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Ram Jam, Rhett Miller, Valentines, Anti-Valentines and a Goat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SLY STONE: Yet another version of the Grammy story. In this o­ne, Sly demanded (and got) a police escort to the show and fled o­n a motorcycle. And I finally found (with help from Coolfer Glenn) the video of the tribute.

THE NEW PANTHEON AWARDS: Several critics at Stylus give a rundown of the finalists. For example, Todd Hutlock o­n The Decemberists' Picaresque: "The fact that this, Arcade Fire, Sufjan, Antony, and Death Cab all got nominated makes me fairly confident which way this award is leaning... it's like they threw in Kings Of Leon just to the big kids wouldn't kick sand in their faces and steal their girls."

KILLING MUSIC: rbally has downloads of Jenny Lewis' recent BBC performance and Art Brut live in Vienna.

MEAT LOAF: His jet shot off a Manchester runway due to weight problems. So. Many. Punchlines.

BJORK is profiled by London's Guardian. Turns out she's a UNICEF goodwill ambassaor. And she talks about the infamous swan dress.

"BLACK BETTY" by Ram Jam has been banned from being played at University of New Hampshire hockey games after more than a decade because it is "theoretically racist." It seems unlikely that Leadbelly -- who wrote or adapted the song -- was a racist, so maybe it should just be "theoretically banned."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: "My Funny Valentine" as rendered by Rufus Wainwright with mom Kate McGarrigle o­n piano, and Chaka Khan. ALSO: Now that The New York Times has found YouTube, I wouldn't be surprised to find musicians and their lawyers swing into action.

RHETT MILLER: You can stream four advance tracks from the Old 97's frontman's upcoming solo album, The Believer (including a cover of Jon Brion's "I Believe She's Lying") via -- where else -- MySpace (if you get an error page, hit your "F5" button.).

JOY DIVISION: Casting has been announced for the upcoming Ian Curtis biopic, Control. Mostly unknowns, except Samantha Morton, Oscar-nominated for her work in Woody Allen's Sweet And Lowdown and Jim Sheridan's In America, who will play Curtis' widow, Deborah.

HIT SONGS are based partly o­n our perceived preferences of other people, according to a new study.

THE WRENS: PopMatters talks to the folks from Little Quill productions about making a documentary o­n the band. There's footage at Little Quill's website. You can stream and download "She Sends Kisses" from MySpace.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Hours after vowing o­n national television to stay away from crack and heroin, the troubled singer was reportedly kicked out of a football match for taking heroin in the toilets. At this rate it's hard for the BBC's Doherty timeline to stay current! Meanwhile, the latest rumor about the supposedly sober supermodel's visit to a brain doctor is that she fears she is losing her short term memory. So she may not be able to remember, for example, whether she ever took cocaine. It would also explain why she kept making up with Doherty. Look for the pair to star in a remake of 50 First Dates.

VALENTINES: If you forgot to order your Law & Order: Special Valentine Unit cards, you may still have a chance to send an e-card featuring Tom Cruise, Tara Reid or the French Hotel. from the Gallery of the Absurd. Sadly, you can't get Ernest Borgnine or The Olsen Twins in that format. BONUS: "A Valentine's ode to TomKat: "It's love when your sweetie passes over a long list of Hollywood prospects, including Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth and even 18-year-old Lindsay Lohan, for you!"

FIRST KISSES: Celebs share their generally embarrassing stories. And Heather Graham reveals she has terrible business sense.

MEMORABLE SCREEN KISSES are categorized -- e.g., "The desperate kiss," "The kiss in the rain," etc. -- at MSNBC.

ANTI-VALENTINES: The Washington Post asks readers to listen to and vote o­n a playlist of rage, regret and revenge. I'm not ant-valentine, but I'm impressed with the list, which ranges from Dolly Parton to Stevie Wonder to Wire, Husker Du and Neko Case. E-filmcritic has a nice list of breakup movies, including the brilliant Albert Brooks feature Modern Romance (which finally comes out as a DVD in May). And Forbes ranks the best love films by the amount of money they made, because what's more romantic than that?

ALEC BALDWIN was disappointed when he was set-up o­n a blind date with Cindy Crawford, because she wasn't beautiful enough.

BRADGELINA: If you need to reach Jolie when she's away from home, she's under the name "Miss Lollypop."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise is threatening to sue acclaimed biographer Andrew Morton after discovering he has hired a gay porn star to shed light o­n Cruise's private life.

CLAY AIKEN'S second album has been put "on hold" until the sex allegations of former Green Beret John Paulus blow over. Pun intended?

SIR IAN McKELLEN has attacked Hollywood's continuing homophobic attitude towards gay stars: "The film industry is very old fashioned in California. It is very, very, very difficult for an American actor who wants a film career to be open about his sexuality. And even more difficult for a woman if she's lesbian." Sorry, I'm not buying that last part.

BANDIDAS: Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek are starring in a melange of Bad Girls, The Magnificent Seven, and Buth Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. And they are reportedly more than happy to allow rumors that they are involved romantically to promote it.

BRITNEY SPEARS will celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans later this month, because she wants the city to continue its annual traditions. She'll be the chick looking for those beaded necklaces, y'all!

HEATHER LOCKLEAR and RICHIE SAMBORA: Star magazine has a non-steamy pic of the woman they claim was pictured in the X-rated e-mail to Sambora. along with a description of the the latter.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER: I love it when a gossip site reports that the two have permanently split and that they are rumored to have rekindled their stormy romance six hours later.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar notes that the Shia (UIA) bloc's nomination of Jafari to become the new Prime Minister will most likely complicate the process of forming the government and potentially split the UIA. Bill Roggio notes that as the political process moves forward at a frustratingly fitful pace, Iraqi forces are leading a number of counter-insurgency ops in northern and western Iraq.

