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Jason Collett, Morning Benders, Mudcrutch, Duck Xing   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE LONG BLONDES have gone to the dogs in the new video for "Guilt."

JASON COLLETT the BSSer stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set of his '70s pop/rock & country-infused solo stuff, streaming on demand via NPR.

THE HOBOKEN SOUND:  Banjamen Walker posts an excerpt from a 1985 documentary at WFMU's blog.  The Bongos, The Feelies, The Cucumbers, Gut Bank and Maxwell's all get shout outs.  Joe Piscopo makes a clueless cameo.

THE MORNING BENDERS, drawing from '60s pop heavyweights like the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and the Kinks, are profiled in the SF Weekly and the San Francisco bay Guardian.  There's embedded video at the SFBG also. (Thx, LHB.)  You can stream a few more at BenderSpace.

SLY STONE actually talks to PopMatters about why, at this relatively late date, he has chosen to make one of the most unlikely comebacks in pop history: "I could sit back and get royalties like people do at my age," he says. "But then I noticed that a lot of things were not being said."

MUDCRUTCH formed in the mid '70s, but just released its debut album.  You may recognize at least one of the members in the video for "Orphan of the Storm."

THE CONSTANTINES singer Bryan Webb talks to Canada's Sun about the power of positive singing.

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle, author of a book on Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, is guest-blogging at Powell's about other metal albums he might have chosen. (Thx LHB.)

NICK CAVE is featured on a segment of Fresh Air, streming on demand from NPR, along with tracks from his new LP with The Bad Seeds, Dig, Lazurus, Dig!

DO THE DOORS SUCK?  Idolator offers a point and counter-point (sorta) on this vital question.  IIRC, the Music Works position was that they could be a very passable bar band at times.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise sent Holmes to Scientology boot camp at a remote, supersecret compound in Hemet, Calif, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

JENNIFER ANISTON & JOHN MAYER were snapped looking very cozy in swimwear in Miami at InTouch Weekly.

ROB LOWE faces claims of sexual harassment and wrongful termination from a second nanny.

PAULA ABDUL seemed agitated and disoriented when asked to critique the first half of American Idol Tuesday, night, but claims it was an honest mistake that caused her to critique both of Jason Castro's songs (including one he had not performed yet).

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ:  Is creepy dad-manager Joe Simpson trying to land them a reality TV show like Newlyweds? Probably, though Ashlee and Pete's publicist tells OK! magazine they are not set to appear in Newlyweds.  Meanwhile, Wentz is being sued regarding a fight between his band, Fall Out Boy, and a "fan" at Schuba's Tavern in Chicago.

JESSICA SIMPSON is calling Dallas QB Tony Romo her "future husband" and tells the June issue of Glamour that she was in fact set up with him through creepy dad-manager Joe.

UMA THURMAN prepares to take the stand Thursday in the trial of a man accused of stalking her for two years.  Yesterday, her parents and employees testified about their encounters with the alleged stalker. In telephone calls to Thurman's mother and brother, and at least 19 emails to her father, Jack Jordan said he believed he and the Hollywood actress had met in a previous life and would never be happy unless they were together.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SNOOP DOGG?  Collaborating on Li-Lo's new album, according to Roger Friedman.

JACK NICHOLSON said Wednesday that "one last big romance" would be on his "bucket list."

CHARLIE SHEEN:  Nici, a former L.A. madam who managed a stable of prostitutes that included two Playboy Playmates, tells Rolling Stone that she booked her girls for the "Two and a Half Men" star until last year.

THE DARK KNIGHT: What do you know? A handheld bootleg of the new trailer.

KATE HUDSON is the cover of People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People list.  There is a sneak peek at the list online.

COUNTERINSURGENCY: Dr. David Kilcullen, an adviser to Gen. Petraeus, has started writing a series on Political Maneuver in Counterinsurgency at the Small Wars Journal blog.  Part 1 is a case study on Road-Building in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, 2006-08.

IRAN remained the world's "most active" state sponsor of terrorism as it tries to build regional influence and drive the US from the Middle East, a US government report said Wednesday. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday declared Iran was "not afraid" of sanctions over its contested nuclear program and would further step up its progress.

