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Duets, Joe Strummer, Art Brut, Cutout Bin, Godzilla Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 22, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE GREATEST DUETS OF ALL TIME, according to Retrocrush!  Selections from the Top 25 include "Hunger Strike" (Eddie Vedder & Chris Cornell); "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" (Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty); "Baby It's Cold Outside" (Ray Charles & Betty Carter); "Candy" (Iggy Pop & Kate Pierson); and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (Elton John & Kiki Dee).  But the link to "You're The One That I Want" (John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John) is broken there, so use the one I just provided.

THE NATIONAL frontman Matt Berninger talks to the Gothamist about favorite lyricists and concerts, the upcoming tour with REM and more...

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED:  Selections from Dengue Fever, the Cowboy Junkies, Black Mountain, the Mountain Goats, Beach House; and Otis Taylor are featured on this edition of the long-running NPR series.

BON IVER:  Justin Vernon talks to The A.V. Club about making his most buzzed-about album while thinking he might be done with his music career.  He also discusses the unusual method of songwriting he used.

JOE STRUMMER & THE MESCALEROS:  Heather Browne is streaming a 1999 set with plenty of Clash classics.

KRISTIN HERSH will make you a personalized Mix CD, recording your chosen Throwing Muses of Hersh songs, live solo, including an introduction.

ART BRUT frontman Eddie Argos is just a wee bit miffed that EMI released "Pump Up the Volume" as download single without informing either the band or Argos to coordinate the promotion.  The video is pretty fab, though.

WILCO:  The Chicago Tribune covers the fourth night of the band's career-spanning residency at Riviera, a 2 ½-hour show broadcast on local radio station WXRT and the web.

SXSW:  The official schedule is posted.  Many of the bands have submitted MP3s to download or stream for your listening pleasure.

NICK CAVE:  The Irish Independent looks at what his Grinderman project and his upcoming Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! album say about the reformed punk at 50.

CUTOUT BIN:  From Bob Dylan to the Ohio Express, from Wille Nelson to the Who, from Alex Chilton to Duffy, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

BRADGELINA have officially adopted little Pax Thien, now that it has been approved in both Vietnam and Los Angeles.  Pitt and Jolie were also spotted on a double-date with Clint Eastwood and his wife Dina Ruiz.  US magazine has the dish on what they discussed.

BRITNEY SPEARS' BFF Sam Lutfi has finally been served with a restraining order from her parents -- but it might not be valid.

JESSICA SIMPSON is the David Hasselhoff of Ukraine.

COLIN FARRELL is both honored and traumatised to be helping finish off the film Heath Ledger began before he died unexpectedly last month.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON:  Her upcoming album of Tom Waits covers -- with a cameo from David Bowie -- is reviewed by London's Telegraph: "Think Nico, backed by the Flaming Lips. On acid. Johansson has made a seriously weird record."

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include the thriller Vantage Point, which is currently scoring 25 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (which bums me out); Witless Protection, an action comedy not screened for critics; and teen comedy Charlie Bartlett, currently scoring 59 percent.  Opening near-wide is Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind, which is also scoring 59 percent.

CHARLIE BARTLETT:  If that 59 percent rating puts you on the fence, you can watch the first five minutes on Yahoo! Movies as a tie-breaker.

MICHEL GONDRY, director of "Be Kind Rewind," talks to The A.V. Club about some of the comedy's underlying themes, from the connection people have to movies to people becoming "stockholders of their own happiness" by making their own movies.

THE OSCARS:  The Envelope has your scorecard for this Sunday's big show, along with its final Buzzmeter poll of 32 critics and a running blog of buzz and rumors.  America's best-known critic, Roger Ebert, offers his predictions and dark horses.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has 80 years of Oscar facts.  The Orlando Sentinel chats with first-time nominees Ellen Page, Ruby Dee and Marjane Satrapi.

GEORGE CLOONEY decides to have TIME magazine's Joel Stein cook him dinner and give an interview.  Embedded video at the link.

PETRA NEMCOVA shows off the latest undies from La Senza.  Egotastic has the pics, while I throw in the video for Gratutitous Friday.

