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Mekons, Advance Stooges & Wilco, Cutout Bin, Owen & Mzee   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 02, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with THE MEKONS!  The ever-reliable Wikipedia calls them "one of the longest-running and most prolific of the first-wave British punk rock bands," though they have incorporated elements of English folk, country, and other styles over the years.  For example "Poxy Lips" has a zydeco feel, while "Ghosts of American Astronauts" is swirling, ethereal pop -- and both are from 1988's So Good It Hurts.  "Work All Week" has a bit of the reggae beat, while "Memphis Egypt" is blistering rock 'n' roll.  You can download "Ghosts," Memphis" and the countrified "Hole in the Ground" in glorious QuickTime from Twin/Tone Records.  You can also stream a few equally eclectic tracks via MekonSpace.

THE STOOGES' reunion album comes out next week, but you can stream the whole thing now via VH1.

PEARL JAM reprortedly will headline Lollapalooza this summer, though promoters don't plan on announcing the 130-band lineup or putting tickets on sale for several weeks.

WILCO:  Three advance tracks from Sky Blue Sky leaked onto the Internet.  Though it seems like the band is trying to get them removed, you may also be able to stream "Either Way," "You Are My Face" and "Walken" via the ol' HM.

THE WHITE STRIPES are putting the finishing touches on their next LP, which  will be titled Icky Thump.  Tracklisting at the link.

UNO, DOS... one, two, tres, quatro!

THE SHINS have a performance and interview streaming via Yahoo! Music.

YOKO ONO confesses.

ARCTIC MONKEYS have a new track off the forthcoming Favourite Worst Nightmare, which you can stream via Prefix.

NOISE POP:  This fest kind of slid off my radar screen but Heather Browne has an interview with fest guru Jordan Kurland and MP3s of the bands she's planning to see.  Lala/WOXY are streaming gigs live and on demand, including Ths Submarines, Snowden, Malajube, Midlake, Cake and more...

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel have reportedly moved in together, with Doherty lugging a banjo, a babyseat, gold records and assorted coats and clothing into Moss's fashionable north London pad.  Also, Doperty was visiting England's Cotswold Wildlife Park when witnesses say that he threw what looked like a spliff to some penguins as a way of showing off for Moss.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM include: The Cure - Friday, I'm in Love; Iggy Pop - Lust for Life; The Posies - Surrender; Yo La Tengo - Mr. Tough; The B-52s - 53 Miles West of Venus; The Yardbirds - Over Under Sideways Down; Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner; Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Summer Wine; Sam & Dave - Hold On! I'm A Comin'; The Clash - Time Is Tight; Eddie Floyd - Big Bird; Ronnie Spector - You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory (J. Thunders); Guns n' Roses - You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory (J. Thunders); Ram Jam - Black Betty; Black Flag - TV Party; Ramones - Teenage Lobotomy; and Art Brut - My Little Brother.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but her mother has given up the fight to bury the body in Texas, clearing any obstacle to a burial today in the Bahamas, compler with an "over the top" memorial hosting about 300 guests.

JOHN TRAVOLTA thinks Anna Nicole Smith could have been saved by Scientology.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include: the star-studded, midlife-crisis road comedy Wild Hogs, currently scoring 23 percent on the Tomatometer; David Fincher's ripped-from-the case-files thriller Zodiac, currently scoring an impressive 85 percent; and the seemingly bizzare Black Snake Moan, which is scoring 61 percent.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has been banned from Associated Press stories by the wire service's entertainment editor, prompting debate among journos.  Of course, she might make the other wires if she lands in jail for violating her probation.

GREY'S ANATOMY:  Disgruntled star Katherine Heigl was smacked down in a press release from ABC expressing disappointment that her less-than-equal salary bump was leaked to the press and reminding the world that Heigl remains bound by a long-term contract.

HUGH GRANT:  A Dutch TV reporter handcuffed herself to Hugh Grant at last Friday's Amsterdam premiere of Music & Lyrics.  Appropriately enough, some wag has turned the incident into a music video.

JUDE LAW said he was "speechless" after receiving a prestigious French award for his contribution to film.  Presumably because could not bring himself to think about being lumped in with Jerry Lewis.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, contrary to prior reports, will make a cameo appearance the in forthcoming Terminator 4.

ANTONELLA BARBA, the focus of recent attention over some racy Internet photos, survived the most recent cut on American Idol.  Was it despite the photos, or because of them?

JENNA FISCHER, who plays Pam on NBC's The Office, is looking hot in photos from the upcoming Will Ferrell comedy, Blades of Glory.

THE TOP TEN GREATEST FILM SPEECHES (with embedded video) compiled by Not Defteri is not bad, though it really only goes back to 1954.  But there's also a link to a far more complete list.  One of the videos has been yanked, but there's a lo-fi version to be had.

