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New Releases, the Infinite Mixtape, BSS, and a Panda Birthday   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THOM YORKE gets pub from the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Village Voice for The Eraser, which Rolling Stone gives four stars, but which gets a mere 6.6 o­n the Pitchfork. Its currently scoring a 77 via Metacritic. The whole album is streaming from the AOL link below. You can also see him perform an unplugged version of "The Clock" o­n the Henry Rollins Show via YouTube.

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Thom Yorke, Sufjan Stevens, Phish, James Figurine (a/k/a Jimmy Tamborello of the Postal Service), Soul Asylum, Jeus & Mary Chain (re-releases), Ramblin' Jack Elliot and more are streaming in full from AOL Music. The Hellacopters move further down the pop path with Rock & Roll Is Dead. Killing Joke returns with Hosannas from the Basements of Hell. Shapes and Sizes puts out a self-titled debut o­n Sufjan's Asthmatic Kitty label.

PITCHFORK LAUNCHES THE INFINITE MIXTAPE: Pitchfork starts an "infinite mixtape" with "21 free MP3s that've kicked our collective a** in 2006 so far," with more to follow every few days.

ONEIDA: In the Village Voice, Chuck Eddy profiles Brooklyn's weirdest and finest, now in their thirties. You can get a flavor of the band -- including some from the band's ne Happy New Year -- via the Hype Machine.

SON VOLT frontman Jay Farrar talks to the Edmonton Sun about the difference between playing solo versus with the band and says Son Volt 2.0 has enough recorded for a new album slated for next Spring.

BAD VIBRATIONS: The UK's Daily Mail offers a primer o­n the Brian Wilson saga for the uninitiated.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE will be taking time off after the band's Fall tour. BSS mastermind Kevin Drew told Billboard: "Things kept getting bigger and changing. But we've had an incredible, incredible, incredible run. It's something that can't be taken for granted. If we kept going (without a break), we'd be taking it for granted. Next time, we'd be doing college tours for money. That sucks the music out of you. Next thing you know, you're trying to get teenagers to buy your albums." The picture is from the video for "Almost Crimes." You can see 'em live o­n "Superconnected" from the Ottawa Folk Festival and "Fire Eye'd Boy," which somehow escaped the network's eye.

CBGB: September 30 will mark the end for New York City's famous punk rock venue, though it may be the club of the undead in Vegas. Owner Hilly Kristal is taking the bars, the stage and "the urinal that Joey (Ramone) p****d in" to Sin City.

MATES OF STATE: The husband-wife duo talk to the Sydney Morning Herald about their creeping success and join the crowd of bands adding Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" to their set list.

OVERCOMING TWANG-PHOBIA: PopMatters offers a guide to sneaking in the twang: "Straight off, admit to yourself that you probably won't get anyone to replace their Celine Dion or Sting CDs with Hank Williams or Jason & the Scorchers. If they're that far gone, there's really no helping them anyway. So be realistic, and merely hope that your friends will begin accepting twang with the same tolerance with which they might greet their jovial but slightly off-kilter uncle at Thanksgiving..."

THE... WHO? Roger Daltrey and the band reportedly had to produce ID to get back stage at the Oxegen festival. I just hope they didn't wake up in a Soho doorway.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: TMZ has posted a copy of the official birth certificate of the elusive Tom-Kitten, but Jossip asserts that it "might as well have come from a document purveyor in Chinatown." MSNBC's Jeanette Walls relays speculation that nobody's seen Suri Cruise yet because she's being raised in accord with Scientology. The same column has speculation that Cruise is being overcome by his Scientology training and that’s leading to a paranoid world view that is being reflected in his behavior with the baby.

PIRATES STORM THE WORLD: Not content with shattering US B.O. records, Dead Man's Chest reportedly broke records in many overseas markets, raking in 46.6 million in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K. and Uruguay. China, however, has banned the flick o­n the grounds of supernatural content or its portrayal of human cannibalism (though it's not actually shown), or it had not been submitted to the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television for approval, So it remains to be seen whether the Chinese will have to see Pirates o­n the pirated DVDs for which the country is famous. depending o­n your source.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY could tell you about Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, but she'd have to kill you. As it is, MTV News quasi-spoils part of Dead Man's Chest in the article.

MICKEY ROURKE cut his little finger off because he thought he "didn't want it." So there was less acting in Sin City than I thought.

MATTHEW McCONAGHEY, following his three-day bender in Costa Rica, is videotaped bumming money from the paparazzi to buy some sandwiches o­n a bike ride with Lance Armstrong.

ALICE COOPER and CORBIN BERNSEN helped 26-year-old Kyle MacDonald trade o­ne red paper clip all the way up to a house.

LINDSAY LOHAN has been caught canoodling with Harry Morton, scion of the Morton's steak-house chain, CEO/founder of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and founder of the fabulously named Pink Taco chain. Yet other reports have her buying a home in the UK after falling for Welsh actor Rhys Ifans. Click the second link if you do not realize how bizzare that story is.

KATE WINSLET has the hottest bod in Britain, according to a survey of female magazine readers.

JESSICA SIMPSON gets a haiku for her 26th birthday.

BRADGELINA: Jolie is going back to work as the voice of Tigress in the DreamWorks animated feature Kung Fu Panda

THE TOP TEN UNFINISHED FILMS of all time, according to Film Threat.

SIENNA MILLER: Engaged to Jude Law again, or caught canoodling with new co-star James Franco?

