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When the Gales of November came slashin' (plus more)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 09, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with the WRECK of the EDMUND FITZGERALD. The legend lives o­n from the Chippewa o­n down of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee. Saturday is the 32nd anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald -- 729 feet-long, 75 feet in breadth, 39 feet in depth, weighing 13,632 gross tons -- an ore bulk carrier with a capacity of 25,000 tons. When it was launched o­n June 7 1958, at the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan, Fitzgerald was the largest ship o­n the Great Lakes. Here's misty, water-colored video of the launch.

The "Queen of the Great Lakes" sank in the eastern end of Lake Superior during a fierce storm -- including snow squalls -- that pounded the ship with 30-foot waves. The crew of 29 men perished; without witnesses, a definitive reason has never been determined. A Coast Guard report suggested that faulty hatches failed to keep water out of the ship's cargo holds, though others believe the ship struck an uncharted shoal and took o­n water. A documentary created and aired by the Discovery Channel concluded the loss of the due to freak waves that overwhelmed the faulty hatches.

After the wreck, the Rev. Richard Ingalls went to Mariners' Church in Detroit and rang its bell 29 times, o­nce for each life lost. The church continues to hold an annual memorial, which includes reading the names of the crewmen and ringing the church bell. Here's video of Rev. Ingalls recounting that night.

At the request of family members surviving her crew, Fitzgerald's 200 lb. bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society in 1995, as a joint project with the National Geographic Society, Canadian Navy, Sony Corporation, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell is now o­n display in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Here's a brief video from o­ne of the underwater explorations of the wreck. The Mpls. Star-Tribune still has a nifty interactive exhibit o­n its website, too. Throw in the 3-D animation, and you'll feel just like Bill Paxton.

The song by Gordon Lightfoot spent 21 straight weeks o­n the pop charts, peaking at No. 2. And there's a homemade video for it o­n YouTube, which I highly recommend. Beats the tar of Celine Dion! (PS:  Ken King -- who has lived o­n the U.P. of  Michigan, says the gales of November are quite something.)

ARCTIC MONKEYS have a video for their new single, "Teddy Picker."

CAT POWER sent out "Song to Bobby" -- one of the two original songs from Chan Marshall's next "covers" album -- to a bunch of music blogs.

THE GREATEST MUSIC NEVER SOLD:  At LHB, author Dan LeRoy writes about the songs he listened to while writing his behind-the-scenes look at famous unreleased albums and why they got shelved.

JOE HENRY did an interview and mini-set with WFUV you can stream on demand via NPR.

HOW TO CALCULATE MUSICAL SELL-OUTS:  Bill Wyman, the former arts editor of NPR, enlisted the aid of Jim Anderson, a senior lecturer in mathematics at England's University of Southampton, to develop the Moby Quotient, which measures the ethical and aesthetic implications of any one instance of the pervasive blurring of the lines between rock and advertising.  Note that the WaPo helpfully provides an interactive MQ calculator.

ARCADE FIRE:  Here's an advance clip of "Keep the Car Running" from their upcoming appearance this weekend on Austin City Limits.

THE RAVEONETTES apparently turn the noise back up on their new album, Lust, Lust, Lust, which will be released on Vice Records stateside in early 2008.  Until then, you can stream a few at TheirSpace.

BOB DYLAN:  The tribute concert for the upcoming biopic I'm Not There may have been uneven, but there are streams and photo links for the highlights at Hidden Track.

OKKERVIL RIVER:  Will Scheff talked to Drowned In Sound, though it seems like the interviewer was not on Scheff's wavelength.  Scheff likely thought it an example of not picking up on the playfulness and the joy in the band's records, especially The Stage Names.  That second link comes with a bonus sidebar.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK talked to the Waterloo Record about his reasons for putting out the box set, I Wanna Go Backwards.

THE FILTH and the FURY:  A reference guide to Punk history, books, photos, Cds and DVDs, courtesy of the Library Journal.

THE TEENAGERS' new video for "Starlett Johansson" takes that opening scene from Lost In Translation and mashes it up like the credit sequence for Goldfinger.  BONUS:  The Simthereens did the Bond thing in 1988 for "Only A Memory."

SEA WOLF may be based in L.A. but frontman Alex Church tells the Boston Globe the band reflects his more rural roots

CASS McCOMBS:  The indie crooner gets an audio feature from David Dye at the World Cafe

FIERY FURNACES:  Matthew Friedberger talked to Ireland's Event Guide about the power of sentimentality: "People use the word sentimental as a kind of insult these days, especially if you are in a rock band - but pop and rock can be mawkish and sentimental, and I am fascinated by it. That is essentially the stock in trade of pop songs, and can be a healthier useful end to sentimentality..." (Thx LHB, iirc.)

THE TOP TEN MUSICAL GENIUSES, according to Canwest's Mike Devlin.  Such lists are necessarily debatable, but this one's not bad.

AMY WINEHOUSE:  Police battered their way into the singer's home Wednesday and spent three hours searching through her belongings.

CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Spinal Tap - How Much More Black Could This Be?; Al Hirt - Green Hornet Theme; The Raspberries - Go All The Way; The Partridge Family - I Think I Love You; Badfinger - No Matter What; Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting; Looking Glass - Brandy (You're A Fine Girl); The Bird And The Bee - How Deep Is Your Love? (Bee Gees); Grizzly Bear - Owner Of A Lonely Heart (Yes);  Sondre Lerche - Let My Love Open The Door (P. Townshend); Tony Basil - Hey, Mickey; The Nerves - Hanging On The Telephone; Blondie - One Way or Another; The Rolling Stones - Slave; The Feelies - Paint It Black (Stones; Live); MC5 - Ramblin' Rose (Live); Robyn Hitchcock - I Got the Hots (Live); Richard Thompson - Oops!...I Did It Again (B. Spears); Mary Hopkins - Those Were The Days; Lucky Soul - The Great Unwanted; The Vandelles - Swell To Heaven; The Cynics - What She Said; R&J - Sunshine of Your Love (Cream); Brenton Wood - Baby, You Got It; The Five Stairsteps - Ooh Child; Sly & The Family Stone - Dance To The Music; Shirley Bassey - Goldfinger; The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You; and Van Morrison - Sweet Thing.

