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David Byrne Goes Country, Cutout Bin, Jose Gonzalez, and the Super Grouper   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 25, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

...with the 5-6-7-8's playing "Woo Hoo," along with "I Walk Like Jane Mansfield" and "I'm Blue" o­n TV and in a bar. It's like being at the club from Kill Bill Vol. 1 without Uma Thurman lopping your head off. BTW, "Woo Hoo" is a cover.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS' in-store performance at Easy Street Records in Seattle was blogged by all-time Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings: "For some reason, when Darnielle’s not singing falsetto, his warm, nasal tenor reminds me a lot of Kermit the Frog. So he’ll be singing about addiction, divorce, abuse, and heartbreak, and you keep thinking he’s going to break into 'The Rainbow Connection' at any time..." (Thanks, LHB!)

LOSING THE KNACK? Bruce Gary, the band's original drummer o­n "My Sharona," has died of complications from lymphoma at 54. Gary also worked with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, Jack Bruce, Rod Stewart, Sheryl Crow, Harry Nilsson, Spencer Davis, Albert Collins, Albert King and John Lee Hooker. Earlier this month, Knack frontman Doug Fieger underwent successful brain surgery and is recovering at home. Martin Lewis, a radio host and protégé of fabled rock publicist Derek Taylor, remembers Gary at the HuffPo.

THE SHINS frontman James Mercer tells Billboard.com about the band's third album, Wincing the Night Away, now due in January: "I was just talking to some of the people at Sub Pop who were listening to the rough mixes, and they agree with me that we've stretched. We're trying some different styles."

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE is releasing a stopgap EP Sept. 5th, which will include covers of Psychedelic Furs, Nirvana, Edison Lighthouse and Tripping Daisy. You can hear a new original at the band's newly-upgraded website.


(photo courtesy of the multi-talented Kathryn Yu.)

DAVID BYRNE is going country. No, really. Stereogum has audio and video of David Byrne kickin' it with Sufjan Stevens o­n banjo.

CUTOUT BIN: More fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine, including: Rolling Stones (w/ Beatles?) - Drift Away (extremely rare); Keith Richards - Wicked as it Seems; John Lee Hooker - Crawlin' Kingsnake (with Keef); Lucinda Williams - Can't Let Go (live at KBCO); The Thirteenth Floor Elevators - You're Gonna Miss Me; Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy (Live); Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick; Adam And The Ants - Los Rancheros; The Kinks - Where Have All The Good Times Gone; Art Brut - Emily Kane; Sebadoh - Gimme Indie Rock; The Dead Milkmen - Bitchin' Camaro; Jim Reid (of the Jesus & Mary Chain) w/ Sister Vanilla - Song For A Secret; Soul Asylum - Cartoon; Tobin Sprout - It's Like Soul Man; Let's Active - Fell; Tommy Keene - Places That Are Gone; The Beach Boys - Let Him Run Wild (Alternate Take); Sweet - Ballroom Blitz; Rush - The Spirit of Radio (Live; a friend and fan of Simon and Garfunkel never caught the allusion); Journey - Just The Same Way; Diamond Nights - Destination Diamonds; and Cobra Starship - Snakes o­n a Plane (Bring It).

JOSE GONZALEZ, the acclaimed Argentine-Swedish singer-songwriter, explains why he sings in English, his third language. Many were introduced to Gonzalez through his song "Heartbeats," which is the soundtrack for the Sony Bravia ad where 170K superballs bounce the streets of San Francisco. Indeed, there's also a full-song length version of the ad and a "making of the ad" clip o­n YouTube. You can stream his recent World Cafe gig from NPR in Real or Windows format.

MEGADETH frontman Dave Mustaine is so angry with the United Nations that he is naming the band's next album United Abominations.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: When the supposedly sober supermodel invited the troubled singer to Bali for some sort of rumored wedding ceremony, did she know that Bali is a drug haven, where psychedelic mushrooms are considered its salads? Or is this sort of decision-making why she's reportedly seeing a therapist three times a week?

TOM-KAT UPDATE: In the wake of the Paramount/Cruise-Wagner break-up, execs at Creative Artists Agency -- Tinseltown's most powerful agency -- are threatening a boycott. CAA executive president Richard Lovett: "Paramount has no credibility right now. It is not clear who is running the studio and who is making the decisions." Insiders note that Paula Wagner -- Cruise's business partner -- is married to CAA president Rick Nicita.

NOW SHOWING: This weeks widest release is Beerfest (currently scoring 34 percent o­n the Tomatometer, 33 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics). Close behind is the Rock Star-of-the-gridiron flick Invincible (74 and 83 percent), followed by the adaptation of the kids' classic How to Eat Fried Worms (40-43 percent). Close to wide o­n 973 screens is Outkast's Prohibition-era musical Idlewild (52-71 percent). And if you have started seeing TV ads for Little Miss Sunshine (93-90 percent), that's because it's going wide o­n 1,430 screens this weekend.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Gibson is reportedly phoning showbiz execs with whom he's worked to apologize for his anti-Semitic rant the morning of his DUI arrest.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN'S marriage to second wife Patti Scialfa is o­n the rocks, with the two virtually living separate lives, according to the New York Post. Indeed, Page Six claims that "Part of the problem seems to be a friendship Springsteen developed with a stunning 9/11 widow The Boss is said to have met when he organized the America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon." Insert the Rising joke here.

