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New Go! Team, Tony Wilson R.I.P., BRMC, King Jimmy the Goat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 13, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE GO! TEAM has posted another advance video from the upcoming LP.  This one is aptly titled "Doing It Right," filled with handclaps, marching band horns and xylophone and the band's signature 70-80s vibe.

TONY WILSON, the Manchester music impresario who founded Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub, died Friday night, aged 57, after a heart attack on Thursday.  The Salford-born journalist brought bands including Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and James to a wider audience. Factory's pioneering approach to design and architecture also helped kick-start Manchester's transformation into a European cultural center.  Chromewaves can hook you up with NME's coverage of reax from Creation Records founder Alan McGee, Factory Records graphic designer Peter Saville and Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order.  Music blogs posting tracks in tribute include Some Velvet Blog, Ear Farm, and Product Shop NYC.  Given it's summer, I have to single out Happy Mondays' cover of "The Boys Are Back In Town."  It does make for a "Blue Monday."

AMY WINEHOUSE is in rehab?  The Daily Mail says yes, yes, yes; NME says no, no no.

PATTIE BOYD:  The Daily Mail has a second excerpt from her autobiography, on the collapse of her marriage to Eric Clapton, as well as the revenge exacted on Clapton by his ex Lory Del Santo and George Harrison.

HE'S A WHORE:  After almost a year's absence, Darren Robbins has returned to blogging with rare Beatles, live Cheap Trick from '79 and more...

NICK DRAKE:  The video for "Way To Blue" from the posthumous Family Tree LP naturally features family photos from the Drake estate.

RATTLE YOUR JEWELRY:  Newly declassified from Britain's Foreign Office reveal the ugly side of rampant Beatlemania at the British Embassy in Washington DC.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB did an interview and mini-set of their "gutsy rock 'n' roll" for the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR.

RILO KILEY guitarist and co-vocalist Blake Sennett tells to LAist that the band's move to a major label hasn't been as big a change as one might think: "I think there's a big difference between Saddle Creek and Warner Bros. but at the end 0f the day, it's not like all Saddle Creek's money is going to Darfur and Warner Bros. proceeds are going to Pres. Bush." Sennett might be interested to know that folks from Human Rights Watch and even someone as far to the Left as Daniel Schorr will admit that Pres. Bush and the US have done far more on Darfur than any other government.  It has been countries like Russia and China blocking UN action and violating the arms embargo that was imposed -- which is quite similar to what they did with respect to Iraq.

SIOUXSIE SIOUX:  The classic punk frontwoman  will roll out her first solo LP this Autumn.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Rush Hour 3 topped the charts this weekend, taking in 50.2 million -- but that's less than the sequel made, with the injury componded by the fact that the studio is giving 40 percent of the gross to the stars and directorThe Bourne Ultimatum dropped 51% to take second place with 33.7 million, but has made 132.3 million in 10 days, befre opening internationally.  The Simpsons Movie held onto third with $11.1 million.   Stardust met the low end of most analysts' expectations with 9 million, against a 70 million budget; international receipts may save it. Underdog rounded out the Top Five with 6.5 million, but less than 25 million total. Hairspray took in 6.4 million, while I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry broke the 100 million mark with another 5.9 million. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix added another 5.4 million to to a 822 million total worldwide. No Reservations made 3.9 million; Daddy Day Camp, the pseudo-sequel to the Eddie Murphy hit, debuted  in 10th with 3.6 million, about 3 million below expecations.

BRITNEY SPEARS' cousin/assistant, Alli Sims, was slapped with a a deposition subpoena in the Spears-Fed-Ex child custody battle.

MERV GRIFFIN, whose talk show once rivaled that of Johnny Carson's, whose real-estate empire once rivaled that of Donald Trump's, and who invented both Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, died from prostate cancer at 82.  SCTV fans will say, "Oooohhh!"  Pat Sajak remembers.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills hits Vegas with her daughter, almost £70 million, and a frumpy sun hat.

