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Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings rule; we trail in the wake of their turbulence   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SHARON JONES AND THE DAP KINGS! My o­ne-word review of Naturally would be, "Whoa!" My two-word review would be, "Holy Crap!" My three-word review would be, "Oh. My. God." Naturally came out at the end of January and I can't believe I cheated myself for three months. It's almost exactly like a classic Atlantic or Stax R 'n' B record that accidentally got left in the vault for 35-40 years. Instead, it's o­n Daptone Records, where you can download clips of the album and even see their performance o­n Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Based o­n their cover of "This Land Is Your Land," I may have to order the 45 of "I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In." Yeah, yeah, oh yeah.

THE RAVEONETTES' Pretty In Black gets a review that reads better than the seven it scores from PopMatters. I'm listening to the album as I type and find myself agreeing with the text of the review, if not the number. Pretty In Black strips away the feedback and most of the distortion, recalling the Everlys, Buddy Holly or Johnny Cash more often than the Velvet Underground or the Jesus and Mary Chain (though you do get Ronnie Spector and Mo Tucker guesting on this one). I'm cool with that. Sure, it lacks the visceral sonic fist to the temple that you get from Chain Gang of Love, but now I can enjoy the band in quieter moments also.

ON THE PITCHFORK: A review putting In Case We Die, by Architecture in Helsinki in the Best New Music of 2005 category. The Ponys avoid a sophomore slump: "As with all great garage rock bands... the Ponys perform their shameless pillaging with such dexterity and stylish swagger that they've virtually rendered themselves immune to accusations of unoriginality." Cobra Verde's covers album gets a mixed reaction.

DASH RIP ROCK is offering a weekly podcast, including unreleased songs and covers of Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones and more.

FRANK BLACK interviews legendary author Ray Bradbury. Truth is stranger than science-fiction.

TOM AND KATIE UPDATE: At the New York Daily News, Rush & Molloy aren't skeptical about the Cruise-Holmes hookup -- not at all. However, they don't mind mentioning that everyone else is. And that a source tells them that Holmes and Josh Hartnett are "still totally in love." Defamer notes that Richard Roeper is taking the story at face value... maybe. I can't believe Defamer forgot to mention it o­nce referred to Roeper as "the new, seemingly-retarded o­ne."

JESSICA SIMPSON... AND FRED DURST? Have you prepared that Apocolypse Survival Kit you keep putting off?

IDOL GOSSIP: ABC News is fronting its PrimeTime Live piece o­n the web. Apparently, former contestant Corey Clark claims that Paula Abdul provided him with off-camera tips and assistance while he was a contestant, even helping him select some of the songs he would sing. Also, Celebrity Justice reports that at least o­ne taped message from Paula to Corey does exist, patially confirming the Drudge Report about ABC News having such tapes (no surprise there, as I assume ABC News staffers are the leakers). Celebrity Justice also reports that a source close to Abdul says that "Clark illegally taped" the conversation with Paula and "edited it out of context to make Paula look bad." Which is interesting, since I saw Abdul say on TV Tuesday night that she knew nothing about the ABC News piece.

J-LO wants to be the first female President of the U.S. Because that's a job where you never have to discuss your private life.

BRAIN-DAMAGED FIREFIGHTER makes an amazing recovery after a decade of silence.

THE EMILY POST INSTITUTE has advice o­n how to cancel your wedding. Page Six also noted less polite methods. Where were all these people last week?

BRENDAN BENSON gets interviewed and reviewed at PopMatters.

SPRINGSTEEN: At Slate, Stephen Metcalf suggests the Boss is full of it, but in a good way.

BOB DYLAN will be the subject of a movie, where he will be played by Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Adrien Brody, Richard Gere, Julianne Moore, and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

USHER is planning an early retirement. So I can wait him out.

U.K. ELECTION: E-Day is Friday, so the BBC turns to some of the more unusual campaign promises being made by various smaller parties. For example, the Church of the Militant Elvis wants to place giant photos of celebrities such as Johnny Vegas, Graham Norton and Chris Evans in Heathrow and Gatwick airports, "to discourage undesirable foreigners from entering Britain". Sadly, the article makes no mention of Tarquin Fin- tim- lim- bim- whin- bim- lim- bus- stop- F'tang- F'tang- Olè- Biscuitbarrel.

CANADIAN ELECTION? It's looking more like the Tories will seek a vote of no confidence in the Liberal government and a new election in the wake of the Adscam scandal.

RICHARD GERE: It's o­ne thing if a celeb from time to time declines to meet disabled kids; otherwise, it's probably all they would do. But don't say "Maybe later. I'm hard of hearing and I have a bad hip. We all have problems." The Dalai Lama needs to whack him with a golf club.

GOLDIE HAWN says her memoirs do not have a beginning, middle and an end. The New York Daily News says there are "no icky, tell-all details, either." You have just saved $25.95.

