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Spinal Tap, Death-Proof, Dr. Dog, Rock Shots, Raging Deer   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

CHRIS CORNELL  presents a bluesy, full-band arrangement of Jacko's "Bille Jean," which is probably how it will turn up on his solo LP next month.  I think I may still prefer the solo acoustic version.

SPINAL TAP IS REUNITING to play the Live Earth concert at Wembley Stadium in London in July.  In keeping with the event's global warming message, they are also releasing a new single called "Warmer Than Hell."  Marty DiBergi has directed a new 15-minute film about the band's reunion, which was to be shown at the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC last night.

DEATH-PROOF:  Pitchfork can hook you up to streams of Jack Nitzsche and Smith from the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino's half of Grindhouse.

BLOODSHOT RECORDS, which provides a home to Chicago's overlooked alt-country musicians, gets a nice profile from the Detroit Free Press.  Co-founder Rob Miller doesn't want to be pigeon-holed, however, noting the label also hosts bands like the Detroit Cobras, who talk to Harp magazine abut their new album, Tried and True.

DR. DOG, dug here before have a mini-set streaming from the World Cafe via NPR, where they are described as "Filtering classic rock and pop hooks through a willfully lo-fi aesthetic a la Pavement or Guided by Voices."

BABY GOT BACK:  The Sir Mix-A-Lot classic is performed in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan by some seriously ill people.

MICK JAGGER encountered a rare, luminous cigar-shaped mothership while camping at the Glastonbury festival in 1968, according to Michael C Luckman, author of Alien Rock: The Rock 'n' Roll Extraterrestrial Connection.

ROCK SHOTS:  Tom Wright, who traveled as a road manager with bands like the Rolling Stones, the Faces and the Who from the late 1960s through the early '80s, has a photo-filled memoir coming out in May.  NPR has audio, photos and an excerpt to whet your appetite.

FORTY SONGS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD is a sponsored feature at Rolling Stone, but it's not bad, if a bit dodgy as you get closer to the present-day.  You can stream the songs at the link, too.

THE PHIL SPECTOR MURDER TRIAL opened yesterday, with prosecutor Alan Jackson telling jurors that Spector had a "rich history of violence against women" and that he is someone "who, when he's confronted with the right circumstances, when he's confronted with the right situations, turns sinister and deadly."  A jury of nine men and three women was sworn in last week in L.A.. The trial will be televised; there's multimedia coverage at CourtTV's website, and at the L.A. TimesCBS has a short video recap.

APPROPOS OF NOTHING:  Pres. Bush gets his groove on.

ALEC BALDWIN will appear on The View this Friday, having approached the show after Rosie O'Donnell said she was sympathetic to him in the wake of the incendiary voice mail he left for his 11-year-old daughter, calling her a "thoughtless little pig."  Didn't Alec put out a statement saying he wasn't going to talk about this?  In any event, the audience for the pre-taped segment found it riveting and emotional.  The part that would get me emotional is his suggestion that he is interested in being released from his 30 Rock contract.  Fortunately, NBC says that's a non-starter.

ROSIE O'DONNELL will stop hosting The View in mid-June, after she and ABC could not agree on a contract.  But our national nightmare is not over; she will still be on the show in smaller doses.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise has reportedly told Holmes to attend "mommy classes" taught by Scientologists.

BEYONCE is pulling her album B'Day - Deluxe Edition amidst a lawsuit that claims the singer recorded someone else's song without permission, according to MTV.

COURTNEY LOVE is selling her clothes on eBay, with proceeds going to charity.

BRITNEY SPEARS is already back on the bottle, according to the upcoming issue of In Touch.  And Jessica Simpson's creepy dad would like to handle... her comeback.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is petitioning the Los Angeles Superior Court to legally change the name of her newly adopted son to Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt.

GIRLS GONE WILD mogul Joe Francis has been charged with one count of misdemeanor sexual battery by the L.A. City Attorney.  This has not been Joe's month.

VANESSA MINNILLO is leaving MTV's Total Request Live to pursue other projects, like shacking up with boyfriend Nick Lachey.

CATE BLANCHETT:  Golden Fiddle has you first look at her playing Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, Todd Haynes' bizarro biopic.

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE 2007, according to People magazine.  There's a photo gallery, starting with Scarlett Johansson, plus sidebars on Beauties at Every Age, video of The Models of Victoria's Secret, and more.

