T-BONE BURNETT: The musician, producer and movie music maven talked to Liane Hansen on NPR, which also has streaming tracks from The True False Identity, a compilation of new songs, and Twenty Twenty, a 40-song retrospective.
NEW RELEASES: Previously unreleased Johnny Cash, a best-of from Harry Nilsson and the latest from Phoenix (Strokes-y) and from the Ditty Bops (old school Americana) are streaming in full from AOL Music this week -- along with a very, very scary covers album from Def Leppard (and some have the nerve to say it's piracy that's killing music). T.Rex, Blondie, The Kinks and Badfinger are among the victims. Mission of Burma returns with The Obliterati. Tilly and the Wall release Bottoms of Barrels. The Walkmen get kinda rootsy on A Hundred Miles Off. And contrary to what I posted last week, today is the US release date for the fab debut from Art Brut. That's what I get for relying on Canadians.
LOU REED is headlining a free concert at the grand opening of the building at 7 World Trade Center. I'm guessing Charlie Sheen won't be there.
BONO told African finance ministers that promises of aid debt relief could be withdrawn by western countries unless recipient governments tackle internal corruption. He also stressed the importance of trade: "We have to accept that a lot of the aid in the past has done more damage than good. The West really has to understand that Africans don't want aid, they need aid, and what Africa desires and what (it) deserves is trade as a route out of their present difficulties."
TICKETMASTER, following the example of the Chicago Cubs, is getting into the ticket scalping business.
ARCTIC MONKEYS announced that bassist Andy Nicholson will not be with the band on their upcoming American tour, due to the all-too-common exhaustion.
GOD ONLY KNOWS: At My Old Kentucky Blog, Dodge is following his compilations of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and The Smiths' "There's A Light That Never Goes Out" with the Beach Boys classic, as interpreted by David Bowie, Petra Haden, Elvis Costello, Claudine Longet, a duet of Michael Stipe and Mandy Moore, plus more...
THE GO-GOS have still got the beat, 25 years after the band's debut release, Beauty and the Beat. Fortunately, YouTube still has a live version of "We Got The Beat" from Britain's Old Grey Whistle Test and the classic video of "Our Lips Are Sealed," with a bonus video of the other version of "Lips" by Fun Boy Three.
MARY WILSON of the Supremes was scheduled for bypass surgery Monday, after experiencing chest pains over the weekend. Obviously, we hope that afterward, love will be the only itching in her heart.
AXL ROSE will probably not be modeling for Tommy Hilfiger, who threw the singer to the pavement outside a NYC club early Sunday morning.
GNARLS BARKLEY tops the UK charts for the eighth straight week with the smash hit "Crazy," which is now the biggest single in Britain in more than a decade. The ballad version from Top of the Pops is also pretty great. Hear them before the French Hotel wrecks it. BONUS: The GB cover of the Violent Femmes' "Gone Daddy Gone."
THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST was won by the controversial Finnish shock metal band Lordi. London's Independent views the band as part of a tradition encompassing, Arthur Brown, Alice Cooper, KISS and more. You can see the winning performance of "Hard Rock Hallelujah" via YouTube.
CHEAP TRICK: In the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim DeRogatis looks at the class action lawsuit the band has filed against Sony BMG, accusing the label of consistently shortchanging the musicians on royalties from music sold via Internet services such as Apple's iTunes. The accounting does seem a bit creative. For example, did you know that the CD is "new technology?"
PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel reportedly began kicking and punching the troubled singer in the street outsider her pad at 5 a.m. after reading how he sprayed his blood at two MTV cameramen.
MADONNA is hanging on a cross, wearing a crown of thorns on her new tour. And sampling ABBA's wardrobe, just like she sampled the band's "Gimme Gimme Gimme" for her single, "Hung Up." Someone has posted a minute of Madge doing a cross between a carousel and a pole dance during "Like a Virgin" opening night in L.A..
SIR PAUL and wife Heather may be trying to keep their divorce out of family court, but a fight may be inevitable over custody of their 2-year-old daughter Beatrice. Heather has been spotted looking "pale and gaunt, with barely enough strength to hold herself upright," as she fled to Slovenia to lick her wounds.
