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Young Fresh Fellows, New Metric and Beirut, Cutout Bin, Stoat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, October 26, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with the YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS!  If you have never heard the fabulous sounds of Scott McCaughey's pre-grunge Seattle pop combo (or even if you have), you'll want to sample the "Young Fresh Fellows Theme" as an appetizer.  But the main course is live from Portland's Pine Street Theater on December 20, 1991.  This 80-minute clip totally violates the Tube's ToS, but let's overlook that.  The setlist includes -- but is not limited to: Jonathan Richman's "Someone I Care About"; "Where Is Groovytown?"; "Hillbilly Drummer Girl"; "My Boyfriend Is In Killdozer"; "Two Brothers"; "Hang Out Right";  "Sitting On A Pitchfork"; "Taco Wagon"; The Kinks' "Picture Book"; "Two Sides To The Story"; "Lost In Space"; "I Don't Let The Little Things Get Me Down"; "Tomorrow's Gone"; "Amy Grant"; "Reunion"; "I Got My Mojo Workin' (And I Thought You'd Like To Know)";  "Go Go Gorilla"; and "Backroom of the Bar." Not to mention snippets of "Suzy Q," "Heart and Soul," "The Ballad of the Green Berets" and a particularly disastrous "Please Please Me."

THE REPLACEMENTS:  Harp magazine has excerpts from the book, The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting: An Oral History, with plenty of great cameo quotes.

SUFJAN STEVENS:  His symphonic evocation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is previewed on video from WNYC, with an interview coming on Sunday.

OiNK founder Alan Ellis, arrested Tuesday on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and copyright infringement this week, defended the music-sharing site in the Daily Telegraph, comparing it to Google.

JESCA HOOP:  All Things Considered has audio and live video of the singer-songwriter, who also talked to NPR about her major-label debut, Kismet. 

VEGOOSE:  The two-day Vegoose Music Festival is this weekend, some of which will be webcast via AT&T's Blueroom.  Acts appearing include The Shins, Cypress Hill, Gogol Bordello, Thievery Corporation, and Mastodon.  The final schedule of performances for each day should be available at the link starting today.

METRIC rolled out some new material in their mini-set and interview at the World Cafe, streaming now via NPR.

THE B-52s guitarist Keith Strickland says the band's first album in 16 years is "loud, sexy rock & roll with the beat pumped up to hot pink." Funplex will be released on Astralwerks February 26, 2008.

RAY DAVIES:  The Kinks frontman gets rather worked up about the state of the music industry in the latest podcast from the Guardian's arts blog.  Les Savy Fav are also featured, along with a piece on transcendental meditation featuring director David Lynch and Donovan.  Yes, really. 

TEMPS VS. TOPS, from the Motown 25th anniversary special.  Get Ready!

BILLY BRAGG talks about his alter ego Johnny Clash, The Clash, meeting the Queen, his charity work and more with DC's Express.

BOB DYLAN:  The Cleveland Scene reviews Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes, written by former Long Ryder Sid Griffin, "the first writer to shed serious light on this shadowy period in Dylan's career."

AMERICANA:  The Nashville Scene's piece on the annual Americana Music Conference looks at attempts to define the genre and broaden its audience.

JOY DIVISION:  I'll likely be seeing the Ian Curtis biopic Control this weekend.  The flick leads this year's British Independent Film Awards with an impressive ten nominations and is scoring 89 percent on the ol' Tomatometer.  Matt Greenhalgh blogged about writing the screenplay at the Guardian's arts blog.

CARIBOU:  Dan Snaith explains why the new album is anmed Andorra in the Portland Mercury.

JENS LEKMAN was once a ukulele-toting, baritone-singing, romantic-pop tunesmith from the Gothenburg area of Sweden.  Now he is the keyboardist for a symphonic death metal band that wears only studded leather thongs and plays concerts exclusively on snow-covered mountaintops.

JUDAS PRIEST is the process of writing and recording a new album based on the prophet Nostradamus, set for release sometime in 2008.  Could it be better than "Stonehenge?"  Better than Al Stewart?

CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: The Banana Splits - Doin' The Banana Split; Big Country - Fields Of Fire; Iggy Pop - Lust for Life; The Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting for the Man; The Chesterfield Kings - Up and Down; The Del-Vetts - Last Time Around; Jesus & Mary Chain - Surfin' USA; Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl; Ciccone Youth - Into The Groove(y); Amy Winehouse - Cupid (Johnny Nash); Jay Mitchell - Tighter & Tighter (Alive & Kicking); Ween - Sweetheart;  R.E.M. - Cuyahoga (Live); The Grass Roots - Let's Live for Today; The Essex Green - Don't Know Why (You Stay); Shoes - Not Me; Cass McCombs - That's That; The Posies - Dream All Day;  Queen - You're My Best Friend; The Jayhawks - Waiting for the Sun (Live); The Gun Club - Ghost On The Highway; The Hold Steady - Against The Wind (Bob Seger); Mott the Hoople - All The Young Dudes; and The Faces - Stay With Me.

NATALIE PORTMAN, who famously told Zach Braff that the Shins will ''change your life'' in Garden State, has put together a charity album to benefit FINCA -- a group that promotes microfinancing to reduce poverty in developing countries.  She talks to Entertainment Weekly about it -- and her current love of "freak folk" music.  Plus, EW has an exclusive stream of the Beirut track from the album.  Elsewhere, Portman says she will never get naked again on the big screen after regretting a nude scene in her new short film Hotel Chevalier.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases at the cineplex are Saw IV, which was not widely screened for critics, and Steve Carell as dan In Real Life, which is scoring 59 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (but 67 percent with the "cream of the crop" critics).  Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited expands to about 700 screens with a score of 66 percent, though I was a bit disappointed by it.

