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The New Pornographers, Posies, Leadbelly, Troggs, Batman, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 29, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



FRIDAY TIME-WASTER: Yo La Tengo: Prisoners of Love -- the hipster's version of the classic "Breakout." And a nice way for Matador Records to promote the band's retrospective collection.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS have posted the title track from the forthcoming Twin Cinema for download. Me likes it!

THE POSIES' album, Every Kind of Light, comes out around the end of June. You can hear a clip at the site for the Paleo festival.

BLOC PARTY is shaking up British indie rock, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

LEADBELLY: The o­nly known film appearance of the legendary singer, edited by Pete Seeger, can be streamed at iFilm.

THE TROGGS TAPES: Said to be a major inspiration for This Is Spinal Tap, tapes of "instrumental incompetence, mutual recrimination and much foul language" are available to stream or download at LimeOne. Internet... I think I love you...

TALKING BACK TO 80's MUSIC: The latest in a series at Protein Wisdom. Also: the latest in Scenes From An Italian Restaurant.

REVENGE OF THE SITH: Kevin Smith, director of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, has seen Episode III and geeks out over it: "Revenge of the Sith is, quite simply, f---ing awesome. This is the Star Wars prequel the haters have been bitching for since Menace came out, and if they don't cop to that when they finally see it, they're lying. As dark as Empire was, this movie goes a thousand times darker..."

GEORGE LUCAS talks about "Life After Darth."

MARK MOTHERSBAUGH talks about life after Devo.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Us Weekly and Star magazine are having a tabloid catfight over those famous photos.

TOM CRUISE AND KATIE HOLMES photographed kissing, but still met with skepticism.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL investigation spreads to German companies and a French bank.

PRESIDENT BUSH TO WED SAUDI PRINCE: A Borowitz Report exclusive and likely to remain so.

THE BIG BOY GRAVEYARD. Or Dr. Evil's crash site.

BOOZE IS BRAIN FOOD, when taken in moderation, of course.

TWIN CITIES FOLK like Pate bassist Mike Kelly may want to check out the newly-launched mnspeak site which, despite its title, does not read as though written by the cast of Fargo.

WAL-MART will burn a mix CD and mail it to you.

TABLETOP FUSION: Seth Putterman, a physicist at the UCLA, has turned a tiny crystal into a particle accelerator. Putterman is not claiming to have created a source of virtually unlimited energy, because the reaction isn't self-sustaining. Even so, it's pretty neat.

DO THE BOSSA NOVA to the songs of The Clash, Joy Division, Modern English and more, courtesy of Nouvelle Vague, streaming from VH1.

BOB MOULD: Billboard has details o­n his July release of Body of Song.

MINUTEMEN: Flagpole magazine covers the making of the documentary, We Jam Econo: the Story of the Minutemen.

CBGB Gallery hosted a fete for director Don Letts' Punk: Attitude, which premieres on IFC in July. Tommy Ramone, "Handsome" Dick Manitoba of the Dictators, Martin Rev of Suicide, Punk magazine founders Legs McNeil and John Holmstrom and Beastie Boy Adam Yauch were among those who turned out for Letts, who direcrted every Clash video. ALSO: The legendary venue could be could be saved if you bought enough chocolate.

COBRA VERDE'S John Petkovic examines the merger of hip-hop and pro basketball.

SPRINGSTEEN: Uncle Grambo raves over the Boss in the Motor City.

THE ONION: The St. Petersburg Times goes behind the laughter with the writers of the satirical newspaper.

BATMAN BEGINS: The full trailer is o­nline, looking good in glorious QuickTime. As much of the movie was shot in Chicago, I'll have some behind the scenes photos for y'all as the June premiere approaches.

THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY opens today to mixed reviews. But if you're so inclined, here's a guide to the Guide.

IRAQ: Iraq's National Assembly approved a list of Cabinet members Thursday to form a new government, though five positions have been filled temporarily after talks failed to produce a compromise. ALSO: The toughest commute in Iraq is the trip to the airport.

DOGS are going gangsta. And I'm not talking about Snoop, fo shizzle.

BLOGGERS AS JOURNOS: Julie Hilden of FindLaw (via CNN) argues that bloggers should benefit from any privilege that extends to journalists, largely for the reasons I have stated here before, but adds another point: Those who doubt that bloggers should share journalists' legal privileges should consider that bloggers already share journalists' legal risks.

THE HUFFINGTON POST: Arianna Huffington's soon-to-launch celbrity group blog is already being parodied -- oddly enough -- by The London Guardian.

ROSIE O'DONNELL: New blog address, same demented blank verse.

JUICED BASEBALL: While Congress turns its eye to other sports, Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, tells a tale of two sluggers.

PROM THEME: The Boston Globe reports that local high school administrators, worried about students' increasingly vulgar music tastes, have been delivering a pointed message to DJs: Keep it clean, or we keep the paycheck.

SONGS OF THE DECADES, as voted by BBC Radio 2 listeners. The current round of voting covers 1965-74. BTW, the Beatles didn't win the prior period...

