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New Releases, Advance REM, Go! Team & Rilo Kiley, Mary Zwo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SMASHING PUMPKINS release the video for "Tarantula" a week ahead of the Zeitgeist LP.

NEW RELEASES:  Smashing Pumpkins, They Might Be Giants, Welsh spetet Los Campesinos!, Gabby Glaser and more are streaming this week via Spinner.

BILL CALLAHAN:  The Artist Formerly Known As Smog talks to Pitchfork about the change in his work that he's still tyring to sort out himself.

R.E.M. is playing new material in Dublin, Ireland; video previews at the link.

CULT of the iPod?  Universal Music Group has opted to not renew its distribution contract with Apple's iTunes music store.  Instead, the label will enter into month-to-month deals with the JobsCorp.

RILO KILEY has a video from its upcoming LP called "The Moneymaker," but be forewarned, it's shot in a pr0n store and is introduced by nine minutes of conversation with pr0n "actors" and "actresses," so there's some language that likely NSFW.  You can skip to the music by clicking about 75 percent into the timeline on the video player.

THE GO! TEAM has leaked another new track, "The Wrath of Marcie," which is more typical of the Team than the first leak -- funky horns, indie guitars and danceable beats.  Scroll down to the "Contenders" at the link to find the stream.  ALSO:  Team songwriter Ian Parton spoke to Pitchfork about the band's new label and new album, due in September.

TOM JONES & JOE PERRY may have stolen the show at the Princess Diana tribute concert with a cover of the Arctic Monkeys' "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," which sounds exactly like you would expect.

MORRISSEY has a large Latino fanbase... who knew?  No doubt they tuned in to see him play "That's How People Learn" on The Late Show.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel has fled to Paris with her daughter after it emerged her troubled singer fiance cheated on her with a South African model called Lindy.

NICK LACHEY & VANESSA MINNILLO have a lawyer trying to keep photos of the couple having hardcore sex out of the weekly magazines and off the Internet.

TRANSFORMERS opened last night and is currently scoring 59 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, 72 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics -- shockingly high for a Michael Bay movie.  More than meets the eye?

CAMERON DIAZ denies having played any role in breaking up the marriage of Mindfreak magician Criss Angel and his estranged wife.

JOHN STAMOS says jet lag and improper use of Ambien led to his odd interviews with a reporter from Sydney's Daily Telegraph and on the Australian chat show Mornings with Kerri-Anne last month during which he slurred his speech, read lines from the teleprompter and made lewd gestures in front of her: "I am not David Hasselhoff."  And when I read that, I hear the voice of John Merrick.

ROSIE O'DONNELL claims she auditioned for "Price Is Right and even filmed test show, but joked she didn't land the gig because she ad-libbed the line, "Don't forget to spay and neuter your Republicans."  A source at CBS told TMZ that, to their knowledge, Rosie did not do any test shows.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Mama Spears claims that "Everything is going to be fine," but the pop tart's most recent comments suggest the two are still on the outs: "I hope my mom gets the help she needs... I'm praying for her right now."

LINDSAY LOHAN spent a quiet 21st birthday in rehab.  Her lawyers, otoh, spent it loudly blasting L.A. police for "selling stories", after the actress' toxicology tests following her DUI arrest were leaked online.

CHRIS BENOIT:  The homicidal-suicidal pro wrestler was known by the DEA as an "excessive purchaser of injectable steroids" who, over the past year, was prescribed a 10-month supply of anabolic steroids every three to four weeks by a Georgia doctor who was indicted today on federal charges.

TOMMY LEE is dating Kimberly Stewart?  How the mighty have fallen!

SPEED RACER has a new adversary -- PETA alleges that Chim-Chim was beaten and bit an actor on-set.  Speed also has a new role model -- Shaft!

SALMAN RUSHDIE and his hot fourth wife PADMA LAKSHMI (host of TV's Top Chef) are getting divorced, just two weeks after he was awarded a controversial knighthood.

IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME:  Former Jihadi Hassan Butt has sobering words for the West:  "I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy. By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology..."

TERROR in the UK:  An Iraqi junior doctor and a brilliant neurologist working for the NHS are among the suspects being quizzed over the series of bomb attacks across Britain.  The news came as it emerged that an eighth person has been arrested in the terror enquiry.  Five doctors are now being held in connection with the recent attempted terror attacks.  US sources suggested that Ansar al-Islam would have a motive for an attack on Britain, having been driven out of its northern Iraqi stronghold and into Iran after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.  And though some downplay the story, the largely failed attacks may well have been an attempted fuel-air attack -- an explosion with many times the strength of a normal bomb, against which traditional defenses against car bombs may not work.

