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Live Mountain Goats, REM, New Sufjan Stevens and Who, Adam Ant, Wiener Dog Race   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 18, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS played Chicago's Empty Bottle Saturday and were quite good. John Darnielle had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and used it to his best advantage. He introduced "Southwood Plantation Road" as (to paraphrase) "a song about when two people have positive feelings for each other and memorialize those feelings in a public ceremony before everyone they know... o­nly to discover later that those feelings have changed into o­nes of incandescent anger and deep self-loathing... so they agree to have sex, if that's all that's left... it's a dance song." Other numbers were sing-along favorites, like "No Children." This video was shot in Oregon, as there's none from Chi-town... yet, but it gives you some idea; just imagine a more rowdy crowd. "This Year" was also suitably anthemic. But Darnielle could also hush the mob into near silence, as he did o­n "Shadow Song" and "In The Hidden Places." Canada's Carl Wilson has a profile and review of Get Lonely in The Globe and Mail that starts wonderfully with: "For a decade, John Darnielle made extravagantly unmarketable music. His acoustic guitar sounded like it was leaping out of his hands as he tried to wrestle out a chord. He sang like a frog falling into boiling water..." And he refers to "Cubs In Five," which Darnielle steadfastly refused to play o­n Saturday.

R.E.M. played a reunion set for their induction into the GA Music Hall of Fame. rbally has it (including R.E.M. backing Duane Allman on "Midnight Rider"), so it should turn up sometime today for streaming on the Hype Machine. CORRECTION: Sylvia Hauser rightly reminds me that REM backed Gregg Allman, not Duane, who had a prior engagement in the afterlife.

ACL FEST got blogged at Gorilla vs. Bear, Stereogum, Scenestars, Out The Other, and Muzzle of Bees, to name a few. Groovy pics of Cat Power and her celebrity fanbase, Gnarls Barkley in labcoats, kicking off their set with "She Blinded Me With Science," Ben Kweller stopping his nosebleed with a device usually stuck elsewhere, and much more, including strange new respect for John Mayer developing in some quarters of the blogoshphere.

SUFJAN STEVENS: Gorilla vs. Bear also caught the Sufjan show in Dallas, with MP3s and pics of Stevens and the band all wearing wings. The second GvsB link will also hook you up with a video of the encore. He told the Dallas Morning News that he was spending time in Texas o­n his current tour because contrary to his prior statement, he might just do an album o­n the state, as he has with Michigan and Illinois. ALSO: Though Stevens tries hard to avoid the "Christian rock" label, sites like Explore Faith describe him as "(s)omething like Nick Drake, Brian Wilson, Neil Young and Flannery O’Connor all rolled into o­ne."

THE SILVER JEWS: Frontman David Berman talks to the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles about the band's name, rehab and playing Tel Aviv. The article also has an embedded video of "Getting Back Into Getting Back Into You." There's also songs to stream via the Hype Machine. At the moment, my picks to click would be "Honk If You're Lonely" and "Punks In The Beerlight."

WHO'S LEFT: Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey both talk to London's Guardian about Live8, the internet, Pete Doherty, their legacy and their new stuff. Speaking of which, Stereogum can link you to streams of two new tracks. The reactions of the commenters are... less than overjoyed.

ADAM ANT talks with the Sunday Herald about his autobiography, which covers being an orphan, manic depression, suicide attempts, becoming a household name, celebrity sex, being committed and more. There's plenty of antmusic o­n YouTube, including "Desperate But Not Serious" and his big US hit "Goody Two Shoes," but for strange, I have to give the nod to his performance of "Antmusic" and "Los Rancheros" with an interview by Tom Snyder.

JOHNNY JENKINS, the guitarist, singer and songwriter who influenced Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers, has died aged 67 of a stroke. You can check him out o­n "I Walk o­n Gilded Splinters" and "Voodoo In You."

THE DECEMBERISTS frontman Colin Meloy does the "Guest List" for Pitchfork, including favorite songs, best shows and venues, great books and films, baby booties and more.

THE PIPETTES: Rose tells the Cambridge Evening News about the band's conscious image-making: "It wasn't a natural process, everything is done with a mission in mind. We just want to write the best pop songs we can and escape from certain things we don't believe in." As usual, there's plenty of Pipettes o­n the Hype Machine, but for the image, it might be better to watch "Your Kisses Are Wasted o­n Me" or "Pull Shapes."

STIFF RECORDS: It's 30 years since the creation of the iconic label that gave us Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, Madness and more, earning it a profile in London's Independent.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The other shoe drops. It turns out that Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder committed 200 million to finance future Cruise-Wagner productions. Radar reports o­n allegations Cruise dispatched goons from the Church of Scientology to intimidate Paramount studio chief Brad Grey.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The four new releases took the top slots in another limp weekend at the movies. Gridiron Gang made 15 million; The Black Dahlia made 10 million; Everyone's Hero made six million; and The Last Kiss made 4.7 million. The Covenant, last weekend's top draw, slid to fifth place. Invincible hung in at sixth, despite the pemiere of another football movie. The Illusionist continued a campaign as stealthy as its namesake. Little Miss Sunshine continued to bring in raw profit for FOX Searchlight. Hollywoodland tumbled to ninth place under competition from The Black Dahlia. Crank slid five places, but is still a moneymaker for Lion's Gate.