IRAQ:  US soldiers are leaving their fortified bases and establishing many small outposts in the capital's most violent neighborhoods in a major tactical shift under the two-week-old Baghdad security plan.  Fifteen of about 30 planned "joint security stations" with Iraqi forces have already in the capital.  They have also set up an unspecified number of smaller "combat outposts."  A joint security station in Sadr City should open in a few days.  A a prominent Shiite cleric with high-level political ties survived an assassination attempt on one of Baghdad's quietest days in months - with one reported car bombing and one fatality.  The Iraqi Interior Ministry announced that 80 suspected al-Qaeda were killed in heavy fighting Wednesday in a village near Fallujah.

IRAN is stalling any answer to the invitation to the planned conference on Iraq's future, after being caught off guard by Washington's enthusiastic endorsement of the meeting.  Tehran's client Hezbollah denied a US intell claim it was training Iraqi militants in Lebanon on how to operate armor-piercing munitions against US troops in Iraq.

AFGHANISTAN:  Mullah Omar and new threat Mullah Dadullah seem to have been feeling more comfy in advance of an expected spring Taliban offensive, but Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, former Taliban defense minister and #3 on the ladder of the Taliban's 10-member leadership council, was captured in Quetta.  ABCNews reports that Akhund may know the secret whereabouts of Mullah Omar, and perhaps of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahri.

IOWA:  Gov. Chet Culver  declared all Iowa 99 counties disaster areas after last weekend's ice and snowstorm knocked the power out to thousands of people, including families of Pate members.

OWEN & MZEE UPDATE:  The giant tortoise and orphaned baby hippo who forged an unusual friendship after the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia are the stars of a new Web site so fans can follow their progress.

OTHER ODD PALS:  A pair of Sumatran tiger cubs and a set of young orangutans, all abandoned at birth, have become inseparable after sharing a room at an Indonesian zoo.  Awww...some photo and video at the link.

MOLLY the CAT has made it home four months after disappearing from a beach resort 150 kilometers away in New Zealand.

A SQUIRREL, unlike a cat, really gets stuck in a tree when he gets stuck in a tree.  Pre-rescue photo at the link.

A COW stares unamazed as it forces an airplane to land on Interstate 84 near the Oregon-Idaho border.

7946 Reads

Dylan Sings Seuss?, Chamber Strings, Guadalcanal Diary, Two-Legged Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 01, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE SPINTO BAND'S  latest video -- for "Brown Boxes" -- is so very them.

BOB DYLAN comes off as kinder and gentler in a new version of D.A. Pennebaker's famed documentary Don't Look Back.  But he comes off even wackier at Dylan Hears a Who, where a decent imposter sings Dr. Seuss.  It may not work with Internet Explorer, but it's worth downloading Firefox to hear "Green Eggs and Ham" in the style of "Tombstone Blues."

THE CHAMBER STRINGS' second album, Month of Sundays, harbored "the kind of pop dreams that warrant serious discussion next to the work of Brian Wilson, Ray Davies, Laura Nyro or Alex Chilton," according to Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune.  But heroin addiction and homelessness put frontman Kevin Junior a day away from death before he got clean.  You can stream three tracks from that album via NPR, where Tom Moon made it a Shadow Classic.  You can also stream a few, including  sparse versions of new material, via the band's MySpace page. 

DEEP PURPLE:  A live album has been withdrawn from sale after singer Ian Gillan told fans the CD featured one of the legendary group's worst ever concerts.  Sony is checking why Gillan was not told of the release.

YOU TUBE failed to reach an agreement with CBS to host clips from shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman, as the parties unable to agree to terms including how long the deal would run.  Parent company Google and CBS intend to work together only on more modest initiatives.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Dug up from the grooveyard of forgotten favorites is Guadalcanal Diary with "Watusi Rodeo," as it aired on MTV's Basement Tapes (with VJ Nina Blackwell) so many moons ago.

BECK was recently profiled on the World Cafe, so you can stream a mini-set from NPR now.

SUFJAN STEVENS hints that the next state he will tackle in his "50 State Project" of albums will be California.  IIRC, he's thrown Texas around as a candidate as well.

RHETT MILLER:  The Old 97s frontman does not like the "alt-country" label, but adds: "I guess if I had to live in one of those ghettos, I would choose that, rather than angry modern rock full of pointy guitars and eyeliner."  You can stream a few of his whatever via HisSpace.

