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The Fictions, Bob Dylan, Pythons, Pig-Squealers and a Greedy Squirrel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


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.

3104 Reads

Huey Lewis, Road Songs, Cover Albums, Ferrets, Ligers and Surfin' Mice   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 15, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


STARTING THE WEEK WITH A SHOUT for our vast audience o­n the Continent...

GANG OF FOUR is streaming all over the 'net. Brooklyn Vegan has the linkage.

HUEY LEWIS has a fan base among the developmentally disabled, according to an article that seems way too politically incorrect for the SF Weekly.

SUB-POP label co-founder Jonathan Poneman is interviewed by Reuters, about the label's history and how the Internet made the Postal Service the label's second-best-selling act.

INDIE LABELS are joining the Recording Industry Association of America.

THE RIAA, having not gotten much from its battle against filesharing, is gearing up to fight CD burning.

DIY MUSICIANS, including Ani DiFranco, the Churchills, Christopher Dallman and the Sharp Things, are profiled in the Free New Mexican.

CHRISTOPHER WALKEN IN 2008? There is a website, which appears to be a hoax. But the cool slogan and poster could draw him in...

JULIA ROBERTS may become a stay-at-home mom.

THE DA VINCI CODE: Sony studio officials have consulted with religious experts o­n how they might alter the plot of the novel to avoid offending the devout.

JANICE DICKINSON: I have to agree with The Superficial that the self-proclaimed first supermodel has a super driver's license photo.

SUSAN SARANDON joins Jamie Lee Curtis in criticizing cosmetic surgery: "I'm scared of plastic surgery. You're somewhere between a burn victim and a female impersonator, and then there's kind of an Asian thing going o­n..."

TOM SIZEMORE has been diagnosed with priapism -- a rare medical condition that leaves him sexually insatiable -- which doctors believe could have been caused by years of alcohol and drug abuse. It would explain why he dated Heidi Fleiss...

IRAQ: Bomb attacks o­n U.S. supply convoys have doubled over the past year but casualties have declined with increased armoring of vehicles, according to the U.S. general in charge of logistics. A major chemical production facility, suspected to have been built by insurgents, was uncovered by US forces during a raid this week near Mosul; early tests suggest substances that could be used in explosives. Iraq's Oil Minister said that his country posted the highest level of crude sales in the country's petroleum history in July.

THE 9/11 COMMISSION releases its statement o­n the "Able Danger" controversy. The full statement is available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

GUIDED BY VOICES: Robert Pollard has more GbV demos posted. And former GbV force Tobin Sprout has set up his own website.

THE LENNON LEGACY is assessed at the London Observer.

ROAD SONGS: USA TODAY's travel and music writers each select a favorite road-trip song, with a link to other playlist recommendations.

REVOLUTION IN THE HEAD is just killing music, with "albums" of covers performed by Belle and Sebastian and Elliot Smith.

IRAQ EXIT STRATEGIES: Gen. George Casey, the U.S. ground commander in Iraq, reportedly has been privately rebuked by the Bush administration for openly discussing plans to reduce troop levels there next year. Although many suspect that Bush wants to draw down troops ahead of the 2006 election (and all things being equal, I'm sure he would like to if he can), it's notable that the drawdown talk was coming from the military, not the Administration. Although no o­ne wants to set a timetable to encourage terrorists to wait out the coalition, I suspect the military wants to make clear it won't be there in full force forever, for reasons of: (a) Iraqi politics; (b) assuaging concerns of military families; and (c) perhaps most important, sending a message to Iraqi forces not to become dependent. And for those who see an anlogy between Iraq and Vietnam, Henry the K offers lessons o­n exit strategies.

LONDON: Radical Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed has been banned from setting foot o­n British soil again. Britain launched a crackdown o­n foreign-born Muslim ideologues Thursday, arresting ten and announcing they would be deported.

GOOD SAMARITAN races up a fire escape and catches a six-year-old girl who fell from the roof of her day care center.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer's band, Babyshambles, had their equipment seized by police after a secret gig in London, due to noise complaints. And he's trying to get back in with galpal Kate Moss by buying her expensive lingerie, which we really know is a gift for him. Graphic footage of Doherty deliberately harming himself will not appear in a forthcoming fly-on-the-wall documentary about the former Libertines' singer, much to his chagrin, I'm thinking.

t. A. T. u. RETURNS: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

TOP FIVE WAYS MP3 has changed the world, according to C|Net.

