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Motown, New Matt Pond & Neko Case, Cutout Bin, Chumbee   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl




... with THE SOUND OF MOTOWN!  This Ready Steady Go! special from 1965 kicks off with Smokey Robinson and The Miracles singing "Ooo Baby Baby," Dusty Springfield joined by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas on "Wishin And Hopin'," and The Temptations singing "It's Growing." Martha Reeves and The Vandellas join Dusty Springfield for "Can't Hear You No More" followed by The Supremes singing "Stop! In The Name Of Love," The Temptations singing "My Girl," and  Martha Reeves and The Vandellas returning for "Dancing In The Street," the Supremes with "Shake," and Martha Reeves and The Vandellas with "Nowhere To Run," then a medley with The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas and Dusty Springfield, continuing with Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, The Supremes and all performers joining in on "Mickey's Monkey," all backed by the Earl Van Dyke Sextet.  BONUS:  Stevie Wonder wails through "Kiss Me Baby," plus prior RSG appearances by Marvin Gaye syncing "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" and "Can I Get A Witness."

MEAT PUPPETS maestro Curt Kirkwood talks to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the rebooting of the band.  There's plenty of great stuff in the article, but perhaps none more wacky than this: "When the Mad Hatter comes up and sticks a knife into you or Alice sticks a knife, they're always smiling and it's hardly ever fatal..."  In context, it even makes sense.  You can stream various Meat Pups tracks online, though none from my fave album, Up on the Sun.

HALL... & OATES!  No sooner does Pitchfork interview Daryl Hall than Seatlle Weekly interviews John Oates, who credits the online comedy series Yacht Rock (a Pate fave) for rekindling interest in his band and bringing in younger fans.  Oates is also enthusiastic about the growing world of H&O mash-up projects: "Once you make a record, it's out to the world. Who cares?"

MATT POND PA & NEKO CASE duet on "Taught to Look Away," which will be on the upcoming Matt Pond PA LP.

MORE TALK, LESS ROCK:  The A.V. Club surveys 15 masters of onstage banter, including Robert Pollard and Robyn Hitchcock.  Plenty o' embedded audio at the link.

120 MINUTES:  Philip Fibiger is aggregating videos that appeared on the the vintage, late-night MTV alt-rock show.

RILO KILEY goes to church in the gold-tinged video for "Silver Lining."

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff talks to The A.V. Club, about the more modern, less melodramatic sound of the band's new album, The Stage Names.

MORRISSEY confirms he turned down 75 million bucks for a Smiths reunion tour with guitarist Johnny Marr.

FEIST is temporarily abandoning her website because it was "a robot whith a paper mask of my face on it."  She invites folks to listen at FeistSpace instead.

YOU TUBE plans to start running ads within the videos posted there.

VEE-JAY RECORDS -- Chicago's other great indie label of the Sixties -- was likely undone by its own success.  NPR is streaming a few tracks from Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker and Little Richard (and Jimi Hendrix) in a feature on the new box set celebrating the label.

BOB MOULD has arranged a series of shows this fall combining music and fan-interview sessions around the release of his first live concert DVD, "Circle of Friends."

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  The defense rests.  Things have not gone well for the legendary pop producer.

CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: The Mountain Goats - Cubs In Five; Sweet - Ballroom Blitz; Heart - Barracuda; Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop; The Allman Brothers Band - One Way Out; Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle With You; Led Zeppelin - Hey Hey What Can I Do; The Faces - Stay With Me; Sweet - Little Willy; Thin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back In Town; Reunion - Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me); Elton John & Kiki Dee - Don't Go Breakin' My Heart; The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me; The Kinks - Picture Book; The Sonics - Boss Hoss; R.E.M. - Superman; Caribou - Melody Day; Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - My Wife & My Dead Wife (live); The Vibrators - Yeah, Yeah, Yeah; Pretenders - Precious (nsfw); The Jam - I Need You (For Someone); Four Tops - Reach Out, I'll Be There; James Brown - Sex Machine; Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In; Wilson Pickett - Land of 1000 Dances; Prince - Little Red Corvette; Of Montreal - Rasberry Beret (live); Rick James - Super Freak; Talking Heads - Life During Wartime; The Untouchables - Free Yourself; The Clash - Train In Vain; The Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed; Trio - Da Da Da; Men Without Hats - Safety Dance; A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran; Killing Joke - Eighties; The Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You; Run-D.M.C. vs. The Knack - Tricky Sharona; Frankie Valli - Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You (remix); and The Go! Team - The Wrath Of Marcie

LINDSAY LOHAN struck a deal by pleading no contest to two counts of DUI, two counts of being under the influence of a controlled substance, and reckless driving -- all misdemeanors.  After factoring in community service, etc., Li-Lo looks to be spending one day in jail.  Looks like the more contrite rehab worked for her.