OWEN WILSON is breaking his post-suicide-attempt silence with friend and director Wes Anderson for the next episode of MySpace's Artist on Artist series.  The segment was filmed on Thursday and will be posted on the networking site on October 26, at midnight PST.

BRITNEY SPEARS will plead not guilty to the misdemeanor charge of driving without a valid license, after the L.A. City Attorney refused to reduce the charges.  Judge Speer and the City Attorney agreed to dismiss the related hit-and-run charge after the pop tart settled a civil suit with the owner of the other car.

DAVID COPPERFIELD allegedly offered a Seattle woman two million bucks to drop her rape charge against him, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.  This week, the FBI denied a report that the feds seized the same amount in cash during a raid on Copperfield's Vegas warehouse.

ELLEN DeGENERES & PORTIA de ROSSI are all but dunzo, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine, which has one source claiming de Rossi wants to be with someone younger and hotter.  Was the responsibility of briefly adopting a dog just too much strain on the relationship?

JESSICA SIMPSON will co-host The View for a week in November -- a measurement of how low the show must sink to find someone who makes the regular hosts sound smart.

LOST cast member Daniel Dae Kim was arrested yesterday on suspicion of DUI.  Former cast members Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros were arrested on suspicion of DUI in December, 2005 -- and were written out of the show by season's end.

STEPHEN COLBERT wants to get on the Democratic and Republican presidential ballots in South Carolina, but the campaign, sponsored by Doritos, may run afoul of campaign finance laws barring corporations from backing political campaigns.  Colbert has already surged ahead of longtime candidate Gov. Bill Richardson in one national poll.  In a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, Colbert is preferred by 13% of voters as an independent candidate challenging Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani.

LARRY KING:  If you missed the gnome-like talk show host on last Sunday's "Football Night in America," you must click to see the pic at the link.

THE FIVE UNSEXIEST WOMEN ALIVE, according to Maxim magazine, which is arguably more demeaning than their usual lists.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON gave boyfriend Ryan Reynolds a birthday present right out of her mouth.

24:  Season six was sub-par, but with Jack Bauer going Col. Nathan Jessep before a Senate committee in the Season seven trailer, I may have to tune in out of curiousity.

IRAN:  As you may have heard, the Bush Admin. announced an new package of unilateral sanctions against Iran today, including the long-awaited designations of its Revolutionary Guard Corps as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction and of the elite Quds Force as a supporter of terrorism.  At the Counterterrorism Blog, Jonathan Winer and Victor Comras offer differing views as to the impact the sanctions may have.

IRAQ was al-Qaeda's greatest achievement and its greatest failure.  AQ sympathizers have unleashed a torrent of anger against Al-Jazeera television, accusing it of misrepresenting Osama bin Laden's latest audiotape by airing excerpts in which he criticizes mistakes by insurgents in Iraq.  The people of Ramadi invited US forces to watch a massive -- but tightly secured -- parade celebrating the life of Sheik Sattar Abu Risha, late founder of the Anbar Awakening Council.  The late Sheikh's brother and successor, Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha, is arriving in the US for a two-week trip to learn about federalism and pitch investors on Anbar province.  Lt. Gen. Odierno said US forces hope to hand over half of Baghdad to Iraqi security control by the end of 2008, after violence in Iraq dropped to its lowest level since January 2006.  Teaching local officials in Iraq to govern themselves and provide their citizens with basic services will take "years of steady engagement," investigators told a House panel Thursday.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The Washington Post covers the latest developments in the saga of The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist."  Editor Franklin Foer tells Howard Kurtz that, despite the damaging transcripts of a Sept. 7 conversation leaked to the Drudge Report, Pvt. Beauchamp was under duress at the time and defended his story in a later conversation that was conducted with no superiors present.  (Michael Yon recently ran into Beauchamp's CO, who seemed protective of Beauchamp).  This later conversation apparently was not recorded by TNR or reported at the time.  Indeed, TNR editors have now spoken to National Review, the NY Observer and the WaPo, but have yet to account for themselves on the TNR website.  Foer also reiterated that other soldiers whom the magazine would not identify had confirmed the allegations.  So it's worth reiterating that by "corroborating," Foer means contradicting details of Beachamp's tales.

THIS CHARMING STOAT is the subject of just one of the wildlife pics sent in by 32000 photographers from 78 countries to the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

CARNIVOROUS TREES grabbing humans and cattle and gobbling them up is not just village folklore, according to the New India Press.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  One thieving rodent was trapped by its own appetite in Dorset, England.

THE MOOSE & THE DECOY:  A love story.

A RECORD-SMASHING SHARK was caught by mistake off Cornwall: "When it came closer we realised there was no way we could haul it up on our 26ft boat but fortunately there was a trawler nearby."    Of course, this means we must go to the video. (NSFW)

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Tullycraft, All Songs Considered, Of Montreal, Pig Crossing   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TULLYCRAFT, an old skool pop combo from Seattle, have released a video for "Georgette Plays A Goth" from their new LP.  You can stream "The Punks Are Writing Love Songs" and three older tracks at TullySpace.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED:  Tracks from David Byrne, Beirut, Nellie McKay, Dirty Projectors and more are streaming in the latest episode from NPR.

VAN HALEN:  One thing I omitted from my recent concert review is that I prefer that hard rock bands have a sense of humor.  Thus, it is fitting that the review of Ian Christe's "Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga" in The Phoenix refers to the rock bio as the genre's "first genuine comedy."  The first paragraph of the book is quoted and worth a click by itself.

