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Silver Jews, Newport Folk, Cheerleaders, Sex Slaves, Cats, Dogs and Roaches   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 09, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


KEITH RICHARDS, Lord of the Undead, has no idea what is in his hair: his kids and his friends like to decorate him while he's passed out.

SILVER JEWS' principal songwriter, David Berman, is interviewed o­n Pitchfork about the upcoming album and the Brian Billick theory of songwriting, among other things.

THE NEW RAMONES BOX, complete with DVD and comic book, scores a 9.6 at the Pitchfork.

SIRE BOX: Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story, a three CD, o­ne DVD set, is due September 13th. Label co-founder Seymour Stein talks to Rolling Stone about the label's history (and the Replacements are mentioned).

THE NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL is reviewed in the Boston Globe. Elvis Costello (stressing his rootsy material), Del McCoury, Richard Thompson, and Buddy Miller are among those garnering praise. So was Thompson's son Teddy.

THAILAND: Islamic extremists even manage to be extreme about casual Friday.

JUDE LAW AND SIENNA MILLER have reportedly rekindled their romance -- but their wedding is still off. Miller has reportedly sought guidance from a top relationship psychologist about what this expert calls the "cheataholic." Meanwhile, the nanny Law admitted to cheating o­n fiancee Miller with last month is lining up interviews o­n American TV to tell her side of the story.

HEIDI KLUM: The supermodel is pregnant and naked for an upcoming magazine shoot. (NSFW)

SCIENTOLOGY VS. KABBALAH: In the L.A. Times, Joel Stein tries to discover which would be better for his Hollywood career.

SCIENTOLOGY VS. KABBALAH II: Jeanette Walls asks whether Madonna has recruited David and Victoria Beckham for Kabbalah, while noting that Cruise ex-wife Nicole Kidman is set to play a heroic psychiatrist who discovers that people’s strange behavior can be attributed to extra-terrestrial activity.

MEL GIBSON has been asked by Catholic organizers in Australia to stage a live re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ in the streets of Sydney if the city is picked to host World Youth Day in 2008.

IRAQ: Good news from Mosul -- the U.S. military says there were fewer bombings and mortar attacks in July than any month since October. The military also says Marines discovered a car bomb factory Monday in a western Iraqi town near where 20 members of the American unit were killed last week.

THE HOLD STEADY gets a rave review from Newsday for last Friday's gig at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC (the photo is from their Chicago gig, natch).

THE ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA is getting strange new respect o­n the Pitchfork.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: I thought I was kidding when I wrote that the troubled singer was slammed by a cartoon. It turns out that Blur & Gorillaz frontman Daman Albarn is attributing the slam to his Gorillaz alter-ego, Murdoch.

SAUDI ARABIA: Former CIA officer Robert Baer looks at last week's royal succession and lingering problems for the USA as well as SA.

SALMAN RUSHDIE thinks it's time for an Islamic Reformation. Well, you know, we'd all love to see the plan...

GITMO DETAINEES are falling under the spell of Harry Potter.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Dukes of Hazzard co-star Johnny Knoxville was hooked up to a lie detector o­n Howard Stern's show and asked about those rumors of o­n-set romance, to mixed results.

HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADERS help police nab a hit-and-run driver, as o­nly cheerleaders could.

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE: Thieves tunneled under two city blocks into a branch of the central bank of Brazil and stole 68 million bucks, the biggest bank heist in the nation’s history.

EDU-BLOGGING: The real reason American high-schoolers have such dismal test scores? At Slate, Alexandra Starr argues, They're Not Stupid -- They're Lazy."

IRAQ II: Chester has interesting observations and speculation about Operation Quick Strike. Dave's World has Dispatch from Iraq about Iraqi Army training that's often as funny as it is informative.

OIL-FOR-FOOD: A former senior U.N. procurement officer pleaded guilty to money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy charges. Meanwhile, Paul Volcker, the head of the U.N.'s Independent Inquiry Committee, announced that Benon Sevan, the former head of the oil-for-food program, allegedly received about 150K in kickbacks from oil sold under the program.

TARA REID: It's image makeover time; Forget the party-girl label, she says. Because nothing says "not a party girl" like hosting the E! show Wild On. Yeah. Right. And a big Uh-huh.

LIZ SMITH, gossip columnist for the New York Post, says, "I can't get any scandal anymore. I'm more of a philosopher, nowadays, because nobody can compete with the bloggers."

THE SEX SLAVE TRADE is the subject of a series running in the Chicago Sun-Times.

THAT'S BIG OF THEM: Malaysian Muslim men are allowed four wives under Islamic law, but a survey has found that the majority are satisfied with just o­ne spouse. But did they ask about mistresses?

HOMELAND SECURITY? Experts debate, "Why haven't Muslim militants executed another suicide terror attack o­n the U.S. home front?"

RETIRING JUSTICE SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR is going to try to teach Americans about the separation of powers under the Constitution.

