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New Releases, Advance Sadies, Jagger & Lennon, 4-eared Bunny   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE EAMES ERA plays a kid's birthday party in the amusing video for "When You Were A Millionaire" from the Heroes and Sheroes album.  You can stream more bouncy indie pop from the Baton Rouge combo at TheirSpace.

NEW RELEASES:  VHS or Beta, Liars, Ben Harper, Sly & the Family Stone, Northern State, New Young Pony Club, Aesop Rock and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.  Angels of Light is Michael Gira's post-Swans band and is ethereal country-folk rock, rather than industrial noise rock.  There's one track from the new We Are Him album at that last link and two more at his label.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS frontman Gruff Rhys talks to Pitchfork about Venus, psychedelia, Turkish and Greek pop influences, the band's next album and much more.

THE SADIES upcoming album, New Seasons, is streaming in full via YepRoc.

WHITE RABBITS keyboardist and singer Stephen Patterson talks to MIT's The Tech about the band's earliest days and new songs. (Thx, LHB.) I previously blurbed the ska-influenced band about a month ago.

DEATH PROOF:  Quentin Tarantino's half of the Grindhouse double-feature comes to DVD next month, which put me in mind of the video for "Chick Habit" by April March, which was based on the French tune "Laisse Tomber Les Filles," sung by France Gall and written by Serge Gainsbourg.  And that's Twofer Tuesday.

BJORK talks to the Scotsman about her respect for composers like Ravel and Debussy, as well as the impact of the Internet on showbiz: "...we're seeing the revenge of the public against the elitist media, and it will find a balance. Eventually there will be room for everyone: people who like reality TV or whatever, and nerds like me doing what we like."

MICK JAGGER & JOHN LENNON:  Heather Browne is streaming their "lost" cover of Willie Dixon's "Too Many Cooks," which reputedly features Harry Nilsson on backing vocals, Jim Keltner on drums, Stones sax player Bobby Keys, Cream bassist Jack Bruce, and Al Kooper on keys.

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  TMZ reports that that famed defense attorney Bruce Cutler has resigned from Phil Spector's defense team.

AMY WINEHOUSE:  The desperate families of Winehouse and her drug using husband are keeping a round-the-clock vigil on the couple - amid fears they are risking their lives with their addictions.

OWEN WILSON:  A spokesman for Cedars-Sinai tells Extra that Owen is "in good condition" at the hospital.  The Buttescotch Stallion asks that the media allow him "to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time,"  which sounds like recovery from more than "dehydration."  The ever-reliable National Enquirer claims that his "brothers Andrew and Luke were with him," though it's unclear when.  Extra has joined the tabs in reporting that Wilson did indeed attempt suicide over the weekend.  The Insider reports he had issues with depression and spent time in rehab almost seven years ago at Hazelden treatment facility in Minnesota.

BRITNEY SPEARS is off the hook on an animal abuse investigation, but TMZ claims that the pop tart is being investigated by DCFS, though the complaint lodged with the agency involves allegations of poor dental hygiene, as well as poor eating and sleeping habits for her kids -- as opposed to child abuse.  The complaint was likely filed by Fed-Ex.  Meanwhile, her former manager, Larry Rudolph, got word out that he wants no part of their legal battle - for fear of what he possibly might have to reveal about Spears.

LINDSAY LOHAN was supposedly spotted out buying beer, and she's said to have been accused by staff at the Cirque Lodge rehab facility of doing drugs and generally being a diva, according to the ever reliable National Enquirer.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL:  Former Hollywood publicist turned blogger Jonathan Jaxon has published some long-standing rumors about Jake's private life.  NTTAWWT.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Charlie Sheen claims that his weekend with his daughters was "sullied" by one of Denise Richards's "spies" (actually a court-ordered escort).  Meanwhile, after facing rumors that they were a couple, Heather Locklear and David Spade have finally decided to hook up - on his new TV show Rules of Engagement.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON tells USA Today that she took the role in the period drama The Other Boleyn Girl because she was eager to work with Natalie Portman.  The sultry actress talked to the AP about avoiding the personal pitfalls that have tripped up other young Hollywood starlets: "I guess I attribute that to my parents and friends and the way I was raised..."

JESSICA ALBA had the last laugh on her grade-school tormentor at Sunday night's Teen Choice awards.

KATE HUDSON:  TMZ now has last weekend's heavy supermarket canoodling on video.

ELLE MacPHERSON earned her title as "The Body" with a racy appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated two decades ago, butt the mother-of-two has made it clear she has no intention of letting her title slip.  New candid swimsuit pics at the link.

KEANU BARADA NIKTO?  Twentieth Century Fox has set Keanu Reeves to star in its re-imagining of the sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still.  I think it's time to cue up Darth Vader.

MISS CONDUCT:  Miss South Carolina Teen USA, whose mangled response to a pageant question has become an Internet sensation, will have a second chance to answer it on this morning's Today show.  Video at the link, icymi.

