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New Foo Fighters and Beck, Goldenhorse, Pig Rescue   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FOO FIGHTERS:  Dave Grohl gives a little power ballad -- but just a little -- before bringing the rawk on "The Pretender."

BECK -- appropos of nothing -- has a new single on iTunes and next Tuesday at other digital retailers, called "Timebomb."

AMY WINEHOUSE has quit rehab a second time after a string of furious rows with her hubby.

OKKERVIL RIVER got an audio feature with two numbers from the group's new disc, The Stage Names, at the World Cafe.

MARK OLSON talked to the Mpls Strib about his solo almbum, Salvation Blues, but notes he could still go to paramedic school.

GOLDENHORSE:  At Chromewaves, Frank Yang is digging this band from New Zealand, calling "Run Run Run" maybe one of the best singles he's heard this year.  Frank has more linkage.

25 BANDS THAT SHOULD REUNITE, according to ShoutMouth, with plenty o' video.

DARYL HALL:  Pitchfork wants to convince us he''s an indie artist.  He's enthusiastic about the "anything goes" attitude of the 00s, where pop, punk and soul rub elbows and nobody's too cool to dig "Rich Girl".

MARK KNOPFLER isn't trying to convince anyone he's an indie artist, but Stereogum is streaming two new tracks from the Dire Straits frontman anyway.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer walked free from court as he faced charges of breaching bail conditions following his latest drug arrest, because he had not been produced in court within 24 hours of his arrest.

BRITNEY SPEARS may not be opening the MTV Video Music Awards, after all... but ex-bf Justin Timberlake may perform there.  Also, the pop tart's reportedly departing lawyer may have missed the chance to stop Spears employees from testifying in the increasingly bitter child custody suit with Fed-Ex.

THE FRENCH HOTEL may literally become a cartoon; fmr. Marvel maven Stan Lee has a first-look deal with Disney.  Meanwhile, Entourage star Adrian Grenier is trying to get the heirhead to go Green.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Rehab apparently involves taking you mind off drugs with bicycling and whitewater-rafting excursions.  And it appears that her Mom Dina has turned up in Utah.  And TMZ claims that there is a "strong possibility" the L.A. County District Attorney's office will NOT file felony charges against Li-Lo in connection with her two DUI arrests.

MARIA SHARAPOVA reportedly grunts much less in the bedroom than on the tennis court, according to slimy Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.  The Sun's readers suggest the blame may fall on Levine.

LAURA LINNEY is engaged to her boyfriend, Marc Schauer.

YO GABBA GABBA:  I'm slightly bummed I forgot to mention the premiere of the show on Nickelodeon Monday, as it seems like just the show for my friends with kids, not to mention college kids on hallucinogens.  The show features hip animation, mind-bending sets, wacky characters and appearances by the likes of The Shins, Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh, Rahzel of The Roots, Cornelius, and Elijah Wood (pictured).  Video at the links, plus more video and music at GabbaSpace.

SIENNA MILLER, romantically linked to co-stars Sean Bean and Matthew Rhys in the past week or so, has been spotted getting familiar with Notting Hill actor Rhys Ifans.

JENNIFER LOPEZ dresses like a dominatrix to rescue a baby from an S&M club... in the video for "Do It Well," the first single from her forthcoming CD.  M'kay...

HAYDEN PANETTIERE -- the cheerleader from NBC's Heroes -- turned 18, to the delight of pervy gossip columnists.  Not that she's discouraged such talk.  Asked by David Letterman what the big birthday means to her, the Heroes star answered: "I don't think much changes when you're 18 - maybe the way people treat you. But I think the only things I can do is buy cigarettes, porn and, if I get in trouble with the law, I'm kind of screwed."  Videos at the links.

JESSICA ALBA:  Emotionally unavailable, intuitive, and creatively unfulfilled?  The women at Jezebel have graphologist Sheila Kurtz analyze the September Cosmo cover girl's handwriting.

I'M NOT THERE:  A movie where Bob Dylan is played by Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Ben Winshaw and Marcus Carl Franklin?  Here's your trailer... plus a clip of Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan and David Cross as poet Allen Ginsberg.

BREAKING UP may not be hard to do, according to a new study.  Neil Sedaka was unavailable for comment.

THE CIA and other US spy agencies lacked a comprehensive strategic plan to counter Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11.  No comprehensive report focusing on bin Laden was written after 1993, and no comprehensive report laying out the threats of 2001 was assembled, according to the now-declassified executive summary of a report by the agency's own watchdog.  Yet the review team led by Inspector General John Helgerson found neither a "single point of failure nor a silver bullet" that would have stopped the attacks.

IRAN released detained Iranian-American academic Haleh Esfandiari from a notorious Tehran prison Tuesday after spending months behind bars on charges of endangering Iranian national security-allegations her family vehemently denies.  She was released after her elderly mother used the deed to her Tehran apartment to post bail, but it was unclear whether she would be allowed to leave Iran.