JAMES BROWN:   An agreement reprotedly has been reached over obtaining DNA samples from the late Godfather of Soul's body, in order to help sort out several paternity claims made against the singer since he died two months ago.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie shows off her CFR cred by penning an op-ed on Darfur for the Washington Post, pushing for prosecution of the perps in the International Criminal Court.  Jolie is encouraged by ICC prosecutors charging a junior Sudanese Cabinet official and a top commander of pro-government militias as first war-crimes suspects, though reformers in Sudan are disappointed.  BTW, the charged Sudanese official takes inspiration from the example of Saddam Hussein.  So when Jolie asks, "would we in America ever accept the logic that we shouldn't prosecute murderers because the threat of prosecution might provoke them to continue killing?", my answer would be that there are plenty of Americans who think fighting terrorists and their sponsors only creates more terrorists.  I wish Jolie luck in convincing them otherwise.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills brought a spare leg to her practice for Dancing with the Stars.  Pic at the link.  Mills tells TV's Extra: "I have no fear; I'm quite happy to be thrown around and hopefully my leg will stay on."

VINCENT PASTORE, otoh, has dropped out of Dancing With the Stars, as the 60-year-old actor said the training was too strenuous.  I can't imagine what his old pals from The Sopranos will call him.

MADONNA chides daughter Lourdes for wearing tight jeans: "Can't you wear something else? You have a closet full of clothes and you wear the same pants every day. And please wear a belt because I don't want to see your butt crack when you bend over."

BEYONCE KNOWLES and a flock of SI swimsuit models may have been exposed to acute hepatitis A by an employee of Wolfgang Puck Catering.  And don't be surprised if they aren't the only celebs involved; TMZ had an item about a very famous movie mogul that has mysteriously vanished from its site.  UPDATE:  Beyonce did not eat at the party.

BRITNEY SPEARS had to be convinced, cajoled and even badgered into rehab by her mother, lawyer and even Fed-Ex.  The pop tart's bald head is turning on The Gossip's frontwoman, Beth Ditto, who says it "makes her look like a butch dyke."

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but we are still getting stories about her sufferring from lupus, and that -- according to the National Enquirer -- preliminary findings from the autopsy show Smith died from a severe case of pneumonia, not a drug overdose.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY is recovering from emergency back surgery, following a skiing injury that occurred during a recent family ski trip.  How long has she had a weak back?  Longer than for the punchline.

PAMELA ANDERSON, credited with inflicting Ugg boots onto the global fashion scene, denounced the footwear on her website, having just figured out they are made from shaved sheepskin.

P DIDDY is being investigated by the LAPD for allegedly attacking a man at a Hollywood Oscar afterparty.  Meanwhile, Misa Hylton denied that Diddy took their 12-year-old-son for a lapdance and said she she fired the security team that was supposed to be watching the boy that night.

HOLLYWOOD MADAM Jody "Babydol" Gibson has written a book naming two dozen celebrities she says patronized her call-girl service, including Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Jim Belushi, Gary Busey and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.  Most of those named have issued denials.  There is an adults-only excerpt about Willis floating around the Internet.

GREY'S ANATOMY:  Katherine Heigl has dropped out of contract talks with the show over salary, according to People magazine.  Isaiah Washington, still rehabbing his image from an anti-gay slur, has signed with openly gay PR crisis expert Howard Bragman and his company.  And the cast is generally miffed about being blindsided with the news that Kate Walsh's character is being spun off to her own show, according to Star magazine.

GLOBAL WARMING:  A former Canadian defense minister is demanding governments worldwide disclose and use secret alien technologies obtained in alleged UFO crashes to stem climate change.  No, really.

IRAQ:  An Iraqi newspaper reports that in the recent attack at the Ministry of Public Works, the bomb was placed under Vice President Mahdi's seat, and the person that detonated the device was inside the ministry -- which is run by Muqtada al-Sadr's political bloc,  Azzam reports that a referendum on the fate of the oil producing city of Kirkuk has been delayed for two years -- a good sign, given fears that the referendum could have set off a powder keg.

IRAN and IRAQ:  The Bush Administration has agreed to join high-level talks sought by Iraq with Iran and Syria on the future of Iraq. White House spokesman Tony Snow noted it won't be the first time they have sat with Iran on Iraq-related issues.  The generally dovish Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Armed Service Cmte, wants to know our plan for stopping Iran and Syria from arming terrorists and militias.  Current and former intelligence officials say that Tehran has recruited its own network of Iraqi Shiite extremists to use armor-piercing weapons against US and coalition forces rather than against Sunni rivals.

TWO-LEGGED DOGS:  Dominic the Greyhound Pup leads a fairly normal life, despite having only his left legs, in a video clip from Animal Planet.  Faith, who manages with just her back legs, was lost and found by American Airlines.

CANE TOADS may soon be subject to a beer-for-a-bag-of-toads bounty supported by Australia's biggest private hotel owner and the RSPCA.  ALSO:  Don't eat raw frogs.

ORANGUTAN ESCAPE DRILL goes awry at the Tama Zoo in Tokyo, Japan.  Photos at the link.

STOLEN BULLDOGS were recovered 150 miles from their home in Iberia, MO, with an assist from a private eye.

PIGEONS may be remote-controlled by scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Center at Shandong University of Science and Technology in eastern China.

