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Topic: Karl

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New releases, Advance One AM Radio and Fow, Squirrel Sky Terror   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ELENI MANDELL sings about "Girls" and "The Makeout King" o­n her new album, Miracle of Five.

NEW RELEASES: Lucinda Williams releases West. The Postmarks and Beach House are streaming in full this week via Spinner. Papercuts, who toured with Beach House and Grizzly Bear, releases Can't Go Back.

THE ONE A.M. RADIO'S This Too Will Pass comes out next Tuesday, but you can stream the whole album this week from The Booth.

FOUNTAINS of WAYNE bring the vintage synth and backing vox from Melissa Auf Der Maur (Hole, Smashing Pumpkins) o­n "Someone to Love" from their upcoming album, Traffic and Weather. Not a home run, but solid.

THE POLICE announced the first set of tour dates -- including Bonnaroo; Billboard has the details. You can stream six tracks from their June 1986 gig at Giants Stadium at Cable & Tweed.

ANDY PARTRIDGE syas XTC is "well and truly in the fridge," as Colin Moulding has moved away without leaving Andy a forwarding address or phone number.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Hard to believe, but I never saw the video for Devo's "Girl U Want" until now. Or the title track from "Freedom of Choice."

CANASTA, often compared to The Arcade Fire and Belle & Sebastian, got an audio feature o­n the World Cafe you can stream from NPR.

FINETUNE is a free playlist-and-stream-sharing service that draws o­n the site's rather large music library. Looks pretty nifty.

THE PLUG AWARDS went to Band of Horses, Neko Case, Arctic Monkeys and more...

FIELD MUSIC: Pate fans will know why I must mention Field Music's David Brewis is going through an Aerosmith phase and has a list of possible Aerosmith tribute band names.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH was popping at least 10 different kinds of pills after undergoing at least two breast surgeries since giving birth five months ago -- raising speculation that she may have died from interactions among the numerous medications she took to ease the pain, MSNBC's Rita Cosby reported. Bahamian authorities met with Smith companion Howard K. Stern to discuss an alleged break-in at the house in which he's staying, and the investigation into Daniel Smith's death. A Bahamian newspaper published two photographs showing the former TRIMSPA spokesmodel in her bed with the Bahamian immigration minister, Shane Gibson -- who approved her application for permanent residency.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE: A source tells NYDN gossip Ben Widdicombe that hair rocker Jon Bon Jovi is not much of a fan of bandmate Richie Sambora's gal pal, Denise Richards and has made it clear he would prefer she weren't around, though JBJ's rep denies it. Apparently, she gives love a bad name.

BRITNEY SPEARS returned to her hotel sometime after 3:30 a.m. last Sat. night... and her SUV reportedly was covered with puke!

SCARLETT JOHANSSON skirted the speculation that she is Justin Timberlake's rebound girl when she turned up at the Grammys. It's good to be JT. For his part, Timberlake partied so hard Friday night that he couldn't make it to perform at Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hills Hilton Saturday night. It's bad to be JT; Clive Davis is not a man to make angry.

JESSICA SIMPSON: John Mayer pretty much admitted -- in Japanese -- that they're an item. The pair look pretty cozy in these Grammy pics also.

BRADGELINA: Pitt and Jolie have exchanged rings and vows in a touching private ceremony, in accord with the dying wish of Jolie's mother according to Women's Day magazine.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Viacom boss Sumner Redstone -- who dumped Cruise from Paramount studios six months ago -- now admits he probably would be willing to work with the star again in the future.

THE WRITERS GUILD of AMERICA gave its screenplay awards to The Departed and Little Miss Sunshine.

TARA REID is mighty upset with Girls Gone Wild mogul Joe Francis for telling Howard Stern's radio aaudience that she was horrible in the sack. A natural reaction, but getting past denial is the first step to fixing a problem.

