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The Iraqi Constitutional Referendum (and the press)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 17, 2005 - 05:09 AM
Posted by: kbade

KarlUP TO TEN MILLION IRAQIS turned out to vote in Saturday's referendum, protected by security that deterred all but a few ineffectual insurgent attacks. If the 10 million figure holds, the turnout may be higher than for the January election. Turnout was big in Samarra, Fallujah and other cities that heavily boycotted the January election and exceeded expectations in many parts of North Central Iraq. The initial vote reports suggest this too.

There were no suicide bombings or other major attacks — compared to the over 100 attacks in January. The DoD emphasized that Iraqi election officials and Iraqi security forces led the way. The Washington Post, reported from Balad that "the U.S. military remains an all-encompassing presence." On Friday, the WaPo headlined Balad as a "swing city," though the story described an insurgent stronghold (which it is.) In contrast, The New York Times reported that "the 150,000-member American force was much less evident, with perimeter security at the polling centers left mostly to the fast-growing Iraqi security forces. In many areas, the only sign of the American military occupation came from low-flying Apache attack helicopters circling over known areas of insurgent strength, and occasional patrols by armored Humvees..." The WaPo and NYT also had differing accounts of the voters' mood.

The AP did its best to paint the referendum as bad news: "Iraq ‘s constitution seemed assured of passage Sunday despite strong opposition from Sunni Arabs, who turned out in surprisingly high numbers in an effort to stop it. The U.S. military announced that five American soldiers were killed by a bomb blast on referendum day." The AP followed with "Sunnis Appear to Fall Short in Iraq Vote." Sunday's WaPo followed suit, declaring that the referendum was "less of a victory than yet another chance to possibly fashion a political solution that does not result in the bloody division of Iraq." The story quotes University of Michigan Prof. Juan Cole as calling it an "enormous fiasco," not mentioning that he talked out of both sides of his mouth on the January elections and on the invasion. Imho, a fair number of Sunni Arabs (the Kurds are largely Sunni also, not that the press would know) will see how they do in the December elections and whether they are able to get amendments to the constitution before deciding whether to abandon the political process. For now, Sunni Arab involvement in the process is good news, not bad news. Viewed in this context, political and military progress is being made, though I suspect Danish troops will keep their musical pillows.

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Laura Cantrell, Listometric, Arctic Monkeys and a Squirrel with Puppies   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, October 14, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



(Richard Thompson and Danny Thompson in NY, via Billee.)

RICHARD THOMPSON may be getting mildly positive reviews (though better scores from non-critics) for Front Parlour Ballads, but his live show almost never disappoints. Last night's show at the Park West in Chicago (where more than a few Pate fans have seen RT) was no exception. Accompanied o­nly by upright bassist Danny Thompson, RT opened with a driving version of "Mingus Eyes" with a tension-filled "Crawl Back" following shortly thereafter. Of course, he played several from his latest disc, including "Let It Blow," "How Does Your Garden Grow?," " My Soul, My Soul" and "For Whose Sake?," which is also a free download from Amazon. he also subtly altered old favorites, with an almost bouncy version of "Wall Of Death" and a country-tinged solo rendition of "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," which was followed by an unexpected unplugged version of "Read About Love." Indeed, Rumor and Sigh was well-represented, with "Don't Sit o­n My Jimmy Shands" and "I Feel So Good" popping up in the encores. He played a rumbling "Gethsemane" by request (skipping "Freebird," though he was asked). Other highlights included the duelling solos o­n Al Bowlly's In Heaven, the banned-by-the-BBC, set closing "Hokey Pokey" and Danny Thompson's exquisite bow work o­n the final encore, "Ghosts In The Wind." But RT also scattered a number of obscure and unreleased songs throughout, such as "Persuasion," his quasi-rockabilly tribute to "Alexander Graham Bell," and the hysterical "The Hots For The Smarts." As usual, RT's mastery of the crowd was nearly as complete as his mastery of the guitar.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Death's Jr.'s c4 Hamster Challenge.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER II: Test your ability to recognize rock 'n' roll bigmouths with Jagger vs. Tyler.

SUFJAN STEVENS talks with Chart Attack about John Wayne Gacy, nationalism and road trips: "I think the road trip is the quintessential American vacation. The automobile is the center of gravity for Americans..."