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Advance Stooges and Arcade Fire, Gun Club, Lesbian Koalas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


IGGY POP claims he is struggling to get his kicks in old age, but when I hear new  Stooges' tracks like "The Weirdness" or  "Free and Freaky" (Real | Win), it sounds like he's exaggerating.  Iggy and The Stooges got a lengthy profile over the weekend in the New York Times that starts with the Ig discussing the classic Stooges video I've posted here previously.  The NYT piece even has MP3 samples.

ARCADE FIRE:  Neon Bible doesn't come out until next week, but you can stream the whole album now, via NME.

THE PIPETTES have inked a US record deal with Interscope subsidiary Cherrytree.  They hope to finally release We Are The Pipettes in June, with bonus tracks not on the UK release that will run you 30 bucks as an import.  In the meantime, you can always stream a few via TheirSpace.

DR. DOG, a psychedelic pop band from Philly, gets some local love from the World Cafe, which you can stream via NPR.  The band has been generating blog buzz, too -- so there's plenty to jukebox via the ol' HM.

MARK OLSON will have a cameo from former co-Jayhawk Greg Louris on his second solo album, due this June.

GUN CLUB:  Blank Forever has posted a bunch of their punk-blues classics.  You can jukebox 'em via the ol' HM, but I have to throw in some live video for the missing "Sex Beat." 

THE RAKES:  London's Guardian says they make "the thinking person's drinking music. Or the drinking person's thinking music."  I would agree that the band is closer to Franz Ferdinand or Bloc Party than drinking music, but you can stream a bunch via the ol' HM and decide for yourself.  Obvs, I can't pass up a track named "When Tom Cruise Cries."

THE HOLD STEADY can be more credibly said to make the thinking person's drinking music , but frontman Craig Finn doesn't consider their stuff "literary," telling Stylus: "I mean, we're trying to separate ourselves from guys like the Decemberists. That dude has read so many books. I haven't read any books compared to him."

LOU BARLOW talks to the San Jose Mercury News about the Sebadoh reunion and his surprise success with "Natural One,'' the single by his side project Folk Implosion.

CHRIS CORNELL supposedly quit Audioslave due to "irresolvable personality conflicts," but sources told Page Six it was all about the Benjamins.  He tells Spinner that his next solo LP, due May 1st, will include a cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."  You can still stream his live acoustic version via the ol' HM.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Sources tell TMZ that doctors at her rehab facility think the underlying reason for her trouble may be post-partum depression or bipolar disorder.  That either is more sympathetic than substance abuse is just a happy coincidence.  If believed, it would hurt sales of the Britney Shears doll on eBay.  At least she's got Pete Townshend in her corner, though she seems a bit old for him.

HELEN MIRREN has been invited to tea with Queen Elizabeth II.  Her Majesty rooted for the actress to win an Oscar for The Queen, though she would never watch it herself.  Proof -- if any were needed -- that "Her Majesty" is a pretty nice girl.

ALAN ARKIN hoped his ten-year-old costar, Abigail Breslin, would lose the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress: "I hope she loses frankly. No, I'm serious. I am not joking... She is a kid; she needs to have a childhood."  More, including Arkin admitting he doesn't like awards, at the link.

EDDIE MURPHY is not a sore loser for leaving the Oscars after losing Best Supporting Actor to Alan Arkin.  His rep claims he did the same thing after he won the same award at the Golden Globes.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  US Weekly describes the couple's behavior at Vanity Fair's Oscars afterparty in a way that brings the term "Stepford Wife" easily to mind.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but baby-daddy wannabe Larry Birkhead finally met 5-month-old Dannielynn Smith, who threw up on him.  Probably reminded him of Anna.   Meanwhile, wacky jurist Larry Seidlin has been mulling TV offers, including a segment on CBS's Early Show.

WHITNEY-BOBBY BREAK-UPDATE:  Bobby Brown seems to have had some difficulty raising the 19K bail to get of jail for unpaid child support and court fees. 

P DIDDY took his 12-year-old son for a lapdance.

GWYNETH PALTROW discovered that being a housewife is a hard job.

CHRISTINA RICCI says that playing a chained-up half-naked nymphomaniac in the upcoming Black Snake Moan helped her overcome her prudish nature, so she now parades around in her underwear.  Slideshow at the link.  You can stream versions of the song "Black Snake Moan" via the ol' HM.  You can watch the trailer, and even see Richard Roeper and guest Kevin Smith review the movie on the Tube, but the clip of the sex scene with Ricci and JT is long gone by now.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON skipped the Oscars to tour the slums of India on behalf of Oxfam.  She visited an Oxfam-funded school set up for the "untouchable" Dalit caste.

