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Anti-Grammys, Gogol Bordello, Curious George and Popular Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 13, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY (yesterday) is observed today. In his prosecution of the Civil War, Pres. Lincoln seized the telegraph lines, suspended habeas corpus and issued an order prohibiting the printing of war news about military movements without approval. Officials arrested people for wearing Confederate buttons and for singing Confederate songs. Generals shut down and destroyed dissenting newspapers. Nevertheless, Lincoln is generally ranked as o­ne of our top three Presidents by historians. And he signed the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act in 1862, which provided government grants for agricultural universities in each state -- and without which there may never have been a Pate.

TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER: A record-breaking storm buried sections of the Northeast under more than 2 feet of snow o­n Sunday. I hope the Pratts are not trapped under the snowy blanket, unless it becomes a fun snow day for them.

SYLVIA HAUSER UPDATE: It seems that Captain Lex will be changing his name to Major Lex next month. As the US Army is probably o­ne of the few institutions that does not fear crossing Sylvia, the promotion appears to be based o­n merit (and what little I know of his record would bear that out).

SLY STONE walked offstage during the Grammy tribute from stagefright. He then vomited and disappeared.

KANYE WEST thinks he lost the Best Album Grammy to U2 due to vote-splitting. With whom?

PAUL McCARTNEY stormed out of the Grammy Awards after losing Best Album to U2. So Sir Paul missed the knockout finale paying tribute to New Orleans and the late Wilson Pickett o­n "In the Midnight Hour," with Bruce Springsteen, Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave), Elvis Costello, The Edge, Bonnie Raitt, Irma Thomas, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and more.

JOHNNY ROTTEN thinks Grammy-winning Green Day is phony punk.

ANTI-GRAMMYS: The New York Times blurbs alternative music awards, including the PLUG awards, the NME awards and the upcoming New Pantheon awards.

SLASH says the near-mythic Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy, will finally hit the shops in March. Axl Rose apparently held a "listening party" to get an NYC nightclub to stay open until 8 a.m. for his birthday.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Boomtown Rats. Obvious, but universal.

THE KOOKS, hailing from southern England, may not have the same buzz as Arctic Monkeys, but their debut, Inside In / Inside Out, cracked the Top Ten in Britain and got a a nice write-up at PopMatters as a celebration of ridiculousness when the current trend is toward the exacting precision of their Gang of Four-inspired dance-punk. The band is picking up more press now that it's o­n tour, extolling the XTC-influenced first single, "Eddie's Gun" and the influences of The Clash, The Jam and The Police that Pate fans will surely recognize (though Pate covered Gang of Four, too). However, having the bass player succumb to the excesses of the road four days into the tour is probably not putting o­ne's best foot forward. Though the album is not out in the US yet, you can stream three of their demos at MySpace.

FIERY FURNACES announce a new album (on Fat Possum!?) and tour dates; *Sixeyes hooks you up to legal MP3s.

OASIS frontman Noel Gallagher blasted Jack White for writing a Coca-Cola ad, then sold his "All Around The World" to AT&T.

BRYAN FERRY: The 60-year-old Roxy Music crooner and his lover, 24-year-old dancer Katie Turner, are back together after a two year split.

GOGOL BORDELLO: Carl Wilson profiles New York's "gypsy punk" ensemble, featuring highly quotable frontman Eugene Hutz: "You don't have to give in to these pre-fab ideas fed you by education, or the celebrity cult of values that is force-fed you by media... That is where you revolutionize yourself first." You can stream a selection of tunes and the video for "Start Wearing Purple" at MySpace.

NEIL YOUNG and JONATHAN DEMME talk to the L.A. Daily News about Heart of Gold -- which captures Young and friends at the Grand Old Opry -- and the fact that Young has never won a Grammy. Demme also talks to the Philadelphia Inquirer about his favorite concert films and his "wish list." Demme would like to work with Fats Domino and Sufjan Stevens -- who he believes will be "acknowledged before too long as o­ne of the great American composer-performers."

MISSION OF BURMA: The Columbia Spectator reports that while Burma is called Myanmar these days, Mission of Burma is bigger than ever.

GARY GLITTER, awaiting trial o­n child molestation charges, discovers that Vietnamese prsons are icky.

VAN MORRISON hasn't spoken to former friend and artist Cecil McCartney (whose work in the late Sixties inspired Morrison's seminal album Astral Weeks) in 17 years, following a row over whether Myra Hindley, the Moors murderer, could be forgiven for her sins. McCartney is putting up o­ne of his works as a peace offering to the singer.

ARCTIC MONKEYS and PETE DOHERTY are frequently blurbed here, but if you're new and want to catch up, New York magazine has a backgrounder pretending to be a record review. PLUS: The Arctic Monkeys prove its tough to be a prophet in your home town.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: London's Guardian has published extracts of the troubled singer's prison diaries, including a rewite of "What a Wonderul World" which refers to the supposedly sober supermodel as his "true love/On a Rimmel advert." The paper's readers are merciless. Doherty claims that Moss contacted him in jail, and believes they never broke up.

MADONNA: Her latest video shows off the 47-year-old diva's "amazing flexibility and strength." Hubby Guy Ritchie is ignoring Madge's demand that he attend the Brit Awards to quash rumors their marriage is o­n the rocks.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Sadly, Curious George came in third, beaten by both The Pink Panther and Final Destination 3. Neil Young: Heart of Gold came in 33rd, but with an impressive $14,325 per screen average.

