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Bono's News, New Yo La Tengo, Binge Listening and an Undercover Cat Update.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

BONO was guest editor of London's Independent yesterday. He penned an editorial about celebrity activism and Product RED. Bob Geldof wrote a piece advocating trade over aid to Africa. The Edge was interviewed about helping rebuild New orleans, starting with the music scene, followed by churches: "We rely o­n politicians too much. They don't necessarily have the skills to deal with a situation like this, or the vision. So it's down to the artists and the musicians who understand what's at stake." And Elvis Costello turned out a broader review of pop and politics.

PEARL JAM fans are worried that lead singer Eddie Vedder's girlfriend, model Jill McCormick, is becoming "the Yoko o­no of the band."

JOHNNY BOY: The London duo works a Spectorian vibe somewhere between the Ravonettes and the Pipettes o­n "You Are the Generation That Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve," which made Song of the Day at NPR.

20 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: For example, No. 9: Bruce intended to give "Hungry Heart" to the Ramones, but manager Jon Landau persuaded him to keep the song for himself.

GUNS 'N' ROSES: Following up o­n the band's shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, Axl said: "In regards to our new record . . . hold your breath for a little longer for that.."

YO LA TENGO has a new track, "Beanbag Chair," to download or stream it via the Hype Machine. As previously suggested, it's really upbeat for YLT. BONUS: From Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics, we have YLT killing o­n Iggy Pop's "Raw Power" and dying o­n Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died."

PERE UBU: Ken King though that Lee Hazlewood-Nancy Sinatra duet posted last Friday was pretty strange, but give me Pere Ubu playing "Birdies" from URGH! A Music War.

BRENDAN BENSON is the subject of a *Sixeyes six-pack, with Alan pointing to even more via the Hype Machine.

BINGE LISTENING: "When you’re bingeing you don’t just listen. You absorb. You become saturated. The sound of the band becomes your sound; their ethos becomes your ethos. When you walk down the street, it’s their music that you hear in your head, even when you’re not wearing headphones. You begin to prize certain off-key moments in their songs, idiosyncratic chord changes, or fumbled lyrics."

GANG OF FOUR: Dave Allen is blogging his various musical activities at the website for the label he founded, Pampelmoose.

WHITE RIOT: Camper Van Beethoven did a country version of the Clash classic o­n their first tour -- and they played it when I saw them in March.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer singer squirted a syringe-full of his own blood at two MTV News cameramen after injecting heroin in view of the production team. And his mum intends to write a tell-all (3rd item.)

KATE MOSS: Although retail giant Philip Green bid 108K at a charity auction for a kiss from the supposedly sober supermodel, she ended up making out with Hugh Grant's girlfriend for a full minute instead. An eyewitness said: "We thought it was going to be a kiss o­n the cheek. It lasted just over 60 seconds. A few people were shocked but everyone was laughing after."

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Sources connected with the couple tell TMZ that Richards and Sambora are "totally together" and that Richards is trying to arrange to travel overseas to be with Sambora during the tour. Also, Richards is developing a kid's clothing line o­ne month after Sheen debuted his own collection of kidswear (coincidentally, the day Richards made her bombshell allegations against Sheen).

LINDAY LOHAN and the FRENCH HOTEL reportedly got into a bar brawl at a Hollywood hotspot last Friday night.

ASHLEE SIMPSON got a nose job, according to her rep. Someone should tell Ashlee, who, at last report, didn't know.

MANDY MOORE has finally denied that Wilmer Valderrama's claim that he took her virginity.

DAVE NAVARRO:  After wrestling with his sexuality for years, the Jane's Addiction and RHCP guitarist tells a gay magazine that "I'm not gay, nor am I bisexual." NTTAWWT. The cover of the magazine, however, is very gay. NTTAWWT.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN are officially engaged, as confirmed by Kidman at the 30th Anniversary gala for the organization UNIFEM.

THE MAXIM 100 LIST of the most successful women in film, TV, music, sports and fashion, mentioned here yesterday, is published in full at ONTD.

THE SEXIEST WOMAN ALIVE: Esquire magazine is running a multiple rounds of 20 questions as a teaser and inviting people to guess who it is. Round 1 is up now.

JACK BAUER and THE CREEPY BURGER KING invading MySpace. The premiere episode of 24 and the first episode of season five will be available for free to the more than 75 million registered MySpace users, while the rest of the first and fifth-season episodes will go for 1.99 per download through a MySpace page sponsored by Burger King. Actually, I don't know if the Creepy Burger King has an official role in th project, though it would be cool if they shot a promo of Jack Bauer threatening BK at gunpoint.

MADONNA was recently snapped in L.A. without her wedding ring. Her rep. says it's no big deal, natch. And it seems Madge will be crossinng a picket line to play the Forum in L.A. this weekend.

PAMELA ANDERSON marked National Orgasm Day by urging people to go vegetarian. Too. Many. Punchlines.

LOST: The season finale is tonight, so there were minor-spoiler-sprinkled stories in both Entertainment Weekly and Newsweek this week. They give away questions that will be answered, but not the answers.

CULT OF THE iPod: Audiophiles now have options for pimping their pods.

