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Neko Case, New Releases, Arthur Lee and Cheetah the Chimp   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

PATE REUNION? No smoke yet, but someone is rubbing a couple of sticks together... Should anything come of it, I'll let you know, natch. (And yes, there's a clue in that item.)

NEKO CASE and MARTHA WAINWRIGHT played Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club Sunday night, so you can stream or download them from NPR. ALSO: Case is interviewed o­n Pitchfork about all sorts of stuff.

NEW RELEASES: You can hear full albums from Built to Spill, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Peter Walker, and Eagles of Death Metal via AOL Music. The full Calexico album is still streaming from VH1. There is the sophomore effort from Seattle's Crystal Skulls, who are playing the M-Shop in Ames, IA at the end of this week. There's a compilation from the decidedly alt-country collective Lambchop. There are also reissues from David Byrne & Brian Eno, Sebadoh, and Wire, which is issuing the classic trilogy of Pink Flag, Chairs Missing, and 154, both separately and as an o­nline box set with two live discs. And then there is Essential Judas Priest.

BUILT TO SPILL frontman Dave Martsch talks rotating lineups, inconsistent touring schedules, and infrequent albums with Harp, with a tip of the cap to the Replacements along the way.

THE BEATLES: Apple Corps head Neil Aspinall and Sir George Martin are re-mixing and re-mastering the Fabs for a Las Vegas extravaganza featuring Cirque du Soleil.

ARTHUR LEE: Just o­ne day after I linked to a Love video, news comes that frontman Arthur Lee is fighting Leukemia.

WILCO has been road-testing material intended for its next album, including "a swamp rocker with total, full-on guitar" and "a beautiful soul number closer to Bill Withers."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: At the Robert Pollard show, Ken King and I somehow ended up talking early Devo. I told Ken that I figured that NBC got their seminal performance of "Satisfaction" pulled from YouTube, but I was mistaken. However, having already linked that video o­nce, I thought it would be fun to have folks take a gander at "Mongoloid" from Don Kirschner's Rock Concert in 1979. And since it's Tuesday, let's make it a twofer with a later, but really tight, charging version of "Uncontrollable Urge" from the movie, URGH! A Music War.

FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne talks to Harp about writing a song for Gwen Stefani and what it's like inside the space bubble. And if you haven't seen Wayne in the space bubble, there's a short clip with awful audio o­n YouTube.

TOP TEN MOMENTUM-KILLING FOLLOW-UP SINGLES to breakthrough post-grunge albums, courtesy of Stylus.

DANIEL JOHNSON: Jeff Feuerzeig talks about the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston o­n the World Cafe, including some audio with Yo La Tengo.

THE RACONTEURS had to change the band's name to the Saboteurs for the Assie leg of their tour to avoid a legal row with an unsigned jazz band down under.

PRIMAL SCREAM seems to be returning to a Stonesy-Stoogey sound o­n their upcoming album.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The News of the World published a pic purportedly showing the troubled singer shooting heroin, which could be the last straw for the supposedly sober supermodel. Meanwhile, Moss mulls starting her own clothing line when her modeling days are done.

GWYNETH PALTROW and Coldplay's Chris Martin welcomed their second child over the weekend. And lo, they named him Moses, supposedly after a song from the Live 2003 album that Martin wrote for his wife, though it's perfect timing for Passover.

HOLLYWOOD'S STAR PAYDAYS may be forcibly disclosed under a proposed regulation being considered by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

TERI HATCHER is expected to become the highest-paid TV actress after demanding a cut from products spun off from Desperate Housewives.

KEITH SUTHERLAND has signed for another three days of 24 as part of a multifaceted deal with Fox that will make him TV's highest-paid actor in a drama series.

MADONNA: Are you becomming as annoying as Madge? the New York Daily News lists the warning signs.

BRADGELINA: New York magazine mocks the tabloid feeding frenzy over the impending birth of baby Jolie-Pitt: "Not since Jesus has a baby been so eagerly anticipated. Actually, forget Jesus. o­nly three wise men turned up to greet him in the manger..." Nice photo-fakery, too! A Namibian newspaper reported that the couple has taken refuge in a remote Namibian game lodge where wild lions will help protect them from the media. Pitt has construction crews working 24/7 to renovate his Hollywood Hills home before the birth of his child. And Michael Douglas is now saying he was misquoted by GQ magazine, which said he made inflammatory remarks about the couple.

SEAN CONNERY will officially announce his retirement from acting when he collects his Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Film Institute later this year.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER may be back for just a cameo in Terminator 4.

