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Intonation, Jimmy Webb, Charlie Buckett, Harry Potter, Cats, Dogs, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 18, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SO, HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?

I GOT A FARMER'S TAN to bring you highly non-exclusive coverage of the Intonation Music Festival held in Chicago, with plenty 'o' links to the bands involved. But you'll have to click the "Read More" link at the bottom of today's entry to see it, because the pictures -- yes, I took pictures -- would slow down loading the home page way too much...

SHAWN COLVIN AND JIMMY WEBB are both lauded at PowerLine. The post recaps a Wall Street Journal piece that contains this tidbit: "Webb has a new CD made for the English label Sanctuary, Twilight of the Renegades, dedicated to three friends who have passed o­n -- Richard Harris, Warren Zevon and Harry Nilsson -- 'rebels with a cause,' according to Webb. The CD is already out in England and Australia; it will be released here next month." Anyone interested in checking out the legendary songwriter could do worse than to start with Ten Easy Pieces, which features Webb performing most of his best "unplugged," with an assist from Colvin o­n o­ne track.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS are working o­n their first new studio album since 1974's Too Much Too Soon. Surviving Dolls David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain expect to release the album next spring.

THE PIXIES are planning to record their first album in 14 years. The Dolls, the Pixies... I think it's so groovy now, that people are finally getting together.

FRANK BLACK'S Honeycomb, recorded in Nashville with people like Steve Cropper, comes out o­n Tuesday; London's Observer has a preview.

LET IT BE is due for release o­n DVD in September, with previously lost material and bonus features. Yes, this would be the Beatles, not the Replacements. The movie has not been o­n home video for over 20 years.

ROB ZOMBIE holds an intense dislike for clowns - and he blames it all o­n a childhood encounter with a man dressed as Ronald McDonald. I would have said John Wayne Gacy, but whatever.

ROD STEWART apparently has gotten some religion due to 9/11.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN chats with Nick Hornby (aouthor of High Fidelity) about his craft and how his kids keep him current o­n music.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Friday's Wall Street Journal suggested that Charlie would face stiffer competition this weekend from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince than from other movies. Charlie still topped the box office with 55 million. However, biz dipped about eight percent o­n Saturday, and we'll never know how many families went to Harry Potter parties at bookstores Friday night. FWIW, I highly enjoyed it, even though Gene Wilder will always be Wonka No. 1 in my book.

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: The secret of Harry Potter's phenomenal success lies in the continuing allure of magic and fantasy in a secular society, argues Natasha Walter in London's Guardian.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE had a test screening in Chicago recently. Aint-It-Cool-News has reviews from Caone and three others.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH HOLLYWOOD? Economist Tyler Cowen blogs that it is "not just that this year's movies mostly stink." And he doesn't mention piracy either.

MARTIN SCORSESE lists 20 films-- 10 English-language, 10 foreign-language -- that he thinks make the best use of color and light.

SANDRA BULLOCK married mechanic and star of the Discovery Channel's Monster Garage Jesse James at a ranch near Santa Barbara.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie is facing strong criticism over her adoption of Ethiopian orphan Zahara Marley after it emerged the baby has a grandmother desperate to raise the money to keep her. The baby spent a week in a NYC hospital for malnutrition and dehydration, but was released Friday. And Jolie made a good impression with Pitt's parents, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

OUTSOURCING: Don't fear it, just do it yourself.

LONDON BOMBING: The Metropolitan Police released a CCTV picture of the bombers, as the investigation expanded to Egypt and Pakistan -- where some of the bombers are thought to have gone for religious training. A piece in London's Mirror suggests the bombers may have been duped into killing themselves. Imho, buying round-trip tickets might be a step taken to avoid raising suspicion. Egypt said it is not prepared to hand over Magdy Mahmoud Mustafa el-Nashar, Egyptian security officials said Saturday, as British investigators attended sessions questioning him.

IRAQ: A soldier survives a sniper attack, then gives first aid to the wounded sniper. In Mosul, a sniper and a bomb figure in Michael Yon's latest gripping report. Major-General Jim Molan, recently the chief of operations for the entire coalition, believes the situation began to improve last August and is now "cautiously optimistic" about the future course of the war.

THE MILITARY AND THE MEDIA: James Lacey, an Army Reservist and writer for Time magazine argues that the media coverage of Iraq is overly negative in part because the military has almost totally failed to engage, and where it has engaged, it has been with a mind-boggling degree of ineptitude. However, I think he would also concede that it would help if war reporters knew as much about the military as sportswriters know about sports.

PUNK COMES TO THE PENTAGON: Two Air Force majors, writing in Defense AT&L (acquisition, technology and logistics), think defense program managers could learn a thing or two from the Ramones and the Clash.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: The man who abruptly retired as Kofi Annan's cabinet chief after shredding papers related to the O-F-F program has been shredding still more documents in his new 10th-floor U.N. office across the street from the U.N. Secretariat building, according to a staffer who works o­n the same floor.

XTINA AGUILERA'S publicist says the singer did not injure her arm in a bar fight, but by picking up pieces of a glass vase knocked over by her dog.

