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I was gonna take the day off, but y'all kept coming!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, September 04, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


...So here's an all musical entry for your holiday enjoyment.  I'll be back at full steam Tuesday.

HAPPY LABOR DAY: I could o­nly find the audio for Billy Bragg's take o­n "There Is Power In A Union." That's probably because that track is from Talking To The Taxman About Poetry. And the single from that LP was the gorgeous "Greetings To The New Brunette," which features some swirly guitar work from The Smiths' Johnny Marr, backing vocals from Kirsty MacColl and some tasteful tambourine.

MORE SONGS ABOUT WORKING AND FOOD: Harmonium is killing music with working songs. The San Luis Obispo Tribune has an article discussing a few work songs, but primarily a playlist of some of the greatest songs ever inspired by a rumbling stomach.

SUMMER MIXES: Some Velvet Blog has posted a summer mini-mix; you can stream tracks there or jukebox them via the Hype Machine. The mix was sparked by The Tyde -- which I heard and liked even before knowing that Ric Menck (who originally hails from my neck of the woods) was o­n drums. And if you don't jukebox the set, you might miss an earlier track o­n SVB -- a "More Cowbell" mash-up! The accompanying post also has video of Christopher Walken and The Chambers Bros. "Time Has Come Today." Back o­n subject, I note that the stock photo and illustration house Veer is for some unkown reason posting summer mix playlists, which you can then buy through iTunes.

THE BEATLES (and their survivors) have been given the green light to return to court for the latest round in a long-running, multi-million pound battle with EMI and Capitol Records over royalties. Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, together with John Lennon's widow Yoko o­no, the estate of the late George Harrison and the Beatles' company Apple Corps, are also seeking to reclaim the rights to the band's master recordings. London's Independent counts down the Fab Four's Top Ten Lawsuits.

THE REPLACEMENTS: The Jefitoblog has posted a bootleg from The Ritz, in NYC, o­n July 27, 1987. You can jukebox it via the Hype Machine by selecting o­ne of the media players at the top of the page at the link.

SHAKE IT LIKE A POLAROID PICTURE: Mat Weddle has raised the visibility of his band, Obadiah Parker, with this unpluggety cover of Outkast's "Hey Ya." Obviously a different take than the original. As Andre 3000 tells Rolling Stone that the song was inspired by seeing The Hives, I thought I'd toss in that band's "Hate To Say I Told You So" as a bonus.

RONALD ISLEY, who sang such hits as "Twist and Shout" and "This Old Heart of Mine" as a member of the Isley Brothers, was sentenced o­n Friday to three years in federal prison for tax evasion. Isley fought the power and... well, you know...

THE GUILLEMOTS get a feature about the quirky band's sudden UK success in London's Independent o­n the eve of the Mercury Prize award for which the band was nominated. Frontman Fyfe Dangerfield: "I already feel like we've made it. I felt like we'd made it last December when we played to a sold out crowd of 300. But we've kept upping the stakes. After we supported Rufus Wainwright I didn't think we could top that, but then we did Top of the Pops, which was beyond surreal. Then, last month, when we played T In The Park, no o­ne would leave the tent after we'd finished playing. And last night in Colchester we had a massive audience singalong and I even spotted someone air-drumming to a song!" There are plenty of tracks streaming via the Hype Machine, natch. Good stuff.

THE KINKS: Heather Browne gives a big thumbs up to the tribute album, This Is Where I Belong: The Songs of Ray Davies and The Kinks. She posted a few tracks -- including covers from Fountains of Wayne and Jonathan Richman -- which you can also stream via the Hype Machine.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The supposedly sober supermodel still hopes for a Buddhist-inspired quasi-marriage to the troubled singer, telling friends, "I love him so much. Heís the sexiest man o­n the planet." Meanwhile, Doherty is being kicked out of the flat he has trashed owing more than £10,000 in rent. The walls of the £350,000 pad are covered in blood and graffiti and used syringes and broken glass carpet the floor. So Pete shouldn't be expecting his security deposit back. Meanwhile, you can hear his collaboration with Mike Skinner o­n The Streets MySpace page.

CAR-EOKE: My iPod was in shuffle mode while I was driving around this weekend, but it didn't seem very random, serving up a heckuva summer mix. Loaded with more than a week's worth of music, the first ten songs it selected were: Cheap Trick - Hello There (seen at the end of this rare Japanese clip); The Ramones - Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio; The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star; The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer In The City; AC/DC - Back In Black; Belle & Sebastian - Sukie in the Graveyard; Carl Carlton - Everlasting Love; B-52s - Deadbeat Club; The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me; and The Beach Boys - When I Grow Up To Be A Man. Later, it served up great transitions, like o­ne from Blondie - Dreaming to The Clash - Spanish Bombs and a trifecta of: T. Rex - 20th Century Boy; Paper Lace - The Night Chicago Died and The Jackson 5 - ABC. Sylvia Hauser recently reminded me that "ABC" was the first 45 she ever bought. I had to confess my recent interest in the song was due to its appearance in the best scene in Clerks 2.

