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Topic: Karl

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More Hottest Bands and Top Albums, World's Ugliest Dog and Llamas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 25, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


KATHLEEN EDWARDS: Although she doesn't see herself as alt-country, *Sixeyes does and hooks you up with seven legal MP3s from her website. If you haven't heard her, I would recommend starting with "One More Song the Radio Won't Like," which is equal parts Lucinda Williams and Neil Young.

JEFF TWEEDY talks to Paste about the new live Wilco album, singing covers versus originals, ambivalence about our multimedia age and more.

BOB DYLAN: A collection of poems he wrote in 1960 sold for 78K at an auction of rock and pop memorabilia. A medallion worn by Jimi Hendrix during his memorable performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival failed to attract any bidders at its pre-sale price of 60-80K.

JIMI HENDRIX: Speaking of Jimi, his 1967 classic "Purple Haze" will figure a "musical culture" exam required for French high school students to graduate.

THE 33 HOTTEST BANDS IN CANADA: i (heart) music, inspired by the Information Leafblower blogger poll of US bands, has produced a blogger poll for bands from the great white north, eh? o­ne of the participating bloggers, Frank at Chromewaves, shows his picks to click.

THE UK'S HOTTEST 47 ACTS: Yet another blogger poll, with Take Your Medicine covering the other side of the Atlantic.

SEASON OF THE LIST: My Old Kentucky Blog has a Top 25 albums list, plus a few bonus lists. Gorilla vs. Bear has a Top 50 albums list, broken in halves; o­ne ranked, o­ne alphabetical.

GARY GLITTER might face a firing squad if found guilty of raping a 12-year-old girl in Vietnam. The country very rarely, if ever, executes foreign tourists, but Vietnamese jails are notorious for their squalor, harsh treatment of prisoners and lack of attention to sanitation, hygiene and food. Even if he is not prosecuted in Vietnam, Glitter could face charges in the UK if he ever returned, under the Sex Offences Act 1996. Glitter denies the charges, but a local paper quotes Glitter as saying "When they met me, they all told me that they were older than 20."

ARCTIC MONKEYS: Prefix has a two-part interview with Britain's Newest Hitmakers. Also, noting the band's anger that some are trying to sell free MP3s o­n sites like eBay, Take Your Medicine has a load of downloads.

BOB GELDOF was to receive the Man For Peace award at the annual Nobel Peace Prize laureates meeting in Rome o­n Thursday.

PATTI SMITH: Greil Marcus essays her debut, Horses, in the Village Voice.

CHEAP TRICK and ROGER DALTREY are all part of your Rock And Roll Fantasy...Camp. The camp with the difference? (via Ken King)

PAYOLA: Warner Music Group Corp., the third largest record company in the US, coughs up five million bucks to settle charges pursued by NY State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

COMMERCIAL ARTISTRY: London's Independent looks at the fates of bands that sell songs for commercials.

SUFJAN STEVENS: London's Observer sees the eccentric-but-spiritual folk-rocker as translating America for Europeans and selling 100,000 copies of the Illinois album while avoiding traditional publicity.

U2: The Vertigo tour has already grossed around 300 million bucks and will probably beat the prior record set by the Rolling Stones.

BOY LEAST LIKELY TO will finally release their album in the US in April, after making their live US debut at SWSX. You can stream some bouncy, twee pop at the band's website.

THE BETA BAND has met its omega, but Steve Mason is going forward with King Biscuit Time.

NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS has announced its Cool List for 2005, along with the new Fool List. I made neither, but will try harder in '06.

INDIE LABELS: NPR has a streaming report o­n the inreasing influence of the independents to the recording biz.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer is reportedly sequestered in a West Country studio laying down tracks for a solo album, contradicting reports that he is in rehab in Arizona. Meanwhile, Moss's stalker is o­n the run, armed with bomb-making materials, police have warned. No wonder the shamed supermodel is jumping around topless until she falls over (yeah, that's NSFW).

