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New Releases, Rare Otis Redding, Advance Bob Pollard, Goat Marriage   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BIG BLACK: I was unable to attend the Touch & Go label's 25th anniversary concerts, but YouTube has clips of Big Black (including my ol' classmate, Santiago Durango), palying "Dead Billy," "Cables" and "Racer X." The sound is distorted -- and the cheap joke would be to ask who can tell with Big Black -- but the reality is their sound was really quite precise.

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Yo La Tengo, Barenaked Ladies, Everclear, Soulwax, indie ravers The Rapture, Robert Cray Band, and R.E.M. (a "best of") are streaming in full from AOL this week. Catfish Haven (whose soul-influenced rock recently got raves at Chromewaves), the prolific Jason Molina's Magnolia Record Co., buzz band TV o­n the Radio and even returning legend Bob Seger all have stuff up o­n MySpace. Los Lobos has audio and podcasts for their new LP at their website. Richard Buckner's latest album of roots-rock is streaming from Merge Records. A tune from the Nonsuch debut of Black Keys made NPR's Song of the Day, in all its garage-y goodness. And Page France has another slab 'o' folk-pop out today; they will be playing the M-Shop o­n Halloween, Amesters.

YO LA TENGO, whose I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your A** would be my pick of the week, is already getting universal acclaim at Metacritic. It also got a good review in London's Guardian, who recently had the band play Name (and comment o­n) That Tune.

PAUL STANLEY of KISS is a dad. He told People magazine: "Lucky for him, he looks just like his mother."

JANE'S ADDICTION, RYAN ADAMS and OTIS REDDING all have live sets posted at rbally, which you can jukebox via the Hype Machine.

SIXTIES SONGS REVISITED: Following up o­n Pitchfork's "200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s" feature, staffers post their individual top tens and shoulda-beens. Kudos to John Motley for picking Dusty Springfield's "No Easy Way Down."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: I asked myself: "How do you balance out those Big Black videos?" And I answered myself: "By having Walter Becker and Donald Fagen -- a/k/a Steely Dan -- and crack musicians like Rick Marotta, Chuck Rainey and Yacht Rocker Michael McDonald talk about the making of "Peg." You can see a live performance from VH1's Storytellers, or stream the studio recording via the Hype Machine. And o­nce I was in a Dan groove (and stopped talking to myself), I couldn't help but throw in "Hey Nineteen" and "Reelin' In The Years."

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN frontman Ian McCulloch has been charged with attacking two fans during a backstage dispute after a concert.

ROBERT POLLARD has announced tour dates and released a sneak preview from his upcoming Normal Happiness album, "Supernatural Car Lover," which finds Bob in his uber-catchy pop mode. You can also stream it via the Hype Machine.

PINK FLOYD: If you thought you knew everything about Dark Side of the Moon, did you know the album has its own CD-pressing factory in Germany?

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer wanted to stage his quasi-Buddhist weddding to the supposedly sober supermodel in a soccer stadium, but has been turned down by officials.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH gives birth to a daughter and loses her son within three days.

THE McCARTNEYS: The latest gossip has Sir Paul buying Heather Mills' silence with a £40 million settlement.

LINDSAY LOHAN understands the karma of having to thank a paparazzo for recovering her handbag and jewelry.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE: Last weekend, Richie Sambora took Denise Richards to meet the parents. TMZ has video.

DAVE NAVARRO and CARMEN ELECTRA BREAK-UPDATE: Navarro is denying involvement with yet another woman at his website.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Okay, this technically is not about Cruise, but don't you think it bugs him that he can't joke in public about pictures of Brooke Shields eating her own boogers? You know they're busting a gut over at the Scientology Celebrity Centre.

NICOLE KIDMAN is furious with David Thomson's unauthorized biography, which Random House has excerpted at its website.

ORLANDO BLOOM and UMA THURMAN getting cozy just days after Bloom split from Kate Bosworth?

THE FRENCH HOTEL is talentless and unprofessional, according to her co-star in the new movie Bottoms Up, though everyone pretty much knew the first part already. And you will be shocked, shocked to learn that the heiress broke her year-long vow of celibacy after less than a month.

WILLIAM SHATNER: Yesterday, I noted his admitted fear of space travel. Today brings word that Capt. Kirk can't work a computer. The technology must be too primitive, like when the Enterprise traveled back in time and Scotty was trying to use a mouse as a microphone.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is rumored to be marrying Pride and Prejudice co-star Rupert Friend. Didn't she watch her own movie? The man is a gold-digger!

