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Live Police, New NPs, Richard & Linda Thompson, Barking Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE POLICE reunion tour is off to a good start, according to the Wall Street Journal.  It's as good an excuse as any to post clips from Vancouver of "King of Pain" and "Walking In Your Footsteps."

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS:  The band's Challengers album is due in August, but you can -- and should -- stream "My Rights Versus Yours" now.

RICHARD THOMPSON talks to Ents24 about his long career and his picks for new artists.

LINDA THOMPSON, Richard's ex, has a new album coming in August, but you can already stream "Beauty," on which she gets assists from Rufus Wainwright and Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons).  Just check the 'Gum Mix at the link.

FEIST gives Pitchfork some details on the recording of her current album, The Reminder.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Jackie Wilson sings his great "Lonely Teardrops" on Shindig, so you know there will be dancing.  BONUS:  Someone has reposted the Sam Cooke-Jackie Wilson clip.

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  A coroner testifying for the prosecution in Phil Spector's murder trial said a gun was probably forced into the mouth of Lana Clarkson, but conceded on cross-examination that that the medical findings could not determine who held the gun.

DALE HAWKINS, who wrote the swamp-rock classic "Suzy Q" and produced the Box Tops, Michael Nesmith, Harry Nilsson and more, is the artist behind this week's Shadow Classic at NPR, including swampy takes on classics like "Hound Dog."

THE 25 GREATEST SONGS off Bad Albums, according to Rolling Stone's blog.

CHRIS CORNELL:  The former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman's solo LP, Carry On, isn't out until next week, but you can stream it all now via MuchMusic.

LINDSAY LOHAN is in rehab, but at least she missed her boyfriend's coke-fueled orgy with two call girls, which got taped.  Meanwhile, the starlet is the subject of a rant by Marilyn Manson and an endorsement of sorts from Sen. John Kerry.  And the producers of her next film are not dumping her.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  Seventy-three percent of Americans have read, seen or heard about her early departure from The View, and is viewed favorably by just 25% of Americans -- which is at least better than Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Lindsay Lohan.  Nevertheless, sources say O'Donnell has been approached by CBS, NBC and even Telepictures - the producer of the original Rosie O'Donnell Show - about getting her own talk show again.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA and ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, contrary to prior reports, are still together.  A  Kournikova pal told People magazine that Iglesias was only joking about a split to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is panicking at the prospect of prison, but the prison is prepared for her.

ARETHA FRANKLIN has signed up with Jenny Craig in hopes of shedding the pounds before her wedding next month.

BRITNEY SPEARS had to be carried out of the men's toilets of an exclusive LA hotel bar on Sunday night after she was discovered vomiting uncontrollably.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  According to OK! Magazine, Holmes and Nicole Kidman are fighting over Kidman's two children with Cruise.  Nicole wants Katie to know she's their real mother, and is said to be angered by the young bride's role in her children's life.

JENNIFER ANISTON is denying a report by Star magazine that she is writing a dishy book spilling the details of her four-year marriage to Brad Pitt and their 2005 divorce.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  After three months of dating, Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal are maintaining their low-key relationship.

DAVID HYDE PIERCE, best known as Dr. Niles Crane from Frasier, was apparently outed by the AP. NTTAWWT.

HARRY POTTER and the ORDER of the PHOENIX has moved up its opening date from Friday, July 13th to Wednesday, July 11th.  And it's probably about padding the opening box office numbers, not superstition.

VENEZUELA:  A top opponent of Pres. Hugo Chavez demanded the release of jailed protesters as university students continued to pour into the streets to protest the removal of a leading opposition TV station from the air.  Concern that protests will turn violent again caused Venezuelan government debt to tumble in local markets.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  The wife of an Islamic religious leader actively encouraged him to become a terrorist, and hoped their baby son would follow him into "martyrdom", the Old Bailey was told.  The couple were arrested after they flew into the UK allegedly carrying blueprints for missiles and bombs to be used against the West.

IRAQ:  Foreign Minister Zebari said that the Mahdi Army was most likely behind the kidnapping of five Brits in Baghdad, probably assisted by local police, but Az-Zaman quoted al-Hurra television, which claimed that Zebari denied making such accusations.  The UK is weighing its options, icluding dispatching an SAS team.  According to al-Hayat, Moqtada al-Sadr criticized Iran for "recognizing the American mandate over Iraq," which is consistent with al-Sadr's recent effort to position himself as a nationalist, rather than as a tool of Iran.  Turkey is making bellicose statements and began to relocate twenty additional tanks to the Iraq border on Wednesday, which -- in light of recent statements denying interest in crossing the border -- may reflect Turkish election politics.  The US transferred control of three provinces to the Kurdish Regional Gov't.  Contacts are underway between Prime Minister al-Maliki and the Baathist faction of Izzat al-Douri (Saddam's old VP), according to a Kurdish media report.  VOA surveys conditions in Mosul.  A Sunni police chief praised by US forces for clearing the city of Hit of insurgents has been arrested following an investigation into alleged murder, corruption and crimes against the Iraqi people, the US military says.  Michael Yon was there, says the US avoided a bloodbath, more details to follow.  Local authorities and about 100 tribes have formed an "operations room" to coordinate anti-terror efforts in Diayala province.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A Rare Barking Sand Shark, though that may be a dog off-camera. (Thanks, Dad.)

