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KEXP, Listmania, Outlaw Country, Dogs of War and the Mystery Creature   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

IRON & WINE and CALEXICO are doing more press supporting their joint EP and tour. Sam Beam talks to the Boston Herald, while Calexico is at JAM.

KEXP: The University of Washington–owned music station is globally popular and flush with donations, but seems to have corporate governance issues.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Stylus continues its Top 50 Singles countdown. Filter adds Top Tens from Nick Harmer of Death Cab For Cutie and Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan of the Crystal Method. The Top Ten list from Mojo magazine includes Richard Hawley's Coles Corner. At Said the Gramophone -- o­ne of the premiere music blogs -- Sean has posted "My 22 Favourite Songs of 2005" and is killing music to boot. The Arizona Daily Wildcat has a list of Top Ten Indie Rock Moments in songs from 2005.

NME defends its Top 50 Albums poll against the attack by the Londonist blog.

TEN REASONS TO DRINK DURING THE HOLIDAYS, compiled, oddly enough (or perhaps not), by Forbes magazine.

TOP TEN CHRISTMAS TV VILLAINS is the first of the Twelve Lists of Christmas at YesButNoYes.

RYAN ADAMS: London's Guardian reviews 29, which is not the number of albums Adams released this year, but pretty close.

THE POGUES are playing a handful of dates o­n the East Coast.

DOWNLOADING LYRICS is killing music, according to Warner/Chappell Music.

NC MUSIC HISTORY is a nifty blog that's killing music of just o­ne state, including a seasonal cover of "Mr. Grinch."

OUTLAW COUNTRY: L.A. music promoter Shilah Morrow and longtime friend Polly Parsons (daughter of Gram) are trying to "stoke the country flame with an audience beyond traditional Americana listeners."

UK SONGWRITERS have set out their case for an increased royalty rate for the sale of music downloads and challenged record companies to disclose the monies they make from the sale of internet downloads.

DONOVAN: You can still call him "Mellow Yellow" (quite rightly).

HILARY DUFF: A Disney darling probably shouldn't turn up at a premiere party for a porn movie. I have to doubt that this sort of thing is what Duff was thinking of when she told MTV she was holding o­nto a script with a meatier role that would let her stretch her acting muscles until after her 18th birthday!

NICOLE RICHIE and her fiance, Adam Goldstein, have called off their nine-month engagement. She just can't stop copying her ex-BFF, the French Hotel.

MARILYN MANSON is having a kinky honeymoon. Who'da thunkit?

ROD STEWART and his fiancee have named their baby Alastair, which, afaik, is not a food.

BRITNEY SPEARS wants to patch things up with Cletus because, as a source said, "She doesn‘t want everyone saying, 'I told you so.'" Could there be a better reason?

JOHNNY DEPP will have sex with an aardvark, if director Tim Burton wants him to do it.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt faces a stream of legal red tape in his attempt to adopt Jolie's kids that could be avoided if the two were married. Pitt is reportedly proposing daily, but Jolie is playing hard to get. Except at Peter Gabriel's charity concert, where she posed with some hottie who has a tattoo of Jolie o­n her butt.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: TRL is where she'd rather be. She's allergic to Regis and Kel-ly.

SIENNA MILLER has has cleaned out her wardrobe, because she is ashamed by the clothes she used to wear. Used to wear?

UMA THURMAN, still looking for a date, is letting it be known that she will consider a much younger man. And why not?

HARVEY PEKAR talks to the Boston Globe about his record collection, his new graphic novel, and life after American Splendor: "I was surprised. I just wanted to get paid. For the thing to actually be good blew my mind."

ROB REINER won't run for governor in 2006, putting to rest rumors of a potential "Meathead vs. Terminator" showdown with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. We can still hope for Warren Beatty.

CHARLIZE THERON is a martial arts expert, which may be the o­nly good thing coming out of her Aeon Flux episode.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio blogs the latest operation in Ramadi, noting that the results of the small scale offensives are still in question. The US military is curb prisoner abuse by Iraqis. Austin Bay looks at the backgrounder for President Bush's speech o­n reconstruction. The Washington Times used NEXIS to discover that major US newspapers have ignored progress in education and on the economy in Iraq. DC Democrats worry that recent comments by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and DNC Chairman Howard Dean could harm efforts to win control of Congress next year, but most are coalescing around a political plan that would allow Democrats to adjust their position as conditions in Iraq change -- and fix public attention o­n Bush's policies rather the details of a Democratic alternative. Some Connecticut Democrats want to formally complain about Sen. Joe Lieberman finding improvements o­n his latest trip to Iraq.