PAGE SIX is suing Page SixSixSix for trademark infringement.

IRAQ: The first democratically elected government in the history of Iraq was sworn in Tuesday against a backdrop of surging violence, as has happened with each of these milestones. The U.S. military said Tuesday it has seized a letter from Iraqi insurgents believed to be intended for Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi complaining about low morale among followers and weakening support for the insurgency.

IRAQ II: Yesterday, I noted that The New York Times columnist Bob Herbert presented some serious but uncorroborated charges against U.S. troops by conscientious objector Aidan Delgado. I also noted some reasons why those charges might not be taken at face value. FWIW, a blogger by the name of "Sgt. Ted," who claims that he was closer to the riot Delgado described and remembers it a bit differently. Do I know that Sgt. Ted is for real? No, although his writing suggests a military background. But I don't know that Delgado is for real, either.

IRAQ III: USA Today and CNN report: "Support for the decision to go to war in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level since the campaign began in March 2003, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll released Tuesday." The problem is that they really don't know whether that's true. A look at the numbers shows a three or four point swing, which is within the poll's five point margin of error. Plus, the poll was conducted April 29-May 1; weekend polling historically skews Democratic.

WELCOME TO CHICAGO: City Hall officials ordered the city's top water boss to marshal his political army of city workers for Mayor Daley, Congressman Rahm Emanuel and other politicians, according to a guilty plea-related federal court document released Monday and other sources. There is nothing in the plea agreement to indicate that Daley, Emanuel or other politicians knew the possibly corrupt nature of the help they were getting.

GERALDO RIVERA lives in a glass house. No, really. But the article is subscription o­nly -- jerks.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: o­ne of the members of the trobled singer's new band, the Babyshambles has figured out that Pete's antics are stealing the show... and that member is the drummer! Ron, Jon H, I kid because I love -- you know that.

FRANZ FERDINAND frontman Alex Kapranos says the band's next album is "music for girls to cry to." Oh boy, I can hardly wait.

NASTY PETTY RADIO: NPR banned its Weekend Morning Edition host, Scott Simon, from appearing o­n Bob Edwards' new show for XM satellite radio.

HYBRID CARS are often more about feeling good than saving money or getting better mileage.

BEER GOGGLES without the beer. A variation o­n the placebo effect, apparently.

ONLINE CONSUMERS are more likely to comparison shop than buy o­n impulse.

JOHN BOLTON, President Bush's embattled nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. faced more claims of his alleged bullying and intolerance in Tuesday's New York Times, based o­n transcripts of Congressional staff interviews with three former senior government officials, leaked to the paper "by a Congressional official opposed to Mr. Bolton's nomination." So Bolton's supporters leaked the transcripts to the Fox News Channel to show what the NYT left out of their story. Bolton is scheduled for a vote next week and the bottom line is that this is his month.

GREENPEACE CO-FOUNDER ROBERT HUNTER has died at 63 from prostate cancer. "Bob was an inspirational storyteller, an audacious fighter and an unpretentious mystic," Greenpeace Canada Chairman John Doherty said. Interestingly, surviving Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore left the group to become a crusader against environmental extremism.

GOING TO CHURCH is good for your health, as long as you don't hold God personally responsible for it.

WORLD NEWS TONIGHT WITH LARA CROFT: ABC News is offering its content to PlayStation Portable users.

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE... in China.

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Super Furry Animals, Idol Gossip, Camberlake, Coulter, DC Ducks, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

XTC, PERE UBU, THE ONLY ONES AND BLONDIE are among the acts featured in in a photo exhibit of classic punks by Rebel Rebelle.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS should have their seventh album, Love Kraft, out in August.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: What it means may depend o­n who is singing about it.

FRANZ FERDINAND is letting the Scottish Green Party use the band's current single for a new party political broadcast in the UK election directed by cult film director Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid & Nancy).

JIMMY BUFFETT AND WARREN BUFFETT have been friends for more than 20 years and have performed together, but are apparently not related to each other.

AMERICAN IDOL: FWIW, Matt Drudge reports that Fox execs have declined to answer all questions posed by ABC News regarding claims American Idol judge Paula Abdul personally "coached" a favorite contestant and then tried to cover up the breach. ABC News apparently has audio evidence. ALSO: The Smoking Gun has the dirt o­n contestant Bo Bice's drug busts.

TOM AND KATIE UPDATE: The skepticism and thinly-veiled innuendo over Tom Cruise's new relationship with Katie Holmes continues at Defamer.

NEWS OF THE FUTURE: Merrill Brown, founding editor in chief of MSNBC.com and a founder of Court TV, writes: "The future course of the news, including the basic assumptions about how we consume news and information and make decisions in a democratic society, is being altered by technology-savvy young people no longer wedded to traditional news outlets or even accessing news in traditional ways." CNN honcho Jonathan Klein, who o­nce called bloggers a bunch of guys sitting at their computers in their pajamas, seems to be figuring this out, too: "You know the blogging and the values vote and direct marketing and even fears about personal safety and homeland security have all changed the political landscape 180 degrees, and yet the mainstream media is still covering politics the way it has for the last 30 to 40 years since the Kennedy-Nixon debate."

