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New Releases, Arcade Fire, Of Montreal, Macaque Monkey Gangs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


JARVIS COCKER closed his Shockwaves NME Awards Show gig with covers of Talking Heads' "Heaven" and Black Sabbath's "Paranoid."

NEW RELEASES:  It seems that folks took the Presidents Day holiday to slack on posting good links for new releases.  There may be better links tomorrow, but for now the ones that leap out at me are: The Black Lips' Los Valentes Del Mundo Nuevo, which is Nuggets-y goodness recorded live in Tijuana; Elvis Perkins finally releasing Ash Wednesday; and Explosions in the Sky's more epic indie rock on All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone.  EitS is also scheduled to visit Conan O'Brien tonight.  Plus, Southern Culture on the Skids is streaming their new Countrypolitan Favorites from their website, including covers of "Muswell Hillbilly" (Kinks), "Have You Seen Her Face?" (Byrds) and "Happy Jack" (Who).

ARCADE FIRE visited New York's Judson Memorial Church for a full concert on Feb. 17, 2007, which you can stream from NPR now.

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn tells Ireland.com how The Replacements inspired him to become a rocker.

OF MONTREAL frontman Kevin Barnes played a solo, acoustic gig at Dallas' Good Records on Sunday, including covers of The Beatles, Olivia Tremor Control, and Neil Young.  You can jukebox it via te ol' HM, also.

VANILLA FUDGE is your Twofer Tuesday, with interpretations of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and -- even better, imho -- "Shotgun."

DEAN & BRITTA:  PopMatters gives Back Numbers -- the upcoming album from the husband-and-wife Luna survivors -- a thumbs-up, complete with streaming audio and embedded video.

FIFTEEN UNDERRATED ALBUMS, according to The Big Takeover.

COCAINE COVERS:  My Old Kentucky Blog compiles and streams numerous versions of two songs named "Cocaine Blues," by everyone from Johnny Cash to Uncle Tupelo to Nick Drake.

CHARLIE LOUVIN:  The Village Voice reviews the country legend's cameo-studded, self-titled album.  You can stream Louvin with George Jones and Jeff Tweedy at There's Always Someone Cooler Than You --a French blog on American music, and Louvin with Will Oldham via the ol' HM.

 PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer was caught on a mobile phone camera snorting a deadly mix of cocaine and the horse tranquilliser ketamin.

MARDI GRAS BIN:  I almost forgot!  Here's a quick string of musical beads: Professor Longhair - Mardi Gras In New Orleans; Dr. John - Gris Gris Gumbo Yaya; Neville Brothers - Yellow Moon; Fats Domino - Walking To New Orleans; Boozoo Chavis - Zydeco Hee Haw; and Foo Fighters - Born On The Bayou.

BRITNEY SPEARS dons a wig to replace the one she just flipped.  Her shaved locks may be worth a million to the salon owners and various charities, and may cost the pop tart a fortune professionally.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills is planning to make a Simpsons-esque cartoon series about estranged husband Paul McCartney and his family.

RAY LIOTTA:  The Goodfella was busted for DUI -- and preliminary reports show the substance which Liotta was allegedly under was not alcohol.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt hopes a new child will help heal Jolie's pain after the loss of her mother.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE:  Hudson and Owen Wilson made a rare public appearance Down Under Sunday to attend a private screening of Matthew McConaughey's We Are Marshall.

MUSIC and LYRICS:  Hugh Grant split from his girlfriend Jemima Khan after almost three years together.  Drew Barrymore is rebuffing Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti's attempts to reconcile.  The video for "PoP! Goes My Heart" -- which apparently features in the new Grant-Barrymore rom-com -- is a well-fermented piece of 80s-esque cheese, with Wham! being the most obvious point of parody.

THE OSCARS:  Cinema Blend has this year's class picture from the Academy Award Nominees Luncheon.

MADONNA told Sirius Satellite Radio that she wants "to be like Gandhi and Martin Luther King and John Lennon."  But in a 25 million dollar 18th century English mansion,

RALPH FINNES:  Qantas flight attendant Lisa Robertson claims that she did indeed induct the actor into the Mile-High Club.

