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Topic: Karl

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Hold Steady & Art Brut, Pipettes, Vetiver, Pet Fit Club   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 01, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE HOLD STEADY knocked 'em dead for Halloween at the Metro.  I had not seen the Hold Steady on this tour, so it was my first time seeing newer songs like set opener "Stuck Between Stations," "Chips Ahoy" and  "You Can Make Him Like You" or Tad Kubler unleashing the double-necked guitar  as he does here on "Party Pit."  Sadly, none of these videos captures the band in the spaghetti Western garb they donned for the occasion... but you may see it some day as the gig was being recorded fo a live album and was shot by a video crew also.  I have to think it will be tough to get a good live album because -- like the Who -- the band is so energetic that the visual may come at the expense of a technically perfect take.  But they had an almost equally energetic audience who seized their chances to sing and clap along (there was a group near me that could have stood a little less energy).  My nitpick would be that Craig Finn referred to "Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night," but they didn't play it.  Finn used the encore of "Killer Parties" to tell the crowd -- as always -- how much joy there is in what they do (as he does on this clip of "Most People Are DJs").  

ART BRUT made for a dynamite opener, packing as much energy as their full show into the opening slot.  The band was in full Halloween regalia, with frontman Eddie Argos dressed as Jumpsuit Elvis, while his guitarists came as a Roman centurion and a skeleton.  They launched per usual with "Formed A Band," this time assisted by a karaoke screen behind them.  Ken King and I actually heard newer material like "Direct Hit" at Pitchfork 2006, but it was fully developed now.  Given the opportunity to broaden their audience, Art Brut larded the setlist with show-stoppers like "My Little Brother," "Good Weekend," and the fab "Emily Kane," complete with dialog from Eddie Argos.  BONUS:  Hold Steady axeman Tad Kubler talked to the Northwest Herald in advance of the gig about the benefit of playing with Springsteen and the StonesDOUBLE BONUS UPDATE:  Pitchfork has photos of both bands in costume.

THE PIPETTES:  Gwenno talks to Washington's Herald, noting the group is less manufactured than their 60s girl-group sound might suggest.  The band also has a behind-the-scenes video of a photoshoot posted at MySpaceTV.  (Thanks, Chromewaves.)

RIOT GRRRLS:  Mark Hooper argues that the indie feminist icons of today are a bit of a mess.  I would argue that The Pipettes (unmentioned in the post) are feminist in their own unique way, more subtle and satirical than bands like Bikini Kill.

THE SPICE GIRLS:  As we've got a "girl power" theme going, I note that London's Guardian both loves and hates their reunion single.

DEBBIE HARRY talks about hitting the road, closing CBGBs and more with Ireland's Independent.

SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO is normally not my bag, but the debate over whether second video for "Hustler" is  a "send up (of) glamour girl culture," exploitation or simply nauseating makes it a nice fit with other blurbs today.

QUEENS of the STONE AGE:  Now that Halloween is past, we can look forward to the band's cameo on the Travel Channel's Chef Anthony Bourdain's Holiday Special, which they discuss in a video at the 'Gum.  Frontman Josh Homme also lists a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's Guest List feature.

VETIVER:  I just noticed that you can stream the current album from this "freak folk" combo from their blog.  It's at the bottom of the left column.

BON IVER has signed to Jagjaguwar for the official release of his sweet-spot-hitting debut For Emma, Forever Ago early next year.  Reveille interviews Justin Vernon about all the blog buzz surrounding the LP and streams some highlights, though you can stream the whole unreleased album now via Virb.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS:  John Flansburg reflects on the band's silver anniversary with North Carolina's News & Observer.  The band's classic "Birdhouse In Your Soul" turned up on ABC's fantasy drama Pushing Daisies.

BRITNEY SPEARS is actually getting good reviews for her new album from the AP, BBC and Chicago Tribune, even from Entertainment Weekly and the Guardian.  Not everyone likes it, natch.  At the NYDN, Jim Farber wrote: "If a blowup sex doll could sing, this is what she'd sound like."  However, her label has officially given up on getting the troubled pop tart more involved in marketing the album.  She even stopped in mid-interview with Ryan Seacrest to take a shower.  Meanwhile, Spears' personal assistant, Kalie Machado, is dishing details of Brit's breakup with Fed-Ex and declaring, "She needs mental help."  And Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo is laughing off rumors that he and Spears are an item.

LINDSAY LOHAN has wised up and has bailed on hosting a New Year's Eve party for Vegas nightclub LAX.

ASHLEY OLSEN & LANCE ARMSTRONG were... wait for it... caught canoodling at NYC's Gramercy Park Hotel on Monday night.  She is as skinny as a bicycle.

THE McCARTNEYS:  A 'suicidal' Heather Mills broke down during a television interview, claiming that the media has been smearing her name and treating her in the same way as Princess Diana and Kate McCann.  She also accused a "certain party" of spreading smears against her to prevent the truth coming out.   Video at the link.  Also, Mills' recent firework display scared her neighbor's dog to death, the pooch's owner has claimed.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie pulled out of a talk in Italy about global topics and the future of humankind due to "personal reasons."  Italian papers claimed it was because she is expecting her second child with Pitt.  Meanwhile, Sen. Barack Obama's campaign has turned town an offer from Pitt to make appearances on the presidential candidate's behalf.

