THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...
...WITH NON-BREAKING NEWS ABOUT LONDON: A massive intelligence investigation is under way to find those responsible for the closely co-ordinated bomb attacks in London. The Wall Street Journal reports that the British are seeking a Moroccan man, Mohamed Guerbouzi, in connection with the attacks. If correct, it could be a major development in the investigation. Coverage evolves at the Wikipedia. The U.S. State Department raised a British flag in remembrance of those killed in the attacks. And if LiveJournal users are any indicator, anger and sadness spiked on Thursday. Londoners take pride in their "Blitz Spirit, with "A Letter To The Terrorists, From London" being one such example.
SO WHAT DOES BOB MOULD THINK? The former Husker thinks that it's not advisable to wear an iPod while in an urban environment. Moby, who was in NYC on 9/11, issues condolences and quotes the Quran. And in case you missed it yesterday, Duran Duran is unharmed.
ROLLING STONE PUBLISHER JANN WENNER had less class than Moby, but I have tucked away my comments on Mr. Wenner at the "Read more" link at the end of today's entry.
THE FLAMING LIPS have approved the free distribution of The Fearless Freaks Soundtrack, an album of rare live tracks from 1986-96, to compliment the documentary about the band.
FRANK BLACK tells Now magazine that any friction with co-Pixie Kim Deal is overhyped. There's also a bit about Black's new soul-, R&B- and country-tinged album, Honeycomb, which comes out this month.
THE AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FEST schedule is up.
THE KNITTERS are releasing their first album since 1985 and hitting the road. Read the whole thing if you want to realize just how old you are.
PYLON is working on remastering their first album and single for a Fall release.
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH'S Lee Sargent are Tyler Sargent are interviewed at Tiny Mix Tapes.
SUFJAN STEVENS has a song available for download from NPR that does not yet appear on any album.
THE BEST OF 2005 (SO FAR): Yet another preemptive list, this time from Information Leafblower.
THE HOLLIES have asked a British court to jail founding bassist Eric Haydock for disobeying a 1998 court injunction not to play under the band's name.
IRON & WINE'S "Such Great Heights" backs a commercial for M&Ms. I hope Sam Beam was paid the rumored 500 large.
THE TOP 13 MOST OVERRATED SONGS, courtesy of Blogcritics.
ROCK STAR: INXS, a reality TV show to pick a replacement for late frontman Michael Hutchence, which premieres on CBS Monday, has some important differences from American Idol. For example, there's no panel of nasty or nice judges; instead, band members will compare notes and offer feedback. RHCP and Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro will serve as a mentor and coach.
PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Galpal Kate Moss is not inviting any of her friends to her wedding to the troubled singer unless they give their unconditional backing to their nuptials. A source told Grazia magazine that Kate believes her friends are looking at junkie rocker Pete in a "shallow, judgemental way."
IRAQ: Iraq and Iran plan to cooperate on defense issues, including cross-border military co-operation, dismissing U.S. concerns about Iranian regional meddling. Sen. Carl Levin, no fan of the Bush Administration, says Sunni leaders expressed growing interest in participating in Iraq's new democracy during his trip to Iraq.
THE G8 SUMMIT: Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati talks to Der Spiegel about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem.
ZSA ZSA GABOR suffered a stroke, her second. Her doctors are very optimistic that she will recover.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise reportedly wants to give Holmes flying lessons. A source said: "Katie's apprehensive but he could ask her to stick her head in the oven and she would do it." Or maybe not: Holmes says not ready to marry "right now." War Of The Worlds has been blamed for a mass panic in Siberia after locals mistook a tornado for an alien invasion. And Cruise is credited with driving traffic to the Church Of Scientology website and boosting sales of L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON is a follower of John-Roger, who calls himself the Preceptor Consciousness and considers himself above Jesus Christ. And she married (and divorced) a millionaire who turned out to prefer men. But at least she's not jumping on my couch.
STEVEN SPIELBERG has started filming his next movie, which is about the Israeli agents sent to track down and assassinate the Palestinians believed to have killed 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games massacre in Munich.
BRADGELINA UPDATE: Although Jolie emphasizes that she's adopting the Ethiopian AIDS orphan as a single mother, Pitt is along for the trip to pick up the newborn girl. Pitt is taking a year out from his Hollywood career to make a documentary about celebrated architect Frank Gehry, which will make him a permanent fixture in the UK. But don't read too much into that.