JOHNNY ROTTEN was a guest last week on Red Eye, FNC's late-night chat show (as was Alternadad author Neal Pollack).  The intro and a montage from the show have been posted on the Tube.  WARNING:  Red Eye -- if you have never seen it --is not merely NSFW (with the second clip failing to catch an F-bomb).  Words like "irreverent" and "offensive" tend to be a vast understatement of the content, even on a typical night.  But "wickedly funny" may also apply, if your sense of humor is sufficiently degenerate.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Iran summoned a Swedish diplomat to its foreign ministry on Monday to protest against a cartoon in a Swedish newspaper depicting the head of Prophet Muhammad on a dog's body, Sweden's foreign ministry said.

SAUDI ARABIA has begun setting up a 35,000-strong security force to protect its oil infrastructure from potential attacks, underlining the kingdom's growing concern over threats from al-Qaeda and rising tensions between Iran and the US.

IRAQ:  Sunni Arab politicians refused to end their boycott of Iraq's Shiite-led government today despite a broadbrush deal aimed at bridging the country's bitter sectarian divide.  Extremists targeted tens of thousands of faithful Shiite pilgrims making their way to the southern city of Karbala for a major religious commemoration; so far, they have killed two.  IraqSlogger reports on US efforts to educate -- and re-educate -- underage detainees at Camp Cropper.  The No. 2 US commander in Iraq accused Iran of stepping up support for Shiite militants.  McClatchy reports on jihadis extorting reconstruction money from contractors in Anbar, which blogger Bill Ardolino noted back in January.  Michael Yon has the second in a series of dispatches from Anbar; the latest covers how quickly the Marines are adopting counter-insurgency practices.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Time magazine reports that "Despite the recent focus on (Prime Minister) Maliki's shortcomings and failures, the job of Iraqi prime minister - at least as outlined by American officials - is probably impossible. There is probably no one who can reconcile with Sunni nationalists while simultaneously disarming militias tied to Shi'ite Iran..."  Of course, earlier this month, Time magazine reported: "Even his severest critics in Washington seem to think Maliki is guilty only of incompetence - that he lacks the political skills to bring together Iraq's warring communities. But it's not that he can't reach out to the Sunnis: he just won't. "

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A bunny rabbit with four ears.  Video at the link.

SLUG PLAGUE UPDATE:  yesterday, I joked that at least Britons would have plenty of time to escape.  Apparently not, as a slug dug into a camper's forehead with 27000 teeth.

WHEN SHARKS ATTACK:  Don't stab yourself with the harpoon.

BELGIAN HORSEBACK SHRIMPERS ride their plodding workhorses across the sands into the North Sea at low tide to trawl for shrimps in just the way that their forefathers have done for more than 500 years.

MAN BITE'S GIRLFRIEND'S SNAKE:  Usually, it's the girlfriend doing the biting, which makes this a classic "man bites snake" story.

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New "Boss" and SLGTM, Live Josh Ritter, Lewd Kenyan Monkeys   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 27, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS full line-up played "My Rights Versus Yours" on The Late Show.  At the end, note that Dave is so heading to chat up Neko Case after the taping.  The dawg.

"THE BOSS" had a track from his upcoming album pop up on the Internet.  The blog which posted it removed it at his label's request, but you just might still be able to stream it on the ol' HM at the link.

BONO is Jesus in a piece of celeb-art.  Which you probably knew, just not that it was literally true.

SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME is streaming a new track, "When I Lose My Eyes," at TheirSpace.  It's a more offbeat than their prior, retro-60s sound, as is "Make A Plan," which you can stream or down load via the 'Gum.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKER patterson Hood talks to the Birmingham News about his and Mike Cooley's second decade in the band.

PENNY LANE was closed after two doormen were injured in a shooting at a bar and restaurant in Liverpool.  And then the fireman rushes in from the pouring rain.  Very strange.

WISELY wisely got The Office's Jenna Fischer to star in the kida Garden State-y, kinda McCartney-esque "Through Any Window."  There's also a clip of Jenna explaining the backstory at the link.

SIOUXSIE SIOUX does not like -- but accepts the inevitability -- of Internet leaks of her new material.

AMY WINEHOUSE defended her husband in a series of texts with gossip-blogger PerezHilton after the couple were involved in a violent row which left them both bloodied and bruised.  Ugly pics at the link.

JOSH RITTER:  The acclaimed singer-songwriter played a full gig for the World Cafe on Friday, streamable now via NPR.

THE SHINS and THE HOLD STEADY are deemed the "summer's hottest rock bands," but "no spring chickens" by the Sunday Times of London.  Hey, try to make me feel older!

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer has checked back into rehab following claims that he attacked a female photographer, while the supposedly sober supermodel's friends fret over her post-breakup weight loss and out of control behavior.

