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Art Brut, Polyphonic Spree, ex-Jayhawks, Parts & Labor, Panda Jailbreak   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 02, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ART BRUT throws a real toga party in the video for "Direct Hit."  And the video titling echoes I, Claudius.  PLUS:  Frontman Eddie Argos lists a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's Guest List.  I am not shocked to learn he's a big Jonathan Richman fan.

SONIC YOUTH:  Thurston Moore is a bit surprised at the uproar over plans to sell a compilation LP at Starbucks: "I never thought of it as being more radical than recording for Universal Music. They're both corporations that have ties to things that people find sort of problematic," later adding "I kind of like the absurdity of it."

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE and MARK OLSON played the World Cafe Friday, so you can stream both gigs on demand via NPR.  BONUS:  Polyphonic Spree frontman Tim DeLaughter names a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's "Guest List."

GREG LOURIS, Olson's former bandmate in The Jayhawks, has a gig unofficially streaming in two parts at Captain's Dead.

MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG:  Music blogger (and satellite radio DJ) Craig "Dodge" Lile gets a write-up from the Indianapolis Star dubbing him "Indiana's top tastemaker."

PARTS & LABOR:  The noise rock trio is profiled by Jim DeRogatis in the Chicago Sun-Times; keyboardist and guitarist Dan Friel cites Sonic Youth, Husker Du and Fugazi as influences.  You can stream the entire Mampmaker album via Virb.

OF MONTREAL is debuting the collage-filled video for "Suffer For Fashion" at the Subterranean blog.

JASON ISBELL talks about his first post-Drive-By Truckers solo LP with Glide magazine.

RYAN ADAMS talks sobriety, songwriting and splitting from the Lost Highway label with London's Sun.  He tals about judging his own material and the upcoming box set with The A.V. Club.

PRINCE is launching his new Planet Earth album as a free giveaway with a Sunday issue of the Daily Mail -- a move that has drawn widespread condemnation from music retailers.

RAP & HIP HOP are hemorrhaging sales, which are down 33 per cent, double the decline of the CD album market overall.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Ratatouille tops the box office with 47.2 million -- on the low side for a Pixar pic, but Disney's best opening in a year, excepting Cars and Pirates 3.  The movie may have legs based on good reviews and word of mouth, however.  Live Free or Die Hard opened in second place with 33 million -- about where the last Die Hard pic opened in 1995.  I'm not a huge fan of the genre, but the movie delivers.  Evan Almighty dropped 50 percent to third place -- not terrible, but not affordable on a 200 million budget.  1408 dropped 49 percent -- not terrible, but affordable, having made 40 million on its 25 million budget so far.  The Fantastic Four flick drops another dangerous 55 percent, making 9 million -- it may break even on its 130 million budget in the US and add to the 60 million it has made outside the US.  The leggy Knocked Up rounds out the Top Five; it has made over 122 million US so far on its 30 million budget.  Ocean's 13 makes 6 million and crosses the 100 million mark in the States.  Pirates 3 adds another 5 million and will just about match its 300 million budget here in the States, while making over 609 million abroad.  Sicko made a relatively healthy 4.5 million an should recoup its 9 million budget easily.  The debut of Evening rounds out the Top Ten with a 3.5 million take.

BRUCE WILLIS celebrated the premiere of Live Free or Die Hard by picking up a gorgeous young blonde in front of his 18-year-old daughter, Rumer.  And while he uncessfully tried for Petra Nemcova in th past, he held court with a table of "20-something models" at Nemcova's birtday party -- again with Rumer present.

SiCKO:  Michael Moore's movie gets an unexpectedly bad review from MTV's Kurt Loder, who compares it with a short 2005 documentary called "Dead Meat," which shows a very diufferent version of the Canadian healthcare system than Moore does.

KATE MOSS has lost her contracts with both Burberry and Agent Provocateur, with the latter involving a love triangle.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  The German Defense Ministry scrambled to qualify its stance on Cruise's World War II thriller Valkyrie, saying that it has not received an official request from United Artists to shoot in the country, but it will "look agreeably" upon any such application.  Meanwhile Holmes reportedly auditioned for a role in the film version of the musical NINE -- which she won't get if she still sounds like this.

BRITNEY SPEARS claims she never had a drug or alcohol problem but was railroaded into rehab.  Her mother is "brokenhearted" over recent difficulties in her relationship with her famous daughter.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Jezebel had an expert analyze the heirhead's handwriting: "Rarely do we see an independent adult write with such diminished capacity of comprehension..." 10 Zen Monkeys compares the celebutante with the iPhone.  And the Gallery of the Absurd covers The Uninteresting Blob of Flesh.  And X17 has loads of dirt, including stuff on a new mystery man, a new agent and more on the letter to her mother.