PAKISTAN:  Two former US officials believe Pakistan's election results would greatly strengthen efforts to fight terrorism in the country.  Former US ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlin (2001-02) said counterterrorism efforts would now be supported by the entire population.  Former assistant secretary of state for south and central Asian affairs Karl Inderfurth (1997-2001) said a campaign of suicide bombings in recent months and the deaths of 800 people in violent incidents had created a genuine demand for democracy in the country.

IRAQ:  Radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has decided whether to extend his Mahdi Army's cease-fire, and sent the message in sealed envelopes to be opened at the beginning of Friday's sermons, one of his officials said.  Earlier in the week, a Sadr spokesman had said that if the cleric failed to issue a statement then the cease-fire would automatically be lifted, which tends to support the Reuters story that al-Sadr is expected to extend the ceasefire, sourced to two senior officials in his movement.  Hundreds of Mahdi Army members have been executed, jailed or excommunicated by the militia in a purge since the freeze was ordered by Sadr in late August.  Interviews with more than a dozen leaders of the Sadrist movement suggest that whether or not it is continued, the freeze has already transformed the militia and its place in Iraqi society.

A BLACK-FOOTED FERRET steals a microphone screen from CNN.

GODZILLA UPDATE:  Still on the loose in Findlay, Ohio.

PET HOARDING:  A Frederick, MD woman has been ordered to serve 10 days in jail for violating her probation on pet hoarding charges, after she was discovered with another dogs and seven cats.

AND THERE WERE CHICKENS all over the highway... in Brooklyn, NY, no less.  Pics at the link.

YARR, MATEY:  George the Parrot has a peg leg.  He's getting a prosthetic claw attached to his perch.

2194 Reads

Nicole Atkins, Kinks, SFA, New Releases, The Birds   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 21, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

NICOLE ATKINS & THE SEA:  The video for "Maybe Tonight" has enough circus people for a Bob Dylan cover, but it sounds just a little bit like... ABBA?

MORE NEW RELEASES:  Gary Louris, Headlights, Mike Doughty and more are streaming via Spinner.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE KINKS:  Rolling Stone posts an essential album-by-album guide to supplement its new (offline) feature on Ray Davies.

WILCO:  Hidden Track is streaming a mix of rarities played during the band's five-night residency in Chicago.

PERE UBU guitarist Jim Jones died late Monday night. Details have not been released, but he'd been ill for years.  Obits and embedded videos at the link.

SHARON JONES &THE DAP-KINGS:  Ms. Jones may have had a roller-coaster of a year, but she and the band were sounding sweet playing "100 Days, 100 Nights" for Letterman, who exclaims, "Tremendous!"

BRITISH SEA POWER singer/guitarist Yan Scott Wilkinson talks to San Diego CityBeat about the themes on the band's third album, Do You Like Rock Music?: "We're trying to think that rock music should interact with the world outside of the music world-the real world... foreign countries or stories about geography or ecology or just funny, stupid stories. But it should kind of reach outside your own small personal sphere a little bit and make some effort to interact."  The album is off Spinner now, but you can stream a few at BSPSpace.

MOUNTAIN GOATS:  Bryant Park Project producer Ian Chillag, explains why his 7-tear-old niece Cora thinks "Dance Music" is The Best Song in the World Today.

LA BLOGOTHEQUE:  CNN profiles filmmaker Vincent Moon, whose "The Take Away Shows" capture bands performing live at ad-hoc venues, usually on or around the streets of Paris... and is now working with R.E.M.

CALVIN JOHNSON of Beat Happening and founder of K Records, is making a comeback from a traumatic brain injury.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly far from happy with her conservatorship, according to OK! magazine, which claims a secret battle is raging between the pop wreck and her parents, who are trying to keep her on total lockdown in an attempt to get her life back on track.  US magazine paints a moderately better picture, though her sons have not been asking about her.  The conservatorship looks unlikely to stay in federal court.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, Britney's 16-year-old knocked up sister, has been grounded for reule-breaking while mama Lynne was in L.A. dealing with Britney.