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Denise Richards has a near wardobe-malfunction pumping gas. Video at the link.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed writes o­n the rising violence in Baghdad, which he does not consider to be sectarian. The typical report o­n the violence does not mention that it occurred in the wake of operations against the the Mehdi Army militia noted here yesterday. Michael Yon, who has blogged from Iraq and Afghanistan, writes: "Please do not let your respective media delude you: we are winning in Iraq, but we are going to lose increasing numbers of people in Afghanistan."

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: Rod Nordland, who served as Newsweek’s Baghdad bureau chief for two years, tells Foreign Policy that it's much worse in Iraq than is reported. Foreign Policy did not ask what Nordland is not reporting. Nordland claims that "the administration does a great job of managing the news," but the example he gives arguably shows the exact opposite. Nordland says, "It is certainly hard to hide the fact that in the third year of this war, Iraqis are o­nly getting electricity for about 5 to 10 percent of the day." Acually, anyone with internet access can discover that Baghdad is getting four to six hours off the grid per day, which is 16 to 25 percent of the day -- roughly three times better than Nordland's claim. Ralph Peters (who has called for Rumsfeld's resignation) recently reported from Baghdad that for all its problems, the electrical grid is in far better shape than it was under Saddam, and that if you're in almost any city outside Baghdad, you're far better off today than you were three years ago. Nordland says that "Living conditions have gotten so much worse, violence is at an even higher tempo, and the country is o­n the verge of civil war." As if the US press has not reported this. Nordland is asked, "How often do you travel outside of the Green Zone?" He dodges that question, natch. The Green Zone is practically ground zero of the war, in part because jihadis understand they need the media to transmit bad news to advance their cause. That his view is colored by being hunkered down in the Green Zone does not seem to have occurred to him. Instead, it is the troops there that are "victims of their own propaganda." He then gives an example regarding Taji that reveals a complete ignorance of the process by which the Coalition is gradually increasing the capabilities of the Iraqi forces. He also claims that "individual reporters have been blacklisted because the military wasn’t happy with the work they had done o­n embed," though he gives no names, much like the Bizzaro World version of Joe McCarthy.

IRAN: Chief UN nuclear inspector Mohammad ElBaradei effectively fired his lead Iran investigator this spring at the request of the Iranians, according to a new report in the German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag.

TAI SHAN celebrates his first birthday with a giant fruitsicle at the National Zoo.

MEDITERRANEAN GECKO discovered in Kansas. And I just got a great deal o­n car insurance.

FROGS are looking for about £200 million, just to tide them over for awhile, yknow?

SPANISH DONKEYS may soon be subjected to singer James Blunt. Where is PETA when it's really needed?

A FUGITIVE OTTER who had spent almost a month o­n the run, eating the finest food and frolicking in clear public sight o­n the beach of o­ne of New Zealand's swankiest suburbs, has been recaptured by desperate authorities.

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Fountains of Wayne, Guillemots, Hollies, and War Animals   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 10, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

IT MUST BE SUMMER if World Party, Fountains of Wayne and Liz Phair are playing a free triple-bill at Taste of Chicago. And I was able to juggle my schedule at the last-minute o­n Saturday to go see it (though I now need to figure out how put the front license plate o­n my car). I couldn't stay for Ms. Phair, but World Party did an interesting set as a trio -- Karl Wallenger o­n guitar and piano, with a second guitar and fiddle or mandolin. Wallenger is hoping to re-setablish a beachhead here in the States with a fall tour, so he started with "Put the Message in the Box" and "Is It Like Today." Sadly, no "Way Down Now," which was apparently too rocking. Nice versions of "Sweet Soul Dream" (extra-countrified) and "Love Street" though. Fountains of Wayne did their outdoor thing -- always a bit more ragged than their club gigs -- starting with "Bought For A Song." (When they play a fest, I always hope for Adam's "That Thing You Do," but no such luck.) No 70s kitch medley in the middle of "Radiation Vibe," which has been known to morph into The Cars' "Let's Go," Foreigner's "Double Vision," Kansas' "Carry o­n, My Wayward Son" and Steve Miller's "Swingtown" o­n occasion. But still a great summer song. Time constraints also caused them to drop "Denise" and "Red Dragon Tattoo" from the set, which was a shame. They brought out the roadies to play percussion o­n "Hey Julie" and introduced "Mexican Wine" by noting that it -- like many of their songs -- is about drinking. Natch, they also cranked out "Stacy's Mom" for the masses. I was slightly surprised they did "Bright Future In Sales" for an all-ages fest date, but I suppose if you're opening for Liz Phair, you figure a little profanity will slide by. BTW, it seems that FoW are streaming their theme to the upcoming Monster House movie from the band's MySpace page, which also boasts their cover of "Bus Stop" from when they played the Hollies o­n NBC's American Dreams.

PENNY LANE: The barber shaves another customer and Liverpool pols say they will modify a proposal to rename streets linked to the slave trade after realizing the road immortalized by the 1967 Beatles song was o­ne of them.

GUILLEMOTS are getting plenty of print at home in the UK from the Independent, the Guardian and even the Sun. You can hear their decidedly different, vaguely electronic and vaguely psychedelic sounds via the Hype Machine.

ARCTIC MONKEYS: Departed bassist Andy Nicholson wants back in the ban after "exhaustion" sidelined him from the last US tour.

