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Kaki King, SxSW, Mt Goats, Cat Power, Hey Bulldog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

KAKI KING:  The video for "Pull Me Out Alive" was made with over 5000 still photos. There are no special effects; all of the light trails were created by hand, with up to eight individual "light animators" flashing LEDs and flashlights on and off over a long (8 second) shot exposure.

SxSW:  If you missed the R.E.M. gig last night, it might be archived at the link by the time you read this.  NPR is streaming plenty more today, including Jens Lekman, Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend.  SxSW Baby has a directory for streaming live performances, also noting that DirectTV has live coverage.  For example, The Raveonettes, Jesca Hoop, Sons & Daughters, and DeVotchka are scheduled to stream today at The CurrentKCRW is broadcasting Morning Becomes Eclectic live from 11am to 2pm (Central Time); a set from Sons & Daughters is already archived, while Meredith Bragg is scheduled for today.  WNYC's Soundcheck already has interviews with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Okkervil River's Will Scheff, plus a live set from lo-fi folk outfit Peter and the Wolf.  Paste magazine has a linky hour-by-hour recommendation guide.  Frank Yang kicks off his Austin coverage by featuring his priorities to see -- Emmy the Great and Frightened Rabbit.  Slacker has set up a SxSW radio channel.

MOUNTAIN GOATS mastermind John Darnielle strums some highlights from the new Heretic Pride album on a recent edition of WNYC's Soundckeck, too.  (Thanks LHB.)

UNDERGROUND GARAGE:  Timothy Finn from the McClatchy chain interviews Little Steven Van Zandt about his radio show, the Springsteen tour and the infamous musical ending to The Sopranos.

EDDIE VAN HALEN is not in rehab, according to ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, who declined to reveal his mystery ailment.

CAT POWER performs her groovy take on "New York, New York" on the Peacock net for a lantern-jawed host.

DEAN & BRITTA:  Dean Wareham shares suggestions for essential tracks from his former bands, Galaxie 500 and Luna, and his current duo with the Boston Globe.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS frontman Patterson Hood talks to the Pittsbugh Trib-Review about the lack of a wall between the band and its audience and how that informs the band's new album, "Brighter Than Creation's Dark."

DAN BEJAR, of the New Pornographers and frontman of Destroyer (not to mention Swan Lake and Hello, Blue Roses) is profiled in Canada's Globe & Mail.

NICK CAVE talks to Drowned In Sound about the confrontational fun of his Grinderman project and how it affects expectations for his upcoming album with the Bad Seeds.

KATE BECKINSALE tells Mean magazine: "I don't understand how more people don't drop children out of windows," but is simply explaining her state of mind in 2000.  The mag's website has video of Kate paying tribute to Serge Gainsbourg's "Rollergirl."

BRITNEY SPEARS:  New players have been brought in to look at the pop wreck's business affairs, including an audit with her record label.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON:  The previously reported auction to accompany Scar-Jo to the premiere of He's Just Not That Into You will net Oxfam over 40 grand.

PATRICK SWAYZE:  The cancerous ex-Dirty Dancing star  is looking gaunt -- and smoking a cigarette -- on the cover of The National Enquirer.  Dude.

JESSICA ALBA turns into Satan every few hours if she doesn't eat something.  At least that's what she ays about her pregnancy cravings.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK trailer is now online.  But the pic's producer-screenwriter-star Edward Norton and Marvel are clashing over how to cut the rebooted film.  Ed Norton's hair had no comment.

HULU, the NBC/FOX-led rival to You-Know-Tube, is out of beta.  So if you want to watch episodes of The Simpsons, or movies like Master & Commander or The Big Lebowski with limited commercial interruption, you know where to go.

ASHLEE SIMPSON tells US magazine that she "was never really unhappy" with how she looked and doesn't think she is more beautiful than she was.  The plastic surgery was apparently just for fun.  Or profit.

CONVERSE, favored footwear of hipsters everywhere, has turned 100 years old.