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: An Albino Wallaby and an Albino Magpie.

MONSTER PIG UPDATE:  A website claims the massive porker is the result of fauxtography, but the family which shot it and the local taxidermist beg to differ.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A suicide squirrel took down the grid in Puget Sound.

THE HAMSTER THREAT:  A British man was hospitalized with serious breathing difficulties after being viciously attacked by a hamster.  Richard Gere was unavailable for comment.

11083 Reads

New Tegan & Sara + White Stripes + Ryan Adams, Odin the Tiger   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE KINKS get a little psychedelic on this vintage British clip of "See My Friends."

TEGAN & SARA's upcoming album, The Con, is due in July, but seems to have leaked on the Internet, if you can beat the lawyers to it.  Filter has a background piece on the LP.

THE WHITE STRIPES:  Stereogum notes that three tracks from the upcoming LP have leaked and suggests you check the ol' HM for 300MPH Torrential Outpour Blues," "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)," and the Corky Robbins cover "Conquest."

MORE NEW RELEASES:  A Best of Elvis Costello and a solo LP from ex-Concrete Blonde singer Johnette Napolitano are streaming in full from AOL this week.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT tells London's Independent that he intended his new album to be piano and voice, but going to Berlin forced a change: "Basically, a huge wave of German romanticism descended on the recording process, and almost drowned me."

RYAN ADAMS:  Spinner has two advance tracks from his upcoming Easy Tiger LP available as free downloads.  Or you can stream "Two" and "Everybody Knows" via the ol' HM.

JONATHAN COULTON is joined by Paul and Storm for a lilting, folkish rendition of Sir Mix-A-Lot's classic "Baby Got Back."

WHEN WILCO met Charles Nelson Reilly; the untold story.

DEVOTCHKA -- probably best known from its contributions to the score of Little Miss Sunshine, has an audio feature with streaming tracks at NPR.

PITCHFORK has posted the final lineup for its 2007 Music Fest.

JERRY GARCIA:  Deadheads should note that FADER magazine's Garcia-centric issue and podcast are available now as a free download.

LILY ALLEN was kicked out of school as a teenager for being a very naughty girl, in that Monica Lewinsky sort of way.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer was pursued by Courtney Love at a wrap party for Babyshambles' second album.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  In Touch magazine reported that the actress is headed back to rehab after a wild weekend that saw her arrested for DUI early Saturday morning - and out of it in a car just two days laterTMZ confirmed that Lohan checked into Promises rehab facility under the watchful eye of her lawyer.  Her ex-con dad says that "Lindsay is never going to get better" until the family starts including him.

BRITNEY SPEARS has posted a letter to her fans that shows she is in no way in denial, no siree: "Recently, I was sent to a very humbling place called rehab. I truly hit rock bottom. Till this day I don't think that it was alcohol or depression. I was like a bad kid running around with ADD..."

PIRATES 4?  Producer Jerry Bruckheimer says he and his mates need a break... but he already has rights to a book that could end up as another installment.

JESSICA BIEL and CAMERON DIAZ:  Justin Timberlake's new gf and his ex are both presenters at the MTV Movie Awards on June 3, so handlers gotta keep 'em separated.

JACKO:  You can see some of the wacky Jacko effects up for auction at TMZ.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  In a video entry posted on her blog, the so-called Queen of Nice rocked the pirate look and said she may never speak to Elisabeth Hasselbeck again.  Although Hasselback reportedly reached out to O'Donnell after last week's big fight on The View, it's hard to believe Hasselback will shed tears over it.  O'Donnells new plan is to tour with Cyndi Lauper.

BRADGELINA:  Star magazine reports that Jolie's friends are concerned over her recent major weight-loss.  Her brother ,James Haven Voight, attibutes it to grief over their mother's death and her role as a UN ambassador.

KATE HUDSON and OWEN WILSON turned up at at the Gramercy Park Hotel's Rose Bar the other night for a Velvet Revolver concert.

