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College Rock, Georgie James, Cutout Bin, Monster Spider Web   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 31, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE LONG WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...LEFT OF THE DIAL!  It's that back-to-school time of year, so here is the BBC's documentary on US indie rock of the 80s-90s, which Rolling Stone's David Fricke reminds us was known then as "college rock."  The Nirvana story is the pull for the casual viewer, but the Brits work their way back to Black Flag, with a fair amount of R.E.M. as well.  Sadly, The Replacements and Husker Du get mere cameos, (despite being the Godfathers of Grunge).  But The Pixies get their props as a major influence on Kurt Cobain.  Tubed into seven segments:  Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL MUSIC:  Speaking of which, IGN surveys 25 upcoming albums to make the first few months of the school year more bearable.

GEORGIE JAMES, a duo out of DC, cite Chic, The Cowsills, Cheap Trick, The White Album and K-Tel compilations in describing the four classic pop numbers streaming at TheirSpace, including a mournful take on "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)," the Peruvian folk song popularized by Simon & Garfunkel.  Saddle Creek will be issuing the band's' debut album, Places, on Sept. 25, 2007. (Thx, MOKB!)

PETER BJORN & JOHN have made whistling cool again, according to the Boston Globe.

CROWDED HOUSE:  You can watch their recent gig at Chicago's House of Blues, courtesy of Mister Softee.

THE WOMBATS:  "Let's Dance to Joy Division," and celebrate the irony.  Afterward, you can stream some more of this Brit combo's punk-pop at WombatSpace.  Kinda in the ballpark of The Kooks and Art Brut.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS did an interview and mini-set for NYC's WFUV, which you can stream (or skip right to the songs) via NPR "Sitting behind a music stand with a big, black binder full of songs, she paged through her book, reminisced about this song and that - and, after a fashion, started to open up about everything from her songwriting process to her wedding plans."

THE NATIONAL: Matt Beringer talks to The A.V. Club about songs -- playing 'em live, writing them and even revising them.  NPR has reposted a World Cafe segment on the band from this past June.

ACL FEST:  Austinist has set up a special section for the upcoming Austin City Limits festival, which already features a lineup, interviews with The National, The Decemberists, Gomez, Midlake and more, plus previews of a swath of artists, from the Broken West, Patterson Hood and the Little Ones to Charlie Musselwhite and The Gospel Silvertones.

HILLY KRISTAL:  The late CBGBs founder gets an audio tribute from WHYY, streaming via NPR.

THE HYPE MACHINE:  TechDaily has posted a video interview with Anthony Volodkin, the man behind the music blog aggregator so often used here to bring you the tunes.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Bob Dylan - Music v. Message (1967); Brian Wilson - This Whole World; Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky; The Apples in Stereo - Energy; R.E.M. - Shiny Happy People; Joey Ramone - What a Wonderful World; Husker Du - Celebrated Summer; The Jesus & Mary Chain - Just Like Honey; Flesh For Lulu - I Go Crazy; Go-Gos - Our Lips Are Sealed; The Vapors - Turning Japanese; Frente! - Bizarre Love Triangle; The Flaming Lips - The W.A.N.D.; David Bowie - Rebel, Rebel; The Stooges - No Fun; The Replacements - Beer For Breakfast (nsfw); Teenage Fanclub - Mad Dog 20/20;  The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee; The Turtles - Elenore; Looking Glass - Brandy (You're A Fine Girl); Joe Jackson - You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want); The Jam - Stoned Out of My Mind; The Go! Team - Doing It Right; The Pipettes - Dance and Boogie; Manfred Mann - Blinded By The Light; The Decemberists - The Sporting Life; The Zombies - Walking In The Sun; The Ronettes - Walking in the Rain; Roy Orbison - Crying; Sam Cooke - Chain Gang; Johnny Cash - Jackson ("lost" performance w/ June Carter Cash); and Paul Simon - Kodachrome.

GREGORIOUS:  I don't speak Finnish, but the message seems to be that it's fun to stay at the "NMKY."

OWEN WILSON may have slit his wrists, but there was no drug overdose, an attorney for Wilson told Access Hollywood.  The attorney said Wilson had been taking antidepressants, but was not aware of any other drugs in his system at the time of the incident.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to the ping-pong comedy Balls of Fury, which is currently scoring 28 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this traditional lull at the cineplex includes Rob Zombie's remake of the slasher classic Halloween, and Kevin Bacon in the revenge flick Death Sentence, neither of which were generally screened for critics.  The few published reviews suggest there was a reason for that.

BRITNEY SPEARS is planning to make her opening act for MTV's Video Music Awards "a big comeback performance," with the goal of making it "shocking."  More shocking than showing the world her privates?  Maybe the only thing that would be shocking at this point would be if the performance and music were actually good.  The song samples leaked to TMZ suggest that's not going to happen.  Meanwhile, Spears' former manager was served a subpoena by Fed-Ex's lawyers today, outside of Sunset Tan in West Los Angeles.  And TMZ has obtained documents from the Britney/Fed-Ex hearing last Monday, where it was revealed the popwreck rakes in an average of 737868 bucks a month.

MADONNA, not content to shoot up vitamins herself, is now administering eye-watering vitamin injections to the bottoms of the cast members in her director hubby Guy Ritchie new movie.