FAUXRENER: Mick Jones is restarting Foreigner without Lou Gramm. Caveat Emptor (which would be true anyway).

IRAQ II: Camp Liberty, o­ne of the best-appointed compounds in the constellation of American military bases in Iraq, has the vague feel of a college campus, albeit with sand underfoot, Blackhawks overhead and the occasional random mortar attack. The New York Times version of this story also has photos. The Altlanta Journal-Constitution blogs conditions at Camp Taji; the comments show that not all the troops live like this.

AFGHANISTAN: U.S. Marines and Afghan troops launched an offensive Saturday to take a remote mountain valley from insurgents tied to the deadliest blow o­n American forces since the Taliban regime was ousted nearly four years ago. And they are using donkeys for their supply chain. Meanwhile, several hundred former Taliban members have returned from exile in Pakistan to join a government reconciliation program.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Trouble in Crazytown? The infallible Star magazine reports that Holmes may be getting cold feet about marrying Cruise, as a rift develops over wedding plans. Holmes still wants a Roman Catholic priest at their wedding out of respect for her parents, but Cruise wants o­nly a few family members and close Scientology friends. He also wants to hold the wedding in a Scientologist-friendly location, according to the source, such as the Scientology Celebrity Center in Los Angeles or aboard the Scientology yacht.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: Jennifer Aniston gets an apology from Kimberley Stewart, who may have noticed she's living in a glass house.

THE ISLAND: The producers of the laughably-bad Parts: The Clonus Horror have finally filed a copyright case, asking a New York court to have the sci-fi thriller pulled from theaters.

IRAQ III: Michael Yon sees more battle in Mosul and photographs it, but the words are compelling, too. A piece from the American Forces Press Service reports that nearly three dozen Iraqi army or police units are assessed as in the lead or independent; it seems like logistics and supplies are the sticking points for many units (which is better than having problems with training or morale). Major K meets the Iraqi Soldiers of the 1st Brigade -- the Brigade that took back Haifa Street in Baghdad -- and is impressed. Sunni Muslims in Ramadi fought Saturday to defend their Shiite neighbors against a bid to drive them from the western city, Sunni leaders and Shiite residents said.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: Memo to aspiring counterfeiters -- Benjamin Franklin appears o­n the 100 dollar bill, not Abraham Lincoln.

RECORD OIL PRICES? Not after adjusting for inflation.

HOWARD ZINN, author of A People's History of the United States, claims that America is an occupied country. Which I would take more seriously if Zinn did not already think that America has been occupied since 1492.

LONDON II: The Guardian, having published a column by an employee who was a member of a radical Islamic group, follows up with an op-ed by Saad al-Fagih arguing that, "No o­ne will be more pleased than Osama bin Laden with the new measures announced by Tony Blair." Not mentioned was that al-Fagih seems to be a member or associate of Al Qaeda. And Harry's Place rounds up links o­n the investigation of the allegedly moderate Muslim Council of Britain.

CINDY SHEEHAN continues her anti-war vigil near President Bush's ranch. She has supporters holding vigils for her. David Duke backs her. Members of her family members disagree and she is now separated from her husband. At Iraq the Model, Mohammed responds to her question of why the U.S. is in Iraq. At the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, columnist Robert L. Jamieson, Jr. will probably have his e-malibox fill with hate mail from folks who normally agree with him. And Newsweek has a piece suggesting that President Bush does not treat meetings with grieving families like a frat party as Sheehan has charged. Sen. McCain, often a thorn in Bush's side, says ""any charge of insensitivity or uncaring o­n the part of this president is absolutely false."

MILBLOGGING gets an article in the Washington Post titled "The New Ernie Pyles." The Post Watch blog notes that the article manages a negative tone, when most milbloggers are not anti-war. It was hard to avoid noticing that the WaPo article was less representative than John Hockenberry's article at Wired. But if you put both together you get a feel for the range of opinion.

PODCASTING: KEXP's pioneering ways get coverage in the Seattle Times. In the next few weeks, KEXP says it will become the first to make its live radio broadcasts suitable for cellphones and handheld organizers.

FERRETS: After nine years of slippery, slinky competition, the Ferret Olympics is being forced to change its name because the U.S. Olympic Committee has threatened to sue.

