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Bright Eyes, Radiohead, Kids' Music, Lemmy the Lobster   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 12, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BRIGHT EYES goes a little psychedelic in the video for "Hot Knives."

THE PIPETTES talk about the bonus tracks on the US release of their debut LP, fashion, and their disappointment that people didn't invite them out after their US gigs.  I was just trying to be polite, figuring they likely had a surplus of such offers... but I'll keep it in mind.

MORE-THAN-OK COMPUTER: Radioheadheads rejoice -- Stereogum is offering a song-by-song OK Computer covers compilation for free download.

SONG of AMERICA:  Former US Attorney General Janet Reno brings together Andrew Bird, Blind Boys of Alabama, Devendra Banhart, Martha Wainwright and more to reinterpret of beloved songs such as "Yankee Doodle" and "Home on the Range."  I think she's been looking to get back into the music scene ever since they canceled Janet Reno's Dance Party.

POGUES guitarist Philip Chevron will miss the band's North American tour in the fall, after being diagnosed in early June with "locally advanced" throat cancer.  Best wishes to him for a full and speedy recovery.

WAR:  All. My. Friends. Know the "Low Rider."

COOL KIDS' MUSIC -- a recurring theme here given the age of original Pate fans -- is featured and streaming via NPR's All Things Considered.

DON'T GO BREAKING MY EARS!  It appears that Barry Manilow & Rosie O'Donnell want to prove that you could do worse than Elton John & Kiki Dee.

LIVE EARTH:  One theory as to why the concert event flopped is that the music was irrelevant to the target audience: "In fact, Pink Floyd's hit - 'The Wall' - is as contemporary today as 'Chattanooga Choo-Choo' was in 1969."

PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  Judge Larry Paul Fidler has ruled that a bodyguard for comedian Joan Rivers could testify before the jury that he heard Spector say all women "deserve to die" and then threaten a woman at a Christmas party in 1989.  Spector has been sporting yet another new hairdo this week, while his former lawyer got a stay of a contempt order entered for her refusal to testify against defense expert (and world-famous forensic scientist) Henry C. Lee, whom she reportedly saw remove potential evidence from the crime scene.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  It appears that a "pal" has shopped Li-Lo's private MySpace musings from rehab to the press, with Star magazine headlining them as "Lindsay's Lesbian Love Letters!"

BRITNEY SPEARS is "drinking heavily again, binge shopping and eating like there's no tomorrow," according to Star magazine. 

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Displaying her usual good PR sense, Denise Richards is congratulating ex-husband Charlie Sheen on his engagement to girlfriend Brooke Mueller.  She is also denying the recent report that she hired a matchmaker.  "But," she adds jokingly, "that's a great idea, maybe I should."

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise reportedly wants to build a whole production company around Holmes, who is said to be unhappy with the movie roles she's being offered.

CAMERON DIAZ has reportedly dropped magician Chris Angel for British environmentalist and banking heir David de Rothschild.  The pair were spotted in a near-canoodling incident two nights after Live Earth.

MARILYN MANSON'S appeal to 19-year-old actress Evan Rachel Wood can be summed up in one word: "Eyeliner."

ROSIE O'DONNELL returned to attacking Elisabeth Hasselbeck -- her former friend and The View cohost -- in front of a 1,500-person audience on her cruise for gay and lesbian families, doctoring a photo of Hasselback and exclaiming, "Her only f--king credit was Survivor. Come on!"   This from someone with Exit to Eden, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas and Riding the Bus with My Sister on her resume.

JESSICA SIMPSON moved her 27th birthday party at a beach house Tuesday to flee the paparazzi.  NICK LACHEY had his satellite link go down coincidently when the press asked about those X-rated picks with Vanessa Minnillo.  Press avoidance symmetry...catch it! 

JENNIFER ANISTON:  The old gossip was that she had dumped British model Paul Sculfor; the new gossip is that she is prepared to leave L.A. for the UK because he's homesick.

DAVID HASSELHOFF is back on the singles scene, flirting with The Departed actress Sallie Toussaint at Playboy's Fourth of July bash.  She sounds like she's ready to jump in his car.

INDIANA JONES IV:  The official site has a short Quicktime clip of Harrison Ford going before the cameras as Indiana Jones for the first time in more than a decade.

SALMAN RUSHDIE:  Al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, issued a new audiotape threatening retaliation against Britain for having knighted novelist Salman Rushdie.