QUINCY JONES: The 73-year-old musician-producer is dating a 15-year-old aspiring fashion designer? That would be beyond James Woods -- more like Tony Randall.

BRITNEY SPEARS' tell-all coffee table book is finally a bestseller... in 99 ¢ o­nly stores. Hubby Spenderline brags that he got "amazing-a** test scores" o­n his GED test, especially the math. How did we know it wasn't o­n the vocabulary section? Oh well, at least it's not like he's trying to make a living as a songwriter.

JESSICA ALBA suffers for her art, losing a tooth and chipping another during a love scene with Dane Cook while shooting Good Luck Chuck: "We were smashing our faces together and it just happened. It's not the slowest, most romantic of love scenes. Dane's a wild o­ne."

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Despite a recent spotting of David Spade with Carmen Electra, the latest gossip is that the comedian intends to propose to Heather Locklear o­nce her divorce from Richie Sambora is finalized: "I'm so in love, it's ridiculous. Never in my life did I think I'd be with someone so gorgeous and successful..." These of course are the foundation of any successful marriage.

BRADGELINA: Having cycled through the "Jolie has moved out rumor" and the "Pitt is reaching out to his ex" rumors this week, we prepare for the weekend by coming full circle to the "Jolie is wearing a wedding band" rumor. The couple was spotted together at the birthday party for Pitt's Ocean's 13 co-star Scott Caan, with the E! channel confirming the story that Jolie waited until her estranged father, Jon Voight, left the gallery before going inside.

AMBER VALETTA: The supermodel turned actress has entered rehab for a nonsubstance-related addiction, according to the NYDN. Though some (by which I mean "I") would love to speculate it's a sex-addiction, the reference to "work stress" and "image issues" tend to point elsewhere, don't they?

GEORGE CLOONEY thought he contracted Malaria after visiting war-torn Darfur, but it was just a little food poisoning o­n the return flight. And maybe a small case of TMI.

ELIZABETH HURLEY, the actress and former face of Estée Lauder, presented prizes to pigs at the Hatfield House Country Show in Hertfordshire, England. How's the career, Liz? Seriously, she digs the pigs; she breeds Gloucester Old Spot pigs herself. I'm sure there's a punchline in that last bit.

BLACK CHILDREN TOLD TO SIT IN THE BACK OF THE BUS by a white driver who designated the front seats for white children. The school superintendent for the Red River Elementary School in Coushatta, LA, confirmed that an investigation has been opened and that the driver is not currently driving.

"EAT AT HITLER'S" UPDATE: Reuters reports: "A restaurant in India's financial hub has agreed to change its name from "Hitler's Cross" following strong protests by the country's tiny Jewish community and pressure from Israel." "Tiny." "Pressure." You almost get the sense that Reuters doesn't approve.

IRAQ in the MEDIA: Last Friday, I had a little blurb about The New York Times cherry-picking US casualty statistics, based o­n a glance at the long-term numbers. Blogger John Wixsted actually crunched the numbers and the NYT's skew is even worse than I thought. The number of US military fatalities, US fatalities from IEDs, US wounded and Iraqi military and police casualties are all down in the first 7 months of 2006 compared to the last 7 months of 2005.

HEZBOLLAH TV: A businessman was arrested Wednesday o­n conspiracy charges of enabling the broadcasts of a Hezbollah television station to New York-area customers. Prosecutor Stephen A. Miller suggested that more charges were imminent: "The charge lurking in the background is material support for terrorism." Meanwhile it seems that Boston Muslim-American Society has been directing folks to where you can see it o­nline.

BUBBA the SUPER GROUPER, an orphan who changed his sex and was the first fish to successfully undergo chemotherapy, died suddenly at the Shedd Aquarium Tuesday. Teams were mobilized to provide emergency medical care, but efforts to save the fish were not successful. "The past twenty-four hours have been extremely difficult for our staff as Bubba was truly a member of the Shedd family," said George Parsons, director of the Fishes department at Shedd. "Bubba overcame some incredible odds over the years, and that’s what made him so special to us. His story of survival inspired so many of our guests and the public that followed him."

MY KIND OF TOWN: Chicago, which recently banned the sale of foie gras, has been getting complaints about all the geese pooping in Grant Park. So the city is now spraying 200 gallons of a digestive irritant that will give the geese diarrhea within 20 minutes. Video at the links.

A PANTING, HALF-DEAD PITBULL was rescued from a dumpster in Lancaster, PA.

MOUNTAIN LION ESCAPES FROM A HOME in El Paso County, Colorado -- let's go to the video.

POLAR BEARS reportedly have shrinking genitals. Some scientists are linking this to industrial pollution, but they should consider that the bears do spend a lot of their time in cold water.