EMMA POLLOCK:  The former Delgado seems poppier than ever on her first solo LP.  You can stream a few tracks at EmmaSpace.

INTERNATIONALIZING ROCK:  The IHT notes that the back-to-basics movement that has characterized cutting-edge rock this century, from the blues-based hard rock of the White Stripes to the new wave-postpunk revivalism of Interpol, is giving way to acts like Beirut, Gogol Bordello and DeVotchKa that are internationalizing rock's Anglo-American vernacular.  It's an interesting counterpoint to the Sasha Frere-Jones complaint about the whiteness of indie rock.

HOLLY GOLIGHTLY talks to DC's Express about touring with bandmate Lawyer Dave of The Brokeoffs, who takes on simultaneous vocal, guitar and drum duties.  You can stream a few blues-and-country influenced tracks at HollySpace, though I'm still a sucker for the garage pop of "There is an End," which she recorded with The Greenhornes.

OF MONTREAL:  Blender has the trippy clip for "Gronlandic Edit."

SCOTT MATTHEWS is "frequently (and justifiably) compared to a cross between Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake," according to NPR, which is streaming an interview and mini-set the singer-songwriter did for the World Cafe.

WEST INDIAN GIRL vocalist/guitarist Robert James explains the title of the band's album, 4th & Wall, at Indieblogheaven.  The album is streaming in full this week via Spinner.

RADIOHEAD is close to signing a series of deals to release its next album independently and leave the major record companies behind.  Under the proposed deal, Radiohead would license the album, "In Rainbows," for a specified period of time but retain ownership of the recording.

WHEN DOVES CRY:  Dodge is streaming over 20 covers of the Prince hit at MOKB.

PETE DOHERTY:  The Babyshambles frontman's successful rehab convinces the judge to quash his compulsory supervision order.  He has also reportedly called off his romance with model Irina Lazareanu after a furious row and is hoping to win back his ex Kate Moss.  The Babyshambles album is streaming this week at Spinner.

BRITNEY SPEARS and Fed-Ex attended their first co-parenting class.  She never fully paid the dancers for her MTV VMA trainwreck.  The pop tart joined a huge A-list exodus from fire-ravaged Malibu, saying: "I'm real scared."  Other Malibu residents are miffed that the paparazzi are still hanging around trying to snap Spears, and wish she would leave the neighborhood for good.  But my fave Spears item of the moment is that she is reportedly plans to sing a cleaned-up version of "Toxic" on Sesame Street.  Sadly, a Sesame Streetperson denies the report..

JAMIE LEE CURTIS, like Britney Spears, also spoke about the fires ravaging SoCal, opining that it was their fault for living in a drought and living too close to the brush.  It was as if Curtis had been possessed by the ghost of Sam Kinison.  BONUS:  George Carlin said on The View that he also thought the locals are getting what they deserve, but that's been his shtick for a while.  Compassion abounds in Tinseltown.  As investigators reportedly believe the massive Santiago Canyon Fire was caused by arson, Curtis may be right about this being an "act of man."

REESE WITHERSPOON & JAKE GYLLENHAAL were caught canoodling on camera in Rome and L.A.  The pictures were sold to People magazine for a rumored 100K.  Do we call it Witherhaal, Gyllenspoon, or desperate PR for the flopping film, Rendition?

LINDSAY LOHAN is set to host a New Year's blowout at Las Vegas hot spot LAX in order to pay back the "hundreds of thousands of dollars" she got by agreeing to host her 21st birthday at a sister club -- a gig cancelled by her stint in rehab.

O.J. SIMSPON:  New charges of felony coercion were filed against the fmr killer football player and three co-defendants in the alleged armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers.  Meanwhile, Fred Goldman's lawyer is gearing up to go after the 772K of "personal property" that O.J. claimed on his 2005 tax return.

HEIDI KLUM tells Oprah that she fell in love with Seal at first sight; he was wearing bicycle shorts at the time.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise oozed over his impending one-year wedding anniversary, in his low-key, couch-jumping style.

NICOLE KIDMAN says she's "deeply in love" with her new husband country music star Keith Urban, but stops short of describing their marriage as "happy."   The early buzz on her upcoming pic, "The Golden Compass," probably won't make her happy, either.

THE 50 GREATEST MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS list is topped by "Purple Rain,"  according to Vanity Fair.

JASON SCHWARTZMAN did a 90-minute Q & A in Dallas following a special sold-out screening of The Darjeeling Limited, preceded by its "companion" piece, Hotel Chevalier.  GvsB hits the highlights.

TOM HANKS, Male, 51 years old, has his own MySpace page, complete with videos and a blog: "I'm that actor in some of the movies you liked and some you didn't."

MIDEAST MYSTERY:  Syria has begun dismantling the remains of a site Israel bombed Sept. 6; Based on overhead photography, US and foreign officials say the site had a "signature" or characteristics of a small but substantial nuclear reactor, one similar in structure to North Korea's facilities.