OWEN WILSON was taken to the hospital Sunday in Los Angeles.  The ever-reliable Star magazine and National Enquirer claim that he sliced his left wrists and took an indeterminate amount of pills.  That would be very sad, even if he turned up wearing tribal war paint.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Superbad retained the top spot of the box office, pulling in 18 million, with 68 million so far on a 20 million budget.  The Bourne Ultimatum placed with 12.4 million (185 million total US), while Rush Hour 3 showed with 12.3 million (breaking 100 million in 16 days, as opposed to the sequel's seven).  New releases Mr. Bean's Holiday came in fourth with 10.1 million, Jet Li's War was fifth with 10 million and Scar-Jo's The Nanny Diaries debuted with 7.8 million.  The new entries dropped The Simpsons Movie to seventh with 44 million (173 million total US), Stardust to eighth with 3.9 million (a disappointing 26.4 million total on a 70 million budget) and Hairspray to ninth with 3.4 million.  Rounding out the Top Ten is Nicole Kidman's bomb The Invasion, which has made 11.5 million on an 80 million budget.

SUMMER BOX OFFICE:  The new releases may not have topped the charts, but Hollywood is happy that this summer is heading toward a record-breaking season, with box office receipts currently running $3.8 billion, up 10 percent over 2006 and 6 percent over 2004, the previous most lucrative summer. For the year, the number of tickets sold (admissions) is up almost 3 percent from last year; that's really the figure to watch, as box office dollars are not adjusted for inflation and ticket prices continue to creep up.

ROGER EBERT is having a thumb war with Walt Disney.

KATE HUDSON:  Caught canoodling (and then some) in a Pacific Pallisades supermarket with new bf Dax Shephard.

MADONNA is bringing Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, fashion designer Donna Karan and more to Israel for Rosh Hashana -- as part of a Kabbalah Center tour, natch.

TONI BRAXTON is secretly battling breast cancer, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

BRITNEY SPEARS was pulled over for speeding en route to Vegas, where she was seen dropping by magician Criss Angel's hotel room at 2 a.m. on Friday, and leaving at 9 a.m.  Meanwhile, officials from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were at the pop tart's house to investigate why her dog was wearing a cast.

KIRSTEN DUNST'S swanky SoHo hotel suite was robbed, with two crooks swiping her 13K handbag, wallets, cash, cameras and an iPod, according to the NY Post, which asks the obvious question: "Where was Spidey when she needed him?"

OPRAH WINFREY, MICK JAGGER and the FRENCH HOTEL are among the dozens of stars subpoenaed to appear in Detroit on Sept. 22 to testify in a rap record producer's 900-million-dollar  federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by Canadian border officials.  University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Professor Lawrence A. Dubin thinks that "autograph-seekers should not start lining up for the event."

HAYDEN PANETIERRE was reportedly flooded with pr0n after joking about being able to buy it now that she's 18 yrs old on The Late Show.

THE DARK KNIGHT was back in Chicago's financial district in the south end of The Loop, including Anthony Michael Hall.  How did I miss that bit of casting?

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and DAVID BECKHAM are among the targets of an alleged Al-Qaeda murder plot, according to the uber-reliable News of the World, based on a "chilling internet video" posted on YouTube.  Not quite, but still crazy.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Berke Breathed tells fans that the Opus strips for August 26 and September 2 are being withheld from publication by a large number of client newspapers across the country, including Opus' host paper The Washington Post (presumable for fear of offending Islamic extremists).  The strips may be viewed in a large format on their respective dates at Salon.com.  Editor & Publisher has details.

IRAQ:  In a rare joint TV appearance, Iraq's top Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish political leaders announced they had reached consensus on some key measures seen as vital to fostering national reconciliation (though it seems like they still need to work on some, including the draft oil revenue-sharing law).  Prime Minister al-Maliki also claimed that the country's biggest Sunni Arab political party had agreed to join a new alliance with Shiites and Kurds to end political paralysis, but a top official of that party denied it.  Voices of Iraq reported that the tribal Anbar Salvation Council said it had finished preparing a list of names of a number to occupy cabinet positions vacated when the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front ministers quit the Iraqi government.  Maliki's chief Iraqi opponent, Ayad Allawi, is paying Washington lobbyists with close ties to the White House 300K to help with Allawi's efforts in the US to promote himself and undermine Maliki.  Allawi's Iraqi National List withdrew from the government on Friday.