OWEN WILSON... and JESSICA SIMPSON?  They raced lawnmowers with Willie Nelson, and reportedly spent Sunday evening together at the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica.  Better get Vader warming up in the bullpen.  There are also equally dubious reports that Wilson is exchanging phone calls and e-mails with ex-gf Kate Hudson.  BONUS:  At Slate, Troy Patterson defends the much-criticized interview, posted to MySpaceTV last weekend, between Wilson and director Wes Anderson.

JENNIFER LOPEZ:  Weeks after her new album tanked and her movie El Cantante fell flat, her next film is going straight to video.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  David Beckham insists that while he and wife Posh Spice have become friends with Tom-Kat, 'Cruise doesn't shove Scientology down our throats.'  Oh, there's a punchline in there somewhere, but I would have to put on the lawyer's hat to word it properly.

GYLLENSPOON WITHERHAAL were caught getting cozy on the beach.  Video at the link.

WALK THE LINE was named best music biopic in a poll taken by the British Internet DVD site Lovefilm.com.  The Top Ten are at the link.

THE WORST CELEBRITY PLASTIC SURGERY, according to Maxim magazine.  I should have posted this yesterday, as it's plenty scary.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  A primary school was accused of forcing teachers dress up as Muslims for a day, to celebrate the end of Ramadan: "Staff have got to go along with it - or let's face it, they would be branded racist."  OTOH, books calling for the beheading of lapsed Muslims, ordering women to remain indoors and forbidding interfaith marriage are being sold inside some of Britain's leading mosques, according to research by a conservative think-tank.  The Times of London reports that five of the books were also found in searches during Scotland Yard antiterrorist investigations since 2001.

MALAYSIA:  Muslim men are suffering sleepless nights and cannot pray properly because their thoughts are distracted by a growing number of women who wear sexy clothes in public,  a prominent cleric said.

AFGHANISTAN has been the subject of grim news as of late, but Bill Roggio reports that the Taliban is surrounded in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.  Even so, NATO and Afghan forces will continue to fight a holding action in Afghanistan until the Taliban and al Qaeda are uprooted from their bases along the borders in Pakistan.

IRAQ:  US combat deaths are headed for the lowest level in more than a year and a half and the fifth consecutive monthly decline.  In Taji, terrorists are now "on the run" because of sectarian reconciliation.  As a result, the overall quality of life in rural North Baghdad Province has improved.  The tribal sheikhs rescued from an AQ kidnapping vowed to move forward: "We are an integrated Sunni-Shiite group that has pledged itself to reconciliation and which had come to Baghdad to agree on its mechanisms."  British forces are to transfer responsibility for security in Basra province to Iraq's government in December.  Iraqi police killed an al Qaeda commander in western Iraq.  Iraqi soldiers east of Baghdad gave the US military a thousand-dollar check last week to aid victims of California's wildfires.  An Iraqi fisherman caught a six-foot shark in a river more than 160 miles from the sea.  Of course, this means we must go to the video. (NSFW)

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Time magazine's piece "Has the Surge Reached Its Limits?" leads with a "horrible discovery" -- "Iraqi police said they found 20 decapitated bodies dumped near a police station west of Baquba, the capital of Diyala province."  In fact, Iraqi police denied earlier reports that 20 headless bodies had been found dumped near Baquba.  The story's point about the national gov't still needing to get its act together is valid, though reconciliation and progress may eventually be driven by the provinces.   The Time story also notes Iraqi data showing that sectarian violence has dropped about 85 percent from its peak. 

PET FIT CLUB:  A group of podgy pets with a combined weight of more than a sixth of a ton were unveiled today as contestants in the Pet Fit Club competition organised by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals.  Doesn't this kind of press violate the first rule of Pet Fit Club?

THE ASHERA is billed as the world's "largest, rarest and most exotic" domestic cat.  One can be yours for the low, low price of about 24 grand.

A PIG MONUMENT has been unveiled in a Russian region famous for its sausages.  I imagine the pigs have mixed feelings about it.

WOOF WATER:  Dogs ask for it by name!

WILE E. FOXES embrace the easy city life in Germany.  Mu-NICH is where they'd rather stay.

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Tricks, Treats, Halloween Bin, Pets in Costume   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

STREAMING FROM THE CASTLE EAST: This fan-made 1973 video for "The Monster Mash" is today's must-see clip (natch), though you can also see Bobby "Boris" Pickett perform it live at Little Steven's Halloween a Go-Go 2005. The covers by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and The Misfits are pretty good also -- the latter uses clips from the Rankin-Bass animated classic, Mad Monster Party.

BOB DYLAN inspires Halloween costumes.

THE FLAMING LIPS led the March Of 1,000 Flaming Skeletons, as part of Oklahoma City's inaugural Ghouls Gone Wild Halloween Parade.  Videos at the link.

THE SCARIEST MUSIC STARS, according to Gigwise.

KISS got their first television exposure in 1976 on The Paul Lynde Halloween Special.

"DO THEY KNOW IT'S HALLOWEEN?" is last year's all-star charity send-up of Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" featuring Roky Erikson, Elvira, plus members from Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, Smoosh, Rilo Kiley, Sparks and many more.

OZZY OSBOURNE shares his first memories of Halloween -- and plenty of expletives -- with PopMatters.

JIM CARROLL sings about "People Who Died."

FOURTEEN SONGS ABOUT VAMPIRES, courtesy of The A.V. Club, with plenty of embedded video.

