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Mt. Goats, The National, A-Sides, Neil Young, Wiener Dog Races   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 24, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ROGUE WAVE plays "Lake Michigan" from their new LP on a late night television show.

MITCH EASTER:  The 80s indie icon talks with the Riverfront Times about his past with Let's Active and his present record, Dynamico: "It's a happily admitted vanity project, and if anybody wants to hear it, great!"

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle talks to DC's Express about storytellers, musical and otherwise.  He also posted "From TG&Y," an outtake from the band's upcoming album, at tMG forums.  That link expires today, so if you cant't get it there, you can download it at Chromewaves, too.

YO LA TENGO:  Ira Kaplan talks to the Boston Globe about providing live instrumental accompaniment to "The Sounds of Science," a series of underwater documentaries shot by French avant-garde filmmaker Jean Painleve.

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

WRECKLESS ERIC:  The movie Stranger Than Fiction debuted on cable this weekend; it makes great use of Eric's "Whole Wide World," though if you haven't seen the movie, you should stick with this rare live clip.

BETTYE LaVETTE talks to TimeOut Chicago about putting the Drive-By Truckers through their paces as the support band on her upcoming album: "Patterson Hood is telling people now that he sent me 50 songs and I threw them back at him! I've been telling people that it's not true. It was only 40 songs."  A good excuse to relink to "Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye LaVette)."

THE A-SIDES:  I was already thinking of blurbing this Philly power-pop combo when this gig for the World Cafe became available via NPR.

JOHN LYDON (a/k/a Johnny Rotten) refers to The Police reunion as "soggy old dead carcasses," even as the Pistols prepare their second reunion.

NEIL YOUNG:  In honor of the upcoming Chrome Dreams II, That Truncheon Thing has posted the never-officially released Chrome Dreams album for download, along with six bonus tracks.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  "Mystery witness" and former bodyguard Tony Barretto goes on the record with the uber-reliable News of The World with tales of the pop tart in a drug-strewn hotel room on a binge with junkie lover Howie Day just days after checking out of rehab.  Spears was reportedly was spotted fighting back tears at her third lawyer's office before she was charged Friday with one count of hit and run causing property damage and one count of driving without a valid California driver's license.  And she may be headed back to rehab, though sources tell E! that "everyone is worried she won't go at the last minute."

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The number one film of the weekend is Resident Evil: Extinction with 24 million, but if history is a guide, expect a nasty drop next weekend.  It will likely break even domestically (about 45 million), do a bit better than equal that overseas and rake it in on DVD.  The terribly reviewed Good Luck Chuck comes in second with 14 million a tribute to the allure of the Alba.  The Brave One drops a disappointing 45% to third place with 7.4 million.  3:10 to Yuma held better with a 29% drop and 6.4 million (this one is also likely to break even in the US and depend on Russell Crowe to sell tickets overseas).  Eastern Promises rounds out the Top Five with 5.7 million (sadly, this one will be lucky to make back 30 of its 50 million budget in the US).  Sydney White debuted with 5.3 million.   Mr. Woodcock dropped 43% from third to seventh with 5 million.  Superbad made another 3.1 million; it won't do as well as Knocked Up, but will likely top big summer comedies like Blades of Glory and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry on a much smaller budget.  The bourne Ultimatum held on for another 2.7 million.  Dragon Wars rounds out the Top Ten -- despite a 50% drop -- with 2.5 million. 

DENISE & & CHARLIE:  Charlie Sheen's fiancee Brooke Mueller is denouncing Denise Richards's claims against Sheen in their heated custody battle - claims that now include accusations about the way he handled his engagement to Mueller.

RICHIE SAMBORA returned to rehab for the second time this year -- this time at the Cirque Lodge in Utah -- the same rehab facility where Lindsay Lohan is currently receiving treatment.

SALMA HAYEK and her businessman fiancé, François Henri Pinault, are the parents of a baby girl, Valentina Paloma Pinault.

ALICE GHOSTLEY, a Tony Award-winning actress best known as a regular on the sitcom Bewitched from 1966-72, playing Esmeralda, a shy, bumbling witch whose spells never worked, died at 83 of cancer.

MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA!  The book publisher for Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady on the 1970s sitcom "The Brady Bunch," is shooting down rumors that she had a lesbian on-set affair with co-star Eve Plumb, who played her younger sister Jan.  The story of the alleged lesbian affair started circulating the Internet Friday, and was picked up by at least one newspaper on Saturday.

GEORGE CLOONEY and galpal Sarah Larson were in a motorcycle accident Friday.  Clooney had a hairline rib fracture and road rash, while Larson broke a foot.  Larson has been known to down a martini with a scorpion in it, so I'm sure she'll manage.

BRADGELINA have reportedly enlisted the help of one of Myanmar's leading monks to plan a trip to an orphanage, with an eye toward expanding their "rainbow" family.

JENNIFER LOPEZ is rumored to be estranged from her mother at the same time rumors swirl that she may become a mother.

KIM KARDASHIAN has done a 12-page pictorial for Playboy that reveals more than originally planned.  Oh, sure.

