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The Pipettes, Legion of Rock Stars, Cutout Bin, Cats & Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 08, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE PIPETTES!  I just got back from seeing them play a packed house at the Empty Bottle in Chicago (previewed by Jim DeRogatis for the Sun-Times) and boy, are my arms tired!  That's because the lovely lasses from Brighton want you to finger-wag, clap your hands  and wave your arms in the 90 degree heat, just like they do... and if you can give the proper shout-outs in various songs so much the better, as they really feed off a crowd.   They opened with a new song, which I would guess is called "You Won't Forget Me," but it wasn't very long before they pulled out "Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me" much like this clip from  the Black Cat in DC.  Sometimes they seemed more excited about their new material, but they did really cook on crowd faves like "Dirty Mind" and the climactic "Pull Shapes" (like these clips from Lee's Palace in Toronto, but hotter and sweatier, with the crowd yelling, "What will you do when the music stops?").  The encore was "We Are the Pipettes," which is likely the first song you would hear streaming from their website.  BONUS:  What you see above is Gwenno, Rosay and Becki out of their signature polka-dots playing "Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me" unplugged at the CMJ offices in NYC.

PLUS:  The second band on the bill was the tween indie sister act Smoosh, so I'm tossing in their catchy "Find A Way," as well as their live cover of Bloc Party's "This Modern Life," so you can see they have their even younger sister sit in on bass for a couple of numbers. You can also stream a few at SmooshSpace.  Monster Bobby, the ladies' guitarist and collaborator, was third on the bill, with songs like "Let's Check Into the Hospital Together," and "One Moonlit Night" (which featured an Elvis sample singing backup).  BTW, I let Gwenno and Becki stand in front of me to catch the end of Smoosh's set, just as Asya was standing nearby to see the end of the Pipettes' set.  Also, when Smoosh plays soccer at the end of the "Find A Way" clip, that's not just for show -- it's also what they were doing around the corner when I showed up to the Empty Bottle.  FYI, I didn't interrupt, as it would have seemed just too darn creepy.  And I can confirm the Wikipedia entry stating that the Pipettes' drummer plays court musician Thomas Tallis on Showtime's The Tudors.

DANIEL JOHNSTON talked to Glide magazine about his current work and the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, which has turned up on cable recently.

I'M FROM BARCELONA:  The 28-member Swedish band is streaming a song about Britney Spears.

INSTANT KARMA:  The John Lennon tribute disc for Darfur is due next week, but you can stream it now via VH1.

FOUNTAINS of WAYNE co-founder and songwriter Adam Schlesinger is asked by Eye Weekly: "What is it about power-pop that seems to appeal exclusively to neurotic 20- and 30-something white guys?"

THE LEGION of ROCK STARS listen to classic rock and pop songs on 30dB noise-blocking headsets, play along, and record the results.

THE SMASHING PUMPKINS played a "secret" gig in Germany Tuesday night that included a a question and answer session.  When asked why he chose the German word Zeitgeist for the band's new album, Billy Corgan replied, "Because the word Hasselhoff was taken."

DAVE DEE, DOZY, BEAKY, MICK & TICH play "Hold Tight" on a carnival-themed set for Top of the Pops.  And it is almost carnival season...

THE ROSEBUDS did an interview and mini-set at the World Cafe, which you can stream via NPR.

WHY THE HIPSTER MUST DIE, according to TimeOut New York.

KEREN ANN talks to the Boston papers about her eclectic songwriting and her nomadic lifestyle.  You can hear some of the former streaming at HerSpace; I'm partial to the Velvet-y "Lay Your Head Down."

PETE TOWNSHEND talks to France's Metro about his songs (old and new) and the artists and bands he's digging now.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are: The Beach Boys - All Summer Long; Free - All Right Now; The Hues Corporation - Rock the Boat; The Pretenders - Talk of theTown; Old 97's - Question; Blondie - Heart of Glass; Cheap Trick - Oh, Candy; Stevie Nicks - Edge Of Seventeen; The Go! Team - Huddle Formation; Pavement - Cut Your Hair; Beck - Devil's Haircut; The Breeders - Cannonball; Yo La Tengo - Big Day Coming; The Beach Boys - The Warmth of the Sun; Locksley - The Past And The Present; Meat Loaf - You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night); Cream - White Room; Electric Light Orchestra - Roll Over Beethoven; and The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations.

