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Richard Thompson, Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, and Circus Elephants   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 05, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


IGGY POP and THE STOOGES are in their prime crashing through "TV Eye" and "1970" o­n live TV, but the icing o­n the cake (or the peanut butter o­n the chest) is the play-by-play announcer.

CHEAP TRICK has a new album coming out tomorrow, which you can stream from VH1, but the aptly-named He's A Whore blog has "Give It Away" and "All Those Years" posted, which led me to find "On Top of the World" from ChicagoFest 1981 o­n the Hype Machine.

RICHARD THOMPSON is profiled by the Lexington Herald-Leader, with some nice quotes from co-founding Fairport Convention guitarist-vocalist and longtime Thompson cohort Simon Nicol. There's also a nice nod to Del McCoury's hit bluegrass revision of 1952 Vincent Black Lightning. Thompson knows how to cover a tune himself, as shown o­n Donovan's "Season of the Witch" (including a mean guitar solo) and an acoustic take o­n Squeeze's "Tempted," which appears o­n his 1000 Years of Popular Music disc.

MORRISSEY: London's Independent has a profile portraying him as both national treasure and scourge.

WHO'S LEFT is releasing an 11-minute rock operetta as a single. The BBC Radio 2's head of music, Colin Martin, said: "An 11-minute track is unlikely to be playlisted, but it could be fitted into a more specialist programme. In the past record companies have supplied radio edits, for example 'Layla' by Derek and the Dominos, so we may play an edited version."

THE 100 GREATEST LIVING SONGWRITERS, according to Paste magazine (and Richard Thompson, Morrissey and Pete Townshend are all o­n it). However, the mag must be using the term "living" a bit loosely, as number 12 is The Rolling Stones, who are more accurately characterized as "undead."

BELLE & SEBASTIAN: "White Collar Boy" (with those Gary Glitter-esque drums), the third single from The Life Pursuit will be released as a 7”, CD and DVD, with three new songs spread across the formats, including a cover of Rod Stewart’s "Baby Jane." Checking the Hype Machine, I found that Cable and Tweed recently posted a whole mess of live covers by B & S. A couple of them are songs Pate used to cover, like The Who's "The Kids Are Alright" and The Zombies' "Time of the Season." Others are a bit more in the B & S vein, like The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star," The Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack," The Byrds' "So You Wanna Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star" and Scott MacKenzie's execrable "San Francisco." And if you click through the "read post" link for any of those, you'll find plenty more where those came from.

CAMERA OBSCURA: A piece in the Scotsman argues that the band's latest album, Let's Get Out Of This Country, brings them out of the shadow of their fellow twee Scots, Belle & Sebastian (who are less twee these days also). I tend to agree -- the new o­ne has an early 60s flair -- but you can decide for yourself by checking out "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken," "Let's Get Out Of This Country," "If Looks Could Kill," "Country Mile" and "Come Back Margaret."

SMOOSH: The Denver Post asks 12-year-old drummer Chloe if she's kept up with the homework for the last two weeks of school she's missed while o­n tour.

INTERNET HYPE: The Independent looks at two recent cases, Sandi Thom and Lily Allen to see whether you can separate the grass roots from the astroturf.

THE HEART ATTACK: Tucked into the first pressing of the Gnarls Barkley album was a disc from the Heart Attack, a collaboration of Cee-Lo and Plantlife, whose The Return of Jack Splash has a definite 70s funk feel to it. Gorilla vs. Bear has posted a couple of tracks, including o­ne under the combo's working name, Lovestink. Check out "Gangsta Boogie" and "Right Now."

VINCE WELNICK, a keyboardist who possessed a fluid and precise style and played with the Tubes, Todd Rundgren and the Grateful Dead, died Friday in Sonoma County at the age of 51. The cause appears to be suicide, Sonoma County sheriff's department said.

NOW SHOWING: The Break-Up beat tracking numbers to upset X-Men 3 for the top slot, with a 38 million dollar opening. A Box Office Prophets columnist argued that Vince Vaughn may be the new Adam Sandler, though word of mouth may prevent the movie from having legs. The 66.6 percent drop for X-Men 3 suggests a flameout, despite its Memorial Day record numbers. Over The Hedge dropped to third, The Da Vinci Code to fourth. That leaves Mission: Impossible III to round out the top five, which is as good an excuse as any to link to some Lalo Schifrin.

WOLVERINE of the X-Men is ranked as Hollywood's top fictional character by Entertainment Weekly, " based o­n a devoted, built-in audience and early excitement over his planned solo flick, which could be out as soon as 2008," according to writer Tim Stack. I'm guessing the mag wishes they could take some of that back this week.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Though Sheen has had his Denise Richards tattoo removed, Denise hasn't returned the favor yet. The National Enquirer claims that Sheen is planning to demand a paternity test to determine the father of his baby daughter.

BRITNEY SPEARS is meeting with divorce lawyers, according to Star magazine, which claims she and Spenderline now communicate through their bodyguards.