IRAQ:  The Bush Admin seems to be subtly turning up the pressure on the Shiite-led gov't of Prime Minister al-Maliki in comments made not only by Amb. Ryan Crocker, but also Pres. Bush (even while seemingly playing down the comment made by Sen. Carl Levin, noted here yesterday).  Moqtada al Sadr denies giving an interview to London's Independent in which he admitted his Mahdi Army got training from Hezbollah in Lebanon (an admission that hurts his effort to be seen as a nationalist).  He also denied involvement in the killings of two southern provincial governors, seen as part of a brutal contest among rival Shiite militias to control parts of Iraq's main oil regions.  Villagers in Diyala province are protesting and planning to set up new roadblocks to pressure the authorities to come up with new measures against al-Qaeda.  Saddam Hussein's cousin "Chemical Ali" went on trial along with 14 others in Baghdad for the slaughter of up to 100,000 Shia Muslim Iraqis.  Blogger Michael J. Totten has a piece titled "How to Spy in Iraq" about the way US troops are gathering intell on the enemy now that they are out in the neighborhoods of Baghdad.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  I thought Richard Miniter's piece on The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist" was a little over-the-top, but I must note the irony of TNR trying to gag its former employee from dishing some dirt about the story.  Also:  At Salon, former Marine officer David J. Morris gently breaks it to readers that some conditions are improving in Iraq.

PORKER rescued from a drain near Curbridge, Hants.  Like Jessica McClure, but with a pig.

RABID BEAVER attacks two north of Loch Raven Dam in Towson, MD.  Video at the link.

CHICKEN BUSTERS: Who you gonna call? Pic at the link.

GIANT JELLYFISH that invaded the Gulf of Mexico seven years ago have made a "vigorous reappearance" this summer and threaten to devour native fish.  Gonna need a bigger urine sample.

THE LOCH NESS MONSTER cannot stop a duathlon in Scotland.

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New Releases, Davendra Banhart and Eddie Vedder, Randy Killer Camel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CARIBOU:  The BBC Collective has a mini-documentary on the one-man-band turned live performer.  Ex-Dictators frontman Dan Snaith spins some inspiring songs from Wire and Lothar and the Hand People, shows his recording process and invites you to meet his new band.

NEW RELEASES:  In addition to the Rilo Kiley album linked here yesterday,  New Pornographers, Architecture in Helsinki, Caribou, Imperial Teen, Earlimart, Kinski, Patrick Park and Galactic are streaming in full this week from Spinner.  Minus the Bear releases Planet of IceThe Mendoza Line documents the breakup of Tim Bracy's and Shannon McArdle's romantic and working relationship on the double-disc 30 Year Low (the 2nd disc being rarities and covers). The Mekons return with Natural -- their first LP since 2005.  And Josh Ritter releases The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS frontman A.C. Newman talks to New York magazine about doing your best, but preparing for the worst.

DEVENDRA BANHART has two new tracks streaming at HisSpace.

LES PAUL:  The guitar legend -- still working at age 92 -- was interviewed on NPR in connection with a new documentary from the PBS American Masters series called Les Paul: Chasing Sound.

THE HOLD STEADY and ART BRUT will tour together; I don't post many tour dates, but I highly recommend this bill.

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff talks to Pitchfork about his populist leanings, the joys and dangers of fandom, and the neutering of indie rock.

JOHNNY RIVERS plays his smash "Secret Agent Man" and "The Snake" (a hit for Al Wilson) live at the Hollywood Palace n the day before I was born.  That's your Twofer Tuesday.

CAT POWER:  Rolling Stone has more details on the two new albums of cover songs Chan Marshall has been recording in Brooklyn, Miami and Dallas.

EDDIE VEDDER:  Spinner is streaming a track from his soundtrack to Into the Wild, titled "Hard Sun."

BILL MONROE:  Newsweek has a web exclusive -- with audio clips -- explaining why "The Father of Bluegrass" was one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB talk to PopMatters about not selling their music for commercials: "That's our big thing and why the label and publisher remind us we're not a big band. We always say no to that stuff. It's as important how you're giving it to people, as what you're giving them. Almost as important."  Embedded video at the link, too.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer is back with ex-girlfriend Irina Lazareanu - the girl the supposedly sober supermodel chose to model Moss's Top Shop collection.  Doherty and his Babyshambles bandmates leapt to the aid of a motorway car crash victim after playing a set at the V Festival -- and before he was arrested yet again for drug possession.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE was spotted with a bronze-skinned brunette with long brown hair all night at an HBO party on the roof of the Tribeca Grand.  Reputed girlfriend Jessica Biel may find that "exciting."

DONALD TRUMP is trying to get Britney Spears, the French Hotel and Lindsay Lohan to appear on his upcoming Celebrity Apprentice show.

BRITNEY SPEARS is trying to look like a Mom as her custody battle continues to heat up, with the uber-reliable News of the World claiming that Fed-Ex has testimony from a stunning dancer who allegedly shared a lesbian romp with the pop tart after a night at a gay club in Copenhagen.

THE FRENCH HOTEL, however, is in talks to appear in the new series of British reality show Celebrity Big Brother after being offered more than £300,000, according to the ever-reliable Sun in London.

LINDSAY LOHAN is looking to rehab her recording career, amid reports that insurance companies were afraid to bond her movies following her latest DUI arrests and a charge of cocaine possession.

WOMEN IN FILM are the subject of a morphing video from Mary Pickford to Halle Berry, by Philip Scott Johnson -- who previously morphed Women In Art.  Premiere magazine looks at 100 women making an impact in film in 2007.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Eleven extras were injured during the filming of Valkyrie, in which Cruise plays anti-Hitler plotter  Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg.  Neither Cruise nor director Bryan Singer were on-set at the time.