GENE SIMMONS of KISS is apparently the latest celeb to have a leaked sex video turn up on the Intenet. (NSFW)

JENNIFER LOPEZ has checked into the hospital in preparation for giving birth to twins.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA may have been paid 1.5 million for exclusive baby pics, but the issue of People magazine making them the cover story flopped.  The mag was still nice enough to link to video of Ellen DeGeneres asking the all-too-obvious question of whether Xtina is nursing.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  New York magazine has NSFW outtakes from her Marilyn Monroe tribute photos.  Momager Dina thinks the photos are tasteful, but Li-Lo's ex-con dad understandably will not look at them.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul planned to send a stinging message to Heather Mills  last night by dedicating his lifetime achievement award at the Brit Awards to his first wife Linda.  Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne threatened to kick Mills off stage if she showed up at the ceremonies.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  The new issue of the ever-reliable Star magazine goes "Inside Suri's Strange World," where the Tom-kitten gets no discipline but a lot of Scientology.

JESSICA SIMPSON & TONO ROMO getting hitched?  "I think they're going to get married," Romo's close friend of three years, Michael Starr, says in the latest issue of Us Weekly.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  There is a spoiler inherent in this story about one of the toys to be merchandised with the Batman Begins sequel.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & NATALIE PORTMAN meet Prince Charles at the Royal Premiere of The Other Boleyn Girl in London.  Hey, Prince, her face is up there.  More premiere pics at Egotastic.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Kurt Westergaard, one of the twelve Danish cartoonists whose Muhammad caricatures lead to violent protests throughout the Muslim world, has been booted from his police-protected hotel room on Feb. 15 for being "too much of a security risk."  Now the 73-year-old cartoonist and his wife are without a place to live.

PAKISTAN:  The Scotsman has more details on the ouster of the pro-Taleban Jamaat-e-Islami party from the North West Frontier Province in the election held this week.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice defended its arrest and strip-search of a businesswoman for sitting with a man in a Starbucks cafe in Riyadh.

IRAN has "speeded up" rather than halted its nuclear bomb program and has already set up a command-and-control centre near Tehran, an exiled Iranian opposition group claimed Wednesday, asking the UN nuclear watchdog to investigate.  Meanwhile, in yet another verbal attack against Israel, Pres. Ahmadinejad called the Jewish state a "filthy bacteria" whose sole purpose was to oppress the other nations of the region.

IRAQ:  Gen. David Petraeus is drawing up plans to pull more troops out of the country after July on the back of a sharp drop in attacks and long-awaited progress on the political front.  US forces killed a senior al Qaeda intel officer behind female bomb attacks.  The Jurf Al Sakhr Awakening has resumed operations with the US military. The Sadrist movement denied it was withdrawing from a truce with the SIIC, but al- Sadr might announce a partial lifting of the truce, perhaps in some provinces where followers had been targeted.  Iraqi authorities plan to round up homeless and mentally ill residents to prevent them from becoming used as suicide bombers, an Interior Ministry official said Tuesday.  The train between Baghdad and Basra is getting back on track.

SWARMS OF STARLINGS as large as 500K have flown to the British Isles to escape the harsh winter weather in Russia and Scandinavia.  Tippi Hedren, call your agent.  Pics and video at the link.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A kitty with two faces.

CAMEL-FIGHTING in Afghanistan -- the sequel to the Daily Mail's piece on horse-fighting.

SMITHFIELD is a genuine Pigcasso.

2243 Reads

Krauss+Plant, Black Mt+Bon Iver, TBLLT, Destroyer, Godzilla   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 20, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

O, ZEPPELIN WHERE ART THOU?  It was on CMT's Crossroads when Alison Krauss & Robert Plant sang "Black Dog" as a duet, and Krauss took the lead on "When the Levee Breaks."  The pair also did the single from their joint album, the Everly Bros' "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)."  The band includes producer T-Bone Burnett and guitaist-banjo playa Marc Robot.

NO NO DEPRESSION = Depression.  A victim of an inept recording industry.  ALSO: TVT, R.I.P.

BLACK MOUNTAIN & BON IVER played the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC last night, so you can stream their gigs today via NPR.  ALSO: Bon Iver's Justin Vernon talks to PopMatters about singing falsetto, touring, etc.  The SFBG Noise blog has a feature on Black Mountain.

