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New Devendra Banhart, NPs, Rilo Kiley & Sharon Jones, Pet Bear   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


DEVENDRA BANHART has released a mini-documentary on the making of his upcoming album, set to the song "Seahorse," which has touches of Van Morrison-esque jazz in parts.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS:  The closing track to the upcoming Challengers LP, "Adventures in Solitude," made NPR's Song of the Day.

LILY ALLEN:  Her manager is rubbishing reports that Lily lost her US work visa.

RILO KILEY is streaming "Silver Lining," the second advance track from the upcoming Moneymaker LP.

LEE HAZLEWOOD:  ChartAttack lists "10 Reasons Why Lee Hazlewood Was Cool."

PATTI SMITH stopped by The Current for an interview and mini-set you can stream on demand from MPR.

JOHN VANDERSLICE has been continuitng his tour of blog love, dropping live videos of "Numbered Lithograph" at *Sixeyes, "Central Booking" at the Catbirdseat, and "Tablespoon of Codeine" at An Aquarium Drunkard.

ROBERT PLANT & ALISON KRAUSS are teaming up on a new album of duets covering various blues, R&B, country and folk songwriters.  The pair have enlisted the help of famed musician-producer T-Bone Burnett.

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS:  Brooklyn Vegan has the latest advance track from their upcoming album, "100 Days and 100 Nights."  This may be my fave advance track from them to date.

JACK WHITE and his wife, Karen Elson, are the parents of a baby boy, whom they gave the relatively non-crazy name of Henry lee White.

AMY WINEHOUSE was admitted to London's University College London Hospital for exhaustion, treated and released.  She won't go to rehab, no, no, no...

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Topless, drunk and lonely, the pop tart seduced a college student in a hotel pool hours after a disastrous photoshoot.  Does she have any other kind these days?  She needs Dean Wormer's advice to Kent Dorfman.  The ever-reliable Star magazine claims that in a fit of rage, Spears accused her mama of sleeping with Fed-Ex.  And friends believe her outrageous allegation is just more proof that Britney isn't well.  Fed-Ex has filed for primary physical custody of his two sons.  And I've heard that her alleged new manager has not taken the job.

MENA SUVARI, otoh, has gotten a buzz cut, but the former American Beauty has not "pulled a Britney" -- it's for an acting gig.

JOHNNY DEPP boards his two Rottweiler dogs at a posh pet resort at a cost of 48K annually.

KATE HUDSON was caught canoodling with former Punk'd hunk Dax Shepard.  Pic at the link.  She also talks about facing the dating scene as a single mom in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH is still dead, and someone is trying to sell video of her breast enlargement surgery.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN:  She is denying his claim that that she wants him to provide a sperm donation so she can have another child.  Sheen's most recent court filing states that he wants to select his own nanny, which sounds like a great idea...for a reality TV show.

HOLLYWOOD heavyweights are hedging their bets and donating to both leading Democratic presidential candidates -- except for Kelsey Grammer, who gave to Rudy Giuliani.  Angelina Jolie denies endorsing John Edwards.

JONNY QUEST may be revived as a potential feature film franchise by Warner Bros.

JENNA FISHER (a/k/a Pam) fractured four vertebrae in May, but she's almost 100 percent as she returns to The Office, where she now has a choice of six chairs.

JESSICA BIEL is dreading posing nude in her next movie, Powder Blue, because she is terrified of stripping off in front of the film crew.

MODERATE MUSLIMS SING:  A Pakistan-born British man and his two sons have produced an anti-extremist song and music video called "Yeh Hum Naheen," Urdu for "This is Not Us."  Written and performed by top talent in Pakistan, it is No. 1 on the charts there, with plans to release versions in English and Arabic.

VENEZUELA is called a "pariah state"... in Doonesbury.  I guess Garry Trudeau won't be taking a vacation with Sean Penn and Hugo Chavez anytime soon.

NAGASAKI:  I've blurbed the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima before, but picked Nagasaki this time as a reminder that it took more than one atom bomb -- and perhaps the entry of the USSR into the Pacific theater -- to get Imperial Japan to surrender.  Film showing the effects of the attacks 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.