NICOLE RICHIE, meanwhile, snuck into jail to serve her sentence for DUI, while all the tabloid attention was focused on La Lohan.  She checked in at 3:15 PM and was released at 4:37 PM.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Rumors swirl that the pop tart is so desperate to get away from her custody battle she is considering moving to London or France, but she is still stateside for now.  There is probably even less truth to the claim that Spears signed up to learn the hardcore Israeli combat techniques Matt Damon uses in The Bourne Ultimatum, but it's just too funny to not pass along.  PerezHilton has her new song.

THE FRENCH HOTEL may have paid as much as two million bucks to settle the defamation suit brought by diamond diva Zeta Graff.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are: War, the Jet Li / Jason Stratham action flick not screened for critics (ouch); The Nanny Diaries, a Scarlett Johansson vehicle currently scoring 24 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Mr. Bean's Holiday, which is scoring 48 percent; and the homeless boxer movie Resurrecting The Champ, which is seemingly also about a father-son relationship and scoring 64 percent.

JESSICA BIEL & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE finally had a PDA moment outside of JT's New York restaurant, though I still predict they are saving the big reveal for the MTV VMAs.  Video at the link.  Timberlake has joined the cast of the next Mike Myers movie, The Love Guru, where he will get a chance to chat up Jessica Alba.  Which is mostly an excuse to link to Biel's new photo spread in the French edition of FHM.

GISELE BUNDCHEN: The supermodel is said to have bought a Gucci bib for the newborn son of bf (and Pats QB) Tom Brady and Bridget Moynihan.

MAD MEL UPDATE:  A Malibu judge has given Mel Gibson two thumbs up on the progress of his DUI case.

FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF really doesn't need a sequel about a mid-life crisis.

THE JUSTICE LEAGUE movie may move forward as a CGI motion-capture animation.

JESSICA ALBA was spotted with supposed ex-bf Cash Warren on the beach in Pacific Palisades Wednesday morning.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is having fainting spells or something and Pitt is telling people that she has some sort of liver disease, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.  Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has rolled out the first full trailer for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which looks to be about the peril of infamy.  The trialer also mentions that James had children, as though you need more than Pitt to appeal to the female demo.

AFGHANISTAN:  A week ago, US forces launched a major operation to counter a rejuvenated al-Qaeda, which has been steadily regrouping in the tribal areas of Pakistan, and has in the past three months moved back into the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan.  Discreetly, Western officials in Kabul describe it as "very successful", trapping insurgents in a series of adjacent valleys.

IRAN:  A draft National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is nearly complete and reportedly portrays a bleak political situation in Iran, anticipating little progress in getting Tehran to halt its nuclear program or stop supporting militant groups in the region.  OTOH, this is the crowd that assured everyone Iraq had WMDs, so hope springs eternal.

IRAQ:  The declassified version of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq sees uneven progress on the security front, little to no progress on the national political front, and states that switching from a counterinsurgency mission to a counterterrorism mission would damage the past year's gains.  If the Maliki gov't falls in the next few months, is that good news, or bad news?  Also between the lines of the NIE is the implication that the political stalemate is partially the product of the US arming the mostly Sunni tribal militias.  Are the Shia (e.g., Maliki) then acting in ways to proke a US withdrawal?  While the headlines are about Sen. John Warner (R-VA) urging Pres. Bush to anounce he will bring home 5000 troops by Christmas, the real story is that Warner said would not support Democratic legislation that would call for Bush to bring troops home by a certain date.

IRAQ II:  In Diyala province, Iraqi and Coalition security forces wrapped up Operation Lightning Hammer, Iraqi and Coalition forces are engaging the tribes in the region to fight AQI, and Iraqi security forces are said to have launched a large-scale operation along the Iranian border, but AQI remains a threat and seeks to intimidate the local population.  Iraqi forces, with US Special Forces advising, detained a high-level terrorist in Mosul.  The Guardian points out that the large suicide bombing of the Yezidis may have less to do with religion than an upcoming referendum on whether the Yezidis would join the autonomous region of Kurdistan.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  An investigating officer on Thursday recommended dismissal of all charges against a US Marine accused of killing six people during an assault in the Iraqi town of Haditha.  If the commanding general overseeing the case accepts the recommendation - as he has with three of eight Marines who were initially accused - that would leave only one Marine charged with murder.  The "Haditha massacre" generated a lot of press; the case falling apart, not so much.

CAT NEWS:  We have fat cat video, as well as pics of Milford, Mass. firefighters saving a half-dozen cats from a burning home.  The cats may have forgotten their trauma ten minutes later.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A depressed one-legged chicken.  But who wouldn't be?