24 creator Joel Surnow is profiled in the current issue of The New Yorker. The slant and fixation o­n the show's depiction of torture is exactly what you would expect from Jane Mayer -- though anyone who watches the show could tell you that the demands of good drama ensure diverse points of view are represented and that the use of torture does not always work out well for agent Jack Bauer, particularly this season.

JENNIFER ANISTON was topless for o­ne scene in The Break-Up, but you didn't see it o­nscreen. But you can see it o­n the Internet...

STEM CELL BREAKTHROUGH: In a semi-related story, women may be able to undergo "natural" breast enlargement using their own stem cells and fat. And they are adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells, making it less controversial.

NORTH KOREA: There are reports that the six-party talks in Beijing o­n ending North Korea's nuclear arms program have reached a de facto deal, which could be announced later today. If it follows "the Libya model" -- in which the biggest benefits for NK would come o­nly after it allowed inspectors, sealed its facilities and began to give up its weapons -- this would be a very good deal.

IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad ducked charges that his country was supplying weapons to insurgents in Iraq. Then again, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is not backing the US military officials in Baghdad who alleged that the "highest levels" of the Iranian government have directed use of weapons that are killing US troops in Iraq. An EU report concludes that it is too late to stop Iran from getting the bomb. Former Pres. Khatami told reporters that the pressures exerted o­n Iran by international bodies, the UN Security Council, and the US Congress will not produce desirable results for the West. But why worry, those advanced IEDs are intended for peaceful purposes also, right? Yes, that last link is satire.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio argues that the pair of bombs that killing at least 80 and wounding hundreds in a predominately Shia market in eastern Baghdad evidence al-Qaeda's continuing effort to foment sectarian violence. The Iraqi army captured 43 terrorists in southern Baghdad o­n Monday, in addition to dismantling four bombs and two booby-trapped cars, according to an Iraqi army official. CBS covers the US oversight of the Iraqi police.

CHIMPANZEES may have been using stone "hammers" as long as 4,300 years ago. Let's go to the video.

DOLPHINS may be working the Homeland Security beat off Washington state. Fa loves Pa!

WILD BOAR rampages through a washroom in in Saxony, Germany... but the hunter may have done more damage than the boar.

PARROT'S ORATORY stuns scientists.

FLYING SQUIRREL diverts American Airlines Flight 176, en route from Tokyo to Dallas, to land in Honolulu. When will the world wake up and recognize the global squirrel threat?

2819 Reads

The Police, R.E.M., Kristin Hersh, and Goats in Trees   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 12, 2007 - 10:05 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE POLICE: For some reason, I keep thinking about "Roxanne," so here's versions from URGH! A Music War and the band's 2003 reunion at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If I find something more recent, I'll let you know. BTW, you can stream rehearsal footage today at 2 p.m. ET, or download an MP3 tonight. UPDATE: Here's the cops at the Grammys Sunday night.

THE GRAMMYS were awarded to these folks. Congrats to the Flaming Lips and Wolfmother, among others. Not sure why Gnarls Barkley is considered alternative, but this is the outfit that o­nce gave a heavy metal award to Jethro Tull, so it's not shocking.

R.E.M.: Kwaya Na Kisser has posted a gig from the War Memorial, Syracuse, NY, April 11, 1989. And you can jukebox it o­n the ol' HM.

MORRISSEY wants to be buried near Johnny Ramone. Hey, who doesn't? Aside from those who, like me, prefer cremation, that is.

I GUESS I'M FLOATING: The fine music blog now has a streaming "radio station" provided by Spinner.

FIFTEEN POP SONGS owned by movie scenes, according to the A.V. Club. Their number o­ne song is "Stuck in the Middle with You," so here's the gruesome clip from Reservoir Dogs.

YUPSTERS: Time magazine gives its take o­n hipster parents, a topic discussed here from time to time.

KRISTIN HERSH of Throwing Muses and Fifty Foot Wave plays a couple for Minnesota Public Radio.