CURIOUS GEORGE was generally true to the spirit of the books and thus a nice family film, without any post-modern reimagining (though Will Farrell as the Man in the Yellow Hat has hints of a G-rated Ron Burgandy). However, if you watch the end credits, you will see what I mean when I say that it would have been cool if the animation had kept even closer to the original. Inevitably, the media looks at whether the charming chimp is politically correct. BTW, H.A. and Margret Rey were German Jews in France who fled from Hitler's Nazis o­n bicycle hours before the invasion of the city -- WBUR has an audo interview with Louise Borden, the author of The Journey That Saved Curious George.Curious George Goes to Wordsworth, which has been selling books and toys related to the original children’s literature character since 1996, caters to those who want the book version of George.

GWYNETH PALTROW suspects her daughter Apple will be an artist or scientist rather than follow in her family's acting footsteps: "I'll be curious to see -- sometimes children of actors want absolutely nothing to do with it whatsoever." Apple may well have the brains to be a scientist if she's already figured out that actresses are dippy enough to name their children after fruit.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: More Cruise wackiness reported from the pre-Grammy party featuring Kanye West. Page Six quotes an amused spywitness: "First, he raised his hands in approval when Kanye sang about the need for a prenup -- good thing Katie wasn't there."

MENA SUVARI is dating a professional breakdancer. He could probably practice o­n her ginormous forehead.

BRADGELINA: Newly-surfaced pic shows Jolie had those lips at age 13. The Enquirer claims she and Pitt had their first major bust-up o­n the eve of their trip the World Economic Forum, with Pitt leaving Jolie and the kids in a hotel room to party with British screen siren Patsy Kensit until the early hours. But the latest pics and video at Just Jared suggest the two are canoodling again.

SHARON STONE is disgusted by the cleavage display o­n Hollywood's red carpets: "Frankly, I find the acres of shoved-up booby so much more horrifying than a calm bit of walking across the room nude. o­ne is much more honest and other looks like you have your a** o­n backwards."

COURTNEY LOVE may still be clean, but someone fresh from rehab probably shouldn't be hanging out at Teddy's, a notorious star swillery in L.A.'s Hotel Roosevelt, at 1 a.m.

BOBBY BROWN: I am shocked, shocked, to discover his kids have issues.

MR. WILLS is movin' o­n up to that deluxe apartment in the sky.

JESSICA and ASHLEE SIMPSON have been billed ten grand for pulling out of a Rolling Stone photo shoot with David LaChapelle.

JESSICA ALBA is Playboy's Sex Star Of The Year, beating out Jamie Pressly, Jenny McCarthy, Halle Berry and Pamela Anderson, among others. But she'll be clothed in the magazine.

CARTOON JIHAD: The Swedish government pressured an Internet provider into shutting down the website of a fringe party over a Prophet Mohammed drawing contest posted o­n its site. Nonie Darwish, whose father founded the Palestinian Fedayeen, writes that the culture of hate is the true root of the riots surrounding this cartoon controversy. Thousands of moderate Muslims gathered in London to call for unity and mutual tolerance. Elsewhere, the moderates were not so moderate. The intolerance spreads beyond cartoons, to burning Valentine's Day cards and pulling a Mideast version of Pop Idol off the air. Star Academy is o­ne of the few places in the Arab world where personal advancement depends o­n talent rather than connections, where men and women can mix freely, where expressing individualism is something to be celebrated, and where people -- including women -- can vote. Such values have made the show both controversial and hugely popular.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio roundds up coverage of native insurgents and civilians of differing religions and ethnicities fighting al Qaeda as well as efforts to keep the western border secure from foreign infiltration. AFP similarly reports that Sunni tribesmen in Anbar province have agreed to take over combating foreign fighters there and securing the borders, within the Iraqi security forces and not as a separate militia (which is significant).

IRAN has restarted the sophisticated equipment at the Natanz uranium processing plant that could enable it to produce material for nuclear warheads, according to reports received by Western intelligence. Pres. Ahmadinejad said o­n Saturday that the Palestinians and "other nations" will eventually remove Israel from the region. London's Telegraph reports that the Pentagon is drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: The New York Times reports o­n the rapidly expanding federal probe into its leak of the highly classified NSA international eavesdropping program. The paper quotes Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., who has represented publications like The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine: "There is a very strong argument that a federal common-law reporters' privilege exists and that privilege would protect confidential sources in this case." It's a "strong" argument that will almost certainly lose, but lawyers use words differently from ordinary folk.

HOW DID AN OCTOPUS turn up in an English garden drain?

A HERD OF DUNG-SPRAYING WATER BUFFALO that disappeared from a breeding farm this week were back home o­n the range o­n Friday afternoon -- with no indication where they had been.

DO GORILLAS GO THROUGH MENOPAUSE? Researchers at Brookfield, IL's Brookfield Zoo and Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo answer "yes" in a study being published in the International Journal of Primatology. (Thanks, Debbie!)

MOST POPULAR DOGS: The American Kennel Club recently released the figures for the popularity of various breeds in the US, both nationally and for various cities. (Thanks again, Debbie!)

DOGS helped break ground o­n a new animal shelter in Little Rock.

SHARK FRENZY SHUTTERS AUSSIE BEACHES: Several tourist beaches along Australia's popular Gold Coast were closed again Sunday because of a massive feeding frenzy involving more than 100 sharks, a lifeguard official said.

WHALE LOVE: Some will say it's not all that different from humans.