IRAQ: Sadr City is experiencing a relative lull after several days of intense battles between the Mahdi army and US and Iraqi forces. The Iraqi government reported over 900 have been killed since fighting broke out in Sadr City at the end of March.  According to US and Iraqi reports compiled by The Long War Journal, 435 Mahdi Army fighters have been killed in and around Sadr City during the fighting. Leaders representing Moqtada Sadr are expected to meet with Iraqi leaders to discuss the violence. The US sees a window of opportunity to push for services - trash pickup, medical care, water, electricity - in a southern slice of the volatile district.  Also, Iraqi leaders are hoping to pressure Iran to stop aiding militias in Iraq by presenting Tehran with the latest evidence of weapons and training crossing the border, a senior defense official said Wednesday. Good luck.  Meanwhile, the Iraqi govt plans to hand over 12 Saudi detainees to Riyadh within a security agreement between the two countries.  And Iraqi authorities welcomed back 701 ancient artifacts plundered in the chaotic aftermath of the US-led invasion, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

A MAMA DUCK and her ducklings receive a police escort across Highway 512 in Washington state.  Video at the link.

FUGITIVE MONKEYS, escaped from soon-to-be-opened Wild Safari animal park last Tuesday, remain on the lam near Lakeland, FL.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A wild and crazy pigeon.

LING LING, the only giant panda owned by Japan, died of old age Wednesday at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo, where he had been one of the most popular attractions, officials said.

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Feist, Death Cab, Foals, Shins, Knut Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

FEIST sits for an interview on The Colbert Report, then plays "I Feel It All," which is introduced in the spangly "1 2 3 4 " top he got from Ms. F.  And Kevin Drew will be in for a shock some evening.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE did six free songs for Daytrotter, some of which are to appear on the forthcoming Narrow Stairs LP.

JIMI HENDRIX may have a sex tape, but the identity of the man in the film is fiercely disputed by experts and former associates.

THE FOALS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

ROGER WATERS: The fmr Pink Floyd frontman's inflatable pig has gone missing: "He escaped and went floating off into the desert," according to Coachella Fest spokeswoman Marcee Rondan.  There's a 10K award out for the porker. UPDATE: The pig is dead.

THE SHINS perform an original song, "It's Okay, Try Again," for Nick Jr.'s show Yo Gabba Gabba! which will air May 23.

SMOOSH: Chloe spoke with Exclaim! about her worst tour memories and some changes in the band.

TINY MASTERS OF TODAY, another accomplished kid band, is profiled in the New York Daily News. Michael Palms, co-owner of the club Southpaw in Park Slope, gives bands like Tiny Masters a regular venue: "They write interesting songs about angst and rejecting pop culture, which is essentially what rock music is really all about."

STEVE EARLE talks to the Dallas Morning News, where he seems to view the international movement of labor as different from the the international movement of capital.

THE POSIES are getting a three-disc tribute from dozens of bands so obscure that even I haven't heard of them!

MILEY CYRUS:  Photogate, Day 3 features reax from dad Billy Ray Cyrus, Rosie O'Donnell, Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt, Bill O' Reilly and Hilary Duff.

CSI PALM SPRINGS: Gary Dourdan was busted in Palm Springs on suspicion of possessing heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and prescription drugs.

MINDY McCREADY & ROGER CLEMENS had a longterm affair; the two met in a Florida karaoke bar when McCready was a 15-year-old aspiring singer and Clemens was a 28-year-old ace for the Red Sox and a married father of two. It wasn't until later, after McCready had moved to Nashville and become a country singing star, that the relationship turned intimate.

BRADGELINA and their brood are holed up in Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen's vlla on the French Riviera, scouting locations for Jolie's next delivery.

MY NAME IS DAD: Jason Lee and his girlfriend, Ceren Alkac, are expecting a baby.

BRITNEY SPEARS gives onlookers a shock as she wanders into a hotel gym in nothing but a towel.

MADONNA is finally shocked by a sexual practice.  And she only had to go to Africa.

SCIENTOLOGY has started its own YouTube channel, but you just know they aren't going to post the really wacky stuff we want to watch.