ROBOTS: Sony’s Qrio, a humanoid robot, has been attending a Californian nursery school for the past three months where it plays with young children in a test designed to see if robots can "live in harmony with humans in the future."

BACK TO THE FUTURE: James Lileks has alternately uplifting and mildly depressing thoughts inspired by the movie.

CAMERON DIAZ TO WED JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE? Reports are circulating o­n the 'net, though they appear to all be relying o­n the ever-reliable News of the World. Diaz's rep denied it to E! News.

GLOBAL WARMING AND CENSORSHIP: Scientists allege that two of the world's leading scientific journals -- Science and Nature -- are refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming. For example, o­ne study reviewed the scientific literature to show that fewer than o­ne in 10 climate scientists believed that climate change is principally caused by human activity.

ANN COULTER: Given that a more than a few of you checked out Time magazine's blunder in its coverage of the conservative columnist (now corrected), you may be interested to learn that she's currently dating a young Democrat, though it can't be too shocking after her run with Bob Guccione Jr. And while o­n the subject of Coulter hoaxes, Gawker will hook you up with the o­nes rated NC-17.

HITLER'S NURSE speaks, a German newspaper claims. 93-year-old Erna Flegel claims she stayed in the bunker after Hitler killed himself and was there when Soviet troops arrived. She said Hitler was so paranoid that he even suspected spies had filled his cyanide capsule with false poison.

IRAQ: American soldiers returning to their German base from Iraq are undergoing their own small "baby boom," becoming parents in such numbers as to strain the resources of the base military hospital. The 1st Armored Division usually produces o­ne or two babies a month at Baumholder in central Germany, but the birthrate is expected to shoot up to 40 a month in the next five months. My ex-roommate Dru Martin (who saw Pate before I did) was (and may still be) teaching kids of the 1st AD, though I believe he's now at Rammstein. As I had just been thinking of Germany and Iraq, coming across this story was one of those moments where the cosmos just tickled my funny bone.

IRAQ II: The BBC has a dramatic slideshow of an Iraqi sandstorm from Gunnery Sergeant Shannon Aldredge, a U.S. Marine Corps photographer.

BURIED TREASURE UPDATE: A fourth man charged in the alleged buried treasure scam has been arrested. Police say Matt Ingham was part of a group of men accused of stealing a cache of old currency while doing a roofing job in Massachussetts.

DEMOCRACY IN EGYPT: Egyptian judges are joining other groups in the country in calling for reform ahead of this year's presidential elections. Over 1,000 Egyptian judges say they won't supervise upcoming elections unless they are given more independence and control.

CANADA: The Liberal government has rebounded from Adscam, causing some Tories to question the decision to call for a new election.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer's ex-galpal Katie Lewis is warning his current fiancee Kate Moss that Pete loves romps with men and women. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

NO OASIS: in an interview with NME, Liam Gallagher lashes out at Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Scissor Sisters, Kaiser Chiefs, Keane and Pete Doherty, with a frantic, "I'm dancing as fast as I can" quality in advance of the new disc from Oasis at month's end. He likes Charlotte Church, though. No, really.

LIVE AID: Bob Geldof is trying to organize another Live Aid concert event.

IRAQ III: In its search for partners and intermediaries to help fight the insurgency and speed reconstruction, the U.S. military has turned to tribal Sheiks sidelined for decades under Saddam Hussein. Not surprising, given the lack of Sunni participation in the first election.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Angelina Jolie tells Vanity Fair that she and Brad Pitt came to trust each other while taking gun training for their upcoming movie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

21st CENTURY ROCK: Stereogum reprints a list of 21 albums for this century that Chuck Klosterman did for Esquire magazine.

LINKIN PARK has demanded to be released from its record contract with Warner Music Group, claiming the company's impending initial public offering is enriching investors at the expense of label artists.

LIFE ON MARS, "many scientists believe, is now more a likelihood than merely a possibility." Or is it the work of Cruise and Spielberg?

IRAQ IV: Pfc. Lynndie England, the woman grinning and giving a thumbs-up in some of the most notorious photos to come out of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of conspiracy to maltreat prisoners, four counts of maltreating prisoners and o­ne count of committing an indecent act. Prosecutors agreed to drop another count of committing an indecent act and o­ne count of dereliction of duty. She will end up spending less than 11 years in prison. Given how badly she damaged U.S. efforts in Iraq, she should count herself lucky.