IRAQ:  US and Iraqi forces move into the next phase of operations in Baqouba. With almost no hostile fire reported in days, combat operations are winding down. The focus of the effort now is to consolidate control and persuade local residents to begin cooperating with US troops and Iraqi security forces.  CBS reports that informants are helping in the city.  Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner provided explicit detail on both Iran and Hezbollah's role behind the Shia terror networks in Iraq and their involvement in the Karbala attack, in which five Americans were kidnapped and killed.  Prime Minister al-Maliki urged Sunni lawmakers to end their boycott of his cabinet.  And following on yesterday's link about the tension between younger officers who have served in Iraq and more conservative generals it appears that some senior Army leaders are worried that the new emphasis on counterinsurgency may be undermining conventional capabilities.  Others would say that ignoring COIN training after Vietnam was a major reason for US problems in Iraq.

MARY ZWO, a six-week-old gorilla, had to be given emergency treatment for severe dehydration and hypothermia -- in a German hospital for humans.  She was able to return to the Muenster Zoo on Sunday and was said to be weak but slowly recovering.

AN UNIDENTIFIED DROMEDARY was found lying dead on the side of the E22 motorway in southern Sweden in the early hours of Monday morning.  Police have ruled out any criminal intent.

AN UNUSUALLY FRISKY DEER tipped off the cops to a mountaintop dope plantation in Italy.

DOG helps a murder suspect escape house arrest in Israel.

THE LAKE SPRINGFIELD MONSTER is right here in the Land of Lincoln.

RUSSIAN FISHERMAN catch a space alien and eat it.  Video at the link.  Hey, it's in Pravda, which is the Russian word for truth!

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Art Brut, Polyphonic Spree, ex-Jayhawks, Parts & Labor, Panda Jailbreak   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 02, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ART BRUT throws a real toga party in the video for "Direct Hit."  And the video titling echoes I, Claudius.  PLUS:  Frontman Eddie Argos lists a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's Guest List.  I am not shocked to learn he's a big Jonathan Richman fan.

SONIC YOUTH:  Thurston Moore is a bit surprised at the uproar over plans to sell a compilation LP at Starbucks: "I never thought of it as being more radical than recording for Universal Music. They're both corporations that have ties to things that people find sort of problematic," later adding "I kind of like the absurdity of it."

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE and MARK OLSON played the World Cafe Friday, so you can stream both gigs on demand via NPR.  BONUS:  Polyphonic Spree frontman Tim DeLaughter names a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's "Guest List."

GREG LOURIS, Olson's former bandmate in The Jayhawks, has a gig unofficially streaming in two parts at Captain's Dead.

MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG:  Music blogger (and satellite radio DJ) Craig "Dodge" Lile gets a write-up from the Indianapolis Star dubbing him "Indiana's top tastemaker."

PARTS & LABOR:  The noise rock trio is profiled by Jim DeRogatis in the Chicago Sun-Times; keyboardist and guitarist Dan Friel cites Sonic Youth, Husker Du and Fugazi as influences.  You can stream the entire Mampmaker album via Virb.

OF MONTREAL is debuting the collage-filled video for "Suffer For Fashion" at the Subterranean blog.

JASON ISBELL talks about his first post-Drive-By Truckers solo LP with Glide magazine.

RYAN ADAMS talks sobriety, songwriting and splitting from the Lost Highway label with London's Sun.  He tals about judging his own material and the upcoming box set with The A.V. Club.

PRINCE is launching his new Planet Earth album as a free giveaway with a Sunday issue of the Daily Mail -- a move that has drawn widespread condemnation from music retailers.

RAP & HIP HOP are hemorrhaging sales, which are down 33 per cent, double the decline of the CD album market overall.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Ratatouille tops the box office with 47.2 million -- on the low side for a Pixar pic, but Disney's best opening in a year, excepting Cars and Pirates 3.  The movie may have legs based on good reviews and word of mouth, however.  Live Free or Die Hard opened in second place with 33 million -- about where the last Die Hard pic opened in 1995.  I'm not a huge fan of the genre, but the movie delivers.  Evan Almighty dropped 50 percent to third place -- not terrible, but not affordable on a 200 million budget.  1408 dropped 49 percent -- not terrible, but affordable, having made 40 million on its 25 million budget so far.  The Fantastic Four flick drops another dangerous 55 percent, making 9 million -- it may break even on its 130 million budget in the US and add to the 60 million it has made outside the US.  The leggy Knocked Up rounds out the Top Five; it has made over 122 million US so far on its 30 million budget.  Ocean's 13 makes 6 million and crosses the 100 million mark in the States.  Pirates 3 adds another 5 million and will just about match its 300 million budget here in the States, while making over 609 million abroad.  Sicko made a relatively healthy 4.5 million an should recoup its 9 million budget easily.  The debut of Evening rounds out the Top Ten with a 3.5 million take.