HURRICANE KATRINA: With the Hurricane season two weeks away, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Monday that residents of metropolitan New Orleans will see few changes in the state's phased evacuation plan. Absent from Blanco's announcement were specific shelters outside southeast Louisiana, a step much anticipated by local governments who plan to use public buses to send residents without transportation to state-approved locations. Ultimately, Blanco said, the state's best opportunity to save lives during future storms rests in the hands of individuals who must take the personal responsibility to get their families away from southeast Louisiana.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed writes about the quest for electricity in Baghdad as Summer approaches. Bill Roggio looks at Coalition strikes o­n "The Triangle of Death" -- the apparent staging area for attacks o­n Baghdad. Sgt. Jeremiah Workman received the Navy Cross, the Marine Corp's second-highest award, for rescuing fellow Marines while under heavy enemy fire in Fallujah. Like a lot of soldiers, he declined to tell the story himself. And every major US press outlet declined also.

IRAN: Opinion Journal looks at what the Bush administration could do, short of launching air strikes, to persuade Iran's leaders that their bid to develop nuclear weapons will exact an unacceptable price o­n their regime.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: After USA Today reported last Thursday that three phone companies had assisted the NSA in collecting "call records of tens of millions of Americans," two of those companies -- Verizon and BellSouth -- have denied it. USA Today says it's confident in its story and will look closely into the issues raised by the denials.

DALMATIAN RIDES A BICYCLE to the strains of "Dixie." In Japan.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOGS: Pet owners now cite emotional support as a reason to bring pets to restaurants, spas, airplanes, offices and other public areas -- a result of the 2003 ruling by the Department of Transportation stating that animals used to aid people with emotional ailments should be given the same access and privileges as animals helping people with blindness or deafness. The full story originated in The New York Times.

ANOTHER RECORD SHARK CATCH: A Miami doctor with a slew of world fishing records added another o­ne to his collection when he caught a 385-pound lemon shark o­n fly tackle.

UNDERCOVER CAT UPDATE: Fred, the crime-fighting cat key to an undercover sting in February to get a man pretending to be a veterinarian, is in the process of being certified as a therapy cat.

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New Releases (for families), Fiery Furnaces, Final Fantasy, and Bambi   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

FIERY FURNACES: The prolific Matthew Friedberger talks to Good Hodgkins about his upcoming solo album, writing long, multi-part songs and his rep for writing "difficult" music: "I don’t understand 'difficult.' Popular things are either about gratification or surprise. I like, and the band likes, surprises. You know, which game do you like to play—'Again?' Or, do you like to unwrap boxes? Do you see what I mean?" You can unwrap "Benton Harbor Blues," I'm In No Mood and "Black-hearted Boy" via the Hype Machine.

NEW RELEASES: The Raconteurs, T-Bone Burnett, Doves, Dinosaur Jr. reissues and the soundtrack to Over the Hedge (Ben Folds, William Shatner, etc.) are streaming in full from AOL Music. There's also new indie psych-folk from Drag City artists Faun Fables and Espers. Plus there's British pop by way of Austin TX o­n the new Voxtrot EP.

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: Former Del Fuego Dan Zanes has a new kids' record out, with cameos from The Blind Boys of Alabama, Natalie Merchant, Nick Cave and more... Johnny and June Carter Cash also have a children's album out today.

THE RACONTEURS are scoring a respectable 76 o­n Metacritic. Pitchfork notes that it's not all about Jack White: "Benson is an equal partner in this operation, and it's his power-pop rubric that largely dictates the sound of the album. Benson-sung songs like "Hands" and "Intimate Secretary" crackle with a Cheap Trick kind of charm, given extra heft by White's predilection for harder guitar sounds."

THE FLAMING LIPS: Wayne Coyne is encouraging aspiring musicians to move to Oklahoma City: "People should come to Oklahoma City, take advantage of how cheap it is to live here, play in a band, work at a restaurant that affords you the freedom to create your own identity -- but it also affords you the ability to fail." Just don't sound like the Flaming Lips; Wayne doesn't want a scene, man.

RICHARD HAWLEY talks to Popmatters about the politics of his songwriting: "I don't like to write songs that look at the big picture of the downtrodden masses, but that doesn't mean I don't understand. This is no time for foolish complacency. My way of thinking is to treat human beings with respect o­n a o­ne-on-one level. That's what I do in my songs. I think that itself is a political statement, even if it boils down to 'don't be an a*sehole.'"

FINAL FANTASY: Owen Pallett brought the chamber-pop to the Music Gallery in Toronto in April, including "The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead." But you might be more interested in the twofer -- Pallett and Ed from Grizzly Bear performing Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" at The Luminaire, Kilburn o­n May 10th.

LEONARD COHEN made a rare public appearance in Toronto this past weekend. The reclusive singer is said to be planning a tour this autumn and is working o­n a new album. And the press seems to be figuring out that Cohen having a nine million dollar judgment against his former manager is not the same as collecting it.

RICHARD BUTLER recently stopped by the World Cafe, so you can stream it (including a kinda eerie acoustic take o­n "Love My Way") from NPR. And he doesn't shy from talking about the Psychedelic Furs, either.

THE 40 MOST AWESOMELY BAD METAL SONGS... EVER, as counted down (with audio clips) by VH1.

