SO, WHAT DID Y'ALL DO THIS WEEKEND?
I SAW BRIAN WILSON'S SMiLE TOUR (again), at the very last minute, as a venue he was supposed to play in Michigan Sunday night went bankrupt, so he landed at the ParkWest instead. I have a review of last year's show up in this site's Reviews section. This one was a bit less formal, as the only people more crowded that Brian and his big band onstage were the folks jammed into the table and chair set-up offstage. But worth it to sit 15 feet from a legend of popular music. I publicly apologize in advance to Ken King for not alerting him, though it really was a last minute thing. Which makes me feel less guilty about mentioning that Brian's female backup singer -- Ken knows exactly who I mean -- was even hotter up close. I would recommend the DVD, even to people who aren't big Brian fans, for the Beautiful Dreamer documentary, as it tells a story that I think even non-fans could find interesting and dramatic.
THE BOY IS BACK IN TOWN: The late Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy finally returned to "The Old Town" of Dublin, Ireland when a statue commemorating him was unveiled off the city's busy Grafton Street on what would have been his 56th birthday.
ON THE PITCHFORK: Ian McCulloch thinks the upcoming Echo and the Bunnymen album is a "masterpiece." The Rev. Horton Heat is doing an Xmas album and tour.
THE DECEMBERISTS, DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE AND STARS join onstage for Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." You Ain't No Picasso is killing music by pointing you to the MP3 and the video.
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS' video for "This Year" can be streamed here.
BANDS NAMED AFTER MEMBERS OTHER THAN THE SINGER are discussed at MetaFilter.
DICK CAVETT AND ROCK STARS: Out on DVD. I'd like to hear about Jimi Hendrix's days as a paratrooper.
THE MAGIC NUMBERS talk to London's Guardian about walking off Top of the Pops and their desire to get into Brian Wilson's sandbox.
ROCK STAR "DON'TS" are listed at the Castor Oil blog. For example: "Just admit it, you were in bad heavy metal bands until Weezer broke out and you have never listened to Gang of Four in your life. It’s really OK, no one out there gives a sh*t enough to judge you for it."
HEAVY METAL: It's your one-way ticket to midnight. It's also becoming hip, if the linked Slate article referring to Mastodon is any indication.
MULLET HUNT at the Iowa State Fair. See what you expats are missing?
POISON GUITARIST C.C. DeVille jumped out of the "Where Are They Now?" file and into a Stuff magazine party in Vegas by way of air guitar.
ZIPCODE MAN: And I thought I retained trivia.
COURTNEY LOVE gets court-ordered rehab after she admits to three probation violations.
PATTY SMYTH jumps out of the "Where are they now?" file to fill in for Billy Joel's daughter at a charity gig. I guess she still is the Warrior.
DO THEY KNOW IT'S HALLOWEEN? is a benefit record for UNICEF featuring Beck, Sum 41, The Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sloan, Peaches, Feist, Devendra Banhart, Wolf Parade, Postal Service, Buck 65, Arrested Development's David Cross, Sex Pistols’ founder Malcolm McLaren, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, 60's soul legend Gino Washington, Roky Erickson, Sparks, and more. Seems like it should be produced by Steve Albini or Tim Burton. Stream it here.
HARD WORKERS work hard in the bedroom.
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS is snarking on Hustle and Flow.
GRIZZLY MAN: I saw and recommend Grizzly Man, though it's not playing on many screens around the country.
JESSICA ALBA having second thoughts about a Fantastic Four sequel? Or just about negotiating a better contract? A Newsweek web exclusive interview reports that she is signed for two sequels -- which is standard for such movies. She may star in a movie version of I Dream of Jeannie, which would be the only reason to see it.
KIRSTEN DUNST PREGNANT? She was spotted eyeing a box of New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal dietary supplements with Jake Gyllenhall, with whom she has been linked previously. But I would guess the odds are about the same as Katie Holmes getting pregnant.
ALICIA SILVERSTONE hates being in the spotlight. As if that's a problem for her.
MARCIA CROSS: The Desperate Housewife who has denied rumors that she prefers women is engaged, but no wedding date has been set.
IRAQ: On Friday, Iraq's national security adviser said the country would descend into civil war if federalism was not entrenched in the constitution. States' rights -- and disputes over the right to secede -- are issues Americans know to be difficult and divisive. People who have lived under tyranny often prefer a weak central government. U.S. diplomats reportedly have conceded ground to the Shiites on the role of Islam in the constitution. At Iraq the Model, Omar reports on Christians protesting for a secular constitution, demands for more voters' registration offices in Fallujah and for international monitoring of the referendum. Omar also translates polling showing Iraqis prefer a federal state where Islam is just one (rather than the only) source for legislation. The Shiites should remember that the Sunnis -- who seem eager to participate in the referendum -- probably hold a veto over the proposed constitution.