BRITNEY SPEARS may be carrying twins.
THE NOT-SO-FANTASTIC FOUR? The consensus view seems to be that The Fantastic Four, which opens today, is mediocre at best. Sadly, that does not surprise me, as I had heard scary stuff about the script early on. Indeed, it seems that the publicity and the premiere were cursed. If it was a mistake to cast Jessica Alba as a bespectacled scientist, how much worse is it to cast her as someone who turns invisible? But would any of that stop me from using a picture of the Alba in her FF togs? Clearly not.
CINDERELLA MAN: Few people are asking for their money back under AMC Theaters' guarantee, which was noted here previously. I'm pleasantly surprised to see so few opportunists.
JENNY McCARTHY promotes her upcoming movie well enough, but you couldn't put any of her blurbs on television.
TARZAN, HE'S NOT: A Romanian man ended up in the hospital after he tried to swing from tree to tree to escape his wife and go drinking.
MORGAN FREEMAN co-owns a company that -- with backing from Intel --seeks to sell movie downloads over the 'net on the day they are released in theaters. "I live in Mississippi, in a very small town," Freeman said by telephone. "In order for me to see a first-run movie, I have to drive a couple of hours at a high rate of speed. For me and many consumers like me, this will be a godsend. I will be able to get premium content safely and cheaply."
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: E! online frets that Johnny Depp's Wonka will remind us of Michael Jackson. Ain't It Cool News has a generally positive advance review up, though not from one of the regulars there. It seems that people who have seen it aren't fretting. Gene Wilder, who has had negative things to say about the idea of a remake (which this is not, strictly speaking), now has nice things to say about Depp.
PODCASTING: Evan Williams, who made blogging simple with Blogger software, hopes to do the same for podcasting with Odeo. Fast Company magazine has a 60 second interview.
SUPREME COURT: Coulumnist and self-described prince of darkness Robert Novak writes that ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist also will announce his retirement before the week is over. Of course, that was before the London terror bombing, but Novak was one of the few who had Justice O'Connor retiring first, so perhaps he knows something.
ODD UNDERWEAR FOR MEN AND WOMEN is reviewed in the Village Voice. And it's not particularly kinky... just odd.
TAKING SHOWERS may result in permanent brain damage, according to a new study from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. So maybe some of that odd underwear is less odd than I thought.
THE CHURCH OF BEES: It sounds like something from the Robyn Hitchcock catalog, but a church about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh has been infested with over a million bees; the problem has gotten so bad that honey oozes through its walls.
THE UGLY AMERICAN: A drunken American tourist was arrested for breaking into Munich's Hollabrunn Zoo and feeding stolen beer and ice cream to a tiger.
ROLLING STONE PUBLISHER JANN WENNER had less class than Moby: "Violence rarely gets us anywhere; the PLO, the IRA, the SLA, among others have achieved so little with their terrorism. If the London bombings are the work of an Al Qaeda offshoot, then you have to fairly say, in the same way we condemn other's terror, this is in part the result of Bush's War on Iraq." I have to fairly say that the savage killing of innocent Britons is entirely the fault of the terrorists who actually did the bombings and that I do not see our government or our troops as in any way equivalent to them.
If violence rarely gets us anywhere, Jann needs to account for the Revolutionary War, The Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea and even the Gulf War (to name but a few). Also, the millions of Iraqis who just voted for the first time in 50 years and the two-thirds of Iraqis who say their country is headed in the right direction might disagree with Jann as to whether any good ever comes of violence.
As for whether terror groups accomplish anything, Jann needs to account for Hezbollah terror getting the U.S. out of Lebanon in 1983; IRA terror puting IRA men in charge of key government departments in Northern Ireland, and getting IRA bombers and gunmen released from jail; the periodic releases of members of Hamas and other such groups from Israeli prisons in response to suicide bombings; and Al Qaeda terror getting Spain out of Iraq.
Non-violence works well against the civilized; I doubt Ghandi or the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been as successful against Saddam Hussein or head-hacking jihadis. If we must be non-violent to avoid angering Islamic extremists, the Committee on Vice and Virtue will soon turn up on Wenner's doorstep to teach him the effectiveness of violence, because Al Qaeda demands that Americans must convert to Islam or die, regardless of our liberation of Iraq.
But this is the type of wisdom one expects from the publisher of Rolling Stone, the magazine that trashed "Layla," broke up Cream, and ripped every album that Led Zeppelin made.