SWANS are taking advantage of the gay-friendly atmosphere of Massachussetts. Yet there are still eggs, which aren't faring well.

CATS: Two teenagers performed a caesarean section o­n a dead cat they found along a New Brunswick road, saving two of four kittens.

DOGS are graduating from bomb-sniffing school. ALSO: Quite by chance, I came across this at Ask Yahoo: "Why do dogs love to stick their heads out of car windows?"

CATS AND DOGS: Jo Shoesmith, and her ex-husband, Marty Stephens, are having to rethink the joint custody arrangement for their aging dog, Misha. At the outset, friends and family had thought the notion of a pet custody arrangement a bit extreme -- even their lawyers scratched their heads when they thought about how, exactly, to word such a thing.

LIKE BUNNIES? New Zealander Brendan McMahon likes bunnies like bunnies. It landed him in jail.

LIGERS get coverage from National Geographic due to the Napoleon Dynamite factor. And "Liger" is o­ne of the top search engine requests that brings up this site.

PETA sought to have Minnesota ban the catching of the state fish -- the Walleye. Gov. Tim Pawlenty responded by planning to go out for a walleye dinner.

FOUR CHEETAH CUBS were born at the San Diego Zoo. Awww...

THOUSANDS OF TOADS invade Big Sandy, Montana. It was just two years ago that the town's streets were blocked by 10-foot drifts of tumbleweeds.

SURF'S UP for Aussie Mice. Kowabunga! Columnated ruins domino...

2643 Reads

Southern B*tch, King Wilkie, Greenhornes, Cane Toads and Jellyfish   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 12, 2005 - 06:30 AM
Posted by: kbade




FRIDAY TIMEWASTER II: Peekaboom. Devised by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, it harnesses the brain power of o­nline players to train a set of powerful vision recognition algorithms.

SOUTHERN B*TCH is band of the week at Paste magazine. The name is appropos, too. But don't take my word for it; stream a few tunes from the band's MySpace page. In a Drive-By Truckers, Kings of Leon, Big Star, Rolling Stones sorta space. Nice.

MICK JAGGER UPDATE: Yesterday, I predicted that his mushy explanation of the new Rolling Stones track, "Sweet Neo Con," would annoy critics of President Bush. Sure enough, No Rock and Roll Fun calls him o­n it.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE will include a 7 track EP, entitled ep to be you and me, with their self-titled album in October. Pitchfork has a review and legal download link for a track from the forthcoming album.

WRECKLESS ERIC is not a fan of Coldplay. Or of Live Aid and Live 8. To put it mildly.

THE CUTE ONE will not buy back the rights to his Beatles tunes if Michael Jackson is forced to give them up, as they apparently will revert to Sir Paul in the not-too-distant future.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer is looked after in times of trouble by a 48 year-old fan.

KING WILKE: Want a taste of some bluegrass? My Old Kentucky Blog will hook you up with a guilt-free download from the band's site. Reminds me a little of Del McCoury, which is a good thing, Martha.

CBGB: The venerable nightclub wins a round in court o­n the issue of back rent, but trouble still looms ahead.

GREENHORNES: Coolfer Glenn reminds me that this nifty garage band's new EP, produced by the cool-in-his-own-right Brendan Benson, came out last week. One of the commenters notes that an older Greenhornes tune is featured in the new Jim Jarmusch movie, Broken Flowers, starring Bill Murray. That's absolutely right; the song is "There Is An End," a duet with Holly Golightly that sounds kinda like Dusty Springfield dueting with Eric Burdon and the Animals. There are samples from the EP streaming at the band's site.

IRAQ: Britain intercepted weapons being smuggled from Iran. A senior British official said he did not know the identity of the smugglers behind it but said it had the "fingerprints" of either Iran's Revolutionary Guard or the Lebanese based Hezbollah, both of which Tehran backs. An American accused in court papers of having ties to OBL is now working for the Iraqi government's Foreign Ministry, U.S. officials and a former CIA counterterrorism chief say.

A TOPLESS PROTEST against sexual harassment seems counter-productive, imho.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: King Norodom Sihamoni has signed a special decree giving Jolie Cambodian citizenship in recognition of her environmental work in the country. Does Aniston secretly hope to reconcile with Pitt? Or are those persistent Vince Vaughn rumors true? US magazine reports that Pitt went blonde at Jolie's request... to make him look more like her brother? Eewww.

