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John Vanderslice, New Releases, Martha & the Vandellas, Ziggy & Stardust   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

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.

1940 Reads

Richard Hawley, Nilsson, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Shoplifting Seagull   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 23, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

RICHARD HAWLEY has a new video for the surprisingly upbeat "Tonight the Streets are Ours," from his upcoming LP.  Isn't that Amazing!  Now how much would you pay?  But wait, there's more...

THE YARDBIRDS REUNITE?  Rolling Stone claimed that Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck would rejoin the rhythm section, but  Beck's manager denies the story.

HARRY NILSSON:  An Aquarium Drunkard raves about the new Harry Nilsson documentary Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him)? and embeds the trailer.  He also embeds the first part of The Point, Harry Nilsson's 1971 animated feature -- narrated by his pal Ringo Starr -- which includes "Me and My Arrow."  He further posts tracks you can jukebox via the ol' HM.

THE 100 BEST COVER SONGS OF ALL TIME, according to the New York Post.  Best Week Ever located video for the Top Ten.

MINUS THE BEAR have an album due in September; the band recently got an audio feature on the World Cafe you can stream from NPR,"complete with precise guitar work and complex time changes."

CHEAP TRICK is set to perform the entire Sgt. Pepper album from start to finish at the Hollywood Bowl, accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, as well as special guests.  The first half of the concert will features other Beatles classics.

THE JAM deliver a raw live take on Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up."

RYAN ADAMS:  The rehabbed rockstar remains addicted to recording, telling the L.A. Times, "I get around a studio and I get pervy. The fact that we're in one right now literally makes me want to make a record today and be done like tomorrow..."

THE HOLD STEADY is Harry Potter's favorite band at the moment; Art Brut will be so jealous.

THE FUTURIST has posted WOXY's video interviews with The National and Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne from the Bonnaroo fest.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS frontman A.C. Newman talks to Metromix about the "pre-order, stream now" program and the Executive Edition of the upcoming Challengers LP.  And here's the link to "Buy Early, Get Now" site.

SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS:  His original (i many senses) version of "I Put A Spell On You" is streaming from Spinner, just because it's cool.

DAVENDRA BANHART, head freak-folkie, announces plans for a new album due in late September.

LINDSAY LOHAN sneakily turned herself in to the police late Thursday to be officially arrested for her May DUI incident.  A report that Lohan's antics in Vegas last weekend scared the bond stooges into de-funding her next pic is denied by her rep.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry topped the box office, opening with 34.8 million -- right in the ballpark of an Adam Sandler summer comedy opening. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix dropped to second place with 32.1 million; it's 58 percent drop was big, but not far out of line with others in the series, esp. with the final Potter book dropping on Saturday.  It has already made 559 million worldwide on a 150 million budget, so Sony remains smiling.  Hairspray debuted in third place with 27.8 million, which is probably a bit stronger than projected.  Transformers took in another 20.5 million and maybe enters the running for the biggest film of the summer.  Ratatouille rounds out the Top Five with 11 million; decent legs in the face of Harry Potter, but its final total will be hurt by that slower opening weekend.  Live Free or Die Hard pulled in another 7.3 million and in in the black on domestic receipts.  License to Wed, 1408 and Evan almighty all dropped nearly 50 percent.  Knocked Up rounds out the Top Ten.

TAMMY FAYE MESSNER, f/k/a Tammy Faye Bakker, who had battled colon cancer since 1996 that more recently spread to her lungs, died peacefully at her home Friday.

THE McCARTNEYS:  The Daily Mail claims that Sir Paul and Heather Mills are understood to have thrashed out a divorce deal in which she will receive almost £70 million.  Apparently, payments will be made over time to assure Sir Paul that Heather behaves herself.

MADONNA may be the latest celeb to disprove the saying that one can never be too rich or too thin.

JESSICA BIEL tells MTV that she "would definitely love to take on something that is physically totally different from what I look like and what I'm used to doing, do something like a 'Monster'."  Playing ugly got Charlize Theron an Oscar, so why not?

