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The Sweet, Kinks, Cutout Bin, Shrek 3, Tiger Triplets   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 18, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

 

...with THE SWEET!  The bubble-glam rockers are probably best known for the trifecta of "Little Willy," "Ballroom Blitz" and "Fox on the Run," though they also charted with the harder-edged "Action" and the more ballad-y "Love is Like Oxygen."  All of those clips also feature the band's rather unique fashion sense, but you have to see the clip for "Wig Wam Bam" -- complete with headdress -- to see the band at its most ridiculous.

WILCO and SON VOLT:  In the L.A. Weekly, Mark Mauer writes that it's "totally unfair and totally unnecessary to compare the new albums from Wilco and Son Volt..." then does so.  BONUS:  That Truncheon Thing has posted Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot demos. (Thanks, LHB.)

THE KINKS:  Heather Browne is streaming a 1977 gig at Winterland in San Francisco.

BO DIDDLEY is in the hospital after suffering a stroke on Sunday.

LAURA VEIRS talks to the Washington Post's Express about nature and -- inadvertently -- government funding of the arts: "There's no support for artists in this culture; there's no funding. You're going to have to do it yourself and stick it out and that, I think, is why we have so many great artists."  Embedded videos at the link, too.

CROWDED HOUSE has posted a new song at its website for your streaming pleasure.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  One-hit wonders Los Bravos perform "Black is Black."  So true.

SMASHING PUMPKINS:  The band's new album cover art is global warming-themed, but Billy Corgan & Co. may want to note that alarmist messages about global warming are counter-productive, according to the head of a leading climate research center.

BONO and BILLY SQUIRE are having a NYC co-op dispute over whether hazardous smoke from fireplaces, including Squier's, is drifting from chimneys into the penthouse duplex where Bono lives with his wife and four children.

HILLARY CLINTON wants your vote for her campaign theme song.  I'll skip over the Elton John joke to ask why she isn't going with Merle Haggard.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer and supposedly sober supermodel were caught canoodling at the Cow Pub in London's Notting Hill.  And if you take a closeup of those pics, you can see what looks like a white residue in the corner of her right nostril.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are:  Elvis Costello - Radio, Radio; The Archies - Sugar, Sugar; Harry Belafonte - Jump in the Line; Friends of Distinction - Grazing in the Grass; The Mountain Goats - The Boys Are Back In Town/Ignition; Violent Femmes - American Music;  Bo Diddley - You Can't Judge A Book...; Four Tops - It's the Same Old Song; J. Geils Band - I Do; Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning; The Kinks - Sunny Afternoon; Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Women; Pink Floyd - See Emily Play (rough mix); Slade - Mamma Weer All Crazee Now; Ryan Adams - Rocket Man (live); Lou Reed - Walk on the Wild Side; Bananarama - Cruel Summer; The Bel-Airs - Mr. Moto; The Windbreakers - You Never Give Up; and The Replacements - Can't Hardly Wait.

SHREK THE THIRD:  This advance screening I really did attend mostly as a service to Pate visitors.  I really liked the first Shrek, and thought the sequel was alright, but this one is currently scoring only 45 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, so I was not champing at the bit.  But it's this weekend's sole wide release, and I doubt the reviews -- mine inclded -- will stop many from seeing it.  Critics not liking this movie suggest that this franchise has become what it originally satirized; those liking it tend to say the same thing, but with the positive spin that it is reiventing the fairy tale cartoon genre.  I can see both points, but tend to fall more in that more negative camp.  The first had some wickedly satirical jabs at Disney; the second at least sent up Hollywood.  Shrek the Third only manages to poke fun at high school -- and not with any degree of originality.  But kids will probably still like the characters and the broad comedy; their parents will probably get a chuckle out of the parenthood jokes (though again, no great originality there).  It's not a bad movie, just a long way from the original.  And if you're whether it will depose Spider-Man 3 from the top spot, consider that Shrek 2 broke the 100 million mark in its opening frame.

LINDSAY LOHAN and current beau Callum Best are already at the point of having a "screamfest" at the Soho Grand in NYC, after Best was seen collecting digits from all the models at Cipriani Downtown, every time Lohan's back was turned.

JACKO has gotten a temporary restraining order against the sale of more than 20,000 Jackson family artifacts bought as part of a New Jersey bankruptcy case.  But if he keeps it up, the buyer may offer some of Jacko's dirty laundry for auction.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  People are freaking out that the celebutante may serve only 23 days of her 45-day sentence on that probation violation based on "good conduct," but it's not uncommon in the US to get day-for-day credit if you behave yourself.  It's less common than it used to be for more serious crimes, thanks to truth-in-sentencing laws, but there you have it.  Also, TMZ reports that the heirhead has abandoned her appeal, so she will be doing the time.