MOUNTAIN GOATS:  John Darnielle is interviewed by Daily Show writer Sam Means at Largehearted Boy, which also links to Darnielle's interview with The Line of Best Fit.

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO has posted two advance tracks online, "TBLLT is a Machine" and "A Balloon on a Broken String."  The duo pulls out some minor chords for the first one, but the second is more upbeat, with a vintage synth appearing in mid-song.

BOB GELDOF joined the White House travel pool in Rwanda to interview Pres. Bush for TIME magazine.  Geldof praised Mr. Bush for his work in delivering billions to fight disease and poverty in Africa, and blasted the US press for ignoring the achievement.  It strangely reminded me of the video for "Someone's Lookin at You."

DESTROYER has released another advance track from the upcoming Trouble In Dreams album, "Dark Leaves Form A Thread."  Demented, but nice.

ST. VINCENT:  Annie Clark talks to the Santa Barbara Independent about playing with the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens, Coachella, and recording her Marry Me LP.

WILCO:  Todd Martens writes up the band's extended Chicago residency at the L.A. Times Extended Play blog (though I think he saw just the first two nights).

ABBA apparently would not mind if presidential candidate John McCain plays "Take a Chance on Me" as his campaign song... but he's got to pay for it.  Those Swedes are capitalists at heart.  McCain never struck me as an ABBA sort of guy, but I guess we all have our guilty pleasures.  BONUS:  McCain's 23-year-old daughter is doing some music-blogging from the campaign trail, raising a few eyebrows by playlisting The Ramones' "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)."

BRITNEY SPEARS' new bodyguards are on strict orders from her dad, Jamie: Don't let her go to a bar or a bathroom alone!  Perhaps dad should also order them to stop the pop wreck from walking out of stores with clothes she did not purchase.  Meanwhile, the tabloids wrestle (unsuccessfully) with the ethics of covering a celebrity wo may or may not be mentally ill.  At Tuesday's court hearing, the L.A. County Commissioner denied Spears visitation with her sons and made it clear that the conservatorship case being removed to Federal court has no bearing on the custody case.  And Spears' conservatorship has a new lawyer, Stacy Phillips (who has repped Bobby Brown and Tori Spelling's ex).

LINDSAY LOHAN may have been snookered as to whether her topless tribute to Marilyn Monroe were going to be published in New York magazine.

DREW BARRYMORE, who had been in rehab twice by age 14, is offering advice to the influx of young actresses entering rehab these days.

PINK has separated from her husband of two years, motocross racer and former The Surreal Life star Carey Hart.

JESSICA SIMPSON and her creepy dad-manager Joe are being sued by a fitness video company Speed fit for allegedly blocking the sale of a workout DVD starring the pneumatic blonde.  Speedfit owner Alex Astilean tells US magazine: "They are hurting millions of fat people in America!"

JENNIFER LOPEZ may be paid six million by People magazine for baby pictures, but OK1 magazine took a pass on the US rights because -- as one magazine industry insider put it -- frankly, Lopez' appeal in the US isn't as broad as many people - including Lopez - would like to think.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & NATALIE PORTMAN talk to USA Today about their give and take on the set of The Other Boleyn Girl, and more including Johansson inviting people to check her for plastic surgery.  So if I'm gone for a couple of days, you'll know what I'm doing.

JENNIFER ANISTON has apparently been enjoying a romance with her new leading man, Aaron Eckhart.  The Daily Mail claims that shortly before beginning the project, Travelling, Eckhart personally requested Aniston as co-star and ended his relationship with his longtime girlfriend Ashley Wicks.

VANESSA HUDGENS of High School Musical may have a 45 second sex video taken on a cell phone floating around, according to the uber-reliable TransWorldNews.

MARLEE MATLIN, the hearing-impaired Oscar-winning actress, is competing in the next season of Dancing With the Stars. Other contestants include Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie, Love Actually); Steve Guttenberg; Priscilla Presleyl; radio jock-comedian Adam Carolla; tennis champ Monica Seles; illusionist Penn Jillette; R&B singer Mario; this year's NFL defensive player of the year, Miami Dolphin Jason Taylor; Tony Award-winner Marissa Jaret Winokur (Hairspray); Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi; and Chilean actor Cristián de la Fuente (CSI: Miami).