SKIPPI the KANGAROO is much less so after ending a three-week spree across southern Germany in an auto collision.

CHUMBEE is the Casanova of koala bears.

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New JAMC & Hives, Live Ryan Adams, Red Button, Baby Otter   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN are entering the studio to record their first album of all-new material in nine years, presumably including "All Things Must Pass," which they played for Dave on The Late Show.

RYAN ADAMS talks addiction with the Sydney Morning Herald: "People had an idea of me as a walking chemistry experiment."  You can watch a ten-song set, plus two fan Q&A segments at Yahoo! Music.

BACK TO SCHOOL ALBUMS:  LAist makes a Top Five list.  You could do worse.

THE HIVES have put the lead single for The Black and White Album, "Tick Tick Boom," on the soundtrack to the Madden ‘08 video game.

NEIL YOUNG'S next album is a sequel to one he never released.  The original Chrome Dreams LP was scrapped in 1977 for unknown reasons, but a number of the songs pegged to appear on it become Young classics after being released on later albums, including "Pocahontas," "Sedan Delivery," "Powderfinger," "Look Out for My Love" and "Like a Hurricane."

THE RED BUTTON:  Like those classic British Invasion bands?  This L.A. duo certainly does, recently topping the chart for Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show with "Cruel Girl."  You can stream a few more at TheirSpace.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS frontman A.C. Newman is fairly inscrutable about his inscrutable lyrics with the Boston Phoenix.

THE ROLLING STONES:  The trailer for Shine a Light -- their Martin Scorsese-directed concert film -- is posted at ETOnline.

R.E.M. is releasing their first ever live CD/DVD combo on October 16th; among the tracks is the previously unreleased "I'm Gonna DJ."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The Daily Mail claims that the troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel have been secretly living it up in a £1,500-a-night suite at the Mayfair hotel for the past five days.  And Doherty's pet cat has been found to have traces of cocaine in its blood stream after being taken in for observation by vets, sys the uber-reliable Daily Star.

BILL MURRAY could face a drunken driving charge in Sweden after cruising through downtown Stockholm in a golf cart and refusing a breath test.  He agreed to let a police officer plead guilty for him if the case goes to court.  It is not illegal to drive a golf cart in city traffic in Sweden, but it is very unusual.  Of course, on his deathbed, he will receive total consciousness, so he's got that going for him.  Which is nice.

BRITNEY SPEARS backed out at the last minute from recording a duet with her old flame, Justin Timberlake - and the inexplicable decision last month has suits at her record label very worried, according to Page Six.

BRIDGET MOYNIHAN & TOM BRADY are the parents of a baby boy.

MADONNA is selling her Maverick records label to Warner Bros., which agreed to buy out her contract.  Presumably this could pave the way for Madge's previously rumored plan to leave Warner Music Group in favor of an all-encompassing music deal with touring giant Live Nation that could be worth more than 100 million dollars.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has settled the lawsuit brought against her by diamond heiress/arch-enemy Zeta Graff, who claimed the heirhead slandered her in the New York Post by planting a story that Zeta ripped a necklace off of Paris' body as she allegedly danced to Barry Manilow's "Copacabana."

BEYONCE seems to be having a rough month on tour, what with the falling down the stairs and the wardrobe malfunction captured on video and all.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON tells USA Today she would like to adopt a child and that she plans to travel to Iraq to visit US servicemen later this year, but doesn't know if she will sing for them: "I'll probably just take to the stage and ooze sex appeal and hang around."

TOM-KAT are moving to a bigger house and will keep separate bedrooms, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.  NTTAWWT.

BRADGELINA, who just got new tattoos in Chicago, are heading for the Hamptons this weekend to host a dinner of about 50 people to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  Pitt recently sat down with the Today show's Ann Curry to discuss his involvement with the Global Green USA project, which is building zero energy, affordable housing for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

THE ULTIMATE HIGH SCHOOL FLICK CLIQUE:  Ten favorite high school archetypes from the movies, via VH1.

JENNA JAMESON is retiring from adult filmmaking and had her implants removed.

IRAN denies US accusations that a unit of its Revolutionary Guards, the Quds Force, was working inside Iraq to foment more unrest in Iraq.  Separately, Tehran announced that it is set for full production of an Iranian-developed 2,000-pound smart bomb.  And be sure to check out Iranian TV coverage of The Devil's Music in Tehran Rock City.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki lashed out at American criticism, causing Pres. Bush to say he supports the embattled PM, while reiterating that whether al-Maliki stays PM is up to the Iraqis.  Notable was al-Maliki's comment that "We care for our people and our constitution and can find friends elsewhere" -- a not-so-veiled threat to cozy up with Iran and Syria (and why US pols should weigh their comments, at least absent a clear alternative to al-Maliki).  The Iraqi government has issued a new "most-wanted" list, topped by the leader of Iraq's banned Baath party, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who has suddenly decided to join efforts by the Iraqi authorities to fight al-Qaeda, according to a report in the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.  France now believes it may hold the key to peace in Iraq.  An Iraqi man sacrificed his life to save the lives of four US Soldiers and eight civilians when he intercepted a suicide bomber during a Concerned Citizens meeting in the town of al-Arafia Aug. 18.

