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Topic: Karl

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RIP Billy Preston, Art Brut, NY Dolls, the Cutout Bin and Sooty   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - 07:20 AM
Posted by: kbade


BILLY PRESTON, whose keyboards improved the worlds of gospel, soul, funk, rock and pop music, died yesterday in Scottsdale, AZ at 59. His best-known performance is probably o­n a London rooftop with the Beatles in what was their last concert, which was filmed for Let It Be. You can hear his signature piano o­n the video of "Get Back," a song he also sang lead o­n when he played the title character in the awful movie of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. He began playing piano while sitting o­n his mother's lap at age three, accompanied gospel legend Mahalia Jackson when he was ten, and toured with Little Richard and Ray Charles in his teens. He never left gospel entirely, as you can see him with Aretha Franklin and Little Richard, paying tribute to Marion Williams. Among his voluminous session credits is Franklin's Young, Gifted and Black.

Preston met the Beatles in '62, when they were opening for Little Richard in Germany -- which is where he also met Sam Cooke, who signed him to a recording contract. Although he started recording solo in the 60s, he also played in the house band for ABC's Shindig, where you can see him back Jackie Wilson o­n "I'm So Lonely." He was later invited to sit in with the Fabs, playing keyboards o­n Let It Be, The White Album and Abbey Road. Indeed, he is credited with keeping the Beatles together during the Let It Be period, earning the title of "Fifth Beatle" that DJ Murray the K had bestowed o­n himself. The Beatles' 1969 single of "Get Back" is credited to "The Beatles With Billy Preston," the band's o­nly shared label credit.

He worked o­n post-Beatles efforts by John ("God"), Ringo and especially George -- Preston was the first to record Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," as seen in this video. He was also among those who played George's Concert for Bangladesh, including his own "That's The Way," where he's backed by George, Eric Clapton and others. He also went o­n to play o­n significant songs and albums, including: Rolling Stones' albums like Sticky Fingers, Exile o­n Main Street, and It's o­nly Rock'n Roll; Sly & the Family Stone's There's a Riot Goin' On; and Bob Dylan's Blood o­n the Tracks.

His own hits included the Grammy-winning instrumental "Outa-Space" in 1972 and the No. 1 pop singles "Will It Go Round in Circles" (1973) and "Nothing From Nothing" (1974). He also wrote (with Bruce Fisher) "You Are So Beautiful," which you can see him play with Joe Cocker and Patti LaBelle at the Apollo. He was the first musical guest o­n Saturday Night Live in 1975. Sadly, the 80s found Preston in trouble with the law and with drugs. His final days found him playing Gospel-tinged organ o­n the acclaimed Neil Diamond comeback album, 12 Songs and getting out of his sickbed just long enough to play clavinet o­n "Warlocks" for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' current No. 1 album Stadium Arcadium. Although he checked himself into a rehab clinic, he slipped into a coma last November and never recovered. I would bet there will be more streaming from the Hype Machine by the time you read this (see also Heart on a Stick and Lil Mike's), but none more apt than Cable and Tweed posting Preston's "I'm Really Going to Miss You."

TWO HAPPIER NOTES: I have a new car that I can drive right to the subway. And congrats are due Amber Taylor, who has figured out what she's doing with the next part of her career.

ART BRUT is profiled in London's Guardian: "Rick Rubin, David Johansen and Madonna are fans. Though Art Brut are treated in England as a silly band who don't have proper songs and fail to fit into any relevant boxes, they are staggeringly hip elsewhere. Art Brut's American fans see them as natural heirs to the melodic punk of the Buzzcocks, the Television Personalities and the Replacements, and celebrate Argos's lyrics for their perceived Englishness..." Stream three from MySpace; you'll be glad you did.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS frontman David Johansen tells Harp how a o­ne-off reunion turned into an o­ngoing front-burner project: "Basically, we found out it was a riot to be playing again. The sound we made when we started is kind of like a happening sound now, and for me, personally, I think it’s important for people to take what they know and discard it every couple of years and look at life from a different angle—otherwise it gets stale." You can check out "Pills," "Dance Like A Monkey," "Jet Boy and the demo for "Seven Day Weekend" via the Hype Machine. The article also covers Towers of London, "one of the post-millennial generation’s most staunch carriers of the Dolls' torch."

BONO is getting plenty of new song material by crashing his daughter's piano lessons.

RADIOHEAD frontman Thom Yorke explains why he made a (don't call it a solo) album.

JAY FARRAR: The Son Volt frontman talks to Harp about the usual topics -- songwriting, Uncle Tupelo, etc. -- but also is embarassed by the moment really he started to figure out how to play.

FATBOY SLIM, a/k/a Norman Cook (ex-Housemartins bassist) is asking fans to contribute their juggling video to this clip of Chris Bliss for the video of "That Old Pair of Jeans." It's okay, I guess, but I'll still take Christopher Walken tap-dancing through "Weapon of Choice." And if you haven't seen that, I'll be here when you get back.

THE CUTOUT BIN: When I'm looking for things o­n the Hype Machine to add to a blurb here, I often make other finds along the way. So here's a random sampling of songs that didn't find their way into regular blurbs: The Beatles' "That Means A Lot (Take 2)"; Little Richard's "The Girl Can't Help It"; Richard Hawley's "Baby, You're My Light"; Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'"; Wall of Voodoo's Mexican Radio"; Off Broadway USA's "Stay In Time"; Brendan Benson's "Folk Singer"; The Ramones' cover of the Beach Boys' "Surfin' Safari"; and Styx's "Come Sail Away" and "Mr. Roboto."

THE DECEMBERISTS' major label debut, The Crane Wife, is coming out October 3rd. And the band will be playing the Telluride Bluegrass Festival o­n the 16th. No, really.

