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Maximo Park, Johnny Depp's addictions, Pygmy Hippos and Lowly Insects   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 01, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


JOHN LENNON AUCTION: A handwritten lyric sheet for "All You Need is Love" went for just over a million bucks. The tunic that inspired the cover for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" went for about 174K. And pair of Lennon's trademark round wire spectacles was sold for around 95K. All you need is cash.

STAR WARS AUCTION: Producer Gary Kurtz's auction also went well -- better than expected, in fact. Luke Skywalker's lightsaber from Star Wars sold for $264,000. Darth Vader's lightsaber from The Empire Strikes Back fetched $155,000 instead of the estimated $52,000 to $79,000. Yoda's walking stick from TESB fetched $66,000, instead of the expected $11,000. There were some iconic non-Star Wars items also.

A RUBBER SOUL TRIBUTE ALBUM will include tracks from Sufjan Stevens, the Fiery Furnaces, Ted Leo, Low, Nellie McKay, Ben Kweller and more.

MAXIMO PARK frontman Paul Smith likes to (as they would say at the Ratskeller) "make show."

CASH IN: Compilations of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash get rave reviews at PopMatters.

THE PIXIES' guitarist, Joey Santiago, is writing the score for the new Showtime original comedy series Weeds.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes claims he was mortified about having to pose in a transparent spandex bodysuit for her Batman Begins action figure. I don't think anyone who has seen Sam Raimi's The Gift is buying that. Holmes' claims that she was terrified she wasn't going to be good enough in the hit comic-book film is much more believable -- and she's not signed to do the sequel. Meanwhile, Lauren Bacall doesn't think much of Cruise.

BARBRA STREISAND petitioned the Surgeon General last year to legalize LSD for medicinal use? That's what it says in Pravda, which is Russian for "truth!"

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, who stirred up controversy by saying that America "was in some way responsible" for the 9/11 attacks, has signed o­n to star in Oliver Stone's 9/11 movie.

OSAMA BIN LADEN COKE PLOT: The DEA is discounting a New York Post front-page story that OBL tried to buy tons of Colombian cocaine to spike with poison and resell to Americans. The NYP stands by its story.

IRAQ: CENTCOM commander General John Abizaid spoke to Austin Bay at Camp Fallujah in June: "The mood of how this war is going in Baghdad and Arab capitals is better than in Washington and London... The center of friction is now somewhere west of Baghdad. Last year I would have said it was Baghdad. It's moved from Baghdad, west. Into Al Anbar... We're squeezing them more and more. It's clear from the intel that Zarqawi is under pressure. Al Qaeda is under pressure everywhere. The main problem [in Iraq] is the Sunni Arab community coming into the political process, and that takes patient military and political skills." He says more about Al Anbar and the Iraqi Army at the link.

OH YEAH, WE'RE GOING TO THE LASER SHOW: Presented in association with MTV2, Sonic Vision is a collaborative effort between Moby and New York's American Museum of Natural History, featuring music by such notables as Coldplay, Audioslave, David Byrne and Brian Eno. It's also playing at Chicago's Adler Planetarium. But no Fountains of Wayne?

JIMI HENDRIX pretended to be gay so he would be discharged from the army, according to a new biography. I knew he often wore womens' blouses, but I figured that was because he was left-handed.

PINK FLOYD is remembered in the L.A. Times.

"THAT'S A GOOD NAME FOR A ROCK BAND:" Humorist Dave Barry has a couple posted at his blog.

WE'RE AN AMERICAN BAND: Ask MetaFilter is discussing American bands "that were equally musically adept, great songwriting, and inspirational."

CHINA may have more Christians than Communists.

LONDON BOMBING:  Police arrested seven more people during a Sunday raid.  Police raiding apartments Friday in London and Rome rounded up the last of the four suspects from the failed July 21 attacks. TV crews almost got too close to the action. ALSO: o­ne by o­ne, Al-Qaeda’s affiliated websites have vanished until o­nly a handful remain; Israeli intelligence agents detect the hand of British intelligence.

DRRTY DIETING: Christina Aguilera is reportedly following a bizarre diet with four new food groups: crunchy, soft, hot and cold.

JANN WENNER would probably have a heart attack if he ever saw my desk.

SEAN CONNERY RETIRES, saying it would take a Mafia-style "offer he couldn't refuse" to tempt him to make another film. In an interview with a New Zealand newspaper, the actor says he has no time for the "idiots" now making films in Hollywood.

THE MIX CD EXCHANGE: The making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. First of all you're using someone else's poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing. The Mix CD Exchange is a community for people who love putting music together in just the right order to create that perfect transition, that sweet irony, or just that amazing compilation of songs. For example, a mix based o­n the theme of A Summer Love.

IRAQ II: Michael Yon reports o­n the many soldiers and Marines who are working towards attaining U.S. citizenship while in uniform, under fire, in Iraq. Compare it with The New York Times coverage of the same topic. An article in USA Today worries about the effects of multiple tours of duty, particularly o­n Marines. Metallica makes a cameo as the Greek chorus. No, really. And as Greyhawk points out at The Mudville Gazette, "As with all such "news reports" from Iraq, there are no direct quotes from any Marine supporting the overall tone of the piece."

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: The BBC does its own take o­n the trained squirrels. I want a trained squirrel... The flick slipped to number two in weekend receipts; o­n a per screen average, it's number four, behind Wedding Crashers, March of the Penguins and Must Love Dogs. SEMI-RELATED: Johhny Depp is addicted to sticky toffee pudding. And the Teletubbies. Plus, he came up with his Wonka voice while playing with Barbies.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Johnny Knoxville got into a bar brawl with a "young frat-boy type" bothering Kate Moss, an alleged former flame of the married Knoxville and alleged fiancée of the troubled singer Doherty. Surprisingly, Mrs. Knoxville was not present.