JENNIFER ANISTON joins Courtney Cox-Arquette and David Arquette on vacation in Hawaii.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY dons period swimwear for Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's best-selling novel Atonement.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  Warner Bros. has apparently given up on trying to stop that leak of production photos from next summer's sequel to Batman Begins, so the whole batch can be easily found now.

HAROLD & KUMAR are back with a teaser trailer for their sequel to Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

PAKISTAN has decided to accelerate the development of its nuclear and missile program after the finalization of nuclear deal between India and the US.  The gov't is also releasing a senior al-Qaeda operative and computer expert.

IRAN has hanged up to 30 people in the past month amid a clampdown prompted by alleged US-backed plots to topple the regime, according to London's Observer.  The theocracy's sacked oil minister has issued a parting warning to Pres. Ahmadinejad, predicting a looming 'catastrophe' in the Iranian energy sector because of high consumption.  Iranian forces are shelling villages in the remote Kurdish border area of north-east Iraq, where Tehran has recently deployed thousands of Revolutionary Guards.

IRAQ:   Al-Hayat reported that the new alliance between the pro-government parties will be soon followed by a radical "reconsideration" of the cabinet's structure, and, probably, the formation of a new government, "consisting of technocrats."  But the real news may be that Iraqi reports that major tribal figures in Anbar and its tribal councils were unseated for making statements supportive of Prime Minister Maliki and showing readiness to replace the Sunni-based Iraqi Accord Front in the cabinet.   Az-Zaman said that the parties left out of the new pro-government coalition are readying to create a counter-alliance, with the aim of overturning al-Maliki's cabinet (though they are united on little else).  The Pan-Arab paper al-Quds al-'Arabi reported that Ayatollah Sistani, the highest Shi'a cleric in Iraq, has expressed his disapproval of the demarche of the government and its Shi'a parties, reportedly saying "they have filled my heart with pus."  Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John Warner (R-VA) of the Sen. Armed Services Cmte have returned from Iraq encouraged by the effects of the recent US military "surge," but their enthusiasm is tempered by concerns about Iraq's political climate.  Sen. Levin went further, telling reporters that he hoped the Iraqi Parliament will vote the Maliki government out of office.  I'm not sure that sort of public statement from an American won't backfire, but that milk is spilt, so I hope it spurs them on -- though (as noted above) it's far from clear what the alternative to Maliki is.

IRAQ II:  On Sunday, the New York Times published a piece called "The War as We Saw It" by seven men serving with the 82nd Airborne.  "Grim" has posted a civil response at the milblog Blackfive.  US Army Reserve Col. Austin Bay -- who was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in Iraq -- lists a "rough draft" of "rough metrics" he thinks Gen. Petraeus will use in his interim assessment in mid-September.  Over the weekend, Coalition forces around Iraq killed three terrorists and detained 28 suspects while putting pressure on terrorists facilitating the movement of al Qaeda senior leaders.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The newshole devoted to three story lines of the war -- the debate over policy, events in Iraq itself, and the situation with veterans and families on the homefront -- fell in the second quarter of the year by roughly a third.

A SOLDIER'S CAT is recovering after falling out of an 18-story window in Chicago.  The plunge left Maxim with several broken bones, but he's expected to be back on his paws in no time.  Pics, video at the link.

CROCODILE vs. BULL SHARK in the Daly River of Queensland.  Pics at the link.

A RANDY CAMEL killed its owner after apparently trying to mate with her.  The animal had a history of erratic behaviour, often trying to straddle other species, including the family's pet goat.

A BABOON SPIDER does not make a good pet.

BEARS ate a 23-year old Serb at Belgrade Zoo over the weekend during the annual beer festival.

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New Rilo Kiley and Eagles, Neko Case, Ostrich Racing   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE SHINS' latest video -- for "Turn On Me" -- is kinda summery, in a twisted sort of way, kicked off with a Spectorian drum break.

RILO KILEY is streaming The Moneymaker album before its release tomorrow.  The L.A. Times covers the band and interviews frontwoman Jenny Lewis.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' frontman A.C. Newman's wedding to Matador Records' marketing manager Christy Simpson gets music-centric ink and pixels from The New York Times.

NEKO CASE and RUFUS WAINWRIGHT have mini-sets from the World Café Friday streaming now at NPR. 

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND return Oct. 2nd with a new album, titled Magic.  Details on a worldwide tour featuring the band are expected to follow.

THE EAGLES have posted a new song at TheirSpace.  It sounds very much like The Eagles; kinda "Already Gone"

THE TOP TEN GUITAR SOLOS, according to the Sunday Times of London, along with an explanation of Eric Clapton's absence and an addendum on The Only Ones' "Another Girl, Another Planet."  Which reminds me that you can watch The Only Ones at their first gig in 26 years.

BAND OF BEES, JESSE SYKES and THE KNIFE are the current features at Spinner's 3x3.

THE NATIONAL:  An Aquarium Drunkard has re-posted a French radio session from 2005, which you can jukebox via the ol' HM.

PATTIE BOYD:  The Daily Mail's third excerpt from her book covers Rod Stewart and the death of George Harrison.

