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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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Petra Haden, Presley, Pipettes, Post-Punk and Pakistani Primates Chillin'   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

PETRA HADEN, o­ne of the triplet daughters of legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden, known here for her a cappella Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out and as a touring member of The Decemberists, covers Jacko's "Thriller" and the Beach Boys' "God o­nly Knows" o­n her website.

INDIE ROCKAPELLA: The Petra Haden item reminded me to point you to this band, which is streaming a capella covers of the White Stripes, Ben Folds and Sufjan Stevens.

THE FOO FIGHTERS boosted the morale of the Tazmanian miners that were trapped underground for two weeks. After the two men requested Foo Fighters o­n iPods passed down to them, lead singer Dave Grohl sent them a note of encouragement and support, with a promise of a free show and beer.

KEITH RICHARDS: I usually don't think of People magazine and "dry humor" in the same sentence, but anyone who has heard Keef speak must smile at the headline, "Keith Richards 'Talking' After Surgery." Reuters reported that Doctors are concerned Keef could suffer from brain damage after undergoing two surgeries, but also the Stones denying a second surgery or possible brain damage. Let's hope the band has it right.

THE GO-BETWEENS: Robert Forster has thanked fans after hundreds of them left "magnificent tributes" for his co-frontman Grant McLennan, who died suddenly last Saturday. Among those fans were several members of Teenage Fanclub and The Auteurs frontman Luke Haines.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK and SCOTT McCAUGHEY performed in "Studio C" o­n C|Net (including a Johnny Cash tune) and talk about playing Soft Boys tunes o­n tour, life with R.E.M., and keeping up their Web sites. There's also a performance from Rogue Wave available for download there, which includes a cover of REM's "Driver 8."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: With American Idol going to be received in Graceland, my thoughts naturally turned to the King. Check out what is likely the first footage taken of Elvis, with backstage shots of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly in 1955; shades of Walk The Line! You can also see him play "I Got A Woman" live o­n his first TV appearance in 1956. I also include his performance of "Hound Dog" o­n The Milton Berle Show six months later, not o­nly because it's historic, but also because Paul Miller and I often reached for it when we would stumble into our KUSR shift at the last minute -- Uncle Miltie vamps for awhile, which gave us time to pull records for the show. Elvis sang "Fame And Fortune," "Stuck o­n You" and a mashup of "Love Me Tender" and "Witchcraft" with Frank Sinatra when he got back from the Army (Nancy turns up at the end). 1970 finds him singing "In The Ghetto" in the jumpsuit, though pre-bloated. This clip of "Suspicious Minds" from 1971 is worth it for the moment when Elvis takes us to the bridge like James Brown. If you've never seen his spaced-out rendition of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" you really should, though he's even more whacked out in the version in This Is Elvis. I would rather remember Jumpuit Elvis for the signature horns that open "See See Rider." I wish he brought the same energy level to his medley of "Little Sister" and "Get Back," but it's still pretty good. That Idol went to Memphis is as much a tribute to his enduring legacy as the fact that he could hit the charts decades after his death with a remix of "A Little Less Conversation."

THE PIPETTES: The girl group's debut album, We Are the Pipettes, comes out July 17th in the UK and August 14th in Germany, France, and Scandinavia, but no American release is planned just yet. Fortunately, the Internet allows you to stream the upcoming single, "Pull Shapes," from MySpace. I dunno if it's as good as "Your Kisses Are Wasted o­n Me," but it's pretty darn good. Skatterbrain ripped MP3s of the group's appearance o­n The Album Chart Show, which you can stream from the Hype Machine.

BILLY BRAGG talks to ChartAttack about his upcoming book, unreleased Mermaid Avenue tracks and his box set: "It was perhaps time to do something tactile before the entire process of buying music becomes nothing more than clicking a mouse. What does a pile of MP3s look like? I don’t know. If you’re walking down the street with an MP3 under your arm and someone else saw it, would they come over and want to form a band with you?"

WILCO drummer Glenn Kotche talks to Pitchfork about the material the band is working up for the next album: "I think anyone who's heard them can see stylistically that it's pretty much all over the place right now..."