MARIA MENOUNOS, the former ET infobabe was chatted up by fmr. Pres. Bill Clinton at VH1's Save the Music Foundation 10th Anniversary party.  Then again, even Big Bird chats up Maria.

DENNIS RODMAN is under investigation by the Orange County Sheriff's Department for an alleged sexual battery.  A source tells TMZ that the ex-basketball star allegedly slapped a female bar hopper's rear so hard, it left a "major mark."

CATE BLANCHETT talked to Entertainment Weekly about Elizabeth: The Golden Age, I'm Not There (where she plays Bob Dylan) and Indiana Jones 4. Here's the extended trailer for Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which I've heard may disappoint, but at least will avoid Blanchett's plan to drink her own urine.

OSAMA BIN LADEN is under fire from one of his most prominent Saudi mentors, the preacher and scholar Salman al-Oadah, who publicly reproached OBL for causing widespread mayhem and killing.  Newsweek claims that a faction within Al Qaeda had been conspiring to sideline him, perhaps led by AQ No. 2 Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

IRAN:  CBS's 60 Minutes gave more airtime for Pres. Ahmadinejad to suggest that the US is the "root cause" of 9/11, defend government censorship, deny the presence of Iranian forces in Iraq, roll out talking points against th Bush Admin. (including Hurricane Katrina) and attack his interviewer as being like the CIA, and claim that 80 percent of the US believes the US gov't knew about 9/11 in advance.  The level at which he was challenged ranges from token to toothless.  The same will be true when he visits Columbia University today.  Americans are much better at challenging their own government than a tyrant from a theocracy which made kidnapping Americans at the US Embassy its first order of business.  RELATED:  A drunk staggers from the bar to his car, only to realize that he's dropped his keys somewhere. A friend comes across him two hours later, on his hands and knees under the lamppost on the corner. "Why are you looking here?" the friend asks. "You must have dropped them nearer to the car." The drunk responds, "Yeah, but the light's better over here."

IRAQ:  The US military arrested 25 suspects in the assassination of Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, who allied himself with the US and unified tribes in Anbar province against AQI.  Ahmed Abu Risha vows that the fight his brother started against AQI will not falter.  The "Awakening" movement agaisnt AQI continues to spread.  More than 1200 Iraqi males from in and around Tarmiyah stood in line for hours to join Iraqi Security Forces, local sheiks and Coalition Forces on Sept. 12.  Tribal leaders representing 20 of Diyala province's 25 major tribes have signed agreements to support US and Iraqi forces.  Bill Roggio looks at the situation in Arab Jabour in the southern region of Baghdad province and interviews General Mustaffa, the leader of Arab Jabour's "Concerned Citizens."

RUNNING of the WIENERS:  Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati staged its first-ever Dachshund race at Fountain Square.  Here's a photo gallery of the race.  RELATED:  From San Diego, video of more than 300 Dachshunds running a qualifying round for the 2007 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals.

THE PURLOINED BUNNY:  Security has been tightened at Seattle's Puyallup Fair agricultural tents after someone apparently swiped a prize-winning rabbit after it was awarded the blue ribbon.

SKUNK RESCUED in Grand Rapids, MI after it got its head stuck in a can.  Video at the link, courtesy of WOOD-TV (which I would have thought was in Lumberton).

BULLFROGS alarm wildlife officials in Utah, and it isn't even concern over a Biblical plague.

ENDANGERED IGUANAS tried to enter the country illegally inside a man's prosthetic leg.

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Beatles, Apples In Stereo, Van Halen, Cutout Bin, Wiener Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 21, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



THE BEATLES at BUDOKAN!  In June-July of 1966, the lovable moptops became the first musical group to perform at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, which engendered complaints from the older generations who considered it near-sacred ground. Consequently, the security for the trip was extensive; police stood shoulder-to-shoulder along the road from the airport to the hotel.  They performed five times in three days to audiences of about 10000 per performance. Oft-bootlegged, this is their show from June 30th --  Part 1 includes "Rock & Roll Music," "She's A Woman" and "If I Needed Someone."  Part 2 includes "Day Tripper," "Baby's In Black" and "I Feel Fine."  Part 3 includes "Yesterday," "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "Nowhere Man." Part 4 concludes with "Paperback Writer" and "I'm Down."

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman is interviewed in print and video by Hallelujah The Hills frontman Ryan Walsh for the Phoenix.

THE APPLES IN STEREO brought their psychedelic rock and power-pop to the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC Wednesday, so you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.  The opening act was Aqueduct, which is a good match.  Their album is streaming at the link now, or you can stream and download my pick to click, "Living A Lie," and others at AqueSpace.

ART BRUT guitarist Ian Catskilkin sees the band as more "rock" than "indie."  Singer Eddie Argos may crack wise, but he's also dead serious about his love of rock 'n' roll, talking to Georgia's Straight after spinning upcoming tourmates The Hold Steady for a charity DJ gig.  Which is what you would expect from a band likely to open a show with an excerpt of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" or AC/DC's "Back In Black" or "Highway to Hell."

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS stopped by The Current for a chat and miniset you can stream via MPR.  And you can see the video for "Shadow Government" at Spinner.