JUDD APATOW was profiled in the NYT Magazine:  Both of the films Apatow has directed (The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the upcoming Knocked Up) offer up the kind of conservative morals the Family Research Council might embrace - if the humor weren't so filthy.

MISS USA Rachel Smith fell down and went boom at the Miss Universe contest, icymi.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  The  sequel to Batman Begins will become the first feature film to be partly shot in the IMAX format, which should give Hi-Def detail, even in non-IMAX theaters.  AICN has your first official sorta look at Heath Ledger as the Joker.

VENEZUELA:  Hours after President Hugo Chavez shut down Venezuela's main opposition broadcaster, his government demanded an investigation of news network Globovision on Monday, claiming it was using "subliminal messages" to call for the president's assassination.  Venezueal is also filing charges against CNN for linking President Hugo Chavez to Al-Qaeda.  And why not?  Chavez accused RCTV of backing a bungled 2002 against him, though Human Rights Watch says Chavez has never proved itInternational press freedom groups, the European Union, the Chilean Senate, Human Rights Watch and others have expressed concern about the move against RCTV, but the Chavez govt keeps bringing the water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets.

IRAN, the day after meeting with the US for the first time since 1979, charged three Iranian-Americans, including U.S. academic Haleh Esfandiari, with endangering national security and espionage, which is punishable by death.  Esfandiari and at least some of the others have been among the most prominent advocates of a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran.

IRAQ:  The LA Times reports that US military leaders in Iraq are increasingly convinced that most of the broad political goals Pres. Bush laid out early this year in his announcement of a troop buildup will not be met this summer.  Gen. Petraeus' advisors hope to focus on smaller achievements that they see as signs of progress, such as the deals among Iraq's rival factions and tribes to establish areas of peace in some provinces.  On that score, four relatives of the head of the newly-formed Salah el-Din Salvation Council were killed by unidentified gunmen in a semmingly targeted attack.  And J.D. Johannes writes from Iraq about the spreading of the "Awakening" or "Salvation Council" movement to al Kharmah, with an interesting side note: "If the Sunni are seen as the sect working closest with the coalition to fight (al-Qaeda) and the Shia still allow (al-Sadr's Mahdi Army) to control the police forces and act as proxies for Iran, it is not difficult to see which group will win favor from the coalition."

ODIN the TIGER likes swimming in the tank at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Zoo in Vallejo, Calif.  Video at the link.

ELEPHANTS:  An Indian pachyderm is blocking traffic on a highway and refusing to let vehicles pass unless drivers give it food.  Meanwhile, hundreds of wild elephants have been hiding on a treeless island in the swamps of south Sudan.

A GIANT MONITOR LIZARD was shot twice in Casselberry, FL on Sunday, but it may still be on the loose.

MONSTER PIG UPDATE:  There's streaming audio with the taxidermist at NPR.  The picture was posted here on Monday.

MARGE the COW has a mutant gene, which scientists are using to breed a herd of cows that produce low-fat milk.  Marge is an X-Cow.

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White Stripes, New Releases, Of Montreal, Shark Petting   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE WHITE STRIPES have released a video for the title track to the upcoming Icky Thump LP.

NEW RELEASES:  The June Carter Cash tribute, Satellite Party, The Little Ones, the Frank Smith-Juliana Hatfield collaboration and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.

AEROSMITH:  Page Six claims that Liv Tyler has been telling people that dad Steven Tyler is going to announce he's leaving the band soon "because he can't take how the rest of the band is treating him."  Liv's rep denies it.

OF MONTREAL:  Kevin Barnes and Bryan Poole played unplugged for the Interface and talked about everything except their Outback steakhouse jingle.

FATS DOMINO played one of his increasingly rare shows at Tipitina's -- the first time since Hurricane Katrina hit his hometown of New Orleans.

CONTROL:  The new biopic on the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis won a host of acclaim and prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival, including Best European Film.  You cans watch the trailer and an interview with director Anton Corbijn that has additional footage.

THE HYPE MACHINE creator, now-21-year-old Anthony Volodkin, took a break from preparing for his physics final exam at New York's Hunter College to talk to Wired about the past and future of the MP3 blog-indexing site.

THE NATIONAL:  Lead singer and songwriter Matt Berninger tells the NY Post about the influence of Guided by Voices' Bob Pollard.  And he tells Spinner that he's borrowed bits from Grace Paley, Jonathan Ames... and Steven Spielberg.  Currently, you can jukebox a bunch of tracks via the ol' HM.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE has a new album, Strawberry Jam, scheduled for a still-undetermined September release from Domino Records; tracklisting at the link.  Noah Lenox tells GvsB the album will be more "aggressive" than the "gauzy" sound of their Feels LP.