SOMETHING ROTTEN IN DENMARK? The Danish Al-Aqsa Association has been charged with funding terrorism by channelling funds to Hamas. Some Danish Muslims refuse to eat traditional "Jewish" cookies because they feel offended by the name. The cinnamon and hazelnut treats actually have nothing particularly Jewish about them.

UK HONOR CRIMES: Sahjda Bibi, 21, was preparing to celebrate her wedding when her cousin stabbed her 22 times with a kitchen knife. A series of such gruesome killings has forced Britons to recognize that women are being murdered by relatives who believed they had brought shame o­n their families through their behavior or choice of boyfriend, husband or lover, often within the country's large ethnic Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani communities.

MYSTERY CREATURE UPDATE: Cryptomundo thinks the animal spotted o­n Borneo may match another "mystery creature" photographed by Malaysian wildlife specialists and has a guess as to what it actually is.

THE CANINE GENOME has been decoded, with scientists prepared to make detailed comparisons between breeds and with humans. Researchers hope to determine why owners end up resembling their pets.

THE DOGS OF WAR: Cpl. Justin D. Hamma, a dog handler with 2nd Military Police Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, was saved from a sniper attack by his sidekick Chang o­n Nov. 6.

DOGS will be able to get cellphones starting this March.

ARTHRITIC LION is treated with injections of gold pellets. Now that you mention it, I'm feeling a bit stiff myself...

A ONE-EYED DUCK probably shouldn't live o­n a golf course.

AN ORPHAN MOOSE CALF rescued after falling into a window well at a house has a new home with another orphaned moose calf at Yellowstone Bear World.

2972 Reads

Drive-By Truckers, Steve Burns, Celeb Splits, a Goat and a Gecko   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 08:20 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

DECEMBER 7, 1941: A "date which will live in infamy." I'll be watching Tora! Tora! Tora! tonight. BTW, the first nation invaded by the US after entering WWII was Morocco, then Algeria, iirc.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: Fader chats with Patterson Hood about the band's next album, A Blessing And A Curse, which was recorded in NC o­n the same tape deck as REM's Murmur. Mitch Easter plays o­n the single.

BEATLES REUNION: Missed it by thismuch.

STEVE BURNS from BLUES CLUES was inspired to go into music by the Flaming Lips, but that's just the tip of a post at Stereogum, which is killing music a little bit.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Stylus countinues its countdown of its Top 50 Singles. Filter adds Top Tens from Yoni Wolf of WHY? and Blake Sennet of Rilo Kiley.

THE MY SPACE GENERATION: Business Week looks at social networking sites like My Space and Buzz Oven... and the marketing opportunities they present.

THE SHINS are working o­n a new album for Summer 2006.

MAXIMO PARK has started a tour blog, with plenty of photos.

MUSIC RECOMMENDATION SERVICES: London's Independent test out Gnoosic, Musicmobs and Pandora, which try to find new music for you based o­n your taste.

HARRY CONNICK, JR. and BRANFORD MARSALIS are working with Habitat for Humanity to create a "village" for New Orleans musicians who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina.

REMAINDERS: Stereogum has a bunch of good o­nes, including a link to a Ben Folds bootleg includinga cover of Lucinda Williams' "Side of the Road," a contest where you can win Iowa goodies in an Iowa-shaped basket, and a reprise of Stereogum's Lionel Richie storyboard.

BEETHOVEN died of lead poisoning, according to a new done at the Energy Department's Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer must know he's close to hitting bottom when Oasis' Liam Gallagher has to toss him to the curb.

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE and JONATHON SCHAECH are splitsville. Yeah, she spent time in Chicago prepping Sweet Charity for Broadway, but people shouldn't jump to conclusions, okay? I did not invite her to a party.

VALERIE BERTINELLI and EDDIE VAN HALEN are splitsville. Bertinelli is reportedly taking things o­ne day at a time, but you knew that.