BRITNEY SPEARS did not respond in a timely manner to eight of 14 random drug test requests, according to Fed-Ex's attorney.  Alleging the singer lives in a "parallel universe," lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan reminded the court that the singer had been reprimanded three times by Commissioner Scott Gordon for failing to be reachable by phone. A missed test is considered a failed test.  When Commissioner Gordon stated that responding to a morning call wasn't an extreme request, Spears's lawyer, Anne Kiley shot back: "But you're not a pop star with a No. 1 album to promote."  Of course, neither is Spears; The Eagles have the No. 1 album, and her label has given up on having Spears promote the record.  BONUS:  The pop tart has learned the new issue of Maxim labeled her one the five most "unsexy" women on the planet.  She did not take it well.

CONAN O'BRIEN:  A Catholic priest from Boston has been arrested and charged with stalking and harassing the NBC late-night television host.  Father David Ajemian is undergoing psychiatric evaluation.  O'Brien is probably really mad that his writers are on strike.  The criminal complaint is posted at The Smoking Gun.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are: the Vince Vaughn family comedy Fred Claus, currently scoring 28 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the Tom Cruise-Robert Redford antiwar polemic Lions for Lambs, which is scoring 27 percent; and P2, a horror thriller scoring 41 percent.

JENNIFER LOPEZ finally confirmed she is pregnant on the closing night of her concert series at Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena.  Video at the link.

ROSIE O'DONNELL says Bill Clinton had her bawling like a baby during an emotional chat in which the ex-president apologized for cheapening the Oval Office with his Monica Lewinsky sexcapades.

MICKEY ROARKE was arrested on DUI charges in Miami Beach... on his Vespa.  Looking at his mugshot, we learn that Roarke didn't need as much makeup to play Marv in Sin City as we thought.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills -- perhaps realizing the backlash from her televised rants about Sir Paul -- insists she approves of his blossoming romance with Nancy Shevell.  But her lawyers have already dumped Mills, who went aginst their advice to keep quiet on issues surrounding her marriage and her three-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

FORGET IT, JAKE:  Jack Nicholson did a rare interview with MTV to promote the newly-released collectors' editions of Chinatown and its sequel, The Two Jakes: "Well, I appreciate you wanting to interview me because I, of course, admire my own work. (Laughs.)"  Also, Jack is furious that he was not asked to play The Joker in The Dark Knight.

HELP!  The L.A. Times looks at the newly restored two-DVD edition of The Beatles' Second Movie.

JACKO is looking more ivory than ever on the cover of Ebony.  Yeah, I know that's a Stevie Wonder reference, so sue me.  The gloved one is celebrating the upcoming 25th anniversary of Thriller by releasing a special edition of the album.  Evidence mounts that the Neverland ranch is about to go back to the bank.

STEVE BURNS:  To this day, one of the biggest searches bringing new folks to this site is people trying to find out whether the former "Blues Clues" star is dead -- which was the subject of one of Pate drummer Ron Hahm's first posts here.  Burns is alive -- and an indie rocker -- but the rumors of his death may be getting to him: "I'm starting to think that maybe there's something that people know that I don't know... "

HILARY DUFF -- who shot to fame in the kids' TV show Lizzie Maguire -- was reportedly drinking Veuve Clicquot straight out of the bottle and giving her ice hockey star boyfriend lapdances last weekend at NYC hot spot Tenjune.  It seems as though she's been trying to project a more adult image lately.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY tells Elle magazine that she's a "moody bastard," and backs it up in the rest of the interview.  It's bad PR, but at least she's being honest about it.  It's almost funny when she says of cellphones: "I hate them. It rings, and then I realize that I don't want to talk to anyone. So I always press ignore."  Now everyone calling her knows the score.

TERROR at the MALL?  The FBI is warning that al Qaeda may be preparing a series of holiday attacks on US shopping malls in L.A. and Chicago, according to a bulletin distributed to law enforcement authorities nationwide.  The bulletin acknowledges that US intell officers are uncertain as to whether the information is real, and are concerned that it could be "disinformation."  With the shopping season approaching, however, the FBI decided it was necessary to share the information.

VENEZUELA:  Gunmen opened fire on students returning from a march Wednesday in which 80,000 people denounced President Hugo Chavez's attempts to abolish presidential term limits, give him control over the Central Bank and let him create new provinces governed by handpicked officials.  Hooded Chavez supporters shot at least two anti-Chavez students.  University leaders accused the government of provoking violence to justify military occupations of campuses where students are leading anti-Chavez protests.  The violence broke out after demonstrators marched peacefully to the Supreme Court, which unlikely to act on the students' demands, given that pro-Chavez lawmakers appointed all 32 of its justices.  No word on what Sean Penn thinks about this.

PAKISTAN is fast losing chunks of its territory to pro-Taliban rebels.  Pres. Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule has so alienated Pakistan's moderate middle class that many analysts fear he has created a power vacuum that will allow militant Islamists to flourish.  Suicide bombers have infiltrated the northern Pakistani city of Rawalpindi where former premier Benazir Bhutto plans a protest this week against a state of emergency, police said on Thursday.  And just in case no one is buying that, there is a report that Bhutto has been placed under house arrest.

