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Neko Case, Art Brut, Ryan Adams, Pandas, Turkeys, Kangaroos   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE CURRENT: The indie branch of MPR has an ocean of streams of cool bands just waiting for you -- The Shins, The Hold Steady, Bob Mould, The National, Rilo Kiley, Dungen, The Magic Numbers, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Brendan Benson, Crooked Fingers, Eels, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Feist, and many, many more.

CMJ AT 25: The mag celebrates in part with a list of the "25 Most Influential Artists" o­n college and non-commercial radio since the first CMJ gathering of the community 25 years ago. It also notes those Artists' predecessors and successors. (Thanks to Ken King for spotting this o­ne)

FAT POSSUM: *Sixeyes has kind words and a load of legal downloads from the label that is home not o­nly to bluesy indie-rock from the Black Keys and Heartless Bastards, but alo the garage of Thee Shams and the full-on blues of R.L. Burnside and Furry Lewis.

NEKO CASE and the Sadies' guitarists Dallas and Travis Good are interviewed about their brand of country music, as well as technical stuff in Guitar Player magazine.

ROCK FOR AGES: The Arizona Republic has theories o­n why some acts have longevity and others don't.

BOB GELDOF called o­n pop artist Peter Blake to do a Sgt. Pepper's pastiche for limited edition Live8 DVDs. Wish I had thought of that...

ART BRUT: You can (and should) stream the band's recent set for WFMU (the band's first US radio set) especially the lovely "Emily Kane." Plenty of Jonathan Richman references are sprinkled throughout these new-wavey numbers (Pate fans will love the U2 pastiche that pops up in "My Little Brother"), and bafflement by the band that we in the States know the lyrics when they don't have their record out here. (Love them Internets!)

PAUL WELLER: The former Jam frontman is to be honored for his outstanding contribution to music at next year's Brit Awards. He is undoubtedly thrilled to be following past awardees like Duran Duran.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer has reportedly checked into the same Arizona rehab clinic that just finished hosting the shamed supermodel.

LAURA VEIRS talks to The Stranger about working with a theme.

TAPES 'N' TAPES: This band from the Twin Cities cites Wire, Beach Boys, Pavement, Replacements, Pixies, Flaming Lips, Talking Heads, Television, Morris Day, and Lars Eric Mattsson as influences. YANP can hook you up with legal MP3s, or you can stream a few from MySpace. If you check out "Cowbell," you may end up with a fever... and the o­nly cure is... more cowbell!

TOP TEN EPs: Nice to see the format get some love, but someone at Stylus needs a history lesson -- these are all pretty recent.

RYAN ADAMS' upcoming album, 29, is streaming at Scenestars.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Interviews with Broken Social Scene and Sonic Youth's Lee Renaldo.

MORRISSEY answers his fan mail. The man has a way with words.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS turned down two million bucks for the use of "Hello Sunshine" in a Coca-Cola ad.

CULT OF THE iPod: Apple Computer's iTunes music store now sells more music than Tower Records or Borders, according to analyst firm the NPD Group.

SONY CD COPY-PROTECTION DEBACLE CONTINUES: The Electronic Frontier Foundation, along with two leading national class action law firms, have filed a lawsuit against Sony in Los Angeles County Superior court. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has also filed suit.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie make their first public appearance. Jolie says that motherhood was "the luckiest thing that ever happened to me." Using o­ne's wealth to jet off to various third-world countries to pick up orphans is an odd definition of luck, but whatever. Meanwhile, Pitt and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) battle over alpha-maledom.

ROGER DALTREY: The Who vocalist is talkin' 'bout his g-g-generation: "It's always frustrated me — rock 'n' roll and its statement about youth. Old age has its own problems, and it'd be great for Townshend to put those words into music." He also talks about contemporary bands.

BRITNEY SPEARS may be headed to Broadway, in hopes of getting a job for Cletus and hanging o­n to some of her own money.

FERGIE of Black Eyed Peas claims she hasn't had any work done. Yeah, right.

MADONNA is reaching a new low in trashy hooker fashion. Hubby Guy Ritchie is attempting to distance himself from Kabbalah, thinking it has done him no favors professionally. He's right, though most people don't pick a religion for career reasons -- not even Tom Cruise.

JASON SCHWARTZMAN (Rushmore, I <3 Huckabees, Shopgirl) is not o­nly pals with rocker Ben Lee, he toured Australia in 2002 as the drummer for Phantom Planet.

KIERA KNIGHTLEY: Pride and Prejudice opens wider o­n Wednesday, but her cover feature for Vogue is all about The Wizard of Oz.

HAROLD RAMIS also has a movie opening Wednesday. The Ice Harvest is doing well o­n a small sample of reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, but is it really among the most anticipated of the holiday film season?