IRAN: German prosecutors have charged two men with violating export laws apparently involving delivering weapons technology to Iran. A European Union diplomat claims that a larger group under investigation is believed to have ties to the nuclear black market run by Pakistan's now-disgraced nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. Iran abruptly postponed talks with Moscow o­n a plan to enrich Tehran's uranium o­n Russian territory. A major American attack o­n Iran's nuclear sites would kill up to 10,000 people and lead to war in the Middle East, according to a report from the Oxford Research Group. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross looks at exploiting Iran's internal political fissures; Amir Taheri goes even deeper o­n the subject. BTW, the White House press corps asked two questions about Iran on Monday, one of which suggesting that we should be concerned about the growing nuclear threat posed by Brazil. In contrast, there were several dozen questions asking why the White House press corps didn't find out about Dick Cheney's hunting accident earlier.

GETTY TRUST CHIEF Barry Munitz resigned Friday as CEO of the world's richest arts institution, under a cloud of allegations about his salary, perks and lavish spending. Instead of leaving with a 2.4 million lump sum severance package, as his contract stipulated, Munitz promised to pay the trust 250K to cover what its board's chairman described as "disputed items."

EDU-BLOGGING: Almost forgot the first Anniversary Edition of The Carnival Of Education is o­nline. Ken King may have a professional interest in it, but the rest of you will just want to scroll to the part about teen orgies.

VALENTINE'S GOAT: Oh sure, some people send flowers, but nothing says Love like a baby goat bearing a perfectly shaped heart o­n its fur. Video at the link.

GIGANTIC WHITE WORM smells like lillies. Come to think of it, that would have been a good backup to the Valentine's goat...

SHARK ATTACKS dropped in 2005 because people are fighting back more often when threatened and the ranks of ocean predators are thinning, but Jaws author Peter Benchley didn't live to hear it.

DOGS have regional accents just like their owners, a study claims.

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Anti-Grammys, Gogol Bordello, Curious George and Popular Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 13, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY (yesterday) is observed today. In his prosecution of the Civil War, Pres. Lincoln seized the telegraph lines, suspended habeas corpus and issued an order prohibiting the printing of war news about military movements without approval. Officials arrested people for wearing Confederate buttons and for singing Confederate songs. Generals shut down and destroyed dissenting newspapers. Nevertheless, Lincoln is generally ranked as o­ne of our top three Presidents by historians. And he signed the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act in 1862, which provided government grants for agricultural universities in each state -- and without which there may never have been a Pate.

TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER: A record-breaking storm buried sections of the Northeast under more than 2 feet of snow o­n Sunday. I hope the Pratts are not trapped under the snowy blanket, unless it becomes a fun snow day for them.

SYLVIA HAUSER UPDATE: It seems that Captain Lex will be changing his name to Major Lex next month. As the US Army is probably o­ne of the few institutions that does not fear crossing Sylvia, the promotion appears to be based o­n merit (and what little I know of his record would bear that out).

SLY STONE walked offstage during the Grammy tribute from stagefright. He then vomited and disappeared.

KANYE WEST thinks he lost the Best Album Grammy to U2 due to vote-splitting. With whom?

PAUL McCARTNEY stormed out of the Grammy Awards after losing Best Album to U2. So Sir Paul missed the knockout finale paying tribute to New Orleans and the late Wilson Pickett o­n "In the Midnight Hour," with Bruce Springsteen, Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave), Elvis Costello, The Edge, Bonnie Raitt, Irma Thomas, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and more.

JOHNNY ROTTEN thinks Grammy-winning Green Day is phony punk.

ANTI-GRAMMYS: The New York Times blurbs alternative music awards, including the PLUG awards, the NME awards and the upcoming New Pantheon awards.

SLASH says the near-mythic Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy, will finally hit the shops in March. Axl Rose apparently held a "listening party" to get an NYC nightclub to stay open until 8 a.m. for his birthday.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Boomtown Rats. Obvious, but universal.

THE KOOKS, hailing from southern England, may not have the same buzz as Arctic Monkeys, but their debut, Inside In / Inside Out, cracked the Top Ten in Britain and got a a nice write-up at PopMatters as a celebration of ridiculousness when the current trend is toward the exacting precision of their Gang of Four-inspired dance-punk. The band is picking up more press now that it's o­n tour, extolling the XTC-influenced first single, "Eddie's Gun" and the influences of The Clash, The Jam and The Police that Pate fans will surely recognize (though Pate covered Gang of Four, too). However, having the bass player succumb to the excesses of the road four days into the tour is probably not putting o­ne's best foot forward. Though the album is not out in the US yet, you can stream three of their demos at MySpace.

FIERY FURNACES announce a new album (on Fat Possum!?) and tour dates; *Sixeyes hooks you up to legal MP3s.

OASIS frontman Noel Gallagher blasted Jack White for writing a Coca-Cola ad, then sold his "All Around The World" to AT&T.

BRYAN FERRY: The 60-year-old Roxy Music crooner and his lover, 24-year-old dancer Katie Turner, are back together after a two year split.

GOGOL BORDELLO: Carl Wilson profiles New York's "gypsy punk" ensemble, featuring highly quotable frontman Eugene Hutz: "You don't have to give in to these pre-fab ideas fed you by education, or the celebrity cult of values that is force-fed you by media... That is where you revolutionize yourself first." You can stream a selection of tunes and the video for "Start Wearing Purple" at MySpace.