POST-PUNK: Short Term MP3 Loss has posted a tribute to post-punk, including Pere Ubu, Gang of Four, Suicide, Pylon, Mission of Burma, The Feelies, Minutemen, Gun Club, Flipper and many more. You can stream it via the Hype Machine.

JAY AND THE AMERICANS may be sold to help pay off 500K in back taxes racked up by Jay Black after gambling pushed him into deep debt.

SUFJAN STEVENS: Stereogum had another advance track from The Avalanche. Scott has pulled it from the site (at Sufjan's request, I'd bet), but you can still stream it from the Hype Machine.

REESE WITHERSPOON and JENNIFER GARNER were among a delegation of women touring devastated parts of New Orleans to meet with families and children trying to adjust to life after Hurricane Katrina. Their penetrating insights will amaze you.

BRITNEY SPEARS made a surprise appearance o­n The Late Show with David Letterman to publicly confirm her second pregnancy.

RACHEL McADAMS and RYAN GOSLING are not shopping for wedding rings, though McAdams says the McGosling reference in the famous Saturday Night Live "Lazy Sunday" video got her "more phone calls and e-mails than any other time or for any other award that I have ever won."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: After a disapponting opening weekend for Mission: Impossible III, Holmes nurses Cruise's wounds and shows us her nursing bra. No wonder Cruise's 13-year-old daughter, Isabella, told him that Holmes was "the o­ne." Star magazine looks at why ex-Cruise Nicole Kidman is rarely seen with Isabella or 11-year-old Conor.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III gets a spoiler-laden review in The New Yorker, but this bit is too good for folks avoiding spoliers (or the movie itself) to miss: "The Cruise fan base has been shaken by a number of public pronouncements, although some of us have merely been confirmed in our original suspicions that there was something about this actor that was not quite of this earth. The stiff-necked jerk of his motions; the grit of his bared teeth; the eyes switched to perennial full beam but never quite blinking, even during tears; his ability to remain totally upright when sprinting, as if carrying an invisible egg and spoon—what are these, if not the techniques of an alien life force who has just graduated summa ***** laude in advanced human behavior? Just who was scared of whom, precisely, in last year’s War of the Worlds?"

LINDSAY LOHAN: Following Tom Cruise's crazy train, The New York Times looks at the teen actress trying to go serious while carrying the baggage of a party-girl image to ask: "how much does the off-screen image bleed into, and possibly hurt, the reception of the work?" Speaking of off-screen, it looks like La Lohan has been caught getting cozy with model James Burke, who used to date Lohan party pal Kate Moss.

MADONNA, following an equestrian accident, gets right back o­n the horse by scaring them right back in a huge photo spread in W magazine. She's also laughing all the way to the bank as she sets out o­n the most lucrative series of shows ever staged by a female performer.

SIENNA MILLER can eat like a horse, according to chatterbox celeb chef Jamie Oliver. Yet another reason for her to annoy me.

MISCHA BARTON and RACHEL BILSON: The O.C. hotties screamed for help when a coyote entered Barton's trailer looking for leftover food. As if there is ever food in Barton's trailer.

KNIGHT RIDER is heading to the big screen, courtesy of the Weinstein Co., which is quite odd. Series creator Glen A. Larson wouldn't say whether David Hasselhoff would appear in a cameo or if William Daniels would reprise his role as the voice of K.I.T.T. Even more odd is Larson's comment that he would aim for a PG-13 rating because he doesn't want to exclude the series' core audience. Dude, the show ran from 1982-86... the core audience is over 13 (physically, anyway).

CHRISTINA AGUILERA admits that she doesn't like wearing too many clothes.

JESSICA SIMPSON should freak at the report of future ex Nick Lachey getting cozy with the tsunami-surviving supermodel Petra Nemcova. At the very least, it would be an excuse for Simpson almost running her dog through the X-ray machine at LAX.

DENISE & HEATHER& RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Denise Richards teaches her 11-month-old daughter Lola to walk for the paparazzi in in Calabasas, CA.

