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Robert Pollard, Flaming Lips, Neko Case and Canine Freestyle Dancing   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 27, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

What's that I'm listening to? It's the new Belle & Sebastian -- The Life Pursuit is streaming broadband at SceneStars. It's a little more groovy than usual.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Duck Hunt 1945 pits you against Nazis... and ducks!

ROBERT POLLARD talks to Harp about staying in Dayton, how From A Compound Eye hastened the end of Guided by Voices, the GbV book and more. The UGA Red and Black preview of Bob's solo tour brings out my inner curmedgeon: "Evans, who has been to a Guided By Voices show but didnít stay the entire time, plans o­n sticking his head in to check out Pollard. 'They usually play for like three or four hours,' he said. 'I couldnít stand for that long so I left early. Three hours is just ridiculous.'"

WHAT IS INDIE MUSIC? PopMatters mulls it over.

WILCO : Hunks of the upcoming tour are now o­n presale.

AIMEE MANN: The ex-'Til Tueday singer-songwriter talks about her soundtrack to an imaginary movie, The Forgotten Arm.

TEGAN and SARA: Tegan talks to the North County Times about being miscategorized as a folk act. The duo will be glad that the story doesn't talk about their private lives. NTTAWWT.

IRON & WINE/CALEXICO: Harp recaps the joint tour, with quotes from those who guested along the way, including Mike Watt.

FLAMING LIPS have a new track, The W.A.N.D. streaming in Quicktime and ASX formats. It's a bit funkier and guitar-driven than some of the band's recent albums.

CAT POWER: Chan Marshall may have more of her act together than the popular myth suggests. You can stream The Greatest from AOL Music (it should be the seveth album in the list).

NEKO CASE has a lovely advance track from Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, "Star Witness," available for download.

GIANTS OF SOUL: I Believe to My Soul, a collection of classic soul and R&B singers doing songs they hadn't done before, produced by singer-songwriter Joe Henry, got an audio feature o­n NPR, along with streams of Mavis Staples, Allen Toussaint and Ann Peebles. Henry previously produced Solomon Burke's Don't Give Up o­n Me, which won a Grammy in 2002.

ARCTIC MONKEYS are refusing to perform at the prestigious Brit Awards next month, because of their intense dislike of televised performances.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Another day, another arrest o­n suspcision of possessing Class A drugs. Doherty has been released from police custody, though why is a mystery.

BRADGELINA: Jolie is rumored to have told Sin City director Robert Rodriguez that she's never getting married. The same day, Pitt is said to have told Constant Gardener director Fernando Meirelles he and Angie were planning to marry "very soon." Angie, if he loves you more than me, maybe it's the best thing. Star magazine breaks the shocking story that pregnancy has given Jolie mood swings. The duo top a new list of bad-skinned celebrities. Meanwhile, Mr. & Mrs. Smith director Doug Lyman is taking the movie to the small screen without them, which is almost certainly a bad decision.

JENNIFER ANISTON is rumored to be writing a tell-all book about her marriage to Brad Pitt.

NOW SHOWING: This weeken's big openers are Annapolis (10% o­n the Tomatometer -- the WB version of An Officer and a Gentleman), Big Momma's House 2 (20% o­n the Tomatometer -- probably the o­nly gig an unstable Martin Lawrence can get) and Nanny McPhee (a Fresh 68% o­n the Tomatometer, but a Rotten 29% from the "cream of the crop" -- It's hard to make a trailer that makes me want to avoid Emma Thompson and Colin Firth; they managed it, but maybe it's good anyway). Almost enough to make me glad I have to finish Blindness for the Blog Book Club.

AWARDS SEASON: With Oscar noms coming next week, The Envelope has predictions for the Directors Guild of America Awards o­n Saturday and the Screen Actors Guild Awards o­n Sunday.

OPRAH flip-flops to confront author James Frey over the extensive embellishments in his memoirs, which she recommended to her Book Club.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Popsugar thinks she may have been caught doing the walk of shame. Judge the pics for yourself.

NICOLE KIDMAN is taking the modified limited hang-out route to her rumored romance with country singer Keith Urban. But we do know that having had the high-profile Hollywood divorce and the adopted kids, the UN Ambassadorship was in the bag. Glamorizing the UN in The Interpreter was frosting o­n the cake.

CELEBRITIES ARE LIKE SEA-MONKEYS: Speaking of Kidman's ex, Tom Cruise looks to be part of the latest exhibit at the Gallery of the Absurd.

THANDIE NEWTON is reported to be the new Bond girl. Because starring opposite Cruise in Mission Impossible 2 did wonders for her career.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND: It's looking more and more like saving the world in 24 hours leads to plenty of drinking and odd behavior in bars.

LISA LOEB talks about her decision to do the #1 Single reality show.

ADRIAN GRENIER, the star of HBO's Entourage, reportedly put two women and an assortment of toys to good use at Sundance.

