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Ryan Adams, Peter and the Wolf, Smoosh, Stumpy Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 23, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


RYAN ADAMS was forced to cancel his gig at Stonehenge.  It was feared that non-ticket holders might try to watch the show from the nearby road, forcing English Heritage to change the venue for public safety reasons.  For now, you'll have to make do with this clip of "Goodnight Rose," a folky, Grateful Dead-influenced number from his upcoming LP.

THE POLICE are playing Havana; Uncommon Sense wonders what happened to Sting's commitment to human rights.

PETER and the WOLF have a SxSW interview at Daytrotter, along with the usual free song downloads.

WOLF EYES play "Either/Or" with Drowned in Sound, including, "Black albums: Jay-Z or Metallica?"

HOPEWELL makes Song of the Day at NPR with "The Notbirds," which John Edwards clls '70s-style psychedelic rock, but which I say owes more than a little to The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and early U2.

SPOON frontman Britt Daniel doesn't mind being called indie, so long as it's not being used as a ghetto term.  Which is agood excuse to post this clip of Keepon -- a small creature-like robot developed to perform emotional and attentional interaction with children (with some success, apparently) -- dancing to Spoon's "I Turn My Camera On."

SHERYL CROW has come up with a partial solution to global warming -- a limitation on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting: "I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required."

TED LEO played in-studio for KEXP Thursday; you can jukebox the gig via the ol' HM.

AMY WINEHOUSE is engaged, though she made her fella wait 24 hours for an answer to his proposal.

SMOOSH:  Fifteen-year-old Asya is interviewed by LAist about songwriting, touring and is asked whether she has advice for other young bands.  Her advice is sound, but I have to mention that she and her sister just require candy in their contract rider.  Though their new album has been out awhile, you can still stream a few via the ol' HM.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Folks took a little breather from the cineplex, with Spider-Man 3 only two weeks away.  Disturbia repeated at number one with $13.5 million, followed by Fracture, which debuted with $11.2 million.  Blades of Glory took the bronze, earned $7.8 million and crossed the $100 million mark.  Vacancy landed in fourth place with a relatively self-descriptive $7.6 million opening.  Meet The Robinsons dropped to fifth, with a larger-than-expected 43% drop.  Hot Fuzz earned about six million this weekend, but had the highest per-screen average by far -- and justifiably so.  Thumbs up from me; if you waited for the DVD to find out how good Shaun of the Dead was, you want to see what the same guys do with a half-mystery, half-Michael Bay-esque action flick.  Are We Done Yet? isn't quite, but close with a 42% drop.  In the eighth slot, In the Land of Women earned $4.9 million and wasn't well-marketed or well-reviewed.  Perfect Stranger plummeted to ninth, earned a mere $4.1 million.  Wild Hogs clung to the bottom of the Top Ten.

SIMON PEGG of Hot Fuzz confesses he likes to wave his lightsaber around from time to time.

ALEC BALDWIN apolgized for calling his his 11-year-old daughter a "thoughtless little pig," claiming he was "driven to the edge by parental alienation."  He also filed legal papers in Los Angeles County Superior Court to determine who gave TMZ the vile voice mail message.  His apology would ring a little more true if he had not been imitating his daughter's dance moves on The Late Show with David Letterman a few hours before his tirade.  Video at that last link.

BRITNEY SPEARS is dumping her kids off on her Fed-Ex and only sees them every other weekend, according to OK! magazine.  The pop tart has no one to blame but herself if she loses custody of her two sons and ruins her career, according to her father.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills was on a flight from L.A. to London when the entertainment system broke down, so she did an impromptu dance routine... which was greeted with silence from her fellow passengers.

JESSICA ALBA is back on the singles market, at least until she gets the lovely note I wrote her (kidding, obvs).   At least she will have another five million bucks from Revlon to go on a shopping binge to compensate.  For not getting that note.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes reportedly wants to enroll the Tom-Kitten into "kiddie Catholicism" classes, which probably won't go down well with Xenu.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE:  Owen "the Butterscotch Stallion" Wilson dropped in for Hudson's birthday dinner at La Esquina, where the pair were caught canoodling in the corner.

NATALIE PORTMAN talks to London's Guardian about how some of her early roles as a pedophile's dream have affected her later career choices.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was caught canoodling with cringe-inducing singer-songwriter James Blunt.  And that's a big step down for him from Petra Nemcova.

CODE GUARDIAN:  If you liked Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, you will definitely want to watch this short film.  Even if you didn't, you may be amazed at what one person can make with his computer.