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Lemonheads, Sadies, Covers, A Flock of Seagulls, and Pigs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 24, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE LEMONHEADS: Evan Dando tells London's Guardian why he wants to make a comeback o­n his own terms. Meanwhile, in Boston's weekly Dig, Juliana Hatfield finally shatters the myth that she was deflowered by Dando. You can stream four new Lemonheads tracks now from the band's website. YouTube hosts Dando playing "It's A Shame About Ray" unplugged for Regis and Kathie Lee, though my favorite song from that album may be "Kitchen" (this version live at the '93 Glastonbury festival). There's also the band's cover of Suzanne Vega's "Luka." BONUS: Among my favorite Juliana Hatfield tunes is "My Sister."

THE PIXIES: Frank Black is peeved with the way the band is portrayed in loudQUIETloud, the new documentary about the Pixies's 2004 reunion tour. London's Guardian says that while the film was conceived as a celebration, it "quickly veers into train-wreck territory."

THE SADIES: Thanks to Frank at Chromewaves for rounding up interviews with bassist Sean Dean, and guitarist/singers Travis Good and Dallas Good, all talking about the two-CD set In Concert Volume o­ne, includes songs by Roger Miller, Syd Barrett, the Band, Bob Wills, the Flat Duo Jets and the old hillbilly gospel tune "Higher Power." We also discover the band, which became known backing Neko Case, is working with Ronnie Hawkins and Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, BTO) while preparing to record a new studio album with ex-Jayhawk Gary Louris. You can stream a bunch of tracks via the Hype Machine.

THE THRILL IS GONE: The CBC's Kevin Chong considers the death of the guitar solo.

COVER ME: MSNBC recently ran a list of timeless cover songs. The Village Voice has the first of two parts -- with streaming audio -- o­n innovative and subversive covers. There are a few covers performed by the Mountain Goats posted by The Rich Girls Are Weeping, including songs from Ace of Base and (yes) Thin Lizzy. Here's three more from the Hype Machine that may be none of the above, but offer up an A-B Boss Comparison: Fontella Bass singing "Rescue Me" and the cover by Aretha Franklin; the anthemic "Game of Pricks" by Guided by Voices, along with a twee version by A Sunny Day In Glasgow; and The Stooges' raucus "No Fun," as stripped down by The Black Keys.

THE FRESHMAN MINDSET: The annual list from Beloit College, intended to help academics understand what college freshmen know — and what they don’t have a clue about -- is out. Topping the list: "The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union." But further down the list, we discover: "They are not aware that 'flock of seagulls hair' has nothing to do with birds flying into it." That's o­ne I can fix right now.

TEXAS THUNDER SOUL! Gorilla vs. Bear has the background o­n the Texas Kashmere Stage Band, which may be "the best high-school stage band in the world." He posted the band's take o­n the "Theme From Shaft," but there's even more to be found via the Hype Machine.

CULT OF THE iPod: The AP wonders how long a few remaining big-name musical acts can hold out against the lure of iTunes.

SOME PEOPLE CALL ME MAURICE: At the Advanced Theory blog (which you should visit, if o­nly to read the explanation of the "Advanced Theory"), Jason Hartley considers the epismetology of the word "pompatus," as it appears in the Steve Miller classic "The Joker."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer was rumored to have been working with ex-bandmate Carl Barat o­n a cover The Clash's "Janie Jones" to benefit Strummerville. Doherty also reportedly punched a nurse and trashed his own room in the Priory rehab clinic.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: While Paramount and Cruise-Wagner Productions debate their break-up, I have to note the thickness of the irony. Cruise is known for suing anyone questioning his heterosexuality, yet what did him in was the public display of his private life -- not just the Scientology, but also his over-the-couch displays of heterosexuality vis Ms. Holmes.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: Though People claims that evidence linking Hudson and Owen Wilson continues to mount, Hudson bailed o­n the London premiere of You, Me and Dupree. Wilson had to settle for getting flashed by a fan much less attractive than Hudson.

BRADGELINA: The inevitable follow-up to the "Jolie has moved out" rumor is the "Pitt is still trying to reach out to ex-wife Jennifer Aniston" rumor.

GWYNETH PALTROW, explaining why she prefers living in London to the US, seems oblivious to the fact that there's a whole country between LA and NYC, though I suspect she would have an even lower opinion of flyover country.

JESSICA SIMPSON was apparently stopped from kissing the pregnant belly of Britney Spears at the Teen Choice Awards. Speaking of which, VH1's Best Week Ever has produced a clip imagining Simpson's awkward meeting with ex-hubby Nick Lachey at the show.

THE FRENCH HOTEL and others had their SpoofCard calling card accounts terminated for obtaining unauthorized access to voice mail accounts of well-known celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan.

SURVIVOR: The new season will be racially segregated. The quest for ratings seems boundless.

GEORGE CLOONEY is dating Ellen Barkin after the two worked together o­n Ocean's 13, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE will be giving three or four members the pink slip in the face of massive budget cuts. This is o­n top of Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch leaving to work o­n Fey's NBC comedy 30 Rock, a parody of an SNL-style show.

JESSICA ALBA takes a break from terrifying Vancouver to talk about the upcoming Good Luck Chuck: "I've been waiting since I started acting to do something like this, and people just never thought of me as a comedic actress." Apparently, her portrayal of a brilliant geneticist in Fantastic Four was unintentionally comedic.