MISCHA BARTON:  The former O.C. hottie was spotted over the weekend leaving L.A. hotspot Hyde, as she was apparently engaged in a questionable act with a man in her vehicle.  Ambiguous but suggestive pic at the link.  Maybe she just lost something under the dashboard.

SIENNA MILLER is not above stealing someone's dog to keep her company.

IRAN may be able to enrich uranium on a mass scale in just six months, but it could still be 10 years away from the capacity to build a nuclear bomb, the chief UN monitor said.  He said that, according to US and British intelligence estimates, Iran was still five to 10 years away from building a nuclear bomb, and warned against "hype" over Tehran's nuclear progress.  Fair enough, though I think we've seen that US and UK intell doesn't always get it right, either.

IRAQ:  60 Minutes had a nice piece on success in the Kurdish north of Iraq.  The full story is more complicated -- there was internecine and intra-Kurdish conflict and warfare as recently as 1994-96, ultimately settled in large part by an agreement for the equitable distribution of oil revenue.  That's one reason why it's good news that a draft version of the long-awaited law for developing Iraqi oil fields and distributing oil revenues has been submitted to Iraq's cabinet.  And potentially even better news that Iraq has substantially increased its estimates of the amount of oil and natural gas in deposits on Sunni lands after quietly paying foreign oil companies tens of millions of dollars over the past two years to re-examine old seismic data across the country and retrain Iraqi petroleum engineers.

BAGHDAD:  In Iraq's capital, the fifth day of the new security plan led to 103 terrorists being either killed or arrested.   Al-Sabah reported that 500 families have returned to Baghdad so far as scenes of refugees disappear.  Youths celebrated in the street in defiance of the now invisible Mahdi Army, despite unconfirmed rumors of US-Iraqi death squads. 

A TURTLE survives caesarean section surgery at the at Chengdu City Zoo in China.

GANGS of MACAQUE MONKEYS have been causing havoc in housing estates in Singapore.  Insert George Allen joke here.

THE AFLAC DUCK is going on the endangered species list.  Gilbert Gottfried is despondent.  Ben Affleck is overjoyed.

A BABY ARABIAN ORYX -- a rare species of antelope that is said to have inspired the myth of the unicorn -- debuted at the Kanazawa Zoo in Yokohama.  Awww...some pic at the link.

SUICIDE SQUIRELS were responsible for 28 percent of the power outages in Lincoln, NE, last year.

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Swedish Pop, Live Ramones, Huskers and Tweedy, Year of the Pig   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 19, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


LONEY, DEAR: The video for "I Am John" may be dark, but the song from the Swedish popsters is anything but.

PETER BJORN & JOHN: Fellow Swede-poppers talk about the "Young Folks"-propelled buzz with New Zealand's Stuff. You can stream a nifty unpluggety set from Peter & Bjorn -- including a cover of Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" -- via KCRW.

DAVID LEE ROTH gives Rolling Stone a Van Halen reunion update.

ONETWOTHREEFOUR: Covert Curiousity posted a two-parter of the Ramones playing Northwestern University in October '79. You can also jukebox it o­n the ol' HM.

SxSW: The official schedule of bands is o­nline, with many bands already contributing MP3s to sample in advance of next month's fest.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: A really guilty pleasure of mine is Toto's "Hold the Line." I just dig that guitar riff against the staccato piano.

HUSKER DU and JEFF TWEEDY are among the gigs recently posted at Captain's Dead. You can also jukebox 'em via the ol' HM.

THE CHINESE NEW YEAR was celebrated by A Plague of Angels with a number of tracks you can jukebox o­n the ol' HM, including the immortal "Kung Fu Fighting."

AMY WINEHOUSE apparently had curious white smudges near her nostrils after the Brit awards ceremony.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel must take a drugs test if she wants to go to the US, because of her well-publicised cocaine scandal. The troubled singer will be glad to note that Moss has started wearing a ring o­n her wedding finger again.

