THE PIPETTES' new video for "Pull Shapes" (in Quicktime and on YouTube) puts the band smack in the middle of the cult classic, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. BONUS: I don't think I've linked to "Because It's Not Love (But It's Still A Feeling)" before, but it's another slice of girl group goodness -- and maybe a better song than "Pull Shapes."
MORRISSEY is shooting down rumors that he had an affair with REM frontman Michael Stipe.
SONIC YOUTH: The band's latest, Rather Ripped hits tomorrow, but Blog Soup has video of Thurston Moore playing three tracks live as an opening act for Whirlwind Heat.
PETE SEEGER criticizes Springsteen's album paying tribute to him. Maybe Pete could write a song about this grave injustice.
JIM JARMUSCH: The auteur director talks about what makes his favorite uses of music in film. Jurmusch is no slouch himself on that score. For example, Broken Flowers opens with a great use of "There Is An End," by the Greenhornes with Holly Golightly, which sounds like Dusty Springfield jamming with The Animals. Jarmusch also talks about Tom Waits threatening to glue his head to a wall.
WHAT MAKES A SONG CATCHY? MRIs show that a catchy song makes the auditory part of the brain "itch." Prof. Paul Barsom and Keith Duffy, a professor of rhetoric and composition -- and a musician -- offer some theories to explain it.
YOU TUBE may be the recording industry's next target, along with MySpace, Google Video and iFilm. (Thanks, Lance.)
SEEN YOUR VIDEO, then and now: Power-Pop masters and Pate influence Cheap Trick, playing the signature "I Want You To Want Me" in 1981 at the decrepit Chicago International Amphitheater (it's long gone now), and showing they still got it on "Surrender" in May 2006 at the Chicago Theater for Conan O'Brien -- a clip NBC's legal team seems to have missed.
THE BOTTLE ROCKETS frontman Brian Henneman talks to the New Jersey Daily Record about striving to make a timeless album at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis.
THE DECEMBERISTS frontman Colin Meloy dishes details on the upcoming album, including a three-part song cycle, to the Pitchfork.
THE DONNAS have amicably split with Atlantic Records.
R.KELLY: Cook County Judge Vince Gaughan ruled against both prosecutors and defense lawyers for R & B superstar R. Kelly Thursday, saying he will not prevent members of the public at Kelly's child pornography trial from viewing the videotape that appears to show Kelly engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old girl.
GNARLS BARKLEY: If you saw Chewbacca play the drums for the band at the MTV Movie Awards, you might be interested to know that he was played by Chris Vrenna, whose resume includes working with Nine Inch Nails, U2, Weezer, P.O.D., David Bowie, Cold, The Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Green Day, and the Wallflowers.
PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer missed his last court date, though his lawyer told the court his rehab in Portugal is going well. Maybe the fourth time is a charm. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel downed a pint in one gulp from a tabletop while partying with Primal Scream. She woulda been a natural for the band's "Country Girl" video.
THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul is the lowest he has been since first wife Linda died, after discovering his estranged wife Heather Mills once posed naked for a German sex book. Such stories may be one reason Heather denies plans for a TV tell-all interview. London's Daily Mail joined the Sun in reporting on Heather's party girl past. Ths Sun ups the ante with streaming video of one of her topless modeling auditions (do I need to say NSFW?) And the ever-reliable News of the World goes even further, claiming evidence that Heather spent years as a high-class hooker for international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and others. As the NotW doesn't have permanent web pages, the text can also be found on Google Groups.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Cars sped away with 62.8 million, an opening that -- like the reviews -- is good, but not great. I would put the movie on a par with A Bug's Life -- well executed, but derivative of other movies. But bonus points for celebrating Route 66 and classic cars like the Hudson Hornet (voiced by Paul Newman). Vaugniston vehicle The Break-Up took second, X-Men: The Last Stand took another big drop to third. The Omen, which opened well on 6/6/06, fizzled in fourth.
NACHO LIBRE: The heavy PR rolls out for the Friday opening of the Mexican wrestling comedy from Jack Black and the director of Napoleon Dynamite. Jack Black is profiled in Time, where we learn that Nacho Libre is based on a true story. Page Six blurbs the current stars of Mexico's Lucha Libre.
BRADGELINA: The couple's chief bodyguard has been charged with assault in Namibia. Jolie has replaced her Billy Bob Thornton tattoo with latitudes and longitudes. Just Jared has Jolie's TV PSA for World Refugee Day 2006 via YouTube.
