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Richard Thompson, Luxury Liners, Zahara blogs and Hogzilla II   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

STANLEY MOUSE and ALTON KELLEY: Some Russian is collecting their posters. Anyone who shopped at the Music Works may remember some of these. My ex-roomie Dru Martin had the Bo Diddley.

HURRICANE KATRINA: Having hooked you up to blog coverage yesterday, today I'll point you to the Yahoo Full Coverage page to follow the aftermath of the storm.

RICHARD THOMPSON GOES MUSIC SHOPPING with The New Yorker. Find out whether he bought Wille Dixon or Cyndi Lauper.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' Carl Newman lists music you should hear for Amazon and gives some advice to Axl Rose.

ERIC CLAPTON talks about his difficulty writing about a relationship that is productive and successful and loving without being boring or self-indulgent. And how a happy homelife led him to reunite Cream.

BLOC PARTY is interviewed on the Pitchfork: "We were formed in reaction to bands like Oasis."

RILO KILEY bassist Pierre "Duke" de Reeder tals about opening for Coldplay.

POWER POP: My Old Kentucky Blog tempts you to download the Luxury Liners by name-dropping Badfinger, Big Star, The Byrds and The Raspberries. I wouldn't go that far, but you also can get the MP3s straight from the band's official website or stream some from the band's MySpace page. If I had to pick an original, it would be "Sunshine," but the cover of Cher's "Believe" is really good.

POLYPHONIC SPREE: Gorilla vs. Bear notes that the PS is most of the soundtrack for the upcoming movie Thumbsucker. You can stream a few from the band's MySpace page.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: His Babyshambles bandmates say the troubled singer was never going to quit the band; he just wanted to take time out of the public spotlight. Keep in mind that Doherty looks to be starting a video blog for paying fans at his website.

MICK JAGGER agrees that his stage presence is similar to that of Hitler, but it's all in good fun.

THE NINETIES "offered the worst music of any decade in the rock 'n' roll era," argues Brent DiCrescenzo, in large part by creating his own box set of music from the decade.

IRAQ: The troops are getting a new generation of bomb-resistant armored vehicles named the Cougar and the Buffalo. Tim Russert's Meet the Press segment with four retired generals suggests in passing that the U.S. is making progress training Iraqi forces. Dave Doyle, a freelance sports reporter stationed in Iraq, posts dispatches and gets feedback from both sides of the Iraq issue.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE OIL: If the estimates are correct, the oil sands project in Alberta, Canada has the ability to supply all of North America for the next 50 years without touching a drop of imported oil. The Canucks can be so glad the U.S. is busy with Iraq at the moment.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Vanity Fair breaks its sales record with the Aniston cover. Zahara Jolie has a blog. It seems that Angie has already taught the tot not to believe everything you read in the papers.  Pitt's ex-galpal Gwyneth Paltrow thinks Pitt and Aniston are reaping what they sowed by being so public with their marriage. If I was Paltrow, I wouldn't want to talk about Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, either.

DOROTHY'S RUBY SLIPPERS STOLEN: We all know whodunit, don't we? After all, Dorothy kinda stole them herself, right off the feet of that poor woman's dead sister...

PAGE SIX GETS IT WRONG? Hard to believe, but I think so. But you never know...

STACY'S MOM thinks Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher needs to eat something.

EDDIE MURPHY and MARIAH CAREY caught canoodling in Miami for the MTV VMAs.

LIZ HURLEY getting hitched?

THE SPANISH INQUISITION: Amongst their weaponry are: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to Natalie Portman.

EVA LONGORIA has vexed her ABC bosses by taping a segment for Dateline NBC. The picture of Longoria bikini-clad to present an MTV award fails to show just how tight the bottom piece was. But no o­ne ever accused her of leaving anything to the imagination.  Except maybe Dude.Man.Phat, who definitely has an imagination.

RUSSELL CROWE slams celebrity acitivists like Bono and Bob Geldof. According to Crowe, "There's a lot that can be achieved by putting a cheque in the right place and shutting up about it." I'm sure the hotel employee who got hit by the phone Crowe threw at him agrees 11 million times over.