HALLOWEEN BIN:  Today's tricks and treats from the ol' HM are:  John Carpenter - Halloween Theme; Twink - Rosemary's Baby Theme; Lewis Lee - Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes; Danny Elfman - This Is Halloween; Siouxsie & The Banshees - Halloween; Dead Kennedys - Halloween; Comateens - The Munsters Theme; The Who - Boris the Spider; Gnarls Barkley - The Boogie Monster; Otis Redding - Trick or Treat; Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put a Spell on You; Billy Bragg & Wilco - Hoodoo Voodoo; Roky Erickson And The Aliens - I Walked With A Zombie; The Flaming Lips - Halloween On The Barbary Coast; Grant Lee Buffalo - Halloween; The Postmarks - Every Day Is Halloween;  Spoon - The Ghost Of You Lingers; Ryan Adams - Halloween Head; New York Dolls - Frankenstein; Smashing Pumpkins - Godzilla (Blue Oyster Cult); and Jane's Addiction - Sympathy For The Devil (Live).

THE TIME WARP:  Let's do it again.

BRITNEY SPEARS puts a little Rocky Horror into every day.  Spears has not regained custody of her kids, based largely on a bad report from the parenting coach.  And that's probably before anyone reads about the supposedly rehabbed pop tart staggering into Hollywood hotspot Winston's Monday night, slurping on Grey Goose vodka and mixers throughout the night.  Or seen the video of her stumbling out.  At the same time she's trying to get the judge to drop the random drug tests.  Genius.  Meanwhile, kinky photos of a half-naked Spears perched on a priest's lap and leaning seductively against a church confessional sparked outrage among Catholic leaders (though I would think Spears preferable to an altar boy).  A Kentucky church is out to save her soul.  And Mama Lynne Spears is writing a book about parenting.

ROBERT GOULET died Tuesday in L.A. at 73, awaiting a lung transplant.

THE 50 BEST-REVIEWED HORROR MOVIES, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

THE TOP 25 HORROR MOVIES, according to Time magazine, includes Bambi.

THE TOP 10 ZOMBIE MOVIES of ALL TIME, according to Stylus magazine, which dies today.

NIGHT of the KILLER LAMP:  23 Ridiculous Horror-Movie Adversaries, courtesy of The A.V. Club.

FROM GHOSTS to ZOMBIES:  A survey of horror sub-genres from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

THRILL THE WORLD:  Last weekend, in 17 countries across five continents, hundreds of people went for for the world record for "Largest Simultaneous Thriller Dance."  The number of total participants will be tallied over the next few days and posted on http://www.thrilltheworld.com/, where you can also learn the dance.  I dunno... I still think the filipino prisoners beat this.

ZOMBIES in PLAIN ENGLISH:  A handy video survival guide for the season.

IT'S ALIVE!  How Frankenstein Created a Cultural Monster.

WAR of the WORLDS:  The infamous Orson Welles broadcast turned 69 yesterday.  You can stream it from the Internet Archive.

HALLOWEEN TRIVIA gets a linky round-up from the Bismarck Tribune.

THE 13 TOP-EARNING DEAD CELEBS, according to Forbes magazine.  As predicted last year, Kurt Cobain is off the list.  There are still plenty of musicians, but the number three slot goes to "Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schulz, which takes to...

IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, in its entirety, Charlie Brown.  Every year, the bootleg video rises from the Internet patch.

A TRICK on News10 Good Morning in Sacramento, CA is your treat,

A TRAILER FULL of HUMAN HEADS:  It was not the type of cargo Royse City Police expected to find early on a Sunday morning traffic stop.

HALLOWEEN is not as big a holiday in Germany, where passengers on a train mistook a reveller dressed as a zombie for a murder victim and called the police.

BRITAIN'S TEN MOST HAUNTED Historic Homes, according to the National Trust.

SMASHING PUMPKINS:  Metro features a gallery of designs from Extreme Pumpkins, while /Film showcases cinematic designs.

THIS YEAR'S COSTUME TREND:  Little girls dressing as skanks.

CONSUMER PROBE:  Speaking of costumes, as a public service, I point you to this classic expose of hazardous Halloween costumes, featuring an interview of costumer Irwin Mainway.

CRAZY PET HALLOWEEN COSTUMES, courtesy of NBC10 in Philadelphia.  But none of them make BWE's list of the Top 10 Most Humiliating Pet Costumes.

PRECIOUS the BULLDOG was tagged by graffiti artists.  That trick is no treat.

WILD BOARS are destroying farmland and forest in tropical Queensland.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  You may now resume eating the varmints in the Garden State.

WHEN COWS ATTACK:  A Sussex policeman has been discharged from hospital after an attack by about 50 cows left him with four broken ribs and a punctured lung.

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New Releases, Andrew Bird, Off Broadway, Wake-Up Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

ST. VINCENT:  Annie Clark's new video for "Jesus Saves, I Spend" makes me appreciate Ken King's continued involvement with Scouting.

NEW RELEASES:  The 'I'm Not There' Dylan biopic soundtrack, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Carbon/Silicon, Nicole Atkins and more are streaming in full via Spinner this week.  The soundtrack has contributions from Stephen Malkmus, Sonic Youth, Jeff Tweedy, Sufjan Stevens, Cat Power, Yo La Tengo, Tom Verlaine, the Hold Steady, Iron and Wine, Eddie Vedder, Los Lobos, Jack Johnson, and Roger McGuinn.  Ian Ball of Gomez has his solo debut out today, too.  The bass line to "Failure" may sound vaguely familiar to fans of The Beatles and The Jam.