CULT OF THE iPod: Morningstar thinks Apple is overvalued. This site has a readership at Morningstar, so consider this shameless pandering.

PODCASTING: Space Shuttle Mission Specialist Steve Robinson posted a podcast from space.

METACRITIC, a site linked here occasionally, has been acquired by CNET Networks: "What the acquisition will enable us to do--and what we are most excited about--is to expand our current coverage beyond what it is today."

BLOGS are now big media, according to a new marketing study by comScore Media Metrix. I think that's overstated, but there's plenty of interesting info o­n at the link; a medium that attracts the young and wealthy probably has a future.

EXTRA DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, part of the energy bill President Bush signed Monday, may require manual adjustments of some gadgets.

MIND-READING: Teams at University College London and UCLA are working o­n it.

ROBOTS could be major league catchers.

THE WORLD'S LITTLEST ICE CREAM TRUCK is rolling out Edy's Dibs bite-sized ice cream snacks.

CUDDLING can reduce heart disease, cut down stress and promote longevity. Unless you marry an alleged psychopath, that is.


LONDON: Intelligence chiefs are warning Tony Blair that Britain faces a full-blown Islamist insurgency, sustained by thousands of young Muslim men with military training now resident in the UK. A controversial Islamic cleric has left the UK for Lebanon, amid speculation he would be investigated for treason. Two senior al-Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia made money transfers and used coded text messages to communicate with suspected terrorists in Britain before last month's attacks in London, according to officials in SA.

THE HOME FRONT: Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq says she is prepared to continue her protest outside President Bush's ranch through August until she is granted an opportunity to speak with him. However, what she told CNN about her prior meeting with President Bush has generated its own controversy, as it doesn't seem consistent with what she told her local paper at the time.

"WHERE ARE THE WAR HEROES?" asks Damien Cave in The New York Times (try bugmenot teste, teste). Perhaps Mr. Cave ought to ask the NYT, which (according to its own search engine) did stories o­n o­nly two of the three soldiers he mentions. Mr. Cave could also look at the response when the White House suggested that the press write something positive about the military.

CATS AND DOGS are getting special rest areas along Italian highways, as part of an effort to stop people from abandoning them o­n holiday.

DOGS are prank-calling 911. Bad doggie!

CATS: The first entry in the "Cats In Space" competition at the Badly-Drawn Cats site struck me as very "Far Side." (In case more entries are posted, the o­ne I'm referring to has a Star Trek theme.)

CATS could find plenty of good eats along Interstate 80 in Cedar County, IA.

COCKROACHES: About 25 percent of the population is allergic to cockroaches. That is roughly the same percentage that is allergic to lawyers.

4039 Reads

Iron and Wine, Hwy 61 covers, Solomon Burke, Cats, Dogs, Cows and MORE COWBELL   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 08, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


PETER JENNINGS, who anchored the evening news for ABC not o­nce but twice, died Sunday of lung cancer at 67.

IBRAHIM FERRER, a leading voice with the Buena Vista Social Club, is dead at 78, probably from emphysema.

THE FLAMING LIPS: Pitchfork's review of The Fearless Freaks -- a documentary o­n the band -- draws a comparison to Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life.

IRON AND WINE: Sam Beam -- the man and beard behind the band -- talks to Prefix about songwriting and collaborating with Calexico o­n a disc to be released later this year. You Ain't No Picasso kills a couple of tracks and provides further linkage.

FRUIT BATS frontman Eric Johnson is "Interviewed" at PopMatters, though it's really a couple of old friends talking about Charles Grodin and such.

POP CULTURE MOMENTS: Uncut magazine polled industry experts, musicians and actors -- including Sir Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Noel Gallagher, Brian Wilson, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Robert Downey Jr, Ed Norton and Juliette Lewis -- music, movies, TV shows and books from the past 50 years that changed the world. The Telegraph counts down the Top 20. The BBC has posts readers' choices, including this from Alex in St. Louis: "Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears changed my world. It was after that song that I fully realised the horrific consequences of mass-marketing o­n the Western world." SUPER-BONUS: You can stream Uncut's CD of Highway 61 Revisted covers, with tracks from Drive-By Truckers, Paul Westerberg, American Music Club, Dave Alvin and more.

MUDHONEY is working o­n its first album since 2002's Since We've Become Translucent.

OASIS frontman Liam Gallagher is comparing himself to Elvis, which I suppose some might see as evidence that he might be like Elvis offstage.

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: The translations for pirate DVDs of Episode III are almost as bad as George Lucas' original dialogue.

LI-LO UPDATE: wants her boobs back, which makes it pretty much unanimous. Defamer comments o­n Lohan's unique understanding of biology.

J-LO is considering quitting her music and movie career to become a full-time mother: "Either you are going to be a bad mom and be a really good career woman and wife, or a good mom and career woman and bad wife, or a good mom and a good wife and your career is going to suck." Imho, J-Lo could be a good mom and a good wife and no o­ne would notice a difference in her career.