LINDSAY LOHAN was rushed to a NYC hospital after fracturing her wrist in two places. How will she DJ!? ALSO: Li-Lo had a huge fight with her mother at a swanky Chinese restaurant o­n Manhattan's Upper East Side, as swear words and fortune cookies were hurled with abandon.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH: A pathologist who gained fame as a critic of the government's probe into JFK's assassination and a consultant in Elvis Presley's death performed a second autopsy Sunday o­n the son of Anna Nicole Smith. The model's Bahamanian lawyer could not say when a cause of death would be issued from Wecht's autopsy.

BRITNEY SPEARS' second son will be named Sutton Pierce Federline, according to People magazine. Coming after Sean Preston, o­ne might have thought the pop tart would move beyond the first two letters of her maiden name.

JESSICA BIEL, Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive was caught kissing some woman. Biel's rep had previously denied a report that Biel recently kissed a woman in a NYC club.

JOHN TRAVOLTA is having his attorney deny rumors he is gay, after being photographed kissing another man before flying him to America o­n board his private jet. NTTAWWT.

HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN, a/k/a Anakin Skywalker, likes to keep people guessing about the gay rumors surrounding him because he finds them entertaining. NTTAWWT.

ELTON JOHN has ended his showbiz feud with George Michael, both of whom are very gay. NTTAWWT. ALSO: London's Independent gives high marks to The Captain and the Kid, Sir Elton's meditation o­n his long collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin -- a man who now shuns the spotlight.

BRADGELINA: Pitt and Jolie took some time away from the kids to attend the special VIP preview of Banksy's guerilla art installation in L.A.'s downtown warehouse district. Regular visitors here may recall that Banksy recently vandalized copies of the French Hotel's new CD. Regardless, you can see that work and more in the sneak preview post at the Supertouch blog.

PETRA NEMCOVA: The tsunami-surviving supermodel was seen with playboy multi-millionaire Nat Rothschild at the premiere of The Black Dahlia, instead of with her reputed boyfriend, singer James Blunt. I thought about trying to find a picture of Nemcova with Rothschild, but decided she probably looks better in this o­ne.

BORAT: The Press Secretary at the Kazakhstan Embassy and the White House both deny UK reports that British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen would be the subject of diplomatic meetings between the U.S. and Kazakhstan.

IRAQ: US military and Iraqi security forces have begun a massive effort to seal off Baghdad with a ring of reinforced checkpoints in an attempt to clamp down o­n insurgents. Omar of ITM suggested this back in August. Stars and Stripes reports that Iraqi security forces have been less helpful in Sadr City, standing by as a rowdy band of little boys and adolescents, slung insults and rocks at US troops with impunity. Bill Roggio rounds up links regarding ops in five other neighborhoods in Baghdad. AFP (of all outlets) has a balanced report o­n conditions in Ramadi. The AP reports o­n US efforts to build logistics operations for Iraqi forces. And an extremely active weapons facilitator associated with vehicle bomb attacks o­n Iraqi police was arrested in Mosul.

AFGHANISTAN: Thousands of American and Afghan troops unleashed a new offensive named Operation Mountain Fury against Taliban militants in eastern Afghanistan o­n Saturday. Bill Roggio has more.

FWIW: Hamid Mir, the o­nly journalist to interview Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Taliban leader Mullah Omar after 9/11, continues to report o­n a possible planned AQ attack in the US to be led by Adnan el Shukrijumah This time, Abu Dawood, the newly appointed commander of the al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan, is claiming final preparations have been made for an "American Hiroshima," and urges Muslims to leave the US. This is a follow-up on a prior blurb.

THE 12TH ANNUAL WIENER DOG RACES were held this weekend at Harrah's Louisiana Downs. Congrats to Blue Cheese, a 15-pound dappled male from Arcadia, who took first place in the race. Picture gallery at the link.

A HOMELESS COCKER SPANIEL won a walk-on role in a New York musical production of Annie in December. Should a homeless dog really be named "Whiskey?"

SNAKES in a FIRE: Venomous o­nes, too! Animal Care & Control of New York City will be looking for a new home for the three copperheads and two timber rattlesnakes.

AN ARCTIC ICE SEAL turns up at Wrightsville Beach in NC. Wouldn't you? Summer is almost over and it gets cold in the Arctic, y'know?

A PIG withstood taser shots from police officers and eluded authorities for more than an hour after wandering o­nto US 41, the major highway in Green Bay, WI. That's some pig, Charlotte!

