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MMJ, Shearwater, James Hunter, The Hulk, Muschi & Meauschen   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 16, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

MY MORNING JACKET drummer Patrick Hallahan lists common misconceptions about the band for the Toronto Star. Frontman Jim James "spins" clips featuring James Brown, Jim Henson, Muhammad Ali and John Prine as TubeVJ for a day at Velocity Weekly. (Thx, LHB.)

SHEARWATER hit DC's Black Cat last night, so you should be able to stream the gig on demand via NPR.

LEONARD COHEN is profiled in the Independent as he sets out on his first British tour for 15 years.

JAMES HUNTER brought his classic-tinged soul to the World Cafe on Friday; you can stream his set on demand via NPR.

JIM DICKINSON and the North Mississippi All-Stars: sort of a Father's Day story.

LOVE IS ALL does an art-punk take on the  Flock of Seagulls' classic "I Ran (So Far Away," sans the asymmetric haircuts.

WILL JOHNSON explains the duality of his bands -- the noisy Centro-matic and the contemplative South San Gabriel -- to the Boston Globe.

FLEET FOXES are "the Beach Boys gone feral," according to the Observer -- and it seems that Robin Pecknold has a little of Brian Wilson's reclusive streak as well: "The Foxes are still green enough to be humbled by the applause. 'I spend most of my time in my parents' basement,' confesses Pecknold sweetly, 'so this is very strange.'"

WEEZER frontman Rivers Cuomo is interviewed for NPR's Weekend Edition about changes to the band's music and the brave new world of the Internet. There's also a sidebar from a first-time Weezer listener.

BETTYE LaVETTE talks to Chicagoland's Northwest Herald about preserving her voice and returning to Alabama to record "The Scene Of The Crime."

THE INCREDIBLE HULK: Mr. Green Genes returns to the big screen in a film that is much more what people expect than Ang Lee's 2003 take, with plenty of "Hulk smash" action, though not as good as this summer's adaptation of Iron Man. Ed Norton makes for a more convincing Bruce Banner than Eric Bana, and reportedly polished the screenplay from Zak Penn (who has plenty of experience adapting Marvel comics, including X2 and X-Men 3, Elektra, and the Fantastic Four).  Variety's Anne Thompson has the backstory on Norton's struggle with the studios.  Liv Tyler's Betsy Ross suffers by comparison to Jennifer Connelly, but the script gives her enough time that the viewer cares about her fate as well as that of Banner.  (We can hope the DVD will include the outtakes where Tyler splits her pants repeatedly.)  William Hurt brings his own twist to Gen. "Thunderbolt" Ross; one suspects that we have not seen the last of him.  Tim Roth is suitably nasty as Emil Blonsky, the core villain of the piece.  Stan Lee and original TV Hulk Lou Ferrigno are only two of the cool cameos.

The weaknesses of the film are generally what I always found to be the weaknesses of the comic.  The Hulk - at least the classic Hulk - is inherently simplistic, a manifestation of suppressed rage.  He is so powerful that he is most often opposed by either the military or a comparable behemoth, and there is nothing new on that front in this movie. One of the great bonuses of the film is that Marvel Studios continues to bring the audience into the wider Marvel Universe.  Those who have seen Iron Man will spot some familiar names; comics geeks will recognize the allusions to the Captain America saga. Non-comics geeks reading this will be able to deduce what those allusions are.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The Incredible Hulk won the weekend with 54.5 million -- not as good as the 2003 opening, but exceeding projections with an impressive per screen average and likely more legs than the 2003 version.  Overall it ranks about average for a Marvel movie opening. It opened bigger than the last major comics-franchise reboot, 2005's Batman Begins, and is the best debut ever for Edward Norton and Ed Norton's hair. Kung Fu Panda placed second, falling a respectable 43% to 34.3 million -- it seems likely to end up somewhere between Shark Tale and Madagascar in the Dreamworks catalog, and a big seller on DVD at the holidays.  M. Night Shyamalan' The Happening came in third with 30 million -- beating expectations, though nowhere near the opening of Signs or even The Village.  Bad buzz will likely cause a big tumble next weekend.  You Don't Mess with the Zohan fell a stiff 57% to 16.4 million -- not as good as Adam Sandler's other recent movies over this time span, but okay.  Rounding out the top five is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which remains a little ahead of Iron Man over the same time frame for top earner this summer.