BRITNEY SPEARS may turn her childbirth into a TV show. But it wouldn't show the o­nly part that would interest anyone.

ZACH BRAFF AND MANDY MOORE have broken up; Braff has been spotted with a harem of young women.

FORMER CLINTON ADVISOR AND CNN CROSSFIRE HOST PAUL BEGALA, discussing the Bush Administration's record o­n and after 9/11, said that Republicans "want to kill me and my children if they can." The link is to a conservative outfit, but you can check the video -- he says it about 50 minutes into the discussion.

L. RON HUBBARD: The science-fiction author and founder of Scientology is profiled in Slate. The adjective "wacky" is used. Aleister Crowley pops up, too. Sadly, no mention of improv comedy giant Del Close.

IT'S NOT THE HEAT, IT'S THE HUMIDITY and more, writes Richard Lawrence Cohen.

EDUCATION: A large majority of high school students say their class work is not very difficult, and almost two-thirds say they would work harder if courses were more demanding or interesting, according to an o­nline nationwide survey of teenagers conducted by the National Governors Association. I'm dubious as to how scientific the o­nline poll is, but interesting nonetheless.

CATS AND DOGS: Diesel, an english mastiff weighing 140kg, might be hostile to people other than his owners, but his hulking frame conceals a big soft spot for the most unlikely of companions – Maggie the cat.

ACOUSTIC KITTY: A blogger taking a class o­n the History of American Spying taught by the Chief Historian of the CIA claims the Company created a cyborg cat to help eavesdrop o­n the Soviet Compound in DC during the Cold War. And he links to a document that seems to back it up.

DOGS: A five year-old golden retriever, fought off a 14-foot, 700-pound alligator in a Lake Moultrie canal last month and lived to howl about it.

DOES A TIGER STALK SAN ANTONIO? There are unsubstantiated reports that a tiger is loose in northern Atascosa County, TX, including unusual attacks o­n other animals.

BLIND MAN ALLEGEDLY HAS SEX WITH HIS GUIDE DOG: But in Florida prosecutors puzzle over the proper charge, because Florida, like many other states, has no bestiality statute.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, King County sheriff's detectives are investigating the death of a Seattle man from injuries sustained while having sex with a horse.

Read full article: 'Intonation, Jimmy Webb, Charlie Buckett, Harry Potter, Cats, Dogs, etc.'
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Gerbil's Guide to the Galaxy; How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 15, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

...with the opening of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Newsday gives it 3 1/2 stars, calling it "a Frankenstein monster of arrested development and unresolved childhood conflicts that have been maniacally funneled into Wonkaland, a child's totalitarian fantasy in the elaborate disguise of a candy factory." Coming Soon says: "Tim Burton's magical version of Roald Dahl's classic is as weird and twisted as you might expect, but it still far surpasses the original movie in every sense." John Hartl of MSNBC writes: "The new movie often feels less like a remake than a trip through Burtonland, where weird landscapes, Danny Elfman’s spry music and Johnny Depp’s whims threaten to turn the movie into a series of improvisations. Fortunately, there’s more of the classic Burton (Beetlejuice, Ed Wood) than the problematic Burton (Big Fish, Planet of the Apes) of recent years. And the casting couldn’t be much better." Of Burton and Depp, Rolling Stone's Peter Travers says, "Their missionary lunacy is a treat for twisted children of all ages." The Washington Post review calls it "a major comedown." The Christian Science Monitor review tweaks the reader: "On paper, Tim Burton seems the ideal filmmaker for a remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... o­n the screen, Burton turns out to be the ideal filmmaker for this deliciously bizarre yarn." Harry Knowles of Aint-It-Cool-News calls it "simply scrumdiddliumptious... Burton hasn’t been this good in a very long time… if ever." Michael Wilmington of the Chicago Tribune gives it four stars: "In a summer of movie discontent, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stands out like a gourmet truffle in a box of stale caramels and curdled creams." And Oddjack has Matthew Tobey's handicapping of the movie -- for example, the odds that the film will feature "hot Oompa-Loompa-on-Oompa-Loompa action" are 47/1.

FRIDAY TIME-WASTER: Bird-Snatchers.

FRIDAY TIME-WASTER II: As I've been remiss in posting time-wasters, today's bonus is Cannibal Chase, for which I really recommend turning o­n your speakers or earphones.

BILLY BRAGG and others announce a free music festival in London this Saturday to remember those who died in the city’s terrorist attacks. "This free festival gives all Londoners an opportunity to come together to send a message of defiance to the bombers by celebrating the diversity they wish to destroy," said Bragg.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH announce tour dates and the second pressing of their album. Pate fans should note that o­ne gig is at a Unitarian church.

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Chris Finn lauds bar bands in Rolling Stone.

ALISON BROWN and her unique banjo stylings are profiled in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I never thought I'd make a living playing music," she says, "maybe something behind the scenes o­n the business end. When you're a banjo player, there aren't a lot of opportunities."

SONIC YOUTH: Tiny Mix Tapes has th details o­n the deluxe Goo due Spt. 12th. A 4-LP version is due later this year from the band-run Smells Like Records.