BRITNEY SPEARS had a worse weekend than you did, unless you checked into rehab at Eric Clapton's Crossroads center in Antigua, checked out after less than a day, then returned to L.A., shaved your head completely bald and got tattooed. Top celebrity psychiatrists are calling it a "massive cry for help." As folks wait for the pop tart's locks to turn up o­n eBay, Spears' manager Larry Rudolph reportedly said she's already in counselling. The L.A. Times has the account from inside the salon. It is the sort of story tailor-made for the Gallery of the Absurd.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Ghost Rider, which ultimately scored 23 percent o­n the Tomatometer, took the top spot at the cineplex, with a 44 million take -- double that of second-place Bridge to Terabithia. Lat weekend's top pic Norbit slid 50 percent to third, but is an all-but-certain moneymaker. New releases Music and Lyrics, Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls, and Breach followed with 14, 12 and ten million, respectively. Last weekend's second, third, fourth and ffith-place pics -- Hannibal Rising, Because I Said So, The Messengers and Night at the Museum -- round out the Top Ten. This weekend breaks a six-week streak of lower total receipts in year-over-year stats.

THE OSCARS: With less than a week to go, Oscar oddsmakers from the Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly have the Best Picture race in a virtual dead heat, with The Departed edging out Little Miss Sunshine. At Movie City News, the Gurus o' Gold have it the other way around! FWIW, I think that sympathy for Scorsese and the general Oscar bias against comedies give the edge to The Departed.

BRIDGET MOYNIHAN and TOM BRADY are going to have a child, though the Pats' QB has already moved o­n to Victoria's Secret supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Gisele is smiling in the pics at the link, so I'm guessing she hadn't heard the news yet.

LINDSAY LOHAN has been released from rehab. Egotastic wonders whether Li-Lo is the subject of a risque blind item.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON wore some Woody Allen glasses to become the youngest-ever recipient of Harvard's Hasty Pudding award. But she abandoned intellectual for funny by claiming that her dream date is Patrick Swayze.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD. And now she's embalmed, too. Not that she hadn't seemed embalmed many times before.

JENNIFER LOPEZ got a bit weepy after her new film was booed at the Berlin International Film Festival.

RYAN GOSLING admits he was a bad influence o­n Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and that he really disliked Rachel McAdams when they filmed The Notebook together.

GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY is observed today. Here's an inaccurate and profane tribute to the first US President.

TIGGER walks!

MALAYSIA: A day after creating an uproar among women across the country, a well-respected Islamic religious figure said that his comments that women should wear chastity belts to thwart rape and incest and "to protect themselves from sex maniacs" were just a joke. Oh, sure.

IRAQ: Two Shiite leaders confirmed US reports that al-Sadr had gone to Iran. As the US detained Iranians in Baghdad, a senior Mahdi Army commander stated that Sadr would be returning within days, and that any attempt to detain him would be an "uncalculated risk aiming to escalate the situation in Iraq and to end the political process." Iraq's VP, otoh, wants the Mahdi Army designated a terrorist group. Trainers see improvements in the Iraq Police forces, and it seems that there has been a dramatic and unexpected increase in the number of recruits in Anbar province. Twenty-one suspected al Qaeda terrorists were detained in Ramadi, Baghdad and Karabilah. In Ramadi, US troops have broken a years-long stalemate between coalition forces, local insurgents and Islamic militants, according to the departing coalition commander. The 1st Iraqi Army Division is assuming operational control of its battlespace in Anbar province. Bill Ardolino blogs from Fallujah that the US disengagement strategy in Anbar has an upside and a downside. British troops completed transferring frontline security duties in Basra to the Iraqi Army.

IRAN has denied al-Sadr was in Iran. The mullocracy will not suspend uranium enrichment as demanded by the UN Security Council. Instead, it will launch their second war games in a month, just days ahead of the Feb. 21 UN deadline. The gov't also claimed that US manufactured weapons were found in a recent raid, but Little Green Footballs -- the blog known for identifying fake documents in the "Rathergate" scandal and doctored Reuters photos coming out of Lebanon last summer -- claims there's fauxtography in this case, too. Complete with an animation of how the Photoshopping was done.

YEAR OF THE PIG: RetroCrush celebraetes with a list of "The Greatest Porkers in Pop Culture History."

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A duckling with four legs. (Thanks, Lance.)

CATS CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING, but you can make yours carbon-neutral for about eight Aussie bucks annually.

A WAYWARD COW'S dip in the North Sea ended up launching a full-scale search and rescue operation off Northumberland. A happy ending seems unlikely.

AN ALASKAN SLED DOG was saved by CPR from his owner o­n the trail, though it put the eighth-place team out of the running.