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE have reportedly turned to the Kabbalah to help them through their latest marital problems, taking private his-and-hers ‘teachings' at their local center in Oxford Street, London, every Friday night.

R. KELLY was acquitted of child pr0n charges that he appeared on a videotape having sex with a girl as young as 13. Several jurors said one weakness in the prosecution's case was that neither the alleged victim nor her parents testified, even though 14 people personally identified the girl and 12 of them identified Kelly.  Classic celebrity justice.

GEORGE CLOONEY has been dating a woman in her mid-30s" for months now, even before he split with Sarah Larson, according to Page Six.

SIENNA MILLER, who is rumored to be separated from her Welsh actor boyfriend Rhys Ifans, thinks she is too selfish to have children right now.

TONY ROMO denies rumors that creepy dad-manager Joe Simpson has been meddling in his nearly seven-month-old courtship of the pneumatic Jessica.

ADRIANNA LIMA received an engagement ring Thursday night - her birthday - from basketball star Marko Jaric. Let's celebrate by checking out her last photoshoot and video for GQ.  And her new photoshoot for Elle.

NAOMI CAMPBELL almost tumbled to the ground after a night out with friends in Italy. Pics at the link.

KID ROCK was rushed to the hospital minutes before he was to head on stage Friday, suffering from stomach cramps and dehydration.  It seems unlikely that Kid Rock would ever be short of hydration.

TERROR in the UK: More secret government documents detailing the UK's policies towards fighting global terrorist funding, drugs trafficking and money laundering have been found on a London-bound train and handed to 'The Independent on Sunday'.

THE STANS: Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened Sunday to send Afghan troops after notorious Taliban leaders inside Pakistan in an angry warning to his eastern neighbor that he will no longer tolerate cross-border attacks.

THE A.Q. KHAN weapons smuggling ring that sold bomb-related parts to Libya, Iran and North Korea also managed to acquire blueprints for an advanced nuclear weapon, according to a draft report by a former top UN arms inspector that suggests the plans could have been shared secretly with any number of countries or rogue groups.

IRAQ: Prime Minister al-Maliki said negotiations over the security pact with the US had reached "a dead end"... but would continue, while rebuffing Iranian overtures. "Dr. iRack" looks at the positioning of different factions over the proposed pact. Moqtada al Sadr ordered the Sadrist political movement to boycott the upcoming provincial elections, one day after his order to disband the Mahdi Army as a fighting force and the creation of a small, armed wing to attack Coalition forces exclusively. The Iraqi Army has begun an offensive against the Mahdi Army in Maysan province. The US Army detained a senior Mahdi Army commander in Baghdad. Iraqi Special Operations Forces captured two Mahdi Army operatives in Baghdad.

MUSCHI & MAEUSCHEN:  This odd couple are so close that zookeepers in Berlin have had to reunite the pair after they were separated.  More pics at the link.

A SPIDER MONKEY new to the the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City, IN, used a garden hose to scale the walls of a moat and make a break for freedom.

A LEATHERBACK TURTLE has nested on a Texas beach, at the Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi, for the first time since the 1930s.

NEARLY 800 RATS have been trapped from one house in Sutherlin, OR.

MAN & SHEEPDOG survive a 220 ft. plunge off a cliff.  The dog fared better than the driver.

3912 Reads

Thin Lizzy, Bonnaroo, Jamie Lidell, Cutout Bin, Uppity Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 13, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THIN LIZZY!  Won't be long 'till Summer comes, now that Thin Lizzy is back in rotation.  Here's Phil Lynott & Co. live at the Sydney Opera House in 1978, playing "Jailbreak," "Bad Reputation," "Cowboy Song," "The Boys Are Back In Town," "Waiting For An Alibi," and "Are You Ready?"

BONNAROO: You can listen live to selected sets from this weekend's big fest at AT&T's Blueroom starting with the Drive-By Truckers at 12:30 EDT today.

MISSION OF BURMA: Roger Miller talks to the Boston Herald about playing their Vs. album live for the Pitchfork/ATP fest this year.

