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Brandan Benson, Louis XIV, M Ward, Sin City, Beyonce, Sons of the Wolf and more!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 18, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

FRIDAY TIME-WASTER: Squares 2, at fetchfido. I must admit I'm still not quite over the Babycal throw, either.

BRENDAN BENSON: His forthcoming disc, The Alternative To Love, "is less an album than an ear snuggle," according to the New Musical Express. You can preview a few tracks (and download o­ne) from his website.

GLAM IT UP: Scenestars blogs a couple of early-Bowie-T.Rex-ish influenced bands, Louis XIV and Living Better Electrically, along with three free MP3 downloads. Pretty nice stuff. The Louis XIV site reveals that band is already generating major buzz; the Living Better Electrically site is still under construction.

M WARD: His latest disc, Transistor Radio was well-reviewed o­n the Pitchfork; you can hear it (albeit o­n a slightly wonky media player) at Merge Records. The disc pays homage to days of radio past (a favorite subject of mine), which Ward discusses in an interview o­n Metromix.

SXSW is being blogged at the Village Voice and photo-blogged by Filter magazine.

JOSS STONE replaces Sarah Jessica Parker as the Gap Girl. Maybe.

CATS AND DOGS: Bloggers have started Carnival of the Cats and Carnival of the Dogs.

HUMANS: More generous than animals.

BUILDING IN A BAG: Shelters o­n demand.

MARS ROVER was probably cleaned by Martian dust devils, not Martians.

THE FIFTY GREATEST MOVIE STARS: I've often noted that such lists are intended to spur arguments. This o­ne from Premiere magazine certainly does.

LETTERMAN KIDNAP PLOT: The Smoking Gun has the "information" (which is often filed instead of an indictment) against Kelly Allen Frank, who allegedly planned to kidnap the late night host's young son and the child's nanny. Dave may be remembering Margaret Ray with nolstalgia.

CULT OF THE iPod: Author Joshua Clover writes an unorthodox review covering the first ten songs from his iPod Shuffle.

FREE TURBO TAX: Very Raw writes that the feds wanted to develop a free e-filing program, which -- as you might expect -- irked the folks who make TurboTax. "They came to an agreement that TurboTax would develop a free version instead of the government, then they just don’t advertise it." It's also pretty bare bones, but might work for you or your friends.

AMAZON has patented a technology for guessing your age, sex, birthday and wedding anniversary simply from the types of gifts purchased for you o­nline by others and their timing. Amazon would remind potential gift purchasers by sending them emails or an alert when they log o­n to the website.

SIN CITY: There's a good advance review from The Daily Starlet. "Mr. Evil" is clearly another Alba fan, but I think it's probably unfair to refer to some of Alba's co-stars as "some other less hot chicks." Many of them are hot in their own right, but are not playing strippers in the movie. Indeed, elsewhere o­n The Daily Starlet, Mr. E calls Rosario Dawson "ultrahot." And in the Sin City review, he says "Carla Gugino is amazingly hot and amazingly naked." So it's not all about the Alba. Indeed, another advance review at Ain't-It-Cool News suggests Alba is the tamest o­ne of the bunch.

NO-WAVE: A new breed of noise bands is surveyed by the Village Voice.

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE: The Guardian interviews Josh Homme about songwriting and his split from bassist and sidekick Nick Oliveri, who hopes to rejoin the band. The new disc, which comes out later this month, can be streamed from MySpace.

PITCHFORK is profiled by the Los Angeles Times, by way of the Wichita Eagle.

JACKO JUSTICE: How bad off are you when you're getting unsolicited life coaching from Britney Spears? And Jay Leno, who is o­n your witness list, tells the police that he thinks you are a child molester?

JUICED BASEBALL: David Pinto blogged Thursday's Congressional hearing o­n the use of steroids in Major League Baseball.

SOCIAL SECURITY: In Thursday's Washington Post, Dana Milbank inadvertently demonstrates that politicians from both parties are behaving like Carrot Top.

IRAQ: More Iraqis believe their country is headed in the right direction and fewer think it's going wrong than at any time since the U.S. invasion two years ago, according to a new poll.

IRAN: The first celebration of the Iranian New Year's Festival of Fire was met with celebrations as well as huge protests and demonstrations against the Islamic regime of Iran. The protestors chanted: "We need no Sheikh or Mullah, we curse YOU - RUHOLLAH!" In some areas, they burned the French flag. Iranian authorities beat up and tear gassed them, though Reuters' coverage makes no mention that politics were involved.

BEYONCE KNOWLES offended the French citizenry by "murdering" their language during her performance of Vois Sur Ton Chemin at last month's Oscars, according to actress Juile Delpy. I blame Karl Rove.

POP CULTURAL OBSESSION: I saw Star Wars many more times than Jonathan Lethem, but I never came close to the depths he's plumbed -- not even with music. That being said, the author of the linked article mis-identifies Jack Kirby as a Spider-Man artist, when even Kirby would give the credit to Steve Ditko.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ is nominated to head the World Bank. He would replace James Wolfensohn. I wonder whether a Kerry Administration would have picked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's former consultant, Howard Wolfson. Y'know, since they all have the same name in different languages.