BRUCE WILLIS celebrated the premiere of Live Free or Die Hard by picking up a gorgeous young blonde in front of his 18-year-old daughter, Rumer.  And while he uncessfully tried for Petra Nemcova in th past, he held court with a table of "20-something models" at Nemcova's birtday party -- again with Rumer present.

SiCKO:  Michael Moore's movie gets an unexpectedly bad review from MTV's Kurt Loder, who compares it with a short 2005 documentary called "Dead Meat," which shows a very diufferent version of the Canadian healthcare system than Moore does.

KATE MOSS has lost her contracts with both Burberry and Agent Provocateur, with the latter involving a love triangle.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  The German Defense Ministry scrambled to qualify its stance on Cruise's World War II thriller Valkyrie, saying that it has not received an official request from United Artists to shoot in the country, but it will "look agreeably" upon any such application.  Meanwhile Holmes reportedly auditioned for a role in the film version of the musical NINE -- which she won't get if she still sounds like this.

BRITNEY SPEARS claims she never had a drug or alcohol problem but was railroaded into rehab.  Her mother is "brokenhearted" over recent difficulties in her relationship with her famous daughter.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Jezebel had an expert analyze the heirhead's handwriting: "Rarely do we see an independent adult write with such diminished capacity of comprehension..." 10 Zen Monkeys compares the celebutante with the iPhone.  And the Gallery of the Absurd covers The Uninteresting Blob of Flesh.  And X17 has loads of dirt, including stuff on a new mystery man, a new agent and more on the letter to her mother.

CAMERON DIAZ is a homewrecker?  The "secret" Long Island wife of kooky magician Criss Angel yesterday accused him of having an affair with Cameron Diaz, claiming their marriage broke down as soon as the TV illusionist got famous and bedded the Hollywood star.

LIZ HURLEY had to pull a picture of her five-year-old son in a bikini from her website, after being accused of exploiting her son for financial gain.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  You will be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that the early buzz on her late-summer film Blonde Ambition is so bad that creepy dad-manager Joe has pushed back the release date twice.  BONUS:  Her ex Nick Lachey and new gf Vanessa Minillo naked on vacation in Puerto Vallarta... though Life & Style censored the naughty bits.

HAMAS MOUSE (FINAL) UPDATE:  Farfour, the Mickey Mouse look-alike who had made worldwide headlines for preaching Islamic domination and armed struggle to youngsters on Hamas TV, was shown as beaten to death by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land.  Let's go to the video!

TERROR in the UK:   Two doctors were among five people being held as terror suspects last night after the bomb plots in London and Glasgow.  The links between the three attempted car bombings in Glasgow and London are becoming "ever clearer", the UK's top counter-terrorism officer has said.  Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the BBC  it was "clear that we are dealing, in general terms, with people who are associated with al-Qaeda."  The terrorists who attempted to bomb central London last week deliberately placed the second vehicle to catch rescuers attending the injured from the first explosion.  Possibly a test of the new gov't, like the 1993 WTC bombing and 9/11, France's top anti-terror judge cites the overall threat to Europe posed by Islamists trained in Iraq, but noting similar scenarios going back to Afghanistan, Chechnya and Bosnia.  Indeed, some the 9/11 attackers said that their actions were inspired by an urge to avenge the suffering of Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya (though the US helped Muslims in Bosnia and had nothing to do with Chechnya). France did not invade Iraq, but remains a target of al-Qaeda and affiliates.  Spain pulled out of Iraq, but remains a target.  Some even theorize that the UK plot may have been triggered by the knighting of Salman Rushdie.  Jihadi extremists will always have a grievance with the infidels.  Interestingly, it seems that MSNBC ignored the story at first, and later put on Larry Johnson as an expert to downplay the plot, though he's mostly known for suggesting the US had nothing to fear from Islamic extermists in July 2001.

IRAN curses Pres. Ahmadinejad over his sudden petrol rationing; London's Telegraph rounds up the economic discontent in the country.  Meanwhile, chief prosecutor Ghorbanali Dari Najafabadi has championed the creation of an international Islamic court.