PEZ MP3 PLAYER is now available, preloaded with indie rock from bands like Smoosh.

ERIC CLAPTON has sold his autobiography to Random House for 6.4 million bucks.

ROBERT POLLARD: The post-GbV solo album is coming in January. Pitchfork has the details.

THE ARTIST CURRENTLY KNOWN AS PRINCE is facing hip surgery due to pains brought o­n by years of performing in high-heeled boots. This must be true: London's Sun picked it up from the Enquirer.

LAURA CANTRELL: The alt-country chanteuse has an unreleased studio track titled "Hammer and Nails" available through Matador Records.

JOHN PEEL DAY was celebrated yesterday with a BBC mini-site devoted to the late DJ and various concerts, including New Order performing an entire set of Joy Division songs. But Andy Kershaw, Peel's friend and former Radio 1 colleague, opined that Peel would have objected to the nolstalgia.

LISTOMETRIC: Carl Wilson links you to some real music geeks. And I mean that in a good way. Scott Woods' battle-of-the-lists is particularly inspired.

MTV: L.A.'s Weekly's Nikki Finke doesn't want her MTV. Original VJ Adam Curry identifies the day the music television died.

METRIC frontwoman Emily Haines does a Q&A with Spin magazine, insisting the band is back in the groove, due in part to Fruit Loops and a bacteria-imbrued teddy bear. There's a legal download available, too.

RADIOHEAD: Thom Yorke blogs about recording a song titled "Rubbernecks," in what may be a haunted house.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS: Prefix rounds up the hype surrounding the band. You can stream a bunch of tunes at Scenestars.

RICHARD ASHCROFT is excited about his upcoming album, which he describes as raw and inspired by mid-60's British rock.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Middling reviews of the Gang of Four re-recordings and the reissue of the second Dungen album.

MADONNA is reportedly to make a public apology to Kabbalah followers after she "sinned" against the mystic Jewish faith by using of the name of a holy rabbi for profit.

ELIZABETHTOWN is faring badly o­n the Tomatometer, but my review last Friday is about where Roger Ebert comes out: "In its trimmed version, Elizabethtown is nowhere near o­ne of Crowe's great films (like Almost Famous), but it is sweet and good-hearted and has some real laughs." And how many directors other than Cameron Crowe get reviewed by a music critic?

JESSICA ALBA has recreated some favorite movie roles for the British edition of Esquire. There's another Dr. No at the link, plus 9 1/2 Weeks, Secretary and more...

JESSICA BIEL: The US version of Esquire just named her Sexiest Woman Alive, leading me to believe the staff did not see her dance.

DENISE RICHARDS was not impressed by estranged hubby Charlie Sheen's grovelling o­n the Letterman show: "He's just said he was a 'gigantic a**'. I don't recall an 'I'm sorry' in there."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes has quit her current movie to focus o­n delivering Cruise's alien love child. Holmes' aunt says the actress conceived her baby with Cruise without the aid of in-vitro fertilisation treatment. I don't even want to think about how she knows this.


THE FRENCH HOTEL: Fox may have cancelled the The Simple Life, but the producers are now shopping the show to other networks. Anybody have a wooden stake?

JUDE LAW-SIENNA MILLER UPDATE: Law retaliates by going out with Salma Hayek.

SURVIVOR: The next edition will be set o­n the Island of Misfit Toys.

AL PACINO has gone from romancing Rose McGowan and Elle Macpherson to canoodling with Kirstie Alley?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Having previously noted Clooney's tenuous support of free speech, it's o­nly fair to note that the light bulb may have gone o­n over his head.

IRAQ: With the constitutional referendum coming Saturday, it might be useful to look at Iraqi public opinion about the constitution and the direction of the country, which generally seems positive. Bill Roggio looks at divisions among the Sunni Arabs and the current state of Iraqi Security Forces as seen from a variety of sources. And Michael Yon is re-embedded.

FRENCH PRISON CELLS are condemned as "squalid and inhumane dungeons" by the European Council's commissioner for human rights. Human rights organisations have uncovered evidence of prisoners, mainly illegal immigrants, going without food, drink and lavatory paper as they huddle together for warmth. There have been numerous violent attacks and cases of detainees mutilating themselves and smearing their blood o­n the walls. At least no o­ne has improperly touched a Koran.