IRAQ:  Iraqi security forces seized 200 explosive belts in a truck that crossed into Iraq from Syria on Wednesday, Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said.  Civilians helped coalition and Iraqi forces conduct a massive raid on an al Qaeda hideout in the town of Sherween, which may also help facilitate Sunni resistance fighting in the Muqdadiya area.  At least 11 people died after insurgents locked them into a house in Anbar province and blew it up, in a possible "vendetta attack" against people in the village of Karmah, for supporting the military.  Contrary to prior reports, Al-Hayat reported that Moqtada al-Sadr is in Najaf, not in Iran.  Stephen Biddle, senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in the Washington Post that the supposed "centrist" plans floating around Congress do not fit the military reality of Iraq.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  The Associated Press finally reported on al-Qaeda atrocities in Baqubah reported by Michael Yon almost two weeks ago, though buried at the bottom of a long summary of Iraq news.  The AP gives it bigger play in this story, which for some reason is not by Robert Reid, who is embedded there.  BTW, Michael Yon's latest dispatch has an interview with Abu Ali of the 1920s Revolution Brigades -- an insurgent group now fighting al-Qaeda -- about why they turned and the extent to which AQ relied on local talent to foment sectarian violence.

IRAQ in the MEDIA II:  Related to the new Yon dispatch, The New York Times and some bloggers have been concerned that the media is buying Bush Administration and US military spin lumping all sorts of insurgent groups togather as al-Qaeda to buid support for the current operations in Iraq.  The crudest form of the argument is belied by the military's own press releases.  At the Small Wars Journal blog, author Malcolm Nance does a better job of noting the dangers for both hawks and doves of over-generalizing about AQI.  The Worldwide Standard blog transcribes parts of a conference call with Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner about AQ, AQI and their influence in Iraq.

IRAQ in the MEDIA III:  Throughout the week, major media outlets including NBC News, the Associated Press, and McClatchy Newspapers have run stories saying that an interim progress report on Iraq will conclude that the US-backed government in Baghdad has not met any of its targets for political, economic and other reform.  Looks like those stories were wrong.  I'm sure there will be prominent corrections issued.

IRAQ in the MEDIA IV:  ABCNews claims that the most recent military intell shows that the overall level of violence in the country -- measured as the number of "violent incidents" -- hit its highest level in June since the war began.  Completely missing from the story is the fact that Iraqi deaths nationwide were at an 11-month low in June, while US losses were the lowest since March.  So there are more attacks, but fewer deaths, which sounds like they are becoming less effective.  Personally, if there were a 1000 attacks daily and only a couple of people died, I would still consider that an improvement... but nowadays, it seems that even good news is bad news.

LEMMY the LOBSTER:  Yes, he is named after the Motorhead frontman.  This wll be devastating news to Fred Schneider.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A suicide squirrel plunged the Sauk County Fair into darkness and left 800 to 1,000 Baraboo, WI homes without electricity Tuesday night.

FLORIDA GATOR WRASSLING on the decline.  It's the end on an era.

SNAKE IN THE BEDROOM:  And not in that good trouser-snake kinda way.

GIANT BADGERS are stalking the Iraqi port city of Basra by night. British troops are being blamed for it, but it may be why the Brits are keen to leave Basra early.

COWS stare unamazed as their mere presence terrifies seven schoolgirls, sparking a major search and rescue mission in Swanage, Dorset.

3438 Reads

Spoon, Crowded House, St. Vincent, Harry Potter, Fire-fighting Goats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SPOON has released the video for "The Underdog," which is the official single from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, which you can stream in full from Spinner this week.

CROWDED HOUSE:  You can stream the new Time On Earth album in full, via VH1.

DEBBIE HARRY talks to Pitchfork about making music then versus now, what made Blondie unique for a punk band, and the end of the CBGB's era.

STARS hopes to battle Internet leaks from their upcoming album by selling the downloads now, before the official September release date.  You still may be able to stream and download "The Night Starts Here" for free.

GENE SIMMONS of KISS talks about the death of rock stardom, originality, the Mideast and more with Spinner.

ST. VINCENT, a/k/a Annie Clark, is Paste magazine's "Band of the Week."  You can see takes on "Paris Is Burning" and "Your Lips Are Red" via the 'Gum.

DEAN & BRITTA spent time with The New York Times; Dean talks about Britta's cartoon voice-over work and kissing Justine Bateman in the 80s.

WILSON PICKETT:  A Deeper Shade of Soul has posted a short set from Stockholm, Sweden in February 1969.  You can jukebox it  (and more) via the ol' HM.

THE CURE:  Robert Smith has agreed to sell the band's upcoming double album at a single album price, because it "almost impossible to get a double album nowadays."  Yet there will likely be a single album version as well.

SLY STONE actually showed up for a set with Little Sister at Summerfest '07 in San Jose.  Unfortunately, he was reportedly as underwhelming as his last ill-fated cameo at the Grammys.