CAMERON DIAZ is a homewrecker?  The "secret" Long Island wife of kooky magician Criss Angel yesterday accused him of having an affair with Cameron Diaz, claiming their marriage broke down as soon as the TV illusionist got famous and bedded the Hollywood star.

LIZ HURLEY had to pull a picture of her five-year-old son in a bikini from her website, after being accused of exploiting her son for financial gain.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  You will be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that the early buzz on her late-summer film Blonde Ambition is so bad that creepy dad-manager Joe has pushed back the release date twice.  BONUS:  Her ex Nick Lachey and new gf Vanessa Minillo naked on vacation in Puerto Vallarta... though Life & Style censored the naughty bits.

HAMAS MOUSE (FINAL) UPDATE:  Farfour, the Mickey Mouse look-alike who had made worldwide headlines for preaching Islamic domination and armed struggle to youngsters on Hamas TV, was shown as beaten to death by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land.  Let's go to the video!

TERROR in the UK:   Two doctors were among five people being held as terror suspects last night after the bomb plots in London and Glasgow.  The links between the three attempted car bombings in Glasgow and London are becoming "ever clearer", the UK's top counter-terrorism officer has said.  Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the BBC  it was "clear that we are dealing, in general terms, with people who are associated with al-Qaeda."  The terrorists who attempted to bomb central London last week deliberately placed the second vehicle to catch rescuers attending the injured from the first explosion.  Possibly a test of the new gov't, like the 1993 WTC bombing and 9/11, France's top anti-terror judge cites the overall threat to Europe posed by Islamists trained in Iraq, but noting similar scenarios going back to Afghanistan, Chechnya and Bosnia.  Indeed, some the 9/11 attackers said that their actions were inspired by an urge to avenge the suffering of Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya (though the US helped Muslims in Bosnia and had nothing to do with Chechnya). France did not invade Iraq, but remains a target of al-Qaeda and affiliates.  Spain pulled out of Iraq, but remains a target.  Some even theorize that the UK plot may have been triggered by the knighting of Salman Rushdie.  Jihadi extremists will always have a grievance with the infidels.  Interestingly, it seems that MSNBC ignored the story at first, and later put on Larry Johnson as an expert to downplay the plot, though he's mostly known for suggesting the US had nothing to fear from Islamic extermists in July 2001.

IRAN curses Pres. Ahmadinejad over his sudden petrol rationing; London's Telegraph rounds up the economic discontent in the country.  Meanwhile, chief prosecutor Ghorbanali Dari Najafabadi has championed the creation of an international Islamic court.

IRAQ:  Civilian deaths in Baghdad dropped by almost two-thirds in June, a possible indication that recent American military operations around the country and raids on car-bomb shops in the "belts" ringing the capital are starting to pay off.  Nationwide, civilian deaths dropped to 1342 from 3014 in February; it is the lowest monthly number since July 2006.  This has come at the cost of higher US caualties, though the number in June is the lowest since March.  Michael Yon has a graphic dispatch on AQ's mass murder in Baqubah.  The US military is enlisting hundreds of fighters each day from tribal and insurgent groups in alliances aimed at countering al-Qaeda in Iraq, the top US general in Baghdad says, adding that American and Iraqi security forces now control about half of Baghdad, up from 19 percent in April.  Coalition forces conducted two major raids inside Sadr City against the Iranian-backed Qazali Network over the weekend.  A top special operations officer from Lebanon's Iranian-backed militia Hezbollah was captured in March in Iraq, where US officials say he played a key role in a January attack that killed five Americans.  The US military said on Saturday that its forces had killed an Egyptian man believed to be a senior member of al Qaeda in Iraq on Friday.  The Wall Street Journal ran a piece on the tension between young officers eager for change and more conservative generals.  Certainly, the late Capt. Travis Patriquin figured out the importance of winning over the Anbar Tribes before a lot of other people.

PANDA JAILBREAK:  Hiding low, looking right to left... If you see them coming I think its best... to move away, do you hear what I say, from under my breath?

GATOR WRANGLING:  She had seen it on TV plenty of times, so for Erin Kemp, wrangling a stray alligator that wandered into her yard was no big deal.

CATS decided to live with you, not the other way around.

A PEACOCK was fiercely beaten, after being mistaken for a vampire.  No, Little Tommy, the peacock will not be alright.

THIS INDIAN GOAT is a party animal.