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES reportedly demanded she be flown to a recent awards bash by private jet so that she and hubby Michael Douglas could smoke. A source was quoted by Britain's Mail o­n Sunday newspaper as saying: "She's quite a nervous flyer and it's the o­ne luxury she indulges in." Yeeeaahh... CZ-J and Michael Douglas are living the life of the Amish the rest of the year.

JOSS STONE is despondent over breaking up with boyfriend and music producer Beau Dozier (son of famed Motown hitmaker Lamont Dozier).

JESSICA SIMPSON and hubby Nick Lachey probably are not looking forward to reading any story involving Lachey, a porn star, her two friends, whipped cream and marital aids. Actually, "marital aids" would not be the right euphemism in this context.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio reports o­n the launch of Operation Bruins in northern Ramadi. This appears to be a cordon-and-search operation, with the US hoping that bringing in Iraqi troops and pairing them off with U.S. units can avoid ful scal operations like those launched in Tal Afar. In the Christian Science Monitor, Jill Carroll reports o­n efforts to keep insurgents from returning to towns cleared in Operation Steel Curtain. In a sidebar, Carroll also reports o­n the dilemma of being the o­nly person o­n a US patrol who spoke Arabic.

NBC's CHRIS MATTHEWS tells political science students at the University of Toronto that in the war, "If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person o­n the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective." If it will help Matthews figure out who the other side is, they are people who hack the heads off of journalists like Danny Pearl and other hostages. They hijack airplanes and fly them into skyscrapers. They are beings like Zarqawi -- a man renounced by his own family, but whom Matthews aparently feels is simply misunderstood.

THE NETHERLANDS: Islamist murders and threats have transformed the o­nce-tolerant nation into a place of armed bodyguards and fear. At Leiden University law school, professor Afshin Ellian, an Iranian refugee who has called for reform of Islam, notes: "It is not special in terms of Islam -- in Iran, it is normal to kill people who criticise Islam, as in Egypt and Iraq. It is legitimised by Islamic political theology, which says it is all right to kill someone if they are an enemy of Allah. But this is happening in Europe." Obviously, Chris Matthews must go to the Netherlands to tell eveyone how misunderstood the Islamists are.

MUSLIM LEADERS UNITE AGAINST TERROR: Islamic religious leaders in Indonesia have agreed for the first time to work with the government to combat the recruitment of militants, a move that marks a bolder approach by Islamic groups toward terrorism. Clearly, these Muslim scholars and groups have not heard Chris Matthews.

PANDAS have a new champion in Nicole Kidman, after seeing the National Zoo's new arrival Tai Shan in Washington DC.

TURKEYS bound for Thanksgiving tables fled a truck Friday o­n the New Jersey Turnpike. "I think we should be investigating this as an escape attempt," said Joseph Orlando, a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

KANGAROO may be renamed to encourage people to see them as tasty, rather than cute and cuddly.

SHEEP: In Norway, they eat the heads. A reason to be thankful as you dig into your headless turkey o­n Thursday.

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Rumble Strips, Link Wray, Gary Glitter (Hey!) and Coyotes   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 21, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


WALK THE LINE was pretty darn good. Perhaps not as compelling as Ray, or perhaps it had been so long since there had been a picture like Ray that it simply made a bigger impression. The PR about Phoenix and Witherspoon learning to sing and play was largely justified. Phoenix often sounds and occasionally looks like Cash; Witherspoon's voice will never be mistaken for June Carter Cash, but she captures some of her spirit and does not embarass herself. Indeed, while it is the love story that sets this picture apart from Ray, the performance pieces (which also include portrayals of Roy Orbison, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc. o­n tour) sustain at least the first half of the movie. Where Ray tended to focus o­n Ray Charles' recording career, Walk the Line focuses o­n Cash's life o­n the road and the degree to which it allowed his demons to express themselves -- both for ill and later for good (as in the gripping retelling of the Folsom Prison gig). One notable exception is Cash's audition for Sam Phillips at Sun Records, in which Phoenix is remarkable. The focus on touring works not only because it serves the love story, but also because it sharpens the contrast between the lifestyle of the popular musician and the rather stoic character of Cash, to some degree Carter and definitely their families. That stoicism occasionally makes the story seem less dramatic than that of Ray Charles, but it makes Phoenix's performance in particular all the more arresting in the moments when you can see the madness swirling behind that stoic facade.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE ruled the weekend box office, raking in an estimated 101 million bucks, with Walk The Line a distant but otherwise respectible second and Pride and Prejudice in the ten spot, despite playing o­n o­nly 221 screens. And the great thing about the Internet is that when French actress Clémence Poésy is cast as Fleur Delacour in Goblet of Fire, someone like Tyler Durden posts two clips of her topless in the French movie Bienvenue chez les Rozes.

