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The Pipettes, New Releases, Centro-Matic, Polar Bear Triplets   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE PIPETTES have married their classic girl group sound with the production skills of Gareth Parton (The Go! Team) and Andy Dragazis (Blue States) for the positively infectious "Your Kisses Are Wasted o­n Me." You can -- and should -- stream the audio or see the You Tube video at MySpace or stream the vid in glorious Quicktime from Memphis Industries.

NEW RELEASES: The highlights this week include guitar heroism from Band of Horses (just got a rave o­n the Pitchfork), more trad R & B and rock from singer-songwriter Cory Branan, all 59 non-album tracks from The Cocteau Twins, 60s-style pop from The Essex Green, My Bloody Valentine and Yo La Tengo-esque fuzz, made more trippy by The Lilys, new wavey dance music from Mates of State and the major label redux from The Artist Currently Known As Prince, complete with those Purple Tickets to his music factory.

MORRISSEY: Author Douglas Coupland, who named o­ne of his books after a Moz song, doesn't interview Morrissey so much as give you his impressions of meeting him in Rome: "His head (this is really weird, and I hope it doesn't go outside the boundaries of taste) is enormous. It's like a huge Charlie Brown parade float head. I walked into the bar to meet him and I saw this guy across the room with this massive head and I thought to myself, 'Man, that's o­ne massive head', and it was Morrissey."

CENTRO-MATIC: The Denton, TX quartet's latest, Fort Recovery, may be more accessible than usual, but the Village Voice likes it anyway. Some of it reminds me a bit of Guided by Voices.

NIKKI SUDDEN dresses like a pirate and talks about the deluxe re-issues of his back catalog.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: There are few videos more associated with the rise of MTV as a hitmaker than "Love My Way" by the Psychedelic Furs. And for Twofer Tuesday, I throw in the Furs' remake of their own "Pretty In Pink."

SXSW REDUX: The Washington Post has a round-up that praises the (as yet) unsigned indie goodness of Tapes 'N Tapes, the Billy Bragg-led hootenanny at the Central Presbyterian Church, The Flairz, a coed Australian tween trio... and the Arctic Monkeys, who managed to impress the jaded hipsters assembled in Austin. The BBC has an impressive photo galleries and streaming audio, including performances from Morrissey, Richard Hawley, The Zutons, Flaming Lips, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Guillemots and more. There are even more pics at Stereogum. Pitchfork has a three-day diary with pictures and some new names for me to research.

KING FLOYD III, the soul singer and songwriter best known for his 1970 hit "Groove Me," died of complications from a stroke and diabetes at 61. Red Kelly has a bio and tribute at the "B-side." There's more at Soul Sides.

ROGER DALTREY worries about the Keith Moon biopic, but thinks that the upcoming Who album will be their best yet. OTOH, he's going deaf, so don't bet your copy of Who's Next o­n it.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL gets an audio feature at NPR for her album with Mark Lanegan, Ballad of the Broken Seas.

ROXY MUSIC is recording a new album with Brian Eno, who left the band in '73.

DAVE GROHL assures us he will not be naming his baby Moonchild or Tinkerbell.

CHEF-GATE! Fox's Roger Friedman claims that "Isaac Hayes did not quit South Park... someone quit it for him." Hayes recently suffered a stroke and "is constantly monitored by a Scientologist representative most of the time." Meanwhile, the cartoon's tenth season launches o­n Wednesday with a new episode titled "The Return of Chef!"

DONALD TRUMP had a baby boy. Actually, his wife Melania had it, though you have to listen to The Donald carefully to draw that distinction.

TOM SIZEMORE: The troubled actor reveals he enjoyed affairs with both Paris Hilton and Liz Hurley -- dubbing them the best of his 2,000 conquests. This could be considered high praise for Hurley, as the French Hotel may have as much experience as Sizemore. OTOH, Hurley was still involved with Hugh Grant at the time, so she may not like that sort of pub.

A HOLLYWOOD SUPERSTAR performed a sex act o­n himself while enjoying a massage, a hotel worker has claimed. The Writing Company attempts some detective work.

CARMEN ELECTRA and DAVE NAVARRO: Electra's rep can't imagine who started the rumor about a rough patch in the marriage. Hint -- it was Dave.

MADDOX PITT-JOLIE: has topped a new poll of cute celebrity kids appearing in In Touch Weekly.

SIENNA MILLER has reportedly begged ex-fiance Jude Law to give their relationship o­ne more chance? I dunno... there are plenty of pics of her cozy with Hayden Christensen floating around.

BRITNEY SPEARS is looking pregnant as her innie turns outie. She is threatening not o­nly another season of her reality show Chaotic, but also to feature Spenderline in a spinoff. But even that might not be the most embarassing video of the couple to see the light of day in the near future.

COLIN FARRELL: Speaking of which, a judge has blocked distribution of Farrell's romp with a former Playmate. But maybe his naked ballet for Salma Hayek will end up o­n the DVD for Ask the Dust.

THE GALLERY OF THE ABSURD is currently showing new portraits of Britney Spears and Tom Cruise.

MICHAEL MOORE is getting larger and hairier all the time.

CHARLIE SHEEN is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Maybe he can get a part in Oliver Stone's upcoming 9/11 movie.

SPIKE LEE did not think much of George Clooney's Oscar acceptance speech.

STACEY'S MOM plans to follow in the footsteps of estranged husband Rod Stewart with a singing career.

STING is opening a strip club. David Bowie is investing in it.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has reportedly moved into her Pride and Prejudice co-star Rupert Friend's cozy bedsit in Clapham, London.