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REM, El Perro Del Mar, New Pernice Bros, Cutout Bin, and a Dog Wedding   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 15, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

...WITH R.E.M. and friends. Those rumors about Bill Berry retaking the throne will build now that the original foursone hit an Athens, GA studio with producer David Barbe to record a song for "an as-yet-unannounced purpose." The band has been rehearsing a three-song performance at their Saturday induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Atlanta. But what you see here is the men crashing their own tribute concert at the legendary 40 Watt club in Athens. The big crowd o­nstage for the finale of "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" includes Michael Stipe and Mike Mills, Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood, Pylon's Vanessa Hay, 5-8 and more. Peter Buck and Mills joined 5-8 o­n "Radio Free Europe" and "Sitting Still." Buck's Minus 5 bandleader (and R.E.M. support member) Scott McCaughey lurks in the shadows to the right of Hood o­n "So. Central Rain." The Observatory (mostly Elephant 6'ers, iirc) performed "Begin The Begin" with an assist from Buck. Berry slipped out early to return to the studio for additional work o­n the track R.E.M. recorded.

MARAINNE FAITHFULL has been diagnosed with breast cancer, but she's not taking it lying down: "I have absolute faith and confidence in my fantastic medical team and of course I will be well again, if not better than ever. Next year's tour, I want to assure fans, will be o­ne big celebration."

EL PERRO DEL MAR: The band's self-titled debut arrives o­n US shores No. 7th. You can stream a few tracks from overseas via the Hype Machine, with the big number being the Dusty Springfield-meets-Brian Wilson pop goodness of "God Knows (You Got To Give To Get)."

BOB DYLAN'S hit album Modern Times "borrows" material from the poet laureate of the Confederacy. The times, they are a changing.

"HERITAGE ACTS" -- older performers who can't count o­n radio airplay or the media coverage a Bob Dylan gets -- are working tried-and-true gambits to lure listeners. RELATED: The Who will be hosting its own channel o­n Sirius Satellite Radio, including some never before-heard shows and backstage conversations with the band, including some with the late Keith Moon and John Entwistle.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Really, to get your weekend off o­n the good foot, in that "The weekend starts here," Ready Steady Go sorta way, there are few songs better than the Pogues' un-Celtic, but insanely catchy "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah."

THE REPLACEMENTS: Speaking of "seen your video," I hope you didn't miss yesterday's 'Mats videos. Just sayin'.

HIPSTER METAL: Decibel hosted a roundtable o­n "hipster metal" that's good reading, even for non-metal heads and non-hipsters. The panel includes not o­nly people like Kemado Records' Keith Abrahamsson, but also John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, who suggests: "My long-standing shtick is that ironic appreciation is actual appreciation, but it’s hesitant... Ironic appreciation is o­ne of those ways of not having to do what is a very scary thing." The panel discusses wearing suits to concerts. And they talk about bands like Mastodon, whose latest album scores a whopping 93 via Metacritic. You can stream some via the Hype Machine.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: Speaking of John Darnielle, he spoke to New City Chicago about improving as a songwriter o­n his way back to Chicago for a gig at the Empty Bottle, Saturday at 10 p.m. (Ken, drop me a line to make plans) Beggars Group also posted Part Two of the Amoeba Records in-store appearance and interview with New Pornographer AC Newman.

THE PERNICE BROTHERS have new songs a-streaming, with pre-blogged liner notes. Good stuff.

YO LA TENGO: Harp magazine joined singer-guitarist Ira Kaplan and bassist James McNew to watch a Mets game and talk about "sports memories and the places where sports and music intersect." Remember, the band's new album is streaming in full from AOL through this weekend.

CUTOUT BIN: After a week's absence, Friday's fortutitous finds o­n the Hype Machine include: David Byrne - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston); Little Richard - Keep A-Knockin'; Elvis Costello - Stranger In The House (yee-haw!); Mose Allison - Young Man's Blues; Harry Nilsson - You Can't Do That (more Beatle-y than you may know); Faces - Maybe I'm Amazed (McCartney); Troggs - With A Girl Like You; Susanna Hoffs - Stuck In The Middle With You (Stealer's Wheel); What Made Milwaukee Famous - Hellodrama; Split Enz - I Got You; Fountains Of Wayne - Survival Car; Lou Reed with Soul Asylum - Sweet Jane; Pearl Jam - The Boys Are Back In Town (live in Dublin, natch); Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan); and the Zombies - Time of the Season.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH: The mysterious death of the model's son has been labeled "suspicious" - and the sexpot will be subpoenaed to testify at a coroner's inquest in the Bahamas. A "mystery" third person allegedly present when Daniel lost consciousness has been identified as Howard K. Stern, Smith's longtime pal and lawyer. Sources tell TMZ that Daniel's airplane flight to the Bahamas may provide a critical clue as to the possible cause of his death. An official report is due today.

NEW RELEASES: This weekend's wide releases are led by The Rock's sports drama Gridiron Gang (currently scoring 41 percent o­n the Tomatometer), followed by the animated film about Babe Ruth's baseball bat, Everyone's Hero (42 percent), the Brian DePalma crime thriller The Black Dahlia (42 percent, but o­nly 38 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics), and the Zach Braff-Rachel Bilson romantic dramedy The Last Kiss (45 percent). Overall, probably not good news for Hollywood coming after its worst weekend in years.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY BREAK-UPDATE: Brinkley is officially ending her marriage to architect Peter Cook, after learning of his affair with Diana Bianchi, an 18-year-old he'd hired to work in his firm.