AMY WINEHOUSE went back into rehab after pulling out from performing at last weekend's V Festival.  Her new husband spoke out to say her collapse wasn't his fault.  Her mother says she was powerless to stop it.  But you know you are near rock bottom if Kate Moss is planning a tribute song for you.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Superbad was just that, taking the top spot at the box office with 31.2 million -- above most analysts' projections; it may well end up in the 100-150 million range on its 20 million budget.  Rush Hour 3 was stuck in traffic at second with 21.8 million on a 140 million budget.  The Bourne Ultimatum held the third spot with 19 million, as did The Simpsons Movie, which was fourth in its fourth weekend.  The Invasion rounds out the Top Five with a disappointing debut of six million.  Stardust also continued to disappoint with a 19 million total after two weekends.  Hairspray broke the 100 million mark in the seventh spot.  Underdog continued to underperform with a 31 million total.  Harry Potter took in another 3.5 million, just edging out I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, which rounds out the Top Ten.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Fed-Ex has now subpoenaed the Promises rehab facility where ex-wife Britney Spears spent a month in treatment, while famed divorce lawyer Laura Wasser is reportedly about to resign as the pop tart's' attorney.

THE McCARTNEYS met so that Heather could hand over their three-year-old daughter Beatrice to Sir Paul as part of their shared custody agreement.  The Daily Mail had a body language expert study the photos.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  The seemingly interminable divorce battle between Lindsay Lohan's parents Michael and Dina is finally and officially over.

THE FRENCH HOTEL, who boasted that she's a changed woman since leaving jail, is finally doing some charity work -- though it involves her own clothing line.

JESSICA SIMPSON reportedly broke her nose after she accidentally hit herself in the face with a gun while shooting scenes for her new movie, Major Movie Star.  A cynic would suggest it's a convenient excuse -- or cover story -- for some cosmetic surgery.

LEO DiCAPRIO has figured out how to keep the tabloids and paparazzi away -- bore them by talking about global warming.

SIGFRIED & ROY are saying they are gay?  Who'da Thunkit?  NTTAWWT.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  Longtime comic geek Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has landed a speaking role in the newest Batman movie, sharing screen time with Christian Bale and Heath Ledger.  Warner Bros. Pictures asked a bunch of websites to remove leaked photos from the Batman sequel, but not everyone got the memo.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK:  Longtime comic geek Ed Norton is writing as well as starring in the reboot.  No word on whether his hair will get a credit.

WALK HARD -- a takeoff on musical biopics like Walk The Line -- is the next Judd Apatow production.  The trailer is running before Superbad.

THE HAMAS MOUSE Farfur may be dead, but the brainwashing of children for jihad -- including paramilitary-style summer camps for boys from Gaza -- goes on.

IRAN is reportedly massing troops along the northeastern stretch of the Iran-Iraq border near Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.  About 50 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards are believed to be training Shi'ite militias in the use of mortars and rockets in southern Iraq, the general commanding US troops in the area said on Sunday.  Revolutionary Guards leader Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi told the Iranian press that he could understand Washington's ire towards the group because of their recent successes against the US, but threatened that "America will receive a heavier punch from the guards in the future," in their first response to Washington's plan to list them as a terrorist organization.  Commanders of the Revolutionary Guards have grown rich as they extended their role from imposing religious rectitude at home and exporting Iran's revolution, to playing a huge role in the country's economy.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki has lost the support of the largest Shiite, Sunni and secular parties in Parliament, but remains in power in part because neither the Iraqis nor the Americans can agree on who is supposed to lead.  He carried an appeal for unity to Saddam Hussein's hometown Friday; he and US Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad met in Baghdad with more than 100 tribal leaders from volatile Anbar province -- so maybe al-Maliki seeks to cultivate Sunni support in the provinces, rather than from the political parties in Baghdad.  Iraq's Sunni vice president Hashemi promised better treatment and a review for the inmates crowding the country's prison system in a video released Saturday, appearently timed to boost Hashemi's profile at a time when Maliki is trying to shore up his crumbling government.

IRAQ II:  The US is pressing ahead with an effort to recruit and pay local Sunni Arabs to protect neighborhoods in districts scattered across a wide swath of central Iraq, generating deep skepticism in some members of the Shiite-led Iraqi government.  Security in Fallujah has greatly improved, but the locals and US troops wonder if it will last after a US withdrawal, with Sunni leaders contending that the Shiite-dominated government is neglecting them for sectarian reasons.  A deadly all-night firefight near Ramadi, dubbed the battle of Donkey Island, reveals not only  the enemy's determination to retake Ramadi and throw into question the region's long-term stability if the US leaves, but also demonstrates how an increase in US troops and Sunni cooperation makes it much harder for insurgents affiliated with al-Qaeda in Iraq to operate in Anbar.  On Friday, the UN Security Council as unanimously approved a resolution expanding the UN role in Iraq, supposedly playing a larger role in brokering Iraq's internal political dialogue and in winning support from its neighbors on security.  We'll see.  Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said he "welcomed" the UN's decision.  He also admitted his Mahdi Army has gotten training from Hezbollah in Lebanon.

OSTRICH RACING:  Not as easy as it looks.

RARE PERSIAN LEOPARD CUB TRIPLETS:  Bella, Bara and Bahar stay beside their mother during their first public appearance in Budapest.

A RARE CROC had become something of a mascot in a ritzy Coral Gables, FL neighborhood since he moved into the canals there two years ago... until he snatched a neighbor's full-grown Boxer.

FAT CAT UPDATE:  Half of all cats and dogs in the UK are now overweight, the RSPCA says.

BASIL the TABBY went on the lam at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.  (Thanks, Dad.)

MURDER-BY-SNAKE PLOT busted in Lakewood, Colorado.