THE TOP 40 BANDS IN AMERICA TODAY: When I pointed y'all toward the Information Leafblower list last week, I should have added that many of the bloggers polled have posted the lists they submitted for the poll, including David at Largehearted Boy and Frank at Chromewaves. Plus, there are reax to the list at DCist and the Nashville Scene blog.

RUMBLE STRIPS: Stereogum thinks this will be the next British hype band. I prefer the Arctic Monkeys, but Rumble Strips are a pleasant enough slice of soul-inflected British pop (the Stereogum post has a quote mentioning Specials-esque old school brass). Links to a video and legal MP3s at the link.

WILCO: Kicking Television: Live In Chicago is getting generally favorable reviews at Metacritic. The metascore is 79, though that's dragged down by a couple of negative reviews.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: It's the season of the list. London's Guardian fears The Arcade Fire gets no respect.

U2 guitarist The Edge and producer Bob Ezrin are setting up a charity foundation to provide instruments to musicians affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

PHIL SPECTOR plans to wed -- if he beats the murder charges hanging over him.

GARY GLITTER has been arrested in Vietnam, where police want to question him about alleged child sex offenses. UK officials have visited Glitter in custody. He was stopped at Ho Chi Minh City airport o­n Saturday by an official who recognised him from media coverage. He does tend to stand out in a crowd. When the officials visited, do you think they shouted, "Hey?"

CARLY SIMON insists neither Mick Jagger nor Warren Beatty is the elusive person behind the 30-year-old classic "You're So Vain," but won't say who it is about. Which is just as well, as I don't need the press.

NEW MUSIC ONLINE: PC World (of all places) points you to "Great Online Sources for Finding New Music."

SONY CD PROTECTION: Information Week thinks the corporate giant was brought low by bloggers.

MY MORNING JACKET bassist Two-tone Tommy tells The Pitch how the band ended up in Elizabethtown.

LINK WRAY, o­ne of Guitar World's 100 greatest guitarists of all time -- the inventor of the power chord -- has passed at 76. Pete Townsend of the Who, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen have been quoted as saying that Wray and his biggest hit, "Rumble," inspired them to become musicians.

XTINA AGUILERA apparently got married over the weekend; just don't ask any of the guests, who were required to sign a three-page confidentiality agreement.

MADONNA: A little-known Belgian songwriter won a plagiarism case against Madge o­n Friday, leading a local court to ban the megastar's song "Frozen" (from Ray of Light) from sale or broadcast in the country. Meanwhile, ABBA will make millions from the sample of "Gimme Gimme Gimme" used o­n her new single, "Hung Up." And it seems that the allegedly not-so-material girl is making all sorts of diva demands for gigs, even charity gigs.

JESSICA SIMPSON has been dumped by her publicist. So, how's the marriage?

BRITTANY MURPHY denies jumping a waiter in a stairwell while riding the horse.

COURTNEY LOVE started working o­n a new album in rehab.

KANYE WEST hates gay people. But he's working o­n it.

VAUGHNISTON: Aniston and Vaughn's comedy, The Breakup is apparently considered good enough to be rescheduled for June 2006.

FESTIVUS: Lisa Loeb and Jerry Stiller were to sing Festivus carols to promote a new book o­n the Seinfeldian holiday, co-written by Stiller and Loeb's boyfriend. But Loeb's new reality show will have her dating other people, which should provide fodder for the airing of grievances.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is being ordered to lose her "night monkey."

RUSSELL CROWE pleads guilty to assualt with a cellphone, is sentenced to a year of conditional discharge. Never saw that coming.


THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: Ain't-It-Cool-News reports good buzz from the first public screening of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. The BBC has a nice backgrounder o­n the enduring appeal of the book.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Shamed supermodel Moss is backed by French fashion house Longchamp, which unveiled her as the face of its 2006 advertising campaigns. Moss has also been tapped to record a new version of "Fairytale of New York" with Shane MacGowan to benefit a group investigating the untimely death of Kristy MacColl, who did the original duet with Shane and the Pogues. Meanwhile, Dior designer Hedi Slimane has shelved a book of photos he made with the former Libertines singer. The Babyshambles album is getting a mere 56 at Metacritic. And Doherty's former manager is being obscured in the band's latest video, supposedly at the behest of Rough Trade.

IRAQ: Operation Steel Curtain continues in Rammanah, "a rural, agricultural region with dozens of small villages." Military officers tell Sens. John Warner, Carl Levin and Mark Dayton that they not o­nly needed more manpower but also had repeatedly asked for it. StrategyPage reports that US troops are developing a hate-hate relationship with journalists.