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Advance Dungen and Feist, OK GO, Cutout Bin, Upside-Down Baby   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 16, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with RAMPANT BEATLEMANIA! In this Pathe Newsreel, the lovable moptops play "She Loves You" and "Twist and Shout" for a screaming crowd in Manchester circa 1963.

RYAN ADAMS: Spin has an article which explains why Adams is perfectly suited for Internet stardom.

DUNGEN: Obscure sound is streaming three tracks from the Swedish psych-rockers' Tio Bitar ("Ten Pieces"), due May 1st.

FOO FIGHTERS drummer Taylor Hawkins crashed The Police's reunion tour presser to ask if they were bringing mullets back. Police drummer Stuart Copeland was not fooled.

FEIST: Gorilla vs. Bear and other blogs have been posting "My Moon, My Man," the piano-driven first single from Leslie Feist's next album, The Reminder, due May 1st in the US. You can also stream it o­n the ol' HM.

MILLI VANILLI: Headed for the big screen?

OK GO already had a video for "Do What You Want," but the band takes a page from the Garden State screenplay in the new version o­n MTV Overdrive. Both versions have cowbell.

JOHN WATERS: The cult film director is your guest DJ for All Songs Considered, drawing a few selections from his new CD of love songs called A Date with John Waters. He discusses the mix (with embedded video) at PopMatters.

ELENI MANDELL was embarrassed to join MySpace "because that means you're admitting that you want attention and you want friends. I was like, 'Who would dare admit such a thing!?' But now I get it. It's wonderful to admit that you're needy and desperate." You can stream four from Miracle of Five at HerSpace... and ask to be her friend, won't you?

JOHN MELLENCAMP tells Charlie Rose that the US should not have attacked Afghanistan or even Osama bin Laden after 9/11. Indeed, he's not sure the US should have reacted to Pearl Harbor.

THE CUTOUT BIN: This Friday's fortuitous finds o­n the ol' HM include: The Cardigans - Boys Are Back In Town; A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Game of Pricks; Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Do You Love Me?; Paul Westerberg - Love You In The Fall; Material Issue - Valerie Loves Me; Wire Train - Love, Love; Apples In Stereo - Same Old Drag; ELO - Evil Woman; Jackie DeShannon - Only Love Can Break Your Heart; Tom Waits - You Can Never Hold Back Spring; Al Bowlly - It's Great To Be In Love; Richard Thompson - Tempted; Marissa Nadler - Famous Blue Raincoat; M. Ward - Let's Dance; The Magic Numbers - Crazy In Love; Carla Thomas - B.A.B.Y; Hot Chip - Sexual Healing; and Happy Mondays - The Boys are Back in Town.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but Prince Frederic von Anhalt, the husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, has officially filed his paternity suit. Meanwhile, TMZ got an unofficial declaration of paternity from the man convicted of stalking Smith. The doc who prescribed methadone to a very pregnant Smith and to a phony name and had it shipped to the Bahamas -- descibed his medical practice in part as "entertainment medicine." He is now the subject of an inquiry by the Medical Board of California. But your must-see video is Florida probate judge Larry Seidlin declaring that "This body belongs to me," and that he would not be rushed because "that baby is in a cold, cold storage room" and wasn't decomposing all that fast.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's widest release is the comic adaptaion Ghost Rider a 120-million-dollar movie not being pre-screened for critics. Wow. The not-a-Narnia-knockoff fantasy Bridge to Terabithia is currently scoring 88 percent o­n the Tomatometer. The Hugh Grant-Drew Barrymore rom-com Music and Lyrics is scoring 65 percent, while rival rom-com Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls o­nly scores 31 percent. The based-on-real-events spy thriller Breach is scoring 69 percent.

TIM HARDAWAY: The former Miami Heat superstar told a local sports radio show that he "hates gay people," which means that he had som 'splainin' to do. His explanation is that his comments were not really that controversial, and that many players believe as he does, but don't say so out of political correctness.

KENNY CHESNEY: The country star will be o­n 60 Minutes this Sunday to tell Anderson Cooper that he's not gay. NTTAWWT. Unless you're Tim Hardaway. Or Anderson Cooper, who might be disappointed.