VANILLA ICE is off the hook on domestic abuse charges, marking the first time Ice has been off the hook in decades. Wife Laura Van Winkle retracted allegations that he had hit and kicked her during a spat at home.

PAM ANDERSON has become a US citizen, further exposing systemic weaknesses at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

IRON MAN: There's an exclusive clip posted at Yahoo! Movies, plus a version with commentary from director Jon Favreau.  The Detroit Free Press calls it the buzz-magnet kiciking of this summer's movie season.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: A governor in northern Saudi Arabia has ordered authorities to punish men who flirt with women in public places by cutting their hair, local media said Tuesday.  Which I suppose is better than beheading, but still...

IRAN is demanding that Azerbaijan deliver a Russian shipment of nuclear equipment blocked at its border with Iran for the past three weeks. Meanwhile, Western scientists are intrigued by photos from Iran's nuclear site at Natanz.

IRAQ: The US ambassador to the UN on Monday slammed the alleged destabilizing role of Iran and Syria in Iraq and urged them to stop the flow of weapons and foreign fighters into the country. Heavy fighting broke out between Coalition and Mahdi Army forces in Sadr City as US troops killed 28 Mahdi Army fighters after being ambushed during a patrol. Seven more Mahdi Army fighters were killed during strikes Monday. In Basra, shops and cafes have reopened as the pious young men who for years had been shutting them down -- declaring music "haram" (forbidden) and threatening to kill women for not wearing headscarfs -- have vanished.  Finally, a look at the improbable work of the self-proclaimed "Cat Lady of Baghdad."

KNUT UPDATE: The once cuddly polar bear cub, now a grown psychopath addicted to human attention, may be gay. NTTAWWT.

A GIANT BEAVER crashed into a Russian food store, smashing a shop window and several bottles of vodka.

THE BIGGEST SQUID EVER CAUGHT, boasting a fearsome beak and razor-sharp hooks, may be small compared to others still lurking in the depths, scientists said Tuesday.

A LEGLESS LIZARD and a DWARF WOODPECKER are among 14 discovered species believed to be new to science in central Brazil, a wildlife conservation group said on Tuesday.

GATOR vs. GOLFER: A golfer used a four iron and a rake to save the life of a diver attacked by a giant 11ft alligator as he searched for lost balls in a lake at his local course in Tampa, Florida.

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Prince, New Releases, Justin Townes Earle, Weiner Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

PRINCE rocked the indie kids at Coachella with a surprise cover of Radiohead's "Creep." Catchit before the Purple One's lawyers do, won't you?

NEW RELEASES: Les Savy Fav, Joy Division, Kid Creole, Sarah McLachlan, and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner. Portishead releases its Third. The Constantines visit Kensington Heights.  Robert Forster introduces The Evangelist. Bearsuit goes Oh:lo.

THE LEGENDARY CAPITOL RECORDS ECHO CHAMBERS are threatened by a condo development.

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE plays and talks on Morning Edition about his addiction and his musician-dad, Steve: "It's a really hard family to rebel in. I could have become an accountant. Or I could have become a Republican - that would have really pissed him off."

SHE & HIM: Zooey Deschanel tells the LA Times she's uninterested in keeping up with new bands, preferring instead the thrill of "discovering something old that might've been forgotten. I like the feel of being in a musty record store," she says with a laugh.

I WANT CANDY from The Strangeloves and a super-charged Bow Wow Wow for Twofer Tuesday. 

TIFT MERRITT gets riled up when the Irish Independent raises the tricky subject of genre and how she's perceived as an artist.

LAURA GIBSON stopped by Oregon Public Broadcasting for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand, broken up into handy segments.

NICK CAVE talks to The List about... the press: "I'm represented in all sorts of different ways. But it does become frustrating to read a lot of what's written about me. The same set of anecdotes strung together by yet another lazy writer who lacks any imagination. Not you of course (laughs). It's frustrating that no matter what your efforts are in terms of music the press lags behind."