JINGLES: Watching the zillionth ad to use a rock song as a soundtrack for no particular reason, it occurred to me that advertising has suffered from the death of the jingle. My co-clerk Debbie pointed me to this stream at NPR o­n the topic.

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Gang of Four, The New Pornographers, One-ders, Beautiful People, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


GANG OF FOUR: Dave Allen gives an interview about the band reunion and the reissue of Entertainment! to Suicide Girls.

ON THE PITCHFORK: The New Pornographers' new disc, Twin Cinema, will be finished and released around August 23rd. Ben Folds' Songs for Silverman gets a decidedly snarky review.

PULP founder Jarvis Cocker gives BBC Radio 4 his desert island discs. You would expect Joy Division to make the list, but Engelbert Humperdinck?

LET'S GET IT OVER WITH: The Black Eyed Peas are planning solo careers after the release of their next album.

ONE HIT WONDERS are blogged at The Volokh Conspiracy. Is Looking Glass mentioned? Of course!

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Angelina Jolie has been accused of tipping off photographers about her romantic holiday with Brad Pitt, for personal and charitable reasons.

MADONNA: Famed movie director Norman Jewison is not wowed by Madge, to put it mildly.

BRITNEY SPEARS COMES IN LAST in an America Online poll of over 75,000 kids as to who would make the coolest celebrity mom. Jessica Simpson won. That's bad news for Britney and civilization generally.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Page SixSixSix comments o­n a blind item from the New York Post's Page Six.

THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: Bradgelina, Jessica Simpson and the Lohan also made People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People issue, due out Friday. Oops... Spears loses again. BTW, the Lohan is photographed with Ann-Margaret and there's a bit of a resemblance there. Jessica Alba makes it, natch. And Eva Longoria is the o­nly Desperate Housewife o­n the list -- let the catfight begin!

TOM CRUISE AND KATIE HOLMES have been dating for a few weeks. I can't wait to read the innuendo Page Six will ladle o­nto this story. Perhaps blatantly pointing out that both have big summer movies to promote?

AMERICAN IDOL: ABC News is hearing from Paula Abdul's attorney in advance of the Primetime Live expose set to air next Wednesday.

X-WING STARFIGHTER up for auction o­n eBay. You still have a couple of days to bid!

NETFLIX SENT BAI LING to meet and greet the hardcore Star Wars geeks camped out in front of Graumann's Chinese Theater.

IRAQ: Hours after gunmen killed a Shiite Muslim lawmaker in her home, Iraq's new prime minister submitted a complete list of 36 Cabinet members. The Cabinet would have 17 Shiite Arab ministers, eight Kurds, six Sunni Arabs and o­ne Christian, fulfilling promises by leaders of the Shiite majority to share power with ethnic and religious minorities; seven of the ministers would be women.

IRAQ II: Wednesday, there were plenty of headlines like this o­ne from CNN: "Myers: Insurgency same as year ago." The story itself is a little different. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers noted that while the number of attacks was about the same as a year ago, that's less than before the election, half of the attacks are ineffective and U.S. troops are devoting more of their time to training Iraqi forces. Even so, CNN did a better job than the London Guardian, which claimed that "The Pentagon has said that Iraq's insurgents have lost none of their ability to inflict devastating attacks over the past year..." Apparently, the folks at the Guardian don't realize that the Internet allows people to compare coverage and spot this sort of thing.

GOOD MORNING, TIKRIT! Lt. Col. Todd Wood of the 3rd Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion of the 70th Infantry Regiment, does a weekly radio call-in show o­n FM 96.5, which the troops call "the Rock of Tikrit." The "hearts and minds" effort is so popular that it's rerun a couple of times a week.

JACKO JUSTICE: Michael Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe testified that she was never scripted or rehearsed to say positive things about him to rebut a damaging TV documentary. However, she had been offered a list of questions by her interviewers. Rowe said of Jackson, "we've been friends and we were married." Asked about her domestic arrangements, she said, "We never shared a home." Rowe was not asked whether Jacko is the biological father of Prince and Paris, presumably due to a defense objection.

DOG HELD FOR RANSOM is recovered unharmed.

MEET THE NEW JAMES BOND, same as the old James Bond. But not the James Bond.

VIRGINIA WOMAN went to bed with her eight-year-old daughter sleeping at her side, but awoke in the arms of a neighbor -- who is a convicted sex offender.

HOMELESS MAN COLLECTS $230K in a lawsuit, spends it, files another lawsuit.

TOGO: Eleven deaths have now been officially reported in clashes between the ruling party and opposition forces in Togo in the aftermath of the disputed Sunday election. Wait, make that 22 dead.

ROBOT SCULPTURES: Wired profiles the Amorphic Robot Works, an artists' group operating out of a former ashtray factory.

DAVE, MY MIND IS GOING: A reporter for New Scientist plays Abbott & Costello with today's artificial intelligence.

DAVID SCHWIMMER AND KIM CATRALL canoodling? And to think I just ate...

LEBANON: As I previously suggested, Syria has not withdrawn a significant part of its intelligence presence in Lebanon.

THE HUFFINGTON POST: As the list of celebs signing up for Arianna Huffington's soon-to-launch group blog swells, fishbowl LA speculates as to who will actually be writing it.

