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Neil Diamond, the Sex Pistols, How to Spot Robert Pollard, Blommer! and Deercam   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 07, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

NEIL DIAMOND: A wise man o­nce said, "There are two types of people in this world: those who like Neil Diamond and those who don't." I liked the earlier stuff and not the newer stuff, so the Newsweek piece calling his forthcoming, Rick Rubin-produced 12 Songs "the best work Diamond has done in 30 years," I filed it away in my bottomless pit of trivia. The album comes out tomorrow, but you can stream the whole thing at My Space, including the two bonus tracks that will appear o­n the Digipak edition -- o­ne of which features Brian Wilson.

ANOTHER BEACH BOYS LAWSUIT: Greed and chutzpah combine in Mike Love's multi-million dollar claim that Brian Wilson, his cousin, promoted the 2004 release of Smile in a way that "shamelessly misappropriated Mike Love's songs, likeness and the Beach Boys trademark, as well as the Smile album itself." Love hated Smile and was o­ne of the main reasons it wasn't finished 35 years ago (and a likely factor in Brian's meltdown). Love is griping about a newspaper giveaway of a Beach Boys comp CD, claiming millions in illicit profits. Because last year was supposed to be huge for another Beach Boys comp in England. Riiiiight.

THE SEX PISTOLS: Thirty years ago yesterday, the Sex Pistols played their debut gig at St Martins College of Art, o­n the Charing Cross Road in London; they were thrown off the stage after 20 minutes. Nevertheless, the college organised an evening commemorating the occasion, featuring films from punk's in-house cinematographer, Don Letts, various DJs, and performances from a handful of present-day groups -- alleged descendants of the Sex Pistols's anarchic spirit. ALSO: London's Independent talks to some who were at that first gig, including Pistols, future Vibrators and Adam Ant.

JEFF TWEEDY talks to Mlive.com about his freewheeling solo acoustic tour: "This way, I can do any of the 200 or so songs I've written over the years... and it allows me to change it around every night, which is also part of the appeal -- it'll be fun to just get up there without a firm set list.''

ROGER DALTREY comments o­n the McCartneys, Pete Townshend, Pete Doherty and more: "Paul acts like what is expected of him. I find it very strange - but it's how he deals with his life. Everything, though, becomes The Paul McCartney Show."

JACK WHITE confirms he has recorded a new song as an ad for Coca-Cola. Because he'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, natch: "To be asked to write something particular along o­ne theme of love in a worldwide form that I'm not really used to appealed to me." ALSO: Jack has told fans he wants to be known as "Three Quid" while touring in the UK. Which is odd, but at least it's not "Two Sheds" or some unpronouncable symbol.

ART BRUT is profiled in a Village Voice piece that asks wheteher the band is "cooly uncool."

MILK 'N' COOKIES: The Village Voice also gave a good review to the reissue of this sorta glam, sorta powerpop outfit's self-titled album from the 1970s. The VV says they "sounded like the New York Dolls at times," Blog to Comm asks you to "imagine the perfect three-way bop between the Bay City Rollers, Sparks and the Ramones and you'll be halfway there." You can stream a tune from WFMU by clicking o­n the band's name at the link.

THE NATIONAL, a band I mentioned here Friday, is lauded by London's Independent as "The band who may just have made the year's best album." You can grab their MP3s to decide for yourself.

RILO KILEY lists what's o­n their iPod playlist.

BILLY IDOL is desperate for even more women to sate his desires.

U2 invited unsigned rockgrrls o­nstage in L.A. to cover "Out of Control." And got record execs interested.

GUIDED BY VOICES: Being There magazine provides a newcomer's guide to the band in the guise of an article about Robert Pollard. Those who have seen the band will enjoy the section entitled, "How To Spot Him."

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS are invading America for a few shows. Stereogum quotes the Pitchfork's delightfully snarky coverage: "There's hype and then there's HYPE. The Sheffield, England-based baby band Arctic Monkeys have somehow harnessed the power of the video iPod, Asian bird flu, the Arcade Fire, and Samuel Alito into o­ne big blazing ball of buzz, resulting in mass hysteria and the UK-chart-topping debut of their second single ever, 'I Bet You Look Good o­n the Dancefloor.'" Even the band can't stand the hype and has asked the press to tone it down. You can (and should) stream their hit and a few others from MySpace.

MY SPACE: Tere have been a few articles lately noting how it makes it easier for bands, but it should be noted that it also makes things easier for stalkers.

MY MORNING JACKET is profiled in Straight and drummer Patrick Hallahan talks to Glide about "dealing with loss and finding new treasures, kittens o­n fire and babies in a blender, staying true to mystery, pushing through, and understanding the value of both sonic and physical space."

KINKY FRIEDMAN is turning his campaign for Governor of Texas into a TV reality show.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS are profiled in Straight, including their closeted love of Guns N' Roses.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: London's Guardian sends a reporter to interview the troubled singer: "After 40 minutes or so, we are told that Doherty has tidied up and is ready to receive us. God knows what his room looked like before, because it's in a pretty shocking state now. Drug paraphernalia and CDs are scattered across the bed, and there are rows of blackened, broken miniature bottles of alcohol from which he has been smoking, a trunk full of junk, a motorcycle by the bed, and the words 'ROUGH TRADE' daubed o­n the wall in fresh, dripping blood..." He says Moss wants to get him into rehab. The shamed supermodel will be making her comeback with Cavalli. In another interview, Doherty says he's had hallucinations long before he got into drugs.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Chicken Little and Jarhead overcame marginal reviews to top the box office, though Jarhead's larger budget will be harder to recoup. I saw Shopgirl -- which also got borderline reviews -- and liked it, Clare danes' performance in particular. I think the movie's problem is that it does not fit neatly into any category -- it's not really a romantic comedy, nor is it a "serious" drama.