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE is officially divorced from husband Jonathan Schaech. I was never a fan of the Heardsmen, anyway.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Even Woody Allen is warning her of the danger of becoming uninsurable.  So nice of the Woodman to take an interest in someone who just turned 21.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie claims she has given up lesbian and sado-masochistic romps after falling for Pitt.  As though that would make Pitt happy.  Guess that report of Jolie buying a riding crop in Prague in June must have been off-base.  In any event, her former lesbian lover Jenny Shimizu doesn't think it will last.  Meanwhile, we have some video of Jolie getting dragged around in a Dodge Viper and chatting up the director on the set of Wanted.

JOAN JETT has signed onto the cast in Lighthouse Entertainment's 80s-themed teen comedy Endless Bummer -- and will likely contribute to the soundtrack.

BILLY GRAHAM:  Dose someone at Time magazine think he's the Devil?  Or Batman?

THE ONLINE COMMUNITY'S TOP 100 FILMS, according to Cinema Fusion.

BLADE RUNNER:  The Ultimate Collection DVD doesn't hit stores until December, but Yahoo has clips streaming now.

JESSICA ALBA had a final meeting with her ex-bf Cash Warren, but is "definitely enjoying being single right now," a pal tells US Weekly.  Alba has said in the past that she embraces no-strings attached encounters when she's single.  One has to wonder whether someone sympathetic to Warren is the source for a nasty, libelous Alba rumor floating aroung the Internet.

WATCH WHERE YOU PARK YOUR WEINER: The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was ticketed for illegal parking in Chicago.  My cash-strapped city will ticket pretty much anything that moves. (Lance caught this one, too.)

GLOBAL WARMING:  Newsweek Contibuting Editor Robert Samuelson writes that last week's cover story on "global warming deniers" was "a wonderful read, marred only by its being fundamentally misleading."

DIRTY BOMB THREAT:  The NYPD increased radiological monitoring and established checkpoints to examine vehicles in lower Manhattan and at other locations around the city Friday night in response to an unverified dirty bomb threat.  It's not hard to see why -- aside from the health threat, a dirty bomb detonation in a major port could cost 20 billion in the first month alone.  Waht's more, on Friday, scientists warned that terrorists could learn from last year's murder of Alexander Litvinenko to carry out radiological attacks on cities far more devastating than a dirty bomb.

THE GOP STRAW POLL:  I don't generally do much domestic politics, but the straw poll is held in Ames -- Pate's home town -- so I thought I could add some non-partisan perspective from someone who knows the Hilton is not a hotel in Ames.  The straw poll is generally bought by some candidate (e.g., the Rev. Pat Robertson in 1988) , and not predictive of much.  Neither is the Iowa caucus, which causes The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan to ask, "why exactly does the Iowa caucus have this exalted status in the primary/caucus system?"  The answer is that -- once both major political parties reformed their nomination rules to favor caucuses and primaries over party fat cats, Jimmy Carter was able to use the IA caucus to propel himself to the 1976 Democratic nomination (and the Presidency) -- even though he actually came in second to "Uncommitted."  Candidates have been trying to duplicate the feat ever since, though with less and less success, as the element of surprise has been removed.