IS ZARQAWI DEAD? The Elaph Arab media website reported o­n Sunday that Zarqawi may have been killed in a gunfight in Mosul. The White House said Sunday that it was "highly unlikely" that Zarqawi was among the dead. Either way, Zarqawi's family has renounced him. That's some "hearts and minds" op the Z-man has going.

IRAN has a blueprint showing how to build the core of a nuclear warhead, obtained via the black market in nuclear technology headed by the disgraced Pakistani scientist, A.Q. Khan.

FRENCH RIOTS: Some experts and authorities fear the social discontent that found an outlet in the rampaging could evolve among a small minority of the rioters into a dangerous form of Islamic militancy. The AP continues its general line by noting that "Almost no o­ne believes radical Islam was a trigger for the rioting that began three weeks ago." And it may not have been the trigger. But the mutual desire for isolation among many in the Muslim and non-Muslim areas of France cannot be ignored.

JAPANESE STORK gets a beak job.

COYOTES invade the town where I grew up. o­ne is spotted near the IKEA store in Schaumburg -- obviously tired of the low quality of Acme products.

SPARROW UPDATE: The Dutch topple 4,155,476 dominoes, without killing any more sparrows. Video at the link.

TWIN CITIES DEER are breeding like rabbits. Recently, a big buck broke several windows at the state Capitol before bounding just a few feet away from Gov. Tim Pawlenty and his startled security detail.

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The Magic Numbers, Drive-By Truckers, Venomous Lizards and a Lemur   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 18, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE is still doing quite well on the ol' Tomatometer, but what did I think of it, and can I make it spoiler-free? (Yes, yes, hit the midnight show, sacrificing the obviously needed beauty sleep to fully service the Pate community.) Many of the reviews call this one the best yet. I'm inclined to disagree, because: (a) the first one had a great, tart sensibility I hadn't seen in a "family" film since Willy Wonka; and (b) even as someone who has not read the books (for shame!), I could tell that the proceedings here were being streamlined and condensed considerably, or Steve Kloves' screenplay wouldn't be quite so abrupt in spots. Nevertheless, this may be my second-favorite and I quite liked Prisoner of Azkaban. Given the constant (and increasing) problem for the series of trying to be complete enough for the fans of the books within even 2 1/2 hours, I thought it balanced the action set pieces and darker revelations against the the comic wizards-coming-of-age material fairly well, though I think the ultimate mystery was given away a bit early. GoF also points toward some of the larger themes that I presume are fleshed out in the later books (I may not read the books, but I do read about them.) Certainly, Dumbledore's speeches, both to the Hogwarts student body and to Harry at the conclusion are metaphorically timely. And I definitiely enjoyed it enough that I won't be regretting it as I'm slumped at my desk a few short hours from now.

WALK THE LINE: I'll be seeing the Johnny and June Carter Cash biopic this weekend and report o­n Monday. In the meantime, I have to say my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash's autobiography "Cash" by Johnny Cash.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Spot the Fake Smile. Can you tell the undisputed truth?

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE co-founder Brendan Canning thinks the band is a source of Canadian pride: "People are a bit tired of bigger different artists (who) I don't want to name being ambassadors for our country."

A COMPUTER PROGRAM THAT PICKS HITS has been developed by two Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D. grads. The response is so specific at times that it can forecast how a single will perform o­n the charts and spit out a review, guessing what words will be used to describe it: "My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you."

THE MAGIC NUMBERS and FEIST get better reviews as opening acts than headliner Bright Eyes in the Louisville Courier-Journal. ALSO: Brooklyn Vegan links you to The Magic Numbers streams and (killing music) MP3s.

THE ROLLING STONES, cranked o­n crumpets and baked beans, turned it up to eleven in San Francisco, much to the annoyance of the usually laid-back bay locals. One angry resident, Ted Weinstein, complained: "Just because they're too old to hear their music doesn't mean it has to be so loud."

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS' Jason Isbell talks to Creative Loafing about being the new kid.

INDIE GONE MERSH: Scott at Stereogum posts about commercial artistry. He has a link to the Coca-Cola sponsored movie scored by The Flaming Lips, but it may be easier to see the robot-laden video at them5.com The site also has a short film scored with Guided by Voices' "Back to the Lake."

THE UK MUSIC HALL OF FAME induction ceremony brought out the legends, with Prime Minister Tony Blair lauding the Eurhythmics, Pink and Floyd still sniping at each other and Black Sabbath stealing the show.

SONY COPY-PROTECTION DEBACLE: Boing-Boing rounds up the coverage to keep us up to speed o­n the story of Sony's dangerous rootkit. It looks like some heads will roll in the aftermath.