CLARE DANES and BILLY CRUDUP spend evenings with a trampoline and a trapeze.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY is sexually aroused by food and the smell of suntan lotion. Well, alright, alright, alright...

MADONNA lashes out at the French Hotel for dabbling with Kabbalah: "People like Paris Hilton who come into a centre and buy a book or a band and that's it for them. It doesn't mean they study it."

JON FAVREAU is pushing maximum density.

WALK THE LINE: Joaquin Phoenix was doing just fine walking the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the Johnny Cash biopic until he asked a reporter, "Do I have a large frog in my hair?" ALSO: The new Cash comp entered The Billboard 200 at No. 11 -- the highest-debuting title of Cash's career.

LYLE LOVETT is engaged?

LEO DiCAPRIO may be a little rusty in the pick-up department after his split with longtime gal pal and Victoria's Secret supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER were reunited by Health Ledger?

SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT, who will forever be known as Stifler, is finishing up Mr. Woodcock and will begin Cockblockers soon. Are we noticing a pattern here?

DENISE RICHARDS and CHARLIE SHEEN: Their once doomed marriage seems to have weathered the storm.

CAROLYN MURPHY: The 2005 SI Swimsuit Issue covergirl's sex tape has fallen into the hands of the Internet Commerce Group, which specializes in such things. But any deal to distribute it is contingent o­n the outcome of the Colin Farrell sex tape case, which could be resolved as early as next month.

GEORGE CLOONEY is denying a report that he got into a shoving match with a security guard outside a bar in London's West End... but he did get into an argument with someone being unkind to a woman.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie is having the tattoo of ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton's name removed from her arm: "I'll never be stupid enough to have a man's name tattooed o­n me again." George Clooney has previously denied rumors that Pitt and Jolie would get married at his Italian villa, but friends of his are getting married there soon.

VAUGNISTON: Jennifer Aniston's "Seven Things Id Rather Talk About... Than the Men in (or Out) of My Life."

BOY GEORGE is rumored to be the latest celebrity to fall under the spell of the Kabbalah, after having a huge Star of David tattooed o­n his bald head.

MARIAH CAREY, having been given dozens of unwanted fur coats by a Russian tycoon, gave the coats to PETA for distribution to the homeless. As Page Six notes, "Here's hoping that animal-rights activists don't add to the homeless fur-wearers' woes by beating them up for donning the stoles."

ELLEN DeGENERES and PORTIA DE ROSSI are considering becoming first-time parents. Maybe right after Thanksgiving dinner?

FREE BLOMMER! Smells wafting from a the Blommer chocolate factory in Chicago might make mouths water, but the EPA says they also could violate the Clean Air Act. Even the Sierra Club thinks this is ridiculous. It appears to be the target of complaints due to gentrification in the area. Both Sylvia Hauser and I can attest that there is nothing like the smell of Blommer in the morning.

IRAQ: Five regional leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq were confirmed killed in an airstrike in Husaybah, while Iraqi Security forces designated for western Anbar are in training. When the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force returns to Anbar province in February, they will be bolstered by 18 battalions from the new Iraqi army, plus a large number of Iraqi police and border security forces. Training and mentoring Iraqi forces will be the Marines' primary mission, rather than directly confronting the insurgents. Iraqi Arab companies are seeding the formerly war-torn Kurdish region with boom towns. The road between Baghdad International Airport and the capital used to be the most dangerous highway in Iraq; in October, o­nly o­ne person was wounded o­n the road and no o­ne was killed. In Mosul, Tikrit (Saddam's hometown) and even Baghdad, Iraqis celebrated the end of Ramadan with a sense of increasing security. Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, reports that there is an economic boom despite insurgent attacks and that the political situation is also better than it is depicted by critics.

IRAQ II: Bill Roggio has several posts o­n Operation Steel Cutrain, particularly in the context as a follow-on to the Anbar Campaign. He also looks at IEDs and snipers in Ramadi.

ANTIWAR MARINE Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey has been telling anybody who will listen about the atrocities that he and other Marines committed in Iraq. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that each of his claims is either demonstrably false or exaggerated.

PARIS RIOTS: Mayhem in the city continued unabated, spreading to the city center as rioting, clashes between police and rioters and arson escalated o­n Sunday, the 11th night of destruction. Police found a gasoline bomb-making factory in a derelict building south of Paris, as well as fuel stocks and hoods for hiding rioters' faces. With the shouting "Allu Akbar" and talking about waging "jihad," it was getting hard for the press to ignore the Muslim aspect of the riots. So there are now stories blaming the riots o­n discrimination against Muslims, noting that one of France's largest Islamic groups issued a fatwa against rioting and that Muslim "big brothers" are being called o­n to help quell the violence. So it's apparently okay to use the "M" word, so long Muslims are portrayed as the victims and heroes of the riots. I have no doubt that the French attitude towards its Muslim population is a factor here. However, the relationship is a two-way street. The press seems unwilling to report o­n the French government's own study showing the dramatic rise in Islamic extremism in France's Muslim ghettoes. The "big brothers" being called upon now may well be those enforcing strict Islamist codes of dress and behavior in these ghettoes... often violently against women with more modern attitudes.

DEERCAM: Researchers at the University of Missouri have mounted wireless video cameras o­n white-tailed deer because they think deer look really funny with video cameras o­n their heads. The National Science Foundation has awarded a million dollar grant for the work. The UM research team also plans to put footage from the deercams o­n a Web site.

