ALEX CHILTON who was missing over the weekend (as followed here) is alive and well. He rode the storm out and had food and water, but was most concerned during the week about roving gangs.
THE SPINTO BAND: Their debut disc, Nice and Nicely Done, is drrawing raves at MSNBC and the Village Voice. The Kinks, The dBs, The Cars, David Byrne and Brian Wilson all get mentioned as influences. You can stream a few from MSNBC and the band's website, with the latter having "Brown Boxes," as mentioned at MSNBC.
THE WHITE STRIPES will do their first webcast on NPR September 27th.
THE FLESHTONES were garage rock revivalists when garage rock wasn't cool. Frontman Peter Zaremba talks to PopMatters about the band's renaissance, its new album Detroit, George Jefferson, and the band's signature drink, the blue whale.
EIGHT UNCONVENTIONAL SONGWRITERS are profiled by the Boston Globe, including Bill Callahan (a/k/a Smog), John Darnielle (Mountain Goats), David Berman (Silver Jews) and more.
JAY FARRAR talks to JamBase about Son of Son Volt and the state of the union.
TRAMPS LIKE US, baby we were born to ride polo horses.
RICHARD THOMPSON: You can stream a few of his Front Parlour Ballads at NPR (Thanks, Debbie).
MAXIMO PARK gets a profile in London's Telegraph. You can stream the band's album, A Certain Trigger, through Torr Leonard's blog.
GREEN DAY: In The New York Times, Jon Pareles opines that it is now a band that it once would parody.
CAMILLE PAGLIA thinks that Hurricane Katrina has demolished the Bush Administration's mask of confidence, Angelina Jolie is bewitching and "Like a Rolling Stone" is not the greatest rock & roll song of all time.
CONCEPT ALBUMS: Are they coming back into vogue?
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS try to explain their albums and the South to The Scotsman. Patterson Hood also notes that his Dad was a session musician at the Fame studios where Percy Sledge recorded "When A Man Loves A Woman," Wilson Pickett cut "Mustang Sally" and Aretha Franklin laid down "Do Right Woman."
GREG DULLI talks Twilight Singers with the Cincinnati Enquirer. And he's investing in taverns: "Rock 'n' roll doesn't always pay the bills, and I've been interested in bars -- obviously -- for a long time," says Dulli.
SEAN PENN and his entourage, including a personal photographer, set sail in New Orleans to rescue folks still stranded after Hurricane Katrina. Almost immediately, the boat began taking on water, its motor failed to start, and those aboard were forced to use paddles to propel themselves down the flooded New Orleans street, as Spicoli tried to bail out the boat with a plastic cup.
CELINE DION is offering her expertise on disaster relief, no doubt gained in working on the theme song from Titanic. About the seeming delays in aid, Dion said, "I know there's reasons for it, I'm sorry to say, I'm being rude, but I don't want to hear those reasons." Well, of course not. Didn't Dion hear Kanye West explain that it's all because George Bush doesn't care about black people? OTOH, West also believes that AIDS is a man-made disease placed in Africa, just like crack was placed in the black community to break up the Black Panther party. It's that sort of penetrating insight that makes West the darling of Time, Newsweek and NPR, and "arguably the dominant creative force in mainstream popular music," according to the L.A. Times.
HARRY CONNICK, JR. criticised the fact that troops and the aid columns only made it into the city on Friday, four days after the storm, saying his friend, singer Charmaine Neville, had commandeered an abandoned city bus to help evacuate refugees. Connick might be interested to know that the first bus of New Orleans refugees to reach the Astrodome in Houston was commandeered by a 20-year-old. Connick might want to consider that it's much easier to drive a bus out of the area before the hurricate hits than it is to deliver aid or pluck people out of a flooded area after it hits. Then he might want to ask about the over 500 buses that weren't used to evacuate the city. I have more on that if you click the "Read more..." link at the bottom of today's entry.
KATRINA LESKANITCH, former lead singer of you-know-who, is planning to launch her first solo album on Oct. 17th. Maybe she could get PR tips from Kristin Hersh.