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Who, Los Straitjackets, Cutout Bin, Ratatouille, Zorse   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 29, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE WHO!  As with recent Fridays featuring the Stones and The Kinks, some less obvious video.  Indeed, some of these clips tend to disappear from the Tube, so worth a look when they resurface like this.  Let's start with "So Sad About Us," live at the fabled Marquee Club.  Next, an odd live clip of "Substitute" for French TV, also the source of a Keith Moon-led take on "Barbara Ann" and a non-destructive "My Generation."  Switch to German TV for a live take on "The Seeker."  Go bootleg for the rarity "I Don't Even Know Myself."  Tune in the Old Grey Whistle Test for some seemingly drunk live vocals to the backing track for "Long Live Rock."  And check out the archival video of "I'm One" before someone's lawyers notice its's back.

LOS STRAITJACKETS stopped by the World Cafe for a miniset.  The usually instrumental band has now recruited three vocalists to help perform classic rock 'n' roll songs in Spanish.

CALEXICO have recorded an instrumental album titled Tool Box, available at the group's shows and through their website, which reportedly has more of the Southwestern touches some missed on the group's last LP, Garden Ruin.

THE EXPLORER'S CLUB, from Charleston, SC, have a major surf music mojo going as you can hear on "Last Kiss" (which is very pre-Pet Sounds Beach Boys), as well as "Forever" and "Summer Air."  South Carolina, btw, has a history as a surf music mecca, though the term has a different meaning for Myrtle Beach than for Redondo Beach.

WILCO:  Jeff Tweedy has had just about enough of interviews promoting the LP, thank you very much.

CHRISTOPHER is the Indian; the others are Village Puppets.  The close-ups from :30 to Fame show them singing.  (Thanks, Dad; everyone else thinks, "Well, that explains a few things...")

MAN MAN frontman Ryan Kattner (a/k/a/ Honus Honus) did a "Quit Your Day Job" segment for stereogum, talking about his days doing double-duty as a bartender and barista.

J MASCIS of Dinosaur, Jr. faced off against comedian David Cross in a Guitar Hero duel for the DL.

RICHARD HAWLEY has a new album titled Lady's Bridge coming in October.  If you remember him as a member of Blur, note that his solo work sounds more like Johnny Cash or Roy Orbison than Britpop, as you can hear when you stream a few tracks from the fabulous Cole's Corner via HisSpace.

LILY ALLEN was charged and bailed over an alleged assault on a photographer outside a London club.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are: Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You; Big Audio Dynamite II - The Globe; KISS (Ace Frehley) - New York Groove; T.Rex - Summertime Blues; The Zombies - Summertime; Wire Train - Skills Of Summer; Dirty Looks - You're Too Old; A Flock Of Seagulls - I Ran; The Hives - Hate To Say I Told You So; VHS or Beta - Can't Believe a Single Word; The Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm; The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy! (Acoustic); Lucky Soul - One Kiss Don't Make A Summer; Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb; Sonic Youth - Victoria (Kinks); Bright Eyes - Four Winds; Apples In Stereo - Energy; Redd Kross - Annie's Gone; Cheap Trick - I Want You to Want Me; Led Zeppelin - Misty Mountain Hop; and Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower.

RATATOUILLE:  It was tough to wait a week to write that Pixar's newest movie is probably the best movie I have seen this summer, possibly this year.  Brad Bird, who directed The Incredibles, revisits some of the same themes in a radically different context to great effect, albeit with less subtlety.  Not unlike Mr. Incredible, Remy has a special gift or talent, and a dream to pursue, while dealing with family tension and societal rejection.  But here those themes -- along with thoughts about those who create vs. their critics -- are more a framework for the broader sort of humor Bird brought to The Simpsons years ago.  Which makes for a nice balance, as kids would otherwise be less interested in the workings of French cuisine and restaurants than they are in superheroes and volcanic rocket silos.  As always, Pixar pushes the technical envelope, with some truly stunning animation sequences.  I would rank this pic with Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo, which for me puts it above A Bug's Life and Cars, but below The Incredibles and Toy Story.  And the Pixar cartoon before the movie was also broadly funny.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to Ratatouille, currently scoring 90 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this week's wide releases include Bruce Willis inviting you to Live Free or Die Hard, which is scoring 77 percent, and the ensemble drama Evening, which is scoring 31 percent.

SiCKO:  Michael Moore's latest movie reaches 440 screens this weekend, so it's worth noting that the scary stories of US healthcare it it are matched in the countries Moore extols, not even counting the horrors of the real Cuban hospital system.  But these days, I almost feel sorry for Moore.  PETA is on his case over his weight and meat-eating lifestyle, with a letter proclaiming, "there's an elephant in the room, and it is you." (Ironically, elephants are vegetarian.)  It is true that obesity is a major reason the US lags other countries in life expectancy, so he sorta had it coming.  But to get bumped off Larry King Live for the French Hotel?  Ouch.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The pop tart gave her mom a lawyer's letter, though seemingly not related to the restraining order she is rumored to be mulling.  Fed-Ex will not sign the couple's final property settlement agreement absent proof that Britney can handle joint custody.  And, contrary to prior rumor, Spears will not be performing at the L.A. stop of the True Colors tour, mostly because she would actually have to perform.

