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Robyn Hitchcock, New Releases, Smithereens, The Birds   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ROBYN HITCHCOCK was joined by Peter Buck and Harvey Danger's Sean Nelson on "Flesh Number One (Beetle Dennis)" for the Yep Roc Showcase at SxSW (Thanks, Stereogum.).  SUPER BONUS:  Someone named "gordo73" has posted (sometimes incomplete) clips of Hitchcock & the Venus 3 playing "Give It to the Soft Boys," Pink Floyd's "See Emily Play" and the Magnum Force-inspired "(A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs," among others.

JOE BOYD, who has (among other things) managed a Muddy Waters tour, booked Pink Floyd and produced acts including Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson, Nick Drake and R.E.M., had Robyn Hitchcock play a reading from his newly-released memoirs.  Boyd is interviewed at the link.

NEW RELEASES:  The Johnny Marr-enhanced Modest Mouse is among the albums streaming via AOL proper, while Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, LCD Soundsystem and others are streaming via Spinner.  Indie violinist Andrew Bird releases the seemingly more accessible Armchair Apocrypha album.  There are stateside releases of albums from two misnamed bands -- the insanely happy Swedsh collective I'm From Barcelona and the more dour French quartet Cyann & Ben.  On a local (to me) note,  The Ponys Turn the Lights Out for Matador Records.  And female duo The Pierces harmonize their way through the folk and cabaret tinged pop on 13 Tales of Love and Revenge.

PHIL SPECTOR:  Jury selection began on Monday in the murder trial of pioneering rock producer Phil Spector, who came to court in L.A. sporting a new blond, Beatles-style shag, instead of the spectacular Jewfro he wore to the preliminary hearings.  One of his attorneys, Bruce Cutler -- who successfully defended mafia chieftain John Gotti three times -- predicts an acquittal, natch, even though the jury will hear testimony of other women who said Spector has threatened them with a gun.  E! Online has a helpful trial primer.  NPR has an audio feature explaining Spector's famed "Wall of Sound" production technique.

THE SMITHEREENS played the World Cafe on Friday, so you can stream the gig from NPR now.  The band's latest album is a cover of Meet the Beatles, but they also mine their own catalog for this show, inlcuding a new singalong.

TWOFER TUESDAY:  The only thing more evil than the cast of Anchorman is the dreaded original version, which is rumored to be what broke Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in that secret CIA prison.

GENE SIMMONS might want to put the KISS makeup back on until the swelling from his face lift subsides.  Pic at the link.

LONEY, DEAR:  Emil Svanägen is increasingly called on to translate his home-recorded melodies into full-blown live performance material -- not an easy thing for someone who misses having someone to have coffee with more than having bandmates.  PopMatters has embedded audio and video in its feature.

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE QUEEN:  Members of the British "project" talk to Pitchfork about songwriting, role-playing, war, and their collective legacies.

PENNY LANE is named after James Penny, a slave trader and investor in 11 voyages that took 500 to 600 captives at a time to the New World -- but the approach of the March 25 anniversary of the British parliamentary act that abolished the slave trade in Britain's colonies 200 years ago is not moving Liverpool's city council to change the name.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie jetted to Hanoi to get a visa for her newly-adopted son.  Reuters has video.

BRITNEY SPEARS was caught romping in the bushes of her rehab center with a mystery man, according to Britain's uber-reliable Daily Star.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise, Holmes and the Tom-Kitten celebrated St. Patrick's Day, including a wearing of the green.  Then Cruise drug the family straight to the Celebrity Centre of Scientology where they spent the remainder of the afternoon.

JOHN TRAVOLTA and Erika Christensen were set to open Church of Scientology outreach centers in religiously conservative Plant City and downtown St. Petersburg, FL.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but a bidding war has broken out over her lost diaries, in which she talks about a pregnancy scare in the early 1990s, her drug use and her love for late husband, octagenarian billionaire J Howard Marshall.  FOX News claims that Dr. Khristine Eroshevich wanted to be Smith's Dr. Feelgood; coincidentally, Dr. Eroshevich was invoking patient-doctor confidentiality on Entertainment Tonight.  And a judge who heard evidence on baby Dannilyn's DNA paternity test was busted on charges of possessing marijuana.

NATALIE PORTMAN'S supposed nude scenes in the upcoming Goya's Ghost are scary, not sexy.  At least she didn't have to shave her head for these torture scenes, though she gets groped by the clergy again.  Egotastic has video at the link.

THE FRENCH HOTEL photographed in a very, very compromising position with Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo?  It looks more like a bit of celebrity fauxtogrpahy.  Either way, it's crazy.

RALPH FINNES was urged to take an AIDS test after the stewardess who seduced him on a Qantas jet admitted she had previously worked as a high-class prostitute.  Ironically, the day after their liason, Finnes was scheduled for engagements in Indian villages, which included "preaching" about the dangers of AIDS and the need to engage in safe sex.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  NW magazine is reigniting rumors with a claim that Ryan Phillippe spent the night at Ashlee Simpson's house over the weekend after the two met during a night out.  Ryan's publicist has denied the rumours.