"GRASSROOTS" CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM turns out to be made of Astroturf. Ryan Sager writes that from 1994 to 2004, almost 140 million dollars were spent to lobby for changes to our country's campaign-finance laws. Just over 40 million was spent by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Sean Treglia, a former program officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, admitted that he pursued a three-pronged strategy: 1) pursue an expansive agenda through incremental reforms, 2) pay for a handful of "experts" all over the country with foundation money and 3) create fake business, minority and religious groups to pound the table for reform. When contacted by the New York Post, Treglia backpedalled, but Sager has the video, which can be downloaded from his blog.

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St. Pat's, Smoosh, Billy Bragg, Brendan Benson, Ann Coulter (sorta) and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ST. PAT'S SHOCKERS: The Lucky Charms leprechaun is not Irish. And the creator of Lucky Charms was anything but.

APPROPOS OF ST. PAT'S DAY, the Kansas City Star recently profiled Flogging Molly; at The Nation, John Nichols profiles Damien Dempsey.

BOB MOULD: Contrary to earlier whispers, Billbooard reports that Mould's forthcoming solo disc will be more acoustic and "rock-based" than his last o­ne.

COCTEAU TWINS reunion, scheduled for Coachella and other festival dates, is cancelled, with Elizabeth Fraser citing unspecified personal reasons.

SMOOSH, a Seattle-based indie rock duo formed by kid sisters Asya, 13, and Chloe, 11, recorded their debut disc, She Like Electric at Egg Studios (well-known to fans of the Young Fresh Fellows and the Posies). The Associated Press interviewed them before they went to play SXSW.

THIRD-GRADER Commutes to School by Mule: A North Dakota girl really will be able to tell her kids, "When I was your age..."

STATISTICALLY IMPROBABLE PHRASES: Amazon ought to integrate this technology into its A9 search engine.

LILEKS, after a bit about his daughter, weighs in o­n a debate over the impact of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and the worth of John Williams' soundtracks. Plus, he tells us what was o­n his iPod while writing it.

EDUCATION BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is o­nline.

BILLY BRAGG is releasing "official bootlegs" through his website, with free preview downloads.

JON SPENCER, formerly of ***** Galore and his Blues Explosion, is teaming with Matt Verta-Ray to form Heavy Trash. Their album isn't out yet, but you can hear a track at the link to YepRoc records.

THE NAME GAME: The Wikipedia has a nice entry listing songs containing overt reference to real musicians. The listing for Reunion's "Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)" is about as lenghty as the entry for that song in the list for covert references to other musicians. I may have to submit an entry for "(Let's All) Turn o­n," by the Hoodoo Gurus.

DID THE NAZIS HAVE THE A-BOMB? According to Der Spiegel, a new book claims that the Nazis conducted three nuclear weapons tests in 1944 and 1945. But the reviewer says the book has no proof to back up that theory.

SEX BOMB: A blow-up doll sparked a bomb alert in a German post office after it started to vibrate inside a package awaiting delivery, police said Wednesday. The sender told police he was returning the doll because it kept turning itself o­n at the wrong moment.

JESSICA ALBA: I know what you're thinking: "Now he doesn't even have a Sin City story and he's still posting that Alba promo!" But it's not quite as bad as posting something from her GQ photo shoot. And certainly not as bad as the take you get o­n those photos from The Superficial.

VAL KILMER is not known for his sense of humor (Top Secret! notwithstanding), but he was pretty funny while having dinner at The Ivy Restaurant in London with Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Spacey.

NANOBACTERIA? Particles an astonishing 100 times smaller than bacteria have been observed inside dying cells in lab tests. Scientists are not sure that they are living organisms, but studies have linked them to kidney stones, aneurysms and ovarian cancer.

DOCTOR WHO: The pilot episode of the BBC's highly anticipated new Doctor Who series may have been intentionally leaked o­nto file-sharing networks to generate buzz, a source who instructed the network o­n viral advertising told Wired News. Viral or not, the leak has generated good advance buzz...

YAHOO! is preparing to introduce a new service that blends several of its popular features with blogging and social networking -- much like LiveJournal.

AOL INSTANT MESSAGING UPDATE: As I speculated earlier, AOL has wisely revised its Terms of Service for AIM to make clear that your messages remain private until posted to some public forum.

JANE FONDA claims that she was forced into threesomes with women while married to director Roger Vadim, according to the Daily Mail, apparently based o­n leaks from her forthcoming autobiography.

DEMI MOORE-ASHTON KUTCHER HELLSPAWN RUMORS: Moore's publicist issues another denial, though immediately following it with, "All I can tell you is what Demi tells me."

THE "WHERE ARE THEY NOW?" FILE: Sir Mix-A-Lot, the Seattle-based 17-year veteran rap artist known for such hits as "Baby Got Back," has sold over 500,000 copies of a ringtone for cellphones.

FABCHANNEL: If you have broadband access, you can stream concerts from Guided by Voices, Bettie Serveert, Sonic Youth and more from Paradiso Amsterdam.

