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Robert Pollard, Cookie Monster, The Jam, Wild Cats and Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 06, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SYLVIA HAUSER UPDATE: You old skool Pate fans from Ames may be interested to learn that Sylvia's fiancee is back from the sandbox and they have welcomed an as-yet unnamed Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Boy into their family, as pictured o­n the far right. At the far left is Lady Macbeth, next to Lady Catherine. Sylvia has refused to name her bike, which is very Sylvia. Lex apparently got quite a deal o­n the bike, so we need not worry about the unscrupulous dealers some soldiers face after coming home. Moreover, he got quite a deal o­n the fiancee, so he did not need the Army seminar o­n avoiding marrying a jerk.

ROBERT POLLARD misses the guys from the band, but not the GbV brand: "To me, it was more like a guild than a band. It had been through probably 40 or 50 people, if not more." From A Compund Eye, which is currently scoring an 80 at Metacritic, is streaming in glorious Quicktime via Merge Records.

WE'RE JAMMIN': I don't know how I missed this apparently regular featue in the Guardian, which has Pascal Wyse interviewing and playing trombone with artists like Robyn Hitchcock and Jose Gonzalez, with MP3 downloads of the results.

BRIAN EPSTEIN is the subject of a feature film, The Fifth Beatle. Screenwriter Vivek Tiwary: "I was hoping to find a blueprint for success in the music management world." Instead, he found "this tremendously inspirational human story."

THE COOKIE MONSTER is interviewed about his influence o­n death metal.

SONIC YOUTH: Thurston Moore tells CMJ that the departure of guitarist Jim O'Rourke has shaped the sound of the upcoming record: "This record is just a far more straight up rock and roll album for us..."

DOMINO, the record label of the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand, must be doing something right, so the Independent looked into it.

MOTOWN ARCHIVES were razed for Superbowl parking. There are a lot of fingers being pointed at each other.

THE JAM were a way of life. London's Guardian quotes ex-NME writer Adrian Thrills: "They did become huge, but there was a real dialogue between the band and their fans. And it transcended what the Pistols and the Clash had done, didn't it? Those bands were singing about Britain, but they weren't singing about their audience." Weller warms up for the Brits' Lifetime Achievement award by slagging past recipents like Bob Geldof, Sting and Freddie Mercury. Let's salute Weller with the video for "Going Underground" as well as an excellent live TV appearance covering the Kinks' "David Watts."

WATERLOO SUNSET: Ray Davies reveals that the Kinks classic was originally set in Liverpool and addresssed the death of the city's music scene. And we have the vintage video.

JOHNNY CASH: In London's Guardian, John Harris frets that the UK release of Walk The Line will cause a rash of Cash hype.

ARCTIC MONKEYS defend their album cover, a photo of a lad smoking a cigarette. YouTube hosts the live video for "I Bet You Look Good o­n the Dancefloor," which looks like a knock off of The Old Grey Whistle Test.

BAY CITY ROLLERS Les McKeown and Pat McGlynn were cleared of plotting a £16,000 drugs deal Friday.

GARY GLITTER is to stand trial in Vietnam at the end of this month for allegedly committing obscene acts against two children.

SMASHING PUMPKINS: Sources say Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin are set to begin work o­n a new studio album, but James Iha and D'arcy Wretzky are not participating in the reunion at this point. Melissa Auf Der Maur would like to join in, but hasn't been asked.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR'S announcement that she had filed for divorce was news to her husband, Richie Sambora. ABC News also posted an MP3 of his reaction.

MADONNA and GUY RITCHIE are working overtime to prove their marriage isn't falling apart, following reports that Madge was spending much of her time with her record producer Stuart Price, working o­n her music.

SHERYL CROW and LANCE ARMSTRONG are splitsville. Reports that their engagement was off circulated in early January.

OBITS: Grandpa Munster went from the undead to the dead at 95, while Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and the the first president of NOW, died at 85. She had not stopped being a feminist, she said, "but women as a special separate interest group are not my concern any more."

CHRISTOPHER PENN was buried Saturday, and it wouldn't be a Penn family funeral without Sean going after a (ghoulish) paparazzo. But the police may really go after Mark Ruffalo, who snatched the memory card from the photographer's camera.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Your top three were When a Stranger Calls, Big Momma's House 2 and Nanny McPhee. But the Oscar contenders that went into wider release made gains -- Brokeback Mountain moved to fourth from sixth, Walk the Line went from twelfth to ninth, and Capote leapt 12 spots, from 24th to twelfth.

WERNER HERZOG, the director of Grizzly Man, was shot by a crazed fan during a recent interview with the BBC. He carried o­n with the interview, insisting, "It was not a significant bullet. I am not afraid."

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: Tony Curtis offers some confirmation that Academy members are not watching it. While supposed Hollywood progressives avoid the movie, it has performed strongly in Montana and other "red states."

KATE MOSS wants to become the first supermodel in space; the trip will cost her $200,000. She will be cast in bronze with her feet behind her ears. And while she refused to incriminate herself under police questioning, the supposedly sober supermodel may be forced to answer questions about her cocaine usage if she wants to continue to sue London's Channel 5 for libel.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes is now co-signing Cruise's unsolicited letters informing the recipients that donations had been made in their name to the Church of Scientology.

SCARLETT JOHANNSON is denying reports that she is dating Hard-Fi frontman Richard Archer, claiming she has never met him.

JESSICA SIMPSON has signed a 35 million dollar pact to keep making crappy records for Columbia.

BRADGELINA survives an attempted attack by Team Aniston in Berlin. The duo were dining at a Berlin restaurant when a woman stormed in and screamed: "Where is that home-wrecking Angelina?" Meanwhile, there's a rumor that Jolie may join the cast of Sin City 2.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER thinks that America's obsession with celebrity is diverting the public away from pressing political and social issues. Which was just fine when the media was focused o­n Sex in the City, but now the spotlight is o­n people less talented than she: "All we talk about now are 'celebrities'. They call themselves actors, they get paid as actors and sometimes, they're paid more than me. But often these people have done absolutely nothing."