IRAQ:  Pres. al-Talabani assured US officials Thursday that his country would solve all disputed issues by the end of 2007.  Prime Minister al-Maliki said he was finalizing a cabinet reshuffle and would announce the names of new ministers soon.  US and Iraqi authorities freed 500 prisoners from a detention system strained by the thousands of suspects taken in campaigns to secure Baghdad and surrounding areas.  Prime Minister al-Maliki told the freed prisoners they serve as examples of reconciliation between the majority Shiites and Sunnis.  Two brothers who were members of the Karmah Awakening Council were killed by gunmen.  Police on Thursday accused Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army of carrying out a four-year killing spree in Iraq's central shrine city of Karbala which left hundreds dead.  Fmr. embedded blogger Bill Ardolino looks at the many factors contributing to the significant drop in violence in Iraq, while commanders consider how to reduce the US presence without losing hard-fought security gains.  ITM's Mohammed Fadhil argues that southern Iraq won't "awaken" like Anbar provnce.

WHO SAYS you can't teach an old cat dog tricks?

JITTERY COWS save the tiny hamlet of San Juan Grijalva in Mexico's southernmost state, Chiapas.

TWO MEERKAT PUPS made their first public appearance at San Jose's Happy Hollow Park & Zoo.  Awww...some pics.

A DOGGY URINAL is being touted as the answer to prematurely corroded lampposts in Sweden.

THE RAINFOREST BAT is humankind's closet genetic relative.  Which sorta spoils Plant of the Apes for me.

3105 Reads

Feist, Bon Iver, Dr. Dog, PJ Harvey, Gibson & Boo-Boo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 08, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

FEIST, icymi, played the Peacock last weekend, with Leslie bringing a nasty guitar sound on energized versions of "I Feel It All" and -- of course -- "1 2 3 4."

KURT COBAIN:  Widow Courtney Love packaged the rights to Nirvana's music with the rights to the Cobain biography, Heavier Than Heaven, for the upcoming Cobain biopic from Universal.

MY BLOODY VALENTINE has reunited in the studio for the first time since 1995, recorded new material, with an album release forthcoming, possibly as soon as this year.

BON IVER:  Reveille magazine has video from Justin Vernon's first performance in Minneapolis on Friday, October 26.

DR. DOG is described by DC's Express as "a strange amalgam of '60s Beatles pop, '70s classic rock and Beach Boys-style vocal harmonies.... played through an off-kilter filter... in a blender... set to puree."  You can stream their current album, We All Belong, in its entirety.

ELVIS COSTELLO has broken up with Britain.  Apparently, he finds the US to be younger and hotter, even though he disagrees with its politics.

JENS LEKMAN talked to Exclaim about sampling and lifting melodies, to the Cleveland Scene about Lekman impersonators, and to Cleveland's Free Times about finding inspiration in hair salons and bingo halls.  (Thx, Chromewaves.)

THE ROYAL WE may have broken up shortly after making this video for "I Hate Rock and Roll," but it sounds like they didn't mean it about the hate.  Idolator focused on the "blend of girl-group harmonies and chaotic violin parts that recall the Raincoats," while the Guardian placed their sound "between the riotous twang of the B-52s and the ragged insouciance of Blondie's Rip Her to Shreds."

THE OWLS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

PJ HARVEY talked to Pitchfork about the upside of writer's block, among other things.  You can stream an entire concert from Polly Jean via Yahoo! Music.

HELLO, BLUE ROSES -- a duo comprised of Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers) and Sydney Vermont -- have provided an advance track from their LP, called "Shadow Falls."

STEVE EARLE did an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR.

TALKIN' BOUT THEIR GENERATION:  At Inside Higher Ed(!), an associate professor at Cornell University writes about what he learned when his students wrote about the personal meaning of any song of any genre.  I don't often recommend reading the comments to online pieces, but it works here.

PETE DOHERTY is headed back to rehab, but it is voluntary, which means he may continue to perform with Babyshambles on tour.

BRITNEY SPEARS has been ordered to pay 120 grand immediately for Fed-Ex's legal bills pertaining to their custody battle.  Fed-Ex's lawyer is going back to court today, arguing that Spears is violating the Commissioner's drug testing order.
 "Sources" tell US Weekly that the pop tart's problems are psychological, not pharmacological.  Spears' mother blames herself for the pop tart's woes in an exclusive interview with Life & Style magazine.

LIONS FOR LAMBS - the first movie to come out under Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner's resurrected United Artists label - opens Friday, but the initial negative reception to it could harm parent studio MGM's own attempts to raise money for film productions.  So far, the movie is tracking the worst among audiences for any Cruise movie to date,

NICOLE KIDMAN insists to Marie Claire magazine that she hasn't had plastic surgery.  M'kay.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Married American millionaireness Nancy Shevell, who was seen kissing Sir Paul, does not wear a wedding ring and has confirmed that she is legally separated from her husband of 23 years.  Heather Mills reportedly was in a "blind rage" over The Sun's photo of Sir Paul kissing Shevell.  Fortunately, Donald Trump has weighed in with his expert opinion on the bust-up.

GEORGE CLOONEY and FABIO got into a shoving match at L.A. eatery Madeo.  Shockingly, alcohol was involved.

MANDY MOORE and MATTHEW PERRY?  The pair were spotted on a date at Amici Trattoria in Beverly Hills.  This news is really going to crush The Rock.

JESSICA SIMPSON & OWEN WILSON are still flirting, but are not yet an item.  Owen is talking to lots of girls, while Jessica is interested in Boston men.

LINDSAY LOHAN is in "serious talks" to take a guest role on ABC's hit comedy Ugly Betty.

ROSIE O'DONNELL is no longer in serious talks to host a prime-time show on MSNBC.

JIM KRASINSKI & RASHIDA JONES:  The Dunder-Mifflin "Office"-mates were... wait for it... caught canoodling at Bon Appetit Supper Club for last week's "SNL" after-party.  The pair previously dated in 2005.

EVANGELINE LILLY may be done with her hobbit-like fiance, Dominic Monaghan, who was... wait for it... caught crying and canoodling with another woman at at El Coyote restaurant in L.A.