KATRINA ANIMAL STORIES: Ever since the story of Noah, those facing floods have been concerned about the animals. Hurricane evacuees were distraught over having to abandon their pets. Some who stayed in the city attempted to rescue pets. Various groups have set up hotlines and are coordinating efforts for pets and their owners. In the famed New Orleans aquarium, more than a third of the 4,000 fish died because there was no power to pump oxygen into the tanks. But zoos in the Gulf Coast area fared well overall. I hope the survivors recognized that snakes and gators were also been displaced by the flood.
HURRICANE FINGER-POINTING: I'm on record from last week as saying there will be plenty of time for this once the situation has stabilized. But that hasn't stopped some -- particularly in the media -- from getting started before the bodies are recovered. ABC News and the Washington Post rushed to take a poll, which says that two-thirds think federal government should have been better prepared to deal with a storm this size, but three-quarters say state and local governments in the affected areas likewise were insufficiently prepared. only 45 percent blame President Bush. Anyone surprised by those results should click the "Read more..." link at the bottom of today's entry. But let me tease you with the lead sentence from a New Orleans Times-Picayune story published July 24, 2005: "City, state and federal emergency officials are preparing to give the poorest of New Orleans' poor a historically blunt message: In the event of a major hurricane, you're on your own."
GEORGE CLOONEY condemns television news journalism, saying that the public was worse informed today than 15 years ago despite the proliferation of channels: "When I was growing up there were three networks and basically the same information. Now, because we’ve fractioned into little pieces, you go look for the things that reinforce what you already believe to be fact and don’t get a common truth." That certainly can happen. OTOH, when mass media was in fewer hands, New York Times reporter Walter Duranty could cover up Stalin's genocide in Ukraine. And anchors like Walter Cronkite could completely misreport the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, persuading LBJ not to run for re-election. Now the self-appointed watchdogs have their own self-appointed watchdogs. If Clooney wants a "common truth," he might try countries that restrict or outright control the media to see how he likes it.
FOUR WEDDINGS, A FUNERAL and a couple of implants, according to The Superficial.
BRITNEY SPEARS wants to land a deal in Vegas, like Celine Dion and Wayne Newton. Sounds about right to me. Looks like Michael Jackson is trying to cut a similar deal and butching up his look to boot. And congrats to the Federlines for making US Weekly's worst-dressed list! Tough to think of anyone more deserving. Except maybe Jacko...
BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt's parents reportedly are leery of Jolie based on her two prior marriages. What doesn't everyone wear a vial of their husband's blood around their neck?
IRAQ: Marine airstrikes pounded a train station being used as an al-Qaeda weapons storage depot and headquarters after "numerous reliable sources" saw about 50 al-Qaida-linked insurgents using the facility. Bill Roggio notes this is further proof that the U.S. is working closely with the Albu Mahal tribe, gaining good intelligence, both human and electronic, and of an ongoing offensive targeting al-Qaeda fighters in the region. He also has two posts on the battle in Tal Afar -- easily the largest since Fallujah. Zarqawi's foreign-led Al Qaeda in Iraq have taken control of the border town of Qaim, at least for now. The Iraqi government and armed forces seem to have re-opened the northern oil pipeline to Turkey, which saboteurs had largely shut down for a year.
THE IRAQI CONSTITUTION: on Friday, discreet talks were under way to refine language of the draft constitution in a bid to win Sunni approval. At Iraq the Model, Mohammed writes about today's terrorism and tomorrow's constitution.
HALLE BERRY now says she went topless in Swordfish so she could get past her nudity fears in time for her Oscar-winning role in Monster's Ball. So why didn't she mention this when she was making non-denial denials that she was paid extra for the scene?
BARBRA STREISAND wants to be on the same floor at the New York Sheraton as Bill Clinton when attends the Clinton Global Initiative Sept. 15-17. Just to talk about global politics, I'm sure.