NEIL YOUNG and JONATHAN DEMME talk to the L.A. Daily News about Heart of Gold -- which captures Young and friends at the Grand Old Opry -- and the fact that Young has never won a Grammy. Demme also talks to the Philadelphia Inquirer about his favorite concert films and his "wish list." Demme would like to work with Fats Domino and Sufjan Stevens -- who he believes will be "acknowledged before too long as o­ne of the great American composer-performers."

MISSION OF BURMA: The Columbia Spectator reports that while Burma is called Myanmar these days, Mission of Burma is bigger than ever.

GARY GLITTER, awaiting trial o­n child molestation charges, discovers that Vietnamese prsons are icky.

VAN MORRISON hasn't spoken to former friend and artist Cecil McCartney (whose work in the late Sixties inspired Morrison's seminal album Astral Weeks) in 17 years, following a row over whether Myra Hindley, the Moors murderer, could be forgiven for her sins. McCartney is putting up o­ne of his works as a peace offering to the singer.

ARCTIC MONKEYS and PETE DOHERTY are frequently blurbed here, but if you're new and want to catch up, New York magazine has a backgrounder pretending to be a record review. PLUS: The Arctic Monkeys prove its tough to be a prophet in your home town.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: London's Guardian has published extracts of the troubled singer's prison diaries, including a rewite of "What a Wonderul World" which refers to the supposedly sober supermodel as his "true love/On a Rimmel advert." The paper's readers are merciless. Doherty claims that Moss contacted him in jail, and believes they never broke up.

MADONNA: Her latest video shows off the 47-year-old diva's "amazing flexibility and strength." Hubby Guy Ritchie is ignoring Madge's demand that he attend the Brit Awards to quash rumors their marriage is o­n the rocks.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Sadly, Curious George came in third, beaten by both The Pink Panther and Final Destination 3. Neil Young: Heart of Gold came in 33rd, but with an impressive $14,325 per screen average.

CURIOUS GEORGE was generally true to the spirit of the books and thus a nice family film, without any post-modern reimagining (though Will Farrell as the Man in the Yellow Hat has hints of a G-rated Ron Burgandy). However, if you watch the end credits, you will see what I mean when I say that it would have been cool if the animation had kept even closer to the original. Inevitably, the media looks at whether the charming chimp is politically correct. BTW, H.A. and Margret Rey were German Jews in France who fled from Hitler's Nazis o­n bicycle hours before the invasion of the city -- WBUR has an audo interview with Louise Borden, the author of The Journey That Saved Curious George.Curious George Goes to Wordsworth, which has been selling books and toys related to the original childrenís literature character since 1996, caters to those who want the book version of George.

GWYNETH PALTROW suspects her daughter Apple will be an artist or scientist rather than follow in her family's acting footsteps: "I'll be curious to see -- sometimes children of actors want absolutely nothing to do with it whatsoever." Apple may well have the brains to be a scientist if she's already figured out that actresses are dippy enough to name their children after fruit.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: More Cruise wackiness reported from the pre-Grammy party featuring Kanye West. Page Six quotes an amused spywitness: "First, he raised his hands in approval when Kanye sang about the need for a prenup -- good thing Katie wasn't there."

MENA SUVARI is dating a professional breakdancer. He could probably practice o­n her ginormous forehead.

BRADGELINA: Newly-surfaced pic shows Jolie had those lips at age 13. The Enquirer claims she and Pitt had their first major bust-up o­n the eve of their trip the World Economic Forum, with Pitt leaving Jolie and the kids in a hotel room to party with British screen siren Patsy Kensit until the early hours. But the latest pics and video at Just Jared suggest the two are canoodling again.

SHARON STONE is disgusted by the cleavage display o­n Hollywood's red carpets: "Frankly, I find the acres of shoved-up booby so much more horrifying than a calm bit of walking across the room nude. o­ne is much more honest and other looks like you have your a** o­n backwards."

COURTNEY LOVE may still be clean, but someone fresh from rehab probably shouldn't be hanging out at Teddy's, a notorious star swillery in L.A.'s Hotel Roosevelt, at 1 a.m.

BOBBY BROWN: I am shocked, shocked, to discover his kids have issues.

MR. WILLS is movin' o­n up to that deluxe apartment in the sky.

JESSICA and ASHLEE SIMPSON have been billed ten grand for pulling out of a Rolling Stone photo shoot with David LaChapelle.

JESSICA ALBA is Playboy's Sex Star Of The Year, beating out Jamie Pressly, Jenny McCarthy, Halle Berry and Pamela Anderson, among others. But she'll be clothed in the magazine.

CARTOON JIHAD: The Swedish government pressured an Internet provider into shutting down the website of a fringe party over a Prophet Mohammed drawing contest posted o­n its site. Nonie Darwish, whose father founded the Palestinian Fedayeen, writes that the culture of hate is the true root of the riots surrounding this cartoon controversy. Thousands of moderate Muslims gathered in London to call for unity and mutual tolerance. Elsewhere, the moderates were not so moderate. The intolerance spreads beyond cartoons, to burning Valentine's Day cards and pulling a Mideast version of Pop Idol off the air. Star Academy is o­ne of the few places in the Arab world where personal advancement depends o­n talent rather than connections, where men and women can mix freely, where expressing individualism is something to be celebrated, and where people -- including women -- can vote. Such values have made the show both controversial and hugely popular.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio roundds up coverage of native insurgents and civilians of differing religions and ethnicities fighting al Qaeda as well as efforts to keep the western border secure from foreign infiltration. AFP similarly reports that Sunni tribesmen in Anbar province have agreed to take over combating foreign fighters there and securing the borders, within the Iraqi security forces and not as a separate militia (which is significant).

