THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...with OTIS REDDING! Otis and the Bar-Kays crank up the energy to 11 for Ready Steady Go, crashing through "Satisfaction," "My Girl" and his own "Respect" in Part 1, and "I Can't Turn You Loose," "Shake" and a bit of "Land of 1000 Dances" in part 3, joined by Eric Burdon and Chris Farlowe on the latter. I don't know where Part 2 is, but I want to know! Anyway, there is much go-go dancing, so get to it.
THE 15 WORST ALBUMS by Great Bands, according to the Rolling Stone blog.
NEKO CASE: Her lingerie is up for auction on eBay. No, really.
WLS, Chicago's 50000-watt radio blowtorch, will be broadcasting and streaming its most legendary DJ's live from 5AM - Midnight CDT on Monday.
PEOPLE'S BAR & GRILL, site of the 2003 Pate reunion, will be closing its doors - at least in Ames, IA - May 31. (via Ken King.)
ANTSY McCLAIN and the Trailer Park Troubadours poke light fun at the collection of weirdos, party animals and young loves McClain knew growing up in a series of trailer parks in Kentucky. McClain's latest CD, Trailercana, features cameos from Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Bobby Cochran of Steppenwolf, Tommy Smothers, and Bonnie Bramlett. NPR has an audio feature plus four songs, including "I Was Just Flipped Off by a Silver-Haired Old Lady with a 'Honk If You Love Jesus' Sticker on the Bumper of Her Car."
THE ULTIMATE 90s ALT-ROCK PLAYLIST, according to Matthew Yglesias, who is now blogging at The Atlantic Online.
RICHARD X. HEYMAN, an acolyte of the Todd Rundgren school of lone-wolf power-pop, makes Song of the Day at NPR with "I'm That Kind of Man." And he's one of our friends at PateSpace.
THE BLACK KEYS are offering a free EP for download at TheirSpace.
SURF'S UP: The Ventures play "Hawaii 5-0."
RYAN ADAMS: An Aquarium Drunkard strikes again, this time pointing you to the unofficial Destroyer sessions from 2000.
THE HANDSOME FURS tell Hour.ca that they have received "attention" from PETA and the Animal Liberation front, along with the occasional death threat. You can stream a few of the duo's latest tracks via TheirSpace.
THE BEASTIE BOYS: Former Music Works patrons may remember the Boys' first "hip-hop" effort, "Cookie Puss" as Paul Miller's favorite way to drive customers out of his store. FYI, Cookie Puss was a Carvel's specialty character ice cream cake; the track features a prank call to the local Carvel's store... and is probably NSFW.
MAN MAN singer Ryan Kattner, a/k/a Honus Honus, tells the Denver Post that sincerity is important, even for an avant-pop band: "You have to be genuine about what you do, even if you're singing about heartbreak while wearing a gorilla suit." If you're intrigued by that, but haven't heard the band, I would re-link to their video for "Engrish Bwuud" and their live take on "Van Helsing's Boombox" for Dutch TV.
THE CUTOUT BIN: This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Dick Dale & the Dale-Tones - Miserlou; The Clash - I Fought the Law; Thin Lizzy - Jail Break; Stealer's Wheel - Stuck in the Middle With You; Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire; Jonathan Richman - Roadrunner; The Soft Boys - Positive Vibrations; The Polyphonic Spree - Running Away; The Left Banke - I've Got Something on My Mind; The Electric Prunes - I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night; The Monkees - P.O. Box 9847; Dean And Britta - Words You Used to Say; Sly & Family Stone - Family Affair; Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - Tramp; Booker T & the MGs - Soul Limbo; The English Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom; Gang Of Four - I Love a Man in a Uniform; B-52s - Dance This Mess Around; Feist - 1, 2, 3, 4; The Ditty Bops - Bye Bye Love; The Beach Boys - Let Him Run Wild; The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me; M. Ward - Let My Love Open The Door; Nick Drake - Time of No Reply; and Big Star - I'm In Love With A Girl.
PIRATES of the CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END continues this summer's streak of lesser third installments to blockbuster franchises. The flick gets off to a very promising start (including Keira Knightley in a skimpy outfit) and has a decent ending (per usual, make sure to stay past the credits), but that mid-section... oy! If you thought the plot of Dead Man's Chest was convoluted, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Each of the cast pursues sufficiently diverging agendas that the movie labors -- and nearly collapses -- under its own weight in a flabby second act. And as with Spider-Man 3, a nasty kludge or three is required to get the plot on track in the third act. It's a tribute to the likability of the cast -- and the fact that the screenwriters get a lot of the smaller accents right -- that the movie manages to stay sufficently afloat to get to there. Not a bad movie, but mediocre in comparison to the original.