DEER COLLISIONS: State Farm lists the top ten states, mostly in the Great Lakes region, but also including Texas and Georgia.

RED THE CAT becomes a millionaire.

UNLICENSED CAT lands a North Dakotan in jail.

BEES attack dozens of Baltimore schoolchildren; 40 were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

THE LOCH NESS MONSTER moved to China? That would explain why they never seem to be able to find it Scotland...

GOATS may become legal pets in Lake County, CA.

TWEETY BIRD rescued from a partially collapsed building by a robot built to disarm bombs.

20956 Reads

Okkervil River, The Hold Steady, The Soup Nazi and the Monitor Lizard   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 04, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

GIANT DRINKING BIRDS: It's Friday... need I say more?

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Stack The Cats. Like Tetris, but with, you know... cats.

OKKERVIL RIVER: I have been remiss in failing to mention Okkervil River here. The band's latest album, Black Sheep Boy, rates Metacritic scores of 85 from critics and 9.3 from users. As far back as June, MSNBC ran a piece titled, "The stunning band youve been longing for," hailing the band's "orchestral countrified power pop." Frontman Will Scheff used to be a music critic for the Austin Chronicle and his lyrics are often compared to those of Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy. Black Sheep Boy and the impending Black Sheep Boy Appendix (due Nov. 22nd) pay tribute to 60s folk casualty Tim Hardin. There's streaming audio at the MSNBC link; you can download tracks from the band's catalog at the official website.

DEERHOOF drummer Greg Saunier talks to the University of Colorado Denver's Advocate: "We all quit our jobs about two years ago. The o­nly way we could make enough income to survive was to tour more." Always nice to give the drummer some.

MY SPACE: London's Guardian catches o­n to the social network's explosion, as noted here yesterday. Though Rupert Murdoch's recent purchase of the site shows just how savvy his empire is, it may be a misstep to spin off a record label with Interscope, because it feeds the suspicion that new media is being swallowed by old media.

GOOD VIBRATIONS: Build your own junior theremin.

THE "WHERE ARE THEY NOW?" FILE IS filled with hair metal.

BEATALLICA: If you haven't heard the band, it sounds very much like its name. For legal reasons, their material is all freely downloadable, including the five tracks available at veritas lux mea.

THE LIGHT FOOTWORK: You Ain't No Picasso calls them "your new favorite band." Matt of YANP likens them to Beulah and the Unicorns; there's a fair amount of the "Elephant 6 collective" (Neutral Milk Hotel, Apples In Stereo, etc.) there too. Two of the MP3's at YANP are available directly from the band, but I don't think they mind that third track, either, as they acknowledge YANP right o­n their home page.

LOOKING FOR MP3s? Hublog has developed a plug-in for the Firefox browser for quick-searching the Hype Machine MP3 blog aggregator.

KANYE WEST is in the middle of a bitter pay dispute after members of his video production crew failed to receive a salary. Worse, he's getting stalked by John Mayer.

THE NATIONAL have given up their day jobs and signed with Beggars Banquet when the money ran out. Allmusic says "The National ultimately present melodious and inspiring compositions also enlightened by a set of influences, including country-rock and even British pop/rock." The band has free MP3s, so you can give 'em a spin.

THE BELLRAYS: A critic for the Calgary Sun writes: "If you love rock 'n' roll, and if you believe, at its very best, at its purest, it can change your life, if o­nly for a couple of hours, then you need to see them." The band has WMA downloads available.

STING STUNG: A concert by the normally enviro-friendly former Policeman was recently sponsored by the world's dirtiest airline.

THE HOLD STEADY: I'm reposting this NPR profile with streaming audio in part because "Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night" is a cool song, but also because webvomit is killing music with the band's cover of "Hey Hey What Can I Do." Not that I would download it, but I'm sure the lads would do a boffo version of the classic Zeppelin flip side to "The Immigrant Song."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Is Moss so addicted to Doherty that she will ignore her drug counsellor's advice and see the troubled singer again? Is a Moss-Doherty sex tape floating around London?

ASHLEE SIMPSON: We do know there is video of the less attractive and improbably less talented Simpson sister spectacularly drunk and obnoxious in a Canadian McDonald's for the whole world to mock.

MADONNA stole the show at the MTV Europe Music Awards o­n Thursday. Robbie Williams said, "She's amazing. She's an absolute legend. I can't believe she's 89 and looks like that." Host Sacha Baron Cohen (a/k/a Ali G and others) remarked, "It was very brave of MTV to start the show with a transvestite."

GWEN STEFANI, responding to a catty comment from Madge, says she doesn't copy Madonna, but was as influenced by her as anyone her age. Her current solo tour is being called "far closer to a Madonna-like extravaganza than a No Doubt tour." But the critics aren't happy about it. Thanks to Flickr, you can check her myriad of costume changes for yourself.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: I'm sure the New York Post juxtaposed a picture of Lindsay Lohan dressed as a slutty firefighter with a story about a man posing as a fireman to rape a woman o­n Halloween by accident, really.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Us Weekly reports that has kicked her husband Cletus out of their Malibu home and demanded a trial separation. K-Fed is reportedly spending his time clubbing, drinking and smoking the ganja. And Shar Jackson, K-Fed's other baby mama, seems to be enjoying the comedy of it all: "C'mon, kiddo, did you think things were going to be different? Kevin was there for (daughter) Kori every single day of her life until I told him to go out and get a job."

AL PACINO admits it's been mostly downhill for him since Dog Day Afternoon.

VAUGHNISTON: Aniston is looking to buy a house in Chicago, where Vaughn's family lives, and even considering having a baby with Vaughn. Let's hope Vince leaves fewer bruises than Clive Owen.

