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Cheap Trick, The National, Lucky Soul, Mini-Donkeys   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CHEAP TRICK:  The State of Illinois still doesn't have a new budget, but Pate fans will be delighted to learn that the State Senate is set to declare April 1st "Cheap Trick Day" in Illinois, in recognition of the Illinois-bred band's accomplishments, which include 28 albums, more than 5000 concerts and more than 20 million records sold.  (Thanks, Debbie & Sylvia!)  Guitarist Rick Nielsen briefly jumped off tour to accept the honor (to be made official next week) and shake the capitol free from its traditional decorum with a never-ending stream of wisecracks:  When Senate GOP staffer Lisa Sims approached Nielsen in a corridor, held out her cell phone and asked him to say hello to her boyfriend, Nielsen put his mouth to the phone and asked, "Can I put my clothes on first?"  Later, to the delight and applause of senators, Nielsen pulled off another patented stage trick: He dipped into his pockets and threw fistfuls of guitar picks at the senators and their staff -- and even a few into a press box.  The band got its start around Rockford, Ill., a generation ago, and has remained rooted there, despite a slew of top-100 hits in the 1970s, including "Surrender," "I Want You to Want Me" and "Dream Police."  BONUS:  Vintage video of "He's A Whore."

THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN:  Former drummer John Moore talks to the cantankerous Reid brothers about their return as Elder Statesmen of Rock: "The lure of a big payday gave them the perfect excuse to resume relations while saving face. Both could claim the pragmatism of a cheque with many zeros, while still maintaining a facade of mutual loathing should it prove necessary..."  RTWT; it's all good, starting with a haircut.

THE NATIONAL played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream the gig on demand via NPR today.

THEREMIN-MANIA:  Moon Maan's Rick McCollum (former Afghan Whigs guitarist) uses and raves over the semi-obscure instrument.  You can stream a few tracks from MoonSpace.

RYAN ADAMS stopped by The Current (in a suit, no less), so you can stream an inteview on demand via MPR.  While he was there, he spoke candidly about his injuries and foibles; his sobriety, and stage fright.

PATTI SMITH, poet and punk, covers Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

ANTONY and the JOHNSONS frontman Antony Hegarty talks to Ireland's Independent about the influence Lou Reed and the African-American tradition of music have on his work.  So he probably won't mind that Bjork thought Antony was a black woman, before having him sing on her new album.

LUCKY SOUL -- a classic R&B-influenced British band I've thumbs-upped before -- is streaming The Great Unwanted album in full from their website.  (Thanks, Chromewaves.)

THE HOLD STEADY:  Stereogum points you to John Roderick's (The Long Winters) snarky review of the Hold Steady's Bonnaroo set, along with a video of the band's opening number "Stuck Between Stations."

M WARD:  Although "in less than a decade he's gone from a barely heard bedroom troubadour to a guy that the Boston Pops might need time to create arrangements for," he talks to Boston's Phoenix mostly about producing, including an upcoming LP from Zooey Deschanel.

LINDSAY LOHAN plans to stay in rehab for more than a month -- a sign she is taking it seriously this time.  Her ex-con Dad says he's pleased with his daughter's progress. "Lindsay has found this righteous path because she's going to church and that's a good sign."

BRITNEY SPEARS, otoh, was reportedly seen kicking back several rounds of cocktails on June 15, less than 90 days after leaving rehab.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Not only stuck in jail, but Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are saying son Jack bedded the heirhead.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA pregnancy rumors are near the delivery stage.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  Is The Price Right for her to host her favorite game show?  Roger Friedman claims the issues are ore likely to be O'Donnell's refusal to leave NYC for Tinseltown and NBC's ardent courtship.  In a recent video on her blog, O'Donnell has claimed the producers don't want her.

JESSICA BIEL is pronounced extremely hot by US Weekly as her career takes off, though the author of the new GQ cover story writer takes a photo with Biel and then makes the observation, "You never quite understand how unattractive you are until you see yourself in a picture with Jessica Biel."  Oddly enough, that pic did not make the GQ photo spread.

UMA THURMAN put rumors of marrying hotelier Andre Balazs by taking up with actor-director-producer David White.

LIV TYLER is "definitely" going to have plastic surgery in the future. "Especially when you see what happens to your body after you have a baby."

PAULA ABDUL is set to team up with the people behind the Chicken Soup For The Soul.  She does seem like she could use a self-help book. 

GEORGE CLOONEY talks politics and activism -- especially regarding Darfur -- with the L.A. Times: "If celebrity is a credit card, then I'm using it.  I knew I had to shine light on this situation."  This includes going on a diplomatic mission to China, one of the main countries blocking any action on Darfur.

BRADGELINA:  Though she apologized for trying to control the press surrounding her new movie, A Mighty Heart, tipsters tell Page Six that Jolie went on to ban some entertainment weeklies, including Us Weekly and Life & Style, from speaking to her at the film's junket on Friday - only allowing access to OK! and People magazine, with which she has a cozy relationship.  And Jolie reproedly was less than thrilled that Jennifer Aniston got a visit from her ex Brad Pitt's mother on Father's Day.

AFI has updated its "100 Years...100 Movies" list, icymi it last night on TV.  The AP looks at the changes in the last decade.

