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Badfinger, The Go! Team, the South and our next President   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 10, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

4907 Reads

Exclusive Elizabethtown Review, Feist, JAMC and Robot Fish   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, October 07, 2005 - 08:45 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

... IN ELIZABETHTOWN, which opened the 41st Chicago International Film Festival. The movie started late, after Roger Ebert interviewed Susan Sarandon and director Cameron Crowe, so this will be a brief, general, spoiler-free review. If you want a more trad review, check Michael Wilmington.

Elizabethtown is very much a Cameron Crowe movie in the mold of Say Anything or Almost Famous, though I don't think it's as good as either. I reserve the right to revise that opinion, as the stately Chicago Theater is not well-wired for movie sound and sound -- particularly music -- is as important to this movie in its way as it was in a different way to Almost Famous. The structure of the film seems a bit flawed, as I think Crowe is trying to tell two similarly themed stories and did not get them to quite fit together, and was unable to intertwine separate stories as he did with Singles. I think this contributes to the sense that the film runs long, even though he just trimmed about 12 minutes out of it in the past week or so (and that sense may have been amplified by the late start tonght).

Orlando Bloom does a creditable job with a new type of role for him (though Crowe seems to have directed him to do a bit of John Cusack-esque staring in wonder in a way that was too obvious for my taste). Kirsten Dunst was surprisingly good, in the sense that when I am not watching a movie she's in, I can explain why I don't care for her or even find her attractive, but I am always surprised by the degree to which I've liked her in a few things as I'm watching them. The rest of the cast is fine, though they aren't given much to do (with the exception of Sarandon, who gets a couple of funny moments and o­ne really good scene). And Crowe delivers plenty of moments that are alternately funny and touching in the way that Crowe seems to have down when he doesn't slide into "You had me at hello." If Almost Famous is largely about Crowe's relationship with his mother, Elizabethtown may be largely about his relationship to his father. Note that I changed prepositions in that last sentence and you may understand the ways in which I think Crowe muddles a bit with this o­ne by comparison. Indeed, there's a scene where Bloom's character discusses how well he knows his father that would explain this also.

This brief blurb probably comes off as more negative than I would intend it to sound if I had more time to write. I enjoyed Elizabethtown and have every intention of visiting again. Indeed, anyone who knows my fondness for making mix CDs, particularly for road trips, will emerge from this movie knowing that this is my kind of movie. Next Friday, everyone can find out if it's their kind of movie; some of you may like it even more than I did.

MY MORNING JACKET tells Paste magazine that the sound of the band's new record and appearing in Elizabethtown is just the band doing its own thing. It seems that most critics are digging the Z album.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Having just linked to Metacritic, I would be remiss if I did not notice that BSS's self-titled sophomore album is also garnering wide acclaim.

LESLIE FEIST: The part-time BSS member tells the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix that she's content to slowly build a career: "Every o­nce in a while I'm talking to my grandma about (touring) and she says, 'Aren't you tired?' and I say, 'C'mon, were you tired during the Depression?'"

BRIAN WILSON: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution engages in some checkbook journalism by shelling out that hundred bucks for hurricane relief to get a call from the legendary songwriter. In fact, they did it four times. Brian managed to promote his upcoming Christmas album.

SELLING OUT is not so stigmatizing these days. However, in Paste magazine, Montreal's Wolf Parade declares it will not put a song o­n The O.C.

THE SECOND COMING? The Jesus and Mary Chain (who picked up where your precious Echo left off) acrimoniously split in 1998, but Jim and William Reid are contributing to the sides of a new split single. Younger sister Linda Reid is also involved.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer's band Babyshambles axed from an Icelandic music festival in the wake of the scandals swirling around him and sometimes galpal Moss. Meanwhile, the shamed supermodel will be arrested o­n suspicion of supplying cocaine when she returns to Britain, according to London's ever-reliable Sun.

NATALIE MERCHANT lists her "Music You Should Hear" at Amazon, featuring distinctive vocalists from Tom Waits to Mahalia Jackson.

MIXTAPES: Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. Stereogum points you to very big, intentional and funny don'ts.

HALLOWEEN MIX: There's a horror compilation killing music at WFMU's coincidentally-named Beware of the Blog.

THE NEW THEMATIC is a blog killing offbeat music from the 1960's.

ERIC CLAPTON will play until he dies, because he lives large. That's very bluesy.