IRAQ II:  Bill Roggio rounds up recent security ops in Baghdad and ops against AQI and Shia militias around the country.  The governor of Salah al-Din Province said Thursday that the Salah al-Din provincial council had established, in cooperation with the "Salah al-Din Salvation Council," six detachments of fighters that would operate in restive areas of the province.  The NYT reports that there is a debate between commanders in the field who favor slow reductions and senior generals at the Pentagon who favor cutting the number of combat troops more deeply.  The Times of London reports on just how fragile some of the new alliances with insurgents are.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The Associated Press is trying to move the goalposts for US success in Iraq, now focusing on the fact that while this year's "surge" of US troops "has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels... the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago."  This is followed by statistics comparing 2006 with 2007, which tell us nothing about the success of the new US strategy, which began in mid-February, and was not fully phased in until June.  That casualties may increase year-over-year should surprise no one who has studied war; it has been understood since at least Clausewitz that escalation (often to the point of exhaustion by the losing side) is one of the essential  features of war.  A look at the big picture for the last two years shows that the new strategy is reducing civilian casualties nationwide -- at least for the time being.  It is probably too early to say whether this is merely an interruption or a truly new trend, particularly when everyone understands the enemy is likely to make an effort to spike the numbers ahead of the September report and affect the US political debate.

ANARCHIST PROTESTER SHARKS disrupted a bikini-clad celebration of the Little Mermaid.  Definitely something fishy in the state of Denmark.  Video at the link.

KENYAN MONKEYS have been making "lewd signs" at women and children trying to harvest crops south of Nairobi.  The farmers feel so harassed that Kenya's Wildlife Service is sending in animal-control teams to confront the animals.

SNAKE on a PLANE in Brookhaven Mississippi.

BLINKY the TWO-HEADED CALF was euthanized after suffering from collapsed lungs.

A SLUG PLAGUE of almost 15 billion has hit the UK, due to plentiful rain, warm temperatures and a shortage of sun.  At least folks will have plenty of time to escape.

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Motown, New Matt Pond & Neko Case, Cutout Bin, Chumbee   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl




... with THE SOUND OF MOTOWN!  This Ready Steady Go! special from 1965 kicks off with Smokey Robinson and The Miracles singing "Ooo Baby Baby," Dusty Springfield joined by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas on "Wishin And Hopin'," and The Temptations singing "It's Growing." Martha Reeves and The Vandellas join Dusty Springfield for "Can't Hear You No More" followed by The Supremes singing "Stop! In The Name Of Love," The Temptations singing "My Girl," and  Martha Reeves and The Vandellas returning for "Dancing In The Street," the Supremes with "Shake," and Martha Reeves and The Vandellas with "Nowhere To Run," then a medley with The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas and Dusty Springfield, continuing with Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, The Supremes and all performers joining in on "Mickey's Monkey," all backed by the Earl Van Dyke Sextet.  BONUS:  Stevie Wonder wails through "Kiss Me Baby," plus prior RSG appearances by Marvin Gaye syncing "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" and "Can I Get A Witness."

MEAT PUPPETS maestro Curt Kirkwood talks to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the rebooting of the band.  There's plenty of great stuff in the article, but perhaps none more wacky than this: "When the Mad Hatter comes up and sticks a knife into you or Alice sticks a knife, they're always smiling and it's hardly ever fatal..."  In context, it even makes sense.  You can stream various Meat Pups tracks online, though none from my fave album, Up on the Sun.

HALL... & OATES!  No sooner does Pitchfork interview Daryl Hall than Seatlle Weekly interviews John Oates, who credits the online comedy series Yacht Rock (a Pate fave) for rekindling interest in his band and bringing in younger fans.  Oates is also enthusiastic about the growing world of H&O mash-up projects: "Once you make a record, it's out to the world. Who cares?"

MATT POND PA & NEKO CASE duet on "Taught to Look Away," which will be on the upcoming Matt Pond PA LP.

MORE TALK, LESS ROCK:  The A.V. Club surveys 15 masters of onstage banter, including Robert Pollard and Robyn Hitchcock.  Plenty o' embedded audio at the link.

120 MINUTES:  Philip Fibiger is aggregating videos that appeared on the the vintage, late-night MTV alt-rock show.

RILO KILEY goes to church in the gold-tinged video for "Silver Lining."

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff talks to The A.V. Club, about the more modern, less melodramatic sound of the band's new album, The Stage Names.

MORRISSEY confirms he turned down 75 million bucks for a Smiths reunion tour with guitarist Johnny Marr.

FEIST is temporarily abandoning her website because it was "a robot whith a paper mask of my face on it."  She invites folks to listen at FeistSpace instead.

YOU TUBE plans to start running ads within the videos posted there.

VEE-JAY RECORDS -- Chicago's other great indie label of the Sixties -- was likely undone by its own success.  NPR is streaming a few tracks from Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker and Little Richard (and Jimi Hendrix) in a feature on the new box set celebrating the label.

BOB MOULD has arranged a series of shows this fall combining music and fan-interview sessions around the release of his first live concert DVD, "Circle of Friends."

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  The defense rests.  Things have not gone well for the legendary pop producer.

CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: The Mountain Goats - Cubs In Five; Sweet - Ballroom Blitz; Heart - Barracuda; Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop; The Allman Brothers Band - One Way Out; Stealers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle With You; Led Zeppelin - Hey Hey What Can I Do; The Faces - Stay With Me; Sweet - Little Willy; Thin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back In Town; Reunion - Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me); Elton John & Kiki Dee - Don't Go Breakin' My Heart; The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me; The Kinks - Picture Book; The Sonics - Boss Hoss; R.E.M. - Superman; Caribou - Melody Day; Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - My Wife & My Dead Wife (live); The Vibrators - Yeah, Yeah, Yeah; Pretenders - Precious (nsfw); The Jam - I Need You (For Someone); Four Tops - Reach Out, I'll Be There; James Brown - Sex Machine; Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In; Wilson Pickett - Land of 1000 Dances; Prince - Little Red Corvette; Of Montreal - Rasberry Beret (live); Rick James - Super Freak; Talking Heads - Life During Wartime; The Untouchables - Free Yourself; The Clash - Train In Vain; The Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed; Trio - Da Da Da; Men Without Hats - Safety Dance; A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran; Killing Joke - Eighties; The Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You; Run-D.M.C. vs. The Knack - Tricky Sharona; Frankie Valli - Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You (remix); and The Go! Team - The Wrath Of Marcie

LINDSAY LOHAN struck a deal by pleading no contest to two counts of DUI, two counts of being under the influence of a controlled substance, and reckless driving -- all misdemeanors.  After factoring in community service, etc., Li-Lo looks to be spending one day in jail.  Looks like the more contrite rehab worked for her.

NICOLE RICHIE, meanwhile, snuck into jail to serve her sentence for DUI, while all the tabloid attention was focused on La Lohan.  She checked in at 3:15 PM and was released at 4:37 PM.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Rumors swirl that the pop tart is so desperate to get away from her custody battle she is considering moving to London or France, but she is still stateside for now.  There is probably even less truth to the claim that Spears signed up to learn the hardcore Israeli combat techniques Matt Damon uses in The Bourne Ultimatum, but it's just too funny to not pass along.  PerezHilton has her new song.

THE FRENCH HOTEL may have paid as much as two million bucks to settle the defamation suit brought by diamond diva Zeta Graff.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are: War, the Jet Li / Jason Stratham action flick not screened for critics (ouch); The Nanny Diaries, a Scarlett Johansson vehicle currently scoring 24 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Mr. Bean's Holiday, which is scoring 48 percent; and the homeless boxer movie Resurrecting The Champ, which is seemingly also about a father-son relationship and scoring 64 percent.

JESSICA BIEL & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE finally had a PDA moment outside of JT's New York restaurant, though I still predict they are saving the big reveal for the MTV VMAs.  Video at the link.  Timberlake has joined the cast of the next Mike Myers movie, The Love Guru, where he will get a chance to chat up Jessica Alba.  Which is mostly an excuse to link to Biel's new photo spread in the French edition of FHM.

GISELE BUNDCHEN: The supermodel is said to have bought a Gucci bib for the newborn son of bf (and Pats QB) Tom Brady and Bridget Moynihan.

MAD MEL UPDATE:  A Malibu judge has given Mel Gibson two thumbs up on the progress of his DUI case.

FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF really doesn't need a sequel about a mid-life crisis.

THE JUSTICE LEAGUE movie may move forward as a CGI motion-capture animation.

JESSICA ALBA was spotted with supposed ex-bf Cash Warren on the beach in Pacific Palisades Wednesday morning.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is having fainting spells or something and Pitt is telling people that she has some sort of liver disease, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.  Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has rolled out the first full trailer for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which looks to be about the peril of infamy.  The trialer also mentions that James had children, as though you need more than Pitt to appeal to the female demo.

AFGHANISTAN:  A week ago, US forces launched a major operation to counter a rejuvenated al-Qaeda, which has been steadily regrouping in the tribal areas of Pakistan, and has in the past three months moved back into the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan.  Discreetly, Western officials in Kabul describe it as "very successful", trapping insurgents in a series of adjacent valleys.

IRAN:  A draft National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is nearly complete and reportedly portrays a bleak political situation in Iran, anticipating little progress in getting Tehran to halt its nuclear program or stop supporting militant groups in the region.  OTOH, this is the crowd that assured everyone Iraq had WMDs, so hope springs eternal.

IRAQ:  The declassified version of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq sees uneven progress on the security front, little to no progress on the national political front, and states that switching from a counterinsurgency mission to a counterterrorism mission would damage the past year's gains.  If the Maliki gov't falls in the next few months, is that good news, or bad news?  Also between the lines of the NIE is the implication that the political stalemate is partially the product of the US arming the mostly Sunni tribal militias.  Are the Shia (e.g., Maliki) then acting in ways to proke a US withdrawal?  While the headlines are about Sen. John Warner (R-VA) urging Pres. Bush to anounce he will bring home 5000 troops by Christmas, the real story is that Warner said would not support Democratic legislation that would call for Bush to bring troops home by a certain date.

