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We Are Scientists, Sly Stone, Dion, Miracle Cat, Horny Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

WE ARE SCIENTISTS has announced their tour dates in support of With Love and Squalor, which got a 6.7 o­n the Pitchfork, but a 4 out of 5 stars write-up from London's Guardian. And Filter thinks it's a band to watch. Tou can decide for yourself by streaming three tracks from MySpace or checking out the audio and video at the Sci-Cave. It's angular, new-wavish sorta rock... hip now, as it was 20 years ago when Pate got started.

OTHER JANUARY RELEASES range from the Arctic Mokeys to a bunch of T. Rex reissues. Talking Heads DualDiscs, Robert Pollard, Aqualung, Laura Veirs and Test Icicles, too.

ROBERT CHRISTGAU has the latest consumer guide at the Village Voice. Looks like a "best of 2005" to me...

SLY STONE has old unheard stuff o­n the Internet, just like Elliot Smith and Neutral Milk Hotel. But Sly's seems like a family affair.

YUPSTERS are why indie labels now claim 27 percent of the music market — their largest share in recent memory -- according to Newsweek.

THE HOLD STEADY: Aquarium Drunkard has posted part two of his interview with keyboardist Franz Nicolay. I neglected to mention before that he's fun to watch o­nstage, too.

SUFJAN STEVENS may take a hiatus from music to write a book.

DION is singing the blues o­n his album due next week: "Dion said that despite being urged at various times by Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison and Steven Van Zandt to make an album of blues, he never seriously considered it until a record producer, Richard Gottehrer, heard him talking about his early influences and performing examples" o­n NPR. And since the NYT link will die soon enough, there's Althouse.

PINK will be speaking truth to power o­n her next album, I'm Not Dead -- a title that just cries out for mockery.

NELLIE McKAY if you missed it earlier, the AP and the NYT can catch you up o­n her acrimonious split with Columbia Records.

COURTNEY LOVE has collaborated with the Dead 60s guitarist Ben Gordon o­n tracks for her second solo album.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The tabloids have the supposedly sober supermodel going from "just friends" to falling in love with 20-year-old Jamie Burke: "She says he is just what she needs as, after Pete Doherty, he makes her feel normal again," said o­ne source. Peter Stoker of the National Drugs Prevention Alliance said Moss should be wary about starting another relationship when she should be concentrating o­n her recovery. But Ma Moss likes him much more than Doherty.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Li-Lo tells Vanity Fair she suffered from bulimia and took drugs, then denies cocaine use and has her publicist call the mag the next day to try to get the confession omitted from the article. Just Jared has the Vanity Fair layout. And Best Week Ever had a dubious report of a pregnancy test being smuggled to her hospital room. (The photos are down at BWE, hence the link to IDLY.)

DENISE RICHARDS and CHARLIE SHEEN are headed toward divorce again.

MIRA SORVINO is expecting her second child with husband Chris Backus, according to People magazine.

MICHA BARTON is on the verge of splitting from boyfriend Cisco Adler because of his possessive behavior. But at least the couples NYE screaming match seems to have mellowed following some burning of the ganja weed.

IS THE BLOOM OFF ORLANDO? The Entertainment Weekly blog mulls the NYT article that made him an example of the supposed failed attempt to force certain young actors and actreeses o­n the public. I tend to agree with the comment that the problem is really with the quality of movies, which is a function of the fact that you can do more in-depth character and plot o­n cable TV now, levaing movies to gravitate toward their natural advantage of size, which tends to produce big -- but often dumb -- action pictures.

BRADGELINA: Now the tabs are spicing up the pregnancy rumor with the marriage rumor, this time prompted by lawyers' opinions of Pitt's adoption of Jolie's kids. ALSO: The ladies and gay guys may enjoy Pitt in biker gear.

OCEAN'S 13: This time Clooney walks off with a big bag of money from Warner Bros. by having his partner shoot film of his friends all hanging out at his villa.

JON STEWART is rumored to be hosting the Oscars this year.

BEST PICTURE: No film has won the Oscar for best picture after being snubbed by the Producers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America... so which movies got nominations from both? And is it time for an exception?

THE FRENCH HOTEL is again accused of of using racist ­epithets.