IRAQ:  The Iraqi government is imposing a curfew on vehicles and motorcycles all over Baghdad in preparation for pilgrims to the Shiite shrine of Imam al-Kadhim next Thursday.  The US military is conducting "accelerated" operations to arm Sunni tribes in the areas surrounding Baghdad, enrolling them in special brigades that report directly to the US military, according to a report in al-Melaf.  The Wall Street Journal reports on the ins and outs of the US strategy to buy off the Sunni tribesmen in Anbar province.  The Marines, recognizing the difficulty of convincing the Sunni sheikhs that they have a place in the national gov't, are trying to spread economic, political and security power around evenly.  A Saddam-era dam holding back the Tigris river north of Mosul is in danger of collapsing, due to fundamental and irreversible flaws in the foundation.  Iraqi and US forces conducted a raid inside Sadr City on Wednesday, killing 30 members of the Iranian-backed Special Groups cells and capturing 12.  Bill Roggio notes that the raid is but the latest in a series of operations against the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups over the past several days.  Bill Ardolino, who has embedded in Iraq, reviews recent think-tank analysis of the "surge," noting in part that it would be an error to assume political progress can only be made at the level of the national gov't, esp. in light of upcoming provincial elections.

ABBY the BEAR is much like a dog to the Friday family -- just a little bigger and with wild animal instincts.

CUDDLY PANDA mauls a zookeeper in northwestern China, but his life was not in danger... which I'm sure made him happy to get those 100 stitches.  (Thanks, Debbie.)

FAT CATS:  More than a third of British cats are overweight and the number of cases of feline diabetes has risen five-fold in 30 years.

A PYGMY MARMOSET triggered a health scare by sneaking into the US by clinging to the ponytail of a passenger from Peru on a Spirit Airlines flight that landed at LaGuardia Airport Tuesday afternoon.

A CROCODILE fell from a twelfth-story apartment in the Russian nuclear research town of Sarov.  Frightened passers-by called the emergency services and rescuers managed to lasso the stunned animal and take it to a shelter for stray pets.

5563 Reads

Miss. Kings, White Stripes, Stax soul, Frisky Sharks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 08, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MY MORNING JACKET frontman Jim James performs "Rainbow Connection" on the Kidzapalooza stage last weekend.

VAN HALEN will announce a 50-date American reunion tour with original singer David Lee Roth during a news conference in Hollywood next week, sources said.

THE MISSISSIPPI KINGS tell ChartAttack that their sound "has been described as 'The Band meets Motown.'"  Based on the tracks they have streaming, I'd say that's in the neighborhood, which is a pretty good neighborhood.

LILY ALLEN has been denied a US work visa, after being searched and questioned by Los Angeles custom officers for five hours on Sunday night following her arrest and subsequent caution in London last March for assaulting a photographer.

THE WHITE STRIPES Heather Browne is streaming rarities and B-sides, including three songs from Jack White's stint in The Upholsterers.

ELVIS COSTELLO leads Difford & Tilbrook (of Squeeze), Nick Lowe and Gilson Lavis through Manfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo."

SONIC YOUTH frontman Thurston Moore tells Rolling Stone about the coolest person he ever met, and more.

STAX is BACK, and NPR is streaming three R&B classics with three from Soulive -- the first newly signed artist to release an album on the famed label, which is being relaunched this year in honor of its 50th anniversary.

LEE HAZLEWOOD:  the recently departed singer-songwriter-producer gets a tribute from Nancy Sinatra.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer escaped jail yet again, but was told by the court that he was banned from the streets of London.  Doherty was released on bail to give him a chance to stay clean with the condition he stays out of the capital for a month.

BRITNEY SPEARS crashed into a parked car while visiting a Hollywood pharmacy.  Twice.  And didn't leave a note.  Meanwhile, Allure magazine becomes the latest victim of the pop tart's erratic behavior.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was so spiritually changed by her time in jail that she attended a weekend bash at the Playboy Mansion in her lingerie.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Her ex-con Dad's lawyer has fired off a letter to her enabling Mom, complaining she's shacked up with a boozing boyfriend in the family's Long Island home along with Lindsay's three younger siblings.

MADONNA is denying a report that her adoption of one-year-old David Banda may crumble.

CHRIS ROCK is not the father of a 13-year-old son, according to the paternity testing.  And he doesn't even know Billie Jean.

PAM ANDERSON & DENISE RICHARDS have settled a lawsuit filed by two photogs who accused the ladies of beating the crap out of them last year in a profanity laced, computer tossing tirade in Canada.

SIENNA MILLER & P. DIDDY still insist they are just "good friends," though the two were spotted sneaking back to Miller's villa in the mountains outside San Antonio on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza.

ULTIMATE STAR PAYBACK:  Forbes magazine claculates that Matt Damon and Jennifer Aniston offer studios the best return on their investment.  Comedians generally disappoint -- except for Vince Vaughn.

GREEN FAKERS:  At Radar magazine, Jeff Bercovici explains why celebrity eco-hypocrisy matters.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise may have a cameo in the next Star Trek movie... and not playing Xenu.

AN IMPERIAL STORMTROOPER gets down to the sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Let's Groove Tonight" while on shore leave in Tokyo.  Don't ask, don't tell.

