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Decemberists, Talking Heads, Superman, Donald Rumsfeld and Dolly Parton, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 25, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE DECEMBERISTS played NPR's Morning Becomes Eclectic last Thursday. Listening to Picaresque again this weekend, I would recommend you stream the audio or video from KCRW if you haven't heard the band yet.

FRANK BLACK: MTV News details his forthcoming solo disc, Honeycomb, which was recorded in Nashville: "None of the tracks sound anything like Black's previous work. It's more like a mixtape for a peaceful hike, heavy with alt-country and Van Morrison-like light rock. An updated Blonde o­n Blonde is about accurate."

LOLLAPALOOZA has announced its lineup, which includes Pixies, Weezer, Dinosaur Jr., the Killers, Death Cab for Cutie, Liz Phair, the Arcade Fire, Billy Idol, Dashboard Confessional, the Walkmen, Cake, Widespread Panic, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, M83, the Black Keys, Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Bravery, Blonde Redhead, Digable Planets, VHS or Beta, Tegan & Sera, Louis XIV, Ambulance LTD, and the Changes.

TALKING HEADS: According to the RIAA, downloading is killing music. So whatever you do, do not download a cool collection of demos Talking Heads did for CBS Records -- alternate versions of "Psycho Killer" and other early faves, unreleased stuff, etc. It would just be wrong, y'know?

RICHARD THOMPSON, in contrast to the RIAA, gets it and offers free, legal downloads at his site.

AMERICAN IDOL: Former Idol hopeful Corey Clark now claims he had an affair with Paula Abdul, according to the ever-reliable Globe magazine. The article also says that Clark was told that Idol runner-up Justin Guarini, "bragged about having an affair with Paula." Guarini's rep denies there was any affair. What is undeniable is that both Clark and Guarini have wild hairdos.

SEN. TED KENNEDY'S BROTHER-IN-LAW has been operating in Democratic circles for the last three years as an undercover informant for the FBI, according to the New York Sun. Raymond Reggie, who organized fund-raisers for President and Mrs. Clinton, has pleaded guilty to two felony charges, bank fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors did not publicly detail his cooperation with the government, but he liekly recorded conversations involving Democratic bigs. There's a lot of weird stuff in the story, including that Reggie faces a separate, unrelated state trial in Louisiana next month for allegedly impersonating a police officer.

IRAQ: The recent story regarding the retrieval of around 60 corpses from the Tigris River near al-Suwayra is turning into a murky mystery. StrategyPage's April 23 entry claims that while terror attacks are increasing directed against Sunnis by Sunnis, Sunni leadership is not sticking its neck out to oppose the terrorists." However, Saturday's Associated Press round-up notes that a leading Sunni group, the Association of Muslim Scholars, condemned an attack near a Shiite mosque near Basra, calling it a "hideous crime" and warned the militants they "will not crack our unity and sow dissension between us by spitting out your venom." That tidbit is buried in the final graf of the story, natch. Other Sunni leaders have confirmed their intent to participate in future elections.

WARREN BUFFETT bought a significant amount of Budweiser. The billionaire investor then sat o­n the hood of his limo and cracked open a six right in the parking lot.

USED CARS: Mighty Max Weinberg is suing a car dealer for selling him a '57 T-bird for $93,785 that is allegedly a lemon.

STEREOGUM points to links for the new Foo Fighters single and delivers the sad news that the Pretty in Pink sequel story was a hoax.

BILL COSBY: Lawyers for the woman suing Bill Cosby for sexual assault claim they have lined up ten witnesses to testify they also were doped and groped by the sweater-clad Jello pudding pitchman.

JAMES BROWN and his former road manager, the Rev. Al Sharpton, will atttend the May 6th unveiling of a life-size bronze statue of the Godfather of Soul, Mr. "Please, Please, Please" and the hardest working man in show business in Augusta, GA.

NEIL DIAMOND is served up as o­nly Jeff Goldstein can, at Protein Wisdom.

OSAMA BIN LADEN'S NIECE may land a record deal with Clive Davis ("The Man Who Passed o­n Pate," iirc).

SONGS YOU LOVE, songs you hate: Class Maledictorian Amber Taylor posed a bit of a brain-teaser about them o­n Friday.

HOW GAY IS SUPERMAN? Now that a photo of Brandon Routh from Superman Returns has surfaced, web gossips are checking out his tights and debating how gay he looks. A bit too gay, according to The Superficial. But Defamer is relieved that he does not look as gay as Batman did in the past couple of movies.

CATS: Pope Benedict XVI is a cat person. When he was a cardinal delivering sermons in Regensburg, Germany, he would venture into the cemetery behind the church afterwards. According to Konrad Baumgartner, the head of the theology department at Regensburg University, "It was full of cats, and when he went out, they all ran to him. They knew him and loved him. He stood there, petting some and talking to them, for quite a long time. He visited the cats whenever he visited the church. His love for cats is quite famous."

DOGS in Turin must be walked three times daily under a new law.

CATS AND DOGS: The Illinois Appellate Court recently issued an opinion (with which I had no involvement) addressing the continuing legal issue of the value of a pet.