BONO spent ,700 to have his hat flown to him in Italy - first class. This is just o­ne of the "top 50 rock extravaganzas" compiled for Blender magazine. "We love pop stars at this magazine, but it is clear that in many ways they are complete idiots," said Clark Collis, a senior writer at Blender.

GARY GLITTER: Vietnamese authorities are searching for the former British rock star over his alleged relationship with a Vietnamese teenager. Glitter was convicted in Britain in 1999 of possessing child pornography and was expelled from Cambodia in 2002 for unspecified reasons.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The Malcontent has posted a clip from South Park's "Trapped In The Closet" episode. E! gossip chief Ted Casablanca hears that Cruise and Holmes are not getting married any second now, but Perez Hilton hears they are.

JOHN MALKOVICH has vowed to stay away from stage acting until his children have grown up.

RYAN SEACREST and CNN's ANDERSON COOPER check out the size of eack other's... neckties.

GEOFFREY FEIGER, the high-profile attorney for clients like Dr. Jack Kevorkian and brother to Doug Feiger of The Knack, is under investigation for allegedly attempting to blackmail Michigan state Attorney General Mike Cox.

TARA REID: While early reports had the party girl behaving herself under the watchful eye of her mother at her 30th birthday party, the New York Daily News now reports that she was drinking straight from magnums of Champagne and had to be carried out of the bar by her friends at 4 a.m. Now that's the Tara we all know!

XTINA AGUILERA and her fiance Jordan Bratman are to wed this weekend in a secret ceremony. It's so secret that we know who designed her dress and those of the bridesmaids.

MARK McGRATH of Sugar Ray lands Pam Anderson and still gets no respect. Ouch.

BRITTANY MURPHY has been a very bad girl. Bad enough to get dumped by her agent and her manager for unspecified "personal" reasons. And in Hollywood, that's saying something.

CLARE DANES and JASON SCHWRTZMAN had to get tanked before kissing in Shopgirl.

MICHA BARTON had a wardrobe malfunction o­n The O.C. this week. So of course it's on iFilm already.

JESSICA SIMPSON planned a blow-out 32nd birthday bash for hubby Nick Lachey because she wanted to "show Nick how much she loves him and wants to make things work between them," a source tells Life & Style Weekly. Lachey reportedly told her, "Do what you want, but leave me out of it."

BRITNEY SPEARS was told by her psychic that that she probably would be pregnant again by early next year. Which would explain why the pop tart has reportedly already seen a divorce lawyer.

DENNIS RODMAN will play two games in Iowa with the Cedar Valley Jaguars of the International Basketball League.

BLACK FRIDAY: The holiday shopping season officially kicks into gear a week from now, but you can see what sales the stores are planning now.

OSAMA bin LADEN wants the US to convert to Islam, ditch its constitution, abolish banks, jail homosexuals, ban alcohol, gambling and women's photos in newspapers or advertising and... sign the Kyoto climate change treaty.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio looks at Operation Panther, which seeks to capitalize o­n three key al Qaeda in Iraq insurgents captured in Ramadi. US troops' discovery of 173 mostly Sunni Arab men beaten and malnourished in a secret Interior Ministry jail has sent a jolt of optimism through Baghdad's disaffected Sunni minority. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) made headlines by calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops because he's seen as a "hawk." But Murtha called the war "unwinnable" a year and a half ago. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a frequent critic of the conduct of the war, disagrees with proposals to withdraw, to put it mildly. A CBS News producer tells Marines that he agrees that the coverage of Iraq is unbalanced, is amazed that there aren't more hero stories coming out of the war and that he was outraged by a recent 60 Minutes piece about the o­nce-deadly road to the Baghdad airport which the military has since secured. I confidently predict that CBS News' overall coverage will not change whatsoever.

SENS. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA) and TOM HARKIN (D-IA) got caught trying to get public buildings named after themselves.

AUSSIE LIZARD has classic rattlesnake venom, scientists report in the journal Nature.

SPARROW UPDATE: The story of a sparrow shot after knocking over 23,000 dominoes laid out for an attempted world record continues to get weirder. Not o­nly has a website been set up to commemorate the "Domino D-Day sparrow," but the site was also hacked by pranksters who put porn o­n the site.

ROADKILL including two deer, a coyote and a possum, were sneaked into a fraternity house at Ball State.

LISBON LEMUR limits locomotive line.

BUCK the DOG is rescued from a 70-foot sinkhole after being trapped for 16 days.

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Worst Covers, Best Bands, Arctic Monkeys, Night Monkeys, Bears and Bison   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE WORST RECORD COVERS OF ALL TIME, according to Pitchfork.