MUSIC BLOGS: The recording industry, while suing P2P networks, may stop worrying and learn to love the blog.

FREEBIRD! My Morning Jacket will accommodate America's number o­ne drunken request in Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown, which comes out in October.

BULLETTE offers a live download at her site, where you can still download her album for free.

MOBY'S various o­nline projects are blurbed by Vanity Fair.

SUFJAN STEVENS talks to SF Weekly about balancing personal storytelling and history o­n his Illinois (or do you say Illinoise?) album.

TUVAN THROAT SINGERS Albert Kuvezin and Yat-Kha record an album of popular covers. You can download Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" at the link, but you'll have to buy the disc to get the Hank Williams and Captain Beefheart.

BLOC PARTY already have 25 songs to choose from for the follow up to their debut, Silent Alarm.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Jerry Maguire fights Toby Maguire and Rob Lowe is also involved. Nicole Kidman says that when she was married to Cruise, she became more isolated. "Part of me shut down, put up barriers and became very insular. It was very hard to keep friendships alive during that period." And Cruise bought War of the Worlds co-star Dakota Fanning a cellphone for her 11th birthday. Her parents didn't want her to have o­ne; I can't imagine why.

CHRISTIAN SLATER rejects a plea bargain from prosecutors o­n a charge of allegedly groping a woman.

JULIA STILES gets dissed by a clerk at Whole Foods. Ouch!

OLIVER STONE, explaining how he would keep politics out of his 9/11 movie, says a film about 9/11 should have "been done right away. I don't think you should run from things. You should confront them. It's better for the country. Look at the English [reaction to the recent London subway bombings]. They took it and absorbed it and continued o­n. They didn't run around and call for huge pieces of legislation costing billions of dollars to defend our homeland and create a huge war in a foreign country." Note that he's not just complaining about the war. BTW, in October 2001, Stone called 9/11 a "revolt" against media consolidation. "Does anybody make a connection between the 2000 election"—for the Presidency—"and the events of September 11th?" he asked, and added cryptically, "Look for the thirteenth month!"

ALBERT BROOKS' UPCOMING FILM, Looking For Comedy in the Muslim World, gets a good advance review.

SUPPORT FOR BIN LADEN FALLS in several heavily Muslim countries, particularly those where terrorist attacks have occurred, according to surveys conducted for the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Solid majorities in Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan and Indonesia have an unfavorable view of the United States, while Moroccans are split. However, young people in Morocco, Lebanon, Pakistan and Turkey view America more favorably than the overall populations in those countries.

IRAQ: Noah Shachtman and Christopher Allbritton both blog from the midst of a desert duststorm in Baghdad. Allbriton, who awakened to the sound of a suicide bombing in which o­ne bomber was captured by Iraqi police, advises: "On July 17, the Ba'ath Party will somehow celebrate its 1968 coup that brought it to power. It probably won't be good." Over 1,000 citizens in Qayarrah, including several influential political and religious leaders, marched alongside Iraqi Army and police officers in the first of several planned demonstrations against terrorism. But I'm sure you saw it o­n the news. No?

LONDON BOMBINGS: The British-born mastermind of the London attacks had direct links with al-Qaeda, according to the police. The fourth bomber was identified as Jamaican-born Muslim convert Lindsey Germaine. Following last week's attack, BBC output was not to describe the killers of more than 50 in London as "terrorists" although they could refer to the bombings as "terror attacks."

NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF MAJOR MEDICAL STUDIES are contradicted or undermined by later studies, according to a new study. Of course, this study may be contradicted or undermined by later studies.

HOMO LIGHT: Norwegian homosexuals are set to launch their own soda brand, "Homo light," at an upcoming gastronomic festival, in the hope that it will help promote tolerance. Tastes great or less filling?

THAT AIN'T NO WOMAN! IT'S A MAN, MAN! Samukeliso Sithole (try saying that five tmes fast) -- a triple jumper and runner who competed as a woman at several international sports events -- was convicted in a Zimbabwean court o­n charges of impersonation and offending the dignity of a woman athlete who undressed in his presence, unaware he was a man.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES gets 15 Emmy noms, but Eva Longoria and Nicolette Sheridan are snubbed, thereby ensuring more entertaining catfights in our future.

SIMPSONS-FAMILY GUY FEUD: I hate to read about cartoon-on-cartoon violence. Can't we all just get along?

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY) is asking the Federal Trade Commission to probe how users of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" can access "graphic pornographic and violent content" for the videogame from the Internet. I didn't know she was a gamer... or do you think Bill put her up to asking?

WILL CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST RETIRE? "I'm not about to announce my retirement,'' he said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press. "I want to put to rest the speculation and unfounded rumors of my imminent retirement,'' said Rehnquist, 80. "I will continue to perform my duties as chief justice as long as my health permits.'' Like any good lawyer, there's your loophole.

CHINA IS PREPARED TO USE NUKES AGAINST THE U.S. if it is attacked by America during a confrontation over Taiwan, a Chinese general said o­n Thursday.

THE UNITED NATIONS would like to wrest control of the Internet from the U.S. I'm shocked to discover China leading the effort.

THE GERBIL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY is being prepared by a gerbil and artist Sally Madge. So far there is no info o­n the Richard Gere entry.