HARRY POTTER and the ORDER of the PHOENIX:  This is the moment when Emma Watson, who plays Harry's sidekick Hermione, saw Daniel Radcliffe turn from the innocent Harry Potter into a sultry magazine model.  Before my spoiler-free review of the latest installment of the HP franchise -- currently scoring 74 percent on the ol' Tomatometer -- I have an observation about going to the midnight showing.  As you might expect, some people show up in Potter garb, but it's summer, when Hogwarts is out of session.  Thus, to adjust for the summer heat, the women tend to dress like naughty Hogwarts schoolgirls, which is not a bad thing.  As for the movie, I should note at the outset that I have not read the books, but do know a bit about them.  My main muggle Amber has read them, and has asked, "So is it just me or is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix going to be the new Empire Strikes Back?"  Having seen the movie, I can answer, "More or less, yes... though sadly, no Billy Dee Williams."  A lot of great stuff to chew on, some things unresolved, will probably be seen in a better light by the non-readers in hindsight.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Why was she spotted sobbing at the Four Seasons hotel in 90210?  Because she walked away with the Biggest Celebrity Train Wreck award in the Washington Post, handily beating Li-Lo and the French Hotel?  Because Mama Lynne Spears has earned her own portrait at the Gallery of the Absurd?

THE FRENCH HOTEL, who told Larry King in her big post-jail interview that she'd never done drugs, emerged from an SUV in front of Hollywood club Teddy's the other night in what witnesses describe as a cloud of ganja smoke.

LINDSAY LOHAN says rehab has changed her life; she now relies on meditation, "serenity prayers" and Machiavelli to help her through troubled times.

DAVE MATTHEWS told the press at Live Earth that he and his wife "use cloth diapers for our new baby because I think diapers might be the No. 3 piece of garbage (in terms of environmental damage),"  The press nicely avoided mentioning that bust for dumping human waste on tourists cruising the Chicago River a while back.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Charlie Sheen and girlfriend Brooke Mueller are engaged, while Sheen's ex, Denise Richards, is reportedly paying 50 grand to an exclusive matchmaking agency that specializes in the rich or famous.  To be fair, before he met Mueller, Sheen allegedly pretended to be a talent scout when using the dating site MillionaireMatch.com.

JOHN TRAVOLTA travels with two chefs and eats a pie a day, according to Marisa Tomei.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES plasters her hair in Beluga caviar at £200 per treatment.  Her hair is washed with a truffle-based shampoo.  No, really.

RATATOUILLE seems like it was about food, but Ryland Walker Knight thinks it's about the movies.  I think it's actually about more than either.

THE SPINDLE you know and love from Wayne's World will be removed this summer to make room for a Walgreens, said Berwyn, IL Mayor Michael O'Connor.  There's still a possibility the Spindle -- also known locally as Eight Car Pileup -- could be moved to another location but an estimated 300K would need to be raised.  (Thanks, Dad.)

1-18-08:  The untitled trailer for a movie being produced by Lost co-creator and Mission: Impossible III director J.J. Abrams is causing quite a stir.  I admit it It piqued my interest before Transformers.

TINY ROBOTS played nano-soccer for the Nano Cup, a competition hailed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology as the world's first nanoscale soccer game.

PAKISTAN:  Abdul Rashid Ghazi, the cleric who led a standoff by militants at Islamabad's Red Mosque, was killed in the crossfire after Pakistani troops stormed the complex to end a weeklong siege.  BTW, the Red Mosque is a place where they mass-produced DVDs of US troops being shot by snipers.  There was little sympathy for the extremists in Islamabad.

IRAN has confirmed that a man convicted of adultery was stoned to death last week in a village in the northern part of the country.  Iran's judiciary spokesman didn't elaborate on how the stoning was carried out, but under Islamic rulings, a male convict is usually buried up to his waist while a female criminal is buried up to her neck with her hands also buried.

IRAQ:  Sunni tribal leaders, politicians, clerics and professors met in Ramadi last weekend, issuing a statement that they have agreed to "stand in one line against the terrorism and defeat it" and work united to return life to its previous nature in Anbar province.  US Marines recently completed another phase of Operation Allja, designed to provide stability and protection for the citizens of Fallujah.  Milblogger Badger 6 is there and reports that the mean streets of Fallujah are gradually transforming into the clean streets of Fallujah.  US and Iraqi forces in Diyala province are faced with Iraqi Army turncoats supporting al Qaeda-linked militants and Shiite militias.  Operations continue in Baghdad, with US and Iraqi troops clearing the Mansour neighborhood and opening a new police station in the Khadra neighborhood, both in the western part of the capital.

IRAQ in the MEDIA?  Events in Iraq stayed out of the top stories on broadcast and cable media for a second week running.

RIDICULOUSLY CUTE chihuahua puppy has been born in Japan with a large, clear, love-heart-shaped pattern in his coat.

FIRE-FIGHTING GOATS ignite debate anew about whether they do their job too well and harm the environment in Laguna Beach.  (Thanks, Dad.)

SEA MONSTERS "much bigger than cruise ships" spotted again in Kanasi Lake, China.  For hundreds of years there have been rumors about mysterious creatures that devour livestock near the 25-kilometer-long and 188-meter-deep lake.

MORE THAN 800 CATS were saved from becoming Chinese dinners, thanks to alert Internet surfers.

A STOLEN HORSE turned up in a Fourth of July parade in Streator, IL.