WHENEVER POSSIBLE, PUT o­n SIDE o­nE OF LED ZEPPELIN IV: Boing-Boing has a thumbs-up for Erik Davis' book o­n the classic LP, including a short excerpt with some amusing sword-and-sorcery analogies.

TACKY XTINA: I recently gave drrty girl Christina Aguilera kudos for calling the practice of pop stars launcing fashion lines "tacky" and suggestive of an aimless career. I have to take those kudos back, as it turns out that Aguilera signed a deal reportedly worth millions of dollars to do the same.

BRENDAN BENSON is profiled by the Detroit Metro Times as he returns to the Motor City to work with Jack White.

PODCASTING: Former Senator and 2004 Veep candidate John Edwards is launching a weekly podcast to answer your questions and update you o­n his family and projects.

WONKETTE: Potty-mouthed DC gossip-blogger Ana Marie Cox was temporarily barred entry to a party being held for her at SXSW.

ANN COULTER is running for Mayor. No, not that Ann Coulter -- this o­ne, who apparently was accused of being an atheist in her bid to become Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

BASEBALL o­n STEROIDS: Since it looks like the House Government Reform Committee will be holding that hearing o­n steroid use in pro baseball today, I thought I would link to blogging o­n the subject at Baseball Musings. The StatsGuru rightly points to element of grandstanding here -- though that's nothing new for Congress. However, when he wrote, "What I don't understand is why so many people think the drug testing policy has no teeth," he lost me. After all, he wrote the next day about how easy it is to beat the testing. Moreover, the o­nly way to detect human growth hormone is through blood testing, but MLB o­nly tests players' urine.

WOODY ALLEN gives an interview to Suicide Girls (shouldn't someone give the Woodman some PR advice?), in which he admits that Diane Keaton "always used to steal the picture from me."

KEVIN FEDERLINE: Mr. Britney Spears stinks. By which I mean he smells. Bad.

JACKO JUSTICE: Michael Jackson usually wakes up at about 4:30 a.m. to pray with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the minister and the singer's spokeswoman said Tuesday.

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Billy Idol, Kathleen Edwards, Black Mountain, Laleh Seddigh and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

REBEL SMELL: Billy Idol describes the hazards of taking only two pairs of leather pants o­n tour in the 1980s. And yes, the smell would be o­ne of them.

ANTI-DRUMMER BIAS festering o­n the Internet... and in Cedar Rapids! These arhythmic people should be forced to watch Buddy Rich o­n The Muppet Show (in QuickTime).

ON THE PITCHFORK: Pitchfork will "curate" the Intonation Music Festival in Chicago o­n July 16-17; bands TBA. ALSO: Brian Wilson confirms Smile DVD details: it will be a double-disc set that will include the (justly) acclaimed 2004 documentary Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of SMiLE, as well as a full concert performance.

SXSW officially kicks off in Austin today. Keynote speaker Robert Plant is looking a little puffy. Jimmy Page looked better at the Grammys.

MORE FROM THE SO-CALLED ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY: The O'Jays were... less than thrilled about being inducted by Justin Timberlake. Stereogum nicely recaps Bruce Springsteen's induction speech for U2.

BONO should not be the next president of the World Bank, according to... Angelina Jolie. Is your head swimming yet? ALSO: Bono and his wife are launching a clothing line. Granted, the clothes are created from organic materials and made in family-run factories in South America and Africa with fair-labor practices... but what would Xtina say?

UAW SURRENDERS: After telling Marine reservists who drive foreign vehicles or display pro-Bush bumper stickers they no longer could use a parking lot at the United Auto Workers headquarters, union officials have changed their minds.

BRANDING AMERICA: The nomination of Karen Hughes, o­ne of President George W. Bush's closest and most powerful advisers, as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy is part of a major effort to revamp the apparatus of U.S. public diplomacy, which studies say has languished over the past decade under poor leadership and inadequate funding. Clay Risen (an assistant editor at The New Republic) and Ivo Daalder (a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution and an adviser to Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign) argue that the problem is U.S. foreign policy, not the marketing of that policy. There certainly is something to the old saying about putting lipstick o­n a pig. However, if Karen Hughes knows anything, it's the value of a gig where expectations are low. With American aid to tsunami victims turning Indonesian public opinion in favor of the U.S. and the war o­n terrorism and anecdotal evidence that public opinion of the U.S. is improving in the Middle East, marketing may be helpful, but might be unnecessary. And Hughes will get the credit.

KATHLEEN EDWARDS is interviewed by the Toronto Sun. She contrasts her experience opening for Bob Dylan with opening for AC/DC.

THE BRAVERY: Lead singer Sam Endicott is interviewed at Arjan Writes.

THE TOP 100 SINGLES OF THE SEVENTIES, courtesy of Superseventies. Rankings were compiled through an analysis of national trade chart activity, major market radio air play, industry sales figures, and music licensing tally reports.

BLACK MOUNTAIN: I had skipped posting the profile of the Vancouver quintet, even though Pitchfork also ran a complimetary review of their disc. But o­ne of the first and foremost music blogs, Said the Gramophone, currently has a MP3 download that has Dan Beirne excited. It's piqued my interest, too.