IRON & WINE: Sam Beam stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

SILVER JEWS mastermind David Berman talks to Prefix about the upcoming album and its musical simplicity.  He is also the subject of an essay at the Village Voice.

JAMIE LIDELL brought his own brand of four-eyed soul to the Peacock network with this take on "Another Day."

FLEET FOXES lead singer Robin Pecknold talks to Drowned In Sound about how the band came together, songwriting and more...

THE TOP 25 GUITAR SONGS, according to Rolling Stone readers, as opposed to writers. Oof.

WOLF PARADE talks to the Montreal Gazette about the recording of their new album.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Undertones to King Curtis, from the Sweet to the Polyphonic Spree, from Los Hombres to Exile  to the Beatles, Talking Heads, Stevie Wonder, Patterson Hood covering Big Star and more, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: In next month's Playboy, Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," says: "A lot of people in the public eye who behave strangely have mental illness we can learn from, and much of it is based on childhood trauma, without a doubt. Take a guy like Tom Cruise. Why would somebody be drawn into a cultish kind of environment like Scientology? To me, that's a function of a very deep emptiness and suggests serious neglect in childhood - maybe some abuse, but mostly neglect." Cruise's lawyer compared the TV doctor's analysis to Nazi methods.  Pinsky issued a tempered apology.  I would note that Scientology generally despises psychology and psychiatry and claims they led to the rise of the Nazis.  Cruise's lawyer knows his client.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are The Incredible Hulk, which is currently scoring 73 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and M. Night Shamalayan's The Happening, which is currently scoring 14 percent.

EDWARD NORTON -- and Edward Norton's hair -- have slipped off to a desert island rather than do publicity for "The Incredible Hulk." Norton re-wrote parts of the script but fell out with Marvel and Universal -- supposedly over the final cut, but there may be money issues involved.

PAM ANDERSON & TOMMY LEE -- together again.  Check your survival gear.

JEN & JOHN: Aniston's relationship with her much younger beau Mayer is giving her a glowing new sense of self.

CHARLIZE THERON blasts celebrities who constantly court media attention, branding their attitude "sad" and "ugly", in the July issue of British GQ magazine.

MADONNA and BRITNEY SPEARS are about to get socked with scandalous, tell-all books about their wild and crazy lives.

MATT DAMON has transformed into Fat Damon for his new role in The Informant.  Now he sorta looks like a Wahlberg.

THE 50 WORST SEX SCENES IN CINEMA, according to IFC.com and Nerve.com.  Embedded videos galore.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL talks about her first acting gig with Letterman.  Let's go to the video.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA's Tricia Helfer and Katie Sackhoff are biker chicks. They took up motorcycling last year because they were each "tired of being on the back of a guy's bike," said Sackhoff.  Video at the link.

ISLAMISM in the USA: Textbooks at a private Islamic school in northern Virginia teach students that it is permissible for Muslims to kill adulterers and converts from Islam, according to a federal investigation released Wednesday. Other passages in the school's textbooks state that "the Jews conspired against Islam and its people" and that Muslims are permitted to take the lives and property of those deemed "polytheists."

TERROR in the UK: Top secret documents about al-Qaeda left on a train could have been useful to terrorists, a security expert said today.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: The Cassation Court on Tuesday declined to endorse a general court ruling to sentence a girly man to 10 years' imprisonment and 1,500 lashes.  Girly man?

IRAQ: Basra residents are both hopeful and fearful more than two months after the Iraqi military sent thousands of US-backed reinforcements to pry Iraq's second-largest city from the grip of Shiite militias and criminal gangs.  But if the housing market is an economic indicator, then Iraq's southern city of Basra is in the midst of an economic boom. Iraqi reinforcement troops deployed to the oil-producing southern city of Amarah on Thursday as the military geared up for another crackdown against Shiite militiamen.

THE COW was not happy with the service from the local auto repair spot.

A SMALL, UPPITY DOG is being sought by the Poughkeepsie Police.

A RARE UNICORN DEER is drawing hundreds of curious visitors to the nature preserve in Tuscany, NY. Pic and video at the link.