IRAQ V: The New York Times columnist Bob Herbert's latest recounts serious, but unsubstantiated charges against U.S. troops made by Aidan Delgado, who was discharged in January as a conscientious objector. Delgado's first claim is this: "Guys in my unit, particularly the younger guys, would drive by in their Humvee and shatter bottles over the heads of Iraqi civilians passing by. They'd keep a bunch of empty Coke bottles in the Humvee to break over people's heads." Michael Rubin, editor of The Middle East Quarterly, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, currently in Baghdad outside the U.S.-secured International Zone and apparently a bigger fan of Coca-Cola than I am (which is saying a lot), doesn't buy it. And Delgado has been telling different versions of other stories. Sadly, the Lynndie Englands of the world will cause some to believe such stories without any corroboration.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is eager to make the leap from sex kitten to savvy business titan. She intends to model her career after those of moguls Donald Trump and Sean "Puffy" Combs. But I don't think either of them did a hamburger commercial too pornographic to air.

THE AFL-CIO IS IN TROUBLE: President John J. Sweeney, who is facing challenges from some of the labor federation's largest member unions, last week acknowledged that the organization is financially squeezed and may have to lay off a quarter of its workforce. Four dissident union presidents have demanded that their members' names be removed from the AFL-CIO's master list of 13 million households, attacking what many consider to be organized labor's most important tool to influence political campaigns and legislative proceedings o­n Capitol Hill. The action by the presidents of the Service Employees International Union, Teamsters, Laborers and Unite Here is the most serious attack o­n Sweeney's administration. The membership of the four unions exceeds 4 million, a third of the AFL-CIO total.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: Congress wants to hear from two investigators who quit the United Nations inquiry led by Paul Volcker into the Oil-for-Food scandal because they felt that it was too soft o­n Kofi Annan. Questions have been raised about Mr. Volcker’s impartiality by the resignation of the two investigators and by his ties to a company o­nce run by Maurice Strong, a Canadian tycoon and diplomat under investigation by the Volcker panel.

MICHAEL KINSLEY, opinion page editor and editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times, on President Bush's Social Security proposals and the politics thereof: "If privatization is truly voluntary, it can't do much harm. And if that is Mr. Bush's price for being out front o­n a real solution to the real problem, the Democrats should let him have it. Unless they are complete morons - always a possibility - the Democrats could end up in the best of all worlds. They know in their hearts that Social Security has to change in some unpleasant way. Mr. Bush, for whatever reason, is willing to take most of the heat. And all he wants in return is the opportunity to try something that will alienate people from the GOP for generations to come."

D.C. DUCK UPDATE: A duck who nested at the Treasury Department and became a tourist attraction hatched her brood under the watchful eyes of the U.S. Secret Service and took swimmingly to motherhood Sunday, guiding her 11 ducklings unerringly to water with the assistance of at least three government departments.

AFGHANISTAN: Arthur Chrenkoff rounds up under-reported good news from Afghanistan. My favorite may be this: "to make it easier o­n the voters, 'candidates for Afghanistan's first post-Taliban parliament must choose symbols such as an apple, a ladder or an ice-cream cone to help illiterate voters identify them...'" I've got to say that if a third party ever emerges again in the U.S., it must use an ice cream cone as its symbol. Obviously, the apple is right out, lest you get pummeled by lawyers for Steve Jobs and Yoko Ono.

LOCUSTS: Swarms of locusts blinded drivers, halting traffic along a 25 mile stretch of a highway in Bangladesh. And I feel fine.

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The Raveonettes, Hasil Adkins, Tom & Katie, Cats & Dogs, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 02, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

REVENGE OF THE SITH -- I.S.U. EDITION: Pate site member doc loch (and if you know how to play Match Game with "Loch ----," you may know who that is), noticed a familiar name in the Reuters story, "Star Wars 'Stand-A-Thon' Kicks Off in New York:" "We all know what it's like to go through this insanity even though its temporary," said Steve Lorenzo, 39, a technical writer for a software company. "It's like a class or family reunion even though it's not." Heh heh heh...

THE RAVEONETTES get a lukewarm review for Pretty In Black. FWIW, I like what I've heard so far, though perhaps not as much as Chain Gang of Love, at least o­n first listen. I suspect the reviewer may be too young to remember that the Velvet Underground and the Jesus and Mary Chain mellowed over time also.

NEW ORDER played "Love Will Tear Us Apart" o­n Jimmy Kimmel Live. Streams here.

OVERRATED ALBUMS are getting blogged by Michele at A Small Victory. And she's defending The Clash's London Calling. against the charge.

HASIL ADKINS, a unique rockabilly artist, dead at 67. Tiny Mix Tapes explains just how unique he was. And there's more at Hit and Run.

WILLIE NELSON: Texas state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, an Austin Democrat, proposed naming a 49-mile stretch of Texas Highway 130 being built around Austin in honor of the Texas country music singer. But two Republican senators said they didn't want Nelson's name o­n the road that crosses their districts, citing Nelson's drinking, smoking and active campaigning for Democrats -- so there will be no Nelson Highway.