BRITNEY: Although some gossip has her mom trying to keep her together with Cletus, he actually blames his mother-in-law for moving in to help care for Sean Preston. However, when the pop tart sent K-Fed's Ferrari back to the dealer, she knew where to hit him. And Xtina reportedly said at her wedding that she was glad she wasn't marrying a devoted womanizer like Cletus.

HARRY POTTER: Jim Dale - the voice of the teenage wizard in the US audio books - has started a disturbing rumor about the end of the series.

RUSSELL CROWE has changed his old band's name from Thirty Odd Foot of Grunt to The Ordinary Fear of God because the titles have the same initials, thereby avoiding spending o­n new merch. Meanwhile, Sunday's Museum of the Moving Image tribute to Ron Howard turned into something of a roast of Crowe.

SCARLETT JOHANNSON is neat freak who cannot stand clutter.

JESSICA SIMPSON and NICK LACHEY lawyer up. Simpson's personal assistant, CaCee Cobb, is reportedly blabbing to friends about Simpson's alleged infidelities and voicing her sympathy for Nick's plight, even after getting a BMW from Jessica a few days before the separation went public. Simpson's flack issued a (non-denial) denial.

UMA THURMAN has struggled to date since splitting from husband Ethan Hawke two years ago. Of course, in the next breath, Uma says she studies men "carefully like a hunter watches its prey," which might hint at her problem.

THE TOP 15 WEALTHIEST FICTIONAL CHARACTERS, as calculated by Forbes magazine, is topped by someone seasonal.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise and Holmes claim the top two slots o­n Film Threat's Frigid 50 List of the coldest people in Hollywood. Congrats, kids! ALSO: Findlaw runs a column examining Cruise could (or should) sue the makers of South Park over this episode.

NARNIA: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe has its world premiere in London today. Opening Friday, it's currently rating 83 percent o­n the Tomatometer.

KING KONG had its NYC premiere Monday night. o­nTD has pics from the red carpet. The movie is currently pegging the Tomatometer.

IRAQ: The first witnesses in Saddam's trial offered gripping accounts of meat grinders for human flesh, torture with fire and electric shocks, and mass executions. o­n Tuesday, "Witness A" told of beatings, torture and sexual humiliation at the hands of security agents when she was a teenager. Bill Roggio blogs patrols in Haqlaniyah, where the Iraqi forces are rawer than in Husaybah. The US military is expanding efforts to defend against roadside IEDs. Al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, urged Iraqi insurgent groups to unite, underscoring the need to avoid lumping them together.

CULT OF THE iPod: The British Chiropractic Association is warning of a new affliction called "iPod finger," that affects the finger of music-mad consumers who are constantly using the scroll-wheel or buttons o­n their music players to organise their song library, update playlists and adjust volume of their favourite artists.

THE TITANIC sank faster than previously thought, according to the latest research. So I'll fast-forward through Leo DiCaprio even faster from now o­n.

NANOTECH: The Washington Post covers the EPA's regulatory initiative, which is being readied for public comment. The agency calls for a voluntary "stewardship program," which is already facing criticism by some as inadequate. The EPA argues that the voluntary approach can be implemented more quickly and that the agency is not sure it understands enough about the new materials to know how best to regulate them.

OPIE THE GOAT may have stepped down as Mayor of Anza, CA, but voters have elected goats, donkeys and dogs to honorary mayor positions in recent years, almost exclusively in small towns where a barnyard politician can reel in tourist dollars. (via Debbie)

A BLACK BEAR has decided to hibernate under the porch of a home where four children live — and near where 20 kids wait for the school bus -- in Effort, PA.

DEER are suicidal in West Virginia.

GECKO has his head bitten off by a 19-year-old. Insert car insurance joke here. Insert Ozzy Osbourne joke here.

2998 Reads

The Earlies, Iron & Wine/Calexico, The Minus 5, and Mr. Bigglesworth   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THIS TIME FOR SURE!

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS airs tonight o­n ABC.

THE EARLIES: Canada's Globe and Mail thinks the band sounds like "the Beatles / Beach Boys matchup that never happened." It's also a bit electronic, so a Flaming Lips reference wouldn't hurt, either. These Were The Earlies, a US comp of selections off the band's first five EPs, is getting high marks at Metacritic, so you may want to listen for yourself at MySpace.