GEORGE, who is 14, was awarded the "The Oldest Living Rabbit" honors by Guinness after several vets confirmed his age.

SCENT of a DINGO: Keeps kangaroos and other marsupials out of places they're not wanted... but drives the ladies wild!  Okay, maybe not that last bit.

2053 Reads

REM, She & Him, Sloan, The Old 97s, Great White Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 12, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

R.E.M. was joined by Modest Mouse axemeister Johnny Marr for a rendition of "Fall On Me" at Chicago's United Center.  The first time I saw the band play this, it was not quite finished.

SHE & HIM kick off a new series produced by the legendary Steve Lillywhite at NPR. The duo is also featured in the roll-out of Blurt, which comes with a bonus feature on Zooey Deschanel.

MY MORNING JACKET frontman Jim James rejects comparing the band's new LP to Prince at the outset of a piece at Blurt.

SLOAN is streaming their new Parallel Play album via YepRoc. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

VAMPIRE WEEKEND bassist Chris Baio takes a look back at the band's crazy year with the Village Voice.

THE OLD 97s have Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer in the video for "Dance With Me," which is pretty much a command.

BLACK MOUNTAIN: Stephen McBean talks to ChartAttack about the group's sophomore effort, from the depths of a haze of cold medication.

T-BONE BURNETT talks to NPR's Day to Day, which also has a couple of streaming tracks from his music for a new version of Sam Shepherd's play, Tooth of Crime,

EMMYLOU HARRIS talks to Pitchfork about her many collaborations, interpreting other people's songs, Johnny Cash, and the downside of staying so busy.

THE BBC & EMI have struck a deal to release thousands of hours of previously-unreleased music from the likes of Paul McCartney, Coldplay, The Beach Boys and David Bowie.

KATHERINE HEIGL withdrew her name from contention for an Emmy, blaming the Gray's Anatomy writers for not giving her worthy material: "In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials."

GEORGE CLOONEY & SARAH LAWSEN split over her boob job?

ANGELINA JOLIE does a Q&A with Entertainment Weekly, explaining what attracted her to the film adaptation of Wanted.

DAVID SPADE and Playboy Playmate Jillian Grace, who dated briefly, are expecting a baby girl.

REESE WITHERSPOON's gig as Avon's Global Ambassador has her donning a kimono in Japan to spread awareness about breast cancer.

BRITNEY SPEARS & MEL GIBSON had another of their ongoing guidance sessions -- at an exclusive Beverly Hills cigar club.

CAMERON DIAZ is continuing to heat things up with Jen Aniston's ex boy-toy, Paul Sculfor.

THE SMURFS are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a Hollywood movie deal announced on Tuesday by Columbia Pictures.  Aren't their heads already big?

IT IS THE YEAR OF THE TWEEN for the Forbes Celebrity 100 List, though none crack the Top Ten.

THE WEBBY AWARDS went to these folks, who are supposed to limit their acceptance speeches to five words.

THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE trailer is online. I want to believe this will be good...

PAKISTAN condemned a US and Afghan Army cross-border attack against Taliban forces in Mohmand agency. The US military said it warned Pakistan the fighting was underway.

AFGHANISTAN: US Marines who served in Anbar Province are bringing the lessons of Iraq to the fight against the Taliban.

IRAQ: The Guardian reports on the downward slide of AQI, while noting AQ may move more into places like Somalia and Yemen. The US is seeing a sharp drop in the number of foreigners entering Iraq to become AQI suicide bombers, according to intelligence and Bush administration sources.  CNN reviews internal AQI documents. The US military said on Wednesday that more than 500 insurgents who fought US and Iraqi forces had surrendered their arms in the past three weeks and joined the reconciliation process in central Iraq. High-level negotiations over the future role of the US military in Iraq have turned into an increasingly acrimonious public debate, with Iraqi politicians denouncing what they say are US demands to maintain nearly 60 bases in their country indefinitely.

WHITE TIGERS are thriving so much at one of India's top reserves that authorities have agreed to expand its boundary to give them a bigger area for the free swim.

A TRAPPED PUPPY was rescued from a storm drain under Interstate 95 in Miami after a couple walking near Northwest Sixth Avenue and 75th Street saw a female dog pacing on top of a metal storm-drain grate and heard a helpless puppy whimpering below.  Like the Jessica McClure story, but with a puppy.

