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Worst Covers, Best Bands, Arctic Monkeys, Night Monkeys, Bears and Bison   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WORST RECORD COVERS OF ALL TIME, according to Pitchfork.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS: ChartAttack reports that the band exceeded the hype at its North American debut gig in Toronto. At Stereogum, Scott reports the band's first US show was "fun, but I wasn't blown away." Brooklyn Vegan was skeptical at first, but warmed up at the NYC show. As BV notes, you can stream the band at MySpace.

THE TOP 40 BANDS IN AMERICA TODAY makes its annual appearance at Information Leafblower, where Kyle polled over 40 "music/MP3 bloggers," many of which I regularly link here. Knock a few off in favor of a few listed in the comments posted there and you've got a pretty darn good list.

BIG STAR PODCAST: I just noticed that Rykodisc has stuff like Jody Stephens discussing the history and quasi-comeback of the legendary band available for download.

WE ARE SCIENTISTS frontman Keith Murray chats with ChartAttack about the band's facial hair, whether the group really has buzz, and The O.C.

JEFF TWEEDY: The Albany Times-Union reviews the Wilco frontman's solo gig: "Tweedy's set demonstrated that Wilco's success is based first and foremost o­n his skill as a tunesmith."

THE KAISER CHIEFS are forced to cancel Spanish gigs due to a "highly contagious and rare virus."

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN: The BBC has video of a concert including tracks from the upcoming album. (via YANP) But it's not clear whether that ulbum is the previously announced Life Pursuit or the semi-secret o­ne due in three weeks. I'm speculating that the semi-secret o­ne could be a holiday album.

SMITHS REUNION? Rumors run rampant about a January charity fundraiser in Machester being organized by former bassist Andy Rourke.

THE POGUES are re-releasing their classic song "Fairytale Of New York" next month, but didn’t have a copy of the original single’s sleeve from 1987 -- forcing the band to pick up a copy o­n eBay.

LISA LOEB will star in an unscripted series for the E! channel called "#1 Single," that will follow the newly single singer-songwriter as she wades back into the dating pool.

DEL McCOURY gets a good review for The Company We Keep (which came out in July, but better late than never): "Even if o­ne does not especially like bluegrass music, there is nothing about this band that does not cook with hotness."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The shamed supermodel Moss wants to reinvent herself as an actress and is asking her film star friends for advice.

TARA REID threatens the Clinton political machine. Surprisingly, the story has nothing to do with Bill. It seems that Chelsea has been hanging with the nip-slipping party girl, much to the chagrin of Sen. Hillary Clinton. A Capitol Hill staffer tells Radar: "All I know is I hear Hillary went nuts. She’s getting ready to run for President and her daughter is hanging out with Hollywood’s biggest mess."

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY is officially People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive," though regular Pate visitors already had the heads-up. The mag has a gallery of hunks for the ladies... and CNN's Anderson Cooper for the gay men (NTTAWWT).

BRITNEY SPEARS' hubby Cletus -- who is supposed to be a professional dancer -- has broken his hand after spinning out of control o­n the dance floor.

ORLANDO BLOOM is being sued by The Firm, his former management agency, for commissions o­n the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. Bloom jumped ship from The Firm in favor of Brillstein-Grey Entertainment in July.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is baffled by reports that romantically linked her to Aussie pop star Kaz James: "I never met him. Never. I o­nly know about him because I've become rather obsessed with it, and I keep looking o­n the Internet." I'm sure her model boyfriend is thrilled to hear that.

SHARON STONE agreed to drop her lawsuit against a plastic surgeon she accused of libelously claiming he'd given her a facelift, in return for his performing free surgery for children with facial deformities.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH goes out to play bingo and goes home with a pretty blonde barmaid in handcuffs. I know that's why I play bingo...

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie has been asked to play seductive Russian agent Vesper Lynd in the next Bond flick,Casino Royale -- but she wants her role toughened up. In the meantime, Pitt and Jolie have reportedly signed a pre-nup in advance of a December wedding. We'll see.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Radar reports that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are a bit nervous about possible blowback from Wednesday night’s episode, "Trapped in the Closet," which targeted Scientology and Tom Cruise — topics previously deemed "off limits" due to the actor’s close ties to Comedy Central’s sister company, Paramount Pictures.

TYRA BANKS and NAOMI CAMPBELL: The supermodels take their catfight from the catwalk to the closed set of Banks' TV show Friday.

DICK CLARK and REGIS PHILBIN will both be dropping their balls o­n New Years' Eve. Put your money o­n Dick; he's got that portrait in the attic.

SILLIEST CELEB QUOTES EVER, excerpted from a book in London's Sun. I dunno... there is stiff competition every day in this category.

MADONNA suspects the US government was "somehow in o­n" the 9/11 attacks?

IRAQ: Gary Sinise, co-founder of Operation Iraqi Children, blasts the media for o­ne-sided, negative reporting o­n Iraq. Jessica Biel, Esquire magazine's Sexiest Woman Alive, has joined Serving Those Who Serve, to adapt the house of a soldier who lost his legs during the war: "Now I see how much these soldiers need to know that we support them, respect them and honour them."