MUSIC BLOGS are killing Rolling Stone for Scott Galupo... and probably many more. Galupo quotes Sean Michaels of Said the Gramophone: "It's this new intermediary between music and the audience." I've noticed this also, because it used to be said that o­ne of the big effects of the Internet would be "disintermediation," or what folks without pointy heads call "eliminating the middle man." But MP3 blogs and -- in a different way -- services like MySpace and YouTube are the new middlemen. There is now so much information instantly available that people will seek out bloggers with similar (or challenging) tastes to help sort through it. I do it, and if you visit here regularly, you do it too. BONUS: PBS's Mediashift looks at "Do-It-Yourself Ways to Find Good Music."

HOW DOES YOUR LIGHT SHINE? Most longtime Pate fans also know The Service -- they were the flagship of Pate's label (Paul Westerberg pretends to be them at the start of the Replacements' When the Sh*t Hits The Fans, too). The Service used to do a wicked version of Three Dog Night's "Shambala," so when the original popped up o­n the Hype Machine, I felt compelled to post it.

BRITNEY SPEARS is off Kabbalah because her baby is her "religion." Apparently, this is a religion practiced by bad car seat usage. The rest of the world will make do with her promise that there will be some "crazy-a*s stuff" o­n her next album. Did we expect otherwise?

NAOMI WATTS has been named as the latest UN special envoy o­n HIV/AIDS. Can adopting children from the Third World be far behind?

PRES. BUSH OVERSTEPS HIS AUTHORITY: Pres. Bush's TV address o­n immigration bumped Oprah's Legends Ball special to next Monday. How could he do this to "a spiritual leader for the new millennium, a moral voice of authority for the nation?"

REESE WITHERSPOON insists she and her actor husband are blissfully happy despite reports claiming otherwise. Such talk may be exaggerated, but if she talks publicly about having the normal marital ups and downs, she shouldn't be surprised that some will occasionally surmise that they are having a "down" period.

GENEROUS CELEBS: Forbes has top ten philanthropists list.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Futuree ex Nick Lachey is already o­n the hunt for a new wife.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA: Yesterday, I wondered whether Xtina's shift to a jazz and blues-influenced sound might turn off fans who flocked to the "Drrrty" girl. Based o­n the latest issue of GQ, it seems that Xtina has it sussed.

EVA LONGORIA: The Desperate Housewife repeats as No. 1 o­n Maxim magazine's seventh annual "Hot 100" list of the most successful women in film, TV, music, sports and fashion. I guess the 100-foot cover in the desert should have been a hint. Jessica Alba is No. 2, followed by Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, Stacy Keibler (Dancing With the Stars), Scarlett Johansson, Cameron Diaz, Kate Bosworth and Keira Knightley. To celebrate, Double Viking has photoshopped Alba and Longoria into each other's bikini pics.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Richie Sambora, o­n tour with Bon Jovi in Germany: "Tell my female fans I am single and ready to party."

ELLE MACPHERSON is a believer in "joyous and spontaneous" sex. And, as a measure of how messed-up the self-esteem of supermodels is, says she was ashamed of her appearance when she was younger.

RIPPED FROM TODAY'S HEADLINES: Dick Wolf, creator of the Law & Order franchise, is eyeing the exploits of Tinseltown P.I.-under-investigation Anthony Pellicano as an inspiration for Power, a series he's developing about prosecutors going after corrupt Hollywood honchos.

BRADGELINA: Brad Pitt's ears will be burning o­nce Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow start shooting a movie together.

THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS: Little-seen footage of Luke and Biggs cut from the original Star Wars has found its way to YouTube.

CULT OF THE iPod: This week, MTV is launching Urge as the latest competitor to Apple's iTunes. The service was developed in cooperation with Microsoft, and will be heavily promoted from within the latest version of the Windows Media Player and is relying o­n a subscription-based model.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio looks at a likely strike by Task Force 145 near Ramadi and the battle of Yusifayah. The AP picked up a story from the Hartford Courant about suicidal troops being sent into combat. The story notes that 22 US troops committed suicide in Iraq last year. What the story doesn't tell you is that the national suicide average is 21.5 per 100,000 for males ages 20 to 34. As there are more than 100K troops in Iraq, you don't even need a calculator to see that the suicide rate of US troops in Iraq is below the average for similar civilians. But for some reason, that fact is not news.

NOAM CHOMSKY, generally considered to be a key intellectual figure within the left wing of the US politics, has been visiting Lebanon and getting chummy with the leaders of Hezbollah, going so far as to imply that the US is the world's leading terrorist nation. For a number of reasons, folks who actually live in Lebanon think Chomsky is clueless.

A REAL LIFE BAMBI is growing up o­n a farm after surviving an accident that killed her mother in South Carolina. Video and pics at the link. Awww...

BEARS EAT MONKEY in front of horrified visitors at a Dutch zoo. WARNING: Pic at the link. Not overly graphic, but not pleasant. BONUS: Canadian Mountie fends off a bear attack.

GATORS BLAMED FOR TWO MORE DEATHS in Florida: "As the weather heats up, the alligators' metabolism increases and they have to eat more," Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Willie Puz said Sunday.

SNAKES... WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE SNAKES? Narcotics agents raiding a house near Shreveport, LA, were confronted by a guard snake. In Barbados, a team searches for a Burmese python suspected to be 18 feet long, as well as other snakes near Joe's River, St Joseph.

A SQUIRREL burns down a municipal building in Red Bay, Alabama.

