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Loose Fur, Jenny Lewis, Toronto bands, Hog and Bongo update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 24, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

...with LOOSE FUR, which is Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Glenn Kotche with multi-instrumentalist Jim O'Rourke. Drag City was smart enough to post the video for "Hey Chicken" at You Tube. Glide magazine hooks you up with some guilt-free MP3s of "Hey Chicken" and "The Ruling Class" from the band's upcoming album, Born Again in the U.S.A. RELATED: Another label cool enough to embrace YouTube is Matador, which is running a contest for people to make videos for Pretty Girls Make Graves.

MUSICAL TIMEWASTER: Type in the lyrics, then Let Them Sing It For You.

JENNY LEWIS talked to NPR's All Things Considered about her album with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat, noting again that she did not intend to write a bunch of songs about God: "I guess that's what happens when you're about to turn 30... I think being broken-hearted is not the o­nly thing you want to sing about." There's streaming talk and music at NPR, but better still, you can legally download 11 of the 12 album tracks from Team Love. The exception is the all-indie-star cover of the Traveling Wilburys' "Handle With Care."

BEST BUY had a co-op deal with some indie labels that put Arcade Fire, Cat Power, Danger Doom, Antony & the Johnsons, Atmosphere, New Pornographers, and Broken Social Scene o­n sale for the low, low price of .99. Small stores and non-participating labels are fuming, with labels noting they did not know about the loss leader pricing, as they are prevented from price-point negotiations under 2002 price fixing legislation.

DEERHOOF guitarist John Dieterich talks to PopMatters about learning to play bigger venues by opening for Wilco.

GOLDEN SMOG, which is Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Soul Asylum's Dan Murphy, Big Star's Jody Stephens and the Jayhawks' Gary Louris, Marc Perlman and Kraig Johnson, have an album scheduled for July -- their first release in eight years. Tweedy side projects just seemed to pop o­n the 'net yesterday.

THE TORONTO SCENE: The New York Times is running an in-depth feature o­n the whole Broken Social Scene-Feist-Metric-etc. creative collective and more, which you can read today, registration free. m3 o­nline is killing music with downloads of Feist's "Mushaboom," remixed by the Postal Service and her cover of Nina Simone's "Sea Lion Woman." Fellow BSSer Jason Collett, whose Idols of Exile is generally acclaimed, will be playing SXSW and has "We All Lose o­ne Another" available to stream and download via the SXSW site.

NICK CAVE: The rocker-turned-screenwriter was forced to rework part of his new Australian western movie, The Proposition when he realized it was not as brutal as Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.

THE UNDERTOW ORCHESTRA -- David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, Headphones), Vic Chesnutt, Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), and Will Johnson (Centro-matic), plus Centro-matic's Scott Danbom o­n keys and violin -- passed through Ames, IA the other night. Bradley's Almanac is killing music with MP3s of their gig at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Do you think they played in the room where they keep the Cezanne?

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Is that Alan Rickman fronting the Cure o­n the obvious choice for Friday?

DAN BEJAR: The New York Times thinks that the New Pornographer and Destroyer walks the edge of self-sabotage, not o­nly with his near-impentetrable lyrics, but also in his ambivalent attitude toward the NPs. Destroyer's acclaimed new release Rubies is streaming from Merge Records.

OF MONTREAL: Brooklyn Vegan points you to So Much Silence technically killing music with MP3s of the band's recent appearance o­n KCRW. The band has a legal download and stream of "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games" up at the SXSW site.

FIERY FURNACES: Both Stereogum and *Sixeyes have leaks from Bitter Tea, which comes out in April. Seems like the fans like these better than the album the brother-sister duo did with their grandmother.

MORRISSEY claims he was questioned by the FBI and British intelligence after speaking out against the American and British governments: "They were trying to determine if I was a threat to the government, and similarly in England. But it didn't take them very long to realise that I'm not."

ARCTIC MONKEYS made history at the NME Awards with the hat trick of winning Best British Band, Best New Band and Best Track. NME has posted the full award list as well. You can hear their album in its entirety via AOL Music.

BAY CITY ROLLERS frontman Les McKeown may have escaped drug conspiracy charges, but not the boos of disappointed fans last weekend after he arrived 90 minutes late for the gig and forgot lyrics to the band's hit songs.

BRADGELINA: Jolie has come a long way from the J.C. Penney catalog to funding sewing classes in Sierra Leone. You know, the sort who causes Pitt to say to adoptive son Maddox that Jennifer Aniston is "nobody." Even Lindsay Lohan admits she has a girl-crush o­n Jolie: "'Uh, everyone does. She's Angelina." Exactly.

LINDSAY LOHAN, meanwhile, is shaping up to be Hollywood's biggest maneater, having already been linked to Colin Farrell, Joaquin Phoenix, Jude Law, Wilmer Valderrama, Jared Leto and a host of others, perhaps including Match Point star Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. Gawker has a bit more, but before those pixels dry, there's gossip about Li-Lo and Olympic gold medalist Shaun White.

NOW SHOWING: The two biggest releases today, the animated Doogal, and Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion, don't have enough reviews to register o­n the Tomatometer, which suggests they aren't being shown to many critics (drw your own inference). The third wide release, Running Scared, is a crime drama that will give Paul Walker a chance to show it wasn't just the dogs that made Eight Below tops last weekend, but it scores o­nly 34% Rotten o­n the Tomatometer. However, Roger Ebert sorta likes it: "Running Scared goes so far over the top, it circumnavigates the top and doubles back o­n itself; it's the Mobius Strip of over-the-topness. I am in awe." And it was directed by Wayne Kramer, so maybe it's not terrible.

MADONNA is downsizing from big concert halls to more "intimate" club venues for her latest tour. There's the easy joke about Madge's generally declining album sales, but to be fair, her last tour did just fine.

JACKO: Michael Jackson’s fabled llamas are gone... but as Jacko's fortunes deteriorate, what fate awaits the rest of his menagerie?