BRITNEY SPEARS is dating her drug counselor?  They both deny it, but Fed-Ex insists they're dating and her mother is thrilled the two are supposedly seeing each other, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

THE FRENCH HOTEL may be ordered back to the Graybar Hotel.  Hours after she was sent home under house arrest Thursday for an undisclosed medical condition, the judge who put her in jail for violating her reckless-driving probation ordered her into court Friday morning to decide if she should go back behind bars.  UPDATE:  Someone got all weepy being hauled to the courthouse in handcuffs!  UPDATEGo to jail.  Go directly to jail.  Do not pass "go."  Do not collect 200 dollars.  The Associated Press brings the drama.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are: the summer's fourth threequel, Ocean's 13, currently scoring 75 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the can-we-have more-penguins animated flick Surf's Up, scoring 77 percent (albeit on 13 reviews) and Eli Roth's Hostel, Pt. II, scoring 86 percent (albeit on six reviews).

BRADGELINA:  Jolie tells Marie Claire magazine how Pitt gets her out of her reserved shell: "I don't know how he does it, but...I talk a lot in the bath. It's easier to talk when you're naked...Get naked with me, and I'll talk!"  As it happens, Jolie was in town last night for an Ocean's 13 premiere, so I was sorely tempted to test that theory... but I already had tickets for the Pipettes.

GEORGE CLOONEY sympathizes with young Tinseltown's train-wrecks:  "If I were as famous as some of those kids who are on the magazines right now at 21 years old, I'd be shooting crack under my eyeball..."

JENNIFER ANISTON will be thrilled to learn that everyone notices her new beau's resemblance to her ex, Brad Pitt.  An Aniston friend says that Jen "is dating a bunch of guys" and hasn't settled on Mr. Right quite yet.

MAKING THE SHINING:  A 1-2-3-4 part behind-the-scenes documentary shot by Vivian Kubrick (daughter of Stanley).  And there are spoilers.  Plus the kid talking about what he's getting paid, and Jack Nicholson being Jack Nicholson (yet seeming more sane than Shelley Duvall).  BONUS:  I cannot help but re-link to the Shining trailer remix.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul talks about not talking about his divorce on Good Morning America.  Video at the link, too.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  New NBC programming chief Ben Silverman is telling friends he will do anything to get O'Donnell onto the network, and not just in daytime. Silverman is talking to O'Donnell about hosting a prime-time game show he has up his sleeve as well as a daytime hour a la The View.  Of course, it's easy to say you'll do "anything" for Rosie when you know she won't be interested in having sex with you.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE:  Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora entered an undisclosed treatment facility on Wednesday, a rep for the band tod People magazine.

PIRATES:  Slate's Explainer separates fact from fiction.

GRADUATION SPEECH:  Mike Philbrick of ESPN has composed an address of nothing but quotes from sports movies.  Just don't tell Baz Luhrmann.

THE SOPRAN-OHS:  As the historic series draws to a close Sunday, it's worth watching a few minutes of "ohs," "heys" and -- of course -- assorted bits of profanity.

GLOBAL WARMING:  Greenland -- the biggest island in the world -- is a wind-raked place, gripped by ice over four-fifths of its land, prowled by polar bears, its coastlines choked by drifting icebergs and sea ice. Many of its 56,000 people, who live on the fringes of its giant ice cap, see the effects of global warming -- and cheer it on.  BTW, for those freaking over the nearly 11 degree rise in average temperature there from 1991-2003, it should be noted -- as Freeman Dyson has: "The effect of carbon dioxide is more important where the air is dry, and air is usually dry only where it is cold. The warming mainly occurs where air is cold and dry, mainly in the arctic rather than in the tropics, mainly in winter rather than in summer, and mainly at night rather than in daytime..."

INDIA:  A caste of farmers and shepherds went on a rampage throughout northern India in support of their demand to be reclassified as the lowest of the low, so they can get government jobs and university spots reserved for such groups.

IRAN:  According to ABCNews, NATO officials say they have caught Iran red-handed, shipping heavy arms, C4 explosives and advanced roadside bombs to the Taliban for use against NATO forces in Afghanistan, in what the officials say is a dramatic escalation of Iran's proxy war against the US and Great Britain.