IRAQ:  US forces claimed success on Saturday in establishing their influence and denying al Qaeda fighters control of Iraq's Diyala River valley.  TheShiite pilgrmage to Kadhimiya was a surprisingly peaceful occasion.  A former military commander said British forces in Basra must retake the city or abandon it, but it appears that US forces will be doing the job.  Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan and Iraqi PM al-Maliki hammered out a tentative agreement whereby Turkey will shelve its threat to launch a military operation against the PKK terrorists holed up in the Iraqi Kurdish mountains while Baghdad will move to subdue the militants.  Sunni Arab political forces are jockeying for position in the next round of provincial elections.  Even as they call for an end to the war and pledge to bring the troops home, the Democratic presidential candidates are setting out positions that could leave the US engaged in Iraq for years.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Newsweek covers The New Republic's controversial "Baghdad Diartist."  TNR issued a statement Friday claiming that the Army has rejected the mag's requests to speak to Beauchamp, on the grounds that it wants "to protect his privacy," while Col. Steve Boylan responded that the Army "not preventing him from speaking to TNR or anyone. He has full access to the Morale Welfare and Recreation phones that all the other members of the unit are free to use. It is my understanding that he has been informed of the requests to speak to various members of the media, both traditional and non-traditional and has declined..."  TNR's latest statement also says that Beauchamp told TNR that "he signed several statements under what he described as pressure from the Army," but that "these statements did not contradict his articles."  Which raises the question of how Pvt. Beachamp was "pressured" by the Army into standing by his articles.  The potential punishment for lying to Army investigators is much worse than what he would get for recanting, not to mention worse than the pennalty for lying to TNR, which is nothing.

ELEPHANTS GONE WILD:  Anyone wanna bet he eats it?

A BABY GORILLA rejected by his mother, cuddles with a stuffed monkey.  Awww...some pics at the link.

KING JIMMY the GOAT'S silken locks glistened with raindrops for the start of the world renowned Killorglin Puck Fair in County Kerry, Ireland.

A BEHEADED SNAKE proves it is still dangerous in Prosser, Wash.

ADDY the OWL foiled burglars who stole her from her owner's home by biting them until they hurled her out the window of their getaway car and crashed.  And then carried an urgent message to Hogwarts.

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Punk, Johnny Thunders, Great Lake Swimmers, Cutout Bins, Racoon   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 10, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE SEVEN AGES of ROCK: PUNK!  This documentary from the BBC tells the tale of two cities -- NYC and London -- and the re-invention of rock at the end of the 1970's.  Bands featured and interviewed include the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Television, The Clash, Patti Smith, Buzzcocks and more.  Tubed in eight segments -- Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8.  There's some language, natch.

JOHNNY THUNDERS and the HEARTBREAKERS:  An Aquarium Drunkard has a guest post from a fellow blogger on the wreckage of Thunders' post-NY Dolls band and the band's fab 1977 demos -- two of which you can stream via the ol' HM.

JASON ISBELL:  The former Drive-By Trucker has an interview and mini-set for the World Cafe streaming from NPR.

WILCO:  Renowned avant-garde guitarist Nels Cline talks to the Winniped Sun about joining the band and Jeff Tweedy's post-rehab addiction.  (Thanks, LHB.)

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  The jury is taking a field trip to the fmr pop producer's castle-style mansion in Alhambra, just outside Los Angeles.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Looking for something to balance the classic punk?  Dee-Lite finds that "Groove Is In the Heart," with a little help from Bootsy Collins and Q-Tip.

THE EDMUND FITZGERALD:  Did a life preserver from the wreck fabled in song wash up 200 miles from the spot where it sank?

GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS did an interview and mini-set of their "sweetly rustic, warmly melancholic folk-pop" for the World Cafe, streaming on demand via NPR.

THE TOP 10 ALBUMS of 1983, according to Andrew Womack, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Morning News.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Homer Simpson - Spider Pig; Steve Earle - I Feel Alright; The Police - Next To You; Wire - 12XU; Dead Boys - Sonic Reducer; Television - See No Evil; The Replacements - Favorite Thing; Soul Asylum - Sometime To Return; Husker Du - Makes No Sense At All; The Soft Boys - I Wanna Destroy You; R.E.M. - Time After Time (Annelise); The Velvet Underground - She's My Best Friend; The Searchers - When You Walk In The Room; The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow; David Bowie - Lets Spend The Night Together; 13th Floor Elevators - She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own); Jefferson Airplane - Plastic Fantastic Lover; Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth; The Broken West - Down in the Valley; The Hold Steady - Your Little Hoodrat Friend; Whiskeytown - Dreams (Fleetwood Mac); and M.Ward - Green River (CCR).