JAMIE LEE CURTIS speaks out against cosmetic surgery among actresses: "The way they are injecting things and freezing things. People are looking like aliens."

MATT LeBLANC is hoping everyone (especially his wife) thinks he's just as stupid as the character he plays o­n Joey, but we all know what a lap dance is, don't we?

EDDIE MURPHY: His divorce may be due to his wife's belief that he's not as fun with her as he is with a tranny hooker.

COLIN FARRELL: Still keeping the sex video under wraps.

JENNIFER CONNELLY likes reading books, chatting o­n the phone and shopping o­nline during sex with her husband, actor Paul Bettany. If he wasn't having sex with Jennifer Connelly, I would almost feel sorry for the guy.

JESSICA SIMPSON sold cheap by her creepy Dad.

WHAT'S YOUR POP CULTURE LEXICON? Recent Harvard Law grad Amber Taylor lists her pop culture touchstones, but wants everyone to think about it. As Craig O'Neill o­nce called me a "gushing firehose of pop culture references," I'll just list a few that I use at this site:

Diner: "Every o­ne of my records means something! ...When I listen to my records they take me back to certain points in my life, OK?"
High Fidelity: "Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. First of all you're using someone else's poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing."
Almost Famous: "Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better when it really happened to you?" (of course, I use many others offline)
This Is Spinal Tap: Many, but especially, "Well, it's o­ne louder, isn't it?" and "Where are they now, the little people of... Stonehenge?"
It's A Wonderful Life: "Do you want the moon? If you want it, I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down for you..." After all, Pate has a song called "Rope Around The Moon." How could I not use it?
Casablanca: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going o­n in here!"

...not to mention heaps of song lyrics and references from Monty Python, The Simpsons and Seinfeld. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

WOODSY THE OWL is denounced as a coward by environmentalists.

IRAQ II: The Washington Post quotes an anonymous "top U.S. military official" as saying that Iraq's leaders and military will be unable to lead the fight against insurgents until next summer at the earliest. However, the WaPo also quotes the official as saying that a significant spring withdrawal was "still possible" and that primary military responsibility for some parts of Iraq could likely be handed over even before the elections. So I'm wondering where the WaPo thought there was news here.

OVER THERE: Steven Bochco's Iraq-based TV drama is seemingly fizzling in the ratings.

DOCUMENTING THE AMERICAN SOUTH is a project of the University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to Southern history, literature, and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century.

GOOD VIBRATIONS: The New York Times runs an article in advance of Saturday's rare performance of Joseph Schillinger's "First Airphonic Suite" that includes a concise history of the theremin (try BugMeNot pidmeoff, pidmeoff1234). The article also mentions the wonderful documentary, Theremin - An Electronic Odyssey.

9/11 COMMISSION staffers knew military intelligence officials had identified lead hijacker Mohammed Atta as a member of Al Qaeda who might be part of U.S.-based terror cell more than a year before the attacks but decided not to include that in its final report, a spokesman acknowledged Thursday. Commission officials said that the information had not been included in the 9/11 report because aspects of the military's account sounded inconsistent with what the commission knew about Atta. Imho, it would have been better to mention it, even if to discount or debunk it.

BEHIND THE CHEDDAR CURTAIN: A tale of repression o­n the frozen tundra of "Curly" Lambeau Field, as Larry Primeau, known better as the Packalope, will be barred from wearing his trademark headgear into the stadium. Primeau was enshrined as a fan member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER TEACHER charged with criminal sexual conduct with a student. The boy in question is 16, but is described as an eighth-grader, making the case even more odd.

WHO'S YOUR DADDY? About four percent of us might be surprised by the answer.

DEMOCRATIC DIAGNOSIS: According to Democracy Corps (run by ex-Clinton consultant James Carville and ex-Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg), dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq, the economy and health care costs might spell trouble for the GOP, but the Democrats' failure to connect with voters o­n national security and cultural issues could prevent their candidates from gaining in upcoming national elections.

NEWSPAPER REDESIGN is masterfully mocked in an internal memo by Hank Stuever, Style reporter for the Washington Post.

THE SOPRANOS: The Hollywood Reporter says that series creator/executive producer David Chase is close to finalizing a pact with HBO to produce as many as ten additional episodes for the upcoming sixth season, set to bow in March.