JACKO blames his mounting money problems o­n Jews, likening them to leeches. Jackson apologized to Jewish groups a decade ago for the lyrics "Jew me/Sue me/Everybody do me/Kick me/Kike me" o­n the song "They Don't Care About Us." No wonder he's moved to the Middle East.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER were at Balthazar o­n Tuesday, caught canoodling and getting into a screaming match. Actors love drama.

JOSS STONE reportedly broke up with music producer Beau Dozier (son of Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier) on the advice of Mick Jagger. Which is the definition of looking for love advice in all the wrong places.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: Lindsay Lohan's relationship with Jared Leto has gone from low-profile to no-profile. But at least Page Six refers to Leto as a "legendary swordsman."

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise tells People magazine that he and Holmes will wed after their baby is born, possibly next summer or early fall.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie and Pitt plan to visit quake survivors in northern Pakistan. But Reuters can't help but add that Jolie was "dressed in light-coloured trousers and a black raincoat," with Pitt "sporting a gray wool knit hat, as well as the start of a beard." The couple was also spotted looking at houses in Washington, D.C. o­n the same day Jolie got her Cambodian citizenship. Jolie came close to passing out in Los Angeles International Airport; fortunately, no o­ne was injured in the stampede of men offering CPR.

HARRY POTTER: Daniel Radcliffe is Britain's richest teenager, with a personal fortune of £23million.

KIRSTEN DUNST is hanging out with Tara Reid; websites are now calling her "Kirsten Drunkst."

JOAQUIN PHOENIX has hinted to reporters that acting is so consuming he’s considering quitting. Perhaps he could make lotion with Kate Hudson.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: One of the five characters may be killed during the May sweeps. Teri Hatcher has filed a libel lawsuit against a British tabloid that claimed she had sex in a van outside her L.A. home. Libel law if much more plaintiff-friendly in the UK, natch.

CHARLIZE THERON will marry longtime boyfriend Stuart Townsend o­n the day it becomes legal for gays and lesbians to wed across America. Which sounds politically correct, but is also a great excuse for her to not marry him.

BRITNEY SPEARS finally sells those baby pictures. I wonder whether Britney demanded that rival Xtina's wedding get stuck in the corner of the cover or whether People was just countering the Xtina wedding pics in OK! magazine...

WHITEWASH SUPREMACISTS: Teen People magazine ran a sanitized story about a neo-Nazi teenage singing duo o­n its web site, despite reports that it has canceled a planned feature story about them that downplayed their racist views. The story seems to be removed now; a search for the girls' last name turns up a document, but will not return a link. According to media reports, the mag was planning to run a feature profile them in its February issue, but had promised to refrain from using the words "hate," "supremacist," and "Nazi."

IRAQ: In the L.A. Times, Max Boot compares polls of the American public, the Iraqi public, US military officers, journalists and academics o­n the state and direction of the country. Michael Yon blogs (with pics) the redeployment ball held by the Deuce Four, with a cameo by Bruce Willis. The Pentagon tentatively plans to reduce troops in country by three brigades and, under a "moderately optimistic" scenario, drop troop strength by more than o­ne-third. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace claims that the training of Iraqi forces is going "extremely well" and could help pave the way for a pullout. Though US officials are doubtful, DNA tests are being carried out to determine whether al-Zarqawi was killed in a recent US-led raid. Major General Rick Lynch, spokesman for the US-led multinational force, said he expects the MNF to capture or kill him "in the not too distant future." I'd like to see that, but don't know how much impact it would have.

THE UNITED NATIONS Security Council o­n Wednesday issued an unprecedented condemnation of Monday's Hizbullah attacks o­n northern Israel. The condemnation followed by two days a failed attempt o­n Monday, when Algeria came out against any mention of Hizbullah in the statement. When asked what changed from Monday to Wednesday, o­ne diplomatic official replied: "John Bolton."

MR. POTATO HEAD, Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder are among those targeted by the New York Public Interest Group as dangerous this holiday season.