IRAN:  Moscow has warned Iran that it will not deliver fuel to a nearly completed Russian-built nuclear reactor unless Tehran lifts the veil of secrecy on suspicious past atomic activities, a European diplomat said Tuesday.

IRAQ:  After heavy losses, US troops in the 'triangle of death' say they're making progress, though slowly and subtly.  The US military says coalition forces have killed eight terrorists and detained 29 others, including a commander of the Mahdi Army.  The prime ministers of Iraq and Turkey have agreed to step up cooperation in the fight against Kurdish separatists in Northern Iraq.  A firefight with US military forces on June 23 near the town of Hawija in northern Iraq exposed the presence of Turkish al-Qaeda operatives and revealed their probable role in facilitating a flow of jihadis to AQI.  Attacks on US-led forces using EFPs said to be supplied by Iran reached a new high in July, according to the US military.  As British forces pull back in southern Iraq, Shiite militias in Basra have escalated a violent battle against each other for political supremacy and control over oil resources.  The notion of greed as a motive beyond sectarianism also turns up in Michael J. Totten's interview of an Iraqi interpreter, and even in Michael Yon's last dispatch.  AP Military Writer Robert Burns, on his 18th reporting trip to Iraq since the start of the war in 2003, writes that the current US strategy in Iraq is working, but cannot guarantee victory (the latter being news to no one).  Anthony H. Cordesman -- one of those who anticipated many of the post-invasion problems we see now -- remains pessimistic after returning from Iraq, but adds that "there is still a tenuous case for strategic patience in Iraq, and for timing reductions in US forces and aid to Iraqi progress rather than arbitrary dates and uncertain benchmarks."

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows a 10-point swing in the number of people who think the "surge" is making the situation better.  The New York Times, which was baffled by its last poll showing a drop in the number of people who said the war was going badly, can take comfort in the Gallup result -- though whether it will is another question entirely.

IRAQ and the MEDIA II:  The story of The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist" continues, with TNR trying to make something of the fact that Army spokesman Maj. Steven F. Lamb would not confirm an anonymously sourced allegation at the Weekly Standard's blog that PV-2 Scott Beauchamp had recanted his TNR articles in a sworn statement.  Apparently, TNR gets mad when someone else relies on anonymous sources.  The Weekly Standard is standing by its source and noting that TNR has not yet told its readers that that the Army has concluded its investigation and found Beauchamp's stories to be false, even though the public statement came from the very same Maj. Lamb.  And TNR editor Franklin Foer is now telling the WaPo's Howie Kurtz that "(b)efore going incommunicado, Beauchamp 'told us that he signed a statement that did not contradict his writings for the New Republic,'" -- something TNR apparently forgot to mention anywhere else.

PET HOARDING:  130 cats in a one small Moscow flat... and commenters cannot help but note how clean the apartment is.  Video of feeding time pandemoneum at the link.

A BLACK BEAR broke into Whitesnake singer David Coverdale's home in Lake Tahoe, NV last week.  And it wasn't the first time.  "I don't mind telling you I almost succumbed to an involuntary bowel movement," Coverdale told fans online.

WHIZZ the NEWFOUNDLAND has webbed paws and is being trained to rescue those in trouble at sea.  The huge three-year-old hound has the power to drag up to eight people from the water at once.  Pics at the link.

SHARKS are getting in the mood for love by listening to Salt 'n Pepa, Joe Cocker and more.

REX, a widoewed black-necked swan, otoh, is looking for love on Facebook.

3134 Reads

Lee Hazlewood, New Releases, Husker Du, Kangaroos Live Large   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 07, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


LEE HAZLEWOOD -- producer, songwriter, and sometimes duet partner of Nancy Sinatra -- died peacefully on Saturday, August 4, in Henderson, Nevada, after a three-year battle with terminal renal cancer. He was 78.  Pitchfork's obit embeds several videos, while inexplicably excluding their most famous Hazlewood-Sinatra collaboration, the 1967 single "Some Velvet Morning," which reached #26 on Billboard's pop chart but has had a lasting impact through scores of cover versions by a wide variety of artists.  Apparently, Pitchfork only knows one video site.  BTW, the family have requested that those wishing to honor Hazlewood should make donations to the Salvation Army.

NEW RELEASES:  The new Okkervil River album is really the big release this week, but Sebadoh, The Brunettes, Flight of the Conchords and more are streaming from Spinner.  Peter Case has his first album in years streaming at YepRoc.  And Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are streaming previews of the Americana-tinged sophomore LP at their site.