GWYNETH PALTROW and CHRIS MARTIN are relocating to Los Angeles, if o­nly to prove that neither is physically capable of getting a tan.

BRITNEY SPEARS screams at and threatens a 13-year-old girl. Just prepping for motherhood, y'know.

HOLLYWOOD REMAKES: The theory seems to be that they are a good bet because you have a proven quantity with name recognition. But that theory has mixed results in the real world.

JESSICA ALBA will not be remaking I Dream of Jeannie, thereby removing any reason to see o­ne. Thanks, Jess!

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY was offered liposuction by an L.A. dermotologist. This is the culture that produces Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie.

DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Mohammed blogs that Grand Ayatollah Al Sistani opposes the federation of the draft constitution and wants unity with the Sunnis. He could have said this earlier, so I wonder whether he might have a larger agenda. Joseph Nye argues that democratization can surely help remove some of the sources of rage that fuel terrorism, but is o­nly part of the solution. Tall Dave looks at the odds that democracy can take root in Iraq and thinks it's the economy, stupid.

THE HOME FRONT: Listening to Cindy Sheehan bail o­n an NPR interview convinced me that the groups backing her would probably do better with Barbara Porchia. Also, imho, antiwar protesters ought to figure out that protesting outside Walter Reed Hospital and at funerals doesn't win hearts and minds. And it would probably help if veterans returning from Iraq were not shunned when they go back to college. That's free advice and worth every penny.

AFGHANISTAN: U.S. forces have killed a senior Taliban commander responsible for a spate of attacks in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said o­n Monday. France has significantly boosted its military presence in the region as part of a budding rapprochement withthe U.S.

GLOBAL WARMING killed most life o­n Earth 250 million years ago, according to U.S. researchers. Clearly, those Trilobites should not have been driving their SUVs all over the planet.

COFFEE is the biggest source of antioxidants in the average American's diet. Not to mention what cappuccinos do for Pam Anderson.

NANOTECH: As Pate mastermind Jon Pratt is all about the thin film coatings, I note with great interest the idea of a thin film treatment that can permanently prevent glass from fogging and virtually eliminate glare.

F***ING TOWN IN AUSTRIA keeps getting its F***ing sign stolen. Police Chief Kommandant Schmidtberger asks, "What is this big F***ing joke?"

SPEAKING OF THE F WORD, students are being allowed to swear at o­ne British secondary school -- as long as they limit their use of bad language to five times a lesson.

TURN DOWN THAT RACKET! Or suffer the fate of the Princess of Swaziland.

SEX THERAPIST LAURA BERMAN complains about being stared at by construction workers. Granted, such behavior is classless -- but if the o­nly person to complain has her own line of "intimate accessories," this particular encounter begins to sound very much like "This sort of thing ain't my bag, baby!"

RE-WILDING UPDATE: A plan by a Cornell University-led team of scientists to populate U.S. grasslands with wild lions, cheetahs, elephants and other African safari favorites -- previously noted here -- has been slammed by conservation groups.

ELEPHANT who lost a foot after stepping o­n a landmine six years ago has had a temporary limb fitted. Video at the link.

JELLYFISH shut down a nuclear reactor in Sweden which supplies about 10 percent of the nation's electricity.

SQUIRREL halts a £1million development at a Scots castle the old-school way -- by being endangered.

WHY CAN'T THE GEESE CROSS THE ROAD? A new ordinance in Amherst, N.H., as it turns out.

HUMAN ZOO EXHIBIT UPDATE: o­ne of the humans has a blog. Don't miss the "About Me" section.

HOGZILLA II -- THE RETURN: The 594 lb. boar captured in the suburbs of Queensland is something to see, but is still no match for south Georgia's 800 lb. beast.

4210 Reads

Super-special mid-Monday Hurricane bonus post   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 29, 2005 - 05:12 PM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

HURRICANE KATRINA: If this is the story for you, I would recommend -- oddly enough -- Terry Teachout's blog at ArtsJournal, which has an impressive round-up of links to hurricane coverage.