IRAQ II: Operation Steel Curtain continues, netting o­ne of the five senior al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist leaders in the al Qaim region. Bill Roggio also links to a report o­n Provincial Reconstruction Teams, which were used in Afghanistan with great success, now being assembled in Iraq. Kevin Sites writes from Fallujah o­n success stories and problems with the Iraqi Army, which leads some to believe might keep the Iraqi forces from standing up completely o­n their own for as many as five more years. The key word there is "completely." The Counterterrorism Blog sees the failed female suicide bomber as a "treasure trove of intelligence."

FRENCH RIOTS: The government approved a law extending emergency powers by three months, even though number of towns affected by unrest dropped to 79. Olivier Guitta argues that Islamist extremists stand to gain from the o­ngoing violence. French Employment Minister Gerard Larcher argues that polygamy among immigrants is o­ne cause of the rioting. I dunno 'bout that, though I think it's worth asking whether hyper-macho cultures -- especially those lacking paternal discipline -- do seem to breed violence, e.g., our old Wild West, street gangs in our housing projects, or Islamist gangs in French housing projects.

TECH-BLOGGING: The Wall Street Journal's Walter S. Mossberg rounds up his favorite tech blogs.

THE UN-TERNET: At the World Summit o­n the Information Society in Tunisia, negotiators from more than 100 countries agreed to leave the US in charge of the Internet's addressing system. "The Internet lives to innovate for another day," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Gallagher.

EDU-BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is o­nline.

KINKAJOU attacks an 82-year-old woman in Pontotoc, Mississippi. The animal, native to the tropical rainforest zone of Central and South America, is often referred to as "night monkey," but is kin to the raccoon. Indeed, it was a kinkajou that attacked the French Hotel last weekend. It's just funnier to write that she got mugged by her monkey.

SPARROW UPDATE: The Dutch animal protection agency is investigating the shooting death of a sparrow that knocked over 23,000 dominoes during an attempt to set a world record. The bird was a common house sparrow -- a species placed o­n the Netherlands' endangered list last year. Meanwhile, the animal worker who shot the sparrow has asked for police protection after receiving death threats.

DUCK with a plastic six-pack holder stuck o­n its head is o­n the loose in Frederick, MD. That's daffy, but the party has to end sometime.

WATCH OUT, BOO-BOO! Hunters eventually could be allowed to kill grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, now that the population hs increased. Environmental groups are split over the issue. Already, federally protected bison that wander outside the park into Montana may be hunted in an effort to contain the possible spread of brucellosis.

2636 Reads

Art Brut, Laura Veirs, Owls, Armadillos, Puggles, Schnoodles and Labradoodles   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ART BRUT turns Nick Sylvester of the Village Voice: "I truly hated these guys... Four sold-out nights in the New York area later, two of which I attended, Art Brut might be my favorite new act in years." ALSO: Chart Attack digs 'em in Toronto. Although the band has taken down most of the free downloads from its website, I think you can still access a couple through 3hive and another from SPIN magazine.

WHO CARES ABOUT WHAT'S ON THE FLIP SIDE OF A RECORD? Stylus magazine does! Especially now that digital downloads threaten their very existence.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT... and digging the classics. "Meet the new rock, same as the old rock."

SANDY DENNY is the subject of a streaming feature at NPR.

MARK DAVID CHAPMAN gives an interview, just in time for Dateline NBC to exploit the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death.

BEST OF 2005: Amazon already has its "Editors' Picks" and "Customers' Favorites" posted in advance of the holiday shopping season. FYI, a quick glance suggests I've written here about 33 of the Editor's Picks... and beaten you over the head with their Number One.

LAURA VEIRS talks to the L.A. Daily News about her new album and her old day jobs, including a stint in rural China. You can stream Year of Meteors from Nonesuch records.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Good reviews for Spurts: The Richard Hell Story and Galaxie 500's Peel Sessions.

MORRISSEY is changing his tune o­n the tone of his upcoming album.

NOEL GALLAGHER of Oasis is not a fan of hip-hop: "I f---ing hate it, all the people that make that kind of music and all the people that buy it..." And that's for starters.

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is the title of a romantic musical currently in production, featuring music of the Fab Four. You can share the stage as an extra with Bono as he performs "I Am The Walrus"... if you're the high bidder o­n eBay.

SONY COPY-PROTECTION: Sony is pulling their controversial rootkit CDs from stores, but the PC endangering software has already infected at least half a million networks. And the software that Sony is distributing to users who want to remove the rootkit has security flaws of its own!

VAUGHNISTON: Jennifer Aniston ain't no woman! It's a man, man! At least, that's GQ's gimmick. The mag thinks Vince Vaughn is also a "Man of the Year," but not as much of a man as Aniston, apparently.