AYAAN HIRSI ALI, a Dutch feminist author, has lived under the threat of death for denouncing her Muslim upbringing.  Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center in Pennsylvania, thinks she should be tried and judged for her apostasy in a Muslim country.

IRAN:  Federal authorities are accusing a former engineer at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station of illegally taking software codes to Iran and downloading details of control rooms, reactors and designs of the nation's largest nuclear plant.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki announced that he had ordered a halt to a barrier being built by the US military that would separate the Adhamiya neighborhood of Baghdad.  The barrier was apparently an unpopular idea with locals and the press, even as the neighborhood came under regular mortar and rocket attacks thought to be fired by Shiite militiamen in surrounding districts, often in retaliation to car bombings by Sunni insurgents against Shi'ite districts and marketplaces.  A group of Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar province -- some 200 sheiks said to represent 50 tribes -- intend to form a national party to oppose insurgents such as Al Qaeda in Iraq and reengage with Iraq's political process.  The driving force behind the new party, Sheik Abdul-Sattar abu Risha, said that one purpose of the party is to promote a better image of US-led forces and to support a US-backed effort to reestablish a court system in Ramadi.  A detainee gave up names, and showed Coalition forces insurgent safe houses, weapons and bomb caches and more -- after being beaten by Iraqi troops (without US knowledge, apparently):  "If the Americans used this way, the way we use, nobody would shoot the Americans at all," Bassim Hassan said. "But they are easy with them, and they have made it easy for the terrorists."  Perhaps the story's lede sums it up: "Out here in what the soldiers call Baghdad's wild west, sometimes the choices are all bad."

THIS CAT and MOUSE are good friends; should they break up, it will robably be ugly.  More awww...some pics at the link.

A SUICIDE SUIRREL in training survived a 60ft plunge to concrete from the top of a towering sycamore tree... and a cat attack.

STUMPY UPDATE:  The intrepid four-legged duck is now an intrepid three-legged duck.  The silver lining is that Stumpy can roam the farm free with the other ducks because it is no longer at risk of being caught in hedges.

NARWHALS -- marine mammals with unicorn-like tusks that live in arctic seas --  are studying global warming.  It's only a matter of time before Bikini Whales get involved.

DIDN'T NEED A BIGGER BOAT?  A sturgeon jumped out of a river and hit a woman riding a personal watercraft, the latest such injury involving the flying fish along the Suwannee River in FL.  Meanwhile, off the FL panhandle, the crews of the The Sea Ya Later II and The Mother Lode reeled in a 1,063-pound mako shark.

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The Shins, Mark Ronson, Man Man, Cutout Bin, Sex-Mad Badgers   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 20, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE SHINS!  They are the latest to play a "Take-Away show" for La Blogotheque, playing five songs unplugged as they roam the streets of Paris.  In Part 1, they jam a little of Love's "Alone Again Or" during the credits before playing "Gone for Good" and "Turn On Me."  Part 2 includes "Turn A Square," "The Past and Pending" and "Australia."  You can watch both, download 'em and read a bit about the day at La Blogotheque, natch.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKER Patterson Hood talks about the band's split with Jason Isbell and about new member (guitarist and pedal steel player) John Neff, with the Nashville City Paper.

MARK RONSON is currently streaming his covers album via HisSpace.  The cover of The Smiths' "Stop Me..." is the single, but the album is loaded with fun cameos, including the Dap-Tones horns on the opening track and Amy Winehouse on The Zuton's "Valerie."

MAN MAN:  The Philadelphia City Paper has a week-long diary of the band's recording sessions for a hoped for breakthrough album and label deal.

DAYTROTTER founder Sean Moeller tells the Des Moines Register he is gratified by the response to his free live music site, if a bit sleep-deprived.  BTW, the site has started rolling out bonus entries from SxSW, such as an interview and free songs from The Little Ones.

THE BLACK KEYS have a streaming audio feature from the World cafe via NPR, in which we learn that the garagey-bluesy duo is collaborating on a disc with Ike Turner, produced by Danger Mouse, due later this year.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Cream's "I Feel Free," because it's finally warming up around here.

GO INDIE:  Amazon.com has joined forces with more than 30 independent music labels   -- from Alligator to Yep Rock and Smithsonian Folkways to Sub Pop -- to launch a new section in its Indie music store, featuring a hand-picked selection of nearly 700 titles, 150 of which carry a reduced price of $9.99.

HYPE RADIO:  The Hype Machine has launched an Internet radio station with tracks drawn from the music blogs it aggregates.