THE BYRDS are set to release a recording of their 1971 appearance at London's Royal Albert Hall - featuring a line up of Roger McGuinn, Clarence White, Skip Battin and Gene Parsons. Roger McGuinn told Uncut that the recording came from his private collection and that more releases of a similar kind would probably follow it.

MILEY CYRUS: Everybody weighs in on Hannah Montana's semi-topless Vanity Fair photoshoot, from photographer Annie Leibovitz to Jamie Lee Curtis to the Christian Coalition.  Along with reax from Disney and The View, The Superficial looks at the behind-the-scenes pics and opines that she's probably not really embarrassed.

BRITNEY SPEARS: The Child Custody Evaluation report is in, and it's a "mixed bag" that "makes it more likely that Britney will show for the hearing" on May 6, according to TMZ.

AMY POEHLER & WILL ARNETT are to become first-time parents, in a fabulous promotion for Baby Mama.

CHERI OTERI, formerly of SNL, mourns the loss of her father, who was stabbed to death on Saturday in Nashville.

MARIAH CAREY & NICK CANNON are engaged?

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Oprah Winfrey's upcoming interview with Cruise includes questions about Scientology, his verbal smackdown with Matt Lauer on the Today show and, yes, the infamous couch-jumping incident.  Winfrey leaked this and more during last weekend's Vegas taping of a joint interview with Tina Turner and Cher, who talks about her affair with Cruise at the start of his career.

ANGIE EVERHART was busted for DUI last Thursday, and no longer engaged to Joe Pesci.

SCOTT WEILAND, once again the frontman for Stone Temple Pilots, has been sentenced to 192 hours in county jail for his November DUI arrest.

KATHY GRIFFIN has split from billionaire Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, but it seems amicable.

THE HOBBIT movies are officially under the directorial hand of Guillermo del Toro. Though no screenplay deal's been set, it's expected that the "LOTR" scripting team of Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens will collaborate with Del Toro.  TheOneRing already has an interview with del Toro, who says -- among other things -- that Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis seem game for more.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR still looks quite healthy at 46.  BONUS:  Add her ex-pal Denise Richards for a Gratuitous Twofer Tuesday to mark the onset of bikini season.

CARRIE FISHER reveals that she got quite cozy with Harrison Ford while waging Star Wars.

LEE ELIA: It is the 25th anniversary of one of the most notorious sports rants evah.  Present and former Chicagoans may remember that Les Grobstein and a young Mark Giangreco were responsible for recording the Cubs manager's profanity-laden tirade.

MIDEAST MYSTERY: CIA Director Michael Hayden said Monday that the alleged Syrian nuclear reactor destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in September would have produced enough plutonium for one or two bombs within a year of becoming operational.

IRAN: A top Iranian judiciary official warned Monday against the "destructive" cultural and social consequences of importing Barbie, Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter dolls.

IRAQ:  TIME asks, "Is AQI is back in Baghdad?"  ITM's Omar Fadhil asks, "Is AQI teaming with Moqtada al-Sadr?" US forces killed 45 Shiite militiamen in Baghdad in fierce fighting that included a tank battle with dozens of gunmen who attacked a checkpoint under cover of a dust storm. The CFR's Greg Bruno looks at the upside and potential downside of the "Sons of Iraq."  Meanwhile, the McClatchy chain reports that one of the most powerful men in Iraq is Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, who commands the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force, an elite paramilitary and espionage organization whose mission is to expand Iran's influence in the Middle East.

WEINER DOG RACES in Austin. Let's go to the slideshow.

DOLPHIN DIES IN MIDAIR COLLISION at SeaWorld in Orlando, FL. Sharky was 30 years old.

BEE FAITHFUL: A religious beekeeper in Serbia has started making beehives shaped like tiny monasteries and churches "because bees have a soul too."

SPIDER PLAGUE closed a tiny Australian hospital.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A chihuahua in a scuba suit.

6447 Reads

Duffy, B-52s, Vampire Weekend, Penguin Wetsuit   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 28, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

DUFFY brings the Dusty-esque melancholy in the video for "Warwick Avenue."

THE B-52s played for WXPN at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia; you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR. 