COLIN FARRELL: Off the wagon already?

HILLARY AND HOLLYWOOD: A lengthening list of top Hollywood celebrities have publicly criticized Sen. Hillary Clinton's Presidential ambitions, which will probably help her with the rest of the public.

BRITNEY SPEARS is set to drop out of FHM's 100 sexiest women list, published in the British edition of the men's magazine later this year. That's what happens when you binge o­n junk food to dull the pain of having married Spenderline.

CHARLIZE THERON was honored with a top prize from GLAAD for increasing "visibility and understanding in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community" by playing lesbian serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. I, for o­ne, did not know how keen lesbians are to let everyone know that they can be serial killers, just like the straight folks. She has also vowed not to get married until gays can get married, which is sure to rally her hetero male fans to that cause. I cannot escape the feeling that GLAAD didn't think this through beyond the "let's give her an award so she shows up... she's so hot" stage.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio points to a report that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is "advising" Iraq's largest party to make concessions to the Sunnis to break the political gridlock and help form a government of national unity. Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey got two translations of a recently declassified document seized from Saddam's regime -- an April 2001 memo from the command of an Iraqi air force base seeking "the names of those who desire to volunteer for Suicide Mission to liberate Palestine and to strike American Interests..." Investors Business Daily has an article summarizing some of the other recently translated documents.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: The National Journal looks at phony photos coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan, usually supplied by local stringers for the major wire services. The article also notes that "(s)ometimes, residents -- even doctors and hospital officials -- sympathize with, or fear, the insurgents, and they simply lie or exaggerate to make Iraqi forces or US troops look bad." The Washington Post, where people claim they worry about such things, ran a story in which an anonymous "some" think the US may have over-emphasized Zarqawi's role in terror ops, which the military denies. Elsewhere, The New York Times runs a piece claiming that Army captains "are bailing out of active-duty service at rates that have alarmed senior officers," though not a single such officer is quoted in the story, not even anonymously. And if you make it to paragraph 11, you discover that the retention rate remains higher than it was before 9/11. Overall, the Army is surpassing its retention goal by 15 percent -- a figure unmentioned by the NYT. And while recruitment of new troops is exceeding monthly targets, the AFP and Reuters run stories suggesting the Army will end up missing its annual goals, which generally is called "speculation," not reporting.

GLOBAL WARMING stopped? Prof. Bob Carter, a geologist and paleoclimate researcher, writes: "Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase ..." That's a small sample, but still unexpected.

CHEETAH, star of a dozen Tarzan movies in the 1930s and 1940s, celebrated his 74th birthday -- albeit with sugar-free cake bceause he's diabetic.

HOG-DOGGING UPDATE: The bizzare, brutal "sport" of pitting dogs against a pig or boar, may be banned in North Carolina. Legislatures in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia also have bills in the works that would outlaw hog-dogging.

KITTY-GARTEN, like dog training class is as much or more for the pet owner as for the pet.

HIGH-MAINTENANCE B-TCH: Does the pet shop's name refer to the dogs or their owners?

WILD TURKEY discovers the hard way that the library is not a great place to meet a chick.

2339 Reads

Robert Pollard, The Replacements, The Raconteurs and the Were-Rabbit   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 10, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ROBERT POLLARD has three new side projects that will be released in May -- including his collaboration with Tommy Keene -- so he has three free previews to download.

SUFJAN STEVENS is putting out The Avelanche, an album of outtakes and alternate versions of songs from his Illinois album. A must-own for those wanting to hear about Saul Bellow, Ann Landers and Adlai Stevenson. Sterogum is already killing music with the title track. And while is is making an album with Rosie Thomas, they are not having a baby.

THE REPLACEMENTS: Tommy Stinson joins Soul Asylum, filling in for the late Karl Mueller for their first studio album in eight years. Prefix makes Tim part of its list of essential albums.

VAN MORRISON is a tough interview, but the introvert does talk about some of his favorite songs while promoting his acclaimed country-flavored album, Pay the Devil.

NEKO CASE talks to the Philadelphia Inquirer about the history and importance of reverb. You can hear what she means o­n the free downloads from her label.

THE DOORS are returning to the big screen in two new documentaries. o­ne will feature the surviving members; the other will have interviews with the family members of Jim Morrison. But how could either top the classic lines Oliver Stone gave them, especially "Well, Jim Morrison! You've ruined another Thanksgiving!"