IRAQ II:  Military documentarian Joe Talley covers the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, currently stationed at Forward Operating Base Loyalty in eastern Baghdad.  And Michael Yon's latest dispatch from Anbar province is realistic: "The sheiks of Anbar turned against al Qaeda because the sheiks are businessmen, and al Qaeda is bad for business. But they didn't suddenly trust Americans just because they no longer trusted al Qaeda. They are not suddenly blood allies. This is business, and that's fine, because if there is one thing America is good at, it's business."

DRAG-RACING means Summer for bus-drivers in Sydney.

FLAMING PENIS VENGEANCE!  A woman set fire to her ex-husband's penis as he sat naked watching television and drinking vodka, following three-years of acrimonious enforced co-habitation.

A RESCUED BABY SEA OTTER at the Alaska Sealife Center.  Putting the Awww... in awesome snce June 2006.

GASSY NORDIC MOOSE blamed for global warming.  Nothing up my sleeve... Presto!

DAISY the POODLE is a punk rocker, now.

PET HOARDING:  Mexican environmental protection officials found 98 crocodiles that were being kept in the backyard of a home in the Gulf state of Veracruz, authorities said.

TWO CAMPERS were arrested in Maryland over the weekend for trying to ride the wild ponies and tackle sika deer.  Alcohol was involved.

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New Foo Fighters and Beck, Goldenhorse, Pig Rescue   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FOO FIGHTERS:  Dave Grohl gives a little power ballad -- but just a little -- before bringing the rawk on "The Pretender."

BECK -- appropos of nothing -- has a new single on iTunes and next Tuesday at other digital retailers, called "Timebomb."

AMY WINEHOUSE has quit rehab a second time after a string of furious rows with her hubby.

OKKERVIL RIVER got an audio feature with two numbers from the group's new disc, The Stage Names, at the World Cafe.

MARK OLSON talked to the Mpls Strib about his solo almbum, Salvation Blues, but notes he could still go to paramedic school.

GOLDENHORSE:  At Chromewaves, Frank Yang is digging this band from New Zealand, calling "Run Run Run" maybe one of the best singles he's heard this year.  Frank has more linkage.

25 BANDS THAT SHOULD REUNITE, according to ShoutMouth, with plenty o' video.

DARYL HALL:  Pitchfork wants to convince us he''s an indie artist.  He's enthusiastic about the "anything goes" attitude of the 00s, where pop, punk and soul rub elbows and nobody's too cool to dig "Rich Girl".

MARK KNOPFLER isn't trying to convince anyone he's an indie artist, but Stereogum is streaming two new tracks from the Dire Straits frontman anyway.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer walked free from court as he faced charges of breaching bail conditions following his latest drug arrest, because he had not been produced in court within 24 hours of his arrest.

BRITNEY SPEARS may not be opening the MTV Video Music Awards, after all... but ex-bf Justin Timberlake may perform there.  Also, the pop tart's reportedly departing lawyer may have missed the chance to stop Spears employees from testifying in the increasingly bitter child custody suit with Fed-Ex.

THE FRENCH HOTEL may literally become a cartoon; fmr. Marvel maven Stan Lee has a first-look deal with Disney.  Meanwhile, Entourage star Adrian Grenier is trying to get the heirhead to go Green.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Rehab apparently involves taking you mind off drugs with bicycling and whitewater-rafting excursions.  And it appears that her Mom Dina has turned up in Utah.  And TMZ claims that there is a "strong possibility" the L.A. County District Attorney's office will NOT file felony charges against Li-Lo in connection with her two DUI arrests.

MARIA SHARAPOVA reportedly grunts much less in the bedroom than on the tennis court, according to slimy Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.  The Sun's readers suggest the blame may fall on Levine.

LAURA LINNEY is engaged to her boyfriend, Marc Schauer.

YO GABBA GABBA:  I'm slightly bummed I forgot to mention the premiere of the show on Nickelodeon Monday, as it seems like just the show for my friends with kids, not to mention college kids on hallucinogens.  The show features hip animation, mind-bending sets, wacky characters and appearances by the likes of The Shins, Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh, Rahzel of The Roots, Cornelius, and Elijah Wood (pictured).  Video at the links, plus more video and music at GabbaSpace.