AMERICAN ANALOG SET frontman Andrew Kenny talks to PopMatters about "romance, science, football, melodicas, and more." You can stream or download a few older AmAnSet songs from My Space.

BONO has asked the Pope to rewrite all religious hymns, because they are too saccharine. Or he could just, y'know, require U2 be played at Mass.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Indie Interviews (which has a cool podcast, btw) lists its Top Ten Albums of 2005, with a bonus list from Michael Bravata of the Dallas area Rockwall Herald-Banner. Stylus begins day o­ne of its Top 50 singles list with a boffo intro: "We understand: you love the list, you hate the list; you love to hate the list..."

THE VILLAGE VOICE BLUES: Robert Christgau reviews Buddy Guy live as well as Rhino's deluxe edition of 1972's Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play the Blues and T-Bone Walker's The Best of the Black & White and Imperial Years.

IN THE YEAR 2525: If Man is still alive...

IRON & WINE/CALEXICO: Brooklyn Vegan points you to where you can stream or download their sets from Nov. 30. And Frank at Chromewaves is killing music this week with a live cover of the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties."

BECK has four unreleased tracks streaming from the boombox at his recently-redesigned website. Some of it is pretty good stuff, too.

GARY GLITTER is called a "lying monster' by his 12-year-old-accuser. Vietnamese authorities are getting an assist from a British pedophile hunter in investigating the charges against the ex-glam rocker.

THE MINUS 5: Scott McCaughey will be joined be Decemberists and even more members of Wilco for a self-titled album due in February.

WOLF PARADE talks to Pitchfork about the band's encounter with Illinois' wretched tollway system. But you'll be more interested in what the band says about Keith Moon, the Marquis de Sade and Lindsay Lohan.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer expects to go to jail this time.

JESSICA SIMPSON gets o­n with life post-Nick by putting her junk in a trunk and visiting the trout pout shop.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR and RICHIE SAMBORA are having marital woes. If you read the item, you'll se that my name is not mentioned; I don't know how these rumors get going.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The Tom-Kat o­nline wedding registry at Needless-Markup may have been a hoax, but what about the o­ne under Cruise's real name, with a ewedding date of July 6, 2006?

VAUGHNISTON: Even Aniston's Bruce Almighty co-star Jim Carrey is getting tired of the soap opera: "She's never not o­n a magazine. There is not a magazine o­n earth without Jennifer Aniston o­n it. (In) Popular Mechanics, she's got a wrench, she's going into a store." Aniston's lawyers are sending out a warning to the media not to buy photos from a paparazzo who took telephoto pictures of Jennifer Aniston sunbathing topless at her Southern California home. Allegedly.

HARRY POTTER has pretty decent taste in music.

X-MEN 3 will probably be wrecked by new director Brett Ratner, but seeing Frasier Crane as The Beast is a hoot.

BRADGELINA: No doubt Jolie does not like being shot by paparazzi in the grocery store, but she's clever enough to let Maddox let them know how she feels.

SCARLETT JOHANNSON looks at her face and disagrees with those who think she looks feminine. (third item)

REESE WITHERSPOON tells us what was in June Carter Cash's closets. And PETA won't like it.

CHARLIZE THERON may be the next Bond girl, which would help cleanse the palate of Aeon Flux.

FELICITY HUFFMAN became attached to the prosthetic penis she wore in new movie Transamerica. William H. Macy became nervous.

BRITNEY reportedly dialing D-I-V-O-R-C-E for a lawyer, while her mom urges her to chill.

IRAQ: You probably know that an Iraqi court has begun hearing testimony of mass arrests and torture at Saddam Hussein's trial, but you may be interested in the reaction of Iraqi bloggers like Mohammed. Bill Roggio blogs (with pics) o­n patrols protecting the Haditha Dam, which is capable of supplying Iraq with o­ne-third of its power needs. The AP reports Iraqi Vice President Ghazi al-Yawer's comments about the army and other forces being used to settle scores. There are some problems with the Iraqi forces -- even Defense Secretary Rumsfeld admits it. But the AP story simply repeating al-Yawer's charge -- without noting that al-Yawer is a political opponent of the Interior Minister about a week away from the election (thus having at least a motive to exaggerate), or that the US recognizes the problem, is probably an example of why Rumsfeld was out criticizing coverage of the war. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the Democratic foreign-policy elite has stark differences -- and significant vagueness -- regarding a viable alternative to the current course of action.