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Jolie Holland, Mark Pickerel, The Pipettes, and the Koranic Tuna   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 15, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

JOLIE HOLLAND is scoring an 85 o­n Metacritic for Springtime Can Kill You. Even the Independent's three-star review says "she effortlessly conjures up the moods and manners of an earlier time, her lazy, back-porch drawl sketching a folksy world of sweethearts and moonbeams, to which her instrumental armoury of harmonium, fiddle, piano, steel guitar and funereal brass band provide deft coloration." You can stream and download (at 192 kbps) old and new Jolie from MySpace.

BJORK has a seven-album DualDisc box set coming o­n June 27th.

GUNS 'N' ROSES: Axl must have something left in the tank, as Brooklyn Vegan seems to have enjoyed a 2hr., 15 min. gig at NYC's Hammerstein Ballroom... and so did a few others, if the video is any indication.

RADIOHEAD frontman Thom Yorke is releasing a solo record in July, but doesn't want you to call it a solo record.

RICHARD HAWLEY -- " a 39-year-old singer with a voice so rich and relaxed it has seen him labelled the Sinatra of the north, Roy Orbison's long-lost son and Yorkshire's Johnny Cash" -- takes London's Guardian o­n a tour of Sheffield. You can stream three live-in-studio cuts, separately or as part of an interview in Real or WMA format from KEXP.

MARK PICKEREL AND HIS PRAYING HANDS: The former Screaming Trees drummer, like former bandmate Mark Lanegan, is working the Lee Hazlewood-Nancy Sinatra vibe o­n his new album, Snake o­n the Radio. You can stream a couple of cuts via MySpace.

THE EVOLUTION OF DANCE may not be "the funniest 6 minutes you will ever see," but Judson Laipply may be the hardest working comedian in show bidness.

APPLES IN STEREO is leaving their longtime label, SpinART, and "finalizing a deal with a well-known independent label." YANP writes that the leaked demos for the new album are "sounding absolutely fantastic" Until they leak, we have to make do with "The Apples In Stereo Theme Song."

MOM ROCK: Its bands have names like HRT, Housewives o­n Prozac, the Mydols and Placenta, and their song titles run to the wackily domestic -- "Eat Your D*mn Spaghetti," "Born to Iron" or "Pick Up Your Socks." Canada's Globe and Mail looks at the genre.

THE WALKMEN have had a coupe of new tracks leak o­n the Internet, like "Brandy Alexander" and "Don't Get Me Down (Come o­n Over Here)."

THE PIPETTES: Skatterbrain ripped an acoustic set from BBC2 that sounds remarkably good, when you consider their normal girl group sound is so produced. You can stream "Dirty Mind," "Judy" and "We Are The Pipettes" via the Hype Machine.

SIR PAUL and Heather Mills are spending increasing amounts of time apart after a string of fights.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer missed a court review of his rehab, because of touring commitments in Germany, where he decided to perform in drag.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes' parents didn’t get to see Princess Tom-Kitten for two and o­ne-half weeks after she was born -- o­n the day of the Mission: Impossible III premiere in L.A. And he didn't show pics of the Tom-Kitten o­n the Ellen show, but Cruise and Ellen danced, which more than makes up for it.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: There are probably a lot of long faces in Tinseltown today. Mission: Impossible III took the top slot with 24.5 million --a 49 percent drop would be okay had it done better last weekend. But Poseidon took second with a mere 20 million o­n a 160 million production budget. And the normally reliable Lindsay Lohan... wasn't, with Just My Luck taking fourth place o­n 5.5 million in receipts. Consider that the top ten movies o­ne year ago took in 91 million, whereas this weekend, the top ten grossed a mere 77.6 million.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Sheen and Richards agreed Friday to extend a temporary restraining order requiring the actor to stay away from his estranged wife, so a psychologist can evaluate and make a determination regarding a custody arrangement for their two young daughters.

TERI HATCHER was stunned to find a massive swarm of 20K killer bees had moved into the sofa by the back door of her house. And o­n The Late Show with David Letterman, she implied that her recent date -- Ryan Seacrest of American Idol -- may prefer men. Even a fluffy show like Extra began a recent story story: "Is Seacrest in or out?"

AUTOGRAPHS: Autograph Collector magazine issued its 14th annual survey of Hollywood's best and worst signers. Johnny Depp and George Clooney are among the best, as are Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood; Cameron Diaz and Bruce Willis are among the worst.

DIANE KEATON will star as a spokesperson for L'Oreal Paris and its brands. Good for her!

BRADGELINA: Pitt and Jolie are launching a range of African homeware products. Nanny sold separately.

VAUGHNISTON: Vaughn is convinced tabloid journalists reluctantly write about him because they hate the fact he's dating Jennifer Aniston: "I think they've got to be really disappointed, o­n some level, that I'm kind of a guy that they have to put in the tabloids."

CHARLIE KAUFMAN, the screenwriter of Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, has become one of the best writers of his generation, argues L.A. Times book editor David L. Ulin.

CHRISTINA AGULERA is releasing a concept album, going for a vintage feel with inspiration coming from jazz, soul, and blues from the 1920s-40s. She has the pipes, but I wonder whether this will sell as many as her last concept: buttless chaps.

THE FRENCH HOTEL may have had some work done.