WILCO:  Jeff Tweedy spoke to NPR about the parade that inspired the title track of Wilco's new album, Sky Blue Sky.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  In the wake of her DUI bust, her ex-con dad says the out-of-control starlet needs to head back into rehab - and take her hard-partying mom with her.  Left unmentioned is the ongoing custody dispute between Li-Lo's parents.  It's almost too sad to link to a creepy clip of Lohan as a stripper in the upcoming I Know Who Killed Me.  Almost.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End took home box office booty to the tune of 142 million (or 156 million if you count Thurdsay night).  The grosses held up across the long weekend, which must make the Mouse happy, though it's short of some of the projections I saw.  Shrek the Third was saved by the long weekend; it had a 56 percent drop over three days, but rebounded to a 43 percent loss overall; Spider-Man 3 could tell a roughly similar tale.  Of course, with 219 and 307 million in grosses already, neither will be an object of sympathy.  The addition of a third blockbuster to the chart merely magnified the squeeze put on the rest of the field.  The only thing approaching a success story in the rest of the Top Ten is Waitress, which leapt up to the fifth slot, making about four million on 500 screens.

ROSIE O'DONNELL compares her departure from The View to being an unwanted foster child.

ASHLEY JUDD was in the winner's circle when hubby Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500, which was really the Indy 415 this year.

CHARLES NELSON REILLY, who acted and directed on Broadway but came to be best known for his campy (NTTAWWT) TV appearances on talk shows and Match Gameblank from complications of pneumonia on Friday in L.A.  He was 76.

JESSICA SIMPSON and JOHN MAYER may be back together, but they look like they are still fighting.

JACKO was paler than ever after too much tequila and vodka at Prince Azim of Brunei's 25th birthday bash.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA and ENRIQUE IGLESIAS are dunzo, prompting London's Sun to speculate that the latter's small admission last week was preemptive.

JOHN TRAVOLTA gorged himself on fries with mayo over the holiday weekend.  Life imitates Vincent Vega. (NSFW, natch.)

MISCHA BARTON:  The former OC star was rushed to the hospital Sunday evening after suffering an adverse reaction to medication.  Which is more likely to happen when you're drinking alcohol.

INDIANA JONES IV:  Last week's spoilers are corroborated at IESB, along with a new spoiler about the villain.

JESSICA ALBA is featured in one of the international teaser posters for Good Luck Chuck.

MEMORIAL DAY REDUX:  Vandals burned dozens of small American flags that decorated veterans' graves for Memorial Day and replaced many of them with hand-drawn swastikas on Orcas Island off Washington state's northwest coast.

VENEZUELA:  Danny Glover's pal Hugo Chavez pulled the plug on Radio Caracas Television -- a nation's hight-rating channel and the sole opposition-aligned TV station with nationwide reach.  Tens of thousands of Venezuelans protested the seizure of the station; Chavez rolled out the tanks and has already used a water cannon and tear gas on them.  Glover thinks that dissent is being crushed in the US, but this is what it really looks like.

CURING ISLAMOPHOBIA:  Tawfik Hamid -- a onetime member of an Islamist terrorist group -- writes that reforming Islam would help end Islamophobia.  It's hard to see how the Muslim world hopes to rebrand itself without reform.

AFGHANISTAN:  A British Commando was shot nine times during a Taliban ambush, but still managed to lead his comrades to safety.  All of his men escaped without injury.

IRAQ:  A bombing in Baghdad took the lives of at least two dozen people and targeted a major Sufi mosque and shrine in the city. Iraq's bitter experience with bombings in sacred sites -- most famously, the Samarra bombing in 2006 that flared a wave of sectarian killing -- pushed many Iraqi politicians to denounce the attack and warn against rash reactions, including Pres. Talabani, who expressed his commitment to rebuild the mosque and treat the wounded.  The US and Iran held talks on Iraqi security -- the first high-level talks between the two countries since 1979.  ITM's Omar was not impressed by the Iranian offer to train the Iraqi Army.  Turkey, while upset about Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq, says it has no plans for a cross-border military operation into the region.  The Iraqi Interior Ministry claims that most of the terror groups linked to Al-Qaeda are taking shelter in a triangle between Baghdad City and Al-Ishaqi area north of the capital after suffering raids and strikes by Iraqi security forces.

THE SHARK PETTING POOL is a fave feature of the renovated Indianapolis Zoo.  Visitors are asked not to reach under the sharks or poke them in the eyes.

MYSTERY EMU sparked an international incident after it went on the run from German and Swiss police.

A NEW LIMBLESS LIZARD was discovered in India.  Lead researcher Sushil Kumar Dutta insists that modern limbless lizards are not snakes.