THE STATE OF THE WAR: In The New Yorker, Lawrence Wright surveys the assessments of the major jihad theorists. The war has not gone well for them so far, but hope springs eternal for Islamic extremists.

AFGHAN/PAKISTAN: NATO estimates it has killed 420 Taliban fighters in nine days. London's Guardian spins it this way: "If true, the Taliban casualty figures could suggest that either the insurgent ranks have swelled enormously or heavy civilian casualties have been inflicted." This would be in line with the paper's 9/11 coverage. Meanwhile Coalition forces captured Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was nameed by the US State Dept. as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist." And that truce between the Pakistan Army and Taliban leaders in North Waziristan is already in jeopardy. I'm shocked.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar comments o­n the politics of federalism, while Mohammed is stunned at Arabic media coverage of 9/11. He probably shouldn't be, though I note that favorable opinion of the US has gone up considerably in countries like Jordan and Pakistan since 2003, the exception being Turkey, which probably blames the US for Kurdish unrest. A prior poll showed declining support in the region for suicde bombers, with the exception of Jordan, where support for Al Qaeda finally plummeted after Zarqawi attacked the nation. Meanwhile, Coalition forces have begun patrols in Sadr City in Baghdad, the headquarters for radical Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr. Operations have also begun in Baghdad's southern neighborhoods of Bay'aa and Risala.

A MASSIVE KILLER BIRD that can kill with a single swipe of his six-inch claws or needle-shaped beak, was recaptured after a week o­n the loose in Britain.

THE DOG ATE YOUR HOMEWORK? No, more like a raccoon, really...

PET HOARDING: The latest case, involving about 100 birds of various species, two dogs, two turtles, and a rabbit, comes from St. Petersburg, Florida.

AN ELEPHANT at the Everland amusement park in Seoul can mimic human words.

A GOAT was a party to a "shotgun wedding" in Sudan.

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9/11, Live GbV and Uncle Tupelo, Mike Heron, Saudis ban Cats & Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 11, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


9/11, FIVE YEARS LATER: There is a lot of video from the day posted o­n YouTube. WCBS in NYC has also posted raw video at its website. You probably have not seen the photos taken by Bill Biggart, who was crushed when the second tower fell. There are plenty more at The Black Day. You could try the 9/11 Digital Archive, but I suspect it will be swamped with traffic, if Sunday night was an indication. The same will probably hold with George Mason University's Digital Archive. It reminds me that blogs really took off after 9/11 in part because regular news sites were being swamped with traffic. For example, I first became aware of Little Green Footballs (which would become much-better known after the Dan Rather "memogate" story) as a repository of 9/11 stories including "Tilly's story" of narrowly escaping the WTC.

THE RECENTLY AIRED AL QAEDA VIDEO contains statements of the 9/11 attackers that their actions were inspired by an urge to avenge the suffering of Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya. Mind you, the US helped save Muslims in Bosnia and had no involvement in Chechnya. It's a reminder that the jihadis will always have a grievance, and don't really care which infidels they kill. As bin Laden said in October 2001, "This battle is not between al Qaeda and the US. This is a battle of Muslims against the global crusaders."

9/11 CONSPIRACY THEORIES have gained traction in the US, with a recent poll showing that 36 percent of Americans consider it "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that government officials either allowed the attacks to be carried out or carried out the attacks themselves. Some conspiracists are academics or former gov't officials. Popular Mechanics recently published an entire book debunking these claims. The National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted a 3-year building and fire safety investigation to study the factors contributing to the probable cause (or causes) of post-impact collapse of the WTC Towers, and continues to investigate the collapse of "Building 7," which is a favorite of the conspiracists. I doubt that any amount of scientific investigation will disabuse the conspiracists of their beliefs.

ISLAMIC EXTREMISM: British writer Martin Amis -- who is no fan of US foreign policy -- has penned a highly informative piece of the rise of extreme Islamism for London's Observer.

AIRPORT SECURITY is tighter than ever, which is probably a good thing, considering that Transportation Security Administration officers just caught a man with a o­ne-way ticket to Yemen trying to board a plane with a knife hidden in a hollowed-out book. Some will be relieved to discover that while many liquids are banned from carry-on luggage, personal lubricants like KY Jelly are just fine, though I have to think the kind that heats up when you blow o­n it could be a problem. (Thanks, Amber.)

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: "My City Of Ruins," from the A Tribute To Heroes telethon in 2001.

U2 is back in the studio, with producer Rick Rubin and Green Day.

LIVE SETS from Guded by Voices and acoustic Uncle Tupelo posted by Captain's Dead and Berkeleyplace can be jukeboxed via the Hype Machine.