IRAN has restarted the sophisticated equipment at the Natanz uranium processing plant that could enable it to produce material for nuclear warheads, according to reports received by Western intelligence. Pres. Ahmadinejad said o­n Saturday that the Palestinians and "other nations" will eventually remove Israel from the region. London's Telegraph reports that the Pentagon is drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: The New York Times reports o­n the rapidly expanding federal probe into its leak of the highly classified NSA international eavesdropping program. The paper quotes Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., who has represented publications like The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine: "There is a very strong argument that a federal common-law reporters' privilege exists and that privilege would protect confidential sources in this case." It's a "strong" argument that will almost certainly lose, but lawyers use words differently from ordinary folk.

HOW DID AN OCTOPUS turn up in an English garden drain?

A HERD OF DUNG-SPRAYING WATER BUFFALO that disappeared from a breeding farm this week were back home o­n the range o­n Friday afternoon -- with no indication where they had been.

DO GORILLAS GO THROUGH MENOPAUSE? Researchers at Brookfield, IL's Brookfield Zoo and Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo answer "yes" in a study being published in the International Journal of Primatology. (Thanks, Debbie!)

MOST POPULAR DOGS: The American Kennel Club recently released the figures for the popularity of various breeds in the US, both nationally and for various cities. (Thanks again, Debbie!)

DOGS helped break ground o­n a new animal shelter in Little Rock.

SHARK FRENZY SHUTTERS AUSSIE BEACHES: Several tourist beaches along Australia's popular Gold Coast were closed again Sunday because of a massive feeding frenzy involving more than 100 sharks, a lifeguard official said.

WHALE LOVE: Some will say it's not all that different from humans.

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Calexico, Al Green, Jon Langford, The Wrens, Undercover Kitten   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 10, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



... with the late, but ever-wicked WILSON PICKETT delivering a blistering performance of "Land of 1000 Dances," to a fevered crowd, complete with circa-60's stage-diving. Naa, na na na naa, na na na naa, na na naa, na na naa, na na na naa!

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: A Yeti icicle-throwing game, with a cute penguin. No, you don't throw the icicles at the penguin...

CALEXICO gets a nice blurb with plenty 'o' download links at *Sixeyes, including a legal download of the band's version of the Love classic, "Alone Again Or."

PAUL McCARTNEY was busy Grammy night; YouTube hosts lo-res video of "Helter Skelter" and better-quality video of his dubious cameo with Jay-Z and Linkin Park o­n "Encore."

AL GREEN has recorded a new album with legendary producer Willie Mitchell, with whom Green minted classics like "Tired of Being Alone" and "Let's Stay Together."

MATT POND PA gets a glowing review from Page Six, but he does appeal to more mainstream tastes in folkish-indie. You can check out a few via MySpace.

MARTHA REEVES, newly elected to the Detroit City Council, wants the city to put up statues of Motown legends: "I want a big statue of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, sitting o­n a throne with a crown o­n her head in the city square. I want a statue of the Supremes in that Stop in the Name of Love pose. I want o­ne of The Temptations doing the Temptations shuffle. And why not have o­ne of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas?"

THE FLAMING LIPS take aim at Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Black Eyed Peas and Destiny's Child o­n At War With The Mystics, which is set for release o­n April 4. Frontman Wayne Coyne says: "I guess part of what I'm railing against o­n that song is this preternaturally happy music sung by kids and written by 40-year-old Swedish men."

JOSS STONE wants to quit singing to become a nurse. She should keep singing and -- as a compromise measure -- dress up as a nurse.

ART BRUT: L.A. Weekly didn't have to harsh o­n the Arctic Monkeys to tell us how great Art Brut is: "While their clever, guitar-driven tunes can stop-start with the best of the current post-punk posse, they maintain a classic sensibility absent from most... From the shame of bedroom failures ('Rusted Guns of Milan') to a twisted mix of pride and sibling rivalry in 'My Little Brother,' indie rock hasnít been this literal since Jonathan Richman sang 'Government Center.'" You can stream "Formed A Band" and "Emily Kane" from MySpace.

JON LANGFORD (the Mekons, Waco Brothers, Pine Valley Cosmonauts) will be at the Twin Cities' Walker Art Center this weekend, performing "The Executioner's Last Songs," a multimedia piece that features both solo and band material, along with his original paintings and photos from his life. He also has new book, Nashville Radio, a collection of 215 paintings, song lyrics, autobiographical writings and a CD of the printed songs largely inspired by Langford's dismay with mainstream country music. It comes out March 7th -- the same day as his next album, Gold Brick.

THE WRENS are o­n the road again o­n their long, strange trip toward a new album. Saw them at Intonation and was quite impressed.

THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOW frontman Ryan Allen understands when oldtime fans complain about the band's evolving sound: "I loved Weezerís first two records when I was in high school... Then they came out with their third album and they totally sucked, they were the worst band in the world. So I can see where some people are coming from about us."

THE PIRATE PARTY aims to abolish copyright laws in Sweden, after parliament passed a law making it illegal to download copyrighted material for personal use. Yawr!

HEART ON A STICK has a 2005 bloggregation that provides an alternative or supplement to the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll.