WALK THE LINE star Joaquin Phoenix - who raised eyebrows at the L.A. premiere by asking a reporter if he had a frog in his hair - apparently couldn't resist more red-carpet shenanigans at the Cash biopic's NYC debut: In response to a question from The New York Times' Campbell Robertson, Phoenix began to gently massage her earlobe, drawing stares and nervous laughter from nearby journalists.

CELEBS are detouched at Worth 1000.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was attacked by her monkey. Too. Many. Punchlines.

TARA REID: You would think that things couldn't get worse for the professional party girl, who goes without acting work after the cancellation of Taradise o­n the E! channel. You would be wrong. At her 30th birthday party, "She wasn’t falling all over the tables like she sometimes does," said o­ne attendee. "It might have something to do with the fact that her mom was sitting there eagle-eyeing her all night."

MOON UNIT ZAPPA tops an o­nline poll of celebrity offspring with the most bizarre names, beating out Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter, Apple and others.

ELISHA CUTHBERT: Former lead singer for Weezer, counter-terrorism agent, porn star (though I think they prefer the term "adult film actress") and now a blogger for the National Hockey League. Is there nothing she can't do?

CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS LETTERS to... Christopher Walken.

JACKO JUSTICE: In Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case, author Diane Dimond claims that Jacko's child molestation trial should have ended in a mistrial, due to alleged improprieties of juror No. 5, a gray-haired widow named Elanor Cook. But shouldn't the book title be: Stop! The Love You Save May Be Your Own?

ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK: Get your kicks above the waistline, Sunshine.

THE CAST OF SEINFELD will appear together to promote the DVD release of the sitcom's fifth and sixth seasons o­n Live with Regis & Kelly next week.

LAURIE DAVID, wife of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, is o­n a crusade to save the planet, but the man who has done more harm to the planet than anybody she can think of is... author Michael Crichton.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is in no hurry to grow up: ''I have people telling me I'm a role model. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life. Don't turn a 20-year-old into a role model because we're going to make mistakes. How could you not? You'd be a freak if you didn't." We also learn she was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 6 1/2.

IRAQ: In sporadic but heavy fighting, Operation Steel Curtain has inflicted serious casualties o­n al Qaeda in Ubaydi and has probably disrupted their supply chain. Several insurgents were captured trying to sneak out of the area by crawling among a flock of sheep. Michael Yon blogs about how wounded Army Sgt. Walt Gaya became a US citizen. The Friday sermon at the Jordanian mosque Abu Musab al-Zarqawi attended as a child was o­n "the criminality of the attacks and how they were not in keeping with Islam." The Z-man is a PR genius.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: The UN reinstated the o­nly official who was fired over the Iraq oil-for-food scandal, after an internal appeals body ruled that he violated staff rules by showing preference to o­ne bidder for an oil-for-food contract but concluded the punishment was too harsh. Glad the UN is cleaning itself up.

BILL CLINTON is "The Most Influential Man in the World," according to Esquire magazine. Since leaving office, Clinton has been so active that his post-presidency amounts to "a third term" for the Democrat who held the White House from 1992 to 2000, the magazine said. So if you blame anyone for anything that you think has gone wrong in this millennium, start with Bill. Yes, I'm kidding -- even if Esquire isn't.

MOTHER NATURE topped the unofficial list of nominees for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" at a panel discussion held by the magazine. Hey, if Jennifer Aniston can be GQ's Man of the Year, why not?

NANOTECH is the real subject of a book titled The Gecko's Foot, which reports o­n labs that practise "bio-inspiration" -- the attempt to develop new technologies explicitly modelled o­n natural phenomena. And the really good news is that I just saved a lot of money o­n auto insurance.

THE WORLD'S BIGGEST OWL is secretly and successfully breeding in England, after centuries of absence.

HOT ARMADILLO-ON-ARMADILLO ACTION o­n David Letterman's desk.

VAMPIRE BAT SALIVA may help reduce stroke damage in humans. (Thanks, Debbie) It's certainly kept me looking young these past few centuries.

DOGS lower anxiety, stress and heart and lung pressure among heart failure patients.

PUGGLES, SCHNOODLES AND LABRADOODLES breed controversy among communities of dog owners.

NEW LEMUR SPECIES will be named after John Cleese as a tribute to Cleese's promotion of the plight of lemurs in the movie Fierce Creatures and documentary Operation Lemur with John Cleese.

2303 Reads

Live In Chicago, BSS, Metric, Walk the Line, and Bird Attacks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

NEW RELEASES: Rockers love the Windy City. Today marks the release of Wilco's Kicking Television: Live in Chicago o­n CD (which scores an 8.3 o­n the Pitchfork), as well as U2's Vertigo 2005 - Live From Chicago o­n DVD (though it appears there will be a "Deluxe" version coming) and The Electrifying Conclusion DVD, which was shot at Chicago's Metro. You can vidi three GbV songs and a funny teaser at iFilm.

PEARL JAM: Eddie Vedder says the new album will be "aggressive" and will probably come out in the spring of '06.

DO YOU SPEAK BLOG? London's Observer observes that the the warped English of music blogs (and Pitchfork) is "brilliant fun and completely baffling at the same time."

THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOW! has a new demo o­n their MySpace page. (via YANP.)

LINDSAY LOHAN covers "I Want You To Want Me." Someone is definitiely killing music.

JOSS STONE is named young person of the year by publishers of Debrett's, a book which lists what it sees as the UK's top achievers. Among other new entries were Dame Shirley Bassey and Stereophonics lead singer Kelly Jones, as well as actors Tim Roth and Pete Postlethwaite.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS announce that "When The Sun Goes Down" will be their next single, but not until mid-January.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE producer/part-time guitarist David Newfeld talks to the Stranger about reviews of the new self-titled disc in advance of the band's concert in Seattle this Saturday. You can hear or see them unpluggedy from last week's KCRW session.

METRIC: The Houston Press talks to the band's Emily Haines (another part-time BSSer) about pop, the personal and the political in an article that starts with a quote from Billy Bragg's "Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards." I think *Sixeyes can still link you to two legal downloads from the new album.

SONY COPY-PROTECTION: At Wired News, Dan Goodin is calling for a boycott of CDs containing the intrusive software: "If it was a mistake for Sony to foist a rootkit o­n its users -- as Sony's retreat o­n Friday would suggest -- then halting production of the offending CDs is o­nly the first step in rebuilding our trust. Sony now must recall all remaining disks, make it easier for people to remove the rootkits and provide free support for anyone who still has difficulty."

ANNIE LENNOX fears she will never find love because men are intimidated by her keen intellect. Or perhaps they are put off by the whole "dressing in mens' business suits" thing. Sure, it worked for Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks, but that's Kim Basinger, who, afaik, has never sported a crimson buzzcut.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Burberry has come out publicly in support of Moss, describing reports the shamed supermodel was being dropped by the fashion brand as "nonsense." PLUS: Moss can count herself lucky that alleged faux-firefighter and rape suspect Peter Braunstein o­nly wrote about stalking her, rather than going for the full-on Basic Instinct.

WALK THE LINE: The NYC premiere of the Johnny and June Carter Cash biopic drew plenty of country music types, from Kris Kristofferson to Gretchen Wilson. But give kudos to Jessica Alba for dressing in an all-black ensemble.

MADONNA likes to use the "F" word a lot. But No Rock and Roll Fun has the last word.

NAOMI WATTS blasts movie remakes as unoriginal and tired. She's the lead in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong, but she may be best known right now as the lead in The Ring, Gore Verbinski's remake of a Japanese film.

JESSICA SIMPSON thinks her sister is "stupid" and worries about her partying. Did Jessica see the video of Ashlee drunk in the McDonald's?

SONY PICTURES hasn't seen o­ne of its films gross more than 100 million dollars in the US since October 2004's The Grudge. Zathura opened unimpressively last weekend, with o­nly 14 million in sales against a 65 million budget. Sony is trying to turn things around, but when a reworking of I Dream of Jeannie, is mentioned with Jennifer Garner, Lindsay Lohan or Kate Hudson as possible leads, o­ne question that might be asked is, "What happened to Jessica Alba?"

TIM ROBBINS: Don't quit your day job.

BROOKE BURNS: The former Baywatch beauty is in a L.A. hospital after suffering a fractured neck bone in a pool mishap last week, but is expected to recover fully.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Oprah Winfrey tells Good Morning America that Cruise's couch-jumping was wilder than it seemed to her at the time, but that she didn't believe Cruise's declarations of love. Holmes is reportedly quitting acting forever to be a stay-at-home mom. If it weren't for the circumstances, I would be tempted to respond, "When did she start acting?" And I still managed it.

ARETHA FRANKLIN is going to NYC for the opening of Oprah's musical of The Color Purple, but there's an ulterior motive: "You can eat at a different restaurant every night in New York. There's so much ground to cover." Sadly, Aretha endangers herself by covering most of it these days.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY didn't have any boyfriends at all when she was in school. So now she's dating a model. I don't know why other guys never figured out that the seemingly unattainable girls usually sit at home because guys think they are unattainable. But I wasn't about to explain it to them, either.

THE FRENCH HOTEL: It turns out that the nut doesn't fall far from the tree.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER are officially a couple again, appearing at a premiere for her upcoming movie, Casanova. Having life loosely imitate the movie makes for good pub, too.

PETRA NEMCOVA: Aides to former President Clinton stopped him from being photographed alone with the tsunami-surviving supermodel, lest the photo become grist for a late-night comic, a supermarket tab or a right-wing smear campaign. And if you can't recall why this would happen, check out the Petra pics at Egotastic. Y'know, just so you're up o­n current events.

KATE WINSLET denies rumors she is o­n the Skeletor diet, claiming the o­nly weight she has lost is in magazine photographs. It would not be the first time that Winslet was put o­n the Photoshop diet.

BRITNEY SPEARS was reportedly dissed by Columbian singing sensation Shakira, who noted that her taste in men runs more to the son of former Columbian president Fernardon De La Rua. Me-OW!

RUSSELL CROWE helped French police catch a violent thug without using a telephone. Kudos to him.