A MAMA BEAR and her two cubs seated themselves at a Romanian raestaurant. "It was like Goldilocks and the three bears in reverse," said frightened customer Flaviu Lazar.

A REKNOWNED SCOTTISH FARMER was crushed to death by his tractor; the family believes the "accident" may have been caused by his dog.

A GREAT WHITE SHARK was spotted off the coast of Martha's Vineyard in two separate incidents over the weekend. What say you, Police Chief Brody?

1629 Reads

New Hold Steady, Isobel Campbell, 80s fashion, Pig in Boots   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

GNARLS BARKLEY had it "Goin' On" for Dave on the Eye network the other night.

THE HOLD STEADY are advance streaming their new album Stay Positive.  Which should be enough for today, but I'll continue.

LOU REED talks to New York magazine about his new satellite radio show, then breaks bad when the subject of money is raised.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL is reluctantly interviewed by The Observer about a bunch of things, including her first take of current collaborator Mark Lanegan: "He was in Glasgow with Queens of the Stone Age in around May 2003. I don't go out much - I never have - so it was quite a new thing to be at this rock concert with all these kids going mad. I felt like a scientist observing some event. I got quite tired in the middle and had to go to the toilet for a sit down."

THE TING TINGS tell USAToday that they get lots of free merch named "Ting" or "ing Ting."  Kattie White: "I only wish we had known this. We would have named ourselves after something really expensive and hard to get hold of."

MY MORNING JACKET has a little mini-documentary on the recording and roll out of the band's new Evil Urges album (the mellow vibe of which is semi-controversial).  Frontman Jim James talks to The A.V. Club.

OF MONTREAL frontman Kevin Barnes blogs about the band's just-completed album: "i am so bored with art that makes sense and "works". i wanted to do somethings that didn't "work". very few things pique our interest while they are working as we expect them to, things are far more interesting when they are not working..."

FRANZ FERDINAND has posted snippets of songs in progress in the "Music" section of their website, with some departures from the usuall FF sound.

WILL JOHNSON of Centro-matic and South San Gabriel talks to the Phoenix about recording and playing as two different bands with the same members.

EIGHTIES FASHION violates the laws of nature, going against the evolutionary process itself, according to a professor of mathematics.

MADONNA's publicist has hit back at claims on a celebrity gossip website that the superstar hired Heather Mills' hard-hitting divorce lawyer, suggesting a bitter feud with Guy Ritchie was about to erupt.

PAUL NEWMAN has quietly turned over the 120 million dollar value of his ownership in Newman's Own - the company that makes salad dressing and cookies - to charity.  Roger Friedman learned about this extraordinary gift as news started coming out recently about Newman's battle with lung cancer. Newman's rep denied reports that the cancer is terminal.

SHIA LeBEOUF says he's "embarrassed" by a video that made its way around the Internet yesterday, showing LaBeouf participating in a sophomoric slapping contest with a friend during what appears to be a boozy house party. LaBeouf successfully provoked his pal to whack him by calling him a "faggot."

JESSICA ALBA's baby girl looks just like her, according to her Uncle Josh.  I'm thinking she looks younger.  The Alba is claiming that she is unaware of the tabloid offers for the baby pics.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON look great together, says Sam's bro, producer Mark Ronson.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: They actually put out a teaser trailer for Valkyrie.  Be afraid.

PAM ANDERSON presented Hugh Hefner with his 82nd birthday cake in the nude.  Hef still living.

SPIKE LEE continued his latest showbiz feud-promotion, invoking America's bitter legacy of slavery in response to Clint Eastwood's comments to the Guardian.

IRON MAN 2 may lose director Jon Favreau because Marvel Studios head honcho David Maisel is being cheap regards to making Favreau's deal.  Penny wise, multi-million dollar foolish.

THE DARK KNIGHT has a new website (via Comcast) with behind-the-scenes video and more...  Plus, director Christopher Nolan tells SciFi wire that his vision of The Joker was inspired by Johnny Rotten.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN are at loggerheads over whether to vaccinate their kids. He is convinced vaccinations are poison.  In contrast, I am convnced people will want to see Richards getting a nude spray tan.