THE SPICE GIRLS, otoh, have announced a world tour, for which they are expected to pocket about £10 million each.

LINDSAY LOHAN was allegedly drunk and had cocaine in her system during an early morning smash-up in Beverly Hills on Memorial Day weekend, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

THE FRENCH HOTEL reportedly is looking into possible legal action against her lawyer for having to spend 23 days in the slam.  Her rep denies it.  Free advice:  The ghosts of Clarence Darrow and Johnnie Cochran couldn't have gotten her out, given the public outcry when she was transferred to house arrest.  Don't believe me?  Watch Mika Brzezinski of MNSBC refuse to cover the story.

ISAIAH WASHINGTON can't stop complaining about being fired from Grey's Anatomy.  Newsweek asks, "Is that a good thing for him to do?" Hint: No, though it's funny that he's admitting the "rehab for homophobia" was a network stunt.

VIVICA A. FOX tried to deal the race card when the CHiPs busted her for DUI in March.  Ponch wasn't having any of it.

NICOLE KIDMAN says she has the same body she had at 15 years old.  The new face of Nintendo, otoh, has had several renovations.

1000 ESSENTIAL FILMS sounds like a few too many to be "essential," but London's Guardian has spent the week listing them, along with commentary.

ALYSSA MILANO has been named the Global Network's Ambassador for the control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, she has donated $250K to buy safe, inexpensive drugs to combat diseases of poverty that afflict a billion people worldwide.

NANOTECH:  Two Israeli scientists have created a one-millimeter-diameter robot which is capable of crawling through human veins and arteries.  Next up for them is creating an even tinier Raquel Welch.

IRAN'S top security body ordered local journalists not to report on problems caused by gas rationing,  The authorities also switched off the mobile text messaging system in Tehran overnight to prevent motorists from organizing more protests.  Members of Parliament said they would press the government to alter or even scrap the scheme after angry protesters set fire to at least a dozen petrol stations in Tehran and chanted slogans against President Ahmadinejad following Tuesday night's sudden introduction of quotas.  Banks, supermarkets and fire engines were also attacked while further disturbances were reported in other big cities, including Isfahan and Shiraz.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has another round-up of Operation Phantom Thunder.  Gen. Petraeus's counterinsurgency advisor, David Kilcullen, tells Wired that the controversial walls built in Baghdad were key to the current massive military ops.  Iraqi and Arab papers are abuzz with the news of the formation of a new political coalition designed to bolster Prime Minister al-Maliki's government.  Moqtada al-Sadr called on all Iraqis to join him in a demonstration of national unity on July 5, confirming that his followers would march to the twice-bombed Golden Mosque in Samarra to mark the birth of the Prophet Mohammed's daughter Fatima.

A ZORSE is a Zorse, of course, of course...

THE BENGAL CAT, a cross between a domestic cat and the little forest-dwelling Asian leopard cat that roams Asia and part of Russia, has become the most registered feline with the International Cat Association.  Pic at the link.  Almost as cute as the Toygers.

RETURN of the WOOLY MAMMOTH:  Palaeontologists are piecing together the complete genome species of long-dead species such as the woolly mammoth and the Neanderthals in an effort to bring them back to life, much like billionaire John Hammond resurrected the extinct dinosaurs in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park.  And that turned out so well.

GILA MONSTER SPIT helped people with type 2 diabetes shed pounds, a three-year study found.  Because who wants to drink that?

EVERYBODY will soon be Skunk Fu Fighting... Polecats are fast as lightning!

RUBBER DUCKIES headed straight for Britain have proved an invaluable aid to science.  And make bathtime lots of fun.

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Ryan Adams, High Strung, Soundpedia, Baby Pygmy Hippo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 28, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


RYAN ADAMS: Stereogum will hook you up with the new video for "Halloweenhead" and a live take on "Off Broadway," both from his new LP.  Scandanavian disco lessons never looked so good!

JOANNA NEWSOM:  Indie's favorite harpist lists a few of her favorite things for Pitchfork.  Lindsey Buckingham doesn't surprise me, but it's funny to imagine her watching -- let alone liking -- Rocky Balboa.  Books, covers, etc.

THE HIGH STRUNG:  Marc Hirsch makes "Gravedigger" a Song of the Day at NPR because it "seems to condense the entirety of The Who's Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy into a single song." I wouldn't go quite that far, but close enough.  The band has other tracks streaming that aren't so Who-esque, but still pretty good.  And if you check the tour dates at the link, you'll find the band likes to play in libraries.  No, really.