IRAN:  Constructive ideas that could yield progress over the impasse on Iran's nuclear program were introduced during talks this week with top Italian and European Union officials, Tehran's former top negotiator said Wednesday.  Of course, that may be why he's the former negotiator.  Iran will not abandon its atomic goals because of UN sanction resolutions that are "just a pile of papers", Pres. Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Yesterday was a bad day for The New Republic, which has been silent for over a month regarding the accuracy of articles written by its "Baghdad Diarist," Pvt. Scott Beauchamp.  The Drudge Report, of all places, obtained obtained internal documents from the investigation of the matter, including transcripts of conversations between Beauchamp and TNR Editors.  He later disabled downloads of those documents, but they are now widely available on the Internet, such as here, here and here.  Jonathan Chait at TNR does not dispute the accuracy of the documents, but he disputes Drudge's analysis of them.  A reading of the documents shows Drudge mischaracterizes one document as a recantation by Beachamp (though I would not be surprised if there was a recantation in docs not leaked).  But what the documents show is that: (1) Beauchamp refused to state that he stood by his stories; (2) TNR Editor Scobelic responded that "we're going to have to come out to say that... because, you know, you're not going to talk to us any more about the piece, we just can't in good conscience defend it"; (3) TNR Franlkin Foer informed Beauchamp that Beauchamp's wife (then a TNR staffer) wanted to tell him that "the most important thing to her that you say that you didn't recant"; (4) Beauchamp himself stated that the Army was not censoring him; (5) Beauchamp had to sign releases -- and agreed to do -- before the Army could make the docs public; and (6) the Army investigation concluded that Beachamp's stories were completely fabricated.  TNR did not inform its readers of any of this.  TNR never did what Sobelic said the mag would do -- disavow the stories because Beauchamp refused to talk.  Foer used Beauchamp's wife to suggest he not recant -- hardly consistent with an effort to get to the facts.  And now Foer is still complaining they couldn't get some of the docs from the Army, even though it's clear TNR already knew what they said, and already knows that the release is up to Beauchamp, not the Army.  The episode is thus becoming cemented as the latest in a long line of black marks for TNR.

CAUTION:  Pigs feeding.

PETS are among those being rescued from the raging wildfires in San Diego County.  Video at the link.

CRAYFISH spared themselves from being eaten by escaping from a restaurant in Stuttgart.

A BABY CHIMP born at the Wellington Zoo on Monday is of uncertain paternity, requiring DNA testing.

LUCY, a poodle-mix living in Gilroy, Calif., was -- unbeknownst to her owners -- having her meals stolen by a mountain lion.

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CMJ Picks, Bloc Party, Jens Lekman, Cane Toads   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CMJ MUSIC MARATHON REDUX:  Though I did not attend, I thought I would highlight a few of the acts that tended to pop up on my usual rounds of the Internet.

BAD VEINS:  This duo from Cincinnati tends to get noticed for their use of the reel-to-reel tape deck,a megaphone and a telephone, but hold attention with songs like "Gold and Warm."  You can also stream that song and "The Lie" at VeinSpace.  They also rolled out new songs last month for WOXY's Lounge Act series.

BON IVER, a/k/a Justin Vernon, was a member of The Rosebuds, but left Raleigh, NC and returned home to Eau Claire, WI, where he recorded For Emma, Forever Ago in a remote cabin.  Buzz for the rustic LP has been percolating through the summer.  You can stream the whole album via Virb, though I think Dodge is still streaming my faves at MOKB, following on a nice interview he did with Vernon in September.  Even before CMJ, I was reminded to blurb him by a new article at Crawdaddy.

THE 1900s, a 7 piece band from Chicago, have a bit of a 60's folk-pop vibe without relly stealing from anyone in particular.  If you jukebox 'em via the newly-redesigned HM, you'll hear a bit of the Mamas & Papas on "No Delay" and Carole King on "When I Say Go," but just a bit.  Ed Anderson and Jeanine Mary answered five questions for Muzzle of Bees before heading to CMJ.

YEASAYER has a sound that doesn't really have a easy label, which is to their credit.  More accessible than Animal Collective, mellower than TV on the Radio, with dashes of Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads and Lindsey Buckingham's odder material, perhaps.  You can jukebox 'em at the HM, with "Sunrise" and "2080" being the tracks that grab most people.

BLACK KIDS became the peg for the NYT's piece on Internet blog buzz coming out of CMJ.  They -- and the NYT piece -- were also the peg for a "special report" at Idolator on the excesses of Internet blog buzz.  Either way, you can still stream and download four tracks at TheirSpace, with the pick to click being "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You," a track that seems to fall somewhere between The Go! Team and The Cure.

BLOC PARTY:  I'm not generally a fan, but how could I pass up the Ultraman-inspired video for "Flux?"

OiNK SHUTDOWN:  British and Dutch police have shut down a "widely-used" source of illegally-downloaded music.  The UK-based, members-only website leaked 60 major pre-release albums this year alone, said the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.  The site's admin was released from custody later on Tuesday.

JENS LEKMAN:  At Slate, Stephen Metcalf writes that the Swedish songster is not only his 4-and-a-half-year-old daughter's favorite, but also "a fully realized pop genius, and each of his full-length records is its own masterpiece."  Apparently, music bloggers are not the only ones prone to hyperbole.  But I really like Lekman too, and there's embedded audio in the essay to check out.

NEW RELEASES REDUX:  It turns out that the albums from Saturday Looks Good to Me and Carbon/Silicon (Mick Jones & Donnie Letts) are streaming in full Quicktime via Apple.  (Thanks, LHB.)

THE HOLD STEADY will likely start recording a new album in mid-December, once Craig Finn comes up with lyrics for the 14 or so songs already demoed.

ROGUE WAVE stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

SPOON -- and The Ponys -- played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream both gigs on demand via NPR.

RYAN ADAMS was in seemingly fine form in Dallas last week, but if you thought his crazy was due to the chemicals, think again.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly hit yet another photographer with her car Monday.  People who used to work with the pop tart, including a bodyguard, backup dancer and makeup artist, as well as several old friends, are calling for a boycott of her imminent Blackout LP - at least until the singer cleans up her act.  The parents of Britney Spears have been forced to hold crisis talks at Fed-Ex's house over the future of her two sons - but the singer was nowhere to be seen.  TMZ claims that Spears' parenting coach has submitted her report to the court, and it ain't pretty.