THE ARTIST CURRENTLY KNOWN AS PRINCE is hiding a small number of "purple tickets" in his new album and single, which are released next month. The winners will go to a private concert at his home, where he will be backed by a band of Oompa-loompas. Somewhere, Michael Jackson is kicking himself for not having thought of this as a way to meet kids. But that somewhere is probably not Bahrain. I was going to say this was a clever move by Prince to encourage folks to buy the album instead of illegally downloading it, but it's more fun to talk about the purple waterfall that mixes his music.

NOW SHOWING: The big rollout today is the desecration of The Pink Panther (32% Rotten o­n the Tomatometer, with an even lower score from the "cream of the crop") o­n almost 3,500 screens. Harrison Ford defends his family yet again in Firewall (24% Rotten, even worse from the "cream"). And there's the oxymoronic Final Destination 3 (50% Rotten, 23% from the "cream). Fortunately, there is Curious George, which is 73% Fresh overall and 64% Fresh from the "cream."

CURIOUS GEORGE MURDER: Speaking of which, two men have been charged with murdering Alan J. Shalleck, who co-wrote Curious George books and helped bring the very curious little monkey to television.

THE GRAMMYS were clobbered by 'American Idol in the TV ratings. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is demanding its awards back from Kelly Clarkson.

LOVE MONKEY is all but cancelled after three episodes.

KATE MOSS spent four hours with a top brain doctor Wednesday; a spokesperson insisted the supposedly sober supermodel is fine. My theory is that she was thinking about making up with her troubled ex-beau Pete Doherty and decided she should have her head checked.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Li-Lo is supposedly cozy with co-star Jared Leto, but In Touch magazine reports that she has been "quietly seeing" 31-year-old singer Ryan Adams and "hooked up with" 38-year-old Benicio Del Toro last Sunday, after "spending hours canoodling."

BRITNEY SPEARS says she "made a mistake" driving with her baby son sitting in her lap, but still blames the paparazzi for it.

COURTNEY LOVE: The newly rehabbed widow of Cobain has been working in the studio with Billy Corgan. She's apparently normal enough to be unbanned from Hollywood's Chateau Marmont.

TOMMY LEE was beaten by Eminem's posse for trash-talking fellow Detroiter Kid Rock.

GREY'S SKELETAL ANATOMY: Ellen Pompeo, the star of Grey's Anatomy, seems like she's o­n the Skeletor diet. But the actress claims she eats 3,000 calories a day. A nutritionist says most women burn between 1,500 and 2,000 calories a day. Of course, it's possible to eat 3,000 calories daily and still lose weight, isn't it?

WELCOME TO THE O.C. -- it's a handy guide to international relations.

HARVEY PEKAR: The American Splendor anti-hero tallks about his latest graphic novel, The Quitter, which apparently is doing better than DC Comics expected.

BRADGELINA: Jolie says, "Honestly, I like everything. Boyish girls, girlish boys, the thick, the thin. Which is a problem when I'm walking down the street." This is part of her secret. She's really unattainable -- just ask Colin Farrell. But she gives off the vibe that, otoh, she's a crazy woman, so maybe today is your lucky day.

CARTOON JIHAD: The Associated Press wakes up to discover that Syria, Iran and extremist groups like the Taliban are fanning Muslim outrage over 12 Danish cartoons. Socialist blogger Norm Geras takes aim at people asserting moral equivalence of sincerely-held beliefs. IraqPundit notes that more moderate Muslims have spoken against the riots than did in the case of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. Reza Aslan has related thoughts at Slate.

IRAQ: The Arabic newspaper Al Bawaba reports that US and Iraqi forces have launched a cordon and search campaign in the Hamrin region to look for al-Zarqawi. The leader of Iraq's most powerful Shiite political party has called for greater respect for human rights by the country's security forces. Milblogger Trevor (currently in Baghdad) notes that the Iraqi government has worked very hard to ensure the safety of pilgrims o­n this year's celebration of Ashura, after last year's coordinated attacks. If things go well, will the press bother to notice?

NSA SURVEILLANCE: At least o­ne Democrat left a four-hour House Intelligence Committee briefing saying he had a better understanding of the legal and operational aspects of the NSA warrantless international eavesdropping program. Alabama Rep. Bud Cramer, the senior Democrat o­n the Intelligence Committee's oversight subcommittee, said, "It's a different program than I was beginning to let myself believe. This may be a valuable program." Cramer added that he didn't know if it was legal, but his "direction of thinking was changed tremendously." Cramer further said he didn't know why the White House waited so long to inform Congress of its actions. I know the answer to that o­ne: Congress leaks like a sieve.

UNDERCOVER KITTEN: Fred, a cat with a badge, busts a a college student accused of treating pets without a license. Burt the Boston terrier had Fred's back.

BROKEBACK ICE FLOE: Shy Swedish female penguins sent to seduce gay Humboldt penguins in a German zoo have failed to break up any of the male-male twosomes. What's penguinese for, "I wish I knew how to quit you!"

RATS smell in stereo, enabling them to identify where a smell is coming from in just 50 milliseconds.

EXOTIC FISH killed in a domestic dispute result in charges against a Walnut Creek, California woman.

PET HOARDING: Nearly two dozen cats makes for a feces-filled house of filth in Orlando, FL.

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Grammys, Battle's Bar-B-Q, Giant Bunnies and the Gift of Llamas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 09, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


...AND THE GRAMMYS WENT TO these folks, with U2 beating out Kanye West for Album of the Year. And the thought balloon above West's head reads, "The music biz doesn't care about black people!" There may be more in the photo and video galleries at the Grammy website by the time you read this. The Gorillaz and Madonna opener is posted o­n YouTube, but most of the clips up now are even scarier than that -- Kelly Clarkson! [UPDATE: Here's video of U2 and Mary J. Blige playing "One" and Green Day's acceptance speech.]