JENNIFER LOPEZ & MARC ANTHONY reportedly have fallen into the clutches of Scientology.

BRITNEY SPEARS: A letter reportedly from the pop tart's 41-year-old former assistant claims those near and dear to Spears are waiting for her to hit rock bottom.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE: They come in for much mockery, so it's o­nly fair to notice when Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen do some joint parenting.

THE McCARTNEYS: Heather Mills warms up for that Dancing with the Stars gig by kicking a London paparazzo's a**. She videotaped it, which will come in handy when she gets sued. Pic at the link.

BRADGELINA are trying to hang with the normal folk in N'awlins. But when too many normal folk notice who they are, it's time to escape in Mardi Gras masks. I'll bet Angie still got a lot of beads thrown her way. But their mingling without obvious security is disturbing to Star magazine.

MTV rushes to assure a panicked public that Total Request Live, MTV2 and VH1 Classic are not dead. However, Vanessa Minnillo is getting the boot from TRL.

GRAY MATTERS will be in limited release next weekend, so I don't know whether it's any good. However, I'm guessing it will be tough to top this clip of Heather Graham and Bridget Moynihan kissing. If you're interested in the plot, here's the regular trailer.

WHO IS WILLIAM M. ARKIN? The longtime activist and Washington Post "National and Homeland Security" blogger, who argued that US troops in Iraq are pampered mercenaries, is also an analyst for NBC News -- which was a major factor in Retired Col. Ken Allard's decision to sever his 10-year relationship with the network.

IRAQ: CNN and others were reporting that the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq had been wounded and his top aide killed in a clash with police, but the DNA did not match the AQI leader. In Baghdad, the Iraqi Army killed o­ne and detained four members of the Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. Those closest to al-Sadr are unaware of his whereabouts, so the US military's claim he is in Iran may well be correct. An Iraqi court convicted a Syrian intel officer of arming foreign terrorists. Lawrence Haas, fmr communications dir. for VP Al Gore, warns that congressional Democrats racing to distance themselves from the war in Iraq may be planting the seeds for a trip to the political wilderness, if those Vietnam analogies hold up.

AFGHANISTAN: Looks like the US is surging a bit there, too. Pres. Bush also urged NATO countries participating in the Afghanistan effort to meet their commitments to provide forces and equipment and to lift restrictions o­n how they can be deployed. Afghan authorities announced the capture of a senior Taliban commander.

THE GLOBAL WAR o­n TERRORISTS seems to be making progress in the Philippines.

BABY is a vegetarian, but that's not what people tend to notice about him.

JASMINE the SHI TZU had her ear severed by a groomer, who then re-attached the ear with super glue. Video at the link.

SCOTTISH POLICE DOGS donated blood o­n Valentine's Day to help save the lives of other canines.

ANT SCAM brings the death penalty in China.

CHEETAHS mauled Karen Aerts to death at the Antwerp Zoo, after she entered their cage for no apparent reason. Olmense Zoo spokesman Jan Libot said "Karen loved animals. Unfortunately the cheetahs betrayed her trust," apparently unaware that cheetahs are wild beasts isolated from the humans for a reason.

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Break-Up Songs, Advance Dinosaur Jr., Paul Weller, Cats and Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BREAK-UP SONGS for the day after Valentine's Day are listed (with some streaming) at NPR, categorized as "sad" or "angry." Obviously, the list includes the Greg Kihn Band's "The Breakup Song," but some of them -- like Willie Nelson's "You Were Always o­n My Mind," also appeared o­n yesterday's list of the Top 100 Greatest Love Songs; go figure. BONUS: Getting Over The Dork (You Used to Call a Boyfriend) is devoted to posting post-break-up songs including the J. Geils Band's "Love Stinks" and Art Brut's "Emily Kane."

ROGUE WAVE has posted a galloping cover of "All You Need Is Love" o­n TheirSpace; nice to hear Pat Spurgeon back o­n the throne with his new kidney.

FACE THE MUSIC, a new column for the o­nline Wall Street Journal, begins with a comparison of The Shins and Nirvana.

DINOSAUR JR. has released the details o­n the Beyond album, due o­n May 1st. You can download "Been There All the Time" directly from that link. You can also download "Almost Ready" from Pitchfork. You can stream both from TheirSpace, where you will also find the band's cover of The Cure's Just Like Heaven."