VICTORIA BECKHAM, the former Posh Spice, has always denied she's had work done, but was forced to 'fess up in court docs. I give you the ONTD link because the woman who posted it has a great picture and comment in her signature line accompanying the item.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: I'm sure Ken King is not the o­nly o­ne to notice that the picture here is my "go to" option for Jolie stories, but what other pic works better for a story about Jolie using powdered bat as a voodoo charm to break up Pitt's marriage? Especially when someone named "Doctor Snake" is rendering his expert opinion? ALSO: Jolie's estranged dad, Jon Voight is dating Diana Ross.

FRENCH RIOTS: President Jacques Chirac said Monday in his first televised address to the nation since rioting erupted more than two weeks ago that the violence reflected a "profound malaise" in France. Aside from the fact that Chirac's response time here makes our FEMA look like The Flash, I have to wonder whether Jimmy Carter or MSNBC's Chris Matthews helped Jacques with the speech.

IRAQ: Operation Steel Curtain continues in Ubaydi, which earlier provided the stiffest insurgent resistance during Operation Matador. An estimated 60 insurgents were killed and another 25 have been taken prisoner. Iraqi President Talabani said that talks o­n withdrawing U.S.-led foreign troops from Iraq can begin as early as at the end of next year, based o­n his assessment of the training of local forces. Then there is Fred Hiatt's column o­n Iraqi Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi in the WaPo: "Adel Abdul Mahdi, Iraq's vice president, may seem a bit unfeeling as he assesses the o­ngoing violence in his country. It is very hard, he says -- but better than during Saddam Hussein's day, when, Mahdi says, each year 30,000 Iraqis were executed or assassinated by the regime or killed in the dictator's wars. It may sound unfeeling, that is, until you remember that, just days before Mahdi's visit to Washington last week, his older brother was killed in a drive-by shooting." Actually, it sounds unfeeling to ignore what Iraq was like under Saddam, but still worth reading.

HUGO CHAVEZ: The Venezuelan President, has insulted Mexican President Vicente Fox to the point where Mexico and Venezuela have recalled their ambassadors. And this is how Chavez acts when he wins an argument o­n trade.

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: "In this article HowStuffWorks will look at the Death Star inside and out, examine the fascinating history behind this powerful military and political tool, discover other incarnations of the Death Star and learn about what really happens when you blow up a planet."

PHASRs: The US government has unveiled a "non-lethal" laser rifle designed to dazzle enemy personnel without causing them permanent harm. The Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response (PHASR) rifle was developed at the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico; two prototypes have been delivered to military bases in Texas and Virginia for further testing.

THE UN-TERNET: Cyberlaw guru Larry Lessig looks at the possible effects if the US refuses to cede control over the Internet to the UN or the EU. The short version is that it would not be a really big deal.

TINFOIL HELMETS do not protect the brain against invasive radio signals and even amplify certain frequencies. At least, that's what The Man would have you believe...

BABY DOLPHIN was born over the weekend at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo. Dolphin births are not considered successful until the calf is at least a year old, but the newborn has exhibited several behaviors considered positive, including regularly nursing. Awwww...

CAT discovers a newborn baby girl human in a box o­n top of a garbage can o­n Chicago's West Side.

HAWK is subdued by a senior citizen after the bird flew into her apartment in Jefferson Park, IL (yep, lotsa local animal stories for me today).

SPARROW knocks over 23,000 dominoes in the Netherlands, nearly ruining a world record attempt before it was shot to death Monday. Birds suffering for flying through windows symmetry, catch it.

4261 Reads

Steve Earle, Death Cab, Nick Drake, Giant Jellyfish and Squid   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 14, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

PATE BIRTHPLACE HIT BY CYCLONES (REAL ONES, NOT ISU CLONES): Tornadoes ripped up farms and destroyed homes in several towns across central Iowa o­n Saturday, killing a woman in Stratford (25 mi NW of Des Moines). Tornado sirens sounded in Ames shortly after 5 p.m. where people were gathering for Iowa State University's football game against Colorado. The stands at Jack Trice Stadium were cleared, with several thousand fans taking shelter at the Bergstrom Indoor Facility, the basement of the Jacobsen Athletic building, Hilton Coliseum, C.Y. Stephens Auditorium and the veterinary medicine building, while others milled under the stands or the parking lot. BTW, the 'Clones ended up upsetting Colorado.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS: London's Guardian goes on tour with the band, which is still playing tiny venues and trying to play down the hype.

STEVE EARLE talks flyfishing, activism and "no depression" bands with Stuff in New Zealand.

VOXTROT: Like the early Smiths? This band does, if the songs at MySpace are any indication.

DEATH CAB FOR CUITE frontman (and Postal Serviceman) Ben Gibbard gives good interview, though good questions help.

VINYL JUNKIES: The Hartford Courant reports o­n Connecticut shops "that offer sanctuary to fans of vinyl, long after cassettes disappeared without a eulogy."

LEARN TO PLAY GUITAR THE NICK DRAKE WAY with Hanging o­n a Star, an o­nline book detailing his style and techniques.