CULT OF THE iPod: Jeff Jarvis looks at the broader implications of the iPod video. In the meantime, folks are already figuring out how to rip DVDs to the iPod.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: Jean-Bernard Merimee, France's former U.N. ambassador and advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was detained for questioning in Paris in connection with an investigation into corruption in the 64 billion dollar UN program. A magistrate took Merimee into custody to investigate why Saddam's regime granted him rights to purchase about 4.5 million of barrels of Iraqi oil at a discounted price.

THE NAME IS... (YOUR NAME HERE): Her Majesty's Secret Service is much less secret now, having launched a website to attract newcomers from a wider variety of backgrounds.

STATE OF THE PARTIES: Newsweek's Howard Fineman writes that the conservative movement is falling apart at the seams. US News' Michael Barone writes that the Democrats' chief problem is that too large a part of their constituency, and their primary electorate, is made up of liberals who reject values and positions held by large majorities of Americans.

K-Y SEX OILS SALES SKYROCKET through Wal-Mart, with K-Y Touch Massage oils in the top 10 list of new health and beauty products of 2005.

HERSHEY HIGHWAY DOWN UNDER: Rush hour in New South Wales is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get.

SQUIRREL JOINS DOG FAMILY: If the picture makes you say "Awwww...," wait until you read the story behind it. There's a photo gallery at the link also.

DOGS do not think like you, so get a grip o­n yourself already.

70-POUND CAT caught stalking a dog.

ANIMAL HOARDING WITH A TWIST: A man found operating o­n a pigeon that he sedated with vodka was later arrested after animal control officers raided his house and discovered about 300 living and dead birds inside.

ELEPHANT at the Los Angeles Zoo gets an orthopedic shoe after toe surgery.

GATOR vs. RABBIT: A youth who snatched a white rabbit at a zoo and threw it into the alligator pool is being sought by police.

BEAR vs. MOTORCYCLE: Bear wins. A cautionary tale for Ms. Hauser as she starts her new life as a biker chick in the Southeast.

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Cat Power, Selling Out, Black Mountain, 2-headed Rattler, Python vs. Turkey   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


CAT POWER has a new album, The Greatest coming in January. Recorded at legendary Ardent Studios with a raft of longtime TN sidemen, you can legally download an MP3 of the title track from Matador Records.

TEENAGE FANCLUB is offering their latest single o­n iTunes and o­n 7-inch hunks of vinyl.

U2: A female fan loses 75 pounds, dances with Bono. ALSO: The band distances itself from fundraisers for Sens. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

SELLING OUT: Stylus argues in favor of it: "The cry of selling out assumes a kind of musical communism—that success is to be avoided, that expensive production values don't make a song any better, that more copies sold don't make a song any better—but does so in a way that assumes that listeners aren't equal, and that some listeners have inherently better taste than others, and are more worth reaching than others."

FRANZ FERDINAND tells Newsweek that the band's sophomore effort has a huge Zeppelin thing going o­n: "When we were recording this record, we kept thinking, 'Does this sound too much like "Kashmir"?'"

THE STROKES have an album dropping January 3rd. You can stream "Juicebox," the first single, or kill music by downloading "you o­nly live o­nce," which most seem to prefer.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Sixteen-year-old performing arts student Natasha Ellis has been kicked out of "Fame" school after she sparked a nationwide police hunt by running off with junkie Pete, who allegedly seduced her o­n his tour bus three weeks ago.

INVISIBLE MUSICIANS: Photoshop phun at Worth 1000.

PORTLAND: The AP notices that the city is becoming a hub for the indie rock scene.

THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: TechWeb examines why everyone hates the industry.

AUDIOSLAVE helped a fan propose.

MP3 BLOGS: Harmonium compiles a list of the best indie rock MP3 blogs, to which people make additions in the comments. It's a fairly representative list of the blogs from which I steal.

BLACK MOUNTAIN, whose self-titled album rated an 8.3 at Pitchfork, joins the ranks of bands whose gear has been stolen in NYC. I think you can still get legal Black Mountain MP3s from the band's label.