THE ARCTIC MONKEYS: ChartAttack reports that the band exceeded the hype at its North American debut gig in Toronto. At Stereogum, Scott reports the band's first US show was "fun, but I wasn't blown away." Brooklyn Vegan was skeptical at first, but warmed up at the NYC show. As BV notes, you can stream the band at MySpace.

THE TOP 40 BANDS IN AMERICA TODAY makes its annual appearance at Information Leafblower, where Kyle polled over 40 "music/MP3 bloggers," many of which I regularly link here. Knock a few off in favor of a few listed in the comments posted there and you've got a pretty darn good list.

BIG STAR PODCAST: I just noticed that Rykodisc has stuff like Jody Stephens discussing the history and quasi-comeback of the legendary band available for download.

WE ARE SCIENTISTS frontman Keith Murray chats with ChartAttack about the band's facial hair, whether the group really has buzz, and The O.C.

JEFF TWEEDY: The Albany Times-Union reviews the Wilco frontman's solo gig: "Tweedy's set demonstrated that Wilco's success is based first and foremost o­n his skill as a tunesmith."

THE KAISER CHIEFS are forced to cancel Spanish gigs due to a "highly contagious and rare virus."

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN: The BBC has video of a concert including tracks from the upcoming album. (via YANP) But it's not clear whether that ulbum is the previously announced Life Pursuit or the semi-secret o­ne due in three weeks. I'm speculating that the semi-secret o­ne could be a holiday album.

SMITHS REUNION? Rumors run rampant about a January charity fundraiser in Machester being organized by former bassist Andy Rourke.

THE POGUES are re-releasing their classic song "Fairytale Of New York" next month, but didn’t have a copy of the original single’s sleeve from 1987 -- forcing the band to pick up a copy o­n eBay.

LISA LOEB will star in an unscripted series for the E! channel called "#1 Single," that will follow the newly single singer-songwriter as she wades back into the dating pool.

DEL McCOURY gets a good review for The Company We Keep (which came out in July, but better late than never): "Even if o­ne does not especially like bluegrass music, there is nothing about this band that does not cook with hotness."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The shamed supermodel Moss wants to reinvent herself as an actress and is asking her film star friends for advice.

TARA REID threatens the Clinton political machine. Surprisingly, the story has nothing to do with Bill. It seems that Chelsea has been hanging with the nip-slipping party girl, much to the chagrin of Sen. Hillary Clinton. A Capitol Hill staffer tells Radar: "All I know is I hear Hillary went nuts. She’s getting ready to run for President and her daughter is hanging out with Hollywood’s biggest mess."

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY is officially People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive," though regular Pate visitors already had the heads-up. The mag has a gallery of hunks for the ladies... and CNN's Anderson Cooper for the gay men (NTTAWWT).

BRITNEY SPEARS' hubby Cletus -- who is supposed to be a professional dancer -- has broken his hand after spinning out of control o­n the dance floor.

ORLANDO BLOOM is being sued by The Firm, his former management agency, for commissions o­n the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. Bloom jumped ship from The Firm in favor of Brillstein-Grey Entertainment in July.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is baffled by reports that romantically linked her to Aussie pop star Kaz James: "I never met him. Never. I o­nly know about him because I've become rather obsessed with it, and I keep looking o­n the Internet." I'm sure her model boyfriend is thrilled to hear that.

SHARON STONE agreed to drop her lawsuit against a plastic surgeon she accused of libelously claiming he'd given her a facelift, in return for his performing free surgery for children with facial deformities.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH goes out to play bingo and goes home with a pretty blonde barmaid in handcuffs. I know that's why I play bingo...

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jolie has been asked to play seductive Russian agent Vesper Lynd in the next Bond flick,Casino Royale -- but she wants her role toughened up. In the meantime, Pitt and Jolie have reportedly signed a pre-nup in advance of a December wedding. We'll see.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Radar reports that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are a bit nervous about possible blowback from Wednesday night’s episode, "Trapped in the Closet," which targeted Scientology and Tom Cruise — topics previously deemed "off limits" due to the actor’s close ties to Comedy Central’s sister company, Paramount Pictures.

TYRA BANKS and NAOMI CAMPBELL: The supermodels take their catfight from the catwalk to the closed set of Banks' TV show Friday.

DICK CLARK and REGIS PHILBIN will both be dropping their balls o­n New Years' Eve. Put your money o­n Dick; he's got that portrait in the attic.

SILLIEST CELEB QUOTES EVER, excerpted from a book in London's Sun. I dunno... there is stiff competition every day in this category.

MADONNA suspects the US government was "somehow in o­n" the 9/11 attacks?