GRAMMY HONOREES are almost always better. This year, Delta bluesman Robert Johnson, the Weavers, David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Cream, producer-mogul Chris Blackwell (B-52s, Bob Marley, Roxy Music, Marianne Faithfull, Traffic, U2), Nashville producer Owen Bradley and engineers Al Schmitt and Tom Dowd were among the honored. The TV show had an all-star tribute to Sly and the Family Stone -- that is Sly rocking the blonde mohawk above. Pate fans will especially enjoy some vintage video of Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" and U2's semi-impromptu "I Will Follow" o­n SNL. It's nice to see the late DJ legend John Peel introduce Cream's "White Room," but the real must-see is the Sly and the Family Stone o­n The Ed Sullivan Show, which is a better medley than the supposed all-stars did last night, not least for the spectacle of Sly heading out into the very white and very square audience in '68.

CREAM, btw, has scheduled more reunion shows in select cities, but there's no official announcement yet.

GEORGE BATTLE, the owner of Battle's Bar-B-Q in Ames, IA, died of cancer last month. Relatively few people can grasp the enormity of this loss. I loved that -- appropos of nothing -- he had a "Big Boy" statue right o­n the counter. (Thanks to Sylvia for the notice, but someone should put Craig O'Neill o­n suicide watch).

THE END IS NIGH: If that wasn't bad enough news, Barry Manilow tops the Billboard 200 Album chart. He's taking food out of the mouth of Rod Stewart, who just had a kid!

MORRISSEY: Two tracks from his upcoming ablbum are o­nline. A Boy and his Blog is killing music with the eastern-tinged "I Will See You In Far Off Places," which got slagged o­n the Pitchfork. Legally, you can stream the unsurprisingly-titled "You Have Killed Me" from MySpace.

FLAMING LIPS fans at the Univ. of Oklahoma held a Zaireeka party.

ROBERT POLLARD is just starting his first solo tour, but has already completed his next solo record, which will be released by Merge in October. "Itís a lot different from From A Compound Eye," he says. "Itís called Normal Happiness. Itís 16 two-and-a-half minute pop songs."

ROCK THE VOTE is about 700K in debt, with its staff cut from more than 20 people in 2004 to just two today, and has no president. Other than that, things are fine. Except for the lawsuits.

PAYOLA: A a two-year-long payola investigation by the New York attorney general is turning to the nation's nine largest radio conglomerates.

MARK EITZEL: The American Music Club singer-songwriter talks to Boston's Weekly Dig about changing his writing habits and the Undertow Orchestra Tour mentioned here earlier.

THE BEST ROCUMENTARIES are mockumentaries, Bob Stanley argues in London's Guardian.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer was sentenced to a 12-month community order for drug possession and warned he could face jail if he failed to stick with a rehab program.

CURIOUS GEORGE CO-AUTHOR SLAIN: The bloodied body of a collaborator o­n the Curious George series of children's books and films was found covered in garbage bags in the driveway of his Florida home. Police said they were treating the case as a possible homicide. The monkey, created in 1939 by Hans and Margret Rey, makes his big screen debut Friday in movie theaters nationwide.

BRITNEY SPEARS will not face charges after being photographed driving with her infant son o­n her lap. But TMZ wonders whether she's a repeat offender. Meanwhile, the pop tart and her hubby, Spendeline, apparently had another blowup at the Rolling Stone/Verizon-sponsored pre-Grammy party at the hot nightclub Avalon.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Kanye West is writing the theme for Cruise's Mission: Impossible III, so Cruise was jumping the couch to praise the rapper at the aforementioned pre-Grammy party. And Cruise is reportedly telling friends he's sticking Holmes o­n the mommy track, though Cruiseís rep denies the story.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON has a system for Oscar voting: he votes for his friends, then lets his wife and his domestic staff fill out the rest of the ballot.

RALPH FINNES, contrary to prior reports, has been dumped by longterm galpal Francesca Annis after learning of his affair with a Romanian singer half Annis's age. Indeed, Annis has begun legal action against the Daily Mail over a story claiming she had forgiven Fiennes.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR decided to file for divorce after finding a suggestive e-mail sent to Sambora by an acquaintance of the couple, containing "provocative pictures" of the female. See? I told you I had nothing to do with it...

BRADGELINA: Jolie has reportedly asked her lesbian lover to be godmother to her children, deciding they needed a strong female force in their lives. As if Jolie is not? Anyway, now that the pair has been officially caught canoodling, there is already a four million dollar bounty for the first picture of their unborn child. In the meantime, we can make do with her naked, tattooed backside in Vanity Fair.

PIXAR has restarted and taken over production of Toy Story 3, but it's unclear whether the same lame plot will be used in Pixar's version of the film or if a new storyline will be developed.

JESSICA SIMPSON and NICK LACHEY seem to be moving o­n. The pneumatic blonde was spotted getting very cozy with Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine at the aforementioned pre-Grammy party, while Nick has reportedly been caught canoodling with Simpson's best friend, CaCee Cobb.

TOM BRADY and BRIDGET MOYNIHAN are splitsville? If not, they may be soon.

THE WORLD'S BEST-PAID SUPERMODELS are charted at Forbes magazine because they're all business there.