I have to think that Katrina and the Waves may now be feeling a bit like ex-Throwing Muse Kristin Hersh.

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Steve Earle, Kinky Friedman, Robots, Hamsters and Bikers   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 29, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

APPLES IN STEREO are the soundtrack to the new HP photo ad.

KEITH RICHARDS apologizes for saying Mick Jagger has a small package. But he doesn't really say it was untrue.

BUSH REFUSES TO RESPOND TO WOMAN: It's not Cindy Sheehan.

JOHNNY ROTTEN and Sham 69 singer Jimmy Pursey came to blows outside the U.S. embassy as they queued for visas.

STEVE EARLE: The Asheville Citizen-Times lists its six reasons to love him.

THE SEATTLE SCENE: The Seattle Times takes a look at a post-grunge wave of musical immigrants, including Laura Veirs and the Fruit Bats.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: Indyweek plays Scrabble with frontman John Darnielle.

WHITE STRIPES: Jack White sorta explains why he and Meg pretended to be brother and sister.

TALKING HEADS catalog is getting the deluxe reissue treatment from Rhino.

KINKY FRIEDMAN: The Nashville Scene profiles the Texas gubenatorial candidate.

UPCOMING RELEASES: The San Francisco Bay Guardian looks at the Fall schedule.

AIR GUITAR: The World Championship results are in.

SUGE KNIGHT shot at a party honoring Kanye West in Miami. I guess the hurricane wasn't enough to hold everyone's attention.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie is calling Pitt her husband. Meanwhile, Ashlee Simpson would like to be Pitt.

TARA REID: Sometimes, even a safe-for-work picture is worth a thousand words.

MATTHEW MODINE has some Phair-weather fans in a Canadian band called Pony Up.

THE COEN BROTHERS and CHARLIE KAUFFMAN are getting into radio dramas.

TERRY GILLIAM: His Brothers Grimm took second at the box office, but that doesn't stop him from slagging the first two Harry Potter movies and Spielberg's recent stuff.

GRIZZLY MAN: You can stream the first eight minutes of the excellent Werner Herzog movie (with music by Richard Thompson).

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Teri Hatcher gets a retraction of that story about her having fun in an old VW van in her yard, even as she denies rumors of an eating disorder. Eva Longoria is said to be suffereing headaches after being struck in the head by a pole o­n-set. I wonder if that falls under Workers' Comp?

REDFORD AND NEWMAN, together again?

NICOLE KIDMAN knows how to get movers to be careful with her stuff.

NATALIE PORTMAN, who shaved her head for V for Vendetta, is sporting a mohawk.

SEAN PENN'S stories from Iran get a good review at DowJones' MarketWatch, while noting other reax have been mixed.

CHELSEA CLINTON and IAN KLAUS: Splitsville.

JANE FONDA plans to introduce British MP George Galloway o­n his U.S. speaking tour. Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party for inciting Arabs to fight British troops and inciting British troops to defy orders. Since then his statements o­n Abu-Dhabi TV, Al-Jazeera and Syrian TV have been o­nly slightly muted.

IRAQI CONSTITUTION: Iraqi leaders finalized the draft constitution, which left some Sunni negotiators unsatisfied, despite last-minute concessions. At Iraq the Model, Omar live-blogged the legislative seession and posted additional thoughts that suggest that the Sunnis intend to remain primarily engaged in the political process -- for now, anyway.

IRAQ II: Agency France Presse reports that "General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed concern about a 'growing gap' between the US public's downbeat perception of the war o­n Iraq and that of the troops fighting it... Unlike others in the US administration, Myers did not blame the media coverage for the gap. Instead, he acknowledged the difficulty of conveying progress in a counter-insurgency campaign in which there are no front lines." Though perhaps Myers might reconsider if he sees AFP refer to the "war on Iraq." Knight-Ridder's Tom Lasseter continues his series painting the situation in al Anbar as hopeless, much like London's Guardian. The examples of local residents providing cruical info that prompts an airstrike against 50 terrorists (possibly leaders, too) and local Sunnis fighting Al Qaeda supporters never seem to make it into these stories. Bill Roggio questions the Guardian story o­n the situation in Haiditha; the blog of a reporter in the area, while not entirely rosy, seems to contradict the idea that the insurgents are running the Haiditha dam. Nor does it appear as though Fallujah is falling into insurgent hands, as the Guardian suggests. The AP has a new FAQ page devoted to its Iraq coverage, probably in response to the complaints from its member papers noted here previously. My favorite part is where the AP claims that it "also writes frequently about reconstruction efforts -- outlining both the progress that has been made in renovating schools (in a story earlier this summer)..." "Frequently" = "earlier this summer?"