HALLE BERRY reportedly made an anti-Semitic "joke" on The Tonight Show, which was silenced when the taping aired.  Berry later offered an apology and explanation to Page Six.

DAVID COPPERFIELD:  The FBI seized digital camera equipment and a hard drive to a computer after a Seattle woman accused Copperfield of sexually assaulting her in the Bahamas.  The feds may be looking for evidence of modus operandi.

DOWN GOES OSMOND!  Marie Osmond collapsed after her samba routine at Dancing with the Stars on Monday.  Video at the link, icymi.

REESE WITHERSPOON & JAKE GYLLENHAAL were... wait for it... caught canoodling again at LAX on Monday.  Back together... or desperately trying to spark interest in their flop flick, Rendition?

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills reportedly flown to the US to plan a Hollywood film about her life - and she wants Reese Witherspoon to take the starring role.  Mills supposedly called on Sir Paul to reach a divorce deal by close of business on Friday or face the worst she could throw at him in court, on screen and in a new biography.

OWEN WILSON joined a lawnmower race on the video shoot for Willie Nelson's "You Don't Think I'm Funny Anymore."  Bothers Luke and Andrew Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Joe "King" Carrasco, Ray Price; Dan Rather and Jessica Simpson were also part of Nelson's motley crew.  Still is still moving has pics from the event.

VINCE VAUGHN... and Vanessa Williams?   That would be a well-kept secret. 

JESSICA BIEL & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE are rumored to be fighting over Timberlake flirting with other women, according to bot the National Enquirer and Star magazine.  Indeed, Star magazine says one of the other women is Kirsten Bell (Veronica Mars, Heroes).  This is supposedly why JT invited JB to Toronto, where he is shooting The Love Guru -- which makes prior jokes about not wanting to leave JT alone with co-star Jessica Alba seem almost prescient. 

LEO DiCAPRIO is ready to move on to his next supermodel girlfriend.

OPRAH WINFREY flew to South Africa at the weekend for crisis meetings over allegations of sexual misconduct at her exclusive girls' school south of Johannesburg.  The suspect dorm matron has been suspended, Johannesburg police confirm.  The headmistress of the academy has also agreed to a paid leave of absence as to ensure an unbiased investigation.

EWAN MacGREGOR said he is sick of Britain's "ludicrous nanny state" rules, which he said might force him to quit the country, in an interview that was to be published Tuesday.

PETRA NEMCOVA:  The tsunami-surviving supermodel has unveiled her provocative new lingerie campaign for La Senza.  The above pic is not part of the campaign, which can be seen at the link.

TX TERROR FINANCE MISTRIAL:  Apparently, not enough jurors believed the government's assertion that more than $12 million in humanitarian aid raised by the Holy Land Foundation, once the largest Muslim charity in the US, and sent to Palestinian charities, also known as zakat committees, was really going to the violent terrorist group Hamas.  Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has closed the zakat committees, alleging that they been funneling money to Hamas supporters in the West Bank.

FMR. GITMO DETAINEE Sadeq Mohammed Saeed, who admits he joined one of the Taliban battle lines in Afghanistan, has been freed and will probably rejoin the jihad.

IRAQ:  Violence in Iraq has dropped by 70 percent since the end of June, when U.S. forces completed their build-up of "surge" troops.  In Baghdad, car bombs had decreased by 67 percent and roadside bombs by 40 percent, with a 28 percent decline in the number of bodies found dumped in the capital's streets.  The health ministry's inspector-general says the average number of dead bodies sent to Baghdad's main morgue just over a year ago was between 100 and 150 a day. Now, it is no more than 10 bodies a day, half of which are dying in normal circumstances.  Stability is gradually coming to smaller towns in Anbar province.  Niveneh province, where AQI has fled from areas targeted by the "surge," remains restive for now.  The US is meeting with Shiite groups to convince the militias that political reconciliation, not violence, is the way forward.  Moqtada al-Sadr warned his fighters to obey a six-month suspension of his militia's activities or face being branded "traitors."  Michael Yon argues that while violence is plummeting, much of Iraq is still a complete mess and now is the time to put the foot on the gas by helping Iraqis with reconciliation, infrastructure and the economy.

CANE TOADS may be successfully overrunning Australia, but the stress is giving them arthritis.

SIX BINGE-DRINKING ELEPHANTS were electrocuted when they went berserk after quaffing rice beer in north eastern India.

YAK ATTACK:  Don't talk back.

A BLACK BEAR turned up in front of an Alaska man's refrigerator in the middle of the night.  The bear had a few muffins, ignored the porridge.

A CAT was saved by a southern Illinois firefighter who performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after the feline was rescued from a house fire.  I'll skip over the trashy punchline to observe that the same firefighter was recognized for doing rescue breathing on a dog about a year ago.

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Weakerthans, New Releases, Dylan, Fugitive Tortoises   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE WEAKERTHANS took the video for "Civil Twilight" in one continuous shot filmed in the Winnipeg public transit terminal.  frontman John K. Samson answers five questions for the Detroit Free Press.  You can stream a few from the new album at WeakerthansSpace.

NEW RELEASES:  Coheed & Cambria, The Thrills, Babyshambles, West Indian Girl, Ween and more are streaming via Spinner.  Black Dice (not to be confused with Black Lips) have new LP.  Castanets finds Ray Raposa In the Vines.  Ryan Adams & The Cardinals have a seven-song EP.  And Saturday Looks Good to Me wants to Fill Up the Room.