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Grizzly Bear, New Releases, Spinal Tap, The National, Octosquid   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 10, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


GRIZZLY BEAR releases the second video from Yellow House, "Central and Remote" premiering at Subterranean.

NEW RELEASES:  Smashing Pumpkins, Spoon, Interpol, Nick Drake and more are streaming in full via Spinner.  Ex-Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell releases his solo LP.

BUFFALO TOM also have a new release, from which you can stream a few tracks.  Band members talk to the Boston Globe and The Phoenix about their non-breakup and non-reunion.  (Thanks, Chromewaves.)

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS:  John Linnell talks to PopMatters about working with the Dust Bros. and what he digs about making children's music.  The Else has been available on iTunes, but it hits stores today; you can stream the album via AOL.

ART BRUT frontman Eddie Argos surveys the UK music scene for Filter magazine.

LIVE EARTH may have been a TV ratings flop in the US and the UK (esp. among the 18-49 demo), but thanks to the InnerTube, you can see Spinal Tap and an army of bass players rock "Big Bottom" at Wembley.  Toss in "Gimme Some Money," which Pate covered a few times, and you have Twofer Tuesday.

THE PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL (which I'll be attending this weekend) got the Chicago Sun-Times talking to Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber, promoter Mike Reed and co-headliner Yoko Ono.

THE NATIONAL did the interview plus free songs thing at Daytrotter -- including a cover of the Psychedelic Furs' "Pretty In Pink."

ALL YOU NEED IS A DIAPER:  Procter & Gamble's new "All You Need is Luvs" marketing campaign uses the classic Beatles song "All You Need is Love" to spread the word about Luvs' Bear Hug Stretch diaper.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel will be devastated to learn that another woman has claimed the troubled singer cheated on her while they were together.  The tabloids are now calling Doherty a sex addict.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  A "pal" of Denise Richards tells the NYDN she had been expecting Richie Sambora to propose on a romantic trip to Hawaii; instead, he broke up with her.  Ouch.

DAVID SPADE, recently linked with Heather Locklear, was getting kissed by Pam Anderson in Vegas over the weekend.

THE SPICE GIRLS will be accompanied by a therapist for the duration of their reunion tour, according to a report in the uber-reliable Daily Star Sunday.

MADONNA:  London's Mirror reports that US TV presenters who interviewed Madge at Live Earth were bizarrely ordered never to lose eye contact with her.

TONI COLLETTE:  The Oscar-nominated actress got knocked up after realizing her body clock was ticking.

NATALIE PORTMAN intimidated her Goyas Ghosts co-star, Javier Bardem: "She's so intelligent it's scary. When I was talking to her, I didn't know what to talk about because she knows a lot of things."  Well, yeah... she does neuroscience on the side.

MEGAN FOX:  The Transformers starlet tells Maxim magazine, "I've done drugs, and that's how I know I don't like them."  If you ended up dating Brian Austin Green, you would feel exactly the same way.  BTW, please note I'm paying attention to the interview, not just looking at the pictures.

TRANSFORMERS director Michael Bay tells Entertainment Weekly that he has a lot of ideas for a sequel.  Who'da thunkit?

MISS CONDUCT:  Miss New Jersey insists that she has no idea who might have assembled the packages of supposedly tame photos lifted from a private web page on Facebook, sent to two pageants last week.  Nor does she know what the pageant will do about it, if anything.  Ironically, she has adopted promoting Internet safety as part of her Miss America campaign.

LARRY & LAURIE DAVID are divorcing at the same time as the caretaker of the Davids' summer house on Martha's Vineyard is getting divorced from his wife.  Must be something in the air.

MICHAEL MOORE was probably in need of healthcare after CNN got done with him on the Situation Room.

KATIE COURIC "playfully" slapped a CBS News editor, after he injected a word she detested -- "sputum" -- into a script.

HARRY POTTER!  Daniel Radcliffe is happy to have sex with girls who are only interested in him because of his fame.  However, he is adamant he wouldn't stay with a girl who called him Harry during sex.


TERROR in the UK:  Four men were found guilty of plotting to bomb London's transport network on 21 July 2005.  More than 100 suspects are awaiting trial in British courts for terrorist offences - a figure unprecedented in modern criminal history.  MI5 is attempting to monitor more than 200 extremist networks across the country.  Suspects in the recent London and Glasgow plots continue to be questioned in both England and Australia.  Suspect Kafeel Ahmed may have ties to two radical groups -- Tablighi Jamaat and Hizb ut-Tahrir.

LEBANON is being invaded by Syria, though few have noticed.

PAKISTAN:  Pakistani forces stormed the Red Mosque compound in the capital on Tuesday to clear it of militants after talks to end a week-long standoff broke down.

IRAN has slowed down the expansion of its nuclear enrichment capabilities at its strategic plant in Natanz, UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Monday.  Except for the start of a major tunnel complex inside a nearby mountain.

