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Big Star, FoW, Magic Numbers, Ninja Turtles, Lemurs and the Goat King   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

BIG STAR: Stereogum is killing music with a track from the band's upcoming album. I would not be surprised if it sounded very much like... Big Star. There's also a download of Chris Bell's "I Am The Cosmos."

THE POSIES' new album gets a mere 6.8 o­n the Pitchfork. I agree that the album is a bit uneven, but I was more generous without giving a number.

NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL INDIE COVERS, VOL. 1 popped up at Salon after it was taken down at You Ain't No Picasso. It's proven so poular that it's back up for a few days at YANP. I would never encourage anyone to kill music, but it's apparently very popular.

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE founders Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood reveal the top five things that make a great cover song.

RICHARD THOMPSON: To celebrate RT's new album, Chromewaves is killing music this week with Thompson's cover of "Oops... I Did It Again."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: If it's Thursday, the troubled singer must be back with galpal Kate Moss after smashing his guitar and setting his bed o­n fire.

RACHEL McADAMS, riding high between Wedding Crashers and Red Eye, is declared the new hotness over her old and busted Mean Girls co-star, Lindsay Lohan. A little ironic, given that McAdams is almost ten years older than la Lohan.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: After attending the Four Brothers premiere, la Lohan spent a lot of the after-party in the bathroom, according to Perez Hilton.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Feathers were ruffled o­n the Paramount Pictures lot when Soundstage 17 completely swathed — a la Christo — in black canvas so no o­ne could watch Cruise walk from his trailer to the set of Mission Impossible 3. Cruise ex Nicole Kidman was jumping out of her front-row seat at Madison Square Garden, grabbing her crotch and dancing "hip-hop style" to Eminem? Cruise is going to read that and think she's still possessed by a Thetan.  BTW, Cruise super-lawyer Bert Fields wants everyone to know that the story that Cruise o­nce had doubts about Scientology is false.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Mohammed covers a protest for womens' rights under the new constitution, as well as a counter-protest, complete with photos and an interview. The New York Times ra a piece reporting that the Mayor of Baghdad was deposed by a Shiite militia, but the ex-Mayor's interview o­n Radio Free Iraq adds some context lacking in the NYT, which failed to note that the Mayor -- who was installed by the U.S. -- had already offered to resign and the new acting Mayor was elected by the local council. I'm not saying what happened was right, but the case is a bit more murky than reported.

BOZO IS NO BOZO and gets to hold o­n to his sweet rent-controlled apartment o­n West 58th Street in NYC.

MICK JAGGER denies that a song from the new Rolling Stones album, "Sweet Neo Con," is "personally aimed at President Bush," thereby alienating not o­nly Bush supporters, but also Bush critics who wish it was about him or see Jagger's comment as a dodge. Last October, Jagger had said, "I'm from the school that considers it impolite to comment o­n other people's elections." Now the election is over; perhaps more important, the tour tickets are sold. And the new Stones album will almost certainly sell more than Mick's last solo effort.

COURTNEY LOVE is putting the "court" back in Courtney, as a California judge ordered her to appear in court next week to respond to accusations that she took drugs while o­n probation. Will prosecutors enter these pictures from the Pam Anderson roast as evidence?

ALTHOUSE MUSIC: Prof. Ann Althouse has been music-blogging, with posts about over-the-top classic rock, and asking which five music performances would you like to have seen? Although my brother saw Rush open for Kiss for five bucks, o­ne of the Althouse commenters to the first link (Jim Lindgren, who blogs at the Volokh Conspiracy) actually saw -- among others -- Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin for five bucks, which is a pretty good deal. There's also a post about whether products remind you of songs, where the commenters seem to show that songs more often remind us of people.

THE 9/11 COMMISSION will investigate the claim that a military intelligence unit identified ringleader Mohammed Atta and three other hijackers as a likely part of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the hijackings but were stopped from sharing the information with law enforcement agencies by Pentagon lawyers.

WOMAN SUES OVER HER RESCUE, saying she was rescued too late to prevent serious brain damage. RELATED: Superheroes enter relocation program.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS, a band noted here recently, walked out o­n Top of the Pops after taking their introduction to be a joke about their members' weight. The band generally take comments about their size in good humor.

THE HOLD STEADY tour dates are posted at More Cowbell! Many dates in cities where Pate fans live. The Constantines will open.

DUNGEN is making another swing in the U.S. Longtime Pate fans should note that o­ne date is at a Unitarian Church.

STACY'S MOM totally bogarted the hot wings.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: Alexander Yakovlev, the U.N. procurement officer pleading guilty to fraud, could give prosecutors valuable evidence of wrongdoing at the organization. Benon Sevan, the head of the program accused of taking kickbacks, allegedly did so after losing money in a stock fraud. Also, Sevan has returned to Cyprus, which does not extradite its citizens.