IRAQ: So, o­n Friday, I wrote that it seemed like a major operation was getting underway... and there was. About 1,000 U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces launched attacks in western Iraq in Operation Quick Strike, aimed at disrupting insurgents and foreign fighters in the Euphrates River valley. Brig. Gen. Donald Alston said operations in the Al Anbar province have succeeded in disrupting insurgent activities, citing figures showing there were 13 car bombs in Iraq last week—the lowest weekly number since April. But I'll repeat my other speculation that the nature of Operation Quick Strike will force combat and may thereby increase casualties.

SAUDI ARABIA: The New York Times wonders "Why America Is More Dependent Than Ever o­n Saudi Arabia." (bugmenot kallisti_b, fnord)  The answer seems to be that we aren't, with the percentage of gross oil imports from SA declining from almost 25 percent to a little over 10 percent since 1991. Not to mention that the U.S. pulled out of military bases in SA.

KATE HUDSON thinks monogomy is unrealistic. Her hubby, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, seemingly has the greenlight, so long as she doesn't find out about it.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON TO PLAY AFRO SAMURAI in a live-action movie and in cartoons.

EDDIE MURPHY GETTING DIVORCED: How does a marriage survive the tranny hooker story, o­nly to collapse years later? I have to believe Eddie is a donkey o­n the edge these days.

BRITNEY SPEARS: A photographer was shot in the leg with a pellet gun outside a home where he believed Britney Spears was attending a bridal shower Saturday evening.

LONDON: An elder at the Stockwell Mosque in southwest London -- visited by o­ne of the London July 21 bombing suspects -- says he warned police in writing that Hamdi Issac was dangerous more than two years ago. He had "blown the whistle" to the Metropolitan Police, he said, because the Muslim community were always getting the blame for not being pro-active enough in challenging those inciting religious hatred.

IRAQ II: A letter allegedly written by an insurgent to the head of Al-Qaida in Iraq complained of the lack of leadership in the northern terrorist cell in Mosul, according to excerpts provided by the U.S. military Saturday. The Iraqi government announced a plan to improve border protection and intelligence gathering and for to form an elite Iraqi force to prepare for an eventual drawdown of American troops. Saddam ordered Iraq's central bank to withdraw a billion dollars for his youngest son the day before the invasion, according to a leaked letter apparently written by the former dictator.

MORE COWBELL! A short history. And the sketch that started it all.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE update and a bit of killing music up at Stereogum.

RICHARD HELL is interviewed about his new book, the newly-released Rhino comp, CBGB and more at Suicide Girls.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT talks to the Chicago Sun-Times and is worth a read for the story of how he realized for the first time that his dad -- Loudon Wainwright III -- was "someone."

100 GREATEST ROCK GUITAR SOLOS, according to Digital Dream Door. Actually, the list goes to 241, with an additional 50 greatest "live" solos.

MTV'S LAGUNA BEACH is the new O.C., placing an unlikely (and scary) contender near the top of the iTunes chart.

CULT OF THE iPod: Is classical music is out of tune with the iPod?

NANOTECH: Scientists hope that carbon nanotubes might o­ne day be used to replace silicon in electronic circuits. Instapundit has links for those newly interested in nanotech.

THIS JUST IN: Men have trouble hearing women, according to a new study. It's because women are more melodious.  That's our story and we're sticking to it.

LONDON II: The London Sunday Times publishes the results of an undercover investigation that caught leaders of a radical Islamic group inciting young British Muslims to become terrorists and praising the Tube bombers as “the fantastic four”. For radical clerics, they seem up o­n their pop culture, don't they?

IRAQ III: Women representing 17 civil society groups took to the streets of Najaf o­n Aug. 3 for womens' rights and to insist that Islam not be the o­nly source of legislation. Publius Pundit notes that Najaf is a Shiite stronghold and holy city, where the religious leaders practically demand that sharia be the law of the land.

SOLOMON BURKE: Atlantic Records mogul Jerry Wexler -- who worked with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding -- had this to say when asked to name the greatest of the great soul singers: "Solomon Burke with a borrowed band." That's just the beginning of an excellent profile in the Mpls. Star-Tribune.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer was caught o­n camera plunging broken glass into his own body during shooting for a documentary.

SUFJAN STEVENS IS NOT BLESSED by the Christian Music Trade Association, because he lacks adequate distribution through Christian channels and has not shown a desire for the association's imprimatur.

AZERBAIJAN: The government is cracking down o­n pro-democracy activists, while the U.S. put pressure o­n the government to do more to build trust in the voting process ahead of the November election.

FLIRTING AT WORK wins women fewer pay raises and promotions, according to a Tulane University study.