VAN HALEN might be the next band to recruit a new singer through a reality TV show, according to the gossip e-mailer popbitch.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS: I just stumbled across a review of last week's concert in Chicago, where she tossed the set list to play a Louisiana-themed show.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Is it just me, or was the New York Post implying something about Holmes' pregnancy? Will the pregnancy affect their plans for a November wedding? I can think of two reasons why the date won't move. BTW, when Holmes signed up with Cruise, do you think she knew that Scientology are not o­nly against drugs, but also insist o­n "silent birth" because they believe it's traumatic for babies to hear their mothers groan or cry? Happy Labor Day, Katie!

MADONNA: No Rock and Roll Fun thinks Madge doesn't know her audience. She's trying to interest Oprah in Kabbalah. And it turns out that hubby Guy Ritchie isn't a fan of her work.

BRITNEY SPEARS is reportedly upset that her husband Cletus isn't any more interested in fatherhood than he was when he walked out o­n the pregnant Shar Jackson to hook up with the pop tart.

RENEE ZELLWEGER personally stopped by the New York Post to set the record straight about her friendship with Damien Rice and her love of the Red Sox. Other celebs might learn something from her direct approach.

HARRY POTTER is probably not gay. NTTAWWT.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL had no inhibitions about acting out the gay sex scenes in forthcoming movie Brokeback Mountain: "As soon as I read the script I wanted to do it." I have no doubt of that.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, Sean Penn, Kirsten Dunst and Britney Spears are among those outed as bad tippers.

JESSICA ALBA: William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman made her cry. Just imagine what they'll do to her o­nce they find out Alba has outed them as her acting teachers.

SHIRLEY MacLAINE would have liked to work with Marlon Brando; they talk about it all the time.

ROSIE O'DONNELL has a Flickr account. I would recommend viewing it by turning your back to the screen, holding up a piece of cardboard with a pinhole poked into it and viewing the light coming from the pinhole o­n another piece of paper.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AS JOHNNY ROTTEN? Nnnnnnoooooooo!

WAYNE MANOR was reportedly gutted by fire, which would have been a case of life imitatating Batman Begins. Happily, later reports correct the record.

WATCHING OPRAH may be hazardous to your health, if any further evidence was necessary.

ALBERT BROOKS' Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World has been accepted in the Dubai Film Festival and will debut there in December.

GEORGE CLOONEY'S Good Night and Good Luck, about Edward R. Murrow's confrontation with Sen. Joe McCarthy, opens in limited release today and scores extremely well o­n the Tomatometer. However, at Slate, Jack Shafer has a well-sourced two-part article detailing how divorced from reality the movie is.

IRAQ: Michael Yon delivers another dispatch, primarily about the progress of the Iraqi police in Mosul, that is by turns illuminating, funny and heart-rending. Bill Roggio rounds up Operations River Gates and Iron Fist, as well as Operation Saratoga in north-central Iraq. And media outlets from the AP and Reuters to the BBC and Sky News seem to be using photos and videos staged by insurgents for propaganda purposes. Nice.

ESPIONAGE UPDATE: The New York Tiimes clarifies that the FBI agent accused of passing classified info to government officials in the Philippines, allegedly removed material from FBI computers; investigators have yet to determine whether material had been taken from the vice president's office.

"HONOR" KILLING: An Oxford student fell in love with a 19-year-old and made her pregnant, so her father, Chomir Ali, allegedly ordered her brother, Mohammed Mujibar Rahman, to kill the student, who was found with 46 stab wounds, mainly to the chest.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE OIL: Knight-Ridder notices the the enormous oil sands deposits in the north of Canada's remote Alberta province. Regular readers here already knew this.

NANOTECH: The book Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines is available for free o­nline.

ROBOT HUMMER GETS POLE in a government-sponsored race across the Mojave Desert that will pit 23 robots against o­ne another.

ROBOT FISH due to be unveiled at the London Aquarium, but you can see them now.

BEER COASTER signals bartender for refills.

ANONYMOUS BLOGGER wins a round in the Delaware Supreme Court, heightening protection for the right to speak anonymously.

SHARK NICOLE logs more than 12,000 miles swimming from Africa to Australia and back, the first proof of a link between the two continents' shark populations.

SUPER-KOALA habitat threatened down under, raising the question of why they don't use their super-powers to stop the threat.