SIENNA MILLER, romantically linked to co-stars Sean Bean and Matthew Rhys in the past week or so, has been spotted getting familiar with Notting Hill actor Rhys Ifans.

JENNIFER LOPEZ dresses like a dominatrix to rescue a baby from an S&M club... in the video for "Do It Well," the first single from her forthcoming CD.  M'kay...

HAYDEN PANETTIERE -- the cheerleader from NBC's Heroes -- turned 18, to the delight of pervy gossip columnists.  Not that she's discouraged such talk.  Asked by David Letterman what the big birthday means to her, the Heroes star answered: "I don't think much changes when you're 18 - maybe the way people treat you. But I think the only things I can do is buy cigarettes, porn and, if I get in trouble with the law, I'm kind of screwed."  Videos at the links.

JESSICA ALBA:  Emotionally unavailable, intuitive, and creatively unfulfilled?  The women at Jezebel have graphologist Sheila Kurtz analyze the September Cosmo cover girl's handwriting.

I'M NOT THERE:  A movie where Bob Dylan is played by Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Ben Winshaw and Marcus Carl Franklin?  Here's your trailer... plus a clip of Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan and David Cross as poet Allen Ginsberg.

BREAKING UP may not be hard to do, according to a new study.  Neil Sedaka was unavailable for comment.

THE CIA and other US spy agencies lacked a comprehensive strategic plan to counter Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11.  No comprehensive report focusing on bin Laden was written after 1993, and no comprehensive report laying out the threats of 2001 was assembled, according to the now-declassified executive summary of a report by the agency's own watchdog.  Yet the review team led by Inspector General John Helgerson found neither a "single point of failure nor a silver bullet" that would have stopped the attacks.

IRAN released detained Iranian-American academic Haleh Esfandiari from a notorious Tehran prison Tuesday after spending months behind bars on charges of endangering Iranian national security-allegations her family vehemently denies.  She was released after her elderly mother used the deed to her Tehran apartment to post bail, but it was unclear whether she would be allowed to leave Iran.

IRAQ:  The Bush Admin seems to be subtly turning up the pressure on the Shiite-led gov't of Prime Minister al-Maliki in comments made not only by Amb. Ryan Crocker, but also Pres. Bush (even while seemingly playing down the comment made by Sen. Carl Levin, noted here yesterday).  Moqtada al Sadr denies giving an interview to London's Independent in which he admitted his Mahdi Army got training from Hezbollah in Lebanon (an admission that hurts his effort to be seen as a nationalist).  He also denied involvement in the killings of two southern provincial governors, seen as part of a brutal contest among rival Shiite militias to control parts of Iraq's main oil regions.  Villagers in Diyala province are protesting and planning to set up new roadblocks to pressure the authorities to come up with new measures against al-Qaeda.  Saddam Hussein's cousin "Chemical Ali" went on trial along with 14 others in Baghdad for the slaughter of up to 100,000 Shia Muslim Iraqis.  Blogger Michael J. Totten has a piece titled "How to Spy in Iraq" about the way US troops are gathering intell on the enemy now that they are out in the neighborhoods of Baghdad.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  I thought Richard Miniter's piece on The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist" was a little over-the-top, but I must note the irony of TNR trying to gag its former employee from dishing some dirt about the story.  Also:  At Salon, former Marine officer David J. Morris gently breaks it to readers that some conditions are improving in Iraq.

PORKER rescued from a drain near Curbridge, Hants.  Like Jessica McClure, but with a pig.

RABID BEAVER attacks two north of Loch Raven Dam in Towson, MD.  Video at the link.

CHICKEN BUSTERS: Who you gonna call? Pic at the link.

GIANT JELLYFISH that invaded the Gulf of Mexico seven years ago have made a "vigorous reappearance" this summer and threaten to devour native fish.  Gonna need a bigger urine sample.

THE LOCH NESS MONSTER cannot stop a duathlon in Scotland.

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New Releases, Davendra Banhart and Eddie Vedder, Randy Killer Camel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CARIBOU:  The BBC Collective has a mini-documentary on the one-man-band turned live performer.  Ex-Dictators frontman Dan Snaith spins some inspiring songs from Wire and Lothar and the Hand People, shows his recording process and invites you to meet his new band.

NEW RELEASES:  In addition to the Rilo Kiley album linked here yesterday,  New Pornographers, Architecture in Helsinki, Caribou, Imperial Teen, Earlimart, Kinski, Patrick Park and Galactic are streaming in full this week from Spinner.  Minus the Bear releases Planet of IceThe Mendoza Line documents the breakup of Tim Bracy's and Shannon McArdle's romantic and working relationship on the double-disc 30 Year Low (the 2nd disc being rarities and covers). The Mekons return with Natural -- their first LP since 2005.  And Josh Ritter releases The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS frontman A.C. Newman talks to New York magazine about doing your best, but preparing for the worst.