TOMMY LEE nearly got duped into hooking up with a transsexual while partying in Toronto.

BOB GUCCIONE has been thrown out of his penthouse.

NAOMI WATTS is converting to Buddhism.

ASHLEY JUDD says, "It's unconscionable to breed with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries," but admits that someday she might feel a different impulse. In the meantime, let's hope her racing star husband Dario Franchitt gets to practice a lot.

KATE BECKINSALE: The o­nly reason I could think of to see the widely-panned Underworld: Evolution was hot werewolf-on-vampire eroticism. Thanks to people killing movies o­n the Internet, I now know I don't need to see it, but you can judge for yourselves.

IRAQ: Army Col. Jeffrey Buchanan says Iraq's police commandos are becoming a major spearhead of security in the country but must learn to temper battlefield aggression with democratic values. The Washington Post reports o­n progresss toward turning over Mosul to local forces. Such forces are arresting batches of suspected insurgents in Baghdad and Basra, particularly along the well-known road airport road.

CARTOON JIHAD: Muslims upset about Danish cartoons portraying Islam as violent stormed and torched the Danish embassy in Syria and the o­ne in Beirut. Others were content to preach beheading those responsible or to carry signs saying "You dug your grave -- lie in it," "Massacre those who insult Islam," "Behead those who insult Islam," and "Freedom, Go to Hell." There are rare reports of some Muslims opposing these protests. Two Jordanian newspaper editors who published the cartoons have been arrested. The trad press ran stories abut the US government "blasting" the cartoons and siding with Muslims, but when the AP, Reuters and AFP all gave different names to the State Dept. spokesperson, I thought I should check into it. All three had the wrong name, and spokesman Sean McCormack was both more diplomatic and supportive of free speech than the press would have us believe. The L.A. Times supports free speech and criticizes the response from governments in the Middle East and Europe, but adds, "For our part, The Times has not reprinted these insensitive images, even as a means of shedding light o­n the controversy in Europe." Fair enough: some of the cartoons do seem offensive in their overbeadth and they need not be republished to defend the right of others to publish them. The Boston Globe, otoh, has a double-standard for speech blaspheming Islam and Christianity. So does CNN, which notes at the first link that it hasn't shown the cartoons, but had no problem showing a painting of the Virgin Mary spattered with dung.

NANOTECH: At Corante, Derek Lowe takes a skeptical look at claims made for Nanotech Wonder Water.

ONE MUTT OR TWO? A mixed Chihuahua-rat terrier is at the center of a dogfight in MI, as a man and a veterinary technician each claim it is theirs. The judge has not decided whether the dog will be called as a witness. Don't we all know this will end with each person standing at opposite ends of the courtroom, calling to the dog in the center?

WILD CATS AND DOGS raise a four-year-old boy in Russia. It's in London's Sun, so take it to the bank.

COUGAR CAUGHT in Willmar, MN -- pretty far from the nearest wild cougar population in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

WHALE SOUL FOR SALE: The Northern Bottlenosed Whale that died two weeks ago after swimming up the River Thames into central London is is the subject of a sad eBay joke.

FIONA THE GUINEA PIG sounds an alarm, saves most of an apartment building from an electrical fire.

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Johnny Rotten, BSS+Feist, Sam Cooke and Blogging Pigeons   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 03, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

SPLIT ENZ is mounting a reunion tour down under. They are expected to attract a total crowd bigger than anything the New Zealanders managed in their original 12-year existence, including in the early 1980s, when Split Enz had three consecutive No. 1 albums in Australia.  Probably because they have promised to not dress like this.  And yes, I do have a copy of True Colours with the design laser-etched into the vinyl.  It was a Christmas present (it's the red cover). UPDATE: I found the video for "I Got You." Not as funny as the picture, but close... plus a catchy tune.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Escapa! Wasting lots of time, most likely in very small segments.

JOHNNY ROTTEN has slammed the late Joe Strummer as a hypocrite for preaching a socialism while living a posh lifestyle: "He was trying to con us. In a nice way and for the right reasons but o­nce you start lying, it carries o­n and o­n and o­n."

PETE TOWNSHEND confirms a a new Who album and tour for the summer.

VIC CHESNUTT talks to UGA's Red and Black about the Undertow Orchestra Tour featuring Chesnutt, David Bazan (ex-Pedro the Lion and Headphones), Mark Eitzel (of American Music Club) and Will Johnson (of Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel): "We’ll be playing each other’s songs and backing up o­ne another at the show and who knows, maybe we’ll even write some new songs together."

ANDREW BIRD talks about getting re-inspired for a new album and his use of instruments like violin, glockenspiel and whistling: "There's enough bass, drum, guitar bands out playing pop and rock 'n' roll. My big beef is that what's mostly being thrust at you is loaded down. It's much more affecting to do less and be subtle."

DAVID BYRNE has posted a gallery of his tree drawings. By "tree," he often means diagram, but some of the trees look very much like trees. Because he's David Byrne.

GREATEST HITS, R.I.P.: Sure, digital downloads have technological limts o­n their quality, but they are killing "Greatest Hits" collections, as people can grab tracks like Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," and even Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" in the hundreds of thousands without having to buy an album.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE, including Leslie Feist, played "7/4 (Shoreline)" o­n Late Night with Conan O'Brien Tuesday night. And someone is killing television. PLUS: Feist's surreal solo video for "Mushaboom."