JARHEAD: At presstime, the Gulf War drama was scoring a rotten 53 percent o­n the Tomatometer. But as a public service to the ladies (and gay men who can't wait for Brokeback Mountain), I note that Jake Gyllenhaal is naked in a Santa hat.

THE SOUP NAZI launched his first chain soup store, but without the word "Nazi." Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Soup Nazi didn't bother to show for the opening.

CHIP KIDD is an incredibly talented book designer. The fact that he often works o­n comics-related projects is just icing o­n the cake. The New York Times notes his superhero-related books, but if you look at a page from his Peanuts book, you can see the sort of thing that inspired the booklets that come with the Pate boxes.

PETRA NEMCOVA accepted Glamour magazine's "The Survivor" award after losing her boyfriend and almost dying herself in the last year's tsunami. It turns out that she's not just a supermodel, she's a Supermodel: "I've been very fast with the recovery. Some people do it in two years and I did it in three months." Nemcova is no spoiled, stupid little stick figure with poofy lips who thinks o­nly about herself... she's Wolverine.

THE SUPREME COURT: The L.A. Times reports that liberals who have worked with nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. say he is fair, not a rigid ideologue.

IRAQ: Reuters reports that the U.S. Army is adapting its training to "the war of the flea," but it sounds like the internet is allowing the troops to adapt faster than Army institutions.

MUSTAFA SETMARIAN NASAR, an al Qaeda leader in Europe the suspected mastermind in the March 11, 2004 Madrid bombings, and an early suspect in the first London bobings in July, may have been killed in Pakistan.

RIOTS IN PARIS ENTER A SECOND WEEK, gaining fresh momentum as youths shot at police and firefighters, and attacked trains despite more than 1,000 riot police patrolling the streets. Press outlets are starting to notice that France, like other countries in Europe, is showing a growing intolerance for those who follow alien customs, overburden welfare systems and foster radical Islam. An American student in France e-mailed screenwriter Roger L. Simon with some interesting observations about the attitude of the French people toward the US and the prospects for a brutal crackdown o­n the rioters.

PETTING ZOO CLOSED over fears of a deadly bacterial infection.

CARNIVOROUS MONITOR LIZARD intrudes o­n toddler's toilet training.

ELEPHANTS, unlike many other animals, really do show special interest in their dead.

HERE WE SEE THE PANOTOMIME HORSE, engaged in a life-or-death struggle for democracy in Hong Kong...

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Loads of Downloads, Broken Social Scene, My Space and Rabid Vampire Bats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 03, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS' Halloween show was attended by dressed as their favorite MG tune. The Village Voice had a backgrounder that also reviewed the band's prior gig at the Bowery Ballroom.

LEGAL INDIE DOWNLOADS OUT THE WAZOO at Spacelab. Dungen, Metric, The M's, Deerhoof, Wolf Parade, Iron and Wine, Fruit Bats, BMRC, Spoon, an entire Flaming Lips album and many, many more.

100 SONGS ON ONE CD: someone is killing music with songs under 74 seconds long.

NEW DAY RISING gets second thoughts from a 25-year-old at Stylus magazine who used to think it was terribly pasteurized and in no way subversive.

NINE INCH NAILS: I was never a big fan, but Trent Reznor may have a future as a music critic.

AUDIOSLAVE is mining the RATM and Soundgarden catalogs o­n the current tour.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Kevin Drew declares the band's new album is no longer self-titled: "Go get a pen. Go write your own f---ing title down. It's called 'Choose Your Own Title.' We're giving the choice back to the people because it's getting taken away from them." Drew also notes that the album's concept drifted from the political to the personal. As of presstime, you can stream the album from overseas.

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN are organizing a compilation album to raise money for children's charities, including Snow Patrol.

ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS are all over the Pitchfork, with a review of three recent EPs and an interview with Antony. It's not my bag, but he's good copy.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: London's Guardian joins in the praise for the band's latest album, Feels: "More accessible than their earlier work, its rich, acoustic songs simultaneously melt your heart and set it racing." At Metacritic it's scoring an average 81 from critics and 8.6 (out of ten) from users. SPIN has a legal MP3. And you can stream a few via the band's label.

DEBBIE HARRY is thankful she never had enough money for a serious drug habit, because substance abuse would have ruined her music career. And you don't want to know how old she is.

JUKEBOX JURY: Seattle Weekly plays with Rockrgrl magazine's 's Carla DeSantis. It's an all-girl line-up, from The Runaways and Patti Smith to Britney Spears.

U CANT TOUCH THIS? Oh, yes you can, if the price is right.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The shamed supermodel reportedly has hired two SAS minders to keep the troubled singer and his friends away from her. The SAS is the British equivalent of the Delta Force. And we are reminded that after Moss' 1998 stint in rehab, a friend asked what she had learned, to which Moss replied, "A lot about alcohol."

MADONNA: Big into Kabbalah, but her nine-year-old daughter is going to be a nun?

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Li-Lo is ready to go public with news that she is dating Jared Leto. And ladies, as the man has no career, I think we know what he has going for him.

HOLLYWOOD wants total control over your television. I thought they would have given up after The Outer Limits.

REJECTED BOND GIRLS: Listed at McSweeney's.

FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE COOKIE MONSTER, then they came for Mr. Potato Head...

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Star magazine claims that Cruise and Holmes are enmeshed in negotiating a prenup agreement. Which is the sort of story both might like leaked to quash those rumors that the two already have an agreement. ALSO: Tom-Kat duets o­n "Mustang Sally" and "Old Time Rock and Roll" at the big Scientology soiree in Britain, which reminds me that Cruise thrashed on a couch in Risky Business, too. BONUS: A Chinese fan of Cruise realized her dream to meet the movie star and even was invited to play a character in his new film Mission Impossible 3 after Cruise read her book My Love for You, Tom Cruise A Desperate Chinese Girl's Confession.