JACK BLACK and musician wife Tanya Haden, who eloped in March, are expecting their first child, a boy, early next month. Black seems to have a grip on his strengths and areas for improvement as a prospective parent: "I think I will be good when it comes to playtime. I don't know how good I'll do with the discipline."
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Former ER star Alex Kingston says she was turned down for a role because she has too many curves, adding that the super-slim actresses in the hit series make viewers feel guilty about their own size.
ACTORS WITH ISSUES: Tucked into a profile of Hugh Jackman, is this nugget: "An analysis due to be published by the American Psychological Association suggests that about 75 of the industry's 100 best-paid actors saw their parents split when they were young."
DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE: Denise Richards was at home minding her own business the other day when she heard Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" playing from the street outside. She peeked through a window and saw Heather Locklear and a girlfriend in her car with the song blasting. Richards called the stunt "very high school."
BRADGELINA: A Namibian judge dismissed charges on Monday against a South African photographer arrested for trespassing while trying to snap Jolie and Pitt. He was released on a warning after being detained for three days in a communal cell. London's Sun claims the couple is fighting over treatment for Zahara's "mystery illness." And those rumors about Jolie going into labor over the weekend? Well, the couple dined at an oyster bar on Saturday, which suggests she was not. Let's hope she wasn't eating raw shellfish.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Star magazine claims that Cruise, who says he can't wait to marry Holmes, has postponed any nuptials until after Homes undergoes intensive training on how to spot and avoid anyone critical of Scientology. Cruise is reportedly concerned that Holmes be totally committed to Scientology, unlike his ex, Nicole Kidman, whom the National Enquirer claims has been secretly steaming ever since Holmes started playing mommy to Isabella and Connor, the kids Cruise and Kidman adopted during their marriage.
HUGH GRANT and heiress Jemima Khan are reportedly on the rocks. Khan most recently made news after sharing a minute-long kiss with Kate Moss at a charity event.
PENELOPE CRUZ always sees herself as a European actress, to protect herself from the negative things about Hollywood.
SALMA HAYEK defies aging through sheer force of will.
MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ from Lost was sentenced to 60 days in the L.A. County jail Monday for violating her probation. But she'll probably have another good time in jail.
REBECCA ROMIJN likes being a dominatrix in the bedroom and having sex in public places. And she's "really looking forward to starting a family sometime soon."
THE CULT OF THE iPod now includes Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who claims to have "a total smorgasbord" loaded on her iPod, but names Aretha Franklin's "Respect," the Beatles' "Hey Jude" and "Take it to the Limit" by The Eagles when pressed. Probably not the best choices for someone who doesn't want to remind you of her marital woes.
HURRICANE KATRINA: A team of independent investigators led by UC Berkeley's civil engineering school is set to report that design and construction defects in levees around New Orleans raise serious doubts that the system can withstand the pounding of another hurricane the size of Katrina, even after 3.1 billion in repairs are completed.
IRAQ: Are Pres. Bush and UK PM Tony Blair set to announce the beginning of big troop reductions at a summit? That's what Michael Smith, a reporter for the London Sunday Times, claims at the Raw Story. Take it with at least the amount of salt you would use with the Drudge Report. Blair just made a surprise visit to Iraq, during which he and Iraqi PM al-Maliki announced an accelerated timetable for the withdrawing UK troops from much of Iraq, which tends contrary to a joint UK-US statement. However, al-Maliki expects that Iraqi forces could take over security, with the exception of Baghdad and perhaps Al-Anbar, by year's end. Jordan announced the arrest of an unidentified leader of the al Qaeda in Iraq. CBS anchor Harry Smith talked to locals about problems and progress in Baghdad.
KORANIC TUNA UPDATE: It is the second coming as the fish with markings resembling a Koranic text resurfaces after disappearing in Kenya last week.
BEAR ATTACK foiled by a Finnish woman who kicked it in the nose.
CANE TOADS invading Down Under are held in thrall to the smell of desire. You know, desire smells like that to some people.
PIRANHAS have been forced to diet at Birmingham's Sea Life Center.
MONKEYS and APES in Budapest's Zoo drink their way through 55 liters of red wine each year. The apes drink the most wine, which is mixed into their tea. Hiding your drining like that should be a red flag.