DAVID BECKHAM'S FOOT works wonders o­n a soccer field... and in a retaurant, as it turns out. I suspect he was subject to a penalty kick from Victoria.

MUSICIAN JOKES: It's not all about stem cell research and fiscal policy at "The Corner" of National Review o­nline; last Friday, readers were e-mailing musician jokes. Somebody gave some to the drummer, but that was followed by guitarist jokes then o­nto the bass player and the lead singer, as well as members of marching bands. I'm sparing you the french horn and viola jokes.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says all foreign students at madrassas must leave the country. But the BBC's Aamer Ahmed Khan says it is not clear what effect these measures will have o­n extremism as the more militant students work at unregulated madrassas that have survived previous crackdowns. ALSO: In the northwest, more than a hundred tribal women have taken a stand against creeping fundamentalism by declaring themselves candidates in local elections that Muslim leaders had decreed a male-only preserve.

IRAQ III: The Defense Department has drawn up a and to a max of 60K by the end of 2006. But this still seems contingent of Iraqis keeping to the timeline for elections in December 2005. Framers of the new constitution said Sunday they may need a 30 day extension; President Jalal Talabani insisted that the Aug. 15 deadline for parliament to approve the draft charter must be met. A showdown was expected today.

IGGY POP rates a 7.9 o­n the Pitchfork for A Million in Prizes: The Anthology.

WHAT IS INDIE ROCK? Carl Wilson suggests it's a cultural mood ring.

MP3 BLOGS get a shout out from the Chicago Tribune, including the Tofu Hut (discussing how a 1934 recording of a vocal style called "eephing" sounds like "strange country sex") and Fluxblog, whose Matthew Perpetua has been hired as a talent scout for Universal Music Group's European division.

LONDON: The Guardian's executive editor for news has resigned, reportedly because of a split o­n the staff caused when he fired a trainee journalists exposed as a member of an extremist Islamist organisation.

FRANCE will expel 12 Islamic "preachers of hate" in August.

WHY DO THEY HATE US? At the moment, it seems that democracy -- and even the U.S. -- are gaining in popularity.

SURFIN' SAFARI: There's no woodie big enough to carry that board.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? "I have read story after story about how someone lost a child or a spouse to the evils of casino gambling, but no o­ne ever tells the sad tale of the home torn apart by Fantasy Sports."

REAL MEN OF GENIUS: Today, we salute you, Mr. Sleepy Bud Light Truck Driver. You know there are thirsty aging baby boomers in Arizona, so you skip a nap to put the hammer down in a way those Clydesdales never could. No artificial stimulants for you because you know Bud is a family brand. You take pride in what you do, right up to the moment you spill 30,000 cans of watery beer o­nto the interstate. That's what makes you Mr. Sleepy Bud Light Truck Driver. Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis Missouri; fine, how's yours?

OVER THERE: Steven Bochco's Iraq-based drama drew 4.1 million viewers in its premiere o­n FX, making it the night's most-watched show o­n cable. But I wonder whether those numbers will hold. The show seems to be getting mostly thumbs-down from members of the military and their families. Ry and the commenters at Blackfive's blog seem most put off by the abundant sterotypes and Hollywood cliches in the first episode. In contrast, L.A. Times reporters who spent time in Iraq mostly think the characters seem real. Apparently, these reporters don't realize that they may be saying that even spending time in Iraq may not cause them to revisit stereotypical views of those who serve in the military.

JAY FARRAR: The Son Volt frontman gets interveiewed for Newsweek, albeit a web exclusive.

ROCKERS AND ACTORS are joining Oxfam's new campaign against agricultural subsidies, including Bono, REM's Michael Stipe, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Alanis Morrissette, Minnie Driver, Colin Firth and Antonio Banderas.

OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD? You might try the Library of Congress.

CULT OF THE iPod: Hewlett-Packard has discontinued an iPod reselling agreement in place with Apple since January 2004. The iPod Shuffle makes an appearance over the weekend in Chris Muir's Day by Day comic strip, which also touches o­n the issue of mixed relationships. And advertisers are avoiding opportunities to exploit the gadget, fearing the wrath of the cult.

TOP STORIES versus popular stories.

PHONY PHATWA? Last week, a group of American Islamic leaders held a press conference to announce a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against "terrorism and extremism." Steven Emerson maintains that the fatwa is bogus and that officials of the organizations involved have been directly linked to and associated with Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic extremist organizations.

PYGMY HIPPOPOTAMUS: Bono, a 20 day-old male baby pygmy hippopotamus, stays close to its mother, 10-year-old Tina, at Taman Safari Park in Bogor, West Java. I like that the pictures ended up as part of the Reuters slideshow for U2. Also, while looking for info o­n Bono, I came across pygmy elephants.

CATS: Five kittens got shipped to vermont with a brush trimmer sent back to the factory from South Carolina.

PYTHON visits a pizzeria in the western Austrian town of Freidstadt. Did it want a pizza topped with Spam?

MOOSE takes up residence at a miniature golf course. No doubt it was cooled by the windmills.

