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New Releases, Smoosh, Top All-time Videos, Misers, Baby Zoo Animals   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SAM COOKE does a good job lip-synching "Everybody Loves to Cha Cha," until Jackie Wilson turns up.

NEW RELEASES: Another slow week, though Feist remixes, a Steve Miller reissue, Bruce Cockburn, and Golden Smog are among the CDs streaming in full from AOL Music. Scott H. Biram has another album of gritty, bluesy material (there are older tracks at MySpace).

PATTIE BOYD, Eric Clapton’s ex-wife and the woman he stole from Beatle George Harrison -- the subject of "Layla" and "and Wonderful Tonight" -- is breaking 40 years of silence to pen her autobiography. Pattie’s memoirs come at the same time that another lover, Italian Lori Del Santo, whose four-year-old son with Clapton, Conor, died when he fell from a New York skyscraper, is penning her own version of events. Both will coincide with Clapton's own autobiography.

SMOOSH: The tween sisters, currently touring with eels, want to be taken seriously. Drummer Chloe, 12, says: "I don't really like it when people say, 'Oh, look at those guys, they're so adorable!' I want them to focus o­n our music." Keyboardist and songwriter Asya, 14, is critical of their debut album, She Like Electric: "I think it sounds really bad now that I listen to it. It sounds really young and stuff. I was like 11 when we made that CD." The Seattle Times paid a home visit that shows them unconcerned with their success, and with Asya more charitable toward her music: "It's good to have two albums. It's all your best songs." Although "Find A Way" would be my pick to click, there's an assortment of Smoosh streaming via the Hype Machine.

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, an Austin combo featured o­n the soundtrack of Friday Night Lights, is offering 2005's The Rescue EP as a free download, along with recording notes.

THE TOP 100 VIDEOS OF ALL TIME is the theme of a series starting o­n Stylus, complete with embedded YouTube video.

DAVID BYRNE talks to Pitchfork about the reissue of his collaboration with Brian Eno, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Byrne engages in some juicy rationalization about the exclusion of "Qu'ran" after the initial pressing in 1981, saying it was done simply "in deference to somebody's religion." Yet the album features found audio from Pentecostal preachers and even an exorcist. Moreover, Byrne complains about self-censorship and sees religions -- including Islam -- as a lie. So Rolling Stone is probably closer to the mark in claiming the song was cut "because of fatwa-dodging concerns that unfortunately still apply." Even more unfortunate when someone who presents himself as an artist engages in the type of spin normally the province of the politician. You can hear o­ne of those preachers o­n "Help Me Somebody."

M WARD'S upcoming fourth album, Post War, will have cameos from Neko Case and My Morning Jacket's Jim James.

MELODY MAKERS: London's Guardian looks at the new generation of singer-songwriters who grew up o­n punk and hardcore music, including King Creosote, Sam Duckworth, Jim Noir, James Morrison and the best-known of the bunch, Jose Gonzalez. Each also talks about a song he wishes he had written -- though I suspect Jose is kidding about "America, F*ck Yeah" from Team America: World Police.

NELLY FURTADO says she's attracted to women, but now but now that she's a single mom with a "secret boyfriend," she's rejected feminist, male-bashing brainwashing.

WHO'S LEFT: At the presser announcing the world tour, Pete Townshend talks about being known for the CSI themes and touring because of his son and the Internet.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer is concerned about his mother's upcoming book. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel has landed another million-pound contract -- this time with classic biker outfitters Belstaff.

CARMEN ELECTRA and DAVE NAVARRO, contrary to recent denials, are "amicably separating" after roughly 2 1/2 years of marriage. This had been rumored for awhile, so it presumably is not related to Navarro's man-love for Tommy Lee.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER have reportedly split again, this time over Law's need to spend more time with his kids.

JESSICA SIMPSON and NICK LACHEY had awkward run-in at a small Hollywood hot spot, where Lachey arrived with reputed girlfriend and ET infobabe Vanessa Minnillo. Also, the NYDN claims that the pneumatic blonde's creepy dad-manager wanted to watch Nick at night, in particular the security tape from a club o­n the night that Lachey, Manillo and Jessica's former assistant CaCee Cobb were all present. A Simpson rep denies it, natch.

THE McCARTNEYS: The Daily Mail claims that Sir Paul banishes estranged wife Heather Mills from his 160-acre East Sussex estate whenever he wants to see their daughter Beatrice, without a car and driver, effectively exposing Mills to the paparazzi. He repeats the mantra to his friends that while he may have been a fool in love, he won't be o­ne in divorce. But it does not come easy to him. Natch.

BRADGELINA: Pitt also wants to spend as much time with baby Shiloh and his adopted kids because even he is sick of thinking about himself. Video at the link.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY BREAK-UPDATE: The teenager at at the center of the former supermodel's marital meltdown may sue Brinkley's future ex, perhaps for sexual harassment. Peter Cook, 47, caused "substantial and irreparable harm" when he showered aspiring singer Diana Bianchi, 19, with luxurious gifts -- including a Nissan Maxima -- and then seduced her behind Brinkley's back, the teen's lawyer alleged.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: What is it with Cruise in Chicago? He does the Oprah show and jumps the couch. He makes a surprise visit at the Chicago Film Festival to give Steven Spielberg an award and gives him a strange hug to boot. More odd behavior from the man who dispatched his private plane to get cherry soda for Holmes in Colorado.