RED-HEADED WOMEN are less likely to feel pain, according to preliminary findings that will be investigated in a study to be launched in Britain.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Via CNN, we learn that she blew her audition for the Mickey Mouse Club after hearing Xtina Aguilera. And her creepy ex-preacher manager Dad can't help but mention Jessica's accessories: "Somehow double D's don't really fit o­n the overall picture of what works in white Christian music." Page Six reports that despite rumors of marital dischord, Simpson seemed territorial over her hubby at an NYC club recently.

BRITNEY SPEARS is denying any involvement in the pellet-gun shooting of a photographer who was staking out a private baby shower for the singer in Malibu.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: A binoculars-toting reporter for People magazine was arrested Saturday for trespassing o­n Brad Pitt's oceanfront property in Santa Barbara, where a fourth birthday party was being held for Angelina Jolie's son, Maddox. Seems more reasonable than shooting him with a pellet gun.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON seems to be getting blamed for the flop of The Island by the movie's producers. Of course, o­ne of the producers also says, "It was a big risk to go out with an original," which is a laugh-snorter to anyone who compares The Island to this dog (as noted here earlier).

SAUDI ARABIA: While King Abdullah pardons political dissidents seeking more freedom in the kingdom, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced the release of five Saudis after they were returned to SA from Guantanamo Bay.

SORCERER'S APPRENTICES are studying at a Hogwarts-style college in Austria, which is doing well o­n the coattails of Potter-mania.

KELLY CARLSON: The Nip|Tuck hottie got possession of the life-size sex doll exactly in her image used o­n the show. She can't bring herself to sell it.

JOHHNY DEPP: Director Tim Burton graciously (and rightly) gives credit to Depp's role as Capt. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean for making studio execs comfy with the quirky actor. For his part, Depp jokes that he should make a porn flick with Burton.

KEVIN SMITH: The director and pal of Ben Affleck seems a bit miffed that he was not invited to Affleck's secret wedding to Jennifer Garner. But if Smith is going to crack a Gigli joke, he should expect that someone remember that the original Bennifer appeared in Smith's Jersey Girl, even though few probably will.

HEATH LEDGER AND MICHELLE PHILLIPS are engaged, which is nice, given how pregnant she is.

CINDY CRAWFORD: Caught partying hardy in St. Tropez.

TEACHER CLEARED of kiddie porn charge. An investigation turned up a violation of the school's "technology policy," but the school would not elaborate.

CULT OF THE iPod: Microsoft and Apple are engaged in ongoing legal combat over MP3 player-related patents, including some related to the iPod's super-cool touch-wheel controller.

LAPTOP LOJACK: Homing technology is coming to Gateway computers.

GOOGLE NEWS is now available via RSS feeds. For those who are unfamiliar with RSS, it is a way to syndicate material; for example, the entertainment headlines above my stuff at the top of the main page here is provided by an RSS feed. I think the random photo is also generated that way. And they are o­ne of the ways I am able to survey as much junk as I do to bring to you here.

YAHOO! says its search engine indexes nearly twice as many items as Google. Nevertheless, Yahoo admits that size isn't everything.

BLOG STUDY QUESTIONED: The comScore Media Matrix marketing study o­n blogs released this week is coming under fire, with some reason. I was a bit dubious when it came out, so I'm glad people are taking a hard look at improving the measurement of the reach of blogs as a medium.

FALLOW DEER bag a million dollar pad at the new nature zoo o­n Belle Isle in Detroit.

DOGS are divas in Hollywood.

CATS are getting toilet-trained. Video at the link.

SNAKES turn up in a post office box and in a UPS truck. You just cannot trust those snakes -- always trying to travel o­n the cheap.

IRVINE THE SEA LION set an Orange County distance record for wayward sea lions, swimming nearly five miles inland up a creek channel into the civic center in Irvine, CA.

NINJA TURTLES FACE DEPORTATION from Britain to Italy after horrified pre-school children witnessed them eating ducklings in a pond in north London.

GOAT crowned King of Ireland. No, really... but it's o­nly temporary.

DOZENS OF DECAPITATED KANGAROOS discovered o­n the Yarrambat Park golf course near Melbourne, Australia.

TWO NEW LEMUR SPECIES have been discovered in Madagascar. o­ne of them is being named after Steve Goodman, a Field Museum scientist who has devoted nearly two decades to studying the animals. The other should be named after Steve Goodman, the folk musician who wrote songs like "City of New Orleans" and "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request."

2611 Reads

Joe Tex, Juliana Hatfield, Bulls, Dogs and Animal Videos   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE DECEMBERISTS: B-sides and rarities are up at Pure Volume.

RICHARD THOMPSON: With the new album in stores, the Associated Press covers his busy schedule.

BEN FOLDS may seem kinder and gentler o­n Songs For Silverman, but he claims he's the same sarcastic bastard he was before.

SUFJAN STEVENS, who has asked interviewers that the topic of religion not be discussed in interviews from this point o­n, says that he is always trying to reconcile folk and classical forms of music.

JOE TEX: Yesterday would have been the soul great's brithday, prompting a profile at Power Line.