AFGHANISTAN:  A Taliban suicide bomber killed 18 outside the Kabul base where VP Cheney was visiting. Lt. Col. David Accetta said the bomber did not try to get past any US-staffed security checkpoints before detonating himself a mile away from the VP.   The Taliban are executing informants after three senior commanders were killed in the last three months.

EGYPT:  An Egyptian state-run satellite firm has stopped transmitting al-Zawraa TV, a/k/a "MujTV," a 24-hour station set up by the Islamic Army of Iraq (and subordinate to the Mujahideen Shura Council) to broadcast jihadi propaganda into Iraq.  Analysts pointed to US and Arab diplomatic pressure as a likely reason, but Nilesat claimed it was because the channel created a "buzz" that interfered with other channels.  I'll say!  MujTV is still available through our friends, the Saudis.

IRAQ:  Multinational Forces Iraq is "holding talks with commanders of Muqtada al-Sadr's Al-Mahdi Army with the 'Iraqi Government's blessing,'" as well as with other armed groups.  An aide claims that al-Sadr has not withdrawn his support for the new security plan, claiming a prior statement was misread by the media.  The buzz in Baghdad continues to be that al-Sadr is "doing some very deadly housecleaning," as Mahdi Army members have been disappearing or turning up dead in the Sadr City, Kadhimiya, and Baladiyat areas of the capital.  US-led strike forces seized suspected Shiite death squad bosses Tuesday in raids on Sadr City.  The AP claims -- without support --  that bombings have not slackened off, whereas the US military says that "reporting of sectarian murders is at the lowest level in almost a year" and bomb attacks have been reduced by 20 percent.  Nevertheless, the military rightly cautions against projecting a trend into the early figures.  One of Iraq's two VPs and the minister of public works escaped an assassination attempt.

CHACHI the MARMOSET frequently bites his owners and has assumed control over their dog, riding it like a horse.  This is right in my backyard; it turns out that Illinois is one of 19 states with no laws governing the private ownership of nonhuman primates.  So I'm thinking about becoming a part-time organ grinder.

MAN'S BEST FRIEND:  Dude, an eight-year-old mixed-breed hound, gave his life saving his owner from an attacking black bear.

NOT MAN'S BEST FRIEND:  A pet python strangled its 69-year-old owner in southern Vietnam, despite his daughter-in-law's desperate efforts to save him.

KOALA BEARS are totally into lesbian sex orgies Down Under.

LONELY ANIMAL LOVERS can get a hookup through a Dutch website.  And as the story comes out of Amsterdam, I hasten to add, "with other pet owners."

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The Jags, New Releases, Live Magic Numbers, Twinkie the Pig   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


TWOFER TUESDAY:  From the "Where Are They Now?" file leap The Jags, with "Back Of My Hand," which used to play most mornings on WLUP in Spring 1980, iirc.  There's also the uber-rare "Party Games," posted on the Tube by a member of the band.

NEW RELEASES:  Dean and Britta release Back Numbers; the Village Voice profiles them.  Dash Rip Rock releases Hee Haw Hell, a country-rock-opera take on Dante's Inferno.  The Fall releases Reformation! Post-TLC, the band's first in umpteen years.   Beck re-releases last year's The Information in a deluxe, three disc format.

ARCADE FIRE:  New York magazine goes behind the scenes of the band's triumphant five-show stand at a church on Washington Square Park. 

MIDLAKE:  London's Guardian sends someone to the musical hotbed of Denton, TX for the secret of the band's success.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS:  Watch an entire gig from the hooky pop quartet via FabChannel.

THE WHO:  "My Generation" has been voted the most popular teen anthem ever in a poll taken to mark 50 years of the term "teenager."  As it's Twofer Tuesday, here's a The Who live at the Marquee Club in '67, and the famous version from TV.

LILY ALLEN is the current Guest DJ for NPR's All Songs Considered.  The set includes a fair number from her debut album, but she also squeezes in some Squeeze, and The Clash.

VAN HALEN:  Insiders close to the situation say a reunion tour is still in the works and will happen, though when is anybody's guess.

DAVID VANDERVELDE is the current Lounge Act at WOXY,  You can stream it via MKOB.

APPLES IN STEREO leader Robert Schneider talks to the Chicago Sun-Times about putting the Elephant 6 gang back together during the recording of New Magnetic Wonder.  You can stream three tracks off the album via TheirSpace.

OSCAR REDUX:  The video of Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly musically lamenting Oscar's disrespect of comedy is a good excuse to re-link Joe Queenan's piece on the Oscars, the Grammys, Ferrell and Black, which is well worth your time... there's even a Richard Thompson reference!

NAOMI WATTS pregnancy accidentally confirmed by her rep's statement about her Oscars dress.

HUGH HEFNER may marry Playmate Holly Madison.

MICHAEL GAMBON:  Dumbledore is going to be a dad -- with a woman who is not his wife.  He is still married to his wife of 45 years, Anne, although they are separated.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but her baby-daddy wannabes -- Larry Birkhead and Howard K. Stern -- are in settlement negotiations.