RYAN SHAW: If you dig old skool soul music, you should stream a mini-set from NPR even before his debut album arrives in April.

THE SHINS are doing pub everywhere for Wincing the Night Away, but I feel obligated to link to New City Chicago, both because it's local and because guitarist Dave Hernandez says he felt more pressure making Chutes Too Narrow.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH: Over the weekend, we had reports that the late model's final days were a booze-fueled frenzy that ended in a hotel room so stocked with meds that it resembled a "pharmacist's shop." Authorities were unable to identify an official cause of death, but the Broward County Chief Medical Examiner suggested that the death might be due to either natural causes, medication or both. Contrary to prior reports, she seemingly did not suffocate to death o­n her own vomit. The uber-reliable News of the World claimed that Smith told a pal during a distraught phone call two days earlier that she could no longer "go o­n." Her fridge in the Bahamas contained methadone and cans of Slim-Fast -- though bottles of Smith-endorsed TRIMSPA sat right next to the fridge. Prince Frederick von Anhalt, the husband of 90-year-old actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, announced Friday that he had a 10-year affair with Smith and may be the father of her 5-month-old daughter. Smith's companion Howard K. Stern arrived in the Bahamas Saturday and was reunited with the baby. ET will have Stern footage tonight.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Norbit takes the weekend with 33 million -- a bit above a typical Eddie Murphy flick and proof that the American public cannot get enough of black men dressing as morbidly obese women. Hannibal Rising follows with 13 million, which is probably as disappointing to the studio as the movie was to critics. The Diane Keaton rom-com Because I Said So drops to third place, but with a respectable 31 percent drop to 9 million. In contrast, The Messengers dropped 51 percent to land in the fourth slot. Night at the Museaum continues to bring in the bucks in fifth place with a mere ten percent drop. Epic Movie dropped 47 percent to sixth place, while Smokin' Aces dropped 38 percent to seventh. Oscar contenders Pan's Labyrinth, Dreamgirls and The Queen round out the Top Ten, with overall sales down for the sixth consecutive weekend compared with the year-ago period.

THE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS were handed out to these folks. Congrats to United 93's Paul Greengrass for getting the director's nod, Little Miss Sunshine's Alan Arkin for supporting actor, and Children of Men for cinematography and Production Design, and Casino Royale's Eva Green for the Rising Star award.

CHARLIE SHEEN does not like what ex-Hollywood Madam and her her transsexual friend Kayla Coxx say about him in a video going o­n sale this week.

KIM KARDASHIAN may be suing to try to keep her sex tape with R&B singer Ray-J offline, but teasers keep showing up o­n the Internet.

BRITNEY SPEARS: The uber-reliable News of the World claims that in a world exclusive interview, ex-bf Issac Cohen claims the pop tart is close to breaking point and desperately trying to conquer her inner torment with marathon sex sessions. And the spinning circular bed apparently made him dizzy.

JESSICA SIMPSON has gone brunette, a marked improvement over the tranny hooker look she was sporting about a week ago.

JACKO has turned to American Idol creator Simon Fuller to mastermind a comeback.

NAOMI WATTS and LIEV SCHREIBER reportedly are expecting a child. At least, I hope it doesn't look like a large gorilla.

RALPH FIENNES reportedly joined the mile-high club with a Quantas flight attendant.

PETRA NEMCOVA: The tsunami-surviving supermodel is set to host a "grittier" version of such reality TV series as America

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Selling Out, Amy Winehouse, Cutout Bin, White Tiger Triplets   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 09, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE SPENCER DAVIS GROUP: Not just their best-known "Gimme Some Lovin'", but a live set from Beat! Beat! Beat! circa 1966 that includes "Keep o­n Running," "Sittin' and Thinkin'", "Please Do Something" and "Somebody Help Me." For the sake of completeness, I add this clip of "I'm A Man" -- a great song, but terribly miked.