WHAT'S WORSE THAN THE HOUSEFUL OF CATS? A Burke, VA townhouse where nearly 200 cats (many dead) were found Wednesday is owned by the family of the Alexandria, VA woman who had nearly 300 cats removed from her home over the weekend.

THE BLUE PIGEON GROUP debuts in Mancester, England.

MOUSE RESCUED by a special emergency team of the Hamburg Fire Brigade.

GOATS are are working o­n wildfire prevention at San Pedro California's Peck Park Canyon.

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Super Furry Animals, Cats, Dogs, Fugitive Tortoise and Monkey   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 09:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

WONKA WEEK CONTINUES with a few more advance reviewsof Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Gannett News Service is generally negative: "There's so much facade at the center of this movie that it suffers from emotional drift about halfway through... Luckily, the heart that Burton loses somewhere in the middle of the movie is regained in the end." The Amsterdam News calls it "by Hollywood standards, a pretty good film. The sets (both real and computer generated) are stunning. Freddie Highmore's Charlie comes off as sympathetic, but not sappy." In Entertainment Weekly, Owen Gleiberman gives it an "A," calling it "a madhouse kiddie musical with a sweet-and-sour heart."

QUEEN invited emergency services personnel who dealt with the London bombings to their Hyde Park concert as a gesture of thanks.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: Kyle at Information Leafblower gives an early reaction to SFA's latest: "Imagine if Brian Wilson teamed up with Steely Dan and ELO to make their own version of (Radiohead's) Kid A. That might be Love Kraft. It's totally doing my head in."

WILLIE NELSON: Jam has 19 true stories about Willie Nelson and o­ne fib. Wal-Mart got Universal Music Group Nashville to issue sanitized cover art for Nelson's newlyy-released reggae album.

THE SCIENCE OF THE SETLIST: The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don't wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules. Many musicians feel the same way about the setlist (Frank Black excepted).

PEARL JAM guitarist Mike McCready answered fan questions for USA Today, including o­ne about setlists. He also admits, "KISS inspired me personally to pick up a guitar and go for it. My life would have been different without Paul Stanley or Ace Frehley."

THE TOP 40 BANDS IN AMERICA TODAY: As McCready's band was voted greatest American band by USA Today readers, I thought it worth revisiting Information Leafblower's bloggers' poll o­n the subject. It might be a way for those who feel they have become disconnected from the music scene to reconnect, yes?

ROBERT POLLARD has posted a translation of an interview he did for a Portuguese mag. He's going to be right in my neighborhood for a book signing this Fall. And in case I forgot, I should note that he's posted the Official Ironmen Rally Song demo for your downloading pleasure.

SUFJAN SAYS ILLINOISE, others say Illinois. Lets call the whole thing off?

XTINA AGUILERA sliced two tendons in her arm in a scuffle with a drunk fan at a nightclub; it's not considered a serious injury.

"PUSH" FOR NEW ARTISTS: The L.A. Times looks at software like Indy, IRate and Freenet, which download music by new artists to your computer based o­n your prior likes and dislikes.

IRAQ: A suicide bomber detonated his car alongside American soldiers handing out sweets to children in Baghdad, killing as many as 24 people, most of them children. Michael Yon has a new dispatch looking back at his tour and notes that, for better or worse, Iraq's future will soon be in Iraqi hands. The Christian Science Monitor notes (as have others) that Shiite Muslims are dominating Basra, possibly with support from neighboring Iran. But an editor of o­ne of Basra's largest newspapers believes the religious parties "will vanish o­nce our economy picks up and the true nature of Basra reasserts itself." Austin Bay flags news reports that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has threatened his Ismalist spiritual mentor, Isam Mohammed al-Barqawi, which Bay calls a "significant split."

LONDON BOMBINGS: Police examine material -- including computer files -- seized from homes in Muslim neighborhoods where three of the four suspects lived. The Independent profiles Hasib Hussain, Mohammed Sadique Khan and Shahzad Tanweer. British police have identified the man thought to be the mastermind of last week's bombings. He is apparently British-born; AFX News reports he is of Pakistani origin, but The New York Times quotes an American source as saying he is not of Pakistani descent. Britain's top Islamic scholars are reportedly planning to issue a fatwa condemning the bombers.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie's pet African Gray parrot has reportedly staged hunger strikes and attacked customers at the Amazon Rainforest Shop (where he has lodged while Jolie does press junkets) because he's pining for his famous owner. o­ne cannot blame the bird for pining after Jolie, but she would have been better advised to buy a Norwegian Blue, which pines o­nly for the fjords and is far less active. And our nation breathes a collective sigh of relief as Pitt is released Wednesday from a Los Angeles hospital where he had been admitted for a flu-like illness that turned out to be viral meningitis.

COLIN FARRELL and his former Playmate girlfriend caught o­n videotape?

OWEN WILSON agrees with Gloria Steinem that women have to be responsible for their own orgasms.

CBS NEWS plans to create a 24-hour on-demand Internet network that bypasses cable television. Plans for the broadband network also call for a blog called "Public Eye" that will offer "greater openness and transparency into the newsgathering process."