IRAQ:  IraqSlogger looks at conflicting reports in the Iraqi media regarding both Turkish incursions into the Kurdish north and the state of the opposition bloc former Prime Minister Allawi is trying to form.  While the US has called on Turkey to not invade northern Iraq, recurring limited incidents of hot pursuit of PKK terrorists are unlikely to draw opposition from the US, or from Baghdad for that matter.  The first Iraqi police academy in Anbar province has opened; it's in Habbaniyah, where former Marine Gene Blanton blogs the return of Sheikh Khamis and a meeting at the city's "neighborhood watch" center.  Michael Yon forwards an e-mail about the situation in Hit from LTC Doug Crissman, who arrested the once-heroic Gen. Hamid there.  The North Shore Journal blog has graphs of US and terrorist deaths this year that you probably won't see anywhere else.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A cat that uses a fork, spoon, and chopsticks to eat.

PET HOARDING:  This time, it's more than 100 pet rats, dozens of rabbits and other animals including several birds, seized from the home of an 81-year-old woman in L.A.

GONNA NEED A BIGGER MARRIAGE:  Frank Maloney, his cousin Ed and friend Chuck "Tuna" Meyer caught a 9-foot bull shark, weighing over 600 pounds, after a three-hour struggle... but the real struggle is with Frank's wife, who is a card-carrying member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PEPPER the PIT BULL saved her family.  For now, anyway.

DOGS:  New research is adding to the growing evidence that man's best friend thinks a lot more than many humans have believed.

CHIZ-WHIZ, the world's most famous chinchilla, has died in his Plymouth home at the age of 21.  Yeah, I had no idea who he was either; he was the public face of the globally-known Chinchilla Chat Line website.  Yeah, I had no idea about that, either.

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Lou Reed & Bright Eyes, Hallelujah the Hills, Yeasayer, Sprinkle   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 07, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


LOU REED joined BRIGHT EYES for a cover of the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting For The Man" at NYC's Town Hall on May 25th.  Here's a longer, alternate take with less distorted sound, but further away.

FROM a WHISTLE to a SCREAM:  Yuppie Punk lists the the ten wettest whistles in rock history, while Paste magazine lists the best screams in rock history.

HALLELUJAH THE HILLS co-founder Ryan Walsh is interviewed by author Jami Attenberg at Largehearted Boy.  Guess I'm not the first to notice the GbV vibe, but Walsh says HtH is usually more sober live: "Bob & GBV stumbled upon some kind of blissful, fulfilling relationship between alcohol and live performance that has not been replicated since. It looks like a lot of fun but I feel like 99/100 bands who try it come off terribly."  You can stream a few from their debut at TheirSpace.

LISTEN... to what the Flower People say: "I'm sick of stepping over gangs of kids, only to be told 'Die, yuppie!'"

TV on the RADIO:  Pitchfork has the B-side from the upcoming single, "Dumb Animal," streaming in the Forkcast.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  The original Byrds perform "Turn! Turn! Turn!" on a TV show that must remain nameless.

PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE:  The coroner who conducted Lana Clarkson's autopsy stuck to his conclusion that the actress' death was a homicide, saying that e-mails written by Clarkson did not change his opinion.  The jury has been shown autopsy photos showing that Clarkson's hand lacked blood spatters typical of a self-inflicted gunshot.  A former lawyer for Spector could be cited for contempt after she refused to testify Wednesday that she saw defense expert Henry Lee take part of Clarkson's acrylic fingernail from the crime scene.

SMASHING PUMPKINS: Culture Bully has posted new songs played at last weekend's Rock AM Ring festival, held in Nürburg, Germany.  You can jukebox 'em via the ol' HM.

SQUEEZE:  Glenn Tilbrook tells Billboard that the upcoming reunion tour is "gonna be quite a lot more visual" than anything they've done before, but not to expect anything past the tour. 

YEASAYER is building blog buzz, starting with the seminal Said the Gramophone, and spreading to Culture Bully, An Aquarium Drunkard and GvsB.  The pick-to-click "2080" and "Sunrise" have elements of art rock and world music that have people reaching for references like Peter Gabriel and Roxy Music.

