with the commenters.

FIVE FREAKY MUPPET VIDEOS are presented by Ten Zen Monkeys.  Rockers feature in three of them.  But if you're going to bring Debbie Harry into it, why not feature her duet with Kermit on "Rainbow Connection?"

HONOR KILLINGS:  In the UK, a father torched his wife and four daughters in their sleep because he could not bear them adopting a more westernized, less Muslim lifestyle, an inquest heard. In Chicago, Daryoush Ebrahimi allegedly admitted killing his wife, sister-in-law and mother-in-law because they "disrespected him and said he was not a man."  I note that in the second case, the family was Assyrian Christian.

IRAN publicly hanged a man who confessed to involvement in last week's deadly bomb attack on members of the Revolutionary Guards in the tense border city of Zahedan.  Compare the near-total lack of ourage about this to the media barrage of complaints over the hanging of Saddam Hussein after a lengthy trial.  Apparently, we are unwilling to judge the Iranian government -- which has been around since 1979 -- by the same standards we apply to a fledgling democracy.

IRAQ:  In the L.A. Times, Max Boot asks: "Is Iraq turning into Yugoslavia?"   Time magazine reports that it is "too quiet" in Baghdad -- which may be true, but there's just no pleasing the press, is there?  US troops are also scouring the outskirts of Baghdad to identify threats before they reach the capital.  Citizens and police in Jumaylah attacked an al-Qaeda convoy attempting to enter the town. Seven al-Qaeda were killed and 13 captured in raids in Ramadi, Fallujah and Baqubah.  Hardcore Islamists are trying their own "surge" in Ramadi, but the US was expecting it.

THE RUNNING of the BULL in Upton, Mass. consumed about four hours along Route 140.  Video at the link.

SWARMS of GIANT HORNETS have settled in France, but entomologists fear it will just be a matter of time before they cross to Britain.  Global warming is blamed, natch.

COWS stare unamazed as Switzerland's Agriculture Ministry calls on the country's farmers to stop feeding them cannabis.

SUMATRAN RHINO crosses the ocean to get it on for the species.

THE BAT DEMON is blamed for a rash of sex attacks -- mostly against men -- in Tanzania's main city, Dar es Salaam.  Well, of course, what else could it be?

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Hoodoo Gurus, Jon Auer, Top 100 Indie Songs?, Sheep Rustlers   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE KILLERS cover the Dire Straits classic "Romeo and Juliet" at the venerable Abbey Road Studios in London.  I was always more partial to "Skateaway."

NEW RELEASES:  Full albums from Harlem Shakes, Luscious Jackson, former LJ vocalist Jill Cundiff and more are streaming via Spinner this week (finally).

HOODOO GURUS frontman Dave Faulkner talks to Harp magazine about his long-running scheme to bring back "the dumbness of rock" in a nifty history of the band; he even explains who "I Want You Back" is really about.

VAN HALEN:  That reunion?  Postponed indefinitely.

JON AUER of The Posies, touring Down Under in support of his long-gestating solo album, Songs from the Year of Our Demise, explains to The Age why director Stanley Kubrick is his No. 1 friend on his MySpace page.  Of course, you can stream a couple of tracks there, and there's another song streamable from NPR's holiday picks for 2006.

JUNE CARTER CASH is getting the tribute album treatment with tracks from Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris and more... including Elvis Costello on "Ring of Fire."  You can hear June sing it on this fan-made video, followed by Johnny's version.  BONUS:  Did you ever see Blondie cover "Ring of Fire" in the 1980 movie Roadie?

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  The Windy City is coming out of the deep freeze for a moment, so I want to wallow in the guilty pleasure that is "Beach Baby" by First Class.  It's the single version that fades out before the wonderful french horn-and-a cappella vox-driven bridge, but still a tast stick of gum.

THE TOP 100 INDIE SONGS of ALL TIME, according to music blog HearYa.  And by "all time," they apparently mean "since 1980," with more than half since 2000.  So there are glaring omissions, only some of which are noted in the comments there.  For example, the list misses the entire output of Stiff Records and 2-Tone Records, let alone Sun Records.  And if I really wanted to get picky, I could drag out stuff like the early dB's albums on Albion, REM's "Radio Free Europe" self-released on Hib-Tone, etc.  That being said, the list is not a bad indie collection... and for yupsters wanting to catch up with the post-Nirvana indie world, it could be pretty useful.