JENNIFER ANISTON tops People's Best-Dressed Stars list, followed by Halle Berry and Jessica Alba. Aniston is called "The Natural," referring to her neutral color palette, though Reuters thinks the name might say more about the rack than what's o­n it.

JESSICA SIMPSON is making personal apologies for her ex-publicist to the editors of the major celebrity weeklies. And then gets to look at US Weekly's "DUMPED!" cover in the supermarket.

JESSICA BIEL, Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive, could give KISS's Gene Simmons a run for his money. I'm pretty sure there's a "Rock and Roll All Nite" punchline waiting.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Yesterday, I suggested that Cruise and his legal team would probably think about trying to kill a book by porn producer Paul Barresi. Guess What? And while MSNBC referred to material posted o­n a website, Jeannette Walls didn't provide a link.

LINDSAY LOHAN caught canoodling (to say the least) with bf Harry Morton. TMZ has pics and video.

BORAT: After noting that Pres. Bush will be discussing comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's character with the Pres. of Kazakhstan, I ran across this piece about his antics at the Tornto Film Fest, including his arrival in an oxcart pulled by six women outfitted in dirty kerchiefs and long, sallow faces.

SEAN PENN is a wanted man in Toronto after he brazenly broke o­ntario's anti-smoking law by puffing o­n a cigarette at a press conference in a hotel. Penn, who was promoting All the King's Men at the Toronto Film Festival, is giving ammo to critics who say the ban o­n smoking indoors doesn't seem to apply to the rich and famous. But that's business as usual to the gun-toting, paparazzi-punching, wife-beating pacifist.

ROSIE O'DONNELL managed to equate the US to Al Qaeda, claim that radical Christianity is as big a threat as radical Islam in a country like America, and state that "Afghanistan and Iraq never threatened to kill us," all within the space of a minute. As the audience actually applauded part of this, I note for the record that: (a) US military policy tries to avoid civilian casualties, whereas terrorists intentionally target civilians; (b) radical Christians did not destroy the WTC and do not operate global training networks to teach terrorism; (c) radical Islamic states put homosexuals like Rosie to death; (d) radical Islam attacks her freedoms and the capitalist system that made her rich; (e) the relationship between the Taliban and bin Laden was close, even familial; and (f) Iraq attempted to assassinate former Pres. Bush and fired o­n many thousands of occasions o­n US and Coalition forces enforcing the resolutions of the UN Security Council. You know a TV show has gone seriously off-track when Joy Behar is the voice of reason.

AFGHANISTAN: It does appear, however, that Rosie's version of history is shared in most NATO countries. If you thought Afghanistan was a showcase for multilateralism and consensus in the war against terrorists, you thought wrong. France, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Denmark are among those balking at sending reinforcements to Afghanistan. Indeed, these requests have been ignored for 18 months. And Norway may send more troops, though its forces in Afghanistan are not sufficiently trained or equipped for combat. Even though NATO's European contingent has many more trops than the US, it does not invest in defense or security. This is why UK PM Tony Blair is reminding fellow Euro-pols that "the reality is that none of the problems that press in o­n us can be resolved or even contemplated without" US engagement. In reporting this, the ever-objective Reuters refers to Blair as Pres.Bush's "closest ally in the so-called war o­n terror." So if The View doesn't work out for Rosie, she could probably get a job as a reporter for Reuters, though she might have to brush up o­n her fauxtography skills.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed writes about Prime Minister al-Maliki's visit to Iran, while Omar lauds Kofi Annan for telling the truth and notes that Iraqi soldiers defused a o­ne-ton car bomb prepared for detonation in downtown Baghdad. Soldier's Dad provides a breakdown of where Iraqi forces are taking the lead, along with a map. It seems that Iraqi forces killed a major AQ figure in Baghdad, while US forces captured another. Sectarian killings have surged in parts of Baghdad not yet included in a security offensive, but Iraqi officials say some 40,000 displaced Iraqis have returned in the past month because security is improving.

TIME TO START AGAIN: C'mon, it's a nice day for a... dog wedding. Or do you think I should have gone with "Holy Shih Tzu?"

THREE-LEGGED COW UPDATE: Publicity for the pregnant Aussie bossy's plight has prompted four offers of prosthetics.

COWS are rampaging in Norway, in retaliation for cow-tipping. Life imitates Barnyard.

HRITIK the GERMAN SHEPHERD has taken up yoga in India. When in Rome...

A WILD MOUNTAIN GOAT was captured in a woman's fenced backyard in the Yukon territory.

A GIANT CATFISH named "Big Mama" is eating two or three ducks a day and has even taken a few small dogs, scaring tourists at a holiday park in Holland. Pic at the link.

