THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
KINKS KOMMERCIALS: Though everyone thinks of Pete Townshend doing The Who Sell Out, we're increasingly hearing Ray Davies placing Kinks songs for ads, including "All Day and All of the Night" for a new Tide campaign. "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" for IBM and "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy" for Abbott Labs. This follows the use of "Picture Book" in an award-winning ad for HP. The linked article misses that Ray got started with a toy story, even without the Kinks.
JINGLE ROCK: Of course, it's not just the classic rockers delving into advertising. I'm reminded that the Toronto Star ran a piece earlier this year on Jim Guthrie, who wrote "Hands in My Pocket" for a Capital One commercial. But the indie acts have proven more problematic for the business world. Pizza Hut rejected Ween's demos for obvious reasons. Nor did Yo La Tengo's Coke jingle, anti-smoking PSA or cellphone ad ever make the airwaves.
FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: The Optus Tennis Challenge. It doesn't get much more mindless than this.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, INDIE ROCK: The soundtrack for the videogame Major League Baseball 2K6 will include Belle and Sebastian, Guided By Voices, Interpol, Pavement, Preston School of Industry, Stephen Malkmus, Yo La Tengo and more...
YO LA TENGO: Speaking of which, YANP posted more covers from the WFMU pledge drive request set. Thank Ken King for reminding me.
NEKO CASE lives in Chicago and likes to kick off her tours in the Twin Cities: "We always feel like audiences there really care when we play. They don't have that weird self-consciousness you see in other cities. That's Midwestern hospitality, I guess." You can hear her at her newly revamped website, with podcasting to come on tour.
CENTRO-MATIC may have Guided by Voices-like song fragments and a touch of high-plains Texas twang, but Will Johnson tells Creative Loafing that he still favors songs bursting with fuzzed-out, feedback-happy guitars, atom-mashing bass and drums, and we-dare-you-not-to sing-along vocals: "We like choruses. S--t, the Replacements did it, and I was weaned on that, and a lot of my favorite bands do it to this day." Check 'em out at MySpace.
SEEN YOUR VIDEO: VH1 Classic has auctioned off hours of programming for Hurricane Katrina relief, so this Sunday the channel will air the English and German versions of Nena's "99 Luftballons" for an entire hour. But if you can't wait until Sunday, there is always YouTube.
FEIST: Arts & Crafts is compiling Open Season, which will feature demo and acoustic versions of songs, remixes, collaborations and songs that were recorded for Let It Die, but didn't make the cut. She already has a alternate video for "Mushaboom" You can also hear the Postal Service remix that will appear on Open Season, though it will take a moment to load up at the Hype Machine.
THE RACONTEURS: Scots report on the semi-supergroup's second-ever gig at Stereogum. There's also a link to their video.
DIAMOND NIGHTS: Brooklyn Vegan publishes an e-mail from Minnesota Public Radio complaining about the band's behavior during an instudio performance at SXSW. He also links you to the performance.
CHRISSIE HYNDE and former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones share a tender memory of a liaison in a bathroom at a party in the mid-70s. Hynde said the most memorable thing about that encounter was that she briefly dropped her vegetarian ways and ate a piece of meat afterwards. That's afterwards, so get your mind out of the gutter.
THE NEW STANDARDS: The Pate generation may remember Chan Poling of the Suburbs and John Munson of Semisonic (and Trip Shakespeare). They're two-thirds of a band that is recording jazz versions of indie faves including Beck's "The New Pollution," The Clash's "London Calling" and The Replacements' "I Will Dare." Replacements fans may recall that Poling played piano on "Sixteen Blue," another track from Let It Be, where he was credited as appearing "no thanks to PolyGram Records."
THE FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne is eminently quotable for London's Telegraph, but my fave may be this: "Art's only worthwhile if you really have something inside of you that you have to get out, I think. I'm not saying it to change the world. I'm just saying it to change myself."
PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer pleaded guilty to possession of pot, crack and heroin, then kicked a microphone from a BBC reporter's hand while leaving the courthouse.
BRITNEY SPEARS is the subject of a pro-life monument that probably won't be good publicity for Spears or the pro-life movement. Meanwhile, rumors of her second pregnancy wax and wane depending on whether she did or did not drink at Spenderline's birthday party, where the couple was cozy, but Spears did not wear her ring.