BOY GEORGE ridicules same-sex "weddings," insisting marriage is an outdated institution that has no place in modern or gay culture.

BRITNEY SPEARS: A Socialite's Life reports that Spenderline's mystery woman is actress-singer Sandy Lakdar. Also, some claim that Spederline "made a beeline" for Jessica Simpson at an L.A. club, though reps for each insist they're "just friends." Meanwhile pregnancy rumors continue to swirl around the pop tart, even as she can't seem to find her wedding ring.

TERRY GILLIAM talks to the BBC about upcoming projects and how Spamalot helps his pension fund. He is also philosophical about movie piracy: "It's hard for me to worry about the studios losing money. I'm not very sympathetic to their money problems, because they certainly haven't been sympathetic to mine... If you're going to pirate, though, make sure the quality's good. Have some respect for what you're pirating!"

KATE MOSS is reportedly returning to live in Britain, which suggests the supposedly sober supermodel does not expect drug charges from Scotland Yard.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes is reportedly spending hours a day "worshipping" at the Scientology Center in Hollywood, where she is allegedly told by leading Scientology members she is constantly surrounded by the "traumatised spirits of aliens." Meanwhile, as Life & Style continues to report the pair is all-but-split, the mag's corporate sibling, In Touch Weekly, doesn’t buy it. Plus, Holmes has apparently decided college is not for her, as her dad is trying to get his deposit back from Columbia University.

DAMON WAYANS cannot trademark the "N" word.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH A NAKED WOMAN? The AP also asks whether the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair is "arty and fun, or does it say something about sexual politics in Hollywood?" Probably both, and no moreso than the headline of the AP/CNN story.

IRAQ: The Belmont Club rounds up blog reaction from the US, Iraq and Egypt to the aftermath of the destruction the dome of the Shiite Al Askari Mosque in Samarra, concluding that "while the situation threatens to slide into civil war it's not there yet." Since that post, Iraqi blogger Zayed posts that, So far, there has been no retaliation by any Sunni groups, which is obviously a positive development. Publius Pundit looks at the Shia bloc's exploitation of the incident, also noting that "the finger points directly at Zarqawi, who is using the attack as a last ditch effort to prevent the forming of a new government." If Iraqis come to the same conclusion, there may be a silver lining to this tragic episode.

CARTOON JIHAD: William Bennett and Alan Dershowitz don't agree o­n many things, but they do agree that: "Over the past few weeks, the press has betrayed not o­nly its duties but its responsibilities... To put it simply, radical Islamists have won a war of intimidation. They have cowed the major news media from showing these cartoons. The mainstream press has capitulated to the Islamists -- their threats more than their sensibilities."

PORTS IN A STORM: Dubai Ports World has agreed to postpone its plans to take over management of US ports "while it engages in further consultations with the Bush administration and, as appropriate, congressional leadership and relevant port authorities to address concerns over future security arrangements." Couldn't have seen that coming a mile away.

QUANTUM COMPUTER produces an answer without actually running, which will turn up in a future movie as the reason the computer that is about to launch a nuclear strike cannot be turned off.

WILLY THE HOG and NICOLE THE BONGO are finally caught canoodling in a photo released by the Los Angeles Zoo.

FUGITIVE CROCODILE is hunted by police in Australia's biggest city.

PET HOARDING: In Florida, officials are seeking to remove nearly 100 cats and dogs from a mobile home that was caked with feces and garbage and rats the size of Nerf footballs roamed freely.

MUTANT CHICKENS WITH RAZOR-SHARP TEETH: Just in case you missed them.

FELIX THE CAT reaches into his magic bag of tricks and pulls out... a giant tarantula!

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Buzzcocks, Jolie Holland, Calexico and a New Breed of Poison Toads   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 23, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

BUZZCOCKS guitarist Steve Diggle talks to Pitchfork about the birth of punk, musical legacies, and the last days of Kurt Cobain: "So that New York sound inspired us. It's almost like what black music did to inspire the Beatles and Rolling Stones. The Dolls and the Ramones-- it was an urban street music. We have streets and urban situations over here, and we took it and adapted it in a British way, and wrote about things that were relevant to us." You can (and should) hear the single and the title track from their upcoming album at MySpace.

JOLIE HOLLAND: The singer-songwriter from San-Fran-by-way-of-Texas (and sounds it) announces her third album, Springtime Can Kill You, is coming in May. There are guilt-free downloads to be had via her label.

EX-BOYFRIENDS singer/guitarist Colin Daly, talks to Avesion about living with the power pop or punk-pop label: "There's a huge difference in my book between Fountains of Wayne and Good Charlotte. One band composes music imbued with intelligence and a wry sense of humor while the other rewrites the same song over and over and just changes the key. You can guess which is which." They have four tunes streaming at MySpace.

NEIL YOUNG: Aquarium Drunkard is killing music with a live bootleg collection, Perfect Echo Vol. 1, '67-71.

SIMON WILLIAMS: The longtime British music critic plays Jukebox Jury with Seattle Weekly while discussing what's wrong with music and the NME today.

MORRISSEY does another Q&A with fans at True To You, including some reflection o­n his former self: "I find it shocking to look back at the period of The Smiths and to reflect upon the magnitude of doom that surrounded me every single day. I have no idea how I made it through my 20s..."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Or maybe you haven't seen Maximo Park play "Apply Some Pressure."

CALEXICO: *Sixeyes is killing music -- just a little with a leaked track from Garden Ruin, which comes out in April. Interestingly, Alan writes that the track is a "surprise" after ten "exemplary" tracks that generally follow the influences Calexico fans have come to expect... which certainly implies he's heard the whole album.

WE ARE SCIENTISTS: My Old Kentucky Blog is killing music with the B-sides to their UK singles. Who cares about what's o­n the flip side of the record? I do!

JULES SHEAR stopped in at the World Cafe and can be streamed from NPR. Sadly, he does not play "If She Knew What She Wants."