KATIE COURIC: The entertainment industry opposes the so-called "Katie Couric" clause in a broad Securities and Exchange Commission proposal that would require them to tell the world how much they pay their top-earning non-executives such as actors and TV news anchors.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND: Sure, as Jack Bauer o­n 24, he will prbably save the country three more times by the end of the season. But off-screen, when he's not dropping his pants in kareoke bars, he's attacking a Christmas tree.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar relays Arabic press reports that Iran is supplying al-Qaeda in Iraq with anti-aircraft weapons. Bill Roggio updates o­n the level of readiness of Iraqi forces, noting that logistics are a weak spot. The New York Times notes that logistics are o­ne factor hindering a US drawdown. UPI reports that the top US logistics officer in Iraq said Friday that Iraq's Army divisions will have Iraqi logistics support within a year. Finally, the Washington Post had an must-read piece o­n troops returning to the US and working o­n adjusting to life in a non-combat zone.

IRAN: UN inspectors found traces of near bomb-grade enriched uranium o­n nuclear equipment from a former research site razed by Iran in 2004 before the UN could inspect it. A diplomat in Vienna said there could be many explanations for this, but didn't mention what those might be. Buried in an AP report, we discover that A.Q. Khan sold Iran centrifuges to produce weapons-grade uranium and that the former chief of the Pakistani Army believes Iran has had enough time to develop nukes. BTW, after I linked to the Wikipedia last week to note that Pres. Ahmadinejad's letter to Pres. Bush was a da'wa that often precedes jihad, that portion of the entry has been marked as "disputed," though no concrete reason was given. So I thought it worth noting that the practice goes back to the Prophet Mohammed in 625 A.D. and that the closing of the letter -- left untranslated in the version widely available -- translates as "Peace o­nly unto those who follow the true path."

NSA SURVEILLANCE: As I suggested last week, lawyers who specialize in national security and communications, in and out of government, said it is difficult to assess the legality of the program. It may be similarly difficult to assess the snap polling done o­n the program. ABCNews and The Washington Post went first with a poll showing that Americans by nearly a 2-1 ratio call the surveillance of telephone records an acceptable way for the feds to investigate possible terrorist threats. Polls from Newsweek and USA Today showed 53 or 51 percent opposingthe program (though all of these polls have a 4 percent margin of error). Democratic pollster Mark Blumenthal says the answer is probably somewhere in between. And a factor he didn't mention was that the latter two polls were taken entirely o­n Friday and Saturday. "Weekend polling" o­n politics is volatile and generally skews in favor of Democrats. Plus, in the internals of the USA Today/Gallup poll, we find that people were asked "Do you think the Bush administration has gone too far, has been about right, or has not gone far enough in restricting people’s civil liberties in order to fight terrorism?" Yet o­nly 41 percent answered "too far."

STONEHENGE: And where are they now, the little people of... Stonehenge? Brazil?

A HAMMERHEAD SHARK caught in Boca Grande Pass may shatter the world record at 13 feet, 4 inches and 750-pounds. They didn't need a bigger boat.

DOGS are tuning into web radio in Thailand.

RUNAWAY TORTOISE traveled 1.8 miles in 8 months away from home -- a blistering average of 39 feet a day.

AN OSTRICH SHOOTING IN KANSAS: A western Kansas sheriff is defending his decision to order a deputy to kill an ostrich that wandered o­nto Interstate 70 near Colby, despite protests from a truck driver who called the shooting "inhumane and senseless."

KORANIC TUNA: Kenyan Muslims are flocking to Mombasa by the hundreds to see a tuna that supposedly has a Koranic verse embedded in its scales.

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Talking Heads, Van Hunt, Two Gallants and a Monkey with a Mohican   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 12, 2006 - 08:25 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

NANCY SINATRA put o­n her boots to walk down for her star o­n Hollywood Boulevard. So how could I help but point you to the videos for "These Boots Are Made For Walking," "Bang Bang" and her fab duet with Lee Hazlewood (the modern Francis Scott Key), "Some Velvet Morning."

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Hoff Invaders. Like Space Invaders, but with David Hasselhoff.

KEITH RICHARDS, Lord of the Undead, thanked the staff at the New Zealand hospital who treated his head injury, including "the beautiful ladies who make painful nights less painful and shorter." He hoped he wasn't "too much of a pain in the arse." Not at all Keef -- I'm sure the professional nursing staff loved that description, too. Although discharged from the hospital, Keef must rest in the soil of his native land and avoid sunlight for the next few weeks.

WIRE has reissued back-to-the-basics CD versions of its first three albums and bundled them with a pair of live discs as a special edition box set available through the group's official website. The three albums will be available in U.S. stores individually as remastered Digipak versions via Wire's own Pink Flag label. Very DIY of them!

TOM PETTY is fighting scalpers by voiding hundreds of tickets purchased at the tompetty.com pre-sale for Pearl Jam/Petty gigs that were to be resold.

PEARL JAM: Speaking of which, bassist Jeff Ament talks about his fitness for touring regimen with the Toronto Sun.

TALKING HEADS 76: Marathon Packs is killing music with a couple from an early gig at CBGB. More law-abiding folk can stream the band's covers of ? and the Mysterians' "96 Tears" and the 1910 Fruitgum Company's "1-2-3 Red Light" from the Hype Machine.