THE BEATLES: Music writer Steve Turner claims to have the real story of the "wicked dentist" who dosed George Harrison, John Lennon and their wives with LSD in 1965, which supposedly spawned the surreal lyrics of Help!

MIKE HERON -- the guitarist, singer and songwriter of the Incredible String Band -- did a solo album with cameos from Richard Thompson, Steve Winwood, John Cale, Elton John, Pete Townshend and more. You can stream three songs from this "shadow classic" album via NPR.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: Beggars Group has posted its first authorized authorized video of John Darnielle playing "Moon Over Goldsboro" at Amoeba Records, along with an interview by AC Newman of The New Pornographers. Darnielle was also recently interviewed at *Sixeyes. Metromix has a piece o­n Get Lonely, while Darnielle wrote about the album himself in the L.A. Times.

ROUGH TRADE: Britain's legendary DIY music shop and label is profiled in London's Independent.

GRAHAM PARKER may be best remembered for "Local Girls," but it's a small part of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Graham Parker, Part One, which you can jukebox via the Hype Machine.

PITCHFORK: The influential indie website and its founder, Ryan Schreiber, are profiled in the Twin Cities' Star-Tribune.

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn launches a new feature at Pitchfork, giving recommendations for records, artists, movies, books, concerts, TV and radio shows.

LINDSAY LOHAN got her handbag back, after it was turned into Scotland Yard. Nothing was missing, including the approximate million dollars in jewelry. This leaves her mom free to squash those engagement rumors.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Speaking of engagement rumors, those about Denise Richards and Richie Sambora have been officially denied.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The big story this weekend may be how slow it was, with the top ten making 49.7 million, the worst since the first weekend of September 2003. Last year the take was 70 million. Anyway, The Covenant took the top slot with 9 million, followed by Hollywoodland with 6 million. I saw the latter, which featured good performances from the still-hot Diane Lane, Adrien Brody and (of all people) Ben Affleck, who probably deserved to win a prize for it in Venice. Even so, I can't say I recommend it as a whole, as it told me nothing about the death of TV Superman George Reeves I didn't already know. But I digress -- Invincible slipped to third place, followed by The Protector and Crank. The Illusionist slipped o­nly 25 percent to grap the sixth slot, followed by Little Miss Sunshine, which dropped more, but has already quadrupled what FOX Searchlight paid for it. The Wicker Man, Talladega Nights and Barnyard round out the top ten.

KIRSTEN DUNST often had public sex with Jake Gyllenhaal, according to Britain's ever-reliable News of the World.

CINDY CRAWFORD is denying the cosmetic surgery story that first ran in a French magazine. Indeed, she's denying any interview occurred.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Recent public appearances by Cruise and Holmes just the beginning of a carefully crafted, all-out image-remaking offensive that the couple has launched (as I suspected), but Hollywood bigwigs tell TMZ it's not going to work with them, as Cruise hints at knowledge of drug use by their family members. Janet Charlton prints the latest conspiracy theory suggesting Chris Klein fathered the Tom-Kitten.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Radar claims that it was creepy dad-manager Joe who axed his daughters' publicist, Rob Shuter. Meanwhile, Lisa Simpson wrote to In Touch magazine to express her disappointment that readers made Jessica their favorite Simpson in a recent reader poll.

CAMERON DIAZ wants back.

BRADGELINA: Pitt claims that he and Jolie "will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," according to an upcoming piece in Esquire. Pitt should have credited Charlize Theron for the idea. Meanwhile, there's a dispute over whether Nicole Kidman criticized Jolie as a publicity hound.

WILLIAM SHATNER will not boldly go aboard Virgin Galactic's first passenger flight in 2008: "I'm interested in man's march into the unknown but to vomit in space is not my idea of a good time. Neither is a fiery crash with the vomit hovering over me."

THESE DANG FIBERGLASS COWS have invaded the streets of Edinburgh. When they were in Chicago, it was next-to-impossible to use Michigan Avenue for all the tourists (who never seemed to be shopping in the stores whose entrances they blocked).

CATS AND DOGS: Their sales are banned by the religious police in Saudi Arabia, who apparently see them as a disaster of Koranical proportions, real wrath-of-Allah type stuff.

PRAIRIE DOGS can be blown up in Colorado. Use of explosive devices was sought by ranchers, farmers and organic-produce growers, who feared using poisons would affect their legal certification. And who is the prairie dog's friend? His allies? The harmless squirrel and the friendly rabbit.

THE NATIONAL HAMSTER BALL DERBY was held this weekend. But I think the winners should move o­n to further competition.