A WILD LEOPARD leapt through the window of a home in southern Israel and hopped into bed with a sleeping family.  The leopard was weak from lack of food and explained that the other beds had been too soft and too firm.

THREE PIGS were locked into a home in Oregon by a man hoping the place would be trashed after it went into foreclosure.  The Big Bad Wolf had no comment.

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Memorial Day, Brian Wilson, Lily Allen & Blondie, Monster Pig   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 28, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MEMORIAL DAY has become -- in the minds of some -- a day devoted to uncovering their swimming pools and barbeques. So take a moment (preferably at 3 p.m. local time) to remember what it's really about.  Or you could read the messages in The Hill from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, Army chief of staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr., chief of naval operations Adm. Mike Mullen, Air Force chief of staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Marine Corps commandant Lt. Gen. James Conway, Coast Guard commandant Adm. Thad Allen, and National Guard Bureau chief Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum.  Milblogger Blackfive has messages from soldiers and family members about those who have given all, as well as links to tribute videos.  The Wikipedia entry for Memorial Day notes a race track connection unrelated to the Indy 500 -- and even mentions the Drive-By Truckers.  But that DBT number is nowhere near as well-known as Sgt. Barry Sadler's No. 1 smash, "Ballad of the Green Beret."

ROGER DALTREY has blasted this summer's Live Earth concerts, branding them "un-environmental" for the amount of air pollution flying the stars in for the gigs will cause: "The last thing the planet needs is a rock concert..."

BRIAN WILSON is interviewed by the Pasadena Weekly; it's a good companion piece to the assorted Beach Boys videos embedded at Pitchfork to mark the release of The Warmth of the Sun compilation last week.

RADIO, RADIO:  WOXY is streaming the Modern Rock 500 today, while (as noted on Friday) WLS brings its music and DJs back for the day.

R.E.M. began recording a new album in Vancouver earlier this month... but no mention of Bill Berry.

LILY ALLEN joined BLONDIE for "Heart of Glass" on NBC's Today Show.  And if you keep watching, you'll get "Call Me" also.

ROBERT POLLARD and fellow ex-GbV member Chris Slusarenko have plenty of indie cameos on their next album as The Takeovers; you can stream and download four tracks at TheirSpace.

PETER BJORN & JOHN visited the World Cafe, so you can stream a mini-set on demand via NPR now.

THE EDITORS have a new song, "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors," streaming via Spinner.

SNAP.FM, coming in August, looks to be a combination of a music-centric social bookmarking site and a Daytrotter-esque showcase for indie bands.

LINDSAY LOHAN was busted on suspicion of DUI Saturday.  Splash News has near-immediate post-crash video.  Beverly Hills cops say they found a "usable amount" of a drug they say was cocaine at the scene.  Svedka vodka has decided against sponsoring her 21st-birthday bash in Las Vegas.

ROSIE O'DONNELL, as previously rumored, has left The View, though her contract wasn't up until June 20.  She reportedly capped her on-air meltdown by trashing her dressing room, while her chief  writer was allegedly escorted from the building after she was caught drawing moustaches on photographs of Elizabeth Hasselbeck that hang in The View's studios.  But we have one last video of Rosie warming up The View audience with 9/11 conspiracy theories.

CHARLIE SHEEN is rumored to be "having second thoughts" about being involved in an updated version of the 9/11 conspiracy flick, Loose Change.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills has been dropped from a week-long guest slot on The View after a tiff with host Barbara Walters, according to London's Daily Mirror.

PIRATES 3:  I'll wrap up the holiday box office tomorrow, but the regular weekend box office for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was 112 million (126 when you add in Thursday night showings).  Believe it or not, that may be considered a disappointing number.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE loves JESSICA BIEL, a source close to the singer tells People magazine, adding, "She's the coolest chick ever."

JESSICA SIMPSON writes that she is cowering from her true identity, while others write that she was following Leonardo DiCaprio around like a lost puppy in Cannes.

BRADGELINA:  Caught canoodling in Cannes; video at the link.  Meanwhile, the Daily Mail asks whether Jolie and Pitt are Hollywood saints or just bonkers.  I'm not so sure those are mutually exclusive; they may be synonymous.

HEIDI KLUM has named them Hans and Franz.  I guess she knows they are here to pump... you up.

KELLY CLARKSON:  Crossing mogul Clive Davis is probably not the smartest career move, but it appears he may have gone too far in his feud with the American Idol.


STAR WARS TURNED 30 this weekend, with the largest Star Wars party in history, which organizers expected would draw more than 25000 would-be Wookiees and stormtroopers over the long weekend.  Time's Richard Corliss explains how the movie changed everything in Hollywood.  And it's a good excuse to relink Gnarls Barkley at last year's MTV Movie Awards.