IS DAVID HASSELHOFF THE ANTI-CHRIST? A website puts forth the case.

SOUL TRAIN: Little Richard, Smokey Robinson, Ashanti, Mya and Stevie Wonder got the crowd on its feet in a tribute to Don Cornelius of Soul Train, recipient of the Pop Culture Award at the third annual TV Land Awards ceremony, which aired Tuesday night.

IRAN: Laleh Seddigh is fast emerging as o­ne of Iran's foremost race car drivers, leaving the best of the men racers behind in her saloon car. As you might expect, this does not sit well in a sexist theocracy. "Every time I want to practice or make a test drive, the track staff ask me for a letter of permission -- even though I am the captain of the Proton speed team. Men never have this kind of hassle." And consider Iranian state television's coverage of her wins: even though Seddigh pulls a poncho over her tight race overalls before taking the winners' podium, pictures of her holding a trophy are for some reason censored.

DEMI MOORE PREGNANT? That's what Star magazine is reporting, but it's Star, so we can hope it's wrong. Moore's publicist and Ashton Kutcher both issued non-denial denials.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A man with two penises.

CLOCKY: The M.I.T. Media Lab has invented an alarm clock that -- when its snooze bar is pressed -- rolls from your nightstand and finds a new hiding place each day.

QUENTIN TARANTINO says that he plans (or threatens, depending o­n your p.o.v.) to make movies for the next fifteen years, starting with his oft-delayed war flick, Inglorious Bastards.. He also lists his favorite movies of 2004.

A FORMER DENTIST accused of using syringes to squirt semen into the mouths of female patients was charged in North Carolina with multiple misdemeanor counts of assault o­n a female. I'd make the "I didn't know they had dentists in NC" joke, but I'm just too creeped out.

GRIME: Sasha Frere-Jones introduces readers of The New Yorker to the dark, minimalist, British mutation of rave music.

PUBLIC PODCASTING: PublicRadioFan has a directory of public radio shows available as podcasts including, but not limited to, the shows from KCRW to which Sylvia Hauser tipped us recently.

JACKO JUSTICE: There's nothing quite like the whipsaw coverage the media gives of a trial. Michael Jackson's accuser told his school Dean that Jackson did nothing to him! Michael Jackson's accuser explains that he denied being molested because schoolmates were "making fun of me" and he wanted them to stop! Michael Jackson confesses o­n videotape! Just kidding about that last o­ne, but that QuickTime movie is a hoot, anyway.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: She's stayed silent, but the troubled singer is confirming he's engaged to Kate Moss, adding, We haven't set a date yet, but if things aren't going well in court regarding the assault case brought against him we may have to marry before the case ends."

RACHEL HUNTER claims that Rod Stewart had given her nothing since separating six years ago, only child support. Which explains how she could identify with her title role in the Fountains of Wayne's video for "Stacy's Mom."

WaPo EDITOR UPDATE: I noted yesterday that Washington Post Managing Editor Phil Bennett gave an interview to the Chinese People's Daily Online which included some quotes that I thought some would consider inflammatory. Bennett says the story "includes numerous and important inaccuracies." and he apparently has the audiotape to back his claim. Hugh Hewitt, the conservative talk show host who prints Bennett's response, probably draws the lesson Bennett should not have needed to learn: "Never trust a state-owned newspaper." But Bennett's taping of the interview suggests he at least borrowed from the same Russian phrase as former President Reagan: "Trust, but verify."

HARVARD PREZ LARRY SUMMERS: The former Clinton Treasury Secretary was rebuked, as members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) voted that they lack confidence in his leadership Tuesday. Professors also passed a milder censure of Summers expressing regret for his Jan. 14 comments o­n women in science and certain "aspects of the President’s managerial approach." Professor of Economics Edward L. Glaeser said that Summers is prepared to change his leadership style to accommodate the Faculty. “I have every confidence that the president has heard the Faculty and that he takes this very seriously,” Glaeser said.

If the issue was not just his comments o­n women in science (which, as noted here previously, have been supported by scientists studying the issue), what are those other issues? It seems that FAS members have been ill at ease o­n issues ranging from Summers’ management of Harvard’s expansion into Allston to his role in the noisy departure of Professor Cornel R. West. Summers allegedly questioned West’s academic integrity and criticized him for allowing grade inflation in his class. This is not surprising, given that West was spending a lot of time making hip-hop records and cameos in Matrix sequels. And Summers was crusading against grade inflation generally (which may not have endeared him to other faculty members). As for the expansion of the Harvard campus to Allston, it seems that the objection is massive transfers of funds from FAS to the Central Administration for Allston and its consequences for other activities.

A column in the Harvard Crimson notes that Summers' opponents probably do not really want him gone: "A status quo administration raising money with o­ne hand and throwing it at professors with the other—is actually best served by an impotent Larry Summers." Summers probably should have learned from former Harvard faculty member Henry Kissinger: "University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small."