HOMELAND SECURITY: The Department of Homeland Security is to undergo a major restructuring. Congressional and department officials said Secretart Michael Chertoff will align components into three "buckets" -- intelligence, operations and policy.

GITMO: Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt, who who investigated FBI allegations of detainee abuse at Camp X-Ray, found three incidents of abuse out of roughly 24,000 interrogations, or o­ne-eighth of o­ne-tenth of o­ne percent. The investigation found no cases of actual torture. The AP summarizes the allegations.

CULT OF THE iPod: The New York Times reports o­n the phenomenon of musical hallucination, suggesting the brain becomes an iPod. Apple Computer saw sales jump 75 percent in its latest quarter — and net income more than quadruple — o­n sizzling sales of iPods.

MONEY MAG PICK DOESN'T EXIST: Placing 28th o­n Money magazine's "Top 100 Best Places to Live," Wexford, PA is really only a postal designation. To be fair, however, Money disclosed that this is how they selected places.

EDU-BLOGGING: The agenda of the National Education Association's annual meeting doesn't seem like it has much to do with education.

TEN MILLION GALLONS IS A LOT OF SHOWERS: In Mascoutah, IL (a suburb of St. Louis), Rose Mary Cook got a 74,000 dollar water bill.

THAT AIN'T NO WOMAN! IT'S A MAN, MAN! A chicken seller in Myanmar inexplicably grew a penis last month.

THAT WOMAN USED TO BE A MAN, MAN: The winner of a German beauty contest has confessed she used to be a man.

CATS: Behold the genius of stuffonmycat.com: stuff + cats = awesome.

DOGS: James Lileks pays a tribute of sorts to his dog, Jasper.

SIMBA: The Workman family of Murphysville, KY have a 400-pound pet lion. Three year-old Simba currently shares a cage with a little dog named Jumper, but will need a bigger cae as he is expected to gain another 100 pounds.

THE GREAT ESCAPE: Police in Minot, ND, say they spent several hours surrounding an empty trailer home here, after a man escaped by tunneling out of the house and calling a cab. Police were still looking for the man Tuesday night.

FUGITIVE MONKEY o­n the loose in Caldwell, Ohio.

FUGITIVE TORTOISE UPDATE: Michelangelo, the 22-pound desert tortoise who disappeared in June from a backyard in Orland Park, IL, has been recaptured 20 miles away in Cicero.

CAPUCHIN MONKEYS have been taught to use money. And they're spending it o­n sex.

KING COBRA BITES HINDU PRIEST: Priest lives, snake dies.

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Leslie Feist, Roky Erickson, Zero-G Dog, Monkeys with Human Brains   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

WONKA WEEK, CONTINUED: There still are not many advance reviews of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but most are positive. The Hollywood Reporter: "Here's a film about kids and for kids that has not lost touch with what it is like to actually be a kid." Britain's Sun tabloid: says it "is so good you can almost taste it." Devin Faraci at Cinematic Happenings Under Development: "I can’t deny that Burton’s auterial preoccupations get o­n my nerves, but luckily he has placed them inside a fairly delightful film." The Village Voice calls it "the topsy-turvy equivalent of a three-course dinner in a single stick of gum." The Associated Press review: "It's a film packed with chaste delights for young children and plenty of sophisticated, cryptic edge to entertain and puzzle their parents." And Julia Dawn Cole, the original Veruca Salt, is convinced Roald Dahl would have loved this version of his book.

FEIST: The Big Ticket not o­nly reviews her Mpls. show, but also has video in Quicktime and WMV formats.

DINOSAUR JR.: The whole band talks to the Village Voice about the band's history and reunion.

BEST OF 2005 (SO FAR): Marathon packs adds another Top 10.

OVERLOOKED OF 2005 (SO FAR): Aversions' list looks like it has a little something for everyone, though I don't think the Mountain Goats' album has been overlooked here.

SUFJAN STEVENS AND BIG BLACK: Vinyl Mine Clip Shack compares Stevens' "Casimir Pulaski Day" with Big Black's "Kasimir S. Pulaski Day" (tip to LHB)

THE 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS: The reissue of The Psychedelic Sounds of... and the first-ever Roky Erickson retrospective, I Have Always Been Here: The Roky Erickson Story, both score well at the Pitchfork.

THE dBs REUNION: Pitchfork reports their two-stop (for now) tour. Ken King and I already have tickets, natch.

THE LUCKSMITHS talk to PopMatters about truth versus honesty.

RICK JAMES has a new album from beyond the grave coming out in August.

DAVE MATTHEWS: Someone at the Phat Phree is not a phan.

GEORGE MICHAEL: As though he didn't already have enough to answer for, he has reconciled the Spice Girls, who are now recording again.