THE SILVER JEWS are the subject of a documentary debuting at SxSW next month. An Aquarium Drunkard has the details and a/v linkage.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The freaky clip for Grizzly Bear's "Knife" has a (for me) unexpected sci-fi flavor.

PAUL WELLER, o­ne of the most influential Britpop acts of the past 30 years, gets an audio feature from the World Cafe you can stream from NPR.

BONNAROO is not o­nly getting the Police reunion, but also a White Stripes reunion. Full (and diverse) fest lineup at the link.

DAN WILSON of Semisonic and, before that, of Trip Shakespeare, gets an audio feature at MPR, talking about his Grammy win for writing Song of the Year "Not Ready To Make Nice" for the Dixie Chicks.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer got off with a stern warning from the judge for driving without insurance and an appropriate licence. The supposedly sober supermodel, otoh, is the latest star attraction at Madame Tussauds.

THE 2007 SI SWIMSUIT ISSUE website has photo and video galleries of the bathing beauties with musicians including Aerosmith, Gnarls Barkley, and more...

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD: TMZ has an affidavit by the spokesmodel's former nanny, which contains allegations of suicide attempts, sex romps, and a claim that Smith dangerously starved five-month-old Dannielynn because "She wanted her baby to be 'sexy'." The site also published documents showing how the 8-months pregnant Smith scored Demerol and methadone thru possibly illegal prescriptions. A Bahamian judge slapped Smith companion Howard K. Stern with a court order preventing him from whisking the late centerfold's baby out of the Caribbean country. Judges in FL and CA ruled o­n what to do with the corpse.

HOWARD (not K) STERN: The shock jock got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, model Beth Ostrosky -- adding that his proposal was "so gay" and that it's likely to be a long engagement.

BRITNEY SPEARS spent last Sunday night at a NYC club, where she drank shots of tequila and ended up naked in the dancers' dressing room, trying o­n their bikini costumes. Egotastic has video and sceencaps.

VAUGHNISTON couldn't have ended that badly, as Vaughn showed up to Aniston's birthday party.

DAVID HASSELHOFF received zero votes from 5000 Australians polled in an o­nline survey of who they would most like to take o­n a romantic Valentine's Day getaway. Granted, it's an unscientific poll, but no o­ne was hooked o­n a feeling? BTW, if you watch his new video of "Crazy for You" (not the Madonna or Heart songs), it's no coincidence that the Village People's "YMCA" pops up in the "related videos" box.

PIRATES of the MULTIPLEX: Vanity Fair has a lengthy piece o­n the US-led attempt to shut down Pirate Bay, the popular site for illegal trading of video files.

DAME JUDI DENCH will be watching her likely Oscar loss from a hospital bed.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL joins Rachel McAdams in the running for a role in the Batman Begins sequel.

STUDIO 60 is going o­n hiatus a week earlier than previously announced, renewing questions about the show's long-term fate.

UNDERDOG: If the movie is as good as the teaser trailer, it might be worth seeing. But with seven writers and ten producers, I'm not holding my breath.

INDIA: 150 religious hardliners are arrested after protests against Valentine's Day turned violent.

IRAN: In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Pres. Ahmadinejad was asked whether Saddam Hussein had been Iran's enemy, to which he replied: "Yes, but who equipped this enemy? Who made him fight with us for eight years? Who supported him? The US administration. The US administration could support us." I would direct him -- and you -- to this chart showing that the US accounted for a whopping o­ne percent of Iraq's arms imports from 1973-2002. Too bad Sawyer seemed oblivious about this, but it's pretty much what I expect from Sawyer, who asked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad what was o­n his iPod.

IRAN and IRAQ: After US military officials implicated Iran in shipping advanced IEDs used to kill US troops in Iraq, critics argued there is no evidence that this is Iranian policy, and Pres. Bush stated at yesterday's presser that "we know they're provided by the Quds force," but that "I don't think we know who picked up the phone and said 'the Quds force, go do this." However, a senior defense official said that one of the six Iranians detained in January in the northern city of Irbil was the operational commander of the Quds Force. Moreover, Pres. Ahmadinejad reportedly helped found Quds Force, which reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Thus, Pres. Bush's comments probably are a recognition that war with Iran is in no o­ne's interests. RELATED? A car bomb killed 11 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards; a Sunni militant group claimed responsibility, but Iran accused the US of backing them.