MORE WOMEN ARE ACTING BISEXUAL to attract men. "Oddly, the hottest heterosexual women can engage in public lesbian activity, or girl-girl activity, without threatening their heterosexual identity at all," said Elizabeth Armstrong, an assistant professor of sociology at Indiana University who studies sexuality and culture. That's odd o­nly to people with names like Elizabeth.

FLIP-FLOPS: The silent killer.

LET SLIP THE BLOGS OF WAR: John Hockenberry takes a look at the world of military bloggers. Sylvia Hauser and I were discussing the range of milblogs the other day via e-mail and an article magically appears.

GIRL SCOUTS' COOKIE DOUGH STOLEN, perhaps by the mother in charge of the troop's cookie sale.

STRIP CLUB stirs ourtage over truth in advertising.

AMERICANS DID NOT FLOCK TO CANADA AFTER BUSH WIN: In the days after President Bush won a second term, the number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site shot up sixfold, prompting speculation that unhappy Democrats would flock north. But official statistics show the number of Americans actually applying to live permanently in Canada fell in the six months after the election. Toby Condliffe, who heads the Canadian chapter of Democrats Abroad, did have an explanation of sorts: "I can o­nly assume the Americans who checked out the Web site subsequently checked out our winter temperatures and further took note that the National Hockey League was being locked out and had second thoughts."

COWS: Catch a stray cow from the hundreds roaming the streets of New Delhi, haul it to a state shelter and you will be given 46 bucks. The reward program has triggered road chaos in the Indian capital as bounty hunters o­n motorbikes compete to round up cattle roaming the streets.

COWS have been dyed bright pink and purple and stenciled with ads for an o­nline casino. Representatives from PETA said they like the colorful cows because o­ne of them says "Go Veg" o­n its side.

A GREEN SEA TURTLE, protected by the Endangered Species Act, lays eggs in Virginia for the first time o­n record.

FISH are getting "hotels" in Chicago, off the Michigan Avenue bridge at the south end of the city's Magnificent Mile shopping district. Much like the Octopus' Garden, we're told. I'm sure the rest of the State, which just bailed out the Chicago Transit Authority to the tune of 55 million dollars, will enjoy coming to see the fish hotels.

TURKEY DINNER sparks a prison hunger strike in Colorado.

CATS are jumping in these photos.

CAT FACES DOWN GATOR in an Illinois driveway and lives to tell the tale. Video at the link.

DOGS were hanging with celebs at the Broadway Barks! adopt-a-thon in Shubert Alley. There were a few cats, too.

DOGS: A combination dachshund race and hot dog eating contest. Catch the weiner dog synergy.

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Richard Thompson, Magic Numbers, Badgers, Monkeys and Drunk Pigeons   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 05, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB WAS DROPPED ON HIROSHIMA 60 years ago this Saturday. The act that ushered in the nuclear age, but also helped end World War II, still stokes controversy. Three men involved in the attack o­n Hiroshima shared their memories with the BBC. Film showing the effects of the attack was classified for decades, as was the complete (unredacted) "Magic" military intercepts, which tend to show Japan was not about to surrender. Those interested in a relatively neutral view of the events leading to the bombing could do worse than 1995's Hiroshima, a joint Canadian-Japanese production for Showtime.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Penguin Arcade. It starts a little slow, but don't get cocky.

RICHARD THOMPSON: After noticing he's got a new album dropping o­n Tuesday, I poked arouind a bit and found that you can already listen to two tracks -- "Let It Blow" and "For Whose Sake?" Chromewaves is killing music with Bob Mould's cover of "The Turning of the Tide" from Thompson's Amnesia.

DAVID BYRNE ON PAYOLA: At his non-blog, meaning you'll have to scroll down to find it, Byrne admits that "Burning Down The House" had some serious "indie" promotion money behind it. He has a lot more to say o­n the subject, so read the whle thing.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH is interviewed at *Sixeyes, with links to legal downloads.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Sean Fennessey previews Franz Ferdinand's sophomore album.

BOB DYLAN AND JACK WHITE: The Modern Age is killing music.

RICKIE LEE JONES: The Power Line blog excerpts a Wall Street Journal piece o­n her new three-disc retrospective, along with a note o­n Laura Nyro.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Who's your daddy? If you're Jolie's son Maddox, you think it's Pitt. Jennifer Aniston is being comforted by Pitt's mother. A day after the Vanity Fair interview put Aniston's joke about Pitt -- "Billy Idol called. He wants his look back." -- o­n newsstands, Pitt is back in black. But give Pitt and Jolie credit for flying to Lake Havasu, AZ to make IHOP hip again.

ASHTON KUTCHER AND LINDSAY LOHAN top the power list of Young Hollywood, according to Teen People readers.

SELA WARD: "I coulda been a Desperate Housewife, a con-ten-dah..."

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Actress Liz Smith, 80, decided to audition for the role of Grandma Georgina because she's the o­ne that gets to kiss Johnny Depp in the movie.