JULIANNE MOORE is no longer a fan of NY's Gov-until-Monday Elliot Spitzer, managing to sum the sandal up in three words.  The alleged escort known as "Kristen" in the Spitzer scandal is a 22-year-old Jersey girl from a broken home (shocka) who now worries what people will think of her, according to The New York Times.  Does this count as Gratuitous Thursday?  Maybe so.

GO, SPEED, GO!!!  Two new international Speed Racer trailers, with new Wachowski wackiness.

IRAN:  Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said the US and its allies were behind criticism that upcoming parliament elections will be unfair.  The remarks by Khamenei to a crowd of supporters were an indirect call to voters to reject the few reformists remaining in the race.  The abrupt resignation of the Pentagon's top Middle East commander has removed one of the Bush administration's fiercest opponents of a unilateral military strike against Iran, yet top administration officials themselves do not see real prospects for any kind of military action before the end of Pres. Bush's term, current and former US officials say.  Moqtada al-Sadr has reportedly travelled to the holy city of Qom in Iran to further his Islamic studies.

IRAQ:  Several senior Iraqi officials said that the government might soon deploy Iraqi Army troops to seize control of Basra's decrepit but vital port from politically connected militias known more for corruption and inciting terrorism than for their skill in moving freight.  Iraqi police raided strongholds of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army in the southern city of Kut after the local branch of the militia broke a ceasefire and clashed with security forces a day earlier.  Bill Roggio has a slideshow of the anatomy of an IED seized from a car in the Al Bakir neighborhood in Mosul.  US authorities in Baghdad have received five severed fingers belonging to four Americans and an Austrian who were taken hostage more than a year ago.  Habaniya Tourist Village in western Iraq became a refugee camp during some of the fiercest fighting since the fall of Baghdad, but investors hope to turn it into a romantic haven again.  A new paper by a pair of Harvard economists concludes that insurgents in Iraq were emboldened by voices in the news media expressing dissent or calling for troop withdrawals from Iraq, though with numerous caveats to their findings.

HEY, BULLDOG:  Louis shocked Blackpool's early rising commuters at around 7am on Monday morning when he hopped on board a bus in South Shore travelling into the resort.

GARTER SNAKES evolve to take on toxic newts.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A gray squirrel contraceptive research project is under way on the Clemson University campus in conjunction with the USDA National Wildlife Research Center.

A RANDY FROG molests a plastic duck!  A cat swims in a pool! The Sun is there.

RARE PYGMY HIPPOS are surviving in Liberia's forests despite two civil wars that threatened to destroy their habitat, according to British scientists.  Pics at the link.

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Iggy does Madonna, SxSW, Brunettes, Ugly Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, March 12, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

IGGY DOES MADONNA:  The highlight of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony?  Rather than perform herself. Madge had fellow Motown natives Iggy Pop and the Stooges (plus SteveMcKay on sax) wail through her "Ray of Light."  This is what the HoF lamesters get for not voting the Stooges in already.

RADIOHEAD is taking over the BBC on April Fools Day.

SxSW:  You can stream three artists to watch at NPR, which has also posted a schedule of streaming concerts, both from NPR and its various affliates.  Tonight's headliner is R.E.M. at Stubbs.  WOXY has also posted a schedule of its Lounge Act sessions from the music fest.

PITCHFORK FEST:  Promoters announced a partial list of acts for this year's installment on July 18-20, including hip-hop legends Public Enemy performing their classic album "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back."  Others already scheduled include Animal Collective, Spiritualized, !!!, M. Ward, Boris, Vampire Weekend, Dizzee Rascal, No Age, Atlas Sound, Fleet Foxes, Extra Golden and El Guincho.  Tickets go on sale today at noon CDT.

THURSTON MOORE stopped by the KEXP studios for an interview and mini-set you can stream (together or "just the music") via NPR.

THE BRUNETTES:  The kiwi indie-popsters have their own board game in the video for "B-A-B-Y," but it seems eerily reminiscent of Mystery Date.

THE END of A&R?  Popmatters suggests the death of the "talent scout" may spread beyond EMI.

SHE & HIM:  Zooey Deschanel and M Ward, who started working together over a cover of Richard and Linda Thompson's "When I Get to the Border," are "breaking" at Rolling Stone.  Video at the link.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD, has been reading the Bible, but is finding it boring.