VENEZUELA: Hugo Chavez has tossed out a controversial intelligence decree that would have forced Venezuelans to become informants and spy on their neighbors or face prison time. Chavez says the National Assembly will draft a new law from scratch in response to resounding criticism.

THE BBC has come under attack for paying expenses to a disgraced academic who says the 7/7 London bombings may have been an intelligence agency conspiracy.  His theory is that the Al-Qaeda inspired bombers were 'innocent patsies', set up by elements of the Israeli, British and U.S. security agencies.

IRAQ: McClatchy reports that recent substantial gains by the Iraqi army, flagging insurgent violence and civilians reclaiming a sense of confidence have produced expectations that are higher than at any time since 2003. Iraqi police captured 65 Mahdi Army fighters during operations in Dhi Qhar province. Iraqi and Coalition forces killed three AQI fighters and detained five during raids in northern Iraq. Iraqi Special Operations Forces detained four AQI operatives in the Tal Abtah area northwest of Mosul. Coalition forces detained two AQI cell leaders and three associates in Baghdad.  Bodybuilding and bodyguarding are booming businesses in Iraq. The State Department's top Iraq adviser says he believes a U.S.-Iraqi security agreement will be finalized by the end of July.  We'll see.

A CANE TOAD survived after being eaten by a dog and spending 40 minutes in the animal's stomach. The dog also lived to bark another day -- proving she's as tough as her owner, Darwin rugby league star Jackson Crews. It's like the story of Jonah and the big fish, but with a cane toad and a dog.

BIG IN BOOTS: The world's only porker who is afraid of mud.  Awww...some pics at the link.

AN ELUSIVE HEN that took up residence outside a McDonald's was finally captured after it engaging in acts of civil disobedience.

BEAUTY the BALD EAGLE gets a bionic beak.  We can rebuild her.  We have the technology.  Nuhnuhnuhnuh.

LONG-TAILED MACAQUES were observed four times over the past eight years scooping up small fish with their hands.  The species had been known to eat fruit and forage for crabs and insects, but never before fish from rivers.  Just keep your hands off me, you d*mn dirty apes!

2254 Reads

Foo Zeppelin, New Releases, New Radiohead, Monkey Robots   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

FOO ZEPPELIN:  Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones joined the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins on "Rock and Roll" (with a profanity-laden intro) and "Ramble On" for the encore to the Foos' big gig at Wembley Stadium in London last weekend. In an interview after the concert, Page said Zep was ready to reunite and perform more live events... but fans could have to wait until Autumn 2009 as band members had to tie up individual projects first. And that's a Twofer Tuesday!

NEW RELEASES: My Morning Jacket, Adele, Supergrass, Martha Wainwright, Solomon Burke, James Hunter, The Beach Boys and more are streaming in full via Spinner.

SIGUR ROS is advance streaming their upcoming album, Með suð i eyrum við spilum endalaust ("with a buzz in our ear we play endlessly"), if you're into that sort of thing.  I can be, in the right mood.

RON SEXSMITH has an advance stream of his version of "Brandy Alexander," (which he co-wrote with Leslie Feist) available via Entertainment Weekly. The song was inspired by a story of John Lennon and Harry Nilsson's fondness for the cocktail -- and sounds like it, methinks.

FEIST: The Irish Independent tells us how she gets, how she gets to Sesame Street.

RADIOHEAD debut a new song, "Super-Collider," in Dublin.  Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood cover Portishead's "The Rip" unpluggety backstage in St. Louis. That's Two Twofer Tuesdays.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE frontman Ben Gibbard talks to Gothamist about the new album, taking over Stereogum for a day, and the nature of alt-rock fame: "Even after selling a million records, I very rarely get recognized on the street or when I'm shopping for groceries. I think part of the benefit of being in a nerdy, bookish, indie rock band is that you blend into a crowd pretty easily. It'd be one thing if -- you know, I'm not dressed like Steven Tyler or someone like that, so it's pretty easy to blend in."

MUDHONEY's Mark Arm talks to Express about his influences, songwriting, going back to a day job and more...