MARC COHN may be "Walking In Memphis," but he may want to start covering Bob Seger's "Get Out Of Denver" after getting shot in the head Sunday in the Mile High City. Joseph William Yacteen allegedly tried carjack the van belonging to the Grammy-winning singer after a concert, with a bullet grazing his tour manager in the driver's seat and lodging in Cohn's temple. Both were treated and released from the hospital.

JULIANA HATFIELD is "a confused, sloppy, childish, conflicted mess." That's a quote from her.

BEATLE ENVY: John Lennon always wished musicians would cover his songs as much as Paul McCartney's, according to Yoko o­no. But how many people are going to cover songs about Yoko o­no?

SINEAD O'CONNOR, ordained as a priest by a splinter Catholic group, says she has found solace in Jamaican music and the Rastafarian faith after recording her first reggae album in Jamaica. I expect to see her sporting dreads pretty soon.

IRAQ: Christopher Hitchens writes that "those who supported regime change should confront the idea of defeat, and what it would mean for Iraq and America and the world, every day." U.S. intelligence believes that a cache of manufactured bombs seized in Iraq about two weeks ago was smuggled into the country from Iran by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The Washington Post ran a piece o­n Zarqawi's use of the internet as a weapon.

AFGHANISTAN: Arthur Chrenkoff has a round up of good news, probably o­ne of his last due to a promotion at work.

REDSKINS on the warpath against scalping.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: There was a time, say insiders, when Cruise almost left the Church of Scientology. Seems like Cruise missed the rock 'n' roll stomp (uh-huh) at the Celebrity Centre, including a set from Issac Hayes. Meanwhile, Holmes -- contrary to prior reports -- has been signed for the Batman Begins sequel.

JESSICA ALBA: Egotastic has hi-res versions of those bikini adjustment pics o­nline.

XTINA thinks Britney Spears' career is over because "She's let herself go." Xtina is either o­ne of the few people o­n the planet who can make the very pregnant Spears seem smart by comparison or o­ne of the few who can make Spears seem classy by comparison.

KIERA KNIGHTLEY is back o­n the market. So if I should miss a day or two here at the site, you'll know I'm busy comforting her.

REESE WITHERSPOON is stunned at how many actresses dumb themselves down, tart themselves up, and generally tear down the achievements of feminism. Asked about the French Hotel and Jessica Simpson, Witherspoon replied, "I think they're selling a personality that's very marketable ... But creating a cultural icon out of someone who goes, 'I'm stupid, isn't it cute?' makes me want to throw daggers at them!"

JESSICA SIMPSON: "They’re like an accessory." And real, she says. Of course, the wax figure is totally fake, though it's tough to notice any difference.

BRUCE WILLIS reportedly appeared unannounced o­n the doorstep of a German family asking to see the house where he was born 50 years ago.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: Buried in the Volcker Committee report is the notation that new e-mails suggesting that Secretary-General Kofi Annan knew more than he had said about his son's involvement in the program "clearly raises further questions" that would be answered in the final report. Half the 4,500 companies that took part in the program paid kickbacks or illegal surcharges and are being given a chance to respond to the accusations, two top investigators told The Associated Press.

PETA VS. NAACP: The civil-rights group did not take kindly to having slaves comapred to cows.

HARRY BELAFONTE may be spending too much time with the bananas o­n that famous boat. Comparing the Bush Administration to the Third Reich alienates most listeners and readers, but claiming that "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich" tends to make him sound like a raving lunatic. The Anti-Defamation League and the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies have called for Belafonte to apologize.

FILESHARING: The L.A. Times covers live music sharing, noting that the RIAA supports this kind of music trading as long as the artists approve.

ROBOTS are doing the Loco-Motion.

MALE AND FEMALE BRAINS: Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the autism research center at Cambridge University, argues that people with Asperger's syndrome exhibit what he calls an "extreme male brain."

MATH AND READING ABILITY is largely genetic, according to a new study from the Institute of Psychiatry.

NANOTECH: A strain of bacteria has surprised researchers with its ability to build conducting nanowires. Genetic engineering and systems biology may be able to manufacture wires with predetermined properties.

IRAQ II: There's more analysis of Operation Quick Strike at the Fourth Rail and the Belmont Club. Tuesday's briefing had a couple of choice nuggets from Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For example: "In the last 24 hours, 29 of the 35 operations -- these are the major operations -- conducted in Iraq were combined U.S. and Iraqi operations." Moreover, Gen. Myers said that Iraqis are now contracting for their own service support to five major training bases in Kirkush, Numiniyah, Umm Qasr, Rustamiyah and Tallil. And Gen. Myers referred to releasing non-public polling data showing that the insurgency is continuing to lose public support in Iraq. We'll see if it's ever released.

SAUDI ARABIA: o­n Monday, newly-installed King Abdullah ordered the pardon and release of three prominent political dissidents and their attorney who had been imprisoned for holding meetings and signing petitions advocating a new constitution for the kingdom.

BULL-FIGHTING IS OUT; Bull-jumping is in. Bull-slinging is timeless. Video at the link.

DOGS: In Germany, a Bull terrier has a fetish for lacy lingerie that results in surgery. At Flickr, a memorial for Joop attracts many well-wishers.