IRAQ II:  In Diyala province, Iraqi and Coalition security forces wrapped up Operation Lightning Hammer, Iraqi and Coalition forces are engaging the tribes in the region to fight AQI, and Iraqi security forces are said to have launched a large-scale operation along the Iranian border, but AQI remains a threat and seeks to intimidate the local population.  Iraqi forces, with US Special Forces advising, detained a high-level terrorist in Mosul.  The Guardian points out that the large suicide bombing of the Yezidis may have less to do with religion than an upcoming referendum on whether the Yezidis would join the autonomous region of Kurdistan.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  An investigating officer on Thursday recommended dismissal of all charges against a US Marine accused of killing six people during an assault in the Iraqi town of Haditha.  If the commanding general overseeing the case accepts the recommendation - as he has with three of eight Marines who were initially accused - that would leave only one Marine charged with murder.  The "Haditha massacre" generated a lot of press; the case falling apart, not so much.

CAT NEWS:  We have fat cat video, as well as pics of Milford, Mass. firefighters saving a half-dozen cats from a burning home.  The cats may have forgotten their trauma ten minutes later.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A depressed one-legged chicken.  But who wouldn't be?


SKIPPI the KANGAROO is much less so after ending a three-week spree across southern Germany in an auto collision.

CHUMBEE is the Casanova of koala bears.

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New JAMC & Hives, Live Ryan Adams, Red Button, Baby Otter   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN are entering the studio to record their first album of all-new material in nine years, presumably including "All Things Must Pass," which they played for Dave on The Late Show.

RYAN ADAMS talks addiction with the Sydney Morning Herald: "People had an idea of me as a walking chemistry experiment."  You can watch a ten-song set, plus two fan Q&A segments at Yahoo! Music.

BACK TO SCHOOL ALBUMS:  LAist makes a Top Five list.  You could do worse.

THE HIVES have put the lead single for The Black and White Album, "Tick Tick Boom," on the soundtrack to the Madden ‘08 video game.

NEIL YOUNG'S next album is a sequel to one he never released.  The original Chrome Dreams LP was scrapped in 1977 for unknown reasons, but a number of the songs pegged to appear on it become Young classics after being released on later albums, including "Pocahontas," "Sedan Delivery," "Powderfinger," "Look Out for My Love" and "Like a Hurricane."

THE RED BUTTON:  Like those classic British Invasion bands?  This L.A. duo certainly does, recently topping the chart for Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show with "Cruel Girl."  You can stream a few more at TheirSpace.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS frontman A.C. Newman is fairly inscrutable about his inscrutable lyrics with the Boston Phoenix.

THE ROLLING STONES:  The trailer for Shine a Light -- their Martin Scorsese-directed concert film -- is posted at ETOnline.

R.E.M. is releasing their first ever live CD/DVD combo on October 16th; among the tracks is the previously unreleased "I'm Gonna DJ."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The Daily Mail claims that the troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel have been secretly living it up in a £1,500-a-night suite at the Mayfair hotel for the past five days.  And Doherty's pet cat has been found to have traces of cocaine in its blood stream after being taken in for observation by vets, sys the uber-reliable Daily Star.

BILL MURRAY could face a drunken driving charge in Sweden after cruising through downtown Stockholm in a golf cart and refusing a breath test.  He agreed to let a police officer plead guilty for him if the case goes to court.  It is not illegal to drive a golf cart in city traffic in Sweden, but it is very unusual.  Of course, on his deathbed, he will receive total consciousness, so he's got that going for him.  Which is nice.

BRITNEY SPEARS backed out at the last minute from recording a duet with her old flame, Justin Timberlake - and the inexplicable decision last month has suits at her record label very worried, according to Page Six.

BRIDGET MOYNIHAN & TOM BRADY are the parents of a baby boy.

MADONNA is selling her Maverick records label to Warner Bros., which agreed to buy out her contract.  Presumably this could pave the way for Madge's previously rumored plan to leave Warner Music Group in favor of an all-encompassing music deal with touring giant Live Nation that could be worth more than 100 million dollars.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has settled the lawsuit brought against her by diamond heiress/arch-enemy Zeta Graff, who claimed the heirhead slandered her in the New York Post by planting a story that Zeta ripped a necklace off of Paris' body as she allegedly danced to Barry Manilow's "Copacabana."

BEYONCE seems to be having a rough month on tour, what with the falling down the stairs and the wardrobe malfunction captured on video and all.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON tells USA Today she would like to adopt a child and that she plans to travel to Iraq to visit US servicemen later this year, but doesn't know if she will sing for them: "I'll probably just take to the stage and ooze sex appeal and hang around."

TOM-KAT are moving to a bigger house and will keep separate bedrooms, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.  NTTAWWT.