WHITNEY-BOBBY BREAK-UPDATE:  Bobby Brown was arrested on Sunday and jailed in Massachusetts for failure to appear in court and pay child support fines.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  This time its annulled husband Jason Alexander bringing the tales of cocaine, ecstacy and bisexual orgies.  London's Sun claims that the pop tart ordered a wing at her luxury rehab clinic to be cleared to avoid mixing with other patients.  But the paparazzi at X17 claim that she's attending classes all day and making friends.  Daniel Baldwin -- of all people -- says the pop tart is "doing great" in rehab.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes tells People magazine she loves mothering the Tom-Kitten: "She's a beautiful little girl, and I feel so honored to be her mom, really."  And hubby Cruise "is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

24:  Entertainment Weekly spends 24 hours behind the scenes of the hit counter-terrorism thriller.  The Wiggles have a cameo, but Jack Bauer does not torture them.  Indeed, Kiefer Sutherland has accepted an invitation from the US military to teach army cadets it is wrong to torture prisoners.

PETRA NEMCOVA and JAMES BLUNT ran over the leg of an autograph seeker on Friday night in L.A., according to witnesses.  That's not beautiful... unless you're a trial lawyer.

JAMES CAMERON claims in a new documentary that ten ancient ossuaries -- small caskets used to store bones -- discovered in a suburb of Jerusalem in 1980 may have contained the bones of Jesus and his family.  Archeologists and clergy were already deriding this claim 11 years ago.

AMERICAN IDOL semifinalist Antonella Barba has her best friend claiming that the tamer scandalous photos of Barba floating 'round the internet are of Barba, but that the really NSFW photos are not.

THREE FRENCH NATIONALS, some of them Muslims, were shot dead in Saudi Arabia on Monday in what appeared to be a militant attack, the Interior Ministry said.  If only France had not invaded Iraq.  Oh, wait...

IRAQ:  An Iraqi newspaper reports that Muqtada al-Sadr made a statement from "an unknown location," criticizing the new security plan, which is contrary to his initial position.  That may reflect al-Sadr's current difficult position between his popular Shiite base, renegade factions of his own militia, Iran and the US.  The Iraqi cabinet approved the draft law for countrywide distribution of oil revenues and foreign investment in the immense oil industry, which sends it to the parliament.  Though the WaPo focuses on difficulty in identifying the enemy in Baghdad, the story confirms the 70 percent drop in violent deaths under the new security plan so far.  Fifteen al-Qaeda, incuding an emir, were catpured in raids in Baghdad, Ramadi, Mahmudiyah and Samarra.  The US military is preparing for a spring offensive against Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda in Ramadi.  The Iraqi Army arrested 6 insurgents near Baqubah. A large cache of Iranian EFPs also was found near Baquba.

IRAN seems to be uniting Europe behind the US ballistic missile defense program.  Tehran's own claim of a space rocket launch is greatly exaggerated.  The mullocracy is building up Hezbollah for another round with Israel.  The NYPD is concerned that Iranian agents may already have targeted the Big Apple for terror attacks, though this seems to ge a generalized concern not based on a specific threat.  The Iranian judiciary plans to clamp down on women it deems are "inappropriately dressed."  And from the irony dept:  Iranian MPs have demanded an apology from Pres. Ahmadinejad after teachers were given government-sponsored tests deemed "insulting" to the prophet Mohammed.

TWINKIE loves the banjo, but who would have guessed this photo was taken in the UK?

A SNAKE works as an auto-security system in India.

WHEN SQUIRRELS ATTACK:  Let them have your snack chips.  After all, you know "they'll make more," but the rodent does not know that.

PRAIRIE DOG CREDITS:  I'm not sure what they are, but they can't be good for the dogs.

PUPPY THIEVES are in organized gangs Down Under; a 31-year-old who tried to thwart a pup heist is hospitalized in serious condition after being stabbed and pelted with puppies.

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Flaming Lips, Son Volt, Bright Eyes, Oscars, Rats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 26, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE FLAMING LIPS and PETE TOWNSEND play "Baba O'Riley" unplugged on "In The Attic" backstage at the V Festival in Baltimore.  ALSO: Lips frontman Wayne Coyne is on NPR's Morning Edition today, discussing how his 11-year-long fish-frying gig at  Long John Silver's "allowed me to dream about what my life could become."

ACE FREHLEY says rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.

SON VOLT played the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia last Friday, so you can stream the whole set from NPR now.

RICHARD THOMPSON talks songwriting and covers with the Cincinnati Enquirer.

BACKYARD TIRE FIRE, a Chicago-based band whose sound has elements of everything from Wilco to the Guess Who to Southern rock, are profiled by JamBase, where frontman Ed Anderson talks about growing up on 8-tracks and 70s AM radio, among other things.  You can jukebox a few via the ol' HM.