NICOLE ATKINS talks to Houstonist about her influences, her side metal band and more.

BRITNEY SPEARS was laughing on the set of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, but crying after Adnan Ghalib was banned from her home by her dad-conservator.  And the pop wreck's TV cameo caused Alicia Silverstone to flee that sitcom.  Her next video will be animated, thus eliminating the need for her to have her act together.

LINDSAY LOHAN is trying very hard to stay on the straight and narrow and revamp her image, but some friends are worried about a new crop of "bad influences."

KATE HUDSON:  Police arrested three men near her New York City home yesterday; one of the suspects had a toy rifle.

OWEN WILSON has been cozying up to new co-star Jennifer Aniston in Miami, according to the super-reliable Star magazine.

GENE SMIMONS, of KISS and Celebrity Apprentice, is bald.  Pics at the link.

MARY ANN!  A surprise birthday party for Dawn Wells, the actress who played Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island," ended with a nearly three-hour tour of the Teton County sheriff's office and jail when the 69-year-old was caught with marijuana in her vehicle while driving home.

SAMANTHA MORTON, the 30-year-old Oscar-nominated actress who recently appeared in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and the Ian Curtis biopic Control, says she suffered a stroke in 2006 so severe she had to learn to walk again.  And a childhood acquaintance began stalking her by sending her sinister love notes.

HUGH LAURIE admits he attempted to get closer to the character he portrays on House - by experimenting with Vicodin, the strong painkiller to which Dr. Gregory House is addicted.

SUPERMAN RETURNS... AGAIN:  Director Bryan Singer confirms that work is under way on the film that some said would never happen because the first was perceived as a flop: "That movie made $400 million!" Singer says incredulously. "I don't know what constitutes under-performing these days..."

HEIDI FLEISS, former Hollywood madam, talks to Radar magazine about the case of NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer.

FOOD COURT MUSICAL:  The latest video from ImprovEverywhere.

IRAN is blocking UN nuclear watchdogs from speaking to Iranian scientists who were central figures in a secret nuclear research program that operated as recently as 2003.  New evidence purportss to show advanced research into a variety of nuclear-related technologies, including uranium ore processing, warhead modification and the precision-firing of high explosives of the type used to detonate a nuclear device.  However, worldwide support for strong international action against Iran because of its uranium enrichment program has dropped over the past year and a half, according to a BBC study.  Meanwhile, a new stamp to commemorate Hezbollah's slain military chief, Imad Mughniyeh, will go on sale in Iran this week. A Los Angeles court jailed an American of Iranian origin for three years and five months Monday for trying to buy up to 100000 submachine guns and sell them to Iran.  And Tehran's police chief has been arrested after he was found nude in a local brothel with six naked prostitutes.  Before he was arrested, he was in charge of the program for the "moralization of the city," arresting hundreds of young people for not respecting the Islamic code of behavior.

IRAQ:  In the town of Zambraniyah, local sheikhs and tribal leaders were given prime spots to watch "a celebratory cleansing" of an AQI torture chamber and operational headquarters. Three thousand pounds of bombs costing more than $100,000 dropped from a B-1 bomber obliterated the building.  Video at the link.  Bill Roggio blogs the construction of new combat outposts and security walls in Mosul.  Iraq has made "limited but important" political, diplomatic and economic gains in the last three months, but improvements in security remain "fragile," the Pentagon reported Tuesday.  Despite increased counterterrorism efforts by Damascus, as much as 90 percent of the foreign fighters in Iraq cross the border from Syria, according the Pentagon report, which also says Iran's support for Shiite militants is hurting efforts to improve Iraq security.

VICTORIA, an Italian greyhound, repeated as the winner of San Diego's 13th annual "Ugly Dog Contest."  Pics and video at the link.  Plus, a slideshow.

PHILLIPPE Giant Schnauzer was night named Best in Show at Crufts 2008, on his third attempt.

KITTY survived a month after being sealed in a crate and shipped thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean and North America.