CATE BLANCHETT has signed on to star in the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones adventures.

PIRATES of the CARIBBEAN:  The trailer for At World's End has been posted at Yahoo! Movies.  Mild spoilers, esp. if you have not seen the second movie.  There's a bonus clip also.

WALEED MOHAMMED BIN ATTASH confessed to planning the attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors in the Gulf of Aden in Yemen in October 2000.

IRAN is threatening to retaliate in Europe for what it claims is a daring undercover operation by western intelligence services to kidnap senior officers in its Revolutionary Guard, who seem to be going missing in Iraq: "We've got the ability to capture a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks. Iran has enough people who can reach the heart of Europe and kidnap Americans and Israelis."  Tehran also barred UN inspectors from visiting an underground bunker where it is building an industrial-scale plant to make enriched uranium.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  To mark the fourth anniversary of the invasion, ABC News, USA Today, and the BBC joined forces to produce reports of "lost hope," based on a German poll of Iraqi public opinion.  Though a year of sectarian violence probably makes Iraqis more pessimistic, a look at page 37 of the full poll results shows the poll greatly oversampled Sunni Arabs who are, by all accounts, the most dissatisfied with post-Saddam Iraq-and unsurprisingly so, as they were the beneficiaries of Sadaam's despotic regime.  As the USA Today correctly reports that Sunni Arabs are 15%-20% of the population, you might think at least that paper would have noticed Sunni Arabs made up 35% of those polled.  Even with that huge flaw the poll shows that while 80% oppose the US troop presence, about 65% don't want the US to leave.  Moreover, most did not think Iraq was in a civil war and want a unified and democratic future.  UPDATE:  This shoddy poll was helping drag down US troop morale in Baghdad Monday night.  I do not know how some in the media sleep at night. 

IRAQ:  Al Qaeda marked the fourth anniversary of the invasion by setting off bombs in Kirkuk and Baghdad, killing 26.  Late Monday, US and Iraqi troops engaged in a major operation as part of the crackdown in the volatile Hurriyah neighborhood in northern Baghdad, state television said.  In Huseiba, a village just outside of Ramadi, the locals "cleansed" their town of armed gangs after al Qaeda tried to force a young boy to join them.  IraqSlogger relays a local report that former Prime Minister Alawi is negotiating with members of the governing United Iraqi Coalition in hopes of poaching members from the ruling coalition to bring down the Maliki government.  Slogger also reports that US Army medics established an ad hoc medical clinic in Sadr City on Saturday, trying to service the needs of locals who most often rely on members of Sadr's Mahdi Organization for healthcare.  Michael J. Totten is blogging further progress in the Kurdish north since his last visit, with plenty of pics.

A CROW has attacked three mothers at a British primary school.  It's just the beginning, you know.  BTW, my parents (probably unwisely) took me to see that movie when it was in the theaters.  I laughed through the whole flick.  Which tells you something about me.

A STOLEN CROCODILE was found sitting in a car passenger seat, while the driver recovered from a suspected epileptic fit, in Frankston, Australia.

A SUICIDE SQUIRREL blacked out 13,000 households in Tucson, AZ.  Meanwhile a North Carolina paper profiles a squirrel sympathizer.

GLOW-IN-THE-DARK BUNNIES have been produced by geneticists in France inserting a gene from a fluorescent jellyfish into a rabbit's egg.

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Cheap Trick, New Meat Puppets, Live Sonic Youth, New Leopard   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 19, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

CHEAP TRICK:  Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen duet on "Voices" for Kids Are People Too, then answer questions from the kids, circa 1980.

SxSW REDUX:  At Chromewaves, Frank has link-laden posts from Day2, Day3, and Day 4 of the big fest.  Don't forget that NPR has archived a bunch of gigs, including sets from Robyn Hitchcock, The Stooges, Steve Earle, and The Ponys.  The Current also posted a bunch, concluding with three unplugged songs from Sweden's Mando Diao.

THE PIPETTES played a bunch at SxSW -- even 'net gossip Perez Hilton got his picture taken with them.  But they are mostly playing hard-to-get until their album comes out in the US later this year.

THE MEAT PUPPETS played a Sterogum-sponsored gig at SxSW, so the 'gum has pics and a video of "Plateau" for you watching pleasure.

SONIC YOUTH will be performing Daydream Nation in its entirety at the summer's Pitchfork Music Festival.  I will be there.  Ken King will be unable to attend but alerted me that rbally is back with Sonic Youth at the Roseland Theatre from July 2006, which you can jukebox via the ol' HM.

JIMI HENDRIX & DUSTY SPRINGFIELD:  There apparently only 49 seconds of their take on "Mockingbird" left in existence.