LISA LOEB: Stereogum has a multimedia roundup of the o­ne-hit wonder now starring in the #1 Single reality dating show o­n E! So if you want a remix of her hit and video of her walking around in a thong, it's your o­ne-stop.

BONO attended the National Prayer Breakfast to promote The o­ne Campaign: "Please join me in praying I don't say anything we all regret."

SAM COOKE: NPR has an audio feature and book excerpt from music historian Peter Guralnick's Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. Guralnick could send it around as a movie pitch, methinks.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Several clips of the early Replacements at the 7th Street Entry -- start with "Customer" and "Rattlesnake."

KATE MOSS UPDATE: The cocaine case against the supposedly sober supermodel is probably dead, as Moss refused to incriminate herself and the Brits apparently cannot use the photographic evidence.

BRADGELINA: Fans of Sonic Youth. Who knew? Anyway, tabs are reporting that Jolie is selling her UK mansion, with the idea of the pair building or renovating a place in the US. And Jolie told Nightline that she wants to have and adopt a few more children.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR is divorcing Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora after 11 years of marriage. For the record, no matter what you may hear, I had nothing to do with it.

SEPARATED AT BIRTH: The Bradgelina pics above reminded me to link to a bunch of "separated at births" from CityRag, starting with Ashlee Simpson and David Lee Roth.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's big openers are the interracial romantic comedy Something New (a 62% Fresh o­n the Tomatometer) and the remake of When a Stranger Calls, which wasn't screened for critics, a big red flag, but o­ne that may not matter to the movie's target demo. Also, a number of the Oscar contenders expand this weeked, including Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Good Night, and Good Luck, Mrs. Henderson Presents, and Munich.

SUPERBOWL: You can get a head start o­n the commercials, if that's the reason you watch. And given that the big game is in Detroit, Motown greats have a point in feeling kinda snubbed.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX: As if his car wreck last week wasn't strange enough, it turns out the Oscar nominated actor was rescued by German cult director Werner Herzog, who most recently put together the excellent documentary Grizzly Man, complete with soundtrack by Richard Thompson, which premieres o­n the Discovery Channel tonight.

GRIZZLY MAN was snubbed for an Oscar nom, despite being the best-reviewed feature documentary of the year, for reasons that remain shrouded in mystery. Then again The Aristocrats was also snubbed. It's part of an Academy tradition of snubbing films like Hoop Dreams, Crumb and The Thin Blue Line.

TOM-KAT punishes everyone who thought Holmes wasn't really pregnant. As fashion statements go, this is the o­ne-fingered salute.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: L.A. Weekly columnist Nikki Finke reports that " this year’s dirty little secret is the anecdotal evidence pouring in to me about hetero members being unwilling to screen Brokeback Mountain. She blames hypocritical hollywood homophobia, though this isn't a movie men would be rushing to see even without the gay element, i.e., this is basically a variation of a "chick flick." It suggests that Crash may pull an upset win at the Oscars, as it did at the SAG Awards. Or that some people may vote for it sight unseen to make a statement in which they don't really believe.

BRITNEY SPEARS may have reached a new low if the rumored second pregnancy is true.

SIENNA MILLER: Her thing with Factory Girl co-star Hayden Christensen is over, if it ever existed in the first place. But maybe the next rumor will say otherwise.

ZACH BRAFF and MANDY MOORE are reportedly headed down the aisle.

TRAILERS REMIXED: Sleepless In Seattle as a horror movie is pretty good, but Shining remains the gold standard of the genre.

JESSICA SIMPSON and hubby Nick Lachey are having second thoughts about their divorce? Seems unlikely, with Josh Lucas and Jude Law lined up behind Maroon 5's Adam Levine to get into those Daisy Dukes. And with Lachey is launching a "social networking" website for teens, after learning that his name is o­ne of the more frequent names used by predators to lure kids o­nline. Yes, that's the broad side of a barn, isn't it?

JENNA JAMESON and JENNY McCARTHY apparently acted like a couple of ex-Panthers cheerleaders in the bathroom of the Hard Rock Cafe last Halloween, according to Jameson's account during an appearance o­n the Howard Stern show. I guess what happens in Vegas now gets broadcast o­n satellite radio.

CULT OF THE iPod: Pres. Bush, touting his State of the Union proposals, talks about his iPod as an example of the sciences -- including nanotechnology -- that change our lives.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio posts o­n progress in Ramadi, where foreign terrorists are being fought by the Iraqi Army and indigenous insurgent groups alike. At Iraq the Model, Omar has updates o­n political negotiations, Saddams trial and the fuel shortage -- which is "now relatively over," due to availability of imported gasoline at market prices. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Spectrum takes a look at reconstruction, particularly of electricity generation and distributuion: "Most officials, Iraqis included, agree that there is more power available in Iraq now than there was before the 2003 war. However, that fact is less germane than most people realize, because the allocation of electric power has shifted seismically, and more or less in sync with the shift in political power. Basically, parts of Baghdad and central Iraq now get much less power than they did before the war, while parts of the south and north actually get considerably more." I would suggest that most people have no idea that there is more power available, let alone that it's now being provided to the majority that was oppressed by Saddam.

THE WAR o­n CARTOONS: A weekly Lebanese magazine has published three of the 12 cartoons of Prophet Mohammed that created a storm in the Islamic world when they were published by a Danish daily. BTW, those cartoons were published in September and it seems that a Muslim delegation showed fabricated cartoons to the Arab League. Scott Burgess rounds up European media publishing the 'toons, but has seen "no evidence that any British paper has had the spine to publish the cartoons." The BBC TV coverage blacked out parts of the cartoons. Note that in the US, the Joint Chiefs of Staff may write a letter to complain about a political cartoon, as opposed to surrounding offices and threatening to kidnap people or issuing a fatwa.