SALMAN RUSHDIE:  The committee that recommended him for a knighthood did not discuss any possible political ramifications and never imagined that the award would provoke the furious response that it has done in parts of the Muslim world, while the writers' group that led the lobbying hoped that the honor would lead to better relations between Britain and Asia.  Kind of a scary window into how clueless the British elite is when it comes to addressing Islamic fundamentalism.  Of course, when the British media can run a story on the rise in "honor killings" without mentioning religion as a factor, perhaps it's not so shocking.

IRAN:  The US House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on the UN Security Council to charge Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad with violating international laws pertaining to genocide by calling for the destruction of Israel.  Best of luck with that.  The deputy speaker of the Iranian parliament blames Israel and the US for the Palestinian fighting in the Gaza Strip.  Tehran's Police Chief says the people's tastes have changed toward purchasing appropriate clothing, not mentioning that the Tehran Police beat people who violate the dress code.  And by the time you read this, a couple may have been stoned to death for adultery and having a child out of wedlock.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has an overview of the largest offensive operation since the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom ended in the spring of 2003.  In Diyala province, soldiers have uncovered more than 1000 roadside bombs around Baqubah.  After US and Iraqi forces gain control of the western side of the city, they intend to take fingerprints and other biometric data from every resident who seems to be a potential fighter, as well as test for the presence of explosive material on suspects' hands.  More than 10 Iraqi tribes in the Baghdad area have reached agreements with US and Iraqi forces for the first time to oppose al-Qaeda.  Iraqi VP Adel Abdul Mahdi tendered his resignation last week -- and other senior officials considered resigning -- in recent weeks over the failures of their government to make progress after more than a year in power, according to Iraqi and US officials.  OTOH, according to London's Guardian, Kurdish leaders said last night they had struck an important deal with the central govt over a law to divide up Iraq's oil revenues, which is seen by the Bush Admin. as one of the benchmarks in attempts to foster national reconciliation.

COUNTER-INSURGENCY TRAINING at Fort Polk's Joint Readiness Training Center ranges from simulating the latest terror tactics to emphasizing respect for the populace and Iraqi culture.

SOMETIMES THE CHEETAH eats you, sometimes it just poops through the sunroof.

A RABID BOBCAT is strangled to death by 62-year-old Vietnam vet Dale Rippy.

SERVICE DOGS in Maryland are working their way through school by painting abstract art.  The doggie da Vincis also have a line of greeting cards that has sold out as word spreads about the unusual works of art.  One of the original works has sold for $350.

THE IGUANA THREAT:  An iguana took down the grid in Big Pine Key, FL... and lived.  This could be tthe squirrels' powerful new weapon.

MINI-DONKEYS, each named for a country music legend, make great pets.

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Go! Team, Summer Music, Kevin Drew, Radiohead, Frog Threat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE GO! TEAM have released the video for "Grip Like A Vice," from their second LP, due in September.

OUR GENERATION?  London's Observer Music Monthly wants you to meet the teenage kids playing for kicks.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED:  The NPR show's 2007 Summer Music Preview includes tracks from Spoon, Tegan and Sara, Nick Drake, Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson, the Beastie Boys and more.  The latest regular show includes tracks from The National, the Polyphonic Spree, Travis, the John Lennon tribute, Lightning Dust, Patti Smith and more.

RICHARD LLOYD, who was already leaving Television this summer, has been hospitalized for nearly a month now with pneumonia.

O' DEATH use Appalachian menace to make Brooklyn kids convulse with joy.  Daytrotter has free songs from a SxSW session to stream and download.

KEVIN DREW:  Brooklyn Vegan has a new track from the Broken Social Scenester, titled "TBTF."  Guess what the "F" stands for.

RADIOHEAD:  As the band works on its new album, Nigel Godrich has uploaded "bits of tape which have been chopped out of the mixes when they were edited" in QuickTime, but you can also watch and listen on the Tube.

WEDDING BELL BLUES:  Stephen Thompson of NPR was asked by his niece asked me to put together an hour of love-themed dinner music for her wedding reception.  He has posted his wedding mix, with six streaming tracks.

WELCOME... to the People's Republic of Bono.  SEMI-RELATED:  I can't believe I missed the L.A. Times piece on Pope Rosie.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND:  Captain's Dead is streaming a soundboard recording from New Years Eve 1975 at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia.  I dig the languid take on Manfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo."

DUDE Hits Like an Old Lady.  Ouch.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The billboards for a morning radio show which implied she was "Certifiable" have been taken down under the legal threat noted here yesterday.  Lawyers and law profs disagreed over the strength of the pop tart's claim, including UCLA's Eugene Volokh, though I didn't see anything on it where he blogs.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The celebutante reportedly spends the days looking at the ceiling and walls of her cell, presumably entranced by the sound of the wind whistling through her head.

TIGER WOODS and his wife are the proud parents of a baby girl.  No word on when he starts teaching her to putt.

SASHA BARON COHEN and ISLA FISHER are having a girl?

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  London's Sun is claiming Holmes is knocked up again.  The Daily Mail shows no bump in most recent photos.

