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New Kevin Drew, Jose Gonzalez and SFA, Duckies   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 02, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE MPLS BRIDGE DISASTER: I doubt many missed it, though James Lileks can hook you up if you did.  Pate has a fair contingent in Minnesota, including bassist Mike Kelly.  They and their loved ones are in our thoughts, with hope that none were involved in this tragedy.  I would add that the stories of people at the scene -- including people directly involved in the collapse -- immediately turning to help others help us keep our faith in humanity at times of crisis.

KEVIN DREW of Broken Social Scene releases his first solo video for "Backed Out On The..." with help from J Mascis of Dinosaur, Jr., Joules Scott Key of Metric, seven mirrors, one disco ball, four lights, one bottle of rum, three bottles of tequila, 62 beers, four crew, and 17 people.  He has also posted an exclusive B-Side at HisSpace.

JOHN VANDERSLICE makes the latest stop on his live video tour of blog love at MKOB with "Time To Go."

FAMOUS SONGS re-written as limericks.  Plenty in the comments at the link also.

JOSE GONZALEZ has two new tracks, "Down the Line" and "Killing for Love," streaming at HisSpace.

GOGOL BORDELLO frontman Eugene Hütz promises Harp magazine that the band is "always gonna be this drunk, galloping Eastern European horse of grotesque and dark humor."

STEVIE WONDER is known for singing, playing the keyboards and the harmonica -- but watch him on the drums!

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS have released "Run Away" as a promo track from the upcoming Hey, Venus! LP.  It has that 60s girl-group sound for which I'm always a sucker.  Except sung by Welsh dudes.

THE NATIONAL: Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner talk to PopMatters about the nine year road to overnight success.

MOVING DAY:  Matt at YANP posted a mini-mix for moving into his college housing.  You can jukebox it on the ol' HM.

PEARL JAM:  Heather Browne is streaming "a loose assemblage of demo versions and rough mixes of Pearl Jam songs from over the years, with the occasional live cut tossed in."

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  Defense attorneys in the pop producer's murder trial have abruptly decided to rest their case.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer denies cheating on the supposedly sober supermodel (much) and says he left her, as the relationship "became like the Vietnam war."  Moss is planning to jet off for a chilled out holiday in Marbella with 20 friends.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  There's a new round-up of trashtastic behavior -- including the pop tart trying to get her 22-month-old son's teeth whitened -- at US Weekly.

NICOLE RICHIE confirmed to Diane Sawyer that she's four months pregnant by Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden.

UMA THURMAN has been caught canoodling with handsome Swiss banker Arky Busson, who was Elle Macpherson's man for many years and the father of her two kids.

McGOSLING:  Are Rachel McAdams and her Notebook Costar Ryan Gosling finally engaged?  That would be crazy delicious.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  A second man has been arrested in the alleged extortion plot involving stolen pictures of the Tom-Kat wedding, according to the FBI.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  Is her next movie going straight to DVD in the US?  "The movie is absolutely horrible," says a source. "It's just a bomb, mainly because of Jessica's acting."  Shocka!

ADRIAN GRENIER:  Life imitates HBO as the Entourage star is mobbed by groupies in the VIP section of Star Room in East Hampton.

HEROES:  Save the Cheerleader... from sticking her hands in her pants.

MADONNA was caught spending almost two hours at the Harlem headquarters of President Bill Clinton's charitable foundation.  But don't leap to any conclusions... the Clinton Foundation has been the biggest single donor to Madonna's Raising Malawi effort.

ALEC BALDWIN explains how the next President should handle Iraq -- first withdraw, then attack.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt reportedly begs Jolie to get help for her dwindling weight, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.  The equally reliable Life & Style Weekly out this week claims the pair are so much on edge that Jolie drenched Brad Pitt with a glass of wine over the 2008 presidential campaign in the US.  And that was before Sen. Barack Obama started talking about invading Pakistan.

PAKISTAN:  Al-Qaeda commander Abu Yahya al Libi joins rival Ayman al Zawahiri in calling for the overthrow of Pres. Musharraf.  The hottest movie in the country, "In the Name of God," is a fantastical tale that warns its audience of the threat of Islamic radicalism to Pakistanis.

IRAN sentenced two Kurdish journalists to death "on the charge of Moharebeh," a term used in Iran's Sharia law to describe a major crime against the religion and the Islamic state... but not decribed specifically in this case.  The sudden death of a key ayatollah creates an opening for moderate reformers to regain some influence.  Meanwhile, Pres. Ahmadinejad said on Monday that defeat is meaningless for those believing in martyrdom.