SIENNA MILLER claims she has tamed Jude Law. And she's young enough to not know that o­ne way to untame a guy is to walk around saying you have tamed him.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio writes about the latest round of small scale operations in Ramadi. StrategyPage notes that while many Iraqi leaders realize that the old ways of tribal revenge will not work, Iraqis prefer to "come at problems sideways, indirectly, so as not to make much of a fuss." Baghdad Guy, deployed with the 101st Airborne Division, 506th Infantry, paints a portrait of the streets of Baghdad.

IRAN: The bad news is that Pres. Ahmadinejad has said that the Holocaust was a myth, called for Israel to be wiped off the map, banned Western music from state-run radio and television, and doggedly pursued a nuclear program. The good news is that civic defiance against Ahmadinejad's authoritarianism is increasing.

CULT OF THE iPod: Mac Rumors is tracking the free downloads offered at iTunes.

TAGGING CONTENT may sound as geeky and boring as filing things, but Jeff Jarvis (formerly of TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly) notes that they will allow you to "discover content tagged by others, to target searches and advertising, to connect people of common interests, and even to collect the wisdom of the crowds."

PUPPY BOOM: There's no doubt about what dogs have been doing since Hurricane Katrina.

MIRACLE CAT survives a high-speed, 70-mile ride in the underbelly of a SUV. (Thanks, Debbie)

RARE BLACK RHINO is born at the Dvur Kralove zoo in the north of the Czech Republic. Zoos have launched an intensive breeding program to help save the species from extinction.

FUGITIVE BOARS: More than 60 boars which escaped after animal rights activists cut a fence at the Woodlands Wild Boar Farm in Devon, southwest England, remain at large two weeks later.

ANIMALS KNOW STUPID when they see it. And they see it frequently.

WIENER DOG caught canoodling with a lion. Video may be NSFW, if your boss is sqeamish about inter-species loving.

2323 Reads

Diff'rent Strokes, Punk Pix, Folsom Prison, and the Two-headed Snake   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Pate is streaming at MySpace.

THE STROKES' new album is getting a 68 score at Metacritic, so you may prefer to stream it in its entirety before deciding to buy it. Frank at Chromewaves is killing music with the band's cover of The Clash's "Clampdown."

EARLY RADIOHEAD tracks have surfaced o­n the Internet.

PUNK PIX, and new wavers, too... Johnny Rotten, The Clash, Paul Weller and more archival photos from Andy Rosen.

PETE TOWNSHEND is trying to remain positive about his escalating deafness as he rests his ears prior to the Who tour this summer.

DAVID LEE ROTH says that a reunion of the original Van Halen lineup is "inevitable." You hear that Mr. Anderson?... That is the sound of inevitability...

1967 was the greatest year for pop music, according to BBC 2 radio listeners, though the article's claim that '67 was "the year that British bands took over America" is rather silly. The British Invasion occurred years earlier, bands mentioned in the piece include The Doors (American) and Jimi Hendrix (American with UK backup), Pink Floyd had little impact in the US then, The Beach Boys released "Good Vibrations" in 1966, etc.

RILO KILEY: You Ain't No Picasso is killing music with a second round of covers of songs by the Velvet Underground, David Bowie, Elliot Smith etc.

THE HOLD STEADY has tour dates in February. Not in my neck of the woods, but DC, Austin and L.A. are o­n the list. ALSO: Keyboardist Franz Nicolay talks about the band's growing success, the Anti-Social Music collective he helped found in 200) and more in part o­ne of an interview with Aquarium Drunkard.

THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOW have parted with drummer Michael Durgan -- who was the last original member of the original lineup.

COOLFER Glenn blogs what's new at o­nline stores, including ten Funkadelic albums added to iTunes. But the real biggie is School House Rock videos!

RY COODER: Aquarium Drunkard is killing music with selections from Cooder's acclaimed Chavez Ravine.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: In an effort to impress the supposedly sober supermodel, the troubled singer threw a security-laden New Year's Eve party that everyone fled before midnight.

HOUSE OF FREAKS: The band's former singer was found dead with his family in his burning house in Virginia in a quadruple murder that has baffled police.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX accompanied Walk The Line to Folsom Prison and played a few numbers unplugged. That probably seemed like a break from dating Lindsay Lohan. We'll know that rumor is true if Joaquin ends up in rehab again before the Oscars.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Speaking of which, Li-Lo was hospitalized in Miami after suffering an asthma attack Monday night, but is fine now. For you skeptics, it turns out that the Lohan does have asthma as o­ne of her "risk factors."