THE FRENCH HOTEL knows how to pick 'em! New boyfriend Stavros Niarchos III offered a homeless man outside a Benjamin to dump a soda o­n himself, which the man did.

YES, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus; his name is Rupert Murdoch.

WARREN BEATTY and ROB REINER are working against ballot propositions championed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Are they testing the waters for running against the Governator himself?

WOODY ALLEN may marry Soon-Yi Previn and offers this portrait of his relationship: "All the women I went out with were basically my age. Now, here, it just works like magic. The very inequality of me being older and much more accomplished, much more experienced, takes away any real meaningful conflict."

EVA LONGRIA: Cityrag wants the Desperate Housewife to get together with Eva Mendez. I've heard worse ideas.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt is furiously denying UK tabloid reports he has wed Jolie in a secret Buddhist ceremony. He also spotted a peeping paparazzo, but the photog eluded police. Jolie is the woman lesbians would most like to marry, according to a new poll by Gaydar Radio.

EDU-BLOGGING: The new Carnival of Education is o­nline... at the Dayton Daily News, no less.

THE SUPREME COURT: I would hope that the DNC has better criticisms of Judge Alito than innuendo of mob ties based o­n his Italian heritage. How about his lousy trumpet playing? How about his chairing an undergraduate task force at Princeton that recommended the decriminalization of sodomy, accused the CIA and the FBI of invading the privacy of citizens, and said discrimination against gays in hiring ''should be forbidden?" How about voting o­n the pro-choice side in all but o­ne of the abortion cases he heard as a judge? The L.A. Times reports that those who know Alito say he keeps "an almost allergic distance from discussions of ideology or politics."

RIOTS IN PARIS have now been going o­n for a week. Yet you can still read stories from Reuters, London's Times and others that completely avoid mentioning that the rioters are Muslims. If o­nly France would pull out of Iraq... ALSO: Muslims rioted for days in Denmark, too.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio rounds up coverage of efforts to divide the insurgency and the "removal" of al Qaeda facilitators near the Syrian border. AFP has a story o­n the battle for hearts and minds near the border waged by the US and Sunni fundamentalists.

JIMMY CARTER, appearing o­n NBC's Today show, said that the Bush Administration's prewar claims that Saddam had WMDs were "manipulated, at least" to mislead the American people. o­ne wonders where he gets that claim, which was unanimously rejected by the Senate Intelligence Cmte (Conclusions 83 and 84) and the bipartisan Robb-Silberman Commission (Conclusion 26). But I suppose that if I was Jimmy Carter yesterday, I would have rather talked about anything besides the anniversary of the takeover of the US embassy in Iran, where Islamic militants took 52 American hostages. After all, falling down o­n the job at the modern o­nset of Islamic extremism doesn't look any better now than it did in 1979, especially with the hardline Iranian government purging moderate ambassadors while preparing a new round of conversion of uranium.

THEO VAN GOGH: Yesterday, politicians, relatives and religious leaders in the Netherlands marked the anniversary of the brutal slaying of the director and critic of radical Islam.

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: They don't come much stranger than the former Reps. Pat Schroeder and Bob Barr... who have joined forces against Google.

SONY COPY-PROTECTION scheme exposes users to threats from hackers and virus writers. It's worse than root canal to remove. And installing the Sony program o­n a machine running Windows Vista -- the beta version of the next iteration of Microsoft Windows -- breaks the operating system spectacularly.

MY SPACE: Wired magazine is calling the social networking site "The Hit Factory." The site is getting more hits than Google. And bands using the site are selling hundreds of thousands of albums.

LITTLE RED PANDA is on the loose in Birmingham, Britain's second-largest city. The panda has broken out of a nature preserve twice in two weeks.

RABID VAMPIRE BATS kill 23 people in Brazil. And the BBC couldn't break this story in time for Halloween?

CZECH APES get their own reality TV show.

DEER stops at a nurse's station after smashing through two glass panes and entering a hospital. The deer was injured, so where should it go? SEMI-RELATED: Wayne Goldsberry killed a five-point whitetail buck that crashed through a bedroom window at his daughter's home Friday. At this time of year, a buck that sees its reflection in a window often charges, believing it is fighting off a rival.

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Silver Jews, Tortoise, GbV, Crab snuff, Rats on Zocor, and fried Squirrel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SILVER JEWS: PopMatters interviews David Berman, who says he's "on a mission from G-d" and that "I am blown away to realize in my late 30s how wrong my old ideas about life and the works of life are." At Metacritic, Tanglewood Numbers scores an average of 79 from critics and 9.4 (out of 10) from users. The band's label, Drag City, has legit downloads of "I'm Getting Back Into Getting Back Into You" and the Quicktime video of "How Can I Love You If You Won't Lie Down."

SUFJAN STEVENS turns up everywhere, even in Tikkun, which looks at his spiritual side.

U2: Stylus magazine "plays G-d" with The Joshua Tree.

RONALD ISLEY is facing a maximum 26-year jail sentence after being convicted of multiple tax evasion charges, including cashing royalty checks belonging to his late brother and former band member O'Kelly Isley. Goes to show you can't fight the power, Ron.

TORTOISE and BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY have an album of cover songs coming next year, ranging from Richard Thompson to Devo to Bruce Springsteen. Stereogum links you to others killing music.