A PALER SHADE OF WHITE REDUX:  The recent New Yorker piece by Sasha Frere-Jones on the unbearable whiteness of indie rock is sharply dissected by Tim Mohr on Playboy's music blog.  That's right, I read it for the blog postings.  BONUS:  Will Butler of Arcade Fire responds.

ARCADE FIRE:  London's Guardian has a piece profiling a "band trying to make sense of their ascent to stardom," which one hopes is different from a think-piece on a "mid-level band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom."

ANDREW BIRD is backed by veteran indie rockers Dianogah on five songs -- some previously unreleased -- you can stream and download from Daytrotter.

OFF BROADWAY:  The late-'70s power pop group from Oak Park, IL "played a quirky hopped-up blend of Beatlesque melodies and Move-like power" and still perform at local gigs occasionally, as these live videos of "Stay In Time" and "Bully Bully" demonstrate on Twofer Tuesday.  You can stream a few tracks, including a live take on "Full Moon Turn My Head Around," at TheirSpace.

U2:  Last year, the band's music publishing company paid 25.8 million dollars to five unidentified "employees," whom most preume to be the band, plus manager Paul McGuinness.

SHARON JONES:  The soul singer talks to NPR about her breakthrough success, which was decades in the making.

FIONN REGAN:  The folk troubadour talks to Ireland's Independent about songwriting and being compared to such sainted singer-songwriters as Bob Dylan and Nick Drake.  You may want to stream a few tracks at FionnSpace.

YEAR IN REVIEW:  Some folks have gotten a head start on looking back.  At the Guardian's blog, Ben Myers writes that 2007 was a stinker year for music, though he's mostly focused on the UK and his exceptions tend to be from the US.  At the Catbirdseat, you can check out the much beloved music-blogger "Best of 2007" Cheat Sheat.

PORTER WAGONER, the country music legend who charted 81 times and mentored Dolly Parton, died Sunday at a Nashville hospice at 80. The singer was suffering from lung cancer.  In June, he released his last CD, Wagonmaster, to some of the best reviews of his career. And in July, he opened for the White Stripes at a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden.  Full obit at CMT.  Pitchfork has your embeded videos.

BRITNEY SPEARS gave Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo a lap dance, according to American Idol MC Ryan Seacrest.

OPRAH WINFREY made a tearful apology and begged for forgiveness Sunday as she met the parents of students at her all-girls academy, which is reeling from lurid allegations of sexual abuse.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills reportedly blew 200K on a lavish fourth birthday party for daughter Beatrice.  Including a pony.

NICOLE KIDMAN turned up at Australia's music industry awards in a see-through dress, but did not seem entirely comfortable in it.

GEORGE CLOONEY recently installed an egg-throwing machine at his mansion on Italy's ritzy Lake Como, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine. The machine, which the hunky actor helped design, hurls rag eggs at those who cross an infrared sensor in front of his 15-bedroom Villa Oleandra.

JESSICA SIMPSON has become the latest in a long line of female celebrities to launch her own perfume.  It will be called "Nitwit."  Okay, I made up that last bit.

JACKO has defaulted on a 23-million-dollar loan and must pay -- with interest -- in 90 days, or he will lose his Neverland Ranch.

JAMES McAVOY is in the frame to play Kurt Cobain in the upcoming biopic about the life and death of the rock star.

SIENNA MILLER:  Her new relationship with scruffy Rhys Ifans has friends of both wondering whether it will end in tears... an if so, for whom.

MADONNA:  Hubby Guy Ritchie has quashed rumors that the adoption of baby David Banda drove a wedge between him and Madge.

LEO DiCAPRIO was a late bloomer, according to Russell Crowe, who tells Entertainment Weekly he'd like to hear more about Leo's social life since then, preferably with pictures.

EVAN RACHEL WOOD, Marilyn Manson's 19-year-old actress girlfriend, is reportedly close to signing a recording contract with Interscope Records, which just happens to be Manson's label.

MICHAEL MOORE's most recent movie, Sicko, has opened in Europe.  Britons who know their National Health Service do not recognize it in his movie... and they support the NHS.  Others would point out that dental care and baby delivery can be self-service if you rely on the NHS.

THE JENA 6:  A local journalist tells the story you haven't heard.  You will be shocked, shocked, to discover that the media got most of the basics wrong.

ISLAMISM in GERMANY:  Chancellor Angela Merkel has joined a growing movement to criminalize forced marriages in Germany, which is growing less tolerant of practices among Muslim immigrants that clash with the nation's liberal social values.

IRAQ:  Iraqi troops on Monday rescued eight of 11 kidnapped tribal leaders after a gunbattle with their captors, defense ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari told AFP.  The US military accused Arkan Hasnawi, a former Shiite militant from radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, of kidnapping the group of Shiite and Sunni leaders.  The Shiite-dominated national government is resisting efforts to integrate more Sunnis into the police force.  Rockets fired at a US base southeast of Baghdad on Oct. 23 were manufactured in Iran.  The threat from al-Qaeda in several former strongholds in Baghdad has been significantly reduced, but criminals who have established "almost mafia-like presence" in some areas pose a new threat, Gen. Petraeus said Sunday.  Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial, ubiquitous Iraqi politician and one-time Bush administration favorite, has re-emerged to press Iraq's central government to use early security gains from the surge to deliver better electricity, health, education and local security services to Baghdad neighborhoods.  Michael Yon's latest dispatch argues that Iraq is looking better month by month, but at the current rate, surely we shall fail in Afghanistan.