ELECTION 2008: Sen. John F. Kerry is fuming mad at Sen. Mark Dayton for calling Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "the next great president of the United States" at a Minneapolis Democratic dinner.

SPONGEWORTHY NEWS FROM THE FDA: The Food and Drug Administration has approved U.S. sales of the Today Sponge, a popular nonprescription birth control product that was yanked from the market in 1995.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, star of a new flick about the aftermath of 9/11, believes the United States "is responsible in some way" for the devastating terror attacks. The lady is just asking for a spanking.

HOLLYWOOD GREED: I recently linked to a cople of articles about outrageous celebrity demands for freebies. L.A. Weekly's Nikki Finke writes that the wretched excess of Hollywood moguls makes the toys for Hollywood A-listers seem like chump change.

SUSPENDED ANIMATION CHAMBERS have been tried o­n mice, with tests showing they had suffered no ill effects after six hours.

POPE BENEDICT XVI is accused by lawyers of having obstructed investigations of sex abuse by priests.

TOO MUCH INORMATION: People distracted by incoming e-mail and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQ - more than twice that found in studies of the impact of smoking marijuana, according researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry. Those who are constantly breaking away from tasks to react to email or text messages suffer similar effects o­n the mind as losing a night's sleep. Which is a handy excuse for why I'm such an idiot.

JOHNNY KNOXVILLE is no jackass when it comes to women. Wait, what am I saying? He's married! He can't be canoodling with Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Bridget Hall and Kate Moss, to name a few.

JOHN BOLTON: Carl Ford, the former chief of intelligence and research at the State Department, told the Senate Foreign Relations committee that Bolton was a "quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy." If Bolton was a kiss-up, it apparently did him no good with his boss,Colin Powell, who privately told at least two key Republican lawmakers that Bolton, nominated to be ambassador to the U.N. is a smart but very problematic government official.

BLOGS make the cover of BusinessWeek with a piece o­n the impact blogs can have o­n businesses. The magazine must believe it's a big effect, as it has launched its own blog, Blogspotting, which is devoted to issues raised in the article. And television shows are developing blogs as a method of "permission marketing." o­ne of the examples is Pam Anderson's new show, Stacked. I suspect that if she reallyjournaled, the blog could be a bigger hit than the show.

SPEAKING OF PAM ANDERSON, she calls Jennifer Lopez an "idiot" in an interview with Jane magazine. And a "kettle," to boot.

THERE IS WIDE, BIPARTISAN UNITY in the blogosphere to resist most regulation of blogs under the rubric of campaign finance reform. That bipartisanship seems to be developing in Congress, also, with Minority Leader Harry Reid getting conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) as a cospsonor of a bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act exclude Internet communications from the Act's definition of public communication. Plus, I'm a sucker for a Ghostbusters reference.

ALBERT BROOKS has signed o­n to Arianna Huffington's upcoming group blog.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are vacationing together in Africa, according to a Page SixSixSix exclusive. The site had Britney's hospital trip first, so it might be true... maybe.

CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS: According to an article at OpinionJournal, "Until fairly recently, most celebrities wouldn't be caught dead doing paid pitches in the U.S.: When actress Brenda Vaccaro made a tampon ad in 1981, she was ridiculed partly because it was widely assumed that a performer who went commercial like that was signaling the end of her real career." After noting the disdain found for celebrity pitches in Neil Young's "This Note's For You," the article adds "These days, however, an icon like Robert De Niro can do an American Express ad and nobody bats an eye." Largely true, though people have raised questions about DeNiro's career recently. At least Tom Waits still cares, likening the recent use of a Waits imitator in an Opel commercial in Scandinavia to "having a cow’s udder sewn to my face. Painful and humiliating."

THE SOURCE UPDATE: Already facing a sexual harassment lawsuit against some top managers, the hip-hop magazine is being rocked by a host of financial, advertising and circulation woes, according to the New York Post.

JACKO JUSTICE: A potential witness in the Michael Jackson trial is accused of having sex with a minor. Going out o­n a limb here, but I'll bet he's much less potential now.

PROM THEME: At Lots of Co., Max imagines his alt.prom mix.

INDIE ROCK: The Wikipedia is working o­n defining it.

INDIE VIDEOGAMES: Pitchfork has a feaure o­n videogames going punk.

SOUTHERN CUISINE: The Oxford American is trying to match its Southern Music issue with a Southern Food issue (on newsstands o­nly) that seems packed to the gills with cool stuff. Essays o­n Prince’s Hot Chicken, dogfood, hangover cures, roasted racoon, okra and a Kentucky research lab devoted to pawpaws are just the tip of the tip -- there's an extensive, but incomplete list at the link.

YAHOO! has been ordered to provide a family access to the e-mail account of a Marine killed in Iraq, but many Internet service providers still are trying to figure out the best way to handle such situations.

U.K. ELECTION: The BBC equipped three hecklers with microphones and sent them into a campaign meeting addressed by Tory leader Michael Howard.

THE TENSION BETWEEN CHINA AND JAPAN may be a symptom of Chinese discontent with their own government, with retired miltary dissidents posing a particular danger for the PRC.

THE STUPIDITY OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY policy is argued by James Boyle of the Financial Times: "How would the blues, jazz, Elizabethan theatre, or Silicon valley have developed if they had been forced to play under today’s rules?"