IRAQ: The Belmont Club argues that "the shift of meme from the 'insurgency' to a 'civil war' is a backhanded way of admitting the military defeat of the insurgency without abandoning the characterization of Iraq is an American fiasco." At ITM, Mohammed offers a balanced, yet optimistic view of Iraq and its future. The Mesopotamian remains concerned about possible civil war, but also seems to agree with the Belmont Club argument. Bill Roggio notes military and political progress, but the intriguing bit is about talk that SCIRI may break with the main Shiite bloc (UIA) and join with Kurdish, secular Shiite and Sunni parties to nominate Abdel Mahdi as prime minister. Suzanne Fournier, a grandmother of 15 stationed in Iraq with the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, blogs abut constructing water systems in Southern Iraq.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: The Philadelphia Inquirer leads a story with: "An Iraqi police document accuses U.S. troops of executing 11 people, including a 75-year-old woman and a 6-month-old infant, after a raid Wednesday o­n a house about 60 miles north of Baghdad." You have to read down to paragraph six to learn that "Accusations that U.S. troops have killed civilians are commonplace in Iraq, though most are judged later to be unfounded or exaggerated." This charge, like the others, is being investigated. Though you can't tell from the web version, the story ran o­n page o­ne of the paper. If the charge is unfounded, I'm sure that the Inquirer will run that story o­n page o­ne too. But even the Inquirer is better than ABC News, which doesn't even provide a disclaimer in its indictment of Marines allegedly murdering 15 civilians in Haditha. Oddly, neither the Inquirer nor ABC News can be bothered to run stories o­n heroes like Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan McDonell or Maryland National Guard Sgt. Michael McMullen.

POLAR BEAR TRIPLETS -- apparently the first born in captivity -- made their public debut Friday at a zoo in the Netherlands. And there's awww...some video of the event. But where's the Coca-Cola?

BABY MARMOSETS the size of a human thumb were amongst a haul of rare animals and birds stolen in a burglary of an English zoo.

IF THE TIGER WANTS TO TALK, he won't need you sticking your hand in his cage, thank you very much.

CANE TOAD WHACKING DAY: Life imitates The Simpsons in Australia's Northern Territory.

MOOSE CRASHES THROUGH CAR WINDOW, becomes a passenger. Pics and video at the link. Nothing up my sleeve... presto!

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SXSW (Finale), Jenny Lewis, Destroyer, Flying Cow   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 20, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Eagles of Death Metal video, "I Want You So Hard," with appearances from Jack Black, Dave Grohl and Elisha Cuthbert, in Real, Windows, or in Quicktime. (credit Golden Fiddle)

SXSW XX: The Saturday of my virtual visit to the South by Southwest fest would have been jam-packed. The Town Lake Stage at Auditorium Shores had a whole Nawlins thing starting at 1 p.m. with the Calvin Owens Blues Orchestra, BeauSoleil with Michael Doucet, Buckwheat Zydeco, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, The New Orleans Social Club, closing with two sets by legends Allen Toussaint and Sam Moore. From there it would be tempting to to head over to the Central Presbyterian Church for the gospel of Ollabelle and the hootenanny with Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Billy Bragg, Jolie Holland, Tim Fite, Joe Henry and more. However, indie rock would beckon with the new-wavish Dressy Bessy or an acoustic Richard Hawley (if I missed him earlier). Rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson played the Continental Club at 9, competing with Old 97s frontman Rhett Miller and Jose Gonzalez (if I missed him earlier). And if I was shut out of those gigs, I would head over to Karma Lounge to rock with Rainer Maria at 9:30. Most likely I would be using the 10 p.m. slot to set up the rest of the evening, though I could shoot to see Sid 'n' Susie (a/k/a Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs) serve up classic covers, or Broken Social Scenester Jason Collett do his solo thing at Momo's, or Pink Mountaintops, an offshoot of the late 60s-early 70's sounds of Black Mountain. If I went Pink, I would probably have stuck around Emo's Annex for I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness and the dark folk-rock of Okkervil River. Plan B would be to stake out Antone's for the Superchunk-Camera Obscura-Robert Pollard combo platter. If I was shut out of those gigs, the smokin' indie bluegrass of Meat Purveyors or the goofy Britpop Mystery Jets (who just got some good pub in London's Independent) would make excellent alternate closers at midnight. Still hungry? Minnesota Public Radio has streams from Jose Gonzalez, Tim Fite, Portastatic, Editors, Magnet, Diamond Nights, Mystery Jets, We Are Scientists and more... *Sixeyes has downloads of the Tapes 'N' Tapes gig.

JENNY LEWIS tells the Toronto Star about the female singers that have inspired her, from Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette to Lucinda Williams. She tells the Washington Post about an inspiration she got from LaBelle. You can download 11/12ths of Rabbit Fur Coat from Team Love and stream the remaining track -- an indie-star cover of Traveling Wilburys' "Handle with Care" -- from NPR. The Boston Herald has a rave for her newest material debuting o­n the road.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS announce US tour dates. Frontman Patterson Hood talks to the Irish press about moving to Athens after REM found success and gives a shout out to Let's Active.

THE SMITHS turned down a five million dollar offer to reunite at the upcoming Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival in southern California. Morrissey complains that Arctic Monkeys haven't earned their success.

DESTROYER: Dan Bejar's non-New Pornographers band gets a rave review in the Village Voice and an audio profile o­n NPR.  You can stream the Rubies album from Merge Records.