IRAQ II:  Turkey has suspended ratification of a bilateral anti-terrorism cooperation agreement with Iraq, as the number of Turkish troops inside Iraq seeking PKK terrorists reaches 2000.  Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq are warning local people to prepare to run for the hills if Turkey attacks.

THE WAKE-UP CAT is climbing the viral video charts.  (Thanks, Amber.)

STANLEY the TERRIER:  Gunning for the Red Baron, or dressing as Snoopy for Halloween?

WINTER the DOLPHIN, who lost her tail fin after becoming tangled in a crab trap at sea, has been fitted with an artificial tail.

SWALLOWER FISH has eyes bigger than its stomach, and takes on a three-foot-long snake mackerel.

MONKEY SQUADS:  New monkey-catchers have been hired by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to deal with the monkey menace in the city.  Who you gonna call?

MING the QUAHOG CLAM, who has died at age 405, lived longer than any other creature known to man.

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New Pornographers, Ingrid Michaelson, Sean Riley, Two Cats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 29, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

APOSTLE OF HUSTLE:  BSS lead guitarist Andrew Whiteman's other band has a new video for "Cheap Like Sebastien," which is a nice way to ease into an autumnal Monday.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS played DC's 9:30 Club Saturday, with opening sets by Benjy Ferree and Emma Pollock.  You can stream all three sets on demand via NPR.

THE REPLACEMENTS:  I stumbled across an interview of Jim Walsh, author of The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting.  I loved this from the interviewer's intro: You should have been here, the walls of old venues like the 7th Street Entry seem to whisper to its younger patrons. You should have seen it.  I did, and you should have (nyah).

INGRID MICHAELSON:  You may think you haven't heard of her, but her MySpace page landed her songs all over TV --on Grey's Anatomy, One Tree Hill, Kyle XY, The Real World and in an Old Navy ad that put her album on the Billboard charts as an unsigned artist.  You can check out embedded video at DC's Express and Rolling Stone.

FIERY FURNACES:  Matthew Friedberger tells the NY Post about Widow City: "We thought we'd make not so much a '70s-sounding record, but a record full of '70s sounds, if that makes any sense."

THE PIPETTES are sporting new dresses and hair colors on the US tour.

SEAN RILEY and the SLOWRIDERS are from Portugal, but sound nothing like it.  Their video for "Moving On" popped up in my new custom news aggregator, which led me to the band's MySpace page, where their friends include T-Bone Burnett and Heavy Trash.  More songs streaming there, too.

NELLIE McKAY played the World Cafe Friday, you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.

THE SEX PISTOLS warmed up for their reunion tour in LA... and it was anarchic.

OiNK -- the music-sharing site busted by Interpol last week, will be succeeded by BOiNK, which will be launched by Pirate Bay, a movie-trading site.

AMY WINEHOUSE has spoken for the first time about the overdose which nearly killed her - and revealed she owes her life to husband Blake Fielder-Civil.

PETE DOHERTY avoided jail Friday and was instead given a suspended custodial sentence plus a fine on drug and driving offenses.

CONTROL:  I got out to see the Ian Curtis biopic on Saturday.  I managed to get five blisters on my feet and a bruised shin getting there, which I mention only because Control is the sort of film that still goes down well when one is in a certain amount of pain.  I find myself much in agreement with Frank Yang's review -- Anton Corbijn's film looks like his incredible photography set into motion, and no band is more apt for a black & white movie than Joy Division.  The primary cast -- in particular Sam Riley as Ian -- do a great job with the material they have; the re-creation of  Joy Div's performances are downright eerie.  I also think the movie performs a service by placing Curtis and his story in a real and generally pedestrian reality, as Joy Division records always sounded to me as though they took place in some other more epic and abstract realm.  The main flaw in the film (imho) may have been the problem in real life, which is that Ian Curtis was so self-isolated offstage that we rarely get a sense of his inner workings outside the songs.  Perhaps that's all there was, though outside reading suggests there was more to the man.  Based on the film alone, it's hard to see why Ian and Deborah married, though it seems part of Ian's pattern to have pursued his goals, only to remain unsatisfied when he reached them.  It is also sad that the same people who seemed so protective of Ian with regard to his epilepsy come off here as so unprotective after his first suicide attempt.  And it appears that in reality, Factory label founder Tony Wilson didn't see it coming, even if Ian's other love, Annik Honore, did.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Saw IV topped the pre-Halloween box office with 32.1 million -- about what its predecessors made and better than analysts expected.  Steve Carell did well to open Dan In Real Life with 12 million on less than 2000 screens.  30 Days Of Night took a big 58% drop, but landed in third place with 6.7mil, but has made back 27 of its 30 mil production budget.  The Game Plan took in another 6.28 mil, for a total of 77 mil so far. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? rounded out the Top Five with another 5.7 mil, for a total of 47.3mil to date.  Michael Clayton dropped to sixth place with 5mil, for a total of 28.7 mil. Gone Baby Gone was off a mere 29% and took in 3.9 mil.  The Comebacks dropped to eighth with 3.4 mil.  We Own The Night dropped to ninth with 3.3mil, but has made 25mil on a 21 mil budget, Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas 3D rounds out the Top Ten with 3.3 mil.  Rendition fell out of the Top Ten in its second weekend -- ouch.