DEVENDRA BANHART has two new tracks streaming at HisSpace.

LES PAUL:  The guitar legend -- still working at age 92 -- was interviewed on NPR in connection with a new documentary from the PBS American Masters series called Les Paul: Chasing Sound.

THE HOLD STEADY and ART BRUT will tour together; I don't post many tour dates, but I highly recommend this bill.

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff talks to Pitchfork about his populist leanings, the joys and dangers of fandom, and the neutering of indie rock.

JOHNNY RIVERS plays his smash "Secret Agent Man" and "The Snake" (a hit for Al Wilson) live at the Hollywood Palace n the day before I was born.  That's your Twofer Tuesday.

CAT POWER:  Rolling Stone has more details on the two new albums of cover songs Chan Marshall has been recording in Brooklyn, Miami and Dallas.

EDDIE VEDDER:  Spinner is streaming a track from his soundtrack to Into the Wild, titled "Hard Sun."

BILL MONROE:  Newsweek has a web exclusive -- with audio clips -- explaining why "The Father of Bluegrass" was one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB talk to PopMatters about not selling their music for commercials: "That's our big thing and why the label and publisher remind us we're not a big band. We always say no to that stuff. It's as important how you're giving it to people, as what you're giving them. Almost as important."  Embedded video at the link, too.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer is back with ex-girlfriend Irina Lazareanu - the girl the supposedly sober supermodel chose to model Moss's Top Shop collection.  Doherty and his Babyshambles bandmates leapt to the aid of a motorway car crash victim after playing a set at the V Festival -- and before he was arrested yet again for drug possession.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE was spotted with a bronze-skinned brunette with long brown hair all night at an HBO party on the roof of the Tribeca Grand.  Reputed girlfriend Jessica Biel may find that "exciting."

DONALD TRUMP is trying to get Britney Spears, the French Hotel and Lindsay Lohan to appear on his upcoming Celebrity Apprentice show.

BRITNEY SPEARS is trying to look like a Mom as her custody battle continues to heat up, with the uber-reliable News of the World claiming that Fed-Ex has testimony from a stunning dancer who allegedly shared a lesbian romp with the pop tart after a night at a gay club in Copenhagen.

THE FRENCH HOTEL, however, is in talks to appear in the new series of British reality show Celebrity Big Brother after being offered more than £300,000, according to the ever-reliable Sun in London.

LINDSAY LOHAN is looking to rehab her recording career, amid reports that insurance companies were afraid to bond her movies following her latest DUI arrests and a charge of cocaine possession.

WOMEN IN FILM are the subject of a morphing video from Mary Pickford to Halle Berry, by Philip Scott Johnson -- who previously morphed Women In Art.  Premiere magazine looks at 100 women making an impact in film in 2007.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Eleven extras were injured during the filming of Valkyrie, in which Cruise plays anti-Hitler plotter  Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg.  Neither Cruise nor director Bryan Singer were on-set at the time.

JENNIFER ANISTON joins Courtney Cox-Arquette and David Arquette on vacation in Hawaii.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY dons period swimwear for Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's best-selling novel Atonement.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  Warner Bros. has apparently given up on trying to stop that leak of production photos from next summer's sequel to Batman Begins, so the whole batch can be easily found now.

HAROLD & KUMAR are back with a teaser trailer for their sequel to Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

PAKISTAN has decided to accelerate the development of its nuclear and missile program after the finalization of nuclear deal between India and the US.  The gov't is also releasing a senior al-Qaeda operative and computer expert.

IRAN has hanged up to 30 people in the past month amid a clampdown prompted by alleged US-backed plots to topple the regime, according to London's Observer.  The theocracy's sacked oil minister has issued a parting warning to Pres. Ahmadinejad, predicting a looming 'catastrophe' in the Iranian energy sector because of high consumption.  Iranian forces are shelling villages in the remote Kurdish border area of north-east Iraq, where Tehran has recently deployed thousands of Revolutionary Guards.

