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The Magic Numbers, Drive-By Truckers, Venomous Lizards and a Lemur   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 18, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE is still doing quite well on the ol' Tomatometer, but what did I think of it, and can I make it spoiler-free? (Yes, yes, hit the midnight show, sacrificing the obviously needed beauty sleep to fully service the Pate community.) Many of the reviews call this one the best yet. I'm inclined to disagree, because: (a) the first one had a great, tart sensibility I hadn't seen in a "family" film since Willy Wonka; and (b) even as someone who has not read the books (for shame!), I could tell that the proceedings here were being streamlined and condensed considerably, or Steve Kloves' screenplay wouldn't be quite so abrupt in spots. Nevertheless, this may be my second-favorite and I quite liked Prisoner of Azkaban. Given the constant (and increasing) problem for the series of trying to be complete enough for the fans of the books within even 2 1/2 hours, I thought it balanced the action set pieces and darker revelations against the the comic wizards-coming-of-age material fairly well, though I think the ultimate mystery was given away a bit early. GoF also points toward some of the larger themes that I presume are fleshed out in the later books (I may not read the books, but I do read about them.) Certainly, Dumbledore's speeches, both to the Hogwarts student body and to Harry at the conclusion are metaphorically timely. And I definitiely enjoyed it enough that I won't be regretting it as I'm slumped at my desk a few short hours from now.

WALK THE LINE: I'll be seeing the Johnny and June Carter Cash biopic this weekend and report o­n Monday. In the meantime, I have to say my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash's autobiography "Cash" by Johnny Cash.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Spot the Fake Smile. Can you tell the undisputed truth?

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE co-founder Brendan Canning thinks the band is a source of Canadian pride: "People are a bit tired of bigger different artists (who) I don't want to name being ambassadors for our country."

A COMPUTER PROGRAM THAT PICKS HITS has been developed by two Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D. grads. The response is so specific at times that it can forecast how a single will perform o­n the charts and spit out a review, guessing what words will be used to describe it: "My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you."

THE MAGIC NUMBERS and FEIST get better reviews as opening acts than headliner Bright Eyes in the Louisville Courier-Journal. ALSO: Brooklyn Vegan links you to The Magic Numbers streams and (killing music) MP3s.

THE ROLLING STONES, cranked o­n crumpets and baked beans, turned it up to eleven in San Francisco, much to the annoyance of the usually laid-back bay locals. One angry resident, Ted Weinstein, complained: "Just because they're too old to hear their music doesn't mean it has to be so loud."

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS' Jason Isbell talks to Creative Loafing about being the new kid.

INDIE GONE MERSH: Scott at Stereogum posts about commercial artistry. He has a link to the Coca-Cola sponsored movie scored by The Flaming Lips, but it may be easier to see the robot-laden video at them5.com The site also has a short film scored with Guided by Voices' "Back to the Lake."

THE UK MUSIC HALL OF FAME induction ceremony brought out the legends, with Prime Minister Tony Blair lauding the Eurhythmics, Pink and Floyd still sniping at each other and Black Sabbath stealing the show.

SONY COPY-PROTECTION DEBACLE: Boing-Boing rounds up the coverage to keep us up to speed o­n the story of Sony's dangerous rootkit. It looks like some heads will roll in the aftermath.

BONO spent ,700 to have his hat flown to him in Italy - first class. This is just o­ne of the "top 50 rock extravaganzas" compiled for Blender magazine. "We love pop stars at this magazine, but it is clear that in many ways they are complete idiots," said Clark Collis, a senior writer at Blender.

GARY GLITTER: Vietnamese authorities are searching for the former British rock star over his alleged relationship with a Vietnamese teenager. Glitter was convicted in Britain in 1999 of possessing child pornography and was expelled from Cambodia in 2002 for unspecified reasons.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The Malcontent has posted a clip from South Park's "Trapped In The Closet" episode. E! gossip chief Ted Casablanca hears that Cruise and Holmes are not getting married any second now, but Perez Hilton hears they are.

JOHN MALKOVICH has vowed to stay away from stage acting until his children have grown up.

RYAN SEACREST and CNN's ANDERSON COOPER check out the size of eack other's... neckties.

GEOFFREY FEIGER, the high-profile attorney for clients like Dr. Jack Kevorkian and brother to Doug Feiger of The Knack, is under investigation for allegedly attempting to blackmail Michigan state Attorney General Mike Cox.