SONDRE LERCHE talked to Cinematical about his score for Dan In Real Life, among other things.  You can stream a few tracks via LercheSpace.

DAVID COPPERFIELD:  A Seattle federal grand jury is investigating allegations by an aspiring model who said she was raped, assaulted and threatened by the magician at his private island in the Bahamas in July.  Details at the link.

WITHERHAAL GYLLENSPOON showed up as a couple -- albeit in disguise -- at Kate Hudson's Halloween party.  Reese seems embarrassed.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD, joined 15K protesters marching against possible cuts in services at a hospital near his country home.  Wearing a skull-patterned scarf.  Really.

THE McCARTNEYS:  The Daily Mail looks at how the tables have turned on Heather Mills in her divorce battle with Sir Paul.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The verdict is still out on whether Britney will get joint custody of her kids back.  The pop tart looked extremely distraught during breaks in Friday's hearing and cursed at the press while returning to court crying.  Fed-Ex's new girlfriend, Nicole Narain, shoveled the dirt on Spears to the uber-reliable News of the World.

BRADGELINA is 2007's most popular celebrity costume, according to a survey.  I'm guessing the costumes include four or five baby dolls.

ELLEN DeGENERES has her rep denying rumors of trouble with girlfriend Portia de Rossi.  But her emotional breakdown over her adopted mutt boosted ratings for her daytime talk show at least ten percent.

THE FRENCH HOTEL's first major post-jail philanthropic effort - her planned trip to Rwanda - has been postponed by the "restructuring" of the  foundation that organized it.  Meanwhile, employees at a Toronto adult video store claim the heirhead stormed into their establishment and demanded posters promoting her infamous sex tape be removed.

ORLANDO BLOOM will not be charged over the accident he was involved in on October 12 that injured his two passengers.

OWEN WILSON was inteviewed by Wes Anderson for MySpace's Artist on Artist series, but the media -- from ABCNews to TMZ -- was miffed that the duo avoided Wilson's recent suicide attempt.  This seems dumb at two levels.  First, the series is designed to promote movies -- and The Darjeeling Limited's business did jump on Saturday.  It's not meant to be serious journalism.  Second, this means some media outlet can still try to get Wilson to talk about the suicide attempt; why should they be mad they werten't derived of a potential scoop?

WILLIAM. SHATNER. is. miffed. that. he. is. not. in. the. Star. Trek. reboot. movie.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG compared the post-9/11 US to Nazi Germany on The View Friday.  I guess I missed the part where the US built enormous extermiantion camps for Muslims.  And the part where Jews flew airplanes into German buildings.  Maybe that's Whoopi's theory on the Reichstag fire.

MIDEAST MYSTERY:  Last week, a company released a satellite photo showing that the main building of a possible nuke facility in Syria was well under way in September 2003 - four years before Israeli jets bombed it.  The NYT thinks this raises questions "about whether the Bush administration overlooked a nascent atomic threat in Syria while planning and executing a war in Iraq, which was later found to have no active nuclear program."  Or maybe Iraq taught them a lesson about not preemptively bombing things unless you're really, really, really sure about the threat.  Maybe the US asked Israel to provide photographs, physical material and soil samples from the site before greenlighting a raid.  Can the NYT really be critical of that?

IRAQ:  Iraqi Lt. Gen. Abud Qanbar says overall violence in Baghdad is down 80 percent over the same period in 2006; overall terrorist attacks are down 59 percent, and assassinations are down 72 percent.  US Lt. Gen. Odierno says the movement toward peace that began in mostly Sunni areas is moving into Shiite areas as well.  Today, US forces will turn over security to Iraqi authorities in Karbala province, a Shiite region in south.  However, radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr could end a ban on his militia's activities because of rising anger over US and Iraqi raids against his followers.  In Anbar, things are quieting enough that the Marines are working on garbage collection.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Your opinion of conditions in the Sadiyah neighborhood may vary, depending on whether you read the Army's Public Affairs release, US News & World Report, or the Washington Post.  Taken together, I think the message is that there is some progress there, but that unit morale will vary from day-to-day, particularly as the US gets down to the more intractable situations.

IRAQ and the MEDIA II:  The New Republic finally decided to post a response to the latest round of questions about its "Baghdad Diarist," Pvt. Scott Beauchamp.  It says the same things they have been telling other media.  TNR does not tell its readers about the pressure TNR Editors and Beauchamp's wife (then a TNR staffer) put on Beauchamp, claiming instead that they were only interested in the truth and that it's the Army pressuring him (though the penalty for making a false statement to the Army still existed when he supposedly told hs wife he backed the stories).  They continue to claim others back Beauchamp's stories, when they do not corroborate them.  TNR does not tell its readers that the official investigative report states that Beauchamp admitted he was not an eyewitness to at least two of the stories he claimed to have witnessed.  So either the Army is lying in its report or Beauchamp (or his wife) is lying to someone.  What we do know is that TNR is not telling the whole story to its readers.

TWO CATS, just sittin' around talkin'.

THE GREAT AMERICAN COOTER FESTIVAL in Citrus County, FL is shrouded in controversy.

DOG SHOOTS MAN:  In Tama, IA, no less.