IRAQ: ABC's World News Tonight noticed the 22-30 percent drop in attacks in Baghdad following a retooling of Coalition strategy; the video is even more dramatic. USA Today ran a piece o­n Col. Talib Abdul Razzaq, who patrols his Baghdad territory more like a tribal leader to win hearts and minds. As of Sept. 3rd, the first full Iraqi Army division will be operating without the mentoring of US advisors. And a senior US military official said there is "clear evidence" that Iran is funding, training and arming Shiite extremists to destabilize Iraq.

IRAN will soon announce an atomic breakthrough, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported. Other Iranian news sources suggest that Pres. Ahmadinejad is expected to announce Iran's "nuclear birth."

THE MIDEAST and THE MEDIA: The Zombietime website argues that storiesaccusing Israel of intentionally targeting Red Cross ambulances attempting to rescue innocent victims perpetuated a hoax and is the most serious scandal surrounding the media's coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. Kevin Sites, blogging from Lebanon, mentions that he cannot take pictures without Hezbollah's permission.

"EAT AT HITLER'S" UPDATE: The manager of the "Hitler's Cross" restaurant in Mumbai is miffed that his place is being singled out among the children’s fashion labels, liquor brands and tobacco products bearing Hitler’s name.

ARMED CLOWNS UPDATE: A clown hit another Arizona bank, this time in Phoenix. Police have no information o­n whether or not this incident is connected with previous Tucson robberies, or whether it's the work of a copyclown.

SNAKES IN A THEATER UPDATE: As I speculated yesterday, the snakes were trying to get in o­n their own.

COWS moo with a regional accent, according to British dairy farmers. Scientists don't dismiss the possibility.

A NEW SPECIES OF SEA URCHIN is discovered o­n eBay. No, really.

...AND THERE WERE PIGS ALL OVER THE HIGHWAY: Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance paramedics used lassoes to round up a truckload of pigs running loose o­n the M6 motorway after they escaped from a lorry involved in a road crash. "I never thought I'd be part of a pig rodeo," said pilot Neil Parkinson. Smallish pic at the link.

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New Yo La Tengo and Robyn Hitchcock, Joan Jett, and Psycho Killer Racoons   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

YO LA TENGO frontman Ira Kaplan is not thrilled about the "indie" label: "I wouldn't say I'm particularly happy about it - it's kind of being ghettoised." That may be o­ne reason why the band's upcoming I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your A** -- their 16th -- skips from genre to genre, as can be seen in the sorta-Motownish "Mr. Tough." You can also get free downloads of "Beanbag Chair" and "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind," courtesy of Matador.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK and the Venus 3 (Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin) have a album coming in October, with cameos from Soft Boys Morris Windsor and Kimberley Rew, plus more, but you can hear "Adventure Rocketship" now. It's pretty good, though I'm looking forward to a full band version of the Magnum Force-inspired "A Man's Got To Know His Limitations, Briggs."

OTHER NEW RELEASES: I regret overlooking a couple of new releases yesterday. The first is Honey From The Tombs by Amy Millan, who also plays with Broken Social Scene and Stars. It's getting generally favorable reviews via Metacritic. The other is To the Races by former Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers frontman Eric Bachman, which I mentioned last week and is still streaming in full from Aversion. As a bonus, check out Crooked Fingers' covers of "Under Pressure" and "When You Were Mine."

BOB DYLAN thinks that the quality of of modern recordings is "atrocious," which makes him nonchalant about illegal filesharing: "Well, why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway."

PET SOUNDS: The Brian Wilson-Beach Boys gem, which turns 40 next week, has its own blog, which has started offering podcasts, with comments from Brian, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston. The first is an overview of the LP.

JOAN JETT talks to Suicide Girls about the Warped tour, the Runaways, the Replacements, leather, and more. Which is good a reason as any to link up a block from Ms. Jett, starting with live takes o­n "Cherry Bomb" with the Runaways and "Bad Reputation" from the new wave rocumentary, URGH! A Music War, to big hits like "I Love Rock N' Roll" and "I Hate Myself For Loving You" and her latest single, a cover of the Sweet's "A.C.D.C.," which features Carmen Electra. And though the homemade videos from the Warped tour have terrible audio, it looks like the kids still love rock 'n' roll.

THE ROLLING STONES: Although the re-rehabbed Ronnie Wood claims the living dead don't drink much o­n tour, he may not be above sucking down laughing gas all night.

THE LONG WINTERS: I just blurbed this poppy Americana band last week, but they're good enough to note that you can stream their brief appearance at the World Cafe via NPR.

DWIGHT YOAKUM would like you to have some of his tatsty biscuits. No, really.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: London's Daily Express claims that the supposedly sober supermodel was waiting to be wed in Bali when the troubled singer was grounded in the UK by his latest drug arrest.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: The actress and the rock star were spotted with their two-year-old son over the weekend (yeah, that's a son). Look for US Weekly to back off the rumors about Owen Wilson (lest he sue them) and go with a "Torn Between Two Lovers" theme.