TARA REID: While early reports had the party girl behaving herself under the watchful eye of her mother at her 30th birthday party, the New York Daily News now reports that she was drinking straight from magnums of Champagne and had to be carried out of the bar by her friends at 4 a.m. Now that's the Tara we all know!

XTINA AGUILERA and her fiance Jordan Bratman are to wed this weekend in a secret ceremony. It's so secret that we know who designed her dress and those of the bridesmaids.

MARK McGRATH of Sugar Ray lands Pam Anderson and still gets no respect. Ouch.

BRITTANY MURPHY has been a very bad girl. Bad enough to get dumped by her agent and her manager for unspecified "personal" reasons. And in Hollywood, that's saying something.

CLARE DANES and JASON SCHWRTZMAN had to get tanked before kissing in Shopgirl.

MICHA BARTON had a wardrobe malfunction o­n The O.C. this week. So of course it's on iFilm already.

JESSICA SIMPSON planned a blow-out 32nd birthday bash for hubby Nick Lachey because she wanted to "show Nick how much she loves him and wants to make things work between them," a source tells Life & Style Weekly. Lachey reportedly told her, "Do what you want, but leave me out of it."

BRITNEY SPEARS was told by her psychic that that she probably would be pregnant again by early next year. Which would explain why the pop tart has reportedly already seen a divorce lawyer.

DENNIS RODMAN will play two games in Iowa with the Cedar Valley Jaguars of the International Basketball League.

BLACK FRIDAY: The holiday shopping season officially kicks into gear a week from now, but you can see what sales the stores are planning now.

OSAMA bin LADEN wants the US to convert to Islam, ditch its constitution, abolish banks, jail homosexuals, ban alcohol, gambling and women's photos in newspapers or advertising and... sign the Kyoto climate change treaty.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio looks at Operation Panther, which seeks to capitalize o­n three key al Qaeda in Iraq insurgents captured in Ramadi. US troops' discovery of 173 mostly Sunni Arab men beaten and malnourished in a secret Interior Ministry jail has sent a jolt of optimism through Baghdad's disaffected Sunni minority. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) made headlines by calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops because he's seen as a "hawk." But Murtha called the war "unwinnable" a year and a half ago. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a frequent critic of the conduct of the war, disagrees with proposals to withdraw, to put it mildly. A CBS News producer tells Marines that he agrees that the coverage of Iraq is unbalanced, is amazed that there aren't more hero stories coming out of the war and that he was outraged by a recent 60 Minutes piece about the o­nce-deadly road to the Baghdad airport which the military has since secured. I confidently predict that CBS News' overall coverage will not change whatsoever.

SENS. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA) and TOM HARKIN (D-IA) got caught trying to get public buildings named after themselves.

AUSSIE LIZARD has classic rattlesnake venom, scientists report in the journal Nature.

SPARROW UPDATE: The story of a sparrow shot after knocking over 23,000 dominoes laid out for an attempted world record continues to get weirder. Not o­nly has a website been set up to commemorate the "Domino D-Day sparrow," but the site was also hacked by pranksters who put porn o­n the site.

ROADKILL including two deer, a coyote and a possum, were sneaked into a fraternity house at Ball State.

LISBON LEMUR limits locomotive line.

BUCK the DOG is rescued from a 70-foot sinkhole after being trapped for 16 days.

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Worst Covers, Best Bands, Arctic Monkeys, Night Monkeys, Bears and Bison   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


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Art Brut, Laura Veirs, Owls, Armadillos, Puggles, Schnoodles and Labradoodles   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


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Live In Chicago, BSS, Metric, Walk the Line, and Bird Attacks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


NEW RELEASES: Rockers love the Windy City. Today marks the release of Wilco's Kicking Television: Live in Chicago o­n CD (which scores an 8.3 o­n the Pitchfork), as well as U2's Vertigo 2005 - Live From Chicago o­n DVD (though it appears there will be a "Deluxe" version coming) and The Electrifying Conclusion DVD, which was shot at Chicago's Metro. You can vidi three GbV songs and a funny teaser at iFilm.

PEARL JAM: Eddie Vedder says the new album will be "aggressive" and will probably come out in the spring of '06.

DO YOU SPEAK BLOG? London's Observer observes that the the warped English of music blogs (and Pitchfork) is "brilliant fun and completely baffling at the same time."

THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOW! has a new demo o­n their MySpace page. (via YANP.)

LINDSAY LOHAN covers "I Want You To Want Me." Someone is definitiely killing music.

JOSS STONE is named young person of the year by publishers of Debrett's, a book which lists what it sees as the UK's top achievers. Among other new entries were Dame Shirley Bassey and Stereophonics lead singer Kelly Jones, as well as actors Tim Roth and Pete Postlethwaite.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS announce that "When The Sun Goes Down" will be their next single, but not until mid-January.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE producer/part-time guitarist David Newfeld talks to the Stranger about reviews of the new self-titled disc in advance of the band's concert in Seattle this Saturday. You can hear or see them unpluggedy from last week's KCRW session.

METRIC: The Houston Press talks to the band's Emily Haines (another part-time BSSer) about pop, the personal and the political in an article that starts with a quote from Billy Bragg's "Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards." I think *Sixeyes can still link you to two legal downloads from the new album.

SONY COPY-PROTECTION: At Wired News, Dan Goodin is calling for a boycott of CDs containing the intrusive software: "If it was a mistake for Sony to foist a rootkit o­n its users -- as Sony's retreat o­n Friday would suggest -- then halting production of the offending CDs is o­nly the first step in rebuilding our trust. Sony now must recall all remaining disks, make it easier for people to remove the rootkits and provide free support for anyone who still has difficulty."

ANNIE LENNOX fears she will never find love because men are intimidated by her keen intellect. Or perhaps they are put off by the whole "dressing in mens' business suits" thing. Sure, it worked for Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks, but that's Kim Basinger, who, afaik, has never sported a crimson buzzcut.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Burberry has come out publicly in support of Moss, describing reports the shamed supermodel was being dropped by the fashion brand as "nonsense." PLUS: Moss can count herself lucky that alleged faux-firefighter and rape suspect Peter Braunstein o­nly wrote about stalking her, rather than going for the full-on Basic Instinct.

WALK THE LINE: The NYC premiere of the Johnny and June Carter Cash biopic drew plenty of country music types, from Kris Kristofferson to Gretchen Wilson. But give kudos to Jessica Alba for dressing in an all-black ensemble.

MADONNA likes to use the "F" word a lot. But No Rock and Roll Fun has the last word.

NAOMI WATTS blasts movie remakes as unoriginal and tired. She's the lead in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong, but she may be best known right now as the lead in The Ring, Gore Verbinski's remake of a Japanese film.

JESSICA SIMPSON thinks her sister is "stupid" and worries about her partying. Did Jessica see the video of Ashlee drunk in the McDonald's?

SONY PICTURES hasn't seen o­ne of its films gross more than 100 million dollars in the US since October 2004's The Grudge. Zathura opened unimpressively last weekend, with o­nly 14 million in sales against a 65 million budget. Sony is trying to turn things around, but when a reworking of I Dream of Jeannie, is mentioned with Jennifer Garner, Lindsay Lohan or Kate Hudson as possible leads, o­ne question that might be asked is, "What happened to Jessica Alba?"

TIM ROBBINS: Don't quit your day job.

BROOKE BURNS: The former Baywatch beauty is in a L.A. hospital after suffering a fractured neck bone in a pool mishap last week, but is expected to recover fully.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Oprah Winfrey tells Good Morning America that Cruise's couch-jumping was wilder than it seemed to her at the time, but that she didn't believe Cruise's declarations of love. Holmes is reportedly quitting acting forever to be a stay-at-home mom. If it weren't for the circumstances, I would be tempted to respond, "When did she start acting?" And I still managed it.

ARETHA FRANKLIN is going to NYC for the opening of Oprah's musical of The Color Purple, but there's an ulterior motive: "You can eat at a different restaurant every night in New York. There's so much ground to cover." Sadly, Aretha endangers herself by covering most of it these days.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY didn't have any boyfriends at all when she was in school. So now she's dating a model. I don't know why other guys never figured out that the seemingly unattainable girls usually sit at home because guys think they are unattainable. But I wasn't about to explain it to them, either.

THE FRENCH HOTEL: It turns out that the nut doesn't fall far from the tree.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER are officially a couple again, appearing at a premiere for her upcoming movie, Casanova. Having life loosely imitate the movie makes for good pub, too.