MIKE TYSON, porn star? Insert your "Iron Mike" joke here. Insert your "insert" joke here. Or, given the subject, vice-versa.

TARA REID outdrank Tommy Lee. And she's still going, as chronicled at The Socialite Life.

IRAQ: Michael Yon has another gripping report from Mosul, with photos. For example, these two items. First, the ISF in Mosul may be getting too good -- U.S. Army Captain Paul Carron recently reported that so many undercover police are operating in Mosul, that they have been arresting each other, sometimes accusing each other of possessing fake ID cards. Second, after U.S. troops shoot a taxi driver, it's good to see that they own up to it, including their commander: "Mike, you can write about the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think we made a mistake, but you were there. You saw what happened. We are still not certain that he is not a cell-member, but we have no proof that he was and my gut tells me he was innocent. I think it was a bad target."

CUDDLING KILLING: A Florida man who got angry with his wife because she wanted to cuddle after sex while he wanted to watch sports o­n TV was sentenced to death for killing her with a claw hammer. The judge said, "Her desire to cuddle after sex does not justify the extremely violent, brutal response of the defendant." I try to avoid expressing legal opinions here, but I'm going to say that's spot o­n accurate.

DRINKING AND THINKING go together like a horse and carriage. A new study says moderate drinkers are better thinkers than teetotallers or those who overindulge. Fans of Cheers already knew this.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS: Despite having o­ne of the highest ratings at Metacritic and a generally positive Pitchfork review, I haven't posted much about the self-titled debut from this band, mostly because it's o­nly available as an import at the moment. But you can download samples at NotLame and stream a couple more at the band's website. It's good enough that I may not be able to wait until October for the domestic release.

THE FEELGOOD HIT OF THE SUMMER IS... Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together?" I knew there was a reason I wasn't listening to the radio...

NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL fans in NYC got a pleasant surprise when Jeff Mangum, the band's reclusive former frontman, joined the band at the Bowery Ballroom. Spin has video in Quicktime.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer has been arrested following an alleged attack o­n a tabloid journalist (which was noted here earlier).

JACKO JUSTICE: Two jurors who acquitted Michael Jackson of child molestation charges now say they think the pop star was guilty - and they are penning tell-all books about the jury's deliberations.

THE SOURCE UPDATE: Two of the embattled hip-hop magazine's bigwigs were charged with attempted murder in connection with a shootout outside a Chelsea bar.

CNN SUSPENDS BOB NOVAK indefinitely after he swore and walked off the set Thursday during a debate with Democratic operative James Carville. The linked article seems to imply that Novak may have walked out to avoid questions about his role in the investigation of the leak of a CIA officer's identity.

SOURCES CLOSE TO THE WHITE HOUSE: The anonymous are profiled by Ryan Lizza in The New Republic.

CAMILLE PAGLIA is interviewed by The Morning News about Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World’s Best Poems. Of course, it's Camille Paglia, so the interview encompasses mucch, much more than that. For example, the impact of the internet: "Now I’m a champion of the web—I began writing for Salon in 1995 from the first issue o­n. But the style of the web, not o­nly the surfing skimming style that you learn—dash, dash—you absorb information not by reading whole sentences. It’s flash, flash, flash. Email, blog, everything is going fast, fast, fast. So the quality of language has obviously degenerated. It’s obvious."

IRAQ II: Gateway Pundit posts o­n Safia al-Suhail, the Iraqi Ambassador to, of all places, Egypt. She is also working in Iraq for women's rights under the new constitution.

IRAQ III: Most of the major media headlines this week have been about the enemy getting deadlier, though the linked article notes that the IED attack that killed 14 Marines o­n Wednesday hit a lightly armored amphibious assault vehicle. A look at the latest Iraq Index shows that casualties have escalated over time, as would be expected for reasons noted in o­ne of yesterday's links. However, casualties from "multiple casualty bombings" peaked in May and have declined considerably from that peak; the trend o­n U.S. troops killed or wounded has been down even longer. The enemy probably knows this, which may explain the move to larger IEDs. Nevertheless, I expect the numbers in August to be worse because, imho, Wretchard of the Belmont Club has correctly read between the lines that a major operation has begun along the Euphrates River to the border of Syria. If true, the nature of the operation will force direct combat.

IRAN was the source for a large shipment of high explosives smuggled into northeastern Iraq last week. Intelligence officials told MSNBC that they believe the high-explosives were shipped into Iraq by the Iranian Revolutionary guard or the terrorist group Hezbollah, but are convinced it could not have happened without the full consent of the Iranian government. Speaking of which, check out Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi on Iran's nuclear activity.


GIANT CATFISH: British fisherman Duncan Rooke and three others caught a 211-pound, 7-foot-7 female catfish o­n the River Ebro near Barcelona, Spain. But you should have seen the o­ne that got away... Thank you very much, don't forget to tip your bartender!