NAOMI WATTS looks due to give birth any moment now, perhaps to an alien bursting through her chest.  That is an odd-looking baby bulge.

CELEBRITY MAKEUNDERS:  The Daily Mail has pics from a website that photoshops celebs into ordinary-looking people.

ORLANDO BLOOM and co-star NAOMIE HARRIS were caught in a near-canoodling incident in London.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is reportedly none too happy that Pitt will be working with former lover and fiancée Gwyneth Paltrow on the Watergate film Dirty Tricks.  The couple took the kids incognito to a French adventure park.  "To see Brad Pitt knocking around in a bouncy castle with his children [and] screaming like wild animals was like a hallucination," said park operator Benjamin Gautier, breaking Rule No. 1 of Bouncy Castle Club.

FILIPINO INMATES RECREATE "THRILLER."  Let's go to the video.

TURKEY:  The Islamic-rooted ruling party won parliamentary elections by a wide margin Sunday, and the prime minister pledged to safeguard the country's secular traditions and do whatever the government deems necessary to fight separatist Kurdish rebels.  The party actually lost seats, but is expected to be able to form a ruling coalition.

AFGHANISTAN:  Col. Rahmatullah Safi, border police commander in the three western provinces of Farah, Badghis and Herat, claimed that his forces seized and intercepted weapons including anti-tank mines on the Afghan-Iranian border that were intended for the Taliban.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki urged parliament to cancel or shorten the summer recess so as to help the government solving some pending issues.  Iraq's national security advisor writes in the L.A. Times of the slow political process, "We have a government that requires consensus to make decisions. Unlike the dictatorial and authoritarian regimes of the past, our democracy cannot act quickly against the wishes of its constituents - something our supporters abroad should celebrate, not criticize."  Iraqi politicians from across the parliamentary spectrum have warned that a US withdrawal would cause bloodshed and leave the country dominated by radical militias.  Iraqi and Arab papers are abuzz with the news of the expected return of the Sunni "Iraqi Accord Front" to the parliament, after weeks of boycott.  The National Dialogue Front may also return if parliament takes up major bills like the draft oil law.

IRAQ II:  US forces are striking a variety of "handshake agreements" with Iraqi insurgents and militia groups, sometimes resulting in the release of fighters detained for attacking coalition forces, US military officials said in several recent interviews.  US forces have "turned the corner" in Anbar province, but it will take two more years for Iraqi forces to be ready to replace US troops, a senior US commander said Friday.  A top aide to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani was stabbed to death in what Sistani's supporters believe was a warning to Iraq's senior Shiite cleric; an inside job is suspected.  Michael Yon has a new dispatch about US forces in Diyala meeting with Iraqi Army officers and former insurgent leaders to work out "rules of cooperation."  All seemed most eager to oppose sectarian agendas.  Bill Roggio has two roundups on operations in Baghdad's Belts of eastern Anbar, northern Babil, and Diyala.   US troops on Sunday detained two suspected weapons smugglers who may be linked to Iran's elite Quds force.  Dozens of low-level members of AQI are daring to become informants for the US military in the hostile Baghdad neighborhood of Doura.

SAM the SEAGULL is about to shoplift some Chilli Heatwave flavor Doritos; he's a repeat offender.  Pics and video at the link.

CHINA:  Having noted their rat and mouse infestations last week, we note the place is also infested with gerbils and marmots.

SNAKE in a SHOWER:  And not in a good way.

PET HOARDING GOES EXOTIC, with an Ohio home containing bear cubs, a goat and a pet lion named Brutus.

ZOEY the CHIHUAHUA saved her owners' 1-year-old grandson from a rattlesnake, taking the bite herself.

4077 Reads

Sly Stone, Figurines, Ryan Adams & Elton John, Cutout Bin, Lion Cub   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with SLY & THE FAMILY STONE!  The mileage shows, but Sly exceeded my expectations in clips from the North Sea Jazz Festival, just last week.  He is finally brought onstage for "Stand," "If You Want Me To Stay" and "Sing A Simple Song," leaves during "I Want To Take You Higher," but returns with relative gusto for "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)."  It might be the shades and the neck malady, but the mellower Sly almost gives off a bit of a Ray Charles vibe at times.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS talks to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle about her younger fans, the critical response to her last album and her fear of buying a house.