PATTERSON HOOD talks to Paste magazine about recording the next Drive-By Truckers album, as well as the new Bettye Lavette LP.

SOUNDPEDIA streams all sorts of CDs in full (and some less than full).  So if you missed the stream of the new Art Brut LP last week, you have a second chance... or you can check out the Best of Frank Black album that came out on Tuesday.  Maybe you're in the mood for The Band's Music From Big Pink.  Or The Replacements' Let It Be.  Or sample some bluegrass from The Del McCoury Band's It's Just the Night.  Or The Definitive Muddy Waters.  Or... well, you get the idea.

AMY WINEHOUSE samples Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" for her "Tears Dry on Their Own."  And she's veering into near-Pete Doherty territory with tales of cutting into her stomach with a shard of mirror during a photo shoot and such.

SPOON frontman Brit Daniel discusses the new album and festival gigs with the NME.  You can still stream the album from Merge Records.

NICK LOWE talks to The A.V. Club about his new album and producing early stuff by Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and The Damned.

MINNESOTA'S GREATEST YouTube Hits, according to the Star-Tribune.  I've posted some of them before, but even those are worth an encore.

KEREN ANN did an interview and mini-set at the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR.

BRITNEY SPEARS plans to stop divorce proceedings against Fed-Ex and wants to get back together with him, according to the upcoming issue of the ever-reliable National Enquirer.  OTOH, Fed-Ex reportedly thinks the pop tart is mentally unstable and too young to be a mom.  And some might find the first story evidence of that.

JOHN STAMOS was called "bleary-eyed, staggering and slurring," as well as "tired and emotional," by a Sydney newspaper after appearing on several TV shows in a highly disheveled state.  Let's go to the video!

FRENCH HOTEL and the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The heirhead may have been faking a mental condition when she (briefly) was reassigned to house arrest?  I can't believe it!

MADONNA:  The Daily Mail has pics of Madge looking pale, tired and hollow-cheeked, with bulging veins in her hands and wrists, and sinewy muscles on her arms, as she undertakes dramatic weight loss in advance of the Live Earth concert.

PHIL SPECTOR:  As the defense opens its case at his murder trial, news comes that a BBC crew is following him throughout for a documentary to air this Fall.  He is giving the Beeb an interview as well, though I con't imagine that his lawyers would allow it before the verdict is in.  For now, we may have to make do with the lewd comment about the prosecutor he included on a postcard to Allen Klein, music publisher and former business manager for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

JESSICA ALBA supposedly has a longtime boyfriend, but that didn't stop her from giving her checklist for potential suitors.  And the thought that popped to mind as I read it was, "Intelligent, supportive, funny. Me, me, me... This is a man we're talking about, right?"

LINDSAY LOHAN is still in rehab, and her parents continue to show part of the reason why.  Her Dad misspelt her name in a press release following the latest divorce hearing -- proceedings in which he has alleged that Mom Dina used cocaine while pregnant with Li-Lo.  Dina denies the charge, natch.

INDIANA JONES IV:  An unofficial movie blog has pics of how New Haven, CT, is being dressed for the 1950s.

SPIDER-MAN 4?  Director Sam Raimi is still far from sure he's doing it, but "would love to see Electro, Vulture, maybe the Sinister Six as a team."

SIENNA MILLER has joked that the most meaningful relationship in her life is with wine.  Maybe it was a joke; maybe it was an explanation for her wardobe.

ROSIE O'DONNELL was busy explaining the above photo and accompanying video of her adopted daughter, which even some of her fans disliked when she posted them on her blog.  Her fans seemed to object to the implied militarism, while others saw it in the context of her prior comments suggests the US gov't and military are terrorists, and that Islamic jihadis are mothers and fathers, too.  Perhaps she is unaware that the Fatah and Hamas folks routinely dress kids this way, that the Taliban recently tried to trick a 6-year-old Afghan boy into being a suicide bomber, that the Taliban has had a 12-year-old boy conduct a beheading, or that Iraqi terrorists detonated a car bomb with two children inside the vehicle after using them as decoys to get through a military checkpoint in March.  Or maybe she was.

ATTEMPTED HONOR KILLING IN PENN?  A Bucks County father was accused of trying to kidnap his daughter's fiancé by beating him up and tossing him into a sport utility vehicle; the fiancé believed he was going to be killed.  He said there were "cultural differences" and that's why 48-year-old Mohd Nasher and his son 20-year-old Mohammed were allegedly gunning for the fiancé.