THE FOALS drop a surprising seven free songs at Daytrotter, four previously unreleased.

THOMAS DOLBY answers the standard 20 questions for PopMatters, including the all-important "Star Trek or Star Wars?"

JESSICA SIMPSON is going into the lingerie business. I am sure it will reek of style and class.

BRITNEY SPEARS' latest appeal to overturn the conservatorship awarded to her father in February was rejected by a California appellate court.

SIENNA MILLER says a pair of pajamas she shared with Heath Ledger, who died in January, helps keep her Casanova costar alive in her heart.

KATE HUDSON didn't deny a romance with Lance Armstrong when she appeared on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show Monday morning to plug her new eco-friendly hair product line with long time stylist David Babaii.  Hudson recently took her son Ryder to Armstrong's hometown of Austin, TX.

BILL MURRAY'a wife claims that he is the violent and booze-addicted one in the family - but she has gotten a reputation in her suburban Charleston, SC, neighborhood as an avid drinker who gets "physical" with her children and gets into bizarre police incidents.  I cannot imagine who dropped that tidbit onto Page Six...

ANNE HATHAWAY's boyfriend's charity is under investigation by NY State Attorney General Andrew Andrew Cuomo. "She was on the board, but is no longer," Hathaway's spokesman said. "I don't remember exactly when she ceased to be a board member."  Maybe when the phone rang?

ROBERT DOWNEY JR. has publicly thanked Burger King for helping him overcome his personal problems and resurrect his film career. But it's not really an endorsement of the King...

RUPERT EVERETT has made an unreserved apology for calling soldiers "wimps" and suggesting they went into the Army to torture prisoners.

CAPT. KIRK is not invited to Lt. Sulu's big gay wedding.

SEAN COMBS would like to be called Puff Daddy. The circle is now complete.

WALL-E: There;'s an extended clip from the upcoming Pixar pic on the Tube, if you get there before the Mouse's lawyers.

"CARBON OFFSETTING is like kicking the dog and giving money to the RSPCA, but simply all the best people are doing it, darling."

ISLAMISM in S.E. ASIA: The deadliest terrorist networks in Southeast Asia have suffered significant setbacks in the past three years, weakened by aggressive policing, improved intelligence, enhanced military operations and an erosion of public support, government officials and counterterrorism specialists say. OTOH, members of a moderate Muslim sect were ordered by the government Monday to return to mainstream Islam or face possible imprisonment for insulting the country's predominant religion.

ISLAMISM in the UK: An "encyclopaedia or library" of articles promoting terrorism was found during raids on the homes of three men and a boy of 16, a court has heard.  Schoolchildren as young as 13 in Yorkshire are being groomed by al-Qaeda extremists trying to radicalize them and turn them into terrorists, a chief constable has warned.

IRAN: The US wants the EU to redouble efforts to punish Iran financially for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a US diplomat said Monday before an EU-US summit in Slovenia.

IRAQ: Sadr City's markets are recovering; since the wall project was completed more than two weeks ago, firefights have been replaced with intelligence gathering, civic engagement and reconstruction. The chief of the Anbar Salvation Council announced on Monday an alliance of four political powers in the predominantly Sunni province of al-Anbar within preparations for the forthcoming elections scheduled for next October. This alliance does not include the Iraqi Islamic Party of Iraqi Vice President al-Hashimi.  Sheik Ahmad al-Rishawi of the Anbar movement is offering his men to help gin up a rebellion against Osama bin Laden's organization along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.  Eight former officials from executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's government will be transferred from US military prisons to Iraqi custody in the coming days.

MONKEYS CONTROL ROBOTS with their minds. Video at the link. Just so long as it's not squirrels.

A 300-LB MASTIFF makes for a good watchdog. Pics at the link.

A 40-YEAR-OLD MAN has been found dead with a cobra carcass in his hands and a condom on his penis. In Bangkok.  Snake remnants were found in the dead man's teeth.  No happy ending for him.

DOG SAVES HUNTER who suffered a crippling fall - by fetching his mobile phone.

CHANCE BEATS THE ODDS: A frisky yellow Labrador named Chance was lost after last month's tornado in Parkersburg, IA, but sniffed his way to his owners' car nine days later.

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