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE:  Booker T. & the MG's - Time Is Tight; Sam & Dave - I Thank You; The Four Tops - Standing in the Shadow of Love; Otis Redding - I've Been Loving You Too Long; Smith - Baby, It's You; Gloria Jones - Tainted Love; Rufus & Carla Thomas/Rufus & Carla Thomas - When You Move You Lose; Stevie Wonder - Higher Ground; Hot Chip - Sexual Healing; The Go! Team - The Wrath of Marcie; ABBA - Dancing Queen; Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight; Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science; Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl (acoustic); Meat Loaf - Anything For Love; Brownsville Station - Smokin' in the Boys' Room; Cheap Trick - I Want You To Want Me; Led Zeppelin - Black Dog; and Hans Zimmer - Spider Pig.


LINDSAY LOHAN:  Longtime former bodyguard Tony Almeida tells InTouch magazine that neither Dina nor Michael Lohan provided any structure for Lindsay when she was growing up and that both were wild, abusive, neglectful partyers who needed to keep their "cash cow" daughter working to pay their bills.  Meanwhile, a fellow patient who just completed treatment at the Cirque Lodge in Utah claims Li-Lo's arrival and stay has been disruptive to others in the program.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are Rush Hour 3, currently scoring 27 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, the Neil Gaiman fantasy Stardust, which is scoring 73 percent (though only 54 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics) and the pseudo-sequel Daddy Day Camp, which is scoring 2 percent.

THE MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS nominees have been announced, but even Time magazine has figured out how irrelevant they are.

AMY WINEHOUSE was reportedly admitted to a London hospital due to "severe exhaustion," but London's Sun is claiming that it was in fact a "huge drug overdose."

REESE WITHERSPOON stashed JAKE GYLLENHAAL in a secret guest suite reserved just for her at the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel and later spent the night at Gyllenhaal's Hollywood Hills pad.  That should put to rest rumors that Witherspoon was on the verge of reconciling with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe.

BRADGELINA have descended upon Chicago for Jolie's next project, Wanted -- and are staying in the same hotel suite Jennifer Aniston used when she was filming The Break-Up.  Sun-Times gossip Bill Zwecker goes provincial to offer tips to Bradgelina-spotting.  It appears that Pitt was in California for the day, narrowly missing jury duty.

LEO DiCAPRIO isn't planning to campaign for any of the 2008 presidential candidates just yet: "I have yet to hear a candidate that has clearly laid out their environmental policy in a way that is inspiring to me."

ANNE HATHAWAY tells Newsweek that  "about 95 percent of my friends are gay men," as is her brother -- but ducked questions about whether that complicates her relationship with her boyfriend, who works for the Catholic Church.  NTTAWWT.

IS THE PLAYBOY MANSION A CRIME SCENE?  LAPD detectives have begun an investigation related to a report of a possible sexual assault at the Playboy Mansion in West L.A.

STEPHEN BALDWIN broke a shoulder and rib less than 3 seconds into his career as a bullrider.  Let's go to the video.

BRIDGET MOYNIHAN:  When New England Patriots QB Tom Brady gets someone pregnant, he gets them unbelievably pregnant.

CHRISTOPHER WALKEN cooks chicken upright in the oven, with carmelized pears.  I'm sure it's tasty, but couldn't it use... more cowbell?

GLOBAL WARMING:  Ironically, the same week that Newsweek decided to paint all global warming skeptics as corporate stooges and "deniers," blogger Steve McIntyre forced NASA to revise US temperature data used for climate modeling to correct a Y2K bug.  The revised data shows that 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now occur before World War II.  The Y2K bug was not easy to uncover because NASA's  James Hansen had refused to provide McKintyre with the algorithm used to generate temperature graph data.  The National Climatic Data Center, a branch of the NOAA, also tried to suppress the locations of the surface temperature monitoring stations that collect the basic temperature data -- some of which failed to meet the NCDC's  requirements, or were revealed to be in ridiculously unsuitable locations -- on hot black asphalt, next to trash burn barrels, beside heat exhaust vents, even attached to hot chimneys and above outdoor grills.  Whether or not these factors affect the overall science remains to be seen, but we should make sure we have solid data, properly functioning computer software and transparent methodology before those who question them are not-so-subtly compared to Holocaust "deniers."