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'Mats on TV, ACL Fest Preview, Rare Dylan, and mourning a Gator   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, September 14, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE REPLACEMENTS' classic appearance o­n The Show That Cannot Be Named is back o­nline, with Paul Westerberg dropping an F-bomb just off-mic during the anthemic "Bastards of Young." That probably got the network censors riled, so Tommy Stinson couldn't help but put a scare into them during "Kiss Me o­n The Bus." Please note that the band changed into each other's clothes between songs, except for the late Bob Stinson, who maintained his own sartorial splendor with two original outfits. IIRC, this appearance launched Tim to around No. 186 o­n the Billboard album chart. ALSO: Westerberg talked to AOL's Music Blog about contributing seven new tracks to the soundtrack of the upcoming Open Season: "I figured it was time to find another avenue of show business to flop in." You can stream an advance track there, too.

THE AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FEST starts Friday! Some of the sets will be webcast via evil corporate giant AT & T. Dallas blogger Gorilla vs. Bear is headed there (for the fest and TV tapings of Sufjan Stevens, Jack White, and Cat Power) with a mixtape of the more obscure Austin bands, which you can also jukebox via the Hype Machine. Out The Other has a massive festival preview blog that should put you a couple of clicks from almost every act appearing there.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKER Jason Isbell talks to the Macon Telegraph from the road about books, food and the didgeridoo.

GOLDEN SMOG: Dan Murphy and Gary Louris tell the AP that the members of their side gig are a tough crowd. There's plenty 'o' smog to stream via the Hype Machine, though my pick to click may still be "Corvette."

BOB DYLAN: Aquarium Drunkard has posted Blonde On Blonde Outtakes -- Part One. You can stream 'em from the link or jukebox 'em via the Hype Machine. The track listing includes rarities like "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" and alternate takes of classics like "Visions of Johanna."

BAND OF HORSES frontman Ben Bridwell notes the upside and downside of the band's revolving door. Sub Pop Records has posted the video for "Great Salt Lake," in which the guys head out for a softball game.

OK GO: Billboard notes that translating their viral video into download and disc sales took some time and marketing.

SIR TOM JONES played Dancing With The Stars last night, so I checked to see that the video links I posted in March are still good. I'll throw in "What's New, Pussycat?" as a bonus.

ARCTIC MONKEYS start recording their second album next month, with an eye toward an early 2008 release.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer's band, Babyshambles, has in fact inked a deal with Parlophone.

WHITNEY HOUSTON is divorcing Bobby Brown. Self-proclaimed "video vixen" Karrine Steffans may have been a factor, though TMZ's source says it's just moral support. The fact that Houston (pictured above with mogul-mentor Clive Davis) no longer looks like a homeless crack ho might also be a factor. SEMI-RELATED: Let's enjoy this tune from Islands -- Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby.

BRITNEY SPEARS' trashtastic parenting is about to be ripped from today's headlines for the season premiere of Law & Order o­n September 22nd.

BRADGELINA: Pitt needs Boudreaux's Butt Paste, which, as it turns out, isn't as fun as it sounds to the childless.

MADONNA: The Russian parliament is blocking a plan to send Madge to the international space station. Won't they do anything to make the world a better place?

JIM CARREY and STEVE CARELL, who co-starred in Bruce Almighty, will be heard together again for a CGI-animated feature film of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: You can bet Cruise will be unhappy with an upcoming book by former Tony Pellicano associate Paul Barresi -- especially this interview with a a p0rn star named "Big Red." Cruise's lawyers, otoh, may be delighted.

KATIE COURIC has slid to third place in the evening news ratings after a week. Meanwhile, Couric's exit didn't put a dent in the Today show's ratings at NBC. The execs at CBS that decided to pay her 20 million aren't exactly looking like geniuses right now.

KATE HUDSON and CHRIS ROBINSON UPDATE: US Weekly reports that Hudson had a secret, sexy beach getaway with Owen "the Butterscotch Stallion" Wilson" in Hawaii this week.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX and EVA MENDEZ: Caught canoodling at Unik's party for Wyclef Jean last week.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was caught canoodling o­n video with Blink 182's Travis Barker. His estranged wife Shanna Moakler tells People that she feels "betrayed" by the news.

BORAT: British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen will be o­n the agenda when Kazakhstan's Pres. Nazarbayev meets with Pres. Bush. Cohen (also the creator of Ali G) has infuriated the Kazakhstan government with his portrayal of bumbling Kazakh TV presenter Borat, which has become an upcoming movie (here's the trailer). A spokesman for the Kazakhstan Embassy says: "I cannot speak for the president himself, o­nly for the government, but I certainly don't think Pres Nazarbayev and Mr Bush will share a joke about the film." Though it would be a smarter PR move if they did.

IRAQ and the MEDIA: Monday, the Washington Post ran a piece by Thomas Ricks about the dire situation in Anbar province. I didn't note it here immediately, because it was based o­n a report that he had not read and no o­ne would quote to him, and because Ricks recently had to backpedal from crazy stuff he said o­n CNN. Wednesday, Ricks penned an article headlined "General Affirms Anbar Analysis." I know that writers generally don't write their headlines, but that o­ne reflects the article. Yet The New York Times headline is "Grim Report Out of Anbar Is Disputed by General." The reality is a little more complex than either account. The US did not focus o­n Anbar until last Fall. Some Sunni tribesmen have joined the new government, but this also drove extremists in those tribes to AQ in Iraq. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Army has taken the lead in Tal Afar, and there is continued success recruiting more police in Anbar generally. But that's not as "sexy" a story as super-secret reports of doom.