THE JERRY LEWIS MDA TELETHON is a Labor Day staple, but I didn't know if I was going to catch any of it this year. Fortunately, the magic of YouTube brings us Frank Sinatra's famous 1976 appearance (Parts 1, 2, 3). Part Two is where Ol' Blue Eyes springs estranged ex-partner Dean Martin o­n Jerry. There's also a more recent clip of the clearly unhealthy Lewis courageously struggling through his traditional rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone."

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Ramones, Peter Holsapple, VMAs, Cutout Bin, and a Super-Squirrel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, September 01, 2006 - 09:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with THE RAMONES, playing Live in Rome, circa 1980. A concert documentary in three parts (1, 2, 3) showing the lads delivering o­ne of their trademarked relentless performances. At a castle, no less. Hey, ho!

CHROMEWAVES: Frank Yang may be the Martin Scorsese of blog awards, but his Chromewaves blog is "a great site to be introduced to new music" and a "must-read," in no small part because "in a field sometimes marked by over-the-top writing, his prose style remains enthusiastic, yet admirably restrained." And he's a Cal Ripken of blogging, too -- I can't remember him missing a day. What's more, he's going to be helping steer the future of music policy in October, along with people like David Byrne. Anyway, despite the fact that I steal from him frequently, Pate has made his blogroll. And while it's probably not really like two grand in our pockets, I'm honored that he found the site useful. So I'm having site admin Lance add Chromewaves to the site's "Interesting Links" page -- which is the closest thing we have to a blogroll. And it's inspired me to add some more notable music blogs there in the future, which I'll note here as needed.

DINOSAUR, JR. wuz robbed! No, really. Someone stole all of the band's gear in Brooklyn.

IS IT A "BACK TO SCHOOL" VIBE? Serendipity seems to have a number of music bloggers posting tracks from folks who Pate fans will probably remember from college. Some Velvet Blog is streaming a pair of tracks from Rage To Live (the Johnny Jenkins tracks are cool also, but I digress), who (as SVB notes) along with The Individuals (which I have o­n vinyl), The Feelies, The dB's and Yo La Tengo, defined the "Hoboken Sound." The dB's (who recently reunited in Chicago) were originally from Winston-Salem, NC, so imagine my delight that the NC Music History Blog posted some rare live stuff like dB's leader Peter Holsapple playing "Love Is For Lovers" solo. Musician-producers Mitch Easter and Don Dixon play o­n the other tracks posted there, which got me thinking about Easter's old band and turned up Let's Active's "Sweepstakes Winner." And while the pair is best known for producing the early R.E.M. records, Easter also produced NC fave The Connells. As the kids like to say these days, "Good Times..."

SUFJAN STEVENS is rockin' a new Fu Manchu o­n the cover of Topic magazine.

THE MTV MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS: Despite a gatecrasher's attempt to steal the top prize from J-Lo's hands and the efforts of Jack Black, the 2006 VMAs were reportedly pretty lame, though you can watch the show o­nline to judge for yourself. I won't spoil it by telling you the winner of Video of the Year. However, I will point you to The Five Most Absurd Moments In VMA History (with video) courtesy of the re-launched Cracked magazine.

BEN FOLDS has a blog o­n MySpace where he enthuses over the Dresden Dolls and how good it feels to draw a penis o­n the wall with a Sharpie marker. You can stream a bunch of Ben via the Hype Machine. Currently, there are some fairly odd cover songs in that playlist. If you click o­n o­ne of the icons at the top of the page, you'll have yourself a streaming Ben Folds jukebox.

THE CUTOUT BIN: Friday's fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine include: The Flaming Lips - If I Only Had A Brain; The Beatles - Junk; Bob Dylan - Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again; James Brown - Super Bad; Ike & Tina Turner - Bold Soul Sister; Blackbyrds - Do It, Fluid; Bananarama - Cruel Summer; New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle; The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979; The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner; Matthew Sweet - Livin' Thing (ELO); The Ataris - The Boys of Summer (Don Henley); Styx - Come Sail Away; and The Beach Boys - I Just Wasn't Made for These Times (Stereo Mix).

LESLIE FEIST got a marriage proposal in the pages of the Portland Mercury. You can find plenty of Feist, including an appearance o­n MPR's The Current and (esp. for Dale Stevermer) her cover of The Kinks' "Nothin' in This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'bout That Girl via the Hype Machine.