THIS SITE IS A LOWLY INSECT: If that doesn't sound good to you, keep in mind that it was a wiggly worm mere weeks ago, A blog called The Truth Laid Bear runs a project called the The TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem, which ranks sites' popularity by links. Currently, this site is ranked among the Lowly Insects, because we have been linked by Big Al's Army Life the o­nline diary of the deployment of a National Guard nurse out of Mississippi, written by his fiancée, Melinda (Although this site was listed as a "Blog of Interest," it looks like Melinda is redoing her sidebar, so I hope we reappear there.) I, for o­ne, am glad to have appeared there, as fiancées of those deployed to Iraq is a key demographic, imho. Melinda has a whole mess of great stuff o­n her blog, including a poem about Iraqi dust and sand that parodies Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham, a post o­n Ways to Support a Co-Worker or Friend Whose Loved o­ne Has Been Deployed (luckily, I seem to have been doing most of them even before reading it), and photos of Al at o­ne of Saddam's palaces and at the Gates of Babylon. Check it out; our visits will show up in her referrer log (you can see a few entries at the bottom of her sidebar), encourage her to keep Pate linked and move up the evolutionary chain!

3383 Reads

Now That's What I Call Indie Covers, Christopher Lee and Cow Emissions   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 29, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Sugar Crash, a version of Breakout to which I can relate.

LAURA CANTRELL: When I mentioned her the other day, I should have added that Elvis Costello o­nce said, "If Kitty Wells made Rubber Soul it would sound like Laura Cantrell." The late legendary DJ John Peel dug her, too. And she sang o­n They Might Be Giants' "The Guitar." If you're the sort who likes Lucinda Williams -- and you know who you are -- you can download several tracks legally.

YOU AIN'T NO PICASSO is absolutely killing music with Now That's What I Call Indie Covers! Vol. 1. David Byrne covers Whitney Houston! Rilo Kiley covers Robert Palmer and Pete Townshend! Of Montreal covers The Who! Belle and Sebastian cover ABBA! The Mountain Goats cover Ace of Base!!! (and if you've never heard the Mountain Goats cver Ace of Base, let me assure you it's every bit as cool as their Thin Lizzy/R. Kelly medley in its own way) Now how much would you pay? But wait... there's more! The Flaming Lips cover Queen! Click now and there's even a bonus link at the page with the bonus tracks! Servers are standing by!!!

SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES: The band's entire catalog is to be remastered and reissued. Which is much better than having it remastered and unissued. I would add that I love that the music blog linked above is One Louder.

MSN's VIRTUAL EARTH is more virtual than it should be.


FRIDAY AFTERNOON CLUB: Forget Google... try Droogle! Or: How to Drink Alone, from the fabulous My Blog is Poop.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON: The Island may be flopping, but the billboard unnecessarily exaggerating Johansson's physique is so good Scarlett nearly crashed her car. And since it's Sky News, there's an accompanying photo gallery. Sadly, the billboard has been taken down. What? You thought I wouldn't go the extra click to try to bring you the complete story?

MUST LOVE DOGS? Not if you're a movie critic.

CONOR OBERST, Wes Anderson, Jonathan Safran Foer and the new male infantilism? What's new about it?

ARE YOU A HIPSTER? Chromewaves has the links that will provide your answer. There's even a Wes Anderson reference.

TERROR BUSTS: A senior British al-Qaeda operative sought by authorities since the July 7 London bombing was arrested in Zambia. British authorities reportedly balked at giving U.S. officials permission to apprehend him last month. British police arrested nine more men in pre-dawn raids. Pakistani security forces arrested an Islamic militant thought to have set up a meeting between murdered U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl and his kidnappers. Russian Police engaged in an operation against militants in Dagestan, preventing a major terrorist attack in Moscow and detaining about 150 accomplices, including policemen, civilians and clerics.

BILLY CORGAN wants to reunite Smashing Pumpkins, but doesn't want to play the old songs right now, thank you very much. How about... FREEBIRD!

THE STROKES: Thanks to Golden Fiddle, we get an A/B boss comparison of advance reports o­n the band's third album from NME and Spin.

PAYOLA: Slate asks, "What's wrong with it?"

OOOH, BLACK DIAMOND: Almost certainly America's top black Neil Diamond impersonator. Download to hear for yourself.

EMINEM is getting strange new respect from those he mocks, including Moby and Hillary Duff.

IRAQ: Austin Bay posts a translated editorial from Al Adala, a newspaper published by the Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Blackfive thinks it was "pretty @#$%ing crazy" for Gen. Casey to talk about a drawdown as soon as next Spring or Summer (as noted here yesterday), but I think Blackfive is missing the two big "ifs" in Casey's statement.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt, Jolie and her kids are shacking up at Pitt's Malibu mansion. What will the neighbors say?

RENEE ZELLEWEGER may be getting divorced as quickly as she got married?

THE FRENCH HOTEL: Her 24-carat engagement ring is too heavy and is hurting her finger. She may not have to worry about that much longer.

OSAMA BIN LADEN plotted to sell poisoned cocaine in the U.S.

EGYPT: Stunned by the terror attacks o­n Sharm el-Sheik, Egyptians are debating whether mosques, schools and the government itself should be blamed for promoting Islamic extremism. That's good, as some of the events described in the linked article are sobering and the New York Sun has an article showing that many Egyptians are blaming Israel.

SUFJAN STEVENS has staffed his touring band with Illinois alums; with eight musicians, he’s confident that something close to justice will be done to the record o­nstage.

BRIAN ENO was inspired to make his first solo vocal album in 15 years by new technologies: He describes these "auto-tuning devices" as "altering the gender and the pitch of the voice, so that you could sound like a high-pitched female instead of a man with a cold - which is what I actually am." Eno has huge numbers of CDs containing tracks he has never released, and estimates he has o­nly released four percent of everything he has recorded: "I have a huge rejection rate - so when I die, they're going to have a party, with all those posthumous albums."

KAISER CHIEFS AND BLOC PARTY plan to team up for the holidays. It's almost like Christmas in July!

WASHINGTON STATE'S The Olympian newspaper has its own MP3 blog, with everything from bootleg Dylan/Cash tracks to local bands.

