JOHN VANDERSLICE is giving live-in-studio videos from his new album to his fave music blogs, starting with "Kookaburra" at Stereogum.
NEW RELEASES: John Vanderslice, Tegan & Sara, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more are streaming from Spinner this week. Prince's latest is streaming from AOL. Bishop Allen is streaming three from The Broken String, which contains mostly re-recorded versions of songs from their monthly EP project.
TEGAN & SARA: Tegan Quin talks about the influence her late grandmother had on the twins with Inside Bay Area.
THE TEN BEST BANDS THAT NEVER EXISTED, according to Earvolution. Spinal Tap wuz robbed! But there's a new viral video featuring the number one band on the list.
THE BYRDS: Roger McGuinn tells Billboard that David Crosby has been piching a Byrds reunion for years, while McGuinn says it's best left as a "great memory,"
MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS lip-sync their way through the original recording of "Heatwave" (on Ready Steady Go) and a re-recorded version of "Dancing in the Streets" for a summer-themed Twofer Tuesday.
GNARLS HENDRIX? Gnarls Barkley singer and hip-hop impresario Cee-Lo Green has bought the rights to early Jimi Hendrix master recordings.
RICHARD THOMPSON talks with icWales about getting hate mail and surviving through adaptation.
JEFF TWEEDY: Wilco's frontman "shared what he's been listening to and why" with the NYT.
BJORK reportedly has a "huge black yacht" parked on the East River in Long Island City.
PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel is reportedly terrified about two missing tapes from her video diaries made with the troubled singer, For his part, Doherty has begun another £3,000 detox program at a private clinic.
BRITNEY SPEARS: The pop tart's efforts to manage her own career are off to a craptacular start. Spears directly negotiated a tell-all interview with OK! magazine set to run next week, but her behavior during the interview was "nothing less than a meltdown." She was, according to TMZ's sources, "completely out of it" during the accompanying photoshoot, which produced pics "so bad" that to publish them could "kill her career." RTWT, complete with this loaded sentence: "She took frequent bathroom breaks our source says, and each time she returned her mood would change." FWIW, the latest pregnancy rumor is probably baseless, but who can pass up the "she's not quite sure who the father is" bit?
DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE: Was Heather Locklear "flipping out" over pics of rebound guy David Spade cavorting with Pam Anderson? Doubtful. Locklear looks pretty happy with Melrose Place co-star Jack Wagner.
THE SPICE GIRLS are being pressured to double the size of their world tour as paying them £10million apiece makes more economic sense with 50 dates.
POSH & BECKS, btw, enjoyed the full Hollywood treatment at a star-studded party hosted by Tom Cruise and Will Smith to welcome them to Los Angeles.
DREW CAREY... Come on down!
LINDSAY LOHAN allegedly amused herself in rehab by wandering around naked to shock male patients and staff, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: The German Protestant Church compared Cruise to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and claimed the actor was using his celebrity status to publicize the controversial Church of Scientology, which it called a "totalitarian organization." Nazi analogies are almost always inappropriate, though the fact that Cruise is currently portraying one clearly made it very temptng.
THE FRENCH HOTEL: Publicist and blogger Jonathan Jaxon takes you inside the strange and lonely life of the heirhead.
GEORGE MICHAEL has bought a dead cow wrapped around a pole for £3.5 million. The punchline writes itself.
IS STEVEN SPIELBERG ready to leave the Paramount-DreamWorks studio marriage?
NICOLE KIDMAN saved HUGH JACKMAN from a poisonous scorpion on the set of Baz Luhrmann's new movie, Australia.
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY may give her best screen performance to date -- and one of the most erotic moments that's likely to be seen on screen this year -- in the film of Ian McEwan's novel Atonement.
JESSICA BIEL says, "There's something about being with a guy who could cheat on you. It's pretty exciting." It's good to be Justin Timberlake.
THE UNITED NATIONS suspended a Moroccan military contingent from its peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire while it investigated allegations of widespread sexual abuse.
COUNTER-INSURGENCY: The Danger Room notes that after years of ignoring the issue of information warfare, the Army is working on a new "information operations" field manual.
AL QAEDA FAMILY FEUD? Newsweek reportes that AQ No. 2 Ayman Al-Zawahiri has moved aggressively to take operational control of the group, provoking a potentially serious ideological split within Al Qaeda over whether he is growing too powerful, and has become obsessed with toppling Pakistan's Pres. Musharraf. John Arquilla, an intell expert who closely follows radical Islamist traffic, calls it "the battle for Al Qaeda's strategic soul. There is a profound strategic debate over whether to focus on overturning the government in Pakistan ... because that puts them in control of a nuclear capacity."
IRAQ: The US command has prepared a detailed plan that foresees a significant American role for the next two years, though a decent chunk of that in a role similar to that recommended by the Iraq Study Group. News that a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a house in Taji where a Sunni group fighting insurgents linked to AQI had gathered was buried in accounts from the WaPo and other US press, who headlined today's likely meeting of US and Iranian reps about the security situation in Iraq. Fortunately, none of the tribal leaders were killed. And it appears that in Taji, US forces have brokered an agreement between both Sunni and Shi'ite tribal leaders to join forces against al Qaeda and other extremists. A suspected al Qaeda-allied terrorist was arrested July 18 in connection with the June kidnapping of two brothers, one of whom was a tribal sheikh. IraqSlogger reports on the killing of Ayatollah Sistani's aide in the context of Friday sermons by clerics close to Sistani, in which fierce attacks were directed at the government and its inefficiencies.
IRAQ II: The US commander in northern Iraq has proposed reducing his troop levels and shifting next year to missions focused less on direct combat. Iraqi security forces have been fighting in major offensives around Baghdad and in Diyala province, which has given them combat experience but slowed their progress in other areas, such as logistics. US forces are blockading a Mahdi Army stronghold north of Baghdad.
ZIGGY and STARDUST: These border collie twin pups do indeed share something with glam-rock king David Bowie.
CHIHUAHUA HEROINE UPDATE: Zoey, who protected an infant from a rattlesnake, has now made video coverage.
UNGRATEFUL RAT bites the hand of an Ontario policewoman trying to save it.
CHICKENS are becoming increasingly popular as pets. There are no firm numbers available to illustrate the growth because it's hard to define who's keeping chickens for pets and who's keeping them to eat, said Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.
THE SQUIRREL THREAT now points to Israel, where the rodent population of the Negev is under threat from the offspring of a pair of squirrels that escaped from an alpaca farm in Mitzpe Ramon. BONUS: The Danger Room uncovers The Secret Squirrel Master Plan.