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Pate fans may remember the band covered Love's "Little Red Book" a few times in the early days. Though this looks to be a lip-sync, I dig the instrumentation.

THE RACONTEURS: Jack White and Brendan Beson talk to London's Guardian about dual songwriting. You can see the "Steady As She Goes" video o­n YouTube, plus bootleg video from their London gig.

DAVID BOWIE has been put on a strict diet by his model wife Iman, following his heart attack in 2004.

LEIF GARRETT has been sent back to jail for 45 days after failing drug tests.

ABBA STALKER ARRESTED: A long-term stalker of former ABBA blonde Agnetha Faltskog was arrested near the singer's estate in Sweden.

BILLY BRAGG launched a tour to defeat British National Party candidates in the local elections, which would be more effective if Bragg's politics were more mainstream.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: UPDATE: The troubled singer is the subject of a song o­n the next Courtney Love album. Supposedly sober supermodel Moss is rumored to be stringing Doherty along to make sure he doesn't reveal more details about their druggy antics together. But he is reportedly desperate to get her pregnant. If you want an extended look at the train wreck that is Pete Doherty, you can see Who the F*** is Pete Doherty? via Google Video.

JESSICA SIMPSON: In case there was any doubt, the pneumatic blonde will be mining her divorce o­n ther next album. Meanwhile, her future ex responded to rumors that Jessica wants to adopt: "She could be a great mom, but she’d have to concentrate, which I can’t see her doing." What we can see her doing is getting sued for one hundred million dollars.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Ice Age: The Meltdown claimed the top spot again, though its 50 percent drop is larger than for most major computer-animated features. Even so, it's the first movie of the year to cross the 100 million milestone. The Benchwarmers came in second with a scary 20.5 million. Take the Lead came in third, followed by Inside Man. Lucky Number Slevin was not so lucky in at number five.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY wants to play Eliza Doolittle in a stage production of My Fair Lady. And she has donated the Vera Wang dress she wore at the Oscars to Oxfam for an eBay auction.

BRADGELINA: Is Jolie planning to give birth in Namibia? I had doubted it, but she's reportedly rented all 14 rooms and suites at the Burning Shores resort for up to 12 weeks, protected by private security, with a jet o­n standby. There's talk about Jolie wanting to have as natural a childbirth as possible. There are also the inevitable rumors that Jolie will join Pitt o­n Ocean's 13.

STEVEN SPIELBERG has agreed to a deal with Fox to star in a reality TV show, to be produced by Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice).

GOSSIPOLA? A New York Post Page Six staffer was suspended pending the outcome of a federal investigation into allegations he sought to extort over 100 grand from a billionaire as "protection" against inaccurate and unflattering items about him  The staffer is claiming he was set up.

CASABLANCA has topped the Writers Guild of America's list of the 101 best screenplays ever written. I'm shocked!

BEN AFFLECK, who supposedly has political ambitions, baselessly accused Pres. Bush of "probably" leaking the name of a CIA agent and suggested he be hung for doing so. Former Amb. Joe Wilson has similarly claimed that the Administration leaked his wife's name to punish him for claiming that Bush was lying about prewar intell. The Washington Post runs an editorial saying Bush was right to declassify of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate that showed "as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the o­ne guilty of twisting the truth."

MARLON BRANDO screen tested for Rebel Without a Cause. It may well be Brando's very first work in front of a camera. Video at the link.

ICONS OF STYLE: Gwyneth Paltrow has been crowned Britain's best-dressed woman by Harper's Bazaar. Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe have been voted Hollywood's Most Stylish Couple by In Touch magazine.

EMINEM has blasted his estranged wife for going o­n the radio to claim he is back o­n drugs.

SIENNA MILLER and JUDE LAW on again? London's Mirror reports that Law has jetted to New York at short notice to see his former fiancee, after a secret date in a Central London restaurant last weekend.

CARMEN ELECTRA rode a Sybian o­n the Howard Stern show. IDLY has the pictures. She followed that up with a raunchy performance at a lesbian festival, where she kissed Joan Jett, which both of them seemed to have enjoyed greatly.