FAKE DOG TESTICLES win the Ig Nobel Prize for medicine.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Helicopter! What, did you think I forgot?

3999 Reads

Bob Mould, Gang of Four, Condi Rice, and (of course) Gator vs. Snake   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

6539 Reads

Broken Social Scene, Silver Jews, Xclusive Panda Pic and Dogs as Live Shark Bait   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

4187 Reads

PAS/CAL, Apollo Sunshine, The Manolo and Singing Dolphin, Smoking Chimp   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

MICK JAGGER'S GIRLFRIEND has been nicknamed the "new Yoko Ono" for to get them to tidy up their appearance and live a healthier lifestyle o­n their world tour. Jerry Hall is enjoying a good gloat. To be fair, L'Wren Scott is more attractive than Yoko (though o­ne would think Jagger could do better).

MAC McCAUGHAN of Superchunk and Portastatic is interviewed in Free Williamsburg, with a free Portastatic download.

RAY DAVIES may have at last completed his first solo album since leaving the Kinks, and may ambark o­n his first major tour with a new band. Many of the songs are about his time in pre-Katrina New Orleans, but he has since tuned his attention to London.

THE STROKES: Stereogum is killing music again with another leaked track, "You Only Live Once" and a mashup of the prior leak, "Juicebox," with the "Peter Gunn Theme."

PAS/CAL is blogging the recording of their debut album. You should still be able to download "Summer Is Almost Here," even though it's almost gone.

APOLLO SUNSHINE has a Flaming Lips and Polyphonic Spree sorta vibe happening. You can hear the band at its MySpace page.

THE WHITE STRIPES are set to be the first band to play The Daily Show in December. Also, the band's next video will be directed by Michel Gondry.

TOP 100 MOMENTS IN OPERA down under. That's for our resident opera buff.

BOB MOULD thinks the music scene has improved lately.

I <3 THE '80's: Noted producer Steve Lillywhite, who has worked with such acts as U2, Johnny Thunders, Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Psychedelic Furs, XTC and Eddie & the Hot Rods, has joined the executive ranks at Columbia Records as a talent scout.

PITCHFORK likes the new Franz Ferdinand, but realllly doesn't like the new Liz Phair, the review for which begins: "Now this is a terrible Liz Phair record."

HARVEY DANGER is releasing its new album for free o­n the Internet.

BONO and BOB GELDOF may be Nobel Prize nominees. U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and former Senator Sam Nunn are also thought to be frontrunners, though hardly anyone bought their album.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS WATCH: Tyler Durden has (or maybe had, by the tiime you read this) the video of Moss doing cocaine. It's from an Italian news show, which added some things that make it doubly weird. Her ex-boyfriend, Jefferson Hack, brought her three-year old daughter to visit her in rehab. He also is seeking sole custody of the girl, who could be Jude Law's baby.

RENEE ZELLWEGER already has a new boyfriend?

NICHOLAS CAGE now has a son named Kal-El, which should force other celebrities to stop the can-you-top-this-name game. Do you think Cage is still miffed that he did not get to play Superman in the '90's?

COURTNEY COX is in negotiations to appear o­n Desperate Housewives. The headline writes itself.

RALPH FINNES finds that Harry Potter is already changing his life.

JAMES BOND is blamed for seeming to champion unsafe sex by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The journal also criticizes Basic Instinct for promoting even more unsafe sex with psychotic, ice-pick wielding killers.

JESSICA ALBA, who is thinking about that I Dream of Jeannie movie (if they get the script right), has a great response to the casting couch: "Of course I've been asked. But from a really crass point of view, if I just want to make out with somebody, I don't really want to see him in the morning, much less every day during filming."

MOVIE TRAILERS REVISITED: That hilariously remixed trailer for The Shining linked here (and many other places) Friday rated a story in The New York Times. Though not mentioned in the story, the scary remixes of West Side Story and Titanic are pretty good, too.

BROADCAST NETWORKS may launch shows o­n demand o­n cable systems in the near future. Hey, it's working for World Wrestling Entertainment...

NIPSEY RUSSELL, dead of cancer at 82.

JON STEWART and The Daily Show are featured in London's Guardian.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie and Pitt are reportedly throwing a "family blessing" costing over a million bucks for the actress's two adopted children. Pitt is said to be designing a Buddhist-style temple for the event.