THE REST OF THE YEAR IN MUSIC: After all of those mid-year "Best of 2005" lists, the Daily Pennsylvanian looks forward.

CHRISTOPHER LEE was a real secret agent during WWII and has played everything from Dracula to Willy Wonka's father o­nscreen. Now, in his 80's, he's fronting two heavy metal bands.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Apparent ex-galpal Kate Moss gets a libel judgment against a London tabloid, but Pete prefers to punch a reporter in the face.

TOP TEN WORST SONG LYRICS EVER, according to Blogcritics.

SUPERGRASS: You can preview "St. Petersburg," another track off the band's upcoming disc, at the Road to Rouen site.

LIZ PHAIR: If you're still interested in Miz Liz, someone is not killing music from her forthcoming album so much as wounding it.

TARA REID: Living down to her reputation.

POLITICS MAY BE SHOW BUSINESS FOR UGLY PEOPLE, but that hasn't stopped The Hill newspaper from compiling its list of the Top 50 Most Beautiful People o­n Capitol Hill.

AN AMISH TEEN was charged with theft and underage consumption of alcohol, after police got complaints about loud music coming from a buggy.

THE CUTTHROAT WORLD OF PROFESSIONAL MINI-GOLF is exposed by The New York Times. I smell Pulitzer!

CULT OF THE iPod: In a victory for those killing music, the gadget escapes a Canadian tax levied o­n blank media such as CDs that the Canadian Private Copying Collective (which collects tariffs o­n behalf of musicians and record companies) sought to extend to MP3 players.

COW EMISSIONS are being measured in a "bio-bubble" by the University of California to help write the state's first air quality regulations for dairies, which could affect regulations nationwide. Researcher Frank Mitloehner wants o­ne thing to be clear: "We're not talking about flatulence." Right.

NIGERIAN COWS UPDATE: Nigerian cows continue to wreak havoc with traffic and motorists.

WILD PONIES: The annual pony swim across the Assateague Channel, made famous by Marguerite Henry's 1947 novel "Misty of Chincoteague" went forward despite a thick fog, raise money for the local Volunteer Fire Company, which cares for the ponies.

DOGS: More than a third of British dog owners fear dognapping; almost half of owners have now had their dog fitted with a microchip to track their dogs, according to a new poll.

FINALLY, I note that our own Sylvia Hauser has been working very hard these past few weeks in Chicago. However, by next Summer, she will probably be living in Georgia. So when I read news coverage of the heat wave sweeping the Southeastern U.S. and saw the picture here, I could not help thinking how much Sylvia would enjoy cooling off with a beer in the back of a pickup truck. I'm not kidding, either; I genuinely think she might enjoy it. So I thought it might provide a soothing image for Sylvia to contemplate in the midst of her hectic work schedule. Except for the two funky-looking dudes in the truck, of course.

5984 Reads

Big Star, Life Coach Johnny Depp, Tattooed Pigs and Turtle Tragedy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 28, 2005 - 06:45 AM
Posted by: kbade


CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH gets a big ol' love letter from MSNBC. Although the band's album is still hard-to-get, you can download three songs from the website. I'm not as ga-ga over 'em as MSNBC or Pitchfork, but at least two of the songs have an interesting David Byrne-fronts-The Reivers vibe.

BIG STAR: The new album is now set to drop September 26th. Posie Jon Auer gives some backstory to Billboard. Carl Wilson starts revving up by reprinting his 2003 essay o­n the band, which has two nifty pop culture metaphors.

TEENAGE FANCLUB gets a boffo writeup in the New York Daily News.

FEELGOOD HIT OF THE SUMMER: The New York Daily News lists past summer smashes and lists the requirements for a "blaze of pop glory."

R&BS: In an article charting the the decline and fall of rhythm and blues, PopMatters' Mark Anthony Neal lists worthy artists still below the radar.

ROCK AND BASEBALL: At Pop (all love), Aaron Wherry analyzes which is the Best Band in the World by comparing rock bands to baseball teams.

MINDY McCREADY not o­nly apparently attempted suicide, but was also found with a man charged last spring with trying to kill her.

JOSS STONE was rumored to have been dumped by the Gap for moving in with boyfriend Beau Dozier at the tender age of seventeen. And, I would speculate, for outing her butt double in the commercial. The Gap denies it, but says Stone will now be o­ne of three musicians featured in their ads, along with Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child and Alanis Morissette.

WES ANDERSON may be better when he collaborates with Owen Wilson. I admit that the thought crossed my mind while watching The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, which I liked nonetheless.

NICOLE KIDMAN: Hey, I'd be glad to help, but someone who married Tom Cruise clearly has issues.

IRAQ: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld met with the Iraqi Prime Minister and the top U.S. commander in Iraq to discuss speeding preparations for the withdrawal of some U.S. troops as early as next spring. Gen. George Casey told reporters, "If the political process continues to go positively and if the development of the security forces continues to go as it is going, I do believe we'll still be able to take some fairly substantial reductions after these elections in the spring and summer." Iraq's national security adviser thinks that many cities are prepared to transfer the authority from foreign forces. In June, Lt. Gen. John Vines, who runs day-to-day military operations in Iraq, said that he thought a drawdown of 20,000 was possible next year.

DISCONTENT OF THE PEOPLE is as widespread as it has been in forty years in Cuba and erupting in violent protests across Iran.

DIAMOND NIGHTS: The Pitchfork review calls the band's EP "pure frat party filth." At Coolfer, Glenn adds, "...as if there's something wrong with that?" Both liked "Destination Diamonds," which is a download at the band's site.

FILESHARING: People who are killing music by illegally sharing tracks over the internet also spend four and a half times as much o­n legit digital music as those who do not, according to the latest research.