NANOTECH: Government officials in Germany have reported what appears to be the first health-related recall of a nanotechnology product. It was unclear yesterday what kind of nanomaterial is in the bathroom cleaner at issue, or even whether the nanoparticles were to blame, but some hyteria will ensue immediately.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio has analyses of Friday's mosque bombing and fighting in and around Ramadi. After the bombing, Shiites took to the streets to denounce al Qaeda and al-Zarqawi, not local Sunnis. That story doesn't fit the notion that Iraq is having a civil war, so it o­nly shows up in foreign media. The AP would rather play up comments about undeclared civil war; you have to search to discover that the leader of the main Shiite party said: "Our people will not be drawn into the trap of civil war.'' A report leaked to The New York Times suggests that Iraq has to do work o­n their local governments, though the problems forming a national government suggest this should be no surprise. If Iraq's main problems end up being crime and corruption, it would mean that jihadis, insurgents and civil war will have receded as threats, which would be a good thing.

IRAN: Seymour Hersh has a story in The New Yorker fretting about the US launching tactical nuclear strikes o­n Iran's nuke facilities, though even his own source says "if senior Pentagon officers express their opposition... then it will never happen." And as usual with Hersh, most of his piece is anonymously sourced, which is problematic when Hersh admits he's fast and loose with the facts when it suits him, leaving o­ne suspicious of whether he's serving some fudge from the Sy Hersh highway. O­ne of the few named sources in the article is Robert Baer, a CIA officer in the Middle East and elsewhere for two decades, who told Hersh that Iran is "capable of making a bomb, hiding it, and launching it at Israel. They’re apocalyptic Shiites. If you’re sitting in Tel Aviv and you believe they’ve got nukes and missiles — you’ve got to take them out. These guys are nuts, and there’s no reason to back off."

LEBANON: Blogger Michael J. Totten reports from inside a Hezbollah dinner and later responds to a threat.

THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT: Life imitates Wallace and Gromit in Northumberland, as sharp-shooters have been brought in to defend the gardens! Grower Jeff Smith, 63, said: "This is no ordinary rabbit. We are dealing with a monster..."

PET HOARDING: Usually, it's a house full of cats and dogs. This time it's over 1,000 turtles in a Tibeca loft.

DOLLY THE LLAMA, star of Napoleon Dynamite, has been sold by the mother of the film's director.

ATTACK GOOSE bedevils New Jersey shoppers, mysteriously disappears. Dramatic slideshow and video at the link.

THE GOLDEN GHOST: Sam, a golden retriever, survived two New Hampshire winters, deer hunting season and being hit by a car and still no o­ne could catch him. Satellite tracking, helicopter surveillance and dart gun attempts failed. He was no match for the bolied ham.

2904 Reads

Broken Social Scene, Shearwater, Giant Drag, a Dog in a Kilt   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 07, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

THOMAS DOLBY threatened legal action against Britney's hubby Spenderline, for using Dolby's 1983 smash, "She Blinded Me With Science," in his latest rap song. And he got the song removed from MySpace.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Curveball. It's like 3-D Pong, plus you can put English o­n the ball.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Jason Collett, promoting his second album, "Idols of Exile," tells the Kansas City Star that BSS leader Kevin Drew sets a high standard: "Kevin would say, 'There’s no sense in just making a good record. There are a lot of good records out there. Let’s make a great record.' I didn’t want to just make a good, linear singer/songwriter record. The genre is full of records like that. I wanted to transcend it." Drew and Leslie Feist had sharp words for Canadian Idol while picking up a Juno Award. And if you still haven't seen the video for "7/4 (Shoreline)," you really should.

RADIOHEAD frontman Thom Yorke thinks the success of Arctic Monkeys proves "the mainstream music business is a bunch of f---ing retards."

SHEARWATER: The Okkervil River-related indie folk-rock group makes "Song of the Day" at NPR with "Red Sea, Black Sea." You can stream four more at MySpace.

GIANT DRAG: I don't think I've focused o­n this indie duo before, but check out their covers of the Beach Boys' "God o­nly Knows" and Chris Issak's "Wicked Game" before the video for "This Isn't It."

THE POGUES: The Village Voice has an untimely review, but it's nice to know Shane MacGowan still has what it takes.

ISLANDS: Time Canada makes Return To The Sea the pick of the week: "(T)he music is both catchy enough to be fun and obscure enough for Islands to retain the underground credibility the band's founders so successfully built when they were two thirds of the Unicorns." See them prepare for the first lunar concert in "Rough Gem." And there's more to hear at MySpace.

SEVEN MISTAKEN SONGS, courtesy of the A.V. Club.

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE plans to get topical o­n the next album. You can hear the Spree's latest o­n the Thumbsucker soundtrack.

THE SMITHS: Fans tell London's Guardian about the songs that saved their lives.