JENNA FISHER was celebrating the renewal of The Office Monday night with friends when she slipped on a restaurant's marble steps and fractured four bones in her back.  SEMI-RELATED:  The Office's  Rashida Jones and John Krasinski, who dated in real life in 2005, and date on the show, may be dating IRL again.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  It appears that her creepy dad-manager Joe approves of new beau John Mayer.  Turns out Joe is a fan.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  New beau Howie Day is already back in rehab.  A friend of Day's who spoke to Life & Style doubts the relationship will continue, pointing out that neither will be a good influence for the other.

FARRAH FAWCETT is reportedly facing a new cancer battle, just three months after being given the all clear on her 60th birthday.

ELIJAH WOOD is to play Iggy Pop in The Passenger biopic?  I don't mind him as an actor and he reportedly has good musical taste, but it still seems like odd casting.

BRUCE WILLIS, 52, is now dating Playboy Playmate Tamara Witmer, 23 (which makes her only 5 years older than Willis' daughter, Rumer).  He is also fed up with listening to outspoken actors -- and believes their opinion shouldn't mean "jack s**t" to the general public.

S.E. HINTON:  The reclusive author is doing some press to promote her new book, though I don't know that she needs to --The Outsiders, written 40 years ago, is selling as well as it ever has.

MICHAEL MOORE and FRED THOMPSON are having a showbiz feud.  Thompson, the lawyer-turned-actor-turned-Senator-turned actor currently mulling a possible presidential campaign, criticized Michael Moore for cozying up to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro during the making of Moore's upcoming film, Sicko.  Moore responded by challenging Thompson to a health care debate.  Thompson replied with a video demurring, but suggesting Moore ask Castro about Cuban documentarian Nicolas Guillen Landrian, who Castro had thrown into a mental institution and given electroshock treatments.  Moore is miffed about Cuban cigars supposedly in Thompson's video -- though I suspect they are props Thompson put in just to tweak Moore.

ROSIE O'DONNELL suggests the US gov't and military are terrorists, claiming that the US has killed 655K Iraqis.  This would appear to be a reference to the Lancet study that has been widely crriticized by scientists and is possibly fraudulent.  Earlier this month, the so-called "Queen of Nice" was reminding us that Islamic jihadis are mothers and fathers, too.

IRAN appears to have solved most of its technological problems and is beginning to enrich uranium on a far larger scale than before, according to the UN's nuke watchdogs.  This has the usual suspects, particularly Russia, questioning whether the demand that Iran suspend still makes sense.  Because what you really want to do is reward a regime that has flouted both the the Nonproliferation Treaty and UN sanctions repeatedly.  In other news, Iran plans to start manufacturing "Islamic bicycles" for women that conceals their figure.  National police have announced that men and women must not be allowed inside internet cafes together but in separate days or schedules "to avoid unpleasant promiscuity."

IRAQ:  Iraqi officials seem to have skirted a constitutional crisis over the controversial issue of reforming the Iraqi constitution -- for the moment, anyway.  The Iraqi Ministry of Oil lambasted a GAO report leaked to the NYT about the alleged smuggling of 100-300K barrels of Iraqi crude oil a day, pointing out how large such an operation would have to be, yet remain undetected passing through US-controlled outlets.  Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, meeting with Marines across Anbar province, emphasizes the power of a friendly wave.

HUANI the FARM DOG nurses three newborn tiger triplets for the Jinan Paomaling Wild Animal World in Shandong province, China.  It's not her first time, either.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  An Albino Aligator.

MAGGIE the ELEPHANT hadn't fallen, but she couldn't get up.

CAMELS are being used in South Australia to search for uranium deposits.  We had best keep them away from the squirrels and geese.

BORIS the OWL he has fathered three chicks with a flighty bird 21 years his junior; they are believed to be the only breeding pair of western Siberian eagle owls in captivity in the world.  Boris previously had cataract surgery because he couldn't see the lady owls.

3849 Reads

Feist, The National, Nico, Chuck Berry, Killer Tortoise   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

FEIST played "I Feel It All" unpluggedy on a bus for Jimmy Kimmel Live.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD, is soon to become an action figure, but that's the only merch he's doing for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED is currently featuring tracks from The White Stripes, Battles, Elliott Smith, an ELP reissue and more, streaming on demand via NPR.