VAN HALEN:  Blabbermouth can hook you up with pics and videos from the last rehearsals for the 3/4ths reunion tour.  I may have to see this.

THE WATERBOYS:  The Celtic-tinged folk-rock outfit did an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream from NPR.

AMY WINEHOUSE was back to her shambling worst as she won Best Female at the MOBO awards.  Pics at the link.  I'm sure it was coincidence that her rider included two bottles of red wine (Rioja), two cases of Heineken, one large bottle of vodka (Smirnoff or Zubrowka), two bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne and two bottles of Jack Daniel's.

PETE DOHERTY & COURTNEY LOVE share a tender kiss?  Cue Vader.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Accidents Will Happen (Live); The Clash - I Fought The Law (S. Curtis); Georgie James - Only 'Cause You're Young; The Go! Team - Doing It Right; Yo La Tengo - Here Comes My Baby (C. Stevens); The Beach Boys - You're So Good To Me; Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run (Alternate Version); CSN and Sometimes Y - Woodstock; This Mortal Coil - I Am The Cosmos (C. Bell); Material Issue - I'd Wait a Million Years (Grass Roots); Lush - I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend (Rubinoos); The Rubinoos - Little Willy (Sweet); Mother Love Bone - Hold Your Head Up (Argent - Live - nsfw); The Flamin Groovies - Shakin' All Over (J. Kidd); Kevin Drew - Back Out On The ...; Local H - Toxic (yes, that one); Love Seed Mama Jump - My Best Friend's Girl (Cars; Live); Man Man - I'd Rather Go Blind (Etta James); The Beatles - I'm A Loser; Prefab Sprout - Faron Young; Patti Page - Conquest; Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind; Elton John - Philadelphia Freedom; Captain & Tennille - Love Will Keep Us Together; The Doobie Brothers - What A Fool Believes; Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat; Hall & Oates - Rich Girl; James Brown - Sunny; and Marvin Gaye - What's Going On.

EASTERN PROMISES may be David Cronenberg's most accessible movie since his remake of The Fly. That is not necessarily a good thing, as it pales a bit coming immediately after A History of Violence, which was successful while retaining more of the core creepiness of the Cronenberg canon.  Nevertheless, the film has much to recommend it.  Cronenberg does a mostly masterful job of immersing the audience in the seedy underworld of the Russian mob in London.  The cast is more than capable, with Viggo Mortensen perhaps earning an Oscar nomination; Armin Mueller-Stahl and Vincent Cassel were also excellent.  Naomi Watts was fine in her role, though she is not given as meaty a role as you might expect.  There is a plot twist that mucks up the ending a bit; the movie might have played better without it and likely would have played better had it been revealed only at the very end.  In sum, Eastern Promises is not Cronenberg's best work, but it still ranks above most of the movies released this year.

NOW SHOWING: In addition to Eastern Promises, which is currently scoring 85 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's wide releases are Resident Evil: Extinction, which was (shocka) not screened much for critics; the Dane Cook-Jessica Alba comedy Good Luck Chuck, currently scoring an abysmal 8 percent; and and the Amanda Bynes college comedy Sydney White, which is scoring 45 percent.

GOOD LUCK CHUCK may be a terrible movie, but director Mark Helfrich's notes on the soundtrack are pretty good, as is the soundtrack itself, including cuts from Art Brut, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Dandy Warhols and a new track from The Flaming Lips called "I Was Zapped By The Super Happy Rainbow," which Wayne Coyne also discusses at the first link.

THE WAR is a seven-part series directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns.  Starts Sunday on PBS.  Videos and more at the link.

OJ SIMPSON:  Fred Goldman's lawyer is salivating, after TMZ ran an audio clip in which one of Simpson's alleged victims revealed that he helped Simpson set up an offshore bank account: "If it's there, it's going to be ours."

BRADGELINA:  Jolie reportedly has been giving secret parenting advice to Nicole Richie.  When you think about it, it's not a stretch from her humanitarian work for the UN.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  It might be time to make way for another Tom-Kitten, according to OK! magazine.

LINDSAY LOHAN wrecked a marriage in rehab?  Stephanie Allen, whose family is worth £720million, is devastated by allegations that her husband Tony had sex with Lohan in a toilet at the Circque Lodge clinic in Utah.

JESSICA SIMPSON looks like a drunken mess.  It's for her next movie, but it looks very natural, almost like she's not having to act much...

ROD STEWART seemingly has a whole family of underwear models.  Pics at the link.

VANESSA HUDGENS of High School Musical apparently has even more nude pics floating around out there, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.  And she's considering doing a photoshoot for a men's magazine, like Maxim or FHM, rather than Playboy.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has been banned from Munich's famed Oktoberfest for "cheapening" last year's event.  Ouch.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is rumored to be turning into a total diva on the set of of He's Just Not That Into You.  Say it ain't so, Scar-Jo!

HEROES:  Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia were spotted getting cozy, comfy and intimate during a Duran Duran concert at an official Emmys after-party. 

DAN RATHER:  The disgraced ex-anchor's lawsut against CBS over their handling of Memogate is simply baffling to his former colleagues.  "I think he's gone off the deep end," said Josh Howard, who was forced to resign as executive producer of 60 Minutes II after CBS retracted the story.