CULT OF THE iPod: The gadget is replacing DJs at weddings. And Apple has settled a class-action suit involving batteries in earlier models of the iPod.

MEN SMARTER, according to a new study (not conducted by Ron Burgundy) though it seemingly also concludes that women use what they've got better than men. Having previously noted news that women are smarter, I just want to be fair about it.

IOWA MAN walks off with an artificial leg worth 17K... without paying.

MOSUL: Michael Yon, who is doing incredible blogging from Mosul, did an interview last week, in which he notes that the unit he has embedded with has not been hit with an IED in two weeks, when it used to get them twice daily. Coalition forces killed a major facilitator of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in northern Iraq, during operations in Mosul. Col. James H. Coffman Jr. was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross -- second o­nly to the Medal of Honor in recognizing bravery in combat by a soldier -- for rallying Iraqi commandos to defend their position against an insurgent assault in Mosul. A Google News search suggests the story ran in about 64 media outlets nationwide.

CINDY SHEEHAN is back in Crawford and she is starting to lose a little compassion for Gold Star Moms who still support the war. In turn, I'll bet those Moms don't like that Sheehan has called the foreign jihadis coming into Iraq "freedom fighters," but there it was o­n the streaming video. San Francisco's KGO-TV looks at the network groups funding and promoting her. As noted here previously, Cindy Sheehan has been mentioned tens of thousands of time o­n television alone.

POLICE RECOVER MAN'S BODY FROM ELEPHANT BUTTE, much to the delight of headline writers everywhere.

ROBOTS are playing o­nline poker.

HAMSTER-POWERED PHONE CHARGER: Some people have cellphone service that sounds like it's hamster-powered, too.

HOGS ROAR: Chattanooga city officials agreed to relax enforcement of a noise ordinance as about 12,000 Harley-Davidson bikers arrived Friday for a national convention along the city's typically tranquil riverfront... with millions of dollars to spend.

CATS sometimes bite the hand that strokes them. Scientists are studying why.

DOGS sometimes get lost. Archie the black Labrador jumped aboard the first train home and got off at the right station.

ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS stole six huntaway dogs from a Massey University farm, almost certainly killing some of them, as they were there for medical treatment.

PRAIRIE DOG ABUSE: A Colorado man was cited for allegedly abusing a prairie dog by tying a rope around its neck and spray painting it bright orange. Imho, an Old Testament-style punishment is due.

L.A. GATOR UPDATE: Reptile wranglers searching for the crafty Carlito in Lake Machado have given up the hunt — at least for now. Abraham Amezcua, 35, who was selling T-shirts reading "You'll Never Catch Me" in English and Spanish, said the gator may not be seen for a long time.

HUMANS, caged and barely clothed within a rocky enclosure, were o­n display at the London Zoo. It's a mad house.

CHICKEN: Dark meat can now be transformed into white meat.

RARE CALICO LOBSTER saved from the cauldron, donated the rare find to a Boothbay Harbor aquarium in Maine.

BEE SWARM attacks elementary school in Silver Spring, Maryland.

QUEEN ELIZABETH'S RACING PIGEON has flown the coop.

GEESE are competing with guard dogs.

MAN WAKES UP WITH SHEEP and is sure it was pregnant. Police did not ask how the young man came to that conclusion.

3653 Reads

The Velvet Underground, The Knitters, a Green Parrot and Rare Woodpeckers   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 26, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: N-Game.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER II: Music-Map (Thanks, Ken King)!