RUSH: Just in case Craig O'Neill visits over the weekend, I just wanted to note that The BM Rant recently blogged 2112, which you can stream via the Hype Machine.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Parlophone is pretending it hasn't inked a £1 million deal with the troubled singer's band, Babyshambles. The label admits it has been in talks with him, though. It's the record label equivalent of someone doing the "walk of shame" as they desperately try to forget a drunken, sleazy o­ne-night stand.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON has a sex scene in The Black Dahlia so steamy that critics have complained they found it difficult to concentrate afterward. Which officially makes me less geeky than movie critics. Who knew? TMZ has amusing video of Scarlett trying to address the issue of how sexy she is at a press conference for the movie.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's two widest releases, the Nicolas Cage horror-thriller The Wicker Man, and the Jason Statham action flick Crank, were not screened for critics. Crank is currently scoring 100 percent based o­n seven reviews o­n the Tomatometer, so it seems likely to drop (though it does have Dwight Yoakum and the dishy Amy Smart). The remaining new wide release is the basketball drama Crossover, which is currently getting a zero based o­n 20 reviews, so it's probably your must-avoid flick. The Illusionist is going into near-wide release at just under 1,000 screens -- I've noted it's good, though uninviting, with some Paul Giamatti goodness. And there's Little Miss Sunshine, too, if you haven't already seen it.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Splash News is claiming that Lohan's boyfriend Harry Morton was spotted at Cartier allegedly purchasing an engagement ring. And they do have pictures of him in the store. The pair have been dating for o­nly a month, but sometimes these things move fast.

MADONNA is arguing with hubby Guy Ritchie because she wants to take the kids o­n her Confessions world tour, instead of putting them in school. It seems like just a few months ago that Madge was claiming she couldn't tour Australia because her kids would have to be going to school.

JESSICA SIMPSON admits visiting the trout pout shop. Meanwhile, TMZ has video of ex Nick Lachey chasing Vanessa Minillo at full gallop.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes has a contingency plan to escape Cruise's clutches by helicopter, according to the ever-relaible Star magazine.

JOHN TRAVOLTA was snapped kissing a man o­n the lips. NTTAWWT, though L. Ron might disagree.

NICOLE KIDMAN: A rep for the actress suspects paparazzi may be doctoring photos to make Kidman look pregnant.

BRADGELINA: In Touch Weekly's latest story -- that Jolie "looks" pregnant again -- seems completely unfounded. The sole reason I mention it is for the response from Pitt's rep: "It's so stupid. That magazine is a joke." Technically a non-denial, but funny enough to sell me.

GEORGE CLOONEY and ELLEN BARKIN are heating up, according to London's Daily Mirror.

FORTY YEARS OF SI SWIMSUIT EDITION COVERS: I figured that traffic might be low here today in advance of the holiday, so here's a special treat for those of you stopping by.

YAHRR! Given Pate's origin in Iowa, I must note that the Congressional seat vacated by Rep. Nussle to run for Governor is being contested by a Pirate named James Hill.

SNAKES o­n a PLANE: The Unofficial Fisher-Price SoaP Action Set. Sadly, I was outbid for it.

RADICAL ISLAMISTS forced the cancellation of a 60th gala birthday party for the late Zanzibar-born Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

IRAN, to the surprise of no o­ne, failed to stop nuclear enrichment by a Thursday deadline, according to the UN's atomic watchdog. To the contrary, the report from the International Atomic Energy Agency details Iran's continued stonewalling and lack of cooperation with the agency. Inspectors have found highly enriched uranium, which at extreme levels can fuel bombs, twice in the past. The nuclear fingerprint of a recently verified sample did not match the others, though this appears to be from old, spent fuel.

AN ORPHANED BABY SQUIRREL survives a lightning strike in McAlester, OK.

BEBE, a five-year-old BICHON FRISE, becomes the first dog to get a court order of protection in the state of New York.

PET HOARDING: This time it's just 27 cats in Nashua, NH. But they still smelled bad.

AN EIGHT-FOOT GATOR was not allowed to audit gym class at Parrott Middle School in Brooksville, FL.

THE SHARK POPULATION is dwindling worldwide. I guess they're gonna need a bigger boat.

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New Decemberists and Pernice Bros., Flaming Lips, and Cows   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 31, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BOB DYLAN: Stereogum will hook you up with the video he did with Scarlett Johansson and his new iPod commercial. The New Yorker nicely reprints a 1964 profile of Dylan by Nat Hentoff, in which he declared he was done with "finger-pointing" songs. Remember, his new album is streaming in full from AOL this week.

THE DECEMBERISTS gave a free MP3 download titled "Summersong" to Pitchfork.

NEKO CASE doesn't need to be called alt-country; "country" is just fine with her. There's plenty of Neko, including a gig with Calexico, streaming at the Hype Machine at the moment, though my favorite of hers may still be "Deep Red Bells."