OUTKAST are channeling Cab Calloway o­n the first single from their upcoming Idlewild album. You can stream "The Mighty-O" via the Hype Machine.

VAN HUNT recently brought his old skool brand of funky R&B to KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, which can be watched or heard in various formats. If you haven't heard him, think Sly and Prince influences.

TWO GALLANTS grew up in San Francisco's hardcore scene, but then discovered Lightnin’ Hopkins, Skip James and Charley Patton. The result is somewhere in-between... with a little peak Soul Asylum vibe, maybe. You can stream a few (and download a couple) via MySpace. I had to use the standalone player to get some of them to play, BTW.

EMMYLOU HARRIS: Kwaya Na Kisser is killing music with outtakes and alternate versions of tracks from her seminal Wrecking Ball. You can stream 'em from the Hype Machine. I would particularly recommend her version of Richard Thompson's "How Will I Ever Be Simple Again."

YOU TUBE and THE HYPE MACHINE: The Phoenix wonders how long this magic moment can last. Plenty of cool music and non-music YouTube links in the article, too.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer was just voted o­ne of the greatest rock heroes of all time by readers of the NME -- but the magazine itself dismisses him as "just a worn-out drug addict." And he managed to miss the flight to the Babyshambles Wednesday gig in Cologne, Germany.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise will be showing photos of Princess Tom-Kitten today o­n the Ellen show. That info is also in the video promo at Ellen's site, which adds: "Ellen celebrates Mother's Day with Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise. Tom chats about the newest edition (sic) to his family, how his fiancée Kate Holmes plans to spend her first Mother's Day and the release of his blockbuster hit Mission: Impossible 3." Translation: Celebrate Mother's Day without Mom! I'll bet Ellen doesn't ask whether Cruise has ordered Holmes to keep the baby away from sugar, bright lights and pop music.

NOW SHOWING: This weekends wide releases include Lindsay Lohan's Freaky Friday-meets-The Cooler comedy, Just My Luck (17 percent Rotten o­n the Tomatometer) and the apparently formulaic soccer drama Goal! (47 percent Rotten) But the biggest rollout is for Poseidon (36 percent Rotten), the remake of 1972's The Poseidon Adventure, which I watched last night o­n AMC. I had forgotten that Leslie Nielsen was the captain and had a scene with a young boy that was lampooned with Captain Oveur and Joey in Airplane! I was reminded again of the character in Free Enterprise who claims that Irwin Allen is a better director than Jim Cameron because anyone can tip a boat over two hours into a movie...

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: In Touch Weekly claims Richie Sambora has dumped Denise Richards. Sambora denied cheating o­n Heather Locklear to Us Weekly, which also claims Sambora and Richards are still an item.

ASHLEE SIMPSON doesn't know whether she had a nose job. Normally, I would dismiss this as a ridiculous lie. But Ashlee may well be in the pool of people who might not know whether she got a nose job.

JESSICA SIMPSON supposedly had a sexy makeover as a way of lashing out at future ex Nick Lachey, as someone told Life & Style Weekly: "She’s saying to Nick, 'Here’s a whole new me — and don’t I look good!'" Not if you look like a Creamsicle, Jess. But don't fret too much -- Nick was reportedly too tired to respond to suggestive voice-mail and text messages from former Miss Kentucky Lizzie Arnold, either.

LOST corpse Michelle Rodriguez had an "amazing experience" in prison o­n her DUI conviction. Caged Heat, anyone?

LINDSAY LOHAN, following a late night o­n the town with friends, dodged questions about substance abuse o­n the Today show, wearing the same clothes from the day before (eye-rolling, sniffling video at the link).

MATT DAMON has returned from a 6-day trip to Africa with a renewed passion for fighting AIDS and praise for President Bush's relief program: "You walk into these clinics; you're surrounded by people who are alive and well because of the president's plan and because of this money."

GWYNETH PALTROW is giving a fan a yoga lesson for 55K: "Someone's spent a great deal of money o­n it so I'm going to have to really come up with an excellent plan. Unfortunately I can't do it in the nude or anything to make it really exceptional..." Can't? Who's the boss of her?

VAUGHNISTON: Vaughn finally broke down and admitted he is dating Jennifer Aniston, telling Oprah that Aniston is "one of his favourite people." I would hope so, if he's dating her. As for the rumor that Oprah was going to throw them an eight million dollar wedding, Vaughn said, "I'm expecting a pretty good band for eight million."

BRADGELINA: Apparently tiring of reporting a rumored Pitt-Jolie wedding every weekend, Britain's Grazia magazine claims that Jolie has turned down Pitt's marriage proposal.

THE FRENCH HOTEL: Cardinals QB Matt Leinart was snapped doing the walk of shame Wednesday morning with his jeans and shirt rolled up in his hand from the night before.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND: When he's not saving the world as Jack Bauer o­n TV's 24, he's pulling down his pants and singing kareoke in bars with Christian Slater. BONUS: The Top 100 Jack Bauer Facts from the Random Jack Bauer Fact Generator.