IRON MAN:  The new international teaser trailer has more Gwyneth Paltrow and no Black Sabbath.  On balance I prefer the original teaser trailer, but hope the final film has both Paltrow and Sabbath.

FRANCE:  Pres. Sarkozy told the US Congress that America is "the greatest nation in the world": "America did not tell the millions of men and women who came from every country in the world and who-with their hands, their intelligence and their heart-built the greatest nation in the world: 'Come, and everything will be given to you.' She said: 'Come, and the only limits to what you'll be able to achieve will be your own courage and your own talent.'"

PAKISTAN:  Pres. (and Gen.) Musharraf is likely to end the state of emergency in three weeks, according to Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League, and a close aide of Musharraf.  Hussain added that after the lifting of the state of emergency, political parties would start a full-fledged election campaign.  Meanwhile police swung batons and fired tear gas at 400 supporters of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party, who were headed to parliament, where lawmakers moments earlier had rubber-stamped the emergency declaration.  Bhutto penned an op-ed for the NYT, while Lee Smith makes a case for Musharraf at Slate.  The state of emergency has done little to halt the Taliban, who have taken control of two more major towns in the settled district of Swat, while attacks continue elsewhere in the Northwest Frontier Province.

IRAN:  An official with knowledge of Iran's nuclear activities said that Iran has nearly 3000 centrifuges operating at Natanz, but that it would take years for all the centrifuges to run smoothly without frequent breakdowns.  The number 3000 is the commonly accepted figure for a a full industrial-scale program that could churn out enough enriched material for dozens of nuclear weapons.  Experts have estimated Iran would need only 1,500 centrifuges to produce one such warhead.  It is worth asking (again): why is Iran in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants?

IRAQ:  Death squad killings in Baghdad are down 80 percent from their peak while roadside bombings fell 70 percent, according to Major-General Joseph Fil, commander of US forces in the capital.  Fil thinks the drop in violence is sustainable as "surge" troops gradually leave, because: (1) Iraqi security forces had become "much, much more effective," (2) volunteers who patrolled their own neighborhoods in coordination with the Iraqi security forces had had a positive impact; and (3) most of the Mehdi Army in Baghdad was honoring al-Sadr's order to stand down.  Declining violence has prompted Iraqi refugees to pack up and return home, with the government claiming 46030 people crossed back over the borders in October alone.  The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction offered a generally optimistic picture of security developments in Iraq in his quarterly report to Congress, but noted that while violence was down, one of every seven Iraqis - 14 percent of Iraq's population - is now displaced by the war.  The report said that electricity production in Iraq reached its highest level since early 2003, in part because insurgent attacks on power-lines and repair crews have declined. Corruption, however, remains a major problem, the report said.  John Matel, a career Foreign Service Officer serving as the leader of a Provincial Reconstruction Team embedded in Anbar Province, blogs an open letter to his Foreign Service Officer colleagues about the controversial issue of directed assignments in Iraq.  BTW, the State Department's blog is named Dipnote.  Really.

GIBSON and BOO-BOO met up to celebrate Guinness World Records Day 2007.

DOGS may possess a functional theory of mind, and attribute states of knowledge to humans, according to experiments carried out by Canterbury University psychology student Michelle Maginnity.

A CAT gets mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from an EMT.  Let's go to the video.

DIXON the WHITE-CHEEKED GIBBON busted out of the Nashville Zoo Wednesday morning, placing the facility on code red.  Dixon was unsuccessful in a prior escape attempt in September.

"DO NOT OPEN: LIVE GATOR."  Mt. Kisco, NY's  Water Dept. received a homemade plywood crate so marked, but none of the workers believed it, because it was the morning after Halloween,

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Go! Team, Grizzly Bear, Wilco, Pig-Sitter Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE GO! TEAM finally did a video for one of my faves from their new album, "The Wrath of Marcie."  The horn lick kills.  Rapper Ninja talks to PopMatters about the song (among others) and how her career choice was received by her father:  "He said to me, `Wrap what? Presents?' He really had no idea what I was talking about..."

GLENN MERCER talked to PopMatters about The Feelies and his solo album, complete with embedded video.

ERIC CLAPTON is reuniting with Steve Winwood, his former bandmate in '60s supergroup Blind Faith, for three shows in NYC.

GRIZZLY BEAR got an audio feature on NPR's Morning Edition.  You can stream the band's current album this week via GrizzlySpace.

WILCO has posted the video for "Impossible Germany" from their appearance on Austin City Limits on WilcoWorld in glorious Quicktime.  The band is also re-releasing Sky Blue Sky for Europe with a 5-song bonus CD containing new and live recordings; the bonus material will be downloadable for those who already bought a copy of the album.

A LESS PALE SHADE OF WHITE:  The Phoenix reports on the blues and old-school R&B resurgence rumbling in the indie-music underground, going well beyond the White Stripes to include Bettye LaVette teaming with the Drive-By Truckers, North Mississippi All Stars, the Black Keys, Nashville's Black Diamond Heavies and the Dynamites, Kansas's Moreland & Arbuckle, Memphis's Richard Johnston, Oregon's Hillstomp, and Texas's Jawbone.  The article also surveys bluegrass-influenced indie bands.  Sasha Frere-Jones should read it; so should you.

ROSANNE CASH has announced she is to undergo brain surgery for a "rare but benign condition."  She expects to recover fully from the operation.  Best wishes to her.

THURSTON MOORE played "Fri/End" for Jimmy Kimmel, who gets the title wrong.

PRINCE has sicced his lawyers on several of his biggest fan sites, demanding they remove any image that bears his likeness, and prompting fans to form a group to fight the demands.