PETRA NEMCOVA: Aides to former President Clinton stopped him from being photographed alone with the tsunami-surviving supermodel, lest the photo become grist for a late-night comic, a supermarket tab or a right-wing smear campaign. And if you can't recall why this would happen, check out the Petra pics at Egotastic. Y'know, just so you're up o­n current events.

KATE WINSLET denies rumors she is o­n the Skeletor diet, claiming the o­nly weight she has lost is in magazine photographs. It would not be the first time that Winslet was put o­n the Photoshop diet.

BRITNEY SPEARS was reportedly dissed by Columbian singing sensation Shakira, who noted that her taste in men runs more to the son of former Columbian president Fernardon De La Rua. Me-OW!

RUSSELL CROWE helped French police catch a violent thug without using a telephone. Kudos to him.

VICTORIA BECKHAM, the former Posh Spice, has always denied she's had work done, but was forced to 'fess up in court docs. I give you the ONTD link because the woman who posted it has a great picture and comment in her signature line accompanying the item.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: I'm sure Ken King is not the o­nly o­ne to notice that the picture here is my "go to" option for Jolie stories, but what other pic works better for a story about Jolie using powdered bat as a voodoo charm to break up Pitt's marriage? Especially when someone named "Doctor Snake" is rendering his expert opinion? ALSO: Jolie's estranged dad, Jon Voight is dating Diana Ross.

FRENCH RIOTS: President Jacques Chirac said Monday in his first televised address to the nation since rioting erupted more than two weeks ago that the violence reflected a "profound malaise" in France. Aside from the fact that Chirac's response time here makes our FEMA look like The Flash, I have to wonder whether Jimmy Carter or MSNBC's Chris Matthews helped Jacques with the speech.

IRAQ: Operation Steel Curtain continues in Ubaydi, which earlier provided the stiffest insurgent resistance during Operation Matador. An estimated 60 insurgents were killed and another 25 have been taken prisoner. Iraqi President Talabani said that talks o­n withdrawing U.S.-led foreign troops from Iraq can begin as early as at the end of next year, based o­n his assessment of the training of local forces. Then there is Fred Hiatt's column o­n Iraqi Vice-President Adel Abdul Mahdi in the WaPo: "Adel Abdul Mahdi, Iraq's vice president, may seem a bit unfeeling as he assesses the o­ngoing violence in his country. It is very hard, he says -- but better than during Saddam Hussein's day, when, Mahdi says, each year 30,000 Iraqis were executed or assassinated by the regime or killed in the dictator's wars. It may sound unfeeling, that is, until you remember that, just days before Mahdi's visit to Washington last week, his older brother was killed in a drive-by shooting." Actually, it sounds unfeeling to ignore what Iraq was like under Saddam, but still worth reading.

HUGO CHAVEZ: The Venezuelan President, has insulted Mexican President Vicente Fox to the point where Mexico and Venezuela have recalled their ambassadors. And this is how Chavez acts when he wins an argument o­n trade.

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: "In this article HowStuffWorks will look at the Death Star inside and out, examine the fascinating history behind this powerful military and political tool, discover other incarnations of the Death Star and learn about what really happens when you blow up a planet."

PHASRs: The US government has unveiled a "non-lethal" laser rifle designed to dazzle enemy personnel without causing them permanent harm. The Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response (PHASR) rifle was developed at the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico; two prototypes have been delivered to military bases in Texas and Virginia for further testing.

THE UN-TERNET: Cyberlaw guru Larry Lessig looks at the possible effects if the US refuses to cede control over the Internet to the UN or the EU. The short version is that it would not be a really big deal.

TINFOIL HELMETS do not protect the brain against invasive radio signals and even amplify certain frequencies. At least, that's what The Man would have you believe...

BABY DOLPHIN was born over the weekend at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo. Dolphin births are not considered successful until the calf is at least a year old, but the newborn has exhibited several behaviors considered positive, including regularly nursing. Awwww...

CAT discovers a newborn baby girl human in a box o­n top of a garbage can o­n Chicago's West Side.

HAWK is subdued by a senior citizen after the bird flew into her apartment in Jefferson Park, IL (yep, lotsa local animal stories for me today).

SPARROW knocks over 23,000 dominoes in the Netherlands, nearly ruining a world record attempt before it was shot to death Monday. Birds suffering for flying through windows symmetry, catch it.

5536 Reads

Steve Earle, Death Cab, Nick Drake, Giant Jellyfish and Squid   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 14, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


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