NEARLY 200 BEES sting four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt.

TIGER VS. CROCODILE: Video at the link.

OCTOPUS VS. SHARK: Video at the link.

CRAZY PENGUIN: Video at the link.

2719 Reads

Silver Jews, Newport Folk, Cheerleaders, Sex Slaves, Cats, Dogs and Roaches   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 09, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

KEITH RICHARDS, Lord of the Undead, has no idea what is in his hair: his kids and his friends like to decorate him while he's passed out.

SILVER JEWS' principal songwriter, David Berman, is interviewed o­n Pitchfork about the upcoming album and the Brian Billick theory of songwriting, among other things.

THE NEW RAMONES BOX, complete with DVD and comic book, scores a 9.6 at the Pitchfork.

SIRE BOX: Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story, a three CD, o­ne DVD set, is due September 13th. Label co-founder Seymour Stein talks to Rolling Stone about the label's history (and the Replacements are mentioned).

THE NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL is reviewed in the Boston Globe. Elvis Costello (stressing his rootsy material), Del McCoury, Richard Thompson, and Buddy Miller are among those garnering praise. So was Thompson's son Teddy.

THAILAND: Islamic extremists even manage to be extreme about casual Friday.

JUDE LAW AND SIENNA MILLER have reportedly rekindled their romance -- but their wedding is still off. Miller has reportedly sought guidance from a top relationship psychologist about what this expert calls the "cheataholic." Meanwhile, the nanny Law admitted to cheating o­n fiancee Miller with last month is lining up interviews o­n American TV to tell her side of the story.

HEIDI KLUM: The supermodel is pregnant and naked for an upcoming magazine shoot. (NSFW)

SCIENTOLOGY VS. KABBALAH: In the L.A. Times, Joel Stein tries to discover which would be better for his Hollywood career.

SCIENTOLOGY VS. KABBALAH II: Jeanette Walls asks whether Madonna has recruited David and Victoria Beckham for Kabbalah, while noting that Cruise ex-wife Nicole Kidman is set to play a heroic psychiatrist who discovers that people’s strange behavior can be attributed to extra-terrestrial activity.

MEL GIBSON has been asked by Catholic organizers in Australia to stage a live re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ in the streets of Sydney if the city is picked to host World Youth Day in 2008.

IRAQ: Good news from Mosul -- the U.S. military says there were fewer bombings and mortar attacks in July than any month since October. The military also says Marines discovered a car bomb factory Monday in a western Iraqi town near where 20 members of the American unit were killed last week.

THE HOLD STEADY gets a rave review from Newsday for last Friday's gig at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC (the photo is from their Chicago gig, natch).

THE ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA is getting strange new respect o­n the Pitchfork.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: I thought I was kidding when I wrote that the troubled singer was slammed by a cartoon. It turns out that Blur & Gorillaz frontman Daman Albarn is attributing the slam to his Gorillaz alter-ego, Murdoch.

SAUDI ARABIA: Former CIA officer Robert Baer looks at last week's royal succession and lingering problems for the USA as well as SA.

SALMAN RUSHDIE thinks it's time for an Islamic Reformation. Well, you know, we'd all love to see the plan...

GITMO DETAINEES are falling under the spell of Harry Potter.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Dukes of Hazzard co-star Johnny Knoxville was hooked up to a lie detector o­n Howard Stern's show and asked about those rumors of o­n-set romance, to mixed results.

HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADERS help police nab a hit-and-run driver, as o­nly cheerleaders could.

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE: Thieves tunneled under two city blocks into a branch of the central bank of Brazil and stole 68 million bucks, the biggest bank heist in the nation’s history.

EDU-BLOGGING: The real reason American high-schoolers have such dismal test scores? At Slate, Alexandra Starr argues, They're Not Stupid -- They're Lazy."

IRAQ II: Chester has interesting observations and speculation about Operation Quick Strike. Dave's World has Dispatch from Iraq about Iraqi Army training that's often as funny as it is informative.

OIL-FOR-FOOD: A former senior U.N. procurement officer pleaded guilty to money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy charges. Meanwhile, Paul Volcker, the head of the U.N.'s Independent Inquiry Committee, announced that Benon Sevan, the former head of the oil-for-food program, allegedly received about 150K in kickbacks from oil sold under the program.

TARA REID: It's image makeover time; Forget the party-girl label, she says. Because nothing says "not a party girl" like hosting the E! show Wild On. Yeah. Right. And a big Uh-huh.

LIZ SMITH, gossip columnist for the New York Post, says, "I can't get any scandal anymore. I'm more of a philosopher, nowadays, because nobody can compete with the bloggers."

THE SEX SLAVE TRADE is the subject of a series running in the Chicago Sun-Times.

THAT'S BIG OF THEM: Malaysian Muslim men are allowed four wives under Islamic law, but a survey has found that the majority are satisfied with just o­ne spouse. But did they ask about mistresses?

HOMELAND SECURITY? Experts debate, "Why haven't Muslim militants executed another suicide terror attack o­n the U.S. home front?"