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Calexico, Al Green, Jon Langford, The Wrens, Undercover Kitten   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 10, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



... with the late, but ever-wicked WILSON PICKETT delivering a blistering performance of "Land of 1000 Dances," to a fevered crowd, complete with circa-60's stage-diving. Naa, na na na naa, na na na naa, na na naa, na na naa, na na na naa!

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: A Yeti icicle-throwing game, with a cute penguin. No, you don't throw the icicles at the penguin...

CALEXICO gets a nice blurb with plenty 'o' download links at *Sixeyes, including a legal download of the band's version of the Love classic, "Alone Again Or."

PAUL McCARTNEY was busy Grammy night; YouTube hosts lo-res video of "Helter Skelter" and better-quality video of his dubious cameo with Jay-Z and Linkin Park o­n "Encore."

AL GREEN has recorded a new album with legendary producer Willie Mitchell, with whom Green minted classics like "Tired of Being Alone" and "Let's Stay Together."

MATT POND PA gets a glowing review from Page Six, but he does appeal to more mainstream tastes in folkish-indie. You can check out a few via MySpace.

MARTHA REEVES, newly elected to the Detroit City Council, wants the city to put up statues of Motown legends: "I want a big statue of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, sitting o­n a throne with a crown o­n her head in the city square. I want a statue of the Supremes in that Stop in the Name of Love pose. I want o­ne of The Temptations doing the Temptations shuffle. And why not have o­ne of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas?"

THE FLAMING LIPS take aim at Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Black Eyed Peas and Destiny's Child o­n At War With The Mystics, which is set for release o­n April 4. Frontman Wayne Coyne says: "I guess part of what I'm railing against o­n that song is this preternaturally happy music sung by kids and written by 40-year-old Swedish men."

JOSS STONE wants to quit singing to become a nurse. She should keep singing and -- as a compromise measure -- dress up as a nurse.

ART BRUT: L.A. Weekly didn't have to harsh o­n the Arctic Monkeys to tell us how great Art Brut is: "While their clever, guitar-driven tunes can stop-start with the best of the current post-punk posse, they maintain a classic sensibility absent from most... From the shame of bedroom failures ('Rusted Guns of Milan') to a twisted mix of pride and sibling rivalry in 'My Little Brother,' indie rock hasn’t been this literal since Jonathan Richman sang 'Government Center.'" You can stream "Formed A Band" and "Emily Kane" from MySpace.

JON LANGFORD (the Mekons, Waco Brothers, Pine Valley Cosmonauts) will be at the Twin Cities' Walker Art Center this weekend, performing "The Executioner's Last Songs," a multimedia piece that features both solo and band material, along with his original paintings and photos from his life. He also has new book, Nashville Radio, a collection of 215 paintings, song lyrics, autobiographical writings and a CD of the printed songs largely inspired by Langford's dismay with mainstream country music. It comes out March 7th -- the same day as his next album, Gold Brick.

THE WRENS are o­n the road again o­n their long, strange trip toward a new album. Saw them at Intonation and was quite impressed.

THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOW frontman Ryan Allen understands when oldtime fans complain about the band's evolving sound: "I loved Weezer’s first two records when I was in high school... Then they came out with their third album and they totally sucked, they were the worst band in the world. So I can see where some people are coming from about us."

THE PIRATE PARTY aims to abolish copyright laws in Sweden, after parliament passed a law making it illegal to download copyrighted material for personal use. Yawr!

HEART ON A STICK has a 2005 bloggregation that provides an alternative or supplement to the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll.

THE ARTIST CURRENTLY KNOWN AS PRINCE is hiding a small number of "purple tickets" in his new album and single, which are released next month. The winners will go to a private concert at his home, where he will be backed by a band of Oompa-loompas. Somewhere, Michael Jackson is kicking himself for not having thought of this as a way to meet kids. But that somewhere is probably not Bahrain. I was going to say this was a clever move by Prince to encourage folks to buy the album instead of illegally downloading it, but it's more fun to talk about the purple waterfall that mixes his music.

NOW SHOWING: The big rollout today is the desecration of The Pink Panther (32% Rotten o­n the Tomatometer, with an even lower score from the "cream of the crop") o­n almost 3,500 screens. Harrison Ford defends his family yet again in Firewall (24% Rotten, even worse from the "cream"). And there's the oxymoronic Final Destination 3 (50% Rotten, 23% from the "cream). Fortunately, there is Curious George, which is 73% Fresh overall and 64% Fresh from the "cream."

CURIOUS GEORGE MURDER: Speaking of which, two men have been charged with murdering Alan J. Shalleck, who co-wrote Curious George books and helped bring the very curious little monkey to television.

THE GRAMMYS were clobbered by 'American Idol in the TV ratings. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is demanding its awards back from Kelly Clarkson.

LOVE MONKEY is all but cancelled after three episodes.

KATE MOSS spent four hours with a top brain doctor Wednesday; a spokesperson insisted the supposedly sober supermodel is fine. My theory is that she was thinking about making up with her troubled ex-beau Pete Doherty and decided she should have her head checked.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Li-Lo is supposedly cozy with co-star Jared Leto, but In Touch magazine reports that she has been "quietly seeing" 31-year-old singer Ryan Adams and "hooked up with" 38-year-old Benicio Del Toro last Sunday, after "spending hours canoodling."

BRITNEY SPEARS says she "made a mistake" driving with her baby son sitting in her lap, but still blames the paparazzi for it.

COURTNEY LOVE: The newly rehabbed widow of Cobain has been working in the studio with Billy Corgan. She's apparently normal enough to be unbanned from Hollywood's Chateau Marmont.

