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Paul Westerberg, Kids' Music, Wrens, Advance Killers, and Fudge the Hamster   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


JOE JACKSON is always fond of re-arranging his first hit, "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" This version from The Arsenio Hall Show seems to date to the Body and Soul era, based o­n the horn section. If you prefer it old school, you can watch his original band play it at the Marquee Club. BONUS: The Posies' Jon Auer did a live cover that alludes to the MTV theme, which would tickle Pate frontman Jon Pratt silly.

PAUL WESTERBERG gets an expansive profile in a Wall Street Journal article about his score for the upcoming animated movie Open Season: "His melodic songs feature lyrics that typically are both wry and wistful. His weakness for clever wordplay was reflected in the first song he submitted, 'Right to Arm Bears.'" The WSJ also focuses o­n the biz aspect: "For his trouble, Mr. Westerberg is getting the kind of exposure and promotional push that neither the Replacements nor his solo work ever received. 'I Belong' has been translated into 29 languages, including Latvian and Slovenian, and sung by local stars for international releases of the film." And he will reunite to play with Replacement Tommy Stinson at the premiere! PLUS: You can stream two of Westerberg's songs at the link. (Thanks, Sylvia!)

LUSCIOUS JACKSON is reuniting for a children's album.

STEPHEN MERRITT and LEMONY SNICKET: Merritt, best known for his work under the Magnetic Felds monicker, is releasing an album as The Gothic Archies, with a song for every volume of Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events books. You can stream two songs at the end of a conversation between Merritt and Snickett transcribed for London's Guardian.

WOXY is rising from the grave. The 'net radio station may even be better, with an assist from "white knight" Bill Nguyen of Lala.com. This news just made Ken King's day. Delivering news that makes someone's day is o­ne of the main reasons I do this.

THE WRENS are releasing a double-vinyl, bonus-tracked version of The Meadowlands album as they get their act together and take it o­n the road. There's a free MP3 at the link, too. The fan-made, band-approved video is for "She Sends Kisses."

U2 and GREEN DAY re-enacted the famed cover of the Beatles' Abbey Road album during a break in the recording sessions for their benefit cover of The Skids' "The Saints Are Coming," which they played live during their Monday Night Football pregame set re-opening the Superdome. The Skids were led by the late Stuart Adamson, who went o­n to form Big Country.

THE LEMONHEADS: Evan Dando tells London's Independent that reforming the band isn't about nostalgia. "The idea is to go where we haven't been before." Warp speed, Dando! The self-titled comeback album is streaming in full from AOL this week.

THE KILLERS: There's an advance stream of the Sam's Town album running at MTV.com.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel, caught canoodling in first class en route to Ireland, may move their public train wreck of a relationship to the US.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes reportedly has promised Cruise another Tom-Kitten -- but o­nly after he marries her.

BRADGELINA: Pitt will not portray singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley in a biopic. But he has managed to steal Borat away from Team Aniston.

GEORGE CLOONEY, appearing at an event where California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation to help stop the atrocities in Darfur, dismissed political ambitions: "Believe me, you don't want me in politics." I believe you, George. Told that fans have been wearing "George Clooney 2008" t-shirts, he said, "I think they're probably kidding." I dunno -- actress Lisa Rinna looks pretty serious in hers. RELATED: A piece in London's Guardian makes the case for celebity activism.

OPRAH WINFREY has decided it is bad PR to sue a man who is trying to promote her as a candidate for president.

WHITNEY HOUSTON and BOBBY BROWN BREAK-UPDATE: It appears that Brown is making outrageous demands of others in anticipation of a future without a rich wife.

JESSICA SIMPSON wants to work o­n a movie titled Blonde Ambition, but her creepy dad-manager's excessive demands might endanger her role in the flick -- even though Creepy Joe is a producer. The picture is from the afterparty for the production Chicago in which sister Ashlee has a part. It has nothing to do with the story, but she looks like a freakin' zombie, doesn't she?

RUSSELL CROWE is angrily rejecting rumors he will play his late friend, Croc Hunter Steve Irwin, in a biopic: "There's no truth to that whatsoever. That's o­ne of those appalling pieces of sh*t that come out of the press. While my friend's body is still warm, I'm being accused of doing commerce over his grave, and it absolutely disgusts me." But Crowe may come back from the dead for a Gladiator sequel. He and Ridley Scott have not figured out how to do it, yet... so let me suggest Zombie Gladiator. Yeah, I have a zombie thing going o­n today.

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO listed his Top Ten Movies for the RED edition of London's Independent, guest-designed by Giorgio Armani.

FACTORY GIRL: Harvey Weinstein plans a year-end Oscar campaign for Sienna Miller and Guy Pierce, who play Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol in the indie flick.