GARY BUSEY and BILLY ZANE star in a Turkish movie where American soldiers in Iraq crash a wedding and pump a little boy full of lead in front of his mother, kill dozens of innocent people with random machine gun fire, shoot the groom in the head, and drag those left alive to Abu Ghraib prison -- where a Jewish doctor cuts out their organs, which he sells to rich people in New York, London and Tel Aviv.

PIGEONS' SMOG BLOG: Later this year, 20 pigeons will take to the skies above San Jose, California, each carrying a GPS receiver, air pollution sensors and a basic cellphone. They will measure levels of pollutants they encounter, and beam back their findings as text messages to a blog in real time.

DRUG PUPPIES: Colombian drug dealers smuggled heroin into the US by surgically implanting the powerful drug into puppies.

TASMANIAN DEVILS may be wiped out by a bizzare, infectious facial cancer.

POSSUM POSSESSION without a permit puts people at peril in New York.

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Rise and shine, campers! Pazz & Jop poll and Punxsutawney Phil!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 02, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

I got flowers...in the Spring...

First D.J.: Rise and shine, campers and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.
Second D.J.: It's cold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?
First D.J.: Not hardly. So the big question o­n everybody's lips...
Second D.J.: o­n their chapped lips...
First D.J.: ...their chapped lips is, "Does Phil feel lucky?" Punksatawney Phil! That's right, woodchuck chuckers it's...

[IN UNISON]: GROUNDHOG DAY!!!

The real Punxsutawney Phil has been called the Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary. In fact, he's o­nly right about 40 percent of the time. Nevertheless, tens of thousands will make the journey to Gobbler's Knob in the tiny Pennsylvania hamlet that has become known as the "Weather Capital of the World." All of which is really beside the point, because the event has been dwarfed by the movie.

This is o­ne time where the Internet really fails to capture the true excitement of a movie about a large squirrel predicting the weather.

Last year, Roger Ebert revisited Groundhog Day, declaring that the film "finds its note and purpose so precisely that its genius may not be immediately noticeable. It unfolds so inevitably, is so entertaining, so apparently effortless, that you have to stand back and slap yourself before you see how good it really is."

At the other end of the political spectrum, Jonah Goldberg's equally effusive movie meditation grabbed the cover of National Review last year: "When I set out to write this article, I thought it'd be fun to do a quirky homage to an offbeat flick, o­ne I think is brilliant as both comedy and moral philosophy. But while doing what I intended to be cursory research — how much reporting do you need for a review of a twelve-year-old movie that plays constantly o­n cable? — I discovered that I wasn't alone in my interest. In the years since its release the film has been taken up by Jews, Catholics, Evangelicals, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, and followers of the oppressed Chinese Falun Gong movement."

Indeed, a 2004 article mentioned by Ebert (but not linked) from London's Independent observes that the Harold Ramis comedy has been hailed by some religious leaders as the most spiritual film of all time. In addition to the examples given in that article, another can be found at the Christian Science Monitor.

Don't drive angry!

As Phil Connors ultimately observed: "When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter."

UPDATE: Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.

SPECIAL THANKS: According to our site admin Lance, the rare Pate track posted in our downloads section yesterday was submitted by one of our members, JPStone. How cool is that!? So check it out, along with the new Jon Pratt solo track, "Geologic Time."

THE 32ND (OR 33RD) PAZZ & JOP critics' poll -- along with essays, comments, and individual ballots -- is posted at the Village Voice. I've featured a bunch of the bands o­n the list here, but there are some I'll have to investigate, too.

MODEST MOUSE frontman Isaac Brock is writing songs with ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.

RILO KILEY members Jenny Smith and Blake Sennett are still getting pub for their solo projects released last week. The San Francisco Bay Guardian notes that both albums are more country-tinged than Rilo Kiley. Sennett describes the album by The Elected as o­ne about travel, whereas Smith's Rabbit Fur Coat is often about "the struggle with, and search for, religious faith."

RELIGION IN INDIE ROCK: Speaking of which, the topic is addressed to a more hipster audience at Pitchfork and to a more Christian audience at World magazine's blog.

JEFF TWEEDY is the subject of a streaming interview at WBUR.

BILLY CORGAN appears on Extreme Championship Wrestling. He goes all Pete Townshend o­n someone's head. The (so far untrue) rumors of a Smashing Pumpkins reunion are clearly a cry for help.

CAT POWER: If you want to see Chan Marshall in a red latex bodysuit -- and a Tupac hoodie -- the video for "Living Proof" is available in Windows and Quicktime formats.

DION: I noted a while back that the former teen idol was making an album of blues standards. NPR has his World Cafe gig -- which includes "Crossroads" and "The Wanderer" -- plus streaming album clips of "Walkin' Blues" and "Who Do You Love?"

MARILYN MANSON intends to play Lewis Carroll in his self-penned "arthouse horror" movie Phantasmagoria - The Visions Of Lewis Carroll. Wouldn't it be scarier if he could get Michael Jackson to play Carroll?

KATE MOSS UPDATE: Okay, I already noted that Moss finally submitted to police questioning, but Gawker's imagined version of that questioning was too good not to share.

OSCAR REAX: The nominees give politic answers, for the most part. But Keira Knightley and Paul Giamatti must expect not to win, with the freedom that brings. Giamatti said he wanted to go to a pistol range and fire some handguns off. Knightley said "that's wicked," but promptly went back to sleep.

LUCY LIU went to Pakistan to tour areas ravaged by October's earthquake. The UNICEF sponsored trip went well until someone mentioned her Chinese-American heritage...

NICKY HILTON called O.C. starlet Mischa Barton a "fat pig." As Barton is almost two-dimensionally thin, Nicky must be trying to brand herself as "the dumb Hilton," as opposed to her sister, "the skanky Hilton."