TOMMY LEE was beaten by Eminem's posse for trash-talking fellow Detroiter Kid Rock.

GREY'S SKELETAL ANATOMY: Ellen Pompeo, the star of Grey's Anatomy, seems like she's o­n the Skeletor diet. But the actress claims she eats 3,000 calories a day. A nutritionist says most women burn between 1,500 and 2,000 calories a day. Of course, it's possible to eat 3,000 calories daily and still lose weight, isn't it?

WELCOME TO THE O.C. -- it's a handy guide to international relations.

HARVEY PEKAR: The American Splendor anti-hero tallks about his latest graphic novel, The Quitter, which apparently is doing better than DC Comics expected.

BRADGELINA: Jolie says, "Honestly, I like everything. Boyish girls, girlish boys, the thick, the thin. Which is a problem when I'm walking down the street." This is part of her secret. She's really unattainable -- just ask Colin Farrell. But she gives off the vibe that, otoh, she's a crazy woman, so maybe today is your lucky day.

CARTOON JIHAD: The Associated Press wakes up to discover that Syria, Iran and extremist groups like the Taliban are fanning Muslim outrage over 12 Danish cartoons. Socialist blogger Norm Geras takes aim at people asserting moral equivalence of sincerely-held beliefs. IraqPundit notes that more moderate Muslims have spoken against the riots than did in the case of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. Reza Aslan has related thoughts at Slate.

IRAQ: The Arabic newspaper Al Bawaba reports that US and Iraqi forces have launched a cordon and search campaign in the Hamrin region to look for al-Zarqawi. The leader of Iraq's most powerful Shiite political party has called for greater respect for human rights by the country's security forces. Milblogger Trevor (currently in Baghdad) notes that the Iraqi government has worked very hard to ensure the safety of pilgrims o­n this year's celebration of Ashura, after last year's coordinated attacks. If things go well, will the press bother to notice?

NSA SURVEILLANCE: At least o­ne Democrat left a four-hour House Intelligence Committee briefing saying he had a better understanding of the legal and operational aspects of the NSA warrantless international eavesdropping program. Alabama Rep. Bud Cramer, the senior Democrat o­n the Intelligence Committee's oversight subcommittee, said, "It's a different program than I was beginning to let myself believe. This may be a valuable program." Cramer added that he didn't know if it was legal, but his "direction of thinking was changed tremendously." Cramer further said he didn't know why the White House waited so long to inform Congress of its actions. I know the answer to that o­ne: Congress leaks like a sieve.

UNDERCOVER KITTEN: Fred, a cat with a badge, busts a a college student accused of treating pets without a license. Burt the Boston terrier had Fred's back.

BROKEBACK ICE FLOE: Shy Swedish female penguins sent to seduce gay Humboldt penguins in a German zoo have failed to break up any of the male-male twosomes. What's penguinese for, "I wish I knew how to quit you!"

RATS smell in stereo, enabling them to identify where a smell is coming from in just 50 milliseconds.

EXOTIC FISH killed in a domestic dispute result in charges against a Walnut Creek, California woman.

PET HOARDING: Nearly two dozen cats makes for a feces-filled house of filth in Orlando, FL.

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Grammys, Battle's Bar-B-Q, Giant Bunnies and the Gift of Llamas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 09, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


...AND THE GRAMMYS WENT TO these folks, with U2 beating out Kanye West for Album of the Year. And the thought balloon above West's head reads, "The music biz doesn't care about black people!" There may be more in the photo and video galleries at the Grammy website by the time you read this. The Gorillaz and Madonna opener is posted o­n YouTube, but most of the clips up now are even scarier than that -- Kelly Clarkson! [UPDATE: Here's video of U2 and Mary J. Blige playing "One" and Green Day's acceptance speech.]

GRAMMY HONOREES are almost always better. This year, Delta bluesman Robert Johnson, the Weavers, David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Cream, producer-mogul Chris Blackwell (B-52s, Bob Marley, Roxy Music, Marianne Faithfull, Traffic, U2), Nashville producer Owen Bradley and engineers Al Schmitt and Tom Dowd were among the honored. The TV show had an all-star tribute to Sly and the Family Stone -- that is Sly rocking the blonde mohawk above. Pate fans will especially enjoy some vintage video of Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" and U2's semi-impromptu "I Will Follow" o­n SNL. It's nice to see the late DJ legend John Peel introduce Cream's "White Room," but the real must-see is the Sly and the Family Stone o­n The Ed Sullivan Show, which is a better medley than the supposed all-stars did last night, not least for the spectacle of Sly heading out into the very white and very square audience in '68.

CREAM, btw, has scheduled more reunion shows in select cities, but there's no official announcement yet.

GEORGE BATTLE, the owner of Battle's Bar-B-Q in Ames, IA, died of cancer last month. Relatively few people can grasp the enormity of this loss. I loved that -- appropos of nothing -- he had a "Big Boy" statue right o­n the counter. (Thanks to Sylvia for the notice, but someone should put Craig O'Neill o­n suicide watch).

THE END IS NIGH: If that wasn't bad enough news, Barry Manilow tops the Billboard 200 Album chart. He's taking food out of the mouth of Rod Stewart, who just had a kid!

MORRISSEY: Two tracks from his upcoming ablbum are o­nline. A Boy and his Blog is killing music with the eastern-tinged "I Will See You In Far Off Places," which got slagged o­n the Pitchfork. Legally, you can stream the unsurprisingly-titled "You Have Killed Me" from MySpace.

FLAMING LIPS fans at the Univ. of Oklahoma held a Zaireeka party.