DAVID VANDERVELDE talks to AZ Central about his glam-rock influences, working with Jay Bennett and touring for the first time.  You can (and should) stream a few now at HisSpace.

"LITTLE" STEVEN VAN ZANDT is chairing the music committee that's overseeing the tracks to be featured on the videogame Rock Band, a highly-anticipated multiple-instrument take on Guitar Hero.

THE FIGURINES:  When The Deer Wore Blue comes out on July 23rd, but you can stream their floaty psych-pop LP now, via this German e-card.

SPOON frontman Britt Daniel talks about the new album's goofy title, misspelt song titles and more with The A.V. Club.

JARVIS COCKER rocks Barcelona's Summercase festival with an encore performance of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."

SONIC YOUTH talks to the L.A. Times about their initial reluctance to perform Daydream Nation in its entirety.

RYAN ADAMS & ELTON JOHN shared a stage on April 2, 2002.  And you can jukebox it.SUMMER MIX:  A Deeper Shade of Soul did its first podcast called "A Soul Summer," including tracks from Aretha Franklin, Tony Joe White, Otis Redding, Candi Staton, King Curtis and more.  Coincidentally, Candy Staton is in my Summer mix as well; great minds think alike...

AMY WINEHOUSE appeared to be in tears onstage in London, hitting herself on the head with a microphone in frustration when she forgot the words to her songs, and a fan said she finished by spitting into the crowd.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN:  Heather Browne reprints Jon Landau's (in)famous "I saw rock and roll's future and its name is Bruce Springsteen" article as a prelude to a February 1975 bootleg from The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, featuring -- among other things -- the first known performance of "Thunder Road" (with in-progress lyrics and a different title).  Stream or download at the link.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel has left her north London home after being hounded by the troubled singer's friends, begging to give her a message from him.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortutitous finds on the ol' HM are: The Chicago Cubs - Hey Hey Holy Mackerel; Muddy Waters - Got My Mojo Working; Wilson Pickett - Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do); Gladys Knight & the Pips - I Heard It Through the Grapevine; Britt Daniel - Set Me Free (Kinks); Lucky Soul - Ain't Never Been Cool; Belle & Sebastian - Funny Little Frog; Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over; Nazz - Hello It's Me; Left Banke - She May Call You Up Tonight; The Who - I'm Free; The Jam - So Sad About Us (Demo); The Byrds - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (B. Dylan); Radiohead - Nobody Does It Better (C. Simon); Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure; Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song; Tone Loc - Wild Thing; The Cars - You're All I've Got Tonight; They Might Be Giants - Ana Ng; Electric Light Orchestra - Turn to Stone; and Tom Waits - Time.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include the movie-tuned-musical-turned-movie musical Hairspray, which is currently scoring an impressive 94 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and the Adam Sandler-Kevin James comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, which is scoring a decidedly less impressive 20 percent.

CHRISTOPHER WALKEN is talken to Details magazine about Hairspray, his unique cadence and more... cowbell!

RESCUE DAWN:  Platforming to a significant number of theaters is Werner Herzog's Vietnam POW escape drama, Rescue Dawn, which is scoring 89 percent on the Tomatometer.  Herzog first did a documentary of the escape in 1997, Little Dieter Needs to Fly.  Herzog talks about both films, the difficult shoot, and the political climate in America with IFC.

ROTTEN TOMATOES, btw, has issued a Halftime Report for 2007 through the magic of Bayesian mathematics.  Yet another reason to remind you to see Ratatouille.

THE EMMY NOMINATIONS are out, with The Sopranos and Ugly Betty getting the most.  You can see or download the whole list at the official website.  We can all look forward to a tough race for Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics, in which "Dick In A Box" faces off against "Everything Comes Down to Poo."