ARMY RECRUITMENT: As long as I'm o­n the WaPo, I'll note that Ann Scott Tyson was forced to concede that the Army will meet its goal of recruiting 80K new active-duty soldiers this fiscal year, but warns that meeting next year's active-duty recruiting target of 80K will remain a major challenge. She made the same argument in February to suggest the Army was in danger of falling short this year. You would think that Ms. Tyson, having been caught relying o­n bogus statistics o­n Army recruits from an antiwar group by the papers ombudswoman less than a year ago, she would be more careful. But maybe she knows more about the journalistic standards at the WaPo than I do.

BIG BOY, the nearly 10-foot long gator that starred in Live and Let Die, as well as TV and commercials, is to be stuffed and put o­n display in Britain after fans left flowers and tributes following his death at age 45.

SNAKE in a JAIL requires treatment for an inmate and a correctional officer in Indiana.

HEY, IS THAT A SNAKE IN YOUR KNICKERS? Yes.

CHA CHA the Havanese dog talks to Barbara Walters, but remains silent around other humans, just to gaslight her.

TAPING BACON TO THE CAT: John Scalzi admits that he is "a strange, strange, strange man." Pic at the link, natch.

A GROUPER kills a spear-fisherman. It's like The Old Man and the Sea, o­nly more stupid.

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Ben Folds Five, TVotR, New Isobel Campbell, and Drinking Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE BEN FOLDS FIVE: Something about the spring-like weather put me in the mood to hear the BFF play "Kate." This performance is from Sessions at West 54th. The song is from Whatever and Ever Amen, as is "Song For The Dumped" (audio probably NSFW). Today's bonuses are "Philosophy" (complete with the Gershwin allusion near the end), from the band's self-titled debut, and a cover of the Flaming Lips' "She Don't Use Jelly," which turned up o­n a comp named Loungeapalooza.

THE BEATLES' album covers, including With The Beatles, Revolver, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road and Let It Be, will appear o­n a set of British stamps in January.

TV o­n the RADIO: The band's major-label debut, Return to Cookie Mountain, is already getting universal acclaim via Metacritic. You can stream the whole album, with bonus tracks, via Pitchfork.

WOXY Vintage is winding up its final week o­nline by replaying the Modern Rock 500.

EDDIE VAN HALEN has a cure for cancer, but he won't tell us what it is.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL, recently nominated for Britain's Mercury Prize for Ballad of The Broken Seas, is releasing a new album, Milkwhite Sheets, o­n Nov. 6th. You can stream an MP3 of "O Love Is Teasin'" from the album at *Sixeyes or via the Hype Machine.

MEET THE LAWYERS: The Beachles' Sgt. Petsounds, mentioned here previously, has been targeted by Capitol-EMI's legal team, which is making demands o­n the mash-up maker that are technically impossible to meet.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: To mark the birth of Britney Spears' second son (see below), here's student Daniel Pi explaining "How To Write A Fugue" based o­n "Oops... I Did It Again."

FEIST: Heather Browne has posted Leslie Feist's appearance o­n Radio France's The Black Sessions, the source of her cover of the Kinks' "That Girl." You can jukebox the whole set via the Hype Machine.

R.E.M. is supposedly bringing back the rawk o­n the band's next album, according to bassist Mike Mills. This will further fuel those rumors about drummer Bill Berry rejoining the band, though Mills makes no mention of it in the linked article.

THE LONG WINTERS are getting generally favorable reviews for their third album, Putting The Days To Bed. Frontman John Roderick talks to Harp about his difficulty writing songs and to Arizona Daily Star blogger jb about moving from opening act to headliner, adding that the band recently recorded a cover of the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On" for an unnamed HBO series. Often compared to early R.E.M., Pavement and various Elephant Six bands, there's plenty to stream right now via the Hype Machine.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: While the troubled singer would like to use his own blood to supply the ink for his wedding bans, the woman involved in his infamous "syringe incident" is talking to the Daily Mail.

BRITNEY SPEARS popped out a second son, the fourth spawn of Spenderline.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH: Sources like E! and US Weekly are reporting her son died of "unnatural causes." Police said they were waiting for a pathologist's report to determine the cause of death.

LINDSAY LOHAN is flashing her genitals again. But I'm not even going to try to beat Tyler Durden's headline.

DAVE NAVARRO and CARMEN ELECTRA BREAKUP-DATE: Is Electra looking to hook up with Frankenstein's Monster? Sure looks like it.

GEORGE CLOONEY will be speaking before the United Nations Security Council about the o­ngoing crisis in Sudan this Thursday. I'm sure he'll get some prompt action from Turtle Bay.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The Tom-Kitten netted Vanity Fair 5.4 million page views at the mag's website and 5700 new subscriptions. Sky News wonders whether the couple is still in love, while other media report that a Tom-Kat wedding is expected in the early Fall. Given the couple's current PR campaign, I would expect stories about how the wedding is all Holmes' doing, to distract from the fact that she's marrying Tom Crazy.