THE FRENCH HOTEL in the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The jailed heirhead has been has been crying on the phone, saying she's not sleeping or eating, and complaining that her cell is "freezing cold."  All this, even though her fellow inmates seem to be playing nice and deputies have rolled out the red carpet and extended VIP courtesies, including skipping the cavity search.  This may make those deputies among the few left in LA County to have not given her a cavity search.  UPDATE:  TMZ claims that she DID have to undergo a cavity search as part of the booking process at the jail.  Did the cops wear their spelunking gear?  BONUS:  The NY Post has a downloadable postcard you can send to the prison.  And the LA Times has "The Paris Hilton Prison Diaries," by John Kenney.  UPDATE:  TMZ is claiming that the heirhead has been sprung from jail and that the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. will hold a news conference this morning to discuss what went down.  UPDATE:  She has been fitted for an ankle bracelet and reassigned to house arrest, after authorities determined to release her from prison due to... wait for it... medical reasons!  UPDATE:  The official explanation is available for download.  UPDATEThe Rev. Al Sharpton and even the ladies on The View are on the warpath.  UPDATE:  Law enforcement sources tell TMZ the celebutante's medical condition was purely psychological and that she was in peril of having a nervous breakdown.  UPDATE:  Sources close to the Hilton family told ET the medical reason was actually an extreme rash she developed on her body.  UPDATE:  The release is condemned by L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe.

GIRLS GONE WILD founder (and former Hilton beau) Joe Francis, otoh, is voluntarily keeping himself behind bars in a Reno jail -- so he won't have to face another round of charges in Florida.  Besides, he probably likes the view of the train... oh, wait, that's Folsom.

MAD MEL UPDATE:  Mel Gibson reportedly walked into an AA meeting near his Malibu home, stumbled over a row of seats and crash-landed atop them, with a source telling the ever-reliable National Enquirer's Mike Walker: "He looked so out of it."

JESSICA SIMPSON and JOHN MAYER are "definitely over, " a source close to Mayer tells People magazine, though a a Simpson source says, who knows what the future will hold."  The story suggests they split on Sunday, though Simpson wasn't looking good Friday, and was seen checking out ex-beau Adam Levine's Maroon 5 last Saturday.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly threw a butter knife at a stage manager's head at the House of Blues... but has apparently fallen far enough that she got weepy when the manager threatened to make sure she was barred from the Hob and other venues.  Meanwhile, the Malibu mansion she shared with Fed-Ex isn't selling, due to their trashtastic taste in decorating.

GEORGE CLOONEY, BRAD PITT & MATT DAMON, promoting Ocean's 13, stopped by Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood with producer Jerry Weintraub to immortalize their hand and footprints in cement.  Clooney quipped: "If I had to be on my hands and knees with three other guys, it would be them. And I mean that in every possible way."

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Mom Dina Lohan has worked for Entertainment Tonight and is trying to get her own reality TV show, but who is so desperate as to falsely claim that she was a Radio City Music Hall Rockette?

CUBA GOODING, JR. may have saved a shooting victim's life on Memorial Day, outside Roscoe's House of Chicken 'n' Waffles in L.A.

PAULA ABDUL:  Defamer previews the upcoming Bravo reality series, Hey, Paula!!!, "in which the American Idol judge unscrews the top of her head and allows the world an opportunity to climb inside and stroll around the church-parking-lot-quality carnival that is her mind."

STEVE MARTIN will be sharing memories of child abuse and Elvis Presley in his upcoming autobiography.

PETER O'TOOLE is playing Pope Paul III on the second season of  Showtime's The Tudors.

LIV TYLER kissed KATE BOSWORTH on the lips... and not for a movie, but just because she's friendly.

GLOBAL WARMING = More Kittens!

WAR REPORTING:  Robert Haddick, a former US Marine Corps infantry company commander and staff officer, argues that the days of the neutral war correspondent, objectively reporting from the front, are quickly coming to an end.  Which may be optimistic.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  As a woman in the male-dominated kingdom, LA Times reporter Megan Stack quietly fumed beneath her abaya. Even beyond its borders, her experience taints her perception of the sexes.