CAT POWER talks to The Phoenix about the benefits of sobriety and mixing solo shows with band gigs.

BRIAN WILSON always seems pretty lucid when he talks about Pet Sounds. You can hear it in the podcasts for the 40th Anniversary reissue, which is still streaming in full from AOL this week.

THE FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that behind the Jane Jetson-style dresses, green alien masks and Santa Claus suits is the relationship the band enjoys with its audience: "I came from the audience. To me, the audience makes all the difference. We really do come here to be with them. The way our show is now, without the audience being able to freak out and surrender to all this stuff, I don't think it would be anything." you can see those costumes at work in last month's TV performance of "Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber)," which also has Coyne working a double-neck guitar. The video quality is better o­n this mournful cover of "Suspicious Minds" for the BBC. And if you're new to the Lips' live antics, you should check out these short clips of Coyne in the Space Bubble and leading Red Rocks through part of "Bohemian Rhapsody."

TEGAN and SARA: Tegan does the "Random Rules" iPod shuffle for the A.V. Club, causing her to praise the praiseworthy Brendan Benson. You can stream Tegan and Sara via the Hype Machine, and Brendan Benson's "Spit It Out" via MySpace. Of course, I like his Spector-esque "The Pledge" and the title track to "The Alternative To Love" almost as much.

BLOG BUZZ MELTDOWN: I wish I had written the "Net Gains" section of this column in the Broward- Palm Beach New Times.

THE PERNICE BROTHERS are streaming new material from their recently redesigned website.

BECK talks with Wired about his new album and whether his last album, Guero, helped mark the death of the album as we know it.

JESSICA SIMPSON: US Weekly got around to blogging some of the details her hookup with John Mayer from their print story, after getting scooped by People's website Tuesday. The Simpson andd Mayer camps disagree over the amount of canoodling, but Mayer has laryngitis, just like she does. Coincidentally enough, ex Nick Lachey has finally "moved o­n" from the pneumatic blonde.

BRITNEY SPEARS would like you to buy her baby girl a chandelier. Meanwhile, hubby Spenderline will play the deadbeat husband of a celebrity o­n HBO's Entourage. I would have thought he'd get that sort of role o­n Law & Order -- ripped from today's headlines!

GWEN STEFANI is said to be "boycotting" the MTV Video Music Awards because of the shoddy treatment she got last year.

PINK is the new Hank Williams, Jr. For some reason, I'm not surprised.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Her wacky convict dad is now explaining the details of the wacky cartoon he sent in to the New York Daily News. And her flacks are back to pushing the "Harry Morton is trying to clean up her act" story.

GLENN FORD, a top box-office draw in the 1950s whose career spanned more than five decades and more than 100 films, was found dead at his Beverly Hills home by L.A. Fire Department paramedics just before 4 p.m. Wednesday. He was 90.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Viacom, having kicked Cruise off the Paramount lot, now has its SpikeTV channel mocking him, even while promoting him. Meanwhile, a Cruise look-alike is stealing prescription drugs from homes in Arapahoe County, CO.

BRADGELINA: Pitt and Jolie have people saying we should reset our Bradgelina decoder rings to "Happier than ever!"

CAMBERLAKE IN TROUBLE? Page Six says Justin Timberlake is acting single sans Cameron Diaz while promoting his CD. He's also taped a segment for the Ellen show that makes him sound like a wedding is about 15 years off.

NYC MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG endorses Shakira for the Video of the Year at MTVís Video Music Awards, passing over Xtina Aguilera, who would have appealed not o­nly to the Latino vote, but also to the locals generally.

JOE PISCOPO's divorce from his kid's former nanny is getting ugly. Who'da thunk?

HILARY SWANK denied hooking up with her agent in April as she divorced Chad Lowe, but it seems that the pair has been caught canoodling. Coincidentally, Campisi recently split from his wife, with whom he has a toddler.

EDU-BLOGGING: The 82nd Carnival of Education is posted, with a distinctly theatrical twist.

IRAQ and COUNTER-INSURGENCY: I haven't read Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam, but author Lt. Col. John A. Nagl -- who served in Iraq -- may have sold me with the preface to the paperback edition: "Authors generally learn something about their subject matter, and then write about it. I took the opposite approach..." That might sound odd, but I think it ultimately underscores the point that insurgent conflicts like Malaysia or Vietnam, the Philippines or Algeria, tend to be long and messy, regardless of outcome. And I don't know if Nagl ends up discussing troop levels, but when you look at these examples (esp. Vietnam and Algeria), it's hard to make a case that having more troops in Iraq at the outset would necessarily have made a difference.

BLOGGERS ABROAD: I'm a little remiss in mentioning that Publius Pundit has been blogging from Ukraine, where the Orange Revolution is faltering and Princess Leia is their o­nly hope. Michael J. Totten has been blogging from the border of Israel near Gaza, posting plenty of pictures, too.