JOHN TRAVOLTA blames Virginia Tech, Columbine and all the other tragic school shootings not on the psychos who committed the heinous acts - but on psychiatric drugs.  And possibly Xenu.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and JESSICA BIEL:  JT just told the press it was a bad idea to have Biel on tour with him in the UK, but this week she met up with him in Amsterdam and Stockholm... though they tried being sneaky about it.  I guess he really can't say "no" to her -- NTTAWWT!

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but a Los Angeles judge Tuesday named Howard K. Stern executor of her estate and Larry Birkhead guardian of his and Smith's daughter, Dannielynn.

PATTON OSWALT, the voice behind French rat Remy in Ratatouille, is guesting on the Food Channel's Emeril Live! to promote Pixar's upcoming animated treat.  After downing a glass of red wine, he mock-slurs, "Thanks for having me on the show, Rachael..."

SICKO:  The Weinstein Co. has hired several firms that specialize in dealing with piracy and is taking "a very aggressive approach" before the release of Michael Moore's healthcare movie.  This extended to creating phony websites to phish personal info from people trying to download the movie.  Even Moore was upset over the eventual leak, so I guess his fondness for money exceeds his fondess for socialist and communist regimes.  Not surprising, when you remember that his foundation owns tens of thousands of shares in Big PharmCo Eli Lilly, in addition to Halliburton, Boeing and Sunoco.  BONUS:  Moore thanks 9/11 conspiracy theorists at a screening of Sicko.

O.J. SIMPSON:  The manuscript for his book, If I Did It, has leaked online.  Here's another scene.

NATALIE PORTMAN is co-author of a scientific paper on the neuroscience of child development, specifically object permanence - the ability to understand that objects do not disappear from the world when they are out of sight, something that typically develops in the first year of life.

BAR-B-QUE:  A Giant Leap For Mankind.

TERROR in the GAZA STRIP:  Some 1000 Palestinians marched in Gaza City, protesting under the banner "Stop the Killing."  Guess what happened?

PAKISTAN:  Analysts say Washington's fears that Islamic extremists will take control of Pakistan are overblown.  Let's hope so.  One might wonder how the fragile nuclear state would be doing if thousands of jihadi extremists had poured into the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region instead of into Iraq.

IRAQ:  The large-scale military operation in Diyala province's capital city of Baqubah (northeast of Baghdad) involves "approximately 10000 Soldiers, with a full complement of attack helicopters, close air support, Strykers and Bradley Fighting Vehicles." (The NYT had it at 2000 soldiers on Monday.)  Michael Yon is back in Baqubah, where he paints the background and e-mails Glenn Reynolds that the city is surrounded by our forces and there is sharp fighting.  A joint force of Iraqi and US troops reportedly arrested the leader of al-Qaeda armed group in Muqdadiya, Diyala province.  Meanwhile, US and British forces overwhelmed Shiite militiamen in Maysan province (south of Baghdad, where two of the five "surge" brigades are based).  Kirkuk seems determined to remain calm, though looming constitutional issues could open the door to sectarian strife.

TIMMY, TOMMY & TERRY:  It took three 4-year-old identical siblings to play the ginger tabby in the final episode of The Sopranos.

THE PET ATHLETIC CLUB is doing booming business in Cincinnati, OH.

HORSEPLAY CAUGHT on CCTV:  An Oregon teenager is facing charges of burglary and sexual abuse of an animal after being arrested last week at a barn in northeast Corvallis.

A NEW YORK GATOR is hopping in the minivan and retiring to sunny Florida.

A SAINT BERNARD thrown out of a second-floor window landed on a man as he was walking down a street the southern-Polish city of Sosnowiec.

THE FROG THREAT in FLORIDA:  People scream after finding huge frogs in their toilet bowls. Electrified amphibians cause multiple blackouts. Frogs hitch rides in cars, later surprising unsuspecting drivers.

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New Releases, Monterey Pop, Of Montreal, Baby Hippo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE WRONG TROUSERS don't seem old enough to know that "Video Killed the Radio Star," but they seem to have studied it pretty well.

NEW RELEASES:  The White Stripes release Icky Thump and take over an old Tower Records store for the occasion.  Art Brut, the Polyphonic Spree, Mooney Suzuki, Rocky Votolato and more are streaming in full from Spinner.  The very trippy sophomore LP from Jennifer Gentle is streaming in full from HisSpace. Minus Story (from Lawrence KS) is also psychedelic, in a Flaming Lips sorta way.  And Lightning Dust -- a side project of the Black Mountain collective -- is streaming a few tracks, too.

A HISTORY of the FLEXI-DISC at Stylus has a money quote from Randy Johnston, who owns the Toronto-based record shop Molten Core:  "I used to consider flexis to be a cheap throwaway, but...(now) I can see flexis as a perfect piece of pop art. We're living at the end of a cheap, throwaway culture, after all."

MONTEREY POP turned 40 over the weekend, so Heather Browne is streaming some highlights of the legendary music fest.

DINOSAUR, JR, now reuinited, talk to Harp magazine about how their personalities have changed over the years.  Built to Spill leader Doug Martsch touts the band's influence, and J Mascis's guitar-noodling ability, to the AP.

OF MONTREAL backs AXE RIVERBOY (a pseudonym for Tahiti 80 frontman Xavier Boyer) on covers of The Zombies' "Care of Cell 44" and David Bowie's "Starman" for a La Blogotheque Take-away Show.  Add in Axe Riverboy's "Roundabout" and Of Montreal's "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games," for a Twofer of Twofers Tuesday. 