IRAQ:  Civilian deaths in Baghdad dropped by almost two-thirds in June, a possible indication that recent American military operations around the country and raids on car-bomb shops in the "belts" ringing the capital are starting to pay off.  Nationwide, civilian deaths dropped to 1342 from 3014 in February; it is the lowest monthly number since July 2006.  This has come at the cost of higher US caualties, though the number in June is the lowest since March.  Michael Yon has a graphic dispatch on AQ's mass murder in Baqubah.  The US military is enlisting hundreds of fighters each day from tribal and insurgent groups in alliances aimed at countering al-Qaeda in Iraq, the top US general in Baghdad says, adding that American and Iraqi security forces now control about half of Baghdad, up from 19 percent in April.  Coalition forces conducted two major raids inside Sadr City against the Iranian-backed Qazali Network over the weekend.  A top special operations officer from Lebanon's Iranian-backed militia Hezbollah was captured in March in Iraq, where US officials say he played a key role in a January attack that killed five Americans.  The US military said on Saturday that its forces had killed an Egyptian man believed to be a senior member of al Qaeda in Iraq on Friday.  The Wall Street Journal ran a piece on the tension between young officers eager for change and more conservative generals.  Certainly, the late Capt. Travis Patriquin figured out the importance of winning over the Anbar Tribes before a lot of other people.

PANDA JAILBREAK:  Hiding low, looking right to left... If you see them coming I think its best... to move away, do you hear what I say, from under my breath?

GATOR WRANGLING:  She had seen it on TV plenty of times, so for Erin Kemp, wrangling a stray alligator that wandered into her yard was no big deal.

CATS decided to live with you, not the other way around.

A PEACOCK was fiercely beaten, after being mistaken for a vampire.  No, Little Tommy, the peacock will not be alright.

THIS INDIAN GOAT is a party animal.

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Who, Los Straitjackets, Cutout Bin, Ratatouille, Zorse   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 29, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE WHO!  As with recent Fridays featuring the Stones and The Kinks, some less obvious video.  Indeed, some of these clips tend to disappear from the Tube, so worth a look when they resurface like this.  Let's start with "So Sad About Us," live at the fabled Marquee Club.  Next, an odd live clip of "Substitute" for French TV, also the source of a Keith Moon-led take on "Barbara Ann" and a non-destructive "My Generation."  Switch to German TV for a live take on "The Seeker."  Go bootleg for the rarity "I Don't Even Know Myself."  Tune in the Old Grey Whistle Test for some seemingly drunk live vocals to the backing track for "Long Live Rock."  And check out the archival video of "I'm One" before someone's lawyers notice its's back.

LOS STRAITJACKETS stopped by the World Cafe for a miniset.  The usually instrumental band has now recruited three vocalists to help perform classic rock 'n' roll songs in Spanish.

CALEXICO have recorded an instrumental album titled Tool Box, available at the group's shows and through their website, which reportedly has more of the Southwestern touches some missed on the group's last LP, Garden Ruin.

THE EXPLORER'S CLUB, from Charleston, SC, have a major surf music mojo going as you can hear on "Last Kiss" (which is very pre-Pet Sounds Beach Boys), as well as "Forever" and "Summer Air."  South Carolina, btw, has a history as a surf music mecca, though the term has a different meaning for Myrtle Beach than for Redondo Beach.

WILCO:  Jeff Tweedy has had just about enough of interviews promoting the LP, thank you very much.

CHRISTOPHER is the Indian; the others are Village Puppets.  The close-ups from :30 to Fame show them singing.  (Thanks, Dad; everyone else thinks, "Well, that explains a few things...")

MAN MAN frontman Ryan Kattner (a/k/a/ Honus Honus) did a "Quit Your Day Job" segment for stereogum, talking about his days doing double-duty as a bartender and barista.

J MASCIS of Dinosaur, Jr. faced off against comedian David Cross in a Guitar Hero duel for the DL.

RICHARD HAWLEY has a new album titled Lady's Bridge coming in October.  If you remember him as a member of Blur, note that his solo work sounds more like Johnny Cash or Roy Orbison than Britpop, as you can hear when you stream a few tracks from the fabulous Cole's Corner via HisSpace.

LILY ALLEN was charged and bailed over an alleged assault on a photographer outside a London club.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are: Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You; Big Audio Dynamite II - The Globe; KISS (Ace Frehley) - New York Groove; T.Rex - Summertime Blues; The Zombies - Summertime; Wire Train - Skills Of Summer; Dirty Looks - You're Too Old; A Flock Of Seagulls - I Ran; The Hives - Hate To Say I Told You So; VHS or Beta - Can't Believe a Single Word; The Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm; The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy! (Acoustic); Lucky Soul - One Kiss Don't Make A Summer; Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb; Sonic Youth - Victoria (Kinks); Bright Eyes - Four Winds; Apples In Stereo - Energy; Redd Kross - Annie's Gone; Cheap Trick - I Want You to Want Me; Led Zeppelin - Misty Mountain Hop; and Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower.