OPRAH and her friend Gayle King want to be clear: They're not gay. NTTAWWT.

OWEN WILSON: The Butterscotch Stallion was rubbed the wrong way by a masseur who gave him "porn slaps." NTTAWWT.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON is the voice of God. He already knew Ezekiel 25:17.

CHRIS ELLIOT and MICHAEL McKEAN will play Heat Miser and Snow Miser in a live-action remake of The Year Without a Santa Claus. And someone o­n YouTube has taken the clips of Mother Nature's two sons and nicely dubbed in the covers by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

WE'RE HAVIN' A HEAT WAVE: Last weekend, the Chicago Dermatological Society turned up in a van at the North Avenue Beach to give free five minute screenings for skin cancer and hand out sunscreen samples. This weekend, I'll be turning up at the North Avenue Beach to apply sunscreen to attractive women for free. Granted, I'm not a doctor, but I have played o­ne.

IRAQ: With the spike of sectarian violence, many Sunni Arab political and religious leaders o­nce staunchly opposed to the US presence in Iraq now want US troops to protect them from the rampages of Shiite militias and government forces. Turkey has called for Iraq and the US to crack down o­n Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq. Recently declassified documents from old Iraqi gov't files suggest that the Iraqi Itell Service directed the Military Industrialization Commission, responsible for the development and manufacture of proscribed weapons, to change nuclear, chemical and missile testing sites identified by foreign intell, though the memo is undated. Another document from 1998 is a lengthy investigation of which of Saddam's men failed to properly purge WMD files found by the UN. As expected, no smoking guns here, though they do run contrary to the now-conventional wisdom that Saddam destroyed most of his WMDs shortly after the Gulf War. Cher, who opposes the battle in Iraq, taled to Stars and Stripes about the singer's work for the Intrepid Fund for training disabled troops and Operation Helmet.

MIDEAST CONFLICT: Pres. Bush said a swear word. Hezbollah's head urged Arab states to aid the terror group, a notion rejected by the Arab League, with the Saudis stepping up their criticism of Hamas and Hezbollah, largely due to the perceived role Iran has played in the conflict. And though there is no direct evidence with respect to the immediate conflict, Tehran has supplied Hezbollah with approximately 11,500 missiles and projectiles and trained more than 3,000 Hezbollah members. The position of the Arab states against the Persian-dominated, Shiite theocracy in Iran may make this conflict decidedly different from the 1967 war. BTW, experts think this will hurt tourism in Lebanon.

A BABY PENGUIN made his public debut at the Detroit Zoo. Pics and video at the link. Plus, the zoo is running a contest to name the chick through the end of this month.

BLACKBIRDS are swooping down and attacking the heads of pedestrians in San Luis Obispo, CA (where o­ne of my uncles o­nce lived). You can o­nly imagine how bad the problem is in Bodega Bay.

BARBARO, the injured Kentucky Derby winner, is keeping a positive mental attitude as he fights for life agaisnt the odds. The weekend brought an outpouring of sentiment from Barbaro fans. Baskets filled with apples, carrots, mints and packages of sugar cubes and several flower arrangements were delivered for the third straight day after Richardson said Barbaro had laminitis.

FLORIDA GATORS are about to have their welfare program cut off.

A BABY GIRAFFE debuting at the Denver Zoo brings today's animal stories full circle, with plenty of pics at the link.

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Tom Waits, Nick Drake, NY Dolls, a Two-Faced Kitten and a Two-Faced Lobster   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 17, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SOMEBODY'S GOING TO SEE TOM WAITS, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah. Sorry... couldn't help myself. Need Coffee will hook you up with a slew of Waits clips from YouTube, but not "Downtown Train," which ended up as a hit for Rod Stewart.

FIFTY ALBUMS THAT CHANGED MUSIC: London's Observer has an introduction noting the 50th anniversary of the UK albums chart that anticipates and attempts to explain its list, which is topped by The Velvet Underground and Nico, but includes Robert Johnson's King of the Delta Blues Singers in its top five.

THE 100 BEST LIVING SONGWRITERS: Paste has finally posted its list with supporting essays (Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan place fourth). As such lists are intended to stir the pot, I'll note that the commenters at Chromewaves and Stereogum point out a few flaws in the list.

GOLDEN SMOG: The New York Times (of all places) has five free MP3s from the album coming out tomorrow, offered in conjunction with an article about the "death" of alt-country (a view held by the writer, when the interviewees never saw themselves as part of such a school). Even if you have to do the free registration at the NYT, I'd recommend it for tracks like "Corvette" (a wonderful, summery pop tune) and the dreamier "5-22-02."

NICK DRAKE: The living British poet pays tribute to the late British folk-rocker who shares his name. There's a selection of Drake tunes streaming via the Hype Machine including the two probably most associated with his semi-popular revival -- "Pink Moon," which was licensed for the Volkswagen commercial, and "One of These Things First," which is part of the Garden State soundtrack.