FESTIVAL UPDATES:  The Beastie Boys, Bjork, the Arcade Fire, Spoon and Interpol lead the lineup at the Sasquatch! Festival, May 26-27 at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Wash.  The aforementioned HearYa blog has made MP3s submitted by bands at SxSW streamable, which is a great public service.

THE JAM reforming without Paul Weller, otoh, is a great public disservice.  Bruce Foxton is a fab bassist, but please.  Stop. The. Madness.

THE SMITHEREENS frontman Pat DiNizio tells InsideBayArea the band has a three-disc effort coming later this year and that its current cover album of Meet the Beatles is a political statement of sorts.  He also talks about a solo album, an upcoming TV project and the year he spent filming Seventh Inning Stretch for ESPN2.

BRITNEY SPEARS has checked into an undisclosed L.A.-area in-patient rehab facility, after intervention by family members.  Not a moment too soon, but better late than never.  The pop tart's rep issued the obligatory statement urging everyone to respect Britney's privacy, to the extent someone who went around exposing her privates in public has any.

LINDSAY LOHAN, fresh out of her own stint in rehab, nevertheless spent last weekend clubbing until the wee hours every morning.

BRIDGET MOYNIHAN and TOM BRADY have their camp followers sniping at each other following her announcement that she is three months pregnant with his child.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Their divorce is getting so nasty that Heather Mills McCartney  is reportedly threatening to make unsubstantiated claims that Sir Paul's poor parenting in the past led two of his children to contemplate suicide.

CARMEN ELECTRA and DAVE NAVARRO are officially splitsville.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but Smith's boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, and her estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, were in a Florida court arguing what to do with her remains, while another hearing in California dealt with questions about the paternity of the former centerfold's infant daughter.  Stern told the court that he didn't want to get formally married to Smith because he didn't want to be perceived as a gold-digger.  Too bad for him that he comes off as ghoulshly exploitative in the video of an 8-months pregnant Smith seemingly high on something, which has been circulating the Internet after airing Monday night on Fox News.  And since I previously noted the wackiness of FL Judge Larry Seidlin, I'm not at all surprised to learn that the judge dreams of his own TV courtroom show.

ANNE HATHAWAY tells the Times of London that she used to be more like Lindsay Lohan, but "found you can only dance on so many table tops."

AARON ECKHART is in final negotiations to play Harvey Dent/Two Face in the sequel to Batman Begins.  BONUS:  Even in the real world, the Batman is elusive.

24 is dialing back on the torture scenes, ostensibly because it was beoming a cliche, not because the US military, human rights groups and children's advocates complained about it.  In the Washington Post, writer Peter Carlson mocks the uproar.

THE OSCARS:  Gold Derby blogger Tom O'Neil suggests that the American Cinema Editors award shows that Babel is the main competition to The Departed.  He also notes that Pete Hammond of Maxim and HollywoodWiretap.com has switched his best-pic prediction from Little Miss Sunshine to Babel.  I note that at Intrade, the betting still favors The Departed by a rather wide margin.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON has topped Playboy's annual 25 Sexiest Celebrities list: "Scarlett Johansson is the apex of beauty and sensuality -- from her porcelain skin to her fully feminine figure to her mysterious charisma, which is at once palpable and indefinable."  London's Sun has galleries of Scarlett and her competition at the link.  You can see her chemistry with Justin Timberlake in the video for "What Goes Around...Comes Around."

STEVE JOBS and MICHAEL DELL don't even agree on whether teachers' unions are a good thing. 

MALAYSIA:  A state govenment plans to enlist vigilante sex police to inform on unmarried couples kissing or holding hands.

IRAN:  Pres. Ahmadinejad rejected international calls to suspend uranium enrichment, as the UN deadline runs out.  And why shouldn't he?  After all, even under the existing sanctions, trade between the European Union and Iran increased last month.  Meanwhile, Iranian patrol boats have crossed into Iraqi waters in the last week to assess defenses near Iraqi offshore oil terminals.