THEY WILL ROCK YOU: 10 New Artists for 2007, with free MP3s, courtesy of Spinner.

THE HOLD STEADY keyboardist Franz Nicolay:  "This is going to sound like the most retarded quotation ever, but rocking is harder than it looks..."  Inasmuch as my Dad has overlooked this band. I must re-link to their performance of "Stuck Between Stations" on Letterman and these live videos on the Tube.

BEFORE THE MUSIC DIES is a documentary indicting the music business for its core failing: it couldn't care less about good music, while it spends millions and millions peddling disposable crap that doesn't stand a chance of being passed from one generation to the next.

MAN MAN front man Honus Honus (a/k/a) Ryan Kattner tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about the band's experimental brand of pop music:  "The only thing we actively think about is that we don't want to be 'another band.' We didn't want to be a rock band. I don't know if we are or not, but I don't think so."  The writer finds them difficult to describe, and rightly so... so you're best off watching their video for "Engrish Bwuud" and their live take on "Van Helsing's Boombox" for Dutch TV.

LINDSAY LOHAN reportedly was drinking champagne with Jude Law at NYC hotspot The Box both Friday and Saturday nights.  She also barred her felon-turned-preacher dad from a party she was deejaying.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  300 dropped 56 percent, but still took the weekend with about million bucks, a hefty $9,500 per screen average and a $127 million total so far on its $60 million budget.  Wild Hogs continues to surprise by placing with $18.8 million.  This weekend's new releases, Premonition, Dead Silence, and I Think I Love My Wife rounded out the Top Five, though there was a big gap between Premonition's $18 million and the other two grossing $7.7 and $5.7 million, respectively.  Bridge to Terabithia hung in at sixth dropping only 24 percent and grossing over $74 million so far.  Ghost Rider dropped 40 percent, but has at least grossed its $110 million budget.  Zodiac made $3 million and its $29 million total looks like a dud against a $65 million budget.  Norbit and Music and Lyrics complete the Top Ten.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie has apologized for exposing her new son to the media frenzy that greeted them in Vietnam - and has vowed to focus on her growing family and be a stay-at-home mom, according to a Vietnamese newspaper.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but a Bahamanian judge has ordered DNA testing in the custody suit over Smith's 6-month old daughter, Dannielynn.

SIENNA MILLER has hired two bodyguards to protect her from a transvestite stalker, according to Britain's uber-reliable Daily Star.  I guess if you're going to have a stalker, he might as well be a transvestite.

ROSE McGOWAN was recently in an auto accident that pushed her eyeglasses into her face, slicing her under the eye.  She was terrified of scarring, but found an excellent plastic surgeon.  That explains why McGowan looked so terrible at the Golden Globes, but looks so much better copping a feel from her Grindhouse co-star, Rosario Dawson.

UMA THURMAN is reportedly planning to wed on-off boyfriend Andre Balazs after ex-husband Ethan Hawke gave his blessing for the union.

KID ROCK won't be charged with assault, after prosecutors couldn't confirm the claim from a woman who visited his Detroit house last week.

GOODBYE, NORMA JEAN:  A newly-released -- but unsourced an unauthenticated -- FBI report suggests that Bobby Kennedy, Peter Lawford, Marilyn Monroe's psychiatrist, staff and publicist were aware of -- and perhaps even participants in -- a plan "to induce" Monroe's suicide.

GISELE BUNDCHEN does not look pregnant by Patriots QB Tom Brady.

ROSIE O'DONNELL defends 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  And she's apparently a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  The Three Little Pigs got a reprieve from councillors, who reversed a Yorkshire school's politically-correct decision to call them the Three Little Puppies to avoid complaints from Muslims (who, in fact didn't complain and thought the decision was silly).

AFGHANISTAN:  Taliban terrorists cut off the noses and ears of three Afghan drivers supplying US military bases.

IRAQ:  Most Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein, according to a new British opinion poll.  Despite the ongoing violence, only 26% preferred life under Saddam, with 49% preferring life under the current political regime of Noori al-Maliki.  The Maliki gov't is trying to stave off a challenge from more secular blocs.  Gunmen seriously wounded the mayor of Sadr City Thursday.  A statement from Moqtada al-Sadr urging his followers oppose occupying troops was read out at prayers in Sadr City on Friday, leading to street demonstrations.  A curfew was imposed all over the city of Hilla to block similar protests.  A "security plan" for Diyala Province is also underway, Iraqi sources say.  At ITM, Omar opines that Al Qaeda's exploding chlorine trucks will cause the local Sunnis to redouble their war against the terrorists.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  How does the New York Times report dropping US casualties in Iraq?  By immediately adding that "a higher proportion of the American deaths have occurred in Baghdad."

LEOPARDS may not change their spots, but the Borneo Clouded Leopard is a new type of cat.