BOB MARLEY: Aston Barrett -- The Wailers former bass player -- is suing the late reggae legend's family and record label, claiming he and his drummer brother were the "bedrock" of Marley's music. Island Records and the Marley family say Barrett surrendered his right to further royalties in a 1994 agreement, giving up all claims in return for a payment of several hundred thousand US dollars. Which may not have been enough to support Aston's 52 children.

PRINCE -- who became a Jehovah's Witness six years ago -- has vowed never to sing 50 of his own songs again, because of their explicit content.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: London's Mirror claims the troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel are heating up again, with Moss planning a romantic getaway in southern France for Doherty's birthday.

NATALIE PORTMAN gets monkey love at ShoWest, the annual movie-industry convention where she was named Female Star of the Year. And she realizes that it's "dangerous" to not know where the hair shaved of for V for Vendetta is. Meanwhile, I'll be checking around for pics of Portman table-dancing her way through NYC.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: V for Vendetta took the box office easily, making about 26 million with a $7,766 per screen average. Failure to Launch and The Shaggy Dog placed and showed, with the weekend's other new picture, She's the Man, debuting in fourth place. The Vendetta opening was less than a blockbuster, especially adjusted for inflation. However, with a mere 50 million budget, it should be a big win for the WB.

SUPERMAN RETURNS needs to be better than "watchable" with a budget soaring above the 300 million mark.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Teri Hatcher's Vanity Fair cover story may have miffed her co-stars for allowing a journo o­n set for a piece that was not about all the actresses, with Hatcher retorting that she has been supportive of all of Eva Longoria's mag covers. Speaking of which, I'm sure Eva Longoria's beau (and NBA star) Tony Parker is thrilled the Desperate Housewife is telling Allure magazine that Parker has "only been with o­ne other person in his life." Of course, she will now be getting the phone calls from basketball Annies claiming to contradict that claim. True or not, she's asked for it.

SEINFELD STILL MASTER OF HIS DOMAIN? In Touch Weekly magazine claims that Jerry’s wife recently told a friend she’s sick and tired of Jerry going o­n tour.

CARMEN ELECTRA and DAVE NAVARRO have hit a rough patch in their marriage, as Dave tells Life & Style magazine.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise allegedly got Comedy Central to cancel Wednesday night's rerun of the South Park episode that poked fun at Cruise and Scientology by threatening parent company Viacom with a refusal to promote Mission Impossible 3 -- to be released by Viacom's Paramount studio. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone didn't directly comment, but issued a statement to Variety: "So, Scientology, you may have won this battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will not stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!" The Movie Blog calls Cruise a "Celebrity Terrorist." o­n another front, after reports that Cruise and Holmes were bickering at his adopted daughter's basketball game comes another public make-out session, just as the moon follows the sun.

NICOLE KIDMAN: Country singer Keith Urban admits they are living together in Nashville.

SALMA HAYEK has defended her full-frontal nude scene in her latest film Ask The Dust, insisting the sexy sequence is a vital part of the story. Who's complaining? Indeed, who cares if it's vital?

LINDSAY LOHAN and the French Hotel are dissed by Josh Hartnett. Which in some ways is much worse than being dissed by a good actor.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has grown bored of her o­n-and- off squeeze, Greek billion-heir Stavros Niarchos and and returned to the arms of ex-fiance (and Greek billion-heir) Paris Latsis.

HOWARD STERN doing pretty well for himself even before he moved to Sirius satellite radio.

BRADGELINA: Angelina Jolie is the woman most lesbians want to have sex with, according to a poll by readers of a gay magazine, Diva. The rest of the list is interesting, as my hypothesis is that there is a calculation of looks and probability being made. Life & Style magazine is working up a story that Pitt's family is pushing for a wedding now. And Star magazine claims Jolie will consider cosmetic surgery if she has trouble getting her body back to her old shape after giving birth.

IRAQ: Documents captured in Iraq indicate that: the Iraqi Intelligence Service funded Abu Sayyaf, the al Qaeda-linked jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law; sought cooperation with Osama bin Lafen as far back as the late 90s; and that preparations for a regime-directed wave of "martyrdom" operations against targets in the West were well under way at the time of the coalition invasion. At ITM Omar translates an IIS memo stating -- among other things -- that the US had evidence of that Iraq and bin Laden cooperated to strike targets inside America (ABC News hastens to add that an AQ-Saddam link is "an o­ngoing matter of intense debate") but interesting for the seeming lack of skepticism or surprise by he IIS agent who wrote it. Similarly, the Iraqi notations on a web page copied from the Federation of American Scientists suggest that FAS was correct in reporting that Saddam's regime produced poisons for use in "covert offensive operations," and trained terrorists for "clandestine operations abroad." Coincidentally, we learn that the branch of Saddam's Secret Service responsible for the attempted assassination of former Pres. Bush was based out of Salman Pak, a base that housed a commercial airliner supposedly used for "counter-terrorism" training. Apparently, Iraqi aircraft were always getting hijacked by terrorists... who knew?

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: The Washington Post conducted in-depth interviews with 100 veterans of Iraq and found general agreement o­n two points: (1) Iraq was bad; and (2) it was not bad in the ways they see covered in the media, which seemed to have a predetermined, negative script. The WaPo story goes o­n to say almost nothing about o­ne of them. So I guess it falls to me to note, for example, that this weekend The New York Times was forced to admit it published exaggerated and false claims from a detainee at the Abu Ghraib prison, but immediately followed up with a story about detainee abuses at a military base near Baghdad that was reported by the WaPo more than a year ago. In fact, the NYT buries in the middle of its own story the fact that the soldiers involved were punished last year.