BRADGELINA, who just got new tattoos in Chicago, are heading for the Hamptons this weekend to host a dinner of about 50 people to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  Pitt recently sat down with the Today show's Ann Curry to discuss his involvement with the Global Green USA project, which is building zero energy, affordable housing for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

THE ULTIMATE HIGH SCHOOL FLICK CLIQUE:  Ten favorite high school archetypes from the movies, via VH1.

JENNA JAMESON is retiring from adult filmmaking and had her implants removed.

IRAN denies US accusations that a unit of its Revolutionary Guards, the Quds Force, was working inside Iraq to foment more unrest in Iraq.  Separately, Tehran announced that it is set for full production of an Iranian-developed 2,000-pound smart bomb.  And be sure to check out Iranian TV coverage of The Devil's Music in Tehran Rock City.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki lashed out at American criticism, causing Pres. Bush to say he supports the embattled PM, while reiterating that whether al-Maliki stays PM is up to the Iraqis.  Notable was al-Maliki's comment that "We care for our people and our constitution and can find friends elsewhere" -- a not-so-veiled threat to cozy up with Iran and Syria (and why US pols should weigh their comments, at least absent a clear alternative to al-Maliki).  The Iraqi government has issued a new "most-wanted" list, topped by the leader of Iraq's banned Baath party, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who has suddenly decided to join efforts by the Iraqi authorities to fight al-Qaeda, according to a report in the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.  France now believes it may hold the key to peace in Iraq.  An Iraqi man sacrificed his life to save the lives of four US Soldiers and eight civilians when he intercepted a suicide bomber during a Concerned Citizens meeting in the town of al-Arafia Aug. 18.

IRAQ II:  Military documentarian Joe Talley covers the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, currently stationed at Forward Operating Base Loyalty in eastern Baghdad.  And Michael Yon's latest dispatch from Anbar province is realistic: "The sheiks of Anbar turned against al Qaeda because the sheiks are businessmen, and al Qaeda is bad for business. But they didn't suddenly trust Americans just because they no longer trusted al Qaeda. They are not suddenly blood allies. This is business, and that's fine, because if there is one thing America is good at, it's business."

DRAG-RACING means Summer for bus-drivers in Sydney.

FLAMING PENIS VENGEANCE!  A woman set fire to her ex-husband's penis as he sat naked watching television and drinking vodka, following three-years of acrimonious enforced co-habitation.

A RESCUED BABY SEA OTTER at the Alaska Sealife Center.  Putting the Awww... in awesome snce June 2006.

GASSY NORDIC MOOSE blamed for global warming.  Nothing up my sleeve... Presto!

DAISY the POODLE is a punk rocker, now.

PET HOARDING:  Mexican environmental protection officials found 98 crocodiles that were being kept in the backyard of a home in the Gulf state of Veracruz, authorities said.

TWO CAMPERS were arrested in Maryland over the weekend for trying to ride the wild ponies and tackle sika deer.  Alcohol was involved.

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New Foo Fighters and Beck, Goldenhorse, Pig Rescue   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FOO FIGHTERS:  Dave Grohl gives a little power ballad -- but just a little -- before bringing the rawk on "The Pretender."

BECK -- appropos of nothing -- has a new single on iTunes and next Tuesday at other digital retailers, called "Timebomb."

AMY WINEHOUSE has quit rehab a second time after a string of furious rows with her hubby.

OKKERVIL RIVER got an audio feature with two numbers from the group's new disc, The Stage Names, at the World Cafe.

MARK OLSON talked to the Mpls Strib about his solo almbum, Salvation Blues, but notes he could still go to paramedic school.

GOLDENHORSE:  At Chromewaves, Frank Yang is digging this band from New Zealand, calling "Run Run Run" maybe one of the best singles he's heard this year.  Frank has more linkage.

25 BANDS THAT SHOULD REUNITE, according to ShoutMouth, with plenty o' video.

DARYL HALL:  Pitchfork wants to convince us he''s an indie artist.  He's enthusiastic about the "anything goes" attitude of the 00s, where pop, punk and soul rub elbows and nobody's too cool to dig "Rich Girl".

MARK KNOPFLER isn't trying to convince anyone he's an indie artist, but Stereogum is streaming two new tracks from the Dire Straits frontman anyway.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer walked free from court as he faced charges of breaching bail conditions following his latest drug arrest, because he had not been produced in court within 24 hours of his arrest.

BRITNEY SPEARS may not be opening the MTV Video Music Awards, after all... but ex-bf Justin Timberlake may perform there.  Also, the pop tart's reportedly departing lawyer may have missed the chance to stop Spears employees from testifying in the increasingly bitter child custody suit with Fed-Ex.