IRAQ:  The chief of Iraqi army staff submitted his resignation, but the Iraqi Prime Minister and Armed forces Command-in-Chief rejected it, according to a Kurdish legislator.  The state minister for security affairs says Iranians are helping insurgents obtain better weapons and training.  Iraqi army Lt. Col. Abdulkhaliq Hamed says "there should be no type of any withdrawal" by the US from northern Iraq.  Col. Stephen Twitty, the commander of US and Iraqi forces in the region, said attacks in Nineveh province have gone from 18 a day in December to seven to nine attacks now.  Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice and SecDef Robert M. Gates are coupling the military assistance package for Arab allies with a public request for Arab leaders to do more to back the Shiite-led government in Iraq. The Saudi foreign minister said that his country was considering upgrading its diplomatic ties with Iraq, but rebuffed calls from the Bush Admin. to do more to halt Saudis from crossing the border to join the insurgency.

ABANDONED DUCKLINGS found battling against waves after being washed out to sea are being nursed back to health in a teacup.  More awww...some pics at the link.

A MACAQUE MONKEY -- normally found in Afghanistan, India, Thailand, southern China and Florida -- was found in a garden in Beaminster, Dorset.

WOULD YOU LIKE A FROG with your salad?

SPIDER-NEWS:  Judy Reardon found a Black Widow in box of grapes she bought from Costco in Coon Rapids, MN last week.  Julie and Peter Gillett a massive venomous tarantula running around their English garden (pic at the link).  Male wasp spiders have an interesting way of putting off rival suitors.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  The rodents are increasing their operational tempo at the U of Central Florida.

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Vanderslice, Dylan, Fairport, Lemonheads, Tall Horses   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JOHN VANDERSLICE makes the third and fourth stops on his tour of blog love, giving live takes of "The Tower" to Brooklyn Vegan and "The Parade" to YANP.

NEW ORDER:  Departing bassist Peter Hook seems to be threatening court action against the others on HisSpace.  Bizzare Love Triangle, anyone?

BOB DYLAN:  Sony wants your opinion on Mark Ronson's "re-version" of "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" before it's sent to radio stations.

THE DITTY BOPS, who last year raised an environmental flag by doing their entire coast-to-coast tour via bicycle, talk to the San Francisco Chronicle about their new Farm Tour and their plastic outfits.

FIERY FURNACES:  At Fluxblog, Matthew Perpetua has early impressions of the upcoming Widow City album, noting in part that "The Who-isms of the previous Fiery Furnaces albums seem to have been replaced by nods to Led Zeppelin..."  he also posted "Navy Nurse" from the LP.

FAIRPORT CONVENTION cover The Merry Go Round's  "Time Will Show The Wiser" in a rare 1967 TV gig with original vocalist Judy Dyble.

THE METRO (f/k/a Caberet Metro):  Chicago suburban paper The Daily Herald marks the venerable club's 25th anniversary with tributes from some of the musicians who have trod its stage.  I have plenty of great bands there -- the dB's, the Replacements, Husker Du, Pate...

LEMONHEADS:  The Jefito blog has posted a collection of Lemonheads and Evan Dando B-sides, soundtrack and tribute-album contributions, collaborations with other artists, live recordings, and other rarities.  Among the tracks are covers of Buddy Holly, Big Star, ABBA and Richard Thompson.  You an jukebox 'em via the ol' HM, though you may have to click a page or two to get to Jul 27.

AIRSTREAM CONVENTION: News about the hipped-up new design for the classic trailer (see the designer interviewed at Dwell) immediately put me in the mood for one of my fave tracks from The Service.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer calls the supposedly sober supermodel a "nasty old rag," but he can't quit her.  Then again, The Libertines may be the only thing Doherty has ever succeeded at quitting.  Moss had a screaming fit, smashed pictures and threw a wine glass at a wall when she heard that Doherty had made a desperate rambling, and very public plea to get her back in his life.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Fed-Ex may yet fight for full custody of the now-divorced couple's children.  The pop tart's lawyer's has had the current custody order sealed by alleging "criminals ... might target the minor children for financial gain."

ROSIE O'DONNELL has decided that her new target is the seemingly oft-disoriented Paula Abdul.

REESE WITHERSPOON & JAKE GYLLENHAAL supposedly broke-up, but were snapped together outside Jake's Hollywood Hills home.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON, contrary to some circulating reports, will not portray pr0n star Jenna Jameson in the film adaptation of her autobiography.

SEAN PENN reportedly was offering relationship advice outside Skybar at the Shore Club in South Beach.  Nothing like some words of wisdom from someone who allegedly tied first wife Madonna to a chair for several hours one New Year's Eve (allegedly not in a fun way, either).

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Despite the DUI and cocaine charges hanging overhead, her latest movie deal is still on track, according to the film's producer.  So she's not uninsurable... yet.  And having linked to the 911 call from the car Lohan chased, it's only fair to link Lohan's own 911 call.