THE SIMPSONS: AllSimps has 18 seasons of the show to watch o­n the 'net, at least until FOX's lawyers notice...

LINDSAY LOHAN was allegedly caught canoodling with the French Hotel's ex-boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos, but it appears that this may have been a failed plan to make Harry Morton jealous and the Ho-tel crazy. OTOH, Janet Charlton claims it's the relationship with Morton that may be the hoax. Meanwhile, her jailbird dad continues to try to talk to her through the newspapers. And TMZ has video of Li-Lo running into a parking meter.

FEMBOT FOR SALE on eBay! At presstime, the bid was at 3K, which is an entirely reasonable price for anyone who wants to buy it for me.

IRAQ: US and Iraqi troops have finished two weeks of building-by-building sweeps in the Shiite neighborhoods of Shaab and Ur; some anti-American violence continues, but sectarian violence and murders are down in an area generally supportive of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The Kuwait Times reports o­n Iraqi police success in al-Qaim, a bright spot in Anbar province. The Kuwaiti News Agency reports that al-Qaeda's Emir in Anbar province, Khalid Mahal, and aide Nasif Al-Mawla were killed during an operation in the Thar Thar region. If this pans out, Khalid Mahal's death would mark the 6th High Value Target killed or captured in Iraq in September. At ThreatsWatch, Kirk H. Sowell offers a "Guide to Understanding Iraqi Politics" that also looks at the emerging political center.

THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE: Folks wanted to fight over it, but now that Pres. Bush has ordered the declassification of its "key judgments," you can download it and read it yourself; it's neither long nor technical. Thomas P.M. Barnett -- no rote cheerleader for the Administration -- had analysis of the reported leaks that seems equally applicable to the declassified document.

IT'S A GIRL! In a statement posted Monday o­n Zoo Atlanta's website, officials said the 19-day-old female panda cub appears to be healthy, weighing nearly 1˝ pounds and measuring a little more than a foot long. Awww...

PET HOARDING: A woman who was found living with more than 300 mostly dead cats pleaded guilty to 46 misdemeanor counts of neglect Tuesday, abruptly ending her trial o­n animal cruelty charges.

SUICIDE SQUIRREL crashes the power grid in Spring Valley, IL.

A RARE BLACK SWAN has fallen in love with a plastic swan paddle boat for hire o­n a German lake, which may explain why it is rare. The locals say tourists are now nervous about hiring that particular boat thanks to its ever vigilant admirer. Cue the music.

FUDGE THE HAMSTER took an amazing journey with a happy ending. Surprisingly, there is no mention of Richard Gere. As if I was not going to go there with a hamster named "Fudge."

2966 Reads

Husker Du, New Releases, Matthew Sweet, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


HUSKER DU: Having recently posted the Replacements' network TV debut, I thought I should give equal time to the other Monsters of Mpls., so here is the power trio's appearance o­n The Joan Rivers Show, with an interview sandwiched between Bob Mould's "Could You Be The One" and Grant Hart's "She's A Woman (And Now He Is A Man)."

NEW RELEASES: Lemonheads, Tori Amos, George Harrison, Jerry Garcia and Jerry Lee Lewis are streaming in full from AOL this week. Broken Social Scenester and Metric frontwoman Emily Haines has a solo album. My Morning Jacket has a double-live set. Electro-folkers Sparklehorse are back with assists from Tom Waits and Danger Mouse. Wolf Eyes bring the noise with Human Animal. And cowpunk legend Jason Ringenberg has an album of kids' music under the name of Farmer Jason... video at the link.

STEVEN TYLER of Aerosmith has bounced back from Hepatitis C after a year of interferon treatments: "It's the silent killer. I may go o­n Oprah and talk about this. I hope you don't mind me mentioning that."

COVER ME: MKOB attempts the Mt. Everest of covers with with 17 versions or so of "Yesterday." You can jukebox 'em via the Hype Machine.

THE POLICE: Stewart Copeland schools kids in a record store o­n the classics in a video clip at TMZ. Sting takes a whack at Beyonce and Justin Timberlake.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: The Who perform "So Sad About Us" live at the Marquee Club o­n March 2, 1967. It's more than fab; it's totally gear.

TAPES 'N TAPES frontman Josh Grier makes his media recommendations for Pitchfork's "Guest List." My favorite is his description of a London record shop run by two old men who no longer speak to each other, with each having his own counter.

HEY GIRLFRIEND! At *Sixeyes, Alan falls in love all over again with several versions of the Matthew Sweet classic. You can jukebox 'em -- and covers of "Magnet and Steel" and "Livin' Thing" -- via the Hype Machine. Alan also notes that there is a preview of Sweet's next album up o­n MySpace that's pretty funny.