AFGHANISTAN:  US troops win hearts and minds with an assist from Van Morrison.

IRAN:  Pres. Ahmadinejad has backed off from his plan to visit "Ground Zero" while in NYC next week.  Meanwhile, a government spokesman says "Supporters of the Zionist regime will definitely receive the final response for their support" on October 12.

IRAQ:  Violence nationwide has fallen to its lowest level since before the bombing of a Shiite mosque in February 2006 that sparked savage sectarian bloodletting, and there has been a 50 percent drop in violence in Baghdad since January, according to the number two commander of US-led forces in Iraq (who acknowledges violence is still too high).  Bill Roggio visits troops in Baghdad's Adhamiyah neighborhood, where a controversial wall was built earier this year and seems to be working.  Interestingly, Roggio notes that the local "Concerned Citizens," along with the Iraqi Police in Adhamiyah fall under the command of the Iraqi Army.  However, the target date for putting Iraqi authorities in charge of security in all 18 provinces has slipped to at least July.  US troops arrested an Iranian in the northern city of Sulaimaniyah, alleging he is an officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp's elite Quds force and accusing him of helping to smuggle a deadly type of roadside bomb into Iraq.  The Kurdistan Regional Government called the arrest ''illegitimate,'' saying he was a member of a trade delegation invited by the local government and demanding his release.

IF YOU LIKE PINA COLADAS and getting caught in the rain, it still might end in tears.  One of the few times you might wish life was more like a Rupert Holmes song.

AN 8-INCH WIENER DOG was spared a death sentence after her owner was cleared of letting a dangerous dog run out of control.

A FLORIDA LIZARD underwent surgery for the removal of a toy lizard.  The lizard is presumably resting comfortably.

THE PIG COLOR SYMPHONY:  Courtesy of Chinese art students,  it involves painted pigs being left to roam at will in a field.

MAN NEARLY DIES after putting a rattlesnake down his throat.  Shockingly, alcohol was involved.  Graphic video at the link.

PORK YOUR PORK?  At a members-only restaurant in the Tokyo entertainment district Roppongi, having pork prepared "your way" also means having your way with the pork.  According to The Mainichi Daily News, wealthy customers can engage in the forbidden practice of sleeping with dinner.

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Les Savy Fav, Lou Reed, Foo Fighters, Nick Lowe, Death Hamster   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


LES SAVY FAV rolls out a minimalist video for "Patty Lee," but the song is catchy and funky enough to carry it.

LOU REED talked to Pitchfork's Amanda Petrusich about the CD & DVD release of a 2002 classical performance of the infamous and influential Metal Machine Music.  Even if you don't dig the album, Lou is always worth a read.

THE FOO FIGHTERS album drops next week, but you can stream it now via MuchMusic.

QUEENS of the STONE AGE team up with celeb chef Anthony Bourdain for the weirdest holiday special ever.  Pics of hideous sweaters at the link.

NICK LOWE mixed in old faves with tunes from his new album, At My Age, at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA.  You can stream the whole gig via NPR.

THE PRIMITONS play "Seeing Is Believing" at an in-store appearance from 1985.  Proof positive that the Internet makes the "Where Are They Now?" file bottomless.  Background at Trouser Press.

THE BLACK LIPS discuss their misformative years and world tour with the NY Sun, and with Baltimore's City Paper about working with a nuclear technician to produce a vodka-based, Brazilian herb-infused sexual energy drink.

THE MENDOZA LINE is streaming its final mini-album and oddities in full via e-card.  (Thx, Chromewaves.) 

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn will be honored by his alma mater, Boston College, next week for his musical accomplishments.

JOE JACKSON:  Licorice Pizza has posted tracks from a May 14, 1979, show at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco.  You can jukebox it via the ol' HM.

BRITNEY SPEARS, hours after a judge ordered her to undergo random testing for the use of controlled substances and alcohol, spent the night at L.A. hotspots Winston's and Hyde.  Sheer genius!  Her friends are also worried sick that her starve-and-binge relationship with food may be pushing her even deeper into despair.  Justin Timberlake admitted to Oprah that he doesn't know what's going on with his troubled ex.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE also told the Big O that he stays in touch with galpal Jessica Biel via webcam.  Where are the hackers when you need them?

OJ SIMPSON made bail and snuck out the back door of the Clark County Courthouse.  An hour after OJ's 11 raided a Vegas hotel room, the alleged victims were planning their media moves, according to a tape obtained by TMZ.  One alleged victim, Alfred Beardsley, was arrested by Vegas cops Wednesday for a parole violation.  One suspect in the incident is still outstanding.

ROSE McGOWAN has a new diamond engagement ring from her Grindhouse director, Robert Rodriguez. 