DASHTON: OK magazine forks over millions for Moore-Kutcher pics that look less like wedding snaps than surveillance for shoplifting.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: A Holmes family friend thells Life & Style Weekly that Holmes' parents are concerned about her pregnancy: "It seemed like Katie was being controlled by Scientologists. Now they wonder if it’s a Rosemary’s Baby situation, where Katie is being groomed to provide Tom with a child." Which would make Cruise...

KEANU REEVES: Cityrag reviews photos and concludes that he has not bathed or changed clothes in 13 weeks. To quote the man himself, "Whoa!"

CHARLIZE THERON: Marriage is not her bag, baby.

HUGH HEFNER is keeping it real at 79 years old. Would you bet the over or the under as to the combined age of his three galpals?

GEORGE CLOONEY is driving a tiny enviro car, though o­ne observer found it a bit sad: "This is George Clooney for goodness sake - you expect to see him in the Batmobile." That wouldn't be sad, just frightening.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY had a talk with director Tony Scott over the degree of her exposure in her new film, Domino: "He said, 'I want your bum'. And I said, 'You’re not having it, you can have my boobs'. And he went, 'I don’t want your boobs, I want your bum'. And I went, 'No, no, no, you can have my boobs but you are not having my bum.'" Given Knightley's recently-declared love of profanity, the talk may have been a bit more graphic. However, she assures us that her rear is in view in some shots, "So it could actually be a new game that you could play guess which o­ne is Keira's bum and which o­ne is the bum double!"

WHEN CELEBS ACT LIKE POLS, AND VICE VERSA: At Slate, Jacob Weisberg examines the Angie-Condi-Hillary axis.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt's mom ordered him to introduce Jen and Jolie face-to-face to help settle their long-running feud, according to a rag down under. Meanwhile, People reports another Vaughniston makeout session.

THE FRENCH HOTEL no longer has a TV gig, giving her more time to work o­n her pretend album.

KILL REALITY: It seems that E! will indeed put out a DVD of the TV show's scandalous outtakes.

MIKE MYERS threatens to make a fourth Austin Powers movie.

EVANGELINE LILLY: I regret not having done a Lilly item yesterday, to coincide with Lost, but I hadn't found any items about her drooling, or going to the bathroom in a garbage can to share. Then I remembered that she's rumored to be dating a Hobbit.

DOMINIC MONAGHAN: Speaking of which, the Hobbit castaway believes in The Beatles: "Lennon, for me is my guy." There's one small problem with that.

THE HATCH INTERIOR: A Lost geek has mapped it.

CHEWBACCA is becoming a US citizen. I say we should give him that medal.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS' LOVE BOATS: A source says at least 17, but possibly as many as 25, Vikings team members were o­n the pair of cruise boats for a party that allegedly involved sex acts, heavy drinking, drugs, and possible prostitution took place. Stephen Doyle, the charter boat company's attorney, said behavior o­n the cruise included oral sex, masturbation and playing with sex toys. A source with direct knowledge of the case said Tuesday that accounts of Vikings players having public sex o­n at least o­ne of the boats matched with what witnesses had reported. When reached for comment, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss laughed until he wet his pants. Okay, I made the last bit up, but suspect I'm right.

CULT OF THE iPod: Cult leader Steve Jobs finally announces the video iPod and upgrades to iTunes, including next-day digital downloads of ABC prime-time hits for $1.99 per episode. Douglas Atkin, the author of The Culting of Brands, said Apple's secrecy about unannounced products is characteristic of cults, both brand and otherwise.

BLOGS: Nearly half of bloggers consider it a form of therapy? I must be in the half for whom it's not working.

REUTERS is outsourcing financial reporting to Bangalore.

IRAQ: Iraqi lawmakers approved a set of last-minute amendments to the draft constitution, gaining support from at least o­ne major Sunni Arab party. Insurgents launched additional attacks o­n Iraqis ahead of Saturday's vote, but we now know that such attacks by al Zarqawi run counter to al Qaeda's preferred strategy. The 6,000-word letter from OBL's chief lieutenant, Ayman Zawahiri, to Zarqawi is a striking critique Zarqawi's tactics and reveals that al Qaeda's leaders are unable to gather their own intelligence and are strapped for cash. Naturally, the Washington Post carried this story o­n page 13. CENTCOM has posted its analysis of the letter o­nline. ALSO: Bill Roggio notes that Operation River Gate has uncovered twenty six weapons caches, some considerable.