ATTACK OF THE FLYING ROBOTS: The prospect that suicide bombers and hijackers could be made redundant by flying robots is a real o­ne, according to experts. Also, Bruce Simpson, an engineer from New Zealand, managed to produce a mini-cruise missile out of readily available materials at a cost of less than 5,000 dollars.

ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS are the "likely cause" in up to 30 percent of childhood cancers, adult leukaemia, depression, brain cancers, breast cancer, and even up to ten percent of all miscarriages. Or not.

IRAQ: Prime Minister-designate Maliki expects to present a cabinet to parliament for approval by the end of the week. The nominees for interior and defense will be unaffiliated with a party or a militia. The US has halted the planned deployment of 3,500 troops. At ITM, Omar looks at conflicting report o­n the violence in Adhamiya, a neighborhood in Baghdad. Stars & Stripes reports o­n the troops' mixed reaction to new IED-resistant suits. As with the body armor issue, some troops will sometimes prefer mobility over the extra level of protection.

IRAN: The AP thinks that an 18-page letter from Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad seeks a bond with Pres. Bush, though if you read the translation, it's clear the BBC is closer in calling it an attack o­n Pres. Bush. And the media is largely avoiding the parts of the letter where Ahmadinejad attacks Israel's existence, questions the existence of the Holocaust, suggests Bush had a role in the 9/11 attacks, that Allah is Bush's Lord, and so o­n. Bahman Aghai Diba, a PhD in International Law, notes that historically, similar letters have preceded attacks from Iran. ABCNews runs an AP story with the headline, "Experts: U.S. Hasty in Brushoff of Iran," with those experts being Iran's former ambassador to France and a Tehran-based analyst who thinks the US reaction could fuel anti-US feelings in Iran, as though Iranian public opinion matters to the mullahs. The notable thing in the story is that Ahmadinejad is catching flak for failing to consult parliament before sending the letter, which tells you that Ahmadinejad, a man who says he is touched by the hand of Allah and that the end times are near may actually pass for a moderate in this regime. Indeed, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei just vetoed Ahmadinejad's decision to allow women into sports stadiums.

A HEAT WAVE IN PAKISTAN has killed more than 30 people. No figures for the monkeys, but they seem to be making do with popsicles.

MONKEYS elsewhere drink like humans, sometimes like fishes.

BURMESE PYTHON UPDATE: The owners of a terrier killed by an 11-foot Burmese python were awarded 1,300 dollars in the death of their pet in West Palm Beach, FL.

BEES inexplicably swarm a pickup truck in Colorado.

KITTY survives riding under a car traveling 60 mph o­n the highway in Miami.

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Raconteurs, New Releases, El Parro Del Mar and Feznik the Kangaroo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 09, 2006 - 07:20 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE RACONTEURS: You can see the alt-sorta-supergroup at Amazon and stream their upcoming album from MTV2.

NEW RELEASES include full albums from Snow Patrol, Chris Isaak (Best of), Paul Simon (produced by Brian Eno), the Isley Bros., Grandaddy (the final album... afaik), the Stills and Elf Power streaming from AOL Music. The ab fab Art Brut get a US release for Bang Bang Rock & Roll, with bonus tracks. Blog buzz band Beirut brings it without guitars. The Black Heart Procession returns with The Spell. The new chamber pop from Final Fantasy has the surefire hit title, "He Poos Clouds." Gnarls Barkley goes "Crazy" o­n St. Elsewhere. I See Hawks In L.A. has a third helping of alt-Country. There's a NY Dolls bootleg box set, which isn't streaming, but I thought some of you would want to know about it. And there's a new album from the Yonder Mountain String Band, which is a bluegrass jam band; live, they're likely to cover the Beatles, Stones, Talking Heads, J.J. Cale...

ELF POWER: Canada's Now magazine calls their just-released Back To The Web "the very best album they've ever made... If anything, it sounds like their inspiration has shifted from late-period Beatles and Odessey-era Zombies to early Tyrannosaurus Rex." Singer-songwriter Andrew Rieger was "sorta hoping the Marc Bolan thing wasn't going to be so blatant." You can heear the whole thing this week at the AOL Music link above.

BUZZCOCKS added the title track to Flat-pack Philosophy to their MySpace page to go with the single.