COUNTER-INSURGENCY:  At the Small Wars Journal blog, Brigadier General (Ret.) Huba Wass de Czege -- founder of the Army's elite School for Advanced Military Studies (SAMS is also known as the "Jedi Knight program.") notes the import of the fact that serving field grade officers -- Majors, Lt. Cols and Cols -- have far more sustained combat experience than the younger generation of retirees acting as contractors or serving on CGSC and War College faculties.  He also highlights the "outside the box" thinking that SAMS grads can provide. 

IRAN claims its nuke program is peaceful, but Pres. Ahmadinejad has told the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps that "Once Iran is established as a nuclear state, all the world nations would come under the political flag of Iran.."   Meanwhile, Iran's financial system suffered a jolt last week, with panic selling on the stock market after Ahmadinejad abruptly ordered banks to cut interest rates sharply, despite surging inflation.

AL QAEDA deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has urged supporters in Iraq to extend their jihad to Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.  If only Lebanon, Palestine and Syria had not invaded Iraq... oh, wait...

AL QAEDA in IRAQ's TORTURE MANUAL:  In a recent raid on an al-Qaeda safe house in Iraq, U.S. military officials recovered an assortment of crude drawings depicting torture methods like "blowtorch to the skin" and "eye removal." 

IRAQ:  There is one matter on which US military commanders, many Iraqis and some of the Bush Admin's staunchest congressional critics agree: If the US withdrew its forces from Baghdad's streets this fall, the murder and mayhem would increase.  Iraq vet Phillip Carter has a step-by-step plan for withdrawal, while Iraq vet Owen West and former assistant secretary of defense Bing West have a plan for transitioning to an "adviser" presence.  The NYT claims that the admin is developing concepts for reducing US combat forces in Iraq by as much as half next year -- though reducing from 146K to 100K is not reducing by half (poor math skills at the NYT). Apparently, no top scenario has emerged.  It does look like the US is choosing the diplomatic track with Iran and Syria.  And with AQ now threatening to turn on Syria, something might come of it.

IRAQ II:  Moqtada al-Sadr re-appeared for the first time in months and again demanded that US troops get out of Iraq.  Sadr's aides have described the cleric's orders to stop fighting Iraqi forces as intended to improve his credibility and dispel allegations that the Mahdi Army was fueling sectarian violence.  Lt. Gen. Odierno, the No. 2 commander of US forces in Iraq, said he believed Sadr had returned to Iraq to shore up his organization.  At ITM, Omar is hearing a similar strategy.  Coincidentally, the same day Sadr popped up, Iraqi special forces killed the leader of the Mahdi Army in Basra after he tried to resist arrest.  Approximately 45 local sheiks met with Diyala provincial leadership in Baqouba to discuss their tribe's concerns, reconcile grievances and discover solutions to rid terrorism from the province.  And info from locals in Diyala led to a US raid on an al-Qaeda hide-out northeast of Baghdad on Sunday that freed 42 Iraqis imprisoned inside, including some who had been tortured and suffered broken bones.  Newsweek discovers the tribal salvation councils you have heard about here for about six months.  Michael Yon has a new dispatch from Anbar, with a bit about Mosul, also.  In Ramadi, 200 members of a Marine batallion have chosen to extend their enlistments, for no bonus money.

MONSTER PIG:  An 11-year-old boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9 feet 4, from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail.  If the claims are accurate, Jamison Stone's trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the famed wild hog that grew to seemingly mythical proportions after being killed in south Georgia in 2004.

HAMSTERS are taking Viagra to cure jet lag.  That's their story, and they're sticking to it.  Richard Gere was unavailable for comment. (Thanks, Lance.)

A SWARM of BEES grounded a Boeing 737 bound from England to Portugal, just two days after the swarm of 20000 bees descended on Bournemouth Pier.

GIANT SQUID have returned to the waters of Southern California, and it appears that one has washed up on the beach in San Diego.

REGGIE the GATOR, who eluded would-wranglers in L.A.'s Lake Machado and managed to disappear for 18 months until it recently resurfaced, was reportedly wrestled into captivity Thursday and rushed to a zoo with TV news helicopters providing live coverage of its freeway journey at rush hour.

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Otis Redding, Black Keys, Cutout Bin, Pirates 3, Armani Monkey   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 25, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with OTIS REDDING!  Otis and the Bar-Kays crank up the energy to 11 for Ready Steady Go, crashing through "Satisfaction," "My Girl" and his own "Respect" in Part 1, and "I Can't Turn You Loose," "Shake" and a bit of "Land of 1000 Dances" in part 3, joined by Eric Burdon and Chris Farlowe on the latter.  I don't know where Part 2 is, but I want to know!  Anyway, there is much go-go dancing, so get to it.