500 RECOVERED BEATLES TAPES, at the center of a trial noted here last week, are raising hopes among fab fans of new releases from the lovable moptops.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS: Reunited with Sylvain Sylvain after 30 years, with a new album coming, David Johansen remains eminently quotable in articles from Reuters and London's Guardian: "Well, I think this album falls apart as well, but in all the right places. It's a rock'n'roll record, and not a lot of people make rock'n'roll records today. They make weird marching music, or Hitler Youth rally music."

PITCHFORK'S INFINITE MIXTAPE adds a cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra.

THE PIPETTES are blazing a trail for a new generation of bands in the thrall to old-style girl groups, but chafe at the notion that they are wedded to nolstalgia: "We don't want to copy the music of that era," says Rose. "What would be the point? We're trying to bring a fresh approach and we're very aware of the music of our time." You can stream plenty of Pipettes via the Hype Machine.

KEEF RICHARDS, LORD OF THE UNDEAD, was allegedly drunk when he fell out of a tree while o­n holiday in Fiji in April. Also, I have discovered that there is gambling at Rick's Cafe Americain.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS played DC Saturday night. You can stream the show from NPR.

HALFTIME REPORT: At My Old Kentucky Blog, Dodge is steaming selections from his picks. He also has an extensive list of honorable mentions.

SYD BARRETT: Another view of the late and former Pink Floyd frontman, from his sister, who is also a nurse.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: As expected, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest won a second weekend with an estimated 62 million take, which breaks the ten-day opening record previously held by Star Wars: Episode III and becomes the fastest film to break 200 million. New releases Little Man and You, Me and Dupree placed a distant second and third with a little over 20 million apiece. Superman Retturns took another big drop. The Devil Wears Prada rounds out the top five.

SUPERMAN had a hissy fit because his makeup made him look wimpy. NTTAWWT.

THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul reportedly threw a "moving-on" party this past weekend to mark a new era without estranged wife Heather Mills. He's also pulling out of a major fundraising event for her Adopt-A-Minefield campaign -- so he doesn't overshadow things, natch. And he's hired Prince Charles' divorce lawyer, which I'm sure is also for Heather's benefit somehow.

AVRIL LAVIGNE and Sum 41 frontman DERYCK WHIBLEY got hitched o­n Saturday, which I merely note for the record.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY reportedly kicked her fourth husband to the curb after she found out he was cheating o­n her with his 19-year-old assistant, according to the ever reliable National Enquirer. The tab adds that Brinkley learned of the affair when the teen's cop stepfather confronted Cook in her presence.

VAUGHNISTON: Jennifer Aniston has been singing the praises of her Vince Vaughn, admitting he’s better in bed than any of her previous partners, including Brad Pitt. Me. Ow. Not that anyone should be surprised. The beautiful people sometimes think the beauty is enough.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: TMZ has an update o­n the forthcoming book o­n Cruise by Richard Morton, who reportedly has spent the last several months in L.A. interviewing people close to Cruise about the star's career, his religion, even his sexuality. US Weekly notes that for all the press generated by Tom-Kat, the couple has said next to nothing. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone regret mocking Tom Cruise and Scientology because theyare now constantly asked about him and fear they have a "Tom Cruise stink" o­n them.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Charlie Sheen's restraining order has been extended.

MADONNA has cancelled plans to tour Australia, supposedly because her kids will have to be going to school. Appaerntly, Madge didn't know when her kids were due back in school when the planned the tour. She can still sell out gigs in NYC, though Madge and hubby Guy Ritchie allegedly got into a fight at the party to celebrate it, when Madge started getting down o­n the dancefloor with ex-beau Lenny Kravitz.

JACKO won and lost in court, mostly losing to the tune of 700K to the former gay porn producer who sued for unpaid royalties, loans and expenses he claimed were owed him from various projects the two collaborated o­n several years ago.

JACK BLACK has quit smoking and started going to bed at a reasonable hour, now that he's a dad.

M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: The man behind The Sixth Sense and Signs is about as weird as you might expect, if EW's excerpt from an upcoming book o­n the making of Lady In The Water is any indication.

TRAILER REMIX: Fans of Hugh Jackman wil love or hate the trailer for X-Men-3: The Last Standing Ovation, which includes clips from Jackman's work o­n Broadway.

IRAQ: At ITM, Mohammed looks at the bigger picture: "In spite of what we are facing here every day I find myself, just like many others, so attached to following what's going o­n between Israel and Lebanon and that's mostly because of the close resemblance between the two cases. In both cases we see a weak government suffering to control a powerful militia that is challenging the will of the rest of the country and engaging in a proxy war making the people suffer the results of regional conflicts that in no way can benefit their country..." For that matter, despite religious differences, al Qaeda and Hezbollah have had past ties. The International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, argues that Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his forces are vital to Iraq's stability and must be engaged to avoid an all-out civil war. Regular visitors here know that al-Sadr's militia is seen as a major threat by the new gov't, though al-Sadr has disclaimed responsibility for recent attacks. The Organization of the Islamic Conference is preparing to bring together Shiite and Sunni scholars in an effort to prevent sectarian conflict.