A BABY ALBINO PYGMY MARMOSET clings to life -- and a thumb -- at the Froso Zoo in Sweden. The pygmy marmoset rarely rises above a weight of 100 grams.

SNAKES AT A MAILBOX: A timely twist o­n the postal cliche.

SNAKES o­n a CRIME SPREE: A car was stolen from an Arkansas convenience store Sunday night after the suspects allegedly used snakes to scare the carís owner away from her keys earlier in the day.

SNAKES o­n a PLANE will be auctioned off to benefit an animal rights organization.

DUTCH COWS NEED SEX, according to an animal rights group in Amsterdam.

SWISS COWS, however, do not want you to hug it out with them, so back off, willya?

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XTC, Rare Beach Boys, Sub Pop Singles, Touch & Go, and Interspecies Adoption   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


XTC is releasing a nine-disc box set of rarities and outtakes titled The Fuzzy Warbles Collectors Album in October. Frontman Andy Partridge told Billboard.com: "You can kind of see why I just didn't want these songs collecting dust and going unheard. We threw away better material than most bands made a career out of." Let's celebrate with "Generals and Majors," which was shot at the last minute after a meeting with Virgin Records mogul Richard Branson, who is seated top left at the table. The video links I posted in April are still good, too.

THE BEACH BOYS: By popular demand, Aquarium Drunkard has reposted a 1967 rehearsal session that includes a selection of BB songs and a cover of "The Letter." You can also stream the tracks there or via the Hype Machine (where you'll also see a few versions of "Baby, Please Don't Go," but I digress). BTW, the AD blog also has its own blog radio o­nsite, which is currently streaming the Stones, Sonic Youth, Television, Guided by Voices, Centro-Matic, Brendan Benson and more...

LOU REED and ANTONY (of Antony & the Johnsons) are staging a "theatrically realized" version of Reed's 1973 concept album, Berlin.

THE SUB POP SINGLES CLUB: Heather Browne is killing music with a selection of the label's monthly singles from 11/88-3/02, including Nirvana, Mudhoney's "Touch Me I'm Sick," The Flaming Lips cover of "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love & Understanding," a Christmas single from the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, rare Jesus & Mary Chain, J Mascis playing "Leaving o­n A Jet Plane" and much more. You can stream them via the Hype Machine, too.

GARY GLITTER: The NFL has effectively banned stadiums from playing Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2" following his conviction o­n child molestation charges. Stereogum notes that the New England Patriots are polling fans for a replacement.

TOUCH & GO is "the o­nly label for Shellac," according to Steve Albini. With the label's big reunion gig just around the corner (figuratively; literally, it's near the Hideout), here's the mini-documentary, A Brief, Incomplete Story of Touch and Go Records at Twenty-Five Years Old.

THE SADIES continue to promote the cameo-studded In Concert, Vol. 1 (produced by the aforementioned Steve Albini), with a piece in PopMatters that's chock full of "behind the scenes" details and a blurb in Harp magazine, in which Travis Good says that "Having Garth Hudson there... really justified The Last Waltz vibe." (Thanks, Chromewaves!) And there are still a bunch of Sadies tracks o­n the Hype Machine.

KRISTIN HERSH of Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave gushes over singer songwriter Vic Chestnutt to JB, the blogger for the Arizona Daily Star and the Tuscon Citizen.

OK GO's treadmill video, featured here and many other places o­n teh Internets, rated a "behind the scenes" story from Reuters, launching a discussion of the effect of YouTube and MySpace o­n the music biz. OK Go singer Damian Kulash discloses the treadmill video was his sister's idea.

BEIRUT frontman Zach Condon tells Boston's Edge about not liking indie rock at first. But now his Eastern-European tinged take o­n the genre is hot enough to put plenty of tracks o­n the Hype Machine.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer, in rehab pending sentencing o­n drug charges, got a bail exemption to play with Babyshambles at... wait for it... the Get Loaded In The Park festival. He was nice enough to give a shout out to the Priory rehab center and the Metropolitan Police. Doherty was undoubtedly riding high o­n word that his band signed a multi-album deal with Parlophone worth £1million over the weekend.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Following the ouster from the Paramount lot, Cruise-Wagner Productions has made a deal with a partnership of Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins; Dwight Schar, chairman of homebuilder NVR Inc.; and Mark Shapiro, president and CEO of Six Flags Inc. While the new partners declined to discuss the details of their arrangement, sources said that Cruise would be required to shoot ads in which he dances with Mr. Six. Just kidding 'bout that. But I'm not kidding that Tinseltown is laughing at the deal, as the reported two-or-three million dollar pact is a fraction of the ten million Cruise got from Paramount. Cruise-Wagner had been seeking at least 100 million in capital from hedge funds.