SONIC YOUTH, ROBERT POLLARD and MY MORNING JACKET are among those opening for Pearl Jam o­n the upcoming tour. Plus, Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon will be playing acoustic o­n an unpcoming episode of The Gilmore Girls. No, really.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer announced in an Austrian porn club that he's marrying the supposedly sober supermodel, who just inked a big deal with Calvin Klein. Doubt that marriage is going to happen, even if he gets his teeth fixed.

TOM-KAT UPDATE in the Parade interview where Cruise admits that "normal" does not make sense to him, Holmes had the look of a Stepford wife, "dazed, passive and vacant. She never stopped smiling." Roger Friedman notices that Cruise’s lawyer worked for years for jailed private eye Anthony Pellicano.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are the all-star noir of Lucky Number Slevin (67 percent Fresh o­n the Tomatometer, though a 55 percent Rotten with the "cream of the crop"), Antonio Banderas dancing through Take the Lead (44 percent Rotten) and two movies not shown to critics -- The Benchwarmers and Phat Girlz. Shutting out critics is a growing trend, but it's funny to read how Sony went ballistic after critics in Orlando got to see The Benchwarmers.

GEORGE CLOONEY has a big wiener in his mouth at the Gallery of the Absurd.

ALEC BALDWIN and ANN COULTER won't be hooking up in the near future.

WHITNEY HOUSTON: Her sis-in-law tells the National Enquirer that all that crack has made Whitney a sex fiend.

SOUTH PARK, THE SHIELD and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA pick up Peabody Awards. Hurricane Katrina coverage also a big winner.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Remember this pro-life monument to the pop tart? Dare you see the reverse angle?

JUDAS: Just in time for Easter, National Geographic uncovers his "lost gospel," in which he claims Jesus made him do it.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Star is set to claim the pneumatic blonde is crank calling Kristin Cavallari, even though she's not seeing Nick Lachey.

DAVID HASSELHOFF: His divorce takes another ugly turn as he claims that his wife has a drug problem and needs pro help. I thought she was just hooked o­n a feeling for the Hoff.

RACHEL WEISZ may get bent over a table and lashed with a cat-o'-nine-tails.

EVANGELINE LILLY: The Lost hottie had training for plane crashes before she joined the cast of castaways.

EVA LONGORIA: Maxim blows her up to a size visible by satellite.

IRAQ: Blogger Zayed, recently published in the Washington Post, is profiled by The Wall Street Journal and has been accepted into the City University of New York's graduate school of journalism. Former TV Guide critic and Entertainment Weekly creator Jeff Jarvis, who got Zayed started blogging is asking o­ne and all for help. Bill Roggio traces how disrupting an insurgent cell led to Iraqi security forces arresting Abu Ayman, the former aide to the Chief of Staff of Intelligence during Saddam's regime, with strong ties to al-Zarqawi. At ITM Omar has more o­n the threats to newspaper distribution, which more are defying. Mohammed has more o­n the political blocs resorting to the parliament to choose a leader for the new government, as well as news o­n possible unrest reaching Najaf.

IRAN: UN nuke watchdogs say they have found convincing evidence that the Iranians are working o­n a secret uranium enrichment project that has not been officially declared. I'm surprised... they found it.

DOGS are getting fashionable in NYC.

BROKEBACK DUCK POND: "I wish I knew how to quack you!"

ELK passes away after mouth-to-nose resuscitation fails.

BIRD WOMAN: A Chinese woman is living in a cage in the middle of a park with 300 birds.

NICE BEAVER! Bailey is nursed to health after losing her teeth in a car accident. The punchline writes itself.

2453 Reads

London Calling, Advance Streams, Trip Shakespeare, Monkeys   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE CLASH and LED ZEPPELIN: Indian-born Harraj Mann, 23, was held for questioning under the Terrorism Act after playing "London's Calling" and "The Immigrant Song" through the stereo of a taxi he caught to an airport in northern England. In fact, he's the second man detained after a report of listening to "London Calling." Ironically, The late Joe Strummer was not down with Islamic extremists: "I think you have to grow up and realise that we're facing religious fanatics who would kill everyone in the world who doesn't do what they say. The more time you give them the more bombs they'll get."

MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS: Carl Wilson notes the re-issue of the David Byrne-Brian Eno classic -- like most of the prior reissues -- leaves off the track titled "Qu'ran." Wilson notes the original album had "an equal-opportunity scepticism toward religion that pervades the record, far less blinkered and ethnocentric than, say, the Danish cartoons." Not that Islamic extremists would care about that.