MIDEAST CONFLICT: Op|For suggests that Israel's operations in southern Lebanon are designed to prep a battlefield for the insertion of ground forces. Thoms P.M. Barrett argues that the conflict is a well-timed and well-placed launch of pre-emptive war. The notion that Iran is trying to buy time by fueling the conflict would jibe with its public statement that Western incentives to halt its nuclear program were an "acceptable basis" for negotiations, bth of which coincide with the UN Security Council resolution banning member states from selling material or technology for missiles or WMDs to North Korea.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A kitten with two faces. Video at the link and through AOL.

A MAINE LOBSTER is a good candidate to play Two-Face in the next Batman movie.

SNAKES IN A CAR: More than 20, in fact. Samuel L. Jackson was unavailable for comment.

A WHITE ALLIGATOR has gone public display at the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina. The gator is leucistic, which is not the same as being albino. Pics and video at the link.

A GAY BODYBUILDER is suing the feds for the right to sunbathe in the nude o­n Fire Island with his rat terrier, Cheekies. He claims he suffers from a disabling skin condition caused by 9/11 and the antidote is exposure to sun. He claims he needs the dog for emotional support. Like I could make that up.

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Focus, Advance Albums, Cutout Bin, "Freak Folk," and Snakes on Planes   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 14, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



... with a rawking and absurdly amusing live version of "Hocus Pocus," by Focus.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: De-Animator. Use your mouse to aim and click to kill zombies.

ADVANCE STREAMS of new albums from Golden Smog and Los Lonely Boys are running at VH1.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FEST has posted its schedule of performances.

SAM CHAMPION, a band that tends to fall in an area bordered by Neil Young, Pavement and the White Stripes, has been getting good blog buzz at sites like Gorilla vs. Bear and Stereogum. You can stream and download tracks from MySpace, with another free track posted at the band's website.

THE KOOKS, who manage to be distinctly British and pop without falling entirely into the Britpop sound, finally have a US release date for their album in October. Of course, with the Internet, you can already stream a selection of tracks via the Hype Machine.

PRESSURE DROP: Reggae tends to put me in a summer frame of mind, what with it being island music and all. You can stream several versions of the Toots & The Maytals classic via Can you see the sunset from the southside?

WEEKEND CUTOUT BIN: More fortuitous finds o­n the Hype Machine: Marvin Gaye - "Got to Give It Up"; Roberta Flack - "Feel Like Makin' Love"; Talking Heads - "Born Under Punches"; White Zombie - "More Human Than Human"; Beastie Boys - "Sabotage"; The 5. 6. 7. 8's - "19th Nervous Breakdown"; The Rolling Stones - "Tumbling Dice"; Allman Brothers Band - "Jessica"; Molly Hatchet - "Flirtin' With Disaster"; Noddy Holder - "C*m o­n Feel The Noise"; Guided By Voices - "Teenage FBI"; Warren Zevon - "Dancing With Myself"; REM - "Wichita Lineman"; and Don Edwards - "Coyotes."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The peacock's eye seems to have overlooked Soul Asylum playing "Stand Up and Be Strong" o­n YouTube.

DEVENDRA BANHART does not like his music being called "freak folk" and has come up with his own description: "Naturalism is a good o­ne, right? If we give them some alternatives then maybe people will start taking this seriously. It's not going to happen with these humiliating, embarrassing, cheesy, tacky phrases like 'freak folk.'" Naturally, you can ignore labels and hear him yourself via the Hype Machine.

VETIVER has been closely associated with Devendra Banhart, but PopMatters talks to frontman Andy Cabic about how the band is carving out a distinct identity: "I think there's something the trajectory that I'm involved with or the music I'm writing. It takes a while." The article includes embedded video of Banhart joining Vetiver for songs at the Vegoose and Bonnaroo festivals. And there's more to stream via the Hype Machine.

JOLIE HOLLAND has been likened to every o­ne from Devendra Banhart to Norah Jones, but -- as Raleigh-Durham's Indy explains -- the woman is in a class by herself. You can hear her unique blend of Americana via the Hype Machine.

JAMES TAYLOR may be the epitome of the 70s-style sensitive singer-songwriter, but is he really wussier than Nick Lachey and Dan Fogelberg?

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer told a court Thursday that he will have an implant fitted to help him kick his drug habit. Last month it was reported that Doherty had tried to have an implant fitted at a Portuguese rehabilitation clinic. The judge has recommended that his drug tests are reduced from twice a week to o­nce a week, even though he has yet to test negative.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: TMZ asked the tabloids what they would pay for pics of the Tom-Kitten, while a blogger there suggests that Cruise's dislike of those answers explains why no pics have been published. Amber Taylor alerted me to a thread at MetaFilter asking "Why does everyone assume Tom Cruise is gay?" After getting an Emmy nomination, South Park's controversial "Trapped in the Closet" episode has been restored to the rerun rotation next week o­n Comedy Central.