BRIDGET MOYNIHAN & TOM BRADY may be proud parents, but there's still bad blood between them, with a source telling the NYDN: "Tom was only allowed to see the baby for a short time... He was only allowed to come after the baby was born. The woman would not see him, period. And she gave the baby her last name."

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but OK! magazine has dropped her ex Larry Birkhead from a 1.7 million-dollar deal, alleging he has "tricked us all."  The magazine has not revealed the exact reason for the decision, however it is reported to be based on rumours Birkhead struck a "backroom deal" with Howard K Stern -- his supposed long-standing rival -- regarding baby Danielynn.  Birkhead calls this a "smear campaign" and that OK! was bent out of shape after Us Weekly put Dannielynn on its cover -- he and the mag dispute the scope of their exclusive deal. 

BRADGELINA:  Jolie complains to Germany's Der Spiegel magazine that people take her politics "less seriously" because she is an actress.  Imho, the press takes Jolie more seriously than most celebs and she would not have a high-profile gig as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador if she was not an actress.  Moreover, I think she knows it, as she added "I think we should be looking for great leaders in people who have dedicated their lives to those issues. And the reality is that actors spend a great deal of their time making films."

LINDSAY LOHAN's ex-con father makes a string of allegations against his ex-wife in an interview with celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, which are denied, natch.  Michael states Dina is a compulsive liar, her new boyfriend is a drunk, she has cocaine delivered to her house and that she has knowingly left the scene of a number of car crashes.

JESSICA SIMPSON is "really jealous" that ex John Mayer is seeing Cameron Diaz, according to US Weekly.

DAVID LETTERMAN finally returns the favor with his first visit to Oprah's couch next month.  Presumably, he will not conclude their showbiz feud by jumping on it.

SPEED RACER:  Susan Sarandon explains why the Wachowski Brothers' live-action take on the classic Japanimation will look like nothing we have seen before.

INDIANA JONES IV:  New pictures from location shooting give you a better look at rising star Shia LeBouf with Harrison Ford.

TGIF: Whatever you do, never get into a game of Quarters with this dude.

GLOBAL WARMING:  A new examination of  528 total papers on climate change published from 2004 to February 2007 reportedly shows some surprising results: Only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the "consensus view," defined as humans were having at least some effect on global climate change. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category  (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis.   The results have been submitted to the journal Energy and Environment.

AFGHANISTAN:  Though the remaining South Korean hostages taken last July by the Taliban have been released, the terrorists have vowed they will abduct more foreigners: "We will do the same thing with the other allies in Afghanistan, because we found this way to be successful."  Appeasing terrorists emboldens them -- Who'da thunkit?

IRAN:  Pres. Ahmadinejad has launched a new verbal attack against Israel, accusing Zionists of sowing conflict, publishing offensive cartoons and "lying about being Jewish."  The UN nuke watchdog said Thursday that Iran was producing less nuclear fuel than expected and praised Tehran for "a significant step forward" in explaining past atomic actions that have raised suspicions. OTOH, the report confirmed that Iran continued to expand its uranium enrichment program, reflecting Tehran's defiance of the UN Security Council.  I hope someone is wondering whether Iran really produced less nuclear fuel than expected, or whether some might be going unaccounted.

IRAQ:  Iraqi security forces have arrested 72 gunmen following clashes in the city of Kerbala this week that forced hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to flee a religious festival there.  Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army disappeared from the streets of Baghdad's Sadr City on Thursday, apparently obeying their leader's order to lie low.  US security analysts believe al-Sadr's decision to suspend Mahdi Army activities is a tactic to weed out rogue elements as the young cleric struggles to maintain control over his militia.

IRAQ II:  Iraq's foreign minister says the government had made progress in responding to US goals for improved security and political reconciliation ahead of key reports soon to be delivered to the US Congress.  The GAO's congressional auditors find that the Iraqi government has failed to meet the vast majority of political and military goals laid out by lawmakers.  The White House believes the criteria set for the GAO report allow no room to report progress, only absolute success or failure; Pentagon policy officials have "made some factual corrections" and "offered some suggestions on a few of the actual grades" assigned by the GAO.  At the Small Wars Journal's blog, David Kilcullen -- who has just completed a tour in Iraq as senior counterinsurgency adviser to the Multi-National Force -- examines the potential upsides and downsides of "the growing tribal uprising against al Qaeda, which could transform the war in ways not factored into neat 'benchmarks' developed many months ago and thousands of miles away."  This is normally where I'd remind you that Kilcullen is a pretty good indicator of what Gen. Petraeus thinks, but Gen. Petraeus just gave an interview to The Australian that is likely an even better indicator of what Gen. Petraeus thinks.  And Michael Yon's latest photo-filled dispatch from Anbar details how principles from the new counter-insurgency manual are playing out on the ground.

AND THE FROG goes... "Meow?"

COW NEWS:  A herd of cows in the Yorkshire Dales are to have their every move monitored by satellite.  Meanwhile, scientists looking for an alternative to corn as an ethanol fuel source have discovered fluid from the largest chamber of a cow's stomach could be the answer to a new kind of fuel cell.

SOCHA the LABRADOR stepped on a wet manhole cover in SoHo and got zapped by 100 volts of electricity.  I thought stray voltage season in NYC didn't start until after Labor Day.