PIECE OF MY HEART: Moistworks has posted the original from Aretha's sister, Emma Franklin, along with a version from Dusty Springfield and two live versions from Janis Joplin.

TEN SUCCESSFUL MUSIC ARTISTS WITH TERRIBLE NAMES are inventoried by The A.V. Club.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: So, it looks like Keith Richards had brain surgery after all. We can hope it helps improve o­n this live version of "Happy." Since it's Twofer Tuesday, please relish Richards and Chuck Berry sharing a Spinal Tap moment. And just because, check out what happens when Keef attacks.

EL PARRO DEL MAR is compared to Motown-by-way-of-Sweden by John Richards in making "God Knows (You Have to Give to Get)" a Song of the Day o­n NPR, but I'd say it's even more old skool than that. NTTAWWT at all.

DANIEL JOHNSON: PopMatters gives a good review to The Devil and Daniel Johnston, the new doc o­n the bipolar, lo-fi musician and artist, but suggests it "doesn't offer a compete portrait so much as it reveals the impossibility of knowing him (or, in a broader frame, anyone else)."

IT'S ONE LOUDER: Stylus has a column complaining about the bad production, mixing and mastering of modern recordings.

JOHN VANDERSLICE: The singer-songwriter tells the DCist that he gets more audience reaction from blog posts than reviews in the print media: "You know, it's weird, if someone posts something o­n Metafilter, I look o­n my website and all of a sudden, we're getting like 25,000 unique visitors in o­ne day, you know. And we got a review o­n Pixel Revolt in Rolling Stone. And the day that that review came out, there was no bump whatsoever. And that was a good review. And we got no bump in traffic o­n the website..." As Pixel Revolt got generally good reviews, I'm going to point you to his free MP3s and his MySpace page.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel begged the troubled singer in text messages to kick his addictions and live with her. We know this because Doherty sold his mobile phone to a stranger to buy drugs. Pictures o­n the phone show him partying with friends. A Doherty pal said: "This is plumbing new depths, even for Pete."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Though fewer moviegoers love Cruise, ex-wife Nicole Kidman says she still loves him. Just not enough to wish him well o­n the birth of his child. Lloyd Grove consulted experts o­n the issue of whether Cruise wore lifts to the M:I-3 premiere to be the same height as Holmes.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III fallout continues, with Paramount and Cruise backers pushing back at claims the opening weekend was disappointing. Defenders note the movie did 70 million in business overseas. Yet no o­ne seems to want to look at why it did better overseas -- not as much media focus o­n Cruise's crazy train? Rob Moore, president of worldwide marketing, distribution and operations at Paramount compared the launch of M:I-3 to Batman Begins, which debuted with 48.7 million and left theaters with 205 million -- boasting a high multiple of 4.2 because of positive word-of-mouth. Unfortunately for Moore, M:I-3 had a multiplier of 2.9 -- good, but not as good as Batman or either of the first two Missions (though I liked it well enough). Movie City News suggests the B.O. may reflect "the much-discussed cultural shift in the way we see movies," though waiting for DVD sales won't bode well for upcoming summer releases and future production plans by the major studios.

THE DA VINCI CODE is the next planned blockbuster (unless Poseidon shocks me), but does Sony think the picture is in trouble? Hollywood Elsewhere notes Sony is shopping around an inordinate number of advance interviews for the film, but without advance screenings.

BRITNEY SPEARS has Spenderline o­n an allowance and just nixed his plan to hit Vegas with his posse. And her most recent acting coach says she will never make it as an actress: "She'll just stare at the camera and either wink, shake her boobs or blow out a bubble of gum but not all at the same time, that would be asking too much of her."

BLIND ITEMS usually don't do much for me, but Page Six has o­ne about a starlet with a "a sick sexual fetish for something called the 'Donkey Punch.'" However, it's not clear from the item that Page Six knows what a "Donkey Punch" actually is. Naturally, I had no idea myself, but checked into it in order to bring you, the reader, more accurate gossip. Seriously, it came up at Defamer. UPDATE: Tyler Durden speculates.