ROBERT POLLARD is just starting his first solo tour, but has already completed his next solo record, which will be released by Merge in October. "It’s a lot different from From A Compound Eye," he says. "It’s called Normal Happiness. It’s 16 two-and-a-half minute pop songs."

ROCK THE VOTE is about 700K in debt, with its staff cut from more than 20 people in 2004 to just two today, and has no president. Other than that, things are fine. Except for the lawsuits.

PAYOLA: A a two-year-long payola investigation by the New York attorney general is turning to the nation's nine largest radio conglomerates.

MARK EITZEL: The American Music Club singer-songwriter talks to Boston's Weekly Dig about changing his writing habits and the Undertow Orchestra Tour mentioned here earlier.

THE BEST ROCUMENTARIES are mockumentaries, Bob Stanley argues in London's Guardian.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer was sentenced to a 12-month community order for drug possession and warned he could face jail if he failed to stick with a rehab program.

CURIOUS GEORGE CO-AUTHOR SLAIN: The bloodied body of a collaborator o­n the Curious George series of children's books and films was found covered in garbage bags in the driveway of his Florida home. Police said they were treating the case as a possible homicide. The monkey, created in 1939 by Hans and Margret Rey, makes his big screen debut Friday in movie theaters nationwide.

BRITNEY SPEARS will not face charges after being photographed driving with her infant son o­n her lap. But TMZ wonders whether she's a repeat offender. Meanwhile, the pop tart and her hubby, Spendeline, apparently had another blowup at the Rolling Stone/Verizon-sponsored pre-Grammy party at the hot nightclub Avalon.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Kanye West is writing the theme for Cruise's Mission: Impossible III, so Cruise was jumping the couch to praise the rapper at the aforementioned pre-Grammy party. And Cruise is reportedly telling friends he's sticking Holmes o­n the mommy track, though Cruise’s rep denies the story.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON has a system for Oscar voting: he votes for his friends, then lets his wife and his domestic staff fill out the rest of the ballot.

RALPH FINNES, contrary to prior reports, has been dumped by longterm galpal Francesca Annis after learning of his affair with a Romanian singer half Annis's age. Indeed, Annis has begun legal action against the Daily Mail over a story claiming she had forgiven Fiennes.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR decided to file for divorce after finding a suggestive e-mail sent to Sambora by an acquaintance of the couple, containing "provocative pictures" of the female. See? I told you I had nothing to do with it...

BRADGELINA: Jolie has reportedly asked her lesbian lover to be godmother to her children, deciding they needed a strong female force in their lives. As if Jolie is not? Anyway, now that the pair has been officially caught canoodling, there is already a four million dollar bounty for the first picture of their unborn child. In the meantime, we can make do with her naked, tattooed backside in Vanity Fair.

PIXAR has restarted and taken over production of Toy Story 3, but it's unclear whether the same lame plot will be used in Pixar's version of the film or if a new storyline will be developed.

JESSICA SIMPSON and NICK LACHEY seem to be moving o­n. The pneumatic blonde was spotted getting very cozy with Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine at the aforementioned pre-Grammy party, while Nick has reportedly been caught canoodling with Simpson's best friend, CaCee Cobb.

TOM BRADY and BRIDGET MOYNIHAN are splitsville? If not, they may be soon.

THE WORLD'S BEST-PAID SUPERMODELS are charted at Forbes magazine because they're all business there.

JESSICA ALBA: Into the Blue co-star Paul Walker may have had trouble keeping his mind o­n his work: "Come o­n, dude, you know what I'm looking at..." And if for some reason you don't know, Tyler Durden will be glad to show you.

CULT OF THE iPod: Showtime is putting its original shows, like Sleeper Cell and Weeds, up for download o­n iTunes. Songbird, an open source alternative to iTunes, launched yesterday.

CARTOON JIHAD: The Wall Street Journal has a free article o­n radical islamists worked to stir rage over the Danish cartoons. Amir Taheri debunks the claim that Islam prohibits images of Muhammad and jokes about religion. Reuters profilesan entrepreneur in Gaza who stocked up o­n Danish flags for rioters to burn. The New York Times runs an article about shocking images, but skips the cartoons to publish the dung-spattered "Holy Virgin Mary" instead. The Egyptian blog Rantings of a Sandmonkey posts scans of the cartoons from an Egyptian newspaper that ran them last October with no outcry.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio has an update o­n operations in Anbar province, which are mostly smaller Iraqi ops now. US officials have met figures from some Sunni Arab insurgent groups but have so far not received any commitment for them to lay down their arms. David Gaubatz, a former member of the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations, claims the Iraq Survey Group visited o­nly o­ne of four suspected WMD sites he identified.

HERMAN THE GERMAN GIANT BUNNY is almost a meter tall, big even for his breed. He could be the world's biggest rabbit, but Guinness World Records have stopped accepting entries because of fears people were over-feeding their pets. BONUS: ITN has video of Rudi, another German bunny, in action.

WEINER DOGS: Moo Moo saved its owner from a fire. General Edi has lived to the ripe old age of 22, despite a ten-cigarettes-a-day habit.

MAX THE DUTCH BULL TERRIER pines to ride the rails like a hobo.

MOUTH-TO-BEAK resuscitation saved an exotic chicken named Boo Boo.

VALENTINE'S DAY is just around the corner. Why not give the gift of llamas?

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New Releases streams and MP3s, The King of France, The Lost World   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


RICHARD THOMPSON was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in London Monday. Thompson also has a big box set out; the AP review suggests it's for the hardcore fan, with more casual fans being better served by collections like Watching The Dark.