JACK WHITE MULLS COKE DEAL: The White Stripes' frontman has been in talks with Coca-Cola to pen a new song for their commercials. "They want a new 'I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke' and believe Jack is the o­nly artist who can deliver them something that will be equally timeless," a source told NME. Why not? The band and soda already share the same color scheme...

SEE THE VELVET UNDERGROUND play "Sweet Jane" at Max's Kansas City.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE announces U.S. tour dates, with the lovely Leslie Feist as the opening act.

COVER SONGS: The Foxymorons are offering their album of covers -- which ranges from Hank Williams to Big Star to Gram Parsons to Whitney Houston -- for free and legal downloading, complete with cover art. The Copy, Right blog continues to kill music with a batch ranging from Kelis to Pete Townshend to Neil Diamond and Madonna.

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN plan to release their seventh album, The Goalkeeper's Revenge, in January.

ALT-POP: Douglas Wolk attempts to dissect the oxymoronic genre.

THE KNITTERS get a nice write-up in L.A. City Beat. John Doe o­n recording the band's second record in 20 years: "We could’ve done it in under five hours, but you’ve got to take time out for bullsh*tting, telling jokes, and horsing around."

BOB DYLAN: The trailer for the Martin Scorsese documentary, No Direction Home, is o­nline in QuickTime. But could somebody explain why it's going to be out o­n DVD, featuring additional never-before-seen footage, a week before it airs o­n PBS?

MYSPACE: The social networking site favored by many indie bands, is intentionally designed to be butt-ugly. So is eBay.

TALKING BACK TO 80'S MUSIC: Number 45 in a series at Protein Wisdom.

TALKIN' 'BOUT MY G-G-GENERATION: Most incoming college students were born in 1987, which is roughly when most Pate fans graduated college, give or take a few years. The Beloit College Mindset List tells you how their worldview differs from yours.

FEMALE DJs are making it in a man's man's man's world.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt is renting a place in the Hamptons to be near Jolie, who is filming The Good Shepherd in New York. He also wants to go public about his relatinship with Jolie, so he's hired PR guru Pat Kingsley, the woman who made Tom Cruise appear sane until he dumped her for his sister.

VAUGHNISTON? Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston were caught canoodling at a Dwight Yoakum concert by a tipster to The Superficial.

EDDIE MURPHY, in the midst of a divorce, was spotted boomeranging in the direction of Robin Givens.

CELEB MAY-WHENEVER ROMANCES: Oh No They Didn't lists relationship age differences from o­ne to 32+ years.

YOU'VE GOT TO SEE THE BAY-BEE: Jerry Seinfeld is a Dad for the third time. Just keep the baby away from the dingo, because you don't want someone turning up decades later claiming to be your kid.

BRITNEY SPEARS' husband gets a job. Sha na na na, na na na na na.

SIN CITY: Frank Miller says the sequel will include Nancy Callahan -- the character played by Jessica Alba in the original.

MARY-KATE OLSEN may become the new face of Calvin Klein. She may attract a younger demographic than Ashley, who was born two minutes earlier. No doubt her eating disorder was also considered a plus by the waif-friendly designer.

DENISE RICHARDS and CHARLIE SHEEN look more and more like they are reconciling.

ORLANDO BLOOM is a scatterbrain, which may explain his o­n-again relationship with Kate Bosworth.

JOHN CLEESE is having parts of his colon removed... and wants to auction them o­n his web site. I think he may run into some legal problems regarding medical waste disposal. But it's the thought that counts.

ALI G was dunked in the ocean by Pamela Anderson's bodyguards after he rugby-tackled the sexy actress at her dogs' wedding. Dude.Man.Phat has pictures.

TERI HATCHER is back to complaining she can't find a man. Hey, she had her chance; I'm not dating her. That's final. Unless she calls.

IRAQ: Parliament took another day to attempt to win Sunni approval of the draft constitution. Iraqi Star, the local version of American Idol, has attracted a record viewership, though the final elimination rounds cannot be held in front of a live studio audience for security reasons. And Michael Yon has another riveting dispatch from Mosul, with photos of close quarters combat.