THE TEN BEST ALBUMS you can find in almost any American thrift store for a dollar, courtesy of One Louder.

KISS singer Paul Stanley is writing new songs with a boyband called the Click Five.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer is photographed smoking crack cocaine just two weeks after vowing to kick his drug habit.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: In the face of a threatened lawsuit, Life & Style magazine is upping the ante with reports that: Tom-Kat made it seem like they were buying a house in Ohio for the benefit of the paparazzi: Holmes hates Cruise's obsession with his own image; and her dad hopes the two are dunzo, planning to make sure she gets custody and cash.

NICOLE KIDMAN is going to beat Cruise to the altar, if Us Weekly is to be believed.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX, apparently inspired by playing Johnny Cash, goes to the school of rock with the Who's Roger Daltrey.

KID ROCK got a court order blocking the sex tape featuring him, former Creed singer Scott Stapp and four women. It may be the best thing he's done in years. Getting the court order, that is.

GREY'S ANATOMY: T.R. Knight (Dr. George O'Malley) confirms to the AP that shooting the shower dream sequence was "a blast!"

GEORGE CLOONEY and RENEE ZELLWEGER caught canoodling at Clooney's BAFTAs afterparty? I ask because every time you say "caught canoodling," an angel gets its wings. Get me! I'm givin' out wings!

BRITNEY SPEARS -- when she returns from Hawaii -- may want to ask Spenderline who the woman in these photos is. She may also want to consider whether kissing Madonna triggered her reversal of fortune.

GWYNETH PALTROW has become a fan of the cult vintage British comedy show The Two Ronnies, which she considers odd, but which I consider a hope that she's developing better taste.

JACK BLACK in a movie by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), adapted by Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, Eightball)? Count me in... though there's Nacho Libre first.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN shirts are auctioned for over 100K to longtime gay activist Tom Gregory: "They really are the ruby slippers of our time." Someone with too much time o­n his hands has recreated scenes from the movie in Lego. And the pirate DVD of the movie made it to Turkey, where it gets a politically incorrect title.

PRESIDENT LOGAN'S ADDRESS: Gregory Itzin, who plays the weaselly POTUS o­n 24, talks about what he's learned from the role: "I understand why people get the way they are. Even the small amount of time I've been doing this, I'm being told to be honest with the American people, and I can see how, why, these people are never honest with the American people. If you told the American people, really, what the world was like, there would be a collective nervous breakdown. So I understand why they become paranoid and secretive and private and closed-mouthed and shifty-eyed and all those things." ALSO: There may be a 24 movie trilogy in the works.

BRADGELINA: Pitt denies reports he agreed to a multi-million dollar divorce deal with Jennifer Aniston.

DENISE RICHARDS is dating John Stamos to "stick it" to ex-hubby Charlie Sheen. But inquiring minds want to know if Richards is sticking it to Stamos. Or vice-versa.

IRAQ: Terrorists blew up the golden dome of Iraq's holiest Shiite shrines Wednesday, triggering more than 90 reprisal attacks o­n Sunni mosques and threats of civil war. However, major Sunni groups joined in condeming the attack and top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani forbade attacks o­n Sunni mosques. Some Shiite politicians already angry with the US wanted to partially blame US backing of secular parties, but as Omar notes at Iraq the Model: "I believe there are foreign terror groups behind this attack and I don't think local insurgent would do such a thing, simply because this particular shrine had been in Sunni territory for a thousand years and the residents of Samarra had always benefited from the movement of religious tourism and pilgrimage." If this opinion becomes widely held, this attack may serve to further split Sunni insurgents from the foreign fighters backed by Zarqawi.

CARTOON JIHAD: Religious riots continued in Nigeria, though they also have deeper roots than the cartoon controversy. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross tallies the cost of the riots to date. The New York Times (registration-free via the IHT) reports that -- unlike Denmark -- moderate Muslim journos publishing the cartoons are caught between their repressive governments and Islamic extremists.

PORTS IN A STORM: Pres. Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six ports to business owned by the United Arab Emirates until after it was recommended for approval, which included review by US intell agencies. And as I suspected yesterday, there is a confidential side deal requiring the company to cooperate with any future US investigations. The Administration is gettin support from establishment media like the WaPo and the WSJ, though such may not matter if the opposition is populist or nationalist in nature. Liberal blogger Kevin Drum notes that other port operators are blase o­n the issue, but hopes that the issue will bring more focus to port security. If the government did not conduct 45-day investigation required by law when a foreign government is involved in a deal, Bush probably should say that it will be done and take the time for everyone to take a closer look at the deal.

CATERWAULING: The Chicago Fire Department doesn't usually rescue cats from trees, but four nights of wailing through freezing temperatures and fur-drenching rains brought them in.

GIRL WEDS DOG to ward off the "evil eye" o­n her and her family in eastern India.

OPOSSUM RSCUER is warned by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources that she can own orphaned baby opossums, but cannot rehabilitate them.

A NEW BREED OF POISON TOADS has just been discovered deep in a Venezuelan cave so vast that two helicopters can comfortably fly into it and land next to a towering waterfall. Pics at the link.

LOST WORLD UPDATE: The "lost world" of unknown and rare species unafraid of humans that was discovered high in the misty jungles of western New Guinea is under threat from climate change, according to a new study. And since we found out about the "lost world" o­nly a few weeks ago, I'm sure that's o­ne rigorous study.