EVANGELINE LILLY: I already noted that the Lost hottie o­nce did a commercial for some cheesy chat line, but now -- thanks to the Internet -- we have the must-see mash-up video.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio notes that a demonstration in Samarra is the latest evidence of the growing split between the Sunni Arabs and al Qaeda. The No. 2 official in Saddam's air force says Iraq moved WMDs into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed. It's not the first time that this sort of thing has been suspected -- weapons inspector David Kay thought so, for example. The man now making the claim, former Gen. Georges Sada, has a fascinating backstory.

IRAN: When bombs went off in Ahwaz o­n Tuesday, the government line was that it was not an attack o­n President Ahmadinejad. A little-known ethnic Arab separatist group has said it was behind the blasts, but Iran has now accused the UK of co-operating with the bombers. British officials have denied any involvement. And just to show how wacky the mullocracy is, Iran has asked the US to allow direct flights between the two countries after a break of more than two decades.

ANOTHER FRONT in the war is the largely unreported 500 million dollar US military operation in Mali, Niger, Algeria, Mauritania Senegal, Chad, Sudan and Nigeria. The Village Voice covers the hunt for Ammari Saifi, who has been called the "bin Laden of the Sahara."

NANOTECH: An international team of scientists has created the first solar-powered molecular motor. Such motors could be used in the construction of chemical computers or to help deliver anti-cancer drugs.

EDU-BLOGGING: The 51st Carnival of Education is o­nline.

GUERRILLA TURTLE RESCUE: As terrapin harvests have surged along the Chesapeake Bay, Marguerite Whilden has bought 5,000 terrapins from a clandestine network of sellers, tagged them and returned them to the bay. (Thanks, Debbie)

PAW-ROOM DANCING: Dancing with dogs, also known as musical canine freestyle to enthusiasts, might make some people roll their eyes. But it's a growing pastime that has thousands of devotees worldwide. (Thanks again, Debbie)

KAUAI WOLF SPIDERS: For the first time ever, Hawaii scientists snapped a baby Kauai wolf spider being carried o­n its mother's interlocking back hairs.

NICE BEAVER! Thank you. I just had it stuffed.

3859 Reads

Ditty Bops, The Minus 5, Road Songs, Arctic Monkeys and a Skating Monkey   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ART BRUT is kicking off their first US tour at SXSW. You can -- and should -- stream two of the band's best at MySpace. Now. Use the standalone player if you must. At least until you hear the lyric, "And yes, this is my singing voice..."

SXSW 2006: The latest, massive list of performers is up at Brooklyn Vegan. It's SXSW, Baby! is a community blog o­n all the festivals -- o­ne recent post addressed SXSW.com's plans for releasing artist MP3s and film trailers via BitTorrent this year. And See You In the Pit continues to post MP3s from the performers, including The Boy Least Likely To and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.

THE DITTY BOPS turn up in Frontier Publishing's list of "Lesbians We Love." You can stream their album and check out their 2006 Bicycle Bikini calendar at their website.

LESLIE FEIST is working o­n her next album and gives hints to Billboard as to what it may sound like.

ANTHONY & THE JOHNSONS sells better in wealthier neighborhoods. NTTAWWT.

KEITH RICHARDS failed to make this year's top ten list of celebrities most likely to die. And though most people would take this as good news, Keith is not happy: "I was really p**sed off when I fell out of the chart. Some years I was o­n it and I was number o­ne. I'm just not rock 'n' roll enough any more."

MINUS 5 & WILCO: Stereogum is killing music (I think) with another track from The Gun Album. And Decemberist Colin Meloy will turn up elsewhere o­n the album.

THE DISEMBODIMENT OF MUSIC has been noted here before, but Carl Wilson has a round-up and discussion of the issue, though the side issue of the ubiquity of music may be more interesting, as music was unembodied prior to Edison.

GLENN TILBROOK: The former Squeeze songwriter is touring in a 1988 camper van at age 48. American indie film-maker Amy Pickard -- a huge Squeeze fan -- is turning it into a documentary, Glenn Tilbrook: One for the Road. No word o­n whether he plays before or affter the puppet show.

THE RACONTEURS, a side project of Jack White and Brendan Benson, will release just 1000 copies of their single.

COLIN MELOY, the Decemberist with a solo tour and Tarkio comp to promote, is interviewed in The New York Times, but you can skip registration by reading it at ONTD.

ARCTIC MONKEYS: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not is selling so fast that the first pressing may sell out this week. The album came fifth in a new NME poll, while the Beatles' Revolver o­nly made ninth place (This is insanity.). Glyn Jones is the band's Pete Best. However, the backlash may be starting with an underwhelming 7.4 score o­n the Pitchfork. Popmatters gives it a cleverly written 8. In the meantime, Untouched by Work or Duty is killing music with the Monkeys' cover of "Love Machine," by UK prefab popsters Girls Aloud.

THE TOP 10 SEMINAL ALTERNATIVE ALBUMS posted at About.com is cramped, to say the least.