IRAQ:  National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie said Sunday that Iraqi lawmakers have cut their planned two-month recess in half and will be working six-day weeks for the rest of this month to try to meet key political benchmarks set by the US Congress.  He also warned that a no-confidence vote against al-Maliki's government would result in a "hurricane in Iraq."  Iraq's foreign minister warned Monday that a quick US troop withdrawal could lead to civil war and the collapse of the Iraqi state.  Sunni Arab Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, speaking to Reuters by telephone, warned of the security vacuum that would follow a US withdrawal, thus completing the trifecta -- the foreign minister is Kurdish and the NSA is Shia.  Turkey has massed 140K soldiers on its border with northern Iraq; the Iraqi foreign minister called Turkish fears of Kurdish rebels based in Iraq "legitimate" but better resolved through negotiation.  Iraqi and Arab media focused Monday on the recent clash between the Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the Sadrist Current.  Michael Yon has another dispatch from Baqubah on a variety of topics, including Gen. Petraeus's visit to the city and a revealing interview with an Iraqi stringer for the Associated Press.

THE OCTOSQUID:  An as-yet unidentified speciment found off Keahole Point on the Big Island of Hawaii.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  With typical projection, the Iran's national Police chief has implicitly verified the news about the confiscation of a number of squirrels, equipped with eavesdropping devices, on the Iranian borders.

BUFFALO GIVES BIRTH TO A SNAKE in Nepal, supposedly due to a hormone disorder.  Uh-huh.

DOG FALLS in Dog Falls.  Yes, Little Tommy, he's going to be alright.

A CALICO CAT survives a 19-day trip from Hawaii to California in a shipping container.

COWS stare unamazed, but probably nervously, at the news from Skipwith, England.

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Arctic Monkeys, Sir Paul, Grizzly Bear, New NPs, Tabby Puppies   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 09, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE ARCTIC MONKEYS paid tribute to Shirley Bassey by covering "Diamonds Are Forever" at Glastonbury 2007.

NICK LOWE doesn't mention her in the Brisbane Times, but it turns out he owes Whitney Houston a debt of gratitude.

PAUL McCARTNEY stopped by the World Cafe for an interview and mini-set, including "A Day In The Life."

LIVE EARTH, the concerts supposed to raise awareness of global warming, were held over the weekend, though the Arctic Monkeys, Bob Geldof, Roger Daltrey and Neil Tennant were among those noting the hypocrisy of energy-hungry pop acts touting the issue.  The event was estimated to directly generate at least 31,500 tons of carbon emissions and some 1,025 tonnes of waste at the concert stadiums - much of which will go directly into landfill sites.  In New York's Giants Stadium, trade unions blocked  attempts to recycle, and the 52,000-seat arena is not near public transportation.   And it's not clear whether those estimates included the 9000-LED backdrop Genesis used.  But some of those solid waste estimates may be high, as it appears that attendance at many of the venues was underwhelming.

GRIZZLY BEAR:  You can stream and interview and performance (or just the songs) from a recent session at KEXP via NPR.

TOM JONES, backed by JOE PERRY, cover the Arctic Monkeys' "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" at the Princess Di tribute concert.  Arctic Monkeys big-stage cover symmetry... catch it!

BILLY BRAGG, with help from Mick Jones, is on a campaign to provide musical instruments for prison inmates.  A similar program seems to have reduced the recidivism rate.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS have another advance track, "Myriad Harbor," to stream and download.

AVRIL LAVIGNE responds to claims of plagarism on her website.  The Rubinoos are linking to her hit, their song (and various covers thereof) at their website.

AMY WINEHOUSE reportedly was propping up the bar at her London local The Hawley Arms when she was supposed to be entertaining paying fans.  Pals begged the singer to ditch her wild ways at what looked like a rehab-style intervention meeting in a London restaurant on Thursday night.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  Model Lindi Hingston is so wracked with guilt over splitting the couplke that she had to spill her guts to London's Sunday Mirror.

BRITNEY SPEARS has set tongues wagging in L.A. after being seen several times with her former counsellor, John Sundahl, a 38-year-old real estate developer.  Sundahl reportedly told the National Enquirer he knows Spears is serious about the romance because she recently helped him recover from bowel surgery.

MADONNA has taken to badmouthing Britney Spears for her selfish behavior and failure to fully embrace Kabbalah.  Or maybe Madge is just trying to distract the press from noting that she -- a Live Earth headliner -- has invested millions in oil exploration, digging, and refining companies, and has a ginormous personal carbon footprint.