DEVENDRA BANHART talks to Pitchfork about his new album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, Johnny Cash, California, Mexico, Africa, the squirrel threat and more.

BOB DYLAN:  Heather Browne has exclusive streams of Eddie Vedder & The Million Dollar Bashers covering "All Along The Watchtower" for the soundtrack to the Dylan biopic, I'm Not There.  Other covers from Sufjan Stevens, Cat Power, Jeff Tweedy, and Jim James with Calexico are streaming at BiopicSpace.  Will theaters run Bob Dylan's Cadillac ad before the movie?

GARY GLITTER is to stay behind bars in Vietnam after nine child protection organizations wrote to judges considering early release under traditional holiday celebrations.

ROBERT GORDON brings the rockabilly on covers of "Baby, Let's Play House" (w/ Link Wray) and Marshall Crenshaw's "Someday, Someway."  Which would be enough for Twofer Tuesday, but you may also want to hear Springsteen's "Fire" before the Pointer Sistsers got to it.  It's even a free download.

MAXIMO PARK talks to PopMatters about their world tour, including China and Russia.  Apparently, the band didn't know it gets really cold in Russia in the winter.  Being a stone's throw from the Arctic Circle tends to have that effect.  Anyway, embedded video and audio links are included.

THE HOLD STEADY's five-song set at the CMJ Music Marathon is a free download via KEXP.

DAN WILSON stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE NATIONAL singer Matt Berninger talked to the Vancouver Province about how The Boxer differs from the band's previous LP:  "When we finished Boxer, we realized that we'd failed to pay attention to any things on Alligator people liked, such as the screaming rock songs. All good."

ELLEN DeGENERES is a serial dog-dumper, according to the ever-reliable Page Six.  Howard Stern said on his Sirius show that he'd heard she had done this nine times before.

SALMA HAYEK still plans on marrying Francois-Henri Pinault, the billionaire boss of the Gucci fashion empire, despite his reported prior relationship with Linda Evangelista.

REESE WITHERSPOON credits her older brother's support in helping her cope with her divorce from actor Ryan Philippe.  No word on who will help her through the flop of Rendition.

KATE HUDSON & CHRIS ROBINSON will likely be officially divorced by the time you read this.

ROSE McGOWAN killing Barbarella?  Universal Studios has backed out of backing the remake, whose budget the source pegged at nearly $100 million, because director Robert Rodriguez has insisted on casting his new fiancé, Rose McGowan, in the lead role, famously played by Jane Fonda in the 1968 original directed by Ms. Fonda's then-husband, Roger Vadim.

BRADGELINA are making their first joint producing effort with a series project at HBO, which will explore the behind-the scenes politics of an international aid organization and chronicle the lives of humanitarian workers assigned to dangerous zones and the people in need they assist.  They are also looking for a house in Europe so that their four children and future offspring can have a "broad vision of the world."

KIM BASINGER & CHARLIZE THERON will play mother and daughter in the upcoming movie, The Burning Plain.  Just so long as Alec Baldwin doesn't play the father...

JESSICA SIMPSON tells InStyle magazine there's something empowering about the disillusionment that comes with heartbreak.

TARA REID may have been hospitalized for possible liver damage -- or not.

BRIAN WILLIAMS:  The Nightly News Anchor will host the late-night comedy show on Nov. 3.  Will he do Weekend Update again... or will he join musical guest Leslie Feist?

FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA took a surprise hit at Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson, telling GQ he has become disappointed with them as they have grown older and richer.

THE 100 SCARIEST MOVIE SCENES, according to Retrocrush, with scads of embedded video --  ranging from a scene from Tod Browning's cult fave Freaks to a bit from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

LT. MICHAEL MURPHY was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor yesterday for his bravery in Afghanistan.  The media finally noticed, though MSNBC chose not to carry the ceremony live.  Other heroes not good enough for national media coverage are noted here and here, though there are plenty that I've missed, too.

TX TERROR FINANCE TRIAL ended in a mistrial, after chaos broke out in the court when three jurors disputed some verdicts that had been announced.  Prosecutors said they would probably retry leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which the federal government shut down in December 2001.  HLF's original chairman Mohammed El-Mezain was acquitted on all counts, except one conspiracy charge involving material support for terrorists.  Consultant and author Douglas Farah writes: "The evidence may, in the eyes of the jury, not show definitive proof of support for terrorist activities. But they do show definitive proof that CAIR, ISNA, ICNA and all the Muslim Brotherhood groups in this country came here with a markedly different purpose from what they claim, and they have gone through decades of deceit to conceal their true identities and purposes."

IRAN:  New chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is close to the same apocalyptic splinter group as Pres. Ahmadinejad.  The sect's goals are to sow chaos - the goal of which is to incite a massive war, presumably necessary to speed up the return of the Shiite messiah, known as the Mahdi.

IRAQ:  New US statistics show that violent attacks of all kinds are down to levels not seen since 2005, including a decrease in the number of attacks attributable to insurgents backed or armed by Iran.  Nevertheless, the Army claims US aircraft are being targeted with "an advanced missile supplied by Iran."  The US military has increased airstrikes in Iraq fivefold this year, reflecting a steep escalation in combat operations aimed at AQI and other militants.  More than 60 people have been killed in a series of violent clashes between AQI and the Islamic Army (a rival group actually affiliated with former Baathists) in the area of al-Khannasa, north of Baghdad.  Showing apparent signs of concern over events in Iraq, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden urged insurgents to "unite your lines into one" in an audiotape played on al Jazeera Monday.  The Iraq Awakening Conference called on individuals who were forced to leave their homes in Anbar province to return to their original place of residence.  A 72-year-old man stopped a suspected suicide bomber from detonating himself at a checkpoint in Arab Jabour.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Independent blogger Michael Yon is so frustrated with "the bizarro-world contrast between what most Americans seem to think is happening in Iraq versus what is really happening in Iraq" that he is offering free excerpts of his dispatches -- and photos -- to the National Newspaper Association.