JOHN PEEL UPDATE: Having previously noted the legendary British DJ's box of singles, I must note that I Love Music is absoultely slaughtering music by asssembling them through You Send It.

WILCO: Jeff Tweedy has canned the concert DVD, but is working o­n the next studio album and is looking to do new stuff with Loose Fur and Golden Smog.

SEX PISTOL guitarist Steve Jones thinks today's so-called punk bands are manufactured. Steve, meet Malcolm McLaren. Oh, you've met?

BILLY BRAGG has written music for lyrics by a single mother who has died from cancer, as part of a British government program designed to provide a voice to people with long-term and terminal illness.

JOHN LENNON: Grey Will Fade is killing music with indie Lennon covers from a Q magazine CD.

THE CONSTANTINES' singer-guitarist Steven Lambke says the band's latest, Tournament Of Hearts is more about melody than riffs this time. At Metacritic, it's scoring an average 76 from critics and 8.8 (out of ten) from users. You can compare for yourself with the legal downloads at SubPop.

50 CENT is defending President Bush against Kanye West's charge of racism in the response to Hurricane Katrina. I'm sure the Family Research Council is tickled to death.

GUIDED BY VOICES: Suitcase 2: American Superdream Wow gets a 7.0 o­n the Pitchfork: "The problem isn't that the four discs are too much; the thing that's really f---ing infuriating is that if you spend the time, you will find those scattered brilliant songs."

CREAM: The power trio's reunion set a merch record at MSG, with sales of t-shirts and memorabilia expected to top 11 million dollars.

JACK WHITE and JIMMY PAGE we're just photographed together, but there's been no word of musical collaboration, so there's no need to repent just yet. I must say that Page's compact with Satan has kept him looking pretty good for his age and milage.

GENE SIMMONS, otoh, is terrified he must be getting old after twice being mistaken for Ozzy Osbourne.

OZZY OSBOURNE would like to be played by Johnny Depp.

SHARON OSBOURNE would like to punch Madonna.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The shamed supermodel is taking her comeback campaign to the pages of Vanity Fair magazine.

KATE WINSLET is going o­n the Skeletor diet? Let's hope not!

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Celebrity Living magazine goes literal by publishing Cruise's five rules for Holmes' pregnancy.

SCIENTOLOGY NIGHT FEVER: John Travolta got his Tony Moreno (or his Vincent Vega) o­n at the recent Scientology conclave in West Sussex. A source with close links to the sect said that the event was part of a larger campaign to recruit more British members. No doubt Scientologists have noticed that more Britons believe in ghosts than in G-d, which probably makes the whole ancient alien invasion spiel an easier sell.

CHRISTIAN SLATER apparently fell off the roof of the French Hotel's neighbor's house during a weekend party at the heiress' home. Slater purportedly made his climb to inspect some folks who complained about the noise, so why did he decide to climb the roof of the neighbor's house?

CAMBERLAKE: Cameron Diaz is inflicting boyfriend Justin Timberlake o­n Shrek 3, with reportedly disastrous results.

HEATH LEDGER and MICHELLE PHILLIPS are parents of a baby girl they have named Matilda. No doubt Heath's Aussie background influenced that choice, but that girl will be calling herself Tilda as soon as she figures it out.

JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT plans to star in and produce a fact-based feature about a hooker housewife from Texas. Finally, a role worthy of Love's considerable... talents.

STEVEN SPIELBERG is racing to finish Munich (about a a Mossad agent tracking Palestinian terrorists who assassinated Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games) in time for awards consideration.

PRINCE CHARLES will be protested by PETA o­n his US trip because Buckingham Palace uses bearskins to make the Palace Guards' hats.

JARHEAD: Reviews are starting to come in for the Gulf War drama and so far its not looking good for the Oscar hopes of director Sam Mendes, who acted out a bit at the Hollywood Film Festival earlier this week.

MY NAME IS EARL is primetime's top-rated comedy in the adults 18-49 demographic. Number 37 o­n Earl's list seems to be moving out of direct competition with ABC's Commander In Chief.

EVANGELINE LILLY: No definitive word o­n whether the Lost lovely is marrying her hobbit co-star, but they have now officially been caught canoodling.

CLOSED SENATE: Democrats forced the Senate into a closed session Tuesday, after Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid claimed that the indictment of Veep chief of staff "Scooter'' Libby "provides a window into... how this administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions.'' Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald has said the Libby "indictment is not about the war." The Senate Intelligence Cmte unanimously found Amb. Joe Wilson's claim of manipulated intelligence to be wrong o­n every major point, so Senate Democrats must also have been out to destroy him. The Committee also unanimously found no evidence that intelligence o­n WMDs was mischaracterized due to politics or pressure. That didn't stop Vice-Chair Sen. Jay Rockefeller from then complaining about the "ambience" of the situation, because escalating demands for investigation have pretty much been the Democratic plan since 2003.

IRAQ: Iraqi forces arrested the ringleader and 13 accomplices behind the October 24th suicide attacks against the Palestine and Sheraton hotels. As these hotels are home to many journalists covering Iraq, you would think the press would be all over this story, but you would be wrong. Bill Roggio looks at terrorists using children and the mentally impaired to do their dirty work, another story largely ignored by western media outlets that prefer to run staged photos and video that makes terrorists look fearsome.

CRAB vs. PIPE: A crab suffers the fate of Auric Goldfinger when an robot cuts a 3mm slit in an undersea pipeline. Video at the link.

DOGS and CATS are listening to internet radio at DogCatRadio.com.

MALE MICE sing like birds when they pick up the scent of a female mouse. Male humans, being further along o­n the evolutionary scale, use Mr. Microphone. Actually, the attraction of women to Mick Jagger is probably a similar phenomenon.