LOLLAPALOOZA: More photos at My Old Kentucky Blog, including pics of Sara (of Tegan and Sara) succumbing to the heat. Also, when Perry Farrell checked into Chicago's W Hotel, he got a a complimentary copy of Giant magazine, featuring the article "Lollapathetic," which accused him of turning the event into a crassly commercial cash cow.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer recently got some life coaching from Johnny Depp. Meanwhile o­n-and-off galpal Kate Moss won substantial libel damages o­n Wednesday over a tabloid newspaper's claims that she had collapsed in a cocaine-fueled coma.

VENUE: An article at PopMatters asks, "When should you feel more cheated at a rock show -- when the venue seems like a museum, an ersatz bazaar, or a toilet?" A look at how space affects performance.

PAYOLA: There are some funny e-mail quoted in NY AG Eliot Spitzer's press release o­n the Sony settlement.

JESSICA ALBA suffered from anorexia a few years back: "When I went from a girl's body to a woman's body with natural fat in places, I freaked out." So did most men and a fair number of women.

SIENNA MILLER has her rep denying the Orlando Bloom story, but gossips are now adding her ex-bf David Neville into the mix.

JANN WENNER is in early talks with MTV to do a reality show modeled after Donald Trump's Apprentice.

AL GORE got jokes and coaching from Johnny Carson. However, Ray Siller, Carson's long-time head writer, is apparently not a Gore fan.

LONDON: Suspected bomber Yasin Hassan Omar has been arrested. ABC News reports that the July 7th plot may have been much larger than previously known, as 12 more bombs were discovered in a car believed linked to the attack. ABC News also has a photo gallery of the devastation inside the Tube and x-rays of the bombs. Scotland Yard believes that the fugitive bombers who bungled their attacks last week returned to their secret cache of explosives to rearm themselves. David Ignatius of the Washington Post, looking at the photo of bombers o­n a pre-attack whitewater rafting trip in Wales, recognizes a "revolt of the privileged, Islamic version," but that's just the tip of his intriguing article. A new poll finds that Britons' sense of national identity depends far more o­n shared values and institutions than o­n nostalgia for warm beer and village cricket. But I think it does depend in part o­n the British sense of humor.

EVA LONGORIA is rumored to be engaged to NBA star Tony Parker again.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is not proud of her films and thinks acting is a relatively pointless profession. If I was starring in an unauthorized gazillion-dollar remake of a fairly obscure no-budget sci-fi flick from 1979 called Parts: The Clonus Horror, I probably would say the same thing.

KATE BECKINSALE wants to play Wonder Woman o­n the big screen, which would certainly be preferable to Katie Holmes in the role.

DREAMWORKS SKG may get bought out by NBC Universal.

IRAQ II: Iraqi commandos captured an alleged associate of al-Qaeda's number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Drafters of the new constitution have summoned leaders of Iraqi religious, ethnic and political blocs to an emergency national summit this week in an attempt to hash out the toughest, deadlocking issues in reshaping the country. These issues include federalism, the role of religious law in the constitution, women's rights and the official name of the country.

CULT OF THE iPod: Some industry observers believe Apple's recalcitrance in opening-up its formats will doom the iPod someday. OTOH, dudes don't like being told, you're getting a Dell and Napster, either.

THIS JUST IN: Teenagers use the internet. A lot.

VIDEOGAME WIZARD: There has to be a twist.

HACKER SHUTS DOWN U.S. ARMY COMPUTERS: Gary McKinnon is accused of deleting files that shut down more than 2,000 computers in the U.S. Army's military district of Washington for 24 hours, "significantly disrupting governmental function."

GLOBAL WARMING: The U.S. and Australia are developing a new pact o­n climate change with a group of Asian countries. "We're going to have a 40% increase in emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, and the world needs a 50% reduction," said Ian Campbell, Australia's Environment Minister. "We've got to find something that works better."

THE SUPREME COURT: Democrats demand more of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' legal documents, including his legal writings from when he was principal deputy solicitor general. However, every living Solicitor General of both political parties has opposed such requests in the past: "Any attempt to intrude into the Office's highly privileged deliberations would come at the cost of the Solicitor General's ability to defend vigorously the United States' litigation interests -- a cost that also would be borne by Congress itself."

THE SPACE SHUTTLE hit a bird, which has to be tough to get off the windshield. Pics at the link. o­n a more serious note, NASA has grounded future shuttles until engineers solve the recurring problem of falling debris.

NANOTECH: The National Cancer Institute is o­n its way to becoming a Nano Cancer Institute as it prepares to spend 144.3 million dollars over five years o­n engineered nanoparticle research. Howard Lovy has more at his blog.

EDU-BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is o­nline.

IRAQ III: Instapundit Glenn Reynolds interviews Michael Yon, who claims he is not a reporter, but whose dispatches from all over Iraq are a must-read. Austin Bay posts an e-mail that is both sobering and optimistic from an Iraqi he trusts. Jessica Simpson says ABC "mysteriously misplaced" footage of enemy attacks and shelling taped when she visited Iraq for a TV special -- footage she would have liked to show to America: "It put everything in perspective for me. It really did teach me the definition of sacrifice." Soldiers -- most of them Iraq vets -- thought Steven Bochco's Over There was "bogus." I was underwhelmed, but may tune back in if Dennis Franz does a cameo as a guard at Abu Ghraib.

LAP PILLOW: Turnabout is fair play as Japanese men turn to bizzare anthropomorphic pillows for comfort, as Japanese women do it also.

DO I LOOK FAT? The classic question is analyzed at The Columnist Manifesto.

TEEN WHO THREW UP o­n TEACHER sentenced to spend the next four months cleaning up after people who throw up in police cars. Very golden rule!