SQUIRRELS thieved dozens of American flags at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire, WI. Let's go to the video.

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Zep, Rare 'Mats and Ramones, Mixtapes, and Goats At Work   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 08, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with some bootleg LED ZEPPELIN from the LA Forum in 1977 with Keith Moon lending a hand or two o­n a "Whole Lotta Love/Rock 'N Roll" medley.

THE REPLACEMENTS: Captain's Dead has a two-part bootleg titled "Boink," which should not be confused with the import LP from back in the day. You can stream 'em at the links or jukebox 'em via the Hype Machine. For a taste, here's the 'Mats covering The Grass Roots' "Temptation Eyes," T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" (the flip side of the "I Will Dare" single) and an acoustic take of "Can't Hardly Wait."

THE RAMONES did three beer commercials you can download from Steel Brewing, if you're old enough.

ELVIS COSTELLO and DIANA KRALL are expecting twins in December. Krall tells People she won't be dressing them in matching outfits.

THE ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT explains the band's name and the title of their second album, Derdang Derdang, to Harp magazine. The album is getting generally favorable reviews via Metacritic. You can stream some of their grungy, bluesy folk-rok via MySpace.

THE TRACHTENBERG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS are all about truth in advertising, according to dad Jason: "I don't want to confuse the public, but most bands don't live up to their names. I don't think Death Cab for Cutie writes their songs in cabs, and the Killers don't kill people, at least I hope not. Think of any band name and you're being misled. But we are a family, we do use slide shows and we do play music." Given the slideshow aspect, I figured I should go with the video of "Singing A Song" and the older (and possibly better) "Eggs."

TINY MIX TAPES has an automatic mixtape generator, but you should check out the mixes already compiled by request, such as: "songs where the singer's ridiculous accent sticks out like a sore thumb," or "I need songs to tell my musically geeked-out alt-country man we've got a bun in the oven, but I don't want to hit him over the head with it," or "the snot in the upper half of my brain is making me dizzy mix."

WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES: I don't know whether Jason Hare is a fool, but he believed he should start his music blog with multiple versions of the Yacht Rock staple.

THE DECEMBERISTS frontman Colin Meloy talks to Billboard about the band's major label deal, blog buzz and leaked tracks. And the article reminds the reader that you can download the new "Summersong" at Pitchfork.

PET SOUNDS: Stereogum joins the list of blogs running a contest for the limited edition double-vinyl set. Winners are selected at random, but even if you don't enter, you may want to read my rambling diatribe of an entry, in which I misspell "Ravel" (among others) though what do you expect at 4 a.m.?

CARLY SIMON needs a good spanking.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was booked o­n a DUI bust yesterday. Splash News has the video of Nicky Hilton and Kevin Connolly (Entourage) coming to bail her out. TMZ has audio of her claim that she was just speeding to the In-N-Out Burger. But she may have been pulled over earlier in the evening. To her credit, she did not blame her arrest o­n the Jews.

NOW SHOWING: The weekend's widest release (over 2500 screens) is The Covenant, which was not screened for critics, presumably because the 18-24 date night demographic won't care whether a mash-up of lost Boys, The Craft and Underworld is actually any good. Opening o­n about 1500 screens apiece are Hollywoodland, about the mysterious death of TV Superman George Reeves (currently scoring 68 percent o­n the Tomatometer), and the Tony Jaa martial arts flick, The Protector (scoring 56 percent, but 67 percent of the "cream of the crop" critics). The Illusionist expands to 1362 screens.

LINDSAY LOHAN wuz robbed! No, really... at Heathrow Airport. Scotland Yard is o­n the trail of Li-Lo's orange Hermès handbag.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: "Now that Tom Cruise has allowed Annie Leibovitz to photograph his baby daughter Suri for Vanity Fair, it's clear what his next move should be. He should fire his publicist and hire Jane Sarkin, VF's features editor — who wrote the two-and-a-half pages of fawning, sycophantic drivel that goes with the terrific pictures of cute-as-a-button Suri..." It's always nice when higher journalistic standards are touted by Star magazine. But Cruise remains in image rehab mode, as he made a point of lunching with Holmes' mother, whom the tabloids have painted as unhappy with Cruise.

BRADGELINA: It must be the weekend, because we're back to marriage rumors, this time courtesy of Star magazine.

JESSICA SIMPSON has fired her publicist after being dumped by musician John Mayer for press leaks about the relationship.

BEN AFFLECK gives us this must-see YouTube clip from the press junket for Jersey Girl. Audio probably NSFW.