IRAQ:  It looks like Moqtada al-Sadr has decided to purge people from the Mahdi Army while he's out of town.  But that apparently has not stopped the Iraqi Army and US troops from bombarding his office west of Baghdad.  An Iraqi paper reports that the gov't is offering some serious de-de-Bathification as part of national reconciliation efforts.  A chlorine truck was bombed in Taji, killing nine and sickening 150.  The AP account suggests that the new Baghdad security plan is faltering, despite that: (a) afaik, it doesn't encompass Taji; (b) US and Iraqi troops are nowhere near full strength yet; and (c) the 100 reported dead in the first week of the new op are just slightly more than the average number killed every day in Baghdad last month.  Elsewhere, Al-Zawra TV, which had been a jihadist propaganda tool, is turning critical of al Qaeda.

LELE is a Chinese pooch who buys his own sausages when he's hungry.

VELVET, a black Labrador mix, probably saved the lives of those three climbers rescued after a harrowing fall and a night in the wind and cold high on Mount Hood, OR.

BINDI SUE, a Dumeril's Boa, may never reach her 7-foot-long prime if her abductors don't give her the warm cage, proper bedding and mouse suppers she needs.

HUNDREDS of SHEEP have been rustled in the Port Hills area of New Zealand.

CHRISTMAS the HAMSTER was miraculously brought back to life after being cooked by accident.

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New Releases, Arcade Fire, Of Montreal, Macaque Monkey Gangs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


JARVIS COCKER closed his Shockwaves NME Awards Show gig with covers of Talking Heads' "Heaven" and Black Sabbath's "Paranoid."

NEW RELEASES:  It seems that folks took the Presidents Day holiday to slack on posting good links for new releases.  There may be better links tomorrow, but for now the ones that leap out at me are: The Black Lips' Los Valentes Del Mundo Nuevo, which is Nuggets-y goodness recorded live in Tijuana; Elvis Perkins finally releasing Ash Wednesday; and Explosions in the Sky's more epic indie rock on All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone.  EitS is also scheduled to visit Conan O'Brien tonight.  Plus, Southern Culture on the Skids is streaming their new Countrypolitan Favorites from their website, including covers of "Muswell Hillbilly" (Kinks), "Have You Seen Her Face?" (Byrds) and "Happy Jack" (Who).

ARCADE FIRE visited New York's Judson Memorial Church for a full concert on Feb. 17, 2007, which you can stream from NPR now.

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn tells Ireland.com how The Replacements inspired him to become a rocker.

OF MONTREAL frontman Kevin Barnes played a solo, acoustic gig at Dallas' Good Records on Sunday, including covers of The Beatles, Olivia Tremor Control, and Neil Young.  You can jukebox it via te ol' HM, also.

VANILLA FUDGE is your Twofer Tuesday, with interpretations of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and -- even better, imho -- "Shotgun."

DEAN & BRITTA:  PopMatters gives Back Numbers -- the upcoming album from the husband-and-wife Luna survivors -- a thumbs-up, complete with streaming audio and embedded video.

FIFTEEN UNDERRATED ALBUMS, according to The Big Takeover.

COCAINE COVERS:  My Old Kentucky Blog compiles and streams numerous versions of two songs named "Cocaine Blues," by everyone from Johnny Cash to Uncle Tupelo to Nick Drake.

CHARLIE LOUVIN:  The Village Voice reviews the country legend's cameo-studded, self-titled album.  You can stream Louvin with George Jones and Jeff Tweedy at There's Always Someone Cooler Than You --a French blog on American music, and Louvin with Will Oldham via the ol' HM.

 PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer was caught on a mobile phone camera snorting a deadly mix of cocaine and the horse tranquilliser ketamin.

MARDI GRAS BIN:  I almost forgot!  Here's a quick string of musical beads: Professor Longhair - Mardi Gras In New Orleans; Dr. John - Gris Gris Gumbo Yaya; Neville Brothers - Yellow Moon; Fats Domino - Walking To New Orleans; Boozoo Chavis - Zydeco Hee Haw; and Foo Fighters - Born On The Bayou.

BRITNEY SPEARS dons a wig to replace the one she just flipped.  Her shaved locks may be worth a million to the salon owners and various charities, and may cost the pop tart a fortune professionally.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills is planning to make a Simpsons-esque cartoon series about estranged husband Paul McCartney and his family.