PJ HARVEY, JOANNA NEWSOM and THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS will be rocking The New Yorker festival next weekend.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer and supposedly sober supermodel could marry within weeks, according to UK press reports.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Almost two months after he railed against Jews when he was arrested for driving drunk in Malibu, the actor made a surprise appearance Friday at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, to present a work-in-progress screening of Apocolypto and compare the Iraq war to human sacrifice.

THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul says he's "doing fine," despite the turmoil surrounding the breakup of his marriage. I've heard that tune before.

MADONNA and director husband Guy Ritchie are reportedly planning to adopt twins from an African orphanage. The "adopt the whole village" story clearly did not bring Madge the Jolie-magnitude publicity for which she hoped.

JACKO rubbishes rumors that he plans to open a leprechaun-inspired theme park, giving us another day to chuckle over the idea.

JOHN MAYER gets more strange new respect from gossip blogs by parodying them o­n his own site.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON was a nervous wreck before she had her first Brazilian waxing. I'm a nervous wreck thinking about it. And the waxing crew couldn't stop admiring her body. (d-uh!)

JESSICA BIEL kissing another woman. It's the same woman as before, but the pictures are bigger and without the X17 logo to distract you.

CARMEN ELECTRA has written a book titled How To Look Sexy. Insert breast implant reference here; you know she did.

DAVID HASSELHOFF allegedly made a phony 911 call to report that his younger daughter attempted to commit suicide, in order to take revenge o­n his estranged wife. Of course, that's according to his estranged wife. The Hoff denies the allegation, so we can stay "Hooked o­n A Feeling" for now. The "you would kill yourself too, if you realized your dad was The Hoff" jokes are much funnier if the story is a fake, anyway.

HARRY POTTER and the ORDER OF THE PHOENIX isn't due until next July, but the first stills and the "first kiss" story are already out. Also, Emma Watson is unsure about continuing her role as Hermione Granger. Watson -- a teenage girl who scored near-Hermoine grades o­n her national exams -- clearly understands the value of playing hard to get when a 3.5 billion dollar franchise is at stake.

TRIUMPH the INSULT COMIC DOG is "under investigation" by the Children's Television Workshop following a raunchy routine in which Triumph sexually assaults an Ernie doll -- and then taunts him about having had gay sex with Bert (nttawwt). Let's go to the NSFW video!

CARTOON JIHAD: South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone almost quit over Comedy Central's censorship of their attempt to show the Prophet Mohammed: "That's where we kind of agree with some of the people who've criticized our show," Stone says. "Because it really is open season o­n Jesus. We can do whatever we want to Jesus, and we have. We've had him say bad words. We've had him shoot a gun. We've had him kill people. We can do whatever we want. But Mohammed, we couldn't just show a simple image." RELATED: A new, official and smiling image of Confucius has sparked philosophical debate in China, as opposed to riots and murder.

OSAMA BIN LADEN: Rumors of the terror-master's death swirl, while some speculate they are a trap to try to flush him out. But I think we all know the real untold story.

IRAQ: President Jalal Talabani told the Washington Post that the US army has withdrawn from 7 of 12 provinces, but 10K troops and a couple of air bases would be nice. British forces in Basra have killed Omar Farouq, who was "considered al-Qaeda's point man in southeast Asia" and "a top lieutenant of Osama bin Laden." The Counteterrorism Blog has more. Two of the US Army's top commanders in Iraq have been selected for new assignments, with the future of Gen. John Abizaid unclear.

GOT MILF? They do in Miami.

A CAMEL gets Sherel Crockett to the church o­n time. Video at the link.

TEDDY BEAR KILLS 2,500 in New Hampshire.

GENETICALLY-ENGINEERED HYPOALLEGERGENIC CATS can be yours for the low, low price of 4K. Video at the link.

POLISH DUCKS have friends in high places.

SPIDERS o­n a PLANE from Germany to the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

AN IOWA WOMAN is recovering from the shock of finding a drowned bat in her tea mug — after she sipped from the cup all day. I'm a little suspicious. After a few sips, don't you think to yourself, "Hmmm... tastes a little like a brown bat..."

3645 Reads

New Lemonheads, Decemberists and Tom Waits, Covers, and a 4-legged Chicken   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 25, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


DANNY FLORES, who played the saxophone and shouted the title of the 1950s hit song "Tequila!", has died of complications from pneumonia at 77. The song became popular with a new generation after it was used in the 1985 movie Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

THE LEMONHEADS: Evan Dando's return gets a 4/5 star review in London's Independent, and music bloggers who got the advance CD also seem to like it. The funny part is that the label seemingly didn't tell the bloggers in advance to limit the MP3 posting to "No Backbone," so some blogs were asked to pull other tracks, like "Pittsburgh" and "Black Gown." Yet those tracks don't get dropped out of the Hype Machine quite so fast, do they? And all three are purty darn good.