NICOLE ATKINS talks to the Times of London about dreams and monsters, and how Rick Rubin put her Neptune City album on hold to remix it.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED:  New tracks from Circulatory System, Elf Power, the Black Keys, Gnarls Barkley and folk singer Laura Gibson are featured in the latest edition of the long-running series from NPR.

THE NATIONAL frontman Matt Berninger talks to JamBands about R.E.M., lyrics and Phish.

WEEKEND VAMPIRE talks to The List, with guitarist and singer Ezra Koenig commenting on the African rhythms in some of their music: "But it was important for us, if we were going to be playing rock instruments, not to use the same rhythms, the same styles of playing that so much rock has used. It becomes kind of boring."  The band was joined by a drum line on Kimmel for a rendition of "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa."

MICK JONES (The Clash, B.A.D., Carbon/Silicon) has written a song ttitled, "Don't tase me, bro!" after the arrest of an excitable college student.

CLOUD CULT stopped by WNYC for a chat and a twofer you can stream on demand va NPR.

AMY WINEHOUSE was released from a London police station Saturday after spending a night in custody following her arrest for an assault -- but her distraught dad wants her forcibly locked up in a mental hospital for her own good.

PHIL COLLINS is to retire from recording and performing after over 30 years in the music industry.

MILEY CYRUS issued a statement apologizing for a series of playfully provocative photos that circulated on the Internet last week, as well as those from a racy, as-yet unreleased Vanity Fair photo shoot in which she appears to be nude. Retail sales for her Hannah Montana franchise are expected to total about $1 billion in 2008. A motion picture is in the works for 2009 and Ms. Cyrus signed a seven-figure book deal with the Disney Book Group last week.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Over the the weekend before summer box office season, Baby Mama takes the top slot with 18 million on a 30 million budget.  Harold & Kumar 2 followed with 14 million on a 12 million budget.  That's good, as Baby Mam may have more legs as a counter to Iron Man this weekend and Speed Racer next weekend.  Harold & Kumar made almost as much as the entire theater run of the original, thouhg that went on to make 60 million in DVD sales.  Forbidden Kingdom edged out Forgetting Sarah Marshall, though the latter dropped only 38 percent -- not bad in the face of Baby Mama.  The Judd Apatow production has laready recouped its budget.  Nim's Island rounds out the Top Five and also recoups its production budget.  Deception debuted in tenth and is DOA, for all sorts of good reasons.

JENNIFER ANISTON & JOHN MAYER are in a hot new romance - thanks to matchmaker Sheryl Crow, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

BENNIFER, ROB LOWE, PAM ANDERSON and ASHLEE SIMPSON were among the celebs attending this year's White House Correspondents' Association dinner Saturday night. "Pamela Anderson and Mitt Romney in the same room?" Pres. Bush said. "Isn't that one of the signs of the apocalypse?"

SCARLETT JOHANSSON talks to The Scotsman about her new album, and sitting in with the Jesus And Mary Chain with a show at the 2007 Coachella Festival.

SHANNON ELIZABETH & DEREK HOUGH getting married in Vegas?  I'm pretty sure they were kidding.

MADONNA hired her gardener to direct her new documentary about HIV/AIDS orphans in Malawi, which delivers a sizeable wallop of the Kabbalah Center of Los Angeles without informing the audience about what's going on.

GYLLENSPOON: Looking more serious all the time.

RUMER WILLIS picks up where Carrie Underwood left off? 

CHRISTINA RICCI is used to steamy scenes, but nothing could prepare the actress for being groped a chimpanzee on the set of Speed Racer.

UNTOONED: Homer Simpson, Mario and Jessica Rabbit are made flesh through the magic of Photoshop at Pixeloo.  Jessica even has a video showing how it's done.

GLOBAL SOMETHING: While the last Arctic summer was the warmest on record, we had a cold summer with a sea-ice maximum in the Antarctic.

INDONESIA: Chastity belts, which went out of fashion with knights in shining armor and damsels in distress, are making a comeback in the massage parlors of East Java. In recent years, conservative Islamic values have gained influence in a society that has long enjoyed liberal freedoms, such as easy access to alcohol, gambling and the sex trade.