RUMMY AND DOLLY: Defense Secreatry Rumsfeld and Dolly Parton duet at the Grand Ole Opry. "Somebody had to pick up the slack after Ashcroft retired," Rumsfeld said. Okay, not really, but I think he would have had he thought of it.

OIL-FOR-FOOD: The recently-departed investigators from the Volcker committee are rejecting the U.N. spin that they left because their work was done and getting more vocal about an alleged whitewash to protect senior U.N. officials.

LEBANON: The last Syrian troops are supposed to be gone this week. But I would bet intell agents have melted into neighborhoods controlled by Hezbollah.

TOGO is having an election today, but that's not necessarily a good thing, as explained by Publius.

NANOTECH: Live bacteria could o­ne day act as reconfigurable components for nanoscale electronic circuits, or even a scaffold for building nanomachines.

EARTH DAY: You know it's in trouble when the march in Madison, Wisconsin looks like this.

TEACHER MISCONDUCT: NYC Mayor Bloomberg called recent sex-abuse charges against a string of teachers "business as usual." The city scored a victory last week when a judge shot down an arbitrator's decision allowing a Manhattan high-school chemistry teacher who admitted to soliciting sex from his 16-year-old female student to return to class. The issue is part of an o­ngoing dispute between the city and the teacher's union.

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Nights On Broadway, Ray LaMontagne, Satchmo, Lohan, v 1.1   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 22, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



"WHERE'S YOUR MESSIAH NOW?" Although ABC did its annual showing of The Ten Commandments before Easter, I cannot let it pass without mention now. Edward G. Robinson's Dathan never actually spoke that line in the movie, but like "Play It Again, Sam" (not spoken in Casablanca), it has become part of a part of our culture. The line actually comes from Billy Crystal (sample), originally a bit from the Oscars, iirc. It later turned up o­n The Simpsons, with Chief Wiggum playing Dathan to Ned Flanders' Moses.

MATZO AND METAL: VH1 Classic presents a rock-n-roll Passover Seder featuring host Dee Snider (half Jewish) and Scott Ian of Anthrax, Leslie West of Mountain and Snider's Twisted Sister bandmate JJ French discussing their experiences in the music industry as well as their Jewish heritage over a special Passover meal. All foods served will be Kosher of course courtesy of the special's sponsor Manischewitz.

SEDER-MASOCHISM: Twisted ToyFare Theatre presents a passover story featuring superhero action figures.

DOGS have a seder in Chicago. Though there's no link because it's behind a pay-per-view wall, the Chicago Tribune had the story of the seder held at Soggy Paws, a Chicago dog wash and pet products store more accustomed to holding dog birthday parties and singles nights. The store's owner was concerned that people might be offended, but was reassured by Orthodox Jewish friends. Kosher dog food was provided by Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Co. in Wheeling, IL.

EARTH DAY: As the world marks the 35th anniversary of Earth Day, environmentalists are debating the future of a movement that seems to be losing the battle for public opinion. And they should, having managed to lose George Carlin some time between this quote and this one.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER - High Wheels: Jump o­nto sticky wheels, then jump off to collect dots and points.

"NIGHTS ON BROADWAY," the Bee Gees tune covered by Pate, but never commercially released, is making a comeback. It was o­ne of the selections o­n American Idol this week. And it was parodied by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake o­n SNL earlier this month.

SPEAKING OF AMERICAN IDOL, host Ryan Seacrest was honored with a star o­n the Hollywood Walk of Fame o­n Wednesday, an honor yet to be bestowed upon Robert Redford or Julia Roberts, to name just two. Paula Abdul says her erratic behavior o­n the show is due to improved health from treatment of a rare neurological disorder, not a drug problem. Meanwhile, ABC News is working o­n a potentially explosive expose o­n the show for sweeps.

BEATLES FOOTAGE DISCOVERED: Film of the Beatles' visit to Plymouth Hoe in 1967, as part of the Magical Mystery Tour, was unearthed in the BBC library during a transfer of old film reel o­nto digital format. It is part of the uncut original film - much of it unseen for nearly 40 years.

JOHN ENTWISTLE: More of his estate was auctioned o­n Thursday, including a fibreglass suit of armour, a pinball machine, two skeletons, a baby grand piano, dolls of Marilyn Monroe, 11 re-productions of knights’ helmets, a stuffed American Eagle a mounted bust of the Princess Royal, a personal music songbook with handwritten drafts of songs, a microphone, a collection of white label copy proof records and a snakeskin-covered tambourine.

RAY LaMONTAGNE is lauded at Stereogum. And rightly so. You can (and should) stream a few tunes from Trouble at his site.

CHRIS STAMEY is briefly run through the beat grinder.

OOPS... I DID IT AGAIN -- THE ORIGINAL: Fresh from leaking Britney Spears' iTunes playlist (linked here yesterday), SuperMasterpiece scores again with the long out-of-print 1932 Louis Armstrong original of the Spears hit. An MP3 no collector can do without.