BASEBALL ON STEROIDS: Major League Baseball turned over a stack of subpoenaed documents Monday in preparation for a House hearing o­n Thursday, as investigators indicated that Congress' steroid probe will widen to the use of performance-enhancing drugs not just in baseball but also in other professional and collegiate sports. As I figured here earlier, "the hard line against Congress outlined by baseball's attorney Stanley Brand is cracking, if not crumbling." And Brand is not the o­nly DC heavyweight lawyer involved now. Sluggers Frank Thomas, Jason Giambi and Rafael Palmeiro are being represented by David McIntosh and Michael Kantor. McIntosh is a former GOP Congressman from Indiana; Kantor was Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative in the Clinton Administration.

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The Incredibles, Kathleen Edwards, M.I.A., Darth Vader, Charlie Rich and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

IT'S SHOWTIME! The Incredibles and End of the Century - The Story of the Ramones are out o­n DVD today. If you need more convincing, you can check out my review of The Incredibles in the Reviews section (see the "Modules" linked to your left). ALSO: Incoming Disney CEO Robert Iger's first big decision will be whether to make up or break up with Pixar Animation Studios.

KATHLEEN EDWARDS AND M.I.A., both previously noted here, are among those featured in Time magazine's "5 Great Albums With Foreign Accents." Both are also o­n the Pitchfork: Edwards' Back To Me gets a good review, while the enigmatic M.I.A. is interviewed.

ALSO ON THE PITCHFORK: A review of The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 1, the debut of of a new series from Rhino/Hip-O Select, which reviewer Joe Tangari deems "truly essential" for showing the label's early misses as well as its hits.

SXSW ON YOUR COMPUTER: KarmaDownload and Internet radio station WOXY (a Ken King recommendation) are co-sponsoring a live music event Thursday at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas. The performances of all seven bands will be played live o­n WOXY.com, and o­n-air talent will be conducting interviews with artists and audience members. ALSO: DJ Frodo was working it at Maggie Mae's o­n 6th Street.

MEN AND WOMEN have different dreams, according to a new study. Women, for example, have more emotion in their dreams and dream about food, clothing and personal appearance. Men, o­n the other hand, dream about other men, violence, sex, cars and weapons.

MAN LOSES FINGERS, TOES TO MEET GIRLFRIEND: A Los Angeles man who sneaked into Canada in February to see his Internet girlfriend will be deported -- minus all his fingers and some of his toes -- which will be amputated because of severe frostbite suffered during a 100-hour trek from Pembina, North Dakota, across the border to Emerson, Manitoba. The man could not enter Canada legally because he was convicted of robbing a Pizza Hut in Arkansas in 1984, according to the Winnipeg Sun.

LEBANON: Nearly o­ne million people gathered for an opposition rally in Beirut, city officials say. It surpassed recent pro-Syrian rallies and is thought to be the biggest in Lebanese history. Lebaneseblogger is ecstatic. Publius has more. I'm just digging the Lebanese protesters' knowledge of Madonna and Mel Gibson.

KYRGYZSTAN: Gateway Pundit blogs early news from the second round of parliamentary voting held Sunday. Registan has even more, including word that "[v]oting was postponed in four districts because of protests and protesters are continuing to cause headaches for the government, especially in Jalalabad, Naryn, and Osh."

AT-HOME GENETIC TESTING is cheap, easy to administer and private, but as the popularity of at-home genetic tests soars, so do questions about whether they will be correctly interpreted.

AOL PRIVACY UPDATE: AOL is trying to explain its new terms of service for its Instant Messenger service, stating that it refers to IM content an IM user might post o­n a public area of AOL or the internet. An AOL spokesman says that said that AOL does not monitor AIM traffic, and does not store it. A record of an AIM communication is not saved in any storage medium at AOL. Nevertheless, AOL may have to revise its TOS to clarify the matter.

I DON'T KNOW whether this AOL link will work outside AOL, but Entertainment Weekly is touting A Girl Called Eddy and Nellie McKay for people who are sick of Ashlee Simpson. If only we lived in that dimension...

THE JAYHAWKS used to cover Chris Bell's post-Big Star minor hit "I Am The Cosmos." Chromewaves has it available for download at the moment; just check under the RCA Nipper in the leftmost column on the site.

COOLFER is finding that the Early 80s-Gang of Four-Cure influenced niche is getting saturated.

THE SO-CALLED ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME inducted its "Class of 2005." Congrats to U2, The Pretenders, O'Jays, Percy Sledge and Buddy Guy. But to appreciate how lame the Hall ultimately is, consider the graf buried at the bottom of the story in Rolling Stone:"Approximately 700 music-industry figures vote each year on eligible nominees. Among the list of first-time candidates who did not receive enough votes for induction were Randy Newman, the J. Geils Band, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Past nominees who were again passed over this year include the Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Stooges."

THAT'S MY VADER: At The Morning News, writer Rob Eccles imagines what it would be like if Darth Vader spent a day in his shoes, speaking o­nly in memorable quotes from the original Star Wars.

TV NEWS IS SCHIZOPHRENIC: The Michael Jackson case proves it, according to Broadcasting and Cable magazine.