IKE TURNER was arrested and locked up late Tuesday night on drug-related charges in Los Angeles, after he was clocked driving 80 mph on the 405 Freeway.  UPDATE:  The bust turned out to be the result of a computer problem -- someone forgot to clear a 1989 warrant that had been recalled by the judge.

THE NATIONAL:  Their new album, Boxer, gets a thumbs-up from Frank at Chromewaves, and the Village Voice thinks the band may get to use the advice it got from Bruce Springsteen about playing large gigs.  You can still stream the whole album this week via Spinner.

NICO covers David Bowie's "Heroes" somewhere in England.  And now that you mention it, her pupils do look a little dilated.

ARETHA FRANKIN is rumored to be headed to the chapel.

COUNTING CROWS have been posting covers at TheirSpace, including The Faces' "Ooh La La."  But they change 'em up, so you may want to stream more selections via the ol' HM.

PHIL SPECTOR:  Inside Edition obtained exclusive video of the pop producer speaking for the first time in his own words about the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.  Spector made the video in 2005 in his chess room where Clarkson was found dead. Spector originally intended to post it on his web site to defend himself against the accusations of murdering Clarkson.

CHUCK BERRY:  His Blues compilation is this week's Shadow Classic at NPR, which has three tracks streaming.

JESSICA BIEL and JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE were caught canoodling on a string of romantic dates in the UK on JT's world tour.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON and RYAN REYNOLDS were caught canoodling during the Damnwells' show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly still so "furious" that mom made her go to rehab that she refused to visit her mother in the hospital on Mother's Day.

LINDSAY LOHAN, otoh, has a mother who seems unconcerned about that video allegedly showing Li-Lo sharing cocaine in a club bathroom.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but newly-revealed diary excerpts reveal that she was delighted by rough sex, ecstatic over the prospect of plastic surgery for her breasts, and fearful of a jealous boyfriend. The AP adds: "She was careless with spelling, punctuation, and, too often, with her own well-being."

SARAH SILVERMAN:  The risque comedienne is riding high with her own show on Comedy Central, a gig hosting the MTV Movie Awards, and even a (satirical) photospread for Maxim magazine.  But she talks about her teenage depression and more with US Weekly.

JERRY SEINFELD is returning to NBC -- in a series of mini-episodes promoting his upcoming DreamWorks animated film, Bee Movie.

CAMERON DIAZ has reportedly stolen Minnie Driver's  fiancé, magician Criss Angel.  Diaz and Angel were... wait for it... caught canoodling Monday night in Vegas.  Which is ironic, as she is currently closing a deal to co-star with Ashton Kutcher in What Happens in Vegas.  Diaz also seems to have flashed Ellen DeGeneres during a TV interview; video at the link.

BRANGELINA are "totally a joke" to Jennifer Aniston, a pal tells US Weekly in a piece playing up Jolie's recent admission that baby Shiloh was deliberately conceived before Pitt's divorce was final.  Apparently, the mag is still miffed at Jolie's cozy relationship with People.

DAVID HASSELHOFF has been hospitalized under pseudonyms 13 times for alcohol poisoning, according to his ex-wife, Pamela Bach.  Something to keep in mind when The Hoff is complaining that he does not get credit for the fall of the Berlin Wall.

ROSIE O'DONNELL writes on he blog that The View has booked a show for 9/11 conspiracy theorists.  And Popular Mechanics debunks O'Donnell's latest comments on the collapse of World Trade Center 7.

ISLAMISM in PENNSYLVANIA:  The leader of the Islamic Center of Johnstown has stepped down, two weeks after calling for the death penalty for a speaker who was critical of the Muslim faith.  The resignation comes in response to a request by board members, who said his statements do not reflect the views of the center's members.

TERROR in the UK:  A British judge admitted on Wednesday he was struggling to cope with basic terms like "Web site" in the trial of three men accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet.  Violent Islamist material posted on the Internet, including beheadings of Western hostages, is central to the case.

IRAN:  Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has ruled out direct talks with the US on bilateral issues at the upcoming talks in Baghdad.  A Kurdish man visiting his family in Iran was arrested for drinking two beers and sentenced to 130 lashes. The sentence was carried out publicly.