RATATOUILLE:  It was tough to wait a week to write that Pixar's newest movie is probably the best movie I have seen this summer, possibly this year.  Brad Bird, who directed The Incredibles, revisits some of the same themes in a radically different context to great effect, albeit with less subtlety.  Not unlike Mr. Incredible, Remy has a special gift or talent, and a dream to pursue, while dealing with family tension and societal rejection.  But here those themes -- along with thoughts about those who create vs. their critics -- are more a framework for the broader sort of humor Bird brought to The Simpsons years ago.  Which makes for a nice balance, as kids would otherwise be less interested in the workings of French cuisine and restaurants than they are in superheroes and volcanic rocket silos.  As always, Pixar pushes the technical envelope, with some truly stunning animation sequences.  I would rank this pic with Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo, which for me puts it above A Bug's Life and Cars, but below The Incredibles and Toy Story.  And the Pixar cartoon before the movie was also broadly funny.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to Ratatouille, currently scoring 90 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this week's wide releases include Bruce Willis inviting you to Live Free or Die Hard, which is scoring 77 percent, and the ensemble drama Evening, which is scoring 31 percent.

SiCKO:  Michael Moore's latest movie reaches 440 screens this weekend, so it's worth noting that the scary stories of US healthcare it it are matched in the countries Moore extols, not even counting the horrors of the real Cuban hospital system.  But these days, I almost feel sorry for Moore.  PETA is on his case over his weight and meat-eating lifestyle, with a letter proclaiming, "there's an elephant in the room, and it is you." (Ironically, elephants are vegetarian.)  It is true that obesity is a major reason the US lags other countries in life expectancy, so he sorta had it coming.  But to get bumped off Larry King Live for the French Hotel?  Ouch.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The pop tart gave her mom a lawyer's letter, though seemingly not related to the restraining order she is rumored to be mulling.  Fed-Ex will not sign the couple's final property settlement agreement absent proof that Britney can handle joint custody.  And, contrary to prior rumor, Spears will not be performing at the L.A. stop of the True Colors tour, mostly because she would actually have to perform.

THE SPICE GIRLS, otoh, have announced a world tour, for which they are expected to pocket about £10 million each.

LINDSAY LOHAN was allegedly drunk and had cocaine in her system during an early morning smash-up in Beverly Hills on Memorial Day weekend, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

THE FRENCH HOTEL reportedly is looking into possible legal action against her lawyer for having to spend 23 days in the slam.  Her rep denies it.  Free advice:  The ghosts of Clarence Darrow and Johnnie Cochran couldn't have gotten her out, given the public outcry when she was transferred to house arrest.  Don't believe me?  Watch Mika Brzezinski of MNSBC refuse to cover the story.

ISAIAH WASHINGTON can't stop complaining about being fired from Grey's Anatomy.  Newsweek asks, "Is that a good thing for him to do?" Hint: No, though it's funny that he's admitting the "rehab for homophobia" was a network stunt.

VIVICA A. FOX tried to deal the race card when the CHiPs busted her for DUI in March.  Ponch wasn't having any of it.

NICOLE KIDMAN says she has the same body she had at 15 years old.  The new face of Nintendo, otoh, has had several renovations.

1000 ESSENTIAL FILMS sounds like a few too many to be "essential," but London's Guardian has spent the week listing them, along with commentary.

ALYSSA MILANO has been named the Global Network's Ambassador for the control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, she has donated $250K to buy safe, inexpensive drugs to combat diseases of poverty that afflict a billion people worldwide.

NANOTECH:  Two Israeli scientists have created a one-millimeter-diameter robot which is capable of crawling through human veins and arteries.  Next up for them is creating an even tinier Raquel Welch.

IRAN'S top security body ordered local journalists not to report on problems caused by gas rationing,  The authorities also switched off the mobile text messaging system in Tehran overnight to prevent motorists from organizing more protests.  Members of Parliament said they would press the government to alter or even scrap the scheme after angry protesters set fire to at least a dozen petrol stations in Tehran and chanted slogans against President Ahmadinejad following Tuesday night's sudden introduction of quotas.  Banks, supermarkets and fire engines were also attacked while further disturbances were reported in other big cities, including Isfahan and Shiraz.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has another round-up of Operation Phantom Thunder.  Gen. Petraeus's counterinsurgency advisor, David Kilcullen, tells Wired that the controversial walls built in Baghdad were key to the current massive military ops.  Iraqi and Arab papers are abuzz with the news of the formation of a new political coalition designed to bolster Prime Minister al-Maliki's government.  Moqtada al-Sadr called on all Iraqis to join him in a demonstration of national unity on July 5, confirming that his followers would march to the twice-bombed Golden Mosque in Samarra to mark the birth of the Prophet Mohammed's daughter Fatima.