GIMME, GIMME, GIMME... ABBA downloads! The Copy, Right? blog serves up covers covering the range from the A-Teens to Evan Dando to Yngwie Malmsteen to Zamfir! And if you thought The Meat Purveyors was the o­nly bluegrass band covering ABBA, you overlooked the Sensitive New Age Cowpersons -- Australian bluegrass ABBA!

ABBA NOT YOUR BAG, BABY? Spoilt Victorian Child is offering a slew of Joy Division covers to brighten your weekend.

THE WHITE STRIPES' new single is reviewed by Uncle Grambo at Whatevs. And if you have never read the unique wordsmithery of Uncle Grambo, know that you don't have to be a White Stripes fan to enjoy it.

PINK FLOYD has agreed to pay Clare Torry more than the $57 she was originally paid to wail o­n "The Great Gig In the Sky" for Dark Side of the Moon.

IRAQ: Maxim magazine is sending 20,000 copies of the popular men’s magazine to servicemembers in Iraq. Actress Brittany Murphy strips down for a sultry cover shoot and pin-up poster that she reportedly would do o­nly if the publisher sent copies to the troops. ALSO: Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Nutter, a Navy Reserve hospital corpsman, now receives love letters from his wife written o­n the back of the love letters he sent from Vietnam so many years ago.

IRAQ II: Insurgents brought down a helicopter carrying 11 civilians with missile fire north of Baghdad Thursday. The dead from the crash included six American bodyguards employed by Blackwater Security Consulting — a subsidiary of North Carolina-based security contractor Blackwater USA, which had four employees slain and mutilated by insurgents in Fallujah a year ago. At that time, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of the Daily Kos -- arguably the most influential liberal weblog in the U.S. -- famously called the bodyguards "mercenaries," and wrote, "Screw them." This time "Kos" is remaining silent, but commenters at the Daily Kos echo that sentiment. Charming.

POPE BENEDICT XVI is often called conservative, but PETA believes it may have a powerful new ally. Also, it seems that during the U.S. election cycle, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said it is not necessarily sinful for Catholics to vote for politicians who support abortion, as long as they are voting for that candidate for other reasons. Rogers Cadenhead purchased the rights to BenedictXVI.com back o­n April 1st, but he hasn't figured out what he's going to do with the domain yet. Indeed, the new Pope already has his own e-mail address.

UNPOPPED POPCORN: Ever wonder why there are always those holdout kernels at the bottom of your bag or bucket? Wonder no longer; the mystery has been solved.

MOVIE GENRES: Quite aside from the fact that I enjoy using the word "genre" to amuse myself and others, Green Cine's primers could be quite handy for those wanting to try new things.

THE EUROPEAN UNION AND NORWAY are much worse off economically than you might think: "if the E.U. was treated as a single American state, it would rank fifth from the bottom, topping o­nly Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi."

NICOLE KIDMAN is studying theology with an adjunct professor of religion at Pepperdine University. Her interest in theology grows out of a strong Catholic upbringing; during her messy divorce from Tom Cruise, she considered her mother's suggestion that she try out life at a convent in Australia. (who wouldn't?) Instead, she's linked to mogul Steven Bing, the father of Liz Hurley's baby. Yeah, I'd be looking for answers, too.

ROBERT POLLARD ON THE PITCHFORK: His vinyl record of drunken stage patter scores a ten or a zero, depending o­n how you look at it.

SOUTHEASTERN MUSICAL FESTIVALS: The weekly planet catalogs "some pretty rockin', jazzin', bluegrassin', funkin', country-in', R&B-in', dancin' and blues-in' festivals." With the Pratts living in southern Maryland, Jon Hahn living in Texas and Sylvia Hauser probably relocating to Georgia, I thought it worth mentioning for future years as well as this o­ne.

SIMPSONS MUSIC: No, not Jessica, but Homer, Marge, Itchy, Scratchy and much, much, much more can be downloaded at Simpson Crazy.

SONIC YOUTH fans will appreciate this headline at fishbowl LA.

STEREOGUM provides links to streams of new discs from Ben Folds, eels, Caesars and New Order.

DUSTY SPRINGFIELD will be the subject of a biopic starring Tony-winning Broadway singer-actress Kristin Chenoweth.

SCARLETT JOHANNSON has taken up with Josh Hartnett, her co-star in the forthcoming movie, The Black Dahlia.

BENNIFER, THE SEQUEL: After numerous failed relationships with their co-stars, Daredevil and Pearl Harbor co-stars Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck reportedly get engaged without learning that lesson about not going to the bathroom and eating in the same room.

RETOUCHED CELEBRITIES: You can see the before-and-after photos in Glenn Feron's portfolio.

GEORGE SOROS: The billionaire convicted of insider trading convened a carefully vetted gathering of 70 likeminded millionaires and billionaires last weekend to start the process of building an ideas production line for liberal politicians to compete with such entrenched conservative institutions as the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and the Leadership Institute. Of course, some would suggest that there already is such a network for liberals and that Soros' Open Society Institute underwrites quite a bit of it.

LINDSAY LOHAN: After she went blonde, did she go to the trout pout shop?

BLOGGERS: Inking book deals. And begging for money. To traditional jornalists they are competitors, colleagues and customers.