IRAN: A ship contracted by the US Navy had to fire warning shots in the direction of two unidentified speedboats in the Gulf, US military officials say.  In January, the US said speedboats from Iran had harassed US Navy ships in the Gulf.  In the latest incident, Tehran said its vessels had had no confrontations with US ships.

IRAQ: Less than one week after threatening to conduct an uprising against the Iraqi government and US forces, Moqtada al Sadr called for the Mahdi Army to maintain the self-imposed cease-fire. Five British hostages who were kidnapped in Iraq almost a year ago are being held inside Iran by Revolutionary Guards, according to two separate sources in the Middle East and London. If confirmed, the involvement of Revolutionary Guards would be seen as evidence that senior figures in the Iranian government had backed the decision to hold them in the country.  Have the US's three most important Asian alliances - with Australia, Japan and South Korea - been strengthened by the Iraq campaign?

PIERRE the PENGUIN,  a venerable 25 years old, was going bald -- so the California Academy of Sciences had a wetsuit created to help him get back in the swim of things.  Let's go to the video.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: It used to be Grey vs. red, but now mutant black squirrels have already taken over in parts of England and appear to be spreading.

THE BIRDS: Hungry seagulls have forced playtime to be cancelled in Croatian schools after they started grabbing pupils' packed lunches.

THE SWARM:  A giant cloud of thousands of bees mysteriously appeared and began to swirl in a "tornado pattern" around a Central Florida Mexican restaurant. Video at the link.

GONNA NEED A BETTER BOAT: A day after a deadly shark attack near San Diego, a hardy few ignored warnings that a killer great white might still be lurking below the surface and paddled back into the Pacific Ocean on Saturday. What say you, Police Chief Brody? (nsfw)

2693 Reads

The Cutting Edge, Coachella, Smoosh, Cutout Bin, Six-legged Kitty   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 25, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE CUTTING EDGE!  One of the original MTV indie rock showcases, backed in part by IRS Records, airing from March 1983 to September 1987. Set the Wayback Machine to 1985 to share some BBQ in Austin, TX with Zeitgeist (later The Reviers).  Daniel Johnson has a cameo in that clip, but is featured in this one.  You'll see a young Alejandro Escovedo playing in the True Believers.  Also in a rootsy vein is a segment with Lone Justice.  The show's host, Daniel Zaremba, brings the garage with his band, The Fleshtones, in N'awlins.  Going further afield, there's a segment with Squeeze.  All those clips are on Yahoo!, but there are also clips from Flat Duo Jets and Red Hot Chili Peppers on the Tube that date back to 1984.

LOU REED & LAURIE ANDERSON: Hitched!

COACHELLA: Various acts from the big fest will be streaming at AT&T's Blueroom Fri-Sun nights, starting just before 6 ET.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS drove by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

PETER MOREN talks to The Stranger about his solo album, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the next Peter Bjorn & John album (which is finished, and instrumental). 

JANE'S ADDICTION reuinited at the first-ever NME Awards USA; winners and shaky cam video at Stereogum.

SMOOSH rocked Kids-At-Work Day at the Bryant Park Project; you can stream videos of "Great Skies" and "Dark Shine" via NPR.

DESTROYER:  Dan Bejar talks to DC's Express about playing with different drummers -- a phenomenon familiar to Pate fans.

THE CONNELLS: From the "Where are they now?" file.  Dig 'em. Stream 'em.  Pretend, for a brief moment, that you are Craig O'Neill.  Unless you are Craig O'Neill, in which case you are beyond all help.

TIFT MERRITT stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

JOAN JETT and her longtime manager, Kenny Laguna, talk to the San Joaquin Record about her longevity and the upcoming Runaways movie.

AMY WINEHOUSE was facing arrest last night after allegedly attacking two men while out on a wild drug-fuelled bender.

CUTOUT BIN: From Buzzcocks to Blues Magoos, from Game Theory to Glen Campbell, from Al Wilson to ABBA, The Replacements, The Kinks, Nilsson, Marti Jones and the Mountain Goats this Friday's fortuitous finds overfloweth and can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise is headed back to Oprah's couch for the May sweeps!