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' Twin Cinema drops tomorrow, prompting reviews from PopMatters and Carl Wilson and a blurb in Macleans that describes the band's chance meeting with Broken Social Scene.
PUNK ROCKER is the Town Crier in Westcountry UK.
EMINEM GOES INTO REHAB dependency to sleep medication, according to his publicist. Maybe he'll remix that one number so that while he's rapping, "My name is..." a group can respond, "Hello, Marshall..."
INXS: The estate of the band's late singer, Michael Hutchence, reportedly has been valued at nothing. However, the estate did not include a string of properties in Australia worth more than 10 million dollars, a villa in southern France, a house in London, a development in Indonesia, numerous luxury cars and royalty payments from INXS, which had been placed in a complex array of companies and trusts from Liberia to the British Virgin Islands over which he had limited control to protect his wealth. No Rock and Roll Fun wonders where that money is going.
JEANETTE SLIWINSKI, who killed three Chicago area musicians with her car, was quite a piece of work, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
"GAY BATMAN" ARTIST gets a "cease and desist" letter from D.C. Comics.
GRADES FOR SEX, MONEY SCANDAL at Florida Memorial University.
OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: A Danish maker of industrial pumps, admits paying kickbacks to Saddam's regime under the U.N. program.
A STUDY IN WARTIME UNDERWEAR: British troops get germ-fighting underwear. Some Palestinian suicide bombers wrap their penises into fire-proof aluminum foil to save them for those virgins they were promised in the afterlife.
IRAQ II: The Army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in Iraq for four more years, the Army's top general said Saturday. Imho, planning for a worst-case scenario is better than not planning for it. The Washington Post covers Soldiers' Angels, a wonderful group which supports our troops by doing everything from writing letters to donating computers, backpacks and body armor to troops in the field. Belgravia Dispatch has analysis based on another WaPO article about the rising influence of Shiite and Kurdish militias.
JUDE LAW AND SIENNA MILLER: Splitsville. Of course, tomorrow is another day...
TOM SIZEMORE SEX TAPE surfaces. Many women; no celebs.
JUDITH MILLER, The New York Times reporter jailed on contempt charges for refusing to testify about a source to a grand jury, needs to have a chat with her husband, who is currently telling friends that his wife "is having the time of her life." That's a phrase you tend to hear in commercials for vacation cruises like the one Miller's husband took while she was in the slam.
JOE RANFT, an Academy Award-nominated storyboard supervisor for Disney and Pixar animated films, who co-wrote Toy Story and A Bug's Life after work on Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, was killed in a car accident last week. He was 45.
CA GOVERNOR'S RACE: Will Steve Jobs or Robin Williams challenge the Governator?
WHAT WOULD TOM CRUISE SAY? Margarita Lopez, a candidate for Manhattan borough president, is a Scientologist who shuttled hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to a Scientology-backed detox center co-founded by Cruise. Rivals have also taken openly gay Lopez to task because Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard preached against homosexuality.
MICHAEL YON writes from Mosul about what he doesn't report, and why. He also seems to think the major media is routinely blowing its coverage: "What is seen on television and in the papers is practically always inaccurate, or is at least poorly framed."
SEXY SAUDI SWIMWEAR, courtesy of Publius Pundit. Actually, the company looks to be Turkish, but the point is basically the same.
AL QAEDA LEADER KILLED in Saudi Arabia. Saleh Mohammed al-Aoofi, the kingdom's top fugitive, had led local al-Qaida operations since his predecessor was killed by police a year ago. An Al Qaeda-linked group plans to "terrorize" U.S.-led forces in Iraq and their families by bombarding them with e-mails and by posting gruesome photos online.
TREATING TERRORISTS LIKE PIRATES: Author Douglas R. Burgess Jr. thinks it may clarify our thinking on terrorism.
STUCK IN LODI: The idea of a "million Muslim march" to publicly denounce terrorism has officially died, when it became apparent the deep division in Lodi's Muslim community would make organizing the event difficult if not impossible. A federal grand jury has handed up indictments against a Lodi father and his son accused of having ties to Al Qaeda. A Muslim cleric and his son were deported to Pakistan after Federal immigration officials said the cleric and his successor, planned to establish a madrassa similar to one in Pakistan, where both taught before coming to the U.S. Evidence presented at last week's proceeding showed that madrassa had been used to recruit individuals to engage in jihad.