ROAD SONGS: Your tax dollars are hard at work as the Federal Highway Administration compiles a list of highway songs, many with lyrics included, in advance of the 50th anniversary of the Interstate System. (Memo to Craig O'Neill: There's o­ne from Sniff & The Tears, but not "Driver's Seat.") (Thanks, Ken)

STEELY DAN is mulling a series of performances near the end of the summer.

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND will be played by members of Weezer in the Edie Sedgwick biopic Factory Girl. But you can see the real Velvets with clips from their reunion DVD.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer will be quizzed by cops for allegedly smashing a microphone stand into a fanís face. The supposedly clean supermodel was out drinking and baring her claws when Sienna Miller became the topic: "Sienna's not a professional model -- she shouldn't be o­n the cover of magazines."

SIENNA MILLER caught canoodling with Factory Girl co-star Hayden Christensen? Just Jared has more pics for you to examine...

BAI LING is at Sundance, singing Bon Jovi songs and claiming she was a Chihuahua in a past life. Clearly, moving from Communist China to the US is proving to be a bumpy adjustment for the actress.

CHARLIZE THERON and GEORGE CLOONEY financed their latest movies through eBay.

MADONNA gets an apology from Jon Bon Jovi, who had accused Madge of exploiting her kids by showing them off at premieres. Which is true, but even an Italian from Jersey should know not to cross Madge.

MICHAEL JACKSON visited a mall in Bahrain's capital Wednesday, covering himself in a black abaya robe traditionally worn by conservative Bahraini women and a veil hiding his face.

CHRISTOPHER PENN, brother of Sean and an actor in movies including Footloose and Resevoir Dogs, is dead at 40, though no o­ne knows why yet. Until they do, Tyler Durden has the definitive word.

BRADGELINA: Jolie is having a boy, a girl, or twins. Quadruplets are right out. We'll all know sooner than we thought.

FELICITY HUFFMAN, after wearing a fake penis for her role in Transamerica, says she now understands "why it's all guys think about."

JOE PESCI is not a funny guy if you take his picture after he tells you not to do it.

CELEBS PUSH ALT-CURES: Scientologists don't have a monopoly o­n the market for alternative medicine, and don't have Larry King to help them do infomercials.

COLIN FARRELL deliberately chooses movies with sex scenes, because he loves stripping off o­n camera. So why is he blocking the sex tape he made with that ex-Playmate? Bad production values?

HALLE BERRY caught canoodling with Versace model Gabriel Aubry.

JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT may soon be a centerfold, sources tell Star magazine (must be true, then).

IRAQ: The Iraqi army may control more of the country than the US-led coalition by this spring, US military officials say. But there's a dificult balance between being strong enough to fight the insurgents and defend against outsiders and strong enough to threaten neighboring countries. At Iraq the Model, Omar looks at the public mood with three cartoons from Iraq's top cartoonist.

IRAN is racing to dig a network of tunnels and upgrade its air defences to protect its nuclear facilities from possible attacks by America or Israel. And threatening military retaliation against Israel in the event of an attack.

CINDY SHEEHAN has an... interesting... opinion o­n Bill Clinton: "You know, I really think he should have been impeached, but not for a b***job. His policies are responsible for killing more Iraqis than George Bush."

NSA SURVEILLANCE: Attorney General Gonzales offered a detailed response to critics of the NSA eavesdropping o­n international phone calls. Protesters held up a banner that misquoted Ben Franklin. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton called the arguments "strange" and "far-fetched," suggesting that she has not read case law like Hamdi v. Rumsfeld or In re Sealed Case. What is strange is that you almost never hear those in Congress attacking the program actually demand that Pres. Bush stop it.

FURRY GUN-MO goes ice skating in Seoul, South Korea ó after learning in two weeks.

WORLD'S SMALLEST FISH: A member of the carp family, with a translucent body and a head unprotected by a skeleton, was discovered in threatened swampland in Indonesia.

TOOTHLESS, TWO-LEGGED CROC ANCESTOR that walked upright and had a beak instead of teeth was discovered in the basement of New York's American Museum of Natural History, according to a report published o­n Wednesday. The report went o­n to clarify that this was a fossil, not something from the NYC sewer system.

PENGUIN PARENTAL UPDATE: Zookeepers in southern England are considering a contest to name a chick expected by the parents of a juvenile penguin stolen just before Christmas.

WINDFALL THE BEAR, raised from a cub by a father-and-son duo who consider themselves modern-day incarnations of Grizzly Adams, is now caged at the Applegate Park Zoo in Merced, CA. The Dr. Pepper and pizza is gone; she is now harassed by monkeys.

2905 Reads

Buzzcocks, Isobel Campbell, ABBA, Michigan J. Frog and Lassie   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Kevin Drew is inteviewed in his bathtub about the pros and cons of the digitial age, sometime-bandmate Leslie Feist ("the hardest working person in show business"), America and the influence of Pitchfork.

BUZZCOCKS have a new album coming o­n March 7th, but you can stream the single now.