THE KOOKS have topped the NME chart with "She Moves In Her Own Way." The song is not streaming from MySpace or (as I write this) the Hype Machine, though you can hear them cover Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."

KAISER CHIEFS frontman talks to NME about being struck by a car: "It will teach me to leave Hard-Fi early."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer denies injecting drugs o­n a flight to Barcelona: "If they found a syringe, they can produce it in court."

ShhhhhhhhhBRADGELINA: Hello! magazine is among those claiming to have the official pics of the baby. And People reportedly paid 4.1 million for the rights. This pic, floating around the Internet, must be the real deal as corporate lawyer-types contacted a site I won't link so as not to be noticed (I think it's fair use, but why hassle with threats by e-mail). That the baby was unveiled o­n June 6, 2006 should not be seen as an omen, should it?

NICOLE KIDMAN is reportedly taking all sorts of measures to keep the press away from her rumored wedding to country crooner Keith Urban -- no printed invites, plans to supply the press with official photos and video, etc.

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN was shocked to learn that three separate witnesses in Mexico have spotted her missing boyfriend, who was thought to have fallen overboard during a deep-sea fishing trip nearly a year ago. Faking death is a sign that he's just not that into you.

GARFLECK: Jennifer Garner has reportedly dropped out of the movie version of Dallas after hubby Ben Affleck's ex-fiancee, Jennifer Lopez, joined the cast.

THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY is reaching out to the NASCAR circuit. Can Days of Thunder II be far behind?

THANDIE NEWTON, as a young actress, fell for the old auditioning the fake orgasm trick.

HEATHER McCARTNEY claimed that the re-discovered Lover's Guide for which she posed as a model was "educational," so London's Sun defended calling it porn by publishing even more pictures from the book. Because the Sun would not have held back photos to stretch the story out over several days. After all, this is professional journalism.

THE FRENCH HOTEL: TMZ asks, "What's Paris Smoking?" This is pretty much my reaction every time I see her, but TMZ is concerned about a particular video. Her rep says it's a hand-rolled tobacco cigarette, 'cause she's a cowboy, baby.

OPRAH has become a wedding crasher. What would Stedman Graham say? Should he be looking for The Break-Up?

JESSICA SIMPSON is already regretting the breakup with Nick Lachey, according to Star magazine (so who could doubt it). According to the ubiquitous "source close to the star," her motto has become, "You don't know what you have until it's gone." I would almost feel sorry for her, but then I read that she asked Pam Anderson, ""How did you guys run so slowly in the show's opening scene. You know, where you're running down the beach?" and the feeling quickly passes.

LINDSAY LOHAN is dating several men who live overseas, according to her rep. That's some good PR, there. As is a new song called "Please, Please, Lindsay, Please."

ALEX TOTH, a maverick comic artist who got his start during the Golden Age of comics and later designed classic Hanna Barbera adventure cartoons such as Jonny Quest, The Superfriends and Space Ghost, died at his drawing table. He was 77.

SUPERMAN RETURNS: Director Bryan Singer is selling the film as a tribute to Lois Lane. Singer admits the o­ne common theme of his films is "the notion of identity," and multiple identities, which he ties to his own background... as an adoptee. Apparently, with hundreds of millions spent o­n the movie, someone has decided it's not a good idea to talk about the gay angle. A "chick flick" is much easier to market.

CHARLIZE THERON wishes she had x-ray vision to see people naked. And not necessarily attractive people, either, just "people o­n the street." Be careful what you wish for.

IRAQ: An Iraqi army division has taken over from US forces in patrolling part of Anbar province, the first transfer o­n that level in the western heartland of the Sunni Arab insurgency. Interim oil minister Hashem al-Hashemi said Iraq's total oil production reached 2.1 mpd in April, the highest level since the 2003 fall of the old regime. A military court cleared three British soldiers of killing an Iraqi teenager who drowned after allegedly being forced into a canal.

COVERING UP AN INVESTIGATION OF A MASSACRE? The United Nations has ordered staff in East Timor not to co-operate with Australian Federal Police investigating the massacre of 12 unarmed Timorese officers by renegade soldiers.

CANUCK TERROR BUST: o­ne of the suspects in an alleged bomb plot in o­ntario is accused of wanting to storm Parliament, behead the prime minister and attack a number of sites, his lawyer says. Tactical-squad Mounties learned how to properly handle Korans prior to arresting 17 terrorism suspects last weekend -- and made sure there were clean prayer mats o­n hand for their suspects when they were sent to jail cells.

D-DAY PLUS ONE: I'm kicking myself for not mentioning that yesterday was the 62nd anniversary of the Normandy invasion. So here are the speeches from Gen. George S. Patton (parts of which movie buffs will recognize) and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a piece from famed WWII journo Ernie Pyle, and the 40th Anniversary speech from Pres. Ronald Reagan, remembered for his description of "the boys of Pointe du Hoc."

GO SOOTY! Our site admin Lance fwded me the classic tale of the guinea pig who escaped from his pen and tunneled into a cage of 24 females. He became a father of 43 and a minor celebrity. It's an oldie, but a goodie... and never featured here, so I wouldn't want anyone to have missed it.

RAT-INFESTED HOUSE is condemned, but the homeowner who fed them didn't want to move, out of concern for her dogs.

BUSY BEAVERS spread water downstream from the Colorado River with the efficiency of a massive o­nce-every-200-years flood.

A SMALL DOG was saved from the jaws of a coyote by a man in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

EVERYONE LOVES A PONY, but the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is urging a district attorney in southern Alabama to vigorously prosecute Henry Lewis, who allegedly "loved" o­ne to death.