IRAN has rejected a Russian proposal to resolve a nuclear standoff with the West, and it dismays the French Foreign Minister that Iran is acting "in a way... unilaterally." Actually, Iran isacting unilaterally, as opposed to the similar claim France made about the US, which acted against Iraq with a number of other countries.

IF A COUNTRY HELD A VOTE, but with a boycott by the minority and low turnout, how would the Associated Press report it? It depends o­n the country. In Iraq, the AP warned before the January election and the constitutional referendum, that Sunni Arab rejectionism would undermine the legitimacy of the vote. In Venezuela, where five major opposition parties pulled out of the parliamentary elections over concerns of vote fraud, the AP reported a big victory for Hugo Chavez, not bothering to mention the 25 percent turnout reported even by al-Jazeera. That's compared to a 58 and 65 percent turnout in Iraq in January and October, respectively. But for some reason, those opposing Chavez in Venezuela do not rate the same respectful coverage given to former Baathists in Iraq.

CAFFEINE may reduce the risk of serious liver damage in people who drink too much alcohol. Just sayin', Pate fans.

NANOTECH: A Princeton University scientist and his colleagues are proposing turning a central concept of nanotechnology -- self-assembly -- o­n its head. They illustrated their technique by considering thin films of particles. Thin films are a specialty of Pate frontman Jon Pratt.

A STRANGE NEW CARNIVORE spotted o­n Borneo is the target of environmental researchers.

MUMMY CAT is elected school mascot in Utah.  Pics at the link.

KANGAROOS fear the sound of their own feet. Which is a good enough excuse to point you to NSFW kangaroo video.

ENDANGERED TIGER, recovering from surgery that saved her after she was shot in the head by poachers, is threatened again, this time by a toxic benzene slick headed toward the Amur River after an explosion upriver at a chemical factory in China.

HAIRLESS PETS, from the late Sam (World's Ugliest Dog) to guinea pigs and chickens -- photo gallery at the link. No sign of Mr. Bigglesworth.

2663 Reads

Pate sighting, GbV/Pollard, J Mascis goes metal, British Police Dog-cams   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 05, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SEX DEGREES OF SEPARATION: Who to avoid in Young Hollywood's polluted ecosystem.

TIMEWASTER ANSWERS form Friday can be found -- among other places -- at Stereogum.

PATE SIGHTED by Ken King at Art of the Mix. Right in there with Billy Squire.

JULIANA HATFIELD provides the Charlotte Observer with a chilling vision of the record biz: "I can't compete in today's marketplace anyway. Mainstream culture is gross. People with the most amazing talent are taking their clothes off to sell their music. I find it disgusting and I'm not a prude. Aretha Franklin never put o­n a bikini to sell records. Would she have to if she was starting out now?"

NELLIE McKAY talks to the L.A. Times about her upcoming album and her issues with Sony in a more rational manner than at her recent L.A. gig.

BOB MOULD sees a limited market for indie rock reunions.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Filter is publish a slew of artists' Top Ten lists, starting with Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs, Darren Seltmann of the Avalanches, and Guillermo Scott Herren. Elsewhere o­n the web, Marathon Packs lists his Top 50 of 2005. The Denver Post lists holiday recommendations. RELATED: My Blog Is Poop offers help o­n "How To Make A Hip End of the Year 'Best Albums' List."

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDES are up at PopMatters, including music, DVDs and books.

GARY GLITTER's children have vowed to support him during his child molestation trial.

GUIDED BY VOICES/BOB POLLARD: Jason Narducy talks about landing a gig playing bass o­n Bob's upcoming solo tour in a band that includes Tommy Keene. Aversion reviews Bob Pollard's soundtrack for Bubble. And The New York Times reviews former GbV bassist Jim Greer's book in a musical round-up with tomes o­n Tom Petty, The Clash, Run-DMC and more.

THE GO! TEAM Bandleader Ian P talks to LAist about naming and forming the band. You Ain't No Picasso points you to rarities and new stuff from the Team.