ROBERT POLLARD is not only realeasing two albums this Fall, but will also dip back into live shows, icluding one at Chicago's Metro.

PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  Former defense team member Sara Caplan was held in contempt of court Monday for continuing to refuse to testify about forensics expert Henry Lee's actions at the scene of Lana Clarkson's death.

RYAN ADAMS considers it a miracle he did not die.  Others consider his upcoming Easy Tiger LP focused and perhaps his best yet.

SUFJAN STEVENS:  GvsB wonders whether Stevens has new material about the state of Oregon, or whether it's a hoax.  Pichfork called his label, which says it's a hoax.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel acted as a roadie for the troubled singer, toting his acoustic guitar as she arrived at London's Royal Festival Hall for that Disney tribute concert.  Doherty is rumored to be reuniting with Libertines bandmate Carl Barat for a performance at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Shivering in the cold of her cell (at least it's cold to someone paper-thin), the heirhead made her dad a Father's Day card.  So cute.  She is probably out of jail next week, and her neighbors are unhappy.

BRITNEY SPEARS is threatening legal action against a Florida radio station that used a bald-headed photo of the pop tart on billboards that appear to call her sanity into question.  Interestingly, the lawyers' letter complains of commercial exploitation of her likeness, not libel.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  Barbara Walters said that, while "it's very hard for anyone to follow Rosie" on The View, the co-hosts now are able to talk about matters like "heterosexual sex" that they couldn't discuss when O'Donnell was the moderator.  If you think Walters is exaggerating, note that O'Donnell reportedly said, "I've been hanging around with those heteros for a full year and it's not fun..."

JULIA ROBERTS gives birth to the too-normally-named for a celebaby Henry, largely wiping out coverage of Keri Russell giving birth for the first time.

KRISTY SWANSON, the original vampire slayer, was arrested late Saturday night for allegedly assaulting the ex-wife of her baby daddy and former skating partner, Lloyd Eisler.  Swanson claims she was the real victim.

LINDSAY LOHAN is being offered a free car service to ensure she gets from nightclubs to her home safely, when she comes out of rehab.  New York-based company Georgi clearly has great confidence in Li-Lo's ability to stay clean once she gets out of the Promises clinic.  US Weekly was reporting that Lohan canceled her 21st birthday party at PURE nightclub in Las Vegas on July 2nd, but the story seems to have vanished from the mag's website. 

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY and SIENNA MILLER:  Knightley hoped some of Miller's social skills would rub off on her, but the two are staying in and playing board games.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise is at the highest level of "clear" in Scientology - and now he may even perform a wedding for a friend, Australian heir James Packer, one of the church's richest benefactors.  Cruise renewed fears he may "inject" Scientology propaganda into a new film about German WWII officer Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg by turning up at Scientology's UK HQ. The couple was spotted partying until 7 a.m. with the Beckhams in Madrid after David Beckham's final game in Spain.  And there was the traditional Tom-Kat PDA photo-op at the game.

MORE CANOODLING!  The New York Post's Page Six is likely to expand to three pages, which is one of the signs of tha apocalypse.  Just a little Mark of The Beast humor.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie says she's open to making peace with her estranged father, Jon Voight.  Maybe she looks at Shiloh and sees a mini-Voight.

PAUL POTTS, the 36-year-old mobile phone salesman turned opera singer, will spend the £100,000 won from Britain's Got Talent on dental work.

SHARON STONE and other celebs are headed to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to raise money for AIDS victims - but are they doing it on the backs of that country's human-rights victims?

THE DARK KNIGHT:  Entertainment Weekly shows you Batman's new suit -- which is starting to look enough like the Joel Schumacher era to make me uneasy.  However, I do want to see more of the new Batpod.

JERI RYAN married French chef Christophe Eme in the French countryside over the weekend.  Jeri had accused her frst husband of asking her to perform sexual acts with him in public, and in adult clubs in New York, New Orleans, and Paris.

RATATOUILLE:  Speaking of French chefs, I saw the sneak preview of Pixar's latest over the weekend.  I'm waiting until closer to the June 29th opening to do a review, but circle your calendars. In the meantime, Jason Kottke makes some good points, including one about Pixar doing its homework on kitchens.  You can watch trailers and clips galore at Yahoo!

LIFE IMITATES MONTY PYTHON:  Dead guy not so dead after all.

TERROR in the US?  Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the US and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by ABCNews.com.  U.S. intell officials call it propaganda; former White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke takes it seriously.

THE UNITED NATIONS supposedly reformed its Human Rights Council, but the body now prepares to place Israel under a permanent indictment while eliminating expertsreporting on violations by Cuba and Belarus, and threatening those reporting on Burundi, Cambodia, North Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Burma, Somalia and Sudan.  Indeed, Incoming UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the slaughter in Darfur was triggered by global climate change.

IRAN:  Some 200 exiled Iranian dissidents of various political stripes gathered in Paris to launch a movement called "Solidarity Iran," seeking to devise more and better-coordinated ways of boosting efforts by people within Iran itself to replace the country's terrorist-sponsoring and brutal Islamic regime with secular, democratic rule.