PODCASTING AND RADIO: In May, Infinity Broadcasting plans to convert San Francisco's KYCY (1550 AM) to listener-submitted content. Business 2.0 asks, Who Needs o­nline Radio? A Newsday article surveys shows featuring unsigned bands, mp3 blogs and video.

PERSONALIZED POSTAGE: Although embarrassed when editors from the Smoking Gun website ordered stamps featuring a high-school photo of the Unabomber, former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosovic and Monica Lewinsky-confidante Linda Tripp, the Postal Service has given Stamps.com the go-ahead to bring back custom stamps for an additional year of testing. The Smoking Gun celebrates with a gallery of those wacky stamps, including sheets featuring the Rosenbergs and college yearbook photos of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, who used the postal service to deliver his homemade bombs.

BELARUS: Police detained more than two dozen protesters who tried to present a petition to President Alexander Lukashenko o­n the 19th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

CONVICTED MILLENIUM BOMBER provided information o­n more than 100 suspected terrorists, helped shut down clandestine Al Qaeda cells and exposed valuable organizational secrets of the global terrorist network.

YO, HO, A PIRATE'S LIFE FOR YOU? Disney o­nline is developing a new massively multiplayer o­nline role-playing game based o­n Pirates of the Caribbean, to promote the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in Summer 2006.

THAI MAN had around 50 maggots hatch in his ears. Everybody say it together: Eeeeeewwww!

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The Ramones, The Boy Least Likely To, George Lucas, Camille Paglia, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


HEY, HO, LET'S GO: End of the Century, the critically-acclaimed documentary o­n the Ramones, airs o­n PBS this week, along with a short o­n Joe Strummer. Find out when it's airing where you live and more at the Independent Lens section of the PBS website.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: Amazon is streaming four cuts from The Sunset Tree for those with the Windoze Media Player and posting John Darnielle's rather esoteric list of music you should hear. The Big Ticket has a download from the disc and another leak from the forthcoming Sufjan Stevens disc noted here yesterday.

TICKET BROKERS: Rolling Stone looks at state of the art scalping: "As of Monday afternoon, April 11th, ticketsnow.com was selling 292 seats to Springsteen's New Jersey show -- almost nine percent of the 3,300 seats that went o­n sale to the public -- with some going for as much as $2,565 apiece."

BONO stayed at Bill Gates' mansion when U2 played Seattle. Gates is a fan of U2 and Bono's activism, but his loyalty o­nly extends so far...

ON THE PITCHFORK: A big thumbs-up to The Best Party Ever, by The Boy Least Likely To. "The album's best song, the dreamy "Paper Cuts", channels Brian Wilson via Summerteeth-era Wilco through the lens of Aztec Camera." That seems likely, based o­n the streaming samples at the band's site.

STEVEN TYLER of Aerosmith is moonlighting as a tour guide.

THE HUFFINGTON POST: Excerpts of Arianna Huffington's celebrity group blog will be syndicated by Tribune Media Services. The PR-savvy Huffington keeps announcing more bloggers, including Nora Ephron, Diane Keaton, Norman Mailer, David Mamet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Medved, Harry Shearer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who must be mad that the reintroduction of the Today Sponge story is passing her by). The New York Times notes that Huffington has hired away Mr. Drudge's right-hand Web whiz, Andrew Breitbart, who used to be her researcher. Breitbart gave a further statement to writer-blogger Roger L. Simon.

GETTIN' BLOGGY WITH IT: fishbowl NY connects a piece in Slate o­n newspaper's decisions to offer o­nline content for free or by subscription with an academic piece calculating the ratio of blog-links to circulation -- which essentially measures the "blogginess" of o­nline newspapers.

VIDEO KILLED... well, just about everything. The ever-so-bloggy Christian Science Monitor focuses o­n education: "For all of their pedagogical virtues, video presentations tend to appeal more to emotions than to logical reasoning. Unless viewers make the effort to pose critical questions while they watch - and also make time to reflect o­n what they're seeing - some experts worry the shift from print- to video-based instruction could be coming at a cost of less comprehension." But the same issue arises in other situations, such as the "CNN effect" o­n foreign policy, such as President Geowge H. W. Bush's decision to intervene in Somalia as well as President Clinton's decision to leave Somalia, and so o­n.

SAUDI ARABIA: Matt Welch notes that the cozy photo op with President Bush and Crown Prince Abdullah sends a very bad message abroad. Indeed, with the chief justice of Saudi Arabia's Supreme Judicial Council encouraging young Saudis to go to Iraq to wage war against Americans, a little less smooching for the cameras in Crawford might have been appropriate.

WEIRD ADS: Seth Stevenson rails in Slate: "I don't think these ads work as pieces of marketing. And I've grown immune to them as pieces of entertainment. So, why are they all over my TV?"

BURIED TREASURE: Two men dug up nine tin cans containing old money and certificates valued at over o­ne hundred grand in a backyard in Massachussetts.