DOG POOP: San Francisco wants to harness the power of dog poop to create methane gas that could be piped directly to a gas stove, heater, turbine or anything else powered by natural gas. How long until someone points out that California thinks methane is a major driver of climate change, trapping 21 times as much heat in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

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Sid N' Susie, Monty Python, Hot Tortoise-on-Tortoise Action   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SUSANNA HOFFS and MATTHEW SWEET were already members of Ming Tea, the freakout-interlude band from the Austin Powers comedies, but now -- under the monicker Sid N' Susie -- have recorded Under the Covers Vol. 1, a 15-track set of '60s remakes out April 18. Craig O'Neill will be delighted to learn o­ne of the tracks is an obscure number by the Left Banke. Van Dyke Parks plays keyboards and pens liner notes. You can stream their versions of "And Your Bird Can Sing" (Beatles), "Run To Me" (The Bee Gees) and "Sunday Morning" (The Velvet Underground) at MySpace. We have to wait for the full platter, which includes "The Kids Are Alright" (The Who), "Who Knows Where The Time Goes?" (Fairport Convention), "Alone Again Or" (Love) and more...

BILLY BRAGG: If you can't wait for a Love cover, Frank at Chromewaves is killing music by posting the British barker's cover of Love's "Seven and Seven Is."

INDIE ROCK FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: At Stereogum, Scott has the goods o­n See You o­n the Moon, an album of indie rockers that parents can listen to with their kids. And Scott is killing music with a leak of Broken Social Scene's cover of "Puff, the Magic Dragon."

THE CHARLATANS (UK) have a new single out in April, but you can hear the first two minutes at MySpace. It sounds very Charlatan-y.

RICK JAMES to be played by Terrence Howard in a biopic?

THE LOVE SHACK: The rusted tin roof is about all that's left of the five-room cabin o­n the outskirts of Athens, GA where the B-52s' Kate Pierson o­nce lived. It's just o­ne of many Athens musical landmarks being lost to the ravages of time.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The fantastic power-pop of The Only Ones -- "Another Girl, Another Planet."

WE ARE SCIENTISTS are touring the UK and praising the humility of tourmates Arctic Monkeys. W.A.S. frontman Keith Murray likes the lads enough to give the Monkeys' Brit Award acceptance speech for them. Of course, even ex-Journey singer Steve Perry loves the Monkeys!

MICK JAGGER vows never to go under the plastic surgeon's knife, according to his daughter Elizabeth. Good decision; at this point, reminding everyone he's survived enough to kill a dozen other people may be his strength.

FILESHARING: Contrary to what it told the US Supreme Court, the RIAA believes that ripping your own CDs to your own iPod or MP3 player is not perfectly lawful.

OVERZEALOUS CD COPY-PROTECTION may result in federal regulation, according to Jonathan Frenkel, director of law enforcement policy with the Department of Homeland Security.

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE is working o­n an album, The Fragile Army, set for the July 4th weekend. What's more, the band is blogging its progress.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The story about the troubled singer being a hoax, which I suspected was a hoax itself, is revealed to be a hoax.
Hecklerspray posts "Ten Reasons Why Pete Doherty Is Brilliant And Not Crap At All." File it under sarcasm. Meanwhile Moss pregnancy rumors are being floated from Down Under.

MONTY PYTHON'S PERSONAL BEST premieres o­n PBS tonight. Each episode will include members of the original Monty Python troupe performing in favorite clips from the classic series, repurposed with exclusive new material. Each of the five living Pythons — John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin — produced and wrote his own episode, and collaborated to create the sixth special in honor of the late member Graham Chapman. Check your local listings for airtimes.

COLIN FARRELL now alleges that a former Price Is Right model was part of the scheme to sell the XXX rated video of Farrell with ex-Playmate Nicole Narain.

WILLIAM SHATNER is terrified to become an American citizen because he is convinced he will flunk the citizenship test: "I'm good for about five minutes as far as (memory) retention. I spout out the line and -- boom -- I've already forgot it." That. Would. Explain. His. Unique. Line. Delivery.

BRITNEY SPEARS took SPF to Hawaii, but Spenderline is nowhere in sight. And the pics raise the question of whether she has another bun in the oven or too many buns in the tummy.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY: Domino grossed 20 million and had a 57 million dollar budget. Studio execs hope to recoup some of that loss from fanboys going over the sex scenes Zapruder-style with their DVD players.

BRADGELINA: Pitt and Jolie took the kids (they are being called "BAMZ" in some quarters) to an amusement park at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Just Jared has more pictures than anyone can reasonably bear to look at... 142, to be precise.

JESSICA SIMPSON is furious her reality show Newlyweds left her with a "dumb blonde" image -- because she was o­nly following a script. She would much rather be seen as having been dishonest is portraying the first year of her marriage -- which is about as long as it lasted.

KING KONG: I really liked the movie, but I don't like it when the studio tries to double-dip the hardcore fans with the "barebones DVD first, special edition to follow" trick. So the planned triple-dip of Kong is particularly annoying.

UNDERAGE STARS PARTY WITH IMPUNITY: I was wondering when someone would notice that club owners and cops turn a blind eye to teen stars living it up in bars most nights of the week. TMZ finally covers it, with video. California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says it's now investigating.

SIENNA MILLER: Page Six speculates that she didn't reunite with her cheatin' sweetheart Jude Law after she allegedly sampled Daniel (James Bond) Craig's more impressive wares.

GREY'S ANATOMY star Ellen Pompeo has even worse taste in men than the character she plays o­n ABC's hit drama.

MISCHA BARTON: The waifish OC hottie, recently (and laughably) called a "fat pig" by Nicky Hilton has some choice words for Nicky's sister -- two of which were, "Silly b-tch."

LARRY SUMMERS: The former Clinton Treasury secretary announced yesterday that he will resign as president of Harvard University, bringing to close a stormy tenure in which he made impolitic remarks about women, alienated many black professors and repeatedly clashed with the faculty at America's most prominent university. However, as Deep Throat told us so long ago, if you want to know the story, follow the money.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Mohammed and Omar relay the latest political maneuverings. Mohammed looks at US support for the more secular parties, while Omar notes that the Shia bloc is overreacting to it.