IRAQ II: Col. Thomas Spoehr says New York Times reporter Michael Moss spun a good news story about body armor into a bad news story. Mustang 09, blogging from Baghdad, noted this also. PowerLine details how AP reporter Angela Brown is airbrushing the facts when it comes to antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan. So when Knight Ridder's Tom Lasseter writes that insurgents in the al Anbar province have fought the U.S. military to a stalemate and that some commanders fear that much of the military effort is wasted, what should I make of it? I know that people like Clark Hoyt, the Washington Editor for KR, already takes the position that there is little good news to report from Iraq. I also know that Hoyt made a number of errors (regarding oil production, electricity generation and the number of provinces with few terror attacks) and omissions, as Brookings' Iraq Index shows. Gary Berkley, former publisher of a KR paper, thinks KR's coverage is biased as does Stingray, who is stationed in the al Anbar province. And there's nothing in Lasseter's stories suggesting he knows he was reporting o­n a cordon and search operation, not a clear and hold operation. So while I'm sure al Anbar is still a mess, I guess I'm taking those stories with a grain of salt.

ORGY ERUPTS at the trendy Bistro Du Vent in NYC.

POLICE NAB SEX OFFENDER SLEEPING WITH 15-YEAR OLD in Tennessee. The girl's mother had no problem with it, thereby perpetuating stereotypes about the South.

I DON'T LIKE MONDAYS: Britons are more likely to commit suicide o­n Monday than any other day of the week, according to researchers from the Office for National Statistics. This result held even for pensioners, who don't have to go to work. Sometimes, there are no reasons.

L.A. GATOR UPDATE: Lake Machado is now being scoured by three alligator wrestlers and a cameraman from Gatorland of Orlando, FL, in hopes of catching the crafty Carlito, who has already eluded Colorado-based gator wrangler Jay Young.

TWENTY-NINE CROCODILES BUST OUT of a wildlife farm east of Beijing. The farm has set up a hotline for tips o­n any of the 13 runaway crocodiles still at large.

NEW BIOTERROR THREAT posed by Vietnamese Catfish.

TORTOISE has surgery, gets underbelly patched with fiberglass. I wonder if that came with TrueCoat... Anyway, it's probably better than using Bondo.

TURTLE EGGS: To persuade Mexican men not to illegally consume turtles' eggs which they believe to be aphrodisiacs, an international conservation group has launched an ad campaign featuring models with bulging breasts with the headline, "My man does not need turtle eggs because he knows they don't make him more potent." The National Women's Institute, while behind the effort to end consumption of turtle eggs, feels the campaign portrays women as sex objects.

KILLER WHALES have learned to set traps to catch seagulls.

DOLPHINS, PORPOISES AND SEALS have been spotted o­n London's River Thames.

HOMELESS BEAR ARRESTED for begging in Siberia.

ELEPHANT RELOCATION PLAN SUSPENDED in Kenya after a truck broke under the animals' weight.

SPIDER CAUSES CAR WRECK: A German woman shocked by a spider crawling across her face lost control of her car and crashed head o­n into a roadside tree, according to police in the western town of Rheine. The car was totally destroyed but the woman and the spider escaped with o­nly slight injuries.

TWO SUSPECTS AND A PARAKEET were sought by police in the investigation of a robbery of a hardware store in Des Moines, IA. It turned out that Peetie was a small parrot and apparently was not charged in the case.

RARE WOODPECKER AUDIO suggests there might be more than o­ne of the ivory-billed woodpecker -- o­nce thought extinct -- an eastern Arkansas swamp. Woodpecker audio at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Much less rare Woody Woodpecker audio at Frogstar.

3005 Reads

Super Furry Animals, Pet Politics, Dogs, Ducks, a Gator and a Llama   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS score an impressive 8.5 for Love Kraft o­n the Pitchfork.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' Twin Cinema is racking up raves most everywhere, looking at the round-up at Metacritic. The Onion's A.V. Club says, "it sounds like a blast of pure pop from somewhere beyond the stars."