PYTHON UPDATE: A dozen French firefighters were called in to cut their way to a 10-foot-long python hiding in the ceiling of a shop just outside Paris.

GOOD NEWS FOR RATS: All those rats that gott hooked o­n cigarettes for science can take heart from the discovery that Zocor can inhibit the lung damage that occurs with smoking-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

ILLEGAL BURBOTS threaten some of Wyoming's premier trout water.

BLACK BEAR CUB lives for two years o­n pizza and Dr. Pepper with mountain men.

SEAL bites off woman's nose. Apparently, the seal did not want to be helped back to the sea.

SQUIRREL starts a grass fire in Byram, Mississippi after electrocuting itself o­n a power line. A passing motorist told a local TV reporter: "I'm a country boy, so I'm thinking dinner time."

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Richard Thompson, XTC, Eddie Hinton, the Alito shuffle and Pug Vader   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 01, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

RICHARD THOMPSON has what looks to be an incredible box set coming in February. Loads of unheard and unreleased tracks, demos, outtakes, live tracks, a 168 page book, and more!

SUFJAN STEVENS and his 50 state project are profiled in London's Guardian, along with links to the paper's reviews of his earlier albums.

XTC is boxing 1999's Apple Venus, Volume o­ne and 2000's Wasp Star with two CDs of demos, 1999's Homespun and 2001's Homegrown. PLUS: Andy Partridge is making his catalogue available o­n iTunes, including six volumes of XTC demos that never made it o­n an album.

WILCO: At Chromewaves, Frank is killing music with a live cover of Blue Oyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." Yes, I should have posted this yesterday, but I agree with Frank that we can always make room for... more cowbell!

THE VILLAGE VOICE TURNS 50: Robert Christgau surveys the mag's rock crit.

ANNIE LENNOX TURNS 50: The former Eurhythmic talks to London's Times about hair straighteners, her love life and her work: "I cannae imagine anything worse than being greeted with 'hushed reverence.'"

ROGUE WAVE: Since the server crashed o­n the day of my first post about the band, I note that Portland State University's Daily Vanguard joins the general critical acclaim for the band's second album, Descended Like Vultures. You can stream a few from the band's MySpace page, with bonus tracks at the band's semi-secret MySpace page. It's stuff that would have fit right in o­n the Garden State soundtrack.

CARLOS SANTANA thinks he is the male Tina Turner. And since it's Santana, that is o­ne of the saner things he tells JAM magazine.

GUIDED BY VOICES: The GbV t-shirt gallery continues to grow...

DID YOU MISS CREAM AT MSG? Of course you did. But now you can stream a bit of the Royal Albert Hall reunion DVD.

RECORD CONTRACT BASICS: An attorney explains why bands rarely make money from their contracts.

LIZ PHAIR: An article in PopMatters argues that her career has mirrored the high and low tides of third wave feminism.

EDDIE HINTON played guitar for everyone from Elvis Presley to Wilson Pickett to... Looking Glass. He was also a hit songwriter, but he didn't record o­n his own until 1978 and died young at 51 in 1995. You can legally download four Hinton freebies from Amazon. I would especially recommend "Come o­n Home Baby Lee" and "I Love Someone," but they're all quite good.

NEIL DIAMOND: "When Quentin Tarantino wanted o­ne of my songs for Pulp Fiction, I turned him down. I wasn't familiar with him, and I thought the scene was too brutal for the song. So what do I know?" Fortunately for Diamond, his publisher knew better.

WILLIE NELSON raised an estimated 170K for his friend Kinky Friedman, an independent candidate for Texas governor. Among those attending the fundraiser were former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and Dick DeGuerin, an attorney for indicted House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

THE FAB FOUR is the subject of a acclaimed, "compulsively readable" 856 page biography, released today. The author, Bob Spitz, formerly managed Bruce Springsteen and others.

ELTON JOHN is developing a TV sitcom for ABC about an over-the-hill rock star, his manager and his hangers o­n. Where does he get those wacky ideas?

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Shamed supermodel Moss is escaping to a Caribbean hideaway to continue her battle against drug addiction.

PHIL SPECTOR: Cameron Crowe is disappointed he won't get the chance to make a biopic about the "Wall of Sound" producer facing murder charges: "I don't think that's going to happen now. It's a shame because we'd have an interesting ending. And a great wig."

THE FRENCH HOTEL may flee the US for London, as part of an annoying celebutante exhange program with Kate Moss. ALSO: Tyra Banks went as the French Hotel for Halloween, while the French Hotel went as... um... a slightly skankier version of herself (yes, it's possible).

MADONNA gave a long interview to the New York Daily News. Readers at Oh No They Didn't serve up the Meow Mix. Even so, she has come a long way, if former model Janice Dickenson's memories of Madge's early days at NYC's Danceteria are correct: "She was a great dancer, but I tried not to get too close to her or I would literally pass out. It was that bad. It was total skank."

RICKY GERVAIS (The Office, Extras) will make his film debut in a project with Christopher Guest. In For Your Consideration, Gervais will play the head of a movie studio's speciality division who is producing an awful indie film that is unexpectedly nominated for awards.

THE BUTTERSCOTCH STALLION is Hollywood's Hottest Bachelor, according to an OK! magazine poll.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Neil Gaiman debunks reports that Jolie walked off the set of Beowulf. Pitt supposedly told Jolie in a panicked cell phone call to Jolie: "I can't live without you." Oh, I feel a song coming o­n...

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER together again?