CARTOON JIHAD: There were further protests of the Danish cartoons in Pakistan and Iraq, but the news may be that the riots in Libya were probably the work of both Islamic radicals and anti-government forces. It's odd that no o­ne has asked cartoonists about the controversy, but The Nation has now interviewed cartoonists Joe Sacco and Art Spiegelman. There's a send-up of the BBC coverage of the story at WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

PORTS IN A STORM: Pres. Bush vowed to veto any attempt to block a Dubai company's takeover of management of major U.S. seaports, defying members of Congress who insisted the deal posed security risks. Surprisingly, Sen. John McCain, a possible 2008 presidential contender, said while Congress should seek answers, it should not rush to judgment before finding out the facts. It may be that port security will remain with the Coast Guard and with longshoremen's unions, and that several members of DubaiPorts World's top management are Americans. It may be that the UAE may be as good an ally as the US has in the region, though that's faint praise. And that Dubai Ports already bought the global port assets of U.S.-based CSX Corp. without similar uproar. But there's also plenty of fodder at the above links as to why the UAE is not a great candidate for the job. Given the current odds that Bush's veto could be overridden, o­ne has to wonder whether there is a quid pro quo at work -- some will imagine a benign deal for more help in shutting down terror financing, Michael Moore will imagine something else.

MYSTERY BLOB ATTACKS L.A.: A mysterious black goo to burbles from streets downtown, forcing the evacuation hundreds of apartment dwellers. If o­nly Steve McQueen had lived to see it.

TORTOISE LOVE: Frank at Chromewaves is just back from a blogging conclave in Amsterdam, where he snapped photos of two giant tortoises getting it o­n noisily at the Artis zoo.

HOG and BONGO form an inter-species attachment at the Los Angeles Zoo, where they have been spotted grooming, napping and even canoodling. How this story gets covered without a photographer is simply ridiculous.

WAYWARD WHIPPET UPDATE: Psychics have joined the search for Vivi, who escaped from a travel cage at NYC's JFK airport after winning an award of merit at the Westminster Kennel Club show.

CATS in trouble know who to call: Donald David, Esq.

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New Releases, Rogue Wave, Roy Orbison, McGosling and a Fat Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

DESTROYER, New Pornographer Dan Bejar's other band, releases Rubies today; it scores an 8.5 o­n the Pitchfork: "structurally complex, thematically dense, and labyrinthine in its self-referentiality." The whole album is streaming from Merge Records. CMJ has a legal download of "European Oils."

OTHER NEW RELEASES: Arctic Monkeys and Eels have their albums streaming from AOL Music. Former Kink Ray Davies gets a US release of Other People's Lives. Cracker has two greatest hits packages one from Virgin Records and a re-recorded set the band encourages fans to buy instead. Ouch! There are also DVDs that take a critical review of The Jam and a glance inside the reclusive world of Syd Barrett.

BILLY BRAGG: Individual reissues of Life's a Riot with Spy vs. Spy, Brewing Up With Billy Bragg, Talking to the Taxman About Poetry, and a release that combines the Live & Dubious and Internationale are out today. You'll have to wait until March 7th if you want the box set.

GUNS N' ROSES: Stereogum is killing music with leaks from the long-lost, but soon-to-be-released Chinese Democracy project. Or maybe it's Axl Rose killing music, with a little help from ex-(and arguably current) Replacement Tommy Stinson. Worth checking out the dreadlocked and highly Botoxed-looking Axl.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE tells the Boston Globe that they don't see themselves as part of the "freak folk" scene and gets an in-depth profile from the Montreal Mirror. You can stream tracks from the band's last two albums at MySpace for two different flavors of odd.

ROGUE WAVE: Zack Rogue tells San Diego CityBeat that he likes his pop fleeting, to leave the listener wanting more. Why am I not surprised he's a GbV fan? You can download "Publish My Love" and "10:1" guilt-free from Sub Pop.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO(S): Twofer Tuesday may be a cliche, but who can gripe about two seminal TV performances of of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by Devo o­n SNL in 1978 and the Rolling Stones o­n The Ed Sullivan Show in 1966.  I think I still have my biohazard suit in storage...

RICHARD THOMPSON: The new five-disc set, The Life and Music of Richard Thompson, is excuse enough for NPR to repost an RT interview from 1994, along with streaming songs from an earlier performance, including covers of Squeeze's "Tempted" and Britney Spears' "Oops I Did It Again."

BARRY and ROBIN GIBB reunited for a Miami charity concert, their first performance since the death of brother Maurice three years ago.

ROY ORBISON is getting a reissue campaign and a special exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. For the latter, Orbison's family will loan handwritten lyrics, rare records, stage clothing, business documents and photographs to the gallery display. There is also an online petition to put Roy o­n a postage stamp.

RICK RUBIN, the record producer who finds success by stripping down everyone from Jay-Z to Neil Diamond, is profiled in London's Guardian. His next project is rehabbing Metallica.

WILLIAM COWSILL, frontman for the band which inspired the TV series The Partridge Family, has died at 58. He had been suffering from emphysema, osteoporosis, and other ailments.

CHARLIZE THERON and KATE MOSS as lesbian lovers in a Dusty Springfield biopic? Cinematical is skeptical; so am I. But there have been worse ideas.

BRADGELINA: Pitt and Jennifer Aniston have concluded their 60 million dollar divorce settlement; she gets the mansion, he gets the production company.

FACTORY GIRL: The New York Times looks at the Edie Sedgwick biopic as it wraps shooting. Director George Hickenlooper: "In my eyes, she was a metaphor, a quintessential definition of being famous for 15 minutes. I could connect to it o­n a visceral level." The script was written from sit-downs with her old friends and acquaintances.

HEATH LEDGER is taking a year off from acting and will send new mom Michelle Williams out to make the cash. A cynic might wonder whether playing a mumbling gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain has brought a flood of job offers.

HIMBOS: With Paul Walker starring in Eight Below -- the number o­ne move in the US this week -- film critic Dave White has his knives out for movie-man candy: "Paul Walker’s talents are best utilized in movies where he gets to drive cars really fast while looking smug and not talking, or where he gets to be underwater, not talking..."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise is considering suing Life + Style magazine for claiming the actor had ended his relationship with Holmes. At least that's what attorney Bert Fields claims... and champions. I would bet it doesn't happen.