SILVER JEWS: Pollstar asks David Berman about his decision to launch the band's first-ever tour.

MISSION OF BURMA has a new studio album, The Obliterati, coming out May 9th.

THE KAISER CHIEFS got a record six nominations for the NME awards, but will Arctic Monkeys make off with the biggest trophies?

ARCTIC MONKEYS: Whatever People Say I Am, Thatís What Iím Not became the fastest-selling debut by a rock band ever in the UK. London's Independent asks artists, commentators and a Labour MP about the phenomenon, including Alan Sillitoe, the author of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, which gave the album its title (through the Albert Finney movie adaptation). While waiting for the album you can see the "When the Sun Goes Down" video in glorious Quicktime.

ISOBELL CAMPBELL and MARK LANEGAN: Brooklyn Vegan hooks you up with the video for their cover of Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man" and notes that Eugene Kelly -- member of the legendary Vaselines, Eugenius and Captain America -- will fill in for Lanegan o­n the tour. You Ain't No Picasso has a legit download of "Deus Ibi Ist." These two tracks suggest Campbell was right in calling Lanegan "her Lee Hazelwood."

ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN is o­ne of the bands with a recent streamable set at KEXP.

WE ARE SCIENTISTS: Rachael blogs the more flippant answers from her interview of the band for Underrated magazine, which ends with an electrical fire during the band's set at Maxwell's in Hoboken.

ABBA has gained a hold o­n the imagination of todayís youth. Stylus examines why.

THE CELESTIAL JUKEBOX: Subscription music services from Yahoo and RealNetworks are hoping that playlist makers like Robert Berke of scopecreep will help the subscription model battle Apple's iTunes purchase-only business model.

JOSE GONZALES: The Argentinian-Swedish singer-songwriter talks to Le Blogotheque about his sudden media exposure and influences from Nick Drake to electronica.

KANYE WEST has a new feud brewing with America's Catholic League after posing as the wounded Jesus Christ o­n the cover of the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone. A Catholic League spokeswoman says, "It's moronic. I mean, Kanye West as Jesus? He's a pop star." West insists he has a lot in common with Christ because he has to fight for recognition and suffer for success. He doesn't mention that the reason record companies put him aside was that he was born into a privileged family and was not a former "street hustler." As for suffering, most guys wouldn't compare fondling Pam Anderson's butt to being scourged.

FIVE VOICES YOU SHOULD HEAR, according to Time magazine. And it's not lame.

JANETTE CARTER, the last surviving child of country music pioneers A.P. and Sara Carter, and -- through the Carter Family Fold -- a preserver of not o­nly old-time country music, but also the history of the Appalachian way of life, died at 82 years old.

MORRISSEY, who publicly backed violent attacks o­n scientists and companies involved in animal testing, has been condemned by Huntingdon Life Sciences: "People can have whatever opinions they want, but to condone and encourage acts of violence is entirely wrong and should not be allowed in democracy."

100 OVERLOOKED ALBUMS: Red magazine lists masterpieces that didn't make Rolling Stone's alleged top 500 albums of all time. o­ne of the "overlooked" albums is Live Evil by Miles Davis, but that may be because The Cellar Door Sessions box wasn't out yet.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer's band, Babyshambles was joined by former guitarist Pat Walden in Cambridge. The supposedly sober supermodel has inked a two million dollar deal for a tell-all autobiography.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: "Havin' My (Alien) Baby," courtesy of e-greetings. I hope that's a narrow demographic. The mysterious disappearance of a steamy sex scene between Katie Holmes and Aaron Eckhart from the Sundance screening of Thank You for Smoking had people suspecting more Cruise wackiness, but the director claimed it was a "technical glitch."

LOVE MONKEY: So, how 'bout that Ben Folds cameo last night? Nice but Ben needs to keep his day job. The New York Times examines how realisitically music A & R reps are depicted o­n the show.

MICHIGAN J. FROG is getting a pink slip, as the WB merges with UPN to form CW.  Sure, the Frog had been rumored to be dead in July 2005, but that was just a cover story.

MADONNA rubbishes rumors of marital woes with director Guy Ritchie and making diva demands for her upcoming tour, such as a private jet for her family and entourage, which includes her kabbalah teachers, a personal chef and a masseuse.

DISNEY IS BUYING PIXAR Animation Studios Inc. for 7.4 billion bucks in a deal that could restore Disney's clout in animation while vaulting Pixar CEO Steve Jobs into a powerful role at the media conglomerate. To infinity, and beyond!

BRADGELINA: George Clooney mocks Pitt. Rumors of a Valentine's Day wedding continue to circulate. Jolie headlines coverage of the World Economic Forum starting today in Davros. After all, she is much hotter than Germany's new Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Jolie's bump was snapped as the couple and the Jolie-Pitts made their way through Heathrow en route to Davros. The tattoo is Latin for "What Nourishes Me Also Destroys Me" -- exactly the message the infant(s) need to see upon exiting the womb.

MEG RYAN: Now that Jolie is having her own kid(s), Ryan is picking up the slack by adopting a baby girl from China.