CULT of the iPod: In London's Observer, Sean O'Hagan makes a mixtape the old skool way and wonders whether "music no longer occup(ies) the space in our increasingly overcrowded lives that it o­nce did despite - or because of - the fact that it is easily attainable, ubiquitous.." ALSO: Between the Lines lists five reasons why Steve Jobs has come out against digital rights management (download copy-protection).

ELENI MANDELL lists a few of her favorite things for Harp magazine. You can visit HerSpace to hear a few tracks.

SxSW has released the preliminary, yet extensive lineup for this March's musicfest. Estimable blogger and NPR song-picker Kathryn Yu has posted an updated SxSW FAQ. Austin American-Statesman blogger Matthew Odam talks to Austinist music writer Tom Thornton and Robert Duffy, editor of DoneWaiting.com about blog coverage of the fest and more.

THE AUTUMN DEFENSE: In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, John Stirratt (also the bassist-vocalist for Wilco) cites Love's Forever Changes by Love, plus the Zombies and Colin Blunstone, as influences. As usual you can stream a few from TheirSpace.

WHO SELLS OUT: At NPR, an audio feature that uses the Spinto Band's licensing of "Oh, Mandy" to Sears to fund a European tour as a springboard to discuss the intersection of art and commerce. Other recent indie-scored ads include a The Cloud Room's "Hey Now Now" for Pepsi ( here's the whole thing.)and The Go! Team's "Huddle Formation" for Honda (here's the whole thing.) Not to mention The Human League for Chips Ahoy (wouldn't the Hold Steady oblige them?).

PHIL SPECTOR: The "Wall of Sound" record producer's murder trial could get the "Wall of Coverage" TV treatment.

AMY WINEHOUSE has the makings of an incredible musician... and perhaps the makings of a sad, short story. the WaPo worries about her drinking, but could she match Robert Pollard? You can see her sing three songs at London's Bloomsbury Ballroom via 3x3, or four unplugged (plus interview) via the DL.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel reportedly banned the troubled singer from attending the Brit Awards because she is paranoid about his budding friendship with Lily Allen.

THE CUTOUT BIN: This Friday's fortuitous finds o­n the ol' HM include: Ritchie Valens - Come o­n, Let's Go; Marlena Shaw - California Soul; The Jackson 5 - I Want You Back; Patti Smith - When Doves Cry; The Crystals - He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss); The Pipettes - I Think We're Alone Now; The Decemberists - The Sporting Life; The Rolling Stones - Rice Krispies Jingle; David Bowie - Rebel Rebel; Brownsville Station - Smokin' In The Boys Room; Count Five - Psychotic Reaction; Elton John - Way To Blue (Nick Drake); Cornershop - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown); Split Enz - I Got You; Supertramp - The Logical Song; and Jason & The Scorchers - Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH, the former stripper, Guess model and Playboy playmate whose bizarre life careened from marrying an octogenarian billionaire to the untimely death of her son, died at 39 after collapsing at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe Hotel and Casino in southern Florida. Access Hollywood reports that a "credible source" is saying that Smith took what was referred to as a "children's sedative," and choked o­n her own vomit. Attorney-possible father Howard K. Stern has already assumed the title of "legal guardian" of her 5-month-old daughter. Splash news has a ghoulish picture of her passed out that I don't think is of this incident (along with other old photos, some NSFW), and promises video of Smith getting CPR o­n Tuesday, after their exclusive deal with Entertainment Tonight expires.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are Eddie Murphy's Norbit, scoring a mere 16 percent o­n the Tomatometer, and the prequel Hannibal Rising, whicch does marginally better with 21 percent.

THE OSCARS: If you're the type who likes to see all the nominated pictures before the statues are handed out, I note that AMC is screening all five Best Picture nominees, with free popcorn and drinks for thirty bucks the day before the big show in a number of cities.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE MOVIES? High ticket prices and poor film selections, according to a new Zogby Interactive poll.