THOUSANDS of STARFISH photographed washed up on the beach at Pegwell Bay near Sandwich, Kent.  Cue Terry Jacks.

3467 Reads

New Releases, Grizzly Bear, Basia Bulat, Doggie Mass   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES: NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a/k/a "Client 9," who investigated radio airplay and payola while serving as the state's Attorney General, totally gave me earworm yesterday for Labelle's "Lady Marmalade."  And The Police's "Roxanne."  That's yer first Twofer Tuesday.

NEW RELEASES:  Cassettes Won't Listen, Kaki King, Why?, Black Hollies and more are streaming in full this week from Spinner.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK & ANDY PARTRIDGE are collaborating on a possible album, one of many projects Hitchcock has in the works, according to Billboard.

GRIZZLY BEAR:  You can stream a new song the band debuted on KCRW, "While You Wait for the Others," via YANP.  The reverb on this take gives it a bit of a 60s vibe, methinks.

R.E.M. will debut Accelerate, its newest album, via music site/Facebook app iLike starting March 24th. Warners won't start selling the album till April 1.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND played "A-Punk" and "M79" on the Peacock Saturday, with an assist on the latter from a string section.  That makes a Twofer of Twofers.

STEVE WYNN answers 20 questions for PopMatters, nicely navigating the dreaded "Star Wars vs. Star Trek" question.

BASIA BULAT does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including two unreleased originals and a cover of Sam Cooke's "The Hem Of His Garment."

THE ACORN:  Rolf Klausener and Jeff Debutte warm up for SxSW in an interview at MOKB, which includes Dodge asking about Canadian football.  Two streaming tracks also.

WILCO:  In an interview with The Australian, Jeff Tweedy makes clear there is a bit of friction with Billy Bragg, with whom the band recorded Mermaid Avenue and Mermaid Avenue II: "Nothing against Billy. He's just full of sh-t.  That's just what he's built his whole life on, so that's all right."  Me-OW!

BRITNEY SPEARS and her Fed-Ex are battling over a million dollars in legal fees from their child custody case as an official let stand a court order that has denied her custody and limited visits with their two sons.  On the upside, TMZ has learned that the pop wreck is prepping for a small guest part on CBS's hit "How I Met Your Mother."  And Spears has been granted a $1500 weekly allowance by the L.A. Superior court.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR:  The suicide call that turned out to be a false alarm may have been placed by Locklear's psychiatrist.

SIENNA MILLER reportedly has agreed to marry lover Rhys Ifans... at the third time of asking.

GEORGE CLOONEY, otoh, is denying a report that he is secretly engaged to former Fear Factor winner Sarah Larson.

COURTNEY LOVE:  According to The Sun, the rocker went to the LAPD to report to claim that identity thieves used Kurt Cobain's social security number to buy a $3.2 million house and also set up 188 credit cards in her name.  But sources tell TMZ Courtney is simply (and possibly medically) delusional.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Ex-Scientologist Marc Headley - who used to produce promotional films for the controversial religion - tells the uber-reliable News of the World that Cruise landed Holmes after a series of casting calls for actresses to fill the girlfriend role.  "First they rounded up Scientologist actresses like Erica Christensen, Erica Howard and Sofia Milos.. But they were all rejected... Then... they went for Jennifer Garner, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba, in that order."  Garner and Alba didn't bite; Scar-Jo showed, but fled when she discovered the "audition" was at the Scientology Center in Hollywood.

HELENA CHRISTENSEN & JOSH HARTNETT are dunzo.  It was not my fault; they had issues.

UN-BOURNE?  Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are tamping down last week's Variety story about a fourth installment in the Bourne franchise.

WOODY HARRELSON was reportedly none too pleased to be asked whether the cast of "Semi-Pro" if they got a contact high while working with him.

INDIANA JONES:  The adventuring archeologist's biggest stunt to date may be rescuing this summer box office.  Meanwhile, the new issue of Entertainment Weekly has semi-spoilers.

JESSICA SIMPSON manages to get some bad -- possibly unfair -- press on her trip to Kuwait - where she's performing for troops as part of Operation MySpace.