FUGITIVE TORTOISES have been outfitted with the Loc8tor radio tracking system.  Owner Jane Williams said, "Contrary to popular belief tortoises can actually move quite fast..."

PROMISCUOUS, CANNABALISTIC LADYBIRDS are Britain's new pestilence.  Harlequin Ladybirds, btw, are a form of ladybug.

CROC NEWS:  Thirty-four crocodiles escaped over the top of their fenced enclosure at a reptile farm in Non Sung, Thailand, when a flood hit the area last Wednesday.  A tourist who drank 12 cans of beers before being attacked by a crocodile while swimming in a Queensland river fell asleep at his campsite before going to hospital for treatment.

A NOISY PARROT that likes to imitate sounds helped save a man and his son from a house fire by mocking a smoke alarm, the bird's owner said.

911 CALLER claims to have sideswiped a giraffe while driving on S.C. Highway 174 near the Dahoo Bridge.  Audio at the link.

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Tegan & Sara, Hot Freaks, Black Mountain, Socks the Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 22, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TEGAN & SARA have a new video for the title track of their current album, "The Con."

FEIST:  Her iPod Nano ad probably sold 100K copies of The Reminder.  But she had already sold about 200K copies, which is impressive in itself. 

IRON & WINE:  Sam Beam did an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream from NPR, talking about The Shepherd's Dog's status as a "headphone record," praising Tom Waits, and pointing to South Carolina as an inspiration for his lyrics.  Beam talked about the influence of his work with Calexico and more at Drowned In Sound.

THE PIPETTES talk about their long journey to North America with the L.A. Times... and that was before vias problems delayed their tour.

ART BRUT, GRIZZLY BEAR, ROSEBUDS and ST. VINCENT are among the acts that played the Hot Freaks afterparties at the last ACL Fest; you can watch 'em at the Dell Lounge.  (Thx, Chromewaves.)

JOHNNY MARR:  The fmr Smiths (and current Modest Mouse) guitarist has been appointed a visiting professor at Salford University and will be delivering a series of workshops and master classes to students on the BA Popular Music and Recording degree.

JOSE GONZALEZ covers Massive Attack's "Teardrop" in his latest video.

SPOON drummer Jim Eno joked about it last week, but frontman Britt Daniel gives the NYDN the (semi-)serious explanation for why he thinks 36 minutes is the ideal length for an album.

STARS and New Buffalo played DC's 9:30 Club the other night; you can stream either gig on demand via NPR.

BLACK MOUNTAIN, having drawn critical raves for its fusion of heavy classic rock Led Zeppelin/Sabbath riffing and druggy noir-tinged Velvet Underground balladry on the eponymous debut, is profiled for AZ Central in advance of their follow-up, In The Future, which is due in January.  One of the new tracks, "Stay Free," was on the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack.  There are also older tracks streaming at MountainSpace.

THE SHOUT OUT LOUDS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can steam on demand via MPR.

GOGOL BORDELLO, which cites the Dead Kennedys, Tom Waits, and Romanian Gypsies Taraf de Haidouks as its favorite listening, is profiled in the Dallas Observer.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  No sooner does she cut a deal in her civil case with the owner of the car she hit in a parking lot last August than she reportedly ran over a photogs foot on the way out of a Beverly Hills medical building, likely trying to hide her fresh new trout pout.  Spears has regained visitation rights with her sons.  While some predict the pop tart may get parental custody of her sons back on Oct. 26, it appears Spears stood up her parenting coach, who already had told the court Spears was ignoring the advice.  It also looks like her single is tanking and there is little to no advance interest in the LP.

DAVID COPPERFIELD was linked to an FBI investigation after a  Vegas warehouse operated by Copperfield was raided by 12 agents Wednesday night.  The raid is reportedly related to a Seattle woman's claim that Copperfield raped her in the Bahamas.  He's probably wishing he hasn't been vehemently denying the long-standing rumor that he's as gay as fellow Vegas mainstays Siegfried and Roy.  NTTAWWT.

MALIBU CELEBS have been evacuated, and there are many more celebs in the Malibu area whose homes are in danger from a fire believed to have started when arcing power lines, downed by fierce Santa Ana winds, ignited dry brush around 5:00 a.m. Sunday.

ISLA FISHER & SASHA BARON COHEN celebrated the birth of their daughter in Los Angeles on Friday.

KID ROCK was arrested in Atlanta overnight in connection with a brawl at a Waffle House in DeKalb County, GA.  Sounds about right...

JENNIFER LOPEZ:  Hubby Marc Anthony may have revealed J-Lo's pregnancy with some help from Journey.

KATE MOSS:  The Daily Mail looks at how partying is ruining her looks.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The number one film of the weekend is 30 Days of Night, which earned 16 million, continuing the slow box office trend for horror in 2007.  Finishing second is Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?, which made 12.1 mil; it plunged 43%, but that's less of a drop than his other films have had in their second weekends.  The Game Plan made 8.1 mil, and was off only 26%.  Michael Clayton earned 7.1 mil, but fell 32%, despite adding screens.  The debut of Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone rounds out the Top Five with 6 mil.  The Comebacks opened in sixth place with 5.9 mil -- well below predictions, even for a movie unscreened for critics.  We Own the Night is in seventh place on a surprisingly large 49 % drop, making 5.5 mil.  The 3-D re-release of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas did surprisingly well, making 5.1 million on a mere 564 screens, for a healthy per-screen average of $9122.  Rendition flopped into the ninth slot with 4.2 million -- far below tracking estimates of 10 mil.  The Heartbreak Kid rounded out the Top Ten, earning another 3.9 mil on a 46% drop.