RADIOHEAD generated a firestorm of publicity when it announced last month that it was making its new album, In Rainbows, available for download at whatever price fans were willing to pay.  A study of traffic to Radiohead's In Rainbows Web site during the first 29 days of October showed that 38% of those who downloaded the album at the site paid something to get the album, while 62% paid nothing.  Parlophone will release all of Radiohead's EMI output, from Pablo Honey to Hail to the Thief (sans singles and EPs), in three different formats, including a "Limited Edition" 4-gig USB stick, which features all the albums in CD quality WAV files, plus digital artwork.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE:  The experimental rockers did an interview and mini-set for KEXP you can stream on demand via NPR (or you can just stream the songs).

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III talked to LAist about working with Joe Henry and director Judd Apatow.

MAN MAN has signed to Anti- Records to release their third album, due in early 2008.

PETE DOHERTY says he feels fantastic post-rehab and that he and ex-gf Kate Moss are becoming buds again.  But London's Sun has video of Doherty shooting heroin again.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  If you think she looked bad shopping the other day, consider how bad she may look after 25 more years of sun, smoking and empty calories.  And you can bet she's going to look bad when she finds out that The Eagles easily beat her to No. 1 on The Billboard 200 after Billboard revised a significant chart policy today.

DAVID COPPERFIELD:  TMZ has obtained portions of a secret document outlining in extreme detail how the magician's assistants were supposed to rope in the women that David found attractive -- and hold their boyfriends and husbands at bay.  The ever-reliable National Enquirer claims that the woman accusing Copperfield of raping her got a rape kit done and later wore a wire for the FBI.

KEANU REEVES hit a photographer with his Porsche in a not-so-excellent encounter in March, according to a lawsuit filed by the paparazzo.  Sounds like Reeves needs to work on his "Whoa!"  Allegedly.

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE, basking in the glow of success with Samantha Who?, was... wait for it... caught canoodling ex-hubby Johnathon Schaech at L.A. hot spot Les Deux on Friday night.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  A special screening of Lions for Lambs at the Museum of Modern Art was stocked with Scientologist honchos invited by Cruise.  According to one insider, Holmes also attended, but seemed "robotic."

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills has defied legal advice to deliver yet another stinging attack on Sir Paul, making a barely-veiled threat that she would make more embarrassing revelations about their marriage.  Stella McCartney denies claims that she is designing a one-legged pendant as a dig at Mills.

SHIA LeBEOUF:  The Smoking Gun has the mugshot from his trespassing arrest in Chicago, complete with red, glassy eyes.

AMERICAN GANGSTER:  It turns out that when Hollywood says "Based on a true story," they mean 80 percent made up.  The real Richie Roberts is miffed; the real Frank Lucas is making big money from it, because he was convicted before the passage of New York's "Son of Sam" law.

JOSH HARTNETT and... RHIANNA:  To quote Paul Carrick, how long has this been going on?

DANIEL RADCLIFFE (a/k/a Harry Potter) is said to have become "very close" to Laura O'Toole, a muggle four years his senior, since appearing opposite one another on the West End stage in the controversial play Equus earlier this year. 

WINONA RYDER is reportedly dating Rilo Kiley guitarist Blake Sennett... until she wears him out with her non-stop demands for sex.  Spinner has a slideshow of Ryder's many musical boyfriends at the first link.

VENEZUELA:  At Slate, Anne Applebaum looks at why actors and models love to hang out with Hugo Chávez.

TERROR in EUROPE:  A total of 20 suspected Islamic extremists were arrested across Italy, Britain, France and Portugal Tuesday on charges ranging from association with the aim of committing international terrorism, to falsifying documents to aid illegal immigrants.  Police believe the detainees had been setting up "Salafist jihadi" militant cells, which have recruited and assisted would-be suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

IRAQ:  The milbloggers at Blackfive, along with embedded bloggers Bill Roggio and David Tate, have produced a video report on the "Concerned Citizens" groups who have banded together to fight al Qaeda and the Shia extremists in thier communities.  Prime Minister al-Maliki went on a rare walkabout in central Baghdad in the latest sign of the improving security situation in the war-ravaged capital.  US and Iraqi forces have uncovered 5000 weapon caches since the beginning of 2007.  Rear Adm. Greg Smith added that have IED attacks have dropped 50 percent since the start of the "surge."  Iraqi Security Forces conducted a large joint operation along the foothills of the Hamrin Mountains of Tikrit, detaining 39 suspected insurgents and uncovering a torture cell, a mobile hospital, vehicle-borne bombs, rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and a Katyusha rocket.  The US military says it intends to release nine Iranians being held in Iraq, including two detained on suspicion of helping Shia militias.

FIFTEEN PUPPIES get help from an extra surrogate mother.  More awww...some pics at the link.

GALE, a border collie, survived an incredible nine days in the boot of a car - by going into hibernation.

SNAKE BATH:  A Guinness official certified a record for spending about 45 minutes in a see-through bathtub with 87 rattlesnakes.  The record setter?  Jackie Bibby, the "Texas Snake Man."  He was also the prior record holder.  He's now working on breaking another of his old records by by holding 11 rattlesnakes by their tails in his mouth at once.

PIG-SITTER UPDATE:  Mary Beesecker has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty for fattening a co-worker's part-feral, part-potbellied pig from 50 pounds to 150 pounds.  The owner said some have questioned whether 50 pounds was really a healthy weight for the pig.  Indeed, Pate's resident hog expert, Dale Stevermer, questions it.  But the owner and the pig's veterinarian, Dr. Randy Snell, say 50 pounds is more normal for the mixed breed.  Whether "less normal" amounts to abuse is another issue.

COW!  Life imitates Twister, this time one mile east of Manson, Michigan.

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Sharon Jones, New Releases, Superdrag, Ryan Adams, Houdini   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

SHARON JONES and the DAP-KINGS:  The video for "100 Days, 100 Nights" was directed by Adam Elias Buncher, who achieved the old skool look using two vintage TV cameras bought on eBay for 50 dollars each.

NEW RELEASES are hitting the pre-holiday season lull.  The new Sigur Ros and the reissue of Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" are streaming in full via Spinner.  Grizzly Bear is streaming its new Friend album -- presumably so named because it collects remakes, covers (by and of the band) and collaborations.  Avant-folkie Richard Youngs releases his Autumn Response.