A CAPITALIST MISTAKENLY ENROLLED AT HARVARD. A protest was inevitable.

A FATWA ON OSAMA BIN LADEN has been issued by Spain's leading Islamic body.

ORPHAN WORKS: Freeculture.org and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have teamed up o­n the issue of what happens when it's impossible to find out if a particular work is still under copyright, or impossible (or extremely costly) to find the copyright holder. Their site allows you to submit your comments directly to the U.S. Copyright Office which is seeking such comments in deciding whether to propose regulations. The comment period ends March 25th.

SIN CITY: Entertainment Tonight kicked off its Sin City week with a piece focusing o­n Jessica Alba. It's also a nice summary of the project, including the appearance of "special guest director" Quentin Tarantino, a longtime friend and collaborator of main director Robert Rodriguez. But if you suspect that this was really just a pretext to post that Jessica Alba promo again, you would be absolutely right.

CONGRESSIONAL CREDIT CARD DEBT: As the House is poised to take up a bankruptcy bill giving banks and credit card companies more power to seek repayment from debtors in bankruptcy, The Hill gives us the lowdown o­n Representatives and Senators carrying at least 10,000 bucks in credit-card or charge-card debt in 2003 and parts of 2004. I wish I was surprised to read that several members received campaign contributions from the same bank or credit card company with which they held an account.

WaPo EDITOR SPEAKS TO THE CHINESE PRESS and may end up regretting it. Washington Post Managing Editor Philip Bennett gave an interview to the People's o­nline Daily that is chock full 'o' nuggets, not the least of which is: "No, I don't think U.S. should be the leader of the world." No doubt bloggers will be chewing that o­ne up over the next few days. But perhaps the funny aspect of the interview is Bennett's characterization of the U.S. media: "We have a little bit different roles in newspapers compared with our counterparts in Europe and other countries. We don't have any political point of view that we are trying to advance." Yet the Chinese reporter asks questions that make it seem that he does not believe Bennett.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer's rehab efforts may have won back the heart of Kate Moss.

KUDOS TO XTINA: Drrrty girl Christina Aguilera will not launch her own clothing line, calling the practice "tacky" and suggestive of a failing career.

BRITNEY SPEARS promises to shut up about her personal life. We can o­nly hope this commitment lasts longer than her first marriage. "In the future, I will refrain from discussing my private life in interviews," Spears wrote o­n her website. "It will be expressed solely through art." So we may never hear another thing about it.

CHARLIE RICH: PowerLine, the conservative outfit named Time magazine's "Blog of the Year," takes a break from politics to pay tribute to the career of the country singer-songwriter.

NO FLIRTING, JUST DISASTER: Danny Joe Brown, a founding member of Molly Hatchet, and singer and co-writer of the band's biggest hits, died last Thursday of complications from pneumonia. He was 53.

LINDSAY LOHAN AND BRUCE WILLIS deny gossip that Willis was groping Lohan at the launch party for his new movie Hostage. And so would you.

FREE CREDIT REPORTS are just the beginning: you can also get copies of "specialty reports" or "other consumer reports" that track other information like medical records, bankruptcy filings, driving records, criminal or civil case records, insurance information and banking information.

MARTHA NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SHOES: Robert Yeganeh, the flamboyant owner of the Love My Shoes shops, has designed footwear for Martha Stewart that will hide her ankle bracelet. When the Post uses the word "flamboyant" about a male shoe designer, is that code for something?

MORNING TV BATTLES: The rivalry between Good Morning America and Today escalated to the point of requiring police intervention after GMA booker Mike Nagel tried to interrupt NBC's interview with Atlanta hostage Ashley Smith Monday morning.

CULT OF THE iPod: i285 writes: "It is simply unbelievable that the great prophet Nostradamus not o­nly foresaw the amazing iPod but the advertising campaign as well." I agree. Stephen Green of the Sky Captain-themed VodkaPundit joins the cult, suggesting it's worse than Scientology. BusinessWeek magazine lauds Apple's in-house design as reason for the success of the iPods.

IRAQ: The London Telegraph recently published the story of Abdallah Al Jibouri, a 45 year-old dentist from Manchester who planned merely to check up o­n his elderly mother when he visited his home town of Muqtadiyah, 60 miles north of Baghdad, shortly after Saddam Hussein's fall. Much to his astonishment - and, he says, to the dismay of his British wife, Sharon - he also became governor of the province of Diyala, whose population is 1.8 million. The insurgents have tried to kill him 14 times already.

IRAN, having rejected U.S. incentives to halt its nuclear program, apparently did so because the Iranians want more.

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Rilo Kiley, A Girl Called Eddy, Blind Boys of Alabama and more...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 14, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

RILO KILEY: Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennett, former child actors, former lovers and the singing and songwriting partnership behind the California quartet, are interviewed separately by the Belfast Telegraph.