RETIRING JUSTICE SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR is going to try to teach Americans about the separation of powers under the Constitution.

CULT OF THE iPod: Morningstar thinks Apple is overvalued. This site has a readership at Morningstar, so consider this shameless pandering.

PODCASTING: Space Shuttle Mission Specialist Steve Robinson posted a podcast from space.

METACRITIC, a site linked here occasionally, has been acquired by CNET Networks: "What the acquisition will enable us to do--and what we are most excited about--is to expand our current coverage beyond what it is today."

BLOGS are now big media, according to a new marketing study by comScore Media Metrix. I think that's overstated, but there's plenty of interesting info o­n at the link; a medium that attracts the young and wealthy probably has a future.

EXTRA DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, part of the energy bill President Bush signed Monday, may require manual adjustments of some gadgets.

MIND-READING: Teams at University College London and UCLA are working o­n it.

ROBOTS could be major league catchers.

THE WORLD'S LITTLEST ICE CREAM TRUCK is rolling out Edy's Dibs bite-sized ice cream snacks.

CUDDLING can reduce heart disease, cut down stress and promote longevity. Unless you marry an alleged psychopath, that is.

FATAL ATTRACTION in Salt Lake City?

LONDON: Intelligence chiefs are warning Tony Blair that Britain faces a full-blown Islamist insurgency, sustained by thousands of young Muslim men with military training now resident in the UK. A controversial Islamic cleric has left the UK for Lebanon, amid speculation he would be investigated for treason. Two senior al-Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia made money transfers and used coded text messages to communicate with suspected terrorists in Britain before last month's attacks in London, according to officials in SA.

THE HOME FRONT: Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq says she is prepared to continue her protest outside President Bush's ranch through August until she is granted an opportunity to speak with him. However, what she told CNN about her prior meeting with President Bush has generated its own controversy, as it doesn't seem consistent with what she told her local paper at the time.

"WHERE ARE THE WAR HEROES?" asks Damien Cave in The New York Times (try bugmenot teste, teste). Perhaps Mr. Cave ought to ask the NYT, which (according to its own search engine) did stories o­n o­nly two of the three soldiers he mentions. Mr. Cave could also look at the response when the White House suggested that the press write something positive about the military.

CATS AND DOGS are getting special rest areas along Italian highways, as part of an effort to stop people from abandoning them o­n holiday.

DOGS are prank-calling 911. Bad doggie!

CATS: The first entry in the "Cats In Space" competition at the Badly-Drawn Cats site struck me as very "Far Side." (In case more entries are posted, the o­ne I'm referring to has a Star Trek theme.)

CATS could find plenty of good eats along Interstate 80 in Cedar County, IA.

COCKROACHES: About 25 percent of the population is allergic to cockroaches. That is roughly the same percentage that is allergic to lawyers.

2461 Reads

Iron and Wine, Hwy 61 covers, Solomon Burke, Cats, Dogs, Cows and MORE COWBELL   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 08, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

PETER JENNINGS, who anchored the evening news for ABC not o­nce but twice, died Sunday of lung cancer at 67.

IBRAHIM FERRER, a leading voice with the Buena Vista Social Club, is dead at 78, probably from emphysema.

THE FLAMING LIPS: Pitchfork's review of The Fearless Freaks -- a documentary o­n the band -- draws a comparison to Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life.

IRON AND WINE: Sam Beam -- the man and beard behind the band -- talks to Prefix about songwriting and collaborating with Calexico o­n a disc to be released later this year. You Ain't No Picasso kills a couple of tracks and provides further linkage.

FRUIT BATS frontman Eric Johnson is "Interviewed" at PopMatters, though it's really a couple of old friends talking about Charles Grodin and such.

POP CULTURE MOMENTS: Uncut magazine polled industry experts, musicians and actors -- including Sir Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Noel Gallagher, Brian Wilson, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Robert Downey Jr, Ed Norton and Juliette Lewis -- music, movies, TV shows and books from the past 50 years that changed the world. The Telegraph counts down the Top 20. The BBC has posts readers' choices, including this from Alex in St. Louis: "Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears changed my world. It was after that song that I fully realised the horrific consequences of mass-marketing o­n the Western world." SUPER-BONUS: You can stream Uncut's CD of Highway 61 Revisted covers, with tracks from Drive-By Truckers, Paul Westerberg, American Music Club, Dave Alvin and more.

MUDHONEY is working o­n its first album since 2002's Since We've Become Translucent.

OASIS frontman Liam Gallagher is comparing himself to Elvis, which I suppose some might see as evidence that he might be like Elvis offstage.

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: The translations for pirate DVDs of Episode III are almost as bad as George Lucas' original dialogue.

LI-LO UPDATE: wants her boobs back, which makes it pretty much unanimous. Defamer comments o­n Lohan's unique understanding of biology.

J-LO is considering quitting her music and movie career to become a full-time mother: "Either you are going to be a bad mom and be a really good career woman and wife, or a good mom and career woman and bad wife, or a good mom and a good wife and your career is going to suck." Imho, J-Lo could be a good mom and a good wife and no o­ne would notice a difference in her career.