A MONSTER SPIDER WEB blankets several trees, shrubs and the ground along a 200-yard stretch of trail in a North Texas park. "There are times you can literally hear the screech of millions of mosquitoes caught in those webs."

"THAT'S A MORAY":  Fisherman-turned-comedian Taro Makeburu presents tales of sleeping with the fishes.

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Okkervil River, Hilly Kristal RIP, Great Lakes Myth Society, Bigfoot   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

OKKERVIL RIVER plays "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe" for a late night host on the Peacock network.

HILLY KRISTAL, founder of legendary New York rock club CBGB, died Tuesday of complications from lung cancer at 75.  Kristal ran the club for 33 years and helped to launch the careers of the Talking Heads, Blondie, the Ramones, Patti Smith, Television and countless other bands. CBGB, which stood for "Country, Blue Grass and Blues, closed last year.  Free Indie details his career.

GREAT LAKES MYTH SOCIETY singer Tim Monger tells the Chicago Sun-Times that "the regionalism in our material is more a tendency than an intention," and professes his love for the late Trip Shakespeare, an influence I can kinda hear in the tracks streaming from TheirSpace.  "Summer Bonfire" would be my pick to click.  BONUS: The most important links in my tribute to Trip Shakespeare from last November still work... and the fan-maintained page is streaming the band's cover of "Time of the Season."

"KINDIE" ROCK:  North Carolina's News & Observer not only surveys the secene from well-known kid-friendly rockers like Dan Zanes, Laurie Berkner, Lunch Money, the Sippy Cups, They Might Be Giants and Jack Jonson, but also links up to local kindie artists

BAND OF HORSES has a a new track, "Is There A Ghost," to stream and download from TheirSpace.

GLEN CAMPBELL & STONE TEMPLE PILOTS play Jimmy Webb's classic "Wichita Lineman" in this high-quality bootleg video.

BO DIDDLEY was in stable condition at a Florida hospital after suffering a heart attack.  His publicist says "The situation is very serious."

CROWDED HOUSE architect Neil Finn answers five questions from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, including one about fellow NZ rockers The Conchords.

GRACE POTTER and the NOCTURNALS gave an interview and in-studio performance of their earthy rock to David Dye at the World Cafe, streaming via NPR.

AMY WINEHOUSE texted an apology to her distraught father after he told how he wanted to kill himself because of her drug addiction.

OWEN WILSON:  Brit actor Steve Coogan denies claims that he got the suicidal Wilson into heavy drugs:"These accusations are unfounded, unhelpful and hurtful to all concerned. We are taking legal advice."  Wilson has dropped out of Tropic Thunder, a movie comedy he was set to begin shooting in two to three weeks with longtime pal Ben Stiller.  Elle magazine has pulled an interview with him out of respect for the troubled star.  A look at Wilson's collaborations with filmmaker Wes Anderson, which he has called his most personal films, are often comedic meditations on depression, alienation and suicide.

MADONNA has been given the green light to adopt a second orphan from Malawi - a 13-month-old girl called Mercy.

WHITNEY HOUSTON & BOBBY BROWN: All-new divorce papers obtained by Extra claim Bobby lived in his car while Whitney was in rehab.

GWYNETH PALTROW is putting Hollywood on hold to film her own TV cookery show, leaving hubby Chris Martin and kids Apple and Moses behind for two months as she tours Spain with chef Mario Batali for PBS.

DENISE RICHARDS was "disappointed" to learn of ex-husband CHARLIE SHEEN's statement complaining that Richards sent her assistant in place of a nanny for his supervised child custody, adding in her own statement that "This was and should still be a private matter that we as responsible parents settled privately."

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is disappearing into thin.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  According to Star Magazine, Tom Cruise's pre-Kitten kids, Isabella and Connor, are away at a Scientology camp in Oregon as part of a "get them while they're young' campaign."

MISS CONDUCT:  Miss South Carolina Teen USA Lauren Caitlin Upton - whose mangled answer to a simple competition question became an Internet sensation - is now hosting a geography quiz at People magazine's website.

INDIE ROCKIN' ACTRESSES:  The L.A. Times posts a photo-essay.

ELISHA CUTHBERT is reportedly back on the market, so I may not be here Monday.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  Some Joker blew up Gotham General Hospital (i.e., the abandoned Brach's candy building) on the West Side of Chicago (not the infamous East Side) yesterday.  Kris Habermehl of Chicago's WBBM-TV was over the scene and immediately went on the radio to assure people that the blast was all part of the script and not a terrorist act.  Video at both links, 'cause you can never get enough video of stuff blowing up.  BONUS:  Here's a Flickr photoset of shooting -- including director Chris Nolan, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart and Anthony Michael Hall -- down by the Chicago Board of Trade.  There are also shots of the extras having to wear fall clothes in our current steamy weather, and the helicopter that bases out of the lot across the street from my digs.

NANOTUBES:  Professor Nicola Pugno, of the Polytechnic of Turin, has worked out a formula for the adhesive power of the technology and he predicts that the first Spider-Man suit will be created by 2017.

DON'T FEAR THE REAPER, unless you belong to the Taliban or Al Qaeda in Iraq.  The Reaper is an upgraded version of the unmanned Predator drone, but twice as fast, with the bombing power of an F-16 and eight times the flying time without refueling.  Let's go to the video.  Of course, it could use a little... more cowbell.