THE 15 WORST ALBUMS by Great Bands, according to the Rolling Stone blog.

NEKO CASE:  Her lingerie is up for auction on eBay.  No, really.

WLS, Chicago's 50000-watt radio blowtorch, will be broadcasting and streaming its most legendary DJ's live from 5AM - Midnight CDT on Monday.

PEOPLE'S BAR & GRILL, site of the 2003 Pate reunion, will be closing its doors - at least in Ames, IA - May 31. (via Ken King.)

ANTSY McCLAIN and the Trailer Park Troubadours poke light fun at the collection of weirdos, party animals and young loves McClain knew growing up in a series of trailer parks in Kentucky.  McClain's latest CD, Trailercana, features cameos from Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Bobby Cochran of Steppenwolf, Tommy Smothers, and Bonnie Bramlett.  NPR has an audio feature plus four songs, including "I Was Just Flipped Off by a Silver-Haired Old Lady with a 'Honk If You Love Jesus' Sticker on the Bumper of Her Car."

THE ULTIMATE 90s ALT-ROCK PLAYLIST, according to Matthew Yglesias, who is now blogging at The Atlantic Online.

RICHARD X. HEYMAN, an acolyte of the Todd Rundgren school of lone-wolf power-pop, makes Song of the Day at NPR with "I'm That Kind of Man."  And he's one of our friends at PateSpace.

THE BLACK KEYS are offering a free EP for download at TheirSpace.

SURF'S UP:  The Ventures play "Hawaii 5-0."

RYAN ADAMS:  An Aquarium Drunkard strikes again, this time pointing you to the unofficial Destroyer sessions from 2000.

THE HANDSOME FURS tell Hour.ca that they have received "attention" from PETA and the Animal Liberation front, along with the occasional death threat.  You can stream a few of the duo's latest tracks via TheirSpace.

THE BEASTIE BOYS:  Former Music Works patrons may remember the Boys' first "hip-hop" effort, "Cookie Puss" as Paul Miller's favorite way to drive customers out of his store.  FYI, Cookie Puss was a Carvel's specialty character ice cream cake; the track features a prank call to the local Carvel's store... and is probably NSFW.

MAN MAN singer Ryan Kattner, a/k/a Honus Honus, tells the Denver Post that sincerity is important, even for an avant-pop band: "You have to be genuine about what you do, even if you're singing about heartbreak while wearing a gorilla suit."  If you're intrigued by that, but haven't heard the band, I would re-link to their video for "Engrish Bwuud" and their live take on "Van Helsing's Boombox" for Dutch TV.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Dick Dale & the Dale-Tones - Miserlou; The Clash - I Fought the Law; Thin Lizzy - Jail Break; Stealer's Wheel - Stuck in the Middle With You; Johnny Cash -  Ring of Fire; Jonathan Richman - Roadrunner; The Soft Boys - Positive Vibrations; The Polyphonic Spree - Running Away; The Left Banke - I've Got Something on My Mind; The Electric Prunes - I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night; The Monkees - P.O. Box 9847; Dean And Britta - Words You Used to Say; Sly & Family Stone - Family Affair; Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - Tramp; Booker T & the MGs -  Soul Limbo; The English Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom; Gang Of Four - I Love a Man in a Uniform; B-52s - Dance This Mess Around; Feist - 1, 2, 3, 4; The Ditty Bops - Bye Bye Love; The Beach Boys -  Let Him Run Wild; The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me; M. Ward - Let My Love Open The Door; Nick Drake - Time of No Reply; and Big Star - I'm In Love With A Girl.

PIRATES of the CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END continues this summer's streak of lesser third installments to blockbuster franchises.  The flick gets off to a very promising start (including Keira Knightley in a skimpy outfit) and has a decent ending (per usual, make sure to stay past the credits), but that mid-section... oy!  If you thought the plot of Dead Man's Chest was convoluted, you ain't seen nothin' yet.  Each of the cast pursues sufficiently diverging agendas that the movie labors -- and nearly collapses -- under its own weight in a flabby second act. And as with Spider-Man 3, a nasty kludge or three is required to get the plot on track in the third act.  It's a tribute to the likability of the cast -- and the fact that the screenwriters get a lot of the smaller accents right -- that the movie manages to stay sufficently afloat to get to there.  Not a bad movie, but mediocre in comparison to the original.