BRADGELINA:  Pitt gives his stamp of approval to costar Mary-Louise Parker's decision to adopt a child from Africa.  Jolie told Cosmopolitan magazine she has only "slept with four men in my life - and married two of them!"  In the past, she has confessed to casual affairs with close male friends and admitted to meeting suitors for raunchy hotel bed-sessions.  Apparently, there was no actual sleeping involved in those cases.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA is either having a baby boy, or her friends are all very bad at picking out shower gifts.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN are back at each other's throats.  In newly-filed papers, Richards levels some explosive accusations against Sheen, claiming he still exhibits "inappropriate behavior... and conduct," including "his attraction to underage women and his sexual explicitness on the Internet, including revealing his private parts."  Sheen blasts back in a written statement: "Clearly the mother of my children has no interest in responsible co-parenting when it comes to my relationship with our girls. She behaves as though she OWNS our children. She does not..."

MARILYN MANSON does not carry new Lolita-esque galpal Evan Rachel Wood's luggage.

SHERRI SHEPHERD, the newest co-host on The View, was not so sure the Earth is round, but now says she was just nervous and having a "senior moment."  Someone probably took her aside and told her she does not have to be crazier than Rosie O'Donnell and dumber than Elizabeth Hasselback all at once.

DAN RATHER, whose career at CBS News ground to an inglorious end over his role in an unsubstantiated report questioning Pres. Bush's National Guard service, filed a 70 million dollar lawsuit against the network, its corporate parent and three of his former superiors.  The New York Times -- certainly not part of any vast, right-wing conspiracy -- reports: "Rather charges that CBS and its executives made him 'a scapegoat' in an attempt "to pacify the White House," though the formal complaint presents virtually no direct evidence to that effect..."  Rather also fails to appreciate the irony of claiming the network "seriously damaged his reputation" in a complaint that portrays him as "little more than a narrator of the disputed broadcast."  CBS issued a brief response: "These complaints are old news and this lawsuit is without merit."  And the net may not be as willing to settle this case involving the news division as it was to pay off Don Imus.

NATALIE PORTMAN does nude scenes in the Wes Anderson short, Hotel Chevalier, confirms movie nudity expert Mr. Skin, who is coincidentally profiled by Reuters.

ALICIA SILVERSTONE goes naked for PETA to promote vegetarianism.  Video at the link.  Some think this is a clever tactic, but meat-eaters may conclude that if they go vegetarian, attractive celebs will stop stripping for PETA and they'll be stuck with the far less attractive members of groups like Breasts Not Bombs (nsfw, or if you've eaten recently), who hope the opposition will cave in just to get them to cover up.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Websites run by militant Islamists have listed the names of over 100 Swedish companies as possible targets, calling for their readers to boycott these firms and "take revenge" on Sweden for in the ongoing row surrounding the publication in Swedish newspapers of a caricature of the Muslim prophet Muhammed.

IRAN:  Officials in NYC have denied Pres. Ahmadinejad's request that he be allowed to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center site during the opening of the UN General Assembly next week.  He's planning to go anyway.

IRAQ:  US civilian officials have been barred from road travel outside the Green Zone because of possible attacks after a deadly shooting involving the US security firm Blackwater USA.  Indeed, this is affecting key CIA station personnel in Baghdad - along with most State department diplomats and teams building police stations and schools.  US-led forces killed an Al-Qaeda terrorist allegedly responsible for a string of car bombings, including an attack that killed 202 people in Baghdad.  AQI seized control of an village in Diyala province after a two-day battle with insurgents-turned-allies from the Brigades of the 1920 Revolution.  The village had been attacked after its 300 or so inhabitants refused to align with AQI.  If it took two days to beat the 1920s, AQI won't be able to hold it against ISF or US troops.  Bill Roggio reports on a joint operation carried out with the Georgian Army in Wasit province aimed at disrupting the flow of arms from Iran and ultimately maintaining a presence along the Iranian border.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  One crafty rodent trains on an obstacle course, while another raids a candy machine.

THE DEATH HAMSTER sunk it's tiny teeth into Mr Green's thumb and palm and within minutes he had turned grey and begun making a gargling sound...

GOATS are evading being tasered by police in Alabama, and developing extra ears and limbs in Uganda.

RUSSIA'S SPECIAL DAIRY MOOSE provide healthy productNiiiiice.

THAT 7-FT LONG BOA CONSTRICTOR was not a Halloween decoration.  And it is slithering around Burr Ridge, IL on Wednesday, eluding authorities, confounding experts and sending residents into a panic.  Video at the link.

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The Brother Kite, Stars, Kindie Rock, Yogi Bears   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE BROTHER KITE:  Frank Yang calls their sound "Beach Boys-meets-Ride power-gazey-pop" and that is pretty much exactly what "I'm Not The Only One" sounds like.  You can stream two more jolting and floating pop tunes at KiteSpace, with echoes of the Byrds and Matthew Sweet, too.

THE SEX PISTOLS have joined the growing list of bands hitting the comeback trail, after announcing a one-off gig in London later this year.  I saw their last reunion tour.  Musicianship had replaced their raw, anarchic power.... but it was still worth seeing, particularly at the historic Aragon Brawlroom.

STARS is streaming their new album, In Our Bedroom After the War, via MuchMusic.  You can buy it online now, but it doesn't reach stores until Sept. 25.  (Thx, Chromewaves.)  If you have never heard (of) the band, you can check their Wikipedia entry.