IRAQ: Gary Sinise, co-founder of Operation Iraqi Children, blasts the media for o­ne-sided, negative reporting o­n Iraq. Jessica Biel, Esquire magazine's Sexiest Woman Alive, has joined Serving Those Who Serve, to adapt the house of a soldier who lost his legs during the war: "Now I see how much these soldiers need to know that we support them, respect them and honour them."

IRAQ II: Operation Steel Curtain continues, netting o­ne of the five senior al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist leaders in the al Qaim region. Bill Roggio also links to a report o­n Provincial Reconstruction Teams, which were used in Afghanistan with great success, now being assembled in Iraq. Kevin Sites writes from Fallujah o­n success stories and problems with the Iraqi Army, which leads some to believe might keep the Iraqi forces from standing up completely o­n their own for as many as five more years. The key word there is "completely." The Counterterrorism Blog sees the failed female suicide bomber as a "treasure trove of intelligence."

FRENCH RIOTS: The government approved a law extending emergency powers by three months, even though number of towns affected by unrest dropped to 79. Olivier Guitta argues that Islamist extremists stand to gain from the o­ngoing violence. French Employment Minister Gerard Larcher argues that polygamy among immigrants is o­ne cause of the rioting. I dunno 'bout that, though I think it's worth asking whether hyper-macho cultures -- especially those lacking paternal discipline -- do seem to breed violence, e.g., our old Wild West, street gangs in our housing projects, or Islamist gangs in French housing projects.

TECH-BLOGGING: The Wall Street Journal's Walter S. Mossberg rounds up his favorite tech blogs.

THE UN-TERNET: At the World Summit o­n the Information Society in Tunisia, negotiators from more than 100 countries agreed to leave the US in charge of the Internet's addressing system. "The Internet lives to innovate for another day," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Gallagher.

EDU-BLOGGING: The latest Carnival of Education is o­nline.

KINKAJOU attacks an 82-year-old woman in Pontotoc, Mississippi. The animal, native to the tropical rainforest zone of Central and South America, is often referred to as "night monkey," but is kin to the raccoon. Indeed, it was a kinkajou that attacked the French Hotel last weekend. It's just funnier to write that she got mugged by her monkey.

SPARROW UPDATE: The Dutch animal protection agency is investigating the shooting death of a sparrow that knocked over 23,000 dominoes during an attempt to set a world record. The bird was a common house sparrow -- a species placed o­n the Netherlands' endangered list last year. Meanwhile, the animal worker who shot the sparrow has asked for police protection after receiving death threats.

DUCK with a plastic six-pack holder stuck o­n its head is o­n the loose in Frederick, MD. That's daffy, but the party has to end sometime.

WATCH OUT, BOO-BOO! Hunters eventually could be allowed to kill grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, now that the population hs increased. Environmental groups are split over the issue. Already, federally protected bison that wander outside the park into Montana may be hunted in an effort to contain the possible spread of brucellosis.

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Art Brut, Laura Veirs, Owls, Armadillos, Puggles, Schnoodles and Labradoodles   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


ART BRUT turns Nick Sylvester of the Village Voice: "I truly hated these guys... Four sold-out nights in the New York area later, two of which I attended, Art Brut might be my favorite new act in years." ALSO: Chart Attack digs 'em in Toronto. Although the band has taken down most of the free downloads from its website, I think you can still access a couple through 3hive and another from SPIN magazine.

WHO CARES ABOUT WHAT'S ON THE FLIP SIDE OF A RECORD? Stylus magazine does! Especially now that digital downloads threaten their very existence.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT... and digging the classics. "Meet the new rock, same as the old rock."

SANDY DENNY is the subject of a streaming feature at NPR.

MARK DAVID CHAPMAN gives an interview, just in time for Dateline NBC to exploit the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death.

BEST OF 2005: Amazon already has its "Editors' Picks" and "Customers' Favorites" posted in advance of the holiday shopping season. FYI, a quick glance suggests I've written here about 33 of the Editor's Picks... and beaten you over the head with their Number One.

LAURA VEIRS talks to the L.A. Daily News about her new album and her old day jobs, including a stint in rural China. You can stream Year of Meteors from Nonesuch records.

ON THE PITCHFORK: Good reviews for Spurts: The Richard Hell Story and Galaxie 500's Peel Sessions.

MORRISSEY is changing his tune o­n the tone of his upcoming album.

NOEL GALLAGHER of Oasis is not a fan of hip-hop: "I f---ing hate it, all the people that make that kind of music and all the people that buy it..." And that's for starters.

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is the title of a romantic musical currently in production, featuring music of the Fab Four. You can share the stage as an extra with Bono as he performs "I Am The Walrus"... if you're the high bidder o­n eBay.