IRAQ:  Coalition forces may have narrowed the search for the soldiers missing since last Saturday and have captured 11 suspected al Qaeda believed to be involved in the operation.  IraqSlogger scores an exclusive interview with Gen. Petraeus, who said it is difficult to predict how well the "surge"  will succeed before the full number of troops arrive and that he would not have a definitive answer about prospects for stability by September.  Slogger also posted video of new "war czar" Lt. Gen. Lute from the Charlie Rose Show in Jan. 2006.  The NYT has a leaked draft GAO report stating that the number of attacks on civilians and security forces stayed relatively steady or declined slightly since the "surge" started; an Iraqi deputy prime minister told the paper that the "surge" was having a positive impact in the Shiite-dominated eastern half of the city, but Iraqi intelligence had concluded that al Qaeda was "surging" at the same time to counteract the US program, damping any immediate gains.  The data in the Iraq Index and at iCasualties shows the number of civilian deaths are declining, with far fewer sectarian killings and more AQ suicide attacks, killing fewer people.

ATTACK of the Killer Tortoise!  BONUS:  At the other end of the scale is the soft-shelled turtle.

A 19-YEAR-OLD ORANGUTAN is expected to have improved vision after successfully undergoing cataract surgery Wednesday, the world's first ever such operation on a great ape.

A NEW BABY SUMATRAN RHINO named Harapan (the Indonesian word for "hope") made his public debut at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.  On April 29, Emi became the first Sumatran rhino in history to produce three calves in captivity.  Pics at the link.

RESCUERS had to speak French to a dog trapped in a drain because it couldn't understand English.

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Eddie & the Hot Rods, New Go! Team, St. Vincent, Irish Dolphins   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

EDDIE & THE HOT RODS perform "Do Anything You Wanna Do" on The Marc Show.  I'm confident that Ken King will alert Craig O'Neill.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS have been making kids' albums, composing tunes for everything from Dunkin' Donuts to Disney's Meet the Robinsons, touring and posting dozens of podcasts on their website, but Gothamis asks John Flansburgh about the duo's new album The Else, due in stores on July 10th, but available now via iTunes.

THE GO! TEAM has a new track titled "Grip Like A Vice" streaming at TheirSpace.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS:  John Darnielle talks with 3:AM magazine about his favorite authors

ANDREW BIRD:  His latest Armchair Apocrypha continues the violinist's trend toward a more crowd-pleasing sound, with traditional rock instrumentation, as featured on three tracks streaming via NPR.

USE IT:  The fourth quarter of the Bulls-Pistons playoff game on TNT opened with a fab track from the New Pornographers.  Oddly enough, no one on TV mentioned the band by name.

BLUES SINGER'S WOMAN Permitted To Tell Her Side.  It's the kind of story that makes The Onion America's News Source.

ST. VINCENT:  Annie Clark talks to LAist's Tony Pierce about playing with the Polyphonic Spree, playing with Sufjan Stevens, touring with John Vanderslice and working with Steve Albini.  There's embedded video, and An Aquarium Drunkard can hook you up with more video from SxSW.

AN AQUARIUM DRUNKARD:  Speaking of which, I forgot to link the latest AD podcast, which ranges from The Long Winters and Alejandro Escovedo to Peter Tosh to Sonic Youth and Kings of Convenience.

SINGLES:  The Associated Press has discovered that track downloads are changing the face of the music industry.  Who knew?

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  For once, the troubled singer was caught carrying kittens to the recording studio, instead of getting arrested for something; the supposedly sober supermodel is away at her second home in the Cotswolds.

LINDSAY LOHAN tops Maxim magazine's eighth annual "Hot 100" list, a ranking by editors weighing buzz and beauty for women in film, TV, music, sports and fashion.  And yet her new Brit boy-toy may already be cheating on her, though they looked cozy enough in the Bahamas, where the rehabbed Li-Lo was toting a bottle of Jack Daniels.

THE MAXIM HOT 100 LIST, btw, is the subject of a photo gallery at the mag's website.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Denise Richards and Richie Sambora broke up about two months ago, her rep confirms.  A Sambora source calls the split "amicable."

THE FRENCH HOTEL is supposedly so  "emotionally distraught and traumatized" from being senyenced to 45 days in the L.A. County Jail for violating her probation on that DUI bust that she is "not capable of any meaningful participation" in a civil trial brought against her by diamond heiress Zeta Graff.  Meanwhile, Joe Arpaio -- the country's toughest sheriff -- has offered to stick the celebutante in the Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix, Arizona.  People dream of her stuck in the tent city, but I doubt it.