HYBRID HUMMER? The U.S. military is developing a hybrid Humvee alternative that could boost the market for combination combustion-electric vehicles.

UNDERPASS MARY: A Chicago blogger photoblogged the crowds streaming to see the supposed image of the Virgin Mary in an underpass. As each photo is a separate entry, it's easier to go to the home page and scroll down.

FRANCE WARMONGERS: During a three-day visit to the Peoples' Republic of China, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin supported Beijing's provocative "anti-secession" law o­n Taiwan, and vowed to keep pushing for an end to the EU arms embargo (imposed after the Tiananmen Square crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators in 1989) that would open the door for Paris to sell weapons to the PRC.

GOOGLE is experimenting with a feature enabling users of its search engine to see all of their past search requests and results, creating a computer peephole that could prove as embarrassing as it is helpful.

JACKO JUSTICE: MJ dodges a bullet as the trial judge excludes the icky Vaseline story noted here yesterday.

DOES THE L.A. TIMES HAVE A JAYSON BLAIR PROBLEM? Patterico, a blogger so frequently critical of the paper that it invited him to publish such criticism in the Times itself, thinks they just might.

MEDIA IN TROUBLE: A study commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation of New York suggests that young people are getting their news in ways that threaten the very viability of newspapers and other traditional news media. Former ABC News reporter/anchor Sam Donaldson thinks network news is dead.

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: U.S. News & World Report has a long piece o­n the U.S. government's multi-million dollar campaign to influence not o­nly Muslim societies but Islam itself.

SEN. JOHN F. KERRY and others are trying to kill a ten-year legal probe that implicates several senior Clinton administration appointees for obstruction of justice, according to the New York Daily News.

ANOTHER DAY, TWO MORE TEACHERS accused of misbehavior with students. A New Jersey junior high school teacher faces up to 1 1/2 years behind bars, after being accused of providing alcohol to a student; she also had been accused of encouraging o­ne of the girls to bare her breasts, but that charge has been dropped. A Brooklyn middle-school teacher was arrested Wednesday o­n sex-abuse charges, becoming the third female NYC educator nabbed o­n such charges in a week.

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Ken King, Fountains of Wayne, Cats, Dogs, Turtles, Britney, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


HAIL TO THE KING: Dr. (and Pate fan) Ken King, that is. Of the hundreds of awards that the Boy Scouts of America presents each year to those o­n the local council, regional, and national levels, the Silver Antelope award, granted for outstanding service to youth within the territory of a BSA region, is o­ne of the most prestigious. I am informed that Ken will be awarded this honor in May. Congrats, Ken!

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE: Out-of-State Plates, their disc of rarities and b-sides, has been pushed back to June 28th, but it's going to be a double disc, with two new songs and a bunch of covers, including ELO's "Can't Get It Out of My Head" and Britney Spears' "...Baby o­ne More Time."

ON THE PITCHFORK: A good review for The Lucksmiths. A bad review for The Bravery, which, despite a few highlights, "is still rock made o­n an assembly line-- predictable, economically efficient, and about as dynamic as a Model T." Ouch.

SXSW video is online, including an interviews with Elvis Costello and Roky Erickson, panel discussions o­n MP3s, filesharing and blogging, and a feature o­n eating nuclear tacos at Brush Square Park.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN EXPERIENCED? Carl Wilson blogged Last weekend's Experience Music Project Pop Conference, to amusing results. One panel covered Eric Lott's Love and Theft, the seminal book o­n minstrelsy which also became the title of a Bob Dylan album; Lott claimed he was naming his next book Blonde o­n Blonde. On Day Two, Wilson discovered that Cleveland mid-sixties monster-movie TV show host "Ghoulardi" was the father of movie director Paul Thomas Anderson.

DOES ZARQAWI HAVE A DIRTY BOMB? The Washington Times is often summarily dismissed because it is owned by the Moonies and has a conservative tone. But reporter Bill Gertz gets intell so good that the CIA has investigated him to try to plug the leaks. Gertz now writes: "Recurrent intelligence reports say al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi has obtained a nuclear device or is preparing a radiological explosive -- or dirty bomb -- for an attack, according to U.S. officials, who also say analysts are unable to gauge the reliability of the information's sources." That's bad on two counts, including the inability to figure out whether the reports are reliable.

JACKO JUSTICE: Cap'n Wacky takes a shot at developing a sequel to Frank Miller's Sin City, with a new cast of celebrities and using their own words. Michael Jackson is just o­ne of them. FWIW: Matt Drudge reports that the prosecution may introduce evidence involving a Michael Jackson request for Vaseline. Safe for work, but creepy nonetheless.

CATS AND DOGS: PetPlace lists the top names for cats and the top names for dogs. Also, women are more attched to their pets than men. Indeed, women are much more likely to take their pet to a pet psychic, groomer or therapist.

PROFILING SEAFOOD AND SHELLFISH: It's the law of the land.

A GIANT TURTLE dwells in The Lake of the Returned Sword in the center of Hanoi.

JOURNOS IN TRAINING: A Colorado State Collegian staffer reports: "In an attempt to bridge the gap between the gay community and the community at large, Sacha Sacket, a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and the Transgendered (GLBT) singer known for his innovative and unique music, performed a free concert at CSU Monday night." I could be wrong and often am, but I'm going to say Mr. Sacket can't be all of the above.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: The Moderate Voice has a massive round-up of reaction to the election of the new Pope.

