BRYAN FERRY talks to London's Telegraph about his upcoming album of Dylan covers. Ferry is no stranger to covers, natch -- as the clips of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (featuring Anna Nicole Smith) "The In Crowd" (scorching), "Let's Stick Together" (with Jerry Hall), "I Put A Spell on You" and even the 1973 version of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" attest. You can preview his 2007 takes on Dylan with "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and "Positively Fourth Street."
MARIANNE FAITHFULL -- one of rock's consummate survivors -- talks to the Daily Mail about surviving emergency cancer surgery, and the surprise phone call she got from Mick Jagger in recovery. The paper also embedded video of an oddly uptempo take of the classic "As Tears Go By" from Hullaballoo.
THE BROKEN WEST singer and guitarist Ross Flournoy is conflicted about being tagged as "power pop." The Boston Globe rightly notes the band is much closer to Big Star or Teenage Fanclub than to the Knack or Shoes. The paper was also nice enough to link to streaming songs at BrokenWestSpace, so you can hear for yourself.
EL PERRO DEL MAR is touring, so Sarah Assbring is doing the press rounds with eye, NOW, New City Chicago and the Boston Herald. (Thanks to Chromewaves, though I get New City in the lobby of my building). Most of the pieces tell the story of how Assbring adopted the name "El Perro del Mar" ("Dog of the Sea"), her stripped-down retro style and her expectations -- or lack of them -- for Canada and the US; in the Boston Herald, she also talks about Sweden's socialized musical education. You can stream four from HerSpace.
LUCINDA WILLIAMS tells Canada's Globe & Mail that reviewers are missing the underlying optimism of her new album, West. You can stream a few from HerSpace.
SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Jayhawks perform the great and terrible "Blue."
APPLES IN STEREO frontman Robert Schneider tells Chart Attack that he went through a period where "I just became, not just disinterested, but actually offended by the big bells and whistles production that I had always pursued" before making New Magnetic Wonder, which owes more than a little to the lush sound of the Electric Light Orchestra. Steam a few at TheirSpace.
THE CAT IN THE HAT just turned 50, which is celebrated in this audio feature from NPR, and is a good excuse to relink to the wonderful Dylan Hears A Who, which may require you download the Firefox browser, if you haven't already.
PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel were asked to leave the Shockwaves NME Awards by security after a series of incidents at the ceremony held at Hammersmith Palais. Said incidents apparently included the couple's blazing bust-up backstage -- broken up by Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie -- after Doherty was caught trying to smuggle a spoon into the loos.
BRITNEY SPEARS has flipped her lid in rehab, trying to hang herself with a bedsheet after scrawling the devil's number "666" across her head and screaming "I am the anti-christ" to frightened staff. US Weekly has details of her last, pathetic gasp before entering rehab. The pop tart is getting words of support from Brooke Shields, whose book on postpartum depression Spears is rumored to be reading in rehab.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Despite lousy reviews, audiences went hog wild for Wild Hogs, which took in 38 million in receipts to become Disney's biggest-ever March opening. David Fincher's acclaimed Zodiac came in a respectable second with 13.1 million -- ballpark typical for most Fincher films. Ghost Rider fell to third in its third week of release with 11.5 million, followed by Bridge to Terabithia with 8.6 million and The Number 23, which slid to fifth with 7.1 million in its second week. Norbit continued to make money in sixth place ,while Music and Lyrics is struggling in seventh, despite dropping a mere 36 percent. Black Snake Moan took in a mere four million, though it came in third on a per screen average. Reno 911!: Miami plunged 63 percent to land in ninth place, but has made 16 million on a ten million budget. Breach rounded out the Top Ten with 3.4 million.
LIZ HURLEY had a surprise civil wedding with Indian businessman Arun Nayar in the Cotswolds last Friday.
THE McCARTNEYS: It was Sir Paul who emerged smiling from the first significant round in his divorce feud with Heather Mills. It was the staff at a top London dance studio who were smiling as Mills quit the studio after just one day of practice for Dancing with the Stars.
JOHN RATZENBERGER, known as Cliff Claven on Cheers and a voice talent for PIxar animations, will replace Vincent "Big P*ssy" Pastore, who quit after one week of training for Dancing with the Stars.
BRADGELINA: Jolie has filed papers to adopt a Vietnamese child, and it seems that US and Vietnamese officials will bend the rules to make it happen.
GREY'S ANATOMY; Disgruntled starlet Katherine Heigl is blaming ABC's Touchstone for going public on their salary dispute, though it seemed like her people did that.
KIRSTEN DUNST: Someone is spreading nasty rumors about old MJ.
EVANGELINE LILLY: The Lost hottie is attracted to men who are in touch with their feminine side and are able to pick out clothes for her -- which explains her long-term relationship with co-star and ex-Hobbit Dominic Monaghan.
SIENNA MILLER tells London's Guardian that she always ends up putting my big fat foot in it. Indeed, she does so in the interview when asked why people take drugs: "'Cos they're fun! 'Cos they're f*ckloads of fun! No, don't write that..." She later added: " I liked mushrooms, which were legal until a year or so ago. If I had a drug of choice, it would be magic mushrooms."
JOHN BELUSHI died 25 years ago today, but his comedy -- and his influence on comedy -- last to this day. For example, the Peacock lawyers have missed this classic clip of Belushi with Joe Cocker on the Show Named Less. Belushi first developed that impression for National Lampoon's Lemmings -- a Broadway parody of Woodstock. His breakthrough movie role as Bluto in National Lampoon's Animal House was almost entirely silent, physical comedy, yet his slightly profane, inspirational speech near the climax is ingrained in pop culture. And I count myself lucky for having been able to see the Blues Brothers live at the long-gone Poplar Creek Music Theater -- and to have Belushi flip his way down the aisle about ten feet away from my seat.
AFGHANISTAN: ABCNews reports that US and NATO forces have been conducting a major attack against a compound in a remote area of Eastern Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden or another senior al Qaeda leader may be hiding.
IRAQ: Bill Roggio has a round-up including signs of short term success for the Baghdad security plan (though the Times of London wonders if it can last), a planned reshuffle of the Iraqi cabinet to promote reconciliation, an unconfirmed report from the German press that the leader of al-Qaeda's political front organization has been captured in Salahadin province, and more. ITM's Omar Fadhil has a detailed on-the-ground report from Baghdad, including new restrictions on cars and over 1000 displaced families returning to the capital. The Times of London publishes serious academic criticisms of The Lancet study which claimed that there had been 650K civilian casualties. Stars & Stripes has an update on the two faces of Ramadi. The Small Wars Journal blog has David Kilcullen correcting misreporting by London's Guardian, as well as Bing West reviewing the good and bad points from his February trip in-country.
IRAN: Students involved in an angry protest against Pres. Ahmadinejad have been expelled and earmarked for compulsory military service in an apparent act of official retribution.
TERRIERS DOGNAPPED AT GUNPOINT on video have been found and reunited with their owners. Videos at the link.
WHEN POT-BELLIED PIGS ATTACK... they attack Posh Spice.
EMUS vs. DOGS in a Sea-Tac smackdown!
CAT extracted from the engine of a running car after several hours of rescue efforts. Video at the link.
DOGS are being trained to use cash machines for their disabled owners in the UK.