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The Who, Caribou, Stephen Stills, Petra Haden, Cutout Bin, Cat-Nabe   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 17, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE WHO, Live at the Isle of Wight Festival, 1970!  Tubed segments include "Heaven and Hell" and "I Can't Explain," "Young Man Blues," "I Don't Even Know Myself," "Water," "Shakin' All Over" / "Spoonful" / "Twist and Shout,"  "Summertime Blues" and "My Generation," and "Magic Bus," plus a big chunk of Tommy including "Overture," "It's a Boy." "Eyesight to the Blind (The Hawker)," "Christmas," "The Acid Queen," "Pinball Wizard," "I'm Free," "We're Not Gonna Take It," and "See Me Feel Me / Listening to You," and a little tribute to Keith Moon over the end credits.  BONUS: "Substitute."

MODEST MOUSE frontman Isaac Brock talks to the Cleveland Free Times about recruiting ex-Smiths axeman Johnny Marr to the fold: "In the back of my mind, I thought I was buying time. I just thought I'd put it out there, so I didn't have to think about it for a couple more weeks..."

CARIBOU:  Spin magazine is streaming "Melody Day" in advance of the Andorra LP, due next Tuesday.  I wouldn't call Daniel Snaith the "Canadian Brian Wilson," but the song does have "lush psychedelics."

AMY WINEHOUSE left rehab after less than 48 hours, then took a helicopter to London for a brain scan, went home and -- hours later headed down to the local pub.

ELVIS REDUX:  Time magazine has a gallery of rare and previously unpublished photos of The King from the archives of Life magazine.  In future years, I'll try to remember to link to the Presley-Nixon meeting of Dec. 21, 1970.  And here's the Lisa Marie-Elvis "duet" I mentioned yesterday.  I'm underwhelmed.

STEPHEN STILLS:  Rhino has released Just Roll Tape - April 26th 1968, a collection of 12 previously unissued and long-lost demos from the year before he co-founded Crosby, Stills & Nash.  You can stream the whole album at Rhino, though some of you will likely want to go right to the "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" demo.

GUILT BY ASSOCIATION, the indie guilty pleasures album, has announced the video contest winners.  My favorite remains Petra Haden's signature take on Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," (no, that's not her pictured above) but you can watch Will Oldham's version of "Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)" and Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson tackle "Don't Look Back In Anger" (Oasis) at Pitchfork

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT talks to the Philadelphia Inquirer about wanting to get radio airplay and to write an opera, not to mention why he likes wearing lederhosen.

PHONOGRAPH has been opening for Wilco recently -- and it's a good match, as the band "falls somewhere between indie-rock, experimental electronica and alt-country." You can stream a twofer from NPR.

BAND OF HORSES frontman Ben Bridwell extolls the joy of not having a day job to the Cleveland Scene.  (Thanks, LHB.)

SUMMERTIME... and the Gershwin comes easy to Davendra Banhart.  The Ditty Bops back Jesca Hoop on an original tune with the same title.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart; Joe Jackson Band - Is She Really Going Out With Him? (Live); Mission of Burma - That's When I Reach for My Revolver; The Jam - Down In The Tube Station At Midnight; The Who - Cut My Hair; The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner; The Records - Teenarama; Squeeze - Up the Junction; Naked Eyes - Always Something There to Remind Me; The Pretenders - Mystery Achievement; The English Beat - Tears of a Clown; Richard Hawley - Some Candy Talking (JAMC); The Beatles - Two of Us; The Rolling Stones - She Smiled Sweetly; Aretha Franklin - Since You've Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby); Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - What Have You Done For Me Lately? (Part 1) (J.Jackson); Rare Earth - I Just Want To Celebrate; Steam - Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye); The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Fire; Echo and the Bunnymen - People Are Strange (The Doors); David Bowie - Golden Years; Kiss - Flaming Youth; Joan Jett - I Love Rock N' Roll; T.Rex - 20th Century Boy; David Essex - Rock On; Jimi Hendrix - Crosstown Traffic; Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers;  and Sonny & Cher - The Beat Goes On.

SUPERBAD is not normally the type of movie I would rush to see at this stage in my life.  However, as it's produced by Judd Apatow and written by Seth Rogen (who are sorta reviving the R-rated comedy with The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up), directed by Greg Mottola (who has some good TV directing credits), and had good advance buzz -- I thought I would give it a shot... and I'm glad I did.  Rogen's Superbad script isn't quite as sweet as an Apatow script, but it has a fair measure to go with its sophomoric humor (which I mean in the a good way; it is a teen comedy).  And there are only a few moments where the pic loses its tone and strays into American Pie-style gross-out humor.  The R-rating is mostly based on the language, which is often so raunchy and profane that I could have written it in high school.  Indeed, during the first half-hour or so, I kept hearing the tiny voice of Walter Pidgeon from Forbidden Planet: "Creatures from the Id!"  The soundtrack was also well-chosen, featuring the Bar-Kays, Ted Nugent, the Guess Who and heaping slabs of 70s soul, with an original or two from a P-Funky band including Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell and Clyde Stubblefield.  Mostly well-performed, relentlessly lowbrow, with just enough smarts and heart to let you enjoy it fully.  Folks will be McLovin' it.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to Superbad, which is currently scoring 89 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's wide releases include The Invasion, Nicole Kidman's body-snatchers remake which is scoring 16 percent, and The Last Legion, a fantasy action-adventure set against the fall of Rome which was not screened for critics.