OWEN and LUKE WILSON use butt doubles, but o­nly Luke was dumb enough to talk about it at length.

BRADGELINA: The rumor mill grinds o­n, with a report that Jolie has taken the kids to a luxury hotel in L.A. after a series of arguments with Pitt. More substantiated are the pics of Pitt falling off the no-smoking wagon, after vowing to quit for his new family.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Pakistan's former Intelligence Chief cites Gibson's anti-Semitic comments during an August 8th press conference aired o­n Al-Jazeera. Would that such was the reason why he's the former chief.

THE FRENCH HOTEL admits that her new album makes her cry, albit for different reasons from the rest of us. She also claims that her mother told her that giving Lewinskys gave you huge acne craters. She has since learned otherwise.

LINDSAY LOHAN: When that story about her staying in and behaving herself ran the other day, I wondered how long she would last. Now we know. Maybe that's why even puff mags like People are saying the 20-year-old looks like 59-year-old Goldie Hawn. Of course, with a convict father sending cartoons to the NYDN and offering opinions o­n all things Li-Lo, it's no wonder she wants a drink.

BRITTANY MURPHY: The Sin City barmaid has broken off her engagement to best boy grip Joe Macaluso. This is her second disengagement.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Variety and others think it's news that Paramount is severing ties with Cruise's production company, but regular Pate visitors could have seen this coming weeks ago, maybe more.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: If Richie Sambora wants to get back with Heather Locklear, does it mean that David Spade can pick up Carmen Electra o­n the rebound from Dave Navarro? Hollywood is a crazy place, indeed.

NOT VERY GLAAD: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is upset at a decline in the number of gay characters o­n broadcast TV shows. But blogger Tony Pierce notes that GLAAD overlooked Waylon Smithers, who may be the longest-running gay character o­n the tube.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Page Six reports that a Jacka**cast member has recorded a crude song about how Jacka** co-star Bam Margera "supposedly had sex with the busty blond singer -- describing a kinky form of intercourse that can't be printed in a family newspaper." Her rep denies it, natch. Meanwhile, Nick Lachey is auctioning mementos from the couple's three-year marriage o­n eBay.

HOORAY FOR HEZBOLLYWOOD: A Hezbollah-run website runs a picture of what it claims is the Israeli ship it hit with a missile last month... which turns out to be a decommissioned Aussie destroyer-escort deliberately sunk in 1998. At least the AP and Reuters didn't buy this o­ne. Also, as I recently noted the possibility that Hezbollah was using counterfeit money for rebuilding in Lebanon, you can find more background o­n counterfeiting by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah affiliates at PBS and the Counterterrorism Blog.

IRAQ: Speaking of the Counterterrorism Blog, Bill Roggio has a detailed look (with map) o­n the Battle for Baghdad. US and Iraqi forces say that over the past week they have captured "well over 100 known and suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists and terrorist associates," including o­ne linked to the Samarrah shrine bombing that triggered the current round of sectarian violence. Iraq's national security adviser says violence in Baghdad has fallen sharply since July thanks to troop reinforcements and the government's reconciliation efforts, a story I found o­n Reuters India -- it's not o­n the US feed and is almost entirely unreported here. Meanwhile, in Anbar province, where most US deaths this month have occurred, over 500 Iraqis joined the police -- marking the most successful recruiting drive in the region.

NSA EAVESDROPPING: Judicial Watch, a group of legal gadflies that have gone after the Clinton and Bush Administrations, claims that the judge who struck down the program as unconstitutional may have had a conflict of interest. FWIW, I think she would have reached the same poorly-reasoned decision, regardless. Ironically, had she recused herself from the case, the program still might have been ruled illegal, just with better reasoning.

SNAKES IN A THEATER showing Snakes o­n a Plane. Video at the link. Authorities said pranksters released the two live diamondback rattlesnakes, but we shouldn't rule out the possibility that the snakes simply wanted to see if the flick lived up to the hype.

WILLY THE TORTOISE is back home after a month o­n the lam, having escaped at the blistering speed of .005 mph.

TEST-TUBE GOATS: India's Central Institute of Goats claimed it has successfully produced the country's second test-tube goat.

IT AIN'T WAYNE MANOR: Florida's Department of Children and Families have removed two boys from their mother's custody, as the mother refused to get rabies shots for her and her children after bats invaded her apartment. In similar cases like it around the country, several youngsters ended up dead because they did not get the rabies shots.

PSYCHO KILLER RACOONS (Qu'est-ce que c'est?) are terrorizing Olympia, WA. "It's a new breed," said Tamara Keeton, who has started a raccoon watch. "They're urban raccoons, and they're not afraid." And that, my friends, is the tag line for the movie poster. (Thanks, Dad)

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B-52s, New Releases, Brothers and Sisters, and a Bird in a Cast   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE DEADBEAT CLUB: In this beautifully-shot sepiatone video, the B-52s remember their days in Athens, GA, "going down to Allen's for a 99-cent beer... and the jukebox playin' real loud -- "96 Tears." You can see ? and the Mysterians play that classic at the second link.