JOHN MAYER advised presidential candidate John Edwards on how to reaching the youth of America.  Apparently, "'You've got to get me in the first 20 seconds."  Which might explain how Mayer ended up dating Jessica Simpson.  Edwards told New York magazine that he set up a meeting with Mayer so that he can hear more.

BRITNEY SPEARS has a Mini-Me; Lindsay Lohan is a fan.  Let's go to the video, shall we?

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but we just found out that her assets totaled only 710 grand.  And ex-companion Howard K. Stern has put in a request to be the special administrator of the estate.

SYLVESTER STALLONE has pleaded guilty to importing a banned human growth hormone into Australia.  He will be sentenced -- more like fined -- next week.

BRUCE WILLIS has been chatting online under a pseudonym at Aint-It-Cool-News... and managing to anger director Michael Bay as a bonus.

EWAN MacGREGOR has been caught buying large numbers of "Wonderjocks," which is sorta like a Wonderbra, but not quite.

JESSICA ALBA:  Summer really must be looming, as she has donned all sorts of swimwear for GQ.

FRANCE:  An Al-Qaeda front group in Europe threatened to launch bloody attacks in France in response to the election of "crusader and Zionist" Nicolas Sarkozy as president.  If only France had not invaded Iraq.  Oh, wait...

AFGHANISTAN:  Thirty-six hours before he was killed by US forces, Taliban Commander Mullah Dadullah said he was training American and British citizens to carry out suicide missions in their home countries.  Video at the link.

IRAN:  Some Iranians are intrigued by the freewheeling experiment in Shiite empowerment taking place across the border in Iraq, where -- Iraq's myriad problems aside -- imams can say whatever they want in political Friday sermons, newspapers and satellite channels regularly slam the government, and religious observance is respected and encouraged but not required.  Which would give the mullocracy in Iran a motive to disrupt that experiment.

IRAQ:  The White House ended its search for a war czar on Tuesday, naming Lt. Gen. John Lute, director of operations of the Pentagon's Joint Staff, who has publicly acknowledged the difficulty of encouraging the Iraqis to assume control of their own security.  The NYT looks at the challenges facing the Iraqi military as it tries to take a leading stabilizing role.  Though some issues remain open, an Iraqi committee agreed to send to parliament a plan to reform the constitution, an important step towards implementing national reconciliation laws that the US says are critical to ending violence.  British military officers have held secret talks with leaders of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, according to President Talabani.  Al-Qaeda has lost the support of Iraq's top Sunni cleric, though he remains opposed to the US and the Iraqi gov't.  US and Iraqi forces reportedly commenced a new campaign to secure Diyala province on Monday.  In addition, more than 280 prominent personalities and tribal and military leaders have formed a "Baquba Salvation Council" to confront acts of violence in Diyala. A leading al Qaeda expert told a security conference at Lloyd's of London insurance market that Iraq would become a "terrorist Disneyland" if coalition troops withdraw from Iraq in the next year, and that after two or three years, US forces would have to go back to Iraq.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  It was a crazy scene at the CVS Pharmacy in Port Saint John, FL, after a squirrel went on the attack.  Video at the link.

THE GOOSE THREAT:  A British law student recounts the harrowing tale of how he lost his mobile phone after being "mugged" by an angry flock.

IRISH DOLPHINS have their own dialect.  Could be the Guinness.

A CAT trapped in a cargo crate without food or water seems to have survived a 35-day sea voyage from China to the US.

DOGS are an emerging market for cellphones, webcams, GPS units, and other hi-tech gadgetry.

1843 Reads

Robyn Hitchcock, New Releases, Clash Covers, Bunny Letter-opener   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

ROBYN HITCHCOCK talks to Harp magazine about the tour documentary, Sex, Food, Death and Insects, which I have seen and enjoyed.  There are three clips on the Tube (Clips One, Two and Three).

NEW RELEASES:  The National (in advance), Hot Chip, Wilco, Dungen and more are streaming in full via Spinner this week.  Wilco got a paltry 5.2 at Pitchfork, while the Jim DeRogatis writes in the Chicago Sun-Times that he only began to appreciate some of it after a dozen listens.  But the beauty is that you can listen for yourself online.  I'm anxious to stream the Dungen.  Great Northern releases an album of summery pop-rock called Eenie Meenie.  The High Strung, currently touring with Son Volt, has a new one called Get the GuestsPink Martini has an international flavor on Hey Eugene!  And  Ian Hunter has a new album on YepRoc.