TERROR in the UK:  A man who knew some of the 7 July bombers has pleaded guilty to possessing an al-Qaeda training guide.  Judge James Stewart QC said he would face a maximum sentence of two years.

AFGHANISTAN:  Thousands of Afghan students chanted "Long live al Qaeda," during a protest aimed at Denmark and the Netherlands. Protesters accused the two European countries of insults against Islam.  Sunday's protest was in Jalalabad, where Osama Bin Laden made his last public appearance in late 2001.  Meanwhile, the Dutch government wants to boost development in Afghanistan as essential to ensure progress towards peace.  BONUS:  A British soldier soldier who almost single-handedly took on 150 Taliban after he and his 50-man convoy were ambushed in Afghanistan has been awarded the Military Cross: "They started it. We were going to finish it."

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio looks at an Iraqi Army operation to search for kidnappers in Mosul.  Michael Yon's latest dispatch is also from Mosul and involves Guitar Hero and a Predator drone.  MEMRI's translation of the Qatari daily Al-'Arab's interview with AQI commander in northern Iraq suggests AQ is on the ropes.  However, AQI may be shifting tactics back to the big, headline grabbing attacks in Iraq that helped plunge the country into chaos, a senior US commander said Monday.  Michael J. Totten blogs from Al Farris, which was part of Saddam's attempt to launch Iraq into the sci-fi future before he ruined his country with four wars, two genocides, and an international sanctions regime.

HUNDREDS OF DOGS, many dressed as babies or clowns, were taken to celebrate mass in Masaya, Nicaragua on Sunday, an annual ritual where the owners pray for their pets to be cured or avoid falling ill.

A WOMAN determined not to let her kitten become the second victim of a hungry python broke her wrist and was bitten twice as she fought off the large snake.

WILD ELEPHANTS disrupted an election in eastern Sri Lanka.

A BOULDER, CO SALON OWNER has been ticketed for dyeing her miniature poodle pink - and the woman said she plans to fight back.  Cici is a "breast-cancer awareness dog" that's been showing off her pink coat for three years at Zing Salon.  Pic and video at the link.

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WFMU Jam, Lightspeed Champion, Kevin Drew, Polar Cub Twins   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 10, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

WFMU JAM:  Ted Leo, Death Cab's Ben Gibbard, and comedian Patton Oswalt raised over 50K in three hours for this year's WFMU pledge drive, with a set that inlcuded Blondie's "Union City Blues" and two numbers written by Neil Diamond -- the Monkees hit "Look Out, Here Comes Tomorrow" and what host Tom Scharpling called the "worst song ever." "Porcupine Pie."  The group also belts out ABBA's "Take A Chance On Me," which we learned last week is the gayest song ever. (Pic via Pitchfork.)

THE ROCK & ROLL HALL of FAME has its annual induction ceremony tonght.  The NYDN previews the Class of 2008.  Canada's Gazette focuses on Leonard Cohen.

LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION, Devonte Hynes's inventive indie-folk pop project, strips down its sound a bit for a World Cafe gig you can stream in full via NPR.

BJORK started shouting "Tibet! Tibet!" after performing her song "Declare Independence" at her Shanghai concert.  Let's go to the video.

STEPHEN MALKMUS talks fantasy baseball with an interviewer from 17 dots.  No, really: "I love Ryan Braun. He was incredible last year. He's kind of can't-miss. I know they're thinking of moving him to the outfield. He's bad at defense, but from a fantasy perspective he's gold..."

KEVIN DREW gets a cameo from Canadian rock legend Tom Cochrane in the video for "Lucky Ones," which also documents Drew's band serving liquor to minors at Lee's Palace in Toronto. (Profanity alert.)

STREET FIGHTING MEN:  Documentarian Leo Burley pens a piece for London's Independent  comapring the artistic reactions of Mick Jagger and John Lennon to the political tumult of 1968.

GARY LOURIS gets a segment on Weekend Edition, along with music and video from the MPR studios, streaming on demand via NPR.

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle comments on other people's songs for Harp magazine.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS frontman Patterson Hood enthuses over Elton John, The Kinks and Tom Petty (among others). again for Harp.