TOM AND KATIE UPDATE: Katie Holmes o­nce told Seventeen magazine: "I think every little girl dreams about (her wedding). I used to think I was going to marry Tom Cruise." But she's also said she's saving herself for Mr. Right and there'll be no sex before marriage. I knew that the New York Post would want to land o­n this like a ton of bricks and the paper bypassed Page Six to do an entire article o­n media skepticism of the pairing. The lede: "LESS than 48 hours after Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' publicists sought to convince the world that the unlikely pair have embarked o­n a hot romance, CNN's Bill Hemmer said o­n American Morning: 'What kind of sham is this, by the way?'"

CRUISE EXTRA: Out promoting War of the Worlds with Spielberg, Tom gets hit with some tough questioning about his involvement with Scientology by Der Spiegel (which isn't surprising, given that Scientology has had a rough go of it in Germany).

THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY topped the weekend box office, but I was mildly disappointed. The filmmakers were in a bit of a box -- people who know the material won't have much to complain about, but they won't be surprised much, either. Nevertheless, glad I saw it, if o­nly for Sam Rockwell, who turned a typically wonderful performance as Zaphod. I also saw Kung Fu Hustle and liked it but didn't love it -- which may be a recommendation since I don't care much for the martial arts genre.

DAVID HASSELHOFF was named international star of the year at Bollywood's version of the Oscars. It just goes to show that running o­n the beach in slo-mo is the universal language.

TERI HATCHER: Less desperate these days.

SOME PROMINENT BLOGGERS are starting a news service. The response to their offer to join an advertising network has been big.

A BLOG REBELLION among scientists and engineers at Los Alamos, the federal government's premier nuclear weapons laboratory, is threatening to end the tenure of its director, G. Peter Nanos.

CATS AND DOGS: Firefighters in Fairfield, CT have 15 new oxygen masks for dogs and cats that can be used to treat animals overcome by smoke inhalation during a fire. It turns out that this has also happened in places like Ohio. And in Florida, Seminole County has oxygen masks for hamsters.

DOGS: Curmudgeonly & Skeptical lists the Top 10 Dog Peeves About Humans.

LIGERS AND WHOLFINS AND ZONKEYS, oh, my!

MAN BITTEN BY POISONOUS SPIDER SAVED by his picturephone.

PETA PROTESTED J-LO at the premiere of her new movie, Monster-in-Law.

ELVIS COSTELLO, BOB DYLAN, THE WHO, THE BOOMTOWN RATS, IGGY POP, KISS, THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA AND THE KINKS are just a few of the bands and artists featured in a French photog's flickr gallery in all of their 1970s glory.

MC5 DVD of archival material drops in July.

THE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND settled a lawsuit stemming from human waste dumped from a tour bus o­nto people touring the Chicago River, agreeing to pay $200,000 to an environmental fund and take measures to avoid a repeat of the incident. Not sure what that last bit means... maybe they won't be using the john o­n their tour bus anymore.

NELLIE McKAY is working o­n her next album for a September release, which will feature a duet with Cyndi Lauper o­n a track titled "Bee Charmer." If you haven't herad her debut double-disc, you can stream clips from her site.

THE CAESARS seem to have a good attitude about the fame the iPod Shuffle ad using "Jerk It Out" has brought: "And if they o­nly come out to hear the iPod song, that's fine too. We'll never complain about that. We'd rather be a o­ne-hit wonder than a no-hit wonder, you know?"

IRAQ: Forensic experts are investigating a mass grave thought to contain the remains of as many as 1,500 Kurds killed in the 1980s.

IRAQ II: The U.S. and Italy disagree o­n the conclusions of a joint investigation into the killing of an Italian agent by U.S. troops in Iraq. An Army official said Italy was disputing two factual issues in the report: the car's speed as it approached the checkpoint and the nature of communications between the Italians and U.S. forces before the incident. CBS news has reported that a U.S. satellite had filmed the shooting and that it had been established the car carrying Calipari was traveling at more than 60 mph as it approached the U.S. checkpoint in Baghdad. For some reason, the Los Angeles Times edited that fact out of the Reuters story I just linked. Twice, actually.

CULT OF THE iPod: The Dutch are considering taxing MP3 players by the gigabyte.

CHINA: The government is now decrying demonstrations against Japan, having figured out that the marchers were not simply motivated by opposition to Japan.

ADVERTISING IDOL: Jeff Jarvis figures out a new way to get people to watch advertising.

GANGADHAM: A Hindu Disneyland o­n the Ganges? It's the Moksha Kingdom!

BACTERIA can now be programmed like a computer.

A CALIFORNIA PROFESSOR IS SUSPENDED after students in the Deaf Studies program complained that he tried to get them to take part in a Nigerian investment scam.

PENELOPE CRUZ denies she's a lesbian. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

LEBANON: The government formally announced the election will be held o­n time - o­n May 29th 2005. Michael J. Totten, blogging from Beirut, is ecstatic.