GEORGE CLINTON delivers three commandments of funk.

THE DECEMBERISTS: Stereogum can hook you up to the stream for "Yankee Bayonet," from the upcoming The Crane Wife album.

TOM WAITS: His triple-disc set of Orphans doesn't come out until November, but Waits talks about it (as o­nly he can) at the Anti- label site, which has posted "Bottom of the World" as a legal teaser download. So it should be no surprise that you can stream it via the Hype Machine, too. It's from the disc titled "Brawlers," but musically, it's a bit like "Downtown Train."

FINAL FANTASY: Owen Pallett is "confused and disgusted" that he won the prestigious Polaris Music Prize. He has pledged most of his 20K in prize money to an artist-owned co-operative he co-founded with long-time friend Steve Kado, after he pays a student loan for his partner Patrick Borjal, who is with him o­n tour.

ELVIS COSTELLO: The clip of his infamous performance of "Radio Radio" has resurfaced, you-know where.

SUFJAN STEVENS gets a rave for his Atlanta gig from CNN, while Relevant magazine provides background and historical perspective o­n some of his strangest songs, including "Decatur, or, Round of Applesauce for Your Stepmother!" and "Saul Bellow." But I'm giving the video link for part of "Casmir Pulaski Day" so you can see the band's new "winged creature" motif. BTW, I used to get Casmir Pulaski Day as a holiday, but no more. I may have to see if Sufjan can get that fixed.

FREE: Thirty years after drugs killed Free's guitarist, the band are back in vogue. They just won't talk to each other. But they do talk to London's Independent.

KEITH RICHARDS filmed his cameo as Johnny Depp’s swashbuckling dad in Pirates of the Caribbean 3, though he was -- brace yourself -- "not terribly sober." And though he may be the Lord of the Undead, Sigourney Weaver finds that hot.

COVER ME: MKOB has posted more than two dozen versions of "Dark End of the Street." You can jukebox 'em, too. Filles Sourires has posted over a dozen versions of "Bonnie and Clyde." You can jukebox those also. VIDEO BONUS: As Sunday's The New York Times ran a piece o­n the enduring popularity of the late Fred Neil's "Everybody’s Talkin'," here are video versions of the song by Harry Nilsson, The Beautiful South, and My Morning Jacket.

KATE MOSS does blackface for a special edition of The Independent, guest designed by Giorgio Armani, focusing o­n Afican issues. Take that, Gwyneth!

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Jacka**: Number Two won the weekend with about 28 million. It's surely a big money-maker for Paramount o­n an 11.5 million budget, but it's probably not enough to lift Hollywood's spirits generally. Jet Li's Fearless did okay at 10.5 million, with the top per-screen average. Gridiron Gang came in third, with 9.7 million -- a mere 33 percent drop that should make The Rock happy. Flyboys was fourth with 4 million o­n a 60 million budget, while the weekend's remaining wide release, All the King's Men made a mere 3.8 million o­n a 55 million budget. Ouch. The Illusionist o­nly dropped 9.6 percent, having racked up 27.5 million to date o­n a 16.5 million budget. And Little Miss Sunshine stuck in the top ten, passing the 50 million mark o­n FOX Searclight's 10 million distribution deal.

BARBRA STREISAND attended the Clinton Global Initiative in New York braless in a translucent black dress. The o­nly way you should click o­n that link is facing away from your monitor, filtering the light through a piece of cardboard punched with a pinhole. NSFA, really.

WHITNEY HOUSTON and BOBBY BROWN BREAK-UPDATE: People dishes some details of the split, which was months in the making.

JESSICA SIMPSON is still sleeping in Nick Lachey's old t-shirts.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Actor-director Mel Gibson visited two Oklahoma towns last week for screenings of his new movie, Apocalypto. But he avoided the press, wearing a mask and wig when he arrived in Cameron, OK last Thursday.  What?  No beard?

MADONNA knows What Jesus Would Do: He would hang himself from a big, lighted cross o­n stage.

KATE HUDSON and CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: US Weekly reports that Owen Wilson was seen kissing Hudson o­n the cheek at L.A.’s Chateau Marmont.

LINDSAY LOHAN seems to be hitting some bumps in the road with boyfriend Harry Morton.

ELMO DUMPED! Weary of his increasingly erratic behavior -- including his public embrace of Scientology -- Sesame Street producers will not extend the contract of the program's most popular muppet. Not really, but it's a pretty funny column prompted by the mania of -- and over -- TMX Elmo.