IRAQ:  Newsweek gets a look inside an Iraqi "un-brainwashing" program for teen jihadis outside Camp Cropper.  Up to 2,760 non-Iraqis are locked up in Iraqi jails, among them 800 Iranians, the Iraqi delegation to an international security meeting in Damascus revealed on Wednesday.  Iraqi gov't and religious leaders charge that Saudi Arabia is doing little to stem the flow of its nationals to Iraq to wage "holy war" on Shiites. But some Saudi Arabian analysts say this is a way for Baghdad's Shiite leaders to steer attention away from Iran's involvement in Iraq.  The WaPo has a piece on the wary relations among the US military, former Sunni insurgents and the Shiite-dominated national gov't.  The top US general in northern Iraq said Wednesday he was redistributing troops and predicted any pullout from the country would take at least two years.  And the latest CNN poll shows that most Americans think that the war is winnable -- but still don't think that the US will win.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The New Republic's controverisal "Baghdad Diarist" gets covered by the Associated Press, which quotes Bob Steele, the Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values at The Poynter Institute school for journalists, and Paul McLeary, a staff writer for Columbia Journalism Review who has written about the matter, pointing out the ethical problems raised by the dubious diaries... which is slightly amusing, given that McLeary used to be more interested in attacking TNR's critics in his own writing.  It's also amusing to the extent that the AP itself used a pseudononymous police officer as a source for over 60 stories in Baghdad without even disclosing that fact to its readers (indeed, the AP has never admitted it).  Meanwhile, the conservative blog Confederate Yankee contacted one of TNR's sources and got different answers than the magazine did.

IRAQ and the MEDIA II:  The US military dropped charges on Thursday against two Marines charged in connection with the 2005 deaths of 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha.  Lt. Col. Paul Ware said murder charges brought against Sharratt were based on unreliable witness accounts, insupportable forensic evidence and questionable legal theories.  In April, murder charges were dismissed against Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz.  Time magazine, which broke the Haditha story and hyped it heavily, even calling it a "symbol of a war gone bad," has somehow neglected to inform its readers of these developments so far.  That's not surprising; in its "symbol" story, the mag predicted that "it's unlikely that even by throwing the book at the men responsible, the U.S. military will earn the goodwill of the civilian population" -- but somehow missed the Mayor begging the Marines to stay.  Of course, the remaining defendants may yet be found guilty of serious crimes, but it's a lesson about convicting our troops in the press before there has been any due process.

THE RACOON THREAT:  The furry little mask fits on this carpet thief caught on video.

A SEXUALLY SUSPECT PANDA once believed to be male gave birth to twin cubs this week in China.

A 700-LB. GRIZZLY BEAR escaped from a local zoo and is roaming Stevensville, Ontario, not far from a Lake Erie beach popular with Buffalo-area residents.

WHEN BEAVER ATTACKS:  A grandmother taking a leisurely swim in a Swedish river ended up in the hospital after a beaver attacked her with its tail, regional newspaper Nerikes Allehanda reported Wednesday.

THE RAT THREAT:  Clearly the shock troops for the squirrels, these British rodents blew up a home, killing a grandmother, by chewing through the gas pipes.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NAGASAKI:  I've blurbed the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima before, but picked Nagasaki this time as a reminder that it took more than one atom bomb -- and perhaps the entry of the USSR into the Pacific theater -- to get Imperial Japan to surrender.  Film showing the effects of the attacks was classified for decades, as was the complete (unredacted) "Magic" military intercepts, which tend to show Japan was not about to surrender. Those interested in a relatively neutral view of the events leading to the bombing could do worse than 1995's Hiroshima, a joint Canadian-Japanese production for Showtime.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GWYNETH PALTROW uses snake venom to de- wrinkle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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