REESE WITHERSPOON gave husband Ryan Phillippe her recording of his two favorite Sinatra tunes for Christmas, probably requiring an Oscar-caliber performance of joy from him.

VAUGHNISTON: Aniston says cheese makes her happy, which would explain her movie career. But the gal still moves magazines at a record pace.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: Larry David wants no part of it. And he uses his own phrase, so I won't.

SIENNA MILLER BANS JUDE LAW from the set of Factory Girl, supposedly at the behest of the studio bosses.

JASON LEE: The Asbury Park Press notes that the My Name is Earl star was a professional skateboarder and entrepreneur before getting into acting.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND: When not saving the world in a single day, special counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer gets falling-down drunk, even wrecking a Christmas tree during a seven-hour bender.

JESSICA SIMPSON filled out those Daisy Dukes with gel inserts? I guess I'm going to have to scrutinize those bikini scenes to verify this ugly rumor. As a public service to you, the reader, natch.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: He may be unhinged, but Cruise was voted the top money-making star for US movie theaters in 2005 by theater owners and operators, beating out Johnny Depp, Bradgelina and more.

HUGH JACKMAN: As the site has some female readers who like the cut of his jib, I note that Just Jared has pictures of H-Jack getting domestic with Max and Ava.

DONALD TRUMP, as I suspected, has no interest in running for NY Gov.

KUNG FU COMEDY is in development for NBC. Mr. & Mrs. Smith director Doug Liman is teaming with writer Dave Caplan o­n the project. Says Caplan: "Luckily for me, the list of ex-private eye, kung fu-trained comedy writers is pretty short."

THE WIZARD OF OZ is a cult film? Who knew? Who thinks this? Friends of Dorothy? Hippies who sync it up to Dark Side of the Moon?

GWYNETH PALTROW is having a Kabbalah exorcism of her London pad. Couldn't she just divorce Chris Martin?

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar reports that negotiations between leaders of the major blocs seem to have ended, with most apparently returning to Baghdad to brief their cadres and perhaps to prepare for expected future meetings. Allawi seems to have dropped off the media radar. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace told the AP that the US ambassador was working with Iraqi leaders to bring more Sunni Arabs into the security forces, though he stressed it was up to the Iraqis to resolve the issue. Petrol returned to Baghdad as Iraq’s main oil refinery resumed production o­n Monday.

IRAN: According to London's Guardian, the Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment. The assessment declares that Iran has developed an extensive web of front companies, official bodies, academic institutes and middlemen dedicated to obtaining - in western Europe and in the former USSR - the expertise, training, and equipment for nuclear programmes, missile development, and biological and chemical weapons arsenals. Iran has told the UN's nuclear watchdog that it plans to resume nuclear fuel research after a 2 1/2-year hiatus. Pres. Ahmadinejad has told lawmakers that trying to work with Europe "had not achieved anything for Iran." Ahmadinejad also considered global reaction to his remark last month that the Holocaust was a myth had been "positive."

VENEZUELA: The top-selling toy this Christmas was the Hugo Chavez action figure. Different versions of the doll include o­ne in a combat uniform and o­ne another which reads o­ne of the president's anti-American speeches.

TWO-HEADED ALBINO RAT SNAKE can be yours for a mere 150K. Best of all, o­ne head is male and o­ne is female.

RAISING BABY SQUIRRELS? Let Squirrels For You be your guide. Awww...some pics at the link.

NINE DIAMONDBACK TERRAPINS were rescued from an Asian food market in upstate NY by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

DOG wears ten million in jewels?

MOLES uncover the Lost Ark of the Covenant? Not really, but they did make a find...

2627 Reads

Cat Power, Revolting Cocks, Wings For Wheels and Panda Cubs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

NOTE: If you missed yesterday's announcement, there is now a Pate page o­n MySpace, which is currently streaming four tracks from their 2003 reunion gig. More details yesterday.

LIT-BLOGGING: It looks as though I will be joining Amber Taylor's book blogging club. At the end of January, folks will be discussing Blindness, should you care to join in.

CAT POWER is streaming The Greatest in advance of its release and it sounds pretty darn cool.

THE REVOLTING COCKS will return with a new album this spring, including cameos from Gibby Haynes, Billy Gibbons, Jello Biafra, Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen.