NOW SHOWING: This week's wide releases are the unwanted guest comedy You, Me and Dupree (currently scoring 20 percent o­n the Tomatometer) and the Wayan Brothers' Little Man (22 percent though a surprising 44 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics). Almost certainly another big weekend for Pirates, matey. There are also going to be a lot of sneak previews of the animated Monster House S-a-tur-day... night.

AM I STILL ON PROJECT RUNWAY? Those were the first words of contestant Jia Santos upon waking up in the intensive care unit.

THE SOPRANOS' final episodes will not premiere until March 2007, after James Gandolfini's unexpected knee surgery pushed the first possible launch dates into competition with the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.

MADONNA'S Ray of Light Foundation has gifted over 4.3 million bucks since 2001 to the Kabbalah Centre, which Fox's Roger Friedman calls "the pay-as-you-go cult run by questionable clergymen Philip and Karen Berg." Some interesting stuff about the Bergs' cluster of Kabbalah corporatations, too.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY suggests she is an awful girlfriend who freaks out over small stuff and has crying jags when angry. Putting that out there smacks of reverse psychology and allows her to tell prospective beaus they were warned.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS had his son urinate o­n his back after being stung by a jellyfish: "I don't know if it helped at all, but my son was happy..."

BRADGELINA: Charges were dropped against paparazzo Clint Brewer based o­n insufficient evidence to prove he stepped o­n school property while trying to photograph 4-year-old Maddox Jolie-Pitt.

SNAKES ON A PLANE: Author and essayist Chuck Klosterman looks at the filmmakers' catering to viral internet buzz and dreads what it may do to the movie industry: "Snakes o­n a Plane is an unabashed attempt at prefab populism, and (maybe) this gimmick will work o­nce. But it won't keep working, and it will almost certainly make filmmaking worse..."

JACKO is being sued by ex-wife Debbie Rowe, who claims he has failed to pay her what he promised when the two divorced in 1999. And she needs the money to fund her custody battle against him.

ANDY, did you hear about this o­ne? Tell me, are you locked in the punch? Andy, are you goofing o­n Elvis? Are you having fun?

"SLUT" and "HO" are terms used by girls "in a fun way, a positive way," according to Atoosa Rubenstein, the editor in chief of Seventeen magazine. "All of our pop icons look like porn stars," Ms. Rubenstein said. "However they’re all virgins, quote unquote," she said, referring to Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears. "That’s a very complex message to send to girls." I can think of words other than "complex" that might fit in that explanation.

MID-EAST CONFLICT: At the Counterterrorism Blog, Walid Phares lists his four reasons behind the current conflict, while Olivier Guitta itemizes important overlooked news related to the fighting. Austin Bay looks at the possible traps for the parties involved. I noted yesterday that Egyptian Pres. Mubarak was implictly blaming parties like Syria and Iran for the failure of mediation; today, I note that Saudi Arabia is blaming Hezbollah for "exposing Arab nations and their gains to grave dangers." The politics of the conflict seem to be making strange bedfellows.

IRAQ: Britain has handed over responsibility for security in o­ne of Iraq's 18 provinces to local forces for the first time since the country was invaded. Brad Blauser, a civilian contractor in Mosul, is helping disabled children in Iraq by providing wheelchairs to help make their lives a little more comfortable: "There is an alarming rate of children in Iraq that suffer from birth defects, disease, or casualties of war. I wanted to make sure that these children are not restricted to their homes because they don't have any means to get outside and play with their friends."

CATS THAT LOOK LIKE HITLER have a website, just in case you missed it.

SNAKE ON A PLANE: Dutch customs inspectors thought it was a gag rubber gift when they first scanned the package, which was labelled "toy goods."

SNAKE and a BIRD black out 2,000 customers in Las Cruces, NM.

A POLICE DOG ran down a woman with a pickup truck in Ogden, UT.

AN AILING ELEPHANT is rescued from a mudhole in Thailand. He currently cannot stand, but the medical team's prognosis is guardedly optimistic.

BABY MEERKATS: Awww...some.

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Halftime Reports, New Mountain Goats, Sonic Youth and the Demon Duck of Doom   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


DISCO DEMOLITION NIGHT: With Syd Barrett's passing being announced Tuesday, I forgot to note that yesterday was the anniversary of Disco Demolition Night, a promo event occurring during a scheduled twi-nite doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers that would prove to be the most ill-conceived promotional idea since the infamous "Ten Cent Beer Night" in Cleveland in 1974. Though some incorrectly think it had to do with racism, homophobia, etc., the event had much more to do with the fact that Chicago radio station WDAI forced out morning host Steve Dahl o­n Chirstmas Eve 1978, to switch to a disco format. A man who is cashiered wearing a Santa suit tends to carry a grudge. Dahl re-surfaced at WLUP with "Do You Think I'm Disco?" -- a parody of Rod Stewart's "Do You Think I'm Sexy?" with lyrics that targeted yuppie narcissism and materialism. He also did a bit where he pretended to blow-up disco records, which Mike Veeck, the son of Sox owner (and legendary showman) Bill Veeck, thought could be turned into a promotion whereby admission was 98 cents (because WLUP was FM 98) for anyone who brought a disco record to be blown up between the two games. It was far more successful and less controllable than either Dahl or Veeck imagined, with young people storming the park to enter, creating a fog of marijuana smoke in the stands, sailing records like frisbees, throwing firecrackers and ultimately storming the diamond after the scheduled demolition had concluded and Dahl was en route to the announcer's booth for the second game. This short clip o­n You Tube is okay, but the Real Video accessible from ABC 7 in Chicago is much better. Neither has my favorite moment, which is when Sox color commentator Jimmy Piersall said to Harry Caray, "These aren't fans of baseball... these are fans of far-out!"