DIGITAL CINEMA: Steven Soderbergh has signed a deal with the billionaire entrepreneurs Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner to create six pictures shot by Soderbergh o­n high-definition video that will be released simultaneously in theatres, o­n DVD and television.

ROBOTS can elect their leaders and operate in packs. I, for o­ne, welcome our new robot overlords.

BURIED TREAURE UPDATE: Maybe it wasn't buried: The men who made national headlines by claiming they found a buried treasure in a Massachussetts back yard were charged Friday with stealing the collection of old currency from a house where they were doing roofing work.

EXPLODING TOADS UPDATE: As the exploding toads spread from northern Germany to Denmark, a scientist studying the amphibian remains theorizes that the phenomenon may be caused by crows pecking out their livers.

KEIKO IHARA, a former Japanese "race queen," is competing in the British Formula Three championship which produced Formula o­ne great Ayrton Senna.

THE UNITED NATIONS Commission o­n Human Rights will have Zimbabwe sitting as a member for the next three years. No wonder even U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proposed disbanding the UNCHR.

QATAR is paying protection money to al-Qaeda. A Qatari says they "are not the o­nly o­nes doing so."

KYRGYZSTAN may be moving toward democracy; let's hope that helps put a stop to the growing practice of abducting women for marriage.

MALE AND FEMALE BRAINS are different. Who'da thunkit? Research into these variations could lead to sex-specific treatments for disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.

JACKO JUSTICE: Prosecutors in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial o­n Friday showed jurors two books seized from his bedroom in 1993 that include pictures of nude boys. Would you be surprised to learn that Googling the titles of those books turns up A History of Homoerotica? Of course not.

DON'T CROSS THE GIRL SCOUTS: A scout group has filed small-claims lawsuits against people who failed to pay for their Girl Scout Cookies.

DO YOU BELIVE IN MIRACLES? That's what Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said it would take for Democrats to win a majority in 2006.

TRADING PLACES: At the Washington Monthly, Kevin Drum blogs an essay by Michael Walzer in the current issue of Dissent arguing that over the past few decades the basic temperaments of left and right in the United States have swapped places with each other. I think that there will be those o­n both sides that will disagree with that assessment, but it's an interesting argument.

SPIDERMAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA and... Donald Rumsfeld.

HIGH GAS PRICES: The New York Times has run an article arguing that one thing President Bush could do immediately to fix our energy woes is to bring back the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit. Aside from the fact that Congress would have to do this, rather than the President, the graph accompanying the story undermines the argument, as it shows that demand for gasoline did not drop until five or six years after the 55 m.p.h. limit was imposed in 1973. EconoPundit notes better strategy. Plus, the article ignores the Hagar factor.

EATING ICE CREAM MAKES YOU HAPPY, as confirmed by scientists. And thousands of women dumped by their boyfriends.

DROP THE CHALUPA! No, really, drop it.

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The New Pornographers, Posies, Leadbelly, Troggs, Batman, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 29, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

FRIDAY TIME-WASTER: Yo La Tengo: Prisoners of Love -- the hipster's version of the classic "Breakout." And a nice way for Matador Records to promote the band's retrospective collection.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS have posted the title track from the forthcoming Twin Cinema for download. Me likes it!

THE POSIES' album, Every Kind of Light, comes out around the end of June. You can hear a clip at the site for the Paleo festival.

BLOC PARTY is shaking up British indie rock, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

LEADBELLY: The o­nly known film appearance of the legendary singer, edited by Pete Seeger, can be streamed at iFilm.

THE TROGGS TAPES: Said to be a major inspiration for This Is Spinal Tap, tapes of "instrumental incompetence, mutual recrimination and much foul language" are available to stream or download at LimeOne. Internet... I think I love you...

TALKING BACK TO 80's MUSIC: The latest in a series at Protein Wisdom. Also: the latest in Scenes From An Italian Restaurant.

REVENGE OF THE SITH: Kevin Smith, director of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, has seen Episode III and geeks out over it: "Revenge of the Sith is, quite simply, f---ing awesome. This is the Star Wars prequel the haters have been bitching for since Menace came out, and if they don't cop to that when they finally see it, they're lying. As dark as Empire was, this movie goes a thousand times darker..."

GEORGE LUCAS talks about "Life After Darth."

MARK MOTHERSBAUGH talks about life after Devo.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Us Weekly and Star magazine are having a tabloid catfight over those famous photos.

TOM CRUISE AND KATIE HOLMES photographed kissing, but still met with skepticism.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL investigation spreads to German companies and a French bank.

PRESIDENT BUSH TO WED SAUDI PRINCE: A Borowitz Report exclusive and likely to remain so.

THE BIG BOY GRAVEYARD. Or Dr. Evil's crash site.

BOOZE IS BRAIN FOOD, when taken in moderation, of course.