50 CENT is very popular with Icelandic Valkyries.
WARREN BEATTY: A new warts-and-all biography could become a thorn in his side should he decide to run against Arnold Schwarzenegger for California governor.
AFGHANISTAN: Coalition intelligence agencies believe that the recent surge in violence is not related to a reinvigorated offensive by the remnants of al-Qaeda or the Taliban, but the work of unconnected and uncoordinated groups. Hope so, but also hope they planned for the worst in the run-up to the election.
PAKISTAN: The foreign ministers of Israel and Pakistan, met publicly for the first time Thursday, a diplomatic breakthrough that both ministers linked to Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Muslim clerics denounced the shift in policy in fiery sermons during Friday prayers, but planned street protests fell flat.
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY overcame dyslexia to become an actress who hates her legs, but loves her stomach. I dunno about her legs; I think I would have to make an extensive investigation to offer a truly informed opinion.
SIENNA MILLER, promoting Casanova, says, "I've met a few Casanovas that I like and some that I haven't and I hope to meet a few more." Sounds Law-less at the moment. Plus, she's showing a Nietzsche streak. She's becoming Sienna the Barbarian!
HEATH LEDGER had to destroy his career to save it, if you believe that.
KATE WINSLET is named top MILF in a new British poll taken for "National Yummy Mummy Week," which runs from September 16-25 in aid of a children's cancer charity.
MUSICAL BENCH: President Bush nominated John Roberts to replace the late William Rehnquist as Supreme Court Chief Justice, instead of taking Justice O'Connor's place. The remaining Justices (except Souter) paid tribute to Rehnquist. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg began: "Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist was the fairest, most efficient boss I have ever had..." As before, there's plenty on this topic at the SCOTUS blog. With people like Prof. Cass Sunstein, whose liberal credentials are sterling, urging folks to keep an open mind, I think most of the action will be on President Bush's second nominee.
AL QAEDA'S PROPAGANDA WAR with the West has become as important to the movement as terrorist attacks on western cities and interests, according to analysts studying a videotape featuring one of the London bombers. Azzam Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, said the aim was to exploit the worsening crisis in Iraq and to revive debate in the UK about British foreign policy. Abdel Bari-Atwan, editor of Al Quds, a London-based Arabic newspaper, said "When they show this tape with Ayman al-Zawahiri speaking on the same tape they would like to confirm that they are behind the London bombings and to say to those people who doubt this 'You are not telling the truth. We recruited them and we groomed them.'" MI5 and the police have found no evidence of outside involvement in the bombings and they do not believe the video conclusively proves the operation was run directly by al-Qaeda.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON is deeply unhappy with the country's energy policy: "We've had 30 years to do some things we haven't done," she said. "In fact we've gotten, we've gone backwards in many respects." Doesn't that 30 years cover the Clinton Administration? Sen. Clinton also accused oil companies of manipulating energy markets to enhance profits. She has no evidence of this yet, but given her expertise on the subject of manipulating commodity markets, people would be well-advised to listen.
IS HILLARY CLINTON POLLING HERSELF? The New York Observer seems to think so.
WHO'DA THOUGHT A LAP DANCE is an offer you can't refuse?
WE CO-EXISTED WITH NEANDERTHALS for at least 1,000 years, according to a new study. When did we stop?
CANE TOADS love the nightlife, they've got to boogie -- which is their downfall.
PIGS are scaring seagulls at a duck club. And you get a free one when you buy a luxury holiday home in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds. BTW, I recommend the Cotswolds; if you are in the neighborhood, check out Wordsworth's pad and the estate of Beatrix Potter.
GIANT POUCHED RATS are detecting landmines in Africa.
WATCH OUT, YOU MIGHT GET WHAT YOU'RE AFTER: A German woman burned down the house by trying to kill spiders in a garage with a can of hairspray and a cigarette lighter.
DOG saves his owner from jumping off a bridge.
CATS: Scientists are studying catnip-sensitivity.
ANIMAL HOARDING: Seventy cats and a ton of trash in Marietta, GA.