SIENNA MILLER and JUDE LAW were snapped looking pretty cozy after grabbing a late night dinner during the Toronto International Film Festival.

TOM HANKS: A new book details court papers in which his first wife alleged he harassed her and attempted to kill her career. The book also claims that some of Hanks' portrayal of Forrest Gump is borrowed from his brother's performance in a softcore sex flick.

BRADGELINA: Pitt and Ocean's 13 co-star Matt Damon feted economist Jeffrey Sachs, who heads up the UN Millennium Project, crediting Jolie for his interest, natch. While promoting Babble at the Toronto International Film Festival, Pitt also said that having kids will affect his future choice of film roles and made a crazy face he believes the press will use "when I have a breakdown or something ... when I get arrested for a DUI late at night, make racial slurs or something."

JESSICA SIMPSON has figured out that she scares men away, though she mistakenly believes it's o­nly the publicity factor scaring them. Meanwhile, ex hubby Nick Lachey is considering making an X-rated home movie, perhaps involving public sex. It's not clear whether he's pitched the idea to new gf and Maxim cover girl Vanessa Minnillo.

BLOGGERS are getting under the tents during New York's fashion week. The Manolo, he is mentioned. And New York Magazine's Web site is featuring the work of the two women behind the often-critical celebrity fashion blog GoFugYourself, which I find brutally funny without any great interest in fashion.

MODERATE MUSLIMS: Inasmuch as Muslims tend to get stereotyped when moderates fail to speak out against extremism, it's worth noting that Emilio Karim Dabul is apologizing for not speaking out earlier, and Aslam Abdullah is condemning radical Islamists who "have brought nothing but shame and disaster to your religion and your world."

THE MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN, otoh, thought the 9/11 anniversary would be a good time to threaten the UK with the prospect of up to two million Islamic terrorists because Britons have questioned widely-held Muslim attitudes since last year's London bombings. The MCB really has a knack for timing, as it signed o­nto a similar letter in mid-August, days after the UK plane bombing plot was foiled. Indeed, a MCB official wrote a piece so sympathetic to the bombers' complaints that he felt he had to write that "it should not be misinterpreted as an apologia for terrorism." This same MCB official was a documented fan of the blind Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman and of Osama bin Laden, who he regarded as a "freedom fighter." But he's Mr. Moderate now.

FWIW: Hamid Mir, a Pakistani journalist who obtained the o­nly post-9/11 interviews with Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, claims that bin Laden has assigned a man named Adnan Al-Shukri Juma to carry out an attack in the US larger than 9/11. This man, a/k/a Adnan G. El Shukrijumah is already wanted by the FBI and is being sought in Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana. Perhaps it's mere coincidence that he is the subject of two stories in the past week o­n the blog of ABC News reporter Brian Ross, but it's more likely someone has been dialing his number. It may be nothing, but if there's a "dirty bomb" attack in the US during Ramadan, you can say you heard it here first, right along with those Tom-Kat wedding rumors.

DOGS are knocking 'em back at cocktail parties, which is probably where they thought up the idea of calling themselves Canine-Americans.

STINGRAYS fear revenge attacks in the wake of the death of Croc Hunter Steve Irwin. At least ten stingrays have been found dead and mutilated o­n Australia’s eastern coast in the last week.

THREE-LEGGED COW is looking for a hand in Tazmania.

A GOLDFISH'S COSMETIC SURGERY goes awry, as cosmetic surgery so often does.

A FELINE JIHAD is under investigation in Red Bank, TN.

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New Releases, Rare Otis Redding, Advance Bob Pollard, Goat Marriage   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

BIG BLACK: I was unable to attend the Touch & Go label's 25th anniversary concerts, but YouTube has clips of Big Black (including my ol' classmate, Santiago Durango), palying "Dead Billy," "Cables" and "Racer X." The sound is distorted -- and the cheap joke would be to ask who can tell with Big Black -- but the reality is their sound was really quite precise.

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Yo La Tengo, Barenaked Ladies, Everclear, Soulwax, indie ravers The Rapture, Robert Cray Band, and R.E.M. (a "best of") are streaming in full from AOL this week. Catfish Haven (whose soul-influenced rock recently got raves at Chromewaves), the prolific Jason Molina's Magnolia Record Co., buzz band TV o­n the Radio and even returning legend Bob Seger all have stuff up o­n MySpace. Los Lobos has audio and podcasts for their new LP at their website. Richard Buckner's latest album of roots-rock is streaming from Merge Records. A tune from the Nonsuch debut of Black Keys made NPR's Song of the Day, in all its garage-y goodness. And Page France has another slab 'o' folk-pop out today; they will be playing the M-Shop o­n Halloween, Amesters.

YO LA TENGO, whose I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your A** would be my pick of the week, is already getting universal acclaim at Metacritic. It also got a good review in London's Guardian, who recently had the band play Name (and comment o­n) That Tune.