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise has started shooting his controversial film about the 1944 plot to kill Hitler -- but the producers have yet to find a character to play the Nazi leader.  BTW, the Scientology angle has overshadowed the usual Hollywood tittle-tattle that bubbles up when a Hollywood production hits Berlin, like Cruise turning down a woman driver because she was taller than him.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul has offered a £20 million divorce settlement to Heather Mills - and she in turn has said that she will accept £50 million, The Times of London.

BRITNEY SPEARS takes an ocean dip in her underwear.  Classy!

ADRIAN GRENIER of Entourage managed to date Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Melissa Keller for almost two years without the paparazzi finding out.

HARRY POTTER author J.K. Rowling is more than a wee bit ticked off that The New York Times publiished a fairly spoiler-y review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before its release date.  Photographed pages from Deathly Hallows, believed to include both fake and real versions, surfaced on the Internet and this week some books were shipped to customers by a US online retailer, prompting Scholastic to take legal action.  Will Collier of Vodkapundit -- one of those who received his copy early -- tells his story at National Review Online.

TRANSFORMERS:  When Shia LeBouf's character joked that they were probably Japanese, he didn't know how right he was.  Here's Japanese video of a real Transformer.

NORMAN BORLAUG (an Iowan, btw) was awarded Congressional Gold Medal, America's highest civilian award, on Tuesday.  Borlaug was the father of the "Green revolution" --  every nation his green thumb touched has known dramatic food production increases, falling fertility rates higher girls' education rates and rising living standards for average people.  At the Huffington Post, Gregg Easterbrook wonders why the mass media ignored it.  I was sick as a dog on Tuesday, but I did mention him last December.

HONOR KILLING in LONDON:  A Kurdish woman was brutally raped, stamped on and strangled by members of her family and their friends in an "honor killing" carried out at her London home because she had fallen in love with the wrong man.

SAUDI ARABIA is touting its rehabilitation center for one time Al Qaeda adherents.

IRAN has recently intensified its harassment of critics and people it deems threatening to the government.  Ali Afshari, a former student leader who was repeatedly jailed in Iran, says that Iran's repressive methods have actually led to the spreading of protests. He said women, students, and activists know they have to pay a price for their activism -- yet they continue their fight.

IRAQ:  The provinces of Karbala and Anbar agreed to form a joint security committee to better achieve security cooperation and to coordinate information.  US and Iraqi officials announced a ban on truck traffic into Kirkuk and proposed digging a trench around the northern city.  US commanders are concerned about "some kind of Tet offensive that's going to affect the debate in Washington."  Speaking of which, US Amb. Ryan Crocker told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "If there is one word I would use to sum up the atmosphere in Iraq... that word would be fear."  Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Corps - Iraq, says the military plans to deliver a required progress report a September deadline, it needs at least until November to see whether trends are holding and to make a "more accurate assessment."

THE CIRCLE of LIFE:  The Daily Mail has many more awww...some lion cub pics, for no particular reason.

GIANT SIAMESE CARP landed in Thailand; pic at the link.  At 256 lbs, it's the one that didn't get away.

THE SWARM:  About 10000 bees took up residence under a Pennsylvania woman's lounge chair.

A RABID WOODCHUCK attacked a woman in upstate NY.  I sympathize, as I've heard rabies shots are really painful.  Yet I must confess my first thought was this.

THE DOG ate my 800 dollars.  Try telling that to the landlord.

TWISTER the BEAR CUB gets out of rehab.  No, not that sort of rehab.

A DOG unseated a cyclist in the Tour de France, icymi.

1728 Reads

Decemberists, Fiery Furnaces, St. Vincent, Big Dog Robot   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 19, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE DECEMBERISTS are doing a mini-tour. playing with local orchestras.  Frontman Colin Meloy talks about it and various other topics with the Baltimore Sun, the Phialdelphia Inquirer, and the Chicago Tribune-affliliated Metromix.  I was keen to see the Chicago show -- it was practically in my backyard and free -- but a stomach ailment and heavy rains approaching on the radar put me off.  Fortunately, we have some Tubed with the L.A. Philharmonic; if I had to pick one, it would be "The Infanta," from the Picaresque LP... though that's mostly because I like the song so much.  The non-orchestral encore of "The Chimbley Sweep" has a couple of amusing moments you may want to see, too.  UPDATE:  My coworker Debbie attended the Chicago gig and said it was very crowded and awesome.  Apparently, at one point, Colin Meloy took someone's baby and ran around with it.