KEEF RICHARDS, LORD OF THE UNDEAD, "speaks" (and anyone who has heard him knows why that's in quotes) publicly about his brain surgery, saying that he enjoyed being under an anaesthetic.

HALFTIME REPORTS: The staff at Filter has its top picks and honorable mentions for the first half of '06. Gorilla vs. Bear asked mostly musicians and music bloggers for their picks, which included stuff from Starlight Mints, Destroyer, Gnarls Barkley, Marit Larsen, TV o­n the Radio, Brian Eno and David Byrne, Casey Dienel, The Gossip, The Long Winters, Band of Horses, and Midlake.

SELLING OUT: An article at Coke Machine Glow argues artists should get more involved in commercials. Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith says he'd feel like a jerk if they did that. At Stereogum, readers debate the issue and point out that RHCP have done ads for Nike and NASCAR. Ouch.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: YANP has heard -- and is jazzed about -- the band's upcoming album, posting "Woke Up New" and "Wild Sage." The band also has a photo essay posted of recording Get Lonely.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: When the Buffalo Springfield visited The Hollywood Palace in January 1967, the band began with a snippet of "For What It's Worth" before cranking out "Mr. Soul."

THE RACONTEURS already have material for a second album.

INSIDER THE ROCKER'S STUDIO is a new feature at Stereogum, with Scott posing questions to musicians playing the Siren Festival this weekend.

SONIC YOUTH talk about playing CBGB for the first time in 20 years, whether MP3 players affect your listening habits, and the Gilmore Girls at the World Cafe, in addition to playing three tunes from "Rather Ripped."

MY MORNING JACKET went to Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock to record a cover of the Band's "It Makes No Difference" for a Band tribute album.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel are still an item, according to the latter's biographer.

LINDSAY LOHAN is a friendly gal, but this happens to be a scene from her upcoming movie, Georgia Rule. TMZ has the video for all you perverts.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes emerges from seclusion in Telluride to tell US Weekly that “Suri’s doing great!” Life & Style Weekly reports buzz that Holmes' par­ents intend to skip the Scientological wedding ceremony to be performed by church leader David Miscavige. Meanwhile, TMZ looks at the Tom-Kitten conspiracy theory timeline.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY is divorcing husband number four. And looking pretty good for 52.

NATALIE PORTMAN, contrary to prior reports, will not be nude in the upcoming Goya's Ghost. Instead, you get a badly-lit body double.

AQUAMAN: Jossip has video of CNBC's Joe Kernan reporting box office figures for the fictional flick featured o­n HBO's Entourage. Jossip seems to think the joke is o­n him, but having seen Kernan in action, he may have been in o­n it. If not, he can get a gig with Ron Burgundy, who will read anything you put o­n a TelePrompTer.

SPIDER-MAN is going to be a dad.

JESSICA SIMPSON: I haven't seen this o­nline yet, but the pneumatic blonde told OK! magazine that her "stripper name" is... Angela McGuillicuddy, suggesting that she may really be as dumb as she was o­n MTV. Angela McGuillicuddy? Jessica Simpson is a better stripper name than that!

BRADGELINA: Jolie may well be starring in a role that was considered a potential Oscar berth for Jennifer Aniston in a film produced by the company that Pitt created with his former wife.

CAMERON DIAZ is sporting a possible engagement ring, as spotted by Sky News.

PAMELA ANDERSON will likely do a cameo in the movie version of Baywatch.

THE EMMYS: The Gold Derby forums have posted the voting procedure and are finding the nominated episodes to watch o­n the Internet.

ESQUIRE'S SEXIEST WOMAN ALIVE has posted the third round of questions for its mystery contest. Looking more like Scarlett Johansson all the time.

IRAQ and MID-EAST CONFLICT: At ITM, Omar argues that "a powerful strike to Hizbollah will be in Iraq's national interest," because "Hizbollah is Iran's and Syria's partner in feeding instability in Iraq." Bill Roggio notes that Hezbollah's successful raid into Israeli territory suggests the involvement of Imad Fayez Mugniyah, Hezbollah's chief of military operations, who has also been directly linked to al Qaeda. The Bush Admin. blames Syria and Iran for escalating violence between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is not surprising. What is surprising is Egyptian Pres. Mubarak claiming his mediation efforts between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were sabotaged by "other parties," when it's pretty easy to infer who he means. It's a small, small world.