SUPERMARKET EGGS hatch into cute ducklings.  They sell duck eggs in the UK... who knew?  Cute pics at the link.

MORE THAN 50 REPTILES, including a freshwater crocodile, two pythons and three bearded dragons, were stolen from an Australian animal education center established to continue the work of wildlife crusader Steve Irwin.

SCOTTISH SHEEP are shrinking; scientists suspect global warming is to blame.  No, really. (Thanks, Dad.)

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St. Pats, SxSW, REM, Ditty Bops, Cutout Bin, Unicorn Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 16, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with JOE STRUMMER and THE POGUES putting a Celtic spin on "London Calling" and "I Fought The Law" for St. Patrick's Day, 1988!  Follow that up with the Dropkick Murphys' videos for "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" (which you may have heard in Martin Scorsese's The Departed) and "The Wild Rover."  Round it out with a live take on one of my Fave Pogues songs, "Sally MacLennane."

SxSW:  Real-world commitments kept me from preparing even an imaginary trip to the music fest this year, but Frank Yang from Chromewaves has journeyed deep into the heart of Texas, with MP3 and MySpace links to the bands he's seeing -- some of of which would have been on my list as well.  Pitchfork links to downloads from their recommended bands.  NPR has streaming recommendations of Shearwater, Issac Hayes, Laura Gibson and more.  It's worth repeating that NPR is also streaming and archiving a number of gigs.  For example, The Holloways are described with references to  The Jam, The Clash, The Libertines and... Dexys Midnight Runners.  And the power-pop of the Apples In Stereo comes off more raw live.  There are still more performances to be had via The Current and WOXY.  And iFilm has a showcase of SxSW video, including stuff from Peter Bjorn & John, Beirut, and Lily Allen.

THE ARCADE FIRE:  Neon Bible claimed the No. 2 spot on the US Billboard 200 charts this week, so congrats to them.

R.E.M.:  Heather Browne is streaming a two-disc radio promo set of a 2003 gig recorded in Hollywood.

MY MORNING JACKET decided to stage a two-night prom at the legendary 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA, complete with a futuristic/retro under the sea theme.  Heather Browne has pictures, torrents and a stream of MMJ covering "Oh, What A Night" by the Dells.

A GUIDE TO PICKING NEW MUSIC, courtesy of Esquire magazine.

THE WFMU PLEDGE DRIVE is offering free sample MP3s from some of the DJ premiums, including Frank O'Toole's mix of Mystery Beach Boys Tapes, which you can stream at the link.

A DAY LATE, but never late than never.  Beware the friendly stranger with candy!

THE PHIL SPECTOR TAPES, recorded shortly before the hit producer was charged with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, should all be posted today at London's Telegraph.

THE DITTY BOPS stopped by The Current to chat and play three songs, which you can stream from MPR now.

THE BIRD AND THE BEE, a jazzy-pop duo I mentioned here recently, have a streaming audio feature up via the World Cafe and NPR.

BRAD DELP, the late lead singer of Boston, committed suicide and the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the local police.  Doubly sad.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  The Firday's fortuitous finds via the ol' HM include this intro, plus: The Police - Next To You (Live); Elvis Costello - Pump It Up; White Denim - Shake Shake Shake; R.E.M. w/Patti Smith - I Wanna Be Your Dog; Ian Dury & the Blockheads - Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick; James Brown - Funky President; Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band - Kitty's Back; Bar-Kays - Soul Finger; Ted Leo - Keep On Pushin' (C. Mayfield); Billy Bragg - A New England; Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - One Long Pair of Eyes;  Yo La Tengo - Let's Save Tony Orlando's House; Dylan Hears A Who - Green Eggs & Ham; The Animals - We Gotta Get Out of This Place;  The Mamas & The Papas - Go Where You Wanna Go; Harry Nilsson - Everybody's Talkin'; and Boston - Peace of Mind.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie has officially made off with 3-year-old Vietnamese boy Pax Thien Jolie.   His name means Peaceful Sky.  The adoption is consistent with Jolie's prior comments about balancing the number of Asian and African-born kids in her family.  The Daily Mail has exclusive pics.

NOW SHOWING:  This week's wide releases include: the Sandra Bullock thriller Premonition, which is scoring a whopping nine percent on the Tomatometer; the Chris Rock rom-com I Think I Love My Wife, which is doing marginally better at 18 percent; and this week's unscreened-for-critics horror flick, Dead Silence.  I'm guessing it will be another big weekend for 300.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Super-reliable Star magazine reports that the pop tart's diva-size demands are causing major troubles at her Malibu-based rehab center, with an "insider" claiming: "She's been very demanding, acts like a 12-year-old and throws temper tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants!"  Her rumored new boyfriend is blabbing to TMZ about "growing very close" since their "special" relationship began.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills has said she still loves Sir Paul despite, she claimed, the "huge powers" trying to destroy her.  Meanwhile, when not practicing for Dancing With The Stars, Mills found time to lead a vegetarian raid on a pig farm in Somerset; pics and video at the link.  And the local cops are complaining that Mills is making too many emergency calls about the paparazzi.