THE HOLD STEADY talked to the NYT magazine for a piece about sex, drugs and updating your blog.  Guitarist Tad Kubler is the band's online point man, and he's ambivalent about privacy issues, while Keyboardist Franz Nicolay, knowing his offstage comments now turn up on blogs, laments:  "You can't be the drunken guy who just got offstage anymore... You start acting like a pro athlete, saying all these banal things after you get off the field."  OK Go's lead singer, Damian Kulash is also quoted. (Thanks, Sylvia, who writes from what she calls "the" gated community.  Which is very funny to those who know her.)

THE CLASH:  Berkeley Place has the only band that matters covered, from A-Z.  You can jukebox 'em via the ol' HM, too; just scroll down to May 10th and click listen next to the track you want.

JOY DIVISION is profiled in London's Independent, as Anton Corbijn's film about the late Joy Division frontman, Control: The Ian Curtis Film, will be premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on the 27th anniversary of the singer's suicide.

TWOFER TUESDAY brings two themes from James Bond movies -- Shirley Bassey with a live take on "Goldfinger," and Chris Cornell with "You Know My Name" from the opening of Casino Royale.  The latter is evr-so-slightly spoiler-y, but you really should have seen Casino Royale already.

LILY ALLEN was freaking out about her weight on her blog the other day, but she seems to have gotten over it now.

TIM FINN, former leader of Split Enz, played for WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on May 11, so you can stream the whole gig now from NPR on demand.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS finally have a release date -- July 17 -- for their second album in North America. Originally slated to be released in February, the album hit a few snags during the band's switch from Capitol to Astralwerks.

LES PAUL:  The 91-year-old guitar wizard enthralled a hometown crowd in Waukesha, WI, Thursday night at a concert that raised more than 100 grand for an exhibit on his life.  You can stream a pre-concert interview from WGN Radio, which finds Les Paul talking about -- among other things -- his first meetings with Django Reinhardt, Louie Armstrong, Nat "King Cole" and others.  The interviewers mention the new Les Paul documentary Chasing Sound; you can see ten minutes on the Tube.

MARILYN MANSON and his 19-year-old lolita EVAN RACHEL WOOD had real sex in the video for "Heart-Shaped Glasses?"  Manson's rep denies it, natch.  Video at the link and yes, probably NSFW.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Candy Spelling (widow of Aaron, mother of Tori) tells the heirhead to grow up.  Even better Patty Hearst thinks the celebutante's 45 days in jail will be cruel and unusual punishment... for the other prisoners.

BRITNEY SPEARS just wants attention, according to Avril Lavigne, who manages to be both correct and lacking a sense of irony.  A 6' x 10' painting of the famous paparazzi photo showing the pop tart showing everything was covered by a curtain for Sen. Brack Obama's recent campaign fundraiser at a Virginia art gallery.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  The couple keeps up the charm offensive with a piece at People about Holmes ordering cupcakes, pizza and ice cream cones for the cast and crew on her new movie.

LEAH REMINI, in a semi-related piece, prepares for life after The King of Queens by assuring People that she is not trying to convert Jennifer Lopez to Scientology.

CHRISTINA RICCI helps promote the DVD release of Black Snake Moan by telling London's Mirror that she spent nearly the whole film shoot almost nude, to stay in character.

SEAN CONNERY is ripping retiring British PM Tony Blair and boosting the cause of Scottish independence.

BRADGELINA:  With all the paparazzi in Prague, Pitt is singing the praises of relative anonymity in N'awlins, and vows to return to the Crescent City.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY wishes some of new co-star Sienna Miller's party skills would rub off on her.

GIRLS GONE WILD co-founder Joe Francis has demonstrated "significant psychiatric issues" in a Florida county jail, according to his lawyer,  But will a federal pen in Nevada be any more to his liking?

JESSICA ALBA heralds the coming of Summer in a tank top and bikini bottoms.

INSURGENCY and COUNTER-INSURGENCY:  Last week, the USA Today reported on a study commissioned by the Defense Department showing that rebels lose more often than they win and that the chances for stopping an insurgency improve after 10 years.  Regular Pate readers know that a longer study showed the same thing.  At the Small Wars Journal blog, David Kilcullen discusses whether the usual rules of counter-insurgency apply to so-called "religious insurgencies."

STRETCHING THE FORCE:  Austin Bay, a retired Army Reserve colonel, and Phillip Carter, an attorney and Army veteran, recently debated whether the US Army in dire straits, or under pressure but essentially sound.  One sign of strain may be a shoratge of senior captains, or captains closest to promotion, which is due in part to previous decisions to promote officers more quickly to meet targets for Army majors. OTOH, fast-tracking officers with expertise and experience from the battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq may help shorten the war.