MUSIC BLOGS ARE NOT RADIO: The Washington Post reports that: "Despite numerous attempts, no o­ne o­nline has found a way to turn the hat trick that sustained radio through six decades of dominance of the music industry." The story doesn't tell you what those attempts are, and I don't think most music bloggers aspire to be like radio. But the story does give props to the Hype Machine which is a very good thing. But when Marc Fisher writes that "Smash-Up Derby's rendition of the Talking Heads' 'Burning Down the House' sung over Franz Ferdinand's 'Take Me Out' is the best creative abuse of music I've heard since I learned that Foreigner's 1970s pop hits gained tremendous value when played at 45 rpm rather than 33," the paper neglected to provide the link.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Finding Fountains of Wayne's cover of "Bus Stop" put me in a Hollies mood, so here's a triple-play from Beat Beat Beat of "On A Carousel", "Bus Stop" and "Stop! Stop! Stop!" There's also a trippy lip-synch of "Carrie-Anne" and a synch of "Look Through Any Window" which finds the band strangely surrounded by female referees and giant figures of US football players for reasons unexplained.

SUFJAN STEVENS has announced a fall tour with strings and horns to put his old material "in a new symphonic context." London's Independent likes The Avalanche. The Guardian likes it, too. There's just oodles of Sufjan streaming via the Hype Machine.

NO DEPRESSION: The Village Voice explains why alt-country is like pornography. Who knew?

YACHT ROCK: After original Pate drummer Ron Hahm tipped us to the Channel 101 series last month, Chicagoist ran a post in conjunction with a showing and personal appearance at the Empty Bottle tonight. If Quicktime ain't your bag, you can also find Yacht Rock o­n YouTube. Ron will be glad to hear that I just heard an interview with the co-creator, who said he went to see Michael McDonald and Steely Dan this weekend and that they came out for the final part of the gig wearing captain's hats.

KEEF RICHARDS, LORD OF THE UNDEAD, plays o­n a Lutheran CD, My Soul is a Witness -- a collection of African-American spirituals released without fanfare last month.

OKKERVIL RIVER ubermensch Will Scheff talks about his love-hate relationship with music file-sharing: "The first good job I ever had was at the website Audiogalaxy.com, where I drew a respectable salary for writing music reviews and editorials as a kind of not-very-convincing camouflage for what was at the time o­ne of the world’s largest file-sharing networks..." You can find a selection of Okkervil's dark, folk-tinged tunes o­n the Hype Machine. My pick to click remains "For Real."

JAMES BROWN: I hadn't thought about it, but I guess the Godfather of Soul would need an old school hair-dryer.

ARRR, MATEY! Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest sails into port with 132 million bucks and broke all sorts of records in the process. It beat Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith's record opening day. It beat Spider-Man's opening weekend. It set a record by breaking 100 million in two days. The Dead Man's Chest was full of Kryptonite, too, as Superman Returns plunged 58 percent to a distant second place. The Devil Wears Prada held up fairly well, taking in another 15 million. Click, Cars and Nacho Libre round out your top five.

TURN-AROUND: Meanwhile, the L.A. Times reports o­n studios pulling the plug o­n star vehicles as they exceed the 100 million budget mark.

THE McCARTNEYS: London's Mirror has heard a secretly taped phone call between Sir Paul and his daughter Stella, in which she launched "a ferocious attack o­n the 64-year-old star's estranged wife Heather Mills." The Mirror claims that it is not known who taped the call, but someone will get around to blaming Karl Rove, I'm sure. Mills is receiving support from Yoko, though I'm not sure that's good PR.

MADONNA may be giving up Kabbalah, supposedly because of the financial burden and the effect her strong beliefs have had o­n her relationship with husband Guy Ritchie. Other reports seem to run to the contrary. Madge is also rumored to be pitching a bondage scene to Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan.

JESSICA SIMPSON, however, just had a risque photo shoot vetoed by her mother (her creepy dad-manager was cool with it), so I'm thinking there might be a hitch in Madge's plan. ALSO: It seems that Zach Braff may be interested in the pneumatic blonde, which sounds odd until you remember that he just broke up with Mandy Moore.

LINDSAY LOHAN has chosen "Rose" as her Kabbalah name, apparently unaware that Madge may be ditching the Kabbalah Center.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The South Park episode "Trapped In The Closet," which Cruise was rumored to have gotten yanked from a re-run, is up for an Emmy.

PAM ANDERSON: topless pics of the Baywatch bombshell have surfaced o­n the Internet as a public service to discourage women from having implants.

JACKO has testified in a deposition shown in court that he "was shocked" when he saw a video of his ex-associate Marc Schaffel directing a gay porn film. Somewhere, Claude Rains is laughing hysterically. Jackson's claim may opened the door for Schaffel to return to the witness stand to reveal "their intimate discussions" and discuss "Jackson's sexual proclivities."

THE FRENCH HOTEL says she no longer eats meat, which should send her popularity into a nosedive.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY, People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive," does not look too sexy after a three-day bender in Costa Rica.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON reportedly got a series of frantic phone calls from beau Josh Hartnett after she went off to party with noted Hollywood swordsman Wilmer Valderrama. After all, she's already o­n record as not too keen o­n the concept of monogomy.

DAVID HASSSELHOFF: A new slice of video genius from the Hoff. In this o­ne, you even get KITT and some slow-motion Hoff running.

THIS JUST IN: Men and women are different.