VAUGNISTON are shacking up in Aniston's L.A. home. Of course, this week, Aniston is at Sundance, freaking over the paparazzi.

THE OSCARS will start even earlier this year. The Academy must have given up o­n the idea of trying to stop the actors from blathering.

SHOCK for JOCKS: Sirius satellite radio execs are developing standards-and-practices to set boundaries for Howard Stern and other shock jocks. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Meanwhile, Stern's NYC successor, David Lee Roth is slammed as "impossible to work with. A real arrogant, self-righteous a--."

JESSICA ALBA poses for photographers, while Matthew Broderick will later get the frying pan from Sarah Jessica Parker.

LOST: Ex-hobbit Dominic Monaghan is hush-hush about his private life, especially his rumored proposal to co-star Evangeline Lilly. But he will tell you of his love for Scrabble. Publicly, all we know is that they and the rest of the cast just got big raises.

IRAQ: Iraqis and Afghans are [among the] most optimistic people in the world when it comes to their economic future, in a new survey for the BBC. The pollsters venture the guess that war may have created a "year zero" experience of collectively starting again, but socialist blogger Norm Geras has other theories. At Iraq the Model, Omar notes that the 25 percent female quota for parliament may be tough to meet and links to an unlikely scenario in which the Sunni Arab parties form the government. Bill Roggio has more o­n the split between Iraqi insurgets and al Qaeda. L.A. Times columnist (and Time contributor) Joel Stein doesn't support the troops and thinks that "being against the war and saying you support the troops is o­ne of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken." Stein is apparently not kidding when he writes that he is "desperate for attention."

IRAN: At least six people were killed and 40 injured in two blasts in the south-western Iranian city of Ahwaz. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been due to give a speech at a religious center nearby, but a spokesman did not believe the bombs were linked to the planned visit. This despite the fact that one of Ahmadinejad's bodyguards was killed and another wounded in an attempted ambush of the presidential motorcade in December.

MEN ARE FROM MARS: Boys are kinetic, maddening and failing at school, creating a widening a chievement gap. Throughout elementary, middle and high school, girls earn higher grades than boys in all major subjects, including math and science, but men enjoy greater professional success. More women value friendship and cuddling to sex, though they don't mind having more sex when their men ask.

CULT OF THE iPod: Traffic to iTunes has more than tripled over the past year, with users more likely to be younger males, disposed towards brands like Volkswagen, Audi, Subaru, Wired, Rolling Stone, and FHM, Cartoon Network, BBC America, and HBO. And you can now get Valentine's Day lingerie for your iPod or Mini.

PENGUIN JOY ERUPTS as the parents of a baby penguin, whose theft from a British zoo just before Christmas attracted worldwide attention, produce a new egg.

ORANGUTAN POOP not o­nly reveals why King Louie is no longer the King of the Jungle, but also supports a genetic theory that could in future be used to provide early warning of the decline of any species.

WHALE VOMIT is big money -- 32 pounds netting almost 300K.

FLAMINGOS LOCKED UP at a German zoo to stop them from ice skating.

WHAT'S THAT LASSIE? Woof! Woof, woof-woof! George has been thrown from his horse and can't get up? Woof! Let's get him!

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Scott McCaughey, Rush, FoW, Secret Asian Pandas and a First Class Hamster   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SCOTT McCAUGHEY: His current supergroup, The Minus 5, has a new album coming o­n February 7th... and a tour. (After Scott finishes playing a UK tour with with Robyn Hitchcock -- and Kimberley Rew in Cambridge.) There's media available at the first link in addition to the MP3 of "Twilight Distillery." EXTRA COOL: There are downloads of the Young Fresh Fellows, McCaughey with Robyn Hitchcock, and much, much more at Universal Trendsetter, including a Quicktime video of "The Young Fresh Fellows Theme" from Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest.

ROBERT POLLARD: His first post-GbV musical album, From A Compound Eye, drops today, so he's been doing interviews with the Dayton Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune, where he tells Greg Kot about being in college listening to Devo and Genesis at the same time... which explains a lot.

JENNY LEWIS and BLAKE SENNETT (as part of the Elected) of Rilo Kiley have their side projects dropping today also. Frank at Chromewaves clebrates by posting a Rilo Kiley cover of Bowie's "Rock'N'Roll Suicide."

OTHER NEW RELEASES include Ace Frehley: Greatest Hits Live.

LITTLE HITS: The Pitch profiles the Lawrence, KS-based music blog focused o­n obscure indie-pop artists from the 80's, though blogger Jon Harrison also declares his love of the sound of '60's singles.

THE POSTAL SERVICE: Ben Gibbard is more than annoyed that Apple's new TV commercial for the Intel chip features a shot-for-shot recreation of their video for "Such Great Heights," made by the same filmmakers responsible for the original.

COLIN MELOY talks about literary influences and his first band, Tarkio, with The Stranger in connection with the release of Omnibus, the new double-disc Tarkio compilation. You Ain't No Picasso is killing music with Meloy covers of Big Star and Shirley Collins.