NORMAN SMITH, who was the lead recording engineer for every Beatles song through 1965 and who as a producer helped usher in an era of psychedelic rock when he discovered the band Pink Floyd, died of cancer last Tuesday in East Sussex, England. He was 85.  At age 50, Mr. Smith embarked on a solo singing career, taking the stage name Hurricane from a movie title. His hit, "Oh Babe, What Would You Say," was a song he had written and hoped to sell but ended up recording himself at the urging of a producer.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  OK! magazine reveals the ghastly details of packages from a stalker that have the pop wreck's security team running to the FBI.  On-again off-again paparazzo bf Adnan Ghalib was turned away from the singer's gated community Friday night.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: 10000 BC took the top slot with 35 million bucks, though that might be disappointing on a 105 million budget.  Last year's 300 made twice as much in around the same timeframe.  College Road Trip came in second with 14 million, which is probably not bad, depending on how low the budget was.  Vantage Point drops to third, but has made 51 million on a 40 million budget.  Semi-Pro dropped 61 percent from first to fourth in its continuing flop.  Jason Statham's The Bank Job rounds out the Top Five, despite opening on only 1,603 screens; it may have legs.  The Spiderwick Chronicles looks unlikely to break even.  The Other Boleyn Girl dropped a surprising 51 percent.  Jumper, Step Up 2, and Fool's Gold round out another unimpressive weekend at the movies.

MATT DAMON and wife Luciana are expecting another baby to be Bourne.

LISA MARIE PRESLEY is suing the Daily Mail for libel over publishing an article alleging she is overweight, which she claims forced her to confirm that she is pregnant.

LINDSAY LOHAN wants the sound of her upcoming album to be "kind of Kylie Minogue-meets-Rihanna."  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

HEATH LEDGER:  The late actor's will was not updated since his relationship with Michelle Williams and the 2005 birth of their daughter Matilda Rose.  Ledger's family moved quickly to tell the public that Matilda and Michelle would be provided for, as Heath would have wanted.

PATRICK SWAYZE:  Dirty Dancing co-star Jennifer Grey is among those publicly wishing Swayze well after his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR was apparently the victim of a bogus suicide call which brought the Ventura County Fire Department and two paramedics units to her home Saturday.

HORTON HEARS A WHAT?  All hell broke loose at the Hollywood premiere of "Horton Hears a Who!" Saturday when a group of pro-lifers infiltrated the screening, then chanted anti-abortion slogans after the flick.  Not only rude, but counter-productive, imho.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  The Grey Lady takes you behind the scenes of the next Batman movie in a profile of director Christopher Nolan.

ICYMI:  Lufthansa flight LH44 from Munich had a wingstrike while trying to land in a cross-wind in Hamburg.  No one was injured; the plane landed using another runway.

TERROR in NYC?  The FBI said Friday that a man who mailed rambling letters to Congress this week featuring a photo of a Manhattan military recruiting station was not linked to Thursday's bombing outside that station: "It appears to have been a matter of coincidental details and unfortunate timing on his part."  I'll say!

AFGHANISTAN:  A 19-year-old medic from Texas will become the first woman in Afghanistan and only the second female soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest medal for valor.  After a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees, wounding five soldiers in her unit, Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown ran through insurgent gunfire and used her body to shield wounded comrades as mortars fell less than 100 yards away.  Brown certainly deserves the media attention -- though so have many others military heroes generally ignored by national news outlets.

IRAQ:  Bombings in Baghdad are on the rise, though still well below last year's levels.  The US military said Sunday it does not believe the recent attacks reflects a trend toward an overall increase in violence. US troops discovered a mass grave containing 100 bodies near Khalis in the Diyala province; the skeletal remains suggested it was an older site.  The NEFA Foundation has released a new chart by Evan Kohlmann mapping the complex network of Sunni insurgent groups fighting in Iraq.  Iraq's deputy interior minister said that Iraqi-Saudi cooperation to stop insurgents, mainly Saudis, from crossing the Iraqi border was continuing amidst intensified efforts to enhance bilateral relations between the countries.  The US and Iraq are opening negotiations in Baghdad on a blueprint for a long-term relationship, plus a narrower deal to define the legal basis for a US troop presence, a Pentagon official said Friday.  Radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr claims in a letter that he is stepping down from his position, distancing himself from people, and focusing on his studies.  The NYT has the latest Iraqi scorecard from the Brookings Institution.