IRAN:  In the wake of Tehran's gas rationing riots, author Meir Javedanfar suggests that Pres. Ahmadinejad imposed sanctions on his people which are more devastating than anything the West could have come up with, and it could deal a mortal blow to Ahmadinejad's chances of re-election in 2009.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio interviews Brig. Gen. Gurganus about ops in eastern Anbar province.  IraqSlogger reports that US-backed tribal forces fighting Sunni militant groups around the Falluja area are advancing eastward towards the Abu Ghraib area.  At ITM, Omar notes that "Uniting against al-Qaeda and even defeating it is not enough to solve all of Iraq's problems and the greater challenge of nation-building still lies ahead," but that it is a far cry from the civil war he has heard about in the press.  The so-called "Islamic State of Iraq" claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing on Monday that killed several tribal leaders in Baghdad's al-Mansour Hotel.  The gov't issued an arrest warrant for the Iraqi culture minister for his suspected involvement in the assassination of MP Mathal al-Alusi's sons two years ago. USA Today had a fairly detailed report on life at combat outpost Casino in the Ghazaliyah neighborhood of Baghdad.  And the L.A. Times notes that the stepped-up offensives against Al Qaeda in Iraq are tailored to the military's expectation that Congress soon will impose a timeline for drawing down US forces; David Kilcullen quoted in the piece also.

A BABY PYGMY HIPPO named Aldo, a mere 21 inches long, made his public debut at the Paris Zoo.  Video at the link.

LAMB AID:  A lamb who was found near to death on the Lancashire moors has become the subject of a charity rock concert.  Or you can go straight to the video.

BUGS on a PLANE:  Airing on the Lifetime network July 7th.

KITTY RESCUED... from a toilet by firefighters in Cotham, Bristol.

A ONE-EYED GATOR gives new meaning to the term "water hazard" on the sixth hole at the Lake Venice Golf Club in Venice, FL.  SEMI-RELATED:  That's one way to deter crocodile poaching...

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Led Zep Reunion, NPs, Sonic Youth, VHS or Beta, Pitbull & Chicks   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


LILY ALLEN reunited The Specials' Terry Hall and Lynval Golding (for the first time in over 20 years) for a cover of that band's ska-licious "Gangsters."

LED ZEPPELIN REUNION?  Rumors are swirling that Page, Plant and Jones, with Jason Bonham, may do a full tour following a tribute show to the late Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS:  A.C. Newman has track-by-track commentary on the band's upcoming Challengers album.  *Sixeyes is streaming tracks from artists mentioned as inspiration by Newman, including The Move, Harry Nilsson and Paul McCartney.

PAUL McCARTNEY, btw, continues the press campaign for Memory Almost Full, giving pretty good interview to both PopMatters (mostly about songwriting) and Stereogum (mostly about this whole Intarweb thingy and recording).

THE SPINTO BAND visited Daytrotter for the interview and free songs combo, including a hip-hopped-up version of their staple, "Oh, Mandy."

SONIC YOUTH in CHINA:  SplitWorks has posted a mini-documentary on the band's first trip to the PRC.

MORRISSEY answers another round of good questions from fans at the True To You fanzine, including bits on The Smiths' first US tour, reuniting the New York Dolls, songwriting and more...

VHS OR BETA are streaming two new tracks with an 80s vibe from the upcoming Bring On The Comets album, due August 28th.

NEIL YOUNG:  The first volume of his long-awaited Archives series is going to be a little more long-awaited.

WILCO shows their love for the Nintendo Wii on their latest tour t-shirt.

CRAZY TRAIN!  A Swedish heavy metal fan has had his musical preferences officially classified as a disability. The results of a psychological analysis enable the metal lover to supplement his income with state benefits.  It's your one-way ticket...  All Aboard!

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Before the heirhead was released from Lynwood Tuesday morning amid a media frenzy (ET has the scary video), her lawyer slipped TMZ's Harvey Levin a personalized sketch and note from the heirhead herself.  The "changed" celebutante spent her first free morning getting full-length hair extensions.  That last bit is from US Weekly, which is blacking out coverage of Ms. Jailbird in print this week.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  When it was rumored that the pop tart would join the Cyndi Lauper-led True Colors tour, I joked that we hadn't heard about it from Rosie O'Donnell.  Now we have.

MADONNA has paid $12 million for her sixth house in London.  The 10-bedroom townhouse sits next door to the family's eight-bedroom home in the Marylebone area of the British capital.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  Mom Dina confirms Li-Lo is doing the extended care plan at the Promises rehab clinic.  Good for her.  Meanwhile, Mom and Dad have been ordered to undergo family therapy by a New York judge.

TIGER WOODS posted pics of his baby daughter on his website, instead of selling them to some magazine.  Good for him.

JOHN TRAVOLTA:  Gossip sites are having some fun with his bad hairpiece.