IRAQ: The other day, I noted that ITM was concerned about the Sadrists; now Bill Roggio looks at the Iraqi-planned, Iraqi-led and Iraqi-executed operation (supported by US forces, natch) against a leader of Sadr's Madhi Army, further noting that it also seems to be an effort to boost the image of the Iraqi police forces. Iraqi-trained security personnel are now resposnible for more half of Baghdad. After nearly three years and 45 million, a treatment plant in northern Baghdad is pumping enough drinking water for a quarter of Baghdad's people. And a recently released working document from UN weapons inspectors states that inspections during the run-up to the invasion verified that the bombed caster oil extraction plant (think ricin) at Fallujah was reconstructed o­n a larger scale.

UK TERROR BOMBING: A year after the London terror bombings, we learn that two bombers were trained by al Qaeda. In the UK, a radical cleric jokes about the bombings, another cleric who condoned the bombings spoke at IslamExpo in London, and the Foreign Office is cozying up to radical Islamic groups.

BORDER COLLIE herds ducks toward a pen during the 51st Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, N.C. Awww...

THE DOGS (AND PIGEONS AND KITTENS AND RATS) OF WAR: There are some odd pictures in this article o­n a new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London, including the mine-sniffing pouch rat.

SUPER-MOSQUITOS are borne of cramped housing conditions and air pollution in Athens, Greece.

MONGOOSES were imported into Okinawa in 1910 to control the habu snake population. Unfortunately, the snakes are nocturnal, while the mongooses are not. So the latter are targeting 14 endangered species o­n the island.

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Blondie, Smokey, Cutout Bin, Pirates, and Kitty faces a Wood Chipper   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 07, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

BLONDIE IS BACK, according to Entertainment Tonight. And Debbie Harry is older than the President. No, really. Anyway, it put me in the mood for Clem Burke's thundering drums o­n "Union City Blues."

YO LA TENGO: Ira Kaplan explains how the band's upcoming album got titled I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your A**. (Thanks, LHB)  You can download or stream "Beanbag Chair" as an advance track.

SMOKEY ROBINSON wants to be the new Rod Stewart. But his interview with PopMatters has an embedded YouTube video of "The Tracks of My Tears."

COVERS: My Old Kentucky Blog has been collecting versions of Bob Dylan's "I'll Keep It With Mine" (including a live cut from Richard & Linda Thompson, but no Nico as I write this), while Mars Needs Guitars rolled out versions of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit In The Sky."

MIDLAKE frontman Tim Smith talks to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about touring Europe and the US. NPR says the band "has been compared to everyone from The Flaming Lips to The Beatles" and is streaming their segment from the World Cafe.

TOM WAITS has announced plans for a (rare) short tour of the South and Midwest: "We need to go to Tennessee to pick up some fireworks, and someone owes me money in Kentucky." You can stream a whole mess of Waits via the Hype Machine.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Hardcore Pate fans probably saw the band at Gabe's Oasis in Iowa City, which is where the late great Dick Dale cranked out a medley of "Miserlou" and Surf Beat" in May 2004. And there's also more twangin' o­n a mystery cut.

FIERY FURNACES frontman Matt Friedberger talks to the Sydney Morning Herald about the band's calculated approach, which you can hear in the recent live set streaming from NPR (along with a stream from opening act Man Man).

DAVID GILMOUR: The Pink Floyd axeman talks to Harp magazine about the music that changed his life and suggests that ex-bandmate Roger Waters is two-faced o­n the Middle East.

WEEKEND CUTOUT BIN: Fortuitous Friday finds from the Hype Machine include: Julie Dawn Cole - "I Want It Now" (from Willy Wonka, with the Oompa Loompa coda); R.E.M. - "Pop Song '89"; The Jamies - "Summertime, Summertime"; Bangles - "James"; Donovan - "Sunshine Superman"; XTC - "Mayor Of Simpleton"; The Kinks - "Sunny Afternoon"; The Decemberists - "July, July!"; The Sonics - "Have Love Will Travel"; Okkervil River - "For Real"; Hoodoo Gurus - "Bittersweet"; The Strokes with Eddie Vedder - "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology Song)"; and The Blind Boys Of Alabama - "People Get Ready."

CAMERA OBSCURA: Tracyanne Campbell tells Raleigh's Independent Weekly about being inspired by Lloyd Cole -- which is not surprising, given the appearance of Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken -- a play o­n Cole's "Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?" o­n the band's new LP. There's plenty more via the Hype Machine.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel has multipled her income more than seven times over since getting photographed blowing rails in a recording studio during her roller-coaster affair with the troubled singer.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST is this weekend's sole wide release, currently scoring a mere 55 percent Rotten o­n the Tomatometer (though this may not matter, esp. with Roger Ebert in hospital).  Of course, I went to the midnight showing, so devoted am I to bringing you fresh material. So, what do I think of it?  As it's past 3 a.m. local time, I think it's long.  Other critics have mentioned that without realizing that the first o­ne was about as long.  The problem with length here is that this o­ne takes longer to get rolling, despite the advantage of having known characters.  That is a function of the script, which is every bit as complex as the first, but with worse flow.  And the perceived need to be a "bigger" film means that there is less sword-fighting, which is a shame because that type of action scene allows for more character interaction.  As the second part of a trilogy, it has the problem of being a second act standing alone, much as The Empire Strikes Back did in its day (but which is viewed more favorably today).  Indeed, like TESB, this sequel is also a bit darker in spots than the original, which may compound that feeling of leaving the story unresolved.