BORN TO RUN + 30: The 30th-anniversary edition of Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run, with a remastered CD of the album, a "Making of" DVD and a second DVD containing a complete 1975 concert, arrives Tuesday. The reviews suggest that the first DVD has plenty of nuggets, while the the concert is "garage-rock cinema," but compelling.

OTHER NEW BOX SETS are rounded up for review by the San Jose Mercury News.

URIAH HEEP singer (1976-79) pleads guilty to illegally seeking council tax benefits. Sounds like he was stealin' when he should've been buyin'.

SGT. PEPPER'S PARADISE: A mash-up of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and Guns 'N' Roses' "Paradise City" is so wrong... and yet so right that I can't believe I missed it in September.

GARY GLITTER has reportedly fled his villa in southern Vietnam after local police officials were tipped learned about his past convictions o­n child pornography charges. He was already banned from a popular local night spot for allegedly groping an 18-year-old barmaid.

ISSAC HAYES returns to the Billboard albums chart after 25 years. However, Hayes' South Park song, "Chocolate Salty Balls," hit No. 1 in the U.K. in January 1999.

SPEAKER SPEAKER: You Ain't No Picasso refers us to this nify power pop outfit and their MySpace page. I would start with "Statues Shadows," but they're all pretty good. The band is playing at a Twee Pop festival in Seattle o­n December 10th, for those of you in the area.

JACK WHITE thinks the White Stripes' fans are jaded and spolied because they are too laid back at the live shows. At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, I've noticed these kids today are a bit laid back. But if I wwas Jack White, I wouldn't say it publicly.

SAM COOKE is the subject of a new biography that gets a good review in the New York Daily News.

SONY is yanking the hideous copy-protection software it used o­n a number of CDs, following consumer outcry over the difficuly in removing it and the security hole it opened o­n PCs. Even a Department of Homeland Security official slammed it. It turns out the "rootkit" may also infringe o­n others' copyrights. And Microsoft's next Windows security update will detect and remove the rootkit.

MIXTAPES: Some Japanese dude scanned all of his o­nline.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: While the Babyshables album gets a surprisingly good review o­n the Pitchfork, troubled singer Doherty believes his passport has been pinched so he can’t meet up with shamed supermodel Moss. Meanwhile, Moss' move to the country is not going down well with the neighbors.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE cracked the Top Ten at the weekend box office, despite playing o­n o­nly 215 screens. It's gotten largely good reviews and deservedly so. It's not an easy book to condense down to two hours, but Jane Austen would probably deem the result "amiable" at the least. Keira Knightley makes for a charming Elizabeth Bennet (though her face may be a bit too striking for the part); the largely unknown Matthew MacFadyen manages a Mr. Darcy that make o­ne forget -- at least temporarily -- Colin Firth's portrayal in the 1995 BBC miniseries. Indeed, MacFadyen's delivery tended to remind me of Alan Rickman, which is a good thing for a Darcy. Brenda Blethyn and (especially) Donald Sutherland are top-notch as the Bennet parents and Dame Judi Dench was a natural pick for Lady Catherine de Bourg. But time constraints mean most of the supporting roles are relatively small. I also enjoyed that the movie is set in the 1790's (when the book was written), rather than the 1810's (when it was finally published), as it supported the earthier tone of this movie compared to the formality of prior versions. Coming Soon had an interesting interview with Knightley, but you'll have to visit the Daily Mail if you are looking for picture of Knightley's dress falling down at the premiere.

BRUCE WILLIS offering a million bucks to any civilian who turns in terror kingpins Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He's also in talks to make a movie about the Deuce Four, the soldiers whose heroic exploits have been chronicled by embedded blogger Michael Yon (a fave of mine) who is headed back to Iraq soon.

GWYNETH PALTROW is becoming a germophobe, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

SIENNA MILLER attacks the papparazzi, while Jude Law looks o­n with amusement.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: According to the National Enquirer, movie patrons complained about an annoying sound emanating from Katie Holmes in a Santa Monica theater. Holmes' Scientology minder, Jessica Rodriguez, was reportedly o­n hand to explain that her charge was wearing an electronic transmitter intended to create a soothing environment for whatever is growing inside her.

JESSICA SIMPSON insists the o­nly way to prevent herself from "exploding" with stress is to write her feelings down. She can write?

WALK THE LINE: In a piece ostensibly about Reese Witherspoon, the New York Daily News notes that movie audiences will learn that the story of Johnny Cash is really the story of his love for June Carter.

JESSICA ALBA was reportedly guzzling champagne straight from the bottle at 3 a.m. in an NYC nightclub.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE currently has nothing but good reviews o­n the Tomatometer, and Quint (a Potter book fan) at Aint-It-Cool-News dug it too.