BRETT RATNER:  The Rush Hour 3 director is rumored to be suffering a cash crunch, due to the flick's lackluster box office.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise's rep says the Tom-Kitten is not new face of Baby Gap.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has been so changed by her stint in jail that she is back to asking people to pay her just to show up at parties.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly broke down after visiting her lawyer to discuss her increasingly dirty custody battle.  But the pop tart's troubles have not curtailed her partying; Wednesday night, she was spotted out again at 4am, leaving a Las Vegas hotel with magician Criss Angel.  Meanwhile, the ever-reliable Star is reporting on the purported contents of affidavits from former Spears employees in the custody battle, with plenty 'o' allegations of bad mothering.  Spears has allegedly told her sons they were both mistakes, burdens, a pain in the a$$ and the reason (their) father left.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & RYAN REYNOLDS:  Just Jared has the first photos of the quietly canoodling couple on the set of Woody Allen's next flick in Barcelona.

DREW CAREY is showing off his scars from wounds inflicted when his arm caught in the revolving turntable for the Grocery Game while rehearsing on the set of The Price Is Right.

JON STEWART & STEPHEN COLBERT may be deposed by YouTube in Viacom's billion-dollar copyright infringement suit against the video-sharing site.  YouTube may be hoping the comedians will admit their shows exploded in popularity after viewers started posting them on its video-sharing Web site.

JESSICA BIEL:  Us Weekly has the contract that that explicitly details which body parts fans will see in the upcoming drama Powder Blue, in which Biel plays a stripper trying to earn money to raise her terminally ill son.  The blurb also notes that Biel has long distanced herself from the infamous 2000 Gear magazine spread in which she appeared virtually topless at age 17, claiming her former managers pressed her into posing.

ANNE HATHAWAY told us last month that she's not as squeaky-clean as we think.  She was not kidding.

HEIDI KLUM, less than a year after having her third child, is the new face of Jordache jeans.  Or something like that.

ENGAGE THE HYPERDRIVE:  A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the speed of light - an achievement that would undermine our entire understanding of space and time.  But probably not.

ISLAMISM in VANCOUVER:  A blind Vancouver man shunned by a taxi driver who didn't want a guide dog in his cab has reached a $2,500 settlement with North Shore Taxi.  The agreement, issued by a British Columia human rights tribunal, attempts to balance the rights of blind people with guide dogs to obtain taxi service with the rights of Muslim cab drivers to follow their personal beliefs (try replacing "blind people with guide dogs" with "blacks" or "women" for a reality check).  The agreement excempts drivers allergic to dogs and those who satisfy the company that they have "an honest religious belief" that precludes them from transporting certified guide dogs.

THE NYPD released a report that examines how ordinary people in the West can become radicalized and followers of what the report calls a jihadist ideology.  The report makes use of a novel "cluster" model to determine where on the path from preradicalized and self-identification to indoctrination and jihad an individual and immediate peer group may be.  Using the NYPD matrix, US law enforcement officials say there are at least two dozen "clusters," or "pockets," of individuals in the region who are at various places along the path of radicalization.  Groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations predictibly complain about the report, but given the mounting evidence linking CAIR to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, the group may end up with bigger problems than a report from the NYPD.

THE ARMY SUICIDE RATE is the highest in 26 years, and more than a quarter did so while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new military report.  That's bad news, but the Associate Press provides little context. It turns out that, after adjusting for the age and mostlly male demographic of the Army, the rates are about the same as the general US population -- which is a tribute to how remarkable US troops are, given the stress of service and war.

IRAQ:  Under pressure from the Congress, Arab states and Sunni Iraqi leaders, the US administration set the stage for "major" political changes in Iraq.  The Iraqi prime minister and president on Thursday announced a new alliance of moderate Shiites and Kurds, saying Sunni moderates refused to join but the door remained open to them.  The alliance is designed to ensure a majority in the 275-member parliament that would allow movement of critical US-demanded legislation.  US forces launched an airborne assault on a desert compound south of Baghdad on Thursday, the first air strike in a major new offensive.  Iraqi armed forces claim to have dismantled a branch of the "Islamic Army in Iraq" in the northern city of Kirkuk.

HOW TO MAKE A CAT-NABE:  Apparently, Nabe refers to all varieties of Japanese steamboat dishes, but rest assured that no kitties were harmed in the making of this video.

A PAIR of RARE SHARK RAYS made their debut at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ.  Video at the link.  BONUS:  A rare manta ray with a wingspan of 11 feet was found dead off the coast of Salem, Mass., by some jet skiers.

ORANGUTANS in Borneo are facing an unprecedented threat as their habitat is destroyed to satisfy increasing global demands for bio-fuel.

FANCY the HORSE was treated for injuries it received after someone hit her in the head with an ax.  Pics and video at the link.

STEFFI the GOAT ate 10000 Euros belonging to her owner.  A vet performed emergency surgery to recover the cash, keeping 300 soggy Euros as payment.