WWE STAR CHRIS BENOIT reportedly strangled his wife on Saturday, smothered his son in his bed on Sunday, and hanged himself on Monday.  He apparently had a history of domestic violence.  Speculation that steroid use was a cause is hotly denied by WWE.

ELLEN BARKIN and RALPH FINNES were caught canoodling (and then some) at the Mercer Hotel in NYC.  Page Six reminds us that Fiennes was warned to take an HIV test after he had unprotected sex with a Qantas stewardess on a flight to India.

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA leapt to the defense of 24's uber-agent Jack Bauer at a recent international conference of top judges and homeland security officials in Ottawa debating the use of torture against alleged terrorists.  What I found funny was that the New York Daily News seemed surprised he was a fan of the show.

IRON MAN:  Entertainment Weekly has your first cast photo from Jon Favreau's adaptation of the classic comic book.

INDIANA JONES IV:  There is a Quicktime video from the first day of shooting on the movie not officially titled Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods.

IRAN:  Three senior figures of the regime have been killed in two months, almost entirely unreported by the English-language media.  Iranians are protesting over getting only two hours' notice of gasoline rationing that limits private drivers to 100 liters of fuel a month.

IRAQ:  Dr. David Kilcullen, Senior Counterinsurgency Adviser to Gen. Petraeus, has a post on "Understanding Current Operations in Iraq" that lays out the intention and concept behind these ops, so that you can judge for yourself whether the "surge" is working.  An Iraqi tribal leader was assassinated in Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi police said, a day after a suicide bomber killed six Sunni Arab tribal leaders opposed to al Qaeda.  Hamid Abid Al-Shijera from Wasit province was believed to be a Shiite.  At least five people were killed when Shiite militiamen ambushed an Iraqi army patrol in the central city of Diwaniyah.  Baghdad finalized negotiations with the Kurdistan Regional Government on the revenue distribution arrangements for the hydrocarbons law last week, overcoming one of the hurdles blocking the legislation's smooth passage.  More than a third of Iraq's national police battalion commanders are now Sunni after a purge of Shiites who had a sectarian bias, according to a US general.  Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has issued a report on Iraqi Insurgent Media operations.

PITBULLS get all the chicks.  Here they are sleeping together.  And two months later, Sharkey still hasn't eaten them.

THE LION WHISPERER:  Animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson is profiled by the Daily Mail.  Plenty of good pics the paper can recycle when he becomes the Lion Entree.

TIGERS straying into villages around Bangladesh's Sundarbans mangrove forests have killed three people and some 50 cattle over the last 15 days, according to forest officials.  This is what I'm talking about.

COYOTE chases a woman mowing her lawn in Orrington, Maine.  Local police were baffled; I'm guessing it was an Acme lawnmower.

SPIDERS, SQUID and LOBSTERS might get the same protection under British law enjoyed by dogs, cats and horses if they are kept in captivity.

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Rufus, New Releases, Booker T. & the MGs, Mike Watt, Hare Threat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BONNARUFUS!  The White Stripes, Lily Allen and Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne were among those interviewed by Rufus from Pancake Mountain at the Bonnaroo festival.  Part One includes Coyne and Northern State's Hesta Prynn singing karaoke with Rufus (only slightly less fabulous than the classic Coyne-Rufus karaoke).  The Stripes are in both parts, but in Part Two, they teach Rufus "John the Revelator."  PLUS:  Jack White gives a more conventional interview to Pitchfork.

NEW RELEASES:  Kinda slow week, sad to say.  Ryan Adams is probably the premium platter.  Bad Brains, Beastie Boys, Scissors For Lefty and Bryan Ferry's Dylan covers are among those streaming from Spinner.  Frank Black has a "Best Of" compilation, with a new track or two.  And there's the new Nick Lowe LP I mentioned yesterday.

ROBERT POLLARD:  Somehow, I missed that Luna Music has put out Crickets: The Best of The Fading Captain Series as a 56-track double-disc.  Probably worth it just for the anthemic GbV live staple, "Alone, Stinking and Unafraid."

BOOKER T. and the M.G.'s:  1971's Melting Pot, which ranges from agitated funk to humid swamp-rock to revival-tent gospel and molasses-slow blues, is the current "Shadow Classic" at NPR, where you can stream three tracks.

THE NATIONAL:  The Boston Globe reports on the band's (not-so) sudden success, while guitarist Bryce Dessner disclosed six secrets to that success to the San Francisco Chronicle.

MIKE WATT + the MISSINGMEN cover "Three Girl Rhumba" and "Ex-Lion Tamer" from Wire's classic Pink Flag LP for Twofer Tuesday.

VINYL:  Don't call it a comeback, but those round, black objects that sound better than MP3s continue a resurgence in indie circles.