SIENNA MILLER and HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN may not have been caught canoodling, but is she flying her family to the US to meet him?

SIR SEAN CONNERY called for an inquiry into claims the 1970s British Labour government steered Scots away from billions of pounds in oil profits -- because they feared it would lead to Scottish independence.

GWYNETH PALTROW dismisses jibes about her boring lifestyle with Coldplay husband Chris Martin: "I think it's sort of funny how you have to be doing coke off the a** of some stripper to be perceived as not boring these days."

BRADGELINA: New rumors have the pair checking o­n a hotel for a wedding, as well as buying a house in Washington, DC. Meanwhile, inspired by the success of Brokeback Mountain, Pitt is rumored to be looking for a gay role.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN has become an excuse to tell graphic sexual jokes that make fun of gays. But the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation doesn't have a problem with the jokes o­n late night TV.

JENNIFER ANISTON supposedly cut a deal to appear o­n Oprah Winfrey's TV show if Oprah would promote a book to which Aniston had bought the film rights -- "A Million Little Pieces," the now-discredited memoir by James Frey. Oops.

CHARLIE SHEEN and DENISE RICHARDS: The divorce is getting ugly, as two are no longer o­n speaking terms.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Just a week ago, Star magazine was claiming that the pneumatic blonde was phoning estranged hubby Nick Lacey nightly. Now the tab reports that Lachey and new gal pal Elizabeth Ann Arnold are "very close," according to her father. What's a girl to do?

TWO NOT-SO-BLIND VICE: E! gossip Ted Casablanca is slipping; these two are way too easy. But the rumored lawsuit will be fun.

EX-PANTHERS CHEERLEADERS UPDATE: The fine folk at The Smoking Gun finally obtained a complete police report detailing witness accounts of what allegedly happened between those two Carolina Panther cheerleaders in the bathroom of a Tampa nightclub last November. May I just say that standing o­n a toilet can be particularly dangerous in certain situations? At least, that's what I've heard. From a friend. Of a friend.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar posts o­n the internal divisions of the major Shia bloc, which is slowing the formation of the government. The Coalition has turned over security for 20 buildings inside Baghdad's Green Zone to Iraqi forces, though the Washington Post report complains that the handover is not going o­n schedule. WaPo media writer Howard Kurtz was surprised to keep getting asked whether the injuries of the ABC crew were getting too much media coverage, when US troops suffer the same every day. His answer is that famous people tend to get more media coverage and tend to become symbols. But that answer does not explain why some of the biggest heroes of the Iraq campaign got no coverage from ABC and most other media outlets -- including Kurtz's own paper. Some might argue the media didn't cover those heroes precisely because coverage might make them famous and symbols.

THE WAR ON CARTOONS: Newspapers in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and France have reprinted caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to show support for a Danish paper whose cartoons sparked Muslim outrage, including death threats. You will be shocked to learn that while France Soir originally said it had published them to show that "religious dogma" had no place in a secular society, the owner has since fired the managing editor of the paper. Reporters Without Borders said the reaction in the Arab world "betrays a lack of understanding" of press freedom as "an essential accomplishment of democracy." Tell it to Bill Clinton.

TRIBAL AMERICA: Using Ted Nugent as a springboard, author Jon Margolis argues that although Americans lack common ethnicity or religion, we are more tribal than Europeans, though Margolis has apparently forgotten about the Holocaust, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, and so o­n. He would probably be surprised to learn that his cultural view that "Almost everybody in France is French, and Sweden is chock-full of Swedes" is similar to things Newt Gingich was saying in the 1990s, though the recent riots of Muslim youth in France and elsewhere across Europe suggests this theory is less true than it o­nce was. Margolis also suggests that people like Nugent embrace ignorance. A recent study suggests that people across the political spectrum do this. And because it's a scientific study, Margolis should embrace it warmly -- but if the study is correct, he won't. (Thanks to Debbie for the Margolis.)

THE LEGENDARY TURTLE of Hoan Kiem Lake, "Vietnam's o­nly slightly less fabulous version of the Loch Ness Monster," is revered by Hanoians, though many do not believe it exists.

SOME MALE MONKEYS put o­n extra weight when their mates are pregnant, a new study reveals. Scientists believe the males have decided it's okay to let themselves go at this point in the relationship.

AIRBORNE CROCODILE attacks a four-wheel drive vehicle down under, prompting calls for Northern Territory residents to watch for crocs when driving near waterways.

BLACK-FOOTED FERRETS are shagging like minxes in the Western US.

SHE-WHALES choose mates based o­n singing, making them evolutionary predecessors to the groupie.

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X-clusive Jon Pratt and Pate live tracks, Giant Octopus attacks Sub!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

JON PRATT (Pate's frontman, for you new visitors) has provided us with an exclusive solo track, "Geologic Time." It's available -- in both .wma and .mp3 formats -- in the "Downloads" section via the navigation bar o­n the left. You can also stream it from the mini-MP3 player our site admin. Lance recently installed o­n the right. Lance has also posted a bonus Pate track, "Chalk It Up to Fate," from Pate's first reunion gig at the M-Shop in 1991 -- the first time any such recording has been made available to the public, afaik. There are tracks from Pate's 2003 reunion sets streaming at MySpace... I must remember to ask the guys if it's okay to make them downloadable also.

EARWORM: Jon Pratt had not heard the term when I last saw him; I first saw it at Amber Taylor's blog. But a Slate article uses it "to describe the crippling psychological torture of having a song stuck in your head."

MORE COWBELL! As I know Jon Pratt is visiting now, it's a good excuse to introduce him to the viral SNL skit featuring Will Farrell and Christopher Walken, though if he's reading this o­n a dial-up connection, I would recommend the eight seconds with the key Walken line. Farrell later reprised his role when he returned to host SNL and Queens of the Stone Age was the musical guest. Of course, there's always the original Blue Oyster Cult, though hearing it again makes me think that it could use... more cowbell.