IRAQ:  The US military acknowledged that three US soldiers, missing since Saturday, are probably being held hostage by an al Qaeda-affiliated group; a statement released purportedly by the Islamic State of Iraq, urged the US to give up looking for them, but that's unlikely.  A newly formed Sunni insurgent coalition accused al-Qaeda of killing 12 of its senior members in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood in a new sign of rifts between Iraq's militant groups.  Michael Yon's latest dispatch is that "The progress is very real.  But the potential for a disaster is also real."  Yon reprints the recent letter from Gen. Petraeus to the troops emphasizing that "Adherence to our values distinguishes us from our enemy. This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we-not our enemies-occupy the moral high ground..."  This even helps in Haditha, where some of our troops stand accused of murder, but the mayor of Haditha urges the Marines to stay: "The people of Germany and Japan would not have made progress without the Americans... The people of Iraq deserve the same."

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A bunny letter-opener.

A BLOWFISH in Scottsdale, AZ, has an overbite that requires regular dentistry.  Video at the link.

A 185-LB. SEA LION waddled ashore to join schoolchildren on a walk-a-thon at the Marin Country Day School next to the shores of the San Francisco Bay.

CHARLOTTE'S WEB DOWN UNDER:  Tasmanians witnessed a rare natural phenomenon at the weekend when millions of juvenile spiders left home and covered hundreds of hectares of pasture with strands of spider web.

CHINESE PANDAS have been working overtime at the Beijing Zoo to allow a flood of holiday visitors a glimpse of the country's favourite animal.  Given widespread slave labor in the workers' paradise, it's safe to say the baers will not be paid bamboo-and-a-half.

HEAVY PETTING:  Pet massage classes are filling up with pet owners, groomers, competitors and others, instructors say.  Meanwhile, scientists explain how to pet cats, dogs and cows.

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Decemberists, Advance National, Sharon Jones, Goat Dressing   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 14, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE DECEMBERISTS soundcheck big hunks of Steve Miller's "Jet Airliner" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" at Western Washington University, plus clips from the concert at Volume-Knob.

WILCO frontman Jeff Tweedy gives The London Times, among other things, the quote of the week or month: "It took me years to work out what went into a great pop song... But even if I know the recipe it doesn't mean I have the ingredients. The way I see it, Abba made 'Dancing Queen' and, from that moment on, every musician who has heard it faces the struggle to come to terms with their own imperfection."

THE NATIONAL:  The band's Boxer album does not come out until May 22, but you can stream the whole album now.

ELVIS COSTELLO will not only appear on The Late Show With David Letterman tonight, but also on a post-show live webcast  at about 8:25 p.m. EST.

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS -- whose Daptone Records recently signed to the World's Fair label group -- have a new track streaming at Pitchfork.  More classic funky soul music, with a few twists.

BOB GELDOF, who organized the Live Aid and Live 8 benefit concerts, criticized the Live Earth music events Al Gore is putting together this summer, saying they lack a specific goal and that the name has people thinkig Geldof is involved.

THE ROCK BOTTOM REMAINDERS counts humorist Dave Barry among its members, and you never know who will be sitting in, like Roger McGuinn and Steve Martin on Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere."

WARNER MUSIC:  If you want to know why at least one major label is bleeding money, Roger Friedman will fill you in.

BEN GIBBARD played DC's 9:30 Club May 10th, so you can steam the gig via NPR on demand.  John Krasinski from The Office makes a cameo, grabbing a guitar and singing alittle Wilco.

GETTING POPPED AT THE POPS?  Police are investigating a fight that broke out between two men during last week's Boston Pops concert, which later featured a guest appearance by Ben Folds.  Idolator has your video.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer has unveiled his first public exhibition of his paintings and prints - produced in his own blood.  Pics at the link.