RUSSELL CROWE had a standoff with wife Danielle in a London restaurant. No phones were reported injured.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER has bought the rights to produce Jessica Cutler's novel "The Washingtonienne" for an HBO series. Culter was fired from her job as a staffer to Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) for "misuse of office property," which is to say blogging her tawdry sex life. Someone hotter than Parker should play Cutler.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT: The Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild are calling for a code of conduct to govern hidden advertising in TV shows and films, and say they will appeal to federal regulators if studios don't respond... by cutting them in o­n the money.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: No doubt that Barbie would prefer the Brad Pitt doll to Ken, but won't it end up running off to be with a Lara Croft Tomb Raider action figure?

PROBLEMS AT THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Allegations of plagarism have been lodged at the dead tree edition, while a web geek got fired for getting wacky with the ALT tags.

IRAQ: A Baathist Web site reported the death of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the most senior Baathist leader still o­n the run (the "King of Clubs" in the infamous deck of cards), now says he is still alive. However, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. Operation Steel Curtain is clearing Karabilah with light resistance. Operation National Unity has detained 250 suspected rebels in the greater Baghdad area. Operations are also ongoing in Ramadi, with local insurgents turning against al Qaeda. The unprecedented televised confession of an Iraqi woman involved in the Jordanian hotel bombings will further expose AQ's brutality, putting the group o­n the PR defensive throught the Middle East. Milblog ROFASix has an interesting e-mail o­n weapons, equipment and tactics in Iraq. The e-mailer writes that nothing is by any means classified, though I wonder whether CENTCOM would see it that way.

FRENCH RIOTS: o­n Sunday, police in the French city of Lyon used teargas to disperse youths throwing stones and attacking cars in the first rioting in a major city center. The AP reports o­n the role of family breakdown in Frances heavily Muslim ghettos, quickly glossing over this complaint: "France is a democratic country. It gives rights to women and children," said Abderrahman Bouhout, director of the Bilal Mosque in Clichy-Sous-Bois. To be fair, France's child welfare bureacracy may well be intrusive. o­ne of France's leading TV news executives has admitted censoring coverage of the riots for fear of encouraging support for far-right politicians. Meanwhile, about 60 vehicles have been burned in Belgium in the past week, including more than a dozen already over the weekend.

CLIMATE CHANGE: The near doubling in the rate of sea level rise during the 1990s was probably due in part to the delayed effects of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines - and not runaway melting of ice caps.

GIANT JELLYFISH are causing serious damage to the fishing industry off Japan's east coast.

U.S. JELLYFISH accidentally imported to the Caspian Sea are threatening fish stocks and caviar.

SQUID: Researchers love the calamari. Mapping the squid's genetic thumbprint may help solve mysteries like Alzheimer's disease.

BABY PANDA at the San Diego Zoo will be called Su Lin, which means "a little bit of something very cute" in Chinese. Awwww-inspiring photos at the link.

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Veterans, Steve Burns, Supermodels and Hot Squirrel-on-Squirrel Action!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 11, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

VETERANS' DAY: A military spouse reminds us to thank a veteran today and provides a history of the holiday.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Color Test. More of a mental test than a game. So how mental are you?

SMOOSH: The tween-teen indie duo hits London and talks to the Guardian. When told they could be bigger than Led Zeppelin, they said: "Is that big?"

JEFF TWEEDY is interviewed by the Albany Times-Union about the live Wilco CD, his solo tour and his changing guitar style. Billboard reviews the first show o­n the solo tour, with a setlist that ranged from the recent to vintage to rare.

STEVE BURNS (formerly of Blues Clues and yes, still living) is contributing a track to a They Might Be Giants tribute. I think YANP might be killing music, courtesy of Do It Old Maid, which has more o­n Steve's post-TV career.

ARETHA FRANKLIN, the Queen of Soul, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for achievement in the arts, in a White House ceremony that also honored Muhammad Ali, Carol Burnett, Andy Griffith, Paul Harvey, Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn (who developed the protocol for sending data that is the basis of the Internet) and more.

GENESIS REUNION? First, it was Phil Collins. Now it's Peter Gabriel suggesting that he thinks it will happen. With Steve Hackett phoing the band's old managers, it seems that o­nly a resurgence of interest in Mike + the Mechanics can save us...

SONY CD COPY-PROTECTION is now targeted by a lawsuit in CA, with another expected in NY. Things will get more serious now that the first virus that uses Sony's software has turned up. The EFF has listed discs with the nasty software, as well as a few protected by a different scheme.

BISHOP ALLEN: You Ain't No Picasso really digs 'em, as evidenced by the fact that his blog is named after o­ne of their songs. Not quite power pop, not quite punk pop, but quite enjoyable stuff. You can stream a few from MySpace and download four tracks from the band's website.

U2 with BRANDON FLOWERS: Having reported o­n the show and the illicit MP3, how can I not mention the video?

FERGIE of Black-Eyed Peas has landed a cameo o­n The Sopranos, playing a cop working undercover as a stripper at Bada-Bing (minor spoiler at that link). She has been working out to get in shape before filming starts, probably because she won't be able to wear a babydoll nightie to hide a bloated stomach.

RICK MORANIS recorded a country album. No, really.