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  The jury aid Tuesday that it believes it is split into almost equal camps and is unable to decide whether the famed music producer shot actress Lana Clarkson to death more than four years ago.  The defense immediately asked for a mistrial, but Judge Fidler rejected that move: "It is possible I may give you further instructions tomorrow," Fidler told the nine men and three women on the jury.  Most states have special jury instructions for cases of apparent deadlock.  The judge may also be researching whether he can instruct the jury on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter at this late juncture.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED is currently streaming tracks from Jens Lekman, Nick Lowe, Kevin Drew, José González, Steve Earle, Vic Chesnutt and Rotary Downs.

KINDIE ROCK:  The Seattle Post-Intelligencer notes the growing number of indie rockers playing and recording tight pop songs for kids, with Sea-Tac staples like Mudhoney and The Presidents of the United States of America joining in.  Clips from pop trio Recess Monkey at the link.  BONUS:  Kiddies sing along with Pavement!

INDIE SELLS OUT:  Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell denies charges of selling out after their song, "Everything All The Time," was licensed for use in a Wal-Mart online ad:  "Because some people see Wal-Mart as a huge, evil corporation, they seem to be especially bummed about this license and see us as posers and/or corporate whores as a result.  I'd like to just state for the record that we let all kinds of folks use our songs in all kinds of mediums. My personal stance is that once that music is recorded and released to the world then I don't really care where it goes."  He added that it "beats the hell" out of his past experience of stealing batteries and then returning them for eight dollars.  BONUS:  The Magnetic Fields maestro Stephin Merritt sings "The Wheels On The Car" for Volvo -- is that better or worse than licensing an original song?  DOUBLE-BONUS:  The Magnetic Fields -- "Born On A Train."

THE SEA & CAKE make music for your moon lounge.  The band dropped by The Current for a mini-set you can stream via MPR. 

SYD BARRETT:  The NY Sun essays the deluxe reissue of Pink Floyd's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, calling it "very much a record of the sacrifice Barrett made, probably unintentionally, for art."  Pitchfork reviews it and loves it, though less than impressed with the bonus tracks.  Spinner looks at the new DVD release of The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story.

JOHN VANDERSLICE gets an audio feature from the World Cafe, streaming via NPR.


BRITNEY SPEARS:  The judge in the Spears/ Fed-Ex child custody battle finds "habitual, frequent, and continuous use of controlled substances" by the pop tart and ordered her to attend hours of parenting classes and counseling above and beyond those ordered for both parents.  Spears has changed lawyers -- again.  Nevertheless, as I suggested last Monday, the judge hearing the Spears-Fed-Ex child custody dispute was not very interested in Gloria Allred's "secret witness," i.e. the former bodyguard claiming to have testimony "on issues of nudity by Ms Spears, drug use, and safety issues involving the children post-rehab."

ROSIE O'DONNELL turned down Oprah Winfrey's offer to promote her book.  She has posted one of her crazed messages on her blog, claiming she does not feel ready to discuss the book, but Page Six quotes Rosie's rep as saying she will do an interview with Diane Sawyer.  I'm guessing Oprah won't like being snubbed and lied to.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Not even the News of the World is buying her ex-con dad's claim that Li-Lo promised to quit films, leave Hollywood and dump bad boy lover Calum Best in a desperate bid to stay clean.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt, out promoting The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, says, "I understand being hunted, to some degree," especially after the premiere metastasized into a mob scene, but adds, "I understand the deal. It got chaotic last night, but there was genuine happiness, and it meant something to them. It only bothers me when they get in the kids' faces."  Meanwhile, Grazia claims that Jolie launched a scathing attack on Pitt's financial acumen, saying in part: "Brad knows there are times he should just be quiet and look pretty..."

OJ SIMPSON was charged on Tuesday with kidnapping, armed robbery and assault in a dispute over sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas hotel.  TMZ has posted censored and uncensored versions of the confrontation that led to Simpson's arrest.  One of the alleged victims has suffered a heart attack.  Meanwhile, Fred Goldman is out to get some of that sports memorabilia to satisfy the judgment entered against OJ in the wrongful death suit ten years ago; a judge already awarded Goldman a Rolex spotted on The Juice's wrist in photographs arising out of the alleged robbery.  BTW, it turns out the former killer and running back backs Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for President; I'm sure she's thrilled.

MARY-LOUISE PARKER, the star of Showtime's Weed's, becomes the latest to adopt an African baby.

SIENNA MILLER, who piled on the pounds for her curvy role in new film "Hippie Hippie Shake," has been advised by actor Jared Leto she can lose weight on a diet of curry powder and "lots of sex."  Subtle.

HILARY DUFF, in her new role as spokesmodel, says she likes to put Vaseline all over her body.

THE FRENCH HOTEL reportedly has gotten her hands on her £60 million inheritance.  Any connection between that story and the one about her stumbling at an Emmys afterparty and climbing over an iron gate in her sequinnned yellow, white and silver shift dress (pics at the link) is purely coincidental.  She is, after all, a changed woman since doing jail time.

WES ANDERSON, director of films including Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, has directed six television spots for AT&T, which are nicely collected at GoldenFiddle.

DARTH VADER was arrested for assault in the UK.  He should have learned long ago that choking off someone's air supply is not just some party trick.  Cue Darth.