NOW SHOWING: This week's wide releases are Spike Lee's Inside Man (82 percent Fresh on the Tomatometer), as well as the apparently unscreened but probably critic-proof Stay Alive (teen horror) and Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (presumably a comedy).
STING has asked about setting up a fantasy sex party with notorious orgy organizer Palagia, according to Page Six, citing Palagia's rep. A rep for Sting said: "This is so absurd I can't even comment."
JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde is going into the hair extension business. And if the picture of Simpson at the link is any indicator, she will fail spectacularly. Meanwhile, future ex Nick Lachey is following the Justin Timberlake model by making a video to buld sympathy.
SHARON OSBOURNE was crowned Celebrity Mum of the Year Wednesday. That unlikely feat was made easier by the competition, which included supposedly sober supermodel Kate Moss. OTOH, Sharon's daughter Kelly supported Moss as a candidate.
BRADGELINA: Pitt is looking a little haggard lately. Pitt's desire to spend more time with his new family may be complicating plans for Ocean's 13 and annoying George Clooney.
CARMEN ELECTRA is now personally denying her marriage to Dave Navarro is on the rocks, noting that she's still wearing her wedding ring. Indeed, she's spicing things up with a rhinestone whip and rhinestone handcuffs. No word on whether she's tried the pasta trick on Dave yet. BTW, is Dave wearing his ring?
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT star Jason Bateman suggests Showtime wants to pick up the acclaimed comedy for at least two seasons.
GRAPHIC NOVELS: From American Splendor to V for Vendetta, the Ottawa citizen examines why graphic novels are becoming fodder for Hollywood movies and a literary phenomenon. The article glosses over the quote from collector Erin Collins that mentions storyboards. The folks who made the Matrix trilogy are on record explaining how their comic-style storyboards helped sell the film to a studio and creates economy when shooting it.
BEARDS are back in style, according to The New York Times, which cites George Clooney, Heath Ledger, Hugo Weaving and Tim Harrington -- the lead singer of the rock band Les Savy Fav -- as examples of the trend. If only they had seen Michael Douglas...
THE DEATH OF CHEF: If you missed the highly-rated South Park season premiere Wednesday night, you can see the thinly-veiled satire on Scientology and the dust-up with Issac Hayes via YouTube.
THE EASTER BUNNY has been booted from the lobby of the City Council offices in St. Paul, as he could be offensive to non-Christians.
THE FRENCH HOTEL is back in full-on man-eating mode. Apparently, she can't stop at literally making a cartoon of herself.
IRAQ: At ITM Mohammed looks at the upcoming "third stage" of political negotiations, the structure of the national security committee, and how it may keep Ibrahim al-Jafari in place as Prime Minister. Comedy Central is hosting video of Jon Stewart's Daily Show interview with Gen. Georges Sada, the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force, who says Iraq moved WMDs into Syria before the invasion. Sada has an interesting backstory, too.
CARTOON JIHAD: Imam Ahmed Akkari -- the spokesman for the Danish Muslim organizations which led the protest against the Muhammed cartoons -- was caught on hidden camera suggesting that a moderate Muslim politician be blown up if he becomes Foreign or Immigration Minister. He was kidding, of course. ALSO: Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor for Reuters, wrote a story claiming "The strong Western response to a threatened death sentence for an Afghan convert to Christianity looks something like a mirror image of the Muslim reaction to the Prophet Mohammad caricatures printed in the European press." Apparently, someone at Reuters figured out how wacky this was, because Heneghan was singing a different tune by dinnertime.
BELARUS: Police in Minsk have detained scores of demonstrators camped in a central square to protest President Alexander Lukashenko’s victory in a disputed election. Publius Pundit wonders what will happed to the massive demonstration planned for today...
BOAVISTA THE GREYHOUND, owned by actor Vinnie Jones, won the £55,000 Irish Cup last month, capping a 24-course unbeaten run. But was he juiced?
DOGS and their owners eat at the same table at The Paradise Pet club in Shanghai.
ADWAITYA, a tortoise given to Robert Clive of the British East India Company by British sailors from the Seychelles in 1775, passed away Wednesday night. Born in 1750, London's Times reminds us just how old that is.
COCKROACHES are the latest thing in jewelry. Video of the still living, crystal-studded hissing roaches at the link.