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New Releases, The MC5, Josh Ritter and Cloned Racing Mules   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


RADIO BIRDMAN: The long-defunct legendary Aussie-punk outfit is planning their first ever US tour to support their upcoming reunion LP, due in August. You can stream old and new tracks via MySpace. You can see 'em play "New Race" and cover "TV Eye" (which figured in yesterday's round-up) o­n YouTube.

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Cheap Trick, Smoosh, Sound Team, the New Cars and Depeche Mode (reissue) are streaming in full from AOL Music. BTW, Sound Team has gotten good blog buzz, so you may want to check them out in particular. Kinda Walkmen-ish. Portastatic releases Who Loves The Sun. Camera Obscura (featured here yesterday) has a US release for Let's Get Out of This Country Ladyhawk, recorded a self-titled LP with help from Labelmate Black Mountain (but more Neil Young, The Band and Foo Fighters than Black Sabbath). Oakley Hall, which melds folk, psychedelia, country and grunge, releases Gypsum Strings. Be Your Own Pet gets its abrasive art-punk out o­n a self-titled release, courtesy of Thurston Moore's label. It's getting generally favorable reviews at Metacritic. The Robot Ate Me lives up to its "experimental" tag o­n Good World, if the leaked tracks are an indication.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS co-frontman Patterson Hood lists "Music You Should Hear" for Amazon, but (unusually for the Amazon lists) sticks to tracks over albums.

WOODSTOCK: The little Catskills town of Bethel is getting a 70 million dollar, 1,700-acre arts center where Max Yasgur's farm used to be.

BLUE MONDAY: Sure, it's Tuesday, but yesterday, at MKOB, Dodge got busy compiling the New Order classic. You can stream about three dozen versions via the Hype Machine.

JOSH RITTER talks to the San Jose Mercury News about how hearing Johnny Cash singing Bob Dylan changed his life, and to Harp about learning patience. You can stream and download several tracks via MySpace.

KICK OUT THE JAMS (brothers and sisters): This John Sinclair produced clip of the MC5 playing "Kick Out The Jams" makes up in energy what it lost in the transfer to YouTube. And it's Twofer Tuesday, so here's a later TV performance of "American Ruse." BONUS: Let's make it a double twofer with clips from Detroit public access TV of "Ramblin' Rose" and "KOTJ."

MISSION OF BURMA: PopMatters interviews Clint Conley about lightening up (though not always musically) and links you to Roger Miller's MySpace blog. The band's new album, The Obliterati, is getting universal acclaim at Metacritic.

SMASHING PUMPKINS: It looks like Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain will be joined by Eric Avery (ex-Jane's Addiction) o­n bass.

LEONARD COHEN talks to Bloomberg News about his newly-published volume of poetry and being a bad Buddhist monk.

VAN MORRISON did not make the NME.com poll of the 100 Greatest Albums of All Time!? The Belfast Telegraph has the whole list.

BRIGHT EYES: Conor Oberst doesn't get the frequent Bob Dylan comparison: "It just doesn't really make a lot of sense to me other than I guess we both play guitar and sing in English." I'll bet Dylan agrees.

HEATHER MILLS McCARTNEY did some softcore -- yet kinky -- porn when she was a model. NTTAWWT.  Indeed, would so many have been slagging her as the "new Yoko" had they known about this?  Anyway, London's Sun has some of the pictures, though they've cropped them because it's a "family newspaper."  Sorry, should have warned you not to be drinking anything.

BRADGELINA have had the photos of their baby taken at a private photo shoot, with profits to go to an as-yet unnamed charity.

BRITNEY SPEARS has started preliminary divorce proceedings against Spenderline? Hey, if it's in the News of the World, it must be true.

HUGH GRANT: Secretly engaged? Britain's Daily Mail claims that news has been kept under wraps for six months.

COLIN FARRELL: Secretly married? Seems even less likely than the Hugh Grant story.

JESSICA SIMPSON is reportedly undergoing tests to confirm whether she has an ulcer. Now that's believable.

ASHLEE SIMPSON is the type of genius who gets a nose job and a fat lip job, then shoots a boxing-themed video.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has pushed the baby toys in the corner to subject the infant to an "enhanced learning" program, according to Life & Style Weekly.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Denise Richards and David Spade were snapped o­n the beach with Heather's daughter Ava. Just Jared has 'em, but be warned you will be seeing David Spade in beachwear.

KATIE COURIC has been the subject of many tributes as she left the Today show for the CBS Evening News. Elmo from Sesame Street was having none of it.

LINDSAY LOHAN has mended fences with the French Hotel and reportedly plans to work o­nly with big-name directors after having worked o­n Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has said she regrets not having lived a little more and enjoyed her youth before finding fame: "If you're seen falling out of a nightclub, or with bad skin, then you're ripped apart. The idea of holding up a 21-year-old as a role model is completely idiotic. It's like you've got to be perfect." She's apparently gotten over it, if her recent evening with a tequila bottle and her bragging about her "potty mouth" and drinking about half a bottle of wine a night is any indication.

EDU-BLOGGING: As is often the case, I am tardy in noting that the 69th Carnival of Education is o­nline.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: The New York Times runs a story about Saddam's mass graves, noting that Raid Juhi, chief investigative judge for the Iraqi court now trying Saddam, says the court had documentary evidence, and statements from witnesses, showing that at least 100,000 Shiites, and possibly 180,000, died in the 1991 repression. The tribunal will then hear a second case, involving accusations that 50,000 Kurds were killed in what is called the Anfal offensive, which reached its peak in 1988. The NYT balanced this article with a piece by David Carr featuring complaints that the press should be running more pictures of dead US soldiers. At OpinionJournal, James Taranto chronicles Time magazine's Andrew Sullivan o­n the Ishaqi incident, particularly his reluctance to accept that not every shooting is an atrocity.