THE FIERY FURNACES are on tour again, and there's a new album, Widow City, on the horizon for fall.  Matthew Friedberger says it will feature electric guitar and electric bass -- and Chamberlins once owned by Foghat.  On tour, he's playing an organ, "trying to revive the soap opera, minor league baseball stadium Hammond sound. It's meant to really feel like summer."  The band's new label, Thrill Jockey, has posted a press kit that seems partially fictional -- at least I hope the imaginary Ouija board stuff is a goof.

MAXIMO PARK stopped by The Current to talk karaoke and play a mini-set you can stream via MPR.

COVER ME:  "R.E.M. used them to open shows, Elliot Smith to close them, and the Replacements to wreck them..."  Harp magazine briefly essays the history of the cover song.

GOGOL BORDELLO played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream a set of gypsy folk punk on demand from NPR.

ART BRUT meets Harry Potter; pic at the link.

ST. VINCENT:  Annie Clark uses a birdcage, claviettas, melodicas, $25 chord organs and basses you play with your feet, but she professes her love for Iron Maiden to the WaPo-affiliated Express.  You can check out her touching cover of "These Days" (written by Jackson Browne, but first recorded by Nico) at GvsB.

THE WHITE STRIPES played their shortest ever gig -- perhaps anyone's shrtest gig -- treating fans to the sound of just a single note in a surprise show to mark the end of their Canadian tour.

JASON ISBELL talks about the factors behind his split with the Drive-By Truckers at the Cleveland Free Times.  He also says his solo LP is more "pop like Big Star or Cheap Trick."

ZOOEY DESCHANEL & M. WARD:  He's helping the actress with an album, but they play together on a cover of Richard and Linda Thompson's "When I Get to the Border" that will appear on the soundtrack for indie flick The Go-Getter.

KEVIN DREW talks to Billboard about the Broken Social Scene branding of his upcoming solo LP.  And here's a newly-leaked (afaik) track from the album "Safety Bricks."

R.E.M.:  Music Is Art is streaming a 2001 "black session" from French radio.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  A blind item in Page Six had Metro UK asking whether Lohan is taking Ecstasy in a bid to get high without her SCRAM ankle bracelet detecting anything.  But the Metro story has gone offline... somebody threaten a lawsuit?  Meanwhile, the ever-reliable Star magazine is claiming Li-Lo was getting high in rehab on a mix of "whippits" (laughing gas) and Coricidin.

NICK NOLTE, dripping in sweat and barely able to keep his bloodshot eyes open, passed out cold on the terminal floor at the Kauai Airport this week; pics at the link.  At least he wasn't driving!

CATHERINE BELL seems to have gotten a hideous nose job.

JIM CARREY is starting to look like a new age singer, while main squeeze jenny McCarthy is looking like a Vegas floozy from the 1960s.

DREW CAREY is reportedly in negotiations with CBS to host The Price is Right, though Carey has been downplaying the story.  Rosie O'Donnell is going to be so mad if they pick someone just because he's better looking.

BRITNEY SPEARS and Mama and Lynne Spears had a "shocking slapfest" in mid-June that "left Lynne shaken and Britney more determined than ever to cut her mother out of her life for good," according to Star magazine.  The pop tart has taken over as her own business manager and publicist, which is sure to end well.

THE 25 WORST SEQUELS EVER MADE, according to Entertainment Weekly.

MARK HAMILL calls Natalie Portman "gorgeous and one of the great beauties of the world."  Y'know, it was strange enough (in hindsight) that he was kissing Leia in Pts. IV and V... but Padme?

ANNE HATHAWAY tells Marie Claire magazine that she's not as squeaky-clean as you think... and that's before you get to the multi-million-dollar lawsuit alleging that her Italian boyfriend helped to finance their globetrotting lifestyle with "improper" use of corporate funds.