MICHAELANGELO ANTONIONI, the Italian director whose depiction of alienation made him a symbol of art-house cinema with movies such as Blow-Up and L'Avventura, has died at 94.  Along with Ingmar Bergman, the existentialist director trifecta remains open.  BONUS:  Here's The Yardbirds aping The Who while playing "Stroll On" (a/k/a "Train Kept-a Rollin'") in Blow-Up.

KIRSTEN DUNST:  Her new London pad is a hive of activity.  She has booted rocker bf Johnny Borrell from the place because he's too messy.  And her late night parties are irking her new neighbors.

WOODY ALLEN sparked a prison brawl last week.

IRON MAN:  If studio lawyers beat you to the Comic-Con clip I linked yesterday, and you missed the update, not all is lost.

COMIC-CON, btw, kicked the a$$ of a reporter from the L.A. Times.

HARRY POTTER and the IRANIAN THEOCRACY:  Media close to mullahs in Tehran cannot seem to decide whether the boy wizard angers the Zionist regime or is "a billion-dollar Zionist project" of the global conspiracy.

A GITMO DETAINEE who spends 22 hours each day in an isolation cell is fighting for the right to stay in the notorious internment camp.

GLOBAL PORKING:  A group of British Muslims have opposed plans for a pet food factory to be built as possible pork emissions will violate their religious rights.

PAKISTAN:  Meet the new red mosque... same as the old red mosque.

IRAQ:  So, how's the "surge" going?  The civilian death rate has been reduced by 36 percent since May, while US combat deaths have dropped to an eight month low.  The numbers of arms caches uncovered so far this year is 3,698, up from 2,726 for all of 2006, according to the US military command.  In June, 23000 tips were called in to coalition and Iraqi forces -- four times the number at this point in 2006.  Sunnis in Baghdad's western neighborhood of Amiriya that were with of al-Qaeda last week are now fighting AQ alongside US forces.  The sticking point remains Iraqi politics.  Prime Minister al-Maliki faces a revolt within his party, according to officials in his office and the political party he leads.  The Iraqi paper al-Mada announced that a new round of mediations will be headed by Pres. Talabani, in an attempt to reconcile the Sunni Iraqi Accord Front with the ruling establishment and dissuade it from abandoning the cabinet. With tribal sheiks and insurgent groups joining the US against AQ, it could be that reconciliation may start at the local level.  Adm. Michael G. Mullen, nominated to chair the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Cmte that maintaining current troop levels in Iraq beyond next April would force planners to extend tours of duty beyond 15 months, a decision he said he opposed.

IRAQ in the MEDIA?  Barely.  Congress isn't voting on Iraq, so coverage plummeted, as the policy debate (fourth-biggest story at 4%) was followed by the impact of the war on the homefront (fifth at 3%) and events in Iraq (sixth at 3%).  Indeed, the only outlets where actual "events in Iraq" made the top five stories were online.  Everyone spent much more time on the CNN/YouTube debate that -- despite tons of hype -- did not draw as big an audience as the debate on CNN in New Hampshire in June.

NO SOONER does the presumptive World's Tallest Horse meet the World's Smallest Horse than a challenger appears for the tallest title.  The story does not update us on Thumbelina's charity drive.

BUSCHI the ORANGUTAN is holding his first solo exhibition of his paintings in a zoo in Germany.

PIGEONS are going on the pill in Hollywood.  Can Botox be far behind?

THE SWARM:  Rogue honeybees were rounded up by Canadian mounties after a palace coup this week caused a split in a hive near Ottawa.

KNUT UPDATE:  The polar bear cub whose legendary cuteness doubled attendance at the Berlin Zoo since his debut in March needs to drop a few pounds.

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New Releases, Devendra Banhart, Lennon & McCartney, Great White Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TOM SNYDER, who pioneered the late-late network TV talk show with a personal yet abrasive style and his robust, trademark laugh, has died from complications associated with leukemia. He was 71.  Stereogum can point you to his greatest rock moments (except for John Lennon's final interview) with Johnny Rotten, The Clash, U2, KISS and more.  BONUS:  Snyder with Jerry Garcia and Ken Kesey.

NEW RELEASES:  1990s, Bat for Lashes, Josh Rouse, an Americana comp and more are streaming via Spinner.  Polly Paulusma gets a US release date for Fingers & Thumbs; you can stream partial tracks from her "Media" page.

DON HENLEY takes on a lake-eating monster in east Texas.

DEVENDRA BANHART is streaming two advance tracks from his upcoming LP at HisSpace.

LED ZEPPELIN hits iTunes. Oh, the humanity!

THE WHITE STRIPES hit the beach in the new video for "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do What You're Told)."