EVA LONGORIA and TONY PARKER got married in France, first in the obligatoty French civil ceremony, and again at a church.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Transformers takes the top spot with 67.6 million and 152 million so far on a 150 million budget (showing the import of controlling the budget).  It is already the sixth most successful release of 2007; that's Autobot momentum for you.  Ratatouille showed it has legs much bigger than rat-size, dropping only 38 percent, making 29 million and crossing the 100 million mark after the biggest ever opening week grosses for a Pixar film.  Live Free of Die Hard dropped 48 percent and made 17.4 million -- it has already exceeded its 110 million budget in global ticet sales.  License to Wed debuted in the fourth slot with 10.4 million.  Evan Almighty rounds out the Top Five with a 45 percent drop and still short of 100 million on a budget reportedly twice that amount.  1408 still showed some leg with a mere 33 percent drop and receipts more than double its 25 million budget.  Knocked Up was also leggy, with a 29 percent drop and a 132 million total on a 30 million budget.  The Fantastic Four continued its less-than-fantastic US run, dropping another 55 percent -- but it has made over 200 million on its 130 million budget so far.  Sicko dropped 19 percent, even as it added screens; it has made 11.5 million after three weeks, which is about half of what Fahrenheit 911 made its first weekend.  Rounding out the Top Ten is Ocean's 13, which added another 3.5 million for a worldwide gross of about 233 million.

A MIGHTY HEART, not performing so mightily at the box office, is getting triage from Paramount Vantage studios.

LINDSAY LOHAN was snapped partying with her mother and sister at a beach shindig in Malibu, though no one saw Li-Lo with any contraband.  Her ex-con dad is trying to force her mother to undergo drug testing, claiming Dina's drinking has contributed to Lindsay's recent troubles.

THE FRENCH HOTEL, who proclaimed herself a changed woman during her stint in jail, returned to attention whoring on the L.A. club scene over the weekend.

JIM CARREY will star in a Robert Zemeckis adaptation of A Christmas Carol, playing not only Scrooge, but also the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

MISS CONDUCT:  Miss New Jersey is refusing to give in to blackmail over a few supposedly racy pictures.  She recieved a second package containing a threatening letter -- and possible additional racy photos -- on Saturday.

DIVINE BROWN  claims her 1995 servicing of Hugh Grant made her a  millionairess.

SIENNA MILLER has been blamed for the break-up of American rapper P Diddy's long-term relationship with the model Kim Porter, the mother of his three children.  A spokesman for Diddy denied that he and Porter had split.  There's a pic of the couple looking cozier than this at the Concert for Diana afterparty.

TERROR in the UK:  Dramatic new video of the alleged Glasgow car bomb attack has been obtained by the BBC.  A top foreign intelligence source said that the London and Glasgow bomb plots were carried out with the approval of Osama bin Laden (which I take with a grain of salt), while senior security officials said at least one of the suspects was in recent contact with Al-Qaeda in Iraq (which seems more plausible -- or verifiable, anyway).  The FBI said Friday that two suspects had made inquiries about working in the US.  British Muslims are leading a new campaign condemning the recent attempted car bomb attacks.  A study of 172 al-Qaeda terrorists conducted four years ago by Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and former CIA case officer in Pakistan, found that 90 per cent came from a relatively stable, secure background.  Up to eight London police officers and civilian staff are suspected of links to extremist groups including Al Qaeda; political correctness is blamed for the decision not to sack them.

PAKISTAN:  Brainwashed children pleaded to die as martyrs in the Red Mosque siege.  Several key aides to Mullah Omar are reported to have been arrested the city of Quetta in western Pakistan.

IRAN:  Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has signalled a willingness to reinterpret Islamic law in favor of women's rights, but not following Western convention.  Meanwhile, an Iranian court has sentenced a women's rights activist to almost three years in prison and 10 lashes for attending a banned rally.  It's just one part of Pres. Ahmadinejad's continuing crackdown on reformists, women's rights groups and trade union leaders, to name a few.

IRAQ;  Muqtada al Sadr has returned to Iran, doing damage to his PR effort to remake himself as a nationalist and widening the rift between al-Sadr and Prime Minister al-Maliki, while clashes broke out between members of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army and Iraqi security forces in the southern city of Samawa, and evidence mounts that Iranian territory is being used as a base by al-Qaeda to help in terrorist operations in Iraq and elsewhere.  Gen. Petraeus predicted on Saturday that extremists were likely to try a series of high-profile attacks to grab the headlines ahead of his September report to Congress; don't know if he thought those attacks would come this past weekend.  Frustration with Iraqi forces caused prominent Shiite and Sunni politicians to call upon civilians to take up arms to defend themselves.  Even so, it's worth noting that at the current rate, the monthly civilian casualty figures would remain on the low end for the past year.  In the NYT, both Michael Gordon and John Burns had reports on progress in Baqubah and Diayala province.  One observation in the Burns piece -- "Not for the first time, the Americans learned a basic lesson of warfare here: that Iraqis, bludgeoned for 24 years by Saddam Hussein's terror, are wary of rising against any force, however brutal, until it is in retreat. In Anbar, Sunni extremists were the dominant force, with near-total popular support or acquiescence, until the offensive broke their power."  Which suggests what Iraq may resemble if the US retreats.

SKY the TABBY CAT has taken on two rottweiler puppies with her litter of kittens.  Awww...some pics at the link.

243 GOATS were killed Friday morning when a big-rig carrying them tipped over in San Rafael, CA's Canal area.  There were 157 survivors.