IRAN, meanwhile, is looking at a referral to the UN Security Council, as world powers concluded that Tehran had given no sign they would bargain in earnest over their disputed nuclear program. A 314-page study prepared for the US Army War College's Strategic Studies Center by non-proliferation experts suggests Iran could have a bomb at some time between October and three years from then.

THE DEMON DUCK OF DOOM AND KILLER KANGAROO fossils were among 20 previously unknown species uncovered at a site in northwest Queensland state down under.

EATING NEMO: In a real world fish-tank, sharks think fish are food, not friends.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT I: Don't touch the monkey.


PET HOARDING... WITH A TWIST: A woman won the right to care for almost 200 stray and feral cats at her home in Volusia County, FL.

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R.I.P. Syd Barrett, GbV, Tilly & the Wall, and a Gassy Sea Turtle   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SHINE ON, YOU CRAZY DIAMOND: Roger "Syd" Barrett, the troubled former lead singer and songwriter of Pink Floyd died last Friday at the Cambridgeshire home to which he retreated as a recluse more than 30 years ago. It has been reported that he died from complications related to diabetes or cancer. Barrett named the band, which became a favorite in the underground movement, playing at such prominent venues as the UFO club, the Marquee Club and the Roundhouse. You can see rare live (and a little NSFW) footage from the UFO club in a video featuring "Interstellar Overdrive" and dedicated to Barrett. He wrote the band's first hit singles, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play." The band's debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, predominantly written by Barrett, is considered to be a prime example of British psychedelic music, and is still viewed as o­ne of the better debut albums by many critics. But Barrett quickly grew to hate playing note-perfect renditions of the pop hits live, leaned further in favor of trippier, freer-form numbers like "Astronomy Domine" and began to publicly lash out at record-company executives who were pressing him for more commercial material. Barrett infamously suffered from a psychedelic-drug induced breakdown in late 1967, though many think that the drugs aggravated a pre-existing condition, possibly schizophrenia. You can see him struggling through the "Jugband Blues" video from this period. In January 1968, Barrett was replaced by the band with his old Cambridge chum David Gilmour.

Barrett had a brief solo career, releasing two solo albums in 1970 -- The Madcap Laughs and Barrett --with production help from Gilmour and Roger Waters. However, much of the material was drawn from late '66 to mid-'67, as his mental health continued to decline, as demonstrated in a rare 1971 interview. Barrett's fate nevertheless continued to haunt Pink Floyd, as material o­n their greatest works, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall all deal with mental breakdown, with "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" expressly written as a tribute and elegy. You can see Roger Waters talk about "Crazy Diamond" and the rest of the band talk about Syd in the opening segment of VH1's Legends documentary o­n Pink Floyd, which also has loads of Syd bio. (Part Two charts Syd's rapid rise and the start of his fall; Part Three covers his accelerating decline during Pink Floyd's first -- and truncated -- US tour, followed by his replacement with Gilmour.) Barrett continued to live as a recluse in Cambridge, indifferent to the Pink Floyd reunion for the Live 8 concert last summer. Gilmour, Floyd's original managers and others all talked about Barrett with the Independent to mark his 60th birthday in January. Tributes from David Bowie, Graham Coxon and more began to be issued as news of Barrett's death became public. Obviously, there's plenty of early Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett getting posted o­n music blogs streamable via the Hype Machine.

GUIDED BY VOICES: At the GbV database,Robert Gray has a nifty compilation of rare and unreleased GbV radio sessions, broadcasts, and interviews. You can stream a sampler from the Captain's Dead blog. From the sampler, I would pick the roaring "Watch Me Jumpstart," the early take of of "Bulldog Skin" and the unplugged "Surgical Focus," but you really need to go to the first link to download "Alone, Stinking and Unafraid."

STOLEN BEATLES TAPES contained more than 200 o­ne-off performances and unique covers, including Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" and Bob Dylan's "Blowing In The Wind," according to court testimony from original Beatles road manager Neil Aspinall.

TOP DEBUT ALBUMS, according to Uncut magazine.

TOP SOPHOMORE ALBUMS are discussed o­n the Rolling Stone blog.

BONO has come under fire from left-wing political activists after investing in a video game which depicts Venezuela in a negative light.

TILLY AND THE WALL, recently featured o­n All Things Considered, gets some print from the L.A. Daily News, with Nick White declaring that "putting the records o­n the Internet was probably the best idea (label) Team Love has had yet." You can download the whole album for free via the label's website. You can see the video for "Bad Education" o­n YouTube or stream some from the Hype Machine.

PITCHFORK INFINITE MIXTAPE adds Girl Talk's "Smash Your Head to the prior list of 21 free MP3s. A little too dance-rap for me, but YMMV.

KINKY FRIEDMAN will be allowed to appear o­n Texas election ballots as Richard "Kinky" Friedman, the state's top election official said o­n Monday.

SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE: At Timedoor, Enik shares memories and versions of the REM hit, including a cover by former REM producer Mitch Easter.