A SIX-FOOT LONG CROC  has been found in a drain in the center of Cairns, Australia,  Click for the byline.

GIANT SEA SLUGS that squirt toxic ink invade Britain.

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Young Fresh Fellows, New Metric and Beirut, Cutout Bin, Stoat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, October 26, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with the YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS!  If you have never heard the fabulous sounds of Scott McCaughey's pre-grunge Seattle pop combo (or even if you have), you'll want to sample the "Young Fresh Fellows Theme" as an appetizer.  But the main course is live from Portland's Pine Street Theater on December 20, 1991.  This 80-minute clip totally violates the Tube's ToS, but let's overlook that.  The setlist includes -- but is not limited to: Jonathan Richman's "Someone I Care About"; "Where Is Groovytown?"; "Hillbilly Drummer Girl"; "My Boyfriend Is In Killdozer"; "Two Brothers"; "Hang Out Right";  "Sitting On A Pitchfork"; "Taco Wagon"; The Kinks' "Picture Book"; "Two Sides To The Story"; "Lost In Space"; "I Don't Let The Little Things Get Me Down"; "Tomorrow's Gone"; "Amy Grant"; "Reunion"; "I Got My Mojo Workin' (And I Thought You'd Like To Know)";  "Go Go Gorilla"; and "Backroom of the Bar." Not to mention snippets of "Suzy Q," "Heart and Soul," "The Ballad of the Green Berets" and a particularly disastrous "Please Please Me."

THE REPLACEMENTS:  Harp magazine has excerpts from the book, The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting: An Oral History, with plenty of great cameo quotes.

SUFJAN STEVENS:  His symphonic evocation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is previewed on video from WNYC, with an interview coming on Sunday.

OiNK founder Alan Ellis, arrested Tuesday on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and copyright infringement this week, defended the music-sharing site in the Daily Telegraph, comparing it to Google.

JESCA HOOP:  All Things Considered has audio and live video of the singer-songwriter, who also talked to NPR about her major-label debut, Kismet. 

VEGOOSE:  The two-day Vegoose Music Festival is this weekend, some of which will be webcast via AT&T's Blueroom.  Acts appearing include The Shins, Cypress Hill, Gogol Bordello, Thievery Corporation, and Mastodon.  The final schedule of performances for each day should be available at the link starting today.

METRIC rolled out some new material in their mini-set and interview at the World Cafe, streaming now via NPR.

THE B-52s guitarist Keith Strickland says the band's first album in 16 years is "loud, sexy rock & roll with the beat pumped up to hot pink." Funplex will be released on Astralwerks February 26, 2008.

RAY DAVIES:  The Kinks frontman gets rather worked up about the state of the music industry in the latest podcast from the Guardian's arts blog.  Les Savy Fav are also featured, along with a piece on transcendental meditation featuring director David Lynch and Donovan.  Yes, really. 

TEMPS VS. TOPS, from the Motown 25th anniversary special.  Get Ready!

BILLY BRAGG talks about his alter ego Johnny Clash, The Clash, meeting the Queen, his charity work and more with DC's Express.

BOB DYLAN:  The Cleveland Scene reviews Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes, written by former Long Ryder Sid Griffin, "the first writer to shed serious light on this shadowy period in Dylan's career."

AMERICANA:  The Nashville Scene's piece on the annual Americana Music Conference looks at attempts to define the genre and broaden its audience.

JOY DIVISION:  I'll likely be seeing the Ian Curtis biopic Control this weekend.  The flick leads this year's British Independent Film Awards with an impressive ten nominations and is scoring 89 percent on the ol' Tomatometer.  Matt Greenhalgh blogged about writing the screenplay at the Guardian's arts blog.

CARIBOU:  Dan Snaith explains why the new album is anmed Andorra in the Portland Mercury.

JENS LEKMAN was once a ukulele-toting, baritone-singing, romantic-pop tunesmith from the Gothenburg area of Sweden.  Now he is the keyboardist for a symphonic death metal band that wears only studded leather thongs and plays concerts exclusively on snow-covered mountaintops.

JUDAS PRIEST is the process of writing and recording a new album based on the prophet Nostradamus, set for release sometime in 2008.  Could it be better than "Stonehenge?"  Better than Al Stewart?

CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: The Banana Splits - Doin' The Banana Split; Big Country - Fields Of Fire; Iggy Pop - Lust for Life; The Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting for the Man; The Chesterfield Kings - Up and Down; The Del-Vetts - Last Time Around; Jesus & Mary Chain - Surfin' USA; Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl; Ciccone Youth - Into The Groove(y); Amy Winehouse - Cupid (Johnny Nash); Jay Mitchell - Tighter & Tighter (Alive & Kicking); Ween - Sweetheart;  R.E.M. - Cuyahoga (Live); The Grass Roots - Let's Live for Today; The Essex Green - Don't Know Why (You Stay); Shoes - Not Me; Cass McCombs - That's That; The Posies - Dream All Day;  Queen - You're My Best Friend; The Jayhawks - Waiting for the Sun (Live); The Gun Club - Ghost On The Highway; The Hold Steady - Against The Wind (Bob Seger); Mott the Hoople - All The Young Dudes; and The Faces - Stay With Me.