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The King, Son Volt, New PJ Harvey, Dancing Sheep   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 16, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ELVIS PRESLEY remains a global pop phenomenon on the 30th anniversary of his death.  Canada's Star-Phoenix, which discusses ten important parts of Elvis history worth reliving, notes: "His was a sequined coat of many colours: '50s Greaser Elvis. Military Elvis. Hollywood Elvis. Aloha from Hawaii Elvis. Vegas Elvis. And, ultimately, Dead Fat Elvis."  The BBC has friend and aide Sonny West recall life with The King, while London's Mirror has Elvis recipes.  The Belfast Telegraph lists 30 weird and wonderful Elvis facts. iAfrica pays tribute to Elvis in numbers.  Good Morning America surveys his film career, a decent chunk of which is airing today on Turner Classic Movies

ACTION NEWS 5 has posted its local coverage from Aug. 16-17, 1977, on the Tube, where you can also see funeral footage from the BBC Archive.  Here's read the obit that ran the next day in the Washington Post. Elvis Presley News recaps the international headlines from the event and links to the eulogy at his funeral.  Geraldo Rivera had national coverage that night, though he would later wallow in the King's drug habit.  On a happier note, check out what is likely the first footage taken of Elvis, with backstage shots of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly in 1955; shades of Walk The Line!  You can also see him play "I Got A Woman" live o­n his first TV appearance in 1956. I also include his performance of "Hound Dog" o­n The Milton Berle Show six months later, not o­nly because it's historic, but also because Paul Miller and I often reached for it when we would stumble into our KUSR shift at the last minute -- on the record, Uncle Miltie vamps for awhile, which gave us time to pull records for the show.  He was also iconic in "Jailhouse Rock" that year.  Elvis sang a mashup of "Love Me Tender" and "Witchcraft" with Frank Sinatra when he got back from the Army.  All of his movies -- such as "Viva Las Vegas" --made money, but his musical career stalled in the 1960s until he electrified and charmed the public with his televised '68 Comeback Special, which you can see uncut and unedited on the Tube.  1970 finds him singing "In The Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds" in the jumpsuit, though pre-bloated.  I'm going to throw in "Little Sister" just 'cause I like it.  Sadly, in a few short years, bloated jumpuit Elvis would be delivering a wacked-out take on "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" -- though to be fair, this audio-only version from 1969 is even more demented and he knows it.  I would rather remember Jumpsuit Elvis for the signature horns that open "See See Rider."  a tribute to his enduring legacy as the fact that he could hit the charts decades after his death with a remix of "A Little Less Conversation," a video subtly recalling "Jailhouse Rock."  And I've heard Paul Oakenfold's remix of "Rubberneckin'" in at least two movie trailers this year.  Indeed, this year even saw the bizzare CGI Elvis duet with Celine Dion on American Idol, which will likely make tomorrow's posthumous duet with daughter Lisa Marie seem almost normal by comparison.  Had The King not keeled over in the crapper 30 years ago, just imagine what Rick Rubin could have done for him.

ELVIS, INC.:  The King may be gone, but the brand lives on, making millions and recruiting new fans under the watchful eyes of Elvis Presley Enterprises and CKX, Inc.  The WaPo covers it all, from the Disney licensing to the Elvis Reese's Banana Creme Peanut Butter Cup to the 250-million-dollar renovation plans for Graceland and its visitor center.  The Chicago Sun-Times notes that TCB helped open the doors of Graceland to the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition this week -- the estate's first recognition of the folks they don't like to call impersonators.

TEGAN & SARA play a four-song acoustic mini-set and talk about Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Meg White for Spinner.

LINDA THOMPSON talks to the New York Sun about the crucial role son Teddy and daughter Kamilla played in the making of her new album

SON VOLT frontman Jay Farrar stopped by The Current for a conversation and a mini-set you can stream via MPR.

MAXIMO PARK frontman Paul Smith explains his onstage book reading to the Sydney Morning Herald, later adding, "I think I was probably more rock'n'roll before we were successful."

PJ HARVEY:  Prefix is streaming a broadcast rip of "When Under Ether," the first single from her upcoming seventh album.

THE B-52s:  Domino Rally is streaming some nuggets a bit further off the beaten track from the band's back catalog.


BRITNEY SPEARS:  To bolster his side of their child custody battle, Fed-Ex has been collecting stories from the pop tart's employees about her alleged bad parenting and it seems they have plenty to say, with tales of drunken exhibitionism and allegedly asking a nanny to sleep in the same bed with her and son Sean.  On the night when she drunkenly seduced a college student in a hotel swimming pool, Spears allegedly ended up kissing and fondling former assistant Shannon Funk, according to an article set for publication in OK! magazine.  Funk has denied a romantic relationship with Spears.  The ever-reliable Life & Style Weekly reports that kid sister Jamie Lynn Spears is taking Fed-Ex's side in the child custody dispute.  The also-reliable National Enquirer claims Fed-Ex plans to use video from the 15 security cameras that were installed in their Malibu home, including a clip of Spears allegedly whacking Fed-Ex with a frying pan -- life imitates cartoons.

LINDSAY LOHAN is getting sued for assault and negligence by a passenger in a car the actress allegedly chased while drunk last month.  TMZ has the complaint, which alleges the cops drew their guns during the incident.  The site also has the first photos of Li-Lo on a break from rehab in Orem, Utah.

MADONNA shocked passengers on a recent transatlantic flight after witnesses claim she whipped out a needle and started injecting herself... with vitamins.  Other celebrities who are rumoured to use the energy boosting shots include rehabbers Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has sold her Spanish-style 1920s mansion in ten days for 4.25 million, having paid just 2.9 million for it two years ago.  And we learn that Cameron Diaz was one of those complaining about the tumult the heirhead brought to the neighborhood after violating probation on her DUI conviction.

SIENNA MILLER, after being romantically linked to co-star Sean Bean earlier in the week, is also said to have fallen for co-star Matthew Rhys on the set of the Dylan Thomas biopic The Edge Of Love.