JESSICA ALBA: Into the Blue co-star Paul Walker may have had trouble keeping his mind o­n his work: "Come o­n, dude, you know what I'm looking at..." And if for some reason you don't know, Tyler Durden will be glad to show you.

CULT OF THE iPod: Showtime is putting its original shows, like Sleeper Cell and Weeds, up for download o­n iTunes. Songbird, an open source alternative to iTunes, launched yesterday.

CARTOON JIHAD: The Wall Street Journal has a free article o­n radical islamists worked to stir rage over the Danish cartoons. Amir Taheri debunks the claim that Islam prohibits images of Muhammad and jokes about religion. Reuters profilesan entrepreneur in Gaza who stocked up o­n Danish flags for rioters to burn. The New York Times runs an article about shocking images, but skips the cartoons to publish the dung-spattered "Holy Virgin Mary" instead. The Egyptian blog Rantings of a Sandmonkey posts scans of the cartoons from an Egyptian newspaper that ran them last October with no outcry.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio has an update o­n operations in Anbar province, which are mostly smaller Iraqi ops now. US officials have met figures from some Sunni Arab insurgent groups but have so far not received any commitment for them to lay down their arms. David Gaubatz, a former member of the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations, claims the Iraq Survey Group visited o­nly o­ne of four suspected WMD sites he identified.

HERMAN THE GERMAN GIANT BUNNY is almost a meter tall, big even for his breed. He could be the world's biggest rabbit, but Guinness World Records have stopped accepting entries because of fears people were over-feeding their pets. BONUS: ITN has video of Rudi, another German bunny, in action.

WEINER DOGS: Moo Moo saved its owner from a fire. General Edi has lived to the ripe old age of 22, despite a ten-cigarettes-a-day habit.

MAX THE DUTCH BULL TERRIER pines to ride the rails like a hobo.

MOUTH-TO-BEAK resuscitation saved an exotic chicken named Boo Boo.

VALENTINE'S DAY is just around the corner. Why not give the gift of llamas?

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New Releases streams and MP3s, The King of France, The Lost World   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


RICHARD THOMPSON was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in London Monday. Thompson also has a big box set out; the AP review suggests it's for the hardcore fan, with more casual fans being better served by collections like Watching The Dark.

NEW RELEASES: The Life Pursuit by Belle & Sebastian has a guilt-free MP3 of "Another Sunny Day" available at Matador; the album (currently scoring 76 at Metacritic) is streaming at AOL Music. Beth Orton's Comfort of Strangers, which is currently scoring an 81 at Metacritic, is also streaming from AOL Music. Idols of Exile, a solo effort from Broken Social Scenester Jason Collett is streaming from his label. The Minus Five, a/k/a The Gun Album, is fresh from Scott McCaughey & friends -- it's scoring 72 o­n light reviews at Metacritic and you can check out the audio feature from NPR and pick up the guilt-free MP3s from YepRoc. BTW, the -5's west coast dates feature Robyn Hitchcock, whereas the rest of the tour has The Silos opening. And if you get o­n the Minus 5 mailing list, Scott McCaughey may write a song about you.

A REMINDER: An exclusive Jon Pratt solo track, "Geologic Time," and a rare Pate track, "Chalk It Up to Fate," from Pate's 1991 reunion gig, are available in the "Downloads" section via the navigation bar o­n the left (and at the top, also).

TED LEO is moving from the Lookout! label to Touch & Go: "T&G is a label that has provided me, personally, with amazing music for 25 years... it's an honor to now be a real part of their o­ngoing ruling-ness."

MORE COWBELL! The Wikipedia is compiling a list of songs featuring the cowbell. That entry cross-references the Wikipedia entry for "More Cowbell," which describes and measures the impact of the viral SNL sketch featuring Will Farrell and Christopher Walken.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Who's classic performance of "My Generation" o­n the Smothers Bros. Comedy Hour, which opens The Kids Are Alright. Keith Moon had stagehands double the explosives in his kit, which put a chunk of drum shrapnel in Moon's arm, set Pete Townshend's head o­n fire, and supposedly got the guitarist's tinitus off to an unhealthy start. You can see Pete putting his hair out near the end of the clip.

THE KING OF FRANCE: I first meant to check out this band when a blurb in The New Yorker not o­nly namechecked Blondie, Television, and the Pixies, but also mentioned that the drummer is Michael Azerrad, the author of the fabulous Our Band Could Be Your Life. But it slipped my mind until I read that the band is touring with Nada Surf and Rogue Wave, despite having a name not related to water. You can stream some nifty pop from MySpace and grab the guilt-free downloads of "Mexico" and "White Confection."

SPRING TOURS have been announced by Neko Case and The Magic Numbers.

STING is suing his chauffeur for claims the rock star's marriage to Trudie Styler is in trouble. But he's suing for "breach of confidence," not defamation.

THE UNDERTOW ORCHESTRA: Frank at Chromewaves has an excellent post o­n the conglomerate tour of Will Johnson (Centro-Matic), Dave Bazan (ex-Pedro The Lion, Headphones), Mark Eitzel (American Music Club) and Vic Chesnutt. Especially cool is the guilt free download of AMC's entire Everclear album, but there are other links and downloads to check out as well.

SONY CD SETTLEMENT: If your computer was infected with spyware or rootkits when you tried to play a Sony BMG CD o­n it, Sony owes you money, music and an uninstaller. Boing-Boing has the highlights, plus a link to the details. This does not mean companies like SunComm are going away, natch...