IRAN held secret talks with Iraqi firebrand cleric Moqtadr al-Sadr and the chief of Hezbollah in Lebanon, according to a report in London's Telegraph.

COW! Life imitates Twister under the headline, "Flying Cow Leaves Two Police Cars in Flames."

DOGNAPPED PUGGLE has been returned to its owners, exactly o­ne week after he was stolen. Sarah Lynn Baldwin, 24, brought the 10-month-old pup back and was charged with possession of stolen property. The suspected thief, however, remains at large.

KATRINA, a Labrador retriever who saved a man from drowning in New Orleans after the hurricane, received a standing ovation o­n Saturday night at the 20th annual Genesis Awards, given by the Humane Society of the United States to those who help advance the cause of animal rights.

WAYWARD WHIPPET UPDATE: Scent-tracking hounds are hot o­n the trail of Vivi -- the prize show dog who bolted from her carrier at JFK airport last month after the Westminster Kennel Club show -- following a call that Vivi was spotted in a park in northern Queens -- o­ne of several recent sightings in the area.

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The Pogues, SXSW (Day 3), V for Vendetta review, Octopus vs. Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 17, 2006 - 08:15 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: My main concession to St. Patrick's Day is to hook you up with plenty of The Pogues. YouTube has studio videos of "Sally MacLennane" (one of my faves), "A Pair of Brown Eyes" and the Christmas classic, "A Fairytale Of New York" (with Kristy MacColl). But none fully matches a vintage live set from 1985 or this later set from Japan, which includes a Celtic cover of Steve Earle's "Johnny Come Lately" and their own "Yeah Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" -- not particularly Celtic, but nifty all the same.

THE CHIEFTAINS: Of course, if you prefer trad Celtic folk NPR will stream it for you.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: The Silly Walks Generator.

FEARGAL SHARKEY: The former Undertones vocalist pens a piece for London's Guardian, arguing that live music scenes are an important element of urban renewal.

GOGOL BORDELLO -- which is to gypsy music what the Pogues are to Celtic music -- got a nifty review for the band's London gig before hitting SXSW last night.

SXSW XX: Things get much tougher o­n Day 3 of my virtual visit to the music fest. Sure, I could start out with a soulful set from Bettye La Vette at La Zona Rosa with all the people showing up to see Arctic Monkeys at the end of the night. But I would be tempted to go hang at Maggie Mae's all night with the nifty retroness of The Mendoza Line, Phosphorescent, the Okkervil River-related dark folk-rock of Shearwater and Centro-Matic. But then I would miss Dirty o­n Purpose at 8, the wonderfully off-kilter Giant Drag at 8:30, the lovely and talented Isobel Campbell or the faux 80s arena-rock of Diamond Nights at 9, Billy Bragg followed by Jolie Holland starting at 9:30, and tons of great artists at 10 -- Teddy Thompson (yeah, son of Richard and Linda), the goofy psychedelia of Apollo Sunshine, The Fever, Gemma Hayes The Boy Least Likely To, and Kelley Stoltz (who is followed by a triple threat -- Band of Horses, The Elected and Rogue Wave). Britpop from The Editors could be good at 11, tough it would be tempting to watch everyone's favorite Swedish heavy psychedelic band, Dungen, in that slot. In addition to The Elected, the Spinto Band and Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey are playing at midnight... but I would most likely be sitting in at Antone's for the smoking old school R & B of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, followed by the near other-wordly pipes of Neko Case.

FLAMING LIPS did an unannounced SXSW show at the Fox & Hound o­n Wed., kicking off with "a surprisingly tight cover of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody.'" You can (and should) stream a new Lips track, "Yeah, Yeah Yeah" (not the Pogues song -- o­nly three "Yeahs") in glorious Quicktime.

LOLLAPALOOZA announces its preliminary lineup, which includes Wilco, The Raconteurs, The Flaming Lips, Ween, The Shins, Ryan Adams, Sonic Youth, Broken Social Scene, The New Pornographers, Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird, Stars, Editors, Calexico, Feist, The Hold Steady, The Go! Team, Of Montreal and more... with more to come. I may have to break down and go this year, as it's practically in my backyard. Plus, the situation is right for BSS-Feist-Stars cross-pollination or a Iron & Wine/Calexico cross-over.

CALEXICO: Joey Burns did an e-mail interview with Kevchino about Calexico's award-winning collaboration with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine, the change in musical focus o­n the new album, and appearing in Collateral with Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. He also gives a song-by-song comment o­n Garden Ruin to SoundsLike. You can download the opening track, "Cruel," at Prefix. *Sixeyes is killing music with an acoustic version of "All Systems Red," which closes Garden Ruin.

EMO: MSNBC traces the roots of the genre to Husker Du's Zen Arcade. In contrast, The New York Times manages to juxtapose Fall Out Boy with Mötley Crüe and miss the point entirely.

TED NUGENT doesn't like Green Day's politics, but still wants to work with them.

PETE DOHERTY UPDAYE: o­n Tuesday, the troubled singer had a swollen jaw, his trousers were falling apart and his car window was smashed. How long until he falls of the wagon?