IRAQ:   Al-Hayat reported that the new alliance between the pro-government parties will be soon followed by a radical "reconsideration" of the cabinet's structure, and, probably, the formation of a new government, "consisting of technocrats."  But the real news may be that Iraqi reports that major tribal figures in Anbar and its tribal councils were unseated for making statements supportive of Prime Minister Maliki and showing readiness to replace the Sunni-based Iraqi Accord Front in the cabinet.   Az-Zaman said that the parties left out of the new pro-government coalition are readying to create a counter-alliance, with the aim of overturning al-Maliki's cabinet (though they are united on little else).  The Pan-Arab paper al-Quds al-'Arabi reported that Ayatollah Sistani, the highest Shi'a cleric in Iraq, has expressed his disapproval of the demarche of the government and its Shi'a parties, reportedly saying "they have filled my heart with pus."  Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John Warner (R-VA) of the Sen. Armed Services Cmte have returned from Iraq encouraged by the effects of the recent US military "surge," but their enthusiasm is tempered by concerns about Iraq's political climate.  Sen. Levin went further, telling reporters that he hoped the Iraqi Parliament will vote the Maliki government out of office.  I'm not sure that sort of public statement from an American won't backfire, but that milk is spilt, so I hope it spurs them on -- though (as noted above) it's far from clear what the alternative to Maliki is.

IRAQ II:  On Sunday, the New York Times published a piece called "The War as We Saw It" by seven men serving with the 82nd Airborne.  "Grim" has posted a civil response at the milblog Blackfive.  US Army Reserve Col. Austin Bay -- who was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in Iraq -- lists a "rough draft" of "rough metrics" he thinks Gen. Petraeus will use in his interim assessment in mid-September.  Over the weekend, Coalition forces around Iraq killed three terrorists and detained 28 suspects while putting pressure on terrorists facilitating the movement of al Qaeda senior leaders.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The newshole devoted to three story lines of the war -- the debate over policy, events in Iraq itself, and the situation with veterans and families on the homefront -- fell in the second quarter of the year by roughly a third.

A SOLDIER'S CAT is recovering after falling out of an 18-story window in Chicago.  The plunge left Maxim with several broken bones, but he's expected to be back on his paws in no time.  Pics, video at the link.

CROCODILE vs. BULL SHARK in the Daly River of Queensland.  Pics at the link.

A RANDY CAMEL killed its owner after apparently trying to mate with her.  The animal had a history of erratic behaviour, often trying to straddle other species, including the family's pet goat.

A BABOON SPIDER does not make a good pet.

BEARS ate a 23-year old Serb at Belgrade Zoo over the weekend during the annual beer festival.

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New Rilo Kiley and Eagles, Neko Case, Ostrich Racing   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE SHINS' latest video -- for "Turn On Me" -- is kinda summery, in a twisted sort of way, kicked off with a Spectorian drum break.

RILO KILEY is streaming The Moneymaker album before its release tomorrow.  The L.A. Times covers the band and interviews frontwoman Jenny Lewis.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' frontman A.C. Newman's wedding to Matador Records' marketing manager Christy Simpson gets music-centric ink and pixels from The New York Times.

NEKO CASE and RUFUS WAINWRIGHT have mini-sets from the World Café Friday streaming now at NPR. 

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND return Oct. 2nd with a new album, titled Magic.  Details on a worldwide tour featuring the band are expected to follow.

THE EAGLES have posted a new song at TheirSpace.  It sounds very much like The Eagles; kinda "Already Gone"

THE TOP TEN GUITAR SOLOS, according to the Sunday Times of London, along with an explanation of Eric Clapton's absence and an addendum on The Only Ones' "Another Girl, Another Planet."  Which reminds me that you can watch The Only Ones at their first gig in 26 years.

BAND OF BEES, JESSE SYKES and THE KNIFE are the current features at Spinner's 3x3.

THE NATIONAL:  An Aquarium Drunkard has re-posted a French radio session from 2005, which you can jukebox via the ol' HM.

PATTIE BOYD:  The Daily Mail's third excerpt from her book covers Rod Stewart and the death of George Harrison.

AMY WINEHOUSE went back into rehab after pulling out from performing at last weekend's V Festival.  Her new husband spoke out to say her collapse wasn't his fault.  Her mother says she was powerless to stop it.  But you know you are near rock bottom if Kate Moss is planning a tribute song for you.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Superbad was just that, taking the top spot at the box office with 31.2 million -- above most analysts' projections; it may well end up in the 100-150 million range on its 20 million budget.  Rush Hour 3 was stuck in traffic at second with 21.8 million on a 140 million budget.  The Bourne Ultimatum held the third spot with 19 million, as did The Simpsons Movie, which was fourth in its fourth weekend.  The Invasion rounds out the Top Five with a disappointing debut of six million.  Stardust also continued to disappoint with a 19 million total after two weekends.  Hairspray broke the 100 million mark in the seventh spot.  Underdog continued to underperform with a 31 million total.  Harry Potter took in another 3.5 million, just edging out I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, which rounds out the Top Ten.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Fed-Ex has now subpoenaed the Promises rehab facility where ex-wife Britney Spears spent a month in treatment, while famed divorce lawyer Laura Wasser is reportedly about to resign as the pop tart's' attorney.