CULT OF THE iPod: Japanese musicians under contract to Sony and other labels that have not joined the iTunes music store are going over execs' heads, trying to get their music o­n the service, which debuted in Japan last week.

MICROSOFT plans to helping law enforcement agencies address computer-related crimes with a damages settlement obtained from "spam king" Scott Richter.

REMOTE CONTROL HUMANS: Researchers at the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Communication Science Laboratories have constructed a headphone-like apparatus that can steer a human by remote control.

THE HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE LAB is typically an isolated add-on that lacks clear goals, does not engage students in discussion and fails to illustrate how scientific methods lead to knowledge,according to a report by the National Research Council.

HYBRID CARS are now bigger, faster... and often only a little more fuel-efficient than comparable V-6 engines.

APPEARANCE MATTERS, even with websites, with designs appealing differently to men and women.

THE DOGS OF WAR: In Iraq, U.S. troops have dogs to detect explosives; the terrorists use dogs to deliver explosives. Despite a common prejudice in the Muslim world against dogs, which are considered unclean, even the most virulent clerical opponents of the U.S. presence in Iraq have decried the use of canines as proxies in the war.

CATS: Recently, I had a link to photos of jumping cats, but here is the super-sized set.

CANE TOAD THRILLER wins short film award down under: "Forget about global warming and the war o­n terrorism, cane toads is the big issue facing Territorians today and we've decided to address that issue and confront it face o­n," said filmmaker Kevin Cook.

JELLYFISH are all o­n holiday in Spain. The Red Cross said its lifeguards had treated almost 11,000 people for stings o­n beaches so far this season in the northeastern region of Catalonia alone.

HORSES are being sworn as Sheriff's Deputies in Snohomish County, WA. I was hoping for a Twin Peaks reference here, but most of that was shot in Snoqualmie, not Shonomish (which is not far from Craig O'Neill).

3195 Reads

Big Star, FoW, Magic Numbers, Ninja Turtles, Lemurs and the Goat King   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BIG STAR: Stereogum is killing music with a track from the band's upcoming album. I would not be surprised if it sounded very much like... Big Star. There's also a download of Chris Bell's "I Am The Cosmos."

THE POSIES' new album gets a mere 6.8 o­n the Pitchfork. I agree that the album is a bit uneven, but I was more generous without giving a number.

NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL INDIE COVERS, VOL. 1 popped up at Salon after it was taken down at You Ain't No Picasso. It's proven so poular that it's back up for a few days at YANP. I would never encourage anyone to kill music, but it's apparently very popular.

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE founders Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood reveal the top five things that make a great cover song.

RICHARD THOMPSON: To celebrate RT's new album, Chromewaves is killing music this week with Thompson's cover of "Oops... I Did It Again."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: If it's Thursday, the troubled singer must be back with galpal Kate Moss after smashing his guitar and setting his bed o­n fire.

RACHEL McADAMS, riding high between Wedding Crashers and Red Eye, is declared the new hotness over her old and busted Mean Girls co-star, Lindsay Lohan. A little ironic, given that McAdams is almost ten years older than la Lohan.

LOHAN LOWDOWN: After attending the Four Brothers premiere, la Lohan spent a lot of the after-party in the bathroom, according to Perez Hilton.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Feathers were ruffled o­n the Paramount Pictures lot when Soundstage 17 completely swathed — a la Christo — in black canvas so no o­ne could watch Cruise walk from his trailer to the set of Mission Impossible 3. Cruise ex Nicole Kidman was jumping out of her front-row seat at Madison Square Garden, grabbing her crotch and dancing "hip-hop style" to Eminem? Cruise is going to read that and think she's still possessed by a Thetan.  BTW, Cruise super-lawyer Bert Fields wants everyone to know that the story that Cruise o­nce had doubts about Scientology is false.

IRAQ: At Iraq the Model, Mohammed covers a protest for womens' rights under the new constitution, as well as a counter-protest, complete with photos and an interview. The New York Times ra a piece reporting that the Mayor of Baghdad was deposed by a Shiite militia, but the ex-Mayor's interview o­n Radio Free Iraq adds some context lacking in the NYT, which failed to note that the Mayor -- who was installed by the U.S. -- had already offered to resign and the new acting Mayor was elected by the local council. I'm not saying what happened was right, but the case is a bit more murky than reported.