THE WHITE STRIPES: Miss Modern Age is killing music a little with the video of the Stripes' appearance as the first band to ever play The Daily Show.

THE LAST RAMONE: Suicide Girls interview Tommy about all things Ramones and his "alternative-country-punk-bluegrass thing that I’m doing called Uncle Monk."

PATTI SMITH has gone from CBGB to Brooklyn Academy of Music's Opera House. You've come a long way, baby.

J MASCIS, axemeister of Dinosaur, Jr., is playing drums in Witch, a hard rock combo in an early Sabbath sorta vein. Streams at the link; turn it up to eleven, 'cause it's... o­ne louder.

BRADGELINA: Pitt is in the process of becoming the adoptive father of Jolie's children; a legal petition seeking to change their names to Zahara Jolie-Pitt and Maddox Jolie-Pitt was filed Friday in Los Angeles.

VAUGHNISTON: Vaughn and Aniston were pulled over by Scottsdale police o­n Nov. 29th after a minor traffic offense; Luckily, Vince was under the legal limit.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The widely panned Aeon Flux came in o­n the high end of low expectations to place second behind Harry Potter. Meanwhile, Pride and Prejudice climbed to sixth place overall with a third place per screen average.

JOHN CUSACK denies rumors of marriage, but remains silent as to whether he has an assistant nicknamed "the dog catcher" who is in charge of procuring women for Cusack.

LOST GIRLS Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros were arrested by Honolulu cops and charged with drunk driving. The Smoking Gun has the mug shots. Rodriguez may have violated her probation o­n an earlier DUI case in L.A., which could mean jail time. Meanwhile Lost was named best drama at the Family Television Awards, which are chosen by members of the Association of National Advertisers. Kaki Hinton, co-chairwoman of the Family Friendly Programming Forum, said such programs "have cross-generational appeal, depict real-life situations and handle those issues very responsibly." Which raises the issue of whether advertisers have actually seen the show.

THE REV. AL SHARPTON is filming a pilot for his own TV sitcom - with the working title of Al in the Family. I have to think it would be cheaper -- and funnier -- to make it a reality show.

BRITNEY SPEARS kicked hubby Cletus out of their Malibu mansion following a fight about Cletus' druggie pal? It sounds too... smart to be true, doesn't it? But the pop tart spending her 24th birthday with Johnny Knoxville sounds about right. Perez Hilton has photos that purportedly show Britney sending K-Fed's Ferrari back to the dealership. Reports have Spears partying in Vegas without him. with young Sean Preston is under the watchful care of the nanny.

MARILYN MANSON made an honest woman out of his longtime girlfriend, burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese. Manson is all about the family values.

NARNIA: London's Guardian thinks "unbelievers" won't dig the Christian subtext of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Well, d-uh, but it's always been there and the books have done pretty well. The Guardian claims that The Passion of the Christ bombed in Britain, but Mel made 611.9 million in theaters alone, so Disney probably isn't too worried about it.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN are reportedly engaged. Dou you think Nic phones her Cold Mountain co-star Renee Zellweger for advice o­n marrying a country singer? Or talk about dealing with rumors that swirl around ex-husbands?

MICHAEL DOUGLAS is planning to lobby the US government for tighter gun control, because he's still haunted by rocker John Lennon's 1980 shooting death. Perhaps he didn't hear Lennon's murderer, Mark David Chapman say that "nothing could have stopped" him. I wonder whether the ex-members of the U.S. and British special forces Douglas hired were unarmed.

JACK BLACK would like to make the rejected pilot of Heat Vision and Jack into a movie. It's the story of an astronaut who flies too close to the sun and returns to Earth with super intelligence and fights crime with the help of his talking motorcycle (voiced by Owen Wilson) and fighting the villianous Ron Silver (the actor playing himself). What's not to like?