IRAQ:  The US military began a major attack by more than 2000 American troops against Sunni insurgent positions in Baquba -- the capital of Diyala Province -- overnight, part of a larger operation aimed at blunting the persistent car and suicide bombings that have terrorized Iraqis and thwarted political reconciliation.  Bill Roggio has background on the major operations starting in the "belts" surrounding Baghdad and on joint Iraqi-British strikes on Iranian-backed terror cells in the south.  In Diyala, US soldiers also are willing to risk teaming up with militias to fight Al Qaeda-aligned groups.   Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki warned that US troops sometimes create new militias by arming Iraqi tribes, urging that such decisions be left to his government.  It's a fair point, though it would carry more weight if Maliki weren't backed by the Mahdi Army, while the tribes being armed are mostly Sunni.  CNN notes that raids aimed at disrupting the flow of weapons and fighters between Iraq and Iran resulted in the deaths of at least 20 militants early Monday in eastern Iraq.  Saudi Arabia calls on Iran not to interfere in Iraq's internal affairs, which is unlikely to deter Iran in any way.  Even Moqtada al-Sadr is continuing to criticize Iran to boost his nationalist cred; a high-level Sadr aide accuses Iran of helping Al Qaeda.  Basra's police chief has been reassigned or fired in the wake of two attacks against Sunni mosques in the city, reportedly sectarian reprisals for last week's attack on mosque in Samarra.  Iraqi officials do not expect a major Turkish incursion in the north.  In Baghdad, US soldiers found and rescued boys starving and chained to beds in a government-run orphanage for special needs children.

PAUL the BABY HIPPO is challenging polar bear cub Knut for public affection at the Berlin Zoo.

A ONE-EYED SNAKE was saved from being run over and shot in Rayville, LA.  And it wasn't even Mardi Gras.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A giant flying squirrel has been found in Jharkhand, India arousing the curiosity of forest officials and a bit of concern among tribals.

ALABAMA KITTENS may buy Mitchell Morris a new boat motor and a new heart.

A BLACK SEA BASS had to be deflated by the Harbor Patrol in Avalon, California, last week.

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Sir Paul, Ryan Adams, Nemozob, Guilty Pleasures, Lucky Lamb   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 18, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


PAUL McCARTNEY is having his 65th birthday party today, so aside from the obvious, I thought I would point you to some medleys of unreleased and alternate takes of McCartney tracks.  Plus, to show he's still got it, Parts One and Two of the SuperBowl halftime show in 2005 -- including "Drive My Car," "Get Back," "Live and Let Die," Hey, Jude."  And a twofer from the 1976 Wings Over America tour -- "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Jet"   BONUS:  Sir Paul makes mashed potatoes.  No, really.

SONIC YOUTH is coming to a Starbucks near you,  No, really.  With a new song, too.

RYAN ADAMS performed at the World Cafe Friday, so you can stream a full set on demand via NPR.

THE WHITE STRIPES performed an acoustic set to war veterans at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, west London, last week.  Proceeds from a concert by the band in London will go to the Chelsea Pensioners' Appeal and help build a new care home at the site.

NEMOZOB has produced two of my current fave mashups -- Nick Drake vs. Marvin Gaye on "Northern Soul" and the Beastie Boys vs. Led Zeppelin on "The Immigrant Check."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Tony Joe White brings the bayou on "Pork... Salad... Annie."  H-UH!

THE RAMONES now have their own Converse All Star Hi-Top, with proceeds going to The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

GUILT BY ASSOCIATION:  ChartAttack covers the upcoming LP of indie artists interpreting their guilty pleasures.  I've mentioned it before, but it's worth relinking to the album's MySpace page, not least for Petra haden's signature take on Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."

TOP TEN CRUSHING DISAPPOINTMENTS is the subject of a Stylus Staff list.

VOXTROT leader Ramesh Srivastava leader returns the blog love that propelled the band to notoriety without having released a single CD.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Nicky Hilton may have been in hysterics after visiting her sister in the pokey, and the heirhead may have been praying for strength, but her fellow inmates are delighted she's back, as some say her presence there means extra goodies for all, including shampoo, blankets and cookie rations.  Indeed, one ex-inmate says most inmates "have to be bleeding from their eyes" to get into the eight-bed medical ward where the celebutante is staying, and word is that Hilton has been wearing make-up and white and pink polka dot prison scrubs rather than the orange suit.  The Ninja Dude blog claims to have an inside source saying that the heirhead has been behaving this way because -- thanks to irresponsibility and bad investments -- she is largely out of capital, living almost entirely on credit and her parents' good will, with hopes of a bigtime book deal on "transformation and personal growth."  she's not the only one loonking to cash in -- A New Jersey car dealership is running a "Paris in Jail Sale" during the celebutante's stay in the pokey.