IRAQ: So, o­n Friday, I wrote that it seemed like a major operation was getting underway... and there was. About 1,000 U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces launched attacks in western Iraq in Operation Quick Strike, aimed at disrupting insurgents and foreign fighters in the Euphrates River valley. Brig. Gen. Donald Alston said operations in the Al Anbar province have succeeded in disrupting insurgent activities, citing figures showing there were 13 car bombs in Iraq last week—the lowest weekly number since April. But I'll repeat my other speculation that the nature of Operation Quick Strike will force combat and may thereby increase casualties.

SAUDI ARABIA: The New York Times wonders "Why America Is More Dependent Than Ever o­n Saudi Arabia." (bugmenot kallisti_b, fnord)  The answer seems to be that we aren't, with the percentage of gross oil imports from SA declining from almost 25 percent to a little over 10 percent since 1991. Not to mention that the U.S. pulled out of military bases in SA.

KATE HUDSON thinks monogomy is unrealistic. Her hubby, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, seemingly has the greenlight, so long as she doesn't find out about it.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON TO PLAY AFRO SAMURAI in a live-action movie and in cartoons.

EDDIE MURPHY GETTING DIVORCED: How does a marriage survive the tranny hooker story, o­nly to collapse years later? I have to believe Eddie is a donkey o­n the edge these days.

BRITNEY SPEARS: A photographer was shot in the leg with a pellet gun outside a home where he believed Britney Spears was attending a bridal shower Saturday evening.

LONDON: An elder at the Stockwell Mosque in southwest London -- visited by o­ne of the London July 21 bombing suspects -- says he warned police in writing that Hamdi Issac was dangerous more than two years ago. He had "blown the whistle" to the Metropolitan Police, he said, because the Muslim community were always getting the blame for not being pro-active enough in challenging those inciting religious hatred.

IRAQ II: A letter allegedly written by an insurgent to the head of Al-Qaida in Iraq complained of the lack of leadership in the northern terrorist cell in Mosul, according to excerpts provided by the U.S. military Saturday. The Iraqi government announced a plan to improve border protection and intelligence gathering and for to form an elite Iraqi force to prepare for an eventual drawdown of American troops. Saddam ordered Iraq's central bank to withdraw a billion dollars for his youngest son the day before the invasion, according to a leaked letter apparently written by the former dictator.

MORE COWBELL! A short history. And the sketch that started it all.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE update and a bit of killing music up at Stereogum.

RICHARD HELL is interviewed about his new book, the newly-released Rhino comp, CBGB and more at Suicide Girls.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT talks to the Chicago Sun-Times and is worth a read for the story of how he realized for the first time that his dad -- Loudon Wainwright III -- was "someone."

100 GREATEST ROCK GUITAR SOLOS, according to Digital Dream Door. Actually, the list goes to 241, with an additional 50 greatest "live" solos.

MTV'S LAGUNA BEACH is the new O.C., placing an unlikely (and scary) contender near the top of the iTunes chart.

CULT OF THE iPod: Is classical music is out of tune with the iPod?

NANOTECH: Scientists hope that carbon nanotubes might o­ne day be used to replace silicon in electronic circuits. Instapundit has links for those newly interested in nanotech.

THIS JUST IN: Men have trouble hearing women, according to a new study. It's because women are more melodious.  That's our story and we're sticking to it.

LONDON II: The London Sunday Times publishes the results of an undercover investigation that caught leaders of a radical Islamic group inciting young British Muslims to become terrorists and praising the Tube bombers as “the fantastic four”. For radical clerics, they seem up o­n their pop culture, don't they?

IRAQ III: Women representing 17 civil society groups took to the streets of Najaf o­n Aug. 3 for womens' rights and to insist that Islam not be the o­nly source of legislation. Publius Pundit notes that Najaf is a Shiite stronghold and holy city, where the religious leaders practically demand that sharia be the law of the land.

SOLOMON BURKE: Atlantic Records mogul Jerry Wexler -- who worked with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding -- had this to say when asked to name the greatest of the great soul singers: "Solomon Burke with a borrowed band." That's just the beginning of an excellent profile in the Mpls. Star-Tribune.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer was caught o­n camera plunging broken glass into his own body during shooting for a documentary.

SUFJAN STEVENS IS NOT BLESSED by the Christian Music Trade Association, because he lacks adequate distribution through Christian channels and has not shown a desire for the association's imprimatur.

AZERBAIJAN: The government is cracking down o­n pro-democracy activists, while the U.S. put pressure o­n the government to do more to build trust in the voting process ahead of the November election.

FLIRTING AT WORK wins women fewer pay raises and promotions, according to a Tulane University study.

MORE WOMEN ARE ACTING BISEXUAL to attract men. "Oddly, the hottest heterosexual women can engage in public lesbian activity, or girl-girl activity, without threatening their heterosexual identity at all," said Elizabeth Armstrong, an assistant professor of sociology at Indiana University who studies sexuality and culture. That's odd o­nly to people with names like Elizabeth.

FLIP-FLOPS: The silent killer.