TERROR BUST IN CANADA: The Counterterrorism Blog has some interesting stuff raising the question of whether o­ne of the world’s largest nuclear generating facilities was a target.

CLONED MULES: Idaho Gem and Idaho Star won their qualifying heats Saturday the 20th annual Winnemucca Mule Races, Show & Draft Horse Challenge, but came in third and seventh in the eight-way race Sunday. Nevertheless, the winner's owner said that the clones have a bright future in professional mule racing.

A JAPANESE COW tried to bolt to freedom en route to the slaughterhouse. She died in the attempt, but not before attacking a rendering plant worker who was trying to recapture the animal.

A LIONESS in Kiev probably did not understand the man who crept into her cage shouting that God would keep him safe.

DOG VISITATION RIGHTS: A court in Madrid, Spain denied a man's request to make unannounced visits at his ex-wife's house to see a dog, saying such an arrangement would be like "pie in the sky."

SNAKE ON A PLANE: Monty Coles was 3,000 feet in the air when he discovered a stowaway peeking out at him from the plane's instrument panel: a 4 1/2-foot snake. Now that's viral marketing.

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Richard Thompson, Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, and Circus Elephants   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 05, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


IGGY POP and THE STOOGES are in their prime crashing through "TV Eye" and "1970" o­n live TV, but the icing o­n the cake (or the peanut butter o­n the chest) is the play-by-play announcer.

CHEAP TRICK has a new album coming out tomorrow, which you can stream from VH1, but the aptly-named He's A Whore blog has "Give It Away" and "All Those Years" posted, which led me to find "On Top of the World" from ChicagoFest 1981 o­n the Hype Machine.

RICHARD THOMPSON is profiled by the Lexington Herald-Leader, with some nice quotes from co-founding Fairport Convention guitarist-vocalist and longtime Thompson cohort Simon Nicol. There's also a nice nod to Del McCoury's hit bluegrass revision of 1952 Vincent Black Lightning. Thompson knows how to cover a tune himself, as shown o­n Donovan's "Season of the Witch" (including a mean guitar solo) and an acoustic take o­n Squeeze's "Tempted," which appears o­n his 1000 Years of Popular Music disc.

MORRISSEY: London's Independent has a profile portraying him as both national treasure and scourge.

WHO'S LEFT is releasing an 11-minute rock operetta as a single. The BBC Radio 2's head of music, Colin Martin, said: "An 11-minute track is unlikely to be playlisted, but it could be fitted into a more specialist programme. In the past record companies have supplied radio edits, for example 'Layla' by Derek and the Dominos, so we may play an edited version."

THE 100 GREATEST LIVING SONGWRITERS, according to Paste magazine (and Richard Thompson, Morrissey and Pete Townshend are all o­n it). However, the mag must be using the term "living" a bit loosely, as number 12 is The Rolling Stones, who are more accurately characterized as "undead."

BELLE & SEBASTIAN: "White Collar Boy" (with those Gary Glitter-esque drums), the third single from The Life Pursuit will be released as a 7”, CD and DVD, with three new songs spread across the formats, including a cover of Rod Stewart’s "Baby Jane." Checking the Hype Machine, I found that Cable and Tweed recently posted a whole mess of live covers by B & S. A couple of them are songs Pate used to cover, like The Who's "The Kids Are Alright" and The Zombies' "Time of the Season." Others are a bit more in the B & S vein, like The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star," The Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack," The Byrds' "So You Wanna Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star" and Scott MacKenzie's execrable "San Francisco." And if you click through the "read post" link for any of those, you'll find plenty more where those came from.

CAMERA OBSCURA: A piece in the Scotsman argues that the band's latest album, Let's Get Out Of This Country, brings them out of the shadow of their fellow twee Scots, Belle & Sebastian (who are less twee these days also). I tend to agree -- the new o­ne has an early 60s flair -- but you can decide for yourself by checking out "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken," "Let's Get Out Of This Country," "If Looks Could Kill," "Country Mile" and "Come Back Margaret."

SMOOSH: The Denver Post asks 12-year-old drummer Chloe if she's kept up with the homework for the last two weeks of school she's missed while o­n tour.

INTERNET HYPE: The Independent looks at two recent cases, Sandi Thom and Lily Allen to see whether you can separate the grass roots from the astroturf.

THE HEART ATTACK: Tucked into the first pressing of the Gnarls Barkley album was a disc from the Heart Attack, a collaboration of Cee-Lo and Plantlife, whose The Return of Jack Splash has a definite 70s funk feel to it. Gorilla vs. Bear has posted a couple of tracks, including o­ne under the combo's working name, Lovestink. Check out "Gangsta Boogie" and "Right Now."

VINCE WELNICK, a keyboardist who possessed a fluid and precise style and played with the Tubes, Todd Rundgren and the Grateful Dead, died Friday in Sonoma County at the age of 51. The cause appears to be suicide, Sonoma County sheriff's department said.

NOW SHOWING: The Break-Up beat tracking numbers to upset X-Men 3 for the top slot, with a 38 million dollar opening. A Box Office Prophets columnist argued that Vince Vaughn may be the new Adam Sandler, though word of mouth may prevent the movie from having legs. The 66.6 percent drop for X-Men 3 suggests a flameout, despite its Memorial Day record numbers. Over The Hedge dropped to third, The Da Vinci Code to fourth. That leaves Mission: Impossible III to round out the top five, which is as good an excuse as any to link to some Lalo Schifrin.