But this o­ne leaves you with more of a cliff-hanger, and even a little shocker at the end that I won't spoil (though a glance at the movie's main IMDB entry would spoil it for you).  The returning cast all performs admirably.  Keira Knightley brings some of what she learned from some of her unsuccessful action roles and puts it to better use.  She also gets to work her dramedic chops from Pride & Prejudice -- particularly in two wonderful scenes with Johnny Depp that skewer the huge action picture cliche of opposing characters really not being so different.  Those scenes also nicely echo the original movie, which not o­nly skewered, but also reversed the task of typical movie pirates.  The new cast members are also quite good.  Bill Nighy is nearly unrecognizable (as he should be) and Tom Hollander brings a touch of his brittle Mr. Collins from Pride & Prejudice to his heavy.  In sum,  this o­ne is less "fun" than the original, but it has more than a few really fun moments and is more fun overall than any of the summer's other big flicks.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, DAKOTA FANNING, WERNER HERZOG, DOLLY PARTON and the Brokeback Cowboys are among those invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Spenderline shows he knows the way to the pop tart's heart.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Heather Locklear joins Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen in getting the tattoo of her spouse's name covered, but is she really getting a "Finch" tattoo for David Spade?

JENNIFER LOPEZ is a Voodoo Chile? Her first husband, Ojani Noa, claimed in a legal deposition that J.Lo used Santeria to influence the men in her life.

MADONNA concertgoers may think that she's emerging from a giant disco ball, but it's really a Kabbalah spaceship.

MARIAH CAREY will o­nly eat things that are purple. So. Many. Punchlines.

THE EMMY NOMINATIONS are announced. 24 leads with 12 noms, because you don't want to cross Jack Bauer. Unsurprisingly, Desperate Housewives was largely snubbed. The snubbing of Lost and Nip/Tuck are more surprising. Jason Lee (of My Name Is Earl) was robbed! And the rules changes do not seem to have the effect many thought, as Arrested Development's Jason Bateman, Gilmore Girls' Lauren Graham and shows like Battlestar Galactica were passed over yet again, while dead shows Will & Grace raked them in.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: US Weekly joins the media chorus asking, "Where's the Tom-Kitten?" and wondering whether the delay in the Cruise-Holmes wedding is due to the Scientology conversion process.

JESSICA ALBA snapped en route to the beach, but not in full bikini mode. Hey, it's Friday and we take what we can get.

DAVID HASSELHOFF was booted out of Wimbledon because he was "steaming drunk." As he was he was banned from press and players' bars, he yelled at staff: "Do you know who I am? I’m The Hoff!" As if anyone could not recognize the genius who re-interpreted "Hooked o­n A Feeling" and "Secret Agent Man" such that we will never hear them quite the same way again.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed worries that amid the violence and scorching heat of Baghdad, the SCIRI and Sadrists are determined to bring down Prime Minister al-Maliki with Hamas-like tactics. However, the Iraqi police are detaining terror suspects and seizing weapons caches in the city. NPR reports that the black-market cost of weapons and ammo in Baghdad is soaring, suggesting that the vast supply of Saddam-era arms may be running dry. Meanwhile, Ray Robison, a former member of the Iraq Survey Group, has a translation and analysis of how-to manuals for Arab operatives working throughout Afghanistan before 9/11, suggesting that Iraq or Syria provided military assistance to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. That it was in captured Iraqi government computer files may tend to suggest it wasn't Syria.

THE MILITARY IN THE MEDIA: The Washington Post decided to report o­n Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart, who was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star -- because the Department of Veterans Affairs has refused to allow a symbol of the Wicca religion to be inscribed o­n his memorial. You will be shocked to learn that the WaPo didn't cover his heroism (aside from its routine notice), but now that he can be used to club the Administration, it's a different matter. If it helps Stewart's family, that's fine, but I'm not giving the WaPo a medal for a story other papers had last month.

KITTY SURVIVES THE WOOD CHIPPER: video at the link. What would Marge Gunderson say?

TWO CATS near the Kentucky-West Virginia border were not as lucky.

BUCKY and BUBBA plowed through a cyclone fence in a pickup truck, rupturing a gas line outside a house. Did I mention they are dogs?

IT'S THE RUNNING OF THE BULLS in Pamplona. And if you saw the naked PETA protesters (SFW), you would run too.

THE 800 POUND GORILLA IN THE ROOM: You might miss him if you're drunk. And here's the video.

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Belle & Sebastian, The Ramones, Mission of Burma, and an Albino Police Horse   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

BELLE & SEBASTIAN are playing a rare concert accompanied by the L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl tonight. The Philharmonic's musicians seem to be looking forward to the gig, as it's o­nly rock 'n' roll, but they like it. Cellist Ben Hong: "I plan to enjoy the concert along with everybody else." You can stream a bunch of tracks from the Hype Machine. I would imagine the show will be light o­n their latest album, which is less orchestrated than their past efforts, as evidenced by this live take o­n "White Collar Boy," the studio versions of "The Blues Are Still Blue" and "Funny Little Frog." But don't miss the short clip of "Rhinestone Cowboy."

RADIOHEAD frontman Thom Yorke tells The New York Times that he doesn't like his voice: "It annoys me how pretty my voice is. That sounds incredibly immodest, but it annoys me how polite it can sound when perhaps what I'm singing is deeply acidic." Oddly enough, I stumbled across Radiohead's cover of "Rhinestone Cowboy" o­n the Hype Machine, which makes this Twofer Thursday.

THE RAMONES: Henry Rollins MC'ed the world premiere of the video of the Ramones' It's Alive, the legendary punk band's 1977 New Year's Eve concert recorded in the UK. The movie was projected o­nto the wall of a mausoleum in L.A.'s Hollywood Forever Cemetery honoring Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone. Mars Needs Guitars posted streaming Ramones covers over the holiday weekend.

FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne wants to sell vibrating panties to his fans, so he can activate them from the stage at concerts.

JOHNNY CASH: The L.A. Times raves over the posthumous American V: A Hundred Highways. The album is streaming in full from AOL Music this week.

TOM PETTY doesn't care if the Red Hot Chili Peppers' hit "Dani California" sounds a lot like his "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and was amused that The Strokes admitted that part of "Last Nite" was lifted from "American Girl." You can stream those two Petty songs from Tom's MySpace page.

GNARLS BARKLEY: It seems that the band's smash hit "Crazy" is largely taken from "Nel Cimitero Di Tucson," part of the soundtrack to a spaghetti western. Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good has plenty of "Crazy" linkage, including covers and videos (but messed up the link to the Star Wars-themed appearance at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards).

YOU TUBE: USA Today got around to covering the kabuki dance between Hollywood and the video-sharing site, as well as blurbing YouTube and its competitors.

MISSION OF BURMA: The reunited art-punks are profiled in the Village Voice, with bassist Clint Conley remarking o­n the band's place in alt-rock history: "To be lumped in with bands like the Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, Black Flag, Fugazi — how can you not feel great about that?" The band's latest album is streaming from the Obliterati site. You can stream a cross-section of MoB from KRLX via the Hype Machine.

THE VERONICAS and HANDSOME FAMILY are two of the free downloads currently posted by Entertainment Weekly.

GARBAGE frontwoman Shirley Manson talks to London's Sunday Times about turning 40 in August, rejecting motherhood, etc.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Babyshambles are releasing an independent single, "Beg, Steal or Borrow." Hear it via MySpace. Troubled singer Doherty commented o­n his tumultuous relationship with the supposedly sober supermodel Moss o­n the BBC: "She's had enough, I think. I love her bones, I always will."

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has disclosed a family history of anorexia, but said that she doesn't suffer from an eating disorder: "(The press) said to me yesterday `How does it feel to be called anorexic?' and I had no idea that I was..." Well, a dress like the gold o­ne she wore to the UK premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest may be comfy in the summer heat, but is going to start up that kind of questioning. ALSO: Knightley boyfriend (and ex-co-star) Rupert Friend may be walking the plank.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD OF THE UNDEAD, is supposed to play the father of Capt. Jack Sparrow in a third Pirates movie, according to Johnny Depp. However, Depp wisely added, "You never say it's definite until the guy steps o­n the set and the camera is rolling."

ASHLEY JUDD underwent a 47-day program at a Texas treatment center in order to deal with issues of depression, isolation, co-dependent relationships and obsessive-compulsive behavior.

BRITNEY SPEARS' recent PR debacles have publicist Tracey Nguyen pitching Spears' manager o­n dumping current flack Leslie Sloane Zelnik.

HILARY SWANK tells Vanity Fair magazine that Chad Lowe's "substance-abuse" problem was at the heart of the reason that their marriage broke up.

LINDSAY LOHAN is happy to have her boobs back. Egotastic is happy twice over. Lohan also has to be happy that Life & Style magazine reportedly paid 100K for her 20th birthday party and exclusive coverage thereof.

BRADGELINA: Jolie's mouth has been voted the most kissable in the world in a survey conducted by drinks manufacturers Cafe Kiss in the run up to the UK's National Kissing Day, which is today.

ASHLEE SIMPSON, who reportedly turned down an offer from Playboy with the comment "My body is for me and for whoever my love interest is at that moment, and that's the o­nly person who gets to see it," has reportedly agreed to model a budet line for Victoria's Secret.

BARBRA STREISAND: Ticket sales for her upcoming gigs have been disappointing, a top music industry source told Page Six. "Some cities [like] Detroit, where they wanted to do two days, are less than 3,000 sold."

MARLON BRANDO, it turns out, did not die penniless, so we see his longtime companion accusing his executors of cheating her out of a home and of forging the actor's signature.

THE SOPRANOS' final holdouts, Tony Sirico and Steven Van Zandt, reached an agreement with HBO for the final episodes of the Emmy-winning series and will roughly double their salaries.

SUSAN SARANDON, SEAN PENN and other members of the Film Actors Guild are joining antiwar activists like Cindy Sheehan o­n a hunger strike "to show the world that there are Americans who are committed to peace." The stars are engaging in a "rolling fast," which is to say they are committed to skipping the occasional meal. No word o­n whether Alec Baldwin and Michael Moore will be missing any meals. The hunger strike is organized by Code Pink, a group that sees our troops as "killers," and paraded coffins around Walter Reed Army Medical Center, all the while claiming to do so in support of the troops. Not to mention taunting children coming to visit the White House. These are some PR geniuses at work.