CANADA'S HOTTEST BANDS, according to a bloggers' poll conducted by i (heart) music, with a slate of honorable mentions.

SUPERDRAG:  The crew from Daytrotter attended the band's recent reunion shows at Chicago's Metro, which led to the band sitting for an interview and recording free songs in the Quad Cities.  The band also did a Lounge Act set for WOXY.

BIG DIPPER is reuniting and releasing a 3-CD set in April 2008.  Rock Town Hall interviews guitarist Gary Waleik about the past and future of the band.

CARIBOU:  Dan Snaith talks about his influences (including The Zombies), the new album, working with the Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan and more with Loyola University's Phoenix.

RYAN ADAMS and the CARDINALS played "How Do You Keep Love Alive" and "Pearls on a String" (with a cameo from Nellie McKay) in an exclusive webcast for Dave Letterman.  And that is your Twofer Tuesday.

MONITOR MIX:  Carrie Brownstein (ex-Sleater-Kinney) is blogging for NPR about why people are drawn to certain songs, genres, voices, or instruments.

PROJECT SONG:  Magnetic Fields guru Stephin Merritt kicks off a new series from NPR in which writers are given 48 hours to complete a song from a group of six photos and six words.  BONUS:  Magnetic Fields announces tour dates in advance of a new album due in January.

INTERNET KILLED THE ROCK STAR?  In the Detroit Free Press, Brian McCollum argues that the Information Age is causing rock stars to lose their mystique.

IRON & WINE:  Sam Beam talked to London's Sun about his nom de band and musical influences.

PETE DOHERTY spoke exclusively to NME.com about his struggles to stay clean after completing his rehab.

BRITNEY SPEARS spent her court-approved visitation time chandelier shopping, leaving her two kids in her car with the court-required monitor.  Oh, that's going to look about as good in a court report as she looked shopping -- bloated, pasty-faced and with greasy hair, while her skin-tight jeans and transparent vest top exposing her black bra seemed to be straining at the seams.  The former manager suing Spears for back commissions thinks the pop tart ought to try farm life.  She's already lived like the Beverly Hillbillies, so Green Acres would be a natural next step.  BONUS:  The Eagles beat Spears on the UK album charts... and in US sales (by at least a factor of two), though Billboard will list Spears at the top because Wal-Mart is not reporting the numbers on its exclusive release.

BRADGELINA:  W magazine has managed to get Jolie and Jennifer Aniston to agree on one thing -- neither likes the fact that the mag put their faces on competing covers for November's issue of the mag.

OPRAH WINFREY called the abuse scandal at her 47-million-dollar South African school for girls "the most devastating experience of my life."  Video at the link.  A former dorm matron appeared in court Monday to face a series of charges that she mistreated girls at the school.

ROSIE O'DONNELL is in serious discussions to host a prime-time show on MSNBC, according to executives on both sides of the negotiations who have been briefed directly.

JESSICA SIMPSON was escorted by National Guardsmen through New York's JFK airport Friday night control -- at the request of American Airlines (I guess I missed when they got in the chain of command).  Video at the link.  Woody Harrelson reportedly flirted up a storm with Simpson at Willie Nelson's recent video shoot, even though Harrelson is married with three children.  She politely rebuffed him and moved onto the Butterscotch Stallion, Owen Wilson.

JOHN MAYER, Simpson's last boyfriend, has decided that Americans are so celebrity obsessed that he will blog his meals to slake their thirst for gossip.  I've never been a big fan of his music, but I'm liking his blogging.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills is demanding that Sir Paul tell the world she is 'not a fantasist or a golddigger' as part of their divorce settlement.  Meanwhile, the Cute One was spotted getting cozy with the wife of a millionaire New York lawyer who has recently dropped her husband's name.

CELEBS DUMPING THE DOLLAR?  Supermodel (and Pats QB Tom Brady's squeeze) Gisele Bundchen reportedly has insisted that she is paid in Euros rather than US dollars as the dollar hit an all-time low against the Euro.  Her agent later denied the story and said she would be seeking 'clarification' on what the model's sister said -- but not before I got to look at the pics of Bundchen from the Victoria's Secret fashion show at the first link.  Meanwhile, Jay-Z flashes large stacks of €500 Euros in his new video based on by the Ridley Scott movie "American Gangster."  In this case, however, it may be that Jay-Z knows that the large-denomination Euro is the modern gangsta's currency of choice.

JULIA ROBERTS tells the next issue of Vanity Fair that she wants to make less garbage, but is referring to her homelife, not her movie career.  Indeed, her dream is to be "a highly fulfilled and productive stay-at-home mom and wife."

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & JOSH HARTNETT broke up in part because Scar-Jo was jealous of seeing Hartnett in the arms of other actresses.  At least, that's what Hartnett suggests in an ungentlemanly interview with InTouch Magazine.

THE HOLLYWOOD WRITERS' STRIKE over residual payments for DVDs and Internet content puts "hypenates" like the writer-actors of The Office in a tough position.  The L.A. Times has created a strike blog -- my favorite entry so far is this one.

STEPHEN COLBERT has dropped his bid for the White House after the South Carolina Democratic Executive Council voted last week to keep the host of "The Colbert Report" off the state's primary ballot.

WALK HARD:  Entertainment Weekly has the title track from the mock biopic of musician Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) co-written by Judd Apatow, due in theatres Dec. 21.

NANOTECH:  Ultracapacitors may replace batteries someday, as MIT scientists work on a device that can hold up to 50 percent as much electrical energy as a comparably sized battery.  Commercially available ultracapacitors already can provide many times the power of batteries of the same weight or size.

AFGHANISTAN:  Close to 90000 children who would have died before age 5 under Taliban rule will stay alive this year because of advances in medical care in the country, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins University.