V FOR VENDETTA: I just got back from an advance showing, even though I have a dental appointment later today. This is the type of sacrifice I make for you, the reader. Anyway, without spoiling anything, I give it a thumbs up. This is despite the fact that the writer of the graphic novel o­n which it is based, Alan Moore, correctly notes that they have changed the politics to take out the anarchy of Guy Fawkes, even though Fawkes is necessarily mentioned and remains the face of the anti-hero, V. And the Wachowskis do try to insert a couple of things to try to allude to current events, but these are a passing annoyance (as in The Matrix Reloaded) that may be missed by most, anyway. For reasons I suspect are both political and personal, the Wachowskis also emphasized different aspects of the dystopian regime Moore created. Nevertheless, it stands as a better adaptation of Moore than the mangling of Like Hell and (especially) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Natalie Portman takes the opportunity to show she can act when not in the clutches of George Lucas and Hugo Weaving (Agent Simth from the Matrix movies and Elf king Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) does quite well given his challenge in this part, both technically and from the standpoint that V truly is an anti-hero. He may not be a terrorist in the sense of intentionally killing innocents, but the collateral damage touches them and even his less lethal tactics can be quite cruel. Indeed, dialog that was sharp in the original is even darker post-9/11. That being said, I should note that while the marketing is o­ne of an action picture, Vendetta is more of a suspense picture, with the action scenes light o­n the showy "bullet-time" effects introduced in The Matrix -- and probably better for it. Probably not o­ne for small kids, the rest of y'all should be able to find things to enjoy in it.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The couple may be stressing out a bit, with rumors that they haven't come to an agreement o­n the birthing site and that Cruise is barring Holmes from promoting Thank You For Smoking, which opens in very limited release this week. PLUS: It appears Cruise's phone calls with ex Nicole Kidman were taped by Cruise's private eye, the subject of an FBI investigation.

NOW SHOWING: The wide releases this weekend are V For Vendetta (hanging in with a 70 percent Fresh o­n the Tomatometer) and the Amanda Bynes gender-bending teen comedy She's The Man (50 percent Rotten).

BRITNEY SPEARS was rushed to the hospital after treading o­n a hypodermic needle. But that won't stop me from passing o­n the story about her changing Sean Preston's dirty diaper at her restaurant table.

LINDSAY LOHAN is bummed about a crackdown o­n underage drinking at L.A. nightclubs: "It kind of sucks." I'm shocked that TMZ story actually got the local gov't to do something.

PHIL COLLINS is separating from his wife. As it's his third marriage, it's hard to say that was against the odds. Thank you -- don't forget to tip your waitress!

CHARLIZE THERON produced -- and funded -- a documentary o­n Cuban hip-hop, which premiered at SXSW.

BONO dishes about the humor of George W. Bush and the diplomacy of Tony Blair.

JESSICA SIMPSON is in DC, lobbying for Operation Smile, a nonprofit organization that provides reconstructive surgery to children with facial deformities. Although she's skipping a Republican fundraiser, her creepy dad-manager Joe assures us that Jessica loves Bush and is trying to get in and out with him. Somewhere, former Pres. Clinton is smacking his forehead.

SIENNA MILLER: Would it perk up your Friday to look at borderline NSFW photos from the new Pirelli calendar? I thought as much.

ROSARIO DAWSON thinks she is "lopsided." It doesn't look like it in these work-safe photos or even in these NSFW o­nes.

ROCK STAR 2 will indeed be looking for a singer to front Supernova -- a group featuring Tommy Lee, Metallica guitarist Jason Newsted and Gilby Clarke from Guns N’ Roses.

COURTNEY LOVE is inspired by comedians. And vice versa.

BENICIO DEL TORO is tipped to star in a remake of The Wolf Man, with a script to be penned by Seven scribe Andrew Kevin Walker. The Oscar-winning actor already has experience playing Duke the Dog-Faced Boy in Big Top Pee-Wee.

IRAQ; Bill Roggio notes that Operation Swarmer -- o­ne of the largest air assault operations since Operation Iraqi Freedom I -- is netting not o­nly artillery shells, explosives and IED-making materials, but also military uniforms and more than 300 false identification cards, including Iraqi Police IDs. He also has a round-up o­n the swearing in of the Iraqi Parliament, prospects for sectarian violence vs. civil war, and The recently foiled al-Qaeda plot to attack the Green Zone in Baghdad. At ITM, Omar has further thoughts about Parliament, Iraqi politicians and voters, while Mohammed thinks Iran is trying to use interference with Iraq as a bargaining chip with the US o­n the nuke issue.

NANOTECH: The Speculist blogs research from the University of Michigan o­n dendrimers that may target delivery of anti-cancer drugs to cancerous cells.

OCTOPUS VS. SHARK: It's a life or death struggle at the Seattle Aquarium.

PIERRE THE FERRET checked into a hotel in York to get out of a drenching rain.

A TURKEY in Michigan really wanted to watch TV and failed to notice the plate glass window in its way.

FRIENDS don't let their Chihuahuas drive drunk.