THE RAMONES: Rolling Stone has posted an archival piece from 1976 o­n the legendary fathers of punk.

ROBERT POLLARD: Whitney Matheson of USA Today saw the solo tour and reports not o­nly that he remains a "fantastic showman," but also that he's selling super-cool Robert Pollard bottle openers at the merch table.

VINYL endures. The Emory Wheel examines why. The article also notes that if you buy Robert Pollard’s From a Compound Eye o­n a big hunk of black plastic, you automatically receive a digital version for your mp3 player. (Thanks, Coolfer Glenn!)

THE RACONTEURS: Pair Jack White of the White Stripes with the fab Brendan Benson, plus Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler -- the rhythm section of the garage-before-it-came-back Greenhornes -- put 'em at a retro-cool website and you've got a couple of catchy tunes to stream!

VAN MORRISON is putting out an album of oldtime country music in March, including Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart" and George Jones' "Things Have Gone to Pieces."

ARCTIC MONKEYS are smashing album sales records and topping the singles chart – but have not seen a penny of their hard-earned profits. The more things change... but at least the hype the band discourages continues unabated in The New York Times, which claims their debut "has been instantly — and accurately — hailed as a modern classic, even though it was o­nly released a week ago."

BAY CITY ROLLERS singer Les McKeown has admitted taking cocaine but denied conspiring with the band's guitarist, Patrick McGlynn, and a friend to supply nearly £50,000 of Columbian marching powder.

LEONARD COHEN is profiled at SoulShine as he works o­n songs for a possible mid-2006 release.

CAT POWER: Chan Marshall gets an audio feature o­n NPR.

NEKO CASE has revealed the tracklist for her upcoming album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, and tells Pitchfork that she's eagerly jumping into the world of podcasting: "For the last two days I've been here with my friend Phil who's the sound engineer for the New Pornographers and for me. We've just been downloading my vinyl collection into the computer and I can't get my head around it. It's like, ‘How am I gonna make this radio show and not make it seem like I'm completely nuts?'" In the meantime you can grab a guilt-free download of "Star Witness" from the upcoming disc.

AFTER THE BOOMERS: Popmatters wonders who will be "the best bands ever" o­nce the baby boom shuffles off this mortal coil.

INTONATION TIMES TWO: The Pitchfork-sponsored festival I attended last summer was such a hit that its organizers are splitting to do two festivals.

MADONNA and GORILLAZ will open the Grammy Awards o­n February 8, 2006. Gorillaz will appear as live, holographic animation. So Madge may appear lifelike by comparison.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: In celebration of the new Jon Pratt track, check out Robin Zander joining Aerosmith for "Come Together" Or Cheap Trick delivering a scorching live version of "Surrender" and the video for "Dream Police." Thinking of some of the great covers Pate did over the years, you could watch a Husker Du twofer of "Makes No Sense At All" and "Love Is All Around." Or The Police classic, "Roxanne." Early Pate shows often included The Clash's "London Calling," where you can see the original or the all-star Grammy tribute to Joe Strummer, featuring Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven Van Zandt and Dave Grohl. Later Pate shows included an edgy take o­n "Time Of The Season" by the Zombies. And the early Who anthem, The Kids Are Alright, was a recurring staple throughout. But I can't help but recall the infamous Dugan's Deli gig where a broken bass string led Jon Pratt to lead the crowd in the Beat Farmers' "Happy Boy."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer is going "soft in the head" in custody o­n multiple drug charges. The supposedly sober supermodel was finally questioned by police about allegations that she used cocaine. Scotland Yard said that she was not arrested or cautioned and inquiries were continuing. And if things don't work out with her new 20-year-old beau, Moss has Carmen Electra waiting in the wings.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde is desperate to start dating again, but her creepy dad-manager has told her to wait in order to protect her image. She'll be delighted to learn that Nick Lachey has been spending time with Elizabeth Ann Arnold (Miss Kentucky 2002), so she can stop the secretive walk of shame. There's something about these two nitwits that causes even the paparazzi-plagued Jennifer Aniston to track them with the tabloids.

...AND THE OSCAR NOMS GO TO... these folks. Brokeback Mountain "leads" with eight -- which is fewer than many thought. Nevertheless, it remains the frontrunner for Best Picture, with some in the Academy admitting that politics is a factor. Some of the stranger noms and snubs: Batman Begins for cinematography (the dude, who must be popular, might have suggested that the fights not all be filmed in close-up); Memoirs of a Geisha for sound editing; David Cronenberg and A History of Violence getting the big snub; William Hurt getting a (deserved) nom for A History of Violence; Stephen Gaghan's original screenplay nom for Syriana -- it was nominated as an adapted screenplay in other awards races; and Revenge of the Sith getting snubbed for visual effects. BTW, bloggers had better predictions than the trad media.

LOVE MONKEY, contrary to yesterday's entry, was not o­n last night. Instead, President Bush was o­n TV. There were no cool songs in the background. There were people that jumped up and down and clapped along, but no mosh pit.

LIZ HURLEY has sparked rumors she is pregnant with her second child after she was spotted leaving an antenatal clinic.

SIENNA MILLER caught canoodling with Factory Girl co-star Hayden Christensen?  No! Egotastic has the skinny.

GEORGE CLOONEY and TERI HATCHER caught chatting at the SAG Awards. When Clooney’s spokesman was asked about dating rumors, he cagily replied, “What is your definition of a date?” As Elizabeth Snead wrote, "That sounds distinctly Clintonian."

THE (CREEPY) BURGER KING caught canoodling with supermodel Brooke Burke?

BILL CLINTON has a "Teen Obesity Task Force." Too. Many. Punchlines.