IRAQ: Prime Minister al-Maliki announces the official start of the new Baghdad security plan. Thousands of US troops swept house-to-house virtually unopposed through mostly Shiite areas. Moqtada al-Sadr's aides insist he is in Iraq, while the military stands by the earlier claim that he fled to Iran. A high-level Iraqi official told London's Guardian that senior commanders of al-Sadr's Mahdi army have been spirited away to Iran to avoid being targeted in the new security push. Iraqi forces captured a Mahdi Army arms merchant-financier and a cell member in Baghdad. Twenty-seven al-Qaeda were detained in Baghdad, Ramadi and Karma. Jordanian intell helped defeat an al-Qaeda in Iraq operation that was supported from Syria and Lebanon. Top House Democrats, working in concert with anti-war groups, have decided against trying to directly defund the US involvement in Iraq, and instead will pursue a slow-bleed strategy designed to gradually limit the administration's options. Left unmentioned is who will do the actual slow bleeding under that strategy.

CATS and DOGS, living together -- it's a disaster of biblical proportions.

BEST IN SHOW: An English springer spaniel named Diamond Jim beat out a Dandie Dinmont terrier co-owned by Bill Cosby to make best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club. I credit the buzzy bee.

BLIND SNAKE rediscovered after 100 years. We can o­nly hope it's another century before people rediscover Whitesnake.

ROTTING CHICKENS and COW DUNG: It's a raging bull market, thanks to global warming fears.

SQUIRREL TERROR: Finally, someone else recognizes the threat.

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Silly Love Songs, Shearwater, Arcade Fire, the World's Biggest Bunny   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE 100 GREATEST LOVE SONGS, according to the New York Daily News, just in time for St. Valentine's Day. Topping the chart is The Temptations' "My Girl." Others making the list include The Beatles' "In My Life," Ray Charles's "I Can't Stop Lovin' You," Gladys Knight & The Pips' "Midnight Train To Georgia," Patsy Cline's "Crazy," and Elvis Costello's "Alison."

MORE V-DAY MUSIC can be found at The Late Greats (stream Feb 12th), Heather Browne's I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, and Some Velvet Blog.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS: An Aquarium Drunkard and Allmusic offer differing reviews of her new album, West.

SHEARWATER: Bradley's Almanac has posted a gig from Cambridge, MA, circa Sept. 2006. You can jukebox the Okkervil River spin-off's bittersweet, organic rock via the ol' HM.

PETER BJORN & JOHN, conjuring up power-pop and new wave vibes, get a segment featuring their singles o­n the World cafe you can stream via NPR.

ARCADE FIRE: Sasha Frere-Jones writes about the band's outsized appeal in The New Yorker. If you visit the band's Neon Bible website and move your mouse across the top of your screen to find the "6. Guns," you can see them cover The Clash's "The Guns of Brixton" amid the audience.

APPLES in STEREO frontman Robert Schneider tells The A.V. Club that Brian Wilson's SMiLE and ELO's Greatest Hits were probably the main inspirations for New Magnetic Wonder.

GOLDEN SMOG, after years of sporadic output, will release the wonderfully-titled Blood o­n the Slacks, its second disc in less than a year, o­n April 24th.

MTV axed 250 employees yesterday, including the entire VH1 Classic department.

PETE-DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel has vowed not to give up o­n the troubled singer and is springing for a remote love nest.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise and Ben Stiller are teaming up for Hardy Men, a grown-up take o­n the teen sleuths known as the Hardy Boys, with Shawn Levy of Night at the Museum to direct. The pair has worked together before. It also looks like Tom-Kat was chatting up Oprah recently.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, though her late sugar daddy's first wife is a sprightly 102 years young. Coverage of the model's death dominated cable TV news from Feb. 4-9. The spokesmodel's bodyguard said he could be the father of Smith's infant daughter, while TMZ produces a traffic ticket that bolsters Larry Birkhead's claim and reports that Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband may have been throwing a story to the foreign press in Hollywood for the Oscars. Strippers from Smith's former club plan to hold a vigil. Also, the more ghoulish may listen to the 911 tapes.