KIM KARDASHIAN plans to sue to try to prevent the release of an X-rated tape featuring Kardashian and her former boyfriend, singer Ray J. At least the nastiest part has been cut from the planned commercial release.

BRITNEY SPEARS vehemently denied allegations she is into pr0n and has for years enjoyed lesbian orgies. NTTAWWT. Page Six reports that the "train-wreck pop tart... continued her club-hopping tour of Manhattan Tuesday night when she indulged in a frenzy of drinking, dancing and making out."

O.J. SIMPSON has been barred from spending the advance for his aborted book If I Did It about the murders of his ex-wife and her friend... at least for now. Poor baby.

RYAN O'NEAL reportedly got into that fight with his son Griffin after Griffin chained his brother Redmond to a staircase in his home like a dog.

MISCHA BARTON: Cisco Adler denies she dumped him, but Barton's rep confirms she did. The boyfriend is always the last to know.

I... AM... IRON MAN: Okay, so I'm not, but the movie cast just got even better with the addition of Jeff Bridges.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY may take a break from acting, which might do wonders for her self-esteem: "You start off thinking you're okay, then you have to go to some event and you remember you have a weird mouth, a broken nose and horrible legs."

LEBANON: At the Counterterrorism Blog, Olivier Guitta suggests that Hezbollah may be preparing for a civil war in Beirut.

IRAN: Iranian.com has video of Pres. Ahmadinejad being confronted by Tehran's Amir Kabir University students. The L.A. Times has a piece o­n the mounting, open criticism of Ahmadinejad's defiance of the Bush Admin. and the UN Security Council. It does not appear to have eroded Iran's determination to maintain an active nuclear program, while Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatens that Iran will strike against US interests worldwide if attacked.

IRAQ: Iraqi and US forces in Baghdad arrested the country's deputy health minister o­n suspicion of providing significant help to Shia militia groups. This is a sign the Iraqi gov't is taking the new security plan seriously, as the Mahdi Army had turned morgues and hospitals into places where death squads operate freely. Iraqi papers are claiming that Iraqi insurgents are now in possession of a new generation of SA-7 "Strela" anti-aircraft missiles to down US helicopters. I'd take that with a grain of salt. The Jawa Report argues that the new security plan is also focusing o­n al Qaeda in Iraq and may be closing in o­n its current leader. The WSJ has the story of how a Marine officer in Iraq, a small network-design company in California, a nonprofit troop-support group, blogger Bill Roggio and others designed a handheld insurgent-identification device, built it, shipped it and deployed it in Anbar province... in 30 days.

WHITE TIGER TRIPLETS debuted at the Buenos Aires zoo o­n Thursday. A baby rhino and a baby elephant debuted at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, England. Three tiny Otago skinks were born this week at the Wellington Zoo. Awww... some photos at the links.

MISSY the PIT BULL PUP ate her owner's wedding ring. Fortunately, it was not o­n her owner's finger at the time.

HUNDREDS OF BULL SHARKS and LEMON SHARKS have been seen swimming along the surf in Palm Beach, FL. Just when you thought it was safe.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Dorothy, the California skunk who hitched a ride aboard a commercial truck to Canada in late December, is finally going home after a fantastic whirlwind tour.

THE PIZZA PIT in Iowa City deposited marijuana at the local bank. Now Pate fans know why they were still hungry after polishing off a pie.

2155 Reads

Mitch Easter, Pazz & Jop Poll, BTO, Hot Freaks, a Piglet with a Pint   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

MITCH EASTER talks to Greensboro's Yes! Weekly about his first album in 18 years. You can -- and should -- stream a few from Dynamico at HisSpace. (For you youngsters, Mitch produced the first REM albums and sounds a bit like them or Robyn Hitchcock.) Sadly, all of the Let's Active videos I linked last November have been yanked by Viacom, though a copy of "Waters Part" just crept back a few days ago. And they didn't touch a two-part live mini-set from 1989: Part 1 features "Talking To Myself" and "Writing The Book Of Last Pages." Part 2 features "Horizon" and "In Little Ways." And there's a Let's Active MySpace also. The Man can't bust Mitch's music!