ROBOTS that can think for themselves could soon be caring for our children and the elderly and policing our streets, say experts.  Are we safe from robots that can think for themselves?  Scientists have expressed concern about the use of autonomous decision-making robots, particularly for military use.

IN THE EVENT OF ALIEN INASION, humans may have to mount a mujahideen-type resistance, according to Travis Taylor and Bob Boan, who have done consulting work for the Defense Department and NASA.  Which by no means rules out their being completely wacky.

IRAQ:  Baghdad was unusually low yesterday, with no major attacks inside the city.  It seems that the Adhamiya security barrier will be built, albeit in a modified fashion.  Moqtada al-Sadr called for a protest against the Adhamiya barrier.  A high-level Sunni opposition MP has said that a new, non-sectarian political coalition will soon be formed, but we've heard this before.  Coalition forces killed a senior al Qaeda leader during a raid northwest of Baghdad; his car bomb cell "used 12- to 13-year-old children as drivers.  Though violence in Ramadi has decreased, the US military has reportedly begun issuing special identification cards to locals as a measure to keep non-residents away from the city.  NBC News reports that the commander of Camp Cropper, the massive US Army detention center in Baghdad, has been charged with aiding the enemy.  Michael J. Totten blogs a tour with the Kurdish police, complete with embedded video of the cops tuning up a suspect.  Time magazine reports that Iraq may have twice as much oil than previously thought, including about 100 billion barrels of oil and a large amount of gas in the Sunni-dominated Al-Anbar province -- which, if true, might help a political reconciliation.

NORA the piano-playing cat is an Internet sensation, with 2.5 million viewers across the globe logging on to see her antics.  Embedded video of the puss playing atonal jazz at the link.

CORNELL'S CAT EXPERT dies after swerving his motorcycle to avoid hitting a cat.

SUICIDE SQUIRREL takes down the grid in Dover, Rochester, Rollinsford and Somersworth, New Hampshire.

DEER RAMPAGE through a New Oxford, Pennsylvania retirement home before making their escape.  Surveillance video and pics at the link.

A CAMEL sat on and killed the owner of an exotic animal farm while were being filmed by a local television station on Sunday.

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Live Art Brut and Yo La Tengo, Advance Feist, Raging Cow   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

ART BRUT:  Pitchfork has well-shot video of a new song, "Direct Hit," live at Subterranean in Chicago -- a show that sold out before I remembered to get tickets.  But I relish the chance to kick myself again.

BONO and THE EDGE are set to write the music and lyrics for a Broadway musical based on Spider-Man, according to Variety.

FEIST:  Leslie Feist's new album, The Reminder, doesn't come out in the US until next month, but you can stream the whole thing now at HerSpace.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD OF THE UNDEAD has lost his mom, who was 91.  Plenty of punchlines, but tragedy + time = comedy.

YO LA TENGO was a recent Lounge Act; you can stream their stripped-down set and interview, including two Kinks covers, via the WOXY blog.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  R.E.M.'s underrated little gem, "Near Wild Heaven," which I find very Spring-y.

THE 22 MOST ANNOYING SONGS, according to WNBC viewers, via the 'Gum.

THE NIGHTWATCHMAN:  I forgot to mention that former Audioslave and RATM axeman Tom Morello's acoustic solo album is streaming in full from AOL this week.

EDDIE VAN HALEN is out of rehab and looking 1000% better.  Dramatic before and after pics at the link.

MALAJUBE is a band that gets plenty of blog buzz, but which I've tended to overlook, probably because they're French-Canadian and I tend to focus on lyrics.  Anyway, they got an audio twofer at the World Cafe (via NPR), and there's plenty more to stream via the ol' HM.

BALDWIN-BASINGER UPDATE:  Kim Basinger denies leaking the voicemail of ex-hubby Alec Baldwin calling their 11-year-old daughter a "thoughtless little pig," and claims the voicemail was not sealed under a court order.  Alec Baldwin makes the Gallery of the Absurd in an ad for the talking "Daddy Dearest" doll.

SHERYL CROW is now claiming her proposed one-square limit on toilet paper (which even drew mockery from Rosie O'Donnell) was itself a joke.  Yet her partner on the global warming tour, Laurie David, has long bragged about using recycled toilet paper.  It could be that Crow was making fun of David, as the gossip is that the two have become rival divas on the road.