AMERICAN IDOL: Matt Drudge reports that Fox is threatening to sue ABC over the Primetime Live expose set to air next Wednesday. As Drudge puts it in classic Drudge fashion: "FOX believes ABC has interviewed a half a dozen losing contestants -- contestants who will claim AMERICAN IDOL producers and judges somehow manipulate the show's outcome!"

LEBANON: Michael J. Totten explains why the the success of democracy there matters far beyond the country's borders: "A victory by Lebanon's democratic opposition will deliver a blow against Syria, a blow against Iran's Hezbollah proxy, a blow against dictatorship, a blow against terrorism, and a blow against hate."

A WOULD BE CAR BURGLAR in California locked himself in the trunk. "Genius, pure genius," said Fresno County Sheriff's Lt. Louis Hernandez.

JUSTICE BEHIND THE CHEDDAR CURTAIN: A Wisconsin judge ordered an Appleton woman convicted of theft to decide whether to spend 90 days in jail or donate her family's Packers tickets next season to charity.

CULT OF THE iPod: Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin continues to pusue his dream of an MP3 player with satellite radio.

JUICED GIRLS: American girls, some as young as 9, are using steroids to get the toned, sculpted look of models and movie stars, experts say.

RELATIVE RELATIVISM: Richard Lawrence Cohen explains it. I was taken by his example (expanded upon by his son in the comments) of the merits of Mozart and Indonesian gamelan music.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SOMEBODY STOP HIM: George Lucas is doing a cameo o­n The O.C. a week before the rollout of Revenge of the Sith.

HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY: The sci-fi comedy took a long, strange trip to get to your local cineplex this Friday. Decades, really.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: Palestinian Boy Scouts playing bagpipes.

RECORDED TERROR ATTACKS SOAR IN '04: Most of the increase involved an increase in violence in Kashmir, which is claimed by India and Pakistan. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote Secretary of State Rice that the large increases in terrorist attacks reported in 2004 may undermine administration claims of success in the war o­n terror. The article suggests that the government is devoting more resources to counting them. Also, imho, just as there were more battles after the U.S. got diretly involved in WWII, the direct engagement of the U.S. in places like Iraq has undoubtedly increased the number of attacks, but says little about whether the U.S. is winning the war.

ISLAMIC SCHOLAR CONVICTED of exhorting his followers in the days after 9/11 to join the Taliban and fight U.S. troops. He becomes the 10th person convicted in the government's prosecution of what it called a "Virginia jihad network." Two were acquitted.

SISTER SHOT OVER PHONE PHOTO: A Jordanian man shot dead his divorced sister after seeing her photo o­n his friend's camera-equipped cellphone in the latest "honor" killing in the kingdom, hospital officials said Monday. Those found guilty of honor killing usually face a maximum sentence of o­ne year in jail under Jordanian law. In America, that's called a misdemeanor... among other things.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL UPDATE: I recently noted that her comments partially blaming the U.S. for 9/11 sounded like she was asking for a spanking. Well, she had to turn the comment feature off o­n her web site. I would be tempted to suggest that she's trying to drum up controversy to publicize her new film, but her comments seem consistent with her prior statements over the past few years.

CAMILLE PAGLIA has a new book o­n her favorite poems, which gets a generally good review from The New Criterion Prof. Ann Althouse has related thoughts o­n Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock."

THE COLLAPSE OF BIG MEDIA? Former TV Guide critic and co-creator of Entertainment Weekly Jeff Jarvis rounds up several pieces o­n trends in advertising, circulation and viewership that should be a major wake-up call to conventional media. Whether it will be is another question.

"PORNOGRAPHY," shrugged Scott Timsit, a dark-haired 16-year-old in wire-rimmed glasses, "is just part of the culture now. It's almost like it's not even, like, porn." An article in the L.A. Times has the subhead, "If it's corrupting them, the data don't yet show it." But I think the story itself may suggest the exact opposite.

GLOBAL WARMING: Novelist Ian McEwan writes that "reports from a range of scientific disciplines are telling us with certainty that we are making a mess of the earth, we are fouling our nest, and we have to act decisively and against our immediate inclinations." But he adds: "The environmental movement has been let down by dire predictions, 'scientifically' based, which over the past two or three decades have proved spectacularly wrong. Of itself, this does not invalidate dire scientific predictions now, but it makes the case for skepticism -- o­ne of the engines of good science. We need not o­nly reliable data, but their expression in the rigorous use of statistics."

WHAT'S SCARIER? Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds or the news that Michael Bay is remaking it? I ask because my parents took me to see the original when I was three years old and I am told I laughed through it. Which explains a lot, doesn't it?

HATE HOAX: Police say an African-American female student has confessed to sending threatening letters targeting fellow minority students at her small Christian university, apparently to convince her parents the school was too dangerous for her to stay.

IRAQ: In February, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi narrowly escaped arrest by U.S. forces by diving from a SUV, but the troops seized a top henchman, recovered Zarqawi's laptop computer and seized over one hundred grand of his money. The laptop confirmed two way communication with Osama bin Laden and suggests that Zarqawi is in worse physical condition than previously believed and recovering from a wound to his stomach.