JOHN TRAVOLTA is accused of mistreating his autistic son by an Ocala, Florida restaurant manager, who blames Scientology.  Meanwhile, the Daily Mail claims Travolta is trying to suppress a BBC documentary on Scientology.  Both sides took to the Tube with Scientolgy allies posting video of presenter John Sweeney lashing out at a Scientologist, while the Beeb has posted a clip of a Scientology spokesman getting snippy with Sweeney.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Spider-Man 3 topped the box office again -- as expected -- with 60 million, but dropped 60% and missed its chance to become the fastest to break the 200 mill mark (tying Spider-Man 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at eight days).  Then again, Dead Man's Chest dropped 54% in its second weekend, so the question is only the amount of profit.  New releases 28 Weeks Later and Georgia Rule came in a distant second and third, at 10 million and 5.8 million, respectively -- which means Georgia Rule didn't work as counter-programming to the web-slinger.  Disturbia placed a decent fourth on an 18% drop, followed by the debut of Delta Farce with 3.5 million.  Fracture made 2.9 million, while The Invisible made 2.2 million.  Hot Fuzz moved up to the eighth slot with 1.6 million -- it has made more than Shaun of the Dead here and 67 million worldwide.  Next and Meet the Robinsons round out the Top Ten just a few tens of thousands behind Hot Fuzz.

JANE FONDA and LINDSAY LOHAN were snapped taking to the dance floor at NYC's China Club after the premiere of Georgia Rule.

GEORGE MICHAEL has revealed he's starring in a new American TV sit-com with Trainspotting star Johnny Lee Miller.

PRINCE was straddled by a stalker at a secret gig in London.  Pic at the link.

BRADGELINA are working the domestic bliss publicly, with Jolie saying that Pitt completes her, while Pitt gushes that becoming a father is the best thing he ever did.

SHERYL CROW announced on her website that she has adopted a baby two-week-old boy, who presumably won't be using toilet paper for awhile.  Yeah, she tried to laugh off her advocacy of limits on toilet paperas a joke, so she probably wasn't laughing when Good Morning America gave fawning coverage of the family that uses no toilet paper.

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO, another celebrity green, is being sued for allegedly "maliciously" crossing onto his neighbors' property, cutting and removing hedges, excavating "earth, granite and bedrock," all for the construction of his personal basketball court.

THE OFFICE has been renewed for 24 episodes, including 4 hour-long specials.  The network had sought to make every episode an hour.

JOAN COLLINS and LINDA EVANS are in another catfight, something I had to note for my fellow Dynasty-mocker, Dale.

JESSICA SIMPSON shows off an impressive set of balloons during a nautical-themed photo shoot Wednesday at NYC's Coney Island in Brooklyn.  Pics at the link; the pic above is not one of them.

THE HAMAS MOUSE is back on Al-Aqsa TV, brainwashing kids with Islamist jihadi propaganda.  Here's video of the Mouse claiming he cheated on a test because the Jews destroyed his home, along with kindly Uncle Azim dreaming of the day Islamists re-conquer Spain and Portugal.

TURKEY:  Some 1.5 million Turks streamed into the port of Izmir to protest the pro-Islamic ruling party, increasing pressure on the government ahead of early elections.

AFGHANISTAN:  NATO and Afghan forces have killed the Taliban's top military commander.

IRAQ:  Reuters reported that the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq -- Iraq's most powerful Shiite party -- would make key changes to its platform that would align it with Iraq's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani -- and distance it from Iran.  The media bureau of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, formerly SCIRI, issued a statement late Saturday claiming this was "inaccurate analysis."  However, the change of name -- eliminating the "Revolution" which referred to Iran -- suggests at least a rhetorical shift away from Iran at a time when the Shiite Sadrists seem more aligned with Iran.  Al Qaeda has hit the Kurds for the second time in five days.  Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi --a Sunni Arab --  has backed down from a threat to withdrawal from the government, while Prime Minister al-Maliki has offered to give a greater role to Sunnis in securing their regions.  Also, there seem to be even more doubts that the parliament will set a timetable for US withdrawal.  PM al-Maliki also said he would send more troops to Diyala province to help halt sectarian fighting that has forced out hundreds of families in the past five days -- an issue that had caused the last session of parliament to end in a walkout by reps from Diyala.  Iraq's national security advisor told ABCNews that Syria is continuing to harbor and support Islamists responsible for killing both Iraqis and Americans.

GOAT DRESSING is apparently a competition at the gay rodeo.  Actually, I suspect this is a hoax -- NTTAWWT if it's real.

A PENGUIN has turned up 3,000 miles from home... and may be rejected by his new community.  And it seems unlikely that he will win them over with his dancing.

A HORSE IS A HORSE, of course, of course... even if you paint stripes on it and charge people to have pictures taken with the "zebra."

SUICIDE GOOSE sparks a power outage In PN that caused at least 25 gallons of oil to spill into the Ohio River.  How long until the geese form an Axis of Evil with the squirrels? (Thanks, Dad.)

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A calf with two noses.  In fact, the secnd one looks like a pig snout!  (Thanks again, Dad.)

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