LOLLAPALOOZA is recapped at USA Today's Pop Candy blog and in the Chicago Sun-Times.  I already knew Iggy Pop still rocks it harder than people a third his age, but it seems that Roky Erickson has made ana amazing comeback from schizophrenia.  You can stream some Roky via the ol' HM.

BETTYE LaVETTE & DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS:  Stereogum has an advance track from LaVette's upcoming The Scene of the Crime LP, titled "You Don't Know Me At All."

JIMMY PAGE, RON WOOD & ANDY SUMMERS pick the top ten guitar tracks in music history.  As you might guess, there is a conflict of interest... or two.

THE PIPETTES back Le Sophie Grande on the late Lee Hazlewood's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'."

SOUL SIDES:  Oliver Wang talks to the Daily Californian about his music blog and compilation album series.

HUSKER DU:  Captain's Dead is streaming a gig from June 1984 (likely the first part of the New Day Rising tour).

SPOON:  Gimme Fiction may have been the band's breakthrough LP, but frontman Britt Daniel tells Australia's The Age that it wasn't their best.

THE CLASH:  Berkeley Place has posted an "A to Z" of Clash covers, mash-ups and Joe Strummer tributes, which you can jukebox via the ol' HM.

LINDSAY LOHAN, last seen holed up at her mom's house, is now reportedly rehabbing at the Cirque Lodge in Sundance, Utah.  Meanwhile, at least one studio exec told Entertainment Weekly: ''Her films don't open. She's a pain to work with. I think she's done.''

BRITNEY SPEARS has hired uber-manager Jeff Kwatinez to help resurrect her dying career, thus ending the pop tart's attempt at managing herself. 

JAMES BROWN:  The Godfather of Soul was father to at least two more people, according to the latest DNA tests.

GWYNETH PALTROW uses snake venom to de- wrinkle.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN have resumed hostilities over Sheen's visitation rights with their daughters, with Sheen's camp claiming Denise's nanny spies on Sheen and that Denise is jealous of Sheen's fiancee.

GEORGE CLOONEY and MATT DAMON wore extra-large shoes to stick in the cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre because of... shrinkage.

BRADGELINA and their biological daughter Shiloh are going to be recognized with an Australian postage stamp.

JESSICA SIMPSON is reportedly using a professional matchmaker to the rich and famous, according to the uber-reliable Life & Style magazine.

KOBE BRYANT is getting a divorce from stand-by-your-man-after-he-buys-you-a-ginormous-ring wife Vanessa?  That's the rumor...

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Rupert Everett is defending Cruise's devotion to Scientology, on the ground that it's no more wacky than other religions.  I'm sure Cruise is thrilled to hear that.

MIA FARROW has offered her freedom in exchange for that of a respected Darfur rebel figure, virtually imprisoned for more than 13 months, in a letter to Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

SEAN PENN:  Even major Hollywood liberals are saying Spicoli "went too far" in letting himself be used by Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez to again bash the US.  BTW, last month, Chavez ousted Defense Minister Gen. Raúl Isaías Baduel -- who reinstalled Chavez after a coup -- causing Baudel to take a jab at Chávez's control of all government branches.

TERROR is the US?  Intelligence gleaned from last month's British "doctors plot" of car bombers suggests that an al-Qaeda cell is on the loose in the US.

IRAQ:  The US command says that some 25,000 followers of mostly Sunni tribal leaders have turned on the insurgency and at least nominally aligned with Iraq's Shiite-led government in the fight against al-Qaeda.  USN&WR reports on further progress in Ramadi, where abandoned buildings are being refurbished or torn down, the main marketplace is once again busy, most residents have electricity for as much as 17 hours a day, and the city water system is running again.  The US and Iran held a "frank and serious" first meeting on Monday of a new committee set up by the arch foes to seek an end to Iraq's sectarian violence.  Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno says that rogue Shiite militia fighters said to be armed and trained by Iran were responsible for nearly three-quarters of attacks that killed or wounded Americans in Baghdad last month.

IRAQ II:   Iyad Allawi, leader of the Iraqi National List, asked the five INL ministers not to attend the cabinet meetings and to boycott Prime Minister al-Maliki as "a first step to withdraw from the Iraqi government" in protest against its policies.  Az-Zaman claimed that Pres. al-Talabani received a message from the Pres. Bush that included criticism of PM al-Maliki.  The  pan-Arab al-Hayat reported that Maliki may be trying to circumvent the Iraqi Accord Front, which regards itself as the "legitimate" representative of Sunni Arabs in Iraq, by courting his allies among the clans of Anbar.  AT ITM, Omar covers the rifts in the political class and military leadership.  Michael Yon has a new dispatch on what it took to pry food shipments for Baqubah from the Iraqi gov't.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The story of The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist" continues, with the Weekly Standard claiming that a military source close to the investigation says that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp -- author of the much-disputed columns -- signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in TNR were exaggerations and falsehoods.  If true, some may argue that he lied to investigators but he told TNR the truth... but if so, he will likely never say so while in uniform.  And if true, there may be some TNR staffers who never want to come back from vacation.