IRAQ: The newly-forming government is moving to curb sectarian violence by bringing its Baghdad security forces under a unified command, requiring clerics to official sanction to lead congregations in Baghdad and stating that Iraqi forces will o­nly be allowed to raid mosques in the presence of US troops, to defeat impostors. Indeed, U.S. and Iraqi forces Thursday rescued seven Sunnis seized by gunmen wearing military uniforms near Baghdad. Bill Roggio takes a closer look at al-Qaeda's assessment of the state of affairs in Baghdad.

IRAN: I couldn't make this stuff up. The AP published the following photo caption: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shows peace signs as he addresses Indonesian students in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, May 11, 2006. Ahmadinejad o­n Thursday called Israel a tyrannical regime that will o­ne day will be destroyed, and vowed to continue defending his country's right to develop nuclear technology." Cognitive dissonance, anyone? Also, Pres. Ahmadinejad said that his letter to Pres. Bush was an invitation to Islam and the prophets culture. This is known as a da'wa, the first step in declaring a Jihad to forcibly convert non-Muslims to the Muslim faith.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: Pols and the press were all abuzz Thursday over the USA Today story o­n the NSA collecting phone records from AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth. Which is little odd, as The New York Times reported this almost six months ago. The National Journal had a good piece o­n it in March, identifying the likely key issue in the final grafs. Other good discussion of the legal aspects of the program, with varying viewpoints, include Prof. Orin Kerr and former intell officer and JAG lawyer Jon Holdaway. As with the other NSA program, much turns o­n facts we don't know, but the fact that the records were apparently provided voluntarily (Qwest declined to provide them) may be significant, as would the method of collection (real-time collection as opposed to the equivalent of billing records).

MONKEY WITH A MOHICAN: The kipunji, recently discovered in Tanzania, is different enough from others to rate its own genus.

THE PUG could become the state dog of Delaware.

DRAGONFLIES are bugged, though not by the NSA.

PET HOARDING: Normally, the discovery of over 60 dead cats in a Westbrook, CT home would be your big story o­n this beat, but in Hesperia, CA, the animal control department removed 98 guinea pigs, 84 cats, 27 dogs, 14 rabbits, 3 potbellied pigs and 1 bird from a home that -- oddly enough -- reeked of urine.

CROCK SHOCKS: In Sunrise, FL, an autopsy confirmed that a 28-year-old woman woman found floating in a canal was stalked and killed by an alligator, then dragged into the water. The first fatal alligator attack ever recorded in Broward County shows that the recent drought, coupled with the gator mating season and more construction in the area, has made human contact with alligators more common. Down Under, an airborne four-meter crocodile made scientists' hearts skip a beat during research o­n the Ord River. Of course, the gator's heart probably skipped a beat when the scientists ran the electrical current through the river, too.

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Love, Rockism, Richard Hawley, and Dogs Fighting Piracy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

JACK WHITE responds to criticism he’s received for writing the tune for a Coca-Cola ad: "I saw a beautiful ad, and I wrote a song for it because I was inspired by it." BTW, while I linked to the ad last month, today's link points to a longer version.

PIXIES guitarist Joey Santiago, meanwhile, has just inked a deal to score TV commercials.

ARTHUR LEE: The Love frontman gets a little help with his leukemia battle from Robert Plant, New York Dolls frontman David Johansen, the Ian Hunter Band, Love guitarist Johnny Echols, Yo La Tengo and an indie-rock supergroup led by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah vocalist Alec Ounsworth. You can hear some classic Love tracks via MySpace.

ROCKISM AND POPTIMISM: At Slate, Jody Rosen charts the swing of the critical pendulum o­n the question of authenticity in popular music.

KURT COBAIN is the greatest rock hero of all time, according to the new NME readers poll. Shouldn't that category really be "anti-hero?"

DIPSOMANIACS made contact through the Pate page at MySpace, wanting to be added as a friend. AllMusic says they play a raucous but melodic brand of power pop, more Replacements and early Cheap Trick than Raspberries and Badfinger. So they are now a Friend of Pate. You can hear 'em via MySpace.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO, but it's still hard to believe: Here's Michael Landon singing the We Five's "You Were o­n My Mind" o­n Hullaballoo. Having Jackie DeShannon o­n hand is strange, but having The Byrds wandering around in the back is just plain wrong. I had the We Five's original version last month.

DAVID BOWIE comes out of his short-lived semi-retirement to curate the inaugural High Line Festival in NYC, which will feature emerging artists, along with some well known names, like David Bowie. Seriously, I do give Bowie credit for seeking out bands like Arcade Fire and Secret Machines. I found it ironic that Bowie is the veteran rocker who admitted boredom when he's the o­ne open to new bands and trying new genres.

RICHARD HAWLEY: Brooklyn Vegan says (rightly) that you will dig him if you're a fan of Jens Lekman, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, and/or Roy Orbison. He's posted a studio track and live tracks from Hawley's site to celebrate a coming summer tour.

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle recommends other people's songs in "The Dirty Dozen:" "None of the following tunes are safe for work, unless you're doing a very specific type of work..." But Standard Bitter Love Songs is hosting a trove of live Mountain Goats material.

FEIST talks to Pitchfork about songwriting, rootlessness and sock puppetry. There are plenty of Feist tracks o­n the 'net you can stream via the Hype Machine.

STEVE MASON: London's Guardian has more o­n the ex-Beta band and King Biscuit Time frontman's sudden decision to drop out of music.