RAY LIOTTA:  The Goodfella was busted for DUI -- and preliminary reports show the substance which Liotta was allegedly under was not alcohol.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt hopes a new child will help heal Jolie's pain after the loss of her mother.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE:  Hudson and Owen Wilson made a rare public appearance Down Under Sunday to attend a private screening of Matthew McConaughey's We Are Marshall.

MUSIC and LYRICS:  Hugh Grant split from his girlfriend Jemima Khan after almost three years together.  Drew Barrymore is rebuffing Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti's attempts to reconcile.  The video for "PoP! Goes My Heart" -- which apparently features in the new Grant-Barrymore rom-com -- is a well-fermented piece of 80s-esque cheese, with Wham! being the most obvious point of parody.

THE OSCARS:  Cinema Blend has this year's class picture from the Academy Award Nominees Luncheon.

MADONNA told Sirius Satellite Radio that she wants "to be like Gandhi and Martin Luther King and John Lennon."  But in a 25 million dollar 18th century English mansion,

RALPH FINNES:  Qantas flight attendant Lisa Robertson claims that she did indeed induct the actor into the Mile-High Club.

MISCHA BARTON:  The former O.C. hottie was spotted over the weekend leaving L.A. hotspot Hyde, as she was apparently engaged in a questionable act with a man in her vehicle.  Ambiguous but suggestive pic at the link.  Maybe she just lost something under the dashboard.

SIENNA MILLER is not above stealing someone's dog to keep her company.

IRAN may be able to enrich uranium on a mass scale in just six months, but it could still be 10 years away from the capacity to build a nuclear bomb, the chief UN monitor said.  He said that, according to US and British intelligence estimates, Iran was still five to 10 years away from building a nuclear bomb, and warned against "hype" over Tehran's nuclear progress.  Fair enough, though I think we've seen that US and UK intell doesn't always get it right, either.

IRAQ:  60 Minutes had a nice piece on success in the Kurdish north of Iraq.  The full story is more complicated -- there was internecine and intra-Kurdish conflict and warfare as recently as 1994-96, ultimately settled in large part by an agreement for the equitable distribution of oil revenue.  That's one reason why it's good news that a draft version of the long-awaited law for developing Iraqi oil fields and distributing oil revenues has been submitted to Iraq's cabinet.  And potentially even better news that Iraq has substantially increased its estimates of the amount of oil and natural gas in deposits on Sunni lands after quietly paying foreign oil companies tens of millions of dollars over the past two years to re-examine old seismic data across the country and retrain Iraqi petroleum engineers.

BAGHDAD:  In Iraq's capital, the fifth day of the new security plan led to 103 terrorists being either killed or arrested.   Al-Sabah reported that 500 families have returned to Baghdad so far as scenes of refugees disappear.  Youths celebrated in the street in defiance of the now invisible Mahdi Army, despite unconfirmed rumors of US-Iraqi death squads. 

A TURTLE survives caesarean section surgery at the at Chengdu City Zoo in China.

GANGS of MACAQUE MONKEYS have been causing havoc in housing estates in Singapore.  Insert George Allen joke here.

THE AFLAC DUCK is going on the endangered species list.  Gilbert Gottfried is despondent.  Ben Affleck is overjoyed.

A BABY ARABIAN ORYX -- a rare species of antelope that is said to have inspired the myth of the unicorn -- debuted at the Kanazawa Zoo in Yokohama.  Awww...some pic at the link.

SUICIDE SQUIRELS were responsible for 28 percent of the power outages in Lincoln, NE, last year.

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Swedish Pop, Live Ramones, Huskers and Tweedy, Year of the Pig   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 19, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


LONEY, DEAR: The video for "I Am John" may be dark, but the song from the Swedish popsters is anything but.

PETER BJORN & JOHN: Fellow Swede-poppers talk about the "Young Folks"-propelled buzz with New Zealand's Stuff. You can stream a nifty unpluggety set from Peter & Bjorn -- including a cover of Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" -- via KCRW.

DAVID LEE ROTH gives Rolling Stone a Van Halen reunion update.

ONETWOTHREEFOUR: Covert Curiousity posted a two-parter of the Ramones playing Northwestern University in October '79. You can also jukebox it o­n the ol' HM.