TWO-HEADED RATTLESNAKE: Angelo State University is getting an unusual addition to its collection of reptiles and amphibians.

PYTHON vs. TURKEY: This time, it's an African rock python striking in Miami Dade.

DOGS lack reliable contraceptives.

BEARS: A Chinese man learns that if you tap their bile long enough, they may decide to eat you.

FERRET WORLD has designer fashion, but may be sued by Burberry.

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Arctic Monkeys, Flying Monkeys, REM reunion, BRMC and a Great Pumpkin   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE ARCTIC MONKEYS' Lauren Laverne worries that if "I Bet You Look Good o­n The Dancefloor" is too big a smash, the band could become a o­ne-hit wonder.


DYLAN, McCARTNEY, HENDRIX and MORRISON memorabilia is going o­n the block at Christie's in November.

R.E.M. REUNION: Bill Berry claimed the throne for a brief set at the wedding of ex-roadie Dewitt Burton. The original quartet snuck o­n while the regular band was between sets.

ELVIS SINGS opera. Guess he doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds him so bad anymore.

RON WOOD is so unstylish his wife is afraid to let him dress himself.

LESLIE FEIST sounds like she's going to be busy for a while, but my favorite part is her description of her songwriting: "The backbone is melody -- very simple melody and not a lot of complication. Whether that's because I don't know how to play lots of chords," she laughs, "or if it's just my esthetic, I don't know." Though you currently cannot listen to Feist at Listen To Feist, you can stream her completely solo KCRW performance.

THE CUTE ONE: Sounds like Sir Paul did a bit of a tribute to Lennon o­n his woulda-been 65th birthday at the MCI Center: "Happy Birthday" (not "Birthday"), "I Will," "Good Day Sunshine," "For No o­ne," "Let It Be," "Magical Mystery Tour", "Drive My Car", "The Long and Winding Road", "Blackbird", "Eleanor Rigby", "Yesterday", "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window", "Penny Lane", "Back In The USSR", "Hey Jude", "Get Back", "Please Please Me", "Sgt. Pepper", "Helter Skelter"and "The End."

GbV: Former member Jim Greer's book o­n the band isn't supposed to reach stores before November, but Amazon is shipping it now.

THE STOOGES are playing the Big Day Out down under. How 'bout some US dates, Ig?

THE FALL: Some o­ne at I Love Music just "got" the band.

MASH-UPS: The Morning News imagines some unlikely pairings, such as Fugazi Z Top's Eliminator.

THE SPECTACULAR FANTASTIC: A band so named has to have confidence. Cincinnatii's City Beat calls them country-tinged psychedelia and indie pop, which seems accurate enough, though "inspired by Uncle Tupelo" would get you into the ballpark also. The band is streaming its new album and offering the I Love You EP as a free download. I'm gald to say that the EP contains a cover of Del Shanon's "Runaway" and that it's not the best thing o­n the EP.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: A security guard is to sue the troubled singer for allegedly whacking him over the head with a microphone during a gig. Elton John thinks Doherty needs a hug.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB impressed the Hollywood Reporter with its transformation from noise pop to gospel-tinged blues. You can stream a couple of the new o­nes from MySpace. I thought the old BRMC was alright, but the new o­nes are better, imho.

MY SPACE: Speaking of which, the site's acquisition by Rupert Murdoch seems to be attracting big name advertisers, as early member concerns about MySpace changing under Murdoch's ownership has died down.

ROD STEWART was honored with a star o­n the Hollywood Walk of Fame o­n Tuesday.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie is getting Pitt to stop smoking. And last night, she accepted the Global Humanitarian Action Award at a UN Association gala in NYC.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Like Brad Pitt, Cruise had a security guard photograph a trailing crowd of paparazzi outside the Scientology Celebrity Center, o­nly to have the guard take a beating from a photog.

BRITNEY SPEARS is calling Shar Jackson for advice about K-Fed? And spending a million to lose the baby weight? Given the subject, we cannot dismiss such rumors of gross stupidity.

JOHNNY DEPP: It appears that Ed Wood rubbed off o­n him a bit.

THE FRENCH HOTEL doesn't get it when her ex says she "earned" her engagement ring. Don Cheadle and Ryan Gosling would like to send her to Darfur.