MARTY'S WEDDING was interrupted when when a DeLorean rolled up, and Doc Brown jumped out of the car and yelled, "Marty, you've got to come back to the future with me!"  Click through for the slideshow.  Of course, if they made the movie today, Marty would have been headed to 1977 for some bad disco dancing.

JESSICA BIEL talks to Parade magazine about playing "funny sexy" in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and about being persued by the paparazzi.

HARRY POTTER joins the list of stories about which the Associated Press makes things up.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Four Muslim men have been jailed for inciting murder and terrorism during protests at the Danish embassy in London, against cartoons satirising the Prophet Mohammed.  A fifth defendant was cleared of soliciting murder at his trial in February, but convicted of stirring up racial hatred.

FMR REP. LEE HAMILTON, a co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group and the 9/11 Commission, thinks the US should invade Pakistan to rout al Qaeda from the safe haven it has found in the mountains of Waziristan.  Somehow, I doubt we'll hear political candidates rushing to agree.

IRAN:  The US says it is "appalled" at Tehran's treatment of two detained Iranian-Americans.  An editorial by appointed representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at Kayhan and one of his close advisers suggests the regime may want to assert claims over the former Persian colony of Bahrain.

IRAQ:  The US command said Wednesday the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq has been arrested, adding that information from him indicates the group's foreign-based leadership wields considerable influence over the Iraqi chapter.  Bill Roggio has more details on Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, also known as Abu Shahid.  The NYT/IHT covers radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's two-tiered strategy that reaches out to Iraqis on the street and distances him from the increasingly unpopular government.  This story and the arrest story suggest that, for all of the sectarian violence, there is a nationalism in Iraq that rejects foreign jihadis; otherwise al-Sadr would not be distancing himself from Iran and pursuing a political track.  And for those who think the US is indiscriminately lumping the opposition together as "al-Qaeda," it may be for the Iraqi audience as much as the US audience.  Turkish artillery and warplanes bombarded villages in northern Iraq on Wednesday, as Baghdad responded with an appeal for dialogue instead of force.  Prime Minister al-Maliki accused Arab research centers and media institutions of leading "conspiracy against Iraq."  Col. John Charlton has a progress report from Anbar province.

BIG DOG UPDATE:  Here's your big dog robot video for the day.

A MUM was trapped for an hour with her hand stuck inside her pet boxer's mouth.

SPIDERS save a woman from a house fire.  With great power comes great responsibility.

TAUNTING HIPPOS is not a good idea, though not a bad name for a band.

THE GOOSE WHISPERER:  Martin Hof has become a minor celebrity in the Netherlands, in part for his ability to communicate with fowl, which some say borders on the magical.

A LARVAL INFESTATION of the face can be disturbing and painful.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

PITCHFORK FEST THREEDUX:  Sadly, there's still no official video, but P-Fork has three days worth of pics and interviews posted.  Plus, there's bootleg video of The New Pornographers opening their set with the new track, "All the Things That Go to Make Heaven and Earth,"  Cat Powers' full-band cover of The Stones' "Satisfaction" Of Montreal playing thier brooding "Bunny Ain't No Kind Of Rider" and their risque take on The Kinks' "All the Day and All the Night."  These don't really convey the live energy in the park, but they're better than nothing at the moment.

THE MERCURY MUSIC PRIZE shortlist has been announced, including Arctic Monkeys and the painfully thin Amy Winehouse.

BRIGHT EYES:  MOKB can point you to five videos Polyydor commissioned for the Cassadaga album.

LILY ALLEN shows you her third nipple.

LAURA VEIRS kicks off a new series of live performances at Oregon Public Broadcasting.

EUGENE McGUINNESS will release his debut album in August.  For now, you can watch the very poppy, yet profane "Monsters Under the Bed."

SMASHING PUMPKINS are trying to track down the siamese twins who featured on the cover of their 1993 album, Siamese Dream.

COLOR ME IMPRESSED:  Fits and Starts has posted a nifty mix of mostly-80s indie, including The Replacements, Husker Du, Minutemen and more.  You can jukebox 'em on the ol' HM.