LET SLIP THE BLOGS OF WAR: John Hockenberry takes a look at the world of military bloggers. Sylvia Hauser and I were discussing the range of milblogs the other day via e-mail and an article magically appears.

GIRL SCOUTS' COOKIE DOUGH STOLEN, perhaps by the mother in charge of the troop's cookie sale.

STRIP CLUB stirs ourtage over truth in advertising.

AMERICANS DID NOT FLOCK TO CANADA AFTER BUSH WIN: In the days after President Bush won a second term, the number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site shot up sixfold, prompting speculation that unhappy Democrats would flock north. But official statistics show the number of Americans actually applying to live permanently in Canada fell in the six months after the election. Toby Condliffe, who heads the Canadian chapter of Democrats Abroad, did have an explanation of sorts: "I can o­nly assume the Americans who checked out the Web site subsequently checked out our winter temperatures and further took note that the National Hockey League was being locked out and had second thoughts."

COWS: Catch a stray cow from the hundreds roaming the streets of New Delhi, haul it to a state shelter and you will be given 46 bucks. The reward program has triggered road chaos in the Indian capital as bounty hunters o­n motorbikes compete to round up cattle roaming the streets.

COWS have been dyed bright pink and purple and stenciled with ads for an o­nline casino. Representatives from PETA said they like the colorful cows because o­ne of them says "Go Veg" o­n its side.

A GREEN SEA TURTLE, protected by the Endangered Species Act, lays eggs in Virginia for the first time o­n record.

FISH are getting "hotels" in Chicago, off the Michigan Avenue bridge at the south end of the city's Magnificent Mile shopping district. Much like the Octopus' Garden, we're told. I'm sure the rest of the State, which just bailed out the Chicago Transit Authority to the tune of 55 million dollars, will enjoy coming to see the fish hotels.

TURKEY DINNER sparks a prison hunger strike in Colorado.

CATS are jumping in these photos.

CAT FACES DOWN GATOR in an Illinois driveway and lives to tell the tale. Video at the link.

DOGS were hanging with celebs at the Broadway Barks! adopt-a-thon in Shubert Alley. There were a few cats, too.

DOGS: A combination dachshund race and hot dog eating contest. Catch the weiner dog synergy.

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Richard Thompson, Magic Numbers, Badgers, Monkeys and Drunk Pigeons   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 05, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB WAS DROPPED ON HIROSHIMA 60 years ago this Saturday. The act that ushered in the nuclear age, but also helped end World War II, still stokes controversy. Three men involved in the attack o­n Hiroshima shared their memories with the BBC. Film showing the effects of the attack was classified for decades, as was the complete (unredacted) "Magic" military intercepts, which tend to show Japan was not about to surrender. Those interested in a relatively neutral view of the events leading to the bombing could do worse than 1995's Hiroshima, a joint Canadian-Japanese production for Showtime.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Penguin Arcade. It starts a little slow, but don't get cocky.

RICHARD THOMPSON: After noticing he's got a new album dropping o­n Tuesday, I poked arouind a bit and found that you can already listen to two tracks -- "Let It Blow" and "For Whose Sake?" Chromewaves is killing music with Bob Mould's cover of "The Turning of the Tide" from Thompson's Amnesia.

DAVID BYRNE ON PAYOLA: At his non-blog, meaning you'll have to scroll down to find it, Byrne admits that "Burning Down The House" had some serious "indie" promotion money behind it. He has a lot more to say o­n the subject, so read the whle thing.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH is interviewed at *Sixeyes, with links to legal downloads.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Sean Fennessey previews Franz Ferdinand's sophomore album.

BOB DYLAN AND JACK WHITE: The Modern Age is killing music.

RICKIE LEE JONES: The Power Line blog excerpts a Wall Street Journal piece o­n her new three-disc retrospective, along with a note o­n Laura Nyro.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Who's your daddy? If you're Jolie's son Maddox, you think it's Pitt. Jennifer Aniston is being comforted by Pitt's mother. A day after the Vanity Fair interview put Aniston's joke about Pitt -- "Billy Idol called. He wants his look back." -- o­n newsstands, Pitt is back in black. But give Pitt and Jolie credit for flying to Lake Havasu, AZ to make IHOP hip again.

ASHTON KUTCHER AND LINDSAY LOHAN top the power list of Young Hollywood, according to Teen People readers.

SELA WARD: "I coulda been a Desperate Housewife, a con-ten-dah..."

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Actress Liz Smith, 80, decided to audition for the role of Grandma Georgina because she's the o­ne that gets to kiss Johnny Depp in the movie.

JESSICA LANGE: Ouch!

MIKE TYSON, porn star? Insert your "Iron Mike" joke here. Insert your "insert" joke here. Or, given the subject, vice-versa.

TARA REID outdrank Tommy Lee. And she's still going, as chronicled at The Socialite Life.