ICYMI:  Here's that wacky student getting tasered and arrested after barging to the head of the line at a U of FL Gainsville townhall featuring Sen. John Kerry (D-MA).  It was a publicity stunt by a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.  BONUS:  He's a journalism major.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Authorities in Bangladesh ordered the arrest of a cartoonist and confiscated copies of a major newspaper's weekly supplement for publishing a "blasphemous" caricature of Guess Who.

IRAN & SYRIA:  Jane's Defence Weekly reports that dozens of Iranian engineers and 15 Syrian officers were killed on July 23 when a joint Syrian-Iranian team was attempting to mount a chemical warhead on a Scud missile.

IRAQ:  The CSM reports that departing British forces are leaving behind an emerging "Shiite Taliban state" in Basra.  The US military also reports that security has decreased in the south as rival Shiite militias jockey for power, though nationwide, the record-high "enemy initiated" attacks dropped from about 5,200 in May to about 4,800 in July and to 3,500 in August.  The ruling United Iraqi Alliance is forming of a special commission to negotiate with al-Sadr's supporters and try and persuade them to return to the government.  The US is also holding secret talks with the radical cleric, though they aren't very secret when you can hear about them on NPR.

IRAQ II:  Embedded bloggers are busy.  Michael Yon sees action along the Diyala River and asses the Iraqi Army units in the area as becoming a real army, but with room for improvement.  Michael J. Totten  and his unit get a warm welcome in Ramadi (and gets an assessment of the IA there, too).  Bill Roggio reports on a US Reconciliation and Engagement Cell in southern Baghdad province helping to stand up "Concerned Citizens" groups there -- a risky proposition, but one bringing results as the number of IED attacks plummet there.

A BLACK BEAR was ejected from Calgary's Rockyview General Hospital and chased into a tree.  So much for Canada's free healthcare.  VIDEO:  An Alaskan Black Bear searches for a pic-a-nic basket inside some family's SUV.

A FLAMINGO, A MONGOOSE and a SMALL LEOPARD are not suitable check-in luggage, as none fits in a one-quart Ziploc bag.  People trying this stunt will just be mocked by the airport monkey.

WOOLY MAMMOTH DUNG may be accelerating Global Warming.  I suggest we kill all wooly mammoths.

PET HOARDING:  This time, it's four cats, eleven birds and more than 60 dogs crammed inside a U-Haul truck with no ventilation, food, or water outside Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

A WOMAN threw herself into battle with a giant snake after it tried to strangle her pet dog to death, according to the South China Morning Post.

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Office, New Releases, Kevin Drew, Arcade Fire, Cat News   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


OFFICE:  The Chicago combo secured the services of 80s pr0n stars in this safe-for-work video for "Oh My," from their album dropping on the 25th.  If you find it catchy, you can stream a few more at OfficeSpace.

NEW RELEASES:  Rogue Wave, Kevin Drew, Hard-Fi, Eddie Vedder, The Wombats and Jesca Hoop are among those streaming this week via Spinner.  Noise fans should check out the self-titled debut from Health, and the second solo LP from Thurston Moore (though it isn't noisy at all compared to Sonic Youth).  Angular post-punks Les Savy Fav return with Let's Stay Friends, the follow-up to 2001's Go Forth.

KEVIN DREW gives an in-depth interview to PopMatters on how his solo LP wasn't the album he set out to make, and talks to Canada's Globe & Mail about how taking a break wasn't a break.

THE GO! TEAM:  Robert Christgau gives an audio review (w/streaming tracks) of Proof Of Youth for NPR. 

THE NATIONAL:  Matt Berninger reflects on overnight success after eight years: "We never expected to be a known band, and I think that might have sustained us.. The idea of being a popular band was utterly foreign."

JAN & DEAN:  It turns out that not even my Dad knew that "Surf City" was mostly written by Brian Wilson, so I figured I would slip it in before the Summer officially ends.  Toss in a fan-made vid for "Dead Man's Curve" and you have Twofer Tuesday, not to mention an argument between Barry & Dick.  FYI, technically, neither Barry nor Dick is right, though Dick is closer to the truth.

IRON & WINE:  Sam Beam talks to London's Telegraph about a number of things, including licensing his songs for ads:  "People ask about the commercials a lot. I don't really get it. It's not like my songs are being used in army recruitment commercials. If I had the luxury of not having to license my music, I probably wouldn't, but I have four daughters and four sets of education to pay for."

ARCADE FIRE:  Win Butler talks to the Denver Post about connecting to songs that document a certain time or place, while Will Butler answers five questions for the Rocky Mountain News, including what he has learned from touring: "I see how universally the world is screwed up. It's not just an American creation..."

MAXIMO PARK has started asking for wacky items in their contract rider, such as a Vivienne Westwood necktie.  Also, Paul Smith talks about Elvis Presley.

AMY WINEHOUSE may be back to her alarming self-harming ways.  And is it a good sign when Pete Doherty writes a song about you?