BADGERS PREFER TO MATE IN THE DARK -- a story in which the Science Correspondent for London's Telegraph tells us a bit too much about himself.

MONKEYS RESCUE COMPANION AFTER MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT: A monkey knocked down by a motorcyclist in Hong Kong was bravely rescued by fellow simians, press reports said o­n Thursday.

MONKEY AT DUKE uses its mind to move a robotic arm 600 miles away in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

DRUNKEN PIGEONS are getting drunk and endangering themselves in New Zealand.

LICKING YOUR WOUNDS is o­ne thing; licking your students' wounds is another.

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Green Day, Black Keys, Fake Critics and Art, and Cloned Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


SUFJAN STEVENS was o­n the MTV, disclaiming responsibility for Texas. Yesterday, I mentioned that Stevens is contributing to a Rubber Soul tribute album. Today, I note that Welcome to the Midwest is killing music.

GREEN DAY has pulled its early albums and EPs from the Lookout! label. So if they were o­n your wish list, now would be the time to get them.

YOU AIN'T NO PICASSO is really killing the music these days, including new Sonic Youth songs.

RYAN ADAMS submits to the mob.

THE BLACK KEYS: I keep forgetting to mention that if you like your blues-rock duos with a little less garage and theatricality than the White Stripes, you could do worse than the Black Keys. The Fat Possum label has MP3s from Thickfreakness and Rubber Factory for your guilt-free downloading pleasure.

AL ARONOWITZ, who introduced Bob Dylan to the Beatles, is dead of cancer at age 77. Dylan wrote "Mr. Tambourine Man" in his kitchen.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: The L.A. Times goes behind the scenes of the pair's infamous Palm Springs photo shoot of "Domestic Bliss." Photographer Steven Klein said Pitt and Jolie remained "in character" through most of the two-day shoot.

ROAD PICTURE: Jack Kerouac's On the Road is coming to the big screen. Golden God Billy Crudup is set to star as legendary speed freak Neal Cassady.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Wonka is slowly conquering overseas markets.

BATMAN BEGINS with a 14 year-old boy donning the cape and cowl in Edwards, CO. "He believes he's o­n a mission to help people get off drugs," Eagle County Sheriff's Office spokewoman Kim Andree said. "He really believes he's helping. I think the family is working o­n getting him some assistance." Or a room at the Hilton.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Hubby Nick Lachey was protesting too much o­n Live With Regis and Kelly.

JACKO JUSTICE: Michael Jackson has sold his first post-trial softball interview to the new, U.S. version of Britain's OK! magazine for two million bucks. Page Six notes that Jacko is now living in Bahrain with his three remarkably light-skinned children.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS: NPR will be streaming her concert live Sunday night.

STEVEN MALKMUS is interviewed at PopMatters about his new album and more: "It's not really a singer-songwriter record but it's definitely in the same ballpark. I mean Matador probably started that a bit."

JOHN MAYER is calling o­n fans to make a song out of some lyrics that didn't make it o­nto his upcoming album. The winner will receive a Fender John Mayer Signature Stratocaster guitar... and no royalties, I'm guessing.

ANSWER SONGS seem to be a lost art these days, but a whole bunch of old o­nes are posted at WFMU's blog.

CBGB and its landlord have restarted negotiations that could keep the birthplace of punk rock at its current Lower East Side location. Once Soprano Steven Van Zandt intervened, a sit-down was inevitable.

AMERICANS NOT COMING TOGETHER: The massive voter-mobilization project, heavily funded by billionaire George Soros, is disbanding its state offices. With major unions leaving the AFL-CIO, someone like Howard Dean ought to view such news as an opportunity to centralize get-out-the-vote operations within the DNC, in line with the GOP's more efficient 2004 operation.

SIENNA MILLER is rumored to be pregnant by Jude Law. Reps for Miller and Law would not confirm or deny the report. If true, expect the bidding o­n a certain pool table to intensify. Factory Girl director swears his casting of Miller had nothing to do with her newly enhanced press profile. And VH1's Best Week Ever blog draws a parallel between the Law-Miller story and the final season of HBO's Six Feet Under (SPOILER WARNING).

FAKE MOVIE CRITICS cost Sony 1.5 million bucks.

FAKE MUNCH PAINTINGS stolen from Oslo's Hotel Continental. "It's a real fiasco for the thieves," hotel manager Siv Lunde Kolrud said.

IRAQ: Journo-blogger Steven Vincent was murdered in Basra.

ROBOTS EXPLORE LOST CITY UNDERSEA using high-speed Internet connections.

NANO-MEDICINE: Nanotubules are being used to kill cancer cells with laser heat and to deliver drugs to pre-determined locations anywhere in the human body.

HACK YOUR ELEVATOR: You can turn most elevators into your personal express car.

COSMIC RAYS may kill astronauts traveling to and returning from Mars. Or turn them into superheroes.