ELLE MACPHERSON is renouncing fur under pressure from PETA. BTW, I tried reallly hard to find a picture of Elle wearing fur, but after looking at over 700 pictures, I have concluded that she is almost always photographed wearing swimwear, saran wrap and duct tape, or often less. This is just o­ne of the small sacrifices I make for you, the Pate reader.

WALLACE AND GROMIT: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is currently rating 100 percent o­n the Tomatometer.

TELETUBBIES COCAINE BUST: No, really.

DASHTON wedding photos and interview reportedly sold to OK! magazine for three million bucks.

MELISSA ETHERIDGE says she's working o­n a sitcom at ABC about what her life might have been like had she stayed in Kansas and became a teacher and been gay. The show's working title is Ellen.

WALTER CRONKITE thinks Americans lack the education to vote properly. He also fears the blogosphere, still in its "infancy," could threaten the standing of mainstream media as a news source for consumers already confused by cable's "opinion journalism." Walter obviously longs for the good old days, when he could get the story of the Tet Offensive completely backward without fear of some milblogger pointing it out.

GEORGE CLOONEY wants to restore honor to the term "liberal:" "I'm going to keep saying 'liberal' as loud as I can and as often as I can." Less than a month ago, Clooney was complaining that he couldn't voice his views without being criticized. And, like Cronkite, complaining about the fact that people are even able to widely publish opinions that disagree with theirs. Which, imho, is not particularly liberal. Maybe he's just a little cranky because his girlfriend's parents don't approve of him.

IRAQ: Human Rights Watch, which often has criticized alleged abuses by U.S. forces in Iraq, has figured out that insurgents are committing war crimes by targeting civilians in mass killings, abductions and beheadings. "People we have spoken with in the Middle East are increasingly repulsed by the behavior of insurgent groups in Iraq, even if they support a withdrawal of U.S. troops," said Sara Leah Whitson, the region's HRW director. Bill Roggio has posts o­n day three of Operation Iron Fist. The Belmont Club explains at least o­ne reason why the cities involved are important to the insurgents.

SAUDI ARABIA: Of the estimated 2.2 million Internet users in the Kingdom, 92.5 percent are trying to access a website that, for o­ne reason or another, has been blocked.

IRAN: The theocracy's airwaves have been buzzing with two new tunes apparently designed to rally public support for the regime's increasingly tense stand-off with the West over its nuclear ambitions.

A CLOWN in the operating room may relax anxious children who are about to undergo surgery, according to Italian researchers. That has to be a study of Italian hospitals, right? In this country, what kid in his right mind wants to be put under in the presence of a clown?

DARK CHOCOLATE may offer mild relief for diarrhea, in case you're looking for another excuse.

HARRIET MIERS, White House counsel, was nominated to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor o­n the Supreme Court. The Wall Street Journal rounded up the discussion among o­nline commentators of all stripes. The piece notes that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had nice things to say about her. o­n C-SPAN, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) indicated that Miers was o­n the list of acceptable candidates the Democrats gave to President Bush. And Miers already has a comedy blog.

THE HOTLINE, a pricey must-read for Washington DC heavyweights, has started a free blog. The Miers nomination was Topic A there Monday.

DeLAY UPDATE: Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle and his assistants rushed Monday to fix problems with an indictment against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay by charging him with conspiracy and money laundering. The hasty presentation of DeLay's case to a grand jury sitting for its first day of service was sparked after DeLay's lawyers filed a brief seeking dismissal of the charge of conspiracy to violate Texas election laws because the conspiracy laws did not apply to the state election code during the 2002 election. The new indictment is o­nline at FindLaw. And National Review's Byron York has seen a copy of the documentary-in-progress of the case.

DIGITAL MUSIC DOWNLOADS: The British music industry cheered a tripling of digital music sales in the first half of 2005 that offset persistent declines in overall sales. However, Britain's band managers are complaining about royalty rates paid by services like iTunes.

SHOE-BLOGGING: The Manolo, he makes six figures blogging about the shoes.

BASEBALL: As the palyoffs begin, I note that not every woman is a fan of the sport. Perhaps they would be interested in a history of the baseball uniform.

THE BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS was yesterday. Missed it by thatmuch.

DOLPHINS have been taught to sing the theme from Batman.

WALKING THE DOG is better than most diets.

CAT saved when driver swerved; skateboarder not so lucky.

CHIMP quits smoking after 16 years.

NANNY GOAT nurses an orphaned foal.

4529 Reads

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