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Outkast, Starsailor, What Made Milwaukee Famous and Jennifer O'Connor are among those streaming in full this week from AOL. The San Francisco Bay Guardian writes that "There is much about WMMF that harkens back to a time, say, the ’80s, when gimmick wasn't enough. The age of Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and Squeeze, when good melodies and witty lyrics were par for the course." Kasabian is streaming its latest from its MySpace page. Omaha's Cursive, which draws o­n a wide range of influences without sounding like any of them, is doing the same with Happy Hollow. The new album from Lambchop is streaming from Merge Records. Here's a free download from Jason Molina of the "Magnolia Electric Co. Sufjan Stevens' label puts ou the debut from My Brightest Diamond, which has four tracks and two downloads up o­n MySpace. P.F. Sloan comes out with a star-studded comeback (there may still be a stream at the second link). There is a reunion album from Aussie punk pioneers Radio Birdman. And, as noted here over the past week or so, there is the new album from The Mountain Goats.

PRIMAL SCREAM bassist Mani talks to PopMatters about the band's return to Stones-y rawk o­n Riot City Blues. There's a cross-section of their recent stuff streaming via the Hype Machine.

THE GRATES, who recently made NPR's "Song of the Day" with the "manic pop energy" of "19-20-20," offer money-saving tour tips at PopMatters. You can stream more from the band via the Hype Machine.

TOUCH & GO founder Corey Rusk is profiled in the Chicago Tribune as the label turns 25. "He's created a successful label that is not based o­n exploiting bands, and that makes him unique in the music business," says Santiago Durango, a former Big Black guitarist who is now an attorney with the State Appellate Defender's office in Ottawa, IL. Santiago was also in my law school class and gave my Mom a copy of the The Rich Man's 8-Track Tape, just because he liked the idea of anyone's mom liking Big Black.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Feargal Sharkey ends up scaling the speakers during this Undertones live take o­n "Teenage Kicks," which was o­ne of legendary UK DJ John Peel's all-time favorite songs.

KILLING THE TOP 200 SONGS OF THE 1960's: Blogs Are For Dogs has posted the entire list as MP3s.

BROTHERS AND SISTERS: At My Old Kentucky Blog, Dodge writes that this eight-piece band is "(f)or fans of CSN&Y, The Mamas & The Papas, The Byrds, Beach Boys, The Band and The Partridge Family." Judging from "One Night" and "Without You" (not Nilsson), I would have to agree.

THEY WERE GOOD, THEN: A Last.fm user has posted a school paper o­n why some bands lose their status amongst fans as soon as they become notoriously popular.

CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN: Harp magazine has a blurb o­n the second annual Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven campout in the "spaghetti-western setting of Pioneertown, California."

MAD MEL UPDATE: Mel Gibson has reprotedly declined (for now) the invite from Rabbi David Baron to deliver a public apology o­n Yom Kippur at the entertainment industry's biggest synagogue. Gibson's rep says Mel is too engrossed in rehab to bring the invite to his attention. Meanwhile, the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. is investigating the leak of Gibson's arrest report, instead of the fact that his anti-Semitic tirade was going to be covered up.

TOM HANKS told Alex Wong, frontman of the indie band the Animators, "You look like o­ne of those pedicab drivers!" But just because he's muscular, not because he's Asian. And because Hanks is a beloved fixture in Hollywood as Mel Gibson never was.

THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul has reportedly offered estranged wife Heather Mills £50 million to remain silent about their marriage.

BRITNEY SPEARS made a surprise appearance at the Teen Choice Awards to introduce Spenderline's rap act. The AP claimed that K-Fed wasn't half-bad, which is true; it was all bad.

MADONNA will not be probed by German prosecutors, but she is rumored to be targeted by Russian gangsters who are threatening to kidnap her and her kids.

OSAMA BIN LADEN is obsessed with Whitney Houston, according to the terror-master's former sex slave. So much so that he would be willing to ignore his belief that music was evil, and break his color rule to make her o­ne of his wives.

COURTNEY LOVE looked fine entering an L.A. hotspot, but coming out, not so much.

BRADGELINA: Family and friends fear that Pitt and Jolie will not be together for that much longer, according to a variety of dubious sources.

BROOKE BURKE and DAVID CHARVET are engaged and expecting.

PENELOPE CRUZ has spoken out against teen mags for promoting unhealthy role models among young girls.

HARVEY PEKAR gets a good review for his latest graphic novel, Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story, in the Buffalo News.

MORE CARTOONS CENSORED: Turner Broadcasting is scouring more than 1,500 classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including old favorites Tom and Jerry, "The Flintstones and Scooby-Doo, to edit out scenes that glamorize smoking. So I guess we will not see Fred, Barney and Wilma flacking for Winston again in the near future.

BRITISH AIR TERROR: Eleven people were charged Monday in the alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic jetliners, and investigators found bomb-making equipment and martyrdom videos, authorities said.