D. BOON: With classic punk trio the Minutemen back in the spotlight thanks to a new documentary, a former roommate of the band's late singer/guitarist, D. Boon, has refurbished and expanded a CD of previously unreleased recordings. At o­ne of the taped performances, D. Boon was o­n a bill with Spinal Tap. According to the roommate, Harry Shearer (a/k/a Derek Smalls) came up to D. Boon afterward and "said it was the greatest thing he'd ever seen!"

ON THE PITCHFORK: Tour dates for Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth and Built to Spill. If o­nly that was a triple-bill!

EARWORM: Scientists may have found what makes a tune catchy, after locating the brain area where a song's "hook" gets caught. They also confirm that "When you are recalling a particular song that will activate auditory brain regions but that may, in turn, lead to you having a very vivid visual memory as well. For example, you may picture yourself at the high school dance when you first heard the song." But we knew that already, didn't we?

A GIRL CALLED EDDY: Recently noted here, the Philadelphia Inquirer gives a thumbs up to the Dusty-esque song stylings of Erin Moran. And no, she's not that Erin Moran. You acn listen to song samples at her website.

CATS STRIKE BACK: The Wisconsin man who asked the state to allow hunters to kill stray cats says he's been getting death threats. At least, the meowing over the phone sounds very nasty.

FOUNTAINS OF CHOCOLATE: As the home base for Pate drummer Jon Hahn, I had to relay this account of the swank new Whole Foods store in Austin: "How about a four-tiered fountain of liquid chocolate the size of a large wedding cake, into which an artsy young woman continually dips strawberries and cookies. Oh, that doesn’t appeal to you? How about grinding your own nut butter (honey-roasted cashew?) and eating it at an outdoor plaza o­n any kind of bread you can imagine, from blueberry pecan to hempseed to striata?" And that's just for starters.

NANOTECH: An article at SciDev.net argues that those concerned about the potential side effects of nanotechnology should spend more time worrying about ways of ensuring that it meets the needs of the poor. The authors admit that those involved in any market-driven innovation will inevitably be drawn to regions and markets where profits are likely to be highest, but that the promise of nanotechnology — for example, in offering relatively cheap diagnostic or water filtration techniques — highlights the dilemma in a particularly stark way.

THE VIDEOGAME INDUSTRY is now bigger than the movie industry, but this blog post summarizing an industry panel suggests they have many of the same problems as the movie industry.

LEBANON: Publius has an extensive round-up of news from Lebanon, not least of which is the European Parliament branding Hezbollah as a terrorist group. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently said that designating Hezbollah a terror group in Europe will mean "the sources of [our] funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political and material support will be destroyed."

WEBSITES STARS HATE: The Smoking Gun and Gawker are among the usual suspects named by The Insider.

GEORGE SCOTT, a founding member of the Blind Boys of Alabama, has died at 75 of complications from diabetes and a heart condition. If you have never heard the gospel group, you should take the occasion to do so. While believing he was called to sing by God, Scott also seems to have had the same self-reliant spirit as Ray Charles. "Back then, you'd see a blind person and they'd be begging o­n the street with a cup," Scott said in a 2003 interview. "I did not want to do that, and school was more like a prison, kinda rough. They taught us to cane chairs, make brooms and mops, but we couldn't see making no money doing that. So we left there, out o­n our own. God knew what he was doing when he put it in our minds to sing. I did not know it at the time, but he was fixing me up for this. We had no band until after we left school, so God did not want us to do rock 'n' roll or blues. He wanted us to come up hard, and we did. As I've gotten older and reflected, I have come to appreciate what he did for me."

BOOT LIQUOR RADIO, which streams from both Shoutcast and Live365, is music for "Cowhands, Cowpokes and Cowtippers."

FOLK MUSIC FANS may want to tune into the streams from WUMB, which is actually several stations affiliated with UMASS Boston.

MUSIC OF THE 80s: Dueling critics! Gemma Tarlach loves it. Jim DeRogatis hates it.

WHY WOMEN ARE LEAVING I.T.: NewsFactor examines a social issue not unique to, but perhaps more acute in the field of Information Technology. ALSO: The Independent looks at a generation of British women "reverting to more traditional social mores."

CUTE ROBOTS top the weekend box office, but in the future, biomorphic designs may be used for real world business as well as pleasure. BTW, Robots was pretty good, though nowhere near as good as The Incredibles, which comes out Tuesday o­n DVD.

BLOGS: Not in the media big leagues yet, according to the latest Gallup Poll. o­n the other hand, blog readers appear to be a desirable demographic, according to the latest blogads survey and an analysis of the Gallup Poll by Mystery Pollster (who is no longer a mystery, but is a pollster).

PANDAS get help with the birds and the bees at the National Zoo in DC.

SCIENCE BLOGGING: Girl Scientist presents Tangled Bank, a round-up of blogging about Biology, Zoology, Natural History, Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Psychology and Behavior, Neurobiology and Learning, Clinical Medicine and Epidemiology, Physics and more.

AMERICA ONLINE IM SERVICE NOT PRIVATE? AOL has quietly updated the terms of service for its AIM instant messaging application to give AOL the right to "reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote" all content distributed across the chat network by users.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer never fails to surprise, as he decides to open for The Streets as a solo act after his band cancelled due to a death in the drummer's family.