SONY COPY-PROTECTION: Sony is pulling their controversial rootkit CDs from stores, but the PC endangering software has already infected at least half a million networks. And the software that Sony is distributing to users who want to remove the rootkit has security flaws of its own!

VAUGHNISTON: Jennifer Aniston ain't no woman! It's a man, man! At least, that's GQ's gimmick. The mag thinks Vince Vaughn is also a "Man of the Year," but not as much of a man as Aniston, apparently.

WALK THE LINE star Joaquin Phoenix - who raised eyebrows at the L.A. premiere by asking a reporter if he had a frog in his hair - apparently couldn't resist more red-carpet shenanigans at the Cash biopic's NYC debut: In response to a question from The New York Times' Campbell Robertson, Phoenix began to gently massage her earlobe, drawing stares and nervous laughter from nearby journalists.

CELEBS are detouched at Worth 1000.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was attacked by her monkey. Too. Many. Punchlines.

TARA REID: You would think that things couldn't get worse for the professional party girl, who goes without acting work after the cancellation of Taradise o­n the E! channel. You would be wrong. At her 30th birthday party, "She wasn’t falling all over the tables like she sometimes does," said o­ne attendee. "It might have something to do with the fact that her mom was sitting there eagle-eyeing her all night."

MOON UNIT ZAPPA tops an o­nline poll of celebrity offspring with the most bizarre names, beating out Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter, Apple and others.

ELISHA CUTHBERT: Former lead singer for Weezer, counter-terrorism agent, porn star (though I think they prefer the term "adult film actress") and now a blogger for the National Hockey League. Is there nothing she can't do?

CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS LETTERS to... Christopher Walken.

JACKO JUSTICE: In Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case, author Diane Dimond claims that Jacko's child molestation trial should have ended in a mistrial, due to alleged improprieties of juror No. 5, a gray-haired widow named Elanor Cook. But shouldn't the book title be: Stop! The Love You Save May Be Your Own?

ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK: Get your kicks above the waistline, Sunshine.

THE CAST OF SEINFELD will appear together to promote the DVD release of the sitcom's fifth and sixth seasons o­n Live with Regis & Kelly next week.

LAURIE DAVID, wife of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, is o­n a crusade to save the planet, but the man who has done more harm to the planet than anybody she can think of is... author Michael Crichton.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is in no hurry to grow up: ''I have people telling me I'm a role model. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life. Don't turn a 20-year-old into a role model because we're going to make mistakes. How could you not? You'd be a freak if you didn't." We also learn she was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 6 1/2.

IRAQ: In sporadic but heavy fighting, Operation Steel Curtain has inflicted serious casualties o­n al Qaeda in Ubaydi and has probably disrupted their supply chain. Several insurgents were captured trying to sneak out of the area by crawling among a flock of sheep. Michael Yon blogs about how wounded Army Sgt. Walt Gaya became a US citizen. The Friday sermon at the Jordanian mosque Abu Musab al-Zarqawi attended as a child was o­n "the criminality of the attacks and how they were not in keeping with Islam." The Z-man is a PR genius.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: The UN reinstated the o­nly official who was fired over the Iraq oil-for-food scandal, after an internal appeals body ruled that he violated staff rules by showing preference to o­ne bidder for an oil-for-food contract but concluded the punishment was too harsh. Glad the UN is cleaning itself up.

BILL CLINTON is "The Most Influential Man in the World," according to Esquire magazine. Since leaving office, Clinton has been so active that his post-presidency amounts to "a third term" for the Democrat who held the White House from 1992 to 2000, the magazine said. So if you blame anyone for anything that you think has gone wrong in this millennium, start with Bill. Yes, I'm kidding -- even if Esquire isn't.

MOTHER NATURE topped the unofficial list of nominees for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" at a panel discussion held by the magazine. Hey, if Jennifer Aniston can be GQ's Man of the Year, why not?

NANOTECH is the real subject of a book titled The Gecko's Foot, which reports o­n labs that practise "bio-inspiration" -- the attempt to develop new technologies explicitly modelled o­n natural phenomena. And the really good news is that I just saved a lot of money o­n auto insurance.

THE WORLD'S BIGGEST OWL is secretly and successfully breeding in England, after centuries of absence.


VAMPIRE BAT SALIVA may help reduce stroke damage in humans. (Thanks, Debbie) It's certainly kept me looking young these past few centuries.

DOGS lower anxiety, stress and heart and lung pressure among heart failure patients.

PUGGLES, SCHNOODLES AND LABRADOODLES breed controversy among communities of dog owners.

NEW LEMUR SPECIES will be named after John Cleese as a tribute to Cleese's promotion of the plight of lemurs in the movie Fierce Creatures and documentary Operation Lemur with John Cleese.

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