ROSIE O'DONNELL, meanwhile, shocked (shocked!) folks with her blue shtick at a fete for New York's most accomplished women in media at the Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom.  O'Donnell's publicist, Cindi Berger, was unapologetic: "When you ask for Rosie, you know what you're getting..."

JONATHAN RHYS-MEYERS has checked into rehab to "maintain his recovery" from alcohol.  Until recently, I wouldn't have paid it much mind, but I'm enjoying his work in The Tudors.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills was voted off Dancing with the Stars last night, after weeks of teasing people with the notion that her artificial leg might fly off.

KIRSTEN DUNST looks like she really enjoyed the afterparty for the UK premiere of Spider-Man 3.  Meanwhile, her latest beau, Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell is getting chatty with the press about their hook-up.

MARILYN MANSON-DITA VON TEESE BREAK-UPDATE:  Von Teese speaks frankly (and at length) about her split from the goth rocker, and seems downright conventional by comparison to Manson:  "It was difficult, because I was trying to get him help for his problems, and eventually I realised that he didn't want help. I wasn't supportive about his partying or his relationship with another girl, and as much as I loved him I wasn't going to be part of that.."

SHANNA MOAKLER:  The former Dancing with the Stars contestant posted contact information for Lindsay Lohan and the French Hotel on her MySpace page because she "tried to disassociate myself from both these parties for some time now and like a fungus they wont go away."

GIRLS GONE WILD founder Joe Francis pleaded guilty to one count of criminal contempt, and is still facing three more weeks of hard time in the Florida jail that is already not going well.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Apparently, being an uber-Scientologist doesn't make you smart enough to realize that when your wife works off the baby weight, it's the wrong time to buy her a fancy scale that tracks body fat.

ROGER EBERT is not looking good at the moment, but he's not letting that stop him from attending his Overlooked Film Festival in Urbana, IL.

THE DARK KNIGHT -- the Batman Begins sequel -- is filming near my place at the moment.  Sylvia Hauser was nice enough to warn me about street closures, so I pointed her to these photos, but this video clip with helicopter action is better.  Also, there have been some fishy photos supposedly of a Joker makeup test floating around the 'net, but I hadn't linked to them before now, because they're fishy.  So we must make do with a rumored Michael Keaton sighting and an unrelated fire in the old post office bldg. where they are shooting.

KRYPTONITE is discovered on Earth on the same day that astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, orbiting a "red dwarf" sun, no less?  Where is my tinfoil hat?

ETHIOPIA brings us the picture of the day -- a Mursi tribeswoman with an iPod and an AK-47.

UK TERROR ARRESTS:  Six men have been arrested on suspicion of inciting others to commit acts of terrorism abroad and fund-raising for terrorists.  They include Abu Izzadeen, also known as Omar Brooks, who the BBC reports "made headlines when he heckled Home Secretary John Reid at an event last year."  True enough, but the Beeb leaves out Izadeen calling the 7/7 London bombers as "completely praiseworthy" and mocking the victims of 7/7 and 9/11, and calling for all Muslims serving in the Army to be killed, not to mention the beheading of Muslims that work for the British gov't.

THE CIA used a fake science fiction film to sneak six Americans out of revolutionary Iran.  How is this not a movie yet?

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki is coming under pressure at home and Arab nations to cut a better political deal for the Sunni minority.  ITM's Omar Fadhil supports the controversial security barriers that would wall off most of the Sunni enclave of Adhamiya in Baghdad.  The mixed district of Mansour has been sealed off for the last several days, as Iraqi Army and National Guard conducti house-to-house searches in the area.  British forces were set to hand over al-Shuaiba military base west of Basra, to Iraqi forces on Tuesday.  A tribal coalition in western Iraq allied with the US is using harsh tactics in its battle against al-Qaeida in Anbar province, local sources tell IraqSlogger.  According to coalition briefings, attacks in Anbar province are at a two-year low; Ramadi, which used to see 20 to 25 attacks a day, now sees an average of two to four a day.  Tips to coalition forces are soaring. US troops used to find only 50% of IEDs; now they are defusing 80% before they detonate... which is why AQ has started blowing up chlorine trucks.

ARND DROSSEL put himself inside a cage to raise money for, and awareness about, psychiatric patients.  I think it's working.

A PREGNANT COW being chased by police and fire fighters caused £17,000 worth of damage on a three-hour rampage through Hanover, Germany.  Video at the link.

LONDON PIGEONS ASK: "Why do they hate us?"