GOOGLE BASE is becoming "porn heaven." Couldn't have seen that coming a mile away.

SAM, THE WORLD'S UGLIEST DOG, died just short of his 15th birthday.

THE DOGS OF WAR can get their own body armor, which can double as a harness for lowering and lifting canine combattants from a helicopter.

A WALRUS USIK was stolen in Wasilla, Alaska.

LLAMAS may be wonderful pets and companion animals, but don't cross o­ne unless you want to face the three sets of razor-sharp "fighting teeth," which llamas use to rip the scrotum from male competitors in the wild.

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Thankful I'm Not This Tom (abbreviated holiday edition)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY -- the remembrance of gratitude for Native Americans teaching the Pilgrims some farming tips and celebration of the Pilgrims' rejection of communism. Writing from the Land of Lincoln, I can't help but note that Honest Abe first proclaimed the national holiday shortly before his assassination, with words that still have some relevance today.

RAY DAVIES of the Kinks has "Thanksgiving Day" available for streaming from the EP he released this week. Pretty good.

THE TURKEYS PARDONED BY PRESIDENT BUSH were asked what they would do now and got the inevitable reply: "We're going to Disneyland!"

RUTH M. SIEMS, who helped create Stove Top stuffing, has passed at 74 from a heart attack. Speaking of stuffing, don't look at this picture until yours is entirely digested. You've been warned.

I'LL BE BACK at full steam Friday, but simply must convey this breaking story:

JESSICA SIMPSON and NICK LACHEY SEPARATED: It's official. Last Saturday night, hubby Nick Lachey was reportedly at the hot Miami Beach restaurant Nobu with six girls, none of which was Jessica. Maybe Saturday is o­ne of the two days Jessica gets her hair bleached every week. No doubt Jessica will be consulting Jennifer Aniston about all this.

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Makin' a list, checkin' it twice (full-on multimedia edition)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


I HAVE FRIENDS IN TOWN FROM DALLAS this week and may not get to round up the usual suspects today. So with the holiday shopping season just around the corner, I thought I could at least give you a hand in compiling your wish lists with a list of what's been turning my musical crank this year, along with links for streaming or downloadable audio. It's certainly not a comprehensive list -- and some of these aren't available in the US yet -- but I figure most of you have heard or heard of bands like Son Volt and Wilco; if not, I just mentioned them, too.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: Their new album Feels, may be the band's most accessible to date, though it's very strange and atmospheric. It's streaming as the Album of the Month at Radio Indie Pop. Note there's a link to skip registration for the site.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS don't have an album out yet, though you can buy their stuff o­nline. Fun, funky and punky, the boys know they've been overhyped, but there are reasons why so many got excited. You can stream a few from MySpace (though the page wasn't set up by the band). And *Sixeyes can hook you up to legal downloads of demos.

ART BRUT doesn't have their album out in the US yet, either, so the WFMU live set may be the best way to hear this punk-on-the-cusp-of-new-wave-with-generous-Modern-Lovers-influences band do their thing. Very tasty.

BIG STAR 2.0: In Space was almost bound to fall short of expectations for an album carrying the brand of Alex Chilton's legendary power pop combo... but it's still better than most of what you might hear o­n your radio. You can sample clips at the official site for the album.

BLACK KEYS: o­ne of the few bands that made me regret skipping Lollapalooza. Kinda like the White Stripes, but blacker and bluesier. *Sixeyes can link you to the legal downloads available through the band's label.

BRMC: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club took a rather large turn from JAMC-esque noise pop toward Americana o­n their latest album, Howl. You can stream the results, which are pretty darn good.

BRENDAN BENSON: his Alternative To Love is pure pop for now people -- the Raspberries, Beatles, Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and Wilco are all folded into the mix here, as you can hear at his MySpace page, with even more at his website.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: The shambling bohemia of prime Pavement with the dynamism of early U2 (plus brass) is still evident o­n this year's self-titled album, the follow-up to the collective's wonderful You Forgot It In People. The streams of the new album seem to have dried up, but you can see their video or stream their acoustic set from KCRW. A recommended live act, too.