THE BLACK HEART PROCESSION is a San Diego-based indie supergroup featuring members of The Album Leaf, Three Mile Pilot and Modest Mouse. Normally gothy and brooding, the band's new record, The Spell, is comparatively upbeat. The key word there is "comparatively." I forgot to mention o­n Tuesday that the entire album is streaming this week over at AOL Music.

BRITNEY SPEARS: The pop tart's mom did not take news of the second spawn of Spenderline well. Life & Style Weekly reports that Spears met with her family and lawyer — but not Spenderline — and the topic of divorce came up. But Us Weekly claims the second pregnancy has doomed her to remain with her trashy husband. BONUS: Like the rest of the world, Spears is "dumbfounded" by the pro-life "monument" fictionalizing the birth of her child: "I think it's the most hysterical thing I've ever seen in my life." And she's married to Spenderline, so that's saying something.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The couple caused a stir in Kurt Cobain's hometown of Aberdeen, WA, by turning up for a for a contest winner's premiere of M:I 3. Local radio stations planned to hold an Oprah-style couch-jumping contest, but Paramount asked them to drop it. CBS's Melissa P. McNamara asks whether bloggers hurt the box office debut of the movie. I doubt bloggers were a main cause of Cruise's plunge in popularity over the past year, from 58-31 favorable to 35-51 unfavorable.

JONATHAN RHYS-MEYERS, o­ne of Cruise's M:I 3 co-stars, is disgusted with stars who complain about press intrusion: "(W)hen people then become famous and go, 'Oh God, I hate the press; God, I hate the paparazzi,' I'm like, 'Dude, it's not as if you didn't f**king beg for it.'"

WARNER BROS. plans to sell movies and TV shows to BitTorrent Inc. for legal downloads. Until last year, BitTorrent's software and Web site were considered to be aiding piracy of major studio films.

HALLE BERRY had to make love to herself o­n-camera when Bruce Willis couldn't make the shoot for Perfect Stranger. Willis will be digitally inserted later. And that's a sentence Richard Ness will love.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHARD & CHARLIE & DAVID: Jason Itzler, the owner of the New York Confidential escort service, claims that in 2004, Sheen shelled out more than 20K for Cheryl, a blond ballerina and Juilliard grad, and Victoria, a dark-haired former Hotel Gansevoort hostess, dressing them as cheerleaders o­n o­ne occasion.

JESSICA SIMPSON'S personal assistant, CaCee Cobb, finally told her childhood friend that she quit. Reps for the pneumatic blonde claim the two remain friends, though Cobb has been snapped solo at clubs where Simpson's future ex, Nick Lachey, just happened to be...

KATIE COURIC told the most influential people in the world: "I'm worthless without a teleprompter." But she's more than Ron Burgundy -- Katie has great legs and it was really cool when they stuck the camera up her butt o­n the Today show, so she shouldn't sell herself short... and she didn't, signing up with the CBS Evening News for a reported 15 million a year. So I guess she was wrong when she said "The era of the robo-anchor is over."

JESSICA ALBA is nice to an old lady. Yes, there's video.

LINDSAY LOHAN looked under the weather at the premiere of her new film, Just My Luck.

BRADGELINA: George Clooney is terrified Pitt is planning to pull out of Ocean's 13. Pitt hasn't signed his contract yet and a source told London's Sun newspaper: "Instead of being there to work o­n the project, Brad is in the middle of Africa. People are worried that he will prefer to carry o­n being a dad rather than go back to work."

SCARLETT JOHANSSON: People magazine declares she has the best cleavage o­n the planet. Blog NYC examines the evidence.

IRAQ: Pres. Talabani and Baghdad's most senior Shiite cleric urged Iraqis to unite for the sake of security as about 50 clerics and tribal leaders met in the capital to discuss ways of ending widespread violence. Coalition forces are striking back at insurgents following a terror attack in Tal Afar. An estimated 20,000 participants from 50 countries looked for business opportunities at the "Iraq Rebuild 2006" exhibition in Amman, where there was cautious optimism about doing business in the country, despite the raging violence.

IRAN: A top Iranian commander has called for the former US embassy in Tehran -- where Islamist students held US hostages for 444 days -- to be turned into a Great Satan Park: "We would be able to nicely show off the American crimes to citizens strolling in the park," General Mir-Faisal Bagherzadeh told the state news agency. Clearly, the regime is trying to reach out and form a bond with the US.

THE UNITED NATIONS' new Human Rights Council will count five nations seen by rights groups as among the world's worst abusers as members after a first round of voting. After the second round, we discover that the mix of free, partially free and not free nations is about the same as the composition of the discredited Human Rights Commission the new Council was supposed to replace.  The reform there is remarkable.

CIRCUS ELEPHANTS escaped from a truck that overturned o­n the highway near Stockholm, Sweden. But they were content to graze in a nearby meadow until the situation was rectified.

A SIX-FOOT-LONG GATOR is beaten back by a 74-year-old woman with a garden hose in Fort Myers, FL.

PIZZLY GROLAR BEAR UPDATE: A DNA test confirms that a strange-looking bear shot last month by an American sports hunter was half polar bear, half grizzly — possibly the first documented in the wild.

BAT BITES can kill you, so get a checkup if you encounter a bat. You may not even know you have been bitten, as bats have tiny teeth.

BRITISH LABRADORS are sniffing out counterfeit DVDs.

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