THE FICTIONS are breaking up next week. So if you like bouncy, classic pop as much as I do, you'll want to be downloading the MP3s or at least streaming them from their MySpace and PureVolume pages.
ELVIS COSTELLO is providing a commentary track to the upcoming DVD collection of his videos.
BOB DYLAN is featured in the first in an irregular series on songwriting for the L.A. Times. Plenty of good stuff there, including this quote: "It doesn't really matter where a song comes from. It just matters where it takes you." You'll probably have a different favorite, so read the whole thing. ALSO: The Independent sees the rarely shown Dylan documentary, Eat the Document.
BRIAN JONES' body may be exhumed and a new police inquiry launched into his death, it was claimed yesterday. Trevor Hobley, a close friend of Jones's one-time girlfriend Pat Andrews, has been told that the body should be in near pristine condition. It would have to look better than Mick and Keith.
THE DOOBIE BROTHERS RECONSIDERED on the Pitchfork: "In the pantheon of American rock the Doobie Brothers stand undeniably ensconced as the 11th most important 'Brothers' group of all time, behind only the Everly Brothers, the Neville Brothers, the Walker Brothers, the Isley Brothers, the Louvin Brothers, the Brothers Johnson, the Palace Brothers, the Dust Brothers, the Blues Brothers, and the Smothers Brothers -- easily bettering the Blues Brothers 2000 and Pernice Brothers..."
PAUL WELLER has a new album due in October.
ELIZABETH HURLEY is the Simon Cowell of fashion. Me-ow likes it.
DIRECTOR TERRY GILLIAM of Monty Python was charged an extra day for checking out a few minutes late from a NYC hotel, so he searched for a homeless person to occupy the room.
DIRECTOR TERRY JONES of Monty Python talks about Python, when we really want to hear about how his wife kicked him out of the house after he hooked up with a Swedish Python fan more than four decades his junior. Later in the interview, Jones syays he doesn't watch the BBC anymore because you won't hear about Cindy Sheehan there. I can't speak for the BBC, but I note its website has at least three Sheehan stories online at the moment.
IRAQ missed the deadline for the new constitution and MPs granted a one-week extension. It's silly to blame this on the sandstorm that hit Baghdad recently, but given the alternatives of punting issues like federalism, womens' rights and the role of Islamic law to the legislature, or calling a new election, waiting a week may be tolerable. As noted at Publius Pundit, polling shows the Iraqi people are moving in the right direction, so a week of hearing from them may help the process along (more on that poll here). Patrick Clawson, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, thinks the process got off on the wrong foot with a largely inactive parliament and a constitutional drafting process led by a small group of men behind closed doors. "That's not a way democracy should operate," he said. "So quite clearly, Iraqi democracy is going to be highly imperfect, quite limited." I love it when an American expert shows no understanding of our own history.
IRAQ II: The constitution story ensured that other stories would not get as much coverage. For example, Abu Zubair, a top aide to al-Zarqawi, accused of masterminding high-profile suicide bombings in the country, was killed in an abush by Iraqi security forces in Mosul. Alenda Lux takes a stab at following in the footsteps of retiring blogger Arthur Chrenkoff in rounding up other under-reported stories.
LAURA CANTRELL: The alt-country singer tells us about her Aunt Edna. And there's a point to it. I have previously pointed y'all toward legal Cantrell downloads.
BASS GUITARIST makes comedy from gigs with Madonna and Michael Jackson.
PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer was held by Norwegian customs officers last Friday on suspicion of possessing drugs -- and was only freed when concert organisers came to his rescue. When his band Babyshambles finally took to the stage, Doherty proceeded to vomit in full view of 4,000 fans.
FIONA APPLE is releasing a reworked version of her long-shelved and leaked third album, Extraordinary Machine, and is nervous about how it will be received by folks who heard the leaked versions.
AL QAEDA'S SEVEN PHASE PLAN for global domination is analyzed at the Fourth Rail.
OIL-FOR FOOD SCANDAL: The official investigation into corruption in the multi-billion dollar program is now looking at the brother of U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan. For his part, Annan ordered a broad independent review of U.N. procurement practices on Monday following the discovery that a senior U.N. purchasing official was shaking down contractors.
BONO: An excerpt from Michka Assayas' book of interviews with the U2 frontman and activist is online at Christianity Today. U2 have been awarded Portugal's highest honor for their humanitarian efforts.
BRIAN ENO: You have probably heard his most famous piece of music; it's 3.25 seconds long.
LIZ PHAIR AND LESLIE GORE: I'll bet that was some party.
ERIN McKEOWN assures an interviewer from PopMatters that having a degree in Ethnomusicology is not such a big deal.
JAMES LILEKS has Amazon.com's secret 1-800 number.
DOES THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HAVE A BUNKER MENTALITY when it comes to Iraq? Editors of the AP's member papers are asking the question. "The main obstacle we face," said Mike Silverman, managing editor of The AP, "is the severe limitation on our movement and our ability to get out and report. It's very confining for our staff to go into Baghdad and have to spend most of their time on the fifth floor of the Palestine Hotel." However, it seems like the AP may try to do more stories looking at the big picture beyond the daily body count.
JESSICA SIMPSON: It seems like she's everywhere these days; Worth1000 based a Photoshop contest on the idea.
BRADGELINA UPDATE: Perez Hilton has a completely unsubstantiated rumor that Jolie is pregnant.
LOHAN LOWDOWN: The teen starlet moves behind the camera.
THE DONALD is blogging, but he hasn't written about these photos yet.
SHARON STONE, in London during the bombings, sought refuge from the man most feared by global terrorists -- Elton John.
HUGH JACKMAN: The name is not Bond...
EVA LONGORIA: We knew that the Desperate Housewife liked to give them as gifts. Is she re-gifting?
HEATHCLIFF... come back Heathcliff... I'm not finished with you, Heathcliff...
RUSSELL CROWE has an 11 million dollar phone bill.
KEVIN BACON seems headed back toward Wild Things country, but imho, Matt Dillon still comes out ahead.
LOST STAR Naveen Andrews left his violent home when he was 16 and moved in with his private school maths teacher, with whom he fathered a son after her disgusted husband divorced her. He now dates actress Barbara Hershey, who is 21 years his senior, and was last year accused of cheating on her.
RYAN SEACREST will co-host New Year's Rockin' Eve with Dick Clark, in hopes of finding out where he can get a portrait done.
CULT OF THE iPod: Apple still has no plans to enter the subscription music market... yet.
NANOTECH: Carbon nanotubes can function as scaffolds for bone regrowth, according to researchers at the University of California at Riverside.
BRITISH BREASTS have grown by a cup-size in the past decade.
SCHADENFREUDE and "keeping up with the Joneses" proven in a new study from Penn State.
...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A Viking ship made of 15 million ice cream sticks.
INSERT YOUR DELIVERANCE JOKE HERE: A father-and-son team were named France's official Pig-Squealing Champions for 2005.
THOUSANDS OF BEES INVADED a matinee at Saddleback College's McKinney Theatre, stinging the lead actress and forcing cancellation of the 16-show run of Babes In Arms after just three performances.
TURKEY TOSSER cops a plea, will receive 6 months in jail and 5 years probation.
A GREEDY SQUIRREL ballooned in size and got wedged inside a bird feeder after gorging on nuts. And I'm disappointed that the Internet Movie DataBase has the quote wrong!
DOGS: Marmite the labrador survived after falling 40 feet down a cliff near Weymouth, Dorset.