JARVIS COCKER talks to Harp magazine about identifying with middle-aged women and how having a child may have affected his work.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  District Judge Jane McIvor says the troubled singer is "more than co-operating" with his drug treatment order, which seems a bit hard to square with Dherty's comment that he's "quite keen to show a negative test as soon as possible."  A few hours later, Doherty threw a bucket of ice-cold water over a photographer in a fit of rage -- and narrowly avoided soaking his supposedly sober supermodel fiancee as she arrived home.  Meanwhile, folks are wondering whether Moss has done anything under a  £3 million contract to design a fashion line forTopshop besides raid her own closet.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM include: Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On; The Tubes - Proud To Be An American (not Lee Greenwood); The Replacements - I.O.U.; Dick Dale - Misirlou; The Boys From County Nashville - Black Dog; The Jayhawks - Blue; Golden Smog - Look At You Now; Fountains of Wayne - '92 Subaru; Dinosaur Jr. - Just Like Heaven; The Byrds - The World Turns All Around Her; The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee; Carole King - I Feel the Earth Move; Phair, Liz - 6'1; Saturday Looks Good To Me - Lift Me Up; Paul Revere & The Raiders - Kicks; R.E.M. - Superman; The Blues Project - Wake Me, Shake Me; Yo La Tengo - Big Day Coming; and Beastie Boys - You Gotta Fight For Your Right to Party.

ALEC BALDWIN unleashed a volcanic tirade of threats and insults on his 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, calling her a "thoughtless little pig," and bashing her mother Kim Basinger.  TMZ has the audio that could cost Baldwin his visitation rights.  Baldwin is pretending to obey a court-imposed gag order while blaming his wife for the leak of the tape.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include the psych-thriller Fracture, which is currently scoring 75 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; hotel horror-thriller Vacancy, which is scoring 57 percent; and the romantic dramedy In The Land Of Women, which is scoring 39 percent.  Near wide on 700 screens is the British police comedy Hot Fuzz, which is scoring an impressive 89 percent.

HOT FUZZ:  Speaking of which, Cinematical has an interview with director Edgar Wright.

LINDSAY LOHAN and KEIRA KNIGHTLEY will not be shooting a threesome in The Best Time of Our Lives, as Li-Lo has passed after contract talks broke down.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt's rep is denying that Pitt spoke to the Daily Mail for the story linked here recently about the couple's distate for the media scrutiny they receive.  Of couurse, the ever-reliable Life & Style magazine has the couple at the breaking point.

JESSICA ALBA may have wanted to show she has not split from Cash Warren, but she may not have appreciated him throwing his wad of gum at the paparazzi documenting their togetherness.  After all, that's the sort of thing that makes people suspect cash isn't thrilled to be there.  Video at the link.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes is now filming Mad Money in Louisiana, and while she's away from her reportedly controlling spouse, she's reconnecting with family and friends and even secretly talking to Catholic priests, according to the ever-reliable Life & Style magazine.

IS ANYONE WATCHING NBC?  Last week, the network had its worst ratings in at least 20 years, and likely ever.

ERIC BANA and RACHEL McADAMS are set to star in The Time Traveler's Wife, an adaptation of the best-selling Audrey Niffenegger sci-fi novel, according to Variety.

KATE BECKINSALE is among the frontrunners for a remake of Barbarella?  Let's hope so!  The script is being penned by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who retooled James Bond for Casino Royale.

GO, SPEED GO!  Matthew Fox of Lost is in final negotiations to play Racer X  in the Wachowski Bros. big-screen live-action adaptation of the 1960s cartoon.

SPIDER-MAN 3:  If you can deal with spoilers, IESB has seven new clips posted, while Aint-It-Cool-News has early, glowing reviews.

SUPERHERO ANGST:  At London's Guradian, Chris Moran is upset about Ed Norton doing The Hulk sequel, and the trend toward more serious superhero movies generally: "What seems to be happening is that the actors themselves are being duped into thinking that these are roles of Shakespearean complexity..."  Moran thinks actors are even more dumb than I do, which may be true.  But his examples don't support his argument.  He doesn't like Batman Begins, but that pic raked in nearly 372 million bucks at the boxoffice.  It revitalized the Batman franchise, which tanked when people like Joe Schumacher and George Clooney started making movies like the old TV series than like Dirty Harry.  The Hulk movie may have been too serious under Ang Lee's direction, but if Norton can bring a good Dr. Jeckyll-Mr. Hyde dramatic vibe to the sequel, it might do better than the original.