REALLY GUILTY PLEASURES:  Blender magazine asked indie musicians for their favorite bad albums.

LENNON & McCARTNEY:  Licorice Pizza has posted the infamous bootleg A Toot and a Snore in ‘74; you can jukebox it via the ol' HM. 

DESERT ISLAND DISCS, PART 2:  Marooned -- a follow-up and homage to Greil Marcus's classic rock 'n' roll book, Stranded -- asks the same question of a new generation: What album would you bring to a desert island, and why?  The albums are essayed by a number of authors, including Mountain Goat John Darnielle.  The Chicago Reader finds Greil Marcus playing the curmudgeon.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  Friends say the supposedly sober supermodel is desperately missing the troubled singer, but is determined to move on.  Doherty, meanwhile, has rekindled his relationship with Nadine Ruddy -- the ex Moss had banned him from seeing during their relationship.

BONO & PENELOPE CRUZ, strolling down the beach hand-in-hand in St Tropez, has naturally stirred Gallic gossip.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Though E! Entertainment Television has decided not to renew The Simple Life, the reality show in which the heirhead starred with on-and-off pal Nicole Richie, she has landed a role in the big-screen musical Repo! The Genetic Opera.  Her camp is denying reports that her behavior has so appalled her grandfather and head of the Hilton clan, Barron Hilton, that he has cut off her £25 million inheritance.

BRITNEY SPEARS and Kevin Federline have officially divorced.  The custody and spousal support orders are secret... for now.

THE SIMPSONS:  The Best Week Ever blog has posted a list of Simpsons lists, from "Sexiest Ladies of The Simpsons" to the "Top 10 Religious Episodes of The Simpsons."  BONUS:  How a fake word from The Simpsons ended up in a perfectly cromulent string theory paper.

INGMAR BERGMAN, one of the film world's acknowledged greats, was spotted walking with Death on the beach.

JESSICA ALBA dumped Cash Warren because "He wasn't ready for marriage, and Jessica is," says an insider, who thinks they will reconcile.  No more free milk for you, mister!

FAITH HILL would prefer it if you left hubby Tim McGraw's nether regions alone.  Video at the link.

BRADGELINA reportedly are prepared to give up acting and move to Berlin, where they can avoid the paparazzi.  Sure.  Just in case, you better look at the new pics of Jolie as a sexy water demon in Beowulf while you have the chance.

JESSICA BIEL & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE are avoiding being caught canoodling.  The author wonders when we'll see the official PDA; my guess would be the MTV Video Music Awards in September.

ANGIE EVERHART & JOE PESCI are engaged?  Well, he is a funny guy. (NSFW, natch.)

IRON MAN:  The four minute teaser Jon Favreau & Co. brought to Comic-Con caused the crowd multiple geekgasms.  And the answer to the question is, "Yes. Black. Sabbath."  Hope you see it before the studio lawyers get there!  And here! Or, as a last resort, here.  UPDATE:  Finally, someone got a little clever with titles and tags.

ABU HAMZA, the hook-handed radical Muslim cleric serving seven years for inciting the murder of non-Muslims, may be getting bullied in Britain's in Belmarsh jail.

IRAN:  A reporter for London's Guardian visited Iran's uranium conversion facility in Isfahan and asks the obvious question, "why is the government in such a rush to enrich fuel, when it has no nuclear power plants in which to use it?"

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki visited Diyala province, meeting with local political, military and tribal leaders as officials try to capitalize on the momentum of the recent military sweeps through Baquba.  Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), just back from leading a Congressional delegation to Baghdad and Ramadi, said he saw signs of progress and was impressed by Gen. David Petraeus; Rep. McNerney said he still favors a timeline to get troops out of Iraq, but is open to being flexible "in terms of when it might end."  The US military confirmed that the 1920 Revolution Brigades have reconciled with the Iraqi government and the US military.  Blogger Michael J. Totten goes on a night raid in Baghdad: "Most of the time it's so quiet. But it's the quiet of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, not of rural Middle America."  Reconstruction efforts are being hampered by elements of the Iraqi gov't, though the US is also making progress with micro-loan projects.  The L.A. Times has a sobering look at the Iraqi Interior Ministry.  Longtime NYT Baghdad bureau chief John Burns suggests that talk of US withdrawal is impeding political reconciliation.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Yesterday, I noted a lame piece on the TNR "Baghdad Diarist" controversy in the Columbia Journalism Review.  The author of the piece is now trying to backpedal, yet still without acknowledging that it was questions raised by Iraq vets that have landed diarist Pvt. Beauchamp in hot water; without them, civiian pro-war bloggers wouldn't have had much to go on.  The author may be compounding his original error -- by e-mailing milblogs that he wasn't writing about them, which naturally raises the question, "Why not?"