CAT POWER: The Greatest isn't out yet, but you can download the title track from the album that may just be Chan Marshall's Dusty In Memphis.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH: Like the Arctic Monkeys, this band from NYC may have been overhyped o­n the irresistable story of a totally DIY band breaking nationally by Internet buzz -- the serpent that swallows its own tail. But if you stream a fewfrom MySpace or download from the band, their stuff (oft compared to the Talking Heads, though that's mostly Alec's vocals) holds up pretty well.

THE DECEMBERISTS: Colin Meloy's minor-key take o­n Robyn Hitchcock-esque psyche-folk rolled o­n this year; you can stream "Sixteen Military Wives" and three more at MySpace. A good live act also.

DITTY BOPS have their entire album of Americana streaming at their website, in both Windows Media and Quicktime formats.

DUNGEN: Bluesy, occasionally jazzy psychedelia, sorta like Cream, but Swedish. Check out the band's MySpace page. A good live act, too.

RICHARD HAWLEY has a retro style and a voice deep enough to be compared to Lee Hazelwood and Johnny Cash He has exclusive downloads at his site and Lonesome Music is killing music with a track from his current album, Cole's Corner.

THE HOLD STEADY: This Brooklyn combo is almost single-handedly making bar band music hip again, with lyrics as densely packed as the first two Springsteen albums. Download "Your Little Hoodrat Friend," stream the band's NPR gig and thank me later. A good live act also.

IRON & WINE: Sam Beam, the o­ne-man lo-fi Americana machine has plenty of MP3s and a link to MySpace via SubPop. Of course, he wasn't just o­ne man this year either, teaming with Calexico for an EP. As a bonus, check out Calexico covering Love at ACL Fest, in glorious Quicktime.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS: Sugary classic pop in a Beatles meets the Mamas and the Papas sorta way. The band has a couple at MySpace, but you can stream the whole album with the band's sampler.

MY MORNING JACKET may have covered "Freebird" in Elizabethtown, but the band's newest album, Z steps back a bit from its more southern-sounding predecessors. You can hear both styles at the band's MySpace page.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle's indie folk got more personal o­n The Sunset Tree. Sadly, you can o­nly hear samples of the songs at the 4AD site. However, the band doesn't seem to mind the unofficial site offering loads of downloads from the band's back catalog.

THE NATIONAL: More than a few bloggers who caught Clap Your Hands Say Yeah opening for The National ended up at least as impressed with the latter's amalgam of sounds, ranging from Country-rock to Britpop. And the band has downloads for you.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS started as a bit of a side project for a number of Canadian artists from other bands, like A.C. Newman and Neko Case, but seems to be becoming the maing gig for many of them. Matador Records has audio and video, with the title track from Twin Cinema being a frequent earworm of mine.

OKKERVIL RIVER: As I'm late to this party, I'll repeat what I wrote at the beginning of the month. As far back as June, MSNBC ran a piece titled, "The stunning band you’ve been longing for," hailing the band's "orchestral countrified power pop." Frontman Will Scheff used to be a music critic for the Austin Chronicle and his lyrics are often compared to those of Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy. Black Sheep Boy and the impending Black Sheep Boy Appendix (due Nov. 22nd) pay tribute to 60s folk casualty Tim Hardin. There's streaming audio at the MSNBC link; you can download tracks from the band's catalog at the official website. And they have a MySpace page also.

SHARON JONES AND THE DAP-KINGS' Naturally remains o­ne of my favorite albums of the year. It's like a classic Stax or Atlantic R&B album that just turned up in a time capsule. You can get clips via Daptone Records. Another recommended live act.

SILVER JEWS: Although most found this band due to the involvement of Pavement's Steven Malkmus, David Berman's lyrics and more folkie stylings are a horse of a different color. Tanglewood Numbers is a little more rocking than American Water, as you can hear via MySpace.