THE HOME FRONT: Margot Kidder became a U.S. citizen Wednesday to avoid possible deportation to her native Canada when she begins protesting the war. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor, helped secure three million dollars to tow the retired USS Iowa from to the Bay Area in hopes of making touristy Fisherman's Wharf its new home. But city supervisors voted 8-3 last month to oppose taking in the ship, citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the military's stance on gays, among other things. Feinstein called it a "very petty decision." And supporters of the President's Iraq policy have started their own camp down in Crawford.
DEMOCRATIC DIAGNOSIS: Poll numbers for President Bush and the GOP-led Congress have declined, but pollsters and analysts say that Democrats aren't doing any better. Sen. John Kerry sees no need to make any changes.
WHAT IS THIS? It's a fossil of something, but nobody knows what it is a fossil of.
BLOGGING AFFECTS THE BRAIN? Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide consider the possibilities.
NANOTECH: Carbon nanotubes get a big, but layperson-friendly, write-up from Science on MSNBC. That article begins by talking about transparent sheets of carbon nanotubes that can be used for screens and windows, which are discussed further at the website for Nature.
CLIMATE CHANGE may have profoundly influenced human evolution, according to a new study published in this week's Science.
IT'S ALIVE... ITS'S ALIIIIVE!!! Synthetic biologists boldly claim the ability to make never-before-seen living things, one genetic molecule at a time. At The American Prospect, Chris Mooney is "tired of preachy retreads of the Frankenstein myth, first laid out in Mary Shelley's 19th-century classic and recycled by Hollywood constantly in films from Godsend to Jurassic Park.
SODA IN SCHOOL: The American Beverage Association is recommending limiting the availability of soft drinks in schools across the country. The Freakonomics blog has a theory as to why.
GROUND ZERO: A global network of human rights museums is urging the International Freedom Center to downplay America in its exhibits and programs at Ground Zero, the New York Daily News has learned. For some reason, some 9/11 family members disagree with the idea of turning Ground Zero into the "Why They Hate Us" museum.
CULT OF THE iPod: You Ain't No Picasso describes friends adapting the card game "War" to iPods. Playlist lists six iPod hacks. But none of them match the MegaGiant wood iPod that eliminates the threat of being mugged (Thanks to Sylvia).
PODCASTING: The Washington Post surveys popular and specialty podcasts. Slate is promoting its own podcast.
AMAZON.COM is selling more sex toys "than you knew they would ever dare sell and more than you even knew were being manufactured in the world today and a more advanced and varied selection than you probably imagined they could ever get away with..." Are there links in the linked column? Why, yes, there are.
THE BANANA is an endangered species.
FASTER-THAN-LIGHT SPEED: Scientists have managed to control the speed of light – both slowing it down and speeding it up – in an optical fiber, using off-the-shelf instrumentation in normal environmental conditions.
L.A. GATOR UPDATE: The crafty Carlito has already become a folk hero in the gritty neighborhood where he continues to outwit wranglers and elude capture in Lake Machado.
ANIMAL HOARDING, WITH A TWIST: This time, more than 70 cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs and more were found living in deplorable conditions at a home billed as an animal shelter and occupied by a man who has written several books on caring for dogs.
BIRDS were accidentally fed cannabis seeds by a Norwegian grandmother. That's probably a vicious cycle, as I imagine it only gave the birds the munchies.
GOOEY THE DUCK was raised by a woman since he was a day old, even wearing special duck diapers and going to the woman's job. Washington stste's Fish and Wildlife Department has seized Gooey and is looking into whether the woman should be charged with unlawful possession of wildlife. The local police are investigating the wildlife officers, one of whom the woman says struck her as he snatched the duck away.
A RARE AND RANDY WARBLER is ironically facing extinction, despite being the most promiscuous and energetic lover in the avian world. And "Randy Warbler" would make a good fake DJ name.
MAIL ORDER CHICKENS: It's probably not exactly what you think, but I don't know if it can be explained.
DONKEY'S PROTEST CENSORED in Serbia.
MERCENARY GOATS TO FIGHT KUDZU in Peachtree City, GA. ALSO: Mountain goat threatens a woman in her garage in Salt Lake City.
DOZENS OF LAMBS DISQUALIFIED from competing at the Wyoming State Fair because their tails were cut too short. It sounds picky, but you wouldn't want your rectum to slip out of place, would you?
CATS AND DOGS will be rescued from settlements in the Gaza strip. Even so, an evacuated settler told a news website, "Horses, dogs and cats and even chickens were wandering the streets. There is no one to feed or care for them."
KITTY burns two or three of its lives, surviving an electrical shock, a fall and a fire in Nevada.
DOGS of celebrities attended a birthday bash for Romeo Hastreiter (a mutt of Paper magazine founder Kim Hastreiter), at the Tribeca Grand Hotel last Thursday.