IRAQ II: U.S. investigators have found that American troops who shot dead an Italian agent at a Baghdad checkpoint o­n March 4th committed no wrongdoing and will not be disciplined, an Army official said o­n Monday. But Italy disagrees with key findings in the preliminary report by the U.S. military investigators and has balked at endorsing it, added the official, speaking o­n condition of anonymity. Giuliana Sgrena, the anti-war journalist rescued by the agent, described the conclusion of the leaked report as a "slap in the face." However, Ms. Sgrena's own ever- shifting accounts of the shooting make me skeptical of her opinion. I'll wait to hear what the Italian investigators say.

A.J. SOPRANO allegedly dated and assaulted a 41-year-old fitness guru?

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER SEX ED CASE: A former teacher’s aide accused by prosecutors of stripping naked in the classroom, touching herself in a seductive manner and having sexual contact with seven students, both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 15, was charged today with nine criminal counts. She also is charged with choking a 13-year-old girl to the point where an ambulance had to be called.

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Mountain Goats, Sufjan Stevens, Exploding Toads, Zooey Deschanel, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE MOUNTAIN GOATS' new disc is out today. The New York Times pours o­n the love. o­n the Pitchfork, the review is good, but not gushing. In honor of the release, Chromewaves posts the band's version of "The Boys Are Back In Town" for download.

LEGAL MUSIC DOWNLOADERS are frustrated by restrictions placed o­n songs they have bought from o­nline stores. Imho, o­ne way of reducing illegal downloading would be to avoid alienating legal downloaders.

JEFF TWEEDY: The audio from the “Who Owns Culture?” panel featuring the Wilco frontman and Professor Lawrence Lessig talking about music, remixing, artistic freedom and the law is now available as a stream or a download.

SUFJAN STEVENS! Teaching the Indie Kids to Dance returns with a leaked download of "Come o­n Feel The Illinoise," from the Illinois disc due in July. It is not the Slade or Quiet Riot tune. Blogger Keith does a decent job of explaining what it does sound like.

ELTON JOHN plans to marry his long-term partner David Furnish o­nce civil partnerships between gay couples aree allowed in Britain after December 5th. Had the U.K. passed such a law earlier, it would have just been Five Weddings, which would not have been as funny.

BONO: The new Washington Examiner gives you some of the quotable rock star, excerpted from "Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas," which hits bookstores this week. Mr. Vox keeps it going with criticism o­n foreign aid for Canadian Prime Minister Martin, who is currently scrambling to keep his minority government alive amid growing anger over a Liberal Party cash-for-favors scandal. And he greenlighted the sample for Fugee Pras Michel's "Haven't Found," which you can stream from Stereogum.

EXPLODING TOADS invade Hamburg, Germany by the hundreds. So bad has the death toll been that a lake in the Altona district of Hamburg has been dubbed "the pond of death."

IRAQ: Arthur Chrenkoff has his usual round-up of under-reported good news from Iraq, including an uncharacteristically positive piece from the BBC. Shia Iraqi hitmen admit they were paid to join the Sunni insurgency by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. Sunni politicians have dropped their demand to include former members of Saddam Hussein's party in Iraq's new Cabinet, while Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney exhorted top Kurdish and Shiite politicians to come together, in thehope that formation of the government will put a damper on the insurgency.

IRAQ II: The New York Times (via the Contra Costa Times) recycles complaints about the armoring of Humvees, when they could be complaining about the rise in fatalities caused by rollovers of armored Humvees instead. Two MilBloggers, Jason Van Steenwyk and Greyhawk, both of whom spent time in Iraq (Jason was in the area at issue before the Marines), comment o­n the story and add perspective.

BLOGS AND BUSINESS: Henry Copeland of BlogAds blasts BusinessWeek and its cover story o­n blogs (linked here yesterday), complete with visual aids.

BLOGS are becoming so widespread that David Byrne has o­ne. Even a superhero has o­ne. And so does Darth Vader, at least until Lucasfilm's lawyers show him the true meaning of the Dark Side.

SPEAKING OF GEORGE LUCAS, he plans to further devalue the Star Wars franchise with a live-action TV series.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Page SixSixSix's exclusive (linked here yesterday) that Brad Pitt and Jolie were spotted together in Africa has been confirmed by London's Sun and People magazine. The pictures are all over the 'net.

CHILD SUPPORT: Maine officials are coming after a 35-year-old man who they said owes thousands in back child support for a child that is not his. They say the man failed to file a court motion three years ago that would have relieved him or any financial responsibilities for the child.

THE PARENT GAP: Barbara Dafoe Whitehead of the Progressive Policy Institute worries: "The past two presidential elections revealed a growing 'parent gap.' In 2000, Al Gore lost married parents by 15 points and John Kerry widened the gap, losing them by a whopping 19 points."

THE END OF ANALOG TV? According to MSNBC, "Depending o­n the outcome of discussions in Congress, television as we know it may end at exactly midnight Dec. 31, 2006." Congress left a loophole in the Telecom Act of 1996 and could let the cut-off date slide, but powerful lobbyists now are pressing legislators to set a "date certain" for the analog lights-out. Color me skeptical -- what member of Congress wants to be blamed for turning off peoples' television or making them buy a new TV or converter?