GERMAN TERROR PLOT: The disclosure that a botched plot to bomb two German trains last month involved a 21-year-old Lebanese man has rattled a country that has so far avoided such attacks. Prosecutors said Lebanon's military intelligence agency offered "decisive" information that led to the arrest of Youssef Mohamed E.H., as police mount a massive manhunt for a second suspect. Johannes Schmalz, head of Germany's FBI: "People thought for the longest time that Germany would be safe because we didn't send troops to Iraq. This presumption is wrong. The enemy of violent Islamists is the Western world as a whole."

IRAQ: Although Omar at ITM argues that war conditions in Baghdad would justify barring religious pilgrimages after snipers killed 20 people and wounded 300 others in Baghdad o­n Sunday, even The New York Times had to note that last year, more than 950 died after rumors of a suicide bomber caused a stampede o­n a bridge packed with pilgrims. Moreover, pilgrimages last to Karbala in September and to Ashura in February went off without major incident. Meanwhile, Coalition forces captured two men suspected of running all death squad cell activity in three Baghdad neighborhoods.

IRAN, in an apparent violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, has denied UN inspectors access to its underground nuke facility at Natanz, among other signs of Iranian defiance. Despite bankrolling terror groups liek Hezbollah and reportedly devoting three factories to mass-producing the sophisticated roadside bombs found in Iraq, you will not find the sort of outrage from Europe or the UN that you see, for example, when Israel responds to Hezbollah.

EAT AT HITLER'S! A new restaurant in India's financial hub, named after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters showing the German leader and Nazi swastikas, has infuriated the country's small Jewish community. Gosh, I can't imagine why.

SWEDISH NEWS got interesting when hardcore group sex could be seen playing o­n o­ne of the many video screens over the anchor's shoulder.

TODAY'S STAGED MIDEAST PHOTO comes courtesy of the BBC, in a story about dangers faced by Lebanon returnees, including a family discovering an unexploded bomb in their home: "The shell is huge, bigger than the young boy pushed forward to stand reluctantly next to it while we get our cameras out and record the scene for posterity..."

NSA EAVESDROPPING: Last week, I noted that even law profs who think the program is illegal were unimpressed with the federal district court opinion striking it down. Over the weekend The New York Times noticed the same thing. This apparently prompted Harvard's Laurence Tribe to criticize the opinion while suggesting the judge should not be criticized in the press. The U of W's Ann Althouse then takes it to Tribe.

PEEWIT the LAPWING is learning to walk again, after a compound fracture to his right knee.

A CHICKEN was the bridesmaid at a wedding in Bismarck, ND, but neither the bride nor groom had cold feet.

IF A 120-LB. DOG doesn't want a bath, don't force the issue.

A BABY ELEPHANT, as-yet unamed, made her debut at the St. Louis Zoo. Cute Dumbo-esque photo at the link.

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Advance Hold Steady and Mountain Goats, Whole Lotta Rosie, and Augustus Gloop   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 21, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

OH-OH-OH, it's "Magic," by Pilot, lip-synching o­n TOTP. Be sure to check the comments o­n the video at YouTube.

JACK WHITE is selling his digs in Detroit. If you take the o­nline tour, you will see he stuck to the White Strripes' red, white and black color scheme.

THE HOLD STEADY: Stereogum has some nice pics of indie's pre-eminent bar band, with and advance MP3 to download or stream via the Hype Machine. Reaction at Stereogum is mixed, but I dig it.

LOST DAVID BOWIE and ROD STEWART tracks are among those in the trove of legendary UK producer Joe Meek, which may go public in the not-too-distant future.

STEREOLAB has a "best of" out o­n Rhino o­n Aug. 29th, but you can stream it now in Real or Windows format. Commenters at Stereogum note some obvious omissions.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Occasionally, when completely out of control, Pate would unleash a metal medley including AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie." This is the original (natch), recorded live in Chicago.

THE TOP FIVE SONGS OF THE 1960'S: Gorilla vs. Bear posted his Top Five (Six, really) before Pitchfork finished its Top 200, so as not to be influenced. G vs. B picks neither The Beatles nor Dylan for Numero Uno. Then again, neither did Pitchfork!

THE A-Z OF ROCK & ROLL SEX SCANDALS, courtesy of Blender magazine.

THE FUTURE ROCK HALL is a website estimating the odds as to whether and when various bands will make it to Cleveland.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS' Get Lonely comes out tomorrow, but you can download "Wild Sage" right now.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The unlikely rumors that the troubled singer and supposedly sober supermodel are to get hitched will not die, even as Doherty pleads guilty to the latest drug charges against him and will stay at The Priory rehabilitation clinic in London until he is sentenced next month, when he could get jail time.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Snakes o­n a Plane takes the weekend or is edged out by Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, depending o­n whether you count the 1.4 million in receipts from late nite shows Thursday. SoaP underperformed, though it will cetainly be profitable, based o­n its modest budget, and maybe even the 63 percent it scored o­n the Tomatometer after critics got to see it. World Trade Center came in third, followed by Accepted, which is probably in the black already, based o­n a tiny budget. The Duff sisters' Material Girls opened in ninth place, suggesting there is some small amout of justice in the world. Little Miss Sunshine did better than that, taking seventh place and making three times as much as the Duffs o­n half the screens. I saw The Illusionist, which is scoring 72-88 percent o­n the Tomatometer, but opened o­n about 50 screens. I agree with the reviewer who called it cold, but good, with another golden performance by Paul Giamatti.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: With Butterscoth Stallion Owen Wilson threatening to sue anyone who suggests he is responsible for his You, Me & Dupree co-star Hudson's marriage split, I guess we all have to move o­n to the story about Hudson not wanting to take part in threesomes and orgies with Robinson.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Speaking of unlikely, Life and Style magazine claims that as Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear's divorce nears a settlement, Richie is having second thoughts.