DICKEY BETTS reportedly got fired from the Allman Brothers for partying too much. He hasn't stopped.

LAURA VEIRS tells Seattle Weekly that if she had to be something other than a musician, she would want to be be an Iditarod dog musher. Why not a lumberjack?

PETE TOWNSHEND can remember fans' names years after meeting them -- and he loves to surprise unsuspecting fans with warm greetings. Especially the younger o­nes. Okay, I made that last bit up... I think.

METAL MADNESS ensues when Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson and Sharon Osbourne start feuding.

PET POLITICS is the nom de rock of Magnus Larsson, who tells *Sixeyes that some of his favorite records are by Bonnie "Prince" Billy, the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Silver Jews, and Magnetic Fields. His stuff bears out those influences, with the exception of Sonic Youth. The interview also links to legal downloads for you listening pleasure.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer is supposedly back with galpal Kate Moss, so why is Moss moving to L.A., where she fled two months ago when she and Doherty briefly broke up.

IST is a British pop (but not Britpop) band that came to my attention via You Ain't No Picasso. I tend to agree with Matt of YANP that there are some songwriting skills o­n display. You can stream four tracks from their new album from the band's MySpace page to hear for yourself.

BIG CHAMPAGNE: Pitchfork has a feature o­n the company that tracks o­nline downloading and filesharing. The feature ends up discussing the less obvious ways in which such activities affect the economics of the music industry.

KATRINA AND THE WAVES hit Florida this weekend (Thanks, Fark).

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie celebrated his divorce last weekend in Canada, where he is filming The Assassination Of Jesse James. Pitt, Jolie, her son and daughter took in a dinosaur exhibit at the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Defamer reports sightings of Cruise clones around the set of Mission Impossible 3. Scarlett Johansson may deny being approachedas a potential galpal by Cruise, but joins those against him o­n prescription drugs.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: The teen actress is spotted dining with Bruce Willis, which will reignite those old rumors.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Omar reported o­n bloody clashes in Najaf between the supporters of Muqtada Al-Sadr and the local authorities. It appears that attacks o­n SCIRI (the largest Siite party) offices and the headquarters of SCIRI's Badr Brigade militia have sparked conflict between the two Shiite rival groups across central and southern Iraq. Prime Minster Ibrahim al-Jaafari, also a Shiite, appeared o­n Iraqiya television shortly before midnight to call for restraint. Though no o­ne wants to see this sort of violence, it is a reminder that the Shiite majority is not monolithic, which may bode well in the context of the new constitution.

IRAQ II: In The New York Times, David Brooks gets good reactions o­n the draft constitution from Peter Galbraith (Brooks forgets to mention Galbraith advised the Kurds) and AEI's Reuel Marc Gerecht, whose views often differ (try bugmenot steverino73, 12345). ALSO: Maj. Gen. Douglas Lute, director of operations at CENTCOM, talks more about a possible significant drawdown in 2006; we can all hope for that.

IRAQ III: Most Americans think that both the military and the news media could have done more to inform the public about Iraq and the stakes involved in going to war there, according to a new Gallup poll reported in the Chicago Tribune. The WaPo has its own take o­n that poll and o­ne of its sources, Associate Prof. Cori Dauber, blogs further o­n it. Ironically, U.S. funded Al Hurra television and Radio Sawa have gained viewers and listeners and are increasingly deemed credible by Arabs throughout the Middle East.

EVA LONGORIA has said that she would not romance her fellow stars, because she feels that in Hollywood, everybody has slept with everybody. Wasn't Tommy Lee spotted stumbling out of her hotel room at 3:30 a.m. the other day?

SIX FEET UNDER: In the event that anyone who hasn't seen the finale who wants to, I won't spoil anything. But if you saw the end and want to know even more, check TV Squad.

WHEN WILL CELEB WEEKLIES' BUBBLE BURST? Inquiring minds at Business 2.0 want to know.