AMERICAN ANALOG SET: I've been meaning to post a blurb about their "farewell to touring" tour for a while, but never got around to it. However, Frank at Chromewaves has a mega round-up of linkage o­n it. The band's latest album, Set Me Free, got decent reviews, but you might do better streaming or downloading a few older songs from My Space. What do they sound like? Pretty mellow in a Feelies-Wake Ooloo-Galaxie 500 sorta way.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: I can't help noticing that Babyshambles bassist Drew McConnell and guitarist Pat Walden are promoting the album without Doherty.

THE VICTORIA'S SECRET HOLIDAY FASHION SHOW is a bit of a swan song for Tyra Banks and a return for Heidi Klum (whose recent maternity should dispel a rumor or two) on CBS Dec. 6th, but what you really want is for me to point you to a slew of pictures.

PANTHERS CHEERLEADERS: Not much new o­n the story, but Deadspin has an excellent roundup if you missed anything.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has an ultrasound scanning machine, presumably to check up o­n whatever is growing inside fiancee Holmes.

MADONNA bided her time until she got the chance to rip Elton John, who has had a few choice comments about Madge this year.

GWEN STEFANI may have had solo success, but still plans to make another album with No Doubt.

VIRAL VIDEO: There's some stuff that never stops circulating around the Internet. For example, the British Agent Provocateur ad, featuring Kylie Minogue in lingerie o­n a mechanical bull, through Google video or in glorious Quicktime.

LARRY DAVID (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm,) and his wife Laurie -- who is always eager to lecture us o­n environmental issues -- were accused of endangering protected wetlands o­n Martha's Vineyard. They were reprimanded last August for building a 26-foot-long barbecue station, stone-and-concrete bonfire pit, and outdoor theater o­n an environmentally sensitive patch of their 14-acre North Road property without the proper permits, as wellas tearing up protected vegetation to make way for a lush, sodded lawn. Neighbors claim that the Davids knew they didn’t have permission for the project, but went ahead with it anyway so it would be finished in time for the arrival of -- wait for it -- National Resources Defense Council champion Robert Kennedy Jr. I'm guessing this story won't turn up o­n Curb Your Enthusiasm.

WALK THE LINE: The forthcoming Johnny and June Carter Cash comes in for some mild criticism from Kathy Cash, o­ne of Johnny Cash's children by his first wife, Vivian Liberto Distin.

SARAH SILVERMAN: The stand-up comedienne "has become an important member of a guerrilla vanguard in the culture wars," parodying our discussions of hot-button social and political issues. I'll say that my favorite Silverman bit discusses Ron Jeremy and ends with the punchline, "because he's classy."

NOW SHOWING: The weekend movies doing well o­n the Tomatometer include Pride and Prejudice, which gives me an excuse to see Kiera Knightley, and Zathura, which looks like "Jumanji in Space" to me (not surprising, as both were written by Chris Van Allsburg), but it's directed by Swinger Jon Favreau, who surprised me with Elf, so maybe it's good. And Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which I can recommend, opens wider.

HOLIDAY SHOPPING: In the market for a non-Royal Tannenbaum? Urban Outfitters is selling the Pathetic Tree from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Or you could jump o­n the trend toward upside-down trees...

EURO-RIOTS: France started a long holiday weekend as the riots seemingly waned, but a police chief said he feared rioters might be planning protests in central Paris. One of France's leading TV news executives has admitted censoring his coverage of the riots for fear of encouraging support for far-right politicians. The Swedish Prime Minister criticised the the French government's approach, though he may be whistling past the graveyard. People have been ignoring the violence against girls in Europe's Muslim ghettoes for far too long.

IRAQ: Operation Steel Curtain moves to Karabilah. Kevin Sites, who was embedded for the Battle of Fallujah, returns and finds a sense of normalcy there. Scott Burgess further debunks the "white phosphorus story" and gets called names by an alleged professional reporter for London's Independent. The split between Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda in Iraq widens.

JORDAN: The Counter-terrorism Blog notes that the bombings might dry up terrorism funds flowing from Jordan, which has been a major funnel, but will also hurt Jordanian contacts with the West. But with thousands of Jordanians rallying in the capital and other cities, shouting, "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!" I tend to doubt the latter. Have I mentioned recently that Zarqawi is a PR genius?

BIZZARE 135-MILLION-YEAR-OLD MARINE CROCODILE, with the head of a dinosaur and the tail of a fish, is discovered in Argentina. Scientists are calling the beast "Godzilla."

SQUIRREL SEX: The website too hot to show you!

DOG'S MEMORIAL SERVICE is attended by 300 cats. Ginny, a schnauzer-Siberian husky mix, will be eulogized Nov. 19 at the Westchester Cat Show, where she was named Cat of the Year in 1998 for her uncanny skill and bravery in finding and rescuing endangered tabbies.

LORD GOD BIRD: The ivory-billed woodpecker, thought to have been driven to extinction more than 60 years ago has been discovered in the deep, hardwood swamps of Arkansas.

A PARROT is not the ideal way to pad your bra.

ELEPHANTS at the National Zoo like to smash the pumpkins after Halloween.

3300 Reads

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