VINCE NEIL was "puffy" and barely able to get through a Motley Crue classic before being carted offstage by the hostess of a recent charity benefit.

THE FUTURE OF FILM: Ken Russell plans to distribute his latest works through his own website and the auction site eBay. UK indie studio Vertigo Films plans to raise the money to make its film Outlaw from fans of its earlier movies through the company's website. "Investors will not get a cut of film profits but in effect will buy a copy of the movie when it appears o­n DVD and receive an executive producer credit."

DAVE BARRY: The humorist says that newspapers are dead and he's not kidding. Barry is a believer in podcasting (when it makes sense) and blogging.

HALLE BERRY, no relation to Dave, may have problems finding the right man.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly went speeding after hubby Kevin Spenderline after he stole their son to have his ears pierced. And she's apparently very angry that Spenderline makes pig noises when she eats. The pop tart should avoid the Gallery of the Absurd.

IS GOOGLE BUYING NAPSTER? Both Napster and Google are denying any talks o­n the matter, but Search Engine Watch explains why it would make sense.

NANOTECH: In his State of the Union speech, President Bush proposed "to double the Federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next ten years," specifically mentioning nanotech. Jon Pratt, the folks at NIST and the NNI had to be happy for the shout out.

IRAQ: Iraq's national security adviser believes the number of Coalition forces would fall to below 100,000 by year's end and that the overwhelming majority would be out in two years. Iraqi bloggers Hammorabi and Ibn Alrafidain have different opinions about the former chief judge in Saddam's trial -- and it's great that they can without the government lopping off their limbs, as Saddam would have done. The National Guard has had a turnaround in recruiting and predicting that it will continue to rise this year. This will be a subject of debate between the Administration and Congress, as it could be argued that bolstering the full-time forces is more important.

IRAN: The US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia agreed to report Iran to the UN Security Council over its nuclear program, though Russian and Chinese officials will play "good cop" in talks sheduled for today in Tehran. A leaked IAEA report said that the Iranians had begun preparations for full-scale uranium enrichment, prevented inspectors from questioning key scientists and had refused to produce documents related to the production of nuclear weapons. Regular visitors here knew that last bit in November. In retaliation, Iran threatened to stop IAEA surprise inspections of its atomic facilities, but if the mullahs were really worried, wouldn't they play their oil card?

GIANT OCTOPUS attacks submarine off of Vancouver Island. There's video at the link.

RAGING BULL: A half-ton bull named "Little Bird" leapt into a packed crowd of Mexico City bullfight fans, injuring seven in a panicked frenzy. The BBC has video. The report says no o­ne knows why the bull did it, but I have a theory.

BEST IN (DIGITAL) SHOW: A dachshund-cocker mix named Tillie, rescued by a no-kill shelter last year, won best of show Monday in an o­nline competition. Dog Show USA, sponsored by NBC and Purina, gives equal standing to purebreds and mutts. Tillie seemed unimpressed, but Purina's award presenter declared, "This is a classic Cinderella story."

GIGANTO: Somehow, I missed the History Channel show o­n the ancient ape, Gigantopithecus blackii, that may have inspired the legend of King Kong. But o­ne expert is from the U of Iowa.

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Devo 2.0, Art Brut, Paul Westerberg, Dead or Alive, Surfing Mice   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ARCTIC MONKEYS: The other night, my Dad asked what the big deal was with this band. Well, the quartet's Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not is now the fastest selling debut in British chart history. And this success is due in no small part to Internet marketing and buzz-building, which makes it a larger story than four teens from Sheffield. RELATED: Having noted that the lads have covered prefab pop group Girls Aloud, I should note that the Sugarbabes have covered the Monkeys' "I Bet You Look Good o­n the Dancefloor."

DEVO co-founder Gerald V. Casale talks to Billboard about spending four months casting the kid-staffed Devo 2.0, which is is preparing to take the original band's music to such unlikely locales as state fairs and suburban shopping malls. Casale adds that it "would be funny as hell" for Devo 2.0 to make an unannounced appearance at a regular Devo show at some point. BONUS: If you missed it before, here's the video for "Whip It."

BELLE & SEBASTIAN: PopMatters has an advance review of The Life Pursuit. It scores a seven, but reads better than that. London's Observer dug it enough to make it CD of the week.

THE SMITHS: Guitarist Johnny Marr never listens to Morrissey's new songs because they all sound the same, but karmically, Marr's children hate his music, too. Bassist Andy Rourke is just surprised that he made it to 40.

RAY DAVIES was so traumatised after disbanding The Kinks in 1996, he could barely tune his guitar, according to his brand new semi-fictional memoir, X-Ray.

THE SUBWAYS are lending their tunes to Rimmel ads featuring Kate Moss and appearing o­n The O.C. You can stream a few from MySpace or download the T. Rex-influenced "Rock and Roll Queen" and a cover of TV o­n the Radio's "Staring at the Sun." right now.

ART BRUT: Eddy and Jasper played a session o­n Planet Claire as "Acoustic Brut." Blogger rbally hooks you up with the downloads.

BILLY BRAGG: Harp prints his half of the interview: "I would like to have lived here in Britain before the Romans showed up and spoiled everything with their straight roads and their walls and mortar and their wine. And Greenwich Village in the 1940s when Woody Guthrie lived there and it was the most exciting place in the world. Or Folk City in 1961. It would have been a lot more comfortable than Britain in the Iron Age, I'll tell you that."

HANK WILLIAMS radio acetates belong to Hank Williams Jr. and half-sister Jett, according to a ruling from the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Paul Westerberg plays "Silent Film Star" o­n The Late Show with David Letterman (2002).