BRITNEY SPEARS: The National Enquirer notes that in 2001, Britney was ranked No. 1 o­n Forbes' Celebrity power list and earned 39.2 million — but last year made a mere four million. Fortunately, a net worth of more than 100 million should keep the pop tart in Cheetohs for the foreseeable future.

FLEEING THE ISLAND: Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Campbell Soup and others are bailing o­n Survivor: Cook Islands, though none have cited the show's decision to use racially based teams as the reason, natch.

LIONEL RICHIE is claiming photos of his daughter Nicole are being Photoshopped to make her look anorexic. OTOH, he told Newsweek -- after claiming to have "knocked up the world" -- that "God always gives you a great equalizer. He gives you "Dancing o­n the Ceiling," and then he gives you Nicole."

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY and PENELOPE CRUZ back together? Or did People's Sexiest Man Alive decide he needed to be photographed (a) wearing a shirt; and (b) with someone other than Lance Armstrong? Either way, you can check out McConaughey sporting a beard at the link.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON she mistakenly broke into her neighbor's apartment after coming home drunk and going to the wrong door. At leats, that's what she told boyfriend and co-star Josh Hartnett who can be seen trying to convince the press that it's tough work making love to Scar-Jo o­nscreen.

FORMER HOUSE LEADER TOM DeLAY: "The Hammer" is campaigning again... for a contestant o­n Dancing with the Stars. And attacking rival dancer Jerry Springer.

THE MANOLO: The famous shoeblogger, he turns his eye to the Dictator Chic at Politics Central: "For the example, the shoe-denying tyrant of Cuba appeared in the most recent photographs, given as proof of his aliveness, wearing the Adidas track suit, like the Lithuanian plumber o­n his day off."

IRAQ in the MEDIA: The AP reports: "More than 1,500 people died violently in Baghdad last month – nearly the same number as in July – and not the dramatic drop estimated just last week, when U.S. and Iraqi officials announced that their new security crackdown was working." The New York Times, to its credit, reported that violent deaths dropped 17 percent in August. Not the huge drop suggested by the Baghdad morgue's preliminary figures, but not "nearly the same number as in July," either. For that matter, violent deaths nationwide are still down significantly, unless all of the other reports were as flawed as Baghdad's.

AL QAEDA remains a powerful organisation but its support is waning, according to a leading British think-tank. The U.S.-led response to the attacks has "seriously undermined" the group's ability to recruit, communicate and fund itself. It has also enhanced the group's image in some quarters, but "its leaders hide in caves and have lost the broad support of Muslims in the Arab world who oppose its terror tactics and its justification of violence in the name of Islam."

SLOW -- GOATS WORKING: Sign used to warn drivers of the herd of goats Chatanooga city officials hope will eat the kudzu climbing voraciously over every tree, power line and other available surface in the area. But city workers are yanking the signs, which were not posted by the city. We can o­nly hope no goats end up killed by a reckless Swiss driver.

A STINGRAY may have killed Croc Hunter Steve Irwin, but it really shouldn't be freaking out people in Delaware and Tennessee.

THE WORLD'S LARGEST-KNOWN CROCODILE has resurfaced Down Under. I guess everyone has heard about Irwin dying.

THE NORWEGIAN MOOSE CENTER is open for your hunting simulation pleasure.

AWWW... A baby elephant and a baby panda, which even has a blog.

CHICAGO HAS MINTY-GREEN POLAR BEARS at the Brookfield Zoo. Just practicing for St. Patrick's Day. Now they just need a lot of liquor.

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The Cars, Magic Sam, Walkmen, Cracker, and Hippie Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


MY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL used to be a staple of Pate's infamous "three-chord medley," so I thought I would pair this 1978 German TV performance from The Cars with a shambolic cover from Nirvana's last gig in 1994. As The Cars' debut LP dominated the summer and fall of 1978, I'm throwing in "Bye Bye Love," a BBC performance of "You're All I've Got Tonight" and a live "Just What I Needed" for good measure.

RADIO BIRDMAN: The Aussie proto-punks score a 7.5 o­n the Pitchfork: "As with the resurgent Mission of Burma, here Radio Birdman return from their long absence with all engines lit and burning, crafting an album whose astonishing force and vitality matches and at points even surpasses their vintage material..." I hooked you up with the audio and video back in June, and those links are still good.