ANTHONY PELLICANO:  Prosecutor Daniel Saunders has issued his star-studded list of over 244 potential government witnesses in the case of Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano, who faces federal charges of racketeering and illegally wiretapping celebrities.  Keith Carradine, Kevin Nealon, Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone are among the notables.

JESSICA ALBA recreates scenes from some of the most famous horror movies of all time in the March 2008 issue of Latina magazine.

CYBER-JIHAD:  One of al-Qaeda supporters' oldest and most stable websites apparently was taken down Tuesday morning.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed Monday.

IRAN:  A 70-year-old man has been sentenced by an judge to four months in jail and 30 lashes for going out on the street with his dog.

IRAQ:  On Monday, US troops acting on a tip captured a breakaway Shiite "special groups" leader suspected of being a powerful criminal boss and providing Iranian weapons to fighters in western Baghdad.  US and Iraqi army forces are setting the stage to oust AQI from Mosul, their last urban stronghold, following their route from Baquba.  Iraqi and British forces in Basra province have been carrying out a series of major operations targeting criminal activity and smugglers in the south.  Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is expected to announce his decision in the next few days about whether to maintain the ceasefire he ordered six months ago.

A SAVAGE FISH more terrifying than a piranha has been caught in Britain for the first time - sparking fears of a deadly invasion.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A militant squirrel took down the electrical grid in Ameren, IL over the weekend.

VENOMOUS SNAKES?  Keep all you want in Deltona FL, which only has a legal limit on owning non-venomous snakes.

GODZILLA is on the loose in Findlay, FL.

2752 Reads

Yeasayer, New Releases, Scruffy the Cat, Frogzilla   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

YEASAYER have a video for the single edit of "Wait For the Summer."  Like we have a choice.

NEW RELEASES:  As of Monday night, new albums from Mountain Goats, British Sea Power and The Raveonettes are still streaming via Spinner, which may change by the time you read this.  American Music Club's new album, The Golden Age, is still streaming via Merge.  Sambassadeur is streaming a bunch of tracks from their sophomore LP, Migration (which comes with the Frank Yang seal of approval).  Mike Doughty is streaming three tracks from Golden Delicious, plus some older songs.  Headlights do Some Racing, Some Stopping.  Bon Iver officially releases For Emma, Forever Ago.

ALLISON MOORER talks to the L.A. Times about her new LP, the Buddy Miller produced Mockingbird, a covers album of songs penned by respected female songwriters, including Nina Simone, Pattie Smith, Cat Power, Gillian Welch, and her sister Shelby Lynne.  She talks to PopMatters about Wile E. Coyote, Jar Jar Binks, Hieronymus Bosch and hubby Steve Earle.  She's streaming tracks at he website.

SCRUFFY THE CAT:  Don at Timedoor peeks into the "Where are They Now?" file for a well-deserved look at Charlie Chesterman's overlooked Boston combo (IIRC, I saw them on a bill with the Young Fresh Fellows and the Replacements).  There's embedded video at that link and you can stream the posted MP3s via the ol' HM.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL writes for the Guardian about "a unique, unspoken bond between many Scottish alternative bands and the bands of the west coast of America."

BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD is one of the bands Ms. Campbell mentioned, which got me hankering for the band's lip-synching fun with "Mr. Soul" from a show that cannot be mentioned (minus bassist Bruce Palmer for legal reasons), plus a live take on "Rock'n Roll Woman" for your Twofer Tuesday.  And while "Mr. Soul" opens with a bit of "For What It's Worth," you can get a full serving as a bonus.

KATHLEEN EDWARDS talks to ChartAttack about her upcoming Asking For Flowers LP, due March 4 on Rounder.  It looks to me like she has one track and an outtake posted at HerSpace.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND played a set for indie guru Nic Harcourt on Morning Becomes Eclectic for Valentine's Day.  You can watch or listen via KCRW.

LILY ALLEN and ex-boyfriend Ed Simons (Chemical Brothers) may be putting their recent split behind them and giving their relationship another try.

PETE DOHERTY had Californian computer games tycoon Greg Thomas fly 6,000 miles and pay £15,000 for the privilege of a personal show... but had to delay the gig seven hours to sober up.