NATALIE PORTMAN, who famously told Zach Braff that the Shins will ''change your life'' in Garden State, has put together a charity album to benefit FINCA -- a group that promotes microfinancing to reduce poverty in developing countries.  She talks to Entertainment Weekly about it -- and her current love of "freak folk" music.  Plus, EW has an exclusive stream of the Beirut track from the album.  Elsewhere, Portman says she will never get naked again on the big screen after regretting a nude scene in her new short film Hotel Chevalier.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases at the cineplex are Saw IV, which was not widely screened for critics, and Steve Carell as dan In Real Life, which is scoring 59 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (but 67 percent with the "cream of the crop" critics).  Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited expands to about 700 screens with a score of 66 percent, though I was a bit disappointed by it.

OWEN WILSON is breaking his post-suicide-attempt silence with friend and director Wes Anderson for the next episode of MySpace's Artist on Artist series.  The segment was filmed on Thursday and will be posted on the networking site on October 26, at midnight PST.

BRITNEY SPEARS will plead not guilty to the misdemeanor charge of driving without a valid license, after the L.A. City Attorney refused to reduce the charges.  Judge Speer and the City Attorney agreed to dismiss the related hit-and-run charge after the pop tart settled a civil suit with the owner of the other car.

DAVID COPPERFIELD allegedly offered a Seattle woman two million bucks to drop her rape charge against him, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.  This week, the FBI denied a report that the feds seized the same amount in cash during a raid on Copperfield's Vegas warehouse.

ELLEN DeGENERES & PORTIA de ROSSI are all but dunzo, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine, which has one source claiming de Rossi wants to be with someone younger and hotter.  Was the responsibility of briefly adopting a dog just too much strain on the relationship?

JESSICA SIMPSON will co-host The View for a week in November -- a measurement of how low the show must sink to find someone who makes the regular hosts sound smart.

LOST cast member Daniel Dae Kim was arrested yesterday on suspicion of DUI.  Former cast members Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros were arrested on suspicion of DUI in December, 2005 -- and were written out of the show by season's end.

STEPHEN COLBERT wants to get on the Democratic and Republican presidential ballots in South Carolina, but the campaign, sponsored by Doritos, may run afoul of campaign finance laws barring corporations from backing political campaigns.  Colbert has already surged ahead of longtime candidate Gov. Bill Richardson in one national poll.  In a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, Colbert is preferred by 13% of voters as an independent candidate challenging Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani.

LARRY KING:  If you missed the gnome-like talk show host on last Sunday's "Football Night in America," you must click to see the pic at the link.

THE FIVE UNSEXIEST WOMEN ALIVE, according to Maxim magazine, which is arguably more demeaning than their usual lists.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON gave boyfriend Ryan Reynolds a birthday present right out of her mouth.

24:  Season six was sub-par, but with Jack Bauer going Col. Nathan Jessep before a Senate committee in the Season seven trailer, I may have to tune in out of curiousity.

IRAN:  As you may have heard, the Bush Admin. announced an new package of unilateral sanctions against Iran today, including the long-awaited designations of its Revolutionary Guard Corps as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction and of the elite Quds Force as a supporter of terrorism.  At the Counterterrorism Blog, Jonathan Winer and Victor Comras offer differing views as to the impact the sanctions may have.

IRAQ was al-Qaeda's greatest achievement and its greatest failure.  AQ sympathizers have unleashed a torrent of anger against Al-Jazeera television, accusing it of misrepresenting Osama bin Laden's latest audiotape by airing excerpts in which he criticizes mistakes by insurgents in Iraq.  The people of Ramadi invited US forces to watch a massive -- but tightly secured -- parade celebrating the life of Sheik Sattar Abu Risha, late founder of the Anbar Awakening Council.  The late Sheikh's brother and successor, Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha, is arriving in the US for a two-week trip to learn about federalism and pitch investors on Anbar province.  Lt. Gen. Odierno said US forces hope to hand over half of Baghdad to Iraqi security control by the end of 2008, after violence in Iraq dropped to its lowest level since January 2006.  Teaching local officials in Iraq to govern themselves and provide their citizens with basic services will take "years of steady engagement," investigators told a House panel Thursday.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The Washington Post covers the latest developments in the saga of The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist."  Editor Franklin Foer tells Howard Kurtz that, despite the damaging transcripts of a Sept. 7 conversation leaked to the Drudge Report, Pvt. Beauchamp was under duress at the time and defended his story in a later conversation that was conducted with no superiors present.  (Michael Yon recently ran into Beauchamp's CO, who seemed protective of Beauchamp).  This later conversation apparently was not recorded by TNR or reported at the time.  Indeed, TNR editors have now spoken to National Review, the NY Observer and the WaPo, but have yet to account for themselves on the TNR website.  Foer also reiterated that other soldiers whom the magazine would not identify had confirmed the allegations.  So it's worth reiterating that by "corroborating," Foer means contradicting details of Beachamp's tales.

THIS CHARMING STOAT is the subject of just one of the wildlife pics sent in by 32000 photographers from 78 countries to the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

CARNIVOROUS TREES grabbing humans and cattle and gobbling them up is not just village folklore, according to the New India Press.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  One thieving rodent was trapped by its own appetite in Dorset, England.

THE MOOSE & THE DECOY:  A love story.

A RECORD-SMASHING SHARK was caught by mistake off Cornwall: "When it came closer we realised there was no way we could haul it up on our 26ft boat but fortunately there was a trawler nearby."    Of course, this means we must go to the video. (NSFW)

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