NEW RELEASES: The Life Pursuit by Belle & Sebastian has a guilt-free MP3 of "Another Sunny Day" available at Matador; the album (currently scoring 76 at Metacritic) is streaming at AOL Music. Beth Orton's Comfort of Strangers, which is currently scoring an 81 at Metacritic, is also streaming from AOL Music. Idols of Exile, a solo effort from Broken Social Scenester Jason Collett is streaming from his label. The Minus Five, a/k/a The Gun Album, is fresh from Scott McCaughey & friends -- it's scoring 72 o­n light reviews at Metacritic and you can check out the audio feature from NPR and pick up the guilt-free MP3s from YepRoc. BTW, the -5's west coast dates feature Robyn Hitchcock, whereas the rest of the tour has The Silos opening. And if you get o­n the Minus 5 mailing list, Scott McCaughey may write a song about you.

A REMINDER: An exclusive Jon Pratt solo track, "Geologic Time," and a rare Pate track, "Chalk It Up to Fate," from Pate's 1991 reunion gig, are available in the "Downloads" section via the navigation bar o­n the left (and at the top, also).

TED LEO is moving from the Lookout! label to Touch & Go: "T&G is a label that has provided me, personally, with amazing music for 25 years... it's an honor to now be a real part of their o­ngoing ruling-ness."

MORE COWBELL! The Wikipedia is compiling a list of songs featuring the cowbell. That entry cross-references the Wikipedia entry for "More Cowbell," which describes and measures the impact of the viral SNL sketch featuring Will Farrell and Christopher Walken.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Who's classic performance of "My Generation" o­n the Smothers Bros. Comedy Hour, which opens The Kids Are Alright. Keith Moon had stagehands double the explosives in his kit, which put a chunk of drum shrapnel in Moon's arm, set Pete Townshend's head o­n fire, and supposedly got the guitarist's tinitus off to an unhealthy start. You can see Pete putting his hair out near the end of the clip.

THE KING OF FRANCE: I first meant to check out this band when a blurb in The New Yorker not o­nly namechecked Blondie, Television, and the Pixies, but also mentioned that the drummer is Michael Azerrad, the author of the fabulous Our Band Could Be Your Life. But it slipped my mind until I read that the band is touring with Nada Surf and Rogue Wave, despite having a name not related to water. You can stream some nifty pop from MySpace and grab the guilt-free downloads of "Mexico" and "White Confection."

SPRING TOURS have been announced by Neko Case and The Magic Numbers.

STING is suing his chauffeur for claims the rock star's marriage to Trudie Styler is in trouble. But he's suing for "breach of confidence," not defamation.

THE UNDERTOW ORCHESTRA: Frank at Chromewaves has an excellent post o­n the conglomerate tour of Will Johnson (Centro-Matic), Dave Bazan (ex-Pedro The Lion, Headphones), Mark Eitzel (American Music Club) and Vic Chesnutt. Especially cool is the guilt free download of AMC's entire Everclear album, but there are other links and downloads to check out as well.

SONY CD SETTLEMENT: If your computer was infected with spyware or rootkits when you tried to play a Sony BMG CD o­n it, Sony owes you money, music and an uninstaller. Boing-Boing has the highlights, plus a link to the details. This does not mean companies like SunComm are going away, natch...

THE RACONTEURS -- Jack White and Brendan Benson, backed by The Greenhornes' rhythm section -- will have an album out in May, which is a good excuse to remind everyone to check out their single at their retro-cool website.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY and SCARLETT JOHANSSON grace the cover of the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair, with guest artistic director Tom Ford sitting in for Rachel McAdams, who backed out at the last minute, as noted here in December. Angelina Jolie will be similarly unclothed inside the mag, which comes out today, iirc. I don't know what Jane Austen would say about it, but I'll bet Woody Allen buys a dozen. Knightley and Johansson were said to be a little embarrassed about posing nude; Keira says as much o­n the the sadly safe-for-work video, which is also posted o­n YouTube. Scarlett was rocking a vintage Police tour jersey after the shoot.

THE GRAMMYS, airing tonight, are hazardous to your relationship, if Sheryl Crow, Madonna and Springsteen are any indicator. PLUS: The opening slot set off a Mariah-Madonna catfight, but Cream is blowing off the ceremonies.

JACK BLACK grew up in a sex cult where his father and mother were in a nightly menage a trois. Which explains a bit about Jack Black.

SIENNA MILLER may be the latest to go o­n the Skeletor diet. She's playing Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl, so maybe she just wants to look strung out for the role.

JUDE LAW is set to play late Beatles manager Brian Epstein in the biopic mentioned here Monday.

BRITNEY SPEARS has defended photos of her holding her baby son o­n her lap while driving, saying she was trying to escape the paparazzi. At least, that's what she probably told the LA County Sheriff's Dept...

BLOCKBUSTERS may be slowly dying -- the revenue from Top 25 films as a percentage of total box office is dropping, even as their cost as a percentage of total box office is rising. Long Tail blogger Chris Anderson writes: "It's not nearly as dire as in music, but it's trending in the same direction."

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: Terry Gilliam cuts off his nose to spite his face. A man looking for movie money probably should not attack the Weinsteins.

LOST has a new episode tonight. Viewers can recap the last o­ne at TVgasm. Anyone getting interested in the show can find character basics and weekly revelations at MSNBC, which is quite a tribute from a rival network.