DAN RATHER and MIKE WALLACE get into a fight in a men's room over the fallout from Rather's Bush National Guard story? You can imagine what Radar magazine calls it... RELATED: Disgraced ex-CBS producer Mary Mapes has a book out next week claiming she is the victim of McCarthyite tactics, causing CBS to again note that she doesn't have a firm grasp of reality. She claims TxANG Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges would have backed the story, which is untrue. She claims that a researcher (unnamed so far) has since shown her typography on other documents from the period Bush was in the Guard that suggest that the memos she obtained are indeed accurate. But the excerpt from her book that was posted on Amazon (and curiously removed) reveals that Mapes doesn't understand basic typography, so count me as skeptical that she understood this researcher in the first place. Or maybe Mapes is still trying to rely on a report by Associate Professor David Hailey of Utah State University, which has also been debunked. Dr. Phillip Bouffard, one of the top two forensic document examiners (regarding typefaces) in the country, was at least 90% sure the documents were fakes. Similarly, Joseph M. Newcomer, one of the pioneers of electronic typesetting, concluded after lengthy analysis: "in my expert opinion, these documents are modern forgeries." The expert CBS hired after the story aired concluded the memos were likely created on a computer that did not exist in 1972. Ms. Mapes is making up consipracy theories and is still waving the bogus documents, so who is the McCarthyite in this story?

ALEC BALDWIN claims that ex-wife Kim Basinger needs therapy and has a "pathological need" to alienate their daughter, against him. This must be part of Alec's new, mature approach to the couple's custody battle.

CARMEN ELECTRA has a girlcrush o­n Scarlett Johansson.

CHERYL TIEGS is legally forbidden to ever talk about twins she "had" in 2000 at age 52 with the help of a surrogate mom, after losing custody to them in her 2001 divorce.

CULT OF THE iPod: Author Fredric Alan Maxwell, whose attempts to write about Steve Jobs are being thwarted by Jobs, says : "Apple runs as a cult of Steve Jobs, who has a well-known reality distortion field." With changes in the product linne, Newsweek helps you know your iPods. C|Net gives five reasons why the 4G iPod is better -- for audio. But there seems to be demand for video, too; iTunes has sold a million videos in under 20 days.

NANOTECH: Buckyball inventor Richard Smalley has died of cancer at the age of 62. Neal Lane, a senior fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, said this of Smalley's work: "It not o­nly created a whole new field of 'fullerene chemistry,' it immediately made feasible the notion of making things from the bottom up, just as physicist Richard Feynman had predicted 50 years earlier." There's a bit more o­n Smalley at The Speculist.

INNOVATORS OF OUR TIME are profiled in the current issue of Smithsonian magazine, including Edward O. Wilson, Tim Berners-Lee, Yo-Yo Ma and Steven Spielberg.

SBC wants Google to pay for using the telco's wires. SBC should tread carefully; Google is rumored to be buying miles and miles of fiber, but SBC has no service like Google.

HALLOWEEN: Don't know how I misssed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as part of the anti-Halloween crowd. According to Chavez, it's a "gringa" custom that has no place in his country's cultural traditions.

JUDGE SAMUEL ALITO, JR. is our newest contestant for a seat o­n the Supreme Court (yes, I am playing Herb Alpert's version of "A Taste of Honey" while I write this). The SCOTUS blog rounds up blog coverage of the nomination and provides a list of notable opinions. At Reason magazine's blog, libertarian Julian Sanchez responds to some of the charges interest groups are already making against Alito. If abortion is your main issue, Alito's dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey is analyzed from the left and the right, and Orin Kerr notes Alito's concurring opinion in Planned Parenthhod v. Farmer, which struck down New Jersey's partial birth abortion statute. UW Madison Law Prof. Ann Althouse looks at Alito's decision o­n the Family and Medical Leave Act, concluding that he applied Supreme Court precedent better than the Supremes did later. Prof. Althouse also opines that Alito's decisions o­n church-state issues suggest it's inaccurate to nickname the judge "Scalito," though almost every news story yesterday mentioned it. Personally, when I heard that "Alito," was nominated for the O'Connor slot -- after John Roberts was, then switched to Chief, then putting Harriet Miers in and taking Harret Miers out -- I immediately thought of Boz Scaggs.

IRAQ: The Christian Science Monitor reports that "Last January, Baquba was symbol of everything going wrong in Iraq... But today, US commanders are pointing to Baquba as a symbol of what might go right." Of course, the story later asserts that the US strategy in Baquba "partial success, while in others it's generally been a failure, as in much of Anbar Province, home to Fallujah and Ramadi." The writer apparently does not know that operations in Anbar -- except for Fallujah -- did not involve Iraqi forces until recently and apparently does not know the different purposes of the operations -- "cordon and search," "search and destroy," "clear and hold," etc. -- that have been conducted in Anbar.

SUITCASE NUKES: Author Richard Miniter explains why they are a myth. Ret. Maj. Donald Sensing corrects some minor details to further show they don't exist.

THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD wants to conquer the world, so it's interesting that the new adviser to British Prime Minister Blair o­n terrorism may be the unofficial head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.

GAS GOUGING: Since 1977, governments have collected far more revenue from gasoline taxes than the largest U.S. oil companies have collectively earned in domestic profits. More than twice as much, in fact.

PUG VADER: It's an animal story and your moment of Sith. Must be Twofer-Tuesday. There's a slideshow and video at the link.

NAZI RACCOONS INVADE THE WINELAND: I don't think I could top that headline.

ALBATROSSES would be safer hanging around your neck than around the steep slope of a Japanese volcanic island that is subject to eruptions, mudslides and erosion.

CATS and DOGS: James Lileks explains why women writing about men always seems like cats writing about dogs.

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