A ZORSE is a Zorse, of course, of course...

THE BENGAL CAT, a cross between a domestic cat and the little forest-dwelling Asian leopard cat that roams Asia and part of Russia, has become the most registered feline with the International Cat Association.  Pic at the link.  Almost as cute as the Toygers.

RETURN of the WOOLY MAMMOTH:  Palaeontologists are piecing together the complete genome species of long-dead species such as the woolly mammoth and the Neanderthals in an effort to bring them back to life, much like billionaire John Hammond resurrected the extinct dinosaurs in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park.  And that turned out so well.

GILA MONSTER SPIT helped people with type 2 diabetes shed pounds, a three-year study found.  Because who wants to drink that?

EVERYBODY will soon be Skunk Fu Fighting... Polecats are fast as lightning!

RUBBER DUCKIES headed straight for Britain have proved an invaluable aid to science.  And make bathtime lots of fun.

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Ryan Adams, High Strung, Soundpedia, Baby Pygmy Hippo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 28, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


RYAN ADAMS: Stereogum will hook you up with the new video for "Halloweenhead" and a live take on "Off Broadway," both from his new LP.  Scandanavian disco lessons never looked so good!

JOANNA NEWSOM:  Indie's favorite harpist lists a few of her favorite things for Pitchfork.  Lindsey Buckingham doesn't surprise me, but it's funny to imagine her watching -- let alone liking -- Rocky Balboa.  Books, covers, etc.

THE HIGH STRUNG:  Marc Hirsch makes "Gravedigger" a Song of the Day at NPR because it "seems to condense the entirety of The Who's Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy into a single song." I wouldn't go quite that far, but close enough.  The band has other tracks streaming that aren't so Who-esque, but still pretty good.  And if you check the tour dates at the link, you'll find the band likes to play in libraries.  No, really.

PATTERSON HOOD talks to Paste magazine about recording the next Drive-By Truckers album, as well as the new Bettye Lavette LP.

SOUNDPEDIA streams all sorts of CDs in full (and some less than full).  So if you missed the stream of the new Art Brut LP last week, you have a second chance... or you can check out the Best of Frank Black album that came out on Tuesday.  Maybe you're in the mood for The Band's Music From Big Pink.  Or The Replacements' Let It Be.  Or sample some bluegrass from The Del McCoury Band's It's Just the Night.  Or The Definitive Muddy Waters.  Or... well, you get the idea.

AMY WINEHOUSE samples Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" for her "Tears Dry on Their Own."  And she's veering into near-Pete Doherty territory with tales of cutting into her stomach with a shard of mirror during a photo shoot and such.

SPOON frontman Brit Daniel discusses the new album and festival gigs with the NME.  You can still stream the album from Merge Records.

NICK LOWE talks to The A.V. Club about his new album and producing early stuff by Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and The Damned.

MINNESOTA'S GREATEST YouTube Hits, according to the Star-Tribune.  I've posted some of them before, but even those are worth an encore.

KEREN ANN did an interview and mini-set at the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR.

BRITNEY SPEARS plans to stop divorce proceedings against Fed-Ex and wants to get back together with him, according to the upcoming issue of the ever-reliable National Enquirer.  OTOH, Fed-Ex reportedly thinks the pop tart is mentally unstable and too young to be a mom.  And some might find the first story evidence of that.

JOHN STAMOS was called "bleary-eyed, staggering and slurring," as well as "tired and emotional," by a Sydney newspaper after appearing on several TV shows in a highly disheveled state.  Let's go to the video!

FRENCH HOTEL and the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The heirhead may have been faking a mental condition when she (briefly) was reassigned to house arrest?  I can't believe it!

MADONNA:  The Daily Mail has pics of Madge looking pale, tired and hollow-cheeked, with bulging veins in her hands and wrists, and sinewy muscles on her arms, as she undertakes dramatic weight loss in advance of the Live Earth concert.

PHIL SPECTOR:  As the defense opens its case at his murder trial, news comes that a BBC crew is following him throughout for a documentary to air this Fall.  He is giving the Beeb an interview as well, though I con't imagine that his lawyers would allow it before the verdict is in.  For now, we may have to make do with the lewd comment about the prosecutor he included on a postcard to Allen Klein, music publisher and former business manager for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

JESSICA ALBA supposedly has a longtime boyfriend, but that didn't stop her from giving her checklist for potential suitors.  And the thought that popped to mind as I read it was, "Intelligent, supportive, funny. Me, me, me... This is a man we're talking about, right?"

LINDSAY LOHAN is still in rehab, and her parents continue to show part of the reason why.  Her Dad misspelt her name in a press release following the latest divorce hearing -- proceedings in which he has alleged that Mom Dina used cocaine while pregnant with Li-Lo.  Dina denies the charge, natch.