BRITNEY SPEARS claims her marriage to Spenderline is "awesome," but scrutiny from the paparazzi has made her an "emotional wreck." Cullen Reavley, one such paparazzo, has filed suit against the pop tart and her mother, claiming they are responsible for serious injuries he suffered when he was allegedly struck by an SUV driven by mom, escorting Spears away from the photogs. Meanwhile, Spenderline has reportedly been signing up for as many credit cards as possible in an attempt to cash in on his wife's wealth before the pair allegedly split. That's awesome? ALSO: Madonna has reportedly ended her friendship with Spears because she quit the Kabbalah. Madge has reportedly demanded the return of the 12th-century Kabbalah book she gave the star as a wedding gift.
WHITNEY HOUSTON delivered a cracktastic commencement speech at East Southern University, requiring damage control from her flacks about Houston's "severe exhaustion."
DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Denise Richards is delighted with the birth of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, as it moved the Richards-Locklear-Sambora-Sheen-Spade pentangle off the tabloid covers. Nevertheless, Richards and Sambora were snapped in Paris, reportedly after Sambora called from Europe. Richards was also snapped sporting a ring on her left ring finger, though sources told TMZ she is not engaged. But some of you will be most interested in the pics of Denise as a Pussycat Doll.
JIM CARREY and JENNY McCARTHY confirm they are a couple. I imagine long hours of the pair competing to make the most stupid face.
JESSICA SIMPSON dating Jared Leto? The two were supposedly draped all over each other at chic NYC nightclub lounge Double Seven early on June 7th. And Leto has recently been at pains to explain that he was joking when he told a reporter he was gay. NTTAWWT.
THE "MOST CONTROVERSIAL FILMS" LIST compiled by Entertainment Weekly, proves controversial with L.A. Weekly's Nikki Finke.
THE FRENCH HOTEL was caught in a hit-and-run incident captured on video. Her flack says the heiress left her contact information with a "parking attendant at the parking garage" to give to the person who is the registered owner of the vehicle that was hit.
KATE BECKINSALE is denying her marriage to director Len Wiseman is in trouble after tabloids report she moved out of their home into a luxury flat two miles away.
PHOEBE CATES must have a portrait in the attic, because she isn't aging. It occurs to me that Cates was Jessica Alba before Jessica Alba. For that matter, in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, she was Stacy's Mom before "Stacy's Mom."
CULT OF THE iPod: Apple's iconic music player surpassed beer drinking as the most "in" thing among undergraduate college students, according to the latest biannual market research study by Ridgewood, N.J.-based Student Monitor.
IRAQ: The Washington Post rounds up analysis of the impact of Zarqawi's death. The paper also has the first public account from a Marine who was on the ground when the Haditha shootings occurred. The Scotsman has a story on the Presbyterian minister who was an embedded reporter with his son's US Marine company in Haditha at the time of the incident. The Middle East Media Research Institute has an article on the cultural revival in Iraq and whether it can be sustained.
IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: Following the recent New York Times piece complaining there were not enough pictures of dead US soldiers being shown in the US press, Editor & Publisher and the Baltimore Sun complain that the US press seems too happy about Zarqawi's death and too eager to show pictures of him dead -- though without such pictures, some would not believe it. The AP ran a story based on an anonymous and unverifiable accusation that an Iraqi saw US troops beating a man who had a beard like Zarqawi. Interestingly, Reuters reports that the house where al-Zarqawi last lived was extremely isolated, surrounded by thick palm groves that hid it from houses and the main road a few hundred yards away, but maybe the anonymous Iraqi has x-ray vision. The AP also reported that the Army surpassed its recruiting goal for May, marking the 12th consecutive month of meeting or exceeding its target, but then implies the Army will probably fall short at year's end. Apparently, the "P" in AP stands for "predictions." Who knew?
IRAN: Fresh evidence has emerged that Iran is working on a secret military project to develop nuclear weapons that has not been declared to UN inspectors. Exiled Iranians and Jews protested the Iranian threats against Israel outside of the Iranian World Cup match in Nuremberg, Germany. Nuremberg rally irony -- catch it!
JACK THE WATCHCAT treed a black bear. Twice.
QUEENSLAND CANE TOADS: If you can't beat 'em, make 'em a state icon.
A ONE-TON RODEO BULL rampaged through a town... in Maine?
THREE GATORS: James "Bugs" Brown says they are beloved pets. Neighbors and the City of Tualatin, Oregon, don't see it the same way.
ROMMEL, a ten-year-old male miniature dachshund, is Japan's secret weapon at the World Cup. Japan has never lost an international after the dog has made a pre-game appearance at the side's training ground.