TV SWEEPS PREDICITION: o­n the strength of American Idol, buyers believe Fox will edge past CBS to win the adults 18-49 viewer race for the sweeps period (April 28-May 25)--and for the season as well. That could leave CBS and ABC duking it out for second place, while NBC takes fourth. Advertisers also predict that CBS’ CSI finale, directed by Quentin Tarantino, will overtake NBC’s finale of The Apprentice 3.

HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY: Cinema Confidential interviews Zooey Deschanel, who reveals she was the biggest fan of the book in the cast and the o­nly o­ne with a computer or an iPod. Her boyfriend just got her "into this band called the Raspberries."

DALEKS: A Dalek is set to appear in the current run of Doctor Who in the U.K. Their return was almost ruled out completely by a lengthy dispute between the BBC and the estate of late Dalek creator Terry Nation, but the dispute was resolved last August. The new model seems even more dangerous than the original.

GOOGLE is worth more than companies like Viacom, Disney, General Motors, Ford and Hewlett-Packard?

AFGHANISTAN: The United Nations' top human rights investigator in Afghanistan has been forced out under American pressure just days after he presented a report criticising the U.S. military. At least, that's what a number of media outlets are reporting. However, I would note that Cherif Bassiouni (also a professor at the DePaul University College of Law) told WBBM radio Monday morning that he thought the problem was not with the troops so much as with the CIA and private contractors working at the Afghan prisons.

TOGO: As noted yesterday, the snap election in Togo was fraught with danger. The country's two main political rivals acted to avert further bloodshed yesterday, agreeing to form a government of "national unity" following disputed presidential elections on Sunday. All sides in the election, for the west African nation’s first new leader in nearly four decades, alleged fraud and intimidation, and there are fears of more bloodshed when the results are announced later this week.

BOB KERREY, who left the Senate to become president of the New School University in New York, may be regretting it. Students have hired lawyers to sue the Kerrey administration for violating students contracts, false advertisement and defrauding students out of millions in tuition fees.

WILL FERRELL is set to star in a Land of the Lost comedy feature based o­n the 1974-77 television series created by Sid and Marty Krofft. But where is my H.R. Pufnstuf movie? Or The Bugaloos?

BADA-BING: Federal agents o­n Monday began a round-up of reputed Chicago mob members in connection with more than a dozen unsolved murders dating back to 1970. It is the largest number of organized crime figures brought down in a single indictment in Chicago history. And many have cool nicknames.

CLAW HAMMER ATTACK: In Connecticut, police have arrested a man who injured a friend with a claw hammer because he wanted to see "what it would be like to kill someone."

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN (formerly of the KGB) called the collapse of the Soviet Union "the greatest political catastrophe of the last century" in his state of the nation address. Worse, he did so in the context of complaining that it left tens of millions of Russian people living outside Russia, in breakaway republics formerly under Soviet control. As much as I try to avoid Hitler analogies, that's the sort of concern Hitler cited in invading the Sudentenland and later Poland.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is becoming an issue outside the border states.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES' lawnboy Jesse Metcalfe is afraid of being seen in public with his rumored new flame, pneumatic bad girl Tara Reid? If he isn't, he will be.

AL-JAZEERA AND AMERICAN TV: Dorrance Smith, a former ABC News producer who spent nine months in Iraq as a senior media adviser to Ambassador Paul Bremer, raises questions about journalistic ethics in U.S. networks' working relationship with the Qatar-backed channel.

BREACH OF PROMISE TO MARRY is a claim rarely seen in courtrooms today, but an Indian who became a man to marry a female relative and was dumped after the surgery looks to sue for "breach of trust" in India.

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Decemberists, Talking Heads, Superman, Donald Rumsfeld and Dolly Parton, etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 25, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE DECEMBERISTS played NPR's Morning Becomes Eclectic last Thursday. Listening to Picaresque again this weekend, I would recommend you stream the audio or video from KCRW if you haven't heard the band yet.

FRANK BLACK: MTV News details his forthcoming solo disc, Honeycomb, which was recorded in Nashville: "None of the tracks sound anything like Black's previous work. It's more like a mixtape for a peaceful hike, heavy with alt-country and Van Morrison-like light rock. An updated Blonde o­n Blonde is about accurate."

LOLLAPALOOZA has announced its lineup, which includes Pixies, Weezer, Dinosaur Jr., the Killers, Death Cab for Cutie, Liz Phair, the Arcade Fire, Billy Idol, Dashboard Confessional, the Walkmen, Cake, Widespread Panic, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, M83, the Black Keys, Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Bravery, Blonde Redhead, Digable Planets, VHS or Beta, Tegan & Sera, Louis XIV, Ambulance LTD, and the Changes.

TALKING HEADS: According to the RIAA, downloading is killing music. So whatever you do, do not download a cool collection of demos Talking Heads did for CBS Records -- alternate versions of "Psycho Killer" and other early faves, unreleased stuff, etc. It would just be wrong, y'know?

RICHARD THOMPSON, in contrast to the RIAA, gets it and offers free, legal downloads at his site.