REGIS PHILBIN is recovering from successful heart surgery at a NYC hospital, according to WABC in New York.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON will star in the still-untitled film Woody Allen is shooting this summer in Spain. With three starring roles in his past four films, Johansson has become Allen's biggest go-to gal since Mia Farrow and Diane Keaton.  Think Soon-Yi will visit the set much?

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but the autopsy findings have been delayed while police meet with homicide detectives to discuss new evidence -- apparently evidence on a computer inside the hotel room where Smith died.

GWEN STEFANI of No Doubt has moved into a hotel -- because there's not enough room at her London home for her wardrobe and entourage.

SIENNA MILLER was seeemingly stood up by new bf Burke at the premiere of her new movie and, after learning that ex-bf Law has been getting cosy with Lindsay Lohan, ducked the after-party and went elsewhere to drink Dom Perignon until dawn.  Pics at the link.

TMZ -- a fave source of gossip 'round these parts -- is opening a branch in Washington, DC.

CARMEN ELECTRA takes a spill on the catwalk -- let's go to the video.  ICYDK has still photos.

GRINDHOUSE -- the upcoming "double-feature" from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez -- contains scenes so graphic and outrageous  that it's headed for an NC-17 without big cuts, according to Page Six.  And the descriptions go so far beyond even the past work of Tarantino and Rodriguez that I suspect things were shot as bargaining chips with the MPAA... and just for the fun of it.  There's a new trailer for it at iFilm.  Popoholic has a 25-minute featurette on the project, with interviews, mild spoilers and never-before-seen footage from FX.

ISLAM in the UK:  A junior school production of the Three Little Pigs has been renamed the Three Little Puppies for fear of offending Muslims -- a politically correct move  even the Muslim Council of Britain condemned as misguided and said decisions like this were turning Muslims into 'misfits' in society.  The University of Leeds has been accused of "selling out" academic freedom of speech by scrapping a talk on links between the Nazis and Islamic anti-semitism after allegedly receiving emails from Muslims protesting about the event.  The university denies this, claiming that it was cancelled on safety grounds alone... and what would be the security threat? 

KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED admitted responsibility for over 30 terror operations, including the 9/11 attacks, personally beheading Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, Richard Reid's attempted shoe bombing of an airliner over the Atlantic, the Bali, Indonesia, nightclub bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center attack.  KSM claimed that he was tortured by the CIA, but said he was not under duress at Guantanamo when he confessed.  Indeed, KSM was prone to exaggerate his role in some of these attacks and plans, though he had been linked by other evidence to Operation Bojinka (the plot to blow up 11 or 12 American airliners simultaneously over the Pacific Ocean), a possible assassination attempt on the Pope, Pearl's murder, 9/11, the 1993 WTC bombing, and so on.  The Counterterrorism Blog sorts out his role in other Indonesian terror attacks.  KSM's expertise was never replaced and his detention contributed to Al Qaeda's transition from a fear-inspiring attack force to a hate-filled voice on the Internet.

IRAN:  Six major powers agreed to impose new UN sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, but Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad remained defiant.

IRAQ:  The Iraqi newspaper al-Mada claims that Al-Qaeda is now facing in Falluja the same form of opposition it has been facing elsewhere in Anbar province.  Al-Hayat, otoh, suggests that Prime Minister al-Maliki's visit to Anbar is part of an effort to garner support from Sunnis and stave off the efforts of former PM Allawi to replace Maliki's Shia-led gov't with a more secular bloc.  London's Guardian has video of Sunni forces fighting Al Qaeda in Anbar province, via the UK's Channel 4.  Iraqi police may be dancing in the streets over the recent successes of the new security paln in Baghdad, but they are still a bit short on following proper procedure on occasion.  The first major car bomb in days exploded in the town of Iskandariya, killing six.  The AP covers the bloody first day for the crack Stryker battalion dispatched from Baghdad to Diyala province, which broadens the Baghdad security operation.  Maj. Gen. William Caldwell  says that the latest military intell suggests that Moqtada al-Sadr is still in Iran.

HENRY the HAMSTER got trapped in a kitchen pipe, but was sucked to safety with the help of a vacuum cleaner.

UNICORN UPDATE:  Prosecutors sheepishly admitted Thursday that a Montanan did not actually claim that a unicorn had been driving his truck when it crashed.

THE MOLEIMATOR is the scourge of burrowing creatures in Shelby, KY.   Who's the gopher's ally? His friends. The harmless squirrel and the friendly rabbit.

CUTE BABY ANIMAL BIRTH WATCH:  San Diego's Wild Animal Park has a new elephant in its herd.  Awww... some video at the link.

YOU MESS WITH THE BULL, you're gonna get the horns.  Who doesn't know this?