EVAN RACHEL WOOD:  The 19-year-old actress tells GQ that kissing 38-year-old boyfriend amid raining blood for the "Heart-Shaped Glasses" video was "one of the most romantic moments of my entire life,"  Wood claims the video does not contain actual sex -- despite reports to the contrary.

JOHN MAYER and MANDY MOORE a couple?  They were spotted having lunch, which is enough for people to start gossiping, anyway.  Moore is laughing it off:  "Oh my goodness. John and I have been friends for years, no romance."  Indeed, US Weekly claims Mayer has been... wait for it.... caught near-canoodling with Cameron Diaz?

DON IMUS reached a settlement with CBS radio that allows him to return to the airwaves at a new station four months after he made a sexist and racist remark about the Rutgers women's basketball team.  Industry experts say broadcast executives can have a very short memory if it means boosting ratings which Imus can still deliver.  Others may have longer memories.  Kia Vaughn, star center for the Rutgers Women's Basketball team, has filed a lawsuit against Imus for libel, slander and defamation.

JACKO continues to accumulate lawsuits.  The latest have been filed by celebrity super-lawyers Lavely & Singer for unpaid bills and by Sheik Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who claim Jacko is reneging on their agreement to make a CD and start a record company.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt's spokeswoman is denying reports Pitt and Jolie are planning to adopt a fourth child from Africa.

MICHAEL VICK, the embattled NFL QB facing federal charges related to his alleged participation in dogfighting, has been hit with a 63-billion-dollar lawsuit filed by a South Carolina inmate who alleges Vick stole his pit bulls and sold them on eBay to buy missiles from Iran.

KARL ROVE:  The departing White House deputy chief of stafftells the WaPo that his biggest regret was going to the White House Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner in March and performing as MC Rove.  It's a funny answer, but was Rove also taking an evil jab at those who think he should have bigger regrets?

NANO-BATTERY:  It's waffer-thin, like an after-dinner mint (NSFW).

VENEZUELA:  Hugo Chavez wants to be President-for-Life.  Shocka!  Couldn't have seen that one coming; after all, Sean Penn loves the guy.

IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad believes that Islamic rule is mankind's only way for salvation and that Pres. Bush has dispatched the CIA to hunt down the Islamic Messiah.  In the meantime, Ahmadinejad is attempting to rebrand himself as a listening politician by establishing a hotline for ordinary voters, to be run by aides in the presidential office.

IRAQ:  Gen. Petraeus is expected to propose removing US troops soon from several areas where commanders believe security has improved, possibly including Al Anbar province.  The L.A. Times adds that "it does not necessarily follow that Petraeus would call for reducing the overall number of troops in the country," though realistically, the "surge" will likely end by next April, based on already-stretched troop rotations.  Indeed, Gen. Petraeus believes the US footprint will have to be "a good bit smaller" by next summer.  Former insurgents are being targeted by AQI.  Italian anti-mafia investigators busted up a huge backdoor arms deal negotiated through an intermediary for Iraq's interior ministry.  The Oil Ministry confirmed the abduction of Fmr. Undersecretary Abdul-Jabbar Al-Wakaa alongside other officials.  Iraq and Jordan have agreed to share more intell to fight al Qaeda and other militant groups waging terror attacks across the region, Iraq's national security adviser says.  Embedded blogger Wesley Morgan's squadron got a visit from the Counterinsurgency Academy, a small institution whose mission is to help prepare arriving commanders to take over their areas without going through too disastrous of a transition period.  Blogger Michael J. Totten writes about the prevalence of Mahdi Army sympathizers in the Iraqi Army.

IRAQ II:  The death toll in the suicide bombings Tuesday in northern Iraq has risen to at least 500, local officials in Nineveh province said, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in Iraq since the US invasion in 2003.  Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon said the coordinated attacks were a "trademark al Qaeda event" designed to sway US public opinion against the war.  Last month, Gen. Petraeus warned that the summer may see a mini-Tet offensive designed to push US politics over the brink.  A glance at iCasualties suggests AQI would have to launch several more such attacks to cause as many civilian casualties as there were in April or May, let alone February or March.  Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John Warner (R-VA) have gone to Iraq to tell its leaders that they must accept responsibility for their country.  Prime Minister al-Maliki appeared to clear the way for a "crisis council" that seeks to save his crumbling government.

THE DOG OF DOOM:  Following in the pawprints of Oscar the Cat, Scamp the Schnauzer lives at The Pines nursing home in Ohio - where his owner, a staff member, claims he has been present for the death of virtually every patient for the past three years.

MASSIVE PARROT HEIST:  Forty-five parrots worth more than 1,000 dollars each have been abducted from a Long Island, New York, pet store.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  California ground squirrels have learned to intimidate rattlesnakes by heating their tails and shaking them aggressively.

OLIVER the MONKEY having made his second breakout from behind bars in less than a month, was recaptured and secured in a cage with with triple chains and locks in Tupelo, Miss.

A BLACK WIDOW IS NOT A GOOD PET:  In Dortmund, Germany, police broke in to Mark Voegel's apartment to find spider Bettina along with 200 others, several snakes, a gecko lizard called Helmut and several thousand termites had gorged on his body.

A TROUPE of DANCING SHEEP have been stranded hundreds of miles from home for 11 days in the wake of a foot and mouth alert in Britain.

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