INDIANA JONES IV:  An unofficial movie blog has pics of how New Haven, CT, is being dressed for the 1950s.

SPIDER-MAN 4?  Director Sam Raimi is still far from sure he's doing it, but "would love to see Electro, Vulture, maybe the Sinister Six as a team."

SIENNA MILLER has joked that the most meaningful relationship in her life is with wine.  Maybe it was a joke; maybe it was an explanation for her wardobe.

ROSIE O'DONNELL was busy explaining the above photo and accompanying video of her adopted daughter, which even some of her fans disliked when she posted them on her blog.  Her fans seemed to object to the implied militarism, while others saw it in the context of her prior comments suggests the US gov't and military are terrorists, and that Islamic jihadis are mothers and fathers, too.  Perhaps she is unaware that the Fatah and Hamas folks routinely dress kids this way, that the Taliban recently tried to trick a 6-year-old Afghan boy into being a suicide bomber, that the Taliban has had a 12-year-old boy conduct a beheading, or that Iraqi terrorists detonated a car bomb with two children inside the vehicle after using them as decoys to get through a military checkpoint in March.  Or maybe she was.

ATTEMPTED HONOR KILLING IN PENN?  A Bucks County father was accused of trying to kidnap his daughter's fiancé by beating him up and tossing him into a sport utility vehicle; the fiancé believed he was going to be killed.  He said there were "cultural differences" and that's why 48-year-old Mohd Nasher and his son 20-year-old Mohammed were allegedly gunning for the fiancé.

IRAN:  In the wake of Tehran's gas rationing riots, author Meir Javedanfar suggests that Pres. Ahmadinejad imposed sanctions on his people which are more devastating than anything the West could have come up with, and it could deal a mortal blow to Ahmadinejad's chances of re-election in 2009.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio interviews Brig. Gen. Gurganus about ops in eastern Anbar province.  IraqSlogger reports that US-backed tribal forces fighting Sunni militant groups around the Falluja area are advancing eastward towards the Abu Ghraib area.  At ITM, Omar notes that "Uniting against al-Qaeda and even defeating it is not enough to solve all of Iraq's problems and the greater challenge of nation-building still lies ahead," but that it is a far cry from the civil war he has heard about in the press.  The so-called "Islamic State of Iraq" claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing on Monday that killed several tribal leaders in Baghdad's al-Mansour Hotel.  The gov't issued an arrest warrant for the Iraqi culture minister for his suspected involvement in the assassination of MP Mathal al-Alusi's sons two years ago. USA Today had a fairly detailed report on life at combat outpost Casino in the Ghazaliyah neighborhood of Baghdad.  And the L.A. Times notes that the stepped-up offensives against Al Qaeda in Iraq are tailored to the military's expectation that Congress soon will impose a timeline for drawing down US forces; David Kilcullen quoted in the piece also.

A BABY PYGMY HIPPO named Aldo, a mere 21 inches long, made his public debut at the Paris Zoo.  Video at the link.

LAMB AID:  A lamb who was found near to death on the Lancashire moors has become the subject of a charity rock concert.  Or you can go straight to the video.

BUGS on a PLANE:  Airing on the Lifetime network July 7th.

KITTY RESCUED... from a toilet by firefighters in Cotham, Bristol.

A ONE-EYED GATOR gives new meaning to the term "water hazard" on the sixth hole at the Lake Venice Golf Club in Venice, FL.  SEMI-RELATED:  That's one way to deter crocodile poaching...

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Led Zep Reunion, NPs, Sonic Youth, VHS or Beta, Pitbull & Chicks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


LILY ALLEN reunited The Specials' Terry Hall and Lynval Golding (for the first time in over 20 years) for a cover of that band's ska-licious "Gangsters."

LED ZEPPELIN REUNION?  Rumors are swirling that Page, Plant and Jones, with Jason Bonham, may do a full tour following a tribute show to the late Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS:  A.C. Newman has track-by-track commentary on the band's upcoming Challengers album.  *Sixeyes is streaming tracks from artists mentioned as inspiration by Newman, including The Move, Harry Nilsson and Paul McCartney.

PAUL McCARTNEY, btw, continues the press campaign for Memory Almost Full, giving pretty good interview to both PopMatters (mostly about songwriting) and Stereogum (mostly about this whole Intarweb thingy and recording).

THE SPINTO BAND visited Daytrotter for the interview and free songs combo, including a hip-hopped-up version of their staple, "Oh, Mandy."

SONIC YOUTH in CHINA:  SplitWorks has posted a mini-documentary on the band's first trip to the PRC.