IRAN has started feeding small amounts of uranium gas into centrifuges that can enrich it to weapons-grade level and is already running more than 1,300 of the machines, according to an IAEA document obtained by the AP.  A shipment of Iranian-made weapons bound for the Taliban was recently captured by allied forces in Afghanistan, but Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it was not clear if the Iranian gov't had authorized the shipment.

IRAQ: US commanders already have a strategy to prevent further spectacular al Qaeda suicide attacks in Baghdad, focusing on rooting out insurgents in predominantly Sunni towns and villages on the capital's periphery, or what they call "the Baghdad belts."  Because of the complexity of building a car bomb, which can require a near-complete dismantling of the vehicle, most are probably made in these sparsely populated "belt" areas where the work can be more easily concealed.  It appears that a new command has already been created and given responsibility for the Army brigades to tackle these areas.  Bill Roggio has more on the construction of new Combat Outposts in the outer belts to disrupt al Qaeda and insurgent activity there.

SEX-MAD BADGERS are leaving a trail of destruction and waking neighbors with noisy late-night passionate encounters in the suburbs of London.

HOTDOLL is a sex doll for dogs.  Do they make one for badgers?

STOP STARING AT THE CHIMPS!  You're, like, totally bumming them out!

IF YOUR DRAIN GETS CLOGGED, hope that it isn't a 7-foot dead alligator.

BUDDY THE DONKEY was the lead witness at the trial of a neighbors' dispute in Dallas, TX.  Pic at the link.

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The Zimmers, Lucinda Williams, Lucky Soul, Faux Hercules   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE ZIMMERS:  Brought together for a TV documentary, they have attracted a cult following after recording a version of The Who's "My Generation" at the famous Abbey Road recording studios.  The group, fronted by bingo devotee Alfie Carretta, 90, were handpicked by BBC documentary-maker Tim Samuels for a hard-hitting series on the isolation of the elderly in Britain.  Profits from the single will go to Age Concern.

B.O.O.T.L.E.G.S. is a music blog offering, well, you know.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS talks to Reuters about being "mature but hip," finishing a Hank Williams song for Bob Dylan, getting engaged and more.  You can stream a mini-set of Williams from the World Cafe via NPR.

THE POSTMARKS:  John Wilkins talks to Eye Weekly, including the amusing story of how the band came to be signed by Unfiltered Records, which is run by Ivy's Andy Chase.  You can stream a bunch from their debut at the moment via the ol' HM.

OK GO frontman Damian Kulash takes a rock Rorschach test for The DL.

LUCKY SOUL:  Having overlooked a fab review from PopMatters, I have to thank Frank at Chromewaves for alerting me to this combo, which is drenched in 60s R&B, Motown and UK Northern Soul influences.  The clip for "Lips Are Unhappy" is as good a place as any to start, though "Add Your Light To Mine" is pretty boss, too.  There's plenty more to stream via the ol' HM, including the cool jerk of "Get Outta Town!"

BJORK is gang-interviewed by several music bloggers, including Brooklyn Vegan.  Don't hold your breath for a Sugarcubes reunion tour.

TED LEO is often political in his songwriting, but he's more conflicted about saying others should be.

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE:  Adam Schlesinger comments on random tunes from Harp magazine's iPod, which is a twist on The A.V. Club feature asking musicians to comment on random tunes from their own iPods.

RIGHT, SAID FRED frontman Richard Fairbrass has promised to run for Mayor of London against Ken Livingstone, because he is fed up with paying the congestion charge.  I guess he's not too sexy for his car these days.

MADONNA is considering adopting an entire orphanage in Malawi.  After all, if a mob of orphans pelts the paparazzi with stones, it's much harder for the press to complain or blame Madge.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but the National Enquirer is printing the story of someone claiming to be baby daddy Larry Birkhead's "secret gay lover," which has Birkhead preparing to sue the tabloid.

LINDSAY LOHAN, in a bizarre interview with Allure magazine, says she takes on the role of protector to her friends and family and was shocked that she ended up in rehab:  "It's so weird that I went to rehab. I always said I would die before I went to rehab."

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly has become addicted to buying wigs.  The pop tart has allegedly traded her party addiction for shopping -- spending more than 60 grand on wigs, vintage hats, clothes, lingerie, perfume and jewellery in less than a month.

PARKER POSEY, CLAIRE DANES and CHLOE SVEGNY are no longer "It Girls" -- they are "Wuz Girls," according to the New York Observer.  Ouch.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie reveals she was sexually active in kindergarten, saying she took her clothes off and "made out" with boys.  She also talks about how she came to use knives during sex.

JESSICA ALBA and her producer boyfriend, Cash Warren, are down but not out.