HEAR 'EM FIRST: VH1 is streaming upcoming albums from Built to Spill and Calexico.

THE PRETENDERS: The recently issued, five-disc Pretenders boxed set, Pirate Radio, brings Chrissie Hynde out to tell Billboard how gay gentrification saved America and to quash a breakup rumor.

SUFJAN STEVENS and ROSIE THOMAS are making an album and having a baby.

THE JAMES GANG is reuniting for an August tour. But no Chicago date.

GENE PITNEY was found dead in his hotel room in Wales Wednesday following a concert that fans acclaimed as o­ne of his best. He was 65. During a long career, Pitney had hits as a singer -- "24 Hours from Tulsa," "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance," and "Half Heaven, Half Heartache." As a writer, he penned "Hello Mary Lou" for Ricky Nelson and "He's a Rebel" for the Crystals. You can see him sing "I'm Gonna Be Strong" o­n YouTube and "He's A Rebel" with Darlene Love and Sam Moore at the 2002 Rock Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

SOUL ASYLUM: Stylus has second thoughts o­n the 1986 album Made to Be Broken: "Hipsters may love to hate the band, knowing them o­nly from some MTV video about missing children, but in fact Soul Asylum deserves a place in the pantheon of 1980s indie rock. Success may have spared Dave Pirner a life of mindless day jobs, but it ruined his chances at canonization alongside his peers as the unrewarded vanguard cadre of alternative rock—no chapter in Our Band Could Be Your Life for these guys..."

TRIP SHAKESPEARE: Members of this Twin Cities outfit went o­n to form Semisonic, but the Pate crowd may remember that Trip Shakespeare played their first out-of-town gig at the M-Shop in Ames, IA. Another Form of Relief has a retrospective, with plenty of killing music. Those wanting to avoid illegal downloads can stream 'em from the Hype Machine.

CENTRO-MATIC frontman Will Johnson talks to ChartAttack about the band's evolving sound and devoted fans: "It's not necessary and I'm not worthy of it, but it's good knowing that maybe something that you do reaches somebody in a way that's special to them and sits with them in a personal and important way. To know that is nothing short of intoxicating." Hear 'em at MySpace. It's kinda Americana, kinda Westerberg, kinda GbV...

PITCHFORK: At So Much Silence, Kevin ponders the Pitchfork Festival lineup and potential conflicts of interest.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer thoughtfully shoplifted a pair of Burberry scarves for the supposedy sober supermodel's birthday.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Star magazine claims Cruise commissioned an adult-sized pacifier for Holmes to clench between her teeth as an aid to the hoped-for Scientological "silent birth." Cruise denies it, natch.

RYAN SEACREST and TERI HATCHER: He says they're dating. She says they're "not attached." Nevertheless, the two were spotted dining together. American Idol judge Simon Cowell recently told Seacrest, "I’m not the o­ne trying to look like someone out of Desperate Housewives… lose the beard." Which was a reference to Seacrest's unshaven look, I'm sure.

EMINIEM has filed for a divorce, less than three months after remarrying Kim.

SHARON STONE plans to direct Basic Instinct 3. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY has converted his vegetarian girlfriend Penelope Cruz into a carnivore. The punchline writes itself.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR caught canoodling with comedian David Spade, according to Us Weekly. And yet people are still shocked when I turn up with some beautiful babe o­n my arm. Women like humor.

NATALIE PORTMAN helped save co-star Jason Bateman's pet Boston Terrier from being hit by a pick-up truck.

JAMES "P.J." RANSONE, currently o­n-screen in Inside Man, saved a woman from a brutal rapist Monday night.

OLIVER STONE blasts media groups who "slander" celebrities for their political comments: "We're Hollywood wackos and all that stuff, left-wing... (It's) an easy and facile dismissal. I'm still a citizen, I've served my country as a veteran, I've had many jobs before the film business. I know something of life, having lived to this age." If it makes him feel better, the reason I think he's a wacko is not because he's from Hollywood, but because his JFK was riddled with errors and outright fabrications designed to advance a wacky conspiracy led by LBJ.

BRADGELINA: Has Pitt walked out after getting kicked to the couch?

GEORGE CLOONEY and BRAD PITT, however, are not o­n the outs after their casino plan went south, contrary to prior gossip.

JESSICA ALBA has backed off her demand that Playboy magazine yank its March issue after she received a letter of apology from Hugh Hefner. Playboy also made undisclosed donations to two charities Alba supports. No o­ne can stand up to the Alba!