ARE TERRORISTS DORITOS? Will they just "make more?" For the last week or so, I've been o­ne of many guest-bloggers at Protein Wisdom, where I took a look at the question at a length I really can't do in this format. Over the weekend, news stories about the latest classified National Intelligence Estimate caused me to write a "Part 2... Hey!" that looks more specifically at the question of whether Iraq has become a breeding ground for future jihadis against the US.

IRAQ: The Iraqi government announced it has arrested Muntasir Hamoud Ileiwi al-Jubouri, who sat o­n the military coucnil of Ansar al-Sunnah, a major terror group in Iraq. The group dnies his arrest "at the time." The Iraqi government also announced the arrest of a leader of the 1920 Revolution Brigades, o­ne of the more "moderate" insurgent groups. o­n a worse note, only a quarter of the Iraqi Army forces that had been designated more than a month ago to go to Baghdad have actually arrived.

IRAQ in the MEDIA: Pajamas Media learned that o­n Sept. 19 -- a typical day in Iraq -- there were only nine embedded reporters in Iraq. And of those nine, three were from the Armed Forces' Stars & Stripes and o­ne was from Armed Forces Network. The rest of the press corps is hunkered down in the Green Zone, relying o­n local stringers about whom we know little or nothing.


THE RARE RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER sends a North Carolina town into a clear-cutting frenzy. Yeah, you know what I'm thinking.

A KITTEN was seized by British police after pet charity workers were tipped off that the kitty missed a routine flea treatment.

TAKING YOUR DOG TO WORK is working for some companies. Video at the link.

STONED COW UPDATE: A Polish woman who grew marijuana to mellow out her cow has been charged with cultivating a narcotic by police in the western town of Lobez.

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Rockpile, Rogue Wave, Covers, Cutout Bin, and Mr. Jiggywinkle   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 22, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with ROCKPILE, a band that featured old pals Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds cranking out the rootsy pub rock. They seem to be lip-synching o­n "Teacher, Teacher" and "If Sugar Was As Sweet As You," but I had to post 'em 'cause it's American Bandstand, which strikes me as just plain odd. For actual live performances, here's the band rolling through Lowe's "They Called It Rock," and "So It Goes," plus a cover of Elvis Costello's and "Girls Talk," which many associate more with Edmunds. I think that even my Dad will like Rockpile.

A SHORT "STATE of the SITE" ADDRESS: Regular visitors may have noticed we have had some technical difficulties this week. Our site admin, Lance, is working o­n some technical solutions and upgrades that should make the site more stable and (eventually) faster. I should add that when we got started about two years ago, we had 2 page views o­n Sept. 24th. Recently, any day much under 5K is a slow day. So we're glad you are stopping by and telling your friends (we do no advertising and relatively little in the way of self-promotion). With the traffic comes a few growing pains, but they should be behind us soon.

ROGUE WAVE drummer Pat Spurgeon needs a kidney and money for surgery. He was o­nly born with o­ne kidney; the replacement he got when he was a teenager has since conked out. o­n Sept. 30, Rogue Wave is having a benefit concert in San Francisco, featuring Ben Gibbard, Nada Surf, and John Vanderslice, MC'ed by Lemony Snicket. If you're goin' to an Francisco, you should try to go (and wear flowers in your hair). Otherwise, if you still want to help, you can go to their website and make a donation. Alternatively, music blogger Jennings at rbally is going to auction his "used" iPod nano for the cause; you can check his home page for the link today. I've been a bit remiss in blogging about Rogue Wave; I liked what I heard of their second album. You can stream a bunch of tracks via the Hype Machine, including an odd studio cover of "Everyday" by Buddy Holly and live covers of Thunderclap Newman's "Something In The Air" and "Odorono" from The Who Sell Out.

BOB DYLAN: Coudal Partners is giving away copies of Modern Times and three complete Dylan catalogues to winners of a contest based o­n "Six Degrees of Separation." Yesterday, you had to try to link Dylan with Condoleezza Rice.

COVER ME: At My Old Kentucky Blog, Dodge revisits his "covers project" by collecting odds and ends, then resumes with dozens of versions of the Oasis staple "Wonderwall." You can jukebox 'em via the Hype Machine. ALSO: Aquarium Drunkard offers up "Sex Beat" by the Gun Club, along with the original by the Gun Club.

UNPLAYABLE 45s: Prof. Ann Althouse won't throw them out, so she's scanning and blogging them, including: "Walk Like A Man" (on VeeJay -- the Beatles' first US label!); "Substitute" (plus a shrine to the single); Donovan's "Epistle to Dippy" and "Lil' Red Riding Hood" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs; "The Eggplant That Ate Chicago" (written by Norman Greenbaum); "Eighteen" by Alice Cooper; and "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," where she tells you what's o­n the flip side, which is important.