HUAHUA swims more than 4km every day to nurse her newborn puppies who are stranded on an island.

KANGAROOS  will be sent to live a life of luxury in air-conditioned accomodation after public outrage at plans to kill them backfired.

CORNWALL SHARK UPDATE:  The UK has been gripped by shark fever ever since a Great White was filmed off the coast of St Ives, with with costume suppliers Angels of London struggling to keep up with demand for shark-themed costumes.

MULES are four-legged bookmobiles in remote areas of Venezuela.

AN ACCUSED SHEEP MOLESTER in the Netherlands walks free because the animal was unable to testify.  No, really.

4861 Reads

New Okkervil River and Foo Fighters, Tegan & Sara, Catnapping   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 06, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


1990s add allusions to A Hard Day's Night bring their raw, garage-y rock in the clip for "You're Supposed to be My Friend."

PATTIE BOYD reveals intimate details of her emotionally fraught love triangle with George Harrison and Eric Clapton -- which inspired the latter to pen "Layla" (she also inspired Harrison's song "Something")  -- in her new book, Wonderful Today.  There are links to excerpts from the book and a video interview at the link.  There's more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

OKKERVIL RIVER:  The Stage Names LP is due tomorrow, but you can stream it all now.

THE EAGLES are planning to take flight with a long-awaited new album and a tour, according to Joe "The Bomber" Walsh, who says he made sure the band's first full-length studio set since "The Long Run" in 1979 isn't "too ballad-y."

THE FOO FIGHTERS:  The first single from the upcoming sixth LP Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace is called "The Pretender."

THE FORTUNES play their big hit, "You've Got Your Troubles" at the 1966 NME poll-winners concert.

STEVIE WONDER announced he will launch his first US tour in more than 20 years on August 23rd during an impromptu concert at a public park in the business district of Century City.

TEGAN & SARA played a gig for WXPN and World Café last Friday you can stream on demand from NPR.

AMY WINEHOUSE makes the front cover of American Vogue for September -- traditionally the highest-selling issue of the year.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  After spilling all the details of their break-up in a series of interviews and calling the supposedly sober supermodel a "nasty old rag," the troubled singer has penned "A Song For Kate" in a last-ditch attempt to win her back.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Jason Bourne was unstoppable at the box office, taking in over 70 million -- the biggest August movie opening in history.  The Bourne Ultimatum is also the most expensive of the series, with a budget estmated between 110-125 million, but Bourne should be in the black when the flick opens worldwide next weekend.  The Simpsons Movie dropped almost 66 percent to make 25.6 million -- but has already made 236 million worldwide on a 75 million production budget.  Underdog debuted in third place with 12 million.  I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry took in another 10.5 million and will almost certainly turn a profit, despite an $85 million budget.  Hairspray rounds out the Top Five with 9.3 million.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix also came in with roughly 9.3 million -- it has made about 260 million in the US and shouyld finish just behind Goblet of Fire when all is said and done.  No Reservations slid into the seventh slot with 6.6 million.  Transformers made another 6 million in the US -- it has taken in 545 million worldwide on a 150 million production budget.  Andy Samberg's Hot Rod debuted in ninth place with 5 million, just ahead of the debut of Bratz, which made 4.3 million.

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, btw, has about 4000 edits -- to reflect the disorientation of its protagonist.

THE SIMSPONS model haute couture with a cartoon Linda Evangelista in the August issue of Harper's Bazaar.  Pics at the link.

VING RHAMES:  Did his dogs maul his caretaker to death?  Or did the caretaker have a heart attack running for his life after a confrontation with the dogs?  Either way, the dogs have been taken into custody.

THANDIE NEWTON discloses she suffered from bulimia in her early 20s.

LINDSAY LOHAN, contra to reports that she was back in rehab, is holed up at mom Dina's place on Long Island.  So she has had the chance to read the interview she gave Elle magazine 36 hours before her arrest, proclaiming she would never drive drunk.   And a chance to read that Louis Vuitton will no longer even lend her clothes because she walked off with a number of items after a photo shoot (also for Elle).  She is rumored to have a photographer spying on sometime bf Callum Best.

BRADGELINA cancelled a family holiday to Lake Mohawk, NJ, further fuelling speculation of a rift.  Pitt's rep denies the rumors.

REESE WITHERSPOON & RYAN PHILIPPE have been spotted shopping, jogging and lunching together in L.A., fuelling speculation of a reconciliation.  Philippe's rep denies it.