PAKISTAN:  Pres. Musharraf has agreed to step down as army chief as part of a broad and once-unthinkable agreement being finalized with his chief political rival, Benazir Bhutto, officials on both sides said Wednesday.  The agreement, if completed, would likely permit Musharraf to continue as president and allow Bhutto to return to Pakistan after eight years of exile to try to win back her old job as prime minister.  More broadly, the deal would fundamentally alter the political landscape in Pakistan, a top US ally on counterterrorism but also a haven for al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.  The guardian looks at the stakes and angles for Musharraf, Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted by Musharraf in a bloodless coup in 1999.

IRAQ:  Radical Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered the Mahdi Army to stop attacks on US-led forces as part of a six-month suspension of the militia's activities after Shiite clashes during the pilgimage to Karbala leave al-Sadr with PR and leadership problems.  And the freeze doesn't extend to rival Shia factions -- gunmen believed to be from the Mahdi Army  attacked several Baghdad offices of the two major governing Shia parties.  Bill Roggio breaks down the internals of the Mahdi Army.  Prime Minister al-Maliki made an "emergency visit" to Karbala, accompanied by two government ministers, amid attempts to defuse tensions between the major Shia parties there after the armed clashes which marred the pilgimage.  Maliki sacked the local security chief.  The US military in Baghdad says a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq was killed after grabbing a soldier and attempting to detonate a "suicide vest."

BOBBY the BOB-TAILED RACOON outlasts a Southern Illinois cattle rancher.  Video at the link.

OWLS are taking calls from mobile phones in the UK.  It's about time Hogwarts joined the 21st century.

BIGFOOT:  A member of the Canadian Mounted Police has officially notified Parliament that he believes that Bigfoot should be added to the nation's Species at Risk Act, which is similar to the Endangered Species List in the US.

DOGS can now take swimming lessons at Manhattan dog spa houses.  Four months after his first lesson, Salty the miniature schnauzer is the envy of his classmates, who excitedly bark and sniff the water but don't dare jump in without the instructor's help.

325000 TROUT are skydiving into Aspen Colorado.

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Feist, Springsteen, Candie Payne, Horse Soccer   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

FEIST is backed by a choir featuring members of Broken Social Scene, New Pornographers, Grizzly Bear, The National, Mates of State and Nicole Atkins for a special version of "1234" on The Late Show.  UPDATE:  If that link wasn't working for you earlier, try it now.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN is offering a free download of "Radio Nowhere" from his upcoming LP, though you have to give him your e-mail address.  The Boss has also announced tour dates.

MY BLOODY VALENTINE are likely to reunite for Coachella 2008.  Already, a new MySpace page for the band has appeared.

THE MODERN LOVERS:  GvsB has details on the deluxe reissue of the Jonathan Richman-led classic, which sports eight bonus tracks, including "Roadrunner (Alternative Version)."  Of course, if you have never heard the "official" version of "Roadrunner," you should hear that first!

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED is currently streaming new Iron & Wine, Rilo Kiley, Animal Collective, Maps and more.

KEITH RICHARDS:  The Lord of the Undead ate a cigarette onstage at what is rumored to be the band's last-ever show in London on Sunday, in protest of a new anti-smoking ban.  He has also demanded an apology from Swedish newspapers for their scathing reviews of the Rolling Stones's performance in the country earlier this month.

CANDIE PAYNE:  London's Telegraph asks, "Is she the next Dusty Springfield?"  Not quite, but she's in the ballpark, bringing an updated Northern Soul sound with help from producer Simon Dine on "I Wish I Could Have Loved You More" and Mark Ronson on the upcoming single "One More Chance."  You can stream those and two more cool tunes from HerSpace.  Dee-lish!

LOU REED is singing with The Killers for the band's upcoming album of odds and sods.

YO LA TENGO will be playing more intimate venues this Fall, mixing songs from their extensive catalog with stories and audience interaction.

LILY ALLEN had a pint of Guinness poured over head by reggae singer Bobby Kray at the weekend's Notting Hill Carnival, after she pushed him off the stage and wrestled the microphone away from him.

AMY WINEHOUSE'S father-in law says fans should stop buying her records to force the singer to seek help for what he called a drug addiction.  Meanwhile, Winehouse and hubby have headed off on a an island getaway second honeymoon in the Caribbean.

OWEN WILSON tried to take his own life in the wake of a bitter blowup with a close pal, according to the NYPost.  A source close to the Butterscotch Stallion told Extra that Luke Wilson found him.  He has been visited in the hospital by family members... and Samuel L. Jackson, who chastized the paparazzi in the video at the link.  While the details of his hospitalization remained closely guarded, its impact on the currently filming Tropic Thunder and Wes Anderson's soon-to-be-released The Darjeeling Limited could not be immediately assessed.  UPDATE:  Wilson was hooked on heroin and cocaine, struggling with depression and hanging out with the wrong crowd in the months before his attempted suicide, according to a bombshell new report with exclusive interviews in US Weekly magazine (according to the NYP).  Courtney Love is blaming Wilson's newfound best buddy, British actor Steve Coogan; a Wilson pal says Wilson's addiction was so severe that Woody Harrelson tried to stage an intervention at his home in Maui.  And it's pretty safe to say things are bad if Woody Harrelson is staging an intervention.  A rep for Owen adamantly denies the actor has ever used heroin or cocaine.