KING KONG: The first public review raves: "Jaw-droppingly brilliant... the most entertaining blockbuster movie this year." The second is more measured: "While the special effects and visual stunts make for some spellbinding moments (the digitally created Kong, in particular, is a marvel), the film lacks the cohesion and character development needed to make it a totally satisfying experience." London's Times gives it five stars: "an outstanding film imbued with childlike wonder." CHUD gives it an 8.4, but claims that: "In order to justify its own existence, Jackson’s King Kong must be nothing short of a phenomenal film. Sadly, it’s not. It’s a good film – possibly even a very good film – but it never quite achieves greatness." However, CHUD thinks there is plenty of character development. The Toronto Star reports tht the overall press reaction to the first screening was positive and adds its own: "It runs an epic three hours that rarely flag, with special effects that will be the talk of schoolyards and around office water coolers." And the first geek reviews at Aint-It-Cool-News are... geeking out over it.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio blogs from Haditha, which is largely cleared of foreign fighters, but with a determined local insurgency. Sunnis in Samarrah have begun cooperating with US troops, who provided a flood of info after a local tribal chief was assassinated by terrorists. Maj. John Tannes, who served in Aghanistan does not think the Army is "broken" or "living hand to mouth" as some have suggested.

FRANCE: President Jacques Chirac has become a laughing-stock following weeks of rioting by Muslim youths.

CULT OF THE iPod: Cell phones and iPods are everywhere -- and that's good for semiconductor makers and thus for the stocks of those companies, says Thomas Smith, Standard & Poor's analyst of stocks in the semiconductor sector.

CNN is launching an o­nline service that will feature the network's first extensive use of live video o­n the Internet today.

BRITISH POLICE DOGS are being fitted with cameras to aid with armed sieges.

A GIANT GOAT made of straw was torched by vandals in Stockholm, which has almost become a Christmas tradition.

SCROOGEY SQUIRRELS attack the Christmas tree lights in Kirkland, WA.

GIANT RATS "the size of cats" are taking over an estate in Belfast, according to residents.

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David Byrne, NME Poll, Class of 2005, Giant Scorpion, Killer Squirrels   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 02, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: There are 75 bands hidden in the picture above, which can be downloaded at wallpaper sizes from Virgin Digital. I'll link to the answers o­n Monday.

DAVID BYRNE got a warning from the RIAA for streaming too much Missy Elliot from his website.

BUILDING A HARP: String Theory, a Los Angeles-based trio of musicians, is turning a new office building into a gigantic harp. David Byrne already turned a building into an organ.

NELLIE McKAY had a bit of a meltdown o­nstage in L.A. Tuesday night.

QUEEN is touring the US with Paul Rodgers this Spring. Tickets start going o­nsale Saturday. There's a St. Paul date with Mike Kelly's name o­n it.

SEASON OF THE LIST: Largehearted Boy posts his eleven favorites of 2005, presumably because it's o­ne more than ten. The Hype Machine MP3 blog aggregator aggregates a top 52 of 2005. The staff at The Big Take-Over offers up their individual Top Tens. VodkaPundit offers a list of 50 Things You Ought to Have o­n Your Christmas Playlist. BONUS: The Brothers Judd have compiled a list of book lists.

IS THE NME "BEST OF 2005" POLL DOCTORED? That's what the Londonist blog claims, with The Arcade Fire being bumped from the top slot, bands like New Order disappearing and acts like Babyshambles and Madonna artificially boosted.

THE WHITE STRIPES have exclusive performances at VH1's site.

MORRISSEY explains his side of the royalty dispute with M Joyce. Sounds like a Smiths reunion is unlikely.

GARY GLITTER: Scott at Sterogum makes quote of the week o­n the ex-glam rocker's arrest o­n child molestation charges.

THE CLASS OF '05: In the L.A. Weekly: "The year 2005 marked a clear shift from the era of airwaves to the era of iPods. The digital landscape has been laid; the critical apparatus necessary to govern its borders is settling into place. It’s a hierarchy of Web zines, MP3 blogs, podcasts, and message boards with peculiar names like Music for Robots, Coolfer, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan and Tracks Up the Tree..."

U2 and THE ARCADE FIRE: Speaking of which, Brooklyn Vegan points you to the video of the two bands joining for a cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer confirms that the shamed supermodel has dumped him after he skipped out o­n drug rehab she paid for, but claims the real reasons are his relative lack of wealth and anatomy. He's already been arrested o­n suspicion of possessing crack. And he reportedly tried to roll what police believe to be a joint while waiting to be questioned. Meanwhile, Moss is o­n track to triple her earnings next year.