RACHEL McADAMS and RYAN GOSLING were looking crazy delicious as they shared a rare PDA before McAdams hosted the 2006 Scientific and Technical Academy Awards, which honored a better airbag for stunt falls, computer-generated techniques to simulate cloth, and the Steadicam (full awards list). Although McAdams hasn't recently appeared in any effects-laden films -- usually a prerequisite for the Sci-Tech gig -- being a hottie is a much more important prerequisite and were all to happy to see her there.

SPIKE LEE says Hollywood doesn't care about black people -- at least when it comes to executive positions. Moreover, "They'll make a movie with Denzel and Jamie and Eddie, but o­nly because they can make money off them." We can be thankful Spike is here to expose Hollywood as hypocritical capitalists.

WERNER HERZOG, Fresh from rescuing Joaquin Phoenix from a car wreck and stoically shrugging off being shot with an air rifle during a BBC interview, the Grizzly Man director is sent up by The Morning News.

GREY'S ANATOMY: Katherine Heigl (Dr. Izzie Stevens) and T.R. Knight (Dr. George O'Malley) got into a big wrestling water fight after work o­ne day? George may have it bad o­n the show, but I feel much less sorry for T.R. The day they shot the shower dream sequence was probably a fun day, too.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Spenderline thinks his press can't get any worse, proving he's as dim as his image.

THE FRENCH HOTEL reportedly made a lesbian sex tape with former Playboy Playmate Nicole Lenz, according to the ever-reliable News of the World.

ISSAC MIZRAHI: The fashion designer turned red-carpet renegade has no plans to soften his act come Oscar night March 5. But face it -- there's little chance he'll top his groping of Scarlett Johansson at the Golden Globes.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio has a round up of independent Iraqi Army ops that links to Jason Vansteenwyk's illustrated analysis of the accelerating handover to Iraqi forces in more populated areas. Roggio also notes the defense of counter-attacks around the city of Hit and has an interview with Colonel Stephen W. Davis, a regimental commander with info o­n ops in western Iraq. At Iraq the Model, Omar relays an unconfirmed report in al-Sabah that the US is having tribal sheikhs and community leaders pay insurgents to disarm. Michael J. Totten blogs from Erbil o­n Kurdish demands for federalism and control of Kirkuk.

CARTOON JIHAD: Protests against the Danish cartoons of Mohammed continued to sputter along in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal; the death toll in Nigeria rose to 28. Muslim computer-hacker gangs have launched a massive attack o­n Danish and Western Web sites as part of the mass protests, with more than 1,000 Danish, Israeli and European sites defaced or shut down by Islamic hackers in the last week. A Swedish Internet provider Spray self-censored the website of a feminist publisher that posted the 'toons. And o­n an ironic note, the Saudi Ministry of Media and Culture shut down a newspaper that printing some of the cartoons for the purpose of inciting the Saudi people.

PORT TURNOVER TURMOIL: A growing number of legislators and governors are questioning a deal that would allow a company ownd by the United Arab Emirates to operate six major US ports. The AP refers to it as "a Bush administration decision," though it's actually a committee recommendation, which means Pres. Bush may yet block the deal. And any deal that gets Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) preferring the contract go to Halliburton is ripe for squashing. ABC News headlines a story "U.S. Port Deal: Xenophobia or Security Concern?" though the story contains no evidence of the former.Perhaps they realized how dumb they would look asking whether Sens. Schumer, Clinton and Boxer are xenophobic.

FAT CAT: Garfield has nothing o­n this nine-year-old, 33-pound cat in Qingdao, China. More pics at the link.

CAT POOP is having a devastating impact o­n endangered sea otters.

PENGUIN EGG UPDATE: Oscar and Kyala, who hatched their first egg since the theft of their baby Togo last year, have another unhatched egg. But the Daily Mail got permission to run a contest to name the chick that just hatched.

40-MILLION-YEAR-OLD GIANT PENGUIN fossil discovered by schoolchildren in New Zealand. Had the species of penguin survived to the present day it would have looked "many men in the eye," the Waikato Times report said.

SUNSHINE THE MACAW foils a burglary in Williamsport, PA.

DOG'S SOFA is saved by an o­nline petition.

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BMRC, Television, Kelley Stoltz, Trout Pouts and Rebel Elephants   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 20, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

GEORGE WASHINGTON: Though now lumped in with everyone for Presidents' Day, tomorrow is the birthday of the "Father of his Country." A team of scientists that began reimagining Washington as a reckless, rambunctious, 18th century action hero are putting finishing touches o­n wax sculptures so realistic they should shatter stereotypes when displayed at Mount Vernon this year. The statues show Washington at three stages in his life: an ambitious 19-year-old surveyor, a weary 45-year-old field commander and a deep-thinking, 57-year-old president being sworn into office. In 1776, David McCullough notes that when Washington took command in July 1775, he thought he would be home at Mount Vernon by Christmas. McCullough catalogs Washington's blunders -- many of them nearly fatal to the Cause -- but concludes: "He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, nor a gifted orator, not an intellectual... He had made serious mistakes in judgment. But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood... and above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake, and he never gave up." That, as much as anything, is why Washington is usually ranked among the greatest of US presidents.

ARCTIC MONKEYS: With Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not hitting US stores tomorrow, NPR has discovers the phenomenon. The Daily Collegian actually reviews the songwriting. The Philadelphia Inquirer likes the band, but prefers Art Brut -- and there's certainly a case to be made for that.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' Carl Newman tells the Calgary Sun that the members' various projects -- Dan Bejar in Destroyer, Neko Case's solo career, etc. -- creates mutual buzz that benefits all of them.

THE WHO is planning a hi-tech world tour with a mix of pay-per-view and free webcasts.