NOW SHOWING:  Aside from the Pirates, who are currently scoring only 51 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's sole wide release is William Friedkin's latest stab at the horror-suspense genre, Bug, which is scoring 55 percent.  The late Adrienne Shelly's Waitress, starring Keri Russell, snuck into the Top Ten last weekend in limited release; it expands to over 500 screens with a score of 89 percent.

JOHNNY DEPP claims it was "awkward" to kiss the decades-younger Keira Knightley in the Pirates movies, but she begged for it.  He has also said that while he would be up for more Pirates movies -- under the right circumstances -- he understands Knightley's though's about quitting acting: "I have probably had those thoughts regularly about every 11 minutes for the last 20 years." 

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, btw, won 3,000 pounds in libel damages on Thursday over a newspaper slur that she was excessively thin.  And just for fun, here's Keira with a cute baby elephant in a photo shoot for Vogue magazine.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, so her creepy half-sister would like to take her place.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER says her four-year-old son has started to quiz her about homosexuality -- because so many of her and her Matthew Broderick's friends are gay.  NTTAWWT.

BALD CELEBS:  Britney Spears apparently inspired the Photoshoppers at Worth 1000.  I had to laugh that someone Photoshopped Natalie Portman before realizing she had shaved her head while shooting V for Vendetta.

NATALIE PORTMAN, btw, is reportedly sharing more than laughs with SNL funnyman Adam Sandberg.

INDIANA JONES IV:  Cinematic Happenings Under Development has possible plot spoilers and a casting spoiler.

PAM ANDERSON tells London's Sun how she broke the news of her sex tape with ex-hubby Tommy Lee to their kids.

ROSIE O'DONNELL blogs that she has "no idea" whether she will return to The View after Wednesday's blow-up and clarifies that she does not think the US militray are terrorists for killing civilians in Iraq, but that "the cowards who sent r troops to this war... those men r the terrorists."  Apparently, the "just following orders" defense still works for Rosie, though it does not work for the US military.  She also avoids the fact that the US does not target civilians, while it is the standard operating procedure of terror groups.

UH-OH:  Planet of the Apes is running on the History Channel on Saturday?  Did I miss something?

ISLAMISM in AUSTRALIA:  Taxi drivers who refuse to carry blind people with guide dogs face fines of up to 1100 dollars, the NSW Government warned today amid outrage at the biased practice.  Vision Australia's head of policy and advocacy Michael Simpson said the problem was worse in the Sydney metropolitan area where there were more drivers unwilling to carry dogs based on Muslim objections.

IRAQ:  The WaPo reports on a classified plan (thanks) for a revised US strategy of protecting Iraq's population in trouble areas; building up the Iraqi Army and ministries, purging Iraq's leadership of a small but influential number of officials and commanders whose sectarian and criminal agendas are thwarting US efforts, and reaching out to grass-roots groups such as tribes, religious leaders and provincial administrators that are moving forward on reconciliation efforts.  The piece notes the involvement of Gen. Petraeus's senior counterinsurgency adviser, David J. Kilcullen, whom I have been mentioning and linking for some time here.  In an unprecedented step, a top leader of the pro-US tribal alliance in Anbar Province traveled to Sadr City Tuesday to meet with Sadrist leaders.  The Sadrist current and the Anbar Salvation Front have very different relationships to the Maliki government and the US occupation forces.  However, the two groups share similar interests in opposing al Qaeda and building their political images as nationalists with an agenda that can include all Iraqis.  London's Guardian has a piece claiming that the Bush Admin. is developing plans to "internationalize" the Iraq war, including an expanded role for the UN, as a way of reducing US responsibility for Iraq's future and limiting domestic political fallout as the 2008 election season approaches... but it's sourced to a single, anonymous ex-Admin. official, so a grain of salt there.

ARMANI, a one-year-old, four-pound, 18-inch capuchin monkey, is in the custody of the Montgomery County Division of Animal Control and Humane Treatment, suspected of being an illegal resident under Maryland's wild animal law.  The owner might try arguing that Armani is just here doing jobs that American monkeys won't do.

AN ORANGUTAN escaped from his cage at same Taiwan zoo where a crocodile recently chomped off a veterinarian's arm... and headed straight for the food court.  There are two videos at that link, though I think this one works, too.

WAYWARD WHALES UPDATE:  The whales in the Port of Sacramento are getting a break after recordings of clanging pipes, feeding humpbacks and killer orcas failed to induce the pair to head downriver.

MARK McGOWAN plans to eat a Corgi in protest of the inability of the RSPCA to prosecute Prince Philip and his friends for shooting a fox this year.  RSPCA chiefs blasted the stunt.

A THREE-DAY-OLD FAWN in Des Moinse, IA, survived the grisly death of its twin and its mother, who tried to jump a metal fence and became impaled.  Awww...some pic and video at the link.

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