PAKISTAN:  Attorney General Malik Abdul Qayyum told Reuters that Pakistan would hold its national election by mid-January and Pres. Musharraf pledged to quit the military after criticism from the US for imposing emergency rule.  AFP quotes Musharraf as saying January's planned polls would be held "as close as possible to the schedule."  Meanwhile, the crackdown on protesters apparently continues, and deals are already being cut with the Taliban.

IRAN celebrated "Death to America" Day yesterday.  Let's go to the video.

IRAQ:  US and Iraqi forces launched a massive assault targeting al-Qaeda fighters in the northern provinces of  Diyala, Salaheddin, Kirkuk and Nineveh, where some AQI fighters fled from the "surge."  Iraqi and US forces detained 81 people and found a large weapons cache during an operation against AQI near Suwayra, 40 miles south of Baghdad.  At least 683 detainees held in US-run prisons across Iraq have been released since the middle of last month, according to VP al-Hashemi's office.  The Iraqi government has resumed discussions about an amnesty program to encourage insurgents and militiamen to lay down their weapons as daily violence lessens across the country.

HOUDINI the IGUANA lived up to his namesake by disappearing last week, but he has reunited with his owners in Portage Michigan.  Let's go to the video.

THE FANTASTIC MR. FLY rides a bike, and plays both piano and guitar for Belgian amateur photographer Nicholas Hendrickx.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A militant squirrel took down the power grid in Auburn, CA.  Judging from the comments, squirrels have targeted the city several times since 2003.

WHEN ONE DOG CLOSES, a cat opens.

CAMEL BEAUTY CONTESTS have been banned by a fatwa from Saudi Arabia's Senior Clerics Association.

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R. Hitchcock, Spoon, Hold Steady, American Gangster, Supermice   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 05, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl


Photo by Drake LeLane

ROBYN HITCHCOCK:  Don reviewed Friday's show at Shank Hall, so I'll just add a few notes of my own.  I must mention that Robyn's first stream-of-subconscious speech about when it is appropriate to cry over spilt milk -- e.g., when you are making off with the Holy Grail and milk spills out of it and over a causeway where a long-tailed series- three alien is lurking -- included a mention of Ames, IA (Pate's hometown and a later stop on this tour).  Hitchcock also seemed to be struggling slightly throughout for technical reasons, some of which are mentioned in Don's review, but it also turned out that he didn't have enough of his vocal in his monitor for most of the show.  Such are the pitfalls of opening night.  I can also give you some audio/video of the setlist.  Since Hitchcock dedicated "The Ghost Ship" to Colin Meloy, we can enjoy him joining Meloy's band The Decemberists for a live version of "Lost Madonna of the Wasps."  I think those tech problems may have partially caused RH to momentarily forget the end of "City of Shame," only to remember it during a really countrified "Olé! Tarantula."  I had not seen the video for "Raymond Chandler Evening" until it turned up on the Tube all these years later.  In over 20 years of seeing RH, I can't recall him playing "The Lizard" more than a couple of times. We have vintage video of "Queen Elvis," which (as RH notes) appears on the Eye album, not Queen Elvis.  I agree with Don that the b-side "Alright, Yeah" was a highlight (and one of my favorite latter-day RH tracks).  In the encore, I thought "New York Doll" translated well to a solo performance.  His cover of the Velvet Underground's "Candy Says" was a delightful surprise.  And I just discovered that the UK video for "Adventure Rocketship" is animated.

BEIRUT:  London's Telegraph is quite taken with Zach Condon's use of non-traditional instruments and old European influences, while the NYT spends an evening with Condon, which starts at the Brooklyn Instrument Museum.

NICKEL CREEK played one of its final shows (for now) at DC's 9:30 Club Friday.  You can stream the whole gig from NPR on demand.

SPOON:  Though drummer Jim Eno tells the Orlando Sentinel that the band is comfy with its steady rise in popularity, a writer for The Strand frets that Spoon is suddenly in danger of becoming a household name.  Frontman Brit Daniel has been pleased in the past that his new songs have been compared to Van Morrison, but seems less pleased when compared to BIlly Joel.  The Houston Chronicle actually consulted Pandora's Music Genome Project to scientifically compare Spoon's "The Underdog" with Joel's "Only the Good Die Young."

ROBERT CHRISTGAU:  Rumors of the death of the dean of US rock critics are geatly exaggereated.

THE HOLD STEADY:  MFR truned up a live video of "Lord, I'm Discouraged," one of the new songs the band is trying out on tour.  Craig Finn talked to the Stranger about his favorite lyricists, while HeraldNet talked to guitarist Tad Kubler about a few of his favorites and linked to a post the Leather Canary on the band covering various tunes, including Led Zeppelin's "Hey, Hey What Can I Do."

ART BRUT stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

RAY DAVIES talked to London's Sun about how being shot in New Orleans turned his world on its axis.

DENNIS WILSON was the only Beach Boy who actually surfed.  PopMatters is miffed that his haunting solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue, remains out of print.  Tracks from the album do surface from time to time on the ol' HM.

AMY WINEHOUSE should know she's on the wrong track when Pete Doherty thinks he has to defend her.