UK GREAT WHITE SHARK UPDATE:  The world's greatest shark hunter vows to land the shark spotted off the coast of Cornwall, but -- much to my delight -- added: "The problem with shark-hunting in Britain is no one's really got a big enough boat."  Of course, this means we must go to the video. (NSFW)

THE LITTLE MASTER really wanted no part of a Sri Lankan religious ceremony.

A THUNDERBIRD is terrorizing San Antonio, TX?

AN ABANDONED GATOR was found in a moving pillowcase on a New York beach last weekend.

FROG in your toilet freaking you out?  Could be worse.

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Magic Numbers, Dylan, Stamey, Van Morrison, Fluffy the Snake   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 30, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE MAGIC NUMBERS sound a bit laid back on "Undecided," the title track from an EP due this September.

BOB DYLAN at NEWPORT:  Heather Browne is streaming another memorble moment in rock history, as Bob plugs in with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

THE 20 BEST LIVE BANDS RIGHT NOW, according to the Rolling Stone blog.

CHRIS STAMEY:  Flowering Toilet has posted three tracks from his "unjustly overlooked classic," It's Alright.  You can (and should) jukebox 'em via the ol' HM, especially the gorgeous "Cara Lee."

DAYTROTTER creator Sean Moeller gives a pretty passionate interview to CBC Radio 3, including his "want list" of artists he's like to record for the site.  (Thanks, Chromewaves.)

PAUL STANLEY of KISS had to bow out of a Southern California concert because of heart problems before the show.

PREFAB SPROUT perform one of may fave songs of theirs -- "Faron Young" -- in Munich, circa 1985.

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL is shaping up as a L.A. Noir classic, according to local prosecutor and blogger Patterico.

WES ANDERSON:  The release of the trailer of The Darjeeling Limited inspired The Yellow Stereo (jukebox Jul 26) and An Aquarium Drunkard (jukebox) to dip into past Anderson soundtracks.

CAPTAIN'S DEAD is streaming boots of R.E.M in NC circa September 1984 and Van Morrison in Sacramento circa September 1971.  The title to the Van post is yet another Wes Anderson reference.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD:  Bids for Keef's' autobiography reached a whopping 7.3 million bucks at an auction in NYC last week.  Fears that Richards may "do a Jagger" and renege on the deal because he can't recall enough of his infamously debauched past have been dismissed by his agent.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel is reportedly trying to get over her split from the troubled singer by... spending "quiet time" with Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood?

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Woo-Hoo!  The Simpsons Movie raked in almost 72 million -- much more D-oh than even the optimists projected last week, in a masterpiece of media synergy.  Homer & Co. set an opening weekend record for a movie based on a TV series, edging out Transformers in the category.  It should do well worldwide, but whether it has legs remains to be seen.  The Adam Sandler comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry fell 44 percent from its debut -- about typical for a Sandler comedy -- to make about 19 million.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was third with 17.1 million.  Hairspray was fourth with 15.5 million.   The Top Five was rounded out by the Catherine Zeta-Jones comedy No Reservations, which debuted with 11.8 million.  Transformers dropped a not-bad 44 percent to sixth place with 11.5 million.  Ratatouille dropped 34 percent, making another 7.2 million.  Live Free or Die Hard dropped 24 percent and made 5.3 million.  Lindsay Lohan's I Know Who Killed Me debuted in ninth place with 3.2 million, while Who's Your Caddy? opened in tenth with 2.9 million.

NICOLE RICHIE follows her ex-BFF French Hotel to the Greybar Hotel for a few days by the end of September.

MADONNA is considering leaving Warner Music Group in favor of an all-encompassing music deal with touring giant Live Nation that could be worth more than 100 million dollars.

STEVE MARTIN married girlfriend Anne Stringfield in a ceremony presided over by fmr. Sen. Bob Kerrey at Martin's L.A. home over the weekend.  Most of the roughly 75 guests - who included Tom Hanks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Carl Reiner and Ricky Jay - were not told that he and Stringfield would wed when they were invited to his home for a "party."

EDDIE MURPHY and his girlfriend of 10 months, Tracey Edmonds got engaged on July 25.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  Creepy dad-manager found his (current limit), turning down a role as a pr0n starlet.

BRITNEY SPEARS, looking dead-eyed and disoriented, lost it during a shambolic video shoot and ended up "sobbing hysterically," according to the uber-reliable News of the World (backup link).  Estranged hubby Fed-Ex is demanding that the pop tart return with the kids from Las Vegas, where son Sean Preston was struck during an altercation between Spears' bodyguard and a photographer.