BUZZCOCKS frontmen Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle still fight over who writes the better songs -- usually with their fists.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB is o­n tour, so the readership of The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC get a quick history of the band leading up to the change of style to the Americana-tinged Howl. You can stream a bunch of BMRC video from Rolling Stone, including exclusive live tracks.

TELEVISION: At *Sixeyes, Alan pays tribute to the seminal guitar band by killing music (for a limited time) with selections from Marquee Moon and Adventure -- two of his all-time favorite albums.

YELLOW SUBMARINE: A rare drawing has been discovered by David Ashton -- a close childhood friend of John Lennon -- and he is certain it sparked the idea for the pop ditty. There's just o­ne problem with that theory: Paul wrote the song.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Bangles -- obvious, but universal.

YOU TUBE: Friday, I warned that artists and others would start demanding that their stuff be yanked from the video-sharing service. Now we learn that NBC has demanded the removal of "Lazy Sunday," a/k/a the Narnia rap, from the service that helped make it an Internet hit.

KELLEY STOLZ: The multi-instrumentalist's new album, Below The Branches, is currently scoring a 77 at Metacritic, For example, The New York Times says: "In concise, perpetually tuneful songs, his voice echoes the slouchy charm of the Kinks' Ray Davies, while the sun-dazed reverberations of the Beach Boys meet the music-hall bounce of the Beatles." And that's pretty accurate, as you'll hear from the three tracks streaming at MySpace, with "The Sun Comes Through" downloadable from the new album. Sub Pop has a download of "Memory Collector." And Stolks has archived downloads, including three cuts from Crockodials, his version of Crocodiles by Echo & the Bunnymen.

RAY DAVIES: London's Guardian gives his new album, Other People's Lives, three stars out of five.

SPIN magazine is close to being sold for the bargain-basement price of five million dollars -- with the cash part being significantly less than that. The magazine o­nce sold for 42 million.

JOURNEY: Former frontman Steve Perry refuses to contact his ex-bandmates, because he fears any show of unity will spark reunion rumors. Hard to argue with that.

WOXY: The indie internet radio station is profiled in the Cincinnati Post in connection with its current subscriber drive: "Unlike zillions of Web sites that stream music, WOXY.com is still a true radio station with live, knowledgeable DJs and several dynamic music features, including frequent live performances from bands playing the Cincinnati area. It may indeed be the "future of rock 'n' roll," but that future has not come to the Internet just yet. Station operators are trying to deal with an advertising community o­n how to size up the hybrid..."

DANIEL JOHNSON: The bipolar indie musician who lapsed into a comalike state for several weeks is having his artwork displyed in the prestigious Whitney Biennial.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: There are Internet rumors that the troubled singer is an elaborate hoax by The KLF, though more likely the rumors are a hoax by The KLF. Either way, I'm sure the French Hotel would like to meet him. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel will reportedly know within two weeks if she is to be charged following her infamous cocaine-snorting scandal. Prior reports suggest she won't be.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Eight Below topped Date Movie, though not o­n a per screen average; Freedomland tanked in seventh place.

ROGER EBERT predicts that Brokeback Mountain will not win Best Picture as he launches his annual "Outguess Ebert" contest.

THE BAFTAS: Brokeback Mountain did take top prize at the British version of the Oscars, however. Ang Lee and Jake Gyllenhaal won their categories also. Best British film went to Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit.

MADONNA admitted she and hubby Guy Ritchie have "clashes" and "petty fights" – but she lashed out at rumors of marriage trouble. Y'know, those rumors that have Madge asking everyone from the London Kabbalah Centre to Elton John and his partner David Furnish for advice. Sounds like she might need another hit from oxygen tank.

BROKEBACK-STABBING? Heath Ledger believes George Clooney deserves the best supporting actor Oscar this year for his performance in Syriana, rather than his Brokeback Mountain co-star Jake Gyllenhaal (and he was caught o­n video saying it). Larry McMurtry, who co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Brokeback, says the film’s meaning can be summarized: "Life is not for sissies." Had he not co-written the screenplay, the ranks of the professionally offended would be demanding an apology for use of the word "sissy."

JENNY McCARTHY is rubbishing reports she had lesbian sex in a Las Vegas restroom with porn queen Jenna Jameson, who told the story o­n the Howard Stern show.

EVA GREEN will play femme fatale Vesper Lynd in the new James Bond movie, Casino Royale. Last year, she starred in Ridley Scott's historical drama Kingdom of Heaven. However, she was much more naked in these NSFW video clips from The Dreamers.

BRITNEY SPEARS complains about the state of pop music and being chased by aggressive paparazzi, but wants you to know she's not bitter.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has quashed rumors that she's leaving London for Hollywood: "I would never leave. I'm 20, and my family and my friends are there, and a lot of work for me comes from there - and I get the p*** taken out of me much more there than anywhere else!" Besides, moving to L.A. would just aggravate her body-image issues.

THE DAVIE-BROWN INDEX aims to bring scientific know-how to the subjective world of celebrity appeal, evaluating the worth of 1,500 celebrities based o­n eight criteria: appeal, notice, trendsetting, influence, trust, endorsement, aspiration and awareness. It turns out that Suntory and Dewar's were right o­n target in hiring Sean Connery to hawk their whiskey.

JESSICA SIMPSON is rumored to be in talks for a tell-all sidown with Diane Sawyer. Meanwhile, hubby Nick Lachey has response to the pneumatic blonde's divorce petition, challenging the date of separation (which affects the community property), asking for his jewelty back, and reserving his right to ask for spousal support.

THE TROUT POUT SHOP: A member of Oh No They Didn't helpfully posts a pictorial guide to celebrity collagen injections.

CULT OF THE iPod: Victory Records' boss and founder Tony Brummel has defiantly refused to license any of his label's music through iTunes because it "makes music disposable. It makes it a faceless impulse item. It steals its soul."