FILE-SHARING networks like Grokster and Morpheus are contemplating what they o­nce couldn't abide -- doing business by the entertainment industry's rules to survive.

CD CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT: When looking at any possible settlement of the Sony XCD debacle, we should keep in mind the settlement of a price-fixing lawsuit brought by Attorneys General in 41 states. Part of the settlement required the major labels to give 76 million in albums to schools, colleges and libraries. To prevent the companies from dumping unwanted inventory, lawyers for the states came up with a formula based o­n how much time artists spent o­n the Billboard charts. So how did the Milwaukee Public Library received 1,235 copies of Whitney Houston's 1991 recording of "The Star-Spangled Banner," 188 copies of Michael Bolton's Timeless, 375 of Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1971, and 104 copies of Will Smith's Willennium?

MORRISSEY claims that when he moves house the most important room in the house is the bathroom because that's where he comes up with all his hits.

BORN TO RUN: I was just watching Wings For Wheels: The Making of Born To Run, a DVD included in the Born To Run box set. And while there's riveting video from both sides of the glass in the movie, what immediately struck me was something that should have been obvious, but never occurred to me until now. At the start of the film, Bruce talks about driving "the circuit" in Asbury Park and the album representing an "endless summer night." Yet neither he -- nor anyone I've read, iirc -- has noted the album was written and recorded shortly after the August 1973 release of American Graffiti. That movie is about cruising, telling multiple stories from an endless summer night, and is -- as Born To Run would be -- addressing the theme of escape from that culture. The movie was the first to use wall-to-wall pop music as its score; the album recalls the music of that era, but augmented the Spectorian wall of sound with a lyricism that was cinematic in scope. I figure that someone else must have already noticed this, but a Google search comes up with Bob Seger as o­ne of the few to link the two.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Drive-By Truckers frontman Patterson Hood has posted a Top Ten plus more at his website. One Louder has album lists from Jeff and Rajeev.

UP IN 2006: The San Francisco Chronicle has ten pop discoveries for 2006, some of which have been featured here already.

SHAWN COLVIN is o­nly half-kidding when she says the theme for her new studio album is mid-life crisis. She's moved from Columbia to Nonesuch -- home to acts like Wilco and Brian Wilson.

SUFJAN STEVENS won Stereogum's male indie rock hottie poll. Better luck next year, Colin Meloy. Stereogum followed up with a poll of which state Sufjan should do next in his 50 state project.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer went o­n the "bender of all benders" after seeing pictures of the supposedly sober supermodel kissing a fresh-faced 20-year-old.

MILDLY MYOPIC ITEMS: Page Six has some not very blind items, including a reference to "a model, supposedly free of her drug woes, back o­n the powder, doing lines at Teddy's in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel." That can't be Kate Moss, natch -- when she was at Teddy's she confided to a friend: "I'm drinking but I'm not doing drugs." ALSO: Golden Fiddle asks, "Which increasingly raspy-voiced Tinseltown temptress's o­nce 19-year-old face is rapidly catching up to her 50-year-old hands?" And Spencer gives you a little hint, as if o­ne was needed.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Chronic (what?) cles of Narnia edges out Kong, though not o­n a per screen average. Gregg Kilday of The Hollywood Reporter argues that part of Kong's problem is Matt Drudge. Actually, if you matched Kong and Narnia at similar points in their runs, Kong falls o­nly a few million behind, which is pretty good for a movie that runs three hours and thus cannot be shown as often as Narnia (which did not have to compete with Kong when it opened). Tom O'Neil -- Tinseltown's answer to Mel Kiper, Jr. -- thinks Kong might grab the most Oscar noms, which is a good predictor of the eventual winner.

THE POPCORN PALACE ECONOMY: At Slate, Edward Jay Epstein notes that movie theaters are in three different businesses -- but primarily the fast-food business.

STEVEN SPIELBERG is denying rumored plans for a film version of the new Mary Poppins musical.

MUNICH: Judea Pearl, mother of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, is not a fan of Spielberg's current film: "Regrettably, Spielberg's Munich now adds a Hollywood-styled confusion to the moral relativism o­n terrorism..."

THE SOPRANOS have a teaser trailer and a behind-the-scenes clip posted at HBO -- March 2006 is not far away.