SUFJAN STEVENS is topping many end-of-year lists, from the Amazon Editors' Picks to Information Leafblower's blogger poll. Deeply spiritual, multi-instrumental, sometimes controversial, there's no o­ne quite like him. Check out his MySpace page and the easily tempted may kill music by visiting Largehearted Boy, a blog from which I steal mercilessly.

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Neko Case, Art Brut, Ryan Adams, Pandas, Turkeys, Kangaroos   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE CURRENT: The indie branch of MPR has an ocean of streams of cool bands just waiting for you -- The Shins, The Hold Steady, Bob Mould, The National, Rilo Kiley, Dungen, The Magic Numbers, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Brendan Benson, Crooked Fingers, Eels, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Feist, and many, many more.

CMJ AT 25: The mag celebrates in part with a list of the "25 Most Influential Artists" o­n college and non-commercial radio since the first CMJ gathering of the community 25 years ago. It also notes those Artists' predecessors and successors. (Thanks to Ken King for spotting this o­ne)

FAT POSSUM: *Sixeyes has kind words and a load of legal downloads from the label that is home not o­nly to bluesy indie-rock from the Black Keys and Heartless Bastards, but alo the garage of Thee Shams and the full-on blues of R.L. Burnside and Furry Lewis.

NEKO CASE and the Sadies' guitarists Dallas and Travis Good are interviewed about their brand of country music, as well as technical stuff in Guitar Player magazine.

ROCK FOR AGES: The Arizona Republic has theories o­n why some acts have longevity and others don't.

BOB GELDOF called o­n pop artist Peter Blake to do a Sgt. Pepper's pastiche for limited edition Live8 DVDs. Wish I had thought of that...

ART BRUT: You can (and should) stream the band's recent set for WFMU (the band's first US radio set) especially the lovely "Emily Kane." Plenty of Jonathan Richman references are sprinkled throughout these new-wavey numbers (Pate fans will love the U2 pastiche that pops up in "My Little Brother"), and bafflement by the band that we in the States know the lyrics when they don't have their record out here. (Love them Internets!)

PAUL WELLER: The former Jam frontman is to be honored for his outstanding contribution to music at next year's Brit Awards. He is undoubtedly thrilled to be following past awardees like Duran Duran.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer has reportedly checked into the same Arizona rehab clinic that just finished hosting the shamed supermodel.

LAURA VEIRS talks to The Stranger about working with a theme.

TAPES 'N' TAPES: This band from the Twin Cities cites Wire, Beach Boys, Pavement, Replacements, Pixies, Flaming Lips, Talking Heads, Television, Morris Day, and Lars Eric Mattsson as influences. YANP can hook you up with legal MP3s, or you can stream a few from MySpace. If you check out "Cowbell," you may end up with a fever... and the o­nly cure is... more cowbell!

TOP TEN EPs: Nice to see the format get some love, but someone at Stylus needs a history lesson -- these are all pretty recent.

RYAN ADAMS' upcoming album, 29, is streaming at Scenestars.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Interviews with Broken Social Scene and Sonic Youth's Lee Renaldo.

MORRISSEY answers his fan mail. The man has a way with words.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS turned down two million bucks for the use of "Hello Sunshine" in a Coca-Cola ad.

CULT OF THE iPod: Apple Computer's iTunes music store now sells more music than Tower Records or Borders, according to analyst firm the NPD Group.

SONY CD COPY-PROTECTION DEBACLE CONTINUES: The Electronic Frontier Foundation, along with two leading national class action law firms, have filed a lawsuit against Sony in Los Angeles County Superior court. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has also filed suit.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie make their first public appearance. Jolie says that motherhood was "the luckiest thing that ever happened to me." Using o­ne's wealth to jet off to various third-world countries to pick up orphans is an odd definition of luck, but whatever. Meanwhile, Pitt and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) battle over alpha-maledom.

ROGER DALTREY: The Who vocalist is talkin' 'bout his g-g-generation: "It's always frustrated me — rock 'n' roll and its statement about youth. Old age has its own problems, and it'd be great for Townshend to put those words into music." He also talks about contemporary bands.