MENA SUVARI is considering retiring from acting at age 26, because she doesn't find it mentally stimulating enough. Her ginormous forehead suggests there might be something to it.

ELIZABETHTOWN: Kirsten Dunst tells Cinema Confidential director Cameron Crowe is so enthusiastic as to be distracting.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Is the hit show having a sophomore slump?

THE NAME IS BLOND: Dave Craig, fresh from seducing Sienna Miller from under the nose of his friend, Jude Law, is the new 007.

UNCURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, if you're a transvestite. Larry David was already loved by lesbians, so it's a natural next step...

WALLACE AND GROMIT vow to make more films in the aftermath of a devastating warehouse fire. The sets from their new film were not damaged as they had been in an exhibition and not in the warehouse.

MARILYN MANSON: Who doesn't want to smell like him?

HURRICANE KATRINA: Engineers studying the levees say the preliminary data suggests that better design and construction might have prevented the catastrophe.

IRAQ: One of Iraq's main Sunni Arab parties will endorse the country's new constitution in Saturday's crucial referendum, after negotiators agreed that a parliamentary committee will have four months after the elections to consider amendments to the document. There's a bit of a parallel to US history here. Bill Roggio looks at al Qaeda and the Iraqi Security Forces. As for the latter, I saw retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, a military historian and former commandant of the Army’s War College -- and a critic of the defense Department's post-invasion planning -- o­n TV today. He reported that he was impressed with the Iraqi mechanized unit he reviewed and noted that the "Highway of Death" from the airport to central Baghdad was bustling and much-improved from his prior trips.

CULT OF THE iPod: Stereogum (via Kottke) has tips o­n maintaining the Nano. Or you could just get the wooden cover. In Japan, you will be able to get your iPod at the 7-Eleven.

YAHOO is testing a new approach to delivering news search results, combining traditional media sources with "citizen journalism" from blogs and images from its Flickr photo sharing site. Jeff Jarvis notes that distinction between the "regular" news results and blog commentary can be rather arbitrary, providing examples.

MISTER SOFTEE and REAL NETWORKS have settled their antitrust case and forged a partnership to promote digital music and games in three agreements worth 761 million bucks.

IRAQ II: USA Today ran a story Monday titled, "Iraq rebuilding slows as U.S. money for projects dries up." The paper's current and archived stories show that USAT has not covered reconstruction projects. At least readers who reach paragraph eleven will mow discover the 2,800 projects launched since last summer, 1,700 of which have been completed. The paper correctly notes that Iraq now generates more electricity than before the invasion. Iraqis have power about half the day because demand has increased about 60%, as Iraqis bought new refrigerators, televisions, air conditioners and satellite dishes. The story then paints a dire picture of Iraq's economy, without explaining how that squares with all those new refrigerators, televisions, air conditioners and satellite dishes. It's doubly odd that the story quotes Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, as Brookings' own Iraq Index (pdf) shows that GDP increased an estimated 46.7% last year and is projected to rise 3.7% this year and by double-digits in 2006, '07 and '08. When I finished reading, I wondered whether reconstruction would be slowing as much had outlets like USA Today treated it as important in the first place.

GREAT PUMPKIN UPDATE: The US reclaims its lead from Germany by producing a 1,443 pounder in Rhode Island.

AMISH STINK: Residents of In Loyal, WI, are complaining about the growing amount of manure left by Amish horses o­n buggy trips to the town.

AMAZON FOLLIES: The Holiday season seems to kick off sooner each year, leading to the discovery that Amazon is pushing crotchless panties for Christmas.

WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Increasingly, mainstream scientists are studying the afterlife.

HOBBIT jawbone found in a remote Indonesian cave.

DEMON DUCKS OF DOOM go o­n display at the University of Washington in Seattle.

FLYING MONKEYS are officially extinct.

PYTHON vs. CAT UPDATE: Evidence piled up Monday against a 12-foot Burmese python suspected of eating a beloved house cat: An X-ray revealed the bulge in the snake's gut is a small mammal, likely a feline.

EARTHWORMS, CAT were among those taking part in a Blessing of Animals ceremony in Fargo.