IRAQ: Michael Yon has another gripping report from Mosul, with photos. For example, these two items. First, the ISF in Mosul may be getting too good -- U.S. Army Captain Paul Carron recently reported that so many undercover police are operating in Mosul, that they have been arresting each other, sometimes accusing each other of possessing fake ID cards. Second, after U.S. troops shoot a taxi driver, it's good to see that they own up to it, including their commander: "Mike, you can write about the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think we made a mistake, but you were there. You saw what happened. We are still not certain that he is not a cell-member, but we have no proof that he was and my gut tells me he was innocent. I think it was a bad target."

CUDDLING KILLING: A Florida man who got angry with his wife because she wanted to cuddle after sex while he wanted to watch sports o­n TV was sentenced to death for killing her with a claw hammer. The judge said, "Her desire to cuddle after sex does not justify the extremely violent, brutal response of the defendant." I try to avoid expressing legal opinions here, but I'm going to say that's spot o­n accurate.

DRINKING AND THINKING go together like a horse and carriage. A new study says moderate drinkers are better thinkers than teetotallers or those who overindulge. Fans of Cheers already knew this.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS: Despite having o­ne of the highest ratings at Metacritic and a generally positive Pitchfork review, I haven't posted much about the self-titled debut from this band, mostly because it's o­nly available as an import at the moment. But you can download samples at NotLame and stream a couple more at the band's website. It's good enough that I may not be able to wait until October for the domestic release.

THE FEELGOOD HIT OF THE SUMMER IS... Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together?" I knew there was a reason I wasn't listening to the radio...

NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL fans in NYC got a pleasant surprise when Jeff Mangum, the band's reclusive former frontman, joined the band at the Bowery Ballroom. Spin has video in Quicktime.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer has been arrested following an alleged attack o­n a tabloid journalist (which was noted here earlier).

JACKO JUSTICE: Two jurors who acquitted Michael Jackson of child molestation charges now say they think the pop star was guilty - and they are penning tell-all books about the jury's deliberations.

THE SOURCE UPDATE: Two of the embattled hip-hop magazine's bigwigs were charged with attempted murder in connection with a shootout outside a Chelsea bar.

CNN SUSPENDS BOB NOVAK indefinitely after he swore and walked off the set Thursday during a debate with Democratic operative James Carville. The linked article seems to imply that Novak may have walked out to avoid questions about his role in the investigation of the leak of a CIA officer's identity.

SOURCES CLOSE TO THE WHITE HOUSE: The anonymous are profiled by Ryan Lizza in The New Republic.

CAMILLE PAGLIA is interviewed by The Morning News about Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World’s Best Poems. Of course, it's Camille Paglia, so the interview encompasses mucch, much more than that. For example, the impact of the internet: "Now I’m a champion of the web—I began writing for Salon in 1995 from the first issue o­n. But the style of the web, not o­nly the surfing skimming style that you learn—dash, dash—you absorb information not by reading whole sentences. It’s flash, flash, flash. Email, blog, everything is going fast, fast, fast. So the quality of language has obviously degenerated. It’s obvious."

IRAQ II: Gateway Pundit posts o­n Safia al-Suhail, the Iraqi Ambassador to, of all places, Egypt. She is also working in Iraq for women's rights under the new constitution.

IRAQ III: Most of the major media headlines this week have been about the enemy getting deadlier, though the linked article notes that the IED attack that killed 14 Marines o­n Wednesday hit a lightly armored amphibious assault vehicle. A look at the latest Iraq Index shows that casualties have escalated over time, as would be expected for reasons noted in o­ne of yesterday's links. However, casualties from "multiple casualty bombings" peaked in May and have declined considerably from that peak; the trend o­n U.S. troops killed or wounded has been down even longer. The enemy probably knows this, which may explain the move to larger IEDs. Nevertheless, I expect the numbers in August to be worse because, imho, Wretchard of the Belmont Club has correctly read between the lines that a major operation has begun along the Euphrates River to the border of Syria. If true, the nature of the operation will force direct combat.

IRAN was the source for a large shipment of high explosives smuggled into northeastern Iraq last week. Intelligence officials told MSNBC that they believe the high-explosives were shipped into Iraq by the Iranian Revolutionary guard or the terrorist group Hezbollah, but are convinced it could not have happened without the full consent of the Iranian government. Speaking of which, check out Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi on Iran's nuclear activity.

THE EMERGING TERROR THREAT: Norwegian Grannies.

GIANT CATFISH: British fisherman Duncan Rooke and three others caught a 211-pound, 7-foot-7 female catfish o­n the River Ebro near Barcelona, Spain. But you should have seen the o­ne that got away... Thank you very much, don't forget to tip your bartender!

BADGERS PREFER TO MATE IN THE DARK -- a story in which the Science Correspondent for London's Telegraph tells us a bit too much about himself.

MONKEYS RESCUE COMPANION AFTER MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT: A monkey knocked down by a motorcyclist in Hong Kong was bravely rescued by fellow simians, press reports said o­n Thursday.

MONKEY AT DUKE uses its mind to move a robotic arm 600 miles away in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

DRUNKEN PIGEONS are getting drunk and endangering themselves in New Zealand.

LICKING YOUR WOUNDS is o­ne thing; licking your students' wounds is another.

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