BECK: "Viral videos" from his forthcoming album have been leaking o­nto YouTube. Most get removed, but "No Complaints" is still there... for now, anyway.

VAN HUNT: Gawker Media's new music blog Idolator likes his sophomore album and asks "Where Is The Love?" MP3s at the link. BTW, Hunt does cover the Stooges o­n his latest album, but it's not o­ne of the tracks at the link. Hunt also makes a cameo o­n "If I Had No Loot" by Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave fame).

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks to The Ithacan about songwriting and influences, and to Pitchfork about many subjects, from death metal to acoustic instrumental music, and comparisons to Lifter Puller and The Hold Steady.

PANDORA: Lifehacker suggests 15 ways to get more out of the music recommendation service. (including links for ripping music from Pandora, which is just wrong.)

THE CUTOUT BIN: Friday's fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine include: The Soft Boys - The Queen Of Eyes; The Plimsouls - Everywhere At o­nce; Hidden Cameras - Awoo; Maroon 5 - Pure Imagination; The Polyphonic Spree - Lithium; The Clash - Death Or Glory; The Hold Steady - Stevie Nix; Snow Patrol - Crazy In Love; Cobra Verde - I Feel Love; Wilson Pickett - Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won't Do); The B-52's - Dirty Back Road; The Rolling Stones - Waiting o­n A Friend; Jake Holmes - Dazed and Confused; and Prince & The New Power Generation - Whole Lotta Love.

JACK NICHOLSON: Life imitate's Something's Gotta Give as Jack gives Rolling Stone the lowdown o­n the sex life of the o­nly 69-year-old man whose sex life might be considered remotely interesting -- over the past year he has "probably covered the territory from twenty-one to sixty-one." He also seems to believe that nothing spices up a movie like an artificial penis. Can you handle the truth?

NOW SHOWING: This week's wide releases include Jacka**: Number Two (scoring 65 percent o­n the Tomatometer); Jet Li's Fearless (73 percent) the World War I themed Flyboys (38 percent) and the star-studded political epic All the King's Men, which is scoring an abysmal 16 percent o­n the ol' Tomatometer. Doubly sad as screenwriter-director Steve Zailian is a friend of the family. And I mean that literally and in the sense that I could tell you some pretty funny Hollywood stories, but then I'd have to kill you. I'm looking forward to Michel Gondry's The Science of Sleep (currently 71 percent), but it's o­nly opening in NYC and LA this weekend.

JACKO is supposedly interested in opening up a leprechaun-inspired theme park, which will make everyone forget about his affinity for little people.

MADONNA: It seems as though NBC may not air Madge's mock crucifiction as part of her upcoming prime-time concert special. But if Madge was offending Muslims, would there even be a question about the network yanking the segment?

TOM-KAT UPDATE: US Weekly claims that the flowers are ordered for a Tom-Kat wedding.

BRADGELINA: The two million bucks in charitable donations reported yesterday will be made through Pitt and Jolie's new charitable foundation, Celebrities Without Borders. Actually, People didn't report the name, but I think that's a good o­ne. Meanwhile, Jolie is set to star in the film adaptation of Ayn Rand's iconic novel, Atlas Shrugged. Jolie is reportedly a longtime fan of Rand's, though I wonder what Rand would make of Jolie's activism.

RUPERT EVERETT has no sperm left, due to his medication for alopecia. NTTAWWT -- why wouldn't a gay man rather have hair than sperm?

CROC HUNTER: The death of Steve Irwin has created a vacuum in the naturtainment niche -- and members of the Cousteau family are fighting to fill it. While they are occupied, perhaps Steve Zissou can step in.

CLAY AIKEN: Diane Sawyer thinks it's kind of unseemly that people want to ask the former American Idol runner-up whether he's gay, but she does it herself, prompting a lengthy non-denial. NTTAWWT. Video at the link.

KIM CATRALL, best known for playing the promiscuous Samantha o­n Sex and the City, wants to give sex advice to teenage girls in her latest book. Catrall previously co-authored Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm with her husband... before they divorced shortly thereafter.

JESSICA SIMPSON: US Weekly wonders what the pneumatic blonde is hiding under bulky sweaters. There has been gossip that she's dealing with her personal misery by eating. Life & Style magazine claims that creepy dad-manager Joe is trying to start a chain of "Daisy Duke's" BBQ restaurants behind Jessica's back.

IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinejad broke away from events at the UN General Assembly to hold an informal question-and-answer session with the Council o­n Foreign Relations, which ended with Ahmadinejad asking CFR members "whether they were simply shills for the Bush administration." BTW, did you see much press o­n the 30K people who rallied against the man who said Israel should be "wiped off the map?" No? It attracted everyone from NY Gov. Pataki to Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, but apparently that's not news, either.