MADONNA has lawyers fighting to stop the publication of love letters and intimate photographs as she tries to make her adoption of a Malawian baby permanent.  Madge's controversial adoption of an African baby may collapse amid accusations that the child welfare expert overseeing it has become too close to the case.

SEAN PENN had a love-in with Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez.  Cuban-born actress Maria Conchita Alonso, who grew up in Venezuela, said Penn is lending support to a "totalitarian" leader who wants increasing control of society - a charge Chavez denies, despite having recently shut down TV stations critical of Chavez.  I guess Penn defends free speech only when it is not attacking nascent dictators.

JESSICA BIEL was reportedly caught canoodling with ex-bf Chris Evans (a/k/a/ the Human Torch) while attending a wedding reception last Saturday, according to the ever-reliable Star Magazine.  Evans rep states the two are "just friends."

ISLAMISM in the UK:  The British branch of a world-wide radical Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, held a conference in London on Saturday, in which speakers called for the overthrow of Muslim governments and their replacement with a single Islamic state, known as the caliphate.  As many as one in 11 British Muslims agree with and proactively support terrorism, a Government adviser has warned police.  Haras Rafiq also told officers at Scotland Yard that up to 20 percent of the Muslim population "sympathise" with militants, while stopping short of being prepared to "blow themselves up."  Meanwhile, a teacher near the home of three of the 7/7 bombers had ten-year-olds copying Allah is the greatest" and "I bear witness that there is no God but Allah" as a hand-writing exercise.

IRAN:  Iranian police detained more than 200 people and seized alcohol and drugs in a raid on a "satanic" underground rock concert, media in the conservative Islamic state reported on Saturday.

AFGHANISTAN:  British military commanders believe they have turned a significant corner, pushing the Taliban back  in Afghanistan's most dangerous province, while popular support for the insurgents is eroding.

IRAQ:  Haythem Sabah al-Badri, who was reputed to be the leader of AQI in Salahuddin province and who planned the bombing of Al Askari mosque in Samarra earlier this summer has been killed in an air raid, the US military announced Saturday.  The US military has launched a new air campaign against militant safe havens and weapons smugglers south of Baghdad as it seeks to choke the flow of bombs and weapons reaching the capital.  Photos purport to show a parade by the "Islamic State of Iraq" in Baqubah, but it seems unlikely, given that the US is transtioning to "hold" status there.  Wesley Morgan blogs his embed in Northern Babil, where he ran into Michael Gordon of the NYT.  The Marines are sectioning Fallujah and building joint command centers, following the pattern set in other cities.  Michael Yon, who has spent roughly a 1½ years on the battlefields of Iraq since Dec. 2004, writes in the NYDN that "Anyone who says Al Qaeda is not one of the primary problems in Iraq is simply ignorant of the facts."

IRAQI POLITICS in the MEDIA:  The Washington Post and the L.A. Times -- among others -- are writing a lot about sectarian distrust and political stagnation crippling the Iraqi gov't.  Nibras Kazimi, who once directed the Research Bureau of the Iraqi National Congress and helped establish the Higher National Commission for De-Ba'athification, suggests that Sunni parties have left the gov't because the insurgency is losing, which is emboldening the Shiites to play political hardball.  He also suggests that the hard-line Sunni leaders who got elected to oppose Shiite hegemony are being replaced with new faces that are accepting the new realities of Iraq and can work with the ascendant Shiites.  Meanwhile, amid the sectarian violence, a new poll shows a dramatic swing in popular support for secular political rule over the past year.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Col. Steven Boylan, Public Affairs Officer for General David Petraeus, announced that the Army's investigation into the allegations made by Scott Thomas Beauchamp as "Baghdad Diarist" for The New Republic found the allegations to be false; "members of Thomas' platoon and company were all interviewed and no one could substantiate his claims."  It also appears that TNR left out statements it obtained from the Army in its statement purporting to corroborate PFC Beauchamp's stories.

A TWO-LEGGED DOG that can fetch and play with the best of them is looking for a good home.

THE "BEAST OF DARTMOOR," which stoked rumours that the moor is haunted by a pack of spectral dogs known as the Hounds of Hell, turns out to be a two-year-old Newfoundland called Troy.

MANUEL the CHIHUAHUA rescued a disoriented beaver from the waters off Vancouver's Stanley Park.  Who wouldn't?

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A Canadian Bible camp is defending a counsellor who skinned, roasted and then ate a squirrel in front of a group of boys.

A CATNAPPING rocks the town of Westmere in New Zealand.