JENNA JAMESON, the incredible shrinking pr0n starlet, reveals that she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, which may have triggered a miscarriage.

SIENNA MILLER guzzled glasses of wine, put her feet on the table, chain-smoked, and picked her nose during a meal at Hollywood's swanky Chateau Marmont.

JOE PESCI went all GoodFellas on singer Robbie Williams, brandishing a golf club after Williams's friends blocked his driveway.  Do you think that's funny?  Does that amuse you? (profanity at the link, natch.)

JESSICA SIMPSON will don her naughty-wear May 4th when she plays host to a special performance by the Pussycat Dolls at the scantily-clad group's themed lounge at PURE nightclub in Las Vegas, according to US Weekly.  Meanwhile, she's wearing what appears to be her grandmother's pants.

GLOBAL WARMING, contrary to prior thinking, might not strengthen hurricanes after all and it eventually could inhibit their development and growth by increasing wind shear.

ISLAM in the UK:  Polygamous husbands settling in Britain with multiple wives can claim extra gov't benefits for their "harems" even though bigamy is a crime in the UK.  In Scotland, teachers and students have been told by an official body not to stare at Muslims for fear of causing offense -- a position even the Muslim Association of Britain deems silly.

ISLAM in DENMARK:  Imam Mostafa Chendid picked International Women's Day to tell Jyllands-Posten (the newspaper that published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed) that all women should wear the veil, because five to ten percent of all men cannot control themselves when they see a woman without a veil.

IRAQ:  Four large bombs exploded in mostly Shiite areas of Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 183 people.  Agence France-Presse claims this is "a savage blow to the credibility of two-month-old US security plan," ignoring that the plan is maybe half-implemented and that civilian deaths for April are still tracking to be at the low end for the past year.  An Iraqi army brigade commander was arrested Wednesday night, raising the spectre that the bombings could have been helped from the inside.  Az-Zaman claims that a "prominent parliamentarian" may be deeply implicated in the bombing in the Iraqi parliament last week.  Az-Zaman also reproted that Prime Minister al-Maliki has approved the names of three replacements of the six Sadrists who resigned, and that those ministers will be from outside the political coalitions.  US SecDef Gates said that the withdrawal of the Sadrist ministers could advance political reconciliation if the vacancies are used to broaden the govt's representation.  The withdrawal may also presage fissures within the leading Shiite political bloc.  Iraqi commanders took charge of security in a fourth province on Wednesday.  PM al-Maliki believes that Iraq will take security control of the whole country from foreign forces by the end of the yearSaudi Arabia has agreed to forgive 80 percent of Iraqi debt -- a major step given Saudi reluctance to provide financial assistance to the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad.

THIS PICTURE has been making the e-mail rounds recently, but it is not Hercules, the World's Largest Dog.  Indeed, the photo appears to be a fake.

A WILEY COYOTE that eluded authorities in a nearly hourlong foot chase through downtown Detroit is pregnant.  I'm blaming Acme contraceptives.

FUGITIVE CATTLE escaped from a transport vessel in Townsville Australia on Tuesday, leading handlers on a two mile chase through the small town.

THOSE FISH AREN'T DEAD, they're just stunned, so they can be relocated during the construction of an Olympic stadium in east London.

WILD HORSES couldn't be dragged away from the Rolling Stones concert in Belgrade.

HORDES OF RATS have gained almost a mystical hold on the blue-collar town of Cicero, IL.  For those familiar with the city, I should clarify that this story is about actual rodents.

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Pop Levi, 3x3, Dinosaur Jr., Peter Case, Knut Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



POP LEVI:  An Aquarium Drunkard says "The T. Rex inspired production and latter era Robert Plant vocals cannot be ignored... But get past the obvious inspration-on-sleeve references and you're left with a fun rock record..."  "Blue Honey" certainly has those influences (and more than a whiff of James Bond movie credits), while "Sugar Assault Me Now" adds a dash of dance music to the mix.  And yet he seems so mild-mannered in this interview for the DL recorded at SxSW.  There's plenty more Pop Levi to stream via the ol' HM. 

THE ROSEBUDS get the latest audio twofer on the World Cafe via NPR.

BRYAN FERRY is apologizing for saying nice things about Nazi iconography, i.e., calling "the films of Leni Riefenstahl and the buildings of Albert Speer and the mass marches and the flags -- just fantastic.  Really beautiful."

3 x 3 is currently featring video of live tracks from The Annuals, Maximo Park and The Horrors.