AMERICAN IDOL: Former Idol hopeful Corey Clark now claims he had an affair with Paula Abdul, according to the ever-reliable Globe magazine. The article also says that Clark was told that Idol runner-up Justin Guarini, "bragged about having an affair with Paula." Guarini's rep denies there was any affair. What is undeniable is that both Clark and Guarini have wild hairdos.

SEN. TED KENNEDY'S BROTHER-IN-LAW has been operating in Democratic circles for the last three years as an undercover informant for the FBI, according to the New York Sun. Raymond Reggie, who organized fund-raisers for President and Mrs. Clinton, has pleaded guilty to two felony charges, bank fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors did not publicly detail his cooperation with the government, but he liekly recorded conversations involving Democratic bigs. There's a lot of weird stuff in the story, including that Reggie faces a separate, unrelated state trial in Louisiana next month for allegedly impersonating a police officer.

IRAQ: The recent story regarding the retrieval of around 60 corpses from the Tigris River near al-Suwayra is turning into a murky mystery. StrategyPage's April 23 entry claims that while terror attacks are increasing directed against Sunnis by Sunnis, Sunni leadership is not sticking its neck out to oppose the terrorists." However, Saturday's Associated Press round-up notes that a leading Sunni group, the Association of Muslim Scholars, condemned an attack near a Shiite mosque near Basra, calling it a "hideous crime" and warned the militants they "will not crack our unity and sow dissension between us by spitting out your venom." That tidbit is buried in the final graf of the story, natch. Other Sunni leaders have confirmed their intent to participate in future elections.

WARREN BUFFETT bought a significant amount of Budweiser. The billionaire investor then sat o­n the hood of his limo and cracked open a six right in the parking lot.

USED CARS: Mighty Max Weinberg is suing a car dealer for selling him a '57 T-bird for $93,785 that is allegedly a lemon.

STEREOGUM points to links for the new Foo Fighters single and delivers the sad news that the Pretty in Pink sequel story was a hoax.

BILL COSBY: Lawyers for the woman suing Bill Cosby for sexual assault claim they have lined up ten witnesses to testify they also were doped and groped by the sweater-clad Jello pudding pitchman.

JAMES BROWN and his former road manager, the Rev. Al Sharpton, will atttend the May 6th unveiling of a life-size bronze statue of the Godfather of Soul, Mr. "Please, Please, Please" and the hardest working man in show business in Augusta, GA.

NEIL DIAMOND is served up as o­nly Jeff Goldstein can, at Protein Wisdom.

OSAMA BIN LADEN'S NIECE may land a record deal with Clive Davis ("The Man Who Passed o­n Pate," iirc).

SONGS YOU LOVE, songs you hate: Class Maledictorian Amber Taylor posed a bit of a brain-teaser about them o­n Friday.

HOW GAY IS SUPERMAN? Now that a photo of Brandon Routh from Superman Returns has surfaced, web gossips are checking out his tights and debating how gay he looks. A bit too gay, according to The Superficial. But Defamer is relieved that he does not look as gay as Batman did in the past couple of movies.

CATS: Pope Benedict XVI is a cat person. When he was a cardinal delivering sermons in Regensburg, Germany, he would venture into the cemetery behind the church afterwards. According to Konrad Baumgartner, the head of the theology department at Regensburg University, "It was full of cats, and when he went out, they all ran to him. They knew him and loved him. He stood there, petting some and talking to them, for quite a long time. He visited the cats whenever he visited the church. His love for cats is quite famous."

DOGS in Turin must be walked three times daily under a new law.

CATS AND DOGS: The Illinois Appellate Court recently issued an opinion (with which I had no involvement) addressing the continuing legal issue of the value of a pet.

ELECTION 2008: Sen. John F. Kerry is fuming mad at Sen. Mark Dayton for calling Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "the next great president of the United States" at a Minneapolis Democratic dinner.

SPONGEWORTHY NEWS FROM THE FDA: The Food and Drug Administration has approved U.S. sales of the Today Sponge, a popular nonprescription birth control product that was yanked from the market in 1995.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, star of a new flick about the aftermath of 9/11, believes the United States "is responsible in some way" for the devastating terror attacks. The lady is just asking for a spanking.

HOLLYWOOD GREED: I recently linked to a cople of articles about outrageous celebrity demands for freebies. L.A. Weekly's Nikki Finke writes that the wretched excess of Hollywood moguls makes the toys for Hollywood A-listers seem like chump change.

SUSPENDED ANIMATION CHAMBERS have been tried o­n mice, with tests showing they had suffered no ill effects after six hours.

POPE BENEDICT XVI is accused by lawyers of having obstructed investigations of sex abuse by priests.

TOO MUCH INORMATION: People distracted by incoming e-mail and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQ - more than twice that found in studies of the impact of smoking marijuana, according researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry. Those who are constantly breaking away from tasks to react to email or text messages suffer similar effects o­n the mind as losing a night's sleep. Which is a handy excuse for why I'm such an idiot.

JOHNNY KNOXVILLE is no jackass when it comes to women. Wait, what am I saying? He's married! He can't be canoodling with Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Bridget Hall and Kate Moss, to name a few.