IRAQ:  US forces have begun conducting joint patrols with Sunni resistance fighters in the Sunni enclave of Amiriyah where a group of local leaders have banded together to fight al-Qaeda.  OTOH, there are reports that one of the major Sunni groups in the Amiriyah fight, the Islamic Army in Iraq, has reached a ceasefire deal with al-Qaeda.  In Najaf, three gunmen in a speeding automobile shot and killed a junior aide to Iraq's pre-eminent Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.  Bill Roggio notes that a recent NYT story claiming the "surge" is falling short may turn out to be as wrong as the Washington Post story last Fall claiming that Anbar province was hopeless.  JD Johannes has random observations, including: (a) more of the grunts are reenlisting than he expected; and (b) US rewards for tips were lower than what al-Sadr's Mahdi militia and al-Qaeda in Iraq pay.

SPRINKLE -- a 1-year-old white Chihuahua -- considers Bindi -- a 2-week-old black kitten -- her new puppy.

CANE TOADS should be forced into cannibalism to control their population explosion in northern Australia, according to the latest research.

SEVEN PEACOCKS get the death penalty, after a neighbor of Britain's Paignton Zoo complained about the noise they made.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  The AP headlines a story "'Critters' blamed for missing U.S. flags," but the only kind of "critter" actually mentioned in the story is the squirrel.  This is your politically-correct media at work.

LITTLE GODZILLA, a two-foot, four-inch long Nile crocodile, escaped from its cage and swam away during a publicity show on a Ukrainian beach.

LIONS and TIGERS and... Oh My!  We don't even get to the bears.

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DBT, The Clientele, Ryan Adams, Son Volt, Tigers & Chicks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 06, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE POLYPHONIC SPREE has released a video-less video for "Running Away" from the upcoming LP The Fragile Army, featuring over 70K still photos from a ten-day tour.

THE DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS' long out-of-print live disc, Alabama A** Whuppin', is streaming at NineBullets.net.

ELVIS PERKINS tells London's Guardian -- among other things -- that being named Elvis gave him "an apprehension of dealing with people, because there was no way of getting off on the right foot."

WILCO apparently felt a need to explain their involvement in the the new Volkswagen ad campaign.

THE CLIENTELE frontman Alasdair MacLean tells ChartAttack that the new God Save The Clientele is influenced by "the kind of music I used to love before I became snobbish or had musical taste" -- bubblegum pop like The Monkees and The Banana Splits.  Actually, that influence is pretty subtle, as you'll hear if you stream the whole thing from Merge Records.  I would pick mid-period Kinks and The Thrills as more likely references.

ROBERT POLLARD has confirmed two more albums -- Standard Gargoyle Decisions and Coast to Coast Carpet of Love --will both drop Oct. 9th.  But wait...there's more!  Pollard is starting a year-long singles club via robertpollard.net.

RYAN ADAMS, possibly the only dude as prolific as Pollard, is plotting a multi-disc boxed set of odds-and-ends from his extensive back catalog, according to Billboard.  You can see him play the new "Everybody Knows" and the old "Magnolia Mountain" at Amazon.

SON VOLT mastermind Jay Farrar tells Richmond's Daily Press that the latest album, The Search, draws "from from what would be considered 'Rock 101' sources - The Beatles and The Rolling Stones."  Told that the horns on "The Picture" recall those on The Stones' "B*tch," he applauds the recognition. "We actually were doing that song live for a while," he says.

LILY ALLEN claims her new lifestyle of constant touring has prompted an unhealthy love of booze and that she is heading for an early death.

AMY WINEHOUSE had a screaming bust-up with new hubby Blake Fielder-Civil after being booed at the MTV Movie Awards.  Shocka!

ELENI MANDELL is interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle about her latest album, Miracle of Five, the crazy dance parties at her house, and more.  You can stream the mini-set she played for The Current last week via MPR.

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff thanks Pitchfork for noticing his more confident singing on the band's upcoming album.  I don't know how he would take Frank's comment at Chromewaves, though I think it's a similar compliment.

LINDSAY LOHAN is still in rehab, but those risque party photos featuring a knife-wielding Li-Lo may put a crimp in the future career of ex-MTV infobabe Vanessa Minnillo.  Meanwhile, E!'s Daily 10 co-host Debbie Matenopoulos blasted a possible reality TV show featuring Mom Dina Lohan -- apparently not knowing that the show would air on the E! channel.

BRITNEY SPEARS saved an elderly couple from a jellyfish-infested beach during her Mexico vacation.  So perhaps it's good karma that her Mom cancelled today's scheduled appearance on The View.