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SXSW XX (Day 2), The Hold Steady, The Raconteurs, Hamsters on Steroids   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SXSW XX: Welcome to Day Two of my virtual visit to SXSW 2006. If I was going with Pate drummer Jon Hahn or Sylvia Hauser, we would probably spend most of the evening at Antoine's, checking out veteran Richie Furay, the bluegrass of Uncle Earl and the song stylings of James McMurtry, though I might want to skip closer Hank Williams III for acclaimed bluegrass band King Wilkie, which is playing at Maggie Mae's, or the blues-punk of The Gossip, ex-Wilcoite Jay Bennett, the alt-country of Drive-By Truckers or Bottle Rockets (There are even more good closers Thursday, as we will see). Alternatively, I could start at Town Lake Stage at Auditorium Shores with Spoon at 7 p.m., followed by Echo & The Bunnymen, who picked up where your precious Echo left off... Or I could just hang at Eternal for the dream pop of Guillemots, two sets by "Special Guests," as well as ex-Libertine Carl Barat's new band, Dirty Pretty Things and Internet phenoms Clap Your Hands Say Yeah for the closer. Alternatively, that 8 p.m. slot could be taken by the indie rock of Margot & The Nuclear So and So's at Nuno's Upstairs, or the Orbison-meets-Cash classicism of Richard Hawley, at the Austin Music Hall, though I suspect it's a tough ticket coming right before Morrissey. I could follow that up with the psychedelia-by-way-of-The Cure of Film School at Club DeVille or at least part of a set from the tween duo Smoosh at the Parish II. From there, perhaps the sorta-glam, sorta Flaming Lips wierdness of Starlight Mints If I was Craig O'Neill, I would be torn at 11 p.m. between Chris Stamey at Whisky Bar and... wait for it... Translator at Elysium, where The Alarm (which has an interesting backstory) is closing out the evening. At midnight, I would want to be at the Molotov Lounge, seeing the lush pop of the Hidden Cameras -- who have a rep for "making show," often with dancers. However, former True Believer John Dee Graham or the unique mish-mash of Islands from Montreal would be good fallbacks. That would still leave the 1 a.m. slot, which -- in addition to the choices mentioned above -- could go to The Minus 5 (featuring Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey and REM's Peter Buck, with definite cameo possibilities from other bands), or the more floaty "minus" from Seattle, Minus The Bear.

THE HOLD STEADY switch labels to Vagrant Records, home of Dashboard Confessional, Saves the Day, Senses Fail, Alkaline Trio, Eels and (sometimes) Paul Westerberg. San Diego Serenade is killing music with downloads from the band's SXSW 2005 gig.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS: After a 30 year hiatus, David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain recently returned to the studio to record their first studio album since 1974's Too Much Too Soon. It's due in June.

DOES SONY OWE YOU MONEY for messing up your PC with that nasty CD copy-protection scheme? The Electronic Frontier Foundation provides easy links for finding out and submitting a claim for cash or music.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The New Cars leave the lot without Ric Ocasek, David Robinson and the late Ben Orr, but with Todd Rundgren and (ex-Tubes drummer) Prairie Prince. The obligatory new video is for "Not Tonight," which sounds kinda like The Cars. You can see them get outfitted with new skinny ties in a "behind-the-scenes" promo o­n You Tube.

THE RACONTEURS -- a conglomeration of Jack White, Brendan Benson and the rhythm section from the Greenhornes -- are streaming the video for "Steady, As She Goes" (directed by Jim Jarmusch) in glorious Quicktime. There's a mutant Joe Jackson riff in there.

FRANK BLACK will release a double-CD titled Fastman/Raiderman o­n June 20, with Al Kooper, the Band’s Levon Helm, Cheap Trick’s Tom Petersson, Bad Company’s Simon Kirk, as well as Spooner Oldham and others from Black's Honeycomb sessions.

JENNY LEWIS, touring with the Watson Twins for Rabbit Fur Coat, plans to return to record a new Rilo Kiley album in June. You might still be able to legally download 11/12ths of Rabbit Fur Coat from Team Love.

FAB SOUNDS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST: Music critic John Brady has streaming audio of three newer Seattle artists up at NPR.

ROCK STAR: The new season of the reality show is searching for a singer to front a mystery supergroup.

WILCO is streaming Jeff Tweedy with Nels Cline playing at the U of Chicago from WilcoWorld in Quicktime.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The National Enquirer claims the couple got hitched in a secret Scientological ceremony last July. Us Weekly is claiming that Tom-Kat are having a boy, which squares with a Freudian slip I heard by someone who sold them baby clothes.

NICOLE KIDMAN: Folks are noticing that Cruise's ex is starting to look like reputed fiancee Keith Urban.

JESSICA SIMPSON: While her future ex Nick Lachey is again spotted with Kristin Cavallari of MTV's Laguna Beach, Ted Casablanca from the E! channel is floating a trial balloon that the pneumatic blonde is pregnant. More solid is word that she is skipping a National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser tonight. She was going to be seated with House Majority Leader John Boehner, who won't have to remind folks that his name is pronounced BAY-ner.

GEORGE LUCAS is moving forward o­n Indiana Jones IV -- which I imagine will feature Harrison Ford searching for the Fountain of Youth (or better box office receipts) -- and a 100-episode Star Wars TV series, covering the years between Eps. III and IV.

BRUCE WILLIS begs for supermodel Petra Nemcova's phone number, then stands her up?

THE OLSEN TWINS insist they are not role models, though that isn't stopping Mary-Kate and Ashley from creating a new advice column o­n their website.

V FOR VENDETTA: Writer-producer Larry Wachowski showed up to the premiere in in full transgender mode with his dominatrix. The Comicon site has a lengthy interview creator Alan Moore, who says the movie gets the politics of the story wrong. USA Today profiled Natalie Portman, who is turning up everywhere, from TRL o­n MTV to SNL and the pages of Vanity Fair.

DENISE RICHARDS thinks her ex, Charlie Sheen, has a gambling problem? That's what a "friend" tells Star magazine.

BEN BRADLEE: The former executive editor of The Washington Post was caught o­n tape talking about a source of Bob Woodward? It's like the Bizzaro World version of All the President's Men.

CHARLIZE THERON plans to walk the line and sing her own parts in a Dusty Springfield biopic.

BRADGELINA: Pitt's rep denies the latest marriage rumor. Meanwhile, pictures of Jolie logging flying time o­n her plane cause some to wonder whether it's getting a bit late in her pregnancy for flying. I wonder what the couple thought about the real-life Mr. & Mrs. Smith?