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Graham Parker, SxSW, Covers, Advance Meat Puppets, Unicorn   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

GRAHAM PARKER released a new album this week -- featuring "Stick To The Plan" -- which I forgot to mention the other day.  To make up for it, I tracked down the videos for two of his best-known songs, "Local Girls" and the Motown-esque "Wake Up (NextTo You)," as well as a clip of Parker playing "Discovering Japan" and ""Temporary Beauty" Billy Bragg-style at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music from late 2005. 

SxSW:  The big music fest is underway in Austin, TX.  The Hoodoo Gurus feature in Variety's coverage of the kickoff.  Rolling Stone's blog has the obligatory "has the festival gotten too mainstream and corporate?" piece, which is pretty funny, given that SxSW was first an industry gathering.  The fest certainly has become much more tech-savvy over the years.  Selected gigs will be on DirectTV, including The Buzzcocks, Annuals, The Polyphonic Spree, Peter Bjorn & John and more.  Even more gigs are streaming live and on demand from NPR as part of its extensive coverage, including PB&J, Apples in Stereo, Robyn Hitchcock, Steve Earle, The Stooges, Okkervil River and more...

GOOD COVERS, BAD COVERS:  The A.V. Club inventories "14 cover songs that are better than the originals," while USA Today's Whitney Matheson came up with a list of 20 quality covers in response to Cracked's list of "The 20 Worst Cover Songs in Pop Music History," which has embedded multimedia.

TEGAN & SARA, The Cinematics, and Mute Match are playing live in the current installment of Spinner's 3x3.

THE MEAT PUPPETS:  Curt Kirkwood talks to Stereogum about his band's new lineup and upcoming album.  Curt gave the 'gum "Disappear" as an advance track.

IT'S TIME TO DO THE "TIGHTEN UP":  Spinner claims that soulster Archie Bell was recuperating from a leg wound in an Army hospital in Germany when "Tighten Up" topped the charts in 1968... and that other soldiers convalescing at the hospital didn't believe that he was the Archie Bell.  Bell gives a different account on the Charles Snider Show, also explaining that the tune was indirectly inspired by his draft induction notice.  And if you watch a clip of Archie Bell & The Drells from back in the day, you can see a young Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn playing the guitar and bass. 

LESLIE FEIST and EMILY HAINES may be pursuing solo projects while Broken Social Scene is on hiatus, but they were seriously funny on the topic of women in rock when they crossed paths in London.

INDIE SELLS OUT:  The latest band to lend its music to a commercial is Animal Collective, whose "Sweet Road" is heard in an ad for Crayola crayons.

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE QUEEN -- the project featuring Blur frontman Damon Albarn, The Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Afrobeat pioneer and drummer Tony Allen and former Verve guitarist Simon Tong -- played Washington, DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream the gig from NPR now.

FATS DOMINO gets an update on the restoration of his home in post-Katrina N'awlins.  The place is getting fixed up by the Tipitina's Foundation, which which helped scores of musicians after the storm find housing and new instruments.  The project will cost upward of $100,000 -- at least some of which will come from a Fats tribute album featuring Elton John, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, B.B. King and others.

BRITNEY SPEARS has hooked up with a musician she met in AA, and plans to move in with him once she's out of rehab, according to the upcoming National Enquirer.  That tab's Mike Walker also reports that Justin Timberlake is getting a bit miffed at people asking him to help her.  The pop tart is also reported to be quitting rehab two days early to attend estranged hubby Fed-Ex's 29th birthday party.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday to adopt a boy from Vietnam.  Indeed, she may have sealed the deal by the time you read this.

DREW BARRYMORE was caught canoodling with director Spike Jonze during a romantic date in Santa Monica. 

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is in the running to play Nellie Forbush in a sexy revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, according to the New York Post.

ELLEN DeGENERES and PORTIA de ROSSI are getting married in June (though presumably not legally married), according to the National Enquirer.  Portia reportedly grilled Ellen about her marriage intentions and forced her to set a date.

AMERICAN IDOL:  Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest were throwing the gay innuendo around freely the other night.  Maybe they can get Ann Coulter to be a guest judge.  Is it all downhill frome here for the hit show?

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  According to super-reliable Star magazine, Cruise thinks Holmes is straying from Scientology and would like her to have a five-hour sauna session and a vegetable oil enema to help get her mind right.

HOLLYWOOD'S DRUG PROBLEM is nothing new, but in a frightening turn, it appears to have become more publicly accepted.  Mischa Barton, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Kirsten Dunst, were a bit more old skool bout things last week in NYC, partying until Barton puked... and then partying some more.

FERGIE:  The Black Eyed Peas frontwoman was banned from boarding a jet in L.A. for being drunk.