BEYONCE KNOWLES and JAY-Z are reportedly engaged and planning to marry in Hawaii in the autumn.

SASHA BARON COHEN and ISLA FISHER are expecting a baby this winter, a source close to the couple confirms.

THE KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE is now the Kate Hudson-Owen Wilson Break-Update.

BRADGELINA are planning another addition to the rainbow family - this time an orphan boy from the Czech Republic.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes's vaguely Stepford-esque performance on Entertainment Tonight is now available for online viewing.  The accompanying text even quotes Holmes on Cruise's reaction to the kissing scenes in her upcoming movie: "I'm on the set when he's working, he's on the set when I'm working, and we're working," she says. "It's not a big deal -- it's a part of the job."  Really?  Having your spouse on-set is part of the job?  Which job is that?

LARRY & LAURIE DAVID are dunzo, which will allow Larry to resume normal toilet-paper consumption.

JON-BENET RAMSEY'S FATHER and NATALEE HOLLOWAY'S MOTHER have been caught canoodling in Mountain Brook, Ala.  Ew.

GIRLS GONE WILD founder Joe Francis is out of the frying pan in Nevada; the fire awaits him in Florida.

THE FRENCH HOTEL in the GREYBAR HOTEL, Day Two:  I forgot to link to the fab statement the heirhead put out upon entering the clink on her probation violation: "In the future, I plan on taking more of an active role in the decisions I make..."

THE BATTLE of MIDWAY ran from June 4-6, 1942, but 15 minutes changed the world.

ISRAEL:  A former Israel Broadcasting Authority news editor admits: "We slanted the news towards a withdrawal from Lebanon - because we had sons there."

IRAN:  Half the country's population of 70 million is aged under 30, there is high unemployment and many young Iranians complain they cannot afford to get married or buy a house.  So Iran's hardline interior minister has ignited controversy by promoting temporary marriage as a way of countering a perceived increase in illegal extra- and pre-marital sex.  The Shia Muslim tradition of temporary marriage, or sigheh, allows a man and a woman in Iran to marry for a set period of time, ranging from an hour to 99 years.

IRAQ:  Moqtada al-Sadr rejected direct talks with the US, threatened a new uprising and revealed that he fears the US will kill him.  ITM's Omar Fadhil reports al-Sadr returned from Iran strong enough to summon seven Iraqi governors to meet him and listen to his instructions about how they should run their respective provinces in central and southern Iraq at the same time his militia was fighting the police forces of at least one of those provinces.  The Islamic Army in Iraq sought to turn popular opinion against Al-Qaeda and its umbrella group, the Islamic State of Iraq, at least since last September, during a series of meetings with influential Saudi clerics known for their not-so-covert backing of Iraqi insurgent groups.  Muslim scholars, including Sunnis, Shiites and Kurdish leaders, announced the establishment of an Islamic union aimed at stopping bloodshed and sectarian violence in Iraq.  Voices of Iraq reports that Parliament voted to approve a decision that gives it the upper hand in deciding any future extension of foreign troops in Iraq, though -- as with the last such vote -- it's not clear this will ever be binding legislation.  US troops detained four suspected insurgents, including an insurgent cell leader believed to have been moving bombs from Iran and militants to Iran, during raids in northeast Baghdad on Tuesday morning.

TIGERS and CHICKS are friends... for now... at Zhejiang Wenling Zoo in Taizhou City, China.

FORGET TUMS or PEPCID:  A man in southeast China says 40 years of swallowing tree frogs and rats live has helped him avoid tummy ache.

AN ESCAPED KANGAROO that surprised residents as it bounded through rural central Indiana during the weekend died Monday after authorities used a tranquilizer dart to capture it.

AN OSTRICH lost his lawsuit claiming three German teenagers made him impotent with their festive firecrackers.

COWS stare unamazed as University of Arkansas scientists get a real-time look at their stomach contents through 4-inch tubes implanted in their sides.