IRAQ: Iyad Allawi, Iraq's caretaker prime minister, survived an assassination attempt by a suicide bomber on Wednesday. The attack seems to be part of an insurgent strategy targeting top government officials and military recruits. That such attacks are launched on the eve of an expected announcement of a new government should not be surprising. Fortunately, U.S. and Iraqi security forces say they are gaining ground on insurgents and criminals because Iraqis are phoning more and better tips to a hotline set up in October. Related: Austin Bay examines the linkage of insurgencies and gang warfare.

SIDEWAYS: Grape Radio is a podcast and blog for oenophiles. Sideways co-star Sandra Oh has filed for divorce from husband Alexander Payne, who directed and co-wrote the film. Though Oh stars in ABC's new hit television series Grey's Anatomy, she's seeking spousal support. And did you know that the CIA is offering a course in wine tasting?

THE CURRENT is streaming a bunch of in-studio gigs from artists I've mentioned here, including The Shins, Crooked Fingers, Mark Olson, Bloc Party, Stars, The Hold Steady and more.

WHAT WAS TOPPING THE CHARTS ON YOUR BIRTHDAY? This Day In Music has the answers, for both the U.S. and U.K. charts.

INDY wants to be your intelligent internet radio.

EAT! IT WON'T KILL YOU most of the time. Being overweight is nowhere near as big a killer as the Centers for Disease Control thought, ranking No. 7 instead of No. 2 among the nation's leading preventable causes of death, according to a startling new calculation. The CDC now estimates that obesity accounts for 25,814 deaths a year in the U.S.; as recently as January, the CDC came up with an estimate 14 times higher: 365,000 deaths. Plus, the new study found that people who are modestly overweight actually have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight.

CULT OF THE iPod: Britney Spears' Celebrity Playlist. I like "Teenage Wasteland" by Bob O'Reily, but my favorite may be track 11.

IF THAT MOVIE SEEMED A LITTLE BLURRY in the theater, it's probably not you.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: Two senior investigators with the committee probing corruption in the U.N. oil-for-food program have resigned in protest, saying that the committee is going soft on secretary-general Kofi Annan and not following the trail of evidence. Maurice Strong withdrew as U.N. envoy for Korea on Wednesday while investigators probed his ties to a lobbyist suspected of bribing U.N. officials with Iraqi funds. Claudia Rosett, who has covered this story longer than just about anyone, has more on Mr. Strong.

DRIVER SMACKED IN NOSE by a flying sausage. Police are o­n the case.

BLOGGER ETHICS: The Online Journalism Review looks at the potential conflicts that may come when companies pay bonuses to bloggers who increase site traffic and when bloggers are both the editorial and business side of a blog.

A BIG WIN FOR LIONEL HUTZ in Moscow, as the Simpsons are cleared of charges that their show piqued a young son's interest in cocaine and prompted the child to insult his mother.

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The White Stripes, Cobra Verde, Pope Benedict XVI, Eva Longoria, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE WHITE STRIPES' forthcoming disc, Get Behind Me Satan, is previewed at The ModernAge. Miss Modernage says the single, "Blue Orchid," "Reminds me of full o­n Led Zeppelin." Elsewhere there be marimbas and electric piano.

COBRA VERDE (once most of GbV) is set to release Copycat Killers, a disc of covers, o­n May 10th. It will include numbers from Donna Summer, Hawkwind, Leonard Cohen and more.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Although Chart Attack reported that the band will stagger the release of three discs beginning later this year, but sources closer to the band are not at all sure that will happen.

JOHN LENNON o­n LICENSE PLATES in Florida. Even more strange is that Yoko isn't charging for it.

MEET THE NEW POPE: Same as the old Pope? London's Times has a handy bio calling Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, an intellectual bedfellow of John Paul II. However, he's called rock music a "vehicle of anti-religion" and "the expression of basic passions," so don't count o­n him hanging with Bono any time soon. But he seems more likely than some of the other "candidates" mentioned to be tough o­n pedophile priests in the States, which would be a good thing. As the "XVI" indicates, "Benedict" is a pretty popular nom de Pope and reflects his scholarly background. At 78, he was probably too old to go for Pope John Paul George Ringo, but wouldn't Pope Hilarius II have been a nice choice for a guy nicknamed "The Enforcer?"

CATFIGHT: Sadly, this o­ne was between a hungry bobcat and a frail, older house cat, not two hot women. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.

CELEBRITY BLOGS, both real and fake, are covered by the Ottowa Sun.

LINDSAY LOHAN has gone blonde for her next movie, though she may have been figuratively blonde before now. Page Six didn't have a photo o­nline, but Stereogum has o­ne.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: AOL will make thousands of older music videos available for free and o­n demand.

DINOSAUR, JR.: Their appearance o­n The Late Late Show is avaialble at Free So Free, though you have to register.

TOM JONES considered throwing himself in front of a subway train right before he scored with It's Not Unusual.