THE McCARTNEYS: Heather Mills is set to compete o­n Dancing With The Stars later this year and plans to donate her appearance fee to animal charity Viva. Say what you will, she never let that amputated leg get her down.

ANTHONY KIEDIS: The Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman had to ween himself off an addiction to Internet pr0n.

SIENNA MILLER was caught canoodling Bryan Ferry's son Issac at a BAFTAs after-party.

SHARON STONE attended the Cinema for Peace Gala in Berlin the other night where she called her audience "nasty, nasty Germans" and reportedly made out with Richard Gere for most of the evening before calling Gere an a**hole near the end of the night.

GEORGE CLOONEY is a "pompous jacka**," according to L.A. agent Pat Dollard: "Clooney actually goes around letting people say he was 'brave' for making those movies (Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck)... Is it brave making films that serve the agenda of every liberal in Hollywood when real heroes are spilling their blood in Iraq?"

CLINT EASTWOOD tells Europeans that Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima were meant to get away from movies where the US "were the good guys and everybody else were bad guys," which may surprise the WWII vets depicted in Flags of Our Fathers. But it's probably the PC thing to say to Europeans in the middle of Oscar voting.

TV is the DEVIL: After yesterday's blurb about 24 allegedly promoting torture, I cannot pass up Nielsen Hayden's spin-off blog claim that the Scooby-Doo gang "are, to some extent, basically the Ku Klux Klan." And he's not kidding, but this could not be more wrong. In Scooby-Doo, it was the villains who wore sheets to pose as ghosts... and would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids.

PETRA NEMCOVA is still with musician James Blunt. Cue the Vader, please.

BEYONCE KNOWLES scores the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. TMZ has a sneak peek video of some of the other bathing beauties. The mag's website offers a gallery called the SI swimsuit collection.

NORTH KOREA has supposedly agreed to shut down its main nuclear reactor and eventually dismantle its atomic weapons program in exchange for millions of dollars in aid. Under the deal, NK would receive initial aid equal to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil for shutting down and sealing its main nuclear reactor and related facilities within 60 days, to be confirmed by international inspectors. For irreversibly disabling the reactor and declaring all nuclear programs, NK would eventually receive another 950,000 tons in aid. This is not the "Libya model" the US sought, but tougher than the 1994 Agreed Framework, under which the US provided NK with nuclear reactors without requiring IAEA verification that NK was dismantling its weapons program. In the first linked story, a fmr. Clinton Admin. official asks whether this deal couldn't have been concluded before NK conducted its nuclear test and acquired enough plutonium to build anywhere from six to 10 nukes. Aside from the fact that someone involved with the 1994 debacle has no place to squawk, the answer is "no," for the simple reason that any deal really requires NK patron China to lean o­n NK when needed, and it seems that China finally leaned o­n NK to get this deal.

IRAN: At the Counterterrorism Blog, Jonathan Winer discusses the EU's plan to adopt (slightly) wider economic sanctions against Iran. Observers have started to question Iran's strategy in southern Afghanistan and the tribal regions of Pakistan.

IRAQ: The borders with Iran and Syria are closed for three days as part of the new security plan for Baghdad, where most residents framed the problem in sectarian terms, but expressed hope in the latest effort to restore calm. North Shore Journal has pics of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Div standing up in the Hurriyah neighborhood of the city's Kadamiyah district. Baghdadis are using Google Earth to help people survive sectarian violence in Baghdad. ABCNews reports that al Sadr fled to Tehran two to three weeks ago. Meanwhile, British soldiers have helped uncover a massive ammunitions dump in Basra. Bill Ardolino blogs the efforts of the Police Transition Team living in the heart of Fallujah, noting the strengths and weaknesses (esp. the prison and judicial system) of the security situation there.

AMY, measuring 4 feet long and weighing 40 lbs., is the world's biggest bunny.

SECRET SQUIRREL passes away, but I don't think he's the Secret Squirrel.

DOGS can now exercise o­n their very own treadmills.

THE SECRET LIFE OF LOBSTERS will show you -- with pictures -- how lobsters will be stunned and killed if the boiling of live lobsters is banned.

IT WOULD NOT BE VALENTINE'S DAY with out the traditional animal sex tours run by zoos.

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