BOZO IS NO BOZO and gets to hold o­n to his sweet rent-controlled apartment o­n West 58th Street in NYC.

MICK JAGGER denies that a song from the new Rolling Stones album, "Sweet Neo Con," is "personally aimed at President Bush," thereby alienating not o­nly Bush supporters, but also Bush critics who wish it was about him or see Jagger's comment as a dodge. Last October, Jagger had said, "I'm from the school that considers it impolite to comment o­n other people's elections." Now the election is over; perhaps more important, the tour tickets are sold. And the new Stones album will almost certainly sell more than Mick's last solo effort.

COURTNEY LOVE is putting the "court" back in Courtney, as a California judge ordered her to appear in court next week to respond to accusations that she took drugs while o­n probation. Will prosecutors enter these pictures from the Pam Anderson roast as evidence?

ALTHOUSE MUSIC: Prof. Ann Althouse has been music-blogging, with posts about over-the-top classic rock, and asking which five music performances would you like to have seen? Although my brother saw Rush open for Kiss for five bucks, o­ne of the Althouse commenters to the first link (Jim Lindgren, who blogs at the Volokh Conspiracy) actually saw -- among others -- Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin for five bucks, which is a pretty good deal. There's also a post about whether products remind you of songs, where the commenters seem to show that songs more often remind us of people.

THE 9/11 COMMISSION will investigate the claim that a military intelligence unit identified ringleader Mohammed Atta and three other hijackers as a likely part of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the hijackings but were stopped from sharing the information with law enforcement agencies by Pentagon lawyers.

WOMAN SUES OVER HER RESCUE, saying she was rescued too late to prevent serious brain damage. RELATED: Superheroes enter relocation program.

THE MAGIC NUMBERS, a band noted here recently, walked out o­n Top of the Pops after taking their introduction to be a joke about their members' weight. The band generally take comments about their size in good humor.

THE HOLD STEADY tour dates are posted at More Cowbell! Many dates in cities where Pate fans live. The Constantines will open.

DUNGEN is making another swing in the U.S. Longtime Pate fans should note that o­ne date is at a Unitarian Church.

STACY'S MOM totally bogarted the hot wings.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: Alexander Yakovlev, the U.N. procurement officer pleading guilty to fraud, could give prosecutors valuable evidence of wrongdoing at the organization. Benon Sevan, the head of the program accused of taking kickbacks, allegedly did so after losing money in a stock fraud. Also, Sevan has returned to Cyprus, which does not extradite its citizens.

RED-HEADED WOMEN are less likely to feel pain, according to preliminary findings that will be investigated in a study to be launched in Britain.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Via CNN, we learn that she blew her audition for the Mickey Mouse Club after hearing Xtina Aguilera. And her creepy ex-preacher manager Dad can't help but mention Jessica's accessories: "Somehow double D's don't really fit o­n the overall picture of what works in white Christian music." Page Six reports that despite rumors of marital dischord, Simpson seemed territorial over her hubby at an NYC club recently.

BRITNEY SPEARS is denying any involvement in the pellet-gun shooting of a photographer who was staking out a private baby shower for the singer in Malibu.

BRADGELINA UPDATE: A binoculars-toting reporter for People magazine was arrested Saturday for trespassing o­n Brad Pitt's oceanfront property in Santa Barbara, where a fourth birthday party was being held for Angelina Jolie's son, Maddox. Seems more reasonable than shooting him with a pellet gun.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON seems to be getting blamed for the flop of The Island by the movie's producers. Of course, o­ne of the producers also says, "It was a big risk to go out with an original," which is a laugh-snorter to anyone who compares The Island to this dog (as noted here earlier).

SAUDI ARABIA: While King Abdullah pardons political dissidents seeking more freedom in the kingdom, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced the release of five Saudis after they were returned to SA from Guantanamo Bay.

SORCERER'S APPRENTICES are studying at a Hogwarts-style college in Austria, which is doing well o­n the coattails of Potter-mania.

KELLY CARLSON: The Nip|Tuck hottie got possession of the life-size sex doll exactly in her image used o­n the show. She can't bring herself to sell it.

JOHHNY DEPP: Director Tim Burton graciously (and rightly) gives credit to Depp's role as Capt. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean for making studio execs comfy with the quirky actor. For his part, Depp jokes that he should make a porn flick with Burton.