LINDSAY LOHAN may be sued by Dante Nigro, Jakon Sutter and Ronnie Blake  -- the three men who say they were passengers riding with her on the morning of her arrest.  Meanwhile, a judge chided Michael Lohan on Friday for his failure to make child support payments to Li-Lo's younger brother and sister since his release from prison earlier this year.

JOHNNY DEPP is developing a feature based on the '60s daytime supernatural sudser Dark Shadows.  Depp has said that he has always been obsessed with the show and had, as a child, wanted to be vampire patriarch Barnabas Collins.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie has tallied up like a kinky scorecard in a new book that sizes her up as having more talent as a publicity machine than an actress.

ISLA FISHER is finally talking about her pregnancy by her fiancé, Borat funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen.  But it's SNL filmmaker and co-star Andy Samberg that gets the punchlines.

THE DARK KNIGHT has been shooting along my route home from work; there's prop helicopter wreckage behind the Federal Reserve Bank at the moment.  The teaser trailer for the flick debuted in front of The Simpsons Movie, which reminds me to post this little bootleg clip of the Batmobile and the Batpod on lower Wacker Drive.

PRINCE currently known as William opened the 21st World Scout Jamboree, marking the 100th anniversary of the movement's founding.  Around 40,000 young people from around the world are at the 12-day event at Hylands Park near Chelmsford, Essex.  Pate site member Ken King is there too, so I could have headlined it "King Marks Scouting Centenary."  Indeed, he dropped me line that there have been no electrocutions so far.

GIT OUT of GITMO?  At least 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees have been killed or recaptured after taking up arms against allied forces following their release.  An analysis of 516 Guantanamo detainees found that while there was no evidence linking six of them to terrorist activities, 95 percent were a potential threat to US interests.

THE FOUNDER of EGYPTIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD is putting the finishing touches to a remarkable recantation that undermines the Muslim theological basis for violent jihad and is set to generate furious controversy among former comrades still fighting with al-Qaeda.

PAKISTAN:  Pakistan's military leader, General Pervez Musharraf, has held secret talks with his rival Benazir Bhutto in the Middle East to discuss a power-sharing arrangement that could extend his presidency.

IRAQ:  Fighting has erupted between Shiite political factions in the southern cities of Basra, Diwaniya, Karbala, Nasiriya and Samawa in recent months.  Bill Roggio rounds up coverage of Coalition and Iraq security forces fighting the Iranian-backed "rogue" elements of the Mahdi Army and the Special Groups in Karbala, Baghdad and in Diyala province.  The Iraqi government strongly criticized the Sunni Iraqi Accord Front on Friday, accusing it of using threatening, pressures and blackmailing ways to cripple the work of the government and the parliament.  The IAF has said that it will withdraw from the Iraqi government if its 11-point demands are not met.  The government-funded al-Sabah newspaper quoted MP Haidar al-Abbadi from the Shiite Unified Iraqi Coalition as saying that a tripartite meeting was held on Saturday between the UIC, the Kurdistan Alliance and the IAF to tackle thorny issues.  The Small Wars Journal suggests that the story that Prime Minister al-Maliki sought the removal of Gen. Petraeus is greatly exaggerated.  Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack --  two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush Admin's "miserable handling of Iraq" -- are back from Iraq and were  "surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily 'victory' but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with."

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  I would have dropped The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist" controversy, but for the Columbia Journalism Review publishing a piece claiming that the criticism of poor Pvt. Beauchamp was "mostly led by the know-nothing Michelle Malkin's (sic) of the world," and that joining the Army is "something most of the brave souls who inhabit the milblog community prefers to leave to others."  In reality, Michael Goldfarb first raised the issue based on comments from "several people with experience in Iraq."  And McLeary clearly does not know what the milblog community is, as Beachamp's critics were mostly soldiers at the Mudville Gazette, Blackfive, Badgers Forward, Vox Veterana, Dadmanly, Eighty Duece on the Loose, and OpFor, to name just a few -- almost all of whom are Iraq vets.  This sort of grotesque distortion is unworthy of a journal supposedly dedicated to encouraging and stimulating excellence in journalism in the service of a free society.

IRAQ and the MEDIA II:  The New York Times was so baffled by its own poll showing increased support for the invasion and a a drop in the number of people who said the war was going badly that they wrote an entire story about their bafflement.  That the latter finding might be related to the former finding has not occurred to the paper.  Perhaps folks there should start reading the recent stories filed by their own reporters John Burns and Michael Gordon.

A CROW hooked on lager sticks his beak in his favourite tipple - defying a furious landlady who has barred him from her pub.

A DOG is found 2000 miles from his Australian home after going missing for two months.  Credit those implantable microchips.