THE DECEMBERISTS' multi-instrumentalist Chirs Funk gets some hometown love from the Northwest Indiana Times in a profile going back to his days at Valparaiso High School and interviews with his band teacher and the manager of Front Porch Music in Valparaiso.  Dan Pritchett, a 32-year veteran of Valparaiso High School's Band Department, recalls: "What I remember most about Chris, was that the minute he saw an instrument that he was not familiar with, he had to pick it up and learn how to play it..."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore -- and his daughter Coco -- have cameos in the new Dinosaur, Jr. clip for "Been There All The Time."

PETER CASE is finishing his first record of new material in five years.  Titled Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John, it's his first album for Yep Roc, and includes a duet between Case and Richard Thompson.

MICK JONES, TOPPER HEADON and BILLY BRAGG are among those signed on to appear at the Joe Strummer tribute concert, "Arms Aloft in Acton Town," scheduled for November 15th in London.

GUITAR HERO THRASHERS:  FHM has embedded video of their Top Ten wailers on the popular videogame.

MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG is streaming more SIRIUS Blog Radio tracks, this time from Josh Rouse and David Vandervelde.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The Daily Mail writes that stunning, previously unseen photographs of the supposedly sober supermodel now up for auction show that hooking up with the troubled singer has taken away her looks.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills took her first tumble this week on Dancing With The Stars; she managed to laugh it off and, more importantly, still impressed the judges.  Embedded video at the link.

RICHARD GERE and SHILPA SHETTY are now the subject of judicial complaints accusing them of indulging in an 'obscene act' during an AIDS awareness program held in Delhi, India.  And thanks to the Interweb, we now have video of their hug and kiss.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly fired her manager of several months, Larry Rudolph, and re-hired her one-time PR flack, Leslie Sloane Zelnik.

SPIDER-MAN director Sam Raimi is seriously interested in directing The Hobbit, a choice that could potentially leave Spidey 4 without a director - and potentially without lead actors.  Or it could be that with Spider-Man 3 coming out in a few weeks, ol' Sam is drumming up PR or increasing his bargaining position (iirc, most of the original Spidey contracts were three-pic deals).

THE HULK is getting a sequel with Edward Norton to play Bruce Banner.  You won't like Ed's hair when it gets angry!  The Incredible Hulk is set for a June 13, 2008 opening, directed by Louis Leterrier (Transporter 2, Unleashed).

McGOSLING BREAK-UP WATCH:  I largely dismissed this as a joke yesterday, but now a there's a second story claiming that Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling are on "a break, not a breakup,"  but that the pair are both miserable without each other.  McAdams' rep calls the story "completely false."

LINDSAY LOHAN: Former publicist  Jonathan Jaxson said on his blog that Li-Lo is allegedly getting down with her new BFF, DJ Samantha Ronson.

JOHN TRAVOLTA says he is as big as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe... and he's not referring to his weight, which would be a more credible claim).  No, he is claiming he escaped their untimely fates due to the wonders of Scientology.

HARRISON FORD and CALISTA FLOCKHART are finally headed for the altar.  Hey, when you're already dressing alike, what's left?  UPDATE: Reps for both deny the story.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie's animosity toward her dad, Jon Voight, might have something to do with a rumored  180 grand in unpaid spousal payments.

WILL FERRELL, icydk, has gotten into the viral video biz with longtime collaborator Adam McKay.  They have posted a video of their own to get the ball rolling.  McKay talked to the L.A. Times about working with his two-year-old daughter.

SPANISH TERROR TRIAL:  Reuters headlined their story "Spain al Qaeda man says 2004 bombs were due to Iraq," but the story actually reports that he said he did not know the suspects accused of planning the Madrid train bombings.  The speaker in the video claiming responsibility for the attack said it was revenge for the involvement of Spanish troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  At the start of the trial, investigators argued that planning for the bombings began long before the Iraq war and were related more to exhortations from bin Laden to revive Al-Andalus, as Spain's Muslim kingdom was known in the Middle Ages.  As noted here last week, a new al-Qaeda-linked organization again called for the reconquest of Spain.  And since the Madrid bombings, at last three major terror plots have been thwarted in Spain.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki looks set to buck the sectarian quota system and select non-partisan independents to replace the withdrawn Sadrist ministers.  ITM's Omar Fadhil suspects that the Sadrists withdrew to go into total opposition and escape political responsibility for the faults of the current gov't.  PM al-Maliki revealed that his government is conducting discussions with armed groups in the country, and that there is an opportunity for reconciliation through the conference on Iraq which will be convened in the Egyptian town of Sharm al-Shaykh this next month.  Ramadi has stabilized as thousands of police -- some believed to be former insurgents and most loyal to local sheiks -- have poured into the once-lawless city.  The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq tried to patch up rifts with Sunni insurgent groups in an audiotape released Tuesday.