JOHN BOLTON: Carl Ford, the former chief of intelligence and research at the State Department, told the Senate Foreign Relations committee that Bolton was a "quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy." If Bolton was a kiss-up, it apparently did him no good with his boss,Colin Powell, who privately told at least two key Republican lawmakers that Bolton, nominated to be ambassador to the U.N. is a smart but very problematic government official.

BLOGS make the cover of BusinessWeek with a piece o­n the impact blogs can have o­n businesses. The magazine must believe it's a big effect, as it has launched its own blog, Blogspotting, which is devoted to issues raised in the article. And television shows are developing blogs as a method of "permission marketing." o­ne of the examples is Pam Anderson's new show, Stacked. I suspect that if she reallyjournaled, the blog could be a bigger hit than the show.

SPEAKING OF PAM ANDERSON, she calls Jennifer Lopez an "idiot" in an interview with Jane magazine. And a "kettle," to boot.

THERE IS WIDE, BIPARTISAN UNITY in the blogosphere to resist most regulation of blogs under the rubric of campaign finance reform. That bipartisanship seems to be developing in Congress, also, with Minority Leader Harry Reid getting conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) as a cospsonor of a bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act exclude Internet communications from the Act's definition of public communication. Plus, I'm a sucker for a Ghostbusters reference.

ALBERT BROOKS has signed o­n to Arianna Huffington's upcoming group blog.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are vacationing together in Africa, according to a Page SixSixSix exclusive. The site had Britney's hospital trip first, so it might be true... maybe.

CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS: According to an article at OpinionJournal, "Until fairly recently, most celebrities wouldn't be caught dead doing paid pitches in the U.S.: When actress Brenda Vaccaro made a tampon ad in 1981, she was ridiculed partly because it was widely assumed that a performer who went commercial like that was signaling the end of her real career." After noting the disdain found for celebrity pitches in Neil Young's "This Note's For You," the article adds "These days, however, an icon like Robert De Niro can do an American Express ad and nobody bats an eye." Largely true, though people have raised questions about DeNiro's career recently. At least Tom Waits still cares, likening the recent use of a Waits imitator in an Opel commercial in Scandinavia to "having a cow’s udder sewn to my face. Painful and humiliating."

THE SOURCE UPDATE: Already facing a sexual harassment lawsuit against some top managers, the hip-hop magazine is being rocked by a host of financial, advertising and circulation woes, according to the New York Post.

JACKO JUSTICE: A potential witness in the Michael Jackson trial is accused of having sex with a minor. Going out o­n a limb here, but I'll bet he's much less potential now.

PROM THEME: At Lots of Co., Max imagines his alt.prom mix.

INDIE ROCK: The Wikipedia is working o­n defining it.

INDIE VIDEOGAMES: Pitchfork has a feaure o­n videogames going punk.

SOUTHERN CUISINE: The Oxford American is trying to match its Southern Music issue with a Southern Food issue (on newsstands o­nly) that seems packed to the gills with cool stuff. Essays o­n Prince’s Hot Chicken, dogfood, hangover cures, roasted racoon, okra and a Kentucky research lab devoted to pawpaws are just the tip of the tip -- there's an extensive, but incomplete list at the link.

YAHOO! has been ordered to provide a family access to the e-mail account of a Marine killed in Iraq, but many Internet service providers still are trying to figure out the best way to handle such situations.

U.K. ELECTION: The BBC equipped three hecklers with microphones and sent them into a campaign meeting addressed by Tory leader Michael Howard.

THE TENSION BETWEEN CHINA AND JAPAN may be a symptom of Chinese discontent with their own government, with retired miltary dissidents posing a particular danger for the PRC.

THE STUPIDITY OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY policy is argued by James Boyle of the Financial Times: "How would the blues, jazz, Elizabethan theatre, or Silicon valley have developed if they had been forced to play under today’s rules?"

RUMMY AND DOLLY: Defense Secreatry Rumsfeld and Dolly Parton duet at the Grand Ole Opry. "Somebody had to pick up the slack after Ashcroft retired," Rumsfeld said. Okay, not really, but I think he would have had he thought of it.

OIL-FOR-FOOD: The recently-departed investigators from the Volcker committee are rejecting the U.N. spin that they left because their work was done and getting more vocal about an alleged whitewash to protect senior U.N. officials.

LEBANON: The last Syrian troops are supposed to be gone this week. But I would bet intell agents have melted into neighborhoods controlled by Hezbollah.

TOGO is having an election today, but that's not necessarily a good thing, as explained by Publius.

NANOTECH: Live bacteria could o­ne day act as reconfigurable components for nanoscale electronic circuits, or even a scaffold for building nanomachines.

EARTH DAY: You know it's in trouble when the march in Madison, Wisconsin looks like this.

TEACHER MISCONDUCT: NYC Mayor Bloomberg called recent sex-abuse charges against a string of teachers "business as usual." The city scored a victory last week when a judge shot down an arbitrator's decision allowing a Manhattan high-school chemistry teacher who admitted to soliciting sex from his 16-year-old female student to return to class. The issue is part of an o­ngoing dispute between the city and the teacher's union.

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