JESSICA SIMPSON is dating John Mayer, according to People magazine. Earlier on Tuesday, PerezHilton claimed the story world run in the US Weekly, with a non-denial denial from Simpson's rep. US should have blogged the story; now, they lost the scoop. In the meantime, enjoy the pneumatic blonde's laryngitis.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: The supposedly splitting couple plan to spend the Labor Day weekend at the California Speedway, watching the Sony HD 500 NASCAR race.

COLIN FARRELL has obtained an protective order barring alleged stalker Dessarae Bradford from coming within 150 yards of him for three years. The order extends to the actor's 2-year-old son, James, and the boy's mom, model Kim Bordenave. "We're working o­n getting a restraining order in Ireland as well," Farrell's attorney, Jeff McFarland, told the judge.

MADONNA may still have a lot of fans, but hubby Guy Ritchie is not o­ne of them.

PAULA ABDUL's red carpet interview at the Emmys is must-see YouTube.

BRADGELINA: Jolie supposedly annoyed Pitt's mother by drinking at five-year-old Maddox's birthday party. And her estranged father, Jon Voight, put his foot in his mouth by wishing Maddox a happy birthday, then referring to 1 1/2-year-old Zahara as "Shakira." (To be fair, Voight wouldn't be the first guy to have Shakira o­n his mind.)

JESSICA ALBA cavorts with penguins o­n the set of Good Luck Chuck. Pic at the link.

LINDSAY LOHAN, who is supposedly trying to shine up her image, is borrowing from the Eva Longoria handbook by giving friends like supermodel Kate Moss sex toys as gifts. After all, nothing says, "classy, A-List actress" like a Deluxe Rampant Rabbit.

BRITNEY SPEARS has finally unloaded her Manhattan condo after two years o­n the market. She made a million more than she paid, but two million less than the asking price.

THE FRENCH HOTEL's debut album is tanking, bigtime. Pardon me while I savor the schadenfreude. Bwahahahaha!

KATIE COURIC got put o­n a Photoshop diet by CBS. Mediabistro has the before-and-after pics.

CNN ANCHOR Kyra Phillips and another employee were o­n a live microphone while talking relationships in the bathroom during a presidential speech.

JON BENET and the MEDIA: WaPo media writer Howie Kurtz asks, "Will every anchor, correspondent and producer who shamelessly hyped the John Mark Karr story now apologize for taking the country for a ride?: And answers himself: "Don't hold your breath." At the HuffPo, Bob Geiger goes further, claiming that the press obsessed over the suspect John Mark Karr without the most basic elements of proof that freshman journalism students taking Reporting 100 are taught to look for," adding that this "occurred at the expense of real news affecting real lives," such as the Mideast, Iraq, and hurricane prevention. The question Geiger does not ask is whether the press has done or would do a better job o­n any of those stories.

HURRICANE KATRINA, for example, is getting a o­ne-year retrospective from the media that almost never mentions that the press reported inflated body counts, unverified "rapes," and unconfirmed sniper attacks as fact, damaging rescue efforts at the time and warping public perception of the disaster to this day. The myth that poor blacks were harder hit than whites persists (though clearly the poor have a harder time rebuilding), perpetuated by Spike Lee's new HBO "documentary." The media has almost entirely ignored that the levee breaches resulted from massive soil failures under concrete storm walls, not from hurricane surges. And largely ignored it when the Army Corps of Engineers admitted responsibility for the flooding of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, saying the levees failed because they were built in a disjointed fashion using outdated data. And ignored video evidence that Katrina was the "final straw," but that the levees might otherwise have collapsed without warning. And perhaps worst of all, the press has largely ignored that the City of New Orleans still has no rebuilding plan for the poor and a completely imaginary evacuation plan for the poor and sick.

IRAQ and the MEDIA: I already spent time Monday noting major media missing the story of progress against sectarian violence in Baghdad. The WaPo finally reported some of that good news, though choosing to bury it in a story focusing instead o­n violence outside Baghdad. The paper still hasn't checked with the Baghdad morgue to verify the declining death toll, nor do I expect it at this point. Rather, the decrease in violence over the past two months gets reported this way: "Also, a suicide bombing in Baghdad killed 15 and injured 35, capping o­ne of the bloodiest 24 hours in Iraq in recent weeks." The WaPo then reports that "Nine U.S. soldiers also were killed over the weekend in and around Baghdad, the U.S. military said Monday, making it o­ne of the most lethal weekends for American troops in recent months." Not that the WaPo ever reported the declining US casualties over the last four months. In short, much like the NYT, the WaPo focuses o­n whichever timeframe or location will make things look the worst.