ASHTON KUTCHER is flacking for NBC's new reality series The Real Wedding Crashers, but the network told the press not to ask him any "personal" questions -- a request that is reigniting those Demi Moore pregnancy rumors.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA has revealed she likes to play naughty doctors-and-nurses sex games with her music producer husband Jordan Bratman... to a soundtrack by Radiohead?

AUSTRALIA'S TOP MUSLIM CLERIC, who used a Ramadan sermon to complain about long sentences for gang rape and to compare immodestly dressed women to uncovered meat, suggesting they invited sexual assault, is urgently working on the creation of "The Australian Peace Party."

IRAN:  London-based Arabic newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reports that Tehran has lost contact with a senior Iranian officer serving in Iraq and that dozens of members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and military intelligence units have defected to the US forces in Iraq over the past three years.  The government is also outraged by the smash movie 300.

IRAQ:  US troop fatalities are down 60 percent since the start of the new security plan in Baghdad, even though the plan puts the troops directly in contested areas of the capital.  (Iraqi numbers were even rosier) Car bombs blamed on al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab terrorists spiked in February, though another day since Coalition efforts to disrupt the bomb factories has passed without a spectacular attack.  There has been a slight uptick in violence in the past few days, however, and it is possible that terrorists will have something planned for the fourth anniversary of the Coalition's invasion.  IraqSlogger reports on the decline of Al Qaeda in Anbar province.  The Times of London reports on former Prime Minister Allawi's attempted comeback with a new secular political bloc, though regular Pate visitors should already know about it.  Iraqi security forces captured a top al-Qaeda leader in Mosul, local television said.  Richard Miniter has an unconfirmed report that the US is talking disarmament with commanders of the Mahdi Army.

HASSENFEFFER the BEAGLE was rescued from a 125-foot-tall mountain ledge by a six-man team from the Blount County Fire Department in Tennessee.  He has since been reunited with his owner.

TWO STRAY CATS attacked three people after they got into a house in North Platte, Nebraska.  Brian Setzer claims to have an alibi.

SUICIDE SQUIRREL takes down the grid in the wild and wooly rodeo town of Pendleton, Oregon.

AKILI the GORILLA came from Germany to Amsterdam to impregnate three previously unlucky females.  Artis Zoo spokesman Bart Kret said that the first offspring appears to be "very heavy and hairy, with very thick arms," making him a master of the obvious.

SNAKE in a PRESS BOX at the Mets-Indians spring training game on Tuesday.  How popular are sportswriters?  "As the snake slithered across notebooks and laptop computers in the bottom of the fourth inning, fans stood up and laughed as they gazed into the press area."

UNICORNS don't let friends drive drunk.

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Arthur Conley, Sniff 'N' The Tears, REM, The Un-definitive 200, KIller Frogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

DO YOU LIKE GOOD MUSIC?  You know, "Sweet Soul Music," by Arthur Conley.

MORE ROCK HALL REDUX:  Spinner has now broken out a number of individual video clips from the induction ceremonies.  So if you wanted to skip right to the REM stuff including their take on Iggy Pop's "I Wanna Be Your Dog" with Patti Smith, you can do it.

SUE TUBE:  Viacom, which demanded that YouTube remove 100,000 infringing clips last month, has now filed a lawsuit against the Google-owned video-sharing site.

BRIGHT EYES:  Conor Oberst was the latest guest DJ on NPR's All Songs Considered, featuring songs from the new EP alongside The Cure, Jackson Browne and more.

THE FLAMING LIPS are in talks with Broadway producer Des McAnuff (the Who's Tommy, Jersey Boys)  about a Broadway version of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  I will trust Ken King to notify Craig O'Neill that I have found the clip for "Driver's Seat," by Sniff 'N' The Tears.

R.E.M. :  The four original members have covered John Lennon's "Instant Karma" as the title track of a charity album benefiting Amnesty International's campaign to end the Darfur genocide.  Rolling Stone's blog has an audio interview with REM on the day of their induction into the R&R Hall of Fame.

THE DEFINITIVE 200 -- a list of "200 ranked albums everyone should own"-- was developed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers in celebration of the art form of the record album.  It's probably easier to see the whole list at once via the R&R Hall of Fame.  The list is supposed to be comprised of original albums and soundtracks, with no "greatest hits" collections or "Now"-type compilations.  It's a rule that allows Saturday Night Fever onto the list, along with many lesser soundtracks.  And it's a rule NARM skirts in putting Elvis Presley At Sun on the list.  The Sand Diego Untion-Tribune lists the list's more obvious flaws and omissions, though it incorrectly reports that John Coltrane is omitted (A Love Supreme checks in at No. 78).  Lists are intended to stimulate debate, but any list that includes four Metallica albums, Creed, and the Forrest Gump soundtrack, while leaving out the Ramones, Elvis Costello, The Smiths, Talking Heads, Tom Waits, The Velvet Undergorund, The Byrds and The Kinks is hardly a definitive list of what everyone should own.