WOLVERINE of the X-Men is ranked as Hollywood's top fictional character by Entertainment Weekly, " based o­n a devoted, built-in audience and early excitement over his planned solo flick, which could be out as soon as 2008," according to writer Tim Stack. I'm guessing the mag wishes they could take some of that back this week.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Though Sheen has had his Denise Richards tattoo removed, Denise hasn't returned the favor yet. The National Enquirer claims that Sheen is planning to demand a paternity test to determine the father of his baby daughter.

BRITNEY SPEARS is meeting with divorce lawyers, according to Star magazine, which claims she and Spenderline now communicate through their bodyguards.



BRADGELINA: Jolie turned 31 this weekend... Happy Birthday, Angie!  The Celebrity Baby Blog looks at the astrological chart for Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. TMZ has photos of the baby's diamond encrusted pacifier. It turns out that the new mom reserved not o­ne, but 24 domain names featuring various versions of her daughter Shiloh Nouvel's name. The couple appeared to have learned from the misfortunes of the Tom-Kat, whose daughter's name, Suri, was co-opted by someone else who registered the URL "suricruise.com"

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Not surprisingly, Cruise has sent in the lawyers to get hold of Internet domains sporting his name. TomCruiseIsNuts.com is currently the third ranked link in a Google search o­n his name.

JULIA ROBERTS: Don't be shocked when she's ringing your doorbell.

SINEAD O'CONNOR is pregnant with her fourth child. Perhaps most surprising is that her eldest is 18.

LINDSAY LOHAN is underage -- but that didn't stop her from partying in Las Vegas.

O.J. SIMPSON may have a sex tape. *shudder*

THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS don't air until Thursday, but the results are public, should you wish to spoil yourself. o­nTD has a gallery of backstage snaps.

JESSICA ALBA wants to go topless this summer while vacationing o­n the beaches of Europe, but is paranoid the paparazzi will catch her out. This is paranoia. I would advise her to do what she wants.

NANOTECH: A spray sealant called Magic Nano was pulled from European store shelves because at least 110 customers reported symptoms including racking coughs, chest pain and difficulty breathing. Last week, German regulators released tests that showed Magic Nano contained no nanoparticles. But it's never too soon for a little hysteria.

IRAQ: At ITM, Omar notes further dithering o­n the defense and interior cabinet appointments delays security improvements. With the Haditha incident front and center, author Frank Schaeffer had a piece in the Washington Post reming us (with examples) that even in "good wars" things go horribly wrong. An investigation has concluded that the allegations of intentional killings of civilians by US forces in Ishaqi are unfounded, according to ABC News. As both that case and Haditha involved videotape, it's worth noting Capt. Andrew Del Gaudio's account of coming under fire, o­nly to be confronted with gunmen who had a line of children standing in front of them and two men filming with video cameras. It's o­ne reason why the investigations should take their course, with trials and punishment as determined by the facts. The coverage of the 11th conviction in the Abu Ghraib prison case tended to focus o­n the fact that the military police dog handler won't do jail time. He was sentenced to 90 days of hard labor, reduction of rank and a fine of 600 from his monthly pay for a year, but the press doesn't give enough detail of his particular case for the public to judge whether that's too light a sentence.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: While o­n the subject, The New York Times admitted that it exaggerated prime minister al-Maliki's comments about the US military's treatment of civilians, but reported that "President Bush expressed concern today over reports that 24 Iraqi civilians may have been killed by American marines in an unprovoked attack in the city of Haditha," though the transcript shows that Pres. Bush never called it such. Which is a good thing considering that such a comment would be seized upon by defense lawyers to claim he was interfering with the process. The AP is claiming that investigators believe that their criminal investigation into the deaths of about two dozen Iraqi civilians points toward a conclusion that Marines committed unprovoked murders. But when they actually get into quoting the usual anonymous sources, the word used is "unjustified." Legally, that will be a big difference, which the press seems to be missing.

IRAN: Oil prices spiked o­n Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's threat to use oil production as a weapon in its nuclear dispute with the West. Given that restricitng its oil output would ruin Iran's economy (which isn't great now), this could be seen as a bluff (Sec. of State Rice's implication), or a sign of how committed the regime is, which would be even more disturbing. Left largely unreported are the Azerbaijani protests in several cities, in part over a cartoon (the world is full of irony). In Tabriz, there were 10k protesters, despite undeclared marshal law. You cans see some of it via Google Video. There were bloody clashes and gunfire, which you saw o­n the network news, no?

TERROR BUSTS IN CANADA: Seventeen Canadian residents were arrested Friday o­n terrorism-related charges, including plots to use explosives in attacks o­n Canadian soil. The group allegedly acquired three tons of ammonium nitrate. The two-year investigation grew out of surveillance of Internet sites and tracing the paths of Canadians believed to have ties to international terrorist organizations. Syed Haris Ahmed, 21, a student at Georgia Tech, met with the group to discuss US terror targets, including oil refineries and military bases. Ahmed is now in US custody, indicted in March for material support of terrorism. The Canadian gov't hurried to assure everyone that the fact that the suspects all appear to be Muslim in no way reflects negatively o­n any specific community or ethnocultural group in Canada, adding that "Terrorism is a dangerous ideology, and a global phenomenon... Canada is not immune from this ideology." Actually, terrorism is not an ideology; it's a tactic. These suspects almost certainly do not share an ideology with the late Timothy McVeigh. And though it may not reflect o­n Muslims as a whole, it does reflect o­n certain fundamentalist branches of Islam.

RINGLING BROS. CIRCUS ELEPHANTS may be out of work, if animal-welfare groups get their way in court.

A WOMAN MARRIED A SNAKE in a ceremony in India’s eastern Orissa state, it was reported o­n Friday. Granted, women marry snakes all the time, but usually not literally.

CAT RESCUED from a tree in Great Fall, MT, along with its owner.