KATE HUDSON broke down in tears after she found out about ex-boyfriend Owen Wilson's alleged suicide attempt and had to flee the set of her new film, Bachelor No.2.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  TMZ claims there is an official criminal investigation in the Spears child custody saga -- involving a former counter-terror commando in the Israeli army.  EW.com claims the first single from her fifth studio album will debut as soon as next week - and it's not either of  the two supposed Britney tracks that leaked online at perezhilton.com last week.

SPEARS, LOHAN & HOTEL were shamed into skipping the Teen Choice Awards when they discovered the show was planning a "Newsmakers of the Year' award" featuring their various scandals.

MATT DAMON may be a second-time dad in about six months, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is in Iraq to witness firsthand the humanitarian crisis there, the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR has announced.  She was also snapped with the Marines at Camp Waleed, near the Syrian border.

MADONNA has caught a break in the saga hindering her and husband Guy Ritchie's successful adoption of young David Banda - a Malawi social worker was finally given permission to visit and assess the family.  But Madge's latest song got some bad feedback at last Thursday's "Pop Rocks" party at NYC's Club 13.

RENEE ZELLEWEGER is looking "painfully thin" and spent some animated face time with Sir Paul McCartney on Saturday at a Tom Petty concert... under the watchful eyes of Christie Brinkley.

OHMIGOD, KENNY'S RICH!  South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have inked a 75-million-dollar deal for three more seasons of the cartoon and a digital offshoot encompassing the Internet, mobile phones and games consoles.

MISS CONDUCT:  Miss South Carolina Teen USA Lauren Caitlin Upton - whose mangled answer to a simple competition question became an Internet sensation (with millions of views on the Tube) -- got her second chance on the Today Show.

JESSICA ALBA has the ultimate sexy strut, according to a team of Cambridge mathematicians.  The Jessica Alba sashay beat off competition from Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie and even Marilyn Monroe.  And it increasingly seems that she's taking Cash back.

SEN. LARRY CRAIG (R-ID) insists, "I am not gay and never have been."  Which earns him a NTTAWWT.  Craig claims he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a Mpls airport washroom because he and his family "have been relentlessly and viciously harassed by The Idaho Statesman," which today published Craig's List

TERROR in the US:  Al Qaeda has an active plot to hit the West. The United States knows about it but doesn't have enough tactical detail to issue a precise warning or raise the threat level, says Vice Admiral (ret.) John Scott Redd, who heads the government's National Counterterrorism Center.  He also believes another successful terror attack in the US is inevitable.

IRAN offered some cooperation with an International Atomic Energy Agency probe of an alleged secret uranium processing project linked by US intell to a nuclear arms program.  But diplomats say the working document is flawed for apparently ruling out future inquiries by inspectors and making no mention of wider-ranging checks that the UN nuclear agency has said are needed to verify that Tehran has no hidden bomb agenda.  It also does not define what Iran must do to resolve open questions and disregards a UN demand for Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment.  In his first major foreign policy speech as president, Nicolas Sarkozy of France said that Iran could be attacked militarily if it did not live up to its international obligations to curb its nuclear program.  RELATED:  A report by the Non-Proliferation Policy Education Center concludes that the UN atomic watchdog is losing ground in its mission to uncover abuses of nuclear know-how for bombmaking.

IRAQ:  In spite of an announcement that the ministers in the Iraqi National List led by former Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Allawi had withdrawn from their position, three of them attended a regular meeting on Monday, Aswat al-Iraq reports in Arabic.  A curfew and weapons ban was in effect and Shiite pilgrims were evacuated from the southern Iraqi city of Karbala, where fighting has killed up to 50 people and wounded 247 others, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said Tuesday.  Tens or even hundreds of thousands of Shia Muslims are attending a big religious festival there.  A a Georgetown professor of security studies, Colin Kahl, has published a study in International Security that dispels the notion that the US troops regularly disregard the Geneva Conventions.  Nibras Kazimi reports that -- according to jihadi websites -- the number of attacks carried out by the AQ-affiliated "Islamic State of Iraq" have dropped from over 900 to under 200 on a biweekly basis.

KARIBA the HORSE has overcome its violent temperament by playing soccer.  Video at the link.

SKIPPI the KANGAROO, reported killed in a car crash by German police, survived and was captured in a cornfield almost 10 miles from where his journey began.  The fugitive marsupial has returned to his home at a petting zoo in southern Germany,

ORPHANED HEDGEHOGS adopt a cleaning brush as their mother.  Simultaneously cute and sad pics at the link.

MYRON the WAYWARD EMU was corraled by shopping carts in the Wal-Mart parking lot in West Bend, Wisconsin.

INNOCENT WOLVES may be cleared for the mysterious deaths of tame animals by DNA testing,  Jens Karlsson from Grimsö Wildlife Research Station told the Svenska Dagbladet  (a great name for a newspaper or a rock band).

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New Releases, Advance Sadies, Jagger & Lennon, 4-eared Bunny   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE EAMES ERA plays a kid's birthday party in the amusing video for "When You Were A Millionaire" from the Heroes and Sheroes album.  You can stream more bouncy indie pop from the Baton Rouge combo at TheirSpace.