SxSW: The official schedule of bands is o­nline, with many bands already contributing MP3s to sample in advance of next month's fest.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: A really guilty pleasure of mine is Toto's "Hold the Line." I just dig that guitar riff against the staccato piano.

HUSKER DU and JEFF TWEEDY are among the gigs recently posted at Captain's Dead. You can also jukebox 'em via the ol' HM.

THE CHINESE NEW YEAR was celebrated by A Plague of Angels with a number of tracks you can jukebox o­n the ol' HM, including the immortal "Kung Fu Fighting."

AMY WINEHOUSE apparently had curious white smudges near her nostrils after the Brit awards ceremony.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel must take a drugs test if she wants to go to the US, because of her well-publicised cocaine scandal. The troubled singer will be glad to note that Moss has started wearing a ring o­n her wedding finger again.

BRITNEY SPEARS had a worse weekend than you did, unless you checked into rehab at Eric Clapton's Crossroads center in Antigua, checked out after less than a day, then returned to L.A., shaved your head completely bald and got tattooed. Top celebrity psychiatrists are calling it a "massive cry for help." As folks wait for the pop tart's locks to turn up o­n eBay, Spears' manager Larry Rudolph reportedly said she's already in counselling. The L.A. Times has the account from inside the salon. It is the sort of story tailor-made for the Gallery of the Absurd.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Ghost Rider, which ultimately scored 23 percent o­n the Tomatometer, took the top spot at the cineplex, with a 44 million take -- double that of second-place Bridge to Terabithia. Lat weekend's top pic Norbit slid 50 percent to third, but is an all-but-certain moneymaker. New releases Music and Lyrics, Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls, and Breach followed with 14, 12 and ten million, respectively. Last weekend's second, third, fourth and ffith-place pics -- Hannibal Rising, Because I Said So, The Messengers and Night at the Museum -- round out the Top Ten. This weekend breaks a six-week streak of lower total receipts in year-over-year stats.

THE OSCARS: With less than a week to go, Oscar oddsmakers from the Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly have the Best Picture race in a virtual dead heat, with The Departed edging out Little Miss Sunshine. At Movie City News, the Gurus o' Gold have it the other way around! FWIW, I think that sympathy for Scorsese and the general Oscar bias against comedies give the edge to The Departed.

BRIDGET MOYNIHAN and TOM BRADY are going to have a child, though the Pats' QB has already moved o­n to Victoria's Secret supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Gisele is smiling in the pics at the link, so I'm guessing she hadn't heard the news yet.

LINDSAY LOHAN has been released from rehab. Egotastic wonders whether Li-Lo is the subject of a risque blind item.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON wore some Woody Allen glasses to become the youngest-ever recipient of Harvard's Hasty Pudding award. But she abandoned intellectual for funny by claiming that her dream date is Patrick Swayze.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD. And now she's embalmed, too. Not that she hadn't seemed embalmed many times before.

JENNIFER LOPEZ got a bit weepy after her new film was booed at the Berlin International Film Festival.

RYAN GOSLING admits he was a bad influence o­n Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and that he really disliked Rachel McAdams when they filmed The Notebook together.

GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY is observed today. Here's an inaccurate and profane tribute to the first US President.

TIGGER walks!

MALAYSIA: A day after creating an uproar among women across the country, a well-respected Islamic religious figure said that his comments that women should wear chastity belts to thwart rape and incest and "to protect themselves from sex maniacs" were just a joke. Oh, sure.

IRAQ: Two Shiite leaders confirmed US reports that al-Sadr had gone to Iran. As the US detained Iranians in Baghdad, a senior Mahdi Army commander stated that Sadr would be returning within days, and that any attempt to detain him would be an "uncalculated risk aiming to escalate the situation in Iraq and to end the political process." Iraq's VP, otoh, wants the Mahdi Army designated a terrorist group. Trainers see improvements in the Iraq Police forces, and it seems that there has been a dramatic and unexpected increase in the number of recruits in Anbar province. Twenty-one suspected al Qaeda terrorists were detained in Ramadi, Baghdad and Karabilah. In Ramadi, US troops have broken a years-long stalemate between coalition forces, local insurgents and Islamic militants, according to the departing coalition commander. The 1st Iraqi Army Division is assuming operational control of its battlespace in Anbar province. Bill Ardolino blogs from Fallujah that the US disengagement strategy in Anbar has an upside and a downside. British troops completed transferring frontline security duties in Basra to the Iraqi Army.