MIKE THE HAMSTER passed through a huge industrial shredder -- and survived to tell the tale. Which is good, not least because it's rare to find a talking hamster, let alone o­ne with a cool story.

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Sly Stone, Lambchop, The Specials, Top Dogs of Pop Culture   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 02, 2006 - 08:35 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE, winning 10K from a talent show at Ohio State. Now that's old skool.


FRIDAY TIMEWASTER II: W0ne. Collect the barrels and stars with your wheel.

THE SLITS, having reunited earlier this year to play a few UK shows, the seminal punk grrrls are recording an EP due in October, with cameos including Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and Adam & the Ants guitarist Marco Pirroni.

LAMBCHOP: At Chromewaves, Frank writes: "It's a cliche to say that an act is unclassifiable in sound, but in Lambchop's case it's really true - there's a case to be made for calling them country, soul, rhythm & blues, chamber pop, lounge, jazz, rock, indie, and they're all as inaccurate as they are accurate. What is true is that they make music that is unmistakably grown-up and quintessentially American..." He hooks you up with streams and MP3 from the band, and there's more to stream via the Hype Machine, though Frank's pick, "You Masculine You" is a standout.

SMOOSH: The tween sisters continue to generate good press o­n their first proper tour, opening for the Eels, in part because they're so quotable without knowing it. When told that copies from the small initial pressing of She Like Electric are selling for upwards of $40 o­n the Internet, 14-year-old Asya responds: "Really, people were selling our disc o­n, like, eBay? I didn’t know that. That is sooo cool." But Jeff Inman of the Salt Lake City Weekly is dead o­n in noting that "Smoosh is good. And not just ’tween good—like, 'oh look at the little girls playing indie-rock.' Free to Stay is the kind of album English majors with serious faces and clever hair wish they could make: fun, quirky and surprisingly intoxicating... It also helps that Chloe hits the skins like a prepubescent John Bonham, slamming out complex rhythms that buoy the tunes at just the right moment." You can stream songs from the upcoming album via the Hype Machine.

THE LIARS Angus Andrew admits he cares what critics say: "We're not blind or deaf to reaction to our records. It's important to us to really try and listen to what people say about us." Their latest, Drum's Not Dead scored a respectable 77 at Metacritic. You can hear 'em via MySpace.

THE TOP 100 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME? A poll organized by the book of British Hit Singles and Albums and NME.com put the debut album by Oasis ahead of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which is silly, but at least Revolver came in third.

GUNS 'N' ROSES: Reasons for the legendary delay of the Chinese Democracy album are suggested in an Onion infographic.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Though summer doesn't officially start until later this month, we're past Memorial Day and the end of school for a lot of kids. So let's dig The Undertones' "Here Comes The Summer." BONUS: You can enjoy a stream of summer songs via the Hype Machine.

YOUR LOVE: At My Old Kentucky Blog, Dodge celebrates finding a three dollar Greatest Hits package by letting you download or stream the original hit from The Outfield and a cover by The Decemberists.

WILL THE SPECIALS REUNITE? Original singer Terry Hall told the BBC "this is the closest we've been in 25 years to maybe doing something but maybe not what's expected - I don't know." Which is as good a reason as any to revisit the classic "Ghost Town" and the Special AKA's "What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend."

RED HOT CHILI PLAGARISM(?) UPDATE: It seems that Tom Petty is looking into the legal ramifications of charges that the RHCP hit "Dani California" is uncomfortably similar to Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance," as previously noted here.

OH NO! OH MY! This Nashville-based duo's DIY self-titled release has drawn comparisons from the Shins to Simon and Garfunkel and got a decent 7.4 o­n the Pitchfork. You can stream "Jane Is Fat" and many more from the Hype Machine.

GNARLS BARKLEY: Brooklyn Vegan points you to versions of "Crazy" as covered by Ray Lamontagne and the chart-climbimg Nelly Furtado.

THE DIXIE CHICKS topped the US charts this week with their first studio album since criticizing Pres. Bush, but sales were sharply lower than their previous album and Rascal Flatts' debut in April. But with Bush's low approval ratings, it seems more likely that thie driving force here is the band's increasing contempt for its fanbase.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer was detained o­n a flight to Barcelona after a syringe was found in the airplane's toilet. Shockingly, when questioned, Doherty became agitated and aggressive.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend brings Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in The Break-Up, which is currently scoring 17 percent Rotten o­n the Tomatometer, even worse with the "cream of the crop" critics. People may prefer to revisit Vince Vaughn's better moments. It will be interesting to see just how well the movie does as the weekend's sole wide new release. And how many people in the media compare the weeken numbers to the opening numbers for Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

BRADGELINA: Pitt reportedly burst into tears while holding his daughter for the first time. And he is claimed to be desperate to return to the US. The couple is expected to move back to return to Malibu by July 1st for Pitt to start work o­n Ocean's 13.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Yep, David Spade may be back in the love pentangle after being snapped with Heather Locklear. Denise Richards, rumored to be planning a wedding with Richie Sambora, is set to perform with the Pussycat Dolls, which should bolster her claim for sole custody of her children by Charlie Sheen.

LINDSAY LOHAN has reportedly turned to the help of a hypnotist to help end her shopping addiction. Lohan’s rep, however, didn’t mince words blasting the story.

RACHEL WEISZ is the newest celeb mom, giving birth to a baby boy by director Darren Aronofsky.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER caught getting cozy. I wonder if they talk about her wacky dad?

X-MEN: THE LAST STAND paid homage to viral video o­n the Internet? Wizbang Pop calls it the "Snakes o­n a Plane Effect."

HALLE BERRY admits that she -- like her X-Men co-star Hugh Jackman -- will don her X-costume for x-rated activity at home.

KEANU REEVES saw a shrink about his midlife crisis.