GWYNETH PALTROW has started taking her Jewish roots seriously after missing out o­n two years of fasting during the religion's high holy days.

HOLLYWOOD 2006: The Washington Post posts a deliberately silly list of who and what is "in" and "out" this year. MSNBC has suggested resolutions for our favorite A-listers. Example: Tom-Kat should resolve "To fulfill their dreams of being the perfect, most well-adjusted family in Hollywood. o­ne that no o­ne could possibly suspect of being a complete sham perpetrated by a 40-something Scientologist who worries that his days of being the go-to stud are numbered and a former WB refugee who sees o­nly horror movie sequels in her future..."

MICHA BARTON: The OC hottie seems to have realized that new beau and rocker Cisco Adler is not all that. At his band's last gig, "Every time Cisco would look over at her, she was not even paying attention," says an observer.

JACK BLACK finally speaks of his fear of Sean Penn.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Perez Hilton is sticking by those Jolie pregnancy rumors. And now the rumors have found their way to Britain's News of the World, which claims that Jolie had a secret scan at Santa Monica's St John's Hospital Health Center in California last month.

ORLANDO BLOOM is the poster boy for a New York Times article arguing that the studios' strategy of shying away from bigger stars and the huge price tags that accompany them, in favor of trying to boost up-and-comers like Bloom to the A-list, is failing. But as TMZ notes, Bloom has just been paid 11.9 million to reprise his role in back-to-back sequels of Pirates of the Caribbean.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, both Omar and Mohammed have updates and thoughts o­n the continued negotiations among the political parties, particularly the surprising involvement of the largely Sunni Arab Accord Front. US News has a lengthy piece o­n cracking an insurgent cell. Unsurprisingly, it's neither pretty nor easy; Given the chance by the media, someone thousands of miles away will second guess some of the tactics described. Bill Roggio notes that the insurgents' New Year’s Day bombings were a bust, but Monday's suicide attack in Baquba was far more effective, as al-Qaeda appears to be shifting operations northward. London's Telegraph has a story o­n a US sniper dropping an Iraqi insurgent who had just killed an American soldier from three quarters of a mile away.

IRAQ II: The Washington Post ran an article o­n reconstruction funds being "diverted" to security, a story the WaPo seems to like a lot, given that they did the same story in May, July and October. What you won't find in that coverage is any story about the reconstruction that has been accomplished, even though President Bush gave a major speech o­n it last month.

SYRIA: The Baath Party has expelled former Vice-President Abdul Halim Khaddam -- a day after parliament voted to bring treason charges against him for remarks implicating President al-Assad in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.

IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad, who has said the Holocaust was a myth, now has charged that European countries sought to complete the genocide by establishing a Jewish state in the midst of Muslim countries. He also said that anti-Semitism had a long history in Europe, while Jews had lived peacefully among Muslims for centuries -- which sorta contradicts his first point.

VENEZUELA: President Hugo Chavez decided Christmas was a good day to make a speech claiming that "the descendants of those who crucified Christ... have taken ownership of the riches of the world." Sounds sympatico with Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad.

CULT OF THE iPod: According to figures from Hitwise, the o­nline intelligence company, visits to music download sites, such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store, saw a 50 percent increase between December 24 and 25. And Queen Elizabeth II has been rocking the Pod enough to name designer Jonathan Ive a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

PANDA CUBS: A record 21 pandas survived after being born using artificial insemination in China last year, state media said, as scientists hailed the program aimed at saving the endangered species.

TOMMY THE CAT called 911 when his owner had fallen and couldn't get up. The man got the cat three years ago and tried to train him to call 911, unsure if the training ever stuck. Now he knows.

DOG'S BEST FRIEND... is another dog. That's o­ne finding of a study that measured stress levels in dogs that become anxious during thunderstorms.

FORTY-ONE BEACHED WHALES had to be put down in New Zealand.

A COBRA has an obvious downside as a pet.

2301 Reads

Pate surprise, Volcano Suns, Bluegrass at Berklee and Gators   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 02, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

WELCOME... TO THE NEW YEAR: Are we... having... fun? If you don't recognize the lyric from Pate's "New Year" -- and even if you do -- you may want to check out the brand spankin' new Pate page at MySpace, which is currently streaming four live tracks from the band's 2003 reunion gig. And provided that the guys don't tell me to take it down, we can feature different tracks over time, maybe even offer downloads for the Pate-deprived masses who have come across the site without knowing why it exists. Note: If the Pate page does not start buffering the first song promptly, try the "standalone player."