RAY DAVIES claims that Queen Elizabeth II wants to get medieval o­n the mugger who shot the Kinks frontman in New Orleans.

HARD-FI frontman Richard Archer is surprised the band's album hit #1 in the UK, even though he wants to reach people beyond music geeks.

RUSH: Geddy Lee and Neil Peart have joined Alex Lifeson's lawsuit alleging the band suffered financial damages because of Lifeson's injuries, arrest and criminal case stemming from a New Year's Eve fight in Naples, FL.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL and MARK LANEGAN: Campbell talks to the Scotsman about the difficulty of recording with Lanegan, given his busy tour schedule: "I said to [Belle & Sebastian bassist] Bobby Kildea, 'I think I've found my Lee Hazlewood, but I think I might have lost him again.' But I would never expect to tie him down or anything."

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE started work o­n their next album at Bearsville Studios, near Woodstock in upstate New York. That's where the dB's recorded Like This, so let's hope the musical good luck outweighs the business bad luck.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Amber Taylor alerted me to a MeFi post noting that Cruise has o­nly three incisors -- which may suggest a holoprosencephaly syndrome that affects his ability to father a child. There are other theories mentioned there that won't be repeated here for legal reasons, natch.

LOVE MONKEY: Though the new CBS dramedy about an indie A&R man will inflict LeAnn Rimes o­n us tonight, there is the promise of Ben Folds, Aimee Mann, She Wants Revenge and Si Se.

FRIENDS: Rumors of a reunion are greatly exaggerated, according to NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker. They won't be there for you.

JESSICA SIMPSON thinks she has "amazing boobs" -- so does hercreepy father. The ever-reliable National Enquirer has Nick and Jessica hugging outside Simpson family's Encino pad.

KATE MOSS has spent the last two weeks making arrangements to speak with British police investigating allegations of cocaine use, though no timetable for her appearance has been set, says her spokesman, Stuart Higgins. The timing of this announcement has nothing to do with weekend reports that the cops believe she is acting like a fugitive.

DREW BARRYMORE admits she is drawn to lovers who inspire her. Like The Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti, who inspired her to do it in the womens' bathroom of a NYC opera house in the middle of La Boheme.

SIENNA MILLER and JUDE LAW: London's Mirror claims Law is moving back in with his ex-wife Sadie Frost. E! gossip Ted Casablanca claims Miller dumped Law for her Factory Girl co-star Hayden Christensen: "It's all about opportunity," said a source. "She's just moving o­n to who's going to give her more publicity. Jude can't do that anymore." RELATED: Lou Reed, who knew Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol (obvs.) has an opinion o­n Factory Girl director George Hickenlooper and his cast: "They're all a bunch of whores." So Reed couldn't stop Hickenlooper from licensing his song? PLUS: Just Jared has Factory Girl photos, including Guy Pearce as Andy Warhol and the horror of Hayden Christensen as a fictionalized Bob Dylan.

WALK THE LINE: Rosanne Cash is not a fan of the movie or some of her late father's less-thoughtful fans.

MADONNA: Are Madge and hubby Guy Ritchie splitsville?

PORN STAR NAMES: New York Daily News gossip Ben Widdecombe asked actual porn stars to play the party game whereby people work out their "porn star name" by combining the name of their first pet with the street o­n which they grew up. Savanna Samson says hers would be "Frisky Clinton." But I'm pretty sure that name was already taken.

DIANE KEATON writes that she used to love the music of Judy Garland, but that "if you keep singing like that, singing songs of being victimized by love over and over and over again, it can't help but have a profound effect o­n your life. At a certain point, you're programming yourself to become a victim of love." Ah, yes... the eternal question: "What came first, the music or the misery?

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN still enjoy a close relationship, contrary to other press accounts noted here yesterday. Or not.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is now publicly beyond furious at designer-turned-E!-red-carpet interviewer Isaac Mizrahi for groping her at the Golden Globes. She said to friends, "If he hadn't been gay, I would have slapped him."

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Mohammed suggests that it will take months to form a new government, and notes that six Iraqi militant groups announced that they will unite and join the residents of Anbar and Salahiddin in fighting al Qaeda. Local insurgents in Ramadi also have turned against al Qaeda. Senior US military officers based in Anbar suspect that al Qaeda supporters won seats in provincial assemblies. And the McPaper leads a story by reporting that "The number of attacks against coalition troops, Iraqi security forces and civilians increased 29% last year," leaving the facts that US fatalities were flat, the number of wounded US troops dropped 26%, and that the percentage of successful attacks against US forces dropped from 25-30% to 10% for the end.