THE HOME FRONT: According to a new USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll, 32 percent say the U.S. can't win the war in Iraq; 21 percent say we could win, but they don't think we will; and 43 percent predict a victory. However, by 53-46 percent, those surveyed say the invasion wasn't a mistake, the strongest support since just after the Iraqi elections in January. Unfortunately, USA Today didn't post all of the questions and results -- as it usually does -- so we can't look behind the numbers. Some are less supportive than others. Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll apologized to the family of a Marine killed in Iraq for crashing his funeral, giving out her business card and telling his aunt that "our government'' was opposed to the war. In Ohio, vandals tore American flags out of the yard of a dead soldier's family the day after his funeral, then used them to set his sister-in-law's car o­n fire.

CHINESE PIGS are getting Harley-Davidson tattoos.

IGUANAS are overrunning Florida. They are o­ne of the many examples of exotic wildlife in Florida that thrive in the state's humidity - then cause problems. Walking catfish, Gambian giant pouch rats and Burmese pythons are just a few other examples of nonnative species wreaking havoc in South Florida. In the Tampa Bay area, nonnatives include Quaker parrots (those loud, green birds often seen in palm trees) and Bufo marinus toads (which can kill large dogs with their toxic secretions).

TURTLES discover there is no fury like a woman scorned.

CATS: A clever new software program will keep Mr. Cuddly's paws off your computer.

MARLIN ATTACKS TEEN: Video of the young man and the sea. He might have needed a bigger boat.

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Marc Bolan, M Ward, Dog Yoga, Walruses and Giant Carnivorous Mice   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 27, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BOB MOULD: The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that o­n his new album, Body of Song, "Mould has returned to the high-intensity pop and rock sound that made his two albums as leader of Sugar so memorable."

MARC BOLAN of T. REX: Moistworks is killing music by offering up some out-of-print demos. You really should pay the market rate of 75 bucks for them.

THE DECEMBERISTS' Colin Molloy explains to London's Guardian how he got so warped: "He's always been obsessed with music: from an early age he would sit in his bedroom listening to mix tapes of US college rock - REM, Hüsker Dü, Guadalcanal Diary - that were sent to him by an uncle at college in Oregon." Molloy is also "quick to credit the influence of the English singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock," as well he should be.

LIVE AND LET DIE: The Cute One has suggested late Beatles bandmate George Harrison helped him write a song for his latest album from beyond the grave.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS have a new legal download from the upcoming album posted at Matador Records' site.

SIENNA MILLER caught canoodling with Orlando Bloom. Guess she's over maybe-fiancee Jude Law. What will Kate Bosworth say?

BRUCE WILLIS was just kidding when he hit o­n a college sophomore with the subtle line, "What are your plans for sex tonight?" And that whole rumor about him and Lindsay Lohan? Nothing to it!

MICHAEL BAY calls the fourth-place opening for his latest move, The Island, a "debacle." While he also said, "It's always the director's fault," her seems to blame everyone but himself.

WILLIAM H. MACY was fine being naked and handcuffed, until the key was lost. Geez!

IRAQ: Michael Yon reports from Mosul: "The enemy in Iraq does not appear to be weakening; if anything, they are becoming smarter, more complicated and deadlier. But this does not mean they are winning; to imply that getting smarter and deadlier equates to winning, is fallacious. Most accounts of the situation in Iraq focus o­n enemy 'successes' (if success is re-defined as annihiliation of civility), while redacting the increasing viability and strength of the Iraqi government, which clearly is outpacing the insurgency." Read the whole thing. Also, a look at the bigger picture from Bill Roggio (hat tip to the Mudville Gazette milblog). Plus, disappointment at the latest draft of the constitution from Omar, an Iraqi blogger. Finally, Steven Bochco's Iraq-based drama Over There, premieres tonight o­n FX; reviews from the WaPo and USA Today seem pretty positive.

M WARD is photoblogged by Brooklyn Vegan. You can stream the nifty Americana o­n his Transistor Radio album from this flash-based player.

MICK JAGGER turned 62 yesterday. Congrats, Mick; you doesn't look a day over 186.

LOLLAPALOOZA is blogged and photoblogged by Dodge at My Old Kentucky Blog. At the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim DeRogatis lists who he deems to be the "Lollapalicious" and the "Lollapalosers."

STEREOGUM, a favored music blog here, gets some linky love from -- of all places -- Forbes magazine.

NYC TERROR BOMBING FOILED? Five Egyptian men with maps of the New York City subway system and video of New York landmarks have been arrested by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark, N.J., according to ABC News.

AL-QAEDA operative Mohammed Afroze was sentenced to seven years in prison in India for plotting to crash passenger jets into the House of Commons and the Tower Bridge in London o­n September 11, 2001. Afroze also confessed to plotting with a group of Al-Qaeda operatives to attack Melbourne's Rialto Towers and the Indian parliament in 2001. All of these plots predated any invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq.

EDU-BLOGGING: The education jargon drinking game!

DOGS will be doing yoga o­n Animal Planet's K9 Karma, which starts August 15th.

A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL FOR CHELSEA CLINTON, but 36 year-old Kenyan Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor has waited five years for a response from Bill. 20 head of cattle and 40 goats seems like a decent offer to me.

THIS JUST IN: Wining and dining is the best way for men to woo women, scientists said o­n Tuesday. Scientists would be the last to know (Pate's Jon Pratt excepted, of course).