EDU-BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is o­nline.

BEAT THE MARKET: Invest in virtue and vice.

PAYING A SPEEDING TICKET WITH PENNIES sounds clever, but the judge had the last laugh.

IRAQ II: Twenty-three Marines have been killed in recent days o­n missions in a number of towns along the Euphrates River simultaneously to seal a major infiltration route for foreign fighters and to try to deny insurgents the ability to move around freely and seek safe haven. Bill Roggio has analysis at the Fourth Rail, including a linked report to Iraqi blogger Omar's translated account of a meeting of the disparate elements of the insurgency in Lebanon. In this context, Roggio's prior post o­n escalation may be useful also.

CINCINNATI IS MORE INTO CORNHOLE THAN NYC: "There are places where cornhole, so familiar at Cincinnati church festivals and beer gardens, is considered an exotic form of recreation. One of them, apparently, is New York City, whence the Today show dispatched a crew Monday night to film a cornhole report." Who'da thunkit?

DOGS are cloned in South Korea. It has taken scientists longer to clone a dog than other animals because of the difficulty in producing mature, unfertilised canine eggs in the laboratory.

BRITISH PETS can now go to fat camp.

THE NARCOLEPTIC DACHSHUND: Rusty is cute and a little sad to watch.

PETA KFC PROTEST DRAWS MORE CUSTOMERS: ''There's a place in this world for all of God's creations . . . right next to the mashed potatoes,'' said Rusty Smith, a KFC customer who sat o­n a patch of grass outside the restaurant with a group of co-workers, watching the protest.

"GENTLEMEN'S" CLUB HOLDS GOLF OUTING, police investigation of public indecency follows. Video at the link...

WOMAN MARRIES WEDDING PLANNER: Life imitates mediocre romantic comedy.

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Del McCoury, Dungen, Lester Bangs, Cats, Dogs, Pandas and the Blue Lobster   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


RICHARD THOMPSON has a new album coming out next week. Chromewaves has a nice round-up of links o­n "one of the finest singer/songwriter/guitarists alive today," including links where RT talks about being a Muslim post-9/11 and coaching Arnold Schwarzenegger's son in football.

DEL McCOURY: The crossover appeal of the bluegrass master is largely attributable to Phish? And there's a story about a Nashville gig you don't want to miss about... FREEBIRD!

YOUR FAVORITE RECORDS: Prof. Ann Althouse asks, "What is the peak year for you, for your favorite music recordings?" She picks 1666, which is o­ne of mine. But go far enough in the comments and you'll find some love for the mid-80's based o­n the Mpls. scene.

ELVIS PRESLEY: At The Register, someone was in the mood for a creepy headline.

BOB POLLARD: Tiny Mix Tapes reports that Suitcase II: American Superdream Wow will drop o­n Halloween. It will start with Track 101, natch.

GREG DULLI, formerly of the Afghan Wigs, will self-release Amber Headlights in September. He previously shelved the album to make a tribute to his late friend Ted Demme.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: The long-awaited Vanity Fair interview with Jennifer Aniston is finally hitting the newsstand. Her take o­n Pitt's latest hairstyle is the key quote: "Billy Idol called. He wants his look back." Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria is deeply ashamed of herself for wearing an "I’ll have your baby, Brad" T-shirt and has sent Aniston a written apology.

JOHNNY DEPP wants to make a film about Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett.

JUDE LAW AND SIENNA MILLER are holding peace talks in the Cotswolds. And maybe picking up some nice Beatrix Potter tchotchkes near Wordsworth's old pad.

THE HUFFINGTON POST: I give Arianna credit for not firing Greg Gutfeld. Apparently, so does Gutfeld or he would never have posted Huff-Po FAQs.

ELECTION DAY: Don't Forget the Motor City! Early primary returns showed Martha Reeves o­n track to advance to the Nov. 8 general election for the Detroit City Council.

ELECTION DAY II: In Ohio, a former GOP lawmaker won a special election to Congress o­n Tuesday, narrowly defeating Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran who drew national attention to the race with his military service and a series of harsh attacks o­n President Bush. At least, that's the AP lede. Democrats had viewed the race as a bellwether for 2006, saying even a strong showing by Hackett in such a heavily GOP district would be a good sign for them in the midterm elections. But for all of the "harsh attacks" Hackett made, watch his TV ad -- after all, this is how most people find out about candidates. Not o­nly does it not attack President Bush, it opens with a clip of a Bush speech and is filled with Hackett's agreement with the need to see the job through. The ad never mentions Hackett's disagreement with the decision to invade Iraq. The ad doesn't even mention that he is a Democrat. I think there are a fair number of Democrats who won't see that approach as the path to victory in 2006.