NO BOAT ACCIDENT:  A 12-year-old boy was treated for puncture wounds after a shark bit him on the ankle -- the fourth shark attack in six weeks off Hutchinson Island, along Florida's east coast. "It's all psychological. You yell 'barracuda,' everybody says, 'Huh? What?' You yell 'shark,' we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July." (Thanks, Debbie.)

RIGGS won the "Beautiful Bulldog" contest, an annual event held to promote the 98th running of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, IA -- one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious track and field events.

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Sly Stone, New Releases, SSLYBY, Bjork, Giant Snail   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

SLY & THE FAMILY STONE:  Pitchfork posted three fave video clips to mark today's reissues of all seven Sly & the Family Stone LPs.  I can't resist relinking the clip of the band playing "My Lady" to win 10K at a talent contest in Ohio.  And this clip of "Stand" from The Mike Douglas Show is pretty cool, too.

NEW RELEASES:  Arctic Monkeys, Patrick Wolf, Patti Smith, Dntel, Mando Diao and The Veils are all streaming in full this week from Spinner.  Golden Smog releases the cheekily-titled Blood on the Slacks.  In addition to the Sly Stone reissues, there are remasters from Leonard Cohen.

PATTI SMITH tells Perth Now that her choice of covers on the new album was governed by accessibility rather than a desire to pay tribute to artists who inspired her. (Thanks LHB.)

SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU, BORIS YELTSIN frontman Philip Dickey tells Radar magazine, "This is the busiest my phone and e-mail have ever been in my life" after then the first freely elected president of Russia and a towering figure of his time who sttod against the tanks of a military coup, presided over the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the demise of the Communist Party, died Monday.  There are already plenty of tracks from the band to stream via the ol' HM, including alive take on The Troggs' "With A Girl Like You," but I suspect there will be even more by the time you read this.

TOM WAITS:  Just where does the master songwriter and alchemist of sound, get all his ideas from?  MOJO magazine tried to find out at a "raw-steak red" roadhouse.  RTWT.

BJORK was interviewed by Brandon Stosuy for Pitchfork about the emphasis on rhythm on her new album, Volta, and more.  The first video from the album is "Earth Intruders."  If you're lucky, you might find a live version of it as well.

THE RUNAWAYS are headed to the silver screen as the subject of an indie drama, with Joan Jett as an exec producer.

THE TWILIGHT SAD, a Scottish band getting lotsa blog love (and an 8.6 album review from Pitchfork) grab the Song of the Day slot at NPR with "That Summer, At Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy."  And there are currently scads of tracks streamable via the ol' HM.

LAURA VEIRS explains to MSNBC why her new band and album are both called "Saltbreakers."  You can stream the title track and plenty more at the moment via the ol' HM.

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff tells the Austin Chronicle that recording the band's latest album was no picnic.  The album has an Aug. 7th release date.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON will sing back up for the Jesus & Mary Chain at their Coachella warm-up date in Pomona, California on April 26.  No, really.  Now all they need is a cameo from Bill Murray.

MADONNA's marriage to movie director Guy Ritchie is reportedly on the rocks, after the filmmaker was spotted dancing intimately with a leggy mystery brunette at a London club.  Meanwhile, Madge reportedly snubbed the father of her adopted son while in Malawi, working on projects for her charity.

BRUCE WILLIS is said to be romancing his Perfect Stranger costar Tamara Feldman... if you ask her rep.  If you ask his, you'll get a different answer.

JENNIFER LOPEZ made 50 grand a minute to play for Russian billionaire Andrei Melnichenko's wife's birthday party.  Certainly a haul, though Xtina Aguilera made twice as much to play their wedding.

TOMMY LEE, Pam Anderson's first ex, recently spent an evening trying to woo Danish vixen May Anderson away from current beau Kid Rock, Pam Anderson's second ex.  The man has issues.

SIENNA MILLER will be having that threesome with Keira Knightley in the upcoming film The Best Time of Our Lives, after Lindsay Lohan pulled out of the project last week.

LINDSAY LOHAN, meanwhile, was spotted with droopy eyelids and a blank stare on her face as she stumbled out of an L.A. club.  Video at the link.

SALMA HAYEK has never been a fan of the Bible because she hates the way the good book depicts women and subliminally suggests that sex is dirty.  Pretty sure she's wrong on the second part at least.  Wait until she reads the Koran.

