CHARLOTTE HATHERLEY: Mojitos and a Fender Jag make her 80s-stylin' video for "BASTARDO" pop. You can stream it from her home page.
ON THE PITCHFORK: A review of the two new discs from Bright Eyes.
BONNAROO: The festival has announced its lineup. You could go see Rilo Kiley, M.Ward, Drive-By Truckers, Alison Krauss and Earl Scruggs, to name a few. But you risk running into Dave Matthews.
DOGS: One hound mix and one collie escape their shelters by winning parts in the upcoming Broadway musical of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The dogs will live on a Connecticut farm owned by the show's handler when the production closes. EXTRA TRIVIA: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. was written by Ian Fleming, who also created the James Bond series. Ian knew how to pimp a ride.
24 HOUR DETOX: Wired covers the "one-step program" with a claimed 65 percent success rate.
GLOBAL WARMING: A new report warns that the point of no return may be reached in 10 years, leading to droughts, agricultural failure and water shortages. On the other hand, the findings from a team of American climate experts suggest that were it not for greenhouse gases produced by humans, the world would be well on the way to a frozen Armageddon.
WINSTON CHURCHILL died 40 years ago Monday; The Queen of England will open a Churchill museum next month. Last week, I noted that Raoul Wallenberg was one of two people made an honorary citizen of the U.S. -- Churchill was the other.
IRAQ ELECTION: In a country wracked by violence, a tiny bookstore in a dusty mall offers a quiet corner where customers can escape the misery and the owners can dare to sound hopeful. "We must live like other people," bookseller Attallah Zeidan says. "Let a million of us die. That's the price of freedom. Have you heard of any society that gained freedom without sacrifices?" A story in Sunday's New York Times is headlined: "As Election Nears, Iraqis Remain Sharply Divided on Its Value." The reader has to reach paragraph eight to find this sentence: "Granted, the opinions of 50 to 60 people, all told, hardly constitute a scientific sample." A scientific poll, on the other hand, shows between sixty-five and eighty percent are likely to vote in the January 30th election. The division found by the NYT was that Sunnis were not too enthused, but as the Sunni minority gained the most under Saddam Hussein's regime, that lack of enthusiasm is not shocking. [btw, the NYT story relies in part on"Iraqi employees of The New York Times from Falluja and Mosul." Would it be too cynical to wonder whether the NYT has any idea as to whether the info gleaned from Iraqis in the past and current bases of the insurgency is accurate? Okay, I'll get off the soapbox now.] There have been election-related security concerns in Nashville and outside of Chicago.
IN OTHER IRAQ NEWS, a top lieutenant of al-Qaida's Iraq leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been arrested in Iraq, along with the chief of al-Zarqawi's propaganda operations and one of his weapons suppliers. Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf, a/k/a Abu Omar al-Kurdi, "confessed to building approximately 75 percent of the car bombs used in attacks in Baghdad," including the bombing of the U.N. headquarters that killed the top U.N. envoy in Iraq and 21 others, the bombing of a shrine in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf that killed more than 85 people, and the assassination of Izzadine Saleem, then president of the Iraqi Governing Council.
WISCONSIN ELECTION FALLOUT: Five men have been charged with felony criminal damage to property for slashing 40 tires on 25 vehicles used by the Republican Party on Election Day, including the sons of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and former acting mayor Marvin Pratt. The complaint against them is available for download also.
AGE OF THE BLOG: The San Francisco Chronicle declares that "[o]ver the past year, these online journals have gained clout as an important source of information, occasionally beating the mainstream media." Plenty of URLs at the end. The growing influence of blogs is also raising questions about whether they are becoming a new form of journalism and in need of more formal ethical guidelines or codes of conduct.
NAPSTER is considering entering the legal movie download biz.
ALCOHOL AND VIAGRA: The latest studies are noted by InstaPundit Glenn Reynolds -- and I'm not going to try to beat his punchline.
SO, TIMMY, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A GLADIATOR MOVIE? The "real thing" may have been as real as pro wrestling.
RAZZIES: The Oscar nominations are set to be announced Tuesday morning, but the noms for the Razzies, celebrating the worst of Hollywood, have been announced. In a bit of an upset, Catwoman leads with seven noms, while Oliver Stone's Alexander garners only six. The other worst-picture contenders were the family action comedy Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, the holiday debacle Surviving Christmas and the cross-dressing comedy White Chicks. Both Condoleeza Rice and Britney Spears are nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for their appearances in Fahrenheit 9/11.
PAUL GIAMATTI IS THE MAN: Newsweek conducted a roundtable of the likely Oscar nominees for Best Actor and Actress which included the following exchange:
Q: Doing press is a big part of your job this time of year, and you've all done a great many interviews over the years. What one question do you never want to be asked again?
HILARY SWANK: My most annoying question is, "Hilary, are you ever going to play a pretty girl?"
PAUL GIAMATTI: Yeah, that one always pisses me off.
SUNDANCE: Robert Redford says that the film festival has become a magnet for "all the 'special' people who want 'special' attention, who want tickets at the last minute. When we say no, they get pissed off and start threatening to throw rocks at us." Not to mention celebrities stealing from the Humane Society of the U.S. At least you can avoid these by going to the Sundance online Film Festival instead.
HOWARD DEAN ENDORSED FOR DNC CHAIR by Doug MacKinnon, former press secretary to Bob Dole, on the ground that Dean has been unfairly treated by the media.
JENNA BUSH: Gawker has a post-inaguration party picture that her Dad would not be happy to see.
BUZZCOCKS start working on a new album, according to Aversion, which also reports that the forthcoming M. Ward disc will cover the Beach Boys, the Carter Family and some dude named Bach.
CARL WILSON mulls the third death of indie rock, fingering technology as the culprit. I wonder whether it's dead or merely in the process of exploding.
NEW NEW ORDER: Stereogum links to streams of the first single, "Krafy." No Rock 'n' Roll Fun is ready with the poison pixels.
NICOLE KIDMAN: Undoubtedly bugged that her home in Sydney was bugged.
NANOTECH may be used to build better bombs, including "mini-nukes," making arms control all the more difficult.
NEVADA: Still safe for lap-dancing, for now.
HOO-HAH! State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) is sponsoring a bill to repeal Washington state's 1909 law that criminalizes "slander of a woman." The statute prohibits "false or defamatory words or language which shall injure or impair" the virtuous and chaste reputation of any woman over the age of 12. The law does say it's OK to slander a "common prostitute." What about the uncommon ones?
THE UNITED NATIONS: After the tsunami, a U.N. official suggested that wealthy countries were too stingy with reconstruction aid. Now another U.N. official suggests that wealthy countries just throw money at disasters, resulting in a "feeding frenzy" of corruption and profiteering. The latest rumor has Secretary General Kofi Annan being replaced by Goldilocks.