PAKISTAN: Pres. Musharraf said that after 9/11, the US threatened to bomb his country if it did not cooperate with America's campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. And it worked, to some degree.

IRAQ: The Government of Iraq took control of the southern province of Dhi Qar o­n Thursday. Though challenges remain, Coalition officials and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki say they hope to have all 18 of the country’s provinces under Iraqi control by the end of next year. Building up Iraqi logistics is o­ne such challenge, as regular visitors here already know. The bipartisan Iraq Study Group, chaired by former secretary of state James Baker, and former House International Relations Committee chairman Lee Hamilton, may recommend a phased withdrawal or diplomacy with Iran and Syria. Both chairman said no public report will emerge until they brief Congress and the White House, and until well after the November midterm elections.

IRAQ in the MEDIA: The US campaign in Iraq is "increasingly unpopular," according to much of the US press, including The New York Times (at least twice since the end of August alone); the Los Angeles Times (on Sept. 13 and 20); The Associated Press (Sept. 19); Reuters (Sept. 19); the Washington Times (Sept. 14); the Arizona Republic (Sept. 19); and ABC News (Sept. 17), to name a few. However, the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll, ABC News Poll and Pew Poll all find increasing support and optimism o­n the issue over the past month or so. ABC News is a particular offender here, as its own poll contradicts its story, which quotes Andrew Kohut from Pew (whose poll contradicts his own quote).

"MR. JIGGYWINKLE" had sex with a hedgehog and injured himself o­n the animal’s pricks. In his defense, he was following the advice of his witch doctor. No, really. Dinsdale! (thx, Lance!)

SNAKE in a BED: And not in that good way.

AMERICAN SQUIRRELS are tough. Another suicide squirrel took down the power grid in northwest Carmel, Indiana. Meanwhile, in the UK, immigrant squirrels from the US are driving out the Reds.

CANE TOADS make good fertilizer... until they explode.

AN EMU remains o­n the lam in Centreville, VA. Two other emus who escaped from a farm near Chantilly have been recaptured.

COWS enjoyed getting stoned in Romania. Now we know why they stare unamazed by the going-nowhere gravel road, Pate fans.

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Cat Power, SSLYBY, Yo La Tengo, and Liz Taylor Is Fed To Sharks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


CAT POWER: Now that Chan Marshall is almost sober, she tells The New York Times that she's not sure what she wants to do next -- Her next album, Sun, is already written, and she talks of a second covers album, but she might auditioning for the cast of Saturday Night Live or have a baby. The rejuvenated Marshall recently appeared o­n Later with Jools Holland, playing "The Greatest" and "Lived In Bars."

KEITH RICHARDS, Lord of the Undead, has given up drugs: "I think the quality's gone down."

SOMEBODY STILL LOVES YOU BORIS YELTSIN: Their self-titled debut is being reissued next month, with Chromewaves digging the "ultra-compact, mid-fi, 60s-were-90s indie pop replete with hand claps, jangly guitars and sweet melodies but with enough grit and scrappiness to not be overly saccharine or twee." There's audio and video at that link, and a short streaming set for The Current at MPR.

YO LA TENGO: The new album may be titled I Am Not Afraid Of You and I Will Beat Your A**, but frontman Ira Kaplan tought he might be beaten by someone wanting to use the payphone he was using for an interview with the AP. Kaplan also talks about early musical memories and gives recommendations to eMusic, ranging from Theolonius Monk to Eleventh Dream Day. (thx, Chromewaves!) The new album boasts "typical" YLT tracks like "Pass The Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind" and poppier fare like "Beanbag Chair," with plenty more to stream via the Hype Machine, including YLT backing Ronnie Spector o­n "Baby, I Love You," during which she gives a shout out to the late Joey Ramone. BONUS: I've psoted it before, but I still like the the odd, Steely Dan-meets-Motown groove of "Mr. Tough," also from the new album.

WOXY, the indie internet "radio" station has gone offline USA Today blogger Whitney Matheson suggests alternatives.

BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY was o­n the N-network the other night, playing "Strange Form of Life" from The Letting Go album. See it before the lawyers do...

NIRVANA: Courtney Love claims that o­ne of the songs o­n the band's classic 1991 album Nevermind is about her - but she won't say which o­ne. What would Carly Simon say?

PET SOUNDS: Speaking of classic albums, Brian Wilson will be doing Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary concerts with Beach Boy Al Jardine. Also the anniversary podcasts are up through "God o­nly Knows" this week.

PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER for this week's Contrast Podcast, in which a group of music bloggers bring the handclapping.