SHERYL CROW and LAURIE DAVID claim that presidential advisor Karl Rove was combative toward them on the issue of global warming at Saturday's White House Correspondents' dinner.  I would bet Rove does not care what David and Crow think about global warming, but David's version of the story seems dubious for several reasons: (a) Rove was sitting with staffers of The New York Times, not exactly a White House organ; (b) witnesses (likely said NYT staffers) told the Washington Post and National Review that David was very aggressive with Rove; (c)  Rove was reportedly polite in the last story of this genre; and (d) David's later comment, "I honestly thought that I was going to change his mind, like, right there and then" seems delusional at best.  The David-Crow brand of environmentalism (yes, both are against toilet paper) is mocked even by their friends on the Left side of the aisle; playing the victim sounds better than playing the rude dillitante.  BONUS:  Much like David's frequent private jet travel, it turns out Crow's tour has quite the carbon footprint -- 3 tractor-trailers, 4 buses and 6 cars.

SPIDER-MAN 3 is the most expensive movie ever made?  If not, it should be close enough to limt any profit Sony sees from it, according to Radar magazine.

NANOTECH:  To illustrate nanotechnology's potential in medicine, Northwestern University researcher Samuel Stupp was set to present results Monday showing paralyzed lab mice that have regained mobility through nanomaterial treatments.  Nevertheless, researchers are restrained, talking about results that may occur decades hence. (Thanks, Dad.)

IRAN launched a fresh nationwide drive aimed at forcing women whose clothes are deemed too tight and headscarves overly skimpy to fall in line with its Islamic dress rules.  The parliament is again trying to cut short the term of Pres. Ahmadinejad.  It appears that Tehran is trying to bribe most of the members of the Iraqi parliament.

IRAQ:  Confusion persists over whether or not the US military will continue with its plan to build barriers around the Sunni enclave of Adhamiya in Baghdad.  Controlling access to towns or neighborhoods -- whether via walls or fences ringed with barbed wire -- is a tried and true counterinsurgency technique... and unpopular with the insurgents as well as locals.  Bill Roggio notes significant changes which are occurring with the structure and development of the Iraqi Army.  Documentarian J.D. Johannes is back in Iraq and blogging from Fallujah: "I think there are parts of Al Anbar province where the war may be over and we just don't realize it."

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A giant snail, a/k/a/ caracol gigante.

SUICIDE SQUIRREL takes down the grid in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

BARNEY the MACAW taught a four-year-old autistic boy to talk.

CLONED DOGS will be mated, in an experiment to see whether they can reproduce normally.

PUPPY PROZAC:  The latest hype in pet prescriptions is a new drug called Reconcile, a beef flavored pill that dogs can take to help alleviate pet separation anxiety.

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Ryan Adams, Peter and the Wolf, Smoosh, Stumpy Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 23, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

RYAN ADAMS was forced to cancel his gig at Stonehenge.  It was feared that non-ticket holders might try to watch the show from the nearby road, forcing English Heritage to change the venue for public safety reasons.  For now, you'll have to make do with this clip of "Goodnight Rose," a folky, Grateful Dead-influenced number from his upcoming LP.

THE POLICE are playing Havana; Uncommon Sense wonders what happened to Sting's commitment to human rights.

PETER and the WOLF have a SxSW interview at Daytrotter, along with the usual free song downloads.

WOLF EYES play "Either/Or" with Drowned in Sound, including, "Black albums: Jay-Z or Metallica?"

HOPEWELL makes Song of the Day at NPR with "The Notbirds," which John Edwards clls '70s-style psychedelic rock, but which I say owes more than a little to The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and early U2.

SPOON frontman Britt Daniel doesn't mind being called indie, so long as it's not being used as a ghetto term.  Which is agood excuse to post this clip of Keepon -- a small creature-like robot developed to perform emotional and attentional interaction with children (with some success, apparently) -- dancing to Spoon's "I Turn My Camera On."

SHERYL CROW has come up with a partial solution to global warming -- a limitation on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting: "I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required."

TED LEO played in-studio for KEXP Thursday; you can jukebox the gig via the ol' HM.

AMY WINEHOUSE is engaged, though she made her fella wait 24 hours for an answer to his proposal.