A RABID FOX was subdued by a five-year-old boy, who grabbed it by the neck and pinned it to the ground during a family barbeque, protecting six other children before his stepfather could kill the animal.

KNUT UPDATE:  The increasingly not-so-cuddly polar bear got his millionth visitor last Thursday.  Knut's public appearances with his trainer will soon be brought to an end.

HELPFUL HINT:  It doesn't hurt to check your toilet for the occasional iguana or frog.

NC GATOR has a way with b-o-l-o-g-n-a.

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The Police, Sly Stone, Interpol, Cutout Bin, Orphan Wallaby   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 06, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE POLICE!  Ken King and I just got back from seeing them rock Wrigley Field (where it's usually the Chicago Cubs getting rocked); Sting was booed for mentioning their last gig here was 1983 at old Comiskey Park.  Ken King pegged the show as "highly satisfying, but not life-changing." The material from the band's first two albums and from Synchroncity seemed to play the best -- the former because those songs were written when the trio had to carry everything without any studio elaboration, the latter bacause it was probably written with large venues in mind.  The selections from Spirits In The Material World also held up fairly well, with stuff from the tweener album Zenyatta Mondatta tending to fare worst.  Anyway, you can play Police Concert Home Edition right now; here is your setlist: "Message In A Bottle"  "Synchronicity II"  "Walking On The Moon"  "Voices Inside My Head / When The World Is Running Down" (made a bit too fast and jazzy) "Don't Stand So Close To Me" (choruses sounding a bit limp) "Driven To Tears" "The Bed's Too Big Without You" "Truth Hits Everybody" "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" "Wrapped Around Your Finger" (the former being the first mass sing-along) "De Do Do Do De Da Da Da" (surprisingly the strongest Zenyatta track) "Invisible Sun" "Walking In Your Footsteps" "Can't Stand Losing You/Regatta de Blanc" and "Roxanne." First Enore: "King of Pain" "So Lonely" and "Every Breath You Take", Second Encore: "Next To You" (the last six consistently strong).

THE TOP 25 POLICE SONGS, according to IGN.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED is currently streaming selections from Bryan Ferry, Mark Ronson, Michael Hearst's Songs for Ice Cream Trucks and more...

THE COPACABANA, the inspiration for Barry Manilow's smash single and a staple of Manhattan nightlife since World War II, will close its doors Saturday night as its owner hunts for a new home.

AVRIL LAVIGNE is one of several people named in a lawsuit filed July 2nd that alleges striking similarities between her hit "Girlfriend" (NSFW) and the Rubinoos' power-pop gem, "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (Unplugged).

CHAIRMAN of the BOARD is a collection of vintage tracks from iconic cult surf films.  You can stream a few, you-know-where.

SLY STONE:  The Vanity Fair interview from which yesterday's item was taken is now posted online.

ELVIS COSTELLO will be glad to expose you to "The Other Side of Summer."

INTERPOL:  The band's Our Love To Admire comes out next Tuesday, but you can stream it all now via MTV.

FLEETWOOD MAC:  A new tell-all book suggests that Linsey Buckingham and awards shows do not mix.

OZZY OSBOURNE wants to help Taiwan become a member of the United Nations.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer has dumped his supposedly sober supermodel fiancee?  That's his story, and he's sticking to it, though London's Mirror has her dumping him for cheating on her.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are:  Art Brut - Formed a Band; Cream - I Feel Free; The Raspberries - Go All The Way; Love - Bummer in the Summer; The Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Man; Camper Van Beethoven - Take The Skinheads Bowling; Husker Du - Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely; Teenage Fanclub - The Ballad of John and Yoko; Simon & Garfunkel - The Only Living Boy in New York; Danny & Dusty - New York City Lullaby; Neil Diamond - Thank The Lord For The Night Time (Live); Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods - Billy, Don't Be a Hero; Dawn - Knock Three Times; The Guess Who - No Sugar Tonight; Blue Cheer - Summertime Blues; ZZ Top - Tush; Joe Tex - I Gotcha; The Dynamics - I Don't Want Nobody To Lead Me On; Van Morrison - Wild Night; Van Halen - Panama; Bob Seger & Silver Bullet Band - Roll Me Away; and The Rolling Stones - Waiting On A Friend.

BRITNEY SPEARS has written a bitter poem entitled "Dear Mama" and delivered it to her mother, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

LINDSAY LOHAN and the FRENCH HOTEL reportedly reunited for an alcohol free July 4th beach party in Malibu.

NOW SHOWING:  There are not actually any wide releases opening today, because there were early releases this week for Transformers, which is currently scoring 59 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and the Robin Williams-Mandy Moore "comedy" License to Wed, which is scoring 15 percent.  So go see Ratatouille (96 percent) or Live Free or Die Hard (77 percent).

WHO TOPS THE GLOBAL BOX OFFICE?  Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has now earned 904.7 million worldwide at the box office, becoming the 9th movie in Hollywood history to make this much money. Pirates 3 is now the most popular global release of the summer and of 2007, beating out Spider-Man 3, which has a worldwide total now of 882 mil.