IRAN has denied al-Sadr was in Iran. The mullocracy will not suspend uranium enrichment as demanded by the UN Security Council. Instead, it will launch their second war games in a month, just days ahead of the Feb. 21 UN deadline. The gov't also claimed that US manufactured weapons were found in a recent raid, but Little Green Footballs -- the blog known for identifying fake documents in the "Rathergate" scandal and doctored Reuters photos coming out of Lebanon last summer -- claims there's fauxtography in this case, too. Complete with an animation of how the Photoshopping was done.

YEAR OF THE PIG: RetroCrush celebraetes with a list of "The Greatest Porkers in Pop Culture History."

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A duckling with four legs. (Thanks, Lance.)

CATS CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING, but you can make yours carbon-neutral for about eight Aussie bucks annually.

A WAYWARD COW'S dip in the North Sea ended up launching a full-scale search and rescue operation off Northumberland. A happy ending seems unlikely.

AN ALASKAN SLED DOG was saved by CPR from his owner o­n the trail, though it put the eighth-place team out of the running.

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Advance Dungen and Feist, OK GO, Cutout Bin, Upside-Down Baby   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 16, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with RAMPANT BEATLEMANIA! In this Pathe Newsreel, the lovable moptops play "She Loves You" and "Twist and Shout" for a screaming crowd in Manchester circa 1963.

RYAN ADAMS: Spin has an article which explains why Adams is perfectly suited for Internet stardom.

DUNGEN: Obscure sound is streaming three tracks from the Swedish psych-rockers' Tio Bitar ("Ten Pieces"), due May 1st.

FOO FIGHTERS drummer Taylor Hawkins crashed The Police's reunion tour presser to ask if they were bringing mullets back. Police drummer Stuart Copeland was not fooled.

FEIST: Gorilla vs. Bear and other blogs have been posting "My Moon, My Man," the piano-driven first single from Leslie Feist's next album, The Reminder, due May 1st in the US. You can also stream it o­n the ol' HM.

MILLI VANILLI: Headed for the big screen?

OK GO already had a video for "Do What You Want," but the band takes a page from the Garden State screenplay in the new version o­n MTV Overdrive. Both versions have cowbell.

JOHN WATERS: The cult film director is your guest DJ for All Songs Considered, drawing a few selections from his new CD of love songs called A Date with John Waters. He discusses the mix (with embedded video) at PopMatters.

ELENI MANDELL was embarrassed to join MySpace "because that means you're admitting that you want attention and you want friends. I was like, 'Who would dare admit such a thing!?' But now I get it. It's wonderful to admit that you're needy and desperate." You can stream four from Miracle of Five at HerSpace... and ask to be her friend, won't you?

JOHN MELLENCAMP tells Charlie Rose that the US should not have attacked Afghanistan or even Osama bin Laden after 9/11. Indeed, he's not sure the US should have reacted to Pearl Harbor.

THE CUTOUT BIN: This Friday's fortuitous finds o­n the ol' HM include: The Cardigans - Boys Are Back In Town; A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Game of Pricks; Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Do You Love Me?; Paul Westerberg - Love You In The Fall; Material Issue - Valerie Loves Me; Wire Train - Love, Love; Apples In Stereo - Same Old Drag; ELO - Evil Woman; Jackie DeShannon - Only Love Can Break Your Heart; Tom Waits - You Can Never Hold Back Spring; Al Bowlly - It's Great To Be In Love; Richard Thompson - Tempted; Marissa Nadler - Famous Blue Raincoat; M. Ward - Let's Dance; The Magic Numbers - Crazy In Love; Carla Thomas - B.A.B.Y; Hot Chip - Sexual Healing; and Happy Mondays - The Boys are Back in Town.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but Prince Frederic von Anhalt, the husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, has officially filed his paternity suit. Meanwhile, TMZ got an unofficial declaration of paternity from the man convicted of stalking Smith. The doc who prescribed methadone to a very pregnant Smith and to a phony name and had it shipped to the Bahamas -- descibed his medical practice in part as "entertainment medicine." He is now the subject of an inquiry by the Medical Board of California. But your must-see video is Florida probate judge Larry Seidlin declaring that "This body belongs to me," and that he would not be rushed because "that baby is in a cold, cold storage room" and wasn't decomposing all that fast.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's widest release is the comic adaptaion Ghost Rider a 120-million-dollar movie not being pre-screened for critics. Wow. The not-a-Narnia-knockoff fantasy Bridge to Terabithia is currently scoring 88 percent o­n the Tomatometer. The Hugh Grant-Drew Barrymore rom-com Music and Lyrics is scoring 65 percent, while rival rom-com Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls o­nly scores 31 percent. The based-on-real-events spy thriller Breach is scoring 69 percent.