SMOOSH:  Fifteen-year-old Asya is interviewed by LAist about songwriting, touring and is asked whether she has advice for other young bands.  Her advice is sound, but I have to mention that she and her sister just require candy in their contract rider.  Though their new album has been out awhile, you can still stream a few via the ol' HM.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Folks took a little breather from the cineplex, with Spider-Man 3 only two weeks away.  Disturbia repeated at number one with $13.5 million, followed by Fracture, which debuted with $11.2 million.  Blades of Glory took the bronze, earned $7.8 million and crossed the $100 million mark.  Vacancy landed in fourth place with a relatively self-descriptive $7.6 million opening.  Meet The Robinsons dropped to fifth, with a larger-than-expected 43% drop.  Hot Fuzz earned about six million this weekend, but had the highest per-screen average by far -- and justifiably so.  Thumbs up from me; if you waited for the DVD to find out how good Shaun of the Dead was, you want to see what the same guys do with a half-mystery, half-Michael Bay-esque action flick.  Are We Done Yet? isn't quite, but close with a 42% drop.  In the eighth slot, In the Land of Women earned $4.9 million and wasn't well-marketed or well-reviewed.  Perfect Stranger plummeted to ninth, earned a mere $4.1 million.  Wild Hogs clung to the bottom of the Top Ten.

SIMON PEGG of Hot Fuzz confesses he likes to wave his lightsaber around from time to time.

ALEC BALDWIN apolgized for calling his his 11-year-old daughter a "thoughtless little pig," claiming he was "driven to the edge by parental alienation."  He also filed legal papers in Los Angeles County Superior Court to determine who gave TMZ the vile voice mail message.  His apology would ring a little more true if he had not been imitating his daughter's dance moves on The Late Show with David Letterman a few hours before his tirade.  Video at that last link.

BRITNEY SPEARS is dumping her kids off on her Fed-Ex and only sees them every other weekend, according to OK! magazine.  The pop tart has no one to blame but herself if she loses custody of her two sons and ruins her career, according to her father.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills was on a flight from L.A. to London when the entertainment system broke down, so she did an impromptu dance routine... which was greeted with silence from her fellow passengers.

JESSICA ALBA is back on the singles market, at least until she gets the lovely note I wrote her (kidding, obvs).   At least she will have another five million bucks from Revlon to go on a shopping binge to compensate.  For not getting that note.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes reportedly wants to enroll the Tom-Kitten into "kiddie Catholicism" classes, which probably won't go down well with Xenu.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE:  Owen "the Butterscotch Stallion" Wilson dropped in for Hudson's birthday dinner at La Esquina, where the pair were caught canoodling in the corner.

NATALIE PORTMAN talks to London's Guardian about how some of her early roles as a pedophile's dream have affected her later career choices.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was caught canoodling with cringe-inducing singer-songwriter James Blunt.  And that's a big step down for him from Petra Nemcova.

CODE GUARDIAN:  If you liked Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, you will definitely want to watch this short film.  Even if you didn't, you may be amazed at what one person can make with his computer.

AYAAN HIRSI ALI, a Dutch feminist author, has lived under the threat of death for denouncing her Muslim upbringing.  Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center in Pennsylvania, thinks she should be tried and judged for her apostasy in a Muslim country.

IRAN:  Federal authorities are accusing a former engineer at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station of illegally taking software codes to Iran and downloading details of control rooms, reactors and designs of the nation's largest nuclear plant.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki announced that he had ordered a halt to a barrier being built by the US military that would separate the Adhamiya neighborhood of Baghdad.  The barrier was apparently an unpopular idea with locals and the press, even as the neighborhood came under regular mortar and rocket attacks thought to be fired by Shiite militiamen in surrounding districts, often in retaliation to car bombings by Sunni insurgents against Shi'ite districts and marketplaces.  A group of Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar province -- some 200 sheiks said to represent 50 tribes -- intend to form a national party to oppose insurgents such as Al Qaeda in Iraq and reengage with Iraq's political process.  The driving force behind the new party, Sheik Abdul-Sattar abu Risha, said that one purpose of the party is to promote a better image of US-led forces and to support a US-backed effort to reestablish a court system in Ramadi.  A detainee gave up names, and showed Coalition forces insurgent safe houses, weapons and bomb caches and more -- after being beaten by Iraqi troops (without US knowledge, apparently):  "If the Americans used this way, the way we use, nobody would shoot the Americans at all," Bassim Hassan said. "But they are easy with them, and they have made it easy for the terrorists."  Perhaps the story's lede sums it up: "Out here in what the soldiers call Baghdad's wild west, sometimes the choices are all bad."

THIS CAT and MOUSE are good friends; should they break up, it will robably be ugly.  More awww...some pics at the link.