KNUT UPDATE:  The Berlin Zoo reassured alarmed fans on Tuesday that the polar bear cub is back on his paws after he had been feeling so poorly that worried vets had cut short Monday's public viewing and taken him back to his cage.  "It was only toothache," said a spokeswoman for the zoo.

A SUICIDE SQUIRREL takes down the grid in Great Falls, Montana, but the locals remain defiant in the face of the squirrel threat.

A RAMPAGING HARE had to be shot after attacking an elderly couple and the Vienna police:  " I warned you, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, you knew, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it? "

...AND THERE WERE RABBITS all over the highway...

MR. PEEPERS, a duck, survives a hit-and-run by a getaway car in in Snohomish County, Washington.

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Of Montreal Karaoke, New Releases, Jolie Holland, The Walrus   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


OF MONTREAL PLAYED KARAOKE at NYC's Studio B for a party sponsored by New York magazine.  Actor Paul Rudd and actor-director David Wain show how hard it is to sing Boston's classic "More Than A Feeling."  Stereogum contest winner Griffin Walker tried his hand at Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."  Remember, kids -- before the Internet, you would have missed this. (Photo: Pavlunka.)

SITE NEWS:  Barring a disaster, Pate will serve its three millionth page today.  Thanks to everyone for stopping by, including new site member (and former KUSR jock) Terry Nielsen!

NEW RELEASES:  Joseph Arthur, the Smithereens, the Noisettes, Nine Inch Nails, the Hold Steady and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.  Elk City, featuring the vocal talents of Renée LoBue, releases New Believers.  The Shaky Hands release a self-titled debut album, with Mary-Anne nowhere to be found.  The alt-country-esque Dolly Varden release The Panic Bell.

WILCO:  Billboard interviews frontman Jeff Tweedy about the writing and recording the band's upcoming album in the "Wilco loft" in Chicago's Irving Park.  A free download that comes along with pre-orders of Wilco's Sky Blue Sky shows the band playing "Hate It Here" in the loft.

FOUNTAINS of WAYNE:  Adam Schlesinger talks to PopMatters about the paradoxical nature of rock stardom: "If you take it seriously, you look like a jerk. But you have to take it seriously to do it well enough to keep doing it."  He also talks about the upsides and downsides of having a hit, which was a good excuse for PM to embed the "Stacy's Mom" video at the end of the article.

TWOFER TUESDAY:  I had to surf down under to find Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders performing "The Game of Love" and "A Groovy Kind of Love."  The latter might even be semi-live.

ALL THINGS FEIST:  If you dug Leslie Feist's new video for "1 2 3 4" linked here yesterday, there's an unofficial blog that tracks... well, you know.

JOLIE HOLLAND has an interview and free songs posted at Daytrotter.  Holland reacts to the death of Kurt Vonnegut: "Knowing he envied musicians makes me try to appreciate being a musician more.  I hope he's in that version of heaven that he wrote about, where everyone is there, including Hitler, who just keeps apologizing."

PHIL SPECTOR:  Juury selection resumed in his murder trial, with lawyers questioning people individually about their knowledge of the hit producer and the late cult-movie actress, Lana Clarkson.

KICKING IT OLD SKOOL:  The last time I saw Jon Pratt, we discussed how the digital age has removed a lot of the tangible fun of being a music fan.  Design Observer has a piece on "a grim-faced resistance movement amongst dozens of tiny record labels determined to hang onto physical packaging and expressive cover art, no matter what."  NPR's Morning Edition has a stream on the resurgence in vinyl.

RICHARD GERE'S repeated kisses on the cheeks of actress Shilpa Shetty in an event to promote AIDS awareness sparked protests in India on Monday with demonstrators burning effigies of the actor.  The protesters said Gere's kissing of Shilpa was against Indian culture.

BRITNEY SPEARS may be kinda wacky, but she gave twelve times more to charity than Leo DiCaprio, whose PR image is one of social consciousness.

MADONNA desperately wants to become the female Bono and be taken as seriously as him.  She may want to start by letting the father of her adopted son know when she is coming for a visit.

McGOSLING:  Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, recently rumored to be planning secret summer nuptuals, have split up?  Sounds more like Gosling was pulling some paparazzi's leg.

THE ODD COUPLE:  At least, that's what I would call Ann Coulter and Jimmy "Dyn-O-Mite" Walker.