THE McCARTNEYS met so that Heather could hand over their three-year-old daughter Beatrice to Sir Paul as part of their shared custody agreement.  The Daily Mail had a body language expert study the photos.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  The seemingly interminable divorce battle between Lindsay Lohan's parents Michael and Dina is finally and officially over.

THE FRENCH HOTEL, who boasted that she's a changed woman since leaving jail, is finally doing some charity work -- though it involves her own clothing line.

JESSICA SIMPSON reportedly broke her nose after she accidentally hit herself in the face with a gun while shooting scenes for her new movie, Major Movie Star.  A cynic would suggest it's a convenient excuse -- or cover story -- for some cosmetic surgery.

LEO DiCAPRIO has figured out how to keep the tabloids and paparazzi away -- bore them by talking about global warming.

SIGFRIED & ROY are saying they are gay?  Who'da Thunkit?  NTTAWWT.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  Longtime comic geek Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has landed a speaking role in the newest Batman movie, sharing screen time with Christian Bale and Heath Ledger.  Warner Bros. Pictures asked a bunch of websites to remove leaked photos from the Batman sequel, but not everyone got the memo.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK:  Longtime comic geek Ed Norton is writing as well as starring in the reboot.  No word on whether his hair will get a credit.

WALK HARD -- a takeoff on musical biopics like Walk The Line -- is the next Judd Apatow production.  The trailer is running before Superbad.

THE HAMAS MOUSE Farfur may be dead, but the brainwashing of children for jihad -- including paramilitary-style summer camps for boys from Gaza -- goes on.

IRAN is reportedly massing troops along the northeastern stretch of the Iran-Iraq border near Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.  About 50 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards are believed to be training Shi'ite militias in the use of mortars and rockets in southern Iraq, the general commanding US troops in the area said on Sunday.  Revolutionary Guards leader Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi told the Iranian press that he could understand Washington's ire towards the group because of their recent successes against the US, but threatened that "America will receive a heavier punch from the guards in the future," in their first response to Washington's plan to list them as a terrorist organization.  Commanders of the Revolutionary Guards have grown rich as they extended their role from imposing religious rectitude at home and exporting Iran's revolution, to playing a huge role in the country's economy.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki has lost the support of the largest Shiite, Sunni and secular parties in Parliament, but remains in power in part because neither the Iraqis nor the Americans can agree on who is supposed to lead.  He carried an appeal for unity to Saddam Hussein's hometown Friday; he and US Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad met in Baghdad with more than 100 tribal leaders from volatile Anbar province -- so maybe al-Maliki seeks to cultivate Sunni support in the provinces, rather than from the political parties in Baghdad.  Iraq's Sunni vice president Hashemi promised better treatment and a review for the inmates crowding the country's prison system in a video released Saturday, appearently timed to boost Hashemi's profile at a time when Maliki is trying to shore up his crumbling government.

IRAQ II:  The US is pressing ahead with an effort to recruit and pay local Sunni Arabs to protect neighborhoods in districts scattered across a wide swath of central Iraq, generating deep skepticism in some members of the Shiite-led Iraqi government.  Security in Fallujah has greatly improved, but the locals and US troops wonder if it will last after a US withdrawal, with Sunni leaders contending that the Shiite-dominated government is neglecting them for sectarian reasons.  A deadly all-night firefight near Ramadi, dubbed the battle of Donkey Island, reveals not only  the enemy's determination to retake Ramadi and throw into question the region's long-term stability if the US leaves, but also demonstrates how an increase in US troops and Sunni cooperation makes it much harder for insurgents affiliated with al-Qaeda in Iraq to operate in Anbar.  On Friday, the UN Security Council as unanimously approved a resolution expanding the UN role in Iraq, supposedly playing a larger role in brokering Iraq's internal political dialogue and in winning support from its neighbors on security.  We'll see.  Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said he "welcomed" the UN's decision.  He also admitted his Mahdi Army has gotten training from Hezbollah in Lebanon.

OSTRICH RACING:  Not as easy as it looks.

RARE PERSIAN LEOPARD CUB TRIPLETS:  Bella, Bara and Bahar stay beside their mother during their first public appearance in Budapest.

A RARE CROC had become something of a mascot in a ritzy Coral Gables, FL neighborhood since he moved into the canals there two years ago... until he snatched a neighbor's full-grown Boxer.

FAT CAT UPDATE:  Half of all cats and dogs in the UK are now overweight, the RSPCA says.

BASIL the TABBY went on the lam at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.  (Thanks, Dad.)

MURDER-BY-SNAKE PLOT busted in Lakewood, Colorado.

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