OJ SIMPSON's confrontation with a sports memorabilia dealer that led to his arrest on felony robbery charges was tape recorded (and it's nsfw) by Thomas Riccio, who co-owns the auction house Universal Rarities... and once tried to sell Anna Nicole Smith's diaries.  It appears that Riccio tipped Simpson about the memorabilia allegedly taken at gunpoint from a Vegas hotel room.

OWEN WILSON:  The comic actor's decision to forego traditional rehab prompts ABCNews to do a story on the newer method of treatment called sober companionship.

ROSIE O'DONNELL is full of rage, has a profound distrust of men, craves pub lic adoration, shows signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and dishes out her anger mostly to women because of deep-seated abandonment issues over her mother's death, said a psychiatrist after reading her book.  I was under the impression that psychiatrists are not supposed to diagnose non-patients, but is this anything we didn't already know?

BARRY MANILOW has pulled out of -- or been kicked out of -- his scheduled appearance on The View today -- because he strongly disagrees with host Elisabeth Hasselbeck's conservative view.  Guess he can't man up like Rosie did.  BONUS:  A Colorado judge is sentencing noise polluters to listen to Manilow.

LINDSAY LOHAN is substituting her alcohol and drug addiction with a sex addiction, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.  Given her pre-hab behavior, how could you tell?

BRITNEY SPEARS had a bad day.  Again.  A former bodyguard filed a declaration in her custody battle with Fed-Ex, which alleges "nudity, drug use and safety issues post-rehab."  The pop tart was dumped by her lawyer and by her management agency.  She has been banned from L.A.'s exclusive Chateau Marmont hotel after a string of complaints over her oddball behavior.  And her VMAs trainwreck may be undermining any momentum that her first single in three years was building.  Meanwhile, Entertainment Tonight reported that the FBI and the LAPD are investigating legitimate leads on a contract hit on Fed-Ex's life.  However, TMZ said reports of an FBI investigation are completely untrue - but an LAPD investigation was conducted in the past.  Spears must be so glad OJ got busted on Sunday.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie recalls her bummer of an acid trip at Disneyland.

PAMELA ANDERSON secretly engaged or married to Rick Solomon -- the other star of the French Hotel's X-rated video?  And here I thought it would be hard to top Tommy Lee and Kid Rock as husbands...

KATE MOSS whisked her new beau, Kills guitarist Jamie Hince, off for a weekend in the country to introduce him to her close circle of friends, including Kelly Osbourne.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY claims she is "twice the size" of most actresses in Hollywood, which seems... unlikely.

BRETT SOMERS, who amused game show fans with her quips on the Match Game in the 1970s, has died of stomach and colon cancer, her son said. She was 83.  Her death closely follows that of fellow panelist Charles Nelson Reilly, placing surviving Match Game regulars in danger of completing the trifecta.

ELISHA CUTHBERT:  A blog called Geno's World claims that a pr0n tape involving the 24 actress is being shopped around.  If that's not true, I would not want to be Geno.  Not because of the threat of legal action so much as being the target of disappointed Cuthbert fans.

CARTOON JIHAD:  A Swedish artist threatened with death over his drawing of Islam's Prophet Mohammed has been told by police he is no longer safe living at home.

IRAN reacted with fury to remarks by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner that that the international community had to "prepare for the worst" and then characterized the worst as "war," a statement that made waves in the news media and the diplomatic community. On Monday, however, Mr. Kouchner toned down his language, saying that France remained committed to a peaceful solution of the Iranian nuclear issue.  Yet even some of UN nuclear watchdog Mohamed El Baradei's own staff is questioning his leadership and what they see as his sympathy for the Iranians.

IRAQ:  US troops captured 12 Iraqis suspected of links with Iranian paramilitaries; killed 7 al-Qaeda linked militants, and detained 31 others in the latest raids in Baghdad yesterday.  Coalition forces captured a suspected longtime AQI terrorist during an operation Sept. 4 in Tarmiyah.  Blogger Bill Roggio reports on efforts to improve reconstruction efforts in Fallujah by working with mukhtars -- officials appointed during the Saddam Hussein era akin to "city sheiks" or "block captains."  Bombs, mortars and gunfire left dozens dead and injured within hours of insurgents announcing a Ramadan offensive (as they tend to have every Ramadan).  However, the current civilian casualty toll stands at 406 -- one-quarter of the number for August, so that offensive would have to include a series of massive attacks to stop the downward trend.

A SPOOKED CAT that was stuck 60-feet high in a willow for a week was at last blasted out of the tree last night by a high pressure water hose and landed - soaked but perfectly safe - into an outstretched sheet.

AN INCURIOUS CAT ignores the taunts of a mouse within paw's reach.  Pics at the link.

TEN RUSSIAN GERBILS have blasted into space for a 12-day mission to test the possible effects on humans of a flight to Mars.

A 12-FOOT GATOR bit off and swallowed a man's arm Sunday afternoon in Lake Moultrie, NC.  Department of Natural Resource officers then shot the 600-pound gator and retrieved the Summerville man's arm from its belly.  Doctors are waiting to see whether the operation to re-attach the arm has been successful.  Graphic pics at the link.

COWS stare unamazed -- but with a case of the munchies --as a pro-cannabis group from New Zealand claims to have scientific evidence that cannabis can stop the development of mad cow disease.

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