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is streaming six tracks from her debut album, Anywhere I Lay My Head.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy Baby Mama, currently scoring 57 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, currently scoring 55 percent; and the thriller Deception, scoring 10 percent.

WESLEY SNIPES was sentenced to 36 months in prison for tax evasion, the maximum sentence allowed.

CARMEN ELECTRA is engaged to her boyfriend, Rob Patterson, the former touring guitarist for Korn.

JESSICA SIMPSON & TONY ROMO seem like the picture-perfect couple, but OK! magazine reports that the pneumatic blonde's creepy dad-manager Joe is a problem-causing third wheel in the relationship.

ASHLEE SIMSPON, meanwhile, continued to dodge pregnancy rumors, even as Ellen DeGeneres rubbed her maybe bump.

ASHTON KUTCHER has webbed feet. Yes, really. Pics at the link.

JIMMY FALLON is set to take Conan O'Brien's job as host of "Late Night" in 2009. Conan will be taking over for Jay Leno, who will leave the "Tonight" show in May 2009 as part of a forced retirement.

GARY COLEMAN is splitting from his new wife Shannon Price on a special two-part session of Divorce Court.  Diff'rent Strokes, and all that.

MEGAN FOX tops FHM magazine's annual 100 Sexiest Women in the World readers' poll; you will find a pop wreck at the bottom.  But I think there may be some dudes in TV Guide's Sexiest Stars 2008, for those who go that way. Call it Gratuitous Friday.

WISH LIST: The Gryphon attack glider, designed to penetrate combat zones at 135 miles per hour, could revolutionize the art of parachuting. Video and pics at the link.

AL QAEDA increasingly faces sharp criticism from once-loyal sympathizers who openly question its ideology and tactics, including attacks that kill innocent Muslims, according to US intelligence officials, counter-terrorism experts and the group's own communications.

MIDEAST MYSTERY: North Korea helped Syria construct a nuclear reactor that was "within weeks of completion" when Israel destroyed the facility in September, the Bush admin. said on Thursday.  A CIA briefing for Congress contains a video that brings together a compilation of still images, including satellite imagery, ground imagery, and photographs taken inside the facility. One photograph shows a North Korean nuclear scientist Chon Chibu standing beside his Syrian counterpart. Mr Chon, who worked at North Korea's Yongbyon plutonium reactor, has previously dealt with US officials.

IRAN: NATO's secretary-general told Gulf Arab states on Thursday that Iran's nuclear ambitions were a major threat to regional stability.

AFGHANISTAN:  At Jane's US Defense Conference, Anthony Cordesman gave a briefing on Afghanistan and Iraq. Cordesman sees far more progress toward  "armed nation-building" in Iraq, adding that withdrawing troops there will not solve problems in Afghanistan.

IRAQ: The Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum, is being designed by the firm that developed Disneyland. New data on Iraq oil revenues suggests that country's government will reap an even larger than expected windfall this year - as much as 70 billion - according to the special US auditor for Iraq. Moqtada al-Sadr is considering setting aside his political ambitions and restarting a full-scale fight against US-led forces.  The reconstruction of the Samarra shrine helps bridge sectarian divides.  The New York Times reports that Iraq's largest Sunni bloc has agreed to return to Prime Minister al-Maliki's cabinet -- about a week after you read it here.

DOG NURSES MOTHERLESS KITTENS in Burlington, IA. Let's go to the awww...some video.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A six-legged kitty.  Video at the link.

KILLER STUNT BEAR UPDATE: State work safety officials opened an investigation today into the death of an exotic-animal trainer who was killed by a 700-pound grizzly bear while filming a promotional video, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Industrial Relations said.  The AP has part off the 911 call.

A ZEBRA was discovered in Emory University's Seney Hall about 8 a.m. Wednesday.  Georgian Zebra trifecta now in play.

STRAY DOGS saved a baby girl who was abandoned in a mound of mud by her mother near a remote village in India. "The dogs removed the soil around and began to bark and the baby started crying which drew attention of the local villagers," Ram Narayan Sahani, a senior government official, said on Tuesday.

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