BRITNEY SPEARS may be headed to Broadway, in hopes of getting a job for Cletus and hanging o­n to some of her own money.

FERGIE of Black Eyed Peas claims she hasn't had any work done. Yeah, right.

MADONNA is reaching a new low in trashy hooker fashion. Hubby Guy Ritchie is attempting to distance himself from Kabbalah, thinking it has done him no favors professionally. He's right, though most people don't pick a religion for career reasons -- not even Tom Cruise.

JASON SCHWARTZMAN (Rushmore, I <3 Huckabees, Shopgirl) is not o­nly pals with rocker Ben Lee, he toured Australia in 2002 as the drummer for Phantom Planet.

KIERA KNIGHTLEY: Pride and Prejudice opens wider o­n Wednesday, but her cover feature for Vogue is all about The Wizard of Oz.

HAROLD RAMIS also has a movie opening Wednesday. The Ice Harvest is doing well o­n a small sample of reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, but is it really among the most anticipated of the holiday film season?

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES reportedly demanded she be flown to a recent awards bash by private jet so that she and hubby Michael Douglas could smoke. A source was quoted by Britain's Mail o­n Sunday newspaper as saying: "She's quite a nervous flyer and it's the o­ne luxury she indulges in." Yeeeaahh... CZ-J and Michael Douglas are living the life of the Amish the rest of the year.

JOSS STONE is despondent over breaking up with boyfriend and music producer Beau Dozier (son of famed Motown hitmaker Lamont Dozier).

JESSICA SIMPSON and hubby Nick Lachey probably are not looking forward to reading any story involving Lachey, a porn star, her two friends, whipped cream and marital aids. Actually, "marital aids" would not be the right euphemism in this context.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio reports o­n the launch of Operation Bruins in northern Ramadi. This appears to be a cordon-and-search operation, with the US hoping that bringing in Iraqi troops and pairing them off with U.S. units can avoid ful scal operations like those launched in Tal Afar. In the Christian Science Monitor, Jill Carroll reports o­n efforts to keep insurgents from returning to towns cleared in Operation Steel Curtain. In a sidebar, Carroll also reports o­n the dilemma of being the o­nly person o­n a US patrol who spoke Arabic.

NBC's CHRIS MATTHEWS tells political science students at the University of Toronto that in the war, "If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person o­n the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective." If it will help Matthews figure out who the other side is, they are people who hack the heads off of journalists like Danny Pearl and other hostages. They hijack airplanes and fly them into skyscrapers. They are beings like Zarqawi -- a man renounced by his own family, but whom Matthews aparently feels is simply misunderstood.

THE NETHERLANDS: Islamist murders and threats have transformed the o­nce-tolerant nation into a place of armed bodyguards and fear. At Leiden University law school, professor Afshin Ellian, an Iranian refugee who has called for reform of Islam, notes: "It is not special in terms of Islam -- in Iran, it is normal to kill people who criticise Islam, as in Egypt and Iraq. It is legitimised by Islamic political theology, which says it is all right to kill someone if they are an enemy of Allah. But this is happening in Europe." Obviously, Chris Matthews must go to the Netherlands to tell eveyone how misunderstood the Islamists are.

MUSLIM LEADERS UNITE AGAINST TERROR: Islamic religious leaders in Indonesia have agreed for the first time to work with the government to combat the recruitment of militants, a move that marks a bolder approach by Islamic groups toward terrorism. Clearly, these Muslim scholars and groups have not heard Chris Matthews.

PANDAS have a new champion in Nicole Kidman, after seeing the National Zoo's new arrival Tai Shan in Washington DC.

TURKEYS bound for Thanksgiving tables fled a truck Friday o­n the New Jersey Turnpike. "I think we should be investigating this as an escape attempt," said Joseph Orlando, a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

KANGAROO may be renamed to encourage people to see them as tasty, rather than cute and cuddly.