JACKO has been hunting for real estate on Maryland's Eastern Shore as he searches for a vacation home.

RATATOUILLE:  If you can't wait for the DVD extras, the movie has extras on its own YouTube Channel, including a podcast on how Pixar makes computer-generated food look yummy.

JENNIFER ANISTON has reportedly dumped her summer fling with dodgy British model Paul Sculfor.

ZACH BRAFF and DREW BARRYMORE were caught canoodling at NYC's Beauty Bar last weekend.  Doesn't Drew know Zach is a toxic bachelor?

CBS and ABC fell to their lowest ratings among the coveted adults 18-49 demographic in two decades in June.  NBC's ratings cratered weeks ago.

OLIVER STONE was snubbed and dubbed part of the Great Satan by Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad.  But don't worry; Stone still used the occasion to call Pres. Bush names.

A MIGHTY HEART:  Daniel Pearl's father is worried that the movie falls into a trap Bertrand Russell would have recognized: the paradox of moral equivalence, of seeking to extend the logic of tolerance a step too far.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  SuperheroHype can hook you up with pics of the Gotham Police and the US military cordoning off a bridge near Michigan and Wacker in Chicago, as well as point you to some on-set video and some spoiler-y pics taken at Navy Pier.

COUNT GOTTFRIED von BISMARCK, who was found dead on Monday aged 44, was a louche German aristocrat with a multi-faceted history as a pleasure-seeking heroin addict, hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster and a reckless and extravagant host of homosexual orgies.  But wait... there's more!

CANADA:  At least 76 radioactive devices -- some of which have the potential to be used in terrorist attacks -- have gone missing in Canada over the past five years.

FORTY-FIVE MUSLIM DOCTORS threatened to use car bombs and rocket grenades in terrorist attacks in the US during discussions on an extremist internet chat site.  Investigators have found no link between the chat room and the group of doctors and medics currently in custody over attempted car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.  "Sources" said it was "definitely spooky" that the use of doctors for terrorist purposes was being discussed in jihadi terrorist circles up to three years ago.  However, videos have tried to attract doctors, lawyers and scientists into Islamic extremism for more than a decade.

PAKISTAN:  Fears mounted that women and children were being used as human shields at a besieged mosque in Pakistan's capital today, as hundreds of militant students ignored a plea from the radical cleric arrested while fleeing in a woman's burqa and high heels said Thursday that the nearly 1000 followers still inside should flee or surrender.  His brother remained inside the mosque with followers and said there was no reason to surrender.  ALSO:  The journalist who first uncovered the existence of Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan's atomic weapons trading network told a conference in Washington, DC, last week that Pakistan still using his network to procure materials for its nuclear weapons program.

UK TERROR in the MEDIA:  The Toronto Star reports that "All eight detainees have ties to Britain's National Health Service... but investigators have thus far found scant few common threads in their respective backgrounds in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, India and Saudi Arabia."  Yet the very same story carries reaction from the Muslim Council of Britain, which is telling reporters it now is ready to set aside quarrels over British foreign policy and directly urge its communities to play a key role in the fight against extremism that operates under the cloak of religion.  BTW, the Daily Telegraph reports that 3 of the terrorists "are members of the same family from the Indian city of Bangalore, while the families of another two were old friends in the Middle East. Several shared homes in Britain."  The London Times reports that two of the terrorists are cousins.  I'm guessing ivnestigators know this.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  The news of progress in Iraq noted here on Monday was mostly blacked out by the major media -- with events in Iraq falling out of the top stories for the first time in months.  Michael Yon wants to know why the media failed to cover mass atrocities by Al Qaeda in Baqubah; a journalist "whose name you would know" has a theory about it.  OTOH, both the AP and Reuters ran stories claiming that Iraqi authorities found the bodies of 20 beheaded men dumped on the banks of the river Tigris in the town of Salman Pak.  The French press did not run the story, as they could not get confirmation.  Reuters later ran a follow-up titled, "US says report of 20 beheaded bodies in Iraq false", which included the following: "Verifying reports in Iraq is very hard for journalists, who have been systematically targeted by different militant groups and rely extensively on local sources for information."  That caveat appeared nowhere in the original story, natch -- and one of the "local" sources cited was a police officer in Kut, which is some 75 miles away from the alleged killing.  And the headline was still "US says," whereas the original story was reported as absolute fact, instead of the complete hearsay that it was.

AN ORPHAN WALLABY is having to make do with a handmade pouch instead of a mother at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, IA.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Another squirrel with plague bacteria has been detected, this time near Palomar Mountain in California.

MAN BITES DOG to save his own.

HEY, IS THAT A TICK IN YOUR PANTS, or am I just sexually assaulting you?

GERMAN SHARKS are listening to love songs to put them in the mood.

COWS stare unamazed as they chill out, grow smarter and more productive by listening to music.

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