A SUICIDE SUIRREL in training survived a 60ft plunge to concrete from the top of a towering sycamore tree... and a cat attack.

STUMPY UPDATE:  The intrepid four-legged duck is now an intrepid three-legged duck.  The silver lining is that Stumpy can roam the farm free with the other ducks because it is no longer at risk of being caught in hedges.

NARWHALS -- marine mammals with unicorn-like tusks that live in arctic seas --  are studying global warming.  It's only a matter of time before Bikini Whales get involved.

DIDN'T NEED A BIGGER BOAT?  A sturgeon jumped out of a river and hit a woman riding a personal watercraft, the latest such injury involving the flying fish along the Suwannee River in FL.  Meanwhile, off the FL panhandle, the crews of the The Sea Ya Later II and The Mother Lode reeled in a 1,063-pound mako shark.

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The Shins, Mark Ronson, Man Man, Cutout Bin, Sex-Mad Badgers   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE SHINS!  They are the latest to play a "Take-Away show" for La Blogotheque, playing five songs unplugged as they roam the streets of Paris.  In Part 1, they jam a little of Love's "Alone Again Or" during the credits before playing "Gone for Good" and "Turn On Me."  Part 2 includes "Turn A Square," "The Past and Pending" and "Australia."  You can watch both, download 'em and read a bit about the day at La Blogotheque, natch.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKER Patterson Hood talks about the band's split with Jason Isbell and about new member (guitarist and pedal steel player) John Neff, with the Nashville City Paper.

MARK RONSON is currently streaming his covers album via HisSpace.  The cover of The Smiths' "Stop Me..." is the single, but the album is loaded with fun cameos, including the Dap-Tones horns on the opening track and Amy Winehouse on The Zuton's "Valerie."

MAN MAN:  The Philadelphia City Paper has a week-long diary of the band's recording sessions for a hoped for breakthrough album and label deal.

DAYTROTTER founder Sean Moeller tells the Des Moines Register he is gratified by the response to his free live music site, if a bit sleep-deprived.  BTW, the site has started rolling out bonus entries from SxSW, such as an interview and free songs from The Little Ones.

THE BLACK KEYS have a streaming audio feature from the World cafe via NPR, in which we learn that the garagey-bluesy duo is collaborating on a disc with Ike Turner, produced by Danger Mouse, due later this year.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Cream's "I Feel Free," because it's finally warming up around here.

GO INDIE:  Amazon.com has joined forces with more than 30 independent music labels   -- from Alligator to Yep Rock and Smithsonian Folkways to Sub Pop -- to launch a new section in its Indie music store, featuring a hand-picked selection of nearly 700 titles, 150 of which carry a reduced price of $9.99.

HYPE RADIO:  The Hype Machine has launched an Internet radio station with tracks drawn from the music blogs it aggregates.

JARVIS COCKER talks to Harp magazine about identifying with middle-aged women and how having a child may have affected his work.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  District Judge Jane McIvor says the troubled singer is "more than co-operating" with his drug treatment order, which seems a bit hard to square with Dherty's comment that he's "quite keen to show a negative test as soon as possible."  A few hours later, Doherty threw a bucket of ice-cold water over a photographer in a fit of rage -- and narrowly avoided soaking his supposedly sober supermodel fiancee as she arrived home.  Meanwhile, folks are wondering whether Moss has done anything under a  £3 million contract to design a fashion line forTopshop besides raid her own closet.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM include: Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On; The Tubes - Proud To Be An American (not Lee Greenwood); The Replacements - I.O.U.; Dick Dale - Misirlou; The Boys From County Nashville - Black Dog; The Jayhawks - Blue; Golden Smog - Look At You Now; Fountains of Wayne - '92 Subaru; Dinosaur Jr. - Just Like Heaven; The Byrds - The World Turns All Around Her; The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee; Carole King - I Feel the Earth Move; Phair, Liz - 6'1; Saturday Looks Good To Me - Lift Me Up; Paul Revere & The Raiders - Kicks; R.E.M. - Superman; The Blues Project - Wake Me, Shake Me; Yo La Tengo - Big Day Coming; and Beastie Boys - You Gotta Fight For Your Right to Party.