FLUFFY, a 5-foot-long black-and-tan boa constrictor, is on the loose near a golf course in Memphis.  Owner Dana Shields said she named him that so people would be less fearful of him.  I'm not clear on how some hapless golfer will know the snake's name.

A GREAT WHITE SHARK was spotted off the coast of Cornwall in the UK.  Always the worst thing during tourist season.

BUTTHEAD the PYGMY GOAT mysteriously returns to Lincolnsfield's Farmyard Funworld.

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Danny & Dusty, Teddy Thompson, Covers, Cutout Bin, Giant Squid   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 27, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with DANNY & DUSTY!  Among americana aficionados, 1985's The Lost Weekend is one of those classic under-the-radar epistles of twang.  In the original days of Pate, the album was in frequent rotation at the Music Works ("It's not a record store, it's a hangout!")  Harp magazine talked to Green on Red's Dan Stuart (Danny) and the Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn (Dusty) as they headed out for a European D&D tour in support of their second album.  We have clips of the current lineup taking on old faves "Baby, We All Gotta Go Down" and "King of the Losers," along with new tracks like "The Good Old Days" and "Cast Iron Soul."  BONUS:  Here's a re-link to that rare 1986 clip of the original D&D line-up bashing through "The Word Is Out."

 THE LIFEHOUSE METHOD:  You may think of Lifehouse as the sci-fi rock opera The Who abandoned, with remnants surfacing on Who's Next and elsewhere in the early 70s.  But Pete Townshend still wants to take your musical portrait with The Lifehouse Method -- much as Baba O'Riley is said to be based on the reading of his then-guru, Meher Baba.  (Thanks, Ken.)

TEDDY THOMPSON:  His new album of old skool country gets an audio feature and review from Ken Tucker on Fresh Air at NPR.  Or you can go right to the video of Thompson playing the George Jones classic, "She Thinks I Still Care."

THE WHITE STRIPES:  Harp magazine covers Jack's love of his adopted home of Nashville and Meg's contibutions to the new album.  The Young Go-Getter blogs "9 things I learned about business from The White Stripes."

THE WACKIEST COVER SONGS ON THE WEB, according to Blender magazine, has Tubed versions of mostly indie-types tackling the mainstream charts.

EVERY MOTHER'S SON wants you to "Come On Down To My Boat, Baby."

SONIC YOUTH COVERS:  Copy, Right? posts others' takes on the avant-rockers, including tracks from Camper Van Beethoven, The Go! Team and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  You can jukebox 'em via the ol' HM.

DAMON ALBARN, of Blur, Gorillaz, and The Good, the Bad and the Queen, has scored an opera -- Monkey: Journey to the West -- which had its début run in Manchester.  Sasha Frere-Jones writes, "There is even a catchy song about peaches that could possibly make it as a pop single, if the English-speaking world were ready for a hit in Mandarin."

NICK LOWE did an interview and in-studio performance (new stuff, a bit of "634-5789") with Terry Gross for Fresh Air at NPR.  Lowe talks about having a toddler at age 58, and his son's love of rockabilly, and much more.

BOB DYLAN has agreed to let Mark Ronson, the dance world's hottest producer, weave his remix magic on "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)," the bittersweet break-up song from his iconic 1966 album Blonde on Blonde.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are: Christopher Walken - More Cowbell; Asia - Heat Of The Moment; Badfinger - No Matter What; The Cure - Friday I'm In Love; Chris Bell - I Am The Cosmos; Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs - Different Drum; David Byrne - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (W. Houston); Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - This Land Is Your Land; Ryan Shaw - Do The 45; The Jackson 5 - ABC; Neko Case - Deep Red Bells; Teddy Thomson & Rufus Wainwright - King Of The Road; Michael Nesmith - I Fall To Pieces (Patsy Cline); Juan Cash - Fuego d'Amor; The Raveonettes - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry; The Ramones - Rockaway Beach; Iggy and The Stooges - Search and Destroy; Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot; The Jam - When You're Young; The Merseybeats - I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry; Ben Folds - March To Reenergize Iowa; and Marshall Crenshaw - Let Her Dance (Bobby Fuller Four).

THE SIMPSONS MOVIE is pretty much exactly what you would expect.  Oh sure, it's a little more "sophisticated" in having an overarching plot, with subplots and even a little character development (however temporary).  A bit more risque in a couple of images and words that might not meet FCC muster for TV.  It's even a little more technically sophisticated, with some elements clearly done in 3-D by computer and converted into Simpsons-esque 2-D.  But it is, at heart, a long (but short in movie-time at 87 minutes) well-written episode of The Simpsons.  A great opening sequence, funny throughout, laugh-out-loud funny in several spots (which is high for me).  Stay for the credits.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to The Simpsons Movie, currently scoring 85 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's wide releases include Caterine Zeta-Jones making No Reservations and scoring 38 percent, plus Lindsay Lohan as a stripper in I Know Who Killed Me and a hip-hopped take on Caddyshack called Who's Your Caddy? -- neither of which was screened for critics (shocka!).