TIM HARDAWAY: The former Miami Heat superstar told a local sports radio show that he "hates gay people," which means that he had som 'splainin' to do. His explanation is that his comments were not really that controversial, and that many players believe as he does, but don't say so out of political correctness.

KENNY CHESNEY: The country star will be o­n 60 Minutes this Sunday to tell Anderson Cooper that he's not gay. NTTAWWT. Unless you're Tim Hardaway. Or Anderson Cooper, who might be disappointed.

JENNIFER LOPEZ & MARC ANTHONY reportedly have fallen into the clutches of Scientology.

BRITNEY SPEARS: A letter reportedly from the pop tart's 41-year-old former assistant claims those near and dear to Spears are waiting for her to hit rock bottom.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE: They come in for much mockery, so it's o­nly fair to notice when Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen do some joint parenting.

THE McCARTNEYS: Heather Mills warms up for that Dancing with the Stars gig by kicking a London paparazzo's a**. She videotaped it, which will come in handy when she gets sued. Pic at the link.

BRADGELINA are trying to hang with the normal folk in N'awlins. But when too many normal folk notice who they are, it's time to escape in Mardi Gras masks. I'll bet Angie still got a lot of beads thrown her way. But their mingling without obvious security is disturbing to Star magazine.

MTV rushes to assure a panicked public that Total Request Live, MTV2 and VH1 Classic are not dead. However, Vanessa Minnillo is getting the boot from TRL.

GRAY MATTERS will be in limited release next weekend, so I don't know whether it's any good. However, I'm guessing it will be tough to top this clip of Heather Graham and Bridget Moynihan kissing. If you're interested in the plot, here's the regular trailer.

WHO IS WILLIAM M. ARKIN? The longtime activist and Washington Post "National and Homeland Security" blogger, who argued that US troops in Iraq are pampered mercenaries, is also an analyst for NBC News -- which was a major factor in Retired Col. Ken Allard's decision to sever his 10-year relationship with the network.

IRAQ: CNN and others were reporting that the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq had been wounded and his top aide killed in a clash with police, but the DNA did not match the AQI leader. In Baghdad, the Iraqi Army killed o­ne and detained four members of the Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. Those closest to al-Sadr are unaware of his whereabouts, so the US military's claim he is in Iran may well be correct. An Iraqi court convicted a Syrian intel officer of arming foreign terrorists. Lawrence Haas, fmr communications dir. for VP Al Gore, warns that congressional Democrats racing to distance themselves from the war in Iraq may be planting the seeds for a trip to the political wilderness, if those Vietnam analogies hold up.

AFGHANISTAN: Looks like the US is surging a bit there, too. Pres. Bush also urged NATO countries participating in the Afghanistan effort to meet their commitments to provide forces and equipment and to lift restrictions o­n how they can be deployed. Afghan authorities announced the capture of a senior Taliban commander.

THE GLOBAL WAR o­n TERRORISTS seems to be making progress in the Philippines.

BABY is a vegetarian, but that's not what people tend to notice about him.

JASMINE the SHI TZU had her ear severed by a groomer, who then re-attached the ear with super glue. Video at the link.

SCOTTISH POLICE DOGS donated blood o­n Valentine's Day to help save the lives of other canines.

ANT SCAM brings the death penalty in China.

CHEETAHS mauled Karen Aerts to death at the Antwerp Zoo, after she entered their cage for no apparent reason. Olmense Zoo spokesman Jan Libot said "Karen loved animals. Unfortunately the cheetahs betrayed her trust," apparently unaware that cheetahs are wild beasts isolated from the humans for a reason.

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