THE PAZZ & JOP POLL 2006 is posted at the Village Voice. An old dude from Minnesota takes the top slot. Former P&J curator Robert Christgau has all the past years' results, back to 1974... or 1971.

SLY & THE FAMILY STONE: Tom Moon of NPR serves up streams from Fresh, the band's last album and this week's "Shadow Classic."

THE SAMSHING PUMPKINS "reunion" album will be titled Zeitgeist, with the unusual Saturday release date of 07-07-07.

MIDLAKE: Creative Loafing talks with frontman Tim Smith about the band's evolving sound, which currently owes much to 70s soft rock (but better). Chromewaves can hook you up with audio and video; so can the Hype Machine.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: I was having some bigtime computer problems while working o­n this entry, but I am still "Takin' Care of Business." BTW, this live BTO clip has an odd cameo introduction.

SxSW: A few of my fave music blogs -- Chromewaves, Largehearted Boy, Gorilla vs. Bear, MOKB, Rock Insider, and YANP -- are curating "Hot Freaks," with 32 bands o­n three stages in two days for the Austin musicfest. GvsB will hook you up with free legal downloads from participating bands.

TOP TEN WORST PROPOSITIONS in song, according to Stylus.

GARY GLITTER'S three-year child molestation sentence was cut by three months as part of a nationwide Lunar New Year prison amnesty in Vietnam.

FRANKIE LAINE, the big-voiced singer who sold more than 100 million records, died of heart failure at 93. Today he may be best known for singing Western themes like "Rawhide," "High Noon" and... "Blazing Saddles."

BRITNEY SPEARS was dumped over the phone by Issac Cohen, who calls her "a bit much for my taste." The pop tart has blurted out that she feels old at 24. It's not the years, hun; it's the mileage. And, if you believe Fed-Ex's minions, the lesbian orgies.

JESSICA BIEL takes Lindsay Lohan's role in A Woman of No Importance.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Speaking of whom, FNC's Roger Friedman says she is doing pretty well... considering her dad's in jail and her mother is a party animal. Kind of a backhanded compliment, really.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE: "A source" tells US Weekly that Ryan Philippe is not dating 18-year-old actress Nikki Reed -- she's dating a friend of his. Isn't everyone supposed to outgrow that o­ne in high school?

RYAN O'NEAL is claiming he hit his son Griffin in self-defense. Griffin and his pregnant girlfriend deny that, and have retained celeb lawyer Gloria Allred.

KIM KARDASHIAN'S NASTY SEX TAPE with R&B singer Ray J has been bought by pr0n purveyor Vivid Video, which plans to release it Feb. 28th. There's even a trailer floating around somewhere.

DREW BARRYMORE and ZACH BRAFF were looking cozy at the SNL after-party last weekend. Barrymore's rep denies she's dating the Scrub.

ELLEN DEGENERES and PORTIA DE ROSSI are planning o­n starting a family - as soon as they can decide which o­ne of them will carry a baby. C'mon, I thinbk we know which o­ne wears the pants in that relationship.

MISCHA BARTON: The former O.C. hottie dumped scruffy rocker Cisco Adler after nude pics of him surfaced in that French Hotel stuff leaking o­n the Internet.

HANNIBAL LECTER is looking for his penis and severed head o­n eBay.

CHARLIZE THERON, having made a film that is critical of censorship in Fidel Castro's Cuba, is apparently so scared of being ostracized in Hollywood that she's claiming the US is not much better. At least, you would hope she recognizes the difference between private and government-imposed censroship, and knows that Cuba is o­ne of the world

1995 Reads

FoW, More New Releases, Cat Power covers, and a Piggy Wedding   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SPIKE JONZE: Bloggers Dave & Thomas list their "Top 10 Spike Jonze Music Videos." But I think you would find that this "Weapon of Choice" has better sync than the o­ne embedded at the first link.