THE NEW BRITISH POP CHARTS now include downloads, boosting Stereophonics and Gorillaz and hurting Elvis Presley. But "Is This the Way to Amarillo?" the revived hit by 61-year-old crooner Tony Christie, remained Top of the Pops.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled fomer Libertine (and current libertine?) met up with former bandmate Carl Barat for the first time in about a year. A little chilly at first, but then the pair got rather chummy.

BRITISH CHANNEL FOUR compiled a list of 100 Greatest Albums. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is number seven and still places higher than Revolver. The Rolling Stones' highest-rated is number 35 and it's not Exile o­n Main Street.

WHAT ARE THEY THINKING? Inside TV, a new magazine aimed at young women, hits newsstands Thursday with a cover interview with hot Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria. The intent is to show a good side of celebrities in fashion and homes. Right... as if everyone doesn't know what's o­n Eva's nightstand? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

IRAQ: Blogger Arthur Chrenkoff has a poll and report from Haider Ajina about U.S. withdrawal, street demonstrations and the U.S. media coverage of them.

ECO-VANDAL is sentenced to over eight years in prison and ordered to pay $3.5 million for his role in a spree of arson and vandalism that targeted gas-guzzling Hummers and other sports utility vehicles.

DORK STREET: You don't want to live there.

IS THE U.S. LOSING THE HI-TECH RACE? An article in Foreign Affairs argues America will suffer for falling far behind Japan and other Asian states in deploying broadband and the latest mobile-phone technology. Although there's more than a little political edge -- "In the first three years of the Bush administration, the United States dropped from 4th to 13th place in global rankings of broadband Internet usage" -- it's a point worth considering.

JOHN BOLTON had the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote o­n his nomination as U.N. ambassador delayed for three weeks after Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) asked for more time to study allegations that Bolton was a bully to State Department staffers and others: "I think o­ne's interpersonal skills and their relationship with their fellow man is a very important ingredient in anyone that works for me. I call it the kitchen test." The irony of making that statement in the course of blindsiding his Republican colleagues o­n the committee seems to be lost of Sen. Voinovich.

CULT OF THE iPod: Downhill Battle wants someone to design SueThePresident.com to poke fun at the fact that President Bush has illegal copies of songs o­n his iPod (as noted here recently). Davka will put the Torah o­n your iPod. The BBC is making 20 more radio shows available for download to digital music players. You may want to check that last story, just for the picture that the BBC thinks is representative of Pod people.

POLICE MONKEY: The Mesa, AZ Police Department is seeking about 100 grand in federal grant money to purchase and train a capuchin monkey -- considered the second smartest primate to the chimpanzee -- to use in Mesa SWAT operations.

BUDDYHEAD runs a MP3 blog called Medication that is fairly eclectic, at least within rock music; recent entries include The Jesus & Mary Chain ("Who Do You Love?"), The Allman Brothers ("Melissa" and "One Way Out"), The Gun Club ("Sex Beat"), Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, Stevie Wonder and more.

MARY CAREY: The former porn star and o­ne-time candidate for California governor was arrested last Friday in an undercover sting operation at a Lakewood strip club, according to KIRO 7 Eyewitness News. Touching the wrong thing at the wrong time, allegedly.

FRIENDS: Courteney Cox Arquette and husband David are fuming over unauthorized pictures from their daughter Coco's christening that have been widely circulated over the Internet via an e-mail spoofed to appear as though sent by none other than Coco's godmother and Cox Arquette's Friends confidante, Jennifer Aniston. The Superficial has the photos of Aniston and Cox as of press time, but the threat of litigation may see them vanish.

MICHELLE WILLIAMS: Gawker notes an incident tending to support the rumor that the ex-Dawson's Creek cutie is pregnant. And that boyfriend Heath Ledger seems to be spreading that rumor.

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Robert Pollard, Paul Westerberg, Foo Fighters, drunk college students, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


ROBERT POLLARD has allowed his first serious post-GbV album, From A Compound Eye, to leak all over the 'net. Maisonneuve magazine's Frank Smith writes: "What strikes me most about the album is how Pollard has rocketed back in time, in search of the spirit that informed earlier albums like Vampire o­n Titus... and Not in My Air Force... This fresh start that he’s given himself is full of promise."

PAUL WESTERBERG played Chicago o­n Friday, but I couldn't go, so I cannot break the tie between Greg Kot, who wrote: I haven't had this much fun at a rock concert in months, and Jim DeRogatis, who called it "a sad reminder of a great talent that has either been squandered or lost to the passage of time."

ON THE PITCHFORK: A reviewer concludes that the reissue of the Buzzcocks' 1993 reunion disc, Trade Test Transmissions, "deserves credit for further documenting the band's sincerity and voracious performances after years outside the limelight... (but) the album remains a strictly diehards-only affair."

JAMES TAYLOR was the best Joni Mitchell ever had, but she no longer does that sort of thing.

CYBILL SHEPHERD, in contrast, shares more than you wanted to know, more than enough to suggest that she doesn't date much. And that's before she starts in o­n irritable bowel syndrome.

DOGS: A miniature dachsund-pinscher named Mr. Jengels is cheated out of a cash drawing because he can't cash a check.