BRIGHT EYES premieres the video for "Four Winds" exclusively on Spinner.  I'm not a huge Bright Eyes guy, but I like this one  lot.

THE AUTUMN DEFENSE:  Pat Sansone thinks this Wilco-ite side-project gets compared to Bread, America and Crosby, Stills and Nash because of the harmonies; John Stirratt thinks it may just be that he and Sansone "didn't want to hear loud electric guitars."  You can stream their soft sounds from TheirSpace.

SONIC YOUTH have booked their first two dates ever in the People's Republic of China.  Will the government approve?

IN SEARCH of the BLUES:  London's Telegraph reviews a book about the "the Blues mafia" who created the romantic notion of the bluesman as primitive, tormented genius.

LEE HAZLEWOOD, still fighting renal cancer, offers some ramblin' recollections and observations for Harp magazine, including this: "I don't know why the kids who like my old garbage like those songs. The lost romanticism, the fatalism? No idea. If I knew, I'da done more of it..."   He also tells the San Francisco Chronicle what he thought of Jessica Simpson's take on "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'."

THE INDELICATES are a hooky new British band including early Pipette Julia.  My Old Kentucky Blog is streaming five tracks, including the droll "Waiting for Pete Doherty to Die."

...AND THE OSCARS WENT TO these folks, but more importantly, what did I think?  Alan Arkin rules, even reading his speech. George Miller, director of Mad Max and The Road Warrior, wins for dancing penguins; go figure.  We don't need clip montages; they pad the show and remind us of movies better than those nominated this year.  Tom Cruise giving the humanitarian award to ex-Paramount chair Sherry Lansing is an inside joke at the expense of Sumner Redstone, who kicked Cruise off the Paramount lot.  Scorsese, Eastwood and Spielberg are all funnier than Ellen DeGeneres.  The cinematographer for Children of Men wuz robbed!  Robert Downey, Jr. is funnier than Ellen.  Al Gore does not get an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth (it really goes to Davis Guggenheim), but Gore gets to make a political speech anyway.  Gore always forgets the Clinton-Gore Admin's failure to submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification.  Celine Dion appears, makes me long for Al Gore.  Ennio Morricone rocks.  Tobey Maguire needs to shave.  Travolta needs a better hairpiece.  Spielberg, appearing in a trio with Coppola and Lucas to give Best Director to Scorsese, gets the line of the night: "Spread out!"  If you missed the show, you can also get the play-by-play from The Envelope.  UPDATE:  Nikki Finke and Tom Shales are among those unimpressed with the telecast.  DOUBLE-BONUS:  Joe Queenan notes that the Oscars are more dishonest than the Grammys.

THE RED CARPET:  Cate Blanchett, Reese Witherspoon, and Kate Winslet were Hot.  Elizabeth Shue and Kirsten Dunst were Not.  Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway and Nicole Kidman were Hot, but Not in those dresses. BONUS: My law school friend Terrie Khoshbin noted that the Red Carpet shows kept airing the m&ms commercial that features "This is the Day" by The The -- an ad placement I had heretofore missed.

THE RAZZIES, otoh, went to these folks.  Saturday was a big night for Basic Instinct 2, Little Man and Lady in the Water.

THE INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS went to these folks.  Little Miss Sunshine was the big winner with four prizes.  Emcee Sarah Silverman: "If a bomb went off, there would be nobody left to make a documentary about it."

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Oscar weekend was an apathetic one at the nation's cineplexes.  Ghost Rider retained the top slot with 19.7 million, but dropped 60 percent.  Even so, the flick may break even in the US and make money internationally.  The Number 23 made 15.1 million, which may not be bad, considering its 30 million budget.  Bridge to Terabithia dropped 40 percent to the third slot, probably because folks found out this is much darker than the Narnia franchise.  Reno 911!: Miami came in fourth with about ten million, which is probably good, as the budget had to be low.  Norbit drops to fifth, but at 74 million in total, this Eddie Murphy movie may pass up Dreamgirls.  Music and Lyrics grossed eight million in its second weekend, and dropped only 41 percent, but probably disappoints the studio.  The espionage flick Breach also dropped about 40 percent, perhaps hurt by folks catching up on this year's Oscar noms.  Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls plunged 53 percent, making 5.2 million.  Ninth place goes to The Astronaut Farmer, with a 4.5 million take that surely disappoints, just barely edging out Amazing Grace, the anti-slavery biopic that opened on far fewer screens.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Amanda Alexander -- sister of Britney's first husband Jason Alexander -- says she's seen the pop tart use cocaine and ecstasy.  Fed-Ex says he could never take her back, reports the ever-reliable Daily Star UK.  She was visited by her kids in rehab.  Manager Larry Rudolph denies she's on suicide watch.