BUILT TO SPILL frontman Doug Martsch complained to the Twin Cities' City Pages about the corporate presence at Lollapalooza -- and the general reaction to it: "That kind of stuff is depressing... that you can't have a show without Budweiser, AT&T, and all the corporations being involved. I just don't understand why people let them put their fingers into everything we do. The worse thing is that people don't give a shit. If you try to discuss it, they think there's something wrong with you, that you're being hysterical or alarmist or something." Funny, I missed the part where corporate thugs forced him to play the festival. The writer of the article, knowing this is what many will think, attempts a defense: "Sure, Built to Spill are o­n Warner Bros. But even Time-Warner smells like Devendra Banhart compared to the likes of AT&T." Which is not much of a defense, given that AT&T made 43.8 billion in 2005, whereas Time-Warner had to make do with 43.7 billion.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS: Brooklyn Vegan runs an interview with Sylvain Sylvain o­n topics including Max's Kansas City, the Morrissey-driven reunion, the new album, and Pete Doherty. And I'll refer you to the video round-up from July.

BOB DYLAN TOPS THE CHARTS for the first time in 30 years, selling almost twice as many copies of Modern Times as the new album from Jessica Simpson. Folks who read yesterday's entry already knew Simpson's number was likely to be bad. You can still see the new Dylan video with Scarlett Johansson via AOL.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Balancing the new wave with a little Chicago blues, I bring you Magic Sam playing "All Of Your Love" at the American Folk Blues Fest.

THE WALKMEN are remaking Harry Nilsson's PussyCats album. You can stream "Many Rivers To Cross," "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and "All My Life" at the link. (Thanks, Stereogum.)

THE HOLLIES got a little tribute in the Stypod from Stylus. You can stream the linked tracks via the Hype Machine, and check out the video round-up I posted back in July.

CRACKER played a short set for Minnesota Public Radio, which has audio and video for you.

CAT POWER: At Chromewaves, Frank has a rave review for Chan Marshall's Toronto gig, with links to photos, audio and video. He also notes that Matador is pre-emptively defending the lower-priced re-release of The Greatest. Having read it, I think that more brutal honesty would have been the better policy. As Marshall is touting her new sobriety, the label could easily have said: "The Greatest is a wonderful album that didn't get its due because Marshall had a breakdown and couldn't tour to support it -- now that she's well, we wanted to give her and a larger audience a chance to find each other."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: You can see the Tom-Kitten for free via ICYDK. Holmes is reportedly frustrated and heartbroken over the gossip surrounding her child and her family, so I'm sure she'll enjoy TMZ speculating o­n the baby's Asian features. Gawker took it a step further with Photoshop. Meanwhile, X17 got Holmes to say there would be a big wedding soon.

ORLANDO BLOOM and KATE BOSWORTH are are splitting up, at least until they need to promote the sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean and Superman Returns.

LINDSAY LOHAN is currently denying those engagement rumors. Her convict dad doesn't like his fellow prisoners posting her picture, so you can bet he really, really wouldn't want them posting this NSFW picture of Li-Lo getting out of a boat wearing a dress and no panties.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Heather Locklear and David Spade are taking a break from their relationship, but remain friends, according to People.

JESSICA SIMPSON is dumped by singer-songwriter John Mayer, who thinks her unsubtle press leaks exaggerating their relationship were a desperate publicity stunt. OUCH! Meanwhile, ex-hubby Nick Lachey is bringing Vanessa Minnillo home to meet the parents. Double-ouch.

CELEBS ARE MORE NARCISSISTIC than the general population, and people with narcissistic tendencies seem to be attracted to the entertainment industry rather than the industry creating narcissists, according to a groundbreaking USC study. The kicker? A lead researcher o­n the study is Dr. Drew Pinsky.

MARCIA CROSS: The Desperate Housewife who married in June is pregnant. So will the lesbian rumors stop?

BEN AFFLECK: I had been planning o­n noting that he seems to have wised up o­n his won about the media focus put o­n his personal life hurting his career, but it turns out that focus groups for Hollywoodland didn't want to see him in the ads.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was denied entry to a MTV VMA after-party at NYC's Bungalow 8. The picture will fill you with schadenfreude.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS handles his e-mail by fax.

BRADGELINA: Model Jenny Shimizu spilled more about her o­ne-time lesbian affair with Angelina Jolie to the Starr Secrets blog: "I even took her to dominatrix joints and she loved them all. The darker the better."

PAKISTAN is indeed a problem; the Pakistani Army's so-called truce with the Taliban in North Waziristan is in fact a surrender. All the more reason why, as noted here yesterday, US troops seem poised to pursue the Taliban from Afghanistan into Pakistan. So I'm not surprised that US troops have launched a fearsome barrage of artillery and rockets into a mountainous militant stronghold in eastern Afghanistan, along the Pakistan border. Bill Roggio also reports o­n Operation Medusa, which has claimed over 250 Taliban fighters in the past week.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed blogs that Europe is being short-sighted in the war o­n terrorists, noting that Russia's historical support for Arab countries did not spare that country from jihad. Iraqi authorities hanged 27 convicted terrorists yesterday, though Agence France-Presse chose to put "terrorists" in quotes. Today, Iraq and the US military are supposed to sign an accord for handing command of Iraqi armed forces to the government. Iraq's parliament passed a law allowing private companies to import and distribute petroleum products, in a move that could end the country's severe fuel shortage.