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Sonic Youth, Rascals, Mark Olson, Cutout Bin, Spider-Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 03, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with SONIC YOUTH!  Here's a gig recorded for German TV in Dusseldorf, circa April 1996, with "Teenage Riot"; "Bull In The Heather"; "Starfield Road"; "Washing Machine"; "Junkie's Promise"; "Saucer-Like"; "Becuz"; "Sugar Kane"; "Skip Tracer"; "Skink"; and "The Diamond Sea" (Part 1, Part 2Part 3).

THE B-52s:  Cindy Wilson does the Mom thing while Atlanta's Creative Looafing listens to what "could very well become the band's best-received album of its career - if it's properly promoted and heard." 

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED:  Okkervil River, Architecture In Helsinki, John Vanderslice and more are featured on the latest edition of the NPR favorite.

SMASHING PUMPKINS posted "a day in the life" of the band with a series of Tubed clips, including Billy Corgan writing a song performed at the gig that night.

LOLLAPALOOZA:  I'm skipping it this year, but I might stream some sets this weekend from AT&T's Blueroom.  Shows Fri-Sun start streaming at 12:30 CDT.

NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL INDIE ROCK:  Pitchfork has the tracklisting.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  It's been more than a year, so I'm re-linking The Rascals covering "Mickey's Monkey," just because it's exhilarating.

THE 50 GREATEST ROCK DUMMERS, according to the oft-idiosyncratic Stylus magazine.

PINK FLOYD:  In honor of the life and work of filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni, An Aquarium Drunkard has posted a batch of tracks from the bootleg Zabriskie Point sessions.  You can jukebox 'em via the ol' HM.

MARK OLSON:  The former Jayhawk has an interview plus live cuts at the World Cafe, streaming now at NPR.

NEW PORNOGRAHERS frontman A.C. Newman talks about the upcoming LP and changing perceptions of bandmate Neko Case.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are:  Sonic Youth - Theme From The Simpsons; Dave Edmunds - Here Comes The Weekend; The Undertones - Here Comes The Summer; The Go-Go's - Vacation; VietNam - Summer In The City; Translator - Everywhere That I'm Not; The Housemartins - Happy Hour; I'm from Barcelona - We're From Barcelona; Guided By Voices - Game Of Pricks; The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn'tve?); Arctic Monkeys - Baby I'm Yours; Elvis Presley - A Little Less Conversation; The Beatles - Hey Bulldog; The Temptations - Psychedelic Shack; Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - I'm Not Gonna Cry; The Commodores - Brick House; Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music; Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay; Sam & Dave - Soothe Me; Richard Thompson - 1952 Vincent Black Lightning; The Doobie Brothers - Black Water; The Thrills - Big Sur; Little Feat - Fat Man In The Bath Tub; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Woodstock; Foghat - I Just Want To Make Love To You; Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane; Foo Fighters - I Feel Free (Cream); Led Zeppelin - Rock And Roll; Christopher Walken - More Cowbell; Apollo 440 - Don't Fear the Reaper (BOC); and Styx - Mr. Roboto.

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM:  Defying the usual law of sequels, I liked the Bourne Supremacy better than the Bourne Identity.  I like the Bourne Ultimatum best of all, for most of the same reasons (but would recommend seeing the first two first).  Plenty of action, though none too over-the-top for the tone of the series.  Plenty of suspense.  Matt Damon gets to bring even more MacGuyver to his role (and is rougher on his wheels than James Bond), David Strathairn makes a great new foil and Julia Stiles finally gets some action.  Probably the best of the summer's threequels.  My other observations would be spoiler-y, so I'll leave it at "recommended."

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to The Bourne Ultimatum, which is currently scoring an impressive 93 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's wide releases include the live-action Underdog, which was not screened for critics, suggesting they ruined one of my childhood faves; SNL wunderkind Andy Samberg's Hot Rod, which is scoring a meager 35 percent; and the live-action doll adaptation Bratz, which is currently scoring 9 percent.

SISKEL & EBERT & ROEPER:  You can watch over 5000 duelling reviews in the new Balcony Archive.

ELTON JOHN would like to shut down the Internet for five years, claiming that it's hampering creativity.  He also claims that "In the early Seventies there were at least ten albums released every week that were fantastic," which is a nice anti-drugs PSA of sorts.

PRINCE is in negotiations to have a luxury five-bedroom home built for him within the grounds of London's O2 Arena, formerly the Millennium Dome.  The opening of his 21-night stand at the Dome, which included a swipe at Madonna, got a rave review in the NME.