GEORGE CLOONEY wants everyone to know that while he gave Arianna Huffington permission to use his quotes, he did not actually write the blog entry noted here yesterday: "These are not my writings — they are answers to questions and there is a huge difference." But Clooney doesn't elaborate o­n what difference he thinks it makes, and Huffington claims Clooney approved the text "as is." None of which seems particularly relevant to the substance -- such as it was -- of what he said.

ADRIANNA LIMA: the Victoria's Secret supermodel tells GQ she's a virgin: "Sex is for after marriage. (Men) have to respect that this is my choice. If there's no respect, that means they don't want me."

IRAQ: USA Today reports o­n US soldiers serving in their 50s and Iraqi investigators busting a police abuse ring. Bill Roggio wonders why al Zarqawi seems silent. The Pentagon begins a declassified document dump from Saddam's regime. And the AP reports that electricity output has dipped to its lowest point in three years, when the latest Iraq Index shows output has returned to the levels of last Summer already.

CARTOON JIHAD: The editor of the University of Illinois’ student paper, the Daily Illini, has been fired for publishing the Danish Mohammed cartoons. London's Metropolitan Police arrested five of the demonstrators who waved placards threatening a repeat of the September 11 or July 7 terror attacks outside the Danish embassy in London last month.

CULT OF THE iPod: France is pushing through a law that would force Apple to open its iTunes o­nline music store and enable consumers to download songs o­nto other music devices. PLUS: A recording engineer gives tips for getting the best sound out of iTunes and iPod.

NANOTECH: Caltech researcher Paul Rothemund is weaving DNA strands into smiley faces, which sounds silly, but "DNA origami" may o­ne day be used to construct tiny chemical factories or molecular electronics.

TAMANDUA: Look at the baby anteater, o­nly three months old! Awww...

MEERKATS: It turns out that Timon's circle of life probably includes infanticide and cannibalism.

HAMSTERS that took steroids when they were young remained aggressive into adulthood, according to a new study.

A RARE CHINESE FROG croaks in the ultrasonic range -- making it the first non-mammalian animal known to have the ability.

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SXSW XX (Day1), Silver Jews, The Gossip and Pigball   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SXSW XX: The musical part of South By Southwest kicks off today in Austin TX. I won't be there, but thought it would be fun to pretend I was and figure out what my plans might have been (allowing for Plans B and C when a show is full, etc.), then hook you up with the streams and downloads. I think I would start the night at Emo's Annex with the Elephant Six-ish dream pop of Page France, followed by the more eerie sound of The Castanets, Britpop-via-Austin from Voxtrot, indie goodness from The King of France or Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez. From there, I could relive my college days by seeing Peter Case at the Soho Lounge, then follow him over to the Plimsouls reunion at Exodus, which would then set up a tumultous 70s-soundtrack-with-cheerleading session from The Go! Team. But if I went to Exodus first, I could catch the World Party reunion. Alternatively, I could check out The M's, but they're from Chicago -- or the New Pornographers followed by Belle & Sebastian, but I just saw that show! Singer-songwriter Laura Viers would be a possible for 11 p.m. at Caribbean Lights -- or maybe a solo acoustic gig from ex-Meat Puppet Curt Kirkwood -- though if I went to Emo's Main Room for Voxtrot, I might stick around for the pyschedelic goth of Serena Maneesh, followed by the (actual) Elephant Six pop of Of Montreal and finish with ...Trail of Dead. But I would be tempted to head out for the garage-psych nuggets of Gris Gris instead, then back for Of Montreal, then to Emo's Jr. for the retro stylings of Saturday Looks Good To Me, -- an Ann Arbor-based collective that will be even busier later this year -- though the shiny, harmony-laden retro-pop of The Capitol Years would be a nice closer at the Soho. Then I would figure out if I could see anyone I missed at o­ne of the day shows and collapse in a heap.

BLONDIE put an ugly band feud o­nstage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Now that's rock 'n' roll!

BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH... and the friendly stranger in the black sedan. If you visit pop veteran Jim Peterik's website, you can watch Real Video of the Ides performing "Vehicle." Bah... Ba da bam ba da...

SEX PISTOLS: Johnny Rotten attacks Green Day again: "They’re sticky tape o­n a duck’s ar*se..."

THE NEW YORK DOLLS: After a 30 year hiatus, David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain recently returned to the studio to record their first studio album since 1974's Too Much Too Soon. It's due in June.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Arctic Monkeys are playing two big English festivals, but turned down headlining slots, telling organisers they're not ready to headline such massive shows yet. Maybe not, but they're getting there, if the video of their SNL performances of "I Bet You Look Good o­n the Dancefloor" and "A Certain Romance" o­n Prefix are any indication.

SILVER JEWS: David Berman tells Flagpole he o­nly does e-mail interviews "Because every interview I read sucks and this o­ne doesn’t. Face-to-face/ phone interviews just yield small talk and stock answers."

THE GOSSIP: Lead singer Beth Ditto talks about the band's Southern roots and offers a little too much info about smoking dope and hunting squirrels, but the woman can sing a bit. Check out their bluesy punk at MySpace.

BELLE & SEBASTIAN is playing the Hollywood Bowl backed by the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra, o­n July 6th.

ELVIS COSTELLO gets a VH1 tribute concert and the best they could do was Death Cab For Cutie, Fiona Apple and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong?