AUSTRIA UPS THE ANTE with the public debut of polar cub twins.  Germany may declare war.

MAKENA, a baby lesser spot-nosed guenon, debuts at at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens.  Pics and video at the link for those of you who -- like me -- had no clue there was such an animal.

KITTY DEATH CAMPS!  Thousands of pet cats in Beijing are being abandoned by their owners and sent to die in secretive government pounds as China mounts an aggressive drive to clean up the capital in preparation for the Olympic Games.

VIETNAM has launched a crackdown on hamsters, a wildly popular pet here in the current lunar Year of the Rat, fearing an influx of the foreign-bred rodent furballs could spread disease and destroy crops.  Richard Gere was uavailable for comment.

400-LB LION ATTACK UPDATE:  I already linked to a story on the attack on British teacher Kate Drew a while back, but now the Daily Mail has the pictures of the attack itself.

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The W h o, Cat Power, SxSw, Cutout Bin, Cat of 1000 Faces   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 07, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with the HIGH NUMBERS!  Actually, this mod quartet had changed its name before they hit French TV's Music Hall for a truly live set on March 30, 1966, but the Tuber you posted this set is rightly concerned about copyright holders.  Part 1 features "Substitute," plus covers of the Everlys' "The Man with the Money" and Martha Reeves & the Vandellas'"Dancing in the Streets".  Part 2 includes a cover of "Barbara Ann" and "My Generation."  Plenty of Moon shining in both clips.

CAT POWER stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set from her Jukebox you can stream on demand via NPR.

BOB MOULD talks to the Cleveland Scene about his electronica period: "(Dance music) was more punk rock than anything that was going on in punk rock and alternative at the time..."  Plus more.

SxSW PREVIEW:  All Songs Considered fires folks up for the festival next week with selections from Bon Iver, Evangelicals, Times New Viking, Tift Merritt, Thurston Moore, Black Mountain, Vampire Weekend and more...

WILCO frontman Jeff Tweedy spoke to the NYT about how migraines and mood disorders impacted his childhood, his musical career and his creative and personal life.

LOS CAMPESINOS! have a clip for "Death to Los Campesinos!" that is more upbeat than its title and not quite the "in-studio video" it seems at first glance.

26 TEMPTING BUT INAPPROPRIATE FUNERAL SONGS, courtesy of The A.V. Club,with plenty of A/V.  Frankly, I wouldn't have a problem with the Jim Carroll or the Hank Williams.

BEIRUT frontman Zach Condon talks to Australia's The Age about his long, strage trip to indie semi-stardom: "The one big shocking thing, to me," says the now 22-year-old Condon, "is that my parents never put up a big shock about the way I've led my life. The fact that I dropped out of high school, that I've done nothing but travelling and recording ... they never tried to intervene, to save me from myself."

VAN HALEN:  The reunion tour is paused so Eddie can get medical treatment, but his ex Valerie Bertinelli says he's okay: "He's just being very pro-active. It's not as awful as people think it is. I'm so proud of him right now. He sounded terrific, and hopefully they'll start back up again on the 11th."

THE 50 GAYEST SONGS OF ALL TIME: NTTAWWT.

CUTOUT BIN:  From The Adele to The Zombies, from Buzzcocks to Booker T, from Urge Overkill to Kenny Rogers to OK Go covering Rick Springfield, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

PATRICK SWAYZE tells people not to write him off just yet, after news of his pancreatic cancer became public.  The Dirty Dancer's doctor says Swayze "has a very limited amount of disease, and he appears to be responding well to treatment thus far."  The A.V. Club can hook you up with the 1991 unauthorized Swayze bio-comic and more...

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are 10000 B.C., which is currently scoring 14 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; College Road Trip, which currently scores the goose egg; and The Bank Job, which is scoring 75 percent.