NAOMI WATTS & LIEV SCHREIBER are proud parents of a baby boy.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  The Arizona man who has been dubbed the "Sultan of Sleaze" for his role in the distribution of celebrity sex tapes was arrested this week for his alleged role in an extortion plot targeting Cruise, according to The Smoking Gun.  On a lighter note, US Weekly has a photo of Cruise and Holmes dirty dancing.  This is best viewed with your back turned to the monitor and using two pieces of card board, one of which has a pinhole to let the light from the monitor project onto the second piece of cardboard.

NATALIE PORTMAN:  Valleywag lists the "Six reasons why Natalie Portman will be the world's best lifecaster."

DAVID HASSELHOFF credits the drunken video of him eating a burger off the floor with bringing "closure" to a troublesome period in his life.

LINDSAY LOHAN may claim that the cocaine found in her possession was not hers and that she was wearing someone else's pants.  The developing spin from Camp Lohan seems to be to blame Lohan assistant Tarin Graham and her mother for the incident, though the NY post helpfully throws in the curse of Zelig-like socialite Dori Cooperman.  Listening to the 911 tape, however, might tell a different story... as do the video interviews with the guys in Lohan's car.

THE 50 CRAZIEST CELEBRITY BABY NAMES:  Glamor model Jordan and her husband, former pop star Peter Andre naming their daughter Princess Tiaamii has inspired the Times of London to listmania.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON just bought an eight-million-dolllar mansion in the Hollywood Hills, boasting seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is reportedly "devastated" by the audience rejection of her movie A Mighty Heart, which has earned just nine million at the cineplex.  The flick might have drawn more if Jolie had looked like she does in Beowulf.

THE 25 WORST MOVIE REMAKES of ALL TIME, according to Moviefone.  (Thanks, Dad.)

THE DARJEELING LIMITED:  The trailer for Wes Anderson's upcoming movie can be seen on the Tube or in glorious Quicktime, with some Lola-era Kinks as your soundtrack.

VP DICK CHENEY once confused Jessica Simpson with Jessica Lynch, undoubtedly due to some very bad intell.

IRAQ:  US troop casualty figures that jumped this spring have been gradually dropping as US and Iraqi forces stabilize volatile and dangerous areas, though Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno says he needs more time to be sure it's "a true trend."  Attendance at a convention of Iraqi insurgents in Syria was underwhelming, though attendees were cautiously optimistic that they would be able to throw out the constitution, dissolve the parliament, cancel all resolutions issued from the Bremer era on, and disband the existing security forces after a US withdrawal.  Michael Yon's latest dispatch takes you inside a Tactical Operations Center, where attacks against insurgents are directed with help from an F-16 and a "Shadow" Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist" is revealed to be Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp, as TNR continues to seek corroboration of his gruesome tales.  Did TNR know that Pvt. Beauchamp blogged about his antiwar views and ambition to write a book about his service?  Or that he used to be associated with the University of Missouri's creative writing program?  (Semiotician John Barnes must be smiling.)  Pvt. Beauchamp's statement at TNR complains that he is being questioned by people who didn't serve in Iraq, when in fact he was challenged by Iraq vets at blogs like the Mudville Gazette and Blackfive.  He was also challenged by Michael Yon, a former Green Beret who embedded at FOB Falcon.  Indeed, there seem to be any number of military-types who see Pvt. Beachamp as the typical company malcontent.  Columnist Jeff Emanuel is headed to FOB Falcon in September and has offered to help TNR independently investigate Pvt. Beachamp's war stories.  BONUS:  TNR apparently fired someone who revealed that Pvt. Beauchamp is married or engaged to a TNR reporter.  And the Army has launched an formal investigation into the matter, which will certainly end badly for Pvt. Beauchamp -- if his stories are true, heads will roll; if his stories are false, heads will roll.  But Pvt. Beauchamp may yet get his book deal, maybe even a movie deal; after all, it worked for Stephen Glass.

VORACIOUS GIANT SQUID are invading central California waters and preying on local anchovy, hake and other commercial fish populations.  So where's the Nautilus when you need it?

HORNY HEDGEHOGS are disturbing the peace in Germany.  Dins-dale!

IF YOUR ENGINE PURRS LIKE A KITTEN, check under the hood.

BRIAN the HAMSTER, who made a great escape after being dumped in a pile of rubbish, starts a brand new life... as a female.

THE CROW THREAT:  Just outside Enköping, Sweden, a crow flew into an electrical cable, burst into flames and set a field of hay on fire.

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