NICOLE RICHIE is reportedly engaged to -- and pregnant by -- rocker Joel Madden.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer tops the box office with 57.4 million bucks -- better than the original and better than most analysts predicted (though my tepid review allowed for it).  Next weekend will tell the tale of whether it's worth its 130 million budget.  Ocean's 13 made 19 million -- a 47% drop that's better than this summer's other threequels in their second weekends.  Knocked Up held onto the third slot with 14.5 million and a 90 million US total on a 30 million budget.  The Pirates threequel dropped from second to fourth with 12 million and 820 million worldwide so far.  Surf's Up rounds out the Top Five with 9.3 million with a 47% drop -- a bit large for an animated flick, but FF must have eaten into that family audience.  Shrek the Third dropped a still-too-high 41%, but ahead of the 7.1 million opening for Nancy Drew, which looks to be a flop (depending on how low the budget was).  Case in point -- Hostel, Pt II plunged another 63% but has made 14 million on a ten million budget.  Mr. Brooks brought in another 2.8 million past its 20 million budget.  Spider-Man 3 rounds out the Top Ten with 2.5 million and a 330 million total in the US on its 258 million budget; considering the marketing costs, it's a good thing it made another 500 million outside the US.

ROD STEWART married longtime gf Penny Lancaster in a small town just outside the Italian Riviera resort of Portofino.

DAVID HASSELHOFF was awarded primary physical and sole legal custody of his two daughters.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and JESSICA BIEL:  JT calls Biel his "very dear friend," but says he has not met the love of his life, adding that it wasn't a good idea to have Biel join him on tour but that he doesn't "know how to say no to a pretty face."

JESSICA SIMPSON and JOHN MAYER:  The pneumatic blonde celebrated her newly single status with a girls-only night in Los Angeles last week - and reportedly told pals she was "happy" about her recent break-up.  OTOH, a guest at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood told Celebrity Babylon of overhearing Mayer demanding that Simpson stop calling and texting him.

LINDSAY LOHAN is still in rehab, but is denying that the "bodyguard" who made explaosive claims in UK's News of the World tabloid worked for her for two years, saying it was more like finning info ten days.  But a non-denial denial of the substance of what he said.

ROSIE O'DONNELL may yet replace Bob Barker as the host of The Price Is Right, having at least gotten a meeting with producers.

BILL CLINTON and SHAQUILLE O'NEAL have been (baselessly) dragged into a Las Vegas prostitution case.

PAUL POTTS -- the amazing amateur opera singer -- wowed 'em again in the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie was in full damage control mode following stories that she was trying to control the press, blaming her handlers for the restrictive contract that reporters were going to be forced to sign to get an interview.  A spokeswoman for Paramount Vantage piped up to claim that the attempt to bar FOX News from the movie's premiere was "an omission" and "an honest mistake."  And Jolie turned up the charm for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, including floating the notion that she and Pitt may have 14 kids.  Stewart called her "our most powerful weapon against extremism," wondering whether a Pakistani burka could contain her hotness.  And to top things off, Jolie gave a lift to paparazzo James Ambler, who popped a flat on his bike while following the A Mighty Heart star around New York.

THE BBC has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff, a report commissioned by the corporation has concluded.  A staff impartiality seminar held last year is also documented in the report, at which executives admitted they would broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but not the Koran, in case Muslims were offended.  During the seminar a senior BBC reporter criticized the corporation for being anti-American.

WAR in the GAZA STRIP:  The Arab League member states found themselves divided Saturday over their response to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip and the crisis in the Palestinian Authority.  Saudi Arabia said Friday that Palestinians have come close to putting the last nail in their coffin and called on both Hamas and Fatah to revive the unity government.

IRAN started the first phase of gasoline rationing on Thursday, limiting fuel that drivers of government cars can buy, but many Iranians are still confused about how and when the full rationing plan would be in place.  Tehran is in the midst of a sweeping crackdown that both Iranians and US analysts compare to a cultural revolution in its attempt to steer the oil-rich theocracy back to the rigid strictures of the 1979 revolution.  Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie was knighted by the Queen of England; an Iranian group raised the price on his head to 150K.

IRAQ:  With the "surge" troops now completely in-country, US forces have begun a wide offensive against Al Qaeda on the outskirts of Baghdad to cut down the group's devastating campaign of car bombings.  Regular Pate visitors know that US forces started building up for the offensive in April.  IraqSlogger notes that US military deaths seem to be trending down this month; we'll see.  Time magazine suggests that the "surge" is responsible for the less-than-expected retaliation after the bombing of the mosque in Samarra.  A British general is at the forefront of the risky US strategy to turn former Sunni insurgents into "freedom fighters" battling Al Qaeda in Baghdad.

LUCKY LADY the LAMB running loose in the Bronx was just the start of a busy day of wacky animal news in NYC.

FOUR DOLPHINS sleep with the fishes near Oceanside, California.

DEPUTY DOG dies in the line of duty, eating the seats in sheriff's department patrol car.

HOW TO X-RAY an ELEPHANT:  Australia's Daily Telegraph has a photo gallery.

PYGMY BUNNIES UPDATE:  The only surviving pair of endangered pygmy rabbits released as part of a program to increase their numbers in the wild have dodged coyotes, badgers, hawks and owls and found time for love.

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Kinks, FoW, Spoon, Cutout Bin, Silver Surfer, Kitty Puppy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 15, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE KINKS!  Having recently posted some less obvious Stones clips, I thought I'd do the same here, with songs like "I Gotta Move" (from Shindig!), and softer fare like "Sunny Afternoon," the Dave Davies-penned "Death of a Clown," concept LP title track "The Village Green Preservation Society" (pictured), "Days," " Celluloid Heroes" and a rawking live version of "Victoria." Plus, you can hear bits of the hits in the background of this mini-documentary on the band.  And because it's Friday, here's some "Alcohol."