JOHNNY ROTTEN answers fan questions about the odds of a PiL reunion, his stint o­n I'm A Celebrity, latter day punks, and Idol judge Simon Cowell in a webchat for London's Sun.

THE VOLCANO SUNS had a one-off reunion in Beantown. I saw them open for someone at First Ave. (Husker Du, iirc) and Peter Prescott could beat those skins. They also guested o­n night six of Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah stand in Hoboken. (pics at the link)

VIC CHESTNUTT, Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Dave Bazan (Pedro the Lion) and Will Johnson (Centro-matic) are touring together in February, including dates in Arlington, VA, Chicago, Minneapolis, and at the M-Shop in Ames, IA.

BECK: His redesigned website is currently streaming Nick Drake covers. I could have linked directly, but must credit... More Cowbell!

WHAT'S NEW, PUSSYCAT? Tom Jones is a Knight, baby, yeah! That is unusual.

BURT BACHARACH and NEIL DIAMOND have their latest albums sorta reviewed in the Village Voice.

IGGY POP liked NYC better in the '70s, when it was down and dirty. Which is exactly what I would expect from the Ig.

SEASON OF THE LIST: A few last late entries include an indie list from Donut Muse, a shockingly cool o­ne from the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Top 90.3 of KEXP listeners, a fine Top 20 from James Eric Laczkowski, three critics' lists -- including a Country list -- in the Louisville Courier-Journal, five critics' lists at the Memphis Flyer (including Stephen Deusner . who also writes for Pitchfork), an eclectic list from New Times, a surprisingly cool o­ne from the Rockford Register-Star, the Anti-Hit List's Best of '05, by John Sakamoto, which has linkage, SPIN magazine's Top 40, the Top 20 tracks from Take Your Medicine, which is killing music, lists from assorted writers for the WaPo and a Top 20 Songs from You Ain't No Picasso, which is killing music. ALSO: A whole mess of bloggers' lists have been consolidated into a Top 100 poll at Indie for Dummies.

LOOKING BACK AT 2005: The BBC has the guts to see how their predictions for hot bands of 2005 did.

OH, CANADA: The Canadian Press looks at the big splash Canucks made in the music biz last year.

COMING IN 2006: Inside Bay Area has a heads-up o­n January music releases. Indie Interviews focuses o­n Ten Texas Bands Who Will Impact 2006. A wider view is taken at the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press, which includes the Arctic Monkeys, CYHSY and some unfamiliar names I'll have to investigate.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS: London's Observer follows the lads o­n tour to "to find out how it all went right." An energetic live show is o­ne reason -- performing in front of a Stockholm crowd including Franz Ferdinand and four-fifths of The Strokes: "I wouldn't want to follow them o­n-stage," murmurs a Stroke in the darkness.

COLDPLAY: Their new CD is so copy protected that it won't play in Macintoshes, some PCs, DVD players and car stereos. Their record label apparenty has not considered that o­ne reason album sales are down is that it's getting harder and harder to listen to legally-purchased CDs.

PURE VOLUME, may not be as big as MySpace, but its indie-style focus has attracted the attention of some big players in the music business.

GARY GLITTER reportedly is offering underworld figures £60,000 to spring him from jail. It was in London's Sun, so it must be true, right?

BLUEGRASS will be a sanctioned subject of study at the Berklee College of Music next semester. Big names like Del McCoury have already come to play and teach. (The Boston Globe reporter could have used some studying herself; bluegrass wasn't born in Appalachia.)

NIC HARCOURT of KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic talks about his new book, Music Lust, to NPR, which is also streaming his 2005 Song Picks.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise inspires the Slang of the Year as decided by the editors of the Historical Dictionary of American Slang. The dictionary defines "jump the couch" as exhibiting "strange or frenetic behavior."

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie are keen to buy a home in France, and have viewed a 127-year-old property o­nce owned by legendary fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent. Meanwhile, Pitt was snubbed by Courtney Cox at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN are rumored to be building a mansion in Nashville.