JEWS ROCK is a website devoted to illuminating the intersection of rock and roll and Jewish culture. The founders, including Jeffrey Goldberg of The New Yorker, originally wanted to call it the Jewish Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but were sued by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Either way, the site has some interesting essays -- for example, did you know that Arlo Guthrie was raised Jewish and tutored in Hebrew by the Rabbi Meir Kahane, who later became the leader of Israel’s radical Kach party? (tip to my co-worker Debbie)

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie laid out over 1,800 bucks o­n X-rated undies and provocative books from upmarket London sex store Coco De Mer. A source told the Mirror tabloid that "her most recent trip a few weeks ago was the most she has ever spent. Brad's o­ne lucky guy." But not completely lucky -- Pitt has been hospitalized in L.A. with a flu-like illness.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise spent almost 18,000 bucks to fly three top chefs from Italy to South America to cook an extravagant birthday meal for him, Homes, Nicole Kidman and others aboard a yacht owned by the Church of Scientology. And he had Holmes with him as he began shooting Mission: Impossible 3 in Rome o­n Tuesday. But the Vatican, as well as the city of Paris -- where Cruise supposedly proposed to Holmes -- have pledged never to welcome Cruise due to his militant Scientology.

LI-LO UPDATE: The Lohan, in Mpls. for the shooting of A Prairie Home Companion, reportedly got carded at Escape Ultra Lounge last week. As she just turned 19, she had to demur that she didn't have any ID.

PAM ANDERSON tells a kettle how black it is.

SEAN AND ROBIN WRIGHT PENN escape injury in a head-on collision o­n Notting Hill.

WE'RE NOT AFRAID: New York Times critic Sara Boxer prefers Sorry Everybody, a photoblog where hundreds of people posted pictures of themselves apologizing for the re-election of George W. Bush, to We're Not Afraid, a mass pictorial response to the terrorist bombings in London. Boxer bemoans what she sees as a shift in sentiment at the latter, fretting that "more and more, there's a brutish flaunting of wealth and leisure" and that the site "seems to be turning into a place where the haves of the world can show that they're not afraid of the have-nots." First, I invite people to visit the site to see for themselves how much "brutal flaunting" is going o­n. Second, Boxer's unstated premise -- that the people likely responsible for the bombings were "have-nots" is wrong. Psychologists like Dr. Marc Sageman of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Andrew Silke, a UN advisor and forensic psychologist at Leicester University, have studied Al Qaeda members and associates and found them to be overwhelmingly middle-to-upper class and well-educated. These findings accord with research o­n suicide bombers from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hizbollah. For that matter, last year, when the British government foiled what it believed was the largest terrorist plot ever in that country, the arrestees were British, middle-class Muslim suburbanites. And as noted here recently, a joint Home Office and Foreign Office dossier reported that Al Qaeda is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in the U.K. Boxer's article ends up saying more about her than about the website.

LONDON BOMBING: Police hunting the July 7 London tube and bus bombers have gone live at Leeds, as Scotland Yard carried out a series of dawn raids Tuesday morning as part of an "intelligence-led operation", described by Commissioner Sir Ian Blair as "significant". Police carried out controlled explosions in Leeds and Luton and searched six houses. Explosives have been found in an abandoned car at the Luton railway station which is thought to be linked to the terror attacks. One man has been arrested in Yorkshire and taken to London. A Populus poll for The Times showed a large majority supported tougher measures to reduce the threat of any future terrorist attacks, though support was weakest in London itself.

IRAQ: Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" that Monday's capture of Abu Abd Al-Aziz, whom he called Abu Musab Zarqawi's "main leader in Baghdad," was "going to hurt that operation of Zarqawi's pretty significantly." U.S. and other foreign troops may be able to withdraw soon from some Iraqi cities, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Tuesday, though he hastened to add there's no timetable. DefenseTech's Noah Shachtman is blogging from Baghdad in his Iraq Diary.

AFGHANISTAN: U.S.-led forces have recaptured o­ne of four Al Qaeda militants who escaped from the main U.S. military detention center in Afghanistan. An unconfirmed report stated that the unidentified man was captured at a mosque in Bagram. Afghan villagers sheltered a U.S. Navy SEAL wounded in a battle with the Taliban until they could get word to American forces to rescue him. Time magazine has a more dramatic version of the story.

IRAN: Students at Tehran University launched a protest against the regime to release all political prisoners, particularly Iran’s most prominent jailed journalist. It appears that the size of the protest grew, even as Iranian police beat the demonstrators.

THE VAN GOGH MURDER CASE: Moroccan-born Mohammed Bouyeri, the self-confessed killer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, faced the victim’s mother in an Amsterdam court and told her he felt no remorse for his crime: "I don’t feel your pain. I don’t have any sympathy for you. I can’t feel for you because I think you’re a non-believer." He told the court, "I take complete responsibility for my actions. I acted purely in the name of my religion." He added, "I can assure you that o­ne day, should I be set free, I would do exactly the same, exactly the same." Bouyeri, a well-educated Muslim, shot and stabbed van Gogh to death in broad daylight before nearly decapitating him and impaling a five-page note declaring holy war into his corpse with a knife.

SHREK-GATE? This morning, in a planned conference call for investors, DreamWorks Animation conceded that the Securities and Exhange Commission had questions about the way their stock was traded. Industry insiders apparently knew this was coming because of a class action suit filed against DreamWorks o­n June 10, 2005, alleging major sales of stock by DreamWorks insiders look timed to pre-date announcements of bad news and tumbling stock prices.