LINDSAY LOHAN has recreated Marilyn Monroe's legendary 1962 final photo shoot for Bert Stern with the veteran photographer himself.  NSFW slideshow at the link.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul abandoned a record £55million divorce deal just hours before it was due to be signed in the High Court, on legal advice that he could save millions by letting High Court judge Mr Justice Bennett decide on a payout for Heather Mills.

THE FRENCH HOTEL celebrated her 27th birthday by joining in on a burlesque show with the Pussycat Dolls at Pure Nightclub, which is located inside of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  Jail has made the heirhead a changed woman.

HOW MUCH FOR THAT BABY ON THE COVER?  People magazine is poised to pay Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony between four and million bucks for exclusive US rights to the first photos of their expected twins, people familiar with the negotiations said last week.  The NYDN reports that Christina Aguilera scored as much as two million from the mag for a cover with new baby boy Max, and rounds up other baby pic paydays.

MINNIE DRIVER is reportedly pregnant with her first child.  One hopes it's not for the money.

HEATH LEDGER's final role -- in Terry Gilliam's Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus -- will be filled out by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, according to Moriarty at Ain't-It-Cool-News (since confirmed by the BBC.)  The script lends itself to the approach.  The NY Post seems to want to make something out of the marketing of a new Ledger-Joker figurine, his family stands behind the company's decision to go ahead with it, because he was proud of his work in The Dark Knight.

MOLLY RINGWALD turned 40 yesterday, in case you didn't feel old enough already.  Video tribute at the link.

OWEN WILSON will return to work next month for the first time since his suicide attempt last year.

22 REMAKES dramatically different from the originals, courtesy of The A.V. Club.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE:  On the Internet.  At the moment.  Sorta.  Maybe video at the link.  Maybe here too, but check the first link for an explanation.

COOKIE MONSTER reveals what he won't eat, answers James Lipton's questionnaire, dishes on Sesame Street co-stars  and more on NPR.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Muslims worldwide should bomb Denmark's embassies and kill it diplomats following last week's republication of caricatures of Muslim prophet Muhammad, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees in the Gaza Strip said on Monday.

PAKISTAN:  Early returns indicate that Pres. Musharraf's party will suffer a crushing defeat in parliamentary elections on Monday, in what government and opposition politicians said was a firm rejection of his policies since 2001 and those of his close ally, the US.  However, Islamic religious parties in the North-West Frontier Province abutting the tribal areas where the Taliban and Al Qaeda have carved out bases also suffered losses at the polls.  While the two main opposition parties appeared to have swept the vote, neither was expected to win an outright majority, setting the stage for a coalition government in this chronically unstable country.  Asif Ali Zardari, 51, Benazir Bhutto's widower and successor as PPP leader, has not ruled out working with Musharraf. However, Nawaz Sharif, leader of the other opposition party, and other senior PPP figures have said that they will try to impeach Musharraf if they win a two-thirds majority.  Meanwhile, two Pakistan papers are reporting that tribal elders in North Waziristan have reached a new "peace agreement" with the North Waziristan political administration against "extremism" and "terrorism."

IRAN:  Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Muhammad Ali Jafari wrote to Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah that "The cancerous growth Israel will soon disappear," the FARS news agency reported Monday.  Perhaps he is thinking of some form of radiation therapy.

IRAQ:  Video provided to CNN shows an AQI firing squad executing one-time allies -- fellow Sunni extremists -- who were not loyal enough to the terror organization, coalition military analysts said.  Michael J. Totten visits "The Dungeon of Fallujah" -- the first and only time during his trip to Fallujah that somebody told me not to take pictures.  It is both shocking, and yet progress.

MICHIGAN the COW escapes fate on a plate, as the Kessler farm offers her for promotional or mascot use.  She reportedly has a "U"-shaped spot on the other side, so I am think Ann Arbor is the place for her.

FROGZILLA:  Beelzebufo - or "frog from hell" - terrorized prehistoric Earth during the dying days of the dinosaurs more than 70 million years ago.

HORSE-FIGHTING:  One of the most horrific spectator 'sports' ever devised, but that hasn't stopped it from becoming hugely popular in the Philippines, where the Daily Mail's appalling pictures were taken.