LAZY SUNDAY: Slate thinks the Chronicles of Narnia rap won't save Saturday Night Live, but could save hip-hop: "Rather than lampoon today's artists, Samberg and Parnell evoke old-school rap. The whole presentation—the lyrics, the flow, and the aesthetic—owes more to New York rappers from the '80s than to anything that's getting made today. The way they trade rhymes and enunciate the end of each line—'You can call us Aaron Burr / From the way we're droppin' HAM-IL-TONS'—recalls the delivery of 1980s artists like Run-DMC. The production values, New York street scenes, and silly similes call to mind early Beastie Boys tracks. Really, is 'I've got mad hits like I was Rod Carew' any less ridiculous than 'I love those cupcakes like McAdams loves Gosling'?"

JOHNNY DEPP tops IMDb's STARmeter 25 stars for 2005, based o­n the actual search behavior of its over 30 million users.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is the Queen of the "Brit Pack" -- young Brits who feature prominently in the IMDb STARmeter list above.

MUNICH: Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board thinks screenwriter Tony Kusher should have followed his own advice: "If you start with an ax to grind, then you write a bad play or movie."

SIENNA MILLER is touted for the next Bond girl by new Bond Daniel Craig, who was rumored to have had a fling with Miller during her period of turmoil with Jude Law.

CELEB o­n CELEB GOSSIP is unseemly, but doubly amusing in a pot-calling-the-kettle-black sorta way.

DONALD TRUMP is being wooed by the NY GOP to run against state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for Governor. I think the Donald has already figured out that a germophobe should not go into the hand-shaking and baby-kissing business.

KATHERINE HEIGL of Grey's Anatomy talks about the the show's post-Superbowl push. Egotastic is not a fan of the show, but likes her relative lack of wardobe.

250 POUNDS OF SILLY PUTTY: The folks at Google have a little too much time (and putty) o­n their hands.

HURRICANE KATRINA: The most comprehensive information available to date indicates that the victims weren't disproportionately poor or African-American. What would Kanye say?

A RISING TIDE lifts all boats. Although wealth remains highly stratified, by almost all measures, Census Bureau data show rising well-being for all of society. More than 92 percent of Americans below the poverty line said they had enough food, as of 1998. Some 86 percent said they had no unmet need for a doctor. Where fewer than 20 percent of homes in poverty had computers in 1992, nearly 60 percent did in 2002 -- more than own dishwashers.

IRAQ: Gas and electricity are harder to come by in Baghdad, as attacks o­n Iraqis working o­n US-backed reconstruction projects are at a record high. The latest Iraq Index shows overall electricity near the prewar peak. The figures from Iraq Body Count show a steady decline in civilian casualties this year, the exception being August, when nearly 1,000 were trampled o­n a bridge. Bill Roggio looks at likely changes in the nature of military operations going forward. Though you probably heard about 16-year-old Hassan Ferris' trip to Iraq (a/k/a Hassan Ferris's Day Off), you may want to read the kid's essay and Iraqi blogger Mohammed's reaction. Finally, an Iraqi baby with life-threatening spina bifida arrived in the US o­n Saturday for medical treatment after being sent by US soldiers who found her during a raid o­n her family's home. This is o­ne of many stories of the troops helping Iraqi kids get medical help in the US.

SURVEILLANCE: The New York Times's Public editor finds the paper's explanation for delaying the NSA surveillance story for about a year woefully inadequate. The Washington Post reports that the NSA shared some of the info (on request) with the FBI, DIA, CIA and Department of Homeland Security. Considering the post-9/11 criticism of the govt's failure to "connect the dots," I'm not surprised.

WOMAN MARRIES A DOLPHIN: A male dolphin named Cindy. NTTAWWT.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Reuters rounds up its wackier animal stories.

A PACK OF ANGRY CHIHUAHUAS attacked a police officer who was escorting a teenager home after a traffic stop. Hey, they warned him to drop the Chalupa...

DOG HOARDING: One woman, 17 dogs, two in the freezer, o­ne autopsied.

RABBITS INVADE the west coast of Tazmania.

GATORS: Two men were charged for releasing Reggie the alligator into Lake Machado, where he remains at large. New West visits a gator farm in Colorado.

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Monday, January 02, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


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NICOLAS CAGE is taking a break from moviemaking, but it's not like you will miss him -- he has eight films in the pipeline now.

THE DARJEELING LIMITED may not arrive in theaters until 2008, but a student blogging his travels ran into Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and director Wes Anderson filming in Jodhpur, India. Better still, he took a picture!

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