BRADGELINA has reportedly moved into a sprawling 270-acre ranch just outside of Smithville, TX -- a small, rural town about 29 miles southeast of Austin -- where they don't have to worry about being hounded by paparazzi.  It looks like the couple's new baby could be the first Jolie-Pitt to be born on American soil.

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. is in blackface for hin Tropic Thunder, an epic action comedy co-starring Ben Stiller and Jack Black.  Pic at th link.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA pays homage to Hitchcock's icy blondes in a new campaign for the Stephen Webster jewellery line.  Pics at the link.

BRITNEY SPEARS' bulging belly fueled pregnancy rumors again, as paparazzo Adnan Ghalib was spotted again on the Spears property.  Meanwhile, the L.A. county court commissioner has ruled that Jamie Spears can draw $2,500 a week from Britney's accounts as conservator of her affairs.

SAM ROCKWELL, a highly underrated actor (imho)  talks to The A.V. Club about his new director's eccentric style, the pleasures and perils of improvisation, and what it would take for him to agree to be in a zombie movie.

KEVIN SMITH is shooting Zack & Miri Make a Porno in western Pennsylvania, in which Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as broke friends who uncover romantic feelings for each other while making their own X-rated tape to pay off their debts.  Some question the title, but industry analyst Jeff Bock probably nails it: "I don't think anything is too risqué for Kevin Smith fans."

WATCHMEN:  The classic graphic novel is a year away from your local cinema, but director Zach Snyder (300) has released pictures of some of the cast in costume.

SPEED RACER will be simultaneously released to IMAX and conventional theatres on May 9, 2008.  There's a bit of the plot there, too -- though nothing you coud not have guessed from the trailer.

STAR WARS vs. SAUL BASS:  How the credits to the classic space opera might have looked in the 60s style of the master of movie titles.

TERROR in NYC:  Police officers and firefighters cordoned off much of Times Square for more than two hours Thursday after a small explosion - set off, the authorities said, by an "improvised explosive device" - damaged the front of the Armed Forces Career Center on the traffic island bounded by 43rd and 44th Streets, Seventh Avenue and Broadway at 3:43 a.m.  Police said the device was "roughly similar" to those used in earlier bombings at foreign consulates in Manhattan, in 2005 and 2007.  Members of the US House of Representatives were mailed a letter and photo of the recruiting station before it was bombed, according to House insiders and law-enforcement officials.  One source described the letter as a "20-page rambling rant," and the AP reported the envelopes included a "holiday greeting card" with the message "Happy New Year, We Did It" on the cards.

ISLAMISM in the UK has caused the House of Lords to abolish the laws on blasphemy after a wrenching, two-hour debate: "It is crystal-clear that the offenses of blasphemy and blasphemous libel are unworkable in today's society," Kay Andrews said in introducing the government-backed amendment, adding that "as long as this law remains on the statute books, it hinders the UK's ability to challenge oppressive blasphemy laws in other jurisdictions."

THE NETHERLANDS: The Dutch government has raised its terror threat level, and the Taliban has threatened revenge killings against Dutch troops in Afghanistan following controversy over the anti-Koran film "Fitna." Dutch television stations have refused to air it.  During a meeting in Paris, French Pres. Sarkozy told Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende that he will support the Netherlands if it comes under attack because of the film.

IRAQ:  Two bombs went off within minutes of each other in a crowded shopping district in the capital Thursday, killing at least 53 people and wounding 130 - a reminder that deadly attacks are a daily threat even though violence is down.  US and Iraqi forces killed 11 suspected insurgents and detained 44 others in a number of raids targeting AQI in central and northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.  Iraqi forces fighting oil theft have been working to recruit young men from tribes that long have been aiding the smugglers, the country's oil minister told CNN.

HUGO, the Cat of 1000 Faces!

MONKEY & CROC THIEF becomes a hero down under.

HIGH-JUMPING COW absolves farmers in lawsuit.

PETS can now get restraining orders in Wisconsin.  Farm animals still vulnerable.

DEXTER the LABRADOR plunged over the edge of a 115ft cliff and landed unharmed in the sea below.

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