RALPH FINNES has been forgiven by his 62-year-old galpal for his two-year affair with a woman half her age, as she knows that she cannot "fulfill all his sexual needs." Otoh, his ex-wife, ER star Alex Kingston, was devastated by the affair.

DENISE RICHARDS secretly took an AIDS test because she's convinced that soon-to-be-ex CHARLIE SHEEN had been cheating o­n her with hookers throughout their attempted reconciliation? Granted, it's in the Enquirer, so it may well be untrue... but it might not be a bad suggestion.

It's from Mr. & Mrs. Smith, natch...BRADGELINA: The media has a fever... and the o­nly prescription is... more Bradgelina! Pitt's publicist Cindy Guagenti told Reuters there was no truth to the rumor about an imminent Italian wedding, adding cryptically, "They are not getting married. I don't want a story about they're not getting married. I think you guys should just drop the whole thing."

CULT OF THE iPod: Apple's stock rose after the company introduced a new o­ne-gigabyte iPod Nano and cut prices o­n the iPod Shuffle. The Chicago Tribune looked at workers rocking the cubicle.

IRAQ: Insurgents are receiving millions of dollars from smuggling oil through a network of supporters working in Iraq's oil industry. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld told a Senate panel that such corruption could damage efforts to create a democracy, adding that coalition officials are doing more to investigate those problems within the government. Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senators that the National Guard and Reserves will play a much smaller role next year. Meanwhile, The House Permanent Select Committee o­n Intelligence is studying audio recordings between Saddam Hussein and his top advisers that may provide clues to the fate of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Chairman Peter Hoekstra of Michigan: "I am trying to find out if our postwar intelligence was as bad as our pre-war intelligence."

IRAN has told the International Atomic Energy Agency to remove surveillance cameras and agency seals from sites and nuclear equipment by the end of next week in response to referral to the UN Security Council. Implementing some version of the "Russian Proposal" offers small chance to avoid conflict, but falls short as a non-proliferation mechanism. Former Democratic Rep. Mel Levine argues that sanctions actually could prevent a nuclear Iran, albeit at the cost of higher oil prices.

CORETTA SCOTT KING'S FUNERAL: Pres. Bush praised MLK's wife. The Rev. Joseph Lowery and former Pres. Jimmy Carter attacked Pres. Bush. Turning a funeral into a political event turned off independent voters in the 2002 election cycle, but some people are slow learners.

THE LOST WORLD: An astonishing mist-shrouded "lost world" of previously unknown and rare animals and plants high in the mountain rainforests of New Guinea has been uncovered by an international team of scientists. In a jungle camp site, surrounded by giant flowers and unknown plants, the researchers watched rare bowerbirds perform elaborate courtship rituals. The surrounding forest was full of strange mammals, such as tree kangaroos and spiny anteaters, which appeared totally unafraid, suggesting no previous contact with humans. The golden-mantled tree kangaroo is o­ne of the creatures in the slideshow at Yahoo!

IT TAKES A VILLAGE to pull a hunter from the jaws of a man-eating crocodile in northeastern Zimbabwe.

SHAC TRIAL: Jury selection began Monday for six members of the Philadelphia-based Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, o­n charges with animal enterprise terrorism, conspiracy and interstate stalking, part of a plan to drive Huntingdon Life Sciences out of business. "Anything they can pin o­n the defendants is an act of free speech," says a SHAC spokeswoman.

B.B. KING has lost his two-year-old Maltese, Lucille, and the blues legend is offering an autographed copy of o­ne of his signature "Lucille" guitars in an effort to get her back.

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Of Montreal, Nick Drake, The Buggles, T.Rex, Feznick the Kangaroo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


OF MONTREAL, part of the Elephant 6 collective in Athens of the late 1990s -- a group of bands like The Apples in Stereo and the Olivia Tremor Control -- is now in version 2.0, adding David Bowie and Brian Eno to the Beach Boys and the Beatles as influences. Kevin Barnes admits to "some '80s stuff in there, too." You can stream two each from the new The Sunlandic Twins and 2002's Satanic Panic in the Attic from MySpace. Those tunes and more are also downloadable at the band's website. You Ain't No Picasso kills music with two new tracks from the tour-only EP and a 2002 covers show including songs by The Who, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Big Star, The Beatles, Neil Young, The Kinks, The Velvet Underground and The Creation.

CAT POWER: Chan Marshall has canceled her entire American tour. Matador Records cited "health reasons" as the cause of the cancellation.

MARVIN GAYE looks to be the subject of a biopic starring Jesse L. Martin, focusing o­n the soul singer's final years.

COLIN MELOY: An Aquarium Drunkard is killing music by posting Meloy's EP of Shirley Collins covers.

NICK DRAKE killed himself, but was it a suicide? A recently surfaced note may shed light o­n the question.

NEIL YOUNG: New York magazine reviews the Jonathan Demme concert documentary, Heart of Gold.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The first video aired o­n MTV -- "Video Killed the Radio Star," by the Buggles.

JENNY LEWIS and BLAKE SENNETT: The Rilo Kiley duo garner ever more pub for their side projects. The staff at the Scotsman must be hot for Jenny, as she tells Richard Cromelin that the side projects refresh her and Blake for more RK albums, and tells Aidan Smith about the role of autobiography in her songs. Sennett gets to blurb the Elected's Sun, Sun, Sun a bit at Paste. Rabbit Fur Coat scores a 79 at Metacritic, while Sun, Sun, Sun scores a 63 (though much higher with "users"). The Jenny Lewis video has turned up o­n YouTube.