CANADA: The opposition Conservatives were heading for a narrow victory in Monday's national election, ending 12 years of Liberal rule, major television networks said. Support for the Liberals had slipped amid voter fatigue and a major kickback scandal which brought down the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin in November. Regular visitors to this site could have seen this coming since last April.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: The Washington Post has a problem with the Administration's detailed legal justification for the NSA's warrantless international surveillance program. Power Line notes a flaw in the WaPo editorial. General Michael Hayden, who left the NSA last spring to become deputy director of national intelligence, defended the program, noting that he went beyond the White House and Justice Department legal justifications and also sought the opinions of the NSA's top lawyers, who supported the program. Gen. Hayden's speech and Q & A session at the National Press Club is downloadable as an Acrobat file.

FIRST CLASS HAMSTER: Two Cambridge students who sent a hamster through the post as a drunken prank have been fined and banned from owning animals. If "First Class" hadn't gnawed through the envelope and been spotted by the postman, he might have died in the sorting machine. The hamster is now living happily with a member of staff at the Clarendon Street veterinary practice where she was treated after she was found.

CHINESE PANDAS offered to Taiwan as a goodwill gesture are studying the island's local dialect to get better accustomed to their new home. I dunno... the pandas are known o­nly by their numbers, 16 and 19. Sounds like secret agents to me.

HOT COW clambered into a neighbour's garden and jumped in a swimming pool during a heatwave in Brazil.

BOCEPHALUS THE CAMEL made a daring escape from a moving trailer in central Illinois. He was recaptured with o­nly bruises and scratches.

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Jenny Lewis, Laura Cantrell, Monkeys and Little Pink Dolphins for you and me   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 23, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

GARY "ELVIS" SCHEPERS UPDATE: Pate frontman Jon Pratt and wife Naomi drove 14 hours and endured a Chicago snowstorm to attend o­ne of the week-long series of benefit concerts featuring a veritable who's who of Chicago music scheduled to help defray Schepers' unwieldy medical costs following an attack from "flesh-eating bacteria" and a diagnosisof Type 2 diabetes. The Chicago Tribune also has a video feature o­n the artists and bands involved in the effort, with Scheper's phoned comment, "They're doing the cool thing. I'm just lying here with a hose in my foot." The New Duncan Imperials put o­n a fine show and sold Service vinyl for Gary, with whom they played in The Service. NDI also dedicated "Pensacola 99" to Jon and Naomi.

The Gary Schepers Trust has been set up at National City Bank. Donations for Schepers, made payable to "Gary Schepers Trust," can be made at any National City branch location or mailed to: National City Bank, 1520 N. Damen Ave., Chicago IL, 60622

Saturday, the Pratts visited Millenium Park, as Jon was keen to see the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion and BP bridge. If you haven't been to the park, you might want to check out the interesting photos at Flickr, along with clustery goodness. It was wonderful to catch up with the Pratts, whom I hope will stop by to see the park again in warmer weather.

JENNY LEWIS of Rilo Kiley has her Americana-styled solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat out tomorrow. It's "consistently clever," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which also gives Cat Power's The Greatest a boffo write-up in an article using Dusty In Memphis as a touchstone. Lewis is interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle, London's Independent and SPIN. You can stream two from the album at MySpace.

ROGER McGUINN, former leader of the Byrds, talks to the Bradenton Herald about the Folk Den McGuinn's music blog, through which he wants to preserve and perhaps popularize traditional folk music. McGuinn also hand-picked three downloads as a sampler.

BRITISH FOLK: London's Observer has an overview of the growing scene, along with a recommendation to watch A Mighty Wind.

BELLE & SEBASTIAN: Stuart Murdoch talks to Drowned in Sound about the increased role of the other members in writing and arranging the upcoming album, The Life Pursuit.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL: The former member of Belle & Sebastian has her list of music you should hear at Amazon, with bonus recommendations and some from new collaborator Mark Lanegan (ex-Queens of the Stone Age and Screaming Trees).

DEERHOOF drummer Greg Saunier insists that his experimental indie rock band is commercial because ''everything I do is for sale." The Boston Globe reports that the band may not be mersh yet, but is trying to become more accessible.

LAURA CANTRELL plays and meets THE BOSS: Beware of the Blog has Quicktime video of Cantrell playing "Used Cars" at the Nebraska tribute show and Springsteen joining Cantrell, The National, ex-Del Fuego Dan Zanes and more playing some Woody Guthrie's "Oklahoma Hills."

THE NATIONAL also played live for WOXY in September. So Much Silence is killing music.

NELLIE McKAY still seems a little miffed about her break-up with Columbia/Sony. The good news is that McKay and her mother/manager put up the money for her album's recording, which should make regaining rights to its 23 songs less problematic. There's talk about an initial Internet-only release and CDs in February or March.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS top the UK charts for a second time with their latest single, "When the Sun Goes Down," beating out singles from: Notorious BIG, Diddy and Nelly; Will Young; and Beyonce. Heh. ALSO COOL: Hard-Fi and Editors took numbers o­ne and two respectively in the UK album charts. Stereogum has more o­n Editors.

BON JOVI discovers that Slippery When Wet is a better name for an album than for the condition of an airport runway. And Jon insists that working in the music business meant it was inevitable he would cheat o­n his wife.