BRITAIN provides another example of why I love polls. In a new poll, 62 percent agreed that "in order to reduce the risk of future terrorist attacks o­n Britain the Government should change its foreign policy, in particular by distancing itself from America, being more critical of Israel and declaring a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq." OTOH, 63 percent agree that "Muslim extremists hate democracy and the Western way of life, and if Britain's foreign policy were different they would find another excuse for their terrorist activities."

THE ISLAMIC SOCIETY of NORTH AMERICA'S annual convention had a little something for everyone, according to the BBC, which quoted Muslims unhappy with their portrayal by the media. But they have to be happy with the BBC, which neglected to report o­n the seminar session held at 11 a.m. last Sunday, titled "...And Beat them Lightly: An Analysis and In-Depth Discussion of Verse 4:34," by which they mean you can strike your wife, but never o­n the face, and don't leave a mark.

SHEEP in a SNAKE: A pregnant ewe, in fact. But it rendered the six-meter python unable to move out of the road.

SNAKE in a LOWE'S in Ocala, FL. Hard to believe it passed up the Wal-Mart.

MICE don't really like cheese, British researchers confirm.

HIPPIE DOGS are overdosing o­n the ganja weed in Vancouver.

AN ARKANSAS COW gives birth to triplets... for the fourth time.

SUICIDE SQUIRREL starts a 30-acre fire in East Texas. My favorite part of the story may be the picture of a squirrel with the caption: "look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair."

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M Ward, Nouvelle Vague, Rawk, New Hitchcock, and Mini-Cows   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 06, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


M WARD explains to the Village Voice why Post-War isn't a very political album: "I've never been that interested in recording the sound of me getting something off of my chest. I'm much more excited and enthusiastic about the idea of recording a record that's maybe gonna last a little while." The article calls "Chinese Translation" o­ne of Ward's best songs yet; you can see the cartoon at the link, or opt for his network TV debut. And you can still stream the album from Merge Records.

R.E.M. will reunite with former drummer Bill Berry when the band is inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Atlanta o­n September 16th. This will likely re-ignite those recurring rumors that Berry may rejoin the band.

NOUVELLE VAGUE: This French group, which just announced a tour, covers the alternative rock of the 80s -- including U2, The Clash, Blondie, Buzzcocks, Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, The Smiths, Dead Kennedys and more -- as cabaret music. Stream some via the Hype Machine.

WILLIE NELSON and RYAN ADAMS: Stereogum has more info about their collaboration tells you how to preview three advance tracks.

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK: Harp magazine has a piece o­n the rise and timeless appeal of hard rock, with a bit about the "bumper crop of rock bands flying the flag for classic big rock sounds—in teeny little clubs." And to think I had just featured Diamond Nights' "Destination Diamonds" in the Cutout Bin two Fridays ago. Of course, I don't need to tell Pate fans about hard rock, as the boys were rawking us with tracks like "New Year" and "She's So Special" when the Replacements were bringing KISS back into style.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS won Britain's Nationwide Mercury Prize for their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. The shocked band joked the prize should have gone to a fellow nominee from Sheffield: "Somebody call 999. Richard Hawley's been robbed." Stylus had handicapped the race, with profiles of the nominees: "Now, the Arctic Monkees will not win. Period." Isobel Campbell was pretty ambivalent about her chances when she spoke to Drowned In Sound. But now that's it's over, we can enjoy the return to YouTube of the live take of "I Bet You Look Good o­n The Dancefloor" o­n the Show That Must Not Be Named.

PET SOUNDS: The podcasts covering "That's Not Me" and "Don't Talk (Put Your Head o­n My Shoulder)" are posted at the album's 40th anniversary blog.

SGT. PEPPER'S retook the top spot in a recent poll of the UK's fave No. 1 album, bouncing back from a silly NME.com poll that gave the award to Definitely Maybe by Oasis.

MEET THE BEACHLES: How could I not folow items o­n Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper's without pointing you to the mash-up album Sgt. Petsounds?

ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 have released another advance track, "Museum of Sex," from Hitchcock's upcoming album, Ole! Tarantula. The song features a Groovy Decay-esque saxaphone part. YANP was also good enough to repost the first advance track, "Adventure Rocket Ship."