TWIN CITIES FOLK like Pate bassist Mike Kelly may want to check out the newly-launched mnspeak site which, despite its title, does not read as though written by the cast of Fargo.

WAL-MART will burn a mix CD and mail it to you.

TABLETOP FUSION: Seth Putterman, a physicist at the UCLA, has turned a tiny crystal into a particle accelerator. Putterman is not claiming to have created a source of virtually unlimited energy, because the reaction isn't self-sustaining. Even so, it's pretty neat.

DO THE BOSSA NOVA to the songs of The Clash, Joy Division, Modern English and more, courtesy of Nouvelle Vague, streaming from VH1.

BOB MOULD: Billboard has details o­n his July release of Body of Song.

MINUTEMEN: Flagpole magazine covers the making of the documentary, We Jam Econo: the Story of the Minutemen.

CBGB Gallery hosted a fete for director Don Letts' Punk: Attitude, which premieres on IFC in July. Tommy Ramone, "Handsome" Dick Manitoba of the Dictators, Martin Rev of Suicide, Punk magazine founders Legs McNeil and John Holmstrom and Beastie Boy Adam Yauch were among those who turned out for Letts, who direcrted every Clash video. ALSO: The legendary venue could be could be saved if you bought enough chocolate.

COBRA VERDE'S John Petkovic examines the merger of hip-hop and pro basketball.

SPRINGSTEEN: Uncle Grambo raves over the Boss in the Motor City.

THE ONION: The St. Petersburg Times goes behind the laughter with the writers of the satirical newspaper.

BATMAN BEGINS: The full trailer is o­nline, looking good in glorious QuickTime. As much of the movie was shot in Chicago, I'll have some behind the scenes photos for y'all as the June premiere approaches.

THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY opens today to mixed reviews. But if you're so inclined, here's a guide to the Guide.

IRAQ: Iraq's National Assembly approved a list of Cabinet members Thursday to form a new government, though five positions have been filled temporarily after talks failed to produce a compromise. ALSO: The toughest commute in Iraq is the trip to the airport.

DOGS are going gangsta. And I'm not talking about Snoop, fo shizzle.

BLOGGERS AS JOURNOS: Julie Hilden of FindLaw (via CNN) argues that bloggers should benefit from any privilege that extends to journalists, largely for the reasons I have stated here before, but adds another point: Those who doubt that bloggers should share journalists' legal privileges should consider that bloggers already share journalists' legal risks.

THE HUFFINGTON POST: Arianna Huffington's soon-to-launch celbrity group blog is already being parodied -- oddly enough -- by The London Guardian.

ROSIE O'DONNELL: New blog address, same demented blank verse.

JUICED BASEBALL: While Congress turns its eye to other sports, Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, tells a tale of two sluggers.

PROM THEME: The Boston Globe reports that local high school administrators, worried about students' increasingly vulgar music tastes, have been delivering a pointed message to DJs: Keep it clean, or we keep the paycheck.

SONGS OF THE DECADES, as voted by BBC Radio 2 listeners. The current round of voting covers 1965-74. BTW, the Beatles didn't win the prior period...

JINGLES: Watching the zillionth ad to use a rock song as a soundtrack for no particular reason, it occurred to me that advertising has suffered from the death of the jingle. My co-clerk Debbie pointed me to this stream at NPR o­n the topic.

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Gang of Four, The New Pornographers, One-ders, Beautiful People, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

GANG OF FOUR: Dave Allen gives an interview about the band reunion and the reissue of Entertainment! to Suicide Girls.

ON THE PITCHFORK: The New Pornographers' new disc, Twin Cinema, will be finished and released around August 23rd. Ben Folds' Songs for Silverman gets a decidedly snarky review.

PULP founder Jarvis Cocker gives BBC Radio 4 his desert island discs. You would expect Joy Division to make the list, but Engelbert Humperdinck?

LET'S GET IT OVER WITH: The Black Eyed Peas are planning solo careers after the release of their next album.

ONE HIT WONDERS are blogged at The Volokh Conspiracy. Is Looking Glass mentioned? Of course!

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Angelina Jolie has been accused of tipping off photographers about her romantic holiday with Brad Pitt, for personal and charitable reasons.

MADONNA: Famed movie director Norman Jewison is not wowed by Madge, to put it mildly.

BRITNEY SPEARS COMES IN LAST in an America Online poll of over 75,000 kids as to who would make the coolest celebrity mom. Jessica Simpson won. That's bad news for Britney and civilization generally.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Page SixSixSix comments o­n a blind item from the New York Post's Page Six.

THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: Bradgelina, Jessica Simpson and the Lohan also made People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People issue, due out Friday. Oops... Spears loses again. BTW, the Lohan is photographed with Ann-Margaret and there's a bit of a resemblance there. Jessica Alba makes it, natch. And Eva Longoria is the o­nly Desperate Housewife o­n the list -- let the catfight begin!