DEAD OR ALIVE singer Pete Burns is horrified his former record company re-released "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" because he's "sick" of it. That's a word that pops into my head when I think of that tune, too. None of which stops me from noting that someone is killing music by posting it for download. Not to mention the video.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer had a DUI charge dropped, but remains in custody o­n possession charges. The supposedly sober supermodel has agreed to return to London this week for police questioning regarding video footage and photographs which show her snorting cocaine.

CHARLIZE THERON thinks winning another Oscar would make her a "greedy *****." Maybe having a boyfriend who told her to make her own breakfast the moring after winning the award does ground her. Theron also believes that she often gets turned down for action roles because her breasts are too small. This is her excuse for Aeon Flux?

LOVE MONKEY is o­n tonight. If nothing else, Teddy Geiger -- who plays rookie musician Wayne -- is getting a rock 'n' roll education out of the gig.

WHAT KILLED CHRISTOPHER PENN? Was it a wrong turn in his long struggle with drugs? Or was it... the milkshake of death?

GWYNETH PALTROW became a spokesmodel for Estee Lauder, because she needed the money. What would Andrew Dice Clay say?

BUFFY the Network Slayer?

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise received a Razzie Award nomination for his unconvincing portrayal of a working-class man in War of the Worlds. Golden Raspberry Award Foundation head John Wilson said while there were arguably worse performances, Cruise's off-screen antics, either in support of Scientology, or in the throes of passion with Holmes, ensured he made the grade. (Here's the full list of Razzie noms.) Meanwhile, "an insider" tells InTouch magazine that Cruise "has put the brakes o­n their lovemaking," supposedly in accord with Scientological doctrine. NTTAWWT.

NICOLE KIDMAN: Cruise's ex has gone off the skeletor diet and reportedly splurged thousands of dollars o­n skimpy lingerie, though she and country singer Keith Urban are supposedly "just friends."

MADONNA has reportedly bought the house next to her London home, because she needs more room for her staff. Or her husband.

MONTY PYTHON: Michael Palin, John Cleese and Eric Idle are among those shocked that Terry Jones left his wife for a girl of 21, and is having her take up bellydancing.

DEPORTED PLAYBOY PLAYMATE is trying to return to America, and MSNBC's Tucker Carlson is dubious: "So that—you think that that‘s a valid criterion for entry into the country, having an extraordinary body, having a cute butt. That‘s sort of—you know, all the girls with the dumpy butts don‘t get in. But the o­nes with the cute o­nes do." US immigration policy is messed up enough that this might be an improvement. Carlson also asks: "Why should we flood the market with cheap foreign imports, thereby forcing our own porn actresses out of work and oppressing their wages?" But in the Internet age, porn is available globally already. So let's get the part about the cute butts inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty, pronto!

SIENNA MILLER is hanging with co-star Hayden Christensen at a hotel suite in Louisiana. Just Jared has the pics of Miller wearing his shirt.

JUDE LAW, meanwhile, is denying dating a brunette stripper from L.A.'s Body Shop. His rep swears that Law not been to a strip club in L.A.... lately.

JESSICA ALBA is the American man's perfect mate, according to a poll conducted by AskMen.com, beating out Sienna Miller and Angelina Jolie. Jolie undoubtedly suffered not o­nly from being pregnant and with Brad Pitt (new mom Britney Spears dropped of the list entirely), but also from the idea that most men could not survive a long-term relationship with her.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio notes that the Iraqi Army is conducting independent counterinsurgency operations, while the Coalition has opened up talks with various insurgent groups in an attempt to co-opt them into the political process. Mohammed at Iraq the Model sums up the state of political negotiations over the new government. ABC News co-anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt are responding well to treatment after an IED attack. That's great news, but I can't help noting that Google News catalogs almost 2,200 stories about the pair, whereas Staff Sgt. Jerry M. Durbin Jr., Sgt. Matthew D. Hunter, Tech. Sgt. Jason L. Norton and Staff Sgt. Brian McElroy -- who were all injured or killed by IEDs this week -- got almost no coverage by comparison, with McElroy getting the most at 58 stories. These four US soldiers got zero stories o­n the ABC News website.

IRAN has formed a top secret team of nuclear specialists to infiltrate the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN-sponsored body that monitors its nuclear program, according to London's Daily Telegraph.

BILL CLINTON condemned the publishing of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper an economic conference in the Qatari capital of Doha. The cartoons provoked demonstrations in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, death threats against the artists, condemnation from 11 Muslim countries and a rebuke from the UN. The newspaper asked illustrators to make the cartoons after reports that artists were reluctant to illustrate a book o­n Mohammed for fear of Muslim retribution. The daily's editors said the cartoons were a test of whether the threat of Islamic terrorism had limited the freedom of expression in Denmark. The Danish government’s firm support of free speech is spurring moderate Muslims in Denmark to speak out against the extremist Imams. Maybe Bill should have reflected o­n the importance of free speech in a country next door to one where a legislator and a filmmaker have already been assassinated in the cause of Muslim extremism. But the ex-Prez seems to have been more interested in pandering to his audience than defending free speech, or even condemning the constant flow of anti-Semitic cartoons in the Arab press. RELATED: Rowan Atkinson, a/k/a Mr. Bean, is doing last-minute lobbying against a controversial bill that would make it illegal to insult religions in the UK. The bill is also opposed by the Conservatives and the Lib Dems in Parliament.

CURLY THE MOUSE surfs while Bunsen jet-skis, which makes me feel very Ron Burgundy. You stay classy, Internets!

SWISS ZOO ANIMALS get fresh food prepared by a dedicated gourmet chef.

IGUANA flooded an apartment in Stuttgart with a swipe of her tail.

KILLER BEES are turning up at ports throughout Florida.

TERRIER TERROR: Bailey may o­nly be six inches tall, but he intimidated a prison governor from sharing a bed with his owner.

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