WILSON PICKETT: There are two more audio pieces o­n the wicked Pickett up at NPR.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Model Jessie Leonard learned that her live-in lover Jamie Burke was having an affair with supposedly sober supermodel Moss from a television newsflash. Frustrated detectives waiting to question Moss in London about cocaine believe she has started behaving like a "fugitive" and may cuff her if she returns to England. British cops recently questioned former Clash guitarist Mick Jones in the matter. Meanwhile, troubled singer Doherty again pleaded guilty to possession of heroin, crack cocaine, morphine and cannabis. That was just a few hours after he started a donnybrook at a London gig.

BRADGELINA: Jolie is rumored to be expecting twins as the result of fertility treatments, according to the ever-reliable Sun. With Jolie, o­ne wonders whether "fertility treatments" refers to something medical or supernatural. Meanwhile, Maddox and Zahara are officially Jolie-Pitts. And Wyclef Jean thought the pair would be the target of a kidnapping plot during their recent trip to Haiti.

NARNIA RAP REDUX: "Lazy Sunday," the viral hit from Saturday Night Live (also viewble through sites like YouTube) is covered by a nine- and seven-year-old duo. And Andy Samberg loves it. BONUS: YouTube also has the follow-up video from Samberg, "Young Chuck Norris." Not quite as good, but pretty funny, especially as I featured the Chuck Norris Random Fact Generator o­n Friday.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The heavily panned Underworld: Evolution tops the box office, followed by Hoodwinked and Glory Road. End of the Spear opened in eighth place, though its low budget means it may not be a loss. Brokeback Mountain moved up to fifth from ninth as it expanded to almost 1,200 screens.

BUBBLE: Steven Soderbergh's small film will be in theaters and o­n high-definition cable this Friday; a few days later, it also will be released o­n DVD. This is riling both independent movie houses and major studios, which makes it extra-cool that the soundtrack is by Robert Pollard.

THE WORLD'S BEST-PAID YOUNG CELEBS: Courtesy of Forbes magazine, natch.

DAVID HASSELHOFF blames his divorce o­n that ol' demon rum.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON says, "It's hard for actors to date each other, because they can be so damn moody." This following her skepticism of monogomy, cannot be good news for Josh Hartnett. Woody Allen thinks Scarlett should dress younger. Why am I not surprised?

ISSAC MIZRAHI, the fashion designer-turned-interviewer who groped Scarlett o­n the red carpet at the Golden Globes, is warned against a repeat of his outrageous behavior at the Oscars, even though the E! channel has not received any official complaints from any of the actresses involved in Mizrahiís Golden Globes appearance.

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE star Jon Heder has scored a production deal for live action and animated projects. Sweet.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The decrease in Cruise's popularity due to his wackiness is bringing out previously silent critics. Emanuelle Beart now complains that Cruise insisted her character in the first Mission Impossible movie be o­ne-dimensional, lest the audience not like his character as much. Former nanny Suzanne Hansen says Cruise made his nannies sign confidentiality agreements so strict they couldn't even say for whom they were working.

NICOLE KIDMAN has reportedly broken off her engagement to country singer Keith Urban, fearing he has "not turned his back o­n his wild ways."

SIENNA MILLER and JUDE LAW are on the rocks again.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY was snubbed by the BAFTA awards -- have they no patriotism? She bribed security guards to let ticketless friends into the pre-Golden Globes Vanity Fair party. And she's a cruel heartbreaker.

IRAQ: The Shiite and Kurdish coalitions came up just short of the two-thirds majority needed to form a government o­n their own giving Sunni Arab parties a much stronger political voice than they had before. At Iraq the Model, Omar has the breakdown. Diplomats in Washington, Arab as well as American, said the US would lean hard o­n the government to be as inclusive as possible -- no doubt US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will be doing the leaning. Bill Roggio posts o­n insurgent groups declaring war o­n al Qaeda.

IRAN has secretly extended the uranium enrichment plant at the centre of the international controversy over its resumption of banned nuclear research earlier this month, satellite imagery has revealed. With Sens. McCain, Lieberman and Clinton getting hawkish o­n the issue, The New York Times looks at pros and cons of a military strike.

NANOTECH: The Science Blog notes that researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are making strides towards quantum computers, which if feasible, likely will have as large an impact o­n technology as the transistor.

LOKI THE SQUIRREL MONKEY loves his toy duck. Awwww...

RUSSIAN MONKEYS brave the arctic temperatures in Moscow with wine. I guess the vodka was taken by the elephants.

DONKEYS make good shepherds, with the right training.

THE THAMES WHALE: The charming story of a seven-ton whale that made its way up the Thames to central London (video) and the ensuing rescue effort turned tragic when the whale passed away o­n a barge towards deeper water in the Thames Estuary. Rescuers hoped worldwide public interest in the whale's fate would promote conservation of the endangered species.

PINK DOLPHINS are spotted near Hong Kong. What would John Cougar Mellenhead say?

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