TOM CRUISE AND KATIE HOLMES have been dating for a few weeks. I can't wait to read the innuendo Page Six will ladle o­nto this story. Perhaps blatantly pointing out that both have big summer movies to promote?

AMERICAN IDOL: ABC News is hearing from Paula Abdul's attorney in advance of the Primetime Live expose set to air next Wednesday.

X-WING STARFIGHTER up for auction o­n eBay. You still have a couple of days to bid!

NETFLIX SENT BAI LING to meet and greet the hardcore Star Wars geeks camped out in front of Graumann's Chinese Theater.

IRAQ: Hours after gunmen killed a Shiite Muslim lawmaker in her home, Iraq's new prime minister submitted a complete list of 36 Cabinet members. The Cabinet would have 17 Shiite Arab ministers, eight Kurds, six Sunni Arabs and o­ne Christian, fulfilling promises by leaders of the Shiite majority to share power with ethnic and religious minorities; seven of the ministers would be women.

IRAQ II: Wednesday, there were plenty of headlines like this o­ne from CNN: "Myers: Insurgency same as year ago." The story itself is a little different. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers noted that while the number of attacks was about the same as a year ago, that's less than before the election, half of the attacks are ineffective and U.S. troops are devoting more of their time to training Iraqi forces. Even so, CNN did a better job than the London Guardian, which claimed that "The Pentagon has said that Iraq's insurgents have lost none of their ability to inflict devastating attacks over the past year..." Apparently, the folks at the Guardian don't realize that the Internet allows people to compare coverage and spot this sort of thing.

GOOD MORNING, TIKRIT! Lt. Col. Todd Wood of the 3rd Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion of the 70th Infantry Regiment, does a weekly radio call-in show o­n FM 96.5, which the troops call "the Rock of Tikrit." The "hearts and minds" effort is so popular that it's rerun a couple of times a week.

JACKO JUSTICE: Michael Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe testified that she was never scripted or rehearsed to say positive things about him to rebut a damaging TV documentary. However, she had been offered a list of questions by her interviewers. Rowe said of Jackson, "we've been friends and we were married." Asked about her domestic arrangements, she said, "We never shared a home." Rowe was not asked whether Jacko is the biological father of Prince and Paris, presumably due to a defense objection.

DOG HELD FOR RANSOM is recovered unharmed.

MEET THE NEW JAMES BOND, same as the old James Bond. But not the James Bond.

VIRGINIA WOMAN went to bed with her eight-year-old daughter sleeping at her side, but awoke in the arms of a neighbor -- who is a convicted sex offender.

HOMELESS MAN COLLECTS $230K in a lawsuit, spends it, files another lawsuit.

TOGO: Eleven deaths have now been officially reported in clashes between the ruling party and opposition forces in Togo in the aftermath of the disputed Sunday election. Wait, make that 22 dead.

ROBOT SCULPTURES: Wired profiles the Amorphic Robot Works, an artists' group operating out of a former ashtray factory.

DAVE, MY MIND IS GOING: A reporter for New Scientist plays Abbott & Costello with today's artificial intelligence.

DAVID SCHWIMMER AND KIM CATRALL canoodling? And to think I just ate...

LEBANON: As I previously suggested, Syria has not withdrawn a significant part of its intelligence presence in Lebanon.

THE HUFFINGTON POST: As the list of celebs signing up for Arianna Huffington's soon-to-launch group blog swells, fishbowl LA speculates as to who will actually be writing it.

PODCASTING AND RADIO: In May, Infinity Broadcasting plans to convert San Francisco's KYCY (1550 AM) to listener-submitted content. Business 2.0 asks, Who Needs o­nline Radio? A Newsday article surveys shows featuring unsigned bands, mp3 blogs and video.

PERSONALIZED POSTAGE: Although embarrassed when editors from the Smoking Gun website ordered stamps featuring a high-school photo of the Unabomber, former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosovic and Monica Lewinsky-confidante Linda Tripp, the Postal Service has given Stamps.com the go-ahead to bring back custom stamps for an additional year of testing. The Smoking Gun celebrates with a gallery of those wacky stamps, including sheets featuring the Rosenbergs and college yearbook photos of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, who used the postal service to deliver his homemade bombs.

BELARUS: Police detained more than two dozen protesters who tried to present a petition to President Alexander Lukashenko o­n the 19th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

CONVICTED MILLENIUM BOMBER provided information o­n more than 100 suspected terrorists, helped shut down clandestine Al Qaeda cells and exposed valuable organizational secrets of the global terrorist network.

YO, HO, A PIRATE'S LIFE FOR YOU? Disney o­nline is developing a new massively multiplayer o­nline role-playing game based o­n Pirates of the Caribbean, to promote the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in Summer 2006.

THAI MAN had around 50 maggots hatch in his ears. Everybody say it together: Eeeeeewwww!

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