A NEWBORN BEARCAT CUB drinks milk from a bottle.  Awww...

LOST HAMSTERS are a subject of exhaustive study on the Internet.  Insert Richard Gere joke here.

3261 Reads

Mystery Jets, Bob Mould, Neko Case, Duffy, Nubs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 18, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

MYSTERY JETS have video for the upcoming single "Young Love," which features Laura marling and is sure to help get your week off on the good foot.

WILCO:  Chicago Tribune scribe Greg Kot is blogging the band's five-night, career-spanning stand at the Riviera Theater, including set lists for Friday and Saturday nights.

GREG LOURIS, of Jayhawks and Golden Smog fame, got a lengthy piece on his new album and tour in the Mpls. Star-Tribune, which is a good excuse to relink his mini-set for The Current.

BOB MOULD talks to the Guardian about his efforts to struggle to accommodate his burgeoning gay consciousness with his musical self over the past decade or so: "I think music is universal. I guess that's the difference between a gay musician and a musician who's gay."

MOUNTAIN GOATS mastermind John Darnielle talks to the Guardian about Heretic Pride. "'a much more fun record than I've made in a long time,' full of songs about Prince Far I, cheap motels, religious cults and swamp creatures."

NEKO CASE seems to be trying out new songs like "Blue Blue Baby" on tour, if this bootleg video is an indicator.

DUFFY is top of the pops in the UK, which is a good excuse to relink a prior blurb about the Lulu-esque Welsh chanteuse.

NADA SURF, unfortunately best known for their 1996 novelty hit "Popular," stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR. 

LILY ALLEN and her trendy-ite crew went on a 15-hour bender Friday night.  Before and after pics at the link.

AMY WINEHOUSE's junkie husband narrowly cheated death after a drug overdose in prison.  At least he sent her a Valentine's Day gift basket from prison.  Again, it should be a big red flag when you are getting grandfatherly advice from the Rolling Stones.

BRITNEY SPEARS gets an offer of help from neighbor Heidi Klum: "She can call me and come live in our house with us for a couple of months. I would help set her straight,"  Attorney John Eardley filed papers in federal court last Thursday, alleging the California courts have railroaded Britney by imposing a conservatorship, paralyzing the California courts from issuing more orders in the conservatorship case unless and until the Federal judge tells Eardley to take a hike.  It appears that Sam Lutfi is behind this maneuver, though he is evading service of a protective order and is reportedly under investigation by the LAPD for allegedly drugging the pop wreck.  Spears was not looking like a hostage on the town with her dad-conservator.  BTW, Saturday was the one-year anniversary of the her bizzare head-shaving incident.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS apparently drank and slept around a bit before getting knocked up, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.  Indeed, the tab claims that in December, she shocked a boy at a party by asking him for sex. "It's cool, I'm pregnant," she said. "I can't get pregnant again!"

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The overall box office is probably the biggest winner of the long Valentine's Day-President's Day weekend.  New releases captured four of the top five slots, led by Jumper which did 33 million since Thursday -- probably more than okay, given its lousy reviews.  Step Up 2 also did alright, just a little less than the original's opening in August 2006.  The Spiderwick Chronicles had a fairly soft 21.3 million since Thursday; its main hope of recouping its 90 million budget rests in a dearth of family films until Horton Hears a Who next month.  Fool's Gold dropped about 40 percent from first to fourth.  Definitely, Maybe rounded out the Top Five with about 12 million on a relatively small 2,200 screens.  The adorable Juno marked its ninth weekend in the Top Ten as it closed in on 125 million in sales.  An Oscar next weekend could put the little film at 150 million.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Two years after their highly publicized plans for a divorce were announced, Sir Paul has agreed to give Heather Mills more than 108 million dollars - a tidy 27 million for every year of their marriage.  Mills, 40, will pocket a nearly $40 million lump sum, with $5 million annual payments until their 4-year-old daughter Beatrice reaches 18.  Mills apparently spent the weekend writing a check-list for her perfect man... and gold-diggers need not apply!