INDIES VS. MAJORS: Billboard examines the hard decision faced by rising indie artists as to whether to jump to a major label, particularly given the success of some acts that have stayed indie.

ROD STEWART GETS ENGAGED, AGAIN: Third time's a charm, right? Wonder if he'll make her sign a prenup, now that he has all of that Nelson Riddle money...

THE THRILLS are profiled at icWales, which correctly notes that the Thrills are the most California-sounding Irish band you have ever heard.

THE DOUBLEMINT TWINS are back. And drinking Coors beer. Just kidding about that last bit.

KYRGYZSTAN: Registan has plenty of o­n-the-ground reports from the tiny republic struggling for democracy. Gateway Pundit blogs the beginning of the second round of parliamentary elections.

TROOPS IN IRAQ are probably receiving better medical care than ever, thanks to better body armor, battlefront mini-hospitals and quick flights back to the United States for treatment, according to a series of reports from NPR.

TERROR ATTACK IN THE U.S.? A top aide to Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi taken into U.S. custody last year has told U.S. security agencies that al-Zarqawi has talked about hitting "soft targets" in the U.S., which could include "movie theaters, restaurants and schools."

THE UNITED NATIONS is facing new allegations of sexual misconduct by U.N. personnel in Burundi, Haiti, Liberia and elsewhere. Peacekeepers in several Liberian communities routinely engage in sex with girls, according to an internal U.N. letter obtained by the Washington Post. The letter also stated that community leaders in the town of Robertsport have accused Namibian peacekeepers there of "'using administrative building premises and the surrounding bush to undertake sex acts with girls between the age of 12-17.'"

CULT OF THE iPod: An article at iPod Garage looks at using the device for music therapy. Prof. Ann Althouse explains why she ordered an iPod Shuffle.

JOURNO SHOT BY U.S. TROOPS: Italy's justice minister urged former hostage Giuliana Sgrena o­n Friday to stop making "careless" accusations after being shot by U.S. forces in Baghdad. "Sgrena, I think, should perhaps be more careful. She has said a load of nonsense, speaks somewhat carelessly and makes careless comments," Justice Minister Roberto Castelli told reporters in Bologna. I'm sure he'll be thrilled to hear that Sgrena has gone back to claiming a tank was involved. ALSO: U.S. forces might not have known that slain Italian secret agent Nicola Calipari was in Iraq to secure a hostage's freedom, Italian papers say. And unnamed italians are saying that Sgrena's car was swerving around cement blocks in the road.

IRAQ, WMDs AND OIL-FOR-FOOD: In the weeks after Baghdad fell in 2003, looters systematically removed tons of equipment from Iraqi weapons facilities, including some with components capable of making parts of nuclear arms, The New York Times reported o­n Sunday. Meanwhile, the London Telegraph reports that Saddam Hussein's regime offered a two million dollar bribe to the United Nations' chief weapons inspector to doctor his reports o­n the search for weapons of mass destruction. The news that Iraq attempted to bribe a top U.N. official is a key piece of evidence for investigators into the scandal surrounding the oil-for-food program.

ANGELINA JOLIE denies having slept with Brad Pitt. Which I'm sure is literally true. And there's plenty more about her sex life, which apparently includes plenty of women and friends with benefits.

WARD CHURCHILL UPDATE: The University of Colorado professor who called those working in the World Trade Caenter o­n 9/11 "little Eichmanns" is accused of plagarism. The university wanted to buy him out for a few hundred thousand dollars. However, the negotiations were disclosed as the plagarism story made news, including the allegation that Churchill threatened Dalhousie University professor Fay G. Cohen, the author of the allegedly plagarized article. Now Churchill's critics are vowing to recall from office any regents who agree to pay Churchill to leave his job.

ELECTION CONTROVERSIES: In New Hampshire, a GOP operative is given jail time for jamming telephone lines for 85 minutes o­n election day in 2002. In Florida, Democratic Mayor Buddy Dyer was charged with violating state absentee ballot laws during last year's mayor's race and quickly removed from office.

TIME-TRAVEL? Not quite, but Europe may be the next best thing. The EU Observer reports o­n a new study by a pan-EU small business organisation claiming that the US economy is 20 years ahead of that of the EU and it will take decades for Europe to catch up.

BASEBALL ON STEROIDS: House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis threatened to push contempt proceedings against some of the biggest names in baseball if they fail to appear for a hearing this week about performance-enhancing steroids that have rocked Major League Baseball. That could be a tough spot for Mark McGwire, as a New York Daily News exclusive reports that FBI sources claim that McGwire's name came up several times during "Operation Equine," a landmark anabolic steroids investigation that led to 70 trafficking convictions in the early 1990s.

ISRAEL HAS SECRET PLANS for a combined air and ground attack o­n targets in Iran if diplomacy fails to halt the Iranian nuclear program, according to the Sunday Times of London. Of course, everyone suspects as much, which leads mystery writer Roger L. Simon to wonder about the timing of the story.

SPEAKING OF IRAN, you really should check out these photos of Iranian female police cadets.

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