THE McCARTNEYS: Heather Mills went o­n a Beverly Hills shopping spree to forget about her divorce, suggesting that she is indeed thinking of pursue her divorce to Sir Paul through US courts because they offer larger settlements. MEanwhile, Sir Paul's big concern seems to be that Mills is filming a video diary of the couple's increasingly acrimonious split.

BRADGELINA: Jolie and Pitt move into Pitt's fortified, "Neverland-like" compound amid tabloid reports that Jolie is angry over Pitt's admission that a part of him will always love Jennifer Aniston.

CHARLIZE THERON is denying a documentary she produced about Cuban rappers shows a pro-American bias. Because Fidel Castro is such a sweetheart, y'know? Don't get me started o­n Cuban health care. The stunning starlet is admitting a new pro-Scotch bias at the Edinburgh International Film Festival: "I like it. I think it's very, very good. I won't be able to walk off the stage but it's good!"

TINSELTOWNIES AGAINST TERRORISM: A few blogs, including Defamer reprint the full-page L.A. Times ad signed by Nicole Kidman and 85 others denouncing Helzbollah and Hamas for provoking the current mideast conflict. The regular press couldn't be bothered to notice in the way they trumpet anything signed by Susan Sarandon or Alec Baldwin.

CHRISTINA RICCI landed the role of a sex abuse victim in the controversial upcoming movie Black Snake Moan by flooding writer/director Craig Brewer with sexually explicit photos of herself. Samuel L. Jackson is in this Snake flick also.

LINDSAY LOHAN is staying in and trying to behave herself. We'll see how long that lasts.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde was seen in the company of a mystery man, while rumors have Vanessa Minilllo tring of Simpson's ex, Nick Lachey.

PAMELA ANDERSON and KID ROCK had a third marriage ceremony in Nashville, following o­n events near Saint-Tropez and in Beverly Hills.

HEZBOLLAH'S FUNNY MONEY? The wire services that were so loathe to mention that the rockets striking Israel were launched by Hezbollah seem to have no problem publicizing the terror group's efforts to help Lebanese rebuild the homes destroyed in the conflict Hezbollah provoked. But take a look at the two photos above of Hezbollah handing out money to the locals. Aside from the fact that the press isn't asking where Hezbollah got these huge stacks of Benjamins, note that the seal over the "100" is in a different place in each picture. And neither has it placed where it's supposed to be. OpinionJournal noted what appeared to be uncut sheets of US hundred-dollar bills in NBC video from a Hezbollah target site back in July, while noting reports that Hezbollah has been involved in counterfeiting American money.

THE UN o­n the MIDEAST CONFLICT: When Hezbollah guerrillas fired at least 10 Katyusha rockets after the ceasefire, the UN says nothing. When the the Israeli foreign minister said o­n CNN last Tuesday that there was evidence that Iran and Syria were already rearming Hezbollah, the UN says nothing. When an internal Lebanese army statement calls for troops to stand "alongside" Hezbollah, the UN says nothing. When Hezbollah is found to have sensitive night-vision equipment that Iran got from a UN program, the UN says nothing. However, when Israel claims it has conducted a raid in Lebanon to stop the rearming of Hezbollah, Kofi Annan immediately declares it a truce violation. Indeed, the UN Sec. Gen. also wants Israel to lift the blockade it imposed to stop arms resupply. He further wants to stock the peacekeeping force with troops from countries that do not recognize Israel's right to exist.

SYRIA: Meanwhile, newspapers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan -- some of which are state-guided -- are attacking president Bashar Assad in the wake of the conflict. Jamil Nimri, a prominent Jordanian analyst, says a recent Assad speech "has set things back and Syria has lost deep Arab solidarity. It is now in a worse situation that it was at the start of the war."

IRAN: Police in Tehran have begun "dismantling" satellite dishes from the city's rooftops, as part of a campaign to prevent Iranians from watching Western television. Iran said o­n Sunday it would not suspend uranium enrichment, though it will formally respond by Tuesday to proposals made by the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany. Tuesday is August 22nd -- a date Islamic extremists may deem appropriate for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. Let's hope it's a coincidence.

A MAN WAS TRAPPED WAIST-DEEP in chocolate for two hours at a factory in Kenosha, WI. He was recovered before getting sucked up the pipe to the Fudge Room.

ARMED CLOWNS are o­n a robbery spree in Arizona. Video at the link, but haven't I seen this before?

...AND THERE WAS CAT LITTER all over the highway...

PET HOARDING: Keeping 168 cats around the house will tend to adversely affect the local bird and squirrel populations.

SNAKES that don't need a plane.

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