MARILYN MANSON is getting slapped with a lawsuit by his ex-keyboardist claiming the goth-the rocker squandered their band's earnings on "sick and disturbing purchases of Nazi memorabilia and taxidermy (including the skeleton of a young Chinese girl)."  Speaking of exes, Manson's ex-whife Dita Von Teese tells RadarOnline that she was disappointed Manson spoke about the end of their marriage dating 19-year-old actress Evan Rachel Wood while doing press for his new album:  "I don't think it was the press. It was a matter of, ‘Hey, maybe you shouldn't drink absinthe and do cocaine and do interviews all at the same time.' ... It was drinking and interviewing."

BRITNEY SPEARS:  It's a red flag when the usually fluffy US Weekly starts asking psychologists whether the pop tart is bipolar.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  The paparazzi at Splash News have catalogued Li-Lo's catty attacks on Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Simpson, Sienna Miller, Kiera Knightley, and Jessica Biel.  Meanwhile, enabling mom Dina is being sued for fraud in Las Vegas by businessman Antonio Almeida, who claims she failed to return 400K he lent her four years ago to kick-start Lindsay's music career.

TOM-KAT reportedly want to do a racy photoshoot, "together in the shower, dripping wet and covered by nothing but steam."  Apparently, the couch-jumping instinct has not left Cruise.

REESE WITHERSPOON is set to become an Avon Lady... sorta.

PAUL RUDD talks to MTV about kissing Jessica Alba for money, fantasy baseball and singing.  And that's a pretty good excuse to re-link Rudd and Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain singing Boston's "More Than A Feeling," with Of Montreal backing up the karaoke madness.

BATMAN, ROBIN, SUPERMAN & SPIDER-MAN had to be rescued when the Batmobile lost a wheel.  The Joker got away.

THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY SCOUTING JAMBOREE is going without burgers and sausages -- so as not to offend any religious faiths... though the Daily Mail is silent about which faiths might be offended, natch.  Plus, no campfires.

GWEN STEFANI has ditched her revealing concert costumes after protests from Muslim students in Malaysia.

PAKISTAN:  Almost two-thirds of respondents say Pres. Musharraf should quit, according to a new poll poll by the International Republican Institute, a Washington-based group that has Republican lawmakers and officials among its directors and senior staff.

IRAN:  Two more criminals have been publicly hanged as children looked on and people took pictures.  Graphic pics at the link.  Meanwhile, Iran's reformist former president, Mohammad Khatami, has suffered a blow to his political standing by being pictured apparently shaking hands with women in breach of Islamic convention.  The horror!

IRAQ:  A member in the Iraqi National List said that his bloc is considering withdrawing from the Iraqi government.  According to Khalaf al-Alian -- a leader of the just-withdrawn Iraqi Accordance Front -- Prime Minister al-Maliki has two choices: to form a government of independent technocrats or to step down in favor of a more qualified person.  Iraqi troops killed a local Al-Qaeda warlord and US soldiers arrested two of the extremist network's chieftains.  The Army is now deploying robots armed with M249 machine guns; video at the link.  The reunited Spice Girls may hit Baghdad -- where is Amnesty International now?

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  TNR posted purported confirmation of the "Baghdad Diarist" before going on vacation.  Unfortunately, there's less corroboration there than meets the eye.  TNR addresses only the article titled "Shock Troops."  None of the problems in PFC Beauchamp's other stories are addressed at all.  Most of the purported corroboration comes from other anonymous soldiers, and it's unclear who is confirming what.  The methods of killing dogs described in "Shock Troops" are not the method described by the "corroborating" soldier (and other sources) in the new statement.  PFC Beauchamp wrote about what was "clearly a Saddam-era dumping ground of some sort," but the new TNR statement seems to agree with The Weekly Standard that it was a children's cemetery (without admitting the apparent embellishment).  TNR has someone confirm that someone else wore a piece of skull, but no mention of it being worn for days, even on a mission, with a 4-5 lb. helmet pressing it into his own skull.  And TNR discloses that the first story in "Shock Troops" -- about Beauchamp and a friend mocking a woman with a severely scarred face -- now supposedly happened in Kuwait, prior to the unit's arrival in Iraq.  The thesis of "Shock Troops" was that "That is how war works: It degrades every part of you, and your sense of humor is no exception."  But it turns out that -- if this latest version of his stories is true -- Beauchamp and his friend were "degraded" before they ever saw a day of combat.

SPIDER-CAT is fairly amusing, but admittedly moreso if you've seen The Simpsons Movie.


THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A Finnish squirrel who has taken to shoplifting chocolate eggs from a grocery store.  The furry varmint is a repeat offender, going into the store in Jyvaskyla at least twice a day to steal the treats.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A seven-legged lamb.  Gonna need a bigger tub of mint jelly.

A CLEVER CAPUCHIN MONKEY has unlocked his pen and escaped from the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo.

DOG SHOOTS MAN in the back.  Some best friend he turned out to be.

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