THE ONE AM RADIO gets an audio feature on the World Cafe that you can stream from NPR.

LEVON HELM  former drummer for The Band, is suing a Manhattan advertising firm over the use of the band's signature song, "The Weight," in a television commercial for Cingular.

JOHNNY DEPP has vowed not to return to the set of Sweeney Todd until his daughter is fully recovered from her mystery illness.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, so look for original vampire slayer Kristy Swanson to play a faux-Smith when the model's sad death is ripped from the headlines on Law & Order.

SYLVESTER STALLONE faces a drug charge in Australia.  Rocky allegedly tried to import 48 vials of a restricted human growth hormone when he arrived in Sydney last month.

REGIS PHILBIN is taking a leave of at least five weeks from Live with Regis & Kelly undergo heart bypass surgery.  "Had a nice chat with Dave (Letterman), he highly recommends it," Philbin joked.  "He would like to do it again, I think."

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO'S bodyguards were reported to have been arrested after a scuffle with photographers in Jerusalem, but it turns out they were just taken to a local police station for questioning.  After police got things sorted out, a TRO was issued to keep photogs away from Leo and his gf, supermodel Bar Rafaeli.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  It appears her Dad was due to be sprung from prison.  Once known as the "Hollywood Dad from Hell," he's now an ordained minister, ready to spread the word and "make amends for his past mistakes."  I wonder what he would say about Lohan being spotted with Jude Law at all hours of the hight.  And what he would say about a report that she was spotted drinking beer in a club last weekend.  Or the report of Li-Lo running over a photographer in NYC.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  The pneumatic blonde's envy over her sister's current success has Jessica calling Ashlee's new look "trampy."

POST SECRET:  There is no way of knowing whether one of these celebs is hiding a baby, but that hasn't stopped folks from speculating.  The name of the relevant picture file is intriguing.

DEMI MOORE and ASHTON KUTCHER are facing a new round of pregnancy rumors.

GREEN MOVIES:  The New York Times notes that a slew of upcoming releases have environmental themes, including The Simpsons Movie and the remake of The Creature From the Black Lagoon.  Yet the same paper on the same day has an article on scientists alarmed at what the alarmism of Al Gore and his three-alarm film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.

EVANGELINE LILLY:  Wednesday is a good day to point y'all to a picture of the Lost hottie almost losing her bikini bottom in the surf.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is outraged by a pr0nographic comic book depicting her having sex with Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp... all in their Pirates of the Caribbean regalia.  Disney was reported to be considering taking legal action, but these things have a way of leaking all over the Internet.  BTW, that last link is SFW, but beyond that...

FRENCH JEWS, fearing persecution from militant Muslims, are flocking to Florida.  The latest State Department human rights report, issued last week, cited more anti-Semitic incidents in France during the first nine months of 2006 than during the same period in 2005 -- but fewer than in the first nine months of 2004.

IRAN:  Major powers moved closer to agreement on a modest package of new sanctions against Iran likely to include an embargo on Iranian arms exports and an asset freeze on more individuals and companies associated with Tehran's nuclear and missile programs.  Iran's Foreign Minister said the nation was prepared to offer "necessary" guarantees on its nuclear program -- if the issue is withdrawn from the UN Security Council.

IRAQ:  Gen. David Petraeus tells USA Today that Coalition forces have detained about 700 members of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in Baghdad; a White House memo said 16,000 suspected insurgents are already being held by allied forces.  A Washington Post article by Thomas Ricks claiming that the February 2006 Samarra mosque bombing was not a major tipping point for the war is thoroughly debunked by Evan Kohlmann at the Counterterrorism Blog.  Coalition forces completed a nine-day sweep throughout Baghdad to disrupt the city's car bomb network.  For the moment, it seems to have disrupted the bomb factories, as there have been no VBIED attacks in the 48 hours since, as I write this.  Al-Sabbah reports that Coalition forces are planning to launch a campaign against terrorists in Diyala province (The AP now reports 700 troops have already arrived there.)  Acting on a tip, seven people were arrested over suicide bomb attacks on Shiite pilgrims in the central city of Hilla that left around 120 dead.  Many Iraqis will put their ethnic and sectarian differences aside for two hours tomorrow to unite in rooting for their national soccer team in its Olympic soccer qualifying match against North Korea.

KILLER FROGS are threatening the lily pond in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.  They're clawed!  They're carnivorous!  They're cannibalistic!  Let's go to the video.

SQUIRREL NEWS:  Albino Squirrels vie to become one of the "Seven Wonders of Illinois."  Meanwhile, in Cape Town, South Africa, city officials are denying the rumor that that the city council wants to put squirrels on the pill.

CATS:  A new study shows that they do not like men with long beards, especially long dark beards.  And they are confused by goatees and Van Dykes.

CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE?  No, but the dog has this boy's lip.

A LEGLESS PANDA needs a hand to help her sex life.  The "legless" joke writes itself.

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