EDU-BLOGGING: The 61st Carnival of Education is o­nline.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio analyzes Zarqawi's demotion from commander of al-Qaeda in Iraq and updates news o­n mounting pressure o­n Jaafari to step down as nominee for prime minister. The Iraqi cameraman working for CBS News was acquitted of insurgent activity.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: US media coverage of Iraq is too polarized between "good news" and "bad news," with all sides are missing out o­n a complete picture, participants in a panel discussion organized by Reuters said o­n Wednesday. No kidding. Sean at My Election Analysis, who describes himself as "at best cautiously-pessimistic-to-neutral about how things are going" in Iraq was unequivocally shocked by recent good stats, having found the Iraq Index which I regularly consult. BTW, if people in the press agree that the coverage is polarized, what do they intend to do about it?

IRAN: Yesterday, I suggested that Iran's military exercises -- however serious -- were designed to suggest a threat to the Strait of Hormuz. Now Teheran is saying as much.

MONKEYS are stopped from using cellphones at the London Zoo. They will have to resort to Monk-e-mail.

LOST DOGS: Gidget, a Lhasa apso, comes home after almost five years. Grimaldi, a little white pooch, is not o­nly missing, but wearing a a diamond stud in its left ear.

ROSCO THE BULLDOG isn't lost, but he's trying, having been recaptured after escaping from a kennel, over a seven-foot concrete wall topped with barbed wire.

THE ONE-EYED KITTEN that totally creeps me out is coming to a new museum of oddities in central New York.

A MAGPIE in the West Midlands makes a regular stop for a drink and a cigarette.

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Ray Davies, Mozart, The Boy Least Likely To, Easter Bunnies   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

FATBOY SLIM (a/k/a ex-Housemartins bassist Norman Cook) is threatened by a witch's curse for planning a gig at Loch Ness. And I'll take any excuse to turn someone o­n to Spike Jonze directing Christopher Walken in the fab video for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice."

RAY DAVIES: The Kinks frontman gets an audio feature o­n his first solo album, along with clips from Other People's Lives and the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" (just because it's a great song).

VAN DYKE PARKS, who collaborated with Brian Wilson o­n SMiLE, produced Randy Newman and Rufus Wainwright, and played with Harry Nilsson and Tim Buckley, among others, is handling the arrangements for the next album from indie singer-harpist Joanna Newsom.

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN singer Ian McCulloch is set to stand trial for allegedly assaulting two people outside a Glasgow venue. McCulloch has denied the charges.

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART was in the top 5% of wage-earners in late 18th-century Vienna, according to newly-discovered documents, but blew it all by the time he died. I await the new episode of VH1's Behind the Music.

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO: Their childlike pop wowed crowds at SXSW and their album got a US release this week, but the duo suffers from gadget envy opening for James Blunt in the US. Their goofy video for "Be Gentle With Me" is cheap enough and clever enough to have been a classic, had it been made in the 80s.

FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne tells the Toronto Star that the band forces itself to try new things, "even if it's not something we're good at."

THE RACONTEURS: Though Jack White has denied rumors of a White Stripes breakup, a New York Sun review notes that this band may be more than a side lark for White. You can stream their single from the band's website.

SUFJAN STEVENS: Winning the New Pantheon prize gets the singer-songwriter a profile in the Detroit Free Press, including two MP3 clips from his Michigan album.

TOM JONES, who apparently has had a lot of plastic surgery, says he will never retire: "As long as I can sing, I will. I'm enjoying it now more than ever. I'm having more fun now. It's not as frantic. I get more respect from people and it's very gratifying."

MARTIN GILKS, drummer for the Mighty Lemon Drops, the Wonder Stuff and others, died a in a London hospital after a motorcycle accident. He was 41.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: For o­nce, it's someone else in Babyshambles charged with drunken driving, though the troubled singer was trying his best to disrupt an airport in Austria. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel is reportedly going o­n vacation to Hawaii with Lindsay Lohan and Courtney Love for a celebrity version of Girls Gone Wild.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise is trying to force Holmes into labor by feeding her spicy Indian food. After Holmes gives birth, Cruise plans a PR blitz as overdone as his PDAs for Holmes. Cruise has personally asked for another round with the Today Show's Matt Lauer, with whom he famously argued about anti-depressants. Lauer might want to read the interview in which Cruise recalls being diagnosed as dyslexic as a child as an "absolute affront" to his dignity: "I remember thinking, 'I've got to figure this out. What's normal? Am I normal? Who's to say what's normal?' I didn't understand what 'normal' is. It still doesn't make sense." I'm sure it doesn't.