100 DAYS THAT CHANGED MUSIC, according to Blender magazine.

SQUEEZE cofounder Chris Difford lists his favorite songwriters for Spinner.

BRITNEY SPEARS, having left rehab in March, will host the opening of LAX Las Vegas nightclub at the Luxor on August 31.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is threatening to release a second album.  Even the fluffy, heirhead friendly People magazine notes: "As for Hilton's music career, she has nowhere to go but up..."

MICHAEL BOLTON & NICOLETTE SHERIDAN are teaming up to record an album of duets.  I forget whether that's the fifth seal or the sixth.

STING and his wife have been ordered to pay 51K to a former chef after she won a sexual-discrimination claim against them.  They fired her after she became pregnant.  Very progressive of them.

JON LOVITZ roughed up Andy Dick at an L.A. comedy club over the murder of their Saturday Night Live colleague, Phil Hartman.  That's the ticket.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  New pregnancy rumors swirl around Holmes, but it's far from the first time.

LATE WWE STAR CHRIS BENOIT was on testosterone, painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs when he killed his wife and son and later comitted suicide in his Atlanta, Georgia, home last month.  I'm shocked!

BOBBY BROWN believes he is being targeted by Osama bin Laden, though that's not in the unclassified National Intell Estimate.

HILARY DUFF was confused and devastated to learn that her parents are people.  I was also mildly surprised to learn her parents were humans.

STEVE BUSCEMI, a/k/a "Mr. Pink" (NSFW) talks to IFC about directing and starring in the remake of the late Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh's Interview.

THE WORLD'S TOP-EARNING SUPERMODELS, according to Forbes magazine.  RELATED:  All is not well with Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, as his baby mama, actress Bridget Moynihan is due to give birth on Gisele's birthday.

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D-MN), the nation's first Muslim congressman, said that he erred in comparing the Bush administration's response to 9/11 to the 1933 burning of the Reichstag -- an event that led to Adolf Hitler's consolidation of power in Nazi Germany.

TERROR in the US?  The FBI is investigating an alleged operation based in Chaparral, NM, that agents say is smuggling "Iraqis and other Middle Eastern" people across the Rio Grande from Mexico.  Maybe to do a job that ordinary Americans won't do?

IRAN:  One of two known Al Qaeda leadership councils meets regularly in eastern Iran, where (fwiw) the American intell community believes dozens of senior Al Qaeda leaders have reconstituted a good part of the terror conglomerate's senior leadership structure.  That is a consensus judgment from a final working draft of a new National Intelligence Estimate.  Iranian arms are entering Afghanistan and reaching Taliban insurgents in such quality and quantity that the Tehran government must know about it, the US ambassador to Kabul said on Tuesday.

IRAQ:  Radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said his political bloc had resumed participation in Iraq's parliament, suspended last month in protest over an attack on a revered Shi'ite mosque.  Joint Iraqi-US forces raided the office of Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Iraqi People's Congress.  The top target for al Qaeda in Iraq south of Baghdad was killed July 14 in Arab Jabour by precision-guided munitions.  Brig. Gen. John F. Campbell has an update on conditions in Baghdad, saying Iraqi Security Forces have shown continued improvements.   And now that Congress is debating the issue, mass media coverage of Iraq has skyrocketed.  Though the amendment debated overnight was expected to falter, Iraqi leaders already have resigned themselves to the likelihood that the US soon will withdraw at least some troops, with a bloodletting to follow.

THE SAND CAT is techinically a "big cat," but in real life, not so much.  (Thanks, Debbie.)

A 15-FT PYTHON was captured in a residential neighborhood of Holly Hill, FL, and it was caught on camera.

DONKEYS in Kenya aren't keen on wearing diapers.

DOLPHINS like to watch.  Of course, you knew this if you have seen The Life Aquatic.

CHINESE RODENT UPDATE:  Yesterday, I noted the abundance of rats.  Today, I note that in the villages around Dongting Lake, rising waters have brought a plague of biblical proportions: an invasion of some 2 billion mice.  That's a phrase that inevitably reminds me of Ghostbusters. (NSFW)

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