IRAQ: Zarqawi had the phone numbers of senior Iraqi officials stored in his cell phone, according to an Iraqi legislator. Zarqawi's first wife told an Italian newspaper that al Qaeda leaders sold him out to the US for a promise to let up in the search for bin Laden. Doubtful, but it won't help AQ morale, which is fine with me. Iraqi soldiers rescued three kidnap victims, foiled a kidnap attempt, captured 28 suspected terrorists, and killed eight terrorists in separate operations July 2 and 3, military officials reported. T.F. Boggs, a sergeant in the Army Reserves, has a two-part interview with General Ali, who has largely pacified Qayyarah, a suburb of Mosul.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: The New York Times has a piece by Dexter Filkins headlined, "In Ramadi, Fetid Quarters and Unrelenting Battles." Filkins calls Ramadi "epicenter of the Iraqi insurgency," which is probably a fair statement; the largest hospital was until recently under insugent control. But you have to read almost to the end of the NYT story to learn that: "Iraqi civilians, by and large, did not seem to fear the American marines as they passed o­n patrol. When the Americans rumbled past, the Iraqis often continued whatever they were doing: talking, sitting, standing, eating. The children held up their hands for soccer balls, and occasionally a marine would toss o­ne to a child. 'Football! Football!' the children cried." And you read nothing about successes with the people in the western part of the city.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA II: The AP ran a story headlined, "Only o­ne Medal of Honor given for Iraq war," suggesting that counter-insurgency ops offer less opportunity for courageous military action. Of course, afaik, the AP never bothered to report o­n Sgt. 1st. Class Javier Camacho, who was awarded the Silver Star for rescuing troops from a burning tank. The AP never spilled many pixels over those who won the Air Force Cross and the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism. Nor -- with the exceptions of Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith (who was awarded the Medal of Honor) and Army Sgt. Leigh A. Hester (the first woman to be awarded the Silver Star) -- did the AP cover the awarding of the Silver Star and Bronze Star to six or seven men I've mentioned before. And that's the small tip of a large iceberg. It's a nifty two-step -- ignore heroes and then suggest there is a lack of heroism in Iraq by focusing just the very highest honor awarded.

POLAR BEARS are housed in an expanding, air-conditioned jail in Manitoba. Bears that are locked up are normally released when ice returns to the region. The bears are sort of like drunken Otis Campbell o­n The Andy Griffith Show.

AN ALBINO POLICE HORSE in the UK is getting through a heatwave with the help of thirty bottles of sunscreen a day. Pics at the first link.

RUNAWAY WHIPPET UPDATE: Vivi, who has been missing since running off from NYC's JFK Airport in February (after competing at the Westminster Dog Show), was most recently spotted in Forest Park, where she may be surviving o­n a stray's diet of squirrels and garbage.

A PIRANHA 11-inches long and weighing 1 1/2 pounds was fished out the Des Plaines River in a suburb of Chicago. Those of us who live here are not surprised.

THE BAT CONSERVATION TRUST will be taking a bat-census in the Palace of Westminster, home of Britain's parliament. Check for updates at your same bat-time, same bat-channel.

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Nilsson, Voxtrot, Keith Moon, and a Smarter-than-Average Bear   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

HARRY NILSSON talks about songwriting and plays a few numbers o­n the ol' Smothers Brothers show. He mentions that he wrote o­ne of them for Midnight Cowboy, which was rejected in favor of his version of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'." IIRC, o­ne of the songs turned up in the 1971 animated feature The Point, which got an audio feature o­n NPR's Fresh Air when the movie came to DVD in 2004.

HALFTIME REPORTS: I noted a couple o­n June 30th, but here's o­ne from Largehearted Boy, a music blog from which I frequently steal links. Plus, Pitchfork has a list of overlooked records from the first half of the year.

VOXTROT, which has two EPs o­n the aforementioned Pitchfork list, gets a blurb and an interview in the New York Daily News. And I think I saw this at LHB, so it's all sort of falling together today. You can stream a bunch from Voxtrot -- including covers of Talking Heads, Blondie, New Order and Felt -- via the Hype Machine.

SONGS OF AMERICA: The Salt Lake Tribune recommends books, films and albums that embody the soul of America, including selections from Camper Van Beethoven and Drive-By Truckers. London's Guardian tried to come up with a list that did not confirm the popular cliche of an America-hating Guardianista, but was o­nly partially successful. The Hype Machine logged plenty of July 4th-related entries, including: Galaxie 500 - "Fourth of July"; U2 - "The Hands That Built America"; Bruce Springsteen - "4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)"; Simon & Garfunkel - "America"; The Decemberists - "July, July!"; Lucinda Williams - "American Dream"; and Ray Charles - "America the Beautiful." And David Bowie's "Young Americans" and "I'm Afraid of Americans," proving he really does swing both ways.

JIM MORRISON'S LAST NOTEBOOK, including previously unseen poetry and lyrics, is going o­n auction at the Abbey Road studios o­n July 28th.

THE DIABLEROS just got a mighty nice review of You Can't Break the Strings in Our Olympic Hearts, which you can hear at the band's website.

DARK SIDE OF THE (KEITH) MOON: To help plug the CD re-release of the late Keith Moon's solo album, Two Sides Of The Moon, the Who drummer's longtime assistant, Dougal Butler, dishes some dirt from his book, Moon the Loon. Moon's legendary misbehavior rarely affected his drumming, with the notable exception of being carried off stage in mid-concert after taking too much horse tranquilizer, which led to Pete Townshend soliciting the drumming services of Scott Halpin from the audience. BONUS: Townshend and Moon appeared o­n Good Morning America to promote Who Are You, which must be o­ne of Moon's last TV appearances.

KILLING MUSIC, in a good way is music blogger rbally. Currently, you can stream the J. Mascis-Broken Social Scene gig and a Replacements concert via the Hype Machine.

CHRISSIE HYNDE of the Pretenders thinks meat-eaters are the real terrorists. Then again, she wanted the US to lose to Saddam Hussein, so I guess I'm not surprised.

SUPERMAN RETURNS: The Awesome Until Proven Guilty blog has a super-themed post you can stream via the Hype Machine.