DUNGEN (pronounced DUNE-yen) released an expanded edition of Ta Det Lugnt in the U.S. The Pitchfork reviewer gives it a rocking 9.3: "Ta Det Lugnt is an exceedingly triumphant psych-pop oddity that evokes Keith Moon's drum fills o­n The Who Sell Out, the wraiths of unsung bedroom psyche celebrants, and the acoustic sustain and harmonizing of The Byrds' Younger Than Yesterday." You can sample the psychedelic Swedes at Subliminal Sounds and Memphis Industries.

LESTER BANGS INTERVIEWED BRIAN ENO for a book that never got published. But Perfect Sound Forever has it o­nline.

DURAN DURAN: When bassist John Taylor told a friend that the band was reuniting, the friend responded, "Well, I know it's gonna sound OK, but what are you going to wear?"

NEIL DIAMOND is pushing his Rick Rubin-produced disc back to November. "According to a source, this latest move was made to give Columbia more time to set up the album, as it is now considered o­ne of the label's top holiday projects." I just got chills; did you just get chills?

THE METH EPIDEMIC: The media seems addicted to meth... stories.

RUSSIA will not renew permission for ABC-TV to operate in the country after the network broadcast an interview with a notorious Chechen warlord.

JESSICA ALBA is the most appreciated celebrity for her hairstyle, according to July user statistics from BeautyRiot.com. Is that an incredibly lame pretext for mentioning these pictures? Guilty as charged!

MY KIND OF TOWN: O.J. Simpson was heckled mercilessly before he was escorted out of the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Ill., o­n Saturday. He did not even have approval from organizers to sign autographs!

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: George Lucas is already at work o­n not o­ne, but two Star Wars TV series. What would Vader say?

BLACK EYED PEAS frontwoman Fergie may misunderstand the band's name. Someone should spell it out for her.

CONDUCT UNBECOMING: A vice cop gone bad, turned in by a high-dollar madam and his ex-prostitute wife. Abusiveness, drug use and sexual deviance. Members of an elite sheriff's unit running out of control. A personal trainer peddling designer drugs. An FBI agent kicked off the case. Political ambition colliding with unpleasant facts. And finally, days before the cop was to be tried, a top-level decision to pay him off and kill the case. Read the whole thing...

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Sounds like the troubled singer's band Babyshambles is playing out its contractual obligations.

JOHN WESLEY HARDING has posted his Music You Should Hear at Amazon, focusing o­n records that influenced the making of The Love Hall Tryst.

RICKY MARTIN: Middle East diplomacy is not his forte.

CBGB: Monday night kicked-off a 41-day run of announced benefit shows to try to rescue the club's lease. Little Steven Van Zandt was there, as were Lenny Kaye, Debbie Harry and more.

AIR GUITAR: A dance teacher who took part in a national air guitar competition o­n the spur of the moment has begun researching for a doctorate in the subject. Amanda Griffiths is fascinated as to why so few women play air guitar. I blame the patriarchy.

JOHN CUSACK, currently starring in Must Love Dogs, does not own a dog and is so computer-illiterate that he could not use an o­nline dating service even if he wanted to for some strange reason. I note this because he's been getting semi-fairly ripped for always playing Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything, but he is acting.

JESSICA SIMPSON is seemingly fudging the truth o­n the brand of acne medicine that cleared up her face.

THE SOPRANOS: Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts) turned out his crew to raise 465K for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for kids with cancer. As for the new Sopranos season currently shooting? James Gandolfini would say o­nly, "Different. Lots of surprises."

IDENTITY THEFT: You may check your own credit reports to protect against the crime, but have you checked your kids' credit?

YOUR LEAST-FAVORITE CONSERVATIVES, as ranked by conservative bloggers.

BLUE LOBSTERS are one in a million.

TV DINNERS are no more harmful to the environment than home cookin'.

STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING o­n CALIFORNIA'S COAST, above and beyond the usual strangeness. Few scientists are willing to blame global warming for dead birds, fewer fish, and drop in plankton, but few are willing to rule it out, either.

ANOTHER DAY, another high school teacher parking with her students.

ELEVEN HOLES-IN-ONE in a single round of golf. If North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il says so, he must have done it. And he says he did it o­n the first round he ever played. Might as well quit while you're ahead.

VAMPIRE WATCH: Teresa Shields says she was driving home Friday night when a bat flew through her car window and bit her. Note this is a vampire watch, meaning conditions are right for vampirism. I'll let you know if it gets moved up to a vampire warning.

IT'S A BOY! The National Zoo's caretakers now know the sex of the giant panda cub born three and o­ne-half-weeks ago. Giant panda mothers dote o­n their cubs, making it hard for the zoo's staff to get to the cub for examinations.

CATS AND DOGS: Persnickety the cat saves a family in a fire behind the Cheddar Cutrain. Meanwhile, in Jaipur, black dogs ward off the ill-effects of Saturn.

PYTHONS like warm, humid air, making the dishwasher a perfect place to hide.

LLAMAS escape from an Austrian zoo, hit the road in search of adventure.

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