AMERICAN GANGSTER:  More than one reviewer is calling this film Superfly-meets-Scarface, but it has a more realistic tone than that.  At least, it has as realistic a tone as screenwriter (and family friend) Steven Zaillian could muster for the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tales of mobster Frank Lucas and policeman-agent Richie Roberts.  But that tone makes it no less entertaining.  With this year's proliferation of movies running over 2 1/2 hours, it is nice to finally have one that does not have you checking your watch.  Director Ridley Scott and stars Denzel Wasington and Russell Crowe all bring their "A" games.  Between this pic and 3:10 to Yuma, 2007 marks a comeback year for Crowe, whose recent efforts have faltered at the box office.  This pic may also reinforce the view created by Training Day that Washington plays a better villain than hero, though here he is more Corleone than he is Scarface.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  American Gangster was a killer at the cineplex, opening with 46.3 million with a 15,174 per-screen average on over 3000 screens.  The big theaters here in Chicago were selling out most showings.  That is the second biggest opening ever for an R-rated movie over 2 1/2 hours, the second biggest drama opening in November ever, and the biggest opening for both Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.  Jerry Seinfeld's PG-rated Bee Movie opened a big No. 2 with 39.1 million (at 90 minutes, it could be screened many more times than American Gangster).  Whether it can recoup its 150 million budget will depend on whether the next round of family flicks give it competition.  Saw IV plunged a severe 65%, earning only 11 mil.  Dan in Real Life earned 8.1 mil, off an okay 31%.  Rounding out the Top Five is 30 Days of Night, which dropped 42 percent, but which has made 34 million to date on its 30 million budget.  The Game Plan earned 3.9 mil, off 37% - its biggest drop so far, but this has to have been a big moneymaker for the Mouse.  and Joan Cusack's Martian Child opened in seventh with 3.7 mil and is unlikely to recoup its 27 million budget.  Michael Clayton dropped 41% -- likely due to American Gangster -- to make 2.9 mil.  Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? finished in the ninth spot, but has crossed the 50 million mark.  Gone Baby Gone rounds out the Top Ten with 2.4 million.

THE McCARTNEYS' divorce dispute gets ever nastier.  Sir Paul is applying for full custody of his four-year-old daughter Beatrice after estranged wife Heather's astonishing TV rants, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.  Of course, with Heather Mills blaming "jealous" Stella McCartney for her split from the former Beatle, and reportedly re-airing allegations that Paul hit his late wife Linda once or twice, the story sounds plausible.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA confirmed the already widely-reported observation that she is expecting a baby.

CATE BLANCHETT revealed during a glamorous red carpet appearance in Sydney last night that she is expecting her third child.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The LAPD is conducting an investigation into a traffic mishap Friday, when Spears reportedly ran over an L.A. County Sheriff deputy's foot.  Financial papers unsealed in the ongoing custody battle between Spears and Fed-Ex show that the  pop tart spends about 102K monthly on entertainment, gifts and vacations, while giving 500 bucks to her own charity. Spears is also said to have a crush on ex-friend of the French Hotel, sextape starlet, reality TV starlet and now Playboy model Kim Kardashian

LINDSAY LOHAN looks like she visited the trout pout shop.  Pucker up, buttercup.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes ran the New York City Marathon on Sunday, because you really have to be in shape if you're planning to outrun Cruise.

VANESSA HUDGENS:  The High School Musical starlet's nude photo scandal must be officially over -- she is set to sign on to a HSM3 movie for a "substantial increase" in pay.

SHIA LeBOUF, who starred in Disturbia and Transformers and co-stars in the next Indiana Jones movie, was busted for misdemeanor criminal trespassing at a Walgreen's drugstore on Michigan Ave. in Chicago.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie said she felt a bit shy about her computer-animated nudity in the upcoming movie version of Beowulf.  Which is either unbelievable, or makes her acting in her sex scene with Antonio Banderas from Original Sin all the more impressive.  Yes, that second link is nsfw.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  The Times of London names the kingdom as the hub of world terror, which supplies the cash and the killers.  Which makes it all the more appropriate that the Brits played the Imperial March when King Abdullah met the Queen.

PAKISTAN:  As you probably know, Gen. Pervez Musharraf seized emergency powers, rounded up leading opposition figures and said Sunday that parliamentary elections could be delayed for as long as a year. The suspension of the constitution comes just days before Pakistan's Supreme Court was to rule on the constitutionality of Musharraf's recent presidential reelection victory.  Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has reportedly been sacked and is being confined to the Supreme Court with ten other judges.  Musharraf attempted to remove Chaudhry during the spring of 2007.  Security forces rounded up opposition leaders and rights activists, though the Western media does not note that some -- like Imran Khan and former intell chief Hamid Gul -- .have known Islamist ties.  Musharraf promulgated two Ordinances barring print and electronic media from publishing or broadcasting statements that abet terrorist activities or terrorism.  Discussions of current court cases and criticism of the Head of State and members of the armed forces are also prohibited.  Former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto said on Sunday that declaring emergency rule would only encourage extremists and give them "a new lease of life."  The Bush Admin. called the declaration of a state of emergency a "sharp setback" for democracy and urged a swift return to a civilian government.

IRAQ:  More than 3000 Iraqi families driven out of their Baghdad neighborhoods have returned to their homes in the past three months as sectarian violence has dropped.  A "significant" fall in US air raids has been recorded over the past few weeks.  The Islamic Army in Iraq -- one of the largest and most influential Sunni insurgent groups -- has issued yet another stinging condemnation of al-Qaeda's network.  On Friday, Sunni officials from Anbar province laid out what they want now from the US: money to rebuild its battle-damaged cities, help expanding its police force by a third and private U.S. investment in its oil reserves.  They also discussed the lingering problem that is hampering efforts to build on the gains there -- limited support for the predominantly Sunni region from the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad.   Turkish soldiers who were held as hostages by separatist Kurds in northern Iraq have been set free.  Michael Yon was interviewed on CNN on the recent progress in Iraq.

SUPERMICE -- with incredible stamina, enviable metabolism, a longer life expectancy and the ability to breed for three times as long as a standard mouse -- have been created by scientists.  We can only imagine what Andy Kaufman would say.

POLLY, a five-year-old chocolate labrador, was saved, ironically, by a CAT scan.  3D pic at the link.

A 7ft 9in CROCODILE was jailed overnight in northern Australia after it menaced local fishermen.

TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS:  Three macaque monkeys were abducted from Monkey Island, MO on Friday.

A RAMPAGING POSSUM caused thousands of dollars in damage and destroyed valuable historical artefacts at a museum in New South Wales.

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