FOUNTAINS of WAYNE stopped by The Current, so you can stream a mini-set -- including the always fab "Red Dragon Tattoo" -- on demand from MPR.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS:  John Linnell shuffled his iPod for The A.V. Club and came up with Glenn Gould and Japanese language instruction, plus more.

SPOON:  The upcoming Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga should be streaming in full via Merge Records today.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK is performing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety as a benefit for Medecins Sans Frontieres at Three Kings Pub in Clerkenwell, London on June 30 and July 1.  He's also spotlighted at the moment by the Sundance Channel which has an interview and unplugged take on "I Wanna Destroy You" posted for your viewing pleasure.

DAYDREAM NATION, the Sonic Youth epic streaming via Spinner through the weekend, gets retrospectives at PopMatters and the New York Sun.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS have free songs to stream and download (three unreleased) from SxSW at Daytrotter.

THE EASYBEATS are never far away when I've got "Friday on my Mind."  This is a live version.

BONO:  Radar magazine photoshops the covers of Vanity Fair's star-studded, Bono-edited July "Africa" issue to include a few statistics Vanity Fair left out.

THE PIPETTES:  Waves and Wires has posted the band's San Francisco gig, which you can jukebox (albeit out of order) via the ol' HM.

ICE CREAM TRUCK MUSIC:  Ears weary of "Pop Goes the Weasel" and the Mister Softee theme during these hot summer months now have an alternative: Michael Hearst's album, Songs for Ice Cream Trucks.  You can listen at the album's website.

BONNAROO:  Festival sets from Wilco, Flaming Lips, Feist, Lily Allen, Gillian Welch, Ben Harper, Cold War Kids and String Cheese Incident and more will be streaming via AT&T's Blue Room starting today and through the weekend.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: R.E.M. - Radio Song; Soft Boys - I Wanna Destroy You; Joe Jackson - It's Different For Girls; The Polyphonic Spree - Running Away; I'm From Barcelona - Britney; The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset; Big Star - Till the End of the Day (live Kinks); U2 - Desire; Dramarama - Anything, Anything; Steve Miller Band - Swingtown; Friends Of Distinction - Grazing in the Grass; The Archies vs The Velvet Underground - Velvet Sugar; Bay City Rollers - Summerlove Sensation; Wilco - Something In The Air (live Thunderclap Newman); John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John - You're The One That I Want; C.W. McCall - Convoy; Blondie - Hanging On The Telephone; Art Brut - Direct Hit; The Clash - Lost in the Supermarket; Count Five - Psychotic Reaction; World Party - Is It Like Today?; Grateful Dead - Truckin'; Cheap Trick - He's A Whore; Diamond Nights - Saturday Fantastic; Meatloaf - I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That); The Turtles - Happy Together; and Journey - Don't Stop Believin'.

FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE of the SILVER SURFER is -- as you can see below -- not a well-reviewed movie.  And I should note at the outset that I thought the first FF a very mediocre adaptation of the comic book.  But it did really well at the box office.  So I can list the many things that are wrong with this second installment.  It does great violence to the Galactus Saga -- one of the seminal tales of modern comics.  It captures the global scope of the story, but largely lacks the gravity and tension it ought to have.  It does even greater violence to Galactus himself (and though I can guess why, I have a good counter-argument as to why something closer to the book would have been better). The "acting" ceratinly hasn't improved.  And Jessica Alba's skin color varies from near-normal to slightly-less-orange than The Thing, with an astonishing lack of continuity.  Nevertheless, I think it may do well, because -- for all of its flaws --  it captures the tone and family-orientation (in the on-screen relationships and overall content) that I think were key to the success of the first film.  People who really liked the first one will probably like this one.  I think that is doubly important this summer, where a lot of people have been disappointed by the big-budget threequels.  Plus, it's only 92 minutes long, which should play well with those fatigued by the length of last month's blockbusters. It also means a fair amount is packed into those 92 minutes, so kids won't lose their attention.  And biz-wise, theaters can run more showings daily.  If you want a big ol' spoiler, you can click the "Read more" link at the bottom of today's blurbs.  BONUS:  The A.V. Club lists "10 Wonderfully Weird Moments From Fantastic Four Comics," including one involving the Silver Surfer-Galactus Saga.

JESSICA ALBA has been required to go everywhere to promote the Fantastic Four flick, including SportsCenter, where she denied saying that she hopes directors will be able to see past "my hotness."

NOW SHOWING:  Aside from the Fantastic Four, which is currently scoring 23 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's only wide release is Nancy Drew, which is scoring 55 percent.

JOSS STONE, who has been desperate to be in a relationship since splitting from her first love Beau Dozier in 2005, told Britain's The Times magazine: "I think I'll have to turn lesbian."  Which may be a good way to attract a man. 

PAUL POTTS sang opera on Britain's Got Talent and moved everyone, even Simon Cowell, icymi.

THE FORBES CELEBRITY 100 LIST is out and sortable a whole bunch of ways.