150 LIVE LOBSTERS LIFTED: Inspector Bob Smith said: "Whoever committed this crime knew what they were looking for."

NEW LIZARD SPECIES discovered in the Caribbean.

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My Morning Jacket, Sonic Youth, Deerhoof, Python, Cat, Gator and Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


MY MORNING JACKET and KATHLEEN EDWARDS: Monday night's gig at Washington, DC's 9:30 Club was streaming from NPR. I don't know if NPR will have the gig available for o­n-demand streaming today, but there are plenty of other streamables at the link. MMJ has a free download of "Off the Record" (which quotes the "Hawaii Five-O" theme) up at Amazon. That track is from Z, which is getting good critical buzz. Chromewaves is killing music with a MMJ's mournful cover of "Suspicious Minds" recorded at a prior 9:30 Club gig. I would add, that, like MMJ, Kathleen Edwards turns up o­n the Elizabethtown soundtrack.

DAVID BYRNE turns a factory into a musical instrument.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FEST: There's a full-length wrap-up at PopMatters.

ROBERT CHRISTGAU thinks that CBGB and New Orleans may have been resting o­n their musical laurels.

RINGO STARR thinks that the Liverpool council plan to dismantle, move and rebuild his birth home like London Bridge is silly.

JOHN LENNON gets a 65th birthday tribute from a Russian city's Yellow Submarine made from drinks cans and plastic.

MICK JAGGER and JERRY HALL's kids were put off drugs by the example of Keith Richards, Lord of the Undead.

BLENDER'S TOP 500 SONGS SINCE 1980 is the good, the bad and the ugly, but mostly the last two.

THE Q AWARDS played it safe, but gave Coldplay's Chris Martin the chance to say, "Some of you probably hate us but I couldn't give a f*** because we're the Best Act In The World."

BRITISH GOV'T PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR INDIES: Small music firms are "vital" for the economy and for nurturing bands like Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, says music minister James Purnell, who has launched a study into the support independent companies need.

GbV: Someone has posted a Guided by Voices t-shirt gallery o­n Flickr.

SONIC YOUTH: L.A. City Beat has good news and bad news. The good news: the band has recovered their stolen cutomized gear. The bad news: it seems that guitarist Jim O’Rourke is "moving o­n."

DEERHOOF: Their latest album, The Runners Four comes out today. It's an arty band, but think Sonic Youth, not Yes. The album gets a 9.0 o­n Pitchfork, though the reviewer was clearly a fan beforehand. You can stream four from the album via MySpace. The band has also made available a big cache of downloadables, including a cover of The Shaggs' "My Pal Foot Foot."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: London's Sun has the W magazine cover that may launch the shamed superwaif's comeback in November. The even more reliable News of the World claims Moss has had no contact with Doherty since entering rehab.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA sings "The Star-Spangled Banner."

MADONNA: A song o­n Madge's upcoming album dedicated to a Kabbalist rabbi is drawing criticism from other rabbis; o­ne suggests it could lead to divine retribution.

BILLY JOEL reportedly used to drink furniture polish, which explains a few things.

DAVID LEE ROTH will be filling Howard Stern's seat in NYC.

WALLACE AND GROMIT lose their home in a devastating warehouse fire.

FIFTY GREATEST HORROR MOVIES as compiled by Total Film magazine.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt has instructed his bodyguards to take pictures of any paparazzi who follow him and Jolie. He may have retained Sunset Protective for such services (see the video). Jolie is pushing Pitt to become a pilot like her. Pitt is teaming with Ed Norton to produce a ten-part miniseries adaptation of the Stephen Ambrose book about explorers Lewis and Clark.

REESE WITHERSPOON photog charged with child endangerment and battery for allegedly striking a five-year-old child with his camera and shoving another out of the way to snap Witherspoon and her children.

CARMEN ELECTRA and DENNIS RODMAN give us too much information about their brief relationship.

GEORGE CLOONEY is planning a live TV update of the 1976 movie Network. This is a follow-up of sorts to his live version of Fail-Safe, a movie that came out in 1964. It fits nicely with his remake of 1972's Solaris and his remake of 1960's Ocean's Eleven. Not to mention his current gloss o­n the McCarthy era. The guy just seems to spend a lot of time doing period pieces.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Folks are gossiping that Holmes looks more than three months pregnant. Conan O'Brien has an "If They Mated" for Tom-Kat, prepared before the pregnancy announcement -- though I don't know whether Conan would drop that "If" even now.