THE POLARIS PRIZE: Canada's Globe and Mail takes you inside the jury deliberations for the inaugural ward for best Canadian album of the year. I had more o­n the nominees and winner yesterday.

WHITNEY HOUSTON and BOBBY BROWN BREAK-UPDATE: US Weekly reports that music mogul Clive Davis intervened at the urging of Courtney Love to help get Houston into rehab and back o­n the comeback trail. Bobby Brown tells People magazine that he's "really saddened" at Houston's decision to divorce him.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH made hundereds of thousands of dollars by selling pictures of her dead son. Classy!

GWYNETH PALTROW and Stella McCartney are reportedly trying to matchmake Paltrow's mother, Blythe Danner, with Sir Paul.

BRADGELINA: Star magazine reports that Jolie blew almost 400K o­n three pieces by in-your-face Brit artist Banksy. You can see the o­nes she bought among the pictures at Supertouch. With that kind of extravagance, it's good PR for Jolie and Pitt to give two million bucks to Global Action for Children and Medecins sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes' former boyfriend, actor Chris Klein, says people have not asked him about the gossip that the Tom-Kitten looks like him. He then said, "It's definitely them, and they look so beautiful," which is an interesting answer.

JESSICA SIMPSON thought she was going to throw up or pee in her pants at Tuesday's premiere of Employee of the Month. It's not clear whether that was from watching the movie or looking in the mirror and realizing that trendy 40s hairstyle is not working for her the way it does for Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera.

THE FRENCH HOTEL dropped a Benjamin o­n a homeless dude with the cojones to ask for o­ne while the heiress was in a McDonalds drive-thru. Video at the link.

OPRAH WINFREY is threatening legal action against a retired teacher who has mounted a o­ne-man campaign urging the star to run for president in 2008. Meanwhile, gaydar-wielding TV oracle Rosie O'Donnell says that Oprah and her best friend Gayle King are "a tiny bit gay."

CINDY CRAWFORD is threatening to sue a French magazine Gala for publishing statements she never made about receiving Botox, but a renowned Manhattan plastic surgeon revieiwing photos of the supermodel says: "She's either had a brow lift or found an incredible new way to tweeze her eyebrows."

BEYONCE KNOWLES is wearing Britney Spears' hand-me-downs?

GEORGE CLOONEY called o­n the UN Security Council to stop the ethnic cleansing in Darfur. The president of Sudan undoubtedly considers Clooney a tool of the International Zionist Conspiracy, when he's really o­nly the first part.

IRAN: Pres. Ahmadinjad gave a speech to the UN in which he clained the world "longs for the perfect righteous human being and the real savior who has been promised to all peoples and who will establish justice, peace and brotherhood o­n the planet. Although this is a clear reference to his belief that the end times are near, it appears that most of the US media is not interested in asking him about it. Time not o­nly didn't ask, they ran a story suggesting the US may be preparing for war with Iran. A retired submarine officer explains what's really going o­n.

IRAQ: Top US generals warn that violence will increase in Baghdad during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan (think about that) and said al Qaeda in Iraq already has intensified its assaults. Iraqi police arrested 12 armed men, including members of Al-Qaeda, in Mosul. Meanwhile, Kurds showed their disabilities from a chemical attack by Saddam and his cousin, "Chemical Ali," who are being tried for crimes against humanity and genocide. Prosecutors say more than 180K people died in the campaign and thousands of villages were destroyed, some gassed.

AFGHANISTAN: European nations have agreed to provide more troops, as US Gen. James L. Jones reported that officials are not making headway o­n the opium problem, but recent military operations in the southern part of the country killed 1,000-1,500 Taliban, and forced others to retreat. BTW, while the AP claims that the troop commitment comes "after weeks of prodding," it was actually 18 months.

ELIZABETH TAYLOR FED TO THE SHARKS: I'm not going to beat that headline. You're gonna need a bigger shark.

A COYOTE bit a woman at a Conneticut rest stop along I-95. And another was captured sunning itself in an alley in Oak Park, IL. Former resident and Pate fan Sylvia Hauser will want to know that it was the 900 block of North Linden Avenue. Pics at the links.

PANDA BITES MAN? Not news; Man Bites Panda? News. It's o­ne of the oldest rules of journalism.

PET HOARDING: Today's case from Suffolk County in NY involves a tortoise, a five-foot python, an electric eel, lizards, iguanas, alligators and four emus.

DEEFER the BULL MASTIFF has a taste for women's underwear.

HEY, ARE THOSE PYGMY MONKEYS IN YOUR PANTS? Yes, according to airport customs agents. But the question I have is why it took authorities four years to arrest his traveling buddy, who had leopards in his backpack.

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