ALEC BALDWIN unleashed a volcanic tirade of threats and insults on his 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, calling her a "thoughtless little pig," and bashing her mother Kim Basinger.  TMZ has the audio that could cost Baldwin his visitation rights.  Baldwin is pretending to obey a court-imposed gag order while blaming his wife for the leak of the tape.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include the psych-thriller Fracture, which is currently scoring 75 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; hotel horror-thriller Vacancy, which is scoring 57 percent; and the romantic dramedy In The Land Of Women, which is scoring 39 percent.  Near wide on 700 screens is the British police comedy Hot Fuzz, which is scoring an impressive 89 percent.

HOT FUZZ:  Speaking of which, Cinematical has an interview with director Edgar Wright.

LINDSAY LOHAN and KEIRA KNIGHTLEY will not be shooting a threesome in The Best Time of Our Lives, as Li-Lo has passed after contract talks broke down.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt's rep is denying that Pitt spoke to the Daily Mail for the story linked here recently about the couple's distate for the media scrutiny they receive.  Of couurse, the ever-reliable Life & Style magazine has the couple at the breaking point.

JESSICA ALBA may have wanted to show she has not split from Cash Warren, but she may not have appreciated him throwing his wad of gum at the paparazzi documenting their togetherness.  After all, that's the sort of thing that makes people suspect cash isn't thrilled to be there.  Video at the link.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes is now filming Mad Money in Louisiana, and while she's away from her reportedly controlling spouse, she's reconnecting with family and friends and even secretly talking to Catholic priests, according to the ever-reliable Life & Style magazine.

IS ANYONE WATCHING NBC?  Last week, the network had its worst ratings in at least 20 years, and likely ever.

ERIC BANA and RACHEL McADAMS are set to star in The Time Traveler's Wife, an adaptation of the best-selling Audrey Niffenegger sci-fi novel, according to Variety.

KATE BECKINSALE is among the frontrunners for a remake of Barbarella?  Let's hope so!  The script is being penned by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who retooled James Bond for Casino Royale.

GO, SPEED GO!  Matthew Fox of Lost is in final negotiations to play Racer X  in the Wachowski Bros. big-screen live-action adaptation of the 1960s cartoon.

SPIDER-MAN 3:  If you can deal with spoilers, IESB has seven new clips posted, while Aint-It-Cool-News has early, glowing reviews.

SUPERHERO ANGST:  At London's Guradian, Chris Moran is upset about Ed Norton doing The Hulk sequel, and the trend toward more serious superhero movies generally: "What seems to be happening is that the actors themselves are being duped into thinking that these are roles of Shakespearean complexity..."  Moran thinks actors are even more dumb than I do, which may be true.  But his examples don't support his argument.  He doesn't like Batman Begins, but that pic raked in nearly 372 million bucks at the boxoffice.  It revitalized the Batman franchise, which tanked when people like Joe Schumacher and George Clooney started making movies like the old TV series than like Dirty Harry.  The Hulk movie may have been too serious under Ang Lee's direction, but if Norton can bring a good Dr. Jeckyll-Mr. Hyde dramatic vibe to the sequel, it might do better than the original.

IRAN has started feeding small amounts of uranium gas into centrifuges that can enrich it to weapons-grade level and is already running more than 1,300 of the machines, according to an IAEA document obtained by the AP.  A shipment of Iranian-made weapons bound for the Taliban was recently captured by allied forces in Afghanistan, but Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it was not clear if the Iranian gov't had authorized the shipment.

IRAQ: US commanders already have a strategy to prevent further spectacular al Qaeda suicide attacks in Baghdad, focusing on rooting out insurgents in predominantly Sunni towns and villages on the capital's periphery, or what they call "the Baghdad belts."  Because of the complexity of building a car bomb, which can require a near-complete dismantling of the vehicle, most are probably made in these sparsely populated "belt" areas where the work can be more easily concealed.  It appears that a new command has already been created and given responsibility for the Army brigades to tackle these areas.  Bill Roggio has more on the construction of new Combat Outposts in the outer belts to disrupt al Qaeda and insurgent activity there.

SEX-MAD BADGERS are leaving a trail of destruction and waking neighbors with noisy late-night passionate encounters in the suburbs of London.

HOTDOLL is a sex doll for dogs.  Do they make one for badgers?

STOP STARING AT THE CHIMPS!  You're, like, totally bumming them out!

IF YOUR DRAIN GETS CLOGGED, hope that it isn't a 7-foot dead alligator.

BUDDY THE DONKEY was the lead witness at the trial of a neighbors' dispute in Dallas, TX.  Pic at the link.

2009 Reads

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