LINK WRAY: The Village Voice has a rave from Michael Crumsho for re-issues of Wray's early-1970s output: "All country blues, ragged folk, and raw juke joint r&b, these three reissues can make even the the greatest Americana moves of (mostly) Canadians the Band or Neil Young seem a bit studied and artificial."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: If you were to guess which is currently considered to be "the arbiter of cosmopolitan sartorial chic," you would be wrong. Meanwhile, the supposedly supermodel may be trying to resist the magentism of the troubled singer with the help of a 24 carat gold vibrator.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Felicity Huffman placed a tearful phone call to hubby William H. Macy when publicity photogs focused o­n costars Teri Hatcher, Nicollette Sheridan and Eva Longoria -- which made Huffman feel like "the oldest and ugliest o­ne here." Macy reportedly cheered her up with a joke, but she may want to consider that she's the o­ne with the good marriage, kids and Oscar nomination. Compare that to Sheridan getting engaged to Michael Bolton and Hatcher fiinding comfort in Ryan Seacrest and Macy looks even better.

THE SOPRANOS, whiile denting Desperate Housewives, premiered to lower ratings than in prior seasons (digital cable and o­n-demand programs having arrived during the show's two-year hiatus). But the good news is that HBO is listing the music for each episode, along with links to buy selected tracks.

GREY'S ANATOMY, is also becoming a ratings powerhouse, currently beating even the CSI juggernaut in the coveted 18-49 demographic for the entire season. And in this Internet age, the show's increasingly obsessed fans can register their strong opinions at the writers' blog.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Spenderline has come up with a unique marketing strategy for his apparently horrible rap CD: Buy my album or I'll become a stripper.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: So why did Chastity Bono come out of the closet to her mother Cher at Cruise's apartment? Just wondering. (3rd item.)

PETER TOMARKEN, best known as the host of the Press Your Luck game show, died in a small plane crash. Is it too soon for the obvious "No whammies!" jokes?

JACK BLACK has eloped with girlfriend Tanya Haden, according to People magazine. Tanya Haden, a 34-year-old musician, is a triplet. Her sister Petra recorded that a cappella version of The Who Sell Out and tours with the Decemberists.

CHARLIZE THERON denies breaking up with Stuart Townsend. At least, her publicist denies it.

ROB REINER: Meathead is discovering that while politics is show business for ugly people, it's also ugly business for show people. Reiner was chair of the First 5 California Children and Families Commission, a panel put in place to oversee the expenditure of millions in tax funds earmarked for childhood development, health and education programs. Last month, he stepped down from the commission while an investigation is launched into whether state funds were improperly used to boost a tax initiative he supports.

LINDSAY LOHAN may not like her party girl image, but that's the image you get when you're seen with Matthew McConaughey, George Clooney and Clive Owen in o­ne vening, all the while asking for Colin Farrell.

WALLACE AND GROMIT get no respect, as their insurer valued their loss in a warehouse fire at a mere £6,000.

BRAD BIRD, creator of The Incredibles, will helm Pixar's newest project. Ratatouille will feature a skinny mouse who lives in a fancy Parisian restaurant run by a famous but eccentric chef.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The National Enquirer claims that the pneumatic blonde is so furious over hubby Nick Lachey's alleged womanizing that she's vowed to never speak to him again. But she could increase her popularity if she just vowed never to speak.

SCARLETT JOHANNSON has been named Hollywood's most natural beauty by a new survey of make-up artists. The survey was commissioned by a cable company launching a HDTV service that will allow viewers to see much clearer pictures o­n their screens. Thus, celebs with problem skin, like Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt, stand to have their flaws revealed in HD.

NANOTECH: Scientists partially restored the vision in blinded hamsters by plugging gaps in their injured brains with a synthetic substance that allowed brain cells to reconnect with o­ne another, a new study reports. The substance contains nano-sized particles that self-assemble into a fibrous mesh that mimics the body's natural connective tissue when placed in contact with living cells.

SEEING, HEARING AND SMELLING ROBOTS that can carry human beings are being developed in Japan to help care for the country's growing number of elderly. Just wait until they start singing "Daisy."

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar looks at last-mnute political negotiations and silent deaths in Baghdad. Newsweek has a terrific piece o­n how Navy Dr. Richard Jadick earned his Bronze Star o­n the front lines of Fallujah, even if it does begin by quoting Isaiah 6:8 as Isaiah 7:8. And While 60 Minutes ran a generally good piece o­n Tal Afar last Sunday, the Mayor of Tal Afar tells the New York Post: "I'd like American citizens not to trust everything that is being said in the media because, unfortunately, most of the media is talking about negative things and about the problems. They are not telling good stories about the U.S. Army's good job here in Iraq. I would like American citizens to concentrate o­n the pictures that show the children of Iraqis and how happy they feel when they see or meet American soldiers." The New York Times is investigating questions raised by Salon.com about the identity of a man who the NYT claimed in a Page 1 profile was the Abu Ghraib prisoner whose hooded image became an icon of abuse by American captors. The NYT's foreign editor said it attempted to verify the claim thoroughly, though the paper did not contact the Army's Criminal Investigation Command before running it.

RELOCATING BEARS: Some bears are getting tired of being asked whether they go to the bathroom in the woods.

RUSSIAN PIGLETS are being trained for a mid-April competition by personal coaches as a new craze of pig racing spreads across the country. The training includes honing the piglet's skills in running, swimming, and "pig-ball" competitions.

PUPPY THEFT: Caught o­n Tape!

SIR CHARLES NUGGET: Truck driver John Withers didn't hesitate to drive 1,050 miles when he heard his beloved pet had been found eight months after running away during a delivery.

DOLPHIN DISTRESS CALL is investigated, but turns up a hot dolphin threesome.

SQUIRREL CAUSES FOUR-CAR PILE-UP in Pennsylvania. I blame Geico.

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