NOW SHOWING: Aside from the Pirates, who are currently scoring only 51 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's sole wide release is William Friedkin's latest stab at the horror-suspense genre, Bug, which is scoring 55 percent. The late Adrienne Shelly's Waitress, starring Keri Russell, snuck into the Top Ten last weekend in limited release; it expands to over 500 screens with a score of 89 percent.
JOHNNY DEPP claims it was "awkward" to kiss the decades-younger Keira Knightley in the Pirates movies, but she begged for it. He has also said that while he would be up for more Pirates movies -- under the right circumstances -- he understands Knightley's though's about quitting acting: "I have probably had those thoughts regularly about every 11 minutes for the last 20 years."
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, btw, won 3,000 pounds in libel damages on Thursday over a newspaper slur that she was excessively thin. And just for fun, here's Keira with a cute baby elephant in a photo shoot for Vogue magazine.
ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, so her creepy half-sister would like to take her place.
SARAH JESSICA PARKER says her four-year-old son has started to quiz her about homosexuality -- because so many of her and her Matthew Broderick's friends are gay. NTTAWWT.
BALD CELEBS: Britney Spears apparently inspired the Photoshoppers at Worth 1000. I had to laugh that someone Photoshopped Natalie Portman before realizing she had shaved her head while shooting V for Vendetta.
NATALIE PORTMAN, btw, is reportedly sharing more than laughs with SNL funnyman Adam Sandberg.
INDIANA JONES IV: Cinematic Happenings Under Development has possible plot spoilers and a casting spoiler.
PAM ANDERSON tells London's Sun how she broke the news of her sex tape with ex-hubby Tommy Lee to their kids.
ROSIE O'DONNELL blogs that she has "no idea" whether she will return to The View after Wednesday's blow-up and clarifies that she does not think the US militray are terrorists for killing civilians in Iraq, but that "the cowards who sent r troops to this war... those men r the terrorists." Apparently, the "just following orders" defense still works for Rosie, though it does not work for the US military. She also avoids the fact that the US does not target civilians, while it is the standard operating procedure of terror groups.
UH-OH: Planet of the Apes is running on the History Channel on Saturday? Did I miss something?
ISLAMISM in AUSTRALIA: Taxi drivers who refuse to carry blind people with guide dogs face fines of up to 1100 dollars, the NSW Government warned today amid outrage at the biased practice. Vision Australia's head of policy and advocacy Michael Simpson said the problem was worse in the Sydney metropolitan area where there were more drivers unwilling to carry dogs based on Muslim objections.
IRAQ: The WaPo reports on a classified plan (thanks) for a revised US strategy of protecting Iraq's population in trouble areas; building up the Iraqi Army and ministries, purging Iraq's leadership of a small but influential number of officials and commanders whose sectarian and criminal agendas are thwarting US efforts, and reaching out to grass-roots groups such as tribes, religious leaders and provincial administrators that are moving forward on reconciliation efforts. The piece notes the involvement of Gen. Petraeus's senior counterinsurgency adviser, David J. Kilcullen, whom I have been mentioning and linking for some time here. In an unprecedented step, a top leader of the pro-US tribal alliance in Anbar Province traveled to Sadr City Tuesday to meet with Sadrist leaders. The Sadrist current and the Anbar Salvation Front have very different relationships to the Maliki government and the US occupation forces. However, the two groups share similar interests in opposing al Qaeda and building their political images as nationalists with an agenda that can include all Iraqis. London's Guardian has a piece claiming that the Bush Admin. is developing plans to "internationalize" the Iraq war, including an expanded role for the UN, as a way of reducing US responsibility for Iraq's future and limiting domestic political fallout as the 2008 election season approaches... but it's sourced to a single, anonymous ex-Admin. official, so a grain of salt there.
ARMANI, a one-year-old, four-pound, 18-inch capuchin monkey, is in the custody of the Montgomery County Division of Animal Control and Humane Treatment, suspected of being an illegal resident under Maryland's wild animal law. The owner might try arguing that Armani is just here doing jobs that American monkeys won't do.
AN ORANGUTAN escaped from his cage at same Taiwan zoo where a crocodile recently chomped off a veterinarian's arm... and headed straight for the food court. There are two videos at that link, though I think this one works, too.
WAYWARD WHALES UPDATE: The whales in the Port of Sacramento are getting a break after recordings of clanging pipes, feeding humpbacks and killer orcas failed to induce the pair to head downriver.
MARK McGOWAN plans to eat a Corgi in protest of the inability of the RSPCA to prosecute Prince Philip and his friends for shooting a fox this year. RSPCA chiefs blasted the stunt.
A THREE-DAY-OLD FAWN in Des Moinse, IA, survived the grisly death of its twin and its mother, who tried to jump a metal fence and became impaled. Awww...some pic and video at the link.