NEW RELEASES:  VHS or Beta, Liars, Ben Harper, Sly & the Family Stone, Northern State, New Young Pony Club, Aesop Rock and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.  Angels of Light is Michael Gira's post-Swans band and is ethereal country-folk rock, rather than industrial noise rock.  There's one track from the new We Are Him album at that last link and two more at his label.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS frontman Gruff Rhys talks to Pitchfork about Venus, psychedelia, Turkish and Greek pop influences, the band's next album and much more.

THE SADIES upcoming album, New Seasons, is streaming in full via YepRoc.

WHITE RABBITS keyboardist and singer Stephen Patterson talks to MIT's The Tech about the band's earliest days and new songs. (Thx, LHB.) I previously blurbed the ska-influenced band about a month ago.

DEATH PROOF:  Quentin Tarantino's half of the Grindhouse double-feature comes to DVD next month, which put me in mind of the video for "Chick Habit" by April March, which was based on the French tune "Laisse Tomber Les Filles," sung by France Gall and written by Serge Gainsbourg.  And that's Twofer Tuesday.

BJORK talks to the Scotsman about her respect for composers like Ravel and Debussy, as well as the impact of the Internet on showbiz: "...we're seeing the revenge of the public against the elitist media, and it will find a balance. Eventually there will be room for everyone: people who like reality TV or whatever, and nerds like me doing what we like."

MICK JAGGER & JOHN LENNON:  Heather Browne is streaming their "lost" cover of Willie Dixon's "Too Many Cooks," which reputedly features Harry Nilsson on backing vocals, Jim Keltner on drums, Stones sax player Bobby Keys, Cream bassist Jack Bruce, and Al Kooper on keys.

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  TMZ reports that that famed defense attorney Bruce Cutler has resigned from Phil Spector's defense team.

AMY WINEHOUSE:  The desperate families of Winehouse and her drug using husband are keeping a round-the-clock vigil on the couple - amid fears they are risking their lives with their addictions.

OWEN WILSON:  A spokesman for Cedars-Sinai tells Extra that Owen is "in good condition" at the hospital.  The Buttescotch Stallion asks that the media allow him "to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time,"  which sounds like recovery from more than "dehydration."  The ever-reliable National Enquirer claims that his "brothers Andrew and Luke were with him," though it's unclear when.  Extra has joined the tabs in reporting that Wilson did indeed attempt suicide over the weekend.  The Insider reports he had issues with depression and spent time in rehab almost seven years ago at Hazelden treatment facility in Minnesota.

BRITNEY SPEARS is off the hook on an animal abuse investigation, but TMZ claims that the pop tart is being investigated by DCFS, though the complaint lodged with the agency involves allegations of poor dental hygiene, as well as poor eating and sleeping habits for her kids -- as opposed to child abuse.  The complaint was likely filed by Fed-Ex.  Meanwhile, her former manager, Larry Rudolph, got word out that he wants no part of their legal battle - for fear of what he possibly might have to reveal about Spears.

LINDSAY LOHAN was supposedly spotted out buying beer, and she's said to have been accused by staff at the Cirque Lodge rehab facility of doing drugs and generally being a diva, according to the ever reliable National Enquirer.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL:  Former Hollywood publicist turned blogger Jonathan Jaxon has published some long-standing rumors about Jake's private life.  NTTAWWT.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Charlie Sheen claims that his weekend with his daughters was "sullied" by one of Denise Richards's "spies" (actually a court-ordered escort).  Meanwhile, after facing rumors that they were a couple, Heather Locklear and David Spade have finally decided to hook up - on his new TV show Rules of Engagement.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON tells USA Today that she took the role in the period drama The Other Boleyn Girl because she was eager to work with Natalie Portman.  The sultry actress talked to the AP about avoiding the personal pitfalls that have tripped up other young Hollywood starlets: "I guess I attribute that to my parents and friends and the way I was raised..."

JESSICA ALBA had the last laugh on her grade-school tormentor at Sunday night's Teen Choice awards.

KATE HUDSON:  TMZ now has last weekend's heavy supermarket canoodling on video.

ELLE MacPHERSON earned her title as "The Body" with a racy appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated two decades ago, butt the mother-of-two has made it clear she has no intention of letting her title slip.  New candid swimsuit pics at the link.

KEANU BARADA NIKTO?  Twentieth Century Fox has set Keanu Reeves to star in its re-imagining of the sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still.  I think it's time to cue up Darth Vader.

MISS CONDUCT:  Miss South Carolina Teen USA, whose mangled response to a pageant question has become an Internet sensation, will have a second chance to answer it on this morning's Today show.  Video at the link, icymi.

JOHNNY ROTTEN was a guest last week on Red Eye, FNC's late-night chat show (as was Alternadad author Neal Pollack).  The intro and a montage from the show have been posted on the Tube.  WARNING:  Red Eye -- if you have never seen it --is not merely NSFW (with the second clip failing to catch an F-bomb).  Words like "irreverent" and "offensive" tend to be a vast understatement of the content, even on a typical night.  But "wickedly funny" may also apply, if your sense of humor is sufficiently degenerate.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Iran summoned a Swedish diplomat to its foreign ministry on Monday to protest against a cartoon in a Swedish newspaper depicting the head of Prophet Muhammad on a dog's body, Sweden's foreign ministry said.