MORRISSEY answers another round of good questions from fans at the True To You fanzine, including bits on The Smiths' first US tour, reuniting the New York Dolls, songwriting and more...

VHS OR BETA are streaming two new tracks with an 80s vibe from the upcoming Bring On The Comets album, due August 28th.

NEIL YOUNG:  The first volume of his long-awaited Archives series is going to be a little more long-awaited.

WILCO shows their love for the Nintendo Wii on their latest tour t-shirt.

CRAZY TRAIN!  A Swedish heavy metal fan has had his musical preferences officially classified as a disability. The results of a psychological analysis enable the metal lover to supplement his income with state benefits.  It's your one-way ticket...  All Aboard!

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Before the heirhead was released from Lynwood Tuesday morning amid a media frenzy (ET has the scary video), her lawyer slipped TMZ's Harvey Levin a personalized sketch and note from the heirhead herself.  The "changed" celebutante spent her first free morning getting full-length hair extensions.  That last bit is from US Weekly, which is blacking out coverage of Ms. Jailbird in print this week.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  When it was rumored that the pop tart would join the Cyndi Lauper-led True Colors tour, I joked that we hadn't heard about it from Rosie O'Donnell.  Now we have.

MADONNA has paid $12 million for her sixth house in London.  The 10-bedroom townhouse sits next door to the family's eight-bedroom home in the Marylebone area of the British capital.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Mom Dina confirms Li-Lo is doing the extended care plan at the Promises rehab clinic.  Good for her.  Meanwhile, Mom and Dad have been ordered to undergo family therapy by a New York judge.

TIGER WOODS posted pics of his baby daughter on his website, instead of selling them to some magazine.  Good for him.

JOHN TRAVOLTA:  Gossip sites are having some fun with his bad hairpiece.

WWE STAR CHRIS BENOIT reportedly strangled his wife on Saturday, smothered his son in his bed on Sunday, and hanged himself on Monday.  He apparently had a history of domestic violence.  Speculation that steroid use was a cause is hotly denied by WWE.

ELLEN BARKIN and RALPH FINNES were caught canoodling (and then some) at the Mercer Hotel in NYC.  Page Six reminds us that Fiennes was warned to take an HIV test after he had unprotected sex with a Qantas stewardess on a flight to India.

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA leapt to the defense of 24's uber-agent Jack Bauer at a recent international conference of top judges and homeland security officials in Ottawa debating the use of torture against alleged terrorists.  What I found funny was that the New York Daily News seemed surprised he was a fan of the show.

IRON MAN:  Entertainment Weekly has your first cast photo from Jon Favreau's adaptation of the classic comic book.

INDIANA JONES IV:  There is a Quicktime video from the first day of shooting on the movie not officially titled Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods.

IRAN:  Three senior figures of the regime have been killed in two months, almost entirely unreported by the English-language media.  Iranians are protesting over getting only two hours' notice of gasoline rationing that limits private drivers to 100 liters of fuel a month.

IRAQ:  Dr. David Kilcullen, Senior Counterinsurgency Adviser to Gen. Petraeus, has a post on "Understanding Current Operations in Iraq" that lays out the intention and concept behind these ops, so that you can judge for yourself whether the "surge" is working.  An Iraqi tribal leader was assassinated in Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi police said, a day after a suicide bomber killed six Sunni Arab tribal leaders opposed to al Qaeda.  Hamid Abid Al-Shijera from Wasit province was believed to be a Shiite.  At least five people were killed when Shiite militiamen ambushed an Iraqi army patrol in the central city of Diwaniyah.  Baghdad finalized negotiations with the Kurdistan Regional Government on the revenue distribution arrangements for the hydrocarbons law last week, overcoming one of the hurdles blocking the legislation's smooth passage.  More than a third of Iraq's national police battalion commanders are now Sunni after a purge of Shiites who had a sectarian bias, according to a US general.  Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has issued a report on Iraqi Insurgent Media operations.

PITBULLS get all the chicks.  Here they are sleeping together.  And two months later, Sharkey still hasn't eaten them.

THE LION WHISPERER:  Animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson is profiled by the Daily Mail.  Plenty of good pics the paper can recycle when he becomes the Lion Entree.

TIGERS straying into villages around Bangladesh's Sundarbans mangrove forests have killed three people and some 50 cattle over the last 15 days, according to forest officials.  This is what I'm talking about.

COYOTE chases a woman mowing her lawn in Orrington, Maine.  Local police were baffled; I'm guessing it was an Acme lawnmower.

SPIDERS, SQUID and LOBSTERS might get the same protection under British law enjoyed by dogs, cats and horses if they are kept in captivity.

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