BLOGGING: William Safire lead hsi "On Language" column with "blargon" from the denizens of the world of Web logs. New York magazine has an article the begins with complaints about alleged inequality in the blogosphere, but if you read the entire thing, you find this: "You think the A-list is the A-list is the A-list," says David Sifry, the CEO of Technorati. "But I’m telling you, boy, does it shift—and does it shift fast." Guy Kawasaki offers advice o­n "How to Suck Up to a Blogger," because "It used to be that ink begat buzz... Nowadays buzz begets ink."

IRAQ: The AP's Antonio Castaneda, embedded with Marines from Regimental Combat Team 2, blogs the soundtrack for a recent supply trip: "My thoughts were interrupted when tunes by the notorious 1980s hairband "Poison" kicked in. The song "Every Rose Has a Thorn" played, which made me desperately hope that we wouldn't be maimed to such an appallingly bad song. I wasn't about to complain though. Music had a disproportionately positive effect in lifeless parts of Iraq, and I had just seen the Spartan living conditions that these Marines survived in. They deserved to listen to whatever music they preferred, even if it was this bad."

IRAQ II: Michael J. Totten has another dispatch from Kurdistan: "A Western journalist I met in Erbil, who has been in Iraq for some time, told me the place challenges almost every liberal idea he has ever had in his head. I don’t know what he was like, ideologically speaking, before he got there. But he certainly doesn’t have orthodox left-wing opinions today. (Some right-wingers, especially those who think of the entire Islamic religion as a totalitarian death cult, would likewise get a crash-course in reality if they ever bothered to hang out in Iraq and meet actual Muslims.)"

JAILED CHEERLEADERS: Twenty-one members of North Korean cheering squads who traveled to South Korea for international sports events are being held in a prison camp for talking about what they saw in the South.

CARTOON JIHAD: A Pakistani cleric announced a o­ne million dollar bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew the Prophet Muhammad caricatures, apparently ignorant that there were a dozen cartoonists involved. Authorities in a central Russian city o­n Friday ordered the closing of a newspaper that published a cartoon showing Muhammed, along with Jesus, Moses and Buddha. In Libya, eleven people were killed and an Italian consulate was burned during Friday night protests, prompting Italian Reform Minister Roberto Calderoli -- who wore t-shirts bearing the cartoons -- to resign under pressure. In northern Nigeria, at least 16 people have been killed during protests. At that last link, the BBC states, "Islamic tradition strictly prohibits any depiction of Allah or the Prophet," which is a myth, just like the myth that the Muslim world is not used to laughing at religion. So the BBC apparently takes the extremists at face value, as opposed to committing acts of journalism. In NYC, protesters waved signs showing the Islamic flag atop the White House, denouncing freedom of speech. In Pakistan, veiled women carried a sign reading "God Bless Hitler" (check the hilarious German caption stating that the intent of the sign was unclear).

CARTOON JIHAD II: CBS's 60 Minutes ran a feature o­n this turmoil, the subtext of which was to blame the Danish newspaper, to state that "The lines between fantasy and reality aren’t sharply defined around Denmark," and to suggest the nation is racist (dutifully following London's Guardian.) Viewers were given no idea that Denmark was already self-censoring due to the violence of Islamic extremists in Denmark and the Netherlands. The show implicitly accused the newspaper of having a double standard because the editors "recently rejected a satirical depiction of the resurrection, saying it would cause a public outcry." CBS did not mention that the same cartoonist who drew the image of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban drew a cartoon with Jesus o­n the cross having dollar notes in his eyes and another with the star of David attached to a bomb fuse. In painting Danish Muslims as an oppressed minority, the show stated: "They may benefit from Denmark’s welfare system, but there isn’t a real mosque in the entire country; they have to make do with converted factories." The reality is that the small Muslim population consumes over o­ne-third of Danish welfare spending (and it doesn't occur to 60 Minutes that lavish welfare spending may support the Islamic extremist lifestyle). 60 Minutes pointed to no evidence that the gov't is preventing Muslims from building mosques; does CBS thinks the government should be building them? The notion that Denmark is racist or xenophobic isn't borne out by the latest study of 51 countries. And the claim that moderate Muslims are " fast disappearing into fantasies of fear" is not true, either. That's a lot of work o­n the part of 60 Minutes to end up siding with tolerance for extremism over against freedom of speech.

OPEN HOUSE OF ILL-REPUTE: Amsterdam's famed red light district has held its first ever "open day" as its peepshows and brothels gave crowds of wide-eyed visitors free entry to help shed the area's increasingly negative reputation. "This is a very good idea," 28-year-old Dutchman Maarten Ritsema said, grinning after experiencing his first ever lap-dance at the Bar La Vie en Proost.

PENGUIN EGG UPDATE: Kyala and Oscar, the penguins who had their chick stolen just before Christmas have hatched another egg at a zoo in southern England. The new chick was born Tuesday, but has yet to be named and its sex was not yet known.

ELEPHANTS WITHOUT A CAUSE: Inexperienced teenage mothers, combined with a lack of older bulls, appears to have created a generation of "teenage delinquent" elephants. Researcher Richard Lair: "The more human beings they see, the less tolerant they become."

GONZO, a four-foot-long black and white Argentinian tegu lizard is o­n the loose in peaceful Cambridgeshire.

A TWO-METER CROC turned up in a carport in the centre of Jabiru, Australia. Rangers captured the crocodile, which spent the night in o­ne of the ranger's bathtubs before it was released at the South Alligator boat ramp.

TIGER POOP is being tested as an animal pest repellant.

PLANNED GOAT SEX PRANK results in animal cruelty charges against Trenton Dakota Jackson of the Alpha Gamma Rho frat at Western Kentucky University. Chapter pres. Brian Peyton said that nobody actually was going to have sex with the goat, which police officers found stuffed into a storage room, standing in its own urine and feces.

"TINY" WOMAN ATTACKS POLAR BEAR and wins. I must remember to ask Sylvia if they're related.

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