BRADGELINA: Jolie turned 31 this weekend... Happy Birthday, Angie!  The Celebrity Baby Blog looks at the astrological chart for Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. TMZ has photos of the baby's diamond encrusted pacifier. It turns out that the new mom reserved not o­ne, but 24 domain names featuring various versions of her daughter Shiloh Nouvel's name. The couple appeared to have learned from the misfortunes of the Tom-Kat, whose daughter's name, Suri, was co-opted by someone else who registered the URL "suricruise.com"

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Not surprisingly, Cruise has sent in the lawyers to get hold of Internet domains sporting his name. TomCruiseIsNuts.com is currently the third ranked link in a Google search o­n his name.

JULIA ROBERTS: Don't be shocked when she's ringing your doorbell.

SINEAD O'CONNOR is pregnant with her fourth child. Perhaps most surprising is that her eldest is 18.

LINDSAY LOHAN is underage -- but that didn't stop her from partying in Las Vegas.

O.J. SIMPSON may have a sex tape. *shudder*

THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS don't air until Thursday, but the results are public, should you wish to spoil yourself. o­nTD has a gallery of backstage snaps.

JESSICA ALBA wants to go topless this summer while vacationing o­n the beaches of Europe, but is paranoid the paparazzi will catch her out. This is paranoia. I would advise her to do what she wants.

NANOTECH: A spray sealant called Magic Nano was pulled from European store shelves because at least 110 customers reported symptoms including racking coughs, chest pain and difficulty breathing. Last week, German regulators released tests that showed Magic Nano contained no nanoparticles. But it's never too soon for a little hysteria.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar notes further dithering o­n the defense and interior cabinet appointments delays security improvements. With the Haditha incident front and center, author Frank Schaeffer had a piece in the Washington Post reming us (with examples) that even in "good wars" things go horribly wrong. An investigation has concluded that the allegations of intentional killings of civilians by US forces in Ishaqi are unfounded, according to ABC News. As both that case and Haditha involved videotape, it's worth noting Capt. Andrew Del Gaudio's account of coming under fire, o­nly to be confronted with gunmen who had a line of children standing in front of them and two men filming with video cameras. It's o­ne reason why the investigations should take their course, with trials and punishment as determined by the facts. The coverage of the 11th conviction in the Abu Ghraib prison case tended to focus o­n the fact that the military police dog handler won't do jail time. He was sentenced to 90 days of hard labor, reduction of rank and a fine of 600 from his monthly pay for a year, but the press doesn't give enough detail of his particular case for the public to judge whether that's too light a sentence.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: While o­n the subject, The New York Times admitted that it exaggerated prime minister al-Maliki's comments about the US military's treatment of civilians, but reported that "President Bush expressed concern today over reports that 24 Iraqi civilians may have been killed by American marines in an unprovoked attack in the city of Haditha," though the transcript shows that Pres. Bush never called it such. Which is a good thing considering that such a comment would be seized upon by defense lawyers to claim he was interfering with the process. The AP is claiming that investigators believe that their criminal investigation into the deaths of about two dozen Iraqi civilians points toward a conclusion that Marines committed unprovoked murders. But when they actually get into quoting the usual anonymous sources, the word used is "unjustified." Legally, that will be a big difference, which the press seems to be missing.

IRAN: Oil prices spiked o­n Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's threat to use oil production as a weapon in its nuclear dispute with the West. Given that restricitng its oil output would ruin Iran's economy (which isn't great now), this could be seen as a bluff (Sec. of State Rice's implication), or a sign of how committed the regime is, which would be even more disturbing. Left largely unreported are the Azerbaijani protests in several cities, in part over a cartoon (the world is full of irony). In Tabriz, there were 10k protesters, despite undeclared marshal law. You cans see some of it via Google Video. There were bloody clashes and gunfire, which you saw o­n the network news, no?

TERROR BUSTS IN CANADA: Seventeen Canadian residents were arrested Friday o­n terrorism-related charges, including plots to use explosives in attacks o­n Canadian soil. The group allegedly acquired three tons of ammonium nitrate. The two-year investigation grew out of surveillance of Internet sites and tracing the paths of Canadians believed to have ties to international terrorist organizations. Syed Haris Ahmed, 21, a student at Georgia Tech, met with the group to discuss US terror targets, including oil refineries and military bases. Ahmed is now in US custody, indicted in March for material support of terrorism. The Canadian gov't hurried to assure everyone that the fact that the suspects all appear to be Muslim in no way reflects negatively o­n any specific community or ethnocultural group in Canada, adding that "Terrorism is a dangerous ideology, and a global phenomenon... Canada is not immune from this ideology." Actually, terrorism is not an ideology; it's a tactic. These suspects almost certainly do not share an ideology with the late Timothy McVeigh. And though it may not reflect o­n Muslims as a whole, it does reflect o­n certain fundamentalist branches of Islam.

RINGLING BROS. CIRCUS ELEPHANTS may be out of work, if animal-welfare groups get their way in court.

A WOMAN MARRIED A SNAKE in a ceremony in India’s eastern Orissa state, it was reported o­n Friday. Granted, women marry snakes all the time, but usually not literally.

CAT RESCUED from a tree in Great Fall, MT, along with its owner.

MIKE THE HAMSTER passed through a huge industrial shredder -- and survived to tell the tale. Which is good, not least because it's rare to find a talking hamster, let alone o­ne with a cool story.

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