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Band of Bees, New Releases, Live Wilco, Popped Hedgehog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


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Sgt. Pepper, New Okkervil River, Live White Stripes, Nessie   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 04, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SGT. PEPPER TURNED 40 over the weekend.  Russ Smith has a general overview of the album's place in rock history for the Wall Street Journal, while Daniel J. Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, offers some scientific reasons for The Beatles' longevity.  The Daily Mail solves the mystery of John Lennon's medals.  NPR has an audio feature on the album, as well as covers of its songs.  The Beatles put up an official video clip on the Tube.  London Weekend Television's 25th Anniversary documentary -- featuring track-by-track breakdowns with Producer George Martin manning the board -- can be seen in full via Google Video, starting with the single of "Strawberry Fields" and "Penny Lane" -- the first Fab single that failed to make No. 1 on the UK charts.

THE PIPETTES:  The band I will be seeing this week talk to Exclaim! about their self-fabricated image: "We're as influenced by the Spice Girls as we are the Sex Pistols." And they may have said that without realizing how much malcolm McLaren shaped the Pistols' image.

NEIL YOUNG:  An Aquarium Drunkard has posted a two-parter from A Perfect Echo -- an 8-disc set of high-quality recordings running chronologically from August 1967 to January 2001.  You can jukebox 'em via the ol' HM.

THE POLICE got a very bad review for the second gig on their reunion tour... from drummer Stewart Copeland, who called it a "disaster gig."

OKKERVIL RIVER has a new track from their upcoming album, "Our Life is Not a Movie" streaming at TheirSpace.  And if you've never heard the band, I would stream "For Real" there also.

THE WHITE STRIPES:  Jack White is playing Elvis Presley in upcoming comedy Walk Hard.  But the above clip is of the band's own "Effect and Cause" from Later with Jools Holland -- one of three clips posted at Stereogum.

BETTYE LaVETTE is backed by Southern rock combo the Drive-By Truckers on her new album, The Scene of the Crime, due Sept. 25th.  Patterson Hood's Dad -- a classic session man -- also joins in the fun.

NEKO CASE'S lingerie sold at auction for 300 bucks.  And no, I was not the winning bidder.

THE FRAY singer Isaac Slade may be the heir to a 15-million-dollar country mansion in the UK.

RYAN ADAMS has listed his Top Five Metal Songs -- and solicits yours -- on his blog.

LINDSAY LOHAN may be in rehab, but the uber-reliable News of the World has pre-hab pics of Lohan holding a knife to a friend's throat and sticking it in her own mouth to go with claims that her obsession with bedding famous men is also at the root of her drink and drugs-fueled madness.  Celebrity Babylon claims that Lohan's DJ pal Samantha Ronson was reportedly making a tidy profit selling Lohan to the paparazzi, including making the pit stop that allowed them to snap the passed-out Li-Lo shortly before she entered rehab.  And sometime beau Calum Best has reportedly persuaded Britney Spears to visit Lohan in rehab, though she may not appreciate it -- if her comments on Best printed in the NotW are true.

BRITNEY SPEARS, btw, may be wondering what her mom will be saying on The View June 6th, in light of reports the pop tart has cut off all ties with her family.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  :  Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End topped the box office again, but it's 43 million represents a 62% drop -- about what Spider-Man 3 dropped in its second weekend.  Both had record openngs and will make money, but both may fall short of the all-time top ten domestic grossers.  Knocked Up came in second with 29 million (on a 30 million budget) and the top per-screen average.  FWIW, I enjoyed it, though I did not find it to be the gut-buster that other reviewers apparently did.  Nor did I find it quite as raunchy as other reviews led me to believe, though perhaps my raunch scale is skewed higher than most.  My guess would be it has legs, unless Ocean's 13 hits the same demo next weekend.  Shrek the Third was indeed third, with 26.7 million, dropping about 50%.  Mr. Brooks opened in fourth place with ten million and looks to be another sub-par outing for both Kevin Costner and Demi Moore.   Spider-Man 3 rounds out the Top Five with another seven million; it has now made 318 million in the US and another 525 million in the rest of the world.  The sleeper Waitress slipped to sixth, but made another two million in expanded release.  Gracie opened in seventh with 1.3 million.  Bug tumbled 62% from fourth to eighth, as boilerplate horror tends to do.  28 Weeks later slid to ninth place with a similar 1.2 million total.  Disturbia clung to the bottom of the Top Ten, having made 76 million US so far on its 20 million budget.

THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS winners are listed at ComingSoon.  And there's full coverage at MTV, natch.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes tells Entertainment Tonight (tonight) she's "definitiely' ready to have more Tom-Kittens.  Holmes also says the role of stepmother is one she relishes (even though Nicole Kidman reportedly does not relish Holmes in that role).

KIERA KNIGHTLEY and SIENNA MILLER have become fast friends while shooting The Edge Of Love together.  Pics of the pair out on the town and doing the human wheelbarrow at the link.  And while Knightley has stated before that she hoped some of Miller's social skills would rob off on her, it seems Kiera played the good cop in this video of Sienna slagging the paparazzi.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is ticking off some of her fellow inmates even before she arrives at the LA County Jail, as they believe officials were making room for the starlet at the expense of other inmates already coping with crowded conditions in the 2,200-bed jail.  UPDATE:  The heirhead turned herself in late Sunday night; video at the link.

JOHN TRAVOLTA and Kelly Preston just announced they want to try for their third child - even while they fall under increasing pressure to publicly acknowledge the disability of their son, Jett.  Travolta's lawyer has begun to float the threat of defamation suits against those who mention it.

BRADGELINA:  Pitt reportedly is apparently peeved with Jolie's wacky brother James for blabbing about them to the press.

DAVID HASSELHOFF has dismissed allegations made by his ex-wife Pamela Bach that he has started drinking again.

JESSICA BIEL and JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE had a down moment in a romantic weekend after JT got involved in a fracas with a guest sharing the same Manchester hotel.  BONUS:  Biel wishes she was as funny as the fake Biel Spiel blog.

TERROR in the US:  ICYMI, Four Muslim men, including a naturalized US citizen and former politician from Guyana, have been charged with conspiring to attack NYC's JFK Airport by bombing jet fuel supply tanks and a major fuel pipeline.  An informant was key to stopping the alleged conspiracy.  Though they discussed using dynamite, they had not obtained any explosives or moved beyond an early planning stage.  FBI agents feared but never confirmed the three men were linked to one of the most wanted al Qaeda leaders, Adnan Shukrijumah, known to have operated out of Guyana and Trinidad.  One suspect was arrested as he planned attend an Islamic religious conference in Iran.

IRAN:  Head UN nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei told the BBC that ""I have no brief other than to make sure we don't go into another war or that we go crazy into killing each other."  In reality, his job is supposed to be to verify that safeguarded nuclear material and activities are not used for military purposes.  His comments will likely make some people distrust his work and thereby increase the possibility of a military strike, not reduce it.  Meanwhile, Iran's president said on Sunday the Lebanese and the Palestinians had pressed a "countdown button" to bring an end to Israel.  And Iran has increased arms shipments to both Iraq's Shiite extremists and Afghanistan's Taliban in recent weeks, according to senior US and European officials.

IRAQ:  The return of Moqtada al-Sadr from his four months of self -mposed exile in Iran has led to a spike in activity against his political leadership and the extremist elements of his fractured Mahdi Army.  In Baghdad, the Amiriyah neighborhood has been pacified, but the US casts a wary eye on its enemies-turned-allies.  The NYT has a leaked military assessment claiming the American and Iraqi forces are far short of their projected goals for the "surge" so far, due in large part to the performance of Iraqi police and army units.  That story seems more solid than the fishy Reuters claim that civilan casualties spiked by 29% in May.  Reuters has been using leaked numbers from Iraqi ministries that greatly understated civilian deaths in past months.  The numbers from iCasualties -- based on AP reports -- have been higher in past months and show an eight percent increase is more likely.

THE LOCH NESS MONSTER is back and there's video. A man has captured what Nessie watchers say is possible footage of the supposed mythical creature beneath Scotland's most mysterious lake.

MONSTER PIG UPDATE:  The pig is apparently not only not a hoax, but also a farm-raised pig named Fred.

KNUT UPDATE:  Berlin Zoo's celebrity polar bear cub is growing from a cuddly ball of fur into a shaggy, powerful predator who could soon pose a serious threat to his devoted human keeper who has nursed him from birth.


COLLAPSE of the HONEYBEE?  Around the world, honeybees are vanishing en masse, leaving their humans engaged in a furious attempt to figure out the meaning of their exodus.  Jeff Pettis, who heads the Bee Research Laboratory of the Agricultural Research Service at the Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, discusses various theories behind the collapse of colonies.

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