LINDSAY LOHAN was working both Entourage star Adrian Grenier and Leonardo DiCaprio Tuesday night at a West Hollywood club, to no apparent effect -- other than falling off the wagon again with vodka and Champagne.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & NATALIE PORTMAN kissing would be a reason to go see The Other Boleyn Girl, but they apparently do not make out in the movie, which is getting bad advance buzz.  So really, I have just saved you about ten bucks.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN UPDATE:  After a much publicized court battle with ex-husband Sheen over allowing their children to participate, Richards, daughters Sam,3, and Lola, 2, their 10 dogs, two guinea pigs, and two pot-bellied pigs will start filming their as-yet-untitled reality show for the E! channel, scheduled to air this summer.

THE FRENCH HOTEL got a visit from the L.A. Dept. of Animal Services to investigate a complaint about her 17 dogs.  In L.A., regulations state that a non-breeder is only allowed three dogs per address.  The French Hotel may be practicing a lot, but she's not breeding yet.

KIRSTEN DUNST:  Regret over her breakup with three-year beau Jake Gyllenhaal (partially due to her partying) led her to party more, and ultimately to the Cirque Lodge Treatment Center in Utah.

ORLANDO BLOOM seems stuck on Victoria's Secret supermodel Miranda Kerr.  Pics of the pair -- and of Ms. Kerr on the job -- at the link.

THE OSCARS are less than a week away.  The New York Times Magazine is all over it, including video interviews with the year's breakout performers, including Ellen Page from Juno.

PRESIDENTS DAY is recognized now instead of Washington's birthday, But in 1776, David McCullough notes that when Washington took command in July 1775, he thought he would be home at Mount Vernon by Christmas. McCullough catalogs Washington's blunders -- many of them nearly fatal to the Cause -- but concludes: "He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, nor a gifted orator, not an intellectual... He had made serious mistakes in judgment. But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood... and above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake, and he never gave up." That, as much as anything, is why Washington is usually ranked among the greatest of US presidents.

ZOMBIE WATCH:  Staff at a Bitish sewage works have called in a ghostbuster because they are being stalked by a zombie-like figure who roams the underground tunnels.

KOSOVO: Revelers fired guns into the air and fireworks lit up the skies over Kosovo on Sunday after parliament proclaimed independence, defying Serbia and Russia with a historic declaration as the world's newest nation.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  A new sharia law controversy erupted Saturday night over Government plans to issue special "Islamic bonds" to pay for Gordon Brown's public-spending programme by raising money from the Middle East.

CARTOON JIHAD:  A group of Danish lawmakers has canceled a trip to Iran because Tehran demanded they condemn the reprinting of Prophet Mohammed cartoons in newspapers.  Iran has also urged the Netherlands to prevent the screening of a film in which a right-wing populist lawmaker plans to lay out his view of the Koran, a news agency in the Islamic Republic said on Saturday.

IRAQ:  Attacks by insurgents and rival sectarian militias have fallen up to 80 percent in Baghdad and concrete blast walls that divide the capital could soon be removed, a senior Iraqi military official said on Saturday.  For the first time, Gen. David Petraeus is cautiously optimistic.  Similarly, for the first time, skeptic Anthony Cordesman says "there is now a very real chance that Iraq will emerge as a secure and stable state."  Major challenges remain, however, including reforming Iraqi law enforcement and the judiciary.  Former CIA officer Reuel Marc Gerecht has a piece in the WaPo challenging the conventional wisdom that the war in Iraq brought huge numbers of holy warriors to the anti-American cause.

NUBS, a German shepherd-border collie mix befreiended by Marine unit, followed them 70 miles through a war zone.

AN ARMY OF VORACIOUS GIANT CRABS is on the brink of invading the shallow seas off Antarctica, where an array of unique, almost prehistoric sealife has evolved for millions of years without any predators.

CARNIVOROUS TREES grabbing humans and cattle and gobbling them up is not just Indian village folklore?  It's on the Internet, so it must be true.

A JACK RUSSELL TERRIER and a BADGER were rescued from a 30-meter mineshaft in Cornwall.  It's like the Jessica McClure story, but with a terrier and a badger.

A SKITTISH KITTY that scampered out of its carrier on a NYC subway platform has been found after 25 days in the underground tunnels.

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