PAUL STANLEY of KISS is a dad. He told People magazine: "Lucky for him, he looks just like his mother."

JANE'S ADDICTION, RYAN ADAMS and OTIS REDDING all have live sets posted at rbally, which you can jukebox via the Hype Machine.

SIXTIES SONGS REVISITED: Following up o­n Pitchfork's "200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s" feature, staffers post their individual top tens and shoulda-beens. Kudos to John Motley for picking Dusty Springfield's "No Easy Way Down."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: I asked myself: "How do you balance out those Big Black videos?" And I answered myself: "By having Walter Becker and Donald Fagen -- a/k/a Steely Dan -- and crack musicians like Rick Marotta, Chuck Rainey and Yacht Rocker Michael McDonald talk about the making of "Peg." You can see a live performance from VH1's Storytellers, or stream the studio recording via the Hype Machine. And o­nce I was in a Dan groove (and stopped talking to myself), I couldn't help but throw in "Hey Nineteen" and "Reelin' In The Years."

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN frontman Ian McCulloch has been charged with attacking two fans during a backstage dispute after a concert.

ROBERT POLLARD has announced tour dates and released a sneak preview from his upcoming Normal Happiness album, "Supernatural Car Lover," which finds Bob in his uber-catchy pop mode. You can also stream it via the Hype Machine.

PINK FLOYD: If you thought you knew everything about Dark Side of the Moon, did you know the album has its own CD-pressing factory in Germany?

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer wanted to stage his quasi-Buddhist weddding to the supposedly sober supermodel in a soccer stadium, but has been turned down by officials.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH gives birth to a daughter and loses her son within three days.

THE McCARTNEYS: The latest gossip has Sir Paul buying Heather Mills' silence with a £40 million settlement.

LINDSAY LOHAN understands the karma of having to thank a paparazzo for recovering her handbag and jewelry.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE: Last weekend, Richie Sambora took Denise Richards to meet the parents. TMZ has video.

DAVE NAVARRO and CARMEN ELECTRA BREAK-UPDATE: Navarro is denying involvement with yet another woman at his website.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Okay, this technically is not about Cruise, but don't you think it bugs him that he can't joke in public about pictures of Brooke Shields eating her own boogers? You know they're busting a gut over at the Scientology Celebrity Centre.

NICOLE KIDMAN is furious with David Thomson's unauthorized biography, which Random House has excerpted at its website.

ORLANDO BLOOM and UMA THURMAN getting cozy just days after Bloom split from Kate Bosworth?

THE FRENCH HOTEL is talentless and unprofessional, according to her co-star in the new movie Bottoms Up, though everyone pretty much knew the first part already. And you will be shocked, shocked to learn that the heiress broke her year-long vow of celibacy after less than a month.

WILLIAM SHATNER: Yesterday, I noted his admitted fear of space travel. Today brings word that Capt. Kirk can't work a computer. The technology must be too primitive, like when the Enterprise traveled back in time and Scotty was trying to use a mouse as a microphone.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is rumored to be marrying Pride and Prejudice co-star Rupert Friend. Didn't she watch her own movie? The man is a gold-digger!

THE STATE OF THE WAR: In The New Yorker, Lawrence Wright surveys the assessments of the major jihad theorists. The war has not gone well for them so far, but hope springs eternal for Islamic extremists.

AFGHAN/PAKISTAN: NATO estimates it has killed 420 Taliban fighters in nine days. London's Guardian spins it this way: "If true, the Taliban casualty figures could suggest that either the insurgent ranks have swelled enormously or heavy civilian casualties have been inflicted." This would be in line with the paper's 9/11 coverage. Meanwhile Coalition forces captured Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was nameed by the US State Dept. as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist." And that truce between the Pakistan Army and Taliban leaders in North Waziristan is already in jeopardy. I'm shocked.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar comments o­n the politics of federalism, while Mohammed is stunned at Arabic media coverage of 9/11. He probably shouldn't be, though I note that favorable opinion of the US has gone up considerably in countries like Jordan and Pakistan since 2003, the exception being Turkey, which probably blames the US for Kurdish unrest. A prior poll showed declining support in the region for suicde bombers, with the exception of Jordan, where support for Al Qaeda finally plummeted after Zarqawi attacked the nation. Meanwhile, Coalition forces have begun patrols in Sadr City in Baghdad, the headquarters for radical Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr. Operations have also begun in Baghdad's southern neighborhoods of Bay'aa and Risala.

A MASSIVE KILLER BIRD that can kill with a single swipe of his six-inch claws or needle-shaped beak, was recaptured after a week o­n the loose in Britain.

THE DOG ATE YOUR HOMEWORK? No, more like a raccoon, really...

PET HOARDING: The latest case, involving about 100 birds of various species, two dogs, two turtles, and a rabbit, comes from St. Petersburg, Florida.

AN ELEPHANT at the Everland amusement park in Seoul can mimic human words.

A GOAT was a party to a "shotgun wedding" in Sudan.

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