PUNK LOSES ANOTHER OUTPOST: First it was CBGB. Now, it's The Continental -- a dive that o­nce showcased the likes of Iggy Pop, Guns N' Roses, the Ramones and Patti Smith -- that announces it will no longer have live bands.

JIM NOIR: A multi-instrumentalist from the same Manchester suburb as Badly Drawn Boy, A Certain Ratio and James is profiled in London's Guardian. He's streaming his album from his website. The Guardian namechecks Brian Wilson with some justification, though some of it is more like other strands of Cali-folk-psych.

RYAN ADAMS put out three albums this year; gripes about quantity over quality have prompted New York magazine and Stylus to compile "best of" mixes.

T. REX: Three more deluxe T. Rex and Bolan reissues and a collection of Work in Progress are reviewed o­n the Pitchfork.

YUPSTERS: The phenomenon of the indie-yuppie has spread as far as Singapore. Mr C Y Choong works in the oil business, but visits yupster heaven Pitchforkmedia.com religiously.

REESE WITHERSPOON'S stalkerazzo photog -- charged with battery and child endangerment after pestering Reese and her kids at a theme park last fall -- has apparently been found dead.

LOVE MONKEY should be o­n tonight. The Toronto Star covers the integral role of music in the show. The Seattle Times looks at the import of TV exposure for indie rock generally.

KATE MOSS is helping Colin Farrell with rehab?

MORGAN FREEMAN is slated to play Duke Ellington in a movie about the Ellington orchestra's tour of Iraq, which included CIA spies in the entourage.

THE GRAMMYS are tomorrow night. Chicago Tribune critic Greg Kot writes that infoglut makes them seem less relevant to more people each year. The Envelope has Kot and others handicap the major races. The Envelope also notes that these days, a single Grammy may go to dozens of people.

AN OSCARS GUIDE, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, to help sort out Huffman from Hoffman.

BASIC INSTINCT 2 has been negotiated down to a hard-R rating after an initial NC-17 from the MPAA. NYDN gossips Rush & Molloy were told that Stone refused to use a body double. "Believe me, she's still hot," says o­ne guy who's seen the action. Or you could peek at the NSFW promo reel or the screen caps at Egotastic.

BRADGELINA: The latest marriage rumor centers o­n Ireland. London's Sun claims that Jennifer Aniston believes the break-up of their marriage was “karma” for telling everyone how blissful it was. But o­ne of Aniston's friends was busy telling Page Six that Pitt reall is "missing a sensitivity chip."

COURTNEY LOVE has been writing new material in rehab, from which she was recently discharged.

KIM BASINGER and ALEC BALDWIN continue to torture each other, which would be a dictionary definition of "just desserts" if their child was not stuck in the middle.

TRAILERS REMIXED: Fight Club as a romantic comedy and the timely trailer for Brokeback to the Future.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: Speaking of which, as noted here the past few days, some Academy members are loathe to watch the gay cowboy movie. But it seems that hetero guys in San Francisco aren't keen o­n the idea, either. Oddly, the critic's suggestions at the link don't include his best suggestion, which is to take a woman. After all, having identified it as a "date movie," he should realize that single guys probably weren't going to stampede to it by themselves, even without the gay angle.

BRITNEY SPEARS has reportedly been approached by several weight loss companies to undergo their plans and become a spokesgal, according to the obscure tabloid Celebrity Living.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar reports that "the latest meetings among the political leaders look much like meeting between tribal leaders when they try to solve a problem... The key is food!" Iraqi police arrested the fourth-ranking figure in Al-Qaeda in Iraq, state television said Sunday, while officials are investigating whether the group's leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had fled to neighboring Iran. Sunni Arabs have formed their own militia to counter Shi'ite and Kurdish forces, now that their tactical alliance with al Qaeda has unraveled. The Defense Dept. is tripling spending to combat increasingly powerful IEDs.

CARTOON JIHAD: At least five people have been killed in protests and riots against Danish cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad. Mobs in Iran firebombed the Danish embassy and threw stones and firecrackers at the Austrian embassy. The Iranian government cut all trade ties with Denmark. The weekend riot in Beirut was well-planned and known in advance, which may bear o­n the question of why there were loads of Danish flags ready to burn across the Mideast. At Iraq the Model, Omar suggests that almost none of the rioters have seen the cartoons. I suppose that's possible, though anyone who wants to see the cartoons can find them -- in this Flickr gallery, for example.

NSA SURVEILLANCE: The Senate Judiciary Cmte held a hearing o­n the program that Google News shows the press to be calling a "domestic spying" program, though it involves international telephone calls. We learned that a number of Senators think Congress has the last word o­n warrantless collection of foreign surveillance, while the Bush Administration believes otherwise. Of course, the Clinton Administration believed there are cases where the Pres. could decline to enforce a statute that he views as unconstitutional, and that in extraordinary circumstances, national security considerations would justify ignoring federal wiretapping statutes. It's a textbook separation-of-powers dispute. But with no Senator demanding the eavesdropping stop, let alone threatening to cut off funding for the program, it suggests the Senate is more interested in who has power than in anyone's civil liberties.

FEZNICK, an aspiring celebrity kangaroo, underwent lip surgery because he was bitten by a wolf at a Hollywood animal farm. Of course, we hear this story from all sorts of aspiring celebrities before they get the collagen injections...

BIRDS can recognize different languages, just like monkeys, mice and other mammals.

SHARK interrupts an ocean swimming race in Australia.

"A HERD OF COWS kicked my car..." is among the freak animal accident claims reported by British drivers last year.

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