JESSICA SIMPSON is still croaking from the burst blood vessel in her vocal cords, but managed to hoarsely interrogate Manhattan attorney Salvatore Strazzullo about the tax implications of all the swag she carted off at the MTV VMAs. Given that she just got ex hubby Nick Lachey to take a lowball property settlement in their divorce, you would think money would not be a problem, but maybe she's been told that her album sales are disappointing. The pneumatic blonde also managed to croak a denial of the story that she's dating John Mayer, which may be true, depending o­n the definition of "dating." And BWE has video of her seemingly lip-synching o­n The View, which you would think she would abvoid after her sister's embarrassing SNL appearance, though this may relate back to a certain desperation to promote the album.

THE VILLAGE POLICEMAN was sentenced to three years' probation Tuesday o­n drug possession charges after he agreed to enter a treatment program. It's another victory for celeb defense lawyer Mark Geragos.

BRITNEY SPEARS makes a run for the border. The pregnant pop tart looks to be smoking, too.

KATIE COURIC began her o­n-air stint as anchor of the CBS Evening News. It was live-blogged by Prof. Ann Althouse, and insta-reviewed at Lost Remote, which was a bit kinder. Couric had already launched her blog at CBSNews, with Tabloid Baby catching her in an apparent lie. SEMI-RELATED: It turns out that the real action at CBS News is o­n the weekends with Russ Mitchell.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: It's a good thing Katie Couric ran those Vanity Fair pics of the Tom-Kitten last night, because Holmes ain't lookin' too good herself these days... BTW, here's that Vanity Fair cover.

RUPERT EVERETT complains that Hollywood discriminates against him because he's gay, while detailing "affairs with a series of high-profile women," including Susan Sarandon and the late Paula Yates. But his autobiography, Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins, looks to be deliciously catty about Hollywood, if his comments about Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Sharon Stone are any indication.

JOE ESZTERHAS: Speaking of catty tell-alls, the screewriter of Basic Instinct, Flashdance, Showgirls and Jagged Edge rips Val Kilmer, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, and Madonna (among others) in his new book, The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God.

MICHAEL CAINE sounds like he agrees with Everett and Eszterhas regarding the how stunningly banal and formulaic Hollywood has become. Kinda makes you wonder why he did Miss Congeniality, Austin Powers in Goldmember, and Bewitched.

MADONNA has hubby Guy Ritchie o­n a sex schedule to put the spice back into their love life. Because nothing says passion like a schedule.

THE FRENCH HOTEL: British graffiti artist Banksy has tampered with 500 copies of her new CD, Paris, changing pictures o­n the album sleeve to show Hilton topless and with a dog's head. And who noticed?

OSAMA BIN LADEN will not face capture in Pakistan if he agrees to lead a "peaceful life," Pakistani officials tell ABC News. Yet that report dropped ABC's earlier caviat that few expect the deal to hold up. The Asia Times has sources saying the US is set o­n a plan of hot pursuit of enemy combatants across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, so a withdrawal of Pakistani forces from the area would be convenient, wouldn't it?

IRAQ in the MEDIA: The Baltimore Sun runs a piece titled Killings o­n rise in Iraqi capital: "Although August as a whole was less violent than the month before, last week's killings suggested that death squads are still able to roam around Baghdad despite checkpoints and curfews." So if the US and Iraqi forces have a good month, we will focus o­n the last bad week, because it's not like both sides adapt their tactics as time goes o­n in a war, even though the article quotes US military spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Johnson: "This is going to be ebb and flow."

CARTOON JIHAD: Abu Bashar, who led a delegation of Danish imams to the Middle East to foment outrage over the cartoons of Mohammed published in Denmark (and used fakes to do so) knows three of the nine men arrested in Denmark in a suspected terror plot. And one of the German train bombing suspects a train ticket to the Danish city of Odense, where Bashar lives, and the cleric’s phone number. As Walt Disney taught us, it's a small, small, world.

A DOG STAR IS BORN, as the Internet discusses the IKEA catalog.

MINI-COWS are the Next Big Thing; let's go to the video. (Thanks, Dad.)

SNAKE in a CAR: Better still, the car was in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Shreveport, LA.

SNAKE in a SPLINT: A cobra got a new lease of life after veterinary surgeons in India treated its fractured bones and released him into the wild again.

150 EXOTIC MONKEYS lead this tale of incipient pet hoarding in a a middle-class Johannesburg suburb.

SUICIDE SQUIRREL enters paradise to stop a Finnish opera singer o­n a bicycle.

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