JESSICA BIEL appears to have moved on from Justin Timberlake and has been spotted with That 70s Show swordsman Wilmer Valderrama.

BRADGELINA:  Us Weekly claims that Pitt and Jolie have filed paperwork with US Citizenship and Immigration Services to adopt a boy from Vietnam.  More certain is the report that the Council on Foreign Relations has decided to admit Jolie as a member, based on her work as a UN goodwill ambassador.  And the fact that she's much hotter than Alan Greenspan.

NICOLE KIDMAN and KEITH URBAN had to dig really deep when he went into rehab... or so she told Russell Crowe during Oprah's pre-Oscars "stars-interview-each-other" show.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but Sandi Powledge is talking about their tumultuous love affair.  NTTAWWT.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE:  Hudson was snapped in a PDA with Owen "The Butterscotch Stallion" Wilson in Australia.

JACKO, unofficially blacklisted from a hoped-for Vegas run, agreed to do a tour with sister Janet and his brothers.  Whether he follows through is another matter.

JESSICA SIMPSON may be a Pizza Hut spokesmodel, but she is reportedly allergic to cheese, tomatoes and wheat.

AMERICAL IDOL producer Nigel Lythgoe says he has not seen any of the embarrassing and downright NSFW photos of contestant Antonella Barba circulating on the Internet.  And there are really NSFW versions at ONTD.

IRAN:  In The New Yorker, Seymour Hersh claims that a Pentagon panel has been created to plan a bombing attack that could be implemented within 24 hours of getting the go-ahead from Pres. Bush.  The panel had focused on destroying Iran's nuke facilities and regime change, but has since been directed to identify Iranian targets that may be involved in supplying or aiding militants in Iraq.  Pentagon officials say they maintain contingency plans for literally dozens of potential conflicts around the world and that all plans are subject to regular and ongoing review.  The Times of London claims that senior US military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, but the story then refers to officers at the Pentagon who are not actually commanders.  FWIW, I think there would be a big WH PR push before anything like this would happen.  The Daily Telegraph claims that Israel is negotiating with the US for permission to fly over Iraq as part of a plan to attack Iran's nuke sites.  This also seems to fall under the heading of contingency planning; imho, Israel might be just as happy to have a tacit deal to fly over Saudi Arabia, knowing that SA would officially squawk, but take no real action.  Indeed, a few hours after I wrote that, a Kuwaiti newspaper reports that Qatar, Oman and the UAE have told the US that they would not object to Israel using their airspace.

IRAQ:  At ITM, Mohammed has an overview of the progress in Baghdad over the first two weeks of the new security plan, including 600 displaced families returning home, and worshippers returning to their mosques.   Over 400 insurgents have been killed and another 400 captured since security operations began in mid-February. Despite the jump in terrorist bombings in the last few days, the death toll in Baghdad has dropped by over 70 percent.  More Kurdish troops are moving towards Baghdad.  Kurdish leaders have apparently approved a draft oil law that will be presented to Iraqi lawmakers in coming weeks.  The Interior Ministry launched an operation against an Islamic Army base north of Baghdad, killed "tens" of fighters and captured " Saad Akram Khalifa, a commander of the Islamic Army in northern Iraq." Coalition forces captured 12 al-Qaeda in raids in Amiriyah and Mosul, and found "a large amount of Egyptian and Syrian money and false passports and identification cards."  Al-Qaeda murdered 35 and injured more than 60 in a suicide bombing on a mosque in Habbaniyah whose cleric spoke out against al-Qaeda.  Special Iraqi Army Forces captured 5 members of the Mahdi Army in Husayniyah and the leader of a 30 man sniper cell in Mashahda.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  60 Minutes supports the troops who oppose the war.  If that sounds like an overstatement, consider that the show portrayed the "appeal for redress" as a grassroots effort, instead of a well-organized and financed effort by longtime antiwar activists.  And consider that the show relied on a recent Military Times survey to claim that more US soldiers oppose the president's handling of the war in Iraq than support it, when the Military Times admits the poll is not representative of the troops.  Moreover, it's a mail-in poll, which makes it unscientific in the first place.  If I know these things, you can bet 60 Minutes knew them, but chose not to tell its viewers.

RATS SWARMED through a KFC in NYC's Greenwich Village.  The Health Department has closed the store, which had passed inspection one day after WCBS cameras caught dozens of rats scurrying across the store, jumping on tables, and climbing into food trays.  Video at both links.

BEAVERS RETURN TO NYC after 200 years. So. Many. Punchlines. But I'm still partial to the one in The Naked Gun.

WEALTHY GAY DOG wants to take on best man duties at same-sex weddings at his 13th Century manor house.

100 SHEEP CARCASSES were discovered in a home in downtown Toronto.

SNAKE in a WAL-MART:  The Georgia man bit by a pygmy rattler last November has filed suit against the big box giant.  Video at the link.

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