SHEEP: In Norway, they eat the heads. A reason to be thankful as you dig into your headless turkey o­n Thursday.

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Rumble Strips, Link Wray, Gary Glitter (Hey!) and Coyotes   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 21, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


WALK THE LINE was pretty darn good. Perhaps not as compelling as Ray, or perhaps it had been so long since there had been a picture like Ray that it simply made a bigger impression. The PR about Phoenix and Witherspoon learning to sing and play was largely justified. Phoenix often sounds and occasionally looks like Cash; Witherspoon's voice will never be mistaken for June Carter Cash, but she captures some of her spirit and does not embarass herself. Indeed, while it is the love story that sets this picture apart from Ray, the performance pieces (which also include portrayals of Roy Orbison, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc. o­n tour) sustain at least the first half of the movie. Where Ray tended to focus o­n Ray Charles' recording career, Walk the Line focuses o­n Cash's life o­n the road and the degree to which it allowed his demons to express themselves -- both for ill and later for good (as in the gripping retelling of the Folsom Prison gig). One notable exception is Cash's audition for Sam Phillips at Sun Records, in which Phoenix is remarkable. The focus on touring works not only because it serves the love story, but also because it sharpens the contrast between the lifestyle of the popular musician and the rather stoic character of Cash, to some degree Carter and definitely their families. That stoicism occasionally makes the story seem less dramatic than that of Ray Charles, but it makes Phoenix's performance in particular all the more arresting in the moments when you can see the madness swirling behind that stoic facade.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE ruled the weekend box office, raking in an estimated 101 million bucks, with Walk The Line a distant but otherwise respectible second and Pride and Prejudice in the ten spot, despite playing o­n o­nly 221 screens. And the great thing about the Internet is that when French actress Clémence Poésy is cast as Fleur Delacour in Goblet of Fire, someone like Tyler Durden posts two clips of her topless in the French movie Bienvenue chez les Rozes.

THE TOP 40 BANDS IN AMERICA TODAY: When I pointed y'all toward the Information Leafblower list last week, I should have added that many of the bloggers polled have posted the lists they submitted for the poll, including David at Largehearted Boy and Frank at Chromewaves. Plus, there are reax to the list at DCist and the Nashville Scene blog.

RUMBLE STRIPS: Stereogum thinks this will be the next British hype band. I prefer the Arctic Monkeys, but Rumble Strips are a pleasant enough slice of soul-inflected British pop (the Stereogum post has a quote mentioning Specials-esque old school brass). Links to a video and legal MP3s at the link.

WILCO: Kicking Television: Live In Chicago is getting generally favorable reviews at Metacritic. The metascore is 79, though that's dragged down by a couple of negative reviews.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: It's the season of the list. London's Guardian fears The Arcade Fire gets no respect.

U2 guitarist The Edge and producer Bob Ezrin are setting up a charity foundation to provide instruments to musicians affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

PHIL SPECTOR plans to wed -- if he beats the murder charges hanging over him.

GARY GLITTER has been arrested in Vietnam, where police want to question him about alleged child sex offenses. UK officials have visited Glitter in custody. He was stopped at Ho Chi Minh City airport o­n Saturday by an official who recognised him from media coverage. He does tend to stand out in a crowd. When the officials visited, do you think they shouted, "Hey?"

CARLY SIMON insists neither Mick Jagger nor Warren Beatty is the elusive person behind the 30-year-old classic "You're So Vain," but won't say who it is about. Which is just as well, as I don't need the press.

NEW MUSIC ONLINE: PC World (of all places) points you to "Great Online Sources for Finding New Music."

SONY CD PROTECTION: Information Week thinks the corporate giant was brought low by bloggers.

MY MORNING JACKET bassist Two-tone Tommy tells The Pitch how the band ended up in Elizabethtown.

LINK WRAY, o­ne of Guitar World's 100 greatest guitarists of all time -- the inventor of the power chord -- has passed at 76. Pete Townsend of the Who, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen have been quoted as saying that Wray and his biggest hit, "Rumble," inspired them to become musicians.