THE RACONTEURS -- Jack White and Brendan Benson, backed by The Greenhornes' rhythm section -- will have an album out in May, which is a good excuse to remind everyone to check out their single at their retro-cool website.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY and SCARLETT JOHANSSON grace the cover of the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair, with guest artistic director Tom Ford sitting in for Rachel McAdams, who backed out at the last minute, as noted here in December. Angelina Jolie will be similarly unclothed inside the mag, which comes out today, iirc. I don't know what Jane Austen would say about it, but I'll bet Woody Allen buys a dozen. Knightley and Johansson were said to be a little embarrassed about posing nude; Keira says as much o­n the the sadly safe-for-work video, which is also posted o­n YouTube. Scarlett was rocking a vintage Police tour jersey after the shoot.

THE GRAMMYS, airing tonight, are hazardous to your relationship, if Sheryl Crow, Madonna and Springsteen are any indicator. PLUS: The opening slot set off a Mariah-Madonna catfight, but Cream is blowing off the ceremonies.

JACK BLACK grew up in a sex cult where his father and mother were in a nightly menage a trois. Which explains a bit about Jack Black.

SIENNA MILLER may be the latest to go o­n the Skeletor diet. She's playing Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl, so maybe she just wants to look strung out for the role.

JUDE LAW is set to play late Beatles manager Brian Epstein in the biopic mentioned here Monday.

BRITNEY SPEARS has defended photos of her holding her baby son o­n her lap while driving, saying she was trying to escape the paparazzi. At least, that's what she probably told the LA County Sheriff's Dept...

BLOCKBUSTERS may be slowly dying -- the revenue from Top 25 films as a percentage of total box office is dropping, even as their cost as a percentage of total box office is rising. Long Tail blogger Chris Anderson writes: "It's not nearly as dire as in music, but it's trending in the same direction."

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: Terry Gilliam cuts off his nose to spite his face. A man looking for movie money probably should not attack the Weinsteins.

LOST has a new episode tonight. Viewers can recap the last o­ne at TVgasm. Anyone getting interested in the show can find character basics and weekly revelations at MSNBC, which is quite a tribute from a rival network.

RALPH FINNES has been forgiven by his 62-year-old galpal for his two-year affair with a woman half her age, as she knows that she cannot "fulfill all his sexual needs." Otoh, his ex-wife, ER star Alex Kingston, was devastated by the affair.

DENISE RICHARDS secretly took an AIDS test because she's convinced that soon-to-be-ex CHARLIE SHEEN had been cheating o­n her with hookers throughout their attempted reconciliation? Granted, it's in the Enquirer, so it may well be untrue... but it might not be a bad suggestion.

It's from Mr. & Mrs. Smith, natch...BRADGELINA: The media has a fever... and the o­nly prescription is... more Bradgelina! Pitt's publicist Cindy Guagenti told Reuters there was no truth to the rumor about an imminent Italian wedding, adding cryptically, "They are not getting married. I don't want a story about they're not getting married. I think you guys should just drop the whole thing."

CULT OF THE iPod: Apple's stock rose after the company introduced a new o­ne-gigabyte iPod Nano and cut prices o­n the iPod Shuffle. The Chicago Tribune looked at workers rocking the cubicle.

IRAQ: Insurgents are receiving millions of dollars from smuggling oil through a network of supporters working in Iraq's oil industry. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld told a Senate panel that such corruption could damage efforts to create a democracy, adding that coalition officials are doing more to investigate those problems within the government. Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senators that the National Guard and Reserves will play a much smaller role next year. Meanwhile, The House Permanent Select Committee o­n Intelligence is studying audio recordings between Saddam Hussein and his top advisers that may provide clues to the fate of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Chairman Peter Hoekstra of Michigan: "I am trying to find out if our postwar intelligence was as bad as our pre-war intelligence."

IRAN has told the International Atomic Energy Agency to remove surveillance cameras and agency seals from sites and nuclear equipment by the end of next week in response to referral to the UN Security Council. Implementing some version of the "Russian Proposal" offers small chance to avoid conflict, but falls short as a non-proliferation mechanism. Former Democratic Rep. Mel Levine argues that sanctions actually could prevent a nuclear Iran, albeit at the cost of higher oil prices.

CORETTA SCOTT KING'S FUNERAL: Pres. Bush praised MLK's wife. The Rev. Joseph Lowery and former Pres. Jimmy Carter attacked Pres. Bush. Turning a funeral into a political event turned off independent voters in the 2002 election cycle, but some people are slow learners.

THE LOST WORLD: An astonishing mist-shrouded "lost world" of previously unknown and rare animals and plants high in the mountain rainforests of New Guinea has been uncovered by an international team of scientists. In a jungle camp site, surrounded by giant flowers and unknown plants, the researchers watched rare bowerbirds perform elaborate courtship rituals. The surrounding forest was full of strange mammals, such as tree kangaroos and spiny anteaters, which appeared totally unafraid, suggesting no previous contact with humans. The golden-mantled tree kangaroo is o­ne of the creatures in the slideshow at Yahoo!

IT TAKES A VILLAGE to pull a hunter from the jaws of a man-eating crocodile in northeastern Zimbabwe.

SHAC TRIAL: Jury selection began Monday for six members of the Philadelphia-based Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, o­n charges with animal enterprise terrorism, conspiracy and interstate stalking, part of a plan to drive Huntingdon Life Sciences out of business. "Anything they can pin o­n the defendants is an act of free speech," says a SHAC spokeswoman.

B.B. KING has lost his two-year-old Maltese, Lucille, and the blues legend is offering an autographed copy of o­ne of his signature "Lucille" guitars in an effort to get her back.

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