SAUDI ARABIA has begun setting up a 35,000-strong security force to protect its oil infrastructure from potential attacks, underlining the kingdom's growing concern over threats from al-Qaeda and rising tensions between Iran and the US.

IRAQ:  Sunni Arab politicians refused to end their boycott of Iraq's Shiite-led government today despite a broadbrush deal aimed at bridging the country's bitter sectarian divide.  Extremists targeted tens of thousands of faithful Shiite pilgrims making their way to the southern city of Karbala for a major religious commemoration; so far, they have killed two.  IraqSlogger reports on US efforts to educate -- and re-educate -- underage detainees at Camp Cropper.  The No. 2 US commander in Iraq accused Iran of stepping up support for Shiite militants.  McClatchy reports on jihadis extorting reconstruction money from contractors in Anbar, which blogger Bill Ardolino noted back in January.  Michael Yon has the second in a series of dispatches from Anbar; the latest covers how quickly the Marines are adopting counter-insurgency practices.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Time magazine reports that "Despite the recent focus on (Prime Minister) Maliki's shortcomings and failures, the job of Iraqi prime minister - at least as outlined by American officials - is probably impossible. There is probably no one who can reconcile with Sunni nationalists while simultaneously disarming militias tied to Shi'ite Iran..."  Of course, earlier this month, Time magazine reported: "Even his severest critics in Washington seem to think Maliki is guilty only of incompetence - that he lacks the political skills to bring together Iraq's warring communities. But it's not that he can't reach out to the Sunnis: he just won't. "

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A bunny rabbit with four ears.  Video at the link.

SLUG PLAGUE UPDATE:  yesterday, I joked that at least Britons would have plenty of time to escape.  Apparently not, as a slug dug into a camper's forehead with 27000 teeth.

WHEN SHARKS ATTACK:  Don't stab yourself with the harpoon.

BELGIAN HORSEBACK SHRIMPERS ride their plodding workhorses across the sands into the North Sea at low tide to trawl for shrimps in just the way that their forefathers have done for more than 500 years.

MAN BITE'S GIRLFRIEND'S SNAKE:  Usually, it's the girlfriend doing the biting, which makes this a classic "man bites snake" story.

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New "Boss" and SLGTM, Live Josh Ritter, Lewd Kenyan Monkeys   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 27, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS full line-up played "My Rights Versus Yours" on The Late Show.  At the end, note that Dave is so heading to chat up Neko Case after the taping.  The dawg.

"THE BOSS" had a track from his upcoming album pop up on the Internet.  The blog which posted it removed it at his label's request, but you just might still be able to stream it on the ol' HM at the link.

BONO is Jesus in a piece of celeb-art.  Which you probably knew, just not that it was literally true.

SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME is streaming a new track, "When I Lose My Eyes," at TheirSpace.  It's a more offbeat than their prior, retro-60s sound, as is "Make A Plan," which you can stream or down load via the 'Gum.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKER patterson Hood talks to the Birmingham News about his and Mike Cooley's second decade in the band.

PENNY LANE was closed after two doormen were injured in a shooting at a bar and restaurant in Liverpool.  And then the fireman rushes in from the pouring rain.  Very strange.

WISELY wisely got The Office's Jenna Fischer to star in the kida Garden State-y, kinda McCartney-esque "Through Any Window."  There's also a clip of Jenna explaining the backstory at the link.

SIOUXSIE SIOUX does not like -- but accepts the inevitability -- of Internet leaks of her new material.

AMY WINEHOUSE defended her husband in a series of texts with gossip-blogger PerezHilton after the couple were involved in a violent row which left them both bloodied and bruised.  Ugly pics at the link.

JOSH RITTER:  The acclaimed singer-songwriter played a full gig for the World Cafe on Friday, streamable now via NPR.

THE SHINS and THE HOLD STEADY are deemed the "summer's hottest rock bands," but "no spring chickens" by the Sunday Times of London.  Hey, try to make me feel older!

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer has checked back into rehab following claims that he attacked a female photographer, while the supposedly sober supermodel's friends fret over her post-breakup weight loss and out of control behavior.

OWEN WILSON was taken to the hospital Sunday in Los Angeles.  The ever-reliable Star magazine and National Enquirer claim that he sliced his left wrists and took an indeterminate amount of pills.  That would be very sad, even if he turned up wearing tribal war paint.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Superbad retained the top spot of the box office, pulling in 18 million, with 68 million so far on a 20 million budget.  The Bourne Ultimatum placed with 12.4 million (185 million total US), while Rush Hour 3 showed with 12.3 million (breaking 100 million in 16 days, as opposed to the sequel's seven).  New releases Mr. Bean's Holiday came in fourth with 10.1 million, Jet Li's War was fifth with 10 million and Scar-Jo's The Nanny Diaries debuted with 7.8 million.  The new entries dropped The Simpsons Movie to seventh with 44 million (173 million total US), Stardust to eighth with 3.9 million (a disappointing 26.4 million total on a 70 million budget) and Hairspray to ninth with 3.4 million.  Rounding out the Top Ten is Nicole Kidman's bomb The Invasion, which has made 11.5 million on an 80 million budget.