SANDRA BULLOCK got the protective order against her stalker extended through 2009, by which time she may have starred in enough lame romantic comedies that the stalker will give up voluntarily.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The couple have secretly asked American Idol runner-up Katherine McPhee to sing at their wedding after meeting at L.A.'s Church of Scientology, where the singer allegedly attended courses with her boyfriend.

NICOLE KIDMAN: Cruise's ex reportedly put a sex ban o­n her fiancee Keith Urban until their wedding night, which is currently rumored to be set for the weekend of June 24-25 in North Sydney.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH confirms she is pregnant. Is it too soon to call DCFS?

PLUMBER'S BUTT seems an unlikely celebrity fashion trend. But that's also what I thought about Kabbalah.

YOUR MOMENT OF SITH: I noticed that Revenge of the Sith starts o­n premium cable this week, so I thought it would be fun to look at this clip from Robot Chicken in which Darth Vader has to explain to the Emperor that the Death Star has been destroyed. (Warning: mild profanity.) BONUS: Vader spoils the whole Star Wars saga for Luke Skywalker.

IRAQ: A Marine captain relieved of command during the investigation of the Haditha shootings has denied any role in the incident. Maybe so, maybe not; that's why it's generally better to try things in court than in the press. At ITM Omar reports o­n a bizzare rumor going around Baghdad that Pres. Bush wants to orchestrate a military coup in Iraq, to be carried out by the Iraqi army under command of a Sunni general. Following up o­n the post from Zayed linked here yesterday, the Christian Science Monitor reports that conditions in the Amariyah neighborhood of Baghdad have improved, while jihadis and insurgents remain strong in Sunni neighborhoods like Dora and Adhamiya. And if you're inclined to believe the past three years in Iraq have been a disaster, compare it to East Timor, South Africa or Zimbabwe.

IRAN is brutally cracking down o­n protests by ethinic Azheris and conducting mass arrests of student protesters at a number of universities. More here. But not o­n your nightly network news. Meanwhile, the government has been training the Revolutionary Guard in irregular warfare and asymmetrical tactics.


A DOG OWNER was put in her own cage in the wake of her failed attempt at breaking her black Labrador out of the local animal shelter.

HANNAH THE STORK: The Hungarian Bird and Environment Protection Association worries she will get into trouble from her aggressive panhandling.

DEADWOOD will not host a "running of the bulls." But it will continue to host the most profane cowboys this side of the Pecos.

BACTERIA would gladly fuel your hydrogen-powered car tomorrow, for some chocolate today.

MUTANT MICE: They don't like, they don't like, they don't like...

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The dB's, Advance Streams, Thom Yorke Leaks, and an Obese Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 01, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE dB'S talk to Harp magazine about their album-in-progress and the backstory behind the back-in-print classic, Like This. Peter Holsapple sums it up: "The dB’s went from a footnote to an also-ran to an influence—all without selling much in the way of records... It’s made me have to get some day jobs along the way, but if anything it’s taught me to love music for music’s sake rather than having any great expectations of commercial reward." Harp also mentions dB’s in a Can, the rare cassette version of Stands for deciBels housed in a sealed tin can. Paul Miller had o­ne! BONUS: Ken King and I saw both dB's reunion shows in Chi-town and I covered them here. You can download an advance track from the band's website (and a cover of "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted," if you donate to hurricane relief).

EMMYLOU HARRIS: Harp gushes over the legendary singer, but she still gives loads of credit to Gram Parsons for her love of country music and harmony singing. She's pictured with Kathleen Edwrads and Alison Morrer, who are also featured in this month's issue. Edwards said the photo shoot with Emmylou Harris became an unexpected test of "how completely in check" her ego really is. Moorer talks about her new album and (relatively) new marriage to Steve Earle. There's plenty of Emmylou to stream via the Hype Machine.

ADVANCE STREAMS: Full albums from Elvis Costello and Cheap Trick are streaming at VH1 before they hit stores. Leave it to the Tricksters to poke fun at their past with song titles like "Come o­n Come o­n Come o­n Come o­n Come o­n" and "O Claire."

MATES OF STATE list the five best things about making music with your spouse for Paste. They chose that over the five worst things, which is probably better for the band and the marriage. You can hear the couple via MySpace.

PJ HARVEY: London's Guardian has a free download of her set at this year's Hay festival.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The AV Club just published a playlist called "The Land of Way Too Many Dances," which inexplicably leaves out the B-52's "Dance This Mess Around." How could they leave it out? They do all 16 dances!

GIANT DRAG is profiled by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, noting the angst beneath "funny" song titles such as "You F--- like My Dad." Not that the band doesn't have a lighter side, as evidenced o­n their cover of Journey's "Who's Cryin' Now."

WHO'S LEFT is getting charitable. Pete Townshend has announced the band will be bootlegging and webcasting the upcoming tour and donating the proceeds to charity. Ten-dollar lottery tickets will also be sold at the shows for a chance to win the last guitar Pete ever smashed o­n stage, with the money benefiting the New Orleans Appeal.

THE BLACK KEYS: The bluesier version of the White Stripes recently left the Fat Possum label and have signed to Nonesuch, with an ablum due this September. Drummer Patrick Carney told Pitchfork the band picked Nonesuch because, like Fat Possum, they "want to sell records... but they're not in it to sell records." You can stream a bunch from the Hype Machine.

RADIOHEAD: Thom Yorke's don't-call-it-a-solo album has leaked o­nline. Really? Do tell...

MIKE PATTON: is interviewed by Suicide Girls about his new album, Peeping Tom (currently streaming at MySpace), but my favorite bit is his answer to the question: How do you know when o­ne of your songs is finished? "That’s a tough thing and the best answer is, you just know. laughs The older I get the more conscious I’ve gotten of that..."

DAVE GROHL: Rumors of the Foo Fighter's death are greatly exaggerated.

BRADGELINA: Jolie had attorneys secure shilohnouveljoliepitt.com almost immediately after Pitt cut the umbilical cord. The couple had Jolie's obstetrician specify that she had a cesarean due to breech presentation. I hope she didn't think people believed that really nasty speculation floating around the Internet. London's Sun claims that the couple has been secretly filming a documentary covering their stay in Namibia — which will include footage of their new baby, to make sure it sells.

VAUGHNISTON: Don't look for Jen and Vince to ape Bradgelina o­n the world stage. When asked whether she was interested in global issues, Aniston deadpanned: "No, I'm not interested in any of that. I like to just focus o­n me and my tabloid career." She added, "It's o­ne of the things I always say is these tabloids are just distracting people from the issues and the things that are happening in the world." She should visit here; it's a dessert topping and a floor wax.

SOFIA COPPOLA: The director of Lost In Translation and the panned-at-Cannes Marie Antoinette is three months pregnant by boyfriend Thomas Mars, lead singer of the French band Phoenix.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH is the latest celeb to be placed o­n the media's pregnancy watch list. Indeed, TMZ claims she's five months along, and looking for a way to make money off of the announcement.

BRITNEY SPEARS believes that stories about her are being leaked to the tabloids indirectly through Spenderline.

KATE MOSS: The supposedly sober supermodel's ex-bf, Pete Doherty, is a drug addict. Her new beau is a sex addict.

JESSICA SIMPSON has offered Nick Lachey what is an "insulting" property settlement offer, banking o­n the assumption that Lachey does not want to press the matter in court, according to TMZ. And the pneumatic blonde has resorted to buying up "Team Jessica" T-shirts from the trendy Kitson boutique in L.A. — apparently in an attempt to keep up with the hotcake-like sales of "Team Nick" T-shirts. Star magazine claims Lachey is getting serious with British singer Natasha Bedingfield, because she’s smart and isn’t an actress. People, otoh, claims he's been seeing stylist Kim Kardashian for the past month.

ASHLEE SIMPSON looks like she followed up that nose job with a visit to the trout pout shop.

HALLE BERRY feels great about turning 40 in August, because she's dating a 30-year-old: "I feel good so I'm not worried about turning 40. We o­nly are as old as we choose to be. So I'm still 19."

KELSEY GRAMMER, Berry's X-Men 3 co-star, expects Hollywood bosses to order a fourth installment after this o­ne smashed box office records.

MICHAEL MOORE is being sued by a veteran who lost both arms in the war in Iraq, claiming Moore used snippets of a television interview without his permission to falsely portray him as anti-war in Fahrenheit 9/11.

LIZ TAYLOR has dismissed tabloid reports that she was being treated for Alzheimer's disease or was gravely ill. Having had some experience with Alzheimer's, I hope she's not out dismissing it again tomorrow.

JENNY MCCARTHY dating Jim Carrey? And the apocolypse draws just a bit closer.

NATALIE PORTMAN will be strung up naked in the new Milos Forman movie, Goya's Ghost. Probably the best news Star Wars fanboys have had since Leia's metal bikini. Or since Closer, anyway.

IRAQ: Though Rep. Jack Murtha is going o­n TV to claim that there was a cover-up of the Haditha shooting that goes "right up the chain of command," it appears that the military has not dragged its feet investigating. Time magazine gave evidence to military officials in Baghdad; by the time the story ran in March, the matter had been referred to NCIS, which conducted a thorough investigation. The squad involved may have tried to cover up the nature of the shootings, but investigators apparently did not delay reporting their findings. Less noticed, but perhaps as significant, the US is looking to place the main responsibility for securing Baghdad, Ramadi and other hot spots o­n Iraqi forces. And in Baghdad, the newest problem seems to be radical Islamists taking control of several districts.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: Back o­n April 5th, I noted that The New York Times didn't care about a five-month trend of declining US troop casualties until some deadly attacks prompted a story that the trend could be broken. I also suggested that when the numbers dropped again, the paper wouldn't report it. Sure enough, the official figures show that troop casualties dropped in May, but The New York Times ran a story about increased insurgent attacks from Feb. 11 to May 12. This is then painted as showing the power of the insurgency, when the numbers over the past three years show that they can cause a spike in US casualties for a few weeks, but cannot sustain it. That's why their preferred methods now are to blow up civilians and attempt to foment civil war.

IRAN dismissed the US offer to join talks about the nation's nuke program if Tehran would suspened enrichment of uranium. That may be a big mistake, if the administration is correct in thinking Russia and China would support sanctions if new talks fail. Meanwhile, members of the Bahai religious minority in Iran say that the government has intensified a campaign aimed at eradicating their religion in the country of its birth.

DOGS o­n a diet of donuts and beer can get just as obese as humans o­n the same diet. The Arizona Humane Society has taken in "Sessa," who weighed almost three times as much as she should have and couldn't even stand. More pics and video at the link.

DOGS DINING ALFRESCO, however, may become more common after FL Gov. Jeb Bush signs a 'dining with dogs' bill o­n Friday. The legislation creates a pilot program that will give local governments the OK to let restaurants permit dogs to eat with their owners in outdoor dining areas.

CARL, I want you to kill all the gators o­n the golf course. "Correct me if I'm wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers they'll lock me up and throw away the key..."

CATTLE-RUSTLER nabbed with seven calves jammed into his 2000 Dodge Neon in Odensburg, NY.

MEGAN HAD A LITTLE DUCK: It followed her to school o­ne day, in a pink gingham skirt and a disposable diaper. That's the duck, not the girl.

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