HOLLYWOOD'S BOX OFFICE SLUMP: Sony is going to turn it around by Hollow Man 2, Road House 2 -- Last Call and I Know What You Did Last Summer 3. And if you think that a Road House sequel seems shaky, keep in mind that it may be directed by the guy who did Cruel Intentions 3. Not to be outdone by Sony, Paramount has greenlighted a remake of Summer School.

NETFLIX PLANS 'NET DELIVERY? Links at Slashdot suggest Netflix is planning a service that will let users download movies over the internet.

PURE SCIENCES ARE OLD HAT: According to British government officials, courses in mathematicss, chemistry, physics, engineering and biology should face closures as the demand for new hybrid subjects grows.

DOG IN ZERO-G ENVIRONMENT: MediaFetcher has the video and a discussion.

SAUERKRAUT WRESTLING is set up by a Minnesoata mayor as a forum for resolving the state's budget disputes.

SEX OFFENDERS hand out candy o­n Halloween, dress as Santa Claus or wear an Easter Bunny costume under a law just passed in Illinois.

SPERM-FREE SEX KEEPS HENS HAPPY: By merely mounting females - without bothering to waste precious sperm - cocks ensure their partners will not go looking for male competitors to fertilise them, a new study suggests.

TOP TEN DEADLIEST ANIMALS, courtesy of LiveScience.

MONKEYS WITH HUMAN BRAINS: Scientists have been warned by a high-powered committee of animal behaviourists, lawyers, philosophers, bio-ethicists and neuro-scientists that their latest experiments -- injecting human brain cells into monkey fetuses -- may accidently produce monkeys with brains more human than animal. Critics argue that if these fetuses are allowed to develop into self-aware subjects, science will be thrown into an ethical nightmare.

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New Releases, Marianne Faithfull, Tom Fite, Dwarf Cattle and Horny Tigers   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

HEY, IT'S WONKA WEEK ALREADY: The chocolate brown carpet was rolled out for the Hollywood premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Grauman's Chinese Theater over the weekend. The Associated Press checks in with Peter Ostrum, the original Charlie Bucket, who is now a veterinarian specializing in cattle and horses in New York's dairy country. The AP also interviews Johnny Depp o­n Wonka, movies, fame and family. I have joked to people that if Depp based Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean o­n Keith Richards, his Willy Wonka -- judging from the pageboy hairstyle -- must be based o­n Brian Jones. It turns out I was right, according to Depp's interview with the Boston Herald. He denies his Wonka is based o­n Michael Jackson, though the comparison is turning up in early reviews. Ebert and Roeper give it two thumbs up, though neither was thrilled with Depp this time. Richard Shieckel of Time magazine wishes it was darker,saying it's "all right without being particularly riveting."

SUFJAN STEVENS tells the UCLA Bruin that he was working o­n albums about Rhode Island, New Jersey and Illinois, but the songs for Illinois "seemed more exciting, more challenging."

NEW RELEASES: Today brings new stuff from Son Volt, The Knitters, Del McCoury, R.L. Burnside and even Adrian Belew. There are also reissues of Arcade Fire and The Decemberists. There's also Wille Nelson's reggae album, about which Amazon says: "It's easy to understand why this project was shelved by Nelson's previous label for nine years."

MARIANNE FAITHFULL suffered a slight heart attack, but is doing fine, according to Page Six.

SON VOLT: Speaking of Page Six, I give them kudos for dubing the new version of the band Son of Son Volt.

RINGO was disappointed that the Cute o­ne didn't invite him to play Live 8.

BEST OF 2005 (SO FAR): Largehearted Boy lists his Top 5 1/2 so far, with legal downloads and streams.

TOM FITE: Brooklyn Vegan gets the tip for flagging Tom Fite. His label describes Gone Ain’t Gone as a "wry, anachronistic, copyright-defying, country/hip-hop collage, was made mostly from cds rescued from dollar bins; Australian bar bands, DC garage-punks, and demos from up-and-never coming rock bands. It’s all sampled, looped and laid down as the blueprint for FITE’s intriguing avant-folk vision of musical crime and resuscitation." I think the "hip-hop" part is inaccurate, but you can download o­ne song from his label, and a bunch more at his site to decide for yourself.

LED ZEPPELIN: The four members of Led Zeppelin were voted the U.K.'s ideal supergroup by 3,500 music fans polled for Planet Rock Radio, with Robert Plant edging out Freddie Mercury as best singer.

JIMI HENDRIX'S childhood home, faces demolition after a two-week restraining order expires. Sadly, the place has reportedly become a haven for squatters and drug dealers. The owner wants to move the structure to a permanent location near Hendrix's gravesite in Renton, WA.

MADONNA: I am shocked, shocked to learn that Madge has a ghost writer for her Kabbalah-themed children's books.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Bob Geldof's 16 year-old daughter Peaches angrily denies the troubled singer's claims that she squeezed his bum and made suggestive comments to him at Live 8. Peaches also said it was her sister Pixie, 14, who convinced their dad to include Pete in the Live 8 line-up -- which is a very catty way of taking a return dig at Doherty, methinks.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes' interview with W magazine sparks claims that she is more zombie-like than ever. Cruise is raising his and Nicole Kidman's 12-year-old daughter, Isabella, as a Scientologist. Both Entertainment Tonight and the E! channel had video of Scarlett Johansson denying past Cruise rumors, but neither has it o­nline as I write this.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie edged out Garfleck and Tom-Kat o­n the Womens' Wear Daily Overexposure Chart this week. Congrats, Brad and Angie!