THE LONG WINTERS:  John Roderick does the Daytrotter interview, along with the usual free songs to stream and download.

THE 100 WORST COVER SONGS, according to Retrocrush, with a fair amount of embedded video.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel and the troubled singer play Cleopatra and Brando in their first joint ad campaign.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Barbara Walters says doing a post-jail interview with the heirhead would be "tawdry" and beneath her.  Yet when her network was still bidding for that interview, Walters was publicly floating the idea of having the celebutante co-host The View.  BONUS:  Her appearance on Larry King Live is bumping Michael Moore off the show Wednesday night.

ROSIE O'DONNELL confirms that it's unlikely that she will get The Price Is Right gig she coveted.  Don't be shocked if she resurfaces on MSNBC, where she could better showcase her special brand of crazy.

EVA LONGORIA and TONY PARKER are selling their wedding photos to OK! magazine for more than two million bucks.

NICOLE KIDMAN is the new face of... wait for it... Nintendo?

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE reportedly threw things and spat at his fans from a hotel balcony in Sweden.  At least no babies were dangled.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise is launching a PR campaign for the rebirth of United Artists as a slap at Sumner Redstone, who nixed Cruise's renewal at Paramount.  However, UA's second pic, in which Cruise will play Claus von Stauffenberg -- a leading figure in a failed 1944 assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler -- is "bound to be rubbish," according to the Stauffenberg family.  Indeed, Germany has barred the fimmakers from using German military sites because Cruise is a Scientologist.

TMZ, oft linked here, is the subject of a New York Times piece on the site's financial success and growing clout in Tinseltown.

A MIGHTY HEART:  Asra Q. Nomani, one of Daniel Pearl's colleagues at The Wall Street Journal, is not thrilled at the amount of license taken by the movie: "Danny had a cameo in his own murder."

INDIANA JONES has put his hat on again, incymi.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE: /film has the first photo from the Spike Jonze adaptation of the Maurice Sendak classic. 

WITHOUT BREASTS, THERE IS NO PARADISE:  That's the name of the successful Colombian telenovela NBC is developing as a likely primetime project.

JOHNNY DEPP clearly was not expecting a kiddie pirate musical to break out on Japanese TV.

ROBOTS:  Doing the jobs migrant farm workers just won't do.

AUSTRALIA'S NEW TOP MUSLIM CLERIC declares his support for Hezbollah.  He had already  refused to accept Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

TERROR in the GAZA STRIP:  Palestinian intelligence chief Tawfiq al-Tirawi says Iran played a big role in the seizure of the Gaza Strip.  Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims worldwide to back Hamas with weapons, money and attacks on US and Israeli interests, urging Hamas to unite with al-Qaeda after its takeover of Gaza.  An AQ cell in Egypt is also calling for support of Hamas.

IRAQ:  Michael Yon reports that some AQI leaders may be trapped in Baqubah.  He also notes that "Whereas the Iraqi Army is coming into the fight, and playing increasingly critical roles, the local police force is less impressive."  The AQI had installed Sharia courts that -- among other things -- sanctioned the amputation of the two "smoking fingers" for those who violated anti-smoking laws.  US and Iraqi forces discovered what appeared to be an Al Qaeda-run "execution house" as well.  Not to mention an entire neighborhood rigged with explosives.  As Gen. Petraeus suggested the other day, AQI is launching its own "surge" in the form of a wave of suicide bombings killing dozens in Baghdad, Hilla and Baiji.  The Baghdad hotel bombing killed six Iraqi tribal leaders opposed to AQI.  In Newsweek, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari describes the relationship between Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki and Gen, Petraeus, as "difficult."  There is continued support for the "surge" in Baghdad, if the writing on the walls is any indicator.  GRAIN OF SALT:  London's Sun reports that Iranian forces are being choppered over the Iraqi border to bomb British troops in the south.

THE HARE THREAT:  A hoarde of hares recently closed Milan's Linate Airport, after confusing radar equipment and getting caught in the wheels of at least two aircraft during take-off and landing.  Let's go to the video.

THE WORM THREAT:  Turns out the wrigglers produce a significant amount of greenhouse gases.

A BOA CONSTRICTOR will usually squeeze its prey, but it will also bite you in the face, as snake "expert" Brady Barr found out while filming a show for the National Geographic Channel.  Pics at the link.

PET HOARDING:  I was reminded to note the over 50 dogs found in "deplorable condition" in NY, as well as the 43 dead cats placed in a refrigerator alongside condiments and other food items in Quebec by a German Press Agency story of vets calling animal hoarding a mental illness.  Who'da thunkit?

THE LOCH NESS MONSTER:  The latest theory is that it's an elephant.  No, really.

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