SUMMER BOX OFFICE:  The new releases may not have topped the charts, but Hollywood is happy that this summer is heading toward a record-breaking season, with box office receipts currently running $3.8 billion, up 10 percent over 2006 and 6 percent over 2004, the previous most lucrative summer. For the year, the number of tickets sold (admissions) is up almost 3 percent from last year; that's really the figure to watch, as box office dollars are not adjusted for inflation and ticket prices continue to creep up.

ROGER EBERT is having a thumb war with Walt Disney.

KATE HUDSON:  Caught canoodling (and then some) in a Pacific Pallisades supermarket with new bf Dax Shephard.

MADONNA is bringing Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, fashion designer Donna Karan and more to Israel for Rosh Hashana -- as part of a Kabbalah Center tour, natch.

TONI BRAXTON is secretly battling breast cancer, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

BRITNEY SPEARS was pulled over for speeding en route to Vegas, where she was seen dropping by magician Criss Angel's hotel room at 2 a.m. on Friday, and leaving at 9 a.m.  Meanwhile, officials from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were at the pop tart's house to investigate why her dog was wearing a cast.

KIRSTEN DUNST'S swanky SoHo hotel suite was robbed, with two crooks swiping her 13K handbag, wallets, cash, cameras and an iPod, according to the NY Post, which asks the obvious question: "Where was Spidey when she needed him?"

OPRAH WINFREY, MICK JAGGER and the FRENCH HOTEL are among the dozens of stars subpoenaed to appear in Detroit on Sept. 22 to testify in a rap record producer's 900-million-dollar  federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by Canadian border officials.  University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Professor Lawrence A. Dubin thinks that "autograph-seekers should not start lining up for the event."

HAYDEN PANETIERRE was reportedly flooded with pr0n after joking about being able to buy it now that she's 18 yrs old on The Late Show.

THE DARK KNIGHT was back in Chicago's financial district in the south end of The Loop, including Anthony Michael Hall.  How did I miss that bit of casting?

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and DAVID BECKHAM are among the targets of an alleged Al-Qaeda murder plot, according to the uber-reliable News of the World, based on a "chilling internet video" posted on YouTube.  Not quite, but still crazy.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Berke Breathed tells fans that the Opus strips for August 26 and September 2 are being withheld from publication by a large number of client newspapers across the country, including Opus' host paper The Washington Post (presumable for fear of offending Islamic extremists).  The strips may be viewed in a large format on their respective dates at Salon.com.  Editor & Publisher has details.

IRAQ:  In a rare joint TV appearance, Iraq's top Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish political leaders announced they had reached consensus on some key measures seen as vital to fostering national reconciliation (though it seems like they still need to work on some, including the draft oil revenue-sharing law).  Prime Minister al-Maliki also claimed that the country's biggest Sunni Arab political party had agreed to join a new alliance with Shiites and Kurds to end political paralysis, but a top official of that party denied it.  Voices of Iraq reported that the tribal Anbar Salvation Council said it had finished preparing a list of names of a number to occupy cabinet positions vacated when the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front ministers quit the Iraqi government.  Maliki's chief Iraqi opponent, Ayad Allawi, is paying Washington lobbyists with close ties to the White House 300K to help with Allawi's efforts in the US to promote himself and undermine Maliki.  Allawi's Iraqi National List withdrew from the government on Friday.

IRAQ II:  Bill Roggio rounds up recent security ops in Baghdad and ops against AQI and Shia militias around the country.  The governor of Salah al-Din Province said Thursday that the Salah al-Din provincial council had established, in cooperation with the "Salah al-Din Salvation Council," six detachments of fighters that would operate in restive areas of the province.  The NYT reports that there is a debate between commanders in the field who favor slow reductions and senior generals at the Pentagon who favor cutting the number of combat troops more deeply.  The Times of London reports on just how fragile some of the new alliances with insurgents are.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The Associated Press is trying to move the goalposts for US success in Iraq, now focusing on the fact that while this year's "surge" of US troops "has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels... the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago."  This is followed by statistics comparing 2006 with 2007, which tell us nothing about the success of the new US strategy, which began in mid-February, and was not fully phased in until June.  That casualties may increase year-over-year should surprise no one who has studied war; it has been understood since at least Clausewitz that escalation (often to the point of exhaustion by the losing side) is one of the essential  features of war.  A look at the big picture for the last two years shows that the new strategy is reducing civilian casualties nationwide -- at least for the time being.  It is probably too early to say whether this is merely an interruption or a truly new trend, particularly when everyone understands the enemy is likely to make an effort to spike the numbers ahead of the September report and affect the US political debate.

ANARCHIST PROTESTER SHARKS disrupted a bikini-clad celebration of the Little Mermaid.  Definitely something fishy in the state of Denmark.  Video at the link.

KENYAN MONKEYS have been making "lewd signs" at women and children trying to harvest crops south of Nairobi.  The farmers feel so harassed that Kenya's Wildlife Service is sending in animal-control teams to confront the animals.

SNAKE on a PLANE in Brookhaven Mississippi.

BLINKY the TWO-HEADED CALF was euthanized after suffering from collapsed lungs.

A SLUG PLAGUE of almost 15 billion has hit the UK, due to plentiful rain, warm temperatures and a shortage of sun.  At least folks will have plenty of time to escape.

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