MY SPACE: The social networking site, which has become a haven for bands as well as teens, due to its free music streaming capabilities, now has more traffic than Yahoo e-mail and Google.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer's latest BBC interview can be seen in three parts via YouTube. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel was partying hearty o­n a trip to the Maldives, much to the chagrin of traveling companion (and Jude Law ex) Sadie Frost. The trip was previously rumored as having a detoxing element.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: According to the ever-reliable National Enquirer Cruise and Holmes have been fighting over the Tom-Kitten's naming ceremony. Cruise has been demanding a Church of Scientology ceremony, natch, while Holmes is insisting that she be baptized as a Catholic. So they will do both, supposedly. There are more problems with the Tom-Kitten's birth certificate. And Variety has to write about Paramount's reluctance to sign a new, rich production deal with Cruise's company without using phrases like "PR poison" and "crazy train."

PIRATES: The opening of Dead Man's Chest reminded a Hollywood screenwriter to sue pretty much everyone involved with the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie for copyright infringement. Otherwise, he might have forgotten about the original, which grossed over 300 million domestically.

SUPERMAN RETURNS, BUT MAYBE NOT AGAIN, unless the movie grosses 200 million in the US.

BRADGELINA: Jolie's still-estranged father, Jon Voight, has yet to see his granddaughter Shiloh outside the pages of People magazine. You figure he sends someone else to get the magazine, right? How sad would it be to see Voight standing in the checkout lane of some grocery store, ponying up his buck-fifty?

LINDSAY LOHAN is creating a new book of sexy photographs of herself -- suggesting she has become Darth Lohan and apprentice to Madonna. Meanwhile, MiceAge has gossip o­n La Lohan's 20th birthday party at Disneyland: "Between the obvious smell, rude behavior and the snotty attitude the entire party displayed, there were very few Lindsay Lohan fans working at Disneyland by the end of that night..."

BRITNEY SPEARS has quashed reports she was planning to quit the music business. I didn't report them here, as it was too good to be true.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde claims that she has had "no dates" since her break with Nick Lachey. Which presumably means that she distinguishes between a date and shagging Adam Levine or Jude Law at the Chateau Marmont.

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. has psychic powers that allow him to dream about film projects years before they become reality. If had those powers about the rest of his life, he might have avoided that whole madly-addicted, waking up in a skeevy hotel room with someone dressed as Wonder Woman phase. BTW, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is o­n cable "on demand" now, so look for it.

EVA LONGORIA: The Desperate Housewife has some sort of cosmetics deal with L'Oreal, iirc, so they could use these "before" pictures to show how good you can look with the make-up.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is reportedly giving up sex for a year. And the "ding" you just heard was the timer o­n her 15 minutes.

MISCHA BARTON: The former O.C. hottie has enrolled in acting classes at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. I heard it was a suggestion from Sir Richard Attenborough.

ERNEST AND BERTRAM: Suppressed by lawyers' threats years ago, this controversial documentary spoof has resurfaced o­n YouTube.

WHEW: After train bombings killed 160 in Bombay (which might have an al Qaeda connection) and learning that an alleged plot to bomb New York transit tunnels had an al-Qaeda connection, the train derailment and fire o­n Chicago's Blue Line was a bit disconcerting, particularly o­n an 11th. Fortunately, there appears to be no terror angle.

THE MILITARY IN THE MEDIA: The New York Times recently ran a story claiming that recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed "large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists" to infiltrate the military," based o­n a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which in turn claimed that the numbers could run into the thousands. Working backwards, if you read the report, you will find little basis to conclude that the number is in the thousands. Moreover, Scott Barfield, the Defense Department investigator quoted by both the SPLC and the NYT, is actually discussing 320 soldiers identified over 4 years as gang members, mostly from street gangs like the Gangster Disciples and Latin Kings, which are not known as white supremacist groups. So there's little to no evidence of thousands of neo-Nazis signing up to fight in a war that most of them probably think is a war fought for the Jews they hate. The Army's Criminal Investigation Command admits there are gang members in the military, but claims the number is not significant in a million-man Army. Barfield himself said he knows of a gang member who fought valiantly in Iraq as an Army Pvt. Sgt. 1st Class Domingo Ruiz is a former Coney Island Cobra who apparently served well in Mosul. Conversely, we have yet to hear of gang members being involved in the cases of war crimes currently under investigation and prosecution. The increase in cases of waivers for enlistees with a criminal record -- generally misdemeanors -- may be due in part to screening applicants more closely than ever, requiring a national electronic fingerprint check for every applicant and searching sex offender databases. So gang members in the Army may be a problem, but it's not clear that they are a big problem, let alone the neo-Nazi threat claimed by the NYT.

A GREEN SEA TURTLE had to be rescued in Hawaii due to flatulence.

MICE ARE BRED WITH ARTIFICIAL SPERM, but defects mean the technique is still too risky for humans. Which is okay, as we could always use more mice.

PET HOARDING, WITH A TWIST: Police in Dover, MD, went to a home to remove about 110 cats and three dogs -- the decomposing 84-year-old mother found in a large blue tupperware container was just a bonus. (Thanks, Dad!)

MOJO THE POLICE DOG: You can try to beat him with an iron bar, but he knows where to take a bite out of crime.

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