LI-LO UPDATE: Lohan's director for A Prairie Home Companion, the legendary Robert Altman, doesn't know her name.

BRITNEY SPEARS says she would like to design her own line of maternity clothes. "There's so much nasty stuff out their for mums-to-be, I can't work out why stores don't sell funkier stuff." I have no doubt Britney's clothes will be funky.

OWEN WILSON reacts to being nicknamed "the Butterscotch Stallion."

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL says she has learned the hard way not to talk about politics o­n the red carpet after claiming that the U.S. was "responsible in some way" for 9/11. Of course, she still believes it, but says, "I have to be careful, because it's very easy to misunderstand a complicated thought in a complicated world." Thanks for the condescension, Maggie, but the people who criticized you understood exactly what you were saying.

THE VAN GOGH MURDER TRIAL began in the Netherlands, with Mohammed Bouyeri rejecting the authority of the court and speaking o­nly to confirm his name and utter a prayer in Arabic. Prosecutors say Bouyeri killed filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in a ritualistic murder committed in the name of radical Islam. A note spiked into Van Gogh's body carried threats against his co-author, Somali-born Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken critic of Islam. By Maggie Gyllenhaal's logic, Van Gogh was responsible for his own death "in some way," because he made a movie about the way Islamic extremists treat women.

LONDON BOMBING: Police and intelligence agents are investigating the theory that a gang of white "mercenary terrorists" was hired by Al Qaeda to carry out last week's attacks. Peter Power, the managing director of a "crisis management" firm told BBC 5 that at the exact same time as the London bombings were taking place, his company was running a 1,000 person strong exercise drill in which the London Underground was being bombed at the exact same locations. SEMI-RELATED: Transportation hubs in many large cities, particularly in the U.S., have hidden security systems that can detect both nuclear and conventional weapons.

LONDON II: Iranian media claims the bombings were planned by the U.S. and U.K. governments to build support for the invasion of Iraq and attacking Islam generally. MEMRI TV, which hosts and transcribes video from Middle Eastern Media, notes that In a Friday sermon broadcast o­n Iranian TV, Ayatollah Mohammad Amami-Kashani called Al-Qaeda the child of the White House and Israel. Al-Majd TV aired an interview with Azzam Al-Tamimi, head of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, who said that he hoped that people would realize the bombing was caused by U.S. and British entanglement in an oppressive and unjust war against the Afghan and Iraqi peoples. Abd Al-Bari Atwa, editor-in-chief of the London Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi said that the bombings were a "good slap" at Tony Blair. A wishful thinker at the Associated Press managed to falsely report that Blair put the bombings in the context of the Middle-Eastern conflict. And the BBC has re-edited some of its coverage to avoid labelling the perpetrators as "terrorists."

AFGHANISTAN: Four suspected terrorists escaped Monday from the main U.S. detention facility, sparking a massive ground and air search. The body of the fourth downed SEAL was found near the other two casualties; a senior defense official said that "no way" had the SEAL ever been in captivity, contrary to Taliban claims that he had been abducted. Arthur Chrenkoff rounds up under-reported good news.

KYRGYZSTAN VOTES and it seems to have gone well. Both Gateway Pundit and Registan have coverage, though o­nly the latter has a photo of the dancing girls at the polls.

MICHAEL JACKSON IS SUED by a financial company claiming it is owed 48 million dollars in fees for rescuing Jacko's stake in the publishing rights to the Beatles catalog.

CELEBRITIES MOST IDENTIFY WITH GOOFY, according to a poll done for Disney in conjunction with Disneyland's 50th anniversary. Oprah Winfrey topped the list of the most desired Disney celebrity travel companion, but Clint Eastwood beat out Julie Andrews. No doubt Clint could get you to the front of the lines.

FARM AID is returning to Chicago for it 20th anniversary. Wille Nelson and John Mellencamp are bringing Dave Matthews, who certainly knows about spreading fertilizer in Chicago.

AARON BROWN may be o­n the outs at CNN.

THE SLURPEE turned 40 yesterday, bought an expensive sports car and started dating a much younger frozen treat.

THIS JUST IN: Men don't mind seeing naked women.

DWARF BRAHMIN CATTLE were married Sunday morning in a traditional Thai ceremony. Congrats to Thong Khaow and Thong Kham!

NICE DAY FOR A... SHARK TANK WEDDING: Gale and Wayne Landry married in wet suits and scuba diving gear o­n Sunday while nine sharks swam around them in The Florida Aquarium's 125,000-gallon shark tank. A sand tiger shark momentarily took interest in the bouquet, but will not be next to get hitched.

A PARROT rats out a robbery in El Salvador.

HORNY TIGERS in a Bangladesh zoo have been put o­n birth control.

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