HOLLYWOOD'S SUMMER SLUMP ha hardened into a stark reality: "overall movie attendance, a figure not affected by inflation, has slid to below where it stood in mid-August 2001. DVD sales, while still robust, are no longer rising exponentially, and some analysts say that a poor box office performance this summer will lead to poor DVD sales this winter. With billions of dollars at stake, nerves are growing understandably frayed."

JOAN BAEZ visited "Camp Victory" to interview Bush supporters in Crawford, TX. The Buzz blog at National Review o­nline reports: "To Ms. Baez’s credit, she was quite respectful and diplomatic when talking with the supporters, even though they have very different views o­n the war and President Bush." Marxist blogger Norm Geras invokes a peace anthem sung by Baez, with a twist. At MyDD (a nexus for the early supporters of Howard Dean's Presidential campaign), Chris Bowers is tired of Vietnam comparisons that he thinks are unhelpful to the antiwar cause.

EGYPTIAN BLOGGERS are leading antigovernment protests. The linked article also notes that Bahrain is another Middle Eastern country where bloggers have butted heads with the government in recent months, with calls for a new constitution, the separation of powers, and greater political liberties seemingly rattling the government.

SIN CITY: As I surmised from the lack of extras o­n the DVD, Robert Rodriguez is hard at work o­n a special edition, due this December, that sounds like it will have some really unique stuff. Also, it appears that the sequel will start shooting in January.

BILL MURRAY: I'm a fan, but you hear these stories about him threatening a production assisstant with a knife and cannot help being disappointed.

SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE: Keanu Reeves has dumped his girlfriend to start dating Diane Keaton.

SEAN PENN meets with Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the late Ayatollah and wonders what yardstick defines Iran as a terrorist-supporting nation, yet dismisses such a claim against the United States. Aside from the U.S. using a uniformed military that does not target civilians, does not kidnap civilians and saw their heads off while praising God, and does not impose a Christian theocracy o­n "infidels," I wouldn't have an answer for him off the top of my head. Did Sean learn nothing from Mr. Hand?

OSAMA BIN LADEN reportedly injured in Afghanistan, fwiw. As the story is that he was wounded while taking part in an attack o­n a Spanish military base, I would guess it's not worth much; I don't see OBL as being a "hands o­n" manager at this point.

ASSASSINATION: Given the general uproar (myself included) over the Rev. Pat Robertson's comments, I note that all sorts of folks in the media -- from Thomas Friedman of The New York Times to Bill Kristol to George Stephanopolous -- advocated the assassination of Saddam Hussein. The case of Saddam may well be distinguishable from that of Hugo Chavez, but the general lack of uproar over those other comments (outside the pages of Mother Jones, natch) still makes for an interesting contrast. Perhaps MoJo's Eric Umansky had it right in noting that "The press, of course, has the distinct advantage that nobody really follows their policy suggestions anyway, so their advice doesn't have to be diplomatic, or even legal..."

CULT OF THE iPod: In The New Republic, Michael Crowley argues that the iPod is the rock snob's dream and nightmare. Ladies can now carry their Pod in Kate Spade's new line of cases.

EVIAN WATER-COOLED BIKINIS: Coverage of the latest in swimwear technology, as o­nly London's Sun can do it.

NEW YORK CITY is o­nly the 21st most liberal city in America, according to a new survey.

THE BLOB is threatening some of Canada's richest fishing grounds.

THE BLUE ANGELS: As Pate site member Craig O'Neill retains an interest in aircraft, I thought I would link to a slideshow and video of the flying team at Seafair 2005 in Washington state.

DOGS: Russian terrier Ringo Tsar is taking kickboxing training from a former world champion. Lhasa Apsos have a £300 birthday party, complete with a "bouncy castle." A Pomeranian mix alerted the neighbors when her foster owner collapsed.

DUCKS are pranking the royal family, perhaps resenting that the royals have stolen their look.

L.A. GATOR UPDATE: Two people were arrested Wednesday for allegedly turning an alligator loose in Lake Machado, where the crafty Carlito has continued to evade capture.

THE "LLAMA LOOPHOLE" allows a camelid to roam the streets of Casper, Wyoming.

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