DEMOCRATIC DIAGNOSIS: Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack told those attending the Democratic Leadership Council conference Monday that "We've got to be for something, and it is pretty clear that America is waiting for us. They are desperate to know what we are for." Sen. Evan Bayh says some Americans need to be convinced about the Democratic Party's commitment to protecting the nation. Virginia Gov. Mark Warner was vocal about pulling the party toward the center. Sen. Hillary Clinton said that "Democrats have not yet succeeded in isolating and defeating the far right in part because all too often we have allowed ourselves to be split between left, right and center."  At the Huffington Post group blog, Arianna Huffington disagrees and rounds up other anti-DLC reactions.

FOUR BOY SCOUT LEADERS ELECTROCUTED at the National Jamboree. The leaders are profiled here. There will be a memorial service and an address by President Bush today.

BILL GATES wants to search your PC for pirated software.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer is reduced to phoning a gossip columnist at 4 a.m. to apologize to Bob Geldof and his daughter. Meanwhile, galpal Kate Moss was spotted with Johnny Knoxville, with Knoxville's wife nowhere in sight. Of course, the wife wasn't around when he was partying with a random woman at Soho 323, either.

KAISER CHIEFS: The band's upcoming single can be streamed, following the directions at Torr's blog.

GEEKSTA RAPPERS bring o­n the Nerdcore. We can hope they will stick to hacking each others' computers instead of shooting each other.

EGYPT TERROR BOMBING: Investigators have identified a suspected suicide bomber, saying he was an Egyptian with Islamic militant ties. Who'da thunkit? A third claim was posted Tuesday o­n the Internet in the name of a previously unknown group purporting links to al-Qaeda. The statement said the group attacked o­n orders from Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri "in support of our brothers in Iraq and Afghanistan." The Arab News opines: "The terrorist is at war with the entire world."

CUBA: France unilaterally ended a European Union diplomatic embargo against the regime of President Fidel Castro, and normalised relations with his government. How does Fidel respond? By launching the largest wave of dissident arrests since 2003, when almost the entire dissident leadership of the Communist-ruled island was rounded up.

EVA LONGORIA took time off from acting and wearing out the male population to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game pitting the Los Angeles Angels against the New York Yankees.

JOHN CUSACK takes a beating at MSNBC. After leading with his breakthrough role as Lloyd Dobler in Cameron Crowe's Say Anything, the commentary adds, "Sixteen years later, Cusack is still coasting o­n all that goodwill, despite countless horrible movies and a reputation as a real-life jackass."

BOTTLE OF WATER VALUED AT 74,000 dollars stolen by a thirsty thief. The two-litre clear plastic bottle containing melted ice from the Antarctic was devised to highlight global warming by artist Wayne Hill, who said said the bottle was clearly a work of art: "It looked like an ordinary bottle of water. But it was o­n a plinth, labelled, described and in the programme of the whole festival."

SOCIAL INSECURITY: Democrats and Republicans unveiled new plans for retirement security. Ironically, the Dems' plan focuses o­n stock investments with a proposal that will do the least for workers with little or no disposable income. Just as ironically, the new GOP proposal focuses o­n investing in govenment bonds. Not at all ironically, neither plan addresses the eventual insolvency of Social Security.

THEO VAN GOGH'S KILLER sentenced to life in prison. The Dutch are still struggling to understand how Mohammed Bouyeri, who was born and raised in Amsterdam, turned to radical Islam. Twelve other terrorism suspects are awaiting trial in the Netherlands; prosecutors believe Bouyeri is a key figure in that group, but so far they have not come up with enough evidence to charge him.

THE UNITED NATIONS oil-for-food scandal seemingly involved some of the highest officials in the Syrian government, raising questions as to whether illegal cash from the program was used to fund terrorists in Iraq. Also, investigators have discovered a network of overseas bank accounts operated by Benon Sevan, the former head of the program, who is the subject of a criminal inquiry by New York prosecutors.

FALLING COW KILLS CROATIAN FARMER, but I couldn't decide which picture to use.

HOT WALRUS ACTION, streamed right to your browser -- goo goo goo joob!

GIANT CARNIVOROUS MICE are wiping out seabirds in mass feeding frenzies o­n the British-ruled island of Gough.

POTTY-BEAKED PARROT has been banished from public areas in a British animal sanctuary.

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Supergrass, Bob Mould, Eugene Record, Jane Fonda and Tiglons   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 - 06:20 AM
Posted by: kbade


WILCO adds more tour dates and mulls over 700 ideas for the next album. Wilco is playing not o­nly ACL Fest, but also Stubbs BBQ in Austin the night beforehand. There's more I would like to say about that, but will uncharacteristically restrain myself.

LOLLAPALOOZA was blogged by USA Today. It would have been cool to hear Cake cover Buck Owens' "Excuse Me I Think I've Got a Heartache." And to see the Dandy Warhols - Brian Jonestown Massacre reconciliation. Jon Pareles has his take in The New York Times.

BONAROO organizers will stage a mega-event in Las Vegas around Halloween called Vegoose. Dave Matthews is believed to performing; insert your Halloween-scary joke here.

SUPERGRASS has a new album coming in August; Scenestars is killing music with a leak of the title track.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer has a violent fight with his manager, who accused Doherty galpal Kate Moss of breaking up Babyshambles. He took a beating from three men a late night street fight and fled the police, even though he was the victim. And that brawl triggered Doherty's latest breakup with Moss.

STAGE DIVING DEATH: Patrick Sherry, lead singer for the Bad Beat Revue died after an acrobatic leap from the stage went wrong in Leeds.

RYAN ADAMS talks to Pitchfork about his ear infection and the Grateful Dead. He also (unsurprisingly) flew into a rage over minor technical problems at Splendour, an Aussie music fest.

SUFJAN STEVENS tells Radar magazine that he ended up using Carl Sandburg as a muse for the Illinois ablbum "because I found his writing to be more classical and antiquated, and kind of silly, and that lends itself to lyric writing."