GARFLECK GIVES BIRTH: Us Weekly broke the story that Jennifer Garner had her labor induced at an L.A. hospital Wednesday night. Garner and Ben Affleck were planning o­n naming the baby girl Violet, which bucks the trend of completely absurd celeb baby names.

JACKO: Traces of cocaine were found o­n Jacko’s underwear during a police raid, as cops investigate allegations by former aides that Jacko is abusing and trafficking in anti-depressants and painkillers. Meanwhile, ex-wife Debbie Rowe has hit out at allegations she told an Irish newspaper the pop superstar was not the natural father of their children. Shockingly, lawyers are involved.

MITZVAHPALOOZA UPDATE: The Long Island bullet-proof vest tycoon who spent ten million bucks for his daughter's star-studded bat mitzvah bash o­n Saturday, is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. His company has been the subject of several class-action suits stemming from a government recall of its body armor.

WENDIE JO SPERBER, who starred alongside Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in the hit '80s sitcom Bosom Buddies, passed away Tuesday evening after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 46.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH: o­n a Friday, it's always good to have a video reminder of the foolishness of overdoing the party favors.

EX-CREED frontman Scott Stapp was less than Christian at a taping of the Spike TV show Casino Cinema o­n Tuesday afternoon.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY seems resigned to plastic surgery: "In five years' time I will probably already be past it and having Botox, face-lifts, nose jobs and false hair." How will Kate Winslet compete? (BTW, Kate's doing alright so far.)

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: The trailer for Dead Man's Chest is online in multiple formats at Yahoo.

PORN STARS make big bucks moonlighting as "escorts." Who'da thunkit?

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN are not engaged; they are just friends whose familes spend Thanksgiving together. Nothing to see here... move along.

JESSICA SIMPSON is the o­ne who didn't want a prenup? That's tasty frosting o­n your schadenfreude...

CLARE DANES: Undoubtedly scratched from Tom Cruise's list of future fiancees.

AEON FLUX is the o­nly big movie opening this weekend. Paramount won't screen the flick for the press, which is not exactly a vote of confidence, is it?

IRAQ: Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), who created a storm of comment when he called for US troops to leave Iraq now, says the Army is "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth," and that the Iraqis know who the insurgents are, but don't always share that information with US troops. Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, claims that coalition and Iraqi forces are receiving nearly 10 times the number of tips from Iraqis than were coming in just a few months ago. Maj. Gen. Mark Lynch, while warning of attacks in advance of the Dec. 15 elections, says that U.S. and Iraqi operations along the Syrian border have resulted in a significant drop in suicide bombings -- the lowest in seven months -- along with a reduction in car bombs and roadside bombs, resulting in a 34 percent reduction in overall casualties. Bill Roggio blogs from near the Syrian border about the Sulemani tribe -- which sided with al-Qaeda and the insurgency over the summer -- meeting with local Sheiks and the US military, as well as the performance of Iraqi troops o­n a misison in the area. And a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Wednesday night found that 55 percent of adults said they did not believe President Bush has a plan for victory in Iraq and 67 percent had not heard or read news coverage of Bush's speech o­n the subject.

PROPAGANDA: The White House and Sens. John Warner and Ted Kennedy are "very concerned" over a US military program that paid Iraqi newspapers and journalists to plant favorable -- though apparently factual -- stories about the war and rebuilding effort. No word o­n whether any of them are as concerned about the AP and Reuters running bogus enemy propaganda as news, as they have done before. And the insurgents didn't even have to pay for it.

EDU-BLOGGING: The 43rd Carnival Of Education is o­nline. I think I forgot to link the 42nd Carnival, so there it is.

NANOTECH: Instapundit notes that the legal risks of nanotech are probably larger than the actual risks.

COW FLATULENCE CURE may curb greenhouse gas emissions.

MAN-SIZED SCORPION roamed Scotland 330 million years ago.

GOLDFISH have memories longer than a few seconds, which answers a question that came up at my family's Thanksgiving dinner.

RUSSIAN SQUIRREL PACK bit to death a stray dog which was barking at them in a Lazo park.

WHOOPING CRANES grounded by high winds in Tennessee are now resuming their migration to south Florida, but will miss the early-bird special.

SWORDFISH skewers an Israeli fisherman, right in the face.

DOG rescued from wombat burrow in New South Wales.

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