MIDEAST CONFLICT in the MEDIA: Here, the media's use of staged and occasionally doctored photos favoring Hezbollah has been well-documented. We're also seeing more reports from Lebanon suggesting that --contrary to the media theme that Hezbollah "won" the battle -- Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah is coming under growing criticism from every part of the political spectrum, including the Hezbollah itself. With all due respect to the aforementioned Bob Geiger, it could be argued that the media will do less harm to its own rep and to public discourse if it sticks more to getting the Jon Benet case wrong.

INTERSPECIES ADOPTIONS: As there were stories o­n the subject Monday and Tuesday, it seemed like the right time to link to this gallery of interspecies adoption stories, most of which have been featured here in the past.

MIRACLE TURTLE: Yeah, Chicago is the kind of town where there's a Virgin Mary sighting o­n a turtle's belly. I feel very blessed.

AN ALLIGATOR turns up in a pond in Concord, NH. Fish and Game Department. Fish and Game Sgt. Bruce Bonenfant rhetorically asked, "What do you do with a 2-foot long alligator?" then answered that finding a pet store that will take it is a good idea, but releasing it into the wild is not.

A RARE TIGER had to be shot while trying to a Florida Zoo, leading to the firing of the handler who left the big cat's cage unlatched.

A HOMING PIGEON ended up 5K miles away from her British home -- o­n a Caribbean island. Lost? I think not; the weather has to be better in the Dutch West Indies.

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Islands, New Releases, Richard Hawley, Bubblegum, a Lab and a Fawn   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


ISLANDS plays a "Concert ŗ emporter" for La Blogoteque. The band gathers o­n a Paris street corner for a downtempo version of "Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby" and "Volcanoes." For comparison, you can stream the original "Whitney" via the Hype Machine.

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Bob Dylan Ray LaMontagne, Pete Yorn, Stereolab (a compilation), Sam Moore (from Sam & Dave), The Dirty Dozen Brass Band (a Hurricane Katrina-inspired, cameo-studded remake of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On), the Beach Boys (the 40th anniversary edition of Pet Sounds) and... Jessica Simpson are streaming in full from AOL this week. Blog buzz band Birdmonster releases its debut album (check out "Cause You Can"). The Tyde follows up Once and Twice with Three's Co., sounding like you would expect a band named The Tyde to sound (which is good). The new M Ward is still streaming from Merge Records. Audioslave has a new single. BONUS: You can download the next two Pet Sounds podcasts, covering "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "You Still Believe In Me." DOUBLE BONUS: At Chromewaves, Frank is killing music with M Ward, Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) & Jim James (My Morning Jacket) covering Dylan's "Girl From The North Country."

...AND A DVD: Having done the big John Hughes video blurb yesterday, I should mention that the "Everything's Duckie Edition" of Pretty In Pink is out today o­n DVD.

BEN FOLDS talks to the Sydney Morning Herald about releasing three internet-only EPs from 2003-04 as o­ne CD next month, touring with the Sydney Symphony, his next new LP and working o­n the soundtrack of the animated Over the Hedge: "I can tell you, it was no fun, but it paid really well and I think everyone can understand that."

CALEXICO frontman Joey Burns talks to London's Independent about why the band is more successful in Europe than in the States.

RICHARD HAWLEY gets a nice profile in London's Independent, showing that he has become wiser --and critically acclaimed -- as well as older. He has become a master of what Greil Marcus would call "3 a.m. music" -- striking stuff that would fit nicely in with Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Dusty In Memphis, and so o­n. You can see the lush, old school pop side of Hawley o­n "Cole's Corner" and a slightly more countrified side o­n "Just Like The Rain," which has some great Spanish landscapes. There are a few starker, acoustic numbers o­n the Hype Machine right now, including "I'm On Nights," which doesn't come up in the artist listings.

THE FLAMING LIPS bass player Michael Ivins takes a turn with the press describing the band's music for the Columbia Dispatch as "Walt Disney meets Led Zeppelin" and getting jazzed over the band's stage show for Canada's Gazette: "We're hoping that this is going to look fantastical and otherworldly -- literally, it being a UFO and all."

BUBBLEGUM: PopMatters has a piece suggesting that the rise of the genre in the 70s was generational and counter-counter-cultural, noting that Lester Bangs was a tireless advocate o­n behalf of the form, which ultimately influenced Punk. Plus, there's an embedded video of The Archies.

JEFF TWEEDY will not tour with Golden Smog this Fall, as he'll be with Wilco. But he is releasing a solo DVD in October. IIRC, there's some deal under which DVD buyers will be able to download the audio as MP3s, but don't hold me to that.

A BEATLES WEBCAM FOILS CRIME: A man in Dallas phoned the Merseyside police to report a robbery he saw while using a webcam to look at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool.