EVA LONGORIA:  The Desperate Housewife is "not averse to being tied up" in bed.  PopSugar has pics from Longoria's wedding shower -- including a toiletpaper-draped Teri Hatcher.  No bondage pics, though.

MARILYN MANSON-DITA VON TEESE BREAK-UPDATE:  The goth rocker is officially calling 19-year-old actress Evan Rachel Wood his girlfiriend, not to mention his "double" and his "twin."

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, and her diaries failed to sell at an auction this weekend, but are now available for a minimum bid of $25,000 each.  You can almost hear the 15-minute-clock tolling.

NICOLE KIDMAN received her Order of Australia from Governor-General Michael Jeffery in a ceremony at Government House in Canberra last weekend:  "I think the great thing about you, Ms Kidman, is what have you have done to better the human condition," the Governor-General said.

SAHARA:  Confidential docs obtained by the L.A. Times from dueling lawsuits over the movie's projected $78.3 million loss provide a rare behind-the-curtain peek at expenditures that drain the budget of a major motion picture. The line items cover such things as "local bribes" within the Kingdom of Morocco and the salaries and "star perks" paid to Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz -- including  $150,223 for McConaughey's makeup artist, $48,893 for his personal chef, $67,977 for his personal trainer, and $179,262 for conveyance of his entourage to, from, and around Morocco.  $162,554 was spent on Cruz's hairstylist, $150,922 for her dialogue coach.

BRADGELINA:  A fairly detailed look at the state of the Pitt-Jolie partnership in the Daily Mail leads with a blunt quote from Pitt on living under the glare of intense public scrutiny: "It's hell. Certainly, pick on me - but why pick on Angelina? That's so low. She's such an amazing woman - like Supergirl, in every way."

GO, CYCLONES!  Iowa State's nationally ranked paintball team is going to the College Paintball National Championships to be held April 20-22 in Dallas. Currently No. 14 in the national rankings, Iowa State is playing its best paintball of the year as the nationals approach. (Thanks, Ken!)

ISLAMISM in the TWIN CITIES:  On an 11-0 vote Monday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission voted to crack down on Muslim taxi drivers refusing service to alcohol-toting riders.  Both sides agree that the dispute is probably heading for a court challenge, even though Ahmed Samatar, a recognized expert on Somali society at Macalester College in St. Paul, notes that "There is a general Islamic prohibition against drinking, but carrying alcohol for people in commercial enterprise has never been forbidden."

IRAQ:  The withdrawal of six Sadrist ministers from the cabinet may mark a new shift in Iraqi politics, from rigid sectarian alliances that act as a single "bloc" to a more diversified system with a less predictable dynamic.  Combined US and Iraqi raids inside Baghdad captured 129 insurgents and uncovered two bomb factories over the weekend.  The Interior Ministry claims that Iraqi security forces, with the help of the Anbar Salvation Council, killed the leader of the "Islamic State in Fallujah" and Al-Qaeda's military coordinator in Anbar province.  Almost a full brigade of between 2,000 and 3,000 additional soldiers is on the way to Diyala to interdict the volatile terrain between Baghdad and Baqubah, where things have not gone well for Coalition forces.  A rumor is circulating that some tribal leaders in the Diwaniya area may have called for the US to intervene in the area after they were unable to respond to the actions of the Mahdi Army.  Thousands of Iraqis upset about poor city services marched peacefully through the streets of Basra on Monday.

IRAQ and TURKEY:  Although the northern, Kurdish region of Iraq is better off than the rest of Iraq, there have been renewed tensions between the Iraqi Kurds and Turkey (which has its own Kurdish population and suspicion of ambitions to create Kurdistan).  Given that Turkey's election season has included a huge demonstration of Turkey's middle classes against Erdoğan's presidency as the embodiment of the "looming Islamic threat," the Kurds need to be playing it cool.  Der Spiegel has more on Istanbul as the Islamic world's most secular city.

GOO GOO GOO JOOB:  There's a reason why the walrus is making his O-face, and it is probably NSFW.

A GERMAN DOG drove the neighbors nuts by blasting His Master's Stereo until the Berlin Police cut power to the home.

PET HOARDING:  A Central Florida man was arrested on animal cruelty charges after officials said they discovered as many as 300 cats -- dead and alive -- inside his house with a layer of animal feces between two and three inches deep.  Photos and video at the link.

DOLPHINS and SEA LIONS may be the US Navy's best defense against terrorists in scuba gear.

SHARK RESCUE, with a TWIST:  Divers carrying out a marine wildlife survey rescued a basking shark that was close to death after it had become entangled in a fishing net about 100 metres off the Cornish coast.  Environmentalists suspect global warming.

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