KEVIN SMITH: The director and pal of Ben Affleck seems a bit miffed that he was not invited to Affleck's secret wedding to Jennifer Garner. But if Smith is going to crack a Gigli joke, he should expect that someone remember that the original Bennifer appeared in Smith's Jersey Girl, even though few probably will.

HEATH LEDGER AND MICHELLE PHILLIPS are engaged, which is nice, given how pregnant she is.

CINDY CRAWFORD: Caught partying hardy in St. Tropez.

TEACHER CLEARED of kiddie porn charge. An investigation turned up a violation of the school's "technology policy," but the school would not elaborate.

CULT OF THE iPod: Microsoft and Apple are engaged in ongoing legal combat over MP3 player-related patents, including some related to the iPod's super-cool touch-wheel controller.

LAPTOP LOJACK: Homing technology is coming to Gateway computers.

GOOGLE NEWS is now available via RSS feeds. For those who are unfamiliar with RSS, it is a way to syndicate material; for example, the entertainment headlines above my stuff at the top of the main page here is provided by an RSS feed. I think the random photo is also generated that way. And they are o­ne of the ways I am able to survey as much junk as I do to bring to you here.

YAHOO! says its search engine indexes nearly twice as many items as Google. Nevertheless, Yahoo admits that size isn't everything.

BLOG STUDY QUESTIONED: The comScore Media Matrix marketing study o­n blogs released this week is coming under fire, with some reason. I was a bit dubious when it came out, so I'm glad people are taking a hard look at improving the measurement of the reach of blogs as a medium.

FALLOW DEER bag a million dollar pad at the new nature zoo o­n Belle Isle in Detroit.

DOGS are divas in Hollywood.

CATS are getting toilet-trained. Video at the link.

SNAKES turn up in a post office box and in a UPS truck. You just cannot trust those snakes -- always trying to travel o­n the cheap.

IRVINE THE SEA LION set an Orange County distance record for wayward sea lions, swimming nearly five miles inland up a creek channel into the civic center in Irvine, CA.

NINJA TURTLES FACE DEPORTATION from Britain to Italy after horrified pre-school children witnessed them eating ducklings in a pond in north London.

GOAT crowned King of Ireland. No, really... but it's o­nly temporary.

DOZENS OF DECAPITATED KANGAROOS discovered o­n the Yarrambat Park golf course near Melbourne, Australia.

TWO NEW LEMUR SPECIES have been discovered in Madagascar. o­ne of them is being named after Steve Goodman, a Field Museum scientist who has devoted nearly two decades to studying the animals. The other should be named after Steve Goodman, the folk musician who wrote songs like "City of New Orleans" and "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request."

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Joe Tex, Juliana Hatfield, Bulls, Dogs and Animal Videos   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


THE DECEMBERISTS: B-sides and rarities are up at Pure Volume.

RICHARD THOMPSON: With the new album in stores, the Associated Press covers his busy schedule.

BEN FOLDS may seem kinder and gentler o­n Songs For Silverman, but he claims he's the same sarcastic bastard he was before.

SUFJAN STEVENS, who has asked interviewers that the topic of religion not be discussed in interviews from this point o­n, says that he is always trying to reconcile folk and classical forms of music.

JOE TEX: Yesterday would have been the soul great's brithday, prompting a profile at Power Line.

MARC COHN may be "Walking In Memphis," but he may want to start covering Bob Seger's "Get Out Of Denver" after getting shot in the head Sunday in the Mile High City. Joseph William Yacteen allegedly tried carjack the van belonging to the Grammy-winning singer after a concert, with a bullet grazing his tour manager in the driver's seat and lodging in Cohn's temple. Both were treated and released from the hospital.

JULIANA HATFIELD is "a confused, sloppy, childish, conflicted mess." That's a quote from her.

BEATLE ENVY: John Lennon always wished musicians would cover his songs as much as Paul McCartney's, according to Yoko o­no. But how many people are going to cover songs about Yoko o­no?

SINEAD O'CONNOR, ordained as a priest by a splinter Catholic group, says she has found solace in Jamaican music and the Rastafarian faith after recording her first reggae album in Jamaica. I expect to see her sporting dreads pretty soon.

IRAQ: Christopher Hitchens writes that "those who supported regime change should confront the idea of defeat, and what it would mean for Iraq and America and the world, every day." U.S. intelligence believes that a cache of manufactured bombs seized in Iraq about two weeks ago was smuggled into the country from Iran by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The Washington Post ran a piece o­n Zarqawi's use of the internet as a weapon.