KEVIN SMITH takes o­n the uberdorks at Aint-it-Cool-News. You would have thought that defining the Internet as "a communication tool used the world over where people can come together to ***** about movies and share pornography with o­ne another" would have covered it already.

STATE OF THE MOVIES: Teenage boys and young men lead disillusioned US movie-goers in staying away from theaters, though they seem to be the studios' target demo.

THE PUFFY SHIRT: Last worn by the homeless o­n Seinfeld, it's now available in the International Male catalog.

COMMANDER IN CHIEF: Steven Bochco takes control of the hit show from creator Rod Lurie, perhaps because Lurie was stretched to thin, perhaps due to "creative differences." L.A. Weekly columnist Nikki Finke had dirt for Drudge regarding the latter. Defamer reports that the show will be recasting a major character and doing some re-shoots.

MEAN GIRLS: I missed the part where Lindsay Lohan puts Vaseline o­n her face to give attackers' nails the slip. Oh, wait... that's a real thing?

CULT OF THE iPod: Apple may sell as many as ten million Nanos this quarter. Japanese music labels call for an iPod tax. US labels battle iTunes and demand a bigger slice of digital profits generally. And you can get Halloween costumes for your iPod (Mini and Shuffle, too).

BLOGS: There are only 60 that are "hot," according to a study done by according to AskJeeves' Bloglines. This is not o­ne of them, though the study would classify this site as o­ne that "matters."

BLOGGERS AS JOURNOS: Sen. Richard Lugar (R.-IN), says that bloggers would "probably not" be considered journalists under a proposed federal press shield law he is co-sponsoring. Mighty 20th century of you, Dick. Oddly, journos seem to be getting it: "A key reason some journalists oppose the popular federal shield proposal is fear that giving Congress the power to define who is and isn't a journalist could lead effectively to the licensing of journalists." Exactly. The First Amendment is for everyone.

IRAQ: Iraqis continued to hold talks aimed at meeting Sunni Arab concerns over the draft constitution. The Reuters story at the link nicely refers to "Iraq's U.S.-backed leaders," as though there had been no election this year. It's an odd phrase coming from a wire service that tries to avoid labels. Bill Roggio updates news o­n Operation Saratoga, a search-and-clear operation in north central Iraq, and provides a Flash-based mutimedia presentation summarizing operations along the Euphrates River this month.

TERRORISM: A French terror cell suspected of plotting attacks o­n the subway and other targets in Paris had contacts with Iraq's al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leading French counterterrorism official said Monday. These attacks must have been planned to punish France for invading Iraq. ALSO: Terrorists have been networking in Belgium.

BLACK HELICOPTERS? The United Nations launches an air war o­n the Smurfs. See the video.

DOMESTIC TERROR? Following the still murky story of Joel Hinrichs III blowing himself up at the University of Oklahoma, we have explosive devices found at Georgia Tech, o­ne of which detonated, and an IED found near UCLA. So far, it all looks to be coincidental, but the secrecy of the FBI investigation at UO doesn't help dispel rumors to the contrary.

BURGER KING has snubbed the British government’s attempts to reduce levels of salt, fat and sugar in food to make it healthier. The chain will instead concentrate o­n making its burgers and other products as tasty as it can.

A HOUSTON DATING SERVICE reportedly forced its employees to date clients. Kinda filling a niche between dating services and escort services.

EDUCATION: Lowell Monke, who has taught young people with and about computers for seventeen years, currently gets paid by Wittenberg University to confuse aspiring teachers as to what education is all about. He argues that students should have fewer computers and more recess.

PYTHON vs. CAT: Elidia Rodriguez of Miami Gardens had been looking for her year-old Siamese cat for two days when her son pointed out the bulging Burmese python slithering in her backyard. This marks the second time this month that a python in Miami-Dade has tangled with another animal. Capt. Al Cruz of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue antivenin unit said Sunday's case can likely be blamed o­n the recent rains.

GATOR vs. COCKER SPANIEL: Caught o­n video, too. But the gator remains at large.

DOGS seeking chipmunks attack downspouts. This is news? This happens in my Dad's backyard!

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