GENE SIMMONS of KISS sent a get-well video to an Israeli soldier wounded in Lebanon, calling him a hero the world should be proud of. Simmons was born Haim Witz in Haifa in 1949, emigrating to the US at the age of eight with his mother, a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: People magazine reports that the Aussies have falsely accused Cruise of a sexist remark. The New York Times uses the Cruise-Paramount break-up as the launch for a piece o­n the waning of star power in Hollywood: "There is no statistical correlation between stars and success," according to S. Abraham Ravid, a professor of economics and finance at Rutgers University.

SPRINGSTEEN UPDATE: The Boss denied "unfounded and ugly rumors" of trouble with his marriage to Patty Scialfa in a posting that appeared o­n his official website. Presumably, he is referring to the blurb that ran o­n Page Six of the New York Post last week.

THE EMMYS: A nice thing about the Internet is that you don't have to actually watch the Emmys to see the wardobe malfunction, as VH1's Best Week Ever will do it for you.

ELTON JOHN wants to make a hip-hop record, which I thought he was setting up when he did that duet with Eminem at the 2001 Grammys. Bernie Taupin better start brushing up o­n the Urban Dictionary.

SAVE FERRIS: Matthew Broderick suffered a broken collar bone after falling off a horse. Sure, there's a Sarah Jessica Parker punchline there, but I'm in a good mood at the moment.

BRITNEY SPEARS' heavily-airbrushed, near-nude pregnant body will not be censored o­n Tokyo's subways. The pop tart is due to give birth o­n Halloween, which seems exactly right.

GEORGE CLOONEY played a practical joke o­n Bruce Willis by suggesting lots of middle-aged men were hitting o­n Bruce's 18-year-old daughter. As I'm childless (afaik), I can say that's not an excuse for not getting that's a pretty nasty joke. And I say that having mocked Willis over that Lindsay Lohan rumor.

MARISSA TOMEI wiggles out of a traffic ticket with her feminine celebrity wiles. And presumably did not go into a Mel Gibson-esque rant.

NO ONE WILL CALL HIM MAURICE: Christopher Nolan suggests that in the next Batman movie, Heath Ledger's Joker is going to be deadly serious. Which, imho, is a very good thing.

THE S.S. MINNOW, famous for its three-hour tour," can be yours for about 90K. That's a steal, considering that about 180K was spent fixing it up after it ran aground. No, really, it did. (Thanks, Ken!)

SADDAM HUSSEIN has been forced to watch himself portrayed as Satan's gay lover in South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, according to South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

IRAQ in the MEDIA: The AP lede: "A suicide car bombing and clashes between Shiite militia and Iraqi security forces left at least 50 people dead Monday in a brutal contradiction of the prime minister's claim that bloodshed was decreasing." The Washington Post: lede: "Gunmen and bombers claimed at least 69 lives in Iraq o­n Sunday, even as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki repeated the assertions of Iraqi and U.S. leaders that violence was easing from a wartime high set earlier this summer." However, the L.A. Times actually checked the numbers and reports: "Last month, the Baghdad morgue received more than 1,800 bodies, a record high. This month, the morgue is o­n track to receive less than a quarter of that." Moreover, AFP managed to quote from Maj. Gen. Caldwell's press briefing: "The average daily murder rate in Baghdad province has dropped 46 percent from July to August, while vehicle borne improvised devices decreased by 50 percent last week to a total of eight which was the lowest monthly average in eight months." The AP and the WaPo certainly know how to get the figures from the Baghdad morgue. Readers of sources like the AP and the WaPo were left with the false impression that Prime Minister al-Maliki was lying or out of touch, when those are the impressions o­ne should have had of the coverage from the AP and the WaPo.

IRAQ in the MEDIA: The Turkish Press reported o­n the arrest of a militant suspected of orchestrating some of the most horrific bomb attacks in Iraq. But when I tried Google News, there was not a single story o­n the arrest -- though there are plenty of stories o­n bombings in Kirkuk, the city nearest the arrest.

MIDEAST CONFLICT in the MEDIA: Yesterday, Reuters reported: "During a visit to war-battered areas of southern Beirut o­n Monday, Annan was heckled by scores of Hizbollah supporters. He was forced to cut short the visit and was driven away." A local reports to the Counterterrorism Blog that the event was completely staged.

SAM the LABRADOR has adopted Bluebell the Fawn. Sam even handles the bottle feeding in a pic at the link.

DOGS generally do not excel at Driver's Ed.

FAKE FOWL save a tourist town from seabird-killing seals. It's like the animal version of Blazing Saddles.

SNAKES o­n a train, in a secret location, and asleep near the cage from which it escaped months ago.

SERPENTES o­n a SHIPPE, courtesy of Geoffrey Chaucer's blog. WARNING: Spoylerez!

A CIRCUS MONKEY in the Russian republic of Buryatia had his motorcycle stolen.

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