FOUNTAINS of WAYNE: At PopMatters, George Reisch writes that his favorite band is in danger of driving into the musical ditch by constantly putting down their protagonists. Didn't stop PM from embedding the "Stacy's Mom" video.

TWO MORE NEW RELEASES: The Postmarks released an eponymous debut that should appeal to fans of twee stuff like Camera Obscura. The Parson Redheads are doing a West Coast folk-pop thing o­n King Giraffe.

CAT POWER: Stereogum and Rolling Stone both posted raves o­n her intimate solo show at the Hiro Ballroom got me checking the ol' HM for Chan Marshall's covers. I found different versions of Smokey Robinson's "Tears Of A Clown," Moby Grape's "Naked, If I Want To," an odd, perhaps NSFW take o­n Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," and The Nerves' "Hanging o­n the Telephone," which Cat recorded for a commercial.

DAVID BYRNE gets some encouragement from Time magazine for selections from his Imelda Marcos musical.

ARTHUR BROWN is the god of hellfire... and he brings you "Fire!"

SxSW: Do they come from a land Down Under? The Age writes up the herd of Aussies headed to Austin next month.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE is o­n hiatus from touring, but the band has created the score for The Tracey Fragments, an independent picture premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival in February. Feist's new album is due May 1st in the US.

APPLES IN STEREO get a good audio review at NPR. Remember, you can stream all of New Magnetic Wonder this week via Spinner.

DON HENLEY, champion of the downtrodden, has the unenviable job of explaining to the L.A. Times why The Eagles' first studio album since in 1979 will be sold o­nly through Wal-Mart for a year.

ASTRONUT Lisa Marie Nowak was charged with attempted first-degree murder, not to mention attempted kidnapping, attempted vehicle burglary with battery, destruction of evidence and battery. You probably already heard she drove a 900 miles from Houston to Orlando in a a wig, a trench coat and a diaper to confront a woman she believed was a romantic rival, carrying a BB gun and pepper spray. But when ABCNews reports Nowak was in a "bizarre love triangle" with a fellow astronaut, you know someone was thinking of New Order.

BRITNEY SPEARS has asked R&B singer Ne-Yo to pen tracks for her comeback album, but Ne-Yo been told to avoid Fed-Ex, as the pop tart has written enough tunes about him herself.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is getting pressure from gay rights leaders in L.A. to explain the series of anti-gay and racial slurs in a video that began circulating o­n the Internet last week.

BAD GIRLS: Newsweek asks whether the influence of people like Britney Spears, the French Hotel, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie o­n young girls is creating a generation of prosti-tots.

BRANDY: The 50 million dollar lawsuit filed by the parents of the woman killed in the Brandy car crash may get thrown out of court, but the woman's husband may yet file a wrongful death suit.

JESSICA SIMSPON claims she decided to divorce Nick Lachey after watching The Notebook. And I would guess she decided to go out in public looking like this after watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

EMINIEM is reportedly engaged to Kim Mathers. Yet again. You know what they say... third time's an even bigger train wreck. UPDATE: Em's rep denies the story.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE: Three months after his split from Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe says, "This is the most difficult time in my life." In an interview airing this week, Phillippe, 32, tells TV's Extra: "I must stay focused o­n my kids." Apparently, o­ne way to do that is to go out with a new girl, who turns out to be 18-year-old Nikki Reed, who had a recurring role o­n The O.C. last season.

SIENNA MILLER was caught conspicuously canoodling with musician-swordsman Jamie Burke in the lobby of the Gramercy Park Hotel. But my favorite part of this item is when NYDN gossip Ben Widdicombe writes: "In addition to ex-fiance Jude Law, Miller has been linked to former co-stars including Daniel Craig and heterosexual actor Hayden Christensen." NTTAWWT.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON was apparently talking, dancing, holding hands with Justin Timberlake -- and grinding her body into his -- at that Super Bowl party mentioned here yesterday. Have I mentioned that it's good to be JT?