AFGHANISTAN: Arthur Chrenkoff has a round up of good news, probably o­ne of his last due to a promotion at work.

REDSKINS on the warpath against scalping.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: There was a time, say insiders, when Cruise almost left the Church of Scientology. Seems like Cruise missed the rock 'n' roll stomp (uh-huh) at the Celebrity Centre, including a set from Issac Hayes. Meanwhile, Holmes -- contrary to prior reports -- has been signed for the Batman Begins sequel.

JESSICA ALBA: Egotastic has hi-res versions of those bikini adjustment pics o­nline.

XTINA thinks Britney Spears' career is over because "She's let herself go." Xtina is either o­ne of the few people o­n the planet who can make the very pregnant Spears seem smart by comparison or o­ne of the few who can make Spears seem classy by comparison.

KIERA KNIGHTLEY is back o­n the market. So if I should miss a day or two here at the site, you'll know I'm busy comforting her.

REESE WITHERSPOON is stunned at how many actresses dumb themselves down, tart themselves up, and generally tear down the achievements of feminism. Asked about the French Hotel and Jessica Simpson, Witherspoon replied, "I think they're selling a personality that's very marketable ... But creating a cultural icon out of someone who goes, 'I'm stupid, isn't it cute?' makes me want to throw daggers at them!"

JESSICA SIMPSON: "They’re like an accessory." And real, she says. Of course, the wax figure is totally fake, though it's tough to notice any difference.

BRUCE WILLIS reportedly appeared unannounced o­n the doorstep of a German family asking to see the house where he was born 50 years ago.

OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL: Buried in the Volcker Committee report is the notation that new e-mails suggesting that Secretary-General Kofi Annan knew more than he had said about his son's involvement in the program "clearly raises further questions" that would be answered in the final report. Half the 4,500 companies that took part in the program paid kickbacks or illegal surcharges and are being given a chance to respond to the accusations, two top investigators told The Associated Press.

PETA VS. NAACP: The civil-rights group did not take kindly to having slaves comapred to cows.

HARRY BELAFONTE may be spending too much time with the bananas o­n that famous boat. Comparing the Bush Administration to the Third Reich alienates most listeners and readers, but claiming that "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich" tends to make him sound like a raving lunatic. The Anti-Defamation League and the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies have called for Belafonte to apologize.

FILESHARING: The L.A. Times covers live music sharing, noting that the RIAA supports this kind of music trading as long as the artists approve.

ROBOTS are doing the Loco-Motion.

MALE AND FEMALE BRAINS: Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the autism research center at Cambridge University, argues that people with Asperger's syndrome exhibit what he calls an "extreme male brain."

MATH AND READING ABILITY is largely genetic, according to a new study from the Institute of Psychiatry.

NANOTECH: A strain of bacteria has surprised researchers with its ability to build conducting nanowires. Genetic engineering and systems biology may be able to manufacture wires with predetermined properties.

IRAQ II: There's more analysis of Operation Quick Strike at the Fourth Rail and the Belmont Club. Tuesday's briefing had a couple of choice nuggets from Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For example: "In the last 24 hours, 29 of the 35 operations -- these are the major operations -- conducted in Iraq were combined U.S. and Iraqi operations." Moreover, Gen. Myers said that Iraqis are now contracting for their own service support to five major training bases in Kirkush, Numiniyah, Umm Qasr, Rustamiyah and Tallil. And Gen. Myers referred to releasing non-public polling data showing that the insurgency is continuing to lose public support in Iraq. We'll see if it's ever released.

SAUDI ARABIA: o­n Monday, newly-installed King Abdullah ordered the pardon and release of three prominent political dissidents and their attorney who had been imprisoned for holding meetings and signing petitions advocating a new constitution for the kingdom.

BULL-FIGHTING IS OUT; Bull-jumping is in. Bull-slinging is timeless. Video at the link.

DOGS: In Germany, a Bull terrier has a fetish for lacy lingerie that results in surgery. At Flickr, a memorial for Joop attracts many well-wishers.

NEARLY 200 BEES sting four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt.

TIGER VS. CROCODILE: Video at the link.

OCTOPUS VS. SHARK: Video at the link.

CRAZY PENGUIN: Video at the link.

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