THE FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The heirhead begged the deputies to pray for her as she was transferred from Twin Towers  back to Lynwood.  Even though her private room at the Lynwood medical clinic is an upgrade, a law enforcement source told TMZ that "To describe Paris as emotionally upset would be an understatement," with root of the problem being severe panic attacks.  OK! magazine claims that her jailhouse remorse is more about her fear of losing endorsement deals than the pangs of conscience.  A source is quoted as saying it will be tough for her to boost her image with charity work because few charities will want to be associated with her.  And an L.A. Times study shows that she will end up serving more time than 80% of other people in similar situations: "Twenty-three days would be considerably more than the average person given her sentence would actually serve," said Stan Goldman, professor of criminal law and procedure at Loyola Law School.

BRITNEY SPEARS is asking for help from her fans to name the pop tart's upcoming album.  Some of the choices are hilarious... just not the ones that she thinks.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL may make his Broadway debut this fall in a new play loosely based on Howard Dean's 2004 campaign for the White House.

20 MOVIES Not Coming Soon to a Theater Near You, courtesy of Premiere magazine.

THE BIG CHILL-OUT:  Screen Gems is remaking the 1983 Boomer navel-gazer with an African-American cast.  And while the characters will have gone to school in the 90s, the redo may stick with the original's fixation on Motown classics.  Really, hasn't Whitey already done enough to Black people?

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is touting press freedom these days, playing the widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in a new movie called A Mighty Heart.  But Jolie turns out to be a mighty hypocrite when it comes to her own freedom of the press, requiring all journalists to sign a contract before talking to her, and tried to ban FOX News from the red carpet of her premiere.  USA Today and the AP were among those that canceled interviews, and eventually Jolie scotched all print interviews when she heard the reaction.  After this story got out, she reversed her position on restricting reporters' questions at today's press junket.  The Jolie-Pitt nanny has been telling stories to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.  And St. John must be giddy at having paid Jolie millions to promote their clothing when she turned up at the NYC premiere of A Mighty Heart wearing a 26-dollar vintage dress from Melrose Avenue in LA.

AFGHANISTAN:  The Taliban failed to mount their long-threatened spring offensive, and indications are the guerrillas may have trouble recruiting fighters after the harvest, a NATO commander said.  Afghan Defense Minister Wardak dismissed claims by a top US State Dept official that there was "irrefutable evidence" that the Iranian government was providing arms to Taliban rebels. 

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  Following Tuesday night's AP story on the latest quarterly report from the Pentagon, the Washington Post headline is "No Drop in Iraq Violence Seen Since Troop Buildup," the NYT headline is "Violence Rising in Much of Iraq, Pentagon Says," and the L.A. Times chimes in with "Iraq violence up since troop increase."  And the AP's "Baghdad Crackdown Seeks Sunni Help" claims that the "security operation has failed to curb violence nationwide," "violence is actually more acute nationwide," and that the "sectarian slaughter has dipped slightly in Baghdad, but is up dramatically outside the city."  But the AP later reports the actual numbers.  The four-month death toll before the operation was 7,919 while the number for the past four months was 7,281 -- a drop of 8% nationwide.  Using the same timelines, deaths in Baghdad dropped from 5,585 to 3,764  -- a 33% drop (the AP calls this a "dipped slightly.").  According to iCasualties -- which uses the AP numbers -- there were 3014 civilian deaths in February and 1980 in May -- a 34% drop in the level of monthly deaths.  This is what the US media presents as failure, even before all of the "surge" troops are deployed and integrated into their areas of operation.

IRAQ:  Gen. Petraeus, otoh, drives through the streets of Iraq's capital, he sees "astonishing signs of normalcy" in half, perhaps two-thirds of Baghdad.  That was before the mosque bombing in Samarrah, which he called a "serious blow."  Could it be that the mosque bombing was intended to reignite sectarian violence precisely because the current operations are succeeding in Baghdad?  Bill Roggio rounds up news on arrests in the bombing case and sketchy reports of sectarian strife after the blast.  Daveed Gartenstein-Ross analyzes the strategic implications of the bombing, noting that last year, major violence did not break out immediately following the al-Askariya bombing, but heated up over time.  More than 2000 Kurdish fighters are being deployed in restive Diyala province to support US and Iraqi forces fighting insurgents, a top Kurdish security official said.  A Turkish think tank warns that a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq could inflame Kurdish nationalism.

A CHINESE DOG gave birth to a "kitten" which local vets say is really a puppy which looks like a cat because of a gene mutation. It apparently yaps like a puppy.  Oh, sure.

ALASKA'S ONLY ELEPHANT has agreed to move to a warmer climate amid mounting pressure over her welfare but faces the dilemma of how to get there.  Can't she just wait for the global warming?

BRITISH SNAKES:  Dorset police took custody of a two-meter carpet python -- indigenous to Australia, but found on a country path in the UK.  A couple's intimate moment at Christchurch Park in Ipswich was interrupted when a four-foot constrictor fell out of a tree above them.

LAND 'O' GOSHEN!  That's where a wild turkey suddenly came crashing through the windshield of a New Yorker's car after dropping her son off at school on Tuesday.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A piglet with six legs and two penises.  And two anuses.

Read full article: 'Kinks, FoW, Spoon, Cutout Bin, Silver Surfer, Kitty Puppy'
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