BOB MOULD talks to PopMatters about blogging and his new album, which coincidentally drops today.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Negative reviews for Rhino's Whatever: The 90s Box Set and Willie Nelson's Countryman.

PAYOLA: Sony BMG Music Entertainment, agreed Monday to pay ten million bucks and to stop paying radio station employees to feature its artists to settle an investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

EVERYBODY WAS FOO FIGHTING: There's still bad blood between Courtney Love and Dave Grohl. Courtney thinks Dave has "been taking money from my child for years." As opposed to the money she shoveled up her nose, to rehab and to lawyers.

EUGENE RECORD, former lead vocalist of the Chi-Lites, died Friday at 65 after a long bout with cancer. Record wrote "Oh Girl" and co-wrote "Have You Seen Her."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Celebrity watchdogs are wondering whether the hideous sores that erupted around Holmes' mouth shortly after the couple announced their romance are the side effects of a Scientology "detoxification" procedure involving the vitamin niacin, or stress-induced cold sores. Meanwhile, Cruise gets more criticism from a conservative Catholic psychiatrist.

HOWARD STERN is in talks to move the television version of his popular radio show to subscription video-on-demand.

BRITNEY SPEARS' hubby K-Fed forgot his son's first birthday. At least baby mama Shar Jackson could be comforted by her new boyfriend, Quentin Tarantino, who is undoubtedly a natural at an infant's birthday party.

HOLLYWOOD'S DEATH SPIRAL: At Slate, Edward Jay Epstein looks at the secret numbers that tell the tale.

JANN WENNER sounds like he's not a fun boss.

FLUFF JOURNALISM: Give the Chicago Sun-Times two points: o­ne for truth in labeling, o­ne for the correct editorial stance o­n Lindsay Lohan.

NOT-SO-BLIND ITEM: Page Six asks, "Which newly humiliated actress is not so innocent herself?" I have no idea who that could be... o­n an entirely unrelated note, people are speculating as to whether Jude Law and Sienna Miller remain engaged.

TERI HATCHER: The Desperate Housewife makes love in an old VW van parked in the driveway of her luxury mansion, to prevent her seven-year-old daughter from accidentally interrupting. Shouldn't it be a Chevy Van?

IRAQ: Sunni Arab members rejoined the committee drafting Iraq's new constitution as a suicide minibus bomb attack targeted a checkpoint outside Baghdad's Sadeer Hotel, which Al-Zarqawi previously targeted as the "hotel of the Jew.''

IRAQ II: A joint task force is being set up to decide how the U.S. military will hand over responsibility for the country's security to the Iraqi forces. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who visited Iraq in June, has a report assessing the progress and remaining problems in standing up Iraqi forces (Acrobat pdf). There are 35 battalion-size operations going o­n every day in Iraq, and Iraqi security forces solely are running roughly 20 percent of those, according to Air Force Brig. Gen. Donald Alston. The Iraqi army is actively recruiting women. o­ne of the women pictured in the story, Sgt. Bushra Jabar, gets more attention at Publius Pundit.

IRAQ III: A Newsweek "web exclusive" claims that civilian killings by U.S. troops are not nearly as common as the war’s critics would like us to believe.

THE UNITED STATES NOW HAS A MERCENARY ARMY. That's the opening sentence of an op-ed by Prof. David M. Kennedy in The New York Times. He hastens to add, "Neither the idealism nor the patriotism of those who serve is in question here." I can't imagine how anyone would have gotten that impression from his lede.

JANE FONDA intends to take a cross-country bus tour to call for an end to U.S. military operations in Iraq. Fonda said her anti-war tour in March will use a bus that runs o­n "vegetable oil." No word o­n whether Fonda intends to pose atop an Improvised Explosive Device.

THE BLACK PANTHERS plan to sell "Burn Baby Burn" Hot Sauce and a line of clothing o­n the 40th anniversary of the Watts race riots.

STARBUCKS now in churches. At least until the company forms the Church of Starbucks to avoid income taxes.

CARIBOU COFFEE, otoh, operates its business according to Islamic law. Indeed, the company used to be advised o­n Shari'ah by controversial cleric Dr. Yusuf Abdullah Al-Qaradawi, whose views prove that the term "moderate" is a highly relative o­ne.

LONDON TERROR PROBE is "racing against time" to find the bombers, who fled three subway trains and a bus when their devices failed to fully detonate; an explosive found in a park was like those used in the attempted attacks, raising fears a fifth bomber was o­n the loose.

EGYPT TERROR PROBE seeks five Pakistanis believed to have come to Sharm el-Sheik from Cairo earlier this month.

IT WAS CHRISTMAS IN JULY at the World Santa Claus Congress in Copenhagen. No doubt everyone had a jolly ol' time.


PREGANANCY DISCRIMINATION at a maternity clothing company? That's what a Boston jury will be asked to decide.

WHAT MAKES LANCE ARMSTRONG CYCLE? A combination of genetics and training, according to Ed Coyle, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.

PREDICT THE FUTURE with cellphones?

TIGLONS: A Chinese nature park has revealed two "tiglon" cubs -- a cross between a tiger father and a lion mother -- born in May.

CATS: Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia believe they know why Morris was such a finicky eater. And yes, I know the Morris reference dates me badly. But he went from a homeless cat whose hours were literally numbered when he was discovered in a Chicago animal shelter to being named "The Feline Burt Reynolds" in five short years.

DOGS: I thought about just making "Don't Touch My Bone" the headline without mentioning dogs, but thought better of it.

COW gives birth to four calves. Hard to stare unamazed at that.

SQUIRRELS' mating habits are destroying trees.

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