RENDITION:  Hollywood analysts groped for reasons why the film flopped in its opening frame.  The AP suggests it is the daily bad news on their TV screens, though there was bad news on TV through the 1970s, a decade noted for serious movies.  The AP also suggests 30 Days of Night was escapist fare, though horror has not performed well for about a year.  One analyst suggests audiences are resisting serious mobies right now -- though The Comebacks also flopped this weekend. Another claims there is a glut of serious movies -- though there is 30 Days, Tyler Perry, Game Plan, Comebacks, Nightmare Before Christmas and The Heartbreak Kid all in the Top Ten.  None suggested that the content of Rendition might be one reason for its failure.

GEORGE CLOONEY:  Slate's Hollwoodland column tries to explain -- or excuse -- the lackluster performance of Michael Clayton.  Reason No. 1 -- as I previously suggested -- is that Clooney is not as popular with the public as he is with Tinseltown elites.

BRADGELINA:  More folks are asking whether Pitt and Jolie are doing their four children any favors by constantly schlepping them from city to city around the world.

JERRY SEINFELD tells Parade magazine how Scientology helped his stand-up comedy (though he's not a member).


JERRY HALL finally decided to spill the beans on life with ex-husband Mick Jagger - and his countless other women - in an autobiography.  Harper Collins reportedly paid a £1 million advance, but a publishing source says it is likely that Hall will make much more than that if sales are as huge as expected.

UMA THURMAN startled onlookers at the Swarovski Fashion Rocks event with an outfit which left little to the imagination.

SWISS UNREST:  The Financial Times reports:  Swiss politics on Sunday retained the capacity to surprise as reliable projections showed the ultraconservative Swiss People's party improved its already dominant position as the country's biggest political group.  Of course, this was no surprise to regular Pate visitors.

RENDITION:  Clinton-era NSC staffer Daniel Benjamin explodes Five Myths About Rendition as a tie-in to the opening of the Reese Witherspoon-Jake Gyllenhaal flick.

MIDEAST MYSTERY:  Israeli officials believed that a target their forces bombed inside Syria last month was a nuclear facility, because they had detailed photographs taken by a possible spy inside the complex, ABCNews has learned.

THE STANS:  Taliban fighters are facing overwhelming coalition firepower and abject rejection from Afghan citizens, according to Col. Thomas McGrath.  A strong majority of Afghans approve of the presence of NATO-led troops in their country and want them to remain to fight the Taliban and support reconstruction efforts, according to the latest poll, suggesting the second part is right.  Col. McGrath also believes that the Afghan armed forces should be ready to conduct large-scale operations without significant coalition assistance or planning by late spring of 2008.  But Afghanistan is "a classic glass half-empty, glass half-full story" says Peter Bergen, an Afghan specialist at the New America Foundation.  The Taliban takeover of the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, the increasing number of extremists from Europe travelling to Pakistan to train and plot attacks on the West, and the politcal instability of Pakistan suggest the military part of the equation is far from over.

IRAN:  British special forces have crossed into Iran several times in recent months as part of a secret border war against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Al-Quds special forces, defense sources disclosed.  Tehran warned on Saturday it would fire off 11K rockets at enemy bases within the space of a minute if the US launched military action against the Islamic republic.  Iran's top nuclear negotiator resigned, a move seen as a victory for hardline Pres. Ahmadinejad that could bring about an even tougher stance in ongoing talks.  Folks are debating cutting versus continuing financial support aimed at promoting democracy inside the theocracy.

IRAQ:  Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Crocker plan shifting the US military effort to focus more on countering Shiite militias, as the relative influence of Sunni insurgent groups such as AQI has diminished drastically because of ongoing US operations.  Multinational Forces Iraq killed 49 Special Groups operatives during a major raid in Baghdad's Sadr City.  Coalition and Iraqi forces have been clashing with the Mahdi Army in the southern city of Diwaniyah.  Iraq complained to a meeting of senior security officials from neighboring states on Saturday that foreign fighters were continuing to infiltrate the country.  Senior security officials from Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt agreed on Sunday to exchange more intelligence in a bid to help quell the insurgency.  The headquarters of Iraq's Islamic Party (led by Vice President Tareq Al-Hashemi) was raided and inspected for four hours on Saturday by US forces.  The building of a local newspaper and a mouthpiece of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's movement in eastern Baghdad was set on fire by unknown perpetrators early Saturday morning.  Efforts by US-led reconstruction teams generally have failed to show significant progress, though there are bright spots in the effort to put together a functioning nation, according to the latest report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

SOCKS the CAT, after years of loyal service at the White House, was dumped on Betty Currie, Bill Clinton's personal secretary, as though the feline was Monica Lewinsky.  I'll skip the obvious punchline in favor of the topical LOL Sockz.

PETNAPPING:  A kidnapped German Shepherd has been returned to its elderly owners in Bogota, Columbia, days after a police sting operation thwarted payment of a 350K ransom.  Police in England are hunting a catnapper who has reportedly snatched seven of the pets from a street because they kill birds and use gardens as a toilet.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A kamikaze squirrel fell from the sky and detonated a Bayonne woman's car Wednesday, police said.

BEAVER HUNTER is astonished by the size of his catch - one weighing a whopping 93 pounds, the second at a hefty 60 pounds.  Nice!

WILD MACAQUES attacked a New Delhi deputy mayor, who fell to his death.

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