THE FRENCH HOTEL may literally become a cartoon; fmr. Marvel maven Stan Lee has a first-look deal with Disney.  Meanwhile, Entourage star Adrian Grenier is trying to get the heirhead to go Green.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Rehab apparently involves taking you mind off drugs with bicycling and whitewater-rafting excursions.  And it appears that her Mom Dina has turned up in Utah.  And TMZ claims that there is a "strong possibility" the L.A. County District Attorney's office will NOT file felony charges against Li-Lo in connection with her two DUI arrests.

MARIA SHARAPOVA reportedly grunts much less in the bedroom than on the tennis court, according to slimy Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.  The Sun's readers suggest the blame may fall on Levine.

LAURA LINNEY is engaged to her boyfriend, Marc Schauer.

YO GABBA GABBA:  I'm slightly bummed I forgot to mention the premiere of the show on Nickelodeon Monday, as it seems like just the show for my friends with kids, not to mention college kids on hallucinogens.  The show features hip animation, mind-bending sets, wacky characters and appearances by the likes of The Shins, Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh, Rahzel of The Roots, Cornelius, and Elijah Wood (pictured).  Video at the links, plus more video and music at GabbaSpace.

SIENNA MILLER, romantically linked to co-stars Sean Bean and Matthew Rhys in the past week or so, has been spotted getting familiar with Notting Hill actor Rhys Ifans.

JENNIFER LOPEZ dresses like a dominatrix to rescue a baby from an S&M club... in the video for "Do It Well," the first single from her forthcoming CD.  M'kay...

HAYDEN PANETTIERE -- the cheerleader from NBC's Heroes -- turned 18, to the delight of pervy gossip columnists.  Not that she's discouraged such talk.  Asked by David Letterman what the big birthday means to her, the Heroes star answered: "I don't think much changes when you're 18 - maybe the way people treat you. But I think the only things I can do is buy cigarettes, porn and, if I get in trouble with the law, I'm kind of screwed."  Videos at the links.

JESSICA ALBA:  Emotionally unavailable, intuitive, and creatively unfulfilled?  The women at Jezebel have graphologist Sheila Kurtz analyze the September Cosmo cover girl's handwriting.

I'M NOT THERE:  A movie where Bob Dylan is played by Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Ben Winshaw and Marcus Carl Franklin?  Here's your trailer... plus a clip of Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan and David Cross as poet Allen Ginsberg.

BREAKING UP may not be hard to do, according to a new study.  Neil Sedaka was unavailable for comment.

THE CIA and other US spy agencies lacked a comprehensive strategic plan to counter Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11.  No comprehensive report focusing on bin Laden was written after 1993, and no comprehensive report laying out the threats of 2001 was assembled, according to the now-declassified executive summary of a report by the agency's own watchdog.  Yet the review team led by Inspector General John Helgerson found neither a "single point of failure nor a silver bullet" that would have stopped the attacks.

IRAN released detained Iranian-American academic Haleh Esfandiari from a notorious Tehran prison Tuesday after spending months behind bars on charges of endangering Iranian national security-allegations her family vehemently denies.  She was released after her elderly mother used the deed to her Tehran apartment to post bail, but it was unclear whether she would be allowed to leave Iran.

IRAQ:  The Bush Admin seems to be subtly turning up the pressure on the Shiite-led gov't of Prime Minister al-Maliki in comments made not only by Amb. Ryan Crocker, but also Pres. Bush (even while seemingly playing down the comment made by Sen. Carl Levin, noted here yesterday).  Moqtada al Sadr denies giving an interview to London's Independent in which he admitted his Mahdi Army got training from Hezbollah in Lebanon (an admission that hurts his effort to be seen as a nationalist).  He also denied involvement in the killings of two southern provincial governors, seen as part of a brutal contest among rival Shiite militias to control parts of Iraq's main oil regions.  Villagers in Diyala province are protesting and planning to set up new roadblocks to pressure the authorities to come up with new measures against al-Qaeda.  Saddam Hussein's cousin "Chemical Ali" went on trial along with 14 others in Baghdad for the slaughter of up to 100,000 Shia Muslim Iraqis.  Blogger Michael J. Totten has a piece titled "How to Spy in Iraq" about the way US troops are gathering intell on the enemy now that they are out in the neighborhoods of Baghdad.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  I thought Richard Miniter's piece on The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist" was a little over-the-top, but I must note the irony of TNR trying to gag its former employee from dishing some dirt about the story.  Also:  At Salon, former Marine officer David J. Morris gently breaks it to readers that some conditions are improving in Iraq.

PORKER rescued from a drain near Curbridge, Hants.  Like Jessica McClure, but with a pig.

RABID BEAVER attacks two north of Loch Raven Dam in Towson, MD.  Video at the link.

CHICKEN BUSTERS: Who you gonna call? Pic at the link.

GIANT JELLYFISH that invaded the Gulf of Mexico seven years ago have made a "vigorous reappearance" this summer and threaten to devour native fish.  Gonna need a bigger urine sample.

THE LOCH NESS MONSTER cannot stop a duathlon in Scotland.

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