BRADGELINA: Pitt wants to build a palatial pad in the Dominican Republic. And he's trying to stiff Jennifer Aniston (and not in that good way) o­n her fee for a movie being produced by the company Pittston founded. Pitt was later dumb enough tor mentioned to Jolie that Aniston called him, resulting in the figurative frying pan and rolling pin treatment.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Trying to look like a latina at the ALMA awards, but looking more like a Creamsicle. The red hair is a wig, part of Jessica's new hairpiece line coming out soon. I'm sure people will look at that and decide that wig is just what they need. Proof that the pneumatic blonde remains blonde in any hair color.

LINDSAY LOHAN told Matt Lauer o­n Monday's Today show: "I work harder than most of my friends parents. I'm the hardest working person I know." Best Week Ever has the video. Clearly, she doesn't know James Brown.

THE CREEPY BURGER KING and BROOKE BURKE reportedly have split up. A nation mourns. Pics at the link.

MAGGIE GYLLENHALL was ready to drop out of Oliver Stone's upcoming World Trade Center film after saying that the US "is responsible in some way" for the 9/11 attacks, later saying that she regretted the comment and issued a statement saying that 9/11 was "an occasion to be brave enough to ask some serious questions about America's role in the world." But she stayed o­n after smoothing things over with Port Authority Officer William J. Jimeno and his wife, Allison (whom Gyllenhaal will play in the movie). Oddly enough, I thought 9/11 was an occasion to ask some serious questions about the role of murderous Islamic fanatics in the world. And that if Gyllenhaal was actually brave, she wouldn't have issued a mealy-mouthed non-apology for her original comment.

PATSY KENSIT has willingly moved o­nto a lower level of celebrity, as it makes it easier to date younger and younger men.

A SEX SCENE WITH MEG RYAN grossed out Adam Brody of The O.C., but that's because he watching himself.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON may be harassed by the paparazzi but she is clearly not being harassed by an editor. Meanwhile, she is balking at showing off her body for a body lotion commercial. You can almost imagine her walking around these sets yelling, "Don't you f***ing look at me!"

THIS JUST IN: Lesbians are turned o­n by women like straight men are.

NANOTECH: The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology has posted a series of essays o­n the scientific and societal challenges presented by molecular manufacturing. Some of them seem overly alarmist (and Malthusian to boot), but not all of them.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar thinks (with some justification) that securing Baghdad is crucial and that Coalition and Iraqi efforts to date have been insufficient. However, Al-Qaeda in Iraq is concerned about disorganization within its cells in the Baghdad area, with o­ne extremist describing them as simply a "daily annoyance" to the Iraqi government, according to documents released Monday by the US military. Bill Roggio thinks that Task Force 145 -- designated to hunt Zarqawi and other high value al-Qaeda targets -- may have struck again in Samarra. And that the arrest of Abu Aisha, o­ne of the chief organizers of terrorist acts in Baghdad, may have forced his network to launch the recent sucide attacks there and in Karbala, in a "use it or lose it" mode.

ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI said, "America, you lost. … I won," when he received a life sentence for his role in the 9/11 attacks by concealing the al-Qaeda plot from FBI agents after he was arrested in August 2001 o­n immigration violations. So why is he trying to withdraw his guilty plea?

UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPERS and aid workers have been sexually exploiting girls as young as eight, according to Save the Children. The UN promised to put safeguards in place after sexual abuse in the refugee camps of West Africa was first revealed four years ago, but a new study found that abuse was still widespread. If US troops did this sort of thing, it would be the main story o­n every network newscast.

FEZNIK THE KANGAROO gets plastic surgery. In Los Angeles, natch. Before the operation, Feznik's career was o­n the skids -- there's not much work for ugly kangaroos in Hollywood.

STRAY CAT crackdown in Clermont, IA seems inspired by a guy who couldn't use his hot tub.

TIGER decides to see the rest of the zoo... and a local park.

POLICE DOGS nab a born-again preacher for theft.

KIPPER THE CATFISH gets into a fight, burns down the house.

550-POUND SHARK caught by two Brits in a dinghy, but they had to release it. Yeah, you're gonna need a bigger boat.

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