WAR ON TERROR: The Washington Post reports that Zacarias Moussaoui has notified the government that he intends to plead guilty to his alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and could enter the plea as early as this week if a judge finds him mentally competent. ALSO: A KLM flight refused entry to U.S. airspace on April 8th was reportedly carrying two Saudi Arabian brothers with suspected links to Al Qaeda.

PAPAL CONCLAVE: The Pope Blog has a link to a live chimney-cam in Real format.

THE VIRGIN MARY has miraculously appeared in Chicago, o­n a wall o­n Fullerton Avenue under the Kennedy Expressway.

IRAQ: The Christian Science Monitor offers a mixed assessment of progress in Iraq. Perhaps more original is the paper's look at how soldier blogs, chat rooms and e-mail may affect troop morale.

ADOBE PLANS TO BUY MACROMEDIA (maker of Flash, Dreamweaver and other web staples) for about .4 billion in stock.

DAVE GROHL hopes the forthcoming Foo Fighters double-disc is to the band's catalog what Physical Graffiti is to the Led Zeppelin catalog.

ROCKSHOW: Paul McCartney (the cute o­ne) announces U.S. tour dates.

U.K. ELECTION: The Sun, of all papers, is co-sponsoring Rock The Vote U.K. How long until the conspiracy-minded suggest that putting up Joss Stone (who now lives in the States) and Justin Timberlake for this project is meant to depress voter turnout?

TiVo IS in talks with Google and Yahoo, though it's unclear whether TiVo is looking for a partner or a buyer.

LUXURY HOMELESS SHELTER: Los Ageles just opened a $17 million state-of-the-art facility, complete with a full-sized gymnasium, library, playroom, hair salon, education center, and professional kitchen.

FLYING CARS are coming to market and folks at NASA have built a computer system designed to let millions of people fly whenever they please, and take off and land from wherever they please, in their very own vehicles.

WANT TO DESTROY EARTH? Sam's Archive warns that it's harder than you may have been led to believe. Indeed, even changing the Earth's orbit is fairly difficult. Getting everybody in the world to jump at the same time will not cut it. SEMI-RELATED: An asteroid which is o­n a course to miss the Earth by a whisker in 2029 could go round its orbit again and score a direct hit a few years later.

WARD CHURCHILL UPDATE: Matt Labash of the Weekly Standard jousts with Churchill over drinks o­n the Ward Churchill Notoriety Tour. At Protein Wisdom, Jeff Goldsein presents another in his series of dialogues between Churchill and Billy Jack.

IS THE UNIVERSE STUCK IN GROUNDHOG DAY? Didn't I just ask that? Professor Paul Steinhardt, the Albert Einstein professor in science at Princeton University, argues that recent findings that the universe's expansion is speeding up, and that the majority of energy in the universe must therefore be gravitationally repulsive "dark energy," could mean that the universe is destined to repeat its own history.

STANLEY KUBRICK: Low Culture has posted a "Definitive and comprehensive list of African-American actors and characters appearing in films directed by Stanley Kubrick." Check it out; it won't take you long.

CULT OF THE iPod: Like NYC, Washington, DC is in the grip of a wave of iPod thefts. The Washington Post surveys the psychic damage: "Victims said they felt the thieves got an illicit glimpse at their musical tastes and even their souls.'"

MILITARY HACKERS: Last month, Military leaders from U.S. Strategic Command disclosed the existence of a unit called the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare, which according to Wired News "could best be described as the world's most formidable hacker posse. Ever."

JAPAN AND CHINA have a rocky relationship right now, with potentially global implications.

MORE DESPERATE THAN HOUSEWIVES: Jesse Metcalfe, who plays the lawnboy servicing Eva Longoria o­n Desperate Housewives, hooked up with Tara Reid? Plead drunkenness, dude.

LEBANON: Protesters seeking Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon are blogging from the tent city Martyrs' Square in Beirut.

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: Sunday marked the 35th anniversary of Apollo 13, prompting some kudos to the engineers who solved that famous problem.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Test screening reviews for the Pitt-Jolie flick Mr. & Mrs. Smith surface at IMDB. But it's hard to put too much stock in a review that compares it to other movies without mentioning Prizzi's Honor.

MARIAH CAREY: In a particularly delusional moment, even for her, Carey claims her flop movie Glitter helped Americans recover from the tragedy of September 11th. It's not like Americans flocked to see the movie, which made o­nly .4 million o­n its release the weekend of September 28, 2001, which did not even crack the top ten. So maybe she meant that Americans all needed something to laugh about and she was it.

GITMO: Military officials have completed tribunal hearings for all 558 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and have compiled their most comprehensive report detailing what they have learned about potential future terrorist attacks. The declassified summary cites more than 4,000 interrogation reports and says that some indicated Al Qaeda operatives were pursuing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The summary does not elaborate o­n what that information is or how close the terrorist organization might be to getting such weapons.

LASER CANNONS: U.S. scientists are o­n the verge of creating a laser weapon that could give American forces an awesome advantage o­n the battlefield, but would also raise tough questions for Pentagon war planners, reports the Oakland Tribune.

COLLEGE STUDENTS don't realize how much they're drinking, according to a new study. Who can keep track after the first dozen or so?

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