PAUL, RINGO and YOKO all turned up for the Las Vegas premiere of Cirque du Soleil's Love extravaganza, which George Martin scored from remixed Fab tracks. I would think George's widow had to be there, too, as the idea was sparked by the friendship between the late Harrison and Cirque founder Guy Laliberte.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel is reportedly seeing a shrink to get over her addiction to dodgy men like junkie rocker Doherty, ex-drug addict Russell Brand and Dirty Pretty Things rocker Anthony Rossomando. Plus a friend is reportedly sending Moss and Jude Law's ex-wife, Sadie Frost, to a detox retreat in the Maldives.

STACY'S MOM: Rachel Hunter has had some work done, based o­n some NSFW pics. The same site has some safer bikini pics and video as well. And since the safer post is titled, "Stacy's Mom Has Got It Going On," I'm certainly not going to pass up the opportunity to re-link to the Fountains of Wayne video.

BRADGELINA: It looks like rockers and new parents Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale brought their baby over to the Pitt-Jolie pad for a celebrity playdate with baby Shiloh, where the moms chatted while Rossdale, Pitt and Maddox revved up the ATVs.

MADONNA, perhaps realizing that she's been a failure as an actress, really wants to direct, which I'm sure will thrill her director hubby, Guy Ritchie.

VAUGHNISTON: Jennifer Aniston also really wants to direct, just at the moment of having cinema success with The Break-Up. Meanwhile, she's pouring sheep sperm o­n Vince Vaughn's head.

JIMMY STEWART was forced to prove he wasn't gay by bedding two hookers, according to an upcoming biography. NTTAWWT.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY deals with PMS by listening to gay pop anthems. NTTAWWT. Particularly when Egotastic uses it as an excuse to post pics of her at the UK premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. She may want to check out the secret history of gay pop published in yeaterday's Guardian.

JESSICA SIMPSON and NICK LACHEY are officially divorced, so the pneumatic blonde can focus o­n a likely investigation of her bodyguards after a news photographer was roughed up outside the Pink Elephant in Southampton, L.I.

KRISTIN DAVIS is the surprise winner of a "world's most beautiful woman" poll taken by Eve magazine in the UK. Not that Davis isn't beautiful; it's just that she usually doesn't turn up in these sorts of polls.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Bon Jovi wisely nixed Denise Richards' plan to give Richie Sambora a birthday cake o­nstage next Monday.

NAOMI WATTS: Pregnancy rumors have re-surfaced, though I think the gorilla has been ruled out as a suspect.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The Cruise Crazy Train inspired a "silent inning" to honor his baby's "silent birth" at a minor-league baseball game between the Lake Elsinore Storm and the High Desert Mavericks. Instead of the more traditional bobblehead, the team handed out a "bobble-couch" depicting Cruise's famous couch-jumping incident o­n Oprah.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar reports that the people of Samarra are offering a 100 million dinar reward to anyone who provides information that lead to the death or arrest of Haitham al-Badri, suspected mastermind of the mosque bombing there. Iraqi forces are taking the lead in operations in portions of Tal Afar, central Baghdad, and Haswah. The Coalition is transferring authority to Iraqi forces in o­ne fifth of the Diyala Province. The US military says it killed an Al Qaeda operative suspected of orchestrating the massive truck bombing in Baghdad last week that left 66 people dead. An Iraqi insurgent group announced the "martyrdom" of its top commander "Abu Abdel Rahman" in clashes with the "infidels and apostates" in Ramadi. Gulf Arab states promised to crack down harder o­n sources of funding for the insurgency, according to Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki. We'll see. Iraq's justice minister has demanded that the UN Security Council ensure a US troops are punished for allegedly raping and murdering a young Iraqi and executing her family. The ex-soldier already charged was dishonorably discharged from the Army because of a "personality disorder" before the attack came to light. As usual, the US will investigate and mete out any appropriate punishment, which is a far cry from the "rape rooms" that operated under Saddam and those run by militias and busted by US forces after the invasion.

NORTH KOREA test-launched the long-range Taepodong-2 missile, but it apparently failed. So the pre-emptive strike suggested by former Pres. Clinton's Defense Secretary and Assistant Defense Secretary, which might have set off a second round of the Korean War, turned out to be unnecessary.

ISLAMIC EXTREMISM IN THE UK: Britons who criticize Prime Minister Tony Blair for not winning Muslim "hearts and minds" since the 7/7 London bombings really ough to read Sunday Times reporter Ali Hussain's account of his six weeks undercover in Beeston, where three of the 7/7 bombers came from. And they ought to ask what the supposed moderate Muslims in the UK are doing to combat the delusional conspiracy theorists and violent jihadis in their midst.

A BEAR CUB munched o­n barbecue-chicken-and-jalapeno pizza, washing it down with a swig of a Jack Daniel's mixer, an Absolut vodka and tonic, and a beer in the back seat of a vintage red Buick convertible at Lake Tahoe. I'm tempted to say "smarter than the average bear," but mixing your liquor like that is not a good idea.

MAN SAVES DOG FROM GATOR'S JAWS after a protracted struggle in South Carolina. Video at the link.

DOG o­n THE RUN FOR THREE YEARS re-adjusts to life as a pet. Videos at the link.

HORNY PEACOCKS are causing trouble in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

HORSE CAUSES TWO CAR CRASHES, but the ambulance tranferring o­ne patient hit a moose. Hard to believe Ken King moved away from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

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