THANDIE NEWTON teamed up with Greenpeace to write letters to Madonna, Robin Williams, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson and her Mission Impossible II co-star Tom Cruise, urging them to drive environmentally friendly cars. She got zero response. I'm shocked.

TARA REID: The perennial party girl fell back into old habits over the SuperBowl weekend.

SOMALIA: The US will take "strong measures" to prevent Islamic terrorists from strengthening their foothold in Somalia, according to the State Dept. Heavy fighting was reported in central Somalia between residential militias and troops that left Mogadishu and are heading to the semi-autonomous regional government of Puntland. Ethiopian soldiers paraded o­n Tuesday a wounded senior cleric captured in south Somalia. Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Madobe told reporters he suffered more than a dozen bullet wounds after US planes fired o­n his forest hideout in attack that he said killed eight Islamist colleagues.

WHO IS WILLIAM M. ARKIN? The Washington Post's "National and Homeland Security" blogger, who argued that US troops in Iraq are pampered mercenaries -- and ended up apologizing for the "mercenary" part, is now playing the victim in yet another response to his critics. Arkin also writes that the "many e-mails I've gotten privately from people serving in the military are, not surprisingly, the most respectful and reflective," without realizing that these are largely the people he wanted to silence in his original piece. The other funny part is that he appears to be getting attacked with a version of the "chickenhawk" argument (that o­nly soldiers have the authority to speak o­n war), but has no idea what the flaws in that criticism are... probably because it's an attack usually lobbed by anti-war activists.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar relayed local reports that Baghdad's security operation had just started in Azamiyah in the northeastern part of the city. An AFP photographer embedded with US forces said soldiers searched dozens of houses and that "a large number of weapons were seized and more than a dozen people detained." OTOH, a man sentenced to death for the 1983 bombings of the US and French embassies now sits in Iraq's parliament, according to U.S. military intelligence. In Fallujah, Bill Ardolino blogs a late night raid with the Iraqi Army and discusses the unit's strengths and weaknesses. The Iraqi Army US Marines wrapped up an intell-driven mission which resulted in nabbing 77 detainees near Habbaniyah. At Slate, Christopher Hitchens argues that Iraq's sectarian strife was unavoidable, in more than o­ne sense of the word.

IRAN: Bill Roggio notes that the "diplomatic track for compelling Iran to comply with its international obligations over its nuclear ambitions appears to be coming to a crashing end," probably between Feb 11th and Feb 21st.

IRAN and IRAQ: A couple of weeks ago, Newsweek had a "web exclusive" about "mounting intelligence indicating Tehran has been supplying insurgents with electronic sensors that trigger roadside bombs used against US troops." Now the mag reports that the intell is "ambiguous." A US official suggested a briefing o­n Iranian meddling had been put off because intell officials couldn't agree about the info. Of course, another reason might be that if you put evidence o­n the table that is convincing, the press would ask what the Bush admin. plans to do about it... and they may not have an answer.

TWO PIGS wearing tailor-made wedding outfits "tied the knot" in a lavish ceremony attracting hundreds of well-wishers at a small town in northeastern Taiwan.

DOGS interface with their owner from anywhere in the world over the Internet. The Human Computer Dog Interface includes an automatic dog feeder, a ball-throwing device, stereo speakers and a computer video camera.

SNAKE CONTROL goes DIY Down Under when the local snake catcher was unable to return a housewife's calls for almost six hours.

PIKO the GORILLA didn't know what hit her when crowds of humans gathered around the ape cage at Tokyo's zoo to shout incantations and throw roasted soya beans But she soon learned the beans were tasty.

CAMPUS SQUIRREL attacks coed, steals her strawberry Nutri-Grain bar.

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