THANDIE NEWTON is writing letters to Tom Cruise, Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie; Coldplay's Chris Martin, Barry Manilow, Kevin Costner, Bill Murray, Meg Ryan, Jack Nicholson and Ben Affleck, urging them to ditch their SUVs. A rep for o­ne of them said of the very thin Newton: "she should eat a grilled cheese sandwich and French fries."

JACKO was crowned as America’s most foolish person for the fourth year running, according to a survey by a public relations consultant.

REBECCA ROMIJN is settling down with her fiance Jerry O'Connell in an old brothel.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY will be joined by Scottish actor James McAvoy in the film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is cast as a 14-year-old in Napoleon and Betsy, which has historians complaining that Hollywood is putting a salacious spin o­n a very innocent relationship.

BRITNEY SPEARS is slammed by little people as "wicked" and "sick" for hiring dwarves to entertain her husband's guests at his recent birthday bash.

JESSICA SIMPSON has reportedly landed the Pam Anderson role in the movie vesrion of Baywatch. A source told London's Sun: "Jessica has all the assets to make Pammi’s part her own."

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY, People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, is beaten by a pair of 14-year old girls... in a 400-meter race: "Those little girls had very, very long legs."

KING KONG took in 100 million bucks in its first week in the US o­n DVD, breaking Universal Studios' record.

JOHN McTIERNAN, director of Predator, Die Hard, and many more, was charged Monday with lying to the FBI, becoming the first Tinseltown figure accused in the unfolding investigation of wiretapping and other alleged wrongdoing by Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS thinks modern American men look more like women. Which might explain his new Grizzly Adams look. And Douglas is particularly horrified by the male use of cosmetics. After all, real men have cosmetic surgery.

GEORGE CLOONEY and BRAD PITT may be on the outs over Clooney's failed Vegas casino plan, which would make for some cold shoulders o­n the set of Ocean's Thirteen.

KATE BECKINSALE was reported to have the inside track to play Wonder Woman in Joss Whedon’s new film adaptation. And why not? She looks the part more than Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Michelle Geller and Charisma Carpenter. Plus, she already has the costume. However, it seems that the IMDB fell for an April Fool's prank.

IRAQ: The embattled prime minister is refusing to give up his claim to head the country's next government. At ITM, Omar reports o­n death threats against newspaper sellers. NBC News producer Libby Leist blogs her first night in Baghdad, traveling with Sec. of State Rice, inwhich Leist notes the gulf between the Green Zone and Iraq outside it. I Was There touches o­n the isolation of US troops in the Green Zone in the course of discussing the insurgents seeming superiority in using the media. 2/28 BCT Iron Soldiers blogs Iraqi police and soldiers returning to Ramadi from their training in a pilot program. The L.A. Times concludes a series o­n wounded troops home from Iraq fighting to get back o­nto the battlefield.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: The New York Times reports o­n "the deadliest day for American forces since the beginning of the year," burying the following: "At least 13 American troops have died so far this month, setting a pace that could interrupt a trend of steadily declining casualties over the past five months. The monthly tally of at least 31 deaths in March was the second lowest since the invasion of Iraq three years ago." The five-month trend has never been a headline story for the NYT, which rushes to suggest that a bad day or two may interrupt it. If the trend of low US casualties continues at the end of the month, you can bet that the paper will not bother to notice.

IRAN is rolling out a slew of new military hardware this week, as part of its "Great Prophet" naval war games. The "Whale" missile is not the threat Iran claims, and the "flying boat" is a joke, but others are more serious threats to shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. In any event, they are manifestations of an attitude that suggests Iran wants to make more than electricity with nuclear power.

CARTOON JIHAD: Ephraim Karsh, head of Mediterranean Studies at King's College, University of London, writes at the Wall Street Journal that the ambitions of Islamic fundamentalists have little to do with cartoons or alleged western imperialism.

KUWAIT: Women are voting and running for office for the first time in a council by-election.

BUNNIES marry to mark the Easter holiday season, amid complaints from animal rights activists.

DONKEYS are better than wives, according to an Indian schoolbook.

RUFUS THE WILD TURKEY hangs out in the parking lot of the Jacques Spur Junction Cafe.

DON'T EAT CANADIAN BEARS: Sound advice from French health officials. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

RISE AND SHINE, CAMPERS! It's Brown Kamchatka Bear Day in Moscow. The bear has ended his hibernation o­n hearing the voice of spring.

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