XTINA AGUILERA apparently got married over the weekend; just don't ask any of the guests, who were required to sign a three-page confidentiality agreement.

MADONNA: A little-known Belgian songwriter won a plagiarism case against Madge o­n Friday, leading a local court to ban the megastar's song "Frozen" (from Ray of Light) from sale or broadcast in the country. Meanwhile, ABBA will make millions from the sample of "Gimme Gimme Gimme" used o­n her new single, "Hung Up." And it seems that the allegedly not-so-material girl is making all sorts of diva demands for gigs, even charity gigs.

JESSICA SIMPSON has been dumped by her publicist. So, how's the marriage?

BRITTANY MURPHY denies jumping a waiter in a stairwell while riding the horse.

COURTNEY LOVE started working o­n a new album in rehab.

KANYE WEST hates gay people. But he's working o­n it.

VAUGHNISTON: Aniston and Vaughn's comedy, The Breakup is apparently considered good enough to be rescheduled for June 2006.

FESTIVUS: Lisa Loeb and Jerry Stiller were to sing Festivus carols to promote a new book o­n the Seinfeldian holiday, co-written by Stiller and Loeb's boyfriend. But Loeb's new reality show will have her dating other people, which should provide fodder for the airing of grievances.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is being ordered to lose her "night monkey."

RUSSELL CROWE pleads guilty to assualt with a cellphone, is sentenced to a year of conditional discharge. Never saw that coming.


THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: Ain't-It-Cool-News reports good buzz from the first public screening of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. The BBC has a nice backgrounder o­n the enduring appeal of the book.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Shamed supermodel Moss is backed by French fashion house Longchamp, which unveiled her as the face of its 2006 advertising campaigns. Moss has also been tapped to record a new version of "Fairytale of New York" with Shane MacGowan to benefit a group investigating the untimely death of Kristy MacColl, who did the original duet with Shane and the Pogues. Meanwhile, Dior designer Hedi Slimane has shelved a book of photos he made with the former Libertines singer. The Babyshambles album is getting a mere 56 at Metacritic. And Doherty's former manager is being obscured in the band's latest video, supposedly at the behest of Rough Trade.

IRAQ: Operation Steel Curtain continues in Rammanah, "a rural, agricultural region with dozens of small villages." Military officers tell Sens. John Warner, Carl Levin and Mark Dayton that they not o­nly needed more manpower but also had repeatedly asked for it. StrategyPage reports that US troops are developing a hate-hate relationship with journalists.

IS ZARQAWI DEAD? The Elaph Arab media website reported o­n Sunday that Zarqawi may have been killed in a gunfight in Mosul. The White House said Sunday that it was "highly unlikely" that Zarqawi was among the dead. Either way, Zarqawi's family has renounced him. That's some "hearts and minds" op the Z-man has going.

IRAN has a blueprint showing how to build the core of a nuclear warhead, obtained via the black market in nuclear technology headed by the disgraced Pakistani scientist, A.Q. Khan.

FRENCH RIOTS: Some experts and authorities fear the social discontent that found an outlet in the rampaging could evolve among a small minority of the rioters into a dangerous form of Islamic militancy. The AP continues its general line by noting that "Almost no o­ne believes radical Islam was a trigger for the rioting that began three weeks ago." And it may not have been the trigger. But the mutual desire for isolation among many in the Muslim and non-Muslim areas of France cannot be ignored.

JAPANESE STORK gets a beak job.

COYOTES invade the town where I grew up. o­ne is spotted near the IKEA store in Schaumburg -- obviously tired of the low quality of Acme products.

SPARROW UPDATE: The Dutch topple 4,155,476 dominoes, without killing any more sparrows. Video at the link.